Tuesday, October 6, 2015

THE GAL'S 31 DAYS OF HORROR: Matt Drabble


What Scares This Horror Author

I have always held a deep fascination for the things that scare us.  It is something fundamental and primal that make us check under the bed and leave the light on.  Our imaginations are fertile breeding grounds for explaining strange noises in the middle of the night or long shadows cast upon a wall.  I'd imagine that mankind has told tales for as long as we were able to communicate, from crude cave drawings to the CGI magnificence that bombards us from a modern cinema screen.
            I  have always been a firm believer that a writer can never full scare a person more than the person's own imagination.  If I can put you in a dark corner and tantalize your fear buds, then what you see in your own mind would surely be far worse than anything that I could describe.  Fear is an intensely personal emotion, as only we know what lurks in the deep dark shadows of our own minds and what truly scares us.
            Here's the true story of what scared, and still scares, me.

When I was a young boy, we lived in a house much like any other.  I could have only been around 5 or 6 at the time, and I have two very clear memories from that time and of that house.
            The first is a very distinct and vivid memory of my brother and I standing at the top of our stairs.  The staircase had a small platform around 6 steps down where the stairs took a 45 degree turn and the other 20 or so stairs took you to the bottom.  My memory is that we used to jump from the top onto the first landing and then down to the bottom.  The only thing is that once we jumped, we would float.  It is a clear memory that I cannot dismiss as a mere recurring dream.  I remember us laughing and having great fun doing it.  We would jump into the air and slowly float as though something was carrying us.  I never remember being scared or afraid in anyway; just boys playing and laughing.
            The second memory of that house is not so pleasant.  I remember, out of nowhere, suddenly developing a petrifying fear of the dark and of my bedroom.  I had never been afraid of the dark before or since.  I remember my little heart pounding hard against my chest as I would be put to bed for the night and the echoing footsteps of my mother heading back downstairs.  I remember the light from the hallway around my bedroom door and my silent and desperate prayers that she would forget to turn the light off.  Some blissful nights she would, and I would face a race to fall asleep before it went out after one of my parents would notice.
            The reason that I became so afraid of the dark in my room was the dreams that I started having.
            I had two teddy bears in my room.  I remember them very clearly: one was a black and white panda and the other was a yellow and white bear.  I would dream that I was at the bottom of the stairs being forced to go to bed.  In my room above, I could hear something thumping and banging around with furious anger.  My chest of drawers would be slamming open and shut as I took one fearful step after the other.  No matter how desperate I was to turn and run, I couldn't; all I could do was to keep walking towards it.  I remember feeling like I was going to die in frightful anticipation as I drew closer and closer until I reached my door and the noises would stop.  I would reach out with a small trembling hand and enter the still, but dark, room.  I would take a step inside the silence, and my teddies would suddenly leap at me and tear me to shreds with ravenous fangs.  I also remember every morning after this recurring dream which seemed to last forever (and this might make me sound a little disturbed), taking out my childish rage with an old fishing knife on the teddy bears who would sit there with frozen and lifeless glassy eyes.  I remember being so angry and scared of them at the same time because, no matter what I did to them in the daylight, I would have to go back to sleep that night.
            I came across the yellow and white teddy bear several decades later.  It was much smaller and innocuous than I remembered.  But the sight of the wounds that a small trembling boy had inflicted on it with his father's fishing knife told a tale of just how terrified I must have been.
            I would like to tell you how I poured much of my life into researching the house and the ghostly history that I uncovered, but I can't.  I think that some skeletons are best kept where they belong, in boarded up closes with sturdy locks and a chair safely pressed under the handle. 


About the author:
Born in Bath, England in 1974, a self-professed "funny onion", equal parts sport loving jock and comic book geek.  I am a lover of horror and character driven stories.  I am also an A.S. sufferer who took to writing full time two years ago after being forced to give up the day job.
            I have a career high position of 5th on Amazon's Horror Author Rank of which I am immensely proud.  I have also been accepted as a full member of the Horror Writers Association.

Gated is the 2015 Readers Favorite Gold Medal Winner.  It is also a UK & US Horror Chart Top Ten Best Seller and winner of the Full Moon Awards 2014 Horror Book of the Year.

Asylum - 13 Tales of Terror is a US Horror Chart #5.  It was also voted #5 on The Horror Novel Review's Top 10 Books of 2013 and is a Readers Favorite 2014 Gold Medal Winner.

Both The Travelling Man and Abra-Cadaver won Indie Book of the Day awards.

Visit me at my website to download free short stories.  You can also find me on Twitter and Facebook.

About the books:

Gated
Genre: Horror
Publication date: 12.3.2012
Pages: 349

British couple Michael and Emily Torrence lived perfect lives. He was a writer of horror fiction getting paid for his hobby, and Emily was immersed in her life as a teacher.  Their word was complete when Emily became pregnant, because their child would make them a family.  Their dreams, however, were shattered one wet winter night by a car mounting a pavement out of the darkness.
            To overcome their loss, they pick up and move to Eden Gardens, a US gated community that offers "Heaven on Earth and Twice as Nice."  The people are warm and friendly and welcome them with open arms.  The town is a beautiful throwback to a bygone game, where the sun always shines and the sky's always blue.
            As they settle into their new, perfect lives, the circle is complete when Emily falls pregnant again.  The town is perfect, the weather is perfect, and their lives are perfect.  But are the stares from their neighbours a little too intense, is the town a little too interested in their happy news, and is Eden all that it seems?
            They are about to find out that paradise comes at a cost, and when you sign a lease, you should always check the fine print.

Asylum: 13 Tales of Terror
Genre: Horror
Publisher: Eden Publications
Publication date: 3.4.2013
Pages: 292

Blackwater Heights is a building with a long dark history, some of it is well known but more is shrouded in myth and legend.  none more so than that of its founding father Horace Whisker.
            Martin Parcell is an ex-journalist with shattered dreams of an author's career.  Sidelined through a car crash's injuries, he finds himself forced through governmental austerity measures having to take a custodian position at a private mental health hospital.  A writer with undoubted talent, but an author without a story.
            He begins his new job deep in depression and drowning under waves of his lost dreams.  On his first night he meets Jimmy, his elderly supervisor who has spent most of his life within the hospital walls.  Jimmy is nearing retirement age and desperate to rest his weary bones.  Jimmy offers Martin a way out for both of them, access to the background histories and stories of the hospital's patients.  A collection of 13 tales from the darkly disturbed minds of the residents of Blackwater Heights.
            As the long night unwinds, Martin finds himself deeply troubled as the tales unfold before him and threaten to drag him down into their insanity.

Abra-Cadaver
Genre: Horror
Publisher: Eden Publications
Publication date: 8.3.2013
Pages: 342

Tommy, Dixon, McEwen, PJ, and Alison were always a close knit group until Tommy's 12th birthday party.  Tragedy strikes when a magic trick goes horribly wrong and a woman lies dead.
            A local magician Albert Trotter is railroaded during a rigged trial and locked away.  Forever protesting his innocence and after a vicious assault in prison, he is eventually sent to a mental institution in a catatonic state.
            Now Tommy is 36 and heading home for the first time in over two decades, but he's not alone.  Someone is slaughtering the residents of Denver Mills with magic-trick-themed murders and holding those involved with the Trotter trial in a steely grip of fear.
            Tommy will have to find the strength to bring his old friends together as secrets and lies are exposed throughout the small town of Denver Mills.
            Something evil is coming home, and they're bringing a whole new bag of tricks.

Gated II
Genre: Horror
Publisher: Eden Publications
Publication date: 12.26.2013
Pages: 338

The new sequel to the UK Horror Chart best seller Gated from the author of Asylum - 13 Tales of Terror, Abra-Cadaver and After Darkness Falls.
            It has been 10 years since the events in the small picturesque town of Eden.  Lives were forever altered as two newcomers found the courage to peek behind the curtain and bring Tolan Christian's reign to a violent end as the town burned around them.
            No one was more affected than Sarah-Jane Mears.  The once bubbly ball of good nature is now a shadow of the former woman she used to be.  After travelling to try and find a new home, she has eventually settled in Northern England, where she has taken a teaching position at Ravenhill Academy, an exclusive private school.
            But now there is a new student who has just transferred.  A young American boy who is strangely familiar and oddly charismatic.
            As the school breaks for the Christmas holidays, the harsh winter weather has cut them off from the outside world.  Sarah is starting to learn that Ravenhill is an old building seemingly with a life and an energy of its own, one that is slowly stirring.
            She is going to realise that not all lessons are learnt in the classroom and that some secrets won't stay buried.

The Travelling Man
Genre: Horror
Publisher: Eden Publications
Publication date: 7.10.2014
Pages: 375

The small desert town of Granton is a typical slow boiling pot of unfulfilled hopes and dreams.  Every hard working day is much like any other here where little ever changes.
            Sheriff Cassie Wheeler runs a tight ship in the tradition of her late father.  There is little serious crime to trouble her department, save for the local miners' occasional rowdiness after payday.
            But Granton has its share of secrets hiding behind twitching curtains and small town folks often have the biggest of ambitions.
            Now the long dusty road into town has brought with it a stranger.  A man of elegance calling himself Gilbert Grange has arrived.  He brings with him a bag full of dreams and a silver tongue of promise.  He can give you whatever you desire, all you have to do is sign on the dotted line.
            The residents of Granton are about to discover that dreams can come at a terrible price, and you should always be careful what you wish for.

Rapture Falls
Genre: Horror
Publication date: 6.6.2012
Pages: 246

Baine is a mystery even to himself, a man with unexplained abilities and no past, when he awakens he knows only two things; his business is death and business is good.
            The delicate balance of his world is shattered as he finds himself a pawn torn between exiled warring archangels on earth fighting for Metatron's Cube, a holy artifact that holds God's secrets of creation.  Ancient angelic factions, The Grigori and the 11th Order headed by Lucifer and Gabriel threaten the very existence of our world and Baine soon discovers that he alone is the key.  As the centuries pass, Gabriel and Lucifer struggle to maintain their iron willed control over their respective orders whilst attempting to fight against the invading tide of human emotions that threaten their angelic serenity.
            Thrust into a war that has raged since the dawn of time, Baine finds himself fighting for his life and his freedom, but he must first understand his past before daring to dream of a future.
            As the war rages, carnage ensures and the bodies mount, a dangerous man without emotion or conscience must choose between wielding the infinite power for his own gain or else finding the  humanity within himself to save us all.

Vengeance Has Fangs
Genre: Horror
Publisher: Eden Publications
Publication date: 9.26.2012
Pages: 356

Jimmy "Eyes" Glick and Abraham "Ghost" Jacobs both came through life the hardest of ways.  A chilling combination since their orphanage origins, one a fully fledged psychopath and the order a borderline sociopath.
            Together they worked for Bennett Drake who ran the criminal underworld of the city of Eagleport.  But Jimmy and Ghost were never going to take orders for very long and in the ultimate act of betrayal they seize control of the organisation in a bloody coup.
            18 years later they now control the city with razor sharp intelligence and an iron fist.  The organised crime empire that they have built over the years has its foundations laid in blood, and pain.  Ghost has worked hard to control Jimmy's legendary temper as he attempts to move them into the legitimate business world.  Jimmy lives for the limelight and is the figurehead of the company, whilst Ghost is content to lurk in the shadows, but there are problems brewing.  Jessica Kyle gave up a promising journalistic career to pursue the illusive story of the man behind the whisper in the king's ear.  She begins a determined pursuit of Abraham "Ghost" Jacobs and won't be deterred despite the obvious dangers.
            Suddenly the very building blocks of Jimmy and Ghost's empire are crumbling.  As Ghost attempts to understand the threat that has arisen, he suddenly finds himself fighting a war on all fronts.  Someone is launching a calculated plan to ruin them; their bank accounts are empty, their properties are all stolen from under them, some employees are disappearing, whilst others are turning on them.  
            Ghost soon discovers that their organisation is under threat from an enemy far more different and dangerous than anything that they could have ever possibly imagined.  His singular purpose in life is complicated by his growing fear that they are not as invincible as he'd always imagined.
            As Ghost fights for his life and this around him, he loses his tenuous grip over their kingdom and Jimmy's sanity.
            He's about to discover that some betrayals won't stay buried.
            As intelligent honor thriller with depth that mixes vampires and gangsters and not a "Tween" in sight.
            The Untouchables meets the Undead.

Double Visions
Genre: Horror
Publication date: 6.2.2015
Pages: 370

Jane Parkes had always considered her ability a fine line between a gift and a curse.  She calls it The Shadow World, a place where she can see through the eyes of killers and help bring them to justice.
            The country cowered in fear as the serial killer christened "The Crucifier" wreaked bloody havoc.  Her desperation to prove herself led to a basement confrontation that she wasn't prepared for.  As a result, the Detective that had allowed her to work on the case ended up dead alongside the killer.
            After that terrible night, her guilt caused her to put away the ability to see inside the minds of monsters, to try and lead a normal life.  But now someone else has taken up The Crucifiers' mantle.  Someone is killing again, only this time The Shadow World is now a two-way street and he wants to play.
            Sucked into a desperate race for survival, Jane is going to learn that sometimes, when you stare into the darkness, someone stares back.

The Montague Portrait
Genre: Horror
Publisher: Eden Publications
Publication date: 10.31.2014
Pages: 331

Hugo Montague was a man of boundless cruelty that lived on beyond his mortal days.  The portrait that he commissioned has hung on many walls, but has always overseen tragedy and murder.
            The painting was long thought destroyed in a fire, but now there are those desperate to find the portrait if it still exists.
            Travis Parker was an insurance investigator, but now he is a widower trapped within his own pain and broken promises.  When he is approached by the mysterious Telfar Vargas to track down the portrait, he reluctantly agrees to one last case.
            Charlotte Goode has a long personal history with the painting and will let nothing stand in her way to avenge her family.
            The race across Europe to find the painting soon becomes littered with death as dark supernatural forces converge and threaten to consume those foolish enough to look.

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