New Novel news

I’m getting pretty excited about my novel-in-progress.  It’s called LITTLE WHISPERS, and it’s my return to the scary stuff.  It’s a ghost/haunting story, but it also has a serial killer as well as long-buried family secrets to explore.

I’m targeting an April completion date, so you won’t have long to wait for the completed novel.

If you would like to read a preview, just let me know at:


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Kindle Unlimited, and other updates

After a lot of thought and crunching of numbers, I’ve decided to make most of my titles Amazon exclusive, at least for the time being.  This means that if you are an Amazon Prime member, you can read most of my work for free through the Kindle Unlimited program.

To see what titles are available for Prime members to read for free, here’s a handy link:

Also, I decided THE HOLLOWED LAND needed a cover worthy of the story.
Pretty sharp, isn’t it? Hat tip to Elderlemon Design.

The Hollowed Land new small

Besides the limited edition of NOTHING LASTING due to ship from Cemetery Dance Publications sometime this Spring, I should have another novel available, hopefully, before the final snows melt. Writing this story is creeping me out. I’ve literally broken out in goosebumps as I’ve worked.  This novel-in-progress is called LITTLE WHISPERS.  It’s a ghost story.  Oh, and it has a serial killer.

I can’t wait to let everyone read it.  In fact, if you would like a sneak peek, let me know and I’ll send one along in an email.

One final thing…

I would really like to utilize some of the promotional websites available to help reach more readers.  Most of these sites will only promote titles when they reach a certain number of reviews. If you could leave an honest review for any of my work, I’d greatly appreciate it!

If you have any questions, feel free to drop me an email.


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Best Reads of 2015

This list is for my favorite reads of 2015. Not all titles were published this year. I added Amazon links in case you’re interesting in checking out any of these outstanding stories.

Disintegration by Richard Thomas




Sour Candy by Kealan Patrick Burke




Slowly We Rot by Bryan Smith




With Fury in Hand by Lee Thompson




Lost Horizon by James Hilton




Eating Bitter by Charles Colyott




The Winds of War by Herman Wouk




Bird Box by Josh Malerman




The Rain Dancers by Greg Gifune




Marathon Man by William Goldman




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Holiday Ebook Sale

Since I’m buried in writing deadlines I’ve decided to make my holiday sale pricing easy.  Every ebook under my control is now just $.99 through the end of 2015.  All of my short story collections, every novella, every novel—all just $.99 each.  It’s the perfect time to fill any gaps in your collection.

Here are some easy links:


Barnes & Noble:




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Chekhov’s Gun is Not Just for Firing

One of the statements Anton Chekhov is most remembered for is the dictum:

“Remove everything that has no relevance to the story. If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off. If it’s not going to be fired, it shouldn’t be hanging there.”

I don’t think it’s necessary for the rifle to be fired for it to be an important plot detail.  The rifle can be used to intimidate.  It can be the weapon the protagonist desperately seeks at the most dire point in the story.  The rifle can be found unloaded when it’s needed during a moment of crisis.  There are plenty of options for the author to create or release dramatic tension by using the rifle hanging on the wall.  If the existence of the rifle doesn’t impact the story in some way, it’s not needed.  Easy right?

The same principle can, and should, be applied to other details an author brings up early in a story.  Of course, not every detail can be literally fired like a rifle, but they can be used to generate tension and conflict.

Take for instance a young couple in love.  At the beginning of a story their love can appear to be unerring and without flaw.  If the couple reaches the end of the story without some change in their relationship (either positive or negative), then the author is missing out on an opportunity to introduce conflict.

Without conflict, fiction is rather dull.  Without conflict, a story might as well be a bullet point list of innocuous description.

As an author, it’s important to think about what details you can leverage to heighten tension.  Love, faith, hope, desire, hatred.  Insecurity, arrogance, compassion.  These are all metaphorical rifles hanging on the wall.  Introduce the detail early on, but don’t miss out on the opportunity to aim and fire.  Metaphorically, of course.


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Longfellow Elementary Celebrates Most Authentic Columbus Day Ever

So funny!


PORTLAND, ME — Students at Longfellow Elementary School celebrated the life of Christopher Columbus ahead of the upcoming Columbus Day weekend by traveling to Gorham High School this Friday.  The program was part of a new experiential learning program initiated by the Portland Board of Education.

“We were trying to find Westbrook High School, but we got lost,” said, Jeremy Skeffington, a 4th grader at Longfellow Elementary. “It doesn’t matter though.  Their property is just as easily stolen, and they will make excellent slaves.”

It was clear that the students at Gorham High School were not expecting the visiting students.  Amanda Yunker, a junior and member of the Gorham High School varsity Field Hockey Team was surprised by the arrival of the students participating in the immersive learning experience.

“We saw these kids, all between kindergarten to 5th grade, getting off these buses, and we thought they were…

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Review – “Darkest Minds” edited by Ross Warren and Anthony Watson

Here’s an excellent new review for Darkest Minds, an anthology that contains my story “Vacation.” Check it out!


The third in a solid anthology series from Dark Minds Press, this book presents a dozen horror tales, eleven of which have not been published before. This time the theme is crossing a border, either literal or figurative, and the authors have provided some great riffs on the concept. Our protagonists struggle with mental and physical transitions, find themselves uprooted regarding location or tackling paranormal experience, and even cross time itself. In addition to the theme, I found that all the stories are thick with an askew atmosphere of darkness waiting to pounce, and this provides an enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours.

darkest mindsThe fun starts with “Vacation” by Glen Krisch, the only reprint of the anthology. It’s narrated by Mr Callahan, a financial big hitter out of sync with life, who hands over a fortune to a strange facility for some kind of vacation. This is…

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Goodbye, Pic

When you graduate with a degree in writing, you think you’d know a little bit about the business side of things, but unfortunately, more often than not, this important facet of becoming a professional author is lacking from degree programs.  I’ve learned a lot about the business of writing for publication through trial and error.  The rest I learned through the advice and guidance provided by already established professionals.  In my early years post-graduation, there were many people who calmly abided my newbie questions.  Sometimes I look back and think I must have been such a pest! Even so a handful of the people I asked for advice stood out as exemplars of professionalism and class: Rick Hautala, Tom Piccirilli, Brian Keene, and Kealan Patrick Burke.

But for one brief anxiety-laden encounter at a signing in Joliet a LONG time ago (which I’m sure Brian has certainly forgotten about), I’ve never met any of these fine authors in person.  And even though I am literally a stranger to them all in a flesh and blood sense, they all listened willingly and gave of themselves graciously whenever I reached out to them.  They helped me avoid pitfalls they had to learn about firsthand.  They helped me remain positive when I had trouble seeing the light.  Most importantly, these authors taught me not only how to act professionally, but also how to treat other people trying to make it in this sometimes rough business of ours.

I still think back with regret that I never took Rick’s suggestion to pick up the phone and call him whenever I felt the need.  At the time I thought, “Who has time for phone calls anymore?”  What a damn fool I was for missing out on connecting with him on a deeper level than through email.  Rick was taken from us too early a couple of short years ago.

The literary world lost another shining light with Tom Piccirilli’s recent passing.  These last couple of days I’ve looked back at our correspondence with sadness, but also indelible fondness.  These aren’t just brief letters of encouragement or guidance, but clear examples for how to treat other people.  I have no doubt that Tom’s work will endure.  He was a master of the dark, the macabre, the surreal. But I also believe that his example will endure just as long through those authors he helped guide through their early days.

R.I.P. Pic

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Signed print editions available

Would anyone here be interested in signed paperbacks of my work that’s available in print? We’re coming close to pulling the trigger on moving, and it would make moving easier to clear out some books. For the record, I have copies of The Nightmare Within, Where Darkness Dwells, Arkadium Rising, and Through the Eyes of Strays.  Here’s a handy Amazon link if you want to read up on the titles.

Oh… I guess I should say it costs $12 via paypal. Email me at with which title(s) you want, along with your email address, and I’ll send along a paypal invoice.

Thanks for making this move a little easier on my poor old back. lol

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Now open for editing projects. Free sample edit!

After taking a break from editing to work on other projects, I’m ready to jump back into the game. If you are an author looking for a meticulous (some say vicious) editor, don’t hesitate to email me about my availability. I’ve worked with many clients to polish their first novels, and I’ve edited work by Lawrence Block and Tim Lebbon, so I’ve seen it all. If you want your work to shine, let’s talk!

I offer a free sample edit to see if we would be a good match.

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