Sunday, December 22, 2013

In accordance with the Bram Stoker Award® guidelines...

This was a decent year.  Published more things than usual.  Tales to Terrify is doing well.  I'm about to pull the ripcord on the day job and possibly move to a small New England town, get a dog and get back to writing full time. So, maybe, next year will be better.

I would love to offer all members of the Horror Writers Association (HWA) the opportunity to read two of the stories I sold -- this for their consideration for the Bram Stoker Award in Short Fiction.

One is "Instructions on the Use of the M-57 Clacker," published in October, 2013, in the anthology "Fear the Reaper," edited by Joe Mynhardt for Crystal Lake Publishing.

The second is "Jars" which appeared in "Canopic Jars: Tales of Mummies and Mummification," edited by Gregory L. Norris for Great Old Ones Publishing.

"Instructions on the Use…." is a Vietnam war tale in which the darkness of war follows a young soldier home.

In "Jars" three children come into contact with a horror they cannot understand or see but which fills their lives with an ancient darkness.

If you're a member of HWA and have an interest in reading either or both of these stories, drop me a note at:

Of course you could buy the books.  There are treats aplenty in there for all of you.

And stop by and have a listen.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The First 480 Words of My Story in BEAT THE REAPER

The First 480 Words of


“So, you kill anybody?” Arinello said. No one else had asked.
Libassi had put a million rounds into the dark. Careful three-round bumps or Mad-Minutes on full-auto, a thousand year-old wall between him and Charles, the stink of nitro coating his throat, muzzle-flashes right, left, forward, above, like stars.
“Probably,” he said. “Why?”
“Just wondering’s all. You was scared?”
The ceiling at O’Dwyer’s Fishtown Bar-Liquors-Beer was still pressed tin. O’Dwyer was dead, old age, cancer, something, but his ceiling? That was the same, sure-sure. Libassi’s eyes wandered. He read the tin landscape cold, like a field map of the Highlands. “Scared? Fuck yeah.” Then, “Okay no. Well at first, then it goes inside. Then, ‘I see the light,’ clack-clack.
“Fuck, I know you, Libassi. Scared shitless! What’s that? Clack-clack?”
“Something. You want stories? ‘A Grunt’s Tale, or What the Fuck?’”
“Like Sister Magdalene reading, what was it? ‘The Red Badge of Who Gives a Shit!’”
The laughs died.
“How old you think Nam is? Country not the war?”
Libassi shrugged.
“A thousand years.” Arinello stopped for the memory. “‘Place is the clit of the South China Sea.’ Soc said that.”
“Look at a map.”
“Socrates. Socrates is a dead nickname. Words for everything that guy had. What’d he say jungle was?” Took a second. “Fecund!” The word popped out of memory. “Yeah, ‘fecund.’ Should hear what he called malaria and shit.”
The laughs died again but Soc was in his head now, whispering smells, tastes. “‘Jungle’s the cunt of the world.’ Soc said. ‘War inhales us and the forest spits out death, rot, life; it is all the same. The end. Amen.’” Libassi turned to Arinello. “That’s Soc. Dead now, sure-sure.”
“A thousand years?”
“Them villes, yeah. Grass huts, ‘imagine.’ Not stone like Italy and the Greeks. A thousand at least, the butterbar said.”
“Butterbar. Yeah. Second lieutenant. We come out of the forest. A dog’s barking down in the ville, always a dog’s barking. The path leads down into whatever it was called. ‘Imagine,’ LT said. ‘Huts lasting a thousand years.’
“Then an RPG comes smoking out of that shithole, pins the man to a tree and…”
“… dog’s still barking. But LT’s greased. Quickly dead. Anyway, the round never detonated, Chicom shit, so I’m okay. But LT’s guts leave a trail from where we stand back to the fecund forest.”
Then memory. There in O’Dwyer’s Fishtown Libassi remembered: out of that ville had come the thing, the dark he called it. Nothing else to call it. He saw it there for the first time, he and another cherry; a crawling blackness… That’s all he remembered.
“What happened?”
“After? After, we Zippo’d the place. A thousand years those huts keep the jungle back.” His memory was alive in smell, taste, sound. “A couple Zippos and... Yeah, guess I got some then. The dog anyway.”

Fear the Reaper now available

I've been celebrating during this October Season.  I sold three stories to three anthologies.

The first, "Fear the Reaper," has just gone live on Amazon.  It is a big, generous book, 402 pages written on by twenty-two of the best horror writers around.  Go to Amazon, put in "Fear the Reaper" and you'll have the full ToC and a preview of what's in it.

My story, "Instructions on the Use of the M-57 Clacker" is a Vietnam War tale about the horrors of war that follow us home.

Fear the Reaper from Silver Lake Publications, 402 pages, $14.99 print, $4.99 ebook.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Pssst... looking for some eldritch horror for the weekend?  Just up:

What's "The Dream Quarry?" Go find out. By the way, below? That's a ghast. He and his buddies have a part in my Dream Quarry story, "God Screamed and Screamed, Then I Ate Him."  That's the stand-alone story that eventually found its way into my novel, "Just North of Nowhere," and which, as it was originally published in the Lovecraftian anthology, "Cthulhu and the Co-Eds, Kids and Squids," became my first Bram Stoker-nominated story.

That was in 2000 or so.  Looking back at the thing when I was about to send it to Alex, I only vaguely remember writing it.  Well, I hope you enjoy it.

Okay, here's what the publisher -- Alexei Collier -- says about The Dream Quarry:

What is it?

The Dream Quarry is now and will be a series of online anthologies, collections of fiction written to a theme or subject. Most material will have a weird bent.

So where are the stories?

Volume 1 is now up. (  The next volume is still being quarried from the raw strata of the collective unconscious. When the stories are ready, they will be brought into the collective consciousness which we call the internet.

Are you accepting submissions?

Submissions are currently closed to the general public. This may change in the near future.

Who is responsible for this abomination?

The Dream Quarry is curated by Alexei Collier, author and speculative fiction enthusiast.

Well, I already told you that.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Synthetic Voices's Review of Tales to Terrify and "Little Girl Down the Way"


From: James Rogers
Date: June 14, 2013, 9:51:14 AM CDT
Subject: Synthetic Voices Feature - May 2013

Dear Intrepid Editors over at Tales to Terrify,

I wanted to let you know that "Little Girl Down the Way" was featured on the May 2013 episode of Synthetic Voices ( The Bram Stoker nominees you had recorded were also featured on the show. Just thought you'd like to know!

What is Synthetic Voices? Why, it's a speculative audio fiction podcast, of the aggregation/news variety. For over a year, I have been listening to almost ALL of the podcasted fiction produced on the web and narrowing down a few stories to share each month with my readers and listeners. Here in Maryland, we also conduct a monthly discussion a few weeks after the podcast has gone out.

If you'd like to know more about Synthetic Voices, you can visit or drop me a line at

Keep up the good work!

-Jimmy Rogers
Synthetic Voices, Writer and Producer

Jimmy sent me a note about Synthetic Voices's take on "Little Girl Down the Way." You can listen at: or read Jimmy Rogers's comments, below.

*A Dark, Powerful Story*
This story needs its own feature section. Reader beware.

“Little Girl Down the Way” by Lawrence Santoro
Tales to Terrify Ep. 70
~30 mins

– Rather than “sum up” this story as I do with so many others, I’d like to share how this one made me feel. It is dark and frightening, and it is read expertly by the author, Lawrence Santoro. His reading sent shivers down my spine, but also made me feel an intense feeling of discomfort and vulnerability. A strong warning, the text essentially describes an unfathomable level of child abuse. Normally I toss out such stories as fast as I can, especially in the horror genre, where they are far too plentiful, but this one drew me in and earned, I think, the discomfort it caused. I won’t say I even LIKE this story, but I definitely recommend it to people who can stomach the subject matter.

Also, I strongly recommend listening to Santoro’s own thoughts on the story, which frankly provide about half of the reasons to listen at all. For those who think about horror, this one will set your mind working.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

This Week on Tales to Terrify

Coming up, on Tales to Terrify, we'll have our annual shows that feature all of the stories nominated for the year's Bram Stoker Award for Short Fiction. This week, we'll have tales by Lucy A. Snyder and Weston Ochse. Of course you'll be there. That's this Friday. Bring a friend.

Of course, you can also go to the archive and listen to any of the 73 shows we've done since we began in January of 2012.  That includes last week's Stoker show that included stories by Joe McKinney, Bruce Boston and John Palisano.

See you in the Nook...  And best wishes to all in NOLA.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

"Little Girl Down the Way" on Tales to Terrify

For those of you who remember it, my story, "Little Girl Down the Way" will be the Mothers Day podcast on this week's Tales to Terrify

Also, beginning this week, author and ghost hunter Sylvia Shults
takes us on a guided tour of one of the most haunted places in America, the Peoria State Hospital.

That's this Friday, May 10.

Warning: "Little Girl..." is a brutal story.  Come with a friend.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Rick Hautala

Last week, horror writer Rick Hautala died.  The note below is excerpted from a message Rick's friend and sometime collaborator, Christopher Golden, circulated in the writing community. 

If you'd like to help Holly, here's the key information: You can PayPal directly to Holly at


If You Want to Help Holly Newstein Hautala

Dear friends, I don’t have the words to put Rick Hautala’s death in any form of context. His wife, Holly, told me this morning that it’s blown a crater in her life, and that’s as good an image as any I could imagine.
The life of a freelance writer is often one lived on the fringes of financial ruin, and Rick struggled mightily to stay afloat in recent years. Just within the last couple of months, that struggle became difficult enough that he could not afford to continue paying his life insurance bill, and allowed it to lapse. Though he could never have foreseen it, the timing, of course, could not have been worse. Then, just this morning, Holly discovered that the social security benefits she might hope to receive as Rick’s widow are not available to her until she turns sixty, three years from now. Efforts are under way on projects that we hope will earn some money for Rick’s estate, but meanwhile there are costs involved with his death to consider, and then, for Holly, the struggle will continue. If you’d like to help, any donation would be appreciated. You can PayPal directly to Holly at Thank you so much for your time.

Christopher Golden

Another thing I suggest: Go to Amazon -- or wherever you buy your books -- and buy Rick's books. He was prolific. Thirty novels, a hundred or so stories. And, if you like horror, they are truly worth it. He was a great writer.