Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Like Father, Like Daughter

I just got the news that my short story "Like Father, Like Daughter" has been accepted for publication in the forthcoming Kayelle Press anthology Night Terrors.  This anthology is slated for release in March of 2012.

"Like Father, Like Daughter" is a story about family secrets and what happens when the deepest, darkest secret is discovered.  Something so egregious that death is the only answer.  Only some people don't die.

I wrote this story a few years ago based on a painting by Jerrod Brown.  The painting was divided into four parts, each of which was supposed to be the cover of a four volume anthology series.  The idea was to write a horror story based on each quarter of the painting.  I wrote four stories, and all of them were accepted, however the series was cancelled.  "Like Father, Like Daughter" will mark the second of those stories to be published, the first, "A Night to Live Forever", having been published in Post Mortem Press' inaugural anthology Uncanny Allegories.

I'm proud of all four of those stories, and hope that the other two find their way into a magazine or anthology in the future.  I may have to check out Jerrod's paintings when in need of inspiration. 


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Anatomy of Fear -- A Little Something I'm Working On

I have been deliberating on whether or not to jump onto the self published eBook bandwagon.  I had been vehemently against it for some time, but like so many American politicians, I have flip flopped and decided that it may be something worthy of my endeavor.

That being said, I have come up with nine short stories--two of them previously published and the others brand new--along with an excerpt from my forthcoming novel People of the Ethereal Realm (providing the publisher allows me the privilege), to be collected in a volume of which I have titled Anatomy of Fear.  I may add another reprint or even another original story to this preliminary roster, but that waits to be seen.

The primary purpose of this novella length collection is to promote People of the Ethereal Realm.  Yes, I hope readers enjoy the stories, but my bigger hope is that they enjoy the writing and decided to give PotER a chance when it comes out.

I have done a cover mock up.  I am proud of what I have done, which isn't much when you consider the image is from a centuries old anatomy book, which puts it in the public domain.  I will do a few more mock ups and weigh my options, but I really like what I have here.

Below is a list of the nine stories that are going to be included in this volume:

1. The Devil's Workshop
2. Death in the Flower Fields of my Mind
3. The Price of a Priceless Painting
4. The Safest Place on Earth
5. Cacti Mirage
6. Paranoid Rant
7. Autumn Soup
8. Behind the Chipping Veneer
9. Blood Mobile

Friday, January 20, 2012

Two New Reviews of Scarecrow and The Madness

Over the span of that last few days two reviews of Scarecrow and The Madness have been published.  Both of them are very good, particularly the Hellnotes review.

"What the authors and Blood Bound books have delivered is a double slice of horror very reminiscent of a grindhouse exploitation film or a hybrid graphic novel. The cover illustration is worthy of devotion whilst the stories themselves deliver exactly what is promised."


Here's the review in full:

The other review was published at  You can read that one here:

Both reviews are very positive, and hopefully if you haven't given this book a chance, you will feel inclined to do so.  It is available at amazon in print and for kindle at new reduced prices.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

To ebook or Not to ebook

That is the question.

I say ... DO IT!

It took me quite a while to really accept the so-called e-book revolution for a variety of reasons.  There was the fear that paper books would be all but forgotten, though I never really believed that would happen.  I figure mass market paperbacks will drop off a bit, and with the failings of Leisure it seems like that is exactly what's happening.  I think this is a shame, but in this tech world we live in paper is becoming outdated.  Schools probably don't even use paper products any longer.  I bet kids in kindergarten are painting pictures with fake brushes on kiddie sized laptops.  What a horrible thought!

Unlike the vast majority of the populace, I have very little interest in technology.  I have a flip phone and I like it that way.  I have no use for a "smart" phone.  (As a side note, I hate the term "smart" for things like phones and those little death-trap cars.)  It took me a while to get an e-reader, and now that I have one I can understand what all the buzz is about.  It's a pretty cool invention, and it allows me to purchase books from authors I have never read at low prices (providing the publishers keep prices low, which I think they will, for the most part, considering the fact that we're talking about a transfer of data here, not something physical).

That being said, I also think ebooks have opened up an opportunity for unknown writers like myself to get their work out there.  One must be careful, though.  There are a plethora of authors and so-called authors dropping piles of shit here and there and everywhere.  So much so that potential customers and horror enthusiasts have to wade through every X amount mediocre or just plain out terrible books for a good one, which can turn people off of trying something new, or, gulp, something self published.

Oh the horror!

I once said I would never self publish my work, and to a certain degree I have not wavered in that opinion.  I will not self publish novels, however I have an idea about self pubbing some short work.  I have seen many authors selling a single story for .99 cents.  Ok.  I have seen established authors sell their back catalogue for .99 cents apiece.  OK.  The established author will make money off of that kind of price due to the volume they sell.  I would be doing nothing selling my books at that price because few people have heard of me and are looking forward to my next release (hopefully there's more than few, but who knows).  So my thought is to publish an ebook with around 20-30K worth of short stories.  Some of them new, some of them re-prints, maybe one or two of them trunk stories...maybe.  I'm weary of trunk stories, and I am uncertain that a whole book of them is a good idea.  Anyway, I would also include a preview of my forthcoming novel People of the Ethereal Realm, providing the publisher will allow me to do so.  The price: .99 cents.  A customer would get more for their buck than just a single story, and hopefully that would entice them to take a chance on my work.  It would be a sort of starters guide to Robert Essig's fiction.  If they like what they read, then maybe they would be willing to take a chance on People of the Ethereal Realm or Scarecrow and The Madness.

I'm working this through my mind and going to have to figure in a few other factors.  I would have to hire an editor, of course, and maybe someone to do a decent cover if I couldn't manage one myself (and I probably can't).  Once I see the cost going into this little venture I will decide whether I feel it is worth the effort.

Here's to ebooks!


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Another First Draft Has Been Penned

This morning I finished the first draft of my latest long work entitled, for the time being, Stronger Than Hate.  I have been throwing some other titles around, one of which is Eat Your Pain.  I'm kind of partial to the other title, but we'll see.  Things have a way of changing.  The original title was That Sinking Feeling.  Sounds atrocious when I read that one out loud.

The word count pre-rewrites and edits is just over 50K.  I thought hitting 30K was going to be a challenge, but this story wrote itself.  This was one of the more pleasant writing experiences so far concerning larger works.  I actually woke up one night at three in the morning and couldn't sleep because I just had to work on the story.  I told myself that I needed to sleep so I wouldn't be groggy at work the following day, but the story wouldn't leave me alone, so I wrote for an hour and a half and then went back to sleep.  Wasn't a bit groggy the next day, either.  This morning my son woke me at 5:45.  I told him to go back to bed, and he did, however my mind began swirling with the final pages of the story.  I was too tired to finish it last night, but as soon as I woke, the ending became clear.

It's such a great feeling to complete the first draft of a novella or novel length work.  There's still a huge amount of work before this thing will be ready to submit to publishers, but getting the story typed from beginning to end is quite a feat.

As for the story itself, well, it's crazy.  For some reason I've been on an extreme horror bender for the past year or so.  I told myself after I finished my second novel last year that I would explore an idea I have that is more psychological and less violent and depraved, but when this idea struck, I couldn't let it go.  I had started the story early 2011, but hit a snag and couldn't figure out where it was going.  After seeing the behavior of some of the Wall Street protesters--the pissing and shitting and raping and such (yes, I know those people don't represent the entire movement, so back off!)--I was inspired and the story bloomed from there.  I was watching a program on ID last night about several people who kidnapped an elderly woman and put her body in the back of her car, of which they stole.  They carted her around town and showed her to several of their friends and family (fingerprints on the trunk of her car belonged to at least ten different people!).  If I thought my story was too much, and that people really wouldn't gather together in the name of something evil and heinous, the deplorable behavior of some of the Wall Street protesters and the people who didn't report that kidnapped woman's body validated my pessimistic look at certain facets of society.

Stronger Than Hate is extreme, however the horrors of this book, for the most part, are very real.  I am continually surprised at what humans are capable of.

What a hell of a sad note to end this post on. 

So be it.


Sunday, January 1, 2012

Resolute Disillusion 2012

This morning I submitted four short stories to various publishers.  Two of the stories went to the same publisher by invite, though they still have to go through the submission process and aren't guaranteed a spot in the book.  The other two went to separate publishers, one in Australia and the other here in the states.  I made my notes and marked each submission with the month and year, and that's when it occurred to me that it is indeed 2012.  Sure, there was the same old drinks and celebration last night (very low key this year) but I believe it's when you first write 2012 on a check or document that it becomes a reality (or when you write 2011, curse yourself, and have to change it).

What does this all mean?  Well, I started thinking about my writing...hobby (I can't truthfully call it a career--I don't make enough money to live off of, so I feel I must call it a hobby).  I realized that it has been five years that I've been seriously submitting my work to publishers and collecting far more rejections than acceptances.  That got me pondering where I am with my writing and where I should be and where my fellow writers are.

When it comes down to it, we all go our own pace no matter how talented we are or however much we are mindlessly chasing a dream that will never come true.  For some it will come true, for many it has, but for most it will not.  That's a sad truth, but reality stings, doesn't it?  There's no reason to live in denial or have ridiculous expectations, and I think that's how I made it through the past five years writing and submitting my stories.  Besides, I have to write.  It's therapeutic and necessary.

To date, I have had 39 short stories and two novellas published from early 2008 - 2011.  My debut novel People of the Ethereal Realm is due out in 2012 from Twisted Library Press as well as a short story  called Tale of the Abnormal Beauty Queen which will appear in the anthology Darker Minds.

Not too shabby.  There are a lot of writers who have accomplished far more than that in the same amount of time, but as I said earlier, we all work at our own pace and some of us are far superior at the craft than others.  I fancy I'm somewhere in the middle.

Here's to bigger and better things in 2012.