Why do you write horror? Why do you like metal? Why do you drive a Mustang? Why do you wear your heart on your sleeve?
Because I see the cloud differently. Because I’ll never give up my love for a raucous guitar-sound. Because it’s fast and flashy, and the truth is so much more fun.
Lately, I’ve had some publications go on the calendar, so I figured I’d chatter from the rooftop for a minute.
There was a fucked up ghost story they used to tell at my summer camp in the Berkshire Mountains in Becket, Mass. It was called “The One-Armed Brakeman;” some campfire bullshit about a train operator who lost his arm saving a kid on the tracks. If you camped out in the Becket woods by the lake he left a cinder mark on your forehead and stole your arm, sewing it to his stub. A couple of years ago, I saw on line that they had made a movie about it. I thought it was odd, because the ad had two arms rising up to the dark sky in pain. Two arms, ha. Then, it said something about Naomi Watts playing a role. Still, it was not in her IMDb credits. I found the phantom movie to be more haunting than the old, unfinished ghost story, so I decided to write the final and complete tale. It will appear in early 2020 in PS Publishing, a boutique British horror press I’ve been curious to do business with for awhile, so a win-win! The anthology is edited by S.T. Joshi and titled “Apostles of the Weird.”
I was teaching a class at the community college last summer and found I wanted something to write after taking a break from finishing my fourth novel titled “The Sculptor.” For fun, I asked the class-members to each to rip out a piece of paper and write a sentence describing what would make a good horror story. I got a lot of solid (yet generic) stuff in response, but one student wrote, “There is a pale witch on a white horse on the highway.” Another student wrote, “There is a haunted section of beach where those drowned haunt the trespassers.” I liked both of these ideas, and took a week or so to write “Cross Currents.” I landed that story in the new magazine – Penumbra, to be published by Hippocampus Press in 2020.
Last July, Jason Henderson, author of Van Helsing, Young Captain Nemo (and a ton of other cool stuff) decided to edit and publish his first anthology. I have a story titled “The Tool Shed” in his first Castle of Horror anthology, and Jason just accepted my baseball horror story “The Boy in the Box” for the holiday edition coming out this Christmas.
Joy is stronger than misery. The hardest thing is finding the former when you don’t have a lot of company.