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Month: April 2022

Healthy Fears Podcast – Episode 21: You Are Never Seen Again

Sometimes, people disappear. There is something uniquely terrifying and captivating about the prospect of vanishing, or having someone you care about vanish. Even when there is a likely answer, the lack of absolute certainty regarding the fate of the missing can produce mysteries that puzzle us for decades or even centuries. From the Roanoke colonists, to the passengers of the Mary Celeste, to the works of Ambrose Bierce, and Joan Lindsay’s classic Picnic at Hanging Rock, our fascination with and fear of unexplained disappearances can be strong enough to encourage the confusion of fact with fiction. READ MORE

Healthy Fears Episode 18 – Depths of Hatred

Hatred is not strictly an unproductive, seemingly unnatural emotion. Sometimes hate is understandable, and even a motivation, if directed against an injustice or imbalance. Unfortunately, we too often see it deployed in service of maintaining injustices or imbalances, by powerful people who want to keep–or grow–their wealth and influence. This episode opens with the relatable hatred felt by the character Iraxi, from Zin E. Rocklyn’s novella Flowers for the Sea, and ends with prejudiced, manipulated, and ultimately violent hatred found in the 1976 film Canoa: A Shameful Memory. READ MORE

Healthy Fears Episode 17 – The Electric Chair and Three Shocking Years

The electric chair was once the go-to method of execution in the United States, and “the chair” still holds a unique position in America’s history of capital punishment. In aftermath of more than a decade of debates about how “cruel and unusual” execution may or not be, four horror movies emerged over the course three years in the 1980’s. Prison, Destroyer, The Horror Show (aka House III), and Shocker are all films about criminals who die in the chair, only to come back to life newly empowered to kill. One of those movies, however, stands apart from the others in an important way… READ MORE

Pre-Order THE SPITE HOUSE

My debut novel, THE SPITE HOUSE, will be published by Tor Nightfire on February 7th, 2023. That’s a few seasons away, but not so far away that you shouldn’t pre-order now. It’s available at Barnes & Noble, and booksellers everywhere, likely including a local bookseller near you, if you’re inclined to support independent bookstores (like a few favorites in my neck of the woods, where it’s currently available, The Twig Bookshop, Nowhere Bookshop, and Austin’s famous Bookpeople).

About THE SPITE HOUSE:

The Babadook meets A Headful of Ghosts in Texas Hill Country.

Eric Ross is on the run from a mysterious past with his two daughters in tow. Having left his wife, his house, his whole life behind in Maryland, he’s desperate for money–it’s not easy to find steady, safe work when you can’t provide references, you can’t stay in one place for long, and you’re paranoid that your past is creeping back up on you.

When he comes across the strange ad for the Masson House in Degener, Texas, Eric thinks they may have finally caught a lucky break. The Masson property, notorious for being one of the most haunted places in Texas, needs a caretaker of sorts. The owner is looking for proof of paranormal activity. All they need to do is stay in the house and keep a detailed record of everything that happens there. Provided the house’s horrors don’t drive them all mad, like the caretakers before them.

The job calls to Eric, not just because there’s a huge payout if they can make it through, but because he wants to explore the secrets of the spite house. If it is indeed haunted, maybe it’ll help him understand the uncanny power that clings to his family, driving them from town to town, making them afraid to stop running. A terrifying Gothic thriller about grief and death and the depths of a father’s love, Johnny Compton’s The Spite House is a stunning debut by a horror master in the making.