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Very excited to announce I’ve sold a new Felix Renn story, “Eyes Like Poisoned Wells,” to Cemetery Dance Publications for the next instalment in their Shivers anthology series. Cemetery Dance is one of the best horror publishers around and I’m very honoured to have a Felix story in one of their fine books.


There were a couple of reviews of SuperNOIRtural Tales posted over the holiday break. Ted E. Grau over at The Cosmicomicon had this to say:

Rogers’ style is a perfect fit for this sort of fiction, as his writing is clean and straight ahead, without a lot of jazz hands, while also dashing the stew with a necessary amount of sarcasm and bone dry, black humor.  But there is also a depth of character, and a firm respect for what makes both good Horror and good Crime Fiction.  Like a mellow scotch, Rogers’ writing is the ideal blend of the spooky and the restrained, the shocking and the procedural, striking a balance that serves this sort of mash-up perfectly.

Ted also interviewed me for his website, which you should definitely check out because Ted is a big a fan of horror and noir as I am. Here’s an excerpt:

Do you have any more stories percolating that take place in or around the Black Lands?

My first non-Felix Black Lands story was recently published in the anthology Chilling Tales 2, edited by Michael Kelly. It’s called “Day Pass,” and it deals with a kind of halfway house for shapeshifters. People who have been infected by a Black Lands virus that’s basically the supernatural equivalent of rabies.

I’ve got a new Felix Renn story called “Eyes Like Poisoned Wells” that’s currently making the rounds.

And I’m currently working on a short story featuring Jerry Baldwin, the haunted house realtor from “The Brick.” It’s a tale of demons and exorcism called “Possession is Nine-Tenths of the Law.” Jerry’s stories tend to be a bit lighter. Not outright comedies, but less dark than the rest of my Black Lands stories. I like them because they let me explore not just another character, but another view of the world. Jerry’s outlook is very different from Felix’s. He doesn’t like the way the Black Lands is intruding on our world, but he’s trying to make the most of it. Even more, he’s trying to make money out of it.

You can read the whole review and the rest of the interview at The Cosmicomicon.

Josh Black also reviewed the book for Hellnotes:

The Brick is easily the highlight of the collection. It’s a creepy and effective haunted house tale, a terrifying monster-battling romp, and a strikingly poignant family saga that asks some probing questions regarding self-sacrifice. This one had me laughing, tearing up and nearly jumping out of my chair in equal measure.

Read the full review

Thanks to both of these fine gents for the excellent reviews.


2013 was another slow reading year for me. I read 33 novels, 23 novellas, and 188 short stories. That’s 10 fewer novels than last year, and 30 fewer than the year before that. On the plus side, I read twice as many short stories than I did in 2012, and more novellas as well.

Once again, instead of limiting my lists of favourites to ten or fifteen titles, I’ve included everything I liked. So here they are, my favourite reads, in no particular order. (As usual, not all of these were published in 2013.)

Favourite Novels

Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead — Sara Gran
Sudden Mischief — Robert B. Parker
The Underground Man — Ross Macdonald
Out of the Black — John Rector
Touch — Elmore Leonard
Freaky Deaky — Elmore Leonard
Killshot — Elmore Leonard
Riding the Rap — Elmore Leonard
Throat Sprockets — Tim Lucas
Bedtime Story — Robert J. Wiersema
Boneland — Jeffrey Thomas
The Snowman’s Children — Glen Hirshberg
Motherless Child — Glen Hirshberg
Out on the Cutting Edge — Lawrence Block
A Ticket to the Boneyard — Lawrence Block
John Dies at the End — David Wong
This Book Is Full of Spiders — David Wong
The Troop — Nick Cutter
Joyland — Stephen King
Sandman Slim — Richard Kadrey
The Demonologist — Andrew Pyper
Cataract City — Craig Davidson
NOS4A2 — Joe Hill

Favourite Novellas and Novelettes

Unhallowed Ground — Daniel Mills
The Girl on the Glider — Brian Keene
Lost Things — John Rector
The Man on the Ceiling — Steve Rasnic Tem and Melanie Tem
The Things That Make Me Weak and Strange Get Engineered Away — Cory Doctorow
The Prospect Cards — Don Tumasonis
The Boar — Joe R. Lansdale
The Eldritch Faith — Richard Gavin
Federales — Christopher Irvin
Wild Acre — Nathan Ballingrud

Favourite Collections and Anthologies

Still Life: Nine Stories — Nicholas Kaufmann
Voices from Hades — Jeffrey Thomas
Shadow Show: All-New Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury — edited by Sam Weller and Mort Castle
In the Mean Time — Paul G. Tremblay
Shoebox Train Wreck — John Mantooth
The God of the Razor — Joe R. Lansdale
Dead Letters: Stories or Murder and Mayhem — Chris F. Holm
At Fear’s Altar — Richard Gavin
Indignities of the Flesh — Bentley Little
A Season in Carcosa — edited by Joseph S. Pulver, Sr.
Never Bet the Devil and Other Warnings
— Orrin Grey

Favourite Short Stories

“Siren” — Jeffrey Thomas
“By the Silver Waters of Lake Champlain” — Joe Hill
“Everything Tastes Like Whiskey” — Scott Wolven
“Ball Lightning” — Karen Heuler
“Scree” — Steve Rasnic Tem
“The Cabinet Child” — Steve Rasnic Tem
“Fade” — Joel A. Sutherland
“Goatsbride” — Richard Gavin
“A Pallid Devil, Bearing Cypress” — Richard Gavin
“The Plain” — Richard Gavin
“Gamma” — Laird Barron
“The Page” — Ramsey Campbell
“It’s Against the Law to Feed the Ducks” — Paul Tremblay
“Sacred Cows” — Sarah Langan
“The Hanging Game” — Helen Marshall
“Firebugs” — Craig Davidson
“The Burn” — Craig Davidson
“13 Scenes from Your Twenty-Fourth Year” — John Mantooth
“Slick Black Bones and Soft Black Stars” — Gemma Files
“Beyond the Banks of the River Seine” — Simon Strantzas
“Wishing Well” — Cody Goodfellow
“The White-Face at Dawn” — Michael Kelly
“MS Found in a Chicago Hotel Room” — Daniel Mills
“Vacation Package” — Christopher L. Irvin
“The Seventh Picture” — Orrin Grey
“The Longest Pause” — Tim Lebbon


It’s that time again. The year-end review. I know some people are probably sick of reading these things, but I still enjoy summing up the previous year’s accomplishments and milestones. It’s as much for myself as it is for my friends, family, and fans. It’s a lot easier to look back to these year-end reviews than to scroll through the hundreds of blog posts I’ve written over the ten-plus years I’ve had this website. If you are one of those people who are sick of reading year-end posts, I won’t be offended if you skip this one. Swing by tomorrow when I’ll have my favourite reads of 2013 posted.

For those of you sticking around, let me tell you that 2013 was one of the best years of my writing career to date.

In my 2012 year-end review, I predicted that 2013 would be a quiet year for me, and it was in some ways. I didn’t publish very many stories in 2013, I spent most of my time hunkered down writing, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t plenty of excitement. On the contrary…

I kicked off 2013 with my first of two appearances on the “Speculating Canada” program on Trent Radio, hosted by the wonderful Derek Newman-Stille, a scholar of speculative fiction who has done a great job of shining the spotlight on Canadian authors.

In February, “The House on Ashley Avenue” was selected by Ellen Datlow for The Best Horror of the Year, Volume 5. This was the first time I’d had a story accepted for one of Datlow’s excellent anthologies, and it marked the start of a rather wild and unexpected ride that this particular story would take me on in the months to come.

March saw the publication of the anthology Shadows Edge, edited by Simon Strantzas and featuring “False North,” one of the few stories I had published in 2013.

April marked the six-month point since my debut collection Every House Is Haunted had been published, and I wrote a blog post about it.

In May I found out “The House on Ashley Avenue” was nominated for the Shirley Jackson Award in the novelette category. This was the first time my work had been nominated for anything, and to receive a nom for an award in honour of one of my favourite authors, one whose work directly influenced the book that featured the story in question… well, it blew my mind. I didn’t end up winning, but the nomination was still a huge milestone, and I got my awesome Lottery stone!

June saw the release of the Every House Is Haunted audio book

In July, my short story “Aces” was selected for Imaginarium 2013: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing.

In August, I attend the Fan Expo/Festival of Fear as an author guest. I also published the short story, “The Tour,” as a free extra on the Every House Is Haunted website.

In September, I was contacted out of the blue by a movie producer named Roy Lee (whose credits include The Ring, The Grudge, and The Departed, among many others). Lee had read my novelette, “The House on Ashley Avenue,” and was interested in developing it as a TV show. My publishers and I met with him in Toronto, at which time he had read the rest of my collection, and he asked me to be involved in the writing of the show. I immediately went to work on the show notes and a bible for the series. Lee was very happy with my work and we’re currently waiting to see what happens next. Even if the TV show doesn’t end up happening, the experience has been incredible and the contacts I’ve made are invaluable. One of the best things to come out of the whole thing was that I now have a pair of agents. Ron Eckel of the Cooke Agency is representing my books, while Jeff Alpern of the Alpern Group is representing my work in movies and television.

In October, I attended a couple of local events — Shwa Pocalypse (Oshawa’s first horror convention!) and the City of Kawartha Lakes Local Author Series. My first standalone Black Lands story, “Day Pass,” was also published in Chilling Tales 2, edited by Michael Kelly.

In November, I submitted the manuscript of my first novel to my agent (I still like the sound of that). It’s a science-fiction comedy called The Zane Conspiracy that isn’t like anything I’ve ever written before.

In December, I made a big sale with a short story called “The Lighthouse of Midian” to an anthology called Midian Unmade: Tales of Clive Barker’s Nightbreed, coming from Tor Books in Fall 2014. This was immediately followed by the news that Every House Is Haunted had won the 2013 ReLit Award in the Short Fiction category. I was up against a lot of really excellent books, and I was completely blown away to find out that I’d won. Not a bad way to end the year.

Oh, and I finally, FINALLY started work on the first Felix Renn novel.

So 2013 turned out to be a pretty decent year. I’m in a position right now where I actually believe I could make a living from my writing, and maybe one day soon. That would be nice. Hell, that would be better than nice. That would be my biggest dream come true. I still firmly believe that if you love something enough, and you work hard enough, you will get there eventually.

Of course, none of this would have been possible without all the wonderful people who have bought my books, taken the time to write a review, recommend me for an award, etc. I’d also like to thank everyone who has dropped me an e-mail, or sent me a Tweet or a message on Facebook, or included me on their list of favourite reads of 2013. I can’t tell you enough how much your support of my work means to me.

I can honestly say that I have no idea what 2014 will hold for me. 2013 was so full of surprises that I’m not even going to try to predict what will happen in the new year. I will say that 2014 has already had an interesting start. The other day, a Google Alert notified me that someone has created an entry for me on Wikipedia. Now I have arrived!

See you on the flip-flop.


Yesterday ended up being quite the day.

First of all, in the morning I received an e-mail telling me that my story, “The Lighthouse of Midian,” had been accepted for the anthology Midian Unmade: Tales of Clive Barker’s Nightbreed, edited by Joseph Nassise and Del Howison, to be published in hardcover, trade paperback, and eBook by Tor Books in Fall 2014.

Then, when I got home from work, I found out that my collection, Every House Is Haunted, had won the ReLit Award in the Short Fiction category. This is the first time I’ve ever won anything for my writing, and I’m excited and honoured to receive such an excellent award. In addition to being “the country’s preeminent literary prize recognizing independent presses” (The Globe and Mail), winners of the ReLit Award receive a very cool ring with four moveable dials, each one struck with the entire alphabet. 

All in all, a very good day. And a great way to kick off the holidays.


I started writing the first Felix Renn novel today.

One chapter down.

And away we go.


I was very excited, and honoured, to find out that my debut horror collection, Every House Is Haunted, has been nominated for the ReLit Award. This was especially exciting for me because the ReLit Awards were founded by Kenneth J. Harvey, one of my favourite authors. If you haven’t read The Town That Forgot How to Breathe, you should pick it up immediately. Congrats as well to my bud and fellow ChiZine author James Marshall, who is up for an award in the novel category for Ninja Versus Pirate Featuring Zombies (which may be one of the greatest titles of all time). Wish us luck!

Winners of the award get the ReLit Ring, which features four moveable dials, each one struck with the entire alphabet, for spelling words. If I win, I’m going to use mine to fight crime. By, you know, spelling four letters. Like “help.”

It’s been a little while since I posted any kind of writing update, so I should probably mention that I’m about a week or so away from putting the final touch on my first novel, which is a science-fiction comedy mash-up that I’ve been describing as The X-Files meets Arrested Development. Once it’s finished and sent off to my agent, I will be starting work on the first Felix Renn novel. And from that time on, I’m all Black Lands all the time. I promise.


What better way to celebrate the Halloween season than with a new anthology of horror tales! Chilling Tales 2 features an all-Canadian line-up of excellent authors, including yours truly. My contribution is called “Day Pass” and it’s a Black Lands story, although you won’t find Felix Renn in this one.

“Day Pass” is a special story for me because it was the first Black Lands story I wrote that didn’t feature my favourite Toronto PI. It has always been my intent with this series to explore how other people are learning to live in a world where paranormal is the norm. This particular tale is about a halfway house for people with a particular… shall we say, supernatural affliction.

As with the first volume, Chilling Tales 2 features stories by some truly amazing writers. Order links are available on the “Day Pass” page. You don’t want to miss this one.


Random Writing Quote

"You don't need writing classes or seminars any more than you need this or any other book on writing. Faulkner learned his trade while working in the Oxford, Mississippi, post office."
Stephen King

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