There Will Be Blood

Seize_the_Night_Cvr2A brand new story of mine—“Separator”—will appear in Christopher Golden’s SEIZE THE NIGHT, coming from Gallery Books in October.

Here’s the lowdown from the publisher:

A blockbuster anthology of original, blood-curdling vampire fiction from New York Times bestselling and award-winning authors, including Charlaine Harris, whose novels were adapted into HBO’s hit show True Blood, and Scott Smith, publishing his first work since The Ruins. Before being transformed into romantic heroes and soft, emotional antiheroes, vampires were figures of overwhelming terror. Now, from some of the biggest names in horror and dark fiction, comes this stellar collection of short stories that make vampires frightening once again. Edited by New York Times bestselling author Christopher Golden and featuring all-new stories from such contributors as Charlaine Harris, John Ajvide Lindqvist, Scott Smith, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Michael Kortya, Kelley Armstrong, Brian Keene, David Wellington, Seanan McGuire, and Tim Lebbon, Seize the Night is old-school vampire fiction at its finest.

Honestly, the table of contents makes me drool a little. Here it is:

Up in Old Vermont by Scott Smith
Something Lost, Something Gained by Seanan McGuire
Blood by Robert Shearman
The Neighbors by Sherrilyn Kenyon
On the Dark Side of Sunlight Basin by Michael Koryta
Paper Cuts by Gary A. Braunbeck
Miss Fondevant by Charlaine Harris
In a Cavern, In a Canyon by Laird Barron
Whiskey and Light by Dana Cameron
We Are All Monsters Here by Kelley Armstrong
May the End Be Good by Tim Lebbon
Mrs. Popkin by Dan Chaon and Lynda Barry
Direct Report by Leigh Perry (Toni L.P. Kelner)
Shadow and Thirst by John Langan
Mother by Joe McKinney
The Yellow Death by Lucy A. Snyder
Last Supper by Brian Keene
Separator by Rio Youers
What Kept You So Long? by John Ajvide Lindqvist
Blue Hell by David Wellington

My contribution, “Separator,” is about a bullheaded land developer who gets more than he bargains for when he attempts to evict a troublesome resident from her rainforest home.

SEIZE THE NIGHT is available for pre-order NOW.

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Outside Heavenly

I am thrilled and honoured to announce that my story “Outside Heavenly” has been selected by Ellen Datlow for THE BEST HORROR OF THE YEAR VOLUME SEVEN.

From the publisher’s website:

For over three decades, Ellen Datlow has been at the center of horror. Bringing you the most frightening and terrifying stories, Datlow always has her finger on the pulse of what horror readers crave. Now, with the seventh volume of this series, Datlow is back again to bring you the stories that will keep you up at night.

With each passing year, science, technology, and the march of time shine light into the craggy corners of the universe, making the fears of an earlier generation seem quaint. But this “light” creates its own shadows. The Best Horror of the Year chronicles these shifting shadows. It is a catalog of terror, fear, and unpleasantness, as articulated by today’s most challenging and exciting writers.

Here’s the full table of contents:

The Atlas of Hell by Nathan Ballingrud
Winter Children by Angela Slatter
A Dweller in Amenty by Genevieve Valentine
Outside Heavenly by Rio Youers
Shay Corsham Worsted by Garth Nix
Allocthon by Livia Llewellyn
Chapter Six by Stephen Graham Jones
This is Not for You by Gemma Files
Interstate Love Song (Murder Ballad No. 8) by Caitlín R. Kiernan
The Culvert by Dale Bailey
Past Reno by Brian Evenson
The Coat Off His Back by Keris McDonald
the worms crawl in, by Laird Barron
The Dog’s Home by Alison Littlewood
Tread Upon the Brittle Shell by Rhoads Brazos
Persistence of Vision by Orrin Grey
It Flows From the Mouth by Robert Shearman
Wingless Beasts by Lucy Taylor
Departures by Carole Johnstone
Ymir by John Langan
Plink by Kurt Dinan
Nigredo by Cody Goodfellow

My story, “Outside Heavenly” originally appeared in THE SPECTRAL BOOK OF HORROR STORIES, as did Alison Littlewood’s “The Dog’s Home.” This wonderful little anthology, edited by Mark Morris, has been getting some truly great press, so it’s well worth checking out if you haven’t already.

THE BEST HORROR OF THE YEAR VOLUME SEVEN will be released by Night Shade Books in August 2015.

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Mickey

It has been a week since I heard the news, and honestly, I’m still reeling.

On February 6th my agent, Mickey Choate, died after a brief battle with lung cancer. He was 52.

I was only with Mickey for ten months. Not long, I know, but long enough to appreciate his professionalism, his knowledge of the industry, his consideration, and his enviable patience. I trusted him implicitly, and knew I could go to him with anything, however trivial.  In addition to his many kindnesses and qualities, he also secured me a two-book deal with Thomas Dunne Books—the kind of deal I’d been working toward for over twenty years. That’s something that will always bind us … that will ripple into every future deal, every book I write.

Last May, I had lunch with Mickey in New York City. Now, this was big for me; one of my ambitions as a young, daydreaming writer was to have LUNCH WITH MY AGENT IN NEW YORK CITY, and Mickey made it happen. He took me to the Gramercy Tavern on East 20th St., and I’m not kidding when I say that it was the greatest dining experience of my life. Not only was I having LUNCH WITH MY AGENT IN NEW YORK CITY, but Mickey was a food enthusiast. He agented successful cookbook authors and was an accomplished cook in his own right. Needless to say, he knew his way around a menu. He ordered an array of wonderful dishes, each complimenting the other, and a sprinkling of drinks that enhanced every flavour. I swear to God, my taste buds were doing the conga. And Mickey loved it. He delighted in my delight. There we were, talking books, business, and music, eating wonderful food. Mickey was in his element. He didn’t stop smiling.

This is the only time I met Mickey, so whenever I think about him—now, or in the future—I will think about that smile. It’s impossible for me to imagine him without it.

I’m good with that.

Mickey is mourned by his adoring wife and children, his many friends, his colleagues and clients. We are all emptier.

Cancer darkens everyone’s lives. To help shine a light—in memory, perhaps, of your own smiling friend—please consider making a donation to the Cancer Research Institute. They do fantastic work.

Mickey was my agent, but more than this, he was my friend.

I will miss him entirely.

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Far Voyager

POSTSCRIPTS: FAR VOYAGER, featuring my dirty l’il rock ‘n’ roll story, SISTER FREE, is available now from PS Publishing.

Just in time for Christmas. How about that for great timing?

And because it’s the holiday season, here’s a snippet from SISTER FREE:

London, England. July 1969.

The girl leaves in tears. Eighteen years old. A Mary Quant model, pretty enough to outshine starlight, but faded now, filled with cum and cocaine. Tommy watches as she gathers her things. Makeup blurred across her face. Fingers looped into the straps of her heels. He is expressionless. He has seen tears before, and will again. Success has handed him many things: the best clothes money can buy, the fastest cars, nameless girls with fragile hearts … the hammer with which to break them.

The door slams behind her.

He drifts into sleep and dreams about pain.

Awakens some time later. Some … time. Could be midnight or noon. The curtains in the suite are tightly drawn and the electric lamps hum a piss-yellow tune. He can hear someone crying, and wonders how many tears fall through his life these days. He gets out of bed, slips into a pair of trousers, and walks through to the suite’s sitting room. The smell of strong spirits and sweat. Debris everywhere. A broken table. Shattered mirror fragments glittering in the carpet. Filthy plates and glasses. Flies with thick bodies, droning constantly, as if they are tapped into the power grid. The “Do Not Disturb” sign has been on the door for five days.

In the corner, Joe snorts cocaine from the cover of Melody Maker. His hand trembles. His tears splash into the white powder in tiny puffs.

“You’re snorting your tears,” Tommy says.

“Brian is dead,” Joe says. A line disappears up the tube—a tightly rolled ten pound note. He gasps. Spit glistens on his lower lip.

“Jones?”

“Yeah.” He draws back the powder in his throat and swallows with a click. Leans over the newspaper for another line. Lennon and Yoko are on the cover. The Stones, too. With their new guitarist. They fired Brian a couple of weeks ago. And now he’s dead.

“Fuck,” Tommy says.

“Drowned in his swimming pool.”

“Fuck.”

Joe runs his forearm across his eyes, smearing tears. His thin chest quivers, and Tommy imagines his heart running too quickly. Heart of a bird. Something about to fly away. He watches Joe shake a spoonful of coke onto the newspaper and use his thumbnail to cut it into two tracks.

“Here …” He hands Tommy the rolled up note. “For Brian.”

Tommy drops to one knee and snorts. Both lines. When he looks up, Joe is pouring whiskey into two cloudy glasses, half-filling them. They drink to Brian’s memory—empty their glasses. Then they drink again. Time moves like a dog on a leash, running ahead and snapping back. Running ahead. Snapping back. Joe throws his glass against the wall. It shatters with a sound like laughter. He drinks from the bottle. Passes out. Tommy toots another line. At some point Noel Redding calls. Have you heard the news? Tommy doesn’t reply. He turns on the radio. The Rolling Stones are singing “Paint it Black.” Tommy puts the receiver next to the speaker and walks away.

As stated in a previous post, SISTER FREE marks my fourth appearance in this award-winning publication. I’ve had a long and wonderful relationship with PS Publishing, and I’m proud for it to continue here.

Edited by Nick Gevers, POSTSCRIPTS: FAR VOYAGER is available in a beautiful jacketed hardcover for £30.00. You can order it (and check out the impressive table of contents) right HERE.

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