The Spirits of the Island, Whispering in your Ears: TRIBESMEN in Audiobook

Hey all,

Hope things are good with you. It’s been a busy couple of weeks for me.  Busy but good.

For starters, my novella Tribesmen has been released as an audiobook narrated by Joe Hempel. This was my first book released and to this day it’s the one people talk to me about the most. I’m very proud to have it introduced to a new audience. You can pick that up here (at a discounted rate if you already have the Kindle version, I think) or on Audible or iTunes.

Check out the new cover by Dyer Wilk:

Tribesmen audiobook cover final

As with any of my stuff: if you want to support my work: the absolute best way of doing it is leaving an Amazon or Goodreads review and/or telling your friends about this dope book you read. Much appreciated!

Moving on…

Last week also saw the debut of the newest Cemetery Dance Online column. In this one I talk about why I believe modern indie publishing has picked up a lot of its tricks from the B-movie hucksters from the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s. You can read that right here. I’m pretty happy with it.

Finally, but not final..ist? is a new episode of my (supposed to be) weekly YouTube show. I discuss Arrow Video’s American Horror Project Vol. 1, which means I review 3 movies and end with a book recommendation.

picframe episode 4

If you like this show, tell me about why in the comments. Then subscribe so you don’t miss an episode. If you did miss an episode, you can click this playlist right here and watch all of them in a row. Because what’s healthier than that?

Have a good one!

Headed Downstream (or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love Trends)

I don’t write to trends. And this is probably why “period Euro-horror possession story” isn’t its own Amazon sub-category yet. I don’t consider this a virtue or a failing. It just is.

But sometimes trends bump into my interests, which is the case with the two aquatic horror novellas that I’ve co-written with Cameron Pierce.

(My regular crowd is now asking: “wait. ‘two aquatic horror novellas? Where’s the other one?” To which I now answer: “Surprise! We just had a new book drop called Crawling Darkness and you can buy it now in ebook or paperback!)

crawling

Our publisher on these, Severed Press, has found success exploiting certain niches on Amazon. It’s not the way I read, I’m much more prone to follow specific authors than story-types, but being the same way with my movie watching: I understand the impulse (put a satanic cult in your movie and you see if I don’t watch it). But there is no denying the evidence that a lot of folks get a hankering for Kaiju stories, or zombie stories, or giant shark stories, and we authors should be more than willing to help fill that demand. It’s our job–especially in the genres–to entertain.

Which brings me back to that “I don’t write to trends” statement. I don’t pass judgement on people who do write to trends, writing while always keeping one finger on the pulse of the market. Hell, most days I wish I could do that. But I know that I’m not really able to. My “process”(oh no, he’s using words like process… what’s next? Gonna start tweeting about his word counts and instagraming pictures of himself in coffee shops with the hashtag #writerslife or #amwriting… I don’t think I could take that level of self-involvement), such as it is, can only gain momentum when I’m into the book I’m working on. If I’m doing something that feels wrong… boy does a project take forever to crank out. And that’s if I can manage to dislodge it at all.

I can only speak for myself  in these matters (and kinda for Cameron, since I get a front-row seat to his process when we write together), but there’s not a drop of cynicism in choosing to write in a proven, or “hot”, sub-genre. We’re doing this because there’s an overlap with the kinds of stories we like to write and the kind of story more-people-than-usual seem to want to read. We’ve got a story to tell and it’s a story that our eccentricities, obsessions, and interests make us  uniquely suited to tell.

For better or for worse (and believe me, some readers would lean on the ‘worse’ there, take a look at the amazon reviewer who thinks we were on drugs when we wrote it, or the ones who think the idea of a giant catfish is flat-out stupid) Bottom Feeders is a book that only we could’ve written: a combination of my penchant for rural/southern noir, a third act demonstrating Cameron’s affinity for weirdo cosmic horror, and the whole damn thing struck-through with our mutual affinity for Jaws. It’s a book that has sold well, either in whole or in part because it’s an aquatic horror story, but it’s in no way us “selling out”or compromising just because there’s a little water and a fish in it.

It’s the same with our new book, Crawling Darkness. I’ve been living in Philly for three years now and I’ve been itching to tell a story set in my adoptive home. This is it! The book opens with a character going on a run through a park… that’s the park I run in! I mean, I’ve never seen any killer eels in that park, but you never know.

And as much of a debt that it owes to the animals attack novels of the past (Guy N. Smith) and carries shades of an X-files-like conspiracy, we made sure that it also has a helping the “lots of smaller creatures run amok” sub-genre that we love (Critters, Gremlins, etc.).

For what Cameron’s bringing to the table in this one: I think the characters here shine and they are almost uniformly folks that I would identify as Pierce-ian. And there’s fishing discussion, which has become Cameron’s bread and butter in recent years, he’s even edited a forthcoming anthology of fishing non-fiction for a major publisher (which I’m in, coincidentally… thanks, bud).

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So whatever, not sure how to end this blog other than with a declaration:

Yeah, I write to trends now, I guess. I’ll write whatever I damn well feel like! Wanna fight about it?*

*I don’t actually want to fight you. I’d lose, I’ve got spindly little writer’s arms. But what I do want is for you to buy, read, review, talk, share, tweet, facebook, Goodreads the hell out of our new book. That would make me very happy and appreciative.

That Big News…

If you’re at all into horror fiction, by now this news has probably blown up your various social media timelines:

The Gruesome Tensome: A Short Story Tribute to the Films of Herschell Gordon Lewis is now on sale! You can order the paperback right here.

gruesome tensome

I’m beyond pleased to be in this book. I share the table of contents with both friends and writers of which I count myself a fan. Plus, this is the fourth Matthew Revert cover I’ve been happy to be sharing.

I think my entry here is one of the best short stories I’ve written, if not The best. A big part of why I enjoy this story, “The Missing Years”, is because it’s a very personal piece of fiction.

Yes. My entry in the book about blood ‘n guts maestro HGL, director of Blood Feast and 2,000 Maniacs, is capital-P Personal. And maybe even a touch mushy.

A little context: the publishing world can sometimes move slowly.This is not news. Nor is it really context.

Editor Nick Cato has been working on this book for close to three years, and I was the last of the authors brought on board (I was a zero hour addition after another author had to drop out and they didn’t want to rename the book The Gruesome Ninesome). Maybe two or three weeks after I was invited to be a part of the anthology came the sad news that Something Weird Video’s Mike Vraney had passed away (Shock Till You Drop has a great oral history of the company from Frank Hennenlotter). There are many people (myself included) who would likely be ignorant of HGL’s films if it weren’t for Vraney. Or at the very least we may not have had access to them.

For our short stories, the authors were instructed to choose a period of HGL’s filmography and allow it to inspire our fiction. The man has worked in a lot of different genres outside of splatter (starting out in nudie cuties and even experimenting with children’s movies with a gonzo Mother Goose adaptation), so there was a good amount of inspiration up for grabs. Around the same time as the anthology was coming together, Vinegar Syndrome released three “lost” films from the director. All three are semi-softcore oddities that Lewis (I think) has still never officially claimed and these “lost” films were the period I gravitated towards for my story.

With all of this going on around late-2012 early-2013, I allowed the idea of film preservation and cult film distribution to influence my story as much as any one period of Lewis’s filmography. And because of that I think “The Missing Years” is stronger for it.

What I’m trying to say is: if you’re someone who reads me but you only like “the wet stuff” then you should still buy this book, most of the other authors are going to have you covered, but when you get to my story please don’t be disappointed. I’ve written a quieter horror story here, maybe even something a touch cosmic around the edges. What resulted is not only a tribute to one of the men who’s shaped most of our aesthetics, those of us in the horror business, but also a tribute to the folks working to preserve these odd films for a new generation.

Now time to change subjects and get heavy:

This blog’s headline was deliberately misleading. The news that everyone’s really talking about is last Friday’s announcement from Samhain Publishing that they would be closing their doors. I haven’t been an “active” author with the company for a little while, but they, under then-horror-editor Don D’Auria, released my first three full-length novels.

I don’t have much to add to the conversation about this still-developing situation other than to share my immediate reaction: sadness.

Sadness that the members of the marketing, editorial, and sales staff that I’ve gotten to know pretty well would be losing their jobs. I’ve gone to two HorrorHound Conventions and both were greatly improved by getting to hang out with Samhain’s intelligent and friendly staffers. I hope all are okay and all are beginning the process of landing on their feet.

My heart also goes out to authors who suddenly have books without homes and backlists that are in the process of becoming unavailable.

My best to all undergoing this process and I’m hoping all legalities get sorted out sooner (rather than later) so these books can continue to scare the hell out of readers.

And… because I was taught by a friend to always deliver bad news couched inside of two pieces of good news: my newest column is now up on Cemetery Dance Online and details 4 non-fiction film texts that all horror fans should read.

Peace!

 

 

Auditory Hallucinations (Plus a new surprise book!)

It’s been a big couple of weeks. And a big couple of weeks means that I have a lot of stuff to share with you. And having a lot of stuff to share with you means that I want you to be able to easily digest all this awesomeness.

There’s only one way to deliver all this big news…

A Bulleted List!

  • If you’re a plugged-in horror fan than you probably have already seen this, but if not here’s the link to the podcast interview I did for The Horror Show with Brian Keene. Both Brian and Dave were gracious and patient interviewers and I think I was able to fumble through my nerves and fannish-ness to make some salient points. Inside there’s discussion of my superhero origin story (it involves a Stephen King clothes-hanger mobile and The Drive-In by Joe Landale), Zero Lives Remaining (Mr. Keene says some very nice things about the hardcover, of which there are only a couple left), The Con Season (which will be coming out sometime soon…probably), and we discuss the current collaboration I’ve got cooking with British badass Adam Howe. It was a real honor.
  • While you’ve got your earbuds in, you might as well click over to Audible, Amazon, or iTunes and pick up the audiobook edition of Zero Lives Remaining. The book was produced and narrated by Joe Hempel and I gotta say that he did an amazing job. The book’s a novella, which makes the audiobook a little under three hours, if you listen to it in one sitting it makes a pretty cool audioplay. Turn out the lights and grab a tea for this one. As a bonus: I think it’s a couple bucks cheaper if you’ve already bought the Kindle or paperback edition from Amazon.
zero lives audio cover low rez

Dyer Wilk’s cover for the Audiobook

  • If you’ve been paying attention to my Facebook and/or twitter feed you’ve probably heard that the once out-of-print Bone Meal Broth has returned in a revised and expanded edition. But I haven’t mentioned it on the blog, so I’m doing so now. It’s 11 stories that run the gamut of the genre and also run the gamut of my career, as it begins with one of my first semi-pro published stories and now ends with the critically-acclaimed “So Bad”, a story that originally appeared in Splatterpunk. Bone Meal Broth is only 99 cents and is a must for completionists. If you’ve read it, I’d really appreciate a quick, honest review on Amazon and/or Goodreads.
  • Lastly, but not leastly, I’ve had a free book available for  a few weeks now but I also haven’t told anyone about it. It’s been hiding on the front page of the website, and I’ve already had a bunch of downloads so…good job to you eagle-eyed stalkers! For the rest of you, I’m putting together a mailing list and if you sign up for it you get the ebook of The Blackest Eyes for free! This ebook contains two never-before-published short stories and the first two chapters of The Con Season. If you’d rather toss me 35 cents or would rather not give me your email (I understand, I wouldn’t give me my email either) you can also buy The Blackest Eyes for 99 cents on Amazon. Of special interest to fans of The First One You Expect, the second story in The Blackest Eyes is actually a semi-sequel to that novella. This is technically the first time I’ve connected any of my fictional worlds (clearly I’m not establishing some kind of far reaching mythos with all my work, because I’ve ended books with the destruction of the world like 2-and-a-half times at this point).
Blackest Eyes revised (1)

Click the cover to buy it or “Free Short Read” on the navigation bar to get it for free.

 

ZERO LIVES REMAINING is Live!

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Hey all,

Just a quick announcement that the ebook and paperback editions of my novella Zero Lives Remaining are out now! So if you’ve been waiting for a way to read the book Fangoria‘s Shawn Macomber called one of 2015’s best reads: now’s your chance to do so cheaply.

Just an FYI: if you purchase the paperback through Amazon, you can download the Kindle version for free through their Matchbook program.

And if you’re in the market for something a little more substantial (and expensive) there are still a handful of the hardcovers left to buy direct from Shock Totem Publications.

Huge thanks to anyone who buys, reads, reviews, or shares the links to the book. That stuff helps so much.

 

In unrelated news: if you were jonesing for another episode of Project: Black T-Shirt, I’ve put the second episode live a little early this week. In this one I discuss Severin Film’s recent blu-ray release of Axe and Kidnapped Coed.

Black T-Shirt Begins

guardian blu

I’ve been a busy bee lately. I’ll have a couple of project announcements coming up soon, but with all this stuff I’ve been working on (and my Cemetery Dance Online column taking up a lot of my “film writing juices”) I haven’t had much time to compose some straight-up movie reviews for the blog.

My solution to this delinquent blogging schedule involves a lot of uses of the word “ummm” and some questionable eye contact. That’s right: I’m doing a weekly YouTube show!

Each episode of Project: Black T-Shirt I’ll be talking about a movie (new release disc, archival title, the new VOD hotness) and then pairing it with a book recommendation.

The first episode is here (the subject is William Friedkin’s The Guardian). Watch it below and be sure to click over to the YouTube channel and hit the “Subscribe” button and let me know what you think (good or bad) with a comment.

 

Links. Links everywhere. (And a cover tease)

How’s it going everyone. Good? Good.

Don’t have a lot of time for extensive blogging, etc. But did want to let everyone know that I’ve got a new post up on Cemetery Dance Online. It’s a follow-up to that one I did 6 months ago about horror fiction that should make the jump to the big screen. I like this format because it acts as a way for me to do stealth reviews/endorsements of movies, TV, and books without having to be topical. For example: I touch on my love of Fargo Season 2, Dahmer, and Honeymoon in this installment.

Some more links, while I’m trying to unload traffic:

Yesterday (yes, two on the same day) my books made an appearance on Hunter Shea and Amber Fallon‘s year-end lists. It’s so nice to be recognized by my peers and extra sweet to be put in the same company as some of the folks on those lists. So huge thanks to them.

And not content with just sharing yesterday’s news: today radio host and blogger Jay Kay put me on another “Best of 2015” list! Worth noting that all three of these mentions are for different titles. I’m diversified! So a big thanks to Jay. (Edit: after I initially posted this I was reminded of another “Top 10” appearance on Shane Douglas Keene’s Shotgun Logic blog. So additional thanks to him.)

Fallon’s list is particularly cool because she says nice things about Zero Lives Remaining. Which is a book only available in hardcover limited edition right now, so feedback on it has been scarce. There are only a handful of copies left of that edition of the book (so act fast if you want one. Once they’re gone they’re gone forever), but a more affordable paperback and ebook edition should be forthcoming later this month.

And finally, since you’ve sat through all those words without pretty pictures. Here’s a little preview of something that will be coming in the next few weeks. Don’t get your hopes too far up, “The Blackest Eyes” is not a novel. But it will be completely FREE.

This cover was done by Dyer Wilk and I’ll have more to share about this project soon.

Blackest Eyes revised (1)

 

The Giving(away) Season

 

Edit: thanks everyone who entered. A winner has been picked and prizes will be mailed out tomorrow (1/4/2016). Happy New Year!

My friend,artist Dyer Wilk (website here if you need design work done, affordable rates), made me these seasonally-themed covers and it got me thinking: I haven’t done a giveaway in a while.

Leave out some sugar cookies and let’s get me mailing out some crap.

To enter, all you need to do is leave a review for one of my books on amazon (you can leave a good, bad, or indifferent review: it doesn’t matter as long as you read and are telling other about the book) and then drop me an email letting me know you’ve done so. Only new reviews count, so no trying to pull a fast one.

Private blog, goodreads, and Barnes & Noble reviews are all great and appreciated, but they should be in addition to an amazon one. That’s where most people get their books. I didn’t make the world, I just live in it.

If you haven’t read one of my books or have already reviewed the ones you own (or you’re looking to get a gift for a friend, you hero you): you can still participate in the giveaway. What you have to do is buy one of my books, ebook or paperback, and then email me your proof of purchase.

Yes, this is a purchase necessary giveaway, but it’s also one where you’re guaranteed to win a prize.

Every person who sends in a valid entry will receive either a book or dvd from my private library. I’m not going to promise that all the prizes are spectacular, but at the very least you can find solace in the fact that you’ve made me endure the Philadelphia postal system.

On top of the chintzy prizes I’ll be mailing out: one lucky winner will also receive a shirt of their choice from Skurvy Ink Press. You don’t have to choose one of the three designs they offer that feature my books, but I will be offended if you don’t.

The giveaway ends on January 1st, 2016 and on that day I’ll draw a winner for the shirt.

Entries should be sent to adamcesare @ gmail dot com with the subject heading “Holiday Giveaway” and include your mailing address. If you win the shirt I’ll be in touch to ask your preference for size and design.

The fine print: offer only valid for U.S. residents (people in other countries can still play, get in touch and I’ll send you an ebook, but the shipping costs on physical items would murder me).

Happy hackin’ holidays!

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What to Buy the Creepy Kid in your Life

 

Quick post here, just letting you know that another installment of my column for Cemetery Dance Online went up yesterday.

It’s a “Holiday Gift Guide” that’s really just an excuse for me to write about movies and books that I like. And for fun I paired them together, movies and books, like I’m some kinda fancy pants sommelier.

PaperCuts-web

You can click here and read that.

Also, I’m hearing people are starting to receive their copies of Zero Lives Remaining. They seem happy with it, even after the long wait. I knew they would be, it’s a dynamite production.

Not many of the signed and numbered 100 copies left.

ZERO LIVES REMAINING is here!

It’s been a long time coming, but my haunted video arcade novella Zero Lives Remaining is finally printed and ready to ship.

Shock Totem Publications faced several production delays on this title, but there was a big time payoff for that long wait: one of the coolest books I’ve ever had the pleasure of holding.

Here I am, this past weekend, signing them all:

 

 

You can go here to see pictures of the finished product and place your order (it comes packaged in a plastic VHS clamshell and with bonus liner insert and trading cards). These will sell out, Shock Totem just yesterday posted these pictures and already this limited edition is over 50% spoken for.

As I’ve said in previous posts: yes, this is an expensive (and relatively short) book, so if you’re on the fence about it or are not a collector know that there will be more affordable ebook and paperback editions. Those will be available sometime after the “early adopters” who bought the limited have received their copies.

Huge thanks to everyone who’s been patient while we made this a book you’ll be proud to have on your shelf, and an equally huge thanks to everyone invlolved with the production.

Before you go, be sure to watch the short film Mike Lombardo and Reel Splatter Productions shot to promote the book: