Friday, March 27, 2020

It's A Wicked Night, Wade!

It's time for another tale to get us through the day! Today's story, "It's A Wicked Night, Wade!" takes us back to the middle of the 20th century, where in a little Illinois town called Kowalski, multiple supernatural entities are setting the stage for a Halloween gone apeshit.

Our two vampire protagonists, Wade and Raven, have proven to be some of my most enduring characters, with an extraordinarily long history between the two of them, the surface of which has only been scratched and hinted at in their appearances over the years. At the moment, most of those stories are out of print, but in the near future, I plan on rectifying that, so if you enjoy them and their interactions, there's plenty more to come!

This story, or novella, really, was initially inspired by the Danzig song, "On A Wicked Night," from his killer return-to-form album Deth Red Sabaoth, though it took very little time before the story turned into an extended Peanuts homage, as well. As much as I love horror, action, adventure, and science fiction, few things make me happier than old Charlie Brown comics and cartoons, and while I doubt Charles Schulz would've been thrilled with the content--or language--of this tale, it was all done out of love. The names have been changed to protect the innocent, but you'll know who everybody is.

To enhance your reading experience, I've also put together an official companion soundtrack to the story, which consists of selected Danzig, Samhain, and Misfits songs mixed together with some Vince Guaraldi Trio classics to help set the mood. I'm sure it won't be for everybody, but I'm willing to bet some of you are gonna love it. You can find the link to the soundtrack, which is on YouTube, below. I tried to do a Spotify playlist, but of course, most of the Danzig tracks weren't available. Go figure.

That's about all you need to know for this one. This tale clocks in at about 23,000 words, which is roughly a fourth of the size of a regular novel, so it ought to keep you busy for a while. Just put on the music, grab your favorite drink, and have at it!

The story is available below in PDF format, but if that format doesn't work for you--or you'd like it to be available in a different format, PLEASE LET ME KNOW. I'm not at all against wrestling with epub or mobi formats for iBook, Kobo, or Kindle readers...I want everybody to be able to read these things! Also, you're fully welcome to save this (or any of my posted stories) to your device, print them out, share them, whatever. If you know somebody who loves this kind of shit and can use a pick-me-up, please do pass it on!

As always, feedback on content/format is not only welcome, but encouraged. Tell me what you like, don't like, or might want to see!

Also, editing on the forthcoming serial novel has almost been completed by my lovely wife Holly, and I'm feeling like the first chapter will be up here within a week or less, with new ones to be posted weekly, or maybe even more often than that. So between dusting off old tales and creating new ones, there should be no shortage of reading material for you here!

And now, without further rambling, it's time to dive into the mid-20th century of a world almost, but not quite, like ours and to let our own world go away for a while, for this is a Samhain night unlike any other...

Artwork by Nathaniel D. Smith and Charles Schulz.

Monday, March 23, 2020

If Ever There Was A Time For Free Stories, The Time Is Now.

Yeah, I know. It's been literally years since I've done anything with this site, and while I've released other books in the interim, I haven't done anything here because I got lazy and just promoted on Facebook. It happens.

But I'm done being lazy on that front, and I feel like it's time I get back to doing the thing that got the ball rolling for my writing in the first place...just writing stories and posting them. Some of it'll get published, some of it won't, but it'll be there for the reading, and right now, I don't think anybody's gonna grudge some free escapist literature.

I've got a whole hoard of older tales I'm looking to dust off and post over the next few weeks/months, and I've also got a brand-new, never-before-seen (R)Evolution By Night NOVEL that I'll be serializing in the near future. Longtime readers ought to remember the days of serialized novels on my site...that shit was fun, and I wanna do it again.

In addition to The Novel, I've also got two finished (R)Evolution novellas that've been sitting on my hard drive, waiting for me to publish...real life and responsibilities have gotten in the way of publishing them over the past couple years. Nothing bad or anything, but when you're taking care of your adulting business and trying to make the right moves for the future, throwing together the cash for proper editing, formatting, and cover art can fall by the wayside. Instead of sitting on them, those two novellas--follow-ups to the Unholy War duology and part of a trilogy I started with Not Of This Earth--will likely end up serialized on here sooner or later, too.

Because what's the point of writing stuff--especially stuff you're really pleased with--if you're not gonna share 'em?

Further details will come...right now, I just wanna post something for you guys to read. This tale is called "Epitaphs Are For The Living," and was something I wrote a few years back for an anthology that never materialized, and to the best of my knowledge, I've never posted it anywhere else before. So this is something for the longtime readers AND the new readers...all are welcome.

For those of you unfamiliar with the (R)Evolution By Night, it's an urban fantasy series that I've been hacking away at off and on since 1997, wherein I follow around a group of vampires who live in L.A. and get themselves into all sorts of action-packed, sometimes horrific, and often ridiculous adventures. Tonally, it's along the lines of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Supernatural, with dashes of Hellboy thrown in.

I'd also favorably compare it to What We Do In The Shadows, which is the greatest thing to happen to vampires in the last 50 years...if I'd had something like What We Do In The Shadows to watch back in '97, I may not have had to resort to writing my own irreverent vampire fiction!


Let's do this. Time to leave our cares behind and travel back to the autumn of 1989, where you'll meet--or re-familiarize yourself with--two vampires named Steele and Clarisse, who are out for a moonlit date with a legendary guitar...and are about to get themselves into a whole load of trouble.

(I'm currently posting in PDF format for relative convenience. If that doesn't work for you or if you have suggestions, drop me a line and let's figure it out.)