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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Machete Head, Dawn of the Dead zombie color sketch

All finished and toned and bloodied!

Dawn of the Dead sketch

Not sure what name this character goes by, so I'm going to call him Machete Head. Here's the sketch...I'm going to work this into a tighter one soon and add some blood.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Blue Arrow Poison Frog Sketch

Finally I've had a chance to do a sketch, I was really just playing around with the pastel settings in photoshop and was feeling froggy. It's fairly crude but has served its purpose for me.

Cover Art for my new book, Modern Nightmares: a collection of poems (if you want to call them that)

I was going to hold off on releasing this until after Stay Dead debuted but I'm having some minor hangups with it so here's something else you can read. It's my second poetry collection but first solo effort. I'm really happy with how this came out, both the cover and insides. You can preview the entire book for free at my lulu site and you can download the ebook for free there as well, if you like it please buy it but at the very least check it out for free and tell others who may like it. Click the title link or the buy now to view the page. Later!

Support independent publishing: buy this book on Lulu.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Keith Latch interview, author of Cemetery Things, A Ghost Story, Bestseller, and No Small Thing!

1). Where do you think the future of horror fiction is headed and in your experience how has podcasting affected publishing, more specifically has podcasting your stories for free resulted in fans or increased sales in your published editions?

Latch: Horror fiction, in my opinion, is vastly different than any other genre. While you’ll always have the Stephen King, John Saul (shudder) and even Bentley Little, it’s nowhere near as profitable for either the writer or the publisher of, let’s say, women’s romance, legal thrillers or even fantasy. Despite that, or perhaps even in spite of that, you have a wonderfully developed small market with niches from everything from post-apocalyptic fiction to kleptomaniac vampire hunters. While there may not be huge paychecks waiting at the end of the rainbow when you sign with these small presses, the reader is definitely in for some quality reads. And in the end, I believe that’s what every writer, regardless of genre they’re writing in craves, a reader to appreciate their hard work.

Podcasting is a whole new avenue for unpublished and published writers alike to get their stories and tales out to a wider audience. In a world where technology advances on a daily basis--downloadable MP3 files are a very enticing way to get your dose of fiction. Wouldn’t you rather try out a new author by getting a free podcast version of a novel rather than plunking down eight to ten bucks for a mass market paperback? I sure would. To the best of my knowledge, I’ve enjoyed greater sales of my published paper books by podcasting helping to spread the word. Readers like what they hear, they’re more willing to let go of money that’s, let’s face it, and in this economy is pretty hard to come by.

2). What has been the driving force behind your writing, and how do you go about it?

Latch: To put it simply, I’ve got stories in my head that just have to get out. I sit down, either with a notebook or computer, and the words just come. Some days they come easier—much easier than others. But they always come. However, the first draft of any work is usually just an ambiguous thing. Like a wooden block having to be whittled down draft by draft.

3). From your previous works, are there things you would do differently looking back? When you write something new do you strive to capture something you may have in an older piece.

Latch: The only thing I strive for when beginning any work is to tell a good story. Everything else is either decided later on or revealed to me in time. While it’s hard not to tell the same story time and time again, I strive to bring a fresh tale to the table each time out.

4). Bestseller won an award, e-book of the month, in December of 2008, how do you feel about awards in general and are they something you strive for? How has being awarded affected you and your writing since?

Latch: Awards are nice, but they don’t pay the bills. That’s just a joke, but honestly, awards are nice, but do they make your writing any better, or for that matter any worse? I don’t think so. It’s great for the people that hand out the awards to like your work. But I’d much rather that the reading public enjoy it.

5). What has been your relationship with Champagne Books? What has the publishing process of your books been like? Any horror stories (pun intended) or lessons learned?

Latch: Champagne is my first traditional publisher. I self-published a work years ago, but that’s not worth bringing up. But with Champagne, as with anything, there are stumbling blocks; things you wish were different, etc., etc., etc. But the heart of the thing is this: They took a chance with me. J. Ellen Smith, the publisher, had never published horror before, and as far as I know I’m the only horror author they have now, and while that’s a lot of pressure, it’s also a great feeling that someone with a background in another area believes in your work so much, that they’ll let you be the first and back you every step of the way.

6). Do you have any projects you’re working on at the moment? If so, what can you tell us about them?

Latch: Too many to mention, really. No, seriously, I have a finished novel in the last stages of editing. I’m working on the first draft of another and planning a third. As a writer yourself, I’m sure you know, if you don’t get the stories out…you’ll be sorry…

7). What have you been reading lately? Has any of it affected your writing?

Latch: My reading is quite diverse. At any given time, I’m usually reading a couple of things. Right now, I’m reading Steel Beach by John Varley (science fiction) and re-reading Night Chills by Dean Koontz (back when he was writing as Dean R. Koontz). I think that everything I read affects my writing, and that’s a good thing. To avoid being narrow-minded, to avoid writing stale stories, to avoid the mistakes others make, you need to read everything you can get your hands on. From very bad writing to excellent prose, you should use everything as a stepping stone.

8). Have you received any negative feedback from listeners/readers? If so, how have you handled it?

Latch: On occasion. You do anything long enough, you get detractors. Take it, like you take praise, with a grain of salt.

Closing Statement(Latch): I’d love everyone to visit my website. Order my books, you can get signed copies from me or just the book from Champagne Books. Either way, I need your money.

Visit Keith at the following links

Monday, June 8, 2009

Stay Dead: The Stranger & Tunnel Rats Reviewed on The Midnight Podcast episode 138!

Corey of the Midnight Podcast has given Stay Dead: The Stranger & Tunnel Rats a B (A+ being the best & E being the worst)! For this being my first review I'm ecstatic that it was positive, very positive I think. So, check out the show and see what he has to say.

Here's a link to the site:

Monday, June 1, 2009

Stay Dead: The Stranger & Tunnel Rats mentioned on The Midnight Podcast!

On episode 137 of The Midnight Podcast, host Corey took the time to read my review of Patient Zero as well as mention Stay Dead...which he will be reviewing on episode 138! When it drops, I will be sure to let yall know.

STAY DEAD: A Day with the Dead/Free short story!

They had the sickness. At least that’s what some people were calling it, as if a bottle of cough syrup would set you right again. Jennifer—unsure of how she had the strength to do it—managed to restrain her family. Her father was heavily duct-taped to his favorite chair. He was neatly wrapped in a reclined position. On the love seat were her mother and younger brother, both of whom were strapped down with tape and bungee cords. Jennifer sat cuddled up with a blanket on the larger couch, her eyes rimmed with tears. They sat in front of the television, which remained off due to the power being out. Otherwise, it was an ordinary movie night at the Benz household, well, that and the fact that (with the exception of Jennifer) they had all been dead days ago. Yet, they continued to move, squirming in their seats and moaning for flesh, her flesh.
Jennifer spoke to her family, sharing fond memories of times gone by. She told her father that he was right about her boyfriend. He only wanted one thing, and she let him have it. She apologized to her little brother for always being mean to him. It’s how she thought big sisters were supposed to be. She peppered her talks with bouts of sobbing, sloppy, uncontrollable sobbing. Her mother gazed at her with yellowed eyes and bloodied lips. Jennifer whispered, “sorry.” They had a fight before her mother got the sickness, but she didn’t get it, she was bitten, repeatedly. Her shoulder and back were torn and marked by teeth. Her father was able to get her back inside the house but the damage was done, and he too, was bitten on his hands.
They both grew sick and quickly became bedridden. Jennifer took care of them as best she could. She apologized for fighting with her, and her mother accepted it. She made her mother and father a promise, one she couldn’t keep. She promised to keep her brother safe. Underestimating how quickly her parents would turn into those things, and not fully understanding how dangerous her situation really was would lead to the death of her little brother. Joseph was in the bedroom with his parents. He was curled up along his mother’s side with his action figures lost in the folds of the blankets, sleeping. He woke up screaming as his mother tore the flesh from his neck. By the time Jennifer ran into the room, her father was eating his son’s eyeballs and his screams turned into a death gurgle. Jennifer became a hysterical, screaming, and crying mess. She closed the door and fell to her knees. Tears and snot ran rivers down her face and spit hung from her lower lip. She broke her promise to her mother, and now her brother paid the ultimate price for it. Jennifer was alone now. She was the last girl on earth as far as she knew.
Now, she told her family everything she never could when they were alive. How much they meant to her and how much she loved them. How she would do anything for them, even if it meant letting them eat her. She cut them loose and opened her arms, waiting for a family hug. She would always be daddy’s little girl, and her mother’s pride and joy. She would never be mean to her brother again, and most importantly they’d always be a family.