38 with a sludgy bullet

Yesterday, I woke up after four hours of sleep to discover I was 38 years old.  No big shock or anything.  I’d been expecting it.  Hadn’t expected to reach it on so little sleep, but that’s my fault.  Sometimes movie rentals get the best of you.

After I scraped the ice off my car, I treated myself to a pretty sedate birthday: hot pho lunch, shopping at Target and the book store, then a quick hour of prep work at the restaurant.  It felt good.  At the tail end of my thirties, I’m too often broke and stressed.  Sometimes relaxation is what I crave.  The simple pleasures of buying a new belt and a plain gray T-shirt.  I’m old and boring, and I love it.

Next month, I have two writing projects coming out.  I’m the featured writer in the next issue of LampLight, so if you pick it up you’ll get both an interview and a new short story, “Bottle. Paper. Samurai.”  It’s something a little different from me.

Second up, Broken River Books releases my new collection Will the Sun Ever Come Out Again?  Containing four novellas, I hop you’ll pick it up and dig it.  There will be a contest involved, which I’ll drop details on soon.

So yeah.  It’s 2015.  I’m 38.  Let’s go….

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Will the Sun Ever Come Out Again?

In March, the super awesome Broken River Books will release my next collection. Will the Sun Ever Come Out Again? collects four novellas into one dark, weird, potentially heartbreaking package.  Among those novellas you’ll see redneck magician Charlie Crawford (in anticipation of his first novel, which is completed) and ancient evil The Darkness Below (from Down).  It also collects my long out of print novella He Stepped Through, which has been rewritten a tad.

But wait…there’s more.

I’m both thrilled and honored to tell you Laird Barron wrote an amazing introduction for this.  Laird’s a freakin’ hero of mine, so this is absolutely jaw-dropping for me.

So stay tuned in March.  Will the Sun Ever Come Out Again? Dig it, baby.

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Top Five Reads of 2014

It’s been a few years since I did this.  Sorry about that.  I’m constantly behind in my reading (and I’m not the lightning fast reader I used to be).  Because of this, the following list is a top five instead of a top ten, and it’s made up of books I read this year.  Very few, if any, were first published in 2014.

1. WILD FELL by Michael Rowe – One of the best parts of my ReaderCon trip this year was plunking down cash at the ChiZine table.  Those folks put out great books year after year. Among my many great buys, Michael Rowe’s WILD FELL stands at the top.  An ominous and unique take on the ghost story, Rowe starts with a kernal of dread and builds and builds.  The book accelerates as you read it, and I was finished with this one before I reached my first layover on the way home. Excellent read!

2. THE BEAUTIFUL THING THAT AWAITS US ALL by Laird Barron – This year brought us Laird Barron’s third collection, and it may be his best yet.  Dripping with atmosphere, the stories in this collection just burrow deep into the center of you.  “The Men From Porlock” was the stand out for me, with a look at Barron’s Old Leech, which is one of the best creations the genre’s seen in years.

3. SCALPED by Jason Aaron and R.M. Guera – This was the year I finally finished SCALPED, Aaron and Guera’s amazing comics tale of an undercover FBI agent infiltrating the reservation where he was raised.  One of the best noir comics I’ve ever read, full of intrigue, violence, heartbreak, and some of the most powerful characters you’ll find in comics.  I’ve linked to the first trade paperback collection.  Start there and work your way through the entire story.

4. THE WIDE, CARNIVOROUS SKY & OTHER MONSTROUS GEOGRAPHIES by John Langan – Langan is one of the best writers of short fiction working today, and this collection (only his second) almost feels like a victory lap, with Langan putting his unique spin on several of the genre’s better-known tropes.  There’s the zombie version of OUR TOWN, for instance.  With “Technicolor,” he twists Poe’s “Masque of the Red Death” into something even more terrifying.  The title story, might I add, is the second best vampire story I’ve read…ever.

5. NORTH AMERICAN LAKE MONSTERS by Nathan Ballingrud – What’s the best vampire story I’ve ever read? Why, it would be “Sunbleached” from this collection, which is a story that hits like a punch right to the heart.  I’d never read Ballingrud before this colelction, but I can now say he’s one of my favorite writers.  The stories collected in this book are outstanding from front to back.  Grab a copy and start reading.  You won’t be sorry.

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Housecore Horror Festival appearance

This weekend, I’ll appearing at Phil Anselmo’s Housecore Horror Festival as a guest of Sinister Grin Press.  We’ll have copies of Down and The Slab City Event on sale, and I’ll be trying to hide the fact that I’m not a metalhead.  Stop by and say hello.  If you buy a book and tell me your favorite Superchunk song, I’ll write you a little story.

SIGNING SCHEDULE

Friday, Octover 24th 3pm-7pm (with Shane McKenzie and Ed Kurtz)
Saturday, October 25th 10am-2pm (with Shane McKenzie)
Sunday, October 26th noon-4pm (with Shane McKenzie)

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LIKE THUNDER available now!

Ladies and gentlemen, my new novella LIKE THUNDER is now available from Thunderstorm Books.  Part of their Elemental line, this chapbook is a fun little collectible (and I like to think the story’s pretty awesome, too).  Go check it out!

To four friends desperate to start a new life, it seemed like a good idea: knock over a cartel safe house, grab as much coke and cash as they can find, and disappear. They had a plan. It should have been easy.

But then came the storm.

And the standoff.

And then something changed the entire world.

“Like Thunder is a potent dose of face-numbing fun. Like a Tarantino movie with an ending that would make M. Night Shyamalan shit his diaper and suck his thumb. Nate, as usual, serves up a steaming dish of bad assery.”
—Shane McKenzie, author of Muerte Con Carne and Toilet Baby

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SLAB CITY paperback, ebook, and giveaway

Hi, everybody.  It’s been a while.  That’s my fault.  I do most of my yapping over on facebook, these days.  I’ll try to bring it back over here, so we’ll see how that goes.

So what’s new?  Well, my zombies featuring hot rods, go-go dancers, paranoid militants, bikers, retirees, and an old man with a giant pistol and a lot of drugs novel THE SLAB CITY EVENT is about to graduate from limited edition to paperback and ebook. The folks at Sinister Grin Press tell me both edition should be available within the next few weeks.

To help celebrate this good news, Sinister Grin is also hosting a book giveaway over at Goodreads. Head on over, sign up, and maybe you can win some free books!

See all of you soon!

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Oklahoma Appearance, Pale Horses Hardback, more….

First up, on April 11th I’ll be reading and signing in Norman, Oklahoma for another round of Noir at the Bar.  This time, I’ll be appearing with fellow Austin authors Shane McKenzie, Ed Kurtz, and Gabino Iglesias, as well as Paul J. Garth, Troy James Weaver, Robert Spencer, and J. David Osborne.  Place is The Blue Bonnet at 321 E Main St, and the time is 8PM.  Be there!

Also, Pale Horses is now available in a limited edition collector’s hardcover from Thunderstorm Books.  The print run is limited to 66 copies, all of which are signed. Daniele Serra provided the amazing new cover.

Finally, my brother Mark’s postumously released novel One Summer is now available for purchase through Barnes and Noble.  Feel free to check it out.  I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but I’ve been reading Mark’s writing since before I picked up a pen.  Guy’s good.

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Mia Moja and One Summer

Happy Monday, folks.  I just wanted to take a second and bend your ear.  There are a couple of books I think might interest you.

The first is MIA MOJA, an anthology celebrating Thunderstorm Books’ 100th hardcover. Edited by myself and Michael McBride, this sucker contains novelettes from Brian Keene and Bryan Smith (reprints) and original novelettes by myself, Mike, J.F. Gonzalez, Mary SanGiovanni, Shane McKenzie, Gene O’Neill, and Ronald Kelly.  This one is a signed hardcover limited to 80 copies and should be considered by serious collectors.  Check it out.

The second book I want to tell you about is pretty personal.  I became a writer because of my older brother Mark.  He was one of the kindest, funniest spinners of stories I’ve ever known, and he could do great things with language.  For years, he wrote the satirical Mud Hollow News for our local paper.  He also wrote several novels, but none of them were ever published.  When my brother Mark died unexpectedly a few years ago, he left us as an unpublished writer.

Now, his sons have changed that.

ONE SUMMER is the book Mark considered his masterpiece.  Clocking in around 242k words (yeah, it’s a long one), ONE SUMMER of four friends who encounter a slew of trouble and terror while on a camping trip.  I never got to read the manuscript, so I’m very excited about getting a crack at the novel in its “closest to finished” state.  I hope you check it out.

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Noir @ the Bar New Orleans!

March 22nd. 7:30PM. The Irish House at 1432 St. Charles Ave.

I’m pleased as punch to announce that I’ll be appearing in New Orleans for the first time next month. I’ll be taking part in the New Orleans chapter of Noir @ the Bar, and I’ll be appearing with the incredible crime authors Charles Gramlich, Greg Herren, Laura Lippman, and Megan Abbott. It’s exciting to join these great authors.  I already have my copy of Megan’s Bury Me Deep packed up so I can get her to sign it.

Long story short, this is an amazing lineup.  If you’re anywhere near New Orleans, you don’t want to miss this sucker.

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Recent Review Round Up

A nice pair of reviews appeared this past week.

First, the fine folks at Mystery People give Pale Horses some love.

Then, The Horror Fiction Review takes a look at Down.

Go check ‘em out.

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