Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

It’s time! It’s here! After working with BSC Publishing Group’s graphic designer and waiting for days, it’s here! The cover for my new collection of short stories, Hannah and Other Stories, has been released! And you can look at it below.

What do you think? The cover depicts a moment from one of the stories in the collection, a rather macabre moment that made even me shiver (imagine what it will do to readers). I gave BSC the idea of the cover, as well as other covers I love, and they ran with it. From there, we worked together on fonts, added and subtracted elements, and eventually got to the beauty above. At which point, I emailed BSC and was like, “We’ve got it! By George, I think we’ve got it!”

But that was only the beginning. Not only did they create a cover with my input, but they went and created a book trailer too! A freaking book trailer! I’ve tried my hand at creating book trailers before and was thinking of trying to make a new one with Hannah, but they did something even better than anything I have in mind. Check it out below.

How about that? Having a publisher create this book trailer and work so hard to make it as creepy and enticing as can be shows how much they believe in this book and want it to succeed.

So, what happens next? Well, as the trailer states, Hannah will release in Fall 2023, so at least five months and a few days away. In the meantime, BSC and I will work together to make sure the final manuscript is as polished and clear of mistakes as possible. We’ll also work together to build as much buzz for the book before it releases. That way, when it releases, as many people as possible are reading it.

And I may do a little voodoo on my end. What can I say, I like the idea of friendly supernatural entities helping me out with my dreams. And I have reason to believe it’s worked before. Why can’t it work with this book?

Anyway, I’m just so excited for you to read the stories within. They’re all original stories I’ve been crafting over the years and I’m so excited for you to finally read them. There’s Queen Alice, about an internet legend that takes on a life of its own; Fuselli’s Horses, about a horse ranch with some unique stallions among its residents; and What Errour Awoke, about how a simple English literature class leads to a dangerous situation during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. And that’s just three out of seven! But trust me, the other four are just as creepy and as fun.

But in the meantime, if you’re interested in supporting me, or if you’re just looking for something spooky to read, you can check out my Books page and then check out any of my already published work. And if you like what you read, consider leaving a review online somewhere. Not only do I appreciate your feedback, but it helps me grow as an author and helps other readers find my work.

That’s all for now, my Followers of Fear. I’m off to celebrate the reveal. Until next time, good night, pleasant nightmares, and are you scared yet? Because if you are, then my job here is done.

I knew there was a reason why I was feeling so good about the near future.

As many of you know, I have a new collection of short stories, Hannah and Other Stories, to be released sometime this year by BSC Publishing Group. This is a terrifying collection filled with stories about ghosts, budding serial killers, and carnivorous horses, among other things. And I’ve been updating you all as developments occur.

Well, I have a new development: the cover will be revealed next week! What day, exactly? I can’t tell you. What does it feature? I won’t tell you. All I can say is that after I sent BSC’s graphic artist some ideas, they ran with them and created some great mock ups. From there, we worked together to make the cover everything I hoped it would be, and I think the final result is, to use my best French, fucking fantastic.

Anyway, I look forward to showing you the cover next week, and I hope you’re looking forward to seeing it. Once that cover is out there, the process to getting the book ready for publication and selecting a release date should speed up a bit. Just you wait and see, it’s going to be awesome.

And in the meantime, if you want to support me, or if you’re just looking for a creepy read, you can find all my work on the Books page of this blog. From plant/human hybrids and ancient gods to mafia-hunting serial killers and mad scientists, I got a bit of everything, so why not check it out and see what tickles your fancy?

That’s all for now, my Followers of Fear. I’m off to fill my belly before getting into a groove of creativity and terror. Until next time, good night, pleasant nightmares, and look forward to whatever’s coming next week.

I’ve been asked this before numerous times in one way or another. “What advice do you have for new writers?” Well, there’s one thing that always comes to mind. And the past couple of years, the thing I’ve come back to, time and time again, is this: “You need to carve out the time to right.”

Yeah, that’s the advice. A lot of people want to write, but they say they don’t have the time to write, or that they can’t find the time, or there’s just not enough time in the day. I often reply, “Well, you’re going to have to carve out the time. If you’re serious about writing that story. There’s no time fairy who’s just going to grant you time to write.”

Sounds kind of caustic, and it is. But it’s also true. For one thing, I’ve never seen a single fairy, let alone one that grants time to would-be writers. For another, the time to write just doesn’t find you. It doesn’t drop out of the sky and into your lap. And yeah, there is only 24 hours in a day, with hopefully only 8 of them devoted to a day job and the other 16 sleeping and personal stuff.

Fact of the matter is, if you don’t make time, even just half an hour, to write, you won’t ever get the time to write.

I mean, if you want to cut out sleeping, you’ll find that time, but from a health standpoint you’ll really suffer.

But I understand why people say they don’t have the time. Finding that time can be hellishly difficult. Besides day jobs and sleep, people need to do chores around the home, take care of family obligations, and finding time to relax after a long day.

Still, you can find time. Plenty of others have done it before. Even when he was raising three kids under the sage of six and was living out of a trailer, Stephen King found time to write 2500 words a day. That’s how he wrote Carrie, which later launched him into the stratosphere. And my friend/colleague Angela Misri wrote every day on the bus to and from work in moleskine notebooks. That’s how she wrote her Portia Adams books, and they’ve been pretty successful.

As for me, I write in the evenings between dinner and bed (though on weekends or days off I try to write during that free time as well). I’ve been doing that for years, and it’s how I’ve written some of my best work. Yeah, it helps that I’m only responsible for myself, don’t have kids, and writing helps me destress. But I still carve out that time most nights to get work done, because I want to get those stories done and out there. I want to write for the rest of my life. So I carve out that time.

And if you really want to tell those stories and get them out into the world, you’ll find the time. It may take some changes to your schedules, or maybe some changes in your life, but if you’re serious, you’ll be able to find the time. Like I said, plenty of people have before and plenty of people in the future. That includes me, and that includes you.

How do you find time to write? Did you make changes to your life or schedule to do it? Has it helped? Let’s discuss in the comments below.

That’s all for now, my Followers of Fear. Just wanted to get something out to you sooner rather than later, and this seemed like a good subject to post about.

Until next time, good night, pleasant nightmares, and–oh look, a fairy! Oh, you want to join my Army of Nightmares and help me accomplish my goals? Okay, let’s go! To the dragon bats!

Back in 2021, I got my first author fan art. Iseult Murphy, my friend and colleague, created a couple of pictures based on a made-up creature I mentioned in a tweet, the dragon bats. You can see them below.

Pretty cool, especially since they didn’t belong to any story. At least, not then. The fan art inspired me to write a novelette, “Disillusionment and Trauma Sometimes Go Hand-in-Hand.” That story was published in Ink Stains: A Dark Fiction Literary Anthology in October 2022.

And this past month, Iseult created some more fan art, which she’s sent me. The first is a story-accurate picture of the dragon bats, down to the orange fur and cat-like faces. Even their scaly, armored bellies are featured! Now imagine if one of these were real, and as big as a large dog! Now imagine hundreds of them, flying around and feeding upon you. Did I mention they may be venomous? A single bite can be deadly!

But that’s not the only piece of art Iseult sent me. Yesterday, she sent me this picture based on my story “The Dedication of the High Priestess.” That story is a fusion of ballet horror with the cosmic horror entity The King in Yellow. Check it out:

DAAAAMN! That is beautiful! The dancing figure of Anastasia in yellow, her shadow underneath her, and the giant form of her master, the King in Yellow, watching over her as she dances. It’s just an amazing piece of art. Also, was that painted with oil pastels? Because it looks like it, but I’m no art expert. Iseult, please let me know.

Whatever it’s made with, I LOVE this picture. I’ve said it before, but I feel like “Dedication of the High Priestess” is one of my favorite and best stories. And fan art is one of the sincerest forms of flattery you can give a creative, as well as showing your love and appreciation for that creative and their work. And from this, I really felt the love Iseult has for this story. So, I printed out a copy of this picture, bought a frame for it, and am now trying to find a good place to hang it up.

Check my Instagram to find out where I eventually hang it up.

Anyway, I wanted to post this fan art for you all to see. Iseult’s art needs to be appreciated by more people, so I made sure to put it on my social media and on my blog.

And I hope to receive more fan art in the future. Not just from Iseult, though I would be happy to see more of her work. I hope, as I continue to publish more stories and reach more readers, I’ll see more fan art based on my work. And, as long as it’s manageable to do so, I may even post more fan art to this blog and to my social media.

Perhaps there will be more fan art once Hannah and Other Stories releases later this year. I can see the stories Queen Alice and Fuselli’s Horses getting some fan art.

In the meantime, I have plenty of stories that are worth reading. You don’t have to create fan art from them if you don’t want to. I just want you to read them. And maybe let me know what you think. And you should also check out Iseult Murphy’s stories, which you can find links to on her blog. I recommend 7 Days in Hell and 7 Weeks in Hell.

Anyway, for my books, here are my links. For starters, if you want to check out “Disillusionment and Trauma Sometimes Go Hand-in-Hand,” you can grab a copy of Ink Stains here. If you want to check out “The Dedication of the High Priestess,” you can listen to it on the Tales to Terrify podcast here. And below are the links for my books.

That’s all for now, my Followers of Fear. I’m off to work on a new short story while trying to figure out where to hang Iseult’s picture. Until next time, good night and pleasant nightmares.

The Quiet Game: Five Tales to Chill Your Bones: Amazon, Createspace, Barnes & Noble, iBooksSmashwords, and Kobo.

Snake: AmazonCreatespace, Barnes & Noble, iBooksSmashwords, and Kobo

Rose: Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada, Audible, B&N

The Pure World Comes: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, Kobo, Goodreads, Audible, Chirp, BingeBooks, LIbro.Fm, Storytel, Palace Marketplace, Hoopla, Vivlio, Smashwords, Thalia, Scribd, Spotify

Mother of the King: Amazon

Agoraphobia: Amazon

The Wild Hunt, the major inspiration for this story.

Glad I got it done in March than maybe in June or July. The Great Editing, am I right? Keeps me so busy!

Anyway, as I said in a previous post, I took a break from all that editing so I could get some new stories written before all that editing drove me mad. Well, madder than usual. You know what I mean. The point is, I took a break, and this past Wednesday started on a new short horror story set on Christmas Eve. Yeah, I know I’m Jewish, but I can write a Christmas horror story like everyone else.

And no, this story, which I’m calling “The Hunting Party,” doesn’t involve Krampus or another evil Santa Claus variant. I love the character, but he’s already been done to the point publishers are starting to get tired of seeing him. Instead, I decided to base this story on the Wild Hunt. For those of you unfamiliar, the Wild Hunt is a mythical band or horde of ghostly riders that travel at night, flying through the air as they hunt whatever crosses their path. There are many variations of the Hunt throughout Europe and even beyond, and depending on where you are can be made up of different leaders, riders, spirits and reasons why they ride. It’s a fun motif to work with.

And some versions of the Wild Hunt, as well as some of their leaders, are said to be most powerful around the Christmas season. In fact, some versions are led by Odin, who himself is speculated to be an influence on the modern depiction of Santa Claus. You can see why it lends itself well to Christmas stories, including one written by me.

As for “The Hunting Party,” I’m going to start sending it out to a beta reader or two as soon as I can find one. It’s about 7,400 words long, so I hope neither their suggestions or my attempts to improve the story end in the story getting too much longer. Yeah, the publisher I hope to send it too allows stories up to ten-thousand words or more, but I’d feel more confident if this story didn’t get that long.

As for what’s next, I already know what story I’m going to work on next. It’s going to make you shudder in horror, it involves a common phobia, and takes place at Halloween. I do not write enough stories set at Halloween. The last one I did ended up a trunk novel. Hopefully this one finds a home.

For now though, I’m making a late dinner and watching a movie before hitting the hay. I have a crazy week ahead of me, so I’m going to need all the rest I can get. Wish me luck.

And until next time, my Followers of Fear, good night, pleasant nightmares, and Merry Christmas! May nothing bloodthirsty come down your chimney (or otherwise enter your home if you don’t have a chimney).

Well, I just finished editing my Backrooms story, “It Changes You,” and added two-thousand words along the way. Only took two weeks. I even improved a very squicky scene so that it will be easier to imagine. And I just reached out to a friend who expressed interest in beta reading the story before I send it out. Depending on how things play out, I may have a few others have a look at it before I try sending it out to publishers.

And now, you might be wondering (or you might not, I can’t read minds) what I plan to edit next. Am I going to go back to “They Sleep Within The Rock,” AKA the story where I put neo-Nazis through hell? Or will I do another pass on the stories in Hannah and Other Stories? Or will I edit something else?

Actually, I’m going to take a break from editing. Let me put it this way: I’m tired. And I’ve been itching for a little while now to work on something new. And I thought I could get through editing one more story. But, you know what they say: man (or whatever species I am) plans and God laughs. So, I’m going to work on some new stuff that excites me and that I think I could find homes for. One’s going to be a story set at Christmas. Yeah, it’s February, but holiday anthologies are already accepting stories. And I may be Jewish, but there are aspects of the holiday season that I enjoy. And which I enjoy putting through hell in stories. The other story will be inspired by a rather unsettling thought I had before bed one evening and which I developed into a story. It’s probably going to make people shudder. Especially my mother. This is something she’s famously afraid of.

I hope she doesn’t mind me saying so. Oh well. She knew what she was getting into when she had me.

Anyway, after those stories, if I don’t have another draft of Hannah to do, I might do that next draft of “They Sleep Within the Rock” and do a third draft of “It Changes You.” Or I may write more new stories. It just depends on what I’m in the mood for. But yeah, I’m going to get those stories edited at some point. I just need breaks from so much massive editing from time to time.

In the meantime, I’m taking the rest of the night off before I get to work on these stories. Tonight it’s dinner, a horror movie, and maybe some reading before bed. It’ll be a good way to end the weekend.

Until next time, my Followers of Fear, good night, pleasant nightmares, and enjoy this week if you can. For all we know, it could be a rough one.

For those of you who don’t know, “squicky” refers to something that is very disturbing, disgusting, and/or unpleasant. In horror, it usually refers to something out of what Stephen King calls “the gross-out factor” of horror, with lots of blood and gore and bodily fluids. Occasionally squicky scenes (or at least most of the ones I’ve encountered) also have some sexual element, though not the kind that would indicate any form of healthy sex. Squicky scenes are the ones that make readers think, “Good Lord, what’s wrong with this author?” And they make the author’s parents go, “what kind of freak did we raise that they could come up with this?”

On a personal level, I can go either way with squickiness. Sometimes, like with the Evil Dead remake in 2013, I find that’s part of the charm of the movie. And I’m looking forward to watching Terrifier 2 because its squickiness reportedly caused people to vomit and faint in the theaters (though hopefully not at the same time). But when it comes to stories like Human Centipede and its sequels, where the very concept is squicky, I run the opposite way.*

That being said, I find myself writing squicky scenes more and more in my work. There’s a scene like that in my Backrooms story “It Changes You,” and one of the stories in my upcoming collection Hannah and Other Stories has plenty of squick in it. And there’s a particular story I hope to start writing soon that will have you shuddering from the squick! It’s going to be a blast.

Why am I writing these scenes? Well, part of it is because I’ve seen other authors in the books I read writing them and that has inspired/urged me to try writing them as well. Another is that, in my continual quest to improve as a writer, I’m trying to push myself to step more and more out of my comfort zone and try things that I wouldn’t normally write. And a third part is that, when done right, those scenes make the story scarier and make the story stand out to readers.

That being said, writing those scenes isn’t easy. I’m usually thinking three things when working on a squick moment: is this too much? Is this not enough? And am I using the right words to bring out the full squicky nature of the scene? Since some of these stories haven’t released yet, I can’t be certain. You’re trying to balance several elements like word choice, time spent on a particular moment, translating that horrifying moment from your brain to the page, and how it fits into the story as a whole, among others. A single misstep and people might call you “shocking for shock’s sake” or “exploitative.”

That being said, people are going to call you that anyway. Besides Human Centipede, other films like the Saw movies or Texas Chainsaw Massacre are full of squicky moments and features. I know authors whose books are filled with squick. And you’ll find that each one has both detractors and fans. It just depends on the person, what they’re capable of stomaching, and what personally draws them to the story.

As for advice on writing squicky scenes, I don’t have much, unfortunately. Like I said, I don’t write them too often. But I do think that, unless your main thought when writing a story is, “I want readers to be shocked and grossed out and wincing with every paragraph,” only use squick when it works for the story. If it adds something to the story, great, keep it. If it doesn’t, then perhaps think about whether you should include such a scene.

This entire film is squicky and I want nothing to do with it.

Also, and while it may be stomach churning, read what others have done with squick and try to pick up what makes their takes effective. Once you do that, you can hopefully get some practice in and start creating scenes and stories that, over time, will produce the same effect those scenes produce in other readers and in you.

All that being said, if squick isn’t your thing, don’t push yourself to include it. The thing about horror, there’s a niche for everyone. You prefer things to be gory and gross and shocking, there’s something for you. You like ghosts and psychological stuff? There’s something there for you. You like cosmic beings whose very appearance causes insanity? Yep, there’s something for you.

Anyway, I just wanted to talk about these scenes I’m writing and my thoughts on them. I hope that when some of these stories with their squick-inducing moments release, they’ll be quite effective and add plenty to the story. Now, if you need me, I’m off to watch some scary movies.

Until next time, my Followers of Fear, good night and pleasant nightmares.

Do you enjoy squicky scenes? Do you write them often? What advice do you have for writing and including them in your horror?

*Seriously, you could not pay me to watch those films. Anyone tries, I will smack them into next week and make my escape in the meantime. I’m already screwed up enough, thank you very much! Don’t need to be twisted any further.

The photo that started it all.

So, I freaked out for a moment earlier this week. I found out that a Hollywood studio was making a movie out of The Backrooms.

If you don’t know what the Backrooms is, it’s an Internet urban legend/creepypasta about a maze that looks like a never-ending office building with the most horrid yellow wallpaper. Supposedly, there are things in the Backrooms that will come after you if you fall, or “noclip,” into them. They were birthed by a photo that was posted anonymously to 4chan, followed by some lines of text that were posted by another anonymous user, so the Backrooms are technically public domain. Anyone can use them to tell stories.

I wrote a novella taking place in the Backrooms: “It Changes You: A Backrooms Story.” And I’ve been planning on editing it throughout the week. However, earlier this week, something came up that made me wonder if I even could or should edit the story. You see, one of the most–if not the most–popular iteration of The Backrooms was created by YouTuber Kane Pixels. He’s created his own mini-mythology through a highly successful YouTube series, the first video of which having over forty-four million views at the time I’m writing this.

Yeah, the new movie is going to be based on his take on the Backrooms, and he’s likely going to be writing and directing as well.

So, my first reaction was like, “Oh shit! Way to go, you’re barely out of high school! Good luck, I can’t wait to see it!” And then I was like, “What does this mean for ‘It Changes You?’ Will it even be worth editing and trying to find a home with a movie on the way?”

In times like these, I look to the experts I know best: my fellow horror writers. So I asked them in one of my Facebook groups. And they pointed out some things that I’d almost forgotten.

First off, plenty of writers and creators are making stories and videos and whatnot off the Backrooms, not just Kane Pixels and myself. Hell, I’ve seen one author posting photos of his own story on Twitter and Hive. I won’t be the last one. And so long as I don’t steal anything to someone else’s interpretation of the Backrooms, it’s fine if I want to release my own version of it.

Yeah, a movie might make things more difficult. But it wasn’t as if they weren’t difficult before. Let’s face it, everybody’s putting out their own versions everywhere they can. So long as I keep trying, my version is well-written and compelling, and

And it’s not as if the movie will be a surefire thing. It could end up in development hell or just never get made. Look at the Five Nights at Freddy’s movie. That thing has been in development since 2015, and it reportedly only just started filming this month! And the Bartimaeus Sequence by Jonathan Stroud? One of my favorite fantasy series from childhood and still beloved. It was supposed to have a movie years ago! But twenty years after the idea was first floated, still no movie out, even though some new studio bought the rights four years ago.

Who’s to say the same thing won’t happen with the Backrooms movie? It might spend several years in development before it actually gets to the production stage, let alone gets filmed and released.

In the meantime, that’s plenty of time for me to make a mark with my version. Not sure if that’ll be on its own as a standalone novella or as part of a collection, but that’s part of the fun of the search: getting to find out what happens and where your stories will end up.

So, this weekend, I’ll get started on editing “It Changes You.” Some friends/colleagues read the first five-thousand words and gave me feedback, so I’ll look over their notes, and then get to work. By the end of the weekend, maybe I’ll have it off to beta readers, and then maybe next month off to publishers.

But for now, I’ve got work. Until next time, good night (no matter what time it may be where you are), pleasant nightmares, and–watch out! There’s a killer behind you as you’re reading this!

Take a good look. This temporary cover may not be around for much longer.

So, as many of you know, I have a new collection of short stories coming out at some point this year. This collection, Hannah and Other Stories, features stories with terrifying delights such as carnivorous horses, budding serial killers and a couple of very creepy ghosts. And earlier this evening, I had a meeting over Zoom with BSC Publishing Group, the company that will be releasing Hannah. There was me, two of the major players at BSC, and the other writers contracted with BSC.

Get this, by the way: everyone at the meeting had glasses! But of the men in the meeting, I was the only one who was cleanshaven. Everyone else had a beard!

Anyway, we talked about what would be happening over the course of 2023, what the company will be doing to hopefully make our books a success, and some other stuff that needed mentioning to the writers.

And with that, there came some bad news. Because of developments in the publishing industry these past couple of years, and because of the cost of producing paperbacks, even just for print-on-demand, Hannah won’t immediately be released in paperback.

Yeah, you read that right. Unfortunately, it’s just the way things are. You may have read something about Barnes & Noble last year? How the chain, as well as a lot of smaller brick-and-mortar stores, only stock bestsellers these days, and will return the books that don’t do so well to the publishers. BSC realizes this and is reacting to this.

There is a silver lining, however. If Hannah gets enough sales and reviews, and if the latter are positive, print paperback will become possible. And I’m determined to make that happen. Not only do I believe in this collection and the stories within, but I’m putting together a marketing plan to ensure that, alongside what BSC is going to be doing to help me out, this book gets as wide a reach as possible. My goal is to have fifty reviews by the first publication anniversary. Is that a lot? Yes. Is that more than Rose has gotten in three and a half years? Also yes. Do I think I can do it? HELL YES!

And why? Because I believe in the Followers of Fear. Over the years, you’ve not only grown by leaps and bounds as a group, but many of you have become close friends and colleagues whom I’ve supported and who have supported me right back. And I think, once this collection is released, enough of you will be eager enough to check it out and help me get to that goal.

And if not, there’s still a chance of an audio book. Apparently that’s possible even without a paperback with this company. Imagine that!

And now, for the good news: while another draft is likely, we’re moving forward with release. I’ve even been given homework, such as colors I want for the cover, covers to influence the cover, and a few other things. I’m excited. I can’t wait to show you all what we’ve been working on this past year and a half.

In the meantime, I’ll be working on this stuff, then working on a blog post regarding my Backrooms story (so expect more updates soon). So, until that blog post, my Followers of Fear, good night and pleasant nightmares. I hope you’re as excited for Hannah to be released as I am.

Did you know that my first book, The Quiet Game: Five Tales to Chill Your Bones, is coming up on its ten-year publishing anniversary? And that it was around this time of year that I wrote the first drafts of the stories?

It kind of hit me a couple of weekends ago, while vending at ConFusion, that that anniversary was coming up. I was there in the Artists’ Alley, describing each of my books to an interested congoer, and as I mentioned it was my oldest book, I paused. “It’s about…wow, coming up on the ten-year anniversary.” And that really made me think about how much time has passed since that book first came out, as well as all that’s happened since then. Specifically, all the lessons and mistakes I’ve made along the way.

For example, if you look at the cover of The Quiet Game, you might notice there are two F’s in the word “Five.” It’s an error I’ve since become fond of, but it and others have been reminders to me about carefully proofreading my work for mistakes, even when I’m sure they’re perfect.

And marketing my books! I’m still learning how to do it effectively, which is probably why I still need a day job (that’s a joke). But over the years, I’ve learned that you need a lot more than a blog and a book out there to get readers. Nothing ever snowballs till you suddenly find yourself with hundreds of adoring fans. You have to work and try many different things just to get people to take notice, let alone get interested enough to read your book. I’ve learned just how ineffective Facebook ads are for anything except clicks, and I’ve learned that having some advanced readers who are willing to read your work before it comes out makes all the difference. Oh, and that you’ll get plenty more readers when you’re at conventions and you’re being your true self.

And on marketing, I’m still learning things. I think I always will.

You know, you can be reading and writing with an aim to be a professional author since the time you’re a child–like I was–but learning on how to get the work to people is a whole other ballgame. And after ten years, I think I may be in the minor leagues–or at least I’m at a point where I’m somewhat established and known thanks to all those trials and mistakes and revelations I’ve had through the past decade or so.

At least I know one thing for sure: well before The Quiet Game came out, making this blog was a good idea. I created it at a library near my house a couple of weeks before I was set to start my freshman year at Ohio State University. The goal was that I would already have some readers ready before my first book came out (always something I was sure would happen at some point). And you know what? Not only have I discovered readers, I’ve discovered friends and colleagues and interests and experiences that I never thought possible when I was just 18 and starting out in the world. Or when I was 20 and getting ready for that first collection to come out.

Makes me wonder what lessons I’ll learn in the next ten years (I’m not going to speculate on possible mistakes, because I would like to avoid those if possible). And it makes me wonder where I’ll be in the next ten years as well. I hope I’ll have learned enough to make sure that when I release a book, it’s worth the investment for not just me, but for anyone who may have helped me publish it. I hope I may even be writing full-time, or at least much closer to the point where that’s feasible.

And I hope that I have many more Followers of Fear, as well as keeping those who have stuck by me through the years.

Well, that’s all for now, my Followers of Fear. I’ll be working on various projects between now and whenever I check in again. In the meantime, if you haven’t read The Quiet Game yet and want to before the tenth anniversary of its release (when I may have to do something special to mark it), you can find links to it and my other works on the Books page. And if you do end up reading some of my work, please leave a review telling me what you thought. Not only does it help me out as an author, but it helps other readers as well.

Until next time, good night and pleasant nightmares!