Stoker Con 2017

The biggest reason I’ve been so quiet for so long is I’ve been getting ready for Stoker Con 2017. That’s behind us now. This post is going to be pretty cool.

First, however, I pause to mention that I was on the Stoker Con Video Squad with my pal Al Barrera. We video interviewed guests of honor and workshop leaders over the last several months, and those videos can be observed on the Horror Writers Association’s YouTube Channel HERE.

Okay, let’s start the trip. Tomahawk, WI to Long Beach, CA. Takes a little while to get there. To save a little money, we flew out of Eau Claire, WI and connected in Chicago. Chicago to LAX is a little over 4 hours. Piece of cake.

So we got there Tuesday night, and after a shuttle ride of some duration, we arrived at our hotel, The Queen Mary.

Before any book convention stuff, though, we had to pay a little visit to Master Cleber Luciano in Huntington Beach. I learn Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu from Jared. Jared’s school, Groundwork Grappling, is a Cleber affiliate. It was a no-brainer going out there that we’d have to stop in and see Cleber’s school. I got to train with California headhunters under the watchful eye of a BJJ legend, and that’s pretty cool in my book.

 

Then Master Cleber gave us the grand tour. Had to get out to the beach, right?

On to Stoker Con…

I was signed up as a volunteer for the event, and soon Keri was, too. We’re told we helped a lot, and I hope this is true. Along with Guest Liaison Elise Forier-Edie, I was the Assistant Guest Liaison. Did I mention Elise is awesome? Because she is, and I hope folks remind her of that often. She went far above and beyond. What’s an Assistant Guest Liaison? It means when a Guest of Honor Needs a pouch of Big League Chew, I go find a pouch of Big League Chew. It’s a stressful gig, but it has perks. Like this:

That’s a quick selfie I took while on a tour of the boat with Keri, new pal Andy Peloquin, Stoker Con Co-Chair Kevin Wetmore, guest of honor Bill Bridges, and guest of honor George R.R. Martin. Got to hang with George in the Churchill Suite and listen to some of his adventures. That was a pretty cool night, my friends.

So how’d I get hooked up with a sweet gig like this? It’s all who you know, chums. Me? I know Kate Jonez. She’s my editor, as well as the mastermind behind Omnium Gatherum, the small press that publishes my books. Kate was instrumental in making Stoker Con as awesome as it was, and it will be some months of steady praise before the appropriate amount of gratitude can be shown for her efforts. (That’s not me talking, that’s physics!) AND Omnium Gatherum won this year’s Specialty Press Award.

Let’s see, what else… In addition to the stuff where I got to help guests of honor, I got to make some great new friends! Bill Bridges was super cool immediately. Shared some chips with each other the first day we met. Gretchen McNeil was great. Stephen Graham Jones. Nancy Holder. Liz Hand and her daughter Calli. Eric Guignard. Rob from Mysterious Galaxy. I won a kickass book series from Gene O’Neil. Got to hang with my pal Ian Welke again. Had a long, meandering chat with Johnny Worthen as we walked around the Queen Mary’s Sports Deck, a conversation we’ll pick up again very soon. I got to do a reading with Maria Alexander, who took home the Stoker for Superior Achievement in a Young Adult Novel. So many new friends. Tons of old friends who I’d never met beyond Facebook. It all went way too fast.

These are folks who make their living writing about maniacs and monsters. And everyone was so nice and friendly and sincerely kind to each other. Kinda makes me want to go to the next one. Providence, RI next March. You going?

And now to get quiet again… I’ve much writing to catch up on, friends. HORROR writing.

A Quick March Update

Howdy, gang! Ain’t heard from ME in a while, eh? Well, that changes right NOW! So here’s the update. I started a new job recently. I quite like it, and I think I hope they keep me around. I work in a real estate office doing graphic design and providing entertainment. I haven’t showed them my interpretive dance sequence yet, but hopefully soon. The problem is that the sequence is now over 41 minutes long and I still have a couple details to work out and because there’s no smooth transition from C+C Music Factory to Led Zeppelin. At least not with the songs I’m using.

Anyway, I’m still around and I’m still clacking at the keyboards occasionally. I’ve actually got a thing coming up where I go back to my old high school and talk to kids about writing. Super looking forward to that!

The main project for the last few months has been the Stoker Con 17 YouTube Page. Click right here and check it out. I’ve been video interviewing a whole bunch of awesome authors, and some of those very interviews can be seen on that YouTube page!

As for the writing… It’s been a little slow. Chuggie #4 and Cruce Roosters. Chuggie #4 is going to be bloody and gutsy and sweary. But Cruce Roosters is going to be rough. Ugly. If you’re my Mom, please don’t read it. To balance that out, I have an idea for an adventure series for young readers that I’ve already said too much about! Your letters of encouragement are, of course, always welcome. Or letters of discouragement. I’m usually just happy to have something to read that’s written just for me.

Last but not least! I made this rockin’ pirate ship with my son. Well, it’s not quite done. It’s a work in progress, and we have fun working on it. Look upon it and weep that you don’t have one!

It Was September

Last September was an exciting time. I was training and trying to lose a little weight for my first ever Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tournament. I was also going through final edits on Keep Away From Psycho Joe with my editor, Kate Jonez.

A bunch of folks have taken a look at Keep Away From Psycho Joe. A bunch more are reading it now. The feedback has been better than I’d hoped, and I can’t tell you how awesome that is.

But there’s something you don’t know about this book. The editing sessions were many. They typically went for two or three hours. But the FINAL editing session… It was September. At least, I’m pretty sure it was. It’s a blur now. Wanna know why? Then read the next paragraph!

I knew it was going to be a late night. We started editing shortly after I got home from work.  Video conferencing, of course. (SCIENCE!) I had a coffee and two Rock Star energy swigs on standby.  We edited furiously. It’s not easy – at least, not for me. Next to marketing, editing is the least fun part of the process. From favorite to least favorite, it  goes like this: 1) Ideation  2)Writing  3) Re-writing  4)Chasing bears out of my yard with a plastic shovel at night  5)Editing  6)Marketing.

We burned the midnight oil that night. And then we burned the next night’s ration of midnight oil, too. Then some more. Keep Away From Psycho Joe is a humor/horror novel for young adults, but the real scary stuff wouldn’t come until after. When I finally laid down in the very early hours of the morning, I’d gotten my body into some kind of crisis mode. Heart thudding so hard the whole bed shook, I went looking for sleep and found none. I shouldn’t say none… I might have gotten my eyes to stay shut for an hour or so before the sun came up. You get a little time to think when you’re laying there waiting for your heart to explode. You get time to revisit every awful thing you’ve done, to explore all your darkest fears. Falling asleep? Not for long! Here’s some terror for no reason and a layer of icy sweat!

Can’t complain, though. That’s what I signed up for. Thanks to Kate and those sessions, the book turned out better than I’d hoped. It was well worth the price, I’ll tell you that much. I’m pretty sure that was September.

And I can’t wait to do it again.

Chuggie #1 Audiobook

Just in time for the holidays, we have something pretty cool for you, my friends. As you may have guessed from the title of this post, it’s the audiobook for Chuggie and the Desecration of Stagwater! The book is narrated by a gentleman named Carl Moore, who is (spoiler alert) currently hard at work on narrating the 2nd Chuggie book, Chuggie and the Bleeding Gateways. I find this hugely exciting! Carl is super talented, and I just know you’re gonna love listening to him reading Chuggie’s story!

Here’s a link to where you can get it: CHUGGIE ON AUDIBLE

But let’s make this a little more interesting… See, I just updated the layout of this here webpage. That is one of MANY reasons why I’m presently feeling generous. Cutting to the chase, I have a handful of CODES that are good for one free download of the audiobook in question. If you’re the audiobook listening sort, email me and say “Hey, BMK! Gimme that sweet, sweet Code!” Or something. Surprise me. First come, first served. Supplies are limited, so don’t  wait if you want in. Just go here: CONTACT PAGE, and send that message!

Keep Away From Psycho Joe is Here!

Howdy, friends! The wait is over… Keep Away From Psycho Joe is here!

PAPERBACK

EBOOK

psycho-joe-ws

 

I’d be thrilled if you went ahead and bought yourself a copy of that sweet business right now! I’d be even MORE thrilled if you helped spread the word by posting a review on Amazon! So many exclamation points!

What’s it about? THIS:

Freshman year is over, and not a moment too soon for Ruby. He and his mom moved from Milwaukee to the tiny town of Bluehills at the beginning of the school year, and ever since he’s been in trouble. Now that school’s out for the summer, Ruby doesn’t know how he’ll fill his days. Ideally, he’d just pass the time watching movies with his pal Cludes… and Cludes’ lovely cousin Justine.

Whatever he does, he should probably keep away from the neighbor up the road, a man known around town as Psycho Joe. If the crude flyers posted all over the area are to be believed, Psycho Joe is a dangerous man – especially to young people.

As Ruby starts digging up the dirt on his mad neighbor, each answer leads to new, darker questions. Things get stranger and stranger the deeper Ruby digs. Just how dangerous is Psycho Joe? Are there unearthly forces at work in Bluehills? Will the answers drive Ruby insane, too?

Ruby should have listened when they told him…
KEEP AWAY FROM PSYCHO JOE

I hope you have as much fun reading it as I had writing it!