arbraun

I am the author of three horror novels, and I have two short-story books. I have eleven short-story publications.

Hereditary, the Scariest Movie Ever

I got pleasantly surprised a couple of movie nights ago. I’d forgotten how it feels to be genuinely frightened. But in 1981, almost all the films creeped you out. Nowadays, not so much.

 

Enter Hereditary. It got under my skin big-time, not screwing around, like a movie from another time. Some women claim they’re the most dangerous actress in Hollywood, but it’s obviously Toni Collette, after playing a character with DID on the United States of Tara. When she let loose on her son for yelling at her in the movie from hell, I was glad it wasn’t me.

 

And that kid, Played by Molly Shapiro! She’ll haunt my dreams! First I thought the tale was about her becoming a serial killer, but it went way beyond that. I didn’t know the half of it, the satanic tale making my hair stand on end like a creepy-crawly should.

 

Don’t miss this one, if you haven’t seen it already.

My New Horror Novel, Heaven’s Witches, is out!

My new book about a religious cult may be the sickest one yet, a tale where all your nightmares come true.

 

Find it at Amazon.com for just $2.99!

 

Extreme Horror and Bizarro Horror, Beyond King and Koontz

When I first started out reading horror, it was the ’73-’83 King, then Stoker, Shelley, and Lovecraft, then Koontz, and, after that, I found Ira Levin and Shirley Jackson were the scariest. Then I discovered Gary Braunbeck before he sold out with Far Dark Fields (notables are Coffin County, In Silent Graves and Mr. Hands). And that was fine. But, years later, as an aficionado, I have a hard time finding horror that shocks.

 

Enter bizarro horror and extreme horror, two sub-genres that have kickstarted the genre, and–like the literary equivalent of Trump–have made horror great again. I’ll never forget reading Djinn by Sam West, what a yuckfest, and I consider Going Monstering by Edward Lee extreme horror, too, though he’s considered a mainstream horror author. (God knows why, after Header.)

 

Just read anything by West or Matt Shaw if you don’t believe me. Or dig a little harder and find the Barns Brothers and Crowley Barns or Adolf Lovecraft or Danger Slater or Jeff O’Brien and behold the grotesqueries. And if you’re one of those people who isn’t scared by the written word, then you’re reading the wrong books! There is such a thing as being desensitized by ambulance-chasing. You build up a tolerance, you see. So seek out the disgusting, perverted terror, and get scared again.

 

You know you want to.

Research Your Author Name and Titles

I know how exciting one’s literary ideas can be, and how easy it is to assume they’re original. I mean, I am a writer. But, remember, if you assume, you make an “ass” out of “u” and me.” Face it, great minds think alike. You can’t take your “originality” for granted and can get in some legal trouble if you use an author name or story title that another writer has patented. This is coming from someone who wanted to call my animal-zombie tale “Animaniacs.” (It’s now titled “Animals From the Beyond.”)

 

This is easily corrected. Just type your author name and story titles into Amazon.com, and you’ll find out if they’re taken. I also recommend using an Internet search engine. My favorite is Bing, as they have amazing pictures from all over the world and reward you for searching with Microsoft points you can use to buy an Amazon gift card, thus getting free movies from the video tab in your Kindle Fire.

 

I’m also a musician, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come up with song titles I thought were cool as hell, only to find a like-minded band had already used them. It’s also easy to subconsciously use another band’s riff without knowing it till later–because it might be too late–though that might be less of a problem, the way Vanilla Ice used “Under Pressure” by Queen and David  Bowie and M. C. Hammer ripped off “Superfreak” by Rick James. They both got away with it. I still wouldn’t do it, though.

 

I’m assuming I don’t have to talk to you about copyright laws, also. (Not! I never assume.) Unfortunately, thieves can get around this because one can’t copyright an idea, and infringement doesn’t apply to using a small part of someone’s tale or non-fiction book in your story.

 

All it takes is some research to stay out of court so you can riff on playing God with your fictional universe. Happy writing!

Realistic Vampires?

I don’t have to tell you this, but in horror, vampires are overdone. Like way-past-overdone. Zombies, too. And werewolves. I would never write a vampire novel because it’s cliche’. But if an author or authors are uber-talented, they can pull it off. Recent or semi-recent examples are Everdead, Let the Right One In, and The Strain (I’m talking books, here, though I love The Strain TV show). Recent movie examples are Afflicted, any Underworld sequel, and Aaron’s Blood. Not that I feel I’m not uber-talented: I wrote a werewolf novel.

 

But recently, I’ve discovered the sub-genre “Realistic Vampires,” which includes Martin (not so recent) and The Transfiguration. These are films where a guy decides he wants to suck blood, but he’s not supernatural. All he needs to do is find something sharp to pierce the neck or, in the case of Martin, inject you with a sleep aid first, then stick you. And suck. Let’s not forget suck.

 

Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I prefer my vampires to have powers. I love the sharp-and-lengthened canines, the ability to fly or glide on (as) mist, added strength, the talent to compel humans with a stare, as well as the things they can’t do: go out in the sun, be seen in mirrors, be around a crucifix or garlic or, in the case of Let the Right One In, be around cats. To me, it’s just more kickass that way. Films are made to be sensationalistic–to wow you every five minutes. Realistic works better in every other kind of story because it could happen in real life, but non-supernatural vamps bore me.

 

Let me know in the comments section which you prefer.

Get Ready for My Horror Audio Books!

Anybody excited about my books will be glad to know that all three novels and the one novella will be out as audio books soon, available to purchase through Audible or iTunes. I know I can’t wait!

 

Unfortunately–or fortunately, if you’re of my point of view–the short-story books won’t be audio books, just as they weren’t made in to paper. Why? For some reason, I got rid of the Microsoft Word versions of my short-story books, and you need Word to make it into two panels for a paper book. And, similarly, you need Word copies to give the auditioning audio-book reader a sample of what to say and how to say it.

 

I’m pretty sure Horrorbook is my best seller, so I don’t want to diss the short-story books, but…well…my first book was Horrorbook, and I didn’t know I wasn’t getting a pre-made cover, ’cause I’d already contracted with the guy. So I got a demon with a hook, even though none of the stories has a demon with a hook. Ugh! With Insanity, the second book and short-story collection, I was going to call it Pieces of Meat, then wanted to change the title and have a guy breaking through glass, so the cover has a crazy-looking dude bashing through glass–no, those are ice cubes, cause they were going to be pieces of meat–wait…what?! Then there was the foreward where I talked about the current horror scene being a joke, the way most great tales don’t get published. That may be true, but sometimes it’s just better to shut your mouth. Anyway, you get the idea. I’m not proud of my first two books. But I stand behind the horror stories inside. Unfuckable, as in not possible to fuck ’em up.

 

Back to the audio books: All four should be out by the end of the year, so enjoy!

Super-Heavy List, Revised Yet Again

I discovered the ultimate death-metal/grindcore band called Circle of Dead Children–since Carcass is melodic now–so here I go again revising. Even CODC isn’t as heavy as that Exhumed CD, though.

 

Hopefully this is the last one.

 

1. Reek of Putrefaction – Carcass

2. Bloodcurdling Tool of Digestion – Exhumer

3. Psalm of the Grand Destroyer – Circle of Dead Children

4. Deicide Deicide

5. Panzer Division Marduk – Marduk

6. Cut Your Flesh and Worship Satan – Antaeus

7. Blood Libels – Antaeus

8. De Princippii Evangelikum – Antaeus

9. House by the Cemetery – Mortician

10. Mortal Massacre – Mortician

11. Gore Metal – Exhumed

12. Slaughtercult – Exhumed

13. Church of the Five Precious Wounds – Repulsive Dissection

14. Cut Open the Aberration – Repulsive Dissection

15. Generation of Hate/Mutilation of God – Dismembered Fetus

16. Blood Past – Sinister

17. Feasting on Blood – Severe Torture

18. Misanthropic Carnage – Severe Torture

19. Dechristianize – Vital remains

20. Icons of Evil – Vital Remains

 

Band list:

Sinister

Mortician

Gorgasm

Immortal

Suffocation

Enslaved (only Enslaved, Frost, Eld, and Blodhemn)

Exhumed (only Gore Metal and Slaughtercult)

Repulsive Dissection

Malignancy

Dismembered Fetus

Necrophagia

Exhumer

Severe Torture (nothing after Misanthropic Carnage)

Abscess (everything but Seminal Vampires and Maggot Men)

The Ravenous

Dying Fetus

Marduk

Thornspawn

Cannibal Corpse

Hypocrisy (only Penetralia and Osculum Obscenum)

Withered Earth (only Of Which They Bleed)

Lust of Decay

Avulsed

Pig Destroyer

Circle of Dead Children

Inhume

Vader (only The Ultimate Incantation)

Deicide (only Amon: Feasting the Beast, Deicide, Legion, Once Upon the Cross, Insineratehymn, In Torment in Hell and The Stench of Redemption)

Laceration

Impending Doom (only Nailed. Dead. Risen.)

Crimson Thorn (only Unearthed and Dissection)

Macabre

Mortification (only Scrolls of the Megilloth)

Despised Icon

The Fast and the Furious? (It’s Supposed to be a Movie.)

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Go Multi-Genre, a Good Idea for Any Writer

In late November, I realized that I’ve been a full-time author for ten years. So why the hell am I just learning it’s necessary to be a multi-genre writer? Let’s face it, horror doesn’t sell anymore, and it’s time to thrive instead of just survive.

 

I’m sure that, somewhere out there, an author exists who likes his job and doesn’t mind writing horror for the love, or for accolades from the Horror Writer’s Association. But there can’t be that many of them. An author has a right to be paid for his hard work. And if there are writers fearing they’ll be labeled as sellouts, one can always use a pseudonym–though this may not be a long-term solution. But writing other genres can not only double the fun, but also the friends (fans). In the end, you’ll be more well-rounded.

 

Still, why would anybody love a job, especially having to get up in the morning? Whatever floats your boat, but I’m an insomniac. It takes me a long time to get to sleep at night. I’ve got to sleep in.

 

One can always write at night.

Super-Heavy List, Revised

This latest revision is a “Duh” moment. I can’t believe I left out the second and third Cannibal Corpse albums, as few CDs are as crazy as these.

 

I also take back what I said about demos being better than signed albums. That’s not always the case.

 

1. Reek of Putrefaction – Carcass

2. Bloodcurdling Tool of Digestion – Exhumer

3. Deicide Deicide

4. House by the Cemetery – Mortician

5. Mortal Massacre – Mortician

6. Gore Metal – Exhumed

7. Slaughtercult – Exhumed

8. Church of the Five Precious Wounds – Repulsive Dissection

9. Cut Open the Aberration – Repulsive Dissection

10. Panzer Division Marduk – Marduk

11. Generation of Hate/Mutilation of God – Dismembered Fetus

12. Blood Past – Sinister

13. Butchered at Birth – Cannibal Corpse

14. Tomb of the Mutilated – Cannibal Corpse

15. Feasting on Blood – Severe Torture

16. Misanthropic Carnage – Severe Torture

17. Dechristianize – Vital remains

18. Icons of Evil – Vital Remains

19. Sons of Northern Darkness – Immortal

20. …Of the Dark Light – Suffocation

 

Band list:

Sinister

Mortician

Gorgasm

Immortal

Suffocation

Enslaved (only Enslaved, Frost, Eld, and Blodhemn)

Exhumed (only Gore Metal and Slaughtercult)

Repulsive Dissection

Malignancy

Dismembered Fetus

Necrophagia

Exhumer

Severe Torture (nothing after Misanthropic Carnage)

Abscess (everything but Seminal Vampires and Maggot Men)

The Ravenous

Dying Fetus

Marduk

Thornspawn

Cannibal Corpse

Hypocrisy (only Penetralia and Osculum Obscenum)

Withered Earth (only Of Which They Bleed)

Lust of Decay

Avulsed

Pig Destroyer

Circle of Dead Children

Inhume

Vader (only The Ultimate Incantation)

Deicide (only Amon: Feasting the Beast, Deicide, Legion, Once Upon the Cross, Insineratehymn, In Torment in Hell and The Stench of Redemption)

Laceration

Impending Doom (only Nailed. Dead. Risen.)

Crimson Thorn (only Unearthed and Dissection)

Macabre

 

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