Coffin Hop 2011! (updated)

Hello, Hoppers!  Welcome to my little corner of the internet.  I guess I should let you in on who exactly I am and what I’m all about.  My name is Wesley Southard, and I’m a published horror writer.  It’s nice to finally be able to say “published” after four years of writing (Originally, when I decided to start writing, I started work on a novel I had envisioned, and three years later, with a much-needed kick to the ass from a few good people, I had to re-learn how to write short fiction.).  As of right now I have three short stories sold (*update* I just recieved another acceptance today, so that makes 4!), one of which is currently in print and a part of my giveaway (see bottom).  If you’d like to know more about my fiction or who I am or what-have-you, just click the links at the top of the site to my “about”, “biblio”, and “appearances” sections, and even my Facebook and Twitter Pages (links on the left of the page).

Orignally, I was going to write a very lengthy blog on why I believe Hollywood horror is on it’s deathbed with its remakes and reboots and sequels and prequels and oh God someone–anyone–stop the madness!  But after writing nearly three quarters of what was turning into a bitchy “woe is me!” blog, and realizing that the traffic coming through my site this week is going to spike greatly, the last thing I needed to look like is a total dick in front of people who I’m trying to entertain.  So I’ve decided, in honor of the Coffin Hop, the Halloween season, and everyone being writers or general fans of horror, I’ll let you in on a few of my favorite books of 2011.  I know many people out there know the bestseller horror generals–King, Zoontz, Saul, Matheson–but what you may not know is that there’s a whole other side to horror, a dark underbelly, a side the general buying public may never have the privilege of getting to know.  So being the nice guy that I am–and not to metion, a voracious reader–I want to share with you a few books that I know, like me, you’ll devour this dark holiday season…along with the candy you should be passing out to the little ones.

First up is Back from the Dead by J.F. Gonzalez.  For the second year in a row, Gonzalez steals my first place trophy for the best novel I’ve read this year (last year, that title went to his Morningstar Press novel The Corporation).  Though I admit I’m not the world’s biggest zombie fan, Back From The Dead is without a doubt one of the best zombie novels I’ve ever had the privilege to come across (and, yes, that includes The Rising as well).  Gonzalez doesn’t rely on the fact that the novel it is a zombie novel, but the strength of his characters and his amazing storytelling skills.  Much like Wrath James White’s The Ressurectionist, Back From The Dead, by sheer frustration for the main character’s plight alone, it will force you keep glued to the pages until the last line is read.  Don’t believe me?  Read it for yourself and tell me I’m wrong.  I assure you, I’m not.

Earlier this year, I was fortunate enough that Robert Ford allowed me to be a pre-reader for his novella Samson and Denial.  I’m sure as shit glad he did.  Even from page one, you can practically hear Samson’s thick Philly accent, smell the greasy cheesesteaks he’d had for breakfast and the cigarette smoke stained in his shirt.  The story follows Samson Gallows, a pawnshop owner, who recieves a mummy’s head from a bum as his day’s trade.  From there, his day goes to hell and back with the guesome murder of his bother, the kidnapping of his wife, and the Russian mob breathing down his neck.  Mr. Ford’s stellar debut is not one to be missed, packing more of a punch in 125 pages than most can do in 350.  If you dig stories of crime, the occult, and magical mummy heads (…and women running down the street topless), then this is your kind of book.

And lastly we have Grease Monkey and other tales of Erotic Horror by british horror legend Graham Masterton.  Anyone that knows me personally knows that I’m a huge Masterton fan, and with over 35 years of quality fiction, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be either.  Grease Monkey is a collection of Masterton’s best erotic horror stories, from 1980 to 2007, with very little left to the imagination.  This array of perverse stories range from the supernatural (“Bridal Suite”) to the cringeworthy (“The Jajouka Scarab) to the bizarre (“Camelot”) to the downright deranged (“Sex Object”), there isn’t a bad story in the bunch.  And with some of the most obscene interior artwork you’ll ever lay eyes on, this is one book you should not miss.  I’ll admit, the price is a bit steep ($75) but after reading only a few stories, you won’t care in the least.  Mansion House Press is creating some of the nicest limited editon harbacks that money can buy.  I currently own their editions of Masterton’s “The Sphinx” and Edward Lee’s “The Chosen,” and both are incredibly gorgeous books.

***

Alright, the moment you’ve all been waiting for–the contest!  Here’s the skinny: I’m going to give you the first paragraph to a modern horror novel (one of my personal favorites) and all you have to do is tell me the name of the novel and the full name of the author.  Simple as that.  Just place your answer in the comment section before midnight October 31st, and on November 1st everyone’s names who had the right answer will placed in a hat and randomly drawn for the prize pack, which includes:

1. A hardback editon of Big Book of New Short Horror from Pill Hill Press, signed by your’s truely (wink, wink).  It contain’s my debut short story “With Many Thanks to Newark.”

2. A Big Book of New Short Horror postcard. (nifty, right?)

3. A rubber shrunken head. (body not included)

4. A light-up skull mug. (fill with your favorite beverage)

5. And two Halloween pens, featuring the likenesses of Dracula and the Grim Reaper.

The winner will be contacted by the email address that you submit with your comment, so please make sure that the email address you use is correct.

And here’s the opening paragraph:

Later, they would all wonder how they had not guessed the truth.  He was waiting in the snow, but after climbing into the car he did not seem cold, his breath did not condense, he appeared calm and composed.  He did not act like a man that needed help.

Hint: This british horror author’s novel of too-close-to-home terror was first released as a hardback in 2001 and was subsequently released in paperback in 2003.

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Thanks for stopping by, Hoppers.  I hope you do decide to check out one, if not all, of these great books, including my own as they are released.  Alright, time to “hop” to the next 99 author’s pages.  To do so, just click on the picture link either at the top of the blog or at the top left of the page to take you to www.coffinhop.blogspot.com so you can check out the massive author list and all of their great blogs this week, and their numerous, numerous giveaways.

Have a Happy Halloween, be safe, and remember…stay scared!

Coffin Hop Prize Pack!

Come One!  Come All!  Gather round, kiddies.  If you didn’t already know, I’m participating in the Coffin Hop Blog Hop 2011, and like most of my fellow writers involved, I’ll be having my own contest to prove just how much you like to read those books that keep you up at night and sick in the head.  Starting this coming Monday, at the bottom of my blog, I’ll post the first paragraph of a modern horror novel and your objective is to simply give me the name of the author and the book from which the excerpt came.  It’s as simple as that!

Here’s the goodie bag (box) that you can win:

1. A hardback editon of Big Book of New Short Horror from Pill Hill Press, signed by your’s truely (wink, wink).  It contain’s my debut short story “With Many Thanks to Newark.”

2. A Big Book of New Short Horror postcard. (nifty, right?)

3. A rubber shrunken head. (body not included)

4. A light-up skull mug. (fill with your favorite beverage)

5. And two Halloween pens, featuring the likenesses of Dracula and the Grim Reaper.

And there you have it!  Name the book and author, and win all of this stuff!  Hell, I’ll even give you a few hints to help you along.

See you on Monday, hoppers!

Now Available: Big Book of New Short Horror (Updated: Now with pictures!)

That’s right!  After four years–and one very shitty hiccup involving what should have been my first story in print–I’m proud to present my first real short story publication!

Pill Hill Press is proud to present Big Book of New Short Horror.  This massive anthology contains 58 (that’s right–58!) brand new stories of terror from horror’s brightest up-and-comers to keep you wide awake well into the night.

Did I mention there are 58 stories?  That’s 200,000 words of brand new fiction!  It’s available in E-Book, trade paperback, and trade hardback (I know, right?  A hardback for my first publication!).

E-Book: Kindle and Nook

Amazon: Trade Paperback and Trade Hardback

Barnes and Noble: Trade Paperback and Trade Hardback

Pill Hill Press Shoppe: Trade Paperback and Trade Hardback

My contribution is called “With Many Thanks to Newark” (about 4000 words), and I’m extremely proud of this tale.  The story itself came out of a very bad flying experience I had earlier this year, not only being stuck for several extra hours in the Cleveland airport, but my other flight being delayed from a massive, unforseen snow and ice storm that caused my Chicago to Indianapolis plane ride to be re-routed to Louisville (my parents were waiting to pick me up in Indy, so you can just imagine the anger over the phone over following few hours).  Though the actual story has little to do with my actual experience, the seed was planted (along with a nudge from two very good friends) and what eventually came out is what sits between the pages of this amazing book.

Here’s the description: With his father dying in a hospital bed several states away, Tesh Hagman boards a plane of nightmares where not everyone is quite what they seem.  “Why the hell is everyone smiling?”

I do hope you’ll check the anthology out (no, I won’t be the type of author to beg you to buy my fiction, but I will give the link to where you can buy it if you so choose), and please let me know what you think of the story, either here or on Facebook or Twitter.

This only the beginning, everyone.  Where we go from here…well, that up to my imagination.

TRADE PAPERBACKS

TRADE HARDBACKS

Currently Reading

Occationally, I’ll post what I’m currently reading, to give you a bit of insight on what I’m into.  If something I’m reading is worth praising, I’ll post it here.  It may not be a full review of the book, but I’ll tell why I like it and will give a link on where to purchace.

I’m currently enjoying the hell out of “Grease Monkey and other tales of Erotic Horror” by Graham Masterton.  Anyone that knows me personally knows that I’m a huge Masterton fan, and with over 35 years of quality fiction, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be either.  “Grease Monkey” is a collection of Masterton’s best erotic horror stories, from 1980 to 2007, with very little left to the imagination.  This array of perverse stories range from the supernatural (“Bridal Suite”) to the cringeworthy (“The Jajouka Scarab) to the bizarre (“Camelot”) to the downright deranged (“Sex Object”), there isn’t a bad story in the bunch.  And with some of the most obscene interior artwork you’ll ever lay eyes on, this is one book you should not miss.  I’ll admit, the price is a bit steep ($75) but after reading only a few stories, you won’t care in the least.  Mansion House Press is creating some of the nicest limited editon harbacks that money can buy.  I currently own their editions of Masterton’s “The Sphinx” and Edward Lee’s “The Chosen,” and both are incredibly gorgeous books.

http://www.mhbpress.com/Grease_Monkey.html

Happy reading…