Monday, March 28, 2016

Apocalypse Monday

My biggest fear -- death by big ass tidal wave. This piece is titled No God's Gonna Save You Now by Steve McGhee.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Reminder: I'll Be Attending Spooky Mayhem 1-3 April in Orlando and Fandomonium 9 April in Gainesville

I just wanted to remind everyone that I'll be attending Spooky Mayhem 1-3 April at The Wyndham Hotel in Orlando. I'll be sharing a table with Mitch Hyman, the father of Bubba, the Redneck Werewolf and Vinnie and Mook: Hitmen in Paradise. We'll be located in the "The Dark Alley" along with the Coffee Shop of Horrors. If you swing by to say hello, I promise you'll have the time of your death... er, I mean the time of your life.

On 9 April, I'll be attending Fandomonium: A Library Comic Con Event at the Alachua County Headquarters Library at 401 University Avenue in Gainesville. At 2:30 I'll join other writers and artists on the "Comics Are For Everyone" panel in Meeting Room B.

I hope to see a lot of you at one of the two events. 

Monday, March 21, 2016

Apocalypse Monday

I recently discovered some fantastic post-apocalypse artwork by Michael Zak. This is his vision of Tokyo after the end of the world.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Interview With Horror Fuel

Recently I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Kelli R. Marchman Mcneely, who is a fellow monster aficionado and dog lover, about my past life with the CIA and my current life as a writer. Among the topics we discussed is my latest book, the horror techno-thriller THA: Trans-Human Assassins. You can read the entire interview here. And be sure to drop by Kelli's homepage at Horror Fuel.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The Writing Marathon Has Begun

After a short hiatus from writing, this week I dived into the deep end of the pool as I began the first of several writing projects that will take me to the end of 2016.

This past Monday I began an entirely new project for me tentatively titled THA: Trans-Human Assassins. With twenty-three years of experience working for the CIA and another thirteen writing horror. I've decided to merge the two into a horror techno-thriller. The novel includes genetically-enhanced killers, advanced technology, super bio-weapons, nuclear arms, North Korea, a dashing and charismatic CIA hero, and enough blood and gore to keep everyone happy.

This summer I'll begin work on the third book in the Hell Gate young adult post-apocalypse series. This one takes place in Manchuria in northeast China and will introduce some viscerally evil demons. I'm already working on ideas for the fourth book in the saga, which will take our heroes to Japan. Following that, I'm going to pull together the notes from my beta readers and draft the final revision of OSS: Office of Supernatural Services. Hopefully I begin publishing that series in 2017.

The final touches are being put on the self-published edition of The Vampire Hunters trilogy and the three books will be available in print and Kindle editions in April. This will be the first time in almost two years that all three books are available at once.

Another project I'm working on is the compilation of a second anthology, this one of my non-zombie-themed short stories, most of which have never been published. I hope to have that book available by the fall. And I have a special Christmas surprise planned for all my fans.

That's it for now. The rest of this year will be very busy and productive, so tune in regularly to get the latest news.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Apocalypse Monday

Between the respiratory viral infection and pneumonia, it's been a while since I've posted on my blog. Now that I'm fully back on my feet, let's end the world with a big bang.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Cruise of the Living Dead: A Zombie Anthology Is Published

It's official. Cruise of the Living Dead: A Zombie Anthology went live (pun intended) today. It's my birthday gift to my fans. I hope you enjoy having most of my living dead stories collected in one place.

If you do, please give me a birthday gift and leave an Amazon review. It does not have to be anything elaborate. Just rate the anthology and provide a quick one sentence comment. The more reviews I get, the more Amazon will promote Cruise. And if you do like it, please let your friends know about Cruise. Where else can you get so much flesh-munching, blood-dripping, gut-spewing fun for under a dollar?
Many thanks.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

An Open Letter to Many of My Writer Colleagues: Please Stop With the Political Bullshit!!

Before you start screaming about First Amendment rights and self censorship, I agree one hundred percent that every American has a right to express themselves in any manner they want. I spent twenty-three years of my life in the shadows defending this country against its enemies, and it would be hypocritical of me now to tell anyone what they can and cannot say. This blog is not about writers exercising their freedom of speech.

It's a plea for my colleagues to use common sense when posting and show common courtesy to their readers.

I see myself, first and foremost, as an entertainer. People read my novels and short stories to escape from whatever burdens their daily life, whether it's passing class, balancing the household budget, the trials and tribulations of living with a teenager, restraining the urge to strangle a boss or co-worker, or whatever. Hopefully they also read my blog and follow me on Facebook and Twitter. My social media presence may not be the most exciting, but I try to make it interesting. There is writing-related information for those of us in or wanting to get into the business, genre news, pet photos, and updates on my books and convention appearances. Since I write about vampires, zombies, giant bugs, the end of the world, and portals into Hell, that's what I talk about in social media. It's why my fans follow me.

As a reader, I anticipate the same things from those writers whom I follow.

Sadly, over the past few months many of my colleagues have jumped into the political arena with a ferocity that makes Thunderdome look like an elementary school playground. I'm not talking about those writers who have expressed their support for a particular candidate. I'm talking about those who have turned their social media sites into hate fests. I've seen more venom-filled memes and comments on some writers' Facebook pages then I have on political commentary boards. I visit these writers' sites to check when their latest book is coming out, see if they've posted anything that might be of interest, and chat about the craft and the genre. I do not visit these sites to be told that I hate women or immigrants or the poor if I don't support a particular candidate, or to be called a homophobe or a misogynist or a douchebag or a Nazi if I support a candidate that particular writer does not like. And I've had enough!! If these writers cannot respect me and my decisions, then the Hell with them. I've unfriended a lot of people in the industry over the past few weeks (writers, artists, editors, celebrities), including a very talented and successful writer who I have known for years, have considered a good friend, and on whose podcast I've appeared numerous times. I've deleted their unread books from my Kindle or given the print copy to my cats to shred. Those are reviews from me these writers will never get and future book sales they will never see.

For those writers who are saying, "Why does this asshole thinks he's so special to tell us what to do?" my answer is I'm not special. I'm just a writer struggling to keep my head above water in an industry that is awash with competition. By avoiding your social media sites and not buying your books, I'm not going to have any impact on you career.

But before you tell me what I can do to myself and the horse I rode in on, ask yourself this. If you've pissed me off with your daily diatribes and hate-laced rantings, how many other readers have you pissed off? Every writer screaming that the Democrat or Republican candidate they like is the only sane choice, and if someone supports the other side then that person should unfriend them now, runs the risk of alienating half their fan base. Can you afford to lose that many readers? None of us are Stephen King. He could lose half of his readers overnight and still cash a royalty check in the morning larger than all of our checks combined. There are hundreds of thousands of writers out there vying for the readers' attention who are just waiting for you to be petty and spiteful and drive your readers into their arms.

If you think I'm full of it, take a look at the successful writers. I'm not referring to the huge names in the industry and those who are best sellers. Check out the social media of those writers who have flourishing and successful mid-list careers. They don't waste their time whining about politics and inciting (or pissing off) their readers. They write. They put up humorous and/or informative postings. They treat their fans the way fans should be treated -- like good friends who can't wait to see what the next posting is or to read the next book. And those writers will be around long after the rest of you are gone and forgotten.

For those of you wondering about my politics, this will be the only time I discuss it on my social media because, having brought up this subject, it's only fair that I let you know where I stand. I don't have a candidate I support. In my opinion, this is the most unimpressive array of contenders yet. As a former CIA officer with twenty-three years experience, I have major reservations about voting for a candidate who displays such a callous disregard for security classifications. I don't think socialism will work in this country (I've seen first-hand how it failed in the Soviet Union and North Korea). I do not feel a candidate is entitled to the Presidency because his father and brother held the post. I deeply distrust candidates who vote one way as elected officials but change their stances when on the campaign trail. And while I enjoy watching Trump upset the political establishment on both sides of the aisle by going against everything that is the norm, I have major doubts about whether he has the temperament to be President. The only candidates I thought were intelligent, rationale, and honest enough to sit in the Oval Office were eliminated very early in the process, which to me speaks volumes of what politics has become.

I'm not posting this because someone picked on "my candidate" and hurt my feelings.

I'm posting this because if writers cannot respect their readers they do not deserve to be writers.