For anyone interested in Lovecraftian fiction (and honestly, who isn’t?), the Lovecraft eZine is running a sale right now that gets you all four Lovecraft eZine Kindle megapacks for only $1.99! That means you get four years’ worth of issues, over 230 stories by authors such as Joe Pulver, William Meikle, A.J. French, and myself, for a ridiculously low price. That’s a lot of reading, so head on over and check it out, and make sure to stick around and peruse the site for all of their other great content!
These days, it’s not surprising to see small press publishers closing their doors. Since I’ve been writing and having my work published, I’ve seen a lot of small shops come and go, but this one is especially unfortunate, since Sanitarium was one of those magazines that helped new writers are artists get their work out and get paid for it, publishing quality stories, articles, and artwork in their magazine and on their website. Sanitarium published one of my stories, “On Wicked Wings,” several years ago, when I was first getting started, (issue 18), and has helped many other writers get their start since then. New publishers will no doubt arise and fill the void that Sanitarium is leaving, but this doesn’t diminish the loss that their closure brings. Issue 50 will be their last, so if you’re interested in checking out what they’ve done in the past and reading some great horror stories by new authors, now would be a good time to head over to their website and pick up an issue or two before they’re gone for good.
I’m a big fan of Bentley Little’s books. He writes and interesting and often thought-provoking variety of horror that uses black humor and the macabre to poke fun at major American institutions: universities, resorts, Walmart. I’ve read quite a few of his novels already, but for some strange reason I’ve never read one of his earliest and most famous books: The Mailman. It’s a mistake I’ve decided to remedy now.
The Mailman follows a schoolteacher named Doug and his family during one particularly gruesome summer break, during which their usual friendly and universally beloved mailman kills himself in his bathtub at home, and is replaced with a tall, creepy red-headed guy named John Smith, who brings not only the mail to residents of the small town of Willis, Arizona, but a sadistic variety of death and psychological torture that threatens to destroy them all.
I’m only maybe a third of the way through the book right now, but so far it’s been an excellent read. Bentley Little has a gift for taking normal everyday situations and turning them into something nightmarish and disturbing, while at the same time showing us how dependent we’ve all become on these modern institutions and how easily they can be corrupted. For anyone who hasn’t read Little yet, this one would be a great place to start.
Have you ever waken in the middle of the night to a darkened bedroom, unable to move or speak, with the inexplicable and unnerving sensation the something otherworldly is in the room with you? If so, you’re not alone. This is a real-world, medical condition called Sleep Paralysis. Some say it has a logical, biological explanation behind it, but others say that the sinister thing in the room with you is real…and it’s there for nefarious reasons. But what is it? Where does it come from? And why is it after you? These are the questions Sam Peterson is forced to ask in my new story, “The Thing in the Corner,” out now in issue 36 of Lovecraft eZine. The issue is crammed full of dark Lovecraftian stories, and it’s free to read on the website so there’s no risk in checking it out. Head on over and take a look right now. But make sure to leave the lights off while you read…if you dare.
I’ve been away for a while, dealing with a family tragedy, but now I’m back and once again focused on my writing. I have another short story coming out this month in the Lovecraft eZine, a dark and spooky tale that readers will hopefully enjoy. I’ve also been spending a lot of time doing rewrites and edits on my first novel. I received some interest on it recently from a couple of agents, and some feedback regarding its length. Seems it’s too long.
In his nonfiction book/memoire of the craft, On Writing, Stephen King says that the second draft of your book should be the first draft minus ten percent. Personally, I’ve always been the type of writer who tends to add words on his second draft and not decrease them, but I’ve been taking his advice, going back through my manuscript and editing it for length. I’m only a few chapters in and already I can tell it’s much better for it. The writing is sharper, the pacing improved. I plan to keep going, cutting it down as much as possible. My ultimate goal is to shave off about ten-thousand words and then start submitting to agents again. Hopefully that will be all it needs. If you’re a writer struggling with pacing or word length this is a great formula to use as you write your second draft. It could make all the difference.
So that’s what I’ve been doing lately. I hope everyone out there has a happy holiday season and I wish you the best of luck in the New Year!
The Lovecraft eZine Megapack for 2014 is now out on Kindle, containing every story published in the magazine last year. That’s 39 tales of cosmic horror from well know authors such as Robert M. Price, Joseph S. Pulver, Sr., W.H. Pugmire, William Meikle, Josh Reynolds, and many more. It also contains my short story, “The Power of a Name,” a Lovecraftian reimagining an old fairy tale that was originally published in issue 32 of the magazine. That’s a lot of stories from some of the best names in the field, so if you’re a fan of Lovecraftian fiction or just interested in checking it out for the first time, head on over to Amazon and see what it’s all about:
Emby Press is celebrating along with Amazon today during their big Prime sale, and slashing prices on many of their best titles including Monster Hunter: Blood Trails, an action-packed monster hunting anthology containing my story “Walpurgis Night.” They are also running a program where if you post 2 reviews of their books on Amazon, the company will give you a free eBook version of one of their titles. Not sure how long these promotions will last, so head on over right now and check it out before its too late:
For centuries now, humanity has been at war with our eight-legged nemesis known as the spider, and unfortunately, as of right now, we are losing. A recent battle with one of them upon the deck of my home—a battle I just barely survived—has highlighted for me just how dangerous and integral our battle against them has become. So to help you win your own battles against these nightmarish creatures, I have compiled a list of all currently known ways to combat them, as well as several common misconceptions:
Spider spray: a fool’s choice of weapons to use against them. Spiders laugh at your silly bug spray.
Sunlight: a powerful weapon to employ against vampires, sunlight is woefully inadequate versus spiders. It will temporarily blind their eight hideous eyes, but does no lasting damage, and once they recover they will come for you in the night, crawl inside your ear while you are sleeping, and lay eggs in your brain. You have been warned.
Squishing them: a temporary solution at best. The spider will soon resurrect itself and any severed pieces will grow into brand new spiders. Then all the new spiders will come looking for you, seeking their revenge.
Shooting them: firearms currently have no known effect on spiders (save your silver bullets for the werewolves!).
Destroy their webbing: The material spiders make their webbing from actually grows in the swamps alongside the river Styx in the Fifth Circle of Hell. Spiders are somehow able to tear a whole in the fabric of our reality, opening a portal to Hell, and then pull the material through. Therefore, destroying the webbing alone does no good, as the spider will simply import more. The correct solution to this problem is to burn the webbing with a high-powered flamethrower, and then have a priest assist you in closing the portal to Hell and blessing the corner of your home the spider once inhabited…or at least the ashes where the corner once existed.
Burning the spider itself: there have been reports of this method offering temporary relief to a spider haunting, but only if the spider’s ashes are immediately buried in sanctified land and holy water is sprinkled over the grave. It is widely believed, however, that if this method is employed, the spider’s soul will then go on to possess another evil creature such as a scorpion or bat and come seeking its revenge.
Nuclear weapons: If your spider infestation becomes too great, your city may have to be nuked. I’m sorry, there really is no other option. Even if your city is able to recover from a zombie apocalypse or alien invasion, a spider infestation is much, much worse. It’s best to simply be diligent in your battles against the spiders so it does not come to this.
Alas, there is no known way to truly vanquish a spider. As long as there is evil in the world spiders will continue to exist. It is my hope that these methods will at least offer you some help, protection, and comfort in your battles against them, and perhaps save your life. If you find other methods that (you think) may work, please feel free to comment below. I wish you the best of luck in your battles with these fiendish creatures…I fear you will need it.
Disclaimer: This post is meant for entertainment purposes only and the author takes no responsibility for any injuries you inflict upon yourself, others or personal property, or any wounds or death inflicted upon you by said eight-legged adversaries.
The Seattle area may have a reputation for winters filled with nothing but endless rain, grey skies, and coffee, but I can tell you that’s not always the case (well, the coffee thing kinda is. I don’t know what constitutes the maximum level of caffeine one can safely consume per day, but I’m fairly certain I exceed it on a regular basis). This week has been filled with quite a few beautiful days that truly make me appreciate living in the Pacific Northwest. But on my ferry ride to work this week, as I sat there enjoying the sunny sky and shimmering blue water, the disturbing thought occurred to me that I’ve been failing miserably at my New Year’s resolution of updating my blog on a regular basis this year. I couldn’t have that, so I figured I’d better post an update today and let everyone know that I’m still alive and what I’ve been up to lately.
I’ve finished two new short stories and submitted them both to publishers. My newest Shadow’s Bane story has also been sent in, so hopefully I’ll get word on that one soon as well. I’ve been kicking around the idea of expanding that series into a full-length novel if I ever get the time, but I have too many other projects going on right now to be able to do it. Now, with my short story progress made, I’ve turned my attention back to finishing the novel I’m currently working on. I’ve made some really good progress on it, worked out most of the details for the next act, and I plan on putting all my free time into getting it finished. Then it’ll be on to the next one…
Well, that’s all to report at the moment. Stay tuned for more (hopefully sooner this time!).
Release Date: July 13, 2013
Director: Cody Calahan
Writer: Chad Archibald, Cody Calahan
What if the zombie virus wasn’t spread through bites from the infected? What if it didn’t start out as a biological weapon created in a lab? What if we weren’t all infected already? What if the zombie apocalypse was really started by…social media?
That’s the idea behind the horror movie/satire, Antisocial, a film that examines our modern society’s growing dependence on social media in a very gory way.
I found today to be a fitting day for this review, since it follows pretty 20-something Sam (played by Michelle Mylett) and her group of college friends on New Year’s Eve, as they host the party to end all parties. The film starts off with a brutal opening scene with two girls making a video blog post that goes horribly wrong, but then slows down dramatically, spending its time establishing its theme and introducing a group of characters who aren’t really anything special. You’ll learn very little about these people throughout the course of the movie—certainly not enough to care about any of them—and it will become quickly apparent that these are your standard horror movie stereotypes: the cool guy, the bimbo, etc. (although they do change it up with the virgin, giving her a small but predictable—and, ultimately, forgettable—character adjustment). But the theme is strong, and the final quarter of the movie is where things really kick up, with some bloody death scenes, lots of carnage, and a grand finale that makes the whole thing worth watching. (more…)