In case you missed it last week, The Lindsay Post has done an article on my upcoming short story collection, Every House Is Haunted, coming this fall from ChiZine Publications. You can read the article online, or you can check out the section of the paper with the piece right here:

Lindsay Post - January 13, 2012

2012 is already shaping up to be a great year. Thanks to Lisa Gervais for the excellent write-up!

Anthony Servante over at The Black Glove has posted a really excellent review of my Weird Western novella Deadstock. Here’s an excerpt

“The novella captures the West with descriptive details of the desert, the small town, and the Groom ranch. The dialog also echoes what we have come to expect from western-speak without relying on clichés. Because the visage of the old west looms so large and accurate, the sci-fi and horror elements work within the framework to create a good counter-balance between the normal west and the weird west. Deadstock is a welcome addition to the Weird Western tradition. Dryden and Raisy can be placed with confidence alongside Joe R. Lansdale’s Jonah Hex, Ray Krank’s Ghost Rider, and Lon Williams’ Lee Winters. I look forward to further rides into the Weird West with Ian Rogers.”

Read the full review.

This is one of the most insightful reviews of my work to date. Servante pointed out things in my story that surprised even me. He also provides a nice introduction and overview of the Weird Western genre. A great way to start of my 2012. Thank you, Anthony!

Deadstock was published by Stonebunny Press and is available at Amazon.com and Amazon.ca. There’s also an e-book version available for the Amazon Kindle.

In 2011 I read 64 novels, 23 novellas, and 225 short stories. Instead of limiting my lists of favourites to ten or fifteen titles each, I’m putting down everything I liked. So here are my favourites, in no particular order. (As usual, not all of these were published in 2011.)

Favourite Novels

Glitz — Elmore Leonard
Djibouti — Elmore Leonard
People Live Still in Cashtown Corners — Tony Burgess
Quarry’s Deal — Max Allan Collins
The Doomsters — Ross Macdonald
The Zebra-Striped Hearse — Ross Macdonald
Pastime — Robert B. Parker
The Devil You Know — Mike Carey
Vicious Circle — Mike Carey
Sarah Court — Craig Davidson
The Tomb — F. Paul Wilson
The Killing Kind — John Connolly
Trunk Music — Michael Connelly
Soul Kitchen — Poppy Z. Brite
Mona Lisa Overdrive — William Gibson
Zero History — William Gibson
Low Red Moon — Caitlin R. Kiernan
The Outfit — Richard Stark
Mystic River — Dennis Lehane
The Terror — Dan Simmons
Devil Red — Joe R. Lansdale
Pretty Little Dead Things — Gary McMahon
Revenants — Daniel Mills
The Warhol Gang — Peter Darbyshire
11/22/63 — Stephen King
Enter, Night — Michael Rowe
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo — Stieg Larsson

Favourite Long Fiction / Novellas

The Maiden Flight of McCauley’s Bellerophon — Elizabeth Hand
D*U*C*K — Poppy Z. Brite
The Redfield Girls — Laird Barron
Mad Dog Summer — Joe R. Lansdale
Hyenas — Joe R. Lansdale
Every Shallow Cut — Tom Piccirilli
Chasing the Dragon — Nicholas Kaufmann
The Big Knockover — Dashiell Hammett
$106,000 Blood Money — Dashiell Hammett
Tenkiller — Elmore Leonard
The Bones of the Old Ones — Jeffrey Thomas
Vanishing Hope — Tobin Elliott

Favourite Short Stories

“Are You Trying to Tell Me This is Heaven?” — Sarah Langan
“The Possessed” — Jeffrey Thomas
“King Him” — Richard Gavin
“The Boy Who Became Invisible” — Joe R. Lansdale
“The Deafening Sound of Slumber” — Simon Strantzas
“Foxford” — Sandra Kasturi
“The Shrine” — Gemma Files
“The Weight of Stone” — Tia V. Travis
“The Melusine (1898) — Caitlin R. Kiernan
“The Four Hundred Thousand” — Livia Llewellyn
“Rapture of the Deep” — Amy Hempel
“Trail to Pie Town” — Louis L’Amour
“Harold the Spider Man” — Paul G. Tremblay

It’s typical. The moment I decide to start moving away from doing these year-end reviews, I suddenly have a year full of stuff to report. Not that I’m complaining!

Even though 2011 was easily the biggest and best year of my writing career to date, I’m going to try very hard not to ramble.

The high point of the year was attending the World Horror Convention in Austin, Texas, where ChiZine Publications announced they were buying my first book, a collection of short stories due out next fall called Every House Is Haunted.

Shortly after returning from Texas, a new publishing company called Stonebunny Press released a Weird Western novella I wrote called Deadstock. This also marked my first e-book as Deadstock was made available for the Amazon Kindle.

I had a Felix Renn story called “My Body” published in the all-Canadian horror anthology Chilling Tales, edited by Michael Kelly. There were three (!) launches for the book, one at Bakka Books, one at Ad Astra, and one at the World Horror Convention in Texas. Lots of books were sold and it was nice to introduce new readers to Felix Renn and the Black Lands.

Speaking of which, later in the fall, Burning Effigy Press published my third Felix Renn chapbook, “Black-Eyed Kids.” Twice as long as the first two entries in the series, BEKs was a much deeper, and darker, exploration of Felix Renn and the Black Lands. It also makes a nice transition piece between the novellas and the series of novels that I’m working on right now.

This year was my busiest in terms of conventions and appearances. In addition to attending Ad Astra, World Horror Con, Readercon, and Word on the Street, I also took part in the Chiaroscuro Reading Series (where I read “Aces,” a selection from my forthcoming collection) and was one of the co-organizers (along with Joel Sutherland and Michael Kelly) of DarkLit Fest of Durham. With my wife Kathryn, I organized a reading/signing event for Mike and Linda Carey, in promotion of their upcoming ChiZine Publications book, The Steel Seraglio (written with their daughter, Louise Carey). I also did a reading in support of “Black-Eyed Kids,” along with fellow Burning Effigy authors Jeff Cottrill and Tobin Elliott.

I’m currently working on stories for a Felix Renn collection due out from Burning Effigy Press next fall, and soon I’ll begin the edits for my ChiZine collection which will be published around the same time. And, while all of this is going on, there’s the first Felix Renn novel.

So yes, 2012 is looking to be a very busy year for me. But I don’t mind. I’ve worked hard to be this busy. Now if I can just get some big publisher interested in a series of Felix Renn novels, or maybe sell a Black Lands TV show to HBO, I’ll be on easy street. Stranger things have happened.

Until then, I’ll try to keep things interesting around here. I hope everyone has a happy and productive new year.

See you on the flip-flop.

Random Writing Quote

"Many bestselling novelists in America don't write short stories. I doubt if it's a money issue; financially successful writers don't need to think about that part of it. It might be that when the world of the full-time novelist shrinks to below, say, seventy thousand words, a kind of creative claustrophobia sets in. Or maybe it's just that the knack of miniaturization gets lost along the way. There are lots of things in life that are like riding a bike, but writing short stories isn't one of them. You can forget how."
Stephen King

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