The awesome folks over at Schlock webzine have included my story The Sell that they previously published in their monthly, in their now available yearly print magazine containing the year's best.
Schlockproof can be purchased here, as the link from the Schlock website is having some issues.
These folks from across the pond publish some fantastically bizarre stuff, so I can't wait to see what awaits in 2014's best.
Schlockproof: Years Best 2014
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Robbed of Sleep: Stories to Stay Up For, Volume 2 is now available for your e-reader and in paperback at Amazon. Edited by Troy Blackford, this second volume is packed with chilling tales from a wide range of authors, including myself.
My contribution, The Sunshine Club, is a warning to all to be sure to buy things from cute little kids who come knocking on your door. This was really the first short story I've put so much work and effort into. But, I owe a lot of thanks to Jimmy Boring and Tony Weiman, who helped me turn a very rough draft into something readable, and of course, Troy Blackford who help immensely with the final draft.
Available as it is right before Christmas, what better gift than the thoughtful, warm, cozy gift of nightmares for your loved ones. This volume, as well as volume one, would make a great gift for any horror and dark fiction fans in your lives.Plus, it'll make me really happy.
Visit Amazon by clicking the link below to get your copy today!
Robbed of Sleep 2
And now also available in paperback!
Tuesday, November 4, 2014
My latest short story, From Fallen Leaves is in the latest issue of The Sirens Call, issue number 17. The whole magazine can be downloaded for free. They put together a fantastic publication six times a year and I was excited to be a part of this one, a special Trick-or-Treat Halloween issue.
Sunday, October 12, 2014
The fine folks at UK's Schlock Webzine have published a very short piece of flash fiction from me. The Sell started as a writing exercise in which the goal was to write a short dark story using only dialog. I love writing dialog, but had never before tried using nothing but. Apparently they liked it well enough to publish. It has not only inspired me to try more stories like this, but has also brought up a very important question every writer should be asking themselves: Just how far will a writer go to sell his work? As a reader,
you'll never know! And I'll never tell.
Available for Kindle on Amazon: Schlock!
you'll never know! And I'll never tell.
Available for Kindle on Amazon: Schlock!
Sunday, August 31, 2014
That is, scream in the most delightful way.
I wasn't even a glimmer in my parents' eyes during the glory days of pulp magazines. They had racks full of pulps for everything from sci-fi to mystery to soap opera type rubbish...just about anything they could put into print. And yes, the horror pulps took up most of that diluted limelight. A few stuck around over the years, but most vanished, relegated to shredding machines and land fills by the end of the 50's. Fortunately a resurgence took place in the mid 80's, and today we are lucky enough to have a few remaining fiction magazines to entertain us.
I do sometimes read more than just horror, and so read a few non-horror magazines, but seeing as this is a horror writing site, I'll stick to the basics.
Cemetery Dance Was the first horror related magazine I started reading. There are always some big name authors penning some awesome shorts within these pages, and, to let us inspiring writers have a shred of hope, a lot of fiction from unknown writers as well. Some of my favorites such as King and Crouch and Ketchum are regular contributors, making CD, in my opinion, a powerhouse of horror fiction literature. The interviews and articles and artwork are also second to none.
The three magazines above are publications I recommend to any horror fan. There is a lot here you just won't find in a book or a movie. Treasures reserved for a throwback to the glory days of horror and horror small print literature. I hope this will encourage a few of you to pick up one, or all of these magazines, and relax and escape into a world of blood-soaked nightmares.
Monday, August 4, 2014
So far this year I've read quite a few collections of short fiction. Most were good, some not so good, and a few were great. I'll only bother you with the collections I thought were great and worthy of your time.
Told by The Dead by Ramsey Campbell-
I'm a huge R. Campbell fan. I'm disappointed I only just discovered his talent a few years ago. His horror fiction has a very distinct old school British vibe to it that takes some getting used to, but it's his way of weaving a good horror story that has me seeking out all of his work. If you're looking for blood and guts and splatter porn, Campbell is not your man. But, if you love the unexpected in the ordinary, speculative horror at its finest, then I can't encourage you enough to pick up one of his books. An older collection I highly, highly recommend of his is Dark Companions. If these two Campbell books don't have you hooked, I'm not sure whats wrong with you.
Beautiful Sorrows by Mercedes M. Yardley-
The title of this book perfectly describes the work within its pages: Beautiful, tragic, heartfelt and so much more. Mercedes really grabs hold of your emotions and twists and turns them with this collection of dark fiction. If I had to describe the writing further, whimsical horror is what comes to mind.
How to Die Well by Bill Breedlove- I loved this book. The collection of short horror was one of the best I have read in ages. Bill comes up with some of the most imaginative stories that kept me captivated cover to cover. This is the kind of horror I strive to write when I pick up my pen. It's a bit of Bradbury and Hill and Campbell rolled into one. I can't wait to see what Breedlove writes next.
Robbed of Sleep edited by Troy Blackford- This collection of horror and speculative fiction is editor and writer Troy Blackford's first such attempt at a collaborative collection and it does not disappoint. With writers such as Todd Keisling, Mercedes Yardley, John Boden, David Eccles, MC O'Neill, and Troy himself, this is a fantastic read. Troy is currently working on a second collaborative collection that will be out later this year. I'm very much looking forward to it.
Friday, August 1, 2014
So, a while back, my friend's AC started acting up. And, as any good friend would surely do, I sat down and wrote a super short story to poke fun at his dire situation. I figured it was the very least I could do.
by Guy Medley
He carefully pried open the vent covering with his screwdriver and peered into the dark recess of the exposed duct work. Shining his flashlight inside it became immediately clear to him what the problem was.
“Sir,” he called over his shoulder into the silence of the house. “Mr. Weiscott, sir, if you don’t mind, I’d like to show you something.”
The client, Mr. Weiscott, appeared almost at once without a sound from around a shadowy corner and approached. The man motioned toward a step stool adjacent to the one he stood atop, and Mr. Weiscott stepped onto it and craned his neck to peer into his house’s duct work, following the repairman’s beam of yellow light into the darkness within.
“There’s your problem, sir.” He reached in, moving around with a gloved hand the crumbly sweaty lumps of grey and black debris blocking the duct. “There’s just too many bodies in here for the air to move freely around. It’s making the condensers freeze up.”
He and the client looked solemnly at the pile of human corpses impeding the air conditioner’s air flow, silent in thought.
“Have you tried the cellar? Or even the lake? These ducts simply can’t accommodate any more cadavers, Mr. Weiscott.”
Mr. Weiscott looked into the clogged duct work, scratching his bristly chin contemplatively. “You may be right. I’ve just been so very busy, you know.”
“I can see that, sir. There has to be what, five, maybe six bodies crammed into here.”
“Six,” he answered. “Though in various states of completeness, of course.”
“Yes, well, Mr. Weiscott, that’s well in excess of the manufacturer’s recommended limit. I’ll clear some space around them as best as I can so the air can flow through, but I assure you, any more bodies in this duct and you’ll fry your unit.”
Mr. Weiscott lowered his head rather sheepishly. “Yes, I suppose you’re right.”
“Hey, not to worry, Mr. Weiscott,” he said, patting him on the shoulder, “these sort of things happen.”
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
I'm often asked why I just write short fiction. Why I haven't penned a novel or two yet. And I never really have an answer that they understand. I love short fiction, and always have. There's something about reading, and writing, a story that begins, has a meaty middle, and ends all in the span of a few pages. As a reader, it's magical. As a writer, it's a challenge. But, where lies the roots for this love of mine? Well, now, there's a story I'd love to tell....
Everyone came in from what they had been doing, gathering into the small living room, everyone in their favorite places; mom and sister snuggling on the old yellow couch that probably pre-dated the hundred foot tall pines outside. Dad in his squeaky recliner next to the wood stove. It was faded pink and leaked a mysterious sawdust-like substance for as long as anyone could remember. We still have it, though it has retired from country living to desert living. And myself in an ancient tennis ball greenish yellow rocker stationed strategically adjacent to a stereotypical 1980’s ghetto blaster sitting in the window.
Darkness settled quickly and quietly into the woods of southern Utah, bringing with it a fragrant chill whispering in through the open windows. Frogs croaked away loudly in the creek bottom as the electric blue dusk fanned through a thin mist creeping down from the hollow across the road. It was the time of day the night things began to creep and crawl their way around, out from the depths of the woods and into my realm.
Because of my position, I was put in charge of finding the channel, one of countless pen and pencil marks on the horizontal dial. Once KNX-1070 from Los Angeles was tuned in, I was required to maintain the antenna just so on the metal window frame to ensure a minimal amount of static. It was a taxing assignment, but the reward was well worth it. Broadcasting from six-hundred miles away, the all familiar nine pm jingle came on…”KNX ten seventy, news radio,” followed by the crackling static announcing the start of the program. It wasn’t the static of degrading radio waves travelling from the California coast, across the Mojave Desert to the wooded hollows of the lower Wasatch. It was the lovely, soothing static of a by-gone era. The age of radio.
This wasn’t the 1940’s or even the 1950’s. This was the 1980’s, the decade of my childhood. And yet, we looked forward to this every summer weeknight. We listened faithfully, and without fail. At our mountain cabin we didn’t have television or the internet or cell phones. We had ‘The Shadow’ and ‘The Black Museum’ and ‘Box 13’ and ‘Case Closed’ and ‘Inner Sanctum’ and ‘Philip Marlow’ and ‘Sam Spade’ and ‘Suspense’. We had the voices of my grandparent’s generation.
This was our nightly entertainment that began pretty much the first summer we built the cabin in 1981, and continues to this day. We did just fine without so many conveniences the first few summers in the mountains. The first summer we didn’t have indoor plumbing or electricity, in much the same way as many of the original listeners of the radio programs we sat down to every night. As barbaric as it would surely sound to a seven year old boy today, we had Coleman lanterns and Coleman stoves and the ultimate in wilderness survival- an outdoor outhouse! Yes, my dad had lovingly constructed a crude plywood box with tarp walls and no roof outhouse in the front yard for our convenience. As a seven year old it was quite the frightful adventure venturing out there into the dark and cold of night to visit the toilet. Of course, it wasn’t half as frightening as the following summer when we got indoor plumbing installed, real toilet and all. See, we didn’t yet have interior walls, just bare studs with old thin bed sheets acting as crude privacy barriers. Inevitably, I’d be trying to do my business in peace and suddenly a tiny head would peek through the sheets, and in a giggly little girl voice my four year old sister would squeal, “I seeee you!”
Understandably, more than thirty years later I am still haunted by this memory.
Sometime after I had graduated from high school and began my career with the railroad, limiting the time I got to spend at the cabin, the only radio station I knew of still broadcasting the old time radio programs, KNX-1070, decided to stop airing them entirely. When the program was cancelled I felt as though KNX had completely and utterly ruined that whole part of my life, and in a sense, perhaps they had. It had put to an end that cherished link to my childhood and the memories of sitting around as a kid every night with my family and enjoying something together. And, that was simply lost for many years.
Then along came a nifty invention- the Ipod. And to my delight I discovered there was a very sizeable community of old time radio lovers just like myself. All the shows and characters I had loved over the years were once again available to listen to via downloads, most of them for free. It didn’t take long for me to fill my Ipod to capacity with these stories. I was once again swept up into the staticy goodness of early radio.
These programs were more than just simple entertainment for a kid in a cabin with no tv and video games. More than just an important part of my childhood that I have so lovingly carried over into my adult life. They are the lifeblood, the spark- the absolute bedrock which my love for the short story is based upon. It was these early experiences that cultivated and grew my appreciation and passion for short fiction, that still grows to this day.
Sadly, I have a difficult time convincing my own children these programs are something special. They roll their eyes at my old timey radio obsession. And with satellite television and indoor plumbing and walls and electricity, and even, to my objections, limited internet through 4G smartphone service, all available at the cabin now, it becomes even more difficult to pry them away from the new and immerse them in the static and the crackling and the magic that is classic radio drama and mystery and horror. But I keep trying.
Sunday, June 15, 2014
If I had any doubts about the way I had raised my children, one of my now adult children reminded me this year that I must have done something right somewhere. She's always been a talented creative writer, so this year she wrote me this lovely, moving Father's Day short story. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
by Kaitlyn Medley
Every year on father’s day Billy and Rebecca would wake up their father and surprise him with breakfast in bed; scrambled eggs, bacon, and a toasted English muffin with butter on top. This year was no different. Both Billy and Becca woke up and tip-toed to the kitchen to start breakfast. As they passed their mom and dad’s room, they heard heavy breathing and then what sounded like something fall to the floor. They quickened their steps and hoped they hadn’t woken anyone up yet. Billy always made the scrambled eggs and English muffin while Becca expertly fried the bacon. Once it was all done, they put it on a tray and silently walked down the hall. Billy opened the door to their parent’s room while Becca stood holding the tray of food. Blood was everywhere. It was splattered on the walls, soaked the bed sheets, and a pool of it was forming underneath the lifeless form of their mom on the floor next to the bed. Their father was sitting up in bed, staring blankly at the wall. Next to him was a bloody and broken lamp. Their father turned towards the doorway where they were standing and gave them a sinister smile.
“Happy Father’s Day,” he says as he gets out of bed and grabs for the bloody lamp.
Sunday, April 27, 2014
A friend and I are currently working on a joint project based on a childhood memory. Of course it wasn't as sick and twisted in real life as we plan on making the story, but we're horror writers not memoir writers.
This was just a scene exercise I did today, trying to get a feel for my main character and his relationship to the evil Alphabet People that torment him. Enjoy. Or don't, either way I'm having a beer, so it's all good here.
Josh sat alone in the warmth of the sand behind the swing set, toward the edge of the kindergarten playground, plowing through the sea of white grains with a toy bulldozer. He loved the solitude, the time to himself, where his own imagination was the only obstacle to his creativity.
As the dozer sliced neatly through an adjoining road to make a sandy intersection, a glimmer caught his eye. The dozer’s plastic blade had uncovered a treasure buried in the sand. Josh inspected his newfound relic. An old glass marble. At least he thought it was old. Perhaps long lost by some kid many years before his time here. He rolled it between his soft fingers, feeling the jagged rough edge where a slice of it was missing, cleaved off in perhaps a fierce skittles battle in the sand.
The edge of the broken marble was sharp as a razor. He looked across the playground and into the dusty window of the classroom, where Mr. G glared back at him in all of his inflatable madness. The marble threatened to slice into his palm as he clutched it, staring intensely at the horrible little person, or letter, whatever Mr. G was. Was it sneering at him with its big white rubber teeth?
“I could cut you,” he said quietly to Mr. G. “I wonder if you’ll bleed if I slice you up with this.”
Mr. G, and all the rest of the Alphabet People, A through F, sitting upon their shelf, were watching him now. They were always watching. Always listening. Mr. G spoke in his gravelly voice, “No, I won’t bleed, Josh. But she will.”
Josh looked over to see Lisa sitting on the monkey bars playing with a doll. “She thinks you’re ugly and dumb. I bet you’d like to see her bleed,” Mr. G said through his overly huge smile.
“Who, Lisa?” Josh asked. “No, she’s real nice. She’d never say that about anyone.”
Josh stood and brushed the sand from his pants. He’d show him. He marched over to where Lisa sat, careful not to disturb his road system in the sand, and pulled up a bar next to her. “Look what I found, Lisa,” he said, opening his hand so that the sun made the marble a mini sunburst upon his palm.
He held it out to her so she could inspect it on her own. She reached for it, feeling it’s warmth and smooth roundness, probing the jagged edge of the sheared off portion.
“It’s really pretty,” she said.
The recess bell startled them both. Josh jerked his hand back and the razor sharp edge of the marble raced its way across Lisa’s soft fingers, slicing into them savagely. Lisa cried out in surprise and pain, clutching at her bleeding fingers. She looked at Josh, hurt and horror painted on her face. The tears began and she ran off in search of Miss Bettes.
“See, she bleeds real nice, Josh, real nice. Just like I said she would.”
Josh bent down to retrieve his now bloodied marble from the sand where it had fallen, his own tears peeking from the corners of his eyes now. He locked eyes with Mr. G, fury burning through his veins. Mr. G and A through F were laughing. Laughing hysterically at him and what he had done. He hated them. He hated them all so much. And he swore to himself, someday he would cut them too. But, he’d cut them all the way through and they would laugh no more.