Monday, March 31, 2014

I kill people.

I kill people. Not real people, but I do kill lots of imaginary ones. I have a relentless need for bodies to sacrifice to Gaki and the Reversion as well as several more monsters in my head that will appear in my new novels.

Do you want to show your friends your name in a horror novel? Of course you do! It’s simple. You agree to read a FREE advanced review copy of one of my novels (that means you get it for FREE before it’s even on sale) and post a review on Amazon within the first week it’s on sale and I’ll make you a character in one of my future titles. Whether it’s a short story or novel, you’ll be forever immortalized on Amazon and in print. In addition, I’ll list your name in the acknowledgements. I’m calling this the K.I.L.L. club (Killing In Literature with Love).

I’m currently revising the third and final book in the Portal Arcane trilogy and that will be the first novel up for entry into the K.I.L.L. club. Read and review it to get a spot on the killing floor of a future release. Use the contact form or shoot me an email (jthorn DOT writer AT gmail DOT com). Feel free to include anything about your appearance or personality that I can use for your character. It’ll help you prove to your friends that it’s really you. I do not use last names and you have to agree to be represented in the story.

I have to thank my crew in The Keepers for the idea. I offered to kill them in a horrific manner and they could not have been more pleased with the results.

Join the K.I.L.L. club. You’ve got nothing to lose except your life.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Katy is battling cancer. Rally the troops.

Katy has stage IV cancer. She is a young woman in her forties, a reader, a blogger, my editor and my friend. I’m not trying to bring you down and Katy isn’t wallowing in self-pity. She is fighting with a dignity and sense of humor that is beyond imaginable. Katy is a beautiful warrior and we connected as kindred spirits a couple of years ago.

Right now Katy needs your help. I need your help. I don’t take your readership lightly. I know you’re here to be entertained or informed so I won't drone on about fighting cancer. I won’t use a cat video to tug at your emotions and I’m not going to ask you to shave your balls or run a naked marathon to raise donations.

You all know Katy. She’s your wife, your mother, your aunt, your sister, your daughter. We’ve all had someone close to us attacked by cancer or we will. I got Katy’s back. I hope you do too.

Help Katy directly by going to her Wishlist on Amazon. The items on it will help strengthen her during the chemo treatments and take her mind off the fight going on inside of her body.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IWD1C22
You can also fight cancer by contributing to the V Foundation for Cancer Research. Every year May December Publications (run by my friend and fellow horror writer TW Brown) compiles a charity anthology. The 2014 version just happens to be called, Let's Scare Cancer to Death. 100% of the proceeds from this book go directly to the V Foundation. Nobody makes a penny from this sale. The authors have not accepted anything for contributing to it. We wanted to keep costs low and get as many checks to the V Foundation as possible.

My contribution to Let's Scare Cancer to Death is called Tunnel. It is dedicated to Katy. She edited it. You’ll love it. Trust me. The anthology has a cast of incredible writers such as, Eli Constant, Alyn Day, Heath Stallcup, Gregory Carrico, T. Fox Dunham, Claire C. Riley, Armand Rosamilia, Catie Rhodes, Chantal Boudureau, Mark Tufo, Michael James McFarland, Julianne Snow, Blaze McRob, TW Brown, and Rhonda Hopkins.

Grab your copy here and leave a review with your own reason for fighting cancer so others will be inspired to do the same. Tell us the name of your Katy.

Monday, March 17, 2014

May the luck of the Irish be with you.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I am getting ready to head out this morning to the parade here in Cleveland, Ohio and so I don’t have my usual post. If you missed my ramblings on St. Patrick’s Day 2012, go read that. I both make fun of and represent the Irish-American stereotype.

May the luck of the Irish be with you and here’s some Drop Kick Murphys to get you started.


Now go read this. You can thank us later.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B003I8VBF4/

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
May the rains fall soft upon your fields,
And, until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.
And may you be drunk enough to take a punch in the nose.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Time to let the myth of the rugged individualist die.

Americans take pride in being rugged individualists, leveraging personal gain in order to survive. In nature it’s the “survival of the fittest” and business must “crush the competition.” Those are old ideas and they’re dying a horrific, violent, slow death.

While it may seem as though events occurring at a distance have no direct impact on us (Fukushima), we’ve also seen that the entire globe is connected and those events happening to “other people” do in fact affect us (Fukushima). This connection is more profound and mysterious than the overused “Butterfly Effect,” where a bug’s wings in South America supposedly triggers a hurricane on the East Coast. However, we live in a closed environment and everything we do effects everybody else. Entire books have been written about the cooperative versus competitive nature of the universe and I’m oversimplifying the concept to introduce one example of it: Selling books.

Several authors made the headlines a few months back for using sock puppets (fake accounts) to write terrible reviews of other author’s books. They believed that discouraging sales of titles (using poor reviews) in the same genre would result in more sales of their title. Readers spend about 2.3 seconds deciding whether or not to purchase a book and most of that has to do with (1) cover and (2) title. To be clear, reviews matter. Not in relation to other titles, but mostly in relation to the reader’s own internal belief system about what constitutes quality.

A wise Greek once said, “In union there is strength.” I don’t think Aesop meant strength in a multi-author box set, but he would have if he had access to Amazon when he was trying to peddle those stupid fables.

I’ve declared 2014 my Year of Collaboration. I’m reaching out, up, and down to find authors that also believe a sale of one novel is a sale for all novelists. I’m not interested in competing against my fellow authors because working with them is much more effective. Whether it’s with collections (warning: soft sales pitch below) or co-writing, I’m open to what others can bring and what I can share with them.

My most recent collection contains Preta's Realm: The Haunting (Book 1 of The Hidden Evil Trilogy) along with seven other phenomenal books. We’re selling the ENTIRE collection for only $0.99. Some of the best horror writers in the world are part of this anthology including Scott Nicholson, Kealan Patrick Burke, Glynn James, Mainak Dhar, Michaelbrent Collings, TW Brown and Brian James Freeman. The collection will be available only for a limited time.

Offer your services, knowledge or muscle and the universe will return it to you. Our collective spirit will always outshine the individual one.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IPUNKQI?tag=jth0e-20

Monday, March 3, 2014

The Walking Dead and Generation X: Why?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daryl_Dixon
The prison fell and the survivors are now scattered throughout the world of The Walking Dead. The second half of the season began with snippets of the story, a fractured group trying to hold on to what’s left. Darryl seems to be grappling with the biggest question of them all: Why? Even during the zombie face smashing and constant running, the question is part of the show’s subtext. I’ve been asking myself the same question: Why?

If you were born between 1960 and 1980, you are one of 84 million Americans loosely labeled, “Generation X.” I was born in 1971. I grew up with MTV, a tolerance for other races and sexual orientations and a lack of faith in the establishment. All of these ideas are represented in the video for "Cult of Personality" by Living Color—a black heavy metal band singing about abuse of power. I don’t know if anyone in the band is gay, not that there’s anything wrong with that (Seinfeld; another Gen X reference). I was in college when alternative music evolved into mainstream music. I had Bleach before Nirvana was cool and I ditched The Smashing Pumpkins before they lost theirs (Siamese Dream is the last great Pumpkins record). I saw myself in Singles and I identified with the dark, self-deprecating humor of Clerks.




I turn 43 in 2014. The millions of Americans that can remember when MTV was truly music television are part of Generation X and we’re all heading into middle age. I’ll spare you the details of my hypochondria. According to a WebMD symptom search I have 1,467 diseases. I’m going through both puberty and menopause right now. I’m trying to wean myself from the nostalgic thoughts of attending Monsters of Rock in 1988 and my Facebook searches for members of the class of 1989. Something frightening and profound is happening inside of my head and it’s scarier than any monster I can create in a horror novel. I keep asking myself one question: Why?

http://denizandkennycollection.blogspot.com
Like Darryl, I don’t have the answer. He buries arrows in the faces of walkers and then pulls them back out again, knowing there are probably millions more out there. He’s protecting Beth and he wants to find Rick and the rest of the group, but why? What’s the end game? Would Darryl really be happy if he made it to Terminus? And then what? Does he sit on the perimeter and use his crossbow to take down zombies for the next forty years? The group struggles to find a safe haven, they get entrenched, it all goes to hell and they have to start over. Why?

Whether it takes us forty years or a zombie apocalypse, we all have to eventually grapple with that question. When you find the answer, would you let me know?