VAMPIRE EMPIRE: ‘What Scares Us’ Blog Tour & Giveaway

Today I’m hosting Clay and Susan Griffith’s “What Scares Us” blog tour and giveaway celebrating the release of Book 3 in their Vampire Empire series: THE KINGMAKERS.

I met Clay and Susan while standing in registration line at the RT Conference last year, and then later discovered that their books are published by my good friend Lou Anders (of Pyr Books), who I used to play D&D with in Alabama when I was 12. Small world, no? Try miniscule.

So when Clay and Susan asked me to join their blog tour and offered me a few choices of scary things to write about, I leaped at “Scariest Monster.”

First Clay and Susan will share their scariest monsters with us, then I’ll reveal mine, and then I’ll tell you about their awesome giveaway.

Scariest Monster


The scariest monsters for me are zombies, which is odd because I love graveyards. Maybe it’s because I have this innate ability to make my rational brain protect me while I stroll through the old and broken tombstones, reading the faint and blackened etchings. I know that nothing undead will attack me because zombies aren’t real. I know that dead is dead, and nothing will push up from the ground.

However, if I have to read about them or watch them on television, suddenly my rational brain goes into shutdown mode. Thank you very much. Zombies terrify me. There is something about zombies, be it that they are disgusting, they want to eat you alive, or they could be someone you love and lost. Needless to say zombies are like being eaten alive by like your crazy Aunt Matilda that died ten years ago. What the hell!?! Nothing is scarier or more disturbing than that.


I’ve always been fascinated by giant monsters. Humongous apes. Radioactive bugs. Blobs. The King: Godzilla. These giants are usually very scary, although in the original Gojira, there are some really atmospheric shots of the big guy wading through Tokyo Bay and encountering power lines. Grainy black and white Godzilla is very eerie and powerful.
That leads me to my weird scary monster #1. It’s King Kong. But I’m not talking about the original 1933 Kong. And not 1976 Kong. Not even 2005 Kong. I’m talking about the Kong from Godzilla vs. King Kong (1962). This is a movie that represents Toho Studios at their cheesiest, but there is something about the peculiar Kong that unnerved me when I was a kid. It’s just a guy in a suit, and a bad suit at that. It doesn’t look so much like a gorilla as a weird wild man. But he moved really fast. I think that’s what disturbed me. Giant monsters are supposed to lumber across the tiny landscape, but this King Kong was crazed, leaping and jumping, throwing his arms around like a 200-foot lunatic. When I was a kid, he scared me with his lack of control and dignity.

Now here is weird scary monster #2. In Ray Harryhausen’s classic Jason and the Argonauts, there’s a scene where the short-skirted Greek heroes find a huge temple that has an equally huge bronze statue kneeling on top. This gigantic monument is named Talos. When dumbass Hercules decides to take some riches from the temple, bad things happen. We see Talos, from a lowly human point-of-view, turn his colossal head with a terrible metallic screech and look down at the men. Holy Crap that moment scared me. Talos was so large and so solid. And, unlike Japanese Kong, he moved slowly, with reserve, showing just how powerful he was. And the sound he made. Like twisting steel girders. It was brilliant, even better for me than the fantastic skeleton army later in the movie. Harryhausen is a genius.


My scariest monsters are in my head. Or at least they were. I stopped having terrifying nightmares when I left home to go to university. (My home life included violence and religion. Go figure.)

But up until then I had visions of evil spirits like green mists that I couldn’t get away from (during elementary school), Satanists in long robes with hoods and glowing red eyes who would chase me through a haunted house and finally find me and murder me with a knife (junior high).

And in high school, around 16, my nightmares became waking terrors. I would lie in my bed at night and literally sweat with fear at all of the monsters my brain was creating. We lived in this old, Antebellum home for a couple of years, and it was super creepy. There was a bathroom attached to my bedroom, and I just KNEW there was this skinned dead guy waiting behind the shower curtain for when I fell asleep, at which point he would slink…ooze, rather…into my room and kill me.

Around this time someone in my church gave me this bootleg tape that they claimed was from a tape recorder left recording in an empty church, on which you could hear angels singing. I brought my Walkman to bed and listened to the weird high pure voices singing. And did it comfort me? Not in the least. Instead of the skinned guy, I now had this red angel dripping with blood hovering above my bed, ready to grab me and fly away with me to hell or wherever bloody red angels come from.

Know what’s funny? I sat in bed those nights, paralyzed with fear, thinking, I hope I remember these monsters when I’m older, because if I wrote them down I could be the next Steven King. And guess what? I’m writing about dead guys, who I once described as “guardian angels with OCD.” Who knows…maybe my next book will be horror. 🙂


Now it’s your turn. I want to know what YOUR scariest monster is. Leave it below in the comments!


And now for the goodies. Clay and Susan will pick one winner to receive an autographed VAMPIRE EMPIRE trilogy, as well as THIS awesome piece of steampunk-themed jewelry from London Particulars. Yes, the winner will get 3 books AND this lovely, mysterious trinket.

The winner will be chosen at midnight on Oct. 31st…TRICK OR TREAT! Enter here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

And don’t forget to check out Clay and Susan’s books here!

26 Comments to VAMPIRE EMPIRE: ‘What Scares Us’ Blog Tour & Giveaway

  1. by Allison - On October 26, 2012

    Scariest monster for me would be zombies. It is just not normal to be walking when u are dead!!! rotting corpses must smell like crap. I do not want to see or smell an alive dead body. Most terrifying movies for me would be the exorcist, paranormal, or anything having to do with spirits or demons.

  2. by Natalie Cleary - On October 26, 2012

    What scares me the most are zombies (if they were real)!! I think its because for me the scariest thing about them is it happened could be someone you knew or loved who became one.

  3. by Chloe Smith - On October 26, 2012

    What an amazing (and terrifying) post! I definitely won’t be sleeping tonight, aha 🙂
    My scariest monster is a hard one, as I’m scared of pretty much anything scary or horrific, although there was a time when I was in around 9 that I couldn’t get to sleep at night as I was determined that if I did, my collection of stuffed toys would come to life and murder me in the most gruesome ways possible. I still kind of blame Toy Story for spurring my imagination in that field.

  4. by Elizabeth H. - On October 26, 2012

    I agree with everyone and say zombies are the scariest. Ever since I watched Night of the Living Dead as a kid, zombies have always scared me.

  5. by Kelly Fine - On October 26, 2012

    The photos I’ve seen from the Walking Dead are really scary…so I agree that Zombies are frightening (my hubby won’t let me watch it because he knows I’ll have nightmares). Wendigos truly creep me out, especially the ones that make me NEVER EVER want to camp in a tent in a forest again!
    BTW-the rafflecopter is not working…not on any site I’ve tried for the past 2 days…

  6. by Debbie Haupt - On October 26, 2012

    Oh Wow, you know I grew up in the age of the Godzilla movies too and I have always been a huge fan of those Japanese monsters, but watching them always gave me nightmares too about a certain large lizard invading my childhood neighborhood and I can’t escape from the eye looking through my bedroom window, still makes me shiver. 🙂
    So I pick Godzilla
    thanks for the contest and the wonderful trilogy which I LOVED

  7. by Susan Stokes - On October 26, 2012

    So Taken With Vampire Empire..Have One More Book to Read “The KingMakers”..Paul Goat Allen on BN and AllThings UrbanFantasy…Recommended The GreyFrierwhen it was first reviewed before The Release… Pre-Ordered it ;).What Scares me Most..Being Pulled Down under The Streets of NYC…I think “They Are Living There” Waiting”..Just waiting..From My Childhood Fears…Otherwise I Love Vampires..I put Susan and Clay Right up there with Anne Rice…So Glad The Books are Doing Well..

  8. by Erin - On October 26, 2012

    The most scariest monster for me was ghosts.. as a child I would sit up at night and wait for them, scared that they would kill me the moment I closed my eyes…. They were the thing that you couldnt get away from, they could walk through walls and pick up, move or throw physical objects. Now granted Ghosts arn’t monsters… but they are my worst nightmare. I avoid graveyards because I dont want one following me home. >_<. I avoid driving by graveyards after dark… Im just convinced that a ghost will decide to scare the shit out of me, by draining my car battery or convince me to give them a ride somewhere and then disappear.

    I have a feeling i'll be having nightmares tonight,

  9. by Jamie Swick - On October 26, 2012

    In all honesty clowns are the scariest. I have always been scared of clowns because you can’t see who it really is. It can be a murderer or horrible person under all that make up just trying to lure you in. Zombies don’t really bother me BUT zombie mice would freak me out majorly!!! 🙂

  10. by May - On October 26, 2012

    Zombies, I think. Or anything at night when I wake up…

  11. by briana - On October 26, 2012

    Spiders are the worst, next would be the mysterious bumps and noises in the night…

  12. by Mad Scientist - On October 26, 2012

    Oh goodness, I would say it is a toss up between not seeing as much of the world as I want to and having another child.

    Oh dear.

    Mad Scientist

  13. by Marguerite - On October 27, 2012

    What would be the scariest monster out there for me? Well, I don’t have a top one, but more a top five, which are as follows
    1. Zombies [or more precisely, skeletons] [Or anything that should be dead that is unintelligent and has only killing on it’s mind]
    2. All monsters that hate humans and enjoy sadistic killing of them.
    3. Giangantic spiders
    4. Evil faeries
    5. Moat monsters.

  14. by Paulina Pham - On October 27, 2012

    For me, the scariest monster would be the grudge from the movie Grudge 3. I was a pretty stupid kid (i have to admit) to be watching a horror movie in the middle of the night with a storm outside…even though i’m totally afaid of horror movies and i swore never to watch one again. I would be incedibly afaid of closing my eyes in the shower for fear that the grudge pop up and kill me. Having stinging soap in your eyes was a better option than being killed(or so i thought lol). I watched this when i was 10 and I’m still afraid of it 4 years later! By the way, I absoutely LOVED your trilogy! They’re one of my favorite books EVER! Great work 😉
    Paulina P.

  15. by Hannah McCormick - On October 28, 2012

    For me the dark is more terrifying than a monster because it can conceal monsters.

  16. by Paulina P. - On October 28, 2012

    Zombies, after watching and playing Resident Evil i am totally freaked.

  17. by Annabelle P. - On October 28, 2012

    Witches because of their nasty personality… and faces!

  18. by Dominique - On October 28, 2012

    I think ghosts are the scariest thing ever. I mean who wouldn’t be afraid of a dead angry spirit who didn’t cross over?! Even freakier is when you’re possessed, like in the movies.

  19. by Christa - On October 28, 2012

    I am totally with Susan on this: Zombies are scary… but only in movies/tv. I can read (and love) zombie books, I can walk through graveyards, but if I watch a zombie on tv, I will have nightmares.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  20. by Zeenat - On October 29, 2012

    The scariest monster 4 me was a zombie cuz when i was a kid i watched micheal jackson THRILLER video i couldnt sleep cuz i was afraid they will hunt me

  21. by Stephanie R - On October 31, 2012

    The most frightening monsters for me as a kid was the shadow-man, the bogeyman, and the llorona ( a mexican folklore), and seeing a white owl at night, because it was seen as an omen of death. For the bogeyman, I had to check my closet and under my bed before i went to bed, and turn on the light in any room that I past at night so I can see my way back. For the shadow-man I was afraid to look outside at night in case I see a shadow, or if I was playing hide-n-seek outside. I was afraid of the the imagined shadow following me. A shadow that I had seen out of the corner of my eye. And the llorona… there are different versions, some say that took kids who were alone after dark to replace her own damned children, others say she is also an omen of death. It amazing really, I did not get over my fear of the dark until middle-school.

  22. by Karis - On November 1, 2012

    Honestly nothing scares me. When i was little my sister got scared ALOT so i have always been brave for her. My only thhought is to protect hte other people around me. Or that its all fake and pointless. *shrugg* But …the movie pet cemetary is creepy as hell!

  23. by Zoila umana - On November 1, 2012

    SPIDER ZOMBIE’S scary because i hate spider’s and zombies are scary too OMG the worst thing ever would be to get EATEN ALIVE BY SPIDER ZOMBIE’S HORRIBLE

  24. by Carol A. - On November 1, 2012

    I work in a retail business where sometimes I am alone in the building. I have been given reports that the building is haunted. On one occasion, during a conference call, I thought I heard footsteps on our tile floors and left the office to investigate. That spooked feeling of someone being there when the doors should be locked etc. is a bit spooky. The mind plays tricks on you when you’re alone!

  25. by Zoila umana - On November 1, 2012

    Wait who won the things i want to know

  26. by amy - On November 1, 2012

    The winner should be announced here:

Leave a Reply

8 − one =


You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>



By submitting a comment here you grant Amy Plum a perpetual license to reproduce your words and name/web site in attribution. Inappropriate or irrelevant comments will be removed at an admin's discretion.