The Cold War thriller parody short film I wrote with my brother Dennis has finished making the rounds of festivals and such and is now available to watch for free on YouTube. Do check it out! It only costs 25 minutes of your life, and its totally worth it, if I do say so myself.
I will be hosting a screening of the short films iBrain and Double Crossed at Caper Con, a sci-fi, fantasy, anime and comic book convention in my hometown of Sydney, NS. So if you’re in town come check them out! The screening is this Friday Oct 21 at 9pm at Center 200 on the Caper Con main stage. You have to be attending the convention to come to the screening and a day pass for Friday is $15. Festivities get underway at 3pm and there will be lots of vendors (I’ll be there loaning out graphic novels for the library) and other panels so if you’re at all nerdy do come check it out, it’s a good time
Thanks to my email being broken and useless, I missed most of this, but better late than never I guess! Schoolbooks and Sorcery, a diverse YA fantasy anthology, is the latest to include one of my stories. This is a great anthology for anyone who (like me) gets really annoyed when characters in fantasy are always white and/or straight and also for anyone who likes Harry Potter (I mean, who doesn’t. GO RAVENCLAW).
My story is called The Chosen One and it’s about a bisexual alternate universe Haitian boy who tries to force his magical powers to come in early, with predictably disastrous results. Fun times. Very teenager.
Anyway the anthology is in Kickstarter phase right now so if it appeals to you, why not head over and pre-order a copy so that all of us lovely writers can get paid 😉
This week is the ceremonial launch of Enter the Apocalypse, the latest anthology I’ve contributed to. As part of the festivities, we the authors are guest posting on each others’ blogs. So today’s post will be brought to you by:
Lana Cooper doesn’t usually talk about herself in the third person, but makes an exception when writing an author bio. In 2014, she published her first novel, Bad Taste In Men. Her short stories have appeared in several anthologies. A member of the Horror Writers Association, Cooper is currently working on her second novel.
Be sure to check out the launch party, happening next Thursday (April 20) on Facebook:
“Hey! What about War? Maybe give her a reality dating show and call it ‘The Bloody Bachelorette’ with fifteen men vying for her affections and she gets to slaughter them all.”
LAUGHING AT THE END OF THE WORLD
Nothing sucks the joy out of something quite like “going corporate.” That also includes the end of the world. Imagine looking forward to something for thousands of years. Everything you’ve done to this point has been building to this moment. In this case, that something is the apocalypse. The promise of stock options, licensing, and the potential to make more money sure is tempting. But when you get down to it, going corporate blows because, ultimately, you have to answer to somebody else – whether it’s your boss, stockholders, or something much, much worse.
That’s the conundrum the loveable triad of War, Pestilence, and Famine run into in my story, “Death, Inc.”, my humble contribution to the Enter the Apocalypse anthology. These three ancient, anthropomorphic entities find themselves going up against more than what they bargained for, kickstarting the apocalypse with all manner of plagues – including reality television shows.
The Story Behind the Story: Finding the Humor in Horror
I’ve always been a big fan of finding the humor in inappropriate situations: company meetings, disappointing relationships (or lack thereof), funerals. Lord knows, I’ve sat through more than my share of all three. Yet, there is no more inappropriate (or appropriate, depending on how you look at it) time to laugh than during the end of the world. What makes horror, well… horrifying is that it embodies a feeling of powerlessness against the unknown. Even the most powerful among us are not immune to frightening circumstances beyond their control.
While the horror genre puts a face to our fears and forces us to confront what most terrifies us, adding humor to the genre makes us face our fears and laugh at them. Even the most dire circumstances feel far less intimidating if you’re able to pick them apart, removing the fangs and claws and replacing them with jokes and wisecracks. It humanizes what would otherwise paralyze us with fear. And if you humanize something, it makes it a whole lot easier to defeat it.
Need further proof of humor as the most effective weapon against the dark? Look at the character metamorphosis of Ash Williams between Evil Dead and Army of Darkness. Did Ash crap himself when he lost his hand? Hell no! He nutted up and strapped a chainsaw to that stump and took all those Deadites to task. Ludicrous? Absolutely! Effective? Yer darn tootin’!
Circling It Back to the Three Horsemen
So, how do you make the inhuman more human? In this case, it’s getting to know the Three Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Hopefully, by the end of the story, you come to better understand what makes them tick. Incidentally, two of the three horsemen are actually horsewomen (War and Pestilence), but even the best re-branding team can’t always make a gender-neutral term stick when you’ve had thousands of years of press touting you as otherwise.)
That said, the trio are a close-knit bunch, although they’re not without their own sibling rivalries that have bubbled beneath the surface for thousands of years. Yet, as is the case with most close families, those rivalries stem from more misunderstanding than malice. And like every family, each sibling has different motivators although they share a common goal.
Although the Horsemen seem to be the villains of the piece at the outset, as is the case in horror, things aren’t always what they seem. And even the “monsters” aren’t immune to feeling powerless from time to time. Whether they learn to find the humor in the dark remains to be seen. The same can be said for all of us.
Click here to see the guest post I wrote for Lana’s blog.
For those who want to have a facemelting good time reading a horror story about everyone’s favorite supposedly extinct deadly disease, head on over to TANSTAAFL Press to check out their new anthology Enter the Apocalypse, featuring copious facemeltings by yours truely. YOU’RE WELCOME.
News time! I have sold my short story “Nightmare Factory,” about a smallpox expert who joins NATO’s Bioterror Response Team on a mission to stop a new strain of engineered smallpox, to TANSTAAFL Press. It will be appearing in the Enter the Apocalypse anthology sometime in spring of 2017.
The latest (completed) film project I wrote is an official selection for the Regina International Film Festival in October. It’s a 20 minute Canadian Cold War spy comedy. If you happen to be in Saskatchewan on Friday October 3 between 1 and 3:30 pm, you should check it out. Here’s the trailer:
Goodreads is giving away a copy of the latest anthology to carry one of my short stories. You can enter here.
Just recently separated this domain from the old one, so it’s under construction. Check out My Old Movie Reviews Site to see actual stuff about me.