Monday, November 21, 2011

My Blog Has Moved!

My blog has moved to Hope to see you there!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Horror Writing Projects for November and December

I've just finished paying the freelance editor for the editing job he did for the novel I'm going to self-publish, as well as submitting short stories to Undead Tales 2, Writer's Digest's Horror Contest and Short-Short Contest, and Your Story 38. I'm proofreading the next novel I'm going to put out, and decided to skip NaNo this year because I've already written ten novels, six of them non-newbie books worth putting out to the public. Next month, I'm going to pay to have the story formatted and put it out on Amazon, Smashwords, and all the outlets. I'll also copyright the next novel that'll be appearing in my critique group starting in December, so my money's been tied up for quite a while. I just recently paid for the cover of the self-pubbed book. There's also the usual work of revising more short stories for more anthologies and such. Hope you're having a productive early winter as well.

Friday, November 12, 2010

A Million Grammar Books

Almost everyone's saying I need this grammar and syntax book and that grammar and syntax book. Hell, my librarian (great people that they are, by the way) gives me free ones. That's fine, she's only given me a couple. To be honest, I haven't even cracked them yet. Well, that's not quite right, I've cracked them, but I haven't read them front to back. I also study Warriner's Grammar and Composition, The Elements of Style, the grammar and syntax section at the back of my dictionary, the Associated Press Stylebook, and what I saved from the grammar workshops from the Muse Online Writer's Conference this year.

My question is, when does it end? Other writers are constantly saying I need to buy a certain grammar book. Hell, Warriner's gives a list of like, oh, I don't know, twenty?

If I buy every grammar boom on the planet and read them, I'll never read regular books and learn from the greats. I'll never give other new authors a chance, reading and reviewing their books for the mag I work for. Hell, I won't even have time to piss and shit!

I say get a couple, maybe a few, maybe five or six, but enough with the endless grammar books already!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Dead Dreams

Once again, I found myself this week in the dreaded dentist's chair, the Hell-on-earth that keeps inching closer, closer, with each passing day. What did I do to deserve this Hades? Well, nothing, I'm just taking good care of my teeth and getting them cleaned. But still, this sucks! They want to clean them every three months now! And over twenty X-rays? Screw that!

Then I got to thinking about the girl who cleaned my teeth. I'm sure when she was growing up, she didn't want to be scraping molars for a living. No, she wanted to be an actress, or a singer, or a ballerina. I know when I grew up, I wanted to be a professional baseball player . . . until I found out I couldn't hit the broad side of a barn. I wound up a basketball star in grade school. We won a couple of championships, I won best defensive player, I toasted the camera with a burger instead of a drink and we had some laughs. That all ended in jr. high though, when I didn't make the team. When I turned twelve, I became a metalhead and wanted to be a heavy metal star, so, when I grew up, I worked dead-end jobs for twenty-one years while trying to put together a band. Most of them weren't serious. I finally found a group of guys who had their shit together, but I played too fucking fast for heavy metal, and I was too wicked for a Cornerstone band. I ended up finding out I was meant to play death metal when I was pushing thirty, and no one wanted to put together a band with someone that old. All those bands I listen to put out their first album when they were eighteen.

So, I figured, instead of complaining about being all bloody-mouthed, the least I could do was be nice and give her a smile, even though I don't like to grin. I may be crazy, but I thought it was the right thing to do.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

On Shredding

I'm going to revert to music again for this blog. Something happened during my last practice this week that I must share. For all of you who need a regular blog fix about writing, my new Web site is up, and it's ten times better than the last. Go here:

I'm always a bit rusty when I get back to the guitar. After taking Friday, Saturday, and Sunday off to do payback critiques, read agent blogs and clean the apartment (yes, the work never stops around here), I have to fight through practice Monday, and, sometimes Tuesday. By Wednesday I'm usually sounding pretty righteous. By Thursday I'm shredding, just all over the thing.

But it was never like this.

I always warm up with simple heavy metal tunes, either something I wrote or a cover, usually "Bad Boy Boogie" by AC/DC. I get sick of warming up, but, if one doesn't, one can get arthritis. Somehow, Thursday night, the regular warm-up wouldn't do. I guess you could say I had a musical epiphany.

We musicians have all had them, those nights where we just killed. But this. . . .

The only way I can describe it is that my talent possessed me. It dove right in, and I was on autopilot, glad to give it the wheel. I played one-handed lead guitar--no big surprise, I do that a lot--but this was . . . symphonic. By the time I got to my death metal set, it seemed too easy. I had to jazz it up. I'd been looking for the proper segue for my newest song, and boy did I get it. My head was moving back and forth like Jimi Hendrix on acid. I haven't heard anything like this since Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force. I know this sounds cliche, but it was spiritual.

I wonder if it's because I haven't been listening to bands that much lately. I mean, I do, needing to get my fix, but not as much as usual. I don't want to rip other bands off, even subconsciously, when writing songs.

I hope this happens more often.

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Super Monster Friends

"Sir," the serial killer made up as a clown said as he strained his eyes looking into the monitor.

Dracula, the handsome vampire, turned his airbrushed, Maybelline-covered face his way. "Yes, Jack?"

"We have an unidentifyable monster heading toward the castle."

Dracula snapped his head Zombie's way. "What are the coordinates?"

"He's fifteen kilometers from the castle, master," Zombie gurgled.


Ghost flew in. "He said fifteen kilometers, sir," he whispered.

Dracula frowned. "What say?"


"Oh. okay. What are his dimensions?"

Jack fixed his squinty eyes back on the live feed on the screen. "He seems to be . . . an . . . original monster, sir."

Dracula shook his head. "Bleh. Well. Ahem."

Zombie asked, "Should we destroy him?"

"Of course. He's one of those first-timers, probably thought up by that pesky A. R. Braunschweiger character."

"Drat! I'm so sick of that guy! Why doesn't he sell out like the rest of the authors who've been rehasing us?"

The Super Monster Friends screamed as missles hit the castle, setting them on fire and burning them into oblivion.

"Reload more missles," A. R. Braun spoke in his microphone to his original monster's headset. "There are always more rehashed monsters popping up everyday."

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A. R.'s Interview with Shells Walter

I met Shells Walter when I reviewed her novel, Dead Practices, for Niteblade magazine and then added her on Facebook. She started writing at eleven, poetry at first. Shy by nature, Shells put together her poetry as a diary, mostly dark poems. She frightened her school, who thought she was a threat, a mark of every great horror author! She forged on with her writing after reading her first story by Edgar Allen Poe at the same age.

Fascinated with horror, it became an addiction. Later, she got into writing science fiction and other genres.

Now she writes stories, flashes, micros, screenplays, plays, novels and novellas. She also freelances for a living.

Her interest in learning more about Jack the Ripper has found her in many a site and adventure.

Shells has a few novellas coming soon, and she doesn't plan on ever slowing down.

A.R.: Hi Shells. Thanks for being my guest. I know you’ve just released Dead Practices, a humorous zombie novel. I love humor in horror, by the way. Can you tell those that haven’t perused it a little about the book?

S. W.: Thank you for having me. I could not agree more. I love the scary things in horror, things that challenge me, but I do love the humor in horror as well. A sarcastic character will grab my attention every time.

Dead Practices is about a lawyer, not just any lawyer but a zombie lawyer or more a 'Zombie Citizen.' His name is Jerrod. Jerrod falls apart at times, rides a Harley and does lawyerly things, like taking on clients and defending them; however, one of his clients breaks free from jail with a horde of zombies that he converts back to the attack and eat types. What happens next is an adventure that involves the President, Jerrod and his cop friend Rusty who also is a Zombie Citizen and a lot of super-glue which, that part, I won't give away (laughs).

It is available on as an e-book and print, on Amazon as Kindle and print and also several online retailers.

A. R.: Is this your first novel, and are there plans for more books? Where are you going as far as content?

S. W.: This is my first zombie book. I wrote this as a standalone book, however, I do love the Jerrod character and did leave it open for more books pertaining to him. Content wise there normally is some sarcasm in any book I do. It just seems to float into it. I do write some gory things, bizarre things at times too, and those may or may not include humor. As for things not pertaining to Jerrod, I have some ideas in the works. One I am currently working on is based on a short story of mine called Tooth Decay involving vampires and zombies competing for humans. It is a novella collaboration involving three novellas, one human side, one vampire and one zombie side with Matt Nord and Jessica Weiss coming from Wicked East Press sometime in the future.

A. R.: What books/short stories/authors influenced you, and why?

S. W.: There are several horror authors that have influenced me, at times really too many to list. As for books, many, but I think Catcher in the Rye was one of the most influential. It depicts a person dealing with society in a way that is all their own. Edgar Allan Poe and Lovecraft have influenced me in ways that help me get past my shyness when I was young and troubles that had been ahead. They have also given me the desire to go beyond the scope or wall that has horror writers saying this can't work or it should not be in horror and write, jumping through that wall or stereotypes.

A. R.: What are your favorite horror movies, and what do you think about the state of the macabre flick today?

S. W.: My favorite series are the Hellraiser films, the Evil Dead trilogy, Hostel I & II, zombie flicks and the Saw films. I also love the classic films as well and with those there are way too many to count. What I want to see with any horror movies today is something new. I'm growing tired of the remakes of certain films. I would love to see more new screenplays instead of adapting from books all the time. I think with horror there are so much people can do with it and they are focused on redoing something that worked a long time ago and might not today.

A.R.: Great answer! I love Evil Dead 1 & 2 and both Hostel films. What are your thoughts on Print on Demand and e-books taking over?

S. W.: I don't mind e-books, though I'm a print type of gal. As for Print on Demand, I see nothing wrong with it, especially in regards to small publishers, independent publishers who don't have the money for costs in printing and possibly distribution. It allows authors to get their work out there in ways that weren't accessible a long time ago.

E-books are the future in so many cases. With little devices coming and going, it allows people to read on the go wherever they are. I am hoping they don't take over totally. I still love having a book in my hand where I can turn the page myself and feel it in my fingertips.

A.R.: How many hours a day do you write? What education did you acquire for this work?

S. W.: I don't believe in setting a certain amount of time a day to write. For me it is when the moment strikes. If I try to force it out at times it will be the worst writing I have ever done. I know this works for some people to have a schedule, with me it really depends. For freelance work of course I will focus on a schedule and if I have a deadline creatively, I will as well, but for me it has to do with a feeling, an urge to write.

Education wise I have taken creative writing classes and I have a B.A. in a different area of study that has helped my writing immensely. I just lived in society and for most that is tons of education not acquired in schooling.

A. R.: Did you go the agent route, sign with a publisher or self-publish?

S. W.: When Dead Practices came out I was with a publisher. I don't currently have an agent but am looking for one and we will see how that goes.

A. R.: Are you a crafter (must get paid for your stories) or are you an artist (does it for the love of the genre)?

S. W.: I believe I am both. I think it depends on the content, theme, or publishing venture I am looking at. I love the genre no matter what and do have some of my work in the 'for the love markets.' For me I look at several factors and where my writing may fit the best at.

A. R.: Will you ever podcast your stories or write a graphic novel?

S. W: That is something I am thinking about in the future to podcast my stories. The market seems to be pretty new yet and it is an avenue where people can download stuff at their leisure and I really love the old type radio atmosphere that can come with podcasts. As for a graphic novel, someday I hope to get one of my stories there. I do love to write comic scripts, I am an artist, but feel there are better artists out there and if someone wanted to work with me on the graphic novel adaptation of one of my stories I would love it.

A. R.: What do you envision for the future of horror?

S. W.: Zombies. Zombies are making a huge impact on the world of horror these days and mainstream is picking up on it. The only hope is that they don't wear it down and suddenly zombies are not as grand for horror as they used to be. I also see a trend forming with bringing back classic monsters. I'm just afraid that being Hollywood and mainstream publishing as it, it will forget what horror was meant to be, being scared, having fun at it and wanting to have that happen again.

A. R.: What is your Web site address and blog addie so we can check out your work?

S. W.: People can find more about me on my website which includes a blog at I am also on Facebook.