Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Interview with Author A.R. Wise, By Jeannie Ellis

Brilliant interview done by my co-worker Jeannie she's an up and coming horror blogger!

Hey Horror Nation! I was fortunate to get an Interview with A.R. Wise Author of Deadlocked and 314 Series. he just happens to be one of my favorite authors out there. If you're into Zombies or just creepy mind bending stories in General have a look. Enjoy the Interview 


I remember in reading the Deadlocked series you mentioned you used writing to get through a tough time in your life. How has it affected you, and the situation you were going through do you think it helped to express yourself?
 Absolutely. I've been writing ever since I was very, very young, but I always did it with the intention of making a career at it. As I look back on that, I think it was a mistake to think of writing as a career path. Not to say that it can't be, and not to say that I'm not overjoyed that I can now call myself a full time author, but rather because it's a creativity-stifling mindset. If you're only reason to write is to make money at it, then I think your work is going to suffer. Since writing Deadlocked, I've decided to try to accomplish something with each book. I try to challenge myself, and grow as a writer in some way or another. Sometimes I do it by tackling a challenging story structure (314 for instance), and other times I dig deep into personal feelings and work through them on paper (Deadlocked 3 comes to mind).
For me, and I suspect for a lot of other authors, writing represents a safe environment to push through some of your own emotions. Feeling depressed? Write a story about a depressed character and let them become your avatar. Explore the emotions, and take them to places you'd never dare go in real life. If you're lucky, other people will relate to your feelings, and perhaps even get strength from reading your story.

What was something you learned while creating your books that surprised you?
 The biggest surprise has got to be the reaction the books have received. I always knew I wanted to be a writer, but was constantly assaulted with negativity about how the publishing industry was in shambles and people just weren't reading anymore. Don't pay attention to any of that. The self publishing revolution is one of the most exciting things to happen to literature in decades. Readers are ravenous for fresh, new authors, and are willing to give your book a try. It was a pleasant surprise, and I learned to ignore all of the people that had anything negative to say about literature in this day and age. There has NEVER been a better time to be a new author.

In the deadlocked series you get into  Military,Virology, and firearm's Where do you usually go for your research into these things are they something you have previous knowledge of, or do you have professional resources that help you out?
 I remember reading, in multiple 'How To Get Published' type of books I used to devour, that you should only write what you know. It's a pretty common advise that gets thrown out there to aspiring authors. Well, I think it's total BS. Far better advise is this: Learn What You Write. In other words, never allow your ignorance on a subject to keep you from writing about it. Go study the subject, and then write about it. Sure, if you're goal is to write courtroom thrillers but have never cracked a law book in your life, you're going to have trouble telling a competent story. However, if you want to write a horror story about an aquatic monster, it wouldn't hurt to study up on the biology of denizens of the deep. So far, that's the way I approach writing. For instance, in Deadlocked 6 one of the characters is revealed to have extensive knowledge of building bombs out of household material. I'm no bomb expert, but it only took ten minutes of research to write the scene in a way that made the character come off as competent. That's all it really requires: convince the reader that what's being said is plausible, and they won't challenge you. To that point, if you ever choose to write about guns and the military, be prepared to get a few angry emails from gun fanatics about a wrong detail here or there! lol, Everyone's passionate about something.

How has your success changed your life has it been all positive as we know writing takes up a lot of time.
 100% positive. I work a lot, but that's a small price to pay. I currently work 7 days a week, for about 6 - 8 hours a day. My wife frequently reminds me that most people take time off, but we both realize that I'm pretty darn lucky to be doing what I love, making a living at it, and getting to stay at home. In my previous life as a corporate ladder climber, I worked 60 hours a week, and was often staying nights in hotels in various places across the nation. Since becoming a full time author, I have yet to sleep in a bed without my wife beside me - I have yet to wake up without a chance to hug my daughters. That's pretty awesome. 

In your downtime what do you enjoy doing any other hobbies or special interests?
 I used to be a bit of a fitness nut, and there's always been a hunger to get back to that lifestyle. I love the rush you get after a great strength training workout, but I let myself drift away from my previous daily workout regime. Lately I've been taking advantage of the fact that I don't have to clock in and out anywhere, and I'll leave my writing desk occasionally to go work out a little. 
And to complete the dichotomy, I'm also a pretty avid gamer. I love video games, and have since I was a little kid. Nothing is more soothing to me than sitting down to get absorbed in a great game. It's my escape mechanism.

What were the challenges  ( research,literary, psychological and logistical) in bringing it to life?
 Self doubt. If there's one demon I've never quashed, it's self doubt. Every book I've ever written has been a struggle to push past what I call the 'mid-book malaise'. It seems that whenever I get about halfway through a book, it all seems like utter crap to me. I think it could be better, and start to think of a million reasons I should scrap the book and start over. I used to follow that notion, which is why it took me 34 years to finally publish a book! I have stacks upon stacks of old books that I made it halfway through before stopping and starting over. I can't speak for other writers, but for me that is the worst thing to do. Whenever I get to that point now, where I'm certain the book is broken, I just keep writing. More often than not, when the book is finished, I realize that it's just fine, and that all my concerns were for not.

What do you do when and if you ever face the dreaded Writers block?
 Keep writing. Personally, I don't believe in writer's block, at least not for people that do this professionally. For the casual writer, most of the pages produced are done during those blessed moments of inspiration, but those moments can't be relied on, and you certainly shouldn't hope to build a career off them. Anyone looking at this as a career need to realize that they can't be saddled by the need for inspiration. When was the last time the mechanic changing the oil in your car told you he couldn't finish because he wasn't feeling inspired today? Can you imagine that? I don't buy into the idea that a writer can only produce work when they are visited by the muse, because the muse is a finicky girl, and likes to sleep a little too late some days. Best to get your butt out of bed and get to the computer to do your job - all that clickety-clacking on the keyboard will wake the muse up eventually.

In the deadlocked series is there a character you relate with? or maybe all of them and could you share why? 
I think the easiest to relate to for myself was David from the first book. However, I get fantastically bored with writers that fill their books with fictionalized versions of themselves. It's almost inescapable that authors will do that at some point, but it's a boring and grossly self-indulgent exercise. I prefer to fill my books with personalities that are vastly divergent from my own, and then work to understand them. That sort of thing is exciting to me. For instance, I have next to nothing in common with Hero from the Deadlocked series, yet he has become one of my very favorite people to write. I enjoy every page whenever he's the focus, and as the series has progressed I've had the pleasure of getting to know him, which is how I hope the readers feel as well.

AR Wise
Author of the Deadlocked series
Deadlocked 1 available for free on Amazon!
If you enjoyed the Deadlocked series, please take a minute to write a review on amazon. Every review helps spread the word.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Night of the Living Dead: Resurrection 2013 review

Night of the Living Dead: Resurrection 2013

Year: 2012
Stars: Sarah Louise Madison, Sabrina Dickens, S.J. Evans
Directed: James Plumb
Running Time: 86 mins

Ok from the moment I put this film on I have to admit I got a bit giddy as I’m welsh and I related with so much that went on in even just the first 5 minutes. Anyway on with the technical stuff first.
Written by James Plumb and Andrew Jones, it’s been made since 2012 but has only just got universal release as far as I can tell.
Also directed by James Plumb (the upcoming Silent night deadly night: the homecoming also under his belt) Andrew Jones production company helped make the film also.
Staring Sarah Louise Madison (A few bit parts on Dr Who and a part in upcoming Amityville Asylum film by same company) as Eve, also Sabrina Dickens (Nothing noteworthy as of yet but a lot of upcoming films) as Bonnie and S.J. Evans (un-credited parts on popular TV series and welsh soap Pobol Y Cwm, seems he’s trying his hand at directing lately as well) as Rhodes.

Well what can I say? I am Welsh myself and as I said I loved this, the first opening scenes the annoying chav kids, who sorry to spoil it meet their end which I delighted in.
So yes the filming style is gritty and varied and reminded me of the old style filming which is what I hope they were trying to achieve. Everything from the camera angles to the great pacing this film had added to the suspense.
The unfortunate thing is I think this may be lost on a lot of audiences this day and age who are used to straight to the action camera and jump scares, which saddens me as these old school things are what scared people when CGI wasn’t around. They would be like oh but it looks like bad editing or you can’t see the actors face now and then, was it intentional? Yes I personally think it was for the purposes of building tension and adding that old style vibe.
Being as unbiased as I can I am telling you the gritty bare facts about this and not just gushing that it’s a welsh production. So those are the things that initially absorbed me into the film.

Effects wise thanks to fast cams wounds are glimpsed quick to that any imperfections are not seen and I think is a great way to get away with basic make up effects these days rather than unreal dodgy CGI.
The lingering effects such as the first girls full on zombie make up are believable and very decent and again reminiscent of older style productions. Since I had a vintage horror film day with a friend only a few days ago I was instantly thrown into nostalgia for the way the Halloween film was set up and just the way the tension was in here.
So I think from that you can gather that the film was well set up with good intentions at the very least on with the film.

So after our initial Chav carnage we join Ben (Sule Rimi) trying to reach Barbara (yes a nod to the original NOTLD) taking the Wales back roads to avoid the shutdown motorways. A gripe I had here was when he was listening to the radio and changing stations the sound effect added on the channel hoping was a little tacked on, not the voices though thankfully may I add.
When he comes across a seemingly abandoned car, like the typical horror movie guy he stops but thankfully for a reason he is intent on syphoning its fuel for himself.
The next scene is the tension building type I was talking about lingering as he’s slowly reaching for the keys an eerie tune accompanying and it was great because it was not the thing you expect to make you jump that does at that point, makes you realise they really tried and used their creativeness here.
When he runs out of fuel and goes searching the film takes a strange twist that I really wasn’t prepared for, especially since I thought this was going to go almost the same way as the original except in a Welsh setting and probably not the controversial death at the end.

Now I really don’t want to give this fun twist away so I’m going to have to summarise the rest of the film as best I can. Here it is, it’s fun and as a bonus if your welsh you will enjoy two fold with our mannerisms on show.
Threes some shaky scenes and the acting can be a bit a dodgy at times but this is well made up for with great writing and some shining moments I enjoyed it, it’s not perfect but it’s a both a good homage and a good zombie film.
If you like gritty grainy old style flicks this is one for you and THN is proud to give it four stars out of five just because I’m sure some people won’t get it and a watch it recommendation.

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Monday, 6 May 2013

World War Z: My Views THN

MY views on WWZ, right i don't mind infected type zombies we know there's two types of zombies now and they are here to stay, my MAIN gripe about it though is the liberties they've taken with the book.
Max Brooks uses slow zombies for a start, this i'll give a little creative lenience too OK. now the book is just reports from people who fought in the war and first hand accounts.
The film is right there happening, again taken a liberty and ran with it as some people just recounting would be boring like a documentary with archive footage not very exciting for the masses is it.
Now i admit there some people who take a book/comic/etc and can really feel the essence of it and peel back layers yet still still hold true to it, these people i feel respect the genre and respect the book etc.
Like batman Christopher Nolan did an ace job he took batman changed it enough to appeal yet still had that essence there, yes some people didn't like it but it just shows the difference between the George Clooney staring one why he just tried to make it kidified because he obviously thought comics were for children so just add some good effects and spangly silver bits to the armor and hammy acting.
I'm sure you get what i'm getting at anyway.
My MAIN liberty taken is including this stupid fucking tidal wave of zombies, yes they wanted to do something new and scary and yes a tidal wave of zombies is fucking terrifying.
But not in this film, also from a scientific point of view and i know you may think asking for realism in a zombie film?
Well yes sorry that's the way my mind works it would have worked in another film i would have accepted it, but again Brooks writes about the z-poc in our world and in our world physics, a tidal wave of zombies like that?
I'm sorry but that = a lot of dead, dysfunctional crushed zombies left in the wake. IF the film shows this mind which it may actually do i will love it with the realism it is.
under any other name this might have for me been a pretty decent zombie flick to enjoy big screen as it stands i have a lot of fears and gripes that may be for nothing.
What i can say is i am looking forwards to it for both those reasons bring it on Mr Pitt