Posts Tagged ‘publishing’

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!

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!

The original photo that started the Backrooms. At first, not too creepy, but then you realize that there’s no sign of human habitation. And that’s what makes it really terrifying.

Well, I didn’t think I’d get it done this weekend, but I somehow managed to do it. Merry Christmas/Happy Hanukkah/Happy Boxing Day/Happy Holidays to me.

So, as I mentioned in my last article on Ginger Nuts of Horror, I was developing a story based on the Backrooms, an internet urban legend that’s become really popular in the past year or so. For those who don’t know, the Backrooms were inspired by a photo of an empty office decorated with yellow wallpaper and some accompanying text, both posted anonymously. The text went something like this:

“If you’re not careful and you noclip out of reality in the wrong areas, you’ll end up in the Backrooms, where it’s nothing but the stink of old moist carpet, the madness of mono-yellow, the endless background noise of fluorescent lights at maximum hum-buzz, and approximately six hundred million square miles of randomly segmented empty rooms to be trapped in
God save you if you hear something wandering around nearby, because it sure as hell has heard you.”

Spooky, no? The Backrooms has since gone viral, becoming a series of games, YouTube videos, and fan art, among other things. However, there isn’t a lot of prose fiction set in the Backrooms yet, so I thought I’d try to get ahead of the crowd and give it my own original twist while I was at it. After all, it was stuck in my head. Might as well make something with that.

Thus, I have created “It Changes You: A Backrooms Story,” which I have spent basically all of December working on. The story follows a bunch of people, particularly two teen girls named Kat and Ginger, who end up falling into the Backrooms, and what happens to them as they try to find a way out.

This story was a blast to work on for so many reasons. The first half is very strange and psychological, while the second half has body horror, some really gross stuff, and a bit of cosmic horror that was terrifying even to me! I also had a lot of fun making the main characters nerds into anime and Doctor Who like I am, and Kat in particular is a writer who also happens to be aromantic, like me.* I also based some characters loosely on characters from shows I watch, including Law & Order, and let my mind go in some really weird directions with this story, which allowed my characters to take over to a greater degree than I’d ever seen before with a story. Overall, it was just a great experience writing it.

And let’s not forget how much ambience helped me write this one. Prior to Kat and Ginger finding themselves in the Backrooms, I listened to YouTube videos of outdoor crowd ambience to get in the mood. Afterwards, I listened to ten-hour vids of fluorescent buzzing to really help me feel like I was in the Backrooms, and during the final scenes of the story, I listened to creepy horror music to get me in that cosmic horror mood.

And now this story is finished, a novella of decent length of nearly 27,000 words. Yeah, that long. No wonder it took all month to write. Anyway, I’ll let it rest a while before editing it and then sending it to a beta reader to look at. But honestly, I think it has potential. The Backrooms are still not as well known as other internet horror creations like Slender Man or Momo, so there’s plenty of room for this story to make a splash. That’s the hope, anyway.

So, now that this story is done, what’s next for me? Well, I’ll save that for another blog post. Right now, I haven’t had dinner, so I’m going to fill my belly, watch a late movie, and then hit the hay. Until next time, my Followers of Fear, good night, pleasant nightmares, and happy holidays! I hope Krampus didn’t visit you this year. Or maybe I hope he did, I honestly don’t know how many other people love the guy like I do.

*Aromantic means I don’t feel romantic attraction or want to be in a romantic relationship. Like, I’m physically incapable of doing so. It’s a real thing and a discussion for another blog post, but I liked putting it into a story through one of my characters.


One more thing before I forget, my Followers of Fear: in the hopes of starting 2023 off on the right foot, I’m having a special sale on my published stories. The electronic copies of most of my books will be discounted to 99 cents for the first week of January, and the audio book of The Pure World Comes will also be discounted for that first week from certain retailers. If you’re interested, please head to the retailer of your choice after the new year and download a copy.

And if you like what you read, please leave me a review letting me know what you think. Positive or negative, I love reviews, and they help me out in the long run. Not only that, but reviews help other readers figure out whether they want to read a story or not. Pretty sweet, right?

Right, now that’s the real end of this post. Until next time, pleasant nightmares!

Well, it’s actually been two months, one week and four days since the book was published (not that anyone is really counting). But there’s a reason why we’re doing this so late. It’s because something extraordinary is happening today for the anthology.

Actually, there’s a lot happening with this anthology. Quite a lot of amazing things.

So, for those of you who don’t know, That Which Cannot Be Undone, or TWCBU, is an anthology of horror stories where every story is set in Ohio, written by Ohio authors, and revolves around the theme “that which cannot be undone.” It came about because some of my fellow Ohio horror writers and I wanted to see an anthology that emphasized how creepy our state can be. We even formed a small publishing company, Cracked Skull Press, to make it happen. It took a lot of work, a lot of planning, a very hectic crowdfunding campaign, and more marketing than you can shake a stick at, but we got the anthology written, edited, and published.

And as I said, a lot of amazing things have happened since TWCBU came out. We’ve received glowing reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, where the book averages a 4.7 out of 5 and a 4.3 out of 5, respectively. We also got a positive review in the Akron Beacon-Journal, which was pretty cool. A lot of libraries, including my local library, the Columbus Metropolitan Library, have bought copies of TWCBU (for those of us in Columbus, it’s been a big boost to our egos to learn that). But biggest of all is what’s happening with Kirkus Reviews.

Now, if you’re not familiar with Kirkus Reviews, it’s a magazine that has been publishing book reviews for nearly ninety years. Each review is read by an actual human, is honestly written, and is published on their website (if the writer/publisher likes the review). A while back, my friends and I at Cracked Skull Press submitted That Which Cannot Be Undone for a review, and they gave us a glowing one, which you can read here.

Now, getting a positive review from Kirkus is great. As I said, none of the reviewers are paid to say nice things. They give you their honest-to-God opinion when they read your book. However, as I said, Kirkus is a magazine. And while about ten-thousand reviews appear on the website every year, only ten percent of reviews submitted by the smaller presses and indie authors end up in the print magazine.

You might’ve guessed it, but the review for That Which Cannot Be Undone is going to be in the print version of the magazine. Which releases today, no less!

This is a big deal not just for TWCBU, but for everyone involved in its creation, especially the authors! What started out as just a dream among a few authors and a bunch of talk has led to a published book that is going to be read about in a magazine with nationwide circulation among readers and industry professionals alike! It could mean all sorts of doors will open up for the anthology and the people who helped make it happen.

And I’m so incredibly proud to be one of those people involved in the creation of TWCBU.

Of course, I have to be aware that all of you were instrumental in making this happen. Many of you pledged to our crowdfunding campaign, spread the word about the campaign and the book, read it when it came out, and then wrote reviews on blogs and websites, including Amazon and Goodreads. So, we wouldn’t be even celebrating this milestone, let alone all these amazing developments, without your help. And for that, thank you so very much. It means the world to me, the team at Cracked Skull Press, and those of us who sacrificed time, blood, sweat, tears, and more blood to bring TWCBU.

If you would like to check out That Which Cannot Be Undone, I’ll leave links for Amazon and Goodreads down below. You can get yourself a copy right in time for the holidays! And if you like what you read, please be sure to leave a review or a rating letting people know what you think. After all, we can’t know unless you tell us, and it helps us out in the long run.

That’s all for now, my Followers of Fear. Until next time, good night (or is it good morning?) and pleasant nightmares.

That Which Cannot Be Undone: Amazon, Goodreads

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.

My AI art portrait of the King in Yellow. Couldn’t think of anything more perfect to showcase with this story’s release.

Oh Glory to the King in Yellow! My story “The Dedication of the High Priestess” has finally been released! And even better, it’s been released in an audio format, which is always very special!

Now, if you don’t know, “The Dedication of the High Priestess” is a short story I wrote back in late 2021 combining both my love of ballet with the story of the King in Yellow (see this incredible video by The Tale Foundry if you would like to know more about the character before going into the story itself). It follows a young ballerina who finds herself chosen for a special role by the King, and what happens when she becomes exposed to his influence.

I know I say this about a lot of my stories that are published lately, but I do feel this is some of my best work. I really feel that I got to capture the main character, Anastasia Hummel’s, despair and abrupt transition into adulthood very well while also telling a great horror story. Honestly, I haven’t been this excited for you all to read one of my stories in a while, that’s how much I love it and how good I think it is.

Not to mention that it’s being released on the Tales to Terrify podcast. As you can guess from the title, the Tales to Terrify podcast is dedicated to reading aloud terrifying stories submitted by writers like you and me and narrated by professional narrators. And boy, did they do an amazing job with “Dedication!” The narrator, Amy Paonessa (God, I hope I spelled that correctly), brought Anastasia to life perfectly and mirrored her emotions so well. I was impressed and amazed as I listened, unable to stop. And I’m sure you all feel the same way when you hear her narrate the tale.

I hope you take the time to listen to the story and then let me know what you think. Hell, maybe you’ll even spread it around so that other people can hear it and experience it for themselves. I would very much appreciate that, as would the good folks at Tales to Terrify.

Anyway, I’ll leave a link for you all below. I can’t wait to hear what you think of the story. Now, if anyone needs me, I’ll be spreading the word about the story and thinking about how it came out right as lots of ballet companies around the world are putting on their annual Nutcracker productions.* Then I’ll drive out to see some family while also writing the script for the movie version in my head.**

Until next time, good night, pleasant nightmares, and be careful who you punch out during Black Friday sales today. They might come for you and do more than punch you back!

Tales to Terrify – Episode 565 – Rami Ungar

*Coincidence? Probably, but a cool coincidence.

**No, a movie version isn’t planned at this point, but that has never stopped me from dreaming. And I feel “Dedication” would make a great psychological horror film.

I don’t know how writers who write in silence do it. Unless I’m trying to sleep, I absolutely hate silence. I’m not saying I need noise all the time. That’s part of the reason I moved out of my old apartment complex: I couldn’t stand the noise my neighbors were always making and the lack of support from management to quiet the noise. But it’s rare when I’m comfortable with complete quiet and I’m not trying to sleep.

And there are writers who are able to write in silence. Hell, some even need it!

Me? I need something in the background. Especially when I write. It’s rare that I can write in silence. If I do, my brain automatically starts playing something on loop in my head just to make up for the silence. So, when I write, I need to listen to something when I work. And it has to be the right sort of thing for the project I’m working on. Otherwise, I find it hard to concentrate and get any words down on paper.

Sometimes, this is easy to do. Usually I can put on 80s music or the soundtracks of my favorite musicals and just write, no matter the story. No joke, I wrote The Pure World Comes entirely to my favorite hits of the 1980s. Or I listen to ASMR videos on YouTube, especially if I’m blogging. (And if you don’t know what ASMR is, I’m not going to explain it here. Just know, I find it very relaxing when done right.) And when I’m editing, I can put on music, or maybe have an anime on in the background, and just get it done.

Other times, it has to be very specific, or I can’t work at all. For my novel Toyland, I needed to listen to the Moulin Rouge soundtrack (Broadway musical based on the movie, not the movie itself) for nearly the entire writing process. Until the final few chapters, I could not write without that soundtrack. It only occurred to me ages later that my mind probably chose that album subconsciously because, like Toyland, both plots involve a story within a story. I might need to listen to that soundtrack again when I do one more round of editing on it and then try to find a publisher.

I’m still trying to nail down what works best for Crawler. Some days I’m in the mood for 80s music, other days I’m in the mood for a musical soundtrack. Once I even listened to the Mad Max: Fury Road soundtrack just because it was so epic I couldn’t help but write to it!

Thankfully, for the two projects I’m working on while I’m break from Crawler and before getting back to editing Hannah, identifying the background sound I need was easy. For one project, which involves a very unique child actress, I’m listening to the Phantom of the Opera soundtrack. Makes sense: both involve people in the fine arts who are not what they seem. And the other, which involves my own unique take on a recent piece of internet folklore, will involve ambient noise videos on YouTube. I already got the first part of the story done while listening to a video of noises at an outdoor mall (guess where that scene took place?).

It’s lucky that I was able to figure those out so quickly. Otherwise, I might not be able to write a single word!

Still, I was able to identify what I will (likely) need, so I’m glad for that. I have good feelings about these stories and I look forward to writing them. And I’ll thankfully have the right sounds to listen to them while I do.

Do you listen to music while you write? Do you need it or can you do without it? What do you prefer to listen to?

And if you prefer silence, why? How are you able to write like that? Let’s discuss.

Has it really been six months since The Pure World Comes was released on paperback and ebook (and three months since it was released on audio book)? Maybe it’s because I moved into a condo and the entire month of October happened, and just a lot of other stuff occurred, but yeah. It’s been six months. And I have to say, it’s been nice to hear that people are enjoying it.

So, if you’re new here, then first off, hi! How are you? What’s your favorite horror novel and horror movie? If you don’t have one, better fix that soon.

Second off, The Pure World Comes, or TPWC, is a Gothic horror novel I wrote in 2020. It was first licensed on an app in 2021, and was officially released on May 10th, 2022. I often describe the novel as the love-child of Frankenstein and Crimson Peak, which is a pretty apt description. It follows Shirley Dobbins, a maid living in Victorian England who goes to work at the estate of the Baronet Hunting after the deaths of her previous employers. However, strange occurrences happen at the baronet’s estate, the Hunting Lodge, and some of them seem quite deadly. Does it have anything to do with the baronet’s research into a fringe science that might cure humanity’s imperfections? Shirley will find out, and her life will change along the way.

Did that catch your attention? It tends to do so. And thanks to that description, I’ve been lucky to get plenty of readers in the past six months. And some of them even leave reviews. Here’s what people are saying:

I love it when I’m pleasantly surprised by a book. Rami Ungar is not a debut author, (according to the back of the book, this is his fourth novel), but his work is new to me and so I went in not knowing what to expect. What I got was a short novel so perfectly Victorian and utterly Gothic that it made my old-fashioned self giddy as a schoolgirl…Mixing classic-romantic Victorian elements with early science-fiction, tales of Jack the Ripper/Spring-Heeled Jack, and a bit of the occult, this book gives the reader a truly chilling and also slightly fun little Gothic adventure.

Heather Miller, author of “Tales My Grandmother Told Me,” Amazon

In Victorian England, Shirley Dobbins rises from lowly maid to competent scientist. The problem is, her tutor and employer is a mad scientist, and his mansion is haunted. I loved the cast Ungar put together, young to old, rich and poor, lower class and upper class, and most dramatically, kind hearted and evil. The mad scientist’s haunted mansion is a character, too, with its secret laboratory and portals and rats and a haunted toilet…Gothic horror fans will love The Pure World Comes. Ungar keeps getting better and better. He has become an auto-buy author for me.

Priscilla Bettis, author of “Dog Meat,” Goodreads

Really enjoyed this! Been a while since I’ve read a Gothic tale and it did not disappoint. I love the twists that it took!

Pax Panic, YouTuber, Goodreads

And on Audible, the audio book recently got its first couple of reviews. Here’s what they said:

Very interesting story that brings together the evolution of science and some history too. I especially liked the strong female heroine.

Arthur Siegal, Audible US

Great story. Loved the main character. The narrator does a great job, especially with the voices.

Iseult Murphy, author of “All of Me,” Audible UK

High praise. And all these reviews have led to TPWC to receive ratings of 4 and up on Amazon, Goodreads and Audible. It makes me really happy that so many people enjoyed the story and thought it was good. And that’s why, even as I work on my other projects, I’m working hard to get this book into as many hands as possible. I want people to enjoy this work of Gothic horror and tell as many others about it as they can, so those people can enjoy it too.

If you’re interested in reading The Pure World Comes, I’ll leave all the links I can down below. And if you like what you read, please leave a review. Not only do I leave reader feedback, but your thoughts help other readers figure out whether or not they should check out the book.

That’s all for now, my Followers of Fear. I hope you’re having a good week, no matter what direction election week has gone. Until next time, good night, happy reading and pleasant nightmares.

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

In truth, I should have posted this update last night. That’s when I finished the latest chapter of the novel. But it was nearly eleven at night, and I had to go into the office this morning, so I put it off till now. Would have been written earlier in the day, but I had to de-stress from work and relieve my election related anxiety.

So, as many of you know, I’ve been working on-and-off on a new novel, a mummy novel tentatively called Crawler. The story was inspired by that god-awful movie with Tom Cruise that came out in 2017. Or maybe I should say it’s my attempt to show the world (and maybe Universal) how to write a decent mummy story. We’ll hopefully see someday whether or not I’m successful in that department.

Anyway, I’ve been writing four chapters at a time, then working on other, shorter projects that I can submit to other publishers. And if you’ve guessed that I’m going to post an update every four chapters, you’re completely right. In fact, the chapter I finished last night was Chapter 8. And if I’m being honest, these past four chapters have been among my favorites to work on so far.

Yeah, I know. How can I have favorites this early in the process? The novel is barely a quarter written! And you’d be right. But these chapters have some (what I think is) great content. Chapters 5 and 8 have some nice, slow character development and bonding that I really enjoyed writing. I really got to showcase the forming and established bonds between these characters, which is something I feel like I haven’t done enough of in my previous novels.

And Chapters 6 and 7 did plenty to establish the mystery and terror of the story. Chapter 7 in particular, I feel, was quite creepy and is a nice little opener for the horror that the readers will eventually get to experience. I’m trying to approach the idea of the mummy as a threat in a way that hasn’t been done before, so seeing the initial results with these initial chapters is encouraging to me and makes me think I’m onto something here.

And when I get back to this novel, I’ll be diving right back into the horror and seeing if my idea goes anywhere (no spoiler, but Chapter 9 is going to be something else). At the moment, the novel is currently 133 pages (regular MS Word pages, double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font) and 37,575 words. It’s going to be one hell of a Stephen King doorstopper when it’s done. And hopefully just as terrifying. Or if not terrifying, hopefully just as interesting.

In the meantime, however, I’ll be working on a couple of (hopefully) shorter works, and finally editing that story where I put some neo-Nazis through the hell they deserve. All these stories have a common theme to them, so I think they might work well together if I wanted to create a new collection or something. Of course, we’ll have to wait and see what I end up writing, if it’s any good and if I think a collection is the best way to go with these stories.

But first, I’ll need to write and edit them, of course! And I look forward to every moment of it.

Well, that’s all for now, my Followers of Fear. I need to head to bed. So, until next time, good night, pleasant nightmares, and may God have mercy on all our souls! Trust me, there’s a good chance we’re going to need it.