Nightmares come to life in this comprehensive how-to guide for new and established authors…


Book two in Crystal Lake Publishing’s The Dream Weaver series picks up where the Bram Stoker Award-nominated Where Nightmares Come From: The Art Of Storytelling In The Horror Genre left off.

It’s Alive: Bringing your Nightmares to Life focuses on learning the craft in order to take your story from concept to completion.

Featuring articles and interviews from critically acclaimed masters of horror such as Chuck Palahniuk, Michael Bailey, Jonathan Maberry, F. Paul Wilson, Kelli Owen, John Skipp, Joe R. Lansdale, Kasey Lansdale, Tim Chizmar, Clive Barker, Lisa Morton, Bev Vincent, Elizabeth Massie, Paul Moore, Rachel Autumn Deering, Gene O’Neill, Sarah Pinborough, Marie O’Regan, Kevin J. Anderson, Christopher Golden, Steve Niles, Mick Garris, Heather Graham, Mark Savage, Maria Alexander, Del  Howison, Tom Monteleone, and many more!

With an introduction by Richard Chizmar and a cover by Luke Spooner. Featuring interior artwork from horror master Clive Barker!

“You need this book. If you’re an aspiring writer, you need this book. If you’re an experienced writer, you need this book. It’s Alive offers something to think about no matter where you are in your career. You need this book.”— Jeff Strand, author of DWELLER


Introduction by Richard Chizmar

Confessions of a Professional Day Dreamer by Jonathan Maberry

What is Writing and Why Write Horror by John Skipp

Tribal Layers by Gene O’Neill

Bake That Cake: One Writer’s Method by Joe R. Lansdale and Kasey Lansdale

Ah-Ha: Beginning to End with Chuck Palahniuk and Michael Bailey (Discussing the Spark of Creativity)

They Grow in the Shadows: Exploring the Roots of a Horror Story by Todd Keisling

Sell Your Script, Keep Your Soul and Beware of Sheep in Wolves' Clothing by Paul Moore

The Cult of Constraint (or To Outline or Not) by Yvonne Navarro

Zombies, Ghosts and Vampires─Oh My! by Kelli Owen

The Many Faces of Horror: Craft Techniques by Richard Thomas

Giving Meaning to the Macabre by Rachel Autumn Deering

The Horror Writer’s Ultimate Toolbox by Tim Waggoner

Sarah Pinborough Interview by Marie O’Regan

Conveying Character by F. Paul Wilson

Sympathetic Characters Taste Better: Creating Empathy in Horror Fiction by Brian Kirk

Virtue & Villainy: The Importance of Character by Kealan Patrick Burke

How to write Descriptions in a story by Mercedes Yardley

“Don’t Look Now, There’s a Head in That Box!” She Ejaculated Loudly (or Creating Effective Dialogue in Horror Fiction) by Elizabeth Massie

Point of View by Lisa Mannetti

What Came First the Monster or the Plot? In Conversation with Stephen Graham Jones by Vince A. Liaguno

Building Suspense by David Wellington

Conveying Horror by Ramsey Campbell

Unveiling Theme Through Plot: An Analysis of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Birthmark” by Stephanie M. Wytovich

Interview with Clive Barker by Tim Chizmar

World Building (Building a terrifying world) by Kevin J. Anderson

Speak Up: The Writer’s Voice by Robert Ford

Writing for a Better World by Christopher Golden

Shaping the Ideas: Getting Things from Your Head to the Paper or on Screen. Interview with Steve Niles, Mack Garris, Heather Graham, Mark Savage, and Maria Alexander by Del Howison

On Research by Bev Vincent

Editing Through Fear: Cutting and Stitching Stories by Jessica Marie Baumgartner

Leaping into the Abyss by Greg Chapman

Edit Your Anthology in Your Basement for Fun and Profit! . . . or Not. by Tom Monteleone

When It’s Their World: Writing for the Themed Anthology by Lisa Morton

Roundtable Interview by John Palisano

The Tale of the Perfect Submissions by Jess Landry

Turning the Next Page: Getting Started with the Business of Writing by James Chambers


Proudly represented by Crystal Lake Publishing—Tales from the Darkest Depths.

Purchase today on Kindle or paperback!

What others are saying about It's Alive:

Jeff Strand, author of Dweller

“You need this book. If you’re an aspiring writer, you need this book. If you’re an experienced writer, you need this book. It’s Alive offers something to think about no matter where you are in your career. You need this book.”

Ray Garton, author of Live Girls and Ravenous

"There are, as I’m sure you’ve heard, no shortcuts to becoming a writer, but if you seriously want to become a better writer with a clearer understanding of the craft, It’s Alive: Bringing Nightmares to Life can help. These articles are written by working writers who know the business and who have a wealth of hints, tips, and tricks that can speed you along on the road to being the kind of writer you want to be. Anyone seriously interested in writing would be crazy not to have this book on the shelf."