Tag Archives: horror

Get my novel Gossamer 1/2 off for Read an Ebook Week

Now (March 2nd) through March 8th you can get my Occult/Vampire novel GOSSAMER: A STORY OF LOVE AND TRAGEDY half-off the cover price. Just use code REW50 at checkout! It’s Read an Ebook Week! Join the party! And spread the word if you would. Happy reading!

Gossamer cover Final

Fright, Blood, Love, and Carnage…

After her mother is murdered, young Dorothy Good travels west with her aunt to escape persecution. She experiences magic in the desert; an ancient and powerful gift that her maturing body and fragile mind cannot control until her aunt teaches her the secret arts.

After they construct a mystical town named Gossamer—a secret, hidden place where everyone can live forever—she finds love. But it is fleeting, replaced first by betrayal and then a terrible loneliness that lasts more than a century.

When the boy walks out of the desert and into her arms, she thinks that she will again have someone to love and who will love her. But something else comes out of the desert with him, a creature far more powerful than anything she’d ever imagined…

“Gossamer” is a mythical, almost philosophical book that strips the reader naked and forces us to challenge our assumptions about love with passages that will touch you in places inside yourself you forgot exist. – Anita Siraki/HellNotes

Lee takes the unlovely parts of real life and sets it in a setting so deliciously bizarre that you think you’re simply reading a story, when in fact you’re listening to a man sitting across from you and telling you all about pain. – Mercedes Yardley/Shock Totem

“10 out of 10 Stars… GOSSAMER: A STORY OF LOVE AND TRAGEDY will blow you away my friends. It is that good.” — Peter Schwotzer/Famous Monsters of Filmland.

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!

New Brian Hodge: Whom the Gods Would Destroy

whom_the_gods_would_destroy

Very excited to see Darkfuse release a new Brian Hodge novella! In my opinion Brian is one of the best writers out there. Dave Thomas does a great interview him for Darkfuse, and Brian created a soundtrack for the novella, which is neat as hell. I just snatched the novella from Amazon, and you should too!

Review of WITHIN THIS GARDEN WEEPING (and an aside)

Within This Garden Weeping cover spread

Within This Garden Weeping reads like a book of the Old Testament by way of Ray Bradbury and Twin Peaks… says fellow scribbler Lucas Magnum in the review he just posted. You can check out the full review here.

As an aside, and something very few people know about me, I like the Old Testament reference a lot. I’ve studied the Bible, and I seriously considered at one time being a pastor. I love teaching, I love the way stories are tools, and also more than tools, their examples that can vividly illustrate whatever makes us cower, and also what makes our heart sing. Even after I realized I’d probably never take the step to actually being a pastor because I would have been a hypocrite since I love to drink, all the time I spent studying the Bible has had a profound influence on me and the stories I create, especially the Division Mythos. So, thanks Lucas! Very interesting to see someone frame the start of their review in that manner!

Buy a book for yourself and for someone else at Christmas.

Get my novel Gossamer for 99 cents until Halloween

Gossamer cover Final

From now until just after Halloween you can get my novel Gossamer: A Story of Love and Tragedy for 99 cents! Grab it for Kindle here, or grab it in another format here

“Gossamer” is a mythical, almost philosophical book that strips the reader naked and forces us to challenge our assumptions about love with passages that will touch you in places inside yourself you forgot exist. – Anita Siraki/HellNotes

Lee takes the unlovely parts of real life and sets it in a setting so deliciously bizarre that you think you’re simply reading a story, when in fact you’re listening to a man sitting across from you and telling you all about pain. – Mercedes Yardley/Shock Totem

“10 out of 10 Stars… GOSSAMER: A STORY OF LOVE AND TRAGEDY will blow you away my friends. It is that good.” — Peter Schwotzer/Famous Monsters of Filmland.

An ancient witch, Dorothy Good, has lost everything to the vampire who has blown in on the hot desert wind and lain waste to her soul and her town. When a young family arrives at the end of a two week battle, she sees a chance to end the bloodshed and possibly regain a portion of what was stolen.

But they’re heavily outnumbered and night is falling…

Mercedes Yardley’s latest interview

Those who know me know that I love Mercedes M. Yardley. I think she’s special, and a beautiful person, and incredibly talented. A lot of authors become blurb whores, but I’ve only given two (one to Les Edgerton for his awesome novella The Rapist, and the other to Mercedes), because I think they’re two of the most gifted writers I know, writers that I wish I could write like. But I can’t, so fuck it.

montessaspread by M

Check out M’s latest podcast interview, which also includes a great sample of her reading from her novella Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu. This woman is going to be a big deal soon. Trust me, I have good taste and a natural intuition. 

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST.

And after you listen to the podcast you can read my interview with M HERE.

New Review on Shock Totem

Gossamer cover Final

Received a sweet review from the wonderful and talented Mercedes Yardley over at Shock Totem. She reviewed my novel Gossamer: A Story of Love and Tragedy. Neat. You can read the review here. I love Shock Totem, and M is terrific and one of the most beautiful and gifted people I know.

Also saw that her latest novella (Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu) has been reviewed by my bud A.E. Siraki over on Hellnotes. Check it out here.

I hope everybody is well and enjoying fall!

What’s going on?

 

What’s going on in everyone’s lives?

I haven’t been online much because I’ve been super busy. Those who know me know that I’m a workaholic, even though it appears to those close to me that I’m never doing anything but watching my favorite shows and drinking and playing guitar and reading. I am way behind on everything, especially emails. I just can’t keep up. As soon as I can find an assistant I’m going to hire one, and will be changing my contact email address. I’ve been tempted to make a Q & A on Goodreads so I can direct all correspondence there, but not everybody is on Goodreads, and I wouldn’t be able to guarantee I’d be on there every day to answer questions and thank people every day anyway. But know this: I appreciate you taking the time to buy my work, read it, talk about it, review it, and everything else you do. Seriously, I wouldn’t have a career if it wasn’t for editors, pre-readers, proof readers, and readers in general.

I’m a writing maniac and can’t reply to everybody in a timely manner, so suck it up if you’re annoyed, but remember that you were heard (Hell, I read everything that’s sent to me, but I don’t want to spend six hours a day replying to messages from ten different places like Yahoo, Goodreads, LinkedIn, Google +, Twitter, text, etc, etc..). That’s the gist of it.

Here’s what I have going on…

I have six novels to sell. Phew. That’s crazy. Six novels!

I have The Lesser People by Thomas Morgan (one of my pen-names) that my agent has on sub with some awesome publishers right now. I’m very excited about that because I want to reach thousands of people and any writer who says they don’t want that is probably a liar. We want to reach as many people as we possibly can; I have another pen-named novel (Earthly Things by Julian Vaughn) that will be under sub by my agent soon as well; then there’s another novel under submission with my Horror/Thriller publisher Darkfuse;  I’m also working on my first ghostwritten project, Muddy Waters, that I’ll be finished writing the first draft of soon, and I’m very excited about! Then there is the second Thomas Morgan novel, A Savage Autumn, that I need to edit and send to my pre-readers still, as soon as I finish this ghostwriting project; and I have one that I plan to self-publish from my Division Mythos, The Collected Songs of Sonnelion, before Christmas but need to pay for the cover work from Dani Serra, and build up some buzz about it.

I have an audiobook in production.

I’m also thinking about eight other novels I want to write. Jesus Christ. I’m probably going to die young, but you know what? I did what I wanted to do and I think that it’s brought me a lot of satisfaction and I don’t have to worry about regretting anything.

Oh, I’m also working on a neat idea with my brother, who is an amazing sculptor and artist,  for a children’s picture book series that I think could be something truly special.

There are other things going on in my family and personal life too. You just get the tip of the iceberg.

Anyway, I hope everybody is chasing their dreams down and embracing that you can succeed if you have the drive and the talent and the determination to reach your goals.

 

  • Mercedes Yardley’s new (and first) novella

    Here’s a cover reveal of my buddy Mercedes Yardley’s novella Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love, published by Ragnarok Publications, cover by George Contronis. Really looking forward to reading this! Mercedes is crazy talented. 

    Her mama always said she was special.

    His daddy called him a demon.

    But even monsters can fall in love.

    Montessa Tovar is walking home alone when she is abducted by Lu, a serial killer with unusual talents and a grudge against the world. But in time, the victim becomes the executioner as Apocalyptic Montessa and her doomed lover Nuclear Lulu crisscross the country in a bloody firestorm of revenge.

    montessacover by M

    montessaspread by M

    Interview: Mercedes M. Yardley

    M's pics

    I’ve known Mercedes M. Yardley for a few years now, and count her among my true friends, and she’s simply someone who inspires me as a person as well as a writer. She’s got her own style and it’s both tragic and beautiful. The simple truth in the writing world is that only a select few writers will ever go far, but M is one of the select. She’s someone with whom you’ll probably relish her prose and the beauty and power of her stories, and at the same time envy her for said talent. She’s a good mother, a good woman, a good person. I admire her and once you give some of her work (say, Beautiful Sorrows) a chance, I think you’ll admire her too. :D So, on to the interview!

    Lee: Beautiful Sorrows: What was your favorite part of the project? How has the collection been received? Why a collection before a novel? 

     

    MMY: I loved every part of the project. All of it. Writing the stories, of course. Picking my favorites for the collection. I especially loved throwing out ideas for cover art and seeing what the artist, Yannick Bouchard, came up with. That was an amazing aspect.

     

    Beautiful Sorrows is being received fairly well, I think. It’s getting some wonderful reviews and 5 star ratings, which delights me. But I’m an unknown and it’s my debut, so not a lot of people have heard about it. And a collection at that! We all know novels are much more popular. In fact, my first 1 star rating came because the reader said it was a collection instead of a “proper novel”.

     

    I chose a collection first for a couple of reasons. I started out with short stories rather than novels, so I felt that I had some that were strong. Also, my agent is currently shopping a novel around, but he doesn’t represent short stories, so he let me go ahead and do a collection with the small press while he focused on my novels. It was really exciting that I was able to do that with his blessing. And lastly, I work for Shock Totem Publications, who started with a magazine and is branching out into books, chapbooks, etc. We’ve never done a collection. In fact, Beautiful Sorrows was our second book, so I was the guinea pig. We learned (and we’re still learning) what works and what doesn’t. So I did it to help Shock Totem, as well as ST helping me.

     beautiful_sorrows_-_mercedes_m-_yardley cover

    Lee: Very cool! What, during your beautiful career so far, has truly surprised you?

     

    MMY: I love that you call it a beautiful career! Thank you!

     

    I’ve been surprised at the praise, I think. The wonderful, wonderful words that people have to say. That somebody would actually part with their hard-earned money to read something I’ve written. It means so much to me. I’ve been surprised at some of the people, I’ve met and they’re like, “I know your book.” They do?  Really? These are people I look up to! It’s astonishing.

     

    Lee: It’s praise well-earned, M. Do you prefer short over long fiction, or vice-versa? Or are you equally comfortable and in thrall with both?

     

    MMY: I love words. Words words words. Long and short fiction both have their place. I adore short fiction because I can explore twenty different ideas in the same amount of time that a novel explores one idea. I adore that freedom. But long fiction gives me the ability to really crawl inside the souls of my characters in a deliciously fulfilling way. I love reading and writing both.

     

    Lee: Neat. Tell us about your typical writing day…

     

    MMY: Oh my. My ideal writing day would include hours of solitude by a river, in an office with a door that closes. My writing day is the opposite of that.

     

    I boot up the computer around 5:30 AM when my kids get up. I scramble with them for a while. Baths, dressed, teeth brushed. I try to write for 15 minutes or so before checking my email. The second I look at my email I’m distracted for two hours.

     

    I leave the computer up all day. I’ll read slush for Shock Totem. I’ll write a few words.  I’ll remember I have an interview to do or a contract to sign or review to write, so I’ll work on that. I think about my project. Or more accurately, I think about the project lined up after the one I’m working on now. Then I stare at the screen of my current project.

     

    It’s a lot of communication, and a lot of things having to do with the business side of it. I can do these things while getting my child toast, or having my hair brushed and styled (and I use the word “styled” very loosely) by my five-year-old, or with my two-year-old on my lap, begging for Mickey Mouse. Actually having a block of time to quietly concentrate? It doesn’t really happen. I write in starts and spurts all throughout the day.

     

    Lee: Ha! Cute on the “styled and Mickey Mouse.” Another one of my heroes, Tom Piccirilli, works in a similar manner, with short, intense bursts. Do you ever find the idea frightening of what it’d be like to have too much time? 

     

    MMY:  I was just discussing this concept with another writer a few days ago. We were discussing how being busy and day jobs and all of this forces us to be productive with our writing time because there isn’t another option. But I would love to have too much time. It’s a dream of mine. It isn’t frightening at all. I’m sure there would be lovely ways to fill it. I’d also like to win the lottery, as well, if only to prove that money wouldn’t change me. ;)

     

    Lee: What do you want to achieve both personally and professionally?

     

    MMY: Funny you should ask that. I’ve been wondering that myself, trying to define what my concept of personal success is.

     

    I want to write for all of my life. I know that. I want to always expand and find new challenges. The same goes for my personal life, as well. I want to make sure that my family is always happy, that my kiddos always know that they come first and work, no matter how fulfilling, comes second. If I could marry these things seamlessly, that would be ideal.

     

    Lee: That’s wonderful. I hope you find a way to marry them seamlessly. Who are your biggest influences? Have you ever read a book that changed your life? 

     

    MMY: My biggest influences…let’s see. I read a lot of Erma Bombeck growing up. I think she let me know that it was all right to be a woman and speak your mind, but with humor and in a kind way. She was never mean. I have two distinct writing styles, and the humor and swagger comes from her, I think. The more ethereal voice…it was something I developed when I got out of my own way. I’ve been told that it’s reminiscent to Neil Gaiman or Kelly Link, but I wasn’t familiar with their work while discovering this voice. I stopped conforming to what I thought I was “supposed” to write, and just let myself…say.  Say what I wanted to say, in the way I wanted to say it.

     

    There is a book that changed my writing, which changed my life, in a sense. It’s Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s book One Hundred Years of Solitude.  I didn’t enjoy the book particularly, per se, but it deeply influenced how I allowed myself to write. I wrote one of my very favorite essays about it *here*.  

     M 2

    Lee: Oh, I’ve gotta read One Hundred Years of Solitude, now! And that is a great essay, M! Discovering that we don’t have to approach storytelling in the exact same fashion as everybody else is definitely a huge release! What do you have in the works now?

     

    MMY: Ha! A little bit of everything!

     

    I just finished a story titled “A Love Not Meant to Outlast the Butterflies”.  It’s a magical realism piece about soul mates turned tragic. I have a magazine in mind for it, so we’ll see how that goes.  I’m also working on a novella titled Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love.  It’s sort of a modern day Bonnie and Clyde tale, in a way. I want to see how far I can push it. I’m also putting notes together for my new novel, which has to do with a very charming and independent kitchen witch. It’s going to be dark and very emotional. I’m moving on to that as soon as I finish with Apocalyptic Montessa.

               

    I’m also turning Beautiful Sorrows into an audiobook, which is fun and very exciting! I’m reading it myself, so it’s fulfilling a little bit of a dream for me. I like the idea of adults telling other adults stories. “I’ll read you a story, my darling. Now listen.”

     

    I have two other stories coming out in a wonderful audio collection with several friends. That releases this month or next, I think. And I’m in the Tales of Jack the Ripper anthology that’s coming out next month. I’m extremely thrilled about that one.

     

    And I’m working on learning screenwriting, too. I have something to adapt. So I’m trying a little bit of everything, and seeing if I like the taste. This goes back to what I want to achieve personally and professionally. I want to be happy and busy.

     

    I also learned to knit last week, so I’ve been making scarves like a madwoman. And I’m learning the ukulele. And we adopted two Russian dwarf hamsters this week. So life is good. Happiness is a tiny little rodent in a pink plastic hamster ball.

     

    Lee: God, you are one busy lady. I can’t wait to hear the new stories have been finished and purchased! I loved your post on the production of the audiobook for Beautiful Sorrows. Having listened to audio interviews and talking to you on the phone, I think your voice will add so much character to the reading of the stories. Do you think you’ll ever end up narrating anyone else’s work?

     

    MMY: You’re so nice, Lee! I’ve always wanted to do audiobooks.  And I love when authors read their own work, because there’s such an intimacy to it. That said, we both know I have a rather small voice. It works for the whimsy that I write, but I don’t know if I could ever narrate, say, a thriller and have it sound all right. It would sound like any other nine-year-old girl reading aloud. It might be disconcerting. But I’d love to try. Reading aloud is one of my favorite things. And I adore being read to.

     Shock Totem issue_04

    Lee: Let’s talk a moment about Shock Totem, which along with Black Static, is arguably the coolest, bravest, and most visionary genre magazine. What role(s) do you fill there? Does Ken Wood really have a third nipple?

     

    MMY: The best thing about Shock Totem is that everybody does a little bit of everything.  I read slush and vote for stories. I contribute content for the magazine and the site in the form of reviews, interviews, and articles. I’m learning more about promotion and marketing, and I’ll be taking that area over, a little more. Everybody pitches in pretty whole-heartedly. It’s an awesome place to be.

     

    And you don’t want to know some of the things I know about Ken. You really don’t.

     

    Lee: Cool, and yes I do want to know what you know about Ken. He’s an enigma! What do you honestly think of all this ‘networking’? Are you comfortable with it? Is it really that important? 

     

    MMY:Then we’ll get together for lunch sometime and discuss Ken. He’s a good guy. One of the best. He can take a ribbing as good as he gives. He’s family.

     

    Mmm, networking. It’s a mixed bag.

     

    On one hand, I truly feel like it’s necessary. You can write the greatest book in the world, but if nobody ever reads it, it will never sell. I wish it could be all about the work. I wish all of our time could be spent writing and not divided into social media/networking/whatever.

     

    And I abhor the very concept of networking. The people that don’t understand it, and think that it’s all about making superficial connections in order to get ahead. When somebody comes up to “network” with you, it’s obvious. I’ve absolutely been tossed aside when a Bigger, Better Deal walked into the room. There’s that insincerity, and I hate that.

     

    But I do value the friendships. That’s what I personally think networking is, or at least should be. Making friendships, seeing what another person likes, and keeping an eye out for that person. If I see a call for steampunk, I send it to Matt Betts, for instance. And that’s how I scored an invite to the Jack the Ripper antho, actually. My friend, Mason,  received an invitation, emailed the editor and said, “Hey, I have a friend named Mercedes who is actually pretty good with serial killers. Could she possibly…?” and so I was invited to submit as well. It’s nice to have somebody looking out for you. It’s fantastic to look out for other people. It makes everything more interesting and friendly.

     

    I hate networking to network. It’s shallow and feels like being used. But I love strong friendships. That’s a different beast, entirely. A beautiful one.

     

    Lee: I like your attitude. You’re the best, along with those other three people I always claim are the best! Thanks so much for taking time to share your heart with everyone! *Hugs*

     

    MMY: Thank you, Lee! You know I’m a huge fan of Lee Thompson the writer as well and Lee Thompson the person. You’re one of the good ones. Have a wonderful day, my friend!

    Lee: Likewise! Thanks again, M! And thanks to anybody who gives M’s work a try or shares the interview! You can find Mercede’s website, and all the other places she stalks, *here*. Carpe diem.

    /span