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About Todd Keisling
TODD KEISLING is the Bram Stoker Award-nominated author of Devil’s Creek. His other works include The Final Reconciliation, Ugly Little Things: Collected Horrors, and The Monochrome Trilogy, among several shorter works. He lives somewhere in the wilds of Pennsylvania with his family where he is at work on his next novel.
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Bram Stoker Award-winner for Superior Achievement in Non-Fiction!
Nightmares come to life in this comprehensive how-to guide for new and established authors…
Book two in Crystal Lake Publishing’s The Dream Weaver series picks up where the Bram Stoker Award-nominated Where Nightmares Come From left off.
It’s Alive focuses on learning the craft in order to take your story from concept to completion.
With an introduction by Richard Chizmar and cover art by Luke Spooner. Featuring interior artwork from horror master Clive Barker!
Table of Contents:
- Introduction by Richard Chizmar
- Confessions of a Professional Day Dreamer by Jonathan Maberry
- What is Writing and Why Write Horror by John Skipp
- Tribal Layers by Gene O’Neill
- Bake That Cake: One Writer’s Method by Joe R. Lansdale and Kasey Lansdale
- Ah-Ha: Beginning to End with Chuck Palahniuk and Michael Bailey (Discussing the Spark of Creativity)
- They Grow in the Shadows: Exploring the Roots of a Horror Story by Todd Keisling
- Sell Your Script, Keep Your Soul and Beware of Sheep in Wolves' Clothing by Paul Moore
- The Cult of Constraint (or To Outline or Not) by Yvonne Navarro
- Zombies, Ghosts and Vampires─Oh My! by Kelli Owen
- The Many Faces of Horror: Craft Techniques by Richard Thomas
- Giving Meaning to the Macabre by Rachel Autumn Deering
- The Horror Writer’s Ultimate Toolbox by Tim Waggoner
- Sarah Pinborough Interview by Marie O’Regan
- Conveying Character by F. Paul Wilson
- Sympathetic Characters Taste Better: Creating Empathy in Horror Fiction by Brian Kirk
- Virtue & Villainy: The Importance of Character by Kealan Patrick Burke
- How to write Descriptions in a story by Mercedes Yardley
- “Don’t Look Now, There’s a Head in That Box!” She Ejaculated Loudly (or Creating Effective Dialogue in Horror Fiction) by Elizabeth Massie
- Point of View by Lisa Mannetti
- What Came First the Monster or the Plot? In Conversation with Stephen Graham Jones by Vince A. Liaguno
- Building Suspense by David Wellington
- Conveying Horror by Ramsey Campbell
- Unveiling Theme Through Plot: An Analysis of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Birthmark” by Stephanie M. Wytovich
- Interview with Clive Barker by Tim Chizmar
- World Building (Building a terrifying world) by Kevin J. Anderson
- Speak Up: The Writer’s Voice by Robert Ford
- Writing for a Better World by Christopher Golden
- Shaping the Ideas: Getting Things from Your Head to the Paper or on Screen. Interview with Steve Niles, Mick Garris, Heather Graham, Mark Savage, and Maria Alexander by Del Howison
- On Research by Bev Vincent
- Editing Through Fear: Cutting and Stitching Stories by Jessica Marie Baumgartner
- Leaping into the Abyss by Greg Chapman
- Edit Your Anthology in Your Basement for Fun and Profit! . . . or Not by Tom Monteleone
- When It’s Their World: Writing for the Themed Anthology by Lisa Morton
- Roundtable Interview by John Palisano
- The Tale of the Perfect Submissions by Jess Landry
- Turning the Next Page: Getting Started with the Business of Wri
Liminal Spaces is a quiet horror anthology from Cemetery Gates Media featuring stories from well-known dark fiction writers such as: Joanna Koch, Jessica McHugh, Mark Allan Gunnells, Anthony J. Rapino, Gwendolyn Kiste, Michael Wehunt, Bob Ford, Kelli Owen, Richard Thomas, Todd Keisling, Chad Lutzke, Kristi DeMeester, Joshua Palmatier, and Norman Prentiss.
“The word ‘liminal’ comes from the Latin root limen. It means ‘threshold.’ A liminal space is a ‘crossing over’ space–a space where you have left something behind, yet you are not fully in something else. It’s a transition space.
“This is my favorite kind of horror and speculative fiction. Fiction which takes place in that ‘crossing over’ space. Stories about characters who have–wittingly or unwittingly–crossed a threshold. Those who have left something behind, yet are not quite somewhere or something else. They are in-between, and are neither one thing, nor another. Classic anthologies like Shadows, edited by Charles L. Grant epitomize these kinds of stories, as did Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone, the work of Charles Beaumont and T. M Wright, Joyce Carol Oates, Shirley Jackson, and the ‘strange stories’ of Robert Aickman.”
-Kevin Lucia, Editor
Or so the story goes. In truth, no one has ever seen the supposed Duncan Tape, presumably because it doesn't exist. It's a ghost story perpetuated on the forums and chat rooms of the internet, another handful of bytes scattered across the Information Superhighway at blistering 56K modem speeds.
For Robby and his friends, an urban legend is the last thing on their minds when a boring Friday night presents a chance to download porn. But the short clip they watch turns out to be something far more graphic and disturbing, and in the coming days, they'll learn even the most outlandish urban legends possess a shred of truth...
Robert W. Chambers’s classic work of weird fiction, The King in Yellow (1895), contained two stories that have exercised wide influence in the genre. “The Repairer of Reputations” introduced the world to The King in Yellow, a play in two acts, banned for its reputed power to drive mad anyone who reads its complete text. Another story, “The Yellow Sign,” used the experiences of an artist and his model to elaborate on the mythos of the Yellow King, the Yellow Sign, and their danger to all who encounter them. In those tales Chambers crafted fascinating glimpses of a cosmos populated by conspiracies, government-sanctioned suicide chambers, haunted artists, premonitions of death, unreliable narrators—and dark, enigmatic occurrences tainted by the alien world of Carcosa, where the King rules in his tattered yellow mantle. In Carcosa, black stars rise and Cassilda and Camilla speak and sing. In Carcosa, eyes peer from within pallid masks to gaze across Lake Hali at the setting of twin suns.
WELCOME TO THE SPACES IN BETWEENOriginally published in 2012, Todd Keisling’s The Liminal Man continues the existential journey of everyman, Donovan Candle, as he works alongside his brother to track a sadistic, otherworldly killer. Precipice Books is proud to present this revised and expanded edition, featuring the second installment of Keisling’s all-new afterword series, “Who is Donovan Candle?”
FADE INA year and a half after the horrific events of A Life Transparent, Donovan Candle has worked to redefine himself and find his place in the world. He has a new job, he’s finished his novel, and his wife, Donna, has a baby on the way. Life for Mr. Candle is good, or so he wants to believe—yet the threat of the Monochrome is ever present, and lately, is manifesting in troubling ways.
FADING OUTWorking as a private investigator alongside his brother, Donovan witnesses a startling number of Missing Persons cases occurring around the city. Those missing are all in their early twenties, there one day and gone the next, vanished from their jobs, their homes, their families. The signs are too familiar for Donovan to ignore, and when several young men and women are discovered brutally murdered, his worst fears are confirmed.
FADE AWAYAt first, he’s hesitant to act, but when Donna’s nephew is abducted by the suspected killer, Donovan realizes he has no choice but to face his fears. This time there is more at stake than his own existence, and doing the right thing may come at a terrible price…
REMEMBER HIS NAMEIn 2012, fans of Donovan Candle were held in suspense at the conclusion of The Liminal Man. Nine years later, Bram Stoker Award-nominated author Todd Keisling returns to finish what he started with Nonentity, the final chapter of the Monochrome Trilogy.
Following the cataclysmic demise of Albert Sparrow, the balance between Monochrome and Spectrum is weakened, and both realities begin to collide. The sky is fractured, quakes tear through the earth, and pallid abominations slip between the cracks to wreak havoc upon the world.
As Donna, Michael, Alice, and Quinn struggle to survive the onslaught and find safety, Donovan Candle journeys across a gray wasteland toward the Monochrome’s center. There, a sleeping entity known as the Ungod feeds on the dreams and failures of humanity—and may be the key to restoring the balance.
But what awaits Donovan is far more sinister, as a centuries-old stalemate between Aleister Dullington and his former master, Pontius Vile, is reaching its breaking point…
You might have clutched it in your church pew on Sunday mornings. You know the one?
With the pebbled black soft cover, the words HOLY BIBLE stamped in gold ink.
Perhaps it strengthened your faith, comforted you in dark times.
Multiple Bram Stoker Award-nominated John F.D. Taff has assembled a Last Supper of Dark Apostles to turn some of those "good book" parables on their heads--twisting Bible stories into sinister horror tales.
Blasphemous? Heretical? We sincerely hope so.
As you read on, remember one thing, though.
There’s no comfort to be found in The Bad Book.
No comfort at all.
Including stories by
...and many more...
Includes story illustrations by Giuseppe Balestra.
WHO IS DONOVAN CANDLE?In A Life Transparent, first published in 2007, Todd Keisling welcomed readers to the Monochrome—a nightmarish parallel reality—and introduced Donovan Candle: a modern everyman experiencing an early mid-life crisis. Now, Precipice Books is proud to present a revised and expanded edition, featuring Keisling’s all-new afterword series, “Who is Donovan Candle?”
DONOVAN CANDLE IS BORING.Consummate husband, supportive brother, hard-working employee—a paragon of the diminishing Middle Class. Like so many others, he has fallen into routine and compromised his dreams for the sake of a paycheck. After a bad day at the office leaves him low, all Donovan wants is to sleep off the disappointment and start over.
DONOVAN CANDLE IS TERRIFIED.His body is fading out of existence. He’s seeing strange visions of the world in monochrome and horrific creatures lurking in his periphery. No one else seems to notice, and as the odd afflictions intensify, Donovan fears he is losing his grip on reality.
DONOVAN CANDLE IS DISAPPEARING.Someone breaks into his home and abducts his wife. Before he can contact the authorities, a stranger’s ominous phone call urges him on a path to her rescue, but only if he follows the rules. The clock is ticking, and with every step Donovan slips further into a state of transparency. Will he be in time to save his wife—and himself—from the dangers of A Life Transparent?
TAKE OFF YOUR MASK!
Thirty years ago, a progressive rock band called The Yellow Kings began recording what would become their first and final album. Titled “The Final Reconciliation,” the album was expected to usher in a new renaissance of heavy metal, but it was shelved following a tragic concert that left all but one dead.
The sole survivor of that horrific incident was the band’s lead guitarist, Aidan Cross, who’s kept silent about the circumstances leading up to that ill-fated performance—until now.
For the first time since the tragedy, Aidan has granted an exclusive interview to finally put rumors to rest and address a question that has haunted the music industry for decades: What happened to The Yellow Kings?
The answer will terrify you.
Inspired by The King in Yellow mythos first established by Robert W. Chambers, and reminiscent of cosmic horror by H. P. Lovecraft, Laird Barron, and John Langan, comes The Final Reconciliation—a chilling tale of regret, the occult, and heavy metal by Todd Keisling.
Proudly brought to you by Crystal Lake Publishing - Tales from the Darkest Depths
Interview with the author:
What makes this music-themed horror novella so special?
Todd Keisling: The story offers a different take on The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers. Tales of the “Yellow Mythos” usually involve the fictitious play in written form, but this novella approaches the concept from a musical angle instead. The imagery and mystery of Carcosa’s masquerade seemed like perfect fodder for a progressive metal album, and I sought to combine the two as best I could. The result is a cosmic horror story driven by the crunching riffs and machine gun beat of a progressive metal song.
Tell us more about your main character?
Todd Keisling: Aidan Cross is a scarred, broken man who is haunted by memories of a horrible tragedy that took the lives of his friends thirty years ago. Once the lead guitarist for The Yellow Kings, Aidan has spent the last decades of his life in relative obscurity, hiding from the public and rumors of what happened the night of the band’s final performance. He and his bandmates grew up together in a small Kentucky town. They were like brothers to him, and he blames himself for their deaths.
Why should readers give this cosmic horror book a try?
Todd Keisling: It’s a dark story with a lot of heart, dealing with themes of friendship, loss, and regret, set against the backdrop of an impossible place called Carcosa. I think the book offers a unique approach to the genre, associating the mythology of The King in Yellow with music rather than the written word. It’s also the darkest thing I’ve ever written. So far, anyway.
The Final Reconciliation eBook categories:
- Horror novella
- Disturbing Suspense thrillers
- Occult Horror
- Emotional thriller
- US Horror Fiction
- Dark Fantasy Horror
- Occult Spiritualism unexplained
This is Writers On Writing – An Author’s Guide, where your favorite authors share their secrets in the ultimate guide to becoming – and being – an author.
In this first volume you’ll find in-depth essays from authors such as Jack Ketchum, Brian Hodge, Mercedes M. Yardley, Tim Waggoner, Jasper Bark, Kevin Lucia, Monique Snyman, Todd Keisling, and Dave-Brendon de Burgh. Edited by the Bram Stoker Award-winning Joe Mynhardt:
- “The Infrastructure of the Gods: 11 Signposts for Going all the Way” by Brian Hodge
- “The Writer’s Purgatory: Between Finishing the First Draft and Submitting the Manuscript” by Monique Snyman
- “Why Rejection is Still Important” by Kevin Lucia
- “Real Writers Steal Time” by Mercedes M. Yardley
- “What Right Do I Have to Write” by Jasper Bark
- “Go Pace Yourself” by Jack Ketchum
- “A Little Infusion of Magic” by Dave-Brendon de Burgh
- “Never Look Away: Confronting Your Fears in Fiction” by Todd Keisling
- “Once More With Feeling” by Tim Waggoner
Writers On Writing give young authors the guidance they need, but has advice for all authors, from the interested newbie to the seasoned veteran (sounds delicious, right?).
Are you ready to be an author?
Proudly brought to you by Crystal Lake Publishing - Tales from The Darkest Depths
Interview with the Authors:
So what makes Writers on Writing so special?
Todd Keisling: Writers On Writing is unique in that it provides a collection of essays from both newcomers and established professionals, providing a wide range of perspectives on the art and craft of writing.
Tell us more about you essay in Writers on Writing.
Todd Keisling: My essay “Never Look Away: Confront Your Fears in Fiction” is an anecdotal look at an important lesson I learned early on in my writing career: That you shouldn’t look away from your subject matter, no matter how disturbing it is to you. Looking away does a disservice to your story, and by proxy, your reader.
Why should authors read Writers on Writing?
Jack Ketchum: It's rich in the variety of subjects discussed, written by people who know whereof they speak.
Todd Keisling: There are decades of experience contained within the book’s pages, covering multiple genres. I can’t think of a more diverse collection for the established—or aspiring—writing professional.
Do you have other non-fiction books authors should try out?
Jack Ketchum: Stephen King's ON WRITING and DANSE MACABRE. William Goldman's ADVENTURES IN THE SCREEN TRADE. Syd Field's SCREENPLAY.
Todd Keisling: A few come to mind: Stephen King’s On Writing, Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird, and Ariel Gore’s How to Become a Famous Writer Before You’re Dead.