Writer of Horror Fiction

Archive for March, 2011

It slithers towards the light, from Beyond The Darkness…it is almost here!

Well folks, the short delay on Beyond The Dark is almost at an end, with the formatting being completed tonight on the book, there is very little else to do but to put the cover and back cover together and wrap it around a proof, make sure it looks like it should, and then get it out there!

In addition to the final book of my trilogy being released very soon, the Kindle and other ebook form of the entire trilogy will also be released.  It will be entitled The Dark Trilogy: Revised, Expanded, and with Additional Stories.  I know it is a mouthful, but just call it The Dark Trilogy, for short, heh.  My publisher and I have discussed price points for this electronic release and agreed upon $4.99, which will be for over 250,000 words, including the three books plus every last story that appears in the Dark Stories page of this blog…and another little one that doesn’t appear here as well.  250,000 words is a hefty sum, so that price should be a pretty decent one for the zombie fans out there who have e-readers.

I would say that Beyond The Dark should be ready for createspace within the next couple of weeks (and I think perhaps sooner), and then amazon maybe a week or so later.  The kindle version should also be available very soon.

For any of you good folks reading this who haven’t checked out any of my trilogy, check out the first three chapters of Comes The Dark, which I have moved to its own separate page for easy access.  It will give you a taste before you buy.  And then, feel free to hit up my bio page and you can click on the links showing both Comes The Dark and Into The Dark, with Beyond The Dark to soon be joining them.

For now, here are copies of the front cover of Beyond The Dark and a rough up of the back cover as well.  Stay tuned, more will be coming soon as the release happens!


Review of William Todd Rose’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Infective People”

William Todd Rose is an author who has created several different zombie stories, some of which are available through his website and are intriguing tales of the apocalypse.  I had the opportunity to acquire this book from the author at a horror convention last fall, before it was picked up by Permuted Press.  For the purpose of full disclosure, the new, Permuted version of the book will have extensive additions compared to the original, which is what I read, as I have discovered through different online outlets.  So keep that in mind with this review.
The book itself is relatively short, weighing in at less than 200 pages, but that size serves the story well.  I would say the tale is more accurately described as two novellas rather than one novel, with it going back and forth, chapter by chapter, between the two tales.  One story is of Bosley Coughlin, a trippy, psychedelic dude who is the narrator of his own tale.  Bosley has seen the future…has actually seen quite a bit, because he has passed through the Eye of Aeons after becoming dimensionally unstable.  He has seen our future of desolation and despair, where food wars have ripped humanity apart, along with a rise of the undead.  He speaks of trying to stop this apocalypse and more specifically, stopping the spread of infection, which has seven telltale signs…The other story is of Ocean, a fourteen year old girl living through the apocalypse.  She is desperate, starving, and all alone as her story begins, but soon she is taken in by a group of survivors who seem to be the answer to all her prayers.  Bosley is in this story as well, if only because he sees things through Ocean’s eyes as he travels through the dimensions.  Bosley wants to save Ocean, but what can he do as a dimensionally unstable being from the past?
Early on in the story I thought Bosley was a bit too trippy for his own good.  A dude who was buying too deeply into his own BS, as it were.  But as time went on and the two stories running parallel to each other synced up with one another, he seemed less and less trippy and more and more rational-the only rational person around.  As a story that has something to do with zombies, there are really very little of them in this tale, but that is not a problem for this fan of zombie fiction, because the pre-apocalyptic world of Bosley and post-apocalyptic world of Ocean are intriguing places to be, and as with all the best zombie stories, the living characters are compelling, interesting, and keep you intrigued from start to finish.
I will be interested to see how Mr. Rose tweaks the final product he is handing off to Permuted Press.  Clearly, they saw that this story was very unique and wild ride.  I just wonder how much more wild it will get with the new text added.

I would normally provide a link for where you can get the book I’ve reviewed, but the old version has been pulled in anticipation of the new version that Permuted will be releasing.  I’m not sure when it will be out, but I am looking forward to checking it out when it does become available.


HorrorHound Indianapolis 2011 review

This past weekend, I took part in HorrorHound Indianapolis.  Like the event in Cincinnati, it is three days of organized chaos, with tons of horror fans running around in costumes and makeup checking out vendor booths and getting autographs from some of the more famous (and infamous) stars of the horror genre.  This was their tenth anniversary show and it was jam packed all weekend long.  I got to sit between Tony Schaab of G.O.R.E. Score fame and Dr. Pus’s (aka The Library of the Living Dead) table, which had Doc, Michelle Linhart, and Rich Dalzotto manning the stations.  Also in attendance from the Library of the Living Dead crew were Rob and Laura Best.  We got to see plenty of folks we know from the facebook and the industry, which was a blast, including the folks from Night of the Living Podcast, who were kind enough to post a review of Into The Dark on one of their recent episodes after reviewing Comes The Dark after HorrorHound Cincinnati back in November.

I sold a few books, got to talk about the third book of my trilogy, Beyond The Dark, hung out with some great folks, and took a few pictures of the event.  This was truly a great con and a lot of fun.  I definitely hope I have the opportunity to attend next year as well!

Here are a few of the pics I took at the show.  Forgive the blur-they were taken with my cellphone camera.

Tony Schaab and his brother-in-law Tom, who is also the graphic designer for the covers of his G.O.R.E. Score books.

Rob and Laura Best

Dr. Pus, my publisher, sitting alongside Michelle Linhart and Rich Dalzotto (sorry you can’t see much of them!)

Just a sample of one of the more wild costumes at HorrorHound this year.

…and another wild costume.

In this picture is the famous “Kitty Zombie”, who has his back to the camera.  He is the one with the goggles, armor, and the bald head.  He is a pretty remarkable character, and funny as hell without saying a single intelligible word.

 

Well, that’s about it for now.  The rest of the pictures I took were sort of blurry or didn’t show anything specifically of interest.  Again, the convention was a lot of fun, and I only wish I could attend more of them after the fun I’ve had at the one in Indy as well as Cinci.


Night of the Living Podcast reviews Into The Dark

The great folks over at Night of the Living Podcast recently reviewed Into The Dark on a recent episode.  The beauty of their audio review is that they rap about their own perspective on the zombie apocalypse and what they would do if it happened to them as they chat about the book.  So it sort of goes from the review, to them joking and asking each other questions about what they would and wouldn’t do if their world ended due to zombies.  It is pretty much a riot of a review.  These guys are very fun to listen to.

Check out Night of the Living Podcast at http://www.notlp.com/.  The review is on episode 219 and starts around thirty six minute mark.  You can download it on itunes and or just listen to it directly from the web if that is your preference.  You should definitely check these guys out, because they are hilarious and make their horror commentary a lot of fun.


HorrorHound Weekend and some notes on Beyond The Dark

Just wanted to post a note tonight since I haven’t posted anything for a bit except an update on the the book signing I did at That Book Place last weekend.  It was a great time with Beth LaFond and Benjamin Rogers, two good friends and fellow authors.  I am hoping to post a bit more here in the upcoming weeks, in particular with details on the release of Beyond The Dark, which has been delayed a little bit due to circumstances beyond my control.  It is pretty much ready to go, including the artwork I have already shared with you all previously for the cover.  I should know a bit more about the release this weekend, when I attend HorrorHound Indianapolis with my publisher, Mike West, aka, Dr. Pus.  He has been buried under with a lot of different projects so the release date on the book has been pushed back.  My hope is for an April release, though I have no fix on it.  The editing is complete, and all that really needs to be done is the formatting, so we are right on the edge of it.

Now, for HorrorHound.  This past November, I attended HorrorHound Cincinnati, which was a great event.  The aforementioned Dr. Pus, Benjamin Rogers, and Beth LaFond were all in attendance, as was Rich Dalzotto, who runs Horror Realm, another great convention that happens in Pittsburgh every September.  It was a great time.  Unfortunately, Ben and Beth won’t be coming to Indy, which saddens me greatly, but the good Dr. will be there, along with Rob Best, his lovely wife, Laura, Rich, and Mr. GORE Score himself, Tony Schaab.  Since this is the 10th Anniversary for HorrorHound, and Indy is their home turf, it should have quite a turnout.  They had over 10,000 people show up last year.

There will be plenty of horror notables there, and while I am not big on getting all the autographs and pictures, it is really cool to see folks walking around that you recognize from a movie or two that you think of quite fondly from your past.  And repeat after me: there is nothing wrong with totally geeking out at a convention!  Absolutely nothing!  So the fact that the guys from Boondock Saints being there makes me giddy is no big deal.

Here is a link for any of you curious about checking out the show if you think you can swing by Indianapolis this weekend.  http://www.horrorhoundweekend.com/ It should be well worth the trip.  I will, of course, be selling copies of my books and signing them, and will be chatting up my upcoming release of Beyond The Dark, which will serve as the finale for my trilogy.  Though…don’t be too sure that after that story is done that this will be the last we will see of the world I created with my Dark trilogy.  I have plans for more…

That leads me to a bit more info on what is going on with me these days.  As some of you may have guessed, I don’t really make my living off of writing (shocking, I know…har har) and I will be starting a new job immediately upon my return from HorrorHound.  I am excited about this opportunity, though I won’t bore any of you with the details.  I think one of the things I will be focusing on more of going forward (besides this new job, of course) is writing novels.  I have been dedicating myself to writing short stories during the release of my trilogy, and it has provided me with about twenty different acceptances over the past year plus, which has been great.  But as much as I love writing short stories, my novel writing has suffered a bit because of that.  Not that I can’t multi task, but I think with the trilogy behind me, I think the desire to get something out there that is a bigger chunk of text will be far greater.  That is my artful way of saying that I will be devoting most of my effort to writing novels for the foreseeable future.  There will be short stories, but not as many-only when the spirit moves me, rather than any submission call that challenges me, which is how I have been approaching it over the last year.  The reality is that most of my stories that have been accepted for publication haven’t been released yet anyway, so there will be plenty of them coming out over the next few months for me to promote here.  And I think that is what I will be blogging about mostly going forward.  Posting excerpts from some of my short stories to hopefully entice a few of you to check out the anthologies they are published in.  Anthologies with some really great writers that I am privileged to share the table of contents with.  I have been really proud of not only my work, but of the company I have been able to keep in this anthos.

I will be posting pictures from HorrorHound and doing a follow up on the show sometime next week, and then I will be doing my best to post something at least once a week here from now on…hopefully some new writing for all of you to check out.

Again, check out the HorrorHound page and I hope to see you at the show!


5th Anniversary Author’s Fair at That Book Place this Saturday

Last year, I had the opportunity to travel to That Book Place, a new and used book store in Madison, Indiana, with my good friends Ben Rogers and Beth LaFond, where we were able to promote, sell, and sign copies of our books.  It was a blast getting the chance to hang out with the customers and owners of the book store, and I was hoping to have the chance to swing back by down the road.  Well, that time has come, and this Saturday, Ben, Beth, me, and a whole bunch of other authors will be hanging out at their fifth Anniversary celebration from 11-5.  They are located at 337 Clifty Drive in Madison, and it sounds like they have done quite a few renovations to the place to make it bigger and better.  There will also be music all day long, which will make it even more of a festive atmosphere.  So if you are any where near Madison, Indiana, this Saturday, head on over and check out some of their outrageously good deals on books That Book Place has as well as getting the chance to have copies of your books from the various authors in attendance signed.  Here is a link on Facebook with more details:  http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=188601541151430.

I know Ben, Beth, and I all have books as well as upcoming books to promote, and I am sure we, along with everyone else who is there, would enjoy chatting with folks about our writing, the stories ideas we come up with, and what the future has in store for each of us.

I would love to see you there!


Review of Craig DiLouie’s “The Infection”

The Infection starts out with a brief prologue that introduces the reader to the Screaming that initiates the apocalypse. About 20% of the population starts to scream uncontrollably and then collapse, going into a coma that lasts three days. At the end of that three days, those people who fell down wake up, and their only desire is to spread the infection to everyone else by biting and attacking them. The reader is thrust into the story a few weeks after the initial assault and we are introduced to a group of survivors roaming through Pittsburgh in a Bradley fighting vehicle. The crew of three is led by Sarge, who shares the task of leadership of the civilian survivor crew with Anne, a mysterious woman with a major hatred of the infected. Wendy, a police officer, Paul, a minister, Ethan, a math teacher, and Todd, a geeky high school student, are the other members of this brigade of survivors.

The story relates their current experiences of attempting to find shelter, avoid exposure to the infected, and seeking out other survivors, while flashing back to their initial introductions to the infection, lost family members, and the horrific memories each of them has had. DiLouie does a bang up job of revealing, by inches, what we need to know about each of the players in this story. In time, they settle at a hospital, clearing it room by room, and realize there are more than just the zombie-like infected that have been introduced into this new, horrible world. As they flee the hospital, they discover an even wider assortment of alien creatures-from wormlike to giant demons that hint at something far more sinister than just a virus or plague at work. The group makes their way to a huge encampment of survivors, which reminded me of a vast, wild-west setting filled with both hope and despair as everyone tries to make due and pretend things are normal in a world turned upside down. But the needs of the mishmash of government agencies still in existence will send our survivors back out onto the road, where they must once again come to grips with the horror their world has become.

After reading Tooth and Nail, I knew that Craig DiLouie had a real talent for creating compelling, real, and fascinating characters, but he ups the ante here, with each survivor in the group being given an in depth look that allows the reader to fully appreciate the pain and agony each one of them has gone through to get to survive to this point, and why they have a willingness to stick with one another through the hell their existence has become. This is an apocalyptic novel, but I can’t say that it falls exactly into the realm of a zombie novel; instead, it is a hybrid that provides plenty of brand new terrors to mess with your head. Alien creatures with little to no real explanation make this story unique, though this did remind me of other works I have read prior to this, such as The Mist, from Stephen King. I am positive a sequel is in the works and perhaps that will reveal some answers about the creatures that have invaded this world, but there appear to be no explanations on these pages, only a bit of conjecture on the part of one of the characters. I am not sure if I am griping about this-not knowing what is actually going on-because the characters themselves don’t know anything either. They are just trying to survive, and in some cases, kill as many of these abominations as they possibly can. Another minor quibble I have is something I have grown used to over the course of this novel and DiLouie’s previous one-the fact that the author moves into present tense on occasion, which feels a bit jarring when it occurs. It offers up an urgency, a sense of “now” to the story, but it also serves as a minor reading distraction in my humble opinion.

Those very minor quibbles aside, this is an excellent book of the apocalypse, creative and wild from the start; from how the infection occurs to the results it yields, and the characters that inhabit its pages are just about as compelling as any I have ever seen.

The Infection can be found here: http://www.amazon.com/Infection-Craig-DiLouie/dp/1934861650/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1300070883&sr=8-1