Sunday, April 30, 2006

The Horror Library Anthology...It LIVES!

The Horror Library - Volume I,
An Anthology of Terror

It is my pleasure to announce the birth of the first anthology created by the dark authors of The Horror Library. Count 'em - Thirty wicked stories waiting to test your nerve and tickle your spine.

The Horror Library - Volume I, is available for Pre-Order from, and will ship in May.

My tale, Wings with Hot Sauce, lays in wait for you between the stories of many rising new stars of the horror genre.

Support the Horror - Pre-Order a copy today! Free-shipping at Shocklines!

Wickedly Yours,
Fran Friel

Thursday, April 27, 2006

dizzykid - AMAZING ART!

Headache - self portrait
17" x 18" - Graphite on Paper - 2006

dizzykid is AMAZING!

If you haven't seen Justin Meyers' work, do yourself a favor and take a good long look. Buy his stuff now while you can still afford it...this guy is going to be famous someday (soon, I suspect)!

Visit dizzy at MySpace and deviantART!

Wickedly Yours,
Fran Friel

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Heart of Gold
by Craig Terlson

My friend and author/illustrator, CRAIG TERLSON, wrote the following review of the new Neil Young movie, Heart of Gold. I liked it so much, I asked if I could re-puplish it here to share with you. Not only is Craig amazingly talented, he's also a wonderful person and a fantastic friend, so of course he said yes, so here it is:

Neil Young, Heart of Gold
by Craig Terlson

n Heart of Gold, director Jonathan Demme creates an intimacy that I have never experienced before in a concert movie or even a concert. Cameras and sound equipment are not visible and there are no swooping shots of the audience or fast edits. The only time you see the crowd is at the end, perhaps to remind you that this was a concert, and that you were not somehow sitting in Neil Young's living room. It would have to be a pretty big room to house the bass player, two drummers, too many guitar players to mention, two trios of back-up singers, including Pegi Young his wife, a string section, horn section and a jubilee gospel choir – oh… and to squeeze in the immortal, but heavily Botoxed, Emmylou Harris.

Demme captures Young over two nights at the Ryman Theater in Nashville, original site of the Grand Ole Opry. The Ryman, a venue built entirely of wood, is prized for its warm acoustics. "It's like a big guitar," Young says. The wood, the choir, and the stain glass windows all give a feeling of reverence and suggest that Mr. Young might just be up there witnessing.

This is a concert movie, not a documentary, yet the depth of relationship exposed in this film rivals most dramas I have seen lately. Demme chooses vantage points that show us both the music and somehow the behind the scenes at the same time.

The first half of the film covers Young's latest Juno award winning album, Prairie Wind. It is not hard to imagine where Neil is coming from after surviving brain surgery for a near fatal aneurysm and the recent death of his father, Scott Young, who suffered dementia the last years of his life. Neil has returned to the Canadian prairie of his childhood; I wondered what the Nashville audience thought of the painted backdrop behind the band, a gorgeous expanse of field, sky and grain elevators. Had they even heard of the Trans-Canada highway, Cypress River or Falcon Lake?

The last half of the film centers on Young's two pivotal albums, Harvest (1972) and Harvest Moon (1992). As he goes through his classic backlist, it is not the young hippy graduate from Kelvin High that you are watching, but you can see him in there. You will swear that Neil actually sheds years as the concert progresses.

There is a deep irony in hearing Neil Young sing, "Old man take a look at my life, I'm a lot like you were." When he introduces a new love song, he looks back at his wife and remarks, "I used to write these songs about girls my own age" and how this is what he calls an "empty nest song". The song is a gorgeous ballad, which I'll admit had me pretty wet around the eyes as I think about my kids leaving the Ethelbert nest. That's when I realized that Neil is not only telling his story, he's telling mine. Like other great songwriters he captures universal truths about the human condition: we were young, we get older, we love our families, friends, and we think about where we came from. We think back to times when we searched for a heart of gold, when we were "twenty-four and there's so much more" and lately how we say that "one of these days, I'm going to sit down and write a long letter to all the good friends I have known."

Heart of Gold is much more than a concert film, I would suggest multiple viewings because there is so much to see and hear. An undercurrent of emotion run throughout, there are flashes of poetry, stunning musicianship, and warm humour (Neil sings about his dog King that jumped off the truck in high gear while he power chords on a Banjo… yes, I said power chords.) At the end, it is just Neil with his old guitar, his hat balanced on his case, playing to the now empty hall, and he is telling his story. Listen up. -- C. T.

Craig's interview gave me chills. Before I read it, I wanted to see Heart of Gold but now I won't miss it! If you experience this movie, let me know what you think. By the way, Craig plays a mean guitar! Yup, he's one multi-talented guy.

Wickedly Yours,
Fran Friel

note: the photo with Neil in red in by Craig Abaya

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Ahhh...Sweet Blurbage to My Ears...

I just wanted to share the latest with you! Thanks for indulging me...

Wickedly Yours,


Novella Scheduled for Realease – Summer 2006!

From the press release at Insidious Publications:

Mama’s Boy, by Fran Friel

Deep within the confines of Penn’s Asylum waits a scarred and broken man with a seemingly non-existent past. Found burned and unresponsive twenty years prior, Frank Doe’s dark secrets have remained locked away in mute silence. That is until Rebecca, a beautiful young doctor newly assigned to the wards of the asylum, steps in to unlock and scour Doe’s psyche for answers about his past. Shocking revelations bring about the doctor’s own troubled history, opening a long-closed set of wounds that she herself must face.

A novella of deep, dark and disturbing images, Mama’s Boy is a story you won’t soon forget. Perhaps it will even unleash your own wounds lying just below the surface. Will you withstand the demons inside?

This is a perfect bound Novella. Illustrated by Zach Pennington, Tom Moran, Jason Beirens & Zach McCain, edited by April Miller, Chris Hedges and Paul Danda and layout-design, printed and bound by Insidious Publications as well as an introduction by author, James Newman. This Novella is a Signed and Numbered Limited Edition, 100 Copies.

The book is hand made and hand bound. High gloss soft cover, full color interior illustrations, French parchment end paper, linen signature sheet and is signed by the author, all artists and author, James Newman.

"A fun, old school psych ward confessional full of blood and betrayal where you can't tell who are the inmates and who are the keepers."--Tom Piccirilli, Bram Stoker Award winning author of Headstone City and November Mourns

"Fran Friel's MAMA'S BOY is a gripping, disturbing, and more- than-slightly twisted debut novella. Though you may feel the need to shower with boiling water afterwards, Friel accomplishes the fine art of making you squirm--big time--without being needlessly graphic. A demented winner from a very promising new author."--Jeff Strand, author of PRESSURE and (CASKET FOR SALE (ONLY USED ONCE)

"Mama's Boy is compelling, suspenseful, and disturbing as hell! Fran Friel has made a fan out of me!"
- Brian Knight, author of King of Souls and Hacks.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Omaha - If you're in the neighborhood...

I love artists almost as much as I love writers, so when I saw this image on dizzykid's (incredible artist, btw!) profile at MySpace, I had to find out more.

From The Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts:

Kent Bellows

Event Time: March 3 - May 28, 2006

"Exceptional and perceptive. Flawless and masterful. Such words are commonly used, but fail to describe the works of Kent Bellows, whose painting and printing techniques captured character and persona as few artists before him. The Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts is extremely pleased to present Kent Bellows from March 3 – May 27, 2006, an exhibition featuring works from Bellows’ close friends and long-time collectors, all of whom came to appreciate the artist’s relentless pursuit of his next great work as well as his generous, caring spirit. The Bemis Center will also present Kent Bellows: A Celebration on Saturday, March 25, from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. This special event is a public opportunity for family and friends of Kent Bellows to celebrate his life and work. This event is free and open to the public.

"Born in Blair, NE in 1949, Bellows grew up in a home where art, literature, music and theater were prized. Although he attended the University of Nebraska, he considered his parents to be the most important influence on his art. Renowned for his figurative portraits, Bellows demonstrated a keen ability to capture detail and an even greater compassion for the human character. Whether male or female, he captured all the strength, dynamism, fragility and vulnerability inherent in the human condition.

"When New Realism developed during the 1970s and ’80s, Bellow became a master of its sub genre Sharp Focus, sometimes also referred to as Meticulous Realism. In the essay “Get Real” published in 2000, Virginia Anne Bonito commented: “Bellows’ technique is noteworthy; he is among the most skilled masters in the medium of graphite on paper, and he has recently translated his meticulous approach into the oil medium. His images in graphite on paper challenge the viewer’s belief that they are not 'art' photography.” Forum Gallery, which has offices in both New York City in Los Angeles and is one of the leaders in the field of contemporary figurative art, represented Bellows and labels him “America’s greatest master of figurative drawing.”

"Bellows exhibited his first paintings in the Old Market in 1970 and 1971, and although he developed a reputation as an artist of international rank, he remained in Nebraska and painted from his studio in Omaha. In an interview with The Reader in September 2005, Mark Masuoka, Executive Director of the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, reflected: “People know how significant of an artist he is. When anyone makes that kind of an impact, they become a cultural icon. People who aren’t from Omaha, when they hear the name, think, ‘Jun Kaneko lives there. Kent Bellows lives there.’ That an artist of that level lived here — that’s huge.”

"IN MEMORIAMA former Bemis Center Artist-in-Residence in 1988, Bellows’ work is included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Toledo Museum of Art, to name a few. Sadly, Bellows passed away in his home in September 2005 at the age of 56. Generous to family, friends and artists alike, the Bellows Family has requested that those interested in making a contribution to the Kent Bellows Memorial Fund contact the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts at 402.341.7130 for more information."

For more images of Kent Bellows' art, take a look HERE, but only if you find the nude human body beautiful as a subject of art.

Wickedly Yours,
Fran Friel

Saturday, April 15, 2006

The Horror Library Wants You!
by RJ Cavender

I'm posting this message for my dear friend and colleague, RJ Cavender:

Friends of +The Horror Library+

Can I ask a favor?

Pass on the word, if you like +The Horror Library+...that's all.
Or, if you're a writer...come join us!

It's going to be a VERY busy time for +The Horror Library+ coming up. We're going to be debuting TWO NEW COLLECTIONS:

+Horror Library+ Volume I

Butcher Shop Quartet

And our sister company company Dark Recesses Press, has an incredible PDF download magazine that you can get copies of complimentary, just for the time being!

Thanks much, thanks for being our friend, and we hope to see you soon in our office at Zoetrope if you're a writer!

To join The Horror Library workshop over at Zoetrope Virtual Studios, simply sign-up (it's free and easy) and then do a member search for me, R.J. Cavender, and send me a request to join the HL office. Once accepted, you can workshop your stories and interact with the general population of our office.

I'd venture to say we're one of the larger 'horror writer communities' outside of the Horror Writers Association. And...we don't charge a membership fee! Stop in and check out what the group has to offer you.

Also, feel free to join my community on MySpace.Com! Not as much workshopping, as there is just plain goofing around, but I've met some great writers and artists on there as well.

But, please...pass the word on. +The Horror Library+ has done well over the years from word-of-mouth referrals, and it's really in our fans' hands to tell friends and writers about our site and online community. We appreciate your support, we really do.

R.J. Cavender

There's always room for more...bodies.

Happy Easter...Beware!

Thanks to BQueen at MySpace a for this little joy!

Happy Easter, gang. I hope you're not scarred for life.

Wickedly Yours,

Thursday, April 13, 2006

BLOODSTONE in Braintree!

Yes, you can find BLOODSTONE in Braintree this weekend!

My Shocklines friend, author Nate Kenyon, will be signing and entertaining the fans this Saturday, April 15th, from 2-4 pm at the B. Dalton bookstore in the South Shore Plaza Mall, Braintree, MA.

Here's just a taste of what's been said about Nate and BLOODSTONE:

“A dark thrill ride, layered in an atmosphere of dreamlike unease and disturbing imagery… characters that are so three-dimensional they threaten to step off the page…a debut that will live on in your nightmares long after you’ve finished it.”

“A dark, disturbing, white-knuckler of a page-turner!”— DOUGLAS CLEGG, author of The Priest of Blood and Afterlife; Bram Stoker and Horror Guild Award winner

Bloodstone is a stunning debut. The writing is smooth and refined, the imagery striking and vivid, and Kenyon proves adept at involving the reader and dragging him or her along for a very dark, very disturbing ride.”— TIM LEBBON, Bram Stoker and British Fantasy award-winning author of Face, Desolation and Berserk

Watch the BLOODSTONE Video Trailer for the book and be sure to visit Nate from 2-4pm at the B. Dalton in Braintree, MA this Saturday. If you can't make it to the signing, you'll find BLOODSTONE HERE (free shipping), and everywhere great books are sold!

Wickedly Yours,
Fran Friel

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

That Cover Freaks Me Out!

That cover freaks me out! Oh, but in such a good way. And dang, the stories are just as bad...and yes, in a good way, too.

Don't miss Issue 3 of Dark Recesses Press! And the price is right...FREE! How's that sound? AND for a VERY reasonable fee, you can also get the high resolution CD-ROM version (available soon!) at Shocklines, complete with original music and an interview by yours truly (yes, me) with the wonderfully wicked author, James Newman.

Buy a copy and help make sure our writers and artists get paid. All proceeds go back to the contributors! Yup, we editorial schmucks work for glory and accolades only. So if you have any of those...they're very WELCOME!

For a limited time you can get Dark Recesses Press at the free-download page:

The new CD version will be available soon at In the meantime, you can still purchase Issues 1 and Issue 2.


Wickedly Yours,
Fran Friel

Thursday, April 06, 2006

And the Wiener of the Tease is...?

And the Wiener of the Tease is...?

I meant WINNER, silly! But I got your attention, didn't I?

Well, you've all waited long enough. I know I was going to announce the WINNER of The Shameless Mama's Boy Tease Contest on Sunday, but since it's my contest, I can do whatever I want. Oh, the power...

Anyway, I want thank everyone for reading about my novella, Mama's Boy, and for all those of you who played along with the Tease Contest. I'm truly grateful for your support. A novella may sound like a small thing, but it's HUGE for me and very dear to my know how "firsts" can be that way.

So without further delay, the illustrious WINNER of the coveted Shocklines Bucks is:

Mark Allen

Mark is a wonderful illustrator from Racine, Wisconsin who I've had the pleasure of meeting on MySpace. Be sure to visit him there and at his website,, to check out his fine work.

Congratulations, Mark!

And thank you again to all the wonderful folks who sent messages of congratulations and well-wishes for the Mama's Boy project. It means more to me than you know. And I promise I'll have more information soon!

Wickedly Yours,

PS - Stop by for a little free taste of Fresh Meat fiction at The Horror Library. My story Under the Dryer is quietly waiting there for the shadows.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


My mentor (unbeknownst to him), John Skipp has given us another thought provoking essay, this time on the state of the horror genre. But from my perspective, it's likely true for nearly all genres and pursuits of the arts today.

We need to make our work relevant for the genre to thrive, perhaps even to survive!

Have a read for yourself:

by John Skipp

Wickedly Yours,

Monday, April 03, 2006

So, What's Under the Dryer?

I know what's Under the Dryer! You'll never guess...

Read UNDER THE DRYER at The Horror Library

Hi Gang,

Click on the link above for a little taste of the April installment of Fresh Meat available, FREE at The Horror Library.


Wickedly Yours,
Fran Friel

Saturday, April 01, 2006

No More Teasing...For Now!

The Mama's Boy Teaser Contest ENDS AT MIDNIGHT!

Send in your 5 Clues by Midnight tonight, Sunday, April 2nd. The winner of the coveted Shocklines Gift Certificate will be announced next Sunday, April 9th!

Thank you so much for playing along with my tease. I hope that it's given you a chance to learn a little bit about the launch of Insidious Publications first small press offering.

A 28,000 word novella, Mama's Boy is a wicked tale that grew from a short story, which came from a simple Valentine's writing prompt from my friend, Dawn Dare. All she offered was the phrase, "And that's why I love you." And yes, like you, I have to wonder about the workings of my mind when such a lovely phrase could prompt such a nasty little ditty like, Mama's Boy. Ah, the mysteries of the muse.

So I've teased you enough for now. I'll be back again soon with offerings of cover art, pre-order information, size of the signed and numbered limited edition print run and hopefully a few tasty blurbs from some VERY wonderful writing heroes of mine. And no doubt, another contest looms on the horizon!

It's been a privilege to share my news with you. I hope you'll stay tuned and nab a copy of Mama's Boy to read on a dark and stormy night. Just be sure to hide the sharp never know how might stop by for a visit.

Wickedly Yours,
Fran Friel

PS - Still looking for that Special Clue for the extra cash? The clue is the answer to this question: What's the writing prompt phrase that was the inspiration for the original Mama's Boy story?

Contest Reminder:

The Shameless Mama's Boy Teaser Contest

It's easy to play! Just stop by my Blog at MySpace throughout the week and scavenge a total of Five Clues. Email your list to (temporary account) by Midnight, Sunday, April 2, 2006.

Combine any items from the list for Five Clues:

1. Visual clues (hint, hint...start here)
2. Author's Name (uh, tough one)
3. Short Story Titles by Author
4. Name of Publishing Company
5. Artist's Names - Cover Art or Illustrations
6. Name of the Foreword Author
7. Character's Names
8. Books Titles by the Foreword Author
9. One Story Title from The Horror Library's Fresh Meat Section

So, it's just that easy. Provide an accurate list of 5 clues and I'll toss your name in the hat. An independent party will draw the winning name, and that lucky Shameless Mama's Boy Teasee will receive a $10 gift certificate to the magnificent

I hope you'll play, even if it's just to humor me. I'm sensitive, you know. And heck, $10 isn't too shabby for a couple of clicks. And if you provide the "Special Clue," which will be made pretty darn obvious, I'll make it $15!

The Final Tease!

The Final Tease!

Today is the final day of The Shameless Mama's Boy Teaser Contest. You'll find the last clues of the tease for you to choose from for your entry. Remember, you only need Five to enter and win. But if you want that Special Clue for the bonus cash, you'll have to stop by tomorrow.

Now, it's my pleasure to introduce you to the people who are bringing Mama's Boy alive and into print. You may already know them as the publishers of the fantastic dark horror magazine, Insidious Reflections. IR has featured some of the hottest names in horror, like Jack Ketchum, Joe Lansdale, Jeff Strand and J.F. Gonzalez. And they've just received commercial distribution, which means they'll be spreading their dark joy far and wide across the land.

I am privileged to be the first author to have a title published by IR's new small press, Insidious Publications. IP is the horror press monster being born of the devious minds of publishers, Chris Hedges and Paul Danda. This dastardly pair will be bringing Mama's Boy to you this summer in the fine form of a signed and numbered limited edition chapbook. I'm hearing whispers of silk end papers and details that will make this, one beautiful maiden launch for Insidious Publications. I'm truly honored to be their first.

So with the help of Chris and Paul, and their minions, Insidious Publications will help me tell you the wicked tale of Frank Doe. Scarred unrecognizable by fire, he has been silent for twenty years, that is until a talented young doctor arrives at his home in Penn’s Asylum. Driven by her own secrets, she risks everything to unlock Frank’s dark history, and the twisted making of a monster.

So, there you have it, the last of The Shameless Mama's Boy Tease Contest clues. Well, of course, there's the Special Clue still to come tomorrow. So, I hope you'll stop by for the final recap on Sunday. I've had fun teasing you. I hope you've enjoyed it, too.

Wickedly Yours,

PS - Below is a little recap of the contest rules, just in case you need a peek. Good luck!

The "Shameless Mama's Boy Teaser Contest!"

Just stop by my Blog at MySpace throughout the week and scavenge a total of Five Clues. Email your list to (temporary account) before midnight, Sunday, April 2, 2006.

Combine any items from the list for Five Clues:
1. Visual clues (hint, hint...start here or go back to Sunday's)
2. Author's Name (uh, tough one)
3. Short Story Titles by Author
4. Name of Publishing Company
5. Artist's Names - Cover Art or Illustrations
6. Name of the Foreword Author
7. Character's Names
8. Books Titles by the Foreword Author
9. One Story Title from The Horror Library's Fresh Meat Section

So, it's just that easy. Provide an accurate list of 5 clues and I'll toss your name in the hat. An independent party will draw the winning name, and that lucky Shameless Mama's Boy Teasee will receive a $10 gift certificate to the magnificent I hope you'll play, even if it's just to humor me. I'm sensitive, you know. And heck, $10 isn't too shabby for a couple of clicks. And if you provide the "Special Clue," which will be made pretty darn obvious, I'll make it $15!

Please Share This. TY!