Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Some good reading...

I stink at self-promotion.  I do.  I am absolutely terrible at it.  Since before I was published, self-promotion has been hammered into my skull with a railroad spike (and I'll tell you this, it makes it hard to wear hats with an eleven inch spike protruding from the top of your head) and I knew even then that I'd be terrible at it.  Honestly, I've never been the type of person to talk about myself.  Sure, on Facebook I'll update that you can buy certain things of mine and where you can buy them, but that's hardly me walking around and banging on a snare drum while shouting how awesome I am.  

And, that brings me to this blog...From its conception, I never knew where it would go, or how often I would update it if I had to constantly talk about myself.  So, as you've noticed, I haven't updated it regularly, and for that, I apologize to the handful of you that read it.  But, that changes now.  I've decided to take the concept I started with the Diabolical Radio blog, and combine it with this one.  I'm going to promote others while throwing in some of my own here and there.  

You may notice that I posted a short interview with the absolutely awesome, Elena Hearty.  I have an  audio interview with  W.D. Gagliani that will post this week, as well as an audio interview with Mrs. Hearty coming soon.  Oh, and I must also add, Jonathan Janz will be stopping by as well.  

But, the person I want to introduce you to today is Gary Brandner.  

I'm sure avid readers are scratching their head and wondering where they've heard that name before, as well as most horror movie fans.  Mr. Brandner is the writer behind The Howling.  No, not the excellent Joe Dante directed, and John Sayles written movie from the early eighties, no not quite.  It was based off Mr. Brandner's book, but there were a lot of liberties taken in the adaption.  Now, the movie is probably one of my absolute favorite werewolf flicks, with Silver Bullet coming in a close second.

Gary Brandner wrote the original novel back in the late seventies.  It has many similarities to the film, but even more differences.  I don't want to do a book to film comparison, because I'm sure those are already out there, but any fan of the movie should definitely check out the book.  Then follow it up with Brandner's sequels:  
The Howling II 
and The Howling III
Both of these books are fantastic reads, and no, they have nothing to do with the slew of film sequels that followed Joe Dante's original.  So, please don't get them confused.  

Brandner takes the series in a believable direction, and I for one enjoyed the ride.  I have heard rumblings that Mr. Brandner has retired as a writer, but if he was ever to write another book, it would be a part IV.  I hope this is the case, because I feel strongly that his story could continue in one more book, and I'm also a fan of the series, and like Annie from Stephen King's Misery, I don't want it to end!  

"What's that Mr. Brandner?  You're done with The Howling?  Well...I strongly encourage you to write one more book."

I also want to make sure everyone is aware of his other titles as well.  When I first began reading his books, I started with The Howling series, but in a weird order.  I read part III first, then went back and read the first two.  No, it's not because I can't count, although many would dispute this, it's actually because most of his books are out of print (Unless you own a Kindle, you can buy the Howling trilogy on Amazon for 2.99 each!) and I had to either scour used book stores to find them, or order them from  I now have almost all of his horror books.  I want to get his sci-fi stuff, and even the saucy books he wrote years and years ago.  

Here are a few I want to recommend you either start with, or jump into after you've completed The Howling books.  

This book beat Final Destination by two decades.  It's not  "death" picking off those who escaped him, but it is about a teenager who's wrongfully albeit accidentally killed, only to become a "force" of his own, who comes back for revenge ten years later.  And, the use of an invisible killer that is more of a force of nature has many similarities to the later Final Destination series.  This story had many scary moments.  What's not frightening about something trying to kill you that's matterless?  

Here's the answer:  EVERYTHING!

For a "germaphobe" such as myself, this book was the ultimate terror.  Parasites that enter through open sores on your body, only to turn you into a lunatic before you explode, showering all those nearby with more of the parasites.  Oh yeah - they also multiply in your brain!  This book made me want to wear rubber gloves everywhere I went, and to cover my face with a surgical mask.  This one is a must read!

What would you do if you had the power to bring the dead back to life?  Would you ignore it, or embrace it?  Would you abuse it?  Well, that is a question that we are forced to answer when reading this horrifying novel.  

Fame and fortune come, but just like with anyone, it only lasts for fifteen seconds.  

And what if those that were resurrected didn't want to be?  Would they be angry?  Violent?  In this book, they are all that and more.

A terrifying read.  

These are just the tip of the iceberg that is Gary Brandner's career.  I highly recommend these to begin with, and of course, The Howling series.  And, when you do read them, please let me know what you think.  I love chatting up Brandner's books.     

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