All-Hallows Cesare

It’s been over a month since I last updated the ol’ blog, but I’ve been far from sedentary.

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Leatherface really wants that Video Night shirt I’m wearing. He could just order his own…

Took a road trip up to Rock and Shock in Worcester, MA earlier in the month and it was just as great as always, even better because Black T-Shirt Books had a huge table with all of our authors in attendance.

The Adventure Time Spoooktacular 2017 hit comic shops and seems to have been well-received with both critics and fans of the show (Paste Magazine called it “wildly entertaining” and Nerdist says it’s a “fantastic anthology that Adventure Time fans can’t miss”). If you still haven’t grabbed your copy you can call your local comic store or order direct from BOOM! Studios.

And on top of all that (and some top-secret stuff it’s too early to talk about), I’ve been a busy, stammering, bee on YouTube with my Project: Black T-Shirt channel. If you’ve missed me giving a tour of my movie shelves, discussing Chucky’s latest massacre, paging through Grady Hendrix new book Paperbacks from Hell, or wanted the festival-circuit heads up on Tragedy Girls, please click over there and binge-watch. Also hit those “like” and “subscribe” buttons if you don’t mind.

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Black T-Shirt Books Expands!

Since the launch of my back catalog re-releases, I’ve wanted to take the Black T-Shirt Books brand further than simply putting out my own stuff.

Well, today is the day that dream becomes a reality. Scott Cole and Patrick Lacey are two of the most original voices in horror and bizarro (in Scott’s case) fiction, and I am delighted that their new titles are launching today as part of the Black T-Shirt family.

Both of these books are now available in ebook and paperback, and both authors will have copies with them to sign and sell if you’re lucky enough to be attending Scares That Care this weekend. Even if you’re not attending: please support the charity if possible.

Here’s a rundown of each, click the cover to purchase:


A Debt to Be Paid is exactly the kind of horror I enjoy. It’s not “throwback” in the smarmy “did you get the reference I just made?” way, but it does feel apiece with something that could have been published as a supermarket paperback (a slim one, it is a novella, but the Black T-Shirt edition is loaded with extra stories). A Debt to Be Paid is It Follows meets that popular internet myth of shadowmen, plus a little bit of financial crisis allegory. You’re going to love it. Please buy it in ebook or paperback right here.

Scott Cole has one of the best imaginations I’ve ever witnessed in action. I’ve talked about how much I love his novella Superghost, but I think this collection is going to be the book that puts him over the top. Scott is a master of super-short fiction, and in Slices he offers up 34 demented and disturbing tales that pack more punch than stories 3x their size. Which isn’t to turn you off if you don’t like flash fiction, because Slices offers quite a few longer tales as well. This weird and wild collection should be on your list if you like Tim Burton, David Lynch, or think the two of those directors should get together and eat a liverwurst sandwich. Buy it in ebook or paperback here.

Both titles are enrolled in the Kindle Unlimited program, if you wanted to read them that way for free. And the Matchbook program, where if you buy the paperback, you get the ebook for free.

If you pick up one or both (preferable) of these books, it’s worth repeating: Amazon reviews are what help keep us in business, and we appreciate every single one.

Happy reading and I’ll see you in Virginia!

Hot Summer Reads! Horrendous Sunglasses!

Desperate for some creepy reading for when you’re at the beach? I’ve come up with a list of five (it’s actually seven, but don’t tell anyone) novels and audiobooks. You can check that out over on my YouTube channel. If you haven’t hit that subscribe button, I’d love it if you did.

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Are movies more your thing? Well I was lucky enough to get the chance to check out the upcoming 68 Kill at a special screening during Wizard World last month. The movie was directed by Trent Haaga, stars Matthew Gray Gubler and AnnaLynne McCord, and was based on a novel by Bryan Smith. I’ve got a video review of that where I discuss other recent novel-to-film adaptations.

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If you’ve no interest in watching me talk, and would rather read my take on a giant monster story: Exponential is now out in paperback from Black T-Shirt Books. This new edition sports a dope new cover and a brand new afterword. If you already own the old edition: this is the same book, don’t double-dip unless you’re really sure you need to own the new cover. If you’d prefer to save paper: there’s always the ebook, also available for Kindle Unlimited subscribers.

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If you’ve already got that, or monsters aren’t your thing: Year’s Best Hardcore Horror Volume Two is now out in ebook, paperback, and audiobook narrated by Joe Hempel.  There are great authors like Tim Waggoner, Michael Arnzen, and Bryan Smith in there. Along with one by me.

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That’s all for today! Happy reading, stay cool!

TerrorCon 2017 and the short films of XX (2017)

Hey everyone. A couple of quick items:

First of all: This weekend (Feb. 25th-26th) Black T-Shirt Books will be repping hard at TerrorCon 2017 in Providence, RI.

If you’re in New England, I encourage you to stop by. The guest list is insane and I’ll be there slinging books alongside superpals Matt Serafini and Patrick Lacey. Hope to see you there.

Second of all: thank you. The response to Video Night, The Summer Job, and Zero Lives Remaining being re-released has been truly incredible.

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As a quick tip for anyone who’s purchased the paperback editions of any of these books (even if they were the old editions): through Kindle Matchbook you’re eligible to get a FREE ebook copy of the new edition. Just make sure you’re logged into the same Amazon account and that the kindle book rings up $0.00 before you click to purchase. Even if you’re a technophobe: claim your free ebooks because it helps out the books visibility on Amazon.

Lastly but certainly not leastly: I managed to get an episode of Project: Black T-Shirt up in observance of Women in Horror Month. In the episode I do a segment-by-segment rundown of XX, the new multi-director anthology film. Spoiler alert for the video, but: I recommend you check this movie out. Especially if you’re a Jack Ketchum fan, as it includes a great adaptation of one of his best (and most anthologized) stories.


As always: views, likes, comments, and subscribes on the YouTube page help me out immensely.

That’s all for tonight. Hope to see you at the show and thank you again for reading (and reviewing on Amazon) these books. I wouldn’t be able to keep writing if it weren’t for your generous support.

I Am The Pretty Ghost Kaiju That Destroyed Germany

Hey guys and gals,

Quick catch-up post just to dump some links tonight.

First of all: thanks to everyone who came out to the KGB Bar reading last week. Brian Keene, Mary SanGiovanni, Nick Cato, and Leza Cantoral were all awesome. And an extra special big thanks to Christoph Paul for hosting and inviting me to participate.

But speaking of Christoph, I give his new horror film poetry book a shout out in this week’s episode of Project Black T-Shirt. We also discuss the Netflix original film I Am the Pretty Thing that Lives in the House(2016), written and directed by Osgood Perkins and starring Ruth Wilson. I liked it a lot, but click here to find out why.

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Another huge thanks to author/photographer Jonathan Lees, who took this awesome picture while I was reading:

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The week before that I was reviewing Shin Godzilla, which I caught during its limited theatrical run and lived to tell the tale about. That’s right here.

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This week I celebrated a huge milestone in my career with the German-language release of Tribesmen. A huge thank you to Voodoo Press for taking a chance on me overseas. If you’re a German reader, please click over to their website to pick up your copy in ebook or paperback. Here’s that sweet sweet German cover:

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Other than that, things are all quiet on my front. My newest novel, The Con Season, has been selling unbelievably well, probably due to the release of the audiobook and the kind words from everyone who’s taken the time to leave an Amazon review. Just a quick public service reminder that the audiobook’s actually cheaper if you buy the Kindle version ($2.99) and then the audio ($1.99) as opposed to buying the audio straight-out.

Have a great week!

Getting in the Halloween spirit (plus Splatterpunk lives!)

Hey y’all,

It’s been a spell (a couple months) since I checked in on the blog and offered an update. If you follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube I’ve been just as gabby as usual.

Project: Black T-Shirt has been going strong, with weekly video uploads and this week’s is one I’m particularly proud of. It’s a list of 6 great books to get you in that Halloween state-of-mind. Authors like Paul Tremblay, Gillian Flynn, and Bracken MacLeod show up, so please go check it out here. If you’ve got titles of your own you’d like to share: please speak up in the comments.

Speaking of Bracken MacLeod: we’re going to be selling books next weekend at Rock and Shock in Worcester, MA. Author Patrick Lacey will also be joining us at the table, so if you’re going to be at the con: please come by the table and say hi. Maybe even buy a book, both Pat and Bracken have new ones (Dream Woods and Stranded, respectively).

Rock and Shock is always a great time (I’ve been going since the second year, and even though I now live in Philly it’s a great excuse to go sip Dunkin Donuts in New England once a year). It’s a special show: if you’re in the area I guarantee you’ll be happy you went.

Also, if you’re tracking my movements: I’ll be reading at KGB Bar in NYC on October 26th along with Brian Keene, Mary SanGiovanni, Nick Cato, and Christoph Paul (who’s also hosting). If you’re a New Yorker or are willing to travel: I’d love to see you.

In keeping with the Halloween theme: Sinister Grin Press has put All-Night Terror (my collaborative collection with Matt Serafini) on sale for 2 bucks. That’s cheap as hell! If you pick up the book: please consider leaving a quick review when you’re done.

 

 

Lastly but not leastly: if you’re looking for a NEW Halloween treat from me I’ve got a story in Jack Bantry’s new collection Splatterpunk’s Not Dead! There are a ton of great authors in here, and it’s all new stories, so you don’t have to worry about getting skunked with a reprint. My story “Please Subscribe” has already been selected for next year’s Year’s Best Hardcore Horror from Comet Press. So I’m happy with it.

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Other than that, no big publishing news. I’m slowly chipping away at a number of projects, all of them still secret at this point. While you’re waiting for the new stuff: have you read The Con Season? If so: leave a review and then go check out some of the authors in the video at the top of this post.

I’ll have new scares for you soon.

Best,

Adam

 

 

Surprise! THE CON SEASON is available NOW!

First the good news: you can click here, right now, and secure yerself a copy of The Con Season: A Novel of Survival Horror. That’s the ebook link, but paperback will be out in a month or two if you’re an absolute tree-hating physical media diehard.

Here’s the official synopsis:

Horror movie starlet Clarissa Lee is beautiful, internationally known, and…completely broke.

To cap off years of questionable financial and personal decisions, Clarissa accepts an invitation to participate in a “fully immersive” fan convention. She arrives at an off-season summer camp and finds what was supposed to be a quick buck has become a real-life slasher movie.

Deep in the woods of Kentucky with a supporting cast of B-level celebrities, Clarissa must fight to survive the deadly game that the con’s organizers have rigged against her.

A demented, funny, bloody, and strangely-poignant horror novel from the acclaimed author of Tribesmen, Zero Lives Remaining, and Mercy House.

Go ahead and buy the book before scrolling any further.

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I’ll wait.

Now the not-so-good news: if you nominated the book, probably already you know that Kindle Scout has decided to pass on publishing The Con Season.

I’d be lying if I didn’t say it’s a bit of a bummer. I feel like our numbers game was strong, but I also understand where the editors are coming from.

This book—an inside-baseball horror fandom satire with moments of blackly comedic ultraviolence—probably doesn’t scream “marketable!” It also doesn’t help that their cover guidelines suggest “no weapons or blood” and I was trying to sneak in a book featuring a blood-smeared woman holding a rifle…

Or all of that could be me trying to justify them simply not liking the book. I’m big enough to admit that.

But enough about the past! Let’s talk about the future. More specifically, let’s talk about Black T-Shirt Books!

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Boom! We got a logo and everything. Huge thanks to Chris Enterline for getting that done.

I wasn’t messing around in last month’s post where I claimed to have “contingency plans” in place for The Con Season. As touched as I am at all the messages of condolence that I’ve received for being passed by Scout: really, it’s cool, nobody died!

I entered into this campaign knowing that having the book rejected was a very real possibility. I had to hand KS a completely edited manuscript and final cover art: so I was always viewing the program as an experiment in self-publishing.

And now that experiment is live and YOU get to decide if it keeps going or not.

Will Black T-Shirt books be releasing more titles? Yeah, if you and a few friends buy, review, and share this one.

I know I harp on the need for reviews (seriously, not just my books, if you read ANY book and like it: please review that ish on Amazon, you’ll be helping make quality writing more visible). But this time, since Black T-Shirt books is me doing this all by myself without the backing of a publisher, reviews are doubly important. As is word of mouth, shares on Facebook and Twitter, and updates to your Goodreads.

And if the Black T-Shirt Books experiment doesn’t succeed? Well, then it’s back to the drawing board, because we all know I’ve got schemes and machinations and secret-books for miles. 🙂

Thanks so much for everything, guys and gals, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the support.

With love,

Adam Cesare
CEO and Master of Shirts at Black T-Shirt Books

P.S. New episodes of the YouTube show are up:

An early review of Evil Dead remake director Fede Alvarez’s Don’t Breathe:

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And a less-SEO friendly review of 1984’s The Mutilator, recently reissued by Arrow Video: 

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The TRIBESMEN post: To thine own self-promotion be true


Hello dearest Reader,

You may not know this, but not only do I write (intermittently) about obscure films and books, I also write fiction.

In the past I’ve posted links to various magazines my work has appeared in, but this time things are slightly different. This time I’ve got a whole book all to myself and it’s being released as part of John Skipp’s new Ravenous Shadows imprint.

Tribesmen is a 30,000 word novella (meaning it will take roughly the same amount of time as a feature film) and it’s available right now for your amazon Kindle (or the Kindle iphone/android/PC app, if you’re not into the whole e-reader scene).

Here’s the official synopsis:

In the early 80’s – at the height of the ultra-violent “Italian cannibal” grindhouse film craze – a small international cast and crew descend on an isolated Caribbean island, hoping to crassly exploit the native talent.

But the angry, undead spirits of the island have a different, more original script in mind. And as horror after staggering horror unfolds, the camera keeps rolling. To the blood-spattered end…

If you read this blog regularly, it’s up your alley. But don’t take my word for it. Check out the incredible authors who were generous enough to blurb me:

“The best new writer I’ve read in years. Wonderfully lean prose and edge-of-your-seat thrills. Drop everything else and start reading Tribesmen.”

Nate Kenyon, author of Sparrow Rock and Starcraft Ghost: Spectres

Tribesmen is a gory and clever homage to those Italian cannibal flicks that we all love so dearly, but without the real-life animal cruelty! Highly recommended.”

Jeff Strand, author of Pressure and Wolf Hunt.

“Sometimes everything goes wrong, in the best possible way. Think Snuff and Cannibal Holocaust meeting at a midnight movie. And then give one of them a camera, the other a knife.”

Stephen Graham Jones, author of It Came from Del Rio, Demon Theory and The Ones That Got Away

There you go, that’s my pitch. If you’re curious but not sold, you can send a free sample to your Kindle (the first 1 and 1/2 chapters, I believe).

Check it out here and if you do pick it up, please consider writing a quick review.

Thanks for your time,

Adam

Update: if you are a nook user, the ebook is now also available at Barnes and Noble.

NOT a ghost story, ghosts don’t know they’re dead: Haunt by Laura Lee Bahr

Laura Lee Bahr’s debut novel Haunt is the literary equivalent to a Rubik’s Cube. Maybe that analogy won’t hold up for everyone, but it certainly does for me because there’s no way in hell I’ll ever be able to solve a Rubik’s Cube.

I don’t mean to imply that the plot is based on an indecipherable puzzle (although there is a strong mystery thread that weaves through the pagecount). What I mean is that even when Haunt is at its most frustrating: it’s always fun.

What on the outset looks to be a multi-perspective story about the intersecting lives of three different characters turns into an ever-shifting (and ever-collapsing) meditation on storytelling, relationships, metaphysics and, ultimately, life itself.

The plot (as far as it is summarizable) concerns Richard, a broski from Middle America who’s recently moved to LA, Sarah, the spirit who haunts his apartment and Simon, the magnetically dashing journalist who’s somehow tied up in Sarah’s death (or is he?). If that sounds vague and confusing…it is. This is a difficult book to summarize not only because I don’t want to ruin the surprise, but because Bahr herself is constantly messing with the chronology, reliability and even the planes of reality within her novel.

In the introduction, editor John Skipp reveals that the book was originally intended to utilize a “Choose your own adventure” structure. I’m glad that the gimmick was jettisoned, because what Haunt is now is a multi-tiered adventure where you have no choice, even when one is being offered to you. It’s a puzzle where some of the pieces are missing and where some were never meant to fit together in the first place. The result is invigorating.

Bahr’s book is colorful, beguiling and intelligent without ever feeling snooty or overindulgent. It’s a book that straddles a number of lines effortlessly: it strikes just the right balance between highbrow and lowbrow; it never lets its perplexing nature overshadow the reader’s sense of forward momentum or atmosphere. As far as it dives into the surreal, Bahr’s prose always feels grounded, the way I feel art like this needs to be for maximum enjoyment (think David Lynch or earlier Darren Aronofsky).

Highly recommended for the adventurous readers among you (and I’d like to think that’s all of you, so don’t disappoint me).

Catching up with Andrew: Graverobbers Wanted (No Experience Necessary)


I’ve been a fan of Jeff Strand’s work for a few years now, but I’ve never picked up his earlier work (hop in the ole time machine and read about my first exposure to Strand right here. Why was I underlining titles back then? Was it my 5th grade book report?). More specifically I’ve never read his Andrew Mayhem series of horror/comedy/thrillers. Last month saw the re-release of the first three Mayhem books in spiffy* new digital editions (that are intended to prepare readers for the forth), so I decided to give the first title a whirl.

I really had no idea what to expect with Graverobbers Wanted (No Experience Necessary). I’m not much a fan of ongoing series, so would it feel too TV-ish to me? Would Strand’s prose be as funny and dry as his later work? How would I be able to fear for a character’s safety when I know they’ll be around for at least three more books?

The answer: those were all stupid questions and I should stop being a doubting Thomas.

Graverobbers is a ghoulish rocket that runs on the propulsive combination of its ludicrous plot and the likeably doofy voice of its narrator. Andrew’s first adventure is as enjoyable as he is inept.

The book is labeled as an “Andrew Mayhem Thriller” but I think “Mystery” would give perspective readers a better idea what to expect. Andrew may be a schmuck, but he’s still a detective in the tradition of Sherlock, Marlowe, Spade and Lew Archer. The clue elements may not be as integral to the overall success of the book as its humor and gore are, but there’s a mystery going on here nonetheless.

If we need further evidence to prove that Strand’s playing around with the genre of Chandler and Hammett, there’s also that great hardboiled cliché of the protagonist getting knocked around. Andrew is pummeled, shot and stabbed for our amusement, so even if he can’t detect, he’s got that in common with his forebearers.

Even if when all this violence that is perpetrated on poor Andrew, we don’t feel that the stakes are quite high enough, Strand ratchets up the tension by throwing some innocents into the fold. Where the aforementioned detectives are all aloof lone-wolves, Andrew’s got a family to protect and we can’t help but fear for them.

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is three bucks, you should check it out.
If the sign of a good series can be measured in the amount of time it takes a reader to purchase the next book, then let it be known that I finished the transaction for Single White Psychopath Seeks Same a minute after reaching “The End.” If that’s not an endorsement, I don’t know what is.

*With striking covers by Strand’s wife, author Lynne Hansen.