Halloween Giveaway!! — DEREK BARTON – 2019

Horror 1



A fun and stress-relieving trend has been taking flight — Adult Coloring Books!

Here’s my TREAT:  On Halloween, October 31st, I will choose a winner of these four adult horror themed coloring books to send to one lucky winner!

The books are:

  • The Beauty of Horror by Alan Robert
  • Alice’s Nightmare Through The Looking Glass by Julia Rivers
  • Serial Killers Big Kid’s Coloring Book by K. Schroeder
  • Freak of Horror by Chucky Nightmare

To qualify, subscribe to my email list (you can unsubscribe at any time after the contest if you so choose) — CLICK HERE.  For some of those unfortunate entrants who do not win, you may receive a SECRET PRIZE just for playing!

Must be within the United States to win, sorry.


Happy Halloween and I hope you enjoy my treat!!

Character Sketchs from EVADE — Derek Barton – 2019

Scary Horror Wallpapers 9

I thought it would be fun and in the spirit of the month to show you some of my characters and their story backgrounds in my upcoming novelette series called EVADE.

Getting geared up for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) Challenge which is in November.  This story already has me super excited to write it!




(Alexandra Breckinridge)

Character Profile Questions:

What is their name? Lindsey Rose Korrey

How old? 32

What does your character look like? Thin, athletic-build with long reddish-brown hair and gray eyes.

Where does she live? Penn Wynne, a suburb of Philadelphia, PA

Where is the character from? Hinsdale, Suburb of Chicago, IL

What kind of childhood? Lived a typical Midwest life with a happy upbringing. Her mother died early in a car accident, but her father did his best to raise and provide for her and her older sister, Cheryl. He worked as a truck driver. She is driven and has a keen mind for investigating but emotional with kids — has always wanted a child but physically cannot. She recently divorced due to not being able to have children.

What does the character do for a living? Detective for the PPD (Philadelphia Police Department).

How does your character deal with conflict? Her temper can get her in trouble, stress can cause her inner filter to drop. Lashes out when in pain or upset.

Who else is in their life? Ex-husband Jerry Raymond. Her older sister, Cheryl Korrey and Lawson Torv — the serial killer she has been hunting her whole career.

What is your character’s goal or motivation? While in college, her best friend, a nurse, was raped and murdered. The killer and her friend’s body had not been found. This spurred her to make a career change. She is convinced that Lawson Torv “The Nurse Catcher” is the man who killed her.  Now that he is in custody, her new goal is to see the man personally led to the courts and have all his victims receive justice.

Their Status: She has climbed her way to a good position within the department by her drive and will to find the perpetrator. Her work focus has earned her grudging respect. After eleven years, she has finally caught up with Lawson and helped in his capture. Currently, he is being held in California and on his way being extradited to Pennsylvania. With this arrest, she’ll be one of the most respected policewomen in PPD history. While she’s not looking to go higher up in the chain of command, she’s excited to finally move on from this case.

What is the worst thing to happen to her in her life?  Just after she left the police academy, she was assigned to patrol with an old friend of the family, Officer Roderick James. During a late-night robbery, both of them were ambushed and shot. When she came to, she found that her kevlar vest had stopped the shots from hurting her, but James had been shot in the head. While he survived the scene due to her efforts, he had suffered a lot of brain damage. In the months after, he never regained functionality nor even remembered her.  During the Christmas holiday, he died of a brain aneurysm brought on by lasting injuries from the shooting incident. She suffered a lot of anxiety and guilt from this; wondered if she should have let him die with dignity versus a slow drawn-out death.

What is her greatest fear? Losing another partner like Officer James due to a mistake.



(Jake Gyllenhaal)

Character Profile Questions:

What is their name? Joshua Tyler Bannon

How old? 26

What does your character look like? Short dark brown hair, goatee, blue eyes, thin

Where does he live? Jenkintown, Suburb of Philly

Where is the character from? Jenkintown, Suburb of Philly, lives in his late mother’s house.

What kind of childhood? Average. Middle-class family.

What does the character do for a living?  Patrol officer for about three years on the force.

How does your character deal with conflict? He’s a bit impulsive and has a temper.  Passionate about helping people though and will risk his life every time.

Who else is in their life? Patrol officer O’Dell is his best friend but he doesn’t go out or have any other friends.  Has only a golden retriever named Casper.

What is your character’s goal or motivation? Not too ambitious.  He likes his routine and his post. Hasn’t worked out a plan for the next 5 years.

Their Status: Recently got into a little trouble over beating two men that were robbing the homeless people. He caught the two men after they beat one man unconscious and were assaulting his wife.  He’s under an ongoing investigation about the matter.

What is the worst thing to happen to him in his life?  High school sweetheart cheated on him when she went to college. He has problems with trust and commitment.

What is his greatest fear? Being helpless to help someone in his care.



(Micheal Cudlitz)

Character Profile Questions:

What is their name? Shawn Karl O’Dell

How old? 30

What does your character look like? He’s Irish, redhead, freckled white skin, green-blue eyes and has a red goatee. Heftier build and a fraction of a limp from being wounded on duty.

Where does he live? Glenside, Suburb of Philly

Where is the character from? South Marketview Heights, a poor suburb of Rochester, NY

What kind of childhood? Average, not middle class but not exactly poor either.  Has three older brothers. They were a bit rough on him until he got bigger and could beat them. He looks more like his father than his mother.

What does the character do for a living?  Supervising patrol officer

How does your character deal with conflict?  Levelheaded, a tad stubborn.  Pretty traditional thinker and conservative in religious and political beliefs.

Who else is in their life? Recently married — less than two years. They are thinking of having kids.

What is your character’s goal or motivation? After Josh moves up, he’ll either put in for a post with the training department or quit for a private security firm.  Feels there’s too much of a chance he won’t be there for his new wife and possible children.

Their Status: Patrols and trains Officer Bannon.

What is the worst thing to happen to him in his life?  During a car chase, he was hit by a civilian car that broke his leg. The leg didn’t heal very well but the civilian also died and that haunts him some.

What is his greatest fear? He either kills an innocent person or gets killed on duty which he feels that the chances of this are getting more and more likely.



(Levi Miller)

Character Profile Questions:

What is their name? Rory Dillon Phelps

How old? 7

What does your character look like? Small 3’4”, brown hair and brown eyes, with a short bowl haircut.

Where does he live? He did live in a suburb of Philly but disappeared in a mine in 2016.

Where is the character from? Edgewood, Suburb of Philly

What kind of childhood? It was up and down for him as his father was abusive and a drunk. He has a great sister, Bethany, who he loved completely.

What does the character do for a living? Had just started second grade in school.

How does your character deal with conflict? Rory will sneak out and find a hiding spot whenever he’s threatened or stressed.

Who else is in their life? Bethany was the only person in his life that mattered as his mother was too wrapped up in keeping her abusive husband happy and calm.

What is your character’s goal or motivation? REDACTED TO PROTECT YOU FROM SPOILERS — HEH!

Their Status: At the beginning, in 2019, Rory will appear on a street corner, wearing the winter clothing he’d been captured in. He won’t speak and waits to attract attention. He doesn’t look like he’s aged in the three years.

What is the worst thing to happen to him in his life? Getting abducted and taken away from his family.

What is his greatest fear? AGAIN REDACTED… Nothing to see here. Please move along.



(Mackenzie Foy)

Character Profile Questions:

What is their name? Bethany Anne Phelps

How old? 12

What does your character look like? Sandy brown hair, skinny, glasses and brown eyes

Where does she live? Drexel Hill, Suburb of Philadelphia, PA

Where is the character from? Edgewood, PA

What kind of childhood? Average until the death of her family.

What does the character do for a living? Student. She’s kept to herself mainly and often feels ostracized by her classmates. The weird “Mine Incident” has put a stigma upon her.

How does your character deal with conflict? She internalizes a lot of her stress and doesn’t show much emotion. The experience of the mine has created a lot of PTSD and nightmares.

Who else is in their life? Lives with her new guardian, Kenneth Gerard. They met in the mines and survived the experience together.

What is your character’s goal or motivation? She has no aspirations right now as the “real” world seems bizarre to her now that she has witnessed its supernatural underbelly. Everyday life has become surreal.

Their Status: She’s stuck in limbo; growing up without her family. It’s hard on her not having her brother. She feels she failed him but won’t speak with anyone about the event. One, no one would really believe her except those that were there and two, she doesn’t want to relive the experience.

What is the worst thing to happen to her in her life?  Of course, seeing her mother killed (not so much her father) and seeing her brother dragged off by some beast dog… She hasn’t found a way yet to move on. Her guardian also fights with his own inner demons that attached to him from their shared trauma in the mines.

What is her greatest fear?  The creature some call Mr. Boots… the one who wiped out her family.



(Judge John Deed)

Character Profile Questions:

What is their name? Kenneth Byron Gerard

How old? 59

What does your character look like? Grey hair, glasses, cane for walking, thin and green eyes.

Where does she live? Drexel Hill, a suburb of Philadelphia, PA

Where is the character from? Norwalk, CT

What kind of childhood? His family has always been wealthy. However, Kenneth and his father were never on good terms, mainly due to his “outbursts”. Kenneth is a psychic and has had episodes or visions all his life. He tried once to discuss the matter, but his father exploded and beat him — something he had never done before and hasn’t since. Kenneth never forgot that anger though. He later discovered that a great aunt of his had the “gift” but was burned for her abilities.  The family always laughs at or gets uncomfortable discussing the subject.

What does the character do for a living? At an early age, he left for college, became a history and philosophy teacher. Teaches at Constitution High School in Center City, PA. He has a trust fund that his family maintains for him, but he tries to live mainly on his own resources.

How does your character deal with conflict? He is pretty down-to-earth for someone who has lived with privilege. Tackles problems head-on and with focus. He is patient and sympathetic, but after the “Incident”, his nights have been plagued with vivid nightmares and he doesn’t sleep well.

Who else is in their life? He also never had children, so taking care of Bethany has been a taxing endeavor for him.  He loves the girl as if she were his own, but he can’t get through her own wall. He knows that she is struggling to deal with her grief and trauma.

What is your character’s goal or motivation? He has been working for years on a historical novel about the Civil War and the struggles of the families caught in the middle of it. His visions have given him some insight which he is portraying as fiction when it was actually someone’s true life.  The book has been on hiatus since the Incident and he’s struggling to pick it back up. The current goal is to find a way to get past the mine horror and to provide a good life for Bethany.

Their Status: Nightmares, horrible visions and specters that haunt his days and nights. Tries to keep his fears and problems from Bethany, but she has commented she has heard him scream at night.

What is the worst thing to happen to him in his life?  The Mine Incident – seeing several people torn to pieces and several visions of what became their fate.

What is his greatest fear? He doesn’t know what the creature was that came after them in the mine and doesn’t understand what Mr. Boots wanted. He worries that he’ll come again someday for Bethany.

LAWSON TORV “The Nurse Catcher”


(Vinnie Jones)

Character Profile Questions:

What is their name? Lawson Daniel Torv

How old? 44

What does your character look like? Broad-shouldered, short black hair, white with blue eyes. Devilish grin.

Where does he live? Since he’s a serial killer, he moves around a lot as a drifter to reduce the chances of suspicion. Latest residence in San Diego, CA.

Where is the character from? New South Wales, Australia.

What kind of childhood? Lived in a very abusive family. After his mother abandoned them, his father eventually killed his little brother and nearly killed him one night. As he grew up in foster care, his anger became directed at his mother who was a nurse. He cannot forgive her for leaving them and punishes his mother with every kill.

What does the character do for a living? Mainly survives by breaking into isolated houses, kills the owners and keeps their money, valuables, etc.

How does your character deal with conflict? He doesn’t handle it well, usually going into a fit of rage or laughter.

Who else is in their life? The only people in his life are his victims which he will keep primarily a week if possible and the detectives constantly after him.

What is your character’s goal or motivation? He has no current pressing goal other than escaping or eluding police. He likes his life and thrives on punishing his mother.  He left Australia after killing four nurses near Sydney. Before he could be tracked down and identified, he left the country and came to America. After San Diego, he had plans to fly to Germany but was caught in the airport.

Their Status: The press has dubbed him The Nurse Catcher due to the pattern of nurses among his known kills across the country. He has slain 12 nurses (plus 4 in Australia) and 7 homeowners. No remains have ever been found. After his capture in San Diego, he has been held in California at High Desert Maximum Security Prison. He’s awaiting extradition by plane back to the start of his killing spree in Pennsylvania.

What is the worst thing to happen to him in his life? Losing his brother and being beaten by his father.

What is his greatest fear? Forever locked up and not being able to kill. He would do anything at this point to be free once again. ANYTHING!

***If you are interested in learning just what was this “Mine Incident”, please feel free to purchase IN FOUR DAYS ($6.99 paperback, $1.99 ebook or $4.87 audiobook) on sale at Amazon, Kindle and Audible.com!!***




That’s right!!  Elude Pt #1 has been approved and released on Audible.com.  S.W. Salzman has done an incredible job with the narration.  I am so excited for everyone to hear his performance and bringing this high-paced action/horror story to life!!

The first five people who contact me through this link will get a free copy code sent to them!!



Part #2 will be released hopefully in November and Part #3 will be by the end of the year!


Writer Interview by Andrew D. Michaels — Derek Barton – 2019



My friend and colleague, Andrew D. Michaels, has a running set up to interview writers for his Facebook page.  You guessed it — I am next up on his rotation!


Today on the chatbox, we have our own Derek Barton! He’s here talking about his upcoming multiverse and check out his website below for free excerpts and shenanigans!

DB: I am a self-published writer since 2016. My favorite genres that I write in are the same that I love to read: Horror & Fantasy. I tend to blend my work with elements of horror in all that I create. In other words, my epic fantasy has some rather dark elements. I guess you’d say that I am primarily a horror writer.

ADM: That’s awesome! Would you say that not only the horror genre has severely influenced your writing, but any authors in particular?

DB: Like most writers of my generation, I can point to Stephen King’s influence and I do so proudly! He’s a master at creating characters that are so meaningful and powerful that you never forget them. That is one of the key goals I have in my stories. On the other side, fantasy writer Piers Anthony influenced me at first then R. A. Salvatore (of the D&D Forgotten Realms literature). Also, Dean Koontz, J RR Tolkien, and Stephen R Donaldson inspired me. Even to this day, I get inspired by them. Stephen King’s Mr. Mercedes got me so excited by crime horror that I wrote my Elude series because of the unique way he twisted real-life with horror factors.

ADM: I can relate to those! So, what was the catalyst in the transition from reader to writer?

DB: I had given up striving/dreaming of being a writer since I was never able to write a full story out. Had tons of half-finished work. Then I learned during the writing of Consequences Within Chaos (my first book) that I was a ‘’plotter’’! So, what that means is that I had to have every detail planned out and couldn’t sit at the computer and just write by the seat of my pants (what’s called a ‘’pantser’’). After learning how to better develop and structure my work, it was easy to see the dream come true and be an actual writer. My good friend, Doug Sanburn, from high school, had belief in me and he was an accomplished, published writer, so I took the leap of faith. And never looked back! In my opinion, this is the greatest time in the ages of man to be a writer. There’s so much reference material and writing craft detailed out there on the net that you can simply watch videos or read articles and find you can do and write anything!

ADM: It’s always good to have someone on the team. Now, you have published many books since then, what was something that you were surprised to learn along the way about the writing itself, or as an author?

DB: Other than how precise and formulaic stories have become in structure and themes. It’s not a bad thing, but it was surprising to see if you knew what to watch for in any story. I think another thing that surprised me especially was the fight scenes. I never anticipated how daunting they could be. You must choreograph everything, everyone and every hit long before you write it out. Too much rides on getting those details right and they can totally throw your story off or derail a great plot. My first battle scene so scared me that I stopped writing for several months before finally braving an attempt. It was stage fright but for writing!

ADM: That sounds like a challenge. Were there any scenes that you were proud of, or perhaps a personal favorite?

DB: Each time you finish a story it becomes your absolute favorite child. Then you write another and that suddenly becomes your favorite. As far as a favorite scene I can’t narrow it down that precise, but Elude, my crime/horror story I cannot help but feel the happiest with. I get excited by it every time I think about it and what happened overall with the storyline.

There’s another crime-horror story I am developing which has a couple common elements with Elude, so it is called Evade. I get literally giddy thinking about its story. Guess that doesn’t really answer your question, but I am just so thrilled and happy with the complete tales I have been able to piece together and share with my fans.

ADM: That’s awesome though. Is Evade the next release we can expect from you? Care to share something about the story for those that aren’t familiar with Elude?

DB: My current schedule for my works in progress go as the third fantasy novel in my Wyvernshield series (the end of the trilogy) then the first Evade, then possibly publication of a web series I am doing called Juxtaposed, a fantasy/dystopian tale. As far as Evade goes, it will be a police drama (the main characters) and it takes place in Philly. My first horror novella, In Four Days, took place in Philly and a character from In Four Days will come back and crossover into Evade. I did the same with Elude where one of the main characters, Detective Ellis, was a character in In Four Days. Essentially Elude and Evade are tied to the horror novella In Four Days.

My fantasy world is connected, and my horror story world is connected. By the way, I put a lot of free excerpts of the books and stories on my website. The first five chapters of Elude #1 were on there for instance. Something fans can take advantage of!

ADM: It sounds like that while each series is separate on its own. But are they are all tangentially connected?

DB: Yes! I think it adds a lot to the back story. I remember that as a fan reader when I found that Cujo, The Eyes of the Dragon, The Dead Zone and The Stand all were connected in subtle ways by Stephen King, it really made a big impact. This was of course before you had the Marvel Universe and things like that. I think King kind of pioneered that front.

ADM: Agreed. So, with that in mind, was there any significance to the titles when you chose them?

DB: Elude and Evade were meant to give you the sense of chase and desperation. An air of frantic suspense. Consequences Within Chaos and The Bleeding Crown which are my two fantasy stories are titled based on the content. In Four Days too could be said to be titled for content as the demon that hunts for lost souls in Philly toys with his victims for four straight days before he takes them. In Evade one of the supposed victims of the demon in In Four Days suddenly shows up on a street corner… and that is all I can hint about that!

ADM: In having multiple series, was the first book more difficult than the others to write or vice versa?

DB: No, I am finding that the end of the series is the challenge! Everyone has “fallen in love” with your world and your characters thus you can’t let them down (aka GAME OF THRONES SYNDROME!). I worried that Elude wasn’t going to live up to expectations, but so far, I have been getting a lot of positive feedback on it. I hope that the third Wyvernshield will have the same result. Right now, I am struggling with the title. It’s either going to be Swimming in the Ashes or Sentinels of the Shield. Then down the road I want to do another whole fantasy trilogy in that same world but with a new set of character/creatures starting in Aberrisc (readers will understand that reference!) versus starting in the sister world of Tayneva like I did with this series. I think since I didn’t get going until I was 40 that all these stories have piled up in me and are dying to get out now! I keep having story ideas come out of nowhere and won’t stop running around in my head until they get released!

ADM: Sounds like you’ve got a lot planned out! So, tell us, is writer’s block something you believe in?

DB: No. But you must know yourself as a writer. Like I said before, I found out that outlines were my lifeline. Without a good outline, I would flounder in my story, get writer’s block or lose interest and story momentum. With the outline, it became technically my first draft. For instance, with Consequences I had a bullet outline that was 70+ pages and 80+ pages for The Bleeding Crown. My fantasy stories are long and involved with several plots, etc. My horror stories tend to have “beat outlines” which are usually less than 20+ pages. They’re complicated tales too, but it’s usually the protagonist versus the villain/monster and how badly the main character is “almost” screwed. In other words, it is like the difference in needed outlines for the movie Jaws vs The Lord of the Rings. Great stories each but Jaws is a bit more cut and dry so to speak.

ADM: Any anticipated release dates coming up?

DB: Unfortunately, no. I try to write daily or work on editing/marketing every day, but I’ve got a new and very involved day job as a marketing supervisor with an insurance company. The change from night shift to day shift has impacted my production heavily. I am working at finding ways to get more done, but my “expensive hobby” doesn’t pay my bills thus the day job has to be in my reality. Right now, 2020 and 2021 will have work produced & published. Elude is almost set to have an audible version in the next month or so! I am excited to hear it. The voice actor, S.W. Salzman is fantastic!! And of course, the voice actress, Laura Richcreek, who did the fantasy novels will be doing the third book when it’s completed. Her talent has no limits!

ADM: Fair enough. That’s exciting for the audio release! Do you attend any writing events like NaNoWriMo or Camp Nano? What has your experience been with these events?

DB: I have participated in Nanowrimo and while I see the appeal and the motivation it can provide, I found it just didn’t work for me, especially schedule-wise. The first year I “won” with Elude but then the following year I tried to write fantasy and my outline was just not complete enough. I don’t think I’ll do it this year, but I haven’t fully decided. I write all the time and the idea of only writing for one or two months in the year kind of blows my mind. My production goals require me to get to it faster I guess is what I am saying. If I didn’t have the extra responsibility of a day job and a family of three children to raise, I would probably be more engaged with it. No one wants to see themselves fall behind and fail.

ADM: I agree. Well Derek, thanks so much for talking with me. It’s been a blast and I’d love to catch your release party! Do you have any parting remarks for the readers?

DB: Thanks again for this great opportunity! Writing is now just a facet of me that won’t stop or go away, so I just want fans to know that I am still writing, still carving out worlds and tales to entertain them. Please be patient with me and I’ll always try to make it worth the wait!




ELUDE Ebook Trailer:


What Are My Top 15 Horror Films?? — Derek Barton

Top 15 Horror


As a horror story writer, I do get this question put to me often.  I’m no expert on what makes a great film, but as a fan and a reader of horror fiction, I do know what makes me jump or gets under my skin.

One of the common elements I find in horror films is the overuse of “Jump Scares” — objects suddenly thrown, animals (especially cats for some reason) leaping for no reason out of the shadows or people appearing out of the thin air behind the main character.  “Jump Scares” as cheap and often detracting from the story in my opinion.  They can be done right, of course, like in the movie, Alien, when Dallas cannot find the creature supposedly right on him. He climbs down two steps of his ladder and there it is!

Another abused element is gore, especially in most of Rob Zombie’s films (fan of his music, not his movies!). Gore has its place — can you imagine the scene where Danny Torrance from The Shining rides alone on his Big Wheel then turns into the hallway with the mutilated twin girls without any blood or bodies? Wouldn’t have the same chilling effect. Yet if you constantly throw gore in my face I’m either going to get sickened or bored with it.

When I watch a horror movie, I want to be fully immersed in the tension of the movie, on the edge of my seat as I react to the character actions, and holding my breath as I see something the hero/heroine doesn’t see in the background!

My list has some surprises, but being that I am a Stephen King fanatic, well…some films won’t surprise you. I didn’t list films that I consider horror/comedies — Shaun of the Dead and Dale and Tucker vs Evil being some of my ultimate favorites. I wanted to do a list of true, classic horror.

Listed in last place to best of the best:

15# Scream — A year after the murder of her mother, a teenage girl is terrorized by a new killer, who targets the girl and her friends by using horror films as part of a deadly game.

Not a completely great film, but I listed it due to its genre-expanding twists and the incredible performance by Drew Barrymore in the opening scene.

14# Don’t Breathe — Hoping to walk away with a massive fortune, a trio of thieves break into the house of a blind man who isn’t as helpless as he seems.

Very intense suspenseful film.  Sad that this was based on an actual similar account where the homeowner lured teenage thieves and waited for them with loaded guns in the shadows of his basement. Burglary sucks but no one deserves death sentences for it.

Eye Poster

13# The Eye — A blind girl gets a cornea transplant so that she would be able to see again. However, she got more than what she bargained for when she realized she could even see ghosts.

This isn’t the bland remake done with Jessica Alba. This is the original Chinese film.  I can still feel the hair on my arms rise when I think about the ghost floating behind the woman in the elevator.  *Shudder!

12# The Grudge — An American nurse living and working in Tokyo is exposed to a mysterious supernatural curse, one that locks a person in a powerful rage before claiming their life and spreading to another victim.

A film based in Tokyo and very well done! Superb acting and special effects that were unique (copied many times after!).  Used sound as extra way to horrify the audience — the groaning little boy was awesome!

Aut Poster

11# Autopsy of Jane Doe — A father and son, both coroners, are pulled into a complex mystery while attempting to identify the body of a young woman, who was apparently harboring dark secrets.

A really creepy twist to a witch story. Freaky effects and intense up close and personal with a gray corpse makes for a great horror story.  I rank this as one of Brian Cox’s best roles as the father.

10# Nightmare on Elm Street — The monstrous spirit of a slain janitor seeks revenge by invading the dreams of teenagers whose parents were responsible for his untimely death.

Another film that broke through the genre’s cliche barriers. Actually based on an urban legend from Japan, Wes Craven delivered an unforgettable villain!

ED Poster

9# Evil Dead (2013) — Five friends head to a remote cabin, where the discovery of a Book of the Dead leads them to unwittingly summon up demons living in the nearby woods.

Yes, I have to say it, but I like the remake better than the original. Bruce Campbell is one of my favorite B-actors! So funny!! Yet, even the producers and writers of the films said that the remake was what they wanted to do with the original but just didn’t have the budget for and it came out pretty campy. Both have their place but overall this one was truly terrorizing and a better film. Viewer warning…a lot of gore in this one!

8# Saw — Two strangers, who awaken in a room with no recollection of how they got there, soon discover they’re pawns in a deadly game perpetrated by a notorious serial killer.

Many people don’t like this film due to the torture aspects of it, but I have a spot in my top list for it due to the fact that one of the stars, Leigh Whannell, actually wrote the screenplay.  Kind of inspiring when a writer gets such a great response from his own work…

Ghost Poster

7# Ghost Story —  Two generations of men find themselves haunted by the presence of a spectral woman. When the son of one of the elderly men returns to his hometown after his brother’s mysterious death, they attempt to unravel her story.  

Probably not many people remember this sleeper hit, but it is still a great thrill and an epic tale of hidden guilt and revenge.

A QP poster

6# A Quiet Place — In a post-apocalyptic world, a family is forced to live in silence while hiding from monsters with ultra-sensitive hearing.

Another inspiring horror story that was written by one of its stars, John Krasinski (from The Office fame).  He created such an elaborate and unique story that already clone-like films, The Bird Box and The Silence have tried to jump on the bandwagon. A sequel is in the works and I am very excited to see it!

5# Jaws — When a killer shark unleashes chaos on a beach community, it’s up to a local sheriff, a marine biologist, and an old seafarer to hunt the beast down.

If you haven’t heard of this film or seen it, then I say “welcome to America!” as you must’ve just come here! LOL.  All kidding aside, award-winning acting from Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss and Robert Shaw.  It has aged well and yet to be outdone by any recent shark-themed movies. (Although I will say that The Shallows was pretty damn good too for a modern twist.)

4# Alien — After a space merchant vessel perceives an unknown transmission as a distress call, its landing on the source moon finds one of the crew attacked by a mysterious lifeform, and they soon realize that its life cycle has merely begun.

While this is a sci-fi film it has such a horror foundation that it is essential to the list of great horror films. Plus Sigourney Weaver turned in a surprise breakthrough performance which she will always be remembered for.

3# IT — In the summer of 1989, a group of bullied kids band together to destroy a shape-shifting monster, which disguises itself as a clown and preys on the children of Derry, their small Maine town.

This was one of my all-time favorite books by Stephen King, but other than Tim Curry’s amazing performance as Pennywise in the television mini-series, it had not been done well up to this point.  Liked this version, but would have been phenomenal had Tim Curry been the clown.  Still a great rendition of King’s book.

2# The Thing — A research team in Antarctica is hunted by a shape-shifting alien that assumes the appearance of its victims.

Seeing this film was like walking in a haunted house for two hours. Gruesome effects to bring out the best scares in this classic and a twist almost at every turn.  Even its ending is still controversial and debated about who was what. And this was by far to me the best performance of Kurt Russel’s career.

Shin Poster

1# The Shining — A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where a sinister presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from both past and future. 

An epic film filled with iconic scenes like an elevator filled with blood to an ax thrusting threw a door inches from someone’s face. Truly a great terrifying film. Stephen King didn’t like this version and while I understand his reasons, it is still a jaw-dropping film with incredible performances by Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall.  The upcoming sequel, Doctor Sleep, should be a great look back to the film and I’m excited that they got Ewan McGregor in the lead role as Danny Torrance!


Honorable Mentions:

Brightburn — What if a child from another world crash-landed on Earth, but instead of becoming a hero to mankind, he proved to be something far more sinister? (Aka. An Evil Superman)

The Ring — A journalist must investigate a mysterious videotape which seems to cause the death of anyone one week to the day after they view it. (Dorky story idea but really well told.)

Hereditary — After the family matriarch passes away, a grieving family is haunted by tragic and disturbing occurrences, and begin to unravel dark secrets. (Some pretty original traumatic scenes.  Bit of a slow-burner though…)

Mama — A young couple take in their two nieces only to suspect that a supernatural spirit named Mama has latched itself to their family. (The ending on this one killed it for me. Up to then, it was a great film!)

Pet Sematary — After tragedy strikes, a grieving father discovers an ancient burial ground behind his home with the power to raise the dead. (Recently gave you my opinion on this one!  Click here for that blog review of the recent two film versions).

Silent Hill — A woman, Rose, goes in search for her adopted daughter within the confines of a strange, desolate town called Silent Hill. (Great atmospheric horror film. What an incredible setting using a mining town that has been abandoned due to still burning fires below them?  Fog and ash drifting down…creatures leaping out from the smoke. Perfect fun!)


Movies I want to check out in the near future:

Us –– A family’s serene beach vacation turns to chaos when their doppelgängers appear and begin to terrorize them.

Bone Tomahawk — In the dying days of the old west, an elderly sheriff and his posse set out to rescue their town’s doctor from cannibalistic cave dwellers.

Crawl — A young woman, while attempting to save her father during a Category 5 hurricane, finds herself trapped in a flooding house and must fight for her life against alligators.

Are there better films than some of what I listed?  Maybe.  Sure probably. But it’s just my humble opinion and these were films that I remembered long after I had seen them. Some of the films just had one or two elements that I didn’t like that precluded them as well.  So, what I’m saying is, no nasty comments about what an idiot I am for forgetting such-an-such film.  I have my list, you can make yours! ha

NOW you have insight into what a horror story writer looks for when watching movies and reading books…and what we want to recapture in our own works!


Anniv Blog

Three years ago, I created this blog and established my site and social media footprint in order to advertise my book and to give my fans a place to reach out to me.  This has been a crazy but fantastic ride!  So thankful to all of you who’ve come along as passengers on my little quest.

Here’s the growth from year one to now:


  • 2019 = 70 WordPress, 11 Email & 488 through Twitter & Facebook.
  • 2016 = 11 Email


  • 2019 = 4,488 — 2016 = 1603 views
  • 2019 = 2,475 — 2016 = 659 visitors
  • 2019 = 61 — 2016 = 19 different countries


  • 2019 = this is the 115th post!! (26 so far this year)
  • 2016 = 37 posts

GIVEAWAYS:  18 Individual giveaways for Book, Audio, Amazon or Metal Bookmarkers!


As you know if you’ve been following my goal blogs, I use a bi-montly process that has actually been quite effective.  Here are the goals made and fulfilled from July, 2018 through June, 2019:

  • Complete the Audiobook for In Four Days. Now out on Amazon, Audible & Kindle! N4D Revamp 2018c
  • Create/organize this year’s 2018 Indie Fantasy Book Giveaway with several other independent authors. Was a decent success — this year’s increase in participation & what we are giving away is a nice testament to that!

2019 Indie Book Giveaway Ad

  • Find at least two places to do a book-signing appearance. Did four book signings but due to finances and low turnout I couldn’t justify doing more…but with several books released now, I will be on the prowl for another couple signing spots this year!  Would also like to get into one or two comic-cons, but cannot promise that due to having to usually register months in advance.
  • Finish editing for Elude #1 & #2.
  • Design the book cover for Elude #1 & #2.
  • Write the end of Elude #3.  Elude Ad 2019The entire series has been completed, book covers designed then redesigned, and soon to be released in audible format by the end of the first quarter next year!!
  • Send out Monthly Newsletters by 15th of the month.  I have been successful with this and plan on continuing.
  • Keep up The Hidden saga on the website every 2 weeks.  Accomplished this and have published the entire series on Amazon & Kindle!cover
  • Start my outline for Book #3 for the Wyvernshield Fantasy series. Still trying to get through this one. Coming up with the battle plans and the intricate plots is a whole lot more complicated than you’d expect! Plus, with this being the finale, I want to do better than “What-did-you-do-to-my-Game-of-Thrones?!”… UGH!!!GoT s8
  • Write up and prepare for writing in the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) Challenge in November — Book #3 will be my focus for NaNoWriMo! (50,000 word count goal!)  I participated in this last November, but my outline had too many holes so it only garnered 26,000 words… However, it’s a good start!
  • Craft a video book trailer for Consequences Within Chaos and The Bleeding Crown.  (Can you say strettcccchhhhh gooooaaalll???)  This will happen — but trying to make Wyvernshield #3 a priority right now.
  • Start another web saga?  May have to have a survey for which genre to pursue — fantasy or horror.  Decided to do a Dystopian/Fantasy saga:  Juxtaposed…  Now working on Chapter Four. JX CH 2
  • Thinking about setting up a service to other authors for possible book cover design.  Maybe…  I did get this off the ground and have had some success doing covers, editing & proofing for other writers. I plan on continuing this as the work has been sporadic and not too overwhelming so far.
  • Begin a four-part guest blog swap with fellow writer Adam Mitchell and complete a Blog Interview with him! (This will be my first ever blog swap and should be a lot of fun!)  This has been a success — our final and fourth blogs are due out this month.  Check out Adam’s here!  For my blogs, click here!


Thanks again to all of you for your continued help, support and following me along this bumpy road!  It has been the greatest adventure of my life!!

Anniv Blog v2