Thursday, August 28, 2014

Together again for the first time in paperback.....

And I am very pleased. Charles R. Rutledge and I decided to self-publish CONGREGATIONS OF THE DEAD because, frankly, we were getting a lot of requests and the publisher who did such  great job with both of the limited editions is moving away from e-books and trade paperbacks. Decidedly a no harm, no foul scenario for us, but the requests kept coming. So this is sort of an experiment.

We discussed covers and decided that while absolutely love Alex McVey's original cover for CONGREGATIONS we wanted to try something a bit different.

What all of this means, actually is two different publishers. So while both books are available, and they are both Griffin & Price novels, they have very different looks and little to connect them aside from a little crossover information. Either should be fully capable of being read as a stand alone novel.

Here, by the way, is an encore of the gorgeous cover Alex did originally.

Friday, August 22, 2014


Alejandro Colucci, the man who did the amazing covers for SEVEN FORGES and THE BLASTED LANDS was kind enough to send me a wonderful digital gift. He shot me an alternate cover for ALIEN: SEA OF SORROWS that he basically assembled just for me. To be fair the artwork already existed. He'd done the piece a few years back as a sort of homage to H.R. Giger, the man who designed the visual appearance of the Xenomorph in the first place.

But after he and I started discussing projects we'd like to work on together, he sent me the artwork as a mock up cover for my novel. I was stunned and I was also delighted when he said I could share. If you want to see more of his beautiful artwork (and you should because, hello, beautiful artwork) you can find it here, and here and here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Happy Birthday, Mr. Lovecraft.

Illustration of Lovecraft by the amazing Cortney Skinner.

Howard Phillips Lovecraft was born 124 years ago today. I’m sure a lot of other things happened, too, but for the moment I want to focus on that. Why? Because as a direct result of that simple fact I have found hours and hours of entertainment in my life.

In addition to reading Lovecraft’s works—ranging from non-fiction to fantasy, science fiction and horror—I have also read and watched and been entertained by volume of works that were heavily influenced by the man.

I’m not going to give a history of Lovecraft here. There’s plenty to be found along those lines, and most of it was written by people with a far deeper knowledge of his life than I have. Instead I want to focus, just for a moment, on his far-ranging influence. If you want a quick one, check this out. 

Currently the Internet Movie Database—arguably the definitive site about people in the business of making movies and television shows—has H.P. Lovecraft listed with 134 separate credits as a writer. In this case the credits are primarily because of works based on his long history of writing. Those are movies taken directly from his stories. A serious argument could be made for additional movies and shows inspired by his works instead of taken directly from the same. He even has conventions based on his life, his work and his influences. in both Providence Rhode Island and Florida.

One of my personal favorite movies, The Creature From The Black Lagoon is, I feel, very heavily influenced by Lovecraft’s “A Shadow Over Innsmouth.” “In The Mouth Of Madness” is not directly drawn from the tales that Lovecraft told, but anyone who denies the very substantial influence has not been paying attention. And another recently brought to my attention is the deeply disturbing movie “Event Horizon.” There are more, including several that lifted only the names of his creations to add to the titles of movies in the hopes that the name alone could somehow save the deeply flawed and effectively crappy films that were made—Two words for you, “Cthulhu Mansion (1992).” On a lighter and better note you have as an example “The Collect Call of Cthulhu” and episode of “The Real Ghostbusters,” which pays loving homage to a number of the man’s tales. Several episodes of the show, produced by J. Michael Straczynski, had heavy Lovecraft influence.

If you then factor in other writers who’ve been influenced by Lovecraft—a staggering number and I can’t clarify that enough—or the writers who have written stories using the creations that Lovecraft and his peers created, heavy influence of the man expands like a mushroom cloud on the horizon. Animated shorts, novels, short stories, novellas, comic books based on his works, based on the man himself (He has actually been a character in at least a dozen stories and books that I know of), influenced by his tales, made with loving affection for the oddities he created and for his eccentric and slightly intoxicating use of the English language. Stephen King’s “I Know What You Need,” “Mrs. Todd’s Shortcut,” “Jerusalem’s Lot,” “Crouch End,” and a few others are very heavily influenced by Lovecraft. I need to say that I tend to think most of the stories influenced are proper homages, by the way and not pastiches. There is a difference. There have most certainly been a great number of attempts to duplicate Lovecraft’s unique style. There have also been a blistering number of failures in that effort.

I am guilty of multiple short stories and two novels based however loosely on his works. With Charles R. Rutledge I wrote BLIND SHADOWS, a crime novel with a heavy supernatural influence flavored by Lovecraft. My novel DEEPER is a direct sequel to THE SHADOW OVER INNSMOUTH, which is one of my personal favorite stories by one of my personal favorite authors. Between Lovecraft’s novella and novel there is also a short story I wrote called “A Place Where There Is Peace.” There have been at least three full collections of short stories by an amazing array of writers and edited by Stephen Jones (SHADOWS OVER INNSMOUTHWEIRD SHADOWS OVER INNSMOUTH and WEIRDER SHADOWS OVER INNSMOUTH that lend credit to the power of one single novella by the man. And more novels, novellas and short stories besides.

Lovecraft may not be the most influential author in genre fiction, but he is most certainly one of them. There are people who make pilgrimages to see places where he lived and to visit his tombstone. I’m among them and I know a lot of others. A lot. Seriously. A lot. No exaggeration. Might even be an understatement. A LOT.  

124 years ago H. P. Lovecraft was born into this world. This simple fact makes me smile every time I think about it. He did amazing things in his time and his influence in the literature of the fantastic does not diminish, but rather grows every year.

Happy birthday, Mr. Lovecraft.

Lovecraft lived here. 
Charles R. Rutledge, me (and a half dozen others) all stood around to get pictures at that famous place where he wrote so many amazing stories.

I wrote the book. The amazing Alan M. Clark did the awesome cover. 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

CONGREGATIONS OF THE DEAD: Into the deeper waters of publication.

Charles R. Rutledge  and I had a long discussion about CONGREGATIONS OF THE DEAD. The publisher was happy enough for the limited edition to come out but for whatever reason (Not my concern and I'll leave it alone) was also just as happy not to have the book released as an ebook or a trade paperback.

Well, the first book in the series (Loose series, granted) BLIND SHADOWS was and is available in both formats. Thing is, we've had a lot of people ASKING when the book was coming out in the less-expensive formats and we couldn't give a solid answer. So after waiting a while and discussing the matter, we asked for the rights to print in ebook and trade back form the publisher and those rights were granted without any rancor. No harm, no foul.

And now it is time Within  the next week or two CONGREGATIONS OF THE DEAD will be available as an ebook. Not too much later, we'll have a trade paperback available as well, but the ebook is first.

This is a first for the both of us, really. We've dabbled with a few shorter pieces online but this is a NOVEL and one that has been remarkably well received. So into the world of self-publishing we go. The waters look very deep. Professional edits, professional cover and professional layout are all taking place before this book comes out, because, hello, there's nothing worse than a craptacular cover, a lack of edits and layouts that look like they were done by a baboon. Those are all deal killers for the both of us.

So far the only part completed is the cover, which I am posting below. The rest will come along soon,  but I ask for a little patience as we learn to swim this particular stream.

Keep smiling,


Me and Charles discussed the cover; Charles did a rough of the cover (He's an artistic guy.) and then the amazingly talented Melody Simmons did the final. Ain't that pretty?

And here, for fun is the back cover text:

It’s one of the hottest summers on record and a storm is brewing over the small town of Wellman, Georgia. 

Still reeling from the horrific events of the previous October, all Sheriff Carl Price wants is to get back to a normal life. Unfortunately things aren’t working out. He’s got the Brennert County’s DA breathing down his neck for answers about what happened in Crawford’s Hollow. He’s been served with a lawsuit by the Blackbourne family. And just after he witnesses a child abduction, the one person who always puts his life into a tailspin shows up to add to the pressure. 

Meanwhile, against his better judgment, Wade Griffin agrees to look for a teenage girl who’s gone missing. It’s not his kind of case, but he’s trying to establish his private investigations business and perhaps abandon his past as a mercenary. But Griffin’s luck isn’t any better than Price’s and he ends up crossing paths with the man behind most of the organized crime north of Atlanta. 

Both lawmen have their plates full, but then they learn that there is something abroad in the night. Not the supernatural menace they dealt with before, but something even darker. Just what is the secret of the charismatic Reverend Lazarus Cotton and what is he hiding in his small mountain church? 

Once again, Griffin and Price must call upon all their deadly skills just to stay alive and even in the middle of a pitched battle against things that shouldn’t exist they are reminded that sometimes the darkest evils reside within the human heart. 

Congregations of the Dead is the hard hitting follow up to Blind Shadows, again mixing hard-boiled crime fiction with blood chilling horror. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Never Too Early for Halloween: OCTOBER DREAMS 2

Have you ever read OCTOBER DREAMS? It's an anthology for, Cemetery Dance publications and it's brilliant. Hands down my favorite anthology of all time about my favorite season of all time. 

And now there's a sequel.

And I'm in it. Added bonus? Look at the cast of characters I get to share pages with. 

Featuring Ray Bradbury, Dean Koontz, Robert McCammon, Robert Bloch, Stewart O’Nan, Glen Hirshberg, Joe R. Lansdale, Al Sarrantonio, Whitley Strieber, Lisa Morton, Matthew Costello, Elizabeth Massie, and dozens of others!
October Dreams 2: A Celebration of Halloween 

edited by Richard Chizmar & Robert Morrish

Special Note For Collectors:
For a very limited time only, we are also accepting orders for copies of the trade hardcover personally signed by the editors.  There is no extra charge for these copies and this offer will not last long!

About the Book:The long-awaited follow up to one of the most acclaimed Halloween anthologies ever! This oversized volume will contain spooky Halloween short stories, dozens of authors and artists recalling their own personal memories of Halloween, and essays detailing the "history" of Halloween. Many of the contributing authors will also autograph the signed editions, which we don't expect will last long considering the popularity of the original October Dreams and the low print runs we have planned for these special editions.

"Mr. Dark’s Carnival" by Glen Hirshberg
"Universal Horrors" by Stephen Graham Jones
My Favorite Halloween Memory: "Perspective" by Michael McBride
"The Scariest Thing I Know" by Dean Koontz
"Guising" by Gemma Files
My Favorite Halloween Memory: "Gort Klaatu Barada Trick or Treat" by Nancy Holder
My Favorite Halloween Memory: "Under the Autumn Stars" by Tim Waggoner
"Monsters" by Stewart O’Nan
"Death and Disbursement" by S.P. Miskowski
My Favorite Halloween Memory: "All the News" by Karen Heuler
"Dear Dead Jenny" by Ian McDowell
"What Blooms in Shadow Withers in Light" by Richard Gavin
My Favorite Halloween Memory by M. Rickert
"The ’Corn Factory" by Benjamin Kane Ethridge
"In a Dark October" by Joe R. Lansdale
My Favorite Halloween Memory: "The Real Darkborn" by Matthew Costello
"The October Game" by Ray Bradbury
"Fear of Fallen Leaves" by James Newman
My Favorite Halloween Memory: "Costume" by Melanie Tem
My Favorite Halloween Memory: "Dancing With Mr. Death" by Kealan Patrick Burke
"Scarecrow" by Roberta Lannes
"Strange Candy" by Robert McCammon
My Favorite Halloween Memory by Harry Shannon
My Favorite Halloween Memory: "That Which Doesn’t Kill You Earns You Candy" by Nate Southard
"The Pumpkin" by Robert Bloch
"Mr. and Mrs. Werewolf " by Whitley Strieber
My Favorite Halloween Memory: "Rescuer?" by Nicole Cushing
My Favorite Halloween Memory by Ray Garton
"Great Pumpkins and Ghost Hunters: Halloween on TV" by Lisa Morton
"The Pumpkin Smasher" by Al Sarrantonio
"The House on Cottage Lane" by Ronald Malfi
My Favorite Halloween Memory by Tim Curran
"The Dry Season" by James A. Moore
"The Spirit of Things" by John Skipp
My Favorite Halloween Memory: "Haunting Season" by Orrin Grey
My Favorite Halloween Memory: "The Witch of Walnut" by Elizabeth Massie
"The Little Werewolf Who Cried" by Al Magliochetti
"The Boy in the White Sheet" by Bev Vincent
My Favorite Halloween Memory by Richard Gavin
My Favorite Halloween Memory: "The Last Halloween" by Ronald Kelly
"Sexy Pirate Girl" by Lisa Morton
"Monster Night" by Brian James Freeman
My Favorite Halloween Memory: "Screams in the Asylum" by James Newman
"Underfolk" by Tina Callaghan
My Favorite Halloween Memory: "Pumpkin Parade" by Sephera Giron
"October Dreams" by Michael Kelly

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


My tentative Dragon*Con schedule is as follows: 

Title: Strategies for the Castrophes of Publishing
Description: Stuff happens, right? Come and learn what options exist if your publisher bankrupts or your editor quits midstream--among other catastrophes.
Time: Fri 11:30 am Location: Embassy D-F - Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Lou Anders, Janny Wurts, Chesya Burke, Laura Anne Gilman, Elizabeth Moon, James A. Moore)
Title: Horror: State of the Union
Description: Writers discuss the current state of horror literature and speculate about upcoming trends
Time: Fri 04:00 pm Location: Peachtree 1-2 - Westin (Length: 1 Hour)
Moderator / MC for panel
(Tentative Panelists: Christopher Golden, Jonathan Maberry, James A. Moore, Lois H Gresh, Steve Saffel, Anya Martin)
Title: Cthulhu Mythos: The Innsmouth Cycle
Description: A discussion about the Innsmouth cycle created by H.P. Lovecraft and continued by his followers
Time: Fri 07:00 pm Location: Peachtree 1-2 - Westin (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: James A. Moore, Lois H Gresh, Cherie Priest, Kenneth Hite)
Title: The Down and Dirty of Plot Development
Description: How to manage the "down and dirty" chore of intriguing plot development. Learn techniques that will set your book apart and garner an editor's notice.
Time: Fri 08:30 pm Location: Embassy D-F - Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Debra Dixon, Chesya Burke, Claire M. Eddy, Clay and Susan Griffith, James A. Moore, Janny Wurts)
Title: 101 Fascinating Ways to Kill Off a Character
Description: Fiction is more believable than real life? Right? Maybe. Maybe not. Fiction writers concoct fascinating ways to kill characters--both loved and hated.
Time: Sat 10:00 pm Location: Embassy D-F - Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Nancy Knight, James A. Moore, John D. Ringo, Elizabeth Donald, David Farland, Janny Wurts)
Title: Serialized Terror
Description: How does the series format apply to horror fiction? Pros share tips on designing and maintaining multibook narratives
Time: Sun 02:30 pm Location: Peachtree 1-2 - Westin (Length: 1 Hour)
Moderator / MC for panel
(Tentative Panelists: Jonathan Maberry, Christopher Golden, James A. Moore, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro)
Title: V-Wars: Vampires Everywhere!
Description: Behind the scenes of Jonathan Maberry's V-Wars universe
Time: Sun 07:00 pm Location: Peachtree 1-2 - Westin (Length: 1 Hour)
Moderator / MC for panel
(Tentative Panelists: Jonathan Maberry, James R. Tuck, James A. Moore, Keith R.A. DeCandido)
Title: Titan Presents
Description: Titan Publishing is one of the premiere independently owned British publishing houses.
Time: Sun 08:30 pm Location: Embassy A-B - Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Steve Saffel, Lois H Gresh, Debbie Viguiƃ©, James R. Tuck, James A. Moore, Michelle Belanger)
Title: The Final Frontier of Fiction
Description: What's new and upcoming? What's trending? How do I manage to get started in today's crazy market?
Time: Mon 02:30 pm Location: Embassy D-F - Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Chesya Burke, Stephen L. Antczak, James A. Moore, Nancy Knight, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Kathryn Hinds)
Gonna be busy. 

And look! They got a cool new Logo, too.