Bell Night

We shall see that at which dogs howl in the dark, and that at which cats prick up their ears after midnight. – H.P. Lovecraft

Richard Matheson – We Will Remember You!

 

Richard Matheson

Richard Burton Matheson passed away June 23 this year (2013) at the age of 87. It is always sad to hear when a great author dies. For those of you who didn’t have the pleasure of knowing much about Richard Matheson here is an article dedicated to him:

Richard Burton Matheson was born in Allendale, New Jersey, USA on February 20th 1926. He was a writer best known in the genres of horror, fantasy and science fiction. His most well-known novels also turned into films would be I Am Legend, The Twilight Zone, The Shrinking Man and Hell House.

Richard was the third child of Norwegian immigrants of Bertolf Matheson and Fanny Matheson. Richard published his first short story in The Brooklyn Eagle when he was 8 years old. After graduating high school in 1943, Richard went on to join the military. He served as an infantry soldier during World War II. Then he studied a Bachelor of Journalism at Missouri University. The first story he made money from was Born of Man and Woman. This was published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. Richard then went on in the years after to write many popular novels and screenplays.

“He is one of the most important writers of the 20th Century” – Ray Bradbury

Here are some facts that you may not have known about Richard Matheson:

His novel The Beardless Warriors described some of his experiences from war.

Something that Richard said in an interview about George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead: “… I watched it one night on television and thought to myself, gee, that’s awfully close to I am Legend. He I guess prefers to believe that it’s just derivation, but it seems pretty close to me.”

He married his wife Ruth Ann Woodson in 1952

The story Duel was inspired from an incident in 1963 after Richard was tailgated by a truck. It started when he was playing a game of golf and heard the news of President J.F.Kennedy being assassinated. He stopped playing his game and began to return home. On his journey home a truck tailgated him for a long period of time. Duel was then later adapted for a television-movie by Spielberg. This was the beginning of Spielberg’s career.

He nearly wrote the screenplay for Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. Richard didn’t agree with Hitchcock about the actual birds. Richard believed that the audience shouldn’t see the birds very often. Where as Hitchcock wanted them seen a lot.

Richard came up with the idea for I Am Legend when he was 16 after seeing Dracula. He didn’t write the book until 1952.

Something that Richard said about screen-writing once: “One of my pet peeves is the fact that when people win awards – Academy Awards, notably – if it’s based on a novel, they never mention it. It’s as if the novel never existed. The screenwriter acts as if he’s made it up out of his own head. Sometimes even the director acts as if he’s made it up out of his own head. It’s an ego problem, of course, but it’s tremendously unfair as well.

Richard had four children and three of them have become writers.

Richard Matheson has left a great mark on the world. He will always be remembered.

Some of Richard Matheson’s writing that you should check out:

Novels

I Am Legend                               A Stir of Echoes                     Someone is Bleeding                    Fury on Sunday             7 Steps to Midnight

The Shrinking Man              Hell House                    Hunger and Thirst                              The Gunfight                   What Dreams May Come

The Beardless Warriors               Earthbound                Woman                Shadow on the Sun              Passion Play            Camp Pleasant     

Other Kingdoms                 Generations               Hunted Past Reason               Now You See It…          Abu and the 7 Marvels         

Come Fygures Come Shadowes

 

Short Stories

Born of Man and Woman                   The Test                   Blood Son                 Miss Stardust               Interest                  The Thing      

The Last Day              Deadline                Slaughter House              Wet Straw                Death Ship               The Edge            A Drink of Water

One for the Books            Pattern for Survival               The Holiday Man               The Doll                Getting Together         Shoo Fly

 

Films

Tales of Terror                 The Box               Real Steel               The Devil Rides Out            The Incredible Shrinking Man             House of Usher

The Young Warriors           Master of the World                 The Raven                   The Last Man on Earth               The Pit and the Pendulum

De Sade              Loose Cannons                 Fanatic            The Legend of Hell House             What Dreams May Come          Burn Witch Burn

The Comedy of Terrors       

 

Bell Night

 

The Shine on Award… Thank you Serenity!

I have just recently been awarded the Shine on Award by a great friend of mine Serenity! 

I was really flattered.

shine on award

Here are 7 random questions that I am suppose to answer that come with this award:

1.  Rank these kinds of weather from best to worst: Sunny and hot, misty and cold, rain and cool, snow, ice, windy.

Misty and cool, rain and cool, sunny and hot, windy, snow, ice. – I haven’t seen snow before.

2.  Do you like outdoor music festivals?

Depends what it is. I would like a book festival more!

3.  Do you like drinking water?

Yes I love water!

4.  My favorite alcoholic beverage.

Hmm. It has changed a few times over the years, but I seem to like Cider at the moment.

5.  Best drug experience.

I really can’t say that I have had a best drug experience to tell.

6.  Most fun when not taking anything?

Reading! Of course.

7.  Greatest sorrow

The death of loved ones is always sad.

As for giving this award to someone I choose Kelli Beck

There are many that deserve the award, but I am only going to give it one person. Kelli Beck writes a blog called Wordsmithing Ain’t Easy – This is an amazing blog with regularly updated posts. Covered on this blog are book releases, books, book trailers, writing, daily prompts and much much more! All writers and readers should definitely check out this blog!!!

Thank you again Serenity for giving me this great award! Happy blogging everyone!

Peter Straub: An author to add to your horror collection!

Image

Peter Francis Straub was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on March 2nd 1943. He is an author and poet, best known for his work in the genre of horror. He was the eldest of three sons, his mother was a nurse and his father was a salesman. Straub began his writing career by publishing two small books of poetry and by writing two novels in the 1970’s. These novels were called Marriages and Under Venus. These two novels were not very successful, but in spite of that Straub continued writing. A lot of Stephen King fans will recognise the name Peter Straub because of his collaboration with him on the novels The Talisman and Black House.

Here are some interesting facts that you may not have known about Peter Straub:

Fans will be excited to hear that there are rumours of Straub and King doing a third Talisman book.

Straub’s parents had higher ambitions for their son other than becoming a writer. Straub’s father wanted him to become a professional athlete.

Straub is a great fan of Jazz, Opera and other kinds of classical music.

His wife’s name is Susan.

When Straub was seven years old his was temporarily paralysed after being hit by a car. He was in a wheelchair for a little and had to re-learn how to walk. He early on became aware of his own mortality.

In 1981 his novel Ghost Story was loosely adapted into a film. One of the main actors in this film was Fred Astaire.

To name just some of Straub’s favourite authors: Stephen King, Raymond Chandler, Muriel Spark, Donald Harington and John Crowley.

Straub has had his novels translated into more than twenty languages.

Something wise that Straub once said: “I wish I’d known at the beginning that all I really had to do is trust myself. Everything would work out as if by magic once I actually leaned back into my imagination and just let it work, and not question it and not fret about it.”

If you are a horror fiction fan and need something new to read, pick up a book by Peter Straub. Well worth the read!

Novels to read:

Koko       

Ghost Story                

If You Could See Me Now                

Mystery

Shadowland          

Julia                   

The Throat               

The Hellfire Club        

Mr X.                 

Under Venus             

Marriages             

Floating Dragon      

Lost Boy, Lost Girl                

In the Night Room             

A Dark Matter

Peter Straub and Stephen King:

The Talisman                  

Black House

Poems:

Open Air                      

My Life in Pictures

Ishmael

Lesson Park and Belsize Square: Poems 1970 – 1975              

Image

Terry Pratchett – The Creator of Discworld

Pratchett, Terry

Sir Terence David John Pratchett was born in 1948 in Beaconsfield, England. He is mostly known for a series of fantasy novels about a place called ‘Discworld.’ The Discworld itself is described as a large disc resting on the backs of four giant elephants, all supported by the giant turtle Great A’Tuin as it swims its way through space. The books are basically in chronological order. He has sold more than 55 million books worldwide and had his books translated into 33 different languages. Terry Pratchett went to John Hampden Grammar School, but claims that his education came from the local library. His first short story was published at the age of 13 in the school magazine Technical Cygnet. This short story was called The Hades Business. When he was 15 it was then published commercially in Science Fantasy. With the money earned from this published short story, he bought his first typewriter.

After finishing school Terry began a career in journalism. It was during this time he wrote his first novel ‘The Carpet People.’ This novel marked the beginning of his writing career. From this point on he wrote many other stories and his first ‘Discworld’ novel in 1983. This was called ‘The Colour of Magic.’ In 1968 he was married to his wife Lyn and then in 1976, he had a daughter named Rhianna. Rhianna went on to follow in her father’s footsteps as a writer. Rhianna Pratchett’s main area of writing is with video games. In November 2012 Terry Pratchett announced that he would leave the intellectual rights for theDiscworld’ novels to Rhianna, who could continue writing for it if she chose to do so.

In 2007 Terry Pratchett discovered that he had a very rare form of early onset Alzheimer’s disease. He donated a one million dollars Alzheimer’s Research Trust after finding out that the funding for Alzheimer’s research was small. In 2008 Terry began working with BBC on a documentary series based on his illness.

Here are some things that you may not have known about Terry Pratchett:

Terry was one of the first authors to use the internet to communicate with fans. Terry has always had a great interest in computers. His first computer was a Sinclair ZX81. When he travels, he always takes a laptop with him to write. He also enjoys playing computer games and has also helped out in creating a lot of game adaptations of his novels.

Terry is a great supporter and trustee of the Orangutan foundation in the UK. One of his most popular fictional characters is the librarian in the ‘Unseen University’s’ library. The librarian is an Orangutan.

He owns a greenhouse full of carnivorous plants. Some of these plants have been used in his novels.

He is the most shop-lifted author in Britain.

His fans do not seem to be restricted by age or genre.

Terry is known to have a great sense of humour as shown in an interview. He was asked if he has noticed any affect from Alzheimers happening and he replied “Yes. Bits drop out. The short-term memory has gone and so has the short-term memory. The short-term memory – OK, little jokes won’t be so funny in the fullness of time, but laughter is the best medicine.”

Terry writes an average of 2 books a year.

As he was growing up he considered Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows his favourite book.

Terry has said that ‘…To write, you must read extensively, both inside and outside your chosen genre…’

Here is a list of novels and stories by Terry Pratchett that you should check out:

Discworld Series:

1. The Colour of Magic         2. The Light Fantastic        3. Equal Rites      4. Mort            5. Sourcery               6. Wyrd Sisters

7. Pyramids          8. Guards! Guards!        9.Eric            10. Moving Pictures       11. Reaper Men               12. Witches Abroad                13. Small Gods

14. Lords and Ladies       15. Men at Arms     16. Soul Music       17. Interesting Times        18. Maskerade         19. Feet of Clay

20. Hogfather          21. Jingo         22. The Last Continent       23. Carpe Jugulum      24. The Fifth Elephant       25. The Truth

26. Theif of Time       27. The Last Hero        28. The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents          29. Night Watch

30. The Wee Free Men      31. Monstrous Regiment        32. A Hat Full of Sky        33. Going Postal         34. Thud!

35. Wintersmith      36. Making Money     37. Unseen Academicals     38. I Shall Wear Midnight      39. Snuff       40. Raising Steam

Discworld Short Stories:
(Most of these are available online.)

Turntables of the Night               Troll Bridge            Theatre of Cruelty            The Sea and Little Fishes

Death and What Comes Next           A Collegiate Casting-Out of Devilish Devices

Science Books:

The Science of Discworld             The Science of Discworld II: The Globe              The Science of Discworld III: Darwin’s Watch

The Science of Discworld IV: Judgement Day

Mapps:

The Streets of Ankh-Morpork           The Discworld Mapp           A Tourist Guide to Lancre                Death’s Domain

Other works by Terry Pratchett:

The Dark Side of the Sun                   Strata                 Good Omens              Nation                A Blink of the Screen                 A Slip of the Keyboard

The Carpet People         Johnny and the Bomb                       Johnny and the Dead            Dodger               The Nome Triliogy

Bell Night

Roald Dahl: The Orignal Charlie Bucket

Dahl

Roald Dahl was born in Cardiff, Wales on the 13th September 1916. He came from a strong Norwegian heritage with both his parents being Norwegian. When he was young both his sister and his father died only weeks apart. Roald Dahl’s mother could have taken him and his two other sisters back to Norway to live with relatives, but decided to keep them in Wales. This was because his father had the belief that British schools were the best in the world.

While attending school in derbyshire, there was a Cadbury chocolate factory not far away that used to provide sweets for the children to sample. There was also another company in the area that was in direct competition with Cadbury. It seems there was some corporate espionage going on. This later on gave Roald Dahl the idea for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Roald Dahl only began writing when he met author C.S. Forrester. His first short story was published in 1942. Roald Dahl thought his career as a writer came about as a ‘fluke.’ Something that a lot of people don’t know about Roald Dahl is that he wrote macabre adult stories before he started writing children’s stories. As Roald Dahl wrote more and more stories they started to become less realistic and more fantasy.

Roald Dahl died the 23rd of November 1990 from a blood disease. He was 74 years of age. It is said that he had a sort of ‘Viking’ funeral where he was buried with some items that he cherished in life. These items were pencils, chocolates and snooker cues.

Here are some interesting facts about Roald Dahl:

Roald Dahl was named after a famous Norwegian explorer.

When Roald Dahl’s son Theo was four months old he was hit by a taxi and therefore afterwards suffered from hydrocephalus also known as ‘water on the brain.’

In 1962 his seven year old daughter Olivia died from measles. He later dedicated the ‘BFG’ to Olivia.

Roald Dahl married actor Patricia Neal in 1953. During birth of their fifth child, she suffered from cerebral aneurysms. Patricia had to re-learn how to walk and talk. Roald Dahl divorced Patricia Neal in 1983. He then became re-married to Felicity Crosland.

Roald Dahl could speak three different languages: Norwegian, English and Swahili.

Roald Dahl was an aircraftman in the Royal Air Force and was also a fighter pilot during World War II.

Roald Dahl didn’t really get into children’s books until he had his own children. In the 1960’s he got a traditional Gypsy wagon and turned it into a playhouse for his children.

He dedicated the book ‘Matilda’ to his grand-daughter Sophie Dahl.

Roald Dahl stated once that if he hadn’t become a writer he would have become a doctor.

In 1965 he was accused of plagiarism. He published a short story in Playboy called ‘The Visitor’ which was a lot like a story from writer Dod Osbourne called ‘Master of the Girl Pat.’

He loved chocolate, but not chocolate cake or chocolate ice-cream.

His favourite way of writing was with pencil on yellow paper.

He had two steel hips and six operations on his spine.

Some of his favourite authors were Charles Dickens, Rudyard Kipling and Frederick Marryat.

Some of Roald Dahl’s stories that you should consider reading are:

Children’s Fiction:

The Gremlins          Charlie and the Chocolate Factory                  Charlie and the Glass Elevator

The BFG                 The Witches             The Twits               Fantastic Mr Fox          Esio Trot

The Minpins            The Vicar of Nibbleswicke             Danny, the Champion of the World

The Magic Finger              The Enormous Crocodile                George’s Marvellous Medicine

The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me           James and the Giant Peach        Matilda        

Adult Fiction:

Switch Bitch                   Kiss Kiss             Twenty-Nine Kisses from Roald Dahl           Two Fables

Sometime Never: A Fable for Superman             Someone Like You          Skin and Other Stories

My Uncle Oswald             Lamb to the Slaughter             The Best of Roald Dahl        

Roald Dahl’s Book of Ghost Stories       Tales of the Unexpected     The Roald Dahl Treasury

More Tales of the Unexpected         Over To You: Ten Stories of Flyers and Flying

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More            The Roald Dahl Omnibus

The Great Automatic Gramatizator                       Roald Dahl Collected Stories

Ah: Sweet Mystery of Life: The Country Stories of Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl was a great author with an even greater imagination. Hopefully he has inspired you to read and write more.

Bell Night

Neil Gaiman: An author that needs no introduction.

Image

Neil Richard Gaiman was born in England on the 10th of November 1960. He became intrigued by books as a small child. Some of the authors he liked to read were Edgar Allan Poe, Tolkien and C.S.Lewis. Libraries and his love of books fostered a deep seeded interest in writing. The starting point of Gaiman’s career began in Journalism. He wrote many articles and interviews under pseudonyms for the Sunday Times, the Observer, Knave and Time Out. In 1984 his first book was a biography on the band Duran Duran. Gaiman went on to write in many different genres across a range of mediums. Neil Gaiman is a writer who who keeps his fans constantly entertained. He was not only a writer but also a screen writer, a graphic novelist, producer and director. Some of the screen writing he has done that you may of heard of is: Beowulf, Coraline, Day of the Dead, Death and Me, Princess Mononoke, Stardust, MirrorMask and A Short Film About John Bolton.

Some interesting facts that you may not have known about Neil Gaiman:

His writing always seems to have a lot of metaphors, allusions and alliterations.

His dogs name Cabal, comes from the Hebrew word Kabbalah. The original meaning of this is an occult doctrine or secret.

Neil Gaiman is good friends with Tori Amos.

Currently he is married to Amanda Palmer who is his second wife. He has three children with his first wife Mary McGrath.

Gaiman never went to college.

Gaiman filed and won a lawsuit against Todd McFarlane. In 1991 Gaiman was asked by McFarlane to do some work for him on one issue of the Spawn series. During this time Gaiman introduced three supporting characters to the issue that he had created. McFarlane later claimed that he owned all of Gaimans creations. McFarlane also refused to pay Gaiman for work that was later republished and kept in print.

Neil Gaiman has his own blog. You can check it out here:

http://journal.neilgaiman.com/

Neil Gaiman is definitely an amazing writer and it was my pleasure to add him to the author review list. I hope you gained as much pleasure reading about him as I did writing about him.

Image

Andrew Mcgahan: An Author of Many Genres

andrew

Andrew McGahan was born 1965 in Dalby, Queensland, Australia. He grew up on a wheat farm with 9 other brothers and sisters. After finishing school he went to the University of Queensland to do an Arts degree, but ended up dropping out half-way through it. He then went on to write his first novel, but unfortunately this was never published. The next few years became a ‘floating’ stage in life for him, doing an array of jobs, until he published his first book in 1992. This book was Praise. When he wrote Praise in 1991 he received The Australian/Vogel Literary Award for unpublished novels. Praise is about the truth and dark humour of a young person growing up in Australia. It is also about a relationship sustained by drugs, alcohol and sex. Some say that this novel is a some-what an auto biography. Praise is considered to be in the genre of grunge literature.

In 1995 Andrew went on to write a prequel to Praise called 1988. When Andrew tried to write a third novel after 1988, he found it difficult. Instead of writing something in the genre of grunge literature he ended up writing a crime novel. This novel was called Last Drinks. Last Drinks won a Ned Kelly Award for crime writing. From this point forward nothing seemed to be able to stop Andrew from writing great novels. He went on to write The White Earth , Underground, Wonders of a Godless World, The Coming of the Whirlpool and The Voyage of the Unquiet Ice. Andrew McGahan has written in many different genres throughout his writing career and it has proven to be a great success.

Andrew Mcgahan is an Australian author that shows writing is a struggle, but if you stick with it you may just make it.

Bell Night

Kate Grenville – An Amazing Aussie Author

Kate Grenville

Kate Grenville was born in 1950 in Sydney, Australia. Kate Grenville established herself as a well-known author in 1984 when she published a collection of short stories called Bearded Ladies. Bearded Ladies  were short stories based on the notion of women trying to free themselves from gender stereotypes within society.  Kate then went on to publish 8 fiction novels. Kate is known to do a lot of research for her books, using historical and factual information in the creative process.

Some interesting facts about Kate Grenville:

Kate always wanted to be a writer when she was young, but didn’t know that it was an option when picking a career.

Her first job was a university holiday job at a milk bar. “I had no idea that feet could ache that much after 8 hours of standing behind a counter. And I’ve never been able to look at a milkshake from that day to this.”

Her favourite book of all time is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin.

The people that she finds most influential when writing is Jane Austen, Virgina Woolf and Patrick White.

Some of Kate Grenville’s writing that you should check out:

Lillian’s Story – Published in 1985 it follows the life story of a woman named Lillian Una Singer.

Dreamhouse – Published in 1986 – A sort of black comedy about a marriage on the rocks

Joan Makes History – Published in 1988 is about a woman who is present at all the famous moments in Australia’s European history.

Dark Places (Albion’s story in the U.S.) – Published in 1994 – Is a novel to go along with Lillian’s Story – it is from the point of view of her father.

The Idea of Perfection – Published in 1999 – About two unlikely people who fall in love.

The Secret RiverPublished in 2005 – Part of a trilogy about early Australia

The Lieutenant – Published 2008 – Part of a trilogy about early Australia

Sarah Thornhill – Part of a trilogy about early Australia.

If you are looking for something interesting to read: Kate Grenville is for you.

Bell Night

Please Vote!

www.surveymonkey.com/s/BAB2013

Best Australian Blog – People’s choice award!

Hello everyone. I have been nominated for the People’s choice award for Best Australian blog. I need votes! I would love it if every took a minute out of their time and voted for me!!!

Just click the link and scroll down the page and tick the box next to Bell Night.

This award would be amazing to win. Thanks everyone!

Some things you didn’t know about J. R. R. Tolkien

tolkien

Everyone knows that J. R. R. Tolkien wrote the Lord of the Rings books, but what else do you know about Tolkien? John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was his full name. He was born in South Africa on the 3rd of January 1892 and died on the 2nd of September 1973 at the age of 81-82. He began living in England at the age of 3, a decision made by his mother after his father passed away. He was best known for his fantasy novels: The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion. Tolkien was one of the authors to bring the genre of fantasy to the forefront in literature.

Here are some interesting facts on Tolkien:

Most of Tolkien’s ancestors were craftsmen. The surname Tolkien comes from the German word Tollkuehn, which means fool-hardy.

As a young teen Tolkien started to explore languages. The first 3 languages that Tolkien worked on were Animalic, (which he didn’t invent himself) Nevbosh (means ‘new nonsense’) and Naffarin (he worked on by himself).

Tolkien’s wife Edith was 3 years older than him. He was not allowed to marry her until he turned 21. On the day he turned 21, he wrote to Edith asking her when he would see her again and declared his love. Edith wrote back telling him that she was already engaged to another man. The reason for this was that she believed Tolkien had forgotten about her. Tolkien got on a train to see her as soon as he heard. She returned the engagement ring to the other man and accepted Tolkien’s proposal.

Tolkien fought in World War I and lost many of his friends there.

Tolkien wrote an essay in 1936 Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics. ‘Beowulf’ wasn’t highly regarded at the time as great literature. After Tolkien’s essay things changed and people started to see ‘Beowulf’ in a different light. If it wasn’t for Tolkien many of us would never of even heard of ‘Beowulf.’

Tolkien was friends with C.S. Lewis.

When Tolkien’s son Michael entered the army and had to fill in paper work, he put down that his father’s profession was a ‘Wizard.’

Tolkien enjoyed forming clubs while he was at university. One was a Viking club and the other was a club called ‘the inklings.’ ( a literary discussion group)

Tolkien always saw himself as a scholar first and a writer second. He was skeptical of his fans, believing that they were incapable of really appreciating his work.

Most people think of The Lord of the Rings books as a trilogy, because that is how they were published, but in fact it is meant to be one novel.

Tolkien didn’t see ‘Frodo’ as being the main hero of The Lord of the Rings. He always claimed that ‘Sam’ was the real hero of the story. If most people knew this before they read the books, it would definitely change how it is seen.

The Lord of the Rings took Tolkien 14 years to write. It is also believed that when he needed a copy of the manuscript, he didn’t have the resources to make one, so he retyped the whole thing again himself.

Some of Tolkien’s publications that you should consider reading are: Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics.

The Hobbit

The Lord of the Rings

The Silmarillion

Unfinished Tales and The History of Middle-Earth

The Children of Hurin

The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun

Children’s stories:

The Father Christmas Letters

Mr Bliss

Roverandom

Tree and Leaf

The Adventures of Tom Bombadil

On Fairy-Stories (an essay)

Smith of Wootton Major

Farmer Giles of Ham

J. R. R. Tolkien was an author with the ability to create worlds that were as believable as our reality.

Image