Sunday, October 21, 2012

Rocketing to the top of the genre, and a new release!

I haven’t done a lot of blogging lately – really busy with writing, work, and the family. But I wanted to check in today and give an update on my series Nine Weeks of Halloween Horror.

First, for the rest of today (Sunday, Oct. 21 – until roughly midnight Pacific time), you can download my story, The Dark Secret of Warren House, absolutely free at Amazon has a program called KDP Select, and writers who enroll their work in that program for 90 days have the opportunity to offer the work for free, up to 5 days during the 90-day period, as a promotional tool. (The down side to KDP Select is that you can’t sell your e-book through any other provider, such as Barnes and Noble or Kobo, during the 90 days).

The idea behind giving the work away for free is to hopefully attract new readers who enjoy your freebie so much they seek out other work you’ve written. Some of the more successful Amazon authors also tell me they sometimes see a bump in sales for the freebie after the work comes off of free promotional status.

I have had Warren House on free promo for Oct. 20 and Oct. 21, and it has skyrocketed to #2 among freebies in the horror genre (#324 overall among ALL freebies in any genre). The story has even climbed ahead of work by uber-indie writer (and now Big 6 author) Amanda Hocking, horror luminary Kealan Patrick Burke, well-known horror writer Christopher Fulbright.

The trick, of course, will be turning this into paid sales for Warren House and my other works after the free promo ends today. Again, chatting with more successful authors, this was once a given in the world of Amazon publishing, but because of changes in how Amazon does business and ranks work, some writers tell me once the free promotion ends, few, if any sales, take place. Others say it still gives a nice little bump for a few days.

I suppose I’ll see this week – as I said way back when I first published my novel Claiming Moon at the start of August, this is all one grand experiment for me.

The second bit of news, and I hope this doesn’t get swallowed up in all the talk of the promotion work, is that my eighth work in the series, A Mother’s Love, is now available for purchase at Amazon, for just 99 cents.

As I’ve published this series, I’ve said many times I think there will be something for everyone in these tales I’m publishing – zombies, a unique look at werewolves, a haunted house, and some dark humor. I’ve also said if a person was only going to purchase two or three of the series, I had definite suggestions along those lines.

A Mother’s Love is one of those (Patron Saint and The Journal were my other picks, although readers seem to have taken a liking to Warren House even before the freebie). A Mother’s Love has what I call the wicked factor. Not necessarily scary, as I think some of the tales are, but I think A Mother’s Love is one that will hit you in the gut, and stay with you a long while after you’re done reading.

So take a look at A Mother’s Love. It’s just 99 cents.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Halloween, horror, and religious fervor

This is week seven of my Nine Weeks of Halloween Horror, and my story, ANYTHING FOR THE CAUSE, is now available for download to your Kindle.

This is the eighth story I’ve released in the series (just so you know my math isn’t all wonky, one week I included two stories), but it’s the first one that does not deal with any supernatural horror. It’s also the one that’s most likely to get me in trouble.

Maybe trouble is a little too strong – no one’s going to burn down my house or toss firebombs at my car over it, but I know some people are going to be a little miffed over the subject matter. ANYTHING FOR THE CAUSE is a story about young love, a visit to a Halloween haunted house, and what happens when religious fervor is perverted by those who stoke the flames of fanaticism.

No ghosts. No vampires. No werewolves or zombies. Just a theologian and a few young people too easily swayed.

And that’s about all I can say without spoiling the story. ANYTHING FOR THE CAUSE is, at its core, just a spooky story meant to entertain. If it makes readers think a little bit, so much the better.

ANYTHING FOR THE CAUSE is available for download to your Kindle for just 99 cents. If you don’t have a Kindle you can download a free Kindle reading application for your PC, Mac, or mobile device right here.

Monday, October 1, 2012

A few Hitchcockian frights

If the cooler weather, shorter days and leaves turning color weren't enough of a hint that we've finally arrived at October, surely the television commercials tell you what time of year it is.

All weekend I've seen TV spots for horror movies, horror weekend marathons, scary stories, and the like. Most look kinda silly to me, although there are a few films I'd like to see, a few shows I'll probably catch on AMC or TBS or some other cable network playing them all month long. That's a bit easier in my household now, with four of my five kids at age 16 or older. For years and years I basically missed all things broadcast horror for fear of scaring the little ones.

Now those little ones are nearing adulthood (or in two cases already there, at least legally), and we catch a few such movies from time to time. My oldest, a 20-year-old daughter, has become quite the horror fan, even writing a few short stories in the genre.

If you've been reading my blog you know I've been ahead of the curve on this seasonal fright-fest idea, beginning a series called Nine Weeks of Halloween Horror way back on Sept. 2. Every Sunday since then I've been releasing a new horror short at, a practice I'll continue until Oct. 28, the final Sunday of this month.

The stories have done fairly well in terms of finding an audience, with sales increasing week to week. I've also gotten a bit of reader feedback – one official review at, and a few others who have dropped me e-mails. For a writer, knowing people are reading your work, are enjoying it and taking their time to comment, well, there's little that can compare with that.

This week I'm releasing two stories together for a single price of 99 cents. The first is called THE CHOSEN, and the only thing I'll tell you is that the tale contained in those pages are every parent's worst nightmare.

What a couple of readers have said about it are: “This story has a Poe-like quality,” “Splendid piece of horror,” and my personal favorite: “It's not often that a writer channels Hitchcock to where I can believe it has truly happened. My hat's off to you.”

I have to say, I was thrilled, and a bit overwhelmed, at that last one.

My second tale, included with THE CHOSEN in this week's release, is a piece called THE HEARSE. It's most definitely a horror story, but it's my attempt at adding a little bit of dark humor to my work.

Here's what a reader had to say about THE HEARSE: “A couple of years ago I was stranded in Denver for half a day and I stopped in a bookstore that had a huge rack of pulpy-looking old paperbacks...I thumbed through the bunch of them and found a real gem. It's called “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” and it's basically a collection of short stories that he wanted to do on the show but which the producers deemed 'too scary,' ...your story reminds me of this book. It is truly Hitchcokian, and the tension in the story builds very deliberately throughout.”

Wow, okay, that's two readers, looking at two different stories, who have compared my writing to Hitchcock. I think I'm very close to writer heaven at present. What might nudge me a little closer is to see you buy THE CHOSEN (which includes THE HEARSE in the same file) today. The two stories together are just 99 cents, and available for download to your Kindle. If you don't have a Kindle, you can get a free Kindle reading app right here.

If you like creepy, I believe you'll enjoy both of these tales.

Nine Weeks of Halloween Horror stories from weeks 1 through 4 are still avaiable for 99 cents each. SUMMER'S END, THE JOURNAL, PATRON SAINT, and THE DARK SECRET OF WARREN HOUSE.

Thanks for stopping by.