Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Halloween Countdown-Do You Remember Your First Time? With David Moody + Giveaway


with David Moody

So, do you remember your first time? No, not that first time...! I’m talking about the first time you were completely, unstoppably, hopelessly terrified by something. Try and think back to it now – it might have a been a book or a film, a story told in the school playground, a clown at a circus, the old lady who lived next door, or something else entirely.

I remember mine. In fact, I can remember a number of occasions...

There was the time back in junior school when I was, I think, no older than eight. Any readers from the UK might recall an educational BBC TV programme called ‘Words and Pictures’. Anyone remember the bizarre, goggle-eyed, orange floating head monstrosity which used to present it? Here’s a very small picture of the hideous creature in question:

He/she/its name was Wordy, and its odd appearance and piercing, effeminate voice terrified me. I used to sit at the back of the class (in pitch black as the lights were off and the curtains drawn so we could see the screen) scared stiff, waiting for the torment to end.

Or there were the numerous times, also back in the 1980’s, at the height of the Cold War, when the government early warning system would be tested. I’d stop everything and my legs would turn to jelly as that ominous, instantly recognisable wailing siren noise filled the air. I’d sit and wait for it to end, too scared to move, wondering if this was just another test, or if, in less than four minutes time, the world I knew was going to come to a painful, fiery end as mushroom clouds billowed on the horizon.

Or the time I first read Day of the Triffids and was too scared to walk past bushes on my own for weeks.

Or the time I first saw Romero’s Night of the Living Dead, in pitch black, with an enormous thunderstorm raging outside, ferocious winds making the house shake.

Or the time – just a month or so ago, actually – when I was out running and got lost in a maze-like forest, unable to find my way back to the road. I ran several miles further than planned, convinced that each step I took was taking me further away from civilisation...

So what’s the point of dredging up all these dark, unpleasant memories?

Stop reading for a second, and take a moment to think back to the first time you remember being scared stiff, or maybe the most recent time you were afraid instead. Do you remember how you felt? The nervousness, feeling like everything was out of your control, your palms clammy, pulse racing, a gnawing feeling of dread growing in the pit of your stomach, constantly looking over your shoulder... Remember?

My point is this: there are few things in life which can have such a dramatic effect on us as fear. It has a real biological purpose, of course, to warn us of danger and allow us to protect ourselves from harm, but it’s more than that. Like most horror fans, I LOVE to be scared, and I’ve spent a long time trying to work out why.

Some of the most affecting, visceral frights we experience come from dreams. I’m sure you’ve all been woken by nightmares before now: finding yourself suddenly wide awake, surrounded by darkness, confused and disorientated, not sure what’s real and what isn’t... Isn’t it great when you realise it was just a dream? The wonderful feeling of sweet relief when it becomes clear that everything you’ve just been through didn’t actually happen, and you’re back in the real world again.

And that, to my mind, is a key reason why the much-maligned horror genre is so important. Not only does it give us an idea of how bad things might get, it also reminds us that maybe our reality isn’t so bad after all. So I’ve decided that writing horror is a public service. If I can scare the heck out of you, then by default I’ll also make you feel good afterwards. And the more intense the scares, the better you’ll feel later.

So, this October (and the 31st in particular), join me in celebrating all things horrific and terrifying. Remember all the things that have freaked you out in the past, and try something new to scare the heck out of yourself today. Overdose on horror this Halloween season, and you’ll feel great on November 1st. You know it makes sense!

Author Bio

Hater Series
Autumn Series
David Moody was born in 1970 and grew up in Birmingham on a diet of trashy horror and pulp science fiction books and movies. He worked as a bank manager and as operations manager for a number of financial institutions before giving up the day job to write about the end of the world for a living. He has written a number of horror novels, including AUTUMN, which has been downloaded more than half a million times since publication in 2001 and has spawned a series of sequels and a movie starring Dexter Fletcher and David Carradine. Film rights to HATER have been bought by Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Pan's Labyrinth) and Mark Johnson (producer of the Chronicles of Narnia films). Moody lives outside Birmingham (UK) with his wife and a houseful of daughters and stepdaughters, which may explain his pre-occupation with Armageddon. Visit David at: Website | Twitter


The Autumn Series by David Moody is one of my all-time favourite Zombie series. You know how you read the one book and you just want to recommend it to everyone you know? Well, that's the Autumn Series to me. 

I have one copy of the first book in the Autumn Series to giveaway.


*Giveaway open to everyone
*Ends October 31st, 2012
*Must be 13 years of age or older to enter
*Fill out the Rafflecopter form to enter

Good luck!

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  1. My brother is 7 years older than me, and when I saw the movie 'Poltergeist' at age 7 or 8 I was sooo scared. My mother got me a fabric clown to hang on my doorknob to stuff my dirty laundry in the back. I hated that darn thing, reminded me of the clown scene in 'poltergeist' but for whatever reason my mom made me keep it.

    One night I was in bed, not quite yet asleep and the clown started TALKING to me, saying all kinds of horrible things. I SCREAMED for my parents, who came rushing in and told me it was just my imagination. I knew it wasn't. By the 3rd or so time of me screaming for them my parents could see I was approaching hysteria so they finally went to remove the clown that was scaring me so....only to find my older brother had hidden one end of a walkie talkie inside of it. My brother was in his room with the other end of the walkie talkie, making the clown 'come to life' every time my parents finally went back down stairs after comforting me.

    I hadn't made it up or imagined it- the clown WAS threatening me....and my brother found the whole thing hilarious. I did not, nor did my parents! I have forgiven my brother for his prank which TERRIFIED me, but I will never forget the stark, true horror I felt that night!

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  2. Oh my gosh! That's horrible! I would have been terrified! Even after the fact that I knew it wasn't real, to relive that terror I felt while believing that the Clown was really talking would have been just...well, terrifying!!

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