Author: garrettcook

I'm an author of Horror, Bizarro and Neopulp Fiction and winner of the First Annual Ultimate Bizarro Showdown, so I know, weird, I know scary and I know what I like. I'm the author of the cringeworthy Murderland part 1:h8 and Murderland 2: Life During Wartime, the enigmatic Archelon Ranch, andJimmy Plush, Teddy Bear Detective, a longdelayed tale of hardboiled weirdness. But that's not all I do. I'm also a singer/songwriter in the bands Mayonnaise Jenkins and the Former Kings of the Delta Blues and Sad Monster Party. I am one of the two editors the magazine Imperial Youth Review, a journal of strangeness, defiance, magick and independent thought coming in October from Dog Horn Publishing in the UK. I can also edit for you. Check out the "Editing" tab at the top of the page for details.

What the Next Few Months Look Like

Happy 4th everyone, American and abroad. I’m here to give you a couple new and exciting updates. May saw the launch of this year’s third New Bizarro Author Series title Winnie by Katy Michelle Quinn. This beautiful  book captures our country’s love affair with guns and complicated relationship with femininity and transgender people perfectly. Proud to have selected this book and to have Eraserhead publishing it and the other five books in the series.

On July 15th, the next of these books, Eviscerator by Farah Rose Smith comes out. Farah is a wonderful new voice in both cosmic horror and Bizarro. Her prose is both elegant and intense, poetic and a cruel. Eviscerator is a story of elder gods, gut ghouls, talking parasites, Dark Wave superheroines and the tyranny of living in pain. This is a really cool way of capturing the experience of living with a disability and is a book you don’t want to miss. This year, I am fortunate to have so much awesome work to share with you, most of it not even my own.

In August, you get a chance to share some of your work with me in my next short story workshop. Conducted online, this workshop gives you four exercises to sharpen various aspects of your weird storytelling skills. I’ve had a lot of different authors take this class and come out with a lot of new and fun prose. The cost is 50 dollars and there are 8 slots left. Let’s see what you’ve got.

September, Eraserhead and I bring you Fell Beauties by Leigham Shardlow. Leigham is bleak, sardonic and unafraid of grotesquerie. His work is a bit Mighty Boosh, a bit Ren and Stimpy and a whole lot of stuff you’ve never seen before. In a madcap Bizarro and horror satire on body image, Fell Beauties deals with the last ugly town in the world and its fattest resident’s struggle to get away from a lethal rain of perfect bodies. If you like your Bizarro a little zanier and gorier than our prior offerings, this might be the book for you.

In October, Deadite Press brings you my book Crisis Boy, a Bizarro horror story about a bulletproof used as a pawn in a conspiracy so convoluted that it might not even understand itself. This is Bizarro horror for our fake news world. Proud to say it squicks out even Jeff Burk. If you too want to squick people out, then you can join me and take one of the eight spots in October’s horror workshop. At early registration price, you can join me for four exercises in horror writing for only 40 dollars. This will be fun.

Thanks for joining me to hear about all the cool Summer and fall Bizarro stuff coming up.

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Reaching Peak Stupid: Crisis Boy is Coming

It is not 100 percent the truth when I call myself a Bostonian. I grew up a half hour north of Boston and most of the time, when I made it into the city, it was on account of a field trip from school.  I am not a native Bostonian but lived there a few years and learned to I love and hate the city in the same way most Bostonians do. Though I moved to Portland, I have a fierce pride in my identity as a New Englander and will always carry that with, much as I am wont to bitch about the Masshole life.

In 2013, some motherfuckers tried to blow up my town. They set a bomb at the starting line of the Boston Marathon and they blew several people to bits. They had weapons stockpiled and they weren’t going to stop there either. The general concern of terrorists is to take as many human lives with them on their way out.  Friends of friends were there at the starting line to bear witness to this, to see the dust and the rubble and the blood and the carnage.

Fate brought one of these maniacs a block away from a home inhabited a dear friend, a house I had lived at and would move back to again. Watertown, Massachusetts is where the police had a prolonged shootout with  Dzokar Tsarnaev before at last finding him hiding under a boat. I waited breathlessly for news of this, hoping he had not left behind any more explosives, hoping my friend was okay. My heart was still pumping a mile a minute when the police found him under that boat.

I’m not trying to play the victim here, I just want you to know I’m as angry as you are. One of the first gems the internet had to offer in the wake of the tragedy was that it was clearly staged and that it didn’t happen.  All our loss, all our terror and all our fear were fake and this was all just a false flag operation. Conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones have been there every time to swoop in and tell us that victims exist only to threaten the freedoms of hardworking American patriots

As recently as the Parkland shooting, we’ve had to listen as pundits and lunatics alike have decided that we don’t have a problem with gun violence in our society. I did what some people might say was the crassest, cruelest thing possible in response: I wrote a book about it. A book whose success can feed me and keep me living inside a house. A book I have a personal stake in selling. I’m mad enough that I’m not sorry.

Crisis Boy is the story of an invincible teenager living in a world as completely idiotic as Right Wing conspiracy theorists think it is. It’s a coming of age story about selfishness, madness and the death of a true, relatable narrative in our world. It’s horror, it’s satire and it’s mean as mean can be. I’m proud of this book and ashamed of the world that made it. Crisis Boy drops in October . If it makes you mad, good. This shit happened. I’m mad about it.

Preorder Crisis Boy

 

Winners of the 24 Hour Flash Fiction Contest

Yesterday, to get you all excited for July’s upcoming workshop and to do something fun for May 1st, I put up a 24 hour flash fiction contest. I got five submissions on my page and one via PM but even with four prizes to give out, I still had some tough choices. Here are your winners and their flash pieces:

3rd place Chad Lutzke

‘Chad has won an ebook of A God of Hungry Walls.

Watching Sanctuary by Chad Lutzke

There’s a good chance it’ll happen tonight. A better chance than most evenings, anyway. And if I were a betting house, I’d lay money on it. It’s spring, the eggs have long since hatched, and the brood has left the web above the bed, exploring every nook. Every cranny.

Any orifice in his face will do.

Shifting and creaking are tedious tasks. And with a homeowner like mine, observation is very much like watching paint dry. That isn’t cliche, trust me. I’ve done both, and they are equivalent.

With the man working nine to five, followed by hours spent in a chair surrounded by TV dinners and empty bottles, it’s his sleeping that breaks the monotony. Watching in great anticipation as night after night the arachnids get closer and farther from his gaping, drunken mouth. Much like watching the races, I suppose. I place imaginary bets and root for the little creatures as they dangle above his snore, teasing me–climbing the wrinkled mountains of his dirtied T-shirt, making their way toward an ear.

Tonight there are far too many about for them all to ignore the man’s enticing, dark, fleshy holes. While the bed is still made, the man sleeps deep, still reeking from the day’s work.

The spiders descend. The spiders crawl.

One hundred dollars on number thirty-two!

She rests on the fold of his face, closing in on his naris, peeking, touching the interior with her curious palps. This could be it. In a perfect world, she’d hop onto his tongue and skitter down his throat. But should her exploration take her through nasal passages only, it will be satisfactory to see the irritation in the man as the many legs tickle and tap.

Sweet dreams, drunken fool.

 

2nd place

Rob Glasgow

Rob has won an ebook of A God of Hungry Walls.

 

Inside these walls of mine resides a man. Inside this man resides a hatred he himself does not yet understand; but I do. It is the same hatred I feel as I stare at him, immobile due to his own free will choice, whilst I am relegated to stillness out of anothers. Is it apathy? Is it self-loathing? I have as much respect for him as he has for himself. To devour him would be delightful, but I have no mouth with which to feed. Thus, I must get satisfaction from watching him devour himself. Slowly, and methodically, his ego chips away, leaving a husk of a man who should not exist. With each passing day, he becomes weaker; and I stronger. It is only a matter of time before he fades. I, on the other hand, will stand solid on my foundation, waiting…for the next one.

 

1st place

Lynn McSweeney

Lynn has read A God of Hungry Walls so shall instead receive a digital copy of Archelon Ranch.

Like canopic jars that cherished their desiccated organs, her collection of never-used vases lounged on various shelves, their dark wide mouths ever parched for roses and peonies and lilies. We envied her the busy tasks she set, dusting and rearranging all the useless objects that made up her life’s museum. Tea-sets in every color: an art deco jade green from China, a dragon-encrusted black and cream one from occupied Japan, the turn-of-the-century Austrian demitasse in a tutti-frutti paisley pattern. The home’s heart she was, centered in a hoard of domestic clutter, given meaning by eras past that had also valued the display of bric-a-brac as proof of time’s passing and wealth’s accumulation. And then she thrilled us all by meandering to the dollhouse.

Ah! This miniature of our own bones! Beloved twin viewed through the wrong end of a spyglass. We shivered in delight when she took a sponge to the jewel-like windows and roof, twinkling beneath her clever, spidery fingers. All at once we felt our own eyes shine, our own pate massaged with longing. Even though she had never, in fact, taken vinegar and newspaper to our rain-spattered panes, or wire-brushed our shingles crusted with bird droppings. But how sweet to view the exact duplicate of our own sovereign self earning such attentions and glowing beneath her teasing, tickling feather duster. Our shutters shuddered in sympathy, we spasmed in delight as she touched each little dollhouse item that corresponded to our larger body in every alchemical detail.

She manipulated the five-inch plastic Poe with a raven on its shoulder, laying it lengthwise on top of the plaster girl broken off from an old Black Forest cuckoo clock. They tumbled from the delicate canopy bed made of carved toothpicks and ground their pelvises together on the silk printed carpet, a giveaway prize in tobacco packets from the nineteen-tens. We hummed together with her as the dollhouse couple spent themselves.

And we sighed with her afterglow sighs, and cried when she cried as she crawled into her own solitary bed with its velvet awnings, jealous of the dollhouse bed with its sheets of antique lace handkerchief, its tiny plaster Rhine maiden, its doomed romantic Poe guarding the front door. More company than she, or we, had ever entertained in the vast expanses of our own too-large and empty rooms.

How we longed for a new tenant, one who would invite the world in, throw frequent, frantic parties, lots of energy pouring into our walls, bequeathing us new memories. Alas, the mortgage was fully paid. She owned us outright. We’ll have to wait for her to die of old age… or we may have to plot.

Just HOW will we kill her?

 

And the winner of the July workshop slot is

Shawn Koch.

Congratulations, Shawn!

 

“Circles Go Round and Round”
Worm crawled in his burrow.
Worm thought he was a man. Worm thought he knew what a man was.
Worm couldn’t hear the voice that calling outside. His own screams and clawing against glass walls muffled everything else.
Long ago, Worm might have been something else, caked with serenity instead of filth. The cage acclimated. Worm had only his own offal effects to wade in.
Opening his eyes, Worm saw glass walls smeared in shit and scratches, a blinding glint reflection from lights unseen. If Worm just kept his eyes closed, dug around, worm could find solace in the warm of excrement.
There was happiness below the mess. Worm swore.
There was conformity in his tiny world. Worm smeared himself with refuse and called it identity. Confined in flesh and meat, Worm congested-sobbed and patted himself with filth, shaped the viscous hide into a mask that hid him from the glass screens and the strange sights there. To hide below, to wait.
Chains were not always made of metal.
Worm opened his eyes and hated everything he saw. When he was blind, the safety of the womb lulled him, it hung pregnant with false deceptions. There was no happiness when Worm opened his eyes.
The false hope in his sight lured him once again. Worm pushed his hands against the glass, smearing the view of his broken life. There was no real day or night, only patterns.
“Did you take out the trash?” the woman’s voice echoed from beyond barriers. Worm wouldn’t fall for the trick any more. It couldn’t be a real person. Just like the hazed images dancing on the other side of the glass every time Worm opened his eyes, this must be another deception.
Across the glass was a house. Worm was told it was his house. The dingy four walls encased him, bare, caked in a filth he could not clean off despite exhaustive scrubbing. When he directed himself around the house, Worm watched the room shift and move, as if his glass cage was travelling through it. And yet he knew the lie. The room didn’t exist, house neither, the woman who lived there, nor the job miles away his glass cage travelled to. The bills never ended, debts neither. His paycheck fed him enough to feel like starving. Food crossed the glass only by transforming the brown mud at his feet into the shape of food. It still tasted like shit.
No matter what occurred out there beyond the walls of his prison, Worm knew it was a lie. The greatest deception. He took out the trash, anyways, knowing it’d be full the moment he returned to the house. So he borrowed and hid again, closing his eyes. A thousand years he repeated this routine.
The devil had Worm and this was hell.
The images beyond the glass were only the false carrot of hope and Worm knew if he ever gave in, ever believed it for a second, he’d get the stick.

Thanks to everyone who participated! For all others, if you sign up for a slot in July or August’s workshop, you will get your choice of a free ebook from my catalogue! 10 slots remain in each and publishable work has come out of each, so hope to see you in July or August.

May Day Twenty Four Hour Flash Contest

Sometimes when you freelance and self promote, you feel like things are getting a bit stale, or you’re shouting into the void or nobody’s having fun anymore . You can accept it and post your links every twenty four hours, or, if you’re a creative person, you can try something new. So, I’d like to give some of you a fun opportunity, have a little fun myself and drum up some energy on what some faiths see as one of the most powerful and dynamic days of the year. Here’s a way to win a copy of my perverse, weird haunted house novel A God of Hungry Walls.

I’m giving you all until midnight to win yourself one of four prizes, either a slot in July’s short story writing workshop or one of three ebooks of A God of Hungry Walls. How about we make some magic?

Participants have until midnight to write the best description of themselves and an activity they’re doing from the perspective of their house. This scene can be up to 500 words long. If you want to enter, post your scene on the Facebook page for my editing services.

I will then pick the four best and hand out the prizes. Also remember that anyone who decides to snag a slot in my next few workshops gets a free ebook of their choice. Good luck!

 

God of Hungry Walls front cover 2(1). I will pick the four best.

 

 

Photo Contest Finalists and Winner Announced

Hello, everyone. You will see my previous post was about a photo caption contest courtesy of photographer and writer Kristopher Hensel. Well, the contest played out and we got a bunch of entries. This was a tough decision for us but we managed to narrow it down to a top five and then to a victor. Here’s a statement from Kristopher:

“Everyone engaged in creative pursuits is a winner. Keep your pencils sharp – we’ll do it again soon.”

Hear that? More opportunities on the horizon. Exciting, huh? Well, not as exciting as it will be for one lucky writer.

Here is the picture that all five finalists had to work with.

Neptune

There’s a lot you can do with that. Is it literal? Is it metaphor? Is it magick? Is it art? All the contestants wrestled with this and came at it from different angles but five did it best.

Gary Arthur Brown

Lee Widener

Lynn Mc Sweeney

Chad Lutzke

Baz Harrigan

These are the five that impressed me most. From here, Kris and I conferred and we picked one standout whose work absolutely blew Kris away.

That standout was Lynn Mc Sweeney.

Congratulations, Lynn! Bragging rights and the 119 dollar prize are yours. Keep watching my page for more opportunities like this. Finalists will be eligible to enter the next contest but Lynn, the winner, will not. You could be next!

 

An Opportunity Courtesy of Photographer and Writer Kristopher Hensel

I do a lot of different jobs for a lot of different clients. Sometimes this means I get to provide special opportunities for writers, or artists or publishers I know. This December and January, I get to provide another such opportunity. Photographer Kris Hensel documents the magic and mystery of life in Mexico. His work captures the vibrancy of an exciting, organic culture.  But he wants to try and do more with these pictures. That’s where some of you come in.

Kris is having a contest. There’s no entry fee. There’s no newsletter to subscribe to. There’s no restrictions on who enters. Kris and I will be judging who can write the best 1000 word story using this photo as a prompt. The winner gets 119 dollars. That’s more than 10 cents a word, which is pretty damn generous. The winning story will also appear in Kris’ upcoming book of photos and prose.

Here is the photo.

Neptune

Send a 1000 word story about and inspired by this photo to thecentercannothold@gmail.com by February 14th. Kris and I will then decide who wrote the best story and award them the prize. There are no restrictions on entry and don’t worry about whether you have worked with me or not.  I have high expectations of authors I know, so they’ll be working as hard as writers I don’t. Good luck to everyone!

New Bizarro Author Series 2015

This year, Rose O’ Keefe of Eraserhead Press gave me a beautiful opportunity and an amazing challenge. She asked me to put together and edit a lineup for the New Bizarro Author Series imprint. Each year, Eraserhead Press takes on a group of authors who don’t have an established presence in the Bizarro genre and gives them a chance to strut their stuff and market themselves with one novella. Thanks to my workshops and my client base, I saw a lot of manuscripts and a lot of promising talent trying to get into the genre and I was thrilled to be able to help. I am proud to say, I found nine authors who I felt each represented something I love about Bizarro. We worked together and gave you the nine best we could.

I am proud to see these authors manifest and proud that their work is now available for purchase. The paperbacks don’t launch for a little while but if you have a Kindle, you can now explore strange new worlds the like of which you’ve never seen before, created by eager, driven authors seeking to establish a career. Check out these nine books. I’ll leave a link to buy the Kindle edition at the bottom of each description.

Elephant Vice by Chris Meekings

elephant-vice-by-chris-meekings

Cover art by Jim Agpalza

Vincent Van Gogh is a cop with a dark past. He painted some of the greatest artistic masterpieces of our time. He cut off his ear out of love for a prostitute. He was a great painter. He isn’t anymore. He’s a tough as nails loose cannon cop who plays by his own rules. When a drug called **** hits the streets, it starts turning people into the object their essence most resembles. Van Gogh is put on the case. But this hard case has a new partner. His methods are unusual, his attitude incompatible and he has the head of an elephant. He’s the Hindu God Ganesha. Can these two put aside their differences and learn to work together? Probably. It’s a buddy cop thing.

Get it for your Kindle!

Slasher Camp for Nerd Dorks by Christoph Paul

slasher-camp-for-nerd-dorks-by-christoph-paul

Jason Voorheesberg has struggled to become the great slasher his mom believes he can be and has as bad case of Slasher Anxiety. He is sent to one of the worse ranked camps for young slashers: Slasher Camp for Nebulous Youth #987.When she drops Jason off at the camp, he gets bullied by the Jock Slashers and is attacked by the rich, snooty protagonists of the rival Final Camp across the lake. He hates the camp and is considered the worst slasher by the Pred counselors. Even though he makes a friend with Slasher Candybee Wamack and develops a forbidden relationship with a Slazer (Final Girl who slays Slashers), he struggles even more with his slasher anxiety. Can love (and homicide) conquer all and save Jason from a life of mediocrity?

Get it here

Towers by Karl Fischer

Cover art by Whitney Fischer

towers-by-karl-fischer

After fighting giant monsters for a thousand years, a sentient guard tower is set to go to heaven with his soulmate. But for reasons unknown, the lovers are reborn as lowly humans living inside the Towers they once operated. Separated by thousands of miles and trapped within menageries of horror, only a profound transformation of mind and body can reunite them.

Get it here

Pixiegate Madoka by Michael Sean Le Sueur

Cover art by Roxy Almblade

pixiegate-madoka-by-michael-sean-lesueur

Julian Argento is a socially-awkward, Reddit-obsessed nerd about to start his junior year of high school. He finds his foreign exchange program request to Japan has been approved, and he’ll be joined by an “almost perfect” dream girl that looks just like his crush Jennifer Lawrence—That is, until he enters the wrong transfer rocket and is sent to Urobochi High, academy for Magical Girls. He is assigned to the “kitchen appliance” squahttps://wordpress.com/post/68013897/139d, and he must learn to be good-hearted, maintain friendships, and spread love in order to become a true Magical Girl… all while stopping his psychotic sister and her sea punk boyfriend from destroying Japan with their dark powers. Shouldn’t be too hard. After all, he’s a “nice guy”!

Get it here

Benjamin by Pedro Proenca

Cover art by Sarah Sindorf

benjamin-by-pedro-proenca

The mall shouldn’t be a dangerous place. You shouldn’t have to fear green men abducting you and feeding you to a tentacle monster. You shouldn’t have to fear the anaconda that serves as the staircase to the movie theater. And you shouldn’t have to face off against ice cream men with a strange knowledge of black holes. But if you’re Benjamin – a sentient yellow balloon – or the Boy, his headless chubby teen sidekick, you have to fear all those things. Because this mall is sick, and it’s your job to heal it, or go insane trying.

Get it here

King Space Void by Anthony Trevino

king-space-void-by-anthony-trevino

King Space Void is a planet-eating entity whose consciousness resides in the body of a gargantuan machine made to look like a man and powered by thousands of people. Dane Shipps is one of the best workers of in King Space Void, until the day he finds a mangled woman named Scarlet still alive and intertwined in the machine’s ductwork who convinces him to step outside of his routine. Together they plan to take down King Space Void and everyone inside.

Get it here

Rainbows Suck by Madeleine Swann

cover art by Bill Purnell

rainbows-suck-by-madeleine-swann

Tilly, an aspiring artist has been chosen by a race of evil rainbows from space to become a work of art. Works of art are forced to entertain people and gain votes on a crazy reality program to avoid being devoured by the rainbows. What seemed like a dream becomes a nightmare as Tilly is forced to indulge in escalating acts of degradation and insanity to protect herself from these colorful abominations.

Get it here

Rock ‘N Roll Headcase by Lee Widener

Cover art by Jim Agpalza

rock-n-roll-headcase-by-lee-widener

Chaino Durante works at the worst fast food restaurant ever. He has the worst job in this fast food restaurant. And the worst life he possibly can. When he discovers a mysterious bag in the fryer, he takes it home. The bag contains the head of rock and roll icon Alice Cooper. This is unfortunate. What’s more unfortunate is that Chaino gets the gun he’s going to use to rob his workplace stuck in the head and the head stuck on his hand.  A new weapon is formed. A weapon that lets Chaino rob his workplace and subvert the order of the world around him. A weapon that blasts holes in reality itself, which does not come without consequence. A no holds barred psychedelic cartoon in the tradition of Bill Plympton and Ralph Bakshi, with Pink Floyd’s The Wall thrown in for good measure, Rock N’ Roll Headcase explores the ins and outs of expanding consciousness with a madness that grabs hold and does not let go.

Get it here

Arachnophile by Betty Rocksteady Cover art by Betty Rocksteady

arachnophile-by-betty-rocksteady

Alex’s arachnophobia may be old fashioned, but he’s able to live a life of relative peace despite it. That all changes when a spider moves in next door. His girlfriend is sick of his attitude and begs him to give the new neighbor a chance. He overcomes his fear, but finds a twisted sexuality in its place. His attraction to the spider affects all areas of his life, and changes everything he thought he knew.

Get it here

These are the nine books that we brought forth. I hope, dear readers that you can enjoy the fruits of our labor of love. These authors worked hard, Rose worked hard, Jeff Burk who did the book designs worked hard and all of the cover artists worked hard. Support their work.

The Start of Something Big

Hey. The last week of September’s upon us. It’s been a huge month. Soon, you’re going to see just how huge. First, I want to reiterate to all of you that the chance to participate in my workshops is dwindling quick. There are no slots left for October’s workshop and only two for January’s novella development workshop in which you write a book from pitch to completion in a month.  In a similar vein, I will tell you that now that this September’s project (which I will be able to tell you about soon) is over, I am once more looking for projects of all sizes, novel and novella alike to edit.

But that’s not my news. This week starts off big because my horror novel A God of Hungry Walls is now available and is already attracting good ink. It’s a dark, extreme and experimental take on the haunted house genre, letting the haunting tell you the story. I went into some dark and awful places on this one and I’m glad I did. Nothing validates this like getting some good early reviews like this one from The Horror Fiction Review and this one from author Michael Noe. So, as you can see if you’re looking for something genuinely intense, this might be the book for you. You can buy it HERE.

God of Hungry Walls front cover 2(1)

Also, if you are in Portland, Oregon on October 1st come join me as I join the HP Lovecraft Film Festival and my publisher Deadite Press celebrating not just the launch of my book but the launch of the Film Festival at Portland’s Lovecraft Bar! You’ll see performances by myself, author and Deadite Press publisher Jeff Burk, authors Danger Slater and Vince Kramer, storyteller Ilana Hamilton and author, Buddhist monk and ghost hunter Jess Gulbranson! Party starts at 8 at the Lovecraft. Hope to see some of you there.

This is all the news for now but keep your eyes on this blog for another big announcement later in the week!

Spoooky Update September

Hi again. Last time I posted on this blog. I had a series of pieces of excellent spooky news. This news ranged from a story announcement in an excellent antho where I got a lot of good ink to the announcement of my next book and workshop. Well, I have some follow up on that. There is not only another story announcement but a status update on the book and some other exciting news.

First up, my story “Pas de Deux”  will be appearing in the next issue of Splatterpunk zine. It’s a relief to be hitting more horror markets as my horror novel arrives because most of the work I have out there is Bizarro. I know some fans expect weirdness and dreamlike imagery and (for some reason) humor from me, so to see stories like this and “Hello, Handsome” get positive feedback always feels great. I’ve been writing and editing horror for ages but have only had stories like this in the genre out.

Which moves me onto my next piece of news. A God of Hungry Walls, my horror novel from Deadite Press, is currently at the printer. It will only be another week or so before I get to share this particular bit of mayhem with you. Here is the back cover copy:

“When you are within my walls, I am God.

I have always been here and I will always be. I have complete dominion. I control what you see, what you feel, and how you think. I will bend reality to whatever I wish. I will show you your worst fears and make you indulge in your darkest desires.

Your pain is my pleasure. Your tears are my ambrosia. Your despair is my joy.

I will break you.

I will ruin you.

Once you enter me, there is no escape. I will own you, forever.”

From Wonderland Book Award winning author, Garrett Cook, comes a haunted house novel unlike any you’ve ever read. Told entirely from the perspective of the haunting, A GOD OF HUNGRY WALLS is a perverse, violent, and soul-crushing take on supernatural horror.”

If perversity, gore and a whole new take on hauntings sounds good to you, you’ll like this book. I’m proud of all the emotional and intellectual leaps and bounds it made me take and of the alien voice it’s told in. I’ve been told by everyone currently reading an ARC that it’s pretty damn scary and I’m inclined to believe these particular individuals. And take a look at this cover by Alan M Clark.

God of Hungry Walls front cover 2(1)

In the foreground here is a model of a haunted house, a collaboration between generations by the artist and his father. The background is painted. I like the mixed media quality of this and the eerie vintage horror vibe it projects. I’m proud to have a book out with this cover. If you’re in Portland,  Oregon for HP Lovecraft Film Festival, or if you just live here, come to the Lovecraft Bar on October 1st. The launch party for the book is also going to be the preparty for the festival and will feature performances by myself, Jeff Burk, Bizarro authors Danger Slater and Vince Kramer, storyteller Ilana Hamilton and a testimonial from author, Buddhist priest and ghosthunter Jess Gulbranson. You do not want to miss this event.

Speaking of can’t miss events, my online Bizarro and horror workshop only has two slots left. These workshops have helped launch books, have helped authors start getting stories out there and have helped students develop into different and better authors. It can help you too. The workshop starts in October and costs only fifty dollars for four weeks of exercises you can do or for critiques of existing stories. In January, I will once again be doing my novella development workshop, in which we find the right pitch for the right book for you and we work on developing it into a book by the end of the month. This costs 100 dollars but could be what you need to get that first book out and make it stick. There are also only two slots for this.

I will only be accepting one or two novel length clients until October, so if you want my services, get in touch with me now. It’s going to be a dark, scary and magical season and I want to see you all there and to help make this process a little less scary.

Spoooooky Stuff

Hey. In addition to editing books, I’m also a writer and critic. I’ve done a bunch of articles for Cinema Knifefight, did a couple for Examiner a few years ago and was film critic for Withersin for awhile. So, I watch and think about films a lot and what we can learn about from them. Recently, I did an article on a controversial film that frankly a lot of people flat out hate, part of a franchise that a lot of people flat out hate. I flat out hated this franchise until I saw it was a bigger ,more elaborate project than I thought. While not always perfect, it is a series that has some things to teach us about conviction, follow through and having big old castiron balls that drag along the ground, forming trenches that could protect a bunch of World War 1 soldiers from a mustard gas attack. For some thoughts that might make you want to burn me as a witch, check out Why the Human Centipede 3 May Be Better Than the Book You’re Writing and What You Can Do About It. Obviously, this is not safe for work. Unless your job is making human centipedes. Find a better job, you maniac! I am proud of this article and proud to have earned a mention on Twitter from Human Centipede director Tom Six, a classy, smart, dapper gentleman who might not make films you like but is still awesome nonetheless.

In other spoooky news, a few months ago, I appeared in the anthology Giallo Fantastique, edited by Word Horde’s Ross Lockhart. I was thrilled to have this opportunity and appear alongside Adam Cesare, Cameron Pierce, Brian Keene, Ennis Drake, Orrin Grey, Nikki Guerlain, Anya Martin, Michael Kazepis, Katherine Tobler Ross, John Langan and MP Johnson. This anthology features a bunch of stories inspired by Giallo cinema. Giallo is a genre of Italian crime film that sparked up the imaginations of such directors as Mario Bava, Dario Argento, and Lucio Fulci, it explores crime, madness and perversity through a lens of beauty, decadence and psychological mad science. The films are beautiful, lush and gory, as are these stories. If you like your horror strange and beautiful this is the antho for you.

The last piece of horror news I have may directly impact some of you. I’ve been doing copyediting for Deadite Press, contributing to film reviews on the horror genre and getting horror stories in print for quite awhile now and know the ins and outs of the genre. I also have done this for the Bizarro genre. Finally, you will get to learn about both these genres in one place, workshopping stories and seeing how the texture of dream and nightmare can be used to improve your weird fiction. In October, I will be doing an online Bizarro and horror workshop. This is a chance to be critiqued by peers and get the input of a professional editor with experience in two genres. Email me at thecentercannothold@gmail.com for information. 8 slots remain so get ’em now.