The Saturday Night Special: Christopher Lee Reads Edgar Allan Poe

I ran across this on YouTube some time back, but only today decided that it would make an excellent Saturday Night Special for Halloween night.

Christopher Lee is one of the most recognized horror icons of the 20th century. His reading of the works of Poe is spine-chilling. I hope you enjoy them.

Sean Connery Has Died at Age 90

If you haven’t heard, this morning CNN is reporting that Sean Connery has died peacefully in his sleep.

Of course, he was one of my favorite actors from the time I was a child. He is one of the first actors I remember from my childhood. Having been born in 1957, I grew up with 007. I dreamed of being a spy. It is therefore not surprising that later on in life, when I entered military service, I went into Naval Intelligence, though of course I had no delusions of becoming anything remotely like the flamboyant spy Sean Connery portrayed.

I have read only one James Bond novel, Casino Royale, which was a terrific, fun. I recommend it highly. The film starring Daniel Craig was as reasonably close to the book by Ian Fleming as films go. Forget the silly 1967 parody starring Peter Sellers. Fleming’s writing style is clear and concise, though not as abrupt and terse as Hemingway’s. This was a book designed (or at least so it seems to me) to be an enjoyable summer read on the beach.

When I get more time, I hope to read more of the bond novels.

As will millions of others, I feel the loss even though I haven’t seem him in a movie since 2003’s (unfortunately abysmal) League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

Requiescat in pace, 007.

Happy Halloween!

Here’s wishing each of you a fun Halloween!

Phil Slattery portrait
Phil Slattery March, 2015

As you no doubt noticed, I have selected another theme style for my website. After having had the last one for several years, I re-evaluated it and decided to improve my marketing and branding by improving the readability of my website. Therefore, I chose a simpler design (not surprisingly called “Hemingway Rewritten”) with higher contrast then enlarged the font and simplified it by going with a non-serif similar to Word’s popular Arial. I also designed a better header in which I used a public domain image available from Pixabay.com. I think these few touches will improve its readability greatly. I will be tweaking the website over the next few weeks. Though it is still way too early to tell, I may be getting a few more visitors than usual this morning, but we will see how it’s going after a week.

Let me know your thoughts on the new design and if you have any recommendations.

Don’t forget to like, comment, and follow.

Hasta luego.

Photo of man wearing a coronavirus mask
Prevent the spread of Coronavirus/COVID-19 for the sake of yourself, your friends, and your family.

A Tale of Hell Now Available at Your Local Bookstore by Print on Demand.

As of October 23, 2020, A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror is being printed and distributed by IngramSpark. With their immense distribution network of over 39,000 retailers, A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror is now available by print on demand. Be sure to ask for it at your local book retailer. It will continue to be sold via Amazon in Kindle and in print (though the IngramSpark version will be much nicer).

In this collection of published and previously unpublished stories of horror, I take you on a journey into the minds of people who perpetrate horrors, from acts of stupidity with unintended results to cold-hearted revenge to pure enjoyment to complete indifference. Settings range from 17th-century France in the heart of the werewolf trials to the Old West to the present and on to alien worlds in the distant future. Order yours today!

A Tale of Hell Now Available at Your Local Bookstore by Print on Demand.

As of October 23, 2020, A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror is being printed and distributed by IngramSpark. With their immense distribution network of over 39,000 retailers, A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror is now available by print on demand. Be sure to ask for it at your local book retailer. It will continue to be sold via Amazon in Kindle and in print (though the IngramSpark version will be much nicer).

In this collection of published and previously unpublished stories of horror, I take you on a journey into the minds of people who perpetrate horrors, from acts of stupidity with unintended results to cold-hearted revenge to pure enjoyment to complete indifference. Settings range from 17th-century France in the heart of the werewolf trials to the Old West to the present and on to alien worlds in the distant future. Order yours today!

From YouTube: The History of Hell

Religion for Breakfast is one of my favorite YouTube channels. The host, Andrew Henry, does a phenomenal job of researching and presenting his videos. I recommend following his channel highly.

Considering that Halloween is tomorrow and that I have written a couple of stories involving Hell (and plan to write more), I thought I would relay this wonderful video to my faithful followers. I watched this a few weeks ago and it is very informative. I knew some of these points from my own research into Hell for my writings, but Andrew does a terrific job of bringing it all together into a well thought out synopsis.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

Of course, if you are new to this website and to my works, don’t forget to check out my horror anthology A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror. Following the link will take you to its Amazon page, where you can purchase it in either paperback or on Kindle. However, I have also recently published it with IngramSpark making it available in paperback via print on demand in over 39,000 retailers worldwide. Ask for it at your local bookshop.

In all honestly, I believe the paperback version available from bookstores is far superior to the one available from Amazon. They are about the same price.

Hasta luego.

Photo of woman in red turtleneck with face mask
Prevent the spread of the Coronavirus/COVID-19. Follow federal, state, and local guidelines. Use common sense when the guidelines are insufficient.

A Tale of Hell Now Available at Your Local Bookstore by Print on Demand.

As of October 23, 2020, A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror is being printed and distributed by IngramSpark. With their immense distribution network of over 39,000 retailers, A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror is now available by print on demand. Be sure to ask for it at your local book retailer. It will continue to be sold via Amazon in Kindle and in print (though the IngramSpark version will be much nicer).

In this collection of published and previously unpublished stories of horror, I take you on a journey into the minds of people who perpetrate horrors, from acts of stupidity with unintended results to cold-hearted revenge to pure enjoyment to complete indifference. Settings range from 17th-century France in the heart of the werewolf trials to the Old West to the present and on to alien worlds in the distant future. Order yours today!

From YouTube: Wicca Explained

I saw this while at lunch today. This is quite an interesting introduction to what is and is not the Wiccan religion. I thought this might be something that might appeal to my audience considering that Halloween is almost upon us.

I discovered the YouTube channel ReligionforBreakfast recently and I enjoy it a lot. I have always had an interest in spiritual matters, particularly regarding how they relate to Christianity (you may see hints of this crop up in my writing from time to time). The host, Andrew Henry, does a excellent job is presenting his videos and an outstanding job in researching them from a scholarly perspective. I highly recommend following this channel if you have an interest in the history of Christianity.

In this episode, Andrew veers from his usual subjects and explores the origins and beliefs of Wicca. There are some surprising revelations in this video, but if you check out his sources, you will see that his findings have been well researched.

I hope you enjoy this video as much as I did.

Hasta luego.

Photoshopped painting of the Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci wearing a medical face mask to prevent spreading COVID-19/Coronavirus
Prevent the spread of the Coronavirus/COVID-19.

A Tale of Hell Now Available at Your Local Bookstore by Print on Demand.

As of October 23, 2020, A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror is being printed and distributed by IngramSpark. With their immense distribution network of over 39,000 retailers, A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror is now available by print on demand. Be sure to ask for it at your local book retailer. It will continue to be sold via Amazon in Kindle and in print (though the IngramSpark version will be much nicer).

In this collection of published and previously unpublished stories of horror, I take you on a journey into the minds of people who perpetrate horrors, from acts of stupidity with unintended results to cold-hearted revenge to pure enjoyment to complete indifference. Settings range from 17th-century France in the heart of the werewolf trials to the Old West to the present and on to alien worlds in the distant future. Order yours today!

Announcement: Publication in The Sirens Call E-Zine

Slattery
Aztec, New Mexico 2017

I am proud to announce that today three of my works of horror microfiction (“Shadow Men”, “The River of Lost Souls”, and “Walking through Downtown”) were published in The Sirens Call E-Zine. Please feel free to take a moment to visit their wonderful online magazine. You will find my stories on pages 19, 53, and 54. You will also find an ad publicizing A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror on page 170, but it is the same one as I have on the homepage of my website.

Let me know what you think of my stories.

Hasta luego. Wear your mask.

Update October 26, 2020: Book Covers and Progress on Shadows and Stars

I was going through my electronic files tonight and came across a couple of alternate covers for a couple of my works. I thought I would post them up just to show them off. I don’t think I have posted them before, but I might have. Let me know what you think of them.

Of course, once they are posted here, I will post them on Pinterest, thus generating a smidgen more publicity for the works shown.

Also, I have been working steadily on Shadows and Stars over the weekend. I am making some good progress. I am editing it page by page trying to get a reasonably complete draft. I think I will make it, but I don’t know when I will have it done. Right now, I am on page 71 of about 300. I really like what I have accomplished over the last week or so. I am trying to refine it down to a gnat’s ass with supporting details, clues as to what will happen (but not foreshadowing per se). Tonight I have been working on describing an alien carnival. I have to use my imagination to show things that set the stage for future events while saying something about the nature of the alien society. It’s quite an interesting journey. I get to visit a fiesta on another world–at least in my mind.

Take care and hasta luego. Wear your mask.

Let me know what you think of the covers. I might use them some day.

Notes on “The Possession Experiment”

About 3:00 I finished talking to my wife (in Texas) via Messenger intending to go to bed soon. But first, I thought, I will watch a little of a movie on Amazon. In all the times I have told myself that, it has never worked out as I planned.

I chose the 2016 horror flick “The Possession Experiment”, which is about a college student who starts out writing who intends to interview a priest who conducted and exorcism as part of a project for his theology class. However, he eventually decides to go much further and actually be possessed by a demon.

It is now 4:44 a.m. and although I am drawing close to the end of the movie, I paused to write down a few notes.

  1. This is a good movie. It’s not great, but it is not bad and it is fun.
  2. The movie, initially, has a lot of dramatic tension for the first two-thirds, but no gore. At the hour mark though, the gore and horror began and keep building.
  3. The acting is good…for the most part. The actors playing Brandon (the protagonist), Clay (Brandon’s classmate), and Leda (a medical student they hire to monitor Brandon’s vital signs during the possession) all do well. I think Clay does the best though. One failing of the movie is that the lines written for Brandon’s dad sound like they were written by a drunken eight-year-old, though the rest of the writing is reasonably bood. It does not help though that the actor playing Brandon’s dad is terrible and is awkward in his delivery. He might do well at narrating corporate workplace safety videos, but that’s it.
  4. I like the character of Brandon. The actor (I don’t know his name) does well portraying a college student who is a little “out there” to begin with and who becomes increasingly twisted as the story progresses. That said, I think the actor portraying Clay does better and the actress playing Leda (I disagree with the idea of calling all performers actors by negating their gender; I give credit where credit is due) does well also.
  5. There is at least one major gaffe when the trio goes to the place for the exorcism and brings a woman with them, but who she is is not revealed (not even her name) until a few minutes later. I was startled to see an additional character following them into the spot chosen for the possession with no mention of her being made previously.
  6. Nevertheless, this movie is worth watching.
  7. The horror ramps up in the last half hour.

That’s all for now. I might write more later but felt I needed to get those thoughts down right away.

Hasta luego. Wear your mask.

UPDATE 1:47 p.m. October 25:

Of course, I finished watching the movie a few minutes after the last post. Suffice it to say that I enjoyed the ending. The horror and tension ramp up more and more the closer one comes to the ending.

I recommend watching this movie on Amazon as part of a subscription or renting it from Redbox or another low-cost source, but I wouldn’t buy the DVD or pay for a theater ticket.

Update October 24, 2020: Progress on Shadows and Stars

Over the last few days I have been working on Shadows and Stars. Currently, I am editing a scene where Mikash and Daryn go to a festival of ivory in the capitol city of Janhalo. As I am not familiar with sculpting ivory, I did a little research on it yesterday. Right now, I am working on developing a better description of an alien city than the one I have currently. Therefore, I went onto YouTube and looked up “Unusual skyscrapers” to stimulate my imagination. The first video I found is really fascinating and has some humor (check out the unofficial names for some of these towers), so I thought I would post it here.

Take care. Wear your mask.

A Tale of Hell Now Available at Your Local Bookstore by Print on Demand.

As of October 23, 2020, A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror is being printed and distributed by IngramSpark. With their immense distribution network of over 39,000 retailers, A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror is now available by print on demand. Be sure to ask for it at your local book retailer. It will continue to be sold via Amazon in Kindle and in print (though the IngramSpark version will be much nicer).

In this collection of published and previously unpublished stories of horror, I take you on a journey into the minds of people who perpetrate horrors, from acts of stupidity with unintended results to cold-hearted revenge to pure enjoyment to complete indifference. Settings range from 17th-century France in the heart of the werewolf trials to the Old West to the present and on to alien worlds in the distant future. Order yours today!

Diabolical: Three Tales of Vengeance and the Sorcerer Jack Thurston is Free Today

Diabolical
The new cover for Diabolical as of October 2020.

Today, Diabolical: Three Tales of Vengeance and the Sorcerer Jack Thurston is free. Follow this link to get your Kindle ebook edition.

Jack Thurston is a retired professor of medieval literature and history. He is also a widower and father and a retired sorcerer who has returned to the black arts to exact revenge for the death of his wife, daughter, and brother. He has an intriguing position in the universe at a focal point of life, the afterlife, logic and reason, anger and hatred, the ancient and the modern worlds, grief and his attempts to escape grief through self-destruction. Though he wants to have the peace he once found with his wife, Agatha, he is pulled in many directions by circumstance and by his powerful negative emotions.

I am a fan of the old school horror practiced by such authors as H.P. Lovecraft, Poe, Edward Lucas White, and Arthur Machen.  I endeavor to make a story as terrifying and suspenseful for the reader as possible without resorting to gratuitous blood and gore for a simple shock or quick feeling of disgust.

Reader Edward Z says about these three tales:

“Three of the stories feature a sorcerer named Jack Thurston, who is a really well done evil sort of character and the best of the bunch in my opinion. The author methodically goes through his rather complicated and gross preparations for the spells and it adds a bit more weight to them then usually found in these kinds of stories.”

Reader Tabs says about this collection of three tales:

“I very much enjoyed this short read. It was interesting and allowed for me to develop great imagery. Will recommend to friends.”

This collection of three short tales is perfect for those who have only a few short breaks to escape into the hidden world of horror, black magic, sorcery, and anger-fueled revenge. They are included in the collection A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror.

You can find this and other works at my Amazon author’s page:  www.amazon.com/author/philslattery.

 If you enjoy horror, check out my collection of horror short stories A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror: Stories of wizards, werewolves, serial killers, alien worlds, and the damnedwhich includes these stories.

Show your appreciation for these stories by leaving a review on amazon.com/author/philslattery or Goodreads or any other social media.

Don’t forget to like, comment, and follow.

The Scent and Other Stories: the Dark Side of Love is Free Today on Amazon Kindle

Cover for The Scent and Other Stories as of Oct 2020
The new cover for “The Scent and Other Stories” as of October 2020

In this collection of short stories, I explore the dark, sometimes violent, sometimes twisted, sometimes touching side of love, the side kept not only from public view, but sometimes from our mates. Set in the modern era, these stories range from regretting losing a lover to forbidden interracial love in the hills of 1970’s Kentucky to a mother’s deathbed confession in present-day New Mexico to debating pursuing a hateful man’s wife to the callous manipulation of a lover in Texas. 

To order your free Kindle edition, visit my webpage for the Kindle version of The Scent and Other Stories.

Follow this link to purchase The Scent and Other Stories in paperback (although that edition is not currently free).

To view my other works, visit my Amazon author’s page at: www.amazon.com/author/philslattery.

Comments on stories contained in The Scent and Other Stories include:

The Scent

“This story has a lovely dreamy quality whilst being unsettling too. It lingers on half processed emotional experiences and leaves the reader asking ‘what if’ and ‘if only’ – feelings that are familiar for so many people.”

“You wrote about something we can all relate to – how, out of the blue, the scent of something evokes a memory of something long past; and the emotions we felt at the time! A clever story …”

“This descriptive piece about remembrance, the thought of what might have been, is a common sad thread that will resonate with those have experienced the pain of that one love lost. Slattery’s use of scent was exquisite as we feel Quinn’s pain and hope that he finds his peace, at last.”

Decision

“Fantastic writing – I held my breath for most of the story. The descriptions of the countryside and the people were beautiful and the tension compelling. This could possibly be the start of a novel or a suite of stories. Thank you very much and good luck with your writing in the future”

“Suspenseful and engaging. The dialogue and descriptions kept pace with the action. Well done.”

A Good Man

“Lots of detail examining an old question of how do you judge a person’s life. It left me wondering.”

“Great job capturing the social climate of the sixties. Good choice for how to present the story – deathbed “confession” by the mother. I enjoyed it.”

The Slightest of Indiscretions

“Excellent writing brings this poignant story to life and makes the reader work to understand more of what might be. Very many thanks for a satisfying, emotionally intelligent read…”

If you enjoy poems about love, check out my poetry collection Nocturne: Poems of Love, Distance, and the Night, a callous and disinterested lover, which is available in both Kindle and paperback.

Diabolical: Three Tales of Vengeance and the Sorcerer Jack Thurston is Free Today

Diabolical
The new cover for Diabolical as of October 2020.

 

Today, Diabolical: Three Tales of Vengeance and the Sorcerer Jack Thurston is free. Follow this link to get your Kindle ebook edition.

Jack Thurston is a retired professor of medieval literature and history. He is also a widower and father and a retired sorcerer who has returned to the black arts to exact revenge for the death of his wife, daughter, and brother. He has an intriguing position in the universe at a focal point of life, the afterlife, logic and reason, anger and hatred, the ancient and the modern worlds, grief and his attempts to escape grief through self-destruction. Though he wants to have the peace he once found with his wife, Agatha, he is pulled in many directions by circumstance and by his powerful negative emotions.

I am a fan of the old school horror practiced by such authors as H.P. Lovecraft, Poe, Edward Lucas White, and Arthur Machen.  I endeavor to make a story as terrifying and suspenseful for the reader as possible without resorting to gratuitous blood and gore for a simple shock or quick feeling of disgust.

Reader Edward Z says about these three tales:

“Three of the stories feature a sorcerer named Jack Thurston, who is a really well done evil sort of character and the best of the bunch in my opinion. The author methodically goes through his rather complicated and gross preparations for the spells and it adds a bit more weight to them then usually found in these kinds of stories.”

Reader Tabs says about this collection of three tales:

“I very much enjoyed this short read. It was interesting and allowed for me to develop great imagery. Will recommend to friends.”

This collection of three short tales is perfect for those who have only a few short breaks to escape into the hidden world of horror, black magic, sorcery, and anger-fueled revenge. They are included in the collection A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror.

You can find this and other works at my Amazon author’s page:  www.amazon.com/author/philslattery.

 If you enjoy horror, check out my collection of horror short stories A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror: Stories of wizards, werewolves, serial killers, alien worlds, and the damnedwhich includes these stories.

Show your appreciation for these stories by leaving a review on amazon.com/author/philslattery or Goodreads or any other social media.

Don’t forget to like, comment, and follow.

Update on Status of Click

I was surprised today to run across today’s Amazon ratings for Click and find out this:

First of all, these are probably the highest day-to-day ratings that Click has earned. It seems to be growing in popularity.

Second, I was surprised that it ranked out in LGBT Action and Adventure. In the story, only two minor characters are LGBT. Still, I am glad to have the rating. It’s always interesting to see what parts of a story readers will key on.

Follow this link to find Click on Amazon.

Don’t forget to like, comment, and follow.

Hasta luego.

The Scent and Other Stories: the Dark Side of Love is Free Today on Amazon Kindle

Cover for The Scent and Other Stories as of Oct 2020
The new cover for “The Scent and Other Stories” as of October 2020

In this collection of short stories, I explore the dark, sometimes violent, sometimes twisted, sometimes touching side of love, the side kept not only from public view, but sometimes from our mates. Set in the modern era, these stories range from regretting losing a lover to forbidden interracial love in the hills of 1970’s Kentucky to a mother’s deathbed confession in present-day New Mexico to debating pursuing a hateful man’s wife to the callous manipulation of a lover in Texas. 

To order your free Kindle edition, visit my webpage for the Kindle version of The Scent and Other Stories.

Follow this link to purchase The Scent and Other Stories in paperback (although that edition is not currently free).

To view my other works, visit my Amazon author’s page at: www.amazon.com/author/philslattery.

Comments on stories contained in The Scent and Other Stories include:

The Scent

“This story has a lovely dreamy quality whilst being unsettling too. It lingers on half processed emotional experiences and leaves the reader asking ‘what if’ and ‘if only’ – feelings that are familiar for so many people.”

“You wrote about something we can all relate to – how, out of the blue, the scent of something evokes a memory of something long past; and the emotions we felt at the time! A clever story …”

“This descriptive piece about remembrance, the thought of what might have been, is a common sad thread that will resonate with those have experienced the pain of that one love lost. Slattery’s use of scent was exquisite as we feel Quinn’s pain and hope that he finds his peace, at last.”

Decision

“Fantastic writing – I held my breath for most of the story. The descriptions of the countryside and the people were beautiful and the tension compelling. This could possibly be the start of a novel or a suite of stories. Thank you very much and good luck with your writing in the future”

“Suspenseful and engaging. The dialogue and descriptions kept pace with the action. Well done.”

A Good Man

“Lots of detail examining an old question of how do you judge a person’s life. It left me wondering.”

“Great job capturing the social climate of the sixties. Good choice for how to present the story – deathbed “confession” by the mother. I enjoyed it.”

The Slightest of Indiscretions

“Excellent writing brings this poignant story to life and makes the reader work to understand more of what might be. Very many thanks for a satisfying, emotionally intelligent read…”

If you enjoy poems about love, check out my poetry collection Nocturne: Poems of Love, Distance, and the Night, a callous and disinterested lover, which is available in both Kindle and paperback.