About Me

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I write and live with my beautiful wife, Sandra, and sons (Solstice, Finnegan and Brahms) in a little-big house on a dirt road in a valley in the hills. My secret identity struggles through the grind of teaching high school English to the denizens of Vermont's Northeast Kingdom.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Big News!

About a week ago, I found out that my monster, buddy road-trip epic, Hairy Bromance, a novel of 86,000 words was accepted for publication at The Twisted Library of Horror. I am still walking on air. I will write more when I know more...


Review of Sword in the Storm by David Gemmell

This is the fifth book I've read of David Gemmell, and in case you haven't guessed, I'm hooked. He is by far the most consistently enjoyable fantasy writer I've ever read.

Sword in the Storm is about Connovar, a young man growing up in a fantasy version of Scotland among his fellow Rigante (Scottish Celts). He is faced with a destiny to defend his people from the coming of the Stone people (Romans) and fight off the Sea Raiders (Norse?). The Seidhe, ancient Fey spirits have taken a shine to him, and test him while giving him blessings, one being the demonblade, for which he is known.

I didn't think I'd like this book as much as I did. It is like a fantasy biography and their is no immediacy to the plot, which I usually find tedious. Gemmell's writing however kept me reading and wondering what next tragedy would strike the young Keltoi and his people. It is for this reason that I would not give this book five stars. Gemmell's heroes are always flawed and human, which is great, except, the flaws in Connovar made me a little frustrated with the man who would lead his people. As usual, the plot twists are dramatic and the characterizations are compelling. I won't forget this read, and I can't wait to read the next Gemmell book waiting on my shelf.

Summer vacation is here!

I've been living the easy life for a week and a half now. Well, that's the easy life of a father of five children (most with their own special chronic health condition). I have been busy at work writing before I go on vacation within my vacation (yeah, I know a teacher's life in the summer is hard). So far I've cranked out one novelet and three short stories. I feel good about all of them, and I hope they all find a home. These are the yarns I've managed to pull from my subconscious:

1. "The Enigma Brothers" - A mild mannered guy finds out his mild-mannered brother is a costumed vigilante. Turns out it all depends on these two to save their city and maybe the world from Count Nefari and his nefarious schemes.

2. "The Freemans' Flying Fish"- A heart-warming tale about twin boys who make a wish while fishing and end up with the catch of a life time.

3. "The Ghost-eater" - A teen realizes he's dead just in time to run from the spirit of a murderous occultist.

4. "3 Months During the Lycanthropy Epidemic" - Speculates on whether an inoculation for Lycanthropy might be worse then the disease.

Well, in July I plan to write my next novel, tentatively titled: Wardmaster. It's a dark fantasy epic with lots of creatures, sword play and danger. I'll get back to you when I know more.

Monday, June 13, 2011

"The Way of Nature" is going to hell!

Bill Tucker, over at the Library of Horror has just accepted my short story, "The Way of Nature" for one of the 13 evil stories in Hellology! I am very excited!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Review of Dark Hollow by Brian Keene

This is the second novel of Mr. Keene's that I've read, and I surely wasn't disappointed. Dark Hollow is about a Pennsylvanian Mystery Writer, his wife, his dog, and his drinking buddies who have to deal with a haunted woods near their home where strange piping music has been heard and into which women have been disappearing. This horror novel deals with the sylvanian horror of malevolent trees and the always creepy Great God Pan with punch and gusto. Although the novel comes into the danger zone of becoming a supernatural mystery story where the erstwhile townsfolk have to bone up on lore that will enable them to combat the darkness that abounds, Dark Hollow manages to avoid this in spectacular fashion by giving us a wicked climax, believable characters and chilling moments. The work capitalizes on the male fear of inadequacy and being cuckolded with power adding that to the allegory of the horrors of miscarriage and the slow dissolve of matrimonial bliss. Brian Keene has quickly become my second favorite horror writer of all time. Dark Hollow is a fun and spooky read.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Review of The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells

I confess, I have been a speculative fan since I was a little boy, and I only found time to read the granddaddy of all science-fiction novels until I was thirty-seven years old. I am glad I did. This work of genius is in an exclusive category in my mind of novels that have marked me and my imagination for all time. The mixture of apocalyptic images, frightening first encounters, and genteel, suburban, Late Victorian London, is a real treat. Time has not dulled the horrors as well as the truly appropriate exploration of human beings under real threat. The allegories set up by the endearingly reasonable narrator with the mad curate, the artillerymen and his own tortured soul will haunt me as a mirror of my own experience in this mad world.

I hope, if you haven't yet had the chance, you'll download a copy of this public domain work and get ready to receive some chills, journeying back to a more innocent time, so that you can truly understand the power of this work that has inspired so much of our own popular culture.

Take care


Keep watching the skies!

Review of Dark Moon by David Gemmell

I cannot overstate the immense respect I have for David Gemmell's writing. Dark Moon carried me away to a fantastic world of peril and romance and desperate hope. The promise of wonder I experienced reading the Jon Shannow series is fully realized in this stand-alone fantasy epic.

Because of the greed of a Duke, the Daroth, a uniquely horrific fantasy race, or pale immortal monsters have awoken. These immortals devour all they see, including the very spirit of the land. Swept up in the hasty defense of one mortal city are Tarantio, the greatest swordsman with two spirits sharing one body, Karis, a haunted warrior-woman (and a stellar character study of a strong, but tortured woman), and Duvodas, a healer who had been raised by the gentle Eldarin. Of course, with all of David Gemmell's books, the side characters are well executed and take on an emotional life of their own. All are round and fluid characters, fully realized, fully human.

It is hard to leave behind this world and these characters. More pathos and action are in this four hundred + sized novel then in many-volumed fantasy epics by other writers. I cannot think of a more poetically satisfying read for a fantasy lover, nor can I think of a more frightening and fully realized villain as the Daroth. My only wish is that some day these fantasies will be discovered by someone as talented as Peter Jackson and given life on the big screen.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

"The Voice from the Tree" speaks!

You can read my short fantasy story: "The Voice from the Tree" which has just been printed in the first issue of Brain Soup Magazine. The story retells the story of Adam and Eve, with Eve being the heroic hominid this time. Of course, the tale will challenge some peoples' religious sensibilities, but I think the wonder the story conveys is worth it. You can purchase a print or electronic copy of this issue at: