Horror-FAVE Friday: Lisa: The Painful RPG

Imagine you live in a world where all of the women and children have ceased to exist, where the land is teeming with gangs of men, some depraved, some violent, others just trying to find a place to hide, and remember the world the way it used to be. This is the world of Olathe in Lisa: The Painful RPG, created by Dingaling Productions a.k.a. Austin Jorgensen. In the game, we follow the story of Brad Armstrong, a down on his luck ex-martial arts teacher who has survived in the post-apocalyptic land of Olathe alongside his childhood friends. One day, he comes across a baby lying on the ground, but not just any baby; a baby girl. Realizing the implications of finding the only girl left in their world (and trying to atone for a mournful event in his past that involves his loathsome father, Brad brings the girl home and raises her. Eventually, word gets out about Buddy (the girl’s name) and she is taken from Brad. He sets out to find her and therein begins the strange, beautiful, and often times, perverted story of his quest to find her.

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PORT-CON THIS WEEKEND!

Guess where I am today?

PORT-CON!

That’s right! For all of you living, visiting, or passing through the Portland, Maine area, be sure to swing in to the Double Tree Hotel across from the Maine Mall and check out this celebration of Maine’s geek culture. Basically…anyone who loves anime, comic books, superheroes, horror, Doctor Who, video games and various other things will be THRILLED.

I was lucky enough to join some of my fantastic New England Horror Writers colleagues this weekend as we present at a few panels and have our books for sale at the show. I’m joined by Scott Goudsward, Peter Dudar, Dale Philips, Josiah Pitchforth, and Duane E. Coffil. I’m looking forward to checking out some of the other panels being offered (one of which is about world building) and also looking forward to spending some much needed time promoting my latest release, “Memento Mori: Book 3 of the Monstrum Chronicles”.

We’ll be doing 3 panels over the weekend, one each day.

Friday 2 pm: The Basics of Getting Published

Saturday 2 pm: The Pros and Cons of Writer’s Groups (I’m in this one!)

Sunday 3 pm: Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing (I’m also in this one!)

Check out the Port-Con website for more information about the event, when to catch our panels, and where you can find our table in the Artist Alley!

Hope to see you here this weekend!

~KSilva

Horror-FAIL Friday: My OLD Writing Part 11

huge_yawn_cat

Welcome back to Horror-FAIL Friday’s My OLD Writing. This is a series which catalogs some of the awful writing I did as a weird teen (often works of fantasy, sci-fi, or horror). I share a piece each week (complete with spelling and grammatical errors), comment on some of the dumb things written, and often include a bit of visual comedy to get my point across. It should be noted that I don’t remember half of this stuff that I wrote and having not looked at it in over ten years, I’ve found myself in complete shock, embarrassment, and, often, in stitches because of it. It’s just too good not to share.

In the current story, we’ve been following sophomore Lila Pullman on her quest to figure out just what the deal is with her mysterious science professor, Mr. McFadden. Witnessing him have an episode of some kind while trying to teach them about CLOUD FORMATIONS in a biology class, she goes to his home in order to dig up some more information. This results in the strangest flirtation scene ever written (unless you include anything from 50 Shades of Grey), and establishes the fact that McFadden is the most incompetent liar in the world. Let’s also throw in the fact that she’s his STUDENT. In a side story, Lila’s best friend, Samus, has also experienced flashbacks to the night his friend, Ross, was murdered. Although he was never there. Or was he? Is Samus a sleepwalking fiend? Or just an overly-anxious conspiracy wing-nut who thinks that McFadden is more than he seems. Let’s join our pathetic protagonists.

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Horror-FAVE SATURDAY – Tormentum: Dark Sorrow

I cannot say enough good things about this game. It’s just…kind of perfect. The artwork is phenomenal, the atmosphere is grim and depressing, the characters multi-faceted and intriguing, the plot easy to follow and engaging, and the music…is absolutely divine!

While Tormentum: Dark Sorrow isn’t strictly in the horror genre, it does have some dark fantasy elements to it and definitely features some horrifying plot-points and imagery. It tells the story of a nameless protagonist who finds himself caged by an empire set on making people suffer for the sins they’ve committed, often through gruesome torture. The protagonist doesn’t remember what he’s done, nor does he remember his life before being captured. In addition to seeking an escape from his captors, he seeks to understand what led him down this dark road, often encountering tests of his morality along the way.

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Horror-FAIL Friday: Plot Holes and Jeff the Killer

So…I’m just going to come out and say it: I’m not a fan of any Jeff the Killer-themed stories to begin with. The original creepypasta story tells of a man with “dark” and “ominous” eyes with a “psychotic smile” and the kid that became him. This occurs through a series of ridiculous and overly violent circumstances involving a troupe of twelve year old bullies, a pointless birthday party, and spontaneous combustion. Let’s not forget the immediate and unnatural insanity that overtakes him, causing him to brutally kill almost everyone around him. The language of the story is mediocre at best and the ridiculous ending pretty much ensures that there’s no way I’d be losing any sleep after reading this. “Go to sleep”? Sure thing. See you in the morning.

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Horror-FAVE Friday: The Cat Lady

I decided to switch up our Horror-FAIL Friday blog to now include the occasional Horror-FAVE Friday, a collection of film, books, and video games that I felt did a superb job of fitting into the horror genre, even redefining it in some cases.

A couple years ago, while browsing along on youtube (as several of us do in our boredom), I ran across the first part for this dark narrative game called “The Cat Lady”. The art style was funky and the concept dark and fairly depressing. The further along I watched the more I became engaged in the protagonist’s endeavor to figure out what kind of world she was in. The Cat Lady tells the story of Susan Ashworth, who, unable to live after a heart-wrenching tragedy decides to end her life. Except she doesn’t die. She awakens in a strange world, inhabited by dead doppelgangers of herself and a creature disguising itself in the skin of an old woman that calls itself “The Queen of Maggots.” It soon becomes clear to Susan that the only way she can leave is by accepting a deal from this Queen; root out evil in the real world by searching for the Parasites, individuals with extreme darkness in their hearts.

I was blown away not only by the story, but by the characterization, music, and art style of this game. It has become one of my favorite examples in the horror genre by far. As visual and interactive media, it’s one of my favorite games that I’ve encountered in recent years. Now, I wish there was a book version.

Here, you can watch Youtube Let’s Player HarshlyCritical play through The Cat Lady.

Interested in picking it up for yourself? Hop on over to the official website from Screen 7 and Harvester Games.

Stay tuned!

~KSilva

Horror-FAIL Friday: How NOT to Write Horror Part I

There are those of you out there that have toiled with the idea of writing a horror story. It may have been just a quick campfire tale, a one-shot Creepypasta, a full-length novel, or even the background for a survival horror game. There are the cliche ways to go about doing this. Five teenagers meet at their house in the woods, one by one are separated, and end up dying horrible violent deaths (Only Joss Whedon has managed to re-invent this genre and do it like a boss, in my opinion). Then, there are the truly fun and unique ways to go about writing horror. This is what I enjoy. However, there’s always that daunting task of how to go about starting a project like this. Sometimes taking that first step can be the most intimidating thing you do. For the lazy, I was horrified to discover a wiki page on how to write a horror story. A WIKI. Are you freaking kidding me?

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Horror-Fail Friday: A Likely Story!

Horror-FAIL Friday

Every good horror story, film, or game has a story behind it. It doesn’t need to be intricate in order for it to have good atmosphere and be frightening…the premise just needs to be plausible. When a game tells you that the character had heard about a haunted mental hospital and, despite being warned, just HAD to go there… that’s not really the best way to start out. There isn’t even a reason given for why this character felt so compelled to go there. Also, saying that the character blacked out upon arrival and woke up later to find that he was in the exact same place he fainted in…isn’t really jarring information. But, as we delve further into the “mystery” of this game following HarshlyCritical, the story continues to hand us plot points that don’t quite add up.

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Horror Fail Friday: JUMP SCARES!

JUMP SCARE!

Horror media, whether it is a film, video game, or book loves to employ jump scares. What exactly is a jump scare you may be wondering? Well, let’s put it this way: Say your main character is driving to a party at a friend’s house outside the city. All of a sudden, their car breaks down. They’re on an empty stretch of road and are forced to walk to find help. After trekking through the woods for over an hour, they happen upon a derelict mansion and go inside searching for a phone or something to aid them with fixing the car. The house is old, dark, and creaks with every gust of wind. The character digs out a flashlight and begins exploring. And then…this happens…

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Teaser for “Tenacious: A Short Story from The Monstrum Chronicles”

TENACIOUS: A Short Story from The Monstrum Chronicles

EXCERPT

Tenacious Title Page

Surprise, surprise! Here’s a sneak peek at a short story from the Monstrum Chronicles starring a minor character from “Memento Mori”!

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