Archive for December, 2012

Turning Another Page

Well, here we are again.  Another year over, and a new one just begun.  And what a year it was; filled with the highest highs and the lowest lows, with professional triumphs and personal tragedies, and the hope that 2013 will bring something better.  But before we look ahead to what the new year has in store, let’s do a bit of review…


The year started off with the release of my short story “For the River Is Wide and the Gods Are Hungry” as a digital download for $0.99 through Seventh Star Press.  This was the first time that I had ever released my work in a purely digital format.  The publisher also re-released my award-winning short story “Goodnight” in the same fashion.


March saw the release of Poseidon’s Children, the first novel in my epic Urban Fantasy series The Legacy of the Gods.  The project introduced me to a world-wide audience, and to date, it has been sold in Australia, Canada, England, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain!  This was a project that I had been kicking around for many years, so it was incredibly gratifying to see so many enjoying my story and falling in love with this cast of characters who had been so close to me for so long.


Then, during my publisher’s Summer Open House, my novel Cinema of Shadows became the most downloaded Horror novel on!

Growing up, I can’t tell you how many times I dreamed of having a #1 book, and it was so surreal and exciting to see it actually happen.

With Jamie Lee Curtis

I traveled a lot this year in support of my novels – appearing at conventions, book stores, and book fairs in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, and as far south as Atlanta, Georgia.  It was great to meet my faithful readers face-to-face, to introduce my work to new people, and to get to know a lot of stars from film and television, celebrities I have been watching  and idolizing for most of my life, including Bruce Campbell (Evil Dead, Army of Darkness) and the amazing Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween, The Fog, Prom Night).

But 2012 still wasn’t done with me yet.


October saw the release of my third Harmony, Indiana novel, Spook House.  A mash-up that featured the first meeting of Robby Miller (The Wide Game, Cinema of Shadows) and Earl L. Preston Jr. (Poseidon’s Children), the novel proved to be my best reviewed work to date,  even making its way onto some year-end lists as one or the year’s best reads!  The novel also sent me on my first virtual book tour.  For thirty days, I visited various sites from around the world, posting guest blogs, doing interviews, and just generally blown away by the overwhelming response.


And the year ended as it began, with more short story news.

“Trolling,” my tale set during the events of Poseidon’s Children, saw publication again as part of the Beast Within 3: Ocean’s Unleashed anthology.  And a new story,, my first real zombie tale, “Hell’s Hollow,” was part of the very limited Appalachian Undead anthology.  Hopefully you got your copy of that one before it went out of print!

With Sara Birthday

While 2012 was the best year of my career, it was a year of personal struggles and tragedies.

Sara Larson, one of my closest and dearest friends, and a founding member of the Indiana Horror Writers, lost her long and painful battle with breast cancer.  The cancer had moved into her bones and her brain, and the year began with her in hospice care.  I visited her often, and she fought hard to stay with us, but on March 17th, she left this world behind and left a huge hole in a lot of people’s hearts.

Then, in September, cancer struck even closer to home when my wife Stephanie got the diagnosis shortly after our 20th wedding anniversary.  Thankfully, it was a slow-growing tumor that was confined to the bone in her arm.  Surgery replaced the infected bone with metal, and no chemo or radiation was needed.  As I type this, she is cancer free, but, because she can no longer physically perform the duties of her nursing job, a job she’s had as long as I’ve known her, she is also job free.  We are getting by, however, and I hope that the new year will bring good news.


Which brings us to 2013.

The new year will see the release of a special anthology, one that I’ve been editing off and on for over a year now; an anthology that will donate money to cancer research with each and every purchase.  This is, obviously, something that has a personal importance to me, and I am thrilled that it is finally coming together, and coming together so very well.  Look for an an official announcement on that one soon.  I hope we can do a lot of good with this one!


There will also be a new announcement in the Harmony, Indiana series in May, something faithful readers have been asking for for some time.  Sorry to be such a tease – there are a lot of moving parts to it, and some have yet to be set into motion – but trust me, it is something that will make a lot of people very happy, myself included.  *nudge-nudge, wink-wink, say no more*

Now, on to the stuff I can talk about in detail.


My short stories “The Grove” (Shroud Magazine #13) and “Unknown Caller” (Cadence in Decay) will be released during the next twelve months.  Stay tuned for exact release dates and more information as those dates draw near.


And last, but certainly not least, I will be working on the next two chapters in my Legacy of the Gods series, Hades’ Disciples and Zeus’ Warriors.  Look for the first of these two entries to be released before 2o13 ends, with the second coming out in early 2014.

CoS Author Pic

So thanks to you, all my faithful readers, for your kind words and encouragement over these past twelve months, and for your continued support in 2013 and beyond.   Happy New Year!  May the future be a bright one for us all!

Spook House Named Best “Pure Horror” of 2012!

It’s that time of the year again, when everyone compiles their list of the best and worst of the past twelve months.   Beauty In Ruins just released their picks for highs and lows in speculative fiction from 2012, and I’m proud to say that my new novel, Spook House, landed firmly in the Best column!  Here’s an excerpt:

“Strangely, I didn’t read a lot of pure horror this year, but Spook House by Michael West was the best of the batch for me.  Check out all my Micheal West reviews here and stock your shelves!”

Read the full list here!

And get your very own copy of Spook House here!

The Next Big Thing

Hey there, faithful readers!  Some time ago, author John Skipp started a revolving blog called The Next Big Thing. It involves answering 10 questions about your own writing, then passing the baton to another author whose work you enjoy, but who may not be as well known as they should be…yet.  Last week, author Ben Eads named me as one of his writers to watch, so now it’s my turn.   Here goes…


1) What is the title of your next book?

The Legacy of the Gods Book Two: Hades Disciples

2) Where did the idea come from for the book?

The whole Legacy of the Gods series started with a very vivid, very strange dream. Some dreams fade as soon as you open your eyes. Others stick with you for days. This particular dream has been with me for over twenty years. It involved an ancient stone temple, with odd markings etched into its walls, and a very seductive sea-creature. Most people have fantasies about movie stars and musicians; mine get directed by H.P. Lovecraft.

 Go figure.

3) What genre does your book/work fall under?

I don’t think about labels when I write, but the entire series is considered Urban Fantasy.

4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Well, there are a lot of characters, but I have always seen Will Smith as Earl Preston Jr., my Coast Guard officer turned monster-hunting Homeland Security agent, and Michael Madsen as his nemesis, Horror Show.

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

After the events of Colonial Bay, Earl Preston finds himself on the front line of a battle for all of humanity.

6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

It is part of a multi-book deal with Seventh Star Press.

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

I’ve only just started writing it, but a novel normally takes me about six months to complete.

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I try to be as original as I can be, but I would probably call it an odd cross between a modern day Lord of the Rings and the Sookie Stackhouse series.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Well, as I said before, it started as a very vivid, very strange dream, but the more I live with these characters, the more I want to explore their world and what makes them tick.

10) What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

This is a series that truly has a little bit of everything: shapeshifters, gangsters, hitmen, massive battles, ancient mysteries, yeti…you name it, it is probably in there, but at its core is an ensemble of very interesting, very believable and likable characters.

Now, here is my pick for a writer to watch: RJ Sullivan

Bio:  R. J. Sullivan’s first novel, Haunting Blue, is an edgy paranormal thriller about punk girl loner Fiona “Blue” Shaefer and her boyfriend Chip Farren. Haunting Obsession, a Rebecca Burton Novella, was released by Seventh Star Press in August.

R.J. is hard at work on the next chapter in Fiona’s story, Virtual Blue, coming from Seventh Star Press in 2013, followed by two more novels over the course of 2013 and 2014. R.J. resides with his family in Heartland Crossing, Indiana. He is Vice-president of the Indiana Horror Writers. Check in regularly to learn the latest about the latest projects by R. J. Sullivan.