Are You 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.

So go ahead, get lost while taking A Walk in a Darker Wood.

The ancient spirits are beckoning.

Paying 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!

A Cordial Invitation to The Phantasmagorical Promenade

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Well, this is a pleasant surprise! An anthology I contributed to which I thought had been delayed is now available!

The Phantasmagorical Promenade, from Planet X Publications, is a tribute to the classic ghost story and its many variations. From Victorian gothics and M.R. Jamesian chillers to surrealist weird tales and ambiguous psychological thrillers, The Phantasmagorical Promenade explores what it means to be haunted in every sense of the word.

My story, “Social Medium,” is an updated riff on an old urban legend. It’s about a young woman who sends a message to the social media profile of a deceased peer… and gets a response. (Cue spoopy music.)

The Phantasmagorical Promenade is now available in both paperbook and ebook. Full TOC below:

Table of Contents:

Ashley Dioses – Behind Dead Eyes, part one
John Paul Fitch – Ray
Jill Hand – Not a Ghost
Matthew St. Cyr – All Through the House
Roger Taylor – Chatterbox Chatterbox, We All Fall Down
Sarah Walker – Be Careful What You Wish For
Rob Martin – We’re All Haunted Houses
Zoltán Komor – The Ghost Molester
Justin Burnett – The Slave House
Can Wiggins – Haint
John Claude Smith – You Cannot Live Here Forever
Alessandra Bava – Star-Child
S.L. Edwards – Aurora
Sean M. Thompson – Avaunt
S.E. Casey – Gods Rushing Madly
James Fallweather – The Philip Experiment
Philip Fracassi – The Taker
Debra Robinson – G Is For Ghost Fever
Alan Sessler – A Bitter Pill
Mer Whinery – The Children of the Crow Hollow Skillet
Scott J. Couturier – Ten Cents a Bottle
Manuel Paul Arenas – Night Hag
Russell Smeaton – Purpose
Frank Coffman – The Forsaken
Farah Rose Smith – An Account Above Burnside Park
E.O. Daniels – War Over Walter
Duane Pesice – Ghost Tracks
Levi Dunn – Something Wicked in the Hills
William Tea – Social Medium
K.A. Opperman – A Ghostly Lily
Ashley Dioses – Behind Dead Eyes, part two

Mannequin: Tales of Wood Made Flesh is Finally Here!

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Summer is almost upon us. The sun is shining and the temperature’s rising. If you’re a normal person, that means backyard cookouts, trips to the beach, and vacation plans. If you’re a shut-in like me, though, it means cranking up the AC and curling up with a couple dozen books. Luckily, there’s a brand new anthology out today that’ll make a perfect addition to that stack. And best of all, I’m in it.

The debut anthology from Silent Motorist Media, Mannequin: Tales of Wood Made Flesh is available now in both paperback and ebook formats. It features 16 stories about glassy eyes that should not see, wooden mouths that should not speak, porcelain bones that should not break, and plastic hearts that should not hate… but they do. They do.

My story, “Husks,” is about a man plagued by guilt over refusing to make amends with his estranged, now deceased father. Upon inheriting the family farm he becomes obsessed with making its soil flourish once again, even if doing so wreaks havoc on his marriage, his health, and his sanity. All the while, his efforts are overseen by a lone scarecrow, its burlap face blank but for a garish painted grin.

Check out the full contributor list below, then click on over to Amazon and order yourself a copy.

Ramsey Campbell
Michael Wehunt
Christine Morgan
Richard Gavin
Kristine Ong Muslim
Nicholas Day
William Tea (hey, that’s me!)
S.L. Edwards
Matthew M. Bartlett
S.E. Casey
Austin James
Jon Padgett
Duane Pesice
Daulton Dickey
Justin A. Burnett
C.P. Dunphey

Introduction by Christopher Slatsky