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2 More Five-Star Reviews for The End in All Beginnings! That’s 20 Five-Star Reviews So Far!



The End in All Beginnings continues to generate 5-star reviews…and only five-star reviews.  I got two more in the last 24 hours, which brings the total to 20 five-star reviews so far…and I’m expecting another any day because I was given a head’s up.

Go here to read all the reviews, but here’s part of what the last two had to say:

“I have known John for many years. We used to work at the same now deceased magazine publishing company. I knew then he was a good journalist and was writing horror fiction then. I will also admit I was one who did not have a taste for horror. Out of friendship and curiosity, I read The End in All Beginnings. What it did was shock me, scare the hell out me, and let me know what a fine writer John has become. If you like horror, you’re gonna want to read this book.” Barney Davey

“If you have read John Taff before, then the quality of his writing isn’t going to come as a shock, but if you haven’t you may be in for a very pleasant surprise. Whether it’s the back and forth dialog of two young boys on a summer afternoon, or a father trying to hold back time and keep his daughter with him forever, he creates characters that are always a bit strange but quite often honorable. Just remember that while these may be love stories they definitely have a bite.” BirdieTracy.

Thanks and glad you’re all liking the stories in The End in All Beginnings!

Don’t miss The Sunken Cathedral, a standalone novella, also coming from Grey Matter Press in March.  Plus I have stories in two of their upcoming 2015 anthologies–“Some Other Day” in Death’s Realm in January and “That Song You Can’t Get Out of Your Head” in Savage Beasts in April.

And, really, in just a day or so, a BIG announcement of the novel variety including potential cover reveals, a contest and a Christmas Day release!  Check back!

Merry (Insert Your Holiday Here)!

I wanted to take some time (actually procrastinating from finishing a new piece) before it gets all crazy up in here, to wish each and every one of the six or so of you who actually read this blog or follow my career at all a happy whatever-is-appropriate religious/secular holiday and an awesome New Year!

It’s been a effin’ great 2014.  My writing career has achieved traction, I got married, and generally had a pretty wonderful year.  And you know what?  2015 looks to be even better…I know, it’s kinda great.  No, actually, it’s really great!

So, without anymore frippery, here’s my list of people I especially want to call out, thank and wish well!

My family & Friends–My spectacular parents, my great new in-laws, my brother, brothers-in-law, sisters, sisters-in-law, my nieces & nephews, aunts and uncles, cousins, all of ‘em.  And especially my kids–Ben, Sam & Molly.  And to my friends Chris, JD, Randy, Larry & Tom, and Matt, Laura, Chris & Dan!

My writerly friends–Bear with me and please forgive if my old brain omits someone…Joe Schwartz (my man!), Erik T. Johnson (my weird brother from another weird mother), J. Daniel Stone (my much younger dark poet twin at heart!), Josh Malerman (we’re now presidents of each other’s fan clubs), Latashia Figueroa, Brian Kirk, Brian Taylor, Craig McGray, J. Travis Grundon, BC Brown, Anthony Crowley, Joe Pinto, Joe Hart, Erik Hofstatter, Nina D’Arcangela, T.S. Woolard, Dona Fox, Marcus D. Raven,

My writerly mentors–the everlovin’ Peter Straub, Stephen King, Clive Barker, Jonathan Maberry, Joe McKinney, Ray Garton, Kealan Patrick Burke and Jack Fucking Ketchum.  Also how’s about RJ Cavender, Ellen Datlow, Laird Barron, John Langan, Trent Zelazny, Nate Ballingrud and Paula Guran.

My Grey Matter Press family–the inestimable Tony Rivera, the fantastic Sharon Lawson, fellow authors Jane Brooks, Charles Muir, Brian Fatah Steele, Paul Michael Anderson, Gregory Norris,

My Books of the Dead Press family–the amazeballs James Roy Daley, Julie Hutchings, Justin Robinson, Bracken MacLeod, Mark Matthews, Weston Kincade, TS Alan, JC Michaels, Simon Dewar and Tonia Brown.

Readers and fans–Lenny & Lori Lake, Kreepy Kim Sofia, Georganna Hancock, David Spell, Shane Keene, Dale Elster, Gabino Iglesias, Rhiannon Irons, Ann Hale, Rachel and David McDonald, Rob Errera, Rich Duncan, Jamie aka LadyWargo (sorry, darlin!  I don’t know your last name!), Elizabeth Wixley/Tarian, Fatima Rosales Naya,

I’ve left commas dangling after some, because I know I’ve left someone out and will have to go back and make amends!

Finally, to the love of my life and my newly christened wife, Deb.  Thanks and thanks and thanks and I love you!

Anyway, best wishes to everyone.  I hope your holidays and New Year are just swell.  I know mine will be–already are–and I’ll be sharing details as they become available.  Wedding pictures, soon, too!  I promise.

And a special Christmas contest for a special Christmas release that I should be able to announce any day now!  Stay tuned.

Thanks for supporting and enjoying my work.  I can’t tell you how deeply, deeply touching your support is to me!

Books of the Dead Celebrates 100,000 in Sales. All My Stuff on Sale for 99 Cents!

One of the great publishers I work with, Books of the Dead, has just celebrated its fifth anniversary and over 100,000 in book sales!  To mark the occasion, some of its books are free and some are just 99 cents! All of my books with the company–Little Deaths, The Bell Witch and Kill/Off, are just 99 cents for who knows how long.  Might want to jump on this while it lasts.

And no, I still have no idea where Infestation is!

Here are the links to my books at Amazon. Click on the cover images to be whisked away to purchase the book:










The Bell Witch small (small)









Little Deaths Cover

And Now Another Major Announcement from Grey Matter Press Concerning…ME!



So, the fine folks at Grey Matter announced today a little secret we’ve been keeping from everyone.  In March of next year, Grey  Matter will publish a standalone novella from me entitled The Sunken Cathedral.  It continues the long and wonderful relationship I have with this premier horror publisher.

You can go here to read the entire release, which I urge you to.  The Sunken Cathedral will explore, in a perhaps more serious, real-world horror kind of way, the themes you’ve come to expect from me, Grey Matter’s reigning King of Pain–life, loss, death, love.  Can’t wait for this one to get out there and be read.

Are there more secrets?  Oh yes!  Of course there are.  Dark ones.  Nefarious ones.  Ones we’ll discuss later…

A Video from Guster…

One of my favorite bands has a new album coming out in Jan. 2015!  Here’s a video for one of the new songs.

This one goes out to Tony Rivera, a major Guster fan!*

*That’s a lie.  Tony hates Guster.  But I LOVE me some Guster!

Death’s Realm 1.06.15 From Grey Matter Press! With a Story From Me!


The new anthology from the great, great people at Grey Matter Press, Death’s Realm, will be out Jan. 6, 2015!  And if that isn’t awesome enough, and it pretty much is, it’s even more awesome because it features a story by me!  And stories from a couple of friends of mine, like Jane Brooks, Simon Dewar and Brian Fatah Steele.

My story, “Some Other Day,” will cement, I think, my reputation as Grey Matter’s King of Pain.  It gets its foundation from that old nursery rhyme, “Rain, Rain, go away…” You know the rest.  Be sure to look for it soon…and what a great cover!  I love it.  Go here to read the entire release and get some info on the stories!

Also coming from Grey Matter later in the year will be another anthology, Savage Beasts, this one about music.  My story, “That Song You Can’t Get Out of Your Head,” will be featured in that one.  Look for it in April.

Monsters, the tentative title for Grey Matter’s 3rd antho of 2015, will be released mid-year.  And it will feature…oops…I can’t talk about that.  Yet.  Suffice it to say, 2015 will be a great year for Grey Matter  (and for me!).

Also expect an announcement from Grey Matter about another project with me very soon, perhaps this week.  Perhaps.

Infestation?  Why do you keep asking about that one, soon(?) to come from Books of the Dead.  Clearly, I have no idea.

Now, I gotta go back to work on a free-standing novella for R.J. Cavender and Cutting Block Books.  It’s a weird one entitled “In the Dim Meadows, Desolate.” Almost done 11,000 words with maybe about 5k or 6k to go.  Maybe (if R.J. & Co. like it) look for it next year sometime, too.


HWA President Rocky Wood Has Passed Away. Silence.


It was announced the other day that author, Stephen King expert and president of the Horror Writers Association passed away after a battle with MND/ALS.  Now, I didn’t know Rocky all that well.  I first became a member of the HWA 20+ years ago when I’d just started writing.  Unfortunately, after a year or so of membership, I let it lapse.  At the time, I found the HWA to be…well…kind of cliquish and douchebaggy.  It didn’t seem to offer me anything, and it seemed mainly a social club of like-minded people busily clapping themselves on the backs for their great talents and little else.

A few years ago, when I got serious about the whole horror writing thing again, Deb suggested that I approach the HWA and see if it was worthwhile.  So, I wrote an email to Rocky, the new president, inquiring about membership, telling him of my concerns of yesteryear and asking, point blank, if it was worth the money and effort to rejoin.  I didn’t expect much of anything.

But Rocky reached out to me personally, acknowledging my concerns and putting my mind at rest that the organization really had changed and really did have something to offer.  Based on his contact, I plunked down my money, rejoined, and began to attend the annual convention.  And I haven’t regretted that decision one bit.  I believe, and this is boltered by the many, many people I’ve heard from about this, that it’s directly due to the influence that Rocky had on not just the organization, but the entire horror publishing industry.  His spirit, his strength, his determination to turn the HWA into something different, something that could stand alongside the professional organizations of the other genres has paid off in the end.  Under Rocky’s guidance, the HWA now has more members than at any time.  The Bram Stoker Awards are now taking their place as a genre award every bit as legitimate as the Hugos, Nebulas or the Edgars.  The HWA has a strong base and the kind of vigor you always hope any professional association you belong to will have.

I’ve only met Rocky personally twice, both at WHC/HWA cons.  By the time I got to meet him, he was already mostly confined to a wheelchair.  But he was friendly and outgoing, always seemed pleased to say hello, always supportive.  I know a lot of people will concentrate on how he did all this while managing a grueling, bastard of a disease, and rightfully so. But I think, disease or not, he was a positive force to be reckoned with, and the entire horror community, much less the HWA, will be hard pressed to find someone to fill this incredible man’s shoes.

I offer his family and friends my sincere condolences.  This industry has lost a great, kind, generous, energetic man.  But he left it in much better shape, and that’s the most anyone can hope for in their life.


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