Monday, September 29, 2008

Coming Up For Air

I’m still around, just covered up with work related to my day job. All the writing I’ve done over the last few weeks has been for radio. So if I owe you a story, please know I’m sorry. If it doesn’t have a punch line, then I haven’t had a chance to work on it.


I did get my contributor copy of The Book of Lists: Horror today, edited by Amy Wallace, Del Howison and my pal Scott Bradley. It’s gorgeous book, and I vastly underestimated how cool it would be to share a book with Stephen King and Ray Bradbury.

By the way, Scott will return to Pod of Horror this weekend with an interview about the book.


I’m only a couple of chapters into The Given Day by Dennis LeHane, a sprawling novel revolving around the 1919 Boston police strike.

I know that LeHane has pissed off a lot of mystery writers and readers with his recent comments dismissive of his earlier work. But, damn, can he write. The opening of The Given Day stars Babe Ruth, and it’s friggin’ magic.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


The West Wing was one of my favorites shows, especially the first four seasons, as produced and mostly written by Aaron Sorkin. (in fact, we watched the series finale again last night). It was an inspiring fantasy -- the characters chose public service to actually make thing better, not for personal power or glory. Can you imagine that?

In this morning's New York Times, Maureen Dowd presents a meeting between Barack Obama and the fictional ex-President Josiah Bartlett, actually written by Sorkin (who once dated Dowd).

As usual, Bartlett hands out a few sharp words of wisdom.

Check it out.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Monday, September 15, 2008


It's been a whirlwind of a weekend--literally, as I spent yesterday watching the suckage that is The Cincinnati Bengals first hand in 60 MPH winds.

I have a ton a email to sort through. If you are waiting on a response from me, expect it later today or tomorrow.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Legends of the Mountain State 2 is Here

I got my contributor's copies today, so I guess this one is ready to go.

Here's part of the publisher's press release:

This book portrays more of the mysterious, bizarre and
spine-tingling Mountain State tales and legends that
have been passed down over the centuries. The title is
Legends Of The Mountain State 2: More Ghostly Tales
From The State Of West Virginia, with a foreword
written by Gov. Joe Manchin, III.

But don’t be misled by the title of this anthology . .
. although all stories are based on known ghosts and
legends of West Virginia, every fan of horror, ghost
stories, and dark fiction will love this project.

In fact, legendary horror writer Joe R. Lansdale had
this to say:

“Hardboiled, Southern Gothic. I loved it. It’s lean
and mean and it doesn’t care if you like it, which is
what makes me like it all the better. Written with a
razor on the back of a dead bloated redneck cracker
down by the river side, the mountains in view, this is
one excellent read.”

Like its predecessor—Legends of the Mountain State
[which was released on Halloween 2007]—this unique
anthology offers thirteen additional accounts of
ghostly manifestations, mythology and mayhem, based on
legends from West Virginia. Rural ghost sightings and
stories of the macabre take center stage with this
release by Woodland Press, LLC, an independent
book-publishing firm located in Chapmanville, WV.

Noted horror writer/editor Michael Knost, a native of
Logan, WV, returns as the anthology’s editor, and
writers for this volume are an amalgamation of
nationally respected authors in the horror, science
fiction and fantasy fields, including Gary A.
Braunbeck, Mark Justice, Bob Freeman, Lucy A. Snyder,
Nate Kenyon, Steven L. Shrewsbury, Michael Laimo,
Maurice Broaddus, Brian J. Hatcher, Mary SanGiovanni,
Jonathan Maberry, Rob Darnell and Nate Southard.

“This is a book that uniquely promotes the rich
folklore and storytelling tradition of our Mountain
State,” says Keith Davis, CEO of Woodland Press.
“Readers went crazy over the first installment.
Actually, Legends of the Mountain State remains the
number one ghost tale book in the Mountain State. This
fresh, new release builds upon its predecessor’s
monumental success. We believe Legends of the Mountain
State 2 will also appeal to readers outside the
state’s borders. West Virginia has more than its share
of ghost stories, legends and peculiar oddities.”

You can order it here.

There's also going to be a launch party at Borders in the Huntington Mall (Barboursville, WV) on October 10th from 7-9 p.m. I should be there for the last hour.

Double Outhouse

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Sucktacular Sunday Sports

The NFL season begun in its usual tradition: The Bengals lost.

Thankfully, though, they only suck on offense, defense and special teams.


Fortunately, my wonderful wife didn’t want me to watch the game alone (my brother was working), so she invited some friends over and made her world-famous tacos and Better Than Sex Cake.

Believe me, tacos, beer and cake make everything better.


Let’s talk reading’ and writin’.

I’m in full pulp mode. I read a Doc Savage this weekend (The Thousand-Headed Man). It’s been over 35 years since I read it and it was, in essence, a new novel. It’s one of the best of the Docs, with all the ingredients: a far-flung locale, a weird mystery and much fighting.

Now I’m reading one of the new Shadow reprints. When I was a kid, I found the Shadow novels too slow, especially compared to the Doc Savages, but I’ve been enjoying a lot of the new reprints.

Anyway, this is all to pump me up for the long pulp story I’m writing for Ron Fortier. I’ve owed it too him for a while, so I’ve put the novel aside for a few days to work on this pulptacular yarn.

I also received another invitation to an anthology. I’ve got a pretty good idea for this one, so I’m going to go for it as soon as the pulp thing is done.


Callie update:

We adopted a new cat a week or so ago. We already have two cats. Here’s how it’s going:


Welcome to the new soundtrack of my life.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Stephen King Sums It Up

When people ask why I'm leaning toward one particular candidate in the upcoming presidential election, I try to explain.

But leave it to Stephen King to say it more simply and clearly in an interview he conducted with himself on his new website:

Steve: So you do want to talk about politics?

SK: Really, I don’t. I’ve got an Obama sticker on my car, and I guess that says what needs saying. Call me a tiresome liberal if you want, but I just think it would be nice to have a smart guy running things for a change. We tried dumb and it hasn’t worked out too well.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Twitter Litter

No, I don't Twitter. I tried it back in the spring and quickly realized that it was in direct opposition to my goal of spending less time on line, not more. Even my ego is not large enough to want people to know if there was corn in my latest poo. Deleted account. Thanks for asking.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Dastardly Dave's New Blog

David T. Wilbanks, the man who has started more message boards than anyone else on the World Wide Interwebs, has a new blog. Let him point you to something of interest to fans of horror fiction.

Dave also reports we're getting good feedback to our Dead Earth sequel from his hand-picked squadron of ninja readers.

Adopting Callie

Adopting another cat was the last thing we had planned. We got Lois and Clark when they were 16 weeks old in November of 1995. We have a pretty good thing going. and they don't care for other four-legged critters.

A lot of stray cats have staked out our house in the last 13 years, and while we've tried to care for them, we had never been inclined to bring one into the house.

Then this little cat came along. We'd spotted her in the neighborhood a few months ago, a quick moving orange-brown-black shadow, darting in and out of the bushes. A couple of weeks ago she showed up on our back deck, demanding affection. She loved to be petted. She loved to be held. She had obviously been someone's pet at one time. So we fed her and gave her some attention. Then every night we'd watch her curl up on the car or on a piece of deck furniture. Alone.

Norma and I both arrived at what now seems an inevitable decision. Last week we took her to the vet, had all the necessary stuff done, and now Callie lives here (yeah, not the most original name, but when she was living on the deck, "Calie" seemed better than "that cat out back").

She's spent most of her time in the den. The picture above was taken this morning on her excursion to the living room.

The one below was in the den this morning when Clark came in to find out why the door had been closed.
The meeting went like this:

Clark: Hiss.
Callie: Hiss.
Clark: (turns around and quickly exits the room).

I have a feeling that we have a lot of hissing in our future.

But I know we did the right thing.

Lois and Clark may not agree.