Virtual FantasyCon’s Blog Hop Hunt

Hi, I’m Ailsa Abraham author of Alchemy and Shaman’s Drum .and I’m your host for this stop in the Hunt.

If you would like to find out more about the Hunt, please click here –

Somewhere on this page is a hidden number. Collect all the numbers from all the authors’ posts, and then add them up. Once you’ve added all the numbers, and if I am your last author, please head to the official website and click on the ENTER HERE page to find the entry form. Only entries with the correct number will qualify to win.

The author I’m pleased to be hosting for Virtual FantasyCon’s Blog Hop Hunt today is AUSTIN CRAWLEY, AUTHOR OF VISIONS OF THE MACABRE.

Austin Crawley 1



Humankind has always been fascinated with dark images and stories – the realm of the forbidden. Storytellers even from before the written word was invented have regaled their listeners, including children, with stories of monsters or evil spirits, suspense and triumph… or failure against dark forces.

As media has become more visual, dark fiction has expanded so that it ranges from the light-hearted to the blackest morbidity. Images of the original Addams Family house, with the attention to detail of a decor suited to the strangest family ever known on television are still reflected in modern Goth culture. Graphic novels like Sandman and Hellboy conversely depict images of the powerful and sensual side of the macabre; using dramatic contrasts of black and red or purple to create a sinister atmosphere within the story, appealing to subconscious impulses that the reader might little understand.

For writers of Horror, Dark Fantasy or Dystopian or other dark fiction, most of the images are painted in words. Part of the writer’s job is to capture the feeling of fascination or terror that the images in film or graphic novels might depict visually. To elicit feelings of curiosity and tap into a primal need to investigate the forbidden or to balance light with darkness is hardwired into human nature.

Austin Crawley 2In my story, file://localhost/<a href “http/″ target=”blank” > The Locked Door</a>, I write about the natural curiosity that draws the characters to a secret passageway, despite obvious dangers. The imagery moved several readers to write to me and request that the story should be expanded into a novel, for the purpose of further exploring the secrets of this imaginary house. Their queries have sparked my own curiosity of what else I might find in hidden corners and behind locked doors in this house I’ve created from the darkest recesses of my psyche, so I will comply.

Young people often experiment with Ouija boards and séances, like the young women in my Christmas story, <file://localhost/a href “https/” target=”blank” >A Christmas Tale<:a>, which is about three women not much older than 18 who decide to try to invoke the spirits from the Charles Dickens novel, A Christmas Carol. The supernatural attracts our deepest curiosity. Imagery can easily spark our curiosity for those things, which are unseen. The simple image of a black post box on the cover of my recent release, Letters to the Damned, stimulates a feeling of ghostly or demonic happenings. What would you write in a letter to a dead loved one if you believed the spirits of those who have passed have power to affect the world of the living?

There is a certain allure in the shadowy side of life that we can explore safely from the comfort of a good chair with a well-written Horror novel. Fiction allows us to look into our own dark nature without risk of exposure to anyone we don’t wish to tell of our fascination for the unconventional or strange. In the movies we have favorite villains because they reflect the side of ourselves we cannot show to a polite and civilized world.

There is freedom in darkness. It brings with it a sense of immortality. Controlled expression of anger and other negative emotions find an outlet in the weird. Horror allows us to face death without having to die or lose a loved one. It makes us think about the deeper meanings of life itself. Most of all, it allows us to stretch our imaginations into a place where there are no limits; no right or wrong, no judgment for finding satisfaction in destruction or satisfaction in retribution when characters suffer for wrongdoings or plain stupidity.

But what of the innocents, you may ask? To which I answer, are there truly any innocents? Did the boy in my short story not get into trouble as a result of disobeying his mother? Is anyone perfect, or completely innocent? Horror fiction allows us to explore these questions and more from the safety of our deepest imaginations.

Did you find the number? If you did, then click Austin Crawley’s link – to continue Virtual FantasyCon’s Blog Hop Hunt.

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