Posts Tagged ‘zombies’

Courting Horror with Florida Gothic

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017

Stephen King loves Florida Gothic!



OH, THE HORROR!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Horror isn’t exactly new to me. No, I’m not talking about my personal life; I’m talking about my writing life! I’ve crossed over into horror on several projects, though technically speaking, it’s probably safe to say that my new book release Florida Gothic is my first full-on, guts-on-the-table, cringing-in-the-corner horror novel. As the debut release in The “Gothic” Series, I’ve combined plenty of grit and gore for this one. I think the book demonstrates that I’m no shrinking violet when it comes to swimming in the alligator-infested swamps of the horror genre.

Ernesto’s mad as hell – and he’s not gonna take it anymore!

Hang on, did someone say alligator? There just so happens to be one in the book! And it’s because of him (or her?) that events move in a particular direction, shaping the fate of our unlucky protagonist, Ernesto Martinez. We get to see the “hero” of Florida Gothic shambling through life (or make that DEATH) as he seeks payback for all the wrongs that have been committed against him. Like this book’s author, Ernesto’s no shrinking violet either.

Though I’d like to think I’m better looking.

Set against the “glamorous” backdrop of South Florida (think heat, sun, sweat, beaches, drugs, voodoo, Cuban food, and Ernesto’s ever-present cucarachas), Florida Gothic offers what you won’t typically find in those tourist guidebooks.

So am I using my blog to promote my new book? You bet! If you enjoy horror, I’m convinced you’ll enjoy Florida Gothic. Even if you aren’t a horror aficionado, you’ll have a gruesomely good time reading it. So what are you waiting for?

To find out more about Florida Gothic (and access those handy little “buy” links designed to make your life so much easier), please visit:

Oh, and here’s the official book trailer!

The Writer’s Life (A Case for the Humble Bin Man)

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

There’s a lot to be said for being a bin man. Now I’m not trying to use sexist terminology here, but I’ve yet to see a lady bin man. Anyway, “bin man” has a better ring to it. So, for aesthetic purposes, let’s continue with the masculine title.

I’m often approached by people who tell me that they want to become a writer and ask me for advice on what to do. (I generally tell them to go buy a gun and shoot themselves.) They get this child-like glazed-over look in their eyes, no doubt envisioning all those wining and dining New York City lunches with high profile agents and book editors at Tavern on the Green. Oh yeah, Tavern on the Green went bust, didn’t they? Ah well, considering the fickle and transient nature of the publishing business, you’ll be lucky if your agent or editor springs for a Big Mac and fries!

Which leads me to the point of this blog missive: if you had to choose between a career as a writer and a career as a bin man, which would it be?

I can hear your answer already, you poor deluded naive soul. Though who am I to burst your bubble? But may I, for a moment, plead the case for the humble and unappreciated bin man?

There are many advantages to being a bin man. First of all, there’s the obvious: a steady paycheque. Depending on which country you live in, there are some good benefits too, such as health insurance for you and your family and a nice pension plan. Of course, if you’re living in America, the government will probably take these things away from you in order to bail out fat-cat bankers. But I digress…

Another advantage to being a bin man is that no one’s likely to rip off your ideas because they lack the talent, creativity and ability to come up with their own. (Forget that “intellectual property” bullshit; it won’t hold up in court.) Having said that, if you in your capacity as bin man suddenly develop some innovative new method to carry or empty bins, it could happen – and all the other bin men will be jumping on the bandwagon (or rubbish truck) doing the exact same thing. But let’s leave that for now, since bin men don’t need to live off their royalties!

Oh, yeah. And that’s another good reason to choose the litter-strewn path of a bin man – no royalty payments. Bin men are paid a set amount per week or month, and there’s no fluctuation in that number unless a pay rise (or cut) has been implemented. As for writers, when (or IF) your royalty payments turn up, they might look a tad peculiar, as in never actually accruing any earnings above the advance which was paid out (usually barely enough to pay the gas bill). I’ve had discussions with other writers on this very subject and they all say the same thing: they rarely see a penny in earnings after they’ve deposited their very tiny advance cheque (and some writers don’t even get an advance!). Yet go on Amazon or phone your local Barnes & Noble, and they’re always out of stock and having to reorder your books. It kinda makes you wonder if some of these publishers have Mr Bean doing their accounting.

Obviously, the issue of royalties means that you’ve actually been published – and to be published, your work needs to be seen by the right people (and by right people, I mean a real editor or agent, not some ditsy college intern who thinks she’s Carrie Bradshaw). Bin men don’t need to worry about their work being seen by the right people. They empty the rubbish and that’s it, they’re done. Writers waste time and energy and money submitting their material to agents and publishers, only to have it not even properly considered (let alone read) or completely ignored. (And yes, Dorothy, that includes solicited submissions.) Bin men also don’t have to swallow down that great big gorge of vomit every time they see some hack who can’t write his or her way out of a paper bag being rewarded with book deal after book deal as effortlessly as a rat drops turds.

Am I suggesting that the majority of writers are treated like shit by those who seek to profit from our labours? I’ll let you decide. But let’s face it, there are far too many of us around, and our sheer numbers alone do little to inspire respect from those who have control over our livelihoods. We’re like the cast of a spaghetti western – you can shoot down as many of us as you want, yet still more keep popping up. Come to think of it, maybe we’re like those zombies from Night of the Living Dead.

To aspiring writers, I recommend the Martin Amis novel The Information. Flawed or not, it deals with the grim realities of the publishing business and “life” as an author. More importantly, however, it deals with the celebration of mediocrity which, I’m sorry to say, permeates every aspect of our culture, not just the literary spectrum. Also read my blog posts Aren’t We Just Precious: Writers Who Live in Ivory Towers about author ego and book promotion, and Fairy Tales Can Come True (Well, Maybe if They’re in a Book), which touches on the odds of even getting published at all.

So why do we writers do it? Because we’re sick and twisted, that’s why. And maybe because we don’t want to (or can’t) live like the rest of society. Perhaps it’s our inability to conform that keeps us banging our heads against brick wall after brick wall. Indeed, we’re true renegades.

…Or true masochists.