Brand New Flava in Your Ear

I know… I’m sorry… I couldn’t resist. Could you, when Craig Mack served up such a perfect alley-oop like that? Don’t know what I’m talking about? Stop, don’t say it… I won’t make you admit that out loud. Here, listen, remember… it won’t take long.

So like Mack said, “I’m. Kicking. New. Flava. In your ear…”

Literally.

Flava

Nighlight Podcast did a flipping amazing recording of my short story “Family Dinner”! It just went up, as did the interview Tonia Ransom, creator and executive producer of Nightlight, conducted with me. I am thrilled to have enjoyed such a riveting experience. There is truly nothing like listening to your story come to life. may thanks to the talented voice actors and editors!

The weather is getting nicer… that’s new flava.

MultiverseCon is starting to ramp up for whatever flavor of convention we’re going to have (see what I did there?) and that’s new flava.

I wrote a poem… no, two poems! That is definitely new flava (I haven’t written poetry in yeeaaaarrrrss!).

StokerCon is around the corner (May 20th!) and I’ll be speaking twice, once in my professorly voice and the other time in my author-type voice. New flava and it’s SWEET!

Oh, and I won BEST HORROR SCREENPLAY at Nova Film and Music Festival. That is 100% NEW FLAVA! I won for my screenplay Crescendo, which is an adaptation of my first novel of the same name. So many twists and turns in this story – I am so excited. I can’t wait to reintroduce Crescendo to you guys this summer… yeah… it’s being rereleased with a brand spanking new cover that is to die for! I can’t wait to show you… but I will have to wait… and so will you! 🙂

What are you reading? I am still reading Jeanne Adams’ Blood on the Altar because editing and life has gotten in the way a lot in the past few weeks. Still enjoying the fast-paced story, though. I am listening to Robert McCammon’s Swan Song. Super interesting story with a real flow to the descriptions. Mesmerizing work. I’m really enjoying it! I finished watching Prime’s Them and have moved on to Netflix’s The Serpent. Honestly, this show further solidifies the reason why I never considered backpacking. Chilling.

Coming Soon

Working form home never seemed so sinister… (said in my best Vincent Price voice). Pre-Order today! This beauty comes out on May 4th!

“The opening scene is heady and mesmerizing, setting the scene for a vampire transformation that would make even E.L. James and fans of Fifty Shades of Grey blush.”

eva roslin, librarian

Yowza! Pre-Order today! This vampire tale comes out on May 11th!

And… I can’t show you the cover yet! I know, I know… but no. So enjoy that thing I drew. Looks like a pulsating mass of something you might see on Star Trek (Dammit, Jim!). But I can tell you what somebody just said about Crescendo:

Crescendo will assault your senses with a mosaic of emotion and experiences.”

LYNNE HANSEN, HORROR ARTIST

Will be out this summer! While you’re waiting, check out the cool book trailer and learn more!

More Flava?

9-1-1 came back on TV the other night. That’s new flava for sure.

OK – that’s all for me this time around. Thanks for checking out my random musings! I’m sure I’ll have more for you in short order, because that’s how random musings go! 🙂

Until next time…

L. Marie Wood

Cover Reveal!!!

I promised a cover reveal and here it is! This magnificent cover was done by none other than Lynne Hansen, accomplished artist whose work has appeared on the cover of Weird Tales and many horror novels that you know and love. I give you…

A young girl, on the cusp of sexual maturity, in what is now known as Benin, West Africa, is seduced by a beautiful stranger, a man the likes of which she has never seen before. Their encounter changes her forever. She becomes an asiman, a vampire: one of the undead.

The Promise Keeper comes to her, willing her to do his bidding—to keep an unspoken promise. He probes her mind and plants suggestions so she will follow his plan, until she fights back. She runs, her travels taking her to Europe and the Caribbean over centuries to escape him. She finally settles in New York City, convinced that she has eluded him… until she falls in love.

The Promise Keeper is a story of love, despair, murder, and deceit.

Pick up this beauty today! Preorder your copy!

On the Cusp of Warm

Hey, gang!

I hope this blog finds you well and enjoying the day before the first day of spring!  I am definitely ready to remove some of these layers and walk outside without freezing, so I, for one, am very excited! 

Lots of things going on, even in this socially-distanced existence, and that’s a good thing.   Books to read, movies to watch, stories to write.  For example, I watched a movie that I really want to recommend to you zombie lovers out there.  It is called Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula and it is amazing!  Train to Busan (the first one) is one of the best zombie movies I have ever seen, so I was hoping for something jaw-dropping and I got it.  It is different than the first one – and I don’t want to tell you how and spill any beans but here is the trailer… you’ll see. It is a must see for zombie movie enthusiasts, especially if you like running zombies, character development, and… well, just check it out.

I am reading a new book! Blood on the Altar by Jeanne Adams is a fast-paced gem that I am thoroughly enjoying thus far. Revenge, sweet revenge – and of course, the mention of blood… I’m totally in. I am listening to Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, this after finishing up The Complex by Brian Keene. It’s a totally different kind of house, my friend.

Speaking of Brian Keene, I have the honor of interviewing him for Con-Tinual this month, as well as Linda Addison. I look forward to sitting down with my friends (virtually, of course) and talking about… well, I guess you’ll have to tune in to find out exactly WHAT we will chat about, won’t you? 🙂 Follow me on Twitter (@LMariewood1) and/or Facebook and you’ll get notified when it posts.

Ooh – I changed my website a little! I kinda like it. If you’ve ever met me or seen me on a panel, you know the opening image is 100% correct. Check it out and see what I mean! I also like the books page more. What do you think?

Lemme see… what else… Oh yeah! I will be speaking at the Ann Radcliffe Academic Conference that is part of StokerCon. If you are looking for some fun stuff to do in the beginning of May, come check it out.

I…

  • Had a screenplay get nominated for Best Horror at NOVA Film Festival… but not just any screenplay. This is the adaptation of my first novel we’re talking about! AND that novel – my first – a neat ghost story rooted in psychological horror so deeply that you won’t know which way is up – that very book, Crescendo, will be re-released by Cedar Grove Publishing in July 2021 with a brand-spanking new cover! WOOOOOTTTT!
  • Have some other goodies coming your way soon – very, very soon. Specifically:

Working from home has its perks, being able to attend meetings in your pajamas chief among them. But when the house you occupy all day is empty – when the only voice you hear after work comes through television speakers, it can get a little old.

Unless you like it that way.

And Chris did like it that way

… until the whispering started.

Telecommuting is a modern psychological horror story set in what could be your town, your street, your house. The lyrical slow burn is subtle; the terror in this tale sneaks up on you before you know it. This novella comes out on May 4, 2021 but you can pre-order now!

  • My award-winning novel (c’mon, indulge me!), The Promise Keeper, is being re-released on May 11, 2021. It too will have a fancy new cover. And I am gonna do a special cover reveal for it shortly! 🙂 Want to learn more about it while you wait with bated breath? (Ha! Dramatic much?) Check out the book on my website with the OLD cover!

There is other stuff coming out this year (I am so excited!!) but I will wait to talk about those. Except I do want to share this one little thing with you. Cacophony, The Realm, Book Two will be released in October 2021. If you haven’t caught up with what’s going on yet, you might want to get it because book 2 takes off like a rocket. In fact, I’m gonna leave this right here for you…

The Realm, Book One is here… waiting for you… 🙂

Ok, lemme see if there is anything else?

  • I’m editing book 2 of a project that has not been released yet (book 1 comes out in Feb 2022).
  • I’m editing a feature screenplay that I am in love with – a psychological thriller with amazing horror undertones. Loving this one!
  • I wrote 5 short stories in 3 days – you know I keep them short – the longest is 2500 words. But wow! I smell a collection coming on…
  • A mob came up my street, two rows deep, all hooded coats with fur fringe and hand weights. I stayed inside.

All right, that’s enough random stuff. Until next time!

L. Marie Wood

That Time I…

Happy 2021, folks! Time for new beginnings and new musings. I had a moment of contemplation the other day that took me down a mental rabbit hole and it was pretty darned cool, so I thought I’d share it with you. 🙂

Have you ever let your mind wander and then been surprised by how you ended up in a place filled with purple trees and hippopotamuses being walked on leashes like family pets? It was during one of those daydreaming sessions that I pondered the concept of the theory of relativity—not deliberately and definitely not in those terms, of course, but that’s what it boiled down to—and how something like that could actually happen. What that something was, I was unsure about. See, when I started thinking about it, I realized I didn’t actually know what the theory of relativity was. I always thought it was what is actually called block universe theory—whatever, brainiacs… don’t judge me—which I will talk about below, but still the theory of relativity has one interesting component that plays well with the rest of my wayward imaginings: the concept of bending time.

What if Einstein was right about gravity bending time, time running at a slower pace where gravity is strongest, time-dilation and all that? And now I’m diving into concepts that are highly sci-fi intensive, and I do not, I repeat DO NOT, claim to be an expert about any of this at all, but what if there was a big formation like that Arcturus monstrosity in all those universe comparison videos or a planet we don’t know about (hmmm…. that’s a conversation for another day) that sits on the foam that is space and time and warps it (this is actually a very loose interpretation of the geodetic effect, if you wanted to look it up)? Then what if that same formation drifts away at some point. Maybe an asteroid destroys it, the gravitational pull changes and it dislodges, insert your plausible or implausible reason here. If that happened, couldn’t the imprint remain and the two sides of it might create a bend in space and time…where you could conceivably exist in two planes simultaneously?

Right? (I’m nodding in the way that people who want you to come along with them in their fantasy nod encouragingly at those who have been kind enough to hear them out.)

But seriously…right??

And that was just the beginning! Check out the rest of this incredible mental jaunt at DWASF.

What are you reading right now? I just started My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite and it’s a lot of fun so far. So far there’s been much about hiding bodies and controlling urges – my kind of story!

Are you listening to anything new this year? I am enjoying Kai’s new release, Mmmh, as I type. Very smooth and soulful – slow and groovable.

Have you watched anything new? I just watched Fatale, Michael Ealy’s new movie. The pairing with Hillary Swank worked really well and the story moved at a pretty fast clip. In short, cheating will get you nowhere. I also just finished The Guest, a mini-series about possession, and it was flipping outstanding. I didn’t want it to be over – really. Next up, Cobra Kai (how can anyone who saw The Karate Kid in the movie theater when it was originally released resist watching this show? Daniel and Johnny are at it again!).

Did you set goals for yourself this year? I prefer this over resolutions because I rarely keep my resolutions (facts). I have a few goals this year, one of which is to finish writing a series I have been working on. I am excited about it because I already know what I want to do with it – I just need to start. No spoilers, hahaha!

Do you need fresh books for your TBR list? The Realm is a fantastic one to add to it. A reader said this about it on Amazon, “The writer, has the most amazing character development in this book. I find it rare In the horror genre to see such well developed characters.” Come check out Patrick and the gang!

How ever you do it, I hope you enter 2021 with hope in your mind and joy in your heart. Onward!

Until next time,

L. Marie Wood

The Gore You Never Asked For:

The Scary Shit we do in Real Life, Part 2:  Santa Claus

Santa Claus.  Kris Kringle.  Jolly Old Saint Nick.  Father Christmas.  St. Nicholas, the real-life 4th century bishop who gave gifts to the needy.  You’ve likely referred to the gift-giving rosy-cheeked man in red by one of those names in your lifetime.  You probably also know the 1823 poem titled “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” by Clement Clarke Moore – if you’re of a certain age, you likely know parts of it by heart.  But have you ever stopped to think about what you’ve (ok, we’ve) recited year after year as you sit and contemplate your Christmas tree?  Have you ever thought about the actual words?  Let’s.  Just for a little while, let’s.

Moore talks about a lovely night; the kids are asleep and a simple man and his wife have just laid down to close their own eyes when a sound jolts him from his sleep, causing him to investigate.  You know the rest – flying reindeer, one of which has a glowing nose, a bottomless sleigh of gifts, and a portly old gent who breaks into the house to see what’s what… Twilight Zone-level stuff.  Spooked yet?  No?

Wait… there’s more.

If the idea of someone puttering around your house while you sleep isn’t enough to scare you silly, think about what song writers have added to the lore over the years.  The holiday ditty “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” admonishes children to keep a stiff upper lip and be good because Santa is coming to town.  It goes on to remind them that he sees kids when they are asleep and that they’d better be good… for goodness sakes.  “Here Comes Santa Claus” cautions kids to get into bed and cover their heads because Santa is on his way.

Um… what?

On its face, the lyrics are disconcerting; it’s easy to catch stalker vibes a la the Police’s “Every Breath You Take” but think about it for a second.  Let those lyrics resonate…

What kind of otherworldly, omniscient, shapeshifting (because how does he get into houses without a chimney, I ask you?  How’d he get past the home security system?  How’d he…) weirdo is looking inside your house, your very room –  everyone’s room – to know when you are sleeping?  Following you, peeking into your mind to find out what you’ve done and to whom, waiting to mete out punishment for the “bad” deeds? 

Keep it going – what kind of magic does Santa possess to make it to the house of every kid in the world and leave them a gift before Christmas morning… in every time zone? 

How’d he find you if you weren’t at your own house for Christmas? 

And we’re ok letting kids believe in this home-invading conjurer – so much so that we feed him too?

 It’s ok…

Maybe he only practices the good kind of magic…

M-maybe the stories about getting a lump of coal in your stocking for doing bad things is the worst of it…     

L. Marie Wood

It’s Officially Christmastime!

Really! December is here! If you’re like me, you just started celebrated on Dec. 1st – I try to give all of the holidays their just due so I wait until after Thanksgiving to get into the spirit. So, now that the season is here, that means it’s time for holiday movies… and by that I mean horror movies!

Must-See Christmas Horror Movies

Snow on the ground.  Hot chocolate in steaming mugs.  Christmas lights twinkling on the tree.  Pick your song and cue the music (“Baby, it’s cold outside,”, “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire,”), and sway… don’t forget to sway.  This scenario is as familiar as they come.  It represents the making of memories, the ones you call upon throughout the year to bring you joy, a sense of belonging, and love.  It is also the default scene for many Christmas horror movies and those of us who like that kind of thing get nostalgic just thinking of cold winter nights with a good slasher film on the TV.  Ah, the holidays.

If you’re looking for a good (and that’s a relative term, mind you) Christmas horror movie, check this list out.  It this goes beyond Gremlins, A Christmas Carol (because… ghosts), and The Night Before Christmas, folks – they are must-see Christmas horror movies in their own right, but you knew that already.  So settle in, pour yourself a cup of hot chocolate, and pull the covers around you real tight… because everyone knows that the covers hide you from what’s lurking in the shadows, the thing waiting in the shadowy place just beyond the flickering lights on your Christmas tree… right?

Black Christmas – Don’t mess with girls in their sorority house… period.  The 1974 original stars Margot Kidder pre-Superman fame and is a slasher movie through and through.  Halloween may have put slasher movies on the map, but Black Christmas is the precursor in the genre.  Alert – there was a remake of this movie in 2019.  There was also one made in 2006.  Compare and contrast, if you dare!

Silent Night, Deadly Night – The beginning of a franchise, Silent Night, Deadly Night might be the most recognizable title in the Christmas slasher genre.  A boy, traumatized at a young age, is triggered later in life to reenact his parents’ gruesome murders.  And then the bleeding commences. 

Krampus – Don’t believe in the spirit of Christmas?  You’d better get yourself in gear before Krampus comes to visit.  The antithesis of Santa Claus, Krampus punishes those who misbehave in the most terrifying of ways.  Kind of sheds new light on the lyrics of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”, doesn’t it?

Being a little spooked inside the confines of one’s own home is not relegated Halloween – stories of home invasions frightening us out of our sleep and hallucinations of flying animals attest to that (you know, ‘Twas the… I know you know).  So, give in.  Add a little Christmas fear with your Christmas cheer!

L. Marie Wood

“I am the female Blade” and other golden nuggets

Yes, I said it. I am the female Blade. If you want to know why, you’ll have to check out this interview over at HorrorAddicts.net. It’s worth the read, I will say that! LOL!

So, what have you been up to since the last time I sent out blog post? Nothing? Everything? Both at the same time? Yeah, I get it – same here. This week went by incredibly fast. I can hardy pick out the stuff I did… well, I mean there are a few things:

  • I got about halfway through Invisible Chains by Michelle Renee Lane, which is saying something because finding time to read is difficult for me these days. Invisible Chains is a vampire tale set in the antebellum south and it is imaginative and beautiful, engaging and definitely a great way to spend your time. I can’t wait to crack it open again this weekend.
  • I wrote about 10,000 words in part 2 of a novel that you haven’t even seen part 1 of yet! 🙂 I can’t wait for you to see this new series. And… guess what (!?!??!?!)… it’s a romance! Well, ok, a romance/sci-fi/psychological horror magical soup and I am kinda (READ: TOTALLY) pumped about it. But you’ll have to wait for that, at least for a little while… (mischievous grin)
  • I’m pushing around the bits and pieces for a textbook that will accompany a horror course that I have created. 2021 might see that come to life – stay tuned, horror writing fans.
  • I am about to OFFICIALLY bounce up and down in my seat about the AMAZINGLY AWESOME Lynne Hansen doing not one, not two, but FOUR covers for me! She will be reimaging my vampire novel, The Promise Keeper, and my short story collections, Caliginy, Phantasma, and Anathema. All this amazingness is scheduled to come out in February 2021, so, more on that later.
  • I read a different portion of The Realm out loud earlier this week and felt absolutely giddy about it!!! How far along are you in the story? Comment here and let me know! Did you finish it and love it? Did it keep you up at night? Are you afraid to walk into a dark room alone? Yeah!!!! *clears throat* I mean, excellent. 🙂 Please post a review on Amazon and Goodreads. Do you need a copy? (Because yeah, you really do neeeeeed Patrick and his horror/sci-fi goodness in your life) – pick one up at Amazon!
  • I am trying to put together a 3D projector puzzle because, you know, I write screenplays, and I wanted to put this on my mantel but it is winning right now… all these little pieces, I…
  • I watched His House (a horror movie centered around the plight of a Sudanese couple) and yes, it is really, really good – substantive in ways you don’t expect… and very creepy.
  • Started on the One Missed Call series, because Japanese horror movies are my jam.

Hmmm, that’s actually a decent list. What did you do this week? Give me some suggestions for next week!

Until next time…

L. Marie Wood

It’s Friday the 13th!

Shhhshhhshhhshhhh…

Ahhhahhhahhhahhh…

I know how corny that was – whatever! But how can you resist doing it today, the one day when you can walk around making strange sounds and people smile and nod, instead of looking at you like you are crazy? Well, this Friday the 13th, you are making that sound from behind a mask… and that might still get you the side eye…

Have you ever stopped to think about why Friday the 13th is such a weird day? Long before Jason Voorhees terrorized people at Camp Crystal Lake, there was some superstition about this day. Learn more about it here , if you dare!

Looking for something to do on a Saturday night? Come hang out with me at ConTinual! My author spotlight starts at 7:00 pm EST on 11/14 and I’ll be doing a reading, talking about spooky stuff, and signing books for you!

AN ASK:

Do you use Goodreads? If you do, would you add The Realm to your “Want to Read” list or “Currently Reading” if you are in the thick of it, maybe even add it to the reading lists that the site has, like Horror Novels, Horror Novels by Women, etc.?

OK, ANOTHER ASK:

If you have read The Realm, would you share your thoughts? Post a review at Amazon and Goodreads, share the news with your friends, gift a copy of the book to them so they can get to know Patrick and run alongside him. Your words matter.

Alright, folks. It’s Friday the 13th. There have been, what, 12 Friday the 13th movies? None of us know if Jason is really dead. Stay safe out there.

Got plans on Thursday night?

So… whatcha doin’ on Thursday night? If you have some time, why not join us at The Realm’s Book Launch party? There will be readings and a discussion between myself and horror fiction-loving clergy about the afterlife (such fun!), and maybe even (absolutely for sure) a giveaway!

So, yeah, come check us out!

The party is at ConTinual on Thursday, 10/29 and it is gonna be awesome!

See you there at 8 pm est!