RAZORBLADE DREAMS, a collection of twelve horror stories, is on sale for .99 cents on Kindle for a short time.


Razorblade Dreams – where you’ll get a glimpse into a shadowy world of monsters and psychopaths, demons and ghosts, horrors and thrills, where nothing is what it seems. Stories include:

  • MR. BOONE – Two boys film a ritual to invite a dark spirit into their home. But once Mr. Boone is inside, how do you get him back out?
  • THE DISAPPEARED – A man wakes up to find that he’s the last person on Earth, or are there others waiting for him?
  • ZOMBIE HOUSE – When the zombie apocalypse happens, maybe the person you’re shacked up with is more dangerous than the zombies.
  • THE LIGHTHOUSE – How far would a father go to bring his child back from the dead?
  • RAZORBLADE DREAMS – A woman is stalked by a demented psychic in her nightmares . . . until she learns to fight back.

You’ll find those stories and much more in Razorblade Dreams.

You can find the book on Amazon here:


I hope you’ll check the collection out and help spread the word.



Just wanted to share the wonderful review for my book DEVIL’S ISLAND on the Horror After Dark blog. You can find the review here:


There are a lot of other great book reviews and recommendations on this blog – I hope everyone will check this blog out. Please feel free to share.



Research – love it or hate it, sometimes it’s necessary in a story/novel that you’re writing. Some stories need more research than others. Research may be necessary to give your story more credibility, to make it more realistic. These little details that  you’ve researched may make the world you’ve built for your story believable enough for your reader to get lost in. You may not be an expert with firearms, or you may not know why a car might break down, or you may not know how the stock market works – but these may come up in one of your stories, and that’s where research will come in to make your story more believable and realistic.

If you come across a detail in your story that you’re not an expert in, you’ve got two choices of what you can do: You can do some research on those details/subjects, or you can make it up. If you decide to wing it, I can almost guarantee that eventually and “expert” will leave a nasty review where he or she calls you out on these “facts” that you’ve made up.

Research is easier than ever now that the internet is at your fingertips, just be sure that the research you’re reading isn’t something someone else has made up. Besides the internet, there are books and magazine articles written on the details you’re looking for. You could even visit locations in person and interview experts.

How much research should you do? This can be tricky. You can bog yourself down in research, which may show up in your writing. Doing too much research can be an easy trap to fall into, and it can take away from your daily or weekly writing goals.

A few other tips about research: Be careful that you’re not copying the research word-for-word in large amounts into your story; this could be blatantly obvious to your readers, or it could possibly infringe on copyright laws. You also don’t want to add every scrap of research you’ve labored over for the last few months into your story. All of those added details, while fascinating to you, may bog your story down (and I’m mainly talking about fiction here – obviously non-fiction would rely more heavily on research). Remember, research for your story/novel can be like seasonings or spices for a meal – you want to add just enough to give it flavor, not dump the whole container into the pot.

Thanks for reading, and I hope this helps someone out there. Please feel free to comment below if you want to.

Until next time . . .




In the beginning, an idea for a story or a novel can be a fragile thing that needs to be protected. You might want to let that idea roll around in your mind, let it grow over a period of days, weeks, months, or even years. You may want to keep this idea to yourself until it has fully developed. You may want to jot down a few notes, maybe create a few character bios, and maybe even a rough, one-page outline. And then, once you’ve really developed this idea and love it, you may want to share it with others.

Now, to be honest, I break this rule all the time. When I get a new idea, my favorite sounding board is my wife. Sometimes I tell her about my idea for a story too early. The idea sounds awesome in my mind, but when I start trying to describe it to her, then it begins to sound . . . well, kind of stupid.

There can be a few reasons for this. One, and the simplest answer, is that it was a stupid idea to begin with and I didn’t realize it until I spoke it aloud. We all need to remember that not every idea that pops into our minds is literary genius. Another reason could be that we are talking about the idea too soon before giving it a chance to grow in our minds, maybe rushing the idea into existence. Rushing an idea can be bad because it could’ve been a good idea if we had just given it more time to develop, and then maybe we give up on that idea too soon.

So, you’ve got an idea. You let it grow for a while. It’s an idea you can’t get out of your mind even though you’re working on other projects. It might be time to do what I like to call “talking it out.” This may sound a little contradictive because I just recommended protecting your ideas a few seconds ago, but at this stage it helps (it helps me anyway) to talk an idea out if I’m stuck on a few plot points.

And again, I turn to my wife (She loves it, I swear!). Sometimes just the act of talking a few things out can reveal problems in the story or spark new ideas.

One last thing: you might tell someone about your story idea (or talk to a few people), and they don’t really like it. But even after negative feedback, you still can’t get the idea out of your mind – then maybe that idea is still worth pursuing. There’s a chance that you’re not getting what you see in your mind explained clearly enough. Or maybe there are elements of the story that are good (like the characters or the ending,) but the story just needs more work. Above all else, if you believe in your story idea, it still may be worth pursuing and working on. Sometimes just the act of beginning an outline and writing down your ideas can be very helpful. There’s something magical that happens when you put pen to paper and just begin writing. Often, as I’m working on a simple outline, the ideas begin to flow and before I know it I’ve got seven or eight pages of different scenes written as the story begins to come alive and the characters begin to speak to me.

But whether you mull the idea around in your mind for a while, or if you start jotting notes down and forming an outline, or if you talk it out with someone, the time will eventually come when it’s time to start that first draft. I’ll talk about tackling that first draft in upcoming posts.

Thank you for reading, and I hope this helps a little. Please feel free to comment if you want to.

GHOST TOWN is on sale for .99 cents

Just wanted to let everyone know that GHOST TOWN is on sale for a short time for .99 cents on Kindle. You can always get a free Kindle app from the Kindle store on Amazon to read on other devices if you don’t have a Kindle.

Ghost Town Cover - newest

You can get it here:

Ghost Town is about six strangers who wake up in a ghost town, trapped there while they try to figure out the rules in a twisted game before it’s too late.

Please feel free to share this post and help spread the word. Thanks!


I just wanted to let everyone know that my new suspense-thriller FOLLOWED is now available on Amazon/Kindle. It’s only .99 cents on Kindle for a short time, and free in Kindle Unlimited.

Phil and Cathy are followed home by a stalker. As the terror escalates over the next few days, Cathy begins to believe Phil may know who their stalker is and what he really wants as dark things turn up from Phil’s past.

Followed - Cover # 4

You can find the book here:

I hope everyone will check it out. Please feel free to share this post and spread the word. Thank you!


I just wanted to let everyone know that my new suspense-thriller FOLLOWED is now available on Amazon/Kindle. It’s only .99 cents on Kindle for a short time, and free in Kindle Unlimited.

Phil and Cathy are followed home by a stalker. As the terror escalates over the next few days, Cathy begins to believe Phil may know who their stalker is and what he really wants as dark things turn up from Phil’s past.

Followed - Cover # 4

You can find the book here:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078WYGMJN

I hope everyone will check it out. Please feel free to share this post and spread the word. Thank you!


It’s almost 2018, and I’ve been thinking about my goals for the new year.

Looking back on 2017, it was a pretty good year for my writing, definitely my most successful year so far, but I wasn’t very pleased with myself for only publishing two books in 2017 (Devil’s Island in February and my second short story collection Razorblade Dreams in October). Maybe I slacked off too much in 2017, but I plan to rectify that in 2018 – and I have already changed my writing habits and gotten a lot of writing done in the last few months.

In 2017, I put a dent in my reading list. In October 2016 I posted a list of the 100 greatest horror novels that I put together from various sources on the internet. You can find that list here: THE TOP ONE HUNDRED HORROR NOVELS OF ALL TIME After I posted that list, I realized that I’d only read 25 of those books, so I set out to read all of them over the next few years. From late 2016 until now I’ve read the following books in no particular order: The Rising by Brian Keene, At the Mountains of Madness by H.P. Lovecraft, The Totem by David Morrell, The Terror by Dan Simmons, Turn of the Screw by Henry James, The Cellar by Richard Laymon, Harvest Home by Thomas Tryon, and The Keep by F. Paul Wilson. All great books and I definitely recommend all of them even though I liked some better than others. Those weren’t the only books I read in 2017 (I read a few other great books), just the ones from the list.

For 2018 I hope to read at least six to eight more books from the list. Up next for me in no particular order are: Ghost Story by Peter Straub, Song of Kali by Dan Simmons, Psycho by Robert Bloch, The Choir of Ill Children by Tom Picirilli, The Ruins by Scott Smith, Dark Places by Gillian Flynn, and Frankenstein by Mary Shelly.

I’ve set some publishing goals for myself in 2018. My first book available in 2018 will be a suspense thriller called FOLLOWED; it should be on Amazon around the middle of January. Here’s the cover for it:

Followed - Cover # 4

I’ll post again when it’s available.

I’m also close to finishing the first draft of the third book (SKINWALKERS) in my Ancient Enemy series. I hope to have that one available by mid to late February. I’ve also been busy these last few months completing the first drafts of the first three books in my post-apocalyptic series that I’m really excited about. I’m hoping to have those available between early March and late May. I’ve begun the first draft to a sequel for my book SIGHTINGS and I’ve got the outline done for the second book in The Exorcist’s Apprentice series. I’m also working on four stand-alone horror and thriller novels.

If I get everything done that I want to, I should have ten books published in 2018. Don’t know if I can do it, but I’m going to try like hell. I hope you’ll stick with me through the year, and I hope you’ll be there next December when I post the year’s wrap up – we’ll see if I missed my goals, met them, or maybe even exceeded them.

As far as screenwriting goes, I’m still holding back on that. The financing for the film Sightings has never been able to come together, and it’s not looking like it will come together in the foreseeable future – but I still keep my fingers crossed. I do plan on reaching out to some people in the fall about some screenplays. We’ll see what happens.

I’m also going to make an effort in 2018 to get most of my books in print and more of my books in audio.

And for my blog, I’m going to be much more active on it in 2018. I’ve already set up a schedule for the year. I’m going to bring back the Writing Tips that I used to post, one for each month beginning in January. I’m also going to promote more books at .99 cents each month. I’m also going to post my yearly best-of list in October for Halloween, and I’m pretty sure this best-of list will be the top 50 greatest horror authors, if I can narrow the list down that far.

I would love to make this blog more interactive, so if you have any suggestions, please feel free to contact me. And please feel free to comment about your goals in 2018 whether they are writing-related or not.

Writing books for a living is a dream come true for me, and it’s all thanks to those of you who have read my books. I’m so grateful to all of you and all of the other readers out there, and I always remember that. Maybe I did slack off a little too much in 2017, but I’ve promised myself that I’m going to make up for it in 2018. And I hope you’ll be there with me.

Until next time . . .




The short story was my first love. I remember when I was eight and nine years old, reading short stories from sci-fi anthologies my parents had on the bookshelf in the living room. I read Asimov, Bradbury, Clarke, Heinlein, and Wells. When I was around ten or eleven years old, I read The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury (which contains the story The Veldt). I don’t know if that was the exact moment I knew I wanted to be a writer (it may have been a little later when I read my first Stephen King novel), but I was already writing short stories on notebook paper, trying to imitate my favorite authors.

I’ve always loved short stories, and this Halloween season (like the two previous ones) I created a list of the 50 best horror short stories. As with my other two lists (The best horror films and the 100 best horror novels – both lists can be found in the archives of this blog), this is not a list of my favorite stories, but a consensus of the best stories gathered from many different lists I found on the internet and from well-known authors’ favorites.

And this time I decided to add a list of my own at the end – a list of some of my personal favorite short stories I’ve read throughout the years.

But first a few rules. As with the 100 best horror novels, I wanted to cap the amount of stories an author could have on this list to only three stories. Some of the prolific writers of short stories like King, Poe, Lovecraft, Bradbury, and Barker could easily have had dozens of their stories in a best-of list. Also, I didn’t list these stories chronologically like I did with the 100 greatest horror novels; instead, I listed them in order of popularity according to the different sources I found. Another rule was that I didn’t include some of the stories mentioned in several lists because they could also be called novellas or short novels, and I had already included them in my 100 greatest horror novels, so I didn’t want any overlap here. So if you don’t see great works like At the Mountains of Madness, The Turn of the Screw, The Great God Pan, The Hellbound Heart, and others, that’s the reason.

After completing the list of the 50 best horror short stories, I discovered that I had read only twenty-six of them. But I plan on reading the rest in the near future, just like I have pledged to read as many of the novels on my 100 greatest list. Just for a progress report, here are the novels from my previous list that I’ve read since last Halloween: The Terror by Dan Simmons, The Rising by Brian Keene, Summer of Night by Dan Simmons, The Keep by F. Paul Wilson, The Cellar by Richard Laymon, The Totem by David Morell, The Turn of the Screw by Henry James, The Great God Pan by Arthur Machen, and Harvest Home by Thomas Tryon.

Well, on to the list. If you feel I have left out any great horror stories from this list of the 50 best, or even my own list of personal favorites, please feel free to comment. I love discovering great new stories.


  1. The Lottery by Shirley Jackson
  2. The Veldt by Ray Bradbury
  3. The Monkey’s Paw by W.W. Jacobs
  4. The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe
  5. The Willows by Algernon Blackwood
  6. The Signal-Man by Charles Dickens
  7. Sticks by Karl Edward Wagner
  8. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
  9. An Occurrence at Owl Creek by Ambrose Bierce
  10. The Devil and Daniel Webster by Stephen Vincent Benet
  11. The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe
  12. I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream by Harlan Ellison
  13. Children of the Corn by Stephen King
  14. Where Are You Going, Where Have you Been by Joyce Carol Oates
  15. The Dunwich Horror by H.P. Lovecraft
  16. The Open Window by Saki
  17. Pigeons from Hell by Robert E. Howard
  18. A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner
  19. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  20. The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  21. Don’t Look Now by Daphne du Maurier
  22. The Mist by Stephen King
  23. The Colour Out of Space by H.P. Lovecraft
  24. The Pit and the Pendulum by Edgar Allan Poe
  25. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
  26. Royal Jelly by Roald Dahl
  27. The Rocking-Horse Winner by D.H. Lawrence
  28. A Sound of Thunder by Ray Bradbury
  29. Oh, Whistle and I’ll Come to You by M.R. James
  30. The Box by Richard Matheson
  31. A Collapse of Horses by Brian Everson
  32. The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell
  33. The Screaming Skull by F. Marion Cramford
  34. A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Conner
  35. Dracula’s Guest by Bram Stoker
  36. The Vampyre by John Polidori
  37. The Wendigo by Algernon Blackwood
  38. The Autopsy by Michael Shea
  39. The Doll by Daphne du Maurier
  40. The Road Virus Heads North by Stephen King
  41. The Jar by Ray Bradbury
  42. The Dark Country by Dennis Etchison
  43. In the Hills, the Cities by Clive Barker
  44. The Girl with the Hungry Eyes by Fritz Lieber
  45. Casting the Runes by M.R. James
  46. The Sea was Wet as Wet Can Be by Gahan Wilson
  47. In the Penal Colony by Franz Kafka
  48. Guts by Chuck Palahniuk
  49. The Landlady by Roald Dahl
  50. He’ll Come Knocking at Your Door by Robert McCammon

So there is the list. And since there were so many great stories I found on so many lists on the internet, I wanted to include twelve more stories that almost (or possibly could have) made it on the list.


  1. The Pear-Shaped Man by George R.R. Martin
  2. The Green Ribbon by Alvin Schwartz
  3. Petey by T.E.D. Klein
  4. The Box by Jack Ketchum
  5. Being by Richard Matheson
  6. The Screwfly Solution by James Triptree Jr.
  7. Nightcrawlers by Robert McCammon
  8. Survivor Type by Stephen King
  9. A Study of Emerald by Neil Gaiman
  10. The Midnight Meat Train by Clive Barker
  11. Orange is for Anguish, Blue for Insanity by David Morrell
  12. The Juniper Tree by Peter Straub

As I said before, this isn’t a list of my personal favorites, but a list of stories mentioned most on lists on the internet and from other sources. I wanted to add a list of my own favorite stories throughout the years of reading. To make things easier, I just created my own list so there are some stories from the best-of list included in my favorites. Once again, it’s difficult to choose only a few stories from some of the great short story writers like King and Bradbury (I didn’t want to make this list too long), but I whittled it down to forty of them.

So here are some of my favorite horror and dark sci-fi stories in no particular order:

  1. The Lottery by Shirley Jackson
  2. The Veldt by Ray Bradbury
  3. The Mist by Stephen King
  4. Being by Richard Matheson
  5. Gone Fishing by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
  6. Orange is for Anguish, Blue for Insanity by David Morrell
  7. Harvey’s Dream by Stephen King
  8. Peekaboo by Bill Pronzini
  9. The Horsehair Trunk by Davis Grubb
  10. In the Hills, the Cities by Clive Barker
  11. Mr. Clubb and Mr. Cuff by Peter Straub
  12. The Cold Equations by Tom Godwin
  13. It’s a Good Life by Jerome Bixby
  14. Guts by Chuck Palahniuk
  15. Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? by Joyce Carol Oats
  16. The Sea Was Wet as Wet Can Be by Gahan Wilson
  17. The Monkey’s Paw by W.W. Jacobs
  18. The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe
  19. The Raft by Stephen King
  20. A Sound of Thunder by Ray Bradbury
  21. The Devil and Daniel Webster by Stephen Vincent Benet
  22. The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell
  23. Blood Music by Greg Bear
  24. The Legend of Joe Lee by John D. MacDonald
  25. By the Waters of Babylon by Stephen Vincent Benet
  26. Picking Splinters from a Sex Slave by Brian Kirk
  27. The Gingerbread Girl by Stephen King
  28. Lonely Train A’ Comin’ by William F. Nolan
  29. The Washingtonians by Bentley Little
  30. In the Bag by Tim Curran
  31. White Chapel by Douglas Clegg
  32. The Master of the Hounds by Algis Burdrys
  33. Psyche by D.F. Noble
  34. The Body by Stephen King
  35. One Possible Shape of Things to Come by Brian Hodge
  36. Nightfall by Isaac Asimov
  37. Blue World by Robert McCammon
  38. The Sentinel by Arthur C. Clarke
  39. Gray Matter by Stephen King
  40. Yellowjacket Summer by Robert McCammon

There are forty of my favorites. There are so many more that I could list – but I had to stop somewhere.

Until next Halloween . . .