The Grave Stompers

gravestomperscover11

The Grave Stompers: Six Tales from the Southern Earth

There’s blood in the Southern Earth. Meet twin brothers bound to the sacred rite of grave stomping and a young girl indebted to a darkness in the woods. Visit a small town where pro-wrestling takes the place of human sacrifice and an alternate reality where meteorite-born mutations rend the fabric of society. It’s a world where giant catfish roam the man-made depths of Kentucky Lake, racial horror haunts the shadows of small-town life and all we can do is wonder at our own twisted roots in the soil.

This one’s been coming for a while. “The Grave Stompers” itself is a very personal tale, initially conceived prior to my father’s death and then rediscovered in strange months after his passing. The others all deal with at least some portion of the American South, ranging from bizzaro alternate realities to something resembling the world as we know it. These tales needed out. Two publishers went belly up before they could publish it, so I decided to push it out myself before such a fate could befall yours truly. These stories need to breathe. They need to live.  So I invite you to let them in.

You can read this collection as an e-book on Amazon Kindle, or as a physical paperback. The e-book is also up for grabs on a number of internatonal Amazon sites: UK DE FR ES IT NL JP BR CA MX AU.

Oh, and that lovely cover illustration is the work of the highly-talented Zelda Devon. I think she captured the beauty of it perfectly. You can explore more of her work right here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Fiction Updates, Published Work, writing

The Dark Inverted

TheDarkInverted_Cover

Cover design by Erik Ashley/erikashley.com

I continue to experiment not only with my writing, but also with different avenues of publication. So while I continue the traditional route of submitting manuscripts and awaiting editorial response, I also continue to tinker with self-publication from time to time. The available tools and distribution platforms make it a much more valid path these days. My previous two fiction collections “Eight Black Offerings” and “The Gravestompers” have both found readers in this manner.

I’m currently trying something new, however: an erotically-charged horror thriller and an 80s VHS rental in novella form. It’s titled “The Dark Inverted” and I’m publishing it under the pseudonym of  Shepard Wyridng, not for anonymity’s sake, but more as a sub-branding. The material is not really all that more sexual or violent compared to my earlier fiction, but it’s still a bit out of character with my current output.

It’s a tale of orgiastic black masses and demon hunters, of sensual sorcery and relentless pursuit. I leaned into some of my baser creative instincts on this one, but I stand by the writing and the overall ethical model of the thing. I’ve read my share of sexually explicit horror over the years and a lot of it can be uncomfortable, or even cross the line. So I tried to write something sensual but not sleazy, fleshy but not pornographic, something that invoked erotic horror but didn’t cross the line into exploitation or misogyny. In short, I wrote the sort of novella I would very much like to read: sexually-charged supernatural fiction that doesn’t make you feel like like sleazebag.

Did I nail it? I imagine that’ll be hard to gauge. The borders involved here are rather subjective. I’m sure the contents may still offend some readers and hey, this is very much a work of “not-for-everybody” fiction. But maybe it’s for you? Here’s the sell:

“Amber Blackwood may have escaped the orgiastic rites of the Black Mass, but demon-worshiping cultists and their powerful abyssal master still pursue her across the endless night. The Incu-succubus intends to impregnate her with the twisted black seed of its own making and Amber’s only ally is Ganeshani Ritter, a demon hunter honed through hedonistic training to resist the entity’s sensual powers. Follow them in their quest, from the dark heat of the summoning circle to the final, otherworldly confrontation. Shepard Wyrding presents a thrilling erotic horror novella, full of demonic intrigue, eroticism and indomitable women. Get it all for less than the price of a classic VHS horror rental!”

You can grab the Kindle e-book version of “The Dark Inverted” right here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Fiction Updates, Published Work, writing