Sunday, December 14, 2014


A few years back, I was using the Google machine to look up images of my books or anthologies I have been in, mostly to get ahold of an editor here and ask him where my Italian copy of SPLATTERPUNKS or the Spanish PESADILLAS EN ELM STREET (you might figure that translation out on your own). Well, I happened to see a few images of Year's Best Horror in Dutch. DAW had published 22 volumes until the last editor, Karl Edward Wagner, died. I had stories in the final ten volumes.

I wrote to the individual on his blog, his name was Kees Buis. I thought he owned a bookstore, but the books were from his private collection. So we traded, and I sent him signed copies of my novel and one of my short story collection. He still stays in touch with me, our friendship goes back about seven years, and he keeps looking for the other editions.

If you are a fellow writer and are reading this, then you know how easily we get screwed when it comes to foreign editions. I never expect money, I just want copies.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


The late Karl Edward Wagner used that term to describe his journals and so I do the same to keep his memory going. The way I lost my latest journal was pointless, and it hardly mattered because I had most pages either photocopied and/or as typed up stories, as was the case for the novella "Days of Fiction Past" and several other shorter pieces. The only thing truly lost were several pages for a story I had planned to call "Contemplated Freedom". If I end up starting that again, odds are it would be in a different stream-of-consciousness stage. Here are various photos of said commonplace book over the years, the photo of me in the Willis Tower was taken by my cousin Cindy Schwartz. When I graduated from UIC in 1982, we went down to Kentucky for Father's Day to see Granddad, and Cindy gave me a silver Cross pen. She knew I was going to be a writer.She did.

I have also used several small spiral notebooks or Moleskins, but everything gets transcribed into the commonplace book, here are examples of the other books.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


Mark Gutmaker, an "avid fan" (as Hannibal Lecter might say) of horror writers will often link to my Facebook page a review of a story in an anthology I am in. Here is Mark's synopsis and my trip down memory lane...

Our narrator (Wayne Allen Sallee?) and Tom, his best childhood friend were requested to partake in an errand for a family not far from the duo. They were asked to watch over an eighteen year retarded female; the daughter of some friends of their families, as she was apt to attract trouble. She would usually loiter at taverns with the undesirables that often frequented them. The two were asked to take her infant daughter "girly-girl" to an adoption agency, as she cared for her like a feline; but often forgetting to feed her. During their sojourn to said agency, a pleasant and well-groomed man, pulled up to the duo at a traffic stop and couldn't help but notice the babe-in-arms. This man, with his aforementioned attributes and who owned his own business, seemed to be a perfect match for the child and, with no qualms, relinquished the tot to her new father and all was well. Life went on as usual and our narrator and his friend went their separate ways as they grew older, but Audry, the slow woman, stayed with her family in the same locale in Chicago. About fifteen years later, Audry became pregnant again and (Wayne) was again called upon to perform another "task". Some time later, out of the blue, he receives a letter from one Mercedes McBride (A.K.A. "girly-girl") who describes her hellish childhood in great detail; raped by her "father" and the lack of a maternal figure. She now works as a stripper; ironically dressed in a cat-suit. Along with the correspondence was an erotic photo with the words "You made me-Mercedes". Just how she found out about her infantile past still remains a mystery. Disturbing and chilling, this is a favorite from my good friend Wayne Allen Sallee....

Thank you as always, Mark. Believe it or not, this happened with a neighbor whose daughter was retarded. She had gotten the dog as a gift but could not care for it properly. My only friend at the time and I went to take the dog to a shelter. And I swear we had only gone down 85th to Springfield to Columbus in all of 30 seconds (you could have heard us if we yelled we were that close) when some guy driving a plumbing truck looked down while we were at the light. His kids had lost a dog to cancer just like the dog we were taking away, and we told him that. He took the dog, pumping our hands heavily. My friend and I then realized that we had been gone five minutes in a wedge-shaped manner. So we sort of had to drive zig-zag and went to Rainbo-Cone for awhile. We came back, the girl was crying. We told her the dog was adopted while we were still at the center! She asked about the family. We described the dad and that there were two kids (a guess) and he was a plumber. She stopped crying and hugged us and then twenty years later I wrote that twisted mess. How about that? And, yes. The dog's name was Girly-Girl.

The entire late summer afternoon is imprinted in my head right now.