Archive for June, 2013

Explore dark fantasy with DARK LIGHT III

Posted in News on June 30, 2013 by Christian

DARK LIGHT 3, including my short story, “Harby’s Last Stand”, is now available at Amazon.com. The Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly anthology explores the darker side of our world, the things no one wants to speak about or admit.

DARK LIGHT III, featuring "Harby's Last Stand" now live at Amazon.com.

DARK LIGHT III, featuring “Harby’s Last Stand” now live at Amazon.com.

Stories included are:

  • “Harby’s Last Stand” by Christian A. Larsen
  • “From Out of the Night” by L.D. Ricard
  • “Possessing Bailey” by Jenna Pizzi
  • “Tossed and Found” by K.E. Robiscoe
  • “Trapdoor” by William Rasmussen
  • “The Hognissaga” by Avalon Brantley
  • “The Squat” by Dene Bebbington
  • “I Come To Teach” by A.A. Garrison
  • “Fallen Angel” by Zoe Adams
  • “The Incident Of Pokrov” by Erica Sim
  • “The Black Womb” by Michael McGlasson
  • “The Devil Within” by Justin Zipprich
  • “Cheating Death” by S.J. McMillan
  • “Inner Storm” by Jay R. Thurston
  • “The Machine” by Linna Drehmel
  • “Dead By Dawn” by KR Jordan
  • “The Hamlet Of Maysouth” by Ryder Ataxia
  • “Switch” by Fred Waiss
  • “Enteric” by W.B. Stickel
  • “Miriah” by Shaun Meeks
  • “Dante’s Circle” by Ericka Kahler
  • “The Monk” by JT Lewis
  • “13” by K.R. Helms
  • “Hob Gob” by Jonathan D. Nichols
  • “Neighbors From Hell” by J.R. Roper
  • “Evander Holbrook” by Greg Quinion
  • “Siren Song” by Anna Yeatts

The stories in this book will make you think, make you shiver, intrigue and entertain you. Please step into our world of the darker side where little light shines through. Are you ready?

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LOSING TOUCH book signing in Woodstock today

Posted in News on June 30, 2013 by Christian
Buy LOSING TOUCH, today at Read Between the Lynes.

Buy LOSING TOUCH, today at Read Between the Lynes.

Come out to Read Between the Lynes Bookstore in Woodstock today for the LOSING TOUCH ($16, Post Mortem Press) signing event from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

I will be signing alongside another Printer’s Row vet, J. Michael Major, who will be signing copies of his own debut novel, ONE MAN’S CASTLE ($25.95, Five Star).

Is a man a serial killer if he only kills the burglars who break into his home? And what if one of them is the man who had murdered the homeowner’s wife and was returning to kill him?

Read ONE MAN’S CASTLE and find out.

LOSING TOUCH, featuring a foreword by Piers Anthony, is about a suburban dad who just can’t get a break. His life is falling apart, and then he starts falling through things.

Morgan Dunsmore feels like everything is out of reach–a paying job, a healthy marriage, and even a good bowel movement. Complicated by his wife’s recent back surgery, Morgan tries to protect his wife and kids from his anxieties, not to mention their financial burdens, but that just pushes them away even further.

And in the middle of it all, he starts to lose his tangibility.

He may be able to walk through walls, but that ability comes with a price. He has to learn not just how to control it, but how to use it without anyone finding out, not even his family. He doesn’t want to become a circus freak or government test subject while providing for his wife and kids, but there doesn’t seem to be any honest work for a man who can secretly phase through solid matter. The temptations, on the other hand–the temptations are endless, and when he succumbs to the first, the rest begin to fall like dominoes…

You’ll find Read Between the Lynes at 129 Van Buren Street in Woodstock, and today’s signing event is a great chance to get out and support a local business and local writers.

Got the kids? Bring ’em. Not only does Read Between the Lynes carry all manner of books, but they also have reading accessories and … educational toys. Can I say that there’s never been a better time to buy? I think I just did.

38 years ago today…

Posted in News, Observations & Musings on June 28, 2013 by Christian

Earlier this week, we lost Richard Matheson, the wonderfully talented author and screenplay writer who gave us I AM LEGEND, BID TIME RETURN, and HELL HOUSE, as wells as scripts for STAR TREK, THE ALFRED HITCHCOCK HOUR, and the TV adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES. He also contributed scripts or stories for 17 episodes of the TWILIGHT ZONE.

062413-Matheson-I-Am-Legend

Rod Serling died 38 years ago today, and fiction is still feeling the loss as sorely as it is feeling the loss of Richard Matheson, who died five days ago at the age of 87. When THE TWILIGHT ZONE won it’s second Emmy, Serling singled out Matheson, Charles Beaumont, and George Clayton Johnson as the “gremlins” responsible for crafting the series’ stories, and said, holding up the award: “Come on over, fellas, and we’ll carve it up like a turkey.”

Publicity photo of Serling, 1959

Publicity photo of Serling, 1959

THE TWILIGHT ZONE was indeed a community effort (with later script contributions from Earl Hamner of THE WALTONS and FALCON CREST), but it would not have been anything at all if not for Serling. He was its head writer, executive producer, on screen host, and its creator. He established the show, in large part, because he felt he couldn’t take on the social issues of the day without having the network censors gut his material. With THE TWILIGHT ZONE, he sneaked it all past them in the trappings of fantastic fiction.

TheTwilightZoneLogoHe wrote or co-wrote 92 of the show’s 156 episodes, and when it was all over, he followed it up with NBC’s THE NIGHT GALLERY, which some bore similarities to THE TWILIGHT ZONE but veered more toward horror and the macabre. It’s pilot featured a segment directed by none other than Steven Spielberg. It was his directorial debut. Serling wrote a third of the scripts for this second series, and Matheson contributed two.

After the series ended, Serling taught at Ithaca College, but died of a heart attack on June 28, 1975 at age 50. His family lost a father and husband, and television has never been the same since.

LOSING TOUCH profiled in Journal & Topics

Posted in News on June 26, 2013 by Christian
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Denise Fleischer, author of DEADLY RESERVATIONS (ArcheBooks Publishing) and lifestyle editor at the Journal & Topics, has written a feature about LOSING TOUCH (Post Mortem Press) for this week’s edition of the Park Ridge newspaper:
LOSING TOUCH, now available at Amazon.com.

LOSING TOUCH, now available at Amazon.com.

Twenty years after graduating from Maine South High School, Christian Larsen can how hold his first published book.

Larsen, formerly of Park Ridge, has been in the radio broadcasting business a good portion of his life. But there’s always been this deep desire of his to write a novel. It just so happens that his genre of choice is horror. Not your dark kind of guy stalking with a big knife kind, but the lack of control of something in your life type of person.
 
For Larsen’s protagonist, it’s tangibility, meaning he is losing his ability to be solid, but gaining the ability to walk through walls.
 
LOSING TOUCH is about a suburban dad who can’t catch a break,” said Larsen, who just returned from selling his novel at Printers Row Lit Fest in Chicago. “It’s pretty normal stuff to start out with: bills, family, stress and the first creeping evidence of middle age. But then he starts to phase through matter, and he thinks he’s losing his mind-or worse, that it’s all real.”
 
Morgan Dunsmore feels like everything is out of reach – a paying job and a strong marriage. He does everything possible to protect his wife and kids from his anxieties and financial burdens, but that only seems to push them further away.
 
“He may be able to walk through walls, but that ability comes with a price,” said Larsen. “He has to learn not just how to control it, but how to use it without anyone finding out, not even his family.”
 
Dunsmore doesn’t want to be a sideshow in the circus or a government test subject. The temptations, on the other hand, are endless.
 
Larsen, who worked for 15 years on the Steve Cochran Showa central Illinois classic rock station, and a Pleasant Prairie radio station in Wisconsin, taught English and a yearbook class at Grayslake North High School. More than anything, he wanted to become a full-time writer.
 
“Through all of this, I had been writing and I thought, wouldn’t it be great if I got published and made a career out of it?” explained 38-year-old Larsen.
 
One of his stories being accepted into WHAT FEARS BECOME anthology (Imajin Books) was the confirmation he sought that he was a writer. Some of the most well-known horror authors made up the 40 contributors.
 
An added boost of confidence came from Larsen’s friend, Rob Kleiner, a songwriter and music producer living in L.A., who had begun to ride the train of success. Larsen asked him what made it possible for him to do what he loved doing. Kleiner…
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Click here to find out where you can pick up a copy of the Park Ridge Journal & Topics to read the rest of the article. Then click here to order a copy of LOSING TOUCH, or here to find out when I’ll be selling signed copies in your area.

SHADOW MASTERS now just $11.99

Posted in News on June 26, 2013 by Christian

SHADOW MASTERS: AN ANTHOLOGY FROM THE HORROR ZINE, featuring my short story, “The People Eaters”, is now on super sale at Amazon.com. Regularly priced at $17.99, you can now pick up a paperback copy for just $11.99. Less than twelve bucks for the following 37 stories (and a foreword by Joe R. Lansdale):

SHADOW MASTERS available at Amazon.com for just $11.99.

SHADOW MASTERS available at Amazon.com for just $11.99.

Visit The Horror Zine every month for new horror fiction, poetry, essays and artwork. And when you’re done reading the latest installment of the e-zine and SHADOW MASTERS (Imajin Books), pick up one of its other critically-acclaimed anthologies: AND NOW THE NIGHTMARE BEGINS (2009), TWICE THE TERROR (2010), WHAT FEARS BECOME (2011), and A FEAST OF FRIGHTS (2012).

NovelTea to host LOSING TOUCH signing

Posted in News on June 25, 2013 by Christian
Buy a signed copy of LOSING TOUCH July 13 at NovelTea Bookstore.

Buy a personalized copy of LOSING TOUCH July 13 at NovelTea Bookstore.

NovelTea Bookstore, Kenosha’s only general interest independent bookstore, will be hosting the Kenosha signing for LOSING TOUCH on Saturday, July 13, from 2 to 5 p.m.

The signing is part of downtown Kenosha’s Second Saturday event featuring promotions and sales, exclusive dining specials, live entertainment, and family activities at participating vendors.

My presence is just the cherry on top (or the fudge in the bottom, depending on your point of view). From 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on July 13, if you spend $20 or more on anything in NovelTea Bookstore’s regular inventory, you’ll receive a hardcover fiction novel–free!

You’ll find NovelTea Bookstore at 5700 6th Avenue in Downtown Kenosha, three blocks east of Sheridan Road and a block south of the Kenosha trolley line. Their regular business hours are:

  • Tue – Fri: 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
  • Sat: 9:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
  • Sun: 11:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

But on July 13, they will be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and from 2 to 5 p.m., I’ll be there signing copies of LOSING TOUCH, and maybe a few other surprises, too.

Dim the lights on Cimarron Street

Posted in News, Observations & Musings on June 24, 2013 by Christian
Richard Matheson (1926-2013)

Richard Matheson (1926-2013)

Richard Matheson is dead at the age of 87. I don’t care how old he was. This still sucks.

The movies never got his stories right. (When do they ever?) But he was one of the biggest contributors to THE TWILIGHT ZONE, Stephen King before Stephen King, and the father of the zombie apocalypse.

I love me some TWILIGHT ZONE, and if you’re at all a fan of the series, you’ve seen most or all of his classics:

  • “And When the Sky Was Opened”
  • “Third from the Sun”
  • “The Purple Testament”
  • “The Last Flight”
  • “A World of Difference”
  • “A World of His Own”
  • “Nick of Time”
  • “The Invaders”
  • “Once Upon a Time”
  • “Little Girl Lost”
  • “Young Man’s Fancy”
  • “Mute”
  • “Death Ship”
  • “Steel”
  • “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet”
  • “Night Call”
  • “Spur of the Moment”
"Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" starring William Shatner.

“Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” starring William Shatner.

His short story, “Duel”, about terrified motorist stalked on a remote and lonely road by the unseen driver of a mysterious tanker truck was later adapted into the feature length movie DUAL by a young director named Steven Spielberg. It was Spielberg’s second feature-length film as director.

REAL STEEL (2011), starring Hugh Jackman.

REAL STEEL (2011), starring Hugh Jackman.

He also wrote novels or short stories that would be filmed as THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN (1957), THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE (1973), SOMEWHERE IN TIME (1980), WHAT DREAMS MAY COME (1998), A STIR OF ECHOES (1999), THE BOX (2009), and REAL STEEL (2011), but he was best known for a novel he wrote that was filmed (more or less) four times, and none of them got it right.

I AM LEGEND by Richard Matheson. Read it. Don't see it.

I AM LEGEND by Richard Matheson. Read it. Don’t see it.

As William F. Nolan explained it at this year’s World Horror Convention, Matheson thought if DRACULA was a scary story with one vampire, how much scarier would a world full of vampires be? He added a rational, scientific explanation to their origin and behavior, and I AM LEGEND was written in 1954.

It was later filmed as THE LAST MAN ON EARTH (1964) starring Vincent Price, THE OMEGA MAN (1971) starring Charleton Heston, I AM OMEGA (2007) starring nobody in particular, and I AM LEGEND (2007) starring Will Smith, but all of the movies altered significant plot points, and as a result, lost most of the punch that Matheson’s original novel delivered.

Your best bet is to read the book. If you haven’t, be prepared to be blown away. It’s that simple. He was the master of the genre, even if you haven’t heard of him.

When people ask me what genre my novel, LOSING TOUCH, is–I usually say horror or sci-fi, but if I’m being really honest, it’s really Richard Matheson. I owe him tons. Rest in peace.