Lewisburg Literary Festival THIS WEEKEND

Whoah! I have been so busy that August (and with it, the Lewisburg Literary Festival) completely snuck up on me. Can you believe that August starts this Thursday?
Refer to the website and Facebook page for details on schedule, speakers, workshops, and all that jazz! (Unfortunately, there is no literal jazz, as far as I know. One of the few things that could make Lewisburg cooler is a jazz lounge).
Come out on August 2-3; I’ll be there. More excitingly, so will Tobias Wolff and Sarah Vowell. And other cool people.
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This is one of the coolest literary events in WV in one of the coolest small towns in WV (nay, in all of America!—see Budget Travel Magazine‘s 2011 list). Everything’s so cool.

Happy Halloween

I kind of already said this, but HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Here is the jack-o-lantern Emily and I carved this season:
 

October is the best month for a variety of reasons. You got beautiful fall colors, crisp, cool weather, and yeah, Halloween (see above). I got in some good mountain biking, had tons of fun at the annual West Virginia Book Festival, and got to meet up for coffee with an old friend at Taylor Books, which is a pretty great coffee shop/book store in downtown Charleston that I recommend.
 

Also, this month I released a new Kindle horror novelette, Antique Bed, which you can get on Amazon for only $0.99.
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And just in time for Halloween, Horror Tales Podcast released their fourth episode, which is my story “The Unknown Thing”, previously published in Beneath the Waves: Tales from the Deep. Click below to listen (it’s free):
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***EDIT: I was just notified that my story has been listened to over one thousand times already, in just a few days! Cool!
One experience I had that was not enjoyable this month was the Witch’s Brew drink at Starbucks. This purple monstrosity was so awful looking that I just had to try it. There is zero coffee in this drink (not that anyone expected it), and I could only take a few sips before tossing it in the trash.
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As I don’t live in a town where there is trick-or-treating (or a town of any kind, for that matter), sadly, my house is not stocked full of candy (also, I guess they don’t always do trick-or-treating on actual Halloween anymore?). However, Emily and I have some pretty fun plans involving our traditional viewing of Halloween is Grinch Night and some caramel apples that are sure to ruin our teeth but be wildly tasty (ironically enough, last night I had a dream in which two of my teeth fell out for no reason).
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So go enjoy the holiday, however you do that—consuming tons of sugar, watching movies, listening to Horror Tales Podcast, or reading one of my books (I guess somebody else’s book is fine, too). Remember that tomorrow candy will be dirt cheap.

Go to the West Virginia Book Festival this weekend in Charleston, WV

Hi everyone, this weekend is the West Virginia Book Festival at the Charleston Civic Center. Please come and support books and writers and West Virginia. It’s free!
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Of course I will be selling autographed copies of my novels in the Festival Marketplace. I look forward to meeting you there. Marketplace hours are Friday the 26th from 11:30 AM to 6:30 PM and Saturday the 27th from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Big Deal Authors presenting include John Scalzi, Dennis Lehane, and Meredith Sue Willis. Cool Things To Do include writing workshops, buying books, guest lectures, and buying books. The highlight of the year! See the schedule here.

2018 Youth Writing Workshop

A bit of news that I managed to forget sharing with you (I think I’ve forgotten—now I forget if I forgot!) is that I am the new Region 2 Representative for West Virginia Writers, Inc., a non-profit dedicated to promoting literary interests and writing activities as well as giving voice to the West Virginia people. I’m honored and proud to serve our region (Pocahontas, Webster, Pendleton, and Randolph counties) and support writing and literary efforts here.
One of my duties each year as a regional rep is to organize a local event. After a bunch of emails back and forth about schedules and venue availability, I’m finally pleased to publicly announce the upcoming Youth Writing Workshop for middle and high school students!
The 2018 Youth Writing Workshop will be held at Camp Hidden Meadows in Bartow, WV and will consist of two FREE classes for each age group: one class hour focused on writing fiction, the other class hour focused on writing poetry. Students may attend only one of the hours, but attending both is strongly recommended! Fiction classes will be taught by Eric Fritzius (of Lewisburg, WV), and Poetry by Doug Van Gundy (of Elkins, WV). For more details and to sign up, please visit https://youthwritingworkshop.wordpress.com/. Register soon! It is free! Can’t wait to see you!
We do need to know how many to expect, so please don’t put off registration if you plan to attend 🙂
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#StokerCon2018 pictures

StokerCon was great. It felt strange and encouraging to be around so many other horror  enthusiasts and creators, from beginners to veteran stalwarts of the genre. I made some new friends, and I learned a lot from the helpful panels. I also pitched a novel to a couple editors, and they both showed interest.
You know I’m not much for taking a lot of pictures, but I did bring back a few.
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Above is the first picture I took in Rhode Island. I took it at a rest stop, but the moon looked really cool.
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These two I took from the window on seventeenth or eighteenth floor of the Biltmore Hotel, where the conference was located. You see the center of downtown Providence below. I hate driving in and out of cities, but once I was in, I loved it. I didn’t take as much time to walk around the city as I would have liked, but as you’ll see, I did explore a few blocks from the hotel.
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This is an Episcopal church building not far from the Biltmore. I love the architecture. I don’t know if that’s Gothic or not, but it’s cool.
IMG_20180301_191633718The PPAC. Love the lights. This month they’ll be showing the Tony Award®-winning musical An American In Paris, and I really wish I could be there for that. But I don’t have the money or the desire to drive all the way back to Providence so soon after this trip!
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Here’s guest of honor Ramsey Campbell starting things off the first night. I am much shorter than this picture makes me seem. Thanks to Dan Rabarts of Raw Dog Screaming Press for taking this photo over everyone’s head.
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Not exactly part of the conference, I guess. I drove past these turkeys in Tiverton on the way from my friends’ house to Providence one morning. I figured Dad would like this one, then I forgot to text it to him.
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By the time I convinced myself that I would always regret it if I didn’t get a book signed by Ramsey Campbell, the table in the dealer’s room was sold out. So I ran around Providence with only hours left of the conference looking for a book. Finally found one! Took it back to the conference and got it signed. Mr. Campbell is super friendly!
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This is not where I found The Kind Folk, but it is a very cool little used bookstore stuffed full of all kinds of old paperbacks and hardcovers. Oddly enough, after going through this door, you have to walk up two sets of stairs before finding the bookstore.
IMG_20180304_171311990Huge thanks to David and Wendy Friend for letting me stay with them at their house in Tiverton, and for taking me to see the coast, which brought to mind Lovecraft’s “The Shadow Over Innsmouth“.
Well that’s all I got. Really looking forward to continuing the relationships I made at StokerCon. Hope to come back again!
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Stoked for StokerCon

#STOKED
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(Do people still say that anymore?)
Tomorrow I drive from Bartow, WV, all the way to Providence, RI (H. P. Lovecraft’s hometown), to attend StokerCon 2018™. This will be my first time attending the conference, as well my only chance for the foreseeable future. HUGE thanks to my good friends, the Friends (haha), for letting me sleep at their place, helping me save money in a big way and make this trip doable. Also, I’m as excited to see you guys as I am to go to this conference.
Tons of learning to do! So many panels and talks they cram into a day. It was hard to pick between conflicting events sometimes. Also looking forward to meeting other horror writers and industry peeps. This will also be my first ever chance to pitch an agent and an editor in person. Kind of nerve-wracking, but I’m very excited about that opportunity. I just keep reminding myself that I’m the only current expert on my own book, so I’m the best person to tell them about it, and they put their pants on one leg at a time (whereas I have been practicing my unique superskill of putting on pants with both legs at once…jk).
Anybody else going? Looking forward to meeting new people!
PS: Happy birthday to my beautiful, amazing wife, Emily! I love you! <3 You are so old now!
 
 

Signing @ Counter Culture Concepts in Elkins, WV on January 27th

I’m stoked to announce that I’ll be at Counter Culture Concepts in Elkins, WV (114 3rd St) for a book signing! Come out on Saturday, January 27th around 4:00 pm to meet me and purchase a signed copy of Little One. For info on the address/location, click here.
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A huge thanks to owner Ben Simmons for helping me set this up. If any of you guys are near Elkins and don’t know about his shop, check it out. This is the place to go around here for enthusiasts of Magic: The Gathering, comic books, and other kinds of trading cards, and Ben is one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet.