By SAMANTHA MCDONNELL
OBSERVER Staff Writer
On Saturday, Gregory Lamberson may win an award bestowed upon Stephen King several times before.
The novel “Cosmic Forces” by Fredonia native Gregory Lamberson has been nominated for a Bram Stoker award.
Lamberson, a Fredonia native, is a Bram Stoker Award nominee for his novel "Cosmic Forces."
The book has been nominated for the Horror Writers Association's (HWA) Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a Novel. The award is based on nominations from fellow members of the HWA. All members who have achieved a certain criteria of professional experience are allowed to vote.
The HWA is an international group with 700 members. Lamberson has been a member for 12 years. He said the Jake Helman series would not have been did not join the organization.
"As far as my genre goes, it's the one that matters, " Lamberson said.
The awards ceremony is on March 31 in Salt Lake City. While Lamberson will not be attending the ceremony, he will be watching from home.
"There are some other horror authors in the area and I will probably have them over to my house and we'll watch," Lamberson said. "This is a good year. Stephen King isn't nominated. Usually he comes in and beats us all."
If Lamberson wins, he will receive a haunted house trophy which he will proudly display in his home office.
"It's sort of a meaningful award for me," he said.
"Cosmic Forces" is the third book in the "Jake Helman Files" which focuses on the central character Jake Helman. The first two books were "Personal Demons" and "Desperate Souls."
"The series is about, what's called in publishing terms, a cult detective ... Somebody who investigates the supernatural," Lamberson said.
The character of Helman is a cross between a private eye and an X-Files detective, according to Lamberson.
"My character, specifically within his world, I try and take different mythologies and religions and stitch them together try and come up with some sort of rationalization for everything," Lamberson said.
Each book in the series is a separate adventure for Helman and the books are heavy on action and horror. Each book also crosses horror with another genre. "Cosmic Forces" is a cross between horror and private eye.
"It allows me to deal with all these different genres while still under the horror umbrella," Lamberson said.
In the book, Helman is on a case that starts in New York City but the case brings him to Buffalo and Lily Dale.
"Most of my books take place in New York City or New York City is the launching point. 'Cosmic Forces' was the first time I brought the character to the area," Lamberson said.
Lamberson did research on Lily Dale and found he could do a sub-plot within the book on psychics. American Indian mythology also tied in with the book. This area seemed logical due to the Seneca Nation of Indians being so close. The book also encompasses H.P. Lovecraft's mythology, which is a very specific type of horror writing. This type of writing includes scientists trying to cover worldwide conspiracy.
"(Cosmic Forces) is a twist on the H.P. Lovecraft mythology. Lovecraft is an American writer who did most of his writing in the 1920s and came up with a specific style ... His writing has become very popular in the last 30 years. He's probably as important to horror fiction as Edgar Allan Poe," Lamberson said.
He also added that while many authors within the genre know Lovecraft, his name is not that familiar with readers on the street.
Helman's character in the series originally came from unproduced scripts. Lamberson, after leaving the Fredonia-Dunkirk area, went to school in New York City for film. He has previously made four low-budget films but when his career took a different direction, he started turning his scripts in to novels.
"I always knew that in whatever medium, (Helman) was gonna be a continuing character. I wanted him to continue for a long time," Lamberson said.
The character is well-known throughout the horror genre among other writers and readers.
"In my genre the character Jake Helman is kind of famous because I really kick him around. In every book he takes a lot more punishment then most continuing characters," Lamberson said.
The fourth book in the series, "Tortured Spirits" will be out in October. Those who are fans of the series can rejoice in knowing the series will continue for some time. Lamberson said he has the series planned out through the ninth book currently.
"It's all building towards a grand finish. I'm very fortunate that I'm with a publisher that is really supportive of me and embraces that series," he said.
Lamberson has always been intrigued by monsters, he said. He recalled enjoying monsters when he was younger.
"I can remember being 4 years old, living on Canary Street in Dunkirk," Lamberson said. "I was watching cartoons on my mother's black and white TV. I can remember my mother walking me to the Regent Theater that was open back then."
Many believe that the genre of horror is just the scares and gore, but there is more to it, he said.
"I enjoy things that involve a certain amount of fantasy whether it's horror or science fiction."
Lamberson has been nominated twice before for a Bram Stoker Award for his books "Johnny Gruesome" and nonfiction book, "Cheap Scares: Low Budget Horror Filmmakers Share their Secrets." The book "Johnny Gruesome" was a script Lamberson wrote when he was still living in Fredonia at the age of 18. The book which Lamberson calls the "most autobiographical" is based in a fictionalized setting of Fredonia.
Besides being nominated for a Bram Stoker Award this year, Lamberson is also releasing a new book, "Carnage Road," a novella. This is Lamberson's first novella and will be debuted at Power Con comic book show in Buffalo.
"It's about a couple of motorcycle guys from Buffalo who head out across the country when the world falls apart from the zombie takeover," Lamberson said.
Power Con will take place at the Buffalo Marriott Inn, 1340 Millersport Highway, Amherst today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Lamberson will have all his books on sale as well as some DVDs.
Lamberson currently resides in Cheektowaga with his family. To stream the Bram Stoker Awards online, a link will be posted on the Bram Stoker Website at www.stokers2012.org. A complete listing of nominations can be found online as well.
The Jake Helman series are available in print, e-book and audio books. His books can be found locally at the Book Nook or online at www.amazon.com. For more information on Lamberson, visit his personal website at www.slimeguy.com.
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