Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Jane Friedman


5 Free E-Books Every Writer Needs
Posted by Jane

The following resources have been mentioned on this blog, in various forms, since 2008. Now I'm rounding them up in 1 place.
1. 70 Solutions to Common Writing Mistakes by Bob Mayer. A fabulous resource from an experienced novelist.

2. 279 Days to Overnight Success by Chris Guillebeau. If you dream of being a full-time writer, this is the e-book for you! About 11,000 words of fabulous advice.

3. How to Write a Great Query Letter by literary agent Noah Lukeman. Lukeman is the author of several fabulous how-to books, including The First Five Pages. This free one on queries will not disappoint.

4. What Publishers Want: An Author's Guide by Greenleaf Book Group. The good people at Greenleaf have made this brief guide available to beginning writers who are just getting into the writing and publishing game.

5. Smashwords Book Marketing Guide: How to Market Any Book for Free. This gem just came out this past month. An excellent starting resource.
Do you have any favorite e-book resources I've missed? Let me know in
the comments!

Jane Friedman came up with this list of five FREE ebooks. I think it's worth a look. Jane was at the helm of Writer's Digest for a number of years and knows our business well. These came from her There Are No Rules blog which she has been doing for a while now. Check her blog out in the link above. There is a place to go to check out previous posts. Very valuable information here.


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.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

40 Classic Books Every Horror Buff Should Read


My friends at Accredited Online Colleges sent me the link above to let me know about 40 Classic Books Every Horror Buff Should Read. Quite an interesting list with some books that I would have never thought to include but which make perfect sense. The little guy above is the FriendFeed birdy which the colleges are a member of. Looks like an  interesting setup.

Here are the picks from the colleges. What do you think? I wish to thank Emma Taylor for sending this to me. Like I said when they gave me a list of their top horror movies, these must be great schools to be into our genre!

 With its visceral, primal, and psychological imagery, horror-themed media attracts just as many slavish devotees as it does squeamish detractors, and has for centuries. Though attitudes change across time, culture, and geography (and, along with them, narrative devices), horror’s core always remains the same. The most successful examples channel internal and external anxieties — many of them universal — and kick them right back to their readers with nauseating accuracy.
Not every book here is necessarily of the horror genre, but is included as a means of diversifying the list and showcasing other reads fans might very well love. All boast some element endemic — but not exclusive — to horror books, be it atmosphere, characterization, narrative tropes or something else entirely. And do please quell that rage over inclusions or exclusions. Literature is subjective. This isn’t some be-all, end-all of book recommendations, merely one reader’s opinion of millions.
  1. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley: This epistolary classic continues to ravish pop culture, showing absolutely no signs of stopping whatsoever. Dr. Frankenstein and his existential monster both rightfully became some of the most visceral icons of the horror genre.
  2. Dracula by Bram Stoker: While not the first vampire novel ever penned, Dracula is indisputably the most popular example of the genre. The eponymous monster stands at the center of a pretty comprehensive reflection of Victorian sex and gender mores.
  3. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson: Robert Louis Stevenson dug deeply into the most disturbing corners of the human psyche when sculpting this terrifying story of dual identities. Horror fans looking to take their novels with two additional shots of crime and science-fiction would do well to seek out this classic thriller — if they haven’t already, of course.
  4. Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan la Fanu: Before Count Dracula — a quarter-century, actually – there was the seductive, dangerous Carmilla. The eponymous antagonist serves as a veritable Platonic solid for future female and lesbian vampires used in all media forms.
  5. At the Mountains of Madness by H.P. Lovecraft: Most of H.P. Lovecraft’s oeuvre could have ended up here, but his At the Mountains of Madness is an essential read for Cthulhu aficionados. His use of science and rationalism to explain preternatural phenomena makes it particularly intriguing and engaging.
  6. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde: As spoiled rotten villain protagonist Dorian Gray descends further and further into a world of overindulgent decadence and hedonism, an enchanted portrait suffers the abuse. This being a horror novella — and Oscar Wilde being Oscar Wilde — things dissolve into body horror of near-Cronenberg proportions once everything catches up to dear Mr. Gray.
  7. It by Stephen King: Like many of the writers featured here, a significant chunk of Stephen King’s entire career could’ve made the cut. It won because it simultaneously exploited collective coulrophobia and reinforced exactly why it’s a thing in the first place.
  8. The Italian by Ann Radcliffe: Anxieties regarding the French Revolution and Inquisition get channeled into Ann Radcliffe’s intense gothic thriller. Religion especially plays a central role in creating and motivating her novel’s memorably twisted villains.
  9. The Complete Short Stories by Edgar Allen Poe: "The Tell-Tale Heart," "The Pit and the Pendulum," "The Cask of Amontillado" and plenty more of Edgar Allen Poe’s legendary short stories pack a gut-wrenching punch into comparatively smaller spaces. Most of his body of work is so thoroughly nightmarish, it comes as no surprise that they sport such endurance and influence.
  10. We by Yevgeny Zamyatin: One of the original dystopian works, We features a totalitarian society terrifying to anyone even the slightest bit concerned about losing their individual identity and autonomy. It’s a different sort of horror than the typical monsters and madness with which readers are more familiar, but still a worthwhile read for fans of twisted, horrifying fiction.
  11. Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: Faust, the legendary German figure who made an infamous bargain with Satan himself, unsurprisingly makes appearances all over different media outlets. This two-part play by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is one of the most popular.
  12. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson: Contemporary horror master Stephen King cited Shirley Jackson as one of his greatest influences in Danse Macabre, and for good reason. Her lauded masterpiece blends the supernatural with the psychological and packs it all in a deadly, possessive home.
  13. Vathek by William Beckford: Inspired by One Thousand and One Nights, William Beckford channeled Islamic culture in this novel of a caliph resorting to desperate, horrific measures to obtain the supernatural abilities needed to keep him ruling. What it ultimately gets him is something far more sinister…and eternal.
  14. Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice: Lestat, one of the most recognizable vampires in all of literature, made his debut in the first novel in The Vampire Chronicles series. Here, he makes the controversial decision to turn a young girl and raise a young daughter — among other atrocities, of course.
  15. Konjaku Monogatarishu by Anonymous: Konjaku Monogatarishu compiles traditional stories from across Japan, China and India, not all of which contain horror elements. The Buddhist morality tales focusing on karmic retribution make for the most chilling reading of all.
  16. Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole: Most literary critics and historians consider this horror classic the very first work of gothic horror, kicking off an entire genre and revolutionizing how writers approach twisted, visceral content. Inside the eponymous castle lurks a curse out to end an aristocratic family’s lineage.
  17. The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells: Science fiction meets horror on an island inhabited by a mad vivisector and his simultaneously sympathetic and wholly terrifying creations. Despite their regimented society, the bioengineered creatures eventually override their human elements with something far more animalistic.
  18. The Turn of the Screw by Henry James: In Henry James’ quintessential ghost story, made all the more terrifying by his thoroughly adroit use of ambiguity and atmosphere. A startling evil — never fully revealed — slowly dismantles the lives of a governess and the two children placed in her care.
  19. Psycho by Robert Bloch: Horror icon Norman Bates (and his…ahhhh…"mother") began life in the pages of this bloody 1959 novel. Lurking in a small motel bearing his surname, a litany of disturbing family secrets mean gruesome consequences for visitors and locals alike.
  20. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier: More of a mystery novel than a work of straight up horror, Rebecca nevertheless involves a tense, deeply psychological atmosphere fans of the latter genre will find tantalizing. The awkward central character struggles with her new husband, the mystifying death of his first wife and the fiercely loyal housekeeper stuck on her memory.
  21. Inferno by Dante Alighieri: The first segment of The Divine Comedy sees the author and his mentor Virgil descending through every layer of hell, awash in a haze of satire, sin and some of literature’s most nightmarish scenery. Even the nonreligious can look upon the bone-chilling, often nauseating punishments with a sense of visceral dread.
  22. Battle Royale by Koushun Takami: Horror buffs with an inkling towards gory splatterpunk tropes might find this contemporary classic simultaneously squirm-inducing and thought-provoking. Take a trip to Okishima Island, where high school students are forced into murderous games as a means of addressing overpopulation concerns.
  23. The Body Snatchers by Jack Finney: Mill Valley, California finds itself unwittingly terrorized by extraterrestrial pods capable of exactly replicating its residents; so competent are they, nobody even recognizes the switch. Though a work of science fiction, The Body Snatchers contains enough thrills to satisfy readers who enjoy sleeping with the lights on every once in a while.
  24. The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty: Based on an allegedly true story, William Peter Blatty’s memorable novel is one of the most popular literary works involving demonic possession. Pazuzu, named after a minor deity from ancient Assyria, completely overtakes the mind and body of little Regan MacNeil and taxes the two priests assigned to free her.
  25. The Stepford Wives by Ira Levine: The Stepford Wives succeeds as both a horror novel and a feminist fist-bumper commenting on the dangers of arbitrary gender roles. "Stepford wives" has entered into the lexicon because of Ira Levine’s talent at capturing the absurd (and absurdly common) phenomenon of forcing women into subservience with little concern for their own needs or wants.
  26. If You Could See Me Now by Peter Straub: Obsession over a dearly beloved cousin’s tragic drowning begins overwhelming a widower’s attempt at completing his dissertation. And when the murdered bodies of young girls begin popping up once he moseys on into Arden, Wisconsin again, things take a turn for the mysterious and supernatural.
  27. 1984 by George Orwell: Like all the best dystopian literature, 1984 mines the human psyche and spirit and welds it to some very real political, economic and social theories. Here, massive totalitarian (not, as commonly mistaken, socialism or communism) regimes battle it out for hegemonic power and keep their respective citizenries in complete repression.
  28. Melmoth the Wanderer by Charles Maturin: The eponymous figure trades his immortal soul for an extra 150 on earth and subsequently ends up wasting it all on finding someone to succeed the pact. Many of horror’s most influential authors, such as H.P. Lovecraft, looked at this novel about 19th Century British ideology when crafting their own oeuvres.
  29. The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham: Despite sitting in far more science fiction than horror collections, The Day of the Triffids still incorporates a right fair amount of (understandable) pants-peeing paranoia. A near-universal fear inherent to humanity is that of extinction, which John Wyndham writes as coming courtesy of the giant fronds of mobile, intelligent plants.
  30. The Monk by Matthew Lewis: Ambrosio, the holy man of the title, must watch in horror as his sexual transgressions lead to his life twisting him towards rape and murder. Only an encounter and bargain with the devil himself can end the veritable hell on earth…despite condemning him to a hell in hell…
  31. Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury: Sinister carnivals are by no means an original fictional trope, of course, but nobody writes one better than acclaimed author Ray Bradbury. Normally recognized as a science-fiction auteur, this haunting work blends together fantasy and horror in a memorable narrative about the penalties of granted wishes.
  32. The Fog by James Herbert: An earthquake releases a bizarre fog trapped beneath the crust, which drives everyone exposed to it insane — inspiring an orgy of murder, rape, pedophilia and other atrocities. John Holman, its first victim, ultimately proves the one man able to prevent its virus-like spread across the world.
  33. The Great God Pan by Arthur Machen: Dr. Raymond slowly drives a young woman insane as she keeps insisting on undergoing procedures to help her visualize the goatlike Greek god. Come to find out, she’s actually the deity’s daughter — and uses her powers to start wreaking murderous havoc throughout London.
  34. The Complete Short Stories by Ambrose Bierce: Not all of Ambrose Bierce’s short stories can be shunted beneath a horror heading, of course, but the ones that are make for some truly worthwhile reading indeed. "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge," concerning a Confederate supporter sentenced to hang, is probably his most recognized — likely owing to its startling twist ending.
  35. Perfume by Patrick Suskind: Smell plays an integral role in human sensation, perception and memory, which makes it a perfect candidate to sit front and center in a horror novel. Plucky central character Jean-Baptiste Grenouille lacks body odor, works as an apprentice in a perfumery and thinks slaughtering virgins will help further his career.
  36. Red Dragon by Thomas Harris: Hannibal Lecter made his literary debut in this novel, assisting special agents and profilers in bringing a serial killer known as "Tooth Fairy" to justice. Being both a psychiatrist and a murderous cannibal, he provides some bizarre, unique insight into the perpetrator’s mind.
  37. The Howling by Gary Brandner: Following the heroine’s traumatic rape and subsequent miscarriage and mental breakdown, she and her husband retreat to a small California town with the hopes of recovering together. Which kind of sort of doesn’t happen, seeing as how it’s full of werewolves and all.
  38. Conjure Wife by Fritz Leiber: Though not exactly progressive in its gender politics, painting all women as beguiling practitioners of witchcraft — Conjure Wife still works as horror literature. When a sociology professor discovers his wife brews up potions and conjures up charms, his insistence she drop her old ways proves dangerous.
  39. The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka: Literature’s most famous example of body horror comes courtesy of Franz Kafka’s existentialist leanings. Although Gregor Samsa wakes up one morning and discovers he’s now a massive bug, his family’s reaction and subsequent shunning make them far more monstrous.
  40. The Giver by Lois Lowry: Dystopian works understandably incorporate plenty of horror and macabre tropes, even though they don’t always necessarily get classified within the genre. The Giver is one such example, with its hyper-collective society completely lacking emotion and — most startlingly — the ability to perceive color.

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. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Dance On Fire Is Out In Paperback

"Dance On Fire" is now out in paperback! James Garcia Jr. has to be happy about this. Way to go Jimmy. Three Vamplit authors at the same time to go to paperback. Gaynor deserves a big pat on the back! I've already praised Jimmy for his great talents, but I just had to spread the word about this latest grand happening. Head over to Drive Thru and order this great book. The link is below.
Two Kingsburg police officers have been butchered in an attack as ferocious as it is mystifying. Now two detectives and their families are being drawn into a battle that threatens to destroy them and those around them.
In a marriage of horror and Christian themes of good conquering evil and redemption, Dance on Fire is the fictional account of characters drawn into the fire by supernatural forces.
Dance on Fire is available to purchase in paperback with free pdf eBook at Drive Thru Horror price £9.99.

Readers’ Reviews of Dance on Fire from Smashwords

Review by: Jennifer Wylie on Nov. 24, 2010 : 5 stars
I loved how the author has you immediately pulled into the story. Though a good sized book at over 100,000 words, there is a wonderful pace to it which keeps you reading, drawing you into the story with every word. You’ll find yourself quickly immersed in the story, wondering what would happen next, feeling for the amazingly developed characters. The plot is superbly written, I loved how it also took the form of a mystery while you follow the detectives trying to solve the bizarre murders. You won’t be disappointed in the growing tension which builds up to a dramatic climax.
Don’t let the genre titles of horror or Christian put you off, if you love vampire stories, you’ll enjoy this book!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
Review by: Sharon Hamilton on Aug. 26, 2010 : 5 stars
I thoroughly enjoyed Dance On Fire and found it totally absorbing, a terrific distraction from my ordinary life. The plot was skillfully developed and strung together with such grace, I wasn’t really sure what was going to happen in the end until the conclusion. Garcia teases the reader in a variety of directions, and, like any good mystery, although you search for clues, nothing is revealed until the end. I liked the treatment of the vampire as both light and dark, and this book dealt with both sides believably. Hope some of the characters return in the sequel.
(reviewed long after purchase)
Review by: Trish Barbarick on Jul. 26, 2010 : 5 stars
(sorry, James, I accidentally deleted my original review!) Okay, I originally was drawn to this book simply based on its setting. What I found, however, was that this author brings such a depth to his characters and a unique perspective to the storyline, it makes it difficult to find a stopping point! I loved the way he weaves vastly different genres together so harmoniously that, rather than being ridiculous, leaves you thinking outside the box. I can’t WAIT for the sequel!
(reviewed long after purchase)
Review by: Glenn Murphy on Jul. 14, 2010 : 5 stars
Mr. Garcia has taken the oft overdrafted “Vampire” story to a new level. I was enthralled with the storyline and characters. Being somewhat familiar with Kingsburg, CA I found myself drawn even deeper into the action as I could picture myself at the exact locations. The bridge between vampirism and christianity was an intriguing twist in the book and I thoroughly enjoyed each and every page. I certainly look forward to the sequel and future works by James.
(reviewed long after purchase)
Review by: Ed Ezaki on Jun. 10, 2010 : 5 star
I love what James Garcia, Jr has done with Dance on Fire. I agree with the previous reviewers that the characters are drawn with depth and substance. Garcia has a gift for dialogue that “shows” more than “tells” the reader about the characters. I was also struck by the imaginative storyline which builds tension to the dramatic, bittersweet climax. Garcia mixes a horror thriller with deep suggestions about the nature of grace and providence and leaves you thinking about these concepts long after the book is finished. Although the violence and language make this a PG-13 read, the depth of the issues addressed make it interesting and insightful for who like to mine for theological significance in a novel. Definitely looking forward to the sequel.
(reviewed long after purchase)
Review by: Michael Graham on May. 22, 2010 : 5 star
Characters with substance that get inside your head and don’t let go. A literary ride that was exciting and enjoyable. A must for lovers of the Vampire genre, anyone who has ever spent a day or more in Kingsburg, California, and those who just love a good book. I am certain that, after the next installment, the movie will not be far behind.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Alone Is Now A Paperback


Marissa Farrar's great novel "Alone" is now out as a paperback. I gave it a Blazing five star review on Smashwords. Now you can enjoy the paper version as well. Gaynor at Vamplit is really rolling with her great authors. I have a link to Drive Thru above where you can order this masterpiece. Join me there!

It's Out!

The paperback version of Carole Gill's fantastic novel "The House On Blackstone Moor" is out. You can order it at the link below. I read this a while back in the ebook version and loved it! So, of course, I have to order the paperback now. Ooh, la,la! Congratulations, Carole! Read below and you'll see that Carole is just a tad excited. BUY THIS BOOK!

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Announcing The Paperback Edition of The House on Blackstone Moor!

The paperback edition of The House on Blackstone Moor just went on sale at Drive Thru Horror!

Go on and check it out!

Vamplit put out the collector's edition I'll have you know! Sounds pretty impressive to me!
Did I tell you how excited I was?


There are reviews there as well for you to read, so go on over to Drive Thru Horror now! Thank you!

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!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Welcome To Angelic Knight Press


Yvonne Bishop and I are starting up a small publishing house, Angelic Knight Press.This does not mean I am abandoning Vamplit. Quite the contrary: I intend to keep Gaynor quite busy with my novels. I have one I have just completed for her which I am in the process of editing. No way do I wish to pass her an unpolished work. That's not my style. Angelic Knight Press will come out with fiction and non-fiction pieces which don't fit in with what Vamplit publishes, or a lot of other people for that matter. 

So exactly what will we have? Erotica, paranormal, and combinations thereof; poetry;stories of intrigue and suspense;cannibal erotica; love, lust, and bestial desires; novels that don't touch horror but embrace the unknown; I even have many short stories about running(I was a world ranked ultra-marathon runner for many years) which I will release in my "Dogs, Skunks, And Other Runners" collection. Yvonne's "Angelic," book one of the Dark Angel Saga will be here: and the rest of the collection will follow. I am editing a novel called "Last Chance", which is an end of world/ love/ Native American/spiritual story. And I have one called "Say It Again, Sam" which is a stuttering story.

So, the Press will be rather eclectic. Yvonne's stories are in her own special style, and there will be no need for a pen name. Obviously, some of what I will offer up is not exactly Blaze McRob horror, and I will have to use a pen name for that. My horror brand must remain intact. 

This is a grand adventure for the two of us. One that we both relish. We will be life companions in artistic endeavors as well as our personal intimacy.

While Angelic Knight Press is a publishing blog, it is also an author blog. All of our novels, books, and short stories will be profiled there and those of our fellow writers. We will be better able to express our feelings about our publishers there, and can give credit where credit is due. There are so many things I would like to say about Vamplit here, but my personal blog is not the place.

So take a peak if you wish. We'll be there! 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Damned If You Don't Anthology


May the 1st means one thing: "The Damned If You Don't Anthology" is officially launched! Is this not great news?! Of course it is. It is said of us(my short story "Shredded is in this great tome)that we are twisted people. Wow! Words of the highest possible praise for a horror writer. A number of reviewers say that very thing and are very kind with their reviews. This great compilation is out in hardback, softback, and ebook forms. You have a choice to make. But don't lose out. Great anthology, great writers, great stories, and a wonderful job from Lee Pletzers to having this see the light of day, or the dark of night perhaps, after KK had severe medical problems at the last second.


There are some great writers, as you can see from the lineup above, showcased within this, pardon the pun, addictive collection. 

This great anthology gets a Blazing five star review! Buy it now!