Greetings, fright fiction fans!
I hope your holiday hangover has faded by now, and that the New Year finds you well and chock full of delectable horrors.
Now that the cliché niceties are out of the way, I want you to know I have created a special discount code for my website, exclusively for all of you who are kind enough to have subscribed to this newsletter! At checkout, enter discount code LETTER to receive 10% off your order, store wide, now until January 15th! Visit the website by clicking the image below.
I was a guest on the latest episode of The Dark Mind Podcast with Vincent Midgard. We spoke at length about my dark thriller A FINE EVENING IN HELL, my latest horror novel EX-BOOGEYMAN, and the art of writing demented characters. You can listen to it for free on all pod-streamers. Check out the links for it right here.
Speaking of podcasts, my own show Vital Social Issues ‘N Stuff with Kris and John Wayne is doing a theme this winter called Monster Mash, where we’ll be discussing the classic Universal monsters with some of your favorite horror authors. The first episode of this series was just released, wherein John Wayne Comunale and I invite special guest CV Hunt (author and head of Grindhouse Press) to delve into the rich history of CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON.
Starting off my 2023 writing news, I signed a contract for GONE TO SEE THE RIVER MAN to be published in Czech. This will be the novel’s sixth language translation. I continue to be wowed by the popularity of this book and thank all the fans worldwide who have helped spread the word about it.
This March, I will be a guest at Authorcon II, hosted by the great Brian Keene and Joe Ripple of the Scares That Care charity. I’ll be there signing books and probably speaking on panels. I am also working on my first book signing in Europe (more news on that to come).
I have two new horror novels officially scheduled for release. One is THE PRETTIEST GIRL IN THE GRAVE, due out from Grindhouse Press in May. The other is THAT NIGHT IN THE WOODS, coming from Cemetery Dance in October. I know, I know—these dates sound years away, but don’t fret. I have other works I plan to release (and others to unearth from their tombs) in 2023, but just don’t have the dates locked in yet, so stayed tuned for those announcements.
In Brian Keene’s awesome newsletter Letters from the Labyrinth, he posted his top ten favorite books of 2022, and A FINE EVENING IN HELL made the list. I was very touched by this and consider it an honor. To those horror fans who may not have checked this book out yet because they’re not fans of crime fiction, I can assure you it escalates into violent horror fiction as it progresses.
EX-BOOGEYMAN is growing in popularity as fans of the slasher genre continue to discover and devour it. See what folks are saying about the book over on Goodreads. It is available everywhere in paperback, ebook, and audiobook, and you can order signed copies on my website, including a special slasher bundle that also comes with buttons, stickers, and more.
Here are some other reads you should check out!
Aron Beauregard’s new splatterpunk novel PLAYGROUND has exploded on the scene, much to the delight of fans of hardcore horror. It’s about a demented jungle gym of torture devices, and the innocent children thrust into its traps by a diabolical old crone. I was lucky enough to beta read this one, and I can assure you it’s just as nasty, bloody, and twisted as you’d expect from the author of THE SLOB. And yet, it also packs an emotional punch. It’s some of Aron’s best work yet.
John Wayne Comunale has unleashed an uncanny gem with DEADLINE, a Faustian tale of a voice actor who teams up with a nefarious agent. Daniel J. Volpe released the hotly anticipated vampire novel BLACK HEARTS AND RED TEETH, a sequel to his horrifying hit A GIFT OF DEATH. And Lucy Leitner has her first collection of scary short stories coming out in February with INFLUENCE. I suggest picking up all three books for a complete blood bucket of terrifying tales.
Things I’m excited about:
M3GAN, a new horror comedy about evil AI, and Nicolas Cage’s first western film, THE OLD WAY. I hear the latter is nothing but a boring trope, but I’m not going to pass up Cage doing Eastwood. As of this writing, I’ve seen neither movie, but aim to fix that as soon as I’m done revisiting forgotten Jack Lemmon films.
I’m also enjoying Devil Dogs from Drake’s Cakes. I had one for the first time in decades and thought, “why don’t I eat these all the time?” As with my cheesecake commentary in the last issue, I feel compelled to remind you of quality desserts. Enjoy life.
I saw VIOLENT NIGHT this Christmas, and while David Harbour was perfectly cast and the film is adequate one-time viewing, it didn’t impress me enough to earn a permanent spot on my annual holiday viewing schedule. I just felt it could have done much more with the concept. Perhaps because VIOLENT NIGHT left me craving more Yuletide bloodbaths, I also saw FATMAN for the first time, a Santa-themed action dramedy from 2020 starring Mel Gibson (yeah, yeah, I know, but sometimes you must separate the art from the artist). I enjoyed this one much more and will definitely watch it again. It’s comical, and yet it is played completely straight, creating a “real world” Kris Kringle who knows how to handle the extremely naughty. In this case, that’s a spoiled rich kid who hires a hit man to slay Santa after receiving nothing but coal. Currently, you can watch it free (with ads) on Peacock. While the time for Christmas movies has passed, I’m telling you about them anyway so you can flag them for next year. Or just watch them now. Fuck it. Your tree is probably still up anyway.
Until next time, keep reading horror, and try to be happy.
Your pal always,
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Love Jack Lemmon. The Apartment is probably my favourite movie of all time.
Thanks for the mention 🙌