Goodbye 2015

God I wish I could say that that last year sucked. We’re on the doorstep of 2016 and I have once again avoided any scandals, and overly embarrassing behavior. Let’s be honest and say that in public I haven’t done anything stupid. I wasn’t caught snorting cocaine off of a stripper’s tits, I wasn’t caught stalking anyone unless you count Mindy but I don’t think that counts. We live together so I’m supposed to be close to her and for the record in the year that we’ve lived together I have yet to watch her sleep. Of course 2016 is a new year, and there’s 365 days in which I can lie awake and watch her sleep.

I can tell you that I have done the Buffalo Bill dance a few times but you can’t really blame me You’ve done it too. It’s like a solo flash mob except your weenie’s tucked in. I also can tell you that 2015 has been dick pic free. Not one dick pic has been sent from my phone, but again the year is new. I have 365 days to surprise Mindy with all sort of cool shit. I can give you some ideas, but she reads this blog and if I reveal this shit then she’ll know what she’s in for. That ruins the surprise. Can I promise not to do the Buffalo Bill dance in 2016?  No I cannot. She should know that I love her and cannot promise no Goodbye Horses in the upcoming new year.

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This was an awesome year for me. I have finally reached a level where I’m proud of my writing and have been published quite a bit this year. I have yet to purchase all of the anthologies that I’m in but I have a few. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of seeing my name in print. As a writer that spends hours creating the whole goal is to have people see it. I took part in a few writing contests which I may not have won, but I came in 5th in one and even was featured in an anthology for a story that I had serious doubts about. You see the thing is that no matter how you feel about your writing you never really know how good you are until you send it out. Odds are people are going to dig it. I did almost quit, but the thing is I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I have too many stories to tell. I can’t walk away now.

I can tell you that when the writing feels like a job, or stops being fun then I’ll quit. There would be no reason to continue. Why would I? I have a lot to say so odds are that 2016 is going to see my writing out more, and soon Legacy II will be unleashed. I also have a new book that will follow that. I just need to finish editing it and get it subbed. The writing is what has really made this a banner year for me. People are digging my shit and that’s awesome. I never imagined that I’d have a fan base, yet I do. Thanks for reading my work and I hope that you keep reading it.

I also plan on calling my fans Noeaholics. It’s got a damn fine ring to it. We should get some shirts printed. Just my face and the Noeaholics logo. By a count of hands who would wear that shit? Wait, I can’t see you. I think any year could be awesome if you remember that life is just a ride. We have all had ups and downs throughout 2015, but with the new year is full of possibilities. I plan on changing nothing. I am going to drink a shit ton of coffee, write my fingers to nubs and continue to be awesome. That’s all I can do. I have nothing that I want to change, or need to change. I think I should implement more bacon into my diet.

So I guess if I have to say what I’m going to do in the new year I plan on watching Mindy sleep, do more of the Buffalo Bill Dance, shake it like a Polaroid picture, read more, and finally buy a damn hammock. It’s not a resolution. It’s just a plan. It’s a way to instill some excitement into the new year. This has been an amazing year and damn I wonder what 2016 has in store for me?

 

 

My Favorite Books Of 2015

Picking a favorite list of books for the year is hard. Imagine for a second sitting at your laptop trying to come up with a list that stands heads and shoulders above whatever everyone else picks. It’s hard as hell.  As a reviewer I’ve received a lot of great books this year. When I decided to write this blog I felt a little like this.rr.jpg

I have noticed that horror is doing quite well this year. Guys like Matt Shaw, Stuart Keane, and Kyle M. Scott are waving the horror banner and consistently writing great horror novels. I’m still waiting patiently for the latest novel from Jim Goforth. Goforth is one hell of a writer too. When you look at the bizarro side of it there are  guys like Brian Ellis, Matthew Vaughn and even new guys like the man beast Pedro Proenca who have wrote really good novels as well. It’s been a good year for fans of books. I have never attempted a blog like this so the goal was to write it and feel like this: 11201624_10206319273122818_4656938562605036666_n.jpg

Here is what I did. I drank some coffee and decided that yeah, this has to be numbered, but these are all books you should read. Doesn’t matter where they’re at numerically. It matters where they are in your heart, and in your mind. So here are about fifteen books that I felt were true standouts of 2015. No order at all despite being numbered.

15. Shaun Hupp  – The Shaun Hupp Collection Volume 1. 51GL5H8xe1L._SX332_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

Short story collections are often hit or miss. You have writers that may have one or two good stories and then fill up the rest with whatever they had left on their hard drive. Not the case here. Shaun has talent and writes reality based horror that really sits in your head and festers. As a horror fan I love stuff that deals with people themselves as the monsters that we all fear. Hupp’s debut collection is one that grabs you by the throat and squeezes until you feel as if you’re going to pass out.

14. With Tooth And Claw – Jim Goforth

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Goforth isn’t like normal writers. He makes his own rules and writes stuff that reminds me of how awesome classic old school horror was. When I read Plebs it was hands down one of my favorite novels of 2014. When this was released I bought it immediately. It may be a short story collection but it also shows a writer that has grown quite a bit. For newer fans it gives you an opportunity to check out a writer who is taking the splatterpunk genre into the future.

13. The Mind Is A Razor Blade – Max Booth III

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The influences here are too many to name but if you like dark noir fiction, or ever wonder what Dark City would look like if David Lynch directed it you have a pretty good idea of what you’re in for. Booth just doesn’t write in one genre. He experiments in many and it all flows seamlessly. You have elements of bizarro and splatterpunk making out with science fiction, but it never bogs down the plot. If anything all of these different genres make the overall story that much better, and stronger.

12. Motherfucking Black Skull Of Death – Matthew Vaughn41f693AnirL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

Not for the easily offended and one of the craziest novels I have read this year. Add one part splatterpunk, one part bizzaro and boom! I picked this knowing that people would balk at reading something like this, but if you choose not to read it you’re missing out on one hell of a book. Vaughn is a talented writer that knows how to blend all of the violence and insanity into one of the coolest novels of 2015.

11.  Hexad – Andrew Lennon, and Matt Hickman51iNYYlOqTL._SX333_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

Two writers each contributing stories? Sounds sketchy as fuck right? Not at all. These guys bring the horror and this collection is all about finding the balance and challenging the other writer to top what the other just wrote. It’s a great horror collection from two new horror authors. I realize that there are a few short story collections here, but trust me when I tell you that when you read them you’ll thank me later.

 

10. The Ancient Lawman – Ian David Noakeslawman.jpg

This is a classic novel that is a tribute to the classic slasher films of the 80’s. Well written and a blast to read. I love that sometimes horror gets this bad rap of being terribly written and derivative. Not the case here and Ian is a writer to keep your eyes peeled for. I think when you ask me why I like horror you’ll peek at this blog and you’ll have the answers you seek.

09. Aftertaste – Kyle M. Scott

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This is another writer that came into 2014 with a phenomenal debut. Aftertaste is exactly what horror fans crave in their novels. Kyle has writes like a man possessed. Is it dark? Check! Is it violent? Check! The point is that Kyle writes novels that use the violence to fuel the story and Aftertaste is all a part of a movement to make horror exciting again. If you’re a fan of dark violent horror then this is certainly one you shouldn’t miss.

08. A Head Full Of Ghosts – Paul Tremblayghosts.jpg

This is on everyone’s must read list for a reason. It takes everything you think about horror and throws it on its head. It’s hard to be original these days and Ghosts manages to be just that. It doesn’t make things easy and allows you draw your own conclusions. Are they right? You’ll just have to find out on your own.

07. Cine – Stuart Keane

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Picking just one Stuart Keane novel is hard because this guy just isn’t capable of writing a bad novel. Cine is my favorite for a handful of reasons. Cine shows that Keane has a knack for writing highly addictive fiction that has a meaning behind it. Every time I crack open one of his books I’m reminded of the late Richard Laymon. For horror fans who are looking for something different here you go. Keane is one of my favorite authors and there will probably be another book of his on this list. It’s my list after all.

06. Tables Without Chairs #1 – Brian Ellis, And  Bud Smith

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A bizarro novel about making shit up as you go along. There is no way to accurately describe this collection because it’s a variety shit thrown against the wall to see what sticks. If you’ve never read a bizarro novel this is a fine place to start.

05. Flashes Of Fiction: Halloween Special 2015: A Flash Fiction Collection

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This was a lot of fun to write for and I swear that I’m not picking this because I have a story in it. It breathes new life into the werewolf, zombie and vampire genre while keeping the stories short. All of the authors in here have done an amazing job and each story is original and proves that horror can fresh and exciting.

04. Kill For A Copy

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Dark Chapter Press has unleashed one hell of a debut that assembles a wealth of talent that proves that horror is still a force to be reckoned with. As a new publisher it’s important build a solid brand with talented writers and this does exactly that. While the press is still building a solid foundation with amazing titles this was the one that put them on the map.

03. Gillian’s Marsh – Michael Faun

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Michael Faun is a relatively new to most people but this is writer has already established himself with the indie scene. His debut with Riot Forge is impressive due to its originality. It takes history and blends in with horror, but never grows stale or boring.

02. Grin – Stuart Keane

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A tale of revenge and further proof that as a writer Keane continues to write solid novels that take horror to the next level. This is the kind of book that gets writers noticed. If you’re looking for classic horror this is one not to be missed.

01. Protection – Kyle Scott

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This was a surprising novel and one that Kyle didn’t think I’d like, but I did because it’s not the usual style that we’ve come to know. It’s a gripping and haunting novel that is based more on atmosphere than gore. Either way this is the best book that Kyle has written.

The End?

I have to be honest and admit that when I decided to stop writing I didn’t think anyone would care, or even notice. The idea that I have fans is actually funny to me because I never hang out and think about shit like that. I know what you’re thinking; “You released a book, your stories are in anthologies! You have an author page on not just Amazon, but Facebook. You didn’t think that people would like your stuff?” No? I mean, sure, there was a part of me that knew that I’d have a fan base but in reality I just figured it’d be a couple of dudes and maybe a chick or two.

I know that it’s hard to believe that it never occurred to me that I would have fans. Never did. It’s cool, but I just don’t think about that aspect of it. It’s kind of like a nerd who hangs out in his basement playing World Of Warcraft. He knows that boobs exist, but he never imagines that he’s ever going to actually touch them. Then he does! I’m like that guy except I’m a writer, and the boobs are actually fans. I see guys like Richard Laymon and Clive Barker and they have fans. They should, but I’m just an indie guy who listens to hair metal and writes some good shit occasionally.

What you don’t get is that I second guess myself a lot. Way more than I should. I am always afraid that my stuff isn’t good enough. People seem to like my stuff and that’s cool, but I just never imagined the scope of it. I’m just a guy in Ohio writing while listening to bands like Kiss, and Pretty Boy Floyd. I don’t look far enough out to see how far this ball I’ve thrown has actually gone. Maybe I should chase it just to see where it’s ended up. I don’t want to be consumed by the business side of it. The minute I become fanatical about reviews and sales it’s time to step a back and reevaluate why I came to the dance.

The thing was that when I decided that I needed to stop writing it never occurred to me that people would react so strongly. That surprised me. It suddenly dawned on me that I had not only kicked open the door, but I waltzed into the party carrying a cup of coffee and looking for the DJ so we can hear some old school hair metal. I can’t thank those people enough for making me realize that I had actually set out to do what I had dreamed about and even picked up a few fans and supporters along the way. All I knew was that I beat the odds and got myself published. That was all my brain focused on.

Quitting writing is a lot harder than I thought it would be. My brain just won’t take the hint. That’s not a bad thing at all. Once I fired up the creative part of my brain it just refused to shut  down. When people sent me words of encouragement it hit me that I can’t just walk away. If  I did I was not only letting them down, but I was letting myself down. On top of that my amazing girlfriend thinks that I’ll go insane and drag her with me. She may be right.  I can’t thank everyone enough for checking in with me and sending me support. It means a lot and I wish I could be like one of those politicians who go around kissing babies and shaking everyone’s hand.

It means that my decision really mattered to people. People I have never met. Instead of quitting I brought up my Winamp player and fired up some gnarly metal and wrote a werewolf story. I think it’s shit but until Mindy reads it it ain’t going anywhere near a publisher. I write to keep the darkness at bay. All those nasty thoughts come out when I write. I am a much happier little boy when I’m writing so the question is do I stop the merry-go-round and go home? Wait, that is one of my all time favorite Mötley Crüe songs. The point is do I want to walk away from the fun that I have writing?

All of those words of encouragement made me realize that I’m on to something. I’m like Kiss after they released Creatures Of The Night. Totally focused on kicking your face in with tasty riffs and glowing fucking eyes. I’m like Ratt when they released Invasion Of Your Privacy. You knew they were a good band but suddenly they pulled out this insane record and you were like; “Dude! When did Ratt become awesome?” I need to release my own version of Invasion goddamnit! Ratt

I’m close, and if I quit now? That’ll never happen. I need to keep going. I need to write. I may not become rich doing this but did that ever stop anyone from doing what they enjoyed? Fuck no it didn’t. I’m having conversations with the dog and answering! Mindy’s afraid I’m going to go all Berkowitz and shit. I love her and damn it I love writing so am I going to quit? I have a goal damn it. When I achieve what I feel is my Invasion Of Your Privacy then we’ll talk about my end game.

 

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