People beat up on themselves for breaking things like New Year’s resolutions. I think it’s dumb. Goals and approaches to reaching those goals are fluid things. With that in mind, you can expect a blog here every week, not every day. I will continue to serialize ONE AND ONLY and post an introductory blog before each entry. I think that’s the best way to use this space and my time.
I’d initially intended to release ONE AND ONLY in parts on Amazon in a desperate attempt to game the algorithms, but given the experimental nature of this project, I think I’d rather offer it here. There will be a new chapter here weekly and revised digital editions of each part (4 total) for pay-what-you-want every month or so.
Will there eventually be a physical book? Yes. Eventually. It’s a long-term goal, but not a huge priority. The explicit purpose of this project is for you to get a little insight into my process from beginning to end. Give you a chance to experience the metanarrative.
Besides, I have enough collaborations in the works to fill my release schedule for the next two years. No need to interfere with that.
I was going to blog about the allegations against my favorite artist, but frankly, my take doesn’t matter.
Anyway, today will be spent working on ONE AND ONLY’s next chapter. It will be ready by Monday, along with notes on the inspiration behind it.
Yesterday, I turned 36. I spent much of the day eating good food and playing Magic the Gathering: Arena. My partner and toddler made my day special. They usually do. We spent time in the backyard and went for a brief walk.
My partner got me a heavy bag so I could practice what limited kickboxing strikes I know and stay in shape. My mother-in-law sent me a $50 Amazon gift card. I also received a bunch of nice messages.
Aside from this blog, I didn’t do any writing.
Progress was slow on Spider God this week, but I’m sure I’ll get back to it this week.
It’s been a time for reflection and pause.
Outside, the apocalypse continues. I can’t imagine doing this without an internet connection or alcohol. Supposedly, we’re going to reopen America, but the America we knew is gone. The world we knew is gone. I’m under no delusion things will be the same. My partner says the world is always changing, which is true, but this feels bigger and much scarier.
I’m tired and not okay, but at least I’m not alone.
This weekend I tabled at Wizard World’s Austin Comic Con with my friends Max Booth III and John Wayne Comunale. Between meeting readers, we talked all the joys and frustrations of this writing life. We also debated Midsommar and the new Creepshow series, caught up on small-press gossip, and talked shop in general.
We met a ton of new people, some of them aspiring writers themselves and others just excited about books. I thought about giving shout outs, in case some of these wonderful folks drop by my blog but I’m bound to forget someone and don’t want anyone to feel left out.
It’s been a tumultuous eighteen months for me. Talking to my buddies reminded me I’m not the only one who’s struggled. Due to lots of ongoings in our scene and my own mental health issues, I’ve reevaluated who my friends are and who I intend to keep as mere acquaintances. When I first got into this writing scene, I wanted to be everybody’s close friend. As I’ve continued doing my thing, I’ve been reminded of how unrealistic such a goal is.
At the end of the day, you’ve got to decide whose flaws are worth tolerating and whose aren’t.
But the ones who you really gel with and don’t prove themselves toxic are goddamn priceless. I never expected to get rich doing this writing stuff but I did expect to make some of the best friends I’ve ever had. That expectation has been exceeded over and over.
I’m happy to see John Wayne doing well for himself. He’s one of the hardest working writers I know and it’s nice to see it pay off. The two secrets to his success, I think, are his positivity and his nearly militaristic organizational skills. I work hard and I’m positive. Organized? Not so much. That’s something I intend to work on once National Novel Writing Month is in the rearview.
Speaking of. That’s going well. I’ve got 21,000 words on a new manuscript and had a major breakthrough that allows me to combine two narratives I really enjoy into one book. I won’t say much except it’s a coming of age cosmic horror novel. I think there’s a lot to explore by marrying those subgenres. Lots of cool opportunities to play with opposing themes.
I grabbed and already read the first issues of Chaotic Flux, Kinetic, and Lady Frankenstein and the Mummy’s Brain, plus an old issue of Marvel’s Chamber of Chills and the first trade of a series called Cover of Darkness. I don’t read comics often but when I do, I tend to enjoy them. Indie stuff seems to be where it’s at these days, as in literature as well.
I’ve been able to write the books I want to write thanks to the small press. I hope eventually I’ll get to do this for a living but that’s still a ways off. And honestly, things are pretty good. The reviews for Saint Sadist reflect exactly what I wanted the book to do. I’ve got a decently paying screenplay gig in the works. I’ve got two releases slated for next year.
Also, this anthology just went up for preorder: The Big Book of Blasphemy, edited by David G. Barnet and Regina Garza-Mitchell, it features stories by Brian Keene, Ryan Harding, Wrath James White, Monica O’Rourke, myself, and many, many more. My story, “Sister Scar,” is basically a Hemingway-esque WWI story but nunsploitation. You preorder The Big Book of Blasphemy right here.
Last but not least, Blood and Brimstone, the sequel to Flesh and Fire has come to an end. It’s serialized on my Patreon the last few months. You can read it in its entirety here.
That’s it for now, gang. Take some time this week to appreciate the people in your life. You’ll be glad you did.
I’m about to make what will likely be one of my final passes on Extinction Peak, my dinosaur horror novel. Some of my work comes from my subconscious and flows rather easily. This book was not one of them. I wrote the first draft almost five years ago. The version that exists today has only the title in common with that old draft.
Weirdly, this book will likely be more fun to read than some of my other titles. It relies heavily on world-building and action, not symbology and style. That’s not to say it lacks depth. If you’re looking for it, my thesis will present itself. That’s all I’ll say about that for now.
Jeff Burk made it official the Monday after Killer Con, so I’ll announce it here: Extinction Peak is set for publication in 2020 by his new press Section 31 Productions.
The following is an excerpt from the novel All I Need, first in an exciting new romance series by debut author Jamie St. John. If you enjoy this excerpt, you can pick up All I Needright here.
Kylie – Now
His mouth is a doorway to magical taste and
sensation. I melt with desire to melt with him. Our tongues dance, like our
bodies so recently, but with more force, like no amount of contact is enough.
With each writhing motion I want more. The kiss is everything Holy Communion
should be, a sharing of flesh, divine and dripping with sweet revelation.
pulls away, I lunge forward, needing him back in my mouth. Another song starts,
but the spell doesn’t break. I’m ravenous for him. He says something about
getting a room, and somehow I manage to answer.
me again, and we leave the club in a rush, sole passengers on a bullet train
burning carnal fuel. Somewhere between the club and the hotel, I realize I
never bought the second round of drinks, and start laughing like a crazy
and asks if I’m okay, if I’m sure I want to do this, if maybe I’ve had too much
to drink. But the only thing I’m drunk on is the need to be as near to him as
possible. I’m in danger of thinking beyond the night, about what might happen
tomorrow morning when I wake up in his arms, if I wake up in his arms, if he
doesn’t leave before dawn’s first light. I think about what might happen if I
see him again before my vacation is over. I think that I’m thinking too much
and quell my thoughts with another deep kiss.
everything about this. I love that we’re still in costume, our faces covered by
masks. I love that I don’t know his name. More than anything, I just love how
caught up in it I am, back in New Orleans and pulsing with expectation.
hold it together while I pay for the room. I overcome his objections, first by
telling him that he bought me a drink, then by telling him that if he buys us
breakfast tomorrow, we’d be square.
woman at the front desk can barely contain her smirk as I fumble with my credit
card. She knows what’s up. I can read it all over her flushed face as she hands
me the receipt.
she says with a wink.
elevator ride to the room on the fifth floor is too long. I want him now. We
share few words. Mostly, we just look back and forth at each other, giggling
like children and occasionally sharing more kisses as reminders of what’s
coming later and can’t come soon enough.
abuzz, it takes three tries to get the room key to work. He asks again if I’m
sure I want to do this. He says we can stop whenever, and I believe he means
it. There’s no whiny disappointment in his voice. His features hold concern,
but it’s clearly concern for me, not for whether or not he’s getting laid
tonight. I’m a good reader of people and his expression exudes empathy.
than sure,” I say, and with that, I finally get the door open.
enter the room, time slows down even more than in the elevator, but this time,
I don’t resist it. It’s always better to take your time.
I cross the
room and face him. He hasn’t moved from the doorway. He watches me for
instruction. I love a man who can let go of control. While I don’t deny the
existence of benevolently dominant men, I’ve yet to meet one myself.
one: masks stay on.”
number two: you will wear protection.”
Should I run down and get some? I think there’s a convenience store across the
necessary. I always carry condoms in my purse, because, well, I guess you never
I watch him
closely for one sign of judgment, one indicator that he’s the type of man who
would shame me. Believe it or not, even in the twenty-first century, such men
says. “That will save us some time.”
then. I can tell he is a little nervous now.
worry. I’m healthy.”
just… well, I guess I don’t normally do this.”
sounds like a line, but for some reason, I believe you.”
“I also, I
dunno. I kind of get the feeling that you don’t either.”
Now, that’s a shocker.
we still had our drinks, I’d say we should toast to trying new things.”
and I join him. After something like fifteen seconds, we stop.
gets undressed first?”
should do it together. On three?”
like that.” Then he bites his lip. “Well, maybe I should get a head start. This
hat leaves me more to shed.”
enough,” I say, glad to get a full view of that fantastic hair.
the hat and I stare, admiring the wavy locks. I can’t believe how thick they
are. I can hardly wait to run my hands through them.
We take our
time. I don’t know how much time has passed before we’re fully naked, but I’m
grateful for it. Anticipation is my favorite part of lovemaking. We stand
there, examining each other. I’m not crazy about letting men give me a full
inspection when I’m disrobed, but something about this man is so disarming, I
want him to see me naked, to examine the goods before he signs on the dotted
line. I even do a little twirl so he can look at my ass and whatever else
catches his fancy back there. I’m partial to the back of my neck, myself, a
space of flesh tattooed with a butterfly.
I face him
again and can see he is pleased. I try not to notice a man’s cock before
anything else, but in this case its’ challenging not to. He’s rock hard, and
his length extends so that the head of his penis reaches his navel.
that houses the organ is not too shabby either. Clothed, he appeared
deceptively wiry, almost frail and birdlike. His large hands should have been a
dead giveaway though. He is anything but frail. His abs are like eight polished
stones lined up in two perfect columns. Pecs are similarly smooth, and just as
firm. His arms are lean and sinewy. His legs are like a runner’s. Aside from
some strange pink scars near his color bone, his body is pretty much flawless.
Either he’s got a great workout regimen, or he was grown in a lab from
I utter a
breathy “wow,” before I can stop myself.
“Wow bad or
I take a
step toward him. “I think you know.”
the distance between each other. The eye contact holds steady with each step.
It’s like we’re in a trance, each of us a space particle caught in the
gravitational pull of the planet between us, a world made up only of our mutual
and I’m pleased to discover that we’ve lost none of our momentum. It’s like
we’re dancing again, this time even closer together, connected at even more
points, with nothing to keep us apart. We dance our way to the bed.
his way down my torso, each touch of his full lips a warm drop of exquisite
oil. I stop him at my waist, taking a fistful of hair that feels as amazing as
let me first,” I say. “If we go straight from blowjob to sex, you probably
won’t last long.”
that’s incredibly forward.”
knocking your stamina. It’s just physics. If I get you to an eight on the scale
of flaccid to thar she blows, and then put you inside of me, it will be over
way too quickly.”
You’re really confident about your head game.”
you to the brink. Then you can go down on me. Then intercourse. Longer lasting
intercourse, especially with the aforementioned protection.”
can help himself, he’s in stitches, cheeks flushed and laughing like he’s heard
the latest, filthiest version of The Aristocrats joke.
say, trying to stifle my own giggles.
his breath. “I guess I’m not used to this kind of honesty or planning.”
“Is that a
kind of nice, actually.”
Then get your ass on the bed and let me suck your dick.”
up straight and salutes, which looks all the more ridiculous given his nudity.
sprawled out on the bed waiting for me.
up would it be if I just left?”
wouldn’t even bring your clothes?”
I grin big
and get down on my knees between his muscular thighs. When I take him in my
mouth, he gasps and grips the bedsheets in tight fists.
Oh, he’s gonna be a fun one.
And he is.
Everything is. It’s great. As close to a perfect lay as one is apt to get,
But then a
collapse on top of him, spent and climaxed out with my juices a puddle in and
around his crotch, after we’ve gone through positions tried and true and even a
few new ones, and after he comes, filling the condom with his pleasantly
scorching seed, and it feels so good I almost wish I hadn’t made him wear one,
after all that, the worst thing I can possibly imagine happens.