Sunday, October 23, 2011

This wicked little holiday known as Halloween...some little known facts.

Halloween is a favorite holiday of many. It is a holiday when costumes and candy rules… a time when witches are reputed to be in abundance…a time when zombies, princesses and the latest popular mask craze can be seen, without installing fear, strolling down the sidewalks.

But, how did all this begin?

Halloween can be traced back to the 16th century. It has Scottish origins and is associated with All Hallows Day, the night before All Hallows Eve (originally called Even, referring to evening), and was a mass day for all saints. Basically, in a nutshell, it is considered to be a Pagan holy time.

Was the Jack-O-Lantern always associated with the holiday?

No. The Jack-O-Lantern stems from turnip lanterns, which were extravagantly carved in a ritual called souling, a remembrance tribute toward all the souls lingering in purgatory.

Where did the words “trick or treat” get their start?

Originally, “treat or treat” wasn’t part of the holiday. The treats were usually some sort of food that was given (to the poor) in exchange for them praying for the dead. Trick or treat began in Scotland as children would dress up (known as guising) and go door to door in search of treats. However, usually the child would have to earn the treat by performing a trick. i.e. dancing, singing, the telling of a scary tale, etc…

Was the treat always candy?

Not at all. With Halloween being in the fall season and typically considered to be a harvest time, apples (candied and caramelized), roasted pumpkin seeds and even roasted sweet corn were the usual offerings. In Ireland, there was also a customary baked cake called barmbrack too. This fruitcake typically had something such as a ring or a coin baked within it and the ring is reputed to indicate that true love is on the following year’s horizon.

When did costumes appear?

While there had always been costumes involved with the holiday from the beginning, it was through immigration that the holiday took hold in the U.S. However, it wasn’t fully grasped until the 1930’s, when costumes started being mass produced. Afterward, the holiday’s popularity soared with both children and adults and the tradition of the Halloween costume party evolved.

Speaking of Halloween parties, what is one of the little known games involved?

While most everyone is familiar with bobbing for apples and the telling of ghost stories, there are some traditions that remain unknown in popular culture. One such tradition is Scottish in origin and is called divination. This is where a person carves a long strip of apple peel and tosses it over their shoulder. The landed peel is reputed to take the shape of and offer the first letter of the first name of the person’s future spouse.

Was the holiday always associated with spooks?

Not actually. It is thought that the holiday’s association with the Pagans and the occult has created this “fright” persona, stemming from Christianity’s negative attitude celebrating Paganism. It is probably due to this misconception that today the holiday is widely considered to be a night when witches and boogeymen travel freely. With this notion having been ingrained into our psyche, the holiday is now tightly associated with monsters and fright and allowing a robust monetary gain opportunity through scary movies and haunted attractions. 


Just the other day, I was pondering how good it is to be alive. Enjoying the point of very existence. Through the wind and the sun and the rain, it is been both invigorating, as well as pleasantly inviting. As a matter of fact, I can say I enjoyed every minute of it.
I have watched the neighborhood children run and play and I have seen lovers embracing in the dusk. I have watched young hatchlings becoming mature, only to soar away, never to be seen again. And…I have seen more than my share of horrendous storms that literally terrified me. Through it all, I’d have to admit that it truly has been both a wonderful and serene life filled with mostly joy and happiness.
However, in more recent days, my feelings have grown somewhat darker and frightening. They were subtle changes, but changes no less. These eerie changes are not normal, at least not the normalcy I had once known. It is excruciatingly painful at times, and I so desperately want to cry out, simply to aid and assist in eliminating it. I know there has to be millions of us that feel this way. But, no one will listen to our pleas. Our cries will never be heard. No, no one will care whether I pass on, disappear, and am completely gone. It is a loneliness that has festered, and I suppose it will continue to do so.
For, and its been getting more and more frequent, I am now forced to endure the horrible fact that the ones I have known my whole life, are now disappearing. The very ones that I have watched grow and blossom. It began occurring one by one, but is now to the point that it is unpredictable how many will be lost?
Call it a premonition if you will, but I know someday soon, I’ll be forced to succumb to the very same exact demise. I too will disappear into the oblivion. It is rather disheartening and certainly discerning. But, I know its coming…I can feel it!
It began as just subtle changes, but has become more and more prevalent. I am unable to move as I once was and now am somewhat stiff. It is discouraging and even down right depressing at times. I do my best to contend with it and consol myself.
However, no one will ever know and in there eyes, is probably considered by many to be a meaningless existence. I would wager to say that from most points of view, the plight I harbor, outside my personal point of view, is not worthy of caring about, or even considering for most. They don’t care. I do have this wild notion that many believe it to be a wonderful and glorious thing. Of course, I don’t find it to be all that glorious. On the contrary, I don’t want to die and find it quite horrible and maybe even despicable. I have grown to often wonder why, myself and many others, have inadvertently become the chosen ones, and therefore, are forced to endure and confront such heinousness? Why must I suffer with something that others find joy in? It doesn’t seem fair.
Today I finally may have come to grips with the potential inevitable that besieges me. I have closely contrasted and compared the symptoms. My terrifying conclusion is that they are one in the same.
I will consol myself, and accept the wind rustling past to be both invigorating and frightening, as it becomes cooler. And, it is nowhere near inviting. Nights are increasingly becoming worse. It is a time that at one time I relished but now am completely fearful of. And, each day’s warm glow is increasingly apparent to be a false façade that I can no longer feel or appreciate. It is as though the grim reaper is chronically standing nearby, yet completely out of sight, and simply waiting. He is, much like most others, neither understanding nor sympathetic.
I scream out in indescribable horror. Yet not a sound will be heard. I flutter, aimlessly down, across and with, the cold fall breeze. I know it is to my inevitable demise and death. I can feel it coming quickly now and gaining speed. I tumble, over and over, across the invisible force, constantly falling.
I’m fading in and out rapidly now. The glowing Jack-O-Lantern I’ve landed softly beside, and come to rest partly against, feels inviting…as I lie amongst my kind.


This week I have been interviewed by Nishi Serrano for posting on her Wandering Hallows Night Blog. By the way, Nishi is also a wonderful writer. Stop by and check out her tales. You may be surprised.

And...I've updated my main website a bit. Check it out.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The fine line between reading and writing.

In recent days I haven’t updated my blogs as often as in the past and I am truly sorry for this. I would like to say that it was due to procrastination, but that wouldn’t be true.
Since being laid off from engineering in the middle of 2008, I have simply accepted any and all menial forms of employment, most of which were considered part-time, paid little to nothing and more than once I found myself working two jobs in order to obtain 40 hours.
Regardless, while being a cashier or a stocker or a meatcutter (no, even this one paid less than 10 dollars an hour, a product of corporate greed), each did have two things in common. They aided me with keeping my financial head above water and they offered the opportunity to extensively write. Well, times change for both good and the bad and those days now appear to be gone forever as I am now back on track, utilizing my technical knowledge, receiving a good salary, having a future and no longer having to juggle a two job schedule. But, there is a dark side. Along with this job came the need to substantially cut back my writing hours. Therefore, you could say it’s a catch-22.
At first, this turn of events troubled me. Sure, I was certainly grateful for gaining more than adequate employment. I just resisted giving up my writing timeframes.
Stephen King has been quoted as saying if you don’t have time to read then you don’t have time to write. Another of my favorite writing adages is to write, whether it is a page, paragraph or sentence, at least once per day. Both of these adages really hits home with me. However, King has been the only writer, as far as I know, that combines reading and writing in the same sentence. I considered this when I began to form a battle plan, dead set on making it congeal with the extensive working week. It took a little bit of time, adjusting along the way, but I have figured it all out. Of course I had to sacrifice quantity a bit. None-the-less, each day now includes both reading and writing.
How did I do it?
In recent days, I have been commuting and working in and out of a large metropolitan city and traffic can often be rather trying. This is where the daily reading comes into play. Did you know that the Kindle will read to you? I simply plug it into my stereo and let the words take me to another world as I inch along bumper to bumper. By the time the traffic breaks free, I am usually knee deep into the tale and listen for the 80 mile ride home. When I get there, most of the time, I find it rather hard to turn off the story and find myself oddly looking forward to the morning commute so I can read again.
As for the writing, I fit this in on evenings and weekends. As mentioned earlier, my quantity of writing was forced to decrease, but there is writing none the less.
Life can be a rat race. Bills need paid, food needs put on the table and little luxuries are desired. Well, these things take money and unless you are a King, Clancy or any of the numerous other bestselling writers able to afford to simply write, the only way these things can be achieved is through employment.
Therefore, choices must be made. Either you can attempt to fit it all in, or you can simply give it up, being content with placing that writer dream on the back burner. Well, giving up is not within my spectrum and so I’ve incorporated, tightened and pursued. Self-discipline is a key word here. Believe me, after working 10+ hours, the last thing I want to do is work some more. But, I am a writer. That’s what I do and it requires endless hours of dedication. So, I persevere.
Although, when it comes to certain things, I’m no different than many others and do have my own little unwavering quirks. And with tonight being the premiere of the second season of The Walking Dead, you can bet I won’t be writing…

You may have noticed that the tales from my series The Daily Death are no longer available on Staying Scared. This is because I am in the process of final edits and intend to publish an ebook called The Daily Death: How I Killed My Co-Workers in 30 Days on Amazon. It will include all the tales plus a special tale that will not be available anywhere else…my very own death: The Death of Thomas. I’m also considering adding a few previously published pieces that pertain to the death genre. I hope to have it available soon. Here’s the cover…

Also, watch for my tales in these books:


And Twitch is still available at Amazon, Smashwords and Barnes & Noble dot com for only 99 cents.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Exorcising My Deepest Fear...a special guest blog by Hunter Shea

As a kid growing up in the 70s, there were two things that scared the hell out of me. One was thieves breaking into our house in the middle of the night. I grew up in the Bronx and the decade of the 70s was not kind to New York City and its suburbs. Fear was everywhere. The Son of Sam was only a mile away, haunting our days and nights.
                Number two, hands down,  was ghosts. I could have cared less about monsters under the bed, or demonic possession like I had recently seen at a very tender age in The Exorcist, or your everyday werewolves, mummies or vampires. They were all make believe, and some of them were downright silly. But, being a good little Catholic, I believed that everyone had a soul, and when you died, your soul was free to roam, at least if you were unfortunate enough to miss the stairway to heaven or lucky enough to avoid the trapdoor to hell. So it was entirely plausible that ghosts did exist, and when you thought about all of the people who had lived and died over the ages, they were probably everywhere!
                Things got worse for me when we moved out of our apartment, where we were surrounded by lots of nice, living folks, to our first house. The vastness of the rooms, the empty corners and silence were a little overwhelming for me. Every creak and groan was a ghost. I’d never heard the concept of a “house settling” before, and I was convinced that something lived in the attic. It didn’t help that my mother would joke about it, even going so far as to name my imaginary ghost Harry. Wonderful, now it had a name, making it all the more real. “Hey Harry, can you please keep it down up there?”
                Nights were often spent in tense anticipation under the covers, every little sound sending my heart and imagination racing. They were especially bad if I had just watched an episode of In Search Of, more so if it had been about ghosts. Leonard Nimoy was and is the narrator of my night terrors.
                Of course, I grew up and out of my fear of ghosts in our house, but my belief never wavered. I’ve had instances as an adult, with corroborating witnesses, that have only solidified that belief, at times resurrecting the little Hunter holding his breath because I had just heard the step outside my room creak. When it came to the point where I could no longer bottle up my feelings on the matter, I took to my computer and started writing. I spent years conjuring up a fictional story about a man hunting for ghosts, putting myself in every page. It was like letting steam escape from a boiling kettle. Oddly enough, now that it’s complete, I feel like I’ve only just begun. Because I still very much believe, and I’m left with more questions than answers. Only now, I run to the odd sound or sight, ever curious, spine still tingling. Guess it’s time to head back to my computer.

Hunter Shea’s book, Forest of Shadows, is available through Samhain Publishing and all online book sellers.
Here's a little about the book, Forest of Shadows:
The dead still hate!
John Backman specializes in inexplicable phenomena. The weirder the better. So when he gets a letter from a terrified man describing an old log home with odd whisperings, shadows that come alive, and rooms that disappear, he can’t resist the call. But the violence only escalates as soon as John arrives in the remote Alaskan village of Shida. Something dreadful happened there. Something monstrous. The shadows are closing in…and they’re out for blood.

Forest of Shadows is Hunter Shea’s first full-length horror novel, but his short stories have appeared in dozens of magazines and he is also the author of the critically acclaimed novella, Father Exorcist.  His second novel with Samhain, Evil Eternal, will be out next spring. Hunter Shea is the dark alter-ego of an ordinary man who happens to write children’s books, the first of which will be published by a division of Random House in 2012.

He lives in New York with his family and savage rescue cat, where he’s working hard on his next novel.  Visit -- he’s always happy to hear from you.
Samhain Horror Store :

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Aliens and Zombies and Clowns...OH MY!

Hello Kiddies and sorry I’ve been away for so long. I’ve been trying to get caught up on a few projects and incorporating a new project as well. I’m also contending with a new job with a well known company that requires longer hours. Just like everyone, I too have bills that need paid and I occasionally enjoy eating. This new position offers considerably more than my last position did (no, I am no longer a meat cutter), and allows me to jump full force back into the technical field and utilize my degree. Of course the pay and benefits have something to do with it too. But, that doesn’t mean my writing will cease, only that a new schedule will need to be implemented. And, with knowing that the debts are paid, relaxation and writing should go hand in hand.
Hey…if Tom Clancy, Stephen King, and many other writers did it…so can I.


Apollo 18 – A Review

The June 20th, 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing was certainly one of America’s finest historical and technological moments. When Neil Armstrong stepped on the cold desolate lunar surface and spoke that immortal quote; that’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind, people across the globe cheered and it appeared that this was the beginning of what would eventually lead to a colonization of a moon base.

In the years to follow, there were five more lunar missions, some succeeding and some failing. These abruptly ended in 1972 and we never went back. Why?

The new horror based Apollo 18 film asks this question in a conspiracy theory type premise. Told through supposedly newly found footage of a fictitious 1974 top secret mission headed by the Department of Defense, (not NASA), it does offer creditability.

While the movie may not utilize typical horror monsters, ala Freddy, Jason or Leatherface, nor does it rely on a spiritual floating apparition concept, it does have that invading Alien and we’re all doomed feel, (minus the size and acid dripping teeth). The chilling aspect comes in the form of complete and utter less isolation coupled with a potential horrifying unknown vicious creature or creatures. And, it is the limited showing of the creature or creatures that is psychologically most terrifying. In this case, less was more.

The highly secretive mission was supposed to be (according to the astronauts), only a two day exploration to place sophisticated motion sensor cameras on the lunar surface to enable monitoring from Earth. It turns out that the Department of Defense knew more than the astronauts were led to believe.

By taking on a historically accurate type narration, shown through bits and pieces of the footage, the movie is quite believable. Director Gonzalo Lopez-Goodman effectively maintained suspense and incorporated just the right amount of revelation (quick, startling shots), and Warren Christie, Lloyd Owen, and Ryan Robbins each played the roles of intelligent astronaut guinea pigs well. No over-the-top acting here. Each performed as one would expect the members of America’s space program to act; calm, rational, calculating and logical.

Watching this movie, I found myself feeling a bevy of emotions from pride to fright to anger. The latter coming in the film’s last ten minutes or so, which, without giving any spoilers away, seemed typical and maddening. And, although I can fully understand the reasoning, I still found myself somewhat incensed, especially when taking into consideration that if this scenario were actual, the conclusion would probably be accurate.

Therefore, overall, if you are a horror / sci-fi / thriller buff, I highly recommend this film. On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d give it a 7.9. It is original, engrossing, fast paced and a refreshing change from what Hollywood horror has recently offered. It certainly kept me staying scared.


As Far As Writing Is Concerned...

I recently finished and submitted a tale entitled “The Christmas Help” to Open Casket Press (an imprint of Living Dead Press) for possible inclusion in their upcoming Dead Christmas – A Zombie Anthology. It is a tale of how the zombie plague affected the North Pole workshop and how it was dealt with. Told through the eyes of Malba, a living elf who experienced the horror, it is a historical representation of the events, as they unfolded, and what it has become today. Fingers are crossed.

I’m also exploring where to submit a couple other tales.

The Sidewalk Ends” is a story that is rather hard to explain without giving it all away. Let’s just say there are unseen doorways in this world that will take you to a place you probably hope to never go.

Dreamented” is a tale of an early teen learning and realizing that he has a special ability.

* adding to my novel “Future Past

* working on a tale for the Evil Jester Press anthology “Attic Toys.

* still writing on “A Lawnly Existance,” a story about a little old man and his dog, who inadvertently stumbles on a way to make his lawn grow, offering hope to fulfill his deceased wife’s dream of winning the town’s coveted best lawn award. But, it comes with a hefty cost.

* and awaiting my copy of Look What I Found, the anthology from NorGus Press to come in the mail. My tale The Pumpkin Patch is in it.

Here's the line-up
His Blueness by Barry Rosenberg
Moment by Nicholas Conley
Jacob & Larry by Robert Freese
The Maestro Signal by William Wood
Dad's Secret by Brandon Cracraft
Shallow by D. G. Sutter
A Unicorn in the Heart of the City by Joshua Ramey-Renk
The Curious Case of Josiah Mint by Sean T. Page
Within Hidden Places by Kenneth W. Cain
Shimmer by Jutter Cain
Clock Watchers by Lisa Woodard
The Anonymous Portrait by Alex Azar
The Strange Affair of Silas Heap by Sean T. Page
I've Got the Conch by Kelly Hudson
The Pumpkin Patch by Thomas Scopel
Because You Feel It by Ben North
The Lens of the Innocent by Suzanne Robb
Skin Deep by Allen Izen
Isolation Polish by Dale Elster
Money Clip by Jeffrey Angus
Should Have Been There by Matt Nord
VRZ by Patrick D'OrazioI
Coffee Mate by Ken Goldman
The Dep Tank by A.A. Garrison
Montgomery by Jeremy Bush
Sweet Madeline by Steven McGuire
Under Pressure by Marc Sorondo
The Thing Behind the Wall by A.J. French
Under White Sheets by Rick McQuiston
Contents of a Canvas Bag by Robert Essig


And, Twitch, my novella about retribution told through a deformed carnival sideshow attraction that harbors a special power is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords for only 99 cents.


Did you know that the September issue of Suspense Magazine is now out? Inside is a horde of great reading including interviews with Stephen England, Lisa McMann, Simon Toyne and Faye Kellerman, art by Andreea Cernestean, tales by Marie Force, Stephen Besecker, L.J. Sellers and Jeff Shelby, articles by C.K. Webb and Tiffany Coulter, reviews of both movies and books, and much more. Pick up a copy today and don’t be surprised if you entertain thoughts of subscribing.


The Webcast Project - Staying Scared with Wee Willie Wicked

And, last but not least, that project I mentioned way back up there in the beginning…it is a webcast starring my scary clown alter ego Wee Willie Wicked (visit his blog). It is a Saturday night (midnight EST) show called Staying Scared with Wee Willie Wicked on Livestream that I’m still perfecting and so far, includes a chat about various horror (movies, books, etc…), as well as the showing of a public domain, classic and usually cheesy film. Currently I am exploring a specific format. More on that later tho…

This week's show highlights include a showing of the Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing classic Horror Express and a giveaway of a Drive-In Horrorshow soundtrack (both vinyl and CD) signed by Greg Ansin.

Get the DVD here
Drivein Horrorshow

Oh yeah...I've been catching up on some reading too!

FANGORIA Magazine (Subscription) 1 yr / 10 Issues

HorrorHound Magazine (The 100 Greatest names in horror of the last 100 years, January February 2011)

So....until next week kiddies...

Stay Scared,

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Wee Willie Wicked is alive and back to Thomas Scopel

Last week, I put all the writing on hold and explored the idea of having a weekly webcast called Staying Scared with Wee Willie Wicked. I blogged about the first webcast on Wicked's blog.

Undertaking this effort was no small expenditure and took a full week of testing, exploring and refining. And, although I did enjoy it to an extent, there was still that nag in the back of my head that kept reminding me that I lost writing time.
Well, that week is over and everything is in place. It’s now simply a matter of maintaining (that’s the easy part) and this coming week I will cure that nag.
Right now I’m trying to pin down and organize a schedule to fit working, writing and a general life in. Rather tough, but not entirely impossible. And, considering all the technical and conceptual aspects of the effort is completed, time is now plentiful and a wonderful welcome relief. Of course, I didn’t really have to take on this venture. However, when John Raab, the publisher of Suspense Magazine, interviewed me…he planted a seed and that seed grew.
While I still expect Saturdays to be rather hectic with working, rushing home in the evening, putting on the clown face and webcasting live at midnight, creating a bevy of tired Sundays, the writing time is back.
…no rest for the wicked.
I might add that I did get caught up on a little reading though...

Stay Scared,

By the way, like creepy stories? Are carnivals your thing? Pick up a copy of my ebook Twitch. It's only 99 cents and available at these retailers:

Monday, August 22, 2011

Staying Scared with Wee Willie Wicked

Saturday night, August 27th at midnight, Wee Willie Wicked will broadcast the very first Staying Scared webcast. Of course, one doesn't need to stay up until the witching hour to watch, each episode will be recorded for later viewing.

So, what will be included in this webcast? Basically, everything horror....that pretty much sums it up…From books to films and everything in between. If it offers a chill effect, then chances are, at one point or another, the thing will find its way to be mentioned the show. Also, I’m very open to ideas too. Tell me what you would like me to chat about. Are you a horror author with a book coming out? Did you happen to see a good horror movie? What scares you? This show is all about finding the fear. Look for the trailer below.

However, that's not all...

Each week there will be a giveaway to one lucky watcher. It might be a book or a dvd. It could be an action figure or a poster. Who knows? As long as it is horror based...anything goes. Later on this week I will tell you more about all this and what this week’s giveaway will be. But, you’ll have to watch the show for how to enter.

And, watchers will be able to chat with me during the live show. This could offer some very interesting discussions. We'll have to wait and see.

As far as writing is concerned, this month I am included in the NorGus Press Anthology Look What I Found with The Pumpkin Patch. I’ll let you know exactly when the book will be released.

And, Twitch is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble dot com and Smashwords. Here’s the links:

Stay Scared,


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

To Find the Wicked...One Must Travel the Scary Roads...

Last week I discussed my newly appointed all-time favorite author, Bentley Little, and the influence he had over me.

Since then, I have put behind most of his book of short stories called The Collection and am looking forward to delving into The Store. However, it isn’t his writing that is the subject of this piece, it is his lifestyle, (lack of social networking, constant promotion, etc…), that really made me think.

And so, I embarked upon a trial run to incorporate some of his philosophies. I avoided social networking and the constant promoting for the last couple of weeks.

Where did it get me?

To start with, I gained a rather substantial amount of time, more than I expected. With this time I wrote and accomplished.

·         Dreamented, a tale about an early teen boy who finds an item and its secrets.

·         I finished a better than average draft of A Lawnly Existence, a tale surrounding an old man, his Pug dog, the town’s coveted best lawn award and an ancient botany book.

·         I’ve almost finished a tale called The Sidewalk Ends, a story that explores what is beyond the sign that says that.

·         And I put down another 6k words on the novel Future Past.

So, I can truly say that the time savings was most productive and enlightening. But, although I enjoyed losing the rigors of the daily social networking grind, I did however, miss chatting with many friends, writers or not.

And then I received a comment from Blaze McRob. He agrees with letting the writing speak for itself, but if the reader doesn’t know the book exists, then the writing means nothing. And you know what, he is completely right.

What was I thinking? I’m not Bentley Little nor am I even close to his caliber in both writing and lifestyle. Although I do appreciate his philosophy and he is still my favorite writer. But, it also occurred to me that I actually enjoy doing a hundred things at one time and just the prospect of slowing down was rather frightening (probably my ultimate fear). Maybe I tried to bite off a little more than I can chew and eat slowly. That’s something I can’t do. I devour quickly. Always have, always will. Every writer has their eccentric ways and each needs to find their own, I’m no different.

Someday I’ll find the middle ground to this all and become fully content. Right now I’m still working out the bugs and those bugs are crawling all through me. I guess I’ll start picking at them one at a time. Eventually, I get them all and have my own little system. Until then, I’m getting back to normal.

And so…

* This month, Norgus Press plans to release an anthology called Look What I Found. It’s a collection of mysterious tales of discovery. My tale The Pumpkin Patch is included. The blurb is:

Little Johnny was an explorer. The Pumpkin Patch was the last thing he ever found.
Here’s a shot of the cover:


* I am seeking an anthology for Dreamented (any suggestions?)

* Submitted a piece called Fear is in the Eye of the Beholder to Angelic Knight Press for the Demonic Dolls anthology.

* Editing The Daily Death: How I Killed My Co-Workers in 30 Days

* And Twitch has its first ad in August’s Suspense Magazine.

It’s available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble dot com and Smashwords.

So, until next time…

Stay Scared,


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

It only took one writer to change my life...

Recently I stumbled upon a writer whom I had yet to read. Of course, I had previously heard of him and even went as far as to purchase a few of his books, which I found at various places. One of those places turned out to be a yard sale and I bought every one with intentions of eventually reading them (just as I do many books and for those who are wondering, I do get to reading them…eventually).
Regardless, this writer hit me like a ton of bricks and I am now deep under his writing spell. Immediately this writer has become my favorite and I have every intention of reading everything he has or will write. This is odd to me. I’ve never had an absolute. Oh, there are many that I truly enjoy, just none that I referred to as a most favorite. Well, that was then and this is now and I’m asking myself why?  
The answer (I think) lies with his writing style and diverse subject matter. His horror tales can be just about anything and are nowhere near limited to clichés. He has a wonderful eye for detail and finds horror in any setting, many where one would typically think horror would not be found. And, although I am nowhere near his caliber (but someday hope to be), I like to think I tend to lean toward the same type of writing in both style and content. And so, I now finally have a writer that I would like to model myself after.
Oh yeah, the writer…is Bentley Little. Currently I am devoting every waking free moment to devouring The Collection and have The Store sitting idly by awaiting my next grasp. While I have yet to explore his many works and therefore cannot cite any accurate reviews at the present, I can however, express how much this writer has affected me and can say that he is my favorite by far…lock…stock…& barrel.
And, since I’ve found this writer, I was compelled to explore his bio. It turns out that he is not a fan of either social networking or promoting (other than a latest work) and he doesn’t even have a website (with exception to the many fan sites, a few he endorses). Why? His explanation is that it takes too much time away from the writing and I have to say that I wholeheartedly agree.
Taking my latest piece, the novella TWITCH as an example, I understand what he means when he refers to the time-consuming promotion and social networking aspect, for I have done these exact same things. I have posted links in many places, discussed during a blog tour (which was most enjoyable I might add), and generally promoted very heavily. From what I understood about the book industry, this was how it was all done.
Well, not according to Bentley Little. He prefers to let the writing speak for itself and allow it to promote itself. This was a revelation to me that I may (but not completely) embrace. My philosophy has lately grown very similar and I am planning on following his lead. That doesn’t mean that I am completely giving up on Facebook and the like, it simply means that I am going to decrease the time I commit toward it and apply it to writing instead. Basically, I will always be around promoting, posting and maybe even chatting, but I suspect I will do considerably less in the future.  

So, maybe I’m turning over a new leave. I really don’t know. However, I do understand the concept and intend to at least attempt applying. By the way, I still like the idea of having a weekly webcast as Twitchy (my evil clown persona) and have every intention of still doing this. I just can’t say exactly when. Right now, I have a few short pieces I am trying to finish to submit, a novella that is at 80% and my novel which currently holds 60k words (but is simply a rough draft).
Did I mention that I work full-time? I owe, I owe…gotta pay the bills you know! Something has to give if I want to complete all these projects and that something will be the social networking. Hopefully, this philosophy will pan out and I will become nothing but a full-time writer. In the meantime, hard work, dedication and applying this discipline just might aid in making this dream a reality. I won’t know until I try. The way I see it, what’s the worst thing that could happen? I would write more tales…