Brian Kirk

A Journey of the Imagination

Author: bkirk (page 1 of 9)

Todd Keisling Endorses WILL HAUNT YOU

If you aren’t already familiar with the work of Todd Keisling, just wait. You will be.

I echo the words of author John Langan, who had this to say about Keisling, “Todd Keisling is a born storyteller, drawing the reader into artfully constructed narratives that scout the darker end of the literary spectrum with skill and bravado.”

I’ve gotten to know Todd well over the last few years, and he continues to impress me as a writer and a thinker (plus, he’s a pretty swell fella). When asked to read an advance copy of my novel WILL HAUNT YOU, I knew he’d accept the task with the seriousness that he approaches everything he puts his mind toward. And that scared me. Thankfully he enjoyed it, and I’m grateful for what he had to say:

“Brian Kirk’s WILL HAUNT YOU is a vivid mind-flaying descent into one man’s living nightmare. Bizarre, chilling, and at times heartbreaking, Jessie Wheeler’s tortured confession stayed with me long after the last page. The puzzle hidden between the lines will never leave.” –Todd Keisling, author of THE FINAL RECONCILIATION and UGLY LITTLE THINGS

Todd is the consummate craftsman, a talented writer who continues to hone his skill, thinking carefully and seriously about each piece before exploding with malicious intent onto the page. His fiction is dark and menacing, and tends to explore the enigmatic depths of cosmic horror. His latest works include his collection, Ugly Little Things: Collected Horrors, his critically-acclaimed novella The Final Reconciliation, and recent chapbook The Smiling Factory.  Stay tuned for what Todd has coming up next. I had the pleasure of reading his next novel Devil’s Creek, and it’s a colossal piece of small town terror that is going to earn him the reputation of being one of the best authors of cosmic horror working today. Whether it’s a short story, or sweeping epic like Devil’s Creek, you’re to love Todd’s work, so grab one of his books today.


And if his endorsement intrigues you, you can learn more about Will Haunt You here, where it’s available for pre-order.

Stephanie M. Wytovich Endorses WILL HAUNT YOU

I often wish there were more people like Stephanie M. Wytovich in this world. But, to be honest, I don’t think the world could handle it. The sun would supernova the instant two such humans inhabited the same timeline. In fact, maybe that’s what causes supernovas to occur. Stephanie M. Wytovich incarnates twice in the same lifetime and the whole universe explodes.

I’ve read much of Stephanie’s work. It’s made me laugh. It’s made me cry. It’s made me so happy to be alive I can hardly stand it. It’s made me want to destroy everyone who’s ever existed before. Stephanie volunteered to read an early version of Will Haunt You, and having her do so scared me more than any horror novel I’ve read. Thankfully, she liked it. Here’s what she had to say:

Will Haunt You is a surrealist exorcism, an example of psychological horror at its best. Open this book carefully. It might be the last thing you do.” –Stephanie M. Wytovich, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Brothel

Want to learn how to write a book in arterial blood? Read Wytovich. Want to hear a heart beating outside its ribcage? Read Wytovich. Want to see raw, brutal honesty encoded in gilded words? Read Wytovich. She’s among the most talented, and critically acclaimed, dark poets working today. Her creations will wreck you, however, so don’t come lightly to anything bearing her name.

Stephanie won a Bram Stoker Award for her poetry collection Brothel, and has been nominated for just about everything she’s published. Her latest collection Sheet Music to My Acoustic Nightmare is among the most affecting books I’ve ever read, and I mean that. It took me a while to recover from it. Prefer prose fiction? She does that, too. Her debut novel The Eighth is exceptional.


I hope you’ll read her work. And if you want to learn more about my novel she endorsed, it’s now available for pre-order on Amazon and through other online booksellers.

Lisa Mannetti Endorses Will Haunt You

What do you get when you mix Peter Straub and Joyce Carol Oates together in a literary cauldron? Hell if I know. But if you like those two authors, you’re sure to love Lisa Mannetti. Her work is just as rich, just as layered, nuanced, and intricate as any author known for writing, what is often called, literary horror.

Lisa’s work is equally intelligent and engrossing. As thought-provoking as it is horrifying. You learn something new while reading a Mannetti story, right before she yanks your heart out and sets it on fire. You want to read Lisa Mannetti? You better come prepared.

I am honored and grateful that Lisa took the time to read my novel Will Haunt You, and offered the following endorsement:

“Brian Kirk’s newest novel is a tour-de-force of psychological suspense and terror. Superbly crafted and beautifully written, Will Haunt You will stay with you–literally–long after you finish the final page. Even though it scared the hell out of me, I highly recommend it…and remember, forewarned is forearmed….”

–Lisa Mannetti, Bram Stoker Award winner and Shirley Jackson Award finalist, author of The Box Jumper

Lisa’s debut novel The Gentling Box won the coveted Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a First Novel, and she recently won the award again for her short story, “Apocalypse Then.” Her brilliant novella The Box Jumper was nominated for both a Bram Stoker Award and a Shirley Jackson Award, and won the “novella of the year” award from This Is Horror. Her fiction appeals to fans of literary horror with occult and gothic undertones. She’s clever, witty, and ruthless. Wait until you get a load of her work.

And if her endorsement of my novel Will Haunt You intrigues you, it is now available for pre-order on Amazon and other retail outlets. Thanks for taking a look

Gemma Files Blurbs WILL HAUNT YOU

Gemma Files is one of those rare authors whose work is so powerful, so original, so freaking smart and affecting, that reading one of her pieces, be it a short story like, “each thing i show you is a piece of my death” (co-authored with Stephen J. Barringer), or a novel like Experimental Film, may very well make you a fan for life. I know that I am.  Any time she has a new release, I’ll be first in line to place an order.

To my great delight, Gemma Files agreed to read my latest novel Will Haunt You, and had the following kind words to say:

“A genuinely weird and powerful vision, Will Haunt You delivers on its titular boast, in spades. Braided throughout with themes of addiction, doubting, and suffering-driven self-transformation Brian Kirk’s new novel reads like a barely-guided tour through several hell-scapes at once, a matryoskha doll of interlocking torments seemingly designed to spur his protagonist’s excoriating moral self-inventory. Reading it often made me happy enough to want to hurt him, badly.”

–Gemma Files, author of Experimental Film

Gemma’s work inspires me to try harder. To push my imagination further into unknown realms. To be as strange and authentic as I dare to be. I’m grateful to her for these gifts, as they are priceless.

If you have not yet experienced Gemma’s work, I encourage you to do so now. My personal favorite is her novel Experimental Film, but only because I prefer long fiction to short. If you’re a fan of short fiction, her two collections, We Will All Go Down Together and Spectral Evidence, will take your imagination to places it’s never been before. Make sure you’re strapped in tight.


And if her endorsement of my novel Will Haunt You intrigues you, it is now available for pre-order on Amazon and other retail outlets. Thanks for taking a look.

{Guest Post} The Haunting of Henderson Close

It’s my sincere pleasure to welcome fellow Flame Tree Press author Catherine Cavendish to my website today, with the frightening tale of a haunted castle that has claimed the life of at least one. Readers who enjoy gothic ghost stories will love Cat’s work. She’s among the best out there.

Now learn about the one castle you want to avoid when visiting Scotland, and then take a look at Cat’s latest novel, The Haunting of Henderson Close. Continue reading


This is a story I’ve never shared before, but feel compelled to do so now. My upcoming novel Will Haunt You was inspired by a couple from my neighborhood who disappeared after discovering a strange book in their home. My neighbor’s name is Nancy Carter, and she chronicled her ordeal on a crime watch page within the community website Nextdoor(dot)com. I managed to capture screen grabs of the ordeal as it unfolded.

To say that I was mesmerized by this story is an understatement. I was obsessed with it. Following along every post, and trying my best to figure out who was behind it. The first entry is posted below. It grabbed my attention immediately. There was something familiar about that book, although I had never seen it before.

Continue reading

It’s Alive: Bringing Your Nightmares to Life

My first published piece of non-fiction is available today in this fantastic guide for horror writers titled, It’s Alive: Bringing Your Nightmares To Life.

The essay I wrote is on creating empathy for your characters. It was a real honor to be asked to contribute a piece for this, and I’m pleased to see early readers connecting with my essay in particular, having the following kind words to say. Continue reading

The Most Anticipated Horror Novels of 2019

I haven’t said much about my new novel coming out in March, because I’m preparing to begin talking about it quite a bit next month. But, I can’t hold my tongue about this particular bit of exciting news. I was just informed that my upcoming novel, Will Haunt You, made LitReactor’s list of most anticipated horror novels of 2019.

It’s quite an honor to see my work in a list comprised of some of my favorite contemporary writers. And check out this blurb: “This book is unlike anything you’ve ever read before, and you’re going to punch yourself in the face if you neglect to pre-order it.” I love that so much I want to give it a french kiss.

Check out the entire list HERE, and order them all. That’s what I plan to do.

The 15 Most Anticipated Horror Novels of 2019

Stay tuned for more info regarding Will Haunt You in the coming months. We’re about to travel down the rabbit hole. I hope you’re ready for the ride.

Behold! the Bram Stoker Award Winning Anthology

I was shocked to hear that Behold! Oddities, Curiosities and Undefinable Wonders had won the coveted Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in an Anthology. Not because I didn’t feel it was a great book; it is (and I’m not just saying that because it features my story, “Wildflower, Cactus, Rose”).

“Wildflower, Cactus, Rose”

It’s just that the book was up against other anthologies edited by legends of our field. Linda D. Addison, the brilliant poet and recipient of this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Ellen Datlow, who is arguably the most highly regarded editor in the history of horror. Jodi Renee Lester and Alessandro Manzetti who are renowned for putting out quality work. And Jonathan Mayberry and George (MF’n!) Romero, the godfather of the zombie genre.

Here’s a look at the final ballot:

Superior Achievement in an Anthology

  • Brooks, Kinitra, PhD., Addison, Linda D., and Morris, Susana, PhD. – Sycorax’s Daughters (Cedar Grove Publishing)
  • Datlow, Ellen – Black Feathers: Dark Avian Tales: An Anthology (Pegasus Books)
  • Maberry, Jonathan and Romero, George A. – Nights of the Living Dead: An Anthology (St. Martin’s Griffin)
  • Manzetti, Alessandro and Lester, Jodi Renee – The Beauty of Death Vol. 2: Death by Water (Independent Legions Publishing)
  • Murano, Doug – Behold!: Oddities, Curiosities & Undefinable Wonders (Crystal Lake Publishing)

Still… Behold! seemed charmed from the beginning. From the initial concept conceived by Doug Murano, to the captivating cover art by John Coulthart, to the quality stories written by some of today’s top talent, the book was a strong contender, albeit an underdog, and is very much deserving of this award.

Congrats to Doug and all the other contributing authors and artists on this award-winning collaboration!

CLICK HERE to learn more about the book and buy a copy, if you feel so inclined.

Contract Signed for Second Novel

Friends! Good news. Now that the contract is signed, I’m happy to say that I have sold my second novel (3rd written) to acclaimed editor Don D’Auria at his new publishing imprint, Flame Tree Press. It’s been a long and winding road between books (a story I’ll soon tell), but I’m happy where it wound up.

The book’s title is a secret for now, though it is due out early next year in all formats. Here are a couple of snippets from two terrific authors who got an early look.

“…a tour-de-force of psychological suspense and terror. It scared the hell out of me.”
–Lisa Mannetti, Bram Stoker Award winner and Shirley Jackson Award finalist, author of THE BOX JUMPER

“Open this book carefully. It might be the last thing you do.”
–Stephanie M. Wytovich, author of The Eighth.

This one’s going to strike a nerve. Stay tuned.

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