Out Behind the Barn has been nominated for a This is Horror Award for best novella. Here's a link where you can see all nominees for each category and place your votes for your favorites. Voting ends April 29th.
As far as writing accomplishments, 2018 treated me better than any year thus far.
I slowed down on submitting to anthologies and magazines and instead focused on novellas. As a result, I had 3 novellas published last year and still had my work published in 5 anthologies (Splatterpunk Forever! not pictured) and 1 magazine.
Some highlights for the year:
At the beginning of the year I had one goal (other than being more prolific than the year before). In 2017 I shared a Table of Contents with Clive Barker, Ramsey Campbell and Jack Ketchum (a few times), so for 2018 I had the dream of sharing one with another of my favorites: Either Joe Lansdale or Robert McCammon. I knew McCammon would be harder because you don't see much of his short fiction these days, but I thought Lansdale would be obtainable.
And it nearly was.
Joe and I were both to be in an upcoming invite-only Jack Ketchum tribute anthology that crumbled horribly soon after its announcement. Maybe this year, Joe.
Thank you to the readers and reviewers whose praise encourages me to keep at it.
Here's to a great 2019 for us all!
I know. I rarely do the blog thing anymore. There are are a few reasons for that. One being I have a newsletter I send out every 3 weeks or so instead. The other is I'd rather be writing fiction when getting creative. So, let's save the blog posts for stuff like this: My best of list for 2018.
I didn't keep track of all the TV and movies I watched this year so I'll just give you my favorite movie of the year; however, I did keep track of the books so below is the list of my top 10. It's important to note the following books were not necessarily released in 2018. It just happens to be the year I read them.
Top 10 Books (in no particular order):
1. THE HUNGER GAMES - Suzanne Collins
2. BODY OF CHRIST - Mark Matthews
3. THE BOULEVARD MONSTER - Jeremy Hepler
4. MAPPING THE INTERIOR - Stephen Graham Jones
5. THE MAGIC WAGON - Joe Lansdale
6. THE SECRET LIFE OF SOULS - Jack Ketchum and Lucky McKee
7. WESTLAKE SOUL - Rio Youers
8. WOOM - Duncan Ralston
9. CRAZY FROM THE HEAT - David Lee Roth
10. BAZAAR OF BAD DREAMS - Stephen King
Best movie: HEREDITARY
Thanks to all the creatives who put out some great stuff this year. What are your top tens?
I’m one of those people who is obsessed with music. A myriad of genres. I could never live without it. Not even a day. My whole life I’ve been like this. I’m also the guy who watches the live performances on DVD, VHS, YouTube, whatever. The guy who reads (or watches) the interviews, buys the magazines (though not so much since the Internet took over the world). I even started my own magazine years ago that covered music and horror films. I learned to play an instrument and have been in a dozen of my own bands. And through it all. Through all the interviews and live performances from my favorites, there is a commonality that I never could relate to. That “we-love-you-all” shout from the stage. That “If-it-weren’t-for-the-fans” spiel they give in interviews. To me it sounded cliche, right along with “I can’t hear you!” and “God bless you all!” I just didn’t get it.
Not until the past few years.
Now, I’m no rock star, not in the musical sense and certainly not in the literary sense. But that “If-it-wasn’t-for-the-fans” thing? I get it now. And I feel it. Wholeheartedly.
Having a dedicated, loyal readership is a wonderful thing to have. And I appreciate every single person who takes the time to read something I’ve written and then leave a review and help spread the word. But the actual book reviewers? They’re on a whole other level. They’re bombarded with books and still make the time.
I’ve always been very vocal about my appreciation for book reviewers, and I’ll continue to be. Whether it be a website, a blogger, or just a person who has a love for books and wants to support those who create.
Reading books and sharing with others is time consuming, and can oftentimes be stressful, as the writers (good and bad) come knocking on the doors of those who take their precious time to read said books, and soon the TBR pile becomes an intimidating beast looming over them from the nightstand as they sleep. A constant tapping on the shoulder that the reader’s job isn’t done. That it never will be.
This is my stage-shouting spiel with mic in hand, thanking the reviewers for all they do. For their time, their honesty, and the spreading of the word. Because truly, no praised writer would have half the motivation and only a fraction of the sales, if it weren’t for those reviewing.
You're right. I don't use this blog much anymore. But I wanted to share with you my favorites of 2017: Movies, books, TV shows, and music. Not everything in my lists was released in 2017. It just happens to be the year I partook.
Books: According to Goodreads, I read 20 books this year. Some of those were fairly short, and at least one of them I had started in 2016. Here's my list of favorites I read in 2017. With the exception of #1, they are in no particular order.
1. BLACK GUM - J. David Osborne.
2. 20TH CENTURY GHOSTS - Joe Hill (collection)
3. MONGRELS - Stephen Graham Jones
4. SPUNGUNION - John Boden
5. THE WARBLERS - Amber Fallon
Movies & TV Shows: I don't keep track of these as well as books, so I'll do my best.
1. Twin Peaks
2. Hap & Leonard (season 1).
3. Gerald's Game
4. The Void
5. Weeds (all seasons)
6. Santa Clarita Diet (Netflix Series)
7. True Detective (all seasons)
8. Rainbow Time
9. The Good Neighbor
10. Mindhunter (season 1)
1. David Lynch - Crazy Clown Time
2. Obituary - Obituary
3. Lazerhawk - Dreamrider
4. IVERSEN - Arcade
5. Michael Oakley - California
6. Pink Fink - self titled
7. 26Hate - Lovely Memories
8. Kristine - Kristine
9. Hello Meteor - The Glowing: Final Cut
10. LGHTNNG - Nights Change Days
So I bought myself one of these old school word processors. That the ancient ones with the giant monitor flashing the blinding green text. This is a Neo2 AlphaSmart. I bought it to get away from distractions like Facebook (Man, that thing is the devil ain't it?), Blabbermouth, Amazon, Goodreads, Deviantart, YouTube...ya know, sites that tear away from anything productive in my life. Since owning this little word saver, I've written more in the last month or so than I ever have. I lug the thing outside, stare out through the trees, and get to work.
My contribution to Pint Bottle Press' Double Barrel Horror collections was released recently featuring my stories "Punk Rock Re-Animator" and "Holes." You can get that here for only $0.99. Paperback is coming soon featuring all the authors, including John Boden, author of JEDI SUMMER.
Not much else to report, but I do like to keep my blog here somewhat updated. I've got some stuff coming out later this year in different anthologies, one of which I'll be sharing the TOC with one of my favorite authors. And currently I'm finishing up my next book, a novella titled STIRRING THE SHEETS. It's bleak. It's sad. It's uncomfortable. In other words, anyone who enjoyed OF FOSTER HOMES & FLIES and WALLFLOWER is gonna love it. I'll be shopping around for a publisher for this one soon, but there is already some interest in it so we'll see how that goes.
Currently Reading: Behold!: Oddities, Curiosities and Undefinable Wonders
Currently Watching: Season 5 of True Blood, season 1 of True Detective
The response I've gotten from WALLFLOWER has been great. It's nice to see so many people pick up what I'm laying down, and really get it. When I started writing, I never wanted to be lumped into one category. Authors like Lansdale and McCammon are great at appeasing their readers no matter the genre. That's what I wanted to do. Dark fiction sums it up pretty well for me I guess.
I had a giveaway recently (congratulations Joli and Stubblebag!). I have them from time to time for those signed up to my reader list. If interested, you can do that here. Don't worry, you'll barely hear from me.
Shadow Work Publishing has a new book out. Dark Designs: Tales of Mad Science. Tons of stories dealing with....well, mad science. This features my story "Discerning the Adversary."
I've been working on a few stories that had deadlines and then it's back to work on PALE WHITE, which I hope to have out this summer.
Junky - William S. Burroughs
Crazy from the Heat - David Lee Roth
20th Century Ghosts - Joe Hill
Most recent issue of Cemetery Dance
Sugar & Spice
“What have you done, Abby?”
The man’s daughter sat beside him, a grin on her face. The tickle in his ear had been there for days. It scratched and scraped and clicked like a playing card in the spokes of a bicycle.
“When I asked Mommy about a puppy she said to put a bug in your ear.”
“Honey, it’s only an expression.”
The man heard the distant groan of his wife, her agony growing louder, closer.
“Abby, what did you do to Mommy?”
“Nothing, Daddy.” The girl’s grin remained. “Mommy said she’d keep an eye out for a puppy.”
Seeing my own OF FOSTER HOMES AND FLIES on a handful of "best of 2016" lists in the past few weeks has really put a nice cherry on top of an otherwise chaotic year that was full of both blessings and hardships. Because I love to help spread the word of great authors and their books, I figured I'd make my own list of favorites. Here it is, a small list of my favorite reads I spent time huddled in a chair or leaning back in bed against my headboard, be it with a print copy or with my Kindle glowing dimly while the wife slept next to me. Do keep in mind that these are books I read this year, NOT necessarirly books that were released this year. There are a lot of books out there, and because I never even started reading until my mid 20s--followed by a several-year hiatus of all things fiction--I need to catch up on classics (King's The Stand for example...don't hate me) as well as newer books that are getting a ton of recognition including Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones and Odd Man Out by James Newman, both of which I am proud to say I own in print and have broken the spine on one just the other night. So, without further delay, and in no particular order, here are my favorite books I read in 2016 along with the Amazon links to purchase them yourself if you so desire.
Tis the season to spook or get spooked. Starting now until November 1st I'm offering my Double Feature Collection III: DEATH DEALERS: AID FROM THE ELDERLY for your Kindle-friendly device for free.
But wait, there's more....
You can get ALL of the AMERICAN DEMON HUNTERS novellas for FREE during that time as well:
AMERICAN DEMON HUNTERS: Battle Creek, Michigan by Chad Lutzke
AMERICAN DEMON HUNTERS: Nashville, Tennessee by Zach Bohannon
AMERICAN DEMON HUNTERS: Albany, New York by Bettina Melher
AMERICAN DEMON HUNTERS: Washington D.C. by John L. Monk
Don't forget, you can read these in any order...and that includes the original AMERICAN DEMON HUNTERS novel by J. Thorn