BUSY @ #HORROR WORK (2021 UPDATE)

Hey, folks! Just wanted to take a moment and share what I’ve been up to as far as my own personal writing and publishing is concerned as of lately. What better day than Friday the 13th! Am I right? Aside from recently pulling most, if not all of, my more controversial, dated, and unnecessarily explicit work out of print for a couple different personal reasons (print and digital editions of three specific novellas, and a novel/ my limited-edition chapbooks have all been sold-out for the most part, and will always hold a special place in my heart and have always been some of my utmost best and published work to date), BUT, have no fear, I’ve been very hard at work and busy working on a handful of new and exciting projects (finished writing a new book, finished writing a new short story, gave an awkward semi-motivational/definitely successful pitch for my new book I just finished writing to a well-known and personally loved and respected publisher/publishing house). I’ve also been setting aside and taking some time to enjoy, learn, and further study the craft of writing. One of the things I have personally always needed to learn and figure out, in which, I personally figured out the hard way in a couple different not so pleasant ways was TIMING. Timing is everything. Slow down. There’s no need to rush projects. You’re better off going unnoticed until the time is right. We all come from different walks of life and some people simply have more time than others for many different reasons (some great, some not so great). Everybody is unique. Everybody is different. There’s no need to rush to hurry up and put out sloppy works on ridiculous timelines to later on regret and to try and keep up with those able to attend to their craft every minute of every day. The writing community has its own flaws and always will (look at how divided we are on politics) and the book market is ever-changing and nearly impossible to keep up with, especially for those of us maybe unable to even attend to their writing desires twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. The work will speak for itself. Just slow down, do the work, and make every word count. Pun intended.

The Covid-19 pandemic has proven to be a wonderful time for me to sit back and participate in as many online writing retreats and conventions as I can, and, let me tell you, it’s been an absolute blast. The idea of future HYBRID events is intriguing and inspiring to me. I feel like they’re the way of the future Con, allowing those that are unable to travel for many different reasons to be able to still attend worthwhile events and panels they’d otherwise have missed, left out and unable to attend, let alone the public health and safety factor concerned with further spreading the virus. They also seem like they’re a great way to generate more money. Let’s face it, we’re not making millions doing this whole writing thing. Being somewhat anti-social myself at times, it’s also just a genuinely fun and convenient format to be able to interact with others, being able to choose how much or how much not to participate. I’ve always enjoyed learning whatever I can about writing and publishing. It’s awesome to be able to participate without the added stress of needing to travel. Being from a somewhat small and disconnected state/town from, let’s say the rest of the writing community, a lot of us have had to trust, depend, network, network, network to figure out and learn how to progress in the writing world very much from the advice of others through all that networking (although this seems to be ever-changing and growing as genres push to become more diverse). The downside to working off the advice of others is not always necessarily knowing or learning the right things, the right way. We’re in a business where you want your work to standout from others. Some people act like they know everything about everything. Some people are dishonest and purposely sabotage others. It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there. It can be detrimental to one’s own personal career when following the bad advice of others. This has sort of indirectly pushed me and led me to the path of wanting to participate in a more conventional and traditional publishing model and network of writers and publishers. My personal quest for always wanting to learn more about writing and know how to do the right things, the right way, even at the right times as I’ve found out some things the hard way on my own. There are plenty of credible and available resources out there on the market. From writing guides, beat sheets, collections of well-known author’s personally published advice and tips. Reach out. Ask the right questions.

We all know some of the best people on this planet are those involved in the Horror Community. I first learned this in 2012 when I started writing Horror reviews for ‘The Horror Fiction Review’, and ever since and recently joining the Horror Writers Association a couple of months ago. The events and friendships I’ve made thus far have been worth the annual fee and money alone. The time, focus, and dedication spent to strengthen and diversify the horror genre we all know and love is nothing short of admirable and positive for the future of the craft of writing and publishing itself, but also for the horror genre to be able to flourish and grow in numbers whilst creating and generating a much larger network of authors, publishers, readers alike. I also recently got involved with the local HWA Chicagoland Chapter, which has also thus far proven to be great fun and an honor to be part of such a great group of people with common interests in writing, publishing, and HORROR. Be on the lookout for future public and virtual reading events from the HWA Chicagoland Chapter, there are some great events planned and more to be planned going on behind the scenes as we speak.

(New and Updated Bio and Photo Up @ HWAChicago.org/   )

Occult. Horror. Weird Fiction. Nature. Horror Writers Association(@horrorwriters)
HWA Chicago Chapter (@ChicagoHWA)

Vincent Price’s New Author Photo (meow)

For more information about the Horror Writers Association and HWA Chicagoland Chapter check-out the link below.

https://horror.org/

http://www.hwachicago.org/     

Oh, yeah! I was also lucky to be a guest on one of my favorite podcasts of all-time where I shared a number of my own personal paranormal, ghost hunting, and high strangeness encounters over the years. I had an absolute blast talking with Timothy Renner over at the Strange Familiars Podcast (links below). If you’re a fan of the weird and the strange and any and all things paranormal then you’re probably already familiar with the show as it’s one of the best of its kind out there. I was even lucky enough to get invited back for a second follow-up episode where I was able to share some more recent and personal encounters. Bigfoot. High strangeness. Occult. Paranormal. Check it out!

Shadows, Orbs, and High Strangeness (Episode 249)

https://www.strangefamiliars.com/home/shadows-orbs-and-high-strangeness

Join the Strange Familiars Gathering group on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/strangefamiliars/

instagram: @strangefamiliars

http://www.strangefamiliars.com

Below is a list of events I was able to attend and had a blast participating in one way or another this past year so far.

What am I reading right now? I am currently reading and enjoying these. The Lost Village by Camilla Sten. I plan on writing up reviews for both of these when I am finished with them and able to. I’m also working my way through The Big Book of Science Fiction edited by Jeff and Ann Vandermeer. I have plans for this one to be rather lengthy and will definitely require some more time to compose, but it is brilliantly put together and definitely up there with my current favorite SF anthology of all-time, The Wesleyan Anthology of Science Fiction.


Below is a list of books I’ve also read lately worth mentioning that I haven’t got around to typing up and reviewing just yet as I’ve been extremely busy wrapping up the new book and edits and all of the other work mentioned above here.

So many great new book releases lately! Here’s a stack of newer book releases I’ve picked up in the last couple months or so, ranging from last year to here recently.

I think that’s it for now if you’ve made it this far. Until next time! Be kind and rewind.

Visceral: Collected Flesh by Christine Morgan and Patrick C. Harrison III- Book Review

Visceral: Collected Flesh                                                           
Christine Morgan and Patrick C. Harrison III
Death’s Head Press (July 22, 2020)
eBook/ Trade Paperback/ 128 pp

“Some tales are best told wet, dripping with blood and bowels, like a freshly slaughtered steer, its flesh and organs splayed across the butcher’s floor for all the world to see. Whether reading such stories or seeing such slaughters, the observer is witnessing two primal truths: fear can be measured in body parts and death is rarely heroic. These eight tales were run through the meat grinder and served-up raw. If you’re going in, bring plenty of napkins.”

Something exciting happened on July 22, 2020 of this year. Can you guess what it was? Of course, you can’t. But that’s right, folks. It was the release of a great little collection of Splatterpunk stories from two brilliant minds working out there in the Splatter Field of dreams. Somewhere out there colorfully splattered in the Splattersphere lurks a Visceral book of tales doused in bloody fragments of collected flesh. These two said brilliant minds are the crimson brain pieces of author and horror book reviewer extraordinaire, Christine Morgan (Spermjackers From Hell, Dawn of the Living Impaired, White Death), as well as author and publisher extraordinaire, Patrick C. Harrison III (Death’s Head Press, Five Tales That Will Land You in Hell). With an introduction by no stranger to the genre of Splatterpunk himself is Splatterpunk guru, Ryan Harding (Genital Grinder, Reincarnage, Header 3 co-authored with Splatterpunk’s notorious All-Time Master Daddy Edward Lee). So, let’s sit back and take a look at these brilliant stories found within the pages of this ever-so-brilliant collaborative beautifully and relevantly titled ‘Visceral: Collected Flesh’. Proceed with caution.

Going Green/ C.M. 

Future society reminiscent of Burgess’s ‘Clockwork Orange,’ Zea wants to erase her carbon footprint with the help of Earthstock, when we as the reader will see how much she is really willing to charge for the sake of the environment.

Placenta/ PC3

A group of medical professionals share personal war stories when one of them asks the group what the worst thing they’ve ever seen is. Sam Garfield takes that placenta cake to a whole new level here, when he recalls firsthand accounts of a patient who delivers a placenta demon whilst in bloody labor.

Vicarious/ C.M.

A first-person account of a donor addict who donates more than just blood after discovering that they’re able to see/feel the recipients’ personal journeys, so the donor is able to live a more fulfilling/adventurous life from the confines of their own home. A weekly visit to the library may be enough after all.

Full Moon Shindig/ PC3

A military man is back in town when his friends invite him over and throw a little local hometown party. Once at the party he discovers more than a Full moon going on that night when finding out that a young girl has been tied up to the pool table may not be what she may seem. Think Ketchum’s ‘The Girl Next Door’ meets Stephen King’s ‘Silver Bullet’ with the brutality and depravity knobs cranked to the max.

Little Fingers/ C.M.

Something much more sinister is going on behind the scenes here when a teacher creates an unforgettable Halloween game of reach your hand in the box and guess what it is inside there, folks? It feels like something lifeless and lifelike at the sametime, but you’ll never guess what it is…

Mildred’s Garden/ PC3

When a jealous neighbor tries to sabotage an award-winning garden nearby, things begin to get a little weird and messy before taking a turn for the worse, and by worse I mean DEATH.

Bad Taste/ C.M.

“Oh, hell to the fuck no…” Who needs therapy when you can heat up a metal torture device to near death temperatures, stick it in your mouth, and melt your effing face off?

Pigs/ PC3

In conclusion, we as the reader are pushed out the door with a tale of half human/pig hybrids in this pig pen reminiscent of Dr. Moreau’s ‘House of Pain.’

Often shocking, brutal, bloody, and always thought-provoking this collection was a great time and then some. The two author’s styles and skillset are very well accompanied by each other’s here, whilst making this collection an even more entertaining and enjoyable read overall. I would also like to note that this was a personal first for me reading anything by PC3, but it will definitely not be the last. With that being said, I would also like to point out that I am in by no means a stranger to the brilliant work of author Christine Morgan, who somehow manages to keep getting better and better with each and every release. These two give us as the reader an honest run for our money here in this bloody homerun of an unforgettable collaborative collection. For fans of Extreme Dark Fiction, Weird Fiction, Splatterpunk, Horror and Bizarro Fiction alike.

Do yourself a favor and check it out!