Monday, January 27, 2020

Double Barrel Vol. 3 COMING SOON!

The cover for the third installment of the Pint Bottle Press Double Barrel series has been released. There is a fantastic round of authors in this one, including myself. Just look at that cover art!

Double Barrel means double the stories. My contributions to this fine anthology of horror are called "From Unclean Spells" and "Fuel For the King of Death". I won't give anything away, but one story could be classified as a creature feature, and the other is set in the world of my novel Death Obsessed.

Coming soon!

Sunday, January 5, 2020

The Fungus ... Some Thoughts Mushrooming in My Brain

I just read Harry Adam Knight's The Fungus, and I have to say, there wasn't one mention of the phrase "there's a fungus among us" in the entire book (unless it was in that part I skimmed...), and that kind of bums me out a bit.

So, The Fungus. What can I say? The beginning was great, engaging, creepy. The kind of horror I like. Maybe a little light on the character development, but we're talking about a book called The Fungus here. About mushrooms taking over the world. Well, the UK.

The second act turned into a goddamned military thriller, a watered down men's adventure book. That bored me silly. I'm not a fan of military fiction, so I skimmed and eventually just skipped ahead to act three. Honestly, those pages weren't missed. Act two, for the most part, was a giant unnecessary intermission. A way to take the plot from point A to point Z that could have been covered in a chapter at most. Could be my unfavorable look at military fiction, though, I suppose.

The third act was okay, but at this point I realized how weak the plot was. Basically there's an epidemic of mutating fungus that is rapidly taking over the population of England. A small group of people are set out in an armored vehicle to find the scientist responsible for the outbreak. The dynamic between the small group of people could have been dynamite, but turned out to be a missed opportunity. For me, less action in act two and more drama between the group would have worked better for a horror story, but then the characters would have had to be fleshed out a bit more. Most of them were unlikable, which means they would have had to be fleshed out even more so that we could at least relate to them in some way.

The end was meh. The reveals were kind of predictable, and I was left hoping my next read knocks my socks off. Books of this nature (I'm looking at Hutson's Slugs and Herbert's Rats) are often idea stories that would work a lot better were they very short novellas rather than full-on novels. But it was the 80s. Bloated doorstops were in order, and though The Fungus is slender in comparison to many of the tomes that were published at the time, it's still needs the fat trimmed. Not every story is a novel idea. Some of them are shorts.

This was published as Death Spore in the States. I was lucky enough to score the Star edition, pictured above (one of my favorite covers!). The only other Knight book I have is Slimer. I will eventually get to that one. It has something to do with Ghostbusters, right?

Up next will be either In Darkness Waiting by John Shirley or Something Out There by Ronald Kelley. Unless I start reading yet another book and finish it first. Both of these are very good so far.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

The Future of This Blog

I usually do a year in review post at the beginning of the year, but I'm going to skip that, for the most part. Truth is, I hardly used the blog in 2019. This was due to a multitude of factors. Mostly It's kind of a pain in the ass to blog regularly. I only have so much time in the day to write, and I would rather spend that time writing stories.

I tried a Patreon page last year that turned into a flaming bag of dogshit. I had hoped I could replace the blog with the Patreon (because people can follow a Patreon page for free and read public posts), but I just couldn't get any interest. I'm no salesman. I'm not the best at social media. Frankly, the failed Patreon experience filled me with dread and self-loathing. It was a blatant reminder that promotion is the necessary evil, and I'm no goddamned good at it. Bummer. 

On the other hand, I published several books and a few short stories. I'm not going to go into that part here, because that would turn this into a year in review, and I was going to skip that, remember?

What I want to do in the future is start a YouTube channel for vintage horror book reviews, but I'm smart enough to know that isn't going to happen. I'm shit with technology and have no idea how to make a video clip look good. I hardly have the drive for all the set up. It takes so much time just figuring out how you're doing something wrong, that it always feels like a waste of time trying to do much beyond what I already know, and what I know is reading and writing. I can't even make promotional ads or bookmark designs on software everyone says is so easy to use.

So what I think I'll start doing is posting short reviews here on the blog starting with The Fungus by Harry Adam Knight. I'll see how it goes. Hopefully I manage some other fun stuff here, but who knows.

What I'm saying here is that I'm going to try and be more active on the blog. I had good numbers at one time. Whether the blog helped book sales, I really don't know. But I do know that it didn't hurt sales, so why not try to engage a bit more. Are people reading blogs? Everyone says no, but I'll give it another shot.

Hopefully 2020 will be as eventful as 2019. After all, I published a couple of books, short stories, a signed/limited novel with Thunderstorm Books, and moved across the country.

Oh, it's an election year.

We're doomed.

Just sit down with a book and forget about all that shit.

Come back for my review of The Fungus. See you then!

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Exciting News!

I have a lot of exciting news to share, so let's dig right in. First off, my novel Stronger Than Hate was just released by Death's Head Press.

This is a book about Francine Mosely, retired high school teacher, who slips into a sinkhole in her backyard. Fearing that no one saw her and no one can hear her pleas for help, she is relieved when she sees her neighbor Gregory Palmer - ex-student who wasn't the most popular kid in school - has come to her rescue.

Only when Gregory comes back he doesn't bring the police or maybe the fire department to rescue poor Mrs. Mosley. He brings two of the most rotten, sadistic individuals she ever had the displeasure of teaching. She watched the deal from withing the pit, and now she is at the mercy of deviants.

Can Francine stick it out as they torment her? Will help arrive in time? Is she...Stronger Than Hate?

Available HERE in the US, and HERE in the UK, as well as Amazon outlets across the world.

Another big announcement is my novel Mojave Mud Caves that was published by Thunderstorm Books, signed and limited to 40 hardcovers and 60 paperbacks. I'm pleased to announce that the hardcover SOLD OUT in under twenty-four hours!

This is my first signed/limited edition and I am overwhelmed and humbled by the response and support. For those of you who snagged one of those hardcovers, you rock! They will be shipping soon. There are still some paperbacks left. You can get them directly from Thunderstorm Books HERE.

In other news, I've been invited to a few anthologies that are really cool. One is a King Diamond tribute anthology that will be published by Death's Head Press next year. I have a pretty solid idea that I've started working on. Should be a lot of fun. Another invite has me pretty damn excited as well, but I cannot say anything about it. Let's just say the writers attached to it are BIG. I also have two short stories coming out as a part of a series a certain publisher does that, again, I cannot reveal.

I'm hard at work reading submissions for my Blood Bound Books anthology Chew on This! Nothing new to report here, as much as I'd like to tell everyone about certain stories that have me very excited about this project. Then there are the stories that should be used as cautionary examples of what not to do while submitting to a publisher...

That's all for now. Remember to support your favorite writers (or even the OK ones) by leaving them reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, and, of course, by buying their books. I will do the same.

In my attempt as resurrecting this blog I am going to review some, if not all, of the books I read. Nothing too in depth, because I'm no critic. Just my thoughts. I hope to have some thoughts on Charles L. Grant's The Orchard up soon. Currently I'm reading The Nest by Gregory A. Douglas and The Store by Bentley Little (struggling a bit with this one...but I'll get into that when I share my thoughts). I'll be reading Out Behind the Barn by John Boden and Chad Lutzke soon.

Take care, horror fiends!

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Stronger Than Hate Pre-Order SALE

My forthcoming novel from Death's Head Press, Stronger Than Hate, is available for pre-order at the super low price of .99 cents! The book has a release date of September 1st, and that's when the price will go up.

When retired high school teacher Francine Mosely finds herself in a dire predicament at the bottom of a sinkhole that opens up in her back yard, she's delighted to see that her neighbor, ex-student Gregory Palmer, happens to see her and reaches out to help, only when he returns he brings a couple of other ex-students whom Francine remembers vividly.

She watches the deal play out above. They look down upon her, sneering and taunting.

They never liked her.

In fact, they hate her.

Get your per-order of Stronger Than Hate HERE for just .99 cents, but only for a few more days!

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Writing in Tandem

So I've been collaborating with Jack Bantry for some years now. It all started with a story I submitted to him for SplatterpunkZine. He liked the story but thought it needed something, asked if he could tinker with it and if I liked the outcome we could publish it as a collaboration. Now, I didn't know Bantry outside of a fellow writer who was putting out a cool DIY zine. Had that particular story been one of my recent ones I might have declined, but the story in question, it was called "In the House of Wicking" at the time, had been with me for a very long time, in many different forms. It started as a screenplay when I was in high school, then turned into a short story, and then was completely rewritten two or three times.

I liked the story idea, obviously, but I had to admit that something was indeed wrong. All my efforts with the damn thing were getting me nowhere. I told him to go for it, and what he sent back pretty much blew me away. Bantry had gone through and rearranged some things, added stuff here and there, and gave an emotional depth to a villainous character that was desperately needed. We were off to the races.

Since then we've sold a few short stories in such notable places as Dark Moon Digest and Year's Best Hardcore Horror Vol. 1. Most recently we've published our novella Ain't Worth a Shit with Sinister Grin Press, and Insatiable with Grand Mal Press. There's more to come, including a project with Death's Head Press.

Writing with another author is not something that comes easy for me in the sense that writing is such a solitary act. When Bantry and I started collaborating I was a staunch pantser. I don't think I could have written a book with an outliner, so it was a good pairing since Bantry too is an pantser. These days I write a bullet point outline to streamline my work and utilize my time better. We did this sort of thing toward the end of Insatiable because we found ourselves lagging a bit. I would be interested in collaborating with another author, but I've never reached out to anyone. Part of me fears that the experience might not be as enjoyable as working with Jack. We mesh well together. It takes some time to get a longer story finished, but I appreciate that we don't clash and have a mutual understanding of our process.

 The hard part about collaborating is that I become immersed in other projects when the collaborative story comes back to me, and I sometimes struggle to get back into it. That can be a challenge, especially when we get well into the story. It's not like I'm going to go back and reread the entire thing each time I'm up and need to get a chapter down. The good thing is that I can usually go back a couple of chapters and become reignited. It's a very different process from writing my own story, but ultimately rewarding, particularly when the book comes out. So, now that we have two novellas out and the reviews have been good, I hope you, whoever you are, give our work a chance. And if you do, please consider leaving a review.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

I'm BACK!!!!

I've been gone for a while and now I'm back. No, I haven't been away from the writing community, but I did take quite a break from this blog. It's been months. Mostly I stepped away because I started a Patreon page. I quickly realized that Patreon is not for me. I don't have the time or know-how to promote a Patreon page and frankly there was zero interest. No big deal, really. Quite honestly with all of the writing projects I have going on right now I would have struggled to keep up with the work load.

So what have I been up to? A lot. I have a lot of announcements coming up. What can I talk about? This:

I sold a book to up-and-coming publisher Death's Head Press. What happens when sadistic punks see their former school teacher slip into a sinkhole? Find out in STRONGER THAN HATE. Unleashing 2019!

I also sold a short story to Death's Head called "Little Black Book Turns Red" that will be included in their Dig Two Graves Vol. 1 anthology. And there's something else in the works with DHP that hasn't been announced just yet.

What else? Well, I recently signed a contract for a project that I am super exited about. I'm not at liberty to make an announcement, but things are flowing smoothly. It's tough not even giving a hint, but my lips are sealed ... in fact I'm contractually bound to silence until my publisher gives me the go-ahead. Okay, my publisher has given me the go-ahead, but you're going to have to wait to hear that announcement on my forthcoming interview this Monday on Necrocasticon.

Oh, I have a new book out co-authored with Jack Bantry. It's called Ain't Worth a Shit, published by Sinister Grin Press.

Issy has become used to her new life in the UK, away from poverty in her native land. New beginnings weren’t without struggle, and sometimes the past comes back when you least expect it.

Mark dealt a little weed on the side, just enough to get him a few bucks and provide some for personal use. No big deal. Not until he makes a little mistake. Sometimes even the smallest error can turn into a dire situation.

There’s another world under the veneer of city streets in London’s Leicester Square, streets people walk every day without suspicion. Issy and Matt find out about this world in the worst ways imaginable, and they must fight for their lives to get out.
In this underworld, people Ain’t Worth A Shit!

 "Ain’t Worth a Shit is fast-paced, compelling, and entertaining on a sick horror fan level. It is a gruesome and disturbing story full of suspense and action." -- Bibliophilia Templum

Read the full Bibliophilia Templum review HERE. Purchase the book here: US paperback, US Kindle. UK paperback. UK Kindle.

That's all for now. I am going to attempt a weekly blog post, but who knows. I've never been very good about keeping up with this blog. People say blogs are dead. Let's prove them wring.