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.
I have a new review of the second Division story WITHIN THIS GARDEN WEEPING. It makes me happy because that story hasn’t gotten very much attention and it’s a crucial point in Red Piccirilli’s life between Before Leonora Wakes and The Collected Songs of Sonnelion to who he becomes as an old man in Nursery Rhymes 4 Dead Children. Thanks to Eden Royce for the review on Hellnotes!
I’ve been a busy motherlicker, as is my nature. I’ve written four novels in the the last eight months and just ordered myself to take a week break because, honestly, I need a recharge. I’m emotionally beat. I just want to read and take walks and watch a bunch of movies before I hit it hard again.
Well, it’s almost the end of 2012 and I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around what an incredible year it’s been. I may post this early. I will just post it today. Frees up the rest of my year to just read, write and spend time with family. I’ll add any big developments before New Years. There are probably a bunch of things I’m forgetting.
Last summer/fall, when my first novel (Nursery Rhymes 4 Dead Children) and first novella (Iron Butterflies Rust) came out, was a very surreal time. I had been striving to learn how to write well enough to sell my work for almost a decade. It was a relief to sign the contracts, to get my author copies in the mail and see them, to mail copies to my readers, to dedicate the books, to get some feedback and strive to learn more.
This year has been even better. I had a ton of work come out.
But it’s funny how we can roar but still feel like we aren’t doing enough. When I was talking to my buddy Shaun Ryan, which I do so much you’d think we were married, I remembered that I always feared dying young. Like I’d never make it to forty. I think it’s been in my subconscious, spurring me on to write every story taking up space in my heart as quickly as I can before the worms claim me, before the cold, damp earth is my pillow. I do want to leave something behind whether I die prematurely or whether I live as long as Ray Bradbury did. Something of substance, that has meaning for somebody other than myself. I don’t think it’s a lofty goal. I think all true artists, whether they’re successful or not, want to connect with other people and share the beautiful things they’ve seen, and the tragic times that have scarred them, and how the world has shaped them. As writers, or painters, or musicians we hold a mirror up to ourselves and the time we live in, and it’s not easy. We’re a very quiet voice that can easily be lost in a lot of white noise. But I see how important it is to try and keep trying. I’ve gained some wonderful fans. They might not know it but they know me through my work.
Narrator Matthew Stevens recorded my first audio bookNURSERY RHYMES 4 DEAD CHILDREN. We’ll also be working on the audio for the sequel THE DAMPNESS OF MOURNING after New Years.
I also had a local paper interview me, which was neat. Thanks to reporter Bill Petzold! That was a lot of fun and I found I enjoy being interviewed much more than I ever thought I would.
Some other highlights this year were meeting John Connolly, Lee Child, Michael Sears, Stanley Trollip, Les Edgerton, Michael Connelly, Michael Koryta and Sabrina Callahan at Bouchercon (The World Mystery Convention.) I don’t know that I would be the writer, or even person, I am, if not for the books my heroes have written.
Some of my heroes (Tom Piccirilli, Jack Ketchum, Brian Hodge, Robert Dunbar) read my work in 2012 and gave me blurbs. Having your heroes read something of yours is one of the greatest feelings there is. It’s fireworks in your head and a sudden jolt to your heart. It’s quite dreamy.
Reviews, which I never get very many of, have really taken off this year. Especially on Goodreads, which is one of my favorite sites. I get to talk to fans on there, too, which has been wonderful. And one of the groups (Horror Aficionados) has invited me to be the guest author for January 2013. They’ll be reading my brutal novella WHEN WE JOIN JESUS IN HELL and we’ll all discuss it. Very neat, yeah? Thanks to Jason and Tressa for the opportunity!
Sales grow as my audience grows. Thanks so much to everybody who has been buying the work and spreading the word about it! Word of mouth is vital. It helps me when I feel like I can’t write worth shit and then I find a stranger who enjoyed something I wrote, which leads to me finding my balance again. To remember that, yes, I’m writing for me, but I’m also writing to connect with other people. It’s weird, but it’s good.
New novels… I wrote three novels this year (The Collected Songs of Sonnelion, The Lesser People, and The Wolverine) and got halfway through a fourth (Gossamer). I have ideas for the next ten books that will range between 70-90,000 words. All I have to do is write them. Easy. My goal is to write four novels a year. I tell myself to take it easy, don’t work so much, but it’s part of my nature. I am an obsessive and the work gives me purpose that life would be too depressing without sometimes.
I signed a three-book deal with Darkfuse/Delirium Books in December. I’m very excited about it since Shane Staley has been awesome to work with and he publishes what he believes in. I’m writing and turning in a standalone novel every March, which works out great too because I have a ton of novel ideas and nothing for novellas or short stories lately.
Since I am quite prolific when it comes to novels, and I write more than just Dark Fantasy, I’ve decided to use several pseudonyms. I’ll keep the Dark Fantasy under my name. Have the name Thomas Morgan for Heartbreaking Coming of Age tales with a Historical Thriller slant; James Logan for suspense fiction that is very tightly plotted but has more hopeful endings than all my other work; Julian Vaughn for novels that are more big-concept with a lot of heart/more touching than horrific.
I had a writer I met at the World Mystery Convention (Les Edgerton) refer me to his agent for the pen-named work after he read WHEN WE JOIN JESUS IN HELL. That was really nice of him and whether it works out or not, him trying to help me counts for a lot. I’m really not worried about it since all of my worry is that the books are what I want them to be.
I got to interview a bunch of my favorite writers here. They are amazing.
I sold a couple of short stories. The River to my favorite mag Shock Totem. It will be in issue #6 along with Jack Ketchum and interview with me! And The Most Mysterious Silence sold to Nameless Magazine, owned by Jason V. Brock who made a great documentary about Charles Beaumont.
Tuesday’s Training, my weekly writing advice essays for novice writers, has been a lot of fun. I know it’s helped a few people. That’s nice. I had help too: from things I’ve read, questions I asked answered by people far busier and far more experienced than I am, and help just through the encouragement that comes in something as simple as a smile.
Thanks to the publishers who have put their faith in me, the writers who encourage me, the pre-readers who help so much by offering feedback I can’t come up with on my own, the fans who help pay my bills and continue to come back for more of my work. 2013 is going to be an even more incredible year, which is really hard to fathom. But it will be. What a life. Thanks for helping me live my dream! Now go buy all my books for your friends for Christmas!
People have their own hidden worlds inside them as young Red Piccirilli has learned through the tragic events of his past.
His parents try to protect him by moving the family to a dead-end road out of town, but their plan is short-lived when a mysterious old man who seems to have a history with Red’s mother comes knocking at their door.
Red is quickly thrust into a crossroads between worlds, where he will soon learn from a broken god how to harness his true power…
Very happy to announce the Kindle release of my novellaWITHIN THIS GARDEN WEEPING. This story can be read as a trippy surreal standalone, or if you read it afterBefore Leonora Wakes, you’ll see more of Red Piccirilli’s character arc that lead him to his actions in The Collected Songs of Sonnelion (which will be released in 2013, I believe.)
Many thanks to those who already snagged it and shared it with the other dark fiction lovers in their lives! I can’t stress how important word of mouth is, and how much I appreciate it since my success is largely due to die-hard readers like yourself.
Please leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads! Thanks!
Also happy that my novella,WHEN WE JOIN JESUS IN HELL, thatJack Ketchumcalled “Hard as nails,” andTom Piccirilliread pre-pub and said, “Fuses both genres together in the turmoil of terror, tragedy, blood, guilt, and lost chances at redemption…” is kicking some ass. Having two of my biggest influences read my work and give me blurbs has definitely been a highpoint in my 2012. Have you read it yet?
Still recovering from his brush with the magical, Red Piccirilli’s parents move them out of town and down a dead-end road where they feel things will be safe and quiet for their son. But when a strange old man with an agenda visits Red’s mother, the boy is quickly thrust into another world. He’ll learn from a broken god how to harness the incredible power that has been lying dormant since his last encounter with Glory on the Green…
Within This Garden Weeping (the 2nd Red Piccirilli book) will be released digitally before the end of the year. Very exciting! It also features great artwork from Dani Serra. I love that guy! I have an idea for a graphic novel that I think I’ll run by him one day to see if we can team up. Yeah. Go team!
This is much darker than the first book,Before Leonora Wakes, but is crucial in Red’s character arc in the Division Mythos, and it also sets things up nicely for the third book, The Collected Songs of Sonnelion.
With my Historical/Thriller novel The Lesser People finished and in the hands of my buddies Shaun and Kevin, I’m working on a new novella called Gossamer, and finding the pivotal moments for the Michael Johnston novel She Collects Grave Nectar, which will be a badass book in the Division storyline.
All right! Excited to have sold the second Red Piccirilli book WITHIN THIS GARDEN WEEPING. Can’t really share too much about it until after a contract is signed. With this one sold we’ll have a ton of the Division Mytho’s books out there next year! Thanks to those who have helped with crits, encouragement, book reviews, editing, publishing, covers, word of mouth, buys, and all other types of support. I have the best crew around.
This is also the week the final chapter goes live for The Collected Songs of Sonnelion. It’s been a dark, trippy novel but I think I achieved what I set out to do in demonstrating why Red is the way he is as an old man in the later Division novels Nursery Rhymes 4 Dead Children, The Dampness of Mourning, etc.
I’ll finish a new novel in the next two weeks. It’s not Horror/Dark Fantasy/Magical Realism like the Division Mythos. It’s more of a Crime/Historical novel that tackles racism, family/social conditioning, etc., and I’ll be writing it under a pen name.
Then I have a standalone novella to write for Darkfuse called Endless Shades of Red.
After that I think I’ll tackle this new novel (Shine Your Light on Me) that I brainstormed yesterday.
After those three books are finished I think my chops will be good enough to tackle the rest of the Division stories, plus a couple of standalone novels and novellas I have ideas for. We’ll see. No matter what I’m going to pour my heart out and do my best.
Lots of fun stuff here. Should have an interview with Greg F. Gifune up this week and working on questions for Jack Ketchum’s interview! I’ve been handcopying my Gauntlet edition of Ketchum’s Only Child along with Jack Cady’s The Well to learn some more. Good times.
It’s been a long while since I’ve been to Barnes and Noble but I went yesterday and loaded up on some books I’ve wanted for a while: Dennis Lehane’s The Given Day, Cormac McCarthy’s Outer Dark, Joe Hill’s Horns, William Faulkner’s Light in August, Guerrilla Marketing for Writers, and John Connolly’s The Gates. Tons of great reading for the next couple weeks! I think I’m going to go back to the way I used to read (one book at a time). I think I get more out of it that way. What are you reading?
Also turned in a very neat thing on the Division mythos for Darkfuse so readers can see how the novellas and novels weave a bit. Will let people know when it goes live!
Working hard on the 3rd Red Piccirilli book. Very excited that Darkfuse/Delirium has taken a chance on me like this. You can read the first chapter now and new chapters will be added every Friday by noon as I write them!
Chizine still has the second Red Piccirilli novella Within This Garden Weeping under consideration but another publisher is interested if they decline. Very sweet! I’m looking forward to getting this novella sold because it’s the second in the Division mythos series. Once it’s out we’ll have the first 8 books of the 13 book series published!
1. Before Leonora Wakes (Big novella. Red Piccirilli Book #1.)
2. Within This Garden Weeping (Big novella. Red Piccirilli Book #2. Under consideration with Chizine right now)
3. Collected Songs of Sonnelion (Novel. Red Piccirilli Book #3. Current Project, serialized on Darkfuse’s website!)
4. Nursery Rhymes 4 Dead Children (Division Novel #1, Delirium Books, May 2011)
5. Iron Butterflies Rust (Frank Gunn novella #1, Delirium Books, August 2011)
6. As I Embrace My Jagged Edges (Sideshow Press, Digital 2011/ Hardcover 2012)
7. The Dampness of Mourning (Division novel #2, DarkFuse, February 2012)
8. Down Here in the Dark (Frank Gunn novella #2, Delirium Books, April 2012)
9. The Patron Saint of Infinite Sorrow (Division novel #3)
10. She Collects Grave Nectar (Michael Johnston novella)
11. Proserpine’s Story (Ravaged Gods novel #1)
12. Lord of the Damaged (Ravaged Gods novel #2)
13. Violent Races (Ravaged Gods novel #3)
Everything comes to him who hustles while he waits- Thomas Edison
Returned the galley for my standalone novella When We Join Jesus in Hell (Delirium Books). And expect news in the coming month about my standalone novella from Thunderstorm Books, Immersion.
Wherever you are, enjoy yourselves. And thanks for all the support!
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. 😀
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.
Very excited that Jennifer at Book Den let me guest blog on her website. I shared the first chapter of the second Red Piccirilli book, WITHIN THIS GARDEN WEEPING, which is one of the first books in my Division mythos.
A lot of great things going on here which I’ll share in the coming months.
Go give the guest post a read and spread the word!