Wednesday. January 19. 2005

as january 12 was the anniversary of the birth of my ex, today is the anniversary of his death. usually, i never intend to write, post or say anything around this time, but i end up doing it, just not every year. suppose it is human. normally, there is some kind of oddity or strife going on that has me look back and contemplate the whole dark mess.

i comment often on having lost ten years. i look ten years younger than i am. i act even younger than that. half of the time, i point to this relationship as having taken ten years away, like it never happened. i mean it when i say it because i was not myself during this time. i have no idea who i was.

sure, a lot of the time my opinion on he and i is terribly negative. i have my reasons. not being unreasonably cold, and i am not be facetious.

so, let’s be nice for once. he had good taste in music. full disclosure: being very controlling, my taste in music had blinders on since only select bands were allowed to be played aloud in the house. that warped fact not withstanding, i luckily also enjoyed his favorite bands. Skinny Puppy, Ween, KMFDM, Ministry, Velvet Acid Christ, Front 242, Joy Division, Bauhaus… stuff like that.  his CD collection is one thing i wish i did have. okay, and his fretless bass. and the drum machine. and the korg A4. i have nothing of his though, and i like it that way. there is enough music out there that i really don’t need the CD collection, right. it’s everywhere. as anyone who has lost a friend, when a new album comes out i can’t help but think ‘man, he would have loved this.’

see below the music for the obituary text.

“Passed away suddenly at his residence in North Bay, Wednesday, January 19, 2005, at the age of 29 years. Chad was the loved son of Jacqueline Stewart and step-son of Gerry Stewart. He was the dear brother of Jeff Leeman, Rodney Roy Schickler and Kim Leeman. He was predeceased by two sisters – Wendy Louise and Deborah May. Chad will be sadly missed by several nieces and nephews. Family and friends may pay their respects at McGuinty Funeral Home Sunday from 2:00 to 4:00 and 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Funeral service will be held at the McGuinty Funeral Home Chapel, Monday at 11:15 a.m. Interment Forest Lawn Cemetery. As expressions of sympathy, donations to the Arthritis Society would be gratefully appreciated by the family.”
Jan 12, 1976 – Jan 19, 2005

The Next Big Thing: Nightface Book II

~ The following is a copy/paste from my old blog, found only now in the wayback machine ~

Laramore Black of Slit Your Wrists Magazine mentioned this blog-chain recently, saying contributors were likely not going to be the Next Big Thing. I agree. Certainly. So, let us consider the Next Cool Thing, the Next Brag Thing, the Next Indie Thing or even the Next Next Thing. If we are lucky, one of us just might have something big.

See, around 350,000 paperback titles were published last year in the United States alone – imagine how many books are started and unsold or unprinted? Likely five times that amount I bet – maybe more. Imagine the amount of books that go entirely unnoticed? Most of them. A scary statistic guesses that close to 95% of books sold in the US go unread. UNREAD. The BIG thing here, in my opinion, is that these get finished and farmed out at all. The HUGE thing is that people read them. It is an insanely competitive market. Huge literary hits are engineered by the largest publishing houses and virile publicity. The writing sometimes has little to do with it. Luckily, myself and past contributors to this blog chain have published, been read, and are excited enough about their work to give it another go and have something in progress to talk about. That is a really really big thing. Really big. So, on with the show…

What is your working title of your book?

Bloodface was the original working title, and although that is what the physical file is still called I refer to it as Nightface Book II. I think that title may actually stick, as it is such a close follow that a secondary title would be frivolous.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

Well, it’s a sequel. Further, it is truly the second half of the same story. Honestly, in a perfect world, it would have all been just one book. I had no real intention of writing a sequel, but between readers asking for one and the rest of the story unfolding for me, it just had to be written. Then, last night, I started blathering on about a third installment…

What genre does your book fall under?

Horror. For certain. There are mystery and splatterpunk elements, but I can’t see it being shelved anywhere else. I guess that since horror as a shelf is disappearing from some stores, it may fall under plain old fiction.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Since I certainly covered this with Julianne Snow, here is the copypasta…

“My main character, Gunnar, is impossible to wrap around a living person. Other people would have to do that for me.  This is something I thought about while editing and it is just impossible for me to assign an existing face to this person I have known so long in my own head. He does look a lot like Dana Ashbrook who could certainly pull it off… he certainly has the right style. For Solomon, his counterpart, I have one clear option. Werner Daehn. Certainly, in the big black book of casting there are loads of actors who have the right look, sound and attitude, but this is who is in my mind. Sinthia is a tough one. She is a little Helena Bonham-Carter and a little Anna Paquin. It is tough to put her in a mold.”

In the sequel, there is one new main character who I can see being played by Skeet Ulrich perhaps. Someone edgy, that can pull off that chiseled 50s bad-boy look with no need for the rockabilly uniform.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

With the vampire evolution realized in Gunnar and Solomon and old blood eradicated, it is time for the next step.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

That depends on reception of the finished piece. Self-publishing for me is an experimental realm for my short fiction, and not the right home for this book as the prequel has already been put out by Post Mortem Press. My main goal right now is wrapping up the draft so I can get into the second draft and edits. Plans for publishing will be made once I get to that point and have the manuscript in the bag.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I’m still writing it! The notes are in place though, so it’s unfolding very easily, in a linear fashion, one chapter at a time.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Yikes. I have no idea. The first installation of The Strain trilogy, perhaps, in that we are dealing with a vampire evolution.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

The first book inspired this one, so let us talk about what inspired the first. Dissatisfaction with the vampire genre and wanting to create my own breed was the largest driving force. I wanted to play with scenes of violence as badly as I wanted to incorporate legends and psychiatry into an occult world. The best venue for all of this playing I wanted to do was in a vampire myth, so Gunnar was born. Once he was in mind, his past and future began to snake out and wind around all these things I love. The paranormal world and reality have been blurred together for me since I was very young so that is a huge influence too.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

That it is set in Ontario, and for the most part the Ottawa Valley. Canadiana in horror is easier to come by now, but we tend to set our stories in ambiguous towns or other countries. A decade ago it was nearly absent, so readers who like to have actual cities, streets and landmarks in stories will enjoy that the settings mostly exist in real life. There are hints of local history and European esoterica in both books, so I am sure devout horror fans would love that Nightface offers more than ad-libbed pulp.

Include the link of who tagged you and an explanation for the people you have tagged.

Tobin Elliott tagged me in his Next Big Thing blog post. I was introduced to him viaVanishing Hope, his debut novella which I lend out often and thoroughly enjoyed. I had won a signed copy through Dreadful Tales. Today, he is my go-to editor who worked on the bulk of my published short stories with me, and the revamp of the original Nightface. I am forever in his debt, and very flattered that he tagged me in his post.

Chris Carroll has several projects on the go, and will be announcing releases soon. He is ‘Ottawa’s nicest crime and kink author’ and that is a true fact. I met Chris when I organized the first Nightface book signing at Collected Works Bookstore. Since then, we have spent more time planning some fetish-oriented photography sessions, rant-oriented drinking nights, and many latte-oriented writing talks. I am hoping to wrangle a story out of him for a horror-kink collective project entitled ‘Single Tale’.

Chris Curry has just announced a collaborative work – it’s a mystery at the time of this writing. He had published his amazing memoir  Completely in Blue: Dispatches from the Edge of Insanity last year and had no immediate plans to write again. He is a regular blogger at Healthy Place writing on mental-health stigma so it would seem the writing bug has bitten him hard. Find out more at

Kelly Taylor can be found at Revised Circuitry. She can also be found as co-organizer ofOttawa Goth, which is how I made her acquaintance. A poet and fiction author, she participated in the 3 Day International Novel Writing Contest and and will hopefully look to expand her romantic cyber-historical slip-stream universe of tribes in conflict.

Note that none of these emerging authors are horror, and Curry is in the realm of non-fiction. Also note, there are not five authors tagged as per the directions, but three. So many writers have been tagged in and contributed to this chain that quite a few have already participated. I keep to myself as a writer, and don’t belong to a sprawling school of word wizards. The three people tagged are here because I have read their work and want to see more – simple as that!