Category Archives: Uncategorized

How about an Escape from the Real-Life Horror of Politics? Check Out the Dark Fiction Political Anthology: After the Kool-Aid is Gone

I’m excited and fortunate that my short-story “Pax Salutem” has made it into the political horror anthology After The Kool-Aid is Gone.

My story is a dark twist on government controlled healthcare that has created a near utopian society. However, this IS the government we’re talking about and they’ve been know to screw a thing or two up and quite possibly, maybe do unscrupulous things to make the ends justify the needs.

A new father learns the very hard and horrifying truths that are hidden beneath the rotting layers of this seemingly perfect society and must now make choices that no parent should ever have to.

I’ve read the synopsis’s from the many talented authors in this anthology and TRUST me you don’t want to miss it!

‘Til Death Finds New Life

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It has been far too long since I’ve toiled on this website. My writing has been inconsistent recently but, I’ve had some positive results and have made a few anthology short lists, so time will tell how much success I have in the near future.

Quarantine life has led to more writing and I’m grateful to have that outlet during this time of pandemic uncertainty and economic despair as the great beast of boredom circles my house looking for a way in.

In the meantime, have a laugh and check out my vampire love story “‘Til Death” in Volume 3. Yes, it’s amusing and a nice quick read. It will cost you a mere $3.99 on Kindle and you’ll get to enjoy the work of other authors far more talented than myself.

Check it out and let me know what you think!

 

My ‘Disturbing’ Story “Kidney” is in Broken Bones & $10 Bills Anthology.

I’m thrilled that my story made it into my first anthology. In the past I’ve been rejected immediately and have made the short list only to be cut at the last moment, but at last, I made it all the way. Not only did I make it, but I was mentioned in the introductory message:

“Welcome to Broken Bones & Ten Dollar Bills. I honestly don’t think you’ll find such an eclectic (and sometimes downright disturbing (Kidney)) set of stories in an anthology.”

I’m never been happier to be labeled disturbing!

Amazon is taking pre-sales at the following links:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B071S7VFBT/
COM – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071S7VFBT/

 

 

My Story: “Always a Soldier” is Published in Morpheus Tales 30. Out Now!

 

Morpheus Tales 30 is out now! The thirtieth issue of the UK’s most controversial weird fiction magazine! Featuring: The Grab Bag By Jack D. Zeidman Illustrated By Mark Pexton, Always A Soldier By Matthew Piskun, Voices On The High Wind By Michael Reyes Illustrated By Sean Bova, Candle With A Name By Nick Manzolillo, Wendell By M. J. Ryan Illustrated By Joe Young, The Fountain By Craig W. Steele, Jimmy Google And His Amazing X-Ray Spectacles By Todd Outcalt Illustrated By Max Martelli, X-Ray Spring By Jared A. Robinson, Late Night Programming By Stephen McQuiggan. Read the magazine Christopher Fowler calls “edgy and dark”.

The free preview of the magazine is available here:
https://issuu.com/morpheusta…/docs/morpheus_tales_30_preview

The printed digest size edition is available here:
http://www.lulu.com/…/morph…/paperback/product-23165977.html

The printed perfect-bound edition is available here:
http://www.lulu.com/…/morph…/paperback/product-22891778.html

My short story “The Key” reprinted in: Morpheus Tales: The Best Weird Fiction Volume 5

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At long last my drought is over! Well, sort of… Morpheus Tales has selected my previously published short story “The Key” for their Best Weird Fiction Volume 5. Needless to say, I’m grateful to have something published again!

The Key begins with with a man burying his father. As he says his final farewell to his Old Man in his coffin he slips his hand beneath the departed’s collar and claims what his father has tried his entire life to keep from him, a key…

You can read my story, as well as many others from a group of talented authors, in the 110 page volume for a measly $6.88.

You can buy your paper copy here:

 

http://www.lulu.com/shop/adam-bradley-and-matt-leyshon-and-adrian-ludens-and-lee-clark-zumpe/morpheus-tales-the-best-weird-fiction-volume-5/paperback/product-22697097.html

And for you futurists the Ebook can be purchased here for $2.99:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/636635?ref=morpheustales

Navigating Through a Sea of Writing Failure

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For the first time since I’ve been published I’ve hit, what is for me, my low point. I’ve made no posts, because I’ve had no work accepted for publication in the year 2014! Admittedly, my volume has suffered due to lifestyle changes, the most time-sucking one having been going back to school. Add in a few more excuses and what you have is basically…just that, excuses.

Although the amount I’ve written has been decreased, I didn’t think the quality had suffered, yet I find even the “positive” rejection is now something of a rarity. Nearly extinct is the “great story, but it doesn’t quite fit with this issue/publication/genre.”

There does seem to be less markets available for my level of submission, with smaller windows of time in which they are reading,  but again that’s just an excuse. I spent some time on a story or two that were certainly out of my comfort zone, and I’m sure I’m better for having written them, however; it’s little solace as the benefit of improvement is unmeasurable, particularly when success is measured by acceptance.

So, what is the answer? More writing of course! Easier said than done when the only results are form rejections. Is it fan fiction? The Press of Atlantic City published on 11/1/14, “Why publishers want fan fiction to go mainstream” by Jessica Contrera. In her article she mentions many websites in which fan fiction is published. She sites numerous success stories, one of which is “The Gabriel Trilogy,” which is Twilight fan fiction that was picked up by a publisher and has sold 850,000 copies. Another example of Twilight fan fiction is the “Beautiful Bastard’ series in which 1 million copies have been sold. Let’s not forget “50 Shades of Grey” and its 100 million and counting!

Is that the answer? Pick a best selling franchise and apply your talent toward retelling the story? I don’t know if that’s the best route to take, but it still seems a more palatable version of self-publishing per se. I don’t think I’m one to spend the limited writing time I have in producing a novel that is a retelling of an existing story, especially given that the chances of being successful are possibly no better (assuming the same level of writing talent in doing an original story vs fan fiction).

Anyway, for now, my answer will be to stay the course. I’ve switched it up with a flash fiction piece under 1,000 words. We’ll see where that goes. Other than that I’m open to some advice!

Spanish Inquisition = Publication (At Last)

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I guess the 10th time is a charm!

My story “The Cost that Lies Between Heaven and Earth” has found a home. The story is about Queen Isabella and the Spanish Inquisition. What could possibly cause an individual to go to such extremes and start a holy war and ruthlessly torture those with different beleifs? They must be pretty messed up right? I have my take on it and some of the scenes are, shall we say. NC-17. I am proud to say that someone in my writing workshop I was a member of found parts of the story so offensive she quit class.

Needless to say, none of the material in question was gratuitous. The actions of the characters fit the theme of the story and are “in character.” 

So, where has Isabella landed? Temptations Magazine: The Home of Erotic Fiction. NOT Temptation Magazine:Homoerotic Fiction as a friend hilariously misheard me say, not that there’s anything wrong with that.

I will certainly post the link once my story is up and running. I think I may let my mother skip this one.

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Also simmering in the slush pile wasteland are several other of my stories:

  • Beth Hartley is Hot is currently submitted to Shock Totem
  • Colony is submitted to an anthology by Parsec Ink
  • Pax Salutem is submitted to Pseudopod
  • God Mother is submitted to Black Static 

 

Living in the Post-Apocalypse World

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It has been too long since my last post. So much has happened…a 6 week MBA course that derailed my writing is now in the books….the world did not end, we learned that the Mayans just weren’t so good at math….Christmas came and went (with another new addition to my office as seen in the photo above), I am battling a super-cold of some sort that refuses to die… oh, and I appeared to have re-torn the labrum in my shoulder and nearly overdosed on Xanax in order to get the MRI to see how bad the damage is.

So, through all that I managed to complete a yet unnamed story about a young man dealing with personal demons in the midst of a massive hurricane. It deals with some touchy subject matter and I hope it doesn’t suck because it was interrupted so often by this thing called life.

I also plan on sending out a bio-punk story I wrote called Pax Salutem that deals with the potential downside of being able to cure all disease and illness with science. It’s a strong story I wrote before I started class, but didn’t have the time to send out to the proper market.

I also need to edit another strong story I wrote called “Colony.” It was expertly critiqued recently by a fabulous editor named Stephanie Loree who is doing marvelous work on Nightmare Magazine. If you haven’t checked the magazine out, do so immediately, its edited by the horror guru John Joseph Adams.

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So, I have a lot of writing ahead of me, which is aways a good thing, especially since physically I feel like crap…silver lining and all that..

Pseudopod Rejects “Colony” (but in a nice way!)

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One of my favorite horror sites, Pseudopod (who happened to publish my very first story), has just rejected my short story “Colony.”

The responding editor had some good things to say though:

“Thank you for sending us “Colony.” I have reviewed this submission and
decided not to purchase it. I found it lovely and well-wrought and
enjoyed most of it immensely. The ending just really didn’t work for
me. For me, it detracted from such an otherwise strong piece. It
brought me out of the dark place and shattered my suspension of
disbelief.”

So, I guess I know what I need to fix.

Pax Scribendi, Hiatus Over

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After an intense 6 week course of MBA 707, a rude introduction to a derecho, and a dastardly cat named Cocoa eating the powercord cord of my Mac Book, I have finally begun writing again.

The MBA is something I feel is needed to excel at my job and therefore a necessary evil.  No way around it, I make good living, but I always want to do more and I’m not satisfied with status quo when it comes to, well when it comes to anything really.  Therefore, I must forge forward and add letters to my tittle.

If you don’t know what a derecho is, all you need to know is it comes, it kicks your ass, takes your power, and freaking spoils all the food in your fridge.  Derecho, you suck and I’m glad you’re a “once in a generation” storm in south Jersey.

For those of you who are interested, Cocoa the cat is now subject to cruel yet necessary water gun therapy.  It’s exactly what it sounds like, and it works, one apple knock-off power cord later.

So the short story I was working on before all of this happened is in a coma, basically dead.  For me story ideas are like burning embers, you best use it to start a fire or it will simply turn to gray ash and die, and that is what happened.

Now, I am close to finished with a first draft of a story tentatively titled “The Broken Art of Perfection.”  The idea of the story came to me from an article I read in the NY Times about dream therapy.  I’ve enjoyed writing it so far.

In the mean-time a couple of stories have been rejected.  Dark Discoveries said “Always a Soldier” was quite well written, but not for them.  Black Static, which has become my great white whale, simple form rejected me on “Reflections.”

Heavy Metal Magazine, upon inquiry to my submission “The Cost that Lies Between Heaven and Earth”, said “I assure you that everything that is sent in is reviewed and we respond only to those works we choose to publish.  Please also note that we are working on magazines several months in advance of publication so don’t despair it often takes many many months for a project to be selected for inclusion in future magazines.”  I have no idea if that means I was rejected or not?!