Monday, September 30, 2013

Another 5 Star Review and Diabolic Tales Anthology News

Harper Hull, a very talented writer of creepy, shocking horror, has read Bedtime Stories for Carrion Beetles. He was kind enough to write a review for it on Amazon. Harper brings my reviews into double digits, and I am pleased (or perhaps relieved) to note that they are all five star reviews.

Find his review, and those of other kind folks, HERE.


Received my contributor copy of Diabolic Tales III: An Anthology of Horror in the mail today. Diabolic Publications has put together a great looking anthology just in time for your Halloween reading pleasure. The book will be available from Amazon later in October.

A nice lineup here. I recognize several names. B. Adrian White, who leads things off has a story in Epitaphs, from the New England chapter of the HWA. Adam Millard is a prolific indie horror author. Michael Wehunt has the kind of resume I envy, with stories in Shock Totem, One Buck Horror, and Innsmouth Magazine. Aaron J. French contributed stories to two Stoker-nominated anthologies last year, Chiral Mad and Dark Tales of Lost Civilizations. MP Johnson has several indie horror appearances, including Steamy Screams from Blood Bound Books. Also includes Christopher Nadeau, Michael Bray, and many other established and up-and-coming horror authors.

My entry is one of my darker tales. Coke Mule Deer follows a serial killer/rapist who enlists the help of a witch to help him escape Mexican authorities. After double-crossing her, he flees across the desert. A hungry cougar and the American Border Patrol will be the least of his troubles. Inspired by something I saw while driving through New Mexico two decades ago, this story will NOT be published in my next volume of short stories. Diabolic Tales III will be the only place to read it.

If you live in Rapid City or anywhere in the Black Hills, I invite you to attend my book signing at Everybody's Bookstore in west Rapid on Saturday, October 19th from 11-2 pm. I'll be on hand with copies of Bedtime Stories for Carrion Beetles (and probably some Halloween candy) so please stop by!

As always, thanks for reading!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Answers to Questions: Just for Fun

While my wife watches the series finale to Breaking Bad, I thought it would be fun to answer some of the most-often asked questions of horror and dark fiction authors.  I'll keep it brief. Here we go!

1) What is your favorite horror magazine?

Cemetery Dance is always excellent, though I almost always skip the articles. The fiction each issue is usually phenomenal. Weird Tales is a close second. Great heritage to this magazine. They've recently begun doing themed issues, which are hit or miss for me.

2) Who is your favorite author?

I've read everything Stephen King has ever written, except for three books, one of which is the brand new one, Doctor Sleep. Other favorites include Joe R. Lansdale and Tom Piccirilli. I could easily do a top ten.. or top twenty!

3) What work would you like the chance to write a sequel to?

I don't think I'm the right guy for the job, but I'd sure love to see someone tackle Twin Peaks. I'd gladly go along for the ride on anything  furthering or expanding that story, particularly the fates of Agent Dale Cooper and Agent Chester Desmond.

4) What is your favorite post-apocalyptic novel or story?

I don't think I have one. I own The Stand by Stephen King, Swan Song by Robert McCammon and The Road by Cormac McCarthy... maybe I better get started on them! Now if we're talking Dystopian visions of the future, then 1984 by George Orwell takes the prize.

5) What is your worst fear?

Outliving my children.

6) What was the first work of horror you remember reading?

Many great stories in the Alfred Hitchcock anthologies, particularly Monster Museum and Supernatural Tales of Terror and Suspense. That series introduced me to Roald Dahl, Theodore Sturgeon, Robert Bloch, Ray Bradbury and many others. Before that I owned a series of illustrated classics that were square block books with an illustration on every other page. I remember discovering Edgar Allan Poe there.

7) What horror novel would you recommend everyone read?

I would cheat and recommend the Signet Classic three-in-one edition of Frankenstein, Dracula, and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. It contains an introduction from Stephen King where he explains that all horror basically originates from these three works (and traditional ghost stories). Dracula is the Other, Mr. Hyde is the Evil Within, and Frankenstein's Monster is the Created Abomination. Pretty much everything since falls into one of those three categories (again, except for ghosts). It is likely that I misquoted King, but you get the idea. And with that recommendation, I admit that I only enjoyed two of those three novels, but I won't say which, because all three are important.

8) What is your favorite book cover?

I like painted covers. A good amount of cool covers came from the Leisure Horror imprint over the years. Favorite cover of any anthology I've been a published in would probably be Zombie Kong (Books of the Dead Press).

9) What music do you listen to while writing (if any)?

Listening to instrumental music while writing is an absolute must. Top composers are Angelo Badalamenti, Philip Glass, and Henry Mancini, among others.

10) What are you reading right now?

I am about a third of the way through Stephen King's Desperation (yes, reading it for the first time). I just finished Tom Piccirilli's Last Whisper in the Dark, which was excellent. I have the newest issue of Cemetery Dance on my desk at work. Also finishing up the Otto Penzler-edited Kwik Krimes, which is a stupid title, but an excellent mystery anthology. Once I have those all finished, I intend to delve deeply into the Borderlands horror anthology series.

Thanks for reading!
Happy October!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Why Do I Write What I Write?

I attended the Festival of Books in Deadwood this weekend. I was at the Black Hills Writers Group booth passing out flyers and visiting with aspiring authors and book lovers.

Unfortunately, I didn't sell any books. Even the woman wearing a "I Love Halloween" sweatshirt read the back of my book and quickly put it down.

Judging by the long lines for certain authors during the mass book signing, people sure love erotica and mystery. 

My wife says I should write an erotica-based novel because that's what is popular right now. A friend of mine has sold several thousand copies of a dark erotica novel. During the same time span, I've sold three copies of my collection of short horror stories. Yes, it is frustrating, it is quite humbling. People read what they want to read. And for better or worse, I write what I want to write.

Horror, weird westerns, paranormal suspense, gritty crime, more horror.

I'm certainly not in it for the money. 

I write because it is challenging and rewarding to me on an emotional level. Being published alongside authors whose work I have read and enjoyed is always a thrill. And there are many items on my literary bucket list that I will continue to work hard in order to hopefully attain. 

Right now I have 14 stories submitted. Most are to pro paying markets. A couple are short listed. Several haven't been looked at yet. I wonder what tomorrow will bring.

In closing, with Halloween right around the corner, and the nights getting chillier, I humbly invite you to...

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Two New Stories this Fall, Two Free Stories Revisited

Have a Kindle? Have two bucks to spare? The latest issue of Dark Eclipse includes my short-short, "Sweet Tea and MamaLady", told from the POV of a lap dog. Sweet Tea's day is not going well. Something bad has happened to her mistress, but Sweet Tea doesn't understand...

You can order a digital copy for only $1.99 HERE.
The month of October will see the release of Diabolic Tales III. I am very pleased with this publisher. Full disclosure: before submitting to them, I was unfamiliar with Diabolic Publications. The pay semi-pro rates, offer contributor copies, and suggested a copy editing program that I have started using on everything I write. It doesn't hurt that that the cover art is stellar, either! You can be in the loop as soon as this anthology is released by bookmarking THIS.

My story, "Coke Mule Deer", follows a serial killer as he flees Mexican authorities, a hungry cougar, and a vengeful witch. Will he make it to the border?
READ REVIEWS of Bedtime Stories for Carrion Beetles using the link provided. I and thankful for the nine people who took the time to review my collection, and feel fortunate that so far, all reviews are 5 stars. Remember, this is my only collection. Anything else I advertise will feature one of my stories along with many other fine authors. Bedtime Stories for Carrion Beetles contains what I consider to be my best stories from five years of writing.

Read my Dystopian (and dream-influenced) story, "Metsys" for free HERE. (Courtesy of the science fiction e-zine Chrome Baby.)

Read my beauty shop crime story, "Monday Mourning at the Curl Up & Dye" for free here! (Courtesy of Over My Dead Body! e-zine.)

If you enjoy my stories, tell your friends! The best advertising a writer can ask for is word-of-mouth from their readers. As always, thank you for reading!