Tuesday, October 18, 2016


This has been a long time coming and I gotta tell you it feels pretty damn good!

I was first published in April of 2010. Since then I have had twenty five more Amazon related products released and numerous non-commercially available material and finally today I hit the #1 bestseller list in something! Western Horror to be precise. It is a niche market but as of the last check (because I am compulsively looking) I was at 6,298 overall on Amazon books and even made it into the top 100 Westerns category at slot 78, and slot 175 in Horror.
That little orange badge thrills me to no end.
I believe this is the highest I have ever had a book rank that is mine alone. I did do quite well with the first Space Eldritch collection but even that only ever got to #2 in Space Opera because we couldn't unseat OSC's Ender's Game.

So this is a big deal for me and I am riding high. Cold Slither was already doing relatively good by my standards so I'm keeping on with what I was already planning and having some Porter novel's coming down the pike soon.
Think spaghetti westerns, Peckinpah and a lot of Tarantino grit and wit, along with my own voice and stylings based on this real person I love to make stories up about.

Thanks to everyone who has grabbed a copy for getting me there!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Utah Halloween Expo

I'm a special guest at the Utah Halloween Expo this coming Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Sandy Utah at the Southe Town Expo Center. I'll be at booth 139  - signing books and speaking on the awesome nature of fear in writing on Saturday at 3:00 on the DIY stage.

They'll have a lot of horror related guests and what I'm sure will be some of my kids favorites some of the folks from SyFy's Face Off. My kids do love making masks.
Plus I'll get to hang with some good friends and hopefully make some new ones.

It promises to be a scary good time!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Pulp's and Pixelry

I've got a few scattered thoughts I thought I'd jot down here while it was fresh on my mind. Partly inspired from a  couple of conversations and blogs posts from friends - like Paul McNamee and Jay Barnson  but its also something I've pondered for awhile now.
As huge fan of the old school pulp fiction I pay attention anytime I
hear someone say something like a resurgence is coming like say in perhaps the sub genre of grimdark or new collection like Skelos magazine - which I heartily approve of. But while grimdark is just a new repackaging of sword and sorcery its not quite what I'm thinking of today.

The "pulps" were pulps by the very nature of being printed on cheap materials as opposed to the "slicks" with their fancy glossy paper.

We don't have that anymore - what do we have - what has exploded in say the last five years? The ebook.

I've been listening to a lot of marketing podcasts lately especially the Science Fiction and Fantasy Marketing Podcast - loads of great thoughts - I caught upon an episode from almost a year ago with Moses Siregar and he mentioned how back in 2009 some of the bigger names he rubbed shoulders with at conferences said that ebooks wouldn't amount to anything. Kinda funny and shortsighted now but that was the attitude of BIG 5 or 6 writers and publishers just a little while ago.

I remember when I got my first publishing contract I asked about ebook rights and was told they wouldn't even bother with it. They later amended the contract (very good rates by the way) and nowadays anytime I get a royalty check from them its from ebooks sold. At the time I didn't want to try and do the ebook by myself either - hindsight is worse than 20/20.

In any case it got me to thinking that the real revival of that pulp stigma was the despised delivery method. Cheap pulpy paper back then and nowadays the independent writers pixel.

So many ebooks are being uploaded and you don't have but to turn around and careen into a dozen terrible titles - and by terrible titles I mean poorly made covers, horrendous descriptions and wretched grammar - and I am by no means a grammar nazi I'm pretty loose with the rules myself.

The challenge then is to find the diamonds in the rough. They are there but it can take some looking and of course the tried and true friends recommendation. On the plus side NOTHING should be out of print anymore, its surprises me when something actually is unattainable even in in ebook. But anyone can share their book and ultimately that's a good thing.

This may be a whole lot of scattershot thinking on my part but I thought I'd put it down somewhere.
What do you all think?

Friday, September 16, 2016

Weird Books I Own

You follow my blog. You subscribe to my newsletter (or at least you should - it will be worth your while soon) so as a matter of course you know I have a library of some seven thousand books. And being a writer of weird speculative fiction I own a lot of strange books - for research purposes. I thought I would share a few here today

I just finished this one the other day and it was fascinating. The author purports that there was a conspiracy between Coronado and De Alverez and that there really was the seven cities of Cibola located approximately in the Phoenix area. The proofs are circumstantial but compelling but going the next scientific step farther we are presented with the catastrophic reason - we don't find ruins in better shape there. The author present his reasoning on why a comet or at least a cometary fragment struck the area in approximately 1680 just a short time before the Spanish returned to the area and mapped the region. I realize this is a big step from what we have been taught but I found the book incredibly logical and well founded. Its well worth looking into, especially for historical fiction writers.

I bought this one years go for the title alone. That cover is atrocious, but inside Andrews details numerous bizarre accounts, even back to the middle ages. He is readable and entertaining and would recommend this book for science fiction aficionado's looking for some more meat.

I had to get this one from Amazon recently just for the bizarre inflammatory title - I'm sure my wife would not be amused. But I do love to collect all the weird American and Mormon historical books I can, and this fit the bill. I have yet to crack it open, but its short and will be a quick read.

You might not think this one is too bizarre or surprising until you realize it was written in 1938! It seems to be a conspiratorial piece aimed at Roosevelt for turning a blind eye to the Japanese and their invasion of China etc. The cover denotes a US made bomb being dropped on China by the Japanese. There is a whole lot more to the story and I am no fan of Roosevelt's manipulating etc.

This is great and is one of several books I own which purport Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid never died in Bolivia but came back to the states. It is circumstantial but as with the others mentioned above, compelling reasoning for its unorthodox posturing. I'm inclined to agree with its premise.

This was just a surprise. I have several of Winston Churchill's books on World War Two and so finding this little hardcover edition printed in 1958 was a pleasant surprise. Man's gotta unwind somehow.

This one is more strange and lost recordings of forgotten peoples who may or may not be accepted by traditional history. This is exactly the kind of book that works when you are trying to come up with your own lost Hyborian age.

This is a local rare book detailing Gale Rhodes foray into looking for lost Utah treasure maps. Its interesting reading for the sake of understanding markers and local legends. I found it at a used book shop and think I paid maybe a buck. Its at least 150.00 on Amazon now. But again I knew what I was seeing in the used shops, most people don't. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Salt Lake Comic Con 2016 Recap

I had a good time hanging with friends and even got interviewed three separate times! I'll share those when I know they are up. Would have liked to have sold more books but on the bright side I did get a few new fans!

The Space Balrogs Choose your Own
Apocalypse game went over real well - we packed the house!

I did get several books from friends which will be making it into the review Que. Overall it was a good time. I even got a photo with the Utah state Governor who stopped by our book booth.

And here are a few more pics I thought were cool.

And of course connections were made more books are in the works!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Comic Con Time

This is the big one - for me. Salt Lake Comic Con  is new, just a couple years old now and doesn't have near the name recognition of a slew of others like San Diego, New York or even Dragon Con but it is big. Around 150 K people are in attendance and by Saturday it is crazy. I do most of my looking around on Thursday before the crowds swell up. My boys will come with me on Saturday - they are cooking up their own cosplay for it. Mathias is thinking about being the Demogorgon from Stranger Things and Bear wants to be a steampunk Deadpool.

In any case, of course I'm a guest this year and will be signing books at Booth 2220 with my friends the Space Balrogs. I'll be on several panels as follows.

The Rocketeer- Celebrating an Overlooked Classic

Thursday September 1, 2016 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm 

25 years ago Disney's THE ROCKETEER starring Billy Campbell, Jennifer Connelly, and Timothy Dalton soared into cinemas, but never found the mass audience it deserved. We take a look back at the highlights, making-of, and more about the film, as well as the franchise that never was (but should have been).
Room: 255C

Killing the Stigma - Combating Mental Illness Misinformation in Popular Culture

Friday September 2, 2016 10:00 am to 11:00 am 
(Hey, that's frigging early!!!)
Ranging from Batman's gallery of villains, the mad scientist and the homicidal socially awkward killer, fandom is rife with poor portrayals of mental illness and how it affects the person with the diagnosis. This panel will dissect and examine movies, television, comics, and books and their use of mental illness to drive their plots.
Room: 1551 A

Choose Your Own Apocalypse: Marvel Monsters Edition
Saturday September 3, 2016 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm 

The bad news is, the world is gonna end. The good news is, you get to pick how you go out. Will it be at the hands of the seductive Enchantress, or will humanity be consumed by Venom, Carnage & other corrupted Klyntar? Or will the world fall to the oldest mutant alive; a monster god appropriately named, Apocalypse? You get to decide in an interactive panel game of epic proportions! In Choose Your Own Apocalypse, each panelist represents a different way the world is going to end. A moderator conducts the panelists and audience through a series of rounds in which the panelists have to make their case for their specific apocalypse. They do this using campaign speeches, witty rhetoric, and performance art. Then the audience gets to choose who is the winner.
Room: 255C

An interesting thing to me about this Con in particular is I'm not on any writing tracks - which I always was before and you know what - that's a good thing. Who goes to writing tracks? Other writers. Do they want to get your book? Not very often. Usually they want to talk to you about their books. So as far as sales and fans its kind of a wash - talking fandom is usually the better way to go - so its all good this way.

I have print copies of Cold Slither I'll be signing and I'm very pleased with how its been doing online -its been sitting in the top ten for western horror and Whispers Out of the Dust has been joining it as of today. So that's pretty cool. I have admittedly tried to learn a little more about marketing this week than before when I just put stuff out there and hoped it would sell.

Oh and I believe the 12th issue of Utah Geek will be there as well featuring the 12th chapter in my ongoing noir fantasy serial Walking Through Walls. I'm pretty sure I'm gonna wrap it up in chapter 13 and then figure out what to do with it. Either release it as a novella or cannibalize it for another work - I'm not sure yet. I'll have a lot of pics to post next week when its over. Til next time.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Corona Obscura: Book Review

Corona Obscura: Sonets Dark and Elemental, by Michael R. Collings

Talking about Michael's poetry and verse were some of the very first blog posts I did here when I started back in - wow- 2009! And I only have a greater appreciation for his art with age.

Linda D. Addison writes the forward and says it so well that I have to share a line here "Michael has created some strange word alchemy that touched me on a cellular level, making me smile, building excitement in my gut as I traveled from one poem to the next."

I feel the same way but even her description is poetry.

Charles Gramlich's review reminded me that I had to read this too! Thanks for sharing such a love of language Charles.

There are a lot of great poets out there but Michael is amazing and he is still alive and churning out more even as I type this. So much of what I love about language is typically from the dusty past, from those who are passed and buried.

But Michael's work is alive in the heated now, its pure visceral byzantine grandeur. I read it and wish I had come up with such a turn of phrase. The sheer beauty and horrific dichotmoy moves me. As a lover of language,  I am in awe at his words and equally moved by them.

I love to reread these sonnets and get in that void, that passion before I jump back into my own wordsmithing because I believe it helps me attain a higher level for my own work.

The man is one of the best and so deserving of the Grand Master award he received at Horror Con earlier this year.

I'll be delving back into this and others soon enough to walk these midnight trails into amaranth bleeding crimson as starlight fails.

That was a line that in particular jumped out at me.
Highly recomended for lovers of prose and verse.

Get a copy here