And the Coffin Hop 2012 Winner is…

Paul Stansfield!  Congrats, Paul, on guessing all of the titles that go to the movie stillshots, thus winning a copy of Cover of Darkness June 2012 and Grindhouse.  I will contact you shortly via e-mail.

The answers for the quiz were: 1989’s A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child

1987’s Evil Dead 2

198o’s Motel Hell

1985’s ReAnimator

and 1989’s Friday the 13th part 8: Jason Takes Manhattan (yes, where Jason punches a guy’s head clean off his shoulders with one hit.)

Thanks for everyone’s support this week!  See you on the hop next year…

My, How the Times Have Changed: A Nostalgic Look at Horror’s Past Gems

“Where’s your son, Roger?  You’ll never find him.  He’s dead!”

Ah, eighties horror… What a fun time for movies in our favorite genre of splatter, sex, chainsaws, walking corpses, blood drinkers and madmen.  We all have fond memories of our first horror films.  Who introduced you to yours?  Was it Mom or Dad?  Your best friend?  Maybe Joe Bob Briggs with Monster Vision?  Whatever the case, you’re here because you enjoy horror, both on screen and on paper, but for this blog I want to focus on the visual medium of scary movies–particularly my favorite scenes from the eighties.  Why the eighties?  Think about it.  In that particular decade, most of our favorite horror movie icons were spawned.  Jason Voorhees leapt up from his watery grave in 1980.  In 1984, a blackened boiler room gave birth to our worst nightmare, Freddy Krueger.  1988 gave us a not-so-Good Guy to play with in “Child’s Play.”  And new crops of directors were taking something that was already amazing (Ridley Scott’s “Alien”) and creating something even bigger and better (James Cameron’s “Aliens”).

The eighties were also a time of experimental film making.  Puppets and stop-motion animation, though dying in the mainstream, were still holding true in horror.  We as horror fans are able to take a lot when it comes to movies.  Though most would look at a movie like 1986’s “House” (picture above) with a wide-eyed, slack-jaw expression, we can appreciate the humor and the offbeat use of puppets and people in ridiculous, fat lady, demon suits that many movie makers wouldn’t touch now.  It’s unfortunate that movies with practical effects, such as 1982’s “The Thing,” have been replaced with massive amounts of CGI.  Would “Pumpkinhead” or “Puppetmaster” been the same movies?

To me, “The Thing” is more or less my favorite film of the eighties.  It has everything: an amazing cast, the sci-fi element of the unknown alien species, the graphic and practical special effects.  I remember the first time I saw this movie, and I still get those very same chills every time I watch it.  I hope everyone out there reading this gets those same feelings when they pop that disk into the player, turn the lights out and relives those memories time and again.

Because, isn’t that what the movies are all about?  Kurt Russell throwing a stick of dynamite at a form-shifting alien then yelling, “Yeah, well fuck you too!”?


Below are some screenshots from some of my favorite eighties horror films.  As a part of this Coffin Hop celebration, if you can correctly guess all of the titles of the films shown, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win two signed books from myself.

  1. A signed copy of Cover of Darkness Magazine June 2012, which features my short story “Between Those Walls.”
  2. A signed copy of Grindhouse, which features my novelette (co-written with author Nikki McKenzie) “Home Invasion.”

Just put your answers in the comment section, and make sure that the email address you use is correct, because it will be the one I will contact the winner through on November 1st .  Participants from USA and Canada only.  And please be sure to check out the rest of the blogs on the Coffin Hop 2012 tour, which features over 100 authors–all throwing their own giveaways!  To find the link to the other blogs, just click on the Coffin Hop poster on the upper right side of this webpage or visit

Good luck, everyone, and have fun!

Coffin Hop 2011! (updated)

Hello, Hoppers!  Welcome to my little corner of the internet.  I guess I should let you in on who exactly I am and what I’m all about.  My name is Wesley Southard, and I’m a published horror writer.  It’s nice to finally be able to say “published” after four years of writing (Originally, when I decided to start writing, I started work on a novel I had envisioned, and three years later, with a much-needed kick to the ass from a few good people, I had to re-learn how to write short fiction.).  As of right now I have three short stories sold (*update* I just recieved another acceptance today, so that makes 4!), one of which is currently in print and a part of my giveaway (see bottom).  If you’d like to know more about my fiction or who I am or what-have-you, just click the links at the top of the site to my “about”, “biblio”, and “appearances” sections, and even my Facebook and Twitter Pages (links on the left of the page).

Orignally, I was going to write a very lengthy blog on why I believe Hollywood horror is on it’s deathbed with its remakes and reboots and sequels and prequels and oh God someone–anyone–stop the madness!  But after writing nearly three quarters of what was turning into a bitchy “woe is me!” blog, and realizing that the traffic coming through my site this week is going to spike greatly, the last thing I needed to look like is a total dick in front of people who I’m trying to entertain.  So I’ve decided, in honor of the Coffin Hop, the Halloween season, and everyone being writers or general fans of horror, I’ll let you in on a few of my favorite books of 2011.  I know many people out there know the bestseller horror generals–King, Zoontz, Saul, Matheson–but what you may not know is that there’s a whole other side to horror, a dark underbelly, a side the general buying public may never have the privilege of getting to know.  So being the nice guy that I am–and not to metion, a voracious reader–I want to share with you a few books that I know, like me, you’ll devour this dark holiday season…along with the candy you should be passing out to the little ones.

First up is Back from the Dead by J.F. Gonzalez.  For the second year in a row, Gonzalez steals my first place trophy for the best novel I’ve read this year (last year, that title went to his Morningstar Press novel The Corporation).  Though I admit I’m not the world’s biggest zombie fan, Back From The Dead is without a doubt one of the best zombie novels I’ve ever had the privilege to come across (and, yes, that includes The Rising as well).  Gonzalez doesn’t rely on the fact that the novel it is a zombie novel, but the strength of his characters and his amazing storytelling skills.  Much like Wrath James White’s The Ressurectionist, Back From The Dead, by sheer frustration for the main character’s plight alone, it will force you keep glued to the pages until the last line is read.  Don’t believe me?  Read it for yourself and tell me I’m wrong.  I assure you, I’m not.

Earlier this year, I was fortunate enough that Robert Ford allowed me to be a pre-reader for his novella Samson and Denial.  I’m sure as shit glad he did.  Even from page one, you can practically hear Samson’s thick Philly accent, smell the greasy cheesesteaks he’d had for breakfast and the cigarette smoke stained in his shirt.  The story follows Samson Gallows, a pawnshop owner, who recieves a mummy’s head from a bum as his day’s trade.  From there, his day goes to hell and back with the guesome murder of his bother, the kidnapping of his wife, and the Russian mob breathing down his neck.  Mr. Ford’s stellar debut is not one to be missed, packing more of a punch in 125 pages than most can do in 350.  If you dig stories of crime, the occult, and magical mummy heads (…and women running down the street topless), then this is your kind of book.

And lastly we have Grease Monkey and other tales of Erotic Horror by british horror legend Graham Masterton.  Anyone that knows me personally knows that I’m a huge Masterton fan, and with over 35 years of quality fiction, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be either.  Grease Monkey is a collection of Masterton’s best erotic horror stories, from 1980 to 2007, with very little left to the imagination.  This array of perverse stories range from the supernatural (“Bridal Suite”) to the cringeworthy (“The Jajouka Scarab) to the bizarre (“Camelot”) to the downright deranged (“Sex Object”), there isn’t a bad story in the bunch.  And with some of the most obscene interior artwork you’ll ever lay eyes on, this is one book you should not miss.  I’ll admit, the price is a bit steep ($75) but after reading only a few stories, you won’t care in the least.  Mansion House Press is creating some of the nicest limited editon harbacks that money can buy.  I currently own their editions of Masterton’s “The Sphinx” and Edward Lee’s “The Chosen,” and both are incredibly gorgeous books.


Alright, the moment you’ve all been waiting for–the contest!  Here’s the skinny: I’m going to give you the first paragraph to a modern horror novel (one of my personal favorites) and all you have to do is tell me the name of the novel and the full name of the author.  Simple as that.  Just place your answer in the comment section before midnight October 31st, and on November 1st everyone’s names who had the right answer will placed in a hat and randomly drawn for the prize pack, which includes:

1. A hardback editon of Big Book of New Short Horror from Pill Hill Press, signed by your’s truely (wink, wink).  It contain’s my debut short story “With Many Thanks to Newark.”

2. A Big Book of New Short Horror postcard. (nifty, right?)

3. A rubber shrunken head. (body not included)

4. A light-up skull mug. (fill with your favorite beverage)

5. And two Halloween pens, featuring the likenesses of Dracula and the Grim Reaper.

The winner will be contacted by the email address that you submit with your comment, so please make sure that the email address you use is correct.

And here’s the opening paragraph:

Later, they would all wonder how they had not guessed the truth.  He was waiting in the snow, but after climbing into the car he did not seem cold, his breath did not condense, he appeared calm and composed.  He did not act like a man that needed help.

Hint: This british horror author’s novel of too-close-to-home terror was first released as a hardback in 2001 and was subsequently released in paperback in 2003.


Thanks for stopping by, Hoppers.  I hope you do decide to check out one, if not all, of these great books, including my own as they are released.  Alright, time to “hop” to the next 99 author’s pages.  To do so, just click on the picture link either at the top of the blog or at the top left of the page to take you to so you can check out the massive author list and all of their great blogs this week, and their numerous, numerous giveaways.

Have a Happy Halloween, be safe, and remember…stay scared!

Coffin Hop 2011

Starting October 24 through the 31st, I’ll be participating in the (annual?) Coffin Hop.  What’s Coffin Hop?  It’s a way to spread the word about not only our own work in the world of dark fiction, but help promote many others as well.  I’ll bring as many people as I can from Facebook and Twitter onto my site, and after reading my Halloweenie Blog people can “hop” to another blog via the Coffin Hop site and check out other writer’s thoughts and ramblings on the Fall season.  Not to mention, most everyone will be doing giveaways and drawings for free autographed books, digital copies, free fiction, have a future character named after you, ect.  I’ll be doing a small contest for someone to win a hardback copy of Big Book of New Short Horror, featuring my debut short story “With Many Thanks to Newark.”

Meet some new authors, win some free stuff: Can’t beat that with a wooden stake.

I’ll admit I’m not the world’s best self promoter, but I see this as a way to get my name out there to people who would have otherwise never known who I am.  I was a bit shy to sign up for this at first–to tell you the truth, I’m not the world’s biggest fan of Halloween (come on, I’m a guy with no small kids to take trick or treating and I live by myself–would you send your kids to my house?)–but after seeing the travesty that is The Thing prequel this weekend…well, I’ve now found my blog topic: The Decline of Hollywood Horror.  Hell, I might even write a silly little Halloween poem I’ve had in mind for a while.  We’ll see.

See you next Monday, hoppers!