Projects Overview

I wanted to go over the many projects I’ve been working on. I have a total of six projects in different stages of development. The first draft of my first novel, The Hook, is about two-thirds complete. There is still a lot of writing to be done before I can start revision. I’ve already seen several things I need to go back and fix. I’m forcing myself to finish writing the entire thing before any revising. I am happy with how the story is unfolding and the characters that I’ve developed. I even made a cover for the book, but I’m hoping to have this one traditionally published.

I also have two poetry projects in the works. The first is called Black Chaos and has a lot of content about depression and other mental health issues along with life issues. It’s like my other poetry collections but more focused on the theme. My poetry project has a Halloween theme. I wanted my poetry to fit along with my horror writing. I hope to have this collection called The Monster That Ate My Mommy ready in time for October. I want this collection to have illustrations, but I need to finish writing first.

I have outlined my next novel. It’s a rough outline that I’m sure will change as I develop the story further. It’s called Fiends of Antilles. It has pirates, vampires, mermaids, and all sorts of other things. It’s a continuation of my short story “Ceres” from The Morbid Museum collection. Speaking of short stories, I’m developing another collection titled The Baku Banquet. This collection will be centered around the Japanese mythological creatures who devour nightmares. Each story will be a nightmare that one of the Baku is sharing with others. I’m excited for this project.

Finally, I have another novel for which I’m still outlining the plot. It will be a continuation of one of the stories that I’ll feature in my next short story collection. This story, “White Magnolias” is also in development. The novel will be a sequel to “The Sapphire Cat” from The Morbid Museum collection featuring the Private Detective John Adler. Dead Magnolias will take place in central Louisiana. To be honest, part of me wants to start writing this novel now but I’m trying to finish some other things first. No matter the order, I have plenty of things to keep me busy. 

I do look forward to the day I can write full time and still pay my bills and buy food. I got a taste of this during quarantine and have made this my goal and dream career. I think I can do it. Wish me luck! And I hope you enjoyed learning more about the projects I have in the making. I’ve also included the covers I’ve made for two of my projects that I’ll have finished before all the others. Enjoy.

Coffee and Contemplation: What’s So Bad About Horror?

With the sequel to the film IT (2017) releasing soon, I’ve become impatient. After seeing the first film, I added this film to my top 5 favorite movies. I felt the horror film had finally gained some credibility. Despite the popularity, horror still gets a bad name. Horror films are rarely featured at film awards except for special effects of sound design. The only exceptions are true crime films about murder or serial killers. Nothing with creatures or other supernatural figures make the cut unless they’re animated children’s films. I’m certain there are other exceptions but I’m too lazy to do that much research.

The newest rendition of Pennywise is a great film. It’s written well and directed well. Coworkers and colleagues of mine said they didn’t like the film. Their reasoning was they like classic horror movies and that one felt too “blockbuster-y.” I disagree. Classic horror is great, but one cannot compare that to newer films. Consider each film separately without bias from previous films. What’s strange is the media’s take on the new film from Stephen King’s novel. Many media outlets and blog writers didn’t call the film horror. Instead they used terms like “psychological thriller” or “coming-of-age.” 

These terms are good descriptors, but the term horror must be included as well. Laura Bradley writes in her Vanity Fair Article (2017), “The new It movie, you’ve probably read time and time again, is a great coming-of-age story a la Stand by Me.” Other than both stories being from the mind of King and both stories being about kids, these two films don’t have much in common considering genre. Bradley goes on in her article to make some excellent points about how Beverly Marsh is portrayed in the new film. It is worth the read. But why doesn’t she call it a horror film.

Another interesting fact most people may not be aware of, on Instagram, the hashtag #horror has a disclaimer. When you search this hashtag, Instagram gives this message, “Can we help? Posts with words or tags you’re searching for often encourage behavior that can cause harm and even lead to death. If you’re going through something difficult, we’d like to help.” Last time I checked, enjoying horror films, shows, or novels didn’t mean you wanted to harm yourself. Instagram is attempting to censor many industries including female fitness influencers. I wonder if this was how the censorship in Nazi Germany started. When did America become a fascist dictatorship?

My main question is why does horror get a bad rep? Yes, there are some lower quality films that use the objectification of women to make up for poor storylines and terrible makeup or special effects. That’s a generalization of the genre. It has other facets. There are some great films that often get overlooked because the audience said it wasn’t scary enough. The film Jennifer’s Body (2009) is a brilliant film. The dialogue is smart and fun. The story sounds like an overdone troupe but it all works well.

The film tanked at the box office ten years ago. The reviews from critics and regular movie goers were harsh. It’s making a comeback as a cult classic but there are at least two reasons for its failure. Number one, it was marketed as a horror film. This is not accurate. Constance Grady called the film what it is in her Vox Article (2018), a “feminist horror comedy.” It was funny with great social commentary. The only people who thought it was scary were stupid men and boys. They were scared of the idea of a strong female character who ate men. It made them uncomfortable.

Reason number two, 2009 wasn’t ready for the statement the film made. The scared men and boys influenced the ratings and reviews. There were still large groups fighting against homosexuality. The public opinions of Megan Fox and Diablo Cody were poor. It was the perfect storm of negativity. I thought this film was hilarious and loved every minute of it. Do people only allow themselves to like horror films once they’ve been around for a while? Is it not okay to like supernatural horror movies when they’re new?

What I want from filmmakers is for them to focus more on the story and less on trying to scare their audiences. Those troupes are overdone. I want a good story. Jennifer’s Body has a good story. IT has a good story. I recently saw Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019) and it has a good story. I haven’t looked for any reviews. I wonder what others are saying. It is a great film and a great adaptation of the children’s books by Alvin Schwartz.

I want audiences to change their perspective of horror film as well. I want hardcore horror fans to accept all form of horror. Not just slasher films or creature features. I want those who dislike horror to stop generalizing the genre and give new films a chance. Is that too much to ask? I don’t expect people to change overnight. I hope people will surprise me.

New Books Coming 2019

After many hours (and tears), I have several stories finished. I’m sure I could edit even more, but I’ve decided its time to move on and leave them as they are. Are they publishing worthy? The writing is better than most books out on the shelves, but I’m not well known so no one wants to offer me the chance. No worries, I’ll keep writing until I’m dead. I have one more story I want to go over one more time and then all I have are stories that I need to finish writing. I’ve been putting them off to finish editing. A vicious cycle.

Coming January 22, 2019, I’m publishing my first novella, “The Tommy Gun.” I wrote this in November 2017 for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and was pleased with my success at writing so much. Does that mean the story is great? You be the judge. Either way, it’s finished, and I can move on to writing my first novel. My novella is just under 50,000 and I want my novel to be around 85,000 to 90,000 words. Wish me luck. I’m adjusting small formatting issues with the eBook and Paperback, but once that’s all finished, I’ll post more details about “The Tommy Gun.”

Coming April 23, 2019, I’m publishing the next installment of my Dollar Tales eBook series. “Dollar Tales from the Morbid Museum: Creatures” will include five short stories including my take on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, except they’re not teenagers anymore. Some call this Fan-Fiction, I call it fiction. One of the stories is a continuation of Siris Grim Letters, the curator of the Morbid Museum. This eBook series is building up to the full short story collection “The Morbid Museum” which part of me hopes to finish by next October. I have three stories to finish and edit.

Also, my goal is to have a couple more stories published through online magazines before publishing a paperback of the full collection. I have published three stories online, you can find links to them in the sidebar, and hope to have more published soon. I have another flash fiction story that was published but it will not be included in this collection. I am also working on the next collection of poetry but as yet do not have a publication date. I also intend to have a few poems published in magazines before the next collection is published.

I have this ambitious project of analyzing horror fiction, specifically supernatural fiction and I don’t feel I have to time to focus on it the way I should. For now, I’ll use this as a list of things to read and watch and cross things off my list as I go with maybe a short summary or writeup of my thoughts. That will at least get me started and help me keep going. I can do that with many of the titles on my large list, I just have little motivation to do anything. C’est la vie!