Posts Tagged ‘Hannah and Other Stories’

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.

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

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.

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.

Temporary placeholder artwork for Hannah.

Well, that took less time than expected. Still took awhile, but it didn’t take two months as I predicted.

So, for those of you who are unaware, I have a short story collection called Hannah and Other Stories being released some time this year. It contains seven original stories of varying lengths and covers the following subjects: a rumor about a figure on the Internet who is targeting vulnerable teens; carnivorous horses; and budding serial killers, just to name a few. It’ll be released by BSC Publishing Group, whom I’ve worked with before through their magazine The Dark Sire.

And since New Year’s, I’ve been editing the last four stories in the collection, trying to expand on certain things such as showing rather than telling and cutting out stuff that doesn’t do the story any good. I think between that and all the other edits I made, the collection is that much stronger and will make for one hell of a read upon publication.

Of course, I doubt it’s finished yet. We’re probably going to have to go through and make another round of edits before we can set a release date, let alone format everything, create a cover, and make one hell of a marketing plan. But I think that at this point, we’ll just be making some minor alterations to make sure the stories are well-edited and the plots flow well.

Then again, they do say writers are their own worst judges of their work, so who knows? We may have more than cosmetic work up ahead.

The page and word count as I finished the manuscript. It’s going to be a long book.

Well, it’s with the publisher now and they’ll hopefully let me know what they think very soon. In the meantime, I”ll be taking the next few days to relax and catch up on some movies I’ve been meaning to catch and some reading I’ve been meaning to do. I’ll probably also celebrate finishing the latest draft with some good food and some wine. After that, and with my creativity replenished (plus, I’ll likely feel like I need to work on something or I’ll die), I’ll get to work on some other stories that require another draft. These stories are Forever Young, about an unusual child actress; It Changes You, taking place in the Internet phenomenon known as The Backrooms; and They Sleep Within the Rock, the story I wrote about neo-Nazis getting their just desserts.

You can tell why I call all this editing The Great Editing. It’s a lot!

Anyway, after those stories are edited, I haven’t made any commitments yet. It’ll depend on whether or not BSC Publishing Group has sent me back any decisions regarding Hannah and whether or not I need to do further edits. But I do hope I can work on some new stuff by that point. I’ve a bunch of new story ideas I want to work on, so I’m hopeful.

In the meantime, however, I’m going to make a late dinner, maybe open a bottle of homemade wine, and figure out what I’m going to do for the rest of the night. Until next time, my Followers of Fear, I look forward to sharing Hannah with you and hope you enjoy it as much as I have enjoyed working on it.

Good night and pleasant nightmares!


Oh, one more thing: you may have noticed, but at the top of the blog there are a lot less pages. In fact, I recently consolidated all my books onto one page, simply titled Books. I figured that would make things easier for both new and old readers to find my works and the links to them, rather than having to scour fifteen different pages for them.

Just wanted to mention in case you hadn’t noticed. Good night!

Holy crap, sweet Moses, and am I too young for a midlife crisis?

Okay, maybe that’s a little overdramatic. Still, it doesn’t change the fact that I’ll be turning thirty this summer. And I’m feeling a bit…uneasy about it? Maybe some disbelief?

I mean, I always knew this time would come. And, at times during this pandemic, I felt like I was already in my thirties. I mean, I work a full-time job that pays a decent salary and benefits. I pay a lot of bills. And as of last year, I’m paying a mortgage on my own home. But you know, it always felt far away and nebulous, like the death of the sun or the Andromeda galaxy. And since passing the six-months-away mark, it’s been more concrete. Less nebulous. And I’m a little freaked out by it.

It’s so weird. When you’re young, you look forward to birthdays. It’s not just a day when everyone showers you with attention and presents and you hopefully do fun things with your friends and family. It’s also a day when you get more freedoms and responsibilities, as well as fresh new opportunities. What excitement awaits now that I’m8 or 9 or 10? 13 or 14 or 15? Now that I’m old enough to get a license, or see an R-rated movie on my own, or I’m a legal adult? What about when I’m old enough to buy alcohol?

But then the milestone birthdays kind of end, and you have to deal with being an adult. At 25, which some define as the end of youth, something shifts and you start to slowly feel less like the kid or the teen or young/new adult you used to be, and more like the grownup your parents are. Birthdays come, and they can still be fun, but the feeling of accomplishment and new opportunity isn’t as strong as it used to be, if it’s still there.

And now, approaching thirty, what’s going to happen to me? I’ve always thought of myself as having a strong, youthful side that helps fuel my imagination and my zest for life. All this helps make me the author and human (or creature pretending to be human) that I am. Will that suddenly change when I turn thirty? Will something shift and I’ll suddenly lose that little spark inside myself that I feel is a big part of me? And how will that affect everything else? My writing, my hobbies, my goals, my enjoyment of life?

Yeah, I know. This is probably just some unfounded anxiety giving me unnecessary fears. People change over time, it’s true, but not that dramatically. Still, I know change will be inevitable. My health is definitely going to be harder to maintain once I get to that point, and I bet there will be pressure from various sides to be more responsible or practical with my life. Like, “Why isn’t he doing more at work and climbing the corporate ladder?” Or “Why is he collecting dolls or making wine or writing stories when he’s an adult with a mortgage?”

Or maybe nothing will change. Maybe it’ll just be another day and I’ll still be the wacky, goofy, scary dude people have come to know and love. And honestly, I’m hoping that’s the case. I don’t want to feel like my life is over or all the fun times are behind me once I turn thirty.

Whatever happens, I hope I can make my birthday extra awesome this year.

You know, I never understood people who would claim their birthday was just another day. Yeah, at a certain point you don’t really feel the transition of age, but why not celebrate? Why, except for vanity’s sake, would you want to avoid your birthday? But maybe there’s something in calling it another day. Because that way, nothing earth-shattering or life-changing will happen just because you made another rotation around the sun.

Well, I’m sure I’ll have plenty of time to figure things out between now and the big 3-0. Plenty of time to get used to it and face any changes that may or may not come my way. And if I’m going to turn thirty, I’m sure as hell going to do my best to celebrate the transition. I’m talking multiple parties, some wilder than the others, lots of fun with friends and family, and maybe some splurging on myself.

After all, it’s not every day you turn thirty, is it? And if I’m going to jump over that threshold, for better or for worse, I might as well do it with a bang.


Just two more things before I sign off, my Followers of Fear. First off, thank you to everyone who participated in the recent New Year’s Sale I held on most of my books. It really made for a great start to the year to see so many people purchasing copies of my books. Hopefully it’s the start of a very successful year for me . Anyway, happy reading to you all, and I hope you let me know what you think of the books when you read them. After all, reviews not only help me, but they help your fellow readers.

Second, update on The Great Editing: last night, I finished editing “Fuseli’s Horses,” one of the stories in my upcoming collection Hannah and Other Stories. This means there are three more stories in the collection to edit, and at least five more overall that I’ll be doing a new draft on. I’m looking forward to tackling the next couple of stories and seeing them improve. Hopefully after this latest round of editing, they’ll be ready for publication, or at least that much closer to being ready.

Anyway, that all for now. I’ve got guests coming over to try homemade plum wine soon (hopefully I can get their reactions on camera). Until next time, good night and pleasant nightmares!

So, how’s 2023 treating you so far? Is it unbearable yet? Or has it been a grand old time? Me, I can’t handle it anymore and want to go back to bed right now! Just kidding, the year’s actually been pretty good so far.

Anyway, as many of you know, I’m going to be spending the next couple months only editing stories, not writing anything new. At least four of these stories will be in Hannah and Other Stories, the collection I’m releasing with BSC Publishing Group later this year. And as of yesterday, I’ve finished the second draft of one of my non-Hannah stories, They Sleep Within the Rock.

If you’re not familiar, They Sleep Within the Rock is a novella I started at the tail end of 2021 and finished in early January 2022. The story revolves around a bunch of neo-Nazis who try to establish an all-white enclave in the middle of rural Idaho, unaware that the land they’re living on is anything but ordinary (no, there isn’t a Native American curse or burial grand on the land, that’s way too cliché). At the time, I was feeling a lot of anxiety over the rise in anti-Semitism in the nation and world, so writing this was really therapeutic. However, for various reasons, I never got around to editing the story until late December 2022, about a year after I originally started writing it. And the editing was finished up about a year after the initial draft was finished.

I can’t say if that’s a coincidence or if there’s a significance there, but it is interesting.

Anyway, with the first story of the Great Editing out of the way, I’m going to see f I can find a writer friend to beta read/critique the story and give me some helpful feedback for the next draft. After that draft is done, whenever that is, I might see about finding it a publisher. Either on its own or as part of a collection, I definitely think there’s plenty in the story to interest readers and publishers alike, so hopefully it finds a home quickly.

And in the meantime, I’ll get started on those stories for Hannah that require my attention. These include the stories “Fuselli’s Horses,” about some carnivorous horses that might have a taste for human flesh; “What Errour Awoke,” about how a class reading brings people into contact with an ancient god at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic; “The Red Bursts,” about a town that goes insane because of a pulsing red light; and “Poor, Unfortunate Souls,” about a party in the catacombs underneath Paris.

After they’re done, I’ll send the completed manuscript back to the publisher, and then…well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. There’s still plenty to do before we get to that point.

Anyway, I’ll keep you all posted on my progress, both with getting Hannah to publication and the Great Editing. I start editing those four stories tomorrow, so tonight, I’ll take it easy, try to go to bed early, and hopefully be fully energized to tackle these stories after work tomorrow.

I can’t wait to share with you the final results of my hard work.


One more thing before I sign off, my Followers of Fear (yes, I know I just blogged about this, but that’s advertising for you). Right now, most of the ebooks of my stories are on sale through the end of the week. This includes my first collection of short stories, The Quiet Game: Five Tales to Chill Your Bones; my slasher novel Snake, about a serial killer hunting members of a mafia family; and The Pure World Comes, a Gothic horror novel about a maid going to work for a mad scientist. In addition, the audio book for The Pure World Comes is on sale from certain retailers as well. So if you’re interested in my stories, or are looking for something spooky to start the year with, this is a great time to do so.

And if you like what you read, please leave me a review online somewhere. Positive or negative, I love reader feedback, and it helps me as a writer and helps readers figure out if I want to read the book.

That’s all for now, my Followers of Fear. Until next time, good night and pleasant nightmares

The Pure World Comes: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, Kobo, Goodreads, Chirp, Spotify

Snake: Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada, Barnes & Noble, iBooksSmashwords, and Kobo

The Quiet Game: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooksSmashwords, and Kobo.

Agoraphoboia: Amazon

Mother of the King: Amazon

I did say in my last post that I would be talking about my upcoming plans in another post, didn’t I?

So, you’re probably aware that I have a collection of short stories coming out sometime in 2023 from BSC Publishing Group. That collection, Hannah and Other Stories, has been going through a lot of editing over the course of 2023, though we took a break for the holidays in November and December. Starting January 3rd, I’ll be starting work again on the collection. BSC sent me notes for four of the stories, so I’ll be working through those for the first couple of months of 2023.* After those edits are done, it’s back to the publisher, where they’ll hopefully give the okay to move onto the next stage and start getting things like the cover and the marketing push ready.

It also means I’ll be editing “Forever Young” and “It Changes You,” the stories I wrote in November and this past month. I think if I can find the right publishers or magazines or anthologies, I can either get them published individually or as part of another collection, but they’ll need work before I can send them out. Hence, editing.

And between now and January 2nd at 11:59 PM, I’ll be editing “They Sleep Within the Rock,” the novella I wrote where I put neo-Nazis through Hell. I wrote it last year, but have not touched it since then for some reason, so I want to get that done before I get back to work on Hannah. It’s about twenty-six thousand words, so it’ll definitely take more time than a single evening writing session to finish. However, it’s divided into ten chapters if I remember right, so I think if I knock two sections a night out, it should be fine.

Anyway, given all that editing, it’s no wonder I’m calling this the Great Editing, like it’s some dramatic event that could shape history or something. Then again, as a writer, isn’t part of my job making mundane things dramatic? Yeah, pretty sure it is.

In the meantime, however, it’s late and I have work in the morning, so I’ll be taking the rest of the evening off. So, until next time, my Followers of Fear, good night, pleasant nightmares, and, if I don’t post again before Saturday, December 31st, 2022, Happy New Year!

*I assume. Hard to tell how long all this will take. Life is unpredictable, isn’t it? For all I know, I could get it all done in a few weeks, or I could be finishing it all up in June. You just never know.


One more thing: I know I posted this in the last post, but I might not post again this week! Might as well repeat it so the message gets heard.

Anyway, for the first week of January, the electronic versions of most of my books will be on sale, as well as the audio book for The Pure World Comes from certain retailers! It’s my hope in doing so that it’ll be a great kickoff to 2023. Anyway, if you would like to read any of my books at a discounted rate, this would be a great opportunity to do so. So between January 1st and January 8th, go to the retailer of your choice and you’ll find most of my books there on sale. I hope you enjoy reading them, and if you do, please let me know what you think. Positive or negative, I love reader feedback and it helps me out in the long run (as well as other readers).

Well, that’s all for now, my Followers of Fear. This time, I’m serious. Good night and pleasant nightmares!

For some reason, you guys really liked it when I wrote a similar post last year, so I’m back to examine how 2022 was and what I’m hoping 2023 will be like. Or maybe you guys liked the graphics I used and am using again. But I like to think it’s the former rather than the latter.

Well, I don’t think anyone will argue that 2022 was a rollercoaster designed by someone who clearly didn’t mind putting us through the ringer. Among the lows, Russia invaded Ukraine; we lost numerous great people who helped shape many of our lives growing up and through adulthood; inflation and gas prices going through the roof; a maniac billionaire took over Twitter; and a housing crisis that continues to today. Among the highs, we got the darkest, grittiest and probably the best Batman adaptation ever; a third world war did not break out; the midterms were among the smoothest elections we’ve had in recent years (which might be saying something); and we got a stunning sequel to Black Panther that handled grief really well.

On a personal level, this year was just as much a rollercoaster as it was on a global/national/whatever level. That being said, the highs were pretty awesome. Among other things, I:

  • I bought and moved into my first home, a lovely condo with its own dishwasher, washer and dryer, and a garage. It’s a huge step up from my old apartment, made all the better that it’s quiet and getting way more bang for my buck. I love it here, I love being able to decorate the condo how I want, and I like having a lawn I can turn into a Halloween display every October (next year’s display is going to be even bigger and better).
  • I released The Pure World Comes in paperback and ebook in May, and had it professionally narrated for the audio book, which was released in August. That was a big deal for me!
  • I also had three stories and an article published, two of which I consider among some of my best work. I also wrote way more than I expected to, and even started a new novel that’s about a quarter of the way through right now. And this was probably my best year as an author, selling more books than I ever had before. Hell, I even got a nice grant in February, which was a big deal for me and helped me pay for a lot of author copies.
  • That Which Cannot Be Undone, the anthology of Ohio-based horror my friends and I came together to produce, was fully funded and released back in October. It has some amazing stories in it (I’ll let you decide if mine, “Is Anyone There,” is among the awesome ones), and has been racking up positive reviews left, right and center! And I have a feeling that more and more people are going to be discovering this anthology and loving it as time goes on, as well as spreading that love to their friends and families.
  • I was able to spend a lot of time with friends and family, some of whom I hadn’t seen since before the pandemic! Now that was something special.
  • And I’m still somewhat healthy, gainfully employed, have some savings, and able to pursue my dreams while living my life and occasionally doing a treat for myself/something impulsive.

That being said, not everything about 2022 was good. It was definitely an expensive year, inflation notwithstanding. Moving into my home, as well as all the money I spent on DIY home improvement projects and other necessities really put a drain on my finances. And as much I learned from writing, I also spent more than I thought I would, which was not ideal (I’m going to be way more frugal next year). And the whole moving process was a strain mentally, with every mishap really bringing down my mood and making me want to tear my hair out. And while in the end, all that stuff worked out, it was still a drag to go through.

There were other things, as well, like work. Work was extremely difficult this year. There are a number of reasons for that, none of which I’m going to go into. However, it was a lot of reasons, and they were problems throughout the year, so that made my life difficult and made me want to break out the beer and wine or the sweets more often than was probably healthy (don’t worry, for the most part, I held off). And there were other things that just made me want to scream and shout and tear my hair out.

Yeah, when this year was good, it was good, but when it was rough, it was perfectly shitty. Which is why I rate 2022 a “Meh.” Not as bad as the hell that 2020 was, but definitely could have been better.

Still, I try to focus on the positive stuff, so let’s do that. And next up is 2023. And there’s already a lot to look forward to this coming year. On the writing side of things, I’ll be finishing up edits on and releasing my collection Hannah and Other Stories, as well as hopefully getting other stuff written, edited, and published. I’ll also be attending numerous conventions as both a vendor and just a regular attendee, way more than this past year. Hell, I’m even going to StokerCon, the biggest horror convention in the world, for the first time! I have no idea what to expect besides an awards show, but I’m looking forward to all of it.

Not only that, but I also turn thirty this year. Yeah, the big 3-0, so I’m going to make sure my birthday celebration is as big as that deserves to be. I already have a few things planned out, but I’m looking forward to adding some more to make the celebration amazing and memorable. Hey, might as well go big or go home, right?

And I’m just looking forward to growing in my new home (which, at this time last year, I did not expect I would even have) and seeing what the new year will bring. New friendships, new stories, new adventures. I look forward to it all and hope that it’s all wonderful and crazy and just a blast. It probably won’t be, but it can’t hurt to dream and hope and pray.

How was your year, my Followers of Fear? What are you looking forward to in 2023? Let’s discuss in the comments below.

So glad I got to have a Halloween display this year. I can’t wait to see what I do next year.

One more thing before the blog post ends, Followers of Fear. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but we’re in the holiday season. And if you’re looking for a new horror story to read, or know a horror fan who wants to read something other than Stephen King, why not get yourself or them a book by yours truly? As you know, I have a number of stories available, with another book on the way, and they make great gifts for horror readers of all stripes. Not to mention, you’d be giving me a gift by helping me to advance my career and get my stories in more readers’ hands.

With that in mind, I’ll leave links down below, including for That Which Cannot Be Undone, in case you want to check out the books. And if you get one and like what you read, be sure to leave a review somewhere so I know what you thought of it!

That’s all for now, my Followers of Fear. Until next time, good night, pleasant nightmares, and happy Krampusnacht (yes, that’s tonight. Behave yourself and be very careful if you go outdoors for any reason).

That Which Cannot Be Undone: Amazon

The Pure World Comes: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, Kobo, Goodreads, Audible, Chirp, BingeBooks, LIbro.Fm, Storytel

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

Snake: Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada, Barnes & Noble, iBooksSmashwords, and Kobo

The Quiet Game: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooksSmashwords, and Kobo.