December 30

Hey, tomorrow’s the last day of 2022! Which means that tomorrow’s newsletter will be the last newsletter of 2022!

The short story is “Turn That Frown Upside Down,” and the special feature is a (completely made up) interview with author Kenzie Jennings.

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December 27

If I stay on schedule, today I’ll hit the halfway point on my new novel. This one is bats**t inside…which, yes, I suppose describes pretty much all of them, but still…

Last night I finished reading Quentin Tarantino’s Cinema Speculation, which filled me with a great desire to watch a bunch of the ’70s movies he writes about. No time for that now, though. I’ve got a novel to write!

December 24

Merry Christmas Eve! I’m usually opposed to book-burning, but if you need to set fire to a few of my books to stay warm, it’s totally fine. If they were autographed copies, I’ll write my name in the ashes.

The new novel is just over one-third done. Things are getting insane! Just kidding…things were insane long before the one-third mark. I’m not sure that I would classify this book as a full-on horror/comedy, but there’s a very strong “WTF?” element to the proceedings.

I’m finally catching up with the third season of Barry. I’d forgotten how GOOD this show is. As funny as any sitcom, but with real stakes.

December 22

I’ve made my writing goal six days out of six since I started the new novel. Right now, I’m planning to sustain that goal for Day #7. But I’m also planning to do a very careful rewrite of the 71 pages I’ve written so far (I start each day by going over the previous day’s work, but today I want to start from the beginning) so we’ll see what happens…

Look! It’s my author copies of Bentley Little’s The Store. No, Bentley Little is not my pseudonym. I wrote the foreword. When Lividian Publications asked me to do this, my initial reaction was “Yes! Yes! Of course!” followed by slack-jawed astonishment that they would’ve asked me to do it. It’s a fantastic presentation of a fantastic novel, and I hope my dorky little foreword doesn’t diminish the glory of this package.

December 20

It took me almost until midnight, but I did make my writing goal yesterday, so I’m four for four since I started this new book. I also braved the holiday lines at the post office (much longer than usual, but a far cry from the postal hellscape of Atlanta or Tampa), re-recorded the Skull Sessions podcast episode that didn’t record (for the most part, an entirely new conversation, with the occasional callback to what was tragically lost), and enjoyed my free birthday burrito from Moe’s.

Today I won’t be going to the post office, won’t be recording a podcast, and I don’t get another free burrito, so I guess I’m just working on the book.

December 18

The new book (which now has a tentative title, but I shan’t share it quite yet) is going smoothly. Two days in a row I’ve hit my word count goal. How will Day Three go…???

Yesterday I did my final proofread on Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (honestly, just a scan for formatting glitches at this point) so now I guess I just wait until April 14th for the book to come out!

Got the almost-final pages of “The Gaslighting of the Shrew,” which is my four-page story for the bonus comic included with Shakespeare Unleashed. Basically they need to make one dialogue bubble point at a different person and it’s good to go.

Recording a podcast this afternoon (Bubble Bath With Baph), joined by Bridgett Nelson. Unlike most of the podcasts I’ve done recently, this one is audio-only, so it doesn’t matter that I’m in desperate need of a haircut.

December 17

Started a new novel yesterday! That wasn’t the plan. The plan was to finally, finally finish Creep Out, my possessed ventriloquist dummy book, and publish it in January.

Then I discovered that Grady Hendrix has a new novel coming out in January, How To Sell a Haunted House. I’ve known that for months. What I did NOT know is that it’s….a possessed puppet book. D’oh!!!

I’m sure the two books are completely different, but I don’t want to publish an evil puppet book at the same time a much higher profile puppet book comes out. Creep Out isn’t being flushed away; I’m just going to put some distance between the two.

So I decided to start something brand-new. It doesn’t have a title yet. It’s a crime thriller that takes a very early hard left turn into supernatural horror. With It Watches in the Dark and Attack of the Killer Tomatoes done, and a major behind-the-scenes project probably on hold until January, I’m going to try to get as much done on this new book as I can over the next couple of weeks.

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