Just finished Tim Waggoner’s novel The Mouth of the Dark and enjoyed the story, with a few reservations. It’s dark, twisted, and a bit disturbing, but overall, a great original tale. I attended a class Tim taught at last year’s StokerCon called “How to Build a Better Monster.” I’ll say this for him; this guy can come up with some pretty monstrous creations.

I bought the book on Audible and my only complaint was that I didn’t care for the narrator, who……… seemed to ………….pause at………….odd times. Yeah, I’m being picky, but I’ve been spoiled rotten by some excellent narrators.

The general story is that a father goes looking for his estranged missing daughter. She’s an adult and has her own life, so he’s torn between doing whatever it takes to find her and intruding on her private life. And she definitely has a weird private life.

If you are squeamish about the more sinister aspects of sexual perversion, you might want to give this one a pass. It’s not porn, but it delves into that world and goes downhill from there. If you have a strong stomach, as I like to think I do, then this story will show you a new dark existence you never suspected… just beyond the shadows.

It's not Nessie, it's an alien from outer space...

Sometimes, writing fiction requires a little inspiration, a little nudge. Sometimes it even needs a swift kick in the butt...

Personally, I keep a file of story ideas handy. Every time I think of an interesting idea, however humble, or however far-fetched, I jot it down in my ideas file.

Often times my ideas come from something I've read or heard. Sometimes I read someone else's story and think, "Y'know, I would have handled that differently. If I were going to write about [enter idea here] I'd have done it this way..." ... and the idea gets plopped down into my ideas file.

Is that Pleager... Pfleageris... Plaguer... Is that cheating? BTW, while Googling the word 'plagiarism', I stumbled on a website that supposedly checks for you. https://smallseotools.com/plagiarism-checker/
I just found it, so no reviews yet, but I'll let you know.

And, to answer my own question; No, one cannot copyright an idea. Nor do I intend to reproduce a story already written by someone else. But if I read about a new [topic/idea/re-examination of an old idea/etc.] and think it's the coolest thing since sliced bread, then it goes into my ideas file (and eventually something similar may very well show up in a story of mine.)

Lemme give you an example: I listen to a cool podcast called Lore, produced by Aaron Mahnke. He produces a new 1/2 hour long podcast every week about all sorts of folklore and potential origins from around the world. I'm an avid listener and, if you haven't tied it, I highly recommend you check it out.  You can see his website at: http://theworldoflore.com.

One podcast I listened to recently (for the third time) talked about stones falling from the sky (they blamed it on a local widow - said she was a witch.)  Ooh! Ooh! Ooh!  I'm writing a story about witches.  I never thought about them making stones fall from the sky, but...

Now, if I do have my necromancers conjure rock-like projectiles out of thin air, I'll need to acknowledge Aaron and LORE for the idea, but nobody will call it plagiarism. It's inspiration.

 

See you next week,

Dana/Danothy

I recently attended the Kentucky Writers workshop in Louisville. It was a one-day event with several different classes on different aspects of writing / publishing / marketing. I also paid for pitch sessions (ten minutes of one-on-one time to try and pitch my novel) with 2 literary agents, which landed me an invitation to take the next step–sending them the first three chapters of my book for consideration.

I took lots of notes and got some great feedback on my writing. ,I also learned the next several steps I need to take in, and what I can expect to encounter in the process of getting my work published traditionally. All in all, some pretty useful info for a guy who wants to make money telling stories.

A similar workshop is coming to Cincinnati on May 18th. So, here’s to all us who long to be rich and famous for our wondrous story-telling talent, but don’t yet know all the nuts and bolts of the actual publishing process. Go to https://cincinnatiwritingworkshop.com/ for all the details.

And, if you happen to run into literary agent Denise Barone
while you’re there, tell her Danothy Grimm sends his regards.

P.S. I just found the schedule for all their workshops scheduled for 2019. So if you can’t make the Cincinnati event, take a look at when and where else you can participate: http://www.writingdayworkshops.com/event-locations–dates.html

Year's Best Hardcore Horror Volume 3Just finished the anthology Year's Best Hardcore Horror Volume 3 from Comet Press. FAIR WARING: while the word 'hardcore' doesn't necessarily refer to porn, they put it in the title for a reason. These stories go a step or three beyond what you'll find in mainstream horror. They're a little harder, a little edgier.

I'm always looking for authors of the horror genre I haven't read before in search of new favorites. And, although I tend to be wary of collections entitled "BEST" of anything, this collection delivers some pretty great stories. I'd like to tell you about a few of the ones i liked best

At the top of my list is a gruesome little tale called 'Reprising Her Role', by Bracken MacLeod. Without giving away any spoilers, it's about what might go wrong when a cheap porno shoot becomes an unintentional snuff film. I highly recommend this one. In fact, I'm going in search of other stories by Mr. MacLeod. I'm curious if anyone has read his work and what did you think?

"Tree Huggers" by Nathan Robinson would probably do well as a movie. A group of environmental activists prepare to do battle with the industrial machines scheduled to arrive in the morning. Instead, they end up battling something out-of-this-world, which also hugs the trees.

"Til Death" by Tim Waggoner was gruesome and inspiring... but mostly gruesome. I'm familiar with Mr. Waggoner's work and was happy to see his name in the book.

Then there was "Bernadette" by R. Perez De Pereda, which reminds us that it's never a good idea to use the powers of evil to accomplish something good. Just don't do it...

"So Sings the Siren" makes you question, is it art, or is it something more sinister?. "Junk" makes you question how safe our social media is. "Burnt" gives you a whole new perspective on the hospital's burn ward. And Glenn Gray writes about a jail 'Break" for the ages.

All in all, there are a lot of great stories in this collection. It makes me want to check out volumes 1 and 2. If you decide to give it a try, let me know your thoughts.

Remember my motto: Monsters are really real. Year's Best Hardcore Horror Volume 3 introduces us to a few of them...

Enjoy,

Dana / Danothy

I’m a author.

More specifically, I’m a newbie author, since I have very few published works to show for my time. One of the things I have spent significant time doing over the past couple of years is to research other authors in my genre(s). Primarily I’m interested in horror, but many of my stories also could be called urban fantasy. I’ve found a lot of new (to me) authors, but few whose work I really admire.

One of my favorites is Jack Kilborn, although it turns out that Jack is merely a pen-name for J. A. Konrath when he’s writing horror stories. J.A. writes in multiple genres and has a large fan-base for his Thrillers, but it’s the Kilborn stories I enjoy most.

I like the idea of using a different name for different type stories, which is why I have introduced my own pen-name Danothy Grimm for some of my stories, although I just came up with the name recently (thanks, Tim Kelly) so it may be a while before you can find books under that name.

Meanwhile, I recently read through J.A. Konrath’s blog “A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing” and saw this little tidbit entitled Konrath’s New Year’s Resolutions for Writers 2017 and enjoyed it so much that I want to pass along the wisdom of somebody I hope to one day call my peer (don’t worry, J.A., I’m still merely a fan.)

So, here are the resolutions (along with my responses.)

I will start/finish the damn book (check. Zombiphobia is finished. Urban Legends is in progress.)

I will always have at least three stories on submission, while working on a fourth (partial-check. I have only one on submission, but give me time…)

I will attend at least one writer’s conference, and introduce myself to agents, editors, and other writers (on my list for 2017)

I will subscribe to the magazines I submit to (haven’t gotten that far yet…)

I will join a critique group. If one doesn’t exist, I will start one at the local bookstore or library (check. I already belong to the Cincinnati Writers Group.)

I will finish every story I start (oh, man! do I have to?)

I will listen to criticism (check, although I don’t always take it to heart. Ultimately it is my story, not theirs.)

I will create/update my website (half check. I’m working on it.)

I will master the query process and search for an agent (partial check. I’m learning how.)

I’ll quit procrastinating in the form of research, outlines, synopses, taking classes, reading how-to books, talking about writing, and actually write something (check.)

I will refuse to get discouraged, because I know JA Konrath wrote 9 novels, received almost 500 rejections, and penned over 1 million words before he sold a thing–and I’m a lot more talented than that guy (okay, now I’m depressed… )

But thanks for a good starting point, J.A., and please continue dispensing your nuggets of wisdom. I’m listening.

Dana / Danothy

Boy, do I feel stupid! I loved the movie Horns from 2013, starring Daniel Radcliffe, and I knew it was based on a book by an author named Joe Hill. Last night one of my fellow authors pointed out that Joe Hill is the son of Stephen King, my all-time-favorite author. You’d think I would have known he had a son, but…

So, being the mature, intelligent, sophisticated man that I am, I responded with a mature, intelligent, sophisticated retort,

“No way!”

…to which there is, of course, only one logical response,

“Way, Ted!”

It turns out that I’ve even listened to a couple of Joe’s books (on Audible) and I never made the connection. So, I have some catching up to do. I gotta go read everything the man has ever written.

And… OMG! He has another brother, Owen, who is also an author! Father and son even collaborated on a new book “Sleeping Beauties.”

Looking forward to catching up on some great horror / urban fantasy.

I am a published author of horror, sci-fi, and urban fantasy stories, which sounds really cool, but doesn’t mean much these days with all the self-publishing venues now available. Last year I self-published my first collection of short stories, Altered Perceptions, on Kindle and actually sold several copies through friends, family, and social media (You know who you are and thank you very much.)

I also received feedback, the most notable of which praised my talent as a story-teller, but also mentioned that one story in particular, Ghost Job, went too far. In my defense, Ghost Job (betcha can’t guess what it’s about…) was prefaced with a disclaimer stating that it was blatantly sexual and that, if the reader was likely to skip over one of my stories for being too intense, this was the one to skip.

My tales generally deal with the supernatural, or at least the really weird and creepy. But some really push the reader past their comfort zone, and intentionally so. In light of feedback, I decided to separate those stories, set them apart from the rest, so as not to alienate my readers.

Actually, I hope you like both, but if you’re a fan of true horror, if you appreciate the thrill of being taken to the edge of your comfort level, and just beyond it, then you are welcome to read stories attributed to Danothy Grimm (my evil twin.)

And if those are a little too much for your taste, no sweat. You can follow stories written by Dana Kisor (Danothy’s evil twin, but a little more laid back.) While all my tales are designed to push your boundaries, these will push only a little.

Basically Danothy doesn’t want specifically to offend anybody, he just believes that horror stories need to be, well, horrible. If it doesn’t make you squirm, then how effective is it?

So, from here on out, I will attribute stories like Ghost Job to Danothy Grimm. Incidentally, my first novel, Zombiphobia, which I am trying to get published this year, will probably have Danothy’s name on it.

So, to get your first peek at my way of story-telling, at a pretty reasonable price, look for Altered Perceptions on Kindle. It may also prove informative if you continue to read my upcoming books, since many of them share settings and characters.

And, if you find some of my work a bit too extreme, remember what Danothy always says.

‘It’s called horror for a reason.”

You have been warned… 😉