Category Archives: News
Nathan and I love to visit the Bronx Zoo, which is just about an hour from our house—it’s like being on vacation for a day, and it could be said the zoo is part of our lives (we’ve “financially adopted” many of their animals over the years, everything from a bat to a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach we named Mountain King). Since we’re members, we try to make it down for the zoo’s special events throughout the year.
October brought Boo at the Zoo: weekends full of activities such as a beer garden, pumpkin carving demonstration, not-really hay rides, marshmallow roasting pits, candy trails, a corn maze—and my favorite, a Haunted Forest in the abandoned World of Darkness Building. Little known fact about me? It was my first-ever walk-through Haunted House, and I did pretty well!
It was lots of fun to see kids in costume.
…and to visit our hissing cockroach, Mountain King.
The exhibit that struck me most was the Extinct Species Graveyard, which was set up in a little-used grove of trees next to The Mouse House. It wasn’t there for a Halloween thrill, nor was it there as just another decoration to fill up space; it seemed part educational, and part memorial. I was surprised by the profound sense of sadness I felt as we wandered through the headstones.
Here’s a tour!
Officially discovered in the late 1600s, the Falkland Islands Wolf’s tame nature spelled its doom—it hadn’t learned to fear humans, so settlers could easily trick it into coming close enough to kill it. They were hunted for meat and fur, and were considered threatening to sheep. The last one was killed Read the rest of this entry
Shark Week may be a long 10 months away, but there’s still plenty of thrills to be had in this year’s much-delayed Mandy Moore vehicle 47 Meters Down, which had been titled–and even briefly released, as I understand it–under the moniker In the Deep.
Dark Discussions delves deep into what works and what doesn’t in this film (which personally I didn’t get all the hate for–it’s a friggin’ shark thriller, for God’s sake, why are you all expecting high art?) which is available on Blu-Ray and DVD today. Pick it up here — http://a.co/20Q1UNs — then dive into what we thought!
You can listen to our episode on Stitcher, iTunes, and here: http://www.darkdiscussions.com/Pages/podcast_293.html
TODAY IS THE BIG DAY! THREE ON A MATCH – which contains my novella, “Splendid Chyna,” gets released! Here’s an interview with one of the writers, Melissa Crandall! Stay tuned for more!
Today, I have the pleasure and privilege of sharing virtual space with Melissa Crandall.
Melissa is a contributor, most recently, to Three on a Match (Books & Boos Press)—the second title in the publisher’s “Terror Project,” following Triplicity (2016). A Pushcart-nominated author, she writes narrative nonfiction and speculative fiction, and recently sold a short story–“The Last Zookeeper”– to The Wild Musette. Her book, The Man Who Loved Elephants: 30 Years at Oregon’s Washington Park Zoo, is currently being shopped to publishers by agent Bonnie Solow. Melissa’s work has appeared in Tricks and Treats: A Collection of Spooky Stories by Connecticut Authors, Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Power of Forgiveness, and Allegory, and has been featured on The Drunken Odyssey; she made her professional literary debut with media tie-in novels for Star Trek, Quantum Leap, and Earth 2. A member of The Authors Guild, Melissa…
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Just in time for Halloween season, Great Old Ones Publishing reveals the cover and table of contents for Invocations, an anthology focusing on all those things we shouldn’t be summoning.
The cover is by Mj Preston, author of The Acadia Event.
My short story “We’ve Always Been Here” – a little bit of a different take on killer clowns – will be featured alongside these other fantastic contemporary horror writers. I’ll keep you posted on the release date. The TOC is as follows:
Foreword by Dan Lench
1. High Tea with Ancient Gods by Judi Ann Calhoun
2. Uncanny by E.g. Smith
3. American Macabre by Gregory Norris
4. Hunger by Dan Szczesny
5. Mirror, Mirror by Edwin Berne
6. Black Eyes, Blacker Soul by Patrick Lacey
7. Down Time Children by Irene Gallant
8. Hell and Back by Marinda Dennis
9. Let’s Go See the Honeyman by Kyle Rader
10. One Shot, One Kill by Eric S Brown
11. The Snow Lion by Coopersmith Black
12. Eyes by Tony Tremblay
13. The Butterfly Queen by Shannon Grant
14. Penance and Pressure Cookers by Philip Perron
15. We’ve Always Been Here by Kristi Petersen Schoonover
16. The Leyak by Mj Preston
This episode of This Writing Life road trips to Portland, Maine!
For me, being a writer means always studying other media—film, music, art, whatever. One of my favorite things to do is attend DAMNATIONLAND—a horror film festival which showcases short films by independent Maine filmmakers. I probably did more partying than studying…but come take the ride with me! Watch This Writing Life Episode 10: Damnationland here: https://youtu.be/1ro3aNkm89M
If you wanna do it for real? You can check out the dates for 2017 on the Damnationland FB page here: https://www.facebook.com/Damnationland/?ref=br_rs
I spent the first six months of this year as a guest editor for an upcoming issue of Dark Alley Press’ Ink Stains anthology series, and I’m pleased to announce that, except for a couple of rounds of proofing and the fact that the cover isn’t complete, it’s in the can!
This was my first stint as guest editor, and it was nothing short of a magical experience. There was something special about not just cherry-picking pieces for a collection from a slush pile, but curating a collection; tapping talent for some unpublished stories that had haunted me for—in some cases—a quarter of a century, or always anticipating that moment when that perfect story I have to have! would appear in the submissions manager.
In addition, every writer I worked with shared the vision; it was an enlightening journey in every sense of the phrase.
The theme of the issue was my choice—decay. It’s a pervasive Read the rest of this entry
I’m thrilled to announce that my short story “We’ve Always Been Here” will be appearing in Great Old Ones Publishing’s upcoming anthology Invocations.
I don’t want to say much and ruin the surprise, but I will say the first draft of this story was written last Halloween (October 31) and was inspired by yet another report of a “creepy clown” attack. Remember those?
As of today, the release date is slated for September 1. I’ll let you know when it’s available.
I often get asked about what influences my work as a writer. Inspired by the amazing website Kindertrauma–which is right up my alley–I’m compiling all of my childhood (and some adult) terrors.
In 1978, the ABC Friday Night Movie aired The Bermuda Depths. It was billed, in the original TV Guide full page ad, as a frightening mystery surrounding the Bermuda Triangle—a hot topic back in the In Search Of-cryptid-paranormal-UFO-obsessed decade that was the 1970s. I didn’t know this then, but it was written by Alan Rankin, produced by Jules Bass (yes, the Rankin/Bass behind Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer) and directed by Tsugunobu (Tom) Kotani of 1977’s The Last Dinosaur fame—which meant creatures and creepy imagery, and it would certainly deliver.
In the 1970s, Read the rest of this entry
Dark Discussions rediscovers 2001’s Donnie Darko! On Stitcher, iTunes, and here: http://www.darkdiscussions.com/Pages/podcast_288.html
This Writing Life Episode 9A: Snowbound: with Zombies is live! You can watch it here: https://youtu.be/BE0wZM3cTtk
In this episode, we jam the Snowbound: with Zombies release event into a full weekend! Snowbound: with Zombies is a collection of scary stories by several New England writers, and 100% of the proceeds benefits the Whittier Birthplace Museum in Haverhill, Massachusetts. Available in both print and Kindle. Get it here: http://bit.ly/SnowboundPrint (Kindle link posted on that page too). Oh…and we also find a cool Cracker Barrel.
Don’t know much about Whittier but want to? I recommend The Poetry of John Greenleaf Whittier: A Reader’s Edition, edited by William Jolliff.
There’s now a second collection for mystery lovers! If you love mysteries, give back to the community and pick up Murder Among Friends (which contains my story “The Cricket in the Wall”) here: http://bit.ly/MAFCricket