Archive for October, 2018

The Ray Bradbury Experience Museum welcomes THE BLACKENING OF FLESH

Posted in News on October 21, 2018 by Christian

Thanks to everyone who came out to support the Ray Bradbury Experience Museum (RBEM) last night as part of Waukegan’s ZombieWauk 2018. The 8th Annual ZombieWauk is a Halloween-themed edition of Waukegan’s monthly festival of the arts, or ArtWauk, which happens the third Saturday of every month. The museum, at 13 North Genesee Street in Bradbury’s hometown of Waukegan, Illinois, will feature exhibits that explore themes of space travel, freedom of expression, comics and more.

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Something awesome this way comes…

Before the event, fellow author Justin Hamelin and I grabbed a bite at (where else?) Green Town Tavern (110 S. Genesee Street). Green Town, of course, was Bradbury’s fictional moniker for Waukegan, which features heavily in his novels DANDELION WINE and SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES. Zombies started pouring in looking for brains while I finished my fried peanut butter & jelly sandwich, which is really something you ought to try at least once.

The evening began with RBEM Committee member Irene Edgar reading a passage from Bradbury’s 1972 novel, THE HALLOWEEN TREE, in which a group of eight boys look for their missing friend, Pipkin. Their search takes them on a journey across time and space as they discover the origins of Halloween. While Edgar read in one corner of the room, Orty Ortwein was the “writer in the window”, putting words on the page (or screen) in a museum celebrating the art of writing and imagination.

I then read several selections, including the first chapter of THE BLACKENING OF FLESH, a nostalgic novel set in my own Green Town, “Brickton, Illinois”, which is a stand-in of sorts for my childhood home of Park Ridge. I also read a few flash pieces from 44 LIES BY 22 AUTHORS and a good chunk of “Center Stage Sideshow” in SHRIEKS AND SHIVERS. Fans of SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES will not miss the inspiration in that one.

Rondo Hatton Award™-winning writer Justin Hamelin headlined the evening, giving those gathered a preview of his upcoming short story collection with a reading of “Where There’s Smoke There’s Fire”, and also a bit of “Sick Love Potion” from his debut collection, THICKER THAN BLOOD. Hamelin wrapped up by fielding a questions from the audience, and the evening wrapped up with mingling, chatting, and more than a couple new fans forged from the crowd.

The Ray Bradbury Experience Museum is still in its infancy, but has big plans to grow in the space at 13 North Genesee Street, and maybe even someday to Bradbury’s childhood library a block away. Support RBEM by visiting their home on the web or the museum itself–and if you can, donate, volunteer your time, or just spread the word about this worthy cause endorsed by Bradbury’s daughters and fans of his work around the world.

Christian A. Larsen is the author of the novels LOSING TOUCH and THE BLACKENING OF FLESHnow available from Post Mortem Press.
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THE BLACKENING OF FLESH takes a ZombieWauk

Posted in News on October 14, 2018 by Christian

This Saturday night, midway between Chicago and Milwaukee, the dead wauk, er … walk, at ZombieWauk 2018–Waukegan’s 8th annual celebration of zombie and horror arts. It’s a night of themed art exhibits, live music, and horror stories told in the heart of Ray Bradbury’s home town.

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Nothing says Halloween like a freshly signed horror novel or short story collection!

I’ll be reading from THE BLACKENING OF FLESH between 6:30 and 7:30 at The Hub (13 N. Genesee Street), the future home of the Ray Bradbury Experience Museum. I’ll be signing copies of my book, too. Find out what happens when a high school loner discovers his house is haunted by five Prohibition-era gangsters in my suburban horror novel, and then stick around for Rondo Hatton Award™-winning writer Justin Hamelin, who will be reading from his creepy collection, THICKER THAN BLOOD, and his latest short story, “Where There’s Smoke There’s Fire”.

If that doesn’t put you in a downright literary mood, check out the “writers in the window”. They’ll be authoring stories live in the front window of The Hub, with Justin Matulonis in the spotlight from 6:30 to 7:30 and Orty Ortwein taking the stage between 7:30 and 8:30. But that’s not all…

Test your hand-eye coordination at the zombie shooting gallery hosted by Hauntingly Fun Entertainment, experience the bizarre acts of the circus, burlesque, and sideshow world with Dead Man’s Carnival at 6:00, or watch George Romero and John Russo’s seminal zombie classic, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD performed live on stage at 7:30 at Three Brothers Upstage (221 N. Genesee Street), and if you love animals … head to Three Brothers Downstage (115 N. Genesee Street) for the WAGS “Animal Walk of The Dead” from 5:00 to 9:00.

Enjoy singer and poet Faith Misters outside at Family Piano Co., and inside their Riverside Room … it’s award-winning blues and R&B from 7:30 to 9:30 with Times Two: Larry Wimmer & LeMel Lewis. Or get in the groove with live music by Audio BeingsGhost Machines, and The Dread starting at 5:00 in the heart of downtown Waukegan.

And don’t forget the Metal On The Rocks VIII festival within a festival from 4:00 to 10:00 in the CLC courtyard on Genesee Street with No Conviction, Siren of Sorrow, Portals, Purge, Shooter’s Tour, Vicious Attack, and Heavy Lies the Crown. It’s free, and you’ll fit in if you come as you are but if you want to look even more the part, special-effects artist Ermelinda Renee Pauig can help you look like one of the undead.

Hell, I haven’t even mentioned visual arts yet, where you can take in spooky art shows at Green Town haunts such as Dandelion Gallery, Dinosaur Studio Tattoo, Tufo Art, Karcher 405 Gallery, The Mic, Undercroft Gallery, Kapheim Studios, ArtPark-Waukegan, NorthPointe Resources, Backroom Gallery, and the Burgundy Room.

Come hungry (and thirsty), and Waukegan won’t dissapoint with Green Town Tavern, 17 North La Casa De Samuel, The Taproom, Sean’s Eatery, China Garden, Taqueria Guerrero, Lucky Food, Oooh Wee Sweet Tea, and Kafe 29 available for mid-Wauk refreshments. And keep an eye out for specialty food trucks like Killer Zombie Dogz and Grub-N-Go for quick, delicious, and fun stuff to eat.

While some specific events come at an additional charge, admission to ZombieWauk is free, and there’s even complimentary trolley service, so take the kids, take your friends, or just take yourself out for a legendary time this Saturday in Waukegan, where Ray Bradbury’s imagination first took off, and yours can, too!

Christian A. Larsen is the author of the novels LOSING TOUCH and THE BLACKENING OF FLESHnow available from Post Mortem Press.