Katy Mann – Writer
Writing and reviewing horror fiction, because I love scary stories!
Syvla Slasher cover

Cover for Ace Antonio-Hall’s Syvla Slasher

Eighteen-year-old Sylva Fleischer and her friends raise the dead for a living for police investigations and mourning families. Two years after her high school crush, a hot guy named Brandon, is assumed dead, Sylva’s friends convince her to go on a spring break cruise in an effort to suppress her depression over him. But when passengers mysteriously die and reanimate into flesheating zombies like she’s never seen before, Sylva plunges into a horrifying struggle between a ship infested with the undead and the scariest thing of all: a second chance with Brandon after she discovers he’s still alive. This is a zombie story that eats right to the core and leaves you licking your chops for more.
Got zombies? Sylva Slasher does…


–click for more


About the author:


Ace Antonio Hall is the author of the novel, Confessions of Sylva Slasher. His short stories They and Raising Mary: Frankenstein have been awarded Honorable Mention for the Writers of the Future Awards 2013 and 2014. He published his short story Dead Chick Walking in Calliope Magazine Fall 2013 #141.

In 2015, Hall has sold his short stories to be published with Weasel Press/The Haunted Traveler, Bride of Chaos/9 Tales, Pure Fantasy & Science Fiction, Vol. 4, Jitter/Prolific Press, and Night to Dawn Magazine #29.

Hall received a BFA from Long Island University and taught English for more than a decade. He is a native New Yorker who now resides in Los Angeles, CA.

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Zombies at twilight


I have always thought of myself as a vampire girl.


Sure, there are zombie movies out there that I love, including the 1968 version of The Night of the Living Dead, Shaun of the Dead, and 28 Days Later, among others.


But until recently, I hadn’t read any zombie novels, only zombie short stories.


That changed in 2013.  I had preview tickets to Warm Bodies, so I read Isaac Marion’s book before seeing the movie.  The book surprised me with language and characters I had not expected, a rich imaginative world.  I loved it.


During the previews, I heard about World War Z, another zombie novel which was in the process of being made into a blockbuster movie with Brad Pitt, so I checked it out as well.  The book took a journalistic approach to a zombie apocalypse, telling stories form the survivors, beginning with a doctor, and showcasing a variety of heroes and villains, including privateers and smugglers, astronauts and deep sea divers.


I saw the charming movie Warm Bodies, released around Valentine’s Day, 2013, and brought memorably to life by actors Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer, with John Malkovich as Julie’s father.  The movie stayed close to the spirit of the book, and I thought it was very successful in bringing the Romeo-Juliet story to life, showing us the world Isaac Marion had created on the screen. After seeing it, I looked forward to World War Z.


World War Z was made as an action thriller and given blockbuster treatment with big sets and a memorable scene of zombies overrunning the city of Jerusalem.  The character Brad Pitt plays wasn’t in the book, and the movie is about his efforts to save the world.  Though an exciting thriller, I missed all those rich characters from the book.


Different adaptions for different purposes. A star vehicle or a sweet romance.


Book versus movie.


Movies and books are different media, but I wonder if the director or screen writers for World War Z ever bothered to crack open Max Brooks’ novel.  And I wonder if anyone else will attempt to bring Max Brooks’ amazing world to life on the big screen.


I hope so.  I would love to see it.




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Zombies or Vampires?


I had always thought of myself as a vampire girl (thank you, Stephenie Meyer for the term), not a zombie fan.  I was picky about my Dead, it seemed.  I liked the elegance of the vampire brand of the Undead, typified by the classic Dracula movies as well as the more recent Twilight series.


Sure, there are zombie movies out there that I like, including the 1968 version of Night of the Living Dead, Shaun of the Dead, and 28 Days, among others.


But I hadn’t read any zombie novels, and only a few zombie shorts stories.


That changed in 2013.  I had preview tickets to the movie Warm Bodies, so I read Isaac Marion’s novel in the days just prior.   I loved his book, which featured vibrant language, characters with a depth I had not expected, and original settings.


During the previews for Warm Bodies, I saw previews for World War Z.  My friend mentioned that her husband had read the book by Max Brooks, and he found it interesting, so I gave it a try. After all, I had just read Warm Bodies.


In his novel World War Z, Max Brooks took a journalistic approach to a zombie apocalypse, using the narrative technique of having survivors tell their stories in an interview format. The book contained a kaleidoscope of characters, with such speakers as doctors and priests, privateers and smugglers, and most surprisingly, astronauts and deep sea divers.


The transition from Page to Screen, novel to movie, is a fascinating process for me.  What elements of the novel will the director and screenwriter bring to their film version? I loved the charming movie version of Warm Bodies, where the characters of R and Julie were brought memorably to life by actors Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer, and I looked forward to World War Z.


My reaction to World War Z was mixed.  Parts of the movie were very exciting, and Brad Pitt gave a solid, likeable performance.  But in his book, Max Brooks had created these memorable characters with a startling variety of backgrounds.  Brad Pitts’s character in the movie didn’t seem to have a compelling story.  The zombies he fought in this movie could have been almost any kind of villain.  What were they fighting?  Rabid dogs?  Sharks flung from a tornado? It seems these villains might have worked as well as zombies.


But much as I enjoyed these zombie books and movies, in the end, I still favor vampires for my own personal undead encounters. One of the thrill of these protagonists is the possibility of ending up being transformed into one of them.  And that might not be all bad, as series including Twilight have shown.


So while I’m not yet a Zombie Girl, I’m certainly more open-minded in my reads about the war on the Living by the Dead, those fiends who lead with their arms stretched out in front of them.


Stagger on, my new Dead Antagonists, and I’ll keep finding books and stories to read for the thrill of watching the struggle of my kind against yours.

What are your thoughts?  Do you have a favorite type of horror movie antagonist?

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