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10 Year Anniversary: Writing for Horrornews.net – Todd Martin

I will never forget when I first started writing for Horrornews.net. Back in 2009 I had a horrible job at a call center that I absolutely detested. Every single day when I went into work I had to fight the urge to drive into oncoming traffic so I wouldn’t have to spend another day being miserable at a job that I totally and completely despised. There wasn’t a whole lot to look forward to during this period of my life but that all changed one day in September of that year when a friend of mine that wrote for Horrornews sent me an email letting me know that the site was looking for writers and he thought that I would be perfect for the gig. I sent in a writing sample almost immediately and just a few days later I got an email back from Mike B (Bonedigger) (the big guy at Horrornews.net) letting me know that he dug my writing style and that he would like for me to start writing for the site. I was thrilled to be a part of Horrornews.net of course, and for the first time in a while things were starting to look up for me.

I started off writing book reviews and the first one I ever did was for Jonathan Moon’s novel Heinous. Moon (who also wrote for the site) was a friend of mine, so I was a little nervous writing a review for his book because I wanted to do It justice. I struggled with this review for several hours, writing and rewriting it several times because I wanted it to be perfect. At the time, 650 words (which is the minimum amount of words each review for the site must be) seemed like a lot so I was stressed out and not sure if I was going to be able to reach the word count but some how I managed to do it without giving away any of the major spoilers of the book (which was my biggest concern at the time). After I finished the review I had my wife read over it and she thought that it was great. I wasn’t so sure myself, but I took her word for it and submitted it. Thankfully Bondigger (and Jonathan Moon) enjoyed it and I was well on my way.

Over the next few months I continued writing only book reviews for the site. I wrote reviews for novels such as Demon Days, Tortured Skin, and several other books and enjoyed having the opportunity to share my opinion about these works of literature. Some of the books that I reviewed were good, some of them were not so good, but I always tried to at least put a positive spin on things even if I didn’t care for what I read. One day I decided that I would like to try my hand and reviewing movies, so I emailed Bonedigger and asked if I could branch out into film reviews in addition to reviewing books and he was fine with this.

My first film review for the site was for Deadly Friend, which is one of my favorite movies of all time. I really enjoyed writing the review for it and after I finished it I realized that while I dug writing book reviews I preferred critiquing movies a little bit more. From there I wrote a review for Sleepaway Camp (my favorite movie of all time) and the Mike let me know that he would start sending me six movies at a time and that I would have two weeks to review all of them. At the time I was a little nervous because I wasn’t sure I was going to have the time to meet my deadline, but I was able to do so. That first batch of movies that Mike sent to me included films such as Growth, Coffin Rock, Little Red Devil, Gravestoned, and a couple of others that escape me at the moment. As with the books I reviewed, some of these movies were great but others left a lot to be desired. Still, I tried my best to be positive no matter how much I disliked some of these films as I didn’t want to rake someone else’s hard work across the coals. In my opinion (and I still feel this way) if someone takes the chance on trying to make a movie they have my respect because film making is very hard (I have done it in the past with mixed results) and I didn’t think that it was my place to degrade their movie no matter how bad it really was.

I continued writing film and book reviews over the next couple of years on a regular basis when I decided that I’d like to try my hand at doing top ten lists and interviewing filmmakers and authors. Mike was on board with this idea, so I began interviewing people and writing articles for the site in addition to doing book and movies reviews. It was around this time that I left my horrible job and got a new job elsewhere that I enjoyed a lot more, so things were getting better for me. Over the years I have interviewed many people and got to talk to some cool folks. There is nothing cooler than talking to people like Adam Green, Danielle Harris, Michael Pare, Lloyd Kaufman, Casper Van Dien on the telephone and to be honest speaking to them was very surreal for me. I love doing interviews and was thrilled when I became one of the lead interviewers for the site as it meant that a lot of very cool people reached out to me and wanted me to interview them.

In addition to getting to interview some very awesome people I also have to say that writing for Horrornews also gave me the opportunity to work with some equally great folks. Over the years I have enjoyed being part of the team that included The Black Saint (RIP), Sean Leonard, Mike Joy, and Janel Spiegel just to name a few. I think that all of you guys rock and I am proud to be part of the team with all you talented folks. I also wanted to give a shout out to all of you out there that enjoy our site and continue to read and comment on my reviews, articles, and interviews. You guys are the reason that Horronews.net has been so successful and I (as well as the other staff members) appreciate your support.

I have really enjoyed my time here at Horrornews.net and can’t believe that I have been writing for the site this long. It seems like only yesterday that I started, and I love being a part of things now as much as I did on that day back in September of 2009. Happy birthday, Horrornews.net. Here’s to another 10 years and beyond.

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