Stephen King & Me: Neighbors in a Scary World

I often get asked where ideas come from. And now that I’ve written a dark book with a body count, I get asked that even more–probably because it seems so unlike. At my publisher’s blog, I explain how I got here and why it’s Stephen King’s fault.

When I was a kid growing up in the 1970’s there was no question who haunted my dreams: Stephen King. He was a neighbor of a sort: I spent most of the year living with my mom in rural Maine, not pretty-coastal-sailboat Maine but poor-inland-factory Maine. King lived north of me by a half hour, but considering the size of the state and the fact that he too came from the Maine not on postcards, this seemed to fall easily within the neighborly category.

I was a good Seventh-day Adventist boy, who once burned a KISS poster in a bonfire, the flames of which were literally stoked by a schoolteacher. I didn’t play with guns and I was by nature more kiss-kiss than bang-bang. So on some levels it made no sense that I was hooked on King’s eerie, sometimes supernatural, always disturbing novels. But I was also a default storyteller: whether it was testimony at camp-meeting or making people laugh (say, by recounting the time a classmate’s mother walked into school to find a boa constrictor wrapped around my neck), I couldn’t resist the lure of a tale and having someone to tell it to.

Salem’s Lot was my entry point for scary books and let me tell you: if you live in a New England house with a dank earthen cellar, there is very little you want to do less than to go down those old wooden steps in the dark after reading Salem’s Lot. I was at once repulsed by the horrors in the book and thrilled by the way the plot kept turning. Reading Stephen King as a tween was for me the equivalent of driving by a car crash: look, don’t look, LOOK. 

Keep reading here…

 

 

 

PITCH PARTY LIVE at C2E2

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Pitch Party Live: Chicago Edition

Where: C2E2 Booth 142, Pandamoon Publishing, South Building at McCormick Place, 2301 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago. (Note: Ticket to convention required, purchased separately)

When: April 21 1PM & 4PM; April 22 1PM & 4PM; April 23 11AM & 1PM

How: Sign-up starts at 10AM each day; maximum 20 pitches per slot. Stop by Booth 142 and sign up for one slot only. If you are signing up for a different day, you must show your pass is good for that day. When all slots are filled, sign-ups end.

What: Pitch your novel in a genre represented by Pandamoon Publishing. (No plays, screenplays, poetry collections, manuals for auto repair, etc.) You have only 2-3 minutes so be sure to include: your genre, title, logline, plot summary in 50 words or less, and hint of your personality!

Why: The aspiring author with the best pitch from each session will be invited to directly submit the full proposal to Pandamoon Publishing without waiting for the annual submission window to re-open.

Does a pitch party really work? I got my series book deal by attending a pitch party on Twitter and getting snapped up by Pandamoon.

Not ready to pitch yet? Come listen to others and prepare for your chance in the future.

 

 

Pandas take Chicago: C2E2

 

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Next week, 7 Pandamoon Publishing authors will be at the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo, better known as C2E2. Spanning horror, supernatural, fantasy, thriller, and romance, we’ll be on hand to answer questions, sign books, make friends, and–big news–take pitches!

Authors include myself, Meg Bonney (Everly), Alisse Lee Goldenberg (Song of Hadariah), Penni Jones (On the Bricks), Dana Faletti (Beautiful Secret), Christine Gabriel (Crimson Moon), and Elgon Williams (Becoming Thuperman).

 

 

 

 

 

 

REVENGERS is out–and a newly-minted Amazon Best Seller

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Pandamoon Publishing released my Young Adult novel Revengers, first in a series of the same name, in April, and one week it later it appeared on the Amazon Best Sellers page–right next to Stephen King, which had me fan-boying in a big way. I’ll be promoting it all spring, including at C2E2 and at the Porter Square Books reading & lauch party.

Line-Up and Tickets for PINNING OUR HOPES Boston

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January 14 at 4pm and 8pm revel in the work of these writers and performers*

New work by Boston writers: Kirsten Greenidge, Barbara Blumenthal-Ehrlich, Michaël Harrington, Zahra Belyea, Monica Raymond, Letta Neely, Regie Gibson, and David Valdes Greenwood.

Submissions from artists around the nation: Daria Miyeko Marinelli, Mark Rosati, Marjorie Cohn, Terry Amara Boero, Clinnesha Sibley, Cary Gitter, Stephanie Alison Walker

Performers: Melinda Lopez, Michelle Dowd, Harsh Gagoomal, Margaret Clark in the acting ensemble, and featured performances by Nuzhet Khan and Jennifer Lord

About:

Days before the inauguration of the 45th President of the United States, join Boston’s best performers and representatives from social justice communities for a night of Arts & Activism. For two performances only, theatre and spoken word artists from Boston and across the US will fill Deane Hall in the Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts in response to the issues raised by the election. The roster of performers and writers alike are majority People of Color and predominantly female, representing diversity of gender, orientation, race, ethnicity, country of origin, and faith.

Why “Pinning Our Hopes”? The safety pin is not just way of symbolizing “I stand with you” but an offer: “I will take action for you.” It says, “I accept the challenges and the risks of together facing those who would do harm.” That’s what this night is about: translating values and hopes into a safer society for us all. In that spirit, representatives from the Massachusetts ACLU, the Council on Islamic Relations, GLAD, Planned Parenthood and other social justice organization will share information on how audiences can make a difference in the years ahead. The printed program will contain further information on volunteer and donation opportunities statewide.

The Boston event takes place one night only, January 14, in the Deane Hall of the Calderwood Pavilion of the Boston Center for the Arts (527 Tremont, Boston).

The Boston Pinning Our Hopes event has already inspired two more sister events: Tertuglia/Pinning Our Hopes New York, organized by IATI Theater Todo Vanguardia, and Pinning Our Hopes Charlotte, both occurring on January 15.

Tickets are reserved in advance and free/pay what you can, with donation options at the door to benefit designation social justice organizations.

 

(*Included artists subject to change)