13 Stories Has Begun

Halloween has officially begun! If you haven’t yet, head on over to 13 Stories Til Halloween and get caught up. It shouldn’t take long, it started yesterday with “A Warm Welcome” and was followed by today’s story “The Block” by Joey Payne. The Mistresses of the Dark who run things there, Jordan and Beth, are keeping lock and key on the posting order of the stories to keep things extra interesting. So the only way to make sure you catch my contribution is to check in every day over there to read the next story! They’re posted at midnight (EST I think) every night until Halloween! Make sure to head over now and check out Joey Payne’s story, it’s a good one!

Happy October!

Hey gang, it’s that time of year again! IT’S OCTOBER!!!

Man oh man, do I love Fall! And what comes with it? The greatest holiday all year, Halloween! And what leads up to Halloween? Thirteen Stories!

Of course you know I have a tale in this year’s 13 Stories ‘Til Halloween, and it turned out nice and creepy! Once they told me what the theme was for this year I immediately thought of the classic tale of an evil family member out for revenge. More specifically, the short story “Father’s Day” on the cult classic movie “Creepshow.” I spun my tale around that premise and got something that I think might give you some shivers this Halloween!

To get you in the spirit, the fine folks over at 13 Stories made up this sweet trailer for the upcoming event!

In other news, I have decided to not do NaNoWriMo this year. I’ve finally fallen back into reading again and because of 13 Stories and Halloween itself coming up I’ve been in a creative mood and I foresee working on things that I’ve neglected for almost a year now happening very soon, hopefully. Which will inevitably lead to more writing and hopefully another project done and ready for print! We shall see though, I’m not holding my breath.

One thing at a time and right now Fall is upon us and 13 Stories will be here before we know it! Mark your calendar for October 19th and spread the word, it’ll be a lot of fun!

Hand One Is Dealt On Sale Now!

Hey folks, check this out. I was just cruising around Amazon when I stopped by the page for Hand One Is Dealt when I discovered a book store from California has a couple copies of the book, brand new, on sale! Also, Amazon has the book on sale as well for a whopping 40 cents off! Either way, now would be a great time to get your hands on a paper copy of the book if you’ve been wanting one!

I also noticed Krista Gossett posted a lovely review of Skinner on Amazon as well! If her name sounds familiar, she’s the amazing artist who hand painted the cover of Hand One Is Dealt for me!

HOID-epub-cover

Planning For Halloween

Are you planning for Halloween yet? Well, I am. I got an email this morning telling me that I have been selected as one of thirteen individuals to write for 13 Stories Til Halloween this year!

I’m so totally stoked. They’ve only been around a couple of years but they always entertain. And now I’ll be a part of their family, which makes me happy. The coolest thing about this year is, they’re going to have a theme and every writer will be contributing to one big story (from what I understand, I could be wrong). So I don’t actually have to think of a story just yet. I’ll get a prompt and then I’ll be let loose to run with it.

The closer we get to Halloween the more excited I’ll be (I am every year anyway around that time)! I hope you will join me over there this year in reading some creepy camp fire style stories to give you the chills! Do you hear the cheesy ghost moans yet?

The Abandoned Factory

Hey there folks, I recently passed by a place that I wanted to share with you. Sadly I don’t have any pictures of the place but I will soon hopefully. If I don’t get arrested for trespassing in the process.

You see, I take my wife to work and pick her up when she’s done. Even on the highway it’s a half hour drive in either direction. And quite frankly, I’m not a highway kinda guy. I enjoy driving and seeing things as I drive. People on the highway are in too much of a hurry (except that one person in the fast lane doing 20). I can’t enjoy myself on the highway and in recent years I’ve spent too much time on highways and have ruined my love of driving. Gas prices don’t help.

So when I take my wife to work and have to turn right around and come home, I get bored with the drive. So I’ve taken to finding new ways to come home. I basically know the area and all of the areas from point A to point B so finding new ways to come home means little more than “taking the long way.”

That was fun for a while but then that got to be a bore. I knew those areas and driving through them was no fun. I longed for the days of old when I used to get together with a friend or two and drive around, sometimes all night long, coming home just as the sun started to come up on the horizon. Those were the best days of my life. Not a care in the world, no destination… just driving around trying to get lost so we could not only find our way back to civilization, but to discover new things. And the country was always a hot spot for our driving adventures.

Well, a few years ago when I had to pick my wife up from work I had made my way to the main highway I always seem to take and found it to be horribly backed up with traffic. Never mind getting to my wife on time, I didn’t want to deal with sitting on the highway. There are no stop signs or red lights on the highway, so why is the traffic always stopped? I never understood it, and I don’t like it. If I’m spending $4 on a gallon of gas, I don’t want to waste it by sitting motionless.

So that day I decided to go on a little adventure and try to get to my wife’s work by going a way I had never gone before. The main road I had to take I knew just barely, to a point, but once I passed that point I was in undiscovered territory. The road followed the highway all the way up to her job but at some point I lost sight of the highway and had no idea when I should turn to get to her work.

After I had traveled far enough on it I decided I should probably find a road and turn, so I did. I discovered even more awesomeness, but I was lost, which for me wasn’t a problem. I had enough gas and at that point I still had time to find her.

Eventually that day I found my wife’s work, made it on time, and I had a nice little adventure. That was a few years ago.

Well recently I decided it was time to go on another adventure to break up the monotony of my daily drives. I decided I was going to find the path I took that day, only the opposite way, and go home that way. The only problem was, I couldn’t remember it. At all.

Instead I went the way I THOUGHT I had gone and I found a new way to go home. And these last couple of nights I have gone that way only to find variations of it and I have discovered some really cool places, most of them in the country. My love for driving around at night, in the country, lost, has come back.

The coolest thing I discovered, which is why I brought all of this up, is a really cool, old factory. Leaving from my wife’s work I made my way down this road through the little town that sits next to her work and once you get through that you go down this very curvy road. At one point you literally have to stop so that you can stay in your lane as you turn. It’s awesome. And the road on either side is surrounded by woods and the unknown. At night it makes for a wonderful scene.

As you get through the curves you come to a straightened part of the road and in the dark, just up ahead, you can see jutting out from the top of the tree line two old towers. They look out of place in this vast forest of darkness.

The road, in this straightened out part, is a bridge that goes over a river that cuts its way through the woods that surround you. In the dark you can only imagine it’s there because you can’t see it, even with a full moon overhead. The darkness takes control of everything here.

Those towers are just a silhouette in the darkness, against a night sky. You can make out their shape but you can’t see their color or the physical shape they’re in. I can only imagine they’re showing their age just as the buildings are that they belong to.

As you drive over the bridge you find yourself at another sharp turn and then there you are, in the middle of the woods with just one street light illuminating the area, and poorly. It definitely sets the mood, as if that was its intended purpose.

The buildings are old and dilapidated. At one time they housed a mill, or a plant of some kind where maybe a hundred workers would come to do their jobs and put in their overtime. As you drive by you see no main entry way, no “front door” area, just a place to drive back into the center of the buildings where the loading docks might be.

Overall, the building, or buildings, isn’t big and doesn’t take up a lot of space. They’re completely surrounded by the woods and on one side the river that flows past. There’s nothing else around except for a small gravel parking area across the street. And that one street light.

No signs show the former name of the building or business. There aren’t even any “stay out” signs hanging anywhere that I could see. All of the windows, if there are any, are boarded up. Yet tonight as I drove past for the third time I noticed back in the center of the complex a big box truck that looked newer, as if it were there waiting on a load to fill it so it could go on a delivery. I wondered if someone decided to park there for the night to sleep undisturbed so that tomorrow they could continue their journey, or if the place actually is still in operation on some level.

I can’t help but feel as I pass by that I am being watched by someone or something inside the building. But each time I drive by, I do so slowly so that I can take as much of it in as I pass by before it’s gone. And it’s always gone in a hurry, as there isn’t much to the building that sits right alongside the road.

One day, maybe tomorrow, I plan on stopping and taking some pictures. It’s a really cool place and its location in the woods makes it seem like a perfect find, a perfect treasure just for me. Even though that road is actually a well traveled road, I feel as if that place was left there for only me to find. I love it, and I can’t wait to see it in the day light.

EDIT: Before I even got to post this I decided to do a Google Street View of the place and I was in luck. I have all of my questions answered, and some pictures to show you! This place is amazing to me. And I don’t have to take my own pictures and risk being arrested or deported (because it’s that serious obviously).

I discovered cars in the parking areas, so maybe it is still in operation to some degree. Of course the Street View is from a few years ago so maybe that’s changed. I also discovered a bike trail that rides right alongside the place, and also a guy named Mark had gone by and taken some of his own pictures of the place and they turned out nicely, but they are basically what I’m showing you, so I didn’t use his. I also discovered the windows are not boarded up, but broken in true old abandoned building fashion. I’d like to thank Google for the pictures I took from their Street View. You can click the pictures to enlarge them.

Crossing the river you can see the two towers sticking up through the trees. This looks awesome at night.

Crossing the river you can see the two towers sticking up through the trees. This looks awesome at night.

The bike trail is to the right.

The bike trail is to the right.

The small gravel parking area across the street.

The small gravel parking area across the street.

This is where I saw the box truck parked, back in that area.

This is where I saw the box truck parked, back in that area.

The place is for lease? I might have to look into that.

The place is for lease? I might have to look into that.

This is the spot where I feel watched.

This is the spot where I feel watched.

What an awesome place. The location of it is what makes this place so cool. I’ve seen plenty of buildings just like this one all over my city, but none are sitting in the middle of the woods next to a river away from everything else. I’d love to walk through this place and see the inside.

Anyway, just thought I’d share this with all of you! I hope you find this as cool as I did. Are there any awesome places like this near you that creep you out?

2 AM Photo: The Ending

Originally when I wrote 2 AM Photo, I had left off the ending and asked you, the readers, to give me the details as to what happened next. I got a few good ideas (not nearly as many as I was hoping for, cough cough) but ultimately had to write down what it was that I thought happened at the end. I then promised at the end of that story that I would eventually give you the ending.

My original idea was to include the story in a book of short stories I’m working on, and make you get that to find out what happened at the end. But there’s no telling when, or if, that’s ever going to come out and still to this day I’m being asked what happened at the end. So I figured I made you wait long enough.

Go to the story and reread it if you like, or just scroll to the bottom and read the end! And of course, let me know what you think!

[Interview] Alexandra Sokoloff Discusses Misogyny, Screenwriting, Theater and More!

Alexandra Sokoloff has been working to leave readers breathless for years now. The woman has released some high quality work and shows absolutely zero sign of slowing. Rather, if anything, Sokoloff has really hit her stride as of late. With some heavy industry nods already under her belt, and a growing fan base in tow, Sokoloff marches through the marshes of fiction delivering clean, straight forward stories that most genre fans are likely to gravitate to. She’s a damn fine writer (check out our coverage of Unseen here and Book of Shadows right here), plain and simple. She also happens to be one those rare good people as well. She’s warm, friendly and easy to talk to. Fortunately for us, she had the time to make a theoretical discussion a reality.

Our very own Drake Morgan managed to track Sokoloff down, and she was kind enough to isolate a few minutes of her day in order to tackle some questions. Check put the interview below, in which Alexandra discusses everything from misogyny, to screenwriting, to theater and more!

[Interview] Alexandra Sokoloff Discusses Misogyny, Screenwriting, Theater and More!

Cool interview with one of my favorite authors! Check it out!

Update

Hey folks, sorry for the long delay in things going on around here. Life has a way of doing that, doesn’t it? Taking what you like to do and flipping it inside out…

I’ve had the worst case of writer’s block I’ve ever had for the last few months and it’s really getting me down. I’m doing my best to get over it, I just really don’t know how. I’ve never had it this bad before.

In any case, all is well, I’m just not writing. Which sucks, because I have so much to work on. In any case, I haven’t forgotten about this place, or you, for that matter. I thank you all for being patient (and not bombing me with “where the hell are you” comments) and just really hanging out and being groovy. So thanks for that.

I hope to have updates soon, I just don’t know how soon. I’m currently still dealing with the block, but it’s fading, I can tell.

2 AM Photo

It was nearly one-thirty in the morning when Dave Aulman laid down next to his wife in bed. Suzy was on her side facing away from him, snoring her cute little snores. Dave covered himself with the blankets and faced his wife. He rubbed on her arm with his hand and in her sleep she responded by touching his hand with hers. Dave smiled and turned over.

Dave looked out into the darkness of the room, looking at all of the familiar shapes and shadows, produced by the faint light coming in through the windows. There was a street light that always produced the shadows, but tonight there was also a clear sky and a full moon. The room was lit up nicely in a pale white light.

Suzy continued snoring her cute little snores and Dave listened to them, getting lost in them. They weren’t annoying like a man’s snores. They were hypnotic, and they often helped to put him to sleep. Unfortunately for Dave, that wasn’t going to happen so easily tonight.

Dave had a few things running through his mind. He knew his company was laying off people, some who had been there longer than he had. He had been worried since the first round of layoffs happened two weeks prior and had been exploring other options since. The options he had, weren’t very good.

Their oldest child, Angel was about to graduate from high school and was going to become a Freshman at their local college in the fall. Sure they had money saved for her books and those other little things that her scholarship wouldn’t cover, but where would that leave them if he couldn’t find work? Suzy’s job was going well, but it wouldn’t be enough.

Dave lay awake, thinking of all the things that were going on, those extra little things that made those few big things stand out even more. Oil change for the car, renewing of plates and license coming up in a few months, groceries, gas prices going up. All of the necessities of life were racking his brain when he knew they shouldn’t be. But he couldn’t help it.

After laying in bed for what seemed to be forever, Dave finally succumbed to sleep. His eyes closed, blocking out the misty white room, and his thoughts took a time out. He was feeling calm and peaceful as the sleep slowly made its way through his body.

He wasn’t sure if he had been out completely yet or not, or if he had been out long if he had fallen fully asleep when his cell phone vibrated on the stand next to his side of the bed. He opened his eyes and could still feel the comfort of being almost asleep all throughout his body. He could see the room was lit up a little more by the new message on his cell phone screen.

Dave reached out and grabbed the phone, still unable to think of who it might be at that time of night. His screen showcased two messages to him, the time, which he now could see was just after two in the morning, and one telling him he had a new text message.

He flipped his phone open and clicked a button. The message opened up and it was nothing more than a photo. A photo of the front of his house.

House At Night

From:
Time: 2:01a
Date: 2/25/13

Continue reading

They Can’t Say No

This past National Novel Writing Month I churned out a new novel titled “They Can’t Say No” and I was going to post an excerpt from it here like I did last year with the “Hand One Is Dealt” excerpt, except I wasn’t sure exactly what I was going to do with it. You see, this is a different kind of story for me. It’s not necessarily horror. It’s more along the lines of sci/fi erotica. Yes, there are sex scenes in it. A lot of them.

What I didn’t know what to do with it was, I didn’t know if I should publish it under my name or a pen name, because it’s erotica. However, I think I would have been found out eventually and then where would I be? So I’m just going to put it out as me and have that be that.

Writing sex scenes turned out to be very easy for me and once that aspect of the story came up, I flew through them without hesitation. Not only did it help to pad the story with material, but it also helped to boost my word count up to the 50,000 word mark that I needed by the end of November, somewhere around November 17th. I was done with my 50K novel halfway through the month. I think it was Elysabeth Williams who challenged me to write another 50K before the end of the month, but by that point I was spent. No pun intended. Besides, I didn’t see where else I could go with the story.

With that said, I don’t have an excerpt ready yet for you, but I will post one soon. However, here’s a synopsis of what the story is about.

Working Cover

Working Cover

David is a genius. He’s always been the nerdy type, creating robots, video game systems, computers, all from scratch. He studies molecules and atoms for fun. He also studies the female body. Since he is such a nerd he seems to have a hard time finding true love, so he spends a lot of his time online visiting porn sites.

One day he decides to create a camera that would take pictures and extract the DNA of the subject in the picture and then clone them at will. He suddenly starts having all the sex he wants with the women he wants, except with their clones and not the real them.

David runs into his neighbor and becomes friends with him. Fred starts teaching David a new way of life. How to enjoy sports, beer, even marijuana. In turn, David gets his new pal laid. As it turns out, Fred is a gambler and he hits it big one night while gambling online. The two decide to take a road trip.

They go to gamble in a real casino, while high, and they wind up hitting it big. In the meantime, David has found the hots for a new woman, a real woman, who comes to clean his apartment for him. He falls in love, but shortly after discovers the police hauling her away.

Through traveling, smoking pot and getting into a lot of interesting incidents, David and Fred live the life while looking for true love. David has to make a choice, go after a real woman, or live happily ever after with one of his clones who is programmed to love him back.

I did in this story what Erin Morgenstern, author of “The Night Circus” did in her story. I ran out of places to go with my characters, so I started putting them in different situations, and the story came from that. What you read in this story is almost all on-the-fly stuff, not planned at all. And it worked for me.

I’m happy with how the story turned out but I’m currently wondering if I should change the ending. I have two in mind, the one I gave it and another that takes the story to a different place. We shall see. In any case, it’s being edited now and will be published shortly after. I plan on releasing a paper version of it first, with the e-book coming sometime after that.