Tag Archives: Greg Gifune

A Beautiful Madness cover reveal

Very excited to reveal the cover my publisher just sent me! It’s an August 2014 release. Can’t wait until you all can read it and tell people about it. Thanks to Shane Staley, Greg Gifune, Dave Thomas and Zach McCain for the hard, incredibly fast work! And the same to my pre-readers: Shaun, Chris, and Char.

A Beautiful Madness novel cover

A Texas Senator and his wife go missing… On the same day, their son is slaughtered by an enigmatic killer on the lawn of ex-Governor Edward Wood’s residence. Sammy, Wood’s drug dealing son, suspects his father of the crime. After all, his old man snapped once before and crippled his wife with a lead pipe. But there’s something more to these events… something deeper and festering just beneath the surface…

In direct opposition to Homicide Detective Jim Thompson, Sammy begins an investigation of his own, searching for the truth in a labyrinth of lies, deception, depravity and violence that drags him deeper into darkness and mayhem with each step. And in doing so, brings them all into the sights of an elusive and horrifying killer who may not be what he seems.

A brutal killer on a rampage of carnage… a hardened detective on the brink… an antihero from the shadows… a terrifying mystery that could destroy them all…

A BEAUTIFUL MADNESS, the harrowing new novel of dark crime and suspense from Lee Thompson.

Ideas for Christmas Book Buys

Hey there you sexy pilgrims. I hope everybody is well. I’ve bought a bunch of books recently and figured, hell, why not do a suggestion post of some of my favorites old and new to help you with your merry holiday shopping list! Keep in mind that most of these are dark, heartbreaking tales, not feel-good reads, although there are a couple on the list that have moments of wonderful humor (like Grendel, Beautiful Sorrows, and Savage Season).

Darkfuse Book Club: It’s a hell of a deal! Top-notch writing from established writers on both sides of the pond, as well as up & comers like myself. They used to be Delirium Books and have since branched out into Dark Fiction of all styles, which I think is truly awesome. Got a hankering for Horror, Sci-fi, Mystery, Techno-Thriller, Noir, Coming-of-Age, etc., Darkfuse has you covered!

GRENDEL by John Gardner: Easily in my top-three of all-time favorites. Beautifully written, tragic and funny.

THE LAST KIND WORDS by Tom Piccirilli: Pic is a master of Noir. The sequel to his novel was released recently. Check them out!

WILLY by Robert Dunbar: A truly underrated author who, with this novel, captures some of my favorite things a great story can produce. This novel still sticks with me.

THE BLEEDING SEASON by Greg Gifune: Another underrated author. This novel is extremely atmospheric, as is all of Gifune’s work, and the story is a perfect example of why craft is so important.

THE RAPIST by Les Edgerton: This is one wicked read but don’t be scared by the title. It’s a terrific book!

THE DAMNED by John D. MacDonald: I heard of John D. MacDonald through John Connolly’s BOOKS TO DIE FOR… MacDonald quickly became my favorite of the old pulp crowd. He’s a master of characterization and most of his stories zip along. This one is brilliant in a very subtle way, kind of like WINESBURG, OHIO by Sherwood Anderson. He was one of Stephen King’s and Dean Koontz’s favorite authors too.

WATER FOR ELEPHANTS by Sara Gruen: Still one of my favorites, and the book is a thousand times better than the movie. Read it!

MORDRED, BASTARD SON by Douglas Clegg: Like EDGERTON’S The Rapist, this short novel will not set well with the PC crowd, but it’s brilliant and I think Clegg’s best.

BEAUTIFUL SORROWS by Mercedes M. Yardley: Mercede’s first short story collection. Dip your toes and imagination into an assortment of tales that are at once disturbing and humorous. This gal is a sweetheart and so incredibly talented.

THE GIRL NEXT DOOR by Jack Ketchum: Ketchum’s novel pulls off that tough to do ‘I want to punch this protagonist in the face,’ thing. At it’s heart it demonstrates the damage done when we stand by and watch horrible things happen. Sadly, I think this is one of the truest novels there is.

SAVAGE SEASON by Joe Lansdale: The first Hap & Leonard novel and a great introduction to these two raw-boned characters. What a great series!

SHARP OBJECTS by Gillian Flynn: A short novel with a terrific punch!

THE END OF EVERYTHING by Megan Abbott: Still my favorite of her novels. Haunting and fast-paced and has a perfect ending.

THE CYPRESS HOUSE by Michael Koryta: I met Michael at Bouchercon and he signed a book for me. Such a nice guy and terrific writer. In many ways he reminds me of a cross between two other favorites–Michael Connelly and Dennis Lehane.

WHITE DOVES AT MORNING by James Lee Burke: Great novel!

CABAL by Clive Barker: This was one of the first Barker books I read and certain moments are still vivid in my memory. He’s such a talent at showing how our hunt for excitement and pleasure can transform us.

THE BOOK OF LOST THINGS by John Connolly: Still my favorite of Connolly’s!

THE HAUNTING OF HOOD CANAL by Jack Cady: Read it!

And for a shameless plug, add WHEN WE JOIN JESUS IN HELL by me. It’s my most popular release so far and a quick, powerful read that heroes like Tom Piccirilli and Jack Ketchum read and blurbed.

If you’re on Twitter, give me a follow. If you’re on Goodreads, friend me. And don’t forget to subscribe to my website newsletter since I have a lot of big news coming in 2014!

Happy holidays to all!

Random Fun Stuff…

It’s been a crazy and exciting year so far, and it’s hard to believe that it’s almost over.

Right now I’m working on an interview for @HarperCollins author Michael Stanley (Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip) who I met at Bouchercon a month ago where they won the Barry Award for Best Paperback Original for the third novel in their series. They’re such lovely guys and the Detective Kubu series is so unique. I think the interview will be a lot of fun for everybody.

In the past couple days I’ve knocked out some serious story wordage in a new Thriller novel–The Wolverine. I expect I’ll finish the first draft by the end of the month if life doesn’t throw me too many curve balls. It’s about a dysfunctional family and a complex killer, a book that will explore the bonds of family, forgiveness, death, and maturity. This is another novel that I intend to sell under a pen name to keep separate from my Horror/Dark Fantasy work. It’s a lot of fun writing this book like it was to recently write The Lesser People. I see my career branching off, and like the idea of it, since most of my favorite work is more Literary Crime/Thrillers (think Dennis Lehane, John Connolly, Michael Koryta, Michael Connelly, Lee Child.) I’ll still write under my own name too, because I love Dark Fantasy in the vein of Clive Barker, Joe Hill, Brian Hodge, John Gardner, Jack Cady, Neil Gaiman, Robert Dunbar, Greg Gifune, and Peter Straub. So it’ll be a doubly fun adventure to do both genres under different names.

My latest novella (When We Join Jesus in Hell) from Darkfuse is doing well. If you’ve read it, share it with a friend and leave a review somewhere please.  I also picked up two new pre-readers yesterday and look forward to their feedback from a reader’s standpoint to balance my writing buddies that pre-read from a writerly/reader angle.

Right now I’m reading William Faulkner’s Snopes Trilogy, and Mercedes M. Yardley’s Beautiful Sorrows. Recently finished John Gardner’s Freddy’s book, which I enjoyed but Grendel (my favorite read so far this year) it is not. 

Some things I’ve found interesting around the web lately…

Shock Totem, my favorite Dark Fantasy magazine, shared a bunch of covers here.

Jane Friedman from Writer’s Digest shared this post on her blog: 2 Critical Factors for Successful Stories. It’s a simple way to stay focused and on track in your story.

I love old blues and thought this was a pretty neat movie: Lead Belly.

My hero Tom Piccirilli needs help. You can read about it on Brian Keene’s website.

 

Tuesday’s Training: Your muse

Our creativity comes from what has touched, scared and stimulated us before this present moment as well as through thinking on what has never been, what could have been, and what might yet be.

We form narrative from light and shadow, wisps of smoke, whispered prayers, all in hopes that the finished product will connect with and move someone else (hopefully a lot of someones.)

Our muse, our inspirations, come from a number of places and take various processes from quick absorption, a streak of lightning, or the slower, gestating movement that rattles us to our core and takes our breath away. Sometimes the lightning strike produces the gestation, but no matter what inspires us a key aspect of a healthy writing career is to STAY inspired.

I’ve heard tons of people talk about writer’s block. Don’t have a clue how to get through it because I’ve never had it, but I think one of the reasons I haven’t is because of variety, multiple points of inspiration, and a pretty simple approach to life (kinda black and white actually, which isn’t always good but isn’t always bad either because it keeps me focused.)

So, let’s look at the various parts that feed and sustain our muse, our energy, and make our time more effective both before and after creating something new, and hopefully makes what we put ourselves through worthwhile…

Knowledge:

It’s easy to stay inspired when you have knowledge that you’re passionate about, whether it be some aspect of the writing craft, or some aspect of what it means to be human, or the importance of stories, or a deep and abiding knowledge of human emotions. Some of it we pluck consciously from every day life, some floats up like gold-encrusted debris from our subconscious, from lessons learned that can only be learned via hindsight.

But how we come by inspiration isn’t as important as acquiring the seeds that produce more of it.

Inspiration:

That spark of an idea that stirs something in us is always exciting. But we also get inspiration from other places and probably should. Those who wait for inspiration to strike them are happy when it does and tortured when it doesn’t. Who wants to live and create like that? We can make our own inspiration a lot of times by reading books that level us, by reading those that have before, by participating in other creative endeavors (which also bleed over into our writing in a cross-pollination sort of way!), by listening to the wind, watching the stars, letting our minds wander and by remembering what it was like to be a kid without our parents around, when the world held possibilities and not an endless, bone-crushing grind. I find inspiration in all of those things, a little every day, plus in studying beautiful and striking artwork, in playing guitar, in talking to a best friend, in listening to (and sometimes mishearing) a family member. Don’t always wait for inspiration. Breathe life until you’re about to burst so that there is always material creating itself in your subconscious.

Trust:

Trust in our heart-of-hearts that what we write about matters to us and means something is incredibly important. If we don’t trust our process then it’s already standing on shaky ground. It’s easier to be inspired and find inspiration when we know deep in our gut that we’re going to find something worth saying, with characters that bleed and bond together, with dialogue that crackles, with obstacles that push our characters to their limits, and in turn, the reader.

What I’ve done to build trust in my process is to accept that nothing I ever write will be perfect, not to me, not to anybody. It takes some of the pressure off, lets me say, “Hey, I’ll just do my best and that’s all that’s required.” Then I go do my best and more often than not I’m mostly satisfied with the results.

Imagination:

Your muse will probably kick you in the nuts or vagina if you never let your imagination run wild and naked through the forest or bound recklessly down slick city streets. Imagination is paramount. It’s as important as the execution of a tale. It’s details, the way they’re told, the massive scope of the project, and it carries the weight of stars and land and sea. All of the greats had bucket loads of it pressing at the walls of their brains. They dipped their pen in that gushy mass of nerves and created what wasn’t there before.

When I read slush for Horror Library Vol. 4, back before I’d ever sold a story, one of the things that struck me about most of the rejected pieces was a lack of imagination. You know why? Because the majority of them would tell the same stale tale and how do you get excited about that?

We’re all given and nurture (or not) a certain volume of imagination. Those gifted with a lot must be wary that it doesn’t override the story because its easy for the very imaginative to let that fire burn away the story and diminish it. We learn through experience when we have too little or too much. Those who lack imagination are in a similar predicament, but theirs is that their work can come out too bland, bound by the constraints of what their logical, rational minds allow. We have to let go of our place in the world if we’re to let our imaginations grow. I think part of what holds us back is conditioning by parents and preachers and school systems. When we chase security it flees from us because it doesn’t exist. It’s a mirage.

There are many writers but only a handful who have truly inspired me, muses many times in their own way down dark passages and those open, lovely times that are crowded by bliss: William Faulkner, Tom Piccirilli, Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, Mr. Poe, Jack Cady, Greg Gifune, Robert Dunbar, Sara Gruen, Dennis Lehane, John Connolly, Peter Straub, Douglas Clegg, Clive Barker, Cormac McCarthy, John Gardner, Gary Braunbeck, Jack Ketchum, Brian Hodge, Lee Thomas, and Neil Gaiman. I’m going to dedicate my serial novel THE COLLECTED SONGS OF SONNELION to them because they are all in this, hidden between pages and crowding sentences with their undeniable mark.

So, go find those seeds that you can toss to the wind. Be patient while you work and every now and then as you toil away in your closed little world, eyes straining and heart aching, you’ll peek over your shoulder and see those seeds have taken root. What will grow? God only knows. But that’s part of the fun.

Chapter Five: Collected Songs of Sonnelion

All right! The first five chapters of my Division novel THE COLLECTED SONGS OF SONNELION are up on Darkfuse’s website. Give them a read, let me know what you think, and spread the word to anybody who enjoys well-written dark fiction.

Also had an interview about the Division Mythos and Publishing go live on Blu Gilliand’s October Country. It’s a good primer for what will be coming up next Thursday night on the Live Event. They’ll be giving away some of my hardcovers and a 24 bundle of Delirium novellas by fantastic writers like Cate Gardner, Brian Hodge, Greg F. Gifune, and Jeffrey Thomas.

And my latest novel THE DAMPNESS OF MOURNING is now available in all digital formats. It ties in directly to all the other Division stuff.

Darkfuse is also having a huge sale and I wish I had a bunch of money right now because I’d buy most of these.

Thanks to everyone who has been buying the work, reviewing it, and spreading the word! It’s going to be an extremely exciting year!

Chapter 4 and Press Release for Live Event

This is a fun song to write to.

All right, the fourth chapter of COLLECTED SONGS OF SONNELION is going live today on my publisher’s website. Give it a read, leave me some feedback, check out Delirium’s novella club, go buy your wife flowers, give your kid a hug and listen to them, etc. As always, a huge thanks to my readers Shaun Ryan, Kevin Wallis, and Jen. And again to my publisher for putting so much faith in me and my work.

I also got the press release for my live event on Delirium/Darkfuse’s website. I’m super pumped about it since it’ll be my first time and I appreciate any who can spread the word and hope to see some of you there! Some of you are editors who have encouraged and helped me, some are writers who have been there and shared the struggle, some of you are readers and the reason I write, but we’re all in the same boat. We all love stories.

So check it out and spread the word! A big thanks to those who have already shared: K. E. Bergdoll, Peter Schwotzer, Jennifer @ Book Den, Douglas E. Wright, Dave Thomas, Dark Eva, Gregory Fisher, Jim Mcleod, Rich Gott, Amy Grech, Scott Tyson, and Scary Ass Books! Plus anybody I’m not aware of who shared!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: DELIRIUM TO HOST LIVE ONLINE EVENT WITH AUTHOR LEE THOMPSON ON THURSDAY, MARCH 29 AT 9 P.M.

NORTH WEBSTER, INDIANA – DarkFuse Publications will be hosting a live online event with author Lee Thompson on Thursday, March 29 from 9 to 10 p.m. The event is open to the public and participants will be entered to win a one-year subscription to the Delirium Kindle Book Club—24 novellas total—as well as signed limited edition hardcover copies of Lee’s novella IRON BUTTERFLIES RUST.

Lee will be answering questions from readers and discussing his influences, creative process, future projects, and his Division mythos.

About the author: Lee Thompson started selling work in early 2010. His novels NURSERY RHYMES 4 DEAD CHILDREN and THE DAMPNESS OF MOURNING, along with his novellas IRON BUTTERFLIES RUST and DOWN HERE IN THE DARK have all been published by Delirium Books. His free serial web novel COLLECTED SONGS OF SONNELION is currently being published in a weekly format.

You can find his short stories in Dark Discoveries, Sideshow Press, Shock Totem, Apex’s Zombie Feed anthology, Tasmaniac Publications, and other neat places. He’s worked a lot, sweated a lot, and continues to take up space the best he can. He interacts with his readers at his website.

About the publisher: Delirium Books is one of the leading specialty presses in the horror genre. Operating in the Midwest (Northern Indiana), Delirium Books has quickly gained the reputation of bringing to print and eBook formats the best new voices in horror fiction, including bestselling author Brian Keene. Delirium has also published established genre authors such as Brian Lumley, Greg F. Gifune, Douglas Clegg, Ramsey Campbell and Jack Ketchum.

Visit the official Delirium Books site.

Contact:
Dave Thomas
Online Marketing Director
DarkFuse Publications
Email: dave_thomas@darkfuse.com
Website: www.darkfuse.com

Contest on HorrorTalk

HorrorTalk is having a huge giveaway for their tenth anniversary. My first two books (in signed/limited hardcovers) are in there among a ton of other awesome prizes!

Go Enter and spread the word!

Thanks!

Oh, what’s all this…

My story More Than Enough is featured in this chapbook. I was one of the winners in their Writer’s Eye competition and they’re neat little books. You can snag a copy for five bucks by calling York Arts at 717-848-3200.

Also turned in a fun guest blog titled The Joy of Creating New Worlds. It’s snazzy. Looking forward to when it goes live because I love writing stuff like that!

Working hard on a writing book for beginners called Chasing the Dragon. It’s Bruce Lee for writing soul. I share a lot of things I’ve learned in the last year since selling five books to Delirium/Darkfuse and one to Thunderstorm Books. Going to cover a lot of material in a unique way and hopefully make some people think. Pouring my blood into this thing so it’ll be a little heavy and very straightforward.

Have fucking awesome news about my third Red Piccirilli novel COLLECTED SONGS OF SONNELION and the Division mythos as a whole that I can’t share yet but will be super excited when I can!

Plus I’ll have a live interview coming up before we know it!

Will also have a fun and insightful interview with one of my favorite writers on here again. The deadly Greg F. Gifune.

And Delirium is offering a sweet deal on the novellas right now that you need to check out. *Poke*

Okay. That’s all from me. I’m spent.

Merry Christmas.

New interview with me on Darkfuse

Just received word the interview with me went live on Darkfuse. It was a lot of fun. Here’s a snippet:

What was your inspiration for writing DOWN HERE IN THE DARK?

Well, it’s a small part of a large story, and I knew that Frank Gunn was as close as you can get to shattered by the end of IRON BUTTERFLIES RUST, so I explored that and the trip, the adventure really, as scary as it can be at times, that brings him to the crazy little town of Division. I see things very clearly when it comes to my character and how his story ties into others, the big picture and the small beats, which made it easy to write about him in this book. I enjoy subtext too and there is a lot of that, and a lot of links to other Division books, and I like the forward propulsion of the narrative, the searching Frank does inside himself and trying to relate to all the odd things going on around him, which really is out of his reach like it is anybody’s.

What themes do you enjoy exploring?

Oh, a lot of themes. Lol. Recurring ones are about betrayal and how we deal with it; the necessity of returning violence when somebody will be nothing but violent to you or those you love; growing up on the inside instead of faking it simply for the sake of others; how weak and strong and reliable and unreliable we can all be, how human that makes us; that if anything in the world is a monster, it’s man; if anything in the world is a hero, it’s man; connections that may not appear to be connections at first until we dig deeper and figure out people’s motives; how frail love makes us, and how incredibly driven; how hate doesn’t eat us alive, our allowing it to rule over us for an extended period of time does, because hate is as necessary as love; how there’s magic in childhood and adults train it out of us; how desperate some people are to find an identity and others will sacrifice everything just to fit in, which I and most of my characters feel is very, very sad; I like to explore the results of tragedy, and show how different people cope or accept it; I deal in self-loathing because I’ve done it most of my life, and the work it takes to break those negative thought processes; bad habits and good habits, regrets and pride, extremes and everywhere between; the mystery of life and our fear of death; our egotism one moment and self-doubt the next; most of my characters feel like Holden Caulfield, that they’re surrounded by phonies, that they themselves might be phonies, and it whittles at their souls because if nothing is true or fair or genuine then what’s the fucking point when you don’t want to play the game to begin with?

Read the rest of the interview here: Lee’s Darkfuse interview…

Please spread the word for me too! Thanks!

Yeah, I’m wicked

2012 has taken off at a quick clip…

Tons of things going on here and all of them rocking. I’ve got the signature sheets for DOWN HERE IN THE DARK in front of me. The digital is out now, the signed/limited hardcover coming mid-April. It’s a hell of a story and picks up right after the end of IRON BUTTERFLIES RUST. It’s dark, twisted, cryptic and stunning. Alfred Hitchcock (my pet monkey) said it’s a tour de force.

Like everything else, I think it stands alone, but it’s a sliver of the Division mythos and I think it’s going to be badass when every book and short story is complete so everybody (including me) can read them in order and experience the full effects of these character’ trials and successes.

It also ties in directly to THE DAMPNESS OF MOURNING which is out early as a Kindle Exclusive. The signed/limited hardcovers are coming out on Valentine’s Day!

I did an interview on Literary Mayhem. Also just turned one in for Darkfuse that was a lot of fun and should be live soon. Working with Dave Thomas on some promotional stuff that should be a blast for everybody! I think I’ll be playing guitar and reading some opening chapters. :D

NURSERY RHYMES 4 DEAD CHILDREN is in production as an audio book and so far I’ve heard the first 13 chapters (my lucky number!) and it is so cool to hear somebody else read my work.

I’ve also been interviewing some of my heroes lately. So far I’ve sat down and sipped absinthe with Robert Dunbar, Tom Piccirilli, and Lee Thomas. All amazingly talented bad boys. Up next I’ll be interviewing Greg Gifune. Working on his questions now. It’s been a lot of fun talking to those guys and picking their brains. They’ve been surprisingly candid and I love ‘em for it.

I finished the rewrite on the second Red Piccirilli book WITHIN THIS GARDEN WEEPING. I’d submitted it to Chizine but since I’ve written one novel and three novellas while waiting to hear back from them I figured it a good idea to use what I’d learned while waiting to make the book stronger. It’s the sequel to the first book BEFORE LEONORA WAKES, a simple but interesting YA story. I’m very proud of both of them since they set the foundation in what comes in the adult novels and novellas. You can read the opening of the second book on the lovely Book Den.

Another Division story, THE RIVER, is under consideration with Apex’s Dark Faith 2 antho. It’s the only short story I have unpublished right now and I love it.

Two short stories (Daddy Screamed With Us and Crooked Stick Figures) will be in the anthology American Horror Stories, vol. 1 from Delirium Books later this year, too.

I’m working out the threads of the third Red Piccirill novel COLLECTED SONGS OF SONNELION. So not ready to write this one yet. It’s going to be incredibly dark for Red. It’s going to break my heart to write. But I know I have to get to it at some point because this is the book that mostly shapes who Red is in the Division novels Nursery Rhymes 4 Dead Children, The Dampness of Mourning, and The Patron Saint of Infinite Sorrow.

Also working on the threads of a very touching, yet very disturbing, YA novel called A Monster of Many Faces. It’s going to tackle issues that have bothered me my whole life and people are going to die (one of them is already dead.)

I’m anxious (somewhat) for when reviews start coming in for all four books coming out this year. I enjoy feedback, and especially enjoy it when people tackle the challenge each story presents. I know not everybody will get them, and not everybody is going to like my work, but I’m grateful some do (some who I have a ton of respect for.)

I’ve heard news that my Thunderstorm novella is on the fast track and look forward to seeing the finished product. It’s going to be a beauty.

I’m very excited that some people are loving the Division story line and characters. I see it all so clearly and its such a massive story it takes my breath away knowing that it came out of my wee little imagination. Crazy.

Feeling very relaxed. No pressure here. But expect some great things.