A New Direction

     I always assumed I’d be writing horror. When I became a writer it was a no brainer. It was a place I felt the most comfortable, and welcomed. When my first book was published I was excited to be included in the splatterpunk genre because that’s where I called home. As I began writing though, something interesting happened. I began to drift further and further from splatterpunk. The Darkness of the Soul was an attempt to challenge myself a little, and it sort of worked. I’m proud of the book and how it turned out, but that was the beginning of the shift away from horror. Legacy 2 is my last full fledged horror novel. Balls out splatterpunk, but it’s deceiving in a way because of how it was released. It was written before Darkness so it feels as if I’m returning back to my horror roots. As a writer I’m constantly exploring, and evolving. All writers do that, at least I think they do. 

     The problem was that I was no longer having fun writing horror. I wanted to challenge myself and see what I was capable of. Horror was fun for awhile, but it was to constricting. When I began writing Out With A Whimper I was able to write a novel with some elements of horror but there’s a great deal of dark humor to it as well. I set out to create an anti-zombie novel and I did. I threw out all the rules of the genre to create something unique. I was having a lot of fun writing and I wanted to go further. You can say I sold out, but I see it another way. With the new direction I found that I could inject a lot of my own personality into my work, and keep most of the elements people enjoy. The same dark overtones, the same black humor, but most importantly I’m having a great deal of fun. Aware was the moment I realized that the game had changed for me. Would people accept it? Jesus, did I really sell out?

     This was just a natural progression for me. I’ve been reading a lot of books outside of the horror genre and that’s crept into my writing. Ideas that I could never explore as a horror author can now be explored and it’s fun. Will people accept the new style? If not there’s a lot of other readers that aren’t horror fans that will embrace the new stuff because it’s so different. I was worried about what fans would say when they heard about the new direction my writing was taking, but in the end, I had to do what I felt was best for me. We all grow and evolve. No one stays in the same place forever. The hard part is expaining why you’re doing the things you do. Some get it, some don’t, but it’s expected. 

     The one thing I can assure you is there won’t be any attempts to go mainstream. Aware is too weird for that, and as I work on the follow up to it, I can say with some assurance there’s no chance in hell I’ll ever be beach reading material. If anything, I want to challenge people to think a little. To explore subject matter with a weird little twist at the end. It’s still dark, it’s still messed up which is a trademark of mine. I don’t even know what genre the new stuff is called, or could even be marketed as. That’s up to the publishers, not me. That’s why they make the big bucks isn’t it? As a writer I’m just following my gut, and that’s really all I can do. Maybe some day I’ll make a dramatic return to horror or it’s possible I won’t. Who knows. I just hope people continue to read my stuff and enjoy it. To the fans who follow me on this new journey you better strap in. It’s gonna be a bumpy ride. 


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.

image (1)

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 .


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


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.

Autumn burning

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.

How I Discovered Bizarro And Splatterpunk

      If anyone has seen me on Facebook you’ll notice that I read a lot of crazy shit. I promote a lot of authors, websites, and even t-shirt designers. I get absolutely dick in return and a lot of people are scratching their heads trying to figure out why I would do this. A lot of what I read and even wear are from indie companies. These guys put out high quality shit and do so because they, like me love a certain genre of fiction. I had no idea when I stumbled onto the bizarro genre that there were so many cool people involved. I don’t just mean the fans I mean the authors themselves.The writers that create these books are by far some of the coolest people I have ever encountered so it makes sense that I would read their books and promote them. If you like something why the fuck wouldn’t you support it? To answer the question I don’t do this to get free shit. I do it so more people will discover it and become fans.

      How did I discover bizarro anyway? It was actually by accident. Three years ago I had just gotten a tablet and loaded up the Kindle app but had nothing to read so I went searching for free books just to see if I would like the digital format. I found this website that threw out free titles and lo and behold I saw Bradley Sands’ Sorry I Ruined Your Orgy and figured it was free so why not check it out. As I began reading something just clicked. This was some really absurd shit and I loved it. I think at the time I was looking for something new anyway and this just fit somehow. From there I read They Had Goat Heads By D. Harlan Wilson and this was even more bizarre and absurd but at that point I was hooked and knew that I had found a genre that fit my personality. I was growing bored with a lot of what I was reading at that point and bizarro fiction made reading fun again. That was something that had been missing for a long time.

       I think everyone reaches that point where they grow tired of playing it safe, they grow tired of reading the same authors over and over. A lot of the mainstream writers I had once supported weren’t really doing anything interesting anymore. Horror had gone underground and Stephen King was no longer writing anything decent. I had no idea that Kurt Vonnegut wrote bizarro and who knows, maybe that was the beginning for me. When I read Breakfast Of Champions I can see the influence that Vonnegut had on the bizarro genre and it stands up pretty well next to The Traveling Dildo Salesman. I didn’t see the disconnect I was encountering with mainstream fiction and when it happened I was quite surprised by it. When I got my first tablet the Kindle opened up a variety of possibilities and I no longer had to play it safe. The e-books were much cheaper too so I was suddenly able to discover even more authors.

       Bizarro about breaking the rules and being different. When I first discovered bizarro my wife and I had just separated and I was totally lost. I didn’t know who I was and bizarro was a good release for all the confusion I was facing. When you’ve been married for thirteen years and find yourself single and living alone it really messes with your head. I had no idea who I was, and I was broken. It was a time of transition and I wasn’t even sure how I was going to make it on my own. I never had to but being a single guy wasn’t something I was adapting too as easily or as quickly as I had hoped. When a relationship breaks up does anyone ever recover quickly? I needed a distraction or at the very least something that I could call my own.

     The splatterpunk genre was a natural progression for me. I cut my teeth on classic horror so when I discovered that there was something harder and edgier out there I was in. I read The Light At The End when I was younger but I didn’t realize how important that book was. I have it on my Kindle because I can’t remember what it was about. Richard Laymon was the true intro to splatterpunk and The Stake is still a book I still have mad respect for because at that time I was still into traditional horror. When I discovered bizarro I also delved into the splatterpunk genre. I was able to buy more books and scour the net for clues on what splatterpunk was and to see what I had missed out on. Keep in mind that a lot of these books were out of print so I was clutching at straws and hoping that I could find some of these books. I also discovered new guys like Shane McKenzie and Wrath James White. These were writers that were in a class all their own. These books were all about pushing the envelope as far as it would go and sometimes it was totally destroyed.

     The thing I love about splatterpunk is that these are stories based on shit that could actually happen to you. The monsters weren’t made up, they were your neighbors or even your husband. You could be in the woods being hunted by some psycho crazed hillbillies. They made their monsters human and that changed the landscape of horror. Sure, it was violent and even graphic but these were the darker sides of human nature that I couldn’t explore on my own. I could but I would have to be a total whack job to do so. This past year has seen a massive influx of great titles as well as great publishers. I have finally gotten a collection that I’m quite proud of and thanks to Facebook and the internet I can find the titles I want without getting dressed.

     Lastly, I was thinking about this the other day and I realized that if I had still been married would I have rediscovered splatterpunk or even discovered bizarro fiction? The answer is probably not. Every marriage is a democracy and remember it was the tablet that got all this rolling so I doubt very much that she would have allowed me to get a tablet because I wasn’t working and she was. We had three kids and a tablet isn’t something that a wife would allow her husband to buy when you have all these other expenses. On top of that I have spent a lot of money on books. When my house caught fire I had always wanted to have a book collection I could be proud of and I have done exactly that. I have hit every Goodwill I can, every thrift store and have even supported a Kickstarter campaign just to beef up my collection. I work my ass off and buy books. It could be smack or heroin.

     So I guess to close this out I should throw out some links so you can explore these genres on your own. I can’t list all the publishers I support but hit up amazon and type in Bizarro fiction and that will get you started.

     Bizarro Authors

Jordan Krall, Jimmy Pudge, Danger Slater, Cameron Pierce, http://www.strangehousebooks.com, Rooster Republic Press, Eraserhead Press, Carlton Mellick III, CV Hunt, Anderson Prunty, Vincenzo Bilof, Dynatox Ministries which specializes in limited edition chapbooks, Grindhouse Press

     Splatterpunk Authors and publishers

Deadite Press, Dark Regions Press, Wrath James White, Jack Ketchum, Richard Laymon, Edward Lee, Morbid Books, Charlee Jacob, Shane McKenzie, Brian Keene, and again for splatterpunk titles just go into Amazon and type in either splatterpunk or extreme horror, and you should also look up William Malmborg and Brian Smith.

     This is why people no longer ask what I’m reading. You never know but at least when you do ask I’ll have something interesting to talk about.

2014 Book Challenge

     Well, I actually did what I set out to do this year and that was read 100 books. Last count was 93 but I read enough to push me over. Think about it for a second, allow it to sink in. I read one hundred books in 2013.

     That’s a hell of a lot of books and I know that a lot people are trying to figure out how I Did it and maybe even why. I read a lot. I average maybe two or three books a week. The genre I read the most of only publish short novels which usually never top 200 pages so that helps. I also work third shift and my job gives me ten hours that have to be filled somehow so I read or sometimes I’ll write a write a blog.

     If you’ve seen my Goodreads page you’ll see that I don’t read your typical book and this year will be more of the same. I have this odd quest to find as much horror from the eighties that I can find and I have such a massive collection the challenge for 2014 is going to be a lot of fun.

     Expect more of the same. The bizarro, the splatterpunk, and other books that you would assume I wouldn’t even be into.  This year I became comfortable with what I read. I became totally absorbed in books that most people hadn’t heard of and I finally enjoyed reading again.

     The question now is what is my goal for 2014? I did a hundred this year so why not try for 200 this year. Sounds reasonable. I have enough books in my Kindle and piled in my bedroom to surpass that goal and the local thrift stores always have something that I can add to my collection.

     Here’s a link to my Goodreads page. Feel free to browse around and add me if you like. Just be warned that there are a lot of titles there that you may find offensive. It gives you an idea of what kind of dude I am.  These books are really just a part of what makes me who I am. Without these books and the movies I watch I’d be pretty fucking boring. I am quite boring but you can’t say that I’m uninteresting. https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/14717322


Some Of My Favorite Books

     I have  been an avid reader for a long time. I read my first Stephen King novel in the third grade and then evolved into horror films. There is quite a difference between the horror film and the horror novel. In a film you’re seeing what the director wants you to see while in a book you have the ability to cast your own actors and are given an opportunity to expand beyond the written word.

     I can see the progression of my literary tastes and think it’s always been there. I have always been fascinated by books that others deem confusing or even controversial. Kurt Vonnegut was an early writer that unbeknownst to me at the time became my very first bizarro author. When I look at my dvd collection I can see again just how different my taste in my movies are from others.

     I believe that our intrests aren’t merely defined by outside influence. I was never happy following trends so it makes sense that most of my favorite books slid under the radar. I saw a few people posting their favorite novels on Facebook and thought that it would make an interesting blog. Would some of my choices surprise people?

     I thought about my list for awhile and realized that it’s pretty fucking hard to come up with a few of my favorite books. Johnny Got His Gun ranks pretty high on my list because it changed the way I viewed war. Patriotism is all fine and well but we never see the other side of it. The death and the misery it causes the living.

     I was talking to a teacher about Trumbo’s book and why it was so controversial and suddenly it dawned on me. We are supposed to fight for our country without a second thought or even a doubt but Johnny Got His Gun was an honest look at what happens when you are knee deep in the shit. When you die for your country there is no coming back. Why aren’t those who wage war fighting beside us?

     It was the first time a teacher ever talked to me as an equal and while the other kids were goofing off we discussed books and their importance on society. A book doesn’t have to be entertaining to be good. It can open your mind and change the way you think. Mind blowing isn’t it?

     Living in society as it currently stands I wouldn’t view the government the way I do had it not been for Orwell’s 1984. Why it stands as a favorite should be obvious. If you haven’t read this book stop reading this blog and read it now. Orwell gave us a society oppressed by a government that lied to them and made free thinking impossible.

     I have read this book many times but it really affected me on 911. Suddenly it wasn’t ok to speak out against the government and if you did you were labeled a terrorist. Thought crime became common place alongside hatespeech. I have never agreed with my government, never trusted the news. Wait, am I a terrorist? I don’t love everything my country is or does but am I the only one?

     I tried to keep quiet and not speak my opinions for a long time because I got tired of hearing the empty soccer mom slogans and wondered if war was really the answer. I wasn’t sure who the enemy was and it kept changing and I kept thinking of Big Brother and the war against Eurasia that suddenly became a war against someone else. Who the fuck is the enemy?

      Of Mice And Men is another book that I keep going back to. Quite short but my God what a story. It is the only book that has ever made me cry. I hate that. The first time I read it I was fascinated by the relationship between George and Lenny and if I had to define love, man, that would be it.

     Surprised yet? If you knew me I guess some of these make sense. It fits into my personality. I love A Clockwork Orange and that it was violent as hell but what a story. I can’t read it on Kindle due to the slang and it was too difficult to maneuver to the back of the book for the definitions.

     Recently I’ve discovered bizarro and I have become exposed to a whole new set of writers and some of my favorites are The Menstrauting Mall by Carlton Mellick III, Rotgut County Blues by Jason Wayne Allen and of course Squid Pulp Blues from Jordan Krall. I should also throw in Mellick’s The Haunted Vagina and Apeshit. These are amazing novels that you all should read. Also pick up Jordan Krall’s Penetralia.

     Thanks to Bizarro I have even embraced the short story collection. Max Booth III’s They Might Be Demons, John Bruni’s Tales Of Objectionable Taste, Clown Tear Junkies by Douglas Hackle, We’re Going To Die Here Aren’t We? By Eric Gumeny. These are all books that define what a great short story can be. Take an idea and just run with it. Who cares if it makes sense as long as it’s well written.

     The very first bizarro book I had ever read was a book by Bradley Sands called Sorry, I Ruined Your Orgy. As I read it I couldn’t believe someone could write something so absurd and I was instantly hooked. From there it just  exploded and I discovered They Had Goat Heads. This was fiction that essentially had no rules and here I am a year later still reading it and it seems this is truly the year that really expanded the genre.

     Rounding out the list for now is The Pilo Family Circus which is a dark sinister novel that transcends genres and exists in its own spot. Jimmy by William Malmborg. This is a horror writer that you need to seek out. Jimmy is a horror story that almost dips into splatter punk territory. Still love Romeo And Juliet by Shakespeare. Sounds crazy when you see a list like mine and there sits the greatest love story ever written.

     I saw the movie Little Children and immediately set out to find the book. The story fascinated me for some reason and I liked that two people who are married yet unhappy are thrust into an affair despite tje fact that these are the last two people you would expect to see together 

     From Richard Laymon I have to include the graphic and bizarre Come Out Tonight. This was the one that made me a Laymon fanatic. I have read tons and tons of Laymon and that is one that I always return to because it’s such a fucked up story. It from Stephen King due to the fact that it’s much more than a horror novel. There’s a lot going on there and the tv movie fucked that book all up. Ignore the movie and just read the book.

     I think I’m done for now. This is one blog that not too many people will read and it’s ok. What makes me who I am is what I read and watch. I try and read what people constitute as normal but I love flawed characters and books that most people don’t have the patience for. Hope you enjoyed this and will actually read some of the books I mentioned.


My 100 book challenge is almost over

     My year is almost up and I have no idea if I’ve even cracked 100 books. Seems like I may have come close but I didn’t keep track. I was too busy reading. I may do a hundred next year as well and damnit I’ll keep track next year. A lot of people are really confused at this point. Yes, I said I would read a hundred books in one year but failed to keep track. Doesn’t really make sense does it?

     What I have discovered this year is that reading once again became fun. In this quest to read so many books I discovered a ton of great and not so great books. Thanks to the beauty of Amazon I was able to find tons of new writers and that when it comes down to it the indie authors are really the best thing to happen to books in quite some time.

     This was a year in which I discovered awesome companies like Dynatox Ministries and Strangehouse books. These are companies that have a huge cult following and let’s be honest, if you buy books you buy from an author you trust. With Dynatox and Strangehouse I buy because I trust the company. Eraserhead Press is slowly gaining my loyalty as well as Grindhouse Press.

     It was  Great year for Bizarro fiction as well. I have read a lot of Allen Spencer, Jimmy Motherfuckin Pudge and of course Jordan Krall. These are authors you need to check out. Horror was good to me too. I discovered William Malmborg and Edward Lee, and Brian Smith. I read a lot of off the wall books and that is what makes this 100 book challenge so much fun.

     The point is if it hadn’t been for this challenge I wouldn’t have discovered all of these great books. Have there been clunkers? Of course. There have been more than a few that I have given up on and at some point I may actually try and read them again.

     People that don’t read won’t understand why I’m writing this and I wouldn’t expect you too. If anyone is looking to do a challenge like this you have to read what you love and sometimes even step out of your comfort zone. That is the key to doing it. If you constantly think of it as a challenge you’ll lose interest. Reading should be fun and not something you are forced to do.

     I have enough books to start this challenge all over again and of course you’d have to be a bit of a geek to see why this is so much fun. It’s not really the idea of reading a hundred books that matters. It’s finding books that appeal to you and keeping your brain from turning to mush. No one wants a mushy brain.

     I had an exgirlfriend who was puzzled by the challenge and couldn’t understand why I was even reading. I honestly don’t want to turn out like her. Reliant on the television for news and ignorant of the written word. She also spoke like she was uneducated. That was a real turn off for me. I’m not attracted to stupid women. Never have been.

     How boring it must be to not read. How uninteresting and dull these people must be. What could you talk about? With people that don’t read there’s a lack of intelligence there and also a disconnect. What could we have in common aside from movies? There’s really nothing that o

     What I read is also a concern for people. I read books that people just don’t get and that’s perfectly fine because we’re all into different things. I just choose subject matter that most people don’t understand. Bizarro makes me giggle and keeps my mind fresh. Splatterpunk just keeps me from growing bored and yes, I do sometimes read normal books. They’re normal to me anyway.

     As I wrap this up I encourage people to read. Doesn’t matter what it is as long as it’s something that you enjoy. Goodreads.com is a great place to find titles that are reviewed by the community and not some pencil pusher.

     I also have to thank Chosen who has been an awesome stalker. She reads my reviews and keeps me on this quest to find something even more bizarre and nastier than anything I have reviewed before. Thankfully that hasn’t happened yet ans if it does I’ll have to stop reviewing books.

     Here’s the sites to Dynatox and Strangehouse. Buy some books and read some high quality stuff. http://dynatox.storenvy.com/ and http://www.strangehousebooks.com/



Dead Clown Barbecue: A Review

     I have to be honest and say that before picking up Dead Clown Barbecue I had heard about Jeff Strand but never read his work. I have a huge backlog of stuff to read so I figured at some point I’d get around to reading some thing he had written. Just didn’t know when.

     I saw the cover for Dead Clown Barbercue and was instantly intrigued. Hell, even the title made me giggle so I knew at some point I’d be checking this book out. I was loading up my Kindle app and there it was in my recommended list. To give you an idea of what kind of shit Amazon usually recommends there’s usually a lot of Bryan Smith  some Edward Lee and a few other splatterpunk writers.

     As soon as I saw it I clicked the buy button and settled down for some Barbecue.


     This is a short story collection that can’t really be pinned down to just one genre. If you’re a fan of bizarro and horror you’ll feel right at home here but of you tend to shy away from the bizarro then you may not enjoy this book at all which is really unfortunate because Dead Clown Barbercue is an insane mix of both genres.

     Jeff Strand balances both very well and even throws in a bit of black humor just to keep you on your toes. What makes Dead Clown so enjoyable aside from the stories themselves is the fact that you never know what to expect. You have the down right Creepiness of Gramma’s Corpse and you see just how talented Strand is.

     When it comes to writers it seems as if the short story is their weakness and trying to read a book with twenty three of them can be a bit tedious and grueling but Barbecue is one of those anthologies you can actually make it through and if you’re like me and have never heard of Jeff Strand this is a good place to start. Highly recommended for fans of horror and bizarro.