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6th July 2011
Featuring Special Guest: David Bain
David Bain made his presence known to me nearly a decade ago when I was given the chance to review Steve Vernon’s short story collection NIGHTMARE DREAMS. Being very impressed with the collection, I then turned to its editor when I was looking for someone to help me with my own collection, TERRIBLE THRILLS. That editor was David Bain.
The collection never panned out with that publisher--they went under pretty quickly--but I did manage to get that collection published. In the meantime, I was working on my own editing gig, putting together an anthology called the BOOK OF MONSTERS, which Scrybe Press put out. As the book neared its due date, I realized I still didn’t have any goblin stories, but I needed one to round out the Table of Contents. I emailed a few acquaintances asking for submissions and of the three or four I received, Dave’s was the one that made the cut. From there I invited him into another anthology I wanted to publish but which never materialized, and pretty soon our acquaintanceship had developed into a full-on friendship.
Years later, I’m happy to say he’s one of my closet writing confidants and a man whose work I’m coming to respect more and more with every new story I read.
And now, you too can get in on what I already knew with Dave’s first novel, GRAY LAKE. I asked Dave to say a few things about the novel and his upcoming work.:
“Although I should have other novels coming out within a year, GRAY LAKE might always be my favorite, my magnum opus. A labor of love, it summarizes everything I went through between the ages of sixteen and 25 or so, all the good and the bad. It was also my master’s thesis and - hey, CDM was one of the first readers, so readers can blame any typos on him!
GRAY LAKE is also at Amazon and elsewhere, but if readers want to buy it via Smashwords before July 13, they can enter the following code and get it for $1.99, a dollar off: CX84T. The url is: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/70096
There are at least two characters from the novel who I plan to write more about - you’ll surely see the burn-scarred villain Mike Menger again; I’m keeping the identity of the other one a secret, a surprise for readers.
Within a week or two of this spotlight, I should have a free companion ebook available - THE ROAD TO GRAY LAKE. This will have a free related short story called “Billy Gets a Job” as well as an excerpt, deleted scenes, an essay or two, a poem, a video playlist and even a couple photos. You can consider GRAY LAKE the movie, and THE ROAD TO GRAY LAKE the bonus DVD.
Then, in August, I’ll be releasing WHILE THE CITY SLEEPS: TALES FROM GREEN RIVER, a collection of short stories from the same milieu as GRAY LAKE. Yes, I know the title is the same as a classic movie, but it fits so perfectly. (And besides, it applies: the movie is about the newspaper biz, and I was a newspaper bureau chief for about a decade, and, yes, there is a newspaper story.) The collection will be a mix of ghost and crime tales - what I like to think of as “smalltown noir” stories.
The politics and secret goings-on of small towns fascinate me, much more so than the obvious machinations of big time politics. You find out all sorts of interesting things as a local reporter: there are so many big fish wannabes in the small ponds, plus there’s also the whole struggle of the small fry just trying to stay alive.
And every now and then a monster slithers through the pond. Consider my own little Indiana town. Meth is everywhere. We just had a three-man shoot-out near a major intersection because one guy stole these other two guys’ weed - two people died, the survivor’s going to prison. Back when I was a reporter, we had two fathers kill their sons (one barely a year old, the other thirteen) within two weeks - the baby cried for its mother one time too many while Dad was babysitting alone; the teen’s dad went off after receiving a call that junior wasn’t doing his homework. And most recently we produced our very own AMERICA’S MOST WANTED fugitive with a laundry list of (at this point still alleged) offenses longer than this blog entry. And this is a “nice” town, not some exaggerated barefoot-and-pregnant toothless hillbilly enclave.
Writing is one way I deal with the fact that this stuff happens literally next door - which is why I rarely set my fiction in the typical “isolated farmhouse” setting where so much horror and suspense literature takes place. For instance, in my $.99 collection STREETLIGHTS FILLED WITH FLOWERS: THREE TALES OF URBAN FANTASY, the horror and crime take place in a mall, in a 7-11 and, well, yes, in a woods, but a county-maintained municipal woods within jogging distance of the streetlights. That one’s available at Amazon or http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/40251
What else to leave you with? How about links for my newsletter and my web page? (From there your readers can join me on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Goodreads, etc.) And a big thanks for the readers and writer of this profile!"
Below is a collection of even more of David Bain's Smashwords work, all available at the click of a button:
8th February 2011
+873, and a Warning:
: I had a rough night's sleep, which wasn't helped by the 3:00 AM heartburn, but I did manage another 873 words on the new story, which brings the total to 4968. Next Monday is my deadline.
I received an email this morning I thought I would pass on to everyone:
"Here is a warning about a known plagiarist, thief, and scam operator: David Boyer.
Please be careful to avoid becoming another victim of David Boyer.
His known aliases include:
David Byron, Dylan Cook, Leo Wolfe, Jack Burnett, Jack Sawyer, Tobey King, Christian Loche, Kelli Kelso, and Kelli Ross.
If you know of any aliases I don't have, please let me know. Also, if you find any of these links no longer working, please let me know.
Here are the links as evidence of David Boyer's misdeeds:
Documentation from the Horror Writer's Association (who give the Bram Stoker Awards) under the article titled Stoker-Recommended Works Removed for Plagiarism:
Here is the warning on Absolute Writer under Writers Beware:
A victim speaks
Another victim speaks
Boyer's Mean Tirade Against Ramsey Campbell:
The Rusty Nail
A different Rusty Nail post
About Darkened Doorways:
About Vast Horizens on Science Fiction Writers Association:
And here is Ferrel (Rick) Moore ongoing satire, whose story Electrocuting the Clowns was stolen by David Boyer under his alias David Byron and who personally contacted the Horror Writer's Association about the theft:
Here is B. Thoughtful's website where evidence against David Boyer is carefully collected and saved:
3rd February 2011
Featuring Special Guest: Jason Brannon
So just how did I meet Jason Brannon? I believe it was back in the early 2000s, maybe 2002, but definitely by 2003. Probably on some message board or other. I read and reviewed a couple of ebooks he wrote with Eric S. Brown, SPACE STATIONS AND GRAVEYARDS I believe was on, POISONED GRAVES was another? Possibly. I’d run into him here and there on this board or that one. I asked him to send me a story for the BOOK OF MONSTERS anthology I was putting together, and his piece, “The Glass Cage” was awesome, as I’d expected it would be. I got a copy of his solo collection, PUZZLES OF FLESH, which was far and away better than anything he’d published in the previous collections, and even used the quality of his book to solidify my decision to try the publisher, Silver Lake Publishing, with my own collection TERRIBLE THRILLS.
Jason’s always been one of those writers I’ve kept an eye on, one of the ones I knew had the talent to pull off some amazing work, a closet professional just waiting for that big paycheck to show up in the mail and for his name to start spreading like wildfire.
He’s always seemed pretty busy, with lots of things either in the works, or about to come out, or that just came out, so I asked him recently what’s up, what’s new, what’s crackalackin? Here’s what he had to say:
"Ok, let's see-Here's what I've got out now:
and (now available for Nook and Kindle):
"Basilisk Verlag has released German versions of
and (co-written with James Newman):
"Projects I'm currently at work on: I'm in the process of expanding Winds of Change into a full blown novel for an interested publisher. I've also finished two novels, The Tears of Nero and The Maze, which my agent is shopping at the moment. I've also done some work lately on a follow up to The Cage and a novella based on my short story, Beware the Death Angel. All in all, I'm staying pretty busy."
10th November 2010
Featuring Special Guest: Cullen Bunn
I first encountered Cullen Bunn over a decade ago when I was trying like hell, unsuccessfully, to get printed in his magazine Whispers from the Shattered Forum. He never accepted any of my individual shorts, but he did accept my vampire collection, Icons to Ashes, for his Undaunted Press. Right before he closed. It’s okay; it’s been a theme in my professional life (see journal entry from March 29th for the full list of magazines and presses I have slain). Some time in 2003, I needed a zombie story for the Book of Monsters anthology I was putting together and Cullen sent me “Witching Eyes”, which not only knocked my socks off, but also made me realize I didn’t want a zombie story in the traditional sense; I wanted a ghoul story. Because that’s basically what the movie version of zombies are. Also in 2003 or 2004 I had joined Cullen’s Midwest Writers of Horror group and had my story “Terrible Thrills” reprinted in their first Open Graves anthology.
I may have the order of events mixed up, but those are the bullet points.
Since 2004, at the latest, life and writing have caught up and Cullen’s become one busy dude. A few months ago I was browsing the new comics at my local Hastings and saw his name. I wasn’t totally surprised; I knew he’d been working on comics for a while, but this book, The Sixth Gun, was new. The first issue was staring me in the face. I didn’t even think twice about grabbing it, and I’ve continued to collect every new issue only days after it hits the stands. The Sixth Gun is officially the first regular monthly comic I’ve collected in over a decade. And it’s reminded me what a good writer Cullen is. So I asked him to say a few words about what he’s working on lately. Cullen?
“In comics, THE SIXTH GUN is my current ongoing series. Supernatural western. Epic fantasy in the old west. The first story arc wraps this month with issue 6, which has 12-extra pages of story and art. I've scripted up through issue 10. The second story arc moves the tale into New Orleans.
“I also have an original graphic novel coming out titled THE TOOTH. It's a horror/hero yarn in the vein of old Swamp Thing and Man-Thing comics. It is co-written by Shawn Lee and illustrated by Matt Kindt. Should come out later in 2011.
“I have some other books coming out from DC and Marvel, but I can't talk about them too much.
“One series (again that I can't say much about) is a balls-to-the-wall horror comic.
Prose-wise, my biggest current project is CROOKED HILLS, a middle reader (9-13) horror series from Evileye Books. Basically, I wanted to write a mid-reader horror novel that was genuinely scary and fun, something parents could enjoy reading just as much as their kids. It follows the adventures of a kid who moves to the "most haunted town in America" and manages to run afoul of bullies, spectral hounds, and a dead witch who is trying to bring herself back into the land of the living. It draws heavily on my own experiences growing up in the country and moving to the Ozarks.
“This is the first book in the series, and I really hope to build the mythology of ‘my’ Ozarks in the upcoming books.
“Evileye Books is currently running a bunch of information on the book at http://www.evileyebooks.com/. They've even posted the first chapter.
“If it looks like something you might find interesting, I encourage you to help spread the word. You guys know how hard it is to get traction with a small press book like this, so any support is much appreciated!”
19th May 2010
Featuring Special Guest: Christopher Fulbright
Of all the writers I’ve met over the years, Christopher Fulbright is one of the few I really can’t pin down just how we met. He published a couple of stories of mine, “The Stand-In” and “Plaything” in his magazine SAVAGE NIGHT, but by the time the latter was submitted, I already kind of knew him. So I can only guess it was on some message board or other. How we moved that acquaintanceship off the message boards and into a real friendship, I can’t say. I asked him to write a story for the BOOK OF MONSTERS anthology I was then compiling, and he took on the mummy legend, integrating a sort of CHARIOTS OF THE GODS feel into it and, in my opinion, really went above and beyond the required criteria.
But by then we were already friends. I know this because I remember talking to him on the phone the night I read his story, “The Tombs of Nectanebus”. Maybe it was after I read his novella SOMETIMES WOMEN ARE SO COLD and emailed him to tell him how much I dug it (which I must have done in August of 2003, so, yeah, I’ve known Fulbright a long time). I then read a short story he had written called “Zombie.com” which I thought was also awesome and, from that point on I’ve felt a particular kinship with Christopher Fulbright. I’ve always thought he and I were writing along similar lines, just trying to tell the best stories we can no matter what. His story “Lady Needs a Hand” has always stuck with me as definitely something I would have written if he hadn’t beat me to it.
We’ve talked many times about writing, both the business side and the artistic side, and we definitely see eye to eye on, as far as I can tell, all aspects of the work.
I asked him for a rundown of his work to date, the stuff he’s most proud of:
“Okie-dokie ... let's see ...
Some past books and stuff I've got stories in that I'm somewhat proud of and are still available.
Novel - Of Wolf and Man
"My first novel. Old and rough in spots I suppose, but I'm fond of it, and many people have read it and said they liked it, so maybe it's actually good."
Novella - Sometimes Women Are So Cold
"Old and pretty amatuerish from my standpoint, but some folks liked it."
Short Story Collection - When It Rains and Other Wreckage
"This book is supposedly out of print, but Amazon still says they have some in stock."
Anthologies I have stories in:
"Best one that's still out there in print is BOUND FOR EVIL. Contains my story 'Mechanix' which I feel is one of my best in print (it received an honorable mention in Ellen Datlow's "Best Horror of the Year"). The book is expensive, but it's a beautiful hardcover with a lot of good stories. It was nominated for a Shirley Jackson award the year it was released, which is also cool. Available from Dead Letter Press.”
He’s also got a number of things he’s written with his wife, Angeline Hawkes:
Novella - Then Comes the Child
"Our first Fulbright & Hawkes collaboration. I still like this one, and it's our best seller at conventions. Fortunately for the world at large, Shocklines still has signed copies left ... though I don't know how many. Get them while you can!"
Novella - Blood Coven
"This was different for me writing because everything had to be in historical context, but Angie is good at that sort of thing, so I could relax a bit. One of the nastiest monsters I've ever had the pleasure of writing. No sparkle vamps here, kiddies! This one, as I understand it, is out of stock at the publisher, so a few straggling copies remain at distributors."
"The only published short story that we've collaborated on (to date) is "The Mud, the Blood, and the Bones" in BOOK OF DEAD THINGS. It's out of print from the publisher, but Aamzon Marketplace has some used for cheap."
As for his future publications? Man, I wish I had this much stuff still to come:
“My novella THE BONE TREE will be published by Bad Moon Books in lettered hardcover and signed trade paperback editions Sept 2010.
"A new novella I wrote in collaboration with Angeline Hawkes has sold to Bloodletting Press. BLACK MERCY FALLS will be published under the Morning Star imprint in late 2010.
"A new novel I wrote in collaboration with Angeline Hawkes has sold to Elder Signs Press. It's called SCAVENGER and should be available in bookstores sometime in 2011.
"My short story 'Encounter on Old Temple Road' will appear in HORROROLOGY, an anthology from Library of Horror Press, coming soon.
"My short story 'The Soulgrinder' is scheduled to appear in ANCIENT SHADOWS: DARK TALES OF ELDRITCH FANTASY coming from Elder Signs Press later this year.
"My short story 'The Bloody Isle of the Kiyah-rahi' will appear in an as-yet untitled Robert E. Howard tribute anthology edited by Mark Finn and Chris Gruber in late 2010 or early 2011.”