Facebook’s “real name” policy marginalizes senior, pagan member of Anne Rice fandom

•May 19, 2015 • 2 Comments

granny goodwitchAnti-pagan bias is likely at the root of the recent harassment of outspoken Anne Rice fan and vocal, public pagan Granny Goodwitch, but the unintentional ageism of Facebook’s current real name identification processes are the reason her trials and tribulations are dragging on for days and days. If Granny was a young person with a cellphone and a scanner, this could have been quickly resolved. Instead, it has gone on for close to a week and shows no signs of an immediate resolution.

Facebook’s “real name” policy has never been as strict as other social media platforms, such as Google+, in that Facebook does not require users to use their legal names, only the names that they use in real life. That is why it came as an unpleasant shock and surprise to many members of Anne Rice’s 1.1 million strong Facebook fandom, who Anne calls “The People of the Page,” when an active and beloved member of their community, Granny Goodwitch, had her Facebook page unceremoniously banned by Facebook.

Granny is a real-life pagan who uses her unusual moniker in her day to day life – therefore it should be protected under Facebook’s policies as a real name. The name is also associated with her identity as a witch and her Wiccan belief system. Since she receives mail under the name and uses it in her offline life, she should qualify for an exemption, but because she like many seniors does not own a cellphone or a scanner, she is running into roadblocks in the verification process.

Facebook’s verification processes take time. They may also unintentionally penalize seniors such as Granny, who are less technologically savvy and less likely to have broad electronic fingerprints spread all over the internet like younger people who may use their monikers on work-related sites like Monster and Linked-In, or e-commerce related sites like PayPal or Amazon or eBay. They are also less likely or to own devices like scanners that are required to produce copies of things like postal mail. Facebook says it is working on making its policies less biased, but policies such as using cellphones to verify identity still work at odds with seniors like Granny who don’t use cellphones but old fashioned land lines.

To the best of this reporter’s knowledge, it is the lack of access to the technology that is currently slowing the process. In addition to unintentional ageism, a level of classism may be at work since people who have more money are more likely to have modern technology in their homes.

Many members of the community are alarmed, including Anne Rice, who has posted twice publicly on the subject:

“Granny Goodwitch has AGAIN been blocked on Facebook! What is going on? Why is Facebook relentlessly persecuting this lovely and benign member of our FB community! What in the world is prompting this? Oh, I know, there is some regulation about real names, but FB is filled with people posting under fake and fictional names, and filled with people up to mischief with their fake names; whereas this poster is a loving, positive person, who has always offered us wonderful, informative links and comments on this page! If anybody can help us with this problem by all means do! Please contact any FB representative you might know (I do not know of any) and ask why this is happening. Is someone stalking Granny? Is someone relentlessly “reporting” her? If so, why? And for what? And why, again, would FB single out Granny, of all people, when there are so many posting under fictional names on FB?” – Anne Rice

Facebook’s real name policy is largely enforced based upon user reporting, so while there is no proof that someone is harassing Granny Goodwitch, that possibility seems likely. This could be yet another example of the real name policy, which is designed to prevent harassment, backfiring and being used as a tool for bullying.

Native Americans, transgender people and others have been persecuted by bigots under the real names policy. This can happen when a Facebook user who happens to disagree with the person’s politics repeatedly reports a user.

In Granny’s case, anti-pagan prejudice is very likely work, since she is very outspoken about her beliefs, and her name is related to them. She spoke about her beliefs at length in her interview with Nola Cancel. Whoever is reporting her may dislike the nature of articles she offers to Anne Rice for reposting, and may not respect the religious significance of the Goodwitch name. Although the name has an ironic connotation, because it is also the name of a cartoon character, Granny has used it in earnest for some time.

She might also be under fire for her feminist beliefs, or be the target of someone who is simply jealous and resents her popularity and the attention she receives from Anne Rice. Anne Rice has named Granny Goodwitch her “science reporter” and an honorary member of the Order of the Talamasca, a fictional watcher society that keeps track of supernatural goings on in the Anne Rice universe.

Fellow Person of the Page Buffie Peterson started a petition to ask for the reinstatement of Granny Goodwitch, and Justin Simpson started a Q&A in Facebook’s Help Section.

My panel schedule for BayCon 2015.

•May 12, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Sumiko Saulson

Img_150429170307Sumiko Saulson’s blog “Things That Go Bump In My Head” focuses on horror fiction writing and features author interviews, writing advice, short stories and editorial pieces. She is the author of two novels in the science fiction and horror genres, “Solitude,” and “Warmth”, and a Young Adult dark fantasy series, “The Moon Cried Blood”, which was originally a novel.  Her fourth novel “Happiness and Other Diseases” will be released October 18, 2014.  She is also the author of a short story anthology “Things That Go Bump In My Head”.  She writes for the Oakland Art Scene for the Examiner.com. A published poet and writer of short stories and editorials, she was once profiled in a San Francisco Chronicle article about up-and-coming poets in the beatnik tradition. The child of African American and Russian-Jewish American parents, she is a native Californian, and was born and spent her early childhood in Los Angeles, moving to Hawaii, where she spent her teen years, at the age of 12. She has spent most of her adult life living in the San Francisco Bay Area.


Flash, Green Arrow, and The Atom; is DC conquering TV? on Friday at 4:30 PM in Bayshore
(with Doug Berry (M), Lon Sarver)

While Marvel dominates movie theaters, DC has been quietly building a strong presence on television. Is this their best bet? Which hero should be the next to get a show?

Horror Addicts BoF and Book Release Party on Friday at 8:30 PM in Stevens Creek

(with Emerian Rich (M), Jason Malcolm Stewart, H.E. Roulo) AND Sumiko Saulson, Laurel Anne Hill, Loren Rhoads, Lillian Csernica,

    Join the gang from Horror Addicts for a discussion of what’s new with them, and a book release celebration for the Horror Addicts Guide to Life.


A Costume Is Not Consent! Dealing With Harassment at a Con on Saturday at 11:30 AM in Ballroom A
    (with Violet Ruthless, Julie Shepard, Mary Anne Butler (M))

Are you wondering what to do if you feel you are being harassed while at a convention? If someone else comes up to you asking for your help with a complaint about harassment, do you know who to contact or where to take that person? Meet with some experienced con-goers, members of the BayCon staff, and a representative of FLARE (the convention safety and security team) for an explanation on what to do, who to look for, and where you can go for help.

The Persistence of Racism on Saturday at 1:00 PM in Stevens Creek
[I am moderating.]
(with Lon Sarver, Gregg Castro, Brad Lyau, Helen Stringer)

It’s been 150 years since the end of the Civil War and an end to overt slavery in the US. While some people will point to the great deal of progress made in race relations since then, others will point to the continued mistreatment of minorities, blacks being incarcerated for longer terms and at higher rates than whites charged with the same offenses, and a lack of financial opportunities for disadvantaged minorities compared to whites. Is it time to have a national dialogue on race? What issues could go into such a dialogue? What resolutions might we look for as a result?

Writing Across the Gender Divide on Saturday at 2:30 PM in Ballroom A
[I am moderating.]
(with Jay Hartlove, Sarah Stegall, Kiri Callaghan, Chaz Brenchley, S L Gray, Sandra Saidak)

Men who write stories with female lead characters. Women who write stories with male leads. What are the pitfalls in writing about someone who is fundamentally different, especially when writing in the first person? We live in a society that doesn’t encourage its members to expose all their feelings, especially when those feelings involve attraction or discomfort. That can make it difficult to understand how a person of the opposite sex reacts in the same situation that you are are in. So if a woman reads a story with a first-person female character written by a man, does the character’s reactions and inner voice ring true, or does it seem like a man who is cross-dressing? How does a writer learn to express a believable inner voice for a character that belongs to the opposite sex?

BoF: World Goth Day on Saturday at 4:00 PM in Cypress
(with AE Marling, Sarah Pugliaresi, Jean Batt, Emerian Rich (M), Seanan McGuire)

On May 23rd, join your fellow Goths in celebration of World Goth Day. (Yes, the actual Day is Friday the 22nd. Goths are mysterious and fickle — roll with it.)


Celebrating A Girl of Wonder(land): Happy 150th Birthday, Alice on Sunday at 10:00 AM in Lafayette
(with Emily Jiang, Kevin Andrew Murphy, Kay Tracy, Helen Stringer (M))

Up until 150 years ago children’s books were mostly intended to instruct rather than entertain. All that changed when mathematician Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, under the pen name Lewis Carroll, published Alice in Wonderland in 1865. that book went on to inspire many other authors, artists, and even movie-makers. The panelists discuss the influence of Alice in Wonderland after 150 years.

Commercial Space Travel Challenges on Sunday at 1:00 PM in Saratoga
(with Berry Kercheval, Jay Reynolds Freeman (M))

Blowups, production problems, political opposition, and regulation costs are some of the problems facing commercial space travel. What does the next year look like for SpaceX, Boeing, Orbital Sciences, Sierra Nevada, Blue Origin and other entrants. Will you be able to buy a ticket to orbit, or Mars, in your lifetime?

Themed Reading: Pop Culture Invades SF/F/H on Sunday at 2:30 PM in San Tomas
(with Emerian Rich)

Gaming. LARPing. Comic books. Sometimes the things you love to spend your spare time on finds it way into the stories you love to read. Hear authors who’ve figured out how to blend pop culture and speculative fiction read from their stories.

BayCon Website

Interview with blogger Daryl Wor of The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows

•May 10, 2015 • 2 Comments
b and w logo

The Blogger

Daryl Wor is an actor/writer/comedienne who creates the podcast, audio-drama and writes the blog for a (mainly) 1960’s multi-fandom creation: The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows. Having worked on original material prior to this, also delving into several spooky or supernatural worlds, combining many beloved screen characters of the darker but fun variety is a challenge but manageable. The fandoms involved are numerous but the main ones mixed in are day-time drama Dark Shadows, two characters from several comedy skits on The Kids In The Hall, Wadsworth from the film Clue (which took place in 1954), The Ghost & Mrs. Muir television program, The Addams Family, and Lily from The Munsters.

Previously a vision-therapist and a high-school teacher for a special education program with emotionally-disturbed students requiring therapy, problem-solving by example is nothing new to her. The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows, as well as a vampiric and erotic marriage novel related to the audio series, has become her full-time “employment” for which, because it’s fanwork, she can only get paid in discussion and commentary. Having discovered many fans of Dark Shadows aren’t always easy going this work has been one more often of stress than enjoyment. She is currently married to, who is known in four podcasts as, “Daryl’s Husband” and their relationship has spanned 22 years. Neither drive which leaves them quite isolated from many loved ones and friends.  

The Interview

Q. What inspired you to start “The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows”?
A. I’ve always loved the spooky and I looked into Dark Shadows here and there, but being a stickler for continuity I didn’t want to delve into it until I knew I had enough to get the entire gist. In the middle 2000’s we looked into Netflix to see if they had enough. Their collection started about the time Barnabas Collins came into the picture and I knew from research he was Mr. Big Cake for the series. I’m careful with what I imbibe in media due to extreme sensitivity to more modern and over-stimulating material. A 1960s supernatural soap-opera would be just the thing. I also was falling into a numbing depression so many of the painful aspects were only affecting me slightly.
Being a major problem-solver to release myself from many bad relationships, family included, I could identify with what all the characters were going through. With the rush of production time back then I was amazed by how crisp and dynamic all the characters and performers were. There was even humour in many moments which I’d never seen in a soap-opera before. But, as such a show is likely to do, it spirals downward and many tragic things occur for which there is often no cure except being distracted by the next pile up of terrors. The 1795 period with Barnabas and Josette brought out so much longing and desire. I could see why Barnabas Collins became the intense mourner he is for Josette. The rest of what the witch Angelique did to him and his loved ones created someone who would turn very foul from being left to that exposure then lying in a coffin for 170 years.
The crux of my project came when I saw signs that Maggie Evans was the reincarnation of Josette Dupres. I’d thought it might be Victoria Winters but I couldn’t find the evidence for that. Maggie Evans father, Sam Evans, is a down-to-earth philosophical artist and painter who is known for drinking like many a tortured-artist. When the series came back into the 1960s he was cursed to lose his vision and then eventually was killed off. That was the last-straw for me and I combed what Dark Shadows fanfiction I could in order to find a relief-series where he survives. This would put all the components into place as I was naturally seeing that would end up for all the characters to find happiness and work-a-day contentment. During a five-year study of what fanfiction I could find there was no such relief series created for Dark Shadows. So I started taking notes for my own.
Q. How does the Dark Shadows fandom differ from other fandoms?
A. Other supernatural daytime-dramas have come and gone but Dark Shadows stands out as the highlight after all of these years. However, soap-operas are, or were, created for house-wives but Dark Shadows was on late enough that the younger generation of the 1960’s were running home from school to make sure they didn’t miss it. This was a completely new and different occurrence on what was being presented and what audience was being reached with it. The program lasted from 1966-1971 and lifted story lines from many well known Gothic books like Jane Eyre, Picture of Dorian Gray and Turn of The Screw. 
Like Star Trek, the fanbase was strong and fanzines began with stories of further adventures with its characters. The difference being that Star Trek had less episodes, a shorter run and usually maintained character accuracy in its fanwork. Dark Shadows did as well until later on. Many fan work creators of Dark Shadows will state, as if fact, that fan-fiction is tacking on the names of characters and telling any story you want whether or not it conflicts with who the characters are or how they might behave. My theory is this was caused by lack of access to the full run of Dark Shadows which had over 1,200 episodes and much more going on in terms of continuity that linked everything together. Other television programs as beloved didn’t have that complexity. (Continuity flaws abound as well, and that might make a ton of fans throw up their hands and cry, “Anything goes!”)
Q. What other dark/spooky materials did you work on in the past?
A. I have a ton of work set on the back-burner. My big one being a series that also incorporates a wealth of supernatural elements, mainly vampires. The plan is still for a three volume work in which the protagonist loses her most beloved and later on finds herself on “The Other Side” to heal from her own damage before returning to the mortal realm and continuing her journey of self-discovery. She encounters ghosts, Banshees, other creatures of spirit and myth as well as old vampire friends. Witchcraft is studied later on to ground her back to Earth. The layers of history and the supernatural were deeply complex which is kind of funny considering Dark Shadows has that same complexity and I hadn’t watched it yet. 
I also tried a hand at creating ghost stories or campfire stories in the same light as urban legends, and studied those heavily trying to find the best. I recently found an old story for Bloody Mary I wrote years ago and posted it to fictionpress. https://www.fictionpress.com/s/3250078/1/Bloody-Mary-s-Delight  I’d forgotten how good it was as it mentions other great ghost stories in it and also the best method for telling spooky stories in groups. (We used to hold a monthly event called Ghost Story Night in our home to encourage that old tradition with our friends.)
I also did many audio book performances for librivox.org [Sumiko? Should that go into the bio?] my first and favourite being the spookiest, “At The Sign of The Jack O’Lantern” by Myrtle Reed. https://librivox.org/at-the-sign-of-the-jack-olantern-by-myrtle-reed/
Q. What other shows besides Dark Shadows does your blog get into?
A. The Ghost and Mrs. Muir from the 1960s, as well as The Addams Family, and definitely The Pit of Ultimate Darkness hosts from The Kids In The Hall. Lily Munster comes up quite a bit. Mostly I started the blog because many pen friends wanted other news and I didn’t have any so I felt I couldn’t talk to them about what was happening. I write up all of my struggles, discoveries and what little fun I could have as I build the audio episodes and re-write the marriage novel of what the radio-drama’s goal is gearing up to. Some have told me when they read entries they are fascinated how much I can write about, but the key component comes from maintaining correspondence and letter-writing most of my life. Somewhat similar to what Robert Fulghum writes about but mine is more in themes with what I’m doing and… I do vent. 
Q. I met you on a Goth forum – how much do you think goth culture and horror fiction fandom crossover or intersect?
A. It totally depends on the individual. I like spooky, but I steer towards fun spooky. My Mum introduced me to Roger Corman’s film “The Raven” as I adore Vincent Price and always have, as well as Bela Lugosi, Peter Lorre, and Boris Karloff. I watched that often and thought that was how spooky worked. Then I got into horror and I was entertained for a while but it usually left me feeling sour. Others adore horror from the thrill, but what I often see is people watching horror films or bad horror films for something to heckle and enjoy in that light. 
It’s a hard question to answer. Some love the gothic culture for the romance of darkness and moonlight, others for the fun of dressing up, other for the music or it’s a combination of everything, including horror. Goth culture has so many facets which is likely the reasons it’s difficult to pin-down to something simple.
Q. What are the challenges you face when putting together a podcast?
A. The knowledge that what will usually happen when the links are shared on facebook is that I will get nothing but a like-click from people and that’s it. *laughing sadly* Some people like-click out of habit so you don’t even know if they downloaded and listened or not. More technical challenges are whatever I’ve been ruminating that I feel is important to say either about an upcoming episode or what I’m seeing in people’s online behavior or fandom behavior, some of which is good. I’ll type up a monologue of ideas that are striking me and I will leave that alone for a while so that when I do the podcast I’m speaking with more of a conversational tone rather than droning out a reading, and I will also vary from that monologue quite a bit. Then I have to see what music or effects to add, do the noise cleaning and what not, blending in everything. Cutting out “ums” and “y’knows” is one of the worst procedures.
Radio drama episodes in audio for the show are incredibly more difficult to do. I have to act out all the parts of so many characters from so many shows as hiring anyone is out of the question. (Though I have been jovially urged to call Jon Astin. My Gomez Addams impression needs work.) Then alter how everyone sounds depending on who they are and what my voice couldn’t do. Adding sound effects and music in the correct areas and hope they give the listeners the idea of what’s going on because I’m not always happy with the sound effects I’m left with for certain actions. Picking the length of silence between lines and scenes is also difficult.
Q. What advice would you give other podcasters?
A. If you’re looking for communication with your audience? Don’t expect any. Podcasting as a hobby is much safer than doing it as a passion or calling. Device technology has made more people into takers rather than talkers. If you have solid friendships of people who are interested in your work and will write commentary for it that is the best way to go. Everyone needs support but we’ve gotten into this every-man-for-himself idea which neither enriches us or the work. You might believe what you are communicating is clear but if the listener isn’t paying attention you’ll get some very confusing responses.
Q. What advice would you give to other bloggers or writers in general?
A. Don’t post every single day. Wait until you have something good and solid to relate. For writers in general? Listen to your Muse. Keep blank books and save everything. People have different things that work for them. Some people prefer a schedule that is closer to school or work, some are better when the inspiration or information hits them. Find what is best for you.
If you have someone who comes in and comments rudely do your best to explain where you are at as gently as possible, and don’t be too alarmed if you have a random person writing random things in your comment boxes. Some people flutter around online, see a comment box and just start getting strange. The comment doesn’t need to be posted if it has nothing to do with you or your content. 
Q. Do you have any other projects you would like our readers to know about?
A. I realized that because people are using device technology and can’t download the show or write commentary about it for me, but want the friendships I’m looking for, I have The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows care-package plan. I want conversation on the episodes to boost me to keep going, but I also want to bring back correspondence so we can be pen pals as well. I have CDs to send and questions to answer for fun. The online world is very distracting and alienating. We need to look at it more in tandem with the other forms of communication. Many of our elders bemoan the loss of the ways they grew up with, but there are a ton of people out there, many young adults and college students, who love what is now called snail-mail. Anyone wondering how I got into the gothic community? It was pen pals. 
And I’d enjoy discussion on the librivox books I made. I still love almost all of my work there but never hear a great deal about it. I even shot for a Joan Bennett impression for a character in Spyri’s book “Veronica” as I was building demos for The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows and Joan Bennett plays Elizabeth Stoddard on Dark Shadows. 

Come meet us at BayCon 2015!

•April 22, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Sumiko Saulson:

I am so excited to be a part of this!

Originally posted on horroraddicts.net:


Come meet Emerian Rich, H.E. Roulo, Laurel Anne Hill,

J. Malcolm Stewart, Loren Rhoads, Sumiko Saulson, and Lillian Csernica at

BayCon 2015

May 22nd-24th

Hyatt Regency

Santa Clara, CA

Program details coming soon, but don’t wait to buy your tickets.

We will be having a big HorrorAddicts.net BOF and

release party for our book:

FinalFrontCoverHorror Addicts Guide to Life

Don’t miss the door prizes, favors, and your chance to see all these amazing horror personalities together in one place! :)

Books will be on hand for signing and purchase.

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Vox Day says his totally-not-racist comments have been taken out of context. In context they’re even worse.

•April 17, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Sumiko Saulson:

Vox Day would like you to know he’s not just some racist! He’s also sexist and colonialist as hell, and would appreciate it if all the wimmens and colored people would stop trying to ruin Sci-Fi and Fantasy by writing it and get back in the kitchen and make him a sammich.

Originally posted on we hunted the mammoth:

Guys, wait up! Guys, wait up!

Racist, woman-hating fantasy author Theodore Beale (aka Vox Day) is upset that people are calling him racist. I mean, it’s not like he called all black people “savages,” he objects; he merely called one black woman — speculative fiction author NK Jemisin — a “half-savage” in a portion of a blog post that, he complains, has been taken out of context. Indeed, he sniffs,

the fact that the same ungrammatical excerpt chopped out of the middle of a sentence keeps being trotted out again and again should alert the dialectical mind to the probability that there simply isn’t very much, if any, there there.

Ah, context! A lot of shitheads who say terrible things complain, when others point out these terrible things, that their words have been taken out of context. So I thought I’d do Vox a little favor here and provide the context to…

View original 525 more words

Does Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula Stay True to Bram Stoker’s Dracula?

•April 10, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Guest Blog by Maria Ramos

Prof Pic 1Maria is a writer interested in comic books, cycling, and horror films. Her hobbies include cooking, doodling, and finding local shops around the city. She currently lives in Chicago with her two pet turtles, Franklin and Roy. You can follow her on Twitter @MariaRamos1889.

Dracula as a monster has been around for a long time, yet he still has the power to influence modern pop culture media. Everything from hit books and movies like Twilight to popular television shows like The Vampire Diaries owe a little something to this classic tale of blood-lust and evil. The vast majority are not drawn directly from Bram Stoker’s novel. Underrated, but also very similar to the novel, is Francis Ford Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula which is being rerun this month on the El Rey network (check here for listings). I thought it would be fun to do a little comparison and maybe settle this debate once and for all.

Coppola’s version of Dracula is not an exact reproduction of Stoker’s novel. One of the most telling differences between the film and the novel is the addition of a love story. The original Dracula was not a lovelorn warrior who damned religion for his lost love. The Count came across as more soulless and unloving of anyone. The basis of the movie is Count Dracula’s search for Mina Harker, a woman who reminds him of his lost love. The original tale followed Dracula as he attempted to help spread his undead curse to England and beyond.

This added romantic aspect also gave way to more backstory on Dracula and his becoming a vampire. Stoker’s original novel hinted that it was unknown, even to the Count, how he became the monster he is. Coppola’s movie draws a clear parallel between the true-life figure of Vlad the Impaler and our fictional Count Dracula during this added backstory.

Another major difference is the much more sexual tone of Coppola’s movie. This has been widely thought to be more a case of what was allowed into print when Stoker’s tale was first published, but it also stems from an urge to make the Dracula character more human. This added sexual aspect changes some character portrayals, such as Lucy Westenra having a strong sexual appetite and being more susceptible to Dracula’s charm and prowess.

Now let’s look at some of the similarities between Coppola’s Dracula and Stoker’s classic Gothic tale. One thing that many filmmakers have left out of their big-screen adaptations has been the use of various narrators. Stoker used diary entries, letters and even newspaper clippings to tell his dark tale. This use of multiple narrators is present in Coppola’s vision, and he even manages to change protagonists throughout the movie – a feat that is hard for many filmmakers to pull off.

Stoker’s book also told of the fateful voyage aboard the Russian ship Demeter, upon which the entire crew is gradually murdered except for the captain. While this scene is commonly thought not to add much to the overall story, Coppola recognized it for what it is. This one scene helps set the dark and creepy tone that is seen throughout the novel and film.

Being fans of the original novel, Coppola and screenwriter James V. Hart also choose to keep in several characters that are usually thrown out of the films. These characters, while not making or breaking the movie, are used to help keep the romantic element alive. Lucy’s suitors Arthur Holmwood and Quincey Morris, for example, are featured in the film.

While it is true that Coppola’s Dracula took some creative liberties with Stoker’s story of Dracula, the overall tone and premise of the tale is still alive and well, in a manner of speaking. Overcoming the difficulties of moving from one medium to another, Coppola managed to produce the finest adaptation of Stoker’s novel to date.

Interview with David Watson, editor of “Horror Addicts Guide to Life”

•April 5, 2015 • 1 Comment

The Author

1378065_10202215214692185_1669130623_nDavid was born in the Quad Cities on the Illinois/Iowa border in 1971. He graduated from Western Illinois University with a degree in Communications. Now he lives in Milwaukee Wisconsin with his wife and kids. His interests include reading (all genres, especially horror), music (hard rock, heavy metal and industrial), power yoga, bike riding, baseball, hiking,  and Broadway musicals. He also has an unhealthy addiction to surfing the net, listening to podcasts, and diet soda. Find David’s reviews at:DavidWatson

The Book

FinalFrontCoverDo you love the horror genre? Do you look at horror as a lifestyle? Do the “norms” not understand your love of the macabre? Despair no longer, my friend, for within your grasp is a book written by those who look at horror as a way of life, just like you. This is your guide to living a horrifying existence. Featuring interviews with Midnight Syndicate, Valentine Wolfe, and The Gothic Tea Society. Authors: Kristin Battestella, Mimielle, Emerian Rich, Dan Shaurette, Steven Rose Jr., Garth von Buchholz, H.E. Roulo, Sparky Lee Anderson, Mary Abshire, Chantal Boudreau, Jeff Carlson, Catt Dahman, Dean Farnell, Sandra Harris, Willo Hausman, Laurel Anne Hill, Sapphire Neal, James Newman, Loren Rhoads, Chris Ringler, Jessica Robinson, Eden Royce, Sumiko Saulson, Patricia Santos Marcantonio, J. Malcolm Stewart, Stoneslide Corrective, Mimi A.Williams, and Ron Vitale. With art by Carmen Masloski and Lnoir.

The Interview

Q.  Whose idea was the Horror Addicts Guide to Life?
A. It was mine, when I first came on staff five plus years ago, I had heard of a book that was a goth guide to life. I liked the concept of a group of people who see the world the same having a lifestyle manual. Right away I thought: “I’m a writer for horroraddicts.net, this is a website/podcast that looks at horror as a lifestyle so why not have The Horror Addicts Guide to Life.”
I brought up the idea to Emerian Rich four times and on my fourth try she decided it was a good idea and we should work on it. I wanted this guide to show people who make horror part of their everyday life by watching movies, listening to music, reading and dressing up. There are a lot of different aspects to the horror lifestyle, and hopefully we did a good job touching on all of them.
This book has a horror almanac, horror-themed recipes, articles on horror writing, party planning, healthy eating, advice on surviving the zombie apocalypse and so much more.
Q. Several of the articles seem to be gothic in nature. What do you think the connection is between goth life and horror addict life?
A. I think goths and horror addicts are pretty similar, they have a lot of the same interests, they like things that are dark and different and they look at the world in a unique way.
Q. What is a horror addict?
A. I think a horror addict is someone who loves horror books, movies and they want to share that passion with others. They like to talk about the latest scary movie that just came out and when Halloween comes around we like to plan out scary costumes and decorate the house to show our love of the genre. To take it a step farther I think they also look at the world in a specific way. They look in the woods and wonder if there is a werewolf lurking there, they look at an abandoned building and wonder if a coven of vampires is living there. There not scared by the idea, they just have an active imagination and like to believe that there are things in this world that we don’t understand.
Q. Much of the content focuses on movies. Do you think film is the primary source of horror for the addict, or are literature and music and visual arts equal outlets?
A. I think when most people think of horror they think of movies before anything else but true horror addicts also like to find horror in fashion, literature. music and even food. I think movies are the primary source because they are the most visable. You see ads for horror movies, you can find them on TV a lot and you can usually find one playing at a theatre near you.
Q. There are also great sections about horror writing, art, music.. even an article about manga. Do you think anything was left out?
A. It would have been nice to have a few more articles about haunt actors, people that are into horror cosplay and people that go to horror conventions. That being said we do have some good articles on fashion such as Back To Black by Mimielle here and one on Halloween haunts called October Dreaming that are really good.
Q. The horror party tip section is quite extensive. Do you think horror addicts are big party animals?
A. I think so. Horror fans love to have a good time, they like to dress up in costume and have horror themed snacks. We have a couple of good horror themed party articles here. One is Pumpkin Patch Party and Recipes by Dan Shaurette and Hosting A Creepy Crawly Party by Chantal Boudreau. Horror Addicts are creative people and they like to party with style.

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