Haunted Nights Promos & Pre-Order

Lovely new promos for Haunted Nights, edited by Ellen Datlow and Lisa Morton:

Haunted Nights Poster

Haunted Nights Info.jpg

A Halloween anthology out just in time for Halloween; is there anything better? And promising to be an excellent one at that, with this author lineup! I know that’s a long time to wait, but luckily Pre-order is now available!

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Tales to Terrify and a Blast from the Past

Everyone remembers their first. Exciting but somewhat awkward; not as good as you want it to be; and maybe you shot it off a little too soon.

Their first published story, that is. What did you think I was talking about?

Mine was a dreamy, Twilight Zone -esque story of Halloween, crime, and alternate realities called “The Fifth,” published (fittingly) in an anthology called Alternate Dimensions in 2011.

Since it was the story that popped my publishing cherry, it was the one I sent off to Tales to Terrify, many years back now. Tales to Terrify is an audio magazine of horror fiction that’s been around since 2012 (they also have sister podcasts Starship Sofa for science fiction and Farfetched Fables for fantasy). I admit I had quite forgotten about my submission until now.

Tales to Terrify 225 has just been released, and it includes my story. So my first story published in print has now also become my first story narrated for audio!

Give it a listen, if you’re so inclined… or even better, check out the rest of their podcasts; they’ve got hours upon hours worth of stories in their archives.

The Burning Maiden

It’s been all quiet on the blogging front for a long while now; I can almost see the tumbleweeds rolling across my website. Soon after I began this blog, I started publishing short stories (and a novel) in the small press, and then, for a while, nothing. This is because I’ve set my sights on fairly prestigious (read: hard-to-get-into) publications, which means that for the past several years, I’ve published nothing but a few poems. Daunted by the impenetrable behemoth of the publishing industry, I fell silent.

In the time since I stopped posting regularly, I’ve been writing and revising short stories, and I’ve also finished my latest novel, which is floating around somewhere in the hands of literary agents (with all the nerve-wracking waiting that comes with that process). Unlike that first novel of which I never speak (ugh, going back to your terrible old writing, right?), I am convinced of this one. I also finished my MFA, bewitched the English department of a local community college to hire me despite an utter lack of experience, moved, convinced another college to hire me, and went through the typical “woe is me, does my writing matter, is it any good, etc etc” writer nonsense that everyone experiences.

And then something magnificent happened! There’s an old story of mine, which I wrote when I was 20 years old, called “Graveman.” This story, I always thought, was something unique. It won the fiction category of my university’s annual creative writing contest when I was a sophomore. It was accepted into an anthology a few years later—my first professional-rate sale. And then I never heard of it again, and I was on the brink of thinking it would never get published, when lo and behold, I found out today that the anthology has just been released. What’s more—and this is the part that really blows my mind–the anthology also includes work by Paul Tremblay, Laird Barron (a favorite—read him, read him!), and one of the biggest names in horror: Ramsey Campbell. I am in awe; I am humbled; I can’t get over it. My story appears right after Ramsey Campbell’s story. That’s the closest I’ve ever been to a horror legend!

What a strange, surprising, and exhilarating experience. I’m so excited to read all of the stories in the anthology, which uniquely captures that wonderful place where the literary meets the horrific: exactly the place I like to ensconce myself and hang around, for a bit, in the shadows.

The Burning Maiden Vol. 2 can be found in print and digital formats, on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Burning Maiden

Glimmer Train’s Short Story Award for New Writers

Most folks in the literary world are aware of the prestigious magazine, Glimmer Train, and its lauded contests like the quarterly Short Story Award for New Writers. (If not, go check it out!)

I’m pleased to announce that my story, “Westward,” earned an Honorable Mention for the February 2014 contest. While it did not make the top-25 list, it was in the top 5% of over a thousand entries.

Click here to see the full list of of stories that got an honorable mention. The results of the winners will be posted on May 1, but a premature congratulations to them!

As my friend Axel Howerton said, “GT is a notoriously hard nut to crack,” and he’s definitely right about that. On the other hand, as my other esteemed friend, Richard Bausch, said, “There aren’t 25 stories that are better than that one. It should have won.” Many, many thanks for your continued belief in my writing.

One of the most gratifying aspects of writing is getting to share if with readers; I would love to share this story with all of you. I’ve submitted it to other publications, one of which will hopefully pick it up. I look forward to the day it is published and I can share it with everyone.

Until then, I’ll just keep on writing.