Official website for Bram Stoker Award® Nominated Author John Palisano


WIDOWMAKERS to include “Splinterette”

WidowmakersFellow author James Newman suffered a serious medical setback recently, and many of his author friends banded together, through the amazing Pete Kahle, to assemble an anthology helping with James’s medical bills. I’m thrilled to have been able to give “Splinterette” to the anthology. I wrote the story several years ago in a Cupertino, California hotel room, in one of my beloved Moleskine notebooks, looking out at some rather intimidating trees. I held onto the story, as it was just so weird and didn’t seem a natural fit. Now, with the loose theme of Widowmakers being that James was hurt by a tree, I thought this would be a perfect place. So I typed it up, and off it went.

James also wrote one my favorite books of the past five years, “The Wicked.” Here’s some of his work at his Amazon Author Page.

Last? Here’s the Table of Contents of WIDOWMAKERS, in alphabetical order. Thrilled to have authors I love, and many good friends, on this list.

1. Blake Burkhead – “Widowmaker” (poem)
2. Bracken MacLeod – “In the Bones”
3. Brandon Ford – “A Walk in the Park”
4. Brett Williams – “Moonshine”
5. Brian Hodge – “Our Lady of Sloth and Scarlet Ivy”
6. Brian Keene – “The Ghosts of Monsters”
7. Charles R Rutledge – “The Beautiful Lady Without Pity: A Carnacki the Ghost-Finder Adventure”
8. Donn Gash – “Medicine Man”
9. Ed Kurtz – “Angel and Grace”
10. Elizabeth Massie – “Fear of Fish”
11. Evans Light – “Arboreatum” (novella)
12. Gary A. Braunbeck – “Iphigenia”
13. Gary Fry – “The Lurker”
14. Glen Krisch – “Gram Knows”
15. J.F. Gonzalez – “Home”
16. Jack Bantry – “Vegetarians Don’t Bite”
17. James A. Moore – “Dead Gods – Book One” (novella)
18. Jeff Strand – “Death to Trees!”
19. Jenny Orosel – “Peggy Sang the Blues”
20. Joe Miles – The Monster”
21. John Palisano – “Splinterette”
22. Kit Power – “Baptism”
23. Mark Allan Gunnells – Santa’s Little Spy”
24. Mary Genevieve Fortier – “Beyond this Tangled, Loathsome Wood” (poem)
25. Maurice Broaddus – “Collateral Casualties”
26. Mercedes Murdock Yardley – “She Called Him Sky”
27. Michelle Garza & Melissa Lason – “A Church in the Middle of Nowhere”
28. Mir Plemmons – “Deafening Silence”
29. Norman Prentiss – “Burls”
30. Patrick Lacey – “The Lynnwood Vampires”
31. Paul Anderson – “Grownups”
32. Pete Kahle – “Meeting Momma”
33. Peter Giglio – “Cages”
34. Ray Garton – “The Guy Down the Street” (novelette)
35. Robert Essig – “Molting”
36. Ronald Kelly – “Impressions in Oak”
37. Rose Blackthorn – “Contemplating Corners” (poem)
38. Shane McKenzie – “Don’t You Want to Play with Us?”
39. Shawna L. Bernard – “Late Lunch at The Eddie Bear”
40. Sheri White – “Things Happen Here After Dark”
41. TG Arsenault – God Be Damned”
42. Tim Marquitz – “Sperare Victor”
43. Tim Waggoner – “Conversations Kill”
44. Todd Kiesling – “When Karen Met Her Mountain” (novelette)
45. Tom Martin – “The Kid in the Werewolf Mask”
46. Tracy L Carbone – “Hazel’s Twin”
47. Usman Tanveer Malik – “Hearts in Reverse”

An Interview with Tim Chizmar about “Naked Alien Massacre”!

Tim Chizmar is a force to be reckoned with. His passion and zeal are infectious and unavoidable. Most creative people I know are multi-tiered, meaning they work in several different mediums. Tim’s ho exception, currently working on what promises to be a future genre cult classic film Naked Alien Massacre, and also an upcoming novel. We met at a group I Co-Chair, the Los Angeles Chapter of the Horror Writers Association. We hit it off, and I soon found myself bucking my semi-retirement from filmmaking and working on the Kickstarter videos for his movie. Of course, me being me, I became fascinated with this intriguing character. Having had many comic friends, and knowing Tim was hanging around us horror writers, I wanted to see what made him tick. Enjoy this interview, and please check out the Kickstarter for the movie. Happy Alien Hunting!

1. Can you tell us a little bit about Naked Alien Massacre? 
Sure. Happy to!
Think: “Naked and Afraid” meets the original “Predator”.

Synopsis: Conservative young college student Allair Buck has a crush on her art class nude model, but when she finds out he’s more than an artist’s model–he’s actually a nudist–she’s shocked out of her comfort zone! Then he invites her to spend their first weekend together at a nudist resort…well she never expected it would cause her to come to terms with her own body image issues all the while fighting to stay alive from evil “clothes hating” Demonic Aliens that are out to skin and terrorize anyone daring to wear clothes!

Tagline: “Finally, an Original Horror Movie with Balls!”

NAKED ALIEN MASSACRE is a thrilling new horror feature film garnering the interest of domestic as well as international distributors, and is produced by DrittyBoro Studios & Derek Easley Entertainment, as well as World Media Revolution, all in association with the nudist lifestyle website The owner recently won the American Assoc for Nude Recreation “Man of the Year” award for his activism on the subject.

Directed by horror writer / real life nudist TIM CHIZMAR who also co-wrote the screenplay with comedian Kevin Lahaie. The Producing side will be Tim along with Derek Easleyand Executive Producer Judy Karman. Featuring original music from WOODSON and nudist activist / singer Ton Dao.

Many well known personalities will be providing cameos including WWE / TNA / ROH Superstars ROB VAN DAM, NIGEL McGUINNESS, KATARINA LEIGH WATERS, as well as TROMA Entertainment’s own LLOYD KAUFMAN, classic scream queens including LYNN LOWRY and the star of the original “I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE” goddess CAMILLE KEATON. If that’s not enough we also have Showtime’s starlit CHRISTINE NGUYEN, and many top young talents within the top 10,000 on IMDb’s Starmeter.

On the tech side we have Emmy winning editors, and even Special FX provided by 2-time Oscar-winning art director JERYD POJAWA. Whose credits included THE ABYSS, TERMINATOR 2, ED WOOD, etc. Post-Production to be handled by Hollywood’s own Beachwood Cottage Film & Music.

NAKED ALIEN MASSACRE is being developed as a franchise, following along the lines of this recent wave of nudist-themed and related popular programming such as GIRLS, NAKED AND AFRAID, VH1’s NAKED DATING, etc. The movie will be shot at a real life nudist resort; beautiful OLIVE DELL RANCH FAMILY NUDIST RESORT, found in sunny southern California. 

Trust us there’s never been a movie like this. Ever.

This movie has been promoted recently at the American Film Market, WonderCon, LA Times Festival of Books, Long Beach Acting & Film Assoc, through various WWE events, Newport Beach Film Festival, National Cable & Telecommunications Association Conference, and much more.


2. How did the project start? Where did the idea come from? 

It adjusted many times over the years from being an HBO-style drama on life at a nudist resort, to finally adding components of comedy and horror to it. I’m a very active nudist and proud supporter of the nonsexual family nudist environment, having personally seen the benefits it has on a persons confidence and growth. It’s written by comedian and horror fan KEVIN LAHAIE, as well as myself.

3. What can we expect from the movie?

Boners and Boobs.. I’m kidding. It’s a tale set at a Nudist Resort (we are actually shooting a real one that I frequent) and it features a girl coming to terms with accepting and loving her body all the while falling in love for the first time as fighting to survive from evil clothes hating aliens. Ya know…the usual Hollywood story. *wink

4. You’re a talented stand up comic, as well as a great storyteller. I often feel comics have the most difficult job: making people laugh. But so many comics also have tremendous dark sides. Do you?

Yes. Comedy grows from a DARK place, it’s true, my parents are convicted felons. My mother attempted to kill a man, and carved him up with many stabs and slices, while my dad was a bit of a drug kingpin. I grew up in a crazy (I know people say that.. but I mean it) crazy household, and it gave me issues I’d dealt with in therapy, and still do to this day. Lucky me: in stand up I approached because I’d have partnership that ended badly or fell apart, and I was attracted because on stage, it’s simply me and a mic. I liked that ownership. I’ve been a pro Headlining comedian for about seven years, and in that time, I’ve been on Comedy Central, NBC, Fox, Showtime, CMT, and more, as well as shot a bunch of pilots that never aired, so I’m going back to my love of Horror (worked with TROMA, Full Moon, etc.) by creating art for myself about a cause I believe in, and I’m hoping to scare some folks along the way.

5. In addition to directing a movie, you’ve got a novel coming out, right? Can you tell us anything about it? A teaser?

YESSSSSSSSSSSS. I’m so excited about it! It’s called SOUL TRAITOR and its about a Demon sales person in Hell selling souls as commodities. I assure you that, along with NAKED ALIEN MASSACRE, this, too, will be very original and unique. Plus it will have an intro by my buddy, WWE Wrestler Rob Van Dam, which is fun. Aside from that, my short story, “Libby” is featured in HELL COMES TO HOLLYWOOD 2, coming soon.

6. There’s a new way where people can actually act like Patrons for up and coming, and not-so up and coming, artists like yourself. Can you tell us about the NAM Kickstarter campaign? Any exclusives? What can genre fans expect? 
We put a lot of work into it, so the best way to check it out is for you swing by and watch the videos on the page yourself.
Please SHARE our message and CONTRIBUTE if you can to make our movie a reality. The first ever real nudist horror film. It’s up to you!
7. Where can people connect with you? 
I’m on Facebook: TIM Chizmar or Tim Chizmar, or email me at: TimChizmarProductions@Gmail.comI hate Twitter, but my co-producer DEREK EASLEY runs one at @NakedAlienMovie so drop him a line.
…………………………………….BIOGRAPHY:When TIM CHIZMAR was a child he lost himself in evil, scary books. One day, a morally righteous librarian refused to let him take out his books. Reading about demons, be-headings, and cannibalism wasn’t the norm in Linesville, Pennsylvania. When Tim brought his mother there, she insisted that her son be allowed to read WHATEVER HE WANTED. This upset the librarian, so she looked his mother in the eye and said, “Your son is going to grow up to be a great horror writer one day…OR A SERIAL KILLER.” As of this writing, Tim hasn’t killed anyone…YET…but he has written and sold many screenplays in Hollywood. When he’s not burying bodies, Tim is a writer, director, producer, and comedian living in Los Angeles. He is the Director, Producer, and co-writer of NAKED ALIEN MASSACRE. What drives Tim’s success is knowing that somewhere in Pennsylvania a librarian is praying for his soul.TIM AT LOVITZ

Crystal Lake author interview for “Perrollo’s Ladder”

Tales from the Lake Vol. 1
Here’s a short interview with me over at the Crystal Lake site. Here I’m talking about the genesis of “Perrollo’s Ladder”, the story that appears in TALES FROM THE LAKE, VOLUME ONE. Hope y’all dig it! This is a great collection of short fiction, and am honored to be included. Volume Two promises to be just as great, and there’s a writing competition, so all you writers, juice up those pens and processors!


13 Questions with Joan De La Haye

Tales from the Lake Vol. 1 The Crystal Lake crew are a pretty awesome bunch. My stuff has appeared alongside Joan De La Haye’s in both HORROR 101 and TALES FROM CRYSTAL LAKE, VOLUME ONE. Here, we have a great probing interview about a few things horror, a few more creative, and a bunch about writing. Hope you dig it. I did, and South Africa seems pretty interesting from afar. Horror 101 The Way Forward

Here’s a neat interview with the talented Joan De La Haye:
The Goodreads page for Tales From The Lake Volume One:
Tales from The Lake can already be purchased directly from Createspace:

1. What drives you to write?

It’s an exorcism for me to write. I have terrible nightmares that give me insomnia. They’re extremely vivid. I have a very over active imagination. I’m always thinking something terrible is about to happen. Writing gets that out. Writing smooths the edges. Writing takes a lot of my head, and gets rid of them. Sometimes.

2. What attracted you to writing horror?

Every minute were alive, there’s a threat to us. I felt this pull to the Darkside at a very young age. Always been fascinated with what’s beyond. I think it ties into my spirituality,  in a way. There’s a lot of fear living in this world, a lot of uncertainty. Horror helps put that in its place. Or allows you to transcend. That’s what’s always fascinated me. I’m not big on slashers or where people are captured and tortured, but rather, journeys into the unknown. Things in the shadows. Things unseeable

3. Who are your favourite horror writers?

Most of the classic big names, of course, but I’ve been really interested in a lot of contemporary horror. I love the new weird fiction crop, including Laird Barron, Jeff VanderMeer, Thomas Ligotti, and those people. I also love bizarro fiction, like Carlton Mellek and Cody Goodfellow. It’s been an embarrassment of riches for dark fiction over the past few years. There’s so much good stuff, I just wish I had more time.

4. Which horror novels do you think every horror fan should read?

I think they should read the contemporary novels that appeal to them first. Then, if they like something from Laird Barron, for example, then go out and seek Lovecraft and Poe. I think it’s important for people to be engaged, and not feel like they’re doing work. I highly recommend going to library or bookstore and going into sections you’ve never been before and exploring. There’s horror to be found everywhere. Also, there are fantastic stories and writing to be explored all sorts of genres.
5. Ebooks or paperback?

I think they’re both fantastic, actually. The new Kindle that’s backlit is my main reading device. Practically? It’s backlit, so one can read it in the dark without disturbing anybody else in the room, and I can read extremely fast. It’s quite pleasurable. On the flipside, reading on an iPad is okay, but in the middle of the night, even with the brightness turned all the way down, it feels to me like looking into a flashlight. It’s just a little bit much in comparison to a Kindle.

Paper books can be great. If the book is bound well, and put together nicely, I’m apt to read it. I love the John Steinbeck millennium additions because of the ragged edges, great design, and great feel. To be honest, I’ve never liked reading a lot of books because they were heavy and uncomfortable. And in the indie press, so much are so uncomfortable to read, format-wise, that I often stop, so it all depends.

6. What would make you pick up a novel by a new author?

A great cover’ll grab me. I’m not going to lie. I judge book by covers. We all do, even though we wish we didn’t. I have found gems that were horribly put together. I Will Rise by Michael Calvillo was one such book. The first edition I had sported a dreadful cover, and the layout left a lot to be desired. But his writing shone through.

7. Who is your favourite fictional character?

That would probably be the idealized version of myself, although I think that’s shattered when I see myself in the mirror, or see a picture of myself that someone’s posted.

8. Do you plot your stories or does it just unfold before your eyes?

I studied plot and structure so much, and so extensively, at Emerson in Boston, and AFI in Los Angeles, that I usually don’t write things out. I usually have a pretty good idea early on where things are headed, and what I usually do instead is write out a character form, like I do if I were acting and developing the person. That process usually informs me, and tells me most everything I need to know about the story to come. Knowing the characters is everything in my process.

9. Do your characters take on a life of their own and do things you didn’t plan?

They certainly do, and even in something that is plot driven, like a screenplay, it leads to some better surprises.

10. Do you listen to music when you write or do you need silence?

You may notice that I’m quite moody, and this is no exception. There are times when I’m writing a fight scene, and I’ll crank Van Halen. There will be other times when I prefer dead silence. Or sometimes I put on something like Coldplay just to get a kind of flow and rhythm.

Often when I’m writing a book or story, I’ll actually compose music to it. This helps my free-form thinking, and forms the story in ways I never predicted. I wrote an entire album of songs for my first novel because one of the characters had a famous album in the 1960s. I had to know what it sounded like, and had to write the lyrics. It was very important to the story to know all those details. I do all sorts of styles of music to make soundtracks for my books. It’s part of my writing process in a major way.

11. Do you do a lot of research for your stories?

In fact, I often do. Many people believe they’re in my books. Friends I grew up with. People I’m in relationships with. But what they don’t understand is my writing is like a collage. I grew up during the rap generation, where you take one element and then put it on top of something else, and make something completely different out of it. I’ve always loved that concept, but often felt that rap music fell short of really using it to its potential, of massaging found elements and making them new. Public Enemy was one of the only groups I felt that really brought that to an apex. But in writing, I do that with almost every story.
I’ll take elements from my life that I know are real, pieces of the conversation, descriptions, locations slightly altered, and then use that as a springboard to something completely different. So character may have one or two traits I’ll borrow from myself or friend, but I will twist it so far left and right, that by the end, it’s unrecognizable, it goes back to writing what you know. You’ve got to sprinkle enough reality to ground the reader, to make your story living, so that when the horrible things start happening, you’re right there.
12. Facebook or Twitter?

Mostly Facebook, but I’ve been dialing it back. Trying to cut down on the noise. And I’m not so wholly interested in what people had for dinner, or that they drank too much last night, or that they’re mad at going to work. It just feels extremely narcissistic, and I’m growing increasingly uncomfortable. Maybe I’m just growing older, but more likely I just crave simplicity. I have notebooks filled with stories I’d like to tackle, albums I’d like to write, and I don’t want to waste my precious time on nonsense. That being said, sometimes people have laughed at me because I watch five episodes of something stupid like Judge Judy to tune out. There’s that moodiness again.
13. What really pisses you off about writing?

The act of writing itself doesn’t piss me off. Not at all. I love it. The business of writing drives me batty. There’s so much garbage out there that gets in the way of writing time. People love to talk about writing endlessly. Everybody that can string two sentences together has a theory, a plan, or a book, or story in them. That’s all fine, and I’ve gone through that all myself, but there’s nothing as wonderful as sitting at a desk or in a coffee shop with a blank notebook and  pen and finding the rhythm. Those are the precious moments that make me most happy. It’s frustrating when that time isn’t respected by others, or when people don’t think you’re actually working, and especially when everybody thinks they can do exactly what you do. That is obnoxious. It’d be like me going to a hospital, putting on gloves, and operating, because I’ve seen every single episode of ER that’s ever been on the air. We may have a good idea, but there’s intricacies, muscle memories, that come into play that are actually crucial to making an operation a success.

I blame novel in a month for this new plague. When they started that project, it got out that writing 1300 words or so a day was ideal so that you could make a goal of writing a novel in a month. That thought spread like wildfire. I see writers all the time talking about their word counts. To me, it doesn’t tell me if those are good words, bad words, and especially, the right words. Writing is rewriting. Just because you can vomit out 60,000 words in a month doesn’t mean they won’t need tending to. It’s what you do during the rewriting process that really counts. And I know most people are just writing their stories top to bottom, and then pressing upload, and they’re on the Kindle. While I don’t believe in having writing  un-accessible, I think this lack of a vetting process has become a problem. And it’s also stripped a lot of the magic out of having a book out. I can’t tell you how many times I tell people I have a book, and they’re later surprised to find out that it’s actually with a traditional publisher, and I haven’t just put it out myself.

But I think the thing that makes me angriest about writing, is that there never seems to be enough time to do so. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in that sentiment.

13 Questions with Joan De La Haye

Tales from the Lake Vol. 1

The Crystal Lake crew are a pretty awesome bunch. My stuff has appeared alongside Joan De La Haye’s in both HORROR 101 and TALES FROM CRYSTAL LAKE, VOLUME ONE. Here, we have a great probing interview about a few things horror, a few more creative, and a bunch about writing. Hope you dig it. I did, and South Africa seems pretty interesting from afar.

Horror 101 The Way Forward

Here’s a neat interview with the talented Joan De La Haye:

The Goodreads page for Tales From The Lake Volume One:


Tales from The Lake can already be purchased directly from Createspace:


Tales To Terrify presents: “The Geminis” as read by Robert Neufeld

tales-to-terrify-logoThis is one of my most favorite things. TALES TO TERRIFY has made great audio books out of all the short fiction nominees for the Bram Stoker Awards. Narrator Robert Neufeld has done an amazing job of interpreting “The Geminis” – he’s done a lot of H.P. Lovecraft stories lately, including an epic, unabridged “In The Mountains Of Madness”. This is an honor. Of course, this podcast shares its time with David Gerrold’s Stoker winning story, “Night Train To Paris” which is just wonderful. Check it out here, and I know myself, and the others involved, would love to hear from you.

Dust Of The Dead: Reboot The Apocalypse June 2015

Screen Shot 2014-04-28 at 10.10.06 PM
It’s official. Contracts are signed. I’m ecstatic. I’ve wanted to work with editor Don D’Auria for ages, and we finally have a book that was the right fit. 

DUST OF THE DEAD will be rebooting the apocalypse June 2015, from Samhain Books. Zombies are only the beginning. 

And here’s a short teaser trailer for the book.

Horror 101: The Way Forward released!

Horror 101 The Way Forward


Today is a fun day!
The release of editor Joe Mynhardt’s HORROR 101: THE WAY FORWARD has been unleashed in eBook across all platforms. There’s some amazing articles in this one, from a massive who’s who of experts in contemporary horror fiction. I strongly urge writers new and old, and fans of the genre, to grab a copy. And at only 99 cents, it’s a no-brainer. My article, How to Fail as an Artist in Ten Easy Steps by John Palisano, is included, and is a tongue in cheek list of what NOT to do, from someone who has made a couple of missteps over the years. 

Here are the links:
Amazon Universal Link:
And for those who are not fans of Amazon, they can buy directly from the Crystal Lake Publishing website:
THE DETAILS:Horror 101: The Way Forward – a comprehensive overview of the Horror fiction genre and career opportunities available to established and aspiring authors.Have you ever wanted to be a horror writer? Perhaps you have already realized that dream and you’re looking to expand your repertoire. Writing comic books sounds nice, right? Or how about screenplays?
That’s what Horror 101: The Way Forward is all about. It’s not your average On Writing guide that covers active vs. passive and other writing tips, Horror 101 focuses on the career of a horror writer. It covers not only insights into the horror genre, but the people who successfully make a living from it.

Covering aspects such as movies, comics, short stories, ghost-writing, audiobooks, editing, publishing, self-publishing, blogging, writer’s block, YA horror, reviewing, dark poetry, networking, collaborations, eBooks, podcasts, conventions, series, formatting, web serials, artwork, social media, agents, and career advice from seasoned professionals and up-and-coming talents, Horror 101 is just what you need to kick your career into high gear.

Horror 101: The Way Forward is not your average On Writing guide, as it is more focused on the career options available to authors. But don’t fret, this book is loaded with career tips and behind-the-scene stories on how your favourite authors broke into their respective fields.

Horror 101: The Way Forward is perfect for people who:
• are suffering from writer’s block
• are starting their writing careers
• are looking to expand their writing repertoire
• are planning on infiltrating a different field in horror writing
• are looking to pay more bills with their art
• are trying to further their careers
• are trying to establish a name brand
• are looking to get published
• are planning on self-publishing
• want to learn more about the pros in the horror genre
• are looking for motivation and/or inspiration
• love the horror genre
• are not sure where to take their writing careers

Includes articles by Jack Ketchum, Graham Masterton, Edward Lee, Lucy A. Snyder, Emma Audsley, RJ Cavender, Scott Nicholson, Weston Ochse, Taylor Grant, Paul Kane, Lisa Morton, Shane McKenzie, Dean M. Drinkel, Simon Marshall-Jones, Robert W. Walker, Don D’Auria and Glenn Rolfe, Harry Shannon, Chet Williamson, Lawrence Santoro, Thomas Smith, Blaze McRob, Rocky Wood, Ellen Datlow, Iain Rob Wright, Kenneth W. Cain, Daniel I. Russell, Michael McCarty, Richard Thomas, Joan De La Haye, Michael Wilson, Francois Bloemhof, C.E.L. Welsh, Jasper Bark, Niall Parkinson, Armand Rosamilia, Tonia Brown, Ramsey Campbell, Tim Waggoner, Gary McMahon, V.H. Leslie, Eric S Brown, William Meikle, John Kenny, Gary Fry, Diane Parkin, Jim Mcleod, Siobhan McKinney, Rick Carufel, Ben Eads, Theresa Derwin, Rena Mason, Steve Rasnic Tem, Michael A. Arnzen, Joe Mynhardt, John Palisano, Mark West, Steven Savile, and a writer so famous he’s required to stay anonymous.
Published by Crystal Lake Publishing

Edited by Joe Mynhardt and Emma Audsley

Cover art by Ben Baldwin

eBook formatting by Robert Swartwood


Foreword by Mort Castle

Making Contact by Jack Ketchum

What is Horrorby Graham Masterton

Bitten by the Horror Bugby Edward Lee

Reader Beware by Siobhan McKinney

Balancing Art and Commerce by Taylor Grant

From Prose to Scripts by Shane McKenzie

Writing About Films and for Film by Paul Kane

Screamplays! Writing the Horror Film by Lisa Morton

Screenplay Writing: The First Cut Is the Deepest by Dean M. Drinkel

Publishing by Simon Marshall-Jones

Weighing Up Traditional Publishing & eBook Publishing by Robert W. Walker

Glenn Rolfe Toes the Line with Samhain Horror Head Honcho, Don D’Auria by Glenn Rolfe

Bringing the Zombie to Life by Harry Shannon

Audiobooks: Your Words to Their Ears by Chet Williamson

Writing Aloud by Lawrence Santoro

Ghost-writing: You Can’t Write It If You Can’t Hear It by Thomas Smith

Ghost-writing by Blaze McRob

The Horror Writers Association – the Genre’s Essential Ingredientby Rocky Wood

What a Short Story Editor Does by Ellen Datlow

Self-Publishing: Making Your Own Dreams by Iain Rob Wright

Self-Publishing: Thumb on the Button by Kenneth W. Cain

What’s the Matter with Splatter? by Daniel I. Russell

Partners in the Fantastic: The Pros and Cons of Collaborations by Michael McCarty

The Journey of “Rudy Jenkins Buries His Fears” by Richard Thomas

Writing Short Fiction by Joan De La Haye

A beginner’s guide to setting up and running a website by Michael Wilson

Poetry and Horror by Blaze McRob

Horror for Kids: Not Child’s Playby Francois Bloemhof

So you want to write comic books… by C.E.L. Welsh

Horror Comics – How to Write Gory Scripts for Gruesome Artists by Jasper Bark

Some Thoughts on my Meandering within the World of Dark and Horror Art by Niall Parkinson

Writing the Series by Armand Rosamilia

Running a Web serial by Tonia Brown

Reviewing by Jim Mcleod

Avoiding What’s Been Done to Death by Ramsey Campbell

The 7 Signs that make Agents and Editors say, “Yes!” by Anonymous

The (extremely) Short Guide to Writing Horror by Tim Waggoner

Growing Ideas by Gary McMahon

Filthy Habits – Writing and Routine by Jasper Bark

A Room of One’s Own – The Lonely Path of a Writer by V.H. Leslie

Do You Need an Agent? by Eric S Brown

Ten Short Story Endings to Avoid by William Meikle

Submitting Your Work Part 2: Read the F*****g Guidelines! by John Kenny

Rejection Letters – How to Write and Respond to Them by Jasper Bark

Editing and Proofreading by Diane Parkin

On Formatting: A Concise Guide to the Most Frequently Encountered issues by Rick Carufel

How to Dismember Your Darlings – Editing Your Own Work by Jasper Bark

From Reader to Writer: Finding Inspiration by Emma Audsley

Writing Exercises by Ben Eads

The Year After Publication… by Rena Mason

Writing Horror: 12 Tips on Making a Career of It by Steve Rasnic Tem

The Five Laws of Arnzen by Michael A. Arnzen

The Cheesy Trunk of Terror by Scott Nicholson

How to be Your Own Agent, Whether You Have One or Not by Joe Mynhardt

Networking at Conventions by Lucy A. Snyder

Pitch to Impress: How to Stand Out from the Convention Crowdby RJ Cavender

You Better (Net)Work by Tim Waggoner

Friendship, Writing, and the Internet by Weston Ochse

Buttoning Up Before Dinner by Gary Fry

How to Fail as an Artist in Ten Easy Steps by John Palisano

Writer’s Block by Mark West

Be the Writer You Want to Be by Steven Savile

Afterword by Joe Mynhardt

Meet the Nominees

This is pretty neat. A short interview with me about getting nominated for the Bram Stoker Award for short fiction this year. And it’s true: I learned I’d made it to the final ballot when folks congratulated me on Facebook. Neat-O! Now? Back to work!

Know a Nominee, Part Three: John Palisano

Welcome to our third entry in “Know a Nominee,” the blog series that puts you inside the minds of this year’s Bram Stoker Awards nominees. Today’s interviewee is John Palisano, who’s nominated in the category of Superior Achievement in Short Fiction for his story, “The Geminis” (Chiral Mad 2, Written Backwards).

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DM: Can you please describe the genesis for the idea that eventually became the work for which you’ve been nominated? In the case of a work wherein you’ve written multiple stories (like a collection) please choose your favorite part and discuss.

JP: “The Geminis” is an exorcism. A dream ruined my day. How could it not? In it, my insides were outside. Looking up toward the sky, the huge Hollywood hills around me, a mysterious, organic dark sphere hovered a few feet overhead, its string-like fingers connected and dipped deep inside my opened chest. My essence draining, the sphere’s scent overpowered me. It smelled like every good thing. Freshly cut grass. A fireplace. A baby’s cheek. A fantastic trap, and with a deadly, paralyzing payload. I felt no pain, but I heard music. A beautiful melody, with missing notes. I knew what notes to play, to complete it, but could not. Had I not spoken my true love to the pianist, we’d complete the melody. The spheres would be pacified, as would the worse things slumbering inside the hills, waking as the blood spilled, because there were others. As I looked around, spheres drained people up and down the hilly road. Every person I’d known would soon be dead. That’d only be the beginning. Then the pianist stopped and the hillside became eerily quiet.

When I woke, I decided I’d have to save the world from these hidden things. So I wrote “The Geminis” to get rid of that disturbing fever dream playing over and over in my head.

DM: What was the most challenging part of bringing your idea to fruition? The most rewarding aspect of the process?

JP: It was difficult to get the music of the writing just right. I did a pass where I tried to put a cadence to the words in places that would reflect that they were playing complementary sounds. It’s very subtle, but it’s there. May sound uber pretentious, however, it was just me having fun with it.

It’s rewarding when people read something you’ve written. Some asked me if the characters were based on me and someone I may have unrequitedly been in love with. I use moments from life to color characters, but this is make believe. It’s not a diary or a documentary, it’s a story. A parable. An idea.

As far as being in love, and it being unrequited? Countless times. I’m sure that’s more common than not. Who doesn’t fall in love a dozen times a month? You see some beautiful person, by chance, and you daydream and wonder, what would it be like? Could that be better? Worse? Forgettable? Magical? In a blink, we’re off into our lives again.

Addressing that moment, but sticking two people in that feeling, and making it happen endlessly, and that if they acted upon it, even knowing they’re destined, it’d be catastrophic, was me being a complete terrorist to them!

Fun fact: Lia’s name comes from Legato, shortened to Lea, then Lia because it looked pretty. Legato is a musical term that means notes are played together, smoothly, seamlessly.

DM: What do you think good horror/dark fiction should achieve? How do you feel the work for which you’ve been nominated work fits into that ideal?

JP: Great horror fiction needs to leave scars. It needs to spin the world a few degrees on its axis. It needs to make something inside you hurt, or feel, or get turned on by things you’re not supposed to get all hot and bothered by. When you’re done, it’s got to stay with you. Some of the best horror fiction does its best work long after you read it, when you’re still afraid of the dead coming back to life, or of being stoned after pulling a number, or of that little flash in the video right before the picture starts.

DM: I’m curious about your writing and/or editing process. Is there a certain setting or set of circumstances that help to move things along? Where do you often find yourself getting stuck, and why?

JP: Most my writing begins as longhand. I’d say it’s text, but I do draw primitive pictures. Sometimes I’ll draw a horrific dream image just so I can remember it later when life isn’t getting in the way of my addiction.

I write everywhere these days. Very little though, is at a traditional desk. Someone else’s chaos is not my chaos at home, so I can tune it out. I love airplanes, but have to pretend there’s no internet. Too distracted.

When I hit walls, I move. Go to a coffee shop. Another room. That usually works. The hardest part for me is if I’m writing a scene and it gets mapped out too thoroughly or quickly I lose interest. It’s not organic and feels false to me. So I try to not get bored if I already know the story.

DM: As you probably know, many of our readers are writers themselves. What is the most valuable piece of advice you can share with someone who may be struggling to make their way in this life?

JP: Remember what brought you: your love for story, and for getting that fix through words. It’s easy to get caught up and into the con/party loop, but just remember: the work needs to be the best it can be.

DM: What are you most looking forward to at this year’s Bram Stoker Awards/WHC (if you are attending)? If not attending, what do you think is the significance of recognitions like the Bram Stoker Awards?

JP: Just seeing so many dear friends will be reason enough. Also looking forward to the inevitable whipped cream pie fight at the end of the ceremony, because everyone who’d lost, wins, and those who win lose!

It’s been an honor, privilege, and a few good natured laughs, too.

About John Palisano

John Palisano’s short stories have appeared in anthologies from PS Publishing, Terror Tales, Lovecraft eZine, Horror Library, Bizarro Pulp, Written Backwards, Dark Continents, Darkscribe, DarkFuse, Dark House, and, likely, one or two more ‘Dark’ places in there. Hard to say. They’re all so . . . dark. His novel Nerves was put out by Bad Moon Books and promptly placed in the “What the hell category is this?” section of Amazon. John writes all the time, but does his best not to look at the word counter until it’s absolutely necessary, less he have a flashback of glimpsing the abyss, like he did during a mandatory high school Calculus class. Google it. It happens. While you’re hunched over your phone, look up John on Facebook, because no one really goes to author’s websites anymore, do they? He’ll be the one who isn’t posting his daily word count, but you will find out how long it took him to walk the [expletive deleted] dogs.




The whistle is blowing. That means I’ve got a new iron train stopping at the wordpress station today. And what do we have here? UK author Jasper Bark is here to talk a little bit about his work.

For more background info on Jasper please check out:

Do you think horror has a purpose, above giving people a comfortable, entertaining scare?

I really do believe it has. In my opinion the best horror stories use the weird and other-worldly as a metaphor for a deeper or more personal truth. I also think that the world is quite a scary place at the moment and because of this the tropes and motifs of horror are some of the best ways of addressing the contemporary world. A lot of the horror writers coming up at the moment seem to be interested in social commentary in the same way that the New Wave and the early Cyberpunk writers previously used science fiction as a vehicle for social comment.

Why should people read your work?

Because I need the money!

Also because they’ll discover imaginative, edgy and unexpected fiction that explores social and spiritual issues while pushing at the boundaries of what genre fiction can and ought to do.

Because I’ll take them to places they’ve never been before and will never get to visit again. That’s a money back guarantee.


What were you thinking when you took an urban legend and turned it into a delightfully twisted story called Stuck on You?

Mostly – “Gee, I bet this will make ’em toss their cookies” I wasn’t actually sure it was an urban legend when I stumbled across it on an obscure forum while researching something else. The person posting it seemed to think it was a true story. In fact the tale first appeared on the Darwin Awards site, which is devoted to deaths that are so dumb the victim is given an award for not muddying the human gene pool with their decided lack of smarts. So there’s some debate as to whether it actually happened or not (my guess is definitely NOT).

It was one of those little snippets of information that stuck to the seamy underbelly of my imagination and wouldn’t let go until I wrote a story to get rid of it. Taking the Piss, another story that’s collected in the forthcoming collection: Stuck on You and Other Prime Cuts, was just the same. It was inspired by something hideous I read about that just wouldn’t leave me alone. I sometimes create stories as little traps for the vile and hideous notions that infest my psyche, so I can be done with them and pass them onto my unwary readers. Think of it as a public service.

Stuck on You goes to some pretty extreme places, did you ever worry that you were going too far?

All the time. The fear for a writer working on something like Stuck On You is that you’re going to lose half your readership. That what your describing is going to gross them out so much they’ll throw the story down in disgust. So I would try and slowly ease the reader into each new incident that befalls the main character Ricardo. I would build to a gross climax then scale it back a bit. The thing about the story is that just when you think it’s gotten as low as it can go I’ll find a new depth to plumb, but you have to let up a bit in between. The intense levels of eroticism helps with this as did the black humour. Many readers have said they squirmed while reading it, or felt sick, but most have also said they laughed too, which is good because there is a strong element of slapstick in the story.

There are some really erotic and sexual scenes in Stuck On You. Were they fun to write?

Yes, but they were also very hard (if you’ll pardon the pun). That’s because, in my experience, Sex and Violence are the two hardest things to write well. Not many people have first hand experience of extreme violence so their depictions of it can sometimes seem inauthentic or clumsy. While most people have first hand experience of sex, we make ourselves very vulnerable when we talk or write about it in great detail. Mainly because we’re revealing something of ourselves that’s very intimate when we do. What’s more, its very difficult to find the right language to approach sex without sounding like either a clinical sex ed. description or a euphemism laden dirty joke.

Champions of ‘Quiet Horror’ often claim that ‘anyone can throw in a bunch of sex and violence and get a response’ but I think they’re wrong about this. You’ll get a response, but it won’t always be a good one, because not anyone can write sex or violence well. That’s often why many authors stop at the bedroom door and only hint at the violence. I think they’re making a virtue out of a necessity. However, I do think you can write something of great quality that’s also extremely violent and highly erotic. That’s one of the issues I was hoping to address with Stuck On You. You’ll have to read it to see if I’ve succeeded but I can promise you that if you like either sex or violence you won’t be disappointed.

Why should people read Stuck On You?

Because it’s the sickest, filthiest and most inexcusable thing you’ll read all year. If you think you’ve read everything in horror think again this will take you to an all time low. It’s the ultimate guilty pleasure, the sort of book you have to read with one hand free, partly to hide behind and partly to do other things with.


Here’s an episode of Resonance FM’s Atomic Bark show wherein Jasper talks at length with presenter James DC about old time Radio Horror Shows (very fascinating, very frightening):

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