Book to be Published

Well, the contract is signed.

My novel THERE IS DARKNESS IN EVERY ROOM will be coming out from Mirror Matter Press, a sister imprint of Sinister Grin Press.

Originally sent to Sinister Grin, the editor liked the story but thought it would be better served coming out under the Mirror Matter line. At first I wasn’t too sure about that. I wrote a Cosmic Horror novel, not Sci-Fi. However, once talking to some of the other authors, I saw that a lot of the books in Mirror Matter’s line were much like mine – plus I could still market it as horror as I would like, while possibly tapping another audience.

Things are still in their early stages so I don’t have a release time frame yet, but I’m guessing late 2016, early 2017. I’m excited to dive into the editing and marketing aspects. If anything, I’m nervous about tackling the cover art, only because I know what a stickler I’m going to me. I’m angling for work more like Jonathan Janz or Brett McBean covers from their Sinister Grin line – minimalistic, and nothing too pulpy.

But the book is getting published. That weight has been lifted. I’ll get to share this story with the public, and that’s what matters.

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Going for that Contract

The road to get published has been much longer and far more stressful than I had initially imagined. I’m basically waiting on a contract to be sent back to me right now, manically refreshing my email to see if it’s come in yet. I want this to be over.

I finished writing this book in November of 2015. While my editor was going over the full manuscript, I sent a proposal to a publisher I had worked with before. It was the beginning of February before they got back to me, informing me they weren’t interested. I was pretty disappointed, but I knew there were other publishers. Unfortunately, I had missed most of the open calls for the year. I had to call in favors and use a lot of networking skills to get my book submitted.

I got it in 5 places and then I waited. And waited. One place got back to me in a month and said they weren’t interested. One place eventually told me they were moving my manuscript up to another editor. I voiced my frustration on social media, and a wonderful editor from a 6th press voiced interest. He proved to be invaluable help with a number of questions over the next month, a great friend and mentor.

Finally, I was contacted by one of the presses. They liked my book, but not for their horror line – for their sci-fi line. At first I was a little put off. I felt I had wrote a horror novel wth sci-fi elements. What should I do? But I talked to my dad, my editor, my best friend, the editor from the other press, and 2 authors from that line… and my mind was eventually made up. Go for it.

So unless there’s something insane in the contract, I’m going to sign it. I’ll be able to get my story into the hands of more readers, which is all I ever wanted.

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Top 5 Horror Collection of the Last 5 Years

I’ve read so much great horror fiction in the last few years, it’s hard to keep track of it all sometimes. Thank Cthulhu for Goodreads. I’ve been lucky enough to rarely stumble across anything that really didn’t live up to expectations. More often than not, I’ll read things that blow me away. Recently I read two collections that were so breathtakingly good, I now consider those authors influences. All of the authors on this list, really.

Chronologically, these are the best five horror collections I’ve read in the past five or so years. The first was published a bit longer ago that that, but I didn’t read it until around 2012. Regardless, I feel these collections are stunning examples of the genre.

#1. THE IMAGO SEQUENCE by Laird Barron – This was the first book that scared me in over a decade. Barron’s created mythology is subtle and terrifying, his prose dense and effective. There is an Americana flair to his nihilism, one that I’ve never seen anywhere else, naturalism running on course with cosmic madness. I can’t recommend this book enough.

http://www.amazon.com/Imago-Sequence-Other-Stories/dp/1597801461/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

#2. AUTUMN IN THE ABYSS by John Claude Smith – Smith brings the New Weird into the Arts, deliciously balancing the concept of creativity with horrific visions. Art is his muse, the imagination itself on trial in these tales, woven together by a singular character who appears throughout. Smith’s work is both evocative and repulsive.

http://www.amazon.com/Autumn-Abyss-John-Claude-Smith-ebook/dp/B00IQKD9TU/

#3. THE WIDE, CARNIVOROUS SKY by John Langan – I felt inept as a writer after I finished this collection, it’s so wonderfully conceived. Langan is also a professor, and it shows, his work so carefully and expertly crafted. You feel the weight of the expertise coming out of the words, his prose delivered unlike any other.

http://www.amazon.com/Wide-Carnivorous-Other-Monstrous-Geographies-ebook/dp/B00EB04U4W/

#4. FURNACE by Livia Llewellyn – After reading a single story by Llewellyn in an anthology, I knew I had to read more by her. Her prose is dark and exquisite, an ethereal combination that draws the reader into her weird tales. These stories burrow into your head and nest there, slowly gaining strength in your psyche. Truly phenomenal.

http://www.amazon.com/Furnace-Livia-Llewellyn-ebook/dp/B01BG1PM2C/

#5. WILL THE SUN EVER COME OUT AGAIN? by Nate Southard – A fantastic collection of four novellas, Southard writes a gritty cosmic horror that is both relatable and epic. His work reaches out and grabs you by the throat, then drags you kicking and screaming down familiar territory into nightmares you’re unprepared for. Unbelievable work.

http://www.amazon.com/Will-Sun-Ever-Come-Again-ebook/dp/B00V3YYWRE/

 

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Music for Books

I’m sitting here listening to a live set by The Glitch Mob on their Soundcloud. It’s mostly them remixing stuff by other artists, but it’s not bad. The Glitch Mob is one of my favorite groups. I listen to them a lot when I write. They have that perfect contemporary, dark, epic feel for my work. It’s the same reason I listen to a lot of 65DaysOfStatic, another favorite band.

My tastes have evolve a lot over time. I barely listen to the same stuff I listen to 10 years ago, rarely listen to anything I listen to 20 years ago. I’m always seeking out new music. Some of that has to do with my writing. Every big project I work on has its own soundtrack, music set aside especially for that writing. The last book I wrote was written to the post-rock acts God Is An Astronaut and Collapse Under The Empire. The book I’m almost finished with has been penned to nothing but Lana Del Rey. The sounds just fit the stories.

The next book is going to be comprised of four distinct novellas. While all cosmic horror, they’re all drastically different in theme and character. I always pick out my soundtracks first. It looks like I’ll be writing to the subtle electronica of Aes Dana, the post-core rock of Bring Me The Horizon, the pop sensibilities of Sia, and the atmospheric post-rock of Caspian. Perhaps one of these might change during the process, but I think I’m pretty set. I listen to everything and my writing needs what it needs.

I’m still looking for a publisher for TIDIER and BATS should be done with its first draft here within a week. After that it’s off to an editor. At that point I begin compiling notes on my next book, AIBAIV. Hopefully new work from me will be available soon.

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Books in April ’16

I’ve read a number of great books recently. I’ve long thought about posting my reviews here, along with Goodreads and Amazon, but something about that feels disingenuous to me. So for the time being I’ll simply fanboy over the things I’ve recently absorbed without going into too much detail.

“Eidolon Avenue” by Jonathan Winn was a fantastic book, a collection of five connected novellas. All told from the POV of different apartments in a tenement on Eidolon Avenue, these stories were wonderfully wretched. Mostly horrible characters facing horrible fates. I next found myself in the pages of “Furnace” by Livia Llewellyn. Her dream-like, literary darkness is enthralling. Both surreal and ethereal, she’s a weird horror author for this new millennium. Many of her tales will stay with me.

“Will The Sun Ever Come Out Again?” by Nate Southard was an exceptional collection of four novellas, all gritty cosmic horror. Southard deftly merged the epic and the noir into something unique, something relatable and it’s amazing. I will certainly be looking for more work by him. Gemma Files wrote “We Will All Go Down Together,” a fascinating book about witches told through an interconnected series of short stories and novellas. The format was unlike anything I’d ever seen before and her handling of the subject matter was wildly engaging.

Currently I’m reading “Pandemonium” by Daryl Gregory. I’d long heard of him, but finally got around to reading one of his books. I can’t believe how imaginative his world-building is, yet how down to earth his storytelling remains. An incredible book.

There’s a number of books I’m looking to score next, including “Mister White” by John C. Foster and “The Complex” by Brian Keene. Who knows? My moods change as often as this damn weather.

 

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