Hello fellow horror fiction fans. This has been another great week for me again. I sold some more copies of Zombie Command: A Horror Anthology. This morning I posted my first short story on shortfictionbreak.com. I will be posting one to two short stories per month via that website. My introduction story for the website is The Candy Factory. Here's the link http://shortfictionbreak.com/2014/08/31/the-candy-factory
I had a lot of fun writing this one. I call this my Willy Wonka meets Halloween 3 story. If you ever been to a candy store/factory like Albanese in Hobart, Indiana, then you'll love this story. You will never enjoy eating gummy bears in the same way ever again. Shortfictionbreak.com is a great place for readers to discover short stories from new authors in all genres. Check the website out and enjoy all the stories.
The final edits for Second Journey Into the Unknown will be done today. All I have to do is assemble all the stories in the order that I want and then off to the press it goes. October 1, 2014 is the projected release date, but it may be available a week sooner than that. I will keep everybody posted.
With me now in the process of writing short stories for shortfictionbreak.com, another horror anthology is in the making. Besides The White Wolf, which will make its debut on sfb next month, I have two outlines for other stories so far. Claws vs MechaPuss will be the sequel to the short story Claws from Second Journey Into the Unknown. Being that Claws is a parody of all the Syfy channel movies, a sequel with a robot version was logical. Sorry Vulcans for stealing your phrase. The Hive is based on the news article about the family discovering their bed in their rarely used guest room was destroyed and turned into a nest by five thousand wasps.
I learned this week that my reissue of Journey Into the Unknown by Mark Cusco And I without the poetry will be issued via paperback as well. Originally it was going to be an ebook release only, but now the deluxe horror edition with Zombie Hunter will be in print form available through Amazon and on my online weebly bookstore.
Everybody remember that Labor Day isn't complete without some horror. This is the perfect time to pull out your horror movie and book collection and scare yourself silly. Why wait until October. Every month is a horror month. The Walking Dead is a little over a month away. Had to throw that fact out there.
Everybody have a safe Labor Day Weekend.
Until next time
This has been another great productive week for me. First off, you can now buy all Mark Cusco Ailes & my books on my website for $12.99 each including shipping. Check the link on the left marked: store - buy my books here. The new version of Zombie Command with the new cover and the new professional edit will be available next week.
I've been working real hard getting the reissue of Journey Into The Unknown ready for its global ebook release. It will be known as the Deluxe Horror Edition. This version will not have any of the poetry. Instead it will have new horror short stories by me. I'm currently writing the new short stories. Zombie Hunter will be one of the new stories. For those that have been following my blogs for awhile now, I've been working on this story for way over a year. I couldn't get it into Zombie Command or Second Journey Into The Unknown because there wouldn't have been any room due to all of the other stories. I think it may end up being the longest short story I've written to date. I already finished writing the White Wolf. The White Wolf is based on a guy that use to shop at Wiseway/Strak And Vantil that I talked to every night for years. He stopped coming over six months ago. We believe that he may have passed away. I wrote this story around the details of his life after his wife passed away from cancer in 1999. My tribute to "Little Pete" as all of us at the grocery store used to call him.
Zombie Command is now available on all ebook formats. I will be working on getting Mark Cusco Ailes novels converted for all the ebook formats. They will be making their worldwide debuts in the upcoming months.
After I finished writing this blog, I will be working on the next round of edits for Second Journey Into the Unknown. The stories turned out better than I originally envisioned them to be. There are stories in there for horror and non horror fans.
My bedroom, which is my writing studio, is going to go through a major overhaul. My large L shape desk is going. I'm going to turn it into my new horror studio. I'll be searching for some cool horror props to make it very authentic for a horror writer. I can't wait for all the Halloween items to show up. I also want to buy a straight jacket prop for a photo shoot for my horror career. I saw a couple of cool ones on Amazon.
Mark and I have been working on our plans for next year's book tour. By then, we will be promoting the fourth and final novel in the Ray Cycle Adventure Series: Heir To The Throne. I hope to have my next book project finished. Karena is what I hope I'll have finished, but I put that project aside again to finished all the stories for the Journey Into the Unknown Deluxe Horror Edition.
Halloween will be here before everybody realizes it. This is my favorite time of year. I'll be out promoting Second Journey Into the Unknown and I'm going to have some cool horror photos taken of me for the occasion.
Until next time
Hello horror fans. It's been one week since Flashback Weekend in Chicago. I want to thank all the fans for your continued support. Meeting all the celebrities and fellow horror writers has inspired me to keep on moving on with my plans to make my current and future book projects available on all digital platforms. My latest short story Zombie Con will be completely global on all platforms this week. It made it's Smashwords.com debut first, then it went live on Amazon.com last night and it will be available on Google Books within the next couple of days.
So how many people out there like the new cover for Zombie Command? Zombie Command will be available with the new cover on Amazon.com by the end of the week. It is no longer titled "Zombie Command: Demon's Unleashed". This second printing is now called "Zombie Command: A Horror Anthology". The next couple of days will be your last chance to purchase a copy with the original cover. I would wait for the new version though. There has been some more editing done. This is going to be the most professional version that I can present. In the old version I would refer to Facebook as the social networking site. Now I just come right out and say: he posted it on Facebook. The new cover, to me, is more appealing than the older one.
At the next book signing I will have the new version on hand for sale. My remaining copies of the old version will be put in storage as a 'remember when' item. When the online book store on this website goes live in a couple of weeks selling Mark Cusco Ailes and my novels, I will have the new version for sale. Zombie Command will be available on all digital platforms once my 90 day digital exclusive with Amazon.com is over.
Mark Cusco Ailes and my first novel "Journey Into the Unknown" will be reissued digitally later this year. The paperback will stay the same with Mark's poems at the end. The digital version will be the short stories only with a couple brand new stories written by me for the global digital release. "Second Journey Into the Unknown" will be released on paperback in October, look for the preorder coming soon on Amazon.com, and the digital version released a week later on all digital platforms.
The unfinished short story "Zombie Hunter" will finally be finished and released as a ebook later this year and then be included in Mark and my third horror collection in the fall of 2015.
The book touring continues in October. Mark and I are taking a break from touring to get all the current book projects finished. In November we will be attending the Days of the Dead convention in Chicago. We won't be there to sell books. We will be there to meet Kane Hodder, Bruce Boxleitner and other horror and scifi icons. Maybe I'll bump into some of you horror fans and I'm hoping to purchase more books from other horror writers there as well.
It's time to get back to working on my horror short stories.
Until next time
Now available on Smashwords.com for only .99 Zombie Con brings you three horror short stories from Derek Ailes. Zombie Con: Norman is excited to attend the Walkers Zombie Convention in Chicago. He finally gets a chance to meet his favorite actress Lauren Callas. During the convention a real zombie outbreak takes place. Who is a zombie or a fan decked out in a zombie costume? Zombie Twister: What happens when a group of storm chasers encounter an EF5 tornado infested with zombies while filming a documentary special? Will they survive the zombies or the tornado? Gargoyle's Curse: A small town in Texas is being terrorized by a hungry gargoyle. Will Sheriff Tavenier be able to stop the gargoyle before it kills everybody in town? Find out in these chilling tales from a horror mastermind.
Now you can read the first new horror short story before the collection 'Second Journey Into the Unknown' gets released. I threw in two of my favorite shorts stories from my other two anthologies: Zombie Twister & Gargoyle's Curse. I hope everybody enjoys my latest collection of terror.
Until next time
Today was just an incredible day. Mark Cusco Ailes and I just got back from Flashback Weekend in Chicago. We mingled with a lot of celebrities. I never had as much fun as we did today. The Soska Sisters, Jen Soska and Sylvia Soska, are two of the most interesting people I have ever met. Let's just say they are very colorful. They do horror movies the right way. It was a honor to meet them and get a photo with them. I got to meet another one of my idols today: Charles Band. Charles is the mastermind behind Full Moon Direct and some of my favorite 80s & 90s horror and scifi movies. He's responsible for Re-Animator, Trancers, The Puppet Master series, Subspecies to name a few. His movies have been one of my inspirations for my horror short stories. Traci Lords is very beautiful in person. Let's focus on her movie career. I loved her in Stephen King's Tommyknockers. My brother, Mark, enjoyed meeting Robert Englund, Freddy Krueger from Nightmare on Elmstreet. He was in as much awe with the Soska Sisters as I was. I love women that drop the f bomb like it's an everyday acceptable word. They were so cool. There were so many vendors with awesome memorabilia. I wish I could have afforded everything I thought was cool. I would have needed a semi truck then. I got to stand by four of the most beautiful women I have ever encountered today. That never happens.
Unfortunately it's time to go back to working on the finishing touches of Second Journey Into the Unknown. After seeing Into the Storm for the second time tomorrow, I'm going to work on the next round of edits The book will be in print in October.
Until next time
On national friendship day, it's time for my latest blog. I just got back from seeing Guardians of The Galaxy. There is only one word to describe it.....AWESOME! The Marvel studios universe is expanding and each time they release a new film, it's better than the one before. If you think Captain America: Winter Soldier was amazing, then you have to see this one.
Sharknado 2 made its debut this week on SYFY. I still can't get over how corny and violent it was. The cameos alone made this one more entertaining than the first one. I had too many what the.... moments watching it. If you love the humor and horror of Sharknado 2, then you'll love my horror short stories. I can't wait for Sharknado 3. I love all the strange shark movies. There are a lot out there. Check out my Shark Transporter short story on the side bar links. You'll get a kick, I mean bite, out of it.
Tonight and tomorrow, I'm going to finish Claws. Then it's editing time. I have some scenes to rewrite on Lake Shore Dive. I was on Lake Shore Drive on Friday and realized some of the mistakes on the locations I used in the short story. I'm going to fix those.
Second Journey Into the Unknown by Mark Cusco Ailes and I will be a thrill ride for all the horror readers. I will let everybody when we have definitive release date in October. There is still a lot of work to be done to make it as perfect as we can.
The Flashback Weekend Horror Convention is next weekend in Chicago. Mark Cusco Ailes and I will be in attendance on Saturday. Saturday night, we will post all of the pictures of us and the celebrities. Mark will be having professional pictures taken with Robert England, Lance Henriksen, the Soska Sisters and more. I can't wait to be surrounded by all of the horror madness.
Until next time
I am very pleased to announce that we now have the official book cover for: Second Journey Into the Unknown. The picture is here and it's awesome. Book will be available in October. My brother was recently interviewed by the MarsDust Network website. I'm posting the complete interview right in here my blog. Try one of his books out.
Until Next time
By Sandee Rodriguez
Writer, poet, actor, comedian, wrestler, and possible handyman; Mark is the MacGyver of writing and entertainment. Now give him a script, oil, a picture of Ronald Regan, pork, and let's see what he does with that now.
Sandee: Talk about what you are working on now and in the future?
Mark: Currently I'm working on my new book called "Heir To The Throne." This is the fourth and final book in my Ray Cycle Adventure series. The series involves children from Valparaiso, Indiana who go to another world to battle dragons. It runs in the line in what you would read in the LOTR and Narnia books. They're good books and I toned any of the violence down. I don't believe in excessive violence like books like The Hunger Games, which is about children killing children. I was saddened to see how many kids loved this series which gave out a negative message. I will never stoop down to a level like that in my books. If that's what it takes to see a million books, then I would simply walk away from the industry. I have at least 20-30 more books I want to write in the future. I try for two releases a year. What I'm writing next is a secret for now, but as my fans tell me at signings: My books are worth the wait.
Sandee: What keeps you going as a writer and artist?
Mark: What drives me most as a writer is the enjoyment I feel from creating characters and situations most people never go through in their lives. In my books I'm always asking "What if." I love writing fantasy and sci-fi the most because I'm not restricted to any ideas or characters I develop.
Sandee: You are multi faceted, what are some of your favorite things to work on?
Mark: I write almost any genre. I have written a sci-fi alien invasion book which is selling well in England on kindle called "The Day The Earth Cried." One of my fans told me that this book is sci-fi done right. That brought joy to my heart. I have written four fantasy books. The three Ray Cyle books called: Bunga, Tashla, and Rhysnor. Heir To The Throne will be the fourth and final book. I have written a horror short story book with my brother called "Journey Into The Unknown". Our second one together comes out in October called "The Second Journey Into The Unknown" I have done one poetry book called "The Storm Inside My Head." I have done one family Christmas book called "One Magic Christmas" where children are trying to reunite to stuffed bears that were separated at Christmas in a toy store. Another fantasy book called "The Creator's Game" where a young girl who is playing a video game gets sucked into it and has to play it for real. I currently have eight books in print, number nine coming out in October and number ten early 2015.
Sandee: If you weren’t doing today, what you are, what else or other line of work would you pursue?
Mark: If I wasn't writing today I would go back into acting. I have done nearly 60 stage plays in my life and was an extra in the movie "Moon 44" in the 80's. I also have done radio and television commercials, mostly car commercials for a local car lot. I also used to create haunted houses in Germany in the 80's and star in it as "Dr. Gore." I also was a drummer in a 80's heavy metal band called "Latem."
Sandee: What was it like in Germany being a hard rocker?
Mark: I loved rocking in Germany. Our band played on base a lot while I was a soldier and played for all the big events. We were involved in several band contest throughout Europe trying to gain fame, but circumstances slowed our progress and eventually we fell into similar problems like the Beatles. I did dream of being like Iron Maiden and Motley Crue, but I had fun while it lasted for the three years we were together.
Sandee: What do you think of horror in other country’s? In comparison to what they do in the US?
Mark: Comparing horror in other countries to here. Don't hate me, but horror is better in other countries. I love Asian horror and Italian horror the best. A few weeks ago I was with writer John Russo who wrote Night of the Living Dead and talked horror with him. He was one of the nicest guys I have ever met. I also had pictures taken with Tara Reid, Doug Bradley, Pinhead from Hellraiser, Nancy Allen from Robocop. This August I will be with Robert Englund, Bill Johnson, Leatherface, Traci Lords, Ashley Laurence, The Soska Sisters and some others. November I will be with Kane Hodder. Besides writing, I spend my life going to meet horror stars.
Sandee: Where do you ideas come from for any of your writing?
Mark: All my story ideas come mainly from my dreams and current events I see on the news.
Sandee: What are some of your favorite books and movie?
Mark: My favorite books or authors are Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Clive Barker, John Saul, Robin Cook, Michael Palmer. My favorite movies of all time include, The Wizard of Oz, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Jaws, Poltergeist, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Twister, Independence Day, and Gone With The Wind. My favorite books are the Narnia Books.
Sandee: What authors and directors inspire you?
Mark: I think Steven Speilberg is the best thing that has ever happened in our world. Most of all the movies I watch over and over have his name associated to it. The second one being James Cameron. You have to love The Terminator.
Sandee: When did this all start for you?
Mark: I started writing around 12 years of age, I'm 48 now. I have been creating the Ray Cycle Adventure series since then and worked on the first book for about 15 years before I thought I had finally got it right. The other books seemed to fall in place with the first book. Now I'm really excited about how the fourth book is coming along. I can't wait for my fans to read it. I also started doing stage plays as a young child and continued to do so for over 20 years. I had to retire due to health issues with diabetes, heart attack, severe sensory neuropathy, blackouts, and lack of energy. That takes a lot out of you, but I keep writing. It's what I love to do and live for, besides meeting celebs.
Sandee: How much of yourself do you put into your writings?
Mark: I pour a lot of my soul into my characters I write about. I feel every tear they feel, their depression, and their triumphs. This is how I know I have developed great characters to read about. I study people in the world also to learn how people act. This goes a long way in putting characters down on paper.
Sandee: Please tell me about One Magic Christmas. Where in the left field did that come from? (it’s so very different from everything else)
Mark: One Magic Christmas was one of those stories I developed because I believe all good writers, in one form or another, should write a Christmas story. I used to collect teddy bears, now I collect zombies and insects, and I wondered what it would be like if my teddy bears were good friends and went on adventures. That's where it all began. I took it one step further and asked myself if two of them are married and get separated. That's where the magic began. I needed a shop owner like you see in the old day and a back story about how the bears came to be. This one was a hit with the public. I sold two more of the books recently at my last auto signing and it's not Christmas time. That book was different for me, but it still had that fantasy feel to it. I have received several good reviews on that book.
Sandee: Favorite music, art and artists, comic books, comic book heros.
Mark: I love goth metal, Asian pop, and heavy metal. Bands like Cradle of Filth, Leaves Eyes, Nightwish, Tarja, Deathstars occupy my shelf. Motley Crue, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Dokken, and Megadeth next to them. I also listen to soundtracks and new age when I write. They include Midnight Syndicate, Yanni, Tangerine Dream and others. Comic books I still love the Archies and anything scary. I love Wonder Woman and The Hulk. I love the movies out on Thor and all the others, but I'm not like the comic book people. I prefer horror. As a matter of fact, I own thousands of DVDs just on horror. I love it! Why don't I write horror? I have a werewolf story outlined called "Full Moon Story that was originally a short story I wrote when I was younger that my brothers are pushing me to write into a novel. I also have a secretive zombie project coming down the line. Last March I was with Lauren Cohan from the Walking Dead and got a picture from her. She was really nice and hopefully will be with her and the cast again next Feb in Chicago.
Sandee: What keeps you so grounded when you have you hand in so many different projects of different styles?
Mark: Writing comes naturally to me. It doesn't matter what genre or project I'm doing. I adapt and carry on. I prefer fantasy and sci-fi writing, but I go where my heart leads me. I don't let myself get restricted to any genre. I guess I enjoy writing about anything and everything. I realize most writers can't do that. I even have written some of the stage plays I have acted in over the years. I would love to turn some of my books into movies and direct them and help write the scripts. One Magic Christmas and The Day The Earth Cried are the ones I want to see in movies. The Day The Earth Cried could be a three day mini series if it is done right.
Sandee: What is a day in the life of you like?
Mark: When I sleep, I get up every day with 1,000 words on my mind. My goal is 1,000 words a day so I can watch movies and listen to music. I also spend a lot of time going to garage sales looking for forgotten treasures, books and DVDs. I write 5 to 6 days a week and spend the others catching up on things that need to get done. I also spend a lot of time on the road either doing signings.
Sandee: What, in life, brings you joy?
Mark: The things I look forward most in life is simply writing my next book, meeting my public, and knowing that I survived another day on Earth. I look forward every day, head held up high, and with my cane, take that next step forward into the unknown, and proving to myself and the world that the next best thing hasn't been written yet. I will have it finished by next year.
Sandee: So what can we look forward to now?
Mark: My brother runs my website at http://markcuscoailes.weebly.com. All my books can be purchased at amazon and barnes&noble.com. Late this year books can be purchased from the website also as soon as it is all set up. My brother have a horror short story book coming out this October. I put good messages in all my books. In Creator's Game it's about a bullied girl who finds herself when she gets sucked into a video game she's playing and has to play it in real time. In my fantasy series and write about strong young people to show them that anything is possible if you just believe in yourself. I hope that people discover the wonderful books I've written and take me as seriously as writers like C. S. Lewis and other famous writers. I hope readers realize that I'm a talented story teller and spread the word about my books. My brother promises to keep my website current or you can friend me on face book @Mark Ailes or like my page @Mark Cusco Ailes or Twitter @ Mark Ailes. I have 3 more auto signings scheduled for 2014. In 2015 Chicagoland will be added to my book tour and possibly The Days of the Dead convention in Chicago in November 2015. I do hope one day to be able to travel across America and the world with all my books.