Sunday, November 20, 2011

Kayla paperback

It's been out via Kindle for a while, but my new urban fantasy novel Kayla and the Devil is now also available in trade paperback. Although this novel falls within the urban fantasy category, it contains plenty of elements that should appeal to horror fans. You can get the paperback at

Or at Create Space:

I'll take a moment to point out that I get a significantly higher royalty rate if you order from Create Space. That said, I won't hold it against anyone who orders from Amazon. Amazon is easy and it's always what I use, too. Just wanted to put the info out there.

While I'm posting, I'll also note that I am currently working on The Killing Kind 2. I'm about 35,000 words into it at this point.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Kayla And The Devil

UPDATE: The price at both Amazon and Smashwords has been reduced to $2.99.

My new urban fantasy novel, Kayla and the Devil, is now available from for the Kindle:

And for non-Kindle e-readers at Smashwords:

As mentioned above, this is an urban fantasy novel. Although it does feature supernatural subject material, readers should not go into it expecting anything like The Killing Kind, Depraved, or any of my other hardcore horror novels. This is more along the lines of Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden novels meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer (though it isn't about vampires). So there isn't much in the way of gore. However, I think horror fans willing to give it a chance will enjoy it. It's a fun story.

For now this novel is only available in digital format. A trade paperback will follow at a later date. I'll let you know when that's available.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Return of The Killing Kind

A lot of regular readers of this blog will know that the original mass market paperback edition of The Killing Kind was released a little more than a month before everything went to hell at Dorchester Publishing.

Flash forward to now, and my new publisher, Deadite Press, has unleashed a new edition of this book upon the world:

Big thanks to Jeff Burk and everyone else at Deadite Press for making this book available again. The Killing Kind may well be my favorite of all the books Dorchester released, and I'm happy to see it get back out there in the world. Deadite will also release new versions of the rest of my Dorchester backlist later this year and into 2012.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Highways To Hell available now

The print edition of my new short fiction collection from Deadite Press, Highways To Hell, is finally in stock and available from

Highways To Hell will also be available in ebook formats in the very near future. I don't know exactly when yet, but I imagine this will happen at some point in the coming few weeks.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

99 cent zombies

The ebook of Rock And Roll Reform School Zombies is 99 cents on Kindle through the end of this month:

This is a 34,000 word novella. It's a homage to 80's heavy metal and B horror movies.

Sorry, it's not available in other ebook formats at this time. Amazon/Kindle is easy to do, and I'm lazy about getting it up on other sites. Maybe someday down the line a bit I'll get around to that. Meanwhile, though, if you have a Kindle, you can snatch it up cheap.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Highways To Hell cover

Time for the first non-depressing post on this blog in quite some time. Here is the cover for Highways To Hell, my short fiction collection from Deadite Press. It should be available for order from by the end of the month.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Nothing ever stays the same. Things change. All the various parts of our daily existences that we take for granted are not excepted from this rule. It even applies to all the things that seem most deeply rooted in our lives, things that over a long stretch of time, many years or decades, may come to seem “permanent.” But this is only an illusion, a trick of the human mind and the way we perceive things. Not a single thing in your life is permanent. Not any of the things you love, none of your life’s endeavors, and certainly not the company of any of the people you cherish the most. None of it is here to stay. It all goes away in the end. There are times when life allows you ample opportunity to anticipate the end of important things, and there are times when these things are taken from you so abruptly the event leaves you stunned and short of breath. One may imagine that the former scenario is the ideal way of things, that it will leave you sufficient time to prepare and adjust, but this isn’t necessarily true. Sometimes that period of anticipation, especially when dragged out over a longish span, is perhaps more cruel, because you can see what’s coming and are faced with the horror of knowing there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. And sometimes, no matter how much time you have before the oncoming change or end of things, that time isn’t nearly enough.

Today marks fifty days since Rachael passed away. We didn’t quite make it to our tenth wedding anniversary. That would have been May 6th, 2011. Rachael looked forward to that date for a long time. Her dream was to renew our vows on that day, to have a bigger and better ceremony, the kind she didn’t get to have the first time around. You see, Rachael’s cancer battle was a very protracted one. When we were married on May 6th, 2001, she had already had a major surgery and was undergoing chemotherapy. Cancer is cruel. Cancer is a thief. It robs its victims not just of their lives, but of all their hopes and dreams. It shuts down their plans and eliminates the future. I am able to think of few things more cruel than that vile disease. In fact, at the moment, nothing else really comes to mind. Cancer killed Rachael’s dreams as surely as it robbed her of her life. It prevented her from achieving things she very much wanted to achieve. On May 6th, instead of walking down the aisle with Rachael again, I visited her grave in Nashville. I would rather have spent that day another way, preferably in fulfillment of her dream for that date, but it was all I could do because things had changed. She had been taken from me.

Last night I watched a new episode of South Park. The title of the episode was “You’re Getting Old.” Those of you reading this may be wondering how this is relevant to the above. In fact, it is very relevant. I won’t take time to explain the show or its characters. In its fifteenth season now, South Park has been on for a long time, and by now you know the show or you don’t. What’s relevant here is the theme of the episode, which is the same thing I’ve been talking about. Changes and endings. Life transitions. But that’s not the only way in which South Park is relevant. Rachael and I had differing interests in many areas. We liked different kinds of music and books. Of course, there were things we both liked as well, and one of those things was South Park. Early in our relationship, for a short time I lived with Rachael in a tiny one-room apartment in Madison, Wisconsin. This was in 1999, the year South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut was released to theaters. It was one of a handful of movies we saw before returning to Tennessee. We both thought the movie was hilarious, and it was one we would revisit again and again through the years. We also faithfully watched each new episode of the TV show that aired during our twelve years together.

Of course, Rachael didn’t get to see this latest batch of new episodes, and I couldn’t help wondering what she would have thought of “You’re Getting Old.” In the episode, one of the central characters, a kid named Stan, is growing apart from his friends Eric, Kyle, and Kenny. Following the occasion of his tenth birthday, he has become deeply cynical and unable to see the worth in anything, literally viewing everything he encounters as “shit”. And by literal, I do mean actual depictions of excrement. Trust me, it was hilarious, as were many other elements of the plot as the episode progressed. If this had been a normal episode, this situation would likely have been resolved in some absurd and possibly funny way. But this wasn’t a normal episode, as the last few minutes revealed. Stan’s doctor diagnoses him as having become a “cynical asshole”, a condition for which there is no cure. Stan becomes desperate to retain his friendship with Eric, Kyle, and Kenny, but they turn their backs on him. This theme of change extends to the cracks showing in the marriage of Stan’s parents. After a final screaming argument, both admit they have been unhappy for a long time and both see each other as “kind of shitty.” What follows is a montage of scenes depicting deepening changes in the lives of these characters with the Fleetwood Mac song “Landslide” playing over it. The song choice is fitting as it is a very melancholy tune. We watch Stan’s parents pack up their belongings and split up. We see Stan’s best friend Kyle turn his back on him a final time. We see Stan moving away. The final shot is of Stan lying on his back and staring up at the ceiling in his new home. It was an unexpected and oddly moving last couple minutes. And this was the last new episode until October. Generally, you don’t expect a silly cartoon to end a run of episodes on a note like that. Maybe the status quo will reset in October, but perhaps not. Because last night, Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the creators of the show, seemed to be saying, “Even in South Park, things change. Things end.”

I’ve watched the episode three times now. I’m not afraid to admit that I became emotional in the last few minutes each time I watched it, especially on the repeat viewings as the meaning really began to penetrate.

Last night, after I finally went to bed at four in the morning (so I guess it wasn’t actually “night”, but whatever), I dreamed that someone came and took away Rachael’s hospital bed, which had remained in the spare room where she spent the last four months of her life. This morning at around 11 am, a knock on the front door jolted me out of sleep. I wasn’t expecting anyone, but hurriedly dressed and answered the door. A white van was parked in my driveway. A representative from the medical supply company was standing on my front step. Please understand that I had not contacted them. My dream and this man’s arrival at my door were pure coincidence, I suppose. It’s tempting to see something mystical in it, but it was inevitable that they would want their stuff back. My mother had been telling me for a while that I needed to contact them and have them come retrieve their equipment. But I never did. It may sound odd or even morbid, but that hospital bed was one of the last tactile connections I had to Rachael when she was alive. Over these last several weeks, I would go in there, shut the door to keep my animals out, then sit down and talk to her. Whether she could hear me in some way or not isn’t the point. It was something that helped me cope in some of my worst moments.

So I let the guy into my house. He quickly broke down the hospital bed in a precisely methodical way and carried out all the various parts to the van. He also took away the wheelchair I’d used to take Rachael to so many of her appointments over the last several months. Then I closed the door on him and he was gone.

I broke down. I didn’t expect to react in quite that way. After all, that bed and that wheelchair are connected to the worst period in Rachael’s life, a time when she was never really comfortable and was in so much pain. So why should I lament the departure of those items and the painful memories associated with them? I think it’s because its another way in which I have to say goodbye to Rachael on a psychological level all over again. And so today the grief felt as fresh as it did in the earliest days of this empty time.

And it was yet another reminder.

Nothing stays the same. Things change.

Things end.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Dear Rachael

Dear Rachael,

I lost you just three days ago. The pain remains as intense as it was that first day. Right now it feels as though there will never be any relief from this pain. The hole in my life your absence has created is immense, bigger than I ever could have imagined. That aching emptiness consumes me. Only now do I fully understand how completely my whole world revolved around you. At the service for you yesterday, I stood before our loved ones and told them of the difference you made in my life. Many have talked of your bigger than life personality. Of your incredible vibrancy and boundless enthusiasm for life. So I told them about how my personality is so very different from yours. I told them of the brightness, color, enthusiasm, and energy you brought into my life, where before my existence was sorely lacking in those qualities. I said that you changed my life. You changed me. You made me a better person, albeit one still with many shortcomings. I also told our families that I would never forget you, and that I would always try to honor your memory.

Rachael, regarding that last sentiment, I will try my very best, within my pitiful limitations, to do just that. You were an idealist and I admire that about you. It’s not overstating it one little bit to say that you had a higher level of ideals than anyone I’ve ever met. There’s no way I could ever quite live up to the standard you set, but I do promise you that I will try. Some days, maybe many days, I will fall short. But on every succeeding day I will try to do better. I will try to do better, and I will strive to do things that would make you proud. These things will be done in your name, and in each case I will make it known that it could not have happened without you. You will continue to make a difference through me, just as you continue now to make a difference in all the wonderful and treasured memories everyone who loves you will carry with them for the rest of their days.

Rachael, I am so sorry you couldn’t have stayed with me here longer. I wish I could have stopped what happened to you somehow. I feel that I have failed you. People tell me this is not the truth, that I did everything I possibly could for you. Maybe I did, maybe I didn’t, I don’t know. I always told myself to try harder, to do better, to do right by you. And I did try. But it still couldn’t keep you here, and so, yes, I feel like I failed. That may make no logical sense. I am not God. I had no power over the disease that took you. On some level, I recognize this. But that feeling of coming up short persists regardless.

Rachael, the memory of what you endured, especially in your last months and weeks, is so very painful, so much so that I am not sure I can withstand it. No one should have to go through what you went through, but it seems particularly unfair that it could happen to someone as loving, sweet, generous, and kind as you. I can’t think of how the disease ravaged your poor little body without wanting to cry. The memory of the constant agony you were in causes me physical pain. I remember how you would cry out to me even in your sleep, and that also hurts. You counted on me to protect you and help you feel better in various ways, but in the end none of it worked anymore. It hurt so much to hear those cries of my name and know there was nothing I could do. I think of how you would say “owie” like a little girl when you were having excruciating pain, and that also makes me want to cry. I think it always will. You suffered so many horrible indignities, and the memory of those things makes me feel a deep anger in addition to the emotional misery. It is fundamentally WRONG that you had to endure those things. It is rage without a target--who do I blame for those awful things?--and therefore there is nowhere to discharge it. So I’m afraid I will always carry that anger with me as well. Again, I wish I could have stopped it. I wish I could wipe it all away, make it so that none of it ever happened. But I can’t. I just can’t, and that also makes me want to cry. There is scant consolation to be had in any of this, but if there is any, it lies in the fact that you are feeling none of those things any longer. You are not hurting now. I wish you were still here. I wish you could stay with me forever. But you’re not hurting. The agony and the suffering are over. Rachael, baby, I’m glad you’re not hurting now.

Rachael, as we discussed several times, none of us are really sure what comes after this life ends. I know that after lifetimes of a professed disbelief in an afterlife, we both did open ourselves to the possibility of there being something else out there. I remember being out in our back yard one night with our dogs and staring up at all the stars in a very clear sky. I thought of how vast and mysterious this universe is and how there is so much we don’t know or understand about our existence. In a place so vast, there are possibilities beyond anything we could ever imagine. Potentially strange and wonderful things. So we had to allow for the possibility that maybe we had been wrong all along, and that perhaps there is something else beyond this hard life on earth. And so it is my fondest and most sincere wish that you are somewhere better now. That you are in a place where you know only joy and are forever free of pain of any kind.

I love you, Rachael. I love you more than I have ever loved anyone or anything. I will never stop missing you. I hope somehow you are able to know of these words. That you hear me talking to you. Maybe you can. Somehow. Know this above all else, then. Despite the pain I feel, I will always be grateful that you shared your life with me for these last twelve years. I am grateful that you were able to be with me for as long as you were. Thank you for living with me and loving me. There is no way I could ever equal or repay what you gave me, but I am so grateful to you.

Rest in peace, sweet Rachael. Rest in peace.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

House of Blood eBook

The first digital edition of House of Blood is now available. It's the "authorized edition" to distinguish it from anything Dorchester might do, though in the case of this book, I don't expect them to try to get their own edition out, as we've reached an agreement reverting the rights to this title to me. When I get the digital rights to the others back, they'll also all be "authorized" editions.

Monday, March 28, 2011

E-Book Sale

My first two self-published eBook titles, Darkened and Rock and Roll Reform School Zombies are 99 cents through the end of March. Prices will be bumped back to regular price April 1.

EDIT: Sale over.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Second Bitter Ale Press release

The eBook edition of Rock And Roll Reform School Zombies is now available from Amazon. This edition includes contest winner Brian Bishop's Bitter Ale Press logo, which is one of three BAP logos I'll use on a rotating basis for these releases.

Here's the link:

Other formats will follow in the coming weeks.

I am currently working on what should be the third Bitter Ale Press release, a longish zombie novella that may yet turn into a short novel. I'm hoping to have it available at some point in April. However, though it involves zombies again, it will be a very, very different take on the subject than RNRRSZ.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

New Facebook Page

I created a fan page this weekend. Come by and "like" it if you're so inclined.

The personal page is still around, but this new page will strictly be for writing-related posts. News and the occasional general thoughts on writing and the writing biz.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Deadworld becomes DARKENED

The title of my recently published original ebook novel has changed from Deadworld to Darkened.

Let me state a fact. You cannot copyright a title. This is why you see duplicate titles across various forms of media all the time.

However, this will not necessarily prevent someone else who has used the same title from raising the specter of lawyers.

My wife has been seriously ill for some time. Her condition has worsened considerably in recent months. It should go without saying that we do not need more stress in our lives at this time.

So there was never any thought of fighting the title change.

The book formerly known as Deadworld is now Darkened and that's just the way it's going to be.

I have already uploaded cover, title, and product description changes to Amazon and Smashwords. The Smashwords changes are already fully in effect. On Amazon, the cover and title changes have already been published. However, as of this writing, the revised product description has not published and still refers to the book as Deadworld. I am hopeful this will change within the next 24 hours.

But the currently in process Amazon update is only the first revision. The interior of the book still shows the old cover and says "Deadworld" on the title page. I have received a revised file from the designer correcting all that. However, I have to wait until the first revision finishes publishing before I can upload these other changes.

If you have already purchased this book as Deadworld, please be aware that DARKENED IS THE SAME BOOK. I'm hopeful most readers will be discerning enough to notice this, but realize there may be some confusion. I'm also hopeful all the changes will be fully published on Amazon within the next couple of days.

In better news, I received the following kickass blurb for the new book yesterday:

"Bryan Smith's DARKENED is a full-throttle pedal-to-the-metal ride straight into the heart of the apocalypse. Deeply disturbing and absolutely riveting. Highly recommended." -Jonathan Maberry, NY Times bestselling author of THE KING OF PLAGUES and PATIENT ZERO

Ordering link for Darkened:

Monday, February 14, 2011

Bitter Ale Press contest

I know there are some readers of this blog with good art/design skills. Recently I released my first self-published ebook, Deadworld. I made up the name Bitter Ale Press as the publisher. I want to continue using that name as I put more ebooks out there in the future. I thought it might be nice to have a cool logo to include with those releases. So let's have a contest to design one.

The main prize winner would get a copy of the limited hardcover edition of Depraved from Altar 13. I would inscribe this book any way the winner wants. The winner would also receive copies of two of my Leisure paperbacks. Again, inscribed any way you want. I'd even throw in some cover flats. And, of course, you'll get a design credit in any future Bitter Ale Press releases.

A second prize winner would receive two signed Leisure paperbacks and a third place finisher would receive one signed Leisure paperback. Both second and third place winners would also get some bonus cover flats.

Use your creativity. Incorporate anything cool that comes to mind when you think of the name Bitter Ale Press, any imagery or concepts associated with any of those words. Designs can be dark and sinister or whimsical or just plain weird, or any combination thereof. They can be suggestive of things horror, literary, or booze related. Or, again, a combination.

To enter the contest, just post your entry in the designated thread on my message board (registration is required):

Feedback from forum readers is welcome, though I'll be making the ultimate call on the winner. Contest is currently open-ended as it may be a while before the second Bitter Ale Press release.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Deadworld ebook

For some time I have been following stories of the success authors such as J.A. Konrath, Scott Nicholson, and Amanda Hocking have experienced with original, self-published ebooks. The industry is changing and I believe I must explore the possibilities of this new outlet. To this end, I have released a never-before-published epic novel of apocalyptic horror entitled Deadworld. Deadworld is available now for Kindle download via Amazon. Other formats will soon follow. See the link below to order:

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

New Collection, New Publisher

In my previous entry I alluded to an upcoming new short story collection and described the process of pulling together the stories for that collection. Many of you reading this will no doubt have already heard the news from various other sources earlier this week, but I'll go ahead and formally announce it here, as this blog essentially functions as my official site.

The title of the collection is Highways To Hell and that "publisher-to-be-named" is Deadite Press. The release date for the collection is April of this year. The content of the collection has largely been decided, though we are still working to finalize the lineup. Yes, the title is an allusion to the AC/DC song "Highway To Hell." No shit, right? The reason I selected that name is pretty straightforward. As I was reviewing the stories under consideration, I noted that several of them could, in one sense or another, be described as "road stories". Because I am a horror writer, they are a particularly nasty and, well, hellish take on that trope. Not all of the stories in the collection fall into that niche, but enough of them do that the title feels appropriate. It also dovetails nicely with another of the stories included, "Hell Ain't A Bad Place To Be", which originally appeared in Necro's Edward Lee tribute anthology Infernally Yours. Many of you may also recognize that story title as the name of an AC/DC song. Again, no accident, as the protagonist of the story, a serial killer, runs into the late AC/DC singer Bon Scott in hell after committing suicide.

Another story that should be of particular interest in Highways To Hell is "Pizza Face", which is a story slated to eventually appear in Cemetery Dance's Richard Laymon tribute anthology In Laymon's Terms. A lot of you are likely familiar with the saga of that long-delayed tome. For a lot of reasons to which I am not privy, publication of that anthology has been delayed for several years. The story was accepted in early 2003. The people at CD kindly allowed me to use the story for my new collection. It will still appear in In Laymon's Terms when that book is eventually published, but it felt right to include it in Highways To Hell as well.

Deadite Press will now function as my primary publisher. This is not to say my book length work will not appear elsewhere. You will occasionally see things from me by other publishers, including later this year. But 90% of my output will be done by Deadite. In addition to the collection, they will also be releasing new editions of my entire Leisure backlist, beginning with The Killing Kind in June. A new backlist title will follow every other month thereafter. In 2012 Deadite Press will publish a new original novel, The Killing Kind 2.

I'm in pretty good company with Deadite, who are also now the primary paperback publisher of horror luminaries Brian Keene, J.F. Gonzalez, Edward Lee, Wrath James White, and Robert Devereaux.

Pop on over to their site and pay them a visit. If you're a regular reader of my stuff, I think you'll like what you see.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Trunk stories and other effluvia

Recently I agreed to a deal with a publisher-to-be-named to do a collection of my short fiction. I've been so focused on writing novels for so long that there really isn't a big wealth of material from which to cull stories for this thing. However, in my research for this project, I was pleased to discover there were just enough stories to warrant one decent-sized collection.

My first print publication of any real significance was a chapbook of four short stories called Under The Skin. Under The Skin was released by Undaunted Press in early 2003, about a year and a half before my first novel from Leisure Books was released. All of the stories from the chapbook will appear in this new collection. Prior to the chapbook, I'd had a few stories appear online at Horrorfind and at a now-defunct e-zine called Dream Forge. Two of the Horrorfind stories appeared as free fiction offerings on my message board for a couple of years, but have now been pulled from there due to their upcoming inclusion in the new collection.

So that takes us up to half a dozen stories. A good start, but not quite enough for a full collection. While I was searching for things for this project, there was one story in particular that I badly wanted to find and include. Not necessarily because it is any better than any of the other stories--it isn't--but because of its significance in my early writing history and development. The story is called "Slugger" and it was technically my first professional sale when it was accepted in 1990 by New Blood Magazine. For those too young to know, New Blood was one of a number of upstart small press genre fiction mags that sprang up in the wake of the demise of the vaunted Horror Show (which was basically the Cemetery Dance of its day). New Blood's editor, Chris Lacher, quickly made a name for himself with a brash editorial style. He was from roughly my generation, maybe slightly older. I submitted numerous stories to New Blood. They were consistently rejected, but in the series of chatty cover letters and rejection notes this period covered, I found that Chris and I both enjoyed the novels of Richard Laymon and many of the same rock and roll bands of the era. Lacher's in-your-face editorial approach occasionally offended people. He really had a kind of Brian Keene vibe about him, and back then I thought he was going to end up being a big deal.

Anyway, "Slugger" was my breakthrough with New Blood and I was of course thrilled when Chris accepted it. True to my luck back then, however, something went wrong at New Blood. They never published another issue and "Slugger" never appeared. Having it appear in this collection is my way of achieving a sort of belated closure with that mostly forgotten period of my writing history. However, the problem was finding an actual copy of the story. It had previously existed only in a physical, typed form. I hunted through box after box of old junk in a desperate search for the manuscript. I was on the verge of giving up when I came across a pair of keys at the bottom of one box. The keys were to an old lockbox, which I knew to contain other old manuscripts, as well as many fragments of unfinished stories going all the way back to my early teenage years.

The lockbox was going to be my last ditch effort. I hadn't opened it in ages and I'd assumed I was going to have to break it open somehow. Luckily, the discovery of the long-missing keys spared me that effort. I opened the lockbox and breathed a sigh of deep relief when I discovered the "Slugger" manuscript near the top of a very tightly packed-in stack of old stories. I set "Slugger" aside and started a trip down memory lane as I sifted through the old things. I found one more useable story, one called "Rattlehead", which appeared in the Dream Forge ezine circa 1996. It's a good story and deserves new life.

Nothing else in the lockbox really was good enough or fully realized enough to warrant inclusion in the collection. It was, however, a personally fascinating look at my development down through the years. I read one story written when I was fifteen called "When The Goblins Came To Spencer Avenue", which was highly derivative of both the Twilight Zone and Stephen King. Not a great story by any means, but I was surprised to find several paragraphs that were pretty solidly constructed, even if the ideas they conveyed weren't worthy. None of the dialogue in that story rang true in any way, but what do you expect? I was fifteen.

Another story called "Autopsy Queen" was written a bit further down the line, probably somewhere in my early twenties. It's a longish story about a strange girl who lovingly maintains photo albums of dead people. As I read the story, it struck me that this girl was sort of an early version of Julie in The Killing Kind.

There were five pages of something with the astonishingly original title Return of the Dead, which was written somewhere in my teens and appears to have been meant to be the start of a novel. As you probably guessed, it was a zombie thing and probably about the blandest bit of zombie fiction you could imagine. Nonetheless, I think it was probably my first stab at writing about zombies and seems noteworthy for that alone at least.

I won't go into the rest of it in any real depth. There was simply too much stuff, including a number of complete stories amongst all the fragments. But even the complete stories are too much a relic of the past to ever warrant public scrutiny. They'll never be published and that's as it should be. It's likely that any writer who has been writing nearly his or her whole life has a similar trove of ancient stories. They're interesting to look back on every once in a long while to see how we've developed over the years and decades, but that's about it.

So "Slugger" and "Rattlehead" brings us up to eight good stories for the collection. Not quite enough. Luckily we will be able to include some stories of more modern vintage, stories that were previously only available in a limited way via anthologies, including one from a long-in-the-works tribute anthology that, as of this writing, still hasn't been published. That puts the collection at a dozen stories, which feels like a decent size. It may yet include one or two other things, and I think my regular readers will enjoy the finished product.

More news about this project, including the publisher, coming soon.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Pre-order The Dark Ones

The Delirium edition of my new novel The Dark Ones is now available for pre-order:

They are The Dark Ones. The name began as a self-deprecating joke, but it stuck and now it’s a source of pride. There is a darkness within them all. A hidden danger waiting to be exploited. A rage in desperate search of expression. They’re the one who don’t fit in. The misfits who drink and smoke too much and stay out all hours of the night. Everyone knows they’re trouble.

But soon the other residents of Ransom, TN, will discover the true meaning of trouble. On the outskirts of Ransom is an abandoned, boarded-up house. Something evil happened there long ago. The evil has been contained there ever since, locked down tight in the basement—until the night The Dark Ones break in and set it free.

Soon a demonic darkness spreads through Ransom, quickly infecting the entire town. And now The Dark Ones are their town’s only hope. They must return the demon—Andras, The Killer of Men—to his prison beneath the earth before it is too late.