Meghan: It’s been a bit since you and I sat down last to talk. Welcome to this year’s Halloween Extravaganza. Thanks for stopping by. What is your favorite part of Halloween?
CRR: I love to read spooky stories year-round, but the special Halloween vibe takes “the scary” to a higher level. There is nothing like curling up under a blanket on a spooky October evening with a gripping ghost story.
Meghan: Do you get scared easily?
CRR: It takes some doing to scare the jaded adult me, but it can be done!
Meghan: What is the scariest movie you’ve ever seen, and why?
CRR: My mom and brother took me to The Omen (1976 version with Gregory Peck) when I was eleven. I remember we were at the drive-in, so I spent most of the movie hiding on the floor of our station wagon. That movie had a profound impact on me. It was the first time I contemplated what Evil was and how it could potentially harm me. I think my mom regretted taking me to see that movie. It gave me screaming nightmares for weeks. I haven’t watched the movie since.
Meghan: Which horror movie murder did you find the most disturbing?
CRR: Slasher movies have made viewers desensitized by fake gore. I feel it is true-to-life murders like the little girl’s killing in The Lovely Bones (2009 film based on the book) that are the most disturbing. It could happen to anyone in any neighborhood.
Meghan: Is there a horror movie you refused to watch because the commercials scared you too much?
CRR: Yes! Paranormal Activity. I don’t know why, but it’s too creepy for me.
Meghan: If you got trapped in one scary movie, which would you choose?
CRR: One of the classic Alfred Hitchcock movies like Psycho or The Birds. I love that era in Hollywood.
Meghan: If you were stuck as the protagonist in any horror movie, which would you choose?
CRR: The Mummy (1999). It would be awesome to hang out with Brendan Fraser.
Meghan: What is your all-time favorite scary monster or creature of the night?
CRR: Dracula. He is the ultimate scary vampire (as they should be. No sparkly vamps, please).
Meghan: What is your favorite Halloween tradition?
CRR: I love handing out candy to the trick-or-treaters. Some of the costumes are so clever.
Meghan: What is your favorite horror or Halloween-themed song?
CRR: The theme from Psycho (1960). It’s immediately recognizable.
Meghan: Which horror novel unsettled you the most?
CRR: There are two classic Occult novels by the same author team that keep me up at night. The First is The Cabinet of Curiosities by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. FBI Agent Pendergast chases a madman who mutilates his victims via dissection. The Second is one of my all-time favorite books, Still Life with Crows. Killer in a small town who disappears without a trace.
Meghan: What is the creepiest thing that’s ever happened while you were alone?
CRR: I visited Boston several years ago and stayed in an old mill the owner had converted into condos. One night I heard someone slam open the front door. A man’s heavy boots stomped down the hall past my bedroom. I flipped on the light and crept to my sister’s room. We were the only people staying in the condo at the time. The front door was undisturbed, and I couldn’t see any uninvited guests. My sister told me the old mill was supposedly haunted by some workers who’d perished there over 100 years ago.
Meghan: Which unsolved mystery fascinates you the most?
CRR: I am fascinated by the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, CA. Why did Sarah Winchester, widow of the famous rifle’s founder, build a house with stairs going nowhere and room layouts that don’t make sense? Was she really trying to avoid the ghosts of the rifle’s victims? Or was she insane? Visiting the house is on my bucket list.
Meghan: What is the spookiest ghost story that you have ever heard?
CRR: The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. It’s a hard one to beat.
Meghan: In a zombie apocalypse, what is your weapon of choice?
CRR: I’d go with a cricket bat as an homage to the movie Shaun of the Dead with Simon Pegg.
Meghan: Okay, let’s have some fun… Would you rather get bitten by a vampire or a werewolf?
Meghan: Would you rather fight a zombie apocalypse or an alien invasion?
CRR: Let me at those zombies!
Meghan: Would you rather drink zombie juice or eat dead bodies from the graveyard?
CRR: Zombie juice, of course!
Meghan: Would you rather stay at the Poltergeist house or the Amityville house for a week?
CRR: Poltergeist house.
Meghan: Would you rather chew on a bitter melon with chilies or maggot-infested cheese?
CRR: Yuck! I think I’d have to take the melon.
Meghan: Would you rather drink from a witch’s cauldron or lick cotton candy made of spider webs?
CRR: I wouldn’t mind trying the spider web cotton candy if I could add pumpkin spice.
Boo-graphy: C. R. Richards is the award-winning author of The Mutant Casebook Series. Her literary career began as a part-time columnist for a small entertainment newspaper. She wore several hats: food critic, entertainment reviewer, and cranky editor. A lover of horror and dark fantasy stories, she enjoys telling tales of intrigue and adventure. Her most recent literary projects include the new historical dark fantasy thriller The Vengeful Dead and the epic dark fantasy series Heart of The Warrior. She is an affiliate member of the Horror Writers Association.
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The Vengeful Dead
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The Dead don’t always rest in peace.
Dunham Raynor is a second-rate psychic traveling with a rundown medicine show. Months after the end of the American Civil War, Dun and his partners head west with dreams of easy wealth. They finally have a chance to make some real money when they cross paths with a murderess in a s small Missouri town. The blackmail job is sure to give their band of swindlers the stake they need to reach San Francisco. But luck is a fickle mistress.
Marked by magic as a youth, Dun isn’t the fake he pretends to be. His mysterious tattoo of an Ouroboros allows him to see and speak with the Dead. When the ghost of a Confederate soldier arfrives with a dire warning about the little town’s imminent destruction, Dun must choose between loyalty and his own skin.
The Undead never forget.
Dun tries to escape his past by traveling west along the Santa Fe Trail, but vicious killers haunt his every step. Their ruthless games turn deadly as Dun’s new traveling companions are brutally slaughtered. Are the supernatural hunters bent on delivering justice, or is the Necromancer holding their leash after revenge? The answer lies in the living Ouroboros embedded in Dun’s chest.