I am excited to announce the publication of my latest book, Plain, from Demain Publishing as #20 in the Short Sharp Shocks! series. It’s available in Kindle format now with a print version on the way.
Check out my interview with Dean Drinkel, editor of the SSS! series and founder of Demain here.
About the story:
Essy is released from a psychiatric hospital after orchestrating her mother’s death a few years earlier. She moves to the neighboring town, where she can continue therapy with her psychiatrist. In pursuit of an idealistic happiness and normalcy, she finds herself both haunted and driven by those she hurt.
It’s part ghost story and part psychological horror … with a violent streak.
Too many medical fears – my wife’s recent close call after contracting a dangerous infection on top of everything else – and financial woes threw my motivation to write fiction into a tar pit.
The fear that comes with uncertainty and morbidity takes a toll on anyone’s psyche and I was just another one of its recipients. Creative energy was quietly replaced by dark observations and the subsequent frustrations of the world’s current political state. Mindless entertainment and mobile device games passed the time between work and family obligations. Sleep became more and more desirable to pass the days when it was an option. A few too many sips of bourbon helped ensure that.
Looking back, I can point out a plethora of reasons I ended up here, but what’s the point? All I can do is recognize where I am and set a new direction. Wallowing in self-pity and introspective pondering won’t accomplish anything, except, perhaps, provide a character trait in an new story.
Today I found this incredible discomfort ripping at my heart. I loathe the idea of complacency and living the mundane, and yet, I found myself there. An overwhelming urge to write something – anything – is pushing me to write this self-reflective piece now. So I’m going with it. When it’s complete, a new world begins.
When you enter into agreements with freelance writers to develop content for your web presence, you will find early on that an open door for communication between writer and client is invaluable. A writer needs to understand your business, intentions, and audience to shape the material with the goal of creating great content that will perform well for you.
Writers Need to Know You
No matter how knowledgeable they may be about your industry or trade, freelance writers are meeting you for the first time and, in many cases, online. They don’t know the nuances of your business like you do. They may not have ever heard of a special technique or service you employ if it’s not commonly used in your field. Never assume a writer can take a few keywords and figure it out as that leaves far too much room for interpretation, which can easily steer the content off course. Your goal is for the writer to express your business, not your business category.
I was fortunate to participate in author Mark West’sKing For A Year project – 52 reviews of Stephen King’s works throughout 2015. I revisited a favorite story of mine from King, the novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption.
What a great way to start off autumn. My latest story “Blood & Gingerbread” has just released as part of the anthology Masks from Black Shuck Books, an imprint of Great British Horror. It seems I am becoming a British author by proxy as this is my second in a series of at least four sequential books lined up with British presses.
This story was fun to write. Inspired by Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” and real-world accounts of militant separatist compounds, “Blood & Gingerbread” is set in a secluded community where bizarre annual rituals keep death at bay. It explores the raw human need to control, holding domain over violence, nature, families, behavior, life, and death. What happens when that power is disrupted?
Check out the table of contents below featuring some of the great writers you’ll find in the independent horror field right now. Masks is edited by Dean M Drinkel and the cover art is by the late and great illustrator James Powell, may he rest in peace.
PORCELAIN by James Everington
BLOOD & GINGERBREAD by D T Griffith
THE HOUSE OF A THOUSAND FACES by Chris Stokes
VARIETY NIGHT by Russell Proctor
AFTER THE END, THE BEGINNING by Christine Morgan and Lucas Williams
THE MAN WHO FED THE FOXES by Phil Sloman
MANY HAPPY RETURNS by Kyle Rader
TRIXIE by Christopher Beck
THE FACE COLLECTOR by Stephanie Ellis
AN ABSENT HOST by F A Nosić
THE SILENCING MACHINE by Clockhouse London Writers