It’s Friday again, so you know what that means! It’s #FirstLineFriday!

Now if you don’t know what #FirstLineFriday is, let me explain the rules. On Fridays, you:

  1. Create a blog post entitled #FirstLineFriday, hashtag and all.
  2. Explain the rules like I’m doing now.
  3. Post the first one or two lines of a potential story, a story-in-progress, or a completed or published work.
  4. Ask your readers for feedback and then get them to try #FirstLineFriday on their own blogs (tagging is encouraged but not necessary)

This week’s entry is a little unusual. What do I mean by that? Well, you’ll have to read the entry to understand. Enjoy:

The reader was surprised to find that Rami Ungar was writing about them in this week’s #FirstLineFriday.

And there goes the fourth wall.

But what do you think? Did you like it? Was there anything that could be fixed? Do you know a contractor who will rebuild that fourth wall? Let’s discuss in the comments below.

And while you’re at it, why not try #FirstLineFriday on your own blog? It’s easy, fun, and for authors, it’s great practice for writing stories. In fact, I think I’ll tag someone, make them try it and see how fun it is. This week, I choose Aidan J. Reid. Congratulations Aidan, you’ve been tagged. Hope you have fun either this week or next!

That’s all for now, my Followers of Fear. Remember, you have till Sunday to take part in a Q&A for the fifth anniversary of this blog being created (details here), so keep those questions coming! Have a good weekend, everybody.

Today at 4PM EST, I’ll be joining fellow authors Dellani Oakes and Jake Combs (author of the fantasy novel Haunted by Shadows) on What’s Write For Me, a podcast on Blog Talk Radio, where for two fun hours we’ll be discussing the writing life, life in general, and reading excerpts from our books. So if you want an adventure-filled excerpt from Video Rage, this will be the place to listen.

If you plan to tune in, click HERE! HERE! HERE! Yes, I am working extra hard to make sure you can see that link (sometimes I worry that the links are hard to make out on my blog). And if you can’t make it to the show, it’ll be available to listen to later on, so there’s no reason to fret or feel bad. Remember, the show’s at 4PM, so make sure to be at a computer or something at that time.

Also, if you would like to take part in an upcoming Q&A or participate in a giveaway in honor of this blog’s five-year anniversary, you can get details here. Look forward to hearing from you.

See you at 4PM!

So if you haven’t heard, I will be a featured guest on my friend and fellow novelist’s online radio show What’s Write For Me this Wednesday at 4PM Eastern Standard Time. I and one or two more guests will be talking with Dellani on everything writerly, as well as reading excerpts from some of latest works (in my case, Video Rage). It’s going to be a fun time, and I’m looking forward to being back on the show with Dellani.

If you would like to tune in, click on this link. I’ll be posting about it again on Wednesday, so if you forget it’ll be a helpful little reminder.

I look forward to you joining us for a fun hour or two of writer talk and what not. Until next time!

So this film has had some buzz around it for a while. It was made on three-million dollars, earned forty-million at the box office, and apparently scared the likes of His Royal Scariness, Stephen King. Naturally, when it hit theaters back in February, I wanted to see it, but no theaters near me were playing it. When I found out last month that it was on DVD, I immediately went to my library’s website to reserve it…only for some punk to steal my copy when it came to me (a curse upon them, preferably involving witches!). But this week I got my copy, and I sat down over dinner to see what the big deal was.

The movie follows a family of 17th-century Puritans–parents William and Katherine, teenagers Thomasin and Caleb, and twins Mercy and Jonas–as they’re banished from their Puritan settlement because apparently Will’s interpretation of the Bible is too extreme for the community (not sure how that is, but maybe I’m too Jewish to notice). They settle in a field on the edge of a vast forest, unaware that there’s a witch living in the woods.

What surprised me most about The Witch is how it differs from other horror films. It’s not a traditional film, in the sense that there’s a central evil that’s pretty obvious and the majority of the horror comes from that villainous evil. In fact, the titular witch is pretty peripheral in the story, acting more as a catalyst for the horrors of the film. I actually struggled to find the terror in the film until I realized that it wasn’t the witch that was the source of the terror (though she is pretty powerful, visceral, and primordial), but the family itself. Once the witch interferes with this family, they start to slowly implode upon themselves. It’s a really dark, psychological descent into hatred, fear, and suspicion, with the occasional intervention of the witch and a lot of heavy Bible speak. And it is scary to watch what happens to this family.

I also really liked the attention to detail. The filmmakers went to great lengths to find a remote location for the setting, and from there hand-build the house and farm, as well as the clothes the actors wore, and just about everything else. They even had museums consulting on this project, which goes to show their dedication. The authenticity, coupled with sparse lighting and the dirty feel of the place, adds to a very creepy atmosphere. And the music, usually involving a fiddle or zither, invokes 2001: A Space Odyssey in its ability to place us in the story.

Despite how scary it was and the research that went into the film, The Witch did have its problems, though. There are some scenes that felt more like they belonged in a novel, rather than in a movie, quiet moments where characters are thinking and not speaking, and we can’t read their minds.It’s in these scenes that we have trouble connecting to the characters, which is bad when this film is so reliant on its characters to begin with.

There’s also an unresolved subplot involving Caleb and his relationship to his older sister Thomasin that’s never really resolved, and I would’ve liked to see where that could’ve gone.  And like I said, it took me a while to realize what sort of horror film this was, though maybe that’s just me going in with certain expectations and being confused that they’re not being met.

And the old-fashioned dialect, plus the heavy accents and sometimes raspy voices, can make it difficult to understand what they’re saying. I had to turn on the subtitles about ten minutes in just to make sure I wasn’t missing anything.

Other than those points, though, The Witch is a terrifying descent into religious mania and terror in a dark situation, with supernatural twists and a lot of religious overtones worthy of discussion by theologians (which apparently has happened). I’m going to give this film a 3.8 out of 5, and recommend you watch this one with the lights on while you’re at it. A wonderful debut from writer and director Robert Eggers. I hope I get to see more of his work in the future.

That’s all for now, my Followers of Fear. Make sure to read about the giveaway and submit your questions and comments for the Q&A happening on August 2nd (details here). I’ll check in again very soon, believe me. In the meantime, a good night to all.

Hopefully free of supernatural beings, right?

It’s Friday again, so you know what that means. It’s #FirstLineFriday!

So if you don’t know what #FirstLineFriday is, let me explain. On Fridays, you:

  • Create a post on your blog entitled #FirstLineFriday, hashtag and all.
  • Explain the rules like I’m doing now.
  • Post the first one or two lines of a potential story, a story-in-progress, or a completed or published work.
  • Ask your readers for feedback, and urge them to try #FirstLineFriday on their own blogs (tagging is encouraged but not necessary).

This week’s entry is from a story I had earlier this week. As usual, it’s creepy and weird, which is standard Rami Ungar. Anyway, enjoy:

The locals say that the hospital, which was built about forty miles from where the government tested a couple nuclear bombs, absorbed some radiation in its bricks during construction, and that’s why so many horrible things happened in the children’s ward. My daddy disagreed; he said that evil got root in there, and then the evil festered.

Ooo-ooo-ooo!

So what did you guys think? Pretty catchy? Scary? Any errors? Let’s discuss in the comments below.

And while you’re at it, why not try #FirstLineFriday on your own blog? It’s eas, it’s fun, and for authors it’s great practice working with different openings. I’m not going to tag anyone this week (unless you want to do this, so consider yourself tagged). Hey, occasionally I need occasionally I need a break from looking through my list of followers and seeing who I haven’t tortured yet.

And if you haven’t heard already, my five year blogging anniversary is coming up, so click here to learn about how you can participate in a Q&A with yours truly, and enter for a chance to get an autographed copy of one of my books. Trust me, you do not want to miss out on that.

That’s all for now, my Followers of Fear. I’m going to try to get a ton of editing and whatnot done this weekend. And if you want to ask me any questions for my five-year blogging anniversary on August 2nd, click here for details on that.

Have a good weekend, everybody.

One of those interviews I’ve promised has come out.

Same DiNamics Books, a blog that does book reviews and interviews authors, has been kind enough to spread the word about me and my writing a little. I answer questions about writing, about the books I have available, and what sort of stories I like to write. Check them out if you have the time.

I’ll post again soon, my Followers of Fear. After all, tomorrow’s Friday. So you know what that means!

Big news, my Followers of Fear! On August 2nd, I will have reached five years of blogging! Yeah, five years. This blog (and the wonderful people who follow it, thank you very much for sticking with me through thick and thin) has been with me through four years of college, numerous articles on Self-Published Authors Helping Other Authors, two visits to Europe, one-and-a-half internships, a very long period of unemployment, four published books (plus three at various stages of the editing/compilation process), too many short stories to count, a couple of which were published in some magazines and two anthologies, and a weird period of my life where I hunted down a serial killer while consulting with and developing an unusual relationship with another serial killer.

Oh wait, that’s the plot of Silence of the Lambs. Never mind.

Anyway, in honor of the big day, I will be doing a few things differently (and I don’t mean buying myself a cake in honor of the day, though that might happen as well). For one, I will be doing a Q&A, with questions provided by you, the readers. If there are any burning questions you’ve wanted to ask me, you can ask those in the comments up until July 31st, and I will answer them.

However, if you ask me to tell you where I live, or if I will marry you, I will have to decline on both counts. Sorry obsessives, I don’t want to end up in a real life version of Misery or Yandere Simulator.

Also, if you want to know what scares me, I’ll tell you right now: the Alvin and the Chipmunks cartoon from the 1980’s. I’m pretty sure the chipmunks from that show are actually the result of a strange genetic mutation, either from nuclear fallout or genetic engineering, and the males in that species all have some deformity in their middles that prevent them from wearing anything but long muumuus. Why else do the Chipettes get actual clothes but the title characters don’t?

I’m also terrified of large spiders. Tiny ones, I can deal with. However, if I can make out individual features on its face or it looks like it could easily stretch across the palm of my hand, I will scream like a little girl. It’s happened before.

I also want to hear feedback from you, dear readers. What do you think I’m doing right as a writer and a blogger? Anything I can improve upon? What posts do you prefer from me? Tell me in the comments below, so I can make Rami Ungar the Writer an even better blog.

Another reason to look forward to the big day, I’m going to be doing a giveaway on August 2nd in honor of the big occasion. I will be giving away an autographed copy one of my books (your choice of which one), that I will send to the winner after winning. I’ll give the full details on the day of the anniversary, so if you want to participate, check in on August 2nd. I’ll announce the winner in a subsequent blog post.

Oh, and one more note: I’ve got a couple of interviews coming up. One is with a blog I discovered through my friend Joleene Naylor, who will be releasing an interview soon. The other is actually a podcast. I’ll be rejoining my friend and colleague Dellani Oakes on her podcast, Red River Online Radio (links to follow soon) to talk books, authors, and maybe reading an excerpt from Video Rage. Get excited!

Alright, gotta go. I’m looking forward to hearing your questions and feedback, and I’m especially looking forward to celebrating this big milestone with you. Let’s have a good time on the second, shall we?

Until next time, my Followers of Fear!