Author Archives: John F.D. Taff

About John F.D. Taff

John F.D. Taff is a writer, published author, raconteur and wrangler of angry stoats. He has more than 80 short stories and 7 novels published. He lives in the great, unspoiled vastness of the Midwest. He has a tremendous wife named Debbie, three pugs, Sadie, Tovah and Muriel, and three great kids--Harry, Sam and Molly.

Upcoming John F.D. Taff Work!

So, after my announcement the other day about the four-book deal with Grey Matter, I thought I should share a timeline of when all this stuff is appearing, so you can better prepare for the deluge of John F.D. Taff coming your way this year.

Ready?  Here we go.


First up will be Behold! Oddities, Curiosities & Undefinable Wonders, edited by one of the Gutted team, Doug Murano.  My story, “A Ware That Will Not Keep,” will appear therein along with Campbell, Gaiman, Barker and a host of others…with an intro by the redoubtable Josh Malerman.  It will be out in July.

LlGvtFNr (1)“A Ware That Will Not Keep” is a story that I’ve wanted to write since I was a kid.  It involves the Golem from Jewish folklore and explores the nature of vengeance and its lingering aftermath.  The illustration above, by Luke Spooner, is the one that will be used in the book.  Pretty cool, I think.

Next up, probably in August, will be the new Grey Matter Press editions of The Bell Witch and Kill-Off.  Both of these will be completely repackaged from their original appearances, with squeaky clean new edits and spectacular new covers.

The Bell Witch, if you didn’t know, is my retelling of the historical American ghost story that occurred in Tennessee in the 1820s.  Probably the most well-document poltergeist event to happen here in the States.  Kill-Off is a thriller (completely non-supernatural) that posits the question “Would you kill someone–anyone–if you knew you could get away with it?”  Now what if you were forced to?

Next up, probably in September(ish), will be the Special 5th Anniversary Edition of Little Deaths, my first short story collection.  In addition to a new polish of the 19 stories the book originally featured, we’ve added a new cover (which I might share soon), and five stories that are new to this collection!  Bonus stories!  Plus, I’ve expanded the notes and wrangled Josh Malerman into writing a new introduction.  What are the new stories I’ve added?  “She Unmasks Her Beauty to the Moon,”  “The Projector,”  “Planting Robert,”  “Cold Calls,” and “Dust at the Center of All Things.”

Probably in the same timeframe, I will have a story in Doug Murano and D. Alex Ward’s Shadows Over Main Street 2, their small-town Lovecraftian anthology.  My story, “Shug,” will appear there.  I’ve seen the artwork for this (cover plus illustration for my story), and it’s awesome.  Will share when I can.  “Shug”–short for ‘Sugar’–is an interesting story, since I realized after I’d written it that it’s inextricably linked to my story in I Can Taste the Blood, my recently released shared novella collection.

All of this leads to a brand spanking new collection of short, dark fiction that will be released by Grey Matter Press this fall.  Entitled Little Black Spots, to play on my “King of Pain” persona, this collection  will feature about 21 stories, some previously published, others appearing here for the very first time.  All of them will feature the emotional gut punches I’ve become known for.  I’m very, tremendously excited about this.  More on the specifics of this book later, but here are a few story titles to tease you:  “The Depravity of Inanimate Things,”  “The Immolation Scene,”  “The Coriolis Effect or Chiromancy for Beginners,” and “The Bunny Suit.”

There are a couple of other things here and there that I can’t say anything about just yet, but this covers the big stuff for a while.  Stay tuned!

My New Four-Book Deal with Grey Matter Press!

So, yay me!  I just signed (Well, actually it was a while back.  We’re just announcing it now.) a four-book deal with Tony Rivera at Grey Matter Press.  They’re the publishers that brought my Stoker-Award nominated The End in All Beginnings to market.  They’ve been a great supporter of my work, and it’s a terrific feeling to know that they want to become, essentially, THE publisher of the entire John F.D. Taff catalog.

Two of the books in the deal will be repackaged (new edit, cover, etc.) versions of my out -of-print novels The Bell Witch and Kill-Off.  These should be out later this summer.  The third book will be a special 5th anniversary edition of my first fiction collection, Little Deaths.  But we’re jazzing it up with five stories new to this collection, expanded notes from me and an extra-special foreword by Josh Malerman, bestselling author of Bird Box and now Black Mad Wheel.  This should be out in the fall, and will lead to…

A brand-new fiction collection entitled Little Black Spots, will be out this fall, too.  It will feature a combination of previously published stories and a whole slew of stories never before seen anywhere.  And, yeah, the title plays off my “King of Pain” moniker.  The stories, too, will be the type of hard-hitting, emotional gut punches you’ve come to expect from me, hopefully with some unforeseen twists.  And, yeah, I know.  I guess I should trademark the word “little.”

Anyway, so that’s the BIG ANNOUNCEMENT.  I’m really excited to be working with Tony and Sharon at Grey Matter Press.  Humbled that they’d want to take on all of my work to date.  Excited to be able to share with you more information over the weeks and months ahead–covers, TOCs, etc.

And remember, I’ve got other work appearing this year.  Stories in Shadows Over Main Street 2, Behold!, and a few other places.  Cutting Block Books is compiling all of the novellas in its Single Slices program into a new anthology this summer, in which my story The Desolated Orchard will appear.  And a few other things.  Meanwhile, my new novel The Fearing continues to make the rounds.  More on that…later!

Go here to see the announcement from Grey Matter Press!


Weston Kincade’s Life of Death Gets a New Life!

Weston Kincade Book Launch Banner

When I first signed on with a publisher, back in what seemed the Dark Ages five years ago, I did so with Books of the Dead Press in Toronto.  Through the publication of Little Deaths, The Bell Witch and Kill-Off, they did good by me and we sold quite a few books.  More books than most small publishers have any right to even hope to sell.  Books of the Dead is going through some growing pains and I’ve reacquired the rights to my books (more on that very, very soon!), and some of the other authors I came into the market with through Books of the Dead have also gotten their books back and are bringing them to market again in different formats.

In my freshmen class of authors was Mark Matthews (All Smoke Rises, Milk-Blood, On the Lips of Children), Bracken Macleod (Stranded, 13 Views of the Suicide Woods, Come to Dust), Julie Hutchings (Running Away, Running Home) and Justin S. Robinson (Everyman, City of Devils, 50 Feet of Trouble). And Weston Kincade.  His A Life of Death trilogy is out tomorrow, beginning with the eponymous Life of Death, continuing with Golden Bulls and culminating in  Sacrifices.  They’re solid YA horror books, and Weston should do well with them.  You can order them here.

While the release itself is just around the corner, May 31st, the A Life of Death release celebration will be June 9th, kicking off with a grand blog tour.

Weston Kincade writes fantasy, paranormal, and horror novels that stretch the boundaries of imagination, and often genres. His current series include the A Life of Death trilogy and the Priors. Weston’s short stories have been published in Alucard Press’ “50 Shades of Slay,” Kevin J. Kennedy’s collected “Christmas Horror” and “Easter Horror,” and other anthologies. He is a member of the Horror Writer’s Association (HWA) and has helped invest in future writers for years while teaching English. In his spare time Weston enjoys spending time with his wife and Maine Coon cat, Hermes, who talks so much he must speak for the Gods.

If you would like to contact Weston regarding stories, publications, to schedule an appearance, or simply to say hello, he can be reached at wakincade (at) gmail (dot) com.  Visit his website here and support a great guy!

Garden of Fiends Sprouts!


OK, that headline might have been too clever by half, but Wicked Run Press’ new anthology is available now.  Garden of Fiends features eight stories of addiction horror, from heroin to alcohol and everything in between.  The line up is pretty cool, featuring stories by Kealan Patrick Burke, Jack Ketchum, Mark Matthews and…me!  My offering, “Last Call,” is a short one, but hopefully packs a punch.


Go get it here.



Here are what some are already saying about Garden of Fiends:

“There’s something here to scare anyone and everyone. Garden of Fiends pushes all the wrong buttons in all the right ways!”  -Jonathan Maberry, New York Times best-selling author of Dogs of War and Mars One

Garden of Fiends is scary in the realest of ways. What fertile ground for horror; stories that already, by nature, take place in the Twilight Zone; where lies and shady acts are the rule; where men and women step out of one world and into another; a place where addiction is king. John FD Taff’s ‘Last Call’ is worth the price of admission alone.”  -Josh Malerman, Bram Stoker nominated author of Bird Box

“A brilliant and original concept, Garden of Fiends captures the struggles of addiction and the horrors they inflict on those affected by it. Yes, it is dark and visceral, but with moments of hope throughout that make this a memorable collection of stories.”  -The Horror Bookshelf

Garden of Fiends brings us face-to-face with the demons driving us to dependence. Raw, brutal and insightful, Garden of Fiends is an important work.” -Lee Murray, author of Into the Mist

“An unflinching and intense look at addiction and its consequences, from some of the best horror writers in the business.” -Char’s Horror Corner

“An incredibly fascinating and at times grim read. These are dark tales set against a backdrop of fear, addiction and self-loathing where families are ripped apart and relationships are left in tatters. Some of these stories will infect your conscious, burying themselves deep inside of your mind, leaving you scarred and itching to read more.” -Adrian Shotbolt, The Grim Reader

“Every offering drips with truth, blending tales of horror and addiction into an emotionally draining, yet essential experience.” -Ben Walker, UK Horror Scene


Behold! I’m in Behold!


So, I dunno if you’ve seen the Facebook announcement, but Doug Murano has accepted a story of mine for his next anthology project, Behold!  Oddities, Curiosities and Undefinable Wonders, coming out from Crystal Lake this July.  They’ve already announced stories from Kristi DeMeester, Erinn Kemper and Ramsey Campbell, and that’s just a start. There are more BIG announcements coming for this book, as well as some fantastic illustrations by Luke Spooner.  (I’ve seen the one for my story…it’s phenomenal.)

My story is entitled “A Ware That Will Not Keep,” and involves the Holocaust, a Golem and very regretful grandfather. It’s one I’m particularly proud of, so I’m excited to see it presented in such a cool antho.

I’ve also got a story, “Shug,” in Doug’s and David Alex Ward’s Shadows Over Main Street 2, and “Last Call” in Mark Matthews’ upcoming Garden of Fiends.

I’m waiting on a literal signing on the dotted line to announce some other big projects, so keep watching.  Gonna be a big year!




Oh…and 2 More Notes…

First, a WIP update.

The Fearing has crested 500 pages and 127,000 words.  Closing in on the closing in…


My good friend and ace weirdo Erik T. Johnson (The “T” is for “The”) has his first collection of stories, Yes Trespassing, coming out at the upcoming StokerCon in Long Beach in April. The book is edited by Michael Bailey and released under his Written Backwards imprint of Dark .  It features a slew of short stories and one novella…and an intro by me, Al Franken.  NO!  I mean, me, John F.D. Taff, who was incredibly honored to be allowed to write the intro for this book.  Been a fan of Erik’s since I first got to know him more than a decade ago, so I’ve been waiting for this book for a long, long time.  More news as I get it, but be on the lookout for this one.

Garden of Fiends Up for Pre-Sale!


Mark Matthews, author and editor of the forthcoming anthology Garden of Fiends, has begun the pre-sale of this volume.  And he’s got a cool little promo running right now to entice you.

If you order now, not only do you get your copy at a discount but…

The first 25 readers who send a receipt confirming a pre-sale purchase of Garden of Fiends to will win the kindle book of their choosing written by any author on the Garden of Fiends table of contents. Yep, don’t wait for April, read from the table of contents TODAY.

Lemme break this down:

1. Purchase Garden of Fiends on Amazon presale (currently at a discounted price.)

2. Choose from one the books listed below written by authors appearing on the table of contents

3. Email your Garden of Fiends’ purchase receipt along with your choice of one of the books below to and…

Bamn! If you’re one of the first 25 you’ll receive an amazon voucher right back for a free kindle download of your chosen book.

(And, pssst… if you’re not one of the first 25 who email, I can still promise something extra.)

Here are your choices:

Jack Ketchum
The Girl Next Door
Off Season
Peaceable Kingdom
The Woman

Kealan Patrick Burke
Sour Candy
Secret Faces
The Turtle Boy

Jessica McHugh
The Train Derails in Boston
The Green Kangaroos
Rabbits in the Garden

John FD Taff
The Desolated Orchard
I Can Taste the Blood
The End in All Beginnings

Max Booth III
How to Successfully Kidnap Strangers
Lost Signals
American Nightmare

Johann Thorrsson
Not Your Average Monster: Volume 2

Glen Krisch
Where Darkness Dwells
The Hollowed Land
The Nightmare Within

Mark Matthews
All Smoke Rises
Lilly’s Tale: The Milk-Blood Trilogy
On the Lips of Children
(Don’t see a book by one of these authors on the list? please inquire within)

Isn’t this great?  BUY THIS BOOK!

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