Monthly Archives: October 2014

Happy Halloween + Stoker Reading List Recommendations!


First, thanks Google for the cool Halloween photo.

Second, Happy Halloween everyone.  Be safe out there, but have fun!

And third, just an update.  The End in All Beginnings made it to the HWA’s Stoker Recommended Reading List a few weeks ago.  Now, two individual novellas have also made it to the Stoker Recommended Reading List–“What Becomes God” and “The Long, Long Breakdown.”  Wow…glad people are enjoying the stories!


My HWA Halloween Haunts Post is Up Today! Happy Halloween!



My blog posting in the Horror Writers Association’s Halloween Haunts 2014 is up today!  Go take a look.

Two More 5-Star Reviews for The End in All Beginnings!



Well, The End in All Beginnings continues to generate more great buzz over at Amazon.  Now, we’re not close to the total number of entries I stipulated for my HORRORSTAR contest, but we’ll keep it open for a while longer.  So, don’t forget to buy it, read it, review it.  And then, you might be a character in my upcoming novel The Fearing.

Anyway, two more five-star reviews, which brings the total to 14 five-star reviews.

“This is an eclectic collection of 5 novella’s with a little bit of something for everything. One of the things I like about Mr. Taff’s writing is the varied styles, and I think this collection shows off that range. Even tho Mr. Taff is usually referred to as a horror author, it’s not really about gore (tho there is some!). He has a way of somehow getting the reader emotionally involved. This is especially true of “What Becomes God” and “”The Long, Long Breakdown.” Melen

“I have a love affair with John Taff’s writing style. He lulls you into comfortable conversation. You know you shouldn’t fall for it. That around the next page, he’s going to step all over your comfort until you aren’t sure how you should feel. But you can’t help it.  He has this way of holding back his biggest secrets until he wants you to know them. You spend the whole story wondering what’s the point, and then it happens, and you’re like, “OH MY GOD! WHAT JUST HAPPENED?!  John is placed in the horror genre, but his stories aren’t ever what you expect to find in a horror novel. There’s monsters, and ghosts, but very little blood and gore. I think M said it best, when we were discussing a better label for John’s type of stories, and he said, “He makes you uncomfortable.”  Really, really uncomfortable. And not in the “oh, that is disgusting,” way. In the way that socks you right in the feels like a gut punch that knocks the wind out of you for what seems like days, but is really only a few minutes.” Rayne

Go here to read all the reviews and buy a copy.  And don’t forget to review it and post the link here so you can enter the HORRORSTAR contest!


A Radio Spot for The End in All Beginnings. Yes, Radio.


So, Tony at Grey Matter has created a radio spot in support of The End in All Beginnings.  Yep, an actual radio commercial that will be streaming online at the No. 1 Top 40 station in the Chicago market, WBBM 96.3 FM.  You can go there to hear it, or you can just listen to it at Grey Matter’s site.  It’s pretty effin’ cool.

This brings me to a sad, sad note.  My HORRORSTAR contest, which was scheduled to end on Oct. 31st, has only garnered 13 entries.  That, folks, ain’t enough.  So, we’ll be keeping it open for a while and sweetening the pot over the next few weeks.  How?  I dunno.  But if you want to enter–if you want to be a character in my novel in progress–buy The End in All Beginnings, read it, review it, post a link either here or on Grey Matter’s FB page.  That’s it.  I know, and I only have 13…13?  Are you kidding?


A Free Book! Yay! For You, I Guess…



I’m a nice guy and everything, but damn, I hate free books.  I think they send sooooo much the wrong signal to readers, devaluing the work an author puts into writing and training readers to simply wait for cut-rate sale or the free book.  But I am an old man, so get off my lawn.

Kill/Off, a thriller that was published by Books of the Dead late last year, has been the single book of mine so far that has simply languished. It’s a good book, if I do say so myself.  It’s garnered some great reviews and blurbs, from people like Joe McKinney and Gabino Iglesias.  It’s gotten good promotion from BOTD.  But still, it’s just sat there, not selling well, not doing much of anything, while my books like Little Deaths continue to tear up sales two years after their publication.

Today, I heard from BOTD’s publisher James Roy Daley that he was trying something new.  Some service called Story Cartel.  The idea behind the service is to generate reviews for authors.  So we have the free giveaway.

While I ain’t thrilled about this, I can understand Roy trying to figure out what to do with the book.  I think, since it’s a straightforward thriller without an ounce of anything supernatural or horror in it, that my audience of readers isn’t aware of or possibly interested in it.  Perhaps giving away some copies might move this in the right direction.

So, sigh, go to Story Cartel and download a free copy of Kill/Off.  Tell your friends and neighbors.  The offer will only last three weeks, so it’s not forever.

Kill/Off is a good book.  If you do download it for free–and you like it–please make this all worthwhile and leave an Amazon review for it.  It will surely help.


Avengers: Age of Ultron. OMFG.


Where was this shit when I was a kid?  Oh, yeah, only in the comics.  This stuff brings out my inner 10 year old.

Some Updates!

Lots of new stuff going on, which is pretty cool.

First, The End in All Beginnings is doing phenomenal.  Reviews are blush-worthy, so things are moving along on that front.  Oh yeah, and it made the Horror Writer’s Association’s 2014 Bram Stoker Award Recommended Reading List, which is cool, too.

My #Horrorstar contest is still active, and we’re looking for 50 entries by the end of this month…10 days.  Should I be concerned? I dunno.  We’ve only got 11 so far, but I know a lot of people have told me they’re leaving reviews. So, hopefully this will all come through.  I mean, don’t you want to be a character in my upcoming novel The Fearing?  Of course you do!  So enter already!

Second, sometime soon, Books of the Dead will release Infestation, a kinda new novel.  It’s a mostly rewritten version of an older novel, previously titled The Rat Catcher’s King.  Brand new version, new cover, new title, new publisher.  Should be cool.  It’s a horrorized, modern-day retelling of the Pied Piper legend.  More on it when I have a clear picture when it’s coming out.

A sort of follow-up to this novel (with one reappearing character), The Orpheus Box will also be released sometime…well, sometime.  This vagueness is primarily my fault, since this, too, is an older novel that has to be gone through thoroughly, edited, revised, streamlined, to bring it in line with my newer works.  It probably will be out early next year.  It’s about two modern-day occult organizations vying for a device created by Thomas Edison to communicate with the dead, which is at least partially true.

OK, so moving on to C). I Can Taste the Blood.  This one is a quartet of novellas being developed by myself, the gritty Joe Schwartz, the poetic J. Daniel Stone, and the eldritch Erik T. Johnson.  We’re all using the same title and developing novellas based on our unique viewpoints.  Should be effin’ great.  We just all need to finish them.  Joe, bless his black heart, already has, but the other three of us are limping along.  I’ve already had some interest from publishers for this, so count on this coming out sometime later next year.

The Fearing, my work in progress, my horror doctorate, my epic tour de force, is coming along and should be done by the end of the year.  Publishing? Who knows?  Gotta finish it first, of course.

In terms of shorts, I’ve got a few irons in the fire:

“Some Other Day,” a very King of Pain-ish story featured in Grey Matter’s upcoming antho Death’s Realm…I think out sometime in November.

“That Song You Can’t Get Out of Your Head” is a short that’s made it to Round 2 of the selection process for Grey Matter’s Savage Beasts. Can’t say it will get it in, but it’s out there.

One of my recently published shorts will also be part of something cool Farolight Publishing (the new owners of the Horror Library series) is doing next year.  It’s a pretty big deal, as Ron Burgundy would say, and I’ll let you know exactly what it is soon enough.  Don’t want to steal their thunder!

Finally, I was invited to participate in a pretty cool dual anthology project Robert Wilson is working on.  Can’t divulge the details yet, that’s Bob’s job.  But it’s a pretty interesting one, and I was happy to be asked to participate.  More information yadda-yadda.

That’s all I can think of right now.  Later!

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