3 Writers!

I was going to get into some of the music I listen to while writing but decided that I would save that for a later date. Instead, I thought I would shine a spotlight on three authors who inspire me.

12977531I’ll get the obvious one out of the way first. Stephen King. Listen, if you are a horror writer, you have probably been influenced by King’s work (whether you like his stuff or not). The man is synonymous with horror fiction. My first experience with King’s work came through my brother. He was (and still is) and avid reader of Stephen King. Because of that, even though it would be years before I would pick up a horror novel (King’s or otherwise) I was seeing his books lying around our house. Since then I’ve read about twenty or so of his books (with many more in the ‘to-read’ pile). My personal favs are The Shining, Bag of Bones, The Talisman and Desperation. But to be honest, I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve read by him (except for The Colorado Kid. That book sucked hard).

219635Next up is one of two Canadians. Michael Slade (AKA John Banks, Jay Clark, Rebecca Clark and Richard Covell). Confused yet? Let me explain. Michael Slade is the pen name of several writers (most of them lawyers), but the biggest contributor, and only one currently writing under the name, is Jay Clark. The Slade books (with only one exception) all follow a division of the RCMP called Special X. Special X are tasked with catching psychopaths who have connections with other countries, requiring the unit to often times work with other law enforcement agencies from around the world. The thing I like the most about Slade’s work is how unapologetic it is. It is vicious, violent, sexy and unfiltered. Although I enjoy all of the early Slade books (some of the later ones aren’t the best), my favs are: Headhunter, Ripper, Bed of Nails and Ghoul. I actually consider Ghoul one of my all-time favourite books.

24497842And that brings me to the second Canadian: Craig Davidson (AKA Nick Cutter). I met Craig a few years ago when I was asked to host The Dark Side Tour on its stop in my hometown. The tour was a cross-North American book tour with Craig Davidson and Andrew Pyper. At the time, I had just taken my first fledgling steps into my writing career and felt immediately out of my depth talking to these two guys. Luckily, they were both awesome and the night went off without a hitch. A perk of playing host was that I was given copies of their new books at that time (The Deep from Craig and The Damned from Pyper), so that I could ask some relevant questions. And although I loved both books, something about Craig’s visceral horror really grabbed me. I went back and read his other offering under the Cutter name (The Troop) and was outright hooked, and have greedily devoured everything since. I’ve been fortunate enough to hang out with Craig a bunch of times over the last couple years, and now consider him a friend. I’ve yet to be disappointed with any of his work, but hands down my favourite is the literary kick to the face called The Acolyte. This book resonates with me on every level. I fucking love it.

So, there you have it. Three authors who have shaped my own writing style and inspire me to keep plugging away. There are many more, of course, but if I started going through them all, we’d be here all day.

-Christian

Shock Stock 2017 & ChiSeries Windsor

About a month ago, I (along with super pal, Ben Van Dongen) was invited to attend the 2017 Shock Stock event in London, ON. Basically a love letter to horror (with a big emphasise on film, hence the name), Shock Stock is my kind of event.

For three days, the freaks and ghouls descended on the Ramada Inn. There were horror movie icons, various artists, fresh coffee and even a few porn stars to keep everybody in line. Needless to say, fun was had by all (except for the comedian who pissed off the porn stars with one of his jokes and got thrown out. He probably did not have fun).

The highlight of the event for me was, like always, meeting people. Lots of cool folks! Also, extra big bonus, our table was right next to the Miss Shock Stock table (shout out to eventual winner, Aly Goo)!!

Normally, I would have only a few crumby cell phone pics to show, but thankfully, one of those cool new friends I made happens to be Allison Knight (she’s a filmmaker, check out her IMDB) and she was snapping pictures with a real camera all weekend. Even better, Allison said I could share them (thanks Allison!), so enjoy.

On to ChiSeries Windsor!

Back in Feb. of this year, Ben and I were invited to do a reading at an event called the ChiSeries. It was in Toronto and was a ton of fun. Anyways, long story short, the organizers asked Ben and I if we wanted to start hosting the Windsor edition of the series. We of course said yes and here we are.

For the kickoff show (a couple weeks ago), we had three great writers lined up. First was bestselling horror author and all around cool dude, Craig Davidson (AKA Nick Cutter). I first met Craig a couple years ago when he stopped in Windsor for a book tour. His books include The Troop, The Deep, Little Heaven and my personal fav, The Acolyte.

Next up, another best seller, we had Michael Rowe. This fine gentleman bought me a beer when I was in Toronto for the Feb. reading. As you all probably know by now, the best way to become my friend is through alcohol! His books include Enter, Night, and the creepy ghost story Wildfell.

Last but certainly not least, we had local writer and publisher, Justine Alley Dowsett. Justine owns Mirror World Publishing (of which Adventure Worlds Press in an imprint of) and has a slew of books she’s written. Her titles include Unintended, Uncharted, Mirror’s Heart series and Neo Central.

In between each reader, we had music from Brendan Scott Friel. Brendan made a bunch of new fans that night. He’s no joke, that guy is talented! Check out his Spotify page.

As an extra cool bonus, the ChiSeries head honchos, Sandra Kasturi and Brett Savory came down for the event. Sandra even delivered a great introduction for Ben and myself.

The next reading will be at the end of August. But for now, here are some pics of that awesome night.

-C

Toronto Bound!

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This coming Wednesday (as in tomorrow), I will be heading to Toronto for a reading. This marks a new achievement for me as I’ve yet to do anything book related in the big city since starting this whole being a writer thing.

The event is put on by publisher ChiZine (I just raved about one of their books, The Acolyte, in one of my previous posts) and is held monthly. I first heard of the event from horror master and all around cool guy, Craig Davidson (AKA Nick Cutter) a few months ago, and almost immediately, Ben and I started making plans to get out for one of them.

As luck would have it, I met one of ChiZine’s head honcho’s at Bookapaloza in Whitby at the very end of last year and basically sealed the deal for attending.

Both Ben and I will be reading from No Light Tomorrow, along with a third guest, and I’m super excited about the whole thing. It’s nice to get out of town and meet new folks.

If you are in area, and what to come out and hear me babble for a bit and then grab a few beers, follow the link to the event page (ChiSeries) for all the details.

-C

The Dark Side comes to Windsor

I’ve been asked to host an evening with two big names in horror, Andrew Pyper (The Demonologist, The Damned) and Nick Cutter (The Troop, The Deep), when they come through Windsor on their Dark Side II: Highway of Horror tour.

The event will be held at the Windsor Star Café, located in downtown Windsor, on March 4th at 7pm. There’s no charge to get in.

I’ll be asking these two gentlemen questions, as well as taking some from the audience. After which, they will be doing readings from their newest novels. It should be a fun night.

For more info, check out the event page on facebook https://www.facebook.com/events/643632582431153

And this cool poster below. Poster_DarkSideII_Windsor