George Elliot Quotes to Make You Feel Strong

It was early 2008 when I recall reading her work, “The Mill on the Floss,” and noting that was an author with much intellectual agency. It had taken me a few discussions amongst fellow students and classes with the professor to get an understanding of what she was doing with her philosophical candor. She packs so many references into her fiction, giving us small notes as to how well read she was; she almost pokes fun at other works on every page of her work, it’s crazy.

And of course, pop culture made a mockery of her life, her looks and her works, as the New Yorker uncovers from tweets, writing the following:

“If George Eliot’s Wikipedia entry has received an unusually high number of views this week, the responsibility lies with Lena Dunham, who tweeted a couple of days ago that the Victorian novelist’s page was “the soapiest most scandalous thing you’ll read this month. Thesis: she was ugly AND horny!”

Mainstream aside, this lady had a mind to be reckoned with, studied, and most importanlty, respected. Being a philosophical champion and forward thinker, George Elliot understood very well how powerful words can be and how much they effect our thoughts. She wrote very forward thinking content for her readers to digest. Here are some of her most positive quotes for feelling good.

George Elliot Quotes to Make You Feel Strong

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.”

“What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult for each other?” 

“For pain must enter into its glorified life of memory before it can turn into compassion”

“Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving us wordy evidence of the fact.”

“It is a narrow mind which cannot look at a subject from various points of view.”

“It seems to me we can never give up longing and wishing while we are still alive. There are certain things we feel to be beautiful and good, and we must hunger for them.”

“What destroys us most effectively is not a malign fate but our own capacity for self-deception and for degrading our own best self.

“If we had a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel’s heart beat, and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence.”

If you enjoyed this light hearted article on George Elliot, check out some of our other Literary content at The Ritual blog thread here.

“We mortals, men and women, devour many a disappointment between breakfast and dinner-time; keep back the tears and look a little pale about the lips, and in answer to inquiries say, “Oh, nothing!” Pride helps; and pride is not a bad thing when it only urges us to hide our hurts— not to hurt others.”

“Life seems to go on without effort when I am filled with music.”

“Poetry and art and knowledge are sacred and pure.”

“If you deliver an opinion at all, it is mere stupidity not to do it with an air of conviction and well-founded knowledge. You make it your own in uttering it, and naturally get fond of it.”

“If I got places, sir, it was because I made myself fit for ’em. If you want to slip into a round hole, you must first make a ball of yourself; that’s where it is.”

While reading “The Mill on the Floss,” by Goerge Elliot, I learned about Sappho, the Greek lyric poet, born in Lesbos, probably in the seventh century BCE. This character, I believe, was used to foreshadow the flood at the end, because, you see, there was a legendary belief that she drowned herself for love after leaving Lesbos for political reasons and going to Sicily. She wrote love poetry, and her name is used to suggest female power and passion.

George Elliot Quotes to Make You Feel Strong
George Elliot Quotes to Make You Feel Strong

“O may I join the choir invisible
Of those immortal dead who live again
In minds made better by their presence; live
In pulses stirred to generosity,
In deeds of daring rectitude…”

George Elliot, 1819 – 1880

Georget Elliot

George Elliot was one of the leading English novelists of the 19th century. More famously known for “Adam Bede” (1859), “The Mill on the Floss” (1860), “Silas Marner” (1861), “Middlemarch” (1871–72), and “Daniel Deronda” (1876). As a saggitarius, she expired at the age of 61.

The Best at writing about drinking – Bukowski or Hemingway?

Who was the better at writing about drinking – Bukowski or Hemingway? While we may never be able to sit and drink with these two creatives in a beer pong match, we can still hypothesize about what a match between these two would have been like. Below I have collated some of the best quotes about drinking from these two writing canons.

Bukoswki Quotes about Writing and Drinking

Bukowski on Writing and Drinking for the Ritual Blog at Mind on Fire books
Bukowski on Writing and Drinking for the Ritual Blog at Mind on Fire books
  1. We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that death will tremble to take us.
  2. Sometimes you just have to pee in the sink.
  3. My beer drunk soul is sadder than all the dead Christmas trees of the world.
  4. I’m just an alcoholic who became a writer so that I would be able to stay in bed until noon.
  5. When you drank the world was still out there, but for the moment it didn’t have you by the throat.
  6. We really had nothing to do but drink wine and make love.
  7. “That’s the problem with drinking, I thought, as I poured myself a drink. If something bad happens you drink in an attempt to forget; if something good happens you drink in order to celebrate; and if nothing happens you drink to make something happen.”

If are enjoying reading these wacked out alcoholic quotes about drinking from Hemingway and Bukowski, check out the Writers Corner at the Ritual Blog.

Mad Men

  • Mad Men is a collection of three disturbing horror shorts from authors living in the Midwest. The themes explored in this collection range from man versus self, man versus man, and man versus creature. [caption id="attachment_4742" align="alignleft" width="188"]Mad Men eBook Mad Men eBook at Mind on Fire Books[/caption] Mad Men begins with Matt’s tale, a thought-provoking thriller which causes the reader to question his reality and what he fears within himself. The second tale explores the grotesque juxtaposed with beautiful nature, where the ending unfolds into a horrific dream, waking in even more terrible pain. The third tale is by seasoned horror writer, A.R. Braun – and his diabolical creatures never disappoint!  A.R. Braun’s goal is to be on the banned book list; we think this tale may just be evil enough to be considered. A must read before it does get banned! Mainstream Horror Shorts don’t always satisfy us in the way they should. They don’t open conversations about what it is that we fear or why we fear such things, they focus mainly on pop culture and gore. The writers in the Mad Men anthology understand the need for literate horror, opening discussions of man’s psyche. When these writers set out to tell a story, they are less interested in conveying fear and more interested in wonder, the sublime, and the infinite strangeness that drives all man and woman. Highly recommended for tweens, teens, and adults. The Mad Men anthology published by Mind on Fire Books. Written by Willy Martinez, A.R. Braun and Matt Lavitt. No part of this book shall be copied without permission from the publisher.

Hemingway Quotes about Writing and Drinking

Drinkers learn cocktail etiquette many ways, and from many sources, but for my money, there is no better drinking guru than Ernest Hemingway.

Hemingway on Writing and Drinking for the Ritual Blog at Mind on Fire books
Hemingway on Writing and Drinking for the Ritual Blog at Mind on Fire books
  1. “Don’t bother with churches, government buildings or city squares. If you want to know about a culture, spend a night in its bars.”
  2. “Never delay kissing a pretty girl or opening a bottle of whiskey.”
  3. “Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.”
  4. When asked about drinking while working, Hemingway once responded, “Jesus Christ! Have you ever heard of anyone who drank while he worked? You’re thinking of Faulkner. He does sometimes—and I can tell right in the middle of a page when he’s had his first one.”
  5. In the postscript to a letter to critic Ivan Kaskin in 1935, Hemingway wrote, “When you work hard all day with your head and know you must work again the next day what else can change your ideas and make them run on a different plane like whisky? When you are cold and wet what else can warm you? Before an attack who can say anything that gives you the momentary well-being that rum does?… The only time it isn’t good for you is when you write or when you fight. You have to do that cold. But it always helps my shooting. Modern life, too, is often a mechanical oppression and liquor is the only mechanical relief.”
  6. I drink to make other people more interesting.
  7. Any man who eats dessert is not drinking enough.
  8. All the contact I have had with politics has left me feeling as though I had been drinking out of spitoons.
  9. Drinking wine was not a snobbism or a sign of sophistication nor a cult; it was as natural as eating and to me as necessary.

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About Hemingway and Bukowski

Hemingway and Bukowski on Writing and Drinking for the Ritual Blog at Mind on Fire books
Hemingway and Bukowski on Writing and Drinking for the Ritual Blog at Mind on Fire books

Charles Bukowski is one of America’s best-known contemporary writers of poetry and prose, and, many would claim, its most influential and imitated poet. Charles Bukowski was a prolific underground writer who used his poetry and prose to depict the depravity of urban life and the downtrodden in American society. A cult hero, Bukowski relied on experience, emotion, and imagination in his work, using direct language and violent and sexual imagery. Charles Bukowski was born August 16, 1920, and died of Leukemia on March 9, 1994.

Ernest Hemingway was renowned for novels like The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Old Man and the Sea, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1953. In 1954, Hemingway won the Nobel Prize. He committed suicide on July 2, 1961, in Ketchum, Idaho. Ernest Miller Hemingway was an American novelist, short-story writer, journalist, and sportsman. His economical and understated style—which he termed the iceberg theory—had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction, while his adventurous lifestyle and his public image brought him admiration from later generations.

In no way do I mean to offend anybody about comparing what Hemingway and Bukowski wrote about drinking. I merely wish to provide some speculative entertainment. I hope you enjoyed or got a slight chuckle out of these.

Six of The Most Terrifying Latin American Legends

Growing up in Central America is a culture teeming with oral traditions in Latin American Legends, no matter which country you visit. Each culture has their own local folklore, while some of them even share similar stories with slight differentiations amongst their own cultures. As these stories were passed down via the oral traditions, many of them end with a moral being taught.

While there are dozens and dozens of legends -which we will get into in other articles – this particular article will highlight six of the most terrifying Latin American Legends talked about in central America.

The Legend of El Sombrerón

Six of The Most Terrifying Latin American Legends
Six of the Most Terrifying Latin American Legends

Most famously known in Guatemala:

El Sombrerón is a Guatemalan folktale, known in the region of Antigua. He generally appears as a short man dressed in all black, wearing a thick black shiny belt, boots that clink when he walks, and an enormous hat covers his face. He is usually seen with a horse and black dogs attached to him with chains, and will braid the horse’s mane and tail or the hair of the dogs. El Sombrerón courts young women particularly with large eyes and long dark hair. He will follow the young woman, braid her hair, and serenade her with his silver guitar. Once the victim falls under his spell, he serves her soil for dinner; making the young woman unable to eat and sleep—wasting away. This folktale is said to scare girls into not wandering off in the night with strange men—especially without their parent’s permission.

Chicas, watch out for el Sombrerón…

The Legend of Madre Monte

Six of The Most Terrifying Latin American Legends
Six of The Most Terrifying Latin American Legends

Most Famously known in Colombia:

Madre Monte is known to roam in the mountains and jungles of Antioquia and Caldes in Colombia with its roots stemming from the country’s indigenous culture. She lives in the swamps of the regions, and appears as a tall woman covered with green moss and leaves. Her hair is said to be tangled with plants and flowers (which also cover her face and other areas of her body), and coiled snakes on her upper limbs. She is known to be a defender of nature; speaking with the animals and trees, and ruling the winds, rain, and vegetation. Madre Monte haunts those who steal other people’s lands, casts plagues on cattle owners who disrespect the fields. She also punishes vagabonds, invaders, mischief makers, unfaithful spouses, and children by making them get lost in her land, putting unbeatable obstacles in their way, or having them disappear and never seen again.

Respect nature or Madre Monte will come to get you…

The Legend of La Carreta Nagua

Six of The Most Terrifying Latin American Legends
Six of The Most Terrifying Latin American Legends

Most famously known in Nicaragua:

If you hear a wooden cart, in the middle of the night, do not peek through the windows or peep holes because it may be the Carreta Nagua! La Carreta Nagua noisily makes its way through the streets of village towns around 1:00 AM on dark and gloomy nights, being pulled by two skeletal oxens, and controlled by the Grim Reaper wearing white robes and traditional scythe on the left shoulder.

It is said that if anyone is awake or in the streets by the time the cart rolls through, they are claimed by the Grim Reaper and taken to the Underworld. Some also believe that the Carreta Nagua announces the coming of death for a person as people have claimed that after hearing the cart in the night discovered one of the town’s citizens dead the following day. The legend is believed to be based off of slavery and the colonization of native tribes. When the Spanish caravans moved through the pueblos looking to capture the natives as slaves and plunder, the natives would know to run or hide as if they were captured they would be taken and likely never return.

If you enjoyed this cultural hearted article on Latin American Legends, check out some of our other Literary content at The Ritual blog thread here.

The Legend of La Siguanaba

Most famously known in El Salvador:

Six of The Most Terrifying Latin American Legends
Six of The Most Terrifying Latin American Legends

La Siguanaba is a character that shows itself in a phantom female form with a beautiful body and long hair. When you look at her closely, however, her face resembles that of a mare. The legend goes that she often appears to wander in the night usually to men known for seducing women and boasts of their conquests. The men see her from behind and follow her until la Siguanaba turns around; scaring the men to death or is driven insane by the sight. She is usually seen bathing by the river in the night. In order to keep their souls safe from the Siguanaba, it is said that men must bite on a metal cross and pray to God.

Be careful boys with what you do, or else the Siguanaba will come to haunt you…

The Legend of El Familiar

Most famously known in Argentina:

Six of The Most Terrifying Latin American Legends
Six of The Most Terrifying Latin American Legends

Originating from the sugar plantations in Salta, Tuchman, and Jujuy, legend has it that some time long ago, the Argentinian government was struggling economically. To sugar plantation owners, this economic downturn meant the sugar industry would take a big hit. To ensure that they would escape the country’s economic downturn, owners of the sugar plantation decided to find a way around the impending economic misfortune by partnering with the devil.

In exchange for riches, wealth, and protection of their sugar fields, the owners were required to provide a yearly sacrifice of one of their workers to the devil. The sacrifice would be determined by the owners, and the worker would then be dragged and devoured by the devil in hell. Some say the familiar was said to take the shape of a large black rabid dog, while others claimed that it appears as an immense viper with cat-like eyes. The Familiar was also said to have stayed close to the plantation fields; living in basements as a way to ensure that the owners would complete their yearly sacrifice. Legend has it the dog still rabidly wanders the sugar plantations looking for victims.

The Legend of Chupacabras

The Latin American Legend of Chupacabras
The Latin American Legend of Chupacabras

Most Famously known in Puerto Rico:

This legend originated in Puerto Rico when in 1995 signs of the first reported attack of the Chupacabra became news. Chickens, goats, and sheep began to appear dead completely drained of blood and with punctured wounds in their neck. Literally translated as “goat sucker” in Spanish, reports of Chupacabras spread from Puerto Rico to Mexico, Central and South America, and in the United States (from Texas to Florida to Maine). The appearance of the Chupacabra varies, but it is typically described as a lizard-like creature, that walks on its muscular hind legs, with large eyes, fangs a forked tongue, and sharp spines reaching from the neck to the base of the tail. Some have also described it as appearing like a hair-less strange breed of dog with sharp spines.

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Fighting Against the Clock

Fighting against the clock, time is always stopping

Too much to do, and my interests keep growing

So much to do, but not enough money

Then I work more to have that money

Fight against the clock

Until you break the time

Artwork is by Collin, titled, “Carcinogens” on Unsplash.

If you enjoyed this light hearted article, check out some of our other Literary content at The Ritual blog thread here.

The Best Michael Crichton Quotes for Literature Lovers

Even if you have never heard of Michael Crichton, you have surely seen his movies. The most famous ones being, Jurassic Park, Sphere, Congo, The 13th Warrior, The Terminal Man, etc. We cannot deny the influence that Michael Crichton has had on our culture, thanks to the books to film translations.

The Best Michael Crichton Quotes for Literature Lovers
The Best Michael Crichton Quotes for Literature Lovers

Interestingly though, he has given us many quotes to live by, and there are many truths to ponder in these quotes; some being more philosophical, while others being a social commentary. The quotes below are meant to make you think, share, and hopefully, make you want to pick up his books to read.

“The planet has survived everything, in its time. It will certainly survive us.”

“False fears are a plague, a modern plague!”

“If you don’t know history, then you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree. ”

“I am certain there is too much certainty in the world.”

“It’s hard to observe without imposing a theory to explain what we’re seeing, but the trouble with theories, as Einstein said, is that they explain not only what is observed but what CAN BE observed. We start to build expectations based on our theories. And often those expectations get in the way.”

If you enjoyed this light hearted article, check out some of our other Literary content at The Ritual blog thread here.

“We think we know what we are doing. We have always thought so.”

The Best Michael Crichton Quotes for Literature Lovers
The Best Michael Crichton Quotes for Literature Lovers

“Raising children is, in a sense, the reason the society exists in the first place. It’s the most important thing that happens, and it’s the culmination of all the tools and language and social structure that has evolved.”

“And I think the answer is that we are, in reality, terribly frail animals. And we don’t like to be reminded of how frail we are—how delicate the balances are inside our own bodies, how short our stay on Earth, and how easily it is ended.”

“Do you know what we call opinion in the absence of evidence? We call it prejudice.”

“It’s better to die laughing than to live each moment in fear.”

“God creates dinosaurs, God kills dinosaurs, God creates man, man kills God, man brings back dinosaurs.”

“In the information society, nobody thinks. We expected to banish paper, but we actually banished thought.”

“Let’s be clear. The planet is not in jeopardy. We are in jeopardy. We haven’t got the power to destroy the planet – or to save it. But we might have the power to save ourselves.”

“All your life, other people will try to take your accomplishments away from you. Don’t you take it away from yourself.”

About Michael Crichton

Michael Crichton was born in Chicago, Illinois, but grew up in Roslyn, New York. His father was a journalist and encouraged him to write and to type. Michael gave up studying English at Harvard University, having become disillusioned with the teaching standards–the final straw came when he submitted an essay by George Orwell that was given a “B-.” After giving up English and spending a year in Europe, Michael returned to Boston, Massachusetts, and attended Havard Medical School to train as a doctor. Several times, he was persuaded not to quit the course but did so after qualifying in 1969.

Crichton’s novels, including Jurassic Park, have been described by The Guardian as “harking back to the fantasy adventure fiction of Sir Arthur Conan DoyleJules VerneEdgar Rice Burroughs, and Edgar Wallace, but with a contemporary spin, assisted by cutting-edge technology references made accessible for the general reader”. According to The Guardian, “Michael Crichton wasn’t really interested in characters, but his innate talent for storytelling enabled him to breathe new life into the science fiction thriller”. Like The GuardianThe New York Times has also noted the boys’ adventure quality to his novels interfused with modern technology and science.

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We’re Here to Fart Around

We’re here to Fart Around according to Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut tells his wife he’s going out to buy an envelope:

“Oh, she says, well, you’re not a poor man. You know, why don’t you go online and buy a hundred envelopes and put them in the closet?

Vonnegut pretends not to hear her, and ventures out to get an envelope because he’s going to have a hell of a good time in the process of buying one envelope. He meets a lot of people. Vonnegut sees some great looking babies. And a fire engine goes by. He gives them the thumbs up. Vonnegut will ask a woman what kind of dog that is.

The moral of the story is – we’re here on Earth to fart around. Of course, the computers will do us out of that. And what the computer people don’t realize, or they don’t care, is we’re dancing animals. You know, we love to move around. And it’s like we’re not supposed to dance at all anymore.”

Let’s all get up and move around a bit right now… or at least dance.

Kurt Vonnegut was an American writer. In a career spanning over 50 years, he published 14 novels, three short story collections, five plays, and five nonfiction works, with further collections being published after his death. 

If you enjoyed this light hearted article, check out some of our other Literary content at The Ritual blog thread here.

The Strange Beast in Southern Illinois

The Strange Beast of Southern Illinois has returned after almost 80 years of peace. Until recently, when the small community of Carterville awoke to reports of a wild cat stalking the neighborhood, abducting livestock and attacking large animals.

As I stubled around one recent morning, barely getting up and out of bed to gimp walk into the kitchen for coffee, my wife alerted me of a strange beast being on the loose, some type of wild cat. Being less than half awake, I thought it was a hoax at first. Sure enough, there were even more reports of a cougar sighting. And no, I’m not talking about the 40 plus year old woman with good looks and sass, but an actual wild cat that was roaming the small rural community of Carterville, chewing on horses and ducks.

I resumed my day, thinking about this possibility and how strange of an occurence it was. But not all that strange when you have read quite a few books on the supernatural histories of the area. A few days later, I was reading an article originally published in 1946, written by Jesse W. Harris, titled, “Myths and Legends from Southern Illinois.” In section six of this article, Jesse shares some knowledge about this wild cat, and apparently, it has a history of stalking this area. Below, I share the original story:

“Another type of story that is of much more concern to us here in Southern Illinois nowadays is te “strange beast” legend. These stories possibly illustrate the foltale in actual process of being made. Every few years some community reports the presence of a mysterious beast over in the local creek bottom. As time passes, this story grows, and very often spreads to other communities. Quite often the excitement aroused by oe of these stories increases all throught the Winter months and reaches a climax early in the Spring. The most recent of these episodes occured about five years ago.

If you are enjoying this Strange Beast article, check out some of our other esoteric content at The Ritual blog thread here.

Although it is difficult to determine just where a story of this sort has its beginning, this one seems to have originated in the Gum Creek bottom near Mt. Vernon. During the Summer of 1941, a preacher was hunting squirrels in the woods along the creek when a large animal that looked something like a baboon jumped out of a tree near him. The preacher struck at the beast with his gun barrel when it walked toward him in an upright position. He finally frightened it away by firing a couple of shots into the air.

Later the beast began to alarm rural people by uttering terrorizing screams mostly at night in the wooded bottom lands along the creeks. School children in the rural districts sometimes heard it, too, and hunters saw its tracks. Some old timers, who probably remembered the ‘painter’ scares of long ago, thought it might be a panther, for panthers used to scream like that in the woods at night. By early Spring of 1942, the animal had local people aroused to a fighting pitch. About that time, a farmer near Bonnie reported that the beast had killed his dog. A call went out for volunteers to join a mass hunt to round up the animal.

The beast must have got news of the big hunt, for reports started coming in of its appearance in other creek bottoms, some as much as forty or fifty miles from the original site. A man driving near the Big Muddy River, in Jackson County, one night saw the beast bound across the road. Some hunters saw evidence of its presence away over on the Okaw. Its rapid changing from place to place must have been aided considerably by its ability to jump, for, by this time, reports had it jumping along at from twenty to forty feet per leap. This ability led some people to conclude that it was probably a kangaroo at large.

If you are enjoying this Strange Beast article, check out some of our other supernatural content at The Ritual blog thread here.

It is impossible to say how many hunters and parties of hunters, armed with everything from shotguns to ropes and nets, went out to look for the strange beast in the various creek bottoms where it had been seen, or its tracks had been seen, or its piercing screams had been heard. Those taking nets and ropes were intent on bringing the creature back alive.

Usually this strange beast can’t be found, and interest in it dies as mysteriously as it arose in the beginning. In the instance cited above, some men finally captured a wild steer that had been roaming the bottom lands; and, some people concluded that this was the strange beast. But nobody could be certain. About twenty-five years ago, a ‘coon hunter from Hecker one night heard a strange beast screaming up ahead on Prairie du Long Creek.

Hunters chased this phantom from time to time all one Winter. Their dogs would get the trail, then lose it, and they would hear it screaming down the creek in the opposite direction. It was that kind of creature: you’d hear it up creek, but when you set out in that direction you’d hear it a mile down creek. The most noted hunter in that community says it was some kind of bird; some of the others who tried to find it don’t think it was any kind of bird you can draw a bead on.”

And who knows, maybe the wild cat or strange beast sighting of Carterville in early October marks the return of the mysterious beast sightings that will continue through out the Winter. Should we prepare for screams and stories of creatures doing supernatural things in the coming months? Only time will tell, but at least we have a reference point, or some history we can relate to.

The original story was written byJesse W. Harris, and published in 1946 in the Hoosier Folklore Society. I found this article while perusing JSTOR, looking for untapped horror happenings of the past.

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How to Write Dark Fiction: Interview with Horror Author A.R. Braun

It’s not every day that we get to sit with a Dark Fiction Author with over 14 publications in the Hard Core Horror Genre. A.R. Braun methodically wears an impressive rack of ribbons on his chest with as an indie horror author, with publication credits in the following: “NREM Sleep” in the D.O.A. anthology; “Freaks” in Downstate Story magazine; “The Unwanted Visitors” in the Vermin anthology; “Coven” in the Heavy Metal Horror anthology; “Remember Me?” in Horror Bound magazine; and “Shades of Gray (the Symbiosis of Light and Dark)” in Micro Horror magazine; “Little Ghoul,” in the Mad Men Anthology.

The terms splatter punk and heavy metal horror only begin to describe A.R. Braun’s collection of creative phantasmic, demonic, terrorizing tales! With the upcoming releases scheduled for this Fall, we wanted to sit with A.R. Braun prior to his releases of Phantom World and The Oncoming Evil.

I try to write 2,100 words a day, that’s about a chapter for me. Then I have time allotted for editing. I try to invest in my whole day into writing.

A.R. Braun, Dark Fiction Author

Q: Let’s jump into this. Can you tell us a little about yourself, and how or why you came about writing?

A: I grew up in small towns in Illinois. In my early 20’s I moved to the city. In high school I had nothing to do but get into trouble. I ended up taking a class in which we had to read The Tell-Tale Heart. When I read The Tell-Tale Heart, it just blew me away, I got an adrenaline rush from it.

I fell in love with horror and soon purchased the Stephen King collection which was only about ten books at a time. I also used to read ‘Chillers magazines,’ with articles on horror movies and short stories by up-and-coming authors.

Q: Tell us about how you began writing, or how you knew you wanted to become a writer.

I started seriously writing at 2006. I would go to the library in the mornings before work. What got me started was Stephen King’s, On Writing; it really motivated me.

HorrorBook was first published at the age of 50, and it is a short story collection. This is most people’s favorite. But my favorite to write has been the novel, Only Women in Hell, because of the isolation that happens to the main character. She gets locked into a basement, serving as a dungeon, and nobody knew she was even there. It’s just scary to think about, that this this kind of stuff really goes on. It’s based on a real life story about a girl that was abducted by her father in Austria.

My first novel that I published, Only Women in Hell, was actually my 5th that I had written. I say that because I wrote some really evil stuff prior to that when I was heavy into Satanism. I was then getting into trouble online and took a break from the internet. After regaining my faith, I was soon published 10 times by 2009.

Q: Everyone wants to know, what are your writing habits and how have you written so many publications?

To begin with, I have my own writer rules. I usually have them written on the inside of whatever notebook I’m using. My Writer Rules would be to first, use the five senses, (2) show don’t tell, (3) draw a picture before you start to utilize both sides of the brain. (4) The biggest tip is to read; I like to read at night.

I try to write 2,100 words a day, that’s about a chapter for me. Then I have time allotted for editing. I try to invest in my whole day. And I do consider myself to be a pantser. Once I sit down to write, I get in the zone. I’m just kind of an overachiever, I get inspired.

Don’t believe the hype. I used to know this one writer that bragged about keeping dead people in his closet.

A.R. Braun, Dark Fiction Author

Q: How do you prepare for writing?

A: Well, I gotta be well rested. Coffee is another big one. But mostly if I am well rested, I can bang it out. I like to outline too. You know, I heard that Stephen King and Joe Hill don’t like to use outlines, even in their novels. I like to outline everything, even short stories.

Q: We know it’s hard to choose, but who are your favorite 5 favorite authors?

A: Ira Levin, Shirley Jackson, the 73′ to 83′ Stephen King, Early Dean Koontz, and Adam Nevill.

Q: Where do you get your ideas for characters? Are they based on real people or mostly made up?

A: A lot of times, I do base my characters on real people. I’m a firm believer that truth is stranger than fiction. I mean, Ted Bundy escaped from prison twice. He admitted to 200 murders… to the fact that he jumped off of a two-story courthouse without breaking a leg. You can’t make this stuff up!

The little girl in Little Ghoul; I was friends with this guy and he had this little daughter. We use the truth as much as possible. (Little Ghoul is included in the Mad Men anthology.)

The Oncoming Evil, is actually based on me. The only difference is that he’s a best seller (he says jokingly about himself.) The guy has a crisis of conscience, and as he is trying to get right, he runs into the evil has to fight; somebody else’s evil – its paranormal. That’s my favorite kind of fiction, the paranormal with witches, demons, and wolves. (The Oncoming Evil is a full length novel, scheduled to release on Halloween. Currently in review.)

And in 66SICK, in the plot, I was killing my ex wife in the story. Boy, she really didn’t like that (he replies chuckling).

It’s wishful thinking to be able to write something that will traumatize someone. You know, like the effect that The Exorcist had on people when it first came out, and in fact, still does today.

Q: From H.G. Wells – If you could travel to any point in time, where would you go?

A: I would probably go back to the 70’s and 80’s and live my life over so that I could be into better bands. I used to listen to some really junkie stuff.

Q: What are the worst and best parts of being an author?

A: The best parts would be working on that first draft. The worst part would be the trolls and constant editing. I just had a troll recently. It was a post about Edgar A. Poe… I said something about how he would of been 212 if he was still alive. And some troll jumped on the thread to say that he wouldn’t be 212, that he would be dead. So, I let that troll have it. I told him that he is a POS and that he still lives with his parents, which is why he likes to start trouble on the internet, he obviously has nothing better to do.

Q: We would like to know what are your thoughts on editing? Are you big on editing?

A: You can’t get enough eyes on it. I usually go through twelve times in the edits. Another important thing is the critique. It’s better to have close friends to do them that you can trust. I have had someone steal my idea before. I had submitted a copy for review/edit and it ended up being stolen.

Braun’s word of advice

Dark Fiction author, A.R. Braun
Dark Fiction author, A.R. Braun

Don’t believe the hype. I used to know this one writer that bragged about keeping dead people in his closet. Don’t keep dead people in your closet just to have something to write about. I have met writers that really kill people and I was like, why? “Research,” they would say.

Also, I would like to thank you, Willy and The Ritual Blog for taking the time to interview me. I really appreciate it and am always open to more interviews should any other publisher be interested.

“I’m just kind of an overachiever, I get inspired.”

A.R. Braun, Dark Fiction Author

A.R. Braun is a featured writer in our dark fiction anthology, “Mad Men” – a collection of three disturbing tales exploring what lies within man. Available now at Google BooksBarnes and NobleKoboApple iBooksSmashwords, and Amazon.

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