Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Blood Type: An Anthology of Vampire SF on the Cutting Edge Book Trailer



Pick up your Kindle copy of BLOOD TYPE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF VAMPIRE SF ON THE CUTTING EDGE from Amazon, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada, or in the ebook format of your choice directly from Nightscape Press! All proceeds from this anthology go to The Cystic Fibrosis Trust. You can learn more about The CFT and the wonderful things they do at: https://www.cysticfibrosis.org.uk/ This lovely video was made by the super talented John Palisano, who also has a fantastic story in the book as well!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Anthologies and ORIGIN OF BLOOD, a new Empire of Blood collection!

Holy shit, this blog is covered in dust... I walk away for one little—okay, more like several months, and you'd think I was dead. But I'm not. I'm still here... I've just been so busy with everything else that posting on my blog seemed like something that could wait. But alas the need to update those few of you who arguably enjoy (or at least tolerate) reading my occasional blog-like blabbering has brought me here yet again. So... What all's going on? Ha! What isn't, I ask you? What isn't!

Anthologies! Anthologies are going on... Three of them to be exact--no, wait, FOUR! Technically even FIVE! Three of which I've managed to slither a story of mine into, and two of which I've taken part in editing. One I've edited all by myself and the other I edited alongside my lovely wife Jennifer Wilson and the infamous Mark C. Scioneaux... So, without further ado, here they are:

Fear the Reaper edited by Joe Mynhardt includes an introduction by Gary McMahon, stories by Rick Hautala, Gary Fry, Joe McKinney, Gary A. Braunbeck, Jeff Strand, Sam Stone, Jeremy C Shipp, Taylor Grant, Stephen Bacon, Rena Mason, Richard Thomas, and many more. It also includes my story, The Death Catcher. Here's a little bit about The Death Catcher:

One day I was sitting around thinking about that old saying about walking out in the rain, “You’ll catch your death.” And I’m a big fan of taking phrases literally or twisting their meaning in some other way, so I visualized someone actually “catching” a death.

What I saw in my mind’s eye was a big ball of light—a spirit—falling down into a deep canyon ending in a black abyss. And I thought, what if there were people out there who were gifted with the ability to dive down there and catch your spirit and therefore “catch your death” and bring you back to life? And as soon as I wrote that first line, “I caught my first death when I was only sixteen,” the rest of the story just came to me. And of course I had no choice but to eventually take one of my characters beyond that deep black abyss itself.
What is fiction if we can’t have a little fun—if we can’t explore a little with it from time to time?

I'm particularly proud of this story. If I had to describe or label it, I would say it's in the vein of cosmic horror. If you get a chance to read it, please do let me know what you thought.

The Best of the Horror Society 2013 edited by Carson Buckingham includes stories by William F. Nolan, Joe McKinney, Mort Castle, L.L. Soares, Jason V Brock, Mercedes M. Yardley, Charles Colyott, Christian A Larsen, Richard Thomas, and many more. It also includes my story The Boy in the Elevator.

The Boy in the Elevator started as a waking dream I had. In it, there was a far-too-quickly descending elevator and inside something very dark and horrible was happening. When I woke up, I immediately started writing this story. It's a story about the secrets people keep, the sins they commit, and a horrific case of supernatural justice. I do hope you'll check it out some time.






Bleed edited by Lori Michelle is a charity anthology contributing all profits to The National Children's Cancer Society and includes stories by Bentley Little, Rick Hautala, William F. Nolan, Joe McKinney, Mort Castle, Benjamin Kane Ethridge, Tim Waggoner, Gene O'Neill, Peter N. Dudar, Jason V Brock, Peter Giglio and SS Michaels, Tracie McBride, Dane Hatchell, Christian A. Larsen, Richard Thomas, Adam Millard, John Palisano, Jay Wilburn, and many more! It also includes my story Dreams of Shadows. Dreams of Shadows is almost a YA-like story about a boy haunted by strange shadows in his dreams. When these shadows touch him, he's stricken with tumors in the real world... and when one of these terrible creatures fully enters the young boy's body, the true horror comes into play.




From the depths of the soul to the depths of hell. From the shadows of your most frightening dreams to the shadows lurking in the corner unseen and waiting. Darkness is painted across the palette of every nightscape.

And it’s waiting for you…

In this new anthology from Nightscape Press, we bring you 24 tales of bitter loss, jaded love, obsession, murder, cannibalism, hauntings, voodoo, black market horrors, demons, leprechauns, zombies, deadly mysteries, and much more! Edited by myself, Jennifer Wilson, and Mark C. Scioneaux, Nightscapes: Volume 1 includes stories from Ray Garton, Lisa Mannetti, Benjamin Kane Ethridge, Lisa Morton, Shane McKenzie, Trent Zelazny, Peter N. Dudar, Jonathan Templar, Peter Giglio, Brad C. Hodson, John Forth, Taylor Grant, Richard Salter, Charles Colyott, Chris Marrs, and many more.



And finally, just released on Devil's Night, October 30th is the Kindle edition of Blood Type: An Anthology of Vampire SF on the Cutting Edge edited by myself. Blood Type will contribute all net proceeds to The Cystic Fibrosis Trust and will include stories by Peter Watts, Mike Resnick, Laird Barron, Stephen Graham Jones, William F. Nolan, Tim Waggoner, Benjamin Kane Ethridge, Michael R. Collings, Jason V Brock, John Palisano, Jonathan Templar, Taylor Grant, and many more including some rather interesting newcomers like Jason Duke and Essel Pratt. The paperback edition will be out soon.

Blood Type: An Anthology of Vampire SF on the Cutting Edge is predominately a collection of stories that represent the most cutting edge science fiction-based vampire fiction. Think SF-based vampire fiction like I Am Legend and Necroscope and how they affected the vampire genre when they were first released. Dark Vampire SF that goes where the genre hasn't before.

It is not just an anthology of hard science fiction, however. This book also contains examples of science fantasy as well as some classic vampire stories including an updated reprint from William F. Nolan.

I'm very excited for this book to finally come out! Weighing in at just over 130,000 words, I believe it includes some of the best fiction I've had the good fortune of editing and I'm so excited to finally share its dark and truly unique contents with you all.

So, there's the anthologies that are out. What else could I possibly have going on, you ask? Well... you may recall the recent Indiegogo fundraiser I held for RISING FROM ASHES: EMPIRE OF BLOOD BOOK THREE. Well, even though I did not manage to fully fund it, I'm still working my ass off toward putting out the third part of my Empire of Blood trilogy early in 2014.

Along with that, one of the perks I offered late in the fundraiser was for a collection of novellas I have planned out called ORIGIN OF BLOOD. Each of these three novellas will touch on a different character in the Empire of Blood world, giving you an origin story of how they came to be who they are. They include THE RISE OF CAESAR, ISHAN THE ANCIENT, and QUEEN OF THE DEAD. I had initially chosen to release each novella individually and collected together and release them  in four separate signed limited hardcover editions ONLY. And for the most part I still intend to do this. But to start with I'll only be releasing the collection. If there is a demand for the individual novellas I will do them too. But let me repeat something here. THESE WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE IN ANY OTHER FORMAT EVER!

This collection will include all three novellas, a short story or two, some handwritten notes, illustrations, other notes and background information, and each will be signed and numbered. As of right now, two of these have been purchased via the Indiegogo campaign. Due to the fact that I may not do the individual editions at all except for special proof editions for Indiegogo contributors, I'm going to do this run on a sliding scale between 100 and 200 copies depending on how many are pre-ordered. Release will be mid to late 2014. But for those who pre-order, I will be including an early e-copy of RISING FROM ASHES: EMPIRE OF BLOOD BOOK THREE before it is available elsewhere, a secret gift, and samples and updates from time to time about ORIGIN OF BLOOD and RISING FROM ASHES during the writing process for both.

That said, ORIGIN OF BLOOD: AN EMPIRE OF BLOOD COLLECTION is available for pre-order NOW! CLICK THE COVER OR CLICK HERE TO PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY AT 40% OFF!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Origins of Blood: Introducing Three New Empire of Blood Novellas!

Have you always wanted to learn more about the characters in the Empire of Blood series? Well, now's your chance. And it's not a chance that everyone will get!

Introducing ORIGINS OF BLOOD. Three brand new "origin" type novellas in the EMPIRE OF BLOOD series including THE RISE OF CAESAR, QUEEN OF THE DEAD, and ISHAN THE ANCIENT. These will be available ONLY in 100-copy limited hardcover runs individually and as a collection. They will not be released via ebook or paperback EVER! You can pre-order them now via donation to the RISING FROM ASHES Indiegogo fundraiser.




Friday, August 2, 2013

Introducing the RISING FROM ASHES Indiegogo Fundraiser!!!


 Look what we have here. Not only did I make a complete ass of myself making the video for this fundraiser, but I had a lot of fun doing it as well. There's a ton of great perks here for both long time Empire of Blood fans and new readers too! Everything from ebook versions of the first two books for a fraction of the cost on Amazon to signed personalized paperback and limited hardcovers to omnibus editions of the entire trilogy to interactive perks like naming a vampire or Foederati soldier in RISING FROM ASHES to the grand daddy perks of them all: signed and personalized original printed manuscripts including EXIT REALITY, an early draft of my unpublished novella THE NESTING PLACE, and SHINING IN CRIMSON itself. That one comes complete with red ink from my editor!

And I'm possibly going to be adding more if I think of anything. I'd like to make this one big extravaganza of a party! And I think for some of you the biggest perk of all would be that if I get funded for this, I'll be able to focus enough time and energy into writing RISING FROM ASHES that I'll be able to publish it as soon as early January! So, check it out, share it with your friends and all the other various animals and inanimate objects I mention on the video! Consider donating. And remember it's just started. It'll be up there until the end of September... BUT, only one of each of the manuscript perks is available!


Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Subtle Balance Blog Series: Part 1, The Basic Elements of Crafting a Fictional Story

This is the first piece of a larger puzzle I intend to put together on the craft of writing. I do not intend, by writing this, to try and pronounce myself as an expert by any means. What I do intend to accomplish with these little posts is something helpful for writers in all stages of the game. This particular piece is more for the new writer. Many writers often feel very insecure when they first begin to seek out the wheels and cogs that come together to make good writing. And often they have no idea where to look for answers. This is my attempt to help some of them out. The following are some of the most basic elements of what makes a good fictional story. I would be stupid to assume I’ve covered them all. But hopefully I’ve covered the most important to start with. Feel free to comment if you feel I’ve left any out.


  • Plot: Plot = story. Something has to happen. And if you hope to have any chance of keeping any readers, that something should probably be interesting. A family of four sitting and watching TV or anybody’s daily routine where nothing out of the ordinary or nothing that causes the character any tension happens does not designate a plot. Some kind of tension is necessary, be it mysterious tension, romantic tension, daily life tension, horrific tension, etc. All good fiction that keeps readers reading requires some kind of tension to pull them along. And the character has to work toward resolving that tension in order to give a plot its most basic foundation.

  • Prose: Well written, clean, inviting, and readable prose (or writing). I suppose you could say “well written” speaks for itself, but I’d be inclined to disagree. It takes some writers years to learn modern techniques of good writing. And there are a lot of reasons for this.

1. Not everyone agrees on what is good writing. Styles are often different. So while there may be a predominant mainstream when it comes to what sells popular fiction, that example no more simplifies defining good writing than popular cinema simplifies defining good film-making. Tastes vary.

2. Due to the complexity and nature of subjectivity to the craft, many great writers refuse to publicly pass on what they have learned while many other writers tackle the subject either prematurely or from very particular subjective points of view. To be clear: I would go as far as to say that there is no book on earth that can teach you, from point A to Z, exactly how to write well. Many books will give you hints and clues, and many authors will tell you what works for them, but no two writers are exactly the same and neither will their methods be. That’s not to say there aren’t good teachers or good books out there. There are, but no one can learn to write well by merely reading or learning about it. It takes an interactive approach that combines learning and doing.

3. Which brings us to number three. Learning to write well is a huge commitment that requires a great amount of determination and willingness to experiment as well as an insatiable thirst for reading and writing. Many people who decide one day, “Hey, I want to be a writer,” will never have enough determination to make the kind of commitment to the craft that is required.

  • The Hook: The Hook is the first sentence or group of sentences of your story, novella, or novel when crafted to hook the reader. Not all great books have a hook within the first paragraph per se and I would go as far as to say a hook is not always necessary. Really great writers are able to hook most of their readers purely through the power of their prose, voice, or characters. But many will argue with me, and understandably so, that today’s reader is easily distracted and has far too many choices on their real or virtual bookshelf to risk losing them on the first page. And this is true. Many readers—myself included—get distracted and jump from book to book.

Although that can happen for many reasons (i.e. sometimes it’s just not what the reader is in the mood for, or this particular reader inherently doesn’t like some element of the story and never will, or the book just isn’t interesting enough in general), having a hook at the beginning of your book certainly can’t hurt. For short stories I would say a first sentence hook is damn near necessary. A hook is accomplished in many ways. Many people insist on starting with action or in the middle of an intense situation that started prior to the beginning of the story. This can work if it’s not done just for its own sake. But to say it’s the only way to create a hook is ridiculous. Hooks can be created with action, mystery, intrigue, odd sentences that don’t fully make sense without reading further, great dialogue, or countless other ways. It all comes down to imagination. A hook at its most basic explanation is a line or more that makes the reader want to read more. The possibilities for how to execute such a thing are endless.

  • Believable Characters in Believable Situations: Now right there it sounds like I just took the idea of genre (especially speculative fiction) and pissed all over it when it comes to what’s essential for crafting fiction. But this is not the case at all. Readers of genre and speculative fiction set aside a degree of belief when they read. It’s no different than when you read something fictional based on the real world. Even though you don’t actually believe what you’re reading is happening right now before you, you still, in some way, believe what you’re reading is something (more or less) true in some sense. And this is usually due to several important factors:

1. Relatable characters the reader can identify with and therefore empathize with. When you read about a character, like meeting people in real life, you instantly look for traits and features about them that are similar and different to your own. And many of us have a number of traits that we feel highly about almost unanimously in society. For instance, many of us especially think highly of someone who is kind or helpful to others. Heroes, for example. People who sacrifice their time or what’s important to them for others. Those who are smart, attractive, funny, do good deeds, etc. And these are wonderful traits to use but combining too many of them can be overkill. And at the same time, believability is even more important. If you relate to a character but you don’t find them believable, what’s the good in that? Will you bother to keep reading about them? Probably not. And what’s the most believable thing that people have, that everyone has, that anyone can relate to? Some kind of flaw or flaws. Everyone has them. Some of them are endearing. Some… not so much. Many, however, are very relatable to others. So a balance is necessary. Good, believable, relatable characters have good and bad traits.

2. Rules. Unless you’re writing bizarro fiction, rules are very important. With real world fiction like literary or any other kind of non-speculative fiction, the rules are already obvious. The rules of physics, the rules of common sense, and every day life are the rules that your story will need to follow in order to be believable. As for speculative fiction like fantasy, science fiction, or horror, the rules are what you make them. But they have to be created and once they’re created and established, they have to be followed in order to be able to keep your situations believable. Any time you sit down to read fiction you have to do what’s called “suspending disbelief.” When you suspend disbelief you tell yourself, “What I’m reading right now is fiction and I know that but I’m going to believe it on some level as I read so I can enjoy this story.” But once the reader makes this decision, which we all subconsciously make every time we open a book of fiction, it’s no longer their responsibility to keep suspending disbelief. It is the writer’s. When a reader stops reading because they don’t find the story believable enough it is usually because the writer has done something to distract them or to remind them that they are, in fact, reading. One of the biggest causes of this is when a writer breaks the rules of their story. Another that’s probably far more responsible is poor writing and/or writing that points out something that takes away from what I like to call “immersion.” Suffice it to say that immersion is that feeling of reading and being fully immersed in the fictional world you are reading about. I’ll talk more about immersion in a later post.

3. Great dialogue. Great dialogue is a sort of balance. Each character has to have their own style of talking. Some similar, but there still has to be some variation. If all your characters talk exactly the same your dialogue will be dry and unbelievable for sure. And always following the rules of grammar too strictly will also make your dialogue much too stiff. If one particular character talks that way, then that makes sense. It can tell you a lot about them, but it’s something that should be unique to that character or a small number of characters per story. Yet, at the same time, making your dialogue too much like conversation and droning on and on about daily things can end up boring the reader. So the trick is to find the right balance between how people really talk and what’s important to the story. It’s not an easy balance to learn. And it can be different due to style. No one can really teach it fully to another person by explaining it. Great dialogue can be learned by listening to how people talk, reading the work of great writers, practicing continuously by writing your own dialogue often, learning to understand what’s important to each story as you write it, and developing your own style.

  • A Strong Understanding of, and Infatuation with, Language and Grammar: Poor language and bad grammar form together another example of what can knock a reader right out of suspension of disbelief. Constant typos, bad grammar for no good reason (modern writing tends to bend the rules of grammar often but should only be done for good reasons), heavy or clunky language (using a very large and complicated word when a much shorter/simpler one will work, using too many unnecessary words, repetitive words/phrases, confusing language, etc.), or poorly used punctuation. This element is fairly self-explanatory, but I know a few writers who still struggle with it. Especially the “infatuation” part. They struggle because they don’t want to take the time to learn how to better understand grammar, spelling, etc. They choose to decide that their editors or beta readers, or friends/family, and even readers can do all the work of compensating for their lack of understanding and infatuation with language and grammar and their stories (and editors/readers) suffer for it! Eventually all writers who struggle with this and have enough determination to overcome it will do so. But until they do, they only hold themselves back. I mean, imagine a mechanic who hates tools! Or a professional pilot who has a phobia of flying. These things make just as much sense as a writer who doesn’t understand and cherish language and grammar.

  • A Strong Satisfying Ending: Every piece of fiction needs one, right? But how do you explain how to write a good ending to any story? For that matter, how do you write a good ending? I don’t think this is something anyone can teach. There are many different kinds of endings. The twist ending, the happy ending, the sad or tragic ending, the scary ending, the bleak ending, the bittersweet ending, the cliffhanger ending… the list goes on and on. Every story has its own “right” ending and many “wrong” endings unique to itself. But there are some elements predominant in good endings. Here’s three that can help make your ending great when used properly:

1.      Resonance. Resonance is that feeling like déjà vu you get when you finish a story. That feeling like all the pieces fit together or at least some particularly profound pieces did. This technique is almost always great. But it requires the story to have a sort of theme and/or parallel or contrasting element established early on. Resonance is probably one of the hardest rabbits to pull out of a writer’s bag of tricks. It is so ingrained in the story itself that to explain its inner workings would require examples and many more words than this entire blog post. Suffice it to say, resonance is not usually accomplished in a first draft. It typically requires a lot of analysis of the story as a whole and part by part—what Stephen King calls “Seeing the forest for the trees”—combined with anywhere from light to heavy revision to achieve the full effect successfully.

2.      Change. The most obvious thing about plot is that it should bring about change in the end. This can be a change in the main character, changes in all the characters, their setting, or any number of possibilities. It is almost always necessary in any good story for someone or something important to be completely and utterly changed in some form by the end of the tale.

3.      Emotional impact. Emotional impact is not always necessary, but when it is and it’s handled well, it can leave a reader in tears and eagerly awaiting your next work of fiction. Many readers know what I’m talking about here. When a book or story makes you cry, it’s a good bet you won’t soon (if ever) forget it. And the best thing you can accomplish as a writer is leaving a profound impression on your reader. Emotional impact can also be brought about with resonance. Some would say the two are the same, but I would argue that either one can be achieved without the other and therefore are not mutually exclusive.


I hope you enjoyed this post. It was in no way meant to be an exhaustive list, however, more of a simple beginner’s list for those who would seek it. I know that, for me, when I first started taking my writing seriously I would have benefited greatly by finding a post like this to explain some of the more basic elements. And I also won’t pretend for one second that this is a full clear explanation of all of these elements. As I said before. I don’t think anyone has or ever will. I do hope, though, that I’ve accomplished something helpful that might allow some writers to move forward in their journey. So, by all means, feel free to add to my list or argue with it by commenting or sending me an email at shiningincrimson@gmail.com That’s it for this first edition of The Subtle Balance. Click here to read the next installment: The Subtle Balance Blog Series: Part 2 Point of View... Well, Some of it at Least.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Rising from Ashes... and Procrastination!


So, as per usual, quite a lot has transpired since I last posted. Perhaps even more than usual. The Bram Stoker Awards® Weekend 2013 Incorporating The World Horror Convention came and went in June. Jen and I went, had a lot of fun, saw some really good friends, met some new ones. I'm happy to mention that one of Nightscape Press's first year titles, Life Rage by L.L. Soares, took home the award for Superior Achievement in a First Novel! Horror for Good did not win in the anthology category, but I'm more than honored that it was nominated in the first place. Of course the convention brought with it many new prospects and relationships and a lot of cool things to look forward to in the future. And let's face it... New Orleans is a hell of a city.

Behind the scenes both before and after the convention I wrote and submitted a number of short stories. Some I've received replies for and some I haven't yet. And due to the output and I suppose the sheer luck that some people out there seem to enjoy my work, I managed a number of short story acceptances this past month. The first of which was especially nice. I sold my second pro rate story Memories of Charlie to DarkFuse's new Horror d' oeuvres website alongside stories by Tim Waggoner and Ray Wallace. It's available to read on the site now.



Shortly after that a story of mine was accepted to be included in The Best of the Horror Society 2013 anthology alongside some fantastic authors like Mort Castle, Joe McKinney, William F. Nolan, Jason V. Brock, Richard Thomas, Mercedes Murdock Yardley, L.L. Soares, and a bunch of other great folks.

Then I was pleasantly surprised by another acceptance. This time for the Bleed children's cancer charity anthology for my story titled Dreams of Shadows alongside stories by another great group of authors including Bentley Little, Rick Hautala, Mort Castle, Joe McKinney, William F. Nolan, Tim Waggoner, Jason V. Brock, Benjamin Kane Ethridge, Peter N. Dudar, Peter Giglio and SS Michaels, Tracie McBride, and many, many more. You can pre-order Bleed right now over at Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing's website!

Earlier in the year I was accepted into the TOC based on a writing sample for another upcoming anthology that I'd like to mention here as well. Because very recently I finished and submitted the final story and it's been accepted and since edited. And I'm quite proud of this story. I think it's one of my most original short stories so far. Short fiction still feels like a bit of an enigma to me at times. But the only way to better understand something is to keep on with it. The story is called The Death Catcher and it will appear in the upcoming Fear the Reaper anthology edited by Joe Mynhardt with
an introduction by Gary McMahon and published by Crystal Lake Publishing. The book comes out on Halloween night this year, so keep your eyes open for that one. Alongside my story, it will also include tales from authors like Rick Hautala, Gary Fry, Gary A. Braunbeck, Jeremy C Shipp, Joe McKinney, Sam Stone, Stephen Bacon, Taylor Grant, Rena Mason, and more.

Meanwhile I've been juggling editing for the upcoming Nightscapes Volume 1 anthology and finalizing the TOC for Blood Type: An Anthology of Vampire SF on the Cutting Edge both of which will be Nightscape Press titles. In fact I updated the Blood Type page today with the final TOC which will include stories from Peter Watts, Mike Resnick, Laird Barron, Tim Waggoner, Stephen Graham Jones, William F. Nolan, Jason V. Brock, and many more. And of course, don't forget that all proceeds from Blood Type will go to the Cystic Fibrosis Trust! That one will be coming out
on Devil's Night (October 30th) 2013.

So far, Fading in Darkness seems to be doing well. Reviews are coming in slowly but it's selling quite regularly. And of course most of the reviews that are in are positive. So, if you've read FID by some chance please consider leaving a review on Amazon/Goodreads. It would be much appreciated! In fact, if you give the book an honest review somewhere online, Amazon, Goodreads, your blog, a major review site, etc. please drop me an email at shiningincrimson@gmail.com and I'll send you a free gift.

Speaking of, and as the title suggests, I've started writing Rising from Ashes: Empire of Blood Book Three recently. I don't have much yet, but a lot of the book is taking shape inside my head. The trick is to find time to transfer all that out of my brain and onto many pages... We'll see how quickly that goes along. In the meantime, I continue to work on short stories alongside the novel and a two-novella project I'll keep my mouth shut about for now.

And finally, my niece gave birth to my great nephew this past week! Our family crowded the hospital room all taking turns holding the baby and getting pictures.

Anyway, that's most of what's happened the past few months. I'm omitting a lot mainly due to the fact that it's 2:00 AM as I write this and I've recently learned that my short versions of stories are rather long and tedious, so Carl Sagan forbid I tell the long version!

Well... have a good day/night folks. I'm out...


Sunday, May 12, 2013

A Flash Story for Mother's Day


Calling Me Home
by
Robert S. Wilson

When I was a kid, my mother told me about the time she saw her father’s ghost. Looking back, I can’t help but think she imagined it or maybe caught a glimpse of something explainable and her mind, still mourning his loss, filled in the blanks. I used to be a believer. In all sorts of things. I grew up a believer in Greencastle, Indiana a small college town smack in between Indianapolis and Terre Haute. Now, I’m what you call a skeptic. I only believe in things like evidence, peer-review, and verified theory. Things you can see, touch, smell.
Almost seven years ago I moved out of state, away from those rows of corn fields, dry cold winters, and beautiful fall mornings when gentle shades of orange, yellow, and brown blend and blanket the ground. Packed up my guitar, my family, and headed south to Nashville, Tennessee.
Mom calls often. I don’t get to visit much, though.
The cost of living here and the lack of time both make it hard to make it up north very much. In fact I haven’t been for at least two years now. And she’s been calling a lot lately. So last week I decided it was about time I headed home to say hi. Spend some quality time with Mom.
It’s about noon. I’ve been driving 65 North about three and a half hours now. I just crossed over the bridge from Louisville, Kentucky into Jeffersonville, Indiana. Every time I cross this bridge and see that big blue sign with the red Indiana shape on it, no matter how long I’ve been gone, no matter how far I move away, I always feel like I’ve come home.
In typical Indiana style, I drive for two or three hours through at least three seasons. At one point its raining enough I can’t see more than a blur in front of me, then it’s a wintry mix, and by the time I’m passing Seymour, the sun is shining and the sky is blue. And of course for the entire trip, there’s very little to see that I’ve not been seeing practically in a loop since I crossed the Ohio. Fields. Exits. More fields. A tractor here and there. Cops hiding in the median under overpasses, and even more fields. But still it’s home and I can’t wait to get to Putnam County.
Exiting onto 465, Indianapolis seems like such a small quiet city now compared to Nashville. And yet so much more urban. Maybe it’s all the factories, the smoke stacks sending huge plumes of smoke up into the endless sky. The smell of some highly processed something I’d rather not be able to identify. Or the constant roadwork that’s always happening somewhere. Maybe it’s the contrast between downtown and the rest of the city that Nashville just doesn’t seem to have. Maybe it’s just all in my head.
The circle brings me around past East Kentucky Avenue, and then I’m crawling up the ramp for 70 East. Stealing my way into traffic from the exit, I can’t help but remember the first time I drove on this very highway when I was only nineteen years old. I’d gotten on Westbound from State Road 231 in Cloverdale with my huge green ’79 Cougar, it was morning or maybe afternoon. I felt so exhilarated trying to keep up with the fast-moving semis and cars, and now, so many years later, they almost move like slugs compared to what I’m used to.
Before long State Road 40 takes me to a large white barn and what looks like the largest Bonzai tree known to man and I veer right onto 240. From there it’s all corn fields and farm houses until Greencastle springs up from nowhere. Several vast factories greet me as I enter town and then the “new” Wal-mart pops up and before I know it, I’m really here.
Turning onto the roadway that cuts through town, a few minutes pass and I pull in front of Mom’s driveway. A large black open gate greets me as I drive the car onto the thin gravel stretch that circles between rows and rows of headstones of various shapes, sizes and colors. Some are old, weathered, dark, and hard to read while others are new, clean, lightly colored and then everything in between. Looking up the hill I see her tree.
I pull the car into the little fenced-in parking lot that didn’t exist when Mom first came here to rest her bones beneath the earth. After I park the car, I have to sit and take a deep breath. The weight of how long it’s been hits me like a ton of bricks. I get out of the car and walk around looking for her. She’s never exactly where I remember, but about three or four wrong headstones later I find myself right in front of Mother’s grave.

Sharon L. Gastineau
October 2nd, 1948 to April 28th, 2006

“Hi, Mom.” I give a half-hearted wave.
My brother’s left flowers again. He comes by often. He was always the better son, the one who was there when Mom needed him most. And just like when she was alive, I’m late again. I sit down Indian style unsure of what the dice will roll this time. Sometimes I sit here and feel nothing at all. And others… Others I have to peel myself away, tears streaming, and head back out into that huge empty world that’s never been quite the same since she left.
Today, I feel something I haven’t in far too long. I feel her presence.  And then I think back to her father’s ghost and that nagging doubt I’ve had over all these years. And the tears stream as I realize she didn’t imagine anything at all.
I should know. No matter how long I’ve been gone, no matter how far I move away, my mother always calls me home.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Introducing the Limited Edition Hardcover of FADING IN DARKNESS: EMPIRE OF BLOOD BOOK TWO!

 In this second installment in the Empire of Blood series, Hank Evans is headed back to Necropolis, but this time he won't be running for his life... or will he?

Tensions between the American Empire and the vampires of Necropolis have risen to an all time high. With the Emperor threatening Toby's life, Hank's new position as the mediator has just been unofficially upgraded to Imperial spy. But his internal hunger for revenge and newfound sense of purpose can't stay hidden forever.

Hank must now find a way to release the hold the Emperor has over him in order to fight back. But an unexpected struggle will put him at odds with who he really is and who he has yet to truly become. Especially when his dreams begin to reveal a terrifying future.

And when the city of the dead goes up in flames, and the vampires of Necropolis are forced to flee to the Queen's hive, there is no turning back from civil war.

Pages: 332
Binding: Hardcover (full color casewrap)
Interior Ink: Black & white
Weight: 1.15 lbs.
Dimensions (inches): 6 wide x 9 tall
Spine thickness (inches): 1

Only 100 copies of this edition are being produced. Currently 99 are available. Allow 2 to 3 weeks for extra shipping as I will have to have the item shipped to me in order to sign it and then ship it to you. All copies will be signed unless requested otherwise.


Select your region below. Price includes shipping.












Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Ladies and Gentlemen, FADING IN DARKNESS is finally here!!!



In this second installment in the Empire of Blood series, Hank Evans is headed back to Necropolis, but this time he won't be running for his life... or will he?

Tensions between the American Empire and the vampires of Necropolis have risen to an all time high. With the Emperor threatening Toby's life, Hank's new position as the mediator has just been unofficially upgraded to Imperial spy. But his internal hunger for revenge and newfound sense of purpose can't stay hidden forever.

Hank must now find a way to release the hold the Emperor has over him in order to fight back. But an unexpected struggle will put him at odds with who he really is and who he has yet to truly become. Especially when his dreams begin to reveal a terrifying future.

And when the city of the dead goes up in flames, and the vampires of Necropolis are forced to flee to the Queen's hive, there is no turning back from civil war.


Paperback and Limited Edition Hardcover formats include free ebook copy and all prices include shipping.

Item is currently available to ship! Please allow extra shipping time for any copies being signed. Only 100 copies of the Limited Edition Hardcover are being sold. Currently 99 are available.

All Limited Edition Hardcovers will be signed.

Trade Paperback or LImited Edition Hardcover


Refer all questions to shiningincrimson@gmail.com

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

News, news, news, news for the public!

If you're on Facebook you should head over to the Countdown to Fading in Darkness event and join up. I'll have five days of games, trivia, giveaways, free ebooks, and sneak peeks at Fading in Darkness: Empire of Blood Book Two starting on April 19th through the release date of the book on April 23rd! And if you're not on Facebook, perhaps I'll bring a little bit of the party over here. If you'd like me to do that, comment and tell me. That will probably give me more motivation. And don't forget that the book is currently available for pre-order purchase right here on my site through Paypal in all ebook formats, trade paperback, and limited edition hardcover. I know most people like to buy their books on Amazon these days, I'm the same way, but when you purchase directly from an author chances are they'll get a bigger cut per book even with using a service like Paypal.



In other news, my family and I will be doing the MS Walk again this year and we would be very appreciative if any of you kind souls out there would like to donate to the Wilson family MS Walk Team to help fight Multiple Sclerosis. For those of you who don't already know, last year we lost my mother in law after a 30+ year battle with MS, so it would mean a lot to us if you could make a donation however big or small.

And then there's this other interesting Empire of Blood news I haven't mentioned on here yet: my Empire of Blood Short Story What Happens in Vegas... has been accepted to be included in one of the first four issues of the brand new Evil Jester Presents horror comics series! Along with little ol' me these issues will include stories by the likes of New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Maberry, the UK's most popular horror author Ramsey Campbell, the author Stephen King calls "The scariest guy in America" Jack Ketchum, Bram Stoker Award-winning author Joe McKinney, the legendary author of Logan's Run William F. Nolan, and many more, so go check out the Kickstarter page and watch the video and maybe even consider pledging a donation because this is going to be one hell of a series. And I would be lying my ass off if I said I wasn't as giddy as a fucking school girl at the thought of seeing one of my stories brought to life in comic form. So, there's that too! And for fans
of the Empire of Blood series, this will be a really cool item to have.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Horror for Good, Nightscape Press, and the Bram Stoker Awards® Final Ballot

For those of you who haven't heard the news yet, the charity anthology myself, Mark Scioneaux, and RJ Cavender co-edited, Horror for Good: A Charitable Anthology as well as two Nightscape Press titles: A Requiem for Dead Flies by Peter N. Dudar and Life Rage by L.L. Soares, have made the Bram Stoker Awards® Final Ballot, meaning each of these titles is now officially nominated for the award!

Having edited/co-edited each of these books, I won't lie about how extremely happy this makes me for myself, my fellow editors, and both Peter and Lauran. So many people had a part in making Horror for Good such a successful anthology in both quality submissions and getting the word out though. I'd like to acknowledge all the writers who submitted, the slush readers, the artists and designers who donated their time to making both the trade paperback and the Kindle editions look so nice and of course everyone who shared links to the book or told friends, you are all responsible for helping out amfAR The Foundation for AIDS Research and spreading the news of this fantastic anthology. THANK YOU!

An equal degree of thanks also goes out to everyone who has helped Nightscape Press grow so quickly in such a short time from all of our authors, friends, helpers, everyone who's bought a Nightscape Press title or even shared one or told a friend. We owe you a big THANK YOU as well. So... THANK YOU! You are all awesome. Anyway, that's it for now, it's time for me to head back into the dark dungeon where I will be made to edit, format, and write for at least another thousand years before I can see the light of day again.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Available Now: Exit Reality!

In case you missed all the hoopla over on Facebook...

EXIT REALITY is available now in trade paperback and Kindle editions!

The future of experience is digital...even in death. No one knows this better than Ray Garret. In a world where the human brain can connect directly to the internet, human beings become the target of a mass-murdering computer virus.

Ray's an Antivii agent in charge of tracking down the source of digi-human viruses. He's no lover of the HPDID (Human Perceptual Digital Interface Device), but when a recorded experience from his dead wife is left for him, Ray has no choice but to play the file, changing his life forever.


"With lean prose, strong characters, and a plot that will keep you guessing, EXIT REALITY is as entertaining as it is suspenseful. With this book, Robert S. Wilson proves himself a master of the dark fantastic." —Tim Waggoner, author of LIKE DEATH and THE HARMONY SOCIETY

"As visionary as William Gibson's Johnny Mnemonic and as seedy as Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe stories, Robert S. Wilson's EXIT REALITY is a supreme achievement. Wilson has created a world so plausible, and yet so full of nightmares, that you might never want to get online again. I loved this book. Write faster, Mr. Wilson, because I want more!” 
Joe McKinney, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of FLESH EATERS and MUTATED

"Wilson's EXIT REALITY is a cyberpunk nightmare that just keeps getting better and better, until you hit that mark where you know it's finished but crave more. It meets at the positively alluring intersection of Phillip K. Dick Avenue and Raymond Chandler Boulevard, and there are a scarcity of other street corners where I'd rather find myself."
 —Benjamin Kane Ethridge, Bram Stoker Award Winning author of BLACK & ORANGE and BOTTLED ABYSS

“Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of Robert S. Wilson's fast-paced novella, EXIT REALITY. The story is compelling and well-written, the author deftly negotiating the line between SF and Horror—a difficult sub-genre that only the best writers can manage. Recommended without reservation.”
 —Gene O’Neill, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of THE BURDEN OF INDIGO and OPERATION RHINOCEROS HORNBILL

“Kiss the world you know goodbye and get ready for Robert S. Wilson's terrifying sci-fi novella, EXIT REALITY. With powerful storytelling and fast-paced action, Wilson's ready to entertain and move you in equal measure.”
 —Peter Giglio, author of BEYOND ANON and co-author of THE DARK

“EXIT REALITY is a fast-paced blend of sci-fi horror. Robert S. Wilson has created a believable near-future and populated it with all-too real characters. The nightmarish spiral of Ray Garret's descent is thrilling and unforgettable, and the technology feels just one step away. The narrative thrums with loss and desire. Wilson's muscular writing grips you tightly and pulls you along. Escape is futile. This will be one ride you won't forget.”
 —Stephen Bacon, author of PEEL BACK THE SKY

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Final Countdown!

So, it has come to this. The date is set and this time it will be out, no maybes, no possiblys, no hopes, just YES, THE DAMN THING WILL FINALLY BE AVAILABLE, Fading in Darkness: Empire of Blood Book Two will be released on April 23rd and you can now pre-order the ebook, paperback, or one of 20 limited edition hardcovers directly from my site! And along with the release of Fading in Darkness, I've decided to go with some new artwork. Just look at these beautiful covers by Elena Helfrecht:





I've made a lot of big decisions about this series recently. For a long time, many people have assumed it would be a trilogy. And from the very beginning I had foreseen it as likely being at least a 5 book series. But a lot's changed since I first started writing Fading in Darkness and now it's looking like those prophecies of trilogy are starting to come true... for Empire of Blood. But for those who love these characters, who, when they've read the final pages of Rising from Ashes: Empire of Blood Book Three (yes, that's the official title of book three) and will not want it to end hopefully you can find comfort in this: Empire of Blood is only the FIRST trilogy. After EoB I'll be taking a fair break from this series. And when I come back to it, I'll be starting the next trilogy: Queen of the Dead. I've been holding on to this revelation for a while. I hope you're as excited about it as I am.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

You're Writing Too Slow, Bob!

So, I've been working on a lot of stuff this past year and a lot of people have been complaining that I'm not putting out enough books, etc. Whether it be, "When's Fading in Darkness coming out?" or "Write faster, Bob!" or "The other writers I read actually put out books!" or even, "Goddamnit, Bob, how can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?" Well, okay, not that last one, but yeah, you get the point. I admit I get distracted easy, and I tend to have too many things going on at the same time. I can't help it. It's the way I've always been. As far as writing goes, 2012 saw me put out nothing but a few short stories and this weird collection of short fiction, excerpts of future works, and outtakes from old ones. But there is a reason! Ah ha, you say, I knew there was a method to your madness, Bob, you weren't just pissing in the wind after all! No, sirree! I was writing! And editing. And editing. And editing some more. But I was also writing. 2012 was a sacrifice to the immortal Mayan gods of the work in progress novel that never fucking ends. So, just to show that I'm not a complete slacker, here's a nice list of what should be coming out the next couple of years thanks to 2012's gracious sacrifice!

List of books for 2013:

Written by me:
Exit Reality: A Ray Garrett/Lifeline Techno Thriller (Novella, February)
Fading in Darkness: Empire of Blood Book Two (Novel, April, for really real this time and there will be a pre-order page soon!)
Soul Serve: A Ray Garrett/Lifeline Techno Thriller (Novella)
The Nesting Place (Novella)
The Rise of Caesar (Novella)
The Sorceress Child (Book One of The Heir of Kelzar, YA Novel)

Edited or co-edited by me:

Anthologies:
Nightscapes: Volume 1
Blood Type: An Anthology of Vampire SF on the Cutting Edge

Novels and novellas from Nightscape Press:
The Evolutionist by Rena Mason
Angel of Shadwell by Jonathan Templar
Sterling City by Stephen Graham Jones
Stealing Night by Peter Giglio

Books I'm hoping to release in 2014:

Written by me:
Rising From Ashes: Empire of Blood Book Three (Novel)
The Quiet (Novel, Book One of The Quiet Trilogy based on my novella of the same name. to be followed by The Hidden and wrapped up with The Screaming)

So, there you go. Lots of info to digest there, but I do hope you'll be anticipating the release of these titles just as much as I am!

Oh and while I have your attention, if you haven't donated to Blood Type yet, there's still about 6 more hours left to do so. Anyone who donates $25 or more gets free Nightscape press ebooks for life!!! Just go to http://www.indiegogo.com/bloodtypeanthology

Monday, January 14, 2013


There's now only two more days left to help out the charitable anthology I'm doing for The Cystic Fibrosis Trust! The Indiegogo fundraiser for Blood Type: An Anthology of Vampire SF on the Cutting Edge ends tomorrow (Tuesday January 15th) at 11:59 PM Pacific Time! The anthology will include stories by Mike Resnick, Laird Barron, Tim Waggoner, Stephen Graham Jones, Michael Collings, Pete Giglio, H.E. Roulo, Brian Fatah Steele, Jason Duke, Amelia Mangan, and more to come! Also Peter Watts has agreed to contribute a story! And now, anyone who donates or has donated $25 or more will also receive ebook copies of all of Nightscape Press's current and future titles and all of my current and future titles too! So, if you haven't already, please consider donating! Thanks.