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Coming in 2023

Three new fiction books are in the works for 2023, with one ready to launch.

Dead Park Records will be book three in the Dead Park series. Unlike the first two volumes, this is not a short story collection but a full novella about one of the many businesses located in Dead Park Plaza. An aspiring musician receives the offer of a lifetime when an artist repped by Dead Park Records comes to town for a concert. He will get the recording contract of his dreams, no questions asked, no audition required. There’s just one catch: he must murder a woman he’s never met in cold blood.

Not far behind will be Dead Park Estates, the inevitable third story collection in the series that dives into evil residing in the premiere subdivision built in Dead Park. Murder, mayhem, monsters, cryptids, new mysteries, and a surprising crossover with another Dead Park novel (anyone read Die Alan Die?) reside within the pages of Dead Park, book four.

There’s also a sequel to my romantic thriller Girl Most Likely to Kill You on the way. Currently titled Girl Most Likely to Get You Killed, the new story begins with a woman named Andrea looking for a new life having the wrong person’s belongings delivered to her new home. It turns out the ugly clothes and furniture belong to an international assassin, and as soon as they get delivered, a host of rivals seeking revenge show up, thinking Andrea is their long-sought target.

Finally, I have a new short film project that will be released in January. Back in 2020 my son and I collaborated on The World’s Shortest Horror Films, a series that depicted people in horror movie situations acting with… extreme self-control and common sense and thus avoiding terror. The new series, The World’s Shortest Noir Films, takes the same approach with the world of gumshoes, thugs, nogoodnicks, secret Nazis, and femme fatales. It stars some of my favorite past collaborators including Sonny Burnette, George Robert Bailey, Cory Burdette, the lovely Christina Cannon, and the always delightful Roni Jonah.

Thanks to everyone who has made this first official year of Dead Park Books a hit. Happy New Year, and Happy Reading in 2023!

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First Time at Scarefest

I took off from my day job last Friday so I could meet up with a wrestler named Gregory Iron in Lexington, Kentucky. Greg and I are working on his autobiography, and he was planning to hit Scarefest that night to meet Robert England. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out as planned, and Greg couldn’t make the drive. We did a Zoom call so we could still get more audio recorded for his book. After we hung up, I drove to Lexington and went to Scarefest because… well, I had already bought a ticket!

Scarefest is definitely one of the most organized events I’ve ever attended. Admittedly, some events have set that bar really low, but they clearly have a good handle on what they’re doing. The “Staph,” as they call them, do an outstanding job.

I got to see some old friends Friday. The lovely couple that runs Karnivorous Creations had a booth, and it was great catching up with them. I saw the cryptid artist Holly Wholahan too, and I picked up some 5 x 7 pieces of the Grafton Monster and the Kentucky Goblins.

I stopped by the Blood Moon Pictures booth and spoke with P.J. Starks, whom I haven’t seen in forever. P.J. and company are doing some cool things in indie horror, and their latest feature is nearly funded on Indie Go-Go.

While waiting to talk to P.J., I got to meet Rob Mello, who was on a panel about indie horror with P.J. Rob played John Tombs in one of my favorite horror series, Happy Death Day. Of course Rob called me a liar for saying it was one of my favorites, but it’s the truth. I’m a horror-comedy guy. I adore those two movies, and I put them right up there with several other horror-comedy favorites: Ready or Not, Cabin in the Woods, and the Babysitter movies from Netflix.

I got to meet a Facebook friend, Christina Cannon, who was working the sound board on the main stage. Christina and I became acquainted when I cast her in the teaser trailer for Dead Park Plaza, and we’ve become buds over the last year. She’s also become one of my beta readers, which means any fiction of mine you read going forward, she’s read it first. And you’ll see her on the cover of the next Dead Park book as her character from the trailer takes center stage in a brand new story from the halls of that evil office building.

I just happened to find the main stage right at the time when Aidan Fisher was taking the stage. Aidan was the hands ‘stand in’ for Eddie Munson in season four of Stranger Things during that awesome “Master of Puppets” scene. He played the song from the show, and then he followed it up with his rendition of “Eruption.”

I said hello to Roni Jonah and gave her a copy of Zombies of Oz. Roni was part of a creative team that attempted to get a movie of that story off the ground years ago. She was going to be Dorothy, so if you’re wondering why Dorothy is a redhead in the book, wonder no more.

I had a backpack full of books that I brought to network and give away, and I handed a few of those out to some podcasters. Hack from Hack’s Horror Show was one, and the guys from We Watched A Movie were another. Super nice folks all around.

There were some cool cars and photos ops at the show, including the Jeepers Creepers truck and one of the original Christine’s from the movie. I was a bit more drawn to the oddities from a creepy museum in Knoxville, especially the two headed lamb that was once part of P.T. Barnum’s traveling show.

Oh yeah, I also saw Mad Man Pondo walking around. No surprise there. The man is the biggest horror fanatic I’ve ever known. He got some face time with Robert England that night, his co-star in the underrated 2001 Maniacs.

I didn’t get to meet Robert in person, though all accounts I’ve read said that he’s one of the nicest folks you’d ever want to meet. I did experience a cool “Freddy” moment, though. I was walking past the curtains blocking off the professional photo ops area while they were doing group pics with the Nightmare on Elm Street 4 cast. I heard a very familiar face shout out, “SMILE FOR THE BIRDIE, BITCH!” That alone was worth the price of admission.

I picked up some other cool things from vendors before I headed home. ¬†Can’t post some of them here since they are family Christmas presents but… I got a really cool Addams Family pillow for ten bucks.

I’m admittedly late to the party in becoming a horror fan, but I certainly enjoyed Scarefest. I may look into attending as a vendor next year, when I will have at least two more Dead Park books on the table. If you’re within driving distance of Lexington and you like the scary movies, this is an event well worth your time!