Oct 092013

FB bg-01If you’re reading this on my blog, and you look over to the right hand side at the IMP Project progress bar, you may notice that the meter just dropped from 2500 words to 275 words.  I hated to do it, but the original story I was writing just wasn’t working.  The story is supposed to be part of an upcoming horror anthology, and the more I wrote, the more it became obvious that the story I was telling wasn’t horror.  It was a speculative fiction tale that was interesting enough, but it just wouldn’t have fit well with the theme of the anthology.  So last night I had to make the difficult decision to junk it and start over.

On the up side, I had an even better idea, that will definitely fit in the horror theme… assuming I have the chops to pull it off.  To be perfectly honest, I’m a little intimidated by the company I’ll be keeping on the project.  This anthology is going to be a combination of horror amateurs (like yours truly), and some pretty well established horror aficionados — people like Paul E. Cooley, Justin Macumber, and Edward Lorn.  And if I’m going to ride on the same boat as the big kids, I need to make sure I can pull the oars right alongside them.  With that in mind, the first IMP story just didn’t cut it.

So now I have an idea for what promises to be a good horror story, but I get to start over with the plot… and the research… and the characterizations… and…everything.  And of course, there’s even less time to get it done now.

Yay!!  More pressure.  :idk:

Jan 212012

That’s right – I’ve noticed that writing seems to be a great way to meet folks.  It’s also a conversational topic shared by a specific group.  I had a friend of mine call me up the other night for no other reason than to talk about writing.  You see, he is also beginning his foray into the field of professional writing, and as he put it “I don’t have anyone else I can talk to about this stuff”.  By the way, his name is Barry Begault, and I would be remiss if I didn’t give him a little plug here.  Barry writes “Twilight Zone” style novelettes that he puts out under the brand of “Snack Reading”, and they are available on his Smashwords site, his Amazon Site, and knowing Barry, probably all the other usual places.  Go download a sample and if you like his stuff, drop the 99 cents to help support his “habit”. :-)

There are some other folks that I’ve met as I’ve learned about writing as a business.  Justin Macumber, Terry Mixon, and Eliyanna Kaiser of the Dead Robots’ Society have been extraordinarily inspirational, whether they know it or not, with their fantastic podcast for writers.  I’ve been lucky enough to have met Terry in person, and to have chatted with Justin and Eliyanna via email or on their forum for writers.  They are all good people, working on getting their own writing careers going, and helping other aspiring writers follow the dream as they do so.

And I got to meet Paul Elard Cooley at last year’s Conjour.  I first became acquainted with Cooley’s work through his podcast version of Tattoo.  That one was pretty creepy, but then I purchased his book Fiends at the con.  In that collection was a novel called Closet Treats, and that thing blew me away!  It’s the story of a man who is mentally ill and suffers from hallucinations, who thinks he sees a demonic being in the guise of an ice cream vendor.  For most of the book, you never know whether what he sees is real, or the twisted perception of a psychotic mind.  It was abso-freaking-lutely awesome.

And here I am a year later.  My own book is now published, and along the way I’ve gotten to know even more folks in the community.  I have an awesome editor in Lynn O’Dell, of Red Adept Publishing, who has become more friend than business acquaintance (yes Lynn, I know you will find this post, and it might embarrass you, but it’s true – like it or not, I consider you a friend :heh: ), and through her I have found another great group of writers in the Red Adept Select group.  These folks and I have been brought together as authors that the people at Red Adept Publishing  have edited and voted as “outstanding in genre”.  In all honesty, I am genuinely in awe to have been included in the same group.  They don’t know me from Adam, but have been outstandingly helpful in guiding me through the minefields of the modern publishing industry.  I urge you to look at the carousel at the top of my page here.  Those are the titles in the Red Adept Select group.  Sample them – read them – you won’t be disappointed. 8-)

And holy crap – I’m getting fan mail!  I mean, never in a hundred years would I have thought that would happen.  There are actually real people out there who are reading my book… and liking it!! :-))  As corny as it may sound, I am truly humbled.  Those of you who have emailed me with your kind comments, please know how fantastic it is to get them.  I know you didn’t have to do that, so thank you so much for your time.  It really means a lot.

Apr 252011

I read this as part of the “Fiends” collection.  While horror isn’t something I read that often, I had heard Cooley’s take on the genre during an interview, and it sounded more like my own.  You see, I prefer psychological horror to today’s gore-based “gross out” horror, and Cooley espoused the same view.  After reading “Closet Treats” I am not disappointed.

“Closet Treats” explores the happenings around Trey Leger and his family.  Trey suffers from a mental psychosis that sometimes causes him to hallucinate things – horrible things.  As a result, he is never quite sure if the things he sees happening around him are real, or simply the result of his mind twisting reality.

Then things get worse when neighborhood children begin disappearing…

Cooley weaves his way through the various views of reality, and causes the reader to question what is actually going on right up to the climax of the story.  More importantly, he deftly avoids the easy clichés that many authors would have used, instead taking the difficult road through the minefield of viewing the world through the eyes of a protagonist who truly doesn’t know whether or not to trust what he sees.

I highly recommend this one for anyone who wants to read good psychological horror.