After appearing and reading at a book signing event at haunted Fort Mifflin in Philadelphia, I penned an original, short ghost story for T. Fox Dunham, one of the event coordinators, for his podcast, What Are You Afraid Of? The podcast covers horror fiction and all things paranormal. In honor of Halloween, Fox and his partner Phil Thomas have been conducting broadcasts and shows from other haunted sites. Written in honor of their Gettysburg Ghost episode, “Out Of Devil’s Den,” tells a ghostly tale of one of Gettysburg’s most notorious and sinister locations. Fox did a wonderful reading of this, recorded for the program, marking the first ever public presentation of the story, which comes at right about 1:02:00 mark of the recording. The entire broadcast is well worth listening to with an in-depth interview with Gettysburg ghost expert and Licensed Battlefield Guide, Mark Nesbitt.
Catching up on some recent releases, my short story, “Father of War,” was published last month in Dogs of War, the sixth volume in the Defending the Future anthology series edited by Mike McPhail. This volume is dedicated to military working dogs, and my story, which features a team of cybernetically enhanced solider dogs, is a thematic sequel to and set in the same universe and conflict as “Mother of Peace,” my story in Defending the Future, Volume III, By Other Means. With the exception of DTF Volume IV, No Man’s Land, which spotlighted only women writers, my stories have appeared in every volume of DTF. The award-winning series is well worth a look if you like military science fiction.
“Cry Havoc, and let slip the dogs of war!”
They have fought for us for centuries, not because of the ideals of service to King and Country, but out of unwavering loyalty and devotion to their human Masters. The future, it would seem, is no better than the past, as some animals become expendable weapons, or augmented semi-machines, while others receive the honor and dignity of being treated as fellow soldiers.
In tribute, we bring you seventeen new stories of our animal comrades-in-arms.
Featuring: David Sherman, Bud Sparhawk, Brenda Cooper, James Chambers, Judi Fleming, CJ Henderson, Tony Ruggiero, Christopher M. Hiles, Janine K. Spendlove, Jeff Young, Patrick Thomas, Edward J. McFadden III, Vonnie Winslow Crist, Peter Prellwitz, Eric V. Hardenbrook, Robert E. Waters, and Danielle Ackley-McPhail.
If you ever wondered what goes on inside the mind of a writer, what drives us to do the things we do, what compels us to make the sacrifices we make, and to live lives of nonstop action and romance (in our imaginations), then check out this interview with me from the crew at Dark Quest Books, in which trade secrets are revealed, trusts are betrayed, and Bigfoot is captured and taught to play the piano (remember, imagination!), and also I talk about some other stuff, including my new novella, Three Chords of Chaos, and make a desperate plea to write a Godzilla story. (Wait, is that a run-on sentence? Where’s my editor…?)
“Gorge released note after blistering note, and the audience soaked up his music like a rain of razor blades. They danced, whirled, and smashed together; they bled magic that flowed across smoky air, shimmering red and yellow with flashing stage lights, to feed the hungry core inside him. He hadn’t felt magic this pure and vibrant since his days in the Kingdoms; how ironic, he thought, to find it among these nihilistic, rebellious, angry young mortals. His left hand throttled the guitar neck, fingertips gliding among the frets, tapping and pulling the strings to slash out biting riffs until he reached a crescendo—
—and then let it all come crashing down.”
So begins my new novella, Three Chords of Chaos, a faerie-punk love story about music, mortality, decadence, and dark forces.
Published by Dark Quest Books, it will officially be released on May 31—but if you can keep a secret, head on over to Amazon, where it’s already available for order. Or if you’re the kind of bare-knuckle reader who likes your books the old fashioned way—free!—then check out my giveaway contests over on Facebook and Goodreads. Three Chord of Chaos follows Gorge and his mortal lover Delilah as they navigate the smoky shadows of the Big Apple’s underground punk clubs and the kinky, drug-fueled parties of the music world’s elite. A blend of punk music, urban fantasy, and evil forces, Three Chords of Chaos explores the dangerous nexus of faerie and mortal worlds where Gorge lives life on the edge.
The first time I wrote about Gorge was in “The Way of the Bone” (Bad-Ass Faeries: Just Plain Bad), set in the present, when Gorge stood at the top of the music world, playing to arena crowds, and moving ever closer to the darkness he sought to send to his enemies in the realm of the sidhe. In “Faerie Ring Blues” (Bad-Ass Faeries: In All Their Glory), I went back to 1960, only a few years after Gorge’s exile when Gorge learned how to live in the mortal world. Now, in Three Chords of Chaos, the time is the early 1980s, the place is downtown NYC, and Gorge comes into his own as he begins to understand how much magic and power there is for the taking in the mortal world—but also how deadly and vicious mortals can be.
UPDATE, 2/18/13: Deep Cuts editor E.S. Magill has posted a report about the Deep Cuts book signings in California on her blog.
Warning: cuts may be deeper than they appear. Nineteen short horror stories to give you shivers plus 60 recommendations for powerhouse tales written by women—those bloody stylings and chainsaw rhythms that have lain hidden like deadly gems among other great works.
“Deep Cuts smartly sidesteps the bloody ‘women in horror’ debate and puts its money where its mouth is. This fantastic collection, featuring both genders, pays tribute to the best dark tales told by women. A deeply cerebral experience that is at times honest and intimate, but always chilling.” —Mercedes M. Yardley, author of Beautiful Sorrows
Introduction by Lisa Morton
E.S. Magill on Nancy’s Holder’s “Crash Cart”
“Crash Cart” by Nancy Holder
“The Poison Eater” by Sandra Odell
“The Ditch” by Samael Gyre
“Practical Necromancy” by Sara Taylor
“Awaiting the Captain’s Ghost” by Michael Haynes
“Hollow Moments” by R.S. Belcher
“Mr. Casey is in the House” by Stephen Woodworth
Chris Marrs on Yvonne Navarro’s “Santa Alma”
“Santa Alma” by Yvonne Navarro
“Sanctity” by C.W. Smith
“Red is the Color of my True Love’s Blood” by Colleen Anderson
“Lost Daughters” by James Chambers
“Mules” by Ed Kurtz
Angel Leigh McCoy on Mehitobel Wilson’s “The Remains”
“The Remains” by Mehitobel Wilson
“Beavers” by Rachel Karyo
“Lucky Clover” by Kelly A. Harmon
“Pinprick” by Scathe meic Beorh
“Abby” by Patricia Lillie
“Clown Balloons” by Satyros Phil Brucato
“I am Victim” by Rob M. Miller
Cover art by Anja Millen.
Glen Ostrander has delivered another gleefully ghastly illustration for the cover of the second volume of Corpse Fauna, Tears of Blood, coming soon.
I’m excited to announce that my zombie novella, The Dead Bear Witness, is now available from Dullahan Press, an imprint of Dark Quest Books!
This is volume one of the four-volume Corpse Fauna series, which will complete a story cycle which I began writing in 1997. Although some of the Corpse Fauna stories were previously published, these new editions will present them in revised and greatly expanded versions with new stories to be published for the first time.
“The Dead Bear Witness” was the first to see print, in the 2004 anthology The Dead Walk published by Die Monster Die Books. It has been expanded to more than double its orignal length with a considerably richer story and deeper characterization. Also include in Volume One is the new story “Birch’s Refugees,” a 13,000-word piece that sheds new light one two of Corpse Fauna’s most important characters, Birch and the Red Man.
My intent with Corpse Fauna is to finally fulfill the potential I saw when I first wrote about Cornell and Della and a world where the dead come back to life.
A chronicle of survival in a world of the living dead. There is no Heaven or Hell; there is only blood and the dust of flesh.
True, it seems like zombie books (and movies, and television shows, and comics…) are a dime a dozen these days. But Corpse Fauna brings something unique to the genre in its characters, settings, social commentary, and the horrifying nature of its walking dead. A bullet to the head isn’t enough to stop the Corpse Fauna dead, and these corpses possess a strange and terrifying feature hinted at on the cover.
For more information, visit the Corpse Fauna page. In the coming weeks, I’ll be posting more about the series, including story excerpts and updates on the next volumes.
A pair of quick updates while I work on a couple of major announcements to come soon, including a new page to be added to this site and news of my most recent collaboration with Christopher Mills…
First up, Dark Regions Press, publisher of Resurrection House and The Engines of Sacrifice, has recently launched a revamped, redesigned website, complete with a new company logo. The new site looks great and is very easy to navigate. Drop by and check it out. Meanwhile, DRP is also running a free horror books raffle. Sign up for the DRP newsletter to enter.
Second, it’s that time of year again, the time for lunacy with the Lunarians at… Lunacon! Held once again the Escher Hilton (not it’s real name) in scenic Rye Brook, New York, Lunacon will take place on March 16-18. I’ll be attending and posting my programming schedule here as soon as I have it. Also in attendance will be my frequent partners in crime: Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Mike McPhail, Russ Colchamiro, and Patrick Thomas.
My friend and frequent editor, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, runs a nifty blog dedicated to providing advice, information, and insight for authors about the ins and outs of writing. It’s called The Literary Handyman. Occasionally she runs posts by guest bloggers, and this week, it’s my turn, writing about some things authors can do to make their life easier and be more successful with their writing by making their editor’s life easier. Read it here. Danielle has lots of other good articles archived, with new ones added regularly. Her blog is a great resource for writers.