500 Posts! Yippeee!

BTW, that previous post was my 500th on this little blog.

500 posts, nearly 22,0o0 hits and nearly 14,000 followers in 3 1/2 years.

Must be doing something write…I mean right.

Unfortunate Grammatical Errors? Moi?

Ewww, this pisses me off, and I have nowhere else to rant except here.

My novel, The Bell Witch, currently has 142 reviews.  They’re heavily (and I mean heavily) weighted toward 4- and 5-star reviews.  But, of course, I am a thin-skinned writer full of doubts, so anything below a 4-star automatically earns my derision and ire.  Imagine the loathing I reserve for the one-star reviews.  Grrr….

Anyway, I pop into Amazon today to see my 142nd review.  It’s a four-star review, so great, right?

Go there and take a look.


Excellent story, beautiful writing – unfortunate grammatical errors,” says the review’s title…and four stars.  It doesn’t start well, either:

“I have not yet finished reading this book yet I felt compelled to write a review. The story is enthralling and the writing is beautiful, however I cannot help but be bothered by the numerous grammatical errors. I only wish that the book had been better proofread, as I personally find these errors to be quite distracting as well as indicative of a lesser caliber writing than I believe this author is truly capable. Overall though, an excellent book thus far – I can only anticipate that the remainder shall continue to be as interesting and vivid.”

I’m going to let the whole “I’m not finished with the book yet I felt compelled to write a review” thing go, lest my head explodes.

But “numerous grammatical errors?” That makes my skin crawl, my blood boil and, well, there went my head…it exploded anyway.  Grammatical errors?

OK, I admit that I am no one’s choice for grammar teacher.  But I do take pains, and I mean PAINS, to ensure my writing is correct.  And I can assure you that each of my books is professionally edited.  That said, I might take some stylistic approaches sometimes that aren’t textbook grammatical, but grammatical errors? Numerous? Wow, that pisses me the fuck off.

The Bell Witch is also set nearly 200 years ago, when people spoke differently.  Maybe that’s it.  Or there might be a typo or two, I’m not above making a mistake as an author.  But, wow, to call me out for “numerous grammatical errors” and base your unfinished review on this really, really strains credulity.

Wow, tell me you don’t like the book (after you actually read it, please).  Tell me that you don’t like my style or my subject matter.

Just don’t tell me I’m doing it wrong.

 Blood.  Boiling.
(I guess those two previous words are incomplete sentences…whatever.)

Oh, BTW, Little Deaths is On Sale for Just 99 Cents!

Little Deaths Cover

Little Deaths, my critically acclaimed collection of 19 short, dark stories, is on sale over at Amazon for just 99 cents.  That’s like 5 cents a story, man!

This book features some previously published work and some new work; stories that some readers have really, really loved, including “Bolts,” “But For a Moment…Motionless,”  “Darkness Upon the Void,” “The Tontine,” “The Mellified Man,” “Child of Dirt,” “Box of Rocks” and “Here.”

Get it now.  I don’t know how long it will be up for sale.  I am not privy to such things.

John Milton Says Some Nice Stuff About The End in All Beginnings



John Milton, a horror reader/reviewer whose reviews appeared on outlets like AndyErupts, had one of the autographed, special advance editions of The End in All Beginnings whisked all the way to his home in Scotland.  He was kind enough to say a few nice things about it:

“Akin to episodes of the classic The Twilight Zone, each harrowing story in this collection is cerebral, with acclaimed author John F.D. Taff raising emotionally challenging issues surrounding loss and death, causing the reader to pause for thought before being compelled to read on…

The tarot cards depicted throughout Taff’s collection of novellas here act as harbingers, warning the reader of the content of what is to come… disaster, disease, despair, destruction and of course death all feature heavily in these clever tales which wrench on the reader’s emotions and don’t let go.

Veteran writer John F.D. Taff goes straight for the emotional jugular in this collection of five intelligent but disturbing novellas where death is the overarching theme and the lengths people will go to in order to save their loved ones in one way or another feature heavily, giving even the most robust of genre fans cause to stop and think… “

So, word continues to build for the release of The End in All Beginnings.  And I promise you that you’ll be able to actually get a copy of your own very soon.  Look for publication sometime around the end of September.  Only about two months left!


Jack Ketchum Says Some Nice Things Here About The End in All Beginnings

So,  when I was at the World Horror Convention this year, I met horror icon Jack Ketchum, the author of such classics as The Girl Next Door, Off Season, and one of my favorite short stories of all time, “The Box.”  He happened to be standing alone at a table in the dealer room, and I amped up my courage and approached him.

He was just as friendly and accessible as you might hope your writing hero would be.  We chatted for a few minutes, and I ended up giving him a special advance copy of my novella collection, The End in All Beginnings, that I was carrying around with me.  He accepted the book, then passed it back to me and asked, “You’re gonna sign it, aren’t you?”

Well, I did sign it, feeling a little awkward.

And that, as they say, was that.  A brief, but very pleasant encounter with someone I have the greatest respect for.

Until this morning…

I received a note today that I needed to moderate a comment on the blog.  When I went to look at it, I had to blink repeatedly and read it several times for it to sink in.  You can still find it under the comments section of the previous post, but I thought it bore moving to the top of the heap.  Here’s what he posted:

“In your inscription to me you wrote, “I feel funny signing a book for you.” Can’t think why. THE END IN ALL BEGINNINGS is accomplished stuff, complex and heartfelt. There’s an attention to character and an access to feeling that’s very refreshing indeed. So thanks for the good read, John, and good luck with that Stoker. Best,
Dallas aka Jack Ketchum”

Jack. Fucking.  Ketchum.


Day.  Made.

The End in All Beginnings Makes it to the 2014 Stoker Reading List!


The End in All Beginnings has made it to the Horror Writers Association’s 2014 Bram Stoker Award® Recommended Reading List!  Yippee!

So, what does that mean?  Well, it DOESN’T mean it’s won anything or that it’s even been nominated yet.  It’s simply the first step in the process, and just means that some extremely discerning soul recommended it for consideration.  That’s it.  Period.  Later, there are juries and voting and semi-finalists and then finalists, all culminating in the Stoker Awards Banquet at the World Horror Convention next year in Atlanta.

But it’s still kind of cool!

So, keep your fingers crossed for me!

I’ve Got a Novella Excerpt in the July Issue of Nightmare Magazine!


Nightmare Magazine , the digital horror publication edited by John Joseph Adams, is one of the premier horror publications out there.  Its July issue is up now, and if you’re a fan of my w0rk and/or Grey Matter Press, you might want to head over and download it.

Why?  Well, because Grey Matter Press is this month’s sponsor.  In addition to a lot of ad support for Grey Matter, Nightmare is running an excerpt from “Object Permanence,” one of the five novellas in my upcoming (and already terrifically reviewed) collection The End in All Beginnings.   “Object Permanence” concerns itself with some people who are able to use memory as a weapon.  Weird, off-putting and with that Twilight Zone vibe I’m kinda known for…you know, like most of my work!

Downloading this issue is only $2.99, and in addition to all of the Grey Matter Press stuff and my novella excerpt, there’s some great fiction.  Totally worth it to buy this issue or just go ahead and subscribe.  So go here and do so!

The End in All Beginnings will be out in sometime in September…with a few surprises.  Shhh…can’t make Tony mad and reveal anything.

I also will have a story in Grey Matter’s upcoming ghost/afterlife antho, Death’s Realm.  That story, “Some Other Day,” will make its appearance when that antho drops, sometime late in August.

Stay tuned for lots more!


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