He might’ve mentioned the interview we did for Arm Cast: Dead Sexy Horror Podcast at Scares That Care Weekend… and a few other important things going on with him…
2014 was another fine year for me and my writing, as well as other things in my life… as I’ve done for the last couple of years, I’ll spell it all out for ya… I also do this so I can go back and see what I’ve actually accomplished. I especially like to re-read these yearly posts when I’m struggling to write and feeling like I haven’t amounted to much so far. You know… typical manic writer stuff.
Here goes the Year In Review for 2014
The first day of the year saw the Kokomo’s Cafe Complete audiobook released. Narrated by the wonderful Jack De Golia (who will end up doing the entire Flagler Beach Fiction Series), it is still one of my favorite set of stories I’ve written. And Jack’s voice adds so much more to each character.
Also released on the first of the year was my movie adaptation of the zombies vs. Navy SEALs story Zulu Six: Origins in paperback, ahead of the movie (actual movie release sometime in early 2015 as far as I know). I’m looking forward to seeing how the film matches the book, as i wrote it while they were filming and got to see the dailies to see the actors and action.
January 2nd was the release of the beginning of the fifth book in the Flagler Beach Fiction Series with Nerdz Comics And More Part 1. It follows the rest of the series with the two opening shorts.
January 7th the Epic Apocalypse – Apocalyptic Horror Box Set was released. I’m proud to be a part of this massive collection, with fellow authors Mark Tufo, Heath Stallcup, John O’Brien, Joe McKinney, Shawn Chesser and James Cook.
January 9th I released Nerdz Comics And More Part 2, with 2 more short stories to add to the growing series.
A week later, on January 16th, Nerdz Comics And More Part 3 was released.
On January 20th the audiobook version of Darlene Bobich: Zombie Killer was released. Narrated by Carolyn Nicely, who did an excellent job.
January 24th saw another audiobook release, this time Golden Lion Cafe Complete, the second in the Flagler Beach Fiction Series and again narrated by Jack De Golia.
January 27th was the release date for Zombie Football, another book for the movie company. Surprisingly enough, it’s about zombies attacking during a football game. Hopefully at some point they’ll get around to making the movie version of this one.
The next day the movie company released Football Espionage, another book I wrote for the movie guys. This one has no zombies (wild!) and pits the Russians vs. Americans trying to manipulate the Big Game.
January was a busy month for releases for me, with 10. What a great start to the year, right?
On February 18th the third short story in my horror erotica series (released by Hazardous Press) came out: Holiday In The Sun. Lots of sex and horror once again.
February 20th the audiobook version of Keyport Cthulhu was released. Narrated by Mike Chadwick, who was able to capture the gloom that is an homage to Lovecraft.
Not a busy month as far as releases, but I got in some great writing in the small month. Stories that would see the light of day before the end of the year, too.
On March 2nd I released Dying Days: Siege 1 And 2 Box Set. Both novellas I’d written with author Tim Baker in one handy eBook, and all for the great price of 99 cents (as of this writing… get it before it goes back to $2.99, still a bargain)
Lets Scare Cancer To Death was released on March 8th, a charity anthology I had a Dying Days story in. Proceeds go to the V Foundation for Cancer Research.
March 10th I released another box set, this time Dying Days: Double Set 1, which combined Dying Days: Origins with Still Dying: Select Scenes From Dying Days. A bargain at $2.99 for both releases.
March 25th the third Flagler Beach Fiction Series audiobook was released, J And J Fitness Complete. Once again narrated by Jack De Golia with his unique voices.
Also in March: The Authors Supporting Our Troops event technically came to an end. We collected 2,500 author-signed books for the soldiers in remote areas of the world. Want to learn more about the even bigger 2015 event about to begin? https://www.facebook.com/groups/ASOT2014/
Not an April Fool’s joke, the Horror Within: 8 Book Boxed Set was released. Featuring my first Dying Days novella as well as books from Travis Tufo, Tony Baker, Eric A. Shelman, Ian Woodhead, Robert Chazz Chute, Mark Tufo, Scott Nicholson and JT Warren. And it is currently 99 cents so grab a copy!
April 2nd saw Nerdz Comcs And More Part 4 released.
The next day Flagler Fish Company Complete audiobook (the fourth in the Flagler Beach Fiction Series) was released with another excellent job from narrator Jack De Golia.
April 14th and Nerdz Comics And More Part 5, the final release for this book, was out.
On April 18th Nerdz Comics And More Complete was released with all ten stories in one print book.
The rest of the month was spent writing and playing too much on social media.
May 30th I released the Dying Days 2 audiobook, narrated by Amanda M. Lehman, who did a great job on this and the first audiobook in the series.
And that was it for May! Of course I was writing and doing fun stuff like going to the World Horror Convention with Special Gal the beginning of the month. Yeah, it’s a dirty job but somebody has to hang at the bar with Mark Tufo, Joe McKinney and Brian Keene and look interesting…
June 19th Dying Days 4 was released, right in the middle of my annual Summer of Zombie Blog Tour. I even planned it this way, if you can believe it. I’ll chat more about the blog tour on my Arm Cast: Dead Sexy Horror Podcast episode #28. I swear.
June 23rd the fourth Necromance horror erotica short from Hazardous Press was released, Downtown. More horror and more erotica and what more could you ask for?
Another slow month as far as actual releases were concerned.
On July 4th the Arm Cast: Dead Sexy Podcast made it’s debut, with interviews with Mark Tufo and John O’Brien. 2014 will end with episode #28 (the Year In Review episode) and 2015 should still see new episodes every Friday.
A month almost passed before A Quick Bite Of Flesh: An Anthology of Zombie Flash Fiction was released on eBook from Hazardous Press, giving me an actual release for the month. One of my flash fiction shorts kicks it off. The print book has been out for a long time, so I’m not sure if July 30th is the actual date this version was released but according to Amazon it was, so…
More writing in July without any real releases. I can distinctly remember wondering if all the work I was doing would ever see the light of day, as several short stories for invite-only anthologies were finished in these weeks without definite release dates. Some of them saw the light of day by the end of the year and a few are scheduled for 2015.
On the 3rd of August Change Jar Books Part 1, the beginning of the sixth book in the Flagler Beach Fiction Series.
August 6th the Fairly Wicked Tales anthology from Angelic Knight Press was released, featuring my short, “The Wolf Who Cried Boy.”
August 11th Change Jar Books Part 2 was released.
On August 19th the eBook version of the soon-to-be-released zombie vs. Navy SEALs movie, Zulu Six: Origins, went live.
August 23rd saw the State of Horror: Illinois anthology from Charon Coin Press get released, with a new Dying Days short story.
The following day (according to Amazon) State of Horror: New Jersey anthology from Charon Coin Press was put out. It featured another new Dying Days short story.
August 28th I had yet another new Dying Days zombie short story in a new anthology, namely Fading Hope. This story is really, really dark.
It looks like some of those stories I’d been writing finally got released…
On September 3rd an interview I did was added to the Interviewing Authors Anthology Volume 1 from Tim Knox, where I talk about writing zombie stories.
September 8th brought out the audibook version of Nerdz Comics And More Complete, once again ready by Jack De Golia.
Also on the 8th my debut full-length traditional horror novel, Chelsea Avenue, was released by Ragnarok Publications. After having written so many shorts and novellas, it was great to have a longer piece published after all this time. I’m damn proud of this story, too.
september 11th another short I’d been working on, a creepy horror tale, made it into Suspended In Dusk anthology, with an introduction by Jack Ketchum. How cool is that?
September 16th Change Jar Books Part 3 was released.
On October 6th Change Jar Books Part 4 was released.
October 17th the final part was put out: Change Jar Books Part 5. You can expect the audiobook version (once again narrated by Jack De Golia) in 2015.
Hallowed Horror was another box set I got to be in in 2014. On October 21st it was released and is currently only 99 cents so grab a copy asap! Featuring Mark Tufo, Christine Sutton, Scott Nicholson, Lisa Vasquez, Eric A Shelman, Chantal Noordeloos, Heath Stallcup, Jaime Johnesee, Eden Crowne, and featuring my “Tool Shed” horror novella you can’t find anywhere else!
November 11th saw Dying Days: Origins 2, featuring David Monsour (the character in the book and the real man on the cover), released right in the middle of the Winter of Zombie Blog Tour. More on the tour in the podcast.
Change Jar Books Complete came out November 16th, with all ten stories in it.
Most of November was spent writing several projects, including another movie adaptation that should be filmed in early 2015 and then the book will be released as well.
December 15th the audiobook version of Highway To Hell was released, and read by none other than Jack Wallen. Why did it take so long to get released? That’s a story for the podcast.
Even by my standards December was a slow month. I worked mostly on a movie adaptation novel as well as a few short stories for upcoming anthologies in 2015. I wrote a big chunk of the first draft of Dying Days 5 as well.
* * * * *
43 more releases in 2014!
What will 2015 bring? Hopefully many more releases and many more new readers
Here’s to another great year coming up!
To hear the podcast version of this Year In Review, visit
About eight years ago I was a completely newbie author with a couple of fantasy books out and maybe three horror short stories published to my credit (I have a lot more horror stories published now), and I went to Horrorfind Weekend convention in Baltimore, Maryland. I sat at a table in the dealer room and sold a few books and met a few people. It was fun.
But I stayed in the dealer room for 99% of the weekend, convinced no one there would give me the time of day. And, unfortunately, I was kinda right. A couple of authors were friendly (Michael Laimo said hi to me) but I was just there. And it was my own fault, because I didn’t talk to anyone or make any effort. Believe it or not, I was shy and insecure among all these great authors.
Cut to the bar area that night.
Brian Keene was sitting there, and I knew who he was thanks to MySpace (remember MySpace?) and because his book The Rising had completely knocked me off of my feet. I kid you not. I owe the Dying Days zombie series to this man, because without his book I wouldn’t have attempted zombie fiction. I even wrote a piece about it conveniently titled “Why I Write About Zombies” (feel free to read it and then come back for the rest of this post… I’ll wait…)
I walked up to the bar, as close to Brian as I could get without bumping into him, and casually turned and stared at him like a little schoolgirl. Brian Keene turned to me with a smile and said hi.
I said blahbehchickablehblehugghhhh and felt my chest and throat tighten. Then I did what every cool person does when meeting an idol… I ran away like a little schoolgirl.
Cut to eight years later and across the country in Portland Oregon.
The World Horror Convention, and while I’d come a long way but had much more to do and to rise, I felt I’d earned a place at least at the kid’s table. And I was fine with it. And when I heard Brian Keene was going to be the Grandmaster of the weekend, I was excited. And then nervous.
I wanted to meet him. I needed to meet him. I posted on Facebook about my last and only encounter with him, and how this was going to be cosmic payback. I would stride up to him with a grin, pat him on the back and we’d hug it out like real men. Or something like that.
Of course, on Thursday afternoon, as Special Gal and I had lunch in the hotel restaurant, Brian Keene walked into the lobby and I might have squealed a little. She thought it was quite amusing and ‘threatened’ to call him over, but I was not ready. I needed time to prepare.
Cut to a few hours later.
Special Gal and I were walking through the lobby, minding our own business, when I saw Brian Keene chatting with a few people. As I went to go past him he suddenly turned and noticed me. He smiled and said hi. He put his hand out and I turned my brain off and gripped his hand, shaking firmly.
He said something but I have no idea what because I was too busy trying not to talk or say something incoherent. I nodded, smiled back, and walked away. Special Gal busted my chops the rest of the night but I was flying.
The next time I saw Brian Keene was at a zombie panel, and as it wrapped up Special Gal turned to me and said in no uncertain terms we weren’t leaving the room without a picture of me and Brian together.
I nodded dumbly. She asked him to take it and he smiled and took us into the hallway.
Then he put his arm around me and said “we need to do the Devil Horns, right?”
He had either done his homework and knew who I was (and that I was a fellow Metalhead) or it was an excellent guess. Either way, I was damn proud as the picture was taken. But, wait… there’s more…
“Are you going to the Gross Out Contest tonight?” Brian asked me.
I had no intention of going but I said yes. Of course I was going to go!
We made small talk for a few minutes and the guy was just genuine. He gave me a few minutes of his time and even said to find him at the bar that night so we could have a drink.
I learned three things from this encounter…
1. I am still such a FanBoy when it comes to him but at least I strung a few sentences together
2. THIS is the way you treat fellow authors, no matter how big or small they are. Brian Keene’s WHC posts aren’t just about what he did and accomplished but about pointing out all the new writers he met during the con, and praising the new batch of authors who are inspired by him
3. Special Gal is the greatest woman I have ever met and I am damn lucky to have her in my corner to help me fumble through the non-writing parts of this career. Friends lucky enough to have met her in Portland can attest to this
My goal for years to come is not only to emulate him but also to remember this lesson. Oh, and now I want to hang out with him again and pick his brain for hours… and I’ll try not to make it too creepy…