Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Frighten Brighton Art and Interview

Noho Noir's Mark Satchwill has created a poster image for the Frighten Brighton Classic Horror Film Festival happening in the UK next month.
You can read an interview with Mark about his love of horror movies, the inspiration for the poster and why he supports the Classic Horror Campaign over on their website:

Sunday, 15 July 2012

NoHo Noir: Smother Mother

                                         SMOTHER MOTHER
Written by Katherine Tomlinson
Illustrated by Mark Satchwill

Shannon could hear her son sobbing all the way from the parking lot. When she entered the office of the little motel they owned, she was upset to see her mother Maeve holding down the counter instead of Nori, the guest who usually covered for her when she had to run out on an errand.

She was torn between confronting her mother and tending to her son, who had hurled himself into her arms the moment he saw her. “What’s wrong Liam?” she asked as he burrowed his head into her leg.

“Nothing’s wrong,” her mother said. “He’s just a little cry-baby.”

“I am not a cry-baby,” Liam wailed.

Shannon stroked his back. “I know sweetie,” she said, giving her mother a lethal look. “Let’s get you cleaned up.”

She took Liam's hand and led him into the little apartment behind the office. 

“You’re doing him no favors by coddling him like that,” Maeve said, loudly enough that she could be heard through the locked door.

It had taken Shannon 15 minutes to calm Liam down and get the story out of him. He kept apologizing for “making Grandma mad,” and every time he did, the red haze clouding Shannon’s vision got a little redder.

She remembered apologizing for making her mother mad, even when she’d had no idea what she’d done.

Liam had set Maeve off by asking her where Nori was when he saw his grandmother behind the front desk in the motel’s office. Maeve had flown into a rage, ranting that he was dissing her and that she wasn’t going to stand for it. 

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Feeding Kate--A Charity Anthology

We all get by with a little help from our friends and sometimes our friends need more help than others. Feeding Kate is an anthology friends are putting together to raise money for Sabrina (of the blog "My Friends Call Me Kate"). She needs surgery and her insurance won't pay for it. You can read the details here on Thomas Pluck's blog and then you can head over to the Indiegogo page to see what a donation as little as $5 will get you.
I don't know Sabrina/Kate but for $5, I can help a sister out AND get an e-copy of the anthology, which will contain stories by Thomas Pluck, Hilary Davidson, Chad Eagleton, Chad Rohrbacher, Johnny Shaw, Anthony Shaw, Steve Weddle, Chuck Wendig, and Holly West. (Plus a lot more.)
Feel free to give more, but know that every little bit helps!

Saturday, 7 July 2012

NoHo Noir: The Heat is On!

The Heat Is On
Written by Katherine Tomlinson
Illustrated by Mark Satchwill

Vera Polk was bored. It was such an unusual sensation for her that she almost didn’t recognize it at first and thought it was just another variety of depression. It had been a tough school year and now that it was summer, she should have felt the usual vacation uptick in her mood, but instead she’d been plagued with sleeplessness and a vague sense of ennui.
“Just be glad you’re not teaching summer school,” her friend Moira had said when they met for lunch at City Wok one weekend.
Moira’s husband had been unemployed for nearly two years. She was burnt out on the job of teaching English to disinterested teens, but there was no scenario in which she could afford not to teach during the summer. It was starting to get to her, though. Whenever she and Vera got together, all Moira wanted to do was vent.
“We’re doing a section on Romeo & Juliet,” she said. “I promised everyone I’d give them an A if they could prove they’d watched any of the movie versions.”
She forked in another morsel of the crispy, sweet-hot City Wok Chicken they’d both ordered.
“Poo came in with a screen shot from Romeo is Bleeding,” she added.
Vera raised her eyebrow.
“Joel Silver movie,” Moira explained. “Jet Li. Gangs.” Moira slugged down the rest of her diet Coke. “I gave him a C and he was happy with it.”
Vera shuddered. She taught geometry, trigonometry and calculus. There was no chance that the thuggish Poo was going to end up in one of her classes.
She grabbed the check when it came. “My treat,” she said, as she almost always did.
“I’ll get it next time,” Moira said, as she almost always did.
“It’s on Ms. Math Whiz,” Vera assured her.
Vera was bored with Ms. Math Whiz. She’d turned in a draft of her latest “math for idiots” book in May and was waiting for her editor to give her the final edits. She made a nice side living from the books—almost twice what she brought home from her teaching job—but writing them was getting to be a chore. She enjoyed getting email from enthusiastic geeks who wanted to talk about famous math puzzles and she looked forward to interacting with a couple of her Twitter followers who engaged in lively conversations about subjects ranging from the discovery of the “God Particle” to the science of Prometheus. Other than that, though, being Ms. Math Whiz was about as much fun as teaching remedial math in a vocational school.
She was sitting on her balcony, relaxing with a glass of wine and gazing at the empty parking lot behind her condo when she was suddenly struck with the notion of creating a container garden.
She knew it was too late in the season for tomatoes, but she could try some herbs—chives and sage and dill—and chili peppers. The idea made her happy.
She finished off her glass of wine and went into her home office to tweet a few things before bed. The follower who called him/herself @geekusinterruptus was raving about the new Spider Man movie and wondering if she’d seen it yet. She’d lied and said she had, that she thought it was the best one yet.

The last time Vera had attempted any sort of gardening project, she’d bought all her plants from Stevens Nursery in Studio City. She’d loved browsing there, especially on cool days when the tropical humidity of the greenhouse felt like a lush oasis in the middle of the generally arid LA suburbs.
Stevens had been razed years ago, though, to make room for the ugliest mega-condo/apartment complex in the area.
Vera had found a nursery in Burbank that had a resident cat and good prices. She’d filled a basket with little green and white plastic pots filled with three-inch shoots of aromatic green. She’d been captivated by a square-stemmed plant that smelled like a peppermint patty.
“That’s chocolate mint,” said a guy wearing a dark green polo shirt with the Plant One On Us logo. “It’s great mixed with strawberries, but it’s a little late to be planting it.”
He took the pot out of her hands and put it back on the shelf with the other baby plants. “You’ll want to wait until the fall for it, or maybe early next spring.”
Vera was somewhere between bemused and annoyed as he looked over the other choices in her cart.
“Rosemary and sage but no thyme?” he asked. “How will you ever season a roast chicken?”
“I make roast chicken with garlic and lemon,” she said, not sure why she was trading cooking tips with a total stranger.
“Simple and elegant,” the guy said, “like the cook.”
Vera blushed from the tips of her toes even as she deflected the compliment with a bit of a shrug. “It’s hard to mess up a roast chicken,” she said.
Au contraire,” the guy said, with a pitch-perfect accent. “At the Culinary Institute of America they ask you to make two things to show off your expertise before graduating.”
“A roast chicken,” Vera guessed, “and what?”
“An omelette,” he replied. “The idea being that if you can create something beautifully simple, you can go on to cook something more complex.”
“You’re a cook?” she asked the guy.
Now it was his turn to shrug.
“I eat a lot of pasta,” he said. “I picked up a cookbook in self-defense.”
Vera casually glanced at the guy’s bare left hand while pretending to tidy the plants in her basket.
Divorced? Gay?
“Let me know if you need any help with anything,” the guy said and turned away.
Say something Vera.
“What about chilies?” she blurted, holding out a pot with a couple of the bright red peppers already ripening.
“Good choice for summer gardening,” he said. “Good way to spice things up.”
She smiled at him, charmed.
“I think I’m ready to check out,” she said.
“Right this way,” he said, and without asking, took the handle of her cart and rolled it over to the checkstand.
“Good luck,” he said to her as she walked away with her purchases. “Let me know if you have any problems.”
Vera blushed again as she put her change away. “I will,” she said, and was surprised that she actually meant it.
The owner of the shop looked at her brother as he watched Vera head for her car.
“She’ll be back,” he promised her.
She knew he was right. Business had almost doubled since he’d started working for her.
Seducing the middle-aged customers was like shooting fish in a barrel for him.
She almost felt guilty about it.
As for Vera…she wasn’t bored any more.

A different kind of noir

Pulp Ink 2 mashes up noir and horror.  Here's who's in it:  Kevin Brown, Mike Miner, Eric Beetner, Heath Lowrance, Matthew C. Funk, Richard Godwin, Cindy Rosmus, Christopher Black, Andrez Bergen, James Everington, W. D. County, Julia Madeleine, Kieran Shea, Joe Clifford, Katherine Tomlinson, R. Thomas Brown, Court Merrigan, BV Lawson, and Patti Abbott.  That's 15.7 cents per story. 

Go get it now!  And while you're at it, pick up Pulp Ink for just 99 cents.  And while you're on the page, why not hit the "like" button.  That's free.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Matt Damon is a bad ass in Elysium

First pics are out. Here it is. You're welcome.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

NoHo Noir: There is no Contingency Plan

There is no Contingency Plan for the Zombie Apocalypse
Written by Katherine Tomlinson
Illustration by Mark Satchwill

It was 101 degrees outside but Esme had cracked the car’s window to avoid breathing in the stale alcohol fumes her partner was breathing out. The metabolized bourbon mixed with toxic levels of garlic from the pizza he’d eaten at lunch had formed an almost visible aura around him. The smell was so thick she wondered if it would explode if she flicked her lighter.
Some days she really missed smoking.
“We should all go out sometime,” Edgar said, for at least the fourth time since they’d clocked in. He was newly hooked up with a skanky badge bunny he’d met in a bar and was looking for validation for the relationship. Considering he’d thrown away four years of sobriety to be with his new love, Esme was not a big fan. She already knew more than she wanted to about “Lucinda” from the pictures on Edgar’s cell and the stories he chose to relate.
She didn’t even listen to the stories anymore, just nodded or grunted every once in awhile.
“You’re not listening Esme,” Edgar said.
“Sorry,” she said. “I’ve got a little bit of a headache.”
“Caffeine withdrawal,” Edgar suggested smugly. He drank Maker’s Mark like it was mother’s milk but didn’t like coffee. She had tried to be inconspicuous about her attempts to cut back on coffee in the wake of a scare with some breast cysts, but Edgar had noticed and driven her nuts with questions until she finally admitted what she was doing.
She was about to say something scathing about there not being sobriety chips for caffeine when the call came over the radio.
“Dispatch, say again,” Edgar said.
“You heard me Edgar,” the dispatcher said, in total violation of protocol. “You’d better get over there fast. The uni who called it in sounded pretty freaked out.”
Esme was already turning the car around.
“It was only a matter of time before they showed up in Los Angeles,” Edgar said.
“There is no ‘they,’ Edgar,” Esme said.
“You saw the memo, same as me,” he insisted.
“This is L.A.,” Esme said, “somebody’s shooting a movie.”
Edgar made a noise that sounded like “humph.”
Esme sighed. It was bad enough that everyone on the force had been working overtime on the homeless serial killer case. When the stories started coming in about cannibal attacks and zombies eating dogs, and the shift briefings started including warnings about designer drugs, everything got amped up another notch.
She knew Edgar was just clowning around to annoy her but some of the kids actually believed zombies were real.
But then, Esme guessed she couldn’t blame them when news stories were actually reporting that voters thought President Obama was better suited to leading the country in the face of an alien attack than Mitt Romney.
In the face of an alien attack, God help us, Esme thought.
“I wonder if it’s a fast zombie,” Edgar said.