Book Review: The Caverns by Olen Crowe


Title: The Caverns

Author: Olen Crowe

Release date: June 23rd, 2022

Thanks to Olen for sending me a copy of this one. We connected a while back on Twitter and I always love checking out other’s work, so this was a cool novel to discover.

Look, anything involving crazy events/incidents in a cave – I’m pretty much game for. Whether it is supernatural, weird mutated creatures or simply bad guys holed up and trying to scare folks away, cave based horror will always get me amped up.

What I liked: The story takes place in the Linston Caverns, a tourist attraction off the beaten path. The book opens with a group of tourists out on a boat in a lake inside the caverns that gets tossed around and the people disappear.

Crowe ramps things up by having two investigative journalists partner up with three college kids who’re wanting to explore the caves to see if they can get to the bottom of everything happening. Insert a slightly crazy local who believes the caverns are haunted and a small town hellbent on doing whatever it can to keep the tourist dollars flowing and you have a rollicking, multi-layered novel.

The story has some unique bit-parts, characters that fit in to push the novel along and many of them will feel like characters you’ve known for years, which is always a blessing when an author can pull that off.

The ending comes like a crushing wave onto shore, wrapping things up as well as leaving some lingering questions for us readers to really ponder.

What I didn’t like: No matter how much I tried, I just didn’t like the Junior character. The way he is portrayed almost became like inserting Jim Carrey at his most ridiculous into a drama piece. Felt like oil and water. He has a purpose and aides with how the story moves, but I just couldn’t get a handle on him.

Why you should buy this: This was fun from start to finish. The caverns offer up an immediate place to create chills and make the readers squirm and Crowe uses all of that to his advantage.

Overall, a really solid, claustrophobic story that’ll have people developing anxiety as the novel progresses.


Book Review: Starry Nights by S. Kovax


Title: Starry Nights

Author: S. Kovax

Release date: November 3rd, 2022

Big thanks to S. Kovax for sending me a digital copy of this one. I read his excellent collection ‘The Uninvited Words – Tales of Horror and Dark Fantasy Volume I’ back in 2021 and have the second volume on my Kindle to be read soon.

Kovax had indicated that ‘Starry Nights’ was a novella that he really loved and wanted to see if I enjoyed it as well and after having read this, I found it really engaging and a refreshing take on the unknown that lures us in concept.

What I liked: ‘Starry Nights’ follows Margo, one of the leading painters in the world. She’s gorgeous, addicted to drinking and having fun and fucking whatever moves. But it’s not want she wants, not deep down in her soul, and after giving a farewell speech at her latest unveiling, follows in the footsteps of Van Gogh and moves to Arles, where he famously cut off part of his ear.

This is where Kovax really accelerates the narrative. Margo meets a young man, a fan of her work but also a painter in his own right and after sharing what his subjects are, they team up to paint together. It is a fascinating study on how creative people create, but also what happens when one wants something they’ve never had, while the other has achieved all of it and more.

The subjects were fascinating and it lead to a horrible reality, but also an expected direction, when placed in the context of the story leading up to that point.

The ending was great and I gotta sale, Margot was such an amazing character to follow along.

What I didn’t like: While I thought the subjects were intriguing and had me curious, I wish we would’ve had more about the who, the why and the what. This was most likely done purposefully (God knows I’ve gone that route before) but it left me dying to discover so much more about it.

Why you should read this: Kovax is a really gifted writer. He gets to the heart of what makes a character tick quickly and has the reader engaged and following along within minutes. This one hums along and, while I’m not a fan of the painting/art world much in real life, I do enjoy reading about it in a horror novella/novel setting and this worked really well.


Book Review: It Looks Like Dad by J. Krawczyk


Title: It Looks Like Dad

Author: J. Krawczyk

Release date: April 23, 2023

Huge thanks to the awesome Chris for sending me an eARC of this one!

It seems preposterous to consider, but Toronto’s Little Ghost Bookstore will be be turning one in April of 2023. When I think about that, my struggles to comprehend. They feel like they’ve been an integral part of the book community for years already and I consider myself very fortunate to have a couple of my books on their shelves.

As they’ve continued to grow and expand their offerings, we’ve now seen the announcement of launching their own small press and ‘It Looks Like Dad’ by co-owner, J. Krawczyk, is the first release in that line.

I went into this one COMPLETELY blind, knowing just the title and the fact that there was a big-ass spider on the cover!

What I liked: Look, going in blind for this was probably a blessing and a curse. I mean, on one hand I experienced this WTF! novella fresh and was just blown away. On the other hand… I need to kind of tell you some of the stuff that goes down here, so if you read past this point, I’m kind of ruining the ‘blind’ aspect for you!

This novella is essentially a scaled-down Michael Crichton story mixed with a Hunter Shea rampager to give us a phenomenally high-paced, emotional piece. When I say scaled-down though, what I mean is that Krawczyk gives us 600 pages of information in a 200 page story and does a fantastic job of simplifying it and never once losing the reader with hard-to-understand physics and spatial science. It really helped to amplify the story and the craziness going on.

The story follows Kaitlin, who gets a call that her husband has been arrested. It can’t be possible, she thinks because he’s on a work trip, but when she goes to the jail, there he is. Only it isn’t him. It’s a version of her husband from an alternate timeline. And he’s here to try and save his alternate wife and daughter from the apocalyptic event about to happen.

Even within the short page count, we get treated to a Hollywood blockbuster movie with how much action and movement takes place within. It hummed along and the character of Rudy – aka the giant-ass spider – was a cherry on the top.

The ending, while kind of what we expected, works really well and keeps the science aspect alive and well.

What I didn’t like: Going in blind, I was worried at first with how much of the science aspect we would be exposed to. Saying that, don’t let that turn you off, J. does a solid job of keeping things simple and understandable. I know science based horror-novella’s can turn people away, so don’t let that be a worry.

Why you should buy this: Well, here’s a two-parter. The first – by buying this you not only support small press but also small business (and a Canadian small business as well) owned by two of the nicest people out there. The second – you’ll want to buy this considering A) the cover B) the insanely great story within and C) that this novella was a blast from start to finish and absolute hits all of the high notes. I had so much fun with this one and I think J. Krawczyk has hit a home run here!


Goodreads link:

Book Review: Suckerville by Chris Sorensen


Title: Suckerville

Author: Chris Sorensen

Release date: May 31st, 2023

Oh man, how we the faithful have waited!

For those unfamiliar, Chris Sorensen is the author of the phenomenal The Messy Man trilogy, which opens with the ‘The Nightmare Room’ and never lets up over the following two books. But it’s been three long years for fans of his work as we’ve waited for another release from Chris and now the time is upon up!

Huge thank you to Chris for sending me an eARC of this one, which I dove into almost immediately!

What I liked: Much like the first time you watched Tremors, ‘Suckerville’ will bring you back to that headspace. We follow JD, a world-class fuck up who prefers drinking and fighting to working and responsibilities. He’s bailed out of jail by his good buddy Rowdy and somehow convinces his friend to help him steal his Airstream trailer back from his ex-wife. Unbeknownst to them, something is occurring in the woods near the lake nearby.

It’s from here that Chris rips along and the readers are in for a world of fun and carnage. We get a really great group of characters that have to band together and try to survive as these insane, sucker-covered people try to devour every moving thing in their paths.

Throughout, Sorensen does a masterful job of creating tension and keeping up the high-speed banter between these characters, which worked so well to not only have us rooting for them, but also alleviated some dark moments with some well placed quips and the humor worked really well, considering the people involved.

The ending was a blast and not only wrapped things up, BUT does leave the door open for a potential sequel. That is, if Chris wants to go down that road once again!

What I didn’t like: JD appears to be the only character for the most part that is willing to step up and try to save those when they need saving most. It kind of felt odd, considering this big-drinking, big-talking rednecks often consider themselves the strongest, toughest, meanest SOB’s to walk the planet. So, I was expecting a few times to see a few of the other males have an ounce of courage, but alas, it was not to be. (Actually, in my experience, many of those big-talking rednecks are the first to run and turtle from a fright!)

Why you should buy this: If I wasn’t reading about six other books at the same time, I would’ve easily cruised through this in a single sitting. This was so much fun and I had a smile on my face the entire time. It felt like I was watching an 80’s ninety-minute creature-feature movie like I used to love watching, with a great cast of characters, a hideous, horrendous antagonist and action sequence after action sequence. This may very well be one of the most enjoyable books you’ll read all year and I for one am so excited to see a new Sorensen book for masses to devour!


Book Review: The Handyman Method by Nick Cutter & Andrew F. Sullivan

Title: The Handyman Method

Authors: Nick Cutter & Andrew F. Sullivan

Release date: August 8th, 2023

There’s no way I’m starting this review without saying A HUGE MASSIVE MASSIVE THANK YOU to Andrew F. Sullivan for moving mountains and getting me a digital ARC. I can’t thank you enough and I really, truly appreciate that!

It was back in 2014 when I discovered Nick Cutter through getting his novel, ‘The Troop.’ It was a phenomenal horror story and led me into rushing out and grabbing ‘The Deep.’ Since then, I’ve also dove into more of Nick’s work. I mean Craig’s. As many know – there’s still a few who don’t – Nick Cutter is a pseudonym for author Craid Davidson. Same with Patrick Lestewka, whose books I’ve also read. Between the three, I find myself drawn slightly more towards Craig’s literary approach, but if you want brutal and unhinged, Nick and Patrick are there for you.

As for Andrew F. Sullivan, it wasn’t until just last year, in 2022, that we connected and since then we’ve struck up a great friendship and having read his masterpiece, ‘The Marigold’ already, I know he’s an absolute beast of a writer. Which will answer the question some of you may be wondering – why’s Nick Cutter co-authoring a book with Andrew F. Sullivan? They answer that in the acknowledgements and the journey from initial conception to finished novel was fascinating and very interesting to read about. These two horror heavyweights have delivered a novel that’ll have you completed riveted from start to finish.

What I liked: On it’s surface (pun intended), the story appears pretty straightforward. Having recently been put on administrative leave, Trevor and his wife Rita have purchased a new house in a new development and move there with their son, Milo and his pet turtle, Morty.

But immediately things are not what they are supposed to be. There’s no sod. There’s a crack in the wall. And the house seems to be ‘dipping.’ Trevor, having no outlet now that he’s jobless, decides to take things into his own hands, and finds a Youtube channel, titled The Handyman Method, that will guide him through how to fix his house himself.

It’s here that Cutter (occasionally dipping into Lestewka territory) and Sullivan begin to have fun. There’s things in the walls. The man in the videos appears to be directly speaking to Trevor. Milo finds an odd structure in the woods with strange squirming things and a sink hole underneath. Morty begins to grow pink sludge. And Rita sees them unravelling and takes it in stride. Because she knows things and that layering, the texture of revelation works so well to create this chaotic, unnerving deception.

As we go further in the book, we see a mother doing everything she can to protect her son, and a father becoming completely unhinged and going so far off the deep end there can’t possibly be a way back. I do have to add, every single scene at Home Depot was a riot and the descriptions of the guys there and the interactions had me chuckling with their absurdity and accuracy.

Additionally, I really enjoyed the use of technology as a maddening device. Having a six-year-old son who watches random Youtube videos on his tablet, that had me smiling when Milo began to have his own experiences and it seemed so completely plausible.

The ending is fantastic and wraps it up really ‘nicely,’ and I use that word tentatively. This is a Cutter/Sullivan affair afterall.

What I didn’t like: I loved this one from start to finish, and what we learn worked so well for the overall story. Saying that, I found the discovery of the structure in the woods odd, when it was all said and done, because it didn’t seem to completely fit into the mythology that they’d built. The lore seems to have said one thing and this was something different? Not sure. Maybe it was a second one that was happening or maybe I just completely missed that!

Why you should buy this: This novel is a banger from beginning to end. It’s got a solid structure with the house and the family moving there, but this goes into so many different avenues that it’ll appeal to fans of every horror subgenre. We get some Barker-esque scenes, some brutality coupled with some truly emotional family moments – see Morty the turtle – and Cutter and Sullivan absolutely were writing this with huge grins on their faces. It comes off of each page. Two ultra-talented authors having a blast and subtly infusing this straight-ahead-horror story with elements of environmentalism, commercialism, the technology takeover and toxic masculinity. I had an absolute blast with this one and I think this one’s going to shoot off the shelves like a rocket come release day!


Book Review: Our Own Unique Affliction by Scott J. Moses


Title: Our Own Unique Affliction

Author: Scott J. Moses

Release date: April 26, 2023

Huge thanks to Andrew & DarkLit Press for sending me a digital ARC of this one.

It’s a bit shameful – oh I know – but I haven’t read much of Scott’s work so far. He’s always been super supportive and we’ve interacted a fair bit, but for one reason or another, I just simply haven’t read all of his work yet – only his novella ‘Non-Practicing Cultist’ and a few stories in various anthologies.

With ‘Our Own Unique Affliction’ I was excited to dive in. Not because it’s a vampire story – if you’ve followed my own reviews, you know I can struggle with vampire stuff – but because I was curious to see what it was that Scott was going to do with it, what spin we were going to get.

What I liked: The novella follows Alice Ann, a young girl who was turned hundreds of years ago. She is navigating the new world with her sister, Hannah, and a human who helps ‘guide’ them.

The story covers a lot of ground, we get topical themes, as well as internal issues – guilt, stress, anxiety, dealing with loss and how are we able to go on when other’s we love have died. It’s a lot to unpack and it’s done with a steady hand and some delicate prose.

Alice is doing her best, trying to explore as best she can while remaining unseen, and it works – for the most part – until it doesn’t. And when things take a turn, it’s a sad, startling turn. Moses does a great job of keeping his cards close to his chest before showing his hand and it’s at that point where we see Alice having to grapple with her desire to live with what she is versus her torment over who she is and how it might be better to die. It could easily be seen as metaphorical toward living with chronic pain – or you could take it at face value and accept it as an immortal ‘thing’ detested by those who know she exists longing for an exit strategy.

The ending worked really well and had me so happy with how the events played out. Although, to be fair, it would’ve worked well emotionally for it to go in a completely different direction.

What I didn’t like: I’m not 100% sure I totally got the ‘why’ behind the reasoning of her human guide’s decision they made. I think I get it, but I think I would’ve been happier if it had been made that much more explicit.

Why you should buy this: This novella rips along and even with such a short page count, you’ll fall head over heels for Alice and root for her – especially when she just wants to make a phone call. Moses has really created a truly outstanding novella here, one that grinds at the heart of a question that a lot of us ponder late into the night – what’s the point of all of this and how do we keep going?



Book Review: The House of Small Shadows by Adam Nevill


Title: The House of Small Shadows

Author: Adam Nevill

Release date: October 10th, 2013

It’s interesting, at least to me, when you start to dive into an author’s back catalog, only to find out the book you’re reading came further into their career than you initially thought.

Adam Nevill is an author that has easier cemented himself in my favorite author upper levels. I have A favorite and then there are a few who sit just behind that favorite. Adam is one of them. Adam’s an author that you know will bludgeon you with a metric ton of fear after slowly crawling his way under your skin in the lead up.

Having read all but two of his novels (Banquet for the Damned and Under a Watchful Eye), I can safely say Adam is in a league of his own when creating his terrors and he does it so very beautifully.

Adam is also partially to blame for my Amazon review banning – my review of Lost Girl got flagged and in my review of No One Gets Out Alive, I mentioned that we’d developed a digital friendship (which was two of the issues Amazon Customer Service brought up when I talked to them! Ha!) – but, I hold no ill-will towards him. In fact, I’m totally fine not leaving reviews on Amazon, because then I can say something like this in a review.

This book was goddamned fucking creepy. Jesus Christ, Adam.

What I liked: The novel follows Catherine, a woman who had an interesting childhood – her friend disappeared – and hasn’t had the best run of luck. A miscarriage, a failed relationship and losing her job. But now, she’s at a new job and has seemingly found her place, where she can thrive.

All seems well, that is, until her boss sends her to a potential new client’s home, to evaluate the collection of rare dolls for auction.

This is where the story really kicks off and where Nevill lands in his wheelhouse. When you consider this novel came a few years after Apartment 16, was directly after Last Days and directly before No One Gets Out Alive, it’s safe to say, Nevill had found a dark room somewhere in his mind that was darker than anyone else’s. If he had a ‘For Rent’ sign outside of a flat he owned – DON’T RENT IT FOR FUCK SAKES!

The first I’d say 65% of this novel is a slow, dredge through creep town. We get some hideously delicious scenes with rat tableaus and dolls in bassinettes and a town that may or may not be abandoned. We get odd noises, a strange care aide and possibly the rudest character to ever be put down in a novel.

The last 35% is like a rocket through Pandemonium. We get transformations, a veil lifted and the horrible truth over what is really going on revealed. Nevill doesn’t hold back and for that we’re all the better – or worser, depending on how much you can palate.

What I didn’t like: I’m hit or miss on slow burns. Nevill does it masterfully, but this one does take it’s time to really get going. Much like No One Gets Out Alive (though have the page count of that book), if you stay the course, you’ll be richly rewarded.

Why you should buy this: Nevill does creepy like nobody else, and he has these little Nevill-isms about how he describes certain things that just resonate and vibrate through your bones. This one features a description of a filmed play/scene that will completely unnerve you – and that’s only if you get beyond the descriptions of the rat tableau’s. Fingers crossed we one day get a special edition of this one with illustrations. Or maybe we’d be better off if we don’t?


3Q’s Special – In Which I Answer ALL the Questions!


Well, here we are. The last ‘scheduled’ 3Q’s. The reality is, I’ve emailed out the questions to a bunch of people and some simply haven’t got them back to me. Hey, it happens. I have a few Special 3Q’s coming up to coincide with book releases, but as for the daily ones, today is the last of those at this point. And I figured, why not go out with a bang! I decided to reach out to a guy I greatly admire and who is always willing to do an interview when I ask him – ME! Lol! The truth is, I’ve had people comment or DM asking when I would do one, as they wanted to see my responses. So, today – I ANSWER THEM ALL! That’s right. EVERY SINGLE 3Q’S QUESTION since the very first one, back with David Sodergren!

So, sit back, grab a snack and tell your friends and family to leave you alone for 3-7 minutes.

Let’s begin!

Steve Stred Author Pic

Steve: What does your writing time look like? Do you try and write at the same time each day? Do you have a word count you attempt to hit?

Steve: Hey, Steve, thanks for having me! Really appreciate it! I do all my writing during my breaks and lunch at work. I usually get a solid hour in each day. I mentally plot out what I want to accomplish, then once lunch hits, eat like a maniac and get sprinting! I don’t have a word count I try to hit, simply a target of where I want to get the story to from where it was. I can add or subtract in editing later.

Steve: Out of all your releases, do you have a character you could write about forever?

Steve: I would actually say I have three. Scott, the main character from my two Wagon Buddy novellas. Balder, a character that keeps making himself known in Piece of Me, a short story and the Piece of Me sequel coming at some point, and Jane from the Jane: the 816 Chronicles (which I re-released in An Endless Darkness: The Novellas). Those three have all been just wonderful characters… although Bruiser from Churn the Soil does seem to have become a hit with readers!

Steve: Tell me about your newest release and why someone should read it!

Steve: Well, my newest novel is ‘Churn the Soil,’ a cold-weather, folklore story set in the fictional town of Basco along the Yukon/Alaskan border. It follows police officer Brown as he tries to figure out what killed a girl in a sacred section of land. People have been enjoying it so far, it came out on February 17th and has some killer artwork from the talented Greg Chapman.

Steve: Bonus Question! Did you have a favorite wrestler as a kid?

Steve: Oh yeah, easily Jake ‘the Snake’ Roberts. I think partly because of the snake he brought to the ring with him, but also for the DDT. It just seemed like an honest and physical finishing move. A lot of the other wrestling finishing moves always seemed pretty lame, big elbows, dropping a leg on someone, etc, but the DDT seemed violent and something that would actually stun someone long enough to get the three count. I loved Jake so much; I named a dog after him and I currently have a Jake Funko Pop and a signed 8×11 picture of Jake (THANKS AGAIN J.R.!) staring at me as I write this response.


Steve: You decide to host a writer’s retreat. One weekend in a luxury house on an island. What three other authors do you invite to come along?

Steve: Hmmm… damn, tough question bro! I think I’ll go with three folks who have been hugely helpful and influential in my life – David Sodergren, Mason McDonald and Duncan Ralston. So, that’s who I’d invite. But I’d also need someone to lead the writer’s retreat, so I’d get Andrew Pyper to do that, and I’d need someone to keep us all in check and help us with our marketing angles and editing, so I’d also invite J.H. Moncrieff and make it a massively fun weekend!

Steve: You receive an invitation in the mail from one of these two people. The invitation invites you to have dinner and spend the night in their home. Do you accept the invitation from Victor Frankenstein or Dracula and why?

Steve: Easy – Dracula. Even though I’m not a huge consumer of vampire stuff – movies, books etc, I’ve always wanted to see and visit that part of the world and I bet his castle has some trippy hidden passageways and most likely even a werewolf or two.

Steve: You end up at an estate sale and discover an unpublished manuscript from an author you love. Do you keep it just for yourself or do you share it with the world?

Steve: I’ve always loved seeing how others have answered this question. Some have taken it as just a fun question, while others have considered it seriously and have looked at the ethical implications. I’m going to say, I would read it and then contact whoever is in charge of that author’s works at that point. If they’re still alive and this was acquired in a manner not on the up-and-up, I would absolutely be sending it back to them pronto.

Steve: Bonus Question! You wake up in a comic book. What is your comic book character and what is your superpower?

Steve: Kind of odd that you keep throwing ‘bonus questions’ in, but whatever. Well, when I was younger I always thought being invisible would be awesome simply because then I could go into the girls showers etc. You know, like a lot of pre-teen/teen boys dream. Now, I’d love to be invisible and whatever I was holding was invisible, so I could just sit and read or whatever and no one would know I was there! And maybe my invisibility also allows me to have like $100,000,000 in the bank because the government messed up and they paid me that cash to keep my trap shut, so I never had to work. Yeah, that’d be alright.

Steve: If you could write a story for another author’s fictional world/series, which would it be and why?

Steve: I’d actually go with Tracey West’s ‘Dragon Masters’ series that my son and I have been reading. They’re a ton of fun and I love how they’re filled with magic and dragons and problem solving.

Steve: Bonus Question! Do you have a cherished book?

Steve: You bet your ass I do! A few. A hardcover of The Neverending Story by Michael Ende. We named our son after the amulet, so it has special meaning for us. ALL of my signed Andrew Pyper books, but the hardcover of Oracle I have means a ton, because it shows to me that Andrew does completely trust my fandom of his work and meant a lot in terms of our friendship.

Steve: If you started a series and for some reason had to have another author finish it, who would you choose?

Steve: Oh, easy, David Sodergren. I think he knows my writing inside and out and while our styles are similar but different, he’d easily do anything justice and then some.

Steve: Bonus Question! If they made a movie about your life, what actor or actress would you suggest they get to play you?

Steve: Oh, look… another bonus question… As for the question, it would be Travis Fimmel. There was a time where we looked pretty identical, especially with hair style etc (ask my sister, Jodi) and I’ve often joked about my years playing his double on the set of Vikings.


Steve: You win the lottery, and the only condition is that you need to fund another author’s book to be made into a movie. What book would you choose to be filmed?

Steve: God, so, so many. ALL of Andrew Pyper’s books. ALL of David Sodergren’s books. I’d love to see Without Condition by Sonora Taylor or Crossroads by Laurel Hightower. WOOM by Duncan Ralston. Or Salvage. Anything from Christian Galacar. Broken Shells or Revolver by Michael Patrick Hicks. I’ll stop there or I’d go on forever. Oh, and Return to Dyatlov Pass by J.H. Moncrieff. OK, I’ll stop.

Steve: Bonus Question! If you could be an extra on any TV show, which one would it have been and why?

Steve: ‘The X-Files’ would’ve been amazing to be on. Just to say you were on it. Same with ‘Fringe.’ But also ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ or ‘Californication.’ Those would be sweet as well.


Steve: You’re riding an elevator and BAM! It gets stuck. What two authors (one living and one dead) would you happen to find yourself stuck with?

Steve: I’d say it would be very cool to be stuck with H.P Lovecraft to just ask him about his mythology. Not about his personal beliefs because he was clearly an awful human about most things. But it would be so great to ask him about all his creatures. And Daniel Kraus. Between his own work and his novelizations and working with big name folk, that would be so cool to chat with him. And also, he’d grill Lovecraft with me. Lovecraft probably smelled weird.

Steve: Bonus Question! If you were transported back in time, which Pop Band/Hit Band would you hope to find yourself a member of?

Steve: Well Pink Floyd would be fucking amazing yeah? But I’d say maybe even like Duran Duran or Tears for Fears. Or, if I wanted to keep it Canadian, I feel like The Spin Doctors went through the craziest of musical experiences and I’d been cool to be a fly on the wall seeing that whole thing occur.


Steve: What does your process look like once you finish your first draft? Do you immediately dive back into it, or do you take some time away?

Steve: In the past, I usually dove right back into it, but now, I have SO MUCH on the go, I work on something, leave it be as I work on something else and come back to it so that I can see it fresh and be a bit rougher on it and ignore my personal feelings.

Steve: You win a very prestigious award and are invited to receive it. The award is a bronze plated copy of the book that means the most to you in your life. What book is it and why?

Steve: Damn bro, good question. I’d have to go with ‘The Demonologist’ by Andrew Pyper, simply because what that book did for me and how it showed me what was capable as a Canadian writer.

Steve: Of the books or stories you’ve released, which is your personal favorite and why?

Steve: I kind of feel bad that I asked this to people, because now that I’ve having to answer it, I feel like I have to pick a favorite kid! YURI has always been a favorite (which has been re-released in An Endless Darkness: The Novellas) because I think I really nailed the tone of that novella. Wagon Buddy is a fine piece of work. The Window in the Ground I think is almost perfect. And The Stranger I think also nailed the tone and the ‘big picture’ aspect. Mastodon and Churn the Soil definitely hold special places for me, because I think I nailed almost all aspects in those two and I consider them a summer vs winter two set adventure/horror sibling pair.

Steve: Bonus Fun Question – You’re on a camping trip when suddenly a wild animal confronts you. You take off running and it follows. What animal are you confident in thinking you could outrun?

Steve: I’ve always liked the joke that I don’t need to outrun a bear, I just need to outrun whoever is with me. But in all seriousness NEVER FUCKING RUN FROM A BEAR. Honestly, most animals would outrun me, even when I was at my fastest, because animals run through that environment every day. I don’t. So, I’d have to go with something like a wild turkey or maybe an animal that can’t climb and I can get up a tree just high enough to not get gored. I’ve had run-ins with cougars, bears, elk and deer before, and in each one I knew that if I would’ve ran, I’d have been attacked or worse.


Steve: Do you believe cryptozoological creatures exist? If so, which one do you think has the best chance of being proven to exist?

Steve: Easy, yes, and Bigfoot. I think we have far too many people who’ve not spent any time in the mountains and have forgotten just who massive and sprawling in scope they are. You could realistically and legitimately get completely lost in a forested area the size of a city block and if you got disoriented, you would never find your way out. Now, expand that by say, the size of New York. Or Los Angeles. Scientists find new species all the time. I think, just knowing how MASSIVE mountains are (and I grew up in the mountains), it is possible for a hidden group of creatures like them to survive undiscovered. Remember, there are still tribes that live in the Amazon rain forest that are almost never seen and have no contact with the outside world. It’s possible.


Steve: Bonus Fun Question – What was the best practical joke you’ve ever been involved in?

Steve: I haven’t actually done too many practical jokes that I can think of. I mean, scaring people yeah. I don’t know if this counts but for years, we used to send my sister, Jodi to the basement first to turn on the lights down there so we wouldn’t be devoured by the monster under our stairs. We figured if she was attacked and eaten by the beast it would be no big deal.

Steve: What’s the one thing you’d change now if you’d have known it when you started writing?

Steve: For me, I think it would be to find a solid editor right away. I’m lucky that I did connect with David Sodergren not too long into my ‘career,’ but I still had some poorly edited releases in the beginning, which I’m now working on re-releasing and re-edited to not suck so much.

Steve: Bonus Fun Question – Would you rather be lost at sea or in the mountains?

Steve: Easy, mountains. You can find food, find water, make shelter, and survive for some time in the mountains. Not so much out in the open ocean. Plus, you gotta deal with exposure and dehydration out in the ocean and who knows what the hell lives down in the deep, dark sea. Any forms of teeth or tentacles might find you at any given time. At least in the mountains, I would know I was being hunted the entire time and would do my best to be armed with a spear or whatever I could fashion.


Steve: Great point! Thank you so much for doing this, Steve! I really appreciate it!

To find all his work, check the links!




3Q’s – Micah Castle and the power of practical thinking!

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Here we are with another fun 3Q’s, and you know what? Today’s guest has a ton of fun books out and I’m super happy they were able to stop by and do a 3Q’s!

Micah Castle is today’s guest and I’m super excited to him here!

Please welcome Micah!

Micah Castle

Steve: What does your process look like once you finish your first draft? Do you immediately dive back into it, or do you take some time away?

MC: After I complete a first draft, I set it aside and work on other works for a few months, then come back to it. I do the same cycle for revisions.

Steve: You win a very prestigious award and are invited to receive it. The award is a bronze plated copy of the book that means the most to you in your life. What book is it and why?

MC: That’s a difficult question. There’s so many to choose, but I’d probably have to go with Necronomicon: The Best Weird Tales by HP Lovecraft, published by Gollancz. Without that book, I probably wouldn’t have discovered cosmic horror and weird fiction, and probably wouldn’t be writing at all. It really blew my mind the first time reading it and led me to meet and read a ton of great authors I might’ve otherwise not.

Steve: Of the books or stories you’ve released, which is your personal favorite and why?

MC: As of this writing, it would likely be “The Things from the Woods” published in Flame Tree Press’s anthology Weird Horror Short Stories. It’s the sort of weird fiction I love to write and read, more gothic/folk-y/quiet and WTF than cosmic and madness.

Steve: Bonus Fun Question – You’re on a camping trip when suddenly a wild animal confronts you. You take off running and it follows. What animal are you confident in thinking you could outrun?

MC: Probably a gofer, woodchuck, or other pudgy critters.

Prairie dog on guard

Steve: Ha! Great reply and very practical thinking!

Thanks so much for doing this, Micah!

To find more of Micah’s work – check the links!




3Q’s – Ryan Meyer accepts he’s no Prefontaine!

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Another 3Q’s with another author I’m hoping people will discover and read! That’s been the goal of 3Q’s since the very first one way back in 2022 – no matter whether a first time author or a best-seller!

Today’s 3Q’s is with the always fun Ryan Meyer!

Welcome Ryan!

Ryan Meyer

Steve: What does your process look like once you finish your first draft? Do you immediately dive back into it, or do you take some time away?

Ryan: I usually take some time away, especially since a lot of what I write is poetry. It’s also nice to take some time and come back with a refreshed set of eyes. Often, I’ll think of a piece differently after the fact than I did initially. With longer prose, it depends on the piece! I’m working on more short stories now, my most recent being included in the upcoming HorrorScope: A Zodiac Anthology, so the process has proven to be different than I’m used to. Definitely a different ball game, but exciting, nonetheless.

Steve: You win a very prestigious award and are invited to receive it. The award is a bronze plated copy of the book that means the most to you in your life. What book is it and why?

Ryan: That is so tough! I’m torn, but maybe ‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King. Like many authors who write horror, I’ve read King for so long, and ‘Salem’s Lot was one that truly scared me—you know the window scene. At the time, that type of more mature writing opened my eyes to being scared in different ways, much deeper than surface level. The poet in me wants to choose a collection of poetry, but King has basically been a favorite of mine since the start of my writing journey.

Steve: Of the books or stories you’ve released, which is your personal favorite and why?

Ryan: Both of my books, Haunt and Tempest, are so different from each other, as are the individual pieces I’ve had published. I’d have to say my most recent full collection of poems, Tempest, is my favorite of mine, because it encompasses so much of who I am, and even thought I don’t classify it in the horror genre, there are still a few pieces in there that cross that line of fear, unease, & the unknown. You can take the writer out of horror, but you can’t take horror out of the writer!

Steve: Bonus Fun Question – You’re on a camping trip when suddenly a wild animal confronts you. You take off running and it follows. What animal are you confident in thinking you could outrun?

Ryan: In most cases I would be animal chow… Maybe a beaver? We can make it a gnarly wild monster beaver for intensity, but I would hope I could outrun a beaver. I’m no Prefontaine. Let’s hope my background in outdoor adventure publishing could help me survive.


Steve: Oh, good answer! The only thing would be if the beaver had set a course of downed trees beforehand to slow you up! They’re crafty!

Thanks so much for doing this!

To find more of Ryan’s work – check the links!