🌻 So turns the Yellow Carousel 🌻

It was a warm September evening in High Point, West Virginia, when Silas first saw the Yellow Carousel.

Early September is upon us—summer’s last gasp, anticipation of autumn, maturing sunflowers… And, for a certain retired surface miner and his wife, the Yellow Carousel’s arrival.

Though squash vine borers have decimated my wife’s acorn squashes, zucchinis, and delicatas this year (still holding out hope for a couple of pumpkins that look okay), it’s been a good year for the rest of the garden, including our sunflowers.

Sunflowers are my favorite flowers. I’m big on Russian Mammoths, but we tried some new ones this year to add more color and variety in size. Can’t help smiling whenever I see them. How can those big, bright petals bring a person anything but joy?

Say a giant sunflower-shaped carousel sprouts suddenly in your back yard. Weird, sure. But would you really think it such a bad thing? You can forgive a lonely old guy like Silas if he’s not overly wary when it happens to him. But beauty is often as dangerous as it is alluring.

If you haven’t yet read my story “The Yellow Carousel” (Cosmic Horror Monthly #35, May 2023 – read online for free), September is the perfect time. Take it out on the back porch after work, while the evenings still have a touch of late summer heat. If you have a sunflower garden like me, plop your chair right there among their heavy heads nodding in the breeze. Maybe make yourself a cup of tea to sip as you read, to fight off that chill when the sun goes down behind the pines.

And if something strange appears in your lawn, or in the playground across the street, or your neighbor’s backyard…

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Silas and Emma have settled into a quiet retirement in High Point, West Virginia. There’s nothing so peaceful as a September sunset painting the pines that edge their field. From this magic twilight emerges the Yellow Carousel, as if planted and grown just for Silas. Why shouldn’t he climb its sunflower petals and mount its undulating deer?

🌻 🦌 Read it now for free 🦌 🌻

cosmic horror #cosmichorror #sunflowers #sunflower #weirdhorror weird horror #appalachianfiction west virginia rural horror #ruralhorror #cosmichorrormonthly

Cover Reveal for DEATHREALM: SPIRITS, edited by Stephen Mark Rainey, coming this October from Shortwave Publishing

Shortwave Publishing has released the cover for their upcoming antholgy, Deathrealm: Spirits, edited by Stephen Mark Rainey. Loving that artwork by J. Edward Neill! Preorder the paperback or ebook today at shortwavepublishing.com/catalog/deathrealm-spirits/ so you don’t miss my story “To Fear and To Rage”.

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Reading List: The Inconsolables by Michael Wehunt

Ever since I devoured his debut, Greener Pastures, Michael’s fiction has been a huge influence and a North Star for my own work. There are very few authors I would say this about: when I hear Wehunt has a new book coming out, it’s an automatic buy. I don’t even have to read the synopsis. Not even in Stephen King do I have that much trust.

Wehunt fans (Wehunters?) like myself have been anxious for a new story collection from him for years (which is saying something for me, as generally speaking I don’t read many short story collections). Greener Pastures was published in 2016—not a full decade, but it’s felt like it. But at long last, it’s here, and it was worth the wait. Released this June by Bad Hand Books, The Inconsolables does not disappoint.

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Take a spin on the Yellow Carousel in CHM Magazine #35

Silas and Emma have settled into a quiet retirement in High Point, West Virginia. There’s nothing so peaceful as a September sunset painting the pines that edge their field. From this magic twilight emerges the Yellow Carousel, as if planted and grown just for Silas. Why shouldn’t he climb its sunflower petals and mount its undulating deer?

Join Silas’s and Emma’s encounter in my new short story “The Yellow Carousel,” out now in CHM Magazine #35.

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“The Station Agent’s Wife, 1927” now in audio on Tales to Terrify

Another one of my stories gets new life breathed into it—listen now to the audio podcast production of “The Station Agent’s Wife, 1927” by our good friends at Tales to Terrify! My story is read by Danielle Hewitt, who also did a great job reading my other story “She Will Come to Brood” for Creepy.

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Listen now to “She Will Come to Brood” on CREEPY

In February 2021, “AV_NEST.CASEFILE” appeared in the horror/dark fantasy anthology, Dim Shores Presents Vol. 2. I’m pleased to say that it’s now been released as a podcast episode on Creepy! The wise folks at Creepy suggested the title “AV_NEST.CASEFILE” might be a little awkward when read aloud (and maybe a little awkward read silently), and it now is named “She Will Come to Brood”.

The truth is, I’m late to my own party here; this episode came out about a month ago. February is busy, okay? I miss stuff. But you shouldn’t miss this. It’s got creepy birds, giant eggs, and an eighty-foot nest.

Click the image above to be brought to the episode on their website, or find it on any of your favorite podcast apps, like Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Spotify. Don’t forget to leave a review if possible.

“We Suckle” makes The Saturday Evening Post’s Top 10 of 2022 👀

The Saturday Evening Post’s Most Popular New Fiction of 2022 – Number Ten Might Surprise You 👀

The Saturday Evening Post has rounded up their Most Popular of 2022 in various categories. Last night I was surprised and happy to see that “We Suckle” snuck into their top ten short stories!

(Can’t figure out why my screenshots are turning out with such poor resolution, sorry)

Thanks to everyone who read and shared this story. It is only because of you that it made this list. If you haven’t read it yet, find it here: https://www.saturdayeveningpost.com/2022/10/we-suckle/

🔥🔥🔥

#thesaturdayeveningpost #topten #top10 #horrorauthor #horrorwriter #wesuckle #weirdhorror #shortstories #shorthorror #augustusvalley

“AV_NEST.CASEFILE” on Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror #14 long list

Every horror writer hopes for their story to be selected for one of Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror of the Year anthologies. While I still haven’t achieved that honor, her recently posted long list of works considered for volume 14 contains several stories from Dim Shores Presents Volume 2, including my own “AV_NEST.CASEFILE”. I’m very proud to be listed alongside many other talented friends and colleagues. Ellen Datlow is a legend. Check out her list at https://ellendatlow.com/category/news/.

(In case you missed this one, buy a copy of Dim Shores Presents Volume 2 to read it yourself!)