Writer of Horror Fiction

Archive for August, 2010

Review of Comes The Dark from Another Pissed Off Geek

Yep, you heard that right.  Comes The Dark has been reviewed by Another Pissed Off Geek.  But not just any pissed off geek, but the ones over at http://www.pissedoffgeek.com.  Yep, my book got the geek treatment!  I happy to have another review out there of my book, and am happy of what they thought of my book.  So check it out!

http://www.pissedoffgeek.com/wordpress/?p=268


A Plug for Horror Realm

I will be attending the Horror Realm Convention in a couple of weeks.  Horror Realm is one of the premier convention for horror fans, and in particular zombie fans, and is held every year in Pittsburgh, PA, the birthplace of the modern zombie, when George A. Romero filmed Night of the Living Dead there over forty years ago.  I haven’t had the opportunity to attend this event in the past, but I am very excited to not only having the chance to be going as a visitor, but also as a member of the Library of the Living Dead’s group of authors who will have tables at the convention.  I will be selling and signing my book, Comes The Dark, and sharing space with a large group of other fantastic authors.  In addition, I will have the opportunity to read from my novel on Sunday afternoon in one of the Author Panels and will be sharing the stage with Jake Bible, Robert Cordray, and Steve North.  It will be a blast hanging out with these great group of writers.  I just hope I have the opportunity to check out some of the other panels that are running all weekend long, which include both film and book panels, but I will promoting my book as much as I can, so I may be glued to my table most of the time.  Not that I’m complaining-I can hardly wait to have the chance to meet and greet other horror fans like myself and talk up my book.

The Convention runs from September 17th-19th at the Crowne Plaza, Pittsburgh South.  Check out the website: http://www.horrorrealmcon.com/ for all the information you’ll need to get tickets, find out who is going to be in attendance, and the schedule of events.  That weekend will be jammed packed with a huge array of events that every horror fan will love.   I am really looking forward to the costume party on Saturday night.  Given that I will be getting all gussied up for a video spot being done a couple of hours before that for the Library of the Living Dead, I will fit in perfectly!

So if you live in the region and have the opportunity, head on over to Horror Realm the weekend of September 17th-19th and check it out.  And if you can’t make it, check back here after that weekend to see what pictures I post and the stories I will have to tell about having the chance to meet all these fantastic people involved in writing horror novels and staring in horror films.  I’m just hoping I don’t act like a total goofball when I get the chance to meet these people…but there is little doubt that I will.


Interview over at Living Dead Corner

I was recently interviewed by Mike Gardner over at Living Dead Corner about Comes The Dark as well as some of the short stories I’ve been working on.  We also chatted about the upcoming sequel and the third installment in my trilogy, along with some other interesting topics.  Take a look see over at: http://livingdeadcorner.blogspot.com/2010/08/interview-with-author-patrick-dorazio.html

I want to thank Mike for taking the time to interview me and asking some great questions.  It was fun doing the interview with another up and coming horror writer.

So click on over and check it out!


Review of Tony Monchinski’s “Eden: Crusade”

Eden: Crusade is the sequel to Tony Monchinski’s first novel, Eden, which was essentially a murder mystery set in the community of Eden, a walled and barricaded sanctuary in New York City during the zombie apocalypse.  The saga continues in book two with several of the key characters who survived Eden, and the primary story in Crusade is of their journey north, out of the city, toward a place that promises to be a safe haven for them.  We are also introduced to a sizable group of other survivors who end up connecting with the characters from the first book toward the end of this story.  The novel is book ended by chapters that take place in the future, where Bear, one of the key characters of both book one and two, taking it upon himself to start a crusade to destroy every last one of the undead in existence.

Overall, the storytelling style of Crusade is similar to the first book.  The author is unapologetic of what happens to his characters, taking them in whatever direction serves his story rather than parceling out mercy or softening his touch anywhere along the way.  He gives each character, minor or major, tremendous depth, which is impressive given the volume of people the reader is presented with in between these pages.  We gain new insights into the old characters from the first book, but newer characters like Steve, Eva, and Sonya are also fully formed and felt very real and vital to me.  Tony Monchinski has the knack of creating characters that revel in their shades of gray.  What I mean by this is that it appears that almost anyone is capable of doing anything good or evil, given the means and motivation, and Tony is willing to explore that, no matter how sentimental the readers may be about a character they have gotten to know.  That may be tough to swallow at some points in this story, but it is something I respect a great deal, because it shows a willingness to push and keep pushing as far as is necessary to get the storytelling job done.

As I try to do with my reviews, I bring up what I felt didn’t work for me along with what did.  With Crusade, surprisingly, what didn’t work for me was in the first chapter.  The book begins with a massive and lopsided battle pitting two characters against a mob of the undead that numbers in the thousands.  I felt that it went on longer than was necessary, with an extensive description of all the weapons used, every tactic examined.  I think it had a visceral appeal to it, but after a few pages, it felt repetitive to me.  It could have been condensed and had the same impact on the story in my humble opinion.  I thought it was certainly a powerful opening, but again, could have been shortened and still worked quite well.

With that one minor gripe out of the way, I consider this book an excellent sequel to Tony’s impressive debut.  Again, I say that this writer has a talent for developing characters that are fully formed and razor sharp.  He also gives his stories a gritty realism that is unapologetic.  I am excited to see what the third book of the Eden trilogy holds, and look forward to reading it with great anticipation.

Eden: Crusade can be found on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Crusade-Eden-Book-Tony-Monchinski/dp/1934861332/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1282884119&sr=1-1


New Interview of yours truly posted

Matt Nord, aka Farmboy, aka Zombie Custodian, has just posted an interview we just did.  So if you can stand to read some more of my babble about Comes The Dark and some of my short story stuff, take a looksee over at:

http://zombiecustodian.blogspot.com/

I would like to thank Matt for asking me to answer his questions.  It still does amaze me that anyone out there is interested in anything I have to say on any subject whatsoever.  It was a lot of fun.


Review of Tonia Brown’s “Lucky Stiff”

Peter Lyles has the misfortune of having friends on spring break who can’t tell the difference between sleeping pills and ecstasy.  So when he ODs after they give him five pills of the latter when he has never taken a drug in his life, this nerdy virgin looks like he is going to have a pretty unimpressive obituary after leading a very dull life.  But that is before he hooks up with Madam Sangrail.  One of Peter’s friends knows the Madam, who is a New Orleans Voodoo priestess that has been known to raise the dead (among other things) and they take Peter’s body to her with the hope that she can work her charms on him.  Given that she is a Tantra priestess, Peter not only rises from the dead, other parts of him rise as well.

This is the story, told in first person, of a insecure, intelligent, nerdy teenager who has the fortune of dying and coming back for the erotic ride of his unlife.  Madam Sangrail not only turns Peter into an intelligent zombie, but she teaches him how to control the hunger for flesh that comes with being undead by feeding off the sexual energies of the women he beds.  She tutors him in how to avoid the inevitable rot and unattractive appearance of his dead flesh with a combination of magic and clean living that will allow him to use his endless sexual appetite to his advantage.  Understand, this is not a story where the reader is regaled  with an endless series of conquests Peter has after leaving the sweet company of his Madam, but instead are treated to the highlights of his journey, which do admittedly include some of his key conquests, but also tells a tale of frustration, sadness, the search for happiness, understanding, and love as he grows to maturity as a man.

I haven’t read much in the way of erotica, instead, I have an affinity for the undead and all sorts of stories about them.  I have never limited my intake of different creative approaches to the zombie genre, and this book is a great example of a writer really mixing things up in a wonderful way and giving us something entirely new.  Tonia Brown has done a nice job of melding the voodoo and Romero variants of undead for this story.  Peter is a zombie, but his brain is just fine-he is intelligent and can function as a normal human being as long as he takes precautions and realizes that he must always feed-he has to devour the sexual energies of his partners or he will end up devouring their flesh.  It’s a nice twist and provides us with a story with plenty of twists and turns as we learn about the unlife of Peter, an undead gigolo with a romantic streak a mile wide and a non-beating heart of gold.

Peter, in many ways, is the ideal lover.  He never grows weary, has unlimited stamina, and seems to genuinely appreciate woman for both their inner and outer beauty.  This is no rogue account of the lusty conquests of Peter, but more of a coming of age story that allows a boy to become a man.  A man who must remain in temperatures below seventy degrees so his body parts don’t start to rot off, mind you, but a man never the less.

This is a well written, entertaining novel that will give the fan of romance and the fan of the undead both something new and creative to enjoy.

Lucky Stiff can be found at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1452833974/ref=s9_simh_gw_p14_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=1SMSKB3G2JDV3W2D5S8B&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=470938631&pf_rd_i=507846


A modest plug for The Zombist

Well, I have learned that it is not good form to write reviews for anthologies that you contributed to-at least not in places like Amazon, where the reviews are scrutinized for any affiliation to the author(s) of a book and anything that appears to be biased is treated as less than sincere, unfortunately.  I do understand the logic there, though I am a compulsive reviewer, at least of every zombie book I can get my hands on.  I don’t feel the need to review everything I read, but certainly those books that are near and dear to my heart are ones I like to review, and The Zombist certainly falls into that category.

I just got finished reading this massive tome, which clocks in at more than 450 pages of tales of zombies in the old west.  Twenty nine authors provided stories for this book, and the amazing Dr. Pus, publisher for The Library of the Living Dead, couldn’t resist bringing out something that was heavy enough to bash a zombie’s brain in rather than breaking it into two separate volumes.  So anyone who is a fan of zombie fiction is going to have a lot to entertain them and get a great bargain in the process.  We get a pretty good cross section of creative stories in this book, with the traditional Romero slow movers and speedier creations that have become more popular more recent years, zombies sent from hell, zombie ghosts, and the voodoo zombies as well, which are sprinkled through out this book and offer a nice change of pace from the regular flesh eaters (don’t get me wrong- I LOVE my regular flesh eaters!).  My own story “The Woeful Tale of Dalton McCoy” is one such story, and I have to say I enjoyed creating a bit of voodoo and setting it in the area of the country I grew up in.

Quite a few authors I have gotten to know over the past year contributed to this book, along with many others I wasn’t familiar with, but loved discovering them through their stories in this book.   Many, if not most of the stories in this book stood out as excellent, and the one that really stuck with me was probably Michael C. Lea’s “The Hot Springs Zombie Incident of 1875” which gets some big bonus points for creative use of a zombie as well as leaving me torn between laughing and cringing by the end of his tale. A lot of the other stories were just as entertaining and some were even quite touching, as the occasional zombie story tends to do.  Most folks who don’t read this sort of stuff tend to think it is all about the gore and the zombies themselves, but those of us in know enjoy zombie stories because of the compelling human element of them.  I think that is what sets the zombie genre apart from most other monster based horror genre tales-the monsters aren’t the stars of the story, the human beings are.

Another writer with an excellent story in this book is Jamie Eyberg, who unfortunately passed away, along with his wife, in a tragic accident this week.  My sympathies go out to his family on their loss.  It is my hope that Jamie’s memory will live on through the wonderful stories he has created and that this may provide his loved ones some small comfort in the years to come.  I know that at least a couple more of his stories will be appearing in upcoming Library anthologies.  Jamie, you will be missed.

I am very proud of my work in this anthology and even more proud of the fact that I am sharing a Table of Contents with such a tremendous group of writers.  I won’t be writing a review of the book on Amazon, so instead, I offer this:  if you enjoy westerns, and enjoy horror, then The Zombist is right up your alley.  You get a huge value with such a massive tome of twenty nine different tales of undead mayhem, along with six guns, shamans, Voodoo Priests, and even a few historical characters, like George Custer, thrown in for a bit of added flavor.  Go check it out-you won’t be disappointed!