Guest post by the Sisters of Slaughter!

Today, the Sisters of Slaughter, Michelle Garza and Melissa Lason have hijacked my blog to talk about how they write together. Their latest novel, Those Who Follow, is out now from Bloodshot Books. Take it away ladies!


My name is Michelle Garza and I write with Melissa Lason. We are known as The Sisters of Slaughter. We are a twin sister writing team from the deserts of Arizona. We have written together ever since we were little girls and the love of stepping into imagined worlds has never left us. We usually write horror but also dabble in science fiction, fantasy and bizarro. All of our writing has a healthy dose of darkness in it, kinda like sneaking our love of horror into everything. Writing for us is a continuation of playing pretend as kids, it’s an escape we get to participate in and also give to other people, a glimpse into our imaginations. Storytelling has always been something really sacred to us because some of our fondest memories come from our father telling ghost stories around a campfire and we hope to capture that magic and share it with other people.

We get asked about our collaborative writing process quite often. It comes naturally to us because we’re twin sisters, for writers who usually work alone it can be tough but it’s not out of the question. We find that when we come to the writing table we do so with open minds but we are also both focused on a storyline we wish to create. We are both outline warriors which means we have an idea of how the story will play out from the beginning to the end whether we’re sitting in the same room or not. I think, to us, writing without an outline would be more foreign than collaboration but those of like minds could pull off a joint effort without an outline if both writers were down for some surprises and could continue the story no matter what their partner threw at them… which actually sounds like a fun challenge that Melissa and I may explore. Collaboration can also be achieved by simply sharing a world or scenario but writing your own small stories that can connect but again there can’t be differences in important details that could totally derail someone’s reading experience if they aren’t caught and rectified before publication.

Those Who Follow by [Garza, Michelle, Lason, Melissa]Our process always begins with story ideas, we keep them written in notebooks and saved in files on our desktops for future use. We will discuss what kind of projects we really want to tackle, some of them are submission calls we wish to attempt while others are projects we have promised to a publisher. Once we zero-in on the story idea that feels right for our next project we begin to build a skeleton of it through outlining it on a sheet of paper. During the actual writing is when it is fleshed out and sometimes even changed if we agree that there is a better way of propelling the storyline. A ton of our writing is done by hand first, it’s a long process but we use that as our first rough draft. Next we type it and the typed version is the second draft because there are always things we change, expand upon and even cut out or only elude to until further in the book in an attempt to not give everything away too early. We like to write a few chapters and then read it out loud to each other to see how everything flows. This can be accomplished even if collaborators live far away through the magic of the internet, using Skype and even just a phone call keeps writers up to speed and gives them a chance to hear the story spoken from the mouth to the ear to be certain the story is building into something people will care to read. We divvy up the workload sometimes when we are too busy to actually see each other or call one another like over holidays or weekends when our writing can only be done after family responsibilities are done. Using an outline is helpful here; we know where the story is going so if we are separate we can still get good word counts without worry about getting the storyline disjointed or going off the tracks completely. Once the entire story is done and completely typed is when we go back and read it again to each other, the third time around is where we’re really looking for anything in the story that isn’t too our liking. It is edited after that, our editing isn’t the greatest but since we found the Grammarly program our manuscripts have become tighter and neater. All that’s left after that is submitting the work and keeping our fingers crossed. This may sound like a good system to some or it might sound too time-consuming to others but the point of this article is to remind people that whenever a writer wants to team up with someone they must consider these things.

Mayan Blue by [Garza, Michelle, Lason, Melissa]

1. Go into the project with an open mind. Collaborating is a joint effort and opinions should be given equal importance, and the rejection of ideas isn’t personal.

2. Each person involved must be willing to carry their own weight. It takes equal dedication to get it done.

3. If you aren’t working from an outline or a general idea as to how the story will flow all the way to the end, be ready for compromise and surprises.

4. If your collaboration is more of a shared concept and both stories tie into each other then you can’t forget to be certain those storylines still jive and important details don’t contradict each other, say for instance my character’s father lost his legs in Vietnam and then Melissa comes along and writes that same character running into a burning building to save someone etc.

Collaboration can either be the beginning of something really great since two heads are better than one or it could turn into a big mess so choose your partner carefully. If you happen to be teamed up with someone you don’t really know through a publisher to create something just remember that professionalism and dedication goes a long way.

Now get your asses back to writing!!!

Melissa Lason and Michelle Garza have been writing together since they were little girls. Dubbed The Sisters of Slaughter by the editors of Fireside Press, they are constantly working together on new stories in the horror and dark fantasy genres. Their work has been included in FRESH MEAT published by Sinister Grin Press, WISHFUL THINKING by Fireside Press and WIDOWMAKERS a benefit anthology of dark fiction. Find out more by visiting 

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Interview with reviewer Frank Michaels Errington

I’ve known Frank Michaels Errington professionally for several years now and there’s no doubt he’s one of the biggest fans of horror fiction. Frank is one of the most prolific readers and reviewers of horror and his review website, Horrible Book Reviews has quite the following. He goes above and beyond for authors and artists to promote their work, for very little reward.

Now Frank needs our help. He needs a kidney. I wanted to help Frank spread his message so I decided to have a bit of a chat to him about his situation and of course, his love of the horror genre. Please read and if you can help, please make contact with Frank via the details below. Frank, I hope you get the help you need mate.


When did you first get hooked on horror fiction and what was the story you first read?

The first horror story is a more difficult question than how I got “hooked” on horror. I do remember being introduced to Edgar Allan Poe while in High School. His works made me want to read outside of the classroom. As far as getting “hooked,” it was Stephen King. After college, I had this mindset where I felt I would never want to read again. I’d had too much. But then I saw the Brian DePalma version of Carrie, based on the book by Stephen King, and I was walking past Gene Books, a wonderful independent bookstore in the King of Prussia Plaza (sadly it’s gone now). But, they always had great display windows and as I walked past I saw Night Shift, a collection of short stories by the author of Carrie. Well, that piqued my curiosity and got me back into reading for fun and although I read many types of books, I have found I really enjoy horror the most. I even got to share this story with Stephen the night he did a phone interview for my radio show “Tucson Talk” way back in 1980. That interview is still one of the highlights of my 35 years in radio.

How many novels do you think you’ve reviewed over the years? How many books do you read a year?

A check of my blog indicates I’ve just crossed the 700 review threshold and that just since I’ve been doing the blog at I started doing this because I’d constantly hear writers saying how important reviews were and I wanted to do something more than just post to Amazon and Goodreads, which I still do. For the last few years, I’ve read more than 100 books a year.

Your reputation as a reviewer precedes you, so much so that you’re now writing reviews for Cemetery Dance Online. Do you find writing reviews easy or more of a challenge?

The Kindle has been a godsend. Whereas I used to keep a pen and paper nearby when reading to make notes for my review, I can do all of that right on the Kindle screen. Even though publishers occasionally send me printed copies, I’d much rather read it on my Kindle. Plus, I’m running out of bookshelf space and my wife often threatens to leave me if I bring one more book into the house. I think she’s just kidding, but I don’t want to test her.

How do you think the horror genre has changed over the years?

It could be just me, but even with the rise and fall of many specialty presses, which seem to be the stronghold of horror, it seems there is more horror, in all its many forms, being written today than ever before.

You’ve penned countless reviews of horror – have you ever written a horror story yourself or aspired too?

Aspire to? Perhaps someday. I did have a psychic on my talk show once told me I’d be a successful writer, but to do that I’d actually have to write something and that really scares the hell out of me.

What do you think makes a truly great horror story?

I’ve thought about this question quite a bit over the years. One thing that keeps coming to mind is editing, particularly in times when many authors are self-publishing. Get yourself a good editor and proofread, proofread, proofread. One thing I hate as a reader is being distracted from the story by silly grammatical errors, redundancy or continuity issues, etc.

I also equate a good horror story with a roller-coaster, even at my somewhat advanced age of 64, I still love a good coaster. There’s the slow build, the rush of adrenaline as you hit that first plunge, followed by many unexpected twists and turns and being able to say, “Wow! What a rush” at the conclusion of the ride or at the end of the book.

One more thing, I love good characters in what I read. Make me care. Doesn’t matter if I love them or hate them, just make me give a fuck. And don’t be afraid to kill the bastards.

What conventions have you been to over the years and who was the most famous author you’ve met?

I’m not a big convention goer, although I did get to go to one of the last Horrorfind conventions in Gettysburg, PA a few years back. It’s where I got to meet and chat with the likes of Brian Keene, Thomas Monteleone, Joe R. Lansdale, and Jack Ketchum, the author of Off Season, one of my all-time favorite horror novels. Talk about an incredible ride.

I’ve also gone to Horrible Saturday, an annual event at the York Emporium and Used Book Store in York Pennsylvania. It’s where I got to meet the late J.F. Gonzalez, Kelli Owen, Bob Ford, Chet Williamson, Mary SanGiovani and many others.

And then there’s NeCon. The NorthEast Writers Conference held each July. As a matter of fact, the 37th annual event is coming up in less than two weeks and, if my health holds out, I’ll be sure to be there for just the second time. With horror writers and fans, too numerous to name them all, it’s a relaxed opportunity to get to know each other, network, and let your hair down (if you have any).

Any special signed editions on your shelf that we’d all be jealous of?

At this point, I have hundreds of signed, limited editions I’ve purchased over the years. I have one Stephen King, The Dome, still in shrink-wrap from Simon and Schuster and another I’m really fond of is Bloodstained Oz, a collaboration between Christopher Golden and James A. Moore, a couple of writers I got to meet at last year’s NeCon.

Now I understand you are going through a major struggle with your health and that you’re currently in search of a kidney donor. Can you tell us a bit about that and how we might be able to help you?

Due to complications from 30+ years of type 2 Diabetes, my kidney functions have been deteriorating for a few years. That damage is irreversible and dialysis is an eventuality and I’ve been on the National Transplant list since last November. The wait time is typically 3-5 years. The best case scenario is to find that special person who is willing to donate one of their two kidneys. Believe it or not, we only need one working kidney to live a long and healthy life. The problem in my case is finding someone who matches my blood type. I’m O-negative. This makes me a Universal donor, but I can only receive a kidney from someone who is also O-negative. So even finding a donor through the exchange program is challenging since an O-negative donor can donate to their person in need and rarely makes it into the exchange program. Anyone interested in additional information can contact the Kidney Transplant Center at Lankenau Hospital in Bryn Mawr, PA 484-476-8485.

Thanks for having me, Greg.

You can find Frank on Facebook here –


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Honoured to be a Stoker Awards finalist

The 2016 Bram Stoker Awards were announced aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA on 29 April with dozens of authors vying for a chance to win a coveted haunted house trophy.

My novel, Hollow House was nominated in the Superior Achievement in a First Novel category.

Although my novel didn’t ultimately claim the award, I’m very honoured just to have been a finalist. The certificate I received from the Horror Writers Association will spur me on to keep on writing.

Congratulations to winner Tom Deady, who took out the category, definitely well-deserved. Congratulations to my fellow nominees, Barbara Barnett, Michelle Garza & Melissa Lason and Stephanie M. Wytovich.

I’d like to thank my publisher Kate Jonez at Omnium Gatherum and my editor, Janet J. Holden for their hard work and support. I couldn’t have made the list without them.

The full list of winners and finalists can be found below. Congratulations again to everyone listed – you should feel proud.

Superior Achievement in a Novel
WINNER: The Fisherman, John Langan (Word Horde)
Hard Light, Elizabeth Hand (Minotaur)
Mongrels, Stephen Graham Jones (William Morrow)
Stranded, Bracken MacLeod (Tor)
Disappearance at Devil’s Rock, Paul Tremblay (William Morrow)

Superior Achievement in a First Novel
WINNER: Haven, Tom Deady (Cemetery Dance)
The Apothecary’s Curse, Barbara Barnett (Pyr)
Hollow House, Greg Chapman (Omnium Gatherum)
Mayan Blue, Michelle Garza & Melissa Lason (Sinister Grin)
The Eighth, Stephanie M. Wytovich (Dark Regions)

Superior Achievement in a Young Adult Novel
WINNER: Snowed, Maria Alexander (Raw Dog Screaming)
Last Days of Salton Academy, Jennifer Brozek (Ragnarok)
Holding Smoke, Elle Cosimano (Disney-Hyperion)
When They Fade, Jeyn Roberts (Knopf)
The Telling, Alexandra Sirowy (Simon & Schuster)

Superior Achievement in Long Fiction
WINNER: The Winter Box, Tim Waggoner (Darkfuse)
The Sadist’s Bible, Nicole Cushing (01Publishing)
“That Perilous Stuff”, Scott Edelman (Chiral Mad 3)
The Ballad of Black Tom, Victor LaValle ( Publishing)
“The Jupiter Drop”, Josh Malerman (You, Human)

Superior Achievement in Short Fiction
WINNER: “The Crawl Space”, Joyce Carol Oates (Ellery Queen 9-10/16)
“Time is a Face on the Water”, Michael Bailey (Borderlands 6)
“A Rift in Reflection”, Hal Bodner (Chiral Mad 3)
“The Bad Hour”, Christopher Golden (What the #@&% Is That?)
“Arbeit Macht Frei”, Lisa Mannetti (Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories)

Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection
WINNER: The Doll-Master and Other Tales of Terror, Joyce Carol Oates (Mysterious)
Swift to Chase, Laird Barron (JournalStone)
A Long December, Richard Chizmar (Subterranean)
Lethal Birds, Gene O’Neill (Omnium Gatherum)
American Nocturne, Hank Schwaeble (Cohesion)

Superior Achievement in an Anthology
WINNER: Borderlands 6, Oliva F. Monteleone & Tom Monteleone, eds. (Samhain)
Chiral Mad 3, Michael Bailey, ed. (Written Backwards)
The Beauty of Death, Alessandro Manzetti, ed. (Independent Legions)
Fright Mare – Women Write Horror, Billie Sue Mosiman, ed. (self-published)
Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories, Doug Murano & D. Alexander Ward, eds. (Crystal Lake)

Superior Achievement in Non-Fiction
WINNER: Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life, Ruth Franklin (Liveright)
Haunted, Leo Braudy (Yale University Press)
Guillermo del Toro’s “The Devil’s Backbone” and “Pan’s Labyrinth”, Danel P. Olson (Centipede)
In the Mountains of Madness, W. Scott Poole (Soft Skull)
Something in the Blood, David J. Skal (Liveright)
The Gothic Worlds of Peter Straub, John Tibbetts (McFarland)

Superior Achievement in a Poetry Collection
WINNER: Brothel, Stephanie M. Wytovich (Raw Dog Screaming)
Sacrificial Nights, Bruce Boston & Alessandro Manzetti (Kipple Officina Libraria)
Corona Obscura, Michael R. Collings (self-published)
Field Guide to the End of the World, Jeannine Hall Gailey (Moon City)
Small Spirits, Marge Simon (self-published)

Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel
WINNER: Kolchak the Night Stalker: The Forgotten Lore of Edgar Allan Poe, James Chambers (Moonstone)
Blood Feud, Cullen Bunn (Oni)
No Mercy: Volume 2, Alex de Campi (Image)
Outcast: Volume 3: This Little Light, Robert Kirkman (Image)
The Steam Man, Mark Alan Miller & Joe R. Lansdale (Dark Horse)
Providence: Act 1, Alan Moore (Avatar)

Superior Achievement in a Screenplay
WINNER: The Witch
Penny Dreadful: “A Blade of Grass”
Stranger Things: “The Upside Down”
Stranger Things: “The Vanishing of Will Byers”
10 Cloverfield Lane

Active and lifetime HWA members were eligible to vote for Lifetime Achievement Awards to Dennis Etchison and Thomas F. Monteleone.

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Very excited to join the Bloodshot Books team with my new novel, The Noctuary: Pandemonium!

This is the follow-up to my 2011 novella, The Noctuary and I’m very excited about how readers will take to this new chapter of the saga of the Dark Muses.

If you haven’t read the original, don’t worry, as it will be included with this new novel.

Stay tuned for more details in the coming months!


Please join me in welcoming Greg Chapman to GC authorpicthe Bloodshot Books team.

Greg is the author of the novel HOLLOW HOUSE which is currently in the running for this year’s Bram Stoker Awards in the category of Superior Achievement in a First Novel (along with fellow Bloodshot authors Tom Deady for HAVEN and the Sisters of Slaughter Michelle Garza & Melissa Lason for their novel MAYAN BLUE).

This coming December/January, we will be publishing his next novel THE NOCTUARY: PANDEMONIUM, the follow-up to his novella THE NOCTUARY. Even better, the original novella will be included with the new chapter in the saga.

Can you tell I’m psyched??

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HOLLOW HOUSE a Bram Stoker Award® finalist!

My little horror novel, Hollow House has made the final ballot of the 2016 Bram Stoker Awards®!

hollow-house-ws-stoker-nomThis is going to take a while to sink in, but I feel honoured to be listed amongst some of the best authors in the horror genre. And here I was still buzzing from making the preliminary ballot last month!

Congratulations to all the finalists – and good luck!

The nominees are listed below or can be read via this LINK

Los Angeles, CA, February 23, 2017

The Horror Writers Association announces the 2016 Bram Stoker Awards Final Ballot. HWA is the premier organization for writers of horror and dark fantasy. “The nominees for this year’s Bram Stoker Awards® unquestionably represent the state of the art of horror writing,” said Lisa Morton, HWA President and multiple Bram Stoker Award winner. “Once again, our members and awards juries have chosen outstanding works of literature, cinema, non-fiction, and poetry.”

The presentation of the Bram Stoker Awards® will occur during the second annual StokerCon aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California on the evening of April 29, 2017. Tickets to the banquet and the convention are on sale to the public at The awards presentation will also be live-streamed online via the website.

Named in honor of the author of the seminal horror novel Dracula, the Bram Stoker Awards® are presented annually for superior writing in eleven categories including traditional fiction of various lengths, poetry, screenplays and non-fiction. Previous winners include Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, George R. R. Martin, Joyce Carol Oates and Neil Gaiman. HWA is a nonprofit organization of writers and publishing professionals around the world, dedicated to promoting dark literature and the interests of those who write it. The HWA formed in 1985 with the help of many of the field’s greats, including Dean Koontz, Robert McCammon, and Joe R. Lansdale. The HWA is home to the prestigious Bram Stoker Award® and the annual StokerCon horror convention.

We proudly provide the list of talented nominees who reached the final ballot below for each category.

Superior Achievement in a Novel

Hand, Elizabeth – Hard Light: A Cass Neary Crime Novel (Minotaur Books)
Jones, Stephen Graham – Mongrels (William Morrow)
Langan, John – The Fisherman (Word Horde)
MacLeod, Bracken – Stranded: A Novel (Tor Books)
Tremblay, Paul – Disappearance at Devil’s Rock (William Morrow)

Superior Achievement in a First Novel

Barnett, Barbara – The Apothecary’s Curse (Pyr Books)
Chapman, Greg – Hollow House (Omnium Gatherum Media)
Deady, Tom – Haven (Cemetery Dance Publications)
Garza, Michelle and Lason, Melissa – Mayan Blue (Sinister Grin Press)
Wytovich, Stephanie – The Eighth (Dark Regions Press)

Superior Achievement in a Young Adult Novel

Alexander, Maria – Snowed (Raw Dog Screaming Press)
Brozek, Jennifer – Last Days of Salton Academy (Ragnarok Publishing)
Cosimano, Elle – Holding Smoke (Hyperion-Disney)
Roberts, Jeyn – When They Fade (Knopf Books for Young Readers)
Sirowy, Alexandra – The Telling (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)

Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel

Bunn, Cullen – Blood Feud (Oni Press)
Chambers, James – Kolchak the Night Stalker: The Forgotten Lore of Edgar Allan Poe (Moonstone)
de Campi, Alex – No Mercy, Vol. 2 (Image Comics)
Kirkman, Robert – Outcast by Kirkman&Azaceta, Vol 3 This Little Light (Image Comics)
Miller, Mark Alan and Lansdale, Joe R. –The Steam Man (Dark Horse Books)
Moore, Alan – Providence, Act 1 (Avatar Press)

Superior Achievement in Long Fiction

Cushing, Nicole – The Sadist’s Bible (01Publishing)
Edelman, Scott – That Perilous Stuff (Chiral Mad 3) (Written Backwards)
LaValle, Victor – The Ballad of Black Tom (
Malerman, Josh – The Jupiter Drop (You, Human) (Dark Regions Press)
Waggoner, Tim – The Winter Box (DarkFuse)

Superior Achievement in Short Fiction

Bailey, Michael – Time is a Face on the Water (Borderlands 6) (Borderlands Press)
Bodner, Hal – A Rift in Reflection (Chiral Mad 3) (Written Backwards)
Golden, Christopher – The Bad Hour (What the #@&% is That?) (Saga Press)
Mannetti, Lisa – ArbeitMacht Frei(Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories) (Crystal Lake Publishing)
Oates, Joyce Carol – The Crawl Space (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine Volume #2016/Issue#8) (Dell Magazines)

Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection

Barron, Laird – Swift to Chase (JournalStone)
Chizmar, Richard – A Long December (Subterranean Press)
Oates, Joyce Carol – The Doll-Master and Other Tales of Terror (Mysterious Press)
O’Neill, Gene – Lethal Birds (Omnium Gatherum Media)
Schwaeble, Hank – American Nocturne (Cohesion Press)

Superior Achievement in a Screenplay

Campbell, Josh, Chazelle, Damien, and Stuecken, Matthew – 10 Cloverfield Lane (Paramount Pictures)
Duffer, Matt and Duffer, Ross – Stranger Things: The Vanishing of Will Byers (Episode 01: Chapter One) (21 Laps Entertainment, Monkey Massacre)
Duffer, Matt and Duffer, Ross – Stranger Things: The Upside Down (Episode 01: Chapter Eight) (21 Laps Entertainment, Monkey Massacre)
Eggers, Robert – The VVitch (Parts and Labor, RT Features, Rooks Nest Entertainment, Code Red Productions, Scythia Films, Maiden Voyage Pictures, Mott Street Pictures, Pulse Films, and Very Special Projects)
Logan, John – Penny Dreadful: A Blade of Grass (Episode 03:04) Showtime Presents in association with SKY, Desert Wolf Productions, Neal Street Productions)

Superior Achievement in an Anthology

Bailey, Michael – Chiral Mad 3 (Written Backwards)
Manzetti, Alessandro – The Beauty of Death (Independent Legions Publishing)
Monteleone, Thomas F. and Monteleone, Oliva F. – Borderlands 6 (Samhain Publishing, Ltd.)
Mosiman, Billie Sue – Fright Mare-Women Write Horror (DM Publishing)
Murano, Doug and Ward, D. Alexander – Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories (Crystal Lake Publishing)

Superior Achievement in Non-Fiction

Braudy, Leo – Haunted: On Ghosts, Witches, Vampires, Zombies and Other Monsters of the Natural and Supernatural(Yale University Press)
Franklin, Ruth – Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life (Liveright Publishing Corporation)
Olson, Danel P. – Guillermo del Toro’s “The Devil’s Backbone” and “Pan’s Labyrinth”: Studies in the Horror Film (Centipede Press)
Poole, W. Scott – In the Mountains of Madness: The Life, Death and Extraordinary Afterlife of H. P. Lovecraft (Soft Skull Press)
Skal, David J. – Something in the Blood: The Untold Story of Bram Stoker, the Man Who Wrote
Dracula (Liveright Publishing Corporation)
Tibbetts, John – The Gothic Worlds of Peter Straub (McFarland)

Superior Achievement in a Poetry Collection

Boston, Bruce and Manzetti, Alessandro – Sacrificial Nights (KippleOfficinaLibraria)
Collings, Michael R. – Corona Obscura: Poems Dark and Elemental (self-published)
Gailey, Jeannine Hall – Field Guide to the End of the World: Poems (Moon City Press)
Simon, Marge – Small Spirits (Midnight Town Media)
Wytovich, Stephanie M. – Brothel (Raw Dog Screaming Press)

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Method to my madness

Sometimes readers and fellow writers ask me why I write my stories in longhand with pen and paper.

“Why don’t you just type it straight into Word on a computer?”

For me, it’s simple: in my everyday job, I am stuck at a desk staring at a computer, typing in media releases, newsletters, and other content, so when I write fiction (an entirely different beast), I choose to disconnect and pick up a pen and a nice fresh notebook.

I find it easier to engage that part of my brain where the imagination lies. There’s a fluidity to my writing that only happens when I start to move that pen across the page that I can’t achieve by typing into a keyboard. It’s obvious that my brain is hard-wired to write this way.

All of my long fiction has been written with pen on paper. I usually write the story from start to finish, re-reading what I’ve done and scratching out mistakes with a different coloured (usually red) pen. Then, when I think the draft is done, I’ll start the process of transcribing it into Word.

screen-shot-2017-02-25-at-6-24-41-amTyping it up allows me to edit as I go too. With the novel I recently finished – a sequel to my 2011 novella, The Noctuary – it took me several weeks to type it up, but the length of time would have been much greater if I’d started the story straight into word.


Another quirk I have is printing out the typed up manuscript with track changes and then working through it page by page with the document open on the screen. Like I said, there is a method to my madness and it works for me.

track-changesEvery writer has a different process. The author Joe Lansdale has a method to his madness that he outlines here. I also avoid writing multiple drafts. I always strive to get it right the first time. I am a pretty fast longhand writer (a skill learned from my days as a newspaper reporter), but a pretty crap typist, so I feel I am not wasting my time writing this way.

The key message here is to write how you write. Embrace your own method of madness and use it to write the best possible story that you can.

What’s your method of madness – let me know in the comments. 🙂

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Hollow House on Preliminary Ballot for Bram Stoker Awards®

So my little haunted house novel, HOLLOW HOUSE has made the preliminary ballot of the Bram Stoker Awards®.

Hollow HouseWhile this is just the first hurdle in a long and detailed process, it’s humbling to have my debut novel on this list amongst some of the best writers in the horror genre.

Each year, the Horror Writer’s Association presents the Bram Stoker Awards® for Superior Achievement, named in honor of Bram Stoker, author of the seminal horror work, Dracula. The Bram Stoker Awards were instituted immediately after the organization’s incorporation in 1987.

The response to my novel has been very gratifying, with many reviewers and readers taking the time to share their thoughts about the book online, for which I am most grateful. HOLLOW HOUSE even made The Horror Fiction Review’s Top 10 Books of 2016!

Here are just some of the reviews HOLLOW HOUSE has received since it was released last July:

Greg Chapman ‘Hollow House’ Review

At the very least, having HOLLOW HOUSE on the preliminary ballot is a huge encouragement to keep writing. I don’t write full-time (yet), but this will certainly spur me on to keep striving for that goal. Even if I don’t make the final ballot, it’s a pretty big achievement for me, something that’s only just starting to sink in. I’d like to thank Omnium Gatherum publisher Kate Jonez and my editor Janet J Holden for helping me bring my horror novel to life. 🙂

For the full list of authors on the preliminary ballot follow this LINK. I’d like to congratulate everyone on the preliminary ballot and wish them the very best of luck (make sure you go out and buy a copy of their works!) The final ballot is expected to be announced in late February with the winners announced at StokerCon 2017 in April.

Here’s a video interview I did with my local newspaper about HOLLOW HOUSE





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