Free Book download - Update

UPDATE * Thanks everyone for downloading a free copy of 'Devil Inside.' The campaign is now over and many free books were downloaded. As an independent author it is nice to be able to give away something to encourage readers to take a chance on a newbie writer such as myself. I hope that those of you who did take a chance on my work and enjoyed it, will sample some of my other titles available on Amazon and/or leave a fair review.


Reviews go a long way to help authors without the large bank accounts of the big publishing houses, so it is something small that you, the reader, can do to support and encourage writers like myself. Despite not making any money (so far) I love being able to share my stories with the world and feel very privileged to do so. Please leave a comment if you follow this site/blog - I would love to hear from any readers out there (if any) and any suggestions for this website and for the type of stories you'd like to read from me in the future.

Anyway, thanks again and until next time, take care.


William

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Hey guys and ghouls my creepy short story, 'Devil Inside,' is officially now ‪#‎FREE‬ (and over the weekend) via Amazon.com just in time for ‪#‎Halloween‬ - grab a copy and share please.


http://www.amazon.com/Devil-Inside-William-Cook-ebook/dp/B00B3OCVMC/ref=la_B003PA513I_1_8?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1414703357&sr=1-8

From a customer review:

"Devil Inside is the tale of a young, underachieving boy who suffers abuse at the hands of his drunken father and a lack of attention from his mother, who is also a heavy drinker. Taunts from his teacher compound the issue, and on top of all this, he is having nightmares about a terrible, dark creature as black as night, with red piercing eyes. Is this creature only a dream, or is it a demonic protector sent to watch over the boy and punish those who do him harm? A wonderful tale, told with William Cook's usual attention to gory detail. There are 4 bonus poems and an excerpt from his novel, "Blood Related" too, so I urge any potential reader to take a look into the dark world of William Cook's imagination. You won't be disappointed in what you read!"

AMAZON U.S. http://www.amazon.com/Devil-Inside-William-Cook-ebook/dp/B00B3OCVMC/ref=la_B003PA513I_1_8?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1414703357&sr=1-8

AMAZON U.K. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Devil-Inside-William-Cook-ebook/dp/B00B3OCVMC/ref=sr_1_8?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1414703661&sr=1-8&keywords=devil+inside



Horrorselfies.com

Taking a stupid 'selfie' is harder than it looks. After three shots, I settled for the top one and posted it at HorrorSelfies.Com - the new initiative from the Horror Writers Association of which I've been a member now for nearly two years. Come and visit the website - lots of cool prizes to win. Playing the game . . .

http://horrorselfies.com/william-cook/


#‎horrorselfies‬
#HWA
 

Philosophy & Literature - Influences + Recommendations

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Literary lists are common on the internet; recently on Facebook there has been a rash of ‘list your favorite’ authors, bands, movies, TV shows etc. I was recently asked to play the game whereby you list 15 of the most influential authors and poets you can think of. I played the game and listed my 15 favorites but it got me to thinking about why those writers influenced me and how. Usually, what I considered to be the ‘influential’ aspects of their respective writings were the aesthetic qualities of the work in question and the way in which it challenged me (intellectually). That is, the work influenced me because of the style and the author’s ability to craft a good story that left a lasting impression on me; the uniqueness of the story and the emotion and imagery it conveyed were also important criteria, as were the use of cadence and language to effectively grab and hold the reader’s attention from start to finish. As a writer myself, the question of influence also reveals itself in my choices due to the ideas that the author’s work manages to inspire. That is, Stephen King’s writing influences my own with the ideas his stories provoke in finding horror in the commonplace, Charles Bukowski’s stories in the idea that material is everywhere and usually some of the best can be found in the lowliest of human experiences, and so on. The fact that I chose many writers who are considered by many to be exemplars of their respective genres is another reason behind my choices. As I mentioned, I write too, and my choices reflect my own genre interests and the writers that I respect and reach for when inspiration is required.  In my opinion, poets usually produce more profound and influential work (in terms of ideas) than authors of long fiction, due to the oftentimes use of complex concepts, metaphor, and subject matter. Poets deserve their own list in my opinion because in relation to the question of ‘influence’ their work operates on a level closer to philosophy than fiction. This realization made me think about books and philosophers that had influenced me over the years and the creation of another list occurred.
            This list is wholly subjective and is limited to my own shallow years and reading habits. I’m sure that what has influenced me has repelled others. Who I consider of interest and worthy of mention, may fall way short of what others (more knowledgeable than myself) consider as suitable candidates. Whatever it is, it is my list and these are the influences on my thoughts and development as a writer. I have chosen these philosophers because they have caught my attention and their ideas have stayed with me and influenced my own mish-mash philosophy of life. I have no religious convictions to date but I have spiritual aspirations despite being an atheist. I do not support an optimistic world-view without recourse to skepticism and logical pessimism – whether that puts me in the ‘existential’ camp I’m not sure but it works for me. As a proponent of the ‘experiential’ school of learning, if I can’t experience phenomena I don’t believe in it, especially when it comes to theological concepts and mythology. However, even if I don’t believe in something because I haven’t experienced it, does not mean by a long stretch that I am not prepared to engage in the possibility that that thing could exist. The various contradictions in my own safe philosophy are no doubt reflected in my choice of recommended philosophers. Alan Watts for example speaks of an eastern idea of god amongst other theological concepts, yet he also speaks philosophically of things common to the human condition and that is where my interest primarily sits. I personally like visionary philosophers who speak with passion about what they believe and about the myriad possibilities of human and planetary consciousness; (William Blake and Khalil Gibran come to mind) but at the core of their philosophies these visionary thinkers are interested in how the human species has evolved and the possibilities of further evolution. This ability to speak intelligently and convincingly about an idea or a concept strikes me as being the foremost quality that the following philosophers possess. And indeed, it is an essential quality that all other great writers have in their written work. The ability to effectively communicate an idea/concept to the reader in order to influence the way in which they read and by turn the way in which they think. In light of this last statement, I have possibly omitted a crucial work by Aristotle – Ars Rhetorica, however it was not a work of his that influenced me as greatly as Ars Poetica or Metaphysica, hence the exclusion.
            ‘How do these works influence you?’ – a faint hypothetical question arises from the ether. If you haven’t noticed already, I have a slight interest (bordering on obsession) with things relating to the absurdity and horror of modern life. I have a macabre interest in things that go ‘bump in the night’ and in the apparent meaninglessness of human existence. I just can’t seem to shake the idea that the human species is of no more consequence to the universe than a grain of sand is to the ocean. Yet I hope that there is something else in the cosmos, beyond these mortal years; a hard-wired dream that keeps me alive I suspect. And these are the thinkers that have helped me come to terms with my skepticism over the years; they have provided answers to my questions and further concepts for me to contemplate. Without them, my world would be a lot more dark and depressing than it is, my own writing all the more pessimistic, and for that I thank them. If you haven’t read the works mentioned, I recommend them all without hesitation. Any misgivings you may have about the authors should be separated from the works themselves. Enjoy.


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Aristotle – Ars Poetica, *Metaphysica, The Nicomachean Ethics
Marcus Aurelius – Meditations (trans. Graves)
Jean Baudrillard – Simulacra and Simulation
Walter Benjamin – Illuminations: Essays and Reflections
William Blake – The Marriage of Heaven & Hell
Edmund Burke – A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful
Albert Camus – *The Myth of Sisyphus, The Rebel
Thomas Carlyle – Sartor Resartus
Khalil Gibran – The Madman, *Thoughts & Meditations, The Prophet
Immanuel Kant – Critique of Pure Reason, *Critique of Judgment  
Jiddu Krishnamurti – Beyond Violence, The Awakening of Intelligence, *Freedom from the Known
Bruce Lee – Tao of Jeet Kune Do
Frederich Nietzsche – *Beyond Good and Evil, The Antichrist, The Gay Science, Thus Spake Zarathustra, Human, All Too Human
PD Ouspensky – The Fourth Dimension (from A New Model of the Universe), Tertium Organum, *The Fourth Way
Bertrand Russell – *The Problems of Philosophy, The Analysis of Mind
Arthur Schopenhauer – The World as Will & Representation, *On the Suffering of the World
Lao Tzu – Tao Te Ching
Alan Watts – *The Wisdom of Insecurity, The Book on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are
Colin Wilson – *The Outsider, Beyond the Outsider
Ludwig Wittgenstein – *Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, Philosophical Investigations

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Latest Review for Corpus Delicit: Selected Poetry by William Cook

Very pleased to have secured another great review from the fine folk at 'The Horror Fiction Review.' Thanks to Christine Morgan (< make sure you check out her website) who gave a fair and insightful review of my latest collection - Corpus Delicti: Selected Poetry.


CORPUS DELICTI by William Cook (2014 James Ward Kirk Publishing / 210 pp / trade paperback)


"Poetry can just be so cool … language in a more freeform, flowing arrangement … imagery and evocation … the sound and rhythm of the words, and even the look of them on the page, as much an element as their meaning. 

It can also be challenging, maddening, baffling, incomprehensible, and weird. Does it have to rhyme? Is it like a song, or not? How does it work? What is it? What does it do? What does it MEAN? Or, for that matter, DOES it mean anything? And so on. Vincenzo Bilof’s introduction to this collection sums up all that better than I can. 

And then you get to William Cook’s collection of poems. Rest assured, this is no slim poetry chapbook. This is a BOOK. Almost 300 pages, something like 140 poems, two decades’ worth of accumulated artistic craftsmanship. 

Don’t go thinking that poetry equals sappy flowery greeting card stuff, either. These are dark jewels, bloodied and moonlit. These are raw nerves, the exposed heart and meat and emotion. These are heinous acts framed in beauty, and beauty wrapped in hideousness.

As to whether they’re romantic – isn’t that one of those big poetry things, after all? – well, it’d depend on who you were trying to romance. I know some people who might seriously go for being courted with such poems. How worrisome that may or may not be, I’ll leave up to your own discretion.  

With so many poems, and blending together in the harmonious threads that they do, it’s pretty well impossible for me to single out any particular few by title. Some, I know I just didn’t ‘get,’ but I figure that’s more on me than on the poems or the poet. 

I found myself uttering “oh wow” and “ooh that’s nice” and various wordless noises of appreciation several times at particularly stunning bits of phrasing, lines that made me just have to pause for a moment or two to reflect, to admire and think and mentally savor the resonance. 

Admittedly, they may not have been the best thing to be reading during a stressful time surrounded by difficulties, depression and drama. Then again, maybe that’s the perfect time. Maybe that’s when they’re most needed."

-Christine Morgan

The Horror Fiction Review, Christine Morgan, Corpus Delicti, Poetry, William Cook, James Ward Kirk Fiction, Review, Vincenzo Bilof

Literary Magazine Markets

As the title above implies . . . for the full list please visit my 'Writer Resources' page here.

Reblogged (and slightly rearranged, alphabetically) from Clifford Garstang's fabulous blog/site (see my 'Writer Resources page for link). There is also another excellent list/resource here at http://www.everywritersresource.com.

Literary Fiction, Literary Magazines, Literary Fiction Markets, Writers' Markets, Writers Resources

Anthology Appearances - check 'em out!

Thought it was about time I gave a shout out to some of the publishers who've taken a chance on my work over the past few years; in particular, James Ward Kirk Fiction and Nicholas Grabowsky from Black Bed Sheet Books. Here is the complete list (including links) of anthologies in which my stories have appeared, in reverse chronological order. The title denotes the anthology name/title and the following title is the name of the story/poem of mine that appears therein.


JWK Fiction Best of Horror 2013 - 'Return of the Creep'
http://www.amazon.com/JWK-Fiction-Best-Horror-2013/dp/0692269398/ref=la_B004A30AHQ_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1407974129&sr=1-5


 Terror Train Anthology - 'One Way Ticket'


Serial Killers Quattor - 'Pretty Boy'
http://www.amazon.com/Serial-Killers-Quattuor-James-Ward/dp/0692023453/ref=sr_1_sc_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1407974493&sr=1-2-spell&keywords=serial+killers+quattor

Memento Mori - 'The Kaleidoscope Kid'
http://www.amazon.com/Memento-Mori-Remember-That-Will/dp/0615998585/ref=sr_1_31?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1407972543&sr=1-31&keywords=james+ward+kirk+fiction 
 
Ugly Babies (Vol II) – ‘Conceived By Death’

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Bizarro, Bizarro: An Anthology – ‘The Colony’

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Songs For The Raven - ‘Til Death Do Us Part’, ‘Aspects of Infinity’

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Four Ghosts – Dead and Buried (Novella)

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Splatterpunk Saints Anthology – ‘King of Terrors’, ”Til Death Do Us Part’

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Read Us Or Die – ‘Burnt Offerings’,'The Reader’

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Serial Killers tres tria – ‘Blinded By The Light’

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I’ll Never Go Away Vol II – ‘Dead Memories’

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Serial Killers iterum – ‘Return of the Creep’

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Writings on the Wall – ‘Playing the Game’

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Dark Light – ‘Beach House’

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Putrid Poetry & Sickening Sketches -’In The Dead of night’ (poem)

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Masters of Horror: The Anthology – ‘Devil Inside’

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Anthology, Horror, Short Fiction, JWK Fiction, Black Bed Sheet Books, William Cook, Bizarro Pulp Press, 

Recent Interview

Recently I was interviewed by author and fellow countryman Tim Jones for his wonderful blog 'Books in the Trees'. I first met Tim whilst completing a creative writing course at Victoria University run by Science Fiction author Robert Onopa. Tim is a fantastic writer and I had the good fortune of being able to include his wonderful story 'Protein' in my horror anthology, Fresh Fear: Contemporary Horror. Please note that Tim is running a give-away for 5 e-copies of Fresh Fear so please visit his blog and follow the prompts to win a copy. Anyway, without further ado, here is the interview:

 

An Interview With William Cook


William Cook was born and raised in New Zealand and is the author of the novel Blood Related. He has written many short stories that have appeared in anthologies and has authored two short-story collections (Dreams of Thanatos and Death Quartet) and two collections of poetry (Journey: the search for something and Corpus Delicti).

His work has been praised by Joe McKinney, Billie Sue Mosiman, Anna Taborska, Rocky Wood and many other notable writers and editors. William is also the editor of the anthology Fresh Fear: Contemporary Horror, published by James Ward Kirk Fiction.

*** William has kindly made five copies of the Kindle edition of Fresh Fear available to give away! Leave a comment at the end of this article, or respond on Twitter or Facebook, to be in with a chance to win one ***

1) As you mention, you're the editor of the recently published anthology Fresh Fear: Contemporary Horror, in which I'm very pleased to have a story. I'm less familiar with the horror field than I used to be back in the 1980s and 1990s, but even I can see that you've got some major names in there, notably Ramsey Campbell and Jack Dann. How did you manage to secure their work for the anthology?

It took a lot of networking and detective work to track down contact details for some of the bigger names I wanted to include in the anthology. I have been a fan of Ramsey Campbell’s for a long time and consider him the premier U.K. writer of horror, so it was important for me to try and secure one of his stories for the publication. Thankfully he agreed to sell me the rights to one of his stories (Wonderland’) and it was one that I had read before and felt was a good fit for the anthology.

Most of the bigger names were approachable; some more generous than others but most willing to part with stories (mainly reprints) for pro-rates if they didn’t feel the contributor rates were applicable. Jack Dann allowed me the use of his wonderfully frightening story ‘Camps’ and is one of the nicest and most generous authors I’ve met. I feel very honoured to have communicated with some of my favourite authors (albeit via electronic/virtual means) with this anthology and for that reason alone I feel it was worth the cost overall; it also proved a real boost to some of the up-and-coming authors to appear in an anthology alongside the likes of Campbell, Dann, Mosiman, Dunbar et al.




2) Are there common themes that emerge from within a number of these stories, or does the anthology cover the full scope of horror fiction?


The only real criterion I had in mind when selecting the stories for Fresh Fear was that they had to contain the element of fear somehow. I leant slightly towards ‘quiet’ horror when and if it was of a high enough standard but the end result was a really diverse range of stories, ranging from quite hard-core horror to more subtle narratives.

One commonality that emerged from the huge pile of submissions was the amount of stories set in post-apocalyptic or dystopian worlds; so I did become aware that the influx of these kind of stories had to be whittled down to give the reader a more diverse reading experience, as was my original intention. But, in answer to your question, I would say that the only real commonality is that the stories are well-written and that they all contain an element of fear that should entertain the readers’ adrenal glands.

3) Is this the first anthology you've edited, and how did you get interested in editing anthologies?

Yes, it is the first one that I’ve edited. I have always wanted to create my own horror anthology as I’m a big fan of them having falling in love early on with the Pan (Herbert Van Thal ed.) and Fontana collections of the late 70s and early 80s. It is how I, and I suspect, most other readers of horror have discovered new talents and writers of the genre and continue to do so. My interest stems from my love and fascination with the genre and I hope that I get the chance to edit more over the following years. I have always wanted to put together a very eclectic classical horror anthology with the best illustrations to accompany the selection of my favourite stories. One day.

4) Of course, you're also known as a horror novelist, with your novel Blood Related [receiving good reviews. Without giving too much away, what can readers expect from Blood Related?

By way of an answer to your question, I sent a copy to a favourite psychological thriller author – Jonathan Nasaw (author of ‘Fear Itself,’ ‘The Girls He Adored,’ ‘When She Was Bad’ etc). Now this guy is the standard by which I measured BR – his novels are usually about depraved serial killers and are very dark, so his reply shocked me in such a way that I had to ask his permission to use it as a blurb. “Dark and deeply disturbing,” was his reply. Apparently, he had to put it down after reading the first section because it disturbed him too much! Another reviewer has summed up BR nicely – here’s how they described the novel:

“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 behind the madness unexplored.”




5) You're also a poet, and of course, there's a long tradition of horror poetry, stretching back at least to Edgar Allen Poe. What makes for good horror poetry?

There are so many variables and subjective considerations when one makes a value judgement about what constitutes ‘good’ poetry that it is hard to nail down. ‘Horror poetry’ is a fairly loose term and is not as widely accepted as say ‘Gothic’ poems, but recent years have seen the rise of a number of poets who do write poetry that engages tropes most commonly found in horror novels/fiction. An element of dread must always be present – a sense of foreboding; this can be achieved with the cadence and meter of the poem and is also emphasized by the use of onomatopoeia and description.

 

I’m personally not a great fan of rhyming poetry and prefer subtle use of alliteration and simile – the poems that really speak to me as works of horror are usually succinct and pack a punch. The poem should make the reader draw breath as they read and to twist their thoughts and emotion in a way that will leave a marked impression. Too much horror poetry relies on mediocre rhyme schemes and fails to deliver impact because of it. You can have a fantastic idea and a scary premise that can be delivered effectively with free verse, but as soon as a rhyme scheme is used it comes across as a cheesy Pam Ayers-type limerick. The poetry that does it right is usually well edited and tightly wrought with selective use of words and phrasing.
 

Some contemporary poets who I feel do ‘horror poetry’ well are Charlee Jacob, Vincenzo Bilof, Lori Lopez, and Jaye Thomas, and Bruce Boston, to name a few of my favourites.

6) Now that you've finished work on Fresh Fear, what projects do you currently have on the go?

I am currently editing a collection of my 101-year-old Grandfather’s poetry, which is proving to be a challenge. He is a very prolific writer but has seldom been published due to the fact that he has not really shared his work. So there are many hours of reading and editing to get his work to a publishable stage. I am hoping to have his collection published by the end of August, so that he can actually hold a copy in his hands of his own work before he shuffles off this mortal coil. I am also working on a new collection of verse and essays titled ‘Beyond the Black Gate’ – essentially an exploration of depression and its effects and origins. Half of the book will deal with the darker side of depression and the latter half will deal with coping mechanisms and hope. I have a few collaborations I’m working on also including a collection of YA horror stories. For more on all my upcoming and ongoing projects, please come and visit me at my website: http://williamcookwriter.com


7) I know that you've put a lot of effort into building up your social media presence to create a sales platform for your work. What advice do you have for writers who think social media is not for them, or who are just starting to make use of it?

Unfortunately it is a necessary evil but if you can, don’t view it as such. Without the various social medias I would not have achieved the publishing goals I have set for myself so far. I would not have met the publishers, editors, fellow writers, and most importantly – readers. Network, network, network, is the rule of thumb with social media. Use the various platforms for the promotion of your books but use common sense. Don’t over-post things or you will lose the contacts that you have quite quickly – no-one likes a ‘spammer.’


Despite Facebook being the largest social network available it is pretty useless for sharing posts that you make – i.e. you do not have share options that link your FB posts with the likes of Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, MySpace, LinkedIn etc. I believe it is best to have a platform such as a website if you are serious about promoting your work online. Wordpress, Blogger, Wix, Tumblr etc are all viable options and best of all they are free.


Once you have your website/blog set up, then you can use it to share your posts via the social media sites. Most blogs/websites have options for automated sharing of your posts which can save lots of (writing) time and is the most effective way of cross-market promotion. There are countless tutorials via each of these platforms in the help sections or on YouTube.com etc.


Essentially, you need an online presence if you are to succeed as an author in this day and age – especially if you are going down the independent or self-publishing route. The one piece of advice I think is important is to not let it (social media) consume you – I have wasted far too much time over the years on it when I should’ve been writing but in saying that, I have learnt many valuable lessons too. One other point is to remember who it is you are trying to market your work to - the reader.


8) You've recently been involved in setting up the NZ Horror Writers' Facebook Group. Who should get involved, and why?

Well it was more of an experiment than anything else really. I was curious as to how many New Zealand authors write horror and whether there was a need for such a group. So far the response has been positive but I think a more apt title for the group would be: New Zealand Dark Fiction Authors. If you write dark fiction/horror and want a forum for your ideas and to network with other like minds them it would probably be a good place to start.


Many of the members are also active members in groups like the AHWA (Australian Horror Writers Association), SpecFicNZ and the HWA and use the group to share open submission calls and industry news. The criteria for membership is pretty simple – if you are a New Zealander and you write within the genres mentioned, come join up.


9) In addition to those with stories included in Fresh Fear, who are up and coming horror writers that readers should be looking out for?
 

There are so many good writers out there with little or no recognition. Some of the more promising authors that I have had the pleasure of dealing with are as follows: Vincenzo Bilof, Carole Gill, Scathe meic Beorh, Lindsey Beth Goddard, William Malmborg, Anna Taborska, Dane Hatchell, Thomas A. Erb.
There are so many and I’m sure to have missed out others. For a full list of recommended authors, please come and visit my website where I have a full page devoted to writers who are good at what they do.


*** William has kindly made five copies of the Kindle edition of Fresh Fear available to give away! Leave a comment at the end of this article, or respond on Twitter or Facebook, to be in with a chance to win one ***



Tim Jones, Books in The Trees, Robert Onopa, Charlee Jacob, Vincenzo Bilof, Lori Lopez, Jaye Thomas, Bruce Boston, William Cook, Poetry, Horror, Publishing, Books, Fresh Fear, Dreams of Thanatos, Corpus Delicti, Jonathan Nasaw, Joe McKinney, Billie Sue Mosiman, Anna Taborska, Rocky Wood, Carole Gill, Scathe meic Beorh, Lindsey Beth Goddard, William Malmborg, Dane Hatchell, Thomas A. Erb.

Interview with best-selling thriller author, Dan Padavona

Dan Padavona: The Business of Writing (Interview)   Welcome to Thriller author Dan Padavona!   You are going to love this...