Halloween Week Update

Well, we’re entering my favorite week of the year.  By this time next week, I’ll probably have watched The Excorcist, April Fools’ Day, Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, 28 Days Later, The Changeling, and Rosemary’s Baby.  Not a bad week.

Of course, there are other things to be done!

He Stepped Through is selling briskly.  The hardcovers are all but gone, and the softcovers are about halfway there.  If you’re considering this book, I’d snatch it up right quick!  Remember, both editions are signed and limited. 

I’m trying to finish up a novel this week, but a special story for next month’s free fiction may knock that back a bit.  We’ll see.  At the very least, the latest draft of this novel, 90% of which is completely new, should be done soon, then on to further drafts.  It’s a tough one, folks, but I think it might be really good.  Time will tell, I guess.

In upcoming book news, I can tell you I’ve three books coming, but I can’t tell you too much, as they’re currently unannounced.  I can say one is a collaborative novel and another is a collaborative novella.  I’d expect both of those sometime in 2010.  The third is a shorter novel that’s mine, all mine, and it’ll probably be out in 2011.

Well, that’s all for this week.  I bought a new bike on Saturday, and I’ll probably be riding it here and there all week.  Take care of yourselves, and Happy Halloween!

If you check out the Coming Soon


It is with great pleasure that I announce my next book, He Stepped Through.


One gray morning, the words appear everywhere: on the lips of the men shooting up an inner city burger joint, scrawled across a bloody crime scene, and written on the wall of the only occupied apartment in a downtown slum. In the space of a single day, they infect Los Angeles.

Crooked detective Walker wants to know what the words mean. Officer Megan Ricks can’t get the words out of her head. Gangbanger 2Bit wants to get as far away from the words as possible.

But the words can’t be escaped. They’re written in violence, and they promise terror. When their meaning becomes clear, no one will be safe.

This little powerhouse of a book is number 3 in Bloodletting Press’ Novelette Series and features a cover by Zach McCain.  It’s also one of the best things I’ve written.  Due out in February 2010, you can order it as one of 250 signed and numbered paperbacks or as one of 52 cloth bound and slipcased hardbacks.

Pre-order the hardback

Pre-order the paperback

Some Recent Reviews

Not of my stuff, but of some recent genre offerings that I enjoyed.  It’s October, so it’s the least I can do.


This anthology is a tribute to Clive Barker’s Hellraiser mythos, which started back in his novella The Hellbound Heart.  I remember watching the first Hellraiser several years after its release.  I was a high school student at the time, and nowhere near smart or mature enough to understand the themes of pleasure and pain and how they might mingle.  Years later, I can see the Hellraiser mythos as the groundbreaking work it really is.

This anthology, chock full of short stories set in that mythos, is great.  The worst of the tales is solid, and several are absolutely tremendous.  The best tales in the anthology: Sarah langan’s “The Dark Materials Project,” Simon Clark’s “Our Lord of Quarters,” and the Chris Golden and Mike Mignola tale “Mechanisms,” flirt with the mythos without turning in the base tale of “Character finds puzzle box, solves it, cenobites arrive and torture ensues.”  More great tales come from Tim Lebbon, Nancy Kilpatrick, a short comic by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean, and a story by Conrad Williams that was so good I went straight to the bookstore to find novels by the man.


Nowadays, the horror movie seems to be a lost art.  Filmmakers think shock and gore is the way to go, that audiences are jaded and want to be prodded rather than entertained.  Well, thank whoever your god is that Trick R Treat has finally been released.  Trick R Treat is a fun, deceptively dark tribute to the eighties anthology movies like Creepshow and Tales from the Dark Side.  Instead of being presented one story at a time, however, the tales here weave together, a character from one story brushing against a character from the next, passing the camera, in a sense.  The effect makes for great storytelling.

And the stories… The tales presented here aren’t gory or full of slashers.  They’re atmospheric tales that play off of Halloween lore in ways that are fun and frightening.  A friend of mine called it cute horror, but I’m not sure that fits.  It’s subtle horror, the kind you can have fun with and not feel the need to wash later.  Highly recommended!


By now, everybody and their mother has written a review of this.  Don’t pay attention to them.  Just go see it and decide for yourself.  Personally, I loved it. It’s a movie that settles in slowly and wraps its fingers around you.  The last ten seconds aren’t so great, but the sense of dread building to those ten seconds is incredible.

“Work Pit Four”

It is my great honor to announce that Brian Keene has purchased my short story “Work Pit Four” to appear in the first issue of his print newsletter, Of Keene Interest.  Brian contacted me on the first day of Fantastic Fest, and I wrote the story in a notebook while waiting in line for various movies.  The result is a short story heavy on the dread and strange ideas.  Personally, I think it’s one of the best things I’ve written.

Those who have purchased subscriptions to Brian’s newsletter should see the story sometime in November, I believe.