Monday, December 31, 2012

FEEDING AXEL’S NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS


New Year's Eve has always been a time for looking back to the past, and more importantly, forward to the coming year. It's a time to reflect on the changes we want to make and resolve to follow through on those changes.
I’m going to ask Dr. Axel J. Hyde what are his top New Year’s resolutions.

 

Jeff: Recent polls conducted by General Nutrition Centers, Quicken, and others shows that more than 50% of Americans vow to appreciate loved ones and spend more time with family and friends this year. Work shouldn't always come first.
So, do you plan on spending more time with your loved ones?

Axel: I don’t think so. I have no one to care about, being a solitary and barely social individual. I’d like to find someone ‘special’, someone like … me, but, honestly, who would live with a weirdo like me. I just plan to simulate my affection for my … what’s that word? Ah, girlfriend.
Yeah, I have one, but it’s just a way to distract people attention. Morena is a woman with issues toward men, so perfectly fits with me. We are more like playmates than lovers.
Yet, I feel …
Forget it, I don’t feel. I can’t.

Jeff: Regular exercise has been associated with more health benefits than anything else known to man. Studies show that it reduces the risk of some cancers, increases longevity, helps achieve and maintain weight loss, enhances mood, lowers blood pressure, and even improves arthritis. In short, exercise keeps you healthy and makes you look and feel better. Why not make this the time to start getting in shape?

Axel: Me? I can’t get bigger and stronger than this. I practice kayaking in the swamps, love hiking on Seminole trails and hunting. Yes, hunting. I hunt a lot. So, that’s a worthless resolution, and to be honest, I’d like to develop a big bulge on my belly and spend more time watching TV as most do. But it won’t happen …

Jeff: Over 66% of adult Americans are considered overweight or obese by recent studies, so it is not surprising to find that weight loss is one of the most popular New Year's resolutions. Why would wish something for like that?

Axel: Being overweight would mean having a normal and peaceful life to me. No needs, except rushing to the nearest fast food for a greasy meal and some carbonated beverage. For as much as it may sound weird … yes, I wish I were a big fat ass.

Jeff:  Given the hectic, stressful lifestyles of millions of Americans, it is no wonder that "enjoying life more" has become a popular resolution in recent years. Just get out and try something new! Take up a new hobby or try your hand at skiing. Go to a theater performance, or head to the local spa.

Axel: As I said, I practice a lot of sports, so that’s out of question. A new hobby? Nah, I have too many … none pleasant to Joe/Jane Average.

Jeff: I can’t ask you to quit smoking because you don’t. To pay back your debts because you have none. Help others? Learn something new? In short, Axel, what are you resolutions?

Axel: I don’t know. I never plan things like those. I don’t even understand this practice. I remember my uncle Angus doing that every year - may he burn in Hell - and regularly ignoring his vows from day one. Same thing happens to a lot of people. No, I’ll be more realistic, being a tidy and organized … being. Here’s a list of what I want to do next year, but please, keep it secret.

Jeff: Mouth’s sealed.

Axel: First thing first, I want a brand new vanadium-reinforced chainsaw. One of those shiny ones that never get rusty teeth. Next, I want to understand more this ‘thing’ inside me, this ‘urge’ I’m feeding. For that, I’m planning a trip to New Orleans, my work schedule permitting. Want to pay a visit to a Houngan who used to commune with spirits in Grassy swamp last year and having some illicit fun with little gals on the side. I never met him, but one of those poor little bodies we fished out of Lover’s point gave me some … clues about his whereabouts. I’ll ask him a couple questions before … saying him goodbye.
My last one is about Morena, my … bestfriend? Nah, girlfriend – heck, I hate that word. I want her to find someone else. I think she deserves some lovin’. After all, she’s human, unlike me.

Jeff: Sweet, thanks for the interview. Now, would you please untie me? This darn slab is chilling my ass …



HAPPY 2013, FOLKS
Stay away from troubles and have a look at the new version of ‘Feeding the Urge’.
What’s new?
A wonderful cover, some minor tweaks (edited by Natalie G. Owens) making it flow better. An introduction by Kat ‘Vengeance is Mine’ Yares and one from me. Maps of Prosperity Glades – you can even pinpoint it on map of Florida now – and some funny pictures.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Suck me dry! 10 Free copies of 'Spirits and Thought Forms'


I'm a bit 'Scroogeish' when it comes to my stories. I don't like giving them out for free. I mean, I worked hard on them, so I deserve a little gratification. But ...
This was my work Christmas of ever for personal motives, and even aborted one of my stories after the Connecticut tragedy. I'm not feeling the spirit of Christmas all around me, so ...
What the heck, suck me dry! Grab all copies you can of 'Spirits and Thought Forms' before I change my mind.
Bah!


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Dear Santa ... Scary Letters from Scary People.



FREE for Christmas!


May-December Publishing offered me and many of my author friends the opportunity to write a letter to Santa from a special horror character.
ALL PROCEEDS GENERATED BY THIS PROJECT WILL BE DONATED QUARTERLY TO AREA FOOD BANKS. 

Most of us have written letters to Santa. However, what would Jason Voorhees, a vampire, a zombie, or Medusa ask for? The call went out, and as usual, the horror community stepped forward with some fun, entertaining, tongue-in-cheek letters to the fat man up north. Share some of these with your little goblins and keep the spirit of giving alive year round. 

Do you want to know what Nyarlathotep would ask to Santa?
Well, you can find out in my little letter in:





Thursday, December 13, 2012

MY X-MAS BEST




Here we are.
This is my first Christmas as a public figure, and this has been an incredible year for me.
I became a writer, a cover artist, and a part-time actor.
Heck, I made more in one revolution of this watery planet around its peripheral parent star than I did in ten.

On January the 1st, I published my first novel, becoming de facto an ‘author’ and finding myself on the other side of the theater; that one with a stage on it, not the one I used to linger as a reader. For most of my life, I’ve been a reader, enjoying the fruits of someone else’s hard work. Oh, I had my spotlight moments, but my audience had always been a small one, distant light-years from the one I’m exposed today. Sometimes it gets scary, thinking about all those people reading my works in many corners of the world. But, honestly, it makes you feel great, too.

My first story, Feeding the Urge, was well received, and this encouraged me to write more about this weird Floridian hamlet where my dispenser of dark justice (Axel J. Hyde) lives. In the novel, I had established some facts on Prosperity Glade’s past and nature, so I decided to expand on that by writing five short tales adding depth to some of the story’s events and characters.

Later, I was contacted by a small press encouraging me to submit a short story about zombies set in an alternate timeline. I was writing a follow up to my fee ‘serial chiller’ Black Schooner (published weekly on Facebook the year before) temporarily titled ‘Curse of the Black Schooner’. I decided to turn that into ‘Dead Men TellNo Tales’ and submitted another one, TheSouth Will Rise Again. Both didn’t make into the anthology, but it was for the best, because I self-published them and put them out at 99 cents.
The results were impressive. Suddenly I found my name spreading on the web, and ‘Dead Men Tell No Tales’ became one of the most successful – and one of the most pirated – shorts of the year. I owe much to that tall tale of pirates and undead.

Then, being an experimenter, I tried new paths. I tested myself at literary fiction with titles such as REVENANT and Stryx catering more to lovers of classical Gothic tales than modern literature.
But I didn’t stop there.
I tried my hand at Erotica with Thrill of the Hunt (the second best seller of my titles) and joined the Alexandria Publishing Group. I was invited to be part of this fledgling publisher for my professional behavior and good writing. Something I’m still proud of. Standing alongside with such giants like Valerie Douglas, Paul Kater, and Kai Wilson has proved to be an excellent choice for my growth and career.

Meanwhile, I also became acquainted with new friends in the industry. Two of them became my ‘virtual’ mentors: Billie Sue Mosiman and Franklin E. Wales. They patted my back when I did good and scolded me when I erred. I couldn’t wish for better teachers.

Yet, destiny had another surprise for me: a meeting with Jaime Johnesee.
This excellent writer became something more like a sibling than a friend, as we shared advice, successes, and failures. I helped her getting out of the shell she had retracted into, and she encouraged me to go on when I felt down and on the verge of quitting. She also spurred me to start my cover artist career.
And what a career. In less than four months I’m designing covers for Billie Sue Mosiman, Armand Rosamilia, Suzi M (funny: she did the covers for Dead Men), Anthony Servante, Rhonda Hopkins, Lynne Stevie, and many more.

A special mention deserves my editor, Natalie G. Owens. My meeting with her has been one of the most fortunate, for we share a similar way of writing, allowing her to edit my stuff by keeping my voice. And I love her notes.

And another special mention goes to Kat Yares, my 'virtual fairy', source of inspiration and encouragement, author of one of the best stories on vengeance I ever read.

By October, I became an ‘official published author’, with my short story ‘Road Off’ as lead for the ‘Scare Package’ anthology. This is a special project I’m glad of being part, for the whole profits are devolved to the Rockcastle Regional Hospital & Respiratory Care Center’s Miracle Fund, and I will never stop promoting it, especially in Christmastime: so, go there and grab a copy.

My second Erotica came out in November, while I was struggling with two special projects. Titled Home Invasion, it’s so dirty and raw it almost shocked me. Yet, I assure you it’s all appearance, as it hides a series of twists you won’t see them coming till the last paragraphs.

Now, I submitted two stories for publication. One, Haunt, a short ghostly tale, has been accepted, the other one, FIVE, I novella that I consider the best of all my works until now, I’ll do all I can to have it published, for it really deserves it.

Again, I’m testing myself. Right now, I’m writing a tale in the style of those late ‘80s to early ‘90s slasher movies, with a lot of gory deaths, frolicking teens, and Christmas-themed gallows humor. I’ll strive to put it out in time for the holidays, but it will not be easy.

Well, I’m talking only about me, but this post is in truth a special thank to you, my faithful reader and trusted friend.
By appreciating my work – stories and covers – you encourage me to go on and strive for better results. Even a tiny thing, such as a ‘like’ on one of my posts – yeah, I know some are lame, and voluntarily so – gives me enough strength to keep on writing and designing my covers.
We all need a pat on the back, from time to time. Critics are helpful for your growth, but some niceties are also deserved. Every good teacher knows that.
And you, my dear friends and fans, you are my teachers.

From my heart,
THANK YOU AND ALL MY BEST.

Jeffrey Kosh

Saturday, December 8, 2012

TRUTH CAN BE UGLIER THAN 42


Now, that is a bit hard to explain.
Why is truth uglier than number forty-two?
That’s really a weird affirmation even for a weird story like this, but believe me it does make sense. I was, and still is – at least until Miss Reaper doesn’t take me out tonight – a fan of Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. In the first novel, a group of hyper intelligent pan-dimensional beings wishes to learn the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything. They build a supercomputer for this purpose and it takes seven and a half million years for it to compute the answer. It turns out to be ‘42’. Yet, the Ultimate Question remains unknown. So, when prompted to produce it, the supercomputer replies it cannot. Nevertheless, it can help by designing an even more powerful machine that could. Further events in the story will later reveal this new supercomputer to have been our planet Earth, but the Ultimate Question is never revealed for the Earth is destroyed five minutes before the process reaches completion by a series of coincidences. Well, they weren’t coincidences, but I’m not going to spoil the rest of the story to you. You have, I hope, still time to read the whole series, why I’m afraid, have not.
Because, unfortunately, I know the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything. I asked for it. And the answer, well, the answer is uglier than forty-two.
The same author declares: ‘There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened.’
The Ultimate Question and the Ultimate Answer can’t coexist. It’s just like mixing matter with antimatter. Oh, and that’s funny for, somehow, there’s a relation between number forty-two and the victory of matter over antimatter at the beginning of our universe. But I’m not going to tell you, and trust me is for your best.
In May 2010, scientists at the Tevatron collider at the Department of Energy's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois, demonstrated how that battle was won. The experiment has shown a small, but significant, one percent difference between the amount of matter and antimatter produced, hinting at how our matter-dominated existence came to be.


What you have just read is not my departing epitaph, but an extract from ‘FIVE’, my latest tale.
After a long battle, I successfully wrestled the thing, and it now stands corralled in the ‘To Be Published’ pen. It was a though beast to conquer, but it is magnificent – at least to me.
I remember the day when its plotline galloped across my prairie, whinnying and prancing in the fading sun. It was in a sizzling hot Thai evening, my wife and I were watching ‘Megamind’, an animated movie about a villain turning into a good guy, and I had just enjoyed reading a short story by Natalie G. Owens, when this dude – Arthur J. Jones – began repeating this line into my head:
“What would you do if you knew you are going to die?”
I immediately knew there was a story behind this, and this desperate hombre was begging me to tell it. Unfortunately, I hadn’t the palest clue about it.
The more I tried to focus, the more the meaning eluded me, until I remembered the story I always wished to read, yet nobody wrote. As you probably know by now – if you have been following me – I’m an avid collector of myths, legends, and folklore on spirits and thought forms.
One of the legends charming me most is that of the Djinn (or Genie) from pre-Islamic culture. These creatures are often remembered for their ability to grant your heart’s desire, but in truth, they were better – or worse – than that. Born before the angels and humanity, they were crafted by Ahura Mazda from smokeless fire, and they were among the most magnificent of creations, but were so full of pride to demand adoration from lesser creatures. Later, Islam, had them rebelling against Allah, and one of them Iblìs, refused to bow to Adam when ordered so, and for this he was cast out of Heaven and became known as Shaitan.
There are many similarities between the Jinn and spirits – or powerful beings - of other cultures, such as the Greek Titans, the Japanese Oni, and the Norse Jotun giants. They were, initially, even font of inspiration for my (still waiting to be written) science fiction novel ‘Echoes from a Distant Star’.



Well, I always dreamed reading a horror story based on these legends. But it had to be different: no lamps, magical stones, or rings. It had to be scary and touching your soul. It had to make you stop wishing and enjoy all the good things you already have, or have had, in life. It had to be about knowledge and the pain associated with it. So, I caught the message this Arthur Jones was trying to send me, but like the alien derelict on LV 426 (in the movie ‘ALIEN’), it wasn’t a call for succor, but a warning.

For in much wisdom is much grief; and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.
Ecclesiastes 1:18






Monday, November 26, 2012

GUEST POST: RELEASE OF 'TOOL SHED' by Armand Rosamilia



Armand Rosamilia is a New Jersey boy currently living in sunny Florida, where he eats too much, drinks too much, and doesn't worry about the impending zombie apocalypse. And it is coming. He is the author of many, many stories and novellas (which are all awesome… seriously!), and his Dying Days zombie series is pretty cool, too. He loves talking to fans and friends about horror, zombies, Boston Red Sox and Heavy Metal music. Feel free to e-mail him at armandrosamilia@gmail.com or visit his blog at http://armandrosamilia.com. He also loves speaking in third person. 

TOOL SHED

When Michael Zaun takes possession of his late grandfather’s farm, he finds out he inherited more than he bargained for. Dubbed the “Tool Shed Murders,” the details of the deaths of two girls on the property, and his grandfather’s, seemingly by his own hand, are a little murky. Was his grandfather a monster or a hero?
The discovery of his grandfather’s journal awakens within him a new confidence. But what about the demon his grandfather mentioned? Is it real or just the ranting of a diseased mind?
 With the help of his friends, old and new, Michael will find not only the answer to that question, but a new strength within himself.
A SMALL INTERVIEW

1. What was the inspiration for Tool Shed?

The initial idea for the story began many years ago, when I was buying every Leisure Books paperback I could get my hands on. I loved the stories that Don was editing, and they were all classic horror tales. I wanted to someday write a 'traditional' horror tale, with a monster or demonic entity harassing our hero. I originally thought it from the grandfather's POV, with the murders happening on the farm. Then I put it away and began writing a dozen other stories. But while reading The Rising, or one of Brian Keene's zombie books, I came across a point where he talks about dead cows in the field. The line 'The cows had exploded' came to me, and I immediately thought of my Tool Shed idea. I rearranged the story a bit and began writing.


2. What other books in the genre would you compare it too?
I'd love to think my story holds a candle to classic Leisure Books work from John Everson, Keene, Douglas Clegg, and Simon Wood. But those books are amazing, and the period when Dorchester was firing on all cylinders is still my favorite books to read and re-read. I started writing it with them in mind, to be honest. Then, when it all fell down and burned, I decided to find another publisher that I wanted to be associated with. That was Angelic Knight Press. I was lucky because they obviously loved it enough to publish it, and I didn't have it sitting at half a dozen publishers, trying to get sold.


3. Is it a series? Will we get to revisit the characters?

Kind of. There is a longer novel I've written called Chelsea Avenue, 'starring' the elementals as well but set in Long Branch New Jersey beginning in 1987. I'm doing edits on the story and hope to get it ready to make the rounds as well very soon. It's another story that is many years in the making, and another more traditional horror tale.

4. What made you step away from the zombies that populate some of your other writing?

I never set out to be known as a zombie author. I wanted to write horror stories, period. When I wrote Highway To Hell it was only my second zombie story, after the flash fiction piece "Anything But Luck" starring Darlene Bobich (who has been my main character in all the Dying Days zombie stories) and I thought I wouldn't be writing too many more. Wow, was I wrong. The zombie stories struck a chord with readers, and I still find myself adding more and more to the Dying Days universe. But I still write horror stories, and just released a print horror short story collection, Skulls And Bones, that contains nine stories and none of them are zombies. I swear.

5. The main character, Michael, is a large man. No chiseled abs or buff physique there. And yet, he's basically the hero. Why write him that way?

I'm a big guy, pushing 300 lbs. I can relate to the character and his physical limitations, although I'd like to think I'm in better shape than Michael. I didn't want a Vin Diesel He-man in the story. I wanted a group of normal people, and even his best friend is more geek than anything. Characters that are relatable to a reader, instead of buff male strippers hanging out with super-hot chicks. I only do that in my real life. 

LOOK FOR OTHER EXCITING BOOKS AT



Monday, November 19, 2012

MY WISH ... PARDON ... WORK IN PROGRESS

What's cooking on the grill?
This is what I'm working on right now. Weird, complex, and believe it or not, a bit romantic.
Here's Chapter One. Enjoy!


WHATCHAGONNADO?

What would you do if you knew you are going to die?

Oh, I’m not meaning in the traditional way; we are all bound to die now or then. I’m talking about knowing the exact hour and day of your departure, and how you’re going to buy the farm.

Would you spend your shortening time with your family? Taking care of things—and affections—you took for granted? Making love to your partner every darn day, instead of the usual Saturday night quickie; listening to the rants of your love-struck daughter, and making peace with your ungrateful sister that kicked you out of the family house so many years ago?

Would you spend it by dating as many as possible, one or more a night, or wrecking away your liver with so much alcohol you could fuel all cars in Detroit for a whole year?

Or would you retire to a monastic life, praying every day to repent your sins and for peace in the world? Amen.

Me?

I’m doing nothing special. I’m just wearing my best suit, after shaving myself clean, combing my hair in front of my three thousand dollar mirror, and looking at my tanned reflection.

For I KNOW I’m going to die today.

I have a date with Ms. Reaper at eight PM, down at the crossway between Okeechobee Drive and Lakeview Parkway, right in front of Meeks’ Fish & Tackle, when my black Porsche will be so attracted to a lonely willow that it will rush at it in a passionate hug, and this romantic moment will be underscored by a soundtrack of grinding metal, shattering glass, and my own scream.

I know, I know, a zillion questions are crowding your mind right now.

Why don’t I simply skip my appointment with the Grim Lady and go somewhere else, or just avoid driving the whole day? How do I know about my death? Why I do believe in such daft stuff? And most of all: how can I afford a Porsche?

Yep, I see that.

First let me introduce myself, then I’ll tell you everything—about my death, my forecast, and my fortunes.

The name’s Arthur, Arthur J. Dale. The J stands for Jefferson.

And up to one year ago I was a hobo. Yes, you read it well. I was a bum, a vagrant, a homeless bastard shunned by everyone here in Prosperity Glades, one of those people you look at like a discarded and crumpled can, or worse. Well, you’ve got the idea.

But now I’m a respected son of a bitch, with more green in my bank account than the whole Glades. I own an excessively large mansion at Johnston Hall Estates, have a personal jet in Fort Lauderdale, a very big yacht anchored at Biscayne Bay, and thirteen percent shares in a name company. Luckily, I have no family. No wife or kids.

No one.

So, no one will miss me when they’ll extract my mangled body—this time really looking like a bent soda can—from the car’s metal, coming out of it like a stillborn fetus in a parody of life and death.

Except …

Well, except Sandy.

Sandy the Dandy, to be more precise. Dandizette would be more fitting for she is a chick; and a pretty one, too. She is a bum, like I was, eking out a living in the dirty streets of West Bend. She makes her carton home in the parking lot, just to the Banshee’s Cry’s left. I still do not understand how she can sleep with all the mess coming out of that coyote ugly nightclub. But she likes the place and there’s no way of moving her out of it.

She was born Sandy A. Carver, the illicit daughter of a Texan motherfucker that placed a loaf inside her mom’s oven down in Miami, then ran back to his legitimate wife and kids in Amarillo. However, years later, he took plight of his hidden secret and came back when she was sixteen, when Darleen, Sandy’s mom, had died of cancer, and offered her his surname and a large sum to clean up his conscience. But it was too late. Sandy spat on his face right in front of the few mourners at the funeral home and kicked him straight in the jewels, sending him howling out in the green fields. People who saw the scene still recall it as the funniest thing they had ever seen at a burial.

I missed it. I was twenty-one and working like a mule for a packing company up in Vero Beach. That was before the first Bad Thing happened. Even long before the second Bad Thing happened. Or the Real Bad Thing.

The first Bad Thing happened on a bright day of June 1995 when my whole family disappeared in a big crash on the Turnpike. I had no relatives, and all of a sudden I found myself alone in the world. It was a tough thing to swallow, like gulping down a damn gator for sure. And I wasn’t so good at swallowing.

In less than a year I was out in the streets, depressed, boozy, and busted, by God. I had not an ounce of clean blood in my veins, or better, my system was so full of alcohol I could explode just by lighting a cig. What a wreck.

Well, to make a long and boring story short, I lived as a wino for more than sixteen years, drifting around from hamlet to town in a never-ending search for something I didn’t want or care for. I simply existed; more a vegetable, or a fungus, than a man. I had no balls to kill myself, and mostly had lost all the primary functions in my intoxicated brain, so that I lived in my own mental reservation, talking to imaginary people and shaking my fist at trees stealing my shadow.

Yet, everything changed on a rainy October night (yeah, I know this is a cliché, but it really happened on a rainy night, whatchagonnado, kiddo?) in Cortez street when I took refuge inside that damned abandoned house. I was feverish and on the verge of dying for sure had not that strange guy come out of nowhere to rescue me.

And you know what? It would have been better for me had I died that night.

For that was the second Bad Thing. Or the Real Bad Thing.

Do you believe in scary stories? No? Well, take a seat and help yourself with the rum bottle over there, for I’m going to tell you one of the weirdest you’ll ever hear, something to chill the blood in your veins.

Something to die for.





Friday, November 16, 2012

'BOOGER' by Franklin E. Wales



I'm a fan of Frank E. Wales, so I may be a bit biased here, having read many of his short stories and some of his novels. When he offered me the opportunity to pick one of his books free, I immediately went for his first; not because I wanted to see his evolution as a writer, but for its theme. I'm simply in love with legends: urban or old.
And the bogeyman legend is one who is staying with us from humanity's dawn. Tales on this creepy kidnapper of kids have been told and retold, but Wales found a different approach to it.
He made it even scarier than the stories out there.
We are immediately treated to a terrible experience suffered by the protagonist, David. His son vanishes in the wee hours of night right under his disbeliever nose, but what he sees is enough to send him to the nuthouse for more than seven years.
Once he comes out, he has lost everything: his son, his marriage, his job, even his mind. Convinced he was the cause of his own son's demise, he tries to start a new life, but soon old horrors resurface and people around him start to die. This will lead him on the verge of alcoholism - and madness - until he meets Arthur, a hobo with a back-story very similar to his. Soon, they join forces to understand what killed their kids and most of all how to protect those they care for.
Booger is well written, filled with angst, and occasionally even cinematic (it would made for a perfect horror movie) but what will fascinate the reader is its dramatic ending.
The Booger - or Boogerman, as the scared kids call it - is something that both Lovecraft and Stephen King would love to add to their `unnameable things' cosmogony.
A must read.



Sunday, November 4, 2012

RAVISHED BY TALES - Or why I'm always pregnant.


Originally titled 'Broken Routine', Home Invasion is one of the most disturbing stories I ever wrote.

And it's a clear example of why and how I write. I always think about writing as a gift and a curse, for putting out a story is indeed wonderful, but it can also cause you to lose sleep, fight with your significant other, and generally be absent from the breathing world for hours. I try to work on stories I'd love to read, of places I'd like to see, and of characters I'd like to meet.
Unfortunately, it rarely goes that way.

I always dream about writing a hard science fiction novel based on the Nommos and Nephilim mythology, but I'm not yet able to put a single word in that awaiting blank file.

For I'm raped by tales.
They seep inside my mind out of the blue, strike at my soul in the most unexpected of times and places, breaking my routine, and leaving me exhausted once they are over. 
Stories tend to rape me. And I always get pregnant.
It's like the xenomorph in 'ALIEN': the idea being the facehugger and the finished product the chestburster.


It happened with ‘REVENANT’ while I was trying to write my science fiction novel, then with ‘Stryx’ while penning down ‘Thrill of the Hunt’. Armand the revenant had it easy; there was a power outage in Ao Nang, which lasted three days, and I spent the evenings chatting with my wife about old horror stories. I recall her mentioning those horror comics (there weren’t graphic novels then) of the ‘70s and out of the dark – literally – the revenant assaulted and placed its weird seed inside me. In less than a week, the monster was out of my brain. Now it has reached adult stage and goes hunting by its own.


Cardinal Lodovico Strigidi invaded my mind while I was writing ‘Echoes from a Distant Desert’ – a short 3-acts tale, I’m planning to finish next – and didn’t let me go till I wrote his cursed story, banging on the walls of my melon, and pacing back and forth in the dark recesses, perpetually repeating his tale like Poe’s telltale heart. This time the delivery was harsher and left some scars, but I swear it burst out almost by itself.


Again, I was writing the outline of a new novel about pirates when a funny guy started asking me what I would do if I knew I was going to die. And he kept asking me that for days, distracting me from those fantastic voyages of the age of sail.
His story, ‘FIVE’, is on the final stage of development and turned out to be one of the most beautiful and humorous tales. I’m really enjoying Mr. Arthur Dale’s voice.




But, a week ago, a new monster took hold of me. And this one was uglier, scarier, and nastier than the others were. Hell, I was still pregnant with Arthur’s tale when this ugly beast ravished me, forcing me to write about the horrors that humans do, and having me describe scenes, even I, consider disgusting. Like all big monsters, its embryo developed faster and has burst out, caked in blood and other fluids, last night and it’s selling already.

My wife uses to say, ‘Jeff, if you were a woman you’ll be always pregnant,” for I rarely say ‘no’ to a request of help.
But this time she is wrong.
I have no choice.





Meet the Andersons, the perfect upper class family of suburban America.
Kevin is a respected attorney-at-law, loyal husband, father of one, and esteemed member of the community. Samantha is his venerating, classy wife.
But what happens when their apparent idyllic existence is shattered by a stranger armed with a gun?
Jeffrey Kosh invites you to a tour de force of violence, sex, and unexpected twists, in this one-night tale of human terror and treachery.
There are no monsters in this story … or maybe they just wear different masks.
It also includes an excerpt from the erotic thriller ‘Thrill of the Hunt’.

Classification: EROTICA






Monday, October 15, 2012

Nine Months ...



After nine months out there my first novel, 'Feeding the Urge', will leave the promotion shelf and go into regular pricing. This will be the last opportunity to grab it at $ 2.99, so hurry up!


AMAZON
AMAZON.UK
AMAZON.FR
AMAZON.DE
AMAZON.IT
AMAZON.SP
BARNES & NOBLE
APPLE iTUNES
SMASHWORDS
KOBO
DIESEL
SONY
LULU



Sunday, October 14, 2012

When The Book Cover Tells Me The Story - by Armand Rosamilia


I've been at this writing game for a few years, and I'm getting old… I feel old, even at 42. I'm set in my ways, and like to do things a certain way now in my life. I have the same basic routine each day for spending my day: Dunkin Donuts at 8 am for an hour while I sip coffee and check my e-mails, then on to the local library for the next four or five hours so I have a quiet corner to write. I love it.
            I also have a structure when it comes to how I write, and where the ideas are going and even where they come from, for the most part. Of course, there are always exceptions, but these are few and far between. Usually.
            When I started germinating the idea for Keyport Cthulhu, I knew I wanted it to be a five part story arc, but have five different short stories that could be read on their own or as a continuing series. I knew I wanted to write five stories that were a bit odd with a specific mood and feel to them, and try to capture a little part of the magic of HP Lovecraft that I grew up reading. I set it in a real-life creepy town I lived in briefly in the 1990's and it was only a few miles away from where I grew up. Even as a kid I remember how old and odd Keyport looked, a little fishing village that time seemed to have forgotten about.

I knew the basic story behind the first one and that was pretty much it. I decided to name them in order, as well, by alphabet, so I had five names picked out: "Ancient", "Barren", "Cabal", "Dagon", and "Evil". I was about halfway through the first story when I began talks with artist/author Jeffrey Kosh about doing the cover art. I wanted the same artist to do all five and have a certain feel and the same lettering, so it would be easy to spot them as a series.
            I figured I would give Jeffrey a few ideas, he would put together some covers by the time I was done with the stories, and then we'd be done. Simple enough.
            Only, I was still halfway done with the story when he hit me with the "Ancient" cover. And I was blown away. I was so blown away that I magnified the artwork, expecting to find some weird symbols or hidden meaning behind it. I guess I did, because I consciously modified the story in spots as I kept writing. You see, Jeffrey is also a great fan of Lovecraft, and all I had to do was give him a quick idea and he came back at me immediately with a cover.


The same thing happened with "Barren." I hadn't even begun the story but I knew the very thin plot to it. Guess what? I had the cover before the story. I'd never, ever written like that before, based on artwork or having it ready before I'd written a word.
            I remember finishing "Barren" just so I could see what he'd come up with next."



 Cabal" is currently being written, and I gave him a simple line about the story off the top of my head. When he sent me the cover art quickly, I looked at it and had my story.
 

COMING SOON

The same for "Dagon" and "Evil", which I have yet to write (I swear, it is coming before the end of this year), but already know the story thanks to giving Jeffrey a single line about the plot and then seemingly watching him create the story and more in his artwork, like… well, like Pickman.
            If the way these stories came about isn't Lovecraftian for you, I don't know what is. Now, if I turn up missing once the fifth and final story is completed, and Jeffrey Kosh ends up in a Massachusetts insane asylum, babbling about bleeding colors and fish-men, you'll know why.



*   *   *   *   *

All five of us - Tonia Brown, James N Cook, John O' Brien, Armand Rosamilia and Mark Tufo - hope you have been following along on the Haunted Halloween Blog Tour 2012. We love to see comments after the posts, and we also love to pick a random commenter and give away a free eBook or even a signed print book, so maybe you'll get lucky!
We have centralized all the upcoming dates and blog posts on a Facebook event page. Feel free to join us there and see what is coming up next!


ARMAND ROSAMILIA

Armand Rosamilia is a New Jersey boy currently living in sunny Florida, where he writes when he's not watching zombie movies, the Boston Red Sox and listening to Heavy Metal music...
"Highway To Hell" and "Dying Days" extreme zombie novellas are part of the growing Extreme Undead series of books/stories created by Armand...
He is also an editor for Rymfire Books, helping with several horror anthologies, including "Vermin" and the "State of Horror" series, as well as the creator and energy behind Carnifex Metal Books, putting out the "Metal Queens Monthly" series of non-fiction books about females into Metal...
You can find him at http://armandrosamilia.com
and e-mail him to talk about zombies, baseball and Metal: armandrosamilia@gmail.com








Saturday, October 6, 2012

HALLOWEEN SPECIAL

I love Halloween.
Well, you can say it's natural for a horror storyteller to love that time of the year ...
Yes. But my relationship with All Hallow's Eve stems from an additional factor.
I was born on October 28th, a three-day shot from Halloween; just the right timing to prepare tricks and decorating my lawn. More, my Samhain lasts longer, for I start celebrating at my birthday and revel till November 1st.

In this occasion, I decided to party with you for the whole month.
There will be special promotions, giveaways, and more. Just follow me this October and you'll get some treats.

Let's start with 'TALES FROM THE DEAD', my collection of all the most successful stories I have published will be available at half price at Smashwords:
Use the following coupon:
Promotional price: $2.00
Coupon Code: NG89J

Expires: October 31, 2012



EXPECT MORE!

Friday, September 21, 2012

MEET A REAL HORROR BUFF: SUSAN MCSHERRY A blog interview by Jeffrey Kosh


Today, I want to introduce you to a dear friend and Horror fan, Susan McSherry.
Susan is a reviewer and professional editor for a well known e-magazine, that also produces hard-copy issues, and a real walking encyclopedia on horror.
She’s also a singer in a rock band, a wife, mother, and business owner.
In short, she is multitalented.
Let’s hear from her.


Jeff: First, welcome to my blog, Susan. We met on Facebook, exchanging jokes and pranks in various horror groups. You have a great sense of humor and are extremely knowledgeable in anything horror. Can you tell us more about you?

Susan: WOW…there’s so much history!!! Not really much to tell though. I’m a wife, a mom, an owner of a computer business, a reader, a reviewer & most recently, a professional editor. I love to read, I love movies, and I love music! As a musician I love to perform and entertain!!!

Jeff: Where does this passion for horror stems from?

Susan: Well, it probably originated from my dad. He took me to my first horror movie; it was a double feature, Dawn of the Dead & The Devil Within Her. Probably the most memorable moments of my life, as far as horror is concerned.

Jeff: How do you ended up reviewing and editing?

Susan: It was a complete fluke. I was reading all of the works of Robert DeCoteau. I looked him up on Facebook, just to tell him I really liked his work. He added me to a group, Kindle Horror Books, on Facebook, & proceeded to tell everyone there I’d be a great reviewer. It kind of grew from there. It started with reviews, and proceeded to doing edits.

Jeff: You are also a singer in a musical band. It is a professional endeavor or just a hobby?

Susan: Singing is a very passionate hobby of mine…I love music & I love to sing, so I thoroughly enjoy doing it!!! We primarily do covers, but we’re working on a few projects that involve doing original music. That’s really all I can say about it at this time!! ;)

Jeff: What’s your favorite color?

Susan:  Hmm….I would have if they’re colors to wear, probably black, even though it’s technically a shade, not a color, and perhaps green. If its colors I want to surround myself with, probably blue & purple.

Jeff: What’s your favorite kind of horror?

Susan: I love, love, love zombie horror!! But I truly love anything within the horror genre…There’s just so much out there that captures my attention.



Jeff: Besides my books, what’s your favorite book of ever?

Susan: I really like any of the Zombie Fallout series by Mark Tufo, and the Dead Hunger series by Eric Shelman.

Jeff: Who’s your favorite author?

Susan: I’m not sure I have one….There’s so many amazing authors to choose from & I love them all!!!

Jeff: Who inspired or inspires you the most?

Susan: Probably my husband…He has such sense for business & for people. He can pick up things that most can’t. He’s my rock. I know I can always count on him for anything & everything. He’s just such an amazing & wonderful human being.

Jeff: Margarita or Sex-on-the-Beach?

Susan: Well, I’d start with a margarita, preferably a Midori margarita, then follow it up with Sex-On-The-Beach!! But if I had to choose only one, it would have to be Sex-On-The-Beach!

Jeff: Would you like to travel the world, like me?

Susan: Of course I would!!

Jeff: Is there anything more you would share with us?

Susan: I’m a fairly simple kind of gal, I have simple wants & simple needs. I am easily pleased!!! I love doing the things I do, and I really couldn’t ask for anything more.

Jeff: Thank you for sharing with us. My best.