Category: Articles

The Spooky Six with Willow Croft and Mr. Alverne Ball

In lieu of my customary tea, I’m having my first ever Chicago-style hot dog with the illustrous author and screenwriter, Mr. Alverne Ball! Keep those eyeballs peeled for his upcoming literary appearance in Shook! A Black Horror Anthology!

Alverne Ball has a M.F.A in Fiction writing from Columbia College Chicago. He has completed studies in Columbia College’s prestigious Semester in Los Angeles program, an intensive course focused on the adaptation of material to the screen.

He has taught graphic novel writing at Noble charter High School in Chicago. He has written comic and graphic novel material for such companies as Di Bona Ventura ProductionsParamount picturesMcgraw-HillLion forge comics, New Paradigm entertainmentCampfire graphic novels, and 133art.com.

His writing has been published in the literary magazine Annalemma, in Columbia College newspaper The Chronicle, online at Brokenfrontier.com, online for the Museum of contemporary Photography in Chicago, online for Comicbookresources.com, and an online graphic story for the literary magazine, Hypertextmag.com. His short stories of suspense have appeared in the Sin anthology by Avendia Press, Criminal Class Review as well as the (now defunct) online magazine, the Heated Forest.

Mr. Ball is the recipient of the 2019 inaugural Tin House graphic novel scholar and he is the graphic novelist of the historical nonfiction graphic novel from Abrams comic Arts on Black Wall Street, entitled, Across the Tracks: remembering Greenwood, Black Street and the Tulsa Race massacre. He is the recipient of the 2014 and 2015 Glyph rising star award for his writing on 133art’s OneNation and OneNation: Old Druids. In 2009 Mr. Ball received first place in the Union League Civic & Arts Foundation Creative Writing Competition for his graphic story, “Virgin Wolf”. He has also received Three Weisman Scholarships from Columbia for his other graphic works.

Mr. Ball has traveled to South Africa to work as a storyline writer on the hit telenovella, Uzalo. He was also a screenwriter on the South African fantasy series, Ifalahke where he received story writing credit. Mr. Ball has written and produced a short film, Crossroads, which was shot on the Warner Bros. backlot via the AT&T Shape competition in the summer of 2018. He has also written and produced the short film, Tattooed Tears, which was directed by Aaron Lewis and was chosen as a 2016 selection for the Indiewise, Sankofa, MeccaCon and Egypt film festivals.

Mr. Ball has also created and written two online comic series, When we were Kings and Zulu, both published by Afropunk.com. He is also the author of the crime thrillers, Only The Holy Remain, and Blue Religion.

All works can be found www.alvernedball.com or wherever your favorite books are sold.

(more…)

Akis Linardos: A Genre Writer Trapped in the Body of an AI Scientist

Akis Linardos: A Genre Writer Trapped in the Body of an AI Scientist 

By Angelique Fawns

 

Akis Linardos comes at speculative fiction from a unique angle. Many of us fear the advent of Artificial Intelligence and there is a slew of dystopian fiction to prove it. Akis embraces it, and some of his research explores how artificial intelligence can help with human health. You can find his dark musings in several pro magazines, including Apex Magazine, Maul Magazine and Abyss & Apex.

I met Akis through my Wulf Pack writing group, and I sat down with him to get into the weed about his writing and the future of AI. 

(more…)

Murder Mystery Books: The Elements of a Successful and Enjoyable Plot

Murder mystery books have been entertaining readers for centuries, captivating audiences with their intricate plots and unexpected twists and turns. But what makes a murder mystery truly successful and enjoyable to read? A well-constructed and surprising plot is essential for a successful murder mystery, with twists and turns that are both unexpected and believable. Additionally, well-developed characters are crucial for readers to relate and become invested in the story. The setting should be described in detail, it should be believable and consistent, and the tension and suspense should be gradually built up, with the most dramatic moments saved for the climax of the story. Finally, the resolution should be satisfying, with all the clues and red herrings coming together in a dramatic and coherent way. Overall, a successful and enjoyable murder mystery must have a well-constructed plot, well-developed characters, a consistent setting, and a satisfying resolution.

If you’re looking to check out a good murder mystery book, we’ve previously shared “30 Page-Turning Murder Mystery Books That’ll Hook You From The Start.”

(more…)

Epeolatry Book Review: A Blackness Absolute by Caitlin Marceau

Disclosure:

Our reviews may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through the links in this article we may receive a small commission or referral fee. This happens without any additional cost to you.

Title: A Blackness Absolute
Author: Caitlin Marceau
Publisher: Ghost Orchid Press
Genre: Horror
Release Date: 21st, February, 2023
Synopsis: A Blackness Absolute is a collection of short horror stories by up-and-coming Canadian author Caitlin Marceau. The collection takes in uncertainties of perception, feelings of vulnerability—to the weather, the natural world, the tenuousness of sanity—and mixes these elements with a strong sense of history and folklore. From the title piece, which evokes the pure claustrophobic terror of becoming lost and disoriented in a cave-system, to the final tale, Doireann, where a woman performs unusual funeral rites in a starving community, each story layers ambiguities to create an unnerving effect that will get under your skin.

If you love great storytelling, creepy atmospherics, and stories that instil a sense of dread that will return to you in the dead of night, then you’re sure to find something to enjoy in this masterful collection. These stories will linger long after you close the book.

(more…)

Installing the Fantasy Kitchen Sink in Rural Australia to Ward off Cthulhu

Installing the Fantasy Kitchen Sink in Rural Australia to Ward off Cthulhu

by: Ashton K. Rose

When I first started writing Urban/Paranormal Fantasy, I never considered using the world I knew best as a setting. My first fantasy novel that had a distinct urban fantasy setting was a vampire political/crime drama I wrote at nineteen. It was the first time I’d written fantasy entirely set in the “real” world. My teenage writing in the genre sitting firmly in the portal fantasy genre heavily influenced by the Oz Series and Narnia books.

The issue about writing stories set in the city, I’d never lived in one. I’d only been to “the city” a handful of times. The largest place I’d lived in was a small town of 4,000 people. Before that I spent the first fourteen years of my life living on a remote family farm. A lot of my ideas of what the city was like, was guess work based on the books and tv shows I’d seen. Making it easier to start writing Gaslamp fantasy in place of fiction with a modern city setting. It felt easier to write mistakes in a 19th century setting rather than a modern city. It was easier for people to notice the mistakes I’d made about life in modern cities.

(more…)

Indie Bookshelf Releases 01/20/2023

Got a book to launch, an event to promote, a kickstarter or seeking extra work/support as a result of being hit economically by Covid or life in general?

Get in touch and we’ll promote you here. The post is prepared each Thursday for publication on Friday. Contact us via Horror Tree’s contact address or connect via Twitter or Facebook.

Click on the book covers for more information. Remember to scroll down to the bottom of the page – there’s all sorts lurking in the deep.

Before we go to the shelves, please check the first item. We all love to read but to read we need writers and here is one who needs us:

(more…)

William Hjortsberg’s ‘Falling Angel’ Lasting Impact On Horror

            In 1978 William Hjortsberg produced a novel based on one of those ideas so obvious that you wonder why it hadn’t been done before.   The novel was Falling Angel, and Hjortsberg innovatively combined the hard-boiled detective genre with the horror one, or as Stephen King so aptly put it, the result was  if “Raymond Chandler wrote The Exorcist.”

Like skilled horror writers, Hjortsberg grounds the novels in realism.  Harry Angel (every character has a unique and revealing name) is a private eye in 1959 New York who is hired by a bizarre character named Louis Cyphre to find a missing pre-World War II crooner named Johnny Favorite.  Cyphre enigmatically wants to collect on a debt Favorite owed Cyphre for helping the singer with his career.

(more…)

Epeolatry Book Review: The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick

Disclosure:

Our reviews may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through the links in this article we may receive a small commission or referral fee. This happens without any additional cost to you.

Title: The Man in the High Castle
Author: Philip K. Dick
Publisher: Mariner Books
Genre: Science Fiction
Release Date: October 1962
Synopsis: It’s America in 1962. Slavery is legal once again. The few Jews who still survive hide under assumed names. In this world, we meet characters like Frank Frink, a dealer of counterfeit Americana who is himself hiding his Jewish ancestry; Nobusuke Tagomi, the Japanese trade minister in San Francisco, unsure of his standing within the bureaucracy and Japan’s with Germany; and Juliana Frink, Frank’s ex-wife, who may be more important than she realizes.

These seemingly disparate characters gradually realize their connections to each other just as they realize that something is not quite right about their world. And it seems as though the answers might lie with Hawthorne Abendsen, a mysterious and reclusive author, whose best-selling novel describes a world in which the US won the War… The Man in the High Castle is Dick at his best, giving readers a harrowing vision of the world that almost was.

(more…)