Shock Totem #10 (Jan 2016)
- Apex Publications Acquires Shock Totem Book Line
- The Head, the Tail, the Whole Damn Thing: Musings on Jaws, Part 8
- The Head, the Tail, the Whole Damn Thing: Musings on Jaws, Part 7
- The Head, the Tail, the Whole Damn Thing: Musings on Jaws, Part 6
- The Head, the Tail, the Whole Damn Thing: Musings on Jaws, Part 5
- The Head, the Tail, the Whole Damn Thing: Musings on Jaws, Part 4
- The Head, the Tail, the Whole Damn Thing: Musings on Jaws, Part 3
- The Head, the Tail, the Whole Damn Thing: Musings on Jaws, Part 2
- The Head, the Tail, the Whole Damn Thing: Musings on Jaws, Part 1
- Splatterpunk #7
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Tag Archives: Lee Thompson
Batten down the hatches, buckle your wigs, Lee Thompson is in the house!
If you’re unfamiliar with Lee or his work, I predict that will change in the near future. Steadily making his way up the small-press ladder, 2011 is shaping up to be Lee’s breakout year. Let’s do a quick rundown of the year thus far…
His debut novel, Nursery Rhymes 4 Dead Children, and the novella Iron Butterflies Rust were released through Delirium Books; a second novella, As I Embrace My Jagged Edges, will be available through Sideshow Press in the weeks ahead; his short fiction was published in The Zombie Feed, Vol. 1 (“This Final December Day”), Dark Discoveries #18 (“Crawl”), Shock Totem #4 (“Beneath the Weeping Willow”), and is forthcoming in the anthology Hacked-up Holiday Massacre (“We Run Races with Goblin Troopers”). Breakout year or not, Lee Thompson is making a hell of a noise.
Enigmatic, charismatic, and a genuinely good dude, Lee is hopefully destined for big things. Call me a fan.
As part of his 2011 Blog Crawl, he’s stopped by Shock Totem HQ to discuss his journey from dreamer to professional writer. Dig!
LOVE OF THE END PRODUCT
by Lee Thompson
I’ve hungered to make a career of writing. To get past my inadequacies and lay it all out there, the good and bad.
I was a horrible student. I think I’d have been deep into a writing career if I had cared about all of this when I was younger. But I didn’t even care about myself then. And I’m glad I didn’t find this passion until so late, because I got to live, I absorbed so much, and there are multitudes of emotions, hard-won lessons, regrets and shame, pride and rebellion that I went through and now get to draw from.
I remember being so poor (my own fault) those first five years before I’d published a single thing that I always had to use other people’s computers to write on. I was an inconvenience and they didn’t have to let me do that, but they did. I submitted a lot of stories on library computers and got a lot of rejections because I really wasn’t very good. But I was hungry to improve.
Then something happened last year where I turned a corner. It was like everything finally fell into place. I think it was that I learned so much from my buddies Shaun Ryan and Kevin Wallis, and I started studying novels I loved, hand copying them—in notebooks, on old printer paper, in legal pads—to learn more even though it was time-consuming, and I realize now that I stopped writing the first ideas that popped in my head. I started writing for me.
When I began this blog tour my first Division novel wasn’t even released yet and here we are with Nursery Rhymes 4 Dead Children out, as well as my second book Iron Butterflies Rust.
I think I’m very fortunate. I sold my first two books to Delirium Books, a publisher I love, one who has discovered rising stars and cares about the stories and a writer’s career. A publisher who has put out a lot of great material that first took shape in the minds of my heroes (Tom Piccirilli, Greg Gifune, Douglas Clegg, etc.) Not a bad way to lose my virginity. My publisher believes in me. He’s honest about what works for him and what doesn’t, but still asks questions that matter, and wants my input.
How awesome is that?
Very fucking awesome.
So, how does it feel to see your dreams coming true?
It’s wonderful. And it’s a little scary. And it’s very surreal. It’s still sinking in that I’m a professional now. I pour my heart and soul into my work. I use a lot of stuff from real life, from when I was stupid, when I was a kid, moments when I possessed that elusive quality called commonsense, when I was a drunk, dreams I’ve had, and memories and questions that torment me.
And I have friends like Shaun, Kevin, Jassen, Susan, Cate, Mark, Sam, Bec, Peter, Mike, Mercedes, Wanda, John, Nick, Doug, Ken, Neal, Glen, Jennifer, Kate, and so many others who support me, not because I have to beg them or bullshit like that, but because they care.
Any success I have is the result of all those people, and editors like Shane Staley, James Beach, Steve Clark, Adam Bradley, Tom Moran, Ken Wood and lots of others who encouraged me, and earned my respect because of their kindness, honesty, heart and passion.
I could fill pages with people who have helped me along the way these past few years. But that’s kinda frightening too. More and more people I feel I owe something: for putting down their hard-earned money, for spreading the word, for giving feedback, and most of all for their faith and their time. I’m more grateful than you might ever realize. So a huge thanks to all of you.
I never realized how much it would thrill me to get comments from people I don’t know telling me they loved this book or that short story. What an eye opener. It means a lot. It means, in some small way, I’ve connected with another soul (sometimes without ever sharing a conversation). I adore that beyond words.
Thanks to all those who have read and commented and spent time with me.
And a huge thanks to those kind souls who let me blog on their pages.
So much has happened in a short time, but hell, I’m just getting started.
For anyone who missed earlier guest blogs on this tour see them here.
Rock on, you bad mofos.
Looking to score a free copy of the latest issue of Shock Totem? Well, if you head on over to Lee Thompson’s new website you can toss your name into the e-hat and possibly win one of three copies he’s giving away.
Lee’s story “Beneath the Weeping Willow” is featured in this issue, and it’s fantastic.
Looking for a zombie fix? Like board games? Then look no further than Oh No…Zombies! You can win this game by shambling on over to The Zombie Feed and following the easier-than-easy rules. But be quick, the deadline is tomorrow night, August 13, at midnight.
And while you’re there, consider purchasing a copy of their namesake anthology The Zombie Feed, Vol. 1, which features my story “Goddamn Electric,” as well as tales by Lee Thompson, BJ Burrow, Danger_Slater, and many more.
We have a few contests of our own scheduled. Stay tuned…
So our fourth issue is scheduled to come out next month, so how about an update?
We’re still working on the artwork. We have a great piece that we might use, but it’s got similar colors to the last issue, so we’re seeing if we can come up with something else in time. We’ll see. Either way, expect it to be another fantastic piece of art.
While we wait on that, how about the official Table of Contents?
Miracles Out of Nowhere: An Editorial, by Nick Contor
Beneath the Weeping Willow, by Lee Thompson
Full Dental, by Tom Bordonaro
Tragic and Gorgeous: A Conversation with Rennie Sparks, by Mercedes M. Yardley
Web of Gold, by Rennie Sparks
Weird Tales, by David Busboom
Playlist at the End, by Weston Ochse
Lobo, by Justin Paul Walters
Strange Goods and Other Oddities (Reviews)
Living Dead: A Personal Apocalypse: An Essay, by K. Allen Wood
Dead Baby Day, by Michael Penkas
Long Live the Word: A Conversation with Kathe Koja, by Nick Contor
Fade to Black, by Jaelithe Ingold (2010 Café Doom Competition Winner)
Bloodstains & Blue Suede Shoes, Part 2, by John Boden and Simon Marshall-Jones
The Many Ghosts of Annie Orens, by A.C. Wise
Howling Through the Keyhole (Authors’ Notes)
And that’s about all for now. I think it’s another great issue and hopefully you agree. I will update more as the release nears, and if all goes as planned, it should be available in a few weeks.
Thanks for sticking with us!
As mentioned here before, Jason Sizemore, owner of Apex Book Company, has released volume one of a new anthology series under his The Zombie Feed Books imprint. The anthology, simply titled The Zombie Feed, Vol. 1, features fiction from issue #4 author Lee Thompson, Daniel I. Russell, BJ Burrow, Monica Valentinelli, Simon McCaffrey, and many others, including yours truly.
[ click photo to enlarge ]
So how about a free copy?
Head on over to Jason’s website and check out the “bad-ass” contest he’s set up where two lucky—and creative—people will win autographed proofs of The Zombie Feed. You can find the contest here.
(Tip: Pick me!)
While issue #3 is still sexily working the streets, I thought it would be cool to post a few progress updates as issue #4 comes together. So here goes the first…
Currently we have seven stories accepted for the issue, totaling about 16,000 words. These stories come from Lee Thompson, Justin Walters, David Busboom, Weston Ochse, Tom Bordonaro, Michael Penkas, and Jaelithe Ingold, the winner of the 2010 Café Doom contest, which we sponsored.
We have an interview with Kathe Koja already done, and we’re working on at least one more.
In addition, there will be nonfiction, reviews, a new installment of Bloodstains & Blue Suede Shoes, all the standards we’ve had in previous issues. And the artwork is currently being worked on. I’ll consider posting an early draft at some point.
We still need about 14,000 words of fiction before we’re finished, but we’re confident we’ll get there. Expect it in July!
Lee Thompson is a cool-cool dude. He’s also a fantastic writer who is making some serious waves in the small press. Forthcoming this year, he has a novel (Nursery Rhymes 4 Dead Children) and novella (Iron Butterflies Rust) coming out through Delirium Books; and another novella, As I Embrace My Jagged Edges, is currently available in digital format through Sideshow Press, with a hardcover version coming soon.
And in July, his story “Beneath the Weeping Willow” will be published in Shock Totem #4.
If I remember correctly, it all started with “Daddy Screamed With Us”, a short story released through Darkside Digital last year. Naturally I wanted to support his writing, which is why Lee took my digital virginity. No pain, a little blood, and it was a good time.
“Daddy Screamed With Us” is a story about choices, or maybe one of necessary evil. Or both. When Jeremy’s release from prison is up for review, it’s up to Doctor Kerr to determine if the killer is fit for release into society or a continued life behind bars. But there’s more to it than that; it’s not up to Doctor Kerr to make that decision. Jeremy has to make his own choice.
Jeremy is in prison for killing Edward Singer, but he says he’s killed more than once, and Doctor Kerr wants to know about that. It’s in Jeremy’s telling that his past is revealed and his fate is sealed.
As an introduction to Lee’s work, “Daddy Screamed With Us” doesn’t disappoint. And at a cost of $1.49, really you can’t go wrong. Sure, it’s digital fiction, but if you purchase this story now maybe we’ll see it in print someday, in a nice glossy collection. Buy it!
I picked up this limited chapbook last year at Necon. It’s sat on my bookshelf since then, just a sliver of white, a mere fifty pages, practically invisible to me. I’d thought it was part of the spine of another book! Anyway, though limited, it’s still available at Horror Mall for five beans.
The story I read this week was “The Blood-spattered Mirror Ball,” by L.L. Soares. The story is about those social misfit-types who were never invited to gatherings of the so-called social elite. While alive, anyway. See, because they’re dead, and now their ghosts are determined to have a damn good time, invited or not. Even if, for one of them, it means entering not through the velvet ropes but out of a horse’s ass. Yes, folks, a ghost emerges from a horse’s ass. I’ve read a lot of absurd stories in my day—I remember Fagula, the gay vampire who turned those he bit into homosexuals; and then there was the witch who selflessly fed her vampire lover during her menstrual cycles—but usually they make me cringe. This time I laughed.
Surprisingly, “The Blood-spattered Mirror Ball” is a lot more serious than I expected. Yes, there is a high level of absurdity here, but it was an enjoyable—dare I say, moral—tale that transcended its humor. Looking forward to reading the other two tales.
Been on a Dean Koontz kick lately, and it’s been a blast. Old Deany-poo is my favorite, you know. Soon I’ll be reviewing more of Koontz’s early, obscure work, but this week it’s back to Strange Highways. “Miss Attila the Hun,” to be precise.
This story seems to be something of a transition point for Dean. It’s a dark tale but still incorporates a bit of his early sci-fi mojo. In fact, it’s sort of cut from the same mold that Winter Moon (originally Invasion, released under the pseudonym Aaron Wolfe) was cut from. It involves an alien being, little more than a sentient mass, which takes over its hosts for the sole purpose of world domination and spreading chaos. But while this being has encountered love on other planets, it has never encountered the overpowering strength of human love.
“Miss Attila the Hun” is enjoyable if a bit hokey. And Dean seems to have forgotten the black alien stalks and tendrils that burst through people’s chests, because when it’s all over…there are no gaping, bleeding holes. Say what? Maybe I missed something. Either way, a fun read.
And that’s it for now. As I’ve said before, if you enjoy something, support the hell out of it! So click those links.
The Zombie Feed, Vol. 1, a new anthology featuring issue #4 author Lee Thompson and yours truly, among others, is now available for pre-order. It is being edited and published by Apex Publications owner Jason Sizemore, so you can expect quality.
Pre-orders come signed by the editor. Click here for more details.