Not too long ago, I shared that I had the privilege to be a part of a writing project where the proceeds would be going to support hurricane relief. The Will To Survive is a labor of love for editor Felicia A. Sullivan, who brought together the talents of everyone who contributed to this project: those who write, those who format, and the artist who created the awesome cover.
The book is available both in kindle and paperback format. I have a paperback version of the book and with 22 different short stories, it weighs in at a pretty hefty 345 pages.
The two charities being supported with this work are: One America Appeal: www.oneamericaappeal.org and Global Giving-Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund: www.globalgiving.org/projects/hurricane-harvey-relief-fund/. Please consider picking up a copy of the book, but also consider directly donating to these worthy causes. You can find the book here: The Will To Survive.
The description on the back reads as follows:
When normal life collapses, peril waits around every corner, and one small slip could mean certain death. In THE WILL TO SURVIVE, unique and brilliant voices bring to life stories of post-apocalyptic danger sure to make the heart race, the flesh creep.
NOTE: THE WILL TO SURVIVE is a collective effort by a great group of authors, born from the desire to help their fellow citizens suffering the devastating effects of multiple hurricanes. Every short story has a survival element, and 100% of the proceeds are being donated to two charities, One America Appeal and Global Giving Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.
Twenty-Two stories of tragedy, hope, and survival in one volume. It’s the end of the world. Do you have the will to survive?
Another way you can help us continue to build awareness and generate more interest in this book is to read it and write an honest review on Amazon and anywhere else you can post a review. My story, “The Collective” is nestled within the pages of the book and its a story that I have always felt was one of my more compelling. Nope, no zombies to be seen, but one that really focuses on the value of life, the value of living, and choosing whether it is worth going on when everyone else that you love is gone.
Please check this book out. It’s a great cause and if you enjoy TEOTWAWKI fiction, you’ll love it.
Every once in a while I like to break out of my normal routine and do something a bit different. I watch horror films-quite a few, in fact, but I have only posted a review of a couple of them on my blog. I stick to reviewing horror novels, and primarily independent stuff from independent authors and smaller presses. After all, the “big” stuff gets along just fine whether I review it or not, while the smaller, lesser known works get a boost from every review they receive-good, bad, or indifferent. Recognition and awareness is key to gaining a wider audience. Especially if you are trying to turn your ‘little’ project into something bigger. So I thought I would do my part and check out a short film by a guy named Jim Rothman (twitter handle: @ScytheJim), who is working hard on getting the crowdfunding to turn a fifteen minute short into a full length horror feature. Jim shared his film with me for the promise of a fair and honest review. And unlike so many other reviews I do, where I can only give you the link to go purchase your own copy, I am sharing the link so you can watch the film, in all its glory, for free, right now, without spending another dime! Ain’t that somethin’?
Naturally, Jim is looking for donors to help fund this project, so while you don’t have to pay to watch the short, you might consider a contribution if you like what you see and would like to see more. And Jim tossed in a bit of an extra for anyone who decides to donate $50 at supportscythe.com if they do so on Monday. Whoever pledges $50 for the Baseball Cap and Blu-Ray package (again, ON Monday) will also get an autographed copy of the script. Not too shabby a deal. So, what’s all the hubbub about? Well, you can watch the movie here: Scythe Short Film.
Okay, so we’ve gotten all the promotional stuff out of the way! On to the review:
The setup with Scythe is fairly traditional slasher fare. Two college aged girls are sitting in an apartment, one, Amy, lamenting what kind of impact she’ll manage to have on the world at large while she studies for exams. She fears no one will remember her-that she will leave no impression on anyone else including future generations. The other girl, offering up another hit off the joint they’ve been smoking, gives Amy a pep talk about how she will end up doing great things, just before our main character decides it’s time to walk home. Next, we see the second girl turn on the television to watch a news report that a imprisoned killer has escaped and is on the loose in the local area.
Pretty routine set up, and in some ways, what follows is also pretty routine. Where this film ended up resonating for me, in its brief time on my computer screen, was in the build up of tension that takes place after Amy begins her walk home and is warned, via cellphone by her friend, of the escaped maniac on the loose. The filmmakers allow the energy to build, through the music, the surrounding environment, and through the main character’s expressions and body language. Amy’s fear ebbs and flows based on what is going on around her, and that was what yanked me along with her through her harrowing journey.
In a film like this, even in short form, its as much what you know as you don’t know, and playing the guessing game about what will happen next. We all do it-when will the slasher appear, and when will they administer the coup de grace? If it’s predictable, it’s usually forgettable. But when you guess wrong and you get that adrenaline rush because you’re startled, taken off guard, or even pee yourself a bit…that’s the payoff. And for a short film that was produced in an effort to show the capabilities of these filmmakers and the promise of something greater, the payoff was there for me. Much of it was in the promise of something greater rather than just what happens on the screen. In other words, I took the bait right off the hook (or off the Scythe, in this case, har har).
The production values (I have a friend who always looooved to use that term when describing a film-it made him feel all refined and movie savvy, I suppose) were solid. The acting was decent and the music, as I already mentioned, blends well with what is happening on screen. Whatever the budget they had to make this promotional piece, it didn’t feel cheap, shabby, or hastily constructed.
The bottom line for me is not that this little film was mind altering or in and of itself a great standalone film. It’s fun and entertaining, certainly, but more importantly, serves its purpose. That purpose is to draw you in enough to want to see what the creators could do with the budget necessary to make a full length version of Scythe.
But don’t take my word for it. Check it out yourself. If you like it, promote it. If you really like it, consider tossing a few coppers in the direction of the filmmakers so you can see even more of Scythe. And if you don’t like it…well, it was just 15 minutes out of your life, now wasn’t it?
I had shared information on the upcoming third installment of the Hell’s Gates anthology a while back. I am a proud contributor to this book, whose proceeds go to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, a charity benefiting military veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury.
There are a slew of terrific up and coming and established horror authors on the roster for this one, and the list is conveniently posted right on the cover the book below. My short story, “Little Lost Lamb”, has the privilege of being the first story to appear on its pages, which is a tremendous honor.
The Kindle version of the book is being released next Friday, July 31st. Stay tuned for more details on the print version of the book. I would encourage each and every one of you to check out this as well as the other two tomes in this series. If not only for a chance to read some great horror short stories, to also contribute to a very worthy cause.
You can pre-order your kindle copy now by clicking on the cover below. It will take you right to the Amazon page. And do me another favor while you’re at it: post a review after you have the chance to read it. While I have always appreciated receiving reviews of the books I am involved with, I especially hope there are a lot of reviews shared of this work since posted reviews generate more interest, and more interest means more people buying copies…and that means more money will be donated to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.
To get you even more interested in this great book, I will share the description below. Remember, just click on the cover to go to Amazon and get your copy. And know that while you are giving yourself a well-deserved scare with this book, you are in no small way also helping some of our most needy veterans get the help they deserve. Thanks!
It may be thicker than water, but AT HELL’S GATES the blood will flow like a river…
In the third volume of the #1 Bestselling AT HELL’S GATES series, some of the finest children of the family of horror authors will show you what it means to be BOUND BY BLOOD. Each unique tale of bloodcurdling darkness shows how kith and kin survive the things that go bump in the night…or become them.
All proceeds from this horror anthology series go to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, a charity benefiting military veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury. The authors, editors, and supporters of this series are pleased to donate their time and effort to our nation’s proudest sons and daughters.
I’m happy to announce that the third installment of the At Hell’s Gates anthology series has revealed the final list of contributors and the finalized cover art. Sticking with the cover design style started with the first book, Bound By Blood is a different color but has the same compelling imagery.
The theme of Bound By Blood means that the stories that appear in this book are all about family. Here is an informal description of what to expect on these pages: There is no greater bond, especially in times of great fear, than that between mother and fathers, sons and daughters. The third AT HELL’S GATES anthology will focus on parents and children. The power of the parental bond is demonstrated as Rick Grimes is reunited with his son Carl in the middle of the zompocalypse or Grendel and his mother terrorize the mead hall in tandem. It is even perverted when Jack Torrance turns on his family in the Overlook Hotel.
My short story, “Little Lost Lamb” is my contribution to this work. Originally scheduled to be a part of another anthology for a book that ended up not getting published, I am thrilled this twisted piece of love (and hate), family style, has found a home. I am quite proud to be a part of this book, mainly because the proceeds are, as they have been with the previous works, being donated to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. You can find out more about this great cause here: http://athellsgates.com/our-cause/.
I don’t have a link to buy this book just yet, but stay tuned. Once it is available, I will share the link over on my Bio and About Me pages-just click on the cover art. For now, check out the impressive list of contributors and the awesome cover art below.
AHG3 is scheduled to release July 31st, 2015.
Lesa Kinney Anders
Sean T. Smith
Timothy W. Long
Sarah Lyons Fleming
M. Lauryl Lewis
Kerry Alan Denney
Brian W. Taylor
S. P. Durnin
Formatting: Kindra Sowder, Burning Willow Press
Cover Art: Artwork by Martin de Diego Sadabo. Cover design by J.M. Martin. PoD Formatting: Alan MacRaffen
Editors: Dane Hatchell, Terri King, S. Kay Nash
When I moved my trilogy over to Permuted Press, I had the privilege of getting to work with Felicia Sullivan, editor extraordinaire. She had actually taken a look at the original version of Into the Dark before it went to print and helped me out with some advice about it, which I appreciated a great deal. This was after we met at Horror Realm in September of 2010-shortly after the original release of Comes the Dark. But when she was assigned to edit my trilogy by Permuted, she dove into the novels and helped to polish them up to a greater extent than ever before. And she knows my secret-my kryptonite as it were-when it comes to my writing. No, I’m not going to tell you what that is! But it is something I have worked hard at correcting ever since she lent me this insight and I am far better for having realized this particular failing of mine.
Felicia has her own Facebook page and not too long ago she asked me if I would like to be interviewed by her. So we discussed my work, my perspective on writing, and what my plan is for the zombie apocalypse. (To bug out, or not to bug out…). It was a fun little interview, and I appreciated the chance to once again plug my work. That interview was posted on her page today.
So if you would be so kind, take a few minutes and head on over to her page, “like” it, and check out my interview with the lovely Felicia Sullivan.
Well, it’s been a great ride I’ve been on over the past few years. The Library of the Living Dead was very good to me when it gave me a shot as a new author. I think I was pretty good to them by producing a trilogy that sold a few copies here and there. Good enough that when the time to part ways with the Library was upon me, Jacob, the owner of Permuted Press, was very interested in re-releasing my novels.
It’s been an interesting journey, with a lot of twists and turns. Of course, many of them occurred before the first book was ever published, but there have been quite a few since then. Some ups and some downs, including a gaff with the kindle version of Comes The Dark occurred that required some quick thinking. But all’s well that ends well, and that situation ended well. But now my books are in someone else’s hands, and I’m pretty excited about what’s to come. I miss the Library, and I miss Doc, my old publisher, but it has gone by the wayside, and I doubt, sadly enough, that it will ever publish something new again.
Comes The Dark is being re-released with new edits and new content in paperback, ebook, and audible versions by Permuted press this month. The same will be the case with the two sequels, which are coming in March and April. Some things I have added that weren’t included in the original Dark Stories-some freshly written, some dug up from the crypt where I keep a lot of old, dusty things that just need a little bit of a cleaning up before they’re ready to go. Well…not everything should see the light of day from that old crypt, but this stuff I feel deserves to get a good looking over by someone other than me.
I have to admit, what I’m excited the most about the re-release of this trilogy is that they will be available in audio form. You see, for those of you who don’t know me personally, you may not understand why this is what gets me so excited. But if you do know me and my family, and know my son, Zack, you’ll understand why. I guess that makes me nervous for the book’s release in audio format as well-when your boy tells you that you’re his favorite author, but he hasn’t even read any of your stuff yet…well, that’s a lot to live up to.
I’ve been informed that the ebook version of Comes The Dark will be ready to go in the next few days. Once I have a link, I’ll be sharing it. The paper version of the book will hit roughly around 2/26/13, as will the audio version. The great news is that the link is already up for ordering the audio version of the book, and my guess is it will be the same link for the other versions as well-just click on the option you prefer. So if you have a desire to check out my first book on tape (heh, I’m old enough to remember when they were on tape!), click the cover art below and pre-order your copy. I’ll be posting again when the other versions are available as well, so stay tuned!
Arthur Graham, fellow author and editor for Tall Tales with Short Cocks Volume 2, for which I wrote a science fiction comedy story called “The Interstellar Quest for Snack Cakes”, took the time out to interview me about my story, about zombies, and about all sorts of strange things. Okay, I admit it-his questions weren’t all that strange, just my answers. But please check it out at: http://bizarropress.wordpress.com/2012/11/29/patrick-dorazio/
I’d mentioned that I’d written a brief article for Pat Douglas, a fellow author, over on his website, http://indie-inside.com. It has gone live now, and I hope you’ll click on the full link and head on over there: http://indie-inside.com/the-joys-of-the-other-stuff-guest-blog-w-patrick-dorazio/. For anyone who has become a writer and believes that when they get published that they can just sit back and bask in the glory of being famous, this article is for you. It’s also for anyone else who ever wonders how you can get the word out on a writing project. Whether you self-publish, get with a smaller publisher, or manage to swing for the fences and get with one of the big publishers out of New York, much of the promotional work responsibility is in your own hands. There is tons you can do to help promote your stuff, and my article goes over just a small smidgen of that. So pleased check it out…it might make you cringe, but perhaps it will bring a smile to your face…because I tried to be funny (just a little bit-probably failed, but give me a B for effort).
For the most part, my posts on this blog have been related to my work and the work of others: reviews, updates, and promotion of my work and the work of my fellow writers. There have been a few commentaries on my experiences in writing and I will admit there probably needs to be more. While I am far from an expert on how to get published or just in the craft of writing, I have learned a few things along the way and continue to learn new things every day.
One thing in particular that I have learned is that there are so many people out there who genuinely care for one another in the writing community. They may make their living writing, editing, publishing, doing formatting…or they may be doing it more as a sideline-hobby/passion/dream of making it big someday (most of us are like that, in fact), or they are fans of the different genres: horror, science fiction, fantasy, bizarro, etc who have dreams of getting more involved down the road-maybe making movies, writing, creating their own publishing company, or something else. They pour their blood, sweat, and tears into what they do, and care about it enough to make sure they do the best job possible-not just for themselves, but for everyone else who is relying on them. Social media has allowed pretty much everyone to share their thoughts, connect, and join in the conversation with a very wide ranging community that is all over the globe. I’ve learned a lot from a lot of different people. Not just about writing, but about the business side of things-what it takes to get a book out there, how to promote your work, how do you hook up with filmmakers, etc. I’ve been lucky because I’ve associated myself with people who not only care about what they do, but they behave in a very professional manner.
But you hear stories now and again about someone who steals stories from other authors and claims them to be their own, or publishers who refuse to pay the artists for the work they put out there. It is unfortunate, but the people who share their experiences and send out warnings pave the way for the rest of us to be able to avoid the same pitfalls, and because of that, we all are grateful to these brave souls. Sometimes the lessons are more simple, such as avoiding getting provoked by a review of your work that you disagree with. Tales of woe for authors abound on this front.
This brings me to the main topic of this post. Yesterday, I saw two separate warnings posted on Facebook from two separate authors, both of which are fairly new to being published. Quite a few people have since shared their information with everyone on Twitter and Facebook that they know, and I am joining their ranks. As some of you know, I tend to keep my opinions to myself beyond of the topic of the writing I do or someone else’s work…and when I do comment on anything anyone else does, I do my best to be constructive and professional about it. I have avoided more flammable topics, but for right now, I feel it’s important that I share these two tales with anyone who reads my blog. Take away from them what you will. It is my hope that what has happened to these two writers doesn’t have to happen to anyone else because of what they’ve shared.
The first post is from horror author Alyn Day.
The second is from author Mandy De Geit.
I think it is fair to share these blog posts with the world, as I think it would also be fair for me to share any rebuttals that the publisher has to offer to either or both of these authors, if I hear of one in the future. Because there is always two sides to the story, and even with the information shared above, I would be curious to see what response there may be to these accusations. It is a shame when things like this happen. But as so many others have said and I have as well, the fact that this information was shared makes all of us the wiser and more prepared as writers going forward with our efforts.
So always be alert and concerned about what is going on around you as a writer. Find out as much as you can about a editor, a publisher, and everyone else involved in working with you before you hand your pride and joy over to them. Just as you expect a mechanic to be trained to work on cars and a doctor to have a medical degree before you let them tell you to bend over and cough, you should know the history of who you are looking to work with in advance of agreeing to anything. But if you do end up making a mistake (and we all have, on many different occasions), don’t hesitate to share with others, so they can learn and avoid those same mistakes.
I got the chance to answer a few questions (in my normally snarky way) that fellow author, and editor, Suzanne Robb came up with for me. You may know Suzanne from her fantastic book, “Z-Boat”, or because of her numerous other short story projects. She is in the process of editing an anthology that I have a privilege of being a part of entitled “Read The End First”, which is about 24 different tales about the end of the world…one specific to each time zone. That should be coming out soon, and more details on that later. But enough about Suzanne! Check out her interview of yours truly over on her blog: http://suzannerobb.blogspot.ca/2012/04/paatrick-dorazio-his-thoughts-on.html, and check out some of Suzanne’s stories as well!
Every once in a while I get the chance to do something fun because of this writing and reviewing gig I have created for myself. No, I haven’t gotten a space on the next commercial flight up to the international space station, but that would be cool, wouldn’t it? But unless I become a bajillionaire, or they start giving those away for free, I am out of luck on that account.
Nope, that ain’t happening, but something pretty cool is occurring here on my blog. Kody Boye, a young and talented author who has impressed me with his skill with the written word (well, part of it is jealousy, since he is less than half my age and probably has written three times as much stuff as I have thus far in his brief career), suggested that we do a blog swap to promote the release of his new book. What is a blog swap? Well, I’m glad you asked! It is just what it sounds like. One blogger writes a post for the other blogger and vice versa, and then they post them on their respective blogs. So Kody has handed off a post that he wrote specifically for me, and I have done the same for him. I can’t tell you when my babbling will appear on his blog, but you should definitely pop on over there and check it out, and not just for my words, but for his, because Kody is a diverse talent who has written horror, fantasy, and in plenty of other genres. Most recently, Kody’s book, Sunrise, has been re-released after he did some major overhauling of this zombie apocalyptic tale. I read the original version and had the privilege of reading the reworked version not too long ago. Let me just state for the record that Kody wrote Sunrise originally well before he was eighteen. In many ways, it was obvious with that first version how young he was. Kody saw things in a certain way that I think was unique and was coming from the mind of someone who had experienced a lot in a short time, but still had some growing up to do. But don’t we all, even into our forties and beyond? In some ways, losing the haze of youth is both sad and necessary, and as such, the changes with the revised version of Sunrise reflected those changes in Kody. Compare the two versions side by side and you will see how Kody has changed as an author and as a person over the past few years. His writing is crisper, sharper, and inevitably, filled with more of the harsh tones of reality we face in this world and the world of adults. My review of Sunrise will follow this post later tonight, but for now, please enjoy Kody’s simple and eloquent analysis of zombies below, along with the cover of his book. -PD
Zombies: What they Represent and How They Parody the Living
There is much debate as to what zombies represent in the media and fiction. Some say they are a result of our lesser reptilian conscience coming to life in the most stressful of situations; others say that they are meant to reveal the most intimate flaws that exist within each and every one of us. To a writer, zombies can mean many things. Life, death, the present, the future, the past, what happens to us after death and just where our minds (or our ‘spark’) go—we have begged to question just what it was that happens when our physical bodies cease to exist for millennia. Why, we would not be human if we did not think on such things, as it was with higher conscience we evolved to walk as we do now.
To me, zombies are simple.
Zombies represent the most primal instincts within humanity. The animalism presented in their actions, their conscience and desires are what take us back to that fateful age when, thousands of years ago, all we craved was food and survival. We were, however, driven by instinct to protect ourselves. Unlike zombies, we have always had fear to inhibit and hold us back. It is not without reason that as children we are afraid of the dark, as during the night it is said that monsters will rise from under the bed to destroy all that it we feel is safe, and it is not without consequence that we are afraid to commit actions that would otherwise land us in severe trouble. That is perhaps the most terrifying thing about the zombie. Their no-holds-barred, unrestrained behavior when they attack their prey is akin to a predatory instinct that we have long since evolved away from. Sure—we may still hunt our prey on occasion, but we most often do so with simple guns and ammo, possibly even bows and arrows should we be willing to return to our former roots in our ways of hunting. There are very few occasions when we actually physically hunt our prey with tooth and claw—which, to the rest of the animal kingdom, seems outrageous. We were created as omnivores for a reason, to find and seek and hunt and kill the prey and foods that we eat. It is terrifying to think that, once upon a time, we were no more than animals, which is why, in my opinion, people are afraid of zombies. It is not about a lack of conscience, the loss of memories or even the desire to kill those we love—it is the return to animal roots that make them the most frightening.
Kody Boye’s zombie novel, Sunrise, is now available on Smashwords.com and on Amazon in paperback formats (with Kindle forthcoming.) You can find more about him and his future projects by going to KodyBoye.com.
Recently, I had the opportunity to catch up with Frank Hall, a good friend of mine who runs Hydra Publications, a small press from Indiana that focuses on speculative fiction. I did an interview with him, which was a lot of fun, and we chatted about my projects, past, present, and future.
It was a lot of fun, and it is posted over at their website. You can check it out here: http://www.hydrapublications.com/2011/12/26/interview-with-patrick-dorazio/
Tim Long, a fellow zombie novelist and all around great guy shot me over some questions a little while back. Some were normal, some were odd, and some…well, just check it out. I chat about my books, about my zombie slaying skills (well, sort of), I ramble a bit, and I chat about a new project I’m involved with that Tim handed the reins over to me on. So I am handling my first editing project. I will provide more details down the road as the book shapes up a bit more and is ready for primetime, but for now, give a looksee at the info on it over on his website: http://timothywlong.com/an-interview-with-patrick-dorazio/.
Thanks Tim for a fun interview. Oh and do Tim a favor and check out what else he has on his blog. He is in the process of releasing a couple of books and has a some others that have been out for a while…all of which I have read, and all of which I can heartily recommend…though a couple of them are pretty odd. But Tim is a pretty odd guy. And that, my friends, is a good thing!
I had the chance to answer a few questions from podcaster and fellow author Patrick Hester, who is, proudly, a Functional Nerd. What is a functional nerd, you ask? Once upon a time, a boss noted that, for a nerd, Patrick Hester still managed to ‘function’ within society – hence was born: The Functional Nerd.
We chatted about bizarro, The Dark Trilogy, me (ugh!), my life outside of writing, the pluses and minuses of the “big publishing house route” vs. “the small press publishers”, short story writing vs. novel writing, and of course, zombies! It was a blast to do. Patrick conducts a great interview. My thanks to him for his great questions, insights, and the conversation we had afterword that shed some light on some really cool conventions I wasn’t aware of that I might be checking out in the upcoming months and years.
Check it out here! http://functionalnerds.com/2011/08/episode-067-patrick-dorazio/.
Kevin Walsh over at Buyzombie.com spent some time recently coming up with some pretty good questions for me in an interview after he’d written the final review for my trilogy. I want to thank him for the time and effort. It was a lot of fun. So check it out here: http://www.buyzombie.com/2011/07/14/undead-news/patrick-dorazio-interview/
I just mentioned in my prior post that Rebecca Besser had reviewed Comes The Dark and also that she had interviewed me as well. Well, Rebecca is a busy blogger today, because she just posted my interview after posting her review earlier today. You can check it out here: http://blog.rebeccabesser.com/2011/07/06/interview-with-patrick-dorazio-author-of-comes-the-dark-the-first-book-of-the-dark-trilogy.aspx
Thanks once again to Rebecca for taking the time to do the interview. It was a lot of fun!
Mr. Moon interviews Patrick D’Orazio. Yep, the infamous Mr. Jonathan Moon, horror and bizarro writer (and editor) of epic magnitude, took the time out to ask me a few questions. Some of them were pretty normal, but a few…well, you’ll just have to see for yourself. I love the Deathmatch question. What? You don’t know what the Deathmatch question is? Well find out for yourself here: http://mrmoonblogs.blogspot.com/2011/04/mr-moon-interviews-patrick-dorazio.html. We talked about not only my books, but my short stories, my influences, and some other righteous topics.
It was a lot of fun checking in with Mr. Moon and I want to thank him for taking the time to do an interview with me that is coinciding with the release of Beyond the Dark. So please, check it out!
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.
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.
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!
A little while back, author Shells Walter took the time out to do an interview with me for Walter Rhein’s blog. She asked me questions about my writing and the Dark trilogy. I enjoyed chatting with her and I hope you’ll check it out here: http://walterrhein.blogspot.com/2011/03/shells-chats-with-author-patrick.html. I want to thank Shells for the opportunity. It was a lot of fun!
I wanted to post a link to an interview I did, along with two other young guns in the zombie genre, with Joe McKinney, author of such books as Dead City and Apocalypse of the Dead. It was a real honor getting the chance to answer a few questions Mr. McKinney posed of me. He and Wayne Simmons, author of Drop Dead Gorgeous and Flu, have swapped blogs for the week, and so this interview appears on Wayne’s blog, which is doubly cool, since I really dig both these authors. So check out the Q & A I had with Joe, along with Lincoln Crisler and Lyle Perez, who he also interviewed. I am flattered to be in their company. Check it out here: http://waynesimmons.org/blog/?p=250
It’s been a while since I posted just some random thoughts, or even some updates on my experiences in writing. Most of my blog posts have been book reviews and updates on stuff being released, Dark Stories, etc. So I thought I would post some comments based on how things are looking these days. It’s been around six months now since Comes The Dark came out, and this whole process of writing, promoting, editing, and all that wonderful stuff has changed for me since the book’s release. It used to be that I was always preparing for something to happen, and it seemed like a distant dream. For several years, when I meandered down the path of writing the manuscript that became my trilogy, it almost seemed theoretical that it would ever be published and that this whole effort was being done for nothing more than a “see, I told you I could do it!” perspective. But then it became real, and the first book was released.
Things went great with that, and have been great, no doubt about it. Sure, there have been a few negative reviews, which are almost like a badge of honor for a writer. Having someone tell you that you suck and please stop writing is sort of a tough one to handle at first blush, but you can either ignore it, or try to extract something from that which motivates you to do better. You can’t respond in kind, by lashing out, because it does no one any good, especially me. Even trying to explain why you did something in your book that someone really didn’t like is pointless, because the inevitable truth that you have to embrace as a writer (especially of genre stuff, and in particular, sub-genre stuff as this zombie stuff has been called) is that there will always be people for who your work does not resonate, and in fact, they do truly hate it, because something you said, did, or didn’t do really rubs them the wrong way. And if you try to absorb all that criticism and validate it in your mind, it will drive you crazy. You will have one person who sights that you poured on the emotions far too heavily in one scene, and then someone else will come along and point out that your characters seemed emotionally withdrawn in that exact same scene. I would never say that you can’t extract something out of the critiques you get, but you have to be true to yourself in the end, and let the chips fall where they may. And trying to get everyone to like your stuff is a tough way to go through life, and there will be a LOT of disappointments along the way. I want people to enjoy my work…otherwise, I wouldn’t have tried to get any of it published. But knowing that you have done your best, no matter what, has to stand for something.
I will be the first one to admit that I have a lot to learn about writing, and a lot to learn about the editing process. I know that there is always room for improvement, but at the same time, sooner or later, you have to step back and tell yourself that all that can be done has been done. I’m not sure when that point is, but I think sooner or later I will find it. It probably has something to do with being a bit OCD now and then, and not having the ability to walk away from a story and just leave it be, knowing that I’ve done all I can with it.
With all that said, I am taking another swipe at having some edits done to my trilogy. The third book, Beyond The Dark, is complete and I am satisfied that it is the best it can be, with no further tampering from me. I have had several edits done to it, and I know well enough to leave it be after that, because better editing minds than mine have worked it over and slapped it on the grill. If it keeps cooking it will be overcooked and no one wants that. But in conjunction with the edits being completed on that book, I have had an editor have another go at Comes The Dark and Into The Dark, and those edits will be implemented with the paperback and electronic versions of the book that are sold after the release of Beyond The Dark. In fact, there will be several releases in March for the grand finale of the trilogy. Here they are, briefly:
Beyond The Dark is being released as a paperback and on Smashwords, naturally. The edits, as I mentioned, are complete, and I am very happy with them. I honestly think that this is the most compelling of the three books, for many reasons I won’t divulge here.
Future versions of the paperback and smashwords versions of Comes The Dark and Into The Dark will be the revised versions, though we won’t be advertising that. The new copies sold will just have some new editing touches that won’t change anything with the stories, but will do a bit to get rid of some of the typos and grammatical errors that were in the original releases.
The Dark Trilogy, Revised, Expanded, and with Additional Stories will be released for both the Kindle and smashwords. As I mention here: https://patrickdorazio.com/2010/11/22/announcement-about-the-kindle-version-of-comes-the-dark/, there was a snafu with the kindle release of Comes The Dark. It was the raw, unedited version of the entire manuscript for the trilogy. We pulled that version off the market, but not before a substantial number had been sold, and as you can guess, many of those kindle readers assumed that Into The Dark would end up being an entirely new story, not one that had appeared already in the version they had (mind you, there were some new chapters added and it was edited, which the raw manuscript was not), so we did not release Into The Dark on the kindle, nor are we releasing Beyond The Dark as a stand alone on the kindle either. Instead, we are releasing, as the title describes it, the entire trilogy, plus all the stories that appear here, on my blog, under the page heading “Dark Stories”. It will be around 250,000 words and include a lot of stuff that didn’t show up in that raw and unedited kindle version that went out.
Maybe that will allow my OCD to relinquish control of me and let this trilogy rest for a bit after all that is said and done in March. And that is the key, I think. I need to focus 100% of my efforts on new stuff, and not on revising, editing, messing with, or otherwise tweaking stuff I have already done. Granted, I have written my fair share of short stories and have outlined and even started writing new novels over the past few months, but the focus has been splintered with a LOT of it devoted to the trilogy. I will continue to promote the Dark trilogy via the net and in other places, but it has been crazy for the past year, with so much effort put into something I had already written, and re-written, several times. But that is what it takes to get a novel out there, and ready to go for public consumption. I will even mention that another publisher came along and chatted about buying the rights to the trilogy and doing a re-release, which was very flattering, but a very daunting prospect. The idea of once again diving into this trilogy of books, which has consumed so much of my time, effort, and energy over the past few years, was terrifying. I just couldn’t do that. I love these books-they will always hold a special place in my heart, and I love talking about them, promoting them, and doing whatever is needed to make them appear more polished and professional, etc. but as far as writing, editing, etc…that all needs to be in the rear view mirror for me. I need to focus on other projects and throw myself into them like I did this one.
With that in mind, I though I might give some vague ideas of what the future holds. Because regardless of the guy on Amazon who pleaded with me to stop writing, I plan on doing some more…and I hope to get better at it-perhaps enough, someday, that he might change his mind, or might be able to brag to his friends that his comments were the ones that motivated me to get better and I actually did! I guess there are crazier dreams out there.
I will finish off the Dark Stories. I still have a handful of these stories to offer up to you, and I intend on finishing them before the release of Beyond The Dark.
There are about 15 submission calls for short stories that I would love to tackle. Realistically, I will probably go after no more than 5-10 of them, but I will give it my best shot. Another stab at keeping my writing diverse and not just tackling zombies, but other horror stories, sci fi, fantasy, and other genres as well.
I have two novels outlined, and I will admit that one is a fourth book in the same universe that the Dark Trilogy takes place in. In all, the plan would be for five books total, with the fifth book being the final chapter in the tale. The other novel is another horror tale that includes both our dear friends, the zombies, as well as their arch nemesis (well, at least I think so), the vampires. And no, neither side are made to look like the good guys. This one will hopefully be a very dark, very grim tale.
I have at least two or three other novels floating around in my head, including an overhaul of a book I wrote back in college. High fantasy, as it was originally written. Granted, the book was bad, really, really, bad. But my new slant would be to do an overhaul with a few winks, a nudge here and there, and not try to take it so seriously. Would it be outright comedy? That remains to be seen, but I think I would like to take a swipe at doing my best to overhaul this sucker. Another would be a YA adventure story, which is one that got into my head over the past few months and I really want to run with it. It would be something very personal because of the elements of the story and the main characters, but unfortunately, I really don’t want to divulge much else because again, I haven’t done much with it yet. But one of my longterm goals is to write YA fiction, and this would be my first step into that arena, perhaps beyond a few short stories I plan on doing before the novel would get done. The final book floating around in my mind, and that I have created a description that would fit nicely on the back cover of the book, would be a futuristic novel. It would actually have noir elements, would be at its heart a mystery, and takes place a decade after the zombie apocalypse has come and went-the humans won, and the zombies were wiped out…but someone out there knows the secret to creating zombies, and wants to bring them back…the main character’s job would be to stop them, and discover why they want to do such a crazy thing.
Again, this is all just ideas floating around in my head. It is always fun to come up with ideas that you believe can be turned into novels, and then doing your best to putting them down on paper and get rolling with them. They don’t always continue to speak to you after you start the writing process, and you realize that a good idea was actually only that-an idea. But the ideas can morph and change into something completely different, which is also part of the fun. You have the opportunity to change a story mid-stride and make it into something you never expected, but really gives you the juice to go the distance with it.
I guess that is it for now. Sorry for the long explanation of things, but a lot on my mind lately, and a lot of things going on. And for better or worse, I wanted to share it all with you. 😉
Heather over at Doubleshot Reviews was kind enough to interview me after reviewing Comes The Dark recently. So give it a looksee here: http://doubleshotreviews.com/2011/01/03/interview-with-patrick-dorazio/
The folks over at Flames Rising let me take a swipe at talking about Comes The Dark and my writing experiences in general.
For folks not in the know, Flames Rising is an online resource for fans of Horror and Dark Fantasy entertainment. This horror fanzine offers reviews of Games, Fiction, Movies and more ranging from Top-Selling authors to the coolest Small Press and “indie” publishers. The popular Interviews at Flames Rising include Horror authors, artists and other creators of dark entertainment. So you should be checking them out!
And more to the point, check out my article, here: http://www.flamesrising.com/comes-the-dark-essay/