Ready to Take A Walk in a Darker Wood?

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Just in time to remind you of the dark pagan roots of all your favorite holiday traditions, A Walk in a Darker Wood is now available!

This anthology of folk horror stories and poems features new work from myself, Manuel Arenas, Chelsea Arrington, Hayley Arrington, David Barker, Adam Bolivar, Phil Breach, Scott J. Couturier, Ashley Dioses, S.L. Edwards, Maxwell I. Gold, John Linwood Grant, Jill Hand, John H. Howard, Maquel A. Jacob, Shayne Keen, D.L. Myers, K.A. Opperman, Duane Pesice, A.P. Sessler, Russell Smeaton, Michael Walker, Sarah Walker, Gordon B. White, Can Wiggins, and Ivan Zoric.

My story, “The Blackdamp,” is one that’s been living rent-free in my head for years. It’s about a man investigating the circumstances surrounding his mother’s hospitalization in a small, rural Pennsylvania mining town. This story combines centuries-old coal miner folklore with Goetic demonology in what I hope is an emotional take on familial guilt, Rust Belt desperation, and the energy industry’s blood-soaked past (and present). To be honest, this one was tough for me to write it times; it’s very personal. Nevertheless, I’m excited to finally share this story with readers.

Get lost while taking A Walk in a Darker Wood.

The ancient spirits are beckoning.

Fulci Lives… on Kickstarter!

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As I mentioned back when I participated in Muzzleland Press’ “Creature-Feature Conversations” blog series, Italian director Lucio Fulci is my No.1 favorite filmmaker of all time. His gruesome and surreal horror films, bearing such lurid titles as The Gates of Hell, The Beyond, and House by the Cemetery, capture a kind of hazy, nebulous nightmare logic that is, to my mind, utterly one of a kind.

Having said that, you better believe that when editors Perry Ruhland and Astrid Rose invited me to contribute to their new project, a Lucio Fulci tribute anthology called Beyond the Book of Eibon, I RSVP’d immediately.

I’m not alone, either. Below, you’ll find a tentative list of contributors, which I’m sure will eager to pony up your hard-earned moolah for a copy all your own. Well, don’t you fret; even though Beyond the Book of Eibon isn’t out yet, you can ensure you’re one of the first people to get their hands on it by backing the crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter! C’mon, you know you want to.

  • Adam Cesare (Clown in a Cornfield, Video Night)
  • Gemma Files (Experimental Film, The Hexslinger trilogy)
  • Orrin Grey (Guignol and Other Sardonic Tales, Painted Monsters and Other Strange Beasts)
  • Michael Hoarty (Akashic Imprint OdditiesThe Bodies Bear Traces of Parasitic Infection forthcoming)
  • H.K. Lovejoy (Funerary artist, The Black in Between forthcoming) 
  • Kai Perrignon (Static Vision, The Melbourne International Film Festival)
  • Jonathan Raab (The Hillbilly Moonshine Massacre, Camp Ghoul Mountain Part VI: The Official Novelization)
  • Perry Ruhland (The Last Nautilean & Other Seaside Phantasmagoria, Sungazer)
  • Zin E. Rocklyn (Nox Pareidolia, Flowers for the Sea forthcoming)
  • Astrid Rose (Morbid Tales: An Anthology of Weird Fiction, Bullet Points Monthly)
  • Matt Serafini (Rites of Extinction, Under the Blade)
  • Christopher Slatsky (Alectryomancer and Other Weird Tales, The Immeasurable Corpse of Nature)
  • William Tea (Mannequin: Tales of Wood Made Flesh, In Stefan’s House: A Weird Fiction Tribute to Stefan Grabiński)
  • Mike Thorn (Darkest Hours, Shelter for the Damned forthcoming)
  • Mer Whinery (Trade Yer Coffin for a Gun, The Little Dixie Horror Show)

My First Editing Gig: The Blind Dead Ride Out of Hell

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When I first started putting my writing out there a few years ago, I never imagined all the cool, fun, fascinating anthologies I’d have a chance to work on. In all that time, though, I’ve only worked on them in a writing capacity; I’ve never been on the other side of the equation, the editorial side.

At least, not until now.

See, I was talking to writer, editor, St. Rooster Books founder, and all-around good guy Tim Murr on Facebook one day when I mentioned my interest in someday giving editing a try. To my surprise, Murr offered me a chance to co-edit a new anthology he was working on and, after much hemming and hawing on my part, I happily signed on.

That anthology, The Blind Dead Ride Out of Hell, is now available on Amazon.com. A literary tribute to Spanish filmmaker Amando de Ossorio’s Blind Dead quadrilogy, the book features original stories by Paul Lubaczewski, Sam Richard, Heather Drain, Mark Zirbel, and Jeremy Lowe, plus an introduction by Jerome Reuter of Diabolique Magazine, a new essay on the film series by Murr, and a parting afterword by yours truly.

As much as I would love to take credit for this project, the truth is that The Blind Dead Ride Out of Hell is first and foremost Murr’s baby. Everything good about this book is a direct result of his hard work, and anything bad about it is a direct result of my own inexperience. I am very grateful to have been a part of this project and I sincerely hope it’s just the first of many anthologies where my firm and toned butt is planted squarely in the editor’s seat.

P.S. If you’re unfamiliar with the Blind Dead films, check out the trailer for the first in the series, Tombs of the Blind Dead, below. Chock full of Satanic rituals, horseback-riding ghouls, funereal atmospherics, and stylish ’70s fashions, it’s not hard to see why I love these movies so very, very much.

Help Me Pay Tribute to a Modern Master

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One of the biggest and bestest things to happen to me last year was having the chance to contribute my story “Husks” to Silent Motorist Media‘s Mannequin: Tales of Wood Made Flesh, which then went onto be named “Best Multi-Author Anthology” of 2019 by my beloved Rue Morgue Magazine.

So naturally, when the editor and publisher of that book, Justin Burnett, asked me if I’d like to contribute to his latest project, I had to say yes. Good thing, too, since said project is a literary tribute to Matthew M. Bartlett. If I wasn’t invited, you can bet your ass I’d have done my damnedest to weasel my way onto that TOC regardless.

Bartlett is quite simply one of the very best, most twisted, and most surreal practitioners of the arcane and macabre working today. I’m hardly alone in naming him a personal favorite contemporary author. What’s more, Bartlett is also an incredibly friendly, down-to-earth, stand-up guy who I’ve had the good fortune of hanging out with a handful of times at NecronomiCon Providence and StokerCon. No living creator deserves to be celebrated more than Matthew Bartlett. There may be many who deserve it just as much, but none who deserve it more.

Titled Hymns of Abomination: Secret Songs of Leeds, this upcoming anthology features brand new works by myself, Nathan Ballingrud, John Langan, Brian Evenson, Gemma Files, S.P. Miskowski, B.R. Yeager, Jonathan Raab, Tom Breen, Joseph Pastula, Joanna Parypinski, Farah Rose Smith, Scott R Jones, Betty Rocksteady, Christine Morgan, Kristine Ong Muslim, Christopher Slatsky, Donyae Coles, S.L. Edwards, John Linwood Grant, Robert S. Wilson, Jon Padgett, Sean M. Thompson, and Brian O’Connell.

Hymns of Abomination is currently being crowdfunding on Kickstarter, and to give you an idea of just how psyched this project has got people, it smashed its initial funding goal within 24 hours of the campaign going live. Every penny donated from here on out will go towards making the anthology even better through a number of tantalizing stretch goals.

Contribute today to pre-order a copy for yourself. In doing so, you’ll be helping to pay tribute to a truly one-of-a-kind creator.

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!