Tag Archives: Horror

30 from 2016

Here are the best books I read in 2016

(not in any particular order)

30-from-2016

  1. 300,000,000 – Blake Butler
  2. A Head Full of Ghosts – Paul Tremblay
  3. A House at the Bottom of a Lake – Josh Malerman
  4. Animal Money – Michael Cisco
  5. Anomaly Flats – Clayton Smith
  6. Bird Box – Josh Malerman
  7. Discovering Scarfolk – Richard Littler
  8. Ella Minnow Pea – Mark Dunn
  9. Every Part of the Animal – Duncan Ralston
  10. Fake Fruit Factory – Patrick Wensink
  11. Falter-Kingdom – Michael Seidlinger
  12. Gutshot – Amelia Gray
  13. Gutted – Ed. Doug Murano
  14. Hair Side, Flesh Side – Helen Marshall
  15. It Sustains – Mark Morris
  16. Jagannath – Karin Tidbeck
  17. King Carrion – Rich Hawkins
  18. Lost Signals – Ed. Max Booth
  19. Nyctophobia – Christopher Fowler
  20. One for Sorrow – Christopher Barzak
  21. Penpal – Dathan Auerbach
  22. Pretty Little Dead Girls – Mercedes M Yardley
  23. The Deep – Nick Cutter
  24. The Fireman – Joe Hill
  25. The King In Yellow – Robert Chambers
  26. The Last Gods of Indochine – Sam Ferrer
  27. The Secret of Ventriloquism – Jon Padgett
  28. The Strange Library – Haruki Murakami
  29. The Troop – Nick Cutter
  30. The Warren – Brian Evenson

ARIA expo 2016

ri-author-expo

The 4th Annual Rhode Island Author Expo.
Meet over 125 local authors, all under one roof
From middle grade to horror to science fiction
Free admission! Free parking! Giveaways and more!

Every one who loves to read,
loves signed books!

Get your holiday shopping done
for all of the bibliophiles in your life in one place!

I will be speaking on 2 panels:

Horror

11:30 AM
Presentation Area #2
Moderated by Gina Colvario Krupka
Other panelists are L.L. Craft and Pete Larrivee
&

SciFi/Fantasy

12:15 PM
Presentation Area #2
Moderated by Tabitha Lord
Other panelists are Mike Squatrito, Loren Walker &John McDaid

 

 

what have i done?

what have i done…

i performed shows in front of over 20,000 people…

i performed shows with more people on stage than in the audience…

i’ve written two novels (so far)…

i made a triple play single handed (in little league)…

i scored a goal with the back of my head (the only one i scored in over ten years playing soccer)…

i’ve been the subject of a documentary film…

i’ve been on television…

i made music for movies…

i sang on television commercials…

i’ve thrown drunk people out of my bar…

i’ve read poetry on the job as a bouncer…

i’ve been hit by a car (more than once)…

i tossed rowdy parents out of a little league baseball game…

i swam in three oceans…

i met many of my musical heroes…

i met a handful of my literary heroes…

i’ve seen a ghost (or what i thought was a ghost at the time)…

i’ve had heart surgery twice…

i’ve lived longer than the doctors thought i would…

i made friends with people who were supposed to be my enemies…

imade enemies of people who were supposed to be my friends…

i am still falling in love with my wife…

i’ve seen the inside of the human body…

i’ve nightmares…

i procrastinate (sometimes)…

i wrote a play (that has never been performed)…

i sang in the car at the top of my lungs…

i ate more than i should…

i drank a lot…

i smoked…

i left people who wanted to hurt my family in the past…

i graduated college without using a computer once…

i challenged myself to a duel…

i told my one of my favorite bands i should play drums on their next record, and i did…

i cried in public…

i crashed into my best friends car…

i saw air supply in concert…

i waited in line all night for concert tickets (not for air supply)…

i waited in line all night to see a movie…

i stayed up all night talking…

i stayed awake for three days working on music…

i lied to make myself feel better…

i lied to help someone i loved feel better…

i told the truth and hurt someone i cared about…

i’ve hated myself…

i’ve loved myself…

i’ve let people help me…

i tried to help others…

i’ve smiled at strangers…

i held on to anger…

i’ve let it go…

i’ve lost trust…

i found it again…

i’ve been truly happy being myself…

i lost too much time to fear…

i stared into the mirror and watched the freckles in my eyes turn into stars…

i’ve watched constellations ride from one horizon to the other…

i’ve looked into the sun until my toes ached…

i found faces hiding in cloud formations…

i tried counting raindrops…

i made snow angels…

and devils…

i blew all the air out of my lungs to take in a fresh breath…

i read a book so wonderful, i immediately started again from page one after the end…

i sang “you make me feel like a natural woman” in a karaoke bar…

i let my little cousin paint my toenails for my birthday and let them grow out…

i got a tattoo on my honeymoon…

i sang on frank sinatra’s microphone

i rode an elevator with lemmy…

i married my best friend…

i fell down stairs…

i watched fireworks with my kids laying down on a major league baseball outfield…

i watched my father breathe his last breath…

i haven’t been the same since…

i never expected life to turn out like this…

i colored outside the lines…

i stayed up too late…

i played by the rules…

i broke a a few laws…

i never meant to hurt anybody…

i ate the last piece of cake…

i saved a life…

i try to make a difference…

i never give up…

i talked too much…

i am too defensive…

i don’t believe in myself enough…

 

…to be continued…

6.7.16

-a

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

weird for who(m)?

Write what you know.

Write what you want to read.

Write the story you need to tell.

Don’t write for anyone but yourself.

These are all wonderful thoughts.

I read weird books. Or so my wife tells me. I listen to weird music too. I enjoy weird movies and most of the TV shows I watch are canceled after the first few seasons. I’m not trying to say I’m hip or cool. I am certainly not making attempts to stand out and be different.

I like what I like and that’s all there is to it.

When I was making music, I played what I was passionate about or I didn’t play at all. I’m certain that’s the reason I didn’t do very well as a session player or hired gun. I was always vocal about what I liked and didn’t. Perhaps I was a mite too vocal.

I have friends that are very successful in that business. They get along fantastically with other artists and are amazing musicians in their own right. They make a good living helping the visions of others come to life. While I envy them sometimes, I’m also completely baffled by it. I was never able to completely surrender myself to the sound inside somebody else’s head. It’s a powerful talent in and of itself that I could never get a handle on.

Writing’s really not all that different. Though it’s definitely a more solitary endeavor. In the early stages I don’t need the input of anyone else. I have my idea, I build on it in my imagination and translate that to the page all by my lonesome. After I finish the first few drafts, I ask for the opinions of a couple people whose opinions I trust. If they chose to, they read it and give me some feedback. Some I might agree with, and some I might not.

Some opinions might even piss me off.

After all, I am a sensitive artist type.

After that part of the process, an editor comes in. They make the all too important grammatical corrections. Much more intensive than spell check. The Editor might give suggestions on plot and character too. Once again, my hackles are raised and I might just as easily shoot death rays from my eyes through the computer screen as add their suggestions to the story. Whichever is going to make it work better.

Then I must find a cover image with an artist that can encapsulate the previous two years worth of storytelling in a thumbnail sized image to fit on all of the book selling websites. What? Sounds easy? Fortunately for me I’ve been very lucky thus far to work with the incredibly talented Greg Simanson on the covers for my first three books. He actually does make it easy. Don’t ask me how, he’s just that good.

After all that, the book is released to the world. It is completely out of my hands. Will people like it? Will people buy it? Will it get good reviews? Will it get bad reviews? Will it get any reviews? Does that matter? Should that matter?

Unfortunately, it does.

As an artist of any kind, of course the process of making the work itself is for you and no one else. Once the work is finished, it is for everyone else but you. People will respond how they do. You have no control over that. You have no opinion, no rebuttal, not one iota of input. The art will speak for itself. In soothing earthquakes or in screaming silence.

I like weird stuff. The stories I write are weird. I don’t explain everything. I leave loose ends. I leave some of the work up to reader imagination. Ive seen the reviews. That upsets some people apparently. As much as I’d love to tell you those opinions don’t matter, they do. Nobody enjoys being kicked when they’re down. Being defenseless is unpleasant.

However, I don’t see myself changing. Those people just don’t happen to be my audience. Maybe I’ll find them. Maybe I won’t. It could be that there is only a very tiny audience of people who enjoy my slice of weirdness. It could be that the only important part of the process is the writing itself.

I have more ideas. I have more stories to tell. I plan on telling them in my way, with as much of my own voice as I can muster. Sometimes it’s okay to not play well with others. Would it be great to be on the bestseller list next to the big names? Of course it would! But I’d much rather be telling my weird stories in my own weird way than sound just like the guy whose books sit next to mine on the shelf. (Though Stephen King is a pretty big deal)

-a