Friday, March 20, 2015


Strip clubs and music go together like cookies and the Cookie Monster; they cannot exist independently. Well, they could, but they would suck without each other (that might be a pun, and if it is, I didn't mean it). 

Whenever I think of strippers, there is an image in my mind of women dancing in ancient temples with torchlight flickering beneath a halo of stars and night. Kind of. 

My novel, Vampire Strippers from Saturn, is a manifestation of specific songs that I  listened to while creating the novel. These songs are very responsible for the book, more than I am, really. I blame them all. The strip club in my novel seems to have sort of an 80s music theme, with a sprinkle of other songs. Now, before you look at the list, please know that I listen to a lot of rap music while writing my Zombie Ascension books... rap and hip-hop were INTENTIONALLY left out of this book for a thematic purpose. 

I really, really think the reading experience is enhanced by these songs, even if you don't like them. I like to think this would be the soundtrack to a movie version of the narrative. 

If you're a Green Day fan, there is one particular stripper in the novel who is a huge fan, but the other strippers are not. 

Soundtrack (in order of appearance)

“Minerva” by the Deftones
“Bloodstone” by Judas Priest
“Big Spender” by Peggy Lee
Green Day (no specific songs listed sadly)
“The End” by Rush
“In My Time of Dying” by Led Zeppelin
“Harvester of Eyes” by Blue Oyster Cult
“Tales of Brave Ulysses” by Cream
“Closer” by Nine in Nails
“One of These Nights” by The Eagles
“Obsession” by Animotion
“Hold Me” by Fleetwood Mac
“Nasty Girl” by Vanity 6
“I Want Your Sex” by George Michael
“Saints in Hell” by Judas Priest
“No More No More” by Aerosmith
“Hey Jude” by The Beatles
“Karma Chameleon” by Boy George
“You Say Yes” by Judas Priest
“Spreading the Disease" by Queensryche
“Touch Too Much” by AC/DC
“Dazed and Confused” by Led Zeppelin
“Rag Doll” by Aerosmith
“Slow Ride” by Foghat
“Turning Circles” by Judas Priest

CLICK HERE TO PRE-ORDER THE BOOK  (it will download to your Kindle automatically on March 30th). 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015


Been staying plenty busy promoting vampire strippers, and at the same time, I have a new book coming out, which happens to include strippers who are also vampires. In the spirit of keeping everything in one place, I will post all the new stuff here.

Here is a link that features an interview over at Dead End Follies. Although it might seem a bit on the snarky side, I took everything seriously, and almost all of it is true. 

Over at Ginger Nuts of Horror, I wrote a featured article about the infamous question people like to ask artists: "WHAT INSPIRES YOU?" I explain why the question isn't so horrible.

Here's a review of Vampire Strippers from Saturn that is both poetic and highly quotable. I think the gentleman who wrote the article did a great job articulating what readers should expect, and the type of audience that would enjoy the book.

FINALLY... you can preorder the Kindle version at the following link, and it will download to your Kindle device as soon as the book comes out. There will be a paperback version, too. 

Thanks for stopping by. I will likely run some kind of contest involving vampire strippers, though it's challenging to work with them because a lot of them are thinking about migrating to Mars. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

New Covers (Some Kind of Update)

A lot of time has passed since I posted something to the ol’ blog. Meanwhile, the world has been turning. Weird.

On the outside looking in, it seems like I haven’t been all that productive. A lot of great things are happening over at Bizarro Pulp Press, which I am proud to be part of. If you like your fiction a bit “different” than “normal” stuff, go on over and see what we’ve got going on.

I've been hard at work on Saint Pain, the conclusion to the Zombie Ascension trilogy. I can empathize with George R. R. Martin a little (just a little); writing a series is difficult, on so many levels, especially if you’re extremely committed to the characters and allow them a chance to dictate where the story goes. Saint Pain is nearly 400 pages in length at this point in draft form, not counting what has to be added, rewritten, deleted, etc. To say it has been a labor of love would be selling it short.

Meanwhile, the covers for the first two books were updated by Severed Press. Check them out!

On March 30th, Vampire Strippers from Saturn will be published from Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing. The title should be sort of a dead-giveaway; Saturn is a gas planet. Vampires couldn’t “come from” Saturn, could they? The book is a romantic horror-satire with a bit of time travel thrown in (okay, a lot of time travel). The cover art is by George C. Cotronis 

A new poetry narrative will be coming out this year, tentatively called Visions of a Tremulous Man. I have a couple other projects that I’m shopping around, but these days, Bizarro Pulp Press, moving into a new house, and getting ready for our third child has pretty much consumed my life (and that of my family).

I’m promising myself that I will update this thing again sooner rather than later. I should have the dream cast up for Vampire Strippers from Saturn very soon. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014


If you've visited my blog in the past, you know I love these fantasy film casts. I remember reading WIZARD magazine as a kid, and the comic book movie dream casts were always a favorite segment of mine. Heck... I think they mentioned Patrick Stewart as Professor Xavier years ago, but that's a no-brainer, isn't it? 

Some of the actors I picked aren't particularly well-known. I think readers should be able to use their imagination to see these character in the narrative, but if I had it MY WAY, well... here's the cast for DARK RISING, my new novel from Severed Press (details about the book below the cast). 

Anna Vivaldi

An Italian-Irish woman who is nothing more than leg and attitude, Noomi Rapace is perfect for this role. Why? Because Noomi Rapace is awesome. That’s why. She does a good job portraying tough female characters without being over-sexualized, and Anna Vivaldi is nothing but over-sexualized. I think this would be a good role for Rapace. Please. Please say yes…

Mari Riso

This actress is Rosa Kato. I looked her up, and this pose seems to capture everything that I would want to see in Mari Riso on the silver screen. Tough, haunted, and unwilling to compromise her family’s sacred mission. 

Captain Brand Whitmore

A veteran ship captain, haunted by the woman that he lost when his ship sank several years ago. A drunken wreck of a man who still clings to the fleeting moments he had with Patricia Vivaldi, he is cursed by the ancient octopus demigod. Kurt Russell would be unhinged enough, and could easily make the transition to a damaged man. He’s the perfect balance to the remote and stilted Clive Nightingale. 

Clive Nightingale

Who better to play a creepy sorcerer with a penchant for guitar playing and serial-killing than Clive Owen? Owen’s voice is arguably one of the creepiest in Hollywood, and he could portray the mysterious, morose man who is playing a game with cosmic dice. 


Another actor I chose for his look, although I am familiar with his work in Hari Kiri. This actor’s name is Eita, and he’s a handsome lad. The character, Chan, is a young, ambitious government agent who steadfastly believes in his mission. Chan isn’t afraid of a giant octopus, and he isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty.


I don’t want to spoil which character Gilian Anderson would play, but after you read the first chapter, it wouldn’t be much of a surprise, anyway. In a film version, I assume she would appear in flashback/memory sequences, because I’d certainly want to maximize my use of Gilian Anderson. 


An ancient creature sleeps in the Pacific Ocean, awakened only by the music of sorcery.

Anna Vivaldi has never forgotten the disappearance of her mother, but at least she has the money and courage to find closure. But she’ll need the only survivors from her mother’s expedition: Whitmore, the drunken captain who lost something precious on the first voyage, and Nightingale, the man who had whisked Anna’s mother away on a search for something ancient and terrible. 

On the vast ocean. In the haunted past. Wanted by millionaire treasure hunters and scientists. A thing that should not be real. An island of mysteries. An abyss of death. PREPARE FOR A DARK RISING. 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Crown of the Old Iron King: A brief reflection on the Dark Souls II DLC


It’s no secret that I’m obsessed with Dark Souls. If there were awesome action figures, I would buy them. Comic book? I would be interested. I am kicking around the idea of writing a book that takes place in the universe, but I would rather do it as official canon, supported by From Software. We essentially have a gothic, post-apocalyptic fantasy world with a ruined kingdom and the dreams of its departed king. 

The new DLC, Crown of the Old Iron King, seems like it’s stirring up a bit of controversy because a boss that was reused. I love the idea that Dark Souls is truly a community game; forums and blogs dedicated to the game have a huge influence on how people play it, and perceive it. I’ve read that some people are disenchanted with the DLC, and that’s okay. It’s their opinion. 

Comparing Demons Souls and Dark Souls I and II seems like a ridiculous idea to me; it feels like comparing the first three Super Mario games for Nintendo. The new DLC is comparable to the first Dark Souls game; part of the challenge in Dark Souls was surviving the trip to a boss room over and over again. Sometimes, I would get impatient, try to rush through, and die an embarrassing death. 

I can’t tell you how long I spent trying to kill the new Smelter Demon.

I also can’t tell you how many video games require you to kill on older boss near the end of the game. A lot of platform-action games give you a second chance to fight a boss you hated the first time; sometimes, the boss is more powerful, maybe even accompanied by other tough enemies. 

You have to have a whole new level of patience while playing Crown of the Old Iron King. The best strategy I could devise while fighting all three of the new bosses was simply to survive the fight as long as I could. Instead of trying to get in several whacks at a time, I relied on speed and my allies. We used a “taking turns” approach, where we would each go in for a few strikes, and then stand in front of it while one of my slammed an Estus Flask. 

So yeah, all three bosses of the new bosses were melee-style fighters. The game already features several corrupt spell-casters. I’ll never forget fighting one of the red phantoms at the bottom of a ladder; my fire-infused sword lit up large torches, which set the mood for the fight nicely. 

 I spent several hours playing the DLC. I had to wait forever for a human player to show up when I fought the boss. During my struggles, I met a very cool ally. My ally reached out to me after our first defeat against Sir Alonne, and we managed to hook up again. It was pretty awesome. There’s just something awesome about fighting these bosses with a partner and adhering to a sort of pattern without even communicating what that pattern is. I truly feel as if my character is nothing more than a phantom trapped in a hopeless multiverse that is fated to slide into the Abyss.  

I love it. The DLC is awesome. Playing it on NG+, and I keep remembering that this is EXTRA stuff. The game was already huge to begin with. For the most part, I think DLC is silly, an obvious cash-grab. But From Software has delivered an amazing experience. I wish that a new NPC might hang out like the Cresftallen Knight and have some cryptic and haunting lore to share, but I guess we have the former king of Drangleic for that.

Wouldn’t it be excellent for the next DLC to include more lore based on the Melfian Academy? I can’t recall if there’s a specific location in the game that used to be the academy; one of the classic tropes of swords and sorcery fiction is a sorcery school, or a vast, arcane fortress that protects the kingdom’s sorcerous secrets. 
One last, small observation.

I’m a huge Roberto Bolano fan. He is my literary hero, and he often made mention of something called THE ABYSS. Thomas Ligotti, who has been in the news lately because of the True Detective controversy, could have easily written King Vendrick’s poetic dialogue regarding THE DARK. Very interesting. 
Dark Souls II is a huge game. While some folks are breezing through the DLC in a couple hours, I am soaking it in. Loving every minute of it. The fight against Sir Alonne was very fun, and the sense of accomplishment I felt when I beat all three bosses was similar to the gratification I experienced after beating the bosses in Crown of the Sunken King. 

After I beat Sir Alonne, I felt like I could run the obstacle course on American Ninja Warrior. Because I’m awesome. Yeah. I just killed a video game monster. 

I could write at length about the philosophy of dread-fear that permeates these games. They are designed masterfully, in my opinion. Dark Souls II has been controversial simply because it’s NOT EXACTLY like the first game. For that, I am glad. If I wanted to play Dark Souls, I would play it. I own the game. People are buying the same recycled Call of Duty games over and over again, and people will always buy the sports games no matter how many minor adjustments might detract from the experience or enhance it. At the end of the day, a video game that entertains is successful.