Phantom Effect – My Latest Release!

Phantom Effect

PhantomEffectWithBloodSerial killer Jonathan Martin Delaware Deseronto is stuck with two flat tires on an abandoned construction site with the body of his latest victim, the lovely co-ed Marissa Madison, in the trunk.

What he doesn’t realize is that the girl was psychic, and her ghost will force Deseronto to live the last fatal week of her life inside her body as a passive passenger, making him experience the mind numbing terror of being stalked by himself.

Available for purchase on Amazon


Review by Publisher’s Weekly

Psychological obsession and surrealist complexity lend interest to fetishistic violence in a perverted parable that challenges traditional moral norms and reader expectations.

When serial killer Jonathan Deseranto gets a flat tire, an unexpected encounter leads to an automobile accident that, in turn, reveals the animated corpse of Marissa Madison, his most recent victim.

Cast into a purgatorial time loop and forced to inhabit Marissa’s life as well as his own, Jonathan realizes his victim had “gifts he didn’t know about.” Reliving Marissa’s domestic strife and enduring grim reunions with his abusive mother, Jonathan becomes both hunter and prey.

Razor-sharp description, breakneck action, and sympathetic characters undermine the reader’s preconceived notions of past and present, and of reality and delusion, in a thriller designed to question as much as entertain.

The genre staple of a killer’s psychosexual metamorphosis is invigorated by the theme of a fragmented identity haunting itself. Perspective shifts lend depth to a philosophically rich fearfest that’s recommended for readers who prefer their titillation to include some complexity.

Link to review.

Michael Aronovitz is the author of the acclaimed short story collections Seven Deadly Pleasures (Hippocampus Press, 2009) and The Voices in Our Heads (2013), Alice Walks (2013), as well as the novel, The Witch of the Wood (Hippocampus Press, 2014).

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Boycott Fox News

It is our duty as Americans to boycott Fox News, that which is the propaganda arm of racism and blind, negative, conservative hatred in this country. Why is it only CNN and Clinton talking about the unprofessional nature of this program? Where is the NAACP, where is national news, the FCC? Fox “News” has quite openly embraced a format of condescending, non journalistic hate talk, and fortified it by infusing selective source news. Fox “News” is responsible for the division, folks. They are heinous, despicable, hateful, racist, misogynistic, garbage. How about this? FUCK YOU!

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Fox News is Not News

Someone should start a petition demanding that Fox News change their name. To be coy, maybe “Fox Loose,” or “Fox Noose” might work better, as they pass themselves off as news and are not (to explain the former) and / or with the latter, they have raked in and put many in this country in a “noose,” of hatred and bigotry. 1604 – Christopher Marlow – “Misery loves company.” He referred to the way Satan builds his kingdom!

Not being coy, but frank, however, it is clear that Fox News is a talk show spouting ridiculous, hateful, and often uniformed, childish editorial even though they are supposed to be”reporting” as “anchors.” The ones on the “panels” are shamefully worse. Newscasters are not supposed to advise viewers or politicians, but those on Fox News do. They also name-call, examples: referring to liberals as “the faithless,” “stupid,” and “haters,” just to name a few. They also advocate gang-style animosity (like some violent rallies we all know and despise) aiming hate-speeches and cat-calling toward real news networks, and the initial blame, or the root if you will, of “fake news” lies with Fox News, passing themselves off as news to begin with, which by design has always been objective. Still, Fox News gets away with infusing hate rhetoric with things that appear “news-ish” accompanied by well researched, yet selective facts. That, my friends, is frankly…un-American.

Fox News, anchors, producers, and writers all, is comprised of the very worst sorts of people in our society. They are enablers. Evil. Despicable. Disgusting. Heinous. In the film The Accused, they were the good ole’ boys at the bar, yelling in the background, laughing, egging on the rapists, saying “Poke the pussy!” Here, America is the one violated. And Fox News just keeps on yelling.

They should be called what they are. Conservative Fictive Hate Television. They should not be awarded seats at press conferences either.

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Conservatives Stay Off

If you are a conservative, please do not click onto my site/blog. You are a misinformed racist wearing blinders. If you watch Fox News, please go fuck yourself. If you think Fox News is news and not simply hate television talk show garbage, please go fuck yourself and please, please, please get a fucking education.

And by the way, conservatives, fuck you. Take your hate and your unreal ability to swallow and rehash absolute garbage, and shove it all up your snobbish, uninformed, racist ass.

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S.T. Joshi’s Latest Blog

I received a mention in S.T. Joshi’s latest blog. This is the highest of honors for me, as without S.T., I never would have published a darned thing!!!!!


I am so taken with some of these writers that I continue to read them in my spare time. However, that spare time may become much more limited soon, because I am contemplating writing a book called 21st-Century Horror, which will discuss some of the leading weird writers of our day—Caitlín R. Kiernan, Laird Barron, Jonathan Thomas, Michael Aronovitz, Jason V Brock, Kelly Link, Elizabeth Hand, Glen Hirshberg, John Langan, and others. In essence, this might constitute the third volume of my Unutterable Horror: A History of Supernatural Fiction, since I was only able to cover a few of these authors (and in a somewhat cursory manner) in that treatise.

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Orwell is Laughing

It is literally Animal Farm. Like when Napoleon runs Snowball off the farm, and reinvents him as the enemy to blame, claiming he’s coming back in at night.

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Nemesis and Other Things

S.T. Joshi put together a new anthology with Hippocampus called Nemesis. I have a story in there, and all of us just sent bios. That means publication is coming soon. Exciting!

I am enjoying writing the memoir The Electric 70’s. As I said in an earlier post, I am working on two pieces at once now. 70’s is my afternoon project, and it is coming along well. It is a kind of writing that seems to be created in a different way than fictive stuff. There is far more narrative summary than scene work…in fact I wonder how much scene work is appropriate, as when you have people talking line for line, you had better have perfect memory of it. Sort of comes off like fiction, even the recent stuff.

My other issue is with time lines. I am in a certain recollection (currently when I was in elementary school for instance) yet there are constant places where more current references sort of jump in. I am fighting with relevance and temporal chaos. Actually, it is not that serious. I just want to let this flow, while not having any potential readers feel I am jumping around too much.

The Glorious Secrets of Ghosts is in a nifty place. I am about to break 50,000 words, and on the brink of the first real horrific scene unit in the beginning of the climactic part of the book. LOVING IT!


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Hmm.  Did I say I wasn’t going to talk process anymore? Really? I think I am going to have to roll that back. I don’t have a standard Facebook account nor Twitter anymore, because I don’t want to talk politics or look at comic pictures of cats or advertise my books in those public spaces like a hooker. But enough of that.


I got to a point over the last few years, being so critical of my own work, that all of it almost came to a grinding halt. It is not so much that with 2 collections and 3 novels, that I tapped a lot of life-long ideas that were brewing before and during the ten year journey I have enjoyed under the counsel and advice of Lovecraft scholar S.T. Joshi. (I have also benefited from his Forewords, Afterwords, and recommendations in reference to publishers and editors he introduced me to). It is also that I moved from the small market to mid-range, and no one quite understands that pressure until going through it.

I know. Sounds like a choke job. So I did something about it. I am 55 years old, and decided to try Prevagen. Not that I am promoting this as a miracle supplement or drug or herb or whatever you’d call a pill with ingredients from jellyfish, but I noticed my writing volume increased. I went from an odd 2 pages of finished copy a day to something like 4 or 5 in the ongoing novel The Glorious Secrets of Ghosts. I started a memoir as well. I might begin a third piece that explores more commercial avenues, maybe a more standard thriller as opposed to the literary nature of Ghosts.

And it isn’t just volume and endurance. Being that I am a part time college professor of English and have been blessed with a couple of days off a week, writing has become part of the day job, one I love, one I want to continue at the highest level.

I’m writing some of the best shit structurally and creatively that I have done yet. And speaking of volume…my best hours are 6 am to around 11 am. Or at least they have been. Recently, I have been doing Ghosts until 11 am, taking a short break to eat, doing my walk, and coming back to write the memoir, The Electric 70’s, from around 3 pm to dinner time. If I can condense the walking, shopping, watching CNN, goof off time in the middle of the day, maybe I’ll start writing that third piece. I have never done simultaneous works, but I am starting now!

In terms of The Glorious Secrets of Ghosts, S.T. Joshi already accepted the first chapter to be run as a short story in an upcoming edition of “Nemesis,” a new anthology coming out of Hippocampus. That “story” (chap) is called Breath. He did not accept the third chap from Ghosts for a new antho he is putting together called Apostles of the Weird, (the chapter / story I sent him is called The Session) but that doesn’t worry me. I recall his passing on the first pre-chapter of what would inevitably become Phantom Effect for lack of a good fit in his antho Searchers After Horror, and everyone came out all right there, the novel eventually going through Night Shade (with his recommendation) and my publishing The Girl Between the Slats for Searchers.

Looks like I have to write something else during my now-busy off days. A ghost story for Apostles.

God. I like being busy.

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One Year Anniversary

It was a year ago February 2nd that my best work came out. I do admit that there are some who feel my first novel Alice Walks was my smoothest read, but Phantom Effect, released by Night Shade Books / Skyhorse is most certainly my most complex and intricate work. When I wrote it I told my family it was over…that I would never be able to attain this level of structural acrobatics, character depth, and intensity of psychological potency again. It was over.

I actually wrote Phantom Effect between 2012 and 2014. Since then, I went through the painful process of working on a long, long piece called Dead Red, finally trashing it last summer. It was a work that in the end, simply had character and plot threads I didn’t believe in. I started over with a totally new idea this past July, and as I have posted recently, it is going well. I will be finished The Glorious Secrets of Ghosts this coming summer.

Anyway…Phantom Effect is available on Amazon for something like 4 bucks. Do a brutha a favor. Pick one up! From what I hear from Night Shade, I got pretty good outreach and visibility with this one, and I moved enough copies to make it worth the printing. Whoop, whoop!


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Has Writing Become an Antiquated Art Form?

Without getting into questions about the different forms and functions of writing (expository, narrative, social, creative) I would ask whether writing itself as an aesthetic form is dying.

In terms of business, we see it happening right before our eyes. The biggest publishers are merging, trying to keep their stables working, the only chain bookstore with shelf texts that is still standing is Barnes and Noble, and attendance in creative writing classes has dramatically dropped since, say, the early 90’s.

There used to be a hierarchy, not as organized as baseball, with single, double, and triple-A, yet a clearer ladder nonetheless. It sort of went small market, mid-range, and big-boy. I don’t say anything particularly new in mentioning that self-publishing has decimated the small market and mid-range markets, making it so you can’t really tell the author mills from the legitimate traditional guys trying to make a statement and a living. Still, I am more talking about the writing itself, and not so much the mechanisms used to move it (though let’s be clear, many of those “mechanisms” front as traditional publishers yet they are actually self-pubbers in disguise, offering absolutely no outreach…hoping you get together all your girlfriends, go to the Starbucks, open up your laptops, and get everyone in your extended circle to buy. What’s the novel about? Who gives a flying fuck. If we sign thousands of “writers” knowing each will alert her sewing circle in order to get 300 quick sales, we make as much in the end as a small traditional press. Our outreach? Here. I will send you a weekly newsletter talking about the best ways to open up more social media accounts).

Blogging has become so powerful, that it is more popular and accessible to mid range publicists than traditional and / or legitimate journals. Pay 2,000 for a publicist and he gets you blog posts, not interviews, (nor sales). He asks you to join the white noise, as the white noise has become the new literature, not your old fashioned dusty book.

The first thing agents and editors look into with new writers concerns their Facebook and Twitter accounts. How many followers? How many likes when you post about your product versus pictures of your cat, or your opinions about pipelines or foreign policy? Posting is more alluring than story writing. News and fake news and all the interpretations thereof have all become the new art.

Plainly, learning and communication has changed. In school, it is becoming more important to access information quickly and through more channels than synthesizing the information itself and inventing ideas. In terms of writing and selling, it is more important that the given author has developed personal outreach that evolves in tandem with people clicking in as opposed to offering an artistic product. Good novels are subtle, difficult pleasures one has to dig into. It seems the fluff on the outside however, has become the new statement.

I am lucky that I chose the horror genre. Or more accurately, I am fortunate that it chose me. I am ultimately blessed that I got to know S.T. Joshi a decade ago (has it been that long?) and thankful that Hippocampus, Centipede, and Night Shade took a chance on me. While all the noise is going on…all this fluff…the horror guys have stayed right where they were, standing their ground. The small market has become THE market for many horror writers, especially those like me who are staying away from the cliches and creating novels with a literary focus. You could say that we are like cockroaches. With everything going on and the landscape going through this strange reconstruction, we never die. We’re very much like heavy metal. You can’t kill it, even if you blog about it!

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Strange Views

I’m getting a shitload of strange views from China, Australia, UK, and Canada. Who the hell are you weird-ass people? Send me a comment or something.


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