I read The End In All Beginnings by John F.D. Taff back in 2014 and became a fan of his for life. In fact, that collection, which would go on to become a finalist for the Bram Stoker Award, made such an impression on me I felt compelled to write an essay on it. And, no, I don’t normally make a habit of writing unpaid essays for fun. That’s how much that collection moved me.
Words typically come easy, but not when expressing the strange twists of fate that have led to a time when an author whom I idolize as much as John F.D. Taff is not only reading my work, but actively endorsing it. We live in a strange and wondrous world. Following is what Taff had to say about my new novel Will Haunt You.
“‘Love would be worthless if it wasn’t so hard to attain.’ So goes a line in Brian Kirk’s masterful Will Haunt You, a trippy piece of rock-and-roll-fueled occult meta-fiction proving that love sometimes is terrifyingly difficult to attain. If you think sobriety or any of your other defenses protect you from the horrors of this world, reading Kirk’s Will Haunt You will dissuade you from that notion. In a big way. Highly recommended!”
–John F.D. Taff, Multi-Bram Stoker-Nominated Author of Little Black Spots and The Fearing
John F.D. Taff isn’t only an exceptional writer, he’s one of the kindest, most supportive people you could ever hope to meet. Quick story, my first book signing ever was at a table across from his at the World Horror convention. This was for my debut novel We Are Monsters, which hadn’t even hit the shelves yet, so nobody knew anything about me or the book at that time. John strolled over near the end of my hour and asked to buy a signed copy of my book. I offered him a free copy, but he insisted on paying.
“I’ll let you know what I think,” he said before returning to his table, which I appreciated, but figured was just a polite thing to say. Then, a month later, I get a note from him saying he really enjoyed the book and would be glad to provide a blurb if I was interested. INTERESTED?! I’m still recovering from those shock waves.
While John F.D. Taff might be a lovely person, he’s a fearsome writer. Readers have termed him ‘The King of Pain’, and for good reason. He will hurt you. But not with malicious or gratuitous intent. The pain his stories inflict are born of growth, rooted in hard-earned human truths that are exquisite in their power and transformative force. Just as death makes life sweeter, Taff’s horrors make everyday experiences more profound.
You really can’t got wrong with anything Taff writes. Put a blindfold on and pick at random and you’ll be right every time. Both of his collections, The End In All Beginnings and Little Black Spots, have earned critical praise, and provide a rich and diverse sampling of his ranging imagination. If you’re like me, and like to get lost in a sprawling epic, keep your eyes peeled for his forthcoming novel The Fearing. This novel is his magnum opus on horror.
As if my personal narrative with John Taff couldn’t get more surprising and entangled, I am honored to announce that we are currently collaborating on a intricate and epic novel whereby we aim to engage in a type of literary warfare with one another by way of the characters we create. Like I said, we live in a strange and wondrous world. I can’t wait to see where it all winds up.
And if you’re in the mood for a “trippy piece of rock-and-roll-fueled occult meta-fiction proving that love sometimes is terrifyingly difficult to attain,” click here to preorder my novel. It’s due out March 14th.