Friday, December 9, 2016

Revisionist Christmas

Well, less than two and a half weeks until Christmas and, to be honest, I haven't done a lick of shopping yet. Not a thing.

Well, not quite true. There was one gift sitting in my Amazon 'Save For Later' bin which I tucked into the checkout when buying something else. So there's that. But miles to go before I sleep and all that. No, not true, either. I'm typing this right before going to sleep, so I suppose our mileage may vary.

Been doing my damnedest to write every day, and I've mostly succeeded. Working on the fourth draft of Lost in the Woods and still like this, a lot. It's different, and fun, and funny, and scary (I hope). Funny thing about fourth drafts for me - since I tend write in drafts (regurgitate the story as it comes to me first time, no edits, then clean up the big messes in the second, begin to see some decent light shining through the holes in the ceiling on the third). There's still, and always will be, tweaks to the writing, a better word here, less words there, stupid why did I think that was clever there (this last point could be the topic for an entirely different post, but let's try and stay on point a little, at least). 

Other fourth draft discoveries are patching the holes in the characters' physical world. For example, my main character David Pilkinton leaves one location wearing no coat, in the dead of winter (good reason for this) but in a later scene we return to him for a good ten minutes outside without the narrative reminding us he's friggin' freezing, and needs to get inside. I had to remind the reader and make sure everything he does outside of the toasty car is realistic. Stuff on the counter that was somewhere else, even a little, when he left the cottage better be in the same place when he gets back, unless its deliberate. That kind of thing.

Getting close to finishing the draft. Then, knowing I won't find much at all in later drafts if I keep editing online, I'll print off the entire manuscript, read through with new eyes (because at this point my brain is too used to seeing the pages on the screen and doesn't even read the words). Having to read in a different medium forces me to actually read it and more crap jumps out at me.

I actually enjoy the act of revision. Fun to see a good, professional story take shape out if the miasma of my mind.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

A rambling treatise on dreams and nightmares

I've been having a heck of a lot of elaborate dreams lately. I hesitate to call them nightmares, though they usually turn dark near the end. The other night I was dreaming of being in a... Why does my phone capitalize the next word after ellipses? They're pauses, like commas. If I did four dots that'd be different.

Sorry. Nightmares. Dreams. 

When I sleep I expect to rest, not have to deal with anything more complicated than adjusting my pillow or getting up to pee. And the occasional night where my two year old son has nightmares or falls out of his Thomas the Tank Engine bed. Instead I spend my quality REM time with an elaborate cast of characters dancing through sweeping plots usually revolving around work (my dream-version of work, as in I always seem to work in a specific high-rise tower at the outskirts of a nameless city, same building all the time, and as far as I can tell unrelated to my actual, waking job), or home (my usual dream home, which always seems to be under construction and I often discover new rooms I didn't even know I have).

Maybe my life is getting crowded in the waking world - not necessarily a bad thing. There are some amazing people in my life, between family, friends, church and fellow writers (these last three are interchangeable, of course). Years ago, when I was going through my divorce, I often dreamed of looking out my back window and constantly finding construction crews tearing up my yard and the woods beyond. Dream interpretations explain that's normal - it's your brain dealing with major changes in life.

Now, my dreams don't find me fighting with construction crews ripping up my yard, though I still find new rooms I'd 'forgotten' about. The latter sounds optimistic... There it goes again.... Sorry. Optimistic because of new opportunities coming my way. Life is good. No complaints, even if my dreams are getting crowded and invariably twist around to fearsome moments of terror at the end. I always wake up before the monsters or demon children kill me, so there's a happy addition to the thankful list.

Not sure the point of this post, except to poke my brain in and say hi, share a little something other than writing news. But dreams, and nightmares, are early drafts of something that might end up on the page. If not the disconnected, stream of conscious events these usually end up being, then at least their atmosphere.

My very first horror story, originally titled "The Basement" and which later was enlarged to the novella with Lauran Soares Nightmare in Greasepaint, was originally inspired by a recurring nightmare when I was a kid. I was teased my this short little clown who would wait until Mom was in the bathroom and could help me, then he'd insult me. And I couldn't hit him, because he was smaller than me. What? I was five. Later, I learned that my brother Joe would have nightmares if a train passing by him at night, with an evil clown hanging from the caboose, slowly swinging a dirty lantern and smiling at him. I've known for years I needed to use that one, as well, and eventually incorporated it into my new novel (almost done), Lost in the Woods.

I've been trying to take notes on details of my more recent dreams. All of it, fodder for something new, someday.

I'll still whine about them, on mornings when I wake up tired - mentally at least - after a full night's sleep, but we all need them. Exhausting as they sometimes are.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Wicked Witches Interview at the Taco Society

Editors Scott GoudswardDavid Price and I recently sat down with Tony Tremblay and Phil Perron of The Taco Society Presents local access TV show to discuss the NEHW's newest anthology, Wicked Witches! We talked about the process of putting an anthology of short stories together, the NEHW, our own work, and then wrapped up with brief readings from excerpts from stories in the book. You can find it on Youtube, or just click the link below to watch it here:

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Interview with the NEHW in Rue Morgue Magazine!

Tom Deady has interviewed me (my real name) and others from the New England Horror Writers organization in the current anniversary edition of Rue Morgue Magazine! The primary focus is the publication of our new anthology, Wicked Witches, but it's a 2-page spread in one of the biggest, most-read magazines in the horror genre. Awfully cool.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Wicked Witches: An Anthology from the New England Horror Writers is Now Available!

Now available: a new anthology, in celebration of the NEHW's presence this Halloween weekend in Salem, MA. An anthology of all-original short fiction from some of the best writers in New England. Co-Edited by Scott T Goudsward, David Price and Daniel G. Keohane!

New England has a rich, dark history with the supernatural. From this region many writers of dark fiction have fueled their stories. One chapter in history has been the stuff of legends and nightmares: the Witch. Look to ancient mythology or your next door neighbor and you will find them, practicing arts both Dark and Light. The New England Horror Writers proudly present a new anthology which pays tribute to those whose ancestors were accused, hung, pressed, drowned, or burned at the stake. Enter these pages, wander the hard roads of Colonial America or modern corporate boardrooms, to face the Witch.

Wicked Witches, fiction and poetry from New England’s most talented writers: G.D. Dearborn, Barry Lee Dejasu, Peter N. Dudar, Jeremy Flagg, Joshua Goudreau, Catherine Grant, Jan Kozlowski, Patrick Lacey, Izzy Lee, Nick Manzolillo, John McIlveen, Paul McMahon, James A. Moore, Errick A. Nunnally, Ogmios, Suzanne Reynolds-Alpert, Doug Rinaldi, Rob Smales, Morgan Sylvia, K.H. Vaughan, Morven Westfield and Trisha J. Wooldridge. Introduction by Penny Dreadful.

Amazing Cover Art by Mikio Murakami

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Second Draft of LOST IN THE WOODS finito!

OK, now we're cooking with... how's that expression go? Steam. No. Fire?
Gas, maybe. Anyway, just finished the second draft of my newest horror novel LOST IN THE WOODS. I like it when the second draft works out like this - the ending is better, and I ironed out a lot of plot kinks so now it's just refine, refine, REFINE! for another quite-a-few more go-around's.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Borderlands 6 Anthology Available for Pre-Order: Limited Hardcover and Kindle Edition

The signed, limited hardcover edition of Borderlands 6 is being released in a week, and is available now for preorder here for $50.00!
As well, the kindle edition, published through Samhain Publishing, is also available for pre-order here for only $5.99!

There will also be a trade paperback edition, though not sure when this will become available. Soon, I imagine. It's going to be a great line up. Edited by Tom and Olivia Monteleone, and featuring stories by M. Louis Dixon, John McIlveen, Jack Ketchum, Rebecca J. Allred, Dan Waters, Michael Bailey, John Boden, Trent Zelazny & Brian Knight, Bob Pastorella, Peter Salomon, Carol Pierson Holding, Steve Rasnic Tem, Darren O. Godfrey, David Annandale, Anya Martin, G. Daniel Gunn & Paul Tremblay, Gordon White, Sean M. Davis, Tim Waggoner, Bradley Michael Zerbe, and Gary A. Braunbeck. Also included, one amazing previously-published novelette by David Morrell.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Interview with Sci-Fi Saturday Night This Week!

This week I'm going to be interviewed by the podcast Sci-Fi Saturday Night! You can catch the interview LIVE this Wednesday from 8:00 - 9:00 pm EST (my interview is around 8:30 pm) or visit and watch the recast on Saturday night (hence the name!). I met these folks during Supermegafest and am looking forward to chatting with them!

If you want to watch the show live, you can go here:

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

MADHOUSE Anthology Contributor Copy Arrives!

2 or 3 years in the making, the shared-world anthology MADHOUSE is almost here! I just got my contributor copy in the mail today, and it's gorgeous, with artwork for every story and the creepiest wraparound cover since the old Alfred Hitchcock nightmare-inducing covers of the 70's, by Aeron Alfrey. Edited by Benjamin Kane Ethridge and Brad C. Hodson, the overall anthology tells the story of a plague of mental illness that overtakes the staff of a hospital for the mentally ill which has become isolated in a sandstorm.

My story, "My Dearest Gwendolyn" in included among amazing and talented authors.

The book should be available to the retail public mid-late April.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Samhain Shutting Its Doors

So a couple of weeks ago all authors of Samhain Publishing (who have published my ebook novella Nightmare in Greasepaint and its related print collection Childhood Fears) received an email notifying us that the publisher is going out of business. Not just the horror line, but the larger romance line as well. No specifics have been given at this point what it means for existing titles, though it seems they will continue to be sold until such time as the company goes officially "under."

Supposedly we'll get the rights to our work assigned back to us at that point, since the contract will be null. To add a twist, however, the publisher did state to one author that something might be in the works - nothing specific, perhaps another publisher is buying them out? Time will tell. In the meantime, I'll keep an eye out for Childhood Fears to see if they have any fire sales.

Such is the nature of publishing. Samhain has always been a relatively small press, using print on demand for their print titles and so never getting them into bookstores. But it was showing signs of becoming big, bringing on more authors, etc. Instead, on it's way to the next economic peak, it slipped. I guess. So, stay tuned to see. When they fired their prestigious horror editor, Don D'Auria, many saw this as the first volley over our bows. We were right, since not long after they announced the closing of the company.

In other news, my new novel, Lost in the Woods, has been completed (first draft), and the revision process will begin once I finish work on Plague of Locusts (as Daniel G Keohane). Stay tuned.

Thursday, February 18, 2016


I'll be attending, along with other members of the New England Horror Writers, the comic-con event Supermegafest, in Marlboro MA, April 8 - 10th. We'll be selling and signing books, speaking on a couple of panels, event holding a fiction writing workshop!. More information as it develops. Check the link - there are some awesome special guests already lined up.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Story Sale to Borderlands 6

Good news, my story, "Shattered" written with the awesome Paul Tremblay (A Head Full of Ghosts, 2015) years ago has been accepted to the upcoming Borderlands 6 anthology, editing by Tom and Olivia Monteleone. The line-up looks amazing and I'm really looking forward to sharing the pages with so many talented writers. More news as it develops.

In related news, my story "My Dearest Gwendolyn" is set to appear very soon in the upcoming Madhouse shared world anthology. Signature sheets are complete, and production on the limited editions has begun. This is going to be an amazing looking book, with every story illustrated and every story related to a common storyline. It's been a long wait for this one, but the end is in sight at last!

Friday, January 8, 2016

Book Giveaway for CHILDHOOD FEARS

Author Christine Hayton is doing a free book giveaway at Goodreads for our anthology of novellas CHILDHOOD FEARS this month. Check it out and enter!