Ellie Douglas-Author Interview (2019)

Hey guys, I wanted to introduce you to one of my favorite new authors Ellie Douglas. In conjunction with this being Women in Horror Month I wanted to interview a woman whose work is so visceral and thought provoking, chilling with both gore and wonderfully thought out horror narratives. I recommend most highly and if you are a fan of the horror genre, you can not go wrong with any of her works! Ellies books personify horror.

She is a multiple award-winning author who comes from New Zealand. She is also a freelance graphic artist who designs and creates beautiful, imaginative, and professional pre-made book covers and coloring books. She has also spent ten years working with autistic children.

 

So let’s get down to it and ask her some questions:

What is it that drew you to the horror genre?

That is a good question. A lot of things have drawn me into the horror genre. It started from a very early age. I would sneak up and watch horror movies that my dad was watching. He did not know I was there. I’d be watching from behind the half-closed living room door. I was scared, actually I was terrified, but I loved the thrill of it. I believe watching horrors from such a young age is what sparked my love of horror. It grew from there. My brothers and I would do some seriously crazy things after watching movies like Friday the 13th for example. After watching that, we were being silly kids and decided to pull a prank on our mother. So we ripped the head off of one of my dolls, stuck a screwdriver into it, leaving the top part of the screwdriver sticking out through its now matted hair. Then we poured tomato sauce all over it. Smeared it with black and blue ink to look like bruises and dirt and then we put it on a plate and left it in the refrigerator for our mother to find. Needless to say when she did, she gave us the thrill we were after when she screamed bloody murder; however, when she was calm and realized it wasn’t a real babies head, we got into big trouble. My brother was 14 at the time, and I was 13. So it’s really been running through my veins since I was a young girl.

Who are some of your favorite authors or books?

Some favorite authors. Stephen King. James Herbert. Dean Koontz.

Your short stories are so intriguing. How do you decide whether to keep them short or to develop them into a novel?

I had already written five full sized novels, and I wanted to challenge myself by writing short stories. I discovered I was good at it. I enjoyed it a lot and kept ongoing. Some of those shorts will be turned into full-sized novels. Deciding to keep them short was the challenge, and because of that headspace I was in I already knew ahead of time that they were going to be shorts 🙂

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Where do you get your inspiration for your writing?

I get my inspiration from so many different things. Sometimes I will create a cover of a book before I’ve even written it, to use that as my muse. Other times it will come from something I’ve experienced. Other times from movies or books. Wherever I am, be it at home, or out and about, ideas hit me hard and fast. My imagination is pretty wicked.

Being a graphic artist where do you get your ideas for your custom book covers?

As with the answer above, it can come from anywhere. Something I’ve read, watched in a movie or TV show, something the kids have said or done. Images elsewhere, my inspiration for creating covers and for writing both arrive from the same place. Also talking to people, finding out what they want and working with them often ignites my imagination, and it just takes off.

How did you get into developing adult coloring books?

I have always loved to color and thought how fun would it be to have a zombie coloring book. I’d not seen one, ever. Especially in this country, New Zealand. So I created my first adult coloring book and then decided I would make more. They are fun and very therapeutic, plus they make excellent gifts to give to the adult who has everything.

What inspired you to create an online casino slot game?

I love playing the slots, and I hate wasting money. So I thought why not make a game that I could play. One that would give me the best of both worlds. It would be the kind of game that one would win no matter what. No losers in that game. I need to say unfortunately it has been taken off the market due to the people at ITunes claiming that it shows too much skin. One of the characters from a fairy game is wearing a bodice that shows too much cleavage. So they pulled it down. I can not get it back up at this time, due to not having the money needed to remake that particular game.

“Hounded” has won multiple awards. Why do you think zombies resonate so much with horror fans?

I believe that it resonates well because of the damage that zombies can do. In particular, my book Hounded is not about human zombies. It is about K9’s, man’s best friend turned zombies. Four legged zombies cause way more damage and are a lot scarier. It for me I believe is because of what they can do and how scary zombies are no matter if they are human or animal. They will tear you apart, and that’s a thrill we all love. Also, it is hyped up about the possibility of a zombie apocalypse actually happening. I personally don’t believe that one will happen. But I’d be lying if I didn’t say it would be cool and that I could instantly become prepared for one lol.

 

Can you tell us something about your work with autistic children and why it is such a passionate cause for you?

One of my own daughters is on the Autism spectrum. This is what got me started in working with other children who are autistic. It is very close to my heart. Raising a special needs child comes with a lot of difficulties, but it also comes with a lot of rewards too. For example, when you see them achieve mainstream goals for the first time, it is very rewarding.

What new scares or projects are you working on right now?

I’m working on a top secret project. I’m unable to say what at this time, but I can say that it is going to blow the minds of readers. I’m pretty sure readers won’t have seen anything like what I’m currently working on. Trust me, it will be something that readers will be very excited about.

My final thoughts is an offer of a short story, for free. If readers of your awesome blog are reading this and would love a taste of my horror, then I have one just for them. If you visit my website, you can join my newsletter and be rewarded instantly with a free book.

https://www.authorellie.com/ Website

I want to thank Ellie so much for taking the time to answer my questions and for writing such fabulous books! If you would like to learn more about her or you would like to read her work, just follow the following links:

http://bit.ly/LinkedIn-Ellie LinkedIn

http://bit.ly/Ellie-Pin Pinterest

http://bit.ly/Ellie-Instagram Instagram

http://bit.ly/FB-ELLIE Facebook

http://bit.ly/EllieTube  YouTube

https://plus.google.com/101411492847090012799 Google Plus

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15292826.Ellie_Douglas Goodreads

https://twitter.com/AuthorEllie Twitter

https://www.authorellie.com/covers

Upgrade Film Review (2018)

Like I said before I am not going to give stars or thumbs up but just tell you if I liked a film or not.Just watched the Blumhouse Upgrade movie and I loved it! It was like a combination of the Matrix meets Blade Runner meets the Six Trillion dollar man. Yes, I said trillion because in today’s market the kind of technology used would cost a pretty penny.

Set in the near-future, technology controls nearly all aspects of life. But when Grey, a self-identified technophobe, has his world turned upside down, his only hope for revenge is an experimental computer chip implant called Stem.

It is brought to you by Blumhouse the people that have brought us The Purge Series, Get Out, Insidious films, and the new Halloween and Glass movies coming out later this year. Written and directed by the incomparable Leigh Whannell who did Saw, Insidious, and Raze (just to name a few) it is a roller coaster ride of violence and retribution,

Starring Logan Marshall-Green from three of my other favorite films The Invitation, Prometheus, and Devil along with the great Betty Gabriel who you will recognize from Get Out and Purge Election Year. They were utterly fantastic in their roles and the film satisfied me completely. Great violence and even some good laughs I believe you will really enjoy this innovative and different film. Not gonna say anymore because I wouldn’t want to spoil a thing for you but I truly believe you will really love this movie!

Clarissa Jacobson Interview (2018) Lunch Ladies

Clarissa Jacobsen is the wondrous writer of Lunch Ladies a short horror film touring the film festivals now. Lunch Ladies is about two burnt out high school Lunch Ladies who do whatever it bloody takes on their quest to become Johnny Depp’s Personal Chefs. I highly recommend it and can not wait for it to become a feature length film. The film is directed by J.M. Logan who worked on visual effects for Apocalypto and Production Manager for The Circle starring Tom Hanks. The films two main stars are Donna Pieroni as Seretta and Mary Manofsky as LouAnne our intrepid lunch ladies. The ladies have shared a miserable existence as high school lunch ladies serving up rubbery chicken parts, ammonia-treated government meat and whatever else the cash-strapped national lunch program sends their way. This year is going to be different: The twin’s Cheesy Burger Bites recipe is the Grand Prize Winner of Johnny Depp’s Cook for Kid’s Charity Event. Convinced this is their ticket out of high school hell town and that “The Depper” will hire them to be his very own Personal Chefs, their dreams are shattered after a snotty head cheerleader pushes them one step too far. This forces the Lunch Ladies to ask themselves – WWJD? What would Johnny do?

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I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Clarissa previously for the House of Tortured Souls, but now that I have my own site I wanted to check in with my friend and see how she is doing with the movie on the circuit:

You have been doing a lot of traveling for promotion and awards, any fun stories?

~I have been having the time of my life attending festivals and every single one has something wonderful or crazy that happened. One of the funniest situations happened at Mórbido Fest in Mexico City where I traveled 1,850 miles to see the Lunch Ladies for our international premiere and never got to see the film.  The first screening I got stuck in a Day of The Dead Parade trying to get to the theatre.  You’ve never seen traffic like you’ve seen in Mexico City, now triple that for the Day of The Dead.  I left an hour and a half early to get to the film – the theatre was only 10 minutes away.  I thought I had enough time.     I didn’t know about that parade.

The cab driver I had dropped me off on the side of the freeway because we were at a standstill and said “Go that way” he pointed to a park telling me to cut across to get to the theatre.  I was in a dress and it was about 100 degrees and I was running through the park, lost –  my Google Maps wasn’t working and there were Day of the Dead floats coming at me.  I was sobbing trying to find that damn theatre with people from Mexico City stopping trying to help but no one seemed to know where it was.   Finally another poor cab driver took pity on me but that ended up being a fiasco as well, because he tried to avoid traffic and we went all over the city ending up in an Uber accident.  Once again I got out of the car, and ran – this time, I don’t know how but I found the theater – I made the Q&A soaked to the skin from sweat with mascara running down my face.

The second time the film played I got there three hours early only to find out after sitting for two hours that it had been canceled.  So, I decided to go see my friend Catya Plate’s movie – Meeting MacGuffin and then Gisberg Bermudez’s movie The Whistler.  That ended up being a massive fail also as the Uber driver who was taking me got in another accident.  I left the next morning for home only having seen two shorts the whole festival.  Yet,  in the funniest way the whole thing was perfect.

MeArtemis

Favorite place you got to go and why?

~The favorite place I’ve been to would be Clermont-Ferrand. Though Imagine Fest in Netherlands was amazing too, and Nightmares Fest in Ohio was a joy.  All of the fests that I’ve attended have been great, and have had really wonderful things that happened.  But so far, my top is Clermont-Ferrand.   The thing about Clermont-Ferrand is the audience loves short film so much that every single screening has people lined up around the block.  There’s just a lot of passion for short film there.  Opening night the film played to 1000 people and every seat was filled.  The programmers at Clermont have also been incredibly kind to me and have since taken the film to two more festivals, one in Marseilles and one in Korea.  Imagine they treated me wonderfully too… and Nightmares was the first place the film won an award and I met so many great people there.

How are plans for the feature film going?

~I’ve just been plugging along with the feature – that is trying to find that financier to take the project. It hasn’t happened yet, but there’s a lot of amazing things happening on the horizon and I’m hopeful.

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Any new projects on the horizon?

~I haven’t had time to write much because Lunch Ladies has taken up so much of my time, but I have many other projects in the wheelhouse, two of them – Stella by Starlight which was optioned by Bev Nero Productions and Norman Stephens is picking up steam and Psalm Du Sang – a story about Elizabeth Bathory – was optioned by the director, Gisberg Bermudez. The same Gisberg I met at Mórbido Fest.

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Have you got to discover any new fave horror films or books?

~The discovery I had was “Don’t Look Now” – Joe Bratcher, my writing mentor had recommended it to me a while back and finally I was able to see it. They call it a thriller, but I think it’s pretty horrific – it was fantastic and terrifying.  I had nightmares.
~How do you like the horror fans?

I love horror fans so much – these are my people – they are smart, supportive, artistic and non-judgmental.

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~Have you got any rest at all?-hehe

Rest? Actually things are good right now – because my job ended and I’m taking a few months off to do things with the film – so life is good right now – I’m getting 8 hours!

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I want to thank Clarissa again so much for taking her valuable time to speak with me and let us know how her short film is going. Please check it out you will be really happy you did!

https://www.lunchladiesmovie.com/

You can also follow the film and Clarissa at @LunchLadiesFilm on Twitter and https://www.facebook.com/lunchladiesmovie/

And to check out my previous interview on the fantastic House of Tortured Souls just click on http://houseoftorturedsouls.com/lunch-ladies-2017/

 

 

 

 

 

Ode to the Family of Horror

The revenge in my heart 

Is crimson and black

Even though I am perturbed

By the verb that is the word

I was revitalized by the gods that had the ichor

That drained the gore

That is the lifeblood

Not in the guise of a slasher

Just deaths ever after

Not the voodoo

That changed what I do

But the apocalyptic disembowelment

That harvest the macabre creepy pasta of what others do

From the crone to the zombie, from the witch to the cannibal

Life’s own revenge is more amenable

And on Halloween Night

The Feast of Samhain

When sanguine psychos scream out in pain

Tormented they are from their torture

And the abattoir contained

Oozing and mutilated, grotesquely vomiting

Their shudders and burning scaphism

None should know of these things

But those exhumed from the crypt or the grave

But the antagonistic ghouls and their black hearts

Experience a vicissitude under the harvest moon

Like a stabbing from a scimitar

Though I do love the night and a fool moon

How atmospheric and spooky the tune

That comes with the gloaming

And demons, and ghosts, and clowns abound

As unnerving nightmares dancing and prowling around

Chains rattling, dread teeming copious amounts

As the abomination that was the sticky prowler

Was a legend amongst the paranoid collector of souls

And possession or exorcism, we all die in the end

To where we know not but it certainly impends

But the autopsy of the visceral phobias was cadaverous

In comparison to the abhorrent rot

That was a gothic romance of a homicide

The only answer to dance

Dance in the dark void

No mercy shown, no congress given

Scream into the blackness corpse

Exhume the monstrous sinister remorse

Fore dark brains wrought

Definite recourse

Bludgeon and poison the paranormal

Exhaust the norm

Finality is our chaos

Can not avoid the approaching storm

Dark is the scream, the eek , the fear

The uncanny massacre

Obliterating our oblivion

Savage and morbid

Disturbing the putrification of the secretor

So this ode is done

But always remember that horror is nearer

 

The Mansion (2017) Le Manoir

The Mansion, originally titled Le Manoir is directed by Tony T Datis from Limoges France. Tony started out as a video editor and then moved to Paris to further that career which led to him becoming a director. He worked with Katy Perry and Skrillex amongst many others.

The film was a really entertaining horror-comedy. It starts out a little slow and then the deaths come rolling in! We have a group of friends that rent a beautiful mansion in Belgium with a questionable past. The friends are getting ready to celebrate New Years Day and have brought their various pharmaceutical accoutrements. As the drugs and drinks flow, strange things start happening and our group of friends are suddenly in a fight for their lives.

It reminded me a little of the British horror-comedy Severance, which will become very clear when you watch. I dont want to spoil anyone’s viewing pleasure. It was well acted by such actors as  Marc Jarousseau, Nathalie Odzierejko, Ludovik Day, and Jérôme Niel .

It is subtitled and on Netflix now and I recommend it. If you enjoyed Tucker and Dale VS Evil, Severance, and the Dead Snow series I think you will enjoy it.

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