Sunday, December 23, 2012

First Two Announcements for 2013 Releases

 First on the 2013 agenda is my Civil War horror tale, in which soldiers are asked to risk "Life and Limb".

Blood Bound Books will be releasing this anthology some time in January, according to an informal post on their Facebook page.

I am excited to be part of such an illustrious group of authors! Sharing a Table of Contents with the legendary Brian Lumley is a great way to start the New Year.

Interesting side note: initially, my story was deemed too similar thematically to another story set for inclusion. I made a revision (added about 100 words to illuminate and clarify a part of the story) and got the green light for inclusion. Well worth the extra effort, considering the story they thought was similar to mine was by Stoker Award Winner (and super nice guy) Joe McKinney! 

The last day of February has been designated for the release of Dark Light 2, a supernatural anthology from CHBB Publishing. Crushing Hearts and Black Butterflies received a ton of five star reviews on Amazon and Goodreads for the first anthology; here's hoping the second does just as well.

My contribution is short story featuring fertility advice from a Dr. K. Okopelli. A morbid sense of humor will probably increase your enjoyment of his "Granted Wishes". The contributor list has not been released yet.                                                                                         

Saturday, December 8, 2012

It's Been a Very Good Year

Overall, 2012 was a very good year. This year, more than any other, reminded me that I still have so much to learn. To paraphrase George Harrision, "the more I learn about writing, the more I realize I still don't know!" (George was talking about playing sitar, but the sentiment is dead-on.)

I wrote fewer stories this year than in any of the previous five years. It is a constant struggle to remember Quality is better than Quantity.  After two professional sales in 2011, I thought for sure I would make that coveted "Active" status in the Horror Writers Association in 2012, but as of December 10th, I remain an Affiliate.

Rather than be discouraged, I think it would be best to reflect on the positives:

After nearly two years of corrections, edits, and revisions (special thanks to Karen Hall and Michaelia Kendall of Black Hills Writers Group), I released my debut short story collection, Bedtime Stories for Carrion Beetles. The book is available in quality paperback via Createspace, and electronically via Amazon Kindle. The book collects nineteen of my favorite previously-published stories, ranging from weird western to steampunk mystery (but mostly horror and supernatural suspense). Every story was polished prior to publication, and some were revised extensively.

Bedtime Stories for Carrion Beetles is available HERE.

Also published in 2012:

"Ghost Soup" in Gunslingers and Ghost Stories

"A Brother's Love" (aka "You Don't Know Jack") in Granite Island, Amber Sea

"A Misadventure to Call Your Own" (first professional sale, but second published) in Blood Lite III: Aftertaste

"How to Make A Monster" in Slices of Flesh

"The Elephant in the Room" in Zombie Kong: the Anthology

"The Biggin Hill Duel" (cover story) in Big Pulp

"Souls on Ice" in Winter Chills

"Solitary Man" in Morpheus Tales #15

I am grateful to all the respective editors for purchasing/selecting my work.

UPCOMING in 2013:

"Life and Limb" in Blood Rites

"Sweet Tea and MamaLady" in Dark Eclipse

"Granted Wishes" in Dark Light 2

I don't want to give too much away, but I currently have fourteen other stories under consideration by various anthologies, magazines and e-zines.

Thank you all for reading. I appreciate it.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

New Anthologies Now Available

Gunslingers and Ghost Stories, which includes my entry, Ghost Soup, is now available! Ghost Soup is the first published story featuring Truman Bonner and his son, Isaac. Bonner and Son will be a series of Weird Western adventures. Eventually collected into a cohesive book... but I'm getting ahead of myself. 

Who-or what-is the abomination locked away in a cell in the deepest, darkest part of the Chinese laundry tunnels beneath Deadwood? And how can it assist Truman Bonner exorcise a vengeful spirit from a grizzled gold miner? Find out in Ghost Soup, available in Gunslingers and Ghost Stories.


Granite Island, Amber Sea, which includes my entry, A Brother's Love, is now available! I served as master of ceremonies for a wonderful gala event and launch party for this anthology, edited by Black Hills Writers Group. Very exciting to see the likes of R.T. Lawton, Lori Armstrong, Sandra Brannon and C.J. Roberts in attendance. R.T. and Sandra both contributed to the anthology too! Featuring writings set in the Black Hills and western South Dakota, this collection has something for everyone.

A Brother's Love is a slightly revised version of You Don't Know Jack, from my collection Bedtime Stories for Carrion Beetles. Jack is on a quest to avenge his brother's death and put his memory to rest. An outcast Lakota warrior and an ancient Chinese man assist him in his endeavors. Jack winds up in Deadwood where he comes face to face with his brother's killer. Learn what happens in A Brother's Love, available in Granite Island, Amber Sea.


Zombie Kong, which includes my story, The Elephant in the Room, is available. This anthology was released earlier in 2012 and I don't think it got the attention it deserves. The stories included are a mix of horror, mystery, humor, fantasy and action. Some are pulpy fun, others are more grim. All are excellent.

The Elephant in the Room starts with a dead gorilla at an old-fashioned traveling carnival and ends with tactical nuclear missile strikes on North America. How did things get so bad so fast? Maybe reader comments posted online will shed some light on the tragedy...

Zombie Kong is available now! 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Story in Granite Island, Amber Sea

Black Hills Writers Group presents Granite Island, Amber Sea. This anthology features fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction by authors from in and around western South Dakota.

Several good friends are published within.

My story, A Brother's Love (aka You Don't Know Jack) has been revised and polished for this anthology. It's a weird western/alternate history story set mostly in Deadwood.

Pleased to see R.T. Lawton, an excellent author with many appearances in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, is included as well.

Book release gala on November 17th at the Journey Museum.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Gunslingers and Ghosts!

I have another new short story coming out soon. "Ghost Soup", a Bonner & Son weird western set in Deadwood, SD, was accepted by David Riley, the editor of Gunslingers and Ghost Stories. The anthology will be available in print, and possibly in e-book. The full cover is shown below.

Anthology: Gunslingers and Ghost Stories.

Publisher: Timescape Books, an imprint of Science Fiction Trails

Editor: David Riley

Release Date: December, 1st 2012 (the perfect holiday gift!)

Don't forget, this is the best link to order my debut short story collection, Bedtime Stories for Carrion Beetles. If you prefer a copy for your Kindle, go here instead! For a limited time, Amazon is offering the title at only $7.99 for the paperback!

Finally, my story "Sweet Tea and MamaLady" will appear in an upcoming issue of the e-zine Dark Eclipse.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Upcoming signings and web links

Everybody's Bookstore will be hosting a book signing by myself and fellow Rapid City author, Karen Hall on Saturday, October 20th from 11 am to 2 pm. I will be signing copies of my new collection Bedtime Stories for Carrion Beetles, and any anthologies you may own that I've contributed to. Refreshments.

Mitzi's Books  will be hosting a book signing my yours truly on Saturday, October 27th from 3 to 5 pm. I will be signing copies of my new collection Bedtime Stories for Carrion Beetles (and anything else you may already own!) This is part of the Scare in the Square Halloween festivities.

Hope to see all my Rapid City and Black Hills friends at one of these events!

In other news, HERE is the best, easiest way to order Bedtime Stories for Carrion Beetles online.

If you prefer it for your Kindle, then go here instead!

Thanks very much for the interest and the support.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Link for Bedtime Stories for Carrion Beetles

Cut and paste or simply search for Bedtime Stories for Carrion Beetles on Amazon. Available as a quality paperback for two weeks. By then, I will also have it available on Kindle, and should have copies with me for direct purchase as well.

Story Notes for Bedtime Stories for Carrion Beetles


WARNING! Potential SPOILERS ahead. It is recommended you read this AFTER reading the book.

A GOOD GAME: I’m pleased with how the transitions in this story turned out. I don’t think the kids were necessarily evil in this story. They’re a product of the violent video game generation and are desensitized.

YOU DON'T KNOW JACK: I went to a wax museum in Deadwood, SD many years ago. Wild Bill Hickok resembled a Viking warrior. His assassin, Jack McCall, was portrayed as a simpering Howdy Doody. This rubbed me the wrong way. No one in real life is all good or all bad. I decided to turn the legend upside-down. Real events are woven throughout. One thing I deliberately got wrong for the purpose of the story was that in real life Jack arrived in Deadwood before Hickok.

CARRYING ON: This short one was partially inspired by the double meaning of the phrase “carrying on”. I went back and fixed some lazy writing about the science of the asteroid. And I hope I fooled you at first with the checkers.

SWOLLEN TICK: I had a mental picture one day of a guy who routinely cleaned out his refrigerator, throwing away unopened items. Naturally, I had to write this story to find out why he didn't eat! There's also a brief bit that is my imagined explanation of spontaneous combustion.

TOMORROW'S HEADLINE: This one started with a bizarre trip to my local drug store. Most of everything prior to the arrival of the green-eyed stranger (who I secretly call 'Hopper') matched what I actually saw that day. My favorite band and my favorite toy as a kid both get secret mentions in this one.

SOLITARY MAN: I thought the title “Ghost Writer” would be too obvious. I had a distant relative who spent years in a coma after getting hit by an 18-wheeler while riding his motorcycle. He woke from the coma, only to be killed months later. He was hit by an 18-wheeler while riding his motorcycle. No joke.

WIND, WINTER, WENDIGO: The legend of the cannibalistic spirit known as the Wendigo is a favorite of mine. I tackled it—and small town hypocrisy—here.

COLD FEET: I did a lot of research during the writing of this, but I chickened out when it came to visiting a mortuary. The musicians/composers mentioned are among my favorites and often played while I write.

TRANSFORMATIONS: Initially, the dad was going to be a zombie, but I abandoned that once the zombie craze really took hold. Instead I went for more of a psychological horror tale.

INCIDENT ON ALKALI ROAD: This one started out partially inspired by one of my bachelor uncles, as well as a pair of abandoned farmhouses my wife and I explored a few years ago.

THE RED PATCH IN THE SNOW: This story rattled around in my head for a few years before I actually wrote it. Sometimes, after arguments, I torture myself by envisioning the worst. I don't have a gun in the house, which is probably for the best.

THE RESTORATION ROOM: I admit it. This is a zombie story, but I did my best to keep the zombies out of sight. The anthology this first appeared in has one of my favorite covers ever.

HYDROPHOBIA: This was one of my oldest stories that never quite worked until I chopped off the beginning and rewrote the ending—twice! It’s partially based on actual experiences inside an abandoned tourist attraction in the Black Hills. And, yes, they left the water in all the pools! Further details are omitted to protect the guilty, though I promise no murders were committed.

A STORY ABOUT MONSTERS: For abused kids everywhere. I wish they all had the protection that this fictional little girl had.

THE ARTIST AND HIS SUBJECT: Before discovering horror, I went through a long “classic literature” phase. I treasure many of those books and wanted to say a twisted “thank you” to those authors I enjoyed so much. Plus I always thought a taxidermist would make a good character in a horror story.

THERE'S NO WORD FOR IT: I accidentally swallowed a bug once and the worst part was how it scratched the back of my throat. As a kid, I saw a woman's car absolutely covered in mayflies. Those memories, and the fact that it took me two years of letters and phone calls to get my insurance company to pay for an emergency room visit, combined to inspire this one.

BOOTLEGS FROM BOSTON: With apologies to the ladies, here’s one of my darkest, unflinching stories. The original published version included a mistake made by the editor that affected the ending. The baseball stats are real for that season, and so are the tragedies at the concerts.

THE BIGGIN HILL DUEL: This started as a Sherlock Holmes pastiche. Then I read a few steampunk stories and, inspired, decided to move my tale to another reality. This was selected to be the cover story for the spring 2012 issue of Big Pulp.

WAITING FOR INSPIRATION: Some days I can’t seem to get in the right frame of mind.

The biggest challenge was finding a title that wasn't already in use! BEDTIME STORIES FOR CARRION BEETLES came about because I wanted to convey my love for creepy/weird/dark fiction. As a kid I read the old Alfred Hitchcock anthologies (the best ones were edited by Robert Arthur). In these, the likes of Robert Bloch, Roald Dahl, Ray Bradbury and Joseph Payne Brennan rubbed shoulders with more traditional mystery authors like Bill Pronzini, Jack Ritchie and Fletcher Flora. To this day, anthologies make up the bulk of my book collection. With every story I write, I try to duplicate the thrill I felt when I read horror and mystery as a kid. For me, the thrill is still very much there.

Thank you very much for reading. I appreciate it.

HWA's Halloween Haunts in October

The Horror Writers Association announces their second annual "Halloween Haunts" online blog event. Throughout the month of October, horror, supernatural suspense and dark fiction fans will be able to read specially written posts from professional horror authors on the HWA’s blog, Dark Whispers.

There will be a lot of great giveaways too (including a copy of my debut collection Bedtime Stories for Carrion Beetles)! Visit every single day for blogs, book excerpts and much more from a group of folks who wish it was Halloween all year 'round!

"Halloween Haunts" is designed to help connect horror writers with potential new readers, share some Halloween fun, and showcase the benefits of HWA membership. It will be better for everyone if you visit voluntarily. You don't want to know what happens if we have to come looking for you...

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Coming soon to Amazon and Kindle, my debut short story collection, Bedtime Stories for Carrion Beetles! Last minute revisions and corrections have been made. Waiting on additional author blurbs. I am targeting an October 1st release. The book should be available for special order at Books-A-Million and other bookstores, but I encourage you to make your purchase directly from Amazon, as that helps me out the most.

Nineteen previously published stories have been revised and polished for this collection. I will be posting exclusive content right here to coincide with the release of the book. Come back for STORY NOTES for each of the tales included in the collection.

Just in time for Halloween!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Flashshot 2010 Finally Available!

Finally available in the United States AND in digital format!  I contributed 46 (yes, forty six) 100-word "flashshots" of horror, mystery, fantasy and sci-fi. Ten authors are included in this collection. Find it here: Smashwords ebooks:

For a pic of the cover, and more info, you can also check my author page on

On a personal note, the old Flashshot web site was really where I got bit by the writing bug. I love the 100 word format, though I haven't written anything in that style since this book originally came out in Canada.

Some of my absolute favorite stories (and story ideas) are included in this collection. The format should work well for digital. I hope readers will purchase this.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Bed Time Stories for Carrion Beetles Blurb from Ty Schwamberger

"Adrian Ludens not only crafts well-written prose, but will scare the hell outta you in Bedtime Stories for Carrion Beetles. This collection has a variety of blood-drenched flavors that will curb the appetite of any true horror fan. I highly recommend anything Ludens writes!"
~Ty Schwamberger, critically-acclaimed author of The Fields, Deep Dark Woods and DININ'.
Thanks for the kind words, Ty!
Still making last minute revisions and story selections. October 1st is coming up fast!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Review for D.O.A., an anthology of extreme horror

I recently submitted to D.O.A. 2, upcoming from Blood Bound Books.

On the BBB message boards, the editor recommends that prospective authors first read five stories from the anthology. My entry, "Artistic Subject" is one of them. Oh my!

I have revised and polished this story for inclusion in my upcoming collection, "Bedtime Stories for Carrion Beetles".

Here is a D.O.A. review that mentions my story.

The original D.O.A. is available on Amazon, B&N and many other online booksellers.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Bedtime Stories for Carrion Beetles UPDATE

I sent the PDF of Bedtime Stories for Carrion Beetles out to ten volunteer readers. Several authors in my critique group/Black Hills Writers Group offered, and several authors who are members of the Horror Writers Association were also gracious enough to peruse my first short story collection.

I hope to polish the collection (maybe add or delete a story) and have it available on Create Space and Kindle this fall. I am targeting end of September for releases in both formats.

Here is the Table of Contents:
 ("95% sure... but leaving myself the option to drop or add a story depending on reader comments)
A Good Game
You Don't Know Jack
Carrying On at the End of the World
Swollen Tick
Tomorrow's Headline
Solitary Man
Wind, Winter, Wendigo
Cold Feet
Incident on Alkali Road
The Red Patch in the Snow
The Restoration Room
A Story About Monsters
The Artist and His Subject
There's No Word For It
Bootlegs From Boston
The Biggin Hill Duel
Waiting for Inspiration

Working cover art and teasers about the stories coming soon!
Thanks for reading.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Blood Lite III: Aftertaste

The HWA is proud of our new Anthology, ‘Blood Lite III’, edited by Kevin J, Anderson and available NOW!

Sink your teeth into a smorgasbord of macabre morsels laced with horrific humor in this all-new Blood Lite collection! Whether you shriek with laughter or scream in fear . . . well, that’s simply a matter of taste.
Jim Butcher’s wizardly PI Harry Dresden pranks some high-tech monster seekers—and attempts to save a friend’s son whose life-energy is slowly being drained by an unknown adversary in “I Was a Teenage Bigfoot.” The Author from Hell has dropped dead, but a stressed-out editor is harassed by her emails from beyond the grave in Sherrilyn Kenyon’s “A Day in the Life.” The flesh is weak—and possibly even rotting—as a teenage virgin werewolf discovers on a visit to a brothel in Kelley Armstrong’s “V Plates.” Adrian Ludens helps YOU dispose of a body at your uncle's funeral in "A Misadventure to Call Your Own."
Other stories from: Joel Sutherland, Christopher Golden, E S Magill, Eric James Stone, Jeff Strand, Mark Onspaugh, Mike Baron, J G Faherty, Stephen Dorato, Jeff Ryan, Mike Reznick and Lezli Robyn, Will Ludwigsen, Daniel Pyle, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, L A Banks, John Alfred Taylor, David Sakmyster, Norman Prentiss, Don D’Ammassa, Heather Graham, Chris Abbey, D L Snell, Ken Lillie-Patz, Lisa Morton, Brad C Hodson and Lucien Soulban.
Here’s the Amazon link:
In Rapid City, also check Books A Million and Mitzi's Book Store.
Here's the Kindle edition:

After you’ve read it, don’t forget to review it on your blogs, at Amazon and Goodreads, etc. Remember, every sale brings a royalty to HWA, which we reinvest in member benefits!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Bedtime Stories for Carrion Beetles

About seven years ago, I started writing short fiction. Since then, I've written approximately 90 short stories, along with 46 flash fiction works, and seven poems. I'll be the first to admit that a lot of what is available online is NOT my best work. I took a "learn as you go" and "try to get better with each story" approach. I am very glad to be part of a critique group that takes their writing very seriously. About a year ago, I selected 24 stories that I considered among my best and asked a few members of the Horror Writers Association and a few members of Black Hills Writers Group to critique them.

After far more revisions than I expected (!) I am pleased to announce that 18 of my best stories have been polished up and will soon be available in a collection. All of these stories have been previously published. Twelve appeared in print anthologies, five in magazines and one in an online e-zine.

All of these stories have been edited, revised, corrected, and improved. Several of the stories vary drastically from the original versions. I am proud of every story included. At no point do I reread a story and think "well this one is just barely good enough".

I am in the process of proofing the PDF and am still making minor revisions. The title of the collection (if you haven't guessed already) will be BEDTIME STORIES FOR CARRION BEETLES. It will be over 200 pages, and over 50.000 words.

The target release date is September 1st of this year. Cover art is complete. It will be released using Create Space as the publisher.

I will release the Table of Contents some time in July.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Zombie Kong Review

HERE is a link to my review of Zombie Kong. Just finished it. Loved it! Proud to be a part of it.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

RAY BRADBURY: An Appreciation

This is my humble two cents to drop in the bucket of appreciation and acknowledgement of Ray Bradbury who, we learned today, has passed on. Jetting across universes unknown and undiscovered, I hope. Having adventures beyond our wildest dreams.

To say that Ray Bradbury was a great writer is an understatement. One group of readers will bring up The Martian Chronicles as his best work. Another contingent will say that distinction belongs to Fahrenheit 451, while another immediately thinks of Something Wicked This Way Comes.  The point is, all of it was (and is) brilliant, but we all have our favorites.

For me, the early short stories Ray wrote for Weird Tales and the other pulps are nothing short of breathtaking. The kind of stories that, as a kid, I read and relished, curling up my toes at the gleeful creepiness of each tale.

The kind of stories that, as an adult, I still read and relish. 

 And to think that he was that good at the beginning of his career!

There is more literary magic in the first two pages of Ray's story The Man Upstairs than in many full novels that I've read. There is no skimming here. You can't. Every word is a present to the reader, every sentence is a necklace of gems strung out just for you to read, try out, keep.

The Next in Line, Interim, The Scythe, The Small Assassin, The Emissary, Bang! You're Dead. If you've missed them, read them as soon as possible.

Many of these stories are collected in The October Country. Some day, I hope to find a copy of Dark Carnival, which includes many more tales from this era.

Those stories inspired me to start writing. Someday, I hope to affect someone the way Ray affected me.

In 2006, I wrote a letter to Ray Bradbury. It was a typical fan letter. I gushed. Praised his work. Mentioned some favorites. Just wanted him to know...

But I also mentioned how he had inspired me to write a few stories of my own. I mentioned how I'd just made my first sale ($5, a cause for celebration!) and hoped to write more.

Ray wrote me back.

He drew a funny cartoon face on the envelope and a shaky "R.B." where the return address would be. Inside he inscribed an inkjet-printed photo collage to me:

"Adrian! Onward!"

Then closed with his name and the date. 

Now, for all I know, Ray ALWAYS wrote "Onward!" as part of his inscriptions. In fact, I bet if I looked it up, I could find out. But I don't want to find out. Because for me, I looked at that and said to myself, "Ray Bradbury just told me to keep writing."

With every rejection letter I get, I hear Ray's encouragement: "Onward!"
Every time I think I don't have time to write. "Onward!"
When I think I'm out of ideas. "Onward!"

Any string of adjectives I could use to try to describe his writing would fall short.
And, however indirectly or accidentally, Ray Bradbury inspired me as a writer.

That is why this morning, when I learned of his passing, I just sat there and cried.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Anthology Spotlight: Blood Bound Books

 My fiction is included in four Blood Bound Books anthologies.

Unspeakable is a creature-theme horror anthology.

My story, "Wind, Winter, Wendigo" is included. Jacob lives in tiny Wind, MN and endures the bitter cold of the winter of 1889. He also endures the sudden death of this father. But with the winter ground too hard to dig, what does the undertaker do with the bodies of the deceased until spring?

Murphy Edwards, Monique Bos, Storm Grant and Natalie L. Sin all turned in excellent stories. I didn't think there was a single dud in the entire anthology!

I really enjoy working with Marc, Theresa and the team of editors at BBB. They actually take the time to edit your work, rather than just select it, and always have great ideas on how to improve the story.

 My first appearance in a BBB anthology was actually the first one they released. Night Terrors included my story "Tomorrow's Headline".

Michelle almost leaves her young son, Casey in the car during a quick trip to the drug store for migraine medication. Deciding against it ("that wouldn't be safe!") she leaves him to browse in the toy aisle. Michelle bumps into a strange man and realizes her headache is suddenly gone. But so is Casey. She tries to chase him down, but none of the other customers will let her leave the store.

I really enjoyed the stories by G. Winston Hyatt, Craig Saunders, Lee Clark Zumpe, Barry Napier and Harper Hull. Two other stories I didn't like as much were honorable mentions in The Year's Best Horror, so that shows you how tastes can differ!

An incredible FOUR stories included in the BBB anthology Rock and Roll is Dead received honorable mentions in a more recent edition of The Best Horror of the Year.  Quite a feat for a small press publisher! (Sadly, I didn't make the cut in that one.)

 I can take solace in the fact that I seem to be the only author with four stories in Seasons in the Abyss. This is a seasonal-theme anthology of flash fiction.

"The Red Thing in the Snow" is part of the Winter portion of the anthology. Can something that happens in the near future echo back to the past?

Great stories here from Doree Weller and Monique Bos.

We meet the Easter Bunny in a laundromat in "Wet Clothes." Wait until you see what he's washing!

Springtime terror from Geoff Bagwell, Paul DeCirce and Sean Graham were among my favorites.

"Lost in a Book" is my Summer entry. Grandma is just sure the girls drowned while she read.
Four tremendous stories in a row ended up as my favorites in this section. Thanks to Lorna Keach, Rebecca Brown, Chad McKee and Robert Essig for their great tales.

Finally, my entry "Problem Solving Beneath the Harvest Moon" is part of the Fall section. I ended up doing a lot of research for only a two page story!

Stephen Hill and Douglas Lane had great entries in this section.

Finally, let's talk about "extreme horror".  In the anthology titled D.O.A. NOTHING is off-limits.

After several rewrites and polishes, "Artistic Subject" was accepted. Cassie, a young woman looking for work, visits the home of a wealthy eccentric. His two hobbies are reading classic literature and taxidermy. Turns out, he thinks Cassie would be perfect for his newest piece. According to the editor, here was one of those rare instances where the last line made the story worth inclusion. I think it's appalling, myself, and I can't believe I wrote it!

I loved the stories by J. Grant, Edward Rosic, Glynn Barrass, John McNee and Stacy Bolli. Nice work! This one also features my favorite cover. If you are a jaded horror fan sick of vampires and zombies, be sure to check out D.O.A.!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

HERE is Kevin J. Anderson's blog announcement for Blood Lite III: Aftertaste.  This humorous horror anthology will be released to book stores and online outlets on Tuesday, May 29th.  I've already read several of the stories, and I think readers will have a lot of fun with this title!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Zombie Kong Print Anthology

Received my print copies of the Zombie Kong anthology in the mail today. Rave reviews at, so check it out. Should be available any day now at your favorite online book seller. 

My story, "The Elephant in the Room" will resonate with anyone who is disgusted by the ludicrous, inane, spiteful, ignorant or downright hateful "comments" folks post online every day!

Thanks to editor James Roy Daley for purchasing my story.

I also have to say that it's a pleasure to share a Table of Contents with David Niall Wilson, Amanda C. Davis, and William Meikle again. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Blood Lite III Author Roundtable

Click HERE to read comments from several of the authors who contributed to "Blood Lite III: Aftertaste". Thanks to DL Snell for asking the questions and compiling the answers! Save the link as more questions and answers will be added each week.

Blood Lite III: Aftertaste will be released on Tuesday, May 29th. Check your favorite book store!  Editor Kevin J. Anderson has assembled an incredible lineup: Jim Butcher, Kelley Armstrong, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Heather Graham, L.A. Banks, Christopher Golden and many more!

Yeah, I led with the big names, but it's a pleasure and an honor sharing a Table of Contents with Lisa Morton, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Ken Lillie-Paetz, Jeff Strand and DL Snell as well.

This book should be widely available. Check your favorite book seller!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Anthology spotlight: I'm Going to Flash You

I'm a big fan of reading and writing flash fiction, aka micro fiction.

In 2009, I stumbled on a web site/anthology called FIFTY-TWO STITCHES. I submitted a story called "Bubble Gum Tongue". It is less than one page long (!) but it was accepted and later appeared in the print version of the anthology, edited by Aaron Polson. Most of the stories are three pages or less.

I discovered several great tales in this anthology. My favorite was "Little Problems" by Patricia Russo. Absolutely loved it. Cate Gardner, Felicity Dowker and Rachel Green all had really good stories as well. 

There's an anthology called Flashshot that is available on Lulu. It's from a Canadian small press publisher. I have over FORTY 100 word stories in this collection! Worth checking out! Lots of personal favorites included.
The most recent flash fiction anthology I've contributed to has turned heads thanks to its stellar lineup of authors. Jack Ketchum, Simon Clark, Joe McKinney, Ramsey Campbell, Nancy Holder, Tim Lebbon, Nancy Kilpatrick, Graham Masterton, Rick Hautala, William F. Nolan, Lisa Morton & Nate Kenyon, for starters.

As of this writing, I am exactly half finished with the book. My favorite stories (so far) have come from Stephen Volk, Kaaron Warren, J.R. Parks, Jeremy C. Shipp and Aaron Polson.

I almost forgot!  My story, "How To Make A Monster" is about a man in a coma. He gets a second chance at life when he miraculously wakes. But, since this is a horror anthology after all, it would have been best if he'd stayed locked up within himself.

My story was partially inspired by a distant relative of mine who got hit by and 18 wheeler when he was out riding his motorcycle. He spent several years in a coma. Then he miraculously woke up! Only a few short months later, he was killed by an 18 wheeler while riding his motorcycle. Fate?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Anthology spotlight: Pill Hill Press

Headed up by Jessy Marie Roberts, Pill Hill Press is a relatively new horror/fantastic fiction publisher. Their first anthology was released in 2009 and WOW have they released a ton of titles since then!  I have appeared in four PHP anthologies, though I haven't submitted anything to them recently. This is a publisher that (at least at the time I was submitting) did not offer payment. I think they might have offered contributor copies or offered copies to contributors at reduced rates. I'm so tired right now that I don't remember!

One of my earliest anthology appearances was "The Middle of Nowhere", featuring horror in a rural setting and fantastic cover art. My story is called Beneath Kent's Bed and was verrrrry loosely based on one of my Uncles. It's a murder mystery, and rather dark.

Also included in this anthology are stories by Jessy Roberts, Aaron Polson, Amanda C. Davis, J. Troy Seate and Rob Rosen, all of whom I would encounter again. I really look forward to seeing what other authors I am sharing a Table of Contents with, to see who I know, who I admire, and so on.

It's been a long time since I read this anthology, but I recall being freaked out by Tommy of the Flood by Aaron Polson.

The second PHP title I contributed to was "Love Kills", a horror/dark fantasy anthology about love gone wrong. WAY wrong! My entry is called Swollen Tick and tells the story about an unusual fellow named Martin, who is perfectly content when his neighbors fight, but faces grave health problems when (because) they work things out and rekindle their romance.

If you get this anthology, make sure you read All Your Pretty Things by Harper Hull. His violent stories always horrify me (in a good way).

PHP has a nice series called "Dark Things." I have a story in Volume II, titled The Old Man of Weevil Creek. It was meant as an homage to one of my favorite old horror stories and one of my favorite old country/southern rock songs. But I'm not saying what they are...

The Weeper by Tim Lewis was my favorite story in Dark Things II. Tension-filled and a really creepy villain/monster. Don't look up!

The most recent Pill Hill Press anthology I contributed to features my number one all-time favorite cover. It's called "Gone With the Dirt" and is a Civil War-Zombie-theme anthology. That makes it sound like you'd be reading the same story over and over doesn't it?  Not the case. I wrote a very positive review for GWTD on Amazon. I really enjoyed it start to finish and am so pleased to be a part of it. Tons of variety, viewpoints, perspectives, plots.

My story, The Restoration Room is about two women whose root cellar is actually an enormous cavern. Thanks to its legendary restorative powers, the Confederacy appropriates the cavern to heal injured soldiers. But the results aren't quite what they'd expected.

Two excellent stories in "Gone With the Dirt" are The Diary of Horatio White by Mark Souza and "Rotten Peaches" by Vic Kerry. But like I said, this whole anthology is consistently good.

That's all for now. Check out the Pill Hill Press web site. They have a lot of titles available.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

My stories in Static Movement anthologies


Static Movement is a nice small press publisher who specializes in horror titles. The main disappointment is that they do not pay their authors. In fact, contributing authors even have to pay for a copy of the book they have a story in. So, truth be told, this is a good market for authors just starting out, but becomes a little bit of a "last resort" to more established authors. This is not meant to be a slam. Quite the opposite. As an up-and-coming, learn-as-I-go author, I have enjoyed and valued my experience with Static Movement.

I have contributed three stories to Static Movement anthologies. "Souls on Ice" appears in Winter Chills. This is a "winter setting" horror anthology. My entry is a supernatural story about a retired hockey player, the bond he has with his teammates, and the bond he regrets not having with his estranged son. The story is divided into parts, just like a hockey game. An avid hockey fan myself, I liken the long season hockey teams must endure to the endless battles of the Vikings in Valhalla. Editor Dorothy Davies selected my story to lead off the anthology and mentioned it in her introduction, calling it "brilliant". I'm blushing, Dorothy!

I contributed a story called "Hydrophobia" to the Something Dark in the Doorway anthology. This is a "ghost story" anthology, though most of the authors did not take a traditional approach. I did, however. My story was inspired by a clandestine visit to an abandoned tourist attraction called Marine Life. Longtime residents of Rapid City, SD will recognize the name and may even remember when the building sat vacant. A trio of us (names omitted to protect the guilty) took a look around. The creepiest aspect for me was that none of the tanks or pools had been drained!  And the dolphin pool was immense and deep. It scared the heck out of me. So my story involves a lonely ghost (or two) at the bottom of one of those tanks. Editor Gregory Miller mentioned my story in his introduction: "Hydrophobia, by Adrian Ludens, incorporates our universal fascination with abandoned places with our universal fear of the unknown, and to strong effect." Thank you, Greg!

The third Static Movement anthology I contributed to is called "Don't Tread on Me". This one is subtitled "Tales of Revenge and Retribution". My story, "Transformations" is one of my favorites. It involves a goth kid who really, really needs to dig up his/her father's corpse in order to make things right. No zombies, no vampires. This one is purely psychological. I don't want to write anything else about it because I don't want to give too much away. It is the final story in the anthology.                        

I take the time to read every anthology that I contribute to. Therefore, I'd like to take a moment to give some kudos. My favorite entries in each of the aforementioned anthologies are:
WINTER CHILLS: "Slay Bells" by Ryan Neil Falcone and "Milk Run" by Neil E. Leckman (tie).
My favorite from SOMETHING DARK IN THE DOORWAY is "Passageway" by Doug MacKenzie.
Favorite story in DON'T TREAD ON Me is: "The Shock Value of Bad Magic" by Mark Anthony Crittenden.

Monday, April 23, 2012

April 2012 Update

Hello and thanks for reading. Not just this blog, but thanks for reading in general. Call me crazy (many have) but I still believe reading to be the best of all hobbies/pastimes.

Some updates: I just received my copy of "Slices of Flesh", edited by Stan Swanson, from Dark Moon Books. This is a hefty volume of flash fiction horror. The table of contents is incredible! Nolan, Ketchum, Holder, Kilpatrick, Hautala, Lebbon, Campbell, Kenyon, Masterton, Clark, Polson... so many talented authors! I hope this book gets major attention from readers and critics alike. Can't wait to start reading this one cover to cover.

(Side note: My short story "Sweet Tea and MamaLady" will be published in a future issue of Dark Moon Digest, also edited by Mr. Swanson.)

I also just received my copy of "Winter Chills", edited by Dorothy Davies, from Static Movement. This is a winter-themed horror anthology. It's fun to share a TOC with Greg Miller, Ken Goldman and Lee Clark Zumpe again. Here's a quote from the editor's introduction: "From the brilliant Souls on Ice by Adrian Ludens through to the final story..." Thanks for the kind words and for allowing me to lead off the proceedings, Ms. Davies!

Coming soon:
"The Elephant in the Room" in the quality paperback release of Zombie Kong will hopefully be out in April or May. (Hope you are feeling better, Roy!) This title is available in ebook formats currently and has nothing but five star reviews on Amazon. A couple even liked my story enough to mention it by name. Bonus!

"A Misadventure to Call Your Own" in Blood Lite III: Aftertaste, edited by Kevin J. Anderson is slated for release on May 29th. Several of my friends and my wife's friends are excited to buy and read this one. Not so much because I'm in it but because they are loyal fans of Jim Butcher and Kelley Armstrong!

All four anthologies I mentioned above are currently available-or will be soon-from Amazon, B&N, BAM and other online retailers.

I am visiting with three local book stores and a local haunted attraction about the possibility of doing a series of book signings in October. When and if any dates get nailed down, I will post them here.

Currently, I have fourteen stories submitted to various anthologies and magazines. Checking my email for acceptance/rejection letters multiple times a day is getting to be a bad habit!

That's all for now. Thank you for reading. Seriously.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Behind-the-scenes with artist Ken Knudtsen

Here's a link to the blog of artist who drew the cover of the latest issue of Big Pulp, Ken Knudtsen. He details the process of creating the cover, with lots of cool pics.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Big Pulp: Who's that on the Cover?


My steampunk mystery "The Biggin Hill Duel" is not only included in the brand new issue of Big Pulp, it is that issue's cover story!

Again, let me say it: Wow.

Thanks to editor Bill Olver for selecting my story, and deciding to put it on the cover! Thanks also to the cover artist, Ken Knudtsen, who did an excellent job!

As for the story, its influences include Sherlock Holmes, Fight Club and Wild, Wild West. It's mostly an homage to Doyle's greatest character, but I can't ever do anything 'normal'. I hope you'll support this small press magazine and I hope you enjoy "The Biggin Hill Duel".

See Big Pulp for more info, sneak peek, and more.

Feb 2012 Updates

I got a sneak-peek of "Slices of Flesh", due next month from Dark Moon Books. Have I mentioned lately what an absolute THRILL it is to share a table of contents with legends like Graham Masterton, Ramsey Campbell, Jack Ketchum and Tim Lebbon? The entire list of contributors is simply stellar! Keep your eyes peeled for this one!

"Zombie Kong" is receiving very favorable reviews on Amazon. Two of the five star reviews specifically mention my story "The Elephant in the Room". This is very exciting for me! "Zombie Kong" is currently available on Kindle and will be in paperback very soon.

I wrote a review for "The Mothman Files". This is posted on Amazon. This is a really good anthology that should be getting more attention! I contributed a story to this one. "Behind His Smile, A Frown" is my re-imagining of the Grinning Man (aka Indrid Cold) and his involvement in the Mothman legend.

I also wrote a review for "Fell Beasts". I am not in this anthology. I just wanted to get the word out that the stories are great. I liked it a lot.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Winter Chills Now Available

Click HERE for Static Movement's "WINTER CHILLS" anthology, available on Amazon.

Every story is horror, supernatural suspense and dark fantasy in a wintery-cold setting!

My contribution, "Souls on Ice" is the story of the last surviving member of a cup-winning hockey team torn between his desire to reconnect with his estranged son and his longing to hit the ice with his old teammates again.

He'll get the opportunity to do one... but at what cost to the other?

Combining two of my favorite things: horror and hockey!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Morpheus Tales: Best Weird Fiction, Vol. 1

Looking for some great weird fiction? You SHOULD be!

Morpheus Tales has selected stories from their first four issues and collected them in this anthology.

Some authors you may already be familiar with (especially if you are a horror fiction fan) are Michael Laimo, Aaron Polson and Lee Clark Zumpe.

My contribution, "A Story About Monsters", is included. You'll feel scared, happy and sad (though not necessarily in that order!) for the little girl telling the story.

Available HERE.

Monday, January 23, 2012

"Zombie Kong" Unleashed on Kindle

"Zombie Kong" made its debut on Amazon's Kindle. Quality paperback still to come. Very nice TOC includes: David Niall Wilson, Simon McCaffery, Amanda C. Davis and other established and up-and-coming authors.

Zombies are bad. Zombie Kong is worse. Much worse!

If the insensitive, inane and idiotic comments some people post online every time there is a tragic news story infuriate you as much as they do me, you will appreciate my included story, "The Elephant in the Room".

Find the Kindle download HERE.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Third Appearance in Morpheus Tales

The latest issue of Morpheus Tales includes my short story "Solitary Man". This marks my third appearance in Morpheus Tales, a great British indie horror mag. Always good art work and a nice variety of established and up-and-coming horror authors. To order a copy, follow this link.

A best-selling author sits on death row, but none of his fans know it. For this author, writing is something much more than force of habit. Find out why as a death row prison guard explains it all to his comatose son in "Solitary Man".

Blood Lite 3: Aftertaste Sneak Peek of Cover

This third installment in the BLOOD LITE humorous horror anthology series, is edited by Kevin J. Anderson for the Horror Writers Association, and contains 30 all-original stories by: Jim Butcher, Kelley Armstrong, Heather Graham, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Christopher Golden, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Jeff Strand, Lisa Morton, Ken Lillie-Paetz (who mentored me in the HWA) and the late L.A. Banks.

I am very fortunate to be able to count this as my first professional sale! My story "A Misadventure to Call Your Own" will be included. I just proofed the galley, sent three minor changes and a new bio to Simon & Schuster, and realized my story is twenty-two pages! Available this summer from Pocket Books. Thanks to Kevin J. Anderson for selecting my story for inclusion.

Slices of Flesh from Dark Moon Books

Click HERE to see the amazing Slices of Flesh anthology from Dark Moon Books.

The premise: flash fiction horror stories under 1500 words, proceeds donated to the Literacy Project of America.
Cover art by Mike Mignola (Hellboy).

Some of the authors include:

Ramsey Campbell, Simon Clark, Rick Hautala, Nancy Holder, Nate Kenyon, Jack Ketchum, Nancy Kilpatrick, Tim Lebbon, Graham Masterton, Joe McKinney, William F Nolan Aaron Polson and Jeremy Shipp.

My story "How to Make a Monster" will be included in this incredible anthology.

Set to be released near the end of March. Thanks to editor Stan Swanson for selecting one of my stories.


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