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never bet the devil

Today is the first day of the best 31 days of the whole, entire year. And if I’m not quite ready for it, that doesn’t mean that I’m any less excited to see it arrive. My October plans are currently in a state of some flux. I had originally intended to hit some awesome screenings at the relatively new local Alamo Drafthouse, but they’re closed for renovations for the entire month, so that’s out. But I’ll be doing some cool stuff, still.

Plans are also in flux while I wait to hear some final information about release dates for my forthcoming collection from Evileye Books. I should know something on that front literally any day now, and I’ll be sure to post about it here as soon as I do.

I’m participating in the Countdown to Halloween again this year, as I have every year since I first heard about it, because, come on, it’s Halloween, of course I am! I don’t have any specific daily stuff planned, but I’ll try to make some pretty regular posts, and I know a lot of other great ‘blogs that do. I recommend spending some time going through the list of participants, and if you need a place to start, I can’t recommend Belle Dee’s art ‘blog Doo Wacka Doodles highly enough, and I know she’s got a lot of great stuff planned for the season. And while I don’t see them on the list (yet), I pretty much always recommend The Obscure Hollow, which is one of my favorite ‘blogs around any time, and becomes especially apt this time of year.

There’s a lot more seasonally appropriate ghoulishness coming up, but for now I just wanted to drop in and commemorate the beginning of my very favorite month. Stay tuned!

There’s been a lot of stuff happening that relates in some way to books that I’ve been meaning to mention but, frankly, just haven’t had the time. Still don’t, really, but I’m going to try to wedge as much of it as I can conveniently remember in here. Bear with me.

Progress on my own two books is still proceeding apace, and they should both be out this year. Never Bet the Devil & Other Warnings any day now, and Fungi in December. Fungi has a website, which Silvia and I are updating every Friday with tidbits about the book, authors talking about why they wrote their fungal stories, and other bits of fungal weirdness.

Speaking of Silvia and the good people of Innsmouth Free Press, they’re currently doing a campaign to fund their next anthology, the very-excitingly-themed Sword & Mythos, and there’s only five days or so left to contribute, so toss some coins into that bucket. If you contribute at the right level, you can even pre-order a copy of Fungi that way. I’m not directly involved in this one in any way (besides that I hope to sub a story, if it gets off the ground), but I’m excited about the theme, and I know that the Innsmouth folks do good work. (And I’m not just saying that because they frequently buy mine.)

Speaking of the Mythos and books with which I am at least tangentially involved, The Book of Cthulhu II, which features a reprint of my story “Black Hill,” is now shipping from Amazon. I haven’t seen my copy yet, but I’ve talked to folks who got theirs. The Book of Cthulhu II also features a new story by Molly Tanzer, which continues the bizarre genealogy she began in “The Infernal History of the Ivybridge Twins,” one of my favorite new short stories in years. The rest of that mad family history can be found in her new book A Pretty Mouth, which, as fate would have it, is also shipping from Amazon, and early to boot. It’s like Christmas in September. If Christmas were a lot more squamous and eldritch.

Molly’s book is one of my most anticipated releases of the year, which is pretty impressive, since this is a year that’s seeing a lot of great stuff coming out, including a new collection by Richard Gavin, as well as John Langan’s second collection, both from Hippocampus Press. (Langan’s collection doesn’t seem to have a spot on their website yet, but I have it on good authority that it’ll be out soon, and I know from the stories in it that I’ve already read in their natural habitat that it’s going to be simply amazing.)

There’s a ton of other exciting stuff, either out now or on the horizon (including this incredible-sounding anthology, which is also available from Amazon, so you could grab it and the other two I mentioned and get super-saver shipping!) but I’m running out of time, so I’ll wrap this up and say my apologies to anyone I forgot to mention in this quick-and-dirty recap of exciting book times. More soon!

My story “The Reading Room” was originally published in Bound for Evil, edited by Tom English. It went on to get me my first-ever honorable mention from Ellen Datlow, and the anthology itself was nominated for a Shirley Jackson Award, so it’s a story I’m pretty proud of. It’s also going to be one of the stories in my forthcoming collection Never Bet the Devil & Other Warnings, and as a preview my publishers have made it available as a stand-alone story on Kindle (and Kindle apps). What’s better, it’s free for a limited time!

If you pick up this release, you not only get a sneak peek at the title illustration that the fabulous Bernie Gonzalez did for the story, but you’ll also get access to some special “bonus content” that I wrote especially for this release. All for the low, low price of $0. So, please, check it out!

My first short story collection is coming out sometime early next year from Evileye Books! For most of you reading this, that’s probably not news, though the “early next year” part might be. The fact is there’s still not a date set in stone, but we’re shooting for March.

The book is going to be called Never Bet the Devil & Other Warnings. It’s going to consist of ten stories, two of which are previously unpublished anywhere, one of which is my currently out-of-print novella The Mysterious Flame. It’s going to be fully illustrated by the incredible Bernie Gonzalez, who also did the cover, which you can see here. I’ve seen the illustrations, and I can say that this book is going to look amazing. Hopefully you’ll like the stories, too.

There’ll be more news about it coming down the line, but for now I can say that we’re planning to release the collection in trade paperback and e-book editions in the spring, and then later on there’ll be a limited-edition hardcover, if there’s enough demand. And here’s the part where I ask for some help. If you’re interested in the collection, and would like to stay in the loop on it, it’d help out if you dropped a line to theloop@evileyebooks.com and let them know. And if you’re a reviewer and would like to get an ARC, send an email to reviews@evileyebooks.com. Finally, if you want a copy of the limited-edition hardcover, send an email to bookclub@evileyebooks.com and let them know that you’re interested in the hardcover of my collection. None of these will commit you to anything, but it’ll help let the publisher know that the demand is there.

To say that I’m excited about this would, of course, be the grossest of understatements, and I want to say thank you to everyone who has already expressed their enthusiasm for it, and to everyone who reads this website, no matter how you got here. I’ll have more news (and other things) coming down the pipe very soon.

Those of you who were around this weekend may’ve already seen this, but it deserves a good big post of its very own. The pre-production (so not necessarily final, but probably close) front cover of my forthcoming collection Never Bet the Devil & Other Warnings has been revealed:

You can go to the publisher’s site to read a little about the background that went into the cover, but for now I can tell you that the cover art is by the fabulous Bernie Gonzalez, who also did illustrations for every story in the collection (more on that later). There’ll be a lot more news and details about the collection coming down the road, but for now I wanted to share the cover with everyone.

In other news, I believe I can safely announce that I sold my story “The Labyrinth of Sleep” to the fine folks at Innsmouth Free Press for inclusion in their forthcoming Future Lovecraft anthology. Stay tuned and you’ll be hearing more about that in the near future, as well!

The website and table of contents for the first volume of The Burning Maiden, which will feature my story “Count Brass,” is up here. I’m in a really just jaw-dropping table of contents. I’m not going to reproduce the whole thing here this time, though I should, but we’re talking about the likes of Cullen Bunn, Matthew Pearl, Tim Lebbon, Mike Oliveri, Jeremy Shipp, Sarah Langan, Mort Castle, and Joe Lansdale, among others! So yeah, wow!

It’s coming out this October from Evileye Books, the same folks who’re going to be publishing Never Bet the Devil & Other Warnings (my collection). “Count Brass” will also be in my collection, though I sold it to them for The Burning Maiden before we’d ever started talking about the collection. Still, this means October is going to be a big, big month for me, for lots of reasons.

While I’m on the subject, you should check out the Evileye book club. It’s the only way to get the limited-edition hardcovers of their various books, including Never Bet the Devil, The Burning Maiden, Cullen Bunn’s Crooked Hills, and Mike Oliveri’s The Pack: Winter Kill, among others. There’s no commitment involved, and it also gets you access to various other special deals. Plus, even though it looks like you do, you don’t have to have a Twitter handle to sign up. Just, if you do, they do updates and stuff via Twitter.

Today I can finally announce what is without a doubt the biggest news in the history of my writing career so far: My first short story collection will be coming out this October from Evileye Books. This has been in the works for a little while now, but this is the first time I’ve been able to talk about it officially. Here’s the press release, though I’ll summarize a couple of salient points below.

The collection is called Never Bet the Devil & Other Warnings. An official announcement of its complete table of contents will be forthcoming, along with some other details, but it’ll feature nine stories plus my out-of-print novella The Mysterious Flame. A couple of those stories will be previously-unpublished. There will be a trade paperback edition available at launch, as well as digital editions, with plans for a special hardcover edition sometime next year. And did I mention all this is planned for October, in time for Halloween? Happy birthday to me!

I’ll have a lot more information on this between now and publication, so keep an eye on this space!