Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!!!!!

Happy New Year to all my fans and followers. Thank you for your support this past year. I wish you all health, happiness, and success in 2015.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Pictures From Our Trip to Germany and Austria: Nuremberg

Last year while honeymooning in Germany, Alison and I visited Nuremberg to see some of the historical sites related to World War II. One night, while looking for a place to have dinner, we strolled through the medieval city center and saw the locals setting up for the coming Winterfest. Our main reason for going back to Germany this year was to attend the festival.

The Frauenkirche overlooking the man market square in Nuremberg and the Winter Festival. The Frauenkirche was built from 1352 to 1362 by Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV.

Close-up of the Frauenkirche at night.

The market. Alison got a lot of Christmas shopping done here. My favorite stalls were the ones that sold gluhwein, or German mulled wine.

 St. Lawrence Church, built in the 15th Century.

The marketplace at night, with the nave of Saint Sebaldas Church in the background.

My beautiful wife enjoying lunch in one of the restaurants overlooking the festival.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Interesting Posts From Other Websites

Every vampire aficionado knows that the vampires of film (and often books) are far removed from the ancient creatures of lore. 10 Things That Modern Movies Get Wrong About Vampire Stories in History lists the most common ones.

Nothing says New Year resolutions I don't plan to keep like torture. 12 Most Unbelievably Cruel Torture Devices in History lists some of the ways loved ones can help you keep those resolutions.

As the end of the year approaches, Bloody Disgusting has released several lists of the best and worst horror movies of 2014. It's sad that I've only seen two movies from these lists. (New Year's Resolution that I can keep: Spend more time watching horror movies.)

-- Mr. Disgusting's Top 10 Horror Films

-- 10 Awesome Horror Films

-- Zac Thompson's Top 10 Horror Films of 2014

-- Jonny's Worst 5 Horror Movies

Saturday, December 27, 2014

I Will Be Attending JEAPalooza 5-11 January 2015

I will be attending J Ellington Ashton Press' JEAPalooza virtual convention from 5 to 11 January 2015 as one of the guest writers. The convention will include chats with various J Ellington Ashton Press writers, panels, contests, and more. I'll provide more details soon, but be sure to pencil this on your calendar.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas


May your zombies be slow, may you never run out of ammunition or weapons, and may your zompoc partner be the person of your fantasies. A Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Interesting Posts From Other Websites

I'm not going to bemoan the fact that Young Frankenstein is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year and that makes me feel old (I remember my dad taking me and my friends to see it when I was eleven). However, 15 Fun Facts for Young Frankenstein's 40th Anniversary proves that you're never too old to learn something. Who knew Hans Delbruck was a real person?

Since publishing Yeitso, I've had several people write me to say that insects can't grow that large. I know that; I've read Why Monstrously Large Insects and Spiders Don't Exist. But if us writers kept to the facts, then horror and fantasy would be pretty damn boring.

The Most Irradiated Places on Earth is one of the more interesting video reports I've seen this year. I was not surprised that Fukushima ranked in the top two most irradiated locations, but the first place spot surprised me. For you post-apocalypse lovers, check it out.

On a lighter apocalyptic note, since Christmas is in three days, it's time for me to share one of my favorite holiday videos: Weird Al Yankovic's Christmas at Ground Zero. Have a blast.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

I'm Back Online

Alison and I returned from our trip to Germany earlier this week, though not exactly tanned, rested, and ready. I still have the pallid tones of a writer, am trying to get my sleep schedule back on to U.S. time, and am recovering from a cold I picked up on the flight back.All joking aside, it was a great trip but I'm glad to be back with my family.

As I did last year, I'll post some of the more interesting photos of the trip in the coming weeks. And keep dropping by for mu usual postings and updates on some of the events and contests that will be held in 2015.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

I Will Be Offline from 7 - 17 December

I will be offline from Sunday, 6 December until Wednesday, 17 December while Alison and I vacation in Germany and attend the Winter Festival in Nuremburg. 

See you in ten days.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Congratulations to the Goodreads Giveaway Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the Goodreads giveaway of Yeitso. Each of the following contestants won an autographed copy of the novel.

--Victoria Heckwine

-- M. Lewis

-- Julie May

-- Hector Giutierrez

-- Roy Gruss

You're books are in the mail, and you should get them next week. I hope you enjoy Yeitso.

As for everyone else, please keep following me on Goodreads and Facebook. I plan on offering several fun contests in 2015.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

On Writing: Why Would Anybody in Their Right Mind Want To Write for a Living?

"Why would anyone in their right mind want to write for a living?”
Nobody wants to write for a living. We do it because we have to. Once we’ve put pen to paper that first time, we’re addicted. The only fix for that addiction is to type out a few pages of a short story or novel.

Those of you who have a passion for writing know exactly what I’m talking about. You carry a pocket-size notebook everywhere you go to write down your thoughts. You carefully observe people for unique mannerisms that then make their way into your characters. You listen in on conversations, not because you’re nosy, but because you study how people talk so your dialogue sounds realistic. You can’t watch the news or read a newspaper without getting an idea for a short story or novel. To you, a personal crisis is when you find out that the really awesome scene you thought of last week was already used in another book or movie. To you, writing is not so much a profession as it is a calling.

The reward is not the paycheck. Most writers will be damn lucky if they make enough money to pay the bills. The reward is seeing your name on the book cover. It’s the thrill of having people read the story you have to tell. It’s hearing from your fans how much they enjoyed reading your novel. It’s going to conventions and book signings. It’s watching that first story or novel slowly grow into a long bibliography.

If you’re nodding your head while reading this, then you’re one of the lucky ones.

“Lucky ones?”

Yes. You’re lucky because you’ve answered the call. Like any calling, the road ahead will not always be easy. You’ll have frustrations. You’ll have doubts. And you might even abandon writing for awhile, only to go back to it evetually. Writing is that addictive. But the rewards are worth it.

So if you answered the calling, I wish you the best in your endeavor. You’re going to need it.

This is the final blog in the On Writing series. If just one of you finds enough inspiration in these blogs to write a novel or short story, or picks up some advice that helps you get published, then my efforts were not wasted. My door is always open. If you have a question, just reach out to me here or on my Facebook account, and I'll be happy to answer.  

Monday, December 1, 2014

Goodreads Giveaway of Yeitso Is Live Until 5 December

It's 1 December. So that means the Goodreads Giveaway of Yeitso is now live and will run until 5 December. Five winners will each win an autographed trade paperback copy of the novel. The giveaway is open to readers worldwide. Just click here to enter. 

One cautionary note: I'll be leaving for a ten-day trip to Germany on 7 December, and will not get the names/addresses of the winners in time to mail the books out prior to my trip. However, getting them autographed and shipped to the winners is the first thing on my to-do list when I get back. So thanks in advance for your patience.