Saturday, November 7, 2015

An Honest Review of "Creepy Campfire Stories for Grownups"

The editor of Creepy Campfire Stories (for Grownups) came under fire from some people for conducting a Kickstarter to solicit donations. She used the donations to pay her contributing authors professional rates. I thought (and still think) this is a great idea. I didn't understand the rationale behind the criticism. Then someone playing Devil's Advocate asked me, "Well, are all these authors really good enough to deserve pro rates?"

Fair question. Let's find out...

Among my favorites:

The end of Ken MacGregor's "Upping the Production Values" provided the first of several jaw-dropping moments.

Reading "Rabbit Man" by Joseph Rubas, I felt transported back to the late 70's of my childhood, where urban legends and serial killers in the news lent everything a feeling of simmering fear. This story, told in a matter-of-fact newspaper article style, is the perfect compliment to the mood I felt back then.

"Grasshopper" by Ellen Denton mixes vintage science fiction (think H.G. Wells) with horror for an interesting story.

"A Good Price" by Louis Rakovich combines dark fantasy with horror in an excellent story with building suspense and a satisfying conclusion.

"Night Feeds" by Kris Ashton provided another jaw-dropping moment. I saw it coming, but not early enough to ruin the story. Overall, probably the most memorable story in the anthology for this reader.

Josh Shiben's "No Strings" has a creepy idea and great execution. I'm curious to know if it's really that easy to break into a water tower, but I'm not feeling brave enough to research it myself!

Bernard McGhee creates a tiny tableau of terror in "Paradise Railroaded." This one reminded me favorably of the kind of stories Weird Tales printed when Dorothy McIlwraith served as editor.

There wasn't a single story that I thought was a dud. Everything was worthy of inclusion. Ghosts, gore, urban legends, supernatural horror and the darkness of the human heart are all included.

My story,"Rougher Than the Rest," is included as well. It's been described as "weird western erotic horror." Because I am a contributor to Creepy Campfire Stories, Amazon will not allow me to post my review.

I found only one typo as I read, and the artwork by Fatlind Colaku is eye-catching and well done.

I give this anthology 4.5 out of 5 stars and I hope lots of people buy it.


Sunday, August 30, 2015

WHEN BEDBUGS BITE is now available!

WHEN BEDBUGS BITE is now available!

Paperback is here.

For Kindle click this.

Nineteen tales of horror, mystery, dark fantasy, and supernatural suspense collected for the first time!

The mysterious allies of a Civil War soldier demand a gruesome form of payment in return for their services; a 1930's film actress takes her role as the Angel of Death to extremes; and a man in search of the legendary Mothman makes an astonishing and deadly discovery.

The end of the world begins with a surprise resurrection in a seedy carnival; a small-town funeral may provide the opportunity to dispose of an extra corpse; and a shape-shifting serial killer flees a vengeful witch across the Mexican desert.

These stories and twelve more are included in the pages of this collection by the author of Bedtime Stories for Carrion Beetles.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

2015 Writing Recap: Jan-June

Wow! Where did the time go? 2015 has been an INCREDIBLE year for anthology appearances and story sales!

Let's begin with a recap: (these anthologies have all been released.)

"Estranged" appeared in Shadows Over Main Street, a themed anthology in which Lovecraftian horror descends upon Small Town, USA. Hazardous Press released it in early 2015. It hit the #1 spot on the Amazon bestsellers list in the horror anthology category. Other contributors include Gary A. Braunbeck, Lucy Snyder, Mary SanGiovanni, Brian Hodge, Josh Malerman and many more. I read it cover to cover and loved it. For more information, you can look here. Thank you to editors Doug Murano and D. Alexander Ward for purchasing my story.

"Slay it Forward" appeared in Insidious Assassins, an assassin-themed anthology of crime, horror, mystery, sci-fi, and more. Smart Rhino Publications released this in the first quarter of 2015. Other authors include Joe R. Lansdale, Jack Ketchum, and James Dorr with reprinted stories and JM Reinbold, Christine Morgan, Lisa Manetti and many more with new work. Thank you to editor Weldon Burge for purchasing my story. Ordering info here.

"Atop the Ferris Wheel" appeared in Forgotten Places, an anthology showcasing up-and-comers and established horror authors who are members of the Facebook group: The Horror Society. In particular, It includes stories by John H. Howard, Marianne Halbert, Rose Blackthorn and William F. Nolan, among many others. Information on Forgotten Places right here.

By the end of June 2015, Surreal Worlds, from Bizarro Pulp Press and Journalstone, should be readily available in paperback and in digital formats. The title and cover art may have tipped you off: it's an anthology of surreal and bizarro horror stories. Edited by Sean Leonard. Authors include: Steve Rasnic Tem, John Palisano, Robin Wyatt Dunn, Bruce Boston, Max Booth III, Chris Kelso, and many more. My included story is called "I Can Do What I Need to in the Dark". Ordering link will be posted as soon as I have it. Thank you to Vincenzo Bilof for purchasing my story.


My weird western/erotic horror story "Rougher Than the Rest" will appear  in Creepy Campfire Stories for Grownups, edited by Jennifer Word. Fall 2015 from EMP Publishing. Ordering information and more on the authors included soon!

Not pictured: "Another Mouth to Feed" (one of my most misunderstood stories) will appear in Cranial Leakage II: Tales from the Grinning Skull. Summer or fall 2015 release from Grinning Skull Press. Ordering information and more on the authors included soon!
Not pictured: "Question Mark" will appear in Crossroads in the Dark, a "would you rather/tough choices-themed crime and horror anthology coming this fall from Burning Willow Press. Ordering information and more on the authors included soon!

My supernatural horror/historical fiction story "The Monster's Leather Apron" will be included in The Mammoth Book of Jack the Ripper Stories, coming to the US via Running Press in December of 2015. Hearty thanks to editor Maxim Jakubowski for purchasing my story. I might also add that Steve Rasnic Tem, Barbara Nadel, and William Meikle are also featured. Pre-order it here!

More information on my second collection When Bedbugs Bite (Slanted Mansion Books) coming very soon!

Also be watching for an exciting science fiction anthology sale announcement coming very soon as well!

Thank you for reading,