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Every Gory Detail You Need on William Castle’s From The Grave: The Prayer

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Earlier this week we gave you the first look at the artwork from William Castle’s From The Grave: The Prayer, which is getting ready to haunt bookshelves everywhere. That’s right – our newest favorite author is a dead man! Now we have all the details on the book, including exactly when you can get your hands on it.

From the Press Release: Known for his ingenious marketing gimmicks, legendary horror film producer and director William Castle (1914-1977) has returned from the dead with his first new work in decades, From the Grave: The Prayer (Volume 1), a novel for young adults. Due out this Halloween season in early October 2011, the 75,000-word book set in Hollywood and Southern France is a compelling thriller infused with history, suspense, and horror.

Dubbed “The Master of the Macabre” and “King of the Gimmicks,” Castle was internationally famous for producing Rosemary’s Baby (1968) and producing/directing countless horror classics such as House on Haunted Hill (1959) and The Tingler (1959). Castle’s new book will be available in print and eBook versions ($15.99 and $9.99, respectively) via Amazon, Kindle, NOOK, and iBooks through the recently resurrected William Castle Productions.

“My dad was notorious for both his spine-tingling movies as well as the legendary gimmicks he devised to drive people to the theater again and again,” says his daughter, Terry Castle, who helms William Castle Productions. “And now, for his latest and perhaps greatest marketing gimmick yet, Dad has written ‘From the Grave.’ He’s really outdone himself this time!”

Indeed, Castle is as famous for his ongoing gimmicks as he is for the films themselves. As film critic Sean Axmaker recounts in this review for Turner Movie Classics, “Director William Castle was an ambitious journeyman looking for his breakout film when he hit upon his winning formula with Macabre, a low-budget 1958 thriller that sold its onscreen shock effects with promotional ballyhoo. In a brainstorm of publicity ingenuity, Castle issued an insurance policy (backed by Lloyds of London) to cover all ticket buyers against ‘death by fright.’ The campaign was a success, the film was a hit, and Castle found his new persona: a B-movie P.T. Barnum by way of Alfred Hitchcock. He launched a new gimmick with each succeeding horror film and took to personally promoting and introducing his films, just like Hitchcock was doing on television.”

Synopsis: As the Gypsies gather in the ancient village of Les-Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer for the annual celebration honoring their patron saint, a mystical convergence of events brings four adolescents together at a haunted house and sets them on a perilous quest to locate a centuries-old manuscript that holds the power to release the devastating force of the Ancient Ones upon the Earth.

Fifteen-year-old Sarah and her younger brother, Luca, are lonely Gypsy kids who travel about Europe with their parents. Forced by their Gypsy father to beg and pick pockets for money, Sarah and Luca find it impossible to earn their father’s approval. Fifteen-year-old Edgar cannot stand his parents (and the feeling is mutual) when the family moves from New Jersey to France so that his parents can live out their dream of being French aristocracy. Fourteen-year-old Aleck’s world is turned upside down when his parents are killed in a car crash and his older sister decides that he would be better off in France with their aunt and uncle whose real concern is their own lavish lifestyle.

Beset by their parents and guardians, the four young people must also survive the mercurial activities of a spirit haunting the house that holds clues to the location of the manuscript that is also sought by a secret society bent on locating it for its own purposes. In a frenzied chase that takes them from the ancient villages of Provence through the blood-soaked quarries of Roussillon to the macabre catacombs of Paris, the four must put aside their differences and suspicions to outwit the evil forces who will stop at nothing to get their hands on the ancient book.

For more info communicate with William Castle through his Facebook page, his Twitter account (@billcastle), and his personal blog from the grave.

Exclusive First Look Artwork: William Castle's From The Grave: The Prayer

Exclusive First Look Artwork: William Castle's From The Grave: The Prayer

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Steve Barton

You're such an inspiration for the ways that I will never, ever choose to be.