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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Phantom World: Hard Core Haunts on Pre-Order

Phantom World: Hard Core Haunts by A.R. Braun – Release Date: September 22nd, The First Day of Fall

This collection explores the bitter feelings of isolation, loss, and denounces religion from various personalities. Here, we will be introduced to poltergeists, newly born ghost-entities learning about the afterlife, and spirits that are stuck in the netherworld. While some of these ectoplasmic beings may come across as innocent at times, their stories unfold in a manner to inform the reader as to why they were not allowed into the heaven, or allowed to have a “peaceful” afterlife.

With such harsh karma affecting their transitions, its no wonder why these phantoms have chosen to haunt rather than ascend. They simply can’t. The tales concocted here are tales of tormented souls out for revenge or they are finding ways to fight off the boredom that comes with eternal damnation.
So keep the lights on, and don’t read these tales alone. Who knows if you’ll be haunted next, or reach the end of the line?

“There are elements of Clive Barker in the telling of these 8 macabre tales, with brutal frankness, and an anger at the unjust nature of a capricious God”

Critic, Dean Makin

A.R. Braun writes this collection of Hard Core Haunts from his own personal experiences in dabbling with the occult and esoteric. As horror author of over 14 publications, this collection of ghost stories spans over 9 years of writing experience. And simply put, the ghosts in this anthology are jerks.

Phantom World will be Available on AmazonBarnes and NobleApple Books, Google Books, SmashwordsScribdGardners Extended RetailKoboOdilo, and here.

ISBN: 978-1-7361447-2-5

Table of Contents: Phantom World – Hard Core Haunts

Phantom World: Hard Core Haunts
  • The Hat Man: A man beaten-down by life suffers as the two hours of rest he gets every night is ruined by sleep paralysis.
  • Recreant: A rock ‘n’ roller is haunted by the ghost of the huge jock-hippy that bullied him while alive, and the poor man will never be the same.
  • Grannie’s Pickle: A man who was controlled by his grandmother can’t shake her violent specter now that she’s dead.
  • Nil Caveat: A unsuspecting gent moves into the apartment of the devil.
  • That Chick in Stilettos: A young writer finally chases down his crush, only to find they’ve crossed over to the other realm.
  • Une Maison Hantee: An American moves to France, where his dreams come true, then gets assaulted from the beyond.
  • The Woman Wore Black: An eerie woman in black creeps to the door of a well-to-do man, who’s in for the fright of his life.
  • Beyond Death: A sixteen-year-old who thought she was in love with a man now has to get used to being a ghost—and, of course, there’s no way to get used to being a ghost.

About the Author of Phantom World: Hard Core Haunts

A.R. Braun, author of Phatom World: Hard Core Haunts
A.R. Braun, author of Phatom World: Hard Core Haunts

Once completing the Bram-Stoker-Award-nominated Jeremy Shipp’s Boot Camp, A. R. Braun writes the following novels: Dogman of Illinois, Heaven’s Witches, Autonomy, and Only Women in Hell. As well as publishing the short-story collections: Insanity, Horror Book, Grimoire, and the novella, 66SICK.

He became interested in horror when he read “The Telltale Heart,” as an assignment in high school. By the time he was eighteen, he owns the whole Stephen King collection and begins writing short stories for friends and family.

A. R. holds numerous publication credits, including “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.

“The Interloper” wins story of the month in 2009’s June Full Moon in Bloom issue of SNM Horror Magazine, and the piece was included in the SNM Horror anthology, Bonded by Blood 2: a Romance in Red.

A.R. Braun is a featured writer in our 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.

More Hot Summer Reads!

More Hot Summer Reads on audible, as we have ramped up our audio listenting this Summer while we do yard work, jog, and lay poolside!

Last month we shared our recommendations on Audio book for Audio book month and we received some pretty positive feedback. That being said, this month we decided to share a few more of our reads/listens from Audible. The books below were all good and recommended by us. From dark fiction, to young adult fiction, and also some non-fiction made the list this month. Our two top picks would have to be “Remote Control,” and “City of Death.” Which will you listen to first?

Eaters of the Dead by Michael Crichton

Summer Reads include Eaters of the Dead by Michael Crichton
Summer Reads include Eaters of the Dead by Michael Crichton

The year is A.D. 922. A refined Arab courtier, representative of the powerful Caliph of Baghdad, encounters a party of Viking warriors who are journeying to the barbaric North. He is appalled by their Viking customs – the wanton sexuality of their pale, angular women, their disregard for cleanliness…their cold-blooded human sacrifices. But it is not until they reach the depths of the Northland that the courtier learns the horrifying and inescapable truth: he has been enlisted by these savage, inscrutable warriors to help combat a terror that plagues them – a monstrosity that emerges under cover of night to slaughter the Vikings and devour their flesh….

Eaters of the Dead was adapted to the screen as The 13th Warrior, starring Antonio Banderas.

If you are enjoying this article on Hot Summer Reads, we have bookstacks worth of Literature related content at the Ritual Blog.

City of Death by Ephraim Mattos: Hot Summer Reads

Summer Reads include City of Death by Ephraim Mattos
Summer Reads include City of Death by Ephraim Mattos

After leaving the US Navy SEAL teams in spring of 2017, Ephraim Mattos, age 24, flew to Iraq to join a small group of volunteer humanitarians known as the Free Burma Rangers, who were working on the front lines of the war on ISIS. Until being shot by ISIS on a suicidal rescue mission, Mattos witnessed unexplainable acts of courage and sacrifice by the Free Burma Rangers, who, while under heavy machine gun and mortar fire, assaulted across ISIS minefields, used themselves as human shields, and sprinted down ISIS-infested streets – all to retrieve wounded civilians.

In City of Death: Humanitarian Warriors in the Battle of Mosul, Mattos recounts in vivid detail what he saw and felt while he and the other Free Burma Rangers evacuated the wounded, conducted rescue missions, and at times fought shoulder-to-shoulder with the Iraqi Army against ISIS. Filled with raw and emotional descriptions of what it’s like to come face-to-face with death, this is the harrowing and uplifting true story of a small group of men who risked everything to save the lives of the Iraqi people and who followed the credence, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends”. 

The Conception of Terror: Tales Inspired by M. R. James – Volume 1

An award-winning collection of four ghostly tales inspired by M. R. James.

Casting the Runes, adapted by Stephen Gallagher
—2019 New York Festivals Radio Award winner (Silver)

Summer Read include The Conception of Terror by M.R. James
Summer Read include The Conception of Terror by M.R. James

When academic Jo Harrington (Anna Maxwell Martin) is sent a paper—The Truth of Alchemy, by Anton Karswell—for peer review, she pulls no punches. Jo writes that the paper has no place in a serious academic publication and that Karswell is a half-bright fool. When the editor writes a rejection note to Karswell, he inadvertently includes Jo’s entire email. Occultist Karswell (Reece Shearsmith) doesn’t take kindly to criticism.

On the tube home with her partner Edward Dunning (Tom Burke), Jo spots a poster with her name on it. It reads: “In memory of Joanne Harrington, MLitt, PhD, died September eighteenth, three days were allowed.” Is there anything that Edward can do to save Jo from this curse?

Lost Hearts, adapted by A. K. Benedict

Teenager Stephanie Elliot (Rosa Coduri) is taken to Aswarby House to be fostered by Mrs. Bunch (Susan Jameson). Stephanie strikes up a friendship with Ben (Bill Milner), the adopted son of charismatic community leader Mr. Abney (Jeff Rawle). He tells her that Mr. Abney is a good man—he even took in a child refugee last year, but she stole from him and ran away. Stephanie is troubled by voices and visions of a dead girl clutching at her chest, and when Ben disappears she begins to suspect that all is not right in Aswarby House.

The Treasure of Abbot-Thomas, adapted by Jonathan Barnes

When former Somerton school pupil Greg Parsbury (Robert Bathurst) meets history teacher Mika Chantry (Pearl Mackie) at a memorial service for schoolmaster Sam Abbot-Thomas, he begs for her help. Greg has been sent a postcard by the estate of the mysterious and charismatic Abbot-Thomas. On it is a strange inscription in Latin, which he believes to be an inaugural clue in a treasure hunt much like the elaborate treasure hunts Abbot-Thomas used to set back in the 1970s. There were rumors that Abbot-Thomas possessed a hidden fortune, and Parsbury and Chantry set out to find it.

A View from a Hill, adapted by Mark Morris
—2019 New York Festivals Radio Award winner (Gold)

Comedian and podcaster Paul Fanshawe (Andy Nyman) and his wife, Sarah (Alice Lowe), visit the Cotswolds on holiday, trying to rebuild their lives after the death of their young son, Archie. While out walking, they spot a beautiful abbey across the valley on Gallows Hill, but when they reach it, they find the building is little more than rubble. While Sarah explores, Paul records commentary for his podcast. Sarah thinks she hears children’s laughter, but there’s no one there. Later that night, she listens to the recording and hears a child’s voice whisper, “Mummy.” Sarah is convinced that Archie is trying to reach them and wants to return to the ruins. But something far worse is waiting for them on Gallows Hill.

If you are enjoying this article on Hot Summer Reads, we have bookstacks worth of Literature related content at the Ritual Blog.

What The Hex by Alexis Daria

Summer Reads include What the Hex by Alexis Daria
Summer Reads include What the Hex by Alexis Daria

When Catalina Cartagena returns home for her older sister’s wedding, she’s shocked to discover that her soon-to-be brother-in-law is possessed by a demon. To make matters worse, everyone else seems to be under the demon’s spell—except for Diego Paz, younger brother of the groom and Cat’s childhood rival.

With only three days until the wedding, Cat must join forces with her sexy nemesis to break the spell and defeat the demon. If they fail, demonic forces will control two of the most powerful witch families on Isla Bruja.

There’s only one bed at the magical B&B, and it’s time for these witches to get wicked…in more ways than one.

The Republic of Pirates by Collin Woodard:Hot Summer Reads

Summer Reads include The Republic of Pirates by Collin Woodard
Summer Reads include The Republic of Pirates by Collin Woodard

In the early eighteenth century, the Pirate Republic was home to some of the great pirate captains, including Blackbeard, “Black Sam” Bellamy, and Charles Vane. Along with their fellow pirates—former sailors, indentured servants, and runaway slaves—this “Flying Gang” established a crude but distinctive democracy in the Bahamas, carving out their own zone of freedom in which servants were free, blacks could be equal citizens, and leaders were chosen or deposed by a vote. They cut off trade routes, sacked slave ships, and severed Europe from its New World empires, and for a brief, glorious period the Republic was a success.


If you enjoyed this article, we have bookstacks worth of Literature related content at the Ritual Blog.

On Writing Horror Willy Martinez

  • On Writing Horror amassed from an obsession to learn where the power of fear resides. An anthology of works studying the way in which writers evoke fear and how they may affect us. On Writing Fear is an index of terror, drawing from Aristotle, Longinus, Edmund Burke, Che Guevarra, Wordsworth, Foucault, H.P. Lovecraft, Todorov, and many more.

    Chapters include digital illustrations created by the author.

    Also available at the Apple iBookstore, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.

    A must have collection of research on the power of Horror- a tormented treatment of the human passions!

    Table of Contents for On Writing Horror

    Ch 1. Fear and War: Crafting the War on Terror Using Fear Appeals Ch 2. The Art of the Coup D'etat Ch 3. The Feminine Supernatural versus the Male Supernatural Writers Ch 4. Projecting Ghost Children to Find Identity Ch 5. The Supernatural Power of the Sublime in Wordsworth's Poetry Ch 6. Disorienting Characters with Haunted Spaces and Auditory Hallucinations Ch 7. Modern Ghosts Ch 8. The Fantastic in Fear Ch 9. The Fun Side of Fear: Faustus' Tricky Imp of Satan Ch 10. Glorifying Satan

    Some of the art included:

    [caption id="attachment_4846" align="alignnone" width="188"]Art for On Writing Horror Art for On Writing Horror[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4847" align="alignnone" width="200"]Art for On Writing Horror Art for On Writing Horror[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4848" align="alignnone" width="194"]Art for On Writing Horror Art for On Writing Horror[/caption]

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The Fantastic Genre: The Best Fiction

It’s the uncertainty of the fantastic genre that draws me in. It’s the journey rather than the result itself; take me beyond the threshold.

Fantastic Genre
Fantastic Genre – (ART) THE HYPERSPACE COLORS OF PAUL LEHR

Borrowing from the European Gothic tradition, the American Renaissance morphs the gothic into a uniquely American form. In this blog, I will shine a light on the ‘fantastic’ genre, in hopes of uncovering the feelings or misperceptions we may have about the ‘dark side,’ or the obscure. 

As I sat there thinking about what genre of fiction most intrigues me, I noticed the pending cloud storm heading my way, looming over the close horizon.  I honestly don’t recall when I first began to succumb to the doom and gloom prescribed to horror.  In Highschool I was a fan of science fiction and nonfiction.  I would read Kurt Vonnegut, Hawthorne, books about relativity or about scientific theories about neutrinos in solar dispersion or other quirky components of our solar system.  Horror wasn’t a thing for me. Even when I began college I was engrossed by the literate and the science fiction.  Yeah, I studied English and writing, but horror wasn’t a dark spot yet. 

The thunderous calamity continued to engross on my area, yet no storm. 

I was uncertain about what it was that drew me to horror or dark fiction.  And then it hit me; it’s that very uncertainty that draws me in.  It’s the journey rather than the result itself, the anticipation or feeling I get when uncovering something.

Were you aware that the birth of the US nation incidentally coincided with the rise of fantastic fiction on the literary scene?  Some main stream examples of this type of literature begin in the 1800’s.  Authors such as Washington Irving, Edgar Allan poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Sarah Orne Jewett, Ambrose Bierce, Jenry James, and even H.P. Lovecraft in the 1900’s.

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So what is the fantastic?

Fantastic Genre
The Fantastic Genre was outlined by Bulgarin Linguistic, Tzvetan Todorov.

First, the text must oblige the reader to consider the world of the characters as a world of living persons and to hesitate between a natural and supernatural explanation of the events described.  Second, this hesitation may also be experienced by a character; thus the reader’s role is tso to speak entrusted to a character, and at the same time the hesitation is represented, it becomes one of the themes of the work.  Third, the reader must adopt a certain attitude with regard to the text: he will reject allegorical as well as “poertic” interpretations.  The first and the third actually constitute the genre; the second may not be fulfilled. (Todorov

Ultimately, what we are looking for is not the supernatural or only the instances in which the traditional gothic tropes are challenged.  As Todorov writes, “we might indeed characterize such events as supernatural, but the supernatural, though a literary category, is not relevant here. We want to find the crux – not between real and the supernatural, but in which ‘the hesitation occurs between the real and the imaginary” (Todorov).

The Magic of the Fantastic Genre is the uncertainty. 

It isn’t the uncovering of the mystery, the end of the long hallway, leading you to the obscure figure which turns out to be the deranged ex wife of a wealthy man (Jane Eyre).  The marvel is in the journey.  It’s the constant feeling of existing between this world and another, not being able to stay afoot in either one.  The second you set both feet in one world you have reached a mainstream genre; thriller, mystery, horror, humorous.  There is no punchline but to feel that thought unravelling in your head, only to be turned over to repeat itself.

The Fantastic Genre

“The fantastic, we see, lasts only as long as a certain hesitation: a hesitation common to reader and character, who must decide whether or not what they perceive derives from ‘reality’ as it exists in the common opinion. […] If he decides that the laws of reality remain intact and permit an explanation of the phenomena described, we say that the work belongs to another genre: the uncanny. If, on the contrary, he decides that new laws of nature must be entertained to account for the phenomena, we enter the genre of the marvelous.” — Tzvetan Todorov

The storm never came, the clouds continue to engross my position -leaving me with that ambivalent feeling.  Yet, I find solace in this uncertainty, and I hope you too, will enjoy being on edge.  

How Reading more Fantastic Genre Will Make You a Better Reader

Fantastic Genre
The Fantastic Genre
  • It will improve your imagination
  • It will make you more American
  • You can be original
  • It blends between two worlds – It’s not quite terror and it’s not quite fantasy
  • It’s almost like being supernatural but not quite there so you can still say it’s realism
  • The feeling will linger even after you finish the story since it doesn’t conclude or uncover any mysteries, monsters or close chapter like other genres do

Modern Writers in the sub genre of the fantastic Genre Would Be:

Fantastic Genre
The Fantastic Genre
  • Neil Gaiman
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Ralph Adams
  • Jonathan Carroll
  • Peter Straub’s “Little Red”
  • Stephen king’s “The Ballad of the Flexible Bullet
  • Melanie and Steve Rasnis Tem’s “The Man on the Ceiling”
  • Dan Chaon’s “The Bees”
  • Brian Evensons’ “Body”

You can download many fantastic genre stories printed prior to 1923 on Gutenberg.

If you like this article, we have similar content studying communication from discourse theory, here.

On Writing Horror Willy Martinez

  • On Writing Horror amassed from an obsession to learn where the power of fear resides. An anthology of works studying the way in which writers evoke fear and how they may affect us. On Writing Fear is an index of terror, drawing from Aristotle, Longinus, Edmund Burke, Che Guevarra, Wordsworth, Foucault, H.P. Lovecraft, Todorov, and many more.

    Chapters include digital illustrations created by the author.

    Also available at the Apple iBookstore, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.

    A must have collection of research on the power of Horror- a tormented treatment of the human passions!

    Table of Contents for On Writing Horror

    Ch 1. Fear and War: Crafting the War on Terror Using Fear Appeals Ch 2. The Art of the Coup D'etat Ch 3. The Feminine Supernatural versus the Male Supernatural Writers Ch 4. Projecting Ghost Children to Find Identity Ch 5. The Supernatural Power of the Sublime in Wordsworth's Poetry Ch 6. Disorienting Characters with Haunted Spaces and Auditory Hallucinations Ch 7. Modern Ghosts Ch 8. The Fantastic in Fear Ch 9. The Fun Side of Fear: Faustus' Tricky Imp of Satan Ch 10. Glorifying Satan

    Some of the art included:

    [caption id="attachment_4846" align="alignnone" width="188"]Art for On Writing Horror Art for On Writing Horror[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4847" align="alignnone" width="200"]Art for On Writing Horror Art for On Writing Horror[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4848" align="alignnone" width="194"]Art for On Writing Horror Art for On Writing Horror[/caption]

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.

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Egyptian Horror Films You Have to Watch!

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Egyptology. My sister and I grew up watching documentaries about ancient civilizations during the Summers. She went on to earn a degree in history while I went on to write horror and study rhetoric. Yet, we both still love a good film based on ancient Egyptian culture. The list below are a few of my favorite films, some good, some are not so good (but who doesn’t love cheap horror cult-films?) My personal favorite is “The Pyramid” from 2014 – definitely the film you want to see out of all of these listed below.

Rage of the Mummy (2018)

Egyptian Horror Films You Have to Watch by Willy Martinez

Defying an ancient curse, a group of occultists steal thirteen sacred relics from the tomb of Prince Horus-Kan in order to feed their supernatural powers. Now, the three thousand year old mummy prince must hunt down the stolen relics and bring deadly vengeance upon the perpetrators. For Detectives Blake and Crawford, the body count is piling up. Can they stop the mummy from his deadly rampage?

Gods of Egypt (2016)

Mortal hero Bek teams with the god Horus in an alliance against Set, the merciless god of darkness, who has usurped Egypt’s throne, plunging the once peaceful and prosperous empire into Egyptian horror, chaos and conflict.

The Mummy (2017)

Egyptian Horror Films You Have to Watch by Willy Martinez

An ancient Egyptian princess is awakened from her crypt beneath the desert, bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia, and terrors that defy human comprehension.

The Scorpion King 4: Quest for Power (2015)

When he is betrayed by a trusted friend, Mathayus (Victor Webster) must marshal all his strength and cunning to outwit a formidable opponent who will stop at nothing to unlock a supreme ancient power.

Frankenstein vs. the Mummy (2015)

The mummy of a cursed pharaoh and a reanimated corpse terrorize a medical university. Only an Egyptologist and a college professor, the deranged Dr. Frankenstein, may be able to stop the creatures before it’s too late.

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Day of the Mummy (2014)

In hope of getting his hands on the famed diamond known as the Codix Stone, Jack Wells joins a group of archaeologists out to explore a newly discovered tomb in Egypt, that of the cursed king Neferu. When the Mummy of the king returns from the dead seeking human victims, Jack is in for the most horrifying experience of his life.

The Pyramid (2014)

Egyptian Horror Films You Have to Watch by Willy Martinez

An archaeological team attempts to unlock the secrets of a lost pyramid only to find themselves hunted by an insidious creature in this fantastic Egyptian Horror classic!

The Mummy Resurrected (2014)

A team of archaeologists discover an ancient mummy, unleashing a deadly curse from its eternal tomb.

If you are enjoying this list on Egyptian Horror films, check out some of our other Horror and Supernatural content on our blog thread here.

Isis Rising: Curse of the Lady Mummy (2013)

In ancient Egypt, Isis and Osiris ruled the land. All were happy for the couple except one, Set, a jealous man who killed Osiris in order to take over his kingdom. Isis snuck into Osiris’ tomb and tried to raise him from the dead using her black magic. Set caught Isis in the act and had Osiris cut to pieces, with each piece buried in a different part of the land, so Isis could never again raise her husband. Isis vowed to avenge Osiris’ death and return with him to rule over all the worlds. Now, six college students Kyle, Dustin, Felicia, Jay, Serena and Amy take their last course in archeology in anticipation for graduation.

Prisoners of the Sun (2013)

Egyptian Horror Films You Have to Watch by Willy Martinez

A multinational expedition discovers a lost city beneath a pyramid, where they must stop the reawakened gods of ancient Egypt horror from initiating the Apocalypse.

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008)

In the Far East, Alex O’Connell, the son of famed mummy fighters Rick and Evy O’Connell, unearths the mummy of the first Emperor of Qin — a shape-shifting entity cursed by a witch centuries ago.

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Mummy Maniac (2007)

Egyptian Horror Films You Have to Watch by Willy Martinez

A serial killer abducts young women and wraps them up a bit like mummies.

Sands of Oblivion (2007)

In 1923, legendary film Director Cecil B. DeMille finished the epic film, The Ten Commandments (1923). After filming was completed, he bulldozed the sets into the Guadalupe Sand Dunes of the central California coast. His reasons for doing so were very mysterious. This story gives a fictional explanation as to why he did it. There was a legitimate Egyptian artifact amongst the props, but they didn’t know which one was trapping the spirit of an Egyptian avenging god. Mysterious murders and accidents while making the film brings things back to the surface today, and it starts all over again.

The Mummy’s Kiss: 2nd Dynasty (2006)

An aging woman kisses a mummy on display in a museum. This is what remains of the evil sorceress, Hor Shep Sut, who is reawakened to her murderous ways.

If you are enjoying this list on Egyptian Horror films, check out some of our other Horror and Supernatural content on our blog thread here.

The Curse of King Tut’s Tomb (2006)

Egyptian Horror Films You Have to Watch by Willy Martinez

Thousands of years ago, the great Child King Tutankhamen ruled. Few know the details of his life no one knows the secrets of his death. But all is about to change. In 1922 Cairo, free-spirited archaeologist Danny Fremont is certain that if found, King Tut’s Emerald Tablet would hold the ultimate power to control the world. But unfortunately, the only person who believes Fremont is his ruthless archaeologist nemesis Morgan Sinclair, a member of a secret society who wants the tablet to harness unspeakable evil on the world and will stop at nothing to get it and then extend their world domination.

7 Mummies (2006)

Six escaped convicts and their female hostage make a desperate run for the Mexican border, where they stumble across a lost treasure of untold wealth, and find certain death instead on the Arizona desert.

On Writing Horror Willy Martinez

  • On Writing Horror amassed from an obsession to learn where the power of fear resides. An anthology of works studying the way in which writers evoke fear and how they may affect us. On Writing Fear is an index of terror, drawing from Aristotle, Longinus, Edmund Burke, Che Guevarra, Wordsworth, Foucault, H.P. Lovecraft, Todorov, and many more.

    Chapters include digital illustrations created by the author.

    Also available at the Apple iBookstore, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.

    A must have collection of research on the power of Horror- a tormented treatment of the human passions!

    Table of Contents for On Writing Horror

    Ch 1. Fear and War: Crafting the War on Terror Using Fear Appeals Ch 2. The Art of the Coup D'etat Ch 3. The Feminine Supernatural versus the Male Supernatural Writers Ch 4. Projecting Ghost Children to Find Identity Ch 5. The Supernatural Power of the Sublime in Wordsworth's Poetry Ch 6. Disorienting Characters with Haunted Spaces and Auditory Hallucinations Ch 7. Modern Ghosts Ch 8. The Fantastic in Fear Ch 9. The Fun Side of Fear: Faustus' Tricky Imp of Satan Ch 10. Glorifying Satan

    Some of the art included:

    [caption id="attachment_4846" align="alignnone" width="188"]Art for On Writing Horror Art for On Writing Horror[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4847" align="alignnone" width="200"]Art for On Writing Horror Art for On Writing Horror[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4848" align="alignnone" width="194"]Art for On Writing Horror Art for On Writing Horror[/caption]

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.

Night of Anubis (2005)

Egyptian Horror Films You Have to Watch by Willy Martinez

The mummy of a 3000 year-old criminal has been resurrected and is wreaking havoc in a large university town. An Egyptology professor and two of his students are the only people with the ability and know-how to destroy it. Their only hope is to race the undead creature to find the Amulet of Anubis, an ancient Egyptian horror artifact instilled with absolute power over life and death.

The Mummy’s Kiss (2003)

Egyptian Horror Films You Have to Watch by Willy Martinez

3000 years ago an Egyptian sorceress was buried alive for indulging forbidden pleasures of the flesh. Reincarnated in modern-day Los Angeles she is on a mission to track down the reincarnation of her ancient lost love.

The Bone Snatcher (2003)

After miners disappear in the Namib Desert, scientists find their remains and seek to find what killed them.

The Scorpion King (2002)

A desert warrior rises up against the evil army that is destroying his homeland. He captures the enemy’s key sorcerer, takes her deep into the desert and prepares for a final showdown.

If you are enjoying this list on Egyptian Horror films, check out some of our other Horror and Supernatural content on our blog thread here.

Bubba Ho-Tep (2002)

Elvis Presley and a black “JFK” stay in a nursing home where nothing happens – until a wayward Egyptian mummy comes and sucks out the old people’s souls thru their a-holes. The two decide to fight back.

The Mummy Returns (2001)

Egyptian Horror Films You Have to Watch by Willy Martinez

The mummified body of Imhotep is shipped to a museum in London, where he once again wakes and begins his campaign of rage and terror.

Belphegor: Phantom of the Louvre (2001)

At the Louvre museum in Paris, the phantom Belphegor wakes up and causes electrical havoc. Night guards at the museum start dying and Lisa gets possessed. Martin tries to help the cute Lisa.

The Mummy (1999)

Egyptian Horror Films You Have to Watch by Willy Martinez

At an archaeological dig in the ancient city of Hamunaptra, an American serving in the French Foreign Legion accidentally awakens a mummy who begins to wreak havoc as he searches for the reincarnation of his long-lost love.

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On Writing Horror Willy Martinez

  • On Writing Horror amassed from an obsession to learn where the power of fear resides. An anthology of works studying the way in which writers evoke fear and how they may affect us. On Writing Fear is an index of terror, drawing from Aristotle, Longinus, Edmund Burke, Che Guevarra, Wordsworth, Foucault, H.P. Lovecraft, Todorov, and many more.

    Chapters include digital illustrations created by the author.

    Also available at the Apple iBookstore, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.

    A must have collection of research on the power of Horror- a tormented treatment of the human passions!

    Table of Contents for On Writing Horror

    Ch 1. Fear and War: Crafting the War on Terror Using Fear Appeals Ch 2. The Art of the Coup D'etat Ch 3. The Feminine Supernatural versus the Male Supernatural Writers Ch 4. Projecting Ghost Children to Find Identity Ch 5. The Supernatural Power of the Sublime in Wordsworth's Poetry Ch 6. Disorienting Characters with Haunted Spaces and Auditory Hallucinations Ch 7. Modern Ghosts Ch 8. The Fantastic in Fear Ch 9. The Fun Side of Fear: Faustus' Tricky Imp of Satan Ch 10. Glorifying Satan

    Some of the art included:

    [caption id="attachment_4846" align="alignnone" width="188"]Art for On Writing Horror Art for On Writing Horror[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4847" align="alignnone" width="200"]Art for On Writing Horror Art for On Writing Horror[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4848" align="alignnone" width="194"]Art for On Writing Horror Art for On Writing Horror[/caption]

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.

The Sky – Award Winning Cosmic Horror Shor

It’s Friday and we thought we would share some short horror with you all. But it’s not just regular horror… it’s that Lovecraftian Cosmic Horror. From another world type shit.

It’s not often you can find a good film relating to the interstellar terrors of Lovecraft. But we think we found one you might just like below.

As the world commences its end, a young runaway must figure out if she has chosen the right person to spend her final moments with. Directed by: Matt Sears Written by: Ryan Grundy Starring: Chloe Fox Charlotte Christof Cinematography: Jay Slater Music by: Tangelene Bolton Editing and Post Production: Matt Sears

Should you wish to peruse more of our Horror picks, check out our Reviews here.

If you love cosmic horror go check out the director’s short trailer for THE GATE https://youtu.be/BruiisujNJY

Movie Review of Stephen King’s “Doctor Sleep”

Movie Review of Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep, written by Horror Author, A.R. Braun.

This is my new favorite movie, based on the Stephen King novel. Now that you know I’m biased, I’ll explain why this film is so great: It’s a Kubrick sequel. It could’ve been called The Shining 2.

How can it be Kubrick when the man is dead?

Movie Review of Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

It’s directed similar to how the master did it, a brilliant job by Mike Flanagan. No croquet mallets, no hedge animals—though I love the hedge animals—and the Overlook hasn’t burned down. I’m saying it’s not true to the book. But when you’re Kubrick, or Kubrick-like, your genius can get away with anything.

Oh yeah, the plot. In 1980, little Danny Torrance (Roger Dale Floyd) lives with his mother—You remember Wendy, played by the actress who portrayed Olive Oil, now played by Alex Eddie—and after the trauma and utter devastation they suffered at the Overlook Hotel—you know, that nasty bit of business of Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) trying to ax his family to death—Danny, shining like the sun, finds comfort in the ghost of Dick Hallorann (Carl Lumbly). The ghosts from the Overlook still haunt Danny, but Dick teaches him how to bind the hungry spirits from the hotel by locking them in imaginary boxes.

Review by Horror Writer, A.R. Braun. Check out his Dark Fiction masterpiece, “Grimoire,” here.

Enter 2011. Danny now goes by Dan, and is an alcoholic, just like his father. Following a pathetic display of desperation with his one-night stand and her baby—his rock bottom—Dan decides to, on a whim, take a bus to a small New Hampshire town, where he meets the man that’ll change his life: Billy Freeman (Cliff Curtis), a dry alcie who sees a lot of himself in Dan and gives him a job running a kiddie train, plus taking him to AA meetings and setting him up with an apartment. Dr. John (Bruce Greenwood), who runs the AA meetings, gets Dan a job as an orderly in a nursing home, and Dan follows the white cat who instinctually goes to the room of whoever’s going to die, every time. Then Dan calms those afraid of death so they can let go, a.k.a. “Dr. Sleep.”

Movie Review of Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep

But a group, unbeknownst to Dan, is murdering children.

We meet Abra, (Kyliegh Curran)—she’s magic, like cadabra—a schoolgirl whose Shining is off the charts. She telepathically contacts Dan for help, knowing a group of adults has killed a little boy, then shows up in his town, where Dan refuses to help because of her age.

Enter the ultimate villain, Rose the Hat (Rebecca Ferguson). She leads her merry band of psychic vampires, who live like gypsies and kill kids, then eat their Shining so they can live way longer than most people, if you want to call them people. “Eat well, live long,” says Rose. They aren’t immortal, however.

And now Rose has picked up on Abra with her psychic antenna—the strongest Shiner ever—and the group goes after her.


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But wait, there’s more!

Movie Review of Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep

Dan brings Billy on a road trip and finds the little boys’ corpse, which confirms that Abra was right. Dan changes his mind about helping her when he finds that the vamps want her, and agrees to help Abra. He picks her up after he and Billy kill all of the group but Rose. Yet Rose drank all the remaining stored Shining’s, and is so powerful, that, to have a chance, Dan has to take Abra to the Overlook Hotel—now closed down after that mess with Jack—and wake it up so he can unlock the boxes he’s storing the ghosts in so they’ll come after Rose and devour her, for they’re starving for Shining.

Will Rose defeat Dan and eat Abra alive? Or will she kill both of them? Will she add Abra to her next group? Or will Dan and Abra defeat her?

It’s important to note that, now that Stephenie Meyer has ruined Vampires with the Twlight saga, Stephen King (and his son, Joe Hill), are writing about psychic vampires. Brilliant!

Don’t miss this one!

Review by Horror Writer, A.R. Braun. Check out his Dark Fiction masterpiece, “Grimoire,” here.

More Reviews by A.R. Braun Below… if you dare.

Midsommar Movie Review by A. R. Braun

The Following Midsommar movie review was written by dark fiction author, A.R. Braun, to be released on the Ritual Blog for Mind on Fire Books.

I put off watching this film because it seemed artsy-fartsy. Don’t make that mistake. Ari Aster’s second horror movie after Hereditary WILL freak you out. If you’ve seen Hereditary, then you know the kind of scares to expect.

Dani (Florence Pugh), a psychiatry major, mourns—traumatized—after her mentally ill sister kills herself AND her parents with carbon monoxide.

Scene from Midsommar Film. For review on Mind on Fire Books

Her boyfriend, Christian (Jack Reynor)—a cultural anthropology student—holds her tight and helps her grieve, but also wants to dump her because she’s never in the mood. This is an attitude that’s written in stone by his buddies, Mark (Will Poulter) and Josh (William Jackson Harper), who simply don’t like her, except for . . .

. . . Pelle (Vilhelm Blomgren), their Swedish friend, who, it turns out, has invited the boys to Midsommar, a celebration at Pelle’s ancestral commune, the Hårga, in Sweden. The celebration occurs only once every 90 years, and anthropology student Josh desires to write this thesis on it. Dani inadvertently invites herself to Midsommar, then is more than touched when Pelle expresses his sincere condolences about what happened to her family, making her run to the bathroom to weep. In fact, Pelle wins her over, telling her, if it wasn’t for his non-biological new family in Sweden, he wouldn’t know what he’d do (not verbatim).

But the foursome couldn’t fathom what they’re in for.

The group takes a plane to Sweden and drives, then walks to the commune, where they meet Simon and Connie (Archie Madekwe and Ellora Torchia), a British couple from London who were invited by Pelle’s communal brother, Ingemar. Simon offers the group ‘shrooms, and Dani has hallucinations of Terri, her sister, while under the drug’s influence. Mark, however, freaks out, unable to take the trip, telling the others to lay down like him.

Enter what Algernon Blackwood would’ve called a “series of shocks,” or “grotesqueries.”

At the twisted tradition of ättestupa the group learns that the cult kills themselves at seventy-two years of age. This scene is brutality realized.

Things amp-up from there, where a redhead sets her sights on Dani’s boyfriend, and puts—gulp—her pubes in his meal. If you like the band, HammerFall, you’ll love what happens to Josh when he sneaks into the holiest of holies to snap a picture of their sacred book, after being forbidden to do so.

Scene from Midsommar Film. Movie Review by A.R. Braun

The human sacrifices have begun . . . of the Americans . . . and Pelle tells Dani his family is her family (not verbatim). When Dani catches her boyfriend screwing the redhead, she falls apart . . . but the Swedish females fall apart WITH her. (See, her new fam-il-y.)

By the end, she’ll warm-up to it, in a hideous way.

This film and Hereditary are at the top of my Blu-ray rack, and with good reason. Ari Aster is one of the few American writer/directors making genuinely shocking horror movies right now. Don’t miss either of them! And if you do, it’s your own fault.

About the Reviewer
A.R. Braun on Mind on Fire Books

Review by Horror Writer, A.R. Braun. Check out his latest short story, “Little Ghoul,” here.

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.

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