Wednesday, September 26, 2012


So many Revamp events going on in October, so keep your eyes glued for updates. Here are a couple of the BIG ones : Revamp "Join The Resistance" Book Tour (Oct 1 to Nov. 2), Amazon FREE Promotion (Oct. 3 and 4), Goodreads Signed Paperback Giveaway (Oct. 1 to Oct 31), Coffin Hop (Oct. 24 to Oct 31).

See you soon. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Enter to win 1 of 6 e-copies of Revamp at fuonlyknew 

or at


Right now, these are the only places to snag yourself an epub or a pdf of Revamp, so go on and git over there! 

Monday, September 17, 2012



Revamp "Join The Resistance" Book Tour begins in 2 weeks! This tour will be craziness. Fifty-six stops in a month! Expect lots of reviews, new Revamp excerpts, deleted Revamp scenes, an excerpt from my yet-to-be-released second book (coming out next year), and BIG prizes! Signed paperbacks and e-books galore, and the grand prize...drum roll, please...Be a character in my third book! Live large in print, die large in print. I will be posting the tour schedule soon...  

Friday, September 7, 2012


Do Vampires Exist?

You say no, but back in the day, many really believed that these toothy creatures were out there, lurking in the shadows, waiting for an opportune moment to partake in fresh blood. Imagine a world in which the undead are a real threat? Would you still take that shortcut through the woods? Would you still wear your headphones in the parking garage? Would you still travel anywhere alone at night?

That noise behind you…is it a vampire?

Let me introduce you to three “real-life” vampires from my neck of the woods. Then you can decide.

Mercy Lena Brown, the Exeter Vampire

Nineteen-year-old Mercy Brown, a member of a prominent farming family in Exeter, Rhode Island, fell ill with “galloping” consumption and died a few months later on January 17, 1892. She was not the first of the Brown family to succumb to the disease. Her mother, Mary Brown, died almost a decade earlier, along with the eldest daughter, Mary Olive. Edwin, the Brown’s only son, became sick a few years after Mary Olive, but didn’t die right away, and lived to see Mercy laid to rest with the others in the Chestnut Hill cemetery behind the Baptist church.

As Edwin’s condition worsened, a desperate father made a last-ditch attempt to save his only remaining child. He responded to the local stories of an undead Mercy wandering the cemetery and farm fields, stealing the life force from her brother and other villagers, by exhuming his daughter’s grave. Mercy’s body was found turned over, with a flushed face and fresh blood seeping from the heart and liver. Her heart was then removed, burned to ash, mixed with water, and fed to Edwin to break the spell put on him. He died, still, two months later. 

Sarah Tillinghast, the Poetic Vampire  

In the year 1776, established farmer and father of fourteen Stukely Tillinghast had an unpleasant dream one night. Half the trees in his apple orchard died. Soon afterward, his beloved eldest daughter, Sarah, who had a fondness for poetry and wandering the local cemetery, came home feeling ill. Within weeks, Sarah was dead. Five children followed, each saying before their death that Sarah had come to them in the night. When his wife fell ill, Stukely took the farmhand, Caleb, to dig up his dead children. All of the bodies were in various stages of decay, except for Sarah’s. According to one account, the young girl’s eyes were open in a fixed stare. Fresh blood was in her heart and her veins. Stukely cut out Sarah’s heart and burned it, before reburying her. The last child, who was already ill, died, but his wife recovered and the rest of the Tillinghast children lived.    

James P Riva, the 700-Year-Old Vampire

In 1980, 23-year-old James Riva of Massachusetts shot and killed his grandmother with gold-painted bullets, sucked her blood, and set fire to her house. He claimed to be a 700-year-old vampire who needed blood to survive and that he was also satisfying his vampire masters by making a human kill. In later claims, his grandmother had been a vampire, too, and would come to him at night to feed. During the trial, it was released that Riva would sometimes drink a concoction of ketchup and oil because it resembled blood. He’s currently serving a life sentence at Walpole State Prison.

A painting by Riva hangs in his former defense attorney’s office. It’s a picture of the Boston skyline. All of the buildings are black.

So, again, do vampires exist? Still, no? Then snuggle up in your bed, pleased-as-punch, feeling safe, with a copy of Revamp and a mug of hot cocoa. Ignore the scratching at your window. Tree branches. Ignore the creaks outside your bedroom door. House settling. Ignore the screaming. Howling wind. And keep telling yourself that everything is going to be fine. Because there’s no such thing as vampires, right?

There's no such thing as vampires… 

Originally posted here:




Are You A Vampire?

Take this test and find out. But I have to warn you, you may not like the results.

1) Do you react badly when sharp objects are thrust through your heart?

a. Yes
b. No
c. Maybe, let me see.

2) Do you weep and curse at the screen while watching the Twilight movies?

b. No
c. Maybe

3) Do you bring your own straw to volunteer at blood drives?

a. Yes
b. No
c. Maybe 

4) Do you wake up in strange places, covered in blood and clutching dead hookers?

a. Yes
b. No
c. Maybe, but I’m Charlie Sheen.

5) Do you often eye the neck of a hot date and say, “No, I’m all set” when the waiter comes over for drink orders?

a. Yes
b. No
c. Maybe

6) When watching Lost Boys, do you jump up and exclaim, “Ridiculous! We can’t die by stereo!”

a. Yes
b. No
c. Maybe

7) Is your bed a coffin?

a. Yes. Doesn’t everyone sleep in coffins?
b. No
c. Maybe

8) Does your roommate keep sneaking holy water into your coffee?

a. Yes, but he swears it’s the best sugar substitute on the market.
b. No
c. Maybe

9) Has Banana Boat blocked your emails requesting they make a stronger sunscreen?

a. Yes, but SPF 2000 is a very reasonable request.
b. No
c. Maybe

10) Do you look good in black?

a. Oh yeah, and I look good in red, too.
b. No
c. Maybe

Mostly a’s - You’re definitely a vampire! You’re going to live for all eternity, unless of course you run into a hunter like Cooper or Emma from Revamp. Relax. Stick to the shadows. Try to avoid taking over the world. Focus on smaller prey: the Beamer driver on your ass, the customer whose briefs are in a twist because you forgot his side of ranch dressing. You have all night to party and all day to sleep. Remember, it’s fun to be a vampire.

Mostly b’s - You are not a vampire! But just think: no blood moustaches, no humans circling you with stakes, like pesky mosquitoes, no having to figure out how to suck blood through a space helmet in 200 years. For now, I invite you to live vicariously through the vampires of Revamp. Just be prepared to die vicariously, too.   

Mostly c’s - You might be a vampire! Avoid the daylight, for now. If you must, one body part at a time into the sun, starting with your pinky finger, ending with your head. It’s okay to begin dressing all in black. If you are a vampire, or are becoming one, the best thing to do is to ease into the undeath-style, and your wardrobe is a good place to start. If a week has gone by with no change, you’re probably not turning into a vampire. Don’t be sad. Put yourself out there, they’ll find you. Just pray the ones that find you like you enough to want to keep you around.

Originally posted here:

and here:


Write What You Don’t Know

As you read this, the phrase “write what you know” is being uttered from the lips of some writing instructor somewhere. Billy Crystal said it in Throw Momma from the Train. Pick up any writing book and it’s in there, like some cruel, wagging finger, “Better make sure to write what you know.” 

This makes you panic a bit—sweat starts to pool under the collar, because what do you know, really? And you’d like to write a novel about space aliens that sleep in smelly, old shoes and dance the Macarena right before they suck your brains out through a bendy straw. Your nerves start to level: okay, you’ve never met a space alien, but you are slightly familiar with smelly, old shoes (thanks, Dad), you’ve danced the Macarena before (it was a very long time ago, but it’s just a bunch of arm flailing, right?), bendy straws (check!), but brains? What do they taste like? You’ve never eaten brains before. Where in the world do they still eat brains? You will go there. You will eat brains too. You will record the taste in a small notebook. You will be able to write what you know (sigh of relief).
Maybe the above scenario is a slight exaggeration, but I have recently become a convert to the mantra Write What You Don’t Know, and here’s why:

1. Writing what you know is too safe. Stick your head out, see what’s on the other side. Your head might get chopped off, but you’ll have one hell of a story to tell from beyond the grave.

2. Your writing may become repetitive. If all you know is how to make deviled eggs, sure your first story might be good, but if the main character in your next book has a knack for making deviled eggs too, you could be in trouble.

3. Writing is about taking risks, if not for yourself, then for your reader.

4. By researching something, you’re learning something new and you can write about it with a fresh eye, from a fresh angle.

5. Your writing (especially if you’re a horror/suspense writer) is meant to catapult the reader into the fucking air. If you’re rehashing your daily routine on the page, your reader is getting dragged along, too. Poor reader.

There are exceptions, of course. If you’re a super, suave spy and Espionage is your middle name—WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW. And hi, you’ve got a cool job. Another exception, a lot of writers have their books set in the same locale (Stephen King and Maine) and that works. It can become your thing, and readers, especially your neighbors, will appreciate that. My point is, don’t shy away from writing about something because you don’t know anything about it. Set time aside to research. Don’t put limits on the story you want to tell.

Dive in.

Because it’s not just your future readers’ adventure, it’s yours too.

Originally posted here:



I was delighted when my writer friend, Beck, came to call again ( and brought along that wonderment of modern technology. To see the iPad once more filled me with such pleasure, I was afraid I might burst. We seated ourselves atop the gravestones, I, on my friend Marvin’s and Beck on Griselda’s. Initial formalities concluded, Beck asked me if I would pose several questions about writing Revamp, and I obliged. The iPad was handed to me and the light of the full moon above suffered in comparison to the sweet light emanating from that odd, flat fruit. By God, how far man has come!

But without further ado, here is my conversation with Beck Sherman, transcribed for you on the modern marvel, the Apple iPad. 

Stoker: “Beck, do tell me, have you ever read Dracula?”

Sherman: “Yes, of course. I loved it, which is why I sought you out. You’re a literary legend.” 

Stoker: “Why, then, may I ask, did you give it only four stars? The internet revealed to me this truth, and to my knowledge, five stars is the best.”

Sherman: “No, you’re right, Mr. Stoker. Five stars is the highest rating, but four stars is still very, very good. I’ve actually only given five-star ratings to a few books—”

Stoker: “Which ones?”

Sherman: “Um, offhand, I’m not sure I can recall—”  

Stoker: “Tell me.” 

Sherman: “Okay, um…I think The Shining by Stephen King was one.” 

Stoker: “Royalty? In America?” 

Sherman: “Oh, no. He’s not actually a king. He’s just a regular guy who wrote, and is still writing, some really amazing horror books.”

Stoker: “Does he have travel and cargo and letters in his novels? Dracula has these things and is better for it.” 

Sherman: “He does in some of them, yeah. So…I had a couple sample questions for you to ask me, just there—” 

Stoker:  “And thus concludes my interview with horror novelist Beck Sherman.”

Sherman: “But, Mr. Stoker, where are you going? And why are you still typing?”

Stoker: “I’m transcribing. Recording everything is very important. Remember, my friend, that knowledge is stronger than memory.”

Sherman: “Van Helsing said that. To Dr. Seward, right? Listen, I really hate for us to part like this.”

Stoker: “I have a king to visit.” 

Sherman: “Mr. Stoker, you can’t keep showing up on people’s doorsteps and scaring them into doing what you want. First Dacre, now Stephen King. Life doesn’t work like that.” 

Stoker: “I’m not alive, I’m dead. Death works like that, my friend.”

Sherman: “You won’t be able to scare Stephen King into not writing! He’ll never stop writing!”

Stoker: “The best of luck with your book, young Sherman!”

Sherman: “Mr. Stoker? Are you still there? Mr. Stoker, I need my iPad back!”

Originally posted here:


Revamp Lyric Drop

When I wrote Revamp years ago, I was inclined to put music in it. I am a big music lover and if Stephen King could do it, why not me? As I committed my book to one final edit, I realized that due to copyright laws the song lyrics had to go, and that made me sad. Music plays such a big role in people’s lives and classicizes scenes in movies. “In Your Eyes” and Lloyd Dobler holding the boombox outside Diane Court’s window, “Stuck in the Middle With You” and Mr. Blonde dancing around the bloodied cop, “Old Time Rock and Roll” and Tom Cruise sliding across the floor in his underwear and Wayfarers, “Tiny Dancer” and the sing-along on the Stillwater tour bus. All of these scenes were boosted by the songs that accompanied them. Their relationship was and still is symbiotic, hear the song on the radio and think of the movie, spot an actor or clip from the movie and think of the song.

In the end, I let my writing stand alone and waved adios to the song lyrics, but to me they’ll always be in there, and now, here they are for you too. Whether being played over a car stereo or sung by a character, here are the songs of Revamp:

Song1 - “Perfect” by The Smashing Pumpkins

The sped-up slow song playing in the after-hours club during Josie’s fateful night out, that has a high Josie trying to recall the song’s name.

Song2 - “California Love” by 2pac

Sung by Josie as she “gets beautiful.”

Song3 - “Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)” by John Lennon

Emma confesses she’s a planner at heart and contemplates John Lennon’s advice. “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”

Song4 - “My Way” by Frank Sinatra

Sung in the first draft, hummed in the final draft, by Myers as he prepares to “examine” Emma.

Song5 - “La Guitarra” by Los Autenticos Decadentes

Playing over Rojas’ car stereo when he comes to pick up Cooper. He tells Cooper, “You know, boss, this song here is the story of my life.” Not revealed in the book, it’s about a man with an unruly spirit who only wants to play his guitar and make music, despite his family’s objections.  

Song6 - “Staying Alive” by the Bee Gees

The “tinny version of a Bee Gees song” playing over the delivery truck radio during Seven’s escape. 

Song7 - “Setting Sun” by The Chemical Brothers

Playing in Club Vein when Emma gathers the courage to walk across the dance floor through a sea of vampires.

Song8 - “It’s So Easy” by Linda Ronstadt

Ironically hummed by Emma while she searches the closet to find items for her escape pile.

Song9 - “My Boyfriend’s Back” by The Angels

Blasting over the mod vampires’ car stereo as Emma passes on the motorcycle.

Song10 - “Walking in LA” by Missing Persons

“I had heard that nobody walked in LA, but that had all changed. Vampires walked. Vampires walked in LA.” (Emma Spade in Revamp)

Song11 - “Sympathy for the Devil” by The Rolling Stones

In the first draft of Revamp, lyrics quoted by a vampire character to introduce himself to Emma. “‘Let me please introduce myself, I’m a man of wealth and taste.’ I’ve always wanted to say that.”

Song12 - “Midnight Special” by Creedence Clearwater Revival

The record played by a vampire character in Revamp as he tells Emma his story, and the record that later serves an unconventional purpose. (Note: The “Midnight Special” chorus lyrics were the only ones I was able to keep in. The chorus has been used and reworked in songs for almost a century and was thought to have originated among prisoners in the American South. The chorus lyrics from the original folk song differ by one word from the Creedence version.

Let the Midnight Special
Shine her light on me
Let the Midnight Special
Shine her ever-loving light on me

Originally posted here: