Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Appetite, Aphrodisia, Covetousness, Craving

There's an amazing book being created by 44 Flood that carries Lust  as its title. I'm a huge fangirl of the artists and writer of this project. This week they were in the midst of ending their kickstarter campaign AND breaking some records. Ben Templesmith, Menton3 and Steve Niles did a wonderful video explaining the premise. Essentially their views on The Vices and foremost Lust. Fascinating stuff.

Due to all of this I've spent a few days contemplating lust myself. As a catalyst for horror it's perfect. Excellent jumping point for conflict also.

Lust and its effects, how prevalent this tiny word to horror creators.

Nothing is quite so horrific as twisting physical love. Taking something so personal and sacred, exposing it - mauling, bleeding and beating it under a bright light.
Feeding this supposed most blissful event to the saliva filled maws of filth crusted monsters.

Most evil is consummated under  the umbrella of GREED OR BREED. Of course these can be broken down into millions of subsections.

If you really sit and think about the horrible atrocities that occur on a hourly basis within the cult of humanity you can trace a line (albeit a long and rambling line) directly to this one word.

Lust is not just about sex. You can have a lust for numerous things, a craving that can't be satisfied.

A lust for blood,a lust to cause harm - see death up close. A lust for power over others, a lust to be adored and to illicit lust in colleagues .

Quite the dynamic for such a tiny word.

Protagonists and their counterparts must have a drive, a conflict, a distraction - a craving to accomplish - essentially they must have lust in all its forms.

There are so many feelings and messages that can be carried on the back of this word. Three days of contemplation wasn't enough for me to explore all the possibilities.

I challenge you to think on lust, to inject it into a project - to experience the turmoil and radical upheaval - to manipulate your surroundings and human interactions with it.

Finally you will have to stare it right in the eye and LEARN from it.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tim Shay Joins The Cutterverse.

We here in the Cutterverse would like you to meet our newest addition Artist Tim Shay
Tim Shay is an avid freelance artist living in Southern California with his wife and 4 kids. He artwork has been featured in several projects including Breygent Marketing's Dexter Season 4, Deadworld, Red Sonja and Vampirella Sets, Cryptozoic's Tarzan, Batman: The Legend, and The Walking Dead (Seasons 1 and 2) sets, as well as Gary Reed's "Voices from the Deadworld" graphic novel.
He strives to capture a lot of realism and emotion in his artwork. He has some exciting projects lined up for the future and continues to thrive on a steady diet of ink and lead.
For contact information and samples of his work, please visit or his Fan Page at
Come check out some more of his work



Loving the broken and repellent.
 Why do we care so much for those evil baddies?
Could it be that we recognize the evil in ourselves just under the surface?
Absolution of the worst evil, at least one redeeming quality, something we can identify with. Does it give us hope that we can also be saved?
It’s extremely difficult to write a villain / antagonist that that has nothing within them the populous can identify with.
Even the most horrific characters in fiction have a fan base that adores them.
What is this draw to the unclean?
The urge to redeem - to save - to find something (anything) sympathetic.
Cases in point – pick a legit serial killer and watch his documentary. Cute pictures from childhood, how they volunteered at the ASPCA or a church group. Meanwhile on the weekends they were skinning and eating children.
The human need to redeem ever the highest form of filth is fascinating.
This is why I use my main villain / antagonist to deliver some of the most important meanings within my work.  Nothing sticks in the brain better than an excellent bad guy.
 I understand the protagonist IS the most important piece of the puzzle. In certain instances you just can’t pile that much dirt on them. Their journey may contain a completely different message or emotion.
My favorite archetype to write, using this beast you can combine the “I don’t give a fuck,” of the bad guy – with the twisted need to do good shit and be loved.
 What a journey this guy can take you on.
Don’t be afraid to let the story voice take complete control. Don’t forget to pour that hidden vision into the killer/ monster/ evil alien/ serial killer. They can often be the best catalyst for impact.

Monday, October 29, 2012


Writers take their own fears, views, traumas and turn them into fodder for their fiction.
From childhood we collect impressions and feelings. These are taken and through hard work or a soul selling pact, we place them into our words. We don’t quote – we just extract the feelings created.
The best of us can delve the deepest, re live the worst and slap you in the face with overwhelming clarity.
I take my collected thoughts, experiences, interactions and such and then turn them into monsters.
I then use these metaphors to create a vision / message of the opinion I’m trying to secretly tell my readers.
I guess you could look at these methods as some form of subtle implantation. As a horror writer I find this highly acceptable.
In the course of my writing I tackle several touchy subjects. A re- occurring theme involves religion.  Nothing gets a reaction out of people quicker that poking around with God.  I don’t just write about religion to get a reaction. The subject has confounded and provoked me my entire life. May hap the creation of my work is some kind of self imposed therapy. If so, it’s not working. I come out at the end with more questions and subjects to twist.
Enough rambling for now – UPDATE ON PROJECTS TIME!
Cutter # 0 has started its final decent. We are almost ready to put the whole thing together and disburse it to the masses.  We are still conducting giveaways on our Facebook page so please stop in
Gods & Monsters progresses slowly since I added that last story. My editor is most like to kill me before this is over. We look for it to go off to print sometime in January.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Cutter T Shirt Giveaway

When our Cutter fan page hits 200 we will be giving away our brand new Cutter T shirts. Stop in and check out the page. comments and inquiries  are appreciated.
T-shirt design drawn by Christopher Gibbs

It's a Win.....

 When I first started learning how to transition from a novel / short story writer to a comic book / script writer I asked a few comic professional to read my stuff and tell me what they thought.

The feedback (to my amazement) was very positive. The most interesting thing as far as critique was they thought I should change or shorten (contract) some of the words in my dialogue. They felt that sometimes my protagonist would speak in a stilted manor not used when real people talk.

I had to explain that some people who suffer severe PTSD and realize they could be having an episode or find themselves under extreme stress - often talk themselves through it.
They use clear precise words, NO contractions - almost like some kind of an instructional video. Not all individuals use this coping technique BUT in my script my protagonist does.

This makes me worry a bit about the reception the comic will receive when it hits distribution. I don’t expect everyone to be an expert on PTSD, especially the severe form my protagonist (John Cutter) suffers from.

 Don’t get me wrong, this is not a stereotyping of the disorder. My perspective comes from personal and other contacts with numerous individuals (and myself) that suffer and deal with this issue daily.
PTSD is just one small part of my protagonist. He understands what he’s dealing with and copes the best he can. It doesn't define him and it’s not the only aspect of his personality and background revealed.
It does impact him and it does set conflict and create problems he must overcome.

After much deliberation and self-doubtt I decided to remain true to my vision and leave the dialogue the same.

To me this “coping mechanism” is part of the SOUL of my protagonist. If I modified it because others didn't understand the issue I would be a hypocrite.

The creation of the protagonist and the universe he lives in came from the need to inform.
I can be equally happy with someone that totally understands my vision OR someone that doesn't understand – hates it- BUT is driven to SEE.
 I think I like that one the best.
 Forcing someone to open their eyes to anything, even if it’s uncomfortable – is a win. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Coffin Hop 2012

This year there are over 100 authors of the horror genre come together to celebrate our favorite time of the year. Stop in to check out these amazing authors blog's and take a peek at mine too if you fancy. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Tired Tentacles

I've spent the day working on the business end of writing and creating. Looking through distributors and finishing up some more promotional swag for Cutter. Tentacled T shirts will be available SOON.

My artist partner Christopher Gibbs is at the Fan Boy Convention in Tennessee this weekend. This will be the first introduction of our Cutter marketing swag to the public and I can't wait to get feedback. The Cutter Fan Page is up and running strong. Please visit us at You could win free stuff! Please leave your contact information as a message and we will be glad to place you on the list to receive Cutter #0 - FREE! Upon publication the end of November.

My next book, Gods & Monsters, is coming together nicely. We are still in the editing stage AND developing a cover. I've backed myself in a corner.....I started another piece  and I REALLY want this story included.....may be a slight delay but if I believe IT CAN BE DONE!!!

Soon Christopher and I will put our heads together and set up a list of upcoming conventions.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tasting Green and Feeling Orange

The impact of mentors on baby creators.
 Over the past several days I had the extraordinary opportunity to get advice, information and suggestions from someone I’ve admired (as a writer and artist) for years.
Just a few words and a little time have re fueled my creative fire.  I don’t think enough emphasis is put on the importance of mentors.
I know that those who’ve achieved success and have spent some of their time gifting ME with that hard earned knowledge have helped me avoid the pitfalls and failures that are almost required.  
Another kind writer has offered extensive advice and encouragement.  I credit him for teaching me the importance of making things happen on the merits of your own power.
Instead of being selfish and attempting to keep others from creating great things, a few have stepped up and quietly extended their hands.
They may even face the ridicule of their peers.  I watched an acutely cute version of this. The comments were meant in jest BUT it showed a clear divide between the person that respected me as a growing fellow creator and an individual smug and comfortable in their success.
If YOU are a mentor, THANK YOU….. If YOU have a mentor - you are a lucky bastard and must treat them kindly and realize how important they will be to your future.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Monsters Marching Forward...

The promo poster and stickers for Cutter are in the HOUSE! Outstanding art from Christopher Gibbs and Dennis Willman......The Legion moves forward. We have also launched our fan page an invite you to take a look and  sign up for art and promo giveaways. Get on the list for Cutter # 0. We have a shite ton of surprises in store!!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Illusion and Reality

 I explained in earlier posts some of my time this week, time I most often set aside for writing, has been given to study of the craft. As a neurotic spider monkey with an OCD problem I believe I can always improve.
Write better, create better characters…improve in all aspects of the craft and just BE better. On this note I was reading some excellent material on inspiration and themes. That age old question “Where do you get those ideas?”
Although I write about monsters and terror my inspiration comes from “THINGS” that happen around me, from the smallest detail of life to the most significant worldwide incident. I pull snippets and bits from everything, Overheard conversations, interactions between strangers, trash, stray animals, frozen squid…everything.
One theme I return to again and again is the aspect of illusion and reality. What is real and what is not. What appears to be REAL but may not be.
It is my firm belief that each person’s reality is as different and individual as they are. How you view the world is as unique as your fingerprint. Outside influences may bend and shape your perception BUT the view from your castle is your very own.
My own perception of how human’s view reality shapes my outlook and worms its way into a vast amount of my fiction, to lose your grasp on reality and not be able to verify what is there and what isn’t ….that’s a terrifying thought.
To realize your grasp is slipping, to know that what you are seeing and hearing may not be there….BUT HOW CAN YOU NOT TRUST YOU OWN EYES AND EARS? To fully understand that your grasp on sanity is slipping and not have a way to tighten your grip….well that’s where horror comes from.
I enjoy slipping back and forth during my writing, keeping the reader from fully understanding if what is happening to the characters is really happening or is this just the final break down.
I believe this creeps into my writing due to the fact I’ve had numerous experiences in my life with mental illness and it’s after effects. This influence is drawn from my job in law enforcement or through members of my own family. Perhaps this is my way of dancing around my own darkest fear. The fear that I may lose my grasp on what is real and what isn’t.  hmmmmm …. I believe this tuning up thing is working.

Christopher Gibbs and I have gotten started on some promotional gear for the launch of our horror comic series Cutter.
First off we will be publishing a teaser issue (Cutter # 0) during November.
Posters, T shirts and stickers will start finding there was around your local Cons AND we hope these wonderful goodies will prime you for the debut of Cutter #1. (Early 2013)
 Promotional stickers….Come see us at our next Con and pick one up.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Passion, October and a Comic Convention

October for me is filled with all things good. This is the time of year when horror steps to the front of the line and strangles all aspects of normal.
For a monster lover like myself there is really nothing so wonderful.
I’ve been brushing up on the craft. Giving myself a tune up and learning a few new skills. In the world of comics & graphic novels writing and creating has its own language. My background is based firmly in short stories and novels.  Learning how to say the equivalent of three pages of dialogue and description in little under ten words has been a bit like learning to speak Mandarin.
Ideas have been coming fast and hard these last few weeks. I have filled notebooks with outlines and snippets for use in the future.  All my focus for the duration needs to be on Cutter #0 and my upcoming anthology Gods & Monsters. Once these are finished it’s straight to work on Cutter #1 and putting the finishing touches on the novel Keepers. Those lovely beauties are going to have to sit for a while before I can do them any justice.
I’ve also learned recently the extreme importance of having your creative team mesh well. Just one person that doesn’t have the same passion and love for project you’re working on can send out little ripples of negativity and frustration. I’m lucky in the fact that my creative partner and I both have the same amount of intensity and love for our joint work. Perhaps it’s our own fault for expecting others to fit well and be comfortable in this environment. More often than not Christopher Gibbs and I can finish each others thoughts when it comes to Cutter and our vision for the work.
If you’re down in Tampa this weekend come say hello at the Tampa Bay Comic Convention. Drop in and support some wonderfully talented folks!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Returning From the Dead – A Handbook for Beginners

Things are progressing at warp speed and I’m having one hell of a joy ride.

Cutter progresses forward. Dennis Willman has joined Christopher Gibbs and me in the CUTTER horror comic book universe.
Cutter # 0 is on task to be unleashed at the end of this month. Cutter #1 script is complete and is waiting in the wings.  Christopher and I have some wonderfully tentacle filled goodness in the future regarding this project and are having one hell of a good time bringing it to life. We hope to both start the Con circuit together in the near future.   

Autumn Painted Red has finally been released and is available on Amazon.  My first foray into nonfiction and I really enjoyed stepping back in time and visiting the PIT that was Whitechapel.
I’m currently working on a horror anthology comprised completely of my own work. This has been a challenge from the outset.  My Editor Carol, of Editorial Alchemy – Sarasota, is helping me gather together all my wayward children (short stories) and whip them into shape. Things are just getting rolling so I can foresee many weeks of work left.
Sometime in the near future a zombie anthology featuring two pieces of mine titled, The Final Migration will be ready for release.  Another awesome collaboration of talented creators I was asked to be a part of.  I can’t wait for this one to hit; the stories are just epic and a nice slant on the whole zombie apocalypse idea.

I’ve just recently started another project that I have to admit is completely inspired by those patient souls that serve me pints at my favorite pub. I know, I know - big rule is you don’t write about people you know. I’m not exactly doing that. The characters are somewhat inspired by those whom I call friends. Also they get killed and get to kill werewolves.  Now who in the hell doesn’t want to be a part of that? This project is still in the research stage but I have a clear idea of where it’s going.
Of course I’m still working on the novel  Keepers. I hoping to see this finished at the beginning of the new year AND progress into a serial.
That’s what I’ve been up to. Things are taking off and I really don’t see them slowing down anytime soon.