I Plug Thee…Horrific!

A Recipe for mouth watering madness:

Take 1 Cup Horror, 1 Cup Erotica, 1 Tablespoon of Fantasy, 1 Huge Dash of Black Humor…

Mix well in daring publisher (Angelic Knight Press) with equally daring editor (Stacy Turner), heat for a few weeks over an open spit, while marinating with death and sex, till well done and the air is filled with its hunger inducing aroma, then wrap it in an eye-catching display and serve it warm and steamy…

And call it…

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You read right; zombie erotica, or as Jake Elliot called it: zombie smut. Yep, my friends, you’re going to find me in there with 49 other boundary pushing writers, getting all dirty nasty and I don’t know what else! I’m truly proud and honored to have been picked from hundreds (perhaps millions!) of submissions to be included, along with my friends Tim Marquitz and Jake Elliot, in this unusual and one of a kind book. Coming soon, (and I mean very soon, like, this month, around Valentine’s Day) keep your eye out for it and snap it up while its hot and available! I’ll keep you posted.

And if you haven’t already gotten you copy of Fading Light: An Anthology of the Monstrous (in which I am also included, thank you very much)…

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Well, what were you waiting for? What’s the matter? Dontcha like top-notch horror stories? Are you scaaarrred? Huh? Huh? Chicken are ya?! Uh huh, I thought not. For a paperback version or for your Kindle, click the FL cover above. For Nook and other ebook formats, visit Smashswords here, http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/221617

My shameful plug has ended…you may move on now.

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Ah hell, they ain’t so bad!

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Now that I have you undivided attention…

I gotta take issue with some of the points in this little article–http://www.heavy.com/comedy/2009/11/how-to-survive-in-a-redneck-bar/— funny as it is. I’ve hung with many a redneck in my day–one of my best friends is a HUGE redneck–and frequented many a redneck bar that dot the small towns and backwoods of Oklahoma. I never got in any trouble. Rednecks, once you get to know them and they like you, can be some of the most generous hosts you can imagine and will have your back even in the most perilous situations. Saying that…

1. No eye contact: if you make NO eye contact you will be seen as a pussy and a possible easy victim for entertainment in the parking lot. A look, then looking away is okay. They see it as you’re not being downright chickenshit. The problem is the SUSTAINED look. Don’t do that. And if someone is staring you down, don’t return it,  just move away slowly, keeping them in your peripheral vision.

2. Don’t run. Probably a good idea. It only triggers predatory instincts. Just beware of any trouble about to start, then slip out the door quietly while nobodies looking and have your car keys out and ready.

3. Order American Beer: Any full on redneck bar will not have foreign beer, so that’s not even a worry. If they carry it, then they drink it, so no worries there. And they serve beer pitchers; drinking from a glass is preferred, unless you’re sasquatch and that IS your glass. Now pouring a bottled beer into a glass, might get you some funny looks. Don’t worry about looking pretentious, rednecks don’t know what that means.

4. Stay away from their woman. That holds true in any bar, though the danger factor goes up in a redneck bar. Just one addition to this: Women, stay away from their men; redneck women are often more dangerous then the men and can go from sweet and demure to psycho screaming killer without warning.

5. Don’t play games. Meh. They love games, just don’t lord it over them if you win. Be humble. Lose gracefully. Compliment, but don’t patronize. Play for fun, not to win.

6. Stay away from the Jukebox. Much like the foreign beer thing, if it’s on the jukebox, they listen to it. Any redneck bar jukebox will have nothing but rockin’ country and southern rock, no worries. I have found songs like Prince’s Pussy Control, cuz that gets the wermen’s all worked up and dancin’ hootchie style and that’s always hellagood.

7. Never talk politics. Hell, I don’t think it’s a good idea to talk politics anywhere, but in a redneck bar, listen first and if your views are the same, talk, you’ll probably make friends.

8 & 9 Don’t talk to the bartenders (male or female) That’s just silly; how else you gonna get your beer? Just don’t come on to them (male or female) and you’ll be safe.

10. Pay cash. Really? That’s just paranoid. Rednecks carry cards, too, and any bar likes them, because they can carry a tab, and get you drunk while milking away all your stock money.

Don’t know why I got so interested in taking issue with this article, maybe I had the urge to write and piss someone off so’s I can take ’em back yonder behind the dumpster and kick the snot out of ’em with my shit covered boots and then cornhole ’em to show ’em what a man really is then spit my jaw of Skoal on ’em . (Wait, sorry about that, don’t know what came over me.) It just seemed to me the writer has never been in a redneck bar and just wanted to use stereotypes to be funny and cater to those big city hipsters that thinks rednecks are as dangerous as drunken velociraptors with deeply buried homosexual tendencies. They ain’t.  Just don’t push their buttons and I think your lower colon will be just fine. The only thing you really have to worry about in a redneck bar are…

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Zombielicious?

Working on a zombie/erotica short story–because I was asked to, ok?– and amazed at how I can take my mind to such warped places. Having fun writing it (wouldn’t do it otherwise) but questions keep coming to mind; should I be doing this? Will I lose friends over it? Am I writing porno? (the answer is yes to that). Will I be ostracized by the community? Will I care? Can an ostrich live in a commune? Where did that question come from? Will my main character tolerate the mess, despite how pleasurable it is? And more importantly:  Should I use a pseudonym?

The Next BIG Thing…

Image(Friend and fellow Fading Light author, Jake Elliot , graciously passed these interview questions on to me and asked to join him as one of the stops on a small tour of up and coming writers. Thanks Jake, you honor me.)

Somewhere just below the horizon of the publishing world, awaits the Next Big Thing. Kinda like an attention deprived Godzilla ready to rock your world, smashing the conventions of your mind. Or maybe Baby Godzilla huffing hair singeing smoke rings. But hey, size doesn’t matter (so I’ve been told), as long as it blows our socks off, right? But still, we know it’s coming, we want it bad, and we need to be ready for its arrival with hints, innuendo, excerpts, and teasers!

Well, myself and my ever creative writer friends always have something up our mind sleeves, shaking them out onto the keyboard,  working on new projects awaiting  the light of day, hoping that this one is OUR  Big Thing. Below are questions and answers detailing my current project, then links to some writer friends of mine pulling back the curtain for a peek at the stories they are working on at this moment! One of us could be producing the NEXT BIG THING!

Ten questions on my Next Big Thing(?)…

Hands of Hell
Wat Rong Khun Temple

 

What is your working title of your book?   

Right now, it’s The Hungry Ghosts.  In Buddhist mythology, hungry ghosts are hideous creatures in Hell that are filled with a terrible hunger, but having throats to thin to swallow anything, they can never quench it. Seemed right for a zombie story.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

An image in my head of a zombie meditating in full lotus position. (the picture below I  found only recently)

What genre does your book fall under?

Zombies=Horror

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Sammo Hung comes to mind for the lead; that would be interesting.   But off hand I can’t come up with any Tibetan/Chinese actors.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

On a sacred mountain in Tibet, a peaceful village is suddenly ravaged by the undead,  and a hermit monk with a ten year-old boy struggle to survive in their escape to an abandoned  hermitage.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I will be shopping it out to publishers that  have open submissions for novellas…for now.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I’ve been working on the first draft for a  month and a half now and about three-quarters done.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I seriously don’t know. It’ll have plenty of the requisite gore and zombie action, but the spiritual journey aspect I haven’t come across in a zombie story before.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

All the zombie movies and literature I have been exposed to happen in the America’s or Europe, and usually in an urban setting with like characters with modern points of view. Seeing that this is a world wide event, I began to wonder what more isolated peoples, with different world views and cultures, how they would react to it. What about eskimos? Aborigines? Muslims? Munchins?! So, being a student of Buddhism, I set my story in the mountains of Tibet. How would people steeped in the Bon and Buddhist religion, that view death and dying in a radically different way than the west, react and think? And the fictional fact that zombies can still retain some vestige of their previous life, could a zombie reach enlightenment? There’s just a million other stories from other parts of the world to tell in the zombie setting that wouldn’t deal with the usual cast of characters; that’s what got me thinking.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Well, there will be Kung Fu action at no extra cost!

OKAY OKAY, here’s a little excerpt from my in progress novella, The Hungry Ghosts...

Until the cold eye turned upon him, the boy had not moved.

The thing lurched toward him, making a gurgling growl. Chodren sucked air and began to turn over to run. He looked up and froze again; three feet above him from the tall ferns and grass, emerged the large head of a leopard. Its black fur shone in the sun, pulling out the circled spots hidden below. Its green eyes flicked across Chodren then narrowed on the approaching monster.

For Chodren this was not just a big cat; it was a spiritual being. In tales he had heard of them flying; of highly attained monks shape shifting into them; they were protectors and vengeful enemies. He had never seen one up close, and only heard the one of the mountain, in far-away echos in the night. And this moment, Chodren saw a god come to punish him for his wrong doing. The boys breath stopped again of his own accord, his body frozen in awaiting death, the undead thing momentarily forgotten. A close groan and the scent of rot pulled the boys eyes away. It was nearly on him, ignoring the cat.

The cat’s head lowered in a crouch as its paw inched over the ledge with extending curled claws. It opened its mouth, unveiling fangs, and hissed. A shadow briefly covered the sky above Chodren as the cat left its perch in a silent leap…

Am I there yet?

More Next Big Things…

Prolific and a Celtic Myth master, Brian N. Young will fill your need for the mythical and magical.

Author of the Demon Squad Series, the Blood War Trilogy, and the horrific, Prey,  Tim Marquitz knows how to spin an action filled horrific fantasy.

And Alex Katrin  for vivid madness.

Then the horror minded Dennis McDonald, author of Ebon Moon and 13 Nightmares.

And watch out for Eric A. Jackson, author of the wild thriller, Blind Eye to the Rearview.

A taste of fresh flesh…

Hello fans (all ten of you) and rubberneckers, just wanted to share a bite, and whet your appetite, of what I’m working on currently: a zombie apocalypse novel (I know I said I would never write one, so just shut up, I don’t wanna hear it) entitled “The Hungry Ghosts”. This is freshly written and unedited, mind you. The setting is in a mountainous region in Tibet, and three Buddhist monks, a Chinese soldier, and a ten year old boy, are in a truck, escaping the devastation of a village up a winding harrowing trail that leads to an isolated, abandoned, Buddhist hermitage high atop a sacred mountain…

~~~

Excerpt from “The Hungry Ghosts”…

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Even wrapped in the warm robe, nestled securely against the monk who wrapped his arm across his shoulders, Chodren did not feel safe.

The soldier had lifted him into the truck to the concerned look of the elder monk. Chodren looked to the driver, the solemn nun he had seen in the courtyard, who reached out and grabbed his arm to sit him down next to the monk. Chodren managed a glance behind them to the glowing flaming village and the shadows that moved around it. The young soldier sat next to him, his gun stock resting in his thigh and hands wrapped tightly around it. Chodren followed the soldiers eyes to see a bloody faced woman advancing on the wild haired man.

Chodren turned away as the elder monk removed his outer robe and held it open to the boy. Chodren saw the stain of blood on it and the monks shoulder. He recoiled, but the monk smiled and nodded in apology and turned the robe so the blood stained edge of the robe disappeared at their feet. The monk opened his arm again, and Chodren fell into it, his need for comfort so great it smothered any fear he had. The boy pulled his knees to his chest, wrapped his arms around them, closed his eyes and trembled from an inner cold into a womb of warm darkness.

The faces of his family emerged and sank into a void, healthy and smiling, calling his name joyfully, then gray faced, mouths dripping with red, opening to devour him. From beyond the darkness came the soothing voice of the monk, chanting a monotone song. The changing faces rebelled, racing past, hissing and roaring, until they slowed, calmed by the song until they became quiet and changed back to the living mother, sister, father he knew. They smiled and whispered his name, passing as if on a slowing carousel until they faded all together. Warmth enveloped Chodren before he passed into the realm of unknowing sleep.

***

“The boy trembles,” Tenzin said, “he must have had a great shock.”

Dorje watched out the windshield looking for potential dangers ahead as he thumbed his walking stick resting upon his shoulder. The truck had been moving at a steady but slow pace as Gu-Lang drove with deep concentration. This nun, older than she looked, Dorje thought, was indeed not one to be underestimated. Ldab Ldobs were the workers of monasteries: builders, cooks, servants, and most importantly, soldier monks. Unsuited for normal monastery life, they became protectors of those that carried the Dharma; the Sangha, the order of monks. Ferocious and tough, the Ldab Ldobs loved a good fight, and trained to do it well. They were the dirty hands of monasteries and had many hidden skills. And Dorje was glad to have this unusually quiet Ldab Lbod (they were well known for their rudeness and loud boasting) with them.

Watching Gu-Lang skillfully maneuver the truck over such a tricky path gave Dorje a sense of admiration for her as he had never learned such things, so intent was he on achieving enlightenment in this human incarnation. He wondered if he had been selfish to hunger for such a thing, isolating himself from humanity, not learning the things needed to actually help the suffering. When young, he dreamed of being a doctor of medicine and became a monk to study at university to do so. But he had abandoned it when, at a meditation retreat, an elder monk had said to him, “Become a doctor and relieve the suffering of a few, become free of all attachment and enter Nirvana and relieve the suffering of the world.”

Dorje turned in his seat to look at the boy held close by Tenzin. Chodren was curled up in a fetal position, his face buried behind his knees. By his breathing, Dorje knew the boy had fallen asleep, but still he shivered from the shock of whatever terror he had experienced. Now, with the horror that was unfolding, of what use was he, Dorje thought. How could he possibly affect this young boy whose world had been shattered by the death of the ones that loved him most, and they turning on him like ravenous mindless devils. How could one man remove the suffering of one boy? Have all these years been a self serving mistake?

Take my apocalypse…please. (Part 2)

ImageApocalyptic stories are kind of like Jelly Bellys; many flavors, common and gourmet. And possibly that’s one of the reasons we writers are drawn to them because our imaginations can really fly in a menagerie world of horrors: zombies, mutants, crazed biker gangs, cannibals, deep space monsters, deep earth beasties, all the natural disasters one can think of, and on and on. What ever scares you, we have the monsters to fit the bill.

Now, let me say this: I believe nightmares are healthy, at least, the occasional ones. We’ve all had them (and if you have Night Terrors, or nightly nightmares that disturb your sleep, please see your doctor) and we have much in common in our shared dream symbolism. We are all practicing, when nightmares occur, resolving some issue or facing some fear in a safe place. Children do this more frequently in their sleep, adults less so, and as adults we turn to movies and books to help us face our fears, once again, in a safe place, practicing for the day when such events may arrive in real life. Certainly, apocalypse is possible and it’s okay to face the fear of such in a movie or book. It brings into question how we would face the event, and it’s telling to our own particular psychology when we pick a certain character in the tale that we identify with the most. And that is the point of world-end stories: it’s not the monster or the event that is important, they’re just the mechanism, nor is it the fear of death that scares us most (that is the foundation of ALL horror). Apocalyptic tales are about the SURVIVORS, and how their individual word views are challenged, and whether they will work in the aftermath. The horror is not the possibility of death, but the fall of everything we know, the shattering of certainty and delusions, and how our beliefs before the fall, may be a load of fecal matter.

George Romero’s zombie epic is exactly about that, so is Mad Max and Road Warrior, as is The Road, and to some degree (and with a large degree of spectacular silliness), the modern disaster movies, Deep Impact and 2012 and their ilk. The best world-end stories raises questions and offer few answers. They challenge on an internal level, and ask us, “Just who are you, really?”

And that brings me to the apocalypse movie, The Book of Eli…

Part 3 and the end of this rambling, coming soon.

Take my apocalypse…please. (Part 1)

We are apocaholics, so coined writer Gary Alexander. We love everything world ending: Global war with nuclear winters, global warming, global cooling, global famine, (apocalypse is always global, ya know), infrastructure collapse, oil shortages, porno shortages (ok, I made that one up), Mayan calenders that end (which infers to some that the world must end, too. If that were so, the world ends after December 31 according to the calender on my wall), alien invasion, asteroid impact, plagues, religious Armageddons, and our sun aligning with galactic center…and countless more. And that last one I don’t even know what that means; aligns with what, exactly?!

These scenarios are being devoured by the general public worldwide. People are walking around dropping tons of feces into their pants that they might witness the end of all the know, love, and hate, at any moment. Like it isn’t enough to worry about one’s own personal demise from heart attack, cancer, plane crashes, car crashes, serial killers, mass killers (ok, I’m stopping now, my BP is rising) let alone the end of life on the planet. I mean, if you’re dead, you’re dead, doesn’t matter the mechanism. The world ends for you anyway. I could die of a massive embolism as I type this, and then an asteroid could punch a do-nut hole through the earth three seconds later or our planet could trot along happily another 500 billion years till the sun becomes a red giant and swallows it up, and I won’t know it, either way. And like I’ll give hoot.

The public eats this up, because, for some mad reason, they just love to be scared senseless. And tellers of horror tales, of which I am one and several friends of mine, are glad for it. It’s our bread and butter. Whatever the public fears, no matter how deeply buried in their collective and personal subconscious, we’re going to drag it from it’s dark hiding places and hold it in our hands and wiggle it in your face and say “BOO!”, watch you jump and cower in the corner whimpering, while me laugh and say, “Now gimme a dollar.” Fear is our business, and you, oh cowering ones, are our costumers.

Wait, I had a point here, somewhere, oh, there it is…

But sometimes I ponder if we writers of the fantastic, we that take full advantage of peoples fears, don’t sometimes perpetuate the most outrageous beliefs and fears. I, for one, don’t ponder on any probable apocalypse, or follow or put my faith in the Harold Campings of the world. People like him have been around for a few centuries proclaiming the end-of-the-world and there will be more still, and always disappointing their believers. In the upcoming book, Fading Light: An Anthology of the Monstrous, in which I’m included, most of the stories are set in such apocalyptic scenarios. And I wondered if we authors therein, sat grinning as we typed, thinking, “I don’t believe this shit, but I’m sure gonna make some people poop a little (insert mad laughter).” And if our readers (if which I hope will be in the tens of millions, cuz I gots lots of bread and need lots of butter) who DO buy in to the apocalypse sellers, won’t have their various beliefs hardened just a little…

Part 2 of these weird and rambling thoughts, coming soon.

And as for the title, my thanks to Henny Youngman 🙂

Fresh gnawed…

Well, hey there. How ya doin’? Oh, I see you’re reading this, so I’ll let you get to it…

A lot has been going on lately on the fiction writing front. I have been writing more than ever, with three stories subbed and waiting on razors and switchblades for responses. Just finished a novelette (shot for a short story, but got excited) and searching for a publisher that takes such rare things. Currently working on a zombie novella set in Tibet. I know, I know, those who know me have heard me say that I would NEVER write a zombie piece, you can spank me later. Don’t get me wrong, I love zombie stories, but I feel they are just too common now. But this concept I have intrigues my mad mind too much not to write it down, so I’m jumping on the zombie bandwagon (hmm that’s another idea, damnit).

Now the big news, at least for me, is the September 1 release of Fading Light: An Anthology of the Monstrous of which my short story, The Long Death of Day, is a part. It’s my first accepted story (Mom! I’m a real life author now!) so I’m pretty damn pumped. Proud as can be to be part of such a well done anthology and published next to such horror writer gods as Mark Lawrence, Gene O’Neill, William Meikle, David Daglish, Gord Rollo, and Nick Cato. When I received the acceptance email from editor Tim Marquitz and saw who I would be hanging with, I think I pooped a little. Here’s an early blurb exclaiming it’s awesomeness:

“With it’s stellar lineup of authors and the great premise that gives them room to weave their magic, Fading Light accomplishes what far too many fail to: it stands out from the pack as something unique, terrifying, and wholly readable from first pages to last.” — Bryan Hall, author of The Southern Hauntings Saga and Containment Room 7.

Damn, I think I wanna read that! To read an excerpt from my story, scroll down.

To keep tabs on the upcoming release go to: http://www.facebook.com/FadingLightAntho

For those of you that remember Hellbug, my novel  that I had been working on for over a year, well that’s been trunked. After sweating and bleeding over it for so long, I finally got up the gumption and the money to send it to The Editorial Department and into the capable hands of editor and friend R.J. Cavender. Let’s just say I learned alot of things, one being  that I ain’t the badass writer I thought I was! Logic and severe POV problems abounded. But have no fear, I learned my lessons well and despite having taken some bruising in honing my craft, I’ll pull Hellbug out once again after getting some other projects done, and rewrite the cursed hell beast!

Ok, assignment done. When you finish the excerpt below, leave a comment, good or bad, and then let’s go have a beer.

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Excerpt from The Long Death of Day by Timothy Baker,  included in the upcoming Fading Light: An Anthology of the Monstrous. Published by Angelic Knight Press and edited by Tim Marquitz.

***

     The end of the Earth came not with a whimper or bang. No herald trumpets of angels filled the air in glorious announcement. Neither did the dead rise and walk to consume our flesh. It crept like a chilled blanket across our skies, dimming the warm light of the sun till the Earth turned dark. But that wasn’t the worst of it. With this unending eclipse came something from beyond the outer rim of our solar system; came as the ever hungry worms of a cemetery devour the newly buried dead.

     And for all this, I had a front row seat.

     My clock says it’s one in the afternoon, but looking out my wall size window I see only deep shadow beyond the wall of brightness coming from the floodlights that surround my house. Their children wander in that shadow, surrounded by an inky cloudy darkness they seem to emanate on their own, much like our earthly squid. In what number, I don’t know. Thousands. Perhaps millions by now. Eating whatever lives and breathes while their sky living elders scrape and devour the surface of the Earth.     

    Through my skylight the sun hangs, obscured in black, with only the edge of its corona shining like two facing slender shining coins. The sky is clear and stars hang there precariously, threatened by the howling chill wind outside. Beyond the mountains across the valley, a deeper shadow lines the horizon. It grows and spreads by the hour. It’s the unearthly cloud that contains them deep in its ever expanding belly, their bodies hidden from sight. Won’t be long now. The window shakes in its thick oak frame and I feel the Earth shudder beneath my feet…