Ray Van Horn, Jr. is a veteran entertainment journalist whose writing and live photography has been featured in Blabbermouth.net, Dee Snider’s House of Hair Online, Fangoria.com, Horror News.net, About.com Heavy Metal, MetalManiacs, New Noise, Music Dish, AMP, Hails & Horns, Unrestrained,Noisecreep, Impose, Pit, The Big Takeover.com, Rough Edge.com, Pitriff and others. His blog The Metal Minute won a “Best Personal Blog” award in 2009 from Metal Hammer magazine and he wrote and produced his own hard rock e-zine, Retaliate.

He has contributed essays to UK author Neil Daniels’ Iron Maiden and ZZ Top biographies. Ray’s fiction has been published in various periodicals and anthologies, including his flash fiction piece “Off the Record” for Akashic Books’ “Mondays Are Murder” noir series. His recent short stories “Before the Ball” and “Widow” were featured in subsequent editions of Alex S. Johnson’s Axes of Evil anthologies. Ray wrote serialized original superhero fiction for Cyber Age Adventures and five of those stories appear in the anthology Playing Solitaire. He was the winner of Quantum Muse’s fiction contest in 1999.

Ray is a former NHL game analyst for The Hockey Nut and one-time host of the forum “Comic Books” at ReadWave. He has done beat reporting, photography and lifestyle articles for Metromix, an affiliate of The Baltimore Sun, Carroll Magazine, The Northern News and The Emmitsburg Dispatch.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

The Crash Pad is Back Open...

Greetings and salutations as Christian Slater would mutter in sardonic Nicholson fashion from the dark eighties comedy classic, Heathers.

It's been ages since I've posted here at The Crash Pad, I know, but life's had me chasing my own duff for the past couple years.  With 2014 comes new challenges, but I'm feeling like there's a new vibe bustling on my horizon and I like it very much.  Life is what you put into it and now that I've invested my soul into my passions, I think the payout is coming soon.  For all of the adversities I've faced lately, the positives are beginning to outweigh the negatives and that's what I tell myself every day.  Quantum physics, you know.

It's not every day one wakes up with a brand new, fully-plotted 22 page script piling itself from start-to-finish will all the details in-between.  Thus I'm taking that as a hearty sign and opening myself to inspiration and good things that appear to be coming to me by will. 

So let's catch things up, eh? 

What's new:

1.  I've been reviewing 18-20 albums and videos a month for Blabbermouth.  So long as that number suits my editor in the future, I've got the workloads to back up those numbers coming in every week from bands, record labels and publicists.  I'm grateful to all of these folks and I've relished the compliments and thank you's they bestowed upon me throughout the year.  My hands-down favorite accolade from one publicist was, "Ray, you magnificent bastard, thank you!"

2.  I just had a short story I wrote entitled "Before the Ball" accepted for publication in the forthcoming Axes of Evil anthology from Chupra Cabra House.  This is by far one of most fun times I've had writing a story as it's an homage to '80s culture and B-horror of the day.

3.  Earlier in 2013, I had two short stories published, "An Off Night" at New Noise Magazine and then "Off the Record" for Akashic Books' "Mondays are Murder" noir series.  Links to these stories are here for your perusal:

"An Off Night"

"Off the Record"


4.  I was interviewed last year by Todd Severin of Ripple Music for their "Folks Behind the Music" series, which you can check out by clicking here:

5.  I was consigned to write a band biography for White Orange, tres cool.
6.  I have an essay appearing in UK music author Neil Daniels' ZZ Top book, Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers:  A ZZ Top Guide from Soundcheck Books.
7.  I have an essay and scores of my Camp No-Be-Bos-Co photos appearing in Volume 2 of David Zernhart's Friday the 13th book series, The Camp Crystal Lake Diaries.  The photo of Sand Pond (i.e. Crystal Lake) for the cover of that installment is also mine.
8.  Though family and work responsibilities sidelined me from attending more concerts than I've been accustomed to over the years, I did get up to Philadelphia to meet Jaz Coleman of Killing Joke and was treated like a genuine guest by the man.  He even shared his personal writings with me, a complete honor.  Later in the year, I was the guest of former Iced Earth and current Ashes of Ares vocalist Matt Barlow, where I enjoyed meeting him, his family and the rest of the band.  Then I had a blast hanging with Ronny Munroe of Metal Church and the Attackhead guys backstage at the Rock Harvest II festival in White Marsh, Maryland. 
9.  I wrote a 64-page graphic novel script, "Drowning Man," which I'm shopping around.
10.  I did intense study of the Top Cow comics' universe via Witchblade, Artifacts and The Darkness with the intent of entering their Talent Search this month.  The plot is fully laid out; now to write away!
11.  I competed in 2013's National Writing Month and only came up with 32,000 of the required 50,000 words to meet the contest goal, however, I did it with the understanding I probably wouldn't have the time to finish it.  I merely wanted to see what I could produce under pressure and happily I have 2/3 of a novel written in rough draft, "Lucky Burns."  I will finish this project later in 2014.
12.  I am actively involved in a developing t.v. project called "Metal Routes" as the lead writer.  I've been adopted into a new family of metalheads and these brothers and sisters have come well into my inner circle in so short a time.  I look forward to taking the next big step in making this show a reality in 2014.

13.  My good friend Sheila Eggenberger has her debut novel, "Quantum Demonology" out via the Nigel's Flight imprint and I was asked for an advance blurb about the book that ended up on the cover and on a promotional t-shirt for Sheila's tour itinerary.  Yay me, but double yay to Sheila!
So there's things in a nutshell for now.  The Metal Minute is still live, but I've been very pressed for time that it's been sadly neglected as this blog has been.  However, I intend to make The Crash Pad a regular part of my itinerary again, so I can keep my growing audience up-to-date on my doings and hopefully share happy news and fun stuff all year long.
With each post, I'll be ending with what I'm listening to since I almost always have music going at my desk.  Can't help it.  I'm a music nerd, sue me.  With that, thank you all for coming back and I'll strive to entertain and inform you in the months to come.
Listenin' to:  Jeff Beck - There and Back

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