Friday, July 22, 2022
Monday, January 31, 2022
Back in the mid-90s, I wrote a short story called "Roseblood." A year or so later it became my first published horror story, appearing in a little rag of horror zine called Impaler. Yeah, that Impaler. Apparently they liked my story enough with its loosely vampiric overtones to want it in their zine. I was proud of achieving this first step, and added a few more small press horror publication sales over the years since then. After a long drought in writing for a variety of reasons (honestly, I never stopped writing, but for a variety of reasons, I'd not submitted any short stories for publication anywhere for a while), I took a step into the self-publishing world about a decade ago and haven't looked back. In recent years, I've had a couple short story appearances in the popular Facebook group Books of Horror Community Horror Anthology, Vol. 1 thru 3. I'm quite proud of that. Still have work to do, getting more of my books in reader's hands, more reviews, and breaking into the indie horror small press market instead of self-publishing my books.
But honestly, it all started with this seductively deadly serial killer named Rose Valentine aka Roseblood. I revisited that short story several years ago, found it lacking in some ways like many early efforts, and considered rebooting it. Since "Roseblood" took place in the late 80s, I decided I wanted to write a more recent tale and alas, "A Rose's Prick on a Bleeding Heart" was born. I shared it with my editor and friend, Erin Al-Mehairi, who liked it but as always with her deft editorial eye, told me there could be more of even longer story here if fleshed out. She wanted to know more about Rose. I gave that serious consideration and it didn't take long for me to write the short novel Roseblood.
So for me, while not nearly as popular or bestselling as Mister Jack, Night of the Pumpkin God, or The Ravening, Roseblood has always been one of my favorite stories because Roseblood was the first. And Rose Valentine had more stories to tell, too.
When I began writing Bloodletting, the 2nd Roseblood novel, I already knew I'd probably write one more Roseblood book. Shortly after finishing Bloodletting, I'd already come up with a title and some story notes. The 3rd and final Roseblood novel will be called Bloodlust. I expect that to be finished sometime later this year and most likely see publication late 2022 or early 2023.
Book bloggers or reviewers, please do hit me up for digital ARCs as I'm happy to do so. Or if you've read any of my books, I'd appreciate a honest review posted on any of the usual venues. Thanks for reading my work as it means the world to me!
My ebooks and trade paperbacks are available here on bn.com! Signed copies can be purchased directly from me and payable via PayPal, too.
My ebooks for Kindle can be found here!
Sunday, October 31, 2021
So, here's a little Halloween treat (no tricks) from me to you, especially for fans of Mister Jack, my Halloween horror novellette. Enjoy!
Josie's Prank Night
The resident "witch" of Summerdale normally hated Halloween. For a variety of reasons, some of which had been widely known to a handful of townspeople that were old enough to still remember the decades past stories about her.
Saturday, April 3, 2021
After lying dormant for a million years, something insidious is brought to shore by two experienced divers.As Hurricane Annabelle churns towards coastal Southwest Florida, Bella Vista Island is cut off from the mainland after a boat accident damages the island's only bridge.
An alien organism infects both guests and staff at the beach resort, turning them into ravenous and bloodthirsty killers. Aided by two resort managers, a mystery author with a unique gift, and a Spec Ops soldier, the enigmatic and mysterious Peter Smith is tasked with destroying the organism before it spreads further.
The Ravening threatens every living thing with apocalyptic carnage. Are they enough to prevent it from being unleashed on the rest of the world?
Sunday, January 17, 2021
In the past I've written various horror stories centered around or themed from certain holidays like Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving and of course, Halloween. Even my erotic horror novella, Roseblood, was somewhat inspired by Valentine's Day.
Recently during this colder than normal Florida winter, we had frost and some folks having to scrape off windshields early in the morning. We can get tiny snow flakes but more northern Florida and if the weather conditions are right for it. We rarely get enough to make a small snowman. It'd be easier going to the beach to build a sandman version.
So the wheels were spinning one frosty morning (see what I did there?) and the story below came to be. Originally, I'd imagined two brothers for this tale, but opted for sisters instead because I've found myself enjoying writing about female characters more.
Also, after I'd written this, it became somewhat obvious that I'd been channeling my inner John Urbancik. It seemed like something he'd write, and if you haven't checked out his work yet, I'd highly recommend you unfuck that pronto. He's one of the most talented writers of dark fantasy and horror fiction around.
Reign of the Winter King
Saturday, October 17, 2020
...the John Carpenter classic and iconic 1978 horror film. I do love the autumnal holiday (I mean, duh, I write horror and All Hallows Eve is my Xmas), but for my money and since I was in my early 20s, the simply yet perfectly made slasher flick has been my all time favorite horror movie.
Horror has been a big part of my life since then, but I wasn't always a horror fan. At least with books, anyway. I'd written about this to a degree in previous blog posts, but that darkly magical attraction/addiction began when I was 18, in 1985-86, when I bought my first Stephen King novel PET SEMATARY and devoured it (followed by PHANTOMS by Dean Koontz or Dean R. Koontz as he went by back then, when he had the balding pate and mustache). I'd found my genre to read and write and was hooked for life.
As a kid growing up in Southwestern coastal Florida, I loved the Saturday morning Creature Feature show on Channel 44 WTOG hosted by the legendary Dr. Paul Bearer, which showed many old classic horror films, from the early black & whites to those in garish Technicolor. Looking back now, it seemed I was destined to discover my beloved spooky-scary genre eventually.
But my love for the Halloween (and ultimately, the entire film franchise) began, ironically, right around when Halloween 4 came out. I'd seen that one in the theater along with Halloween 5 when it came out. But while I'd been aware of the first film, I'd totally became enraptured with it on Halloween night 1987. I was dating my first serious girlfriend back then. We'd visited with her aunt and helped put up cheap Halloween decorations and generally just goofing around trying to spook out one another. Then she and I came back to my parents' house and relaxed in the living room watching the original Halloween movie. I loved it and have seen it dozens of times since then. I'd also become complete fan of John Carpenter's oeuvre of horror. From his scifi horror remake THE THING to THE FOG and PRINCE OF DARKNESS, along with his other films, there's no better creator of iconic 80s horror cinema.
However, it all started with that first movie. Arguably, the reigning king of what became known as the slasher film. Granted, and rightly so, many would claim the Hitchcock's classic PSYCHO was the first true slasher film, but I contend that it really began in the late 70s and exploded in the 1980s. And Halloween was and is the best and most original, enduring for decades and has even seen a resurgence with the pseudo-rebooted franchise (and admittedly, just a bit annoying to completely discount everything as canon after the first movie, but I understand why the new film producers/writers/directors did that. I still love the franchise living on and drawing in newer younger fans).
The decade of decadence saw a glut of slasher flicks from the Friday the 13th series to nightmarish Freddy Krueger with his finger blade glove, the psycho-doll Chucky, among others. Cannibalistic inbred rednecks with revving chainsaws and irradiated kill-crazy bloodthirsty mutants, oh my!
No other horror film villain compares to the silent and unstoppable menace of The Shape aka Michael Myers. In my opinion. What started out as a low budget film with the title THE BABYSITTER MURDERS, once the film producer suggested changing it to HALLOWEEN (setting it of course on that night), a movie horror icon was born.
So why do I believe the original Halloween film & Michael Myers is the best ever? Firstly, the fact that the movie takes place on All Hallows Eve is solely reason enough. It's the perfect setting for a horror movie. The concept of Michael Myers, the rather common even bland name, which soon would become synonymous with teenage 80s horror. The plain mask, courtesy of Capt Kirk, with the bleached-out white rubber face, was pure brilliance if necessary for a low budget film. (If you haven't, Google how the film was made or catch the numerous YouTube videos or documentaries. Much of what was done, particularly the opening scene was groundbreaking for its time). And if you look into the highly collectible (and expensive) paperback novelization by Curtis Richards, published shortly after the film was released, you'll find a lot of added history and more of a supernatural explanation to why the child Michael Myers became the knife-wielding killer who murdered his older sister on Halloween night. The horror website Bloody Disgusting published a cool, in depth article on this a few years ago:
However, it wasn't until the inevitable sequel, HALLOWEEN II, that the idea of making the Final Girl, Laurie Strode, Michael's sister and the reason for his obsessively murderous intent, that things became very intriguing. This was even taken a step further in 4 and 5 with Laurie's daughter (and Michael's niece), Jamie, becoming The Shape's newest target. In 4, it was briefly explained that Strode died in a supposed car accident, leaving young Jamie motherless (this was written into the script since Jamie Lee Curtis didn't want to do another sequel). The character's name was an homage of sorts to the actress. Of course many fans wanted Ms Strode back and got their wish eventually in HALLOWEEN H20 and to a lesser degree, HALLOWEEN RESURRECTION (my least favorite franchise film). Even HALLOWEEN 6 THE CURSE OF MICHAEL MYERS had its moments, mostly bringing back Tommy Doyle (played by a young Paul Rudd) and a deadly Celtic cult tied to Myers, which interestingly ties loosely into the original film's novelization.
I'll be honest with you. And I didn't always feel this way, but the older I've gotten and the numerous times I've watched these films, the more I think they could've just avoided the somewhat implausible familial connection as an explanation for his relentless bloodlust. Why as such an uber Halloween fan do I say this? Because in 1963, when 6 years old Myers inexplicably kills his teenage sister in her room on Halloween night, his parents did...what exactly? In their grief and loss, decide to have another child right away? Think about it. Then in 1978, 15 years later when Halloween the movie begins and we're introduced to Laurie, the slightly shy and bookish high school student. The timing is a little off, if I'm being honest. Or did Michael's parents divorce after the horrible tragedy in '63, one or both remarry and either another child is conceived soon or they gain a very young stepdaughter? It's just one of those loose ends that's never really explained after the sister angle reveal in the sequel. Personally, they could've just skipped the sister connection altogether and kept Laurie as the "one who got away" or survived Michael's night of terror, the original Final Girl, if you will...and thus, spurring his undying bloodlust.
With 2018's self-titled reboot of sorts, given the thumbs up from Carpenter as creative consultant, we see everything after the first film discarded, including the sister connection. HALLOWEEN KILLS, delayed til October 2021 due to the pandemic, and the final film, HALLOWEEN ENDS, will be anxiously awaited by us die-hard fans, for sure. I'd be remiss in not mentioning the Rob Zombie remake of the first two films. As a fan of both his music and films, I enjoyed his revisionist take and more psychological approach, though brutally violent...which given it was an RZ flick was to be expected. And seeing a much older Danielle Harris, who played Jamie in 4 and 5, portraying Annie, was a nice touch. However the followup wasn't as good, even with the always amazing Malcolm McDowell playing Dr Sam Loomis.
Which leads me to my last argument or point concerning why HALLOWEEN rocks, has stood the test of time as one of horror's greatest most iconic movies, and has been my personal alltime favorite: Sam Loomis.
Dr Loomis with his indefatigable and dogged pursuit of his psychopathic young patient of 15 years, the ever present tan trench coat (and his legally registered handgun), makes the perfect addition to this classic slasher horror triumvirate. While he's sorely missed in the latest installment (he'd be much too old anyway, let alone still living), Loomis was the penultimate boy (or man, in this case) who cried wolf. No one listened to him until it was too late. And he has some of the best dialogue or memorable lines in horror film history, most notably his conversation with Sheriff Brackett while they search the Myers' house. Dr Loomis tells the sheriff, "He had the blackest eyes...the Devil's eyes." That line gives me chills almost every single time.
Speaking of goosebumps, has their ever been a more recognizable and chillingly brilliant theme music than what John Carpenter composed himself for his movie all those years ago? I don't think so.
I'd also be remiss in not mentioning the influence this film series has had on horror and horror films. For example, when it seemed like horror in general had been in a rut during the mid 90s, along came a new slasher film called SCREAM from Wes Craven. Part homage, part darkly funny but certainly bloody, SCREAM elevated what a good slasher flick could really be. It exploded, revitalized public interest in horror and slashers, spawned several sequels and is rumored to return in the near future with a new feature film installment. In the original film, during the infamous party sequence, a tv can be seen playing HALLOWEEN, the director's nod to this groundbreaking low budget slasher film.
So that's it, folks. There's been a wealth of HALLOWEEN gruesome goodness over the years to keep us die-hard fans happy, from collectible merchandise, clothing (my favorite sites for those are Fright Rags, Terror Threads and Gutter Garb...quality product with great customer service!), and several books such as anthology fan fiction to the sometimes pricey out of print novelizations and more! Long live HALLOWEEN...
P.S. for those interested, I wrote a short piece of HALLOWEEN fan fiction called "Halloween: The Beginning" and posted it on my blog many years ago. You can find it here:
Friday, August 21, 2020
Needless to say, in most respects, this year has sucked. We all know why, and while I hope this pandemic that has affected all of us in one way or another begins to lessen its spread, with schools reopening (fuck what the supposed experts think...this is the worst idea largely pushed forward by pure political BS, but I digress...), Covid-19 is unfortunately going to be around for the foreseeable future and beyond. Vaccines will take a while to be approved after lots of testing and then distributing, well, you get it.
I've been thinking about the foreseeable future and beyond with my professional writing. My latest self published release (see my blog's previous post for details), Night of the Pumpkin God, had been delayed from its early 2020 release to just last month (mainly due to issues related to the pandemic and everyone's crazy hectic schedule, myself included). Normally, I'm working on a first draft of a new book, and sometimes editing/revising another book. I've got several things planned and thought I'd list them here for anyone interested. Most will be self published horror books (ebook and trade paperback), but one will hopefully be published with an indie horror publisher.
So here goes...
The Ravening -- the novel mentioned above that I'd love to see published by one of the horror genre's many fantastic independent publishers. It's a scifi horror novel set on the Florida gulf coast at an island beach resort. A deadly organism of alien origin surfaces and is inadvertently brought ashore, turning ordinary, everyday people into ravenous killers. A hurricane is bearing down on the area and a handful of people have a slim chance of thwarting it from spreading. Final draft completed. Full novel length.
Bloodletting -- the sequel to my horror novella Roseblood. Rose Valentine runs The Thorny Rose, an semi-upscale stripclub just outside of the rural North Central Florida town of Tuckton. Rose runs a tight ship and is very protective of her girls and staff. And the townspeople leave her alone. Mason Kreel grew up in Tuckton, and returns home after his ailing mother passed away. Both Rose and Mason harbor dark secrets, but they converge one night when a sadistic psycho sexual killer arrives in town. First draft completed. Short novel length.
No Laughing Matter -- a short story collection, bringing together my first two self published ebook shorts, Clowning Around and The Last Chord, along with 4 new stories involving a supernatural being known as Tricksy the Clown (or Mister Tricks) and his other sinister identity, Mister Black. The longest story explains this demonic entity's origin and concludes with a final climactic story...or does it? First draft completed.
Island of Devils -- this is currently a WIP. Sequel or more of a followup to The Ravening because while it's a totally different story, it involves several characters from the aforementioned. The special ops group known as UMBRA is being shut down after their director suddenly dies. Intel has reached them that may provide them valuable clues as to where The Collective (a clandestine organization made up of alien/human hybrids that has infiltrated human society with nefarious intent) has made their base of operations. Dane Frost, former Navy Seal and interim director at UMBRA, goes rogue with a ragtag team made up of operators and former Collective members to find this secret base. And destroy the hideous mastermind known as The One. But can they reach the mysterious island off the coast of Northeastern South American in time? Do they even have a chance of stopping the horrors running amok on what some call Isla de Los Demonios? Full length novel planned.
Bloodlust -- the third and final book in what I'll call the Roseblood trilogy. In the Afterword of the novella, I share how Roseblood was originally a short story called "Roseblood," and was my first published horror story. Upon completing the first draft of Bloodletting, I kept thinking about a potential third story, novella or short novel, and soon came up with a rough idea and jotted down notes. Mason Kreel will play a part, along with more of the shadowy group he works for known as The Organization. Someone affiliated with them discovers who Rose might be, after what transpired in the previous book, and wants to not just find her, but to take her against her will. And there will lots of bloodshed and death! Novella or short novel planned.
Well, that's what I've got on tap to keep me busy for the duration of 2020, into 2021 and beyond.
You can find my ebooks and trade paperbacks at bn.com here, and my ebooks on Amazon here. I always appreciate the support and honest reviews. Also, I welcome requests from horror book bloggers and reviewers for digital review copies, so hit me up via social media or my author email firstname.lastname@example.org.