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Crime, Paranormal, and Horror Writing

Just Flotsam

She wandered, through the waves
Flowing with the breeze,
I followed sinking footsteps
Left in a crumbling sand.

Slowly, she turned and smiled at me
Soft eyes glowing in the melting sun,
As one pale hand slipped into mine
And the sea melted away to black.
One salted kiss and then we parted
Just flotsam in a restless sea.

I headed for the land
To a solitary harbour inn
Shedding shades of disrepair,
Herded to that darkened corner

For the lonely and the lost
I shivered in the chilling breeze
A single tear drop fell and crashed
Into my empty glass as silently
I pleaded for my sanity as
She floated through the door.

By P.J.Reed ©2014

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P.J. Reed - writer of warlocks and other magical creatures

P.J. Reed is a writer and poet from England. She holds a BAEd from Canterbury Christ Church University,  an MA from Bradford University and has dabbled in psychology with the OU. She lives in Devon with two daughters, one rescue hound, and a feral cat called Sammy.

She is an outrageously eclectic writer.

Her work has appeared in a wide variety of online and print magazines, anthologies and collections. In 2015 she was shortlisted for the National Poetry Anthology award. In 2018 P.J. won the Forward Poetry 'Circle of Life' competition for her poem 'The Empty Chair.'

She has published two collections of dark romantic and Gothic horror poetry - The Wicked Come and Pretty Wicked Creatures.

P.J. Reed is on Twitter at:https://twitter.com/PJReed_author

"Where there is no imagination there is no horror." Arthur Conan Doyle, Sr.

The Saturday Sizzler Blog

The Rise of Snape

Snape is an antihero. Antiheroes are the characters in a story that oppose the hero of the tale, they create conflict and build up tension within the story as you never know what they are really up to. Antiheroes are the characters who did not fit into the traditional heroic role of the good-looking, honest, law-abiding citizen. It is the human flaws in our antiheroes and the fact their actions prove their noble intent in the end, that endear us to them. My favourite antihero of all time is Professor Severus Snape.

In the early books, Snape was written as a villain and is shown as bullying Harry and Neville. He dislikes Harry and basically any pupil outside his house. However, mixed with these negative character flaws he has positive features. He is a gifted Potionmaster and talented wizard. As well as demonstrating unusual bouts of bravery and dedication to Hogwarts which shows he possessed the saving good character traits of a tormented antihero.

For example,

In Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone – Snape is suspicious of Professor Quirrell and tries to warn him against performing acts against Harry and Hogwarts, he tries to unjinx Harrys broom in the quidditch match and dashes after the marauding ogre.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – sees Snape try to capture Sirius the man he initially thought killed his beloved Lily. However, instead of trying to kill him outright, he decides to take him to the dementors even though he could ‘Do it, you know.’ Thus, demonstrating his strong moral compass.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - At one point, Snape is named as a Death Eater by Igor Karkaroff, but Dumbledore comes to Snape's defence, claiming that although Snape had indeed been a Death Eater, he changed sides before Voldemort's downfall and turned to become a spy for Dumbledore. Later, Dumbledore assures Harry that Snape's reformation is genuine, though he refuses to tell Harry how he knows this, saying the information, ‘Is a matter between Professor Snape and myself.’ However, his actions are still suspicious and like Harry many readers do not believe in the heroism of Snape.

In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - Towards the end of the novel, Dolores Umbridge – the school's politically appointed headmistress – captures Harry and interrogates him about Dumbledore's whereabouts. She sends for Snape, demanding that he provides her with the magical truth serum Veritaserum in order to force Harry to reveal any information he may be hiding. Professor Snape claims that his supplies of the serum have run out after Umbridge tries to use the drug previously on Harry. Later in the book we find that Snape had in fact supplied Umbridge with fake Veritaserum on her prior attempt, in so doing he is protecting both the Order and Harry. Professor Snape then carries Harry's cryptic warning about Sirius' capture to the other Order members, allowing them to come to the rescue in the Department of Mysteries, even though Sirius had put been of Harry’s fathers gang that used to bully him.  

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Snape is seen protecting another child in his care when he makes the Unbreakable Vow to protect Draco Malfoy. Dumbledore asks Snape to be the one to kill him to further protect Malfoy and reluctantly Snape does. When Harry pursues Snape, Draco, and the Death Eaters as they flee the castle. Snape easily blocks Harry's spells and points out Harry's mistakes, but never strikes back, showing his true character.

Finally, in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Snape Uses his position as Head Master to protect school and students as much as he can and contain the evil Carrow’s. His dying memories show that as a Death Eater, Snape had revealed to Voldemort a prophecy made by Sybil Trelawney, causing Voldemort to attempt to prevent it by killing Harry and his parents. Snape, who had not realised until too late that the prophecy was referring to Lily and her family, begged Voldemort to spare Lily. He also approached Dumbledore, admitted his actions, and begged him to protect the Potters. Dumbledore agreed and ensured that they were placed under the Fidelius Charm. In return, Snape allied himself with Dumbledore and the Order of the Phoenix as a double agent against Voldemort, using his powers of Occlumency to hide his betrayal from Voldemort.

However, Snape demanded of Dumbledore that his love for Lily (his reason for switching sides) be kept a secret. Dumbledore agreed and kept the secret throughout his life, although questioning Snape's request to ‘never reveal the best of you.’ Even with his efforts to protect her, Snape still felt responsible for Lily's death. The only friend he had ever had. He spent the rest of life trying to protect everyone except himself.

He was the bravest man in Hogwarts.

Rest in Peace Severus Snape, hero of the anti-Voldemort resistance.

by P.J. Reed - Author of Windorwold

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50 Word Crime Story

She looked as beautiful as the summer they had met walking along the beachfront in Torquay one summer.  He liked to watch her sleep. She whispered in her sleep and rolled closer to him. He held his breath and hoped she would not hear him - hiding in her wardrobe.

- P.J. Reed

Festivals and Signings

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Loving Horror

My love of all thing’s horror started when I was very young and caught my parents watching Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Dial M for Murder’ which left a lasting image of someone dialing on an old style in my mind forever. My next experience with horror was being introduced to the world of Stephen King. After that I was fascinated with the power of horror to create powerful emotions  - excitement, fear, tension and a sense of foreboding  within its readers just through the setting a scene correctly. 

It is also healthy unless your audience dies of fright but then you’ve taken it a tad to far. Horror films can actually help ease symptoms of anxiety. It gives stress and feelings of anxiety a safety valve.  Watching a horror film is a way to escape the fears of real life. You know you are in a safe environment and that what you are see is not real but your adrenalin responses are very real.

So basically horror does you good!

The Saturday Sizzler

How Do You Like Your Villains?

Antagonists are the characters in a story that opposes the hero of the tale.

They are in the story to create conflict and build up tension within the story as you never know what they are really up to. They can be antiheroes like Mesham from The Torcian Chronicles, who reluctantly agrees to attempt…

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