Haha, yes, this is a real book. HellBound Books Publishing accepted one of my short stories, “Dear Diary,” for their “flush fiction” series, a sequel book to their previous collection of short fiction designed to be read while yer ridin’ the ol’ porcelain pony. The Toilet Zone: Number Two is now available on all the things. (More details on the publisher’s website.)
Imagine, if you will, you’re traveling through the unknown, hellbound, with no roadmap or stars to guide you. The light fades as you descend into a shadow realm where supernatural terrors make their lair and evil lurks at every turn. Here, dead things don’t always stay dead, for this is a world where things that shouldn’t be… are, and things that should be are not.
In this world, it takes between 2,500 and 4,000 reading words to pay a visit to the smallest, but terrifyingly necessary, room, and stories are written precisely to chill the bones as you wait for nature to make its call.
You open up the book, and one of the 32 tales skulking within its hellish pages chooses you…
It’s too late to turn back now. You are about to set foot into another dimension, so best watch out for that signpost up ahead…
You’ve just crossed over into… The Toilet Zone.
Traces of the afterlife exist all around us. We are haunted by entities that linger and refuse to let go. Is it a need for relevance, revenge, or bittersweet regret which bind these pitiful spirits? Can they find peace? Do they deserve it? The ghost stories held within explore what happens when the unsettled reach out from Beyond the Levee.
This collection, now available from Amazon, features three stories by yours truly. This tidy anthology features a plethora of authors with different sensibilities, so there’s definitely a little something for everyone. Check it out this coming Halloween season.
In case you haven’t noticed, I don’t update this site very often. Unless I have a new book coming out (and I currently have one in second-draft phase), I don’t have a lot of news to share. To sidestep that, I figured I’d share a link to my personal blog — one that shares the name of my first collection, The End of Summer, but one that also predates said book by a couple years. The blog started off as a way for me to start writing with more “discipline,” and force me to commit to writing at least one thing a week, because I’d stepped away from writing for a long time and knew I needed to re-embrace it. It even directly led to the book once I realized how much I’d missed it.
The blog is basically a collection of all the movie reviews and retrospectives I’ve written for other film websites over the years. I’m slowly working to compile them all in one place for future generations of Internetters to peruse long after I’m sucking dirt.
Stop by and bookmark The End of Summer. I try to post daily, even if it’s just a picture or some random and very weird news story. I’ve been dismantling, deleting, and retiring most of my social media accounts because they are used for evil and it’s depressing to see how hive-minded and cultish people are becoming, so if you want a glimpse into my non-life, this’ll have to do. Besides, it’ll keep you company until my first novel is finally ready to infect the masses.
My cockles. They are warmed. Thank you, Halloween Kween (and to Courtney for sending this my way).
Featuring twenty-one different voices hailing from five different countries and eleven states, Ghosts, Goblins, Murder, and Madness is certain to strike a chord with every horror aficionado.
Devil’s Night, Day of the Dead, and Halloween has been celebrated around the world in one form or another, beginning with the Ancient Celts over two-thousand years ago. For some revelers, it’s a time for guising, or dressing up in elaborate costume; for others, it’s a time for practical jokes and mischief, and for some, it’s a reverent occasion to acknowledge the thin line between earth and the spirit world.
In this same vein, the stories here provide a wide-angle lens at what comprises the unique expanse of horror fiction today. From hobgoblins and apparitions, to haunted dwellings and cursed possessions, to good intentions gone awry and evil ones turned on the perpetrator, these twenty tales will unsettle, frighten, tickle, and caution, and in the end, readers may take heed before ever again accompanying their children trick-or-treating, striking up conversations in anonymous chat rooms, or fortifying their homes in an attempt to prevent Halloween vandalism.
Release Date: August 17, 2018
Ghosts, Goblins, Murder, & Madness: Twenty Tales of Halloween has a cover! Its release date is still unconfirmed, though it’s tentatively targeted for a late August release. The collection was curated and is being published by Dark Ink, previous publisher of Kane Hodder’s official biography Unmasked: The True Life Story of the World’s Most Prolific, Cinematic Killer, and Grande Illusions: The Art and Technique of Special Make-Up Effects from the Films of Tom Savini. (They previously published my book too, and it still wows me I share the same home as these horror titans.) I’m expecting the official synopsis for the anthology to appear any day now; when it does, naturally I’ll be sharing it here.
I know. It’s been quiet around here for a while. But I’ve finally got some news.
A new Halloween anthology is coming out this coming autumn season from Dark Ink, the publisher who released my collection The End of Summer: Thirteen Tales of Halloween, and it will feature a new story by yours truly. This was a story I kicked around for a few years — something I’d originally written for a book of short horror stories geared toward younger readers that has yet to come to fruition and probably never will. Something about this particular story had me coming back to it more and more to gussy it up, and soon the themes within it became more mature. Once that happened, the gore quotient was upped a little bit as well. I love me a good story or flick where someone’s head falls off, but that’s not something I normally prefer to write. However, for this one, I wanted to push the envelope it a little. By the end, I realized I’d inadvertently written an homage to films like Phantasm, Dead & Buried, and Stephen King’s IT (but no fear all you coulrophobics — the story is clownless.) It also made me realize that I like to write stories about people telling stories, which was an interesting development and it’s left me wondering why.
The title of this new collection is Ghosts, Goblins, Murder, and Madness: Twenty Tales of Halloween. There’s no firm release date as of yet, but it’s tentatively planned for late summer/early fall.
Naturally, there will be updates to this as they are available.
The Courier Post, a local New Jersey-based newspaper, recently reprinted an article I wrote for Weird NJ Magazine about ten years ago. I’m not really sure what prompted them to do so, but obviously I’m not complaining. It’s weird to see it suddenly come roaring back from obscurity and making the rounds on social media. Because of this recent development, I’m now a very rich man so I’m off to buy several boats.
Nah, just kidding. See you tomorrow, misery job.
Another day, another kind message about The End of Summer!
You probably get this a lot with other Halloween enthusiasts, but I’m saying it anyhow: I think you’re my long lost brother from another mother and separated at birth! (Actually I’m probably old enough to be your mom.) When I read the back of your End of Summer book, I died! I’ve loved Halloween since I was a little kid. I love Autumn, and John Carpenter is my fave! I just saw him live in concert! He does all his music from all his movies! Anyhow, thanks so very much for all the right words to say about All Hallow’s Eve! My home’s already decorated, 90%. One room is Halloween all year! And I was remarried last Halloween! I’m old, but I’ll never be too old to have Halloween in my head and heart daily! I just actually got the book, and just the prologue made me cry, laugh, and jump for joy! Thanks, and Happy 🎃 !
Thank you, Fran! Happy Halloween to you as well!
Receiving incredibly kind notes from readers who really enjoyed my book, The End of Summer, is enough on its own. But I love receiving them at this time of year, because for us Halloween lunatics, once the mid-point of August hits, it’s Halloween all the time in our brains. Halloween is just one day for most people, but for us weirdoes, it’s a three-month celebration, which starts right about now. So let’s get it going!
Kathy from Tennessee writes:
I bought your book on Audible and I also bought the paperback version which arrived from Amazon today. It is a terrific book. I just wanted you to know how much I am enjoying it. You have really captured the spirit and essence of Halloween! I have been in love with the genre since I was a little girl. As you well know, it causes one to be misunderstood at times. But the love of the horror genre has been in my blood, pardon the pun, since childhood. I think that is one of the many reasons I love your book so much. I immediately recognized and sensed that it was written by a fellow Halloweener! And the forward you wrote truly speaks volumes. I have several Halloween anthology books (including the Alan Ryan one you mentioned), but yours is by far the best one in my collection. I like every single story …no exceptions!
Being that the Alan Ryan collection, Halloween Horrors, is my utmost favorite Halloween anthology of all time, let me just say I find it deeply humbling to even be mentioned in the same breath.
Thank you, Kathy!