Monday, May 31, 2010

Freak by nature

When I take a look at myself, I see someone who isn't necessarily hideous, but a freak none the less. Yeah, I was that one kid who everyone stared at and, unlike some, I never wanted such attention. I didn't dress the way I did or like the music or movies or subjects that I did because I wanted to be different or a trendsetter or follow a certain crowd, I just was the way I was. Being such a way definitely has it's difficulties. For instance, when I went to school most of the girls there didn't want much to do with you if you were not socially 'acceptable' (even today I have trouble figuring out what that means). I can't tell you how many painful rejections I had. None of that stuff really bothers me today though. And that, I think, is one of my strong points. I refuse to feel ashamed about being the way I am.
It's not bad being a freak. You are what you are. But, a lot of us pay too much attention to how other people think or feel. To me, it's almost a blessing being a freak. Your point of view, though somewhat cynical at times, is completely your own.
And you learn one of the ultimate truths: That you learn more about people when they hate you than when they actually care about you. You learn how cruel they can be, how fake they can be, and so on. I hope one day I can be sort of a spokes-person for all of the unsung freaks because I'm pretty sure that there are quite a few of us. To all of you out there that weep the tears only a freak could weep, I salute you!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Writing to 'shock'

A marketing friend once told me that the majority of books are found out through word of mouth, meaning people read them and then talk about them with their friends who then talk about them with their friends and so on. Getting people to pay attention I guess is the tricky part. I have learned in my life that the majority of people have about a 15 second attention span and with that in mind, I am trying to discover new and intriguing methods to make them interested.
But it always amazes me when I really take notice and see what they are usually paying attention to, literature wise. For women, it is usually Romance novels and there are literally hundreds of them and they all have the same storyline. For men, it is political or courtroom thrillers which are about as interesting to me as going to the dentist. Both of these genre's are so overplayed that it boggles the mind!
And lets not forget the plethora of 'feelgood' self-help books that people read because they think just by reading them that their little lives are going to miraculously change overnight, you'd be surprised how many people actually believe that.
I, myself, am looking for an audience that still enjoys to be shocked. Isn't always easy in such a jaded world, but I do try. In that sense I can equate myself with the classic and controversial writer, The Marquis De Sade. The time at which he wrote was delicate to say the least, and the material he created was considered so vile that it almost cost him his life. But still his passion was there. Mine is as well.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Have fun with the 'grunt' work

Both the publishing and marketing processes require a lot of what is called 'grunt' work. Finding people to review your book (people who have a name worth paying attention to), Submitting your works to libraries, Bookstores, online stores, etc,
and generating an interest about you, the author. Because people can be extremely fickle in what they are interested in, these can all be considered a daunting task at times.
I guess it gets easier when you consider such work 'fun' (something I have to work on). You also have to realize that you may have to give out a certain amount of copies for free simply so people will know about you. I remember giving a friend a copy of my first book because I wanted feedback about how he felt about it and his mother burned it because she thought it was evil. Sad as I was about that, it made me remember that there is no such thing as bad publicity. I feel that it does not matter how people feel about you, whether they like you or not, just as long as they pay attention to what your trying to do. I'm pretty sure that when people start reading my books, more than a few of them are going to be quite upset. At the very least my works will be called 'sacrilegious' and frankly, I don't care. So long as people read them!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Future plans

In roughly six months from now(or a little longer) I plan to publish my third book, 'First in Hell'. Of course it's going to be written in the style similar to my first two books with 4-6 short stories, a moral prose at the beginning of each story, a fantastic cover, an about the author page, author photo, and so on.
With all that is going on right now for my first and second books, I still try to plan ahead and make sure that all my goals are being met. I'm planning a trip this Halloween to New Orleans to visit the grave of Marie Laveau, voodoo queen of the 1830's. I'm sure that I will leave no stone uncovered as far as all details are concerned.
That is another thing I plan to do more of. Travel to strange and haunting sites and write about them. Too bad that most of the 'really' haunted places are probably far from my home and probably my country as well. Doesn't really matter.
In my honest opinion, the most haunted places are places that are not really given a lot of media attention. I've been to several places that the media referred to as 'haunted' and it was nothing but a marketing ploy, something I am not in the least bit interested in. Hopefully, there are a few places that are genuinely 'Disturbed' if you will, so that way I can visit them and actually experience 'Something' worth experiencing.

Monday, May 24, 2010

To redefine a genre

As you know, I published my second book 'Blessings of Death' a couple of weeks ago. It includes within it six short stories. The names of these stories are as follows:
1). The Old Sinner
2). Vampyro
3). The Tale of the Torturer
4). The Knight of the Dragon
5). Of Death and Plagues
6). The Call of E'ferries
It's a tad longer than my first book and, possibly, a little more extreme but there's nothing wrong with that! Hopefully, that will come to be my signature trait as a writer. And in truth I have a lot of material still that I plan on publishing. It makes me feel good to know that I've already proven many naysayers wrong about me, and the more I press forward with my passion makes me feel even better.
To redefine a genre is my ultimate goal. A genre that has been poisoned by commercialism, lack of conviction, and, most of all, apathy. I don't feel that people honestly care about Horror anymore for the most part.I plan to change that!

Again prowling for material

Being a writer, and having finished my 24th short story a little more than a month ago, I am once again on the prowl for material that I consider acceptable. I never really know how I am going to start a story or what it's going to be about.I just get a glimpse of something that inspires me and then the story literally takes on a life of it's own. I guess you could say it's similar to possession.
I'm doing my usual research into intensely violent history, watching as many slasher films as humanly possible, listening to as many dark-yet-melodic metal bands as time will allow, even reading the obituaries (one of my favorite pastimes, by the way).
I'll also read a lot of books about sorcery and magic rituals. The pomp and pageantry alone capture my imagination, no matter what they are used for. I can't seem to find out enough about them. From the rites used in ceremonies from the middle ages, to the ones used in Voodoo.
I like to make sure that I write material that no one has ever heard of before, or tried. And in order to do just that, I feel like I have to strain myself to the point where I can feel it literally in my soul for me to get the exact amount of inspiration that I need. I guess it's worth it when I create a fantastic story, but I'm never quite the same afterward.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

A few of my favorite things

One of my favorite things to do is to visit cemeteries. I truly enjoy the serenity and I feel myself connected to the dead. Believe me, if I could communicate with them, I would. When I was in Europe many years ago, I was in pure bliss because their graveyards were so elaborate compared to those in America. At least I thought so.
I think I spent the majority of my trip wandering through countless rows of headstones and viewing crypts and tombs I can only describe as marvelous. Such acts might be considered morbid by some, but it is better to be morbid than monotonous I always say.
If I wasn't a writer I'd probably be a mortician. Just to be able to be close to the dead would be so uplifting. To share their 'peace' if you will. They fascinate me.
Forests too. The thicker the better. There really is no better way to spend an afternoon than walking through a thick, beautiful, and haunting forest. To wonder what history lies within it. In Prague, I walked through a forest known as the 'Black Forest'. It was supposedly haunted and it felt utterly wonderful.
The Carpathian forests are what I would like to visit next. Their history is quite interesting. And I'm sure there are several others in the world I would like to see.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A unique protagonist

Certain Horror writers create protagonists that are surprisingly unique, and in a way connected some how to the author. Bram Stoker had 'Dracula', Anne Rice had 'Lestat', H.P. Lovecraft always wrote about the 'Necromonicon'.
I have created a character that I often use in my own stories. The demon E'ferries.
He has appeared in five of my stories and I guess I use him to best represent Hades, or the underworld. Being a demon, he is , of course, evil in every which way possible with a hatred towards humanity that is completely unrivaled.
I really don't remember the reason that I created him. But I do know that in my stories, I always have the reader follow the story from the point of view of the villain. I feel too many stories focus on the viewpoint of the hero, and rarely in any stories (even horror stories) will the villain be anything more than a afterthought. So, in almost every one of my works, the villain is the main character.
As with E'ferries, I tried to apply the characteristics only a demon would have. Cruelty, deception, intense brutality, yet possessing a swagger truly worthy of a noble. There is even a story about him that revolves around nothing more than the demon boasting of his exploits.
Of all the characters I have created, he is the one I have used the most.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Homage to Horror

Some of my favorite movies, of course, have been Horror films. I love how they continue to inspire me even though years have passed. Why, last night I was watching Psycho 2 and could feel the wicked wheels in my head turning. Knowing all too well that a new short story is somewhere close by. As far as my favorite horror movies, the list would probably be a long one.
I always love the ones that include a healthy dose of terror along with the graphic violence and gore. And you can never forget the ones with a purely Occult theme, either. Warlock, Angel heart, Spellbinder, The Serpent and the Rainbow, Hell-raiser,
The Omen, The Exorcist (all of them), And The Brotherhood of Satan are a few that come to mind. I guess I enjoy the classics of the 70's and 80's much more than the ones that are available today.
Hopefully, one day I can get a few of my short stories into movies. I feel they bring that raw animal-like savagery that belongs solely in horror. The kind that used to shock people.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Marketing goals

In a very short amount of time, I have manifested my marketing goals. I have a marketer who created a fantastic trailer for my first book "Praise the Shadows":, a Myspace page:, a vendor account with Amazon selling both publications:, plus an author bio page equipped with information about yours truly, links to purchase my works, the trailer, and this blog: All thanks to the lovely Ms.Anthropy.
Hopefully, my works will now be seen by a large number of people, whether they read or not (you'd be surprised how many of them don't).
To me, of course, this is just the beginning. Soon my books will be available through Barnes and and I have many other goals to achieve and I expect to achieve them soon. Very soon

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

the writing process

The creative process is definitely nothing to be scoffed at, Especially when it's something you have spent the majority of your life doing. Such as I have.
Because I create horror stories, I make sure that all proper elements are present when I write. Black candles, skull props, metal music (usually with an occult or devilishly wicked theme), Black roses, etc are all used by me to create a certain feel, if you will. I also like to surround myself with mirrors to create the feeling that I'm in a sub-real dimension. Believe it or not, it helps.
I also keep myself consistently mentally stimulated by reading or viewing material that is related to whatever horror theme I have chosen to write about.
For instance, when I was writing a story about the black plague of the dark ages, I watched many documentaries that not only discussed the plague itself, but would portray how cadavers would look once they were smitten by the plague. I feel that research should be used not just as a means of information, but also to keep yourself interested in the subject at hand.

Nothing beats persistence

I can't count how many times some unexpected obstacle has come up and delayed any goal I have had. I say delayed because I will eventually accomplish the goal in hand, but it will sometimes take years. My first book went exactly this way.
It took so much from me to continue the task even though I felt like quitting the entire time. My first publisher, the one I have mentioned before, was nothing less than ridiculous. It took her three years(and she still didn't finish mind you) to do a job any real professional would have finished in two weeks. Part of the reason I gave her so much slack was because it was my first publishing experience and I thought if I were to press her for results that she would just take my money, avoid me, and not do what she was supposed to. Lo and behold, she did exactly that.
Even after I was done dealing with her there were still many hurdles. And everywhere I turned there were more and more obstacles. Getting the book reviewed was a constant problem. People would offer, and I would send them a copy, but then I would never hear from them. And I don't even want to mention marketing.
But, if anything, there was a lesson to be learned. I don't care who you are, if you want to truly get anything done, you will hold steadfast no matter the circumstances that present themselves. What can I say? Nothing beats persistence

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Even the greats are ignored, sometimes

I once read that it took Stephen King several rejections before he actually became noticed. I also read that the age-old horror writers like Poe, Lovecraft, and Stoker died penniless and were long dead before they were given the recognition that they deserved. Such tales usually make me depressed when hearing them. It makes me realize just how fickle it all is sometimes.
But then I realize why it is that such talented writers never achieved stardom in their lifetimes. It's not like they didn't deserve it. I personally feel that only those with an appreciation of the finer things, literature included, pay attention to the true greats. And unfortunately, the vast majority do not. Most people only pay any notice to anything when everyone else is noticing it also. So, if you are in any way original in anything, you may have to get used to being ignored. And being ignored is most definitely loathsome indeed!
But perhaps that is the price you pay for your service to passion. I make sure that every one of the stories that I write is not regurgitated in any way. Sure, the theme of horror has been being used since at least a hundred years ago however, the majority of the plots you see today are just a bunch of blended genre's and are usually someones idea of what is going to 'sell'. How absurd!

Portraying the Human condition

I must say that one of the greatest influences on my writing has been historical people, occurrences, and mythologies. When you look at history through an unfettered eye, you will probably see what I see which are individuals that are so much more interesting than any fiction can produce. And there are so many of them. Just the other day I was reading about the exploits of the Roman Emperor Nero. Now, I know he wasn't the nicest person who ever existed but he was extremely interesting. I mean, who else could be dancing and playing a lyre while the very city he lived in, and ruled, was burning to the ground? I don't know why but it's usually the 'Bad Apples' of history that I pay attention to most often.
The Dark ages are also very thought provoking. The whole period was essentially based on ignorance and fear and the more I study that period I can almost see the parallels we have today. And I guess that is what I'm trying to do sometimes. To try and portray the human condition the way that I see how it is. Not necessarily how others want to show it. Essentially the human condition can be, truthfully, rather ugly. At least that's the way that I see it. When you break through all superficial barriers and get to the absolute core of it, you see a species that would rival any Hollywood monster or villain with ease.
So, in essence, my stories, showcasing the very worst in mankind's nature, are just a mirror of what I see in the world. They are usually callous, brutal, and malevolent. But before anyone reads them, I always include a moral at the beginning. That way they can at least try to make sense of the story more so than I can make sense of the grotesque realities of the world.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Looking ahead

I can honestly say that I am one of those privileged few who has the curse of ambition. It really doesn't not matter what is happening at the moment or what I have accomplished, I always seem to think beyond the present moment of what doors I could be opening, what things I could be experiencing, etc.
Whenever I finish a story for instance, the time I spend feeling good about it is very limited. I then usually think about what story I'm going to write next. I have given myself several goals as far as writing is concerned. I want to complete at least 100 pieces of literature before my life is done. So far I have completed 24 short stories and about 30 poems so obviously my work is still cut out for me.
Believe it or not, I also have other plans for myself besides writing, but that is probably in the distant future. I want to make sure all of my writing goals are met before then. Traveling, lecturing about horror literature and the Occult, and a few other oddities are what has caught my fancy for the moment. Who Knows? maybe in a couple of years my interests may include a few more things.
The main goal I have given myself is to be the most sought after Horror writer the world has ever seen and with two books published so far, I guess I am well on my way! Hopefully by this time next year I will have two more finished as well.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

from pain to passion

Everyone experiences pain at some time of their life. From what I have seen of it in my life all I can say is it is usually less than pleasant. Tell you the truth, I had such a hard time in my teens that I'm really surprised that I made it this far. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one that feels this way.
My point of view on pain and sufferring in general might be considered unconventional, but I believe you have to use them to make sure that they weren't in total vain. I mean, every single negative emotion can be used in several ways but I believe that you have to use them in ways that are beneficial to you, namely the creative process. I have seen several people misuse their emotions and lash out at the world and do more harm to themselves than anything else. In that sense, it was all for nothing.
I try to take every terrible thing that has happened to me and have it fuel my passion for writing, living, everything. I guess that may be an underlying reason for me getting involved in writing in the first place, and writing horror no doubt. Every story I have written has in it a undertone that involves some sort of negative emotion and when I'm writing I try to focus on those particular emotions be it anger, hatred, bitterness, ect. That way I can at least make something positive out of it and if I can do that, then in a sense, I prevail!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Staying productive

So far this year I have gotten myself a marketer, published my second book, and written my 24th short story. Entitled 'The Alchemist', It's inspired by a true event that happened centuries ago. A grizzly event that involved a wicked french nobleman who slaughtered several children in the name of greed.
I try to make it a habit of writing continuously. Isn't always easy.Last year I averaged out about a story every three months, which, believe it or not, is pretty good compared to some years I've had. Why it was in 2006 that I didn't finish even one story. I had started one of course, but I didn't finish it. You know that saying 'Life is what happens when your busy making other plans', I guess that rings true for me sometimes.
I consider it almost healthy for me to write, because when I'm not writing I don't really feel productive at all. And it does not matter how much I am doing in the meantime. And the feeling of not beling productive leads to depression each and every time. I consider time a precious resource and thats probably why I loathe writers block as much as I do.
I have very little recollection of writing most of my stories. It's like they assume a life of their own. Sometimes, it's like it's beyond perfect how the material, the words, the inspiration I need to come up with, It's like it all just fits together. And it's because of that fact that I truly distrust (and for the most part dislike) any sort of editor or critic. I mean, when you think about, all they really are is someone who has never created anything who thinks they have the right to ridicule or worse, dissect someone else's work. I mean, how would the story Dracula look today if Bram Stoker took it to a modern day editor or critic? I'm pretty sure you would get a completely different story. Most likely an inferior one that was just designed to please 'everyone'.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Preference for short stories

I have written 24 stories. They are all short stories in the Gothic style made famous by people like Edgar Allen Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, Sylvia Plath, and others. I have found that short stories can capture people's attention longer, believe it or not, than novels. With novels, especially real long ones, the author can lose the interest of the reader by dragging the subject matter out for far too long.
One of the major goals I set for myself as a writer is to keep the reader's attention glued on my books. In order to do that, I believe that my stories should be kept short and sweet. And I also believe that every single word that is used is extremely important. I'm pretty sure that I am not the only writer that feels this way as you will notice a common trait of writers is a constantly expanding and refined vocabulary.
The first short story I wrote is entitled 'The Vengeance of Edmond', It takes place in a 1600-style setting with a town that is gripped by religious persecution and fear. The main character sells his soul to Evil because his best friend is killed by people who are protected by their position in society. In return for his soul, he is able to enact his revenge.
I guess you could say that I enjoy including themes within my stories that people can relate to. Maybe that is the only trait of humanity included in my stories, any of them!
I don't really remember writing my first one, but I do remember that I was inspired to make a story and dedicate it to all those who were wrongfully killed in the name of superstition. I kind of felt like I owed it to them. I have written another story named 'To the Gallows', with a similar theme.

Friday, May 7, 2010

A new book!

Just this week I published my second book 'Blessings of Death'. I'm very excited to say the least. Everything in the production-the stories chosen to be included in it, the cover, the 'about the author' page, everything- is fantastic. It was only a little while ago that I thought I would never get my first book published let alone a second one.
I can't reiterate it enough the satisfaction you feel when you are staring at the final copies. If only only the rest of the world shared my dark visions and blackened dreams. Who knows, maybe they just might one day.
I have my own strange rituals, if you will, that I include in the publication process.For instance, During the creation of 'Praise the Shadows', Me and the lovely Ms.Anthropy(My publisher) went to an old cemetery and took pictures that were to be included in the book. We've also gone to forests, an old house that was reportedly haunted, and some old ruins. Its always helpful to keep the whole process interesting, and therefore more fun.
When I write, sometimes I'll don a black cape and some corpse paint just to get that much closer to the horror theme. You can imagine how much fun I have when Halloween comes around!
Now that I've finished another book, I'm probably going to plan out my third one. I don't know who said it, but it's true: "A writer writes. Always."

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

What do THEY want?

In the whirlwind that is the literary community, and all those of us trying to get published and accomplish something worth accomplishing, chances are going to be that you are not going to have an easy time getting noticed.
What can I say, I've been writing for over ten years and I still am having one hell of a time myself. When I first started, I sent querie letters to many companies hoping for some sort of a response. I think I must have sent out 60 or more and the sad truth is I didn't get one response.
Not a one! At first I put the blame on myself. Maybe I wasn't being professional enough, Maybe I didn't possess the right vocabulary to dazzle their very being, Maybe they just didn't like me. It wasn't until much later that I realized that, for the most part, most of these companies really have no idea what they want. I mean, they expect a best-seller literally overnight and they want material that is basically regurgitated. So, that almost single handedly counts out anyone who actually has something authentic and original.
I consider such a practice to be quite unrealistic. And I'm pretty sure this counts for the ridiculous amounts of horror books and films that are based on the same subjects and carry the same themes.(i.e. Vampires, zombies, ect). Don't get me wrong, I'm actually a huge vampire fan but when I see the themes of classics like Dracula mixed with something out of Beverly hills 90210, it boils my blood!
Either way, I guess the lesson learned here is you really cannot take anything the so-called experts say seriously. My opinion is they are not concerned with content, only the supposed potential to market. Personally, when I see such a violation of true horror imagery, I turn the tv off.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Controversial interests

Being a horror writer, you could say I am very interested in many controversial subjects. Anything that turns heads, or stomachs, usually captures my attention. Subjects such as murder, satanism, war, and any sort of human vice are the easiest to write about because, quite frankly, they are the most entertaining. I don't necessarily condone such practices, but, without them it would make for supremely dull subject matter.
I definitely have a deep interest in the Occult. As I have lived a life far from ordinary, things of a mystical nature appeal to me. Call it absurd if you will, but I believe that there is a great deal of wisdom to be learned through less than conventional means. It's also very helpful with the creative process if your belief system is anything beyond rigid. But, as the subject of the Occult is concerned, I consider myself nothing more than a student.
I'm actually quite weary of those who claim to be anything more when dealing with Occult subjects because, I feel, there is really no way to prove otherwise. You'd be surprised how many egocentric quacks there are out there!
I once read about a famous magician who said that "Magic is the ability to manifest one's will". That quote has stayed with me for years. And in that sense, I guess I have been trying to do just that.

Strange sources of inspiration

So far in my life (and I'm 32 by the way) I have completed 2 books, 24 short stories in total, and about 25 poems. In my downtime I always find myself probing every imaginable facet searching for both inspiration and motivation. And they come to me in the strangest ways. One time, while I was working at an art museum, I was down in the museums' library and I discovered a book on magic, sorcery and alchemy. Being that the museum was a folk art museum, you could say that such a book was a definite oddity. But, it did turn out to be such an intersting read. In fact, there has been a few stories I wrote which were inspired from the material I read from it.
My travels have also been a strange source of inspiriation. Twice I have been to Europe, Scotland and Czech Republic respectively, and both of those countries had somewhat of a haunted history. Seeing the chilling yet beautiful architecture and visiting sites that were declared 'disturbed' by a supernatural force, I could not help but absorb the feelings of terror that were emulated there. Grayfriars, for example, was especially frightful (I loved it!)
One of my inner most desires is to spend the rest of my days traveling to hauntingly strange and beautiful places. Places that have historical significance.
Egypt, Romania, the Carpathian Mountains, Bathory's castle in Slovakia (Csejthe), the list never stops. I also have an interest in visiting places that are officially haunted. but, I definitely am not interested in seeing any places I consider 'touristy'.
Music is another strange but strong source that inspires me. Metal music in particular I like because of it's sinister themes and rhthyms. When I'm writing, I consider it almost a ritual to play metal music and I cant imagine how my material would be without it!