Archive for the horror novels Category

The blood runs FREE – the final stages

Posted in a policeman's lot, classic horror, classic horror campaign, george romero, horror fiction, horror magazines, HORROR MOVIES, horror novels, HORROR WRITERS, the dead walked, the rhondda ripper, the undead, the walking dead, thrilles, vincent stark, walkers walkers everywhere, WALKING DEAD, wild bill williams, zombies on 05/12/2012 by vincentstark

We’re on the final stages of the free eBook promotion – Indeed Arkansas Smith II, has now reverted to the usual price but there’s still time  to grab free downloads of The Dead Walked and The Rhondda Ripper. So if you haven’t secured your free copies then do so now.

The aim of this promotion was to kick start the books in the increasingly competitive Amazon market place and I do hope that those who downloaded free books will eventually leave reviews on Amazon, and that all those who downloaded the first part of The Dead Walked trilogy will be back for the second book in the series later this summer.

And please, all my Blogging buddies, publicize this offer on your blogs, websites etc. Let’s make these final two days go with a rush of downloads.

Sill available for free:
The Dead Walked Book One by Vincent Stark

The Rhondda Ripper by Gary M. Dobbs

THE RHONDDA RIPPER: The story begins slowly, a man’s morning routine as he gets ready for duty and faces the possibility of a busy day, but he has no idea how “busy” it’s going to get! Throw in Buffalo Bill, a Wild West show, murders that may or may not be connected to Jack The Ripper, and you have a really hot read. I don’t want to say too much for fear of giving something away, but it’s a well-written yarn and you will get hooked right away. It’s also, for me, a nice change of pace from the modern urban hard-boiled junk I’ve been digesting lately. Brian Drake

THE DEAD WALKED – Vincent Stark, otherwise known as Gary Dobbs, presents a new look at the zombie story. A group of people trying to survive in a world gone nuts. Sound familiar. Of course.But Stark has injected his own elements into the story. A pregnant woman and a plot thread I’ve not seen in a zombie story before. The ending threw a twist in and sets up the next part of the story, coming soon.

Zombie stories are not a type I read a lot of, but I’ve come to expect good stuff from Stark/Dobbs/Martin, whatever genre he writes in.I read this one straight through while drinking coffee early this morning.Recommended.  George R. Johnson

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Walkers, walkers everywhere – The Dead Walked

Posted in Boobies, boobs, classic horror, gary dobbs, george romero, horror, horror novels, jack martin, lee goldberg, scary motherfucker radio, scary stats, the dead walked, the walking dead, undead, vincent stark, WALKING DEAD, zombies on 12/21/2011 by vincentstark

AVAILABLE NOW: Book one in The Dead Walked trilogy

Written by Vincent Stark – check out Vinnie’s Amazon page HERE

The Dead Walked – a new kind of zombie thriller

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And coming March 2012

 

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THE DEAD ARE NOW WALKING

Posted in boobs, classic horror, gary dobbs, HORROR MOVIES, horror novels, HORROR WRITERS, jack martin, the dead walked, the dead weekend, the undead, the walking dead, tony masero, vincent stark, walkers walkers everywhere, WALKING DEAD, weird tales, zombies on 12/20/2011 by vincentstark

AVAILABLE NOW

My novella, The Dead Walked: Outbreak is NOW available for purchase from Amazon  as a KDP exclusive before becoming available on all other eFormats early next year. The Amazon deal means that the eBook is also available to prime customers for loan from Amazon’s lending library.

The novella is my debut in the horror genre, following on from a string of bestselling westerns written under the name, Jack Martin and published by Robert Hale’s Black Horse Westerns line.

For my work in the horror genre I adopted the name Vincent Stark as a nod to that flamboyant horror star, Vincent Price and the surname came from the fact that I’d been reading a lot of Richard Stark. The Dead Walked though is not the first sale for the Vincent Stark name – an upcoming issue of the iconic, Weird Tales will feature the short story, Back then our Monsters were Real which was also comes from Vincent’s pen.

 

The Dead Walked: Outbreak

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 168 KB
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Gary Dobbs; 1 edition (18 Dec 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language English
  • ASIN: B006O0T89Y

US READERS FIND IT HERE
UK READERS FIND IT HERE

Some said it was viral.
Others claimed it was an act of God.
Either way the result was the same and the dead walked.

September was her favourite time of the year, and late September, when the autumn was just preparing to hand over to winter, when there was still a residue of the late summer warmth in the air, as well as the crisp promise of the iciness to come, had always been, as far as Missy was concerned, the finest chunk of that particular month.
Not for her was the spectacle of high summer, nor the morose beauty of mid winter. Of course they both had their fineries but these paled next to the season when the leaves glittered with reflected sunlight. It was the autumn, with September being the highlight of that season, which she loved – a time when nature put on its finest display as the lush summer growth was magically transformed.
The sky itself seemed to glow at this time of year.
September was a time of promise.
A time of rebirth.
Not this September, though.
This September, Missy would remember as, the time the dead walked.

The second eBook, Dead Days will be published March 2012 and I’m pleased to be able to give you a look at the cover art for the second volume. The man responsible for the cover is once again Tony Masero, and he’s managed to fully capture the mayhem and er, boobs of the zombie apocalypse.

And so take a look at the stunning artwork for the forthcoming second volume and go out and buy THE DEAD WALKED BY VINCENT STARK

 

March 2012

A Golden Age for Horror

Posted in horror, horror comics, horror fiction, horror magazines, HORROR MOVIES, horror novels, horror short stories, HORROR WRITERS on 12/12/2011 by vincentstark

Horror tends to thrive during times of crisis, offering catharsis, escapism and a metaphoric means of coping with problems that seem unsolvable.

Historically this has always been the case. It certainly was true during the Great Depression, when Universal Pictures was rescued from bankruptcy by its golden age of horror film – Dracula, Frankenstein , The Invisible Man , the Creature from the Black Lagoon  and all the other creepy creatures that lit up the silver screen, offering escapism to cash strapped moviegoers. Right across the spectrum of modern media horror is booming – take the two biggest successes in popular literature over recent years – Harry Potter and Twilight and whilst neither are strictly horror they both use many of the conventions of the genre. TV shows like The Walking Dead and American Horror are massively popular, and of course HBO’s True Blood is still holding its own. The horror novel is most certainly on a high. There are some great writers out there from the well know masters such as Stephen King, Clive Barker, Jack Ketchum and others to relatively new names like Christopher Ransom, Joe Hill, Max Brook and (dare, I say it) Vincent Stark. The latter of course is wishful thinking since his debut horror novel, following a string of bestselling westerns,  isn’t due out till the end of the month and he is me

So why is it that during shitty times we turn to the dark side? Maybe it’s the increasingly polarized political landscape, generating so much us against them rhetoric. Perhaps it has something to do with all the  college students’ fears of  being unable to find work or middle-aged parents’ worries about keeping their homes. Then again maybe its something to do with the fact that we, in Britain at least, have the Dark Party in government. Or maybe it’s just the fact that we, viewers,readers, like the safe scares that films and books provide. And whilst it is true that thought-provoking horror works are few and far between recent years have seen several horror novels of real depth – Låt den rätte komma by  John Ajvude Lindqvist , known by its Anglo title of Let the Right One In (I’ve not enjoyed a novel as much as this is years)is a masterpiece of literature whatever the genre, and Christopher Ransom has taken age old themes and twisted them through modern sensibilities. Both of these writers need to be read by anyone interested in the horror genre.   And it’s the same with film and TV and for every predictable slasher of the week flick you will find films and programs of true worth. Horror as a genre is changing, mutating and it is at last gaining some of the acclaim that has been denied it through snobbery for far too long. Stephen King is no longer considered a hack writer and real critics are dissecting his work  and finding relevance to the society we live in – something  all great writing mirrors.   And this is a good thing because for too long horror has been consigned to the ghetto and looked down upon with disdain and yet TV shows like American Horror Story, Being Human, The Walking Dead and True Blood are popular with mainstream audiences, horror novels are read by millions and fright films are always popular.

Yep this truly is a golden age for horror – and ain’t that just fine and dandy!

The eGolden Age and the flesh eating bastards

Posted in horror fiction, HORROR MOVIES, horror novels, HORROR WRITERS, the dead walked, tony masero, vincent stark, WALKING DEAD, zombies on 12/01/2011 by vincentstark

These days they would be called novellas but back in the day they were most certainly novels …and you know what, I miss them!

What am I talking about? Well the genre paperbacks that used to line shelves in bookshops everywhere. Most of these books were around 125 – 175 pages and offered quick but satisfying reads, works from authors such as Guy N. Smith, James Herbert, Gary Brander and others of that ilk. Now these days these slim volumes would be categorized as novellas but even although the page count was low, the stories were most certainly big. The plots were perfectly contained with no wasted words, and no skippages  padding. I know a lot of novels that could do with that treatment – in my opinion the novella is the perfect form for a horror story and far too many otherwise good books have been padded out to the point of skippages in  order to confirm to an industry need for 500 page plus tomes.

I’ve got news  for you folks – these days Stephen King’s Carrie would be considered a novella, as would James Herbert’s Rats and I could go on and on and…

It’s not only me who misses the golden days of paperback fiction – there’s even a magazine devoted to the subject that I would recommend to anyone. Paperback Fanatic is an excellent publication that features intelligently, well researched articles on the subject of genre paperbacks.

But I’m going off the point here.

And this brings us to my trilogy of novels that go under the collective title of, The Dead Walked – as soon as I had the idea for the series I knew the novella was the perfect format even if the story itself is huge in scope – over the three books we will travel from the everyday to Necropolis itself. The first volume was originally due this October but the first volume had to be called back at the eleventh hour for a major re-write since it contradicted events when the third book in the trilogy went off in a different direction than I had initially envisioned.  Characters can be rowdy and stubborn and sometimes the author has no choice but to let them go their own way. The manuscript is going through the editing process now and I should have a firm publication date very soon – better delay than error I say. And of course there is the point that after three bestselling traditionally published westerns and a historical crime novel,  I wanted my self published debut to be up to standards – there’s a lot of swill out there in self publishing land, and I don’t want my readers to wade through any from  my pen. Kitchensinkpublications is the name of the company I have set up to publish my Vincent Stark books and if they are a success then I plan to publish other authors and built up a vibrant list of titles.

So I hope you’ll all come along for the ride when volume one – Outbreak is published later this month. If you do I know you’ll enjoy it enough to be waiting eagerly for the second and third volumes. It’s the story of a zombie apocalypse like no other, for when the necromancer sings the dead shall walk. I’ve not skimped on the covers either and have hired legendary artist, Tony Masero to provide the artwork for each volume. You can see the stunning painting for volume one and I’ve already seen a rough sketch of the artwork for the second volume and it’s one sexy mother. I hope the storytelling within do justice to the stunning cover art – HOPE…scrub that, I know it will.

So get ready for an announcement soon – the eBook will be available in all formats and on sale everywhere and although I don’t have the confirmed price yet, I can say that it will be comparable to the paperbacks of years gone by.

September was her favourite time of the year, and late September, when the autumn was just preparing to hand over to winter, when there was still a residue of the late summer warmth in the air, as well as the crisp promise of the iciness to come, had always been, as far as Missy was concerned, the finest chunk of that particular month.

Not for her was the spectacle of high summer, nor the morose beauty of mid winter. Of course they both had their fineries but these paled next to the season when the leaves glittered with reflected sunlight. It was the autumn, with September being the highlight of that season, which she loved – a time when nature put on its finest display as the lush summer growth was magically transformed as if by a sepia wand spewing gold dust into the air.

The sky itself seemed to glow at this time of year.

            September was a time of promise.

            A time of rebirth.

            Not this September, though.

            This September, Missy would remember as, the time the dead walked.

Ashes to ashes

Posted in horror fiction, horror novels, james herbert on 07/04/2011 by vincentstark

James Herbert will finally complete the David Ash trilogy when the long awaited new novel Ash is published next year. Ash features one of Herbert’s best-loved characters, David Ash, the sceptical paranormal detective, first encountered in The Haunted and later in The Ghosts of Sleath both No. 1 bestsellers. Ash is investigating a mysterious and secluded stately home, deep in the countryside. There have been reports from locals about strange goings on, they think it might be haunted . . . What Ash eventually discovers is truly shocking.

Prepare to be chilled to the marrow  when Ash comes out next May. Now in his 60’s Herbert has enjoyed a long reign as the undisputed king of British horror with more than 40 million copies of his books scattered in bookcases around the world.

RELATED:

JAMES HERBERT AND I – when I was a teenager, it wasn’t rock stars or movie stars that had me smitten but writers and horror writers at that.  Stephen King and James Herbert were two of my favourite authors and I’d write to both of them after reading one or other of their books.

 

King never wrote back but Herbert did – every time.

I wish I still had those letters.

From our correspondence I felt that Herbert was something of a reluctant horror author, he certainly didn’t talk about the genre as much as King did, preferring instead to allow his books to speak for themselves. And indeed Herbert often outsold King on these shores.

Now unlike King, James Herbert seems to have fallen off the radar somewhat but all his books are still in print and indeed anyone who fancies a chilling read could do worse than pick up one of his books. Some of the stuff is of the pulpy creature feature variety – The Rats trilogy for one, but some of his books are beautifully written works of dark art – The Shrine deserves to be read by anyone and Fluke is a great shaggy dog story with a difference.

Back in the day Herbert’s books kept me awake at night and had me checking beneath the bed before turning out the lights – but it was a good fear, a delicious chill and anyone who has ever been thrilled by a good ghost story will know what I mean.

And if James Herbert does happen to read this – thanks for answering the letters. I’ll have to send you a western.

Literary creature features

Posted in horror fiction, horror magazines, horror novels with tags on 07/04/2011 by vincentstark

When James Herbert published The Rats in 1974 not only did he have a worldwide best-seller on his hands but he also invented a horror fiction subgenre – let’s call it Creature-thrillers as a nod to the 1950’s/1960’s Creature Feature movies.

Herbert said he thought of the story after watching Todd Browning’s Dracula on the television and being horrified by Renfield’s description of his nightmare involving hordes of rats. The author also recalled the packs of rats he had seen on London’s old bomb sites during his childhood and he brought the feelings of dread the creatures had always inspired in himself to his first novel.

“It seemed like a good idea at the time, I was as naive as that.” James Herbert, talking about writing The Rats.

The book met with a poor critical reception but the first print run sold out within three weeks and the book’s remained in print ever since. For many the book was too graphic and the overall theme too pessimistic but what Herbert did was bring a particular working class form of horror to the table and there was a theme of criticism of a government who were not doing enough for the poorer elements of society.  It’s written in a very visceral style and totally enjoyable but it’s so much more than it appears on the surface. And of course the true measure of its success is in the amount of imitations it spawned.

Herbert was very much in the right place and at the right time and almost simultaneously with The Rats, an American writer named Stephen King was getting his first taste of success with Carrie – all of a sudden the horror genre was big business. And of course The Rats was riding on this wave of  popularity – there were a slew of imitators – Maggots, Snakes, Cats, Worms, Bats, alligators, frogs and even absurdly Slugs all turned feral and went for the human population.

Guy N. Smith’s Crab series was one of the first to cash in on the success of  Herbert’s rodents with Night of the Crabs and in all he wrote six Crabs books but unlike many of the Herbert imitators these books were actually quite good in their own right. Indeed the series still has a cult following and in 2009 the first book was reissued in a deluxe hardcover edition. Guy runs his own book business, Black Hill Books and many of his titles can be bought there and it also carries an extensive range of classic paperbacks in all genres.

Smith would go on to write many more creature thrillers featuring Bats, snaked, alligators and even a variety of creatures in the vastly entertaining, The Abomination but by far his most popular series was and remains, The Crabs.

Another entertaining creature thriller was Spiders by Richard Lewis which actually spawned a sequel, The Web. I read both of these books many years ago and remember enjoying them both immensely and whilst I don’t know what I’d think of them these days I do have fond memories of them.

The reason for these animals going feral was usually some ecological disaster or scientific experiment, although there were one or two examples where the reason was supernatural but for the most part it was bizarre scientific experiments that provoked the horror. In fact, off the top of my head, I can’t really remember any of the books where the reason for the crazed creature outbreak was supernatural.

Eventually the creature thrillers fell out of favour and horror readers went for more sophisticated novels but the genre was reinvented briefly in the 90’s when Shaun Hutson wrote perhaps the most stomach churning series of all, Slugs.This time there was no holds barred and there is even a scene where a guy is sitting on the toilet and one of the killer slugs goes up his arse.

But back to the originator of this little horror sub-genre, James Herbert – there were three follow ups to The Rats. Lair was a great second story and the third book, Domain took up the story of the mutated rodents in the aftermath of a nuclear war and although this is a good premise the book was not as successful in terms of story as the previous two.  It sold by the truck-load, though.

These books made up a trilogy but there was another story with the graphic novel, The City which is again set in London after a nuclear war. Though when people talk about the Rats trilogy they mean the three novels proper with the graphic novel considered something of a companion piece.

This article gives just a taster of all the creature thrillers out there – go on give one a try but beware one thing they all share in common is their extremely graphic scenes.

A strong stomach is advised.