Random Friday the 13th thoughts/notes

Yeah, I know. But we only get three of these this year. Another in April and July and who cares about Friday the 13th in July unless you’re camping.

Random thoughts/notes: You’d be one of the few, but if you’re not watching Masterpiece Theatre’s Downton Abbey, do. Julian Fellowes is crafting some truly special dialogue (and when did Thomas become such a likeable character? I’m going to miss booing him from the sidelines).

On fiction and why it’s good for you: Friend and bestselling thriller writer Boyd Morrison tweeted some interesting stuff on the benefits of reading fiction yesterday, from the Harvard Business Review: The Business Case for Reading Novels by Anne Kreamer.

And a plug: For my mentor from my USC days, SL Stebel (Rad Bradbury calls him “the best writing teacher that ever was“). His thriller The Collaborator is available on Amazon’s new audiobook website audible.com, narrated by Michael Bell. Get a copy here.

And lastly, some true Friday the 13th material: A new poster for the 20th Century Fox/Tim Burton produced film, Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter. How long before someone spins off Downton Abbey full of zombies instead of wounded soldiers?

When the S#!T hits the fan

I heart researching apocalypse. While working on the current manuscript, I keep delving into books about “how to survive when DISASTER STRIKES.” Some books are truly super, well thought-out. Things one needs to know. Earthquake, natural disaster stuff. Kind of like a Bear Grylls episode (Bear’s thing about using a cell phone to start a campfire was awful goodness. I’ll throw the vid in below, just in case you ever get lost in the wilderness, your plane goes down in the forest, some stranger dumps you in the woods, etc.):

Others survival books are more, well, let’s say they predict certain doomsday. Disaster books with pictures? Oh, they’re special. Good examples — The Mormon Four: Four foods that are nutritious and store well. Whole wheat, honey, powdered milk and salt. Great, cute cartoons. The Physiological Fear Factory? I get that, too. But charred rat on a stick — in photos? Oh yeah. How to compost your you-know-what, cartoon style? Welcome to my day.

Ok, that’s my post for the week. Off to go dialate some pupils and increase some heart rates.

World Horror Convention 2012 set for SLC

Since I’m finally a member of the Horror Writers Association, I thought I’d push the biz. That said, the 2012 World Horror Convention will be held in Salt Lake City, Utah, March 29-April 1, 2012. From the convention’s official site:

The World Horror Convention is an annual gathering of professionals in the horror industry; publishers, authors, artists, musicians, filmmakers, dealers and, of course, horror fans. WHC serves as both an industry insider’s networking event and a chance for fans of the genre to get together, meet some of the creative talents in the field, and generally spend a weekend celebrating All Things Scary.

More reason to attend? According to the HWA, the association will celebrate its 25th anniversary with founding members Joe R Lansdale, Karen Lansdale, and Robert McCammon in the house. More reason to attend? The Stoker Awards will be announced on the evening of March 31, 2012.

Not too early to book them tickets…

AMC’s The Walking Dead gets more, uh, life

Okay, I know I’m behind on this one, but last week’s news that AMC renewed it’s zombie show The Walking Dead is worth repeating. Getting a third year is wonderful news for what I think is a great show, only two weeks into season two.

According to HuffingtonPost, last week’s episode drew an audience of 6.7 million for the first airing and another 2.1 million viewers for the later repeat. Season one averaged 5.2 million viewers a week. If you haven’t, the graphic novels written by Robert Kirkman and published by Image Comics are worth a look. If you haven’t set the DVR yet (and you should), here’s the trailer.

According to horror-movies.ca, FOX International launched the show globally last weekend on cable networks in Europe, Asia, Latin American, Africa and the Middle East. What? You thought the zombie apocolypse was confined to Atlanta?