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Thanks for stopping by Fiction Tips Weekly. This blog is one of the primary blogs hosted by me, Cyrus Wraith Walker. You will find many goodies here.

New writer's can occasionally find tips on writing fiction from myself and other published authors.

Reviews and Interviews, publishing industry news, and information about the horror fiction market. Recently I've been on the lookout for Dark Artists, Authors of Dark Fiction, and CG Animation Artists. So come join us at FTW and share your form.

If you are an author, artist, or CG animator with a recent work or desire to promote your past works, or you'd like to share advanced techniques with the online community, you can contact me for a guest spot at

Friday, November 26, 2010

Coming December 1, 2010, Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator

Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator
The Zombie Apocalypse Meets Reality TV!

Title: Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator
Author: Karina Fabian
Category: horror, humor, science fiction
ISBN-13:  xx (print) xx (e-book)
ISBN 10: xx (print) xx (e-book)
Format: Trade paperback, e-book
Publication Date: December 1, 2010
Price: $US (print) $US (e-book)
Available from: Damnation Books,
More Info:

By the 2040s, the shambling dead have become and international problem. While governments and special interest groups vie for the most environmentally-friendly way to rid the world of zombies, a new breed of exterminator has risen: The Zombie Exterminator.

When zombie exterminator Neeta Lyffe gets sued because a zombie she set afire stumbles onto a lawyer's back porch, she needs money, fast. So she agrees to train apprentice exterminators in a reality TV show that makes Survivor look like a game of tag. But that's nothing compared to having to deal with crazy directors, bickering contestants and paparazzi. Can she keep her ratings up, her bills paid and her apprentices alive and still keep her sanity?


Reviewer comments:
At long last, a zombie book with some life in it!" humorist Walt Staples

From zombie exterminators to dragon detectives to nuns in space, Karina Fabian likes to create stories that make readers laugh, cry and think. She enjoys her more mundane adventures as wife to Col. Rob Fabian, USAF and mother of four.

Order the Zombie Cookbook directly from Baker & Taylor, Ingram, or the publisher, Damnation Books, P.O. Box 3931, Santa Rosa, CA 95402-9998; or via the Internet at Also on and

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

FTW Spotlight: Rising Novelist, Starr Gardinier Reina and her new novel "In the Name of Revenge"

Trust is everything, especially to Italian mob boss Carlo Mancini. Inducted into the Mancini family, Russian muscle Pavel Ivanovich is believed to be a prized asset, so much so that Mancini entrusts him to court his spoiled daughter with expectations of marriage. Little does Carlo know, his faith and trust are misplaced because Pavel has a separate mission: to avenge his parents' grisly murders. Trust is everything. Will Pavel’s personal agenda get in the way? 

FTW: So what is the history behind creating the story "In the Name of Revenge."

SR: "I love to read and write mystery/crime/suspense novels. In addition, investigative methods have always interested me, as have FBI and crime organizations. Realizing crime is certainly not the way to go, I decided to have the FBI take control. The Ivanovich series was born. This is an avenue I can explore, delve into and share with my readers the passion I hold. The antagonist Pavel Ivanovich leaps off the pages vowing revenge on those who ruined his life. In the series, Ivanovich triumphs over crime and brings along with him Teresa Mancini, oddly enough, a crime boss' daughter. As a pair, they spar but fit together nicely in a weird sort of way. The Ivanovich series combines suspense and crime at its best with humor and rallies to bring page-turning stories with surprises readers don't see coming."

Biography Spotlight

According to Suspense Magazine, Starr Gardinier Reina is a new star who has arrived in the writing world. Apart from being an award-winning author for her short story "Cut", Reina has appeared in a blaze and made her mark on the literary world with her fiction novel "In the Name of Revenge". She is known for her works' distinctive voice, making every character stand out.

Reina is the artistic creator of the Ivanovich series featuring Pavel Ivanovich in "In the Name of Revenge". Flanking Ivanovich's side in "Deadly Decisions" (to be released February 1, 2011) is Teresa Mancini, who vies with Ivanovich for readers' attention. She is also the author of young adult novella "Cruel Whispers" and its sequel novel "Cruel Past".

Reina is an executive editor for Suspense Magazine. She has been interviewed in the newspaper and on the radio with relation to her fiction work. She has been a co-host on Suspense Radio.

She has won three Best Speaker awards as well as Best Evaluator at the Voice Ambassadors chapter of Toastmasters. Reina is a member of Sisters in Crime, Los Angeles Chapter and nationally. She has always been active in events. As co-chair and main coordinator for the West Coast Author Premiere, she arranged the weekend-long event to help authors from all over network, learn and share their work with the public. Reina has also been instrumental in compiling authors and planning a local author event at Barnes and Noble in Ventura, California along with the store’s event manager.

WhoDunIt is Reina's free quarterly newsletter that has many benefits for not only authors but readers as well. 

Purchase the book and find out more about Starr Reina!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

FTW Proudly Presents Mark Edward Hall and his new release The Lost Village.

An Interview with Mark Edward Hall
By Cyrus Wraith Walker

Mark Edward Hall is a premier novelist and short story teller. His first published novel, The Lost Village, gained recommendation for a Bram Stoker award and was nominated for the small press Tombstone award. It has just been re-issued by Damnation Books and is available in trade paperback and for the first time, as a Kindle download. His stories range from good old horror fiction with substance, to supernatural and psychological thrillers.

Mark was first published in 1995, his short story, "Wasps," later was re-titled, "Bugshot," after its first appearance in Raven's Tale magazine. After that it appeared several more times in various publications before finding its way into Mark’s new collection, "Servants of Darkness." He has written 5 novels plus about 30 short stories, several novellas, and is quickly establishing himself in the conventional small press publishing arena. Some of his credits include The Lost Village, The Haunting of Sam Cabot, and very soon Soul Thief.

Born in Brunswick, Maine, in 1948, Mark still lives in Maine with his wife Sheila. He attended school in Durham, Maine, with Stephen King and Chris Chesley. He is a talented songwriter, and loves anything macabre.

Though he made the decision to be a novelist at the age of 18, the Vietnam War sidetracked Mark, as did other career endeavors. He may not have started at the same time as his fellow school chums, but the psychological and supernatural impact of his novels and novellas are befitting for this new period, an age in which Horror fiction is taken more seriously, and comes awfully close to the terrors that befall us in this modern age.

1. Mark, why is the Horror genre your chosen platform for writing fiction?

I grew up with TV shows like the Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits and Boris Karloff’s, Thriller. Early on, I read Dracula, I Am Legend, the works of Poe, Hawthorn and H.P. Lovecraft. I was just drawn to those sorts of tales. They seemed to tell me more about the human condition than what society as a whole was trying to feed us. Also, my grandmother Luella was a medium and fortune teller and because I was the only grandchild interested, she chose me as a listening post for her oral tales of ghosts and the supernatural. To me these types of stories were thrilling. They still are, actually. Because Gram would never have considered writing any of her stories down, most of them have been lost. But I immortalized her in my tale, The Hero of Elm Street. If she’s in a place where people can look down on what’s happening now, I’ll bet she’s getting a big kick out of all this.

2. Do you consider what you write to be “horror stories,” “psychological/supernatural thrillers,” or some other label? What label if you were to label your own stories would you give and why?

All of the above and more. I hate labels. I just write the stories that please me and let others put labels on them.

3. When did you start writing?

In high school I wrote poetry and first began writing songs. When I was eighteen, I started writing a novel at my older sister’s kitchen table. I was determined to make it work. We were from a small town with lots of sinister little secrets, at least in our minds. The novel was going to be a blend of Peyton Place with some macabre elements thrown in for shock value. It never got finished and when I got drafted and went off to serve my country the manuscript got lost.

4. Do you have to be in a special mood to start writing?

No. I write every day whether I’m in the mood or not. Usually I am. I don’t believe in writer’s block. But there are those days, of course when other things take precedence and it’s not possible to write. On those days I formulate stuff in my head and write it down later.

5. Do you have a certain method that you use when you write?

Nothing astounding. I get up, make coffee and sit down at the computer. I always have tons of different projects going all at once and I work on whichever one I’m in the mood for on that particular day, unless I’m writing on commission for a magazine or have a deadline to meet.

6. Out of all the stories you have written, which is your favorite?

A novel no one has read yet. I’ve been working on it for more than ten years. The working title is Angel Island. Even though The Lost Village is a big novel, 258,000 words, this one is bigger. I call it my magnum opus. It blends elements of horror, fantasy, science fiction and adventure. I hope some day it will see the light of day.

7. How do you get inspiration for your stories? Does it come from day-to-day events, a word or phrase you may hear, suggestions you get from fans, personal experience, dreams, or all of the above?

This is an easy one: all of the above.

8. What about the deep psychological ingredients found in your characters, do these come from any personal experiences?

I think all writers draw from personal experience. It’s difficult to pinpoint these experiences exactly, but yes, somewhere in the complex architecture of our minds things bubble to the surface and become ideas, and most ideas come from personal experience. Unless there’s some sort of cosmic place that we have no conscious knowledge of that just hands us ideas. Maybe, but unlikely.

9. Are you interested more in the psychological, or the supernatural aspects of your stories?

I’m interested in both but I tend to dwell on the psychological. And from that comes the supernatural. For me it’s a natural progression.

10. What are your personal feelings about spiritual influences people say they experience from certain buildings or places?

I think people experience things all the time that cannot be explained through conventional knowledge. There are possibly realms beyond which science and rational thought have not yet gone. That said, I believe in logic and reason first and foremost.

11. In your own experience, have you ever come across any ghosts, ghouls or anything that goes bump in the night?

I’ve had strange experiences in my life; I won’t deny it. But I don’t dwell on them. I tend to look for the rational explanation. I’m like Mulder’s character in the X-Files. I want to believe. I’m not the kind of person who automatically believes every conspiracy theory or ghost story or UFO sighting just because it’s the popular thing to do. I believe in rational thought processes and solid evidence gathering. Probably not what horror fiction fans want to hear but it’s true. I’m in love with the possibilities of the unknown. That leaves it open to speculation, which is what I like to do. Reality is much too elusive.

12. Do you get letters from people that say they have actually experienced things similar to what you write?

I’ve gotten letters saying that the reader has experienced a connection in some way to a particular story or character, or that the story or character has somehow changed their perception of a belief or an idea, which is strange when you consider that what I write is so fantastic. But I think people are searching and I think answers come in strange packages. I think there’s a lot of truth in fiction and I believe that certain people can see through the “lies” to a truth they might not have known existed until they read it in a story.

13. As a child, did you read horror stories and go to see horror movies?

Yes, absolutely!

14. In your biography on your website, you mention that horror fiction has undergone a renaissance of sorts; to what new beginning or regeneration are you referring?

Let me start by saying that I don’t believe horror fiction will ever go away. It has its ups and downs for sure, but as long as there are unknowns attached to life on Planet Earth horror fiction will be around.

Stephen King ushered in a new era of horror fiction in the seventies. There’s no doubt about that. Until that happened post World War II America had no tolerance for such things. It was a time of optimism. The world had just been through the horror of horrors.

Then inevitably came the cold war, quickly followed by fifties Sci-Fi movies. I loved them. I thought they were really cool and I still do. Those movies were a way of saying, listen, everything may not be right with the world after all. There’s some serious shit coming down. We’re just a push of the red button away from Armageddon and you had better be worried about it
There were some notable horror writers working at that time, people like the great Shirley Jackson and John Farris, but it wasn’t until William Peter Blatty published the Exorcist in 1971 that horror fiction began its true renaissance. Then came King and everything changed. Everybody wanted to be a horror writer and the market was flooded with mostly bad imitations. I think horror fiction took a bad turn in the eighties and into the nineties and I really believe a lot of people lost their taste for it. There were some writers of note, however. Robert McCammon, Clive Barker, and you can’t ignore Dean Koontz. And there have been lots of good ones emerge since then, of course.

Now, with the internet and POD publishing and devises like Kindle there is a new renaissance, and once again a lot of bad fiction is popping up on Amazon. Anybody can publish their own stuff, but I believe the public is becoming more sophisticated in their tastes. They know good stories from bad. I think the trend is toward better quality. At least this is my hope.

15. Some of your stories would make good movies, have any been optioned to the screen?

I have had some interest, and one particular movie producer has indicated an interest in turning my short story, The Nest, into a film, but I haven’t yet been given many details. Nothing is finalized so I don’t know what will happen.

16. With so many good stories out there, why do you think that Hollywood seems to continue making tired remakes of old stories instead of embracing the new?

I think it’s because the old stuff is familiar and safe, and a lot of film companies aren’t willing to spend megabucks on an unknown. It’s purely economic.

17. Embracing the latest of technology, I’m speaking mainly of the internet, what control over one’s own writing career has been regained?

I don’t think much control has been regained. The internet allows anybody to self-publish, but that doesn’t mean the work is good or that it will gain a wide audience. If it’s poorly written and the story doesn’t hold up it’s not going to go anywhere. The truth is, there’s no substitute for the filter of a good editor. Also, the reading public is more sophisticated than they’re given credit for. They know a bad story when they see it. That’s not to say that everything put out by traditional publishers is good. A lot of it isn’t. Just check the reader reviews on Amazon of some of the world’s bestselling authors. Publishers are reluctant to go with new talent. It’s a crap shoot. There’s comfort in the tried and true.

18. Do you actually believe in the things you write about, at least in part?

I believe in writing good stories. I like to be entertained and I like to entertain. I enjoy the process of bringing characters and situations to life on the page. I don’t believe those characters or situations exist in the real world. That would make me a nut job. Might make for a good book, though.

19. Several of your stories deal with average people beleaguered with great difficulties. You deal a lot with human nature. Is there a philosophical side to your stories?

Sure. I think all good fiction is about ordinary people caught up in extraordinary circumstances. If it’s not about that, then what would it be about? That’s just my opinion, of course.

20. Do your stories end for you when you are finished writing them, or do they sometimes continue in your imagination?

Oh, a lot of them continue in my imagination. I’m never really through with a story. I always think I could make it better or that I might come back later and continue it or write a sequel. They’re like my children. I care about their welfare.

21. Do you think it is important to keep your readers guessing?

Yes I do. This is my predominate goal in writing. Keeping readers guessing. Never giving them the truth of the story until the last possible moment. And the bitch of it is, sometimes there is no truth. Always an ending but not always a truth. Sometime this frustrates even me. But hey, that’s life.

22. Which do you like better, short stories or novels?

Novels. But I like short stories almost as much.

23. Since many of your stories deal with the psychological and supernatural, have you ever felt in any physical, mental, or spiritual peril from such forces, influences, or individuals?

I can’t answer this question here. I will, however, answer it sometime in the future in the form of an essay or non-fiction work that has been brewing in my mind for a while. So, I guess that would be a ‘yes’ with conditions.

24. With the new direction that horror fiction seems to be taking, do you think that the old attitude that horror stories are just cheap shots, that all you have to do is write a very simple story, has changed?

I’m not sure about that. I can’t write simple stories. I think there are those that can and do. If they’re good simple stories they will find an audience. Case in point: Jack Ketchum’s Off Season. Simple, but a terrific story. My stories have to be multi-faceted, multi-dimensional. It’s very difficult for me to write a simple story. I think today, for the most part, publishers are looking for stories with substance.

25. Do you enjoy reading other people's horror stories?

Absolutely. I like to see what’s out there, what’s being written.

26. Who is your favorite author of all time?

Clive Barker.

27. Which is harder to write, a story that appeals to the intellect or one that hits you at a visceral level?

I can’t speak for others, but I like my stories to do both and I try to make sure it happens simultaneously during story development.

28. Is there a certain fascination that drives most of your stories?

Not really, other than I want to write as good a story as I’m capable of and I want to be surprised by what comes out. I’m always pushing myself, trying to break boundaries. I strive to write a better story than the last one.

29. Have you had a subject that you have wanted to write about but have never been able to do it?


30. Breakthroughs in technology have advanced at a startling rate. It is no longer inconceivable to imagine things like one might have seen in say, John Carpenter’s They Live. Reality is quickly taking the place of delusional conspiracy theorists such as those that purport things like “voice to skull weaponry.” One of my stories Eternity V2K is based on such a shift after Holosonic, a sound technology company, scared the bejesus out of New Yorkers by using such technology to beam an advertisement into the craniums of unwary passers by.

That being said, Mark, do you see a time when fact will go beyond any kind of fiction a writer can conceive?

Unequivocally no! The dreamers have always been the ones who spur innovation, never the other way around.

To date Mark Edward Hall is one of my favorite premier authors. You find his serial novel Soul Thief at his website in the list below. He is in the process of posting a chapter per week. I highly recommend any of Mark's publications. He is on his way to being a contemporary master of horror.

You can purchase The Lost Village and other works by Mark Edward Hall at these locations:
Damnation Books
Barnes and Noble

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Attention Romance Writers. Here is your chance at publication.

Eternal Press Call For Submissions:
The Holidays are just around the corner! We are currently seeking submissions that pertain to the holidays. Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza, Samhain, New Years, Valentines, St. Patrick’s Day…any holiday at all! This call for submissions will be open until the end of don’t delay…send in your sub now!

Eternal Press Submissions Guidelines

We are currently accepting:
Novellas, and full-length manuscripts from 20,000-140,000 words.
Genres: Romance, Erotica, GBLT and BDSM, Paranormal, Fantasy, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Suspense, Thriller, Historical, Young Adult.
We are particularly interested in:
* Erotica
* Paranormal (vampire/shapeshifter/witch)
* Romance
* Young Adult
* Longer length novellas and novels
How to Submit to Eternal Press:
Submit a cover letter in the body of the email that contains the following:
* Genre
* Word Count
* Brief Synopsis
* A bit about you
* Your marketing plan should we accept your manuscript for publication.
* Although we like to encourage open, free and creative expression, do let us know whether the piece contains any questionable content. For instance, we allow rape under certain circumstances, but it should not be meant to titillate. Writing about child abuse is one thing, but we aren't interested in seeing the acts described in detail.
We do put disclaimers about content if it could potentially disturb our consumers, so do let us know in advance.
Attach the following to your cover letter in .doc or .rtf format (no .docx):
* For stories under 50k: The complete manuscript with your contact information, title, word count, and genre at the top.
* For novels 50k +, the first three chapters and the last chapter, with your contact information, title, word count, and genre at the top
* Your manuscript should contain either 1-1/2 or double spacing and one inch margins. Use a 12 pt. Book Antiqua font.
Send to Eternal Press with a subject line: SUBMISSIONS_your name_book title to...

For more info on our submissions guidelines please visit our website at
Thank you
Candace Clayton

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Yolanda Sfetsos on Writing Fiction

The Importance of Keeping Notes

Hi there! Firstly, I want to thank Cyrus for inviting me here today. It's great to be here.

You know, when I was thinking about writing this post, I was going to chat a little about my latest Damnation Books release, BOUNDLESS. Instead, I decided it might be a better idea to chat about something else. Something that relates to writing in general. It's also how I shape my ideas into stories.

I have to admit that I'm not much of a plotter. I've tried it, and can usually put together an outline for the first five chapters without a problem. But can't get past that point. I'm probably closer to a pantser than anything else. When I say closer, I mean that I've morphed a little during the last few years. There was a time when all I needed to know was my main characters and the basic story, before I started writing. But nowadays, I like to pick up a notebook and pen, write down all of the ideas I have for the story to make sure it all makes sense. That means a one-page outline detailing the general plot. That's usually enough to get my creativity flowing.

After that, I find myself adding to these notes all the time. Things pop out on nowhere, almost as if the story's already forming somewhere in the back of my brain and has decided to slip out one bit at a time. I love the process!

For me, taking notes is an ongoing thing. I think it's important to keep detailed notes of all of your ideas and stories. Trust me, it helps when you write more than one novella/novel set in the same world. And if you're like me, and usually forget to grab a notebook and pen to take with you when you're out walking, make sure you've at least got your phone with you.

Here's my tip for the day: If you're out and about and inspiration strikes, pull out your phone and get typing. You should never let anything slip away. I've got Quickoffice on my Nokia phone, and not only does it let me type notes up, but I can then download them straight to my computer. Technology has helped the note-taking evolve, so there should never be any excuse for you to lose anything valuable. ;)

Thanks for reading!
Alyce Kerr, Faith Healer Trilogy
Now available from Damnation Books.
Or visit my website for information about the print versions.

Yolanda Sfetsos

Yolanda Sfetsos lives in Sydney, Australia with her husband, daughter, and cat. She loves to spend most of her days writing stories. Her muse doesn't like genre restrictions and is always happy to toe the dark edge of storytelling. When she’s not writing she spends as much time as possible with her small family. She also enjoys watching movies, TV shows and reading.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Radio Interview with One World One Voice.

I am happy to announce that I will be a guest on the One World One Voice show on Blogtalk radio, hosted by Raven Starr. June 12th 3:00 PM Pacific Standard Time. I will be talking about the Horror Genre, and my new novella Painter's Green.

Listen to One World One Voice on Blog Talk Radio

Monday, April 19, 2010

Attention Horror Fans! The new seriel novel by Mark Edward Hall is now live!

Hurry don't be late, the new serial novel Soul Thief by Mark Edward Hall is now LIVE!

Tune in each week for a delightfully frightening new chapter at:

Soul Thief, Free Serial Novel, Chapter One Now Live.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Book Cover For Painter's Green

Here is the long waited official book cover for Painter's Green. The artist at Damnation Books did a fabulous job I
-Cyrus Wraith Walker

Available June 1st at Damnation Books.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Cyrus Review of The Haunting of Sam Cabot by Mark Edward Hall

A Cyrus Wraith Walker Review

5.0 out of 5 stars The Haunting of Sam Cabot, December 16, 2009
The Haunting of Sam Cabot
By Mark Edward Hall

Review by Cyrus Wraith Walker, Fiction Tips Weekly (Portland, OR USA)

What scares us is how close to the surface horror stories like The Haunting of Sam Cabot brings us, concerning things we choose not to allow in our cognitive awareness.

The realization of how we deal with, deny, ignore, and suppress fear, loss, death, or change, and how those things just might be the consequences of our own decisions or simply our feelings of guilt derived for taking responsibility for those things.

The fabric has always been about suppression, and Mark Edward Hall serves a good dish. You cannot serve in the armed forces and a war as Mark did without being spoon-fed tons of things that you are expected to suppress, ordered to suppress, and things that you cannot bear--even of your own fruition--to let to the surface because to do so would challenge ones sanity. We are a repressive/suppressive society. We are trained to do so from birth.

Is Cabot a ghost story, or a story of madness? Does the presence of ghosts or supernatural phenomena in one's life materialize because we cannot find a scientific explanation or a psychological explanation to use as evidence to continue wearing the false mask of reality we wear when suppressing truth? The answer is yes, just in case you didn't know, however, for those that are permanently gone there is no recognition only "REALITY" you know, but the reality we build is usually a tool to keep what we have repressed suppressed.

The Haunting of Sam Cabot makes us horribly aware that that is exactly what it is! Ghosts or spiritual phenomena then are as real as the psychological or scientific evidence we concoct along with our spiritual or other belief systems. Monsters do exist. Why, because, we must have evidence! We must suppress the truth! The truth will kill us, so we will become preachers, scientists, and psychologists, and we will attend Mass and counseling sessions, and get that diagnosis from the experts because we must not get to close to . . . the TRUTH!

General Story and Plot: 5 Stars

In an interview with yours truly Mark spoke of how stories such as I am Legend, as well as the works of Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, and show like The Twilight Zone, and The Outer Limits, spoke to him, telling him more about the human condition than what society as a whole feeds us. The author does a fantastic job at bringing that to the surface.

Written in first person from the perspective of the protagonist, you get the sense that as Sam Cabot makes his slip into madness but oddly notices his madness. After wondering if the piece would be better written in a third-person omnipotent view the reader tricks his/herself into making judgments as to what information is sound and grounded in reality and what is not. This is how the author grabs us and makes us see our own denial of things that we repress. Even in the climax where things get very strange we make excuses about the narrative, about the author, about anything besides what we really fear. Therefore I give the 5 Stars for Story and plot.

Narration/Scene/Overall Length: 4 Stars

The major area I thought could be improved upon was the handling of various narratives, which I thought could be transpired into more dramatic scene work. This book has the potential to be even more gripping and of a greater, more satisfying length if the reader was made to experience certain sections as opposed to just being told through Sam's conscious stream. I would like to have seen some more of the nightmare sequences dramatized to subtle transition just like the first key nightmare sequence was. It may just be my own desire to have more Sam Cabot so I regretfully give this area only 3 ½ for desired improved upon length.

Placement within the Genre: 5 Stars

The book fits nicely into the psychological/supernatural form of the horror genre. It fulfills expectation when we realize that reality is not necessarily the truth but a fabrication to be used to keep what we have repressed in suppression. Because of this the story fulfills the purpose of the genre. The Haunting of Sam Cabot would make an excellent screenplay. 5 Stars for placement.

This book is intended for an audience of young adult and up. It is by far repugnant in any way but rightfully has a rating of three by the publisher Damnation Books for Sex and Violence.

Style: 5 Stars

Mark's colloquial informal style makes the story and the reader comfortable enough with the characters to identify intimately with them. He then uses this advantage as a tool to stir up doubts in the readers mind about a character causing a sense of distance or something not right. Like a movie director manipulating diegesis leading the viewer to infer things before hand, so does this technique appear in Marks style.

Quality: 4.7 Stars Accumulative
1. Coherence: 5 Stars
2. Clarity: 5 Stars
3. Originality: 4 ½
     Even though the story draws heavily on other stories such as The Shining and The Amityville Horror, it does so to develop our expectations in order to present a surprising twist. For this reason I still give 4 ½ Stars for originality.
4. Forcefulness: 5 Stars
5. Conciseness: 5 Stars
6. Fullness of Development: 4 Stars
      As stated earlier I felt that there could be more development in the way of expanding too much narrative into more exciting scenes.
7. Fluidity: 5 Stars
8. Does it suit the intended audience: 5 Stars
9. Quality of the printed version: 3 ½ Stars
     As the face of publishing has changed, it has been increasingly more difficult for publishers to make a profit. Certain things occasionally are done to try to keep the price of a title competitive. For that reason I give only 3 ½ Stars to the quality of the printed version. Even though the cover is very nice, the print itself suffers because the Kerning and Leading, spaces between letters and lines is a bit scrunched. While this definitely reduces the retail price of the book it makes it a bit cumbersome to read.

Personal Affect: 5 Stars

I have forever battled the ignorance we cling to in the name of repressing what's true. Stories such as The Haunting of Sam Cabot help that plight. Through the story’s insanity, sanity is confirmed. A realization takes place that we all tend to believe without question that our personal perspective is correct until we face ourselves with objectiveness only to find out we were dead wrong.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Painter's Green to be published

Category: Writing and Poetry
Hi all

"You've got mail," the voice said. It was coming form the basement.

"Who's there?" I called grabbing my steely Psycho-prop knife before daring to venture int the dark underbelly to see who the intruder was.

As I approached the final run, the voice spoke once more, "YOU'VE GOT MAIL!" I nearly stabbed my computer.

The message had rolled in the night before, and my computer was turned off for the evening. Yet there it was blinking and speaking to me, daring me to check the mail.

So ... I did.

The e-mail was from Kim Richards of Damnation Books announcing that they were sending me a contract and wanted to publish my supernatural horror novella, Painter's Green. Here I thought a demon had possessed my computer and that it was intending on swallowing my soul but relief, and then YAHOOOOOOO! I guess it took a few moments to sink in. You understand it was 3AM.

Anyway enough of that dribble before you begin to hate me. Painter's Green is scheduled to be released in June. See Damnation Books in may to see my title on the new release list. Please visit them sooner, they have a wonderful backlist of terrifying novels you can order in either electronic format from the damnation site or in hard copy from Barnes and Noble, or Amazon.

The following is the blurb I chose to be on the back of the book, and select excerpts.


Terry Painter is more than worried as he watches his town slowly die. He has to reach farther and farther to keep the family business, The Brushville Paint Contractors, afloat. In an attempt to clean out his shop and compile information that would allow him to start the only paint store for miles around, he stumbles onto something remarkable. A special blend of paint his father created called Painter’s Green.

At first, it all seems so ridiculous, that his old man actually thought of getting rich off a special color of paint. However, a little curiosity leads him to discover that not only does Painter’s Green replenish itself, but also it causes whatever and wherever it’s applied to flourish after just one single coat. Is it some kind of blessing from above? At first, that is what Terry thinks. That is, until he is called to paint the local funeral home.

To Be Released June, 2010
By Damnation Books

“This here’s a special paint, son,” he had said, “Ma own special mix of blue, yeller and a particular, uh . . . ingredient grey . . .
. . . After a watch-pot-ten, and a lot of strain holding the mixer in place, the substances mixed into a rich, thick, almost glowing shade of the most mesmerizing color I had ever seen . . .
. . . The old dead plant’s were gone and replaced by thriving mammoth almost pre-historic growths. A thought crossed my mind, a crazy thought, a thought you wouldn’t repeat in the presence of sound company. What if it’s the paint? . . .
. . . “Two thirds of the damn towns gone crazy! Their killing each other over that damn can. Ya even got that big galoot that was with Jennifer runnin’ round out there, breakin’ heads for that stuff. What the Sam hell you got in that can?” . . .

I hope you enjoyed this little taste, and will enjoy the book as well. I will keep you informed as to the progress.
-Cyrus Wraith Walker

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