Hard Sentences, an anthology consisting of crime fiction inspired by Alcatraz, is now available from Broken River Books. Edited by David James Keaton and Joe Clifford, this anthology includes short stories by folks like Nick Mamatas, Jedidiah Ayres, Matthew McBride, Nik Korpon, Gabino Iglesias, and many others. It also includes my story “Roller Canary”, which is about the infamous Birdman of Alcatraz.
It is my birthday and also Lori’s birthday and also America’s birthday and my chest is on fire and I am a coughing machine and we are watching War on Everyone on Netflix and less than one minute in we are already laughing and today I am twenty-four years old, which is not much different than twenty-three or twenty-five.
Here are where some things stand:
- In December my new book—the hotel novel—was released by DarkFuse. Then, in June, DarkFuse decided they no longer wanted to publish eBooks and paperbacks and pulled most of their titles from distribution, including my book. For the time being, The Nightly Disease is out of print. I’ll eventually go through it again and rerelease it with bonus content but I am very lazy so I do not know when this will happen.
- I am still fat and full of anxiety and very, very tired.
- I wrote another novel titled Carnivorous Lunar Activities. It’s about a werewolf, maybe. So far it’s an orphan without a home. I don’t know what its future will hold.
- I’m about 32k in a new novel currently titled The Evocation of Mother (at one point it was also titled Cirrhosis so who knows what the hell it’ll be called once I’m all done). I’m describing it as “Stranger Things plus The Texas Chain Saw Massacre“. Take that however you please.
- I’m still releasing books through Perpetual Motion Machine and do not plan on stopping any time soon. The latest thing we put out was Gods on the Lam by Christopher David Rosales. You should buy it.
- Dark Moon Digest continues taking up a lot of time and energy and money and we love it.
- I’m still working at the hotel and every night I am terrified someone is going to murder me and every night I am terrified nobody is going to murder me.
- I really liked Baby Driver.
- I haven’t mentioned it on the blog since I suck at blogging but surely anybody who gives a shit is already aware that Lori and I are recording a bi-weekly Stephen King podcast called Castle Rock Radio. We have eight episodes already up, just search for it on your podcatcher.
- My ambitions of owning an indie bookstore are beginning to become an obsession. I’ve even started researching buildings nearby available to rent. I do not have money for a bookstore. I am considering launching some kind of Kickstarter campaign for it but I don’t think it would be successful. I wish I was rich and I wish I was dead and I wish I was alive and I wish I could sleep sleep sleep.
I wrote a novella of around 18k words titled “Everywhere You’ve Bled and Everywhere You Will”. It’s about a bleeding penis, spiders, and witchcraft. You can read it in the newly released Garden of Fiends anthology published through Wicked Run Press. There’s a bunch of other addiction horror novellas and short stories collected in it that I’m sure are also dope. Maybe that was a bad word choice, given the anthology’s subject matter. Maybe it was a perfect word choice. I don’t know. You should go buy this thing. I’m pretty stoked about it.
Check out this cover:
The latest Facebook list game going around involves naming your favorite film from each year you’ve been alive. I have never participated in one of these games before because I am a loser. But I finished a few editing projects earlier and I haven’t updated this blog like I’d like to, so here you go. It’s super short because I am an actual baby.
1993 – True Romance
1994 – Leon: The Professional
1995 – Seven
1996 – From Dusk ’til Dawn
1997 – Boogie Nights
1998 – Dark City
1999 – Fight Club
2000 – Snatch
2001 – Frailty
2002 – 28 Days Later
2003 – Oldboy
2004 – Shaun of the Dead
2005 – Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
2006 – Children of Men
2007 – No Country for Old Men / Zodiac (I can’t pick only one)
2008 – Let the Right One In
2009 – Moon
2010 – Four Lions
2011 – Drive
2012 – The Perks of Being a Wallflower
2013 – Only God Forgives
2014 – Whiplash
2015 – Mad Max: Fury Road
2016 – The Nice Guys
As for 2017, who knows? I’m willing to bet it’ll be one of the following: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Get Out, The Void, The Dark Tower, or A Dark Song. There’s a shit-ton of great movies coming out this year.
I’m excited to announce my new novella “Everywhere You’ve Bled and Everywhere You Will” will be published this April in Wicked Run Press’s Garden of Fiends anthology. My novella is about a recovering heroin addict who one day begins bleeding out of his penis and finds himself infested with spiders and weird hallucinations. It’s super gross and fucked up and y’all are gonna love it.
Also involved in this anthology: Jack Ketchum, Kealan Patrick Burke, Jessica McHugh, John FD Taff, Johann Thorsson, Glen Krisch, and Mark Matthews. Holy crap! What a lineup!
Also, since Wicked Run is such a cool press, they’re currently holding a special: the first 25 people to pre-order the eBook of Garden of Fiends and email a confirmation receipt to email@example.com will receive a FREE kindle book of their choosing by any of the authors in the anthology.
Last I heard, there were only SIX spots left, so hurry!
Here are your choices for free books:
The Girl Next Door
Kealan Patrick Burke
The Turtle Boy
The Train Derails in Boston
The Green Kangaroos
Rabbits in the Garden
The Desolated Orchard
I Can Taste the Blood
The End in All Beginnings
How to Successfully Kidnap Strangers
Lost Signals (I edited this!)
American Nightmare (includes my short story “All the Beautiful Marilyns”
Not Your Average Monster: Volume 2
Where Darkness Dwells
The Hollowed Land
The Nightmare Within
All Smoke Rises
Lilly’s Tale: The Milk-Blood Trilogy
On the Lips of Children
I realized something on Saturday: I was only 600 words into a story I’m pretty sure is going to end up clocking in at the 7k mark, and I only had the rest of the day to finish it if I wanted to maintain the one-story-per week challenge. So I decided to hold off on it and wrote up a quick 500 word flash fiction titled “RomanticHandsHolding.gif”, which I’m pretty sure will be disregarded as spam whenever I email it out for publication consideration. This story is written entirely through cell phone notifications, and I had a lot of fun trying to piece it all together. I guess now that the new week has started, I’ll return to the longer story, currently titled “Scraps”. Pretty sure I can knock out a decent first draft by the next Saturday. If not, feel free to execute me. I know you want to. You’re practically drooling just at the thought of it.
As mentioned previously on the blog, I’m attempting to write a short story once a week for the year of 2017, and possibly for every week afterward until I finally die, and maybe even a few weeks after that, too.
Story #2 was tricky to write. I actually had to write it twice before I felt comfortable enough to consider it finished. The first draft ended up being 4,200 words. It was dogshit. I couldn’t figure out how to approach it. I wrote it from the POV of the villain–this creepy-as-shit traveling magician–and it killed all the atmosphere. Sometimes writing from the POV of the “baddie” can ruin a story, especially in horror, because the more you can sympathize with the designated monster, the less fear you feel, right?
Anyway. I tossed the 4,200 words and rewrote it not just from the POV of a different character, but also in second-person, which is a style I’ve always wanted to try but never had enough courage to actually follow-through with before. Not only is it told in second-person present tense, but it’s written from the POV of two different people. The final word count ended up being 6,100 words. I think it’s pretty solid. It’s loosely based off a real interaction I had with a weird magician who stumbled into my hotel one night and performed a spontaneous magic show in the lobby for several hours.
It’s called “A Nervous Sleep”, which could change ten seconds after I post this blog.
I was a guest on the wonderful podcast, This is Horror, hosted by Michael David Wilson and Bob Pastorella. They asked me questions about my infamous Red Wagon Approach, which is a common marketing technique I learned in college.
I did not attend college.
Turn my cell phone off in case the guy who’s supposed to be covering my shift the next four nights decided to skip town. Ascertain I’ve blocked all management from Facebook so they can’t track me down and call me into work via private messaging. Finish LitReactor column. Finish Gamut column. Finish short story titled “Nervous Sleep”. Sign Chiral Mad 3 signature sheets.
- Read slush before impatient authors set me on fire.
Consider the bonuses of being set on fire. Send titles out to the Shirley Jackson Awards. (Holy shit, that was like $200. Fucking UK shipping, man.) Watch that new Series of Unfortunate Events series on Netflix. Read some of The Dime which is already fucking intense and awesome. Rub Lori’s back. Let her rub mine. Pet a dog. Any dog. It does not matter.
- Resist the urge to tweet about drinking coffee.
- Play Until Dawn until dawn.
Try not to freak out. Freak out.
- Pretend my lobby isn’t swarmed with drunk guests back from a funeral. Try not to snap.
- Repeat the phrase “funeral party” over and over until the planet explodes. Possible story title? Well, now it is.
- Write a new Gamut column.
- Write a review for Little Heaven.
- Write a new LitReactor column.
- Think about writing a new short story.
- Play Uncharted 4.
- Consider adding some pages to Cirrhosis.
- Drown myself in a tub of coffee. Rejoice as the liquid burns my skin off.