Sunday, July 16, 2017

Even Stranger Things

So it was exactly one year ago when Netflix dropped this original new series set in the early 80s, in the fictional Midwest town of Hawkins, Indiana. It largely centers around three nerdy middle school friends searching for their missing friend, Will. But then they find this strange girl named Eleven, who manifests even stranger powers. You have the mother and older brother of missing Will, dealing with the sheer terror of his disappearance, the gruff town police chief who harbors his own dark and tragic past. And that's just to name a few. Besides the obvious love-letter and homage to the Era it's set in, STRANGER THINGS is clearly influenced by the works of Lovecraft, Stephen King, John Carpenter, and even Spielberg, among others. It doesn't just resonate with those of us who grew up in that same time, but I think if you did, and perhaps you hung out with your geeky buddies playing D&D (or in my case, Top Secret, the espionage version of D&D), STRANGER THING really hit a definite chord. Even the theme music sounds like a John Carpenter 80s horror film...not to mention the numerous nods to his classic scifi horror flick, THE THING.

Recently Netflix released the poster for Season 2, due October 27th. And of course that stunning teaser trailer a few months before. Last week, it was announced that this blockbuster show had garnered an astounding 18 Emmy nominations. Needless to say, fans have been clamoring for more info, and plot details--while largely under wraps--have been few and far between, other than things leaked over the past several months. But we can only hope some unanswered questions from the first season get resolved, as I'm sure they will.  What happened to Doctor Brenner? Was he really killed by the Demogorgon? Where did Eleven go (because we know she's not dead)? And what's happening to Will? And what was this secret deal Hopper made with Brenner? And so much more.

Needless to say, late October can't get here fast enough.

Things are about to get even stranger in Hawkins.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

A Horror Writer Looks At 50

In less than a month I'll be turning 50. The Big Five-Oh. Half a century old. Fuck. I still remember teasing my Dad when he hit that milestone...and now it's my turn. Yeah, not so funny now, smart guy. Funny thing is, some days I don't feel my age and others...yeah, I definitely do. My hair is mostly gray now, but still thick and not receding too much. Thicker around the waist, too, but what the fuck...I like to eat, although I need to exercise  more. And when I did do that a few weeks ago when I had a week off from work, doing laps in our pool almost every day, I pulled muscles in my right shoulder and upper arm that's taking forever  to heal.

So yeah, getting older sucks. 

However, I've reason to celebrate. In the past year, I've accomplished  much in terms of my writing. Probably more so than in any time  in my life. I finished the first draft of my scifi horror  novel, THE  RAVENING. I wrote several short stories, two of which I self-published as ebooks, CLOWNING AROUND and THE LAST CHORD, the latter of which received a nice review on a book review blog recently. My last post here has links to where you can pick them up. I've been working with professional editor and publicist extraordinaire, Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi, as a client and she's been wonderful to work with, only making me a better writer. Two of the aforementioned short stories will be eventually submitted to horror anthologies, one of my professional goals, along with my novel. And there's a story/novella collection, THE NIGHTMARE SEASON, that I've written but need to revise. And much more...

One of my all-time favorite horror writers turns 50, as well, not too long after I do. You may have heard about him. Brian Keene. Horror Grandmaster, Bram Stoker Award Winner, and bestselling author. Last year he toured extensively in support of his latest books and I had been fortunate enough  to set up a book signing at my store. I'd been very nervous because I hadn't met him before and wanted the event to go well. And it did. Sold a bunch of books and got the chance to chat with him about bookselling, horror, writing, and our kids. It was something I'll never forget. Brian was kind and gracious and very easy to talk to.

So yeah, while I celebrate the Big Five-Oh with loved ones next month, I have a lot to be grateful  and thankful for. 

And a lot more dark and scary stories to tell...

Monday, May 29, 2017

New Ebook & Works In Progress

Been a while since I updated my blog (since social media is more immediate  and direct), but here's  the latest:

My latest ebook short, THE LAST CHORD, hit the digital bookshelves last month, so please check it out and post a review. I'm happy to supply review copies to book review bloggers upon request.



Also, my debut ebook short, CLOWNING AROUND, which is loosely related is free for Nook here, and just under a buck on Amazon here.

Works-in-progress are two new short stories for as yet (but soon to be) unannounced horror anthologies, one is called "The Caretaker of Blood Manor" and the other is titled "Lizard Kingdom."

Also, I'm off from work for a week, so it's full steam ahead on revisions to my scifi  horror  novel, THE RAVENING. Revisions on my novella/story collection, NIGHTMARE SEASON, is on hold for now.

Much thanks to Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi for her professional editorial eye, guidance, and support. You're the best, Wonder Woman!