Horror anthology

Paying the Ferryman Giveaway: The Stats

I recently put three paperback copies of Paying the Ferryman up for grabs on Goodreads. The giveaway was open to all US and Canadian residents. The giveaway ran from April 11, 2016 until May 31, 2016. Now that the giveaway is over, I wanted to share some numbers with anyone interested.

942 people entered.

Out of those 942 people, 400 added it to their TBR list. That’s almost half. The e-book is only $2.99. If a fraction of those 400 readers buy it, I feel like the giveaway was worth it.

Three readers won free copies of the anthology. If any of those three readers see this, your books were mailed today. You’ll get them soon.

I don’t have the exact numbers, but there were several spikes in sales in both the paperback and e-version (at least through Amazon) of the book during the giveaway period. Since I’m not the publisher, I don’t have access to ALL of the numbers. So make of this what you will.

Considering the amount of people who had Paying the Ferryman on their TBR list was in the single digits before the giveaway, I’d say more readers are aware of its existence. The more readers who know about your book, the better the chances they’ll buy it. I’ll continue to look at the numbers in the coming months to see if we get more sales and reviews.

How can I make the next giveaway better? For an anthology, I think it would be better if more of the contributing authors were involved. More authors means the potential to giveaway more books, swag, or even more, meaningful interaction with new readers.

All-in-all, I think the giveaway worked pretty well. Almost one thousand readers were exposed to this horror anthology who weren’t before. Almost half of them added it to their TBR lists and are now potential customers. Three readers won a free copy and will hopefully read and review it. I think holding a giveaway for your book, where the giveaway ends shortly after your book releases, is a great way to get readers interested pre-launch. If anyone wants to know more, just drop me a line.


Paying the Ferryman Facebook Questions Answered


Last night Charon Coin Press hosted a Facebook party to celebrate the release of their latest anthology, Paying the Ferryman. I’m not on Facebook (tried it and didn’t like it) so I figured I’d jot down the questions and answer them here. Feel free to ask any other questions in the comments below.

Margie Colton: Are you a plotter, a pantser, or a hybrid?

I’m a huge plotter. I like to have a solid story structure and outline in place before I turn on my computer. I’m talking things like character bios, major plot points, and settings. Once I get a feel for all of the different aspects of the story, I like to immerse myself in them, meaning they’re always on my mind. For me, it makes writing a lot easier knowing where I’m going. Taking the time to outline in the beginning means less revision work later.

Frank Edler: Do you see death as a dark end or a promising new beginning?

Each person will likely have a different opinion on this. I’m not sure anyone really knows for sure, and that’s what makes this an interesting question. I suppose I’m not sold on either the dark end or the new beginning. Personally, I hope that when I die that’s it. I’d like to finally be at peace.

Hayden McAnally: What is your favorite horror book?

the descent hardcover

Eric Jude: Do you use a pen name?

No. I don’t believe in using pen names. Even if I write in several genres, I plan on using my real name. I want credit for all the hard work that went into creating those stories, and books, no matter what genre they happen to fall under.

Brian Fatah Steele: Does your story in Paying the Ferryman fall into any particular horror sub-genre?

I don’t think so. Plain old horror.

Hayden McAnally: Did any of you ever get particularly creeped out by your own words?

No. Not much scares me. What I try to do is see through my character’s eyes, what scares them. Fear is such a subjective thing that each person will probably react differently to different situations. The key is presenting the scares in the most universal way possible so a greater number of readers will relate to them.

Tammy Hay Mitchell: Who is your favorite author and why?

Right now my favorite is Tim Lebbon. He does so many things well that I find myself wanting to write better. He usually finds a way to inject horror sensibilities into whatever genre he’s writing at the time. My all-time favorite is Dean Koontz. The way he lets his stories unfold (particularly his earlier works), giving readers enough detail (without over doing it) so they can finish the scares themselves, is masterful.

Frank Edler: What fellow author were you most honored to share the pages of Paying the Ferryman with?

Armand Rosamilia because he’s been in the business for a number of years.

Frank Edler: How did you approach the theme of Paying the Ferryman?

I immediately thought about what death would mean for someone like a car thief. Would they have regrets? Was this person bad or simply making the best of the hand they were dealt? Would they get, or even deserve, a second chance? I believe life is rarely black and white. It’s full of shades of gray, and that’s what I wanted to explore.

Margie Colton: What’s the best part of writing?

Getting to explore ideas and concepts I probably wouldn’t get to in real life. Plus I get to share my stories with readers who may get something more out of them than I ever intended.

Margie Colton: What is your favorite part of your story?

Can I go with the visuals? I bet most readers will remember the bacon scene the most though. 😉


D. S. Ullery: What drew you to submit to this anthology?

The concept. Plus, the people behind Charon Coin seemed passionate about not only the creative side of publishing, but also the business side. Through experience I’ve learned to not submit to any/every press. It was easy for me to see Charon Coin was different in a good way. Working with Margie was a pleasure and I would definitely recommend Charon Coin to other writers.

Jenner Michaud: Did you learn any lesson as a writer writing your story for Paying the Ferryman?

Just about what kind of people Margie and Jerry are. Margie in particular made the entire submission process easy and approachable for everyone–from the first time author to a more seasoned author like me who’s been actively submitting projects for a couple of years. For those of your who don’t really know, Margie went above and beyond keeping everyone updated and on the same page. She was also very approachable and open to new ideas. One of the better experiences I’ve had to date in publishing.

Paying the Ferryman is available now! For more information visit Charon Coin’s official website.

Paying the Ferryman Releases Today

Paying the Ferryman releases today! Readers can get it from Amazon / Kobo / Barnes & Noble. Reviews would be greatly appreciated at this early stage. I’d like to personally thank every reader who purchases and leaves a review for this anthology. It means a lot to an up-and-coming author like me. Hope you like it!

Just a reminder that you can join Charon Coin in celebrating the release of Paying the Ferryman by attending their Facebook party, tonight. There will be prizes! Details: https://www.facebook.com/events/509816859176321/

Add Paying the Ferryman on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27240094-paying-the-ferryman

For all the latest news and updates about Paying the Ferryman, follow Charon Coin Press on Twitter.

CHARON_FERRYMAN_fulldesignFrom the publisher: Death is just the beginning…

Death. Just the word can trigger gut-wrenching fear. The kind of fear causing the heart to pound, cold sweat to run down and burn the eyes, and fingers to tremble with a loss of strength. Is our fear the realization that from the moment of conception, the clock starts counting down until we come face to face with death? More likely, it is the fear of what comes after the moment our last breath escapes. The exploration of this fear is contained within these pages.Join us as we follow a serial killer who tries to outrun the minions from Hell. Meet a man forced to relive his past hoping for redemption. What if your destiny begins after your death? Death is truly just the beginning.

After death has occurred, what could be worse? Paying the Ferryman answers the question of what comes next in twenty imaginative tales.

Paying the Ferryman Release Party

Ferryman wraparound

Charion Coin Press cordially invites you, yes you, to their Facebook release party for their newest anthology, Paying the Ferryman, on October 20. Chat with some of the authors and editors of the anthology. Expect hijinks and insight into how the anthology came together.

You like winning things, don’t you? Of course you do! THERE WILL BE PRIZES!!!

If you’re on Facebook, follow this link to the party page and RSVP today: https://www.facebook.com/events/509816859176321/

Paying the Ferryman Has a Release Date

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably seen this information. If not, why aren’t you following me on Twitter?


Charon Coin Press are gearing up for the October 20 release date of their forthcoming anthology, PAYING THE FERRYMAN. What’s this PAYING THE FERRYMAN ANTHOLOGY, you ask? In each of the stories in this anthology, the main character dies and passes through to the other side. Each author brings a different perspective, and definition, to their other side. Sounds pretty cool, right? I thought so too and was so inspired by the concept that I penned a short story called Death Blossoms.

When I sat down to write Death Blossoms, I knew I wanted a main character of color. They had to be someone from the street. A hustler of some sort. Someone who did what they thought they had to in order to survive. I drew on my earlier years for this character–one of my good friends from high school in particular. I’m no hustler, but I’ve been around them enough to know how some of them think. Despite what some of us may think, not all hustlers are bad people. Desperation and fear can drive even good people to do bad things. My father started out robbing the offering plate from his local church so he could feed his brothers and sisters. All of those things went into Armando Castillo, a young car thief who only wants to get his mamma out of the projects and into a better life. He’s someone, I believe, we all can relate to.

Without giving too much away, the heart of my story is about overcoming our darkest fears (whatever they may be). And, if you’ve read any of my other work, you know I’m big on redemption. Did I mention killer bacon? Don’t adjust your eyes. Yes, I said killer bacon. Bacon…that kills!

Death Blossoms was a lot of fun to write. Turns out it was easy for me too. I can’t wait to see how readers react in a few weeks. Expect more promotion leading up to PAYING THE FERRYMAN’S release.

Mark your calendars. Have your payment ready. The Ferryman is waiting.

The official press release can be found on Charon Coin’s website. Follow this link.

You can find Charon Coin Press on Twitter / Facebook / Official Website

Behind the Story: Through Mourning







Still here? Last chance to turn back. Spoilers ahead!

I recently had a short story published in the anthology, At Hell’s Gates: Bound by Blood. My story is called Through Mourning. It takes place three years after a plague ravaged New York City and follows a lone survivor named Byron Wingate. He’s a former garbage man and single father. For three years he’s been searching for his daughter. And after three years alone, his grip on reality is slipping.

The anthology focused on family relationships. I already had Through Mourning written and it serendipitously fit with what the creators were looking for. Anyone who has ever submitted to an anthology knows how difficult it can be to match a story with an editor’s vision. I was fortunate, and grateful to be apart of the anthology.

At it’s core, Through Mourning is a ghost story set during the zombie apocalypse.

Byron has been living with his failures, how he couldn’t protect his daughter. Even though he won’t give up searching, in the back of his mind he’s been mourning the whole time. This story, at least for me, was a way to explore how a man would deal with the ultimate failure of losing his daughter. He fears the worst but has to know what happened to her. It consumes him.

This story gives a nod to Richard Matheson’s, I Am Legend. It’s very much a character driven story. And the main character is in the middle of losing his shit. It explores the weight of loneliness, and how personal failures affect a person. Throw the two together, add a ghost, and wrap it up in a zombie apocalypse, and you have the recipe for Through Mourning.

I don’t know of any ghost stories that take place during the zombie apocalypse. Feel free to share any recs in the comments below.

Anyway, I hope you guys like the story, and anthology. You can pick it up now for your Kindle for only $2.99. All proceeds got to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.

Grab At Hell’s Gates 3 for Kindle and/or paperback here by clicking on this link.

See You At Hell’s Gates

It’s official, one of my short stories will be appearing in the forthcoming charity anthology, AT HELL’S GATES: BOUND BY BLOOD. The announcement can be found at the official website, here: http://athellsgates.com/2015/06/ahg3-author-lineup-cover-art-announced/


What’s cool about this anthology is every cent goes to the Fallen Intrepid Heroes Fund. Not just a dollar of sales. Not a portion of each sale. Every. Single. Cent. That’s what made my involvement so easy. Readers get quality horror for a good cause. It’s a win-win.

The cover art is badass. If you look closely, you’ll see my name! I mean, ahem, all of the contributing authors can be found on the cover image.

Releasing on July 31, 2015, AT HELL’S GATES: BOUND BY BLOOD, is sure put a scare or two in your summer reading. I hope you’ll consider buying a copy and supporting a worthy cause.

What can you expect from me?

My story, Through Mourning, will be set loose on the reading public when At Hell’s Gates: Bound By Blood releases. Here’s the blurb: For the past three years Byron Wingate has eked out an existence in a zombie infested NYC haunted by the fate of his missing daughter. He made a promise to find her. Thus far he’s failed. When he sees a strange girl skipping through the undead hordes he feels compelled to help. The lines between what’s real and what isn’t blur. The girl, he believes, is the key. But will she lead him to salvation or damnation? With his sanity faltering, and the undead closing in, Byron may soon discover sometimes ignorance really is bliss.

I’m so happy this story found a home. While I don’t want to go into any more detail, I will say that my sister cried when she read it. I think you gals/guys are going to dig it. See you at the end of July for the release! Don’t forget to “like” the At Hell’s Gates Facebook page too!