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.
OPERATION ICE BAT is now available to purchase exclusively for your e-reader. This is a new anthology edited by Brian Keene, and it features stories from myself (a brand new one called “Arrearages”) and many of my close writer friends, as well as tales from many well established authors I’m sure you’ll recognize (Keene, SanGiovanni, Ford, Owen, Golden, and Moore to name a few…). A nice blend of old and new stories, all for the sake of raising money for a good friend in need. Please consider purchasing a copy. It’s only $2.99. 100% of the proceeds go to our friend in his time of need.
Here’s the table of contents:
Introduction – Brian Keene
Breathe My Name – Christopher Golden
The Tin Box – Kelli Owen
For Whom We Mourn – Geoff Cooper
Inviolable – Mandy DeGeit
Mouth – Nate Southard
Little King – Nikki McKenzie
Home – J.F. Gonzalez
The Taste of Our Indiscretions – Robert Ford
In the Details – Michele Mixell
The Guardian of Tsalal – Brian Keene
A Family Birthday – Jacob Haddon
Emily’s Kiss – James A. Moore
Pretty, Pretty Shiny – Alyn Day
I’m Dreaming of a White Doomsday – Mike Lombardo
The Mime – Mary SanGiovanni
The Wretched Spawn – Michael H. Antonio
Arrearages – Wesley Southard
Noogle Knock – Robert Swartwood
From all of the contributors, thank you and happy reading.
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.
Yep, I too have been tagged to be a part of this ongoing blog hop, so here’s my entry.
What is the working title of your book?
My novel in progress is titled “The Betrayed.”
Where did the idea come from for the book?
To be completely honest, I don’t fully remember where the idea for the novel came from. I do remember sitting around with a buddy of mine one night, discussing the nature of good and evil, and why we, as humans, perceive Lucifer as being the ultimate evil. Why is that? I thought. Because we’re told that’s the way it is? Accept it and move on, nothing to see here? There was obviously something there, and over time the idea settled into my brain and refused to leave.
There was also the idea of young, single parents and how it affects someone’s day to day life accordingly. I had started writing the novel right after college, and the notion of “What’s next?” was always slapping me in the face. Though I am not a parent myself, I’ve seen how being a single parent can affect someone’s choices. My protagonist struggles with this kind of life, along with lost love, parents who were never there, and…maybe a gift that might make sense of it all. A gift that affects the entire world.
What genre does your book fall under?
It’s religious horror, but it doesn’t beat you over the head with it.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
The cast is primarily young people in their mid twenties, so I guess I’d like to see:
Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick-Ass) as Sidney Jameson
Emmy Rossum (Shameless) as Megan Connors
Chris Hemsworth (Thor) as Mitch Happe
and Noel Fisher (Red, Shameless) as Mike Sauer (mainly because Mike is a smartass dickhead, and Fisher seems to always play that type of role, very well).
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
In a world where everyone is not who they seem, a young, single father must find the strength within to battle as earth’s last hope against a vengeful Arch Angel’s hell-born hoards…
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I hope to have it in the hands of a few publishers within the next year.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Well, I’m a bit embarrassed to admit it has taken over five years to complete, but in that timeframe I’ve been publishing short fiction. Being my first crack at a novel, I’ve had to learn the hard way that, one: 124,000 words is TOO much for a first novel and, two: adjectives and adverbs before every noun and verb are very unnecessary. Thankfully, over time, I’ve learned right from wrong. The novel currently sits at 88,000 words.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Oh, geeze, that’s hard. The closest I can come to is maybe Blood Crazy by Simon Clark. Though I am a voracious reader, I’ve tried not to let ideas from other books seep into this novel.
Who or What inspired you to write this book?
Brian Keene inspired me to want to be a writer, but a good book or story from anyone can inspire me to want to be better at my craft–to work harder, to improve.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
You can always check out my other currently available work, which is all located in the BIBLIO section above. That should give you a taste of what’s to come.
Thanks for stopping by, and remember to check out these other blogs next Wednesday for the continuation of THE NEXT BIG THING:
and Lesley Connor
From some of the best writers in the genre comes this all new collection of exciting, exploitative and downright nasty tale. From bug infestations to body mutilations, no stone is left unturned by these sick and twisted minds. Marvel, if you will, at the evil teddies; try to remain calm as the babysitter gets more than just free food and a nice tip; come out from behind the sofa and finish the tale about the flesh-eating clowns; regulate your breathing as the pole-dancer learns some new tricks. It’s all inside this terrifying anthology, and much, much more.
I’m very happy to annouce that Grindhouse, from Crowded Quarantine Publications, has officially been released! Not only does it contain “Home Invasion,” the novelette co-written by myself and Nikki McKenzie, but 16 other stories of madness and chaos from some of the best new writers in the genre. I think I speak for the both of us when I say this story was a blast to write and hopefully a blast to read.
Here’s the description: Luck is in short supply these days, and truck driver Justin Fisher would know. With a gambling addiction threatening his budding family, Fisher sets out to right himself…but what he and his work partner find on a Tennessee mountainside may have other plans…
Patience is also running on empty as his fiancee, Missy, finds her own problem back at home…the squirming, multi-legged type.
Rednecks…aliens…bugs…and lot lizards…
Keep your eyes open. Invaders come from high and low.
As of right now it’s only available on Kindle (Nook version coming soon), but as soon as it’s released in paperback (I’m told in mid-July) or any other format, I will let everyone know.
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)!
Let me start off by saying that it has been a very long two weeks in my life. I’m tired most of the time, considering I haven’t had a day off of work in several weeks, my debit card was hacked and money was stolen by some faceless prick, my email was hacked and a virus email was sent to everyone in my contact list—and on top of all of that, a spiteful cat who’s decided to use the kitchen floor as their litter box instead of using their actual litter box. Did I say I was tired? Damn right.
But last week really topped the cake with shit-flavored frosting.
When I got the call from my good friend, Mandy DeGeit, telling me she finally got her copies of the recently released Cavalcade of Terror anthology–which not only featured her debut short story but one of my stories as well—my days of hell have only gotten longer.
What happened to her story was every author’s worst nightmare: It was completely rewritten.
The editor of the anthology, Anthony Giangregorio, without any of the authors’ permissions went about hacking and slashing like Jason Voorhees, doing whatever his little heart desired to the stories in his anthology, and Mandy got the worst of it. When she informed me what had happened, I was immediately sick to my stomach. It was happening again, this time to someone else. If you’re asking yourself what the hell I am talking about, I’ll tell you.
Last year this very thing happened to me, which you can read about here. Basically, my first short story was slated to appear in an anthology from a first-time editor looking for stories set in a certain state (blah, that’s a mouthful). My story was accepted to much praise from the editor, and nearly everyone who had read it at the time, but when the story was released for sale on Amazon I was horrified to discover my story had been completely rewritten by the editor, so much so that they actually made up words to use for medical terms that I had to spend time to research. The very tone I was going for in the story was severed, then replaced by what could only be described as a junior high student’s dirty joke only told in giggles and whispers. I was absolutely humiliated. Why didn’t I make it as public as Mandy did with her mangled story? Because after several apologetic emails from said editor, my story was quietly taken out the anthology, my name was removed from Amazon and the publisher’s website and any and all promotional aspects of the book. (By the way, if you’re wondering, that story has now gone on to a MUCH, MUCH better place.) The editor didn’t berate me. They didn’t laugh in my face. They didn’t write nasty emails informing me to talk to the hand, or tell it to someone who gave two shits. I was lucky.
Mandy was not so lucky.
I won’t go over every detail, as they have been said many times over already, but please take the time to read each of these blog entries to better understand the situation at hand:
And author Kelli Owen’s entry on the matter. (scroll down to the entry “Writers Beware)
Though my own story went about 99% unharmed (only a few punctuation changes which made me scratch my head), but I want to go on record by saying that I am NOT OK WITH WHAT HAS BEEN DONE. As an observer, what Mr. Giangregorio has done over the last two weeks has been completely unacceptable in many forms, and as a writer who is now a part of the mess, it saddens and disgusts me to know that someone who many, many people trusted with their work, their pride and joys, could so recklessly stomp on anyone’s dreams of becoming a published writer. I know what it feels like to open up that first box of books with your first published story in it…and I know the feeling of misery of finding out when someone crushed that dream under their boot heel. It’s a son-of-a-bitch.
Once again, let me state that my silence over the past two weeks was not an acceptance of what has happened. Far from it. I’m sickened by Mr. Giangregorio’s attitude toward the mess he created and how he’s gone about treating everyone involved. He’s a predator and should be treated as such.
(By the way, even after he emailed everyone saying that they had the rights back their stories and that the anthology had been cancelled, the book showed back up on Amazon the next day…with another story by Mr. G himself. I emailed him to ask WTF, but got a phone call instead. I didn’t answer the phone, but I did listen to the incredibly creepy message he left me. After not calling him back, he emailed me and told me he had no idea how the antho was back up for sale. Right…it sprung back up on it’s own with another story…Right…)
What was the lesson learned here, folks?
From a small scale perspective, you, the author, has rights. You have the right to be paid for your work, and most importantly you have the right to see your work shine in the best light possible. This means galleys, people. For insight from someone much wiser than myself, please visit Kelli Owen’s recent blog on the do’s and don’ts of a publishing newbie. I’m still a newbie. You may be too. We’re going to make mistakes, and that’s ok. If possible, please follow the advice of Ms. Owen or anyone higher on the publishing ladder than yourself. They didn’t get there by accident.
On a larger scale, we saw that one person really can make a difference. Mandy’s cries of outrage reached the ears—and computers—of thousands of people ready to lend a helping hand to the matter, even reaching up as far as Neil Gaiman and Ramsey Campbell. If anything it renewed my faith in the writing community, and not just the horror writers, but the fans, and the reviewers, and the select few who can call themselves REAL EDITORS. It was amazing to watch the feedback grow, and astonishing to witness the stories of prior encounters with Mr. Giangregorio and his haughty, kiss my ass, I’m the boss, fuck you attitude.
I’m proud to be in this industry, and I’m very fortunate to have the friends and mentors that I have, but what makes me most proud is how we pulled together to fight against the wrong doings of one of our own.
Now that that’s out of the way, here’s some good news. After finally having her story pulled from the now infamous anthology, Mandy DeGeit’s debut story can be read on Kindle. All proceeds are going to a good cause, which can be found on the product page on Amazon. Please consider buying a copy—they’re only $0.99!
Thanks, and have a good night.
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!
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!).
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.