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Friday, November 2, 2012

Guest Post and Giveaway with Michael West, author of Spook House

Hi, everyone!

I am pleased to participate in Michael West's Spook House Virtual Book Tour hosted by Seventh Star Press.

About Michael:

Michael West a member of the Horror Writers Association and serves as President of its local chapter, Indiana Horror Writers. A graduate of Indiana University, West earned a degree in Telecommunications and Film Theory, and since that time, he has written a multitude of short stories, articles, and reviews for various on-line and print publications.

He lives and works in the Indianapolis area with his wife, their two children, their bird, Rodan, and turtle, Gamera. His children are convinced that spirits move through the woods near their home.


Welcome back to Darlene's Book Nook, Michael!

Michael has written a guest post, so I will now turn the floor over to him.

Finding the Humor In Horror

By Michael West

I must confess that I have a very dark sense of humor.  I mean pitch black.  Don’t believe me?  Well, Kind Hearts and Coronets and Heathers are among my favorite comedies.  I howl at Shaun of the Dead, Zombieland, and The Cottage.  Seeing Santa hanging from a meat hook in The Nightmare Before Christmas delights me to no end.  When Hannibal Lecter says, “I’m having an old friend for dinner” at the end of Silence of the Lambs, you’ll find me rolling on the floor. And in War of the Roses, after Barbara serves Oliver pate which she implies was made from his dog, I think it would have been a better, funnier film if they never cut away to show you that the dog was actually alive and well.  Yes, my friends, I find the most twisted things funny.  So it is only natural that, when I sit down to write my horrific novels and short stories, some dark humor bleeds through into the festivities.
Humor and Horror make for strange bedfellows indeed; an odd soufflĂ© that needs to be mixed perfectly or the entire recipe collapses and falls flat.  One could even argue that good Horror needs an injection of humor at some point, just to keep the story from becoming too bleak and depressing.  No one wants to read page after page after page of terrible, disgusting depravity without so much as a glimmer of light to be found from prologue to epilogue. 
Laughter builds character, and nothing is more important to good Horror than believable, realistic characters.  In real life, we use humor as a coping mechanism.  When things get creepy, when people get scared, they naturally make jokes to defuse the tension and lighten the mood.  So it only stands to reason that your characters would do the same.  I’m not saying that you need to turn your protagonists into stand-up comics, but someone is going to crack wise, even if it’s only internally, to try to keep themselves sane amid growing insanity.  If you make your characters funny, or at least fun to be around, especially early on in the festivities, your audience is much more likely to stick with them, to follow them anywhere and everywhere, even when things take a depressing turn for the worse.
Besides, if you’ve done your job right as a Horror author, your readers are very tense—fingers tightly gripping the book (or Kindle), stomachs all tied-up in knots—and that tension is just screaming to be released.  Now, you can do that in one of two ways: you can scare them, or you can make them laugh.  My personal favorite, however, is a combination of the two: get them to laugh and relax, then go in for the kill and turn that laughter into screams!   
Sure, scaring the daylights out of people is serious business, but it shouldn’t be a totally grim affair.  Have some fun with it!  Find the humor in your Horror.  After all, if you’re not having a good time with your story, how do you expect your readers to enjoy it?

Thanks so much for joining us today, Michael !!

There will be 3 winners!

Grand Prize (Canada/US only): One lucky winner will win a paperback copy of Michael's latest horror novel, Spook House, with some swag!

2 Runner-up Prizes (International): Digital Combo (ePub or Kindle) of both Cinema of Shadows and Spook House!

There are some places in this world that go far beyond any normal definition of “haunted.” These places are so evil, so diabolical, that they become gateways to Hell itself. The Fuller Farm is one such place.

It is said that old man Fuller conducted unspeakable acts, blood rituals and human sacrifices, all in an attempt to gain the ultimate knowledge, the ultimate power. And then, he was killed–horribly murdered on his own lands, leaving the house to stand as a vacant monument to his wickedness. But once a door is opened, it can never really be closed.

Now, the stars are right. The gateway is ready to once more unleash unspeakable horror upon the town of Harmony, Indiana. And this will be one Halloween that they will never forget!

The book contains artwork, courtesy of Matthew Perry:

To enter the giveaway, please fill out the Rafflecopter entry form below. 

This giveaway is open to Canada/US only until 12:01 AM EST on November 9, 2012.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Participants

10/25 Book Lover’s Hideaway – Guest Post
10/25 Great Minds Think Aloud – Review
10/26 Bookishly Me – Review
10/27 Red Headed Bookworm -Excerpt
10/28 Book and Movie Dimension — Review
10/29 Azure Dwarf Horde of Science Fiction & Fantasy – Review/Giveaway
10/30 Reading Aways the Days -Interview/Giveaway
10/31 Ginger Nuts of Horror – Review
11/1    WTF Are You Reading? – Review
11/2    Darlenes Book Nook – Guest Post/Giveaway
11/3    JeanzBookReadNReview – Excerpt
11/4    The Independent Review – Review
11/5    Fictional Candy – Character Post
11/6    Book Den – Review
11/7    Vilutheril Reviews – Excerpt
11/8    Beauty in Ruins – Review
11/9    Beagle Book Space – Review
11/10 Bunny’s Review – Review
11/11 Splash of Our Worlds – Review
11/12 A Book Vacation -Guest Post
11/13 A Daydreamer’s Thoughts – Review
11/14 Crossroads Reviews – Review
11/15 Bee’s Knees Reviews – Review
11/16 From the Bootheel Cotton Patch – Excerpt
11/17 Sheila Deeth – Review
11/18 Kayla’s Reads and Reviews – Excerpt
11/19 The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia – Review
11/20 I Smell Sheep – Review
11/21 Ali’s Bookshelf – Excerpt
11/22 Full Moon Bites – Excerpt
11/23 The Cabin Goddess – Review
11/24 Stuck in Books – Guest Post
11/26 The Rabid Fox  - Review/Interview
11/27 Jess Resides Here – Excerpt


  1. Thanks for having Mike on your site today! :)

  2. There was no extra information slot on my rafflecopter.
    I follow with the GFC name VettekLisa

    1. No extra spot for my GoodReads name either.
      It is Lisa Cox

  3. Ah, Kind Hearts and Coronets. Makes me want to dig out the video.


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