Sunday, November 8, 2009

DEAD SOULS at (and 1st Review)

You can now find Dead Souls at (and maybe even a few live ones, too!).

Also, the first review of this new anthology is now in:

"Dead Souls makes a journey within the human soul through time and space, taking the reader from the times of legend to a distant future, from the Northern European shores to the Far East. Mark S. Deniz gathers 25 stories that will not try to shock the reader through violent acts, but through a series of events that can change the human soul forever."

The reviewer describes my contribution to the anthology, the story "Dry Places", as "a quite violent and action packed story." Violent? Maybe, but certainly not graphic. Action packed? Well, I certainly don't want to bore my gentle readers. ;-) You can read the entire story-by-story review here.

Writer's Quote:
"There is no way of writing well and also of writing easily." --Anthony Trollope

Monday, September 14, 2009

INHUMAN is back with a vengeance!

Good things come to those who wait:

Following a three-year hiatus, Allen K's INHUMAN magazine has made an impressive comeback with issue #4 (now available for order at Editor and illustrator Allen Koszowski has loaded this issue with tons of great fiction and cool art. Take a look at the lineup:

New tales by Chad Hensley and W.H. Pugmire, Justin Gustainis, Joseph Nassise, Lois H. Gresh, Bruce Boston, Steven Vernon, Mark McLaughlin, Mary SanGiovanni, Darren Speegle, Kiel Stuart, Darrell Schweitzer, Matt Cardin, C.J. Henderson and R.Allen Leider, Robert Swartwood, and Stephen Mark Rainey.

Vintage Horror stories by Joe R. Lansdale, Chet Williamson, and Robert Silverberg; plus an editorial by Allen K, an interview by John Pelan, and an article on the monsters of Stephen King by Bev Vincent.

Ugh, stop drooling on my blog and make the jump through cyberspace to Allen's website and get a copy!

Writer's Quote:
"Substitute 'damn' every time you're inclined to write 'very;' your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be." --Mark Twain

Sunday, September 6, 2009

My, how those evil books get around!

Here's another Twilight Zone tale about an evil book, adapted from the Manly Wade Wellman short story "The Valley was Still".

Writer's Quote:
"Every writer is a frustrated actor who recites his lines in the hidden auditorium of his skull." --Rod Serling

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Cat on a Cold Stone Tomb (with apologies to Tennessee Williams)

The feline in this photo probably found this perch particularly fine.

I'm not sure exactly what it was that so captivated this creature, but I do know that my imagination ran wild over what appeared to be a black cat guarding a tomb. Poe would be pleased. I snapped this picture outside Bruton Parish Church in Colonial Williamsburg, VA. I also got a look at the name on the stone. (!) More to come of this.
Writer's Quote:
"We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master." --Ernest Hemingway

Thursday, August 13, 2009

You'll find DEAD SOULS at FANTASY CON 2009

The horror anthology Dead Souls (published by Morrigan Books) will be launched on September 19, 2009, at Fantasy Con in the Britannia Hotel in Nottingham, England.
I would love to be there for the book launch and signing, not to mention the opportunity to meet all the fabulous guests lined up by the British Fantasy Society, but given my present financial situation, a flight to the UK is completely out of the question. Not that I'll be too terribly missed, since the editor, Mark Deniz, will be on hand with several of the contributors, Paul Finch, Gary McMahon, Carole Johnstone, Rebecca Lloyd, and Ramsey Campbell(!!). So if you're in or near Nottingham on September 19, don't miss the opportunity to pick up a copy of a damned* good anthology signed by five fine fantasists!

*I say "damned good" because the anthology is full of stories about dead souls. Get it? Oh never mind. Get a copy and read my damn story, "Dry Places".

Writer's Quote:
"The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt." --Sylvia Plath

Monday, July 20, 2009

Weight of Glory

My luggage was a little heavier when I returned from Readercon a couple weeks ago. Unfortunately the extra poundage consisted mainly of a few books picked up at the con, and not one of those nifty hunks of highly polished glass bestowed by the Shirley Jackson Awards jury. I console myself by scanning the list of nominees (and winners) and recognizing just how stiff the competition truly was.

But I didn't come away from the awards ceremony empty handed. The jurors F. Brett Cox and Paul Tremblay, along with Awards Administrator JoAnn Cox (no relation to F. Brett Cox, by the way), paid homage to one of Shirley Jackson's best known stories, "The Lottery", by "stoning" the nominees who were present. Behold my rock (please see above photo, my dear Ozymandias) and despair! All kidding aside, I'm very proud of and very thankful for this keepsake. This engraved river stone now occupies a prominent spot on my desk, close to the wireless mouse, as a reminder that my anthology, Bound for Evil, was numbered with the best works of 2008. It's also a souvenir of the wonderful time I had at Readercon, hanging out with the finest people I know, readers and writers---book people. Um, it makes a nice paperweight, too!

Writer's Quote:
"The best time for planning a book is while you're doing the dishes." ---Agatha Christie

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Dead Souls Rising

The horror anthology Dead Souls is now available for pre-order at

The book is edited by Mark S. Deniz and is scheduled for an early September release. It contains 25 tales, including my story "Dry Places". And the cover creeps me out.

Table of Contents:
Bernie Mojzes - "The Collector"
T. A. Moore - "Licwiglunga"
Carole Johnstone - "The Blind Man"
Tom English - "Dry Places"
Sharon Irwin - "Begin with Water"
Robert Holt - "In the Name"
William Ward - "When they Come to Murder Me"
Chris Johnstone - "The Unbedreamed"
Elizabeth Barrette - "Goldenthread"
Catherine J. Gardner - "When the Cloak Falls"
Anna M. Lowther - "The Price of Peace"
James R. Stratton - "Your Duty to your Lord"
Kenneth C. Goldman - "Mercy Hathaway is a Witch"
Lisa Kessler - "Immortal Beloved"
Lisa Kessler - "Subito Piano"
Michael Stone - "The Migrant"
Robert Hood - "Sandcrawlers"
Reece Notley - "Tatsu"
L. J. Hayward - "Wayang Kulit"
Rebecca Lloyd - "Contaminator"
Ramsey Campbell - "The Dead Must Die"
Stephanie Campisi - "The Ringing Sound of Death on the Water Tank"
Paul Finch - "June"
Gary McMahon - "A Shade of Yellow"
Kaaron Warren - "The Blue Stream"

Writer's Quote:
"I try to leave out the parts that people skip." --Elmore Leonard

Monday, July 6, 2009

Interview at Shirley Jackson Awards blog

Charles Tan recently interviewed me about my Shirley Jackson Award-nominated anthology Bound for Evil. The interview is now posted on the Shirley Jackson Awards blog.
Writer's Quote:
"Be obscure clearly." --E.B. White

Friday, July 3, 2009

My Bags Are Packed and I'm Ready to GO!

I'll be heading for Readercon 20 (The Conference on Imaginative Literature) in Burlington, MA, on Thursday the 9th! Excited? Oh yeah! I'll be driving up with my pal and fellow Virginian Todd Treichel. Todd hopes to keep me from toppling over, should my legs go all wobbly at The Shirley Jackson Awards ceremony! And I hope to keep Todd from over-indulging in the convention bookshop! (If you see me with a blackened eye, you'll know the books got the best of my friend and -- well, it's never wise to come between a bibliophile and his books!)
If you're attending, please stop by and chat. Chances are good you can catch me at the Dark Hollow Books section of the Dealers Room. Bill Morrison of DHB will be selling copies of my Shirley Jackson Award-nominated anthology Bound for Evil, and I'll be stopping by Bill's tables frequently to talk to readers and sign copies of BfE. Joining me there will be three more BfE contributors, Simon Strantzas, Ian Rogers, and Orrin Grey, all of who will be signing. Bill will also have copies of a special Dead Letter Press story card featuring a 100-word story, "Lepidoptera Vampiridae", written by me and illustrated by Allen Koszowski. The card is limited to 250 pieces.

The Shirley Jackson Awards ceremony is on Sunday, July 12th, at 11 am. Hope to see you there!

Writer's Quote: "There's nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein." ---Walter Wellesley "Red" Smith

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Dark Legacy of Evil Books

The subject of ancient grimoires continues to fascinate both readers and writers of the classic weird tale. A few of the anthology shows that proliferated the airwaves during the fifties and sixties adapted stories featuring evil books. The Twilight Zone gave us Manly Wade Wellman's "Still Valley" (based on "The Valley Was Still") in 1961. Boris Karloff's Thriller presented August Derleth's "The Return of Andrew Bentley" and John Tomerlin's Lovecraftian episode "Dark Legacy", both in 1961. Here's the complete video of "Dark Legacy" starring Harry Townes and Henry Silva.

My Shirley Jackson Award-nominated anthology Bound for Evil contains 67 fantastic stories featuring diabolical books and ancient libraries, crazed collectors and loony librarians, reckless readers and doomed writers!

Writer's Quote:
"The business of the poet and novelist is to show the sorriness underlying the grandest things, and the grandeur underlying the sorriest things." --Ray Bradbury

Saturday, April 25, 2009

"Time Enough At Last" -- A TWILIGHT ZONE Tale of Some Books Gone Bad

Here's a classic episode of Rod Serling's THE TWILIGHT ZONE about ... what else? ... books. My anthology, Bound for Evil: Curious Tales of Books Gone Bad contains 67 such tales; horror, SF, fantasy, and mystery stories that probe the darker side of books. Enjoy this video while there's still time -- before the books have the last laugh!

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read."   ---Mark Twain

Friday, April 17, 2009

BOUND FOR EVIL nominated for the Shirley Jackson Award!

My anthology, Bound for Evil: Curious Tales of Books Gone Bad, has been nominated for the prestigious Shirley Jackson Award. The winners will be announced on July 12, 2009, at ReaderCon 20 in Burlington, MA.

My bags are packed and I'm ready to go!

This is only the 2nd year of the Awards. And I think ReaderCon is the perfect place to introduce Bound for Evil to a wider audience. When I conceived of the anthology my great desire was to remind would-be readers of the power and the mystique of books. Wonderful books, magical and mysterious. Sometimes even dangerous.
And now my fat little antho is headed for ReaderCon, a celebration of books and writers, editors and publishers, and the glory of the written word.

Sigh! Valhalla awaits!

Writer's Quote:
"Easy reading is damn hard writing." ---Nathaniel Hawthorne

Saturday, March 7, 2009

...a book I could get my teeth into

Just wrapped up my introduction for the chapbook The Kiss of Judas. The book should be available at several on-line bookseller sites soon. This is the 22nd volume (or is it the 23rd, I've lost count) in the Literary Vampire Series, each title of which has had a print run of only 26 copies (collectors rejoice). So, I am prolific,  but my scribbling has not proliferated.

My intro discusses a somewhat overlooked facet of vampire folklore, which is now seeping (yes, like blood) into pop culture.

Writer's Quote:
My stories run up and bite me on the leg.  I respond by writing them down -- everything that goes on during the bite. When I finish, the idea lets go and runs off.  ---A.A. Milne 

    The first issue of Black Infinity debuted barely a month ago and I'm already hard at work constructing the second big issue whi...