Now available in e-book and paperback


In this surreal road novel, Anthony searches for the father he’s never met: Andy Kaufman, the legendary song-and-dance man from the ’70s. There’s a few problems here, of course. A) Andy Kaufman died in 1984, and B) Thanks to a recent cancer diagnosis, Anthony doesn’t have much longer to live, either. However, new evidence has come to light that questions whether or not Kaufman is actually dead. Could he be in hiding, after all these years? Anthony is determined to discover the truth before his own clock runs out. During his travels, he will encounter shameless medicine men, grifters, Walmart shoppers, the ghosts of Elvis and Warhol, and the Devil himself.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Membership's Responsible For Making The Horror Writers Association Better

The Real Strength is in the Membership
My thoughts on the conflict with the Horror Writers Association
I have grown more and more disturbed over the recent turmoil in the author’s organization, The Horror Writer’s Association. I have been an active member for a few years now. Joining it, meeting its obligations as a professional author, was a dream. Last night, I seriously considered washing my hands of the entire group. Many allegations have been raised—and I am sorry to anyone who was hurt. If I had known, I would have helped. We blame our leadership. We raise grievances that aren’t heard. I have been dissatisfied over time that they failed to protect us or provide us with the support we required. But then I realized, the blame is not with our leaders. They are just the lightning rods. The real issue—the real power is with us, the core membership. We have looked too often to the top when we are also the problem. 

Writing is an insecure business, especially when the competition is so numerous and the substantial markets dwindle. We all want to succeed in that great notion of both accolade and recompense. But dreams can also make us selfish, especially the fear of not having them fulfilled. Every author—every artist suffers and nurtures the secret insecurity that they have no real talent, and this makes us desperate. We struggle, compete and fight for limited venue, and this inherently sabotages the hope of union, of a collective force of artists helping one another. Then we cut corners. We sacrifice too much. We empower bad publishers, leaders, chimeras, as I called them in Atlanta, when they tap into this insecurity. How many of us in that need for validation have compromised our professional ethics even just a little, accepting terms and behavior in the hopes of putting a crack in that wall that holds us back from our dream? This infects the Association, rotting it out from the core. Yes, our trust was misplaced, and some of our influential members have let us down; however, we allow too much unprofessionalism because of it. Now the castle is falling.

My point. Blame isn’t an arrow or a finger pointing. It’s a circle. The HWA must become a guiding light to its members, providing support, facilitating communication. But we as its members must also rise above temptation and act like professionals, creating better standards to form a collective bargaining force. Look to yourselves to create something better in your own actions. And to those who have always been professional, I salute you, but don’t be too hard on others. They have not had the chances and luck you have had. Help them. We need to help each other more.
T. Fox Dunham

Tuesday, April 5, 2016


“Part medical horror, part supernatural suspense, MERCY is a hard-hitting fever dream of a novel. I enjoyed the hell out of it!” 
~ Tim Waggoner, author of The Way of All Flesh and Eat The Night 

“Pain and poetry flow in equal measure through these pages. Dunham's prose strikes deep and hits all the right notes. MERCY is unforgettably vivid.”
~ David Dunwoody, author of Hell Walks and The 3 Egos 

William Saint is dying of cancer. On most days death seems like a humane alternative to the treatment. Stricken with fever, William is rushed to Mercy—notorious as a place to send the sickest of the poor and uninsured to be forgotten—and finds the hospital in even worse condition than his previous visit. The grounds are unkempt, the foundation is cracking, and like the wild mushrooms sprouting from fissures of decay around it, something is growing inside the hospital. Something dark. It’s feeding on the sickness and sustaining itself on the staff, changing them. And now it wants Willie.
In Dunham’s prose and imaginative sequences, engaged readers will no doubt frequently find a mirror for their own hopes, fears and searching. His horrific ordeal is channeled into a beautiful gift he shares freely in MERCY—if only after he’s given you a taste of the terror required to properly appreciate it.
~ Shawn Macomber at Fangoria Magazine
Make sure to give it a LIKE!

In 2013, I traveled down to New Orleans to attend my first World Horror Convention as a member of the Horror Writers Association. I joined Jay Wilburn as my partner at the Hazardous Press table. On the left of us was Blood Bound Books. On the right, PostMortem Press. Eric and Marc were two of my targets for that event, the reason I had come: to find a solid publisher for my next major work, a publisher who had foundation, not one of the new shooting star firms who burn fast, bright and then sizzled out. I had already sold an story to Blood Bound Books which was similar to my novel concept, so I spent the next day reaching out to them. Finally, it was Marc who pitched my idea to me, and I played it cool, containing my excitement. 

Never let them know how much you want it. 

I ran home and wrote the novel. It took me 14 days, and I confess I wrote it too fast without enough editing. Marc was patient, and after a year of waiting, he sent it back with some core edits. I was still learning how to write long fiction then, working on my book for Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing-- Destroying the Tangible Illusion of Reality or Searching for Andy Kaufman. Marc took his time and helped me create a powerful and solid horror novel, based on my experience with a rare cancer and painful treatment that followed. 

Reading the book now, I realize: 
                       I AM ANGRY. 
                 I AM VIOLATED

This book is about my death. I hope if I write enough books about my death like Andy and Mercy it will satisfy the debt, though Tony Rivera at Grey Matter Press has named me DEATH as part of the Dark Five. We'll be reading on Friday April 8th at 6.45PM at the KGB Bar in NYC. 

This is just one of the many events I'll be reading at in the next 6 months. 

It's not enough to write fantastic work if no one knows it exists. You have to get out there and fight, spending energy, blood and time. Once you've cast the book out onto the sea, you need to give it everything and never give up. Sometimes you must reach one reader at a time until finally the pod you've grown germinates in the chest of your audience. Until then, you are one brilliant and fulgent star in a sky of spilled salt on a black canvas. It is your voice, your appearance, eye contact that makes your book unique. Doing events that reaches your audience is vital.

Click below to see the amazing trailer.

That's the video trailer for the reading on Friday, April 8th in NYC. We will be following it up in Philadelphia. The Dark Five will rise. I'm hosting with What Are You Afraid Of? #Horror & #Paranormal #Podcast will be hosting and featuring a special episode based on the reading. John Foster will be reading from his new book, Mister White, now out from Grey Matter Press. I'll also be reading from The Last Elf and other dark stories from anthologies in which I've been included from Grey Matter Press. This is just the first of many. The Dark Five cometh: John Foster, Shawn Macomber, J. Daniel Stone, Daniel Braum. Organized by Anthony Rivera and Sharon Lawson from Grey Matter Press.


I will be featured in Dread, a reader-voted anthology of the best of Grey Matter Press, with some of the greatest horror authors currently writing featured within its covers. I was honored by this and thank all my readers. I came up with the subtitle: A Head Full of Bad Dreams.


This photo was taken from my reading at the Society Hill Playhouse, Final Curtain for Noir at the Bar. I read from the Street Martyr, my first novel. The book has slept for a year, but after my reading, it jumped in sales. The movie script is done, and now Throughline Films is attaching a director. I just need to hold on, have some faith. It has been a thrill having a movie made from my first book--and certainly a great surprise. Now, I must be patient as they create a great project. Now that MERCY is published, I am moving back to writing crime thrillers set in Philadelphia. I have been studying the history of crime in Philly, and I've been busy writing potential crime series and another novel, American Monarch. More about that in the future. First, I must swim in the darkness and drown on the oil.


So we're building an audience for MERCY. Many reviewers have copies, and in the first few days of release, it's started to build more reviews--a few on Amazon and Goodreads. We have others coming, including some from major magazines. This is an important story. It is my story, and I'm tweeting it, using relevant hashtags to get it to the right audience. I will sing it until it is heard. Will it entertain or upset? There is a difference. A good story upsets but must never disturb. It still must entertain, even if it is not telling all the truth. This has been a difficult distinction for me.

How do we do we make a sell well? I believe the book is good. So how do we up our numbers? Is it just luck, or can you find a current in the great ocean of indie publishing?

The book is my darkness. The burned me, torture me, cut pieces off my body. Doctors are still doing it. I just had a chunk of my neck cut out in September. Doctors are the enemy, and I've never met a loyal physician. If it gets bad for them, they will cut you loose, even if you are in agony. Doctors sacrifice nothing to protect you, and you end up in debt for the rest of your lives when most of the time they're using guess work to cure you.

In my adolescence, I was diagnosed with a rare form of lymphoma. This was after battling for a year with Lyme Disease that had been misdiagnosed for two years, thus leaving it to dominate my body.  When finally, it had caused severe damage to my brain, heart and nervous system, the unimpeachable college of physicians over-treated it with intravenous antibiotics, driving pick-lines into my arm and a Hickman into my chest. The Hickman nearly killed me when it infected two gram-negative infections into my blood. They never finished treating the Lyme Disease. After trying a blood toxic anti-seizure agent, a golf-ball grew under my ear. After another three months of misdiagnosis, they determined I had suffered a rare kind of blood cancer--Composite Lymphoma. It was two kinds of lymphoma--Hodgkins & Large Cell. Large Cell always kills. And no one had ever survived this complex blood cancer before. My oncologist warned me that the treatment would leave me crippled and in terrible pain if I did miraculously survive. Still, I decided to fight--not for me, but for those around me who needed me to fight. And I would suffer, more so in the soul than body. So many others suffering a similar cancer I would come to love, as my nature dictates They died, just vanished from this world sans divine justification. I suffered intense chemo therapy and 5 months of daily radiation up and down my upper body. They tortured me, stabbed my spine and bone marrow, burned and seared me. It was all medicine, all to get better. I feature all of this in the book. The suffering Willie undergoes was taken directly from what I felt.

I internalized what they did to me to endure it in hopes that one day I might have a life, though they
told me the chances of my survival were minimal. I fought--well endured it--in hopes that I would one day meet someone like Allison and we would have children. That day has finally come, and I am thankful that I suffered so much. Still, it possessed me with many demons. 

Mercy is my attempt to purge what I suffered, my PTSD. I took the darkness and manifested it in monsters. The scariest horror in our lives comes not from zombies or vampires. It comes from true life, which is why we turn to fictional legends. One cell of lymphoma can devour a century of Cthulhu stories, and this has been the source of my horror.

MERCY is the story of a dying man's journey. Willie can't let go, yet he's brought to a hospital that is transforming into a great spore, ready to spread its demonic infection to the world. Willie is haunted by his failure in love, a love that could never happen. He lives in the fantasy of it and ignores the real love that has come to him. He is still quite selfish even though he is dying. Dying makes us more selfish. While he struggles with real and fictional delusions of love, he must endure a menagerie of creatures who feed upon his illness and process him like lamb into veal, preparing his soul to be devoured by an ancient dark god who is gaining entrance to Earth. 

If it comes through the door, all souls are on the menu.

The book is available from Blood Bound Books. My favorite reviewer so far has said the following:

Mercy is wonderful/horrible and beautiful/sick. Its fevered exaggerations alongside shouted sanity that will make you lose yourself in the slipstream of vivid descriptions and noxious horror, then force you to plummet to earth when the moments of truth rip the beauty away to see the ugly underneath. It feels like a much longer read than it actually is (not that that’s a bad thing in this case), and I have very little to critique about it...

From a **** (4 STAR) REVIEW of MERCY
Read the book. Know 'our' pain, what waits for you. Death waits for us all--and you will suffer. However, there is hope. 


 (My wife Allison.)

(She is my hope.)

Know love from the need of love. Know when life loses its value and living only perverts it. This is my truth told in metaphor. 
“Life was an addiction, and he felt desperate for every second. But would it mean anything?”
T. Fox Dunham, Mercy

And leave your thoughts as a review. We authors need this to survive.


I have several events coming up, thus I would like to invite you. And check out the podcast. We have over 12,000 listeners and going strong.


THE DARK ONES RISE II (Philadelphia)

Sunday, 17th April 2016  - 
12PM - 2:30PM

Vinyl Altar 
732 S. 4th Street, Philadelphia PA 19147

Close out Choosing Death Fest weekend in Philadelphia with a afternoon of dark fiction readings and interrogations hosted by Shawn Macomber.

Guests include...

*John Foster, author of the fantastic new grisly thriller, MR. WHITE, contributor to SAVAGE BEASTS

*Sean Fraiser, Decibel scribe, Despumation 2 contributor, and screenwriter of the forthcoming Cloud Burst feature length film HIPSTER MASSACRE

* T. Fox Dunham, author of MERCY -- a tremendous surreal supernatural hospital thriller based on his extensive treatment for a rare form of lymphoma -- and THE STREET MARTYR (soon to be a major motion picture), contributor to SAVAGE BEASTS

*Adam Cesare, author of such bizarre and beguiling novels as ZERO LIVES REMAINING and TRIBESMEN

*Dutch Pearce, Decibel scribe, Despumation 2 contributor, and death metal frontman

*Scott Cole, rising bizarro standout and author of SUPERGHOST

*Shawn Macomber, Decibel/Fangoria/Shock Till You Drop mainstay, contributor to SAVAGE BEASTS, DESPUMATION 2, SHROUD

Saturday, December 19, 2015

The Wizard of Walmart

The Wizard of Walmart - From Destroying the Tangible Illusion of Reality or Searching for Andy Kaufman

Saturday, December 5, 2015

The Itch is the Bitch

I’m no longer using the word ‘D’ word for death. It’s too simple a word and ignores so much. In my new book Destroying the Tangible Illusion of Reality or Searching for Andy Kaufman, I call it, Taking a Bus to Jupiter, based on a one scene play near the end of the book and the life of my protagonist, Anthony. 

Anthony: I’m seeing blood in my eyes. Then sunlight. The sunlight is drying the blood and turning it white. My blood is white. I see a bus. There’s a bus to Jupiter, and I don’t want to miss it. (Anthony reaches out to the bus. An actress wearing a mini-model of the Manhattan skyline moves on stage to him, reaches out to him. When he reaches for her back to steady himself, she pulls away.)

 --From Destroying the Tangible Illusion of Reality or Searching for Andy Kaufman

How do I show death? How do I share my experience with the reader, the way that dying disassembled me. Mine was not a slow demise. I melted—down to 50 pounds of body weight, burned from CHEMO and radiation therapy and still fighting the lymphoma while being treated by the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philly. I clung to life with tenuous tether. I don’t know why I held on. It just felt like what I should do.

“The itch is a bitch.”
That’s the battle-cry at the end of the book. Why do we struggle to hold on to every second of life? I’ve got this itch to live that needs to be scratched. I live for life, hungry for it, needing more and more, addicted and under its power. I longed to turn the page. Life is a saga of stories, and I yearned to see what was going to happen next. I was 18 and eager to see my life written out on back of the spirit of the sky and land, to define my vacant name, to see what I’d become.

Then, I slipped between worlds. A fog clouded my head. I no longer felt. Dying became as easy as living, and merely gravity, momentum kept me on either side of the spectrum. I remember feeling hollowed out like my soul had gone on a head of me, waiting for my body to finally expire. Dying is a process, a tailspin. That final connection was never made. My body never stopped. My heart beat kept beating.

The scene from the play symbolizes that feeling of reality disintegrating. It represents the hazy atmosphere and perspective. Snow fell in my eyes. It took me years to come back from it, to feel grounded in the living realm, and at times I still slip, can’t figure out what’s real, what has substance and what is that misty dream. I’m terrified I’m going to wake up to it, to find I’m still on that table being burned with radiation in one final dream before I wake—then wake from life.

The play is in the book. It’s the play that answers all the questions, satisfies the mysteries. It’s the revelation, the key. The paperback is out and will be in bookstores.

The second anthology in the Stargate Far Horizon’s anthology, Points of Origin, is available. I was thrilled to have a story in this collection, Hermiod’s Last Mission. Science fiction is the modern mythology, and I have a love of Stargate Atlantis. It’s always been a dream to write for the series, to add a chapter to the great saga enjoyed by millions of international fans. I dared to write about the last chapter of the fan-favorite race, the Asgard. Little is known about their final days. The last episode of SG-1 showed their collective suicide after summoning the humans to their new home world—and final resting place—to share the sum of their knowledge and technology. How did they come to that decision after years of resistance when they treated humans like children how couldn’t be trusted? That’s my story. Hermiod, posted with the Atlantis team, is commanded by Thor to observe human nature and present his opinion to the Asgard High Council.

This anthology is out from Fandemonium Books. It required approval from MGM, thus it is considered canon. It is a personal achievement to add to the story.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Max Won't Let My Kevorkian Novella Die

So my novel, Destroying the Tangible Illusion of Reality or Searching for Andy Kaufman, has been released from Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing. I didn’t realize this at the time, but Max Booth III is using my work to destroy reality. If all goes well, any foundation the human race has in its understanding of the world and universe will be entirely dissolved by Yule. I attack complacency. I offend arrogance. I animate stasis.

This is my familiar battle—the old war song I keep humming.
I shout my story to the sun; It’s all there is left to do. I can’t bring my lost ones back to this world, nor can I bring back myself; however, I can keep laying down prose like planting thorn bushes. No one may read this. Everyone might. I cast it into your oceans like a message in a bottle. I have no vanity. Pain destroyed my ego.

 --Excerpt from Doctor Kevorkian Goes to Heaven by T. Fox Dunham

Whims birth most of my stories. Ideas hit my head like thrown stones. I see something that appeals to my quirky and demented vision, and it starts a chain of plot, ideas, concepts. I had heard Doctor Kevorkian was an avowed atheist. Wouldn’t it be interesting to see what would happen if he landed in Heaven? And thus, a new novella ripped out of the mental womb. I wrote it for PMMP’s One Night Stands, employing an eccentric humor that I learned from Mark Twain and Kurt Vonnegut. Darkness was the secret to their hilarity. To all their humor there was a frightening undertone. Both were horror authors writing in a comedy club. I sought to contribute to this style. I selected Doctor Kevorkian and figures from his life as the protagonists, and I wrote my own story in a third narrative: my battle with cancer at 18, a battle I wasn’t supposed to survive. 

Doctor Jack Kevorkian gives up on death with dignity, hangs up his hanging bottles and lets the gas out of his lethal gas. Instead, just before he dies, he decides to obviate the need for mercy killing by curing the human race of the common death. He composes an immorality concerto then promptly dies and arrives in heaven, much to his annoyance. 
The idea for an immortality engine had circulated his thoughts since his youth. The nothing first smacked him like a low-flying blind buzzard while he served as an Army medical officer during the Korean Police Action. (Not a war.) He’d grown furious watching Korean children die when blood supplies ran out and watching the devastation of the Korean county, and after suffering constant nightmares of the Armenian massacres that drove his family from their country, he determined that there must be a way to end humanity’s addiction with dropping bombs from jets and shooting holes in healthy bodies with slugs of lead propelled to lethal speeds by rapidly expanding gas. He knew the sedative effect music held over him, especially the classic pieces of his god, Bach, and he determined that as a doctor it was his duty to humanity to achieve a piece of music that would fill human hearts with such joy that would come together and no longer fight over things like religion or who was allowed to sell hotdogs. In countries that practice a form of government called Communism, the state told the people who owned the hotdogs and who could sell them. This upset capitalist countries who wanted to own all the hotdogs. More people were killed during the Cold War over hotdogs than the pigs slaughtered to make them. This affronted Jack Kevorkian, who came to believe that poverty and mortality drove all war, and if death could be cured, so perhaps could war and practically all physical suffering.

--Excerpt from Doctor Kevorkian Goes to Heaven by T. Fox Dunham

He meets God—a Jerry Garcia hippie moron who means well. They watched together as immortality freezes the human race. Without death, there is nothing to strive for, to overcome. People turn into statues. They freeze into the universe.

I’ve struggled. I’ve fought and clawed. People create illusionary walls for themselves, carving out their own prisons in the fabric of their reality. This is what I sought to express in the novella and my novel about the legend of Andy Kaufman. I’m a bit crazy, but I’m also free. Dying freed me, and I’ve existed with the threat of cancer since. It came back in September, but I’d made a promise and beat it again. Now, in about a year, if it comes back again, it will be the last time. Guess we’ll see.

Doctor Kevorkian Goes to Heaven is now free to read online.


Thou, silent form! dost tease us out of thought
As doth eternity: Cold Pastoral!
When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say’st,
‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.’
                                              —Ode on a Grecian Urn
                                             John Keats. 1795-1821

Monday, November 23, 2015


I read that someone said that my next book, Destroying the Tangible Illusion of Reality or Searching for Andy Kaufman, was about hope. Whoever said that hasn’t read my book. It’s not about hope. The concept of hope is contrary to the theme. Hope is about waiting, having faith, waiting for change. 

Andy, as it has been called because of its enormous title, is about death and how important real acceptance of death is to the fulfillment of our life, to our happiness. So many humans accept their perfunctory lives, waiting for change to come to them as if it ripples from great cosmic impacts like waves in a pond. They accept their misery or vacancy, toil in the vapors of desire, waiting to be given wings by destiny or divine to finally realize their dreams and be happy. They wait. They will wait until they are dead. Nothing is coming to save you. Love won’t appear on your door and happen for you. Oceans don’t build sandcastles. It is your responsibility. The dead wait.

I waited to die.

No one believed that my cancer would sleep this long. It usually doesn’t with such an aggressive Lymphoma. Lymphoma is how cancer ends you. Finally, I got tired of waiting. I built a career in Indie writing, got some books published, signed a movie deal. I met Allison and married her in Scotland. When we got back, it came back. In September, I had a cancerous tumor removed with half of my thyroid. Now we watch and wait. She understands now. She didn’t before—the apathy, the nihilism, the comprehension that our minds won’t exist forever. There is no hope. Death ends you. 

There is no hope. And that is freedom.

She’s struggling to learn how to live with it.
The book’s soul is embodied by a character triad: Anthony the dying, perhaps the lost son of Andy Kaufman, Cynthia the unrequited lover of Anthony and best friend, and Tolya, the crazy Russian actor who becomes their chauffer and general misanthrope.

 A passage from the book:

“The chemo. It’s a long shot, the whole goddamn thing. And it hurts. It hurts so much. I don’t want to spend my last few months letting them burn me. I’ll never forgive me.”

“I’ll never forgive you,” she said.

“I don’t care,” Anthony said, and Cynthia hoped her friend was lying. “You don’t have to live this way. I do. And not for much longer. I want to accept this. I’m struggling. It hurts, Cynthia. And I’m just doing it for all of you, because I don’t want to disappoint you.”

“Why don’t you want to live?”

He paused and considered it. Cynthia tried not to look at the scarecrow. “It’s not that I want to die,” he said. “No one wants to die. I’m just accepting that it has come.”

“But, it’s too early!”
“Who says? I mean, who really determines that? What is a good age to die? How many sands are mandatory before you can leave the world? I’m good, Cynthia. I’ve had some life. There’s a lot of matter in the universe that never has that experience. Whole suns are born, then explode, without knowing what it’s like to cry or laugh or eat a Whopper or fuck like rabbits.”

--From Destroying the Tangible Illusion of Reality or Searching for Andy Kaufman
By T. Fox Dunham
In this surreal road novel, Anthony searches for the father he’s never met: Andy Kaufman, the legendary song-and-dance man from the ’70s. There’s a few problems here, of course. A) Andy Kaufman died in 1984, and B) Thanks to a recent cancer diagnosis, Anthony doesn’t have much longer to live, either. However, new evidence has come to light that questions whether or not Kaufman is actually dead. Could he be in hiding, after all these years? Anthony is determined to discover the truth before his own clock runs out. During his travels, he will encounter shameless medicine men, grifters, Walmart shoppers, the ghosts of Elvis and Warhol, and the Devil himself.
It will be available on amazon, online sites and in book stores on December 1st.

Friday, May 1, 2015


Hazardous Press Table with Jay Wilburn

On May 7th – 10th, I will be co-hosting the Hazardous Press table with Jay Wilburn at the World Horror Convention in Atlanta. In addition to my duties there, I will also be doing two author’s panels and taking part of a mass signing. I look forward to spending time with my colleagues.

From World Horror Con 2013 in New Orleans, Jay Wilburn and T. Fox Dunham

Then, after my return, I will be marrying Allison Ledbetter on May 30th in Scotland.

I will be selling my books down there. Promotion is part of my job as a professional, and it doesn’t come naturally to me.


Easter dinner at the Phillip’s. My soon-to-be mother-in-law yells into the living room: “Fox, do you have a copy of your book on you?”

“What do you think?” I yell back and reach for my bag.

Always take a copy of your book with you wherever you go. Every single reader that meets you becomes a life-long fan. Engage them, intrigue and make them feel like that distance between successful artist can be reached. You will change their lives—and propel yourself. 

Publishers offer you copies at a reduced cost, and you need to have copies on you for book signings, public readings and just for when you meet people. I’m marrying into a large family, and I’m going to need at least twenty copies of my book for the wedding.

I do my best work face-to-face, hand-in-hand, eye-seeing-eye. Everyday I go to write, treating it like a 9-5 job, though often it is 10-10, since my fiancée works 12 hour days. I setup at Starbucks, Barnes and Nobles or Tabora Café and start hacking away at my deadlines. Always some terrible pressure or deadline I can’t miss that will make or break my career. I take out my laptop, get my coffee, then setup copies of my books in front of me on two racks so they’re standing up. That’s important, otherwise people think you’re just reading books. When you set them up, people know it’s something special, and they will come over to you to ask. Look up from your work, smile and just talk to them. Let them ask the questions. Don’t try to volunteer too much.

“This is your book?”

“Yes it is.”

“You . . . wrote this?”

“I did, indeed.” (They’re always so surprised like published authors are a myth.)

“Can I look at it?”

“By all means.” That’s when I hit them with a bit about the book, a sentence or two, then I let them learn the rest on their own. Let them check out the story. Usually they’ll read the back and the first page. They see it a surprise opportunity and want to get the most out of it.

Then, my favorite part: While they’re reading it, I add, “It’s going to be a major motion picture.” And they just explode. “Really? Wow! Congratulations!” And that’s when you’ve really hooked them.

I’ve had people buy my book without knowing anything about it. They’re not buying the book really. They’re buying me. If I intrigue and engage them, I am promising them a compelling experience if they read my words. Like any classic salesperson, it’s all in the aspect, the look, the sound of confidence in my voice, the charm and spirit. They will expect to find it all in the words.

A few things happen now in the process. They will ask if that copy is for sale or if it is available as an e-book. Sometimes, they’ll have the book bought and downloaded before you answer on their phones. Or they’re handing you cash. Though, it’s good to have a Square with you. Very few people carry cash, and Squares can plug into a phone or an iPad. I’ve made a lot of sales because I had a Square, and they only take like 3 percent of the cost. It’s worth it.

It’s not the mass of readers that’s important. They’ll come if you treat every individual as important. I am fighting for my success and doing well, but I still get a thrill when a single stranger buys my book. I’ll never let myself lose that feeling.


One of the books I’ll be supporting down in Atlanta is a fantastic anthology that’s been topping the Amazon charts, Shadows Over Main Street: An Anthology of Small-Town Lovecraftian Terror, put out by Hazardous Press. I have a story in this one, and it’s been a recent highlight in my career. I asked the editors a few questions.


So what was the inspiration behind the theme of this anthology?  

D. approached Doug with an idea for a Lovecraftian mythos-Mayberry mash-up. After much discussion, Doug suggested broadening the theme to be a “small towns vs. cosmic horror” kind of thing. As we started reading the submissions, though, to our delight, we could see this was going to be a very different kind of collection. While there are plenty of mythos stories in the book, there are also some which only suggest the kind of cosmic horror Lovecraft is best known for. They kind of give you a sense of it without being explicit. And some of those tales are among the most powerful in the collection.

How did you start to work with Robert at Hazardous Press?  

Well, we had an idea but no publisher. So we started shopping it around. A couple places really loved the idea but didn’t have time or room in their schedule. A couple others were very reluctant to take the project on at all, because, as they put it, “Anthologies don’t sell.” Looking at how the book is doing now, and the warm response it’s getting, we’re glad we didn’t listen to that particular piece of advice.

At any rate, when we got to Robert at Hazardous Press, we explained that we wanted the book to be a pro-pay collection to achieve the quality of the stories we wanted. He loved the idea, loved the approach, and didn’t flinch at the terms, so we were off and running. Robert gave us the financial backing we needed and near total freedom to run with the concept, and we’re thankful for that.

Did you foresee the book becoming so successful? Why do you think it’s doing so well?

Since this was our first time putting together an anthology, we didn’t know what to expect, but no one takes on a project of this kind without believing it can soar. Going for the long shot and making a few waves...that was kind of our battle cry throughout the process, so we definitely had big things in mind for the book.

Of course, setting out, we couldn’t have known how many of those hail Marys would actually connect for us. When they did, and the table of contents started coming into focus, though, we knew we had something special going on. From there, we really hoped that we could get it into as many hands as possible (and have hustled relentlessly to that end) because there are great stories in there--a wide range of voices from many, many talented authors.

As to why it’s doing so well, we think people love them some Lovecraft, and (to our continuing amazement) we’ve managed to assemble a ridiculously talented lineup. The concept of small-town America, especially during the 40s through the 60s is something very familiar to a large number of us. Those too young to have lived it were still informed by pop culture depictions of it. The Outsiders, Happy Days, Leave it to Beaver, and...yes...The Andy Griffith Show all are firmly cemented in the American psyche. There’s so much to mine there. Turn over any small town and you get to see the dark side of it all. Introduce elements of horror and existential dread and you’ve got Shadows Over Main Street.

So what’s in the future?

Well, we still can’t shake the feeling that we crashed the party when it comes to producing and releasing this book, so we’re going to try to enjoy the ride because it’s a dream come true for both of us. That said, we’re going to keep co-editing anthologies, and do the best we can for as long as we can before someone taps us on the shoulder and kicks us out. In fact, we had hardly completed Shadows before we started the wheels turning on the next project. We’re still ironing out some details so it’s hush-hush for now. But we can tell you that in the very near future, we will be pursuing the beauty found in horror. It’s going to be ambitious, and we’re going to keep throwing the long ball.

World Horror Convention Schedule:

So here’s a listing of my public appearances with those joining me:




Panel: WHCFILM: Selling Your Scares To Screen: Ins and Outs of Options in Today’s Film Market – REDHOOK
Selling an option for your novel to be made into a motion picture may invoke visions of big bucks, but what’s the reality? Our panelists have sold at least one horror property or have experience on the development/sales side of the film industry. Hear their war stories and find out what you need to know when to opt in or out of an option deal.
Moderator: Sabrina Kaleta. Panelists: John Dixon, T. Fox Dunham, Brad Hodson, Weston Ochse


6:30PM - 8PM
Mass Author Signing at World Horror Con 2015. This event will take place Friday, May 8 from6:30-8 p.m. in The Barrens, the pace outside the main panel rooms and Dealers Room.



9-10 AM
Panel: TERRIFYING TROPES: Midmorning Madness: Making Insane Characters Believable – SARNATH

From classics like Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart,” to Stephen King’s Misery, to more contemporary works like Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club, both film and literature alike have a soft spot for the insane. But what makes these characters believable and why do readers love a madman or a hysteric woman? Well, say hello to Tyler Durdan and get ready for a trip to the asylum because the first rule of madness is that we don’t talk about madness. And if it’s your first time going mad, well, then you have to scream.
Moderator: Stephanie M. Wytovich. Panelists: Dale Bailey, Nicole Cushing, T. Fox Dunham, Lois Gresh, Sydney Leigh, Brian W. Matthews


So Lamplight Magazine is doing a subscription drive so it can pay its authors professional rates. So few markets are doing that now. Jacob is a buddy, so help out! I’ve got mine.