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Thursday, February 18, 2016

What is your favorite horror novel and why?

Important info:
(One person who answers will receive a $5.00 Amazon e gift card). Starts 2/18/2016 and ends 2/23/2016. Be sure to leave your email and contact info in your comment! :) By the way, there are no wrong/right answers. Winner will be drawn randomly.

As for my fav horror novel, I can't say. There's many to choose from!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Self Publishing vs.Traditional Publishing

Self Publishing Vs. Traditional Publishing (my take)
It's a common question a lot of authors ask.
So, what's the difference? And are there pros and cons to each?
Yes and yes.
The pros of self publishing:
1. You keep all the rights
2. You keep all the royalties.
3. You market how you see fit.
4. You're in total control.
5. You can publish almost immediately, and don't have to wait months or years.
The cons of self publishing:
1. Quality control: if you're new or inexperienced, you NEED to hire a PROFESSIONAL editor if you want to take all this seriously. If not, you may get some nasty reviews. And lose potential readers.
2. You're in total control, meaning you bear every responsibility: marketing, promotion, getting a professional cover, proper formatting... oh, and did I mention an editor?
3. You're going to spend some money making this look like a real book.
4. You alone are in charge of marketing! More time is spent marketing—or should be spent—than actually writing and editing. You don't have a professional who's experienced to help you, or someone who will spread your name around and get your novel reviewed by NYT and so forth. And getting a self pubbed book reviewed by most editorial reviewers is very difficult (if not impossible).
The pros of traditional publishers:
  1. They will edit your book and make it awesome. However, YOU need to edit it first and make it very presentable to them.
  2. They are experienced, they have connections, they have advertising money.
  3. You COULD get an advance.
  4. Your book may find its way into brick and mortar bookstores.
  5. Possible book signings and events.
  6. They will probably mentor you, letting you know what's involved in your own daily promotion.
The cons of traditional publishers:
  1. You don't keep all the profits.
  2. If it's accepted, you'll have to wait a while before it's available.
  3. They're cut throat and blunt, so you'll need tough skin and a lot of perseverance.
Some very successful authors who've hit NYT bestseller status will tell beginners to go the self-publishing route, but I'd advise you not to listen to everything they say. Why?
Because they've built a BRAND before they've decided to scrap the traditional route and go total freelance. If Stephen King did that, his sales would not ebb. Why? Because he's established himself already. How? Through the traditional route.
I'm not saying it's impossible, but it's highly unlikely. These days, anyone can pump out a novel and upload it to Amazon. So many people are doing it, the market is flooded. Go to Amazon and see how many books there are, then you'll see how hard it is to be noticed through the white noise. Again, it's not impossible. And if you did or do decide to self publish, and don't sell many copies, you'll know why—readers have TOO many books to choose from. I'm not being biased for/against self or traditional publishing; they both have their place. I'm just trying to supply you with enough information to help make your own decision, that's all. Some self-published books have done VERY well (ever hear of this 50 Shades of Grey story?). Some traditionally published books don't sell. In fact, only one out of half a dozen even turns a profit. I wish you, the author, much success. Remember, you don't become a bestselling author overnight. It doesn't work that way, unless you're lucky enough to catch lightning in a bottle like a select few. The best writers have spent years and even decades honing their craft, reading, writing, reading, rewriting, and practicing this art for a long time before they became a success. The worst thing you can do is give up. Just keep on trying. What have you got to lose? :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Free Damaged and Free Strandead for 2 days!

A bullied high-schooler (Adam McNicols) takes gruff from his peers every day in Blake High. Enough becomes enough when a traumatic event breaks him, damages him, and sends him on a homicide mission. He discovers a way to abduct his aggressors without being seen, tortures them, and discards the bodies for all to see. Can they catch him before he strikes again? Or will the body count never end?
Yes, we've seen all the movies and read all the books. A vehicle breaks down in the woods, evil emerges, and the cat and mouse begins. But what if the deformed creatures who stalk their new prey brought them here on purpose? And what if they had a way to gain powers by devouring their victims' brains... through performing specific rituals learned centuries ago in faraway lands... rituals handed down by--gotta download to read more! :)
Please feel free to take the polls on the left, and comment if you wish. I'm trying to make this site fun, interactive, and informative. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

FREE Christmas Ebooks! Coming before Santa!

Troy McCombs, a writer of horror who's grown up reading the best: Stephen King, Clive Barker, H.P. Lovecraft, and Poe, is putting most of his horror novels (and some that aren't horror) FREE on Amazon for a limited time.

Below are the available dates, ebooks, plotlines, and links. Get em while they're at NO cost!
December 20-23 Strandead PREY: High school seniors embark on a field trip to Chicago, but they never make it. Their bus ends up crashing on a deserted dirt road in the forest, which is occupied by flesh-and-soul-hungry monsters intent on devouring them all.
December 22. 1 day only! Damaged: A bullied teenager gets even with his classmates in the most sadistic ways possible.

Dec. 22-24 Baker's Dozen: A collection of 13 short horror tales with Lovecraftian endings. Beneath the Soil: What if you could not step on solid earth? What if there was something beneath any given spot of soil that you did not want to be there but was, always waiting for you? Would you chance it? Hypervision: If we could have better vision than an eagle, would we dare want it? And eleven more terrifying tales with endings you won't see coming!

December 21-24 The Clown Picture: 9-year-old Logan Barnes receives a painted picture of a clown from his mother. Soon, he begins to realize there's something very wrong with it. It's more than just a 2d image. The clown on canvas needs innocence to restore his life. (suitable for all ages)

December 20-22 Imaginary Friend: Nathan Stevenson is just a weakling. A wimp. A buck-toothed kid everyone in grade school picks on... that is, until they get a load of his imaginary friend, who likes to fight back and kill his creator's foes.

December 20-23 The First Level of Hell: 16-year-old Johnny Morris was the biggest troublemaker in his area. Borderline criminal. But after he gets into a fight with the wrong person and ends up dead, he finds himself in a place that makes him wish he was a much nicer person on earth.

December 17-19 The Music of 1997 (time travel story, not horror): Life's been bad to Stephen for the past three years. Before then, he had it all: a great girlfriend, awesome friends, a fun job, a healthy mother. Now he's broke, jobless, his mother dead, alone. When a song from the best time of his life strikes his ears, he realizes he can regress time and fix all his past mistakes. Easier said than done.
December 17-21 Bitten: Fact or Fiction? Henry Boyer gets bit by something while vacationing in a remote area of Tasmania. The wound becomes infected, grows, and he finds himself mutating into some... thing he cannot control... or stop from taking him over.
December 21-23 Silent Destruction (pen name Baron Driden): Andros Varlander has been a small-time thief all his life. The death of his uncle will make him a large-time thief. See, Uncle Rever headed an experimental military weapon that can open any safe, any vault, silently and effectively.
Happy reading! Sorry for any nightmares ;)

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Favorite Stephen King story/movie, and why?

I've been reading Stephen King's work for a while. I've been watching his movies for even longer than that. I covered my eyes as a child when I saw Zelda from Pet Semetary on the big screen. I felt for Chris Chambers when he described what happened with the milk money he tried to return in Stand By Me. I rooted enthusiastically for the likable characters in The Stand who fought against The Walkin Dude and Captain Trips. And my heart pounded like a drum when I read the events that took place toward the end of Carrie. So, I ask YOU, what is your favorite Stephen King movie/book/story/short film, and why?

Thursday, October 22, 2015

My new horror novel

After lots and lots of writing, editing, reading, rewriting, etc., my novel, Strandead PREY is finally available.  Below is a blurb and a link

They thought it was going to be a fun, interesting field trip during their last days as high school seniors.

But what they didn't count on was the bus crashing on a remote, deserted dirt road in the woods.

And what they couldn't possibly have anticipated were the hideous horrors that lurked in those woods... mutated once-human monsters with a hunger for fresh meat...

And fresh souls...

Just days before their graduation, twelve high school seniors embark on a field trip to the bustling city of Chicago... but they never arrive. The bus ends up crashing on an old, deserted road in the bowels of a lush forest. Some students die in the crash. Others are injured. Few remain unscathed. How they managed to veer so far off the map is a mystery. And, calling for help proves useless, as nobody can receive a phone signal.

Since little daylight remains, and a fierce storm's brewing, they come to the conclusion that they must spend the night in this unfamiliar territory.

Before dawn, however, everyone is awakened by a girl's ferocious scream. It turns out to be the scream one of their own, who's gone missing. They also find proof of what roams these woods—deformed humanoids with the brute power of wild animals. The only difference is, these savages are smart, cunning and purposeful. Their goal—to devour the brains of everyone from the Number 13 bus in order to lengthen life and accumulate powers. It's up to Will Berilla, a confused but precocious teenager, to wage war against the evil that's stalking them, save his friends, and find his way back home.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Twisters! A bunch of twisters!

I've seen a lot of movies, especially scary ones. Some thrill throughout; others don't thrill until the very end, when you thought the worst was over! I compiled a list of horror/suspense films with the best plot twists I have ever seen. In no particular order. Warning: possible "suggestive" spoilers. I don't really come out and say what the twists are. I do, however, hint at them a little. Particularly Jacob's Ladder.

What can I say? How about one  word: WOW! If you want to see a very suspenseful film with an ending that not only rivals The Sixth Sense, but may be better, look no further! I guarantee that you will not see this twist coming.

(Mike Church is a Los Angeles private detective who specializes in finding missing persons. He takes on the case of a mystery woman who he calls Grace. She is suffering from amnesia and has no memories of her own. She keeps having nightmares involving the murder of a pianist, Margaret, by her husband Roman Strauss in the late 1940s. In an attempt to solve the mystery about these nightmares, Church seeks the help of Madson who is an antiques dealer with the gift of hypnosis. The hypnosis sessions will soon begin to reveal some surprises.)

Another WOWSER! Although I'm pretty sure most of us know the twist in this one, unless you've been living under a rock all your life.
(Malcom Crowe is a child psychologist who receives an award on the same night that he is visited by a very unhappy ex-patient. After this encounter, Crowe takes on the task of curing a young boy with the same ills as the ex-patient. This boy "sees dead people". Crowe spends a lot of time with the boy (Cole) much to the dismay of his wife. Cole's mom is at her wit's end with what to do about her son's increasing problems. Crowe is the boy's only hope. )
I saw this gem in the theater back in 1990 when I was ten or eleven. It's one of my top ten favorite movies, as well. It has a twist eerily similar to the Sixth Sense, but was made nine years before.
(Mourning his dead child, a haunted Vietnam vet attempts to discover his past while suffering from a severe case of disassociation. To do so, he must decipher reality and life from his own dreams, delusion, and perception of death.)
 I saw this one in the theater when it came out, too. I gotta tell you, I DIDN'T SEE THE TWIST COMING! It hit me like a ton of bricks and gave me goosebumps. Perfect conclusion. Beware some people, because who's sure they're really people? See it!

(A man confesses to an FBI agent his family's story of how his religious fanatic father's visions lead to a series of murders to destroy supposed "demons.")

I'd seen the trailers for this film on TV, but dismissed the movie entirely. I gotta be honest, it didn't look like anything interesting or new to me. Boy, was I wrong! The twist is very original and very shocking. Also an edge-of-your-seat thriller.

(A husband and wife who recently lost their baby adopt a 9-year-old girl who is not nearly as innocent as she claims to be.)

The twist at the end of this one is just chilling. In fact, a lot of things about this movie and that happen in it are very chilling. If you want smacked across the face while having a scare, check out The Others.

(A woman who lives in a darkened old house with her two photosensitive children becomes convinced that her family home is haunted.)

The granddaddy of, not only suspense/horror films, but the first great twist in cinema history.  Thank you Blotch and  Hitchcock!