Thursday, May 21, 2009


Oh, happy, happy, joy, joy! The newest issue of Arkham Tales, Issue #3, is up and live and...glory be, I'm in it! No bumping for ads this time, no siree.

Which means you all need to go read it, right now, cover to cover, starting, of course, with "Road Rage" (it's on Page 13) and, perhaps, reading that more than once (it's short). And then, if you're able, donate a little something to keep fine markets such as this one (Arkham Tales) in business.

Trot over right now. You can link via the, um, link on my blog here, or you can just click on this lovely url they provided: Go on now. Hurry, hurry. The dead bodies aren't gettin' any deader, you know.

Watching you from behind the pages of my lovely, shiny, new copy of Arkham Tales,
J.C. Koch

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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Have a Happy

Here's hoping all the mothers and other strangers out there have a wonderfully scary Mother's Day filled with burned toast and runny eggs made by a very junior chef, a wobbly, blobbly cup that no one could ever drink out of safely, an ill-wrapped trinket, some personally made jewelry with the letter 'M' on it no matter what your name really starts with, and/or a breathtaking hug.

I believe I committed those crimes on my mother over the years and she swore they were the best presents ever. I'm a bit too old to get away with those any more. These days, it's a store-bought card with someone else's sentiment written on it, which she says makes her tear up, and the call where I spend more time telling her about what I've done than listening to what she's done, which she insists is what she wants to talk about.

Mothers. You have to love them, because they love you.

Watching you from behind my misty mother-memories,
J.C. Koch

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Friday, May 1, 2009

Title, Title, Burning Bright

I'm so pleased with myself.

I know, that's probably not the most exciting information for someone else. But I've come up with an amazingly good title (if I do say so myself...which I do) for my novel. My first novel!

I've done more than just come up with a title in the almost two months since I last blogged. (Yes, yes, I'm sorry. And for those who sent me private little messages kindly reminding me that I'd been remiss, I have only this to say -- who are you and why won't you leave me alone?) I've solidified my general outline (so to speak) and story flow. I'm not much of an outliner by nature, but I wanted to be sure I had a clear idea of what's going on, who my main character really is as a person, and what the general outcome is going to be.

I've also been doing some research, including reacquainting myself with certain horror classics, including but not limited to Dracula by the great Bram Stoker. I don't actually plan to write in the Victorian mode, but my novel is starting in that era and has strong Victorian influence throughout, so I want to be sure I capture the details correctly.

I haven't actually started the novel itself. Yet. I'm about ready to. But since this is virgin territory for me, I want to ensure that I'm all mapped out, in that sense, so my novel idea doesn't turn into merely a longer short story. The more I do, the more confident I get, which is a good thing, no matter what.

Now, back to it. There's more research to finish and the decision of whether or not to do a prologue (which is dependent upon how long it would be so I must actually write it first and then decide) and generally keep things rolling. (And I have to figure out how to block those kindly messages reminding me that I'm supposed to be blogging. The ones arriving via bat-express in the middle of the night are, I have to admit, the most annoying.)

Watching you from behind a dusty tome,
J.C. Koch

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

An Apple Today

It's another birthday, and this time I'm on time to blow the horns and toss the confetti. Yes, as I'm sure you all know, today is the birth anniversary of John Chapman, aka Johnny Appleseed.

Why do I, a horror writer, care about Johnny and his apple seeding? Simple. I find the guy intriguing, rather heroic, and also downright creepy.

Sure, he was spreading good health and The Word while tossing around his apple seeds. But at the same time, apple seeds? Was he just an overachiever apple seller who got carried away and couldn't stop? Was he just a great guy who understood the benefits of the Fruit of Knowledge at an early age and simply had to share...with everyone?

Or was he something more sinister?

Oh, sure, history pretty much tells us he was a good egg. But...I'm a horror writer. I read about people like this and, without asking for it, the darker images and ideas float up through my brain to go, "But maybe this is the real reason why..." In my mind, he could have been seeding a lot more than apples.

Of course, this is great, in that I have at least one new short story idea eagerly waiting to be written. But it does tend to make me less popular at parties.

Watching you from behind the apple tree,
J.C. Koch

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Novel Idea

It's happened! It's finally happened!

What's happened, you ask? I've finally come up with a novel horror idea. As in, an idea that's both novel and worthy to be novel length.

For some, this is no big deal. However, I've only done horror shorts, and wondered if the "bigger" ideas weren't for me.

Well, no more. I have a fine idea and it'll make a good novel. At least, in my opinion and, until it's all done, mine is the only one that matters.

I'm all a-flutter and ready to get going. However, there's some research that must be done and perhaps even a little mapping out of where the story will head and so forth. And I can hardly wait to do it all.

I have promised my short stories that they won't be ignored. However, my new mistress calls to me and I must answer. Coming, dear...

Watching you from under your bed,
J.C. Koch

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Sunday, February 8, 2009

Heavy Sigh

Alas and alack, I blogged too soon. It turns out that my story has to be bumped from the February issue of Arkham Tales to the May one.

BUT...there's a good reason. Ads came in last minute. I can respect that -- a paying market has to have the ways and means to pay, after all.

And, you know, you can help. Arkham Tales accepts donations -- think of it as a very inexpensive submission to some nifty horror fiction, as well as supporting someone brave enough to start a new paying ezine in this economy.

So, take a look at February's issue. Read, enjoy, shiver. Maybe donate a little money. Offer to advertise if you have a business that could fit (we're educated readers, horror aficionados -- and, you know, we buy things, too). And then, wait patiently (or not so, depending) for the May issue, when THEN 'Road Rage' by yours truly will see the light of day, or the dark of night, or some such.

Watching you while holding out a donations can,
J.C. Koch

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Sunday, February 1, 2009

Beside Myself

The chills run up and down my back and I am indeed beside myself. No really, just sitting here, cut in half, side by side.

One half is writing this blog. The other half is gazing lovingly at the galley proofs from Arkham Tales ( of my first sold short story ("Road Rage"). The proofs do indeed look lovely, perfect, even.

The first issue of Arkham Tales has been live since December, but if you haven't read it yet, go take a read. 'My' issue will be coming later this month. You should definitely read that one. Cover to electronic cover.

Now, off to stroke my beautiful galleys and work on more horribly wonderful stories boiling in my brain. Since it's Super Bowl Sunday, I'm thinking of my own version of the Bud Bowl -- zombies versus ghouls, with creatures of horror beyond description for the referees. (I know, I know, that's the definition of any ref, anywhere.)

Watching you from the pages of Arkham Tales,
J.C. Koch

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