Books and a Break

This week’s been everything I’d hoped for. Although I was supposed to be in the Virginia woods this week on a writing retreat, I instead decided to drive to my hometown of Coshocton, Ohio to surprise my older sister before she leaves for two years to Chennai, India! She and her husband are diplomats, and they’ll be away overseas with my nephew for way too long for me to pass up an opportunity to see them for a full week, so I made a last-minute change of plans and went back to my roots, singing “Country Roads” at the top of my lungs the whole way (yes, I got a few weird stares from passerby, but it’s what I’m here for, isn’t it?)

Fortunately, being home hasn’t hampered my ability to get some serious writing done and dusted. I’m nearly finished with a new short story, which I’ll give details about at a later date, and I’m pre-writing Clive (the pseudo-sequel to Moving Through) while putting the finishing touches on Parasitic Host, my upcoming comedy-horror novel. I’m also journaling every day again, which has been nice, and I’m reading a few helpful books on technique and self-editing. I pride myself on always learning, both from past experiences and from people who’ve been doing what I want to do much longer than I’ve even been alive.

Speaking of journals, you can now buy copies of my Moving Through inspired journal here on my Amazon page. They’re a good place to vent…and I’m pretty sure I’d be snapping 24/7 if not for that outlet. Mostly joking.

I’ve gotten a lot of reading done this week as well, and though I’m currently working on proper review for these books to post on Amazon, here are some brief thoughts on what I’ve been reading.

Bishop by Candace Nola

This book is engaging for so many reasons. Not only do we get a werebear fighting a proper wendigo (one that true to the original mythos), but we also get fully-developed characters who make smart decisions and aren’t simply slaves to the plot. This is a character-driven novel, and I had a blast reading it.

Midnight In the City of the Carrion Kid by James G. Carlson

Oh boy, now THIS is my type of book! Part “Silent Hill,” part Naked Lunch, 100% weird the entire way through! It doesn’t let up even once throughout it’s rather brief length, and it packs a real wallop that should make any bizarro horror writer envious.

Rotten, No One Survives, and The Survivor by Buzz Parcher

I was recently at an indie writers convention in Northeast Ohio, and while I didn’t sell too many books, I did meet probably my favorite new indie horror writer, Buzz Parcher. He and I have very similar tastes in the splatterpunk subgenre, and I’m absolutely certain his name is one you’ll be hearing plenty of over the next few years. These books are brutal, funny, fast-paced, and they push the envelope in every sense of the phrase. You can watch my TikTok review here.

I’ve been pretty active on TikTok lately with book reviews, and new episodes of The Family Fright Night Horror Podcast are airing 2-3 times weekly, so there’s plenty of new content while we wait together for Parasitic Host to hit bookshelves. I have a lot of great news I wish I could share, but I don’t think now’s the best time to do so, since things change sometimes. But when the time comes…you’ll know what I’m referring to!

‘Til next week, adios!

Family Fright Night Horror Podcast!

Hey everyone! Just dropping in to let you know: I now have a podcast!

The Family Fright Night Horror Podcast features some of the top names in the horror industry as we discuss the movies made them horror fans. Guests so far have included Del Howison, Paul Tremblay, S.A. Cosby, Daniel Volpe, Wrath James White, and more!

I’ve included some episodes below for your enjoyment. You can find the show on most podcast servers, and if you dig it, you can subscribe so that you never miss an episode!

Here’s the RSS feed link!

Author Paul Tremblay, “Head Full of Ghosts,” “The Cabin at the End of the World”

Author S.A. Cosby, “Razorblade Tears,” “Blacktop Wasteland”

Author Wrath James White, “The Resurrectionist”

Author Daniel Volpe, “Talia”

TV Roundup

Hey, I FINALLY got to do a good ol’ fashioned TV binge in 2022!

Lately, after a long few months of traveling and dealing with professional obligations and mental health issues, I’ve finally had the chance to sit back and enjoy a good ol’ fashioned television binge! There are so many shows I’ve been meaning to catch up on, and here are my thoughts on a few of them.

Obi-Wan Kenobi (Disney+)

Man, the Star Wars franchise must be every screenwriter’s wet dream! You don’t have to respect lore, you don’t have to regard canon (whatever that even means anymore, and you don’t even need to tell much of a story…as long as there are space lasers and melodramatic monologues from the lead characters. The Book of Boba Fett was the epitome of bad writing, in my opinion. But…

Obi-Wan Kenobi revived my hope for the Star Wars television expansion on Disney+. Some might even call it “A New Hope.” Everything about this show was well done, and I didn’t even mind how a few things clash with established canon or disturbed some of the meaningful events throughout the original trilogy. One scene in particular in the final episode, involving a young Luke Skywalker, bothered me a bit, but the show was otherwise a joy to watch from beginning to end. I especially enjoyed Hayden Christensen’s portrayal of Darth Vader, which I never in a million years thought I’d say. The final episode was brutal in so many ways, and the pure rage in Darth Vader’s hunt for his former master was never boring or overwritten. I’d recommend this to anyone who cares to see a bridged gap between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope; this is what Star Wars should’ve been from the beginning of all this revival business in the Disney purchase

The Boys (Amazon Prime)

HOLY. SHIT.

The Boys, since the very first episode, has only gotten better and better. This latest season, which introduces Jensen Ackles’ “Soldier Boy,” hits the nail on the head with both social commentary and pure satire of the American fascination over superhero franchises. I loved the Deadpool movies, but damn, this show has quickly surpassed both films in terms of balancing humor with drama (both leaning, admittedly, heavily toward the “humor” side).

The Walking Dead, Season 11 (AMC+)

Michael James Shaw as Mercer, Christian Serratos as Rosita Espinosa, Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier – The Walking Dead _ Season 11, Episode 14 – Photo Credit: Jace Downs/AMC

I haven’t been a fan of The Walking Dead in a while. Unlike many others, I absolutely LOVED the Negan and Saviors story line, as it was also my favorite part of the graphic novels. The previous few seasons, however, have seemed to drag onward like a reanimated corpse begging to be put out of its misery with a merciful “series finale” head shot.

But Season 11 has been pretty stellar. I’m only a third of the way through it, and I’m actually paying attention to episodes again instead of constantly playing on my phone and rolling my eyes during every long-winded “this is who we are now” monologue. I find the character development between Maggie and Negan especially interesting, since he straight up brutally murdered her husband in front of her after his lengthy introductory monologue. The two characters are getting a spinoff together, so maybe that’s why they’re getting so much screen time together, and somehow it never feels forced

Dexter: New Blood (Showtime)

I hated this show. It had its good moments but, overall, it completely failed to justify its existence. I hesitate to share my full thoughts on this shows weak points, since conversation is a thing of the past and having a negative opinion on shows and movies that others love is like asking for hate mail. All I will say (and this is a hill I will gladly die on) is that the season finale SUCKED. I hated Dexter’s son throughout the show but, man, the season finale just threw away any good qualities the character might’ve had, all for the sake of manufactured drama and “tying up loose ends.” I certainly hope there’s no season two of this garbage. Just let it die.