Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Up today, a little horror story of mine called "Touch" at FLASHES IN THE DARK: Horror Flash Fiction in Daily Doses:


There's a permanent link to the story in the sidebar.

On Halloween, Rizzy Rodham's short story "Amanda," based on some poetry and prose-poetry I published over the last year, is scheduled to go up at Paul D. Brazill's YOU WOULD SAY THAT, WOULDN'T YOU?

Monday, October 25, 2010


The following poem, "the witch," appeared in a print anthology of New England poetry last year. I think. I got an acceptance letter, but no contributor's copy. The life of a writer. Anyway, Happy Halloween....

the witch

our neighbor
the widow mcdowell

--whose husband
worked hard for
sixty-odd years
was kind and quiet and
steady as they come
then spent his
running naked from the
groton town police—

used to set
baskets full of apples
from her own backyard
over the wall
into ours

my brother and i
would both yell
and run
into the house

looking back
i felt terrible
until i remembered
how she’d smile
when we ran
light right up
maybe even laugh

i realized
she wasn’t just
trying to be nice
but also
trying to
scare us to death

she did a
pretty good job
that witch
in a way
makes me
feel good too



I'll have a short story published online tomorrow, another in December.

This morning, I hit page 87 on the adult Horror novel, NOW AND THEN. Itching to finish so I can revise the YA Horror novel I just wrote.

As for drawing, I'm about to do some serious work on negative space. I started an album called ART? at my facebook account to track my progress.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Just posted an interview with Katashi Katsu, by Juliette "Rizzy" Rodham, at disenthralled:


I'm on page 68 of the new book, NOW AND THEN. I've only been shooting for 5-10 pages a day on this, because (1) it's a more sophisticated novel than the last one I wrote and (2) I want to devote as much time as possible to learning how to draw. I turn out a decent sketch from time to time, but have never gotten serious about art. It's time I did. My goal is to be able to illustrate my own comics or cartoons. (I have always wanted to do a daily, horror comic strip. I did have one running online, about six or seven years ago, with an artist who manipulated photos of live models. It's where I first used the title BACK AGAIN AND GONE. Ramsey Campbell gave me permission to use the name of one of his early characters--Render of the Veils, from a Lovecraftian short story--as the name of my own sinister antagonist. It's tough coordinating with an artist for an ongoing project, especially when it's published strictly for fun. Perhaps being able to illustrate one myself will open some doors for me.)

I don't have much coming out this fall, since I haven't been submitting, but I may send out a horror story or two this week.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


I have a little rhyme called "ED" in issue #40 of Danse Macabre, one of the ezines I appear in somewhat regularly:



This morning, I tried to choose what type of book I'd write next. It's a toss-up between a crime novel (for which I have @ 70 pages of raw material) and an adult Horror novel with the working title NOW AND THEN. I'm leaning towards NOW AND THEN. Wrote a couple pages. The idea feels like it's ready to go. NOW AND THEN is a ghost story, told in the past and present simultaneously, with a vicious little twist at the end.

Britt and I may go out to a local diner for breakfast to celebrate the completion of my YA novel, THE CALL.


Yesterday, I submitted a new short story, "Over the Hill," to a site I haven't published at yet. Should know before too long if it's what they're after....

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


This morning, I completed the Young Adult Horror novel I’ve been working on. It’s the first in a series I had in mind based on the Cthulhu Mythos tales of H.P. Lovecraft.

I started it 8/20/10. The major difference between writing this and the other novels I’ve written this year was the pace. I recently changed schedules at work. Instead of banging out 3-5 pages a day, every day, like usual, I wrote 20 pages a day, Mon-Thu. Weekends off. It took about a month and a half to write.

I was pleasantly surprised at how comfortable this set-up was. The book came in at 348 double-spaced pages—59,717 words. At this rate, writing a novel is far less daunting for me. I can keep the momentum up. The ending is always in sight—meaning that I don’t have that feeling of not knowing how long the project will go on. Plus, committing myself to write 20 pages a day FORCES invention, which is one of the key ingredients to making a long work interesting.

I kicked it off like this:

“You believe in that stuff?” Michael asked.

And then ran with it. I had the main character and basic framework of the novel in mind, but none of the other details. I just let it come. It’s great to be surprised yourself as you’re writing and some of the plot turns and revelations really caught me off-guard. As a rule, I don’t plot out much. Almost all of my poems and short stories begin with a simple line that pops into my head; I plunge in with no idea how things will turn out. If you trust yourself this way, I find, say what you mean and stay true to the rhythm and mood of the piece, the rest will take care of itself.

The first thing I noticed, upon completing it, was that I didn’t have the bittersweet, manic postpartum let-down that tends to accompany writing a book. I was happy to type THE END, extremely satisfied with how it went.

So what’s next?

I’m going to write one more book right away. I’ll figure out over the next couple days what kind of novel it will be. I have two or three ideas stirring. Then I’ll clean up the first three chapters of this one and pitch it, along with an outline of the series and the next installment.

This has been a good time for me. I’m in a creative free-flow like I haven’t experienced in quite a while. The painting. Photography. Music. Writing. Fashion madness. Everything is working and working together, with no one activity cutting into the others. 2010 has been the worst year of my life in many ways, but the love of those around me and the almighty power of Creative Expression have pulled me through. Here’s to even more of it as I head into 2011.

Walter Conley
Louisa, VA