Saturday, November 30, 2013
Yes, for all of you have have thought, hmmmm, maybe; for all of you wondering what the hell John Claude is jabbering on about?; for all of you looking for some "not your average horror" dark fiction, welllllllllllllll...
99 bloody cents--that's all!
Read the reviews, but here's a couple of prime snippets to inspire you to either
a) buy the ebook, it's damned cheap
b) think even more so, what the hell is this John Clause Smith up to as a writer.
"It is a rarity that a short story collection can speak to me with each of its tales, rarer still that the voice be so articulate. While I can definitely appreciate elements of "splatterpunk," too many modern horror author don't even go that bloody route, instead remaining in a safe "horror lit" style. Smith goes elsewhere, a bleak universe that one gets glimpses of in works by Harlan Ellison, H.P. Lovecraft, and occasionally Clive Barker. The intellect powering these nightmares is a staggering, transcendental monster in itself. ..."--Brian Fatah Steele, Horror Writer.
"In a market that is pretty much saturated with the tiredest of horror tropes (vampires, zombies, werewolves), along comes this refreshing debut collection by John Claude Smith. And when I say refreshing, I certainly don't mean "lightweight". The darkness itself, in fact, is very much a constant character in these stories of guilt, hubris, paranoia, abuse, vanity, addiction, desire and depravity. ..."--David Antrobus, Writer (dark stuff and otherwise)
Okay, you get the gist. Read em all if you need convincing. Or buy the book and decide for yourself.
Enjoy the DARKness!
Up next: news about my New Book, out early in 2014, as well as info on some short story sales, as well as me going on about other writer's books I like, music and movies and who knows what else, too? Stick around.
Sunday, June 16, 2013
The Grimscribe Puppets, edited by Joe S. Pulver, a writer of worth if ever there was one, collects 22 stories inspired by the work of Thomas Ligotti. This one goes to the top of my Amazon Wish List. I mean, look at the TOC.
Livia Llewellyn “Furnace”
Daniel Mills “The Lord Came at Twilight”
Michael Cisco “The Secrets of the Universe”
Kaaron Warren “The Human Moth”
Joel Lane “Basement Angels”
Darrell Schweitzer “No Signal”
Robin Spriggs “THE XENAMBULIST: A Fable in Four Acts”
Nicole Cushing “The Company Town”
Cody Goodfellow “The Man Who Escaped This Story”
Michael Kelly “Pieces of Blackness”
Eddie M. Angerhuber “The Blue Star”
Jon Padgett “20 SIMPLE STEPS TO VENTRILOQUISM”
Robert M. Price “The Holiness of Desolation”
Michael Griffin “Diamond Dust”
Richard Gavin “After the Final”
Scott Nicolay “Eyes Exchange Bank”
Simon Strantzas “BY INVISIBLE HANDS”
Paul Tremblay “Where We Will All Be”
Allyson Bird “Gailestis”
Jeffrey Thomas “The Prosthesis”
John Langan “Into the Darkness, Fearlessly”
Gemma Files “OUBLIETTE”
Yeah, worthy writers all. I need this one. I've always enjoyed Ligotti's unique work and mindset in the horror realm. Heck, the title story of my first collection, The Dark Is Light Enough For Me, actually utilizes a main character somewhat based on this Ligotti mindset, so this anthology has my interest, no doubt.
Kate Jonez, who runs the excellent publishing house, Omnium Gatherum, with worthy releases by, among others, Ennis Drake and S.P. Miskowski, has just released her debut novel via Evil Jester Press, Candy House. Here's the blurb: "In Kate Jonez's debut novel, CANDY HOUSE, a brilliant young scientist moves back home with his parents because his explosive temper has ruined his career. His neighbors, a family of witches, imps and demons, are charged with keeping science under control. They must, by using their debauched and twisted magic, stop Roland before he fulfills his destiny and makes a deadly discovery that will change the nature of humanity forever." Sounds like fun, eh? The Look Inside sample is most tasty, so I will be picking this up for the Kindle this week.
I picked up Nicole Cushing's Children of No One recently for my Kindle--further inspiration to use the damn thing--and it looks more than worthy, right up my dark literary alley, actually. Here's the blurb: "Sadism, nihilism, poverty, wealth, screams, whimpers, sanity and madness collide in Nowhere, Indiana. For Thomas Krieg, Nowhere is a miles-long, pitch-black underground maze in which he's imprisoned dozens of boys for the past ten years—all in the name of art. For two brothers, Nowhere is the only place they clearly remember living. A world unto itself, in which they must stay alert to stay alive. A world from which the only escape is death. But for an English occultist known only as Mr. No One, Nowhere is much more...and much less: the perfect place in which to perform a ritual to unleash the grandest of eldritch deities, the God of Nothingness, the Great Dark Mouth."
Sounds like total warped fun to me.
What? You want instant gratification? Well, you can get the latter two titles for your Kindle in the blink of an eye...or read this, Laird Barron's first professional short story sale, reprinted at Nightmare Magazine: "Shiva, Open Your Eye." Kind of a wicked piece from one of our best, most worthy writers of the Dark Stuff.
Don't forget, one of my most recent published stories, "This Darkness," appears in the recently released anthology, For The Night Is Dark. A worthy endeavor, indeed, I'm in good company. As I check the page, there's also a couple of cool reviews--excellent!
So, there's a few things, check em out, as I expect to do.
Here's an, ahem, eye-catching image from O__u_R_sick. Not exactly what I had in mind when I titled this blog post, but...um...
Friday, May 3, 2013
Anyway, where was I?
With that mindset, I wrote a story called, "He's Got The Whole World In His Hands," a light fantastical piece that put me to the test of touching the senses. I wanted smells, touch, sight. sound, and even a suggestion of taste, to pop with real resonance. Not sure if I succeeded, but at least it worked my brain in a good way, got me to think more about this kind of thing. Recently, I took that story, and, knowing it needed something more, just a wee bit of something to really drive it through the finale, I tweaked it, added a little bit, just enough, to give it what I think is the edge to put it over the top in the proper way.
Because of my Italian connections--my girlfriend, Alessandra, is Italian, and I know many of the poets/writers as an extension of that--I found a home for the story on the Italian website, Etemenanki/Terranullius, run by Marco Lupo, an excellent poet and now, from what Alessandra has witnessed, a playwright of real potency; I hope to see one of his plays at some point, preferably when I know the language better, of course.
Here's the link to the story, just under 2000 words of me working the words in a quirky way, something different from my usual but, then again, what is my usual? Hmmm...
Friday, April 26, 2013
(2... 3... 4...)
National Poetry Month. I don't profess to being a poet, though I dabble and on occasion think, sure, that one works. My 19 year-old son has taken up writing in the last year, fiction and poetry, he didn't even know it was National Poetry Month and they were pouring out of his brain. He's sent me something like 80--yes, 80!--this month. Short, sometimes philosophical, always clever insights, he was locked in. My girlfriend, Alessandra, she's a poet as well. When she writes them, my breath is often taken away at her mastery. I'm not kidding. GREAT poetry can do that to me. How about you?
Anyway, here's one that deals with what I wrote up there in the first paragraph and probably should be read out loud, especially once you latch on to the rhythm, even if the rhythm shifts, stumbles... It's there, don't be afraid.
So, without further adieu, strap in, really, please--and keep your hands inside the ride but your mind open to my madness--here we go...and Enjoy:
Whatever, haha, it was fun to write, I'll say that much. Rollicking, pseudo stream-of-conscious Fun!
Back to fiction with the next post, I'm sure.
Friday, April 19, 2013
Here's a lil' guest post I did at Armand Rosamilia's blog, dealing with my story. He is in the anthology and has been featuring guest blogs by other contributors on his blog. Really good, amusing, informative stuff. Check them all out. http://armandrosamilia.com/2013/04/11/guest-blog-john-claude-smith/
Here's the Amazon link which has an abundance of "Look Inside" samples to whet your horror loving appetite: http://www.amazon.com/For-Night-Dark-ebook/dp/B00C3OGT06/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1366385015&sr=8-1
But...a bit more of a teaser to sink you into the true darkness that envelops "This Darkness." Here's Sue Chambers, fed up and had it with her guy, Andy, up on the mountain, their friend, Mitch, in the back seat (as noted in the guest blog above; read that, put it together with this, and away we go), just before all Hell breaks loose; or all dread, more so, dread... No wait, Hell does follow up...
What the...? What in the world is going on? You gotta pick up the anthology to find out. You will find out the Truth...as well as get more fantastic fiction from a plethora of writers (Gary McMahon, Jeremy Shipp, Tonia Brown, William Meikle, Scott Nicholson, and many more) who really know and understand...the Dark.
Here's the eye-catching artwork from Ben Baldwin.
Sunday, February 10, 2013
by John Claude Smith
There ya go! Actually, truth be told, that was written in about 2-3 minutes soon after she had mentioned the poetry magnet, tweaked slightly thereafter. I said, hey, what if somebody woke up every morning and there was a new poem on their refrigerator? This was after making a reference to Refrigerator Poetry and so forth and so on and ran with it. Odd how the brain works, what triggers it to create, eh?
More Dark stuff next time, I expect. Or...talking about the Art of Reading, something close to my heart but in what way? Hmmm...
Now, though, about ready to dig into something gruesome and surreal. I think it's called, "The Lumper." Don't ask...ahem...
Sunday, January 13, 2013
What have you been up to?
Me, I've been writing. Finished a story early last month called, "Beautiful," which was an experiment for me. The story required a specificity of language as it dealt with perceptions of what is beautiful from a couple different angles, one being from the main character's take on it, though the main character is...different. Let's leave it at that. Must get it out there, submit it later today since it already has it's first rejection. Yeah, part of the deal, but somebody will love it.
I'm not big on New Year's resolutions. I am the kind of person who sets up regular goals, so what's the use? But I did kind of tell myself to Get Writing asap in the new year, not that I don't write most all of the time anyway, but I want more consistency, more words. More Words was actually my offhand resolution, haha... I told myself this as a Big Idea took shape in my head, one I had been mulling over for months, for a long time, actually, yet now as the piece gets rolling, it may move well away form the initial inspiration, yet we will see. Something's happening and it deals with a vampire, which might seem quite out of character for yours truly since I rarely embrace familiar horror tropes, but this is definitely not your average vampire, either. There's philosophy, but perhaps not as much as I thought. And addiction. And Sex. And has a quirky tone I'm still getting wired into. I even allowed myself to sketch out the path, have the chapters aligned, big, fat chapters, for whatever reason. The first one presently clocks in at over 4,000 words; I'm positive at least two of the other chapters will probably double that in length. With this loosely defined path, I keep adding notes to the chapters, ideas for conversations, side avenues to explore, etc. Along with the philosophical side as crossed with something of a warped sense of humor, I, being a firm believer in balance, can't wait for it all to get swallowed whole by the dark dark dark stuff in the latter chapters. Yeah, this is my ramble, no gameplan here, but this is what I am dealing with. But today (but not today--you following this?), well, there are days when the words flow, and days where they keep tripping over each other. Today, yeah...you know...
Along with this, there's some shorter fiction percolating, things that will get finished when I've worn my brain out with the big piece in progress, keeping the flow consistent, new stuff for new anthologies, perhaps, and just, in general. the knowledge that I Love Writing and need to make time for it every day. I am usually good with this, but there are times that real life and such shuffle things around, make it 'seem' harder to deal with words when we have no excuses. I write. What's the probem, John Claude? No problem at all. Get to it!
That's all it should take for any writer. Set aside a time if you must--I like setting a schedule, but am flexible as needed--and make sure to Be There Completely.
Trust Your Instincts.
I see these words to my left, hand-written in the initial hand-written notes for the big piece. Makes sense to me. I like seeing them there, glancing over and nodding, yes, YES!
Makes me want to get back to more words, the stories. Writing!
How about you? These are good catchwords, keywords, whatever you want to call them. Just change the last one to fit your own art, what you do, painting or playing an instrument, etc.
Trust Your Instincts.
Here's one of my favorite pieces of Vampire art, done by Edvard Munch, most well-known for his painting, The Scream, but this one's right up there with that one for me.
Okay, enough nonsense and rambling. More writing news and darkness soon.