More nightmares last night. Some of them were so horrific, I’m not comfortable sharing them here despite this blog evolving into a dream journal of sorts. Let’s just say I more or less lived out scenes from my latest novel We Are the Accused. And yes, I’m linking to the book, because I’m broke and need the money.
I reached the midpoint of my dinosaur apocalypse novel today. I punctuated the end of the book’s first half with the sort of scene that made me uncomfortable to write. Since I write horror, I guess that means I’m doing my job.
School starts tomorrow. I hope the nightmares subside, mainly because I’m really going to need the sleep. I see my therapist on Wednesday (for financial reasons, I can only see her once a month). Hopefully, she can offer some insights, and maybe even some technique for dealing with these awful dreams.
I was talking to my pal Shane McKenzie about them. We entered a discussion about life’s balance, and how pleasant (though sometimes sad) my dreams were when my head was falling apart. Now that my waking life feels somewhat ordered and aimed towards a purpose, my dreams are more frightening than ever. Is this balance necessary? I don’t know. Smarter people than us probably have that answer.
I’m delighted to show you the cover for my next book, Saint Sadist, which will debut this March from Grindhouse Press. This image is perfect for the book, given its content and themes, which is crazy considering the image existed prior to me writing the book. The art is by the incredible George Cotronis, who is one of my favorite cover artists in the game today. Check this shit out.
I’ll provide more updates as they come. In the meantime, don’t forget my newest book We Are the Accused is out now via Sinister Grin Press, or you can grab my collection Engines of Ruin via Crossroad Press if you’re more in the mood for short fiction.
Weekend was nice. Got a lot of writing done, made a little money, bought some pet fish, and started putting a new bookcase together. School starts on Tuesday. Updates may be a bit more sporadic after that, but I will try to keep up as best I can. I enjoy writing these blogs quite a bit, and I hope you enjoy reading them.
Super-excited to announce that my super dark book, Saint Sadist, has been accepted for publication this March by the fine folks at Grindhouse Press.
Here’s a brief synopsis:
Pregnant with her father’s child, nineteen-year-old Courtney is a girl on the run, willing to do anything to make her way on the road. When a car accident leaves her wounded by the side of a desolate highway, she is taken in by an environmentalist doomsday cult led by the enigmatic Saint Ambrose. Ambrose is a charismatic preacher and ex-environmental scientist who gave up everything after claiming to see the face of God. When he meets the seemingly vulnerable Courtney, he is taken by her beauty and her wounded soul. Now, with the promise of salvation hanging in the balance, Courtney must undergo a series of trials, each more painful and humiliating than the last, her incestuously conceived baby growing in her womb and a strange presence visiting her at night telling her that Ambrose has lost his way and it is she who must overthrow him. Much blood will be shed. Saint Sadist is a dark erotic thriller for fans of Martyrs and Nymphomaniac.
So yeah, it’s a pretty gnarly story. Very nasty, but not without moments of transcendence and beauty.
Finally got a good night’s sleep last night. It required forcing myself to stay awake until after midnight. I’m sure I dreamed, but I don’t remember many details.
It’s been a weird week. If you’ve been following this blog, you know my novel We Are the Accused was released on Tuesday. Release weeks always stress me out. Maybe it’s because I’m still fairly green, but damn, I found myself engaging in unhealthy obsessive behaviors. I refreshed the Amazon page for the book every hour or so. I constantly checked Twitter. I re-read the book and noted everything I would now do differently. I ate lots of candy, chocolates, and a massive piece of cheesecake. Last night, I finally managed to talk myself down from the ledge, hopefully averting a potentially extended manic episode.
It’s scary putting yourself out there. Once a book is published, it really is the point of no return, and We Are the Accused was such a personal book in which I took many risks and plumbed some really dark places, it frightened me knowing that it now lives in the wild and has to fend for itself. I imagine it’s something like sending a child off to college.
I wonder if this anxiety will decrease with each subsequent book release. Let’s hope so. My sixth was accepted by a publisher last Sunday (still can’t give details), and I now have a seventh and eighth lined up. At least this time I managed to call myself out and remind myself of what I can control. This list included writing a blog today (check), writing 1500 words on book 7 (getting there), finish cleaning the upstairs (this afternoon), and acquiring books for classes next week (also this afternoon).
We can only control so much. Reminding myself of this works wonders on my mental health.
Now I just need to kick this cedar fever. What’s cedar fever, you ask? Move to Texas and you’ll find out real quick. Just prepare to hate having sinuses.
In closing, I just wanted to let y’all know that my friend Josh Blakesley interviewed me over on his blog. We talked about writing as a spiritual practice, books that made me cry, and my newest releases. You can check it out here.
Today sees the release of a book that took so much out of me, I didn’t finish another for over two years.
WE ARE THE ACCUSED
A mad god lusts for power. Two demon lovers lust for death. An ancient man seeks to devour plagues natural and supernatural.
All converge on the small town of Blue Brook, Pennsylvania to wage war unlike any other, yet strangely familiar.
Bianca is an Afghanistan war veteran turned police detective whose ex-con high school sweetheart has just come home. Boone is a boy entrusted with immense power and living with a mother who’s struggling to hold their family together. Lafferty is a priest with many secrets.
All are caught in the middle of something beyond their understanding. The inner and outer darkness of each doomed soul must be faced.
Last night I got exciting news about my novel, Saint Sadist. I will share further details once the contract is signed. It will be my sixth published book.
In a week and one day, I start my final semester of college.
I couldn’t sleep much last night, but it wasn’t from nightmares or distress. I’m frankly just excited about a lot of things. Things are happening with this writing stuff, and not just works being published. Ideas I’ve had for YEARS are coming together, forging new, full-length projects. My brain is making connections that now seem so obvious, but eluded me for so long.
You’ve got to celebrate the victories. They are rare, wonderful things. For instance, this is my tenth post since starting this blog last month. It’s cool that I’m staying, more or less, pretty consistent. Granted, my posts aren’t particularly long, but really, anytime someone else’s post runs over a thousand words, I almost always find myself skimming, so perhaps brevity is best. I can’t be the only one who feels this way.
I’ve really missed blogging. I think it’s the best way to kickstart a day of writing.
So begins the third week of new year. Last week was difficult, but I’m forging ahead. 2019, you look tough, but I’m tough, too, and I’ve been reading Robert E. Howard’s boxing stories. You want a fight? You’ve got it.
I watched a 1988 movie called GROTESQUE last night. It had a lot wrong with it. Pacing issues. Bad effects. Lack of focus. A terribly silly ending. And yet. And yet I enjoyed myself. Been a while since I sat alone in the dark and watched a dumb horror movie. There’s something incredibly comforting about that for me. Weirdly enough, during my recent streak of nightmares, I was watching very little horror. It’s as if consuming horrific things satisfies the things that give me nightmares.
I finished writing a novella yesterday called Parasite Patch. It will be the first of a series of stories featuring the pulp hero Gerald Hawke. He and his partner Audrey travel the world investigating and often fighting all manner of supernatural menace. His books chronicling these exploits have given him a significant amount of success and he’s trained in various forms of martial arts. Trouble is, he is rather squeamish. The goal is to release four or five of these, one a month, and later collect them into an omnibus later this year. It sounds ambitious, but these stories are a lot of fun to write. Working on them feels more like play than work. I hope they’re just as entertaining to read.
Found this crazy thing at Half Price Books.
I considered picking it up, but holy crap! While the laserdisc itself was cheap, laserdisc players are anything but! I’m curious (and this question goes out to all the collectors out there). Are laserdiscs, like vinyl records, actually a superior medium, despite being deemed obsolete? Also, if anyone has a lead on a reasonably priced player, please (pretty please!) let me know.
There’s something primordially fascinating and rewarding about rediscovering treasures. There’s glory in garbage. Or splendor in crap, to paraphrase Michael Chabon (who loves BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES even more than I do). Sometimes it’s an iconic frame in an otherwise messy film. Sometimes it’s art made by a problematic person. Sometimes it’s an enlightening psychedelic trip during a period of wretched excess. Sometimes it’s falling in love at a funeral. Sometimes it’s the stories of Lester Dent, Robert E. Howard, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and H.P. Lovecraft appearing in dime novels.