Surprise! I’ve Got a New Story on the Way

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Who doesn’t love a surprise? Whether it’s a surgically enhanced stripper popping out of a giant cake, a spring-loaded toy snake popping out of a can of mixed nuts, or an acid-blooded extraterrestrial death-beast popping out of your chest, a good surprise is sure to liven up any party, occult ritual, or bris!

And, of course, the best surprises are the ones that involve me get paid fat stacks of cash… er, I mean… me having the honor and privilege of contributing to an exciting new publishing project.

In all seriousness, it really is an honor and a privilege to contribute to an exciting new publishing project. The project in question? A Walk in a Darker Wood, an all-new anthology of original folk-horror stories, poems, and illustrations by…

  • Chelsea Arrington
  • Hayley Arrington
  • Adam Bolivar
  • Phil Breach
  • Scott J. Couturier
  • Ashley Dioses
  •  S. L. Edwards
  • Maxwell I. Gold
  • John Linwood Grant
  • Jill Hand
  • John H. Howard
  • Shayne K. Keen
  • David Myers
  •  K. A. Opperman
  • Duane Pesice
  • Rachel E. Robinson
  •  A. P. Sessler
  • Russell Smeaton
  • Sarah Walker 
  • Gordon B. White
  • Can Wiggins
  • Ivan Zoric
  • Rebecca Allred

But, as Ron Popeil would say, that’s not all! Remember that surprise I mentioned earlier? Well, here it is: as of today, the extraordinary David Barker and the very ordinary William Tea (that’s me!) have been added to A Walk in a Darker Wood‘s line-up as surprise bonus contributors. Gosh, I’ve never been a surprise before (unless you count the tragic morning when my parents realized that getting sloshed on Jim Beam in the back of an Oldsmobile was maybe not such a great idea after all).

Like all the cool kids are doing these days, A Walk in a Darker Wood is currently being crowdfunded via Kickstarter, so if you’d like to get in on the ground floor and help this funky folk-horror dream become a funky folk-horror reality, zoom on over there and reserve your copy now!

Creature-Feature Conversations: The Beyond

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Pop quiz: Who’s your favorite director? Not just of horror movies, but in general. For me the answer will always be Lucio Fulci, Italy’s dearly departed king of surrealistic splatter. Knowing that, you can imagine how over the moon I was when Muzzleland Press head honcho Jonathan Raab asked if I wanted to return to his ongoing blog series, “Creature-Feature Conversations,” to discuss one of Fulci’s all-time greatest films with him and author Thomas C. Mavroudis.

Raab and I previously watched and discussed the 1991 Dan O’Bannon movie The Resurrected, which was a lot of fun (I highly recommend you give our conversation I read). Getting to talk about The Beyond with Raab and Mavroudis, though? That was a blast.

Like a bullet through the face of an evil little girl with ghost-white eyes, oh yes, it was definitely a blast.

Enjoy the zombie-filled trailer for The Beyond below, then redirect those big beautiful ungouged peepers of yours over to the Muzzleland Press website to get your Fulci fix.

Soggy Greetings from the Residents of Innsmouth

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I love getting stuff in the mail, don’t you?

Even better is getting stuff in the mail that I had a hand in creating!

The postman’s latest delivery was a doozy: Residents of Innsmouth, a new art book by Russell Smeaton, AKA Tikirussy. Inspired by H.P. Lovecraft’s classic tale “The Shadow Over Innsmouth,” this book presents a series of portraits depicting the upstanding citizens of New England’s most secretive fishing village in all their scaly, scabrous glory.

Accompanying each illustration is a short biographical story, poem, or profile penned by a different author. Some are serious. Some are funny. Some are visceral. Some are contemplative. All are great.

Being that Lovecraft is my favorite writer and “The Shadow Over Innsmouth” is one of my favorite stories of his, it should go without saying that I’m very happy to have gotten to be one of the contributing authors. I wrote three pieces offering glimpses into the lives of three of Smeaton’s most colorful Innsmouthers: 1. Jumbo Lump, the Gilman House chef who’d practically kill to cook something other than seafood, 2. Sturgeon the Surgeon, a self-taught doctor struggling to treat a population whose anatomy is constantly changing, and 3. Walter E. Grave, a ruthless gangster with a penchant for leaving those who cross him “swimming with the fishes.”

Other contributors include John Linwood Grant, Sarah Walker, Shayne Keen, K.A. Opperman, Ashley Dioses, Alan Sessler, Phil Breach, Jill Hand, and John Paul Fitch.

Below, I’ve included a pint-sized peek at some of Russell Smeaton’s character designs (sorry, but if you want to see them in full you’ll have to buy the book). Originally funded through Kickstarter, the initial printing of Residents of Innsmouth has already sold out and is now in the hands of the backers. Don’t start scouring eBay for secondhand copies just yet, though! Anyone who missed out can order a new print-on-demand copy of Residents of Innsmouth by contacting Smeaton himself via his Facebook page at facebook.com/Tikirussy.

Until next time, happy sailing!

Creature-Feature Conversations: The Resurrected

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COVID-19 got you down? You’re not alone. Luckily, to make this ongoing quarantine a little less boring and a lot more spoopy, author/editor/publisher Jonathan Raab of Muzzleland Press has resurrected his blog series “Creature-Feature Conversations.” Every few weeks, Raab and another writer will watch a horror movie, then have a back-and-forth conversation about it via email, which will then be shared online in its entirety for your amusement and/or derision.

Featured authors thus far have included Gemma Files, Mer Whinery, Sean M. Thompson, Dominique Lamssies, and Brian O’Connell, with many more to come. Conversations cover everything from behind-the-scenes history to thematic analysis to MST3K-style ribbing. This week, I was fortunately enough to play Siskel to Raab’s Ebert as we discussed the semi-obscure 1991 H.P. Lovecraft adaptation The Resurrected. I’ve shared the trailer down below, for those interested. Give it a watch and then head on over to the Muzzleland Press website to see what Raab and I had to say about grisly this cult flick from Return of the Living Dead director and Alien scribe Dan O’Bannon (R..I.P.).

Rue Morgue Names Mannequin Best Anthology of 2019

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I’ve been a loyal reader of Rue Morgue Magazine since 2005, when an issue with strikingly gore-geous Joe Coleman cover art based on the 1986 film Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer caught my eye at the local bookstore. After returning home with the magazine and reading it cover to cover, I was hooked. To this day, I maintain that Rue Morgue Magazine is home to some of the very best coverage and analysis of the horror genre you’re likely to find.

Believe it or not, I’m not saying all this in the vain hopes that the staff will reward me with a free lifetime subscription (although I certainly wouldn’t mind that). In truth, I’m saying all this to illustrate just how big a moment it was for me to open the January/February 2020 issue of Rue Morgue and see that the editorial staff had named Mannequin: Tales of Wood Made Flesh, an anthology I contributed to, 2019’s “Best Multi-Author Anthology.”

A heartfelt congratulations to editor Justin Burnett and all my fellow contributors who made that book so great. I’m very grateful for being able to ride your coat tails into fortune and fame, my friends!

Find out what makes Mannequin: Tales of Wood Made Flesh award-worthy by buying your own copy from Amazon. And while you’re at it, show some support to Rue Morgue Magazine too.

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