Carter Wilson | Thriller Author

Halloween Scream Reel 2022

Nov 17, 2022 | Halloween, Making It Up, Uncategorized, What's Entertaining Me, Writing

It’s November, so that means it’s time for the Halloween Scream Reel. 

I revealed in last month’s newsletter that my theme this year was Disco Inferno, so basically I transformed my garage in a dance club located in hell. The main attraction was the bar I built, staffed by demon bartenders. Now, one of the bartenders was an animatronic triggered by a footpad on the floor. Once triggered, it would rapidly extend to a height of eight feet. Scary shit!

But the vibe in the garage was decidedly dance party. Disco music, fog, laser dance lights, you get it. So all the trick or treaters weren’t really sure whether to dance or freak out. Most of them did both.

The numbers this year were decent. About 250 actual trick or treaters, but many more parents. So my garage was pretty much packed for two straight hours. I have to say, I think I got more compliments on my setup this year than ever (every year is a different theme). Which is great, because it’s SO MUCH WORK!

But all the screams make everything worthwhile.


“Wilson unveils each revelation of some new betrayal with surgical precision en route to a bittersweet finale. A harrowing reminder that you really can’t go home again.”

            —Kirkus Reviews  on The Dead Husband

Making It Up
Newly added episodes of my conversation series Making It Up are out!

This month I chatted with brilliant psychological suspense novelist Wendy Walker (What Remains), former BBC Newsnight producer Sam McAlister (Scoops: Behind the Scenes of the BBC’s Most Shocking Interviews), gritty crime novelist Kelly J. Ford (Real Bad Things), pulp horror writer Jonathan Woods (Wild Hogs), and Marine-turned-novelist Samuel Octavius (The Echo Chamber). 

All episodes are available on my website, my YouTube channel, and wherever you get your favorite podcasts.  
Making It Up Highlight Clip!

Thriller writer James Byrne discusses the importance of noticing details.

What I’m Watching

The Patient, (Hulu, 2022)

Man, Steve Carell is versatile. That’s not a particularly hot take; Carell has been mixing drama with comedy for years. But it feels like The Patient is the series that has elevated Carell to Robin Williams status. A primarily comedic actor who can deliver dramatic performances worthy of Oscars and Emmys.

From Hulu: “The Patient is a psychological thriller from the minds of Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg (The Americans) about a therapist, “Alan Strauss” (Steve Carell), who’s held prisoner by a patient, “Sam Fortner” (Domhnall Gleeson), who reveals himself to be a serial killer. Sam has an unusual therapeutic demand for Alan: curb his homicidal urges.”

So there’s this whole Dexter vibe going on in the sense the killer wants/needs help to curb his urges, but in this case he actually imprisons the person he needs to help him. It’s a small show–nearly the entirety of it takes place in one room, with some occasional flashbacks–creating a claustrophobic atmosphere. The writing is tight and tense, with some moments of dark comedy thrown in. And the acting…oh my goodness the acting. Carell is understatedly brilliant, and matching him moment for moment is Domhnall Gleeson, who plays the tortured killer with so much pain and internal torment you kinda just feel for him. Well, sometimes.
What I’m Reading

Cats in Quarantine by Mario Acevedo (Hex Publishers, 2022)

I want to highlight a book from a buddy of mine, who’s both a great writer and artist. During the quarantine he drew a daily single-panel comic of a “cat in quarantine” and posted it to social media. Well, those posts became VERY popular, and this book is the compilation of 300 of his panels. 

With an introduction by Peter Heller, Cats in Quarantine beautifully commemorates the tragic and the absurd, the frustrations, fear, and loss that marked a time we’ll never forget.

Photo of the Month
Jessica and I are all decked out in our finest disco gear for my Halloween party.

Update from My Kids AND My Cat
My son and Guff. A picture is worth a thousand words… 

Humor of the Month, sent to me by a friend  
It’s a real book!

Book-Love Instagram Post of the Month  
Who doesn’t appreciate a spooky October read?

That’s it for now! Until next month…


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