William Peter Blatty

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INTERVIEW: Alistair Cross

INTERVIEW: Alistair Cross

Alistair Cross - Sleep Savannah SleepAlistair Cross, acclaimed author of such works as The Crimson Corset and his newest novel Sleep Savannah Sleep and co-host of Haunted Nights Live! a radio program broadcast on the Authors On The Air Global Radio Network with the equally amazing author Tamara Thorne, was kind enough to do an interview with me for my home here at House of Tortured Souls. Before I get to the interview, though, I would like to tell you more about his works.
Alistair Cross - The Crimson CorsetAbout The Crimson Corset: Welcome to Crimson Cove a cozy village in California where Cade Coulter, our protagonist, moves to live with his brother hoping for a peaceful life. Everything is idyllic until the sun sets and the little tourist town begins to show more night death than nightlife. At the very edge of town sits The Crimson Corset known for its crazy soirees and licentiousness, where people can indulge their every fantasy no matter how depraved or unacceptable. The only thing is is that the place is owned and operated by a vampire.
The owner, Gretchen VanTreese, wants to take out the Old World Vampires that also exist in the town so that she can be free to create a new race of vampires that she will rule. And Cade Coulter will have to fight this wicked and enticing vampire, even give up his own humanity to save the town and everyone that he loves.
I loved this book. There is nothing better than a great story infused with blood, violence, and gore. Let me show you some of the reviews so you can get an even better idea:
Put Bram Stoker in a giant cocktail shaker, add a pinch of Laurell K. Hamilton, a shot of John Carpenter, and a healthy jigger of absinthe, and you’ll end up with Alistair Cross’s modern Gothic chiller, The Crimson Corset-a deliciously terrifying tale that will sink its teeth into you from page one.
—Jay Bonansinga, New York Times Bestselling author of The Walking Dead: Invasion and Lucid.
Alistair Cross’ new novel The Crimson Corset…is taut and elegantly written taking us into the realms where the erotic and the horrific meet. Reminiscent of the work of Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla, Uncle Silas) in its hothouse, almost Victorian intensity, it tells a multi-leveled story of misalliance and mixed motives. The language is darkly lyrical, and the tale is compelling. Read it; you’ll be glad you did.
—Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, author of Saint-Germaine Cycle and the Chesterton Holt Mysteries.
Very nice heavy hitters for a debut book!
Alistair Cross - The Angel AlejandroHe has also written The Book of Strange Persuasions, The Angel Alejandro, and the aforementioned Sleep Savanah Sleep. Alistair has also collaborated on many books with the sensational Tamara Thorne as Thorne&Cross. Some of their joint titles include The Cliffhouse Haunting, Mother, The Witches of Ravencrest, and The Ghosts of Ravencrest.
Which brings me to the next bit about him. Alistair Cross and Tamara Thorne started their own radio show called Haunted Nights Live! where they talk all things horror to some of the biggest names in the business. Featuring such guests as Chelsea Quinn Yarbro of the Saint-Germain vampire series, Charlaine Harris of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and basis of the HBO series True Blood, Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter novels that inspired the hit television series, Jay Bonansinga of the Walking Dead series, and Laurell K. Hamilton of the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter novels.
So, now that we have established his illustrious credentials, let’s ask him some questions.
House of Tortured Souls: So, Alistair, what would you like people to know about you?
Alistair Cross: I am not a morning person: no, I will not help your sister move…and I prefer cats to most people.
HoTS: When I was doing research for this interview, I noticed on his website that in 1987 – He saw Carrie and the Nightmare on Elm Street movies, wrote more stories (most of which featured an unmanageably extensive cast of talking cats). So sorry I missed that readers.
Next question Alistair: What are your horror influences?

AC: Stephen King, of course, who was my introduction to the genre back when I was barely 8 years old. I am also influenced by Anne Rice, Dean Koontz, John Saul, Ira Levin, and William Peter Blatty, just to name a few.
HoTS: What did you do with your very first advance for a book??
AC: I just stared at it. A lot.
HoTS: What was your first scary movie?
AC: The first movie I remember being absolutely terrified by was Cujo. It still makes me a little uneasy.
HoTS: How do you write what you want without worrying about how your subject matter will be taken?
AC: As a horror author, I consider it my duty to shock and offend. There are few subjects I won’t touch on, animal cruelty for example because it’s not necessary and it’s too easy. But I don’t think about reader reaction when I’m writing. I write the stories I want to read and figure it is likely others out there will want to read them too.
HoTS: What is your spirit animal?
AC: Stevie Nicks is my spirit animal.
HoTS: Has anything in your books ever happened to you?
AC: While I’ve certainly never been lured into an underground lair of a seductive blond vampire or found an amnesiac angel in my koi pond after a violent storm, some of the events in my writing do come from personal experience. All fiction is rooted in truth, but I never set out to chronicle my own experiences. It’s about the characters and their stories, not mine. The only exception is Five Nights In a Haunted Cabin, a real-life account of an experience I had with my collaborator, Tamara Thorne.
HoTS: How did you and Tamara become writing partners?
AC: It’s an unusual story that began in the late 1990s when I came across Tamara’s novel Moonfall. I liked it so much, I got all of her books and began stalking her website via AOL dial-up because in my day we had to practice patience when we stalked people online. Several years later, after my first book was published, I began a blog dedicated to interviews with authors. Tamara Thorne was one of the first people I asked to be on my blog. She said yes and we hit it off enough that she asked me if I’d like to write a short story with her. That short story became a full-length novel, and that led to the next one and the one after that, and the rest is history. Writing with Tamara is one of the easiest, most natural things I have ever done and, at the risk of sounding corny, I believe it was simply meant to be.
House of Tortured Souls: And readers I thought it was only fair to reach out to Tamara Thorne and gets some fun stuff on Alistair from her:
Tamara Thorne: I love collaborating with Alistair. We spend our days working on Skype and when our cats start climbing us, we turn on the cameras. Alistair’s kitty, Pawpurrazzi, truly abuses him. I love watching the way she gives him kisses, then shoves her butt in his face. Those two are madly in love.
We write together in the Cloud and rarely recall who wrote what. After each day’s work – or after completing the first draft – my job is to read our words aloud. When we’re in edit mode, reading for hours can be pretty grueling, but my collaborator knows how to keep things lively. He moves ahead in the manuscript and adds lines so outrageous and rude that I fall apart – so does he. We relish our giggle breaks more than I can say. Once in a while, we leave an obscenity in to amuse our editors. The reactions are varied but hysterical.
So I cannot recommend these authors enough and I also cannot thank them enough for taking their time to answer some questions and share a few laughs. Below are some links for you to get to know and experience more of Alistair Cross and his partner in crime Tamara Thorne. And definitely, check out their radio broadcast.



Posted by Horrormadam in BOOKS, COMICS, AND PUBLICATION REVIEWS, FICTION AND POETRY, FRIENDS OF THE HOUSE, INTERVIEWS, MONSTERS AND CREATURES, PARANORMAL, PODCAST, THRILLER, VAMPIRES, 0 comments
OBITUARY: William Peter Blatty

OBITUARY: William Peter Blatty

Born: January 7, 1928
New York City, New York, USA
Died: January 12, 2017
Bethesda, MD, USA (age 89)

House of Tortured Souls was saddened to learn that William Peter Blatty, 89, died Thursday from a form of blood cancer called multiple myeloma. Blatty had celebrated his 89th birthday a mere five days earlier.
The son of Lebanese immigrants, Mary (née Mouakad) and Peter Blatty, William Peter Blatty was born in New York City and raised by his mother after his father left when Blatty was only six. He was a scholarship student at the Jesuit high school Brooklyn Preparatory and graduated as class valedictorian in spite of growing up impoverished. He received another scholarship to attend Georgetown University and then earned a master's in English literature from George Washington University.
Blatty wandered from job to job after university before enlisting in the United States Air Force and eventually heading the Policy Branch of the Psychological Warfare Division. After leaving the Air Force, he worked in Beirut, Lebanon, as an editor for the United States Information agency. Blatty ultimately decided to pursue his dream of a career in the entertainment industry.
Cover, The Exorcist (1971)
Succeeding as a writer, actor, director, and producer, Blatty was, by far, most well known for The Exorcist, his 1971 novel of demonic possession. In 1973, Blatty worked with William Friedkin, to bring The Exorcist to the big screen. Although it was nominated for ten Oscars - Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium; Best Sound; Best Picture; Best Actress in a Leading Role; Best Actor in a Supporting Role; Best Actress in a Supporting Role; Best Cinematography; Best Art Direction-Set Decoration; and Best Film Editing, it won only two: Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium and Best Sound.
William Friedkin and William Peter Blatty on the set of The Exorcist
The Exorcist often tops scariest horror films lists and, if you've seen it, then you understand why. If you haven't, now's the perfect time to do so. Before undertaking to view the film, however, read the book that charted and remained on The New York Times bestseller list for over a year (57 straight weeks), spending 17 in the top spot. In 1983, Legion, Blatty's sequel to The Exorcist, was published, and by 1990 he had adapted it for film as The Exorcist III.
Cover, Legion (1983)
Blatty's other works include Twinkle, Twinkle Killer Kane (1966), which was adapted for the screen as The Ninth Configuration in 1978, The Redemption (2011), and Demons Five, Exorcist Nothing (2015).
Covers, Twinkle Twinkle Killer Kane (1966) and The Ninth Configuration (1978)
Blatty's widow, Julie Alicia Blatty, confirmed his death, and House of Tortured Souls would like to extend our sympathies to her.
Rest in Peace, Mr. William Peter Blatty.
Posted by Woofer McWooferson in HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
Geena Davis cast in small screen adaptation of classic The Exorcist

Geena Davis cast in small screen adaptation of classic The Exorcist

By Kev B. 

geena-davis

What an excellent day for an exorcism! It’s the Captain Howdy show!

The Exorcist is known to be one of the greatest, most beloved, and iconic horror films ever. The book it was based on is considered required reading for any serious fan of modern horror literature. It is number 3 on the American Film Institutes list of 100 most thrilling films, after #1. Psycho and #2. Jaws. It was one of the first 3 movies I ever owned (along with A Nightmare on Elm Street and A Clockwork Orange) back in the 80’s when my parents finally gave in and got a VCR. It’s a piece of horror history, and has been praised by some of the harshest critics as being a nearly perfect film.

Then why would anyone want to remake or re-imagine it? I assume because they’re money hungry and they’ve run out of original ideas, but we already knew that. They remade Psycho shot for shot, in color, with Vince Vaughn as Norman. More recently, and as part of horrors resurgence on television, they remade (another classic) Rosemary’s Baby into a mini-series with Zoe Saldana in Mia Farrow’s role. Not sure why, but they did. Norman has his own show Bates Motel, and Ash fights the Evil Dead weekly also, both of which I personally love. I believe Hannibal has been canceled last I heard, and I haven’t seen Damien yet, but for some reason I’m not too optimistic about that one.

The Exorcist has been the subject of discussion for a re-whatever for quite some time now.. Most recently it was rumored to be getting a big screen remake, but news just broke and it turns out we are getting a pilot episode for a series or mini-series. Details are vague at best, but everywhere I looked I found the following copied and pasted on every entertainment site I checked.

“a modern reinvention inspired by William Peter Blatty’s original book, The Exorcist is a propulsive, serialized psychological thriller following two very different men tackling one family’s case of horrifying demonic possession, and confronting the face of true evil.”

The good news is, Geena Davis is supposedly in a starring role as Angela Rance: (more copy and paste) Naturally beautiful, regal and proud but weighed down by stress, Angela does everything she can to stay positive and keep her faith even though her family is currently struggling. She can’t help but think, however, if perhaps her nightmares about a demon are a sign of what’s wrong.

Geena Davis

Now most of us old farts fell in love with her in the mid-80’s when we met her as Odette in Transylvania 6-5000 and opposite Jeff Goldblum’s Brundlefly in David Cronenberg’s classic re-make of The Fly. Oh, and obviously Beetlejuice and Earth Girls are Easy. Her long list of accomplishments include, of course acting, film producer, writer, former fashion model, Olympics archery team semi-finalist, and a member of Mensa. Yep, all that and she’s smart too.

Now, as I said, details are scarce so this is all I could find at this time. As more news is released, we will keep you posted here at House of Tortured Souls...

Posted by Kevin Belyski in CAST AND CREW NEWS, HORROR NEWS, WOMEN IN HORROR, 0 comments
HALLOWEEN HORRORS: The Exorcist (1973)

HALLOWEEN HORRORS: The Exorcist (1973)

By Machete Von Kill

Exorcist Poster

Director: William Friedkin; Writer: William Peter Blatty; Stars: Max von Sydow, Linda Blair, Ellen Burstyn; Rating: R; Run Time: 122 min; Genre: Horror; Country: USA; Language: English; Year: 1973

When a teenage girl (Linda Blair) is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother (Ellen Burstyn) seeks the help of two priests (Max von Sydow and Jason Miller) to save her daughter. (Summary from IMDb.)

Saturday nights in 8th grade consisted of MTV's Headbanger's Ball, followed by whatever movie I happened to find on television. There were always a variety of B movies, Kung Fu or cheesy comedies on at that hour. Sometimes, I'd get lucky and find a great horror flick. In October, MTV, USA, and TBS all showed horror movies later at night. It was heaven! There was no internet or Netflix, and the only video rental place in town was in the local grocery store. Pickins were slim!

It was on one of those October Saturday nights when I happened upon The Exorcist for the very first time. I'm pretty sure it was on TBS, which of course meant editing for content. They were able to get away with a bit more at 3 am than they could during regular viewing hours, but a lot of the more graphic scenes were cut. Even so, it was enough to scare me and leave a permanent mark on my psyche.

I was raised Roman Catholic, and even though I left the Church and Christianity at the age of 13, some of the imagery and dogma still hangs around in the back of my head. The idea of demonic possession is terrifying! Being under the control of some other being that you can't see and can't defend yourself against...yeah screw that!

The wonderful makeup artistry of legends of the industry Dick Smith and Rick Baker, combined with years of catechism classes, and a well written story by William Peter Blatty created nightmare material for days! Eileen Dietz as the demonic face still creeps me out to this day. And poor Regan (Linda Blair) when she is fully possessed by Pazuzu...thank you Mr. Smith and Mr. Baker for makeup no one will ever forget! You provided nightmarish images for generations to come.

Even though the movie gave me nightmares that night (thanks Ms. Dietz!), I wasn't satisfied with just seeing the edited for content version of the film. A few days later, I mentioned seeing the movie to my mother. Thinking I'd probably get flack for staying up that late and for watching the Exorcist, I was beyond shocked when she responded with, "You need to see the WHOLE movie!" She actually took me to the video rental counter at Glen's Market and surprisingly enough, they had ONE VHS copy of The Exorcist. We took it home and watched it that day. MIND BLOWN! I had missed so much disturbing stuff watching it on basic cable. I experienced that mind blown sensation again several years later when the Director's Cut was released on DVD.

I went on to later read the novel by Blatty, that the movie is based on. And much later, the actual case that inspired the novel. I actually used it, and some creepy props, as a part of a visual display of the staff's favorite books when I worked at the local public library. And every October, without fail, I watch the Director's Cut. It just isn't Halloween without Regan, Captain Howdy and Pazuzu!

Final Verdict: 10 out of 10 "Powers of Christ compel you!"

Posted by Machete Von Kill in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments