Sunday, June 25, 2017


I posted about authors making minimum wage last week. Mainly, I discussed short stories sold as stand alones at .99 and the stigma some authors get when confronted by readers claiming that that is outrageous. My main points are that authors spend a lot of money and time getting their stories out and deserve to be paid at least minimum wage.

So, carrying on where I left off, what happens if an author works hard writing a great story, is active in its promotion, and she/he still doesn't make much money at it? Don't throw in the towel. There is more to be done.

A lot of authors have numerous stories in multi-author collections and anthologies. This is good in that the author will get recognition. But, it is bad in that the author won't make money at it. Here we go with Math 101 again. Let's say it is a 20 author anthology and that the Press is generous and you get 50% royalties split between all the authors. If the book sells for $3.99, at the standard 70% royalty rate from Kindle, and if the book sells 500 copies, which would be higher than the average book, then the royalties for all the authors would be $697.25 and would be $34.06 per author. Chunk change. Many anthologies sell less than that, by far. An author self-publishing a short story at .99 would do a bit better. However, anthologies do gain you exposure.

I have enough exposure. Except for special anthologies close to my heart, I will not be doing any more. Under my new brand of Blaze McRob, I have 40 titles on my Amazon Author page, but only seven are completely mine. Like I say, that will change. Immediately.

Anyway, what if you haven't sold enough books to get you to the minimum wage point that I discussed last week? Simple. You write more books. The more you have, the greater name recognition you have. What, you say? Isn't this throwing good money after bad? No it's not.Your new story, even a short story, will gain recognition not only for that one, but for the other stories you write.

Okay, you've written more and the money is still not rolling in. Another thing you can do is to put your short stories into collections. Leave your individual shorts up for sale. They are always a good sample place for new readers to find out if they like your work. I would suggest a starting point of around 10,000 words for a short collection, and I think you should sell them at $1.99. Keep an eye on what others are doing with theirs, however. At some point your collections might want to increase in price. Personally, I think it is better to price a book higher when you first announce it to the world. This way if you decide to run a special later you have more wiggle room. Folks don't like to see a book going up in price for no apparent reason.

Unless you also write novellas or even novels, keep writing your short stories. People like them. Add more shorts and collections. You can make your collections larger. When you reach 15,000 to 20,000 words, I would charge $2.99. Once you reach 25,000 to 40,000, charge $3.99. At least. Once you reach this level, you will get the 70% royalty and not the 35%. Big difference. But step things up slowly. You're a little fish in a big sea.

Sometimes the little fish can charge more. I was doing a post the other day for a friend of mine who is doing rather well. Some of her new books are selling higher than I would have priced them, but she has a great following and her tales are super. I want to do a little more research into the subject and find all the pros and cons.

There is a new attitude towards books by a great many readers. If the book is priced low, some readers think the quality must be low. Readers are willing to pay a fair price for a book. Don't undercut yourself in the eyes of your readers. Write a great story and charge what it is worth. I should have a novel of around 300 pages coming out next month. That means I should charge $6.99 or more for the Kindle version. I'm going to charge $9.99 for it. Why? Because it's a damned good book and it's worth the price. This should be your attitude as well. If your stories are great, don't fleece the readers, but don't screw yourself either.

Another thing you must do if you want to sell books is to have a website. And on your website, you must talk about other authors, editors, and others. Mention yourself, of course, but if your website shows folks that you are genuinely concerned about others, people will find you without the chest pumping and you will make a lot of friends. Make certain you post your discussion on Twitter and send it to your Facebook page as well. Spread the word. And, don't worry if everyone else doesn't seem to be spreading your name around as much. It doesn't matter. You are doing what is right. Some people have real life issues eating into their time. Just be their friend. That should be enough.

I know a lot of authors and publishers don't agree with me on my pricing thoughts. That's okay with me. I'm not a god. This post states what I believe. I just can't see giving my stories away. And I won't. There are plenty of books I'm in with other publishers that sell for .99. People have every opportunity to see if they like my writing. Also, my free samples on Amazon are generous. That's another great way to promote you and your books.

That's enough for this post. I aim to make these helpful hints a regular part of my posting schedule. I hope you find some things to answer a few questions.

Blaze McRob

Friday, June 23, 2017


Be sure to mark your calendar. This Saturday, PopViews will be interviewing horror author Terri DelCampo-Nelson. Terri is an accomplished writer and co-founder of Blazing Owl Press. Check out her author's page at Amazon!
Tune in to the PopViews Podcast with Ralph and Damian - every Saturday at 11:00 AM (eastern).

Visit's Terri DelCampo Page and shop for all Terri DelCampo books and other Terri DelCampo related products (DVD, CDs, Apparel). Check out pictures, bibliography, biography and community discussions about Terri DelCampo

This show will be up on the link above. Don't miss it! I have a front row seat.

Blaze McRob

Thursday, June 22, 2017


Read Dale Elster's great movie review for the movie Logan. Terri DelCampo and I watched this movie the other week and loved it! So does Dale. Read why at
While you're there, read some of his other great posts. All of them are superb!

Blaze McRob

Monday, June 19, 2017


I'm dusting off my previous Minimum Wage For Authors posts and bringing them up to date. Also, I will be doing the same for my Marketing 101 posts. The first one is below. I hope you enjoy these posts and get something out of them.

                                                               *    *    *    *

I hear from people who ask me why they should pay .99 for a short story because that's highway robbery. Well, besides the fact that a short story can tell you if you would like to buy more of this author's work in longer form or even more short stories, let's go to Math 101.First we'll take the case of a self-published author.

You walk into a fast food place and think about the employees who would like to enjoy a livable wage. Some say $15 an hour is fair. Okay, let's take the case of an author who sells a short story of 3,000 words for .99. Whoah, you say. That is really short. Yes, it is. But is it worth at least what a small order of French fries would cost you?

I say without a doubt.

3,000 words equates to around twelve pages. The author has to pay for cover art for the ebook. Let's say $50 for that, if you're lucky. It could go as high as $500.00. Formatting is $1 a page. Again, that's the low end. Editing at least that. Maybe double. So without the author's time, we're at $74 already: minimum. If the author is a super whizz-bang and can write the tale in three hours, should she/he not be paid at least as much as the burger employee? Of course. Add another $45. We're up to $119 now. And this does not include marketing so someone knows the author's book is out there to buy. Add another $50 at least between the author's time and a paid professional's time.$169 now.

These are rock-bottom prices that you'll be lucky to get.

So how many books on Amazon does the author need to sell? You will get around .35 royalty per book. Thus, the author needs to sell roughly 483 books to cover the $169. How many authors do this with the typical ebook? Not many. 11 hours at $15/hour comes to $165, so we're close here.

                                                     *    *    *    *

Now lets take the case of an author going with a small Press. There will be only two expense factors here: the author's time, which will be the same $45, and doing their share of the marketing. Add in $25. Total time at $15/hour comes to $70.

At 4.7 hours, the author needs to sell 400 books to reach minimum wage if the Press and the author each share the royalties evenly. Not every Press is as generous as this. The Press needs to sell roughly 550 books to cover expenses. The Press needs to sell 150 more because of the added expense. Of course, once the 550 books are sold, the Press is making money because it is now in the black for this book. Again, the chance is this might not occur. So in this model, the author comes out ahead going with a Press, at least until the book sells a lot of copies. Even disregarding the minimum wage factor for a second, we see that at 400 books sold, the author has $70 and the Press has $70, but the Press is in the red by $29.

At any rate, no matter how you look at it, the author deserves minimum wage.

                                                        *    *    *    *

So, the next time someone asks you why they should pay .99 for a great story, spout the facts.

It is about time authors started getting fair compensation for their work.

Blaze McRob

Sunday, June 18, 2017


 If you're looking for a big collection of holiday horror tales that cover the entire year and every holiday, Happy Bloody Whatever is for you. Terri DelCampo and I have 46 stories for your ghoulish pleasure. Yes, I realize that not every collection of short stories is this meaty. This tome is filled with the ooky and spooky you're accustomed to getting from Terri and me. You can read it once, and then go back again and again for your favorite holidays. Twelve months equals a lot of holidays. A lot of horror. You can read our free sample on Amazon and see if this tome suits your desire to engage in dark reading with the lights down low. That's the best way, I believe.

Enjoy every holiday, the Happy Bloody Whatever Way!

Don't forget, this being Father's Day, that we have some Father's Day stories in here as well.  

Blaze McRob



Confetti at New Year's brings meaning to death.
Murder of crows revenge does bequeath
Mass slaughter of family had to be done
Groundhog war on frackers has only begun.
The longer the noodle the longer the life.
Lincoln's tears avenge many decades of strife.
Funeral train glides along without tracks.
To save father and children a young ghost comes back.
Turning death into life calls for special seeds.
Easter eggs tell of mothers' harsh deeds.
Take caution when dating on April Fools' Day.
Mother earth finally has her own way.
Tree takes revenge on corrupt greedy ranger.
Killing killers can carry much danger.
A man just a bit too 'into' his mother.
Soldiers bring honor, one way or another.
President plays with toy soldiers that bleed.
Wipe your ass with the flag and ghosts punish your deeds.
A poacher sees to it his kids will survive.
A girl's selfish need leads to mourned suicide.
Even the angel of death meets defeat.
Wiping out traitors is a wizard's feat.
Fog brings death to green louie's team.
Violent waters with rats do teem.
Violent cult lord controls Clinton Road.
Evil murderer's showdown at cabin abode.
A stalker killer needs much preparation.
Some teachers require bratty libation.
Medicine man sends Columbus a-packing.
Beware a kid's bubblegum after a hacking.
Mother Nature gives thanks to her bees.
Turkeys bring Farmer McRob to his knees.
Elf barters gifts for naughty kid's meat.
This trading of wishes is so bittersweet.
Anniversary of slaughter kicks Vatican ass.
Marionette clown – heed my warning and pass.
How well do you know your partying friends?
Vamp vs Lycan celebrate to the end.
One star reviews end you up in a batter.
Christian rite turns into a whole different matter.
Popeye's deal gives grad party some strings.
Wedding crasher gives murderous bride a fling.
Father's duties trumped by mom's old wedding dress.
Satan's bride punishes hubby with zest.
Animals just cannot let their friend go.
Vincenta and Theone forever linked to Van Gogh.
Terri DelCampo and Blaze McRob
Bring holiday stories to make your heart throb
In anxious terror and dreadful fright
For every celebrant, day and night. 

Saturday, June 17, 2017


You really need to read The Damp Fedora, by Kate Pilarcik! She is one of the swellest moxie ladies around, bar none. She can light up a room without even being in it. Merely the mention of her name will do it. I've known Kate for quite some time now and have always been fascinated by her love of life, and her way with words, words which always remind me of great noir and hard-working gumshoes. I guarantee you will love this book.

Also, today is Kate's birthday! What could be better than to buy a gal's book on her special day? I just purchased mine on Smashwords.

Prepare yourself for a grand adventure as you step back into time, relax, and read this awesome book.

Blaze McRob

Book description:

THE DAMP FEDORA introduces 1940's detective Nelle Callahan, gal gumshoe with gumption, with a case that struts its stuff like the breeze off a good Narragansett sail. Brisk. Brash. Knowing where the wind's coming from, and yet … wondering. Nelle's job? Cut through some slick con's shadow, lift a corner of chintz off the mist, let some truth shine in for the chippies and the chopper squad — you know — menfolk who measure themselves by how big their tommy guns really are.

In this outing, Nelle finds herself helping a damp fedora wearing Harry — who's not a Harry — Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Eddie Waitkus, MLB pitcher Paul Katcher and her OSS handler-agent, none other than former White Sox catcher Moe Berg.

Praise for THE DAMP FEDORA …

"Original, distinctive, and quirky, there's something legendary about Kate's writing. 'Writing' doesn't fully describe the evocative prose, it sings off the page with the sultriness of a Hollywood starlet and raps with the cool of the Rat Pack. I can't decide if she carries her pen in a holster on her stockinged thigh or in a violin case alongside her Tommy gun." — Matt Hilton, author of the international bestseller Joe Hunter thrillers

"Fair warning — you are about to be enveloped by a whirlwind. A soft whirlwind of words and snappy pat-ter and hoods wide shouldering the front seat of mid-night sedans and a ball player on the outs and back ins and gats and tommyguns of the 45 persuasion ratatat-tating and the best cuppa joe in the world and a rock hard chunk of chocolate that ain't candy and Sinatra croonin' and Wind-song all over your mind and some secret and not-so-secret agents … and … and … and if this all sounds confusing, just keep in mind what Nelle Towse Callahan tells ya right out in front: 'Some-thing's up. Something always is.' Remember that and you'll be all right, bub. You will be exactly all right." — A.J. (Bill) Hayes, revered crime-noir author of our thriller times, who left us in shadows way too damn soon

5.0 out of 5 starsA Bit of Slight of Hand
on November 24, 2016
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
“A Bit of Slight of Hand.”

When we meet Nelle Callahan, she’s waiting in her office for a client when a fella walks in with a damp fedora on his head. Failing to give his name, he just says something is missing and wants her to find it. Well, Nelle says let’s cozy down to the Hill O’ Beans for a cup and Joe and discuss this case. From there things start happening and I do mean fast. Some mysterious fella is sitting in a back booth with a newspaper in front of his face, and Nelle tries to convince her new client to spill the beans – not the café’s beans, but his own. While this is going on a gangster walks in and demands protection money from the owner of the café/bar, but the owner tosses hot grease on him and Nelle shoots him in the leg. This is only for starters. Nelle makes an excuse to call a friend and the fella in the back booth attacks her – well, he lets her go real quick before she punches him out. He also has a case for her.

Well, any more and I’ll spoil the whole case for you. First, this is a fun novelette, written with humorous dialogue between fast action spurts. The author has a way with words that will make you smile, or even down right giggle a time or two. Nelle is an OSS agent, and being a private detective is a cover for other activities. In fact, this whole case could be labeled as one of her OSS cases, as the reader – or her clients – don’t see what’s coming before the cases are wrapped up. I found the story a lot of fun, especially the author’s writing. I was reminded a bit of an older pulp series character by the name of Dorrit Bly that appeared in the late 1940’s issues of DETECTIVE FICTION WEEKLY. Dorrit Bly was an ex Army G2 agent, and had a photographic memory and was highly intelligent. After the war she couldn’t get a license as a private detective, so had to do other things. She met a fumbling gentleman office worker who dreamed of being a detective, but didn’t have the mind for it, so Bly did the investigation using him as a front man and foil. She also was witty and solved the cases for her male counterpart. The author of the series was Frank Bunce. Nelle Callahan is in the same mold of the earlier series, and I think the reader, and especially pulp fans, will find Kate Pilarcik’s writing a delight. Highly recommended.
5.0 out of 5starsNot since Chandler
on October 7, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

Friday, June 16, 2017


Notice the two handsome guys above with the manly beards. They look like normal, cheerful lads. It's all a façade. Zack Kullis, the young guy, and Blaze McRob, the old fart, write some nasty tales of horror. Club Blaze, coming out soon, will show you just how nasty.

Club Blaze, published by Arcane Whispers Press, is in the final stages now. Zack Kullis, owner and publisher of Arcane Whispers Press, and yours truly, will be co-authoring this bad boy of extreme horror.

Nothing is sacred in this tome. The world is filled with horrific bastards. You will find out about them when you read Club Blaze. This collection of short stories will be novel length. Read a tale or more before you go to sleep for the night. Sleep is over-rated anyway. Make certain you have plenty of fresh linens for your bed because cold sweat will permeate every fiber of your sheets. Your mind will shudder in fear, while at the same time begging that you read more.

Get ready, those who lurk in the dark!

Blaze McRob

Wednesday, June 14, 2017


Monster Brawl, from Sirens Call Publications. Read about monsters killing other monsters! Great stories from super authors. Twelve in all. Read. Enjoy. What's not to love? Find some new monsters to love or hate!

Blaze McRob 

Book description:

It's time to let the monsters loose!

For this book, we collected stories of monsters doing epic battle with other monsters! The beasts could be classical by design with a unique twist, or they could be spawned straight from the author's imagination. The only rule: there must be a clear-cut winner at the end of each story; one of the creatures had to die!

Some of the stories in this collection pit a single monster against another, while others are all-out gang warfare. Some are campy, some serious, but all a fight for the ages!

It's time to get your game face on for twelve tales worthy of the title Monster Brawl!

**No monsters were hurt in the writing of these stories**

Tuesday, June 13, 2017


There has been a lot of controversy lately with artists of all kinds, and that includes authors, of not being politically correct. I have been wondering about that myself. I've been reading a lot of Mickey Spillane and Raymond Chandler detective novels lately and find that they were not kind to various races and sexual preferences. Probably, they would not be written the same today. However, they were a product of their times - 30's, 40's, and 50's for the most part - and that's the way people were in those times. Their stories were honest representations of the way many folks thought and spoke back then.

Mark Twain was often chastised for his use of certain words in his writings. Some were on and off the banned list because of his use of the N word. Once again, Twain wrote in the vernacular of the day.

One point to get straightened out before I go any farther, I do not in any way show disrespect to anyone based on any part of who they are. It's not my style. I believe we're all equal. But, should I present a story full of fluff to my readers, one that has been watered down to the point where it is comparable to Dick And Jane? No. No matter what an author writes, someone will find fault with it.

So, what is an author to do? First of all, write what you want to write. Be true to yourself, and, as Stephen King says, never censor yourself. Use real words. The thoughts are yours. Don't pollute them according to what other people think.  

Zack Kullis and I have a collection of extreme horror coming up soon: Club Blaze. I believe there are tales in this tome that will piss off many people. But, it's our book and we wrote it as we wanted to. No holds barred; no punches held back. Many, people, I'm sure, will love it. Others, not so much. Does it matter? No. There's a lot of shit going on in the world. Evil stuff. We write about that. That's our job. To write in any other way would tell the world we're fakes, writing to the ever changing climate of social justice.

Probably some time next year, I will be writing some hard-boiled detective stories. I love the genre. Always have. Which way I go, as far as the language is concerned, depends upon the time frame I put it in. I remember many of the areas of New York City which Spillane wrote about. I was born in the forties and remember the street language in the fifties and early sixties. Obviously, going along with what I wrote above, my wording would have to be true to those times, if that's my choice of setting and time. I might decide on post-Vietnam days in Oregon and Colorado. Those were entirely different times. I lived those days and remember them well. All of them. That comes with life experience. And since I never forget anything and hold a grudge forever, I will be certain to vent a lot. I'm entitled. It's my book.

So, my friends, if you write a book you love, others will love it too. Not everyone, but that doesn't matter. Your story will come from your soul and will ring true.

Happy writing!

Blaze McRob   

Saturday, June 10, 2017


Caged 3, by Chuck Buda, is the latest book in his A Post-Apocalyptic Dystopian Thriller ( Zombie Lockup ) series. Dangle your digits on the Amazon free sample page and you'll know this book is for you.

Hey! Would I lie to you?

Blaze McRob

Caged 3: A Post-Apocalyptic Dystopian Thriller (Zombie Lockup Series

Book description:

Divided who falls?

Old alliances are broken. New alliances are formed.

Lines have been drawn. And it becomes nearly impossible not to cross them.

The Warden’s new plan has devastating effects. But it might not be foolproof. Will he have the chance to see it through? Can Jack Turk survive long enough to escape the walls of Warsaw Prison? Or will Muncie succeed in tearing everything apart, one bloody strip of flesh at a time?

Zombies are nearing the perimeter. And the legions of undead are growing inside the prison walls.

The surprises in this post-apocalyptic horror tale have readers on the edges of their seats.

Buy this book to continue the terrifying series today!

Caged 3 is the third novella in the Zombie Lockup series by Chuck Buda. It is approximately 25,000 words and contains adult language, scenes of horror and a cliffhanger ending. Reader discretion is heavily advised.

Thursday, June 8, 2017


Elle Klass has a beautiful showcase page on her website for two of her books, Premonition and Infection, two books in her Zombie Girl series. I love the way the colors pop out at you, and all seven buying links are added to make it easy for you to purchase the books, no matter what device you use to read them on. She also includes a blurb and a great excerpt for both books. For authors looking for a way to jazz up their promotional opportunities, Elle has given you a great example. Also, her books are fantastic. I thought I'd toss that in.

Blaze McRob

Tuesday, June 6, 2017


Horror 101: The Way Forward is the best book on how to write that I have ever read. Granted, it is written for Horror authors, but everyone who puts pen to paper in every genre will get some great information from some of the best Horror authors on the planet. You won't find so many answers to so many questions anywhere else.

Joe Mynhardt, owner of Crystal Lake Publishing, - Publisher of this fantastic tome - did a fantastic job of lining up super talent. This reads like a who's who in the Horror world. The Kindle ebook is only .99. That's for over 400 pages! The paper version is on sale now for only $16.99. These great prices are easy on your bank account and make it a gift giving joy for friends on their Kindles or in their stockings come holiday time. Get one for yourself too!

I chose a couple of the reviews from Amazon that I like. They will explain what this book is all about. Yes, Cory Cline was nice enough to give me a super shout out in the second review I listed, but I'm not the only one he did this for.

Buy the book that was #1 on the Amazon charts for a long time in the how to write category. This great collection is still riding high. Do you write? You need it. You have my personal guarantee that you will love it.

Blaze McRob

Book Description

April 27, 2014
Horror 101: The Way Forward – a comprehensive overview of the Horror fiction genre and career opportunities available to established and aspiring authors.

Have you ever wanted to be a horror writer? Perhaps you have already realized that dream and you’re looking to expand your repertoire. Writing comic books sounds nice, right? Or how about screenplays?
That’s what Horror 101: The Way Forward is all about. It’s not your average On Writing guide that covers active vs. passive and other writing tips, Horror 101 focuses on the career of a horror writer. It covers not only insights into the horror genre, but the people who successfully make a living from it.

Covering aspects such as movies, comics, short stories, ghost-writing, audiobooks, editing, publishing, self-publishing, blogging, writer’s block, YA horror, reviewing, dark poetry, networking, collaborations, eBooks, podcasts, conventions, series, formatting, web serials, artwork, social media, agents, and career advice from seasoned professionals and up-and-coming talents, Horror 101 is just what you need to kick your career into high gear.

Horror 101: The Way Forward is not your average On Writing guide, as it is more focused on the career options available to authors. But don’t fret, this book is loaded with career tips and behind-the-scene stories on how your favourite authors broke into their respective fields.

Horror 101: The Way Forward is perfect for people who:
• are suffering from writer’s block
• are starting their writing careers
• are looking to expand their writing repertoire
• are planning on infiltrating a different field in horror writing
• are looking to pay more bills with their art
• are trying to further their careers
• are trying to establish a name brand
• are looking to get published
• are planning on self-publishing
• want to learn more about the pros in the horror genre
• are looking for motivation and/or inspiration
• love the horror genre
• are not sure where to take their writing careers

Includes articles by Jack Ketchum, Graham Masterton, Edward Lee, Lucy A. Snyder, Emma Audsley, RJ Cavender, Scott Nicholson, Weston Ochse, Taylor Grant, Paul Kane, Lisa Morton, Shane McKenzie, Dean M. Drinkel, Simon Marshall-Jones, Robert W. Walker, Don D’Auria and Glenn Rolfe, Harry Shannon, Chet Williamson, Lawrence Santoro, Thomas Smith, Blaze McRob, Rocky Wood, Ellen Datlow, Iain Rob Wright, Kenneth W. Cain, Daniel I. Russell, Michael McCarty, Richard Thomas, Joan De La Haye, Michael Wilson, Francois Bloemhof, C.E.L. Welsh, Jasper Bark, Niall Parkinson, Armand Rosamilia, Tonia Brown, Ramsey Campbell, Tim Waggoner, Gary McMahon, V.H. Leslie, Eric S Brown, William Meikle, John Kenny, Gary Fry, Diane Parkin, Jim Mcleod, Siobhan McKinney, Rick Carufel, Ben Eads, Theresa Derwin, Rena Mason, Steve Rasnic Tem, Michael A. Arnzen, Joe Mynhardt, John Palisano, Mark West, Steven Savile, and a writer so famous he’s required to stay anonymous.

Editorial Reviews


"Horror 101: The Way Forward - is sharp, savvy and packed with crucial information for anyone who wants to take a real bite out of the horror genre. Two taloned thumbs up!" - Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of CODE ZERO and V-WARS.

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Resource for Genre Writers May 1, 2014
By Bacchus
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The world of publishing is more than a little bewildering these days, with new options for publishing and a greater need than ever for writers to know how to market their work and promote themselves. Although this book is a mixed bag, the info that is helpful in this volume far outweighs the fluff, and is worth much more than the price of the book. If you're just starting out as a writer you NEED to read this book. If you're a pro with sales under your belt or are self-publishing your work, you'll find resources in here to increase your sales and fan base. There's great practical advice on the act of writing, being a writer (acting professionally), how and where to promote yourself, etc. from writers of books and movies, from veterans and fairly new success stories, from reviewers and editors. No matter what level you're on as a writer, you'll learn something worth learning. 

5.0 out of 5 stars Horror 101- Class is in session... June 25, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As another wannabe horror writer who always appreciates advice from the pros, Crystal Lake Publishing's Horror 101:The Way Forward was hard to resist. Joe Mynhardt has collected a slew of invaluable advice from some of the biggest names in horror as well as some of the new blood that is surely on their way to becoming well respected horror authors.

I am old enough to be of the classic On Writing Horror school, so much of the advice in here is simply hammered home again, but with updated views and fresh voices. Jack Ketchum, Graham Masterson, and Edward Lee begin the parade of great advice with their own beliefs on the horror genre. Ramsey Campbell gives some great advice on avoiding whats been done before, Steve Rasnic Tem gives a dozen solid tips on making a career, and Rocky Wood invites us to the Horror Writers Association. These well respected, and well known authors give solid advice that is fresh to hear again in their respective voices.

Writing has changed so much since the above mentioned classic that there needed to be something new to answer questions by writers, like me, who are realizing how vital the digital age is to a successful writing career. I am one of those writers who has no problem getting through a draft or two, but I get to the editing part and... oh look a butterfly is dancing around the garden outside my window... I can address my problems as a writer, but I am still fairly new to Facebook and the digital age. After years of telling myself how ridiculous Facebook and Twitter is, I have come to realize how vital it can be if used correctly. Many of the newer authors in this book have been active in the digital age for some time and I have picked up vital advice from authors I was somewhat familiar with, like Shane McKenzie, Michael Arnzen, Lucy Snyder,Tim Waggoner, and Scott Nicholson.

I was also more than pleasantly surprised by the advice from authors like Jasper Bark, Weston Ochse, Blaze McRob, and a few others whose writing was so good for this anthology of advice, that I will surely be looking forward to reading more from them and have already added many of them to my mental list of authors to check out.

As a struggling wannabe writer, I have to applaud and thank Joe Mynhardt, not only for his great advice within the pages of his anthology, but for taking the time to put this book together. The time he must have spent talking to these authors, putting it all together, and editing it must have been exhausting and I'm sure he cussed himself out for beginning such a detailed and extensive project. At the end, he has created a classic that any writer, not just us horror junkies, can call upon for advice and inspiration.

Thanks Joe!

Monday, June 5, 2017


Flux is the latest novel by Marissa Farrar. If you're not acquainted with her work, you should be. I have read many of Marissa's books. Her Amazon Author Page will give you a clue as to the variety of super reads she has available. Check them out. Flux is just one of many.

Blaze McRob

Book description:

I was just like any other twenty-two-year-old until a horrific tragedy changes everything.

When I wake up in hospital with barely a scratch, strange things start happening. At first I believe I’m being haunted by my lost loved one, until a leather-jacketed man called Hunter confronts me. Turns out the paranormal events are coming from within me, and the terrible incident has released an ability I have no control over.

And I’m not the only one.

Hunter takes me deep beneath my home city of San Francisco to become part of a secret group of people known as The Kin. Each member of The Kin has a special talent—the ability to control things with our minds. But others are onto us—men who desire to use us for their own gains.

Can I protect the people I have left, or will my powers be my downfall?

Book one in a brand new Urban Fantasy Series!

5out of 5 starsA new series from Marissa Farrar that starts with a bang!
on May 31, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Thursday, June 1, 2017


The second edition of Morbid Metamorphosis is now up for your reading pleasure! Greg Chapman has come up with a brand new cover which pretty much gives you some visual insight into what the anthology is about. I edited the anthology and can vouch that all these stories are great! Don't miss out. As an added incentive to read this fantastic book, the Kindle version is free from June 1st through June 5th.

Happy reading!

Blaze McRob

Book description:

Metamorphosis occurs every day as caterpillars become sweet fluttering butterflies, tadpoles become gorgeous frog princes and chameleons become one with the beauty of nature – but you won’t find any of that here.

The transformations you’re about to witness are unnatural, sometimes gruesome and deeply psychological. They will make you question reality and take your mind places it was never meant to go.

Terrifying Tales of Transformation from Greg Chapman * Roy C. Booth & R. Thomas Riley * Terri DelCampo * Dave Gammon * Nancy Kilpatrick * Rod Marsden * Jo-Anne Russell * M.J. Preston * Stacey Turner * Tina Piney * Suzanne Robb * Franklin E. Wales * Donna Marie West * Suzie Lockhart * Cameron Trost * Daniel I. Russell * Simon Dewar * Amanda J. Spedding * Ken MacGregor * Erin Shaw * Gregory L. Norris * Nickolas Furr

Sunday, May 28, 2017


The post below appeared on Rebecca Treadway's blog a number of years ago. The first part is hers; the second part is mine. This year I'm putting it here. It is just as timely today. Thank you Rebecca for sharing this with me!

It's not a "Holiday"

          There are three days on the U.S. Calendar that I pretty much consider offensive. I keep it to myself, as it gets tiring when someone tells me "Happy Thanksgiving" and I sometimes reply "Happy Thankstaking" back. Same with Independence Day. If you know American history and the way this country really was "founded" you'd be thankful for every day. At any rate. This past weekend, people have been throwing around "Happy Memorial Day" to me like it's something to be happy about.  It's not a "Holiday" - it's a day of remembrance.
Don't get me wrong. I'm glad I live in America and enjoy the relative freedom this country provides and the liberties I don't take for granted. I simply don't wait for a Holiday in the real world in which to give thanks. This is related to writing, believe it or not. My work in progress features people I know in my own area, "character models" who are Veterans of the Vietnam War. 
     Some are homeless, some are still shell-shocked (now called PTSD) and though the novel is a supernatural tale, the horrors of War are not fiction nor a "Holiday" I use as a reason to say Happy Day to some one and go to barbecue.
      I recently became acquainted with someone who I asked to act as an extra pair of eyes to beta read my WIP. He is also a Vietnam Vet.  My post today is a guest post to honor the fallen, and as a remembrance to those who served and still serve. 
That guest is fellow Indie Horror writer Blaze McRob

Memorial day is here, along with everything that it entails. No, I’m not talking about the picnics, trips to the mountains to do some fishing or whatever. I’m talking about the reasons the holiday was established.
     Okay, I should straighten this out now: I don’t believe Memorial day is a holiday. It’s a day of remembrance for those who suffered during war; for those who didn’t return. How the hell do you make a holiday out of death? You don’t.
     Every year I go to the cemetery and see tears flowing, vets who can hardly walk, and some with missing limbs. Others have no apparent physical ailments, but one look at their faces tells you a story of inner personal strife: demons trapped inside with no release in sight. They’re remembering; they’re not celebrating.
     So what do we do? Do we allow the festering inside to cause us to rot away?

         I’m a vet. I served in Vietnam in 1966 and 1967. There was much I saw, much I experienced, much that is beyond comprehension. It was fucking war! You know what? Wars aren’t nice. Wars suck!  As if that wasn’t bad enough, I came back to the states to a country gone mad: long- haired hippies with their signs saying we were baby killers and other shit. Peace signs were everywhere, but these so-called flower children saw fit to attack us with their signs. Some of those who were attacked hobbled along on crutches with only one leg. Others were in wheelchairs. Nice people, these hippies. Okay, I wasn’t in great shape myself, but I was damned if I was going to put up with that shit. I put a number of them down with their own signs before the MPs and cops stopped it all.

     Present day, the country has changed their opinions about the war over there. Maybe it wasn’t so bad after all; maybe we should have been shown some respect. Yeah, make it easier for us to get treated for things at the VA. PTSD is bandied about like these snot-nosed kid doctors in mental health hold all the answers. Put us all on drugs to mellow us out, help us forget about the war. Shut us up.

     Number one: it’s too late for people my age who didn’t serve to say they are sorry for what happened. Forty years ago was the right time. Not now. It’s like they’re offering us a gift that we should thank them profusely for. What?! They need the medication I threw away. While we endured what we did, they went to college and prepared themselves for a life of wealth and greed. Now the small peace offering arrives to assuage their guilt. Let them be guilty. I want nothing to do with cowards or false “friends.”

     Number two: I don’t want to forget. I want to remember every moment of it. Why do I want to remember the pain and horror? It’s a part of who I am and why I am. We learn from the past. Everything, bad and good, parades before us, warning us that moments are so easy to be recaptured in the worst of ways. A lot of the new crop of politicos on the scene have no knowledge of war. They never experienced any of the traumas associated with it, nor were they given a chance to rise up from the worst of the worst and become a real man or a real woman. In fact, so many schools nowadays are downplaying the teaching of history in schools so that our children will not learn the truth except from those who were there.

     I now bring horror into the horror. Blaze writes horror tales. Guess what? My horror is not all fiction. My soul screams for me to tell the world of true terrors lurking in the real world. And so I do. However, I don’t want to write a story about what happened to Blaze when he served. 
     Yes, there will be some juicy little tidbits scattered around: rats running over bodies half submerged in rice-paddies; bamboo shoots stuck up body orifices never designed for such attacks; dirt floors of single dwelling shacks in prison camps, covered with crawling vermin attracted to the hole in the corner which passes for hygienic toilet facilities. I think you get the picture. These goodies are to be shared with one’s readers in such a way that maybe they think these things actually happened or maybe they didn’t. Personal perception. Carole Gill says the worst horror is non-fiction, and she is so right.

     By instilling these truths into the façade of horror, we say what is without actually saying it is. A paradox of words, dealing with the mind in such a way as to instill truths and fears within the guise of story telling. We awaken minds, making them receptive to our message. In my way of thinking, we are presenting an honest subliminal message to our dear readers.
     We allow the reader to wonder what if? Yes, maybe it’s horror, but that doesn’t mean it’s all about gore and violence. The novel “1984” is a great example of this. I know I always pondered the possibilities.     
     The novel I just finished and am editing contains scenes of war, as well as other real-life health issues and betrayal I experienced in the past. Is this cheating, digging up moments from my life? I don’t really care. These are my moments; they belong to me; if they are altered to fit the story, so what! I’m writing fiction. Life is grand.     
We all fight our battles in different ways. I cleanse my soul with the release of my inner demons within the tales I write. Why should I write about fun-filled ditties? Isn’t it better to get rid of the bad and keep the good within.
      Memorial Day. Don’t pity us vets. Respect us for what we did. If you can’t do that then leave us alone: we don’t need you; we don’t want you.

On Memorial Day take some time out today and give our Warriors, past, present and future a moment of silence.
That includes your Twitter!

Friday, May 26, 2017


Witches Among Us, by Kathryn Meyer Griffith, is out now. This is The Fourth Spookie Town Murder Mystery ( Spookie Town Murder Mysteries Book 4 ). Kathryn is one fantastic author, and you will not want to miss this great book! Go to the free sample on Amazon and see if you don't agree with me. I know you'll want to purchase her book.

You can also find Kathryn's books on Smashwords.

Blaze McRob

Book description:

Spookie is a quaint village often cloaked in fog and filled with mysteries. The usual eccentric characters are here for their fourth murder mystery and the case is one which really hits close to home this time for Myrtle, the town’s Perry Como singing and wagon-pulling bag lady. Her sister Evelyn, the local animal hoarder, is missing. Strange miniature figures fashioned of twigs are found hanging from one of Evelyn’s trees as warnings. Because of them Myrtle fears a coven of wanted-to-be witches she once knew, and escaped from, almost sixty year ago could be behind the kidnapping because she stole their ancient black grimoire–and they want it back. But Myrtle doesn’t want to let them have it because she believes the grimoire is dangerously real. The book mustn’t fall into the wrong hands and the old coven’s hands are covered in blood. So Myrtle again seeks Frank and Abigail’s help in getting her sister back, alive, and protecting the grimoire. What they don’t know is a fourth addition to their team of sleuths, a mysterious psychic and new addition to the town, will emerge and join the battle…but whose side will she be on? Is she merely a psychic or is she something more? And will they get Evelyn back alive or will the old witches find and possess the grimoire first? The fourth Spookie Town Murder Mystery.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017


I have a book review I wrote a while back for Even Hell Has Standards: Pride, written by Chantal Noordeloos. Chantal has a wonderful way with words. She brings you into her stories in a most delightful way. Make sure you check out this great book as well as her other tales of horror. They are all great.

Blaze McRob

                                                                *    *    *    *

Book description:

Sometimes life brings out the worst in a person, but Adolf Zakerny was born for evil. After a life of torment and murder, all in the name of Hell, it’s time for Zakerny to take his place amongst the demons. Will the blood he spilled appease the charismatic Lord of Hell, or will Zakerny’s Pride come to a fall?

‘Pride’ is the first of seven short stories in the ‘Even Hell Has Standards’ series, where Chantal Noordeloos takes the reader through the darker side of human nature, and it’s road to redemption. This is Hell as you’ve never seen it before.

5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Believe In Hell? You Will Now!, April 24, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Even Hell Has Standards: Pride (Kindle Edition)
Chantal Noordeloos has come up with the perfect tale for those who do not believe in Hell. Her story is filled with plenty of gore and sadism, but it is the psychological horror which comes to the fore-front. Take one truly evil human, Adolf - even her choice of a name for the antagonist in this romp through the worst of what an entity could possibly foist upon his fellow humans is perfect - add pride which exceeds no known limits, mix well, and wham! We are blessed with a story which will most likely have theologians shaking their heads, wagging fingers, and spouting venom when perhaps they might see that maybe, just maybe, Chantal has hit upon something . . . something which could possibly be.

Am I saying the Gospel According To Chantal Noordeloos is true? Of course not. This is a fiction tale of horror, and the author is not bandying about any new dogma. What she does do, as any great author does, is open the reader's mind to the possibility of truth within the story. By creating a story line which appears to be reasonable, the reader is drawn into its intricate meanderings of what is to happen next to this man Adolf, a man who fears no one and is truly not repentant for his sins.

Does Adolf win? Does Satan win? Or does God win? Oh, me lads and lassies, that is not for me to say. Read this great story and get carried away within conceptual beliefs you may have never heard before. This book pushes the limits, but in the most delightful of ways.

Are you tired of fluff? Do you wish to read a thinking person's story, yet one filled with a telling and hypnotic spell? Chantal Noordeloos has written what you are looking for. Embrace the words of a master at her craft.

Even Hell Has Standards: Pride, will not let you down!

Monday, May 22, 2017


There are a lot of inconsiderate people popping up in the various groups on Facebook and elsewhere lately. I'm concerned mainly with writers' groups. As an example, one author posted her book cover of a soon to be published novel. This should have been happy time for her, right? It wasn't. Some guy blasted her over it saying it was horrible. I remembered him posting other things of the like in the past. He's rather opinioned, rude, and it seems he sells book covers. Hmm. I checked his credentials and didn't think his covers were all that good. My opinion, of course. Other authors said the same thing. Their covers were also not worth bragging about in my eyes. They were not horrible, but not great either. One guy liked the cover the woman had. Me? I also liked the cover. Obviously, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Unless you just wish to bring someone down, that is.

The same thing can be found with people finding flaws with formatting, editing, and much more. People come out of the woodwork to attack their peers. Wow! Why? No one is perfect. Remember that. As a rule of thumb, read the free sample on Amazon for a book and base your decision on that.

I am an editor as well as an author. As such, I see some great work and some that is lacking. Thank goodness I don't have to tell individuals when their work is not up to par. Another person handles that part. When I review a book for someone I only give 5Star or 4Star reviews. If the work doesn't warrant such I don't bother to leave a review. If the author knows I've read the book and asks me about it, I'll tell her/him in private. Yes, I get some authors who tell me I'm wrong, but I don't care. They asked and I told them.

Another thing that irritates me are people with high noses who have won many awards and try to lord it over the authors they consider to be beneath them. Sorry, people. I read for the content and not the celebrity. In fact, there are many authors who people love that I just can't get in to. Their tastes; my tastes. No one is right or wrong. Also, there is still some stigma attached to self-published authors and their books. There shouldn't be. A good book is a good book. Plain and simple. We don't need gate-keepers anymore.Those days are over.

I suggest that if you want to say something to help out a fellow author that you do it in private, and do it in a constructive manner. Otherwise, keep your mouth shut. There's too much negativity in this world today.

Thank you for reading this.

Blaze McRob

Sunday, May 21, 2017


Mary G. Fortier-Schütz II's Nighty Nightmare has a new home! And that's not all. It is now in audio. You can actually hear Mary as she spins her tales to you via her horror-sculpted ( yet sweet ) voice. And, as if that's not enough, she has been selected in the HEAR Now: The Audio Fiction and Arts Festival!

Congratulations, Mary!

Don't miss these great podcasts, my friends. My favorite is her telling of graveyards. But they are all great! Catch you over there.

Blaze McRob

Thursday, May 18, 2017


Nurse Blood, by Rebecca Besser, is waiting for you. This is a fantastic mystery, suspense, medical, crime thriller. Ahah! I bet I have your interest now. Rebecca is a great author and comes up with super on the edge of your seat tales. I recommend this novel highly!

Blaze McRob

Book description:

 Sonya Garret roams the bar scene hoping to steal the heart of an unsuspecting victim—literally…

Sonya, better known as Nurse Blood, is part of a team of lethal organ harvesters who seek out the weak to seduce, kill, and part out for profit on the black market. When Sonya meets Daniel McCoy, a young man recovering from a broken engagement, he’s just another kill to line her pockets with quick cash.

Agent David McCoy vows to find out how and why his twin brother Daniel disappeared…

Daniel’s body hasn’t been found, and the leads are slim to none, but it won’t stop David from dedicating his life to solving his brother’s case. When the evidence finally uncovers the shocking truth that Daniel’s disappearance is linked to organ harvesters, David knows his brother is most likely dead. But he’s determined to stop the villains’ killing spree before they strike again.

One last harvest is all Sonya and her team need to put their murderous past behind them…

A family with the rarest blood type in the world is the only thing standing between Sonya and retirement. David McCoy and the FBI are hot on their trail, though, and multiple targets make this the most complicated harvest yet. Will David unravel Sonya’s wicked plans in time to avenge his brother and save an innocent family? Or will Sonya cash in her final kill and escape for good?

Murder for profit stops for no man when you’re Nurse Blood.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017


Suffer The Children is John Saul's first novel. I read it many years ago and became an instant John Saul fan. There's not a novel of his I don't like. I can't say that about a number of other horror authors. Check this one out and you'll feel the same as me.

Happy reading!

Blaze McRob

Book description:

One hundred years ago in Port Arbello a pretty little girl began to scream. And struggle. And die. No one heard. No one saw. Just one man whose guilty heart burst in pain as he dashed himself to death in the sea. Now something peculiar is happening in Port Arbello. The children are disappearing, one by one. An evil history is repeating itself. And one strange, terrified child has ended her silence with a scream that began a hundred years ago.