There is an unlimited amount that talented, committed writers can do with the Lovecraft Mythos. I’m looking forward to reading this!


The Dunwich Romance CoverWilbur Whateley is half-man and half-other-worldly-monster-god. He can bend reality to his will and with his dark powers will one day end the menace known as mankind. But even a servant of the Great Old Ones gets lonely. One day he finds the perfect woman for himself-someone so sick, twisted, and demented that he can’t help but fall in love.

With this degenerate human, he can finally have a family and bring humanity closer to its destruction…

“Yog-Sothoth be praised!”

From the modern master of hardcore horror, comes a perverse sequel to H.P. Lovecraft’s tale The Dunwich Horror. Only Edward Lee would dare to take one of the most beloved stories in classic horror and splatter it with gore and other bodily fluids.

Click Here to Buy

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Nick Mamatas on self-published authors and writer organizations

Mythos author Nick Mamatas brilliantly dissects the attempts by self-publishing authors to join various writer’s associations in this terrific article.

The Horror Writers Association (HWA) has decided to allow self-publishing as a criterion for its membership, and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) is currently contemplating the same. Membership in both groups had previously been means-tested only to allow membership to writers who sold a certain number of short pieces at a certain pay rate, or a novel for an advance of a couple thousand dollars. (There are also other kinds of membership for publishing professionals, but that’s not relevant here.) Much anxiety and discussion has ensued, though of course there has been more light than heat …

Read the rest of the article.

Signs o’ the times, my brothers!

Allow me to explain my work in progress, Mexican Ninjas Ate My Balls

Hello, stalwart readers. I have published a couple of books on my own–the thriller Ain’t That America, the literary-historical fantasy Darwin’s Dreams, and the outré whatever-the-opposite-of-a-success-is story collection, Inappropriate Behavior. Those of you without lives of your own may recall the book that was picked up by Permuted Press (motto: “Enjoy the Apocalypse”) and led to my 10-book contract with them, Deadtown Abbey.

But now we’ve gone beyond the mire of self-publishing and into the real thing, publication for money and all the attendant fame that comes with selling more than 45 copies of your work during your lifetime.

Empty conference room

At a reading, sometimes you want to allow an extra five minutes for any stragglers.

The first and second books for Permuted, Deadtown Abbey and the initial entry in the Reviva Las Vegas! trilogy, Dead Man’s Hand, have been delivered and should come out in early- to mid-2015. The next book due for my beloved publisher is the first volume of what I had initially called World War Cthulhu but now must call something else because there are already two books with that title out in the world. It must be delivered by the end of October 2014. No sweat!


Okay, maybe a little.

In any case, I have decided that, since Stephen King says, “The first draft of a book—even a long one—should take no more than three months, the length of a season,” I will spend three of the four months between the delivery dates of each book for the Permuted contract writing said book. (My first drafts don’t take three months, so I include my own editing and rewriting in that time.) That leaves me with a month to do what I want! As long as it doesn’t require any money! And what I want to do which doesn’t require any money is write a bizarro novel. Actually, since the maximum words the greatest bizarro publisher, Eraserhead Press, wants for its books is 30,000 words — these books are meant to be devoured like salted peanuts and are just as delicious — it’s more of a novella. There’s plenty of time to write, edit, and rewrite one of those in 31 days!


“Dafuq did you say?”

Actually, because bizarro books, while they can be just as erudite and well-constructed as any other fiction, are often times meant just to be a blast of entertaining prose, writing them can be the most fun an author can have. The main, even only, rule is: Be entertaining.

Not as easy as it sounds. In fact, I have learned that every part of writing a (good) bizarro novel isn’t as easy as it sounds. Because I worked with an editor at Eraserhead to help decide what story idea of the many that I had would be best suited for them, I was able to see his mind at work. Together we shaped a kind of nebulous idea I had about what happens when a macho gang member gets his testicles cut off into something that someone might actually, y’know, want to read.

My original title for this? Orchids Are Weeds. (See, because “orchids” are how cojones are scientifically referred to, and orchids are plants and “weeds” are plants people want to get rid of, right, so the “orchids” being removed comes to be seen as a good thing. BOOM: Orchids Are Weeds.) So literary, so deep! So not a title that would make even one person pick up this book!


“I see, orchids for testes. How very droll. Yeah, think I’m gonna pass.”

So in trying to come up with ideas for a title, I mentioned that in the plot we had worked out (or that I had worked out by continually bombarding the poor man until he said yes just to make me stop) had a corps of “ninjas” who became obsessed with castrating people. Since literally any string of random letters would be a more marketable title than Orchids Are Weeds, we tossed some ideas back and forth like Castrating Ninjas Must Die and my editor’s favorite, Ninjas Ate My Balls. I liked the title because it was crazy fun, and then my editor reminded me–very sensibly, I might add–that if we went with this title there would have to be a scene in the book in which ninjas actually eat someone’s balls.


The texture is like Spam, but with less hair.

So I started writing this book, this now-entertainingly titled Ninjas Ate My Balls, and found myself writing about a Latino man living in an unnamed but pretty obviously Japanese city that rhymes with “Oakio.” Then, as I wrote, this disconnect between cultures became more and more of the basis of the story. So ultimately I had to–had to–change the title to Mexican Ninjas Ate My Balls. I love this title. It’s stupid and it’s funny and I think it makes you want to pick up the book and see what the hell is going on. Remember, Eraserhead Press is the home of Carlton Mellick III, the man who put bizarro on the map with books such as Satan BurgerThe Haunted Vagina, and Cuddly Holocaust. He has put out 44 books, all with psychotic premises that actually investigate the human condition as incisively as anything written by a New York Times bestselling author.


He’s also less weird-looking than Joyce Carol Oates.

So, by the end of July (or maybe like August 2) the book will be ready to send off to my bizarro publisher for its debut at BizarroCon 2014 in November. Then I begin the Cthulhu novel. Let us pray.

Entitlement In Writer Culture

It’s true. Hard to accept, but true.

Kait Nolan

One of the first things I saw when I logged into Twitter this morning was a conversation between a writer friend of mine (who, incidentally, is also a professional editor and teaches workshops) and another writer who was essentially lambasting her (and all other professional writers) for not helping new writers.  Digging back through the conversation, this evidently centered around the issue of queries, but it definitely had broader implications.  My friend handled things in a very calm, professional manner, stating quite rationally that she couldn’t be held responsible for every writer who wants to write, as it simply wasn’t possible.  To which she received this in reply “Your reaction is why so many writers feel worthless. No one wants to hear from them. No one cares.”

Frankly, the whole exchange pissed me off on multiple levels.

Now I know nothing about this person who initiated the conversation.  Looking back at…

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How To Write A Zombie Apocalypse Novel

Colin Drysdale has some extremely good points. I’d just add that there’s nothing wrong with writing a zombie novel just if you feel like creating your own undead apocalypse, but don’t do it with the expectation of publication and remuneration. It’s a fun sandbox to play in, though!

Colin M. Drysdale

It’s surprising how often people arrive at this blog having typed the title of this article (or something similar) into Google. Obviously there are a lot of would-be zombie writers out there looking for help so I thought I’d put together a brief guide based on my own experiences. This is quite a long article and if you’d prefer to read it offline, you can download a PDF from here.

1. Come Up With A Good Idea: Sorry to have to say this, but if you don’t have a good idea, then there’s really not much point in writing a book about zombies, or indeed anything else. Yet, coming up with an idea that’s good is probably the most difficult thing you will have to do; that’s right, coming up with a good idea for a book is more difficult than actually writing it! So what do I mean…

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Talented, knowledgeable friends ARE A PAIN IN THE ASS

All right, both of my readers may remember the post I had earlier today, with the new, allegedly better cover for Reviva Las Vegas! Book 1: Dead Man’s Hand, right? I showed how much better it was than the old one by putting them side by side, thusly:

RLVDMH front cover RLVDMH front cover
Old slapdash cover New, slightly less slapdash cover

Well, I have a friend, Deborah Dorchak of Blue Sun Studio, who commented that she liked the earlier one more. The new one, she said, looked “washed out.” And goddamn if she wasn’t right. That may come from her being a professional cover designer as well as a writer, so the opinion did carry some weight. (Although I disagreed with keeping the three different fonts on one cover, and I think the “a novel by” is needed to set off the author name from the rest of the mucho text. In the end, all of this will be discarded by Permuted Press anyway when they actually bring the book out.)

So let’s take a look at the old new cover and the new new cover:

newrevivacoverforadvancecopy newrevivacoverforadvancecopy
Old new cover New new cover

I must say I’m chuffed as cheese at this suggestion, and I agree it looks much nicer. (I also softened the smoke at her suggestion.)

Other pain-in-the-ass friends of mine (called “beta readers”) have also been a great help in noting inconsistencies and outright typos. Especially due for praise are Bunny Reynolds and the zombie writer (and fellow Permuted Press author) Charles Phipps. The book literally wouldn’t be the book I had intended without their help. And this is all before it goes through the Permuted editing phase! More pains in the ass! YAY! (But seriously, YAY for the help.)


New, nicer cover for advance print copy of Reviva Las Vegas!

This is the unofficial cover for Reviva Las Vegas! Book 1: Dead Man’s Hand — the book won’t be out until 2015, and then will have a nice and professional cover from the publisher, but it’s on the beta read copies I’m sending out and I thought I would share the joy. Here, have some joy!


For comparison, here’s the old, slapdash one I did just to have SOMETHING, ANYTHING; and the new slapdash one.

RLVDMH front cover newrevivacoverforadvancecopy