Who is Al Halsey?

When most everyone fawned over prancing, sparkling vampires, Al toiled away writing about zombies. Fantasy zombies, western zombies, zombies and more zombies. To say that zombies are an obsession of his is an understatement. Very few zombie movies have escaped his cadaverous eye. A little known secret: when he was 12, he thought he was HP Lovecraft reincarnated.

A lifelong resident of Lewiston, Idaho, Al graduated from Lewiston High School and Lewis-Clark State College in his hometown. He spent the last twenty eight years working with children with emotional and behavioural problems and trains other professionals to do the same. Three years ago his career path switched from non-profit residential treatment to state juvenile corrections.

In his free time Al teaches martial arts and has belts in Brazilian Ju-Jitsu and Karate, plays paintball, tells his rescued cats to get off the counter, is a wargame/roleplay nerd, consumes large quantities of Thai food unapologetically, and is a connoisseur of fine dining: Arby’s. He loves music and regularly attends concerts. Favorites include Tantric, Theory of a Deadman, Rob Zombie, Shinedown, Disturbed, and the Offspring. Montana and the Oregon coast are frequent destinations.

His biggest accomplishment is his 20 year old son.

Considered by some to be the neighbourhood curmudgeon, he wears this title as a badge of honour. He hates writing autobiographies.

Al is the author of the paranormal thrillers Hellgate, Montana, the second in the series Retributor: Hellgate, Montana Book 2, and his latest Salt Lake City: Hellgate, Montana Book 3. He also penned his biggest seller Mists of the Miskatonic based on the writing of HP Lovecraft, the modern paranormal thriller The Chronicles of Dorian Christianson: Nephilim, the fantasy Empires of the Dead: Son of the Sea and co-authored Kinemortophobia: Zombie Dreams for Sleepless Nights with his childhood friend, John Reed.

Hi Al and welcome to Horror Scribes!

What in your opinion makes good horror?

Great horror messes with the reader’s emotions. It should take them on a roller coaster ride of suspense, makes them leave the lights on after dark, pause before they enter the basement in the dark, or leave them staring at the ceiling listening to night sounds and wondering what they are. It’s not always just gore or blood, but suspense and surprise works just as well. I think that is the element of any good story, whether horror, fantasy, romance, war, whatever. If any medium (music, movies, poetry, anything) can mess with emotions and transport the person to another place in their mind, then I think it is great work.

How do you feel about flash fiction as a medium for horror?

I think any medium works, as long as the writer makes it work. It’s the job of the writer to make it work. We are lucky to live in the digital age where so much is available to us, in any format or style we enjoy, at the touch of a button. If you prefer flash fiction, novels, short stories, it’s all out there ready to be read.

What is your favourite horror short story?

The Dunwich Horror by HP Lovecraft.

What scares you the most and what is your favourite horror scene/passage/novel?

After a thirty year career of working with kids with emotional and behavioural issues, how some parents can damage their children. Nothing scares me more.

My favourite horror scenes that scare me are anytime Pennywise is lurking in drains and sewers in It.

Please give us a one sentence horror story!

They may appear human, but I alone see them and know they aren’t.