Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Witches of Wildwood: Cape May Horror Stories and Other Scary Tales from the Jersey Shore

"This captivating and commendable work had me immersed from the beginning. The stories flowed from scene to scene with ease, and the author shows exceptional ability when it comes to storytelling. There are plenty of attention-grabbing moments in this page turner that will take the reader on a spellbinding journey! It's difficult to pick a favorite from this collection of spooky 'tales of the unexpected'. Even if I was forced to, I couldn't. They were all very well written." - Piaras, Goodreads


Release Date: Sept 15, 2017 
Cover Artist: Robert Gonzales 

Werewolves... vampires... swamp beasts... zombies... even a Jersey Devil... all of these chilling creatures and more await you in this haunting collection of 11 contemporary horror fiction stories by Mark Wesley Curran. 

Uniquely set 'down the shore' in South Jersey's Cape May County, these scary tales are sure to terrify and entertain both adult readers as well as young adults. 

My Brush With Horror Greatness 

Thank you for having me as a guest blogger!

The famous movie director George A. Romero died recently. He died doing what he loved, directing horror movies. Many from this generation may not remember who he was, but us baby boomers sure do. He was responsible for the 'Walking Dead' genre, for it was he who invented it back in 1968 when he made a grainy low budget black and white zombie movie and called it 'Night of the Living Dead.'

I can remember as a very young teen seeing this movie at the local drive-in. It was the scariest movie I had ever seen. It was the summer of 1969. My mother and I watched it through the windsheild of her battered white '66 Corvair, listening to the sound crackle over the gun-metal speaker that hung on the window edge from the pole outside.    

I remember vividly the car reeked of mildew because when it rained the water would collect on the back floor and slosh around when you made turns. It was also smoky, because mom liked to chain smoke Viceroy filter tips. I think I bought popcorn but I stopped eating when the zombies showed up.

That drive in was located in the middle of a creepy Pennsylvania field, surrounded by trees and cornfields near an old house that I was certain was haunted.  

When the movie was over and we had gone back home, the scenes were still percolating in my fevered mind. I was so scared after seeing that movie I sat up for three nights on the living room couch with a baseball bat, my eyes glued on the kitchen door that led to our back porch. If any zombies were going to come, I'd spot them through that window first. 

I was not the only one deeply affected by that movie. Scores of kids across the country were shellshocked when 'Night' came out, because nothing like it have ever been seen before. 

Thankfully, real zombies did not arrive at my kitchen door. I became a great fan of all things horror from that point on. From comic books to TV shows and movies, and then on into horror fiction. I was hooked on the scaries.  

Strangely, life takes odd turns. 

Little did I know as a kid sitting in that dark Pennsylvania drive-in that forty-six years later I would be living in Los Angeles and directing my own horror movie, Abandoned Dead, which was to star the very actress who played the lead of Barbara in Night of the Living Dead, Judith O'Dea! 

Some people speculate we subconsciously strive to make our dreams come true, that there are no accidents. So I cannot say I somehow caused these things to happen over those many years, but it came as quite a surprise when they did.  

I'd become a horror filmmaker and writer. 

I have fond memories from July 2015 of driving Judith to our movie set from the LAX airport to shoot her scenes, how gracious and wonderful she was to me. Even though I was a first time director, with no credits or any real contacts in the business, she was so giving and open with her time and advice. 

She told me stories of working with George Romero back in Pittsburg, when nobody knew who he was, 
simply a guy shooting local commercials and trying to scratch out a living from the dust of the earth. 
They all pooled their money to shoot 'Night,' and none of them had any idea how big or how enduring the film would become. 

It had since dominated all of their lives. 

When I told Judith about how affected I was by seeing 'Night' as a young boy, and about the sleepless nights with the baseball bat, she nodded wisely and said  "You are not alone. I've been hearing stories like this from fans for over thirty years."

I guess you could say Judith was my brush with greatness. 

So grateful am I to have met her, one of my heroes who has influenced me, as she has influenced so 
many people for so many years. 

Thank you Judith. 
And thank you, George Romero, for being a visionary and an artist of ucomporomising vision. 
Rest in Peace, forever. 

About the author:
Mark Wesley Curran is a writer of contemporary fiction, specializing in the horror and suspense genre. Born and raised in Suburban Philadelphia, he spent many summers living and working in Wildwood, New Jersey during its heyday. He now resides in Los Angeles where he enjoys creative pursuits as a writer, filmmaker and musician. 

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