Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween in Our Little Town

Every year there's a big Halloween party in the city park. Norma and I always work it . Here are a few highlights from last night.

Small Town U.S.A.'s most suave, debonair couple.

Norma makes a new friend.

The Mouth That Never Closes hitches a ride

DE:TGD Has Landed

Look what was in the mail today. Yowzah!

The Reviews Are In

A couple of new reviews are in for Dead Earth: The Green Dawn.

The first is from the The Green Man review site.

And here's another from The Fix.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Trick or Treat

Here's a story for the holiday. It's been published a couple of times before, most recently last year at Horror Web. I hope you like it.

Halloween Everlasting
By Mark Justice

Tommy climbed the ladder to the tree house, just like he did every morning. When he squeezed through the opening in the floor, he found Bill, sitting against the wall, reading an old issue of Famous Monsters of Filmland , with Gill-Man on the cover. It was one of Tommy’s favorites.

“Hey,” he said.

Bill looked up from the magazine. “Hey.”

Tommy finished clambering through the opening. He brushed sawdust from his shirt and plopped down next to his friend. He searched through the pile of old comics and magazines, settling on a Famous Monsters with Wolf Man on the front.

“Hey,” Tommy said. “You think Wolf Man could beat up Gill-Man?”

Bill sat the magazine in his lap and thought about the question. “Nope,” he finally said.

“Me, neither,” Tommy said. “You know what tonight is?”

Bill smiled. “Trick or Treat.”

“Yeah. It hardly seems like a year, huh?”

“I know,” Bill said. “Remember last year, when I went as Dracula and you went as The Mummy. That was the coolest!”

“That wasn’t last year,” Tommy said.

“Was, too.”

“Uh-uh. That was before.”

“Before?” Bill said, his face scrunched up in concentration.


“Oh,” he said. “Anyway, what would you be this year, if you could be anything you want?”

“I don’t know,” Tommy said. “Maybe a pirate.”

“How ‘bout a biker?”

Tommy shrugged. “I don’t know. Maybe. If I could be a teenage werewolf biker.”

Bill laughed. “That would be neat.”

They returned to examining their magazines for a while, even though they had long ago memorized the articles and pictures. Later, Bill said, “So, are we going out tonight?”

“We always do,” Tommy told him. “It’s Trick or Treat. We have to go.”

“I guess,” Bill said.

They passed the rest of the day in the tree house in Bill’s backyard.


That night they walked through the neighborhood, watching the other kids begging for candy.

“Man, they look so little this year,” Bill said through his plastic vampire fangs.

“No kidding,” Tommy said. He had left his mouth uncovered by the gauze wrapping of his mummy costume. As a fairy princess passed by them, Tommy looked into her plastic candy bag. “Boy! They’re handing out the good stuff this year. She had a Snickers and a Baby Ruth.”

“Sure beats candy corn,” Bill said.

“Or those marshmallow peanuts,” Tommy said, which cracked them both up.

They followed the throngs of trick-or-treaters through the neighborhood, to the intersection of Main and Harrison. While all of the costumed kids turned left on Harrison, toward another street of lighted porches and smiling Jack O’ Lanterns, Tommy and Bill hesitated. They gazed toward the darkened end of Main, as the whoop and din of excited children faded behind them, until all that seemed to remain of the world was the two of them.

Then, without speaking, they started down Main Street, away from the light. They passed by the empty barbershop, the drugstore (where many of the monster magazines had originally been purchased), the silent courthouse and the vacant lot, where they had both played baseball.

They walked until they came to the bridge. It spanned a small tributary of the Ohio, little more than a creek, not very deep at all.

Just deep enough.

They stepped carefully onto the bridge. Both boys peered over the rail, to the blackened water below.

“It was really cold, wasn’t it?” Bill said.


“I’m sorry I slipped.”

“I know,” Tommy said. “It wasn’t your fault. It was slick that night.”

“We didn’t have to take the shortcut,” Bill said. “We could’ve gone the long way around to Washington Street.”

“We were trying to get done by Eight, remember?”

“Oh, yeah. Well, you didn’t have to jump in after me, you know.”

Tommy shrugged. “That’s what best friends do. You would’ve done the same thing for me.”

“Would not.”

Tommy playfully punched Bill in the arm. “Would too.”

“Yeah, I guess so. Thanks for trying to save me.”

They stared silently at the dark water for a few moments.

“Come on,” Tommy said. “Let’s go.”

They walked back to Bill’s house, where they would climb up to the tree house and wait for another Halloween, best friends forever.

Forever twelve years old.

© 2004, 2007 Mark Justice

Pod of Horror Reviewed

Writer Petra Miller reviews Pod of Horror over at The Horror Library Blog-O-Rama. She likes the show and thinks I sound like Don Imus.


Saturday, October 27, 2007


I don't think I saw this when it aired in 1964. I'm pretty sure that song would have stuck with me. As it is, I can't get the tune out of my head (nor can I forget Chilly Willy's shaky dance) so I'm passing the curse along to you. Boo, man, boo.

The Signing

F. Keith Davis, Jeff Wamsley, Michael Knost, Mark Justice and potential customer

Thanks to Michael Knost for inviting me to the Legends of the Mountain State signing last night. Borders was a great host, and I enjoyed meeting the other participants, including Mothman expert Jeff Wamsley and F. Keith Davis, author and publisher.

If all goes as planned I'll be joining these gentlemen at Borders again in December.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Book Signing

Michael Knost, editor of Legends of the Mountain State, has invited me to be a part of a signing for the book tomorrow night at Border's Books in the Huntington Mall in Barboursville, WVa.

The event is 7-9:00 p.m. and is part of the store's Halloween celebration.

If you're in the area, please drop by.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

DE:TGD Is Shipping

We got the word that Dead Earth: The Green Dawn is shipping from PS Publishing. It seems like we've been waiting for this since the days when Larry Craig went to the men's room just to use the toilet. But now it's finally here..

If you haven't ordered it yet, feel free to do so now.

Legends of the Mountain State

I received my contributor copies of this new ghost story anthology today. It includes my tale "The Way Home", but don't let that keep you from buying it. There are NAMES in here like Tom Monteleone, Tim Waggoner, Kealan Patrick Burke and my buddy Scott Nicholson. Rick Hautala wrote the foreword.

If you're so inclined, order here.

Abbott and Costello Bloopers

I suppose these have been available for a long time, but I was unaware of their existence until today. Enjoy.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Deadneck Hootenanny -- SOLD OUT!

Publisher Nick Cato just let me know Deadneck Hootenanny is sold out.

What this means is the publisher no longer has copies.

However, online bookstore may still have a few. So if you still want one -- and I'm talking to you guys who kept asking me about it at my brother's wedding -- then try Bloodletting Books, Shocklines or Bad Moon Books.

Thanks to everyone who picked this up or helped to spread the word.

Pod of Horror in Rue Morgue

My little podcast gets a shout-out in issue #72 of Rue Morgue magazine. In an article on horror podcasts (and, God, who knew there were so many?) Kent McIntyre and Monica S. Kuebler say:

"Hosted by genre scribe Mark Justice (Deadneck Hootenanny), with regular reports from Nanci Kalanta of, this long-running podcast focuses exclusively on horror literature. Episodes feature publishing news, author interviews, con reports, book reviews (by Scott Bradley), juicy gossip and even some spooky tunes. Casual but very chatty, PoH is updated once, sometimes twice, monthly and each episode is roughly an hour long. Be sure to listen carefully for the hilarious spoof ads."

Thanks to Rue Morgue -- one of my favorite magazines -- for the plug, and for noticing the spoof ads. This is actually our second mention in RM. How cool is that?

(Thanks to Dannyboy for the heads-up.)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Guess What I Did Yesterday?

I married my brother.

No, not like that, you perv.

I offciated the ceremony.

Dave and Charlene wanted something non-traditional, and they asked me to perform the wedding. I visited the Universal Life Church Monastery website, where I got ordained in about five minutes.

Charlene and Dave wrote the vows -- which, to my mother's chagrin, managed to work in the word "flatulence" -- and I offered a suggestion or two, and we were off to the races.

The wedding was held at Jenny Wiley State Resort Park in Prestonsburg, Kentucky. The bride was beautiful, the ceremony was brief, the food was amazing, and my brother and sister-in-law are off to a great start on their life together.

And I'm pretty sure Rev. Mark has performed his first and last wedding.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Pod of Horror #39

Get out your trenchcoat and fedora...Pod of Horror goes Noir with episode #39.

* We cover the past and future of Hard Case Crime with editor Charles Ardai.

* Mary SanGiovanni talks about her debut novel, THE HOLLOWER.

* The Call of Kalanta flushes out all the news in the horror community.

* We have new reviews from Scott Bradley, co-editor of THE HORROR BOOK OF LISTS.

* The Tomb of Trivia wraps up one contest and begins another.

Pod of Horror is produced and hosted by Mark Justice. Download it at I-Tunes or direct to your desktop.

Get Pod of Horror merchandise.

Visit our MySpace page.

And be sure to drop by the Justice & Wilbanks message board.

Story Station Updates

Several new stories are up at Story Station, including one from Nina Kiriki Hoffman. Even if you're not a kid, you'll probably like these tales.

Writers, check out our guidelines and send us a great story.

A Night of Hope

Hope’s Place is a local child advocacy center dedicated to helping victims of sexual abuse.

Thursday night Norma and I were honored to be guests at Hope’s Place’s annual Mystery Dinner, one of their major fund-raising events. The dinner was sold out.
We both took part in the mystery play. She was a human prop for a blindfolded psychic who tried to identify two of her, ah, physical attributes. I was Murph Crapington, budding TV evangelist and murder suspect. I did my best to uphold the fine Crapington name.

Here’s Norma with local musician Larry Pancake and Phil Osbourne, the world’s greatest guitarist:

And in this pic, Murph Crapington strikes a pose with local TV icon Randy Yohe:

It’s a tragedy that Hope's Place needs to exist, but for the victims of abuse, Hope’s Place is a blessing. Find out more about this fine organization here.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Monday, October 15, 2007

Happy Birthday, Dave

Yesterday was my brother's birthday. The Bengals didn't seem to care, so after the game, we enjoyed one of Norma's huge dinners and her Jack-O-Bat birthday/Halloween cake.

Here are Dave and his fiancée Charlene about to blow out the candles:

Let me tell ya, friends, them there bats are gooood-eatin'! Doggies!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Pod of Horror, Walking the Plank, Saddling Up, Plumber's Butt

It’s been a strange week, as summer finally morphs into fall. Norma is still struggling with the cold from Hell (or, actually, the Caribbean – but since that includes Dominica, Hell still applies). I’ve been struggling with staying awake. Something about the weather, I guess. I couldn’t wait for Autumn and now I’m going to snooze through it.


I’ve been reading a lot – some reviews are over at my other blog – but the writing has been slow in coming. I’m still plugging away on various things, even though I think I left my concentration back on St. Lucia, when I fell off of the Black Pearl. Yes, I had a flip-flop blowout as I was climbing off the pirate ship. How humiliating. The drunk guy didn’t fall off. Neither did the old lady or the woman with the cane. *sigh*. Here I am at the wheel of the Black Peal with one of the “pirates” before the tumble:


I got an invitation to an anthology of western stories this week. It will be my first western, though it won’t be very traditional. Unless robot lawmen are traditional. Heh.


There will finally be a new Pod of Horror on October 20 (which is the same day my brother gets married). Don’t forget about the PoH MySpace page. I need more friends, so please drop by.


Finally, for your entertainment, here’s a picture of my soon-to-be-married brother Dave showing off his plumber qualifications while petting Lois:

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Pod of Horror News

Hey, thanks to the lovely and talented Nanci Kalanta,

Nanci Kalanta in her kitchen

Pod of Horror now has a MySpace page.

So head over there now and do whatever it is you do at places like that. And sign up to be a friend. 'Skay? Sawright.

But wait...there's even bigger news. We now have a Pod of Horror store, where you can purchase authentic PoH merchandise, like this stylish number:

And, more importantly, this:

Doesn't that just give you a tingle in your special place? I thought so. So what are you waiting for? Help your favorite podcast. Baby needs a new thong.

As Bartles and James once said: thank you for your support.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

All Hail Lois!

All Hail the Master of the Justice Household.

You will feed her, scratch her and throw toys to her as she commands, regardless of the time of day or night.

When she wakes you at 1:30 a.m. you will rub her face for 20-30 minutes, and you will like it!

Do as she bids or suffer the wrath of her sandpaper tongue against your nose and lips (followed by her quick dash to lick the litterbox to get your taste out of her mouth).

Look into her eyes and you, too, will instantly want to pour her a dish of milk.

Love the Lois!

Fear the Lois!

Monday, October 01, 2007

I Guess Hillary Won't Get Her Vote

Back From the Cruise

We got in late last night, tired and sore from the travel. We had a great time, though. Here we are in St. Thomas. We also visited Dominica, St. Lucia, Barbados and Antigua.

It's good to be back, sleeping in our bed, cuddled up with Lois and Clark. It finally feels like Fall here, quite the contrast to the steamy Caribbean.

Norma and I both have colds, though she tells me it's Caribbean Dingu Fever.

If you travel to Australia can you catch Dingo Fever?

The Adventures of Yogi Bush