Showing posts with label Author Spotlight. Show all posts

This book's title comes from the reality that - like a moth to the flame - we're all just one event, mishap, or decision away from t...



This book's title comes from the reality that - like a moth to the flame - we're all just one event, mishap, or decision away from things that could change our lives forever.

What would you do if fate led you astray into a grim world where you encountered vengeful ghosts, homicidal maniacs, ancient gods, apocalyptic nightmares, dark magic, deadly space aliens, and more?
If you dare, why not find out?

Read for yourself the twenty-two gloriously provocative tales that dwell within this book - but be warned, some of my dear readers have experienced lasting nightmares...



What attracted you to the genre(s) you write in?


Loved horror comics as a child

What part of writing do you consider a chore?


Reading my own hand scribbled notes and typing the min

Where were you when you first thought "I need to write this story?"


At work. Day dreaming.

Did publishing your first book change your process of writing?


Oh yeah. I'm not the same person.

What's your favorite "bad review" that you've gotten?  


Someone was very angry with me because my story gave them nightmares. Well, it was a horror story, but I felt bad...

What comes first for you - the plot or the characters?


Plot first. It's better for me if I have a story line before I insert characters.

Do you have any writing superstitions?


Don't write about things that are too real. We all deal with sad things in our lives. I'd like for people to escape from that, even if it's only for a little while.

Is there a word you find yourself using too often when writing?


Said. But I minimize its use whenever I can (not by substituting alternatives if I can - using too many of those can be a distraction to reading, he quipped).  

A lot of authors have a soundtrack while writing. Are there are songs you had on repeat?


Two Steps From Hell by Epic World - quite uplifting and mysterious

Do you have a favorite line that you've written? What is it and why do you like it?


'For the new NASA spokesperson, Mr. Argyle Goldtoe, is a sock puppet.' A comedy story about how NASA is taking a new approach to PR. Irreverent yet relevant. 

What is something about the genre that annoys you?


How some people perceive it to only be about gruesome subjects, not real life happening to take an unusual turn. 

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Write like no one is reading. :)

What advice would you like to pass on to aspiring writers that is unconventional but true?


You have value. Never forget that. Write your story. Not someone elses.

Do you have a WIP? If so, can you tell us anything about it?


New sci-fi/ horror novel. I'm thinking about the bigger plot now. When I get better structure, I'll frame out the chapters.

Which of your characters was your favorite to write and why?


I wrote a story about a submariner. He led a simple basic life in a horrible war, only wishing to go home and be with his loved one.

Would you and your main character get along?


I think so. We're both very easy going.

Killing off characters your readers love - Risky or necessary?


Without a purpose - nope, throw the book across the room time. For a noble cause or sacrifice, it could work, but it must be relatable to the reader.

Did any of your characters surprise you while you were writing?


They're often quite bossy, telling me what to do.

You've watched a movie 50 times and you still aren't tired of it. What movie is it?


Raiders of the Lost Ark. I was a movie theatre usher. Saw it 4 times a day when I worked for over a year.

Which animal (real or fictional) would you say is your spirit animal and why?


No idea. Probably a common dog because I'm very simple minded at times when it comes to relationships.   


Would you rather live in a haunted mansion or a cottage surrounded by fairytale creatures?


My parent's house in Maine seemed to have haunted aspects. I don't know what to think about that, but it was scary at times. Let's go with fairy tale creatures as long as they're the nice ones.

What would you say is your weirdest writing quirk?


I look at regular life and see stories waiting to be written. 

Using only emojis, sum up your book.


:)

You've just gone Trick or Treating. What do you hope is in your bag? 

Zero bars. I love them - white fudge and crunchy stuff. 

What is in your internet search history (researching for your book) that you would want someone to wipe if you were under suspicion from the police?


Can't say - the police will read your blog. Okay, yesterday I looked up Grey Aliens. 

You wake up in the middle of the night from a nightmare. What was it?


Showing up to school naked. Yeah, it's been awhile...

What cliched tattoo would your main character have?


mom

What movie completely scarred you as a child?


I'm ancient, so it's the Wizard of Oz.

What's the strangest thing a fan (or other author)  has said to you?


Nuke em til they glow, then shoot em in the dark.

If animals could talk, which one would be the rudest?


Cats. They can be quite sarcastic.

Your main character is at the hardware store. What do they buy?


A survival knife.

If you were bitten and changed, would you want it to be by a vampire or a werewolf?


Werewolf. You get to keep your day job. 

Which of the Golden Girls is your personality most like?


Dorothy. IRL, she was once a marine. I wasn't, but I relate.

What are your SM links? Can we follow you and pretend we're besties? 


I'm not sure what Sado Masochism links are available but you can find me on Facebook.


You're riding through the desert on a horse with no name. What are you going to call it?


GoogleMaps please.

Thanks so much for participating in the Author Spotlight! Anything you'd like to add?

I can only aspire to write better. My inspiration, from the 1987 Bulwer-Lytton Contest: “The notes blatted skyward as the sun rose over the Canada geese, feathered rumps mooning the day, webbed appendages frantically pedaling unseen bicycles in their search for sustenance, driven by cruel Nature’s maxim, ‘Ya wanna eat, ya gotta work,’ and at last I knew Pittsburgh.”


Jeff has a long history of technical writing, which oddly enough, often reads like pure fiction. In addition to his two short story books, The Captivating Flames of Madness and Algorithm of Nightmares, he is published in The Horror Zine, The Best of The Horror Zine: The Middle Years, The Horror Zine’s Book of Werewolves, The Horror Zine’s Book of Ghost Stories, Aphelion Webzine, Year’s Best Hardcore Horror Volume 4, Dark Gothic Resurrected Magazine, Chilling Ghost Short Stories, Dystopia Utopia Short Stories, Wax & Wane: A Coven of Witch Tales, Thinking Through Our Fingers, The Moving Finger Writes, Golden Prose & Poetry, Our Dance With Words, The Voices Within, Fireburst: The Inner Circle Writers’ Group, Second Flash Fiction Anthology 2018, SNM Horror Magazine, and Bonded by Blood IV/ V. He is currently seeking a publisher for his first novel titled Tomorrow Will End, a sci-fi/ horror adventure. For more propaganda, visit his Facebook Author Page [https://www.facebook.com/OfficialJeffParsons/].  


DEATH IS FUNNY SOMETIMES through this collection of 13 stories of horror and science fiction. Among them are… ANOTHER WILD NIGHT AT THE F***...



DEATH IS FUNNY SOMETIMES through this collection of 13 stories of horror and science fiction. Among them are…

ANOTHER WILD NIGHT AT THE F***ED HEN – A former punk rocker turned bar owner protects his patrons from the latest blitz of vampires who aren’t thirsty for beer.

ONE HUNDRED DEGREES AFTER MIDNIGHT – A wrongly convicted man’s final hours on the planet before his execution on death row.

DEAD KID AT A SLEEPOVER – Fun nostalgia trip of a typical sleepover with friends in the 1980s. Just with a dead kid.

SAL & SON – A butcher shop owner seeks revenge against New York mobsters after his father is killed for failing to pay protection money. This one is for slasher fans.

POSTCARDS FROM CHERNOBYL – A young girl who is immune to radiation takes a stand against a government experiment to dominate the world during the nuclear arms race of the 1980s.

MIKE & MANDY FIGHT THROUGH THE END OF THE WORLD – Mike and Mandy were ready to finalize their divorce and start a new life. But the zombie apocalypse screwed it all up. It was just one of those days.

HOW TO CATCH CRAWFISH AS TOLD BY RUFUS WHEELER – In the Louisiana bayou a down on his luck father makes a strange discovery while crawfishing and has hope it can give his son a better life.

SUPERFICIAL CRACKS IN A PORCELAIN FACE – An aging star of Italian Giallo cinema is not ready to retire.



What attracted you to the genre(s) you write in?


Quite simply -- I love horror and sci-fi, and my main heroes and influences are Ray Bradbury, Rod Serling and Robert Eggers. The story in my DEATH IS FUNNY SOMETIMES anthology titled ONE HUNDRED DEGREES AFTER MIDNIGHT was written as an homage to THE TWILIGHT ZONE. 

What part of writing do you consider a chore?


Outlining, but it is also my favorite part of the process.

Where were you when you first thought "I need to write this story?"


I have always been a fan of anthologies such as TALES FROM THE CRYPT and CREEPSHOW and wanted to write one of my own. Both were actually referenced in reviews I have received, and that felt really great. My current favorite anthology series is LOVE, DEATH AND ROBOTS on Netflix. 

A lot of authors have a soundtrack while writing. Are there are songs you had on repeat?


I like to listen to soundtracks from Studio Ghibli films at a low volume in the background while I write. I know, not the typical answer for a horror writer, but I find those pleasant scores help with my creativity and writing flow/rhythm. I did listen to a lot of music from the '70s and '80s while writing the stories that take place in those decades in the anthology book. 

What advice would you like to pass on to aspiring writers that is unconventional but true?


Not unconventional, but I would just say KEEP WRITING. 

Do you have a WIP? If so, can you tell us anything about it?


I am currently writing another anthology and it keeps with the fun vibe of DEATH IS FUNNY SOMETIMES. 

Which of your characters was your favorite to write and why?


Wiktor Wojna, mainly because he was the lead character of my first book, the crime novella SMORG WAR OF '84. 

You've watched a movie 50 times and you still aren't tired of it. What movie is it?


THE BLUES BROTHERS. 

Which animal (real or fictional) would you say is your spirit animal and why?


Probably just a dog because they are friendly. 

What would you say is your weirdest writing quirk?


I like to read all of my dialogue out loud while I am writing it, so sometimes it looks like I am having a conversation all by myself in my office. 

Using only emojis, sum up your book.


INSERT A SKULL AND A HAPPY FACE HERE. Haha.

You've just gone Trick or Treating.  What do you hope is in your bag? What do you pawn off on your kids/SO/random stranger?

Starburst and Skittles, and I would pawn off DOTS or Junior Mints.

What is in your internet search history (researching for your book) that you would want someone to wipe if you were under suspicion from the police?


I had to do some morbid research regarding the operations/procedures of a Medical Examiner for my short story THE JOY OF COLLECTING STAMPS & HUMAN REMAINS.

You wake up in the middle of the night from a nightmare. What was it?


I tend to have the same recurring nightmare where I get stuck in an elevator. And my short story A CHURCH AT TRADER'S CREEK was actually inspired by a weird dream I had where a preacher walked into a lake and did not resurface from under the water. 

What movie completely scarred you as a child?


THE SERPENT AND THE RAINBOW. I saw it when I was 12. Enough said.

What are your SM links? Can we follow you and pretend we're besties? 


I can be found on Twitter @MichaelAugust


MC August is a former editor from Chicago. That job sucked.


Publication date: October 13, 2020 Add to Goodreads Veterinarian Tom Copeland takes a job at a factory farm called Sunnyvale after a scandal...


Publication date: October 13, 2020


Veterinarian Tom Copeland takes a job at a factory farm called Sunnyvale after a scandal at his suburban practice. His job is to keep the animals alive for long enough to get them to slaughter.

But there are rumours of a strange creature living beneath the complex, accidents waiting to happen on brutal production lines and the threat of zoonotic disease from the pigs, sheep, cows, chickens and fish that the complex houses.

Suddenly, disaster rocks Sunnyvale and cleaners, butchers, security guards and clerical staff alike must come together under the ruthless leadership of CEO John MacDonald. Together, they’ll learn what happens when there’s a sudden change to the food chain.

Bon appétit.



What attracted you to the genre(s) you write in?


I write books that I’d want to read myself. Given that I read so many different genres, that probably explains why I write across multiple genres, too. But as a general rule, I’m attracted to darker, grittier genres because I think broken and ugly things are more interesting than things that are perfect.

What part of writing do you consider a chore?


Getting the words down is always a challenge because it leaves you feeling worn out, even though it’s also cathartic. But I think the biggest chore is promoting the books once they’re out there, because it’s an unforgiving task that takes up a lot of time that could otherwise be spent writing.

Where were you when you first thought "I need to write this story?"


That’s a good question. I think for me, it’s more a case that I constantly feel that I need to write and I just don’t feel happy unless I’m able to create. The particular story that I’m writing almost doesn’t matter because I have more ideas than I’ll ever be able to work on, so as soon as I’m nearing the end of one book, I start to think about what I want to work on next. 

Did publishing your first book change your process of writing?


Not really, but it did teach me the ropes. My first published book came out through a hybrid publisher called Booktrope, and that pretty much taught me the steps that I needed to follow to create a high quality self-published release. They eventually folded, but by that point I knew everything I needed to know to go it alone.

What's your favorite "bad review" that you've gotten?  


Ha! Well, I’ve had a few from other authors who sent me their books for honest reviews and then got annoyed when I gave them three stars and posted 1-star reviews of my books in retaliation. There’s also an ex-girlfriend who gave all of my books 1-star after we broke up. But my absolute favourite is probably the 2-star review I got from someone who just left the comment “I’m hoping to read this soon”.

What comes first for you - the plot or the characters?


They go hand in hand because the characters usually drive the plot and determine what’s going to happen next. For me, I normally start out with a concept and then the plot and the characters spring from that. With Meat, for example, I had the idea of a horror novel set on a factory farm and then I started to think about who might work there and what the horrors might entail.

Do you have any writing superstitions?


No, I’m not a superstitious person. I’m as sceptical as they come.

Is there a word you find yourself using too often when writing?


Yeah, “that”. I quite often write something like “he realised that the sun was going down” when you can easily shorten that to “he realised the sun was going down”. 

A lot of authors have a soundtrack while writing. Are there songs you had on repeat?


No. I’m a lifelong multitasker and so I often end up writing while watching YouTube videos or Netflix. While writing these responses, I’m watching The Boys from Brazil, a 1978 movie based on an Ira Levin novel. It’s not very good.

Do you have a favorite line that you've written? What is it and why do you like it?


Not really, although I do quite often make myself laugh when I’m editing my books and I read something that I wrote a while back and forgot about.

What is something about the genre that annoys you?


It depends on the genre, but most of them have at least something that annoys me. In general, I don’t much like reading romantic subplots, and it annoys me when I feel as though they’ve been added in just because people expect them, rather than because they serve the story.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?


Stick at it, ignore the people who tell you that studying creative writing at university is a waste of time and don’t worry because you’ll be able to make a living.

What advice would you like to pass on to aspiring writers that is unconventional but true?


Nobody cares about your writing until you make them care about it.

Do you have a WIP? If so, can you tell us anything about it?


Sure, I always have something ongoing. At the moment, I’m working on my self-edits for the fourth book in my Leipfold series of quirky cosy mysteries, which will go over to my editor and eventually to my publisher. That’s called Boys in Blue and sees Leipfold and the gang tackling a conspiracy that goes to the heart of government. I’m also slowly but surely writing a coming-of-age novel called Greebos that follows a group of schoolkids as they finish secondary school in a small town in the British Midlands in 2005.

Which of your characters was your favorite to write and why?


Most of the recurring characters in the Leipfold series. I particularly enjoy writing scenes with Maile and Leipfold in because they have great chemistry and they often make me laugh with the things they say and the interactions they have with one another.

Would you and your main character get along?


Yeah, probably. Most of my main characters are based on myself, at least to a certain extent.

Killing off characters your readers love - Risky or necessary?


Both, I guess. Again, it’s all about serving the story, so there’s no point killing them off just for the shock value.

Did any of your characters surprise you while you were writing?


All of the time. The more you get a feel for them, the more they start to feel like real people and to make their own decisions. It’s generally their dialogue that surprises me as opposed to the decisions they make, because the decisions are normally carefully planned ahead of time as part of my outline.

You've watched a movie 50 times and you still aren't tired of it. What movie is it?


I’m more of a TV series kind of guy, but it’s probably American Pie 2. Funnily enough, I introduced my girlfriend to the American Pie movies this weekend as she’d never seen them.

Which animal (real or fictional) would you say is your spirit animal and why?


A wolf, because they’re lonely animals that can also function in packs and they’re active at night. I actually have a tattoo of a wolf howling at the moon.

What would you say is your weirdest writing quirk?


I have something called “The Schedule” where I alternate between doing stuff on my computer, tidying my house and writing. There’s a whole set of rules to it and most people that I tell about it think I’m crazy, but it seems to work for me.

You've just gone Trick or Treating. 

What do you hope is in your bag? 

What do you pawn off on your kids/SO/random stranger?


Anything that isn’t vegan.

What is in your internet search history (researching for your book) that you would want someone to wipe if you were under suspicion from the police?


I think I’d rather they left it up there. That would confuse the hell out of them.

You wake up in the middle of the night from a nightmare. What was it?


I have a lot of them. I think in the last one that I had, I’d been kidnapped and was being taken somewhere on a train.

What movie completely scarred you as a child?


I’ve never been able to figure out what movie it was, but I remember my dad watching a film where someone got pulled apart by having their legs tied to a tree and their arms tied to a car that then accelerated off. That scene still lives rent free in my head.

What's the strangest thing a fan (or other author)  has said to you?


I always find it strange when people assume that I make enough to be able to live off my royalties. Maybe one day…

If animals could talk, which one would be the rudest?


Hah! Probably cats, they just don’t give a damn. And that’s why I love them.

Your main character is at the hardware store. What do they buy?


If it was James Leipfold, he’d probably buy something multifunctional like a Swiss army knife.

If you were bitten and changed, would you want it to be by a vampire or a werewolf?


Probably a vampire because they seem to be more in control of their transformations.

You're riding through the desert on a horse with no name. What are you going to call it?


Camel, for the irony.

What are your SM links? Can we follow you and pretend we're besties? 



Dane Cobain (High Wycombe, UK) is a published author, freelance writer and (occasional) poet and musician with a passion for language and learning. When he’s not working on his next release, he can be found reading and reviewing books while trying not to be distracted by Wikipedia.

His releases include No Rest for the Wicked (supernatural thriller), Eyes Like Lighthouses When the Boats Come Home (poetry) Former.ly (literary fiction), Social Paranoia (non-fiction), Come On Up to the House (horror), Subject Verb Object (anthology), Driven (crime/detective), The Tower Hill Terror (crime/detective), Meat (horror), Scarlet Sins (short stories), The Lexicologist’s Handbook (non-fiction) and The Leipfold Files (crime/detective).

His short stories have also been anthologised in Local Haunts (ed. R. Saint Clare), We’re Not Home (ed. Cam Wolfe), Served Cold (ed. R. Saint Clare and Steve Donoghue) and Eccentric Circles (ed. Cynthia Brackett-Vincent)


Publication date: October 14th, 2022 Add to Goodreads A hair-obsessed serial killer… A flesh-eating motorway pileup… A grotesque holiday ill...

Publication date: October 14th, 2022


A hair-obsessed serial killer…

A flesh-eating motorway pileup…

A grotesque holiday illness…

Forget what you think you know about the human body. In Rob Ulitski's debut short story collection, get ready for a thrilling, gut-churning ride through death, disease and destruction.

Boasting thirteen unique stories and a whole host of brutal bodily afflictions, 'Fleshed Out' explores the fragility of flesh and blood, and the gruesome ways our bodies can twist, contort and transform into our worst nightmares.




What attracted you to the genre(s) you write in?


I have always been a huge horror fan. From reading Stephen King at far too young an age, to my first film memory being the original Resident Evil (2002), I've always been attracted to the grislier side of life. 

Where were you when you first thought "I need to write this story?"


It was during the pandemic - my work as a filmmaker suddenly dried up, and I realised that I wanted a creative outlet I could do from anywhere in the world. 

Did publishing your first book change your process of writing?


Definitely. A lot of my writing before was far too lengthy and wordy. Knowing it was going to be published meant I got a far better editor than myself involved, and went through more drafts than I do with my personal writing. 

What's your favorite "bad review" that you've gotten?  


I haven't had any reviews at all yet, so this is still to come!

What comes first for you - the plot or the characters?


The plot! I think the plot really informs the characters, so it makes sense to me to start there and grow the characters from a certain problem or perspective. 

Do you have any writing superstitions?


Not yet! Maybe these will come as I write more haha. 

Is there a word you find yourself using too often when writing?


Surreal. Everything in my stories is surreal, so it's a word I try not to use now!

A lot of authors have a soundtrack while writing. Are there are songs you had on repeat?


Actually, it's quite obscure, but I used an industrial electronic soundtrack on a short film before, and I tracked down the guy who remixed it, Plaster Music. He had an EP out which I listened to on repeat every time I worked, and I feel hugely inspired and thankful for such an awesome soundtrack. It's this one. https://plastersound.bandcamp.com/album/in-between

Do you have a favorite line that you've written? 


The opening line of the first story in my collection: "Natalia was soaked through with blood, fresh tangles of hair dangling from her puckered lips."

What is something about the genre that annoys you?


I don't know if it's in the genre, but the fact that many authors have to hide the fact their books are horror, and call it 'supernatural thriller' or something like that to make it sell. It's one thing I'm very passionate about, making it clear that I am writing horror, and very proud to do so. 

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?


This writing malarky might actually materialise into something awesome and different opportunities, so stop using the word 'surreal' so much! 

What advice would you like to pass on to aspiring writers that is unconventional but true?


You don't have to have been writing for ages to publish a book. Just have a good team around you, and especially a good editor. 

Do you have a WIP? If so, can you tell us anything about it?


Right now I'm looking to expand an idea from my collection into a book series. 

Which of your characters was your favorite to write and why?


Helena in my short story 'Crystalline'. She has such a bad go of things, but still has hope and optimism for the future. 

Killing off characters your readers love - Risky or necessary?


In this genre, very necessary. 

Did any of your characters surprise you while you were writing?


Again, I think Helena. She held out hope much longer than I first thought she would. 

You've watched a movie 50 times and you still aren't tired of it. What movie is it?


Resident Evil (2002). For some people it's a guilty pleasure, for me it's just pleasure. 

Which animal (real or fictional) would you say is your spirit animal and why?


A llama. They're my favourite animal, though I've never had a good experience with them. I like the fact they just trot around doing their own thing, looking cute and avoiding any stress they aren't involved in. I like to think I have some of these qualities at least some of the time! 

Would you rather live in a haunted mansion or a cottage surrounded by fairytale creatures?


A haunted mansion. Think of the stories you'd have to tell! 

Using only emojis, sum up your book.


💪💀💇🐟 🩸🏭

You've just gone Trick or Treating. What do you hope is in your bag? What do you pawn off on your kids/SO/random stranger?

In the UK, we have these two chocolate bars called Bounty and Snickers. I'd give away anything liquorice flavoured.  

What is in your internet search history (researching for your book) that you would want someone to wipe if you were under suspicion from the police?


What happens if you eat a lot of hair. 

You wake up in the middle of the night from a nightmare. What was it?


Falling. Always falling or being on tall buildings about to fall. 

What cliched tattoo would your main character have?


I feel like Doug from the short story 'Doug' would have a cliche tramp stamp (UK lingo for cheap tattoos just above the butt crack) 

What movie completely scarred you as a child?


Deep Blue Sea 🦈

What's the strangest thing a fan (or other author)  has said to you?


Nothing yet! 

If animals could talk, which one would be the rudest?


Oh, cats. Definitely cats. 

Your main character is at the hardware store. What do they buy?


A spade... 

If you were bitten and changed, would you want it to be by a vampire or a werewolf?


Vampire! 

You're riding through the desert on a horse with no name. What are you going to call it?


Horseface. 

What are your SM links? Can we follow you and pretend we're besties? 


@robulitski on everything and @robwriteshorror just on IG - OF COURSE! 


Rob writes visceral, concept-driven horror stories, anchored by complex
characters and offbeat narratives.

Writing primarily in the body horror genre, his debut release, ‘Fleshed Out’ is
a thirteen-part short story collection which explores the “fragility of flesh and blood, and the gruesome ways our bodies can twist, contort and transform into our worst nightmares.”

Rob was born in Portsmouth, UK, and received his bachelor of arts in Film
Production from the University for the Creative Arts in Farnham.

Having trained in filmmaking, and working as a director and producer on
everything from music videos to shorts to feature-length anthology films,
Rob’s official writing journey started in 2020.

When not writing, he can be found watching cheesy 90s films, baking cakes
and haunting local bookstores.



Today's Author Spotlight is author Tyler Bell! Read on for the full interview. Publication date: September 17th, 2021 Goodreads In the d...

Today's Author Spotlight is author Tyler Bell!
Read on for the full interview.


Publication date: September 17th, 2021


In the dusty agave fields of the Guadalajara countryside, a peasant girl cuts a deal with the insidious thing living beneath her father’s house. An industrial accident aboard a space station in humanity’s distant future forces an unappreciated laborer to survive an unpredictable alien menace. A young man recounts his last days as the caretaker of a reclusive elderly woman in her remote - and possibly haunted - mansion. Welcome to the Westside Fairytales, where nothing is as it seems and everything is connected. A universe of possibility, horror, and madness spanning humanity’s past, present, and future. If you think you’re brave enough, and clever enough, then we entreat you to discover the mysteries of The Eyes Beneath My Father’s House.




Can you start out by telling us a little about your latest work? 


"The Eyes Beneath My Father's House" is a genre-spanning collection of ten horror and dark fiction short stories ranging from the coming-of-age tale of a young peasant girl who finds a demon living below her family home in the Guadalajara countryside, to a worker trying to survive an industrial accident aboard a space station in the distant future. It's available on Amazon and a few select stores in Appalachia!

Where did you get the inspiration to write this story?


From the blue collar work I've done my whole life and the people I've met in those jobs. I consider myself a sort of "working class" writer, and I want to represent folks not often seen in fiction.

When you developed the characters, did you already know who they were before you began writing or did they develop organically?


It's always a little of both, like knowing somebody's in a room but not really knowing them until you've met.

Which of your characters was your favorite to write and why?


Abella, the main character of the title story. She has an extremely intense story and things were always going to be hard on her. Seeing her develop and show off how resilient and resourceful she could be was amazing for me. The feedback from my fans on that character and that story has been amazing.

What was more important to you when you were writing: character development or plot?


Character development, for sure. If you don't care about the characters then why would you care about what they're doing?

What was one of the most surprising things you learned (about your story, about yourself, etc.) while writing?


Probably the shape and use of a tool called a "coa" that's used for harvesting agave. It's a really interesting tool (because of how spear-like it is) and it ended up becoming an important part of the story.

In your opinion what makes a good story?


Delivery of expectation. Stories usually come to people in two parts, an introduction that sets up the expectation and the payoff for that expectation. Usually people hunt for a story to feel some specific thing, and if they've felt that way by the end, had that experience, then I believe that was a good story.

How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?


It didn't at all, really, I'm still a coffee-addled hermit crab clacking away in my room until 4 a.m.

Do you read your book reviews? What do you consider "good" /"bad"?


I read all my reviews, it's like mainlining dopamine. Adrenaline if the review is mean, which I like as well because I'm kind of fucked up that way. I consider a review "good" if it addresses my story according to the expectations I had when writing it. I got a mean review one time that said, basically "these are clearly stories for girls," which is the finest compliment I could have been paid. That was my intention but the person didn't much like that about the stories, which ultimately made my day.

What led you to start writing?


I've always loved reading and I couldn't read when I walked to school, so I would make up stories in my head to pass the time. Eventually I started scribbling those down and here we are.

Do you have any writing superstitions?


Not really. I have a sort of ritual I always do before I start writing, which is to absolutely distract myself as much as I can from the story until I hit the "breaking point." Then I just drop everything and start typing. Usually for like four to six hours at a time.

What attracted you to the genre(s) you write in?


I write in so many genres its kind of hard to say, but I think I just like certain aesthetics of each one. Horror, specifically, mixes well with everything else (sci-fi, fantasy, western, romance) that it's like the salt I use making any dish. Mostly, I think I don't really write in a genre, but a "vibe," like the feeling of pulling a rough, warm jacket tighter over your shoulders while walking through the woods in a snowstorm. The comfort and the discomfort, perfectly juxtaposed and resonating in a perfect way.

What is one of your favorite words? OR Is there a word you find yourself using too often?


"Slipping, slipped." The concept of "slipping" is just so powerful to me. Not so much in the comical context, but in the way the sun slips beneath the horizon or you find time slipping through your hands and one day nobody recognizes the references you make. That powerful, intangible feeling is a wonderful pretense to set in any dark story.

What are you currently reading?


"The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness" by Michelle Alexander. Really good.

A lot of authors have a soundtrack while writing. Are there are songs you had on repeat?


Like, insane nightmare shit nobody should listen to. "Somewhere at the End of Time," by the Caretaker. Random crap from Modulgeek. "City Song" by Daughters usually gets me going, and I'll always listen to all of "Dummy" from Portishead when I get a chance. Special shout out to the soundtrack to Pathologic, as well.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?


"Start now you fucking idiot."

What are a couple of your favorite movies to kick back with to relax?


"Jacobs Ladder" for sure. Absolutely a "try-hard" answer, lol, but that whole film just has a vibe to it that makes me feel very relaxed.

Which animal would you say is your spirit animal and why?


Bears. Sleepy, cuddly, and little grumpy is basically how I live my life.

Would you rather live in a haunted mansion or a cottage surrounded by fairytale creatures?


Haunted mansion surrounded by fairytale creatures. I love home improvement and unicorns, what can I say?

What is something about the genre that annoys you?


Probably the lack of great criticism within the genre. There's a lot of support for traditionally published authors in the critic sphere, but honestly not a lot of honest criticism for bad work from subpar and mediocre authors. Especially those authors related to certain iconoclasts within the genre.

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?


I have an EXTREME ocd when it comes to ending the final sentence of a paragraph at more than about 30 percent of the total paragraph length. This sounds insane, but basically my brain cannot accept ending a paragraph with just a single- or two-word sentence carrying into the last line. I'll rewrite entire paragraphs or work around entire concepts in order to get those goddam paragraphs squared to my liking. It's a sickness. 


Are you on social media and can your readers interact with you? What are your links?


I'm on all the relevant socials and I talk to people all the time. I love interacting, answering questions, and even dropping hints at stuff I'm working on at the time. @WSFairytales on twitter, Westside Fairytales on Insta and Facebook, and WestsideTyler on TikTok.

Do you have a favorite line that you've written? What is it and why do you like it?


Probably, "He parted his lips and sang for the tiger, hoping it could hear," from my story "Within as Without" about a former soldier hunting a group of men through an abandoned city after the end of a long war. It's the final line in the story and really sums up the feeling of the whole thing. I don't know exactly why, but I still read it and feel a little emotional. 

What advice would you like to pass on to aspiring writers that is unconventional but true?


Create your own style guide, stick to it when you can, and constantly find ways to amend it and perfect it. Don't necessarily write it all out -- I didn't -- but make sure you have a set of rules that you write by in mind at all times. Know why you're doing things, why you're making the decisions you make, and you'll find yourself happier with your end product more often than not.

Do you have a WIP? If so, can you tell us anything about it?


I literally just finished writing a 210k word monster of a story called "Sin Carriers," about a motely crew of criminals and misfits on a train headed eastbound from the West Coast in the early 1900s. On the way they have to survive encounters with monstrous creatures, horrific locales, and each other as they head deeper into a truly American nightmare. It's going to serve as the sixth season of my podcast The Westside Fairytales, and will start airing hopefully sometime this spring. It's free wherever you listen to podcasts and you can learn more at westsidefairytales.com!

Thanks so much for participating in the Author Spotlight! Anything you'd like to add?


Head over to Amazon and pick up a copy of my book, "The Eyes Beneath My Father's House" in paperback and ebook, and go to westsidefairytales.com to learn more about me and my podcast! Thanks for reading and Stay Safe Out There!



Tyler Bell is a USMC combat veteran, the host, author, and creator of the award winning Westside Fairytales podcast, and a former crime and courts journalist with bylines throughout the United States. He released his first collection of short horror and dark fiction stories "The Eyes Beneath My Father's House," in September of 2021, which LEO Weekly said "… deserves to be considered by the editors of the horror genre’s best-of annuals.” He currently lives in Louisville with his wife, Sam, their two rabbits, Marcel and Rosie, and their dog, Buck. Visit westsidefairytales.com to learn more about Tyler, the Westside Fairytales podcast, and "The Eyes Beneath My Father's House."




Today's Author Spotlight is author Daniel James! Read on for the full interview. Publication date: October 27th, 2021 Links:  Amazon  | ...

Today's Author Spotlight is author Daniel James!
Read on for the full interview.


Publication date: October 27th, 2021


Beneath the streets of Liverpool lives a hunger. One bloody and insatiable. It skulks through the many secret tunnels and passageways that run like sandstone gullets to the domain of an ancient and horrifying madness: The Shelton Family. Good, honest, Christian, and monstrous in mind and body. The hunger is theirs, and it yearns for heathen blood. It yearns for salvation. It yearns for vengeance.
The Merseyside Druids, a sect decimated by the Sheltons and their terrible creatures over centuries of warfare, have one last chance at survival: Abigail Harwood, a young woman raised in ignorance of this long-standing holy war. She is about to learn the truth of her family roots, and the power of blood. She could be the Druid’s last hope.


Read now





What's your latest release? 

Heathens. A novel about a decimated group of modern druids fighting a losing war against the mutant aristocratic Catholics dwelling under the city of Liverpool.

Can you start out by telling us a little about your latest work? 

It's about a young woman raised by foster parents, who learns to her horror, that some suspicious friends of her biological parents need to take her into hiding before some very unpleasant creatures/people discover her. From then on its all guerilla druids and bloodshed and fighting for survival.

Where did you get the inspiration to write this story?

I had never written a novel set in my hometown, and felt it was something I should do for variety. Plus, it seemed to work out okay for Clive Barker and Ramsey Campbell.

When you developed the characters, did you already know who they were before you began writing or did they develop organically?

Sometimes I have characters pretty fleshed out beforehand, but just as often I have to develop them around a new story idea.

Which of your characters was your favorite to write and why?

The whole cast of Hourglass, because it's the beginning of a series, which allows me to pour so much into a growing world of supernatural arse-kicking and monsters. It's basically my passion project.

What was more important to you when you were writing: character development or plot?

Both are integral and compliment each other.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned (about your story, about yourself, etc.) while writing?

I learned how anti-social I am, ha-ha. Seriously, I learned how great it feels to purge your ideas onto the page. Like a colonic for the brain.

In your opinion what makes a good story?

Likable characters are paramount. Naturally, the story needs to be engaging, with a good pace and interesting stakes, but even with those elements, the characters have to be likable and memorable enough (villains too!) to carry the reader through.

How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

I realised how bad my first effort was, and knew I had to practice, practice, PRACTICE.
I'd like to say I've improved some.

Do you read your book reviews? What do you consider "good" /"bad"?

Yes, I read them, only because I'm not exactly inundated with them. The first time you get a bad one sucks, but equally, when you get a good one you're floating on air. The most annoying ones are bad ones because the reader/reviewer was a dope e.g. penalising your work because they don't like that genre...? It's like, "Then why pick it up in the first place?"
 

What led you to start writing?

I had grown bored at university, and decided to put some of my ideas down on paper. Turned out I loved it, even though it was woefully amateurish. But time and experience are great teachers.

Do you have any writing superstitions?

Yes, I think that by being a stressed-out and moody ar#!hole it might somehow elevate my craft. Hope it's working!

What attracted you to the genre(s) you write in?

Robert McCammon, Dan Simmons, Clive Barker, and F. Paul Wilson. Pure imagination, with healthy doses of violence.

What is one of your favorite words? OR Is there a word you find yourself using too often?

I swear under my breath too much. So much so I annoy myself sometimes.


What are you currently reading?

Broken Souls (Eric Carter #2) by Stephen Blackmoore, Dogs of War by Adrian Tchaikovsky.


A lot of authors have a soundtrack while writing. Are there are songs you had on repeat?

Whoops, touched on this earlier. Yes, too many too count. Normally fist-pumping rock anthems or super atmospheric 80's synthwave. It's better than caffeine.


If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Do it for the love of creating characters and worlds, because its a damn hard job, particularly the promotional side!


What are a couple of your favorite movies to kick back with to relax?

Anything by James Gunn (particularly Super), or Romero's Day of the Dead.


Would you rather live in a haunted mansion or a cottage surrounded by fairytale creatures?

Are the fairytale creatures ravenous carnivores or playful and whimsical? I'll take a gamble and hope the fairytale creatures aren't fresh from a Brothers Grimm story.


What is something about the genre that annoys you?

I'd rather not say for fear of inciting a torch and pitchfork mob.


What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

I like to make my action set-pieces as cinematic as possible. I also like to emphasise on the antagonists almost as much as the protagonists. I didn't realise that was even a noteworthy thing, but a few reviewers have picked up on it.


Are you on social media and can your readers interact with you? What are your links?

I'm on Twitter @DJauthor85


What advice would you like to pass on to aspiring writers that is unconventional but true?

Make some awesome playlists to help tune out and motivate you. Personally, I stick to hard 80's rock and synth wave, but you do you.


Do you have a WIP? If so, can you tell us anything about it?

Well, my next book, The Ferryman's Toll (Hourglass #2) is already finished, but I don't want to release it until I've wrung Heathens dry. So in the meantime I've been working on a horror screenplay, which makes a nice change of pace from writing novels. Some of it is based on my experience as a hospital domestic, but a bit more bizarre, Faustian, and body horror-ish.

Thanks so much for participating in the Author Spotlight! Anything you'd like to add?

Thanks for reading my waffle, Valerie. You're a legend!

Daniel James is a fantasy/thriller/horror author from Liverpool, England.

When not writing, he loves reading genre fiction and comic books, watching movies, listening to music, and playing guitar (he also used to play bass in a few local rock bands).




Today's Author Spotlight is author L.N. Mayer! Read on for the full interview. Publication date: September 30th, 2021 Links:  Amazon  | ...

Today's Author Spotlight is author L.N. Mayer!
Read on for the full interview.


Publication date: September 30th, 2021


The sequel to TELL, OR THE ADVENTURES IN THEMIDDLE.

Some want Tell dead, others want to exploit him. Most want him to go away and never return. Can Tell claim what is rightfully his in order to abolish the decree that made him an outcast in the first place? Or will his quest for power be his own undoing? This time, it will take more than just another adventure. It will take resolution, willpower, and mastering the one thing Tell has yet to conquer... his imagination.


Read now




What's your latest release? 

Yves, or the Man Who Wasn't (the sequel to Tell, or the Adventures in Themiddle)

Can you start out by telling us a little about your latest work? 


My latest work is the sequel to Tell, or the Adventures in Themiddle. It's called Yves, or the Man Who Wasn't. If I had to describe the series in five words: "Strength of will meets imagination."

Where did you get the inspiration to write this story?


SPOILER ALERT :) When I was a senior in college, I scribbled the beginning of an idea about a boy trying to make sense of a nonsensical world in the margins of one of my economics textbooks. It was only a few years later as I kept chipping away at the story that I had the idea to write the arc of a would-be villain over the course of three books. The premise: What would be the trials and tribulations of a 12-year-old boy who could manifest anything he imagined, without knowing he had such a power? My drive to finish the story is because I care deeply about the underlying message: Each of us possesses the power to manifest the things we imagine.

When you developed the characters, did you already know who they were before you began writing or did they develop organically?


I developed them ahead of time through character development exercises.

Which of your characters was your favorite to write and why?


One of my favorite characters to write was a double-bodied character named Weekend & Weekday. Simply put, he's a man with two bodies. He was fun to write because his internal conflict and self-doubt manifests as a running conversation he has with himself. I also liked his character because he's someone who always wants to do the right thing despite his inner turmoil.

What was more important to you when you were writing: character development or plot?


Both!

What was one of the most surprising things you learned (about your story, about yourself, etc.) while writing?


Ooh, I like this question! The thing I've learned over the past few years is that if you have absolutely no motivation to sit down and work on your writing, there's a 99.9% chance that once you force yourself to sit down, you'll actually work on your writing.

In your opinion what makes a good story?


The unexpected ;)

How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?


I started taking more care to map out my chapter plot structures. I highly recommend this method because it forces you to clear up your ideas. The exercise is simple: 1) Write down what happens in the chapter, then 2) Explain why it happens (how the chapter is contributing to the overall plot).

Do you read your book reviews? What do you consider "good" /"bad"?


Not all the time. For me, a bad review would be one that I feel misses the crux of the story. Unfortunately this is just sometimes the reality!

Do you have any writing superstitions?


I do believe that my most creative writing is late at night... I also am becoming increasingly convinced that good song-writing only happens if you sit down and write song lyrics on one take!

What attracted you to the genre(s) you write in?


I wasn't attracted to the genre so much as I wanted to write a specific story and had to pick a genre. In the case of Tell, or the Adventures in Themiddle (and the sequel), the book is classified as coming-of-age action adventure for upper middle grade and young adult.

What are you currently reading?


On the Shortness of Life by Seneca

A lot of authors have a soundtrack while writing. Are there are songs you had on repeat?


I admire those who can listen to music while writing!

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?


Seek out life experiences--those will make for some of the best stories :)

What are a couple of your favorite movies to kick back with to relax?


Because I'm currently writing for an upper middle grade audience, I'll say The Neverending Story, The Princess Bride, Muppet Christmas Carol, The Labyrinth--all of these movies had a profound impact on me when I was younger. I was completely smitten with the characters and the world-building. The last film I saw that I loved was the latest Dune film with Timothée Chalamet. The soundscape and the images were amazing!
 

Which animal would you say is your spirit animal and why?


My English cocker spaniel, Oslo

Would you rather live in a haunted mansion or a cottage surrounded by fairytale creatures?


Cottage surrounded by fairytale creatures, of course!

What is something about the genre that annoys you?


That readers are often conditioned to expect a certain type of format within the fantasy genre.

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?


Again, you have such great questions! I have a silly way of rewarding myself after typing up my hand-written notes on my laptop. To feel like I've accomplished something, I stamp my notes with a date stamp that includes the French word 'SAISI' (the equivalent meaning in English would be something like "logged"). It is so silly... but so effective :)

Are you on social media and can your readers interact with you? What are your links?


Yes! Via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, you can find me at @lnmayerofficial

Do you have a favorite line that you've written? What is it and why do you like it?


"Sensitive sense how senselessness stows lessons sense can borrow." I like it for so many different reasons, primarily because logical explanations are not the answer to everything ;) It's also a reminder to loosen up a bit and to not take oneself so seriously.

What advice would you like to pass on to aspiring writers that is unconventional but true?


Don't wait for someone to label you a writer. Give yourself permission to call yourself one.

Do you have a WIP? If so, can you tell us anything about it?


Yes, it's the third and final book in the Tell Trilogy. I'll tell you that one of my favorite characters in the series makes her debut in Book 3...


L.N. Mayer is the author of the coming-of-age fantasy novel, Tell, or the Adventures in Themiddle and its sequel, Yves, or the Man Who Wasn't. When she isn’t spending her weekend mornings writing or editing, she enjoys reading and listening to The New York Times Book Review podcast.