April, the month of mayhem!

Recently, a lot of things have been happening. I have joined the team at James Ward Kirk Publishing as Art Director and will be working with Mr Kirk who is publishing an anthology I'm putting together called Fresh Fear: Contemporary Horror, due for release around Halloween this year.

It is the first time I have edited an anthology and the process is quite challenging. Not so much in the proofreading and editing side of things but in the rigorous selection process that is the reading of all the wonderful stories that are still being submitted. The response has been better than I thought and the quality of the submissions is high. Writers who I have looked up to for years have been kind enough to reply to the submission call and lots of exciting up-and-coming indie authors have responded in kind.

In between these events I am putting the finishing touches on a new novel that follows on where Blood Related left off - yes, a sequel. Currently working on a novella for another anthology and a collection of poetry due for release sometime in the months ahead. So all in all, a busy but productive start to the year and I'm glad you readers are coming along for the ride.

If anyone would like a free kindle/pdf copy of any of my books to date, please leave a comment below or contact me via my Facebook page. Have a great April.

*****

If you write good quality scary horror, you may want to consider submitting to Fresh Fear - check it out.

Fresh Fear Anthology: Call for Submissions
I am putting together an anthology of quality Horror fiction due for publication Nov/Dec 2013 (print + Ebook). ‘Fresh Fear’ will profile international authors of Horror. There will be some established players and also representatives from the thriving indie scene.

Prerequisite: the stories must be original, previously unpublished and scary as hell!

It’s going to be published by James Ward Kirk Publishing and edited by myself (William Cook). The stories I’m looking for have to induce a sense of Horror/Terror in the reader – the kind of fear that makes someone keep reading but prevents them from sleeping! That is the main thematic criteria. Zombie stories are ok but only something special will be selected from subs. Psychological Horror is preferred. No explicit sexual abuse allowed.

Looking for short fiction between 3,000-8,000 words (neg.)
(No flash-fiction or Poetry)

The anthology will be available for Christmas so plenty of time to send us your best Horror stories.

Deadline: Submissions open (unless otherwise filled) until August 14, 2013
Standard terms and conditions apply. 

Please send submissions to freshfearantho@gmail.com

Put FRESH FEAR SUB in the subject line.
Double space, 2 spaces after a period, indent paragraphs, show scene break by a centered ***
don’t double dash — use the dash you want…
No headers, footers, or page numbers.
don’t underline for italics, use italics
Submit work as a Word Doc or RTF.
TIMES NEW ROMAN SIZE 12
put your BIO at the end of the story.

Contributor payment: US $10 per story + contributors copy (Ebook + Print) + discounted wholesale copies for cons etc.

Rights: First World English, Digital, Print, and Anthology.

Rejections/Acceptances will be announced electronically by the end of August, 2013 (if not before). Please include email address on bio.

Kind regards

William Cook + James Ward Kirk Publishing

News and reviews.

Been having a few small successes recently with the publication of a few short stories in some quality Horror anthologies. The first is James Ward Kirk Publishing's Serial Killers Iterum of which I have a few poems and a short story titled Return of the Creep which has received some good feedback.


Here is a review from D.L. Russell:

Serial Killers Iterum March 13, 2013
Format:Paperback
 
Serial Killers Iterum is a collection of poetry, flash fiction pieces and short stories, all edited by James Ward Kirk, under the umbrella of his publishing company of the same name. Kirk has brought together some of the darkest works I have encountered in a very long time and many of the pieces, can only be described as sinister and taboo.

Poetry

From the first poem, which is The Rebel, by Brian Rosenberg, the reader fully understands what is at the heart of this anthology. Rosenberg brings us the facts, fast and honestly; a serial killer, a successful one that is, will hide in plain sight. He will be in the cubicle next to ours, and be the model employee until he goes home and removes the mask of John Q. Public, to become a killer with multiple victims.

Of the twenty-six poems in the anthology, my favorites were Rosenberg's The Rebel, William Cook's Killer, A. B. Stephen's Serial Killer's Ditty, and Three in Me by David Frazier. All the poetry ranged from good to great and all are worth your time.

Flash Fiction Pieces

Like the poetry, the Flash Fiction is dark and menacing in its tones and variety. Being the father of an 8 year old daughter, I could identify with the main character and his motives, right up until the end in Stephen Alexander's Grey. But the ending does leave the door of uncertainty open, just a crack.
There are 9 pieces here and Grey is one of the best. Brian Barnett's Business is Murder and Allen Griffin's Pretend Pain were excellent reads that weigh on the mind long after consumption.

Short Stories

As for the short stories, William Cook's Return of the Creep, a tale of a sadistic cabby and his slow torture of a beautiful young girl, was by far the fullest, most well rounded story. Many of the other pieces read like flash fiction, but here, Cook offers the reader one of the best stories I have read in to this point in 2013. Zach Black's His Father Before Him,is another fine tale about a second generation serial killer who wants to be just like his dad, in every way but one. Also good is Mark Fewell's Amy's Last Dance.
 
After reading the material here, I felt as if I'd been given a different view of the psycho serial killer than can be found anywhere else. This isn't true crime fiction, and it isn't Investigation Discovery, this is a group of writers taking on one of the most difficult sub-genres of speculative fiction, and doing an excellent job at it!

Summary

Overall, I'd call Serial Killers Iterum a winner! After reading the material here, I felt as if I'd been given a different view of the psycho serial killer than can be found anywhere else. This isn't True Crime Fiction, and it isn't Investigation Discovery, this is a group of writers taking on one of the most difficult sub-genres of speculative fiction, and doing an excellent job at it!
 
It's one of those anthologies you should not read in one setting, but over a long period of time. Theme fiction can sometimes be overwhelming when read straight through and, each Poem, Flash Fiction Piece, and Short Story deserves its own moment in the dark!

David L. Russell
Editor
Strange, Weird, and Wonderful Publishing
 
The next anthology to have another story included in is Rainstorm Press' I'll Never Go Away II with my story Dead Memories
 

 
More news to come soon.
 
Will

Vincenzo's Zombie Horror Blog: REVIEW: Blood Related by William Cook

Vincenzo's Zombie Horror Blog: REVIEW: Blood Related by William Cook:

REVIEW: Blood Related by William Cook 


Meet the Cunninghams… A family bound by evil and the blood they have spilled.


Meet Caleb Samael Cunningham, a diabolical serial-killer with an inherited psychopathology, passed down via a blood-soaked genealogy. Caleb is a disturbed young man whose violent father is a suspected serial killer and mother, and insane alcoholic. After his father's suicide, Cunningham's disturbing fantasy-life becomes reality, as he begins his killing spree in earnest. His identical twin brother Charlie is to be released from an asylum and all hell is about to break loose, when the brothers combine their deviant talents. 


4.5/5 Amazon Stars 

The serial killer genre must be one of the most difficult to write about. Considering that so much research has been devoted to our understanding of these monstrous people who live among us, the killer is not mysterious. We're fascinated by the perpetrators of the most heinous crimes; the killers are granted immortality by the media and our own innate desire to peer into the darkness of the human heart and mind. How can such monsters exist?

William Cook's presentation of a family of murderers, most notably the twin brothers Caleb and Charlie, is a chronicle that charts the evolution (or de-evolution) of a killer's psyche. There is a plot in this novel, or rather, a series of events that result in the book's conclusion (no spoilers here). A revolutionary plot on the manic scale of Charles Manson, a damaged family unit that has been depicted in classic horror films like Texas Chainsaw Massacre and House of 1000 Corpses, and the downward spiral of the novel's "good guy" all illustrate the environmental conditions which create such monstrosities. Cook did very thorough research; no stone was left unturned, no cause unexplored.

There are several scenes that may have been more effective if the reader was given a chance to "see" rather than be "told," however, within the greater framework of the novel, which is rather extensive, one can argue that Cook's method only underscore the madness within: there are buckets of gore amid several grotesque mutilations, but all of them are very casually described. Whether from the perspective of a killer who wallows in bloodlust or from files and reports that summarize the grisly murder scenes, the detachment of the prose from the massacre mirrors the mental state of the characters. Descriptions are hardly tense, but rather matter-of-fact.

Grievances with this novel are based on personal preference. As with many serial killer stories, there is a severe lack of an endearing female character. From the perspective of Caleb and Charlie, this is acceptable because it appropriately conveys their worldview; however, I would have liked to see a character contrast with their dark, grimy world. One might argue that a doctor that appears within the pages is this contrast, and the argument is acceptable. In addition, I found some of the information near the end of the novel to be a bit anti-climactic.

Cook knows his material. The contemporary standard for a serial killer novel is, in my opinion, American Psycho by Brett Easton Ellis. The fact that I can measure Blood Related against this standard suggests that Cook has accomplished what few writers can with the serial killer story. I've seen Blood Related appear on a few "Best of" lists; I expect Cook to receive accolades for this novel, and future endeavors."
Well 2013 has kicked off with a hiss and a roar. Long may it continue, the hissing and the roaring that is. First of all I'd like to thank all of you who take the time to visit. It really means a lot and supports independent artists and craftspeople like myself. Anyway, this is my site so I guess I better tell you about what's happening in my world at the moment (myopic as it may be). I have started a new novel titled 'Blood Trail' and have finished the first quarter and mapped out the balance with an expected finish of July/August approx. I have nearly completed formatting a rather large dark-poetry collection (title to be decided). 'Songs for the Raven' is an anthology I've been working with and is in the process of taking submissions (I did this book cover for them recently). If you're interested, click on the pic and submit your best literary Horror short:


A few interviews will go live shortly and three separate anthology selections - please stay updated if interested in any of these things via my facebook page.

On other fronts, I have had limited success with my first ventures into self-publishing with the following poetry books. They are all $0.99 titles so if you like poetry, take a punt ;)






My first Kindle short has met with an enthusiastic response and I received my first 1-star review from an indignant reviewer. Sometimes I think people confuse the sample with the whole story! (spoiler alert: stereotypical representations of minor characters) It was supposed to be like an episode from a TV Horror series or Tales From the Crypt. I love and collect vintage EC, Eerie, Creepy and Psycho comics, hence the influence.  Anyway, another $0.99 cent title and recently topping a Goodreads poll



Meanwhile, Blood Related is ticking along steadily, not losing or gaining much pace via Amazon but hoping I'm selling a few copies through my publisher, Black Bed Sheet Books (cheaper too)

Anyway, that's about all from me this month but I will be back in a few days with some more posts. One of my many resolutions for 2013 was to be more communicative (and no that doesn't mean spamming!). I'd also like to share a friend's website. He is an excellent writer and all-round good guy, Mr Todd Card. Please take a moment to check out his cool site and his nightmarish creations (esp 'Hell Cometh').


Oh, and one more thing I'm still doing book cover, audio/music/dvd, graphics through my design site  www.bloodsoakedgraphics.tumblr.com if you need anything.

Until next time, see you later. Will.



A busy year ahead


Well, the mandatory salutation - 'Happy New Year', from me to you, is now presented literally. Hope you are kicking into this new year with gusto? Rather than make too many resolutions this year, I have just decided to sacrifice certain aspects of my laziness instead. There is only one way to really attain a peak-production of sorts when it comes to writing (personally speaking) and health must balance with writing/artistic pursuits.

2012:
was a good year for me with the re-release of 'Blood Related' by Black Bed Sheet Books and Nicholas Grabowsky. I received my copy in the mail and I'm very pleased with what Nicholas has done with the book. The editing is tight and the formatting and font-choice are perfect.  Nick has been in the business for years and knows what's what and I'm proud to be party of the BBSB team, alongside the likes of the following great authors, most of who scare the hell out of me in a good way:

 |_ Alan Draven (11)
  |_ Amity Green
  |_ Adam Aresty (5)
  |_ Alexander Beresford (12)
  |_ B.L. Morgan (8)
  |_ Bart Brevik (14)
  |_ Brandon Ford (19)
  |_ Cinsearae Santiago (7)
  |_ Dustin LaValley (5)
  |_ Franchisca Weatherman (9)
  |_ Fred Wiehe (8)
  |_ Gene Tipton
  |_ Joel Eisner
  |_ Horns (9)
  |_ Jake Istre (8)
  |_ Jason Gehlert (26)
  |_ Jason M. Tucker (10)
  |_ Jennifer Caress (10)
  |_ Jessica Lynne Gardner (14)
  |_ Joe L. Blevins (6)
  |_ K.K. (3)
  |_ Lane Morris (9)
  |_ Lincoln Crisler (7)
  |_ Matthew Ewald (19)
  |_ Nicholas Grabowsky (28)
  |_ Nick Kisella (19)
  |_ Nicole Vlachos (15)
  |_ Rey Otis (10)
  |_ Robert Milby (8)
  |_ Roger Sills (1)
  |_ Ruschelle Dillon (5)
  |_ Shannon Lee (7)
  |_ S.C. Hayden (9)
  |_ Sean Davis
  |_ Sharon Day & Julie Ferguson (4)
  |_ Shawnalee McCutcheon-Bell (8)
  |_ Sue Dent (2
  |_ Tom Sawyer
  |_ Vin Doctor
  |_ Wade Garret
  |_ William Cook

Anyway, Blood Related is looking good and ready to enter phase two with the imminent completion and (hopefully) publication of the sequel - 'Blood Trail.' I am a quarter of the way there but can give you a small sample of what's to come as Ray Truman fights his way back from the brink of death and resumes his bloodhunt for Caleb Cunningham. You can read it here. And if you haven't read Blood Related you can get it here on Amazon or (preferably), you can get it at a good price in any format, here direct from the publisher.

Current available titles from William Cook:





There are a couple of Anthologies I will be part of in early 2013, one (?) of which is edited by James Ward Kirk. Who, not only being a bloody nice chap as well as being a Horror stalwart at the helm of some cool anthologies coming out soon, he has chosen a story of mine for inclusion in 'Serial Killers 2,' published by Static Movement Press. Another story has been accepted for publication in a Rainstorm Press anthology due out soon, "I'll Never Go Away II.' I'm also pleased to be part of a covert anthology with another story included (to be announced). I'm sure there's more I haven't mentioned but I'll let you know in another post if anything interesting eventuates in 2013 (that is one of my New Year's resolutions - to be more communicative) :)

Peace, Love, and Horror - 2013, bring it on.

Will

P.s. If you need a book cover I have now done a few other genre-types than Horror, including True Crime, Fantasy, and Poetry. Click on the banner below for more deets.



THE HORROR FICTION REVIEW: NOVEMBER, 2012 Blood Related - Review

Absolutely chuffed to have a great review for Blood Related up alongside the likes of some literary heroes of mine like Jack Ketchum, Edward Lee, James A Moore, and Wrath James White.  

THE HORROR FICTION REVIEW: NOVEMBER, 2012 Reviews: NOVEMBER, 2012 REVIEWS


BLOOD RELATED by William Cook (2012 Black Bed Sheet Books / 323 pp / tp and eBook)

Caleb and Charlie Cunningham are twin brothers who each inherited a serial killer pathology.  Their father was a suspected serial killer and their mother was insane, a drunk, and possibly an accomplice.  After Charlie goes to prison and their father commits suicide, the full truth of the Cunningham’s legacy begins to present itself and Caleb’s turns his bloody fantasies into reality.

BLOOD RELATED is told primarily from the point of view of Caleb in the form of journal entries given to a forensic psychiatrist who handled Charlie’s case.  There are also news stories and police reports to support Caleb’s claims about his family.  The story is graphic and the brothers are violent and relentless, although at times I found myself wanting to like Caleb.  The characters are well-developed and tremendously disturbed.  William Cook has written a frightening story that poses the question “is it nature or nurture that determines the birth of a serial killer?”  The only issue I had with the book was that at times I was confused as to the time line of events.  Other than that, I highly recommend BLOOD RELATED, unless you are a bit on the squeamish side.  I would definitely categorize the book as extreme horror.

-Colleen Wanglund

Hi everyone. Well it's been a while but many things have been underway - hence the MIA status. Recently, I was featured on the talented Jerry McKinney's website as one of his 'Featured Friends' and rated a mention on a recent radio talk-back show with host Jeff Mudgett.

I have a new ebook due out by the end of September titled 'Macabre: A Collection of Short Fiction'. As the name suggests, it is a short-story collection of twelve macabre stories that readers will hopefully enjoy. I will make sure to post a link as soon as it goes live. And, finally, Black Bed Sheet Books are re-releasing 'Blood Related' on Halloween and I have also signed a deal with them for the sequel - tentatively titled 'Blood Trail' and halfway to completion. I would expect this to be finished just before or after Christmas and ready for release sometime before midyear 2013. So, a busy second-half for 2012 - if the calendar ticks over into 2013 I suspect next year will be even busier. Hope everyone is well and healthy out there in NetWorld - take care and keep doing what you love.
Will.



New Release - Psychological Horror Stories: A Collection of Psychological Horror Fiction for Adults

Greetings. This post marks the end of three months of writing, editing, and formatting a new collection that brings together old and new sto...