Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

I will not say anything on my blog today concerning Memorial Day since I have a guest post on Rebecca Treadway's blog. She was very kind in allowing me to state my opinions. Okay, I vented a bit, too.  Go over and check out her blog. Thank you.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier

Real life horror: worse than anything we writers could conjure up. War brings so much horror to so many. We must never forget those who have given so much so we can live in freedom. NEVER. Wars are bad, the warriors are not. Never forget them. We owe them big time!

The Jeopardy Question No One Could Answer




Jeopardy the other night, the final question was
"How many steps does the guard take during his
walk across the tomb of the Unknowns" ----
All three contestants missed it! --

is really an awesome sight to watch if you've
never had the chance

of the Unknown Soldier

How many steps does the guard take during his
walk across the tomb of the Unknowns

alludes to the twenty-one gun salute which

highest honor given any military or foreign

How long does he hesitate after his about face
to begin his return
walk and why?

seconds for the same reason as answer number

Why are his gloves wet?

gloves are moistened to prevent his losing his
grip on the rifle.

Does he carry his rifle on the same shoulder all
the time
, if
not, why not?

carries the rifle on the shoulder away from the
tomb. After his march across the
executes an about face and moves the rifle to
the outside shoulder.

How often are the guards changed?

are changed every thirty minutes,

twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a

What are the physical traits of the guard
limited to?

a person to apply for guard duty at the tomb, he
must be
between 5' 10' and 6' 2' tall and
his waist size cannot exceed 30.

must commit 2 years of life to guard the tomb,
live in a barracks under the tomb, and cannot
drink any alcohol on or off duty for the rest of
their lives. They cannot swear in public for the

rest of their lives and cannot disgrace the
uniform or the tomb in any way.

two years, the guard is given a wreath pin that
is worn on
their lapel signifying they
served as guard of the tomb. There are only

400 presently worn. The guard must obey
these rules for the rest of their
lives or
give up the wreath pin.

shoes are specially made with very thick soles
to keep the heat and cold from their feet.
There are metal heel plates that extend to
of the shoe in order to make the loud click as
they come to a halt.

There are no
wrinkles, folds or lint on the uniform. Guards
dress for duty
in front of a full-length

The first six months of duty a
guard cannot talk to anyone nor
watch TV.
All off duty time is spent studying the 175
notable people laid
to rest in
Arlington    National   Cemetery
. A guard must memorize who they are and where
they are interred. Among the notables are:

President Taft,

Joe Lewis {the boxer}

Medal of Honor winner Audie L. Murphy, the most

decorated soldier of WWII and of Hollywood fame.

Every guard spends five hours a
day getting his uniforms ready for


2003 as Hurricane Isabelle was
approaching Washington ,
DC , our
US Senate/House took 2 days
off with anticipation of the storm. On the ABC
evening news, it was reported that because of
the dangers from the
hurricane, the military
members assigned the duty of guarding the Tomb
the Unknown Soldier were given permission
to suspend the assignment. They

respectfully declined the offer, "No way,
Sir!" Soaked to the skin,
marching in the
pelting rain of a tropical storm, they said that
the Tomb was not just an assignment,
it was the highest honor that can be
to a serviceperson. The tomb has been patrolled
24/7, since 1930.

Bless and keep them.

I'd be
very proud if this email
reached as many as possible. We can be very
proud of our young men
in the service no matter where they serve


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Lisa McCourt Hollar

Lisa McCourt Hollar is a writer of horror and childrens' short stories and poems. She and I both have short stories included in the soon to be released extreme zombie anthology, "Undead Of Winter," which will be published by RYMFIRE eBooks. 

Her published titles include:
The Wall
The Carnival
Sandbox Adventures
Tabby's Haunted House
Emma Learns The Truth
Hidden Secrets, Whispered Lies

She is the mother of three daughters and one son, ranging in age from eighteen down to one.

She recently was interviewed on See Spot Read for her story "Sam" which is about a zombie goldfish. Very interesting concept. 

Her blog Jezri's Nightmares runs contests, does interviews, and talks about horror. It is a most interesting place. Take a peek. You'll like it there. Lisa is "good people."

Lisa can also be found on Facebook. She's a pretty active member of the Masters Of Horror Group where she and I have been known to engage in good-natured verbal jousting. I usually lose. 

The link below will take you to the review of "Sam" that Stacey Turner wrote.



RL. Treadway

RL. Treadway is a multi-talented lady. She's a writer, publisher, and artist. Her blog, Creepy Walker blogspot is new, but is a fountain of information. She does interviews, reviews, updates, rants, and information about our craft. Just this last week, she did a blog tour piece for Jim Bronyaur, a talented young writer and musician.

She has giveaways from time to time and gives out tricks for DIY publishing. We can all use tricks, can't we?

I recently did a little review for her short story "Chilly-Eyed Callie," which I felt was written very well: a very different horror story but one I enjoyed reading.

RL., Rebecca, is very candid about writing and the publishing business. She pulls no punches. That's why when she asked me to do a Memorial Day post for her, I gladly accepted. I pulled no punches either. You will be able to read it on Memorial Day on her blog.

The actual name of Rebecca's blog is RL. Treadway's Ink. In addition to everything else, she is an avid supporter of Indie Horror, which I spotlighted the other day.

Take a walk over there and check out some good stuff!


Friday, May 20, 2011

Stacey Turner

I talk a lot about editing: why all writers need to be edited. We are just too close to our work, no one is perfect, and an extra set of eyes, another opinion, is so valuable. We are not the gods of words. Writers are flesh and blood, fallible people.

Enter Stacey Turner. This talented young lady is the Editor for Angelic Knight Press. She is a true professional and will be so valuable to Yvonne and me. Plus, I already consider her to be a personal friend as well. This is important to me. How many of us have worked in the real world for total bastards? Whoah, look at all the raised hands. I don't want to work that way. Isn't it so much nicer to be friends with everyone around you? Sure, this is a business, but it's fun, and we're family. With Stacey's children, Yvonne's children, and my children, there are 17 kids. That's a bunch. Guess what? We all love children. 

We all love writing and reading and want to put out the highest quality books we can. Thus, I have to walk the walk as well as talk the talk. I can't do it alone; I need good people. 

I have good people!

Once the three of us come back down to earth, I'll mention more about Stacey and what she does. I don't have a lock on the lady. She's her own person. I will say this for now: her prices are very reasonable. I was blown away! There is one link above for you to use to contact her. You will be pleasantly surprised.

Sometimes good things happen. This week, Stacey walked in to Yvonne's and my lives. We are better for the experience. Much better.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Ghostly Horror Fun

Today I went to the VA so they could remove vials of blood from my body. It's not exactly my favorite thing to do, but it is made interesting by the young ladies who work in the lab. They are quite into the vampire horror genre and enjoy other great tales of horror as well. There are posters, banners, and witty sayings up all over the place: Vampire on duty, among other things.

Today I brought in my hardback copy of the "Damned If You Don't" addiction anthology. I had been promising the girls that as soon as it was out, I would show them the book. Hmmn. Show turned into a read-fest. Three girls read my story "Shredded" while I was running around getting my stuff attended to. When I came back to retrieve my book, I was met with sad faces. Word had spread that Blaze had a story in this great tome and people wanted to read it. Even the patients had to get information as to where they could buy it, how much it cost, the whole kahuna. I wrote a lot of notes directing people to my blog so they could access the information. I mentioned Kindle and Smashwords as well. My book is sitting in the lab for other folks to read it. I'll drop by the end of the week to pick it up.

The patients don't have a lot of money, but when I mentioned the special going on at Smashwords, they jumped at it. I'm sure they will share on a single computer, but that's okay with me. Word will spread and I'm sure more sales will come out of this.

My little buddy Casper is at the top of this post because I have some ghosts in my story. My ghosts aren't happy, but the people there who love horror were very happy. They got to hold a book that Blaze had written a story for in their hands, and it made them happy. I'm almost a legend in the place for different reasons, but for them to love my work like this is very humbling.

So, my friends, it doesn't hurt for you to carry around a copy or two of your books. You will generate interest, and interest generates sales and friendship. 

Horror can make people happy. Patients with missing limbs were happy that one of them was there to share what he does. Some of these people won't be able to handle a computer to read that way, but they can still read paperbacks, and I talked the manager of the Barnes & Noble in town to find people who might like to donate Nooks to the patients. I'm happy to say, four Nooks have been donated so far. Amazing. 

This was a Blazing day!

Monday, May 16, 2011


Where do we come up with our ideas, our inspirations for what we write? Usually, I take a little non-fiction horror from my personal life, add some fiction, mix well, and voila: the story is formed. My mind is always on hyper-drive anyway, so a little spark is all it takes. Most anything reminds me of something from my past. Adding in some good, old-fashioned fiction horror makes it fun.

Well, Carole Gill just had to go and upset my apple-cart this weekend. My favorite vampire writer puts up a daily story on the Masters Of Horror group on Facebook about real-life horror committed by truly twisted people. This weekend she wrote one about Fritz The Butcher, a truly nasty individual from early 1900's Germany. The story set off a blast in my brain, and the result is I am now writing a novel based partly on that story with a modern element added. Two countries, two time periods, two demons. Will there be anybody in the story who is good? Ha, ha! You'll have to read it to find out. 

I am editing the novel I just completed, writing a sequel to that one, and writing this new novel. Plus I am doing a couple short stories as well. Did I mention editing, beta reading, and seeking out innovative marketing techniques. Thanks, Carole.

Am I abnormal with my ideas, or do you other writers also get strange ideas that just hit you like a ton of bricks demanding to be written? And readers, do you long for off-the-wall stories never told before or perhaps an old monster with a whole new twist? Let me know what you think. Me? I think strange new terror is great. It livens up the arena of our minds.   

Friday, May 13, 2011

Todd Card's Big Event

Some of you are going to say, "What the heck is Blaze doing? He just put this blog up the other day."
Yes and no. I did, but Blogger had some problems and it was deleted. There was some very important information I didn't want to lose in cyber-space, so I'm hitting the big points again. Number one is that Todd Card did one great job with his interview promoting his new novel, "Hell Cometh." He took control and answered everyone's questions and explained his own reasons for writing the novel, his outlook on life, and much more. Great job, Todd! 

The second item is I want to stress that Blog Talk Radio is a fine place to do some marketing for your books. Dark Moon Rising Radio handled Todd's interview. It lasted two hours and was delightful. These folks are into paranormal and horror. What better place to discuss your horror babies? Check these folks out. Todd's interview is still on file there.

Thank you,


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Guest Blogger

I want to thank Tyr Kieran for having me as a guest blogger  on: Horror Blog & Dark Home of Tyr Kieran today. This is quite an honor for me. For him to think that I had something interesting to jaw about makes me very happy. I got back from the gym today and got all kinds of warm fuzzies looking at the kind words about my little post in the Masters Of Horror group on Facebook. The best thing?: it opened up a great discussion about editing. Woo, hoo! You gotta love it!

Go over to his blog and take a peek. Check out his other great offerings as well. 

Thanks again, buddy!

It's great to have wonderful people around you! 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Lee Pletzers

Lee Pletzers does it all. He is a publisher, Triskaideka books; a writer; Masters Of Horror founder; and a general all around nice guy. Without his hard work on jumping in at the last minute, "Damned If You Don't," an addiction anthology, would have never been published. This is a GREAT anthology. I have links for it. Please don't miss this one. It's on Smashwords now for $2.99-for a limited time-as well as Kindle, and is available in hardback and soft back copies as well.

His short story "The Seal" is in the "Damned If You Don't" anthology. He has also written"The Game", "Dust creatures","With The Damned", "The Cold", "I Just Want To Go Home", "The Zombie Virus", "Bloodline", "The Deep South", "The Armageddon Shadow", and "He Iwi Tahi Tatou-We Are Now One People."  My fingers are sore from typing in all those titles! Lee is one prolific writer. Don't expect any fluff in his stories: they are hardcore all the way.

A former resident of New Zealand, Lee now lives in Japan with his lovely wife, Ami. He also has a wonder dog named wolf, who may or may not live up to his name.

Visit Lee at the Triskaideka Books site for which I have the link above, his Smashwords bio, or his pages on Facebook. He is quite the guy.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Masters Of Horror

Today instead of mentioning a single author, I'm going to mention many writers who are individuals but also a part of a community. This group, of which I am proud to be a member of is Masters Of Horror, a Facebook group. We have a lot of members with huge talent, some whom are working to develop their skills, and others who just like to be part of a group of writers: some are readers who might one day become writers, but they are in no hurry. 

Groups are important. The right group can make you feel welcome without the stress of forcing you into a certain amount of activity when perhaps all you want to do is garner some information or share some experiences. No hassles. Members of this group are very free with sharing their expertise. The members don't feel intimidated about telling the group about their latest book to come out or a story in an anthology. Everyone welcomes the news. There's a good feeling there when that happens. It's not a case of trying to get everyone in the group to buy your book: it's spreading your joy, sharing your accomplishments with others. 

One other great thing here is that many members belong to other Facebook or online sites and groups and share the information about these places, opening up new avenues of friendship and knowledge and sometimes just plain fun. Woo, hoo! Nothing wrong with a little fun. Just in the last week, I have joined a couple of groups with thousands of people. Not bad! 

That doesn't mean you must join other groups or sites, but the opportunity is there and the exposure to new ideas is always around.

So, my friends, for those of you who wish to see what a great group is like, visit Masters Of Horror. I'll be there!


Friday, May 6, 2011

Indie Horror

A lot of my friends like this site a lot. There are a number of reasons to do so. They have forums; a workshop of the week; a Book of the Month, which this month is "The Well," by Peter Labrow; you can review indie horror books; there is a  list of various markets and pay scales; link exchanges are available; and a whole bunch of other great things. There is even a section where you can get critiques. Lots of goodies for the horror fan. I see helpful facts and tips for Indies of all levels. Newbie or old-timer, check this site out! 

Bad Blaze! I just went back to this site and found more things to talk about. Many authors give great posts with fantastic tips! I read some of them and they are wonderful. Peter Labrow has a wonderful post here about intensity levels. His is just one of many. Advertising is available at very reasonable rates for your works of art. This is truly a free online convention! Check them out on Facebook as well. They have a great page there. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Tyr Kieran

This is a day of so many possible posts to put on my blog. A lot of my friends are coming out with great books, or they're getting ready to explode upon the horizons of horror consciousness. But one thing stands out in my mind today: I see my friend Tyr Kieran selflessly extolling the virtues of another great writer, Alan Edwards, on his blog. I just recently friended Alan on Facebook and was awed when his blog came to my attention in the Masters Of Horror group. And now I see Tyr jumping out to extend his hand. Is this not a great business we're in? Truly, the people who many think have twisted minds because of what we write are the kindest people on the planet. I will stick with that statement because it is true. 

Alan talks about "The Horror Of The Mundane." Damn! What a valid point! None of us want to be sheep following a sadistic shepherd around, but there are plenty of people who are content to do just that. Go to the link above and read more. While you're there, find out more about Tyr and Alan. I'm glad to call them both friends!