Posts Tagged ‘fantasy’

In writing, as in any other field, it’s fun to tally up “firsts.” First published story. First published poem. First story in an anthology, in a magazine, in a webzine. First international sale. Etc. I’ve been at this long enough and fortunate enough to have all of those happen. Now comes a new one. Aghast-Cover-small

I’m pleased to announce that my story, “Appearances”, is included in the premiere issue of Aghast: A Journal of the Darkly Fantastic. The magazine is edited and illustrated by George Cotronis and published by Kraken Press. It’s the first time I’ve been part of the launch of a new publication.

George’s tastes in horror are, not surprisingly, similar to mine. When launching the Kickstarter campaign that provided the funding for this project, he wrote:

Somewhere along the way, my tastes had changed. I’m not really into violent media any more, serial killers don’t work for me as boogeymen and graphic descriptions of murder might just make me ditch a book.  On the other hand, my dislike for fantasy fiction has abated once I discovered things other than Tolkien pastiches.

He lists Graham Joyce, Norman Partridge, Holly Black, and Lucius Shepard as some of his favorite authors and likes Guillermo del Toro for his films, particularly The Devil’s Backbone. He cites Shimmer and the (regrettably departed) Shadows & Tall Trees as publications similar to what he wants Aghast to be. Given all that, I’d be happily signing up for the reading alone. Now I have a story that’s part of the maiden voyage alongside work by Tim Waggoner, Gemma Files, Jeff Strand, and others.

“Appearances” is another of my ghostly tales. It’s about family and grief and love and was inspired by a strange phenomenon in the 200 year old manse I currently live in with my family. Saying more would be saying too much.

Aghast: A Journal of the Darkly Fantastic is currently available on Amazon for Kindle devices and reader apps. It will be available in a glorious print edition very soon. I’ll post details here when I have them. A hearty thank you to George Cotronis for including me in the premiere of his labor of love. May Aghast have a long, wonderful run and always bring more joy than heartache to its creator. Aghast - interiors


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Surfacing briefly to announce that I have a new story out. That Ain’t Right: Historical Accounts of the Miskatonic Valley (Mad Scientist Journal) containing my story, “The Crumbling of Old Walls” is now available for your digital devices and in good old fashioned paper. The trade paperback edition looks like this:


Lovecraft fans will recognize the name Miskatonic Valley as a setting for many of his stories. Each contributor has written a first person account set somewhere in the valley. The book contains, “…eighteen tales of people who have either lived in this strange corner of New England or had the misfortune of visiting. Mixed in with nods to classic Lovecraft icons are stories that bring a new eye to the genre. Tales of horse drawn carriages share space with orbital shuttles, alternate worlds, and football.”

Thanks to editors Jeremy Zimmerman and Dawn Vogel for including me. I’m looking forward to reading everyone’s work.

The publisher reports you can purchase the physical book at Amazon and possibly via special order at Barnes & Noble or Powell’s.

The ebook is available via Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, iBookstore, Versent, Inktera, Scribd, and Kobo.

Oh, and the cover art by Shannon Legler is gorgeous.


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I don’t know who the other authors are yet,  but The Unsettled Foundation teased a bit about the lineup for The Electronic Voice Phenomenon. A look at the neighborhood in progress.

EVP tweet

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That Aint Right - Miskatonic ValleyI’m pleased to announce that my story, “The Crumbling of Old Walls” has been accepted for publication in That Ain’t Right: Historical Accounts of the Miskatonic Valley (Mad Scientist Journal) The anthology will be a collection of first person accounts told by people visiting or living in the Miskatonic Valley, the reimagined northeast and north central Massachusetts setting of many of H.P. Lovecraft’s stories. My story is set in modern day Aylesbury, a small town well up the Miskatonic River.

I am not a Lovecraft scholar by any means. Nor have I read that much of his work. But I’ve always been interested in his mythos of “Great Old Ones” and the idea that there are immense beings/forces beyond our understanding in the universe that may not exactly wish us well. I am also a fan of linked stories that create a fictional world. Plus, I grew up in northeast Massachusetts and have spent almost my entire life in New England. Add it all up and Lovecraft’s world is a natural sandbox for me to play in. Lots of editors and writers and game developers do.

Lovecraft never wrote anything set in Aylesbury. It is mentioned in a poem and in two of his most famous stories, “The Lurker at the Threshold” and “The Dunwich Horror.” The latter story provided some key geography to connect my tale to Lovecraft’s world. Other Lovecraftian bits I picked up via research. Writer/editor Jan Kozlowski‘s popular knitted Cthulu items also get a nod.

Dogged followers of this blog will know that this isn’t my first forray into the Miskatonic Valley. I had a triptych of poems accepted for The Terror at Miskatonic Falls (Shroud Publishing). I’m hopeful they’ll become available someday. In the meantime, I’m looking forward to That Ain’t Right.

More news as I have it.


So called ‘Lovecraft country’ of Cthulhu Mythos, showing some of the most important cities of Massachusetts alongside with towns invented by Lovecraft. Imaginary towns are marked with square, real ones with circle. Map and description by Miihkali. Wikimedia Commons.

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Available now:

Innder Demons Out Front CoverMy story, “Unknown Caller” is available in Anthology Year Two: Inner Demons Out, edited by jOhnny Morse and published by Four Horsemen. The book is stuffed with stories, poems, and art created by attendees of the second AnthoCon conference. Most of us call New England home, but not all. Writers and artists come from across the US, Canada, and Richard Wright came all the way from India in 2012.

Contributors to Inner Demons Out include Michael Bailey, Tracy L. Carbone, Scott Christian Carr, Stacey Longo, Kevin Lucia, Bracken MacLeod, Holly Newstein, K. Allen Wood, Richard Wright, and many, many more.

Available from Amazon.


MiseryLoves - Small CoverMeanwhile, I have released an eBook edition of my comic/contemporary fantasy story “Misery Loves” through Whistling Kettle Press. The story was first published in Aeon Speculative Fiction and received some kind words.

“Patton makes his fantasy world glimmer…A well-told, unaffected tale…”
– The Fix

You can purchase the eBook edition from these online retailers:




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MiseryLoves - Small CoverI’m pleased to announce that the second release from Whistling Kettle Press is an eBook edition of my story, “Misery Loves.” When Misery’s roof is damaged by a storm she is forced to seek help from her unusual neighbors. Honesty advises her to approach the person she understands the least – Love.

“Patton makes his fantasy world glimmer…A well-told, unaffected tale…” – The Fix

“Misery Loves” is available for most reading devices. You can purchase it on Amazon or directly from Whistling Kettle Press via PayPal. More locations coming soon.

A bit of background. The story was originally published in Aeon Speculative Fiction #13 and is one of my personal favorites. It’s funny (sez me). It’s quirky (sez me). It’s quite different from most of my work. It was also a pure spontaneous joy to write.

I think most stories are labors of love with the emphasis on labor. Writers write because we must  and sometimes the work is painful and slow. But every once in a while a story comes along that reminds the writer that they are merely a conduit, a vessel, a voice for something greater and only partly understood. The story pours through them and out into our world. So it was for me with this tale. As I wrote in the introduction:

This story surprised me first by ambushing me, the first lines popping into my head from wherever they had been before. I had an immediate image of what Misery looked and sounded like. The fun, and the surprise, came from going along with her as she sought help from her unusual neighbors.

I’m delighted to have had the chance to work with Bridget McKenna at Zone1Design on this edition. She did great work designing the cover and interior art, formatting the layout, producing the final files and, most importantly, listening to my many comments, questions, and ideas. She cared about the story and how the final product served it. I would happily work with her again.

I hope you enjoy the eBook edition of “Misery Loves.”

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Spaceports & Spidersilk - April 2013“The Awake Fairy,” my first published children’s story is now available in the April 2013 issue of Spaceports & Spidersilk (Nomadic Delirium Press).

Like so many children’s stories, “The Awake Fairy” is about a misfit of sorts. I had fun telling this story to my 10 and 7 year old sons and then more fun typing it out and giving it a polish. Thanks to Marcie Tentchoff for taking in this little fellow and giving him a home so that others can meet him.

Spaceports & Spidersilk is available on Smashwords and can be purchased and downloaded for your Kindle, iPad/iBooks, Nook, Sony Reader, Kobo and other eReader devices. It’s also available as a PDF or in HTML or in several other formats. Basically, if you have a computer or a phone or other device that acts like a computer, you can obtain a version that will work for you.



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