New review for Blood Related - check it out!



Recently I received this great review for my serial-killer novel, Blood Related. Check it out and grab a copy if you like. Happy reading 😊

Review: Blood Related by William Cook


William Cook is a painter of impressions and moods, artfully rendering complex, authentic characters and weaving a twisted, darkly psychological narrative.

In his exploration of the minds of a pair of prolific serial killers (those peculiar creatures of popular morbid interest), Cook introduces us to the Cunningham  brothers – products of a long hereditary line of aberrant, pathological behaviors. For Caleb, our central narrator, killing is more than a habit – it is an obsessive art form, personal and highly selective. His brother, Charlie, on the other hand, is a human wrecking ball – careening from victim to victim as he plans grandiose mass murders like a one man terror squad. Both present acute symptoms of varied psychoses – suffering delusions and hallucinations, suicidal ideation, and displaying a generally tenuous grip on reality. In this way (much like the character of Quentin P. in Joyce Carol Oates’s Zombie), Caleb serves as an unreliable narrator in the tradition of Poe, accentuating the twisting, fever-dream nature of the narrative.

Cook takes a carefully measured approach to scenes of extreme violence, which speaks much to his talent. Too often works of horror are overloaded with grue, overpowering the narrative and thus breaking aesthetic distance, putting the reader off the text. The imagination must be free to run, and Cook appreciates this.

If you’re looking for a truly haunting ride into the primal depths of the psychopathic mind, Blood Related is for you. Be sure to leave the lights on.


BUY THE BOOK HERE.

Review Written by W.J. Renehan

Special Holiday Season Promotion and 2016 recap

Hi all - well, what a year huh? I can't say that 2016 was a particularly good year on a global scale, as I'm sure most of you would agree. In fact the mounting evidence that the West is in a state of decline seems to be more evident now than ever before with world events taking some sad and bizarre twists. Despite all the doom and gloom and the changing face of international politics and global relationships, 2016 was, if not anything else, scarily interesting to say the least. The silver lining is that events certainly provided lots of fodder for potential stories. 

My own year has been very busy, with the re-release of a few titles and the inclusion of a few stories in various anthologies. As a result of expired contracts and rights reversion, I am nearly pure 'indie' with most of my books now finding a home under my publishing imprint, King Billy Publications. 

https://kingbillypublications.wordpress.com/
Book sales have been steady and, all going well, I should be on track to be able make a full-time living as an author in 2018 - thanks largely to you, dear reader. Next year will see the arrival of lots of new titles including a range of children's books that I have been working on with my talented 8-year-old daughter, Sienna. I am very excited about entering this market as it has always been a goal of mine to write books that appeal to kids, much as the books I read when I was of a similar age appealed to me. Such a magical reading age.

Anyway, the silly season is upon us and I have priced ALL my kindle titles to a low price of $0.99. Hopefully there is something there that you haven't read. Maybe you'd like to consider buying a paperback copy of one of my titles for someone this Christmas? If so, my top pick would have to be Fresh Fear: An Anthology of Macabre Horror - with over 450 pages of solid horror from established masters and rising stars of the horror genre. All my paperback titles are also priced at the minimum over the holiday period. Just click on the book cover images below to go to the Amazon page to purchase.

https://www.amazon.com/Fresh-Fear-Anthology-Macabre-Horror/dp/153486427X/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Free Fiction! Dead Memories - a short story

https://parlorofhorror.wordpress.com/2016/10/20/halloween-horror-free-read-2016-best-horror-stories-on-the-internet/

This story recently won 'Runner-Up' in the Parlor of Horror's 2016 short fiction awards and is also part of my collection 'Dreams of Thanatos' - now available to all new subscribers for free - click on the image at the end of this post to download your copy.

Dead Memories

1.

I had a dream on the anniversary of her death. In the dream, I heard her unmistakable voice calling me, then I saw her and she was so real, I could almost touch her again. Everything about her hit me deep in the chest, I sat bolt upright in our big empty bed. My breath gasped, sweat beaded itself on my cold skin. I could still hear her voice in the dark. I rationalized there were only two possible reasons why I could hear such a thing. I was either hallucinating, or what I heard was her ghost whispering in my ear. Then she was gone again.

Guest Author Interview: Mort Castle




Mort Castle is a veteran of American genre-fiction. Mr Castle is a respected horror author, editor and writing teacher, a prolific short fiction author and a novelist. Among other awards that he has won he is a three-time winner of (and nominated eleven times for) the Bram Stoker Award. Today I present to you a great interview with Mr Castle and it is truly an honour as a fan – my favorite works of his are the collection ‘Moon on the Water’ and his novel ‘The Strangers.’ As his bibliography testifies I have a lot of reading of Mr Castle’s work still in front of me (rubs hands with glee). Please make sure to check out his books and grab some copies off Amazon - you won't be disappointed if you are new to Mr Castle's work (just click on the book cover images below). Here is he, the horror maestro himself, Mr Mort Castle:

Q: How have you managed to maintain your literary career for as long as you have? Do you have any tips for other writers starting off on their careers in terms of long-term strategies to maintain a career as an author?

A: Oh, man, it's perseverance. You don't give up, period. There were some very bleak times, times of serious "career reversals," when I wished I could just pack it in. Was supposed to be editor of Horror, The Illustrated Book of Fears, which would be the country's largest circulation B&W comics horror magazine; that fell through at the last minute when the distributor reneged, saying he had had a moral revelation and was convinced the magazine would encourage mental illness and criminal behavior. Had movies come close and never happen. Book contracts blow up at last minute. Markets disappearing (go take a look at today's convenience stores for the behind the counter men's magazines that used to pay my mortgage!)

Guest Author Interview: Brian Evenson


Today it is my distinct pleasure to bring you this recent interview I did with the talented author, Brian Evenson. I recently read his early collection Fugue State and thought it a fantastic book. Here’s my review, which doesn’t really do it justice – I encourage you to read this and any of Brian’s other superb books (click on the book cover images below to be taken direct to the Amazon book page):

“Brian Evenson's Fugue State is a very surrealistic, slip-stream kind of collection soaked with dark themes and nightmarish allegories that make the reader think! A bit of a rarity these days. I especially liked the way the stories encouraged a second reading. Stand-outs for me were 'In the Greenhouse', 'Life Without Father', 'Fugue State' and 'The Adjudicator.' Will definitely be reading more from this fine author.”

https://www.amazon.com/Fugue-State-Brian-Evenson/dp/1566892252/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Without further ado, here is my interview with Brian.


BRIAN EVENSON is the author of a dozen books of fiction, most recently the story collection A Collapse of Horses (Coffee House Press, 2016) and the novella The Warren (Tor.com, 2016). His collection Windeye (Coffee House Press 2012) and novel Immobility (Tor 2012) were both finalists for a Shirley Jackson Award. His novel Last Days won the American Library Association's award for Best Horror Novel of 2009. The Open Curtain (Coffee House Press, 2006) was a finalist for an Edgar Award and an International Horror Guild Award. Other books include The Wavering Knife (which won the IHG Award for best story collection), Dark Property, and Altmann's Tongue.  He is the recipient of three O. Henry Prizes as well as an NEA fellowship. His work has been translated into French, Greek, Italian, Spanish, Japanese and Slovenian. He lives and works in California, and teaches at CalArts.


Q: You have recently been in Transylvania teaching at the Horror Writer’s Workshop, did you get an opportunity to explore the countryside and were you inspired by your experience?

A: We did.  The Horror Writer’s Workshop was held just outside of the town that houses Bran Castle, the basis for Dracula’s castle in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, so I spent some time there, also explored some of the nearby towns and medieval villages and fortresses, places like Sighisoara and Brasov, took my son to a decaying Communist playground complete with scary cartoon figures, passed through a gypsy village in which on a Sunday morning everyone was carrying a broom, spent time in the forest, etc.  It’s an amazing place, and it reminded me a lot of what parts of Europe used to be like 30 or 35 years ago, back when I visited as a kid.  I do think I got a lot out of it and that it’ll figure in my writing in various ways.

News and special discounted books promotion

Hi Folks

Firstly, apologies for the lack of posts lately - some of you may know that I recently began my Masters in English Lit. program and it is proving to be the inevitable time-guzzler that I thought it would be! So, less fiction, more academic writing . . . Grrrrrr. Despite the time consuming factor, I am learning a lot as I go and it's valuable information which will hopefully benefit my writing. The topic of my thesis is: American Postmodern Serial Killer Fiction, and I'm analyzing the following select works - Jim Thompson’s The Killer Inside Me, James Ellroy’s Killer on the Road, Brett Easton Ellis’s American Psycho, Poppy Z. Brite’s Exquisite Corpse and Joyce Carol Oates’s Zombie. Here's a slice of the intro - as you will notice, the style is not my usual pared-down prose. Bear in mind that this is the first draft, but you get the idea:

"The vast body of published texts, which constitute the genre of serial killer fiction, reveal common narrative technique and tropes that signal a prevalence of clichéd formulaic novels representing the majority of works within this genre. However, amongst this stylistic and thematic majority, works exist that extend the boundaries of serial killer fiction through the import of different genre concerns and attributes. This thesis considers the impact and importance of these works and how they have influenced the stylistic and thematic direction of the genre as a whole. Focussing on twentieth century American post-war serial killer fiction, this study examines select works to exemplify aspects of the narratives that directly, or indirectly, transform, challenge and critique the genre conventions in which they are written. Of primary concern is the charting of the trajectory of the genre as a postmodern phenomenon, the evolution and expansion of the genre in terms of its popularity with the reading public in line with the growth of media interest in factual representations of serial killers, and the growing interest in the genre and its possibilities by those authors who usually write outside of it."

Right, now my excuse is out of the way we can get down to the good stuff. I have recently discounted a few of my titles so I thought I'd share it with you here before the price goes up again. Here are the bargains:



Discounted to only $0.99 for a limited time - grab your copy now! (U.S & U.K. links below) - Dreams of Thanatos: Collected Macabre Tales. (250 pgs)

Supernatural demons, murderers and ghosts roam these pages although the most horrifying aspect Cook describes, is the dark soul of humanity. Whether writing about the psychological horrors of modern life, or things that go ‘bump in the night,’ Cook’s writing is always “intense” and often “visceral” in his portrayal of the macabre. Included in this collection of fifteen stories is a novelette (Dead and Buried) and the origin story (Legacy: The Eternal Now and Thereafter) behind the novel, Blood Related.

Recommended for adult readers only. Contains scenes of psychological and supernatural horror


This book is also available FREE to all new subscribers of this website - if you are not already subscribed, why not grab a free copy here instead?

The second discounted title is the popular collection I edited, Fresh Fear: An Anthology of Macabre Horror. I have reduced the price and the kindle version is $2.99 for a limited time. 


https://www.amazon.com/Fresh-Fear-Anthology-Macabre-Horror-ebook/dp/B01HYASBBI/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8#nav-subnav

New Release: Fresh Fear: An Anthology of Macabre Horror - available now!


It is with great pleasure that I can finally announce the release of Fresh Fear: An Anthology of Macabre Horror (2nd edition). This new edition has a new lay-out, formatting and a cover featuring the amazing photography of renowned French photographer, Louis Blanc (http://loublancphotos.com/). Formatting and interior work done by the talented Cyrus Wraith Walker from Cyrusfiction Productions.

FRESH FEAR: An Anthology of Macabre Horror* is a collection of horror from some of the genre's best writers of dark fiction. In the introduction, a selection from W.J. Renehan's The Art of Darkness: Meditations on the Effect of Horror Fiction, we are reminded that, "Horror serves to reconnect us with our primal selves, provides temporary respite from the droning conditions of modern life."

With over 450 pages, Fresh Fear is packed with stories written by both masters and up-and-coming maestros of the horror genre. Tales steeped in psychological horror sit alongside visions of strange worlds and fantastical landscapes drenched in blood. 'Quiet horror' sits comfortably next to more visceral portrayals of the monsters that lurk deep within the human heart. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, famously once said, "where there is no imagination there is no horror" - the horror expressed by the authors in Fresh Fear show that imagination is indeed tantamount to excellent story-telling.

Prepare yourself for 28 tales of fear-inducing horror from some of today's best authors of dark fiction.


Authors/Stories 

Scathe meic Beorh – God of the Wind 

Robert Dunbar – High Rise 

Ramsey Campbell – Welcomeland 

Lily Childs – Strange Tastes 

Lincoln Crisler – Nouri and the Beetles 

Jack Dann – Camps 

Thomas Erb – Spencer Weaver Gets Rebooted 

Brandon Ford – Scare Me 

Carole Gill – Raised 

Lindsey Beth Goddard – The Tooth Collector 

JF Gonzalez – Love Hurts 

Dane Hatchell – ‘takers 

Charlee Jacob – Inside the Buzzword Box 

K Trap Jones – Demon Eyed Blind 

Tim Jones – Protein 

James Ward Kirk – Block 

Roy C Booth & Axel Kohagen – Just Another Ex 

Shane McKenzie – So Much Death 

Shaun Meeks – Perfection Through Silence 

Adam Millard – The Incongruous Mr Marwick 

Christine Morgan – Nails of The Dead 

Billie Sue Mosiman – Verboten 

Chantal Noordeloos – The Door 

Don Noble – Psych 

WH Pugmire – Darkness Dancing in Your Eyes 

William Todd Rose – The Grave Dancer 

EA Irwin – Justice through Twelve Step 

Anna Taborska – Out of the Light 



*WARNING: R 18+ - Contains graphic scenes of violence and psychological horror. Not suitable for younger readers.



Grab your copy now - you will not be disappointed (please share this post). 


purchase at:




kindle and paperback

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