Wednesday, December 31, 2014

See Brian Write--Episode #24: Writing Comics with Danny Fingeroth and Denny O'Neil

The twenty-fourth episode of See Brian Write is a special one, as I share a panel on writing comics that I moderated at Connecticut ComiCONN. Comics legends Danny Fingeroth and Denny O'Neil shared their experiences as writers and editors, answered questions from the audience and even put up with my questions as well. They were both fantastic and I had an absolute blast.

You can listen to the entire episode right here in the player below, or head over to to download the MP3. You can also subscribe to the podcast with these feeds:

iTunes: itpc://


Connecticut ComiCONN

ConnectiCut comiCONN Panel
Danny Fingeroth
How to Create Comiucs, From Script to Print

Denny O'Neil
The DC Comics Guide to Writing Comics
Denny's Blog on ComicMix

NOTE: Next season of the SBW podcast is all about NANoWriMo! If you have participated in NaNoWriMo and want to be on the podcast, either email me (, or DM me on twitter: I am now scheduling new interviews!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Closing Out 2014 and Looking Ahead

It's that time of year--the week where we frantically try to go out on a positive note so we can hit the ground running in the New Year. It's a time for reflection and for planning, and I've been doing both this week.

2014 was a good year for me creatively. I wrote the next two books in the Parted Veil series--Lovecraft's Pupil and Lovecraft's Trial. I've also been planning the next couple of books as well as a spin-off series that will take place in the Parted Veil universe.

I did a lot of copywriting for Kitbash--my pal Jeff Rodgers' brand design agency, and together with the awesome crew there we helped revamp and launch a bunch of great websites this year. You can see some of the things we worked on over at the Kitbash website. The work I've done with Kitbash has really made it possible to work on a lot of other creative projects, as it's the one area of my writing that's actually making me some money right now.

I participated in three NaNoWriMo events and reached my goals in all of them. In April I finished the first draft of Lovecraft's Pupil during Camp NaNoWriMo. In July, I wrote the first draft of a middle grade book that I'll be talking more about in the coming months. And in November, I wrote the first draft of Lovecraft's Trial.

I started a new blog called Sunday Night Videos, a project that celebrates '80s rock and metal music, and I had a blast with it this year.

I attended a ton of comic and pop culture conventions this year, culminating in New York Comic Con this past October. At those shows, I sold some books, moderated some great panels, and got dozens of interviews for the Secret Identity podcast.

And speaking of podcasts, I did a heck of a lot of podcasting this year. The Secret Identity podcast passed the 600-episode mark this past Summer, and we're not slowing down anytime soon. I also just wrapped the second season of the See Brian Write podcast, which now has 24 episodes in its library.

And finally, Mo Stache, the comic I write (which my good friend John Cordis illustrates) hit 130 pages this month, all of which you can read online for free at We are in the final chapter of Mo now, and it should conclude sometime in late 2015.

So, a pretty solid year on the creative front. Am I satisfied, though? Hell. No.

As good a year as it was, there were several goals I fell short of this past year. First and foremost, I am super disappointed that Lovecraft's Pupil is not out yet. I really wanted to have that book out by the end of 2014. As it stands, final cover design is still ongoing (the pic above is a small tease of one of the draft designs), and I am still making edits and getting feedback.

That middle grade book I mentioned earlier? That didn't come out this year, either. I still need to finish final edits on that one and get the cover designed for what I hope will be a Spring 2015 release.

I also have a long way to go in terms of marketing my work. It's just not something I'm good at, and I didn't do enough to get better at it in 2014. I'm much better at helping others spread the word about their work than I am getting the word out on my own stuff. That has to change in 2015.

So, as I get ready to begin the New Year, I've already got plenty of projects and goals on my plate. I'll be setting up interviews and getting the next season of the See Brian Write podcast underway. This season will be all about NaNoWriMo, so I'm very excited about that. I'll be releasing Lovecraft's Pupil in early 2015, and plan on getting Lovecraft's Trial out in late 2015. I'm finishing the script for the final chapter of Mo Stache as I write this. And of course, the Secret Identity podcast will be rolling along, which means I'll be at a bunch of shows, doing a bunch of interviews, and hopefully selling a bunch of books. I do plan on doing more horror-relates cons this year, as that's more of the target audience for my books, and I haven't sold nearly as well at comic shows.

As always, I'll be blogging about all of the things I mentioned above right here, so stay tuned! I hope your 2014 was great, and you've got some big goals set for the New Year!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Last-Minute Gifts for the Writer in Your Life

'Tis the season for list-making!

Seriously, you've probably read a million gift lists over the past few weeks, but I'd be remiss if I didn't at least throw out a few gift ideas for those unfortunate souls that have to live with a writer. I know we can be moody, distracted, solitary, and the gifts we want most from you are your support, and the time to create.

BUT, if you're looking for something else to give to the writer in your life this year, I have have a suggestion for the under-$50, under-$100, and under-$200 price points.

$40: Scrivener (Windows/Mac)
If you've listened to the See Brian Write podcast at all, you've heard me rave about Scrivener, a program that helps writers organize and format writing projects. Scrivener is an extremely versatile and deep tool, that can help you do everything from outlining and research to putting together digital and print book files. In fact, that last feature alone is worth the $40 price tag for Scrivener. Whether you want to create a PDF, ePub, Mobi or Word file, Scrivener makes compiling your book super easy. When I first bought the program, that's all I used it for. Now, almost four years later, I am just really starting to dig into the wealth of features in Scrivener.

You can learn more about Scrivener and purchase a copy for Mac or Windows here.

$99: One-Year Amazon Prime Gift Membership
First off, we already know the writer in your life is an avid reader, right? So, getting free two-day shipping on all those print books and getting free books through the Kindle Lending Library  will ensure your writer has plenty of reading material to fuel their creativity. And with Amazon's recently-launched streaming music service, your writer will have plenty of tunes to write to. Oh yeah, and there's also the thousands of movies and TV shows that Prime members can stream through Amazon Prime Instant Video. And don't worry if your writer doesn't have a Kindle--they can access all of those books, shows, movies and tunes on their smartphone, tablet or computer.

You can purchase a gift membership Amazon Prime here.

$199: Samsung Chromebook (XE303C12-A01US)
This is the third generation of Samsung Chromebooks, I believe, and they keep getting better. I would recommend this more productive alternative to a tablet for the writer in your life that uses Google apps, especially Google Drive (Docs) for their writing. While the Chromebooks are primarily made to work online, most of the Google apps (GMail, Calendar, Keep, Drive) have offline modes as well, storing information locally and then syncing with the cloud as soon as you're back online again.

I know a lot of writers have started using their tablets for writing, and while there are some great wireless keyboards and keyboard cases out there, I prefer more of a laptop experience when writing, and I am a big fan of Google Drive (Docs). Right now, Best Buy has the Samsung Chomebook on sale for $199, which is cheaper than most tablets out there, and will provide a much bett typing experience. Not to mention, Google is throwing some pretty sweet incentives you way, giving new owners 1TB of Google Drive storage space, in-flight wi-fi free passes and 60 free days of Google Play's music streaming service. not bacd for $200.

You can check out the Samsung Chromebook at Best Buy here.

*If you're totally a Windows person, I would recommend you take a look at the new HP Stream, the 13-inch version of which you can get at the Microsoft Store for $199 right now.

So, those are just a few last-minute ideas for the writer in your life. But if you don't have the cash for any of that stuff, or you find yourself roaming around the shops on Christmas Eve in a panic, just remember--writers are easy to buy for. A little notebook and pen set, or just a couple of books will be greatly appreciated by any writer. All the complicated stuff happens in our heads, anyway.

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Art of Escape

I was listening to an episode of the Giant Bomb podcast today and a discussion came up about Sony's new Playstation Vue TV-streaming service that will be launching in early 2015. As the conversation went on, it became less about the how people watched TV, and more about how many people are watching less TV overall. One of the guys on the show mentioned that when he gets home from work, he either wants to read a book or play a video game, and TV is just not something that's high on his list anymore.

I've also been reading Clive Barker's Weaveworld again, which is an amazing dark fantasy about an entire world that was woven into a carpet in order to keep it hidden and safe from humankind. Well, it's about much more than that, but you should really give it a read if you haven't.

Anyway, I read a book like Weaveworld, and books in general, as a means of escape. And I write fiction both as another means of escape for myself, as well as to provide an escape for my readers. A good story is the best kind of escape, and books are always where I've found the best stories.

There was a time that scripted dramas ruled the television airwaves, and TV could provide some of those escapes that many of us go to books for. And in some ways, that still happens. Shows like The Walking Dead, Supernatural, Sleepy Hollow and Doctor Who are certainly escapist television. But for every one of those, there's fifty reality TV shows, and if the numbers are any indication, people are getting bored with reality TV.

This will be good in the long run for scripted television, but I think it's also reminding people that there's another place for them to escape to--books. E-books give people a chance to use those digital screens for reading, and in a way, the indie publishing scene is kind of like the early days of cable TV--there's something for everyone, and creators are doing things that would never have fit within the traditional mainstream model.

Here's hoping more people turn off the TV and start to discover the kinds of escape that only a good book can offer. As a writer, I'll welcome them with open arms.

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Need to Feed: Consuming Content to Recharge My Creative Batteries

Since finishing NaNoWriMo last week, I have been absolutely ravenous.

Because I spent basically every waking moment of November writing and creating, I had almost no time to consume any of the things I usually read, watch and play for both escape and inspiration.

And it left me hungry. Very, very hungry. So on December 1st, I went on a binge, and I haven't stopped since.

In the past week alone, I read two novels and dozens of comics. I continued catching up on Constantine, Arrow, Helix, Supernatural, American Horror Story and a bunch of other shows. I also watched Nightbreed: the Director's Cut, and got all caught up on the new Nightbreed comic series as well.

I've attended two live music shows in the past ten days and listened to the new AC/DC album around ten times since it came out last Tuesday. And that's not even counting the hours of podcasts I've been listening to.

On the gaming front, I started Rocksmith 2014, Assassin's Creed: Unity, and Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition.

Music, fiction, comics, games--you name it, and I've been consuming it in every spare moment I have. And I'm hungry for more.

As I've been consuming all of these things, I've been making random notes about plot points and character beats that I want to add into the draft of Lovecraft's Trial I just finished for NaNoWriMo. I won't actually start messing around with the draft until the new year, but I already have some great ideas that will make that story so much better than it is right now. I've also begun mapping out the next couple of books, and some big pieces of the meta-story that ties all of the books together is really starting to click into place.

Thinking back, I realized that I went through similar content binges after the last few NaNo events too, and it makes total sense. My switch is flipped completely into "creative mode" during those events, and I need to replenish my inspiration banks when I stop to take a breather. This process happens on a much smaller scale outside of those events, so it's just my normal routine, and much less pronounced. But this year in particular, I really noticed how content hungry I was after finishing NaNoWriMo, And so, I'm happily consuming everything in my path, and will continue to do so, until I collapse.

Do you find yourself going on content binges after big projects? What's your go-to inspirational junk food?

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Collecting My Thoughts with Scrivener

Something that became increasingly clear to me during NaNoWriMo last month was the fact that I have too many places for jotting down ideas. Or rather, I haven't done a good job of compiling all the ideas I've jotted down into one place. At any given time, I have handwritten notes stuffed into my pockets or work back, dozens of quick notes saved to Google Keep, and several Google Docs I've opened up for "really important" ideas that need more space to breathe. While these different note-taking systems are not necessarily a problem when I'm working on a standalone story or book, they've become impossible to manage as my Parted Veil series has continued to grow. I just finished the first draft of Lovecraft's Trial, which means by the time that comes out, I'll have four books and one short story in the series. And since it's a paranormal horror series that spans different worlds, there is a ton of details that have to remain consistent across the series.

So, having just finished NaNoWriMo, my first order of business for the Parted Veil series is to take control of all these note-taking systems and consolidate everything into once place.

That place is Scrivener.

I've used Scrivener for all of my books and stories so far, but mainly for its compiling functions that make formatting ebooks and print books a breeze. What I have not done is actually written my books from scratch in Scrivener, or even begun to dig into its myriad of uses. So, putting together a sort of world bible and database for the parted Veil series is serving two functions for me--helping me compile my notes and forcing me to learn Scrivener inside and out.

I'm not doing this without help, though. I've been looking for a good Scrivener resource for a while now, and on Black Friday, Joseph Michael discounted his critically-acclaimed "Learn Scrivener Fast" course by 80%. I bought it, and in the first few modules of the online course i have already learned a ton. I'm using this note consolidation project as my practice project as I go through the course.

I will continue to use multiple note-taking systems to keep track of ideas as i move forward, but I will now have one place where I will make sure those notes get to in order to make things easier to keep track of as the Parted veil series continues to grow. I'll be posting more about eh "Learn Scrivener Fast" course as I make my way through it as well.

Monday, December 1, 2014

NaNoWriMo 2014: Finishing Strong

When I checked in last week, I had just crossed the 50,000-word mark and "won" NaNoWriMo. But I still had a ways to go. I had a story that needed an ending, and I was determined to finish that story by November's end.

At around 2:30PM yesterday, I did just that. I finished my story with a final word count of 62, 844, which was my best finish ever. Last year I barely topped the 60k mark when I wrote the first draft for Lovecraft's Pupil, and I finished with around 58k when I wrote Lovecraft's Curse a couple years before that. What was more significant than 60k for me though was keeping my per-day average over 2,000 words for the first time ever. That might not seem like a big deal, but one of my goals for NaNoWriMo this year was to be more consistent. I finished NaNoWriMo with a 2200-word day, and finished the event with a 2094 per-day average.

I mentioned last week about learning the importance of starting strong this year. But I wanted to finish strong as well, and not just in terms of word count. Chuck Wendig had a great post about finishing what you write this week on his blog. And while I had every intention of finishing my story, I wasn't sure if I'd finish it in November. I'd hit my 50k mark, but the first draft wasn't complete. Last year, the same thing happened, and it wasn't until months later that I finished the first draft of Lovecraft's Pupil, which is a primary reason that I haven't released that book yet.

So it was important to me to get the first draft of Lovecraft's Trial completed during NaNoWriMo. And now that it is, I can focus on making it better. I have a lot of rewrites to do, scenes that I need to add, and plenty that will need to be cut as well. But I have a first draft--a complete first draft--to work with.

I also came out of NaNoWriMo with something very precious--momentum. As I look forward to 2015, I have some big plans for the Parted Veil series, my podcasts and my webcomic Mo Stache. I'll be posting about some of those goals and plans over the rest of this month.

Stay tuned!

Monday, November 24, 2014

NaNoWriMo 2014: Thoughts on Hitting 50k

Wait--if you're reading this and you haven't hit your daily word count for NaNoWriMo yet, go do that first, then come back.

All set? Okay!

Woo-hoo! I hit 50k!!!!!!

I think it was around 4:30PM Sunday that I hit the magic number for this year's NaNoWriMo event. And while my book is definitely not finished yet, I did reach the goal all Wrimos set for themselves when they embark in this crazy adventure at the beginning of November--50,000 words in 30 days.

I actually looked back at the post I made last year when I finished NaNoWriMo, and my feelings this year are pretty much the same. The sense of accomplishment, the love for the NaNo community, the reinforcement of how important it is to write regularly--all of it. The more NaNo events I participate in, the more I love them, and the bigger evangelist I become for what everything they are about.

Here is the mission statement of NaNoWriMo (from their ABOUT page):

National Novel Writing Month organizes events where children and adults find the inspiration, encouragement, and structure they need to achieve their creative potential. Our programs are web-enabled challenges with vibrant real-world components, designed to foster self-expression while building community on local and global levels.

What a great sentiment. And I can say from experience that NaNoWriMo does exactly what it sets out to do. These events inspire and encourage people, and they build community among those who take up the challenge. they have inspired me, helped me make some great friends in the writing community, and without them I never would have gotten my first book out into the world.

If there is a new lesson I took away from this year's event, it was the importance of starting strong. For the first time time, I actually stayed up until midnight and began writing the second NaNoWriMo started. That night I got over 3,100 words down, and within three days, I had over 10,000. That strong start took a lot of the pressure off as I moved forward, as I was always working with a cushion of words that I could fall back on if there was a day I couldn't get a ton of writing done. Because of that, my average never dipped below 2,000 words a day. This allowed me to truly enjoy the experience as opposed to playing catch up.

There's no rest for me now that I've hit my 50k mark, I've still got plenty to do, and I will be writing for the rest of the month alongside all of my fellow Wrimos, cheering them on and celebrating their successes with them. In the coming months, I will be dedicating an entire new season of the See Brian Write podcast to NaNoWrimo, and I will be putting out an open call for people interested in being on the show. Stay tuned for that one.

So, if you're somewhere along the way to 50k, keep going! I'll be the crazy bearded guy at the finish line screaming and cheering for you.

P.S. If you enjoy NaNoWriMo as much as I do, I would encourage you to donate a few dollars to help them keep these great events going. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

See Brian Write--Episode #23--Joel T. McGrath and Kindle Scout

In the twenty-third episode of See Brian Write, I'm joined by my first ever return guest, as Joel T. McGrath stops by to talk about his new book Dwellers. The book is currently entered in the Kindle Scout program, and Joel shares a lot of great information about the program and his experience with it so far.

You can listen to the entire episode right here in the player below, or head over to to download the MP3. You can also subscribe to the podcast with these feeds:


iTunes: itpc://


Joel T. McGrath

Dwellers on Kindle Scout (Vote Now!)

More About Kindle Scout

Body Language in Literature by Barbara Korte

NOTE: If you are a writer and want to be on the podcast, either email me (, or DM me on twitter: I am now scheduling new interviews!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Amazon's Premium Headphones Offer Great Sound for the Money

Between listening to podcasts and music, as well as editing a few hours of audio per week, I spend a lot of time with earbuds stuck in my ears.

I wouldn't characterize myself as an audiophile, as I listen to a lot of radio quality audio and streaming '80s metal. But, I do appreciate a good listening experience, and I am quite picky when it comes to the form factor of my headphones/earbuds. I cannot stand the current style of earbuds that you basically plug into your ear canal. Even when they come with multiple sizes for the covers, I can never find a good fit, and the earbuds are constantly falling out. Not to mention, I find them terribly uncomfortable overall.

I like the kind of earbuds that just sit in your ear, and the ones I found most comfortable for the past few years are now discontinued. When my last pair started to fail, I wan on the lookout for a decent pair of earbuds, but didn't want to spend a lot of money on a set I had no experience with. I wanted something similar to Apple's current EarPods, which sit in your ear the way I prefer. At $30, I was considering just buying a pair of those, as I've read good things about them.

As luck would have it though, Amazon ran a deal on their premium headphones that were designed to go with the new Fire phone. Normally $25, they were on sale for $10 back in September, so I ordered a pair. After about two months of usage, I can say that overall, I'm pretty darn impressed by these headphones, and would even recommend them at the $25 price tag.

The headphones are very similar to the Apple EarPods, although they are slightly larger and the tips of them flare out a little, to provide a more snug fit. I like the way they sit in my ear.

The cord of the Amazon headphones is longer than most I've had, but more importantly--it's flat. They are designed to be tangle-free, and while I'm not sure that is 100% accurate, I can tell you I have not had any major tangles with them at all. As you can see from the pic above, the other cool thing about the design is the magnetic backing of each earbud. When they're anywhere close to one another, they snap together, which also helps prevent tangles.

All of that stuff wouldn't mean anything if the sound quality was terrible, and I'm happy to report that the Amazon headphones sound quite good, especially for the price. I get a very full sound out of them, with good highs, mids and lows. I like a lot of bass in my music, and these headphones can give the sound a nice bottom without drowning everything else out. I have used them for editing podcast audio as well as listening to higher quality audio, and was very happy with how they sounded.

My only real gripe about the earbuds is that they aren't great for calls. I think the mic itself works fine, but it's positioned too low on the cord, so I often have to hold the mic closer to my mouth or it sounds like I'm across the room to the person I'm talking to. It's not the end of the world, and I don't make a ton of calls with my earbuds in anyway. But if that's a sticking point for you, you may want to consider something else.

All in all, the Amazon headphones are a solid deal at $25, and if you see them for cheaper, you should grab them. And you can, right here.

One note of warning--the longer cord has a habit of getting caught on things if you leave it dangling. Take it from someone who had almost torn their ears off on numerous occasions.

Monday, November 10, 2014

NaNoWriMo 2014: Hitting 23k and Feeling the Love

Ten days into NaNoWriMo 2014, and I'm at just over 23,000 words. Remember last week when I posted about my annual Pre-NaNoWriMo Freak Out? Well I have another annual tradition as well--the mid-November "I Am So Freaking Glad I Signed up for NaNoWriMo This Year Exclamation of Joy."

But seriously, it's so worth it. Even if I stopped today, I would still have a huge jump on the fourth book in the Parted Veil series, just as I'm about to release book three (Lovecraft's Pupil).

But what's even better than cranking away on the new book is the totally amazing, supportive and wonderful people that make up the NaNoWriMo community. I've said it before, but they are the real reason I participate in both NaNoWriMo and Camp Nano. Not only are the message boards over at the NaNoWriMo site and the Twitter hashtag #NaNoWriMo filled with daily inspiration and great writing tips, but anytime I'm struggling with my own project, I just crowd surf that amazing community. Any post about struggling or needing support is immediately met with your own personal cheering section, picking you up and urging you forward until you hit your word count. It's really amazing, and it makes this event so much fun to be a part of.

I love giving support just as much as getting it, and after I hit my own goal for the day, i like to hop on the twitter hashtag and interact with others, offering support where I can and just basking in the awesomeness of that community.

If you happen to be participating in NaNoWriMo and haven't yet engaged with the community, I really hope you throw yourself out there. It's the best part of the whole experience.

Oh, I almost forgot--I'm considering doing an entire season of the See Brian Write podcast dedicated to NaNoWriMo, and featuring interviews with fellow participants of both NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNoWriMo. Stay tuned for more on that.

Monday, November 3, 2014

NaNoWriMo 2014: Sprinting 2k a Day

I got off to a great start for NaNoWriMo this year. Because the event kicked off on a weekend, I started writing at midnight on Halloween and hit my word count goal (2,000) before I even went to bed. Saturday was a really busy day for the family, so I only added another 1,000 words or so, but still--3,000+ words on day one of NaNoWriMo is a great start.

Sunday was a day I had set aside writing time, so it wasn't hard to hit my count for day two, either. But I was already starting to worry about hitting those 2k a day counts during the work week.

Right now, my writing routine is to get up at 5:15AM and get about an hour's worth of writing in before everyone else gets up and we start the work/school day. But I haven't had to be really efficient with that hour in some time now, so I'm not regularly coming anywhere close to 2k during an average weekday writing session.

So, during my writing time on Sunday, I practiced with a few one-hour sprints. Here's what I was able to get done:

Sprint 1: (10am-11am): 1276

Sprint 2: (2:30pm-3:30pm): 958

Sprint 3: (3:45pm-4:45pm): 1142

Overall, I was pretty happy with the results. Sure, I'd love to hit 2k in an hour and nail my word count for the day first thing in the morning, but I now that's not going to be realistic most days. If I can get 800-1000 words down to start the day however, I can get a shorter session in at lunch and then another sometime at night to try and hit my goal.

I find that if I approach writing sessions as defined blocks of time, I'm much more productive than if I just sit in front of the computer for hours on end. So whether I have an hour or just fifteen minutes, having that end time pushes me to focus more and just get the words out.

Sometime next week, I'll post about how the morning sessions are shaping up. Stay tuned!

By the way, if you're reading this and you're a NaNoWriMo participant this year, add me as a writing buddy! You can find me at: Happy sprinting!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

NaNoWriMo 2014: Cover Me--I'm Going In

I have developed an annual tradition over the last several years that takes place the last week in October. I like to call it the "Pre-NaNoWriMo Freak Out." It's the last few days before National Novel Writing Month begins, when I convince myself that this is the year I absolutely cannot take part in it due to the craziness of my life, and then proceed to sign up for it anyway.

Why? Because I need it. And I love it.

I love NaNoWriMo. I love the fact that it gets me writing every single day for a whole month--something I struggle to duplicate outside of NaNo events. I love the community around NaNoWriMo--the Twitter hashtags, the forum groups, and the endless stream of support that all NaNo participants give one another throughout the month. It makes me proud to be a writer.

Most importantly though, NaNoWriMo reminds me that I have to make time for my writing. There is no perfect time to write. I have a wife, two kids, a full-time job and I'll be coaching basketball as of next week. Participating in NaNoWriMo forces me to make time to write, even during the busiest time of the year. And that's why I need it.

Where I could have planned better this year was around edits and revisions for my next book, Lovecraft's Pupil. I'm finishing up edits now and designing the cover with my pal Jeff Rodgers (who did the covers for the previous two books in the Parted Veil series). That book should be releasing in late November or early December. Had I finished edits in September like I had planned, the book would be out by now, and I could focus my writing time squarely on NaNoWriMo. But on the plus side--I have a new book coming out soon!

And the nice thing about spending October with Lovecraft's Pupil is that it has put me back in the heads of those characters I adore so much, especially Fela and Connie. I love where their story is going next, and I cannot wait to write it.

So, while this time of year gets very stressful for me, it's also a time where I feel very connected to my writing, and to all of my writer friends.

So bring it on, November.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Digital Versions of COURTING THE KING IN YELLOW and LOVECRAFT'S CURSE 33% Off at Drive Thru!

Drive Thru Fiction is having their annual Halloween sale now through the 31st, and you can 33% off of almost two hundred digital books and gaming products--including mine!

That's right friends, the digital versions of both Courting the King in Yellow and Lovecraft's Curse can be yours for under $4 total! That's like 'impulse buy' territory right there.

And it's not a bad time to pick the first two books in the Parted Veil series up, because I'm heading down the home stretch of edits on book three--Lovecraft's Pupil. It should be out by the end of November, which gives you plenty of time to catch up before it hits.

So, go get yourself some horror on the cheap, and have a happy Halloween!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Read My New Short Story LOVE'S GROVE Over at the Pen & Muse Haunt!

I am super excited to announce that my new short story "Love's Grove" is debuting today over on the Pen & Muse blog!!! I am so psyched to be releasing this story just in time for my favorite holiday.

"Love's Grove" is a creepy tale of a place where true love is held in high regard, and anything less can be deadly.

You can click here to read "Love's Grove" right now!!!

I would like to give a huge thank you to Jolene Haley and the entire crew over at Pen & Muse for letting me be a part of this year's event. I've been immersed in edits for Lovecraft's Pupil and I was afraid I wouldn't have anything to share with people for Halloween. I had so much fun with last year's Dark Carnival event that I jumped at the chance to participate this year, and it provided the perfect break from edits.

I hope you enjoy "Love's Grove," and feel free to post comments there or here to let me know what you think of the story. You can also post on Twitter under the hashtag #PMHaunt. And please, please check out all of the other fantastic stories and illustrations from the rest of this year's participants. It's a whole month's worth of free horror, which is pretty much the best Halloween treat ever.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Rock & Shock 2014 Was Amazing

Few things go together as well as heavy metal and horror, and this past weekend I got to experience the best of both at the Rock & Shock festival in Worcester Mass. Part horror convention, part music festival, Rock & Shock is a carnival of sights and sounds that you won't find anywhere else.

My podcast partner Matt Herring and I covered the show for the Secret Identity podcast. We also set up shop with our friends from Reckless Sidekick Productions and sold some books as well. The show takes place both at the DCU Center and Worcester Palladium, and we bounced between both throughout the show.

One of the highlights for me was seeing our pal George O'Connor and his band Swarm of Eyes play live. I've known George for years now, and this was the first time I got a chance to catch him play.

Swarm of Eyes played an amazing set filled with songs from their debut album "Designing the Dystopia," including this little gem, "Ruins of My Last Salvation."

The crowd ate up everything the band threw at them, including a cover of the Misfits' "Skulls" that lead singer Randy Carter invited members of the crowd to sing along with. It was a great set, and I'm so happy I finally got to check those guys out.

Inside the show I saw everything from horror-themed coffee to live alligators, as well as a slew of celebrities including Jeffrey Combs (Re-Animator, The Frighteners), Brad Dourif (Child's Play, Exorcist III) and Andrew Divoff (Wishmaster, The Strain).

My absolute favorite part of the experience though was hanging out with fellow horror and metal fans all day and talking about the things we love. You will not find a cooler and nicer group of people in the world, and it's so great when we can all get together and celebrate the things we love.

So, if you missed Rock & Shock this year, you need to plan to be there next year. We'll be there for sure, and I'm already counting down the days. Thanks to the staff and everyone behind the show for letting us be a part of the fun!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Come See Me at Rock & Shock in Worcester, MA This Weekend!

The annual convergence of horror and heavy metal that is Rock & Shock is happening this weekend in Worcester, MA!

Rock & Shock is a four-day heavy metal music festival and horror convention that spans two venues--The DCU Center and the Worcester Palladium.

My show partner Matt and I will be covering the show for the Secret Identity podcast (you can actually read his review of last night's King Diamond show right here), and I will be selling copies of both Lovecraft's Curse and Courting the King in Yellow at the show. The books will be $10 each, and I will be offering a bundle of the two books as well as the Uguborth art print for $25.

All day Saturday I will be with my pals from Reckless Sidekick Productions in the Vendor Area of the DCU Center. I may be coming back for Sunday as well. So, if you're in the Massachusetts area, and you're a fan of horror and heavy metal, head to Rock & Shock this weekend. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Day-Night Cycle of My Current Editing Process

After a few false starts, I am finally immersed in edits for the third book in the Parted Veil series, Lovecraft’s Pupil. My approach to edits has changed a bit with each book, and my enjoyment of the process itself has increased as well.

In the past, I’ve done first edits using a combination of Google Docs, Srivener, and occasionally, the Kindle’s note-making feature. I sort of plowed through first edits, making notes and rewrites at the same time. While it was nice to be “done” with each chapter as I went along, there wasn’t a great flow to my editing process, and I didn’t really enjoy it.

This time around, I’ve simplified the process, printing out the individual chapters of the book and making written edit notes, then going back to Google Docs to make changes and rewrite where necessary. Since the early morning hours are my most creative and productive writing time, I make my edit notes during the evening, so in the mornings I can jump right into writing. This is working really well for me. At night I’m reading and making notes, and I go to bed thinking about the story. In the morning I wake up and can’t wait to write.

I am really enjoying spending time with these characters again, and I think a lot of that has to do with the fact this is the second book with the same set of primary characters. There’s so much heavy lifting to do in a first installment in terms of character and world-building. In the case of the Parted Veil series, I’ve been building the same world for two books, with two largely different casts of characters. As the series moves forward, the connection between the two stories will become more apparent, and the casts will start to come together as well.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Check Out Secret Identity for My Coverage of New York Comic Con 2014!

I spent the last four days attending the biggest comic convention in the country, and I've got the pics to prove it! Over on the Secret Identity website, I've got write-ups about each day of the show, as well as a ton of pics featuring some of the coolest cosplays I ran into in my travels. Here are the quick links for each day's write-up:

NYCC--Day One

NYCC--Day Two

NYCC--Day Three

NYCC--Day Four

Matt and I will also be recording new episodes of the Secret Identity podcast later this week, so you'll be able to hear all about our time at the show when we post those episodes next week. I will also be posting about my experience selling books at the show later this week. Stay tuned!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Check Out Secret Identity and Follow Me on Twitter for NYCC Updates!

The first two days of NYCC have been amazing, and I've been posting about them over on the Secret Identity website, as well as posting pics throughout the day on Twitter. So, for the rest of the weekend, you can keep up with what I'm seeing and doing at the show here:

and here:

You can also listen to the Secret Identity Podcast as well as the next episode of the See Brian Write podcast, where I'll be recapping all of the fun I've been having!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Come See Me at NYCC! (Booth #2018)

I’m heading to New York tomorrow, for my annual pilgrimage to New York Comic Con. For most of the weekend, I’ll be running around the show floor, conducting interviews for the Secret Identity podcast (and maybe even See Brian Write as well).

BUT, I’m also going to be selling books and prints at the show as well!

My good friend Vin Ferrante of Monarch Comics has been gracious enough to give me some space in his booth (#2018) to set up shop for the weekend. Vin is the creator of Witch Hunter, a great comic series that captures the feel of Universal monster movies, Saturday morning cartoons, and the golden era of horror comics.

I’m bringing a limited number of copies of both Courting the King in Yellow and Lovecraft’s Curse with me to the show.

I’ve also got a handful of prints left of the amazing Uguborth scene from Lovecraft’s Curse that artist Mike Valade created for me. I’ll be selling the books and the print for $10 each, or you can get both books and the print for $25.

So if you’re at NYCC this week, stop by booth #2018 and say hi!

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Dark Carnival Approaches...

Can you feel it in the air? Something wicked this way comes...

The Dark Carnival is creeping closer, and what better way to start the week than with a couple of teases for this terror-filled anthology? There are many attractions at the Dark Carnival, each of them guaranteed to be worth the price of admission.

Perhaps you'd like to start off your visit to the carnival with a show? In Megan Schuler's "Sleight of Hand," magician Percival Creepe and his assistant Vera give an audience full of skeptics a performance they won't soon forget.

And what couple's trip to the carnival would be complete without a visit to the Tunnel of Love? We all know love can make us do crazy things, and in Julie Hutchings' "Love Consumes Us," one couple's love becomes an insatiable hunger.  

There are so many more attractions at carnival (including one I wrote), and your ticket will be available soon, as The Dark Carnival: A Pen & Muse Anthology is almost here. Oh, and it's also COMPLETELY FREE! You can add the book on Goodreads now, and you can check out the Pen & Muse website for updates on the book's release. Here's the full details on the anthology:

The Dark Carnival: A Pen & Muse Anthology

Blurb: In this anthology, several authors and illustrators explore the dark and hidden dangers that lie within a carnival that has come to town. But it is no ordinary carnival. It's The Dark Carnival. And when The Dark Carnival comes to town, there's no promise that anyone can leave...alive.

Edited by: Jolene Haley, Kristen Jett, and Jessi Shakarian

Contributors include: Kat Daemon, Kristen Strassel, Julie Hutchings, C. Elizabeth Vescio, Mark Matthews, Brian W. Taylor, Kim Culpepper, Eli Constant, Mari Wells, J. Elizabeth Hill, Nicole R. Taylor, Ashly Nagrant, Kristin Hanson, Calyn Morgan, Tawney Bland, Roselle Kaes, Ken Mooney, Emily McKeon, Bobby Salomons, Ezekiel Conrad, Sheila Hall, Michelle Davis, Lucas Hargis, Vanessa Henderson, Ryan Bartlett, Debra Kristi, Jessi Esparza, T.A. Brock, Ruth Shedwick, Brian LeTendre, Amy Trueblood, Gregory Carrico, Jamie Corrigan, Kate Michael, Tyle Anne Snell, Alicia Audrey, Meghan Schuler, Jamie Adams, Wulf Francu Godgluck, J.C. Michael, Suzy G., Kristin Rivers, and Claire C. Riley.

Friday, October 3, 2014

It's Time to Get Haunted!

Today is an exciting day, horror fans.

The Pen and Muse Haunted House Writer and Illustrator Showcase begins today, and will feature a month's worth of horror stories and artwork based around a hunted house theme. Every week in October, stories and artwork will be rolling out, and it all starts today!

Kicking things off in style is a creepy tale from Kathy Palm called Weakness. You can read the story by clicking here, and you can head to the main page of the event to see the rest of the schedule. You can also follow the event on Twitter by checking out the Pen & Muse account or following the #PMHaunt hashtag.

The story I wrote for the event will be arriving on October 24th. It's called Love's Grove, and it's a tale of a place where true love is held in high regard, and anything less can be deadly.

So rejoice horror fans, because you have an entire month of thrills, chills and terror coming at you. Good luck sleeping, and remember--that creaking noise is just the house settling, not some sinister, shadowy evil slowly making its way to your bedroom.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

See Brian Write--Episode #22: Jessica Rougeau and Running Away

In the twenty-second episode of See Brian Write, writer Jessica Rougeau joins me to talk about her new book of poetry Witch Doctor, and the near-death experience that inspired it.

My book recommendation for this episode is Julie Hutchings's newest release, Running Away.

You can listen to the entire episode right here in the player below, or head over to to download the MP3. You can also subscribe to the podcast with these feeds:


iTunes: itpc://

Pen and Muse Dark Carnival

Pen and Muse Haunted House Writer and Illustrator Showcase

Jessica Rougeau's Witch Doctor (print and digital versions available)

Book Recommendation
Running Away by Julie Hutchings

Running Home

Julie on Twitter

NOTE: If you are a writer and want to be on the podcast, either email me (, or DM me on twitter: I am now scheduling new interviews!