J.W. Donley and I swam some deep waters in this new author interview with The Horror Tree. We talked about the writing process and creative muse; ecological horror and climate implications; and of course how it all relates to my new release I Have Asked To Be Where No Storms Come. It was an absolute privilege and pleasure to be part of this. Check out the interview on Youtube!

I can’t believe the book will be alive and heading out to readers everywhere tomorrow. All I can say is that I hope you enjoy it, Dear Reader.

Wondering if I Have Asked To Be Where No Storms Come is for you? Check out this list of dark fantasy westerns full of magic and gunslingers I made for Shepherd.com, an awesome site where you can discover all kinds of comparable books! Check it out here!

Max with City Wide Blackout talked shop with me — you know, that basics. Magic, descriptions of hell, villains, my pantsing writing style, and of course that I Have Asked To Be Where No Storms Come now has a paperback pre-order up. Typical coffee talk.

Check out the interview here or if Spotify and Amazon Music is more your jam, tune in here: https://linktr.ee/CitywideMax.

Are you tired of my book, yet? Well strap in, because y’all gotta make it to Friday and I have some cool stuff to share.

I chatted with Mark over at Bloody Good Reads about book inspiration for I Have Asked To Be Where No Storms Come (out July 29!), story origins, and the evil man made me choose only three (three!) bloody good reads to recommend!

Listen here to find out!

Some like their spreads with cheese, others like their spreads with cards, Myself, I like my spreads book-shaped, and the cover’s looking real nice!

Paperback pre-orders open on Wednesday, July 27. If you’re thinking, “Like whoa dude-man, that’s like super close to the release date, I’ll just wait,” then stop, hesitate, and listen.

Pre-orders show buyer interest and nothing makes our capitalistic society as hungry as that. So, sure, you could wait and I’d be happy this story appealed to you. Otherwise, you could get your order in early and kill two birds with one stone. The bird is me in this analogy.

Either way, I’m grateful you chose to support my art with your hard earned currency.

I Have Asked To Be Where No Storms Come releases July 29, 2022 from Crystal Lake Publishing.

So before Midjourney was a thing, I hopped on wombo to play with words, art, and styles to create imagery for I Have Asked To Be Where No Storms Come. This is some of the crazy stuff that came out.

And yes. I’m usually behind the trends.

My prompts were dark western, witch brothers, underworld, lightning goddess, smoke demons, and hellish saloons!

I Have Asked To Be Where No Storms Come releases July 29, 2022 from Crystal Lake Publishing. Preorders are open!

Comparative titles and blurbs.

They’re a pain. Genre feels like a marketing game and sometimes it’s hard to pin your book into one category or another, especially if you’re like me and your elevator pitch attempts sound like, “Imagine Supernatural crossed with Lonesome Dove but like in an alternative history like American Hippo, and with a creature feature like in The Only Good Indians but, like, more dark fantasy slash weird west mash up…”

Good grief.

So to help me get that mess of a pitch condensed and figure out what exactly is my genre, I went through the comp titles I’ve read to guide me and tried to narrow my ideas down.

Alternative History
An Easy Death by Charlaine Harris and American Hippo by Sarah Gailey both feature the USA defined and changed by a singular moment which pivoted the timeline away from known history. The death and assassination of FDR or the introduction of hippos into American swamps.

In I Have Asked To Be Where No Storms Come, the defining moment is more landscape oriented. A huge earthquake created a near impassable canyon between the East and West, leaving the Brightside full of industry and technological evolution, while the West is stuck in the past, with the dregs of industry filtering over piecemeal. Is this Dark and Bloody canyon a natural phenomena? Or is there foul magic at play that created it? Like the two comp titles above, the changed world has resulted in a place of lawlessness, rogues, carnivals, terrible medical practices, and sacrificial magic.

Creature Feature
The Dark Tower series by Stephen King and The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones are books I absolutely loved for multiple reasons, but here, the focus is the creature feature. Whether it’s a half spider human or a vengeful elk spirit, the characters are haunted and hunted by their past and the monsters created from their choices.

In I Have Asked To Be Where No Storms Come, monsters are abundant. But what if our protagonists were the monsters? Evil ancestral magic flows in their veins, which can only be obtained by making a deadly choice. Is this choice free will or fate? And are the “monsters” really evil, or are they doing everything in their power to preserve what they know and love? But, all the while, there is another creature desperately seeking something lost, who knows the depth of grief, and transforms into something unimaginable.

Wild West Magic
In The Book of Tongues by Gemma Files and The Six Gun Tarot by R.S. Belcher, things are tricky considering the colonialism of the American West and especially so in a dark fantasy horror setting. This is probably the thing I struggled with the most. I wanted this to be a story about my home but in doing that, it made me take a hard look at what magic lives in my large corner of the USA. There is a melting pot of magic living in this land. And, it seems to seep through without explanation, from names of places, to stories casually mentioned, to those stories that are only meant for certain ears. How can you know a place, be from a place, without understanding it in entirety? Or, is this a form of conquering and it should be that you belong with the place instead of seeking to uncover every little nuance of it?

I’m getting way too deep here. Let’s reel it back.

These two comp titles have a diverse array of magic within them, from Chinese jade eyes of resurrection to  blood magic of ancient goddesses. In Have Asked To Be Where No Storms Come, the horror element is that this magic is a burden passed down through a lineage, but the origin has been erased from memory. It’s specific to the witch — both the method of tapping into it and what it can give you, what it does to you. It’s the backbone of the land you didn’t even know existed. It’s magic that has been appropriated and used in twisted ways, which becomes integral to our characters.

So, what does our final pitch look like with all this information?

In a United States transformed by a canyon called the Dark and Bloody radiating dark magic, two witch brothers, separated by loss and grief, must fight through a demon-infested underworld to find each other again. Yet, when their ancestral blood magic demands sacrifice, they must each decide what matters most: the world or each other.

Not bad!

What do you think? Too much? Too little? Is it amazing, fantastic, never seen before? Or just bad?

Hey, pitches are hard. Nothing is perfect.

Pre-orders are open! This is for the Kindle version with the paperback to follow.

Pre-orders are incredibly important. Why? They show the big companies with all the money that your little project is making a splash. It’s like you’re waving your support flags, being the author’s cheerleader, proving that this creative project was worth the investment.

So, if you can, help me make a splash!

I Have Asked To Be Where No Storms Come releases July 29, 2022 from Crystal Lake Publishing.

Ruschelle Dillon over at the Horror Tree and I dish about All The Things from dark fantasy books to my new release to that one time I saw a ghost in a Paris train station. Check it out here!

I Have Asked To Be Where No Storms Come releases July 29 from Crystal Lake Publishing.

What a pleasure it was to be interviewed by author Theresa Derwin as part of her Write On series with Crystal Lake Publishing.We chatted about poetry and inspiration and details about my upcoming release I Have Asked To Be Where No Storms Come. Check out the interview here.

Here’s a small slice of the things we talked about:

“I’m a panster writer, but also a “magpie” creator – my little creative cache relies on experiences, tid-bits of conversations I’ve been involved in, speeches and lectures, song lyrics, poems, and witnessing the natural world so that I can funnel my experience all through my imagination and stitch it together into something fantastical.”

I Have Asked To Be Where No Storms Come releases July 29 From Crystal Lake Publishing. Preorders open soon!