Monday, September 30, 2013

An excerpt from The Visions of Sandy Brown

An excerpt from The Visions of Sandy Brown:

“What I want?!” It began to chuckle hoarsely. “I want your death, human. It is such an easy thing. It feels so good to shed your blood.” The entity held up its hands. “But I cannot touch. I canno
t feel. I am imprisoned here.” A chaos of emotion could be seen in the childlike face. The thing gritted its teeth, and crimson began to drip from the eyes.

Sandy managed to stand up and started backing away.

The Becky thing smirked, and walked after her. “This is not the world of flesh and blood. I cannot touch them, but I can touch you!”

Available now, for just $1.99:

My 5-Star review for Cadaver Island by Kevin Rodgers

In a dark future, Princess Angelique Bosc of the city of Thyme races to Cadaver Island. She is accompanied by Dr. Laurent Stine, her dog Razor and owl Stanley in an attempt to free her lover Sir Zachary Plate from execution at the hands of the ruthless Sir Xavier Thames. 

Things go steadily from bad to worse as a surprise attack is made and the entire supply of batteries for her mechanical heart are seized and carried away. Now, she and her friends must reach Cadaver Island before her energy runs out and she goes into cardiac arrest. 

Dangers abound on this perilous quest, and the group must face monstrous creatures, dangerous cults, and hordes of the undead along the way. Though resilient, the band must fight constantly for survival and victory is not without sacrifice. Join them as they face horrors untold, struggle against their darkest fears and forge ahead toward the cursed isle.

Cadaver Island can be found here:

The Devil's Hand Book 1: Crossing Guard by Mark Taylor

One is a killer. One is the right hand of the Devil. Which is worse?

Angela Mitchell hates her life. When debonair stranger, Marcel, turns up in her library one night things look to be on the up. But neither of them saw Darin in the shadows.

Angela certainly never saw Hell coming to earth. 

When Marcel and Darin clash, Angela is dragged through the sulfur stench of Hades, has to fight for her life, and drinks wine. Lots of wine. 

Crossing Guard is part one of The Devil’s Hand series, a dark fantasy with spatters of humor and a dash of inter-dimensional romance.

Available here:

Thursday, September 19, 2013

An interview with William Cook

The Writer’s Blog welcomes the inimitable William Cook! Please tell us a little about yourself.

William Cook:  

Hi and thanks for having me here Donald. I like to think of myself as primarily a writer first and an artist second. I live in New Zealand at the foot of the world, happily married with four daughters, in charge of the house and looking after the two youngest girls. I have been writing weird stories ever since I was a kid. My first published works were poems in various literary journals in NZ and a few in the States. Back in 1996 I published a collection of verse titled 'Journey: The Search for Something' and had the occasional poem and short story published online, but nothing really of note until 2010 when Lee Pletzers from Triskaideka Books accepted my story 'The Devil Inside' for the 2010 Masters of Horror Anthology. I have always loved the Horror genre and dark literature, so this really inspired me to write what I loved rather than what I thought other people wanted to read and it has finally started to pay off. The thing I love about the Horror/Thriller genres is that a good story will get your pulse racing and your heart thumping. I feel it is the best medium to create a world where the reader feels alive because they are experiencing fear of some sort. Sounds sadistic I know, but I personally find that no other genre gives me the thrills I seek when I immerse myself in a fictional world. I have since had quite a few Horror shorts published in various anthologies.
My novel 'Blood Related,' was re-released by Black Bed Sheet Books Halloween 2012. Writing it was a labor of love and took me roughly six years to write and it wasn't until I changed day-jobs that I had the time to bring it all together as my debut novel. The novel is about a disturbed young man called Caleb Cunningham, whose violent father is a suspected serial killer and mother, an insane alcoholic. After his father's suicide, Cunningham's disturbing fantasy-life becomes reality, as he begins his killing spree in earnest. His identical twin brother Charlie is released from an asylum and all hell is about to break loose, when the brothers combine their deviant talents. Blood Related is a serial-killer/crime novel told in a first-person narrative style from the killer's (Caleb's) point-of-view.
I have been privileged to have authors I look up to, give me feedback on Blood Related. People like Jonathan Nasaw, Guy N Smith, Laird Barron, Mark Edward Hall, John Paul Allen, and Nicholas Grabowsky, have all been kind enough to read and review my work - something I would never have believed possible until now.

Not only a talented author, but you are also an excellent artist. Tell us what it is like to create such gruesome works of art.

William Cook:

Well it all depends on the work of course but generally speaking, for some reason I can’t explain, my preference has always been depicting darkly ghoulish things. I have recently moved away from using traditional painting/drawing methods and now do 90% of all my work with Photoshop and digital mediums. I get my inspiration from my dreams and the various pop-cultural works I peruse, i.e. film, comics, fiction and music. I will usually start with a small sketch in a notebook or write down an idea of an art-piece that comes to mind (descriptively) before taking digital photographs of textures, trees, people and other subjects that interest me. I’ll then bring everything together via Photoshop and use it to add darkness, depth and dimension to my original vision. It is hardly ever reproduced physically apart from the occasional print or book cover so I like to call it my ‘virtual dark art.’ With each passing year I am less interested in the visceral gore-infused stuff that I used to produce, instead, I am leaning towards ‘quiet’ horror these days and subtlety is something I strive for in both my visual and written work.

Blood Related was your first novel and, arguably, most controversial work to date. Explain how you were able to get into the minds of the two main characters.

William Cook:

Blood Related combined a lifelong interest in the macabre with a lot of research into true crime and serial killers. I can trace my interest in this morbid subject to an event in my life when I was younger, whereby my best friend shot another friend of mine (his ex-girlfriend) and then killed himself. Obviously, this would leave a lasting impression on most people as it did to me. Subsequently I began to wonder why a large percentage of humans treat each other so badly and have a tendency towards self-destruction and nihilistic behavior. This aspect of my inquiring mind is constantly reinforced (the questions) by the media who use such occurrences to perpetually sensationalize ‘news’ and by our so-called leaders who use fear to drive political agendas. The politics of fear are very much a staple diet of news-hungry consumers who seem to relish lurid accounts of human cruelty and abuse, and (so it seems) probably the same reasons fiction is full of the horrors of human behavior.
             There are plenty of fictional books that deal with the subject of serial murder and during the research I conducted for BR, a perceptible ‘canon’ of such literature dating all the way back to Gutenberg and beyond (The Bible/Quran etc) became apparent to me. Apart from being of interest for research purposes, serial killer fiction has always intrigued me and some of the first ‘adult’ books I ever read as a young teenager dealt with the subject. Probably the two biggest influences on my writing of BR were Colin Wilson’s ‘The Killer’ and James Ellroy’s brutal ‘Killer on the Road.’ I have always wanted to write a first-person novel and the six years I spent writing BR were the result of this desire. I never thought the book would see the light of day but it all seemed to come together quickly when I bought a new lap-top and within three months of shopping it around to various indie presses it was published. I’m not sure that I would write another first-person serial killer novel as it (the subject matter and the book) consumed my thoughts for a long time. I found it a lot more disturbing to write about psychopathic humans than I do writing tales of horror that deal with more supernatural and fantastical elements. The most frightening aspect, to writing BR and creating believable characterizations of serial killers, is how easy it was to contemplate and describe such characters and their sordid crimes. BR lends itself to a sequel and I have made sure that the next book will be told in the third person, for the sake of my own sanity.

You are also quite the poet, having released two collections: Moment of Freedom and Temper of the Tide. How does one achieve true feeling in verse?

William Cook:

Before I began writing stories I wrote poems. The first ‘real’ poem I remember was Blake’s ‘Tyger’ and I have enjoyed reading and writing verse ever since. My first published work was in verse-form and my first published book was a collection of my poems back in 1996, titled ‘Journey: the Search for Something.’ The verse has nearly always ‘written itself’ and generally comes after periods of introspection or strong emotional experience. Most of my early work was terrible heart-wrought angst spewed onto the page as fast as I could write it and thankfully, with a bit of experience and a more temperate lifestyle, I have stopped referring to my emotions when I write poetry. ‘True feeling’ is a completely subjective experience, both on and off the page; the only thing I can suggest in response to your question is that honesty needs to be employed when writing poetry that deals with emotion or the translation thereof. Cadence is also important and I have always tried to use onomatopoeia in my verse in order to convey the ‘sense’ of whatever it is I’m trying to impart. Simplicity is also important; there is no point writing convoluted expressionistic verse, if no one is ever going to understand what it is you are trying to say! After writing poetry for over twenty years I think I have finally began to find my voice and I think it is important to have your own voice as a poet, in a medium so canonically reliant on style and form. In other words, write from the heart with the mind as your guiding light, in a voice of your own making. Easier said than done, right?

Tell us about your work with JWK Fiction. What advice would you give writers looking to submit stories?

William Cook:

JWK Fiction [] has published quite a few poems and short stories of mine and I’m happy to recommend James and the team to any aspiring writer of Horror and Speculative fiction. I think that a large part of having stories accepted for publication in the indie presses, is to write well (obviously) and to read the submission guidelines carefully. A lot of writers out there have a hard-drive full of stories that they want to see published, make sure the story you submit is what the publisher is looking for. It sounds basic but if you’re going to spend time tailoring a previously written story to fit a submission call you may as well start fresh and write something new with the guidelines in mind. I made this mistake (reanimating old work) when I was first starting out and the rejections came in thick and fast, as soon as I started writing fresh stories for specific guidelines I started having success with my submissions. If you submit a lot of stories I would also suggest keeping a record of your subs including story titles, word counts and dates etc. It saves embarrassment and time wasting if you’re simultaneously submitting stories and then having to remember if they’ve been accepted elsewhere etc.

Who are your three favorite authors and how have they influenced your work?

William Cook:

Robert Bloch, Flannery O’Connor, Sherwood Anderson (I have more than three). I love the way they convey human emotion, particularly fear, through the short story medium. They are the writers of psychological drama who I enjoy reading the most. Without reading these writers I probably would have never written short stories – very inspirational and efficient writers, who better to emulate.

What are you working on right now?

William Cook:

I am midway through the sequel to Blood Related titled ‘Blood Trail’, finishing edits on an anthology that JWK Fiction is publishing called ‘Fresh Fear’ [] with stories from the likes of Ramsey Campbell, Billie Sue Mosiman, JF Gonzalez, Jack Dann, Robert Dunbar, amongst others, and working on two separate collections of my short fiction and poetry.

Thank you for joining us on The Writer's Blog, William. We look forward to more horrific masterpieces to come...

You can find William Cook's literary works here:


Online Portfolio:


William Cook is a writer of the macabre from New Zealand, a small antipodean island group in the South Pacific. When not writing, he looks after two small daughters and designs book covers that are designed to scare the hell out of people. Having held down a multitude of jobs before becoming a "Domestic Manager", he brings to his writing a vast array of experience that translates to the page in the form of strange characters and situations that bleed horror. From slinging timber in lumber yards, cutting plastic film in a meat packaging company, making rat-poison and acid cleaning products, working on a prawn trawler in the Gulf of Carpenteria, selling ads, and teaching English in Korea, to name a few of the roles he has performed - being a starving writer of Horror fiction seemed like a completely viable occupation.

Currently working on a sequel to his debut novel 'Blood related', titled 'Blood Trail', it is due for completion mid-year and for publication by his amazing publisher Black Bed Sheet Books sometime in the hereafter.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

An excerpt from The Monster

An excerpt from The Monster:

The woman froze in her tracks. Her mind was alive with what her eyes now beheld. There was Alice, lying motionless on the ground, just beyond the reach of the pond’s waters. But it was the hulking mass that leaned over the girl, which caused the nanny’s blood to run cold.

The creature’s skin was dark and the moonlight illuminated the broad, sharp features, and the burning yellow eyes that gazed upon her unmoving charge...

The Monster is available for just $1.99:

Saturday, September 14, 2013

My 5-Star review of POEtry Girls by Rich Orth

Poetry is all about the conveying of emotion through means of verse. In this collection, you can feel the emotions of the poet in every line. There is a melancholy here, verging on despair, that tugs at the heart. Poems about loves lost, even beyond the power of the living to return them, abound here.

This graveyard romance permeates the work, and you can feel the chill of earthbound hearts yearning for freedom to roam once more. "Strolling by stone upon stone," you experience the pull of ancient forces. It is in the midst of this, that the poet weaves his song:

From this perch
where lovers first kissed
one contemplates finality

Learn the poison of "Lady Nightshade," and see through "Dahlia's Eyes." As "Summer Souls" long to be adrift, feel the desolation of "Winter's Morn." And "Carmilla" waits "with ravenesque tresses," somewhere "amongst the ruins."

But for "Lady Greensleeves":

Her vows meant nothing
Words she merely eschewed
She cared not for me
Longed for my captivity

And so it goes, from life to death. It is a sad refrain, but listen well. For there is "Love Beyond the Grave," and a "City by the Sea." Grieve for "Paradise Lost," and venture into the "Necropolis." These are siren songs, to ensnare the soul. Girls who flirt and dash away, wait patiently to be exhumed.

POEtry Girls can be found here:

Monday, September 9, 2013

HASH: The Secrets of Startech by April M Reign

Fugitives from Startech, Jade and Aric follow their map to Dieter Copeland’s house in the backwoods of Rutherford. While in hiding, Dieter teaches them how to connect with their alien metal. But their teacher is keeping his own deep, dark secret—a secret that could affect both their lives.

Aric and Jade grow closer, falling more in love, but being on the run has its drawbacks. When it becomes apparent that Startech will stop at nothing to recover their technology, the pair comes face to face with imminent danger, their fears and the truth behind the company that threatens their existence.

Ultimately, as Jade and Aric fight for their lives, they discover there is only one place they can go...


HASH: The Secrets of Startech is available here:

Sunday, September 8, 2013

My 5-Star review for The Santa Claus Killer by RJ Smith

Christmas is a season of joy: of giving and receiving. But this year, the giving comes in the form of a hatchet, and the receiving ends with the shedding of blood...

An assault on the streets of New York, leads to a series of murders in the city that never sleeps. The killer is dressed as Santa Claus and wielding a bloody hatchet. And so, the authorities search desperately for the not-so-jolly Saint Nick.

The killings in this dark tale are brutal and disturbing. At first, it does not seem to make sense. But slowly, the pieces come together and the terror builds. There is definitely a feel of the real world, with references to recent events. All of this serves to bring the story dangerously close to home.

When the authorities enter the picture, investigative procedures are described in detail. The police detectives are seen as people, struggling against an enemy that always seems to be one step ahead of them.

But the real gift is yet to come. And one teenage boy will face the very stuff of nightmares. He cannot run, nor can he hide. He'd better watch out, and better not pout... for The Santa Claus Killer is coming to town.

The Santa Claus Killer can be found here:

Dead Lake by Murphy Edwards

Hell has come to Vivid Valley Lake. Once tranquil, it has become overrun with tourists and outdoorsmen intent on abusing the waterways and depleting natural resources. Now, murders and mutilations are occurring at an alarming rate, atrocities so vile they defy any rational explanation. Residents are counting on Charlie Nickles, the DNR Officer known as ‘The Man Who Never Sleeps.’ Nickles learns an ancient curse has been unleashed in the valley and he’s forced to turn to a bitter rival for help. Together they hunt something never seen by scientists or anglers in any body of water—something vicious—something ravenous—something undead. Welcome to Dead Lake 

Dead Lake is available here:

My 5-Star review for Hell Cometh by Todd Card

Hell is coming to a little mountain town. An ancient artifact of unspeakable evil is unearthed, and all hell literally breaks loose. The evil spreads and people fall prey, only to return from the dead with a hunger for the living!

Todd Card immerses us in the butchery of this small town, sparing none of the gory details. The characters are real people with all of their flaws. But this two-fisted approach at characterization launches the reader into a full-scale invasion of the damned. You feel every moment, as a ragtag group struggles for survival against the very forces of the inferno. To die is to become a ravening beast, with an insatiable hunger for living flesh.

There are moments of sheer terror, and the story takes you through a roller coaster ride of emotions. You meet simple folk, with good hearts, who must give their very last breath to prevent hell on earth. Stand in the midst of the storm, fight with your last drop of blood. Hell Cometh. Be ready…

Hell Cometh can be found here: