Welcome, Welcome. Come in, come in and grab a drink, avoid the guy in the corner, he smells funny & to be honest we don’t know who he is & way too scared to ask him to leave.
I thought we could kick off tonight’s celebrations with a few words from Shaun Hamilton & Mark West about the HHHB then move on to our Halloween and horror messages from Gary McMahon & Colin Black Abyss while our heads deflate!
First let me remind you of our competitions to celebrate this monumental occasion.
Comp 1- So its MY birthday & I demand you all to dress up in Halloween customs & send your pics. The three I like the most will get a trick or treat through the post (wear a bio-hazard suit for the next few days collecting the post, just in case!) Send them by the 1st Nov, 00:00 GMT so our overseas friends can join the fun!
Comp 2- Tomorrow night we will publish 3 questions about the blog, send in your answers into the comment box & at the end of this week Birthday/Halloween special we will pull three names out of a hat. The Prize? We’re going to be mean with another trick or treat prize for the winners!
So get snapping away & send in the best you got!
Here’s Shaun Hamilton & Mark West with what the blog has meant to them over the year…
Shaun was with the blog right from it’s first steps, he brought with him his own style interviews that were ever so popular & some great in-depth reviews since then he has gone on to be published in Alt Zombie and Ill at Ease 2. Here is what he had to say…
366 Days Ago – When 11 became 12 And I Experienced Something Different
366 days ago, when the boring leap year stuff people always talk about on February 29th was just a long way away, I published my very first article. Alongside it was the very first interview I had ever been asked to conceive. And hot on the heels of that was the very first review someone had ever asked me to do beyond Amazon and Goodreads.
366 days ago I was both as proud as the Devil is of Jimmy Savile and as nervous as a teenager in Jim’s Clunk Click audience. It felt like the day I finally passed my driving test (four times I took that fecking test! Nazi-loving examiners didn’t take kindly to my aiming for those people doing my head in: AKA the general public). You see, this was the first time anyone – and I really do mean anyone – had asked me to write for them. Before this I didn’t know what it felt like to have someone say: “would you like to write…” to me. Before this I always believed my writing was little more than derisory rubbish. I mean, enough agents and publishers had told me as such so why wouldn’t I think the same (okay, maybe not in so many words but their photocopied refusal notices said it in everything but). Don’t get me wrong I still feel that a lot of the time, but 367 days ago I felt it all of the time.
That 1 day made a big difference.
Since then I have realised what it means to be asked to submit something for publication because my stories are in Alt-Zombie and Mark West’s, Stephen Bacon’s and Neil Williams’s soon-to-be-published ILL AT EASE 2 (working title) with some other amazing writers. I’ve discovered what difference a review can make. I’ve interviewed some amazing authors who have been kind enough to pour praise on my interview techniques whilst revealing some trade secrets at the same time.
A couple of weeks ago I was told a story about a writer who had taken offense because she’d written something for a website but the website didn’t want to publish it – or they did want to but not at that point in time. Something like that. Anyway, it retribution the author chose to lead a hate campaign against the website. I don’t know if it did any good or not because the website is still up and running. As for the author I’d never heard of her in the first place so I can’t comment on her present situation. But the story got me thinking. Firstly, what right did this author have to demand that her work be published in the first place? Doesn’t she know how many fellow writers would love to see their work published – even on a website – but would never dream of demanding it happen? Never insist. What makes her so special? What puts her name above everybody else’s? And what makes her think she’s entitled to start a hate campaign just because she was turned down? If I did that after every refusal I’d received I’d never be able to submit to anywhere ever again! And secondly, why should a website be any different to a print publication? Why should a website just accept something willy-nilly, whatever its content, whatever its standard? Perhaps before 366 days ago I’d have been on the author’s side. Perhaps I’d have thought: ‘it’s just a website’ and ‘they should be grateful I’m willing to write for them’. Now I know different. Now I know how much time, care and attention goes into running a site. I know how the main operator of the site will carefully consider every article / review / interview sent over to them and have to ponder more than just the writer’s feelings.
But most of all I know what it’s like to be asked to write something. To be grateful to see it on the screen; to not take advantage of another’s expertise and kindness.
366 days ago Emma Audsley did something I will always be grateful for and forever remember.
When I was asked to write something about the last year and my HHHB experience, this was the first thing that came into my head. And do you know why?
Because it’s the most important.
Happy birthday, HHHB.
Mark West has featured on the blog in an interview with executioner..I mean…Interviewer Shaun. His esteemed novella The Mill has been reviewed & his new novella What gets left behind will feature shortly, he has also featured in anthologies such Fog Bound from 5 and Alt Dead…
Happy birthday to the Horrifically Horrifying Horror Blog – a year old already, where did that time go?
I remember, as if it were yesterday, when Emma and Shaun let me know they were starting the site up, to provide a resource for horror fans – reader and writers – and I was really pleased to hear it. They’re both great people, they’re both passionate about our wonderful genre and it seemed like a great idea. I even produced a little trailer for them!
One year on, I’m pleased to say that I was absolutely spot on with my assessment – it is a great idea. From thorough interviews to in-depth reviews, from real-life horrors to greatest hits, there’s literally something for everyone and I always look forward to the emails saying that there’s a new post. They’ve also given back in a bigger way, with “The Woods Are Deep” project, where I – and my fellow judges – got to read some great short stories using the title as the jumping off point.
For me, however, my favourite part of the site is a selfish choice. As a writer, I’m quite lazy and I can procrastinate around an idea forever, so I’ve used the ‘Picture Prompts’ a few times, to get me into the rhythm I need. Basically, Emma will post a picture that’s taken her fancy and invite the blog reader to imagine a story around it and that, on occasion, has been a godsend!
Happy birthday to the HHHB, may there be many more to come!