Monday, October 8, 2018


Happy October, friends! I don't know about you, but I am so ready for fall this year! As I'm writing this, it looks like it's about to rain outside, and I'm adequately prepped: I've got my mug of hot coffee and my dogs snuggled up in the office beside me. I've even got the itch to go buy a pumpkin. 

This month at Writing Belle, I'm featuring ALL spooky or autumn-themed books and their authors to celebrate our arrival into the season of all things orange, red, and yellow. 

Our first author this month is Thomas Amo. I've featured him before (you may recall his book, Forever Me, which I featured here this past spring), and this month, he's back with a horror novel that's sure to scare the socks right off your proverbial feet! He says he gained inspiration for the novel from a show that was on TV during the 1970s called Rod Serling's Night Gallery. Here we are: 

Title: Midnight Never Ends
Author: Thomas Amo 
Release: Available NOW


Four twisted tales of horror from author, Thomas Amo, that pay tribute to master writer of the macabre, Rod Serling, and the gothic, little salon, where sinister artwork tell the stories, in a place known as, the Night Gallery. 

You're invited to join us as we display four new original canvases for you to observe and study, each with its own dark story to tell. We only ask that you do not touch the exhibited works. For very frequently, they touch back. 

(all images courtesy of the author)
Interview with Thomas Amo

Those who may be familiar with you from 92.7 The Blitz may not realize that you have written a horror novel! Why horror - and how did you get interested in the genre? 
"I have always been a huge fan of this genre. Whether it be going back to the Universal horror films of the 1930s and 40's, or reading ghost stories, or a really good horror novel that left me chilled and unnerved. 

What inspired the creation of Midnight Never Ends? 
A sleepless night. Where I used to live there were a lot of sirens from emergency vehicles and this would cause our dogs to howl at the worst times during the night. So, after one of many treks down the stairs to quiet the dogs, I couldn't sleep. It was 2 a.m. and I turned on the television and Rod Serling's "Night Gallery" was just starting. This was a show I hadn't seen in years. When I was a boy, it terrified me. By today's standards it's fairly campy, and not too terribly scary. However, as I watched I always found the part I liked best about the show was Rod Serling introducing each story and the painting that would accompany the evening's tale. Just his monologue alone was enough to get your imagination going. As I sat there watching an episode I don't recall now, I thought to myself, I've never attempted to write short stories before. The idea of writing an anthology in the style of "Night Gallery" would be fun to try. 

So, I set out working on how many stories there would be and in addition each story needed it's very own piece of artwork just like in the Rod Serling series. I contacted an artist I had been working with since 2010 from Jakarta and I explained to her the concept and showed her the website where all the Night Gallery paintings were featured, so she could get an idea of what I was attempting to capture. She said she knew what to do right away. And boy did she deliver. I still love to just look at each piece of art prior to the story and I'm still fascinated and taken away to that creepy Gothic salon where supernatural tales are told around gas lamps or candles.  In the end I was quite happy to learn, I could write short stories and it was a perfect exercise for me as an author.

Why do you think there is such an entwined fascination with spooky things once Autumn rolls around? 
I think because it tends to be the season of storms, dark overcast skies, leaves that have died and when we come across those elements around
an abandoned house or mansion sitting off in the distance, you mind wonders if there are ghosts about? Halloween is obviously the big catalyst for the season of all things scary, but as it gets darker earlier, it allows the sinister atmosphere to begin to display its hold on our collected imaginations.
What authors inspire you? Any favorite books or publications that have influenced your career? 
Yes, several. The first horror novel I read was Jay Anson's "The Amityville Horror." I read this book in 1978 and it really did scare me. I think it's all hocum now but at 15 years of age, it made a real impression on me. From there I read  "The Exorcist" by William Peter Blatty. In hindsight I was too young to read the book, but the film was such a raging phenomenon I didn't want to miss out. Richard Matheson, was another author I enjoyed. He wrote many "Twilight Zone" episodes, even some "Night Gallery" too, but he also wrote the novel, "Hell House" which was disturbing. He also wrote the original television movie, "The Night Stalker" (another boyhood scare.) I also became attracted to Stephen King novels. Being a teen at the time "Carrie" came out, it seemed liked there was a new Stephen King novel out every other week. I don't particularly care for his work anymore. A real joy a few years back was reading Ira Levin's "Rosemary's Baby." My wife found me a hardcover first edition and, it's amazing because 95% of the book is in the film. Roman Polanski used the novel as his source material for the script and deviated very little from the novel for the screenplay, which makes the book much more entertaining.  

What do you think is the key ingredient to writing a good horror novel? 
I like the subject matter to be something that could be real. Something that could actually happen. I also like to be
creeped out. When the writer can make me begin to look around and wonder if the doors are locked, I'm really pleased.
I don't respond to gore. I think trying to gross the reader out is nothing more than laziness and a cheap gimmick on the author's part. It doesn't ring true
and doesn't really move the mood along. In fact, If I'm reading about torn limbs or zombies tearing bodies apart I find I start skipping ahead.  

Where can readers find you online? 
I'm on Facebook and Instagram, but that is mostly for my work in radio. But it's still the best way to find me. I have a Twitter, but
I no longer use it. And you can hear me Monday through Friday 9-10:30am EST on the radio. Drop by and say hello. I'll shout your name to the listening world! 

Thank you so much for visiting with us today! Have a great and spooky-fun October! 

About the Author 
Thomas Amo is the author of the 1920's adventure romance, "Silence" and the stage-play of the crazy British farce, "Bob's Your Auntie!" This former full-time theatrical producer and playwright has written over 20 comedies and farces for the live theatre. Outside acting, directing and producing, his first love has always been writing. Novels include: "Forever ME." "An Apple For Zoe" When Thomas is not writing books, he is radio personality, Tom Slick, on Radio Rock 92.6 The Blitz. "Midnight Never Ends" is available on Kindle, iBooks, and in paperback on Amazon.

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Get fictional - it's fun! Thanks for stopping by, and I hope to see you again soon!