Publisher/Full-Time Editor/Freelance Writer

Weldon Writes ... Almost a Blog

Book Review: The Dead Path by Stephen M. Irwin

November 28, 2010

Tags: suspense fiction, book review, Suspense Magazine, Stephen Irwin

If you're into suspense in all its forms, Suspense Magazine is a must! I love the publication's fine balance of new fiction, author interviews, book reviews, advice for writers of suspense, and amazing graphics. You can find the magazine at most major book stores, but I'd advise subscribing (either to the electronic or the paper version.)

I mentioned in an earlier blog that I've signed on with Suspense Magazine as a book reviewer. The first of I hope many reviews was just published in the December 2010 issue.

Here is my review of The Dead Path by Stephen M. Irwin:

Nicholas Close is a haunted man. After his wifeís sudden death, Nicholas begins to see dead peopleóghosts who must suffer their hideous deaths in endlessly replaying, silent loops before his eyes. He returns to his childhood home in Australia, where he sees the ghosts of terrified children (including his best friend, Tristam, who was murdered when he was ten-years-old) yanked by invisible hands into a dense, dark forest outside of town. More victim than hero, Nicholas is forced to face his childhood fears and confront an ancient evil when a local child goes missing, and he knows other innocent children will die if he doesnít act. The story builds intensity from there, stacking bodies and scares, and never lets up until the astonishing conclusion. The last chapter is absolutely chilling.

This stunning debut horror novel is part The Sixth Sense, part Blair Witch, part Stephen Kingís It, with a liberal helping of the darkest of Grimmís tales. Such comparisons, however, do little justice to Irwinís work, which stands strong on its own. His writing is elegant, highly descriptive and well-paced. Any novel revolving around the gruesome murders of children requires a skilled hand and deft control; Irwin handles these elements of his story well. I found the novel deliciously creepy and disturbing. We can expect more from this fine Australian author in the future!

(By the way, if you suffer from any degree of arachnophobia, this book is definitely not for you!)

When I Decided to Write Horror

November 12, 2010

Tags: horror fiction, short stories, freelance writing

I've always loved horror movies and horror fiction, going back even before I learned how to read. I remember my Uncle Donald and his box of EC comics, which he shared with me despite my mother's admonition, "Don't show him that trash! You'll ruin his brain!" Too late, too late. I was probably 4 or 5 at the time, and I came to love those comics filled with the walking dead, vampires, and gruesome death.

I also remember going to the Everett Theater in Middletown, DE every Friday night. The theater often showed Hammer Film double-features and many other horror movies in the late '60s (yes, I'm dating myself!) that scared the crap out of me. I loved every minute of it. I read every ghost and eerie story I could get my grubby hands on.

But, I was experiencing horror only as entertainment.

I can pinpoint one story that changed my life and inspired me not only to read horror, but to write it. This happened in 1969, when I was 13. I can thank Anthony Vercoe, the author of "Flies," for starting my freelance career.

The story appeared in the fine little anthology, 11 Great Horror Stories, published by Scholastic Book Services. That's right, I now write nasty stories thanks to Scholastic! The book contains mini-classics like "The Dunwich Horror" by H.P. Lovecraft, "The Oblong Box" by Edgar Allan Poe, "The Judge's House" by Bram Stoker, and "Thus I Refute Beelzy" by John Collier. What 13-year-old wouldn't be impressed?

But Vercoe's story was unlike anything I'd ever read before, it was so in-your-face, so no-holds-barred when it came to the gross out. I've certainly read stronger stories since then, and there were many other pulp stories of similar caliber, but "Flies" made a difference for me.

An Interview With Jeremy C. Shipp

November 3, 2010

Tags: Jeremy Shipp interview, bizarro fiction, horror fiction

Jeremy C. Shipp is the Bram Stoker-nominated author of four books: Vacation, Sheep and Wolves, Cursed, and the just-released Fungus of the Heart, a fine collection of short stories. His fiction has been published in approximately 50 publications, including Cemetery Dance, ChiZine, Apex Magazine, and Withersin.

Jeremy's work is often poetic and poignant, often goofy and gonzo, but always entertaining. Considered a bizarro/horror writer, in truth his writing defies categorization. I think he's just fun to read. I think of him as a literary Frank Zappa.

Jeremy has been on a blog tour for his new book, so I asked him to drop by and share some thoughts with us. Being the great guy that he is, Jeremy played along.

Here we go!

Fungus of the Heart was recently released. Are you giddy?

Iím as giddy as an energetic schoolgirl in an anime who was just asked out by the cool kid.

You seem to be on top of this social media thing. How important is social media in your marketing scheme?

Social media is king, queen, and court jester. I connect with my fans primarily through sites like Twitter, Facebook and Clownspace.

Harlan Ellison or Philip K. Dick?

Itís my strong belief that the two would tie in a thumb wrestling match.

Do the attic clowns ever sleep?

The attic clowns will only rest once the world population is laughing and trembling with fear simultaneously.

No basement clowns?

The ninja coconut monkeys keep the clowns out of my basement, thank goodness.

Youíve been nominated for the Bram Stoker award. How cool is that?

Itís as cool as a scientist studying zombie animals in the Arctic, which is pretty darn cool.


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