2011 was not the most productive year of my life. I’ve had better years, really, but at least I met some goals; submitted 6 short stories (various e-zines and publishers), sold one of them, gave the rest away, worked on projects and made much progress and finally, built a pretty solid writing platform online. Point is, I could have done better and worked harder at my writing career. Will I do better in 2012? Of course I will, and besides, im not in this for the money, I do it because I love to write and the Horror genre is where my heart lies. (Other than with my wife, just in case she is reading this)
Ok… Truth time.
A large amount of the small successes that didn’t happen to me in 2011 were due to my lack of trying harder. I know that I had to deal with the usual stuff: two jobs, college, family and life, but despite all that, I believe I have done decent with the time I had. And hopefully you have too. This year though, I threw out all the planners and New Years resolutions and just made a choice, treating my writing career like a deadline, so to speak. A cold, hard choice to work on my writing and grow as an author. I’m sure many of you have been in this boat before and heard this rant as well and maybe, if you already have not, you will make your own solid decision about your own life.
Well, that’s it for the inspiration section, now on to the good stuff! The year in review in Horror! Or otherwise titled, “What I Thought Was Interesting!”
In 2011, Dark Regions Press had a hell of a year. I ordered a lot of books from them and their author list has grown considerably. Also, they are a Bram Stoker award winning press and trust me folks, the HWA doesn’t just hand those things out for nothing. Please check them out and do your self a favor and buy some trade paperbacks!
“What about a Horror genre forum?”, Well yhea, Shocklines has been gone and dead, Horror drive in is a good place to vent in a forum, or so I hear because I don’t personally know, somehow I have been denied from joining their forums, or maybe they don’t check their email, either way one of the questions of 2011 was where do I find a place to connect with my fellow heroes and peers in the genre? I propose that we make Horrorworld.org our new official horror forum. If you haven’t already heard of their Podcast, aptly names, “Pod Of Horror” (Available from iTunes for free) then I recommend that you download all their past episodes. Not only is it a great primer for those who are uninitiated into this wonderful genre but it is a seriously kick ass show.
I have read close to 64 books, novellas, books on tapes ect., last year in 2011. I thought I would share my top ten. They are in no particular order and some are older and some are new.
10. The Face That Must Die by Ramsey Campbell- I have loved Campbell’s stuff since I can remember and this one was one of my favorites. I got it here, and its part of a great line of e-books release by the people that bring us NECON every year! Good stuff.
9. “In Laymon’s Terms” Edited by Kelly Laymon, Steve Gerlach and Richard Chizmar- Man, I love Dick Laymon! Always have and always will, to me he will always be the king of the mountain. But why, Chuck? Because through reading all his books, he taught me my very first important lesson about writing…Write what you want because no one else writes like you. This man taught me, post mortem, to be fearless and this beautiful book is a wonderful dedication to the man. It has remembrances to Laymon, stories in his honor and even family pictures. Kelly laymon should be proud of this book. Buy it here, you won’t regret it.
8. PAIN by Harry Shannon- I have never read Harry Shannon but now I am part of the fan club. This novella is different from other zombie stories in that it isn’t actually a zombie story. Jonathan Mayberry explains it better than I ever could. An awesome, quick read. So nice, I read it twice. Available here from Dark Regions Press.
7. BLINDSPOT by Michael McBride- Great Novella! It’s like Tom Clancy had a love child with Satan. Really fast pace and loads of fun! Available here from Bad Moon Books.
6. Gleefully Macabre Tales by Jeff Strand- Why does this guy not have a Stoker award yet?? This is a collection of short stories about, well macabre tales. Trust me, you will laugh, you will cry… you will DIE! Grab it here, if you dare.
5. Boys Life by Robert R. McCammon- Wow! this is a powerful, freighting book. I like everything that McCammon puts out and this one is a classic. even though it was released years ago it still should be a must read for any young kid and adult alike. Pick up this one and all his other back novels here!
4. Miranda by John R. Little- this was a haunting book, very cool and despite the quick read it sticks with me till this day. Pick it up here.
3. Creekers by Edward Lee- SICK, SICK, SICK!! And yet Lee’s writing has always been top notch in my book. I love it, I admit it and it doesn’t get any better than the master of splat, Ed Lee. Dig it up here.
2. The Dark At The End by F. Paul Wilson– F. Paul Wilson is one fantastic writer and I have read every one of his repair man jack novels so when this came out last October, I pre-ordered and devoured it. it is, as always, excellent. Get all the Repair Man Jack novels here.
1. 11/22/63 by Stephen King- I will go on record right now and say that I think this is Stephen Kings Best Work to date. Yes, Its a big book but the quality of the work is incredible. It’s not just a book about time travel, in fact, that is just one part of the story. The characters are classic King, deep, interesting and real and the ending will have you in tears. It shook me up a bit and it was worth the reading investment it took to get through it. Highly Recommended. Buy it here.
Well, that about does it . Thank you to all my readers, new and old, for being so patient with getting this blog off the ground, and I look forward to hearing from you throughout the year.