An Interview with Mark Souza & a Free Horror Story

Nightmares_eResFINALIt’s my pleasure to welcome horror writer Mark Souza to our Scary Story Blog today. Mark join’s us on the eve of releasing his latest work, “Nightmares, Bedtime Stories for the Wicked.”

(I know – it sounds like your cup of tea. Mine, too.)

Plus, Mark’s got a free story for you to download at the end of this article.

Lake: Thanks for joining us. Tell us a little about Nightmares and what influenced you to write it.

Mark: Lake, to be totally honest – shear laziness. These are all short stories that have been published in other anthologies over the years. I thought rather than have readers spend a small fortune buying the various anthologies these stories appear in, I could collect them all in a single anthology available for less than a skinny tall latte. I’ve been busy writing a novel and screenplays, so it’s been a while since I’ve published anything new. An anthology made sense in terms of letting people know I’m still breathing.

Lake: You’ve been publishing long enough to have a good backlist. Do you have a favorite among the work that’s out now?

Mark: A couple, actually. One is “Cupid’s Maze,” the short story that started it all for me. It was my first published story. Part of it is sentimental, but I reread it recently all these years later and it still holds up and makes me proud. The other (I’m cheating here, because it’s not out yet) is the novel I’m currently working on, “Zombie-saurus Rex,” which I plan to release later this year. It’s about a teenage zombie just trying to get along and get his high school diploma. I’ve kind of fallen in love with the character. It’s going to be hard letting him go.

Lake: Last Question – what scares you?

Mark: First let me say that I’ve suffered a great number of injuries in my life. What that has taught me is that pain can be dealt with. Real fear is anticipation, and anticipation is usually far worse than reality. To me, anticipation is gasoline that fuels horror. It’s one of the reasons I don’t write a lot of gore. Fear is psychological, it’s in the mind. Fear is being put in a horrible situation and imagining what will happen. On a personal level, what scares me most isn’t what might happen to me, it’s the terrifying things might happen to those I love.

Download a free Mark Souza story Relative Undertow by clicking –> Relative Undertow by Mark Souza. Connect with Mark at his blog or on Twitter @souzawrites. Remember, sleep with your lights on… LL

Demonic Possession and Exorcism Month Concludes

Demonic Possession and Exorcism Month comes to an end today. It’s a bit early, but I wanted to put this topic to rest for a few reasons. For one, it was the “real stories” behind the books and movies that interested me. I wanted to dig into the evidence for these horrific happenings. Unfortunately, the evidence simply isn’t there. The real stories, to put it bluntly, aren’t.

For example, you can read the diary kept by one of the priest on the Roland Doe case here. Special thanks to the reader who alerted me to it. (The document is unsubstantiated and neither I nor its source can verify its authenticity.) The Exorcist Diary.

exorcistSecondly, the stories that followed The Exorcist follow the format so closely that they’re a bit of a letdown. It’s a case of if  you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all. It’s time for a writer to tackle the genre with something new, something that goes deeper, something that turns this story upside down.

Finally, while examining a few demonic possession and exorcism stories was a good way to get back into the swing of frequent blogging, it’s not the point of The Scary Story. This blog is about horror writers and their work. The Exorcist is a classic horror novel, for sure; but over time it’s become something else entirely.

On that note, I’m proud to have Mark Souza, an accomplished horror novelist and story writer, here to share a short piece and insight to the craft. Stay tuned. LL