Well, it’s Halloween. Hurrah! It’s always bit bittersweet for me though as it signifies the end of Horror October. But, it’s been a great month and I’ve saved the best til last for you…
After reading The Last Days of Jack Sparks earlier this year, Jason Arnopp crept into my Horror Hall of Fame; it’s such an entertaining novel, I can’t recommend it enough! You can read my review here. Therefore, I was naturally thrilled when Jason agreed to write a guest post for the occasion. Read on for more info on Jack Sparks and his Top 5’s of all things horror.
The Last Days of Jack Sparks
Jack Sparks died while writing this book. This is the account of his final days.
In 2014, Jack Sparks – the controversial pop culture journalist – died in mysterious circumstances.
To his fans, Jack was a fearless rebel; to his detractors, he was a talentless hack. Either way, his death came as a shock to everyone.
It was no secret that Jack had been researching the occult for his new book. He’d already triggered a furious Twitter storm by mocking an exorcism he witnessed in rural Italy.
Then there was that video: thirty-six seconds of chilling footage that Jack repeatedly claimed was not of his making, yet was posted from his own YouTube account.
Nobody knew what happened to Jack in the days that followed – until now. This book, compiled from the files found after his death, reveals the chilling details of Jack’s final hours.
First Published March 1st 2016 by Orbit // Available in Hardback, Paperback & Kindle / eBook
The Top 5 of Everything with Jason Arnopp
[In no particular order]
Top 5 Films that got you into Horror
1. Salem’s Lot (1979) Couldn’t sleep with the curtains open for years after that!
2. Poltergeist (1982) First saw this at an equally young friend’s house, and his mum physically blocked our view of the TV when the guy ripped his own face off!
3. The Evil Dead (1981) My favourite horror movie in terms of sheer rewatchability
4. The Thing (1982) My favourite horror in terms of slowburn tension
5. Hammer House Of Horror (1980) Not a film but a Brit TV show, which gave a young me some influential chills
Top 5 Books that made you want to write
1. Doctor Who: Terror Of The Autons by Terrance Dicks – I liked all the Target novels, but this one always stood out. Autons and the Nestene consciousness are very creepy.
2. Stephen King On Writing – a great non-fiction book. Part memoir, part kick up the ass for scribblers.
3. Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk – one of my favourite authors. Such great unique style and ideas. Brave as hell too, for the way he trains an unflinching eye on the human condition.
4. House Of Leaves by Mark Z Danielewski – insanely ambitious and just all-round insane!
5. The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton – basically Doctor Who, in terms of the central concept of a tree with different worlds arriving at the very top of it.
Top 5 things you’re scared of
2. Debilitating illness
3. Russia having a nuclear missile called Satan 2
4. The prospect of Donald Trump becoming president of America
5. People with no empathy
Top 5 things you’ve worked on
1. The Last Days Of Jack Sparks (Orbit Books)
2. Beast In The Basement (Retribution Books)
3. A Sincere Warning About The Entity In Your Home (Retribution Books)
4. Auto Rewind (Retribution Books)
5. American Hoarder (Retribution Books)
Top 5 things that inspired Jack Sparks
1. The amount of certainty displayed on social media
2. The lack of empathy displayed on social media
3. The amount of ego displayed online in general
4. Non-fiction books in which the author goes on some kind of egotistical quest
5. Found footage movies
Top 5 things you’d want to survive a zombie apocalypse
2. My loved ones
4. Animals in general
5. Anyone likely to buy my books in a post-apocalyptic age
Top 5 things you’d still like to accomplish
1. Write lots more novels
2. Write more movies
3. Become vegan instead of just vegetarian
4. Record a thrash metal album
5. Die before zombie apocalypse commences
Top 5 things that make a good horror story
1. The unknown
2. Total unpredictability
3. Some kind of depth, i.e. ultimately being about something
4. Not having a scene in which the heroes visit a library and discover everything there is to know about the ghostly antagonist that’s terrified them and us for the first two acts.
5. People getting possessed and stuff
Top 5 things you’d like to set on fire
1. My microwave, because it just stopped working yesterday
2. Booking.com’s slogan ‘Booking dot com? Booking dot YEAH’
3. People who get their kicks from harming animals
4. All reality survival shows that pretend contestants have to hunt animals to survive
5. The cold virus. Is it even possible to set fire to a virus? I don’t know, but I’m willing to try
Top 5 Movies in the Halloween Franchise
1. Halloween – obviously, iconic stuff
2. Halloween II – a pleasingly mean-spirited sequel
3. Halloween III: Season Of The Witch – it’s the only one without Michael Myers, but it’s one of the best!
4. Halloween: The Curse Of Michael Myers – the sixth film introduced an occult angle, which I really like
5. Halloween: H20 – Jamie Lee Curtis returns! A great, concise sequel with an awesome showdown. It really should have been the last Halloween movie.
About the Author
Jason Arnopp is a British author and scriptwriter. His background is in journalism: he has worked on titles such as Heat, Q, The Word, Kerrang!, SFX and Doctor Who Magazine.
He has written comedy for Radio 4 and official tie-in fiction for Doctor Who and Friday The 13th.
The Last Days of Jack Sparks is the first novel which is entirely Jason’s own fault (though some readers will blame Jack himself).
Thanks to everyone who has taken part in Horror October 2016. It really does get bigger and better with every passing year. I’m not sure how I’m going to top it next year…