The Epitaph, Issue #13 (October 2011)

Issue #13 (October 2011)

The Epitaph
Journal of the New England Horror Writers (NEHW)

The NEHW Board of Directors:

Tracy L. Carbone – Co-Chair
Stacey Longo – Co-Chair
Dan Keohane – Treasurer
Jason Harris – Director of Publicity/Webmaster
Tim Deal – Director of Publications
T.J. May – Co-Director of Events
Scott Goudsward – Co-Director of Events
Danny Evarts – Art Director

NEHW Events:

SouthCoast Toy and Comic Show, Nov. 6

The NEHW will have a table at the SouthCoast Toy and Comic Show on Sunday, Nov. 6, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Seaport Inn and Marina in Fairhaven, MA. For more information, check out the website, Authors Dave Goudsward, Kasey Shoemaker, Rob Watts, and Stacey Longo will be at the event. Authors Nathan Wrann and Kristi Petersen Schoonover will have books at the show. There is still time to participate. Email Jason Harris at if you wish to be at the NEHW table at the show.

Anthocon, Nov. 11 – 13

There will be a NEHW table at Anthocon the weekend of Nov. 11-13. Email Tracy Carbone at if you are interested in a spot at the table.
There will also be a book release party for Epitaphs, NEHW’s first anthology. There will be a special table for the anthology and most of the authors included in this collection will be at the convention throughout the weekend signing copies.
For more information about Anthocon and Epitaphs, click on the “Anthocon” and “Epitaphs” categories on the website,

NEHW Publicity Committee:
The Publicity Committee members are Stacey Longo, Kristi Petersen Schoonover, David Price, and Doug Rinaldi. If you are interested in joining the committee, please contact Jason Harris at


From David Price:

The Mystery Writers of America are now accepting submissions for an anthology tentatively titled What Lies Inside, edited by Brad Meltzer. This should be a story about something that is hidden, whether it is a real object hidden in a vault somewhere or a secret buried deep down in someone’s subconscience. Stories should be between 3,500 and 7,000 words. Deadline is February 1, 2012. Full guidelines can be found at:


From Stacey Longo:

The Library of Living Dead Press and its sister imprints, including the Library of Horror Press, have sadly announced a hold on all anthology publishing for a minimum of six months. Authors with stories waiting for publication with this press can visit the Twisted Library forum at for information regarding specific anthologies and story rights.


From Kristi Petersen Schoonover:

Schoonover’s short story, “Vanity,” which was inspired by Poe’s “The Oval Portrait” is now available in Dark Opus Press’ In Poe’s Shadow.

In this anthology each piece is inspired by one of Poe’s, and they’re grouped as such. If you’re a fan of “The Fall of the House of Usher,” there’s Sorrel Wood’s “De’Atherton House;” if you’re a fan of “The Masque of the Red Death” there’s S.S. Hampton, Sr.’s “The Mumbai Malaise;” if you’re a fan of “The Premature Burial,” there’s Dorian Dawes’ “Loving the Dead.”

You can order your copy of In Poe’s Shadow here:

Schoonover was recently interviewed by Dave’s Disney View, a podcast dedicated to all things Disney for Disney Park fans. She spent the time talking about the real ghost stories behind the tableaux in the Haunted Mansion attraction. You can listen to the episode right from the Dave’s Disney View website here:

For those of you who missed it, Kristi has a mini-movie posted of the New England Horror Writers’ experience at Rock and Shock on her blog. You can watch that here:

From Eric Dimbleby:

Dimbleby’s debut novel, Please Don’t Go, was released in September. Details can be found at his website,

From Dave Goudsward:

Goudsward was interviewed for the October issue of Rue Morgue magazine, an issue dedicated to the Fly movies in their various incarnations. He discusses George Langelaan, author of the original short story, “The Fly” as well as The Fly at Fifty, Dave’s non-fiction book/anniversary retrospect on the classic David Hedison/Vincent Price version of the film.

He will also be attending the SouthCoast Toy and Comic Show in Fairhaven, MA. on Sunday, Nov. 6.

From Alyn Day:

Day has been accepted into the anthology, So Long And Thanks For All The Brains, due out mid-December.

From Rick Hautala:

Hautala has sold Star Road, a collaboration with Matt Costello, to Brendan Deneen at St. Martin’s/Thomas Dunne, for publication in 2013.

His novel, The Mountain King and Four Octobers, is now available as an e-book from Cemetery Dance Publications.

From Dale Phillips:

Phillips’ second novel, A Fall From Grace, is at the publisher and should be released in November. It’s a mystery.

From Timothy Flynn:

Flynn’s first pro sale of a poem, “My Mind Floats Above Me,” will be in Space and Time magazine (Issue 115) this Fall.

From Jesse Young:

Young is a new member and wanted people to know he is an illustrator. He is available for cover art and interiors. His portfolio is available online at
“I look forward to getting to know and working with you all,” Young said.

From Kevin Lewis:

Dead Christmas: A Zombie Anthology, which features Lewis’ short story, “Merry Christmas, Claire,” is now available in both print and on Amazon Kindle. It is published by Open Casket Press.

From John Grover:

Grover is pleased to announce the re-release of his collection Feminine Wiles to the Kindle and Nook. After years of only being available in paperback, his favorite collection of 16 wicked women is now available on any e-reader.
All new cover art and a great price make this a great deal and it has already garnered two new 5-star reviews.

Check it out here: l-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1319585261&sr=1-1

For the nook: 40011521782&itm=1&usri=feminine%2bwiles

Grover’s story, “Their Familiar,” is now available in the new anthology by Open
Casket Press, Creature Features, which is in trade paperback and
e-book at Amazon.

His story “Projecting Evil,” is in Library of Horror Press’ Horrorology also
available at Amazon.

Grover is also thrilled to have his story, “Windblown Shutter,” in the NEHW’s first anthology, Epitaphs and will be attending the signing at Anthocon where he hopes to meet many of his fellow writers.

Finally, if you would like to sample some of Grover’s writing, he has a free story available on Smashwords, “The Disembodied.” Stop by and check it out:

All of these titles can be easily found on John’s recently updated website: Where you will find two new book trailers on the news page, one for Terror in Small Doses, still only .99 cents on Kindle or Nook.

From Stacey Longo:

Longo was recently asked to speak to a group of high school students at the Arts at Capitol Theater magnet school in Willimantic, CT. She spoke about writing as a craft and an industry. Her notes about this presentation appeared on the NEHW blog on October 24, 2011.

From Lawson Welles:

Welles is currently putting the finishing touches on the controversial horror/political novel, Schreck – The Hunt for Hitler’s Vampire, about to go out to an undisclosed publisher (to be announced at a later date). It has been described as “Dracula meets the Odessa File.” His first film, Cricket Snapper, a neo-noir BDSM crime drama based on the true story of the Quincy dominatrix, premiered in Boston this past May, which received news coverage from the Quincy Patriot-Ledger.

He is also preparing his Penn State Master’s paper on Japanese Vampire legends for publication.

Jesse Young (CT)
Michael Dias (RI)
Christopher Pappas (MA)
Matt Sughrue (MA)
Kris Triana (MA)
Raynard Stevens (NH)
Suzanne Reynolds-Alpert (MA)
Matthew Martino (MA)
Ashleigh Homon (MA)
Jenna Moquin (MA)

– Jason Harris, Editor, the Epitaph: Journal of NEHW
– Stacey Longo, Assistant Editor, the Epitaph: Journal of NEHW

Writers Against Plagiarism

This blog post originally appeared on

Writers Against Plagiarism: A Call to Action by Victoria Strauss

It’s been a year since I first blogged about serial plagiarist “Iron” Dave Boyer (among many other names), whose prolific pilfering of other writers’ words has become something of an Internet legend, especially in the horror community, where he concentrates his efforts.

The fact that Boyer’s multiple misappropriations have been extensively exposed by intrepid researchers and bloggers, and discussed on popular message boards, doesn’t seem to have fazed him in the slightest. He is still at it, swiping stories from writers both known and unknown, and selling them to unwitting consumers as his own original work. Lately, he has branched out into snitching song lyrics–something that, unlike merely filching fiction, can get you into real trouble with the corporate overlords. (See B.Thoughtful’s blog for an encyclopedic expose of Boyer’s prose pirating, as well as a list of his many aliases.)

Now, thanks to activism by Ferrell Rick Moore, one of Boyer’s first victims, the Attorney General in Boyer’s home state of Indiana is investigating whether to pursue Boyer on consumer fraud charges.

Here’s where we can help. From Rick’s blog (the bolding is mine):

In the past, the only recourse a writer had was to file an expensive, time consuming and ultimately unproductive lawsuit against creeps like Boyer who then claim they’re bankrupt. Help me change that. Tell the Attorney General’s office for the State of Indiana how important it is for this plagiarist publisher to be subject to the same penalties as any other crooked business. We want him pursued under Consumer Fraud regulations at their cost, not ours. He’s defrauding consumers by selling them our stuff with his name on it.

Here’s where to send your respectful but firm letters and or emails of support, and be sure to include the File Number File No. 10-CP-62157:

Tom Irons
Consumer Protection Division
Office of the Indiana Attorney General
302 W. Washington St., 5th Floor
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Please add your voice to this campaign. A letter of support has already been sent by the Horror Writers Association. Mine went off this morning.

Please feel free to share this post, or put the call out on your own blog. There’s also a Facebook page where you can express support and check for updates. Thank you!

(As a matter of interest, Indiana is one of the few states that has actually prosecuted literary scammers–vanity publisher New Century Publishing in 2010, and self-publishing service/marketing company Airleaf in 2008.)

Publishing, Self-Publishing and Scams

David Price found this blog entry at

Publishing, Self-Publishing and Scams by Fantasy author Nyki Blatchley

There’s been a lot of debate online recently about traditional publishing and self-publishing. Most of this has been constructive, but there’s also some misinformation flying about, whether this is from people with a vested interest in a particular sector, or from authors who’ve got the wrong end of the stick from being scammed in the past. I’d like to go through the various options in, I hope, an impartial and objective way.

Few would disagree, I think, that the holy grail for any author is to land a contract with a major publishing house.

While it doesn’t by any means guarantee a place on the bestseller lists, that isn’t easy to achieve without a major publisher behind you.

Besides having the funds to support a substantial print-run, they also have extensive distribution networks, large publicity departments ready to swing into action, and the name to attract the attention of reviewers and booksellers.

The drawback, of course, is that few major houses will even look at submissions from an unknown author. Though there are occasional exceptions, the only practical way to get such a contract is to be taken on by a literary agent. This too can be difficult, but not impossible.

I’ve read some extraordinary claims online about the way agents are supposed to work: that anyone who gets a business card printed up can be an agent; that all they do is leech money from an author, offering nothing in return; that they’re really publishers in disguise, or that they’re actually working for a particular publisher.

There are, as in any industry, crooks out there posing as literary agents, and perhaps these claims come from authors who have fallen into the clutches of such crooks. None of the claims, however, are true of any reputable agent.

A good agent will have a background working in the industry, either for him/herself or for another agency or publisher, and will have a list of successful clients. In the digital age, it’s easy enough to check up on them.

Besides studying their own website, google the name and see what’s being said about them online. Pay particular attention to any discussion on the anti-scamming sites, such as the excellent Writer Beware.

A literary agency is, of course, a business, and its primary purpose is to make money. However, the only way the agent can make money is if the author does. An agent works for a fixed percentage (normally between 10% and 15%) of what the author makes and doesn’t make a penny unless there’s money coming in.

The golden rule in all sectors of publishing is that money always flows towards the author, not away. If any agent or publisher (other than an avowed self-publisher) asks for money up front, do a quick about-turn and beat it.

In return for this, the author gets a range of professional services which, even if they could learn to achieve, would take away a considerable amount of writing time, together with a network of contacts and a reputation that only an already successful author could hope to match.

A literary agent is a facilitator, working for the author, and any hint of other interests should be treated with extreme suspicion. S/he might, certainly, recommend using a professional editor, but a reputable agent will direct you to a resource where you can examine and compare the various editors available. If an agent refers you to one specific editor, then it’s almost certain that the “editor” is the “agent” wearing a different hat. This would be completely unprofessional behavior.

If it proves too difficult to get an agent or major publisher, there are countless small-to-medium publishers out there who will usually look an unagented submissions – many of the best will be listed on sites like Ralan and Duotrope.
These often use either POD (print on demand) or e-publishing, both of which are sometimes mistakenly assumed to be synonymous with self-publishing. In fact, they are merely techniques which can be used by publishers, self-publishers and scammers alike to keep costs down. POD is a method where, instead of committing in advance to a large print-run, a publisher can produce copies as and when they’re ordered.

Similarly, e-publishing requires only the initial costs for editing, layout and artwork, and the result can be sold however many times it’s needed.

What both methods offer is a means by which a book can be published with relatively little capital, thus allowing these companies to accept books that, although they might be good, wouldn’t be considered viable ventures by a larger company. These small publishers operate a submission and selection procedure, rejecting far more than they accept, provide a full editorial service, fund all production costs and distribute the book. What they don’t usually offer is a publicity service. Some might send out review copies, especially if they’re electronic copies, but on the whole it’s up to the author to promote their work.
Not an ideal situation, but better than any option other than a major house.

One thing that e-publishing has changed is the range of lengths possible for publication. In general, traditional publishing is unlikely to be financially viable outside the 80,000 to 120,000 thousand word range – unless, of course, you’re already famous enough for sales to be guaranteed.

With e-publishing, even short stories can be individual books, while epics could theoretically be as long as you like.

Self-publishing, in which the author pays the costs of production and distribution, has been around for some time, and many classic authors self-published their first book. Some authors prefer to refer to this now as independent publishing. There are many areas in which self-publishing works very well. An academic, for instance, may wish to publish a highly specialist work which is unlikely to sell more than a few dozen copies, but might be the very thing that will gain the author that lucrative professorship or research post. At the other end of the spectrum, during the 1990s I put together several booklets of poetry, which I simply ran off from my computer and sold at gigs, and this worked very well.

In recent years, self-publishing has become considerably easier and cheaper. E-publishing systems like Kindle and POD systems like Lulu make it possible for authors to do it themselves with no upfront costs, simply paying the company a cut of each book sold. It’s also possible to publish work on your blog or website.
There’s both good and bad in this. It certainly provides a means for authors to get work out to the public that might not see the light of day otherwise, some of it excellent. I know of at least one case where a novel originally published on the author’s blog was picked up by a publisher and is now enjoying a fair degree of success.

Still, these cases are rare. Like all the old Hollywood stories of actors (or more often actresses) being discovered in bizarre circumstances, they happen, but the odds of gaining success that way are probably considerably less than by going through the conventional route.

The biggest disadvantages of the self-publishing boom are the sheer volume of material being put out and the fact that, because there’s no quality control, the vast majority of it is stuff that would never stand a chance of getting published in any other way. Even books that have promise often come over as very amateurish. I’ve read self-published books by authors who have considerable talent and flair, but their work cries out to be edited.

The editorial process isn’t a luxury or an optional extra or, as some unpublished authors seem to assume, an insult to their talent. It’s a dialogue between the author and a highly experienced professional who can take a dispassionate look at dotting the Is and crossing the Ts, and this can make a vast difference. I’ve a reasonably healthy estimate of my writing ability, but I’d be very reluctant to allow a novel to go out under my name without having gone through the editorial process.

Of course, it’s possible to hire a freelance editor to provide the same service, but that’s expensive, and the temptation to go it alone is too great for most authors. This gives self-publishing a (mostly deserved) reputation for poor quality.

It has another effect, too. It can be distressing and soul-destroying to endlessly submit and be rejected, but it can also be very good for the writing. Some publishers and agents will give feedback as to why they weren’t willing to take the work, and this advice should be treasured, even if it hurts at first. Even when the rejection is by form, it forces the author to think about what they’re not doing well enough, and to strive for improvement.

The reaction of many authors now to receiving a few rejections is to forget about it and self-publish. They’re never challenged to improve because they know anything they want published will be. Comparisons are often made with the music industry, and I think the same plusses and minuses exist there. The Beatles, for instance, became the great band they did not just through raw talent, but by playing endless sessions, to every conceivable audience, in the clubs of Liverpool and Hamburg. If they’d simply been able to record in their bedrooms and put out the results on YouTube, they’d never have achieved the polish to become the legend they did.

This doesn’t mean self-publishing doesn’t have a place. As in the music industry, established authors can buy back the rights to older, out-of-print books and reissue them under their own imprint. Authors who can afford to pay for editors, artists and designers might produce high-quality books. There are other possibilities, too. I’ve toyed with the idea of setting up a collective of reasonably experienced authors who can offer mutual editorial support and self-publish under an imprint which could eventually build up a reputation for quality. Even so, I doubt that I’d publish anything longer than a novella that way. I want my novels to be published because someone out there loves them, not just because I’ve chosen it.

I’ve dealt with the publishing and self-publishing in the title of this piece. There are, unfortunately, also scams in publishing, just as there are in every other industry, traditionally referred to as vanity publishing. Unlike self-publishing, these outfits delude authors into believing they’re actual publishing companies and praise their work to the skies, but come up with various excuses to part the author from his/her money. The traditional method is to call something like “subscription publishing”, which they assure you is normal practice, or make the author undertake to buy a certain number of copies, usually to be paid for in advance. If the book ever sees the light of day (the likelihood is that it won’t) it’ll be of poor quality, and it won’t stand a chance of being reviewed or stocked by anyone.

Other scams include referring the author to a specific service, such as an editor, as described above. This will be the same outfit in a different guise, and the service will almost certainly not be worth the paper it’s written on (or the pixels, as the case may be).

There are various ways of recognising scams. Firstly, genuine publishers rarely, if ever, advertise for authors – they get more submissions than they can deal with, without having to do anything. Secondly, anyone who tries to get you to pay them money for the publication process isn’t to be trusted.

And thirdly, information about scammers can be found all over the internet. Several sites exist primarily to give information about these – Writer Beware and Preditors & Editors are perhaps the best known, but there are others also doing sterling work.

Recently, the scammers have began to fight back. A bizarre website called The Write Agenda is making a concerted attempt to impugn the integrity of everyone involved in exposing scams, and has started a “boycott list” of anyone they see as a threat to themselves, encouraging book-burnings of the authors on it. Hopefully, this piece will get me onto the list – I’d be honoured to be included in such great company. Essentially, believe nothing they say. Their “information” is absurd, and all they’re defending is their right to steal your money. A thread about them can be found on the Writer Beware blog.

Magazine Promotes NEHW Member

Author Kris Triana’s new piece of fiction, “Giving from the Broken Down Bottom,” is now up at Spinetingler Mag (

He hopes readers will leave him comments about his story after reading it.

According to the magazine’s website, Spinetingler Magazine was created to entertain its audience while it promotes and enhances the profile of talented emerging writers using the forum of electronic publishing.

“We know there are a lot of great stories out there that should have a place where they can be told, so we are providing that venue for them,” the website said.

NEHW’s First Anthology Now Available and the Planned Book Release Party

The first NEHW anthology, Epitaphs, is now available at Amazon ( The price is $12.99 plus $3.99 for shipping and handling.

The cover of NEHW

Amazon states, “the New England Horror Writers Association, in partnership with Shroud Publishing, are proud to debut its inaugural anthology, Epitaphs. The anthology is a compilation of some of the best dark fiction from both best-selling authors and up-and- coming writers throughout New England. Contributors include Christopher Golden, Rick Hautala, Holly Newstein & Glenn Chadbourne, LL Soares, Trisha Wooldridge, Kurt Newton, and more. The anthology features 26 stories and poems from the delightfully scary to the deeply macabre.

Epitaphs was edited by author Tracy L. Carbone and includes an introduction by award-winning author and publisher Peter Crowther, as well as a cover by Danny Evarts.

The table of contents in this chilling anthology is as follows:

Jeffrey C. Pettengill “To Sleep, Perchance to Die”
Paul McMahon “The Christopher Chair”
Kurt Newton “A Case of the Quiets”
Scott T. Goudsward “Build-a-Zombie”
John Goodrich “Not an Ulcer”
B. Adrian White “The Possesor Worm”
John M. McIlveen “Make a Choice”
Michael Allen Todd “The Death Room”
Rick Hautala “Perfect Witness”
Holly Newstein and Glenn Chadbourne “Stoney’s Boneyard”
Trisha J. Wooldridge “Kali’s Promise”
David Bernard “The Sequel”
David North-Martino “Malfeasance”
Stacey Longo “Private Beach”
Christopher Golden “All Aboard”
L.L. Soares “Holiday House”
Steven Withrow “Lines at a Wake”
K. Allen Wood “A Deeper kind of Cold”
P. Gardner Goldsmith “Alone”
Roxanne Dent “Pandora’s Box”
Michael Arruda “Chuck the Magic Man Says I Can”
T.T. Zuma “Burial Board”
John Grover “Windblown Shutter”
Stephen Dorato “Cheryl Takes a Trip”
Philip Roberts “The Legend of Wormley Farm”
Peter N. Dudar “Church of Thunder and Lightning”

Carbone, a New England native, has published several horror and literary short stories in magazines and anthologies in the U.S. and Canada. Her YA horror novel, The Soul Collector, will be released by Shadowfall Publications in late fall 2011. She is Co-Chair of the New England Horror Writers (NEHW) and a member of the Horror Writers Association (HWA).

There will be a book release party for Epitaphs and a panel with a few of the authors from the anthology at AnthoCon, Nov. 11 through 13. There will be a special table for the anthology at the convention as well. Throughout the weekend, most of the authors in Epitaphs will be available to sign copies.

Presented by Shroud Publishing, The Anthology 2011 Conference will “showcase the imaginative talent in speculative fiction and art, with an additional focus on the convergence of images and literature,” according to the AnthoCon website (

The NEHW will also have a table where members can sell their books and other items at the convention.

The cover of Shroud issue #11

Like other cons, well-known writers will be on hand, among them Christopher Golden (Of Saints and Shadows), who will offer a reading and signing; Jonathan Maberry, who read from one of his new novels; and Jennifer Pelland, who will read from her debut novel, Machine. There will be an extensive dealer area which will feature books, films, artwork, comics, and more. There will also be a Juried Art Exhibit to include such shelf familiars as Ogmios (The Witches’ Almanac), Morbideus Goodell (Apex Digest, Maberry’s Vampire and Cryptopaedia), and Michael Bailey (who is also the editor of Pellucid Lunacy, an anthology of psychological horror and several novels).

“[AnthoCon] has some amazing authors, publishers and film people attending,” said Tracy L. Carbone, editor of Epitaphs, New England Horror Writers Association’s first official anthology. “It should prove to be the best new Con for horror folks out there.”

Jonathan Maberry (photo courtesy of the Anthocon website)

But what makes AnthoCon unique is its focus on the nine panels’ concentration on education for both writers and horror fans. For example, Reaching through the Veil will examine the channeling of myth, religion, spirituality and the collective unconscious in imaginative fiction; Getting Your Short Story Published with the Small Press will offer insight on finding, submitting, and selling your short story; Evil Jester Press Presents “Help! Wanted: Tales of On-The-Job Terror” will dissect the process of producing an anthology. Horror names Brian Keene, Rick Hautala, Cat Valente, Maberry, Joseph

Nassise, Pelland, and Golden will present I’ve Made It This Far, Now What?, using their paths to literary success to illumine what the process could be like for those in attendance.

Brian Keene (photo courtesy of Anthocon website)

Topics also go deeper with Writing Programs: from the MFA to Private Workshops. And Eric Red (The Hitcher, Near Dark) will present a lecture and workshop The Elements of Writing Horror and Thrillers for Films.

Aside from guests, vendors, and panelists, the event promises to draw a unique crowd to include film and book reviewers and magazine editors—like Peter Schwotzer, the man at the helm of Literary Mayhem ( who also reviews anthologies, lit-zines and books for Famous Monsters of Filmland and IMDB.

“I’m going mainly to meet a lot of authors I’ve met over the past couple of years in person. We correspond by e-mails, phone, Twitter, Facebook, etc., but it will be nice to meet face to face,” Schwotzer said. “All of the authors have been so kind and generous to me, it still boggles my mind that I actually correspond with my literary heroes.”

With so much to offer that seems to be different from what’s offered at other cons, this promises to be a great inauguration with long-lasting recurring potential—writer or fan, artist or reviewer, don’t miss out.

AnthoCon 2011 will be held at the Best Western Wynwood Hotel & Suites at 580 US Route 1 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, from Friday, Nov. 11 through Sunday, Nov. 13. For complete information on AnthoCon, including schedules, costs, and who will be there, visit

An Author’s Account of the Middletown Open Air Market

Rob Watts writes about his experience at the NEHW tent at the Middletown Open Air Market. This originally appeared on Watt’s website,

The vendor tents on the grounds of the Wadsworth Mansion (photo by Maria Arakil)

As colder days are approaching in New England, I would say we lucked out by being able to take advantage of one of the few remaining weekends where the weather gods were smiling down upon us. Even though there was a slight chill in the air, locals turned out in impressive numbers for the Middletown Open Air Market in Middletown, Connecticut on Sunday afternoon. I, along with fellow members of the NEHW, spent the better part of the day behind our booth fielding questions from curious visitors about us, our books, the organization and anything else that crossed their minds.

NEHW member

Table full of NEHW products (photo by Maria Arakil)

What made this a truly pleasurable event was the very laid-back atmosphere. It was held on the grounds of the beautiful Wadsworth Mansion, and the event itself was well organized which allowed for a positive flow throughout the day, for both the patrons and the vendors. Foot traffic around our booth was plentiful and with the beautiful display of books from the talented writers on hand, passersby were hard-pressed not to stop and browse through the displays. Camaraderie was the word-of-the-day, as each author did a great job of talking up their fellow writer’s books, not just their own (everyone at the table sold and signed books.) The team spirit and support throughout the booth made for great vibes and good fun during the afternoon. That’s something that can easily be lost and forgotten at events such as this.

From left to right: Kristi Petersen Schoonover, Kasey Shoemaker, Jason Harris, Stacey Longo, and Rob Watts (photo by Maria Arakil)

So kudos to all involved…myself, Stacey Longo, Jason Harris, Kristi Petersen Schoonover, Kasey Shoemaker and Kurt Newton. It was definitely the perfect event to debut my new book and well worth the 2 1/2 hour drive to and from Boston 🙂

Watts will be making an upcoming appearance at the NEHW table at the Southcoast Toy and Comic show on Sunday, Nov. 6, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m at the Seaport Inn and Marina in Fairhaven, MA. The location is 110 Middle Street. For more information, check out the website,

Speculative Fiction Fest Kicks Off Thursday

News item written by Kristi Petersen Schoonover.

If you’re in Providence, Rhode Island and looking for a spectacular way to kick off your Halloween festivities, NEHW member Paul Tremblay (The Little Sleep, In the Mean Time) will be part of The Brown Bookstore’s First Speculative Fiction Fest this Thursday through Saturday (Oct. 27-29). The event will feature readings by several popular speculative fiction authors, films, and panels.

Paul Tremblay

The event kicks off at 4 p.m. Thursday with a showing of Val Lewton’s film classic, Cat People (I am assuming this is the Lewton film and not the 1980s remake, but I could be wrong) followed by readings from authors Daniel Pearlman (A Giant in the House and Other Excesses) and Paul DiFilippo (Harsh Oases).

On Friday, author Brian Evenson (Fugue State) will read; at 6 p.m., there will be showing of the 2007 film Peur(s) du Noir (Fears of the Dark).

Saturday’s offerings being at 2 p.m. with a talk on Graphic Fiction and the Comic Form; at 4 p.m., the writers will offer a panel discussion on the Speculative Fiction genre. At 5 p.m., authors Tremblay, John Langan (Mr. Gaunt and Other Uneasy Encounters), and Laird Barron (The Imago Sequence and Occultation, both of which won the Shirley Jackson Award for Best Collection) will read from their work.

For directions and more about Brown Bookstore, visit here: For the event’s official flyer, visit here:

Author Talks about the Writing Craft

Stacey Longo’s account of speaking to a high school class about writing.

Stacey Longo talking about writing to a class of students (photo courtesy of Kim Kane)

On October 24th, I had the opportunity to speak at the ACT Arts Magnet High School in Willimantic, CT. The topic was Writing as a Craft and an Industry. I opened with a little background about my own writing career and my roots as a humor columnist. After listing my credentials, I explained how hearing Shroud publisher Tim Deal present at a Poe Celebration two years ago inspired me to jump from humor to horror. I also admitted that while I sell short stories about zombies, decapitations, and carnivorous beach dunes, my blog focuses on the humor to be found in every day life, from the perils that come with trying to raise two cats to the agony of eliminating the fish smell in the house two days after you’ve cooked cod for dinner.

My advice to these kids was simple:

1. Write all the time, about anything that strikes your fancy.
2. Read more than you write.
3. Read On Writing by Stephen King.
4. Know your market and what’s selling.
5. Read submission guidelines and follow them.
6. Keep your day job to support your writing habit.
7. Never, ever mistake the Twilight series for quality writing.

We held a short Q&A session in which the students had several questions, such as “Have you really met Nathan Schoonover?” and “Where does Nathan Schoonover live?” followed by the more serious question, “How serious is Nathan Schoonover’s relationship with his significant other?” I had foolishly forgotten how popular this paranormal investigator is with the teenage female demographic before
including him in my ‘Look at all the Cool People You Will Meet’ portion of my PowerPoint.

I left the kids with a short story I’d written about them and a stress ball with my website ( And at the very end of class, one shy girl named Sam asked me if she could send me a short story she’d written about a lonely disemboweled zombie for feedback.

It makes me proud to see the youth of America so inspired!

The Day at the Middletown Open Air Market

The Day at the Middletown Open Air Market by Jason Harris

The ninth annual Middletown Open Air Market was a big success for sponsor, the Wadsworth Mansion at Long Hill Estate and for the vendors. It was a little chilly since the Sun decided to stay hidden bechind the clouds for most of the day, but that didn’t stop the crowds from coming out to the event.

The Ninth Annual Middletown Open Air Market

Thank you Stacey Longo, Kristi Petersen Schoonover, Kasey Shoemaker, Robert Watts, Kurt Newton and Nathan Wrann for making todays NEHW event a success.

From left to right: Newton, Watts, and Schoonover in Middletown

Longo did a great job as usual setting up the NEHW tent.

The NEHW tent at the Middletown Open Air Market

A different view of the NEHW tent

Here are a picture of Longo, Shoemaker, and Schoonover under the NEHW tent.

From left to right: Longo, Schoonover, and Shoemaker

Here is a picture from a visitor to the NEHW tent that came back to show us a picture from her sister who works at a mortuary. The picture was so cool I had to ask her to email it to me. She did and I want to share it with you.

The fan's picture

Here are a few more pictures from the market.

People lined up in front of Author Rob Watts

Author Going to Damnationland

Author Eric Dimbleby will be signing his debut novel, Please Don’t Know, at the Railroad Square Cinema’s event Damnationland: The Way Life Should Bleed this Friday, Oct. 28 and Saturday, Oct. 29.

In the novel, Zephyr becomes immersed in a tangled web of horror when he discovers that his new friend is being kept hostage by a demonic presence. A twist of fate and a slick trade suck him deeper into a living nightmare where he is soon trapped by the lovesick siren. Zephyr must learn to deal with the insatiable, violent beast as he battles to keep his life, his loved ones, and his sanity intact.

Please Don’t Go was released in September.

Damnationland is a showcase of short Maine-made horror films that features local filmmakers, writers, actors, and music. New filmmakers are chosen every year for this unique cinematic event. Unlike many traditional film festivals, the shorts are continuously screened back to back, without interruption. All credits are held until the end of the final film, keeping the tension heightened and leaving viewers on the edge of their seats. The short films start at 9 p.m. Unrated. App. 80 min.

On Saturday night, there is a zombie costume and participants have the chance to win a free movie pass. Three people with the best costumes will receive a free pass to a future move at Railroad Square Cinema

For more information about the event, check out the websites, and