The Horror Writer
The magazine by horror writers for horror writers
Issue #13 New Online Edition
10th Anniversary Issue
Staff: The Skeleton Crew

Publisher/ Writer . . . AL J. Vermette
Editor/Writer . . . . . . . William H. Pratt
Writer . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Rose Titus
Writer . . . . . . . . . . . . . John Condenzio
Writer . . . . . . . . . . . . . Michael Corvin
Writer . . . . . . . . . . . . . Brian Furman
The Bare Bones

By Publisher AL J. Vermette

Welcome back to "The Horror Writer" Issue #13 and our 10th Anniversary Issue as we continue the only publication that
helps horror writers become better writers and guide the way in getting their work into the hands of editors.  For those of
you who are new to the magazine, I wanted to do a little recap on its history.  On a night in 2003 I had gotten up to go
into the bathroom and had a brain storm.  I was looking down at a copy of the publication "The Writer" and said to myself
"Why don't we do a magazine about writing.... only with a horror tilt on it?".  The plan was in motion and a few months
later the first copy of "The Horror Writer" was printed in our office.  We took the new magazine to Maryland for the times
The Horror Writer was on the best seller list at #1 and two times on the web site and
bookstore.  The new publication was a hit and was helping a lot of writers world wide.

Over the years as the economy along with the down turn in publishing itself in the mid 2000's made running a print
publication very hard.  The cost of printing was ever growing (and we did our own in-house printing) and the fact that all
our bookstores online and other sources were slowly dying out and shutting down.  Even the mighty shut
down its web site bookstore leaving us with no place to sell magazines any more.  So for a spell we shut down "The
Horror Writer" and put it to bed for a little bit.  We did the same with its sister publication "Werewolf Magazine" as well.  
Trying something new though we took our flag ship magazine "Blood Moon Rising" and turned it into an online
publication.  We thought what the hell and gave it a try.

Now well into 6 years and BMR is still going as an online publication by way of our web site when most of the magazines
that sat right next to it at Shocklines and other stores are long but gone.  Killed by the new changes to the publishing
world such as the Internet itself.  The Internet helped and killed most of print publishing and gave rise to online
publishing but pushed out print almost for good.  Print still lives but not as it once did.

So thinking it was time to bring back "The Horror Writer" was lurking within my mind....but how should we go about it was
the question.  Online seemed to be the way to go as in the case of BMR.  So plans were made with myself and William
Pratt to bring the magazine back as an online version of itself.  So now 'The Horror Writer" is back helping new and
young writers how to get their work published and how to write fiction on a more darker side.  So now pass on the word
and lets have this publication help more writers then ever before.  As The Horror Writer now enters its 10th year of
publication we look forward to all the new and un-published writers out there who this magazine will help.
What it Means To Be A Writer

By Brian Furman

Writing is an extension of my subconscious.  It assists in facilitating my daily life.  The moment I awake I am working
through a plot somewhere, the moment I lie down, a character is lying down with me.  I write to keep the ghosts away.  I
want the reader to enjoy what they are reading, but I also want them to feel a version of uneasy discomfort when it is
over.  Take it with them, pick it apart and put it back together.  Find the sludge in all the nooks and crannies.  I want the
reader to work at reading.  I find the most enjoyable stories are the ones that don't tell you everything, the ones that you
have to digest every so often, the ones that are fluid like a song, that stay with you long after the priest has been
murdered, or the daughter exorcised, or the devil set free.  Writers are masochists, with an understanding that creating
a world from scratch is a very difficult thing to do.  We don't want, or envy, playing God.

Most people think of “Frankenstein’s Monster” as being a creation of Universal Studios, a terrifying undead being that
materialized from the mists of Hollywood’s black and white movie past. But no…

Most people do not realize that Frankenstein was created by a young lady of the early nineteenth century.  And while
almost everyone knows that Bram Stoker wrote the novel “Dracula,” possibly based on the historical Vlad Dracula,
warlord of Transylvania, very few horror fans know of Mary Shelley, and how the world she lived in, along with her
dysfunctional personal life, inspired her novel, “Frankenstein, or, the Modern Prometheus.”  In fact, as it was improper
for ladies to write of such horrible things, the novel was first published anonymously, thus causing much speculation as
to its author.

Mary Godwin was the daughter of the Mary Wollstonecraft, the author of “A Vindication for the Rights of Woman, ” in
which it was stated that woman was made to be merely “the toy of man, his rattle, and it must jingle in his ears,
dismissing reason, whenever he chooses to be amused.”  Mary Wollstonecraft married the intellectual William Godwin
and their daughter Mary, it was said, was born during a lightning storm.  Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin died soon after the
birth of her daughter, due to a mistake made by a nineteenth century physician who did fatal internal damage to the
mother after the child was born.

Young Mary and her sisters grew up in the Godwin household, and as her father was a man interested in all things
intellectual, he often held meetings in his home with the most brilliant minds of the time period.  The girls would secretly
listen from a hidden place while their father sat with scientists and various others, discussing what was considered back
then to be cutting edge.

One such subject the girls listened in on was the new science of electricity.

As science was primitive in the nineteenth century, many speculated that electricity was perhaps the source of life, and
that if electricity could be applied to a corpse, then perhaps the dead could be brought back to life.  Today, of course,
we know that is not true, for if you apply electricity to muscle tissue, it may simply cause a physical reaction, and nothing
more.  However, many scientists and doctors at the time conducted such experimentation on dead frogs, and saw that
the legs moved when electrodes were applied.  To produce electricity, they relied of electrical storms, or hand cranked
generator-like machines and primitive types of batteries.

Soon larger animal carcasses were used, and one physician looking to “raise the dead” wrote that he caused the eyes
of a dead ox to open, that the animal appeared to look around.  After this incident with the ox took place, many
nineteenth century “scientists” were using such techniques to put on a show, attempting to make recently dead animals
live again, before a shocked and horrified audience.  It was not long before the attempt was made on mankind, with
grave robbers making money from these endeavors, supplying the raw materials for experimentation in exchange for
money.  And of course, Mary Godwin knew of these things, for discussions of these curiosities and scientific
misadventures took place in her childhood home.

One such visitor to the Godwin household was the handsome but eccentric Percy Shelley, who was known as “Mad
Shelley” to friends during his school days.  He was already married, of course, but that did not stop his wandering heart
from falling deeply for Mary Godwin.  She loved him in return, and there was a scandal worthy of today’s reality TV.  To
escape the gossip, they made their way to the European continent, while Mary was with child, another reason that she
was not accepted in proper society.

Although she was talked about poorly by those who considered themselves to be of decent society, she was young, in
love, and possibly experiencing one the few times in her life when she would have a small amount of happiness…

Tragedy struck soon after the birth of her daughter.  She woke up one morning to find the baby was dead, leaving her
and Percy desolate.  One night soon after she dreamed the baby had come back to life, and awakened hoping it to be
true, but of course, it was only a sad dream.

They continued to travel, as they were not really welcome anywhere that they were known, and eventually found
themselves in the company of the notorious Lord Byron, who was said to be “mad, bad, and dangerous to know.”  As
Byron was handsome, women chased after him.  After finding out what he was really like, women would run away in the
other direction, fast.  Lord Byron once bragged to Percy about having committed a murder of a young woman, but Percy
wasn’t sure if the tale was to be believed.  Lord Byron was known to take delight in shocking people, and as he was also
known to be insane, he enjoyed making sure everyone knew that he was, in fact quite mad.  However mad he was, the
novel would never be written if not for Lord Byron, for it was he who suggested to his companions that they all attempt to
write their own ghost stories, for fun and for competition.

In their travels, Percy and Mary may have also learned of the name Frankenstein, as a large castle in Germany
belonged to this noble family.  Legend has it that a German knight, Sir Frankenstein, actually fought Vlad Dracula in one
of his battles.  An odd coincidence of history, the real Frankenstein having met the real Dracula on the field of battle.  
Neither would ever know how famous, or infamous, they were to become in later centuries, or of their immortal
contributions to literature.

The run away couple also became acquainted with Dr. Polidori, who was temporarily friends with Lord Byron, as many of
Byron’s friends were temporary.  Polidori was the author of “The Vampyre,” the main character being attractive, yet
dangerous.  Possibly this character was based on Lord Byron.  Soon Dr. Polidori grew tired of Byron’s rude commentary,
his outrageous behavior, and parted company.  If Lord Byron was not a wealthy member of the upper classes, it is very
likely he would have spent a good part of his useless and dissolute life in prison, or in a mad house.

Tragedy struck again when Mrs. Shelley was reported to have died – by suicide.  Left alone and with no means of
support, Harriet Shelley threw herself into a river.  Percy now had regrets, but was left free to marry Mary Godwin.

By now Mary Shelley’s life, her sadness at the loss of her child, and perhaps her guilt from feeling partially responsible
for Harriet Shelley’s death, was weighing heavily on her, and her love affair was perhaps no longer giving her
happiness.  She began having nightmares... In her dreams she saw the body of a dead man, suddenly to come back to
life, and the figure of a man beside the monster he created.

Could this vision be from her subconscious mind, showing her the monster her own personal life had become, as she
finally awakened to the fact that she left home to be with a married man, to have a baby and see it die, to cause another
woman’s death, to be the cause of embarrassment to her family and the cause of scandal… ?  Yes, without knowing it,
without meaning to, she created a monster.  By being young, foolish, and in love, she created her own monster that was
out of control and destroying the lives of others.  And the horror was about to begin – on paper.

The original work is different from the movie released by Universal, as the creature in the novel is able to communicate
its thoughts and emotions.  The monster we know from the old black and white film is a beast that seems to simply
shuffle unintelligently about wherever it goes and cause mayhem.

Mary Shelley wrote two versions of her novel.  In the first, the monster created by Dr. Frankenstein is a tragic creature,
and Dr. Frankenstein is at fault for all the problems caused by his experiments.  Frankenstein rejects and abandons his
creation, causing the creature to become sad and lost in the world, alone and unwanted, wandering around, frightened
of people, never fitting in with society, and with nowhere to call home, sometimes killing out of rage due to mistreatment.  
From this we can see inside Mary Shelley’s troubled heart, of how Mary must have felt about herself and her life.  She
was beautiful, intelligent, and yet never seemed to fit in anywhere she went.  Because of her affair with a married man,
she was made to feel ashamed, and ostracized by all but a few who also lived the bohemian lifestyle that artists and
writers often favor.

In a later version, written after Percy’s sudden death in a boating accident, it seems that all the misery of the tale is
caused by fate, as if Mary had come to forgive herself, realizing the sadness that had come into her life and the lives of
others was not entirely her own doing.

Mary Shelley was surprised that her work became so popular, and it was presented on stage as a play during her
lifetime.  But her life never became any easier.  She lived a life of sadness and loss, losing her mother at her birth, losing
her baby, losing her second and third children, seeing Percy become unfaithful with her own sister, seeing another sister
die by suicide, and finally losing Percy to the sea.  Her friends Dr. Polidori and Lord Byron also passed away due to
illness, making her feel even more alone in the world.  She would write to her father for help or emotional support of
some kind, and he would write back and express his constant disapproval.  The hardship and disappointment she faced
in her life would defeat any mortal woman, but somehow, she managed to continue on.  She thought once, or maybe
twice, of ending it all, like the first Mrs. Shelley.  But she did not go through with it.  Somehow, she managed to keep on

She supported herself and her only surviving child, a son by Percy Shelley, through writing, and also wrote a novel
entitled “The Last Man,” about a plague that destroys all of humanity.  No longer young, she began to experience poor
health, and her physicians could not do much for her.  She died at age 53.

But her influence lives on.  Not only is she “Frankenstein’s mother,” she is considered by some to be the first true
science fiction writer.  In our century, many people have not even heard of her name, and do not realize this famous
work of horror and science fiction was written by a young, beautiful woman who was brilliant yet somewhat naïve, who
could not keep her own life in order.

But her stories will never die.

You can learn more about Mary Shelley’s life and work from “The Lady and Her Monsters,” by Roseanne Montillo.  An
excellent book, you will also learn of the strange experiments performed on the lifeless, and the numerous attempts to
bring back the dead with bolts of electricity.

If you enjoy science fiction, you might want to read Fred Saberhagen’s “The Frankenstein Papers,” a novel that tells “the
despicable truth about Dr. Frankenstein and his monster with a heart of gold.”

Or, look for the original novel in your local library.

There are countless films with the Frankenstein monster as a character, including the original from Universal Studios,
and several sequels. A more modern and thoughtful version is “Frankenstein Unbound,” which asks the eternal
questions, should science even dare to create such things?  What is the difference between good and evil?  Another
excellent modern retelling, “The Bride” features rock star Sting as the infamous Doctor, and he plays the part very well.  
This film makes us ask ourselves, what is true beauty, and what is love?

These stories and films make us think of moral and ethical questions that are not easy to answer, about the problems we
all face, and whether we are ourselves responsible for the monsters we create in our own lives, whether we meant to or

By John Condenzio

The land retreats into its sleep, as the last hint of sunlight disappears.  The forest darkens.  Deepening shadows
surround a feudal schloss.  On its grounds sits a quaint, decaying church that guards an ancient graveyard.  It’s an old
and lonely place, and an unyielding silence settles in.

A young woman emerges from the night.  She is dressed in white.  Tall and raven-haired, she glides silently among the
headstones, moving past their weathered faces with the aspect of a specter.

A stout middle-aged woman leads a young girl down a darkened hall.  She carries a candle against the gloom.  Smiling
benignly at the child, she slowly opens a large oak door that leads to a bedroom on an upper floor.  The child gazes at
the woman’s face.  Fresh-faced and auburn-haired, she has a look of sweet and trusting innocence.  They slowly make
their way up a flight of winding stairs that leads to a protruding turret, which contains the child’s chambers.

A full moon has risen from behind a hill.  It casts its pallid light into the room.  It is visible in the windows, and sits as a
bright and silent sentry as the woman prepares the girl for bed.

The young woman is walking through the moonlit woods.  Being completely clad in white she seems imbued with
moonlight, almost as an apparition as she passes near the manor, which sits upon a dark escarpment.

The kindly woman gently tucks the child in.  Warm and secure, the young girl leans forward and lightly kisses the woman’
s cheek.

Good night, Madame

Perroden.  Sweet dreams.

Good night, Laura, dear.

Sleep well.

Madame Perroden blows the candle out.  The room darkens.  Laura rolls over on her side and gazes at the bright full
moon that still fills the four large windows.

A strange figure comes out of the darkness.  It slowly grows near.  Laura can soon discern a woman in white, who is
moving down the long tree-lined path that leads up to a medieval bridge.  Something about her is unnatural, strange and
almost wraith-like.  Laura watches dreamily as the woman passes between two ancient trees, which seem to stand as two
gnarled and silent guardians before the moat and drawbridge.  Then a dark patch of clouds moves past the moon, and
the “apparition” vanishes.

Thinking she is dreaming, Laura rolls over onto her other side.  She is soon asleep, but lightly.

The “apparition” is walking along the old stone bridge that leads directly to the manor.  At its foot is a large white stone
cross.  It is gleaming in the light of the large full moon, and casts its shadow on a guard tower that has loomed over it for
centuries, but is now in ruins.  The strange image hastens toward the silent walls of stone.

The moon is rising through the sky, but still diffuses through the windows.  Forming in its aura, a strange shape emerges
from the shades, looking like a distended silhouette as it moves slowly from the shadows.  Raven-haired and wraithlike, it
moves in silence toward the sleeping child.

It is something of a substance now, no mere apparition, and more real than any nightmare.  It kneels beside the large
dark bed.  Laura is awake now, but is remaining motionless as the stranger begins to caress her face.  It is lying beside
her now, and Laura can she her in the moonlight.  She is beautiful and voluptuous.  Long dark hair cascades around her
face.  The child gazes into the dark abysses that are her eyes as a long slender hand brushes back her hair, exposing
her throat and chest.

Laura wants to resist, but it’s as if she’s paralyzed.  Then she hears a dark, cool voice.  It’s like a low and distant
whisper, like the murmuring of the stream at night.

You are mine.  You shall be mine.

You and I are one, forever.

Then Laura feels her lips upon her neck; lips like ice and fire.  They move slowly down around her throat, hesitate, then
rest upon her heaving chest.  Two sharp white canine-like teeth glisten in the moonlight, and Laura whimpers as they
pierce her flesh.  Then silently and snakelike, the ravenous phantom slips beneath the bed, leaving Laura violated and
alone.  There’s an eerie silence.  All is quiet for a while.  Then the silence is shattered as Laura screams into the
How To Reply To E-mails for Writing Jobs

By AL J. Vermette

Nothing is worst and I mean worst than showing an editor just how F.....g dumb you really are when sending off an E-mail
to get a writing job and you write like a five year old sitting on the pot taking a dump.  For over 13 years, I have seen
some dumb ass replies to ads that I have posted looking for writers for my magazines and the amount of silly, half ass
replies I get is nothing less than amazing to me.  People, if you want to write and write for a magazine as a staff writer or
freelance then you have to start with writing a smart e-mail to them and show that you indeed know how to string words

Not long ago I was working with a magazine in Winter Garden Florida helping them build a staff of writers.  I posted an ad
on the Internet as I have done for many of years when looking for writers, bands or entertainers or whatever and what I
got back was just sad.  People that called themselves writers wrote things that just shocked me.  How, if you are replying
to an ad that is looking for dishwashers you should write back with clear letters and words that to some  show that you
have a brain in your head.  BUT if you are replying to a job that is looking for writers then you better write like you know
your shit and have a brain in you head.  Sadly not always the case.

I posted an ad looking for writers for The Winter Garden Magazine and one of the replies still shock me to the point that I
knew I better address this in The Horror Writer.  The ad said that we were looking for local writers for a magazine that
was about the town of Winter Garden Florida.  One writer wrote back and said little about himself but just that he was our
writer....look no more...he was the guy.  The dumb ass didn't even live in the same state.  How the hell did he thing he
was going to write...on staff about a place he can NOT even go to.  DUMB ASS!!!!!

Another fool wrote us and said nothing but his name.....first name only and that he wanted to be a writer.  And the best
was from a guy that wrote us with no name in his letter and it went like this " im in collage iandi would love to work for u
guys"  Now I mean really!!!!!  REALLY!!!!!  And you want to work on staff as a writer?  Really!!!!!

Come on guys, you can do better than that can't you?  When replying to an ad online...any ad, it don't matter what,
always reply as though you a smart person.  Don't write like a five year old in the first grade.  Write like a writer looking
for a writing job.  I still can't believe that this guy in COLLAGE wrote me like that.  Shame on you and shame on your
schooling.  You should know when replying to an ad about writing, of all things to tell the editor a little about yourself,
what you have done, where your worked, what writing you have done in the past.  Don't give one liners and think that the
editor wants you, it only shows how stupid you are.

When writing an editor, tell them who you are....first and last name.  Don't say things like "I am the one for YOU" or "I am
better than Stephen King.. you want me."  Please get over are not King and you should be smacked for
just saying that.  About a year ago, we at "Blood Moon Rising" got and e-mail from a kid about 17 or 18 or so.  He
wanted to be an intern for BMR.  I told him well we are looking for staff writers for BMR just starting some things, and
send us your bio to add to the web site.  The kids sends a bio that talks about him being the next big thing, that he was
the writer to watch for and that he was the best.  Oh Really!  Well turns out he never...hear me NEVER did send
anything.....nothing at all.  Here I give him a shot at being a staff member without mind you ever even seeing the kids
writing but I liked him and though I'll give the boy his very first shot at being published.  And not just published but
published in every issue we did.  He just vanished into air.  Better for us anyway.  I don't want any writer thinking he's the
greatest thing to come along since Clive Barker.

Writers be smart don't act the fool, you will not get the job.  When talking with an editor write out all the words.  Don't
write like your texting your friends.  Don't use the letter u in in-place of you....and then use a little u at that.  Make all the
letters that should have a capital a capital and start your letter with a small letter as the guy in the one story starting his
letter with "im a writer in collage"  Come on man you should know better than that....and you're in collage too.

Be smart when writing a job...any job.  Check your spelling and look over your words long before you hit the send
button.  Hell you e-mail has smell check right on it...use the damn thing will you. or will u.

By Michael Corvin

Okay lets face it....we all have to deal with some sort of rejection some time in our life.  Many, it's through love or lack
down for.  What ever it was...we all have had it happen to us.  For the writer it's having their work turned down by a
publisher or agent.  The truth is all writer and I mean all writers have faced having their work turned down by some editor
who for what ever the reasen didn't want your work.  But you know what...that's ok too.

Being turned down as a writer means really nothing.  All writers at some point, even the big names like King was turned
down.  In the mid 70's when horror author Stephen King was shopping his first novel "Carrie" around, no one wanted it.  
And I man no one.  He even wanted to give up and move on to something else but he was not going to let anyone turn
down his first baby.  After many No's, one publishing house said YES and the rest is history.  King went on to become
the best selling author in all of history.  Now think what would have happened had he given up.  Author John Grisham
had a great deal of trouble finding a place to land his first novel A Time to Kill.  But after many houses said no, one said
yes and you only need one to say yes to get your book out into the world.  Never ever like a rejection make you give up
on your book.

The funny thing about the publishing world is that there may not be anything at all wrong with your book it's just that
maybe it don't fit into their line-up of published books or short stories and there is nothing you can do about that.  If your
work is a short story you are sending off to a magazine it just may be that it don't fit the fiction or non-fiction that they
publish.  Hey it happens.  The key here is to keep trying, keep fighting and sooner or later someone will pick up your
book or publish your short story and you will have a published novel in bookstores or have your fiction in the pages of a
real magazine.