The Edge of Darkness – Available Now

Mark Young is the author of the 13 Dark Fantasty & Horror Stories series. Available from Amazon for Kindle, Kindle Unlimited and in Paperback. The second volume ‘Coven’ is now available to pre-order on Amazon Kindle and Kindle Unlimited. Paperback released on 13th July 2020.

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The Edge of Darkness – Today at 5pm GMT

Check out the Face of Fear youtube channel here.

Mark Young is the author of the 13 Dark Fantasty & Horror Stories series. Available from Amazon for Kindle, Kindle Unlimited and in Paperback. The second volume ‘Coven’ is now available to pre-order on Amazon Kindle and Kindle Unlimited. Paperback released on 13th July 2020.

The Heartbreaker: 13 Dark Fantasy & Horror Stories is available now.

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Frankenstein

I think I first read Frankenstein somewhere around the age of 16-18. It was an utterly thrilling book and it’s on my shelf for a re-read this year.

I equally enjoyed the Kenneth Brannagh/Robert De Niro adaptation when it was released back in 1994. Many moons ago.

It wasn’t until recent years that I watched Frankenstein and Bride of Frankentein to discover how beautiful horror could be in all its black and white cinemaphotography and its gothic design which added a level of both sympathy and fear to such a sad and very misunderstood character.

Having missed out on Danny Boyle’s/Nick Dear’s stage adaptation for the National Theatre with Benedict Cumberbatch and Johnny Lee Miller alternating in the title role, I did seize the opportunity of catching it at the cinema a few years back with Miller starring as the creature. It was a part of the National Theatre’s NT Live cinema screening series. I was blown away. I came out feeling like it was one of the best things I’d seen on the big screen in a long time. Having watched Benedict Cumberbatch in the main role (which I thoroughly enjoyed) in the recent youtube lockdown screening, the small screen sadly doesn’t do the production justice. It has to be seen on stage or at least on the big screen. It is flawed in places (which I won’t go into here). But it doesn’t take away from the emotional and horrifying impact of a story that broke all the rules in storytelling when it was first written. Mary Shelley was a pioneer and some would argue that this is not only one of the best horror books of all time, but also one of the best in Science Fiction.

What are your memories of Frankenstein? What are you favourite adaptations? Feel free to drop a comment below. It’d be great to hear from you.

Mark Young is the author of the 13 Dark Fantasty & Horror Stories series. Available from Amazon for Kindle, Kindle Unlimited and in Paperback. The second volume ‘Coven’ is now available to pre-order on Amazon.

The Heartbreaker: 13 Dark Fantasy & Horror Stories is available now.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

You can also connect via any of my social media links:

Coven: 13 Dark Fantasy & Horror Stories AVAILABLE TO PRE-ORDER NOW!

It gives me great pleasure to announce the release of ‘Coven’ – the second volume in the ’13 Dark Fantasy & Horror Stories’ series. It’s now available to pre-order from Amazon (worldwide) for Kindle and Kindle Unlimited now. So you can have it delivered straight to your device on 13th July 2020. If you’d like a paperback copy it will be available to order on the day of release.

Amazon UK

Amazon US

If you haven’t yet read the first volume – ‘The Heartbreaker’ you can also get your copy from Amazon now. Feel free to check out the links below.

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COVER REVEAL – COVEN: 13 DARK FANTASY & HORROR STORIES

Here it is folks! The front cover reveal for the next installment in the 13 Dark Fantasy & Horror Stories series.

Stay tuned. More details coming soon.

Volume one in the series – The Heartbreaker: 13 Dark Fantasy & Horror Stories series is available worldwide for Kindle, Kindle Unlimited and in paperback on Amazon. Get your copy now from Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk. Also available in other territories.

Dracula

My earliest memories (which are pretty vague to be honest) of being introduced to the king of all horror icons came in the form of Wall’s Dracula – a mix fruit flavour ice lolly; and three 80s cartoons: the Drak Pack, Groovie Ghoulies and Count Duckula.

Like I said my memories of these are quite thin, so here’s a few visual treats for your to feast your eyes upon.

My first encounter with the original book came prior to the release of Francis Ford Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula with Gary Oldman taking the reigns in the title role.

Having re-read the book in recent years it’s easy to see why it has endured for so long. The first third of the book is a fantastic piece of horror writing. Fast paced. Haunting. Detailed. It’s dark, gothic gloom at its best. For me, the mid-section dips a little with most of the human characters talking about how concerned they were for each other all the time. But, give the story its full due it does ramp up the pace in the final race back to Dracula’s castle.

I had seen various incarnations of the character since my lollypop sucking (no pun intended) and cartoon loving days. But there was something about Gary Oldman’s interpretation, along with the costume and make-up design, that really struck a chord with me. Months before the film came out.

The overall look of the film is a feast for the eyes, documented as drawing from what came before it – particularly the silent black and white movie Nosferatu. I drew pictures for my art class, I read the book and watched documentaries on TV. I even bought the soundtrack and listened to Annie Lennox’s Love Song for a Vampire countless times. Still, many years later, Gary Oldman remains my favourite.

I would love to add these to my collection someday.

So what were your first encounters with the Big D? Do you have a favourite interpretation? Who do you think would be great in the role when they remake/reboot the story for another generation?

No need to put your answers on a postcard scrawled in blood. Just drop a comment below. Look forward to hearing your stories, as always.

Classic Universal Horror

I got into Universal Horror a few years back while on a mission to discover everything horror-related. My first viewing was the 3D version of The Creature from the Black Lagoon. It astounded me how good the 3D was. It still bamboozles me how modern day cinema can’t get 3D right. All they have to do is watch a film like this to see how it’s done.

Anyway, I digress.

The first in each series (plus the Bride of Frankenstein) are classic features. But what these films share in all their black and white (remastered) glory is their aesthetic. From creature and costume design to the fantastic cinematography and set design; these films are a joy to the eye even if you find the storytelling and acting a little dated.

Making my way through this classic collection and onto their many sequels I see the difference great scriptwriting, directing and casting can make to the success of a great film and why the originals in each series stands the test of time.

On a side note let’s make a special mention to Tim Burton’s Ed Wood. I can’t say much about this as I haven’t seen since it was released but it’s definitely on the rewatch pile. All I can remember is the stunning performances they all give. A wonderful tribute and celebration to these Universal Horror Classics.

The recent Tom Cruise reboot didn’t quite get it, but 2020’s The Invisible Man really made something of its own with the franchise. I, for one, would love to see these classics retold using the traditional methods of set design – capturing that haunting atmosphere in black and white film. But hey, that’s just me.

What about you? What do you love about these films? How would you like to see them rebooted? Drop a comment below. I’d love to hear what you think.

Gremlins

If you are reading this I’m sure you already know Gremlins is comedy horror at its best. From the lovable Mogwai, Gizmo, to the vicious and violent Stripe. And let’s not forget Brains and co. in the hilarious sequel that is Gremlins 2: The New Batch.

These films somehow magically blend comedy with all out gruesome horror through these masterful and wonderfully imagined puppet creations.

Gizmo is the pet we wish we all had, but why do we love his grotesque counterparts so much? What exactly is their appeal? Having watched these two films these last few nights I can only put it down to one thing. Because we see ourselves – our society – in these ghastly creatures. And that is wherein great comedy lies.

I saw Gremlins on pirate VHS when I was around eight years old. So it is a film I grew up with. And when the sequel came along I jumped at the chance to see it on the big screen.

Reported to be coming to HBO Max in 2021.

It has been announced that a ten-part animated TV series is due to hit the small screen next year on HBO max – HBO, who have produced some of the finest television we’ve seen these last few decades. Animation usually suggests a franchise will be aimed at a younger audience. Whether that animation is computer generated or hand drawn we’re yet to be treated to a sneak preview. But I’m keeping an open mind – just look at what Netflix did for The Dark Crystal – in my opinion the best TV series of last year. For me it was as good as Game of Thrones. Anyway, for now we’ll just have to enjoy what we have with these two great movies and the memories that go with them.

So which is your favourite? Are you a sucker for Gizmo like me? Or are you a fan of one of the dastardly, mischevious villains? Maybe you have a favourite scene? Drop a comment or gif below. I’d love to see who your favourites are and hear your memories of seeing the films.

And if you are interested to find out who initially created the Gremlins and how the first film came into my life – feel free to check out my (free) story: Nightmares & Scary Tales

Motivation – Thursday 21st May 2020

This week has been highly productive and great fun. But last night my inner-saboteur kicked in. Now it could’ve been something to do with having a cup of (decaf) coffee for the first time since Sunday (I’m sure it hasn’t helped) but it’s more likely my mind wants to fuck up my happiness.

I’ve been saying ‘make friends with your demons’ since my 20s. I’m sure it’s been said before but a google search doesn’t throw up anything that predates the late 90s so for now I’ve attributed the quote to anon.

‘Make friends with your demons.’ By this I guess I’m talking about awareness and seeing thoughts for what they are – just thoughts. Demons come in all shapes and sizes for all of us – that voice/those voices in our heads, memories, illusions and delusions, echoes of our past-selves that we can’t see anymore – old patterned behaviour, etc… which are all one thing and one thing only – thoughts. We can’t change the past. We can’t predict the future. But we can make choices for ourselves in the here and now.

Learning to observe thoughts and be “the observer of your thoughts” is a tricky concept but I’ve found with years of practice the anxiety and depression has severely lessoned. Don’t get me wrong, I still experience it but I’ve learned (and continue to learn) to manage it and not identify with it on a daily basis.

Through the therapy and training I’ve had in recent years I’ve come to discover that you can’t control your thoughts and feelings. BUT you can manage them. You can learn not to identify with them AND you can learn to let them go. There is no quick fix (as I naively believed a long time ago). It’s an ongoing process and takes a life’s work. And often it can be extremely challenging. But worth it in the long run.

So why am I writing this blog? Certainly not to teach, preach or brag. But because maybe sharing this story might just help in some small way.

In the past I’ve often let that inner-saboteur derail me and end up spending a few days on the sofa in front of the TV, thoughts swirling around in my head; or sleeping during the day. But not today. Today I want to overcome it and continue working on the projects that have brought me some joy.

Learning to look inwards and reflect on what’s going on in the mind is a powerful skill that can have such a positive impact on a person’s well-being. So today I’ll be re-acquainting myself with some old friends and when the time comes I’ll be waving them goodbye.

Drop a comment below for a free virtual hug. Have a great day!

Thomas Harris’ Hannibal Lector

This week I’ve been watching the Hannibal Lector films, starting with Hannibal Rising and Red Dragon.

I first saw The Silence of the Lambs when it came out on video (I was too young to see it at the cinema on release) and I was blown away. It was the first time I saw a thriller where you knew whodunnit. Where could they possibly go with the story if you know who the killer is? Right?

No spoilers here for those who haven’t seen it yet. But the twist is superb. And unexpected.

Jodie Foster’s and, of course, Anthony Hopkins’ iconic performance were well deserved of their Oscar wins in my opinion. Hopkins plays Lector with such quiet charm – luring you in with those deep blue eyes and softly spoken voice. He made the whole performance appear effortless. But hats off to the whole cast and crew too because I think it’s one of those films that are flawless.

The film got me onto the books. And the source material is highly gripping and thoroughly entertaining.

I’ve yet to read Hannibal Rising. And I may even give the TV series a shot – although it’s going to be hard to shake Anthony Hopkins out of the role of Hannibal the Cannibal.

What do you think of this series? Do you still hear the lambs, Clarice?

Drop a comment below. Would love to hear from you.