Sunday, October 23, 2011

Coffin Hop 2011, Day One: What's Your Favorite Halloween Memory? And Win Nate Southard.

Welcome to Day One of Coffin Hop 2011.  For a full explanation of what that is, see yesterday's post.  In short, it's a blog tour of over 90 horror authors blogging about Halloween, horror, Horrorween, and anything in between.  We're all offering tons of few stuff, too, so come along and play!

Anyhoo.  Memories of Halloween.  Honestly, most of my childhood Halloween memories blur together.  I remember images, mostly.  Of dark, autumn nights and looming, blue-black skies.  Of blazing Jack-O-Lanterns and houses decked out in all manner of spookery.   And of course, the never ending parade of costumes. 

One year I was Frankenstein.  Another year, I was a skeleton which, worked out really well, because I broke my wrist that year, so the cast fit in with my skeleton outfit nicely.  Also, in a stab against political correctness, one year I was a "little Indian", which was especially cool, because it was my dad's costume when he was a kid.

And of course, I remember the candy.  Boy HOWDY, do I remember the candy.

The most vivid Halloween memory I have, though was of a movie I ended up watching one Halloween night.  When my sister and I got older, our family used to stop at a close friend's home when our Trick-or-Treating was finished for the evening.  It was kinda cool, because when we got home - if on a school night - we really didn't have time to sort through our candy and trade our wares between us for our favorites.  Plus, these folks had a game room: pool table, dart board and some other cool stuff.

One year, however, my sister and I ended up in the den, for some reason, counting our candy while our parents visited with their friends in the dining room.  On TV was a movie.  And totally blew my mind.  Scared the heebie-jeebies out of me.  Wasn't a "horror" movie, exactly, or about Halloween or demons or monsters or ANYTHING like that.

It was Saturn 3.

See, the movie threw me.  Started out a sci fi flick, right?  By the time  we were rolling, however...a murderous, homicidal cyborg powered by a whole buncha human brains is hunting down two hapless scientists stranded on a moon base.  I'm not sure what freaked me out more - the whole "brains in a canister" thing, or this one scene in which the cyborg butchers a little dog for fun - but whatever it was, that night is practically the ONLY Halloween night of my childhood that really, vividly stands out.

Now, I've never seen the movie since.  Mostly, I'm afraid it won't inspire the same chills it did that night, the memory won't come near the way I remember it.  But, I can honestly say it was my first brush with the concept of "horror"...and it wasn't necessarily bloody and gory or anything like that, and you didn't see the human brains stacked inside this thing so much.  You just knew they were there.  And that, my friends, for this former ten year old, was quite enough, thanks very much.

So, today's "contest".  Share with me in the comments your most VIVID - Strange - Memorable - Fantastic - Frightening Halloween memory.  I'll pick one as the winner (and it goes without saying, this whole thing is kinda arbitrary, no way around that), and the winner will be posted November 1st, over at the Coffin Hop blog.

Here's what's up for grabs today: He Stepped Through, (Bloodletting Press), by Nate Southard, which was limited to only 300 signed and numbered perfect bound paperbacks.

One gray morning, the words appear everywhere: on the lips of the men shooting up an inner city burger joint, scrawled across a bloody crime scene, and written on the wall of the only occupied apartment in a downtown slum. In the space of a single day, they infected Los Angeles. Crooked detective Walker wants to know what the words mean. Officer Megan Ricks can t get the words out of her head. Gang-banger 2Bit wants to get as far away from the words as possible. But the words can t be escaped. They're written in violence, and promise terror. When their meaning becomes clear, no one will be safe. 

And of course, there's always a copy of Hiram Grange & The Chosen One, up for grabs over at Goodreads...but a note, you DO have to be a Goodreads members to enter:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Hiram Grange and the Chosen One by Kevin Lucia

Hiram Grange and the Chosen One

by Kevin Lucia

Giveaway ends October 31, 2011.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

There you go, folks.  Hit me with those Halloween night memories...