Monday, October 31, 2016


Happy Halloween, Creepers.

The weekend delivered on the sheer madness it promised.  The bar was so crazy, I didn't have time to take a lot of pictures of everyone in their amazing costumes.  I'll try and snap some more tonight and get them up.  Lots of spirit in the Crescent City.


Our kickstarter is still live, but it's running out of time with a long ways to go.  Please help by donating for the AFTER THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER anthology.


The prologue to BROTHERS IN SOLITUDE is running over 600 words.  I'm behind schedule, but I'll get more work done today before work.  Scheduled off tomorrow, so I hope to have it up in the evening.  I plan on having at least one chapter up a week, giving me time to work on the project as well as finish the anthology.


I missed yesterday's post due to work and sleep, but let's finish this month-long event with a bang.  Here are today's prizes:



Before she ran into a compelling stranger on the busy streets of NYC, before she knew the truth about her father, before she died, Ria was just a normal girl, trying to make ends meet.

Now with an unhelpful six-thousand-year-old mentor, she wished someone had written a handbook on how to be undead. But small details, like how to drink blood without killing, why she wakes up in the middle of the day, and how to juggle two paranormal men, are near pointless when the scary Wicked Witch of Watertown has given her a week to report to the training facility. Better yet, she’s popped up on the collection list for the Assetato and the king of the were-lions. Can Ria survive long enough to come head-to-head with a ten-thousand-year-old vampire?


Who knew immortality would be such a bitch.

Boot Camp for Vamps has a new prisoner, and Ria is testing her new world of rules and regulations, fighting her oldest nemesis—conformity. Her key battle is keeping her individuality and hiding her phoenix powers.

With an uptight mentor, an estranged werewolf, and an unlikely band of humans on her side, Ria must first survive her trials, designed to break her by a queen hell bent on making her suffer...let the nightmare begin.

SYNCHRONY by Anthony S. Buoni

 Bad Apple, a goth band on the cusp of fame, is finally returning home after their first major tour. Restless and road weary, the group's vocalist, Vanian, meets Patricia, a mysterious woman he's noticed at several shows. As their relationship flourishes with creativity, passion, and witchcraft, a self-destructive bandmate spirals downward into drug abuse, insanity, and violence. When dysfunction and tragedy threaten Bad Apple's future, Vanian's voice and heart test the boundaries of life and death. Will music and love be enough to save Bad Apple and his soul?


 Tantalizingly bloody tales featuring human pitted against beast and gods, with the true majesty and horrors of the afterlife, with love and death and desire...

Eight writers modernize ancient mythologies in DISTORTED, proving that not every story has been told.

KILL THOSE DAMNED CATS (Lovecraftian anthology featuring THE UNINVITED GUEST by Rohit Sawant)

 “Kill those damn cats!” Nyarlathotep commanded.

The machinations of cats and mad gods are beyond human understanding.

Kill Those Damn Cats is a Lovecraftian anthology about the Cats of Ulthar, new stories of those furious felines' heroic adventures as well as their nefarious misdeeds.

Everybody's got a story about those cats.


The children of Shadowed Heights are disappearing. Investigative journalist D. Hartmann is on the case to discover what happened to them. When things turn sinister, it isn't whether or not he has the story of a century, it's whether anybody will believe him...

ELECTRONIC STORIES (delivered in .pdf format):


Stepping in as last minute as best man, Jensen learns that he isn't the only one crashing this wedding.
THE LANDFILL by Kevin Hopson

Billy, a high school senior, has lost a lot in the past year, including his younger sister, Sara. Billy lacks excitement and purpose in life until his curiosity takes him and his best friend, Connor, to an old, abandoned landfill along the river. Connor would rather forget the experience, but Billy can’t help but feel invigorated by their findings. Taking it upon himself to uncover the mystery, Billy finds his life coming full circle – but is that a good or bad thing?

PURSUING THE DEAD (1st chapter) by Kevin Hopson

After suffering the loss of his son, and his marriage soon after, Jacob ponders whether life is worth living. He wants to be with his son more than anything, even if that means joining him in the afterlife. However, when Jacob is given a second chance at life, he must decide what he truly wants.

To enter for these prizes, share the AFTER THE HAPPILY EVERAFTER KICKSTARTER and tag it #AHEA with the message HAPPY HALLOWEEN on you social media accounts: facebook, twitter, etc.—the more you share, the more chances you'll have at winning.

This contest will run through November 2nd, 2016 in observance of Halloween and the Days of the Dead.  Winner will be announced on November 3rd.

Thanks for playing along this month.  In a future post, I'll reflect back on this contest.

Blessed Samhain, black cats and witches.

Saturday, October 29, 2016


How thin the veil lately.

Chicago's Willowbrook Ballroom burned down yesterday.  Hopefully Resurrection Mary will find her way to the dance this year.


AFTER THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER briefly trended on twitter yesterday after a promotion we sponsored.  Time is running out on the kickstarter, and we still have a long way to go before meeting our goal.  We're asking for additional funding in order to pay our contributors more and add extra features to this already massive anthology like more illustrations, limited edition hardcover copies, and extra promotional materials.  Help us before time runs out.


I should have the prologue to BROTHERS IN SOLITUDE up on Halloween.  It'll be my treat for the tricksters this year.  The plan is to get at least one chapter posted on this blog a week.  I'm encouraging readers who find typos or story errors to speak up and fire away in the hopes that they'll be able to see the process as I work.  Those playing along will get a special shout out in the final book and my eternal gratitude for helping me finish what I started so many years ago.


Today's prize is a paperback copy of THE BLACKSTONE CHRONICLES by John Saul.

I've asked before which serials your tired of during their course, but today I want to know which ones only got better.  Answer in the blog or facebook comments for your chance to win this book.

All right, I'm getting back to work.  Happy haunting, kiddos.

Friday, October 28, 2016


Halloween weekend.

Last night, I had the privilege of working at Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop.  I picked up the shift as a bar back, but it got so crazy that they allowed me to serve until we beat back the crowd.  This now means that I have served drinks in the largest nightclub and oldest bar in the country. 

After we shut the doors, I got to tinker with a cellphone ghost radar.  For a while it showed nothing, but when the building settled, and Bourbon Street emptied, we started getting blips on the radar.  The program would display words randomly—conversations with the dead.  We got CORN and VARIETY several times.  Other words that appeared were HAT, DIFFERENT, EASY, and SMOOTH.  Who knows what the spirits were trying to say.

Thanks for the night, cats.

I'll be at my normal bar for the rest of the weekend.  Last night was the dress rehearsal—tonight the madness starts.


We got the first piece of interior art.  It's called "Porcine Problem Drinkers."

We want to include a lot of art, but we need help.  Check out the AFTER THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER kickstarter before time runs out.  We're still tinkering with its layout, so give us a look.


Managed to get 60 words out in the CAMPING TRIP prologue yesterday.  I'm pretty sure the words are in their correct order, too.  It doesn't sound like a lot, but I also got the giveaway post up, read from my pleasure book, played guitar, and worked 14 hours.  Feels like an accomplished day.  This weekend will sap a lot of time, but I plan on finishing the section and have it up for Halloween to officially begin #closingcircles.

Today's giveaway prize:

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA action figure by Reaction.  Since no one answered yesterday's question, the ALIEN blueray and CASTAWAYS paperback by Brian Keene are also include in this package.

To enter let me know what music haunts you.  Post a video in the blog comments or on the facebook posts where this contest appears.

Happy haunting, creeps.

Thursday, October 27, 2016


New Orleans will be crazy this weekend.  Not only is it leading up to Halloween, but we have VOODOO FEST, a home SAINTS game, and several conventions in town.  Mischief or Devil's Night is also the new moon; many covens celebrate Samhain, one of the four Greater Sabbats, on October's dark moon.  All these factors enhance the energy flowing about the city.  I've already seen witches, skeletons, and ghosts roaming the streets, both dress-up and real.

We've updated the kickstarter with some new images and story clips.  If you want to see AFTER THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER in hardcover, make sure you click here and pre-order your copies before the event ends.  We're trying to pay our contributors a little more, so give us a hand and pledge.


I keep wrestling with the CAMPING TRIP prologue in BROTHERS IN SOLITUDE.  It serves a purpose, giving a glimpse to the family before the end of the world, but it also can't be too long.  Just a few brushstrokes to establish themes, tones, and set up future devices lurking in the story.  Today I'll start trying it out.  Let's see if I can get the images across in less than a few thousand words.

I am taking BIS's original document and mining it for sections, pasting the pieces that make the cut into a new doc that will serve as the final manuscript. 

There are some problems with this approach.

It creates invisible monsters, hidden code that messes up the interior when you go to publish.  Often there are keystrokes and formatting that you cannot see unless you activate the show/hide function on your word processor.  Before I understood this, I had proofs come back where the interior design looked worse than any cut and paste zine that deliberately seeks this aesthetic.  Though fitting for an underground music rag, it looks terrible in a professional book.

There are solutions to wiping out the unseen glitches.  One approach—the nuclear option—is dropping the entire document into notepad and then bringing it back into Word.  This resets everything, but you have to go back and reformat each line.  It allows total control, but it is not at all fast.  I use this method when formatting anthologies because each story comes from a different computer with different settings.  Wiping out the hidden characters simplifies pagination for physical and e-books.

Enough shop talk for today, let's get to the giveaway!

Nobody answered yesterday's question, so I assume you not only believe in aliens but were actually abducted and were unable to play along.  Scary.  That means that the ALIENS blueray rolls over and is included with today's prize: a paperback copy of CASTAWAYS by Brian Keene.

They came to the deserted island to compete on a popular reality television show. Each one hoped to be the last to leave. Now they're just hoping to stay alive, because the island isn't deserted after all.

Contestants are disappearing, but they aren't being eliminated by the game. They're being taken by the monstrous, half-human creatures that live deep in the jungle. The men will be slaughtered. The women will be kept alive as captives. Night is falling, the creatures are coming, and rescue is so far away . . . 

CASTAWAYS is Brian Keene's tribute to the late, great Richard Laymon!

Keene is one of my favorite authors.  His handle on horror is phenomenal.  He writes cinematically—imagining the book on the big screen is effortless.  He's not afraid to take readers into dark and gory places, while at the same time there are gentle moments peering from behind the nightmare creatures.  I was fortunate enough to meet Mr. Keene this summer at Tubby and Coo's Mid-City Bookshop during his extensive book tour.  Amazing moment.

CASTAWAYS is a violent and savage book, perfect for this time of year.  This particular copy comes from my private collection, so there is some spine wear and light cover damage.  I've offered it up for this contest because I believe that if you love horror literature, this author is a must read.
To enter, let me know what horror authors you like to read and recommend some of their books in the comments of this blog or on facebook.

Thanks for reading, and I hope that you are #closingcircles of your own.