I’m excited to announce the arrival of my first chapbook, UNFIT FOR BURIAL: FOUR SHORT STORIES. It compiles my now out of print stories ‘With Many Thanks to Newark’, ‘God Bless You’, ‘A Promise Not Kept’, and ‘Between Those Walls’. This chapbook is the result of a lot of hard work from a few talented people who I consider my close friends. A massive thank you to Jacob Haddon for putting this chapbook together for me, to Bob Ford for the cover design, and Susan Scofield for allowing me use her photograph for the cover. You three are the best. I owe you all big time.
Although the paperback will still be a week or so away (I’m waiting to approve the proof copy that’s being shipped to me as I type this), the chapbook is currently available in eBook form for Kindle and at Smashwords, both for only $2.99 a piece.
I hope you’ll decide to check it out. I think you’ll enjoy it.
Unfit For Burial: Four Short Stories
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?”
A woman. A killer. A stairwell.
Ted is just trying to lose his virginity to Keira, the girlfriend of his dreams, but how is his eagerness viewed from beyond the grave?
His wife is dying, and Doug Brett is determined to break from prison to see her one last time…even if something unseen is keeping him there. What exactly is Warden Dempson keeping between those walls?
Four short stories of horror and suspense from up and coming author Wesley Southard.
It feels like it’s been forever, but I finally have a new story out for sale! My story “By The Throat” is now available in Eulogies II: Tales from the Cellar from Horror World Press. This brand new anthology–edited by Nanci Kalanta, Christopher Jones and Tony Trembly–features over thirty brand new stories and poems, from both new and established horror voices.
1.The Thing with Nothing to Give and Nothing to Lose – Tom Piccirilli
2. Once What Was Bone – Gary Braunbeck
3. Spare the Rod – Lucy Snyder
4. Born Again – Michael Boatman
5. A Serving of Nomu Sashimi – Eric J. Guignard
6. Latchkey Kid – V.M Zito
7. By the Throat – Wesley Southard
8. Loneliness Makes the Loudest Noise – Monica O’Rourke
9. Footnotes – Magda Knight
10. Chuck – Eric Dimbleby
11. Chiyoung and Dongsun’s Song – T.T Zuma
12. On the Hooks – Keith Minnion
13. Jasmine & Opium – Rebecca Brown
14. The Bore – John McIlveen
15. Poetry by Arthur Crowe
16. Dissolution – Sean Logan
17. Touch – Gerard Houarner
18. Neck Bolt Lynch Pin – Steve Vernon
19. Puttyskin – Malcolm Laughton
20. The Second Carriage – Jonathan Templar
21. Song in Absentia – Janet Joyce Holden
22. Meepy – Brent Jenkins
23. The Black Father of the Night – David Schembri
24. Muralistic – Matthew Warner
25. Awaiting Redemption – Maurice Broaddus
26. The Cat in the Cage – Nicole Cushing
27. A Mean Piece of Water – Mary Madewell
28. Kitty – Gary McMahon
29. Mister Whisper – James A. Moore
30. Writer’s Block – Thad Linson
31. The Miracle Material – Abra Staffin-Wiebe
32. The Lilac Hedge – Rose Blackthorn
I am absolutely honored to be a part of this amazing list of authors, including the great Tom Piccirilli, Gary Braunbeck and James A. Moore. And I’m thrilled that “By The Throat” has finally found the home it deserves. It still remains my favorite story that I’ve written, and anyone that knows me personally knows how special it is to me.
And by the way, all proceeds are going to help pay for Tom Piccirilli’s medical bills. Tom had tumors removed from his brain a few months ago, and as we all know, medical bills for such surgeries and treatments these days can be astronomical. Over the last several months, the horror community really stood up and came together to help Tom and his family through this terrible ordeal, and this is Nanci and the contributor’s way of helping. I really do hope everyone decides to pick up a copy–if not for the stories, then for a good cause.
Unfortunately, I missed the live taping of The Funky Werepig from a about a month ago (I’m a little behind in my episode listening), but I had a pleasant surprise from my buddy Greg Hall, who gave me a shout out and few very nice words about my work near the beginning of the show. You can listen to it here, along with an interview with horror writer James A. Moore. (Click the little play button next to the James A. Moore episode on 8/22/12)
My friend Jacob Haddon recently started his own quarterly e-book magazine, Lamplight Magazine, and after reading the first issue, I can tell you it’s a winner. Issue 1 features an interview and a new story from author Robert Ford, part 1 of a serial novella from Kevin Lucia, an essay from J.F. Gonzalez, and new fiction from William Meikle, Nathan Yocum, Rahul Kanakia, Ian Creasey and Mandy DeGeit. Oh, and I did mention the first issue is free? Download it here and enjoy!
I’m happy to announce the publication of Cover of Darkness Magazine’s June 2012 issue, which contains my short story, “Between Those Walls,” can be purchased here. This is my first appearance in a quarterly fiction magazine, so I’m extremely excited, as I’m sure you can imagine.
“Between Those Walls” is actually one of my earliest attempts at short story writing and submitting, and contains one of my favorite characters to date, Warden Jerome Dempson (who I plan on revisiting eventually, maybe even several times). The original final draft came out to around 11,000 words, which I tried to sell as a two-parter to a magazine a few years ago. In a seven paragraph rejection letter (yes, SEVEN), the editor explained in fine detail why he had decided to pass. He went on to explain what he liked about the story, what he didn’t like, and why 11k was far too long for this particular story. He was right on every point. Yes, there are editors out there willing to help newbies and not just push them aside.
Over the course of a few years I slowly cut it down to the manageable 5900 words it currently sits at, and I’m very happy how it turned out. There was something about writing a prison break that was too hard to pass up.
Here’s the description: His wife is dying, and Doug Brett is determined to break from prison to see her one last time…even if something unseen is keeping him there. What exactly is Warden Dempson keeping between those walls?
I hope that you’ll give it a chance. Hell, it’s only $10 (plus shipping)!
As of today, Daily Flash 2012 is finally available to the public! Within the 544 pages are 366 five hundred or less word flash fiction stories, one quick read for every day of 2012 (yes, including February 29th), and includes my official second short story publication. I’m very pleased to be finally sharing the pages of this fine anthology with many of my writer friends, like Brent Abell, Michele Mixell, Sheri White, and Lesley Conner–not to mention the hundreds of other authors that fill these pages.
My story “God Bless You,” which falls on July 19th (I only say this because there’s no TOC in the book), is my attempt at subtle, kind of gross humor. I didn’t want to be overly serious with it, and what came out will hopefully make you laugh and say “WTF?”
Here’s the tagline: A woman. A killer. A stairwell. A completely ridiculous story.
As of right now, it’s available on Amazon in trade paperback. I will update my Biblio page as it becomes available on Barnes and Noble and in its various forms of E-books.
Thanks, everyone! Hope you enjoy!
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.
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!
Starting October 24 through the 31st, I’ll be participating in the (annual?) Coffin Hop. What’s Coffin Hop? It’s a way to spread the word about not only our own work in the world of dark fiction, but help promote many others as well. I’ll bring as many people as I can from Facebook and Twitter onto my site, and after reading my Halloweenie Blog people can “hop” to another blog via the Coffin Hop site and check out other writer’s thoughts and ramblings on the Fall season. Not to mention, most everyone will be doing giveaways and drawings for free autographed books, digital copies, free fiction, have a future character named after you, ect. I’ll be doing a small contest for someone to win a hardback copy of Big Book of New Short Horror, featuring my debut short story “With Many Thanks to Newark.”
Meet some new authors, win some free stuff: Can’t beat that with a wooden stake.
I’ll admit I’m not the world’s best self promoter, but I see this as a way to get my name out there to people who would have otherwise never known who I am. I was a bit shy to sign up for this at first–to tell you the truth, I’m not the world’s biggest fan of Halloween (come on, I’m a guy with no small kids to take trick or treating and I live by myself–would you send your kids to my house?)–but after seeing the travesty that is The Thing prequel this weekend…well, I’ve now found my blog topic: The Decline of Hollywood Horror. Hell, I might even write a silly little Halloween poem I’ve had in mind for a while. We’ll see.
See you next Monday, hoppers!