Dean’s pick of the month

September’s 2023’s 1st Pick

A word on horror as its chill is the air…

The release of Terra’s Sabbath as the summer opened is gaining traction as summer ends. It is the upcoming season where monsters and demons like Terra Drake best make their way into our worst dreams, our worst outcomes, when they terrify us when least expected.

For my own monstrous creation, Terra herself, I’m deep into the writing process of the 3rd novel in the trilogy. The protagonist, Marion Paul must find his missing daughter and his missing love interest, but as the novel will open, Marion’s trapped in some other realm locked in the clutches of a brutal cult dwelling that was once the town where Terra killed his brother. As for Terra, her first appearance takes place in 1888, London, having stout beers with Jack the Ripper where she lays it all out how everything will end, and that he’ll be a fine contributor.

I wanted to give a little wicked taste as well as build some curiosity from my readers who have enjoyed delving into horror that holds nothing back. The best horror doesn’t. In fact, it is the best horror where more vicious and cruel moments force survival itself, where you will find some of the greatest moments of redemption and courage. Where the human element is pushed to the brink and your heart is racing – even pleading – for the tormented and damned to someone survive. Somehow find a way to win.

It is horror where we find great friendships defeat the likes of Pennywise; where God is examined in the creation of Frankenstein’s monster; where Ellen Ripley faces the mother alien without flinch; where Van Helsing faces Dracula; where Laurie Strode battles Mike Meyers.

The greatest case for horror is not only the creation of the monstrous, but also the examination of courage and resilience. What sparked my dark and dreadful creativity today was listening to Grace Potter’s “The Lion, The Beast, The Beat,” a sang that blasts forth in icy power with a rhythm that forces you to dance, or at least move in some way. Potter screams that life’s a record playing on repeat, screams you can’t tame the lion, that we feel the beast like fire, and that we better let the beast out. Baby.

I see it as an anthem for our finest horror villains. Our monsters. Our demons of the night, our witches in the shadows, and our killers waiting to stalk. Our circus freaks and psycho butchers. With my own demonic creation, it’s now time to the let the beast out again, baby. So get out of the way…or get your throats ripped out and your souls razed across the blades of hell.

Finally, as the season’s coming upon us, it’s not just what I’ve written above that gets the juices boiling, it’s how horror itself changes the colors we see, the weather that bites us, and a fresh gauntlet of characters born out of mayhem: from goblins and filthy trolls to new avenues where Lucifer himself gives it another go at Christ.

The season is here, and as expected my fine readers, I’ll hold nothing back!


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