New Release: THE NOVELLAS

ImageFor the bargain hunters among you, or those who balk at paying $2.99 for a novella, my new release THE NOVELLAS may appeal to you. It collects together four of my longer stories, THE TENT, YOU IN? SELDOM SEEN IN AUGUST, and MIDLISTERS for the more than reasonable price of $4.99. (Buying each book separately would cost you $10.00.)

Featured in this book are:

THE TENT

The perfect getaway…

The perfect place to hide…

Hocking Hills, Ohio is an oasis for campers, hikers, nature enthusiasts, and for those who just want to get away and lose themselves in the wild.

And as long as you follow your guide’s advice and stay within the permitted areas, you can expect to survive the night.

Because deep within the dark woods, something insidious awaits, something few have ever seen, something ancient, unknowable, and insatiable.

If you go down to these woods today, you won’t live to see the sunrise…

YOU IN?

For years the Wickerwood Inn has stood abandoned, home to nothing but dust and the trapped echo of past celebrations…and tragedy.

For a down on his luck ex-gambler, the inn’s reputation is a thing of myth, and certainly not reason enough to turn down the first paying job to come his way in months. The inn will soon be renovated in preparation for a new lease on life. So tonight, from midnight till six, Peter Haskins will watch over the machinery.

And he will soon discover that there is something else in the hotel with him, something that needs no new lease on life, for it has never died.

And never will.

SELDOM SEEN IN AUGUST

Wade Crawford is not a good guy. He’s a bank robber and a ruthless killer, and now three people are dead and Wade is on the run. With the cops hot on his heels, he breaks into a seemingly ordinary house in a seemingly ordinary neighborhood to hide and wait on word from his partner.

But this neighborhood is far from ordinary. Indeed it has a very specific purpose, and soon Wade will discover that life in prison would be preferable to the hellish torment Seldom Seen has in store for him.

MIDLISTERS

Meet Jason Tennant, a writer of violent horror novels whose career is mired firmly in a maddening swamp of frustration somewhere north of nowhere and south of success. He is a midlister, those thankless souls who labor in the shadows of sometimes better, sometimes luckier writers, and it’s starting to take its toll.

Meet Kent Gray, wildly popular author of a string of so-called “sex-fi” novels. He’s wealthy, handsome, and the object of Jason Tennant’s professional jealousy.

Welcome to Baltimore, Maryland, and the Aurora Science Fiction & Horror Convention, where these two men, midlister and bestseller, will meet for the first time, and the midlister motto “Better Read Than Dead” will be put to the ultimate test.

Available now at Amazon.com & Amazon.co.uk

New Release: THE TENT

TheTent

THE TENT

The perfect getaway…

The perfect place to hide…

Hocking Hills, Ohio is an oasis for campers, hikers, nature enthusiasts, and for those who just want to get away and lose themselves in the wild.

And as long as you follow your guide’s advice and stay within the permitted areas, you can expect to survive the night.

Because deep within the dark woods, something insidious awaits, something few have ever seen, something ancient, unknowable, and insatiable.

If you go down to these woods today, you won’t live to see the sunrise…

A brand new novella from the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of THE TURTLE BOY and KIN.

Available now on Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, B&N, and Smashwords.com. Available via all other vendors soon…

New Novella Free Online

 

I’m delighted to announce that my novella “When the Shadows are Hungry and Cold” is now available free to read at Subterranean Online as part of their Fall lineup.

In 2007, Subterranean published my novel Currency of Souls, which was set in Milestone, a town that draws lost souls to itself for its own insidious ends. In this new novella, we return to that accursed place years before the events in the novel for the grim story of a weak-willed deputy and the peculiar woman he encounters late one night on the border of a town famed for its high volume of inexplicable car accidents.

This issue also features cracking fiction by Nnedi Okorafor, Maria Dahvana Headley, and Brian Lumley.

Check it out here.

THE SEVEN: Alexandra Sokoloff

Continuing my interview series called THE SEVEN, in which I invite some of my favorite authors to answer seven questions about their most recent projects, today’s guest is the lovely Alexandra Sokoloff, prominent screenwriter and author of the bone-chilling supernatural novels THE HARROWING, THE PRICE (which I would argue gives SESSION 9 a run for its money for the title of creepiest hospital in horror), THE UNSEEN, BOOK OF SHADOWS, the paranormal thriller THE SHIFTERS, the YA supernatural thriller THE SPACE BETWEEN, and the suspense thriller HUNTRESS MOON.

* * *

What is your most recent release?

HUNTRESS MOON is just out, my first direct-to-e thriller, the first in a series about a driven FBI agent on the hunt for that most rare of killers: a female serial.

What inspired the project?

I’ve written a few serial killer stories as a screenwriter and novelist, and have done years of research into the psychology of sexual homicide. I think most serial killer novels are absolutely ridiculous in the way they portray those killers as poetic or artistic, all those lovely thematic tableaux of death, and the killer leaving little notes for the detective quoting from Shakespeare and Milton and Shelley. Please! And specifically I wanted to write a story that dealt thematically with the question of why we don’t see female serial killers. Yes, I know you’re about to bring up Aileen Wuornos. Or maybe you aren’t, but five hundred other people out there are! But Aileen Wuornos killed in a pattern that’s actually characteristic of a spree killer: she had a violent trigger incident and then killed a number of men in a very short time. And there was definitely an aspect of vigilantism to that spree. I wanted to explore the psychology of a woman who turns to violence, and a man in pursuit of her who finds himself ambivalent about her motives and actions.

What is the primary theme you’ve chosen to explore with this project?

I read your mind and already started to answer this question above – I am always thinking of theme first! Another running theme of the book – and of the whole series as I see it – is hunters and hunted, and the eroticism of that hunt between the two main characters, the way they mirror each other. And themes of violence, moral response to violence, and justice.

Of everything you’ve written to date, which project has been the most difficult for you?

I would have to say my second novel, THE PRICE. It is just SO DARK: someone who may or may not be the devil is walking the wards of a children’s hospital making deals with the patients and their families. I had to live in a very bleak place to write it, to capture what it would really mean to sell your soul. I wasn’t much fun while I was writing it.

Which title would you suggest as a good place to start for newcomers to your work?

That’s a good question and I never know how to answer it! So far I’ve written standalones so it really depends on the world that the reader wants to inhabit or the subject matter they’re craving; that’s how I choose my reading, anyway! If you’re looking for a nail-biting, roller coaster ghost story, that would be THE HARROWING. I’m partial to BOOK OF SHADOWS, a police procedural that pairs a Boston homicide detective with a practicing witch from Salem in a race to catch a satanic killer. That one walks the finest line between supernatural and crime thriller, a state of ambiguity I particularly like in horror, myself. And if you want dark without supernatural, that would be HUNTRESS MOON.

What are your thoughts on the burgeoning digital market?

I LOVE IT. It’s the best thing that ever happened to writers (as I know you know!). I feel as if some benevolent deity raised a hand and said, “Yes, children, you DO deserve to make a great living writing exactly what your heart tells you to write. Live long and prosper.” Okay, maybe I’m mixing my deities but… I feel like I’ve died and woken up in some kind of heaven. We now have direct, instant access to hundreds of thousands of readers. And as a reader, I am enraptured that the entire world of books now fits in the palm of my hand: any book I want, anywhere I am, instantly.

What’s next for you?

I’m writing the sequel to HUNTRESS MOON, hopefully to have out in October, maybe November. It’s my first series, and now I understand why people do it. You’re not starting from scratch! Amazing! And I want to to continue my very dark YA thriller, THE SPACE BETWEEN, as a trilogy… it’s about parallel universes and there are just so many possibilities.

In every way.

* * *
Visit Alexandra Sokoloff at the following links:

Thirty Miles South of Dry County

My new novella, THIRTY MILES SOUTH OF DRY COUNTY is now available via Darkfuse Publishing (an imprint of Delirium Books, with whom I worked on the second edition of my long out-of-print first collection RAVENOUS GHOSTS some years ago) for all digital formats. You can also preorder the hardcover edition, due for release in March.

The book is a sequel to my novel CURRENCY OF SOULS, which documented the fate of the residents of a cursed, dying mining town called Milestone, and features typically wonderful cover art by the very talented Daniele Serra.

To buy in any digital format, preorder the hardcover, and/or to read an excerpt, check out the book’s dedicated page at the Darkfuse site.

 

Halloween Guest Blog: Harry Shannon

Today’s special guest is Harry Shannon, author of the rip-roaring pulp horror novels Night of the Beast, Clan, Daemon, Dead and Gone, and The Pressure of Darkness, the superb Mick Callahan crime noir series (Memorial Day, Eye of the Burning Man, One of the Wicked, Running Cold), and most recently the novella, Pain, and a collection, A Host of Shadows. His latest release, (co-written with Steven Booth), is the apocalyptic zombie novel, The Hungry. And if the word “zombie” elicits a groan, Harry sympathizes…

* * *

ZOMBIE RUMINATION

By Harry Shannon

We’re all sick of zombies. If not, we damned well ought to be. I’d hold they are not quite as over-exposed as vampires, but we’re getting there. The night Teen Zombies In Love hits the YA Best Seller list and also sells as a movie trilogy, I guess we will have completely arrived.

I know, I know. I hear you. Zombies. Gaah, humbug. They shamble they are mindless, nothing if not predictable, and so cliche as to be uninteresting. Done to death. Or undeath.

Whatever.

And yet, as Halloween approaches, and I wander out to ponder decorating the yard, I find myself digging around the garage looking for my old VHS copy of the original Night of the Living Dead. You see, I adore that movie. It scared the crap out of me at the drive-in all those years ago, and it still works today. That little girl in the attic? Brrr…and that horrible Karloff impression, “They’re coming to get you, Barbara,” so wonderfully sets the stage for what is to come. I love zombies. Love how they have come to symbolize so many cultural things, from vapid consumerism to the offstage horrors of terrorism or rampant corruption on Wall Street. In the right hands, they rock.

So against all odds, I found myself collaborating on a new zombie novel, The Hungry.

It began as a short story for a charity anthology called Dead Set. A friend named Steven W. Booth had been flailing about trying to finish an acceptable novel, and I offered to collaborate on a tale that became Jailbreak, and eventually The Hungry. The conceit was simple, a zombie tale in an old west ghost town, but the moment I decided to make the Sheriff a female, something wonderful happened. Sheriff Penny Miller took over the story…and our zombies became something fresh and interesting. Joe McKinney maintains in the introduction to The Hungry that Penny Miller is uniquely American, a tough as nails lady out to do the right thing despite terrorism, a crappy economy and hordes of negativity personified by the living dead. Damn, he just may be on to something.

In any event, it was one hell of a lot of fun to write.

I love good zombie stories because in they end, they aren’t about the zombies. Like all good fiction, they are about people, human beings facing difficult circumstances and banding together to survive. Just like real life, just like now. So I guess I’m not sick of zombies after all, just zombies with no purpose behind them, or perhaps cardboard characters in front of them.

I plan to fix up the yard next weekend, put out the creepy lighting and prepare the sound effects. As the kiddies come searching for candy, I’ll be jammed into one corner of my couch watching a seminal black and white masterpiece for maybe the 100th time.

Happy Halloween.

* * *

The Hungry is on Kindle, and Nook. A trade paperback version will be released in January by Genius Books. Visit Harry on the web at www.harryshannon.com.

 

The Year Ahead: Update

It’s been a while since I posted anything but announcements, and for that I apologize. In trying to make up for two years of virtual inactivity on the writing front, I’ve been doing little else but writing up a storm. In addition, my cover art and design service has taken off in a big way, so my time has been winnowed down to almost nothing. But I figure it might be a good idea to take a breather and let you (and myself, lest I forget) know what the rest of the year holds in terms of book releases:

First up there’s a new, and rather long novel, called KIN, which, while not yet officially announced by publisher Cemetery Dance (best known for publishing a slew of the genre’s top authors, including Stephen King), is currently appearing in advance review copy form, and was mentioned in a recent FANGORIA article. The book is about the survivor of a TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE-like atrocity, who returns home and has to deal with the trauma, guilt and ghosts that come as the price of getting away, until the brother of one of the victims–a not quite stable survivor of a different and familiar war–convinces her to go back to seek revenge on her tormentors. The book is tentatively scheduled for a fall release.

Also on the slate is a print version of THE LIVING, previously only available online as a choose-your-own-adventure-style novel, or “wovel” (web-novel), via Underland Press. The book was written a chapter at a time, each chapter ending with two choices, which readers would vote on to determine which direction the next chapter would take. It was a fun, challenging, if not entirely successful experiment. As a result, the trade paperback, to be issued as part of Creeping Hemlock Press’s PRINT IS DEAD zombie line (endorsed by none other than the godfather of the undead himself, George A. Romero), the book will be substantially edited and rewritten to make a more cohesive whole. THE LIVING is about a zombie outbreak that resurrects the victims, not all of them cannibalistic brain-munchers. Rather, death costs them their memories and souls and the government has issued an order that the families turn in their dead so that they can be studied. One man, stubbornly refusing to believe his resurrected wife is not the woman he loves, even though she does not seem to remember or care about him, decides to help her escape the city. The revelation that she is carrying a child in her womb that’s inexplicably alive, may be the key to changing the world, for both the living and the dead, if the government, and various other mutated creatures, don’t kill them first.

JACK & JILL is a rather grim little novella I wrote as part of Cemetery Dance’s Collector’s Edition series (i.e. the amount of copies published was determined by the number of preorders, and consequently, is now out of print). The story is about a woman plagued by nightmares of an incident from her childhood, an incident her subconscious seems to be rewriting so that she no longer knows what to trust, or who to blame. As she searches for the truth, a monstrous figure from her dreams begins to affect her reality, threatening her life and the lives of those she loves. The book features beautiful cover art from the very talented Italian artist Fabio Selvatici. You can see it here. And for those who missed out on the preorder window, I will be making the book available again at some point, and in some format, most likely as part of a future collection, and/or as an e-book title for the Kindle.

Also on the novella front are two new titles, THIRTY MILES SOUTH OF DRY COUNTY, and WHEN THE SHADOWS ARE HUNGRY AND COLD, one of which will be published in an anthology of novellas, the other, as a standalone title. And while I can’t yet go into detail until their respective publishers choose to announce them, I can tell you that both stories are set in Milestone, the near-dead town featured in my novel CURRENCY OF SOULS.

Both CURRENCY OF SOULS and THE TURTLE BOY will see release this year, or early next in foreign language editions. CURRENCY OF SOULS will be released as a mass market paperback by Polish publisher Proszynski Media, while THE TURTLE BOY will be released in hardcover, paperback, and audio by Italian publisher Gargoyle Books. This edition of THE TURTLE BOY will also include PEREGRINE’S TALE.

On the short story front, a number of my previously published stories are currently reappearing in a series of anthologies designed for distribution exclusively in e-book format. There are a few more of these books still to appear, but in the meantime, you can find the following at Amazon.com or wherever e-books are sold: BRIMSTONE DREAMS, edited by Joe NassiseHALLOWEEN SPIRITS, edited by Lisa Morton, POSSESSED, edited by Nate Kenyon, and AMERICAN HORROR, edited by Scott Nicholson.

And speaking of e-books, if you’re one of those readers who have enjoyed my work, but frequently lamented the fact that they were previously only available in expensive limited editions, I invite you to check out the list of available titles I have made available as e-books.

In movie news (still sounds strange to say that), the little-movie-that-could, SLIME CITY MASSACRE, in which I play the male lead, opposite Jennifer Biel, and such genre stalwarts as Debbie Rochon, Brooke Lewis, and Lee Perkins, is now available on DVD and Blu-Ray at Wal-Mart, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other retail outlets. In a few months, you’ll also be able to stream it from your favorite In Demand channel. The movie will also be doing a limited theatrical run, which is no small feat for an independent production. Kudos to director Greg Lamberson for his tireless efforts to get SCM seen by as many people as possible.

More updates as they come in!