Posts Tagged ‘Halloween season’

What are some of the first things you think of when it comes to Stephen King’s IT? Is it Georgie being dragged down the drain by Pennywise the clown? The fortune cookies filled with eyeballs and mutated bugs? The final battle with Pennywise in his lair? That one scene that dare not be spoken?

I’m sure all these and more occur to you, because they’re significant plot points and they carry a whole lot of scares.* What you might not think about are the quieter moments in the story: the building of the dam in the Barrens, or Ben, Beverly and Richie going to see a movie together, or Bill going for a ride on his old bike Silver after not having seen it for over a quarter of a century. They’re the quieter moments of the story, the moments that allow you to get to know the characters better and see them about their daily lives. And they’re just as important as the scarier parts of the story.

I’ve been thinking of these moments more and more lately, because I just wrote an entire chapter for Crawler, my mummy novel-in-progress, that was a quiet moment. In it, two of the characters, one of whom is in mourning over a sudden loss, bond with each other over the course of a lazy afternoon. Nothing scary happens, no mentions of the horrors driving the plot take place, and there’s no ground laying or foreshadowing for future scares. It’s just a sweet, quiet scene where two characters form a relationship.

Honestly, I’m not used to writing those sorts of scenes. In shorter works, every word has to be necessary so the story can fit within a word count. There’s no room for quiet scenes showing the creation or deepening of bonds, getting to know a character better, or seeing them grow. You need that room to create a short story that packs a punch, especially for horror stories. And with my novels, every chapter and scene was necessary to the plot in some way, furthering the story, foreshadowing future plot points, or scaring the shit out of the reader in some way. Writing a scene over the course of two or three days that was just exploring the budding relationship between two characters, was new for me. And I feel like I learned a lot while doing it.

Which is good, because other writers, not just King, include those quieter moments throughout the books. Ever wonder why Harry Potter includes Quidditch matches in the books? Because they’re fun, normal things a wizard would learn in school and serve as breaks from the intrigue of whatever was happening any year at Hogwarts.

Now, having these scenes aren’t always necessary for every story. But it can be a good idea to include them if you need an organic way to flesh out your characters, deepen their relationships, or show them growing. Especially you can’t think of any way to insert such moments into the more essential scenes, like Georgie getting dragged into the sewers or whatever.

In any case, I’ll probably write a few more of these scenes in Crawler, as it’s a very character-focused story, so I’ll get plenty of opportunities to practice. Perhaps afterwards, I’ll be able to write a post about writing quiet scenes and writing them well. And maybe when I do, I’ll write it with a quiet satisfaction.

*Except that one scene, I know, but we’re not going to talk about it, are we?


One more thing, my Followers of Fear: this Wednesday at 4-6 PM EST, I’ll be joining fellow horror writers Heather Miller and Daemon Manx on the podcast “What’s Write For Me” with Dellani Oakes. We’ll be recording live, so you’re encouraged to join us live by following this link, and we’ll be discussing and even reading from our scariest works, so I hope you’ll join us. See you there!

That’s all for now, my Followers of Fear. It’ll be a busy week leading up to Halloween, but I hope it’ll be a fun and memorable one. Until next time, good night, pleasant nightmares, and eight days till Halloween! Have you carved a Jack-o-Lantern yet? I have, and for the first one in my own home, I don’t think it turned out half-bad. What say you?

About a year or two ago, this one title became kind of a sensation in one of Facebook groups. Everyone was talking about it, raving that it was the next best thing in indie horror. Combined with a striking cover and name, I couldn’t help but grow curious. Sadly, my TBR list is already a mile high, so I had trouble getting around to reading it. Thankfully, I get plenty of reading done thanks to audio books, so when I found out the audio book for this novel was finally released, I scooped it up for my October read.

So, after all that hype and fanfare, is Stolen Tongues worth the wait?

Set mostly in California and Colorado, Stolen Tongues follows a fictionalized version of the author himself, Felix Blackwell, as he and his fianc√©e Faye go up to her parents’ cabin in the mountains as a little engagement present. However, the lovers’ weekend is interrupted when they find a strange object hanging from the trees, and later that night start to hear odd voices coming from the surrounding woods. Soon, Faye starts to walk and talk in her sleep, and it becomes clear that something is influencing her in her dreams. And it will stop at nothing to have her.

So, the suspense throughout this novel is phenomenal. The prologue itself would make a terrifying short story on its own, and the early scenes, where we have no idea what sort of monster we’re dealing with or how it’s doing what it’s doing, are some of the tensest, most heart-pounding scenes I’ve ever had the pleasure to read. It’s also quite unsettling to see Faye undergoing changes due to the influence of the creature. Her personality warps at times, as do her memories, and you feel the narrator’s anguish and concern as she becomes someone he doesn’t recognize.

I also like the reverence and respect shown to Native American beliefs, both the beliefs themselves and indigenous people’s attitudes towards their beliefs and sharing them with outsiders. As the novel’s monster draws heavily from Native American culture, it’s refreshing to see so much respect. Often, horror that draws on Native American folklore and ideas doesn’t always include the very peoples from whom the folklore and ideas derive from, and when they do, not always in the most respectful manner, so it’s a welcome change to see said folklore, as well as Native characters, portrayed with such care.

Actually, the author includes at the end of the book an essay he wrote on writing Native American characters and horror based on their folklore, which I would read after you’re done with the novel.

Sadly, the novel isn’t perfect. After the reveal of what the creature is, some of the tension and mystery is sacrificed. The author does try to keep things creepy, especially after the narrator has a close-up encounter with the monster, but it’s not always successful. I also thought the ending was rushed and a letdown, with far too much telling, not enough showing, and not a finale epic or scary enough to match the rest of the novel.

I know me griping about showing vs. telling when I only just got better at that this year is rich, but it’s still a legitimate problem.

Overall, while it’s not the terrifying ride of suspense and creepy atmosphere that I was led to believe I was going to get, Stolen Tongues by Felix Blackwell is still a decent and chilling novel. Those sections where the tensions really works make it worth the read all on its own. On a scale of 1 to 5, I’m going to give it a straight 4. If you’re still looking for something spooky to read this October, this book might be a good choice. I’m certainly glad I finally got around to reading it.

I did warn you this post was coming, didn’t I?

As many of you are aware at this point, I’m the co-founder of an independent publishing press, Cracked Skull Press, and we released our first anthology, That Which Cannot Be Undone, exactly two weeks ago today. The anthology is written entirely by Ohio authors, every story is set in Ohio, and the theme of the anthology is “that which cannot be undone.” This anthology is the result of a successful Kickstarter campaign, as well as lots of tears, sweat, discussion, blood, and so much more, and I’m so proud that I got to be part of its creation.

I’m also quite proud to have one of my own stories, “Is Anyone There?”, in the anthology. It’s about a ghost at the Ohio State Reformatory, one of my favorite places on Earth, and I consider it some of my best work.

Anyway, in the two weeks since the book was released, we at Cracked Skull Press have sent out copies of the anthology to the backers who supported us and have sold plenty of copies through Amazon. The result is that we’ve been seeing a lot of people reading the anthology, which is what we always hoped for! And not only that, but we’ve been getting plenty of reviews. At the time I’m writing this, we’ve received nine reviews on Amazon and eleven ratings with ten reviews on Amazon, for an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 and 4.18 out of 5, respectively.

Here are what people are saying:

This is a horror themed short story collection with a diverse range of topics. All stories have two things in common – they take place in Ohio and the underlying theme is that somehow something in the story is irreversible. As always with such collections I enjoyed some stories more than others, yet there weren’t any that I actually disliked. I think the editor did a good job putting this anthology together. Some stories had so cool concepts that I was “enraged” when they ended, wishing they were made into novels or movies. A few were based on myths or locations authors knew about…Some really imaginative and original stories in here that did manage to “wow” me and make it quite easy to recommend this anthology.

Aili Annuk, Amazon

This book brings together short stories that are very different from each other, all set in Ohio. Some are more horrific, others more melancholic, but they all have something original and appealing. Whether they are about ghosts, teeth, PTSD, or murder, they all have a dark and intriguing atmosphere that makes you want to keep reading. A perfect read for a cozy autumn evening.

Aiden Messer, Goodreads

What a great idea for a horror anthology. These eighteen stories, all set in Ohio, weave different aspects of the state into their terrifying narratives. From the cities of Cleveland and Columbus, to an old prison, a drowned town, an abandoned winery, and many other natural and notable locations, these stories place Ohio front and centre on the map of horror landscapes.

Iseult Murphy, author of All of Me, Amazon

High praise, indeed. And if things continue in this vein, we’ll only be getting more.

Anyway, if you would like to support our little venture and get some good scary reading in before Halloween, I’ll leave links to the anthology below. You can check it out, read the reviews, and then decide whether or not you’d like to read That Which Cannot Be Undone yourself. And if you end up reading it, I hope you’ll leave us a review. It lets us know what you think and helps other readers decide whether or not to read the book.

Anyway, that’s all for now, my Followers of Fear. I hope you’re having a wonderful and spooky October. Until next time, good night, pleasant nightmares, and 13 days till Halloween! Who has sweets and scary movies ready?

That Which Cannot Be Undone: Amazon, Goodreads

So, for those of you not following my social media, particularly Instagram and Twitter, I got a home winemaking kit for my birthday last year. So far, I’ve made two batches of wine with it. The first is plum wine, while the second is pumpkin wine. Yes, you can make wine from pumpkins. You can make wine from all sorts of fruits, vegetables, and other materials you normally wouldn’t think of for winemaking. Anyway, I haven’t tried any of the wine yet. And winemaking, as it turns out, is a lot like writing fiction. I’ll explain both in a moment.

First, let me give you a quick rundown of the winemaking process. You basically take all the ingredients, including the crushed/chopped/quartered/otherwise cut up main ingredient (ex. grapes, plums, pumpkins, etc.), put them all into a big container with fermentation yeast and oxygen, and let it simmer for a week or so. During this time, the yeast breaks down sugars and releasing flavor from the main ingredient. This is primary fermentation. Then you put it in a smaller container with as little oxygen as possible, where it undergoes secondary fermentation. This can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, changing containers every couple of weeks until the wine is clear. At that point, you bottle it and let it age for a year before drinking.

This is the pumpkin wine I finished making earlier this week. Looks good, right?

That’s why I haven’t had any of the wine yet. The plum wine won’t be ready until January, and I just bottled the pumpkin wine earlier this week, so it won’t be ready till next Halloween. I hope it tastes good when I finally taste it. Otherwise, I’m going to feel very bad for anyone who drinks the wine with me.

Now, here’s a pop quiz: using multiple ingredients to create a single thing? Going through multiple processes to further refine it? Taking at least a year to work on before it’s ready for consumption? This does describe winemaking, but what else can it describe?

If you guessed fiction writing, congrats. You win a glass of wine from your own stores. But yeah, it does sound a lot like fiction writing. The ingredients for the wine are like the plot, the research, and the words; the primary fermentation is the rough draft; the secondary fermentation is the subsequent drafts where you clean up the story; and the year after it’s bottled is the time until publication, during which you may do further refining for the story until it’s out.

Plum wine, just before it begins primary fermentation, when it’s just a bunch of disparate elements in a bucket.

And, like writing, winemaking takes time and trial and error to get good at. Like I said, I haven’t tried the wine yet. I tried both the plum wine and the pumpkin wine before secondary fermentation, but at that stage the wine is tart and full of yeast and other matter floating around. It was alcoholic, yes, but was it good alcohol? No. Just like a first draft is technically a completed story, but it’s not something you want to immediately release into the world! I mean, all those errors and plot holes you might miss before giving out the story!

But getting back to the wine, I have no idea how either batch will taste once I open them up. They may be completed, but will they be any good? It might take years of trying and failing before I make a good batch of wine. And that’s kind of like writing, too. You can write a story and go over it many times, but you have to keep writing until you’re any good at it.

But maybe that’s why I enjoy making wine. I mean, yeah, I love wine, especially sweet wine, but I also like the process of it. I like taking my hands and using them to create something that people can enjoy with me. I like that it takes hard work, precision, trial and error, and your love of something to create it and bring it together. And I like the many possibilities it presents.

It’s like writing to me. Only I don’t intend to sell this stuff: that requires a license, and I’m not going to jump through hoops for that!

Also, I’m going to need a wine rack and more empty bottles before I make any more wine. Otherwise, I’m going to run out of space for it all in my condo!

Anyway, I just wanted to share my thoughts on wine-making and writing with you guys. I’m going to do a little late night writing and then hit the hay. Good night, pleasant nightmares, and fifteen days and thirty-four minutes to Halloween. Anyone else vomiting spiders in excitement?

You know the drill: I released something, so I have to do a post about it the day of, one week after, two weeks after, one month after, two months after, three months after, six months after, one year after, and then every year on the release anniversary. Hopefully you don’t find that too annoying.

So, as you know, last week the press I’m part of, Cracked Skull Press, released That Which Cannot Be Undone, an anthology of horror stories written by Ohio horror authors, set in Ohio, and revolving around the theme “that which cannot be undone.” This includes my spooky ghost story “Is Anyone There?,” which takes place at the Ohio State Reformatory and is inspired by something that happened to me at the prison a few years ago.

(I also had a short story, “Disillusionment and Trauma Sometimes Go Hand-in-Hand,” published in Volume 14 of the Ink Stains Anthology series on the same day, and you can get a copy for that here. However, since I had a bigger hand in the creation and release of TWCBU, this post focuses on that.)

As you know, getting this anthology created started over a year ago with just a dream and some talk among my fellow Ohio writers and friends. And a year, a Kickstarter campaign, and a whole lot of work later, the book is out, and we at Cracked Skull Press are focused on making sure that the book’s release isn’t the last you hear of it. Rather, we’re focusing on making sure that this dream goes on, and leads to all sorts of wonderful things. That TWCBU becomes an anthology all horror fans want on their bookshelves!

And from the looks of it, we’re making good progress on doing just that. It’s only been a week, but at the time I’m writing this, TWCBU has amassed four reviews on Amazon and five on Goodreads for an average score of 4.7 out of 5 and 4.40 out of 5, respectively. Here are what people are saying:

What a great idea for a horror anthology. These eighteen stories, all set in Ohio, weave different aspects of the state into their terrifying narratives. From the cities of Cleveland and Columbus, to an old prison, a drowned town, an abandoned winery, and many other natural and notable locations, these stories place Ohio front and centre on the map of horror landscapes.

Iseult Murphy, author of All of Me, Goodreads

When I was in 5th grade I discovered horror fiction, and I’ve been a fan ever since (almost 40 years), and I’ve always had an affliction for short story horror fiction collections. Especially the kind that makes a 12 year old think its better to ‘hold it’ than make a break for the bathroom in the middle of the night – the risk of putting a foot on the floor at 3am is too great.

This is a (creepy) collection of short stories, all with ties to Ohio where I now reside, although many references will be well known outside the area.

Its any easy read, as most short story collections are, with a variety of writing styles, so each story feels fresh. Some creepier than others, but all entertaining by their own merit. As the days are getting shorter and the weather colder, this makes for a perfect bed time snack before turning out the light (be sure use the restroom first).

Wallflower9193, Amazon

So glad I had this creepy captivating horror anthology to read during the short breaks between bands at a huge metal/rock festival over the last four days.

This anthology written by multiple authors had stories ranging from ghosts to murder to horrific creatures. This dark and chilling collection was a joy to read.

Gillian Casso Speiche, Amazon

And these are just a few of the reviews we’ve received! Imagine, as the backers get their copies and more people buy copies, what they’re going to say about the anthology! I’m getting chills just thinking about it. Or is that the legion of undead that have escaped my washing machine freezing up my condo?

Anyway, this is a great anthology that will hopefully continue to receive notice and praise, and I’m doing all I can to ensure that that happens. So, if you would like to check out the anthology, I’ll include the links for both Amazon and Goodreads below. And if you do read the anthology, I ask that you leave a review somewhere. Amazon, Goodreads, BookTube, BookTok, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, whatever! Just let us know what you think!. Reviews not only help us know what you’re thinking, but give readers an idea of what they’re about to get into, so it doubly helps us out!

That’s all for now, my Followers of Fear. I’ll be back soon, I’m sure. In the meantime, I’ll be at the Licking County Local Author Fair with Cracked Skull Press on Saturday, October 15th, 2022 from 10:30 AM – 2 PM. If you’re in Newark, Ohio this weekend, stop by the Downtown Library and say hi. You may even get a signed book from it all.

Until next time, good night, pleasant nightmares, and 20 days till Halloween. Have you ingested pumpkin spice flavor yet? If not, better get to it!

That Which Cannot Be Undone: Amazon, Goodreads

Sad to say it, Followers of Fear, but I didn’t make the cut for the next round in the contest. I know, I know. You all kept casting your votes and supporting me, but in the end, even though it was close, it just wasn’t enough.

Still though, it’s not the worse thing that could happen.

So, if you’re unaware, I’ve been participating in this contest called the Face of Horror. If I had won, I would have gotten a walk-on role in an indie horror film and a photo spread with Kane Hodder in Rue Morgue magazine, among other things. Contestants were divided into groups and to get through each round, had to occupy a certain number in their group’s rankings. To get higher numbers, people had to vote for each contestant using a once-daily vote or by buying extra votes (portion of proceeds going to pediatric cancer research).

And as you can tell from the title of this post and the preceding paragraphs, with this latest round, I didn’t make the cut.

But hey, it’s not all bad, is it? I got really far in this contest, and I learned just how much my Followers of Fear support me in my endeavors. That means a lot to me. Hell, you guys kept coming back to the blog posts featuring the link to my voting page, which made September 2022 my best month of blogging in terms of views! I can’t tell you how much that helped me out in other areas as well, but it did. So even if I didn’t get to meet Kane Hodder, act in a movie, or any of the other prizes, I still feel I won.

And I didn’t expect to win anyway, so not feeling that upset or disappointed about it.

So what’s next for me? Well, I’ll still follow the contest. I have one or two friends still competing, so I think I’ll support them for as long as they’re still in the running. And I’ll be working on my stories and attending events and trying to make it as a writer. And I guess I’ll just keep going on about my life, same as always.

Again, thank you for supporting me, my Followers of Fear. I really appreciate it. I hope I can pay you back by creating and publishing amazing stories that you’ll be eager to read once they’re available. I mean, I already got some out there that people apparently love and which you should totally read for the Halloween season, but why stop there? I want to write more and put more out there.

Anyway, that’s all for now. Until next time, good night, pleasant nightmares, and only 25 days till Halloween. If you’re not preparing, then congratulations: your least favorite band is going to come to your place, tie you up, and give you a private concert. Enjoy the music you find terrible!

What do I even say about this? We’ve been discussing and planning this anthology since I was in a one-bedroom apartment, and then plans really got going when I was in a two-bedroom. Then there was a campaign, and things really started to happen, and then we made our funding goal, and then plans started to become concrete, and stories started to be submitted, and a cover was made, and…well, what do you say?

Well, probably not “let’s drink tonight like there’s no tomorrow!” Because there is a tomorrow, and it’s Yom Kippur, and I’m not going to drink and celebrate right before the holiest day in the Jewish calendar. Especially when I have to fast.

Maybe this weekend.

But seriously, this is such a huge and momentous occasion. Since we Ohio horror writers formed our own chapter of the Horror Writers Association, we’ve talked about putting out an anthology that will show just how terrible and terrifying our chapter can be. However, it only became more than talk during the pandemic. And during the pandemic, there were so many moments when it could have just dissolved and nothing would have gone forward. Somehow, we managed to overcome all that, form a publishing company, have a Kickstarter campaign, and put out this book.

And what a book it is! An anthology of Ohio horror writers writing stories set in Ohio and revolving around the theme “that which cannot be undone.” Featuring stories from Gary Braunbeck, Lucy Snyder, Gwendolyn Kriste, Megan Hart, Tim Waggoner, Kealan Patrick Burke, Tim McWhorter, Ray Pantle, David Day, Randall Drum, Matt Betts, Patricia Lillie, J. Thorn, Steven Saus, Marvin Brown, Weston Kincade, and…this one weird guy with a funny name. Rami Ungar. Anyone heard of him? He seems totally unknown to me.

Weird unknowns aside, That Which Cannot Be Undone is an amazing anthology, and there are so many people I would like to thank for helping us release us. To all the writers who submitted work to this anthology, thank you. You’re shining a spooky spotlight on our state and I can’t wait to see what people say about your stories. My fellow writers/co-founders of Cracked Skull Press, David Day, Ray Pantle and Randall Drum. You guys are great and are definitely getting cards in the mail this Halloween. Jess Landry, our tireless editor, thank you for helping us get these stories up to snuff. Greg Chapman, thank you for your awesome cover. We hope it leads to many more commissions for you. And to the many backers who funded this project, whether you be Followers of Fear or not, we can’t thank you enough. This project wouldn’t have happened without you, so thank you so much for supporting our dreams and making this anthology more than just talk and crazy ideas.

If you’re curious to read That Which Cannot Be Undone, I’ll include the link below. I can confirm that both the paperback and ebook are available now, so no problems there. And if you read TWCBU, be sure to leave a review online. Anthologies need reviews as much as they need sales to reach readers, so if you like what you’ve read, please let us know what you think and spread the word around.

Anyway, that’s all for now, my Followers of Fear. I’m looking forward to hearing what you all say about the book, as well as getting my own copy. Until next time, good night, pleasant nightmares, and only 27 days till Halloween. Please wait to start massacring your enemies until at least three days to Halloween. Otherwise, you’ll mess up the holiday mojo, and we can’t have that, can we?

That Which Cannot Be Undone — Amazon

So, I did not expect to be writing this post today. But so many things are happening that I need to get out a quick post about them all. So, without further ado, here are some updates and announcements about various projects, events, and other stuff that you might want to know about.

THAT WHICH CANNOT BE UNDONE

So, most of you are aware by now that I formed a publishing company with some of my Ohio horror writer friends so we could publish an anthology bringing an attention to Ohio horror and Ohio horror writers. That anthology, That Which Cannot Be Undone, was supposed to be released in less than two weeks on October 11th, 2022.

That’s no longer the case. Instead, the anthology will be released on October 4th, 2022, six days from now and a full week early! That’s right, this anthology will be coming out earlier than expected, which means you all get to read it that much sooner. I guess that’s what happens when things go smoothly and you end up being ready to release much sooner than expected.

Anyway, the ebook is already available to preorder, and the paperback will be available on release day Tuesday. You can use the link below to order a copy in the format of your choice. And don’t worry, those of you who got signed copies and whatnot from pledging during the Kickstarter campaign will get what you pledged. We’re working hard to make sure of that.

Can’t wait to hear what you think of the book. I can promise you, this anthology is going to be a scream.

That Which Cannot Be Undone: Amazon

INK STAINS DARK FICTION ANTHOLOGY

Also releasing October 4th is the 14th volume of the Ink Stains Literary Horror Anthology. As you are probably aware, this anthology contains my story “Disillusionment and Trauma Sometimes Go Hand-in-Hand,” AKA the dragon bat story. This is despite Hurricane Ian battering Florida, where the anthology’s publisher’s parent company is located. You just can’t stop good literature, can you?

Anyway, links aren’t available for that one yet, but as soon as they are, I’ll be sure to post them. And in the meantime, you can marvel over this awesome book cover. Now, this might just be my opinion, but I think the cover depicts America in a few years if we don’t get our asses together. In other words, it’s a prophecy of the future.

2022 EVENTS

So, there’s been another change in the events I’ll be attending during the last three months of 2022. And while it’s unlikely any of you will be in the area, I’m letting you all know in case you can somehow make it out. You know I love meeting my Followers of Fear in person when I can. When they’re not creepy stalkers, of course. *cough* Reginald! *cough*

Just kidding. There are no stalkers among you guys, let alone one named Reginald. At least I don’t think there are.

So, first off, the Bexley Public Library will be hosting A Night of Horror again on Monday, October 3rd, 2022 from 7 PM – 8 PM. Myself, as well as my fellow writers Anton Cancre and Sarah Hans, will be doing readings of our work and selling copies of our books to the people there. And, of course, we’ll be in costume. Stop by the library in Bexley, Ohio if you can for a spooky good time with some fellow horror enthusiasts.

Next, I’ll be at the Licking County Library on Saturday, October 15th for their Local Author Fair. If you’re looking for an opportunity to support Ohio authors of all kinds, including Ohio horror authors, this would be the place to do it. Be sure to stop by the Downtown Library in Newark, Ohio from 10:30 AM – 2 PM and see if I’m wearing my Halloween costume or some other wacky get-up. Hey, if it gets you interested in what I’m selling, then why not?

And finally, it looks like I’ll be wrapping up the year at the Columbus Witches’ Ball at the Greater Columbus Convention Center on Saturday, November 5th from 6 PM – 11 PM. This is a huge event I heard about just a few months ago and I was extremely lucky to be able to get a spot. I’ll be selling books and reading Tarot cards there, so if you can make it, please stop by and say hi.

If anything changes, I’ll let you know. Though from the look of it, my schedule looks set through the end of the year. In which case, the next time you get an event update will be 2023. And trust me, there’s stuff planned for then.

THE FACE OF HORROR

As you know, Followers of Fear, I’m participating in the Face of Horror contest and am competing to win a walk-on role in an indie horror film and a photo shoot with Kane Hodder, among other things. The third round ends tomorrow night at 11 PM EST, and if I manage to stay in the Top 10 of my group, I’ll move onto the fourth round. For that to happen, I need you all to keep voting for me and keeping me high in the rankings. You can vote using the link below.

And thanks to all of you who have been continually voting for me. At one point this week, you even had me at 6th place! I was really touched by that and by your dedication to helping me win this thing. It means a lot to me.

THE FACE OF HORROR — RAMI UNGAR

OTHER NEWS

  • I’m back at work on my mummy novel Crawler (title pending). I’m currently going over the four chapters I’ve already written, and then I’ll start on the fifth. I’ll still take breaks every now and then to work on shorter stories, but Crawler has my attention for the time being.
  • Still working on editing Hannah and Other Stories. Yeah, I know, it’s been nearly a year since it was accepted for publication, but these things take time and you can’t rush a good product. But trust me, when this new collection is done, it’s going to be awesome! From haunted schools to budding serial killers to carnivorous horses, there’s plenty there for you to enjoy, so keep it in the back of your mind and be patient until its ready.
  • I’m shutting down this blog to start a new one where I investigate various suspicious deaths, supposedly cursed objects, and track down the only known score and dance notation of a ballet said to have summoned a demon at its only performance.

Kidding on that last one. But my God, whenever I threaten to change this blog or get rid of it, at least one person reading this gets scared that I’m serious. And isn’t scaring his readers what a horror writer does?

Anyway, that’s all for now, my Followers of Fear. I’m heading to bed now. But I look forward to sharing with you all the exciting stuff that’s bound to come up in the coming days, weeks and months. Until next time, good night, pleasant nightmares, and only 33 days till Halloween! I’m looking forward to putting out my decorations very, very soon.

That Which Cannot Be Undone. Cover by Greg Chapman. Hopefully to be in bookstores everywhere.

Run for the hills! Hide in your basements! Sound the trumpets of doom! That Which Cannot Be Undone is now set to preorder!

So, if you’re not aware, some of my Ohio horror writer friends and I started a press last year with the goal of releasing a horror anthology highlighting both Ohio horror and Ohio horror writers. “That Which Cannot Be Undone” is the result of that goal, as well as countless hours of meetings, hard work, rallying, writing, and, of course, the pledges of many supporters on Kickstarter.

And, as of this morning, the ebook is available for preorder on Amazon, with a release date of October 11th.

Here’s the blurb from the back cover:

Beneath Ohio’s congenial midwestern facade lies a dark underbelly of urban legends, cursed sites, and unseen terrors. From a woman drawn to an underwater town haunted by its last resident to a killer desperately seeking to experience new life through the teeth of his victims, these eighteen stories all take place in the Buckeye State, some drawn from already-known accounts of strangeness and infamous settings, others completely the author’s invention.

Edited by Bram Stoker Award-winner Jess Landry, That Which Cannot Be Undone features works from new and established voices in horror, including Bram Stoker Award-winners Gary A. Braunbeck, Tim Waggoner, Lucy A. Snyder, Gwendolyn Kiste, and Kealan Patrick Burke, and New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Megan Hart.

it also includes a story by this guy named…Rami Ungar. Hmmm, I don’t know him. Do you? And is he any good?

Jokes aside, I can’t tell you how excited we are for everyone to read this anthology. It was one thing just to imagine this book coming out, especially as we were looking for ways to make the pandemic go by faster. But then talk turned into research, research turned into decisions, decisions turned into, plans turned into starting a business, the business made more plans, those plans led to the cooperation of several writers, an editor, and a Kickstarter campaign! The Kickstarter campaign surpassed its goal, authors starting submitting their stories, we hired an amazing cover artist who produced a terrifying cover, our editor Jess Landry helped us polish up our stories, and now we have the book ready to release! And very soon, many of you will be reading it.

Down below is the link to preorder the ebook (sadly, Amazon makes it so we can’t offer a preorder for the paperback just yet). I hope you’ll preorder a copy or purchase it when it’s out. And for those of you whose pledges include a copy or two of the book, don’t worry; we’re working hard to ensure you get your copies as soon as possible.

Either way, we hope you’ll read the anthology, enjoy it, and leave a review to let us know what you thought. Reviews are huge boosts for these books and help them find new readers, so we appreciate every review left for us.

Anyway, that’s all for now, my Followers of Fear. I can tell you, October is going to be an exciting month, and not just for all the usual reasons. I look forward to celebrating all the events that are to come.

Until next time, good night, pleasant nightmares, and 42 days till Halloween!

That Which Cannot Be Undone: Amazon

If you’ve been with me a while now, you know I’ve become a fan of The King in Yellow by Robert Chambers. First published in 1895, the important stories in the collection (and the best ones) revolve around a play called The King in Yellow, which is so twisted that reading it can drive you mad (or make you a slave to the titular entity, if you believe he’s real). The collection has proved influential and has been touted as a classic by many horror writers, including HP Lovecraft, as well as being partially integrated into the latter’s Cthulhu Mythos.

I read the collection after hearing about it last year, and since then, I’ve become a little obsessed. I bought my own copy of the collection, I wrote a short story called “The Dedication of the High Priestess” that combines the character and the lore with ballet (this story will be narrated on the Tales to Terrify podcast some time before the year is out), I created some AI art of the figure, and now, I am the King in Yellow. For Halloween, at least.

What do you think? I went with something more simplistic than I originally planned (big white gloves, an ornate crown resembling antlers and tree branches), and boiled it down to a robed figure with a mask. However, that’s basically the things that most people agree upon when it comes to the character’s appearance, so it works. And I even got a photo of me holding my copy of the collection like it’s the play itself. I think that’s a nice touch.

Credit for the photos go to my sister, Adi, by the way. She did a great job taking the photos this afternoon.

Anyway, I look forward to wearing this costume to events like A Night of Horror at the Bexley Public Library and the Local Author Book Fair at the Licking County Library, as well as hopefully to a party or two (my exact plans for Halloween are still up in the air). And even if people don’t know who the character is, this might get them to read the collection, or at least look him up. But hopefully the former, because it makes for some great Halloween reading.

Speaking of which, if you’re looking for something spooky to reading this Halloween season, might I recommend some of my books? I have four books out now and they’ve all been received well. Some readers have even found them quite terrifying. I’ll include a quick summary of the stories and links to check them out below.

That’s all for now, my Followers of Fear. I hope you liked my Halloween costume. But tell me, what are you planning to dress up as this Halloween season? Do you have any big plans? Let’s discuss in the comments below.

Until next time, good night, pleasant nightmares and only 43 days till All Hallows Eve!

The Pure World Comes: A maid goes to work for a mad scientist and gets wrapped up in his experiments. Terror ensues. Gothic horror novel. Very Frankenstein meets Crimson Peak.
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, Kobo, Goodreads, Audible, Chirp, BingeBooks, LIbro.Fm, Storytel, Google Play

Rose: A young woman gets turned into a plant/human hybrid (and that’s just the start of her problems). Fantasy-horror. Very Kafkaesque and has a lot of Japanese mythology mixed in.
Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada, Audible, B&N

Snake: A serial killer hunts mobsters in New York City. Who is he and why is he killing? Slasher horror. Think John Wick, Taken and Friday the 13th got smooshed into a horror novel.
Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Smashwords, and Kobo

The Quiet Game: Five Tales to Chill Your Bones: Five creepy tales from my early writing and publishing career that will entertain as well as scare you. They’re weird, eerie and a lot of fun. You know, like their author.
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Smashwords, and Kobo.