Hello horror fans,
I have a lot of exciting news to report. Musings From A Demented Mind is finished. All the editing has been completed and it will be released in September on paperback and kindle. With the project completed, it is time to focus on my next projects.
I'm halfway through with writing my fantasy children's/young adult novella: The Day It Rained Candy. This one will be released in installments on shortfictionbreak.com along with its release on paperback and kindle later this year.
Mark Cusco Ailes and I began brainstorming back and forth today on a YA horror story for a series similar to Goosebumps. This one will be written by us.
Here's the info from Teen Fox: A little more details about the Goosebumps project:
Well the way this will go is similar to an anthology, being that there will be quite a number of authors, but it will be to a Brand. The Monstrous Memoirs Brand will be the remaining constant with each author writing a twisted tale to add to the ongoing universe.
I was a huge fan of Goosebumps growing up and have always wanted to recreate the magic as it were, but I think it wouldn't be fair to tie just one author to the Brand.
I'm happy that Mark and I will be attached to the project. Since we both have written two horror anthologies together, this project fits us perfectly. The reading audience is 10-13, but all ages will be able to enjoy the story.
Mark finished writing Zombie Park and is working on the sequel. I've been reading the first draft of Zombie Park and I am deeply engrossed in it. I'm currently on a zombie thrill ride. I should be done reading it in a couple of days.
Until next time,
Hello horror fans,
This week I will discuss how most of my female characters in all of my stories are strong, powerful and deadly women. I don't like to associate my female characters as being victims. When we think of strong female characters, who comes to mind? Is it Xena? Is it Maggie or Carol from The Walking Dead? Or is it Ripley from the Alien series? These are all examples of powerful, strong and deadly women.
I'm not a big fan of weak women, or the cliche ditzy blonde in horror fiction. I try to stay away from that stereotype. A strong powerful woman brings a better story and helps create a character readers will believe in and want to read more about. A deadly woman can scare the living daylights out of the reader as well.
I'm going to go through the history of all of my stories all the way back to my childhood when I wrote the David's First War/Power Force short stories. In the series, the leader of the evil Nytonians was Falesha Mince; a tall, redheaded woman who wore an all black uniform and her left arm was robotic with a large robotic claw. She brought David Canese and the Arkians to the brink of destruction.
Even as a child, I saw women as dominate not submissive.
I am going to discuss some of the female characters in each of my horror anthologies.
Journey Into the Unknown: Deluxe Horror Edition - This is the first collection of short stories that Mark Cusco Ailes and I wrote together. It was originally issued in 2013, but this is the 2014 reissued version with four bonus stories.
In my short story "Wasted On The Youth" we meet the mean Annabelle who wants to put her grandmother, Claire Johnson, in a nursing home. Claire doesn't want to be a victim so she seeks advice from some of her elderly friends on how to deal with her bratty granddaughter. This story shows the struggle between two strong-willed women. This was one of the stories I'm real proud of.
Karena: Karena is based on a girl I worked with who turned her back on God when she realized she was a witch. I took a lot of elements of her life story and created this epic short story about a young teen's journey of becoming a witch. Karena grew up with a controlling, strict, religious mother and when she couldn't take the abuse no more, she left with her boyfriend. They moved to another state where she discovered the true nature of her existence. I always wanted to do a sequel to this story and I hope some time in the next couple years, I finally will.
Zombie Hunter: Militia Vaughan had long cranberry red hair and a small muscular physique. Her arms were covered in tattoos of zombie heads, each representing a zombie she had to kill in combat. He had seen her naked. Every inch of her body was tattooed with the zombie heads. Most guys feared her since she was tougher than any of the men in the Dregs.
Militia Vaughan is one of the toughest female characters I have ever written. She is one that demands respect and who can kick any zombie's ass. She is one to watch out for.
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Zombie Command: A Horror Anthology is my first solo anthology. There are numerous power female characters throughout the anthology.
The Hookup: Angelina is a female from an online dating site. Is she the sweet innocent girl of your dreams, or is she something more evil in disguise? She is one female you would be a fool to fall in love with. I would refer to her as my black widow spider character.
Second Journey Into the Unknown is the second anthology written by Mark Cusco Ailes and I wrote together.
The Day of The Redheads was written by both of us and it deals with a lot of aggressive redheaded women who fall in love with the main character, David Lefton, after he makes a deal with the devil to have all redheaded women fall in love with him. David is not safe from even the female redheaded police officer who chases after him.
Claws: This is a story about a twenty foot tall cat terrorizing the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Lucille is a lifeguard who becomes the heroine who must defeat this overgrown feline menace. Now we are talking about a strong female character. She didn't runaway. She stood her ground and fought back.
My next anthology "Musings From A Demented Mind by Derek Ailes & James Coon" is filled with strong female characters the reader will root for. You can read about some of the details about the stories on the link on the top of this blog page.
I hope that fellow horror or non horror writers reading this will get inspired to make their female characters deadly and powerful woman. Women can be the heroines or the villains. They can be smart, strong, or super-powered. They can also be the nightmare of any man's dreams.
I hope everybody enjoyed the glimpses into some of my short stories.
Until next time,
Hello horror fans,
On Friday night, I finished the last section of Musings From A Demented Mind by Derek Ailes & James Coon. I had a lot of fun working on this horror anthology and finishing some of James Coon's unpublished work. People are already saying my new stories in the anthology are some of my most demented to date.
Twisted Twins: I wrote this story for Jen and Sylvia Soska, The Twisted Twins, the horror masterminds behind the movies “Dead Hooker In A Trunk”, “American Mary” and “See No Evil 2”. I wrote this story in the same style similar to all of their movies. I had the pleasure of meeting them a year ago at a horror convention. I’ve been a fan of theirs ever since. There are many references to “American Mary” and it is as twisted as they are. They believe in having strong female characters and I didn’t disappoint them.
With the project finished, it's time to move forward to my next project which is Beast Within. Beast Within is a fantasy adventure series featuring Rastus, the Protector of the Animals. The novel follows the same formula as "The Beastmaster", and I came up with the premise while watching "The Beastmaster Complete Series" on DVD earlier this year. It isn't a ripoff of the series. I've created a whole new fantasy universe. Further details will be coming as I continue working on it. There are two short stories which introduces the characters included in "Musings From A Demented Mind".
I also began writing a 30th Anniversary version of my 1985 short story "The Day It Rained Candy". I wrote it in elementary school and won a ribbon for it in a school writing contest. I took the original premise and began writing a fantasy story. It will make its debut on shortfictionbreak.com in September.
Yesterday, Mark Cusco Ailes & I were at the South Haven Public Library for a book signing. My brother actually sold a copy of my "Zombie Command" to a guy, bringing his mom to the library to fax some paperwork, who had never read a book before. When you can convince a non-reader to purchase your book, then you are a professional salesman. Mark and I will take a break from our book touring until October where we will be at IWC Writers' Conference and Book Fair, opened to the public, where we will have an amazing horror setup. We will be debuting "Rich Man's War, Poor Man's Blood by Mark Cusco Ailes" & "Musings From A Demented Minds" there and will be signing all of our novels. I will debuting my new horror persona to the public. More details on that to come.
Until Next Time
Hello, Horror Fans
This has been an exciting week for zombies fans. Not only did we get the trailer for The Walking Dead Season Six and Fear The Walking Dead, we also got a sneak peak for Ash Vs Evil Dead. For those behind on the news, here's the press release from AMC for Fear The Walking Dead:
“Fear The Walking Dead,” the long-awaited prequel to mega-hit “The Walking Dead,” will officially launch with a 90-minute installment on AMC on Sunday, August 23 at 9 p.m. ET. The extended episode will also debut on AMC Global channels around the world simultaneously with the U.S. premiere on AMC and will then re-air in local time zones during primetime.
“Robert Kirkman, Dave Erickson and the fantastic writers, producers, cast and crew responsible for bringing ‘Fear the Walking Dead’ to life have been hard at work creating an entirely distinct and compelling new series,” said Charlie Collier, AMC and SundanceTV president. “We join ‘Fear’ before the rise of the zombie apocalypse with an interesting family dynamic as its entry point. After years of planning, that we are now only six weeks from sharing ‘Fear’ with the world is truly exciting.”
“Anticipation around the world for ‘Fear the Walking Dead’ is reaching a crescendo and we are ecstatic about delivering the series to worldwide fans at the exact same time as the U.S.,” added Bruce Tuchman, President of AMC and Sundance Channel Global. “Whether you’re in Hong Kong, Madrid or São Paulo, AMC viewers will be able to join the journey and experience the start of the zombie apocalypse together.”
I will be glued to the television on August 23 for what will be a horrific night.
How do you like my new banner link for Zombie Command? It will take you to Amazon where you can purchase my "Zombie Command: A Horror Anthology" for $1.99. In September, it is supposed to go back to $2.99. Time is running out to save $1.00. I've sold more copies of "Zombie Command" in the past few weeks than in the past several months combined. Usually kindle sales DIE (yes, the pun was intended) in the summer months, but this summer has been good to me with sales from all three of my anthologies. If you've purchased it recently, please feel free to leave me positive feedback on Amazon. The more horror fans love it, the more horror fans are willing to give my work a try. I promise you won't regret it. My horror fiction is filled with horror, suspense and my warped sense of humor.
This week, I'm on vacation and will put the finishing touches on my latest horror anthology: Musings From A Demented Min by Derek Ailes & James Coon. You can find out all the details under its page on this website. Mark Cusco Ailes and I will be at the Air Zoo next to the Kalamazoo-Battle Creek International Airport in Portage, Michigan doing a photo shoot for his upcoming military science fiction novel "Rich Man's War, Poor Man's Blood". The photos will be posted on his website: http://www.markcuscoailes.com on Thursday night. From there, we will be at the South Haven Public Library in Valparasio, Indiana on Saturday for a book fair.
Mark and I love doing all of these book signings. We get the chance to meet fellow horror fans. If you are in the area, stop on by and talk about zombies, the Walking Dead, horror and buy a book.
I'll keep everybody updated on all Mark and my horror adventures.
Until Next Time,
Short Fiction Break Celebrates One Year, Danielle Harris, Sharknado 3, Shark Week & Claws VS Mecha Cat
On the day after July 4th, I bring everybody lots of exciting news.
First off, let's talk about the one year celebration on shortfictionbreak.com. June marked the first year for the website offering free short stories from several regular contributing authors, including me, and guest authors. In a couple of weeks, the new anthology from SFB will be released on paperback and kindle which includes brand new stories by several of their authors including me. There will be several more surprises and you can check the website for more details. On Wednesday, my short story "Elvis Has Left the Dead" which is in my upcoming "Musings From A Demented Mind by Derek Ailes & James Coon" anthology, will make its US debut on SFB.
This week is Shark Week and on July 22 Sharknado 3 will debut on SyFy. I find it ironic that we've had all these shark attacks the recent weeks. I think the sharks are celebrating the 40th Anniversary of JAWS and the release of Sharknado 3 by attacking swimmers on a regular basis recently. This Thursday night, Rifftrax will be doing Sharknado 2 Live. Everybody's in a shark mood. If you want to read a great shark related short story in the style of a SyFy channel movie , download "Zombie Command: A Horror Anthology" on Amazon today and read the story "Shark Transporter". There is a link for it on the bottom of this blog. My Zombienado short story is also in the anthology. Download it now before it goes back up to $2.99.
On August 8, I will be attending Flashback Weekend in Chicago. I will finally get to meet Danielle Harris (Halloween Series, Hatchet, See No Evil 2) & Jeffrey Combs (Re-Animator, Star Trek Deep Space Nine, Star Trek Enterprise + hundreds of other movies) and get photos with them. Mark Cusco Ailes will be meeting a lot of the cast members from all of the Halloween movies. It's going to be horrific fun time.
Last Thursday night, I finished the final short story for "Musings From A Demented Mind." "Claws VS Mecha Cat" is the final story in the anthology and is a sequel to my short story "Claws" from "Second Journey Into the Unknown". I had fun writing this one. This is another story for the fans of the SyFy channel movies. You don't need to read "Claws" to enjoy it, but if you want to download "Second Journey Into the Unknown", please feel free to do so now.
On my upcoming vacation, I will work on the biography section of James Coon and tell the stories behind the stories in the anthology. After all the editing is done, it will go to press.
Mark and my next book signing is Saturday, July 18 from 10 am to 2 pm at the South Haven Public Library in Valparaiso, IN. This may be the last of our signings for the summer.
I will keep everybody posted on all my latest news.
Until Next Time,