where the writers are
Nine Frights
Nine Frights

I'm not much known as a short story writer. I'm known--if at all--as a novelist and/or a writer of comics. With good reason; the number of published short stories I've written can be counted on three or four hands. The first money I ever made from writing came from a short story, when I was in college--it placed third in the Phelan Literary Awards. The story was called "Fireball," after what was then (and remains today) the greatest pinball machine ever created, the Bally Fireball. If you see one, play it. If it's for sale, pick it up for me.

And my first professional fiction sale was the science fiction short story "The Last Rainmaking Song," published in the first Full Spectrum anthology (mixed in with stories from folks like Greg Benford, Norman Spinrad, Thomas Disch, Lisa Goldstein, Lewis Shiner, James Morrow, and more--high-falutin' company even now.

Between then and now, though, I've been focusing on novels, where I can tell bigger stories, and comics. When I'm asked to contribute to an anthology, I usually try to oblige, but I have passed on some. Occasionally I get the urge to write a short, but rarely then have the patience and time to try to sell it, so they languish on the hard drive.

Until now.

I've just released (digitally, anyway) my first-ever collection of short fiction. Because most of what I've done have been horror stories, that's what Nine Frights contains. The book includes published stories like "Santos del Infierno," which appeared in Hellbound Hearts, the licensed and approved anthology of stories set in the world of Clive Barker's Hellbound Hearts novella (which spawned the Hellraiser movies), and "Janey in Amber," from the anthology The Stories in Between, celebrating the 30th anniversary of great indie bookstore Between Books in Delaware. But there are also previously unpublished gems. And each story has an introduction describing the circumstances of its birth, like the time I almost watched Ray Bradbury get beaned by a bike, and the time I watched hundred of vultures wheeling in the desert sky and wondered what could possibly attract so many  (hint--uggh!).

The stories are often scary, but not always--some are more strange or wondrous. The book's subtitle is " Stories of Terror and the Supernatural," which seemed to sum them up the best.

The e-book is available on Kindle and other platforms as well, and it'll be on B&N soon. In the meantime, the ePub file at Smashwords will work on a Nook. It's 50,000+ words of good, creepy fun.

If you like short fiction, I hope you'll take a look.