Pay Attention | Buttercup of Doom ep 14

BODep14-payattention300Available FREE on: Project iRadioiTunesStitcherAndroidTune-In
This Week’s Rating: R  —  buttercup’s ratings system info here

In this episode, I do solemnly promise to scream, swear, and be anything other than gentle in my approach, as I rant, vent, beg and plead people to Pay Attention: to the world around them, to their careers, and especially, while driving. I talk about the Samhain debacle without actually talking about it, I tell stories about local cops, and I spew at anyone and everyone driving while on their phone. I flick foreheads and then tell you to hug loved ones, because I’m all about balance.

Sponsors: the Horror Authors at Samhain Books: Jonathan Janz, Hunter Shea, Kristopher Rufty, and many more…

Mentions/Shoutouts: Jonathan JanzHunter SheaKristopher Rufty • Don d’Auria • Jim MooreBrian Keene • The Onion’s Brain-Dead Teen (video)

Hashtag Hell: #briankeene  #cellphones  #jonathanjanz #huntershea #kristopherrufty #theonion #lasvegas #stalking #lurking #braindeadteens #stephenking #jimmoore #bubblewitch #tacobell #natesouthard #waterballoons #facebook #twitter #instagram #itunes #stitcher #android #tunedin #projectiradio #podcast #buttercupofdoom

And don’t forget — for advertising inquiries, contact me at

Scares That Care Weekend

scaresthatcareScares That Care Weekend
June 27-29
at the Doubletree by Hilton
in Williambsburg, VA

Not your normal horror convention…

From the official website:

The difference between our convention and the others out there is simple: all of our proceeds will go to the families that need our assistance. “Scares That Care!” is a charitable organization, designed to bring together the fans of “all things spooky” in order to give back to the families that need it most by providing money, toys and other items to help sick children.

Delighted to be invited to be part of this movement, I will be attending the convention’s maiden voyage this weekend as a guest writer. You can find me at a table in the celebrity room where I will have the items listed below, otherwise my schedule is:

PANEL — FRIDAY   9:00pm
The More Things Change – It is said that writing and publishing have changed in the advent of the digital age. But has it really, or do the same perils and pitfalls still exist? Veteran authors Thomas Monteleone, Kelli Owen and Mary SanGiovanni are joined by newcomers Kristopher Rufty, Jonathan Janz, and Chris Jensen for a discussion on writing and selling horror in the era of Kindle. Moderated by Jacob Haddon.

Kelli Owen and Mary SanGiovanni – Reading and Q&A

And what I’ll have with me? For the first time, I will actually have my entire library with me.

Novels: Six Days, White Picket Prisons, Live Specimens
Novellas: Waiting Out Winter, The Neighborhood, Grave Wax, Survivor’s Guilt, Buried Memories, Crossroads, and my newest release, Deceiver
Collection: Black Bubbles
as well as a smattering of magazines, chaps, etc. including Fresh Blood chap with Bob Freeman & Dave Alexander, New Dawn with Robert Ford, Nate Southard and Maurice Broaddus, Dust/Divorcing The Dead dual chap with Brian Keene, and the Halloween edition of Shroud Magazine

And  brand spanking new, being unveiled at this convention, I will have: Posters!

Each of my novellas has been turned into a readable piece of artwork for your wall (limited con supplies). Posters measure 14×25.5″ with a gloss cover and UV coating. Click individual poster for larger view.



I’m excited to check out a new convention for a good cause, and hope to see you all there!

Tagged, I’m It—Next Big Thing

Robert Swartwood was tagged by Tim Lebbon in his Next Big Thing blog, then he tagged me. This is the result… where I will answer the meme questions and then turn around tag others. It’s an ongoing thing that will continue until we run out of writers I imagine. Follow along each Wednesday for another block of 5 exponentially.

1) What is the title of your next book?

Because I have to be the difficult child, I actually have three, which are all going to hit in the next couple months, and I don’t know which order: Live Specimens, Buried Memories & The Three Dollar Notebook.  But I know Live Specimens will be out before Christmas, so let’s go with that one.

2) Where did the idea come from for the book?

Live Specimens actually came from a road trip gone funny—and only funny because it didn’t get bad. In short, someone saw a strange insect and thought we should take it home. It got loose in the car. It wasn’t just strange, it was scary and mean. Take that insect adventure and twist in my love of all things biologically awry and you get this tale of chewy goodness.

3) What genre does your book fall under?

While I generally walk the line along thriller, this one is most definitely horror. Blood and guts, slasher-esque horror at that. Yeah, you’re intrigued, I know you are.

4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Oh, that’s a tough one. Especially considering I can clearly see the characters since I lovingly based them on real people. Charlize Theron would make a great Emily, Anthony Hopkins would be an excellent Ken. Dan and Greg would take more thought… perhaps Christian Slater and Ethan Hawke, respectively, maybe.

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

A ship carrying genetically altered animals, designed for the military, crashes ashore on a small tourist town the night before a blizzard… and all hell breaks loose. Can you tell I haven’t worked up my one-line pitch or synopsis yet? I’m doing it this week actually, but until then you get that.

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

This one is actually going to be self-published. It was originally intended for one publisher and I pulled it, then it was looked at by another, but I’ve decided to try something different with this one. I’m still publishing with Thunderstorm and Dark Fuse (ohhhh did I just let that cat out of the bag?) but am going to toss this one out there myself through create space as both a trade paperback and ebook. Testing the e-self waters if you will.

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

Too damn long! Considering I wrote White Picket Prisons in 8 weeks, I’m ashamed that I let life beat me up to the point that I didn’t write a single word for several months. Then I remembered I was in charge, not Murphy or Fate or Life and I finished it. (Nine months, but in my defense—other than the life getting in the way thing—I wrote two novellas and some shorts in that time as well. Yeah, I know, I’ll just walk away in shame now)

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

That’s a tough question. I generally don’t compare what I’m working on so I don’t pull from those sources while writing. If I had to say something, I guess Dean Koontz’s DARKFALL and WATCHERS kinda smashed together, with a touch of Michael Crichton’s JURASSIC PARK. And even that mash of comparisons doesn’t quite sound right.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I mentioned the idea to a couple people and they were intrigued enough to get the muse to start whispering and scratching at the back of my skull while I worked on other things. But I don’t really think anyone can take the blame for this one…

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

This is hands down the bloodiest thing I’ve ever written. Period. To keep the action moving and the story progressing along with the death toll, I kept the chapters short, but there’s blood and gore in about 90% of them. It was weird to write when I started, because I knew I was going for a bloody kill-fest, but once I got inside it was a fun ride full of blood and guts with a story and good characters to boot. I hope you all enjoy reading my messier side as much as I enjoyed writing it.

And with all that said…  TAG, you’re it! Those listed below, post your blog next Wednesday and tag the next five! The rest of you, watch the blogs below for the chain-meme to continue.

Mary SanGiovanni

Kevin Lucia

Wrath James White

Bob Ford

Nate Southard


Interviewed by A Crazy Man

I adore Paul Goblirsch of Thunderstorm Books, and I’m honored that he continues to believe in my writing and publishes my works. As a special treat for his members a couple months ago, he did an interview with me. Now that they’ve all seen therapists and dealt with the trauma, we’re releasing it on the rest of you… Enjoy! (And go buy some of his books!!)

10 Questions for Kelli Owen

  1. 1. Exactly how many times have you recommended to your publisher to add masturbation to make your story better?

Just that one time. But he was slightly crazy. He questioned motivation for something. The masturbation was originally there and I had removed it. When I told *cough* him *cough* that, he responded with “Ohhhhh, put it back!”

2. White Picket Prisons vs Six Days.  Who wins and is it by knockout or decision?

Ouch. Um. Six Days is like your first true love. You never really stop caring about it. But White Picket Prisons… Hey, wait a minute. How come I have to answer this? I asked YOU this question and you refused to answer because it was too difficult a decision. So why? Ohhh, I see. You’re just evil. Okay. Fine. Where was I? Oh yeah, first love vs your college boyfriend.

White Picket Prisons. By decision. While my favorite will always be “whatever I’m working on” because I feel you had better be in love with it to do it justice, in this instance and given these options, WPP wins. I’m stronger now—in both voice and style. I have more time and knowledge under my belt. There are more levels to the story. It’s richer, and well… there’s masturbation.

3. What are the best and worse things about working in the small press?

It’s like being one of the kids in those “special” classes. You get treated very well by your teachers, lots of one-on-one time, but the “normal” kids don’t always want to play with you. In other words, the involvement is awesome. I love being asked my opinion on art and layout and sig sheets and all the fun fancy stuff. The distribution (and some would argue cost of books, but they’re collectibles) is really the only downfall, but ebooks change everything about that.

4. What is your favorite Thunderstorm line, especially now that you have had work in nearly all of them?

This smells like a trick question! Define “favorite.”

I love the small, easy to carry Elementals. Not a lot of people are doing collection lines, so it was awesome to be invited to put together Black Bubbles for White Lightning. I was thrilled to be the maiden voyage of Maelstrom—and the box edition is sexy as hell. Set’s Quartet was really fun and unexpected. WPP is coming out in both Black Voltage and Hard Rain series, and I’m very intrigued to see how that works out. I love them all… If I have to pick, then I’ve got to go with Black Voltage or Elementals. Love both formats, and both series have lots to choose from.

Now then, how exactly do I get into Supercell?

5. Tell us what it was like to receive a dead bird in the mail.  Where you excited?

LOL! That was Keene. I got the teddy bears left on my picnic table. A dirty, beat-up momma bear holding two cubs and a separate boy bear. Garage sale toys at best. Creeeeeepppy. Yeah, I was REAL excited. I was so excited, after I dusted for fingerprints, I shut down my facebook page to the general public.

6. Answer one, and only one, of the following questions:

  1. Where do you get your ideas?
  2. Since you are a writer, you must be rich, can I borrow some money?
  3. I have a great idea, if I share it and you write the story, can we submit it together and split the profits?

Har har har… Although by ‘c’ I’m guessing you’ve met my sister. You know darn well how much money I make so ‘b’ is a moot point. We’ll go with ‘a’.

I get my ideas from EVERYWHERE.

I’m weird. I admit it. I blame my mom (who brings a 6 year-old to see Jaws on the big screen?!). I don’t see things like normal people. You may see two people having coffee—I see two people plotting to murder their boss. You hear someone say something as they intended—I hear what an evil antagonist would be hiding between the lines. A lot of writers I know have a brain that plays “what if” all the time. I used to think that’s what I was doing. Then I realized no, I’m just strange and imagine the worst when I see things.

I also pull from my messed up dreams. Bob (Ford) says it’s not natural to have nightmares as often as I do, but I can use 80% of them, so I figure it’s okay that my muse is a sadist.

7. Do you ever think you will revisit The Neighborhood?  Do you think this is the fan favorite of your work so far?

You know, when I wrote it, I didn’t think I’d ever go back there. But several writers have said I should and a lot of readers have requested it. We’ll see. I don’t have anything for it right now, but who knows, I might see someone having coffee tomorrow and be hit with an idea (which will be put on the backburner for at least two years… I have a backlog!)

Favorite? No. Actually, I’d honestly guess that’s their least favorite. Waiting Out Winter seems to be everyone’s go-to choice.

8. What is it like living with another writer?  How does it affect your work?  When is Bob (Ford) going to finish The Compound?

I live with a writer? Hmmm… Wait, I live with another person? I thought I just lived with that open laptop and the strange shadow wearing its writing hat that sits behind it… because all he does lately is write—on break, during work, after work, all night, while driving, in the shower—to finish The Compound for you. And every time you bring it up I giggle myself silly at his reactions. Thank you for that.

But seriously, it’s nice. We have different writing methods, but it’s all good. It’s awesome to have someone who understands when your eyes glaze over it’s because the muse has grabbed you. We recognize and respect it—we’ll both just stop talking if we see the other doing that because we get it. And we both understand writing is not always done at the keyboard. He never gives me shit when I need to play Guitar Hero while I’m working through something.

Affect the work? Maybe in the sense that if one of us is writing the other feels compelled to do so, or jealous if they can’t for whatever reason at that moment. So as long as one of us has a deadline, we’re both writing and that’s good (and no, I don’t need more from you… you’re getting a novella and two more books in the next two years, but feel free to give him another deadline after The Compound—just don’t tell him I said that!)

9. Ebook question…what the fuck is up with those things?

HAHAHAHAHA… those are the strange little files that aren’t really physical but people can still enjoy them. You know, those things I conned you into expanding into =)

Once upon a time I was hesitant regarding eBooks, or defiant—it depends how well you know me which word you’d choose. But times change, technology advances, and I guess I don’t care what format they prefer, so long as people are still reading. EBooks were once the “adventurous” route, or “experimental,” now they’re pretty much a standard simultaneous release for new material. They’re going to become stronger, not weaker, as a market and viable format. Though I still hate to think they may be the way of the future and regular books could become nothing but a token collectible only the shelves of only the rich or elderly. I like the smell of books, the feel in your hands, the way they don’t argue with you or make you sleep on the couch.

10. Finish this joke:  A writer, an accountant, and a gypsy all walk into a bar…

And order a shot of tequila, a coffee, and a bottle of water? Yeah, I know I’m a weird combination, but I never let my personalities play together… those drinks would taste really gross mixed together!

Original Art

I don’t draw. Well, I do, but no one wants to be subjected to the three things I can scribble—a dragonfly, a frog, and an army of stickmen. I’m very happy to leave the artistic end of things up to others, and absolutely LOVE the art Alan Clark did for White Picket Prisons.

That said, FYI: the original artwork for my latest novel White Picket Prisons is up for sale.

Chopping Block” spine art used on the Black Voltage edition of WPP. Medium: Acrylic on board. Size: 2″x12″. copyright © 2012 Alan M. Clark.

Pickets and Blood” cover art used on Black Voltage, Hard Rain and eBook editions of WPP. Medium: Acrylic on board. Size: 12″x16″. copyright © 2012 Alan M. Clark.

If you purchase either of these pieces, please let me know—I’d love to know which collector ends up with them. And thank you again to Alan Clark for creating the perfect visual for my words.

White Picket Prisons

Detective Mark Baker is an honest cop and an all-around good guy. After a chaotic night, Mark starts to reexamine his role in the system he no longer believes in.

That’s when an ominous letter arrives from his estranged sister. She sounds distraught, suicidal. Her words send him on a mission to a small Midwestern town, uncertain if he’ll find her dead or alive.

Valley Mill is a quiet little utopia. Everyone gets along. There’s zero crime. On the outside, it’s exactly what Mark thinks society should be. But what Mark discovers behind the pristine fences and closed doors is far worse than anything he could have imagined.

And he learns very quickly to be careful what you wish for…

My latest novel AVAILABLE NOW… With cover art by Alan Clark. From Thunderstorm Books, White Picket Prisons is released as Black Voltage #16, Hard Rain #5 and in eBook format. Run don’t walk to the format of your choice…

Thunderstorm Books for Black Voltage or Hard Rain editions

Amazon for the eBook… pick your country US | UK | DE | FR | ES | IT

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