I took a day off work today, mainly so that I could go Trick or Treating with my son Shaun, the ultimate “Angry Bird.”
When 4 p.m. came, we headed across the neighborhood to hook up with a couple of his friends and began to canvass the area houses for treats. I wore a monster mask as we walked the neighborhood, and we had an energetic discussion about who would trump who – the monster, or the Angry Bird. I’m sure we would disagree on who won that argument.
We had a great time and accumulated a great deal of candy before finally returning home two and a half hours later. (So great, in fact, that I had to hold some of his candy in my coat pockets because his Trick Or Treat sack was too heavy for him to carry!)
The doorbell never rang after we were home.
It’s just not like when I was a kid and we stayed out until 8 or 9 p.m. filling our bags with candy with the hope that the sugar treasure would last us the next six weeks.
After dinner, I printed and cut out a ton of contest entry slips, and then Shaun helped me draw the winners for The Pumpkin Man Halloween Contest (which I’ll post just as soon as I confirm all of the winners… I’ve already had one of my e-mails bounce back).
The contest has been going on all month, and offered a bunch of e-book prizes, as well as a Grand Prize of signed copies of all of my novels.
All the entries to the contest (nearly 350!) were identified for the drawing simply by printed numbers, but as you can see, Shaun was very good about keeping his eyes closed as he pulled the numbers from “The Great Pumpkin” to identify our Grand Prize, First Prize and Blog winners. Thanks to everyone for entering the contest!
Congratulations to all the winners (some of you already know who you are!), and I hope everyone had as fun of a Halloween as I did!
Happy Halloween everyone!
Every year, I try to offer some kind of free story for the holiday, and this year, I’ve gotten permission from the publisher to post, at least for a short time, the short story that inspired my fifth novel, The Pumpkin Man.
Originally written back in 2006 as a story for me to read at library appearances and other public events during Halloween, the short story called “The Pumpkin Man” was eventually printed in Doorways Magazine in January 2008 and is due to be reprinted next year in a major anthology from Wicker Park Press — All American Horror: The Best of the First Decade of the 21st Century — edited by Mort Castle.
Just go to www.thepumpkinman-horror.com and look in the left hand column navigation. The link to read the short story “The Pumpkin Man,” as well as a link to my Halloween story “Pumpkin Head,” are both there. Hope you enjoy the free fiction for the season!
While you’re on the site, please click the little Facebook “Like” button… I’m hoping to expose as many new people to my fiction as possible this Halloween season.
Chicago Launch Party
I know a bunch of you wanted to come out to my Chicago “Launch Party” for The Pumpkin Man on Friday night – sometimes I wish the United States wasn’t quite so large! It was a fun time filled with Newcastle, Vanilla Porter and a box wine… nevermind the Halloween candy and awesome fiction!
There were several authors there who contributed to the Gothic Blue Book anthology, and I read my story that is included in the book — “The Tapping.”
I also read the prologue to The Pumpkin Man and I threw a video camera out front to record the reading, so I’m hoping I can turn the footage into something watchable; if so, I’ll post it on www.thepumpkinman-horror.com.
Huge thanks to Bucket O’ Blood Books and Records owner Marc Ruvolo for hosting the dual launch party and doing a really cool reading himself, and to Gothic Blue Book editor Cynthia Pelayo (pictured) for staging the event and bringing her “posse”!
It’s been a pretty packed October for me, between a 20-date “Blog Tour” (if you include this post) and a couple of live signing dates. If you missed them and want to check out the blogs, just visit The Pumpkin Man website and look in the left column. Links to all the blogs I’ve visited are there. And if you want to enter the contest posted on the site… you’ve got just a few hours left – the cutoff is 6 p.m. Central tonight.
This is my favorite holiday, and I want to thank all of my friends and readers for sharing it with me — I hope my stories have brought you the occasional “creepy” feeling that I used to get when I read ghost and horror stories. I write because I wanted to give readers the same feeling other authors gave me. So, thanks for reading, and I hope you have a great, ghoulish holiday.
As for me? I carved jack-o-lanterns last night — two of them based on my 6-year-old son’s drawings. He’s quite the artist — and I’m looking forward to Trick-Or-Treating with him today. He’ll be dressed as an Angry Bird. I just have a silly skull mask. I also cooked up a batch of salted pumpkin seeds, thanks to our pumpkin carving. I tasted a few of them fresh from the pan in the oven last night…all I can say is… mmmmmm! Those are going to go quick.
Over the weekend I tried to work my way through the Nightmare on Elm Street movies. Believe it or not, while I’ve seen bits and pieces, I’ve never actually sat and watched any of them all the way through before. And a few months ago I bought a DVD that has the first four movies. So I’m getting my Nightmare education. Last night I watched Dream Warriors, but fell asleep midway through it. I guess I’ll need to find where I zonked off tonight and finish that one instead of moving on to Nightmare #4! If nothing else, I’m enjoying the ’80s hairstyles in these movies! They’re a Halloween costume all by themselves.
I hope you have a great Halloween.
Trick or Treat!
Yesterday the Sony e-Bookstore sent out an e-newsletter promoting Spooky Reads for the season, and I was psyched that they featured The Pumpkin Man. It was especially cool since they placed it right there next to a Jonathan Maberry novel (and Jonathan gave me a great blurb for the novel).
You can see the newsletter page here.
Check that out here.
I’m really looking forward to reading tonight (in just about 4 hours as I write this!), as well as hearing my fellow authors Cynthia Pelayo and Marc Ruvolo read.
The event is scheduled to start at 7:30 and should run til at least 9 p.m., I’d guess. We’ll have copies of The Pumpkin Man on hand, as well as the new anthology that Cynthia edited, Gothic Blue Book. I have a story called “The Tapping” in the book, so I’ll be reading the prologue of The Pumpkin Man as well as “The Tapping” tonight.
Hoping some of my fans in the Chicago area will come on out and celebrate the new book… and the start of Halloween weekend!
Bucket O’ Blood Books and Records
2307 N Milwaukee Ave.
So I have to say I was pretty disappointed this week to learn that the new Newcastle seasonal brew — Werewolf “Blood Red Ale” — wasn’t manufactured in enough quantity to last through Halloween. I mean… shouldn’t you drink a Werewolf next weekend?
Not unless you hoarded some away in the fridge. Chicago stores are all out of it. On a plus note, Newcastle’s (also new) Winter IPA hit this week… and it’s pretty drinkable! (click the photo for a larger view of the labels)
Something else that hit this week? The Kindle e-book edition of my 5th novel The Pumpkin Man. The trade paperback edition hit stores a couple weeks ago, but now you can download it to your Kindle too.
Just in time for Halloween (and this one WON’T be out of stock for the holiday!)
Cincinnati and Chicago Booksignings:
This weekend, on Saturday and Sunday, I’ll be in Cincinnati (actually, across the river in Newport, KY) doing a couple booksigning stints at the Barnes & Noble on the Levee. If you’re in the area, I hope you’ll come out! I’ll be there from 7-10 p.m. on Saturday night and from 12-3 p.m. on Sunday afternoon before I hit the road back home. There will be plenty of copies of the trade paperback of The Pumpkin Man, and there should be some copies of Siren available as well.
I’ll actually have my hometown Chicago launch party for The Pumpkin Man next weekend, on Friday, October 28 at Bucket O’ Blood Books & Records. I’ll be doing a reading from the novel (I think, accompanied by some music!) and there will also be a launch for the Gothic Blue Book anthology, which also happens to include a story of mine (“The Tapping”). The store recently got a write up in Huffington Post – and even mentioned the book launch event! (Check the article here). If you’re in Chicago, come on out — I’m buying a round at Revolution Brewing just down the block afterwards. It won’t be Newcastle Werewolf, but their Working Woman Brown Ale is pretty tasty.
If you’re not in Chicago or Cincinnati over the next two weekends, check out my blog tour in support of The Pumpkin Man. I’ve stopped at a bunch of blogs already, and have several more lined up for the coming week. I’m running a contest for people who visit the blog stops, as well as for those who just drop in to the new website devoted to The Pumpkin Man — The grand prize is signed copies of all five of my novels, as well as an autographed CD and poster from the band New Years Day, who provided the soundtrack for The Pumpkin Man website. Check out the site and contest here:
The Pumpkin Man site is part of the “Coffin Hop” blog tour next week (if you want to win Halloween stuff, you’ve got to follow the hop!) Here are the links for my completed and upcoming Blog Tour stops:
OCTOBER PUMPKIN MAN BLOG TOUR
October 10 – Horrorbid
October 11 – HorrorWorld
October 13 – Dorchester Blog
October 14 – Fang-Tastic
October 15 – Basement Radio (audio)
October 17 – Dreadful Tales (audio)
October 18 – Famous Monsters
October 19 – Insatiable Readers
October 20 – Jenn’s Bookshelves
October 24 – Horror-Web
October 25 – This Is My World
October 26 – Curling Up By The Fire
October 27 – Lorelei’s Muse
October 28 – Hartford Books Examiner
October 28 – Books, Books, the Magical Fruit
October 30 – Writers Chatroom (live chat)
I received my copies of the trade paperback on Friday, and they look great! My fifth novel started shipping to bookstores early last week, and went live on Amazon and other online stores on October 4th; it should be on-shelf in the major chain stores this week. The e-book edition will also become available this week. In fact, I’m going to ask all of my fans who buy e-books to “gang up” and purchase the e-book edition this Saturday, October 15. It should be available online everywhere then, and if a mass a people all purchase on the same day well… that will create some great rankings, which in turn will get the book exposed to more people.
But today launched my Blog Tour in support of the book. Horrorbid.com has posted an interview with me today here.
Later this week, I’ll be guesting at HorrorWorld, Dorchester and Fang-Tastic. You can follow the blog tour on the new micro-site dedicated to The Pumpkin Man, which also just launched.
Check it out here: www.thepumpkinman-horror.com
The new site features an interactive Ouija Board — so check it out, and ask the dead some questions, if you dare! If you click the iPod on the Ouija Board, you’ll also hear a song from New Years Day, a cool new band who partnered with me and the awesome developers at Headcake Media to develop the site.
I’m also running a contest through the site with a variety of prizes — including a grand prize that includes autographed copies of ALL of my novels.
So stop in at www.thepumpkinman-horror.com now and check it out. And please share the site on Facebook and Twitter. I really want to get the word out to horror fans everywhere over the next two weeks. Because… it’s October. And…
The Pumpkin Man is here!