Friday, October 22, 2010

Scott Nicholson, Blog Tour, Kindle Giveaway, and Contest

Scott's having an awesome blog tour, and I am one of those lucky blogs that is participating! Scott's written a lovely scary guest post for you today, and just in time for the Halloween season too! Make sure you read through to the end so you can get in your chance to win a kindle or one of Scott's ebooks!!

Halloween by Scott Nicholson

“Scott writes scary stories.”

I get introduced that way to kids sometimes. And they usually say, “Cool!”

To a grown-up, it usually goes “Scott is a horror writer,” or sometimes, “Scott is a science fiction writer.” Often by someone who has never read my books. And the grown-up who hears this usually gets narrow-eyed and mumbles an uncertain “Really?”

In October, it’s somehow more forgivable to be a writer of scary stories, though of course I do it all year round. Many people only give themselves permission to do the mask thing once a year, and they go to great lengths for their costumes, planning elaborate parties, spending money on decorations, and sacrificing pumpkins to arcane deities.

The Catholic Church’s attempt to co-opt both Halloween and El Dia de los Murtos as religious holidays by mashing them against All Soul’s Day creates a clash of superstitions and customs which sometimes overlap and sometimes leads to uneasy tension. Here in the South, when Halloween falls on Sunday, most “official” events are moved to Saturday. This year, one event has even been moved to Friday because of a college football game.

My daughter finds this abhorrent—she is shocked that the mayor has the authority to “move Halloween.” When you think about it, it’s the only holiday that gets rescheduled solely for moral sensibility, and the public schools have a devil of a time dancing around possible mention of witches, changing activities to “fall festivals” or “harvest celebrations.” The spirits could care less. They move when the veil is thinnest, regardless of human calendars.

Halloween brings out these conflicts precisely because death is so uncomfortable that we want to keep it as far away as possible. A Day of the Dead honoring of ancestors can look an awful lot like cannibalism, eating the skulls of relatives. A little witch going around threatening tricks can come close to a willful intention of evil if you’re of a mind to view it that way.

But you know what? The dead do not care. The dead are not worried about your superstitions, or your candy, or your cool costume, or your permission to get drunk because you haven’t had a society-approved binge since Labor Day. They are going to play when they bloody well like. And what are you going to do to stop it?

Halloween. The night we pretend the line between the living and the dead temporarily meets. When we know in our bones that life and death overlap, all the time, even on Sundays, in every part of us, cutting through every superstition and spiritual belief. You might find it scary, but I find it beautiful, because that means life overlaps with us once we end up on that other side.

Trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat. Bury me with a Snickers bar, and I may not have to come back for a while.


Scott Nicholson is author of 12 novels, including the thrillers Speed Dating with the Dead, Drummer Boy, Forever Never Ends, The Skull Ring, As I Die Lying, Burial to Follow ,and They Hunger. His revised novels for the U.K. Kindle are Creative Spirit, Troubled, and Solom. He’s also written four comic series, six screenplays, and more than 60 short stories. His story collections include Ashes, The First, Murdermouth: Zombie Bits, and Flowers.

To be eligible for the Kindle DX, simply post a comment below with contact info.
Feel free to debate and discuss the topic, but you will only be entered once per blog. Visit all the blogs on the tour and increase your odds. I’m also giving away a Kindle 3 through the tour newsletter and a Pandora’s Box of free e-books to a follower of “hauntedcomputer” on Twitter. Thanks for playing.

After you enter for the Kindle DX, fill out the form below with your information to be entered to win one of Scott's ebooks, "As I Die Lying".  Winner will be announced on November 1st. 

** Filling out the form will not enter you into the Kindle DX contest***



  1. Enter me in the giveaway please!


  2. I had gotten away from the horror books of my teenage years, but with this tour I am finding the love again . I just finished The Red Church and getting ready to start Ashes. Loving it!

    and moving Halloween is just wrong.

  3. Keep up the good Work Scott!!

    Enter me in the giveaway...

  4. Another great post.

  5. I entirely agree with your daughter. Holidays (no matter which ones) should be celebrated on their respective days!

  6. Halloween is the best time to bring out those old horror books and read them again :)

    starflower135 at gmail dot com

  7. When we accept and honor death, we also celebrate and cherish life.

  8. Please enter me!

  9. I have a friend puts on a haunted house show every year. She and her husband own a big spooky building, reputedly haunted, and they make money every Halloween season with their tour. They're also Christian folks. Therefore the show will be closed this Halloween because it falls on Sunday.

  10. Great post, Scott. I've always enjoyed exploring that thin line between life and death, and the month of October is my favorite month out of the year.


  11. While I sort of understand the reasoning behind "moving" Halloween, I feel sorry for the kids of today who have to worry so much about "political correctness" and can't just be kids!

    dulcibelle [at] earthlink [dot] net

  12. Please enter me

  13. College football is practically recognized as a religion down there in the States anyway, isn't it? :)


  14. Apparently I'm still sick & am feeling very contrary so I'm not even going to comment on the whole Halloween thing. Except I think it's ridiculous to try to 'pretty' up the holiday by moving it from a Sunday. Yeah, I'd better stop there. Me? I live Halloween every day. Best holiday ever.
    teawench at gmail dot com

  15. That's where they went wrong. They buried you with Milk Duds. Okay, Author Christa Polkinhorn, Scott is also my "jailbird" editor. He is a fantastic plus somewhat infamous editor, so understandable anyone would brag about it, in the vein of "Stephen King edits my books" type bragging. Christa has gone a tad overboard, flying to Switzerland to send Scott the finest chocolate. (Scott did not edit this comment.)

  16. Scott wrote: “ 'Scott writes scary stories.'I get introduced that way to kids sometimes. And they usually say, 'Cool!' To a grown-up, it usually goes 'Scott is a horror writer,' or sometimes, 'Scott is a science fiction writer. Often by someone who has never read my books. And the grown-up who hears this usually gets narrow-eyed and mumbles an uncertain 'Really?'"

    After reading your blog, I went back to the beginning and noticed something. Not only do things happen, like communities switching Halloween around for religous/scheduling reasons...but your introduction reminded me of other things society does that I find most distateful.

    “ 'Scott writes scary stories.'I get introduced that way to kids sometimes. And they usually say, 'Cool!'"

    Deceiving children or only telling them part of the truth to "protect them" is sort of wrong. Just because the people in your community don't want them to know of your unnatural and unseemly attraction to goats --or what you do with them!

    "To a grown-up, it usually goes 'Scott is a horror writer,' or sometimes, 'Scott is a science fiction writer. Often by someone who has never read my books. And the grown-up who hears this usually gets narrow-eyed and mumbles an uncertain 'Really?'"

    Again, social niceties prevent people from out and out saying "Scott is that perv goat lover I've been telling you about" when in your presence. No, even though they all talk about you freely BEHIND your back, they act nice and talk about your books (which, as you pointed out yourself, they know better than to read--avoiding possible subliminal sexual goat references between the lines). The person they introduce you to answers awkwardly because they've already heard every shocking, vulgar, uncensored detail about you...and are a bit shocked at meeting the "Goat Goon of Boone!"

    So, while Halloween may get "rescheduled solely for moral sensibility", people being introduced to you are only being told part of the story for the same reason.

    Maybe someday people will understand you...and you'll no longer have to receive your "Playgoat" magazine in a plain brown envelope every month...and people will openly introduce you to their livestock. Then again, maybe NOT!!! In the mean time, if Halloween has been moved to Saturday (and Friday), even though it's really Sunday, that gives you THREE nights to celebrate it (or to sneak out to the goat shed while others are)!!! Lucky you!


  17. Thanks for the chance to win.
    bkhabel at gmail dot com

  18. Scott, count me in for the Kindle!

  19. I find that both Christmas and Halloween are treated rather poorly in today's day and age. When I was a kid, both Christmas and Halloween were fully celebrated in school as well as all over the city and you know what? It didn't cause any of my generation pain or suffering. Now however, in an attempt not to insult anyone, its Happy Holidays and Have A Nice Fall Festival. It's sad what our society has done to the traditions that had been part of our country for so long - even if they were traditions based off of other traditions.

    calseeor (at) gmail (dot) com

  20. Excellent points made! Moving Halloween doesn't seem right to me either...
    candace_redinger at yahoo dot com

  21. Throwing my name in the hat.

    Tony Izzo

  22. Very well said, Scott.

    caity_mack at yahoo dot com

  23. Thanks for the chance!

    monacart32 at hotmail dot com

  24. Another thought provoking post!
    chey127 at hotmail dot com

  25. I liked ghost stories when I was a teen, but never have liked "horror" stories. That said, I'll be reading Ashes on Halloween.

    My daughter is about a quarter of the way into October Girls and loves it!


  26. I have enjoyed this so much--- Just started to read the Skull Ring- about 3 chapters in and am hooked--- Whats with the blocks? did she buy them, is she crazy, have to keep reading?


  27. LOL! I love it! Great post!
    Count me in for the Kindle. ;)


  28. defintiely going to be checking out some of your books!

  29. i don't know what has happened to holidays. it doesn't seem we celebrate them...we just prepare for them. when a friend returned from nam i wanted to celebrate christmas as he was on a short leave before going to italy. damned if i would let him miss 2 christmases in a row. it was early oct and the only things available were halloween things. i borrowed and atificial tree and and made decoration and all went well. now it is close to halloween and christmas things are already out and have been. sad.

  30. Love scary stories and reading the guest post. contact info:

  31. Trick or treat! Make my treat a Kindle, please.

  32. Great post. And your right the dead do not care.

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  33. Interesting post!
    It is just wrong to move Halloween.

    kissinoak at frontier dot com

  34. I loved this post! Especially interesting was the part about the Church's co-opting (funny, they did that with Christmas and Ostara, I mean, Easter, too.) Please enter me!


  35. Scott, don't know how you do it cause your tour is wearing me out! :)

  36. Thanks for the chance to win.
    cjwallace43 at gmail dot com

  37. Okay, I tried to say something a little introspective and philosophical about death and life. Forget it. Give me witches, ghosts, goats, sheep, whatever. Scott, you better appreciate the nice Swiss goat photos I sent you. I went through a lot of trouble. Yeah, Brenda, what did we do to end up with a "jailbird" editor? Oh, well. Sigh.
    Having fun,

  38. Thanks for the chance to win!

    kt1969 at comcast dot net

  39. I just wrote a comment that was apparently eaten by a server error. *sigh*

  40. Great post! I'd love to be entered to win the Kindle ....Tiffypoot @ (

  41. Love Eeyore! Love Scott's books! Love Kindles!

  42. The government has not come out with an official "Move Halloween" have they? It seems to me that many holidays have been officially moved to Monday in order to give predictable vacation and/or work time. All they change here in Ohio is beggar's night, which does not have to coincide with anyone's "celebration" of this very, very commercial holiday, and is usually agreed upon by individual municipalities to keep the kids safe!

    As a former teacher, Halloween was one of the dreaded celebrations because it closed down any real teaching that you could do and the kids would be collectively "wired" until Thanksgiving. Some would lose all semblance of trying to learn and we wouldn't get them back the rest of the year.

    What I like about Halloween is that it encourages creativity and even the dullest of sluggards seem to rise to the challenge. It is also interesting that many serious-minded adults just go wild at this time of year. They contemplate costumes and decorations and "come alive" during the end of October.

    Stay safe and be responsible out there you guys. Save some candy for the little ones and visit your dentist.

    Jeff White

  43. Halloween will still be celebrated on Oct. 31 by our family. My daughter plans to go trick-or-treating that night and my husband and I will be handing out candy to the kids who come to our door.

    dlodden at frontiernet dot net

  44. Seriously, Scott? A single Snickers bar? **humph* Amateur.

  45. My sweet tooth needs feeding. Halloween is almost here!

  46. Nice!

    coriwestphal at msn dot com

  47. Please enter me in contest. I would love to win a Kindle.

  48. Wow Scott, I am exhausted trying to keep up with you. How do you do it? A new blog every day is awesome. I am still following you and put my name on one of the Kindles please. Back in the old days we trick or treated on the actual night. Now some or moving it to the week end so kids will not be stuffed from candy and their brains slowed down from trick or treating. Because of all the horror stories and the unbalanced people trying to hurt our kids we have to be very careful of where they go to trick or treat. Give me the good old days when you made candy apples, pop corn balls, fresh cookies, etc and gave them to the kids when they came by.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

  49. I know deep down that Halloween's a load of cr*p, but I still love the free candy! My kids know that they have to pay the "Mommy toll" :)

  50. Moving Halloween sounds about as logical as is night for October 31st.

    jamesemr (at) gmail (dot)com

  51. I don't agree with moving Halloween around just because it lands on a Sunday. I also don't agree with the public schools not being allowed to celebrate holidays in school, because "religion" is not allowed in school anymore. Who cares and why did it become such a huge deal? When I was a kid in school, we wore costumes to school around Halloween , had an Easter parade through the hallways, and decorated Christmas trees in the classroom. It is a shame that today's kids are robbed of the joys of Halloween, Easter, Christmas, and all other holidays in the school. They didn't just take religion out of school, they took out the fun and joy of celebrating our American customs and holidays. What a wasteful shame that now Christian kids won't see and participate in the different holidays and ways that other Americans celebrate the different holidays like Hanukkah & Kwanzaa. That is how I learned about the different cultures.

    kellysydow at yahoo dot com

  52. Well I am giving my candy out on Sunday so if anyone wants it they will come around then.
    mce1011 AT aol DOT com

  53. Scott, I like your theory that our two worlds overlap constantly and not just on Halloween. It gives me comfort when I think of the ones I've lost in my life.


  54. I would LOVE a Kindle DX. Thanks for the opportunity to win one! :)

    P.S. Click on my name for my contact info. ;)

  55. Halloween used to be fun when I was a kid. We never worried about razor blades in our candy or anything malevolent. All we had to worry about is the trip to the dentist sometime in the near future after halloween.

  56. I have to deal with political correctness all the time and find it both funny and disturbing that society now has the audacity to change holidays to meet its time table. I think this is yet another example of how our ego has certainly gotten the best of us as a society.

    Oh, and I love your addition to the trick or treat mantra, Scott.

    wakincade AT gmail DOT com

  57. Hi Scott,
    Thanks for the great post!! I loved it.

    jellybelly82158 at gmail dot com

  58. You can't move Halloween! No way - you just can't!

    inannajourney at gmail dot com

  59. I always wanted to get married on Halloween. Favorite costume - wolf man


  60. lol...u sell out cheap if all it takes is a snicker bar.

    jlynettes @ hotmail . com

  61. Nice Pic.
    Please enter me.
    From Stacey

  62. I enjoyed the post and look forward to more.

    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

  63. oh good heavens, i think they are silly to move it but oh well.
    hancoci_s at msn dot com

  64. I moved to the South 7 years ago and worked at an elementary school my first year. In the North people celebrate Halloween by dressing up and trick or treating, kids dress up for school, teachers have parties, give out candy, etc. I had mentioned to several teachers that I was going to dress up as The Cat in the Hat, and they didn't really comment. I didn't think anything of it, and arrived at school on Halloween in my costume, with shorts and a t-shirt underneath, since it was in the 70s. (Another change from the North, where we would sometimes have to trick or treat with out winter coats on!) Anyway, I was the only one dressed up! No one ever mentioned that they don't celebrate Halloween here because "It's the devil's holiday!" What a day that was! Just another learning experience for a northerner to the ways of the south.

  65. Kindle, Kindle, Kin-DALL!!

    Twitter: MachineTrooper

  66. i never even thought about the fact that Halloween is "movable" but now that you point it out it does seem odd

    stephanie (.) pridgen (at) gmail (.) com

  67. We don't celebrate Halloween in my country, but kids don costumes and go around singing for candy on Ash Wednesday.

    As to moving holidays: there have been suggestions here in Iceland that when a Christian holiday falls on a Thursday (which several of them do) that the actual day off work be the Friday, because so many people take the Friday off to get a long weekend. It always gets shouted down.

  68. I usually hate it when the Holy Rollers begin their nonsense with Halloween being the Devil's Holiday. The reminder of death, the dead and the link between life and death/sex and rebirth are more powerful in humanity. I remember the stories in the bomb shelters during the war (WWII) that in the face of death, people clung to each other and made love against the shadow of death. Life wanting to establish itself in the most primal way became more powerful than prayers.

    Besides doesn't the Devil deserve a Holiday?

  69. I'd love to win!

  70. Changing the date of halloween celebrations is like changing the date for birthday parties, just more convient to have a party on friday or saturday. But I do agree that any spirits hanging out will do whatever they want whenever they want. there could be an entirely different calendar in the spirit world anyway.
    Thanks for another good read.

  71. On another note, your novella "Forbidden Goat Love" is really moving up in the Freakish Erotica category on Amazon. How come you're not pushing that more on this tour?

    Scott, too!

  72. Drawing a blank to say on this post. So enter me in the contest, please. :)

    conrad.jd (at) gmail (dot) com

  73. Count me in, please.
    Thanks for the chance to win.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  74. Now what ever happened to separation of church and state-but moving a holiday because of football or any other sport I could understand :)

  75. @sharon s, thanks for joining the Scott carnival

    @dreambeast that's a great story!

    @sandy I passed a place marketing xmas trees on Oct 15--fully decked out with decorations and lights. The "Christmas Creep" will be hitting September soon. No wonder people are in debt. Well, except smart people and lucky people who don't get sick.

    @jeff I believe there is something deep in our collective unconsciousness that compels us to still put on masks and dance around the fire--we just suppress it until given "permission"

    @Ms Jimmi, the devil does have a holiday. It's called EVERY day.

    @kallie the blog tour is work but also a lot of fun--these last few weeks I hope to comment more, because that's the best part, hearing what you have to say

    @scooter sadly, I think the goat sex books would sell better!


  76. Thanks for another good blog.

  77. 'Move' Halloween!? That's one 'powerful' mayor! :)
    You can reach me at

  78. Enjoying the blog tour!

    dreamer dot ima at gmail dot com

  79. The whole writer introduction is always a fun spot for me. Usually, I don’t mention this is what I do unless I’m asked, “So, what do you do for a living?” I then usually follow up by saying, “I’m a publisher and writer.”

    Then it goes:

    “Oh, so what kind of books do you write?”

    “Monster and superhero fiction.”

    Then I get the look (you know the one--face partly screwed up to one side, squinty-eyed).

    “Monsters, really?” they say, though more as a statement than a question.

    “Yeah. Zombies, usually.”

    “Oh.” They nod, and it’s off to the next topic.

    That’s if they’re “grown ups.” When talking to folks 20-35 or so, I get more of a “Zombies? Cool” type of response.

    I guess I could avoid all the awkwardness if I just wrote mysteries or something. But where’s the fun in that?

    Coscomentertainment [at] gmail [dot] com

    POSSESSION OF THE DEAD and ZOMBIE FIGHT NIGHT available for the Amazon Kindle. Grab your copies here!

  80. Hey Scott,

    That sounds like the beginnings of a great horror book:

    "They scoffed at Halloween and moved it to Saturday -- but the spirits and other things that move when the veil between worlds is at its thinnest would not be put off . . . HALLOWEEN MASSACRE! by Scott Nicholson"

    (packaged in a lurid black and red cover)

    Thanks for the chance to win,
    Greg "The Undead Rat" Fisher

    theundeadrat (@) gmail (.) com

  81. Hey Scott! Has anyone ever told you , you are sweet......even though you write scary stuff. Thanks so much for a chance to win a Kindle. Awesome...yes, you are awesome too.

    dorcontest at gmail dot com

  82. I'd like to be considered for the giveaway as well. But, on topic, I can't stand people having issue with Halloween on a Sunday. They should respect that not every shares their views. I go to church and really don't know if I believe, I'm betting more on Pascals Wager than anything else. However, people of power pushing their religious agenda in politics, to me, breaks the very basic foundations of the 1st amendment. Arrrgh

    okkentjunk then the at symbol then

  83. I think it's asinine that people want to ban Halloween.. While we're at it, let's ban Saturdays, Walmarts, and frozen pizza. Surely those are the work of the devil....

  84. please enter me in the giveaway. thanks!

  85. Thanks for entering, everyone--capped here at 84--please follow for more chances to win.

    Thanks for hosting, Wendy!

    Scott Nicholson

  86. I totally agree with you. Halloween is a fun holiday for people of all ages. It is celebrated on the evening of October 31st, which is the eve of the Christian feast of All Saint's Day (celebrated on Nov. 1).
    Would someone try to move Christmas? NO, I don't think so.

    Thanks for such a great post.
    Erica (



The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.

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