Posts Tagged ‘Queen Alice’

It’s alive! It’s ALIVE!

Specifically, the link to preorder Hannah and Other Stories is live now. As you know, Hannah and Other Stories is my new collection of short stories, and it’s releasing September 23rd, 2023. The collection contains stories of ghosts, budding serial killers, and carnivorous horses. And as of this morning, you can preorder it using the link below.

At the moment, you can only preorder it as an ebook. However, if preorders, sales and reviews are good, we may be able to expand into paperbacks and maybe even an audiobook! So please, if you’re at all interested, click on the link below and order a copy ahead of time! And in the meantime, I’ll do my best to make you want to read the book!

PREORDER LINK FOR HANNAH AND OTHER STORIES

Speaking of doing my best, check this out: BSC Publishing Group, the publisher releasing Hannah, came up with all these marketing materials to help promote the book at events. You can see some photos of them below:

A chapbook containing excerpts from the stories “Hannah” and “Queen Alice.”
Pretty sweet bookmark.
Bookplates! You can paste them to the inside cover of your books, making them collectible (especially if I sign them).
Stickers and little photo cutouts of the cover!
A big poster with a description of the book! Now that’s something to catch the eye.

Pretty sweet, right? I never had this sort of support from a publisher before, so it’s a nice change of pace. And BSC does this for all their writers, so that’s pretty awesome for us. My favorites are the chapbooks and the poster. Not only are they well made, but I think they’ll especially draw the readers in. And now that the link is live, we can slap a QR code somewhere on that poster so people can preorder with their phones.

Anyway, I hope you didn’t mind me showing off the cool marketing materials and trying to entice you to preorder a copy of Hannah and Other Stories. Still, I hope you’ll check out the book and even consider preordering a copy. And if you do order a copy and read it, I hope you’ll review it after the release. Positive or negative, I love reader feedback, and reviews help other readers as well.

That’s all for now, my Followers of Fear. I’m happy to report that while I’m not at one-hundred percent yet, I’m feeling much better than I have been. I might even do some writing this weekend. Maybe it’s all the self-care I’ve been doing lately. It makes such a big difference.

Anyway, until next time, good night and pleasant nightmares!

So, one thing that really surprised me about the editing process for Hannah was that I had to get rid of brand names from the stories. YouTube became WeTube, and Kroger and Meijer became Lundgren’s, etc.

But those weren’t the only things I had to take out. Ohio State University, which was featured in What Errour Awoke and which was mentioned in Hannah, has been renamed Aurelian University. And Disneyland is now Mueller Land. Yeah, Disneyland was in a story at one point, but now it’s Mueller Land. And I was really surprised I had to change those both.

As my publisher explained, we have to be careful, because if we use a real brand and the company that owns the brand thinks the depiction is negative, they can sue both me and the publisher. Which makes sense. I mean, Apple doesn’t allow its products to be used by bad guys in movies and TV shows. If you see someone in a movie using a generic android phone, chances are they’re bad guys. And in the TV show Chuck, the name of the store where the main character works is a Best Buy parody called Buy More. And given that the store is regularly depicted as being staffed by lazy, incompetent, and oftentimes creepy employees, or is the sight of shootouts and spy shenanigans, it makes sense that the creators would change the name.

Also explains why Subway, which was a sponsor for the show in later seasons, was only ever eaten by the good guys. As far as I can remember, I never once saw a bad guy in that show going for Subway.

Still, that show also depicted Stanford University as a major recruiting center for CIA operatives, and during the first season, the main character has negative feelings towards the school due to his being framed for cheating and getting kicked out while there. Did Stanford not care? And if it didn’t, would Ohio State really care that some characters in my collection were students there?

On the bright side, I was able to keep Slender Man in Queen Alice. Even though he’s a copyrighted character (I know, most people think he’s public domain as well), I was able to keep him as mentioned in Queen Alice because he illustrates an ongoing phenomena regarding Internet boogeymen. And in What Errour Awoke, I was able to keep a reference to Die Hard because, as my editor put it, Nakatomi Plaza is not a copyrighted name or actual location and everyone loves a Die Hard reference (truth).

I still find myself wondering about this, though. Some authors, especially big-name authors, can put references to brands, businesses and universities, among other things, into their work and don’t think twice about changing them. Occasionally, you even see song lyrics from famous songs! Gerald’s Game‘s antagonist draws his name from lyrics from “The Joker” by the Steve Miller Band, and My Best Friend’s Exorcism had lyrics to many popular songs from the 1980s, albeit sung with the wrong lyrics because that’s what the characters liked to do. Not sure if that counts as parody or fair use, but it doesn’t change the fact that We Got the Beat by the Go-Gos was used as an exorcism chant later in the book.

And how does Law & Order: SVU get away with using TikTok and TikTok stars in one episode? Yeah, season 23, episode 5. Even if the app isn’t portrayed as having any bearing on the bad guys in that episode, I can’t imagine TikTok was happy to have its name used in the show like that.

I guess what I’m saying is, there’s a lot to using real brands in fictional contexts that I don’t get. It’s incredibly nuanced, and you can’t get away with using a real brand by using it in a positive light and then pointing to the copyright text at the beginning of the book stating that all characters, settings, and whatever are fictional or used fictionally. In which case, more often than not, it might be better to just turn a popular brand or institution into a fictional version with a name that may or may not reference the real thing. YouTube becomes WeTube, Disneyland becomes Mueller Land, Ohio State University becomes Aurelian University, and…well, you get the idea.

Do you have any insight on this, my Followers of Fear? Please sound off in the comments below.

That’s all for now, my Followers of Fear. Just a reminder, though: this Saturday I’ll be at the Canal Town Book Festival in Dover, Ohio, selling books. If any of you are in the area, please stop by and visit. Also keep an eye out for some exciting news on the horizon regarding Hannah and Other Stories. Trust me, you won’t want to miss it.

Until next time, good night and pleasant nightmares!

Life is crazy, there’s a lot going on, so here’s some quick updates on what’s going on in my life and writing career.

Hannah and Other Stories

So, the next draft has already begun on Hannah. Currently, my editor is sending it to me story by story every couple of days, with “Hannah” itself arriving yesterday. (And yes, differentiating the two in email conversations with my editor was a hoot). I actually got the story done in one evening and sent it back, with the biggest change to the story just being that I changed some names of brands and public institutions. For example, YouTube became WeTube, Ohio State University became Aurelian University, and Disneyland in Anaheim because Mueller Land in San Dimas. Fun fact, took me about half an hour to rename Disneyland, but given that they’re a brand I don’t want to owe money to for using in a story, it was a half hour well spent.

I should receive the next story, “Queen Alice,” in a few days at most. When I get it, I’ll get it edited as quickly as possible and get it back to the publisher. With any luck, we’ll be done with this draft by the end of the month.

They Sleep Within the Rock and other projects

I finally got around to doing a third draft of this novella last week. With my beta reader’s help, I’ve been able to improve the story immensely, and have edited about seventy percent of the story. Unfortunately, while working on it, I realized the last thirty percent doesn’t have the oomph this story needs to be great. I mean, it’s a story about giving neo-Nazis some epic karma! You would think the story would have an ending on par with the explosiveness of Die Hard or the finale of The Little Mermaid (say what you will about that movie, but that finale is nothing to sneeze at).

So after a lot of messaging back and forth with my beta reader, I think I came up with a new ending that might be closer to my vision. I’ll be working on it in-between stories of Hannah, so it may take time, but I’ll get it done and back to the beta reader before too long.

After that, I would like to edit “The Underground Kings” and “It Changes You: A Backrooms Story,” as I’ve received some great feedback on how to improve those stories and I want to see what I can do with them. With any luck, they may even find homes!

And as for new stuff…well, I would like to get back to my mummy novel Crawler. And I do have some short stories, novelettes and novellas I might want to work on later this year. But really, nothing definite at this point. Just a ton of editing.

Horror Writers Association news

You may not be aware of this, but I’ve been the Chairperson for the Ohio chapter of the Horror Writers Association, HWA Ohio, since around its inception. I didn’t volunteer for the role or anything in the beginning, I just kept reserving meeting rooms for our meetings, and as we got more organized, I just kind of became the chair.

This year, the HWA implemented a system to elect chairs every two years organization wide. And I can officially say that I’ve been elected to serve the role two more years. I’m looking forward to serving as the Chairperson again, and to growing both the chapter and its members. If anything exciting pops up in that regard, I will let you know.

Anything else?

As you know, this Saturday I will be selling books and doing Tarot readings at the Hidden Marietta Paranormal Expo in Marietta, Ohio. It’ll be at the Washington County Fairgrounds from 10 AM – 4 PM. If you’re in the area this Saturday, please stop by, because it’s going to be a ton of fun.

I’m also going to be doing a flashlight tour and a ghost hunt at the local Anchorage Mansion this weekend with a friend, so hopefully we come across some spooky stuff. If we do, and I can, I’ll record it so you can see it!

And I finished Every Woman Knows This by Laurel Hightower, and thought it was a strong collection of scary short stories. 4 out of 5, won’t disappoint readers who give it a read.

Other than that, there’s nothing I can talk about. At least nothing that’s relevant to this blog right now or that I can talk about without getting into trouble. So, I’ll take this moment to bid you all a good night. Until next time, my Followers of Fear, pleasant nightmares!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If you’re reading this, it means two things. One is that I finally have internet at my new condo, so glory hallelujah on that. The other is that I’m probably going to watch the latest episode of Ms. Marvel and get all caught up for the finale on Wednesday (I know where my priorities are).

So, with so much going on in my life and in my writing career, I thought I’d do a post on all the things I’m working on and where I am in them. Given that it’s been a while since I’ve updated you all on certain projects, it felt necessary. And hell, sometimes I need a reminder of all I got going on! It’s a lot to keep straight in this wacky head of mine.

And since that about sums it up, let’s get into it. Without further ado, here are updates on what I’m doing.

The Condo

Off the top, let’s talk about the condo. At this point, I’m almost entirely unpacked and am making a list of projects and changes I want to do for the place. It’s going to be a lot of work (and a lot of cash), but I think I’m up for it. Especially with the help I’ve been getting from friends, family and contractors.

In the meantime, I’m living and liking it here. In fact, I’m planning on posting some photos of the space soon (if I haven’t already), and maybe even doing a YouTube video on my new writing space. And I’ll definitely be posting about homeownership and the search for a home in the future. Is that unusual for this blog? A bit. Is it something I want to talk about here anyway? Yes, so look forward to lots of news about the condo in the future. 

That Which Cannot Be Undone anthology

The anthology project I’m working with my colleagues here in the Buckeye State to highlight Ohio horror and Ohio horror writers is still coming along. We’ve been going over what could end up being the cover art for the anthology, and sending edited drafts of our stories to our fabulous editor. At this rate, we should be on schedule for an October release.

And given some of the stories I’ve read already, it’s going to be an awesome anthology. I can’t wait for you to read it.

The Pure World Comes

Nothing to update here from yesterday, but the audio book is still coming along. Just thought I’d mention it.

Hannah and Other Stories

Back at the end of June, I sent the edits for the second story, Queen Alice, and an initial polish of the third story, The Autopsy Kid and Doctor Sarah, back to the publisher. They’re now looking through the draft and making further recommendations for the story. After that, there are four more stories to edit, and then hopefully we can set a release date for this collection.

Other Projects

I’m shopping around a bunch of short stories and novelettes, trying to find them a home. It’s difficult, but since when has playing the publishing game ever been easy? And I’ve already had some success this year, so there’s a good chance I’ll get a few acceptances.

Speaking of which, The Dedication of the High Priestess is still on track to air on Tales to Terrify at some point this year, so keep an eye out for updates on that.

In the meantime, I’ll be editing They Sleep Within the Rock (AKA the novella where I let my frustrations out and terrorize some white supremacists). I may then let someone beta read it before editing it again and finding somewhere to submit it. Hopefully, someone likes it enough to publish it.

And I might start a new story I just had the idea for tonight. I don’t know why, but it feels like a winner.

But after that…

A New Novel

Yeah, you read that right. I’ll be working on a new novel when I’m not working on other projects. Specifically, I’ll be working on Crawler, the mummy novel I planned to start last year before Hannah was accepted. I actually looked at the outline I wrote last year and have already started thinking of ways to improve the story (including a better working title). Once that’s taken care of and I’ve edited the novella I mentioned, I’ll hopefully get started and create one hell of a horror novel.


Well, that’s all I can think of right now. If I come up with anything else, I’ll be sure to give you all a shout. So, until next time, good night and pleasant nightmares. I’m off to deal with my first supernatural invasion of my condo. Curse you, Undead Moon Bear! You’re scuffing up the hardwood!

Placeholder cover for Hannah and Other Stories.

As many of you know, I’ve been preparing to move from my apartment this weekend and into a condo. (And if you don’t, now you do). However, when I haven’t been packing, I’ve been trying to meet my obligations as a writer. The most important of these is to get edits done on one of the stories in Hannah and Other Stories, my upcoming collection of short stories. And damnit, I just finished it today.

So just to recap, Hannah and Other Stories is a collection of short stories I’ll be publishing with BSC Publishing Group. There are seven stories in the collection, and I just finished editing the third, “The Autopsy Kid and Doctor Sarah,” about a girl’s relationship with a budding psychopath. It’s one of at least two edits I’ll be doing on this story for the next draft.

You see, during the revisions for the second story in Hannah, “Queen Alice,” the editors brought to my attention that I was doing more telling than showing and that I needed to work on that. They recommended that I go over “Autopsy Kid” after finishing “Queen Alice” to try to add more instances of showing and otherwise fix it up before they went over it. That way, I might get some lessons in better storytelling and they would have less notes to make regarding edits.

So, how did this first round of edits go? Really well, I think. As I said in my post about showing vs. telling, I wasn’t sure I understood the concept too well, let alone applying it in my writing. But “Autopsy Kid” is the longest story in the collection, so there were plenty of instances to practice. Indeed, I found plenty of places where I thought I should show rather than tell, and I think it worked out. The result was a more fleshed out story, with an antagonist who seemed more like a dark force of evil than a young boy with severe mental issues.

We’ll just have to see what BSC says. They have the manuscript now, so they’ll look through the story and let me know what edits they think I need to make. With any luck, showing vs. telling won’t be one of them and they’ll see less issues than I did on the first run-through. After that…well, we’ll see. Probably they’ll send me edits on the next story, “Fuselli’s Horses,” about carnivorous horses.

Yeah, you read that right. Carnivorous horses. I come up with the scariest, craziest shit.

And while I wait for those drafts, I’ll be moving and working on the first draft of the audio book of The Pure World Comes (which is coming along great). And after that? Well, we’ll see. It wouldn’t do to jump ahead of ourselves, now would it?

Anyway, that’s all for now. I’ll update you as updates come, especially for Hannah and for my new place.

And if you would like to support me, or if you would like something new and scary to read, I’ll post links to my books below. They’re all amazing stories that have received a lot of love over the years (Snake and The Pure World Comes especially have gotten some good feedback recently), so I urge you to check them out. And if you like what you read? Leave a review online somewhere! Positive or negative, I love reader feedback, it helps me out in the long run, and they help other readers decide what to read next themselves.

Until next time, my Followers of Fear, good night, pleasant nightmares, and don’t befriend children who like cutting things up.

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

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.

You know, I’m honestly surprised that, in nearly eleven years of blogging, I’ve never once talked about this subject. Well, no time like the present, right?

“Show, don’t tell” is a common phrase taught by creative writing classes and preached by writers of all stripes. Yet actually figuring out what each one is, how to tell them apart (unfortunate pun intended), and then avoid doing one versus the other is really difficult to do. Especially in your own writing.

Or should I say, in my own writing? Yeah, during editing of Queen Alice, the second story in Hannah and Other Stories, one of the notes that kept popping up was, “This is telling. Show it to us!” And while I managed to get something that would satisfy the editors down on paper, it still left me wondering how I was supposed to do this for future stories. Especially for those in Hannah.

Well, I did what I always do when I’m stumped: I do research. And while I’m still not sure I have the method down, I think I gleaned a few gems that should help.

First off, based on what I’ve found, you don’t just give up telling entirely. You actually do need to tell some things. Telling is good for things like quickly moving through parts of the story that aren’t integral and don’t need a lot of description. A better way to phrase this rule would be, “Show more, tell only as necessary.”

Next, what are showing and telling? Well, “telling” is a lot like summarizing. It’s quickly laying down the bare plot events in quick succession. There’s not a lot of description, but it’s enough to tell you what’s going on. Another way to look at it might be as thinking of the way fairy tales are told. Fairy tales don’t have a lot of details. Instead, they just tell us what happens. For example:

Drosselmeyer gave Clara a gift. She unwrapped and opened it. Inside was a nutcracker. She picked it up and instantly fell in love. “It’s the most incredible toy ever!” she said.

Yes, that’s Nutcracker, though not the original 1816 short story. But it illustrates the point, so who cares?

As for showing, it’s more detailed. Well, that’s oversimplifying it. Showing can be thought of as painting a picture that engages most or all of the senses, as well as what’s the character’s thinking. From what I can tell, the idea is to give the reader enough detail so that they not only see what’s happening and feel like they’re there, but maybe even feel the emotions or sensations the characters are experiencing. Here’s what I think might be a good example:

Hank’s muscle fibers snapped and tore apart like Twizzler Pull-n-Peels, before retying themselves into new braids. His abdomen heaved and roiled as, underneath the skin, organs shifted, burst like rotten fruit, and formed into new shapes. He could hear his bones cracking as they changed positions, stretched and folded in on themselves. And all over his body, his nerves screamed as his body shrunk in some places, elongated in others, and created new structures alien to his form. His mouth swung open, and what might have been a scream vibrated out of his throat. To his ears, it sounded like a train whistle, and he thought he saw whisps of steam rising into the air from his lips.

That was from no particular story. I just tried to paint a picture. And even writing this, I’m not sure I was successful. On the one hand, I want you to feel Hank’s pain. But on the other, I’m aware that I have only so much space, so I need to get through it one way or another. Balancing here is a difficult feat.

Maybe that’s another thing about showing vs. telling: with short stories and novelettes, you’re more tempted to tell rather than show. After all, with a novel, you have plenty of space to go into full detail with a single moment. To show, in other words. But in a shorter work, you need to economize your words, so you can only show when it really matters. Otherwise, you tell people what happens and give them enough to go on without using too much space.

Hoping I get better at showing vs. telling before this comes out.

In any case, it seems there’s still a lot for me to learn when it comes to knowing when to show and when to tell. Hopefully, with more practice, I’ll get better at distinguishing those moments and then how to show effectively. Perhaps with the next, and longest, story in Hannah, ‘The Autopsy Kid and Doctor Sarah,” I’ll get in plenty of practice.

What tips do you have for showing vs. telling? Leave them down in the comments below.

Please leave them in the comments down below. The more help I have with this, the better Hannah and other future stories will turn out.

Well, that’s all for now, my Followers of Fear. I’ll keep you updated on Hannah and any of my other projects. Until next time, good night and pleasant nightmares.

As many of you are aware, last October I announced that I would be releasing a new collection of short stories, Hannah and Other Stories, with BSC Publishing Group. Like my previous collection, The Quiet Game: Five Tales to Chill Your Bones, these are all original and unpublished stories that have gone unread except for a few other people at this point. Unlike The Quiet Game, however, Hannah will be seven stories instead of five, and I have a professional editing team working with me to polish up the stories before they’re released.

It’s that editing process I’m here to talk about. As I mentioned in a previous post, BSC is sending me the notes for each story one at a time so that I’m not overwhelmed. I appreciate that, as the last time I was overwhelmed editing a book, I spent a good amount of time watching Sailor Moon on Blu-Ray while trying to quell my anxiety. And recently, they sent me the notes for the second story in the collection, Queen Alice, which they told me is their favorite story in the collection so far.

I started editing Queen Alice recently after several delays (you can guess one or two of the delays were). And there are a lot of notes from the editors.

Not that I’m complaining. I’m grateful that they’ve been so thorough, picking things up that I missed in all that editing and polishing I did last summer before submitting Hannah. However, it is a challenge. I’m seeing a lot of stuff that needs to be clarified or rewritten or cut out, and doing all that so the story turns out better than it was before can be tough at times.

I’m a little nervous about how things will go down the line, when it comes time to polish up What Errour Awoke. Great story in the Lovecraftian universe and it did help me with my anxieties regarding the COVID-19 pandemic when that first began, but I know there’s plenty there that’ll need to be worked on. Especially in the latter half!

Still, I’m working it. I’m taking it one page and one section at a time. And I’m already seeing vast improvement with Queen Alice. At the moment, the story is kind of like a Lovecraft story: great concept, but the writing needs work (thankfully no racism or xenophobia). My goal right now is to get the writing up to the same standard as the concept and the story that my editors fell in love with.

That way, when it gets to you guys, you won’t be disappointed by it, but thrilled. Or maybe, just maybe, you’ll be terrified.


Just a couple of quick notes, my Followers of Fear:

First, as you know, The Pure World Comes has been out five days. And so far, my Gothic horror novel about a maid in Victorian England going to work for a mad scientist has been doing pretty well. It’s not selling like a Stephen King novel (I wish), but it’s been selling steadily and people have been leaving positive reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. This has made me hopeful for the book’s future and I plan to continue letting people know about it so they’ll want to read it (including a more in-depth post on it in the near future).

If you would like to check out The Pure World Comes, I’ll leave links below, including to Goodreads. You can read what people are saying, decide whether to purchase a copy, and maybe, if you like what you read, leave me a review letting me and others know what you think. It would be a big help to me, and let me know just what you thought of the book.

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

Also, ParaPsyCon is one week from today! If you’re unfamiliar, this is an awesome gathering of ghost hunters, psychics, authors and more at the Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, Ohio, one of the most haunted locations in America (and the filming location for Shawshank Redemption). If you want to stop by on May 21st and 22nd, please do! I’ll be selling signed copies of books, including TPWC, and entrance fee is just one ticket for a self-guided tour of the prison. Hope to see you there!

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

Hi Followers of Fear! I’m writing from lovely, enchanting Las Vegas! Actually, it’s more elaborate, gaudily opulent and sensory overload-inducing Las Vegas. It’s both, really. And extremely expensive. Whatever, I’m going to enjoy myself here! But first, I have an exciting announcement. One worth getting on the blog and writing up a blog post early for!

As many of you are aware, I’ve been working on getting another collection of original short stories out. I even did a ton of editing over the summer to make it happen. Well, I’m happy to say, all that work paid off! Yesterday at 3:15 PM in St. Louis, I signed a contract with BSC Publishing Group to publish a new collection of short stories, “Hannah and Other Stories.” So, without further ado, here’s a temporary cover that I created until we get something a bit more professional.

Not bad, right? This is actually a hint as to the subject matter of the titular short story. No, not toilet humor or toilet horror, I put all that into The Pure World Comes. In fact, the short story Hannah was inspired by a famous legend from Japan. If you can guess what it is without Google, congratulations! We can be friends.

Also, the titular character in the titular short story is not named after any of the people named Hannah I know. And believe me, there are a few. It’s a popular name in the Jewish religion.

You hear that, Hannah P. whom I went to high school with and sometimes saw at Ohio State? This has nothing to do with you! Though I may send you a copy when it’s out as a cheeky present.

Anyway, where was I? Oh right. Well, in addition to “Hannah,” there are six other stories in the collection: “Queen Alice,” about a mythical Internet boogeyman. Or boogeywoman, to be precise; “The Autopsy Kid and Doctor Sarah,” about a budding serial killer; “Fuselli’s Horses,” about a rather interesting breed of horse; “The Red Bursts,” about a town whose residents become reluctant witnesses to something terrifying; “What Errour Awoke,” about how one innocent reading during an English literature course leads to a terrifying situation during the COVID-19 pandemic (already putting it into my fiction, don’t you know); and “Poor, Unfortunate Souls,” about a party underneath the streets of Paris which takes a turn for the awful.

I look forward to hearing what you all think of the stories. There’s likely going to be a lot of editing over the next year or so, but I have confidence we could see this book out some time in 2022. What this means for the paperback/ebook release of The Pure World Comes, or writing my mummy story Crawler, I can’t say at this point. But all I can say is, I think the next 365 days will be quite eventful.

My view from my hotel in Las Vegas. I can’t wait to have fun in this city.

And in the meantime, if you’re looking for good stories to read, I have plenty available now while you wait. I hope you’ll check them out while I work on Hannah and releasing The Pure World Comes in paperback and ebook. Not only will find them entertaining and possibly terrifying, but it’ll help me out while I’m writing and editing. Also, if you do end up reading one of my stories, let me know what you think. Email me, or leave a review online somewhere. It’ll let me know what you think and help other readers decide whether or not to check out my work. I’ll leavve the links below.

That’s all for now, my Followers of Fear. I’ve got to film a YouTube video and then grab dinner before having a proper celebration in my hotel room tonight. Until next time, good night, pleasant nightmares, and prepare for Halloween in three days! If you don’t, I will obliterate you from the face of the Earth! Mwa ha ha ha!!!

The Pure World Comes: Readict app (free with ads)

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

Rose: Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada, Audible

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

Agoraphobia: Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada

Mother of the King: Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada