The RCPC Experience

A blog in two parts because I can. Why the hell not? I should do this more often just to keep the ‘ol brain pan clean. I have to talk about The Rubber City Pop Culture Fest because it was a great opportunity for me. I learned a great deal, and as a writer you should do everything you can to get yourself out there and meet the people that buy your books. I know, meet people? Why the hell would I wanna do that? People are icky and gross and offer nothing of value to my life. See, you’re wrong. Those people are fans and they don’t even know it. RCPC was a great opportunity for me, and I can’t thank Jason Miller enough for inviting me. I had often thought about attending one of these, but just never did out of fear. There’s a lot of what if’s involved, but I’m glad I went, and I got to meet a legend.

I have to say it’s weird being on the other side of the table. I know I’m a local indie author, but I’m there to promote myself. What’s weird is that you come in contact with other people who are more successful, and way more famous than you are, but they treat you like an equal. You have a table there which means you get to talk to people that you normally don’t have access too. What’s weird is you forget that you’re a fan and have an actual conversation with them. Here’s what is really insane and it puts things in perspective. I was just like those people once. I was walking around, not sure how to approach someone I admired. You always come off like a dork, and later you end up feeling like an idiot because you were nervous, and this was someone you looked up to.

When you’re sitting on the opposite side of the table you realize how animals feel at the zoo. People are staring at you, they sometimes talk to you, but I forgot why they were staring at me. Then it hit me. I was on the poster as an artist. They may not have known who I was, or even what I do, but I must be kind of important right? I guess? Shit, I live in Barberton Ohio, and as much I like to joke about being a big deal, I’m really not. I’m just another circus monkey churning out books for treats, and an occasional pat on the head. When you’re surrounded by bigger people, you begin to watch and learn how they sell themselves.

Make no mistake, you’re selling yourself so people will want to buy whatever it is you’re selling. Some people can fake it, but as I sat there, I began to enjoy myself. A few people came up and talked to me and I talked to them like I would anyone else. I hope it made an impression on them, and they’ll remember me. You can write twenty books, but you also have to meet people. You need to make them aware that you exist. That’s what was so fun about the RCPC Fest. I may not have sold a lot of books, but I learned a great deal. To me. that was more important. The next time I do something like this I know what I need to do to stick out. Here’s a picture of me at my table like a good circus monkey 18699341_10154896019737800_863294369955233729_o

This was my first appearance at something like this so I had no idea what to do. Notice the bare table? Never thought to snazz it up, but the next event I go to I will make sure I have something to make me stand out. I was bare bones, but it’s okay. Next time, I won’t be. I’ll have a banner with my fat head plastered on it, a few business cards with links on where you beautiful people can find me. Like I said, it was a great experience and a lot of fun. I was surrounded by awesome folks and the event was well attended. As a local author with a tiny fan base it was eye opening.

The coolest part of the entire day was sitting next to John Russo who is the God father of the zombie genre. As a horror guy it doesn’t get any cooler. It was even cooler than being in close proximity to actors from The Walking Dead. I did find it weird when they went out to smoke together. I thought for sure the world was about to end. It didn’t, and I was grateful for that. It was hard to sit next to him all day and not say anything but I had no choice. I may have geeked out to Mindy, but I kept it together all day. Close to five though I walked over and introduced myself and he gave me a lot of great advice about cons, which ones to attend, and how beneficial it would be to my career.

How cool is that?? It was an actual conversation! When does that ever happen with someone you look up to and admire? It doesn’t! Never, and I got some signed paperbacks to remind me of the time I got to talk to John Russo. He was friendly, and seemed to enjoy talking to me. Best of all, Mindy was proud of me for approaching him the way I did. I have to say I was nervous as hell, but I kept it together, and I didn’t creep him out. That’s winning.

So, RCPC was a huge thing for me, and I’m glad I was able to attend. As a fan, I’ve attended these, but this was my first time being there as a guest. It was a well planned event I hope I get to attend next year. Could I do twelve of these a year the way Mr. Russo does? I wish I could, but that would become my job. I would write, and then attend cons on the weekend. That’s how you know you’ve made it. A different city every weekend, pressing the flesh with fans, and having that warm fuzzy feeling that only comes when you’ve truly made it. No more mowing the grass or schlepping out the garbage for this circus monkey.

Which brings me to my next topic, but you know what? I’ll save that for my next blog. Maybe in a few days I’ll churn out another one just to get into the habit of writing blogs again. I have a lot of shit I want to talk about, and who knows? Maybe someone will listen, or at least read it and have a good chuckle. Here’s a picture of my next book cover which will be coming out soon. Aware_cover

How about some links on where you can buy my stuff?

You can get a signed copy of The Darkness Of The Soul here: http://azothkhempublishing.com/bookshelf/novels/horror/the-darkness-of-the-soul/

You can get a signed copy of Insecure Delusions here: http://azothkhempublishing.com/bookshelf/anthologies/author-collections/horror-3/insecure-deslusions/

You can also find me here: https://www.amazon.com/Michael-Noe/e/B00NJG34BO/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1496178426&sr=8-1

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The Stand Vs Swan Song

It’s a question that has plagued horror fans for years. Which book is better? In one corner you have the classic Robert R. McCammon novel Swan Song

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In the other you have Stephen King’s beast The Stand.

 

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Both novels have the same themes, and for King marks the answer is simple. The Stand. It was more popular and it had a comic book and a mini-series based on it. Does that really make The Stand better? It’s been years since I’ve read Swan Song and as I looked at them both sitting there on my shelf I thought; Why not read them back to back? I then put them back on my shelf because these books are huge! Over a thousand pages each. I would be crazy to take on something like this. I’m an old school King fan, and it’s because of him that I’m a writer so length isn’t really the problem. I was worried about depression. These are some serious books. You would need alcohol for a challenge like this.

Then I threw the idea out on Facebook and people were actually interested in reading a blog based on both books. Which one is in fact better? As I write this I know that I have my work cut out for me. This can’t be done half ass like. There needs to be notes, and a clear winner. I can’t pussy out and say; “They’re both really good in their own way, so there really isn’t a winner.” There has to be a clear cut winner. This is where you come in. I want your opinions. Once I pick a winner I want your feedback. Share this blog and spread the word. Horror fans are loyal people so I want to hear what you have to say.

The rules here are simple. Read both books, take notes and pick a winner. Why is the other book better? Is it plot, characters? The way it makes me feel when I dance naked rubbing the book against my chest? Writing style here is also essential. If one book bores me I may have to tap out. If I’m bored at any time reading either book we are really fucked. What kind of bullshit would that be? To be completely fair to my childhood I am reading the ’78 version of The Stand. This is the one that I grew up with and originally it was all I had to pit against Swan Song. No comics or mini-series either. I didn’t have that shit as a kid so it doesn’t count.

That’s it. I am delving into these books over the next few weeks and we will have a clear cut winner or further debate on which book is actually better. Is Swan Song a rip-off of The Stand? Tune in and find out.

 

 

Did Ya Miss Me??

It’s been three months since my last blog and I guess there’s a multitude of reasons why I haven’t written anything. Mostly it’s because I’ve been busy. As a published author with a full time job there’s not much time to blog anymore. Aside from that, I just don’t feel the same way I did. There’s been a lot of growth and a lot of the anger, or confusion has been poured into my stories. I still have the same fucked up sense of humor and that’s never going to change.  What has changed is that I’m always happy. There’s never a moment where I think that my life sucks because the last couple of years have been amazeballs! That’s a word I swear.

 

Why the new blog? I have a new book coming out in 7 days. Am I excited? Am I nervous? I’m both because this is a lot bigger than my first release and on top of that it’s the debut novel from a new publisher called Fat Lip Press. In my short career I have been fortunate to have worked with some really great publishers. JEA Dark Chapter Press, and of course Morbid. Without Morbid none of this would even be possible. I know that I’ve been extremely lucky and I still refuse to lose my sense of humor. It appears as if I’m taking the piss when I’m invited to take part in book releases but it’s just how I approach them. You have so many writers taking part and throwing out their books but what I enjoy is bypassing that by having as much fun as possible. That is more important than selling a few books. I’m there to support the author anyway so I try not to hawk my own shit. It’s overwhelming to those that are attending. Plus I don’t have anything to give away so I just hang out and try and make people laugh.

 

Check this cover art out. I swear I saw that and I shit my pants!! On May 1st I am going to be a nervous wreck!

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The cool thing is that Mindy is supportive of my writing career. A lot of women would bitch and moan that I’m spending so much time writing but I do take days off just so I can spend time with her. She believes in me though and that means more to me than anything. When I decided to start writing again I never thought that I would actually get published. Am I making money? No, but as I write this I have a book launch in 7 days and there are so many people behind the scenes running promos just so people notice that I have a book coming out.

 

I’ve learned a lot over the last couple of years. I’ve done a couple podcasts, some interviews, and now I feel as if people are actually going to notice my book. I didn’t feel that way with Legacy but I do with this one. I’ve learned a great deal from everyone I’ve published with and I think that’s the best advice I can give any writer. Absorb everything. Listen to what people are saying and apply it to your craft. Learn as much as you can about promotion, editing, and even how to do interviews. Writing is essential but that’s just the first part of it. Everyday I learn something and I store it just so I know what to do next time. Always remember that while you’re having fun this is still a business. Sometimes I actually forget that part. It’s easy to do because I’m able to do what I love and it’s surreal that people are buying anthologies that feature a story that I wrote. In 7 days people are going to buy a book that I wrote! I was able to get a second book published!

 

What am I most nervous about? Book signings. That to me just blows my mind because I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that people actually want a book with my signature written in it. How do you get used to that? When people I work with found out that I had a 2nd book coming out they all requested signed copies and I have no idea why. I’m still the guy from Barberton that works a day job and tries to squeeze as much time on the laptop before he has to crash in order to do the same thing over again the next day. I’m not special. The fact that people think I am is awesome but I still can’t get used to it. I’m just a guy who writes books in Barberton Ohio. I think I’ve bored you all enough thanks for reading. Check me out on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/michaelnoeslegacy/

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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Google Is Your Friend

Hi, I know that there are a lot of writers out there looking for inside tips and how to make your story the best that it can be. I can tell you that Google is your best friend. The problem is that if you’re a horror writer it’s important to clean your history. If you thought that someone finding porn in your history is bad wait until they bring up shit like how to dispose of a body, or at what temperature does human flesh begin to melt? It’s shit like that that get people looking at you funny. You can’t giggle and say research because they’ve already labeled you as a serial killer. When I tell people that I write horror they have that look that everyone gets when you smell a fart.

Being a horror writer is hard work. I spent at least twenty minutes this evening looking up stab wounds. I wanted to make sure my shit was authentic, but Google thought that I wasn’t actually looking for butcher knife stab wounds in the back and just gave me random photos of black people. I’m not being racist. I was just annoyed that Google got my request wrong. Google is a writer’s best friend. It will add a ton more detail to your story. There’s a lot of stuff that I always kind of winged. I am extremely lazy, but I wanted to be as authentic as possible. Just because I write horror doesn’t mean I have to be lazy. I could but eventually the reviewers and even the readers are going to notice.

The best piece of advice that I received was using floor plans for whatever scene you’re working on. You can add so much detail to a story by incorporating an existing structure. You can use that space and fill it the way you want it, but you have something to work with. You have the exact specifications and readers are going to notice that. I also learned that by using Google street view you can look at different streets and neighborhoods to place in your work. Instead of trying to figure out what these places look like you have a visual. You just need to make your audience see it. It’s not cheating. It helps you create a realistic scene with a lot of detail. You can look at an alley and see that there are gray metal trash cans lined up next to a rusty blue dumpster. Right there you can go into the smells, and even what the road looked liked. You don’t have to use everything. Use your imagination to fill in even more detail.

By using Google I have found that research can be a lot of fun. I have watched a multitude of medical procedures and even watched an autopsy just to see if a character could  pull it off in his basement. I even have a random name generator bookmarked so I don’t have to figure out who my characters are. I have a list of first and last names that I can choose from. It makes my job a lot easier. There are a ton of resources for writers but you have to find them. In most cases you’ll spend maybe five or ten minutes looking for what you need and the best part is there’s pictures! Pictures are great because it gives you exactly what you need without reading unless you need a detailed description.

Another great piece of advice that I got is when you edit your own work kick your font up to about 16 so it tricks your brain into believing it’s seeing something new. All those things you missed will pop right out. The most important piece of advice though is to challenge yourself. You’ll never grow as a writer if you stay in one genre. Step out of your comfort zone once in awhile just to shake things up. I have written pieces that have gone outside of horror and they were challenging, but at the same time it was a lot fun because I had no idea what I was doing.

If it helps you do outlines, and keep chapter notes. I’m one of those people that tried and failed at notes and even outlines. Everyone’s brain works differently so there’s really no right or wrong way to write a story. Just do what comes naturally to you. You also have to write when it works for you. Writers are a strange bunch that all have their own rituals and goals If you follow someone else’s goals the odds of sticking with it are slim. You have to write when you’re comfortable and you may not even be able to write at the same time everyday. Life happens and you have to find a schedule that works for you.

Aside from that there’s no magic formula to creating a good story. You just have to find your own voice and rhythm. Once you find your style it’s yours. People are going to recognize it, and no matter what you do, you won’t be able to change it. Every writer has their own style. It’s just how things work. You are essentially working from what influences you and that will often creep into your work. We all have influences. That’s why we write. We’re influenced by someone or something. You just need to find your muse. If you write horror read horror. There are a ton of great writers that are keeping the genre alive. You should thank them too.

I also read outside of my usual horror genre. I read popular fiction and sometimes I use that to add balance to whatever I’m working on. My influences are so scattered I find that even when I’m doing a horror piece I’ll take a Lifetime movie approach to it just add a bit of depth. I love Lifetime movies because they’re so bad they’re good. I love a good stalker story and sometimes that shit is creepier than anything I’ve written. I remember this one movie in which a woman finds herself divorced and ends up stalking her ex-husband. She even drove her car into the poor guy’s house.

As a writer I have always wanted to help other writers. There is so much good advice out there that I felt as if I should write something too. We all are looking for something to help us improve. Google is your best friend as long as you remember to clean out your history. If you have any questions or advice you want to add feel free to leave a comment.

 

 

My Year In Review Or My Greatest Hits

For me to able to do this is pretty rad because for quite some time I haven’t been able to look back at an entire year and say; “This was a kick ass year!” The downside is that people will read this and get butt hurt because I have managed to have 365 days that didn’t suck. Sure, I got sick, and I’ve been through quite a few changes but I have to say that they were all for the better and it made the year that much better. I’m not one to toot my own but toot toot. I could have done this on Face book in a montage of selfies and useless knowledge about random shit but they don’t tell the entire story. I want people to read this blog and say; “Gloat much?” I can say in all fairness and honesty that I don’t. When I look back on the last few years I can tell you that there were moments that were great and I was awesome, but in the huge scheme of say 1 to awesome it wasn’t really all that awesome. I deserve a good year and god damn it I am going to gloat and toot my own horn because I can, and I haven’t been able to say that a year has been great in a very long time, This year I can say that it doesn’t suck to be me.

Right now I have my beautiful girlfriend next to me watching Firefly while I try and figure out how  to put this year in some kind of linear fashion that proves that this was a year worthy of a review. The mere fact that this woman loves me and lives with me is one of those things that makes me scratch my bald head a little. I am not the easiest person to live with yet she accepts me for the mess that I am. Moving in with her was one the best decisions I have ever made. She completes me which I know sounds cliched but it’s true. She keeps me focused on my writing and makes me feel less like a total fuck up. I think we all need someone like that. She puts things in perspective which I need because the ADD makes it hard to stay focused. I never thought that I would be in a relationship again and I sure as hell never thought that I’d want to spend the rest of my life with anyone but she’s someone that I see where I am and where  I want to be and I see her standing next to me.

This has been the year where I discovered that I actually am a damn good writer which is still surreal and bizarre. I have experimented with different genres and have discovered that I am capable of writing more than just stories that are filled with gore. As a writer I have finally grown comfortable to an extent and over the last year I have had stories published by J Ellington Ashton Press and even one of my favorite publishers Dynatox Ministries.

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To have a story in a book published by Jordan Krall is pretty fucking cool. This is an indie pub that specializes in limited edition chap books and they look amazing. It was cool to have a book published but to have other people include my work in their anthologies is just as rad. One of those anthologies has been published and there are more coming out soon. As a writer I’m at that point where I feel comfortable which does sound weird but I look at Legacy as my jumping off point. Who knows where I’ll end up next .

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I wrote that and what really surprised me is that other writers have read it and have liked it enough to give it some pretty solid reviews. Just having a book published was enough, but when writers actually thank you in their books for being an inspiration and cool it’s mind blowing. The one thing that I learned is that it’s important to never lose who you are. Yes, I have a book published but that doesn’t make me any better than any other writer struggling to get their shit out there. I was very lucky to have a book published and at the end of the day I wrote and indie novella that a few writers and people in the UK dig. My career is slowly building momentum and it’s humbling to know that people are buying my little novella. Getting published was a high point for me. Getting the sequel to Legacy done is the next goal that I’m working on achieving.

What I love is that my girlfriend is 100% supportive. She allows me to branch off into these other projects and not once does she complain. She loves me despite the ADD and the side projects and never complains, That is how you know you’ve got a good woman. She loves you despite your flaws and many many side projects. Not many women would put up with me, and I know how lucky I am. Even when I do shit like this

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She may just gives me an eye roll and a look that tells me I’ve truly lost my fucking mind.

I was able to accomplish a lot this year and my love of hair metal has really amused her to the point where I’ve become accustomed to that look that tells me I’ve truly lost my fucking mind. I did try and listen to newer music but it just wasn’t as awesome as the hair metal. I tried, I really did, but I did discover that I really like 30 Seconds To Mars. I also branched away from my normal diet of splatter punk and bizarro fiction and started reading the Harry Potter series because she fucking loves that shit and because I love her I wanted to see why she likes it so much. It’s that balance that I admire. I have stepped out of my comfort zone and it’s been a bit weird but a good weird.

I was also able to write reviews for a website called brutal books. I have read a lot of great books this year and I like the creative side, and I also like getting a chance to introduce books to other people. The hardest part is knowing what it takes to create a book so I tend to look at the story itself and not how many mistakes are in a story. Only an asshole does that. I want to read a book and get sucked in. A great story is all I want and through brutal I have been able to read some really good shit. Horror isn’t dead folks.

Here it is my year in review. I got a book published, met a hot nerd and fell in love, was offered a chance to review for brutabooks.com and because the authors liked my reviews they sent me advanced reading copies of their new books, I started Legacy 2 and was then asked to take part in Rejected For Content 2 and was accepted, I began work on L2 once again and then was offered a chance to sub for Autumn Burning: Dread Time For The Wicked Soul and my story  The Pumpkin man was included which I have to say was pretty fucking cool.

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I sent stories to Jordan Krall and have two stories in two of his anthologies that were given a limited release. Was offered a chance to sub a story in a very cool clown anthology and was accepted. Moved in with hot nerd and fell even more in love. Resumed work on L2 and even received threats that I should finish the book or else.  It was a great year and I cannot wait for 2015.