Monthly Archives: July 2008

JUST LIKE HELL purchasing information

(I never get tired of looking at that cover)

So here are some great places to buy Just Like Hell

First you can buy it direct from the publisher

Or you can pick it up at Horror Mall.

Also, if you’re a member of the Horror Drive-In messageboard, you can get the book for a few bucks off.  Pretty awesome deal, huh?

So go buy a copy!  If I don’t receive a royalty check soon, I’ll be forced to eat one of the cats.

Announcement: JUST LIKE HELL

(Secret’s out, so I’m announcing a day early)

JUST LIKE HELL
A Novella by Nate Southard

Introduction by Norman Partridge
Cover by Alex McVey

Published by Thunderstorm Books

Dillon has the world on a string.  With a record-breaking football season and several scholarship offers in his pocket, he can write his own future.But Dillon has a secret, something he’s never told the rest of his team.  Even his best friends don’t know.  They might not understand.  They might overreact. 

Now the secret is out.  Maybe that’s why Dillon just woke up in the trunk of a car.

And maybe that’s why Dillon is about to go through something Just Like Hell.

Perfectbound trade paperback
$10.95

This will be popping up at some of the online genre stores and at the Thunderstorm website over the next day or two.  If you can’t wait (and I know you can’t), you can order direct from Thunderstorm by sending $10.95 to info@thunderstormbooks.com via paypal.  Be sure to include your name and address.

On a personal note, I just want to say that this was not an easy book to write.  It’s brutal and thought-provoking, but it was a story I wanted to write and needed to write.  My most sincere thanks to Paul at Thunderstorm for taking a chance on me, to Norm and Alex for their incredible contributions, and to every last one of you who buys a copy.  Thank you.

Contact notes… AND MORE!

I realize now that the facebook link doesn’t really lead anywhere.  That is because facebook is retarded.  I may delete my profile over there, because so far I haven’t found a single use for the damn thing.

In other news, there will be a big announcement right here on July 31st.  Keep your eyes peeled, or I will thumb them right out of your skull.

Children from hell knocking on my door

True Story…

Monday night, Shawna and I are watching TV when the doorbell rings.  The dogs, as they usually do in these situations, go apeshit.  Barking, howling, and the sounds of claws over tile fill the house.

The doorbell rings again.

The dogs continue their apeshit-ery.  At this point, I do what I always do during these situations.  I get off my ass and put Greta in the garage while Shawna puts Boris outside.  Of course, Shawna desn’t put Boris outside this time.  She sits on the couch and continues watching TV.

That girl, I love her.

So I shove all 90 pounds of Boris out of the way and look out the peephole.

It’s two children.  A boy and girl no more than four years old are standing on my front porch.  They don’t appear to be selling candy.  Therefore, I have no use for them.

“Kids,” I tell Shawna.

She turns up the television.

The doorbell rings not once, but maybe a dozen times in the space of three seconds.  Hands start pounding on the door.

“Fuck off!” Shawna yells at the air.

More doorbell.  You’d think these little bastards have Christopher Walken yelling at them or something.  This continues for roughly five minutes.  Greta, trying to escape the garage so she can eat these fucking kids, has managed to get her head stuck in the cat door.  Boris is halfway through the front door and making steady progress.  Shawna cannot hear how the couple on TV is going to successfully Flip That House.

She leaps to her feet.  Apparently, she is concerned one of the kids might be on fire or something.

“Grab Boris!”

I’m pretty sure that’s her job, but I do it anyway.  Let it never be said I am not a team player.  I manage to drag our sherman tank of a dog six feet away from the door a split second before Shawna cocks back her leg for kicking purposes and rips open the door.

“What?!”

“I’m Chase!”

Boris bolts forward, and I wrestle him to the ground.  A few thoughts jump out at me.  1: Hey, it’s Chase!  2: Wait a sec. Who the fuck is Chase? 3: Chase, I’m pretty goddamn sure I hate you.

“What do you want?” Shawna asks. 

“Can we come in?”

“No.”

“Why not?”

“Because this is my house.”

“Let us in!” Chase speaks in a singsong voicee that makes me want to let go of Boris.  In case you haven’t guessed, Shawna and I do not have kids, nor do we plan to breed at any time in the, well, ever.

“No.”

“Why?”

“I don’t know you.”

“I’m Chase!”

“That’s great, but I still don’t know you.”

At this point, Greta now has her shoulders stuck in the cat door and is trying like hell to get her front legs through.  Boris is straining forward like he wants to eaither mount Chase or eat his face.  The front hallway is a symphony of dog barks, but Chase’s motherfucking knife-in-my-ear singsong voice rises above it all.

“I’m Chase! Let me in!”

It dawns on me that Chase and his little sister may in fact be an evil spirit, one that will soon start singing “God Is In His Holy Temple.”

Right about now, Chase tries to shove Shawna’s leg to the side and barge in.  Shawna very gently asserts her dominance and keeps the little hellspawn on our front porch.  I consider letting Chase and his sister inside, asking for their home number, and then calling their moronic, I-let-my-children-run-around-the-neighborhood-unsupervised parents and saying, “I have your fucking children.”  It occurs to me this may not be the best idea, but it stills sounds like fun.

Luckily, Shawna handles this situation much better than I.

“Go home!  Don’t ring my doorbell again!” and slams the door.

I let go of Boris, and he runs toward the door so fast he winds up headbutting the damn thing.  I pop Greta out of the cat door and sneak into the garage to spy on Chase and his sister.  They’re standing in our driveway.

“That was fun!” the sister says.  “Let’s knock on the next one!”

Man, I hate kids.

It never ends

Saturday morning, I finished the latest novel (at least I think it’s finished, time will tell).  I sent it off to the pre-readers (which reminds me – Doug, the job is yours if you want it), and now I wait for their notes to come tumbling in.

In the meantime, I start the next novel today.  I wrote the first few hundred words yesterday, priming the brain, and tonight I’ll crank out about 2000 words.

It never ends.  You move from one thing to the next, and you only get a second to breathe.  I want my career to keep growing, so I move like I’m running over rooftops.  If I slow down, I’ll never make the next jump.

The next jump should be announced in another week or two. 

In other news, I want more tattoos.  That means I need money.  Damn.

Become a writer! Never sleep again!

It’s edging toward eleven, which means I should be asleep by now (author’s note: I’m lame). Instead, I just spent the last forty minutes staring at the ceiling and driving myself crazy with career questions.

What kind of questions, you ask?

How about…

How do I make the jump from small press to mass market?

Is it even time to worry about that yet?

Is the latest novel even something the mass market would buy?

If not, why did I write it?

What should I write next?

When’s that one thing going to be announced?

Where’s my banner ad for that one thing?

Where’s my contract for that other thing?

Is the small press really about to collapse?

Is that other thing deserving of a sequel?

Who should I call to research how small town police departments work?

I need more pre-readers… but who?

Or is it “but whom?”

Aren’t I supposed to know that?

When should I worry about an agent?

No really, what should I write next?

See, kids? Being a writer is fun!

Not the length, but how you use it

First thing, minds out of gutters.  There’s nothing sexual going on here.

Only a few of you left?  Oh, well.

The other day I was browsing various spots online and saw somebody asking about the best way to add 10,000 words to a novel he was writing.  I could relate, because I’ve found myself in that position in the past.  That was the past, though.  Now, I can’t help but see it as a mistake.

Let me explain (and I’ll apologize right now for using the term “words” more than “pages,” just remember 1000 words = five manuscript pages = maybe 3 printed pages).  Since the ’90s, one mass market publisher has been one of the driving forces behind what might be considered “popular horror.” This publisher doesn’t require agented submissions, and they make it a point to be open to new authors.  This makes them quite popular to younger writers.  I know it makes them popular with me.

There’s one catch with this publisher, though.  They like their novels to be at least 80,000 words long, and while some of their novels don’t reach that count, those books are by highly notable authors.  In other words, you’re a new author wanting to break in with them, you better have those 80k words.

Like I said, I’ve been there.  I’ve poured over a finished manuscript, trying to figure out a way to push the word count, get those numbers so I can submit.  I’ve done it once or twice and it’s turned out okay.  More often, it winds up as a novel you have to drag yourself through, a real slog.  Ugly stuff, and I’m ashamed I wrote it.

See, you have to tell the story the way it wants to be told.  Look at Carrie.  That book’s damn near a novella, but it cooks.  Norman Partridge’s Dark Harvest is novella length, and it’s my favorite book of the past five years.  I read a Ken Bruen novel this past weekend that made Dark Harvest look epic-sized by comparison.  And all three of these books were released by major publishers.

I won’t lie to you.  Us young guns don’t have nearly the clout of the three writers mentioned above.  Don’t forget that Carrie was King’s first novel sale, though.  If the work is good–nah, forget that, because good isn’t good enough–if the work is great, really great, it will find a publisher. 

But if you fatten your novel just to reach a word count, you might not have such a great book anymore.  Keep that in mind.