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.
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
I’m thrilled to see my novel Will Haunt You on LitReactor’s list of most anticipated horror novels of 2019. 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
Will Haunt You is now available for purchase in all formats. Be sure to check out the creepypasta-style prequel OBSIDEO before you begin the book.
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)
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.
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.
The podcast was hosted by author, Todd Keisling, who is one of Crystal Lake Publishing’s rising stars and, along with me, featured the following guests:
Doug Murano, editor of Behold! and other critically acclaimed anthologies, including Shadows Over Mainstream Vol. 1 & 2, and Gutted Beautiful Horror Stories, which was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award last year for best anthology.
Author Erinn L. Kemper who lives on the Caribbean coast in Costa Rica where she writes, runs with her dog on the beach, and drinks ridiculous amounts of coffee, at least until happy hour. Erinn has sold stories to Cemetery Dance magazine, Dark Discoveries and Black Static, and appears in various anthologies including You, Human, Shadows Over Main Street Volume 2, and Chiral Mad 3. Visit her website at erinnkemper.com for updates and sloth sightings.
And author Richard Thomas, who is the award-winning author of seven books—Disintegration and Breaker (Random House Alibi), Transubstantiate, Staring Into the Abyss, Herniated Roots, Tribulations, and The Soul Standard (Dzanc Books). His over 100 stories in print include Cemetery Dance, PANK, storySouth, Gargoyle, Weird Fiction Review, Midwestern Gothic, Arcadia, Qualia Nous, Chiral Mad 2 and 3, and Shivers VI. He is also the editor of four anthologies: The New Black and the Shirley Jackson-nominated Exigencies (Dark House Press), The Lineup: 20 Provocative Women Writers (Black Lawrence Press) and the Bram Stoker Award®-nominated Burnt Tongues (Medallion Press) with Chuck Palahniuk. In his spare time he writes for LitReactor and is editor-in-chief at Gamut Magazine. For more information visit www.whatdoesnotkillme.com.
This was my second time being a guest on this podcast. The first time was to talk about my contribution in Gutted Beautiful Horror Stories, and that episode can be viewed HERE.
Not only does this anthology contain my latest story, “Wildflower, Cactus, Rose,” it features fiction from some of the most exciting contemporary authors, including Neil Gaiman, Clive Barker, Ramsey Campbell, Lisa Morton, Lucy A. Snyder, and more, with a forward by Josh Malerman.
Thanks, I’m excited about this one. I hope you’ll check it out.
The artwork for my upcoming story “Wildflower, Cactus, Rose” was released yesterday, and it is stunning. It captures the defiant attitude of the mother in the story, who is working to establish a new self identity after a botched surgery leaves her disfigured.
Many thanks to Luke Spooner at Carrion House for creating such a striking work of art. The story will appear in Behold: Oddities, Curiosities and Undefinable Wonders, which includes stories by Clive Barker, Neil Gaiman, Ramsey Campbell, Lucy A. Snyder, John F.D. Taff, Richard Thomas, Patrick Freivald, Kristi Demeester, Erinn Kemper, and more, including a forward by Josh Malerman. Look for the book’s release on July 28.
I read a lot of horror fiction, but the scariest book I’ve read is a work of non-fiction titled, The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat. This book relates several rare psychiatric cases, including cases of extreme amnesia where individuals have lost all ties to the past and live in a perpetual state of the present, uncertain of who they are or their place in a confusing world that lacks context.
Goddamn that gives me goosebumps. The thought of waking to a state of consciousness that lacks identity, recognizes nothing, and has no idea where it is or what it’s supposed to be doing. As Desirina puts it in her novella, “To live in this nightmare without a story would be too much to bear.”
The fine folks at Crystal Lake Publishing were kind enough to conduct this in-depth interview with me, where we cover everything from my prior con artist step-father (whom I hope is now doing well) to my aspirations as an author.