SLEEP DISORDERS ON SALE

Just wanted to let everyone know that my psychological thriller SLEEP DISORDERS is on sale for .99 cents on Amazon.

You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07XX9WVGM

Sleep Disorders Cover 2

When Zach’s wife disappears, he discovers everything he knew about her was a lie … but that’s only the beginning of his nightmare journey.

I hope you’ll check it out, and feel free to share this post and spread the word. Thank  you!

SLEEP DISORDERS AUDIO BOOK NOW AVAILABLE

Just wanted to let everyone know that my psychological thriller SLEEP DISORDERS is now available to listen to as an audiobook. You can find it on the Audible website and on Amazon.

You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B088HH7H7V

 

Sleep Disorders Audiobook Cover 2

 

Jason Hill did an amazing job narrating my book, bringing the characters and the story to life. You can find more of his work on YouTube at Horror Hill and on Apple podcasts at:  https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/horror-hill-horror-anthology-scary-stories-series-podcasts/id1346866422

ANCIENT ENEMY BOOKS NOW A BOX SET

Just wanted to let everyone know that my Ancient Enemy series is now available in a box set – all four books in one place to either buy or borrow on Kindle Unlimited.

Ancient Enemy boxed set cover

You can find the box set here: www.amazon.com/dp/B084TSK32N

If you haven’t read the Ancient Enemy series, here’s your chance to buy all four at a lower bulk price or borrow all four books together at one time.

I’ve loved writing this series, and I was sad to see it come to an end. But I’ve been working on a lot of other things, including the third book in my Exorcist’s Apprentice series, and the next two books in my Dark Days series. I hope to get those two series into box sets in the near future.

Feel free to spread the word and share this post. Thank you!

YEAR-END WRAP UP FOR 2019 AND GOALS FOR 2020

Well, it’s here again – the end of the year. 2019 seemed to both fly by and drag on for me, but it’s definitely been my most productive year as far as publishing. I was able to publish 8 books this year. And they were:

Possession: The Exorcist’s Apprentice 2, published in February.

TheExorcist'sApprentice2Cover#1

Collapse: Dark Days Book 1, published in May

Dark Days 1 (a)

Chaos: Dark Days Book 2, published in July

Dark Days 2 (a)

Exposure: Dark Days Book 3, also published in July

Dark Days 3 (a)

Refuge: Dark Days Book 4, also published in July

Dark Days 4 (a)

Sleep Disorders, published in September

Sleep Disorders Cover 2

Aftermath: Dark Days Book 5, published in November

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And Survivors: Dark Days Book 6, also published in November.

Dark Days 6 cover (a) big

If you haven’t read some of these books, you can find them listed on my Amazon page.

I’m really happy with my Dark Days series so far, and I’m working on Books 7 and 8 right now (which are possibly the last books in the series). It’s sad to see this series end (but the series may carry on in a different direction – I’ll have to wait and see), but I’ve got plenty of other projects I want to work on: the next book in the Exorcist’s Apprentice series, a suspense/thriller series about an FBI consultant, and some standalone horror and thriller novels.

I don’t know if I’ll publish as many books in 2020 as I did in 2019, but I’ll give it a try.

I’ve slowed down on my to-be-read list, but I did get around to reading some good books this year. Some that come to mind are:

  1. The Remaining by D.J. Molles
  2. 999 an anthology edited by Al Sarrantonio
  3. Hell House by Richard Matheson
  4. Carrion Comfort by Dan Simmons
  5. The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty
  6. The 4 Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferris
  7. Hell on Earth by Tony Urban
  8. Crawl by Mike Duke
  9. One Second After by William R. Forstchen
  10. Where Sleeping Dogs Lie by Luc Vors
  11. Books by Larry McMurtry
  12. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
  13. Lost Souls by Poppy Z. Brite
  14. Where the Gods Sleep by Mike Duke
  15. The Portrait of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

There were probably a few others that I’ll think of later. I’m still finishing up Koko by Peter Straub, The Dark Half by Stephen King, and Mystery Walk by Robert McCammon.

I’m not going to list specific goals this New Year’s Eve like I did last year, I’m just going to try to work as hard next year as I did this year.

Being an author is a dream come true for me, but it can’t happen without readers like you. I’m so grateful, and I just wanted to say THANK YOU!!

I hope everyone has a great New Year! I’d love to hear any comments you have.

Until next time  . . .

DARK DAYS 5 AND 6 NOW AVAILABLE

After some delays (like my computer completely crashing), Books 5 and 6 in my Dark Days post-apocalyptic series are finally available on Amazon.

You can click on the links below to find them on Amazon:

Dark Days 5 cover (a) big

The fifth book in the series. You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0821PWVH5

Dark Days 6 cover (a) big

The sixth book in the series. You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0821QWTGB

I’m hard at work on the next two books (and most likely the last two) in the series, and I hope to have them out in early 2020.

Thanks so much – and please feel free to share this blog and help spread the word.

HALLOWEEN HORROR BLOG: TOP HORROR FILM DIRECTORS

THE TOP 15 HORROR DIRECTORS OF ALL TIME

For this Halloween blog, I’ve put together a list of the greatest horror directors of all time. As I’ve done with other lists, I scoured the internet and compiled lists of the best horror directors from websites like Ranker, IMDB, Pop Matters, and others. After I got all the data together, I counted how many times each director was mentioned on each of the best-of lists. Two directors, the top two, were ranked somewhere on every list, so they were the clear-cut winners, and I would call it a tie for the best of all time, even though I have a clear winner and a favorite in my mind. I’ll include a list of my top ten favorites at the end of this post, which will be different from the top ten I listed from my research.

Just a quick note before we begin: I didn’t want to include any directors who had only directed one horror movie, and that excluded some of the greatest film directors like Stanley Kubrick, William Friedkin, and Steven Spielberg – and it would also be excluding some of the scariest and best horror films like: The Shining, The Exorcist, and Jaws. Spielberg was tough to exclude because he directed Jaws and also worked on Poltergeist. Some believe he really directed Poltergeist, but Tobe Hooper got the credit, so I had to exclude Spielberg.

So, without further ado, here are the top 15 horror directors in reverse order and some of the films they are most famous for:

15. Roger Corman: The Terror, The Raven, The Masque of the Red Death.

14. Ti West: The House of the Devil, Cabin Fever 2, The Innkeepers.

13. James Whale: Frankenstein (1931), The Old Dark House (1932), The Invisible Man (1932), The Bride of Frankenstein (1935).

12. Guillermo del Toro: Cronos, Mimic, Blade II, The Devil’s Backbone, Pan’s Labyrinth, Crimson Peak.

11. Mike Flanagan: Absentia, Oculus, Gerald’s Game, The Haunting of Hill House (Netflix limited series), Doctor Sleep.

10. Lucio Fulci: City of the Living Dead, The Beyond, Zombi, The New York Ripper.

9. Alfred Hitchcock: Psycho, The Birds, Rear Window, Vertigo, Frenzy, Family Plot.

8. Dario Argento: Cat O’ Nine Tails, Profundo, Phenomena, Inferno, Tenebrae, Suspira, Opera.

7. James Wan: Saw, Insidious, Dead Silence, Death Sentence, The Conjuring.

6. Sam Raimi: The Evil Dead series, Drag Me to Hell, The Gift.

5. George A. Romero: Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead, The Crazies, Creepshow, The Dark Half, Monkey Shines, Martin.

4. Tobe Hooper: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Poltergeist, Lifeforce, The Mangler, Toolbox Murders, ‘Salem’s Lot (TV miniseries).

3. David Cronenberg: Shivers, Rabid, Scanners, The Fly, Videodrome, The Brood, The Dead Zone, Dead Ringers, Crash, eXistenZ.

2. Wes Craven: The Last House on the Left, The Hills Have Eyes, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream, My Soul to Take, Red Eye, Shocker, Cursed, The Serpent and the Rainbow.

And number 1: John Carpenter: Halloween, The Fog, The Thing, Christine, Prince of Darkness, They Live, Village of the Damned (1995), Vampires, The Ward.

Here are some of the runners up that received at least one vote on the various lists I looked up:

Clive Barker: Hellraiser, Lord of Illusions, Nightbreed.

Tim Burton: Edward Scissorhands, Sleepy Hollow.

Joe Dante: The Howling, The Twilight Zone (one of the episodes), Piranha (1982).

Takashi Miike: Audition, Ichi, The Killer.

Jordan Peele: Get Out, Us.

Roman Polanski: Repulsion, Rosemary’s Baby, The Ninth Gate.

Eli Roth: Hostel, Cabin, Hostel: Part II, Knock Knock.

Robert Wise: The Haunting, The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Body Snatcher.

Todd Browning: Dracula, Freaks, London After Midnight.

Well, there you have it. I’d love to hear your thoughts if you think any notable directors were left off the list. Let me know if you agree or disagree, or let me know who some of your favorites are.

I’d also like to add a quick list of my ten favorite horror film directors in reverse order:

10. Guillermo del Toro: He doesn’t only do horror movies, but when he does them he’s brilliant. Mimic is one of my favorites and Cronos has always stuck with me. The Devil’s Backbone is creepy and well worth watching.

9. Clive Barker: Although he didn’t direct many films, I’d still put him in my top ten of horror directors (and horror writers). Hellraiser was a masterpiece that has stood the test of time, but I believe Lord of Illusions is an often overlooked horror classic.

8. Eli Roth: If someone could be on my top ten list for just one film, it would be Eli Roth. Hostel had a definite effect on me. Like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Hostel seemed so plausible and realistic. But Roth has directed some other memorable films like Cabin Fever.

7. Brian De Palma: I was surprised De Palma wasn’t mentioned more often on the lists of best horror directors that I looked up. Of course Carrie is usually listed in the top twenty-five of best horror films, but De Palma has directed other classics such as: The Fury and Dressed to Kill.

6. James Wan: Saw is one of the greatest horror films I’ve ever seen, with one of the best twists of all time. It would be difficult for him to top such a masterpiece as that, but he’s directed some other very good films like Insidious and The Conjuring.

5. David Cronenberg: What can I say that hasn’t already been said about David Cronenberg? He’s directed classics such as Shivers, Rabid, Scanners, The Brood, and The Fly. I think The Dead Zone is often underrated. And Videodrome and eXistenZ really creeped me out when I watched them.

4. Tobe Hooper: Few films are as visceral and disturbing as the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but Hooper is also credited with directing Poltergeist (some debate this as I mentioned above), another movie usually listed in the top 25 horror films of all time. But my personal favorite might be ‘Salem’s Lot.

3. Alfred Hitchcock: The master of suspense, and some would say the master of storytelling. Someone once said that all you need to learn about screenwriting you could learn from watching Hitchcock’s films. While most of his movies would be classified as suspense rather than horror, Psycho and The Birds are legitimate horror films.

2. Wes Craven: Craven is responsible for two of the most popular horror series: A Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream. But some of his early films are memorable and gritty like The Last House on the Left and The Hills Have Eyes. One of my personal favorites of his, and another often underrated film, is The Serpent and the Rainbow.

And number 1: John Carpenter: My clear favorite is John Carpenter. What a body of work he’s done (so far). He’s directed classics like: Halloween (1978), The Thing (1982), Christine, In the Mouth of Madness, The Fog, Prince of Darkness, They Live, Cursed, and Vampires. I think In the Mouth of Madness is often overlooked, and They Live has stood the test of time. My personal favorite would be The Thing – maybe my favorite horror film of all time.

There you have my top ten. Please feel free to comment. I’d love to hear your favorites and your thoughts.

I hope everyone has a Happy Halloween!

SLEEP DISORDERS – my latest book now available on Amazon

Just wanted to let everyone know that my latest book – a psychological thriller – is now available on Amazon for .99 cents, but only for a short time.

You can pick it up here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07XX9WVGM

Sleep Disorders Cover 2

When Zach’s wife disappears from a busy restaurant, he digs into her past only to discover that she’s been living a secret life. To make matters worse, Zach has been waking up at night fully dressed, the lights on in his house, and his front door unlocked. Has he been sleepwalking? He’s never done it before? Does it have something to do with his wife’s disappearance? He films himself while he sleeps to see where he goes and what he does, but what he sees on the film scares him to death . . . and it’s only the beginning.

I hope you’ll check out my latest book, and please feel free to share this post.

Thank you!

WRITING TIPS: AUGUST 2019

PRICING YOUR BOOK

You’ve got your book ready to publish now (please refer to previous Writing Tips posts where we discussed the steps leading up to this). Your book has a great cover, an intriguing description, it has been formatted professionally, and you’ve got your keywords and phrases selected. Now it’s time to price your book on Amazon.

At what price should you sell your book? Should you start at .99 cents for a few weeks or start out at $2.99? Or even $5.99?

First, let’s look at a few things that may impact this decision. One good thing to do is to see what other books from indie authors in your genre are selling for. I say indie authors because well-known authors writing for large publishers may sell their books at a much higher price that’s been set by the publishing house. You could try to sell your book at $8.99 or $9.99, but you have to remember that you’re competing with well-known authors at this price point, and readers who don’t know you may not want to take a chance on your book at such a high price. You may want to try a lower price to attract new readers.

Also, the royalty rates Amazon pays may come into your decision to price your book. As of this writing, Amazon pays 35% royalties for ebooks from .99 cents up to $2.98, and also on books over $10.00. They pay a 70% royalty rate for ebooks from the $2.99 to $9.99 price range (and please double check this yourself before publishing because things can always change). When pricing your book, you’ll be prompted to select either the 35% or 70% range, and then you’ll have to price your book accordingly in that range. To benefit from the higher royalty rate, you may want to price your book in that range, but it’s entirely up to you.

Nonfiction books, as a rule, can often sell for a higher price than fiction, so that’s another thing you’ll have to keep in mind. And even though your book might be nonfiction, it’s still a good idea to compare your book to others in that genre.

But let’s say you’ve written a fiction novel. You may want to check books that are similar to yours in that genre, or sub-genre, to see what they’re selling for. You may find that a lot of indie authors are selling their books anywhere from .99 cents on up to $6.99. Yes, maybe a few authors will sell their books for more than that, and some may give their books away for free, but let’s just say that the above prices are where most of the books fall. So, what about the price of your book?

Let’s say you decide on the price of $2.99 to start with so you can get the 70% royalty. Maybe you want to come in a little lower than $3.99 and $4.99 so readers might take a chance on your new book. And maybe it’s selling pretty well. You can always experiment with your pricing, bumping it up to $3.99 or even $4.99. If sales drop off dramatically after your price change, you could drop it back down to $2.99. Experiment with the pricing and see which price works best until you hit that sweet spot.

What about having a sale for your book? Maybe you want to discount your book to .99 cents for a little while to increase your sales and your ranking. You could either start your book out at .99 cents or start out at a higher price and put your book on sale later (this can work well if you’re in Kindle Unlimited – you can lower the price for up to seven days once per 90 day period and still keep your 70% royalty rate). If you aren’t in Kindle Unlimited, you could lower your book to .99 cents to attract new readers for a little while. This can be a good tactic for the first book in a series. Some authors leave the first book in their series at .99 cents hoping to draw the readers into the series.

You could offer your new release at .99 cents for the first 30 days to build up the sales and reviews, and then raise the price later.

So, the choice is yours when it comes to price. And remember, you can always experiment with it.

Hope this helps someone out there.

Until next time . . .