My four books for Samhain Publishing are, at last, fully back in print — three of them with new cover art!
At the start of January, Samhain, my publisher of the past six years, began to close up shop (they’re now fully out-of-business). That took my last four releases temporarily out-of-print. I decided to re-issue them on my own imprint, Dark Arts Books, which has been publishing other people’s work — from Jay Bonansinga, Sarah Pinborough and Martin Mundt to J.A. Konrath, Michael Marshall Smith and Brian Pinkerton — since 2006. Why give my catalog to another small publishing label, when I already had my own? (No big imprint was going to take a handful of “old” books and reissue them with any big distribution… so why not just DIY?)
The new e-book editions were all available by the end of January, but it took me a bit longer to do the paperbacks. I love print book layout (desktop publishing is how I started my professional career) but it takes longer to do. And I kept futzing on little color tweaks on the covers, so I ended up ordering a couple different versions from the printer of each book (and each time you do that, it killed a week for printing and mailing!).
In any case… I got the final edition of Violet Eyes this week, so I can now firmly say that NightWhere, Violet Eyes, The Family Tree and Sacrificing Virgins are fully “back in print” and available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble! I also finally updated the e-book, print and audio book links on my website’s Books page.
Here’s what the new wrap-around covers look like (click to see large versions!):
While I opted to go with new covers for the previous three books to get them closer to my original vision for them, I went ahead and licensed the original cover art for Sacrificing Virgins, since it was made by Samhain exactly to my original specs. The text treatment on the cover did change a little — new blurbs on the front and back and a slightly different spine:
Hoping that readers will respond well to the new covers! I still have some copies of the original NightWhere and Family Tree editions, so I’ll be putting the old and the new editions out side-by-side at conventions over the coming year. It will be interesting to see which sell through faster!
I HAVE BEEN making stir fry dishes since I was in college. Back then, it was partly for affordability. You could throw together a bunch of cheap ingredients and eat for days. But… if it’s done right, a good stir fry is a fairly healthy flavor explosion. Out of all the things I cook, it’s one of the things I love the most, and honestly, I’ve never had anything like the way I make it in a restaurant. And if you’ve scored some good hot peppers, the taste will make you cry from both joy and heat.
The recipe shifts a little, depending on what’s in the fridge, but there are a few constants — there are always a lot of peppers, onions, fresh ginger, and bacon and eggs. One of the keys, to me, is to have a large electric fryer, so that you can cook all of the veggies evenly and quickly without making them too soggy. I’ve got an electric wok… but I’ve always preferred the long rectangular fryer. I have also found that, while it makes more dishes, it’s useful to chop everything and have it ready in separate bowls prior to getting too far into the cooking process… chopping always takes longer than you expect!
Here’s how I do it:
Watery Eye Spicy Stir Fry
Prep Time: About an hour
VARIANTS: You can add yellow and orange Bell Peppers to augment the “sweet” and you can add Thai Hot Peppers, Fingerhots or Habaneros to increase the “heat.” But you should always have Red Bell Pepper and Jalapenos as the base. Adding fresh pea pods and bok choi is never a bad thing. If you’re not a fan, you can skip the broccoli or the mushrooms and it won’t change the taste much. I usually have a bag of mixed frozen diced carrots, beans, peas and corn in the freezer and I’ll sometimes toss a couple handfuls of that into the mix. You can also dice up and add chicken or pork to augment the “meat” portion, though I honestly like it best simply with bacon.
On the stove, combine two cups of uncooked rice with 4 cups water. Add a dash of salt, a tablespoon of vegetable oil and 2 or 3 one-inch sections of the lemongrass branch (you don’t strictly need the lemongrass, but it does give a nice flavor to your rice). Bring the water to a boil and then simmer covered for 15-20 minutes until the water has been absorbed. When the rice is done, turn off the heat and leave covered until you need it.
Dice the onion, and slice the zucchini, broccoli and mushrooms. Honestly, I’m not a big fan of broccoli, so I don’t use much… but I put it in in a vague nod to nutrition. Eat your broccoli.
Put the chopped veggies in a bowl or bowls (depending on how anal you are! I keep each ingredient in its own container until I’m ready for it.)
Slice the peppers to your preference (I chop the jalapenos and serranos so that they are in “circle” sections, and the larger peppers I cut in strips, and usually then cut the strips in half ). Do not strip and discard the seeds, but leave them in the pepper slices… they will provide the heat!
In a large electric frying pan (I usually have the temperature set between 300-350), begin frying the bacon strips. As the bacon cooks, combine the eggs in a glass and whisk with a fork until the yolk and white are well mixed. You can add a splash of milk to it too if you want (fluffier eggs). When the bacon is beginning to get crispy on the edges, push it to one side and pour in the egg. Scramble the egg, and then remove both the bacon and egg to a plate.
Add the remainder of the vegetable oil to the bacon grease, and pour in the onion. Saute for a couple minutes until the edges begin to yellow, then add the rest of the vegetables. Stir for 10 minutes or so, at least partially covered (helps cook the veggies faster and keeps the oil from spitting).
Chop up the bacon and then add the bacon and eggs back to the pan, adding the soy sauce and stir fry sauce.
Once all the vegetables are tender (but not too soggy!) add in the rice and… stir it in until most of the white has been coated with the sauces. You can serve almost immediately, or leave it sit on low heat for awhile until your hungry mob is ready.
And that’s it. Prepare to have your tastebuds dance. And if you were generous with your peppers, maybe shed a tear.
Translated by Thomas Bauduret and released in France by Riviere Blanche as Le Pacte Des Suicides, the novel was chosen in the Translated Novels category.
The Masterton Awards recognize excellence in publications in French “fantastic” literature. Previous winners in the translation category include Joe Hill, China Miéville, Gary Braunbeck, José Carlos Somoza, Isaka Kotaro, Jack Ketchum, Guillermo Del Toro and more.
The award announcement site is here:
A translation of the announcement post reads:
The members of the jury of the Prix Masterton have the immense pleasure to announce the winners of this year.
Emmanuel Delporte: Stalingrad, editions the drunk-book
John Everson: The Covenant of Suicide, Editions White River (translated by Thomas Bauduret)
Anthology Dark Felines, luciferines editions
It was certainly an unexpected honor, but I hope it will help new readers to discover the French edition of Covenant.
Le Pacte Des Suicides is available in France through Riviere Blanche here:
This one’s been a long time in coming. Ten years, to be exact. But today, my ninth novel, Redemption, became fully available on Amazon.com (the e-book hit last week, the trade paperback was released today).
My second novel, Sacrifice, originally came out in a limited hardcover edition a decade ago, back in 2007… and as soon as that book was released, I wanted to revisit the world of reporter Joe Kieran, Alex, the troubled teen girl who could talk to the dead, and the Curburide demons they fought against. But when Sacrifice and its prequel, Covenant were given wide release to bookstores in mass market paperback in 2008-2009, there was not interest at the time from the publisher in continuing the series. Leisure Books wanted new standalone novels which are easier to sell in horror, especially when older books tended to disappear from bookstore shelves before the sequels were released. So rather than write Redemption in 2008 and 2009… I wrote The 13th. And Siren.
Year after year, I put off writing Redemption. Until the end of 2015. When my editor at Samhain Publishing was let go, and it became clear that the publisher’s horror imprint would soon follow him, I decided that, for better or worse, I’d go ahead and write the novel I had been wanting to write. Didn’t know where it would end up. But that didn’t matter anymore. I just wanted to finally tell the story of what happened after Sacrifice, for myself if nobody else. So… that’s what I worked on last year. Last summer, I pitched a draft of the book to 47North, the current publisher of Covenant and Sacrifice, the first two books in the trilogy. And… as I expected… they passed on it. They’ve focused more and more on science fiction of late (their company Christmas card showed all the editorial staff brandishing light sabers, which I think gives a good indication of their focus! It’s not horror.)
Rather than search for another independent publisher, I decided to release the novel on my own Dark Arts Books imprint — the first book of mine that has not going through the traditional publishing system. And I decided to do another unusual thing — I decided to launch a Kickstarter campaign to help promote the book and get signed copies into the hands of fans. I recorded this video for the Kickstarter to explain why:
I launched the Kickstarter page the weekend after Thanksgiving… and ever since then, I have been neck-deep in this book! Suddenly I had real deadlines again! Promoting the Kickstarter, doing final writing and edits, finally pushing it off to press, and then, over the past week, signing and mailing over 100 signed books out to all of the campaign’s supporters was all-consuming. It was definitely a successful campaign, and I am hugely grateful to all of the friends and fans who supported it. The campaign even contributed to the book’s content itself — two of the “rewards” were for people to become characters in the book… which led me to write a couple scenes that augmented and tied things up better than I had done originally. So the campaign supporters ultimately made the novel better.
I also reached out to Edward Lee in December, one of the masters of modern horror, and asked if he’d take a read of the book, and if he liked it, maybe give it a promotional blurb. He agreed, and I crossed my fingers and held my breath that he’d like the book. What he came back with… floored me. One of the best blurbs I’ve ever gotten for a book. Here’s what he wrote:
“Redemption unfolds as horror-hero Joe Kieran’s finish-line sprint down the last leg of Everson’s addictive occult storyline of blood-gushing demonic machinations, cursed existential characters, and abominations incarnate. Everson is a MASTER of the hardcore; he’s the rare kind of writer who’s so good you can’t proceed with your day until the book is finished. No matter what you have planned, forget it; you won’t bother until you’ve turned the last page. (I missed a playoff game because of this book!) Everson kicks out the jambs in this gory story of haunted religious missions, mind-boggling sex-rituals, and jaunts into Hell (and let’s not forget the communal demonic toilet!) The Little Mermaid this ain’t. This is balls-to-the-wall, no-fucking-around hardcore horror that hits the reader with the impact of a bucket of hot blood and innards in the face. Read it!” – Edward Lee, author of Haunter of the Threshold and “Mr. Torso.”
They just don’t get better than that! We truncated a one-sentence version for the cover, but I wish I could have printed the whole thing there!
So all that brings us to now, the first week in February. It’s been a non-stop marathon since Thanksgiving. Especially since the Samhain Horror Line DID officially fold last month, and I found myself working to republish my former Samhain books alongside working on Redemption.
But now that all of the Kickstarter books are in the mail… today was the day to finally push the final “publish” button.
You can now find Redemption, if you want it. And lord knows we all need some, right?
Amazon has even put together the three novels in a nice “The Curburide Chronicles” package, which is cool:
When I was first writing Covenant, geez – 20 years ago now, back in the mid-late ’90s – I never expected it to spawn a trilogy. Hell, there were a couple years that I shelved it and never thought I’d even finish the novel at all, let alone see it published in multiple editions and multiple languages. But now, the cycle is done. A long unfinished chapter written. I’m personally happy with the way it all works out.
I hope readers are too.
Here we are again. As I begin writing this year’s “summation” blog, there are 15 minutes left in the year. It will be well into the new year by the time I finish. But there’s a Twilight Zone marathon on, so I can go all night.
Damn… how did we get here so fast? I’ve seen a lot of posts this week about “good riddance” and “can’t wait til it’s over.” Certainly there was more than an abundance of political mudslinging this year, and we lost some celebrities like Prince, David Bowie and Carrie Fisher who meant a lot to my life. But honestly, I had some amazing experiences in 2016. And hell, the Cubs won the World Series. I never thought I’d live to see that happen. So I personally was in no big hurry to see this year end. Who’s to say that life won’t all just be downhill from here?
It wasn’t all peaches and cream… but for me, 2016 was filled with a lot of big things. In the first quarter alone, I spent a week in Asia, had my gallbladder surgically removed, and turned 50. All pretty momentous events in my life, and they all happened within 10 weeks. The rest of the year… kept on going kind of like that!
On the fiction front, while this turned out to be the first year in a decade that I didn’t release an original book, I did finish writing a novel (Redemption), got a start on a new one and contributed stories to a handful of really cool anthologies that came out — I had original stories in the Painfreak, Cemetery Riots and Drive-In Creature Feature anthologies, and a reprinted story in the “best of” collection Dread.
I also had two limited edition hardcovers from Sinister Grin Press of my novels Violet Eyes and The Family Tree…(the latter is actually at press, but should be out in a couple weeks.)
And while my current publisher, Samhain, announced that they would be discontinuing their horror line, I still completed my ninth novel, Redemption… and staged a Kickstarter campaign this past month to help launch it. The book will be out in January (just missed a 2016 release!) and I’m hoping, since it completes the trilogy, that it will please fans of Covenant and Sacrifice, its predecessors.
In a way, Redemption completes a career circuit begun a dozen years ago, when my first novel Covenant was published. I went from indie author, to major label, to mid-tier label and now… back to indie. What happens now… we will see!
I don’t watch much television, but every weekend, I go down to my big 65-inch TV in the basement and watch at least one movie. In 2015 I started tracking my viewing, and so I know that I saw more than 90 films this year, from big box office movies like Magical Beasts and Where To Find Them and Rogue One (loved them!) to indie productions like Spring (amazing) and It Follows (nice new twist) to old giallos like Seven Deaths in the Cat’s Eye and Death Walks on High Heels.
I watched art films from Radley Metzger, Alain Robbe-Grillet and Lars Von Trier, grindhouse from Quentin Tarrantino and Pete Walker and cornball horror like Zombeavers and Night of the Killer Dorks. I introduced Shaun to Frankenstein and Young Frankenstein and finally saw For a Few Dollars More with Clint Eastwood. I saw a lot of great film this year, though the majority of it was more than 20 years old.
I bought a ton of new music this year and discovered new female-led pop bands like Kitten, Little Daylight, Dragonette, Night Club and Blondfire along with grabbing new releases from old favorites like Tegan & Sara, Garbage, Lady Gaga, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Kansas and Delerium. It was also a huge year in reliving ’80s/90’s music for me… I saw more of my favorite bands in one year then I think I’ve seen in the last five combined.
In March, I saw one of my favorite bands ever for the first time when New Order played a phenomenal show supporting the new CD Music Complete at the Chicago Theater just a couple days after my birthday. I bought a ticket at the last second and got a great 11th row aisle seat… and recorded a bunch of songs that I dropped on a YouTube Playlist.
In June, I saw The Cure at UIC Pavilion. I’ve seen The Cure a bunch over the years but it’s been awhile, so I was really looking forward to this show. The seats ended up being awful… but it was still a great show. Here’s a clip I recorded of “Just Like Heaven.”
In July, it was Chic and Duran Duran at Ravinia, a show that both Geri and Shaun had been looking forward to along with me. I LOVED their new Paper Gods CD, and the concert did not disappoint… though I was bummed that Nick Rhodes had to leave the tour temporarily just before the Chicago date. My YouTube Playlist from the show includes new and old tracks.
The concert trail continued a few days later with Collective Soul and The Goo Goo Dolls at Northerly Island Pavilion and then in September, I caught Toad the Wet Sprocket and BoDeans (both bands I interviewed back in my music critic days) at Naperville’s Last Fling.
Also in September was the reunion tour of Belly at Cabaret Metro. Tanya Donelly has been one of my favorite artists — regardless of what band she’s singing for — for over 30 years… so I made sure I was in the front row of that one! I sang along to most of the show, but I did record a few videos.
In November, Brian Pinkerton invited me and Chris Larsen down to see Kansas, touring for their first original album in years (with a new singer). It was kind of appropriate for me to see this tour, since my very first concert ever was seeing Kansas with John Elefante — the first time Kansas had a replacement singer (touring for the album that “Play the Game” became a hit from). The new show was great, we were right up in front, and I recorded this version of “Dust in the Wind” there. I’ve been listening to their new CD ever since.
Just a few days later, Geri and I went to see the Goo Goo Dolls again (one of Geri’s favorite acts) when they played a small theater in Waukegan. Thanks to a friend, we got on the VIP list and got to meet and shake hands with the band for a few seconds before the show.
Living in a Hotel… the Year in Travel
I tend to travel a lot for work, and then add on more trips to support my book projects… which means I’m on the road a lot every year. 2016 kicked into high gear for me the first week of January and never really slowed down.
I visited Seoul, Tokyo, Amsterdam, Aachen, Germany, Orlando, Washington, D.C., Santa Fe, Indianapolis, and Los Angeles. And took a couple of jaunts up to Milwaukee for a book signing and Cubs game.
I left the country right after New Year’s Day to fly to Seoul, Korea on a business trip. And after 2.5 days in Seoul, I hopped on a plane and flew to Tokyo for two days of business and then stayed on vacation for an additional three days. I have to be honest… I was really apprehensive about going on that trip. While I’ve enjoyed Asian cuisine, and love the movies of Hayao Miyazaki, I never had a big interest in Asian culture, and was afraid of what the language barrier would bring.
The trip… was a head-changer.
And then when I arrived in Tokyo… At first it seemed like my hotel was a dump and I was stuck on just another run-down street in an anonymous big city.
But that night… I saw Tokyo come alive… and it entranced me in a way no other city ever has. The throngs of people moving from one club/restaurant to another. The crazy catchy pop music blaring from the buildings at busy street corners. The food… the entertainment centers… the electronic district… the temples… the fish market… I saw as much of Tokyo as I could over the course of five days, and I absolutely loved it.
Since I’ve been back, I’ve visited one of Chicagoland’s biggest Japanese markets (which just happens to be a couple blocks from where I work) almost every week. And I have a playlist of J-Pop setup on YouTube.
I heard that David Bowie died when I arrived at the airport on the way home from Tokyo… and so I spent half of that long flight home writing a blog about what he and his music meant to me in my life.
A galling month
I was only back from Japan for a couple weeks when I had a huge painful attack that felt like my guts had been shot by hot lead. I’d had these attacks before and managed to ignore them… but this time I went to the ER, and got diagnosed with gallstones. The only cure? Remove the gallbladder. So that’s what I did in February. I gotta tell you, having one of your organs cut out may be no big deal to some people… but I wasn’t particularly happy about it.
March… brought another questionable milestone — my 50th birthday. I think my 40th birthday was harder… that’s when I had to come face to face with “not being young” anymore. Nevertheless, 50 wasn’t easy. That said, celebrating it at one of my favorite spots — the Hofbrauhaus — with some of my closest family and friends… made it all a lot easier to stomach.
April… brought another trip abroad. This time, a short three-day business trip to Amsterdam and Germany. There wasn’t much time to look around, but I did walk past Anne Frank’s house and spend an hour or two in the Rijksmuseum, home of a famous collection of Rembrandt paintings. My blog and pictures from the trip are here.
May… brought a family vacation to Orlando. In 2015, I got suckered into one of those “three free nights at our Hilton Resort if you’ll listen to a timeshare pitch” offers. It sounded like a great way to have a nice family vacation (and it was a nice vacation) but… the truth is… when you add on the extra two room nights we popped for (we couldn’t stay just 3 days), the plane tickets, the rental car and the theme park tickets… it was a more expensive vacation than we would have taken in 2016, if we hadn’t committed to the “special.”
So much for saving money. But… we did have a great time, had a nice suite, and got to visit Universal Studios for the first time. And re-introduced Shaun to the Magic Kingdom, Epcot and Hollywood Studios. After a busy first half of the year, it was a nice break.
My pix and travelogue from that trip are here.
In July, I actually stayed home… but we had a major house renovation project finished at the end of June — we had to redo the roof, and while we were at it, we went ahead and replaced the siding (we had hated the original yellow siding since we bought it 9 years ago… so now it’s a deep blue!)
We did get out of town however to see The Cubs at both Wrigley Field and Milwaukee’s Miller Park (to celebrate our wedding anniversary). Given that this was the best season the Cubs have had in my lifetime (culminating in the World Series victory) I saw more baseball this summer than ever before. It was amazing!
August brought the return of my annual business trip to Santa Fe, NM. Santa Fe has become one of my favorite places on earth over the years, and this may actually be the last time I’m sent there on business, since the meeting I’ve attended all these years has finally moved locations for 2017.
Knowing that… I made the most of it, and spent a couple vacation days after the meeting hanging around the town and working on final edits to my new novel Redemption. I’ve always gotten a lot of writing done while in Santa Fe, so I figured if this was the last time… I would make it count.
I also brought back plenty of Hatch, NM chili peppers to freeze, so I have a taste of the Southwest for some time to come.
August was also the month of Chicago’s Flashback Weekend, an annual horror convention that I always have a book booth at. This year was a great bit of fun, as always. I debuted a new booth setup, and Brian Pinkerton and I went to see director Don Coscarelli introduce a showing of the remastered Phantasm. And Shaun came down on the last day again to help me manage the table. Afterwards, we celebrated with a lunch nearby at Hofbrauhaus.
August was also the month of Wizard World Comic Con, where I served as an author guest and panelist. It’s the first time I’ve ever been to a Comic Con, and I had a blast. And Geri and Shaun got to come down one day, and met Geri’s childhood idol, Ralph Macchio. I published a blog about that weekend with pix here.
Just a couple weeks later in September, the whole Everson family decamped to Indianapolis, to go to HorrorHound Weekend. This was the first year that I went where I was not the “guest” of my publisher (who has done a big author showcase booth the past few years). Instead, since Samhain Publishing wasn’t at the convention, I bought my own booth, just as I do at Flashback. And it was a great success. Not only did I sell enough books to make it worth it, but I got to meet a couple movie stars who I actually wanted to meet (Lynn Lowry from Shivers and Dean Cameron and Gary Riley from Summer School) and got to hang out with some friends who have relocated to Indy. All in all, a great weekend.
A couple weeks later, I was on the road again to Los Angeles, for my dayjob’s big annual convention. Always a lot of work, but I did get the chance to meet Chris Bennett, one of the editors of Cemetery Riots (one of the anthologies I was in this year) as well as hang out with one of my old friends, Paul Gifford. I also learned towards the end of my trip of the death of Robert Weinberg, one of the key figures of the Chicago horror and fantasy scene. I wrote this blog when I found out.
Thankfully, for the past couple months, I haven’t had to go far from the Chicago area. Shaun and I went to a pinball convention in Wheeling, and bought a new machine for the basement (Sorcerer). So now I have my Mata Hari, and he has his Sorcerer.
I did a couple local Halloween events in October, including a trip up to Racine, WI to do an annual Halloween author event at a Barnes & Noble there, which allowed me to get together with my friends Bill Gagliani, Dave Benton and Chris Larsen.
In December, my friend Brad Czernik and I went downtown just before Christmas to see a horror movie marathon, and met Mark Patton, one of the stars of Nightmare on Elm Street II. But otherwise, other than long hours at work, for the past few weeks, I’ve been home. And it’s been great.
I’d be okay if 2017 wasn’t quite as eventful as this year. It’s been a fun year… but I’d like to get some more reading and writing done again!
Now that I’ve spent 3 hours writing about 2016… I guess it’s time to go to bed so I can wake up to face 2017 with more than a yawn.
Last night, I launched a Kickstarter Campaign that will run throughout the month of December to support the launch of Redemption, and, hopefully get signed copies of it into the hands of anyone reading this.
Redemption is my 9th novel, and the long-awaited sequel to my first two novels, Covenant and Sacrifice, so I’m really excited to finally be able to say the book is done and to be able to show off this cover (click the picture to see a larger version). It’s been nine years since the original edition of Sacrifice was published, and I’ve wanted to write this book that whole time!
Redemption picks up immediately after the events of Sacrifice, and features returning characters Joe Kieran, Alex, Ariana and, of course, the demon Malachai. Here’s the back cover description:
Alex hadn’t really considered what would happen after she dragged Ariana through the portal in a desperate bid to close the gate between worlds. She hadn’t given sacrificing herself a thought; she’d just wanted to end the demonic summoning before it was too late.
But when Alex wakes up on the other side, in the world of the Curburide, she has to think fast if she ever wants to see Joe Kieran, or Earth, again. Her only ally is an occult serial killer. Demons are searching for both of them, and there’s nothing demons love more than human fear and pain. They feed on it. In the world of the Curburide, the demons are everywhere.
And they’re hungry.
If you’ve enjoyed my work, I hope you’ll support this Kickstarter. I have opted to release this book outside of my normal publishers, so this is new territory for me! But… 47North, the publisher who publishes Covenant and Sacrifice, is currently not interested in buying more horror.
Rather than shopping this book around to other publishers, I decided that if it is not going to appear on the same publisher as the other two in the series, I will release it on my own Dark Arts Books. It’s a book that I wrote for fans of those first two books as much as for me — to finally finish the story I’ve wanted to tell. So I’m going to manage its release. While I’ve released a bunch of titles on Dark Arts Books over the past decade, this will be the first original title of my own work that I’ve put out. So… fingers crossed!
For the Kickstarter effort I’ve put together a number of good pledge packages. You can support the book and get your name in the acknowledgments, or you can get a signed copy of the trade paperback… or get signed copies of all three books — Covenant, Sacrifice and Redemption.
This is the best way, I think, for me to get signed copies of these novels out to fans of my work.
There’s a video about the Kickstarter effort, and all of the pledge packages listed here:
Thanks for your support… and I hope you’ll enjoy the new novel! I can’t wait to hold a copy in my own hands. I have wanted to write this book since Sacrifice first appeared in 2007. So it’s been far too long in coming. I can’t believe it’s finally here.
This week, Sinister Grin Press began taking pre-orders for the limited, signed hardcover edition of my 8th novel, The Family Tree. I’m really excited about this release for a number or reasons, not the least of which being that I love the new cover — which is a great realization of the image idea I’d suggested to the book’s original publisher a couple years ago before the trade paperback edition was released.
On Monday, Sinister Grin posted a “making of” blog about the new edition of the book, which includes a glimpse into cover artist Zach McCain’s creative process in developing the cover. I love these kinds of “behind the scenes” things, and this one shows his first couple sketches and initial color version of the cover, before it finalized to become the cover below.
If you’ve enjoyed my work in the past, and love hardcover books the way I do, I hope you’ll take a look at this one and consider pre-ordering a copy. Sinister Grin will base the ultimate number of copies produced on the pre-orders, so if you’re going to want one in a few weeks… put your name in the hat now!
I was working in Los Angeles today when my wife Geri texted me from Chicago to let me know that amazing author, editor and all-round good soul Bob Weinberg had died. It has weighed heavy on my mind these past few hours as I finished my day working here.
Bob was one of the first and best writers I met on the “Chicago” scene when I first began publishing my own work in the ’90s. He was an inspiration, and I was privileged to design a book of his short fiction (The Occult Detective) for Twilight Tales and later to publish some of his stories on my own Dark Arts Books press (When The Night Comes Down). Bob was a prolific author, co-founder of Chicago Comic Con, and an editor who compiled dozens of horror anthologies with Stefan R. Dziemianowicz and Martin H. Greenberg in the ’80s and ’90s.
I always wanted to see Bob in person more than I ever got to and some day tour his home “genre museum.” Once when I did a library reading near his house, we had planned to do that… but then health got in the way. He lived just a few miles from where I grew up, and yet, somehow I never saw his fabled collection of books, posters, and horror/sci-fi memorabilia. And now never will.
I was honored to have been able to know him, and sign books near him more than once, including at World Horror Convention 2002 (where the first photo of us hails from – the other is from a panel at World Horror 2001). I will always remember him, and dream of Mars in his honor. When we land a manned mission there, I will speak his name.
What does that last sentence have to do with anything? Read Bob’s essay from just over a year ago called “A Dream of Mars” on his Facebook wall:
Rest in peace, Bob. And thanks for all the amazing stories. I’m glad to have known you, and gotten the chance to work with you, if even just a little bit.
But, this year, since Samhain is closing down their horror line at the end of the year, they didn’t end up sponsoring a table. So, there was not going to be any “author-fest” this time around. Nevertheless, since I’ve enjoyed the convention a lot, despite Samhain’s absence, I opted to pay for my own solo author table and go anyway. For me, the convention is a great opportunity to talk with some fans, and hang out with my friend Jerry Chandler from Synapse Films as well as with my old neighbors, Diane and Troy Horn, who moved out to Indianapolis last year.
I go to a lot of horror conventions… and honestly, I rarely leave my table of books to get autographs. But… when I saw that “Dave and Chainsaw” from Carl Reiner’s SUMMER SCHOOL film were going to be there… I instantly had a mission. I love SUMMER SCHOOL. My wife Geri and I have seen it umpteen times since it was first released in 1987. To meet Chainsaw (Dean Cameron) and Dave (Gary Riley) was a total kick. And they turned out to be super cool dudes. I ended up giving them a couple of my horror books, which I hope they get 1/100 as much enjoyment out of as I got out of their performances in SUMMER SCHOOL.
Another key moment for me at Horrorhound 2016 was meeting Lynn Lowry – she’s been in some of my favorite classic 1970’s movies, from David Cronenberg’s erotic horror classic SHIVERS to George Romero’s THE CRAZIES to Radley Metzger’s arthouse SCORE to Lloyd Kaufman’s SUGAR COOKIES…. not to mention CAT PEOPLE and I DRINK YOUR BLOOD. She was incredibly nice, and also received a Best Actress Award at the HorrorHound Filmfest for a new movie she’s in called TRINITY. Can’t wait to see it!
I also got to enjoy an awesome dinner at one of my favorite places in Indianapolis: Scotty’s Brewhouse with Geri, Shaun and the Horns. (And I also stopped there on my way home on Sunday for a Southwest Burger with some Mofo Hot Sauce and ghost pepper cheese and a Dogfish 60-Minute IPA… gotta take the opportunities when you can!)
Already looking forward to HorrorHound 2017!
Enjoyed a pretty amazing weekend at Wizard World Chicago Comic Con the past few days. It was the first time I’ve ever gone to Comic Con, and I owe a huge thanks to Mort Castle and author track moderator Genese Davis for reeling me in to the programming… which also led to being part of a revolving author table in the Exhibit Hall. Genese set up all of the author panels, and asked Brian Pinkerton and I to manage the shared author table, so I was at the convention from Thursday night through Sunday afternoon.
On Friday evening I spoke on a panel moderated by Genese about “Villains” with old Twilight Tales pal Darren Callahan. One of the largest panel crowds I’ve seen since the last time I was on a panel at Dragon Con a few years ago.
Over the course of the weekend, I saw some old fans and hopefully made some new ones. I was able to spend a bunch of hours hanging out with one of my favorite Chicago author pals, Brian Pinkerton, and also caught up with Mort, Jane Castle, Jay Bonansinga, Raymond Benson, Sam Weller, Jeff Jacobson, Michael A. Black, Darren Callahan and met Rebecca Makkai!
Plus… Geri and Shaun got to come down yesterday to check out all of the costumes and merch and while I was working the table, she met one of her idols, Ralph Macchio. All in all… a pretty good time, as pretty good times go!!
The convention was right across the street from one of my favorite brewpubs, Park Tavern, so I ate there almost ever day, and celebrated the end of Comic Con with some chicken nachos and Wild Onion Misfit IPA at one of my favorite places.
Here are some pix: