Monthly Archives: March 2012

Updates and Go-To Authors

Hello, out there.  Here I am, one day shy of going an entire month without an update.  Even if it is a tiny little month like February, that’s just unacceptable.  So, I’ll start by giving a few updates, and then I’ll move forward to something a little fun.  Okay?

UPDATES

First off, LIGHTS OUT is well apst halfway to being sold out.  If you’re interested in my brutal vampire novel, you might want to go grab one. Feedback has been very good so far.  A lot of folks are enjoying this one, so you might as well be one of them.

JUST LIKE HELL is now available in that wonderful Kindle format the kids all seem to love.

On January 1st, I turned in my next novel, DOWN.  There’s no concrete release schedule, so I’ll just tell you it’s coming this spring.

On April 1st, my novel THE SLABS is due to another publisher.  No release schedule on this one, either.  It’s coming, though!

GO-TO AUTHORS

So now I have a message board over at the Slaughterhouse Forums. On one of the boards, somebody asked who serves as everyone’s go-to authors.  Y’know, the folks you read whenever you want something you know will be fantastic.  I thought it was a fun little question, so I decided to flesh out my answer here, letting you know why these folks are my go-to authors.

Norman Partridge – Every now and again, I hear folks use the word pulp in a way that’s really code for “I like slasher movies and want my books to be the same.”  This never fails to piss me off, because there are some writers, like Norman Partridge, who do pulp in a way that I consider “right.” Norm takes the best facets of crime, creature features, comic books, and everything else you loved as a kid and turns it into something smart, action-packed, and terrifying. When you read something like DARK HARVEST or “Lesser Demons,” you can feel the grit on the page.  You can see the story in your head, playing like a grimy, scratched 16MM print.  Reading a Norman Partridge story is like grabbing a revolver and a bottle of bourbon, throwing them in the passenger seat, and shoving the gas to the floor as you aim for the horizon.  You don’t know what’s coming, but the ride is guaranteed to be amazing.

Sarah Langan – I first encountered Sarah when her debut novel THE KEEPER was filling bookstores in Austin.  I grabbed a copy and started reading.  A few days later, I had a new favorite author.  Langan creates characters who are flawed, possibly even shattered.  The horror in her stories comes not from something supernatural (thought there is plenty of that, and it’s always amazing), but from watching these people try, fail, and then try again, only to fail to an even greater degree.  You root for her characters, and every ounce of anguish they feel twists inside you.  Do yourself a favor and grab one of her novels.  You’ll thank me.

Laird Barron – If you’re a fan of weird, quiet horror that slowly wraps its fingers around you and then squeezes, you need to do yourself a favor and pick up one of Laird Barron’s collections.  Barron works wonders with prose, using the language in a way that just keeps ratcheting up the tension.  He writes about strange things, the hidden corners of the world and why they should remain hidden.  I want to say his stories are Lovecraftian, but I think that’s too narrow.  Besides Lovecraft never started a story with, “Then he bites off my shooting hand.”  Check out either THE IMAGO SEQUENCE or OCCULTATION.  Both are worth the read.

Gillian Flynn – The author of two novels, SHARP OBJECTS and DARK PLACES, that were marketed as mystery but could easily be classified as horror stories.  And what horrific stories they are!  While there are no supernatural entities in her works, Flynn’s novels start out as apparently simple whodunits before taking a sharp left turn deep into darker country.  The last few chapter of SHARP OBJECTS in particular floored me, leaving me staring in horror at the book in my hands long after I was done reading.  I can’t recall having such a visceral reaction to a book (other than one that was so awful I vowed to never give the author a second chance).  Seriously, start with SHARP OBJECTS and start reading.

Tom Piccirilli – I’d been aware of Tom Piccirilli for a while, had even picked up some of his older, strictly horror works.  When he released THE DEAD LETTERS, however, I really sat up and took notice.  Pic uses the English language like a knife, cutting away at the story with both long, elegant strokes and short, brutal jabs.  He writes crime novels that keep you guessing, that read like broken romances.  When I read his latest, EVERY SHALLOW CUT, I felt like he’d taken the mind of every writer, cut it to pieces, and put it out for display.  Pic doesn’t just shock or horrify you, he reaches inside and twists.  Of all the writers I’ve mentioned here, I’m looking forward to Piccirilli’s next book the most.