Saturday, December 19, 2015

Writing Progress

Today, I surpassed 30,000 words on the current horror book I'm writing called TOMB OF GODS. My goal is to have something new to release in 2016. I'll keep posting updates as I get closer to completion.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Krampus Season: Guest Author Matt Manochio



This holiday season it’s the year of Krampus, the dark demon of Christmas, and there’s a horror movie by the same name releasing at the theaters on December 4th. The trailer looks scary and fun. The movie appears to have been done with a nice budget and stellar cast, including Toni Collette, Adam Scott and David Koechner. I’m really looking forward to watching all the mayhem in Krampus this weekend. I’m also looking forward to reading more about the legend. Today’s guest author, Matt Manochio, has delved deep in the Krampus mythology and penned not one but two horror books about St. Nick’s evil counterpart. Last year, Manochio did an interview on this blog and talked about his first Krampus novel The Dark Servant. Manochio has now followed up his terrifying novel with a novella-length sequel titled Twelfth Krampus Night. Below, Matt Manochio shares about writing the sequel.


I never thought about writing a sequel to The Dark Servant, my debut novel which features Krampus, Saint Nicholas’s devilish dark companion who punishes naughty children—mostly in Europe. I set my kid-snatching story in modern-day New Jersey. Once you hammer out what Krampus does, and set a novel around it, what more can you do with that specific premise? It’s kinda like the Friday the 13th movies. There’s only so many ways you can butcher stupid, sex-crazed teenagers without it becoming insipid. You can break away from the Krampus myth and have him battling Santa Claus, as others have done, and that’s fine! I prefer my Krampus to be subservient to Saint Nicholas, who I prefer to have lurking in the background as an invisible hand.

Horror fanatic and reviewer Erik Smith planted the seed to revisit Krampus, in a prequel of sorts, shortly after The Dark Servant came out. He mentioned that he enjoyed the book and the characters and was hoping I’d bring them back. I was thrilled he dug the book, but it got me thinking—how would I bring the big guy back?

It started in a throwaway line in an email I wrote to Erik, about how I thought it might be fun to have Krampus trying to infiltrate a heavily fortified castle to get his prey, and always being thwarted by its defenses. That blossomed into the idea of having another dark servant—Bavaria’s Frau Perchta, a belly-slitting hag—attempting the same thing, and then pitting the two against each other. That’s the wonderful thing about the Krampus mythos—there are several unexplored dark servants whose stories vary based on the region of Europe from where they originated.

Krampus is always hunting bad kids—that’s why he’s around. But that doesn’t have to be the sole focus of each and every story. Setting’s an important character, and having Krampus traipsing around in his homeland some 700 years ago immediately changed practically everything from The Dark Servant. And Krampus is fun! More than anything, I want my stories to be entertaining, and Krampus, at least the way I envision him—a monster with a warped code of ethics and a dark sense of humor—is a blast once you get into writing about him. People seem to be enjoying him too. And I’m not the only one who realizes this. The Krampus movie premieres in a few days, and I’ll probably see it. I say probably because it’s virtually impossible to sneak out of the house to see a movie of any sort when you have a 4-year-old son running around destroying things. But I certainly will see it, and I hope it’s a good film in the sense that it inspires more people to want to learn about this monster, who’s still not very well known in the United States. I know I’m not the only one hoping to change that, and I hope we’re all successful in our endeavors.


You can find Matt Manochio’s Krampus books at Amazon, Samhain Publishing’s store, and wherever books are sold. Here is the synopsis for Twelfth Krampus Night.

Dark servants clash!

Medieval maiden Beate, who’s grieving over the mysterious evisceration of her best friend, Gisela, must escape a Bavarian castle under siege by sadistic creatures.

Standing in her way—beyond towering walls and crossbow-toting guards—are Saint Nicholas’s demonic helper, Krampus, and Frau Perchta, a belly-slitting hag who prowls the countryside during First Night festivities to punish naughty teens.
Beate wants out. Krampus and Frau Perchta want in, determined to breach the castle to snag their prey. Beate has no idea why these monsters want her, but she must use her wits to save herself from horrors both human and inhuman—lest she wind up like Gisela.

Praise for Matt Manochio

"Twelfth Krampus Night is an enjoyable read and a strong horror story. Manochio is a very strong writer and his talent is evident in this novel. I easily slid into the world that Manochio creates and was fascinated by Frau Perchta and Krampus." —Minnapolis Examiner.com 

The Dark Servant is everything a thriller should be–eerie, original and utterly engrossing!” — Wendy Corsi Staub, New York Times bestselling author

“Beautifully crafted and expertly plotted, Matt Manochio’s The Dark Servant has taken an esoteric fairy tale from before Christ and sets it in the modern world of media-saturated teenagers–creating a clockwork mechanism of terror that blends Freddy Krueger with the Brothers Grimm!” — Jay Bonansinga, New York Times bestselling author


Matt Manochio was born in 1975 in New Jersey and graduated from The University of Delaware in 1997 with a history/journalism degree. He spent the majority of his 13-year newspaper career at the Daily Record in Morris County, New Jersey, where he won multiple New Jersey Press Association Awards for his reporting.

He wrote about one of his passions, rock ‘n’ roll giants AC/DC, for USA Today and considers that the highlight of his journalism career. He left newspapers in 2011 for safer employment.

His debut novel, The Dark Servant, was published with Samhain Horror in November of 2014. His second novel, Sentinels, was release November 2015, just prior to Twelfth Krampus Night in December 2015. He currently lives in New Jersey with his son.


Saturday, November 28, 2015

Monster Men Interview


In this video episode of Monster Men, I discuss horror books and movies with hosts Hunter Shea and Jack Campisi. You can watch the show here or go to this YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pykpH6KL2xo

Friday, November 20, 2015

Deadly Reads Radio Interview

Last night I did a 2-hour interview on Deadly Reads Radio Show with Linda Barton and Lisa Vandiver. We talk about writing horror fiction, what inspires writers, experiences with the paranormal and I read excerpts from DARKNESS RISING and DEAD OF WINTER. My interview starts around 12 minutes into the show.

You can listen to it here:



Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Guest Post: Writing Schedule and Werewolf Novel Excerpt


Today’s special guest author is Glenn Rolfe, a highly talented horror writer who has published some terrific books, including short story collections, novellas, and novels. His latest novel, a werewolf thriller called BLOOD AND RAIN, just released in eBook and paperback. In the article below, Rolfe shares his writing schedule and then gives us a sneak peek of his writing with an excerpt from BLOOD AND RAIN. Enjoy!   


“Writing schedule? What’s that?”
By Glenn Rolfe

So a common question that we receive as writers is: “What does your writing routine/schedule consist of/look like?”

I would love to say that I start every morning with a cup of coffee and three hours of uninterrupted writing. I would follow that up with some social media/email checking, then a bite to eat, brief physical activity (walk, jog, push-ups, heavy bag, etc.), and followed by maybe another hour of writing or revisions. 

Unfortunately, my life does not allow for such writing-schedule bliss. I have a day job, I have three kiddos to take care of, a wife who busts her ass at a mentally exhausting job all day (and who deserves my attention when she gets home), and housework to help out with. Add in promotional work for my finished projects, blogs and articles for Samhain and my publicist, and the day just doesn’t look anything like that dream schedule.

Despite this crazy, wonderful life, I’ve managed to get a decent amount of stories finished over these last few years though. Four novellas, two finished novels, two first drafts of novels, and a bunch of short stories. That’s pretty good, I think.

I read in Stephen King’s On Writing about how he doesn’t worry about the “you have to write, write, write!” mentality that some writing teachers preach. While yes, of course we have to write, write, write, but we can, and should, take breathers. He’s probably talking about something like my above ideal schedule. I know he likes to work in the morning and fits in a walk. He mentions how the breaks are good for our minds and good for our stories. These tales deserve to breathe, too!

For me, I take that breathing room to a whole new level. Okay, maybe it’s because my busy life dictates that I have to work this way, but—BUT--I do believe it is very healthy for my storytelling. You run into so many things on a daily basis. And all of these little (or big) interactions and surprises can and will lodge somewhere in that writing brain of yours.

I don’t even write every day, let alone follow some sort of ritual or schedule. But honestly, I’m okay with this. Writing never feels like a job to me. I don’t have to force myself to sit down and work for a set amount of time. It really lets my writing brain breathe and thus usually lets me work footloose and fancy free when I dive into a piece. I like that.

At the end of the day, however you choose to work is up to you. If you work best from 8-12 every day, or night, that’s awesome. If you have to write every day to avoid guilt or let down, go for it. Every writer is different. I didn’t set out to work in patches the way I do (an hour here, two there, a nice four-hour block way over there!), but I think it works well for me. I never seem to get burned out, or brain tired. When I do feel the fatigue set in, I step away. That’s always a great time to watch a movie, right?

Speaking of which…I have Lucy queued up on the old DVR.

Stay tuned!


Blood and Rain, Synopsis

The light of a full moon reveals many secrets.

Gilson Creek, Maine. A safe, rural community. Summer is here. School is out and the warm waters of Emerson Lake await. But one man's terrible secret will unleash a nightmare straight off the silver screen. Under the full moon, a night of terror and death re-awakens horrors long sleeping. Sheriff Joe Fischer, a man fighting for the safety of his daughter, his sanity and his community, must confront the sins of his past. Can Sheriff Fischer set Gilson Creek free from the beast hiding in its shadows, or will a small town die under a curse it can't even comprehend? One night can-and will-change everything.

"With slashing claws and blood-soaked fur, Blood and Rain will have you howling in terror and delight. A welcome addition to the werewolf mythos, and proof that we're in the presence of a rising star in the genre. Highly recommended!" -Ronald Malfi, author of The Floating Staircase

An excerpt from Blood and Rain:

Mike Ouellette needed to get up. The whole world seemed to be coming down around him. He’d crawled beneath the children’s slide in an attempt to remain as dry as he could. The downpour was too much. It was coming through from every which direction. He curled on his side, pulled the collar of his dirty denim jacket tight against his neck and clutched the fifth of Popov vodka for dear life.

Too far from his own house, he knew he should climb out from under the slide in the playground and try Gil Laverty’s. Gil owned the tavern on Brighton Circle. He sometimes let Mike stay on his couch. Usually when nature got nasty and he was too drunk to stumble home, like tonight.

The booze was making his head spin. He wasn’t sure he could climb to his feet. Instead, he closed his eyes and sent a little prayer to the Lord. “Please, Jesus. Don’t lemme drown out here tonight. Not unless ya have ta.” A warm grin spread across his face. Lightning lit up the world beyond his closed eyelids. A thunderous boom answered. The storm was right over town.

A shuffling sound from the trees off to his right caused him to open his eyes. “Huh?”
  
He propped up on his elbow and tucked the bottle of vodka against one of the legs supporting the slide. He scanned the swirling trees for signs of movement. A shadow emerged.

“Oh no, oh no, oh no…” Old Mike’s heart hit Mach 1.

He’d forgotten what day it was. He knew this day every month. How could he have forgotten today? All these years, not one slip up, whether sloshed or otherwise. He always knew to find someplace safe to sleep during the full moon. Tonight, he fucked up.

He didn’t have a chance to scream. The beast flew at his extended arm. He felt its incredible strength and fury as it clawed into the flesh just above his elbow and pulled. He watched the rest of his arm detach from his body. He managed a high-pitched moan as the monster’s ugly yellow eyes lowered into sight.

Old Mike tried to push himself down and out, and even got his bottom half out on the other side of the slide. He heard the growl in harmony with the next blast of thunder. The paw of the monster palmed his face, its nails puncturing the flesh under his jawline.

Dragged out from under the slide by his face, Old Mike’s last fleeting thoughts were of Gil Laverty’s gentle hazel eyes and toothless grin. Should’ve known better, Gil.

The werewolf burrowed its snout into his stomach.

The storm screamed for him.


Blood and Rain ©Glenn Rolfe 2015 
Samhain Publishing
Rights Reserved


Be sure to check out Blood and Rain and the rest of Glenn Rolfe's books. You can find them at Amazon.

Praise for Blood and Rain

“A major new talent rises from the Maine woods…Rolfe is the real deal, and Blood and Rain is a classic monster novel, full of blood and teeth and the kind of razor sharp writing that makes the pages sing. Small town horror is back, with a vengeance!” –Nate Kenyon, award-winning author of Sparrow Rock, Diablo: Storm of Light and Day One

“Rolfe tells a tale that captures your attention like King without all of the wordiness. He also spills the red stuff like Laymon…” – Into the Macabre

“Blood and Rain is a monumental piece of horror fiction. It represents everything I love about werewolves, creature features, siege films, and everything else in between. It is still early in the year, but this is a clear cut candidate for my favorite book of 2015.” — Horror Underground

“Wow! Easily one of the best werewolf books I’ve ever read.” – Hunter Shea, author of Tortures of the Damned and The Dover Demon





Biography, Glenn Rolfe



Glenn Rolfe is an author, singer, songwriter and all around fun loving guy from the haunted woods of New England. He has studied Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University, and continues his education in the world of horror by devouring the novels of Stephen King and Richard Laymon. He and his wife, Meghan, have three children, Ruby, Ramona, and Axl. He is grateful to be loved despite his weirdness.



He is the author the novellas, Abram's Bridge, Boom Town, and the forthcoming, Things We Fear (March, 2016), the short fiction collection, Slush, and the novels The Haunted Halls and Blood and Rain (October 2015). His first novella collection, Where Nightmares Begin, will be released in March, 2016.



Find Glenn Rolfe at http://glennrolfe.com as well as Facebook and Twitter

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Free Short Story: The Jack-O'-Lantern Man


Happy Halloween! Here's a free short story "The Jack-O'-Lantern Man" you can read on my other blog: https://brianmoreland.wordpress.com/2015/10/30/short-story-the-jack-o-lantern-man/

 

Every few years, on Halloween night, a legendary bogeyman stalks the rural town of Millcreek. For ten-year-old Corey Wilkes, tonight will be one filled with terror as he fears the killer is creeping through the darkness of his house. Will Corey and his family be the next ones slaughtered?

Friday, September 18, 2015

Guest Author Hunter Shea

Today’s guest author is one of the top horror authors writing today. If you haven’t read any of Hunter Shea’s ghost hunter or monster books, you’re in for a treat to discover his books. They are rocket-paced, bloody, and most of all scary. One of my favorites is Montauk Monster. Now, Hunter has just released a new post-apocalyptic horror novel Tortures of the Damned, which Publisher’s Weekly calls “A lot of splattery fun.”


Here’s the synopsis:

SHOCK…
First, the electricity goes—plunging the east coast in darkness after a devastating nuclear attack. Millions panic. Millions die. They are the lucky ones.

AFTER SHOCK…
Next, the chemical weapons take effect—killing or contaminating everything alive. Except a handful of survivors in a bomb shelter. They are the damned.

 HELL IS FOR HUMANS
Then, the real nightmare begins. Hordes of rats force two terrified families out of their shelter—and into the savage streets of an apocalytic wasteland. They are not alone. Vicious, chemical-crazed animals hunt in packs. Dogs tear flesh, cats draw blood, horses crush bone. Roaming gangs of the sick and dying are barely recognizable as human. These are the times that try men’s souls. These are the tortures that tear families apart. This is hell on earth. The rules are simple: Kill or die.
--------------------

“Harrowing, bloodsoaked.” —Jonathan Janz, Author of The Nightmare Girl

“Frightening, gripping.”—Night Owl Reviews

“Old school horror.” —Jonathan Maberry,  New York Times bestselling author

Now, Hunter Shea talks about our biggest fear that inspired the book:

Instant Gratification Instantly Nullified

We’re all spoiled.

We live in a world of instant gratification, where knowledge is only a few clicks or taps on your smart phone away. Can’t remember who played the gangster with the Jerry Connolly character opposite Cagney in White Heat?  Go to Google or IMDB. Bang! There’s your answer. Who was the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1936? In the time it takes to type or speak the question, you’ll know it was Cosmo Lang. Not sure how much faith I’d put in a guy named Cosmo. But I digress.

What if all that was taken away from us? In an instant, gone is the 24 hour news cycle, Kardashian reruns, search engines, hell, your money! If all the systems that keep us plugged in like we live in the Matrix go boom, society as we know it is over. The only question is, how long before civility is stripped away? Welcome to the new Stone Age.

Whether we realize it or not, we’re all about knowing, because knowing is so easy. We’re so dependent on it that we check our emails or phones in the middle of the night when we get up to pee so we can know what emails await us at work later that day or what happened to the Mets on the west coast.
We have to know everything. And everything is streaming around us.
It’s why I think that collectively, whether we realize it or not, our biggest fear is one day not knowing.

And that is the underlying fear in my latest book, Tortures of the Damned. When your world ends in the blink of an eye, what do you do? When the dust clears and you have no idea who did it, why, where and how extensive the destruction is, what’s your next move?

That smart phone is nothing more than a fancy paperweight. Your money is gone. Your neighbors are dead.

Open the bomb shelter door.

What’s next?
----------------------------

Hunter Shea is the author of the novels The Montauk MonsterSinister EntityForest of ShadowsSwamp Monster Massacre, and Evil Eternal. His stories have appeared in numerous magazines, including Dark Moon Digest, Morpheus Tales and the Cemetery Dance anthology, 
Shocklines : Fresh Voices in Terror.

His obsession with all things horrific has led him to real life exploration of the paranormal, interviews with exorcists and other things that would keep most people awake with the lights on. He lives in New York with his family and vindictive cat. He waits with Biblical patience for the Mets to win a World Series. You can read about his latest travails and communicate with him at www.huntershea.com.


You can purchase Tortures of the Damned in mass market paperback at more retail stores nationwide, as well as bookstores, both independent and chain. You can also buy online at:

Amazon-

Barnes and Noble-

Giveaway!

One signed book from Hunter Shea of winner’s choice (or e-book) and a bookmark.

Copy this code to your blog:

Or use this link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/MjMxYWEzMGI1ZDE2MGYyYTgzYjk4NzVhYzhmMTdmOjIw/?


Follow along using the hashtags: #TorturesoftheDamned #Apocalypse #RunforYourLife

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Book Release Day - Darkness Rising



My newest release and 6th published book is Darkness Rising, a supernatural horror story about love, revenge, poetry, and what happens when bullies mess with the wrong person. As I was writing my main character, Marty Weaver, an often picked on college-age kid, I asked myself what if Marty, who is a good person with big dreams, gets bullied by the nastiest people on earth and what they don’t know is Marty’s childhood upbringing caused him to have a dark side that’s worse than the three serial killers tormenting him? What if they pushed Marty to the brink and unleashed that dark side?


Here’s the synopsis:

It’s all fun and games until...
Marty Weaver, an emotionally scarred poet, has been bullied his entire life. When he drives out to the lake to tell an old friend that he’s fallen in love with a girl named Jennifer, Marty encounters three sadistic killers who have some twisted games in store for him. But Marty has dark secrets of his own buried deep inside him. And tonight, when all the pain from the past is triggered, when those secrets are revealed, blood will flow and hell will rise.
--------------
"Moreland has assembled a masterpiece ... The thin line between horror and beauty in this story is one that must be read ... one of my favorite horror releases of the year."
—Horror Underground

"Fantastic. Bone-chilling."
—The Crow Grrl

“If you are a fan of Moreland or the genre, you owe it to yourself to add this to your collection."
—Horror After Dark

Darkness Rising is available as an ebook through: