Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Year's Resolution ...?

The holidays are once again behind us, the time with family and friends eating and drinking until we pass out is over until next year, well, for some of us anyway.
           I’ve never been one for making New Year’s resolutions, because, like many others who are gun-ho in the beginning, life just gets so darn busy and I inevitably end up guilty for not keeping them.  I do however have goals—I set these aside for myself all through the year.
           This year’s goals are already planned, and they’ve been planned since October, barring any unforeseen events—which always happen—I stick to these goals solidly, even with the unexpected. For those of my friends following my writing, this year you can expect some real exciting stuff!  First off will be my erotic Steampunk novella Mile Below Peep Show the companion to my short story Mile High Airship Club. If you’ve ever dreamed of deliciously drenching undersea adventure then this will be the novella for you—and I can honestly say it is beyond your wildest imaginings! If you’re taking a vacation next year, be sure to take it while reading MBPS! 
           Next will be the epic novel I’ve been dying to get to you all—I can’t divulge the title yet—as I’m not sure when it will be published, but it’s a young adult dark fantasy with a very unique twist on the world of the faerie. It’s not for the faint of heart, and yes, there is romance, but not much—this is a purely heart-racing on the edge of your seat adventure! Need a place to escape and love bigger-than-life world building—this will be the book for you to take note of!  The pages are filled with monsters and creatures never before written about and chock-full of new and old mythology.
          Another little gem will be my short-story Chimera: A Dark Fairytale of Love, it’s available here on my blog for you to read for free, but I will also be adding it to Amazon. com as a free read.
            If food is your thing, two of my recipes will be in the Have A Heart for Horror Cookbook, a benefit cookbook brought to you by Crimson Stained Lace Productions.
            And for those of my friends who are GBLT , I’ve been working on an anthology of gay erotic horror stories, and again, this anthology will be much different from the usual fare of reads, and it covers a wide variety of monstrously entertaining treats!
           So, I better get writing, huh …
            What are your new year’s goals? I would love to hear what you have planned this year—whether it be this year’s Halloween costume, events attending, or even changing jobs—let’s work together to keep our goals positive and on track!

Thank You Everyone!--for your comments and participating ;) The contest is now over, but feel free to leave any comments you would like ... Cheers!
Wishing Everyone Years of Endless Wonders!

Nishi Serrano!/NishiSerrano

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Cursing Up The Christmas Tree

(Disclaimer: no trees were hurt in the making of this story!)
CURSING UP THE CHRISTMAS TREE: Part One, by Carson Buckingham

I don’t know about all of you, but living in my house is a real experience—especially at Christmas time.
To start with, I lapse into temporary insanity, which exhibits itself in the Yuletide delusion that I suddenly have the culinary ability that I so obviously lack during the rest of the year.
Oh, yes.  It’s time to bake the cookies.
It would be sweet if it wasn’t so pathetic.  Every year, I bake hundreds of cookies, which I tie up in red or green cellophane with a beautiful bow.  These I then present to friends and relatives…who, if they are smart, eat the red or green cellophane and throw away the cookies.
And I don’t bake just one kind of cookie, either.  My usual Christmas assortment includes:

·         Peanut Butter Stuffed Dates:  My adventure in taxidermy

·         Sugar Plums:  Which may not dance in your head, but certainly do a production number in your colon

·         Russian Tea Cakes:  Which resemble and taste like eastern European ammunition

·         Caramel Bars:  The operative word here is “bars”

·         Chocolate Bark:  With real bark!

·         Divinity:  A cruel joke

·         Meringues:  Who needs throwing knives?

·         Black and White Brownies:  My contribution to the complete destruction of interracial harmony within the fairy realm

·         Hermits:  What you will become whenever you hear that I’ve been baking cookies again.

The friends I have left refer to this farrago as “The Annual Waste of Ingredients.”

Naturally, my husband, Stij, plays a big part in the festivities of the season, as well.  He goes with me to get the Christmas tree.  Our children, Leo and Alexandrea, are left at home, suffering from some exotic, as yet unnamed malady resulting from careless cookie consumption.

The first step, upon our arrival at the tree lot, is for Stij to say—in a soft voice that will cause cattle to stampede two towns away—“Criminey!  These things are EXPENSIVE!  Let’s go over to K-Mart and get a fake one!”

This behavior ceases after I threaten to shove a Tea Cake down his throat.

The lot we go to every year always has a great selection—easily a hundred trees or more, much to Stij’s chagrin.  I have the patience of the Venus Di Milo, and will carefully inspect every single tree before making a choice.

Stij, you understand, has no part in this decision whatsoever.  He’s just along to shut up, pay for the tree, and tie it to the roof of the car.  Until he is needed, he wanders off to the sales shack to have a drink with the other men who are waiting for their wives to pick out trees.   Oh, and that’s another thing—it’s an unwritten law that all men must BYOB to the Christmas tree lot.  And they’re happy to do it, believe me.

OK.  Three hours later, the tree is on the roof of the car and everybody’s happy—I because I got the “perfect” tree; and Stij because he got Alvin drunk enough on the good scotch he bought to knock an extra five dollars off the price.  The simple economics of the fact that he had to pay forty dollars for the scotch that bought him a five dollar discount are lost on him.

By the time we get home, our children, being the resilient little creatures that they are, have recovered from the cookie poisoning that would have killed anyone else and are ready to help put up the tree.

The first argument is where to put it.  Leo always thinks it would be best to put it in his room.

“You can’t have it in your room, Leo,” Alexandrea exclaims.  “There’s no chimney!”

“That’s OK,” Leo assures her.  “There’s one in the living room.  He can just come down in there and walk into my room.  He needs to lose a little weight, anyhow.”

It’s at this point that Stij has had enough and gives them THE LOOK.  “It’s going in the living room,” he intones in a voice from beyond the grave.

They didn’t ever argue with him.  Legend had it that after THE LOOK came THE REMINGTON.  They’d never pushed their luck past THE LOOK.

Location decided, I fetch the tree stand…the bane of male existence everywhere.  That metal nightmare with the three trunk screws has been known to fill lunatic asylums the world over during the month of December.

“It won’t matter which side shows,” I chirp.  “The whole tree is perfect, just perfect.”

After twenty minutes of wrestling, Stij gets it screwed into the stand and steps back.

The tree is listing about 45 degrees to starboard.

“*($%*()(&%&$^*&(*@#@#@#!” he mutters. Crawling back under, unscrewing it, realigning the trunk, then rescrewing it back in place again.

He crawls out and steps back.

45 degrees to port now.

After two hours of this, he makes a discovery.  About half way up the tree, the trunk is crooked.  And not just mildly, either.  The S-bend of the plumbing under the sink is straighter.

Stij slowly emerges from beneath the lower branches.  His eyes are red-rimmed.  His hair has gone completely white.  His teeth are now elongated and pointed.  He looks like Dracula’s Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come.

One look at this apparition and self-preservation kicks in.  We all run and hide.

When the cursing and the sounds of heavy equipment die down, and after first waving a hat on the end of a stick out the door, we venture forth to survey the wreckage.

There is a chain saw smoking in the corner and greenery and wood ships festooned about the room.  The tree stand has been reduced to a mass of twisted metal, after which it was summarily lobbed into the cat’s litter box.

The tree is now two and a half feet tall and nailed directly to the floor.

I gaze upon it lovingly and smile.  “You see?  I told you it was perfect.”


Carson Buckingham--Author of HOME

Sample or purchase HOME (EPUB,KINDLE,PDF,RTF,LRF,PDB,Plain text download, Plain text view):

Carson Buckingham's Smashwords Author Profile:

Thank You Carson!--for this wonderfully tragical comedy or comical tragedy of a Christmas story!  

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Curio Emporium's Endless Wonders!

Ever wonder where you can find a Pipistrellus Javanicus, or perhaps you’re missing that perfectly delicious antique quack White Cross Electric Vibrator? Wonder not ye wayfarers of the curiously exotic, for The Curio Emporium has all your darkest gadgetry desires located under one roof in the steel jungles of the Los Angeles area—to be exact: 1020 Fair Oaks, South Pasadena, CA 91030. So, mark it on your maps and get thee to the emporium!
     Furthermore Ladies and Gentleman, Co-owner Jenna Macabre is here today to give you the inside scoop on how she came about such odd treasures from around the globe, and what shadowy endeavors she and Dave Constantine have ‘in store’ for the future:

NS: Welcome to Wandering Hallows Night Jenna, I’m quite sure all my time traveling cohorts are thrilled to learn more about you and your curiosities. My first question is what I like to ask of all my guests: We are dying to know what kind of ‘macabre’ little chitlin’ you were? Obviously, you must have started at an early age as a lover of taxidermy?

Jenna: I have always been fascinated with the Macabre. Growing up I would watch a day’s worth of Tales From The Crypt, The Munsters, Bewitched.. etc etc.  I was always so fascinated with the interior of the Munsters home- I always wanted to live in it; cobwebs & all- Can't forget The Tim Burton Films. Of course when it came to Halloween Time, I was ready to help my parents decorate with staple gun in hand! And I cannot forget how interested I would get when going to the local county museum and seeing all the old medical equipment, taxidermy birds & bears, along with the exciting stories that went along with the exhibits.

NS: On this note, tell us more about your artwork that can be found at The Curio Emporium.

Jenna: From all these images stuck in my head from childhood, my inspiration has definitely developed a uniqueness of its own. I create things that I love, things that I myself would buy. Using my fascination with the Victorian era & taxidermy I like to let my mind drift, letting my hands do the work. My Creations become however they turn out. I never truly plan out what it is I am going to make. In short, I like to make creations that one can wear, or displays well on a wall or mantel.

NS: Someone as talented as yourself must have an inspiration, would you care to indulge who, what, and why?

Jenna: Why thank you! I am inspired by everything around me! Candles, old books, a nice breeze, music. Of course I love to work off of history research, past memories, concepts of the occult and so on. I find it interesting that those that fall in love with my work are often not in tune with the past & history. So when they see something of mine, which is based off a concept from 100 years ago, they are astonished, because to them it is something new. In this sense, I feel happy to know that I am keeping the past ALIVE .

NS: I believe it’s safe in saying you’ve accomplished a dream, how did it all come about?

Jenna: My Love (David Constantine) & I share a likeness of minds. In many of our journeys we could never find the shop we dreamed about & on top of it all unique items in our price range. After years of it  ‘just being a dream' we began to get serious about it—saving money, searching for a location, understanding the logistics & working hard for several months with the design of the shop & merchandise inventory. And now, here you go ~ a custom made time travel machine. :)

NS: In your words, how would you describe your store to someone who doesn’t know much about steampunk, or the types of curiosities therein?

Jenna: Think back to a time when a room was lit by candle, when movie cinema going was an occasion to dress your best for, when medical attention was nothing more than some alcohol and sterilized scalpel. A time when all men wore hats & women in corsets, inventions were at their peak & the newest book was all the rage.
     The Curio Emporium takes you back to memories of your great grandparents long since past. We are viewed as a Museum in which you can walk away with a shopping bag, and money still left in your bank. Our shop in a nutshell—Come travel back in time with us!
 NS: As a fellow time-traveler, on one of your sojourns to the past (or future) who was your favorite person of interest you met, or partied frivolously with?

Jenna: ... hmmm... I would have to say Houdini!

NS: Where online can we find you, and are there any events The Curio Emporium will be attending?
Jenna: You can find us 'The Curio Emporium' on Facebook of course, as well as our website which has the link to our Ebay shop for those of
you not local, or just too lazy to leave the house :)
     You can also visit our shop at 1020 Fair Oaks Ave., South Pasadena, CA 91030 ( directly across from the old Rialto theatre)
     Our next event is Sat. Dec. 18th ' CURIO BEFORE CHRISTMAS' 3-8pm. food truck, puppet show, artists, ice cream, FREE.

NS: What wonderfully whimsical brassy bits do you and Dave have planned for the future of The Curio Emporium?

Jenna: ... expanding—same shop, more great finds. Stay Tuned!

NS: Fantastical meeting you Jenna! I can’t wait to visit the emporium myself when I’m back in California. Any last parting advice or curious crumbs you would like to leave our readers with?

Jenna: If you ever have an idea, a dream, a wish—Make It Happen! You are the only one who will ever truly stop yourself from anything it is you want to do in life!
     It was Great to meet you too! Thank you for having me!
Remember my friends—Christmas is just around the corner, and what better gift to give than The Curio Emporium’s wonders of worlds past, and futures yet imagined!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Who’s been naughty, and who’s been nice? If you fear cloven hooved devils brandishing switches, then you better say nice. Why? Because Krampus may have it out for you, however, if you’re into that sort of kink, well then your answer is—NAUGHTY! Have to say I may be in with the naughty crowd. Is it wrong for me to find a tall, hairy creature threatening to whip this very bad girl exciting? Did I forget to mention the chains (squee!)? Check out the pictures and you decide. I’ve posted a few of my favorites that I’ve found on the web (I do not own these photos), so grab a mug of hot spiked cider, and I’ll tell you a little about Krampus.

Known as the ‘holiday demon’, Krampus is the evil counterpart to the generous and happy-go-lucky Saint Nicholas (you know—Santa Claus). Krampus follows Ol’ Saint Nick around to dole out the lashes to everyone on Nick’s shit list. If you’re a particularly pretty girl, he might be inclined to chase you even if you were a cherry on the pie all year long—sorry (I suggest you wear a cloak and doff a witch’s nose, fools him everytime!)!

     Krampusnacht (krampus night) is celebrated across the globe, but apparently started in the Alpine countries. Festivals celebrating Krampus can be found from Italy to Japan, and America. There’s even a Krampus beer—seems we all love a horny devil!

     I’ve even read somewhere of a dark and stormy night when a town was awoken by the incessant barking of dogs and the noise of Krampus galloping over the snowy rooftops. When morning came, the folk checked their roofs and found that over several miles the large hoof prints of an upright beast had made passage. Hmm …

Here’s an interesting websites to check out if you’d like to learn more about Krampus:

So, if Krampus and good ol’ Nick came to your door, would you plead naughty or nice, and why? I’m dying to hear your comments!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Winter's Kiss

Winter's Kiss
*This winters wish is to feel a kiss
a frosty light on cheek and thigh
sliding in the dusting of snow
and lust
kiss, kiss blows a blush of winter
this season couldn't get much better
when our arms are bursting warmth
and lips hot as coals
fire and ice the perfect combination
why can't it be winter all the time
sprinklings of chocolate and frosting
coat the body divine
we worship the winter
and melt in the summer time*

By Nishi

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Goodbye To A Fantasy Icon


Fantasy readers and writers have lost an icon. Anne McCaffrey your imagination lives on in your books, and may you be traveling the stars and having grand new adventures.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Sorry all my vegetarian friends out there, but this post is not for you. Have you ever wondered what a turkey stuffed with a duck stuffed with a chicken would taste like? It’s the best darn carnivorous masterpiece you will ever taste in your whole lifetime! Roasty, succulent dark and white meat from the three different fowl make it the richest offering to adorn any thanksgiving feast.
            I’m a huge fan of traveling cooking/eating shows, and when I lived on the west coast I watched one featuring this most exotic of savory beasts called the turducken, but never thought I would get to eat one. Low and behold, not a year later and I find myself in the south. I had long forgotten about the turducken, as life gets busy, and was completely taken by surprise when my partner brought one home for me to serve as the main treat.
            Now let me tell you, it was a bit overwhelming—turduckens are huge, and heavy! Where would I find a pan worthy enough to cook it in? And how the heck do you cut it once it’s cooked? Thankfully it was pre-stuffed or I would have lobbed it at a passing car in frustration. I admit my intimidation. It glared at me, while I glared at it. Gross. But the meat would be sooooo juicy! I made my peace with the turducken as I devoured its meaty goodness.
            You can too by ordering a turducken online. And here is where it came from: Hebert’s Specialty Meats (, it’s a bit spendy but once the meat is in your mouth it’s worth every cent! And I guarantee you will be the envy of every thanksgiving family member for years to come!  Make sure to scroll down to my collards post, because nothing beats a great pairing like a turducken and collard greens!
            To get your turducken just right, slit the skin and rub bacon fat and butter mixed with salt and pepper under the skin on the meat, massage the yummy beast, it deserves it after the feast it will give you! I cooked it breast side down first so all the meat would be simmering in its own juices. Toward the end, I flip it back to breasts up (it takes two people to flip it) and let it get nice and crispy golden.
            Eat, drink, and then pass out from the meat baby brewing in your tummy! Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veterans Day

To all the Veterans who have served and lived, and those who are now traveling the stars, I give my thanks for your sacrifice to keep your families safe.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Tasty Collards and Tuaca!

Ahh … It’s finally getting cooler here in Louisiana. Nice weather comes and goes too quickly, I cherish each chilly day I have. It’s a good thing the cold days arrive around the holidays—all that food I get to walk off!  

            Thought I’d start sharing some of those recipes I promised! The first is a southern staple and tasty too:

Collard Greens

You will need a pound of bacon, chopped and fried to where it is just slightly under-crispy, set aside. Save some of the bacon grease (about 2 tablespoons) to add to the collard pot.

(if you are making a turkey, save the rest of your bacon grease for that!)

Clean and de-stem as much collard greens as you can fit into a large pot (the greens shrink down to more than half their size).

Chop half an onion.

In the large pot add your bacon grease, cooked bacon, chopped onion, garlic, salt and pepper, chipotle Tabasco, and about ¼ a tsp of crushed red peppers, and cook for about 10 minutes.

Now add: about ½ cup rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, and about ½ a cup of beef broth.

Cook this all until the collard greens are dark green and look like cooked spinach. At that point you can start adding more of any of the ingredients you want until you get the taste you desire.

Sometimes, I add sausage to my collard greens too. Enjoy!

Tuaca Sidecar

In a shaker with ice add the following:

1 ½ ounces of Tuaca (Italian liqueur)

¾ ounces Triple Sec

1 Fresh squeezed orange and half a lemon.

Add sugar or honey to sweeten to your liking.

Mix and strain into a sugar rimmed glass.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

November Kisses

Winter is a busy time for me. It is the time I’m most creative, and as such, I tend to work harder on my writing. This year I’m a bit far from home and won’t get to share the holidays with family, but I will be sure to share a few of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes with all my cyber friends/family.

                A few posts to get excited about this month will be from two authors who are working hard at bringing everyone fantastic stories of love, thrills, and the supernatural, but more about that later!

                Another note of interest is one of my publisher’s—Decadent Publishing—is opening a new site for ‘sweet romance’ and YA. If you have a novel you’ve been dying to submit, then get over there and send them your query, they are a fun bunch of good peoples to work with.

                Here’s a little something to enjoy until the next post:

Pumpkin Pie Martini Recipe (One of my favorite November cocktails!):

First make the mixture you will coat the rim of your martini glass with: graham crackers, cinnamon, and brown sugar—put in a food processor and grind it to a fine mix. Use a lemon to ring the glass then dip your glass in the mixture, set aside.

In a shaker with ice add:

1 ½ ounce goldschlager

½ ounce bailey’s irish cream

½ ounce coffee liqueur

½ ounce half and half cream

Shake and strain into martini glass, add a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg and serve—yummy!

And, a nice poem to read to your lover, friend, or family:

The True Gem

In the waters of time we find peace

In the weathering of the sky we find contemplation

In the landscape of the earth we find new roads

In the by-ways of the mind we find new journeys

But, in the complexity of the heart we find the true jewel, love.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Staying Scared With Scopel!

October, the leaves are falling off the trees, flickering grins wink at us from pumpkins, candy abundantly appears in bags held by costumed children, and Thomas Scopel scares the crap out of us unwary readers. 

            If you’re one of those people who are afraid of evil clowns, then you’ll want to wear a diaper when Mr. Scopel is in your hands or on your screen. But seriously, underneath the bloody, grimy, creepy makeup, Thomas is a sweet heart—I promise (he only bites on the full moon).  I saved Mr. Scopel’s interview especially for Halloween time, because most of all, I truly enjoyed reading his short story ‘Twitch’, not to mention all the other amazing short stories and entertaining blog posts he writes. And don’t miss this cleverly horrific creative author’s new webcast: Wee Willie Wicked!

NS:  *SCREAM* Oh, it’s just you Thomas—you scared the heck out of me! Now that you’ve snuck up on me, why don’t you tell everyone out there who you are, and give us some links to your sites and webcast.

TS: Well, there’s my main website Then there are two blogs that I write on. Http:// is what I like to consider my official blog, while is my evil clown alter ego’s blog. On a whim I started the webcast and tried on both Ustream, as well as Livestream, but found both to be a bit slow. And, while we’re on the webcast subject, I am regretful to say that due to recent changes in employment, time constraints have reared their ugly heads forcing me to limit some of my horror endeavors. It was a matter of selecting one or the other, and since I’ll never eliminate writing, the next in line was the webcast. I hated to do this, but there are some things more important like food and shelter. Although, and at this point I can’t say for sure or exactly when, but I suspect that this webcast will continue. In the meantime, time permitting, I’m occasionally creating little creepy videos featuring Wee Willie Wicked and posting them at various places.

NS: One of my favorite things to learn about authors is what they were like as children. So, what sort of a horrible munchkin were you? And what were your hobbies back then?

TS: I grew up in the shadows of Pittsburgh’s Chiller Theater. This was a Saturday night staple featuring Chilly Billy Bill Cardille (the newscaster in the movie Night of the Living Dead) that I began watching at a very early age. Every Saturday night from 11:30 pm until 3:00 am I could be religiously found glued to the television watching. Sometimes I made it through both films and sometimes I didn’t. This show is what I primarily contribute to starting me on the road to horror. I also read voraciously too, and am a huge fan of horror magazines and comics. There was a massive Oak tree in our front yard that I had climbed and wedged an old chair seat from one of those single piece school desks into a couple of branches. This is where I did a majority of my reading. Comfortably perched high and hidden by the foliage. With the exception of an occasional car passing by, it was serene and secluded, a perfect reading spot. This is where I found the likes of Poe, Lovecraft, King, Stoker, Serling and so many others.   

As far as hobbies were concerned, besides reading and film, I built the old Aurora monster models and had them scattered around my room. I also had a fair amount of horror type ceramics too. When I hit my early teen years, I found special effects, masks and such, to be quite interesting. I suppose that’s where Wee Willie Wicked stems from.

NS: Everyone has someone who influenced them. Who or what influenced you to be truly passionate about horror?

TS: I guess Chilly Billy would be considered my most influential. Even though he never wrote horror, he certainly introduced me to it. Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee from the old Hammer films had a lot to do with this too. As far as writers’ are concerned, I’ve admired and enjoyed many, but don’t truly have a favorite. I really enjoy horror anthologies filled with established and the up and comers.

NS: So, I have to know, will there be a companion story to Twitch? And what other haunted goodies do you have in store for us?

TS: I’ve been asked this a number of times and yes, there is another Twitch tale in me. When? I can’t say other than I’ve jotted a few things down and it will be his chronological middle story. I’m working on fleshing it out, research and with how to make it a standalone. I may take the novella and rearrange it, include the middle tale and make it a novel. But, I’m not sure yet and would like to finish a few other things first.

Otherwise, I’m working on a horror / sci-fi type novel called Future Past. It is a story about a company that you can go to in order to see what could have happened had you taken a different route in life. But, you can’t change it and this has various repercussions for the characters.

Besides that, I have a number of short pieces (A Lawnly Existence, The Sidewalk Ends, Legacy, Dreamented, Rudely Yours and more) in various stages.

Most recent publishing includes The Pumpkin Patch (NorGus Press’s Look What I Found anthology) and The Christmas Help will be in the Open Casket Press (an imprint of Living Dead Press) Dead Christmas anthology slated for release in December.

NS:  In the future, when you have a story that will appear on the big screen, which producer/director do you most wish to work with?

TS: I’ve never given this much thought and actually never considered one of my tales for the big screen. But, now that you’ve mentioned it and planted the seed, if it ever happens, Rob Zombie would probably be my first choice. And, I might add that if this were to occur, I would like to follow the Stephen King route and play a very small role too.

NS: I’ve heard rumors and want to clarify—were you really chased away from a carnival by an angry mob with torches and pitch forks?

TS: I guess my clown outfit wasn’t appreciated heh heh.

NS: What is your costume for this Halloween? And where in the world will you be materializing during October?

TS: A lot of people hate clowns and since I am to frighten, I’ll most certainly be Wee Willie Wicked. However, his brother Jack (a jester who is just as wicked) may also show up on a doorstep somewhere. And, there is a little film in the works that includes both. Mwhahahahahahahaha!

NS: Any bloody bits to impart on the readers (quick, everyone don your raincoats—he took that literally—WATCH OUT!)?

TS: The dull crack of the cleaver gashing into and through her skull bone was music to his ears. Somewhat disappointed the scream didn’t last as long as he had hoped for, the warm blood spraying across his face made up for it. And the taste was oh so sweet…

Wow, you are one freaky author Thomas, and I’m super excited you stopped by for the interview. Many, many spine-chilling thanks! Happy Halloween Everyone!!!

Find Thomas Scopel here:


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Women In Horror: Crimson Stained Lace

Lisa Coffelt {director}
Crimson Stained Lace Productions

It gladdens my heart when I come across women supporting women in horror, and one such person is Lisa Coffelt and her production company ‘Crimson Stained Lace’.

     If you visit the CSL site you will see they are busy at work on projects ranging from a horror benefit cookbook, to their newest scream-a-licious films.  Media today makes it possible for great indie production companies to empower all walks of life, and it only takes a little interest and love from us dedicated horror fans to keep them thriving—so, check out CSL and show them some props!

NS: To start, why don’t you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your history, like where you grew up, and what inspired your passion for horror.

LC: Well my story is a little vast, but I'll give you the run down. To start, if you wondered how to pronounce the last name it is "cough-felt". I normally do a hand gesture when I explain it. Anyhow, I grew up in a teeny tiny town of Glasgow, Kentucky. I wasn't really allowed to watch scary movies, but I would stay up late at night after everyone went to sleep to watch anything scary. Horror has always fascinated me, I'm kind of a scare junkie. When I was a kid it was a thrill to watch The Exorcist, Pumpkinhead, Candyman or the X-files. I think though the most memorable experience that drove me to my love of horror has to be Edgar Allan Poe, I was reading his work from the time I was probably 9 years old, and throughout grade school I watched a lot of the Roger Corman/Vincent Price films. So my love for the scare doesn't stop at movies, Kentucky has some haunted places, and even though ghosts and hauntings scare the bejeezus out of me, I can never get enough.
     Before I graduated high school, I started writing scripts and stories, because I wanted to go to film school. My now husband, bought me a Digital8 Handycam for a graduation present, but it set on the shelf for a couple of years. After feeling like I was in a rut, and going to school for anthropology, I dropped everything and started making horror films in 2007. I taught myself everything from camera operation, producing and editing, my husband helped me along the ride. We made a few films there and in 2009, we moved to Los Angeles. I decided to attend the New York Film Academy for a 12 week workshop, just to help brush up on things and from there I made several more films, including my dancing zombie flick called "The Sound of Zombies". My husband, James, has been writing most of the stuff for the past 4 years, up until this past year I've been able to write some great stuff, including my new flick. So in short, I'm a writer, producer, director, editor. Directing is my real passion though.
     There's something about horror that baffles me, it also helps me to overcome my own fears. I kind of have a thing about people on ceilings in movies, it really freaks me out. So now I know I need to make something with someone on the ceiling, horror is kind of a messed up therapy for me.

NS: There’s a lot to learn from your adventures, can you give us some links to CSL, and we’re dying to know more about your production company.

LC: I started Crimson Stained Lace in 2007, it’s really my own. When I came up with the name, it was really something that I wanted to inspire horror but have a touch of femininity, so most everything is updated on our website The website has a good run down of the company and our people. We're also on YouTube, where you can watch trailers and some of our films which is And right now we're running an IndieGoGo campaign, until October 16th, to fund our new film Internal Thoughts: There's so much happening right now, that we are trying to update all of it.

NS: Do you have a favorite female horror producer? And why is she on your kudos list?

LC: I gotta tell you this is a hard question. I didn't come out of the womb knowing that there were women horror filmmakers. It was only in 2008, that I found it out when I was at a festival, and a guy came up to me after my screening (where I was the only female horror director there) and told me about Shannon Lark and the The Chainsaw Mafia. After I learned about her, the world changed for me. I learned about so many women and realized that some of my favorite movies were directed by women. For instance, American Psycho gained a whole new perspective from me after I learned about Mary Harron. But since being in the world of women in horror, I have to say that one of my favorite female filmmakers in horror is a friend of mine, Marichelle Daywalt. She has made some fantastic pieces, what drew me to her was one of her firsts "Anniversary". It's a gorgeous short that proves women can be just as messed up as men, maybe even more so. She has the most twisted ideas, and I love it.

NS: If you could pick any female actress you wanted to be in one of your films, who would it be?

LC: Oooohhhh another tough question, but an exciting one to answer. Quite honestly, I'm not into fancy-shmancy glamor Hollywood types. A friend of mine wrote a story for me to direct, it's a fantastic story, but is going to require some cash, more cash than we have right now. But there are 2 main characters, and I had only 2 women in mind for these roles Shannon Lark and Tiffany Shepis. Two of the most amazing actresses that I know, that don't get enough praise and recognition. They are the two women that I want in one of my films if not more. Sorry I couldn't narrow it down to one.

NS: It takes a lot of people to make a film and run a production company, tell us a bit about the rest of Crimson Stained Lace’s crew.

LC: Well it started out with only me and the hubby, and it was that way for a long time. We've had a couple of people go in and out of the picture. But right now we have a few reoccurring players, and I love the team we have, we're so connected and we're all friends. James Coffelt, my husband, has been the go to guy, he's my grip, artist, actor, he's operated the camera a few times (although he doesn't like to), he's muscle, a carpenter, makeup effects artist, you name it and he's done it. He's currently going to school for animation and visual effects, so hopefully that will help future films.
     Now we have Chris Wingood, who I met when he was software producer, and we converted him to take his hand at film. A little something that's interesting with Chris is that horror isn't exactly his thing. I think we are slowly converting him. We have Crizzle, she's a fantastic AD and Script Sup. She's so handy, no matter what challenges I give her, she adapts and figures it out. She's kind of been my right hand for the past few films. On the post side of things, we recently brought on Jerry Barksdale, who's a great composer and musician. He does all of his work all the way from Kentucky, and we actually didn't connect until we moved to LA. As far as makeup effects, we have Lauren Ishii, who knows her stuff. She came aboard this past year. And then lastly, but most certainly not least is Ron Chavez who's a fantastic photographer. Everyone is friends with everyone. We don't make any money; we all do it for free because we enjoy making movies. In fact, most everything that we have monetarily goes into making films.

NS: What are your near future projects?

LC: I thought you'd never ask. So there are a couple of hush-hush projects looming around, but I mentioned "Internal Thoughts". It's written and directed by me. It's a story based upon a point in my life where I might have been psychotic and crazy. But the IndieGoGo campaign is going on for that; we have some great cast and crew, which is approximately 70% female, including DP Jessica Gallant, & Angele Caron as our stunt coordinator. This film stars twins Rachel and Rebekah Rife, Truett Butler and Adam Smith. We are extremely excited about this project, because we finally have everything we need to make this film right, including cast, crew and equipment.
     I just finished a non-horror comedy, which is in post-production called "CrotchRocket Mission". This is definitely something new that we tried. It stars Shey Lyn Zanotti and James Coffelt.
     Then we have the "Have A Heart For Horror Cookbook", which is set for release in February 2012. Although, it's not a film, it is a huge undertaking. It's all about women in horror from all aspects, including writers, artists, filmmakers and more. I really wanted something that could bring women in horror together, something that you could collectively take with you or have. It's also something that demonstrates the yin and yang of women, yes we can be suzie-homemaker, but we could slice you open with a butcher knife without a second thought. We have a ton of women, and right now we are looking for art and poetry by women, and also anyone can purchase an ad space. I'm hoping it goes over well enough to do a second volume. All of the proceeds goes to "Project Get Safe", which helps to prevent real life horrors such as abuse and domestic violence.
     I'm also working on a documentary, which is going to take a few years and is about boardgaming, my other passion. If you don't find me with a camera, you'll find me rolling a D6.
     There are also a couple more surprises like zombies, steampunk and other things that we're planning for. But at this point, I think we're going to start drawing things out of a hat for what is next, because there is so much to do.

NS: Where would you like to see CSL in the future?

LC: I'm not 100% sure. I really want to bring the knowledge of filmmaking back to the south. My family has a lot of land, and maybe I can create a compound of sorts with a huge 10,000 sq foot warehouse that we can have green screens and such and live there. I'd really like to do a few things with CSL, maybe an after school program for children to learn how to make films. Create a small festival for horror in my hometown. But, the ultimate goal is to keep making awesome movies and making them bigger and better, and just maybe having enough of a following that will help us fund our films for the future. We really love making shorts, but would like to try our hand at making a feature. It's kind of a toss-up, CSL and I are one in the same, and I want a lot for it. So for now we'll just live in the moment.

NS: Where can we find you this Halloween, and what costume will you be traipsing around in?

LC: Hmmmm....I might not be dressed up, but I'm hoping to go and see Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer here in LA. "Internal Thoughts" is kind of picking my pocket, because it’s such a labor of love. So Halloween may consist of jack-o-lanterns, pumpkin ice cream and Charlie Brown may be in my plans, which will be perfectly fine with me. However, I recently went red, and if at all possible I'd like to just dress up as Poison Ivy for no reason. I'm a fan of being crazy and dressing up anytime. Don't be surprised if I do that for a red carpet event. Halloween is awesome, but I don't really have a strong pull to dress up and do crazy stuff just on that particular day, everyday should be Halloween.

NS: Any advice you would like to impart on those aspiring to create their own horror films?

LC: Just make a film, get a camera, and get some friends. Make a film that's a couple of minutes, and then get longer and longer which each following film. It doesn't matter what camera you use. In all honesty its more about sound. I had a teacher to tell me that you blink your eyes not your ears, so you can miss the visual mistakes, but your ears are not so forgiving. Don't overwhelm yourself, it's a good idea to start off with as few players as possible, then add more and more as you get comfortable.
     Keep in mind that a bathtub of blood is a lot of work. it once took me about 12 hours to mix one up for my very first film. Funny story. Really just be passionate about it, don't get into making any sort of movie with the idea that you're going to make money, because you'll be disappointed. The last piece of advice is, it's ok to panic. Right before I film any of my films, I go into a small anxiety attack, which may or may not require a visit to the toilet. But panic before filming, it'll get it out of your system and keep you cool for the shoot. It's my secret to share with aspiring filmmakers.

NS: Last parting words? J

LC: Thank you so much Nishi, for having me. Sorry if I've talked your head off, it's really been a blast. I'd just really like to encourage everyone to support female filmmakers, they often don't quite get as much recognition as their male counterparts, but they make some awesome films, and a lot of them will be featured in the cookbook. One last this is to go check out the IndieGoGo campaign for "Internal Thoughts". We thought we would have another go with trying IndieGoGo, last time we had some success. We're offering some really great perks and awesome items in exchange for donations. It's really worth checking out.

What a pleasure to have you over for an interview! I’m thrilled to the bone for Crimson Stained Lace, and plan to see great projects gracing the horror industry.