Sunday, October 30, 2011
Sunday, August 28, 2011
So, a hurricane has blown through New Jersey. After spending a great deal of Thursday shoring up any loose items in the back yard and greatly testing the storage capacity of my new shed (everything fits, thank God), Irene paid us a visit overnight and brought down some trees, some power lines and effectively wreaked havoc with several of my friends' basements. Right now, the members of the family who didn't sleep last night are napping and the 3 year old (who got a full night's sleep last night) is watching TV.
The house is quiet and I'm sitting here with a reamful of THE BOG (still on track for an October release), a pen and Tweetdeck open. I'm hoping to get a little editing done today and get my notes together for a powerhouse run through a novel to meet my deadline.
So, I'm sitting here, winds blowing, making the best of a crappy situation (and sticking to my old motto--"take every free second and write"!).
Stay safe during the rest of Irene, folks!
Sunday, August 21, 2011
"Horror is not a genre, like the mystery or science fiction or the western. It is not a kind of fiction, meant to be confined to the ghetto of a special shelf in libraries or bookstores. Horror is an emotion."
The removal of safety can be of a more moderate nature. One of the most effect invocations of horror is the façade of safety in the beginning of the tale and the removal of that safety after the author/creator has established how benign and peaceful a particular situation is at first. Some incredibly well done examples of this are THE FOG (film) by John Carpenter, ‘
The most cringe-inducing moment in King’s ‘Salem’s Lot is when grave digger Mike Ryerson is staying in Matt Burke’s house as a guest overnight, Matt Burke hears things amiss in the darkness.
“Softly yet clearly in the silent house the words came, spoken in Mike Ryerson’s voice, spoken in the dead accents of sleep:
‘Yes. Come in.’
Matt’s breath stopped, then whistled out in soundless scream. He felt faint with fear. His belly seemed to have turned to lead. His testicles had drawn up. What in God’s name had been invited into his house?”
The horror here is quite clear. The relative safety of the character’s surroundings (his house) has been violated by an outside force. The removal of safety sends any of us—all of us—into a disjointed semi-panic. Our world is not right, unless there’s a modicum of safety involved in it. Strip away that safety and you can induce some serious gooseflesh.
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
First, in October of 2011, Screaming Aphony Press will release my novel, THE BOG.
THE BOG - Release Date: 10/11/2011
Hidden in the desolate wilderness of The Pine Barrens, the village of Jamesbog, New Jersey is a quiet town that time forgot. A town square, residents that all know each other like family and a white clapboard church. But this town holds secrets. Secrets that have been buried for twenty-five years and like most secrets, this one should have stayed buried.
Twenty-five years ago two girls were murdered. One was drowned in the flooded bogs during the Autumn of '77. The other was never found.
One fine summer day, a sudden uncanny storm blows in savagely, threatening to dredge up the answers to mysteries that have remained hidden for nearly three decades. Huddled in a church during this freakish storm, a small group of survivors will find out the truth.
And then in March of 2012,
COMMUNITY - Release Date: 3/13/2012
Bill and Jenny Peters have just moved to the Shore town of Shoal Harbor. They moved for the friendly faces and the great schools, the quiet neighborhoods and the sense of community.
But not all is as it seems. Bill's neighbors begin to show an almost fanatical devotion to the town and the community. People keep disappearing all over town. And a dark pall has been cast over the whole town.
The Peters family, however, don't have the sense of community that the town leaders look for in residents. The Peters are shunning their friends and becoming "homebodies". They're finding that they don't belong.
The Peters family is not fitting in.
I'm really excited about these two new releases and I really can't wait to show you the awesome cover art these novels are getting dressed in. Make sure you join the Jack Drew mailing list (below and to the right) and I'll keep you up to date on all the details of these (and other) upcoming releases.
Saturday, June 25, 2011
Sunday, May 15, 2011
After sorting through some excellent Charles L. Grant novels (he’s really an amazing author and if you haven’t given him a chance yet, you really need to check him out--I mean that most sincerely--he ranks right up there with “the gods” [more on “the gods” later] ), and casting aside the latest from Little, I picked up my old battered copy of NEEDFUL THINGS by Stephen King, entranced.
I gazed upon this gorgeous image, and fell back in love. In a blink of an eye, I was 19 again. First year of college had passed by (literally passed by me) and the next was just beginning. I spent an awful lot of time reading NEEDFUL THINGS when it came out and missed an awful lot of class because of it.
Yeah, this would do for the next buncha weeks. This would do, indeed.
Here’s the thing: in 1987, I went through some changes. No, not those changes. Get your mind up to the gutter, please. When I was 15 years old, I was an avid reader, much like I am now. Only a whole lot thinner and a whole lot less gray. But for the longest time in my teens, I was reading novels that were ... well, they were tame, at best. Sure, I’d read some Clive Cussler novels and they were thrilling enough. And I’d burned my way through all the novels Frederick Forsyth had written. At the time (1987), THE DAY OF THE JACKAL was one of my all-time favorite novels. I’d read plenty of historical action / adventure novels of the likes of SHARPE’S EAGLE, Horatio Hornblower and I’d started to swim in a deeper pool of weirdness when I read ON STRANGER TIDES by Tim Powers. I’d read nearly every single novel that Tor ever published in the sci fi series “V”.
But then, in 1987, something ... arrived. Something came into my world and changed everything.
One day in 1987, I picked up a paperback novel that surely was the demise of three or four trees. IT weighed about as much as a brick and its cover was drop dead sexy. IT was enticing. IT was scary looking
IT by Stephen King was an intimidating novel. But, I’d gazed upon it for several weeks when accompanying my mother to PathMark for weekly groceries. Finally, one day, I plunked down my money and picked up a copy for myself. And over the next two weeks, I fell in love. My parents had rented a summer house in Long Beach Island for a handful of weeks and I spent every single day sitting in the sand and every single night sitting on the porch (and laying on the sofa) reading IT by Stephen King. This was a big, beautiful, amazing story of children near my age at the time (sure, there was an age gap but not by much) and mixed in, there was horror and clowns and some awful stuff going on. I had found my greatest literary love: the horror genre.
Which brings me to the main focus of this article. Every single time I see King’s name in that stylized fashion that Viking used to use (think like this:
I get utterly and completely nostalgic. Seeing King’s name in that particular font brings me back to when I first realized I loved reading scary stories and when my world truly opened up. It came at a time in my life when things for me, personally, were a little dark: I didn’t have many friends, I wore glasses and was typecast as the quintessential nerd. Late Middle School, High School was not really a great time for me. And because of that, I clung to stories that weren’t exactly upbeat. Most of King’s work (and even moreso his Bachman books like RAGE and THE LONG ROAD) spoke to me in ways that those swash-buckling heroes or the political potboilers couldn’t.
If you were to fill a room with a bunch of horror authors and ask them “who’s your favorite author?” 8 out of 10 would probably still answer, “Stephen King”. The other 2 are lying.
So, I find it very apropos that, at a time when I’ve got to crunch down and grind out a novel, at a time when I’ve got to mentally set a bunch of things aside, I grab a book that not only makes me reminisce about the “old days” but helps bring back the reason I got excited about horror in the first place.
Re-reading NEEDFUL THINGS isn’t just something to do while I write THE COMPLEX. For me, it’s getting back just a little slice of my high school days. Getting back just a little bit of that feeling of what it was like to discover things again. Like the first time you realized you really liked that girl with the dark hair you saw at the Boardwalk or the first time you take a swig of beer, sitting on a beach with your friends, under the stars and listening to the surf pound away at the shore.
This is what inspires me to write.
What inspires you?
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
So, last week Screaming Aphony Press released both my novel, The Takeover, and my brand new short story collection,The Whispered Voices Screamed The Truth, on Amazon for the Kindle.
For those of you who are considering publishing your work this way, I highly recommend it.
It is really the most informative publishing service around. Smashwords is great and works well for barnes & noble and other bookstores. But they're sales info lags (which isn't a criticism, I know that's just the way it works) and Amazon's numbers are very nearly real time.
If you're looking for a good way to track your sales, Amazon is a great way to go.
Furthermore, their sales are international. For example, I have had sales from AmazonUK. An audience, im sorry to say, I hadn't considered before.
Im very happy to have them, I simply never considered selling books to an international audience before.
Overall, amazon's publishing service is cool stuff.
On a side note, I've worked out plot kinks in my next novel and am at work tweaking some already existing material. If you liked The Takeover, you're going to be a fan of the next book.
As always, be good, Friends
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Out now from Screaming Aphony Press, my new horror collection, THE WHISPERED VOICES SCREAMED THE TRUTH is debuting on Amazon Kindle first ... and it's ONLY 99 CENTS!!!!!
Pick up a copy here: http://amzn.to/fGmwrL
Also, good news and some free love for Kindle fans! My novel THE TAKEOVER is now out on Amazon and available for 99 CENTS!!!!
Grab your copy of THE TAKEOVER now!!! http://amzn.to/hDxUUQ
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Soon to be released from Screaming Aphony Press, THE WHISPERED VOICES SCREAMED THE TRUTH, a new collection of short stories that will make you sleep with the lights on!
Saturday, March 19, 2011
I'm pretty damn stoked.
Friday, February 18, 2011
Thursday, February 17, 2011
The one on the top is what I read with. The one on the bottom is what I write with.
Up top: a Pandigital Novel running Android with Aldiko reader. Might very well be the best e-reader for those who like all things Android.
Below, a pocket-sized Pinnacle notebook I keep on me at all times. My own private brain dump. It's where I work out the ideas I've saved from oblivion in Evernote.
These past few weeks, I can't live without either. It's really turned into one of the busiest times of my life and I find myself still pummeled by good fiction ideas along the way. Got a place to write 'em. And with the PDN, I've torched my way through like 3 novels over the past few weeks (an unheard of feat, normally).
Friday, January 28, 2011
Saturday mornings, I teach a class that helps prepare candidates to take the CISSP exam (CISSP stands for Certified Information Systems Security Professional). This is a class that teaches the students what a corporate, enterprise security model/plan should be and what security subjects they should understand thoroughly to be able to pass the exam.
Basically, it's a class on network security. I've been teaching it the past few Saturdays and I've got a bunch more weeks to go (8, I think). Because of this new job, I've stepped away from the fiction while I draft up my training materials (which takes a while to create).
It's a shame because, while I've paused the physical act of writing, I'm still getting barraged with story ideas on a daily basis. Each morning when I drive to work, I see at least ONE thing that puts an idea in my head. Whether it be someone walking, someone driving, an unassuming tree sticking out of the FEET of snow we've recently fallen victim to in the northeast or the way some garbage was strewn about the street.
So, what's an author to do? Well, I've been keeping copious notes so that I don't miss an idea. Unfortunately, it's going to be a while before I can start to pound them out at the keyboard.
By then, I hope I can still read my chicken scratch.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Just to give you a little flavor, Larry said, "I don't read a lot of horror books ... boy, this book was creepy. ... At times I wanted to shout at the characters to make them realize what was going to happen, but people on a plane don't take kindly to other passengers shouting at inanimate objects. This definitely kept me turning the pages, even when I didn't want to."
(Big Smiles! BIG SMILES!)