March 27, 2015 recently reviewed SUFFER THE CHILDREN, saying the novel “draws a clear portrait of how a loving parent can turn into a monster for all the wrong reasons. SUFFER THE CHILDREN offers plenty of gore and spectacular horror scenes, but its the psychological accuracy of such a disaster scenario that makes it such a terrifying novel …

“SUFFER THE CHILDREN is absolutely harrowing, so emotionally demanding that it becomes physically exhausting, it’s convincing as all hell. I don’t think it’s a novel that’s meant to be enjoyed in the traditional sense of the term. It’s meant to challenge you, test your empathy against difficult fictional scenarios and open up your perspective about the end of the world. If you thought that THE STAND was some kind of ultimate apocalyptic horror scenario, you’ve haven’t experienced the real deal yet.”

Wow. Thanks, Ben!

Click here to read the complete review.

March 25, 2015

EXTINCTION EVENT from Dystopian Industries is a horror web series following a band of survivors forced to navigate a hostile world in the aftermath of an apocalyptic viral outbreak. The infected have overrun civilization and among the survivors, paranoia and mistrust are rampant.

Written and directed by Rob Larkin, the first three episodes of Extinction Event star Regina Chen, Melissa Gratia and John Valley with cinematography from M. Andrew Barrera.

Below is the teaser trailer. Click here to watch the series, which I thought was pretty good. The order of episodes is Day Three, God & Country and The Cure.

Extinction Event from Dystopian Industries on Vimeo.

March 24, 2015

March 24, 2015

Fellow Bram Stoker Award® nominee Patrick Freivald tagged me on Facebook to list seven things I do while writing, with instructions to tag two others. I chose the awesome Eloise J. Knapp? and Shawn Chesser?. Here are mine:

1. Research everything. I wrote a scene in a vampire novel where some desperate fathers rob a blood bank at a hospital. I downloaded a map of a hospital to use as a model, studied its security procedures, and explored how they dispose of blood samples in their trash (they often incinerate them onsite). I’m amazed that horror writers, with their online research habits, don’t end up investigated by the FBI.

2. Another thing I do while writing is take a shower, drive a car, wait in line at a store, lie in bed falling asleep and sit on the can. There are many approaches to writing a novel, but one I use is to think an idea through for some time and then start typing after that. For me, writing isn’t just typing, it’s also thinking, taking notes, planning and researching. If you like this approach, keep a small notebook in your back pocket and a pen in your front pocket at all times. Think about your book in the still moments during the day and write down snatches of character, plot and dialog. When you reach a critical mass, start typing.

3. I write in almost absolute silence like the most boring person ever. Sometimes, I try to listen to music for inspiration, but it just doesn’t work for me. Picture a guy staring at a screen with a blank look on his face for hours. That’s about as exciting as it gets. In my head, however, all hell is breaking loose.

4. Reread the last scene I wrote to get back into the manuscript’s vibe.

5. Play wack-a-mole with distractions like email and text messages popping up.

6. Don’t stop until I write at least one scene, typically 1,000 words, and hope I have time and juice for another scene. I try to write a close-to-finished first draft rather than dash out the first draft and then do a methodical second draft, so the main goal for me is quality, not quantity.

7. Keep the emotional rollercoaster at bay until the writing is done. When I’m done, that’s when I allow myself to experience elation, self-doubt and the novel hangover.

March 23, 2015

I’m happy to say I just finished a new short novel, CRASH DIVE, a WWII naval thriller in the tradition of the Hornblower series. That’s right, I’m taking a break from writing about monsters.

Here’s the synopsis:

October, 1942. The United States and the Empire of Japan are at war. Young and ambitious lieutenant Charlie Harrison reports for duty aboard the S-55. While the battle of Guadalcanal rages on land, air, and sea, the S-55 plans a daring attack against Rabaul, the heart of Japanese power in the South Pacific.

There, the hunter will become the hunted, and Charlie will discover his mettle in battle.