{Graveyard Shift} Novelist, Screenwriter and Filmmaker Frazer Lee is this weeks warden.

I want this to be a platform for EVERYONE within the horror community; authors, publishers, bloggers, reviewers, actors, directors, artists. I could go on, if you work in the genre then you are more than welcome to apply for the job.

The rules are quite simple…

You are invited to imagine yourselves as warden for an old graveyard, and choose eight books, preferably horror/dark genre, to take with you to cover your shift; here you can discuss why you chose the books.

As well as the books, wardens are allowed one song/album to listen to. Again, an explanation for this choice is required.

You must also discuss one luxury item you can bring, which must be inanimate and not allow communication.

If you’d like to take part in The Graveyard Shift then please submit an application to gavin@kendallreviews.com

A new shift is about to begin. The warden for the week’s #GraveyardShift is…

Frazer Lee

Nineteen-year-old Emily’s acute dissociative disorder causes her to be institutionalised – again – at Greyfriars Reformatory For Girls.

Caught in the crossfire between brutal Principal Quick and cruel bully Saffron Chassay, Emily befriends fellow outcast Victoria.

When the terrifying apparition of the mysterious ‘Grey Girl’ begins scaring the inmates to death, Emily’s disorder may be the one thing that can save her.

You can buy Greyfriars Reformatory from Amazon UK & Amazon US

Books

FRANKENSTEIN, or; the Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley

My favourite book of all time (read the 1818 classic text if you haven’t already) written by a bona fide genius. Frankenstein has it all – horror, love, loss, betrayal, the potential for redemption. It is all of human life, wrapped in bandages and reanimated to resonate on through time. As I wander the graveyard and see the names on the headstones, I’ll begin to imagine how it might be to piece together a new creation from gathered body parts. Maybe I’ll get lucky and a lightning storm will hit, and my creature and I can greet the coming dawn, together, and in homage to one of the greatest writers who ever lived. And she will never die.

SUPER-CANNES by J G Ballard

If Frankenstein is my favourite book, then Ballard is my favourite writer. His ideas astonish and unsettle in equal measure. Difficult to pick just one of his titles to pack in my old kitbag, but Super Cannes does have a shiny metallic cover, which might look striking in the moonlit graveyard. I didn’t choose this one just because of the cover, of course (after all, Cocaine Nights is super shiny too) but because once you start reading this disturbing annihilation of what lurks on the periphery of the movie biz, you can’t stop until you’ve finished. Super-Cannes is Super-Dark. It will bleed you dry, it will infuriate, and obfuscate, and it will make you think you can’t possibly write anything ever again because Ballard was just so damn good.

THE BOOKS OF BLOOD by Clive Barker

Cheating a bit here, as The Books of Blood comprises six volumes. But there is much to do during my graveyard vigil, and these stories will be faithful companions to dip into along the way. There is everything here that is both original and familiar about Horror, from a man getting jiggy with a city street, to a ritualistic battle between colossi made from batshit-crazy villagers. If you tire of these stories, I believe you are tired of life. And here in the graveyard, you are in exactly the right place to retire, my friend. ‘Everybody is a book of blood’ writes Barker, ‘wherever we’re opened, we’re red.’ How apt.

FLASH GORDON by Arthur Byron Cover.

Flash, I love you, but we only have fourteen hours to save the Earth!” Look, I’m into my film and telly as well as my books, so please don’t judge when I decide to bring along this off the scale camp movie novelisation (featuring 8 pages of color photos!). Flash Gordon includes wonderful chapter subtitles, such as FLASH BITES THE BIG ONE, which scream at you from the pages and will be easy to read in a dingy graveyard. High art, it is not, but there is excellent craft on display here – I defy anyone not to join me in swooping through the cemetery like a Hawkman after reading this fantastical, and fantastic, nonsense. The ‘bore worms’ made quite the impression on me as a youngster, too. Years later, I got the chance to write my own movie novelisation in the form of PANIC BUTTON (based on the script I also co-wrote). Quite a few characters BIT THE BIG ONE in that story!

THE OUTSIDERS by S E Hinton

Keeping watch over a graveyard has got me waxing philosophical about the passage of time, and about the stages of human life. To acknowledge my inner teen, I think I have to bring The Outsiders along. It taught me that it was okay to be different when many in my small town didn’t hold this point of view – far from it. The Greasers and the Socs are a brilliant ensemble of characters, and you kind of grow up with them as this wonderful novel progresses to its ‘golden’ conclusion. Ponyboy’s narration holds you close throughout. It’s kind of timeless like those summer evenings spent wandering, trying to figure out who you really are and what you really want. Well, this is one book you really need.

THE GAUNTLET by Ronald Welch

Is the first book I remember reading. Welch was such a brilliant writer and researcher. That level of research was integral to his style and taught me a lot even without me realising it (I was very young). The author’s vivid descriptions and believable details transported me to a medieval world, just like the magical, titular gauntlet. Oh my goodness, what a book, and what an adventure. I didn’t ever want to leave that world. For the intense period during which I was reading it, I felt I really was living in a castle. I wept when I finished it because I didn’t want it to be over and I felt so bereft.

THE LOTTERY AND OTHER STORIES by Shirley Jackson

I think it’s important to include a book I haven’t actually finished reading. I love Jackson’s novels, especially The Haunting of Hill House (of course) but I hadn’t read any of her short stories — apart from The Lottery — until I got hold of this book. And what a collection it is. Jackson has that knack of embedding the disturbing, the slightly odd, and the uncanny in the everyday in such a subtle and creepy way. I find myself thinking about her stories long after I have read them. The tale of someone being ousted from their own apartment is a masterclass in maximising the effect of working with very little (three characters, two apartments). The dark turn of a disintegrating relationship becomes incinerated under Jackson’s microscope. There is blood, sweat, and silent tears in these stories, and just a pinch of tobacco smoke. Urban alienation is an ever-present theme, forming a deep, rich seam that runs through this book and I will never tire of mining the darkness for more gems.

PET SEMATARY by Stephen King

It just wouldn’t be reasonable of me to neglect this King classic during my tenure at the graveyard. King keyed into every parent’s fear, and then some, choosing to wipe out poor young Gage early on in the novel, before finding hideous ways to bring him back. Funnily enough, as I was out patrolling the outskirts of this cemetery earlier, I spotted a patch of wildland that looked, and smelled somehow, sour. Really beginning to think I shouldn’t have buried that dead cat I found curled up on a tombstone over there. Come to think of it, I could have sworn I heard something as I walked back, carrying my shovel.

It sounded like scratching.

From beneath.

Albums

PORNOGRAPHY by The Cure

I was thrilled to see a piece on The Cure on Kendall Reviews recently. (Which you can read HERE). I am a die-hard Cure fan through and through and have been lucky enough to have seen them play 38 times since my very first life-altering Cure gig on December 6th 1987 (during The Kissing Tour). There are many of us Cureheads in the Horror genre, and although Robert Smith rejects the Goth label (fairly, I think , because it is a) his band, and b) Goth is just one of the many varied, eclectic facets that make up The Cure) you have to admit, Pornography is GOTH AS FUCK. ‘Cold’ would sound particularly doomy in the graveyard tonight, followed by ‘The Hanging Garden’, which would no doubt make the headstones rattle (and the bones beneath them dance). I have loved every album by The Cure, but this is my dark delight. Find me an empty plot because I have to lie down after hearing this one!

Luxury

I’m going to be cheeky here and ask for a bonus book! I mean, if you don’t ask, you don’t get, right? Seeing as I’m surrounded by so many buried cadavers (so much ‘raw material’ if you will) it would seem remiss not to practice a little nocturnal necromancy while I’m here. Only dabbling, you understand, but there is this really interesting spell that I’d like to try. Sure, every occupant of the graveyard might rise up from the soil to make the cemetery their cathedral (and the cities your tombs!), but you have to agree it would be a LOT of fun. So I’m going to ask for a copy of the NECRONOMICON.

See you on the other side!

Greyfriars Reformatory

Nineteen-year-old Emily’s acute dissociative disorder causes her to be institutionalised – again – at Greyfriars Reformatory For Girls.

Caught in the crossfire between brutal Principal Quick and cruel bully Saffron Chassay, Emily befriends fellow outcast Victoria.

When the terrifying apparition of the mysterious ‘Grey Girl’ begins scaring the inmates to death, Emily’s disorder may be the one thing that can save her.

You can buy Greyfriars Reformatory from Amazon UK & Amazon US

Frazer Lee

Frazer Lee is a novelist, screenwriter and filmmaker. His screenplay credits include the acclaimed horror/thriller feature Panic Button, and multi-award winning short films On Edge, Red Lines, Simone and The Stay. Frazer s screenwriting and story consultant engagements have included commissions for Movie Mogul, The Asylum, Mediente, eMotion, and Vanquish Alliance Entertainment.

His film and television directing credits include the multi-award-winning shorts On Edge and Red Lines, and the promo campaign for the Discovery Channel series True Horror With Anthony Head. His new short film The Stay had its World Premiere at World Horror Con Atlanta USA 2015. Frazer was named one of the Top 12 UK directors in MySpace.com s Movie Mash-up contest by a panel including representatives from 20th Century Fox, Vertigo Films and Film Four.

Frazer s novel The Lamplighters was a Bram Stoker Award® Finalist for Superior Achievement in a First Novel . His other published works include the Amazon number 1 horror/thriller Panic Button: The Official Movie Novelisation, novels The Jack in the Green, The Skintaker, Hearthstone Cottage, and the Daniel Gates Adventures series of novellas.

Frazer is Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Brunel University London and is an active member of the Horror Writers Association, International Thriller Writers, and International Association of Media Tie-in Writers. His guest speaking engagements have included The London Screenwriters Festival and The Guerilla Filmmakers Masterclass. Frazer Lee lives with his family in Buckinghamshire, England just across the cemetery from the actual Hammer House of Horror.

His new novel Greyfriars Reformatory is published October 2020 by Flame Tree Press.

You can follow Frazer on Twitter @frazer_lee

Find out more about Frazer by visiting his Official website www.frazerlee.com

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