Chiral Mad 2 Table of Contents Set

Love the cover art, and this TOC is so amazing. Honored to have my story “Playing With Fire” in here. It’s got more wolves, fireflies, a hut on a hill, a man alone trying to fix his broken heart, and a giant tree branch that may be his undoing.

Looks like Michael Bailey and Written Backwards have done a great job with this.

OUT SOON!

1. “TIGHT PARTNERS” by GENE O’NEILL
2. “THE CHUTE” by GARY McMAHON
3. “WELCOME HOME, ALL YOU UNINVITED” by ERIK T. JOHNSON
4. “INTERFERENCE” by ANDREW HOOK
5. “THE WORD” by RAMSEY CAMPBELL
6. “THE COUNSELOR” by MORT CASTLE
7. “ORANGE IS FOR ANGUISH, BLUE FOR INSANITY” by DAVID MORRELL
8. “THE RIGHT THING” by JACK KETCHUM
9. “FLOWERS BLOOMING IN THE SEASON OF ATROPHY” by MAX BOOTH III
10. “ANOTHER MAN’S BONES” by MASON IAN BUNDSCHUH
11. ”WHITECHAPEL” by P. GARDNER GOLDSMITH
12. ”PLAYING WITH FIRE” by RICHARD THOMAS
13. ”A GUIDE TO ETIQUETTE AND COMPORTMENT FOR THE SISTERS OF HENLEY HOUSE” by EMILY CATANEO
14. ”EMPATHY” by JOHN SKIPP
15. ”MNEMONICIDE” by JAMES CHAMBERS
16. “PASSING AFFLICTION” by PATRICK O’NEILL
17. “PICTURE-IN-PICTURE” by DUSTIN LaVALLEY
18. ”WHEN I WAS” by THOMAS F. MONTELEONE
19. ”DEAR BOY” by JOHN BIGGS
20. ”SCAVENGING” by KEVIN LUCIA
21. ”THE GEMINIS” by JOHN PALISANO
22. “IN THE EYES OF THE BEHOLDER” by ANN K. BOYER
23. “THE TENDED FIELD OF EIDO YAMATA” by JON MICHAEL EMORY
24. “INDIAN SUMMER” by PHILIP C. PERON
25. “APPROACHING LAVENDER” by LUCY A. SNYDER
26. “THE GREAT PITY” by GARY A. BRAUNBECK
27. “BLOOD WOMEN” by USMAN T. MALIK
28. “VERSIONS” by E.L. KEMPER

Fear the Reaper is OUT NOW. Includes my story, “The Culling.”

Fear the Reaper (Crystal Lake Publishing) is now out (print and ebook). My story “The Culling” is in here. Thrilled to share a spine with so many talented authors. Just in time for Halloween! Here’s the opening line from my story:

“Danielle stands at the long mirror brushing her dirty blonde hair, tears running down her cheeks, as the rest of us sit at the table, the howling in the distance, my reassurances falling on deaf ears.”

Final TOC:

The Life of Death by Mark Sheldon
Stumps by Jeff Strand
Death Squared by Rena Mason
Rapid Eye Movement by Stephen Bacon
The Final Room by John Kenny
The Culling by Richard Thomas
Crow by Steve Lockley
Instructions on the Use of The M-57 Clacker by Lawrence Santoro
The Death Catcher by Robert S. Wilson
Cedo Looked like people by E.C. McMullen Jr.
Spectres by Taylor Grant
The Tubes by Jeremy C. Shipp
A Life in Five Objects by Ross Warren
Death Comes for us All by Eric S. Brown
The Last Resort by Sam Stone
At the ‘Pay Here, Please’ Table by Gary A. Braunbeck
Der Engel der Liebe by Dean M. Drinkel
The Frequency of Death by Marty Young
The Final Peace by Gary Fry
Do No Harm by Joe McKinney
Non-Returnable by Rick Hautala

Includes a poem by Adam Lowe and interior artwork by Will Jacques.
Introduction by: Gary McMahon
Cover artist: Ben Baldwin (www.benbaldwin.co.uk)
Editor: Joe Mynhardt

“Playing With Fire” accepted for Chiral Mad 2, out in December

Image

Thrilled to join Jack Ketchum, Ramsey Campbell, Mort Castle, Max Booth III, Gene O’Neill, Gary MacMahon, Erik T. Johnson,  Andrew Hook, David Morrell, and many others in this anthology of psychological horror, edited by Michael Bailey for Written Backwards press, and out this December. Chiral Mad was nominated for a number of awards, and even won a few, so I have great expectations for this anthology. 

In my story, “Playing With Fire,” expect wolves, fireflies, waking up in a field, a lost love, a hut on a hill—you know, the usual. Honored, humbled, and stoked.

Staring Into the Abyss (Kraken Press) is NOW OUT!

I’m excited to announce that my second short story collection, Staring Into the Abyss (Kraken Press) is now OUT! It’s a collection of 20 neo-noir stories that lean towards horror, and some of my best work to date, I think. It has some of my favorite stories: “Stillness” which was in Shivers VI (Cemetery Dance) with Stephen King and Peter Straub, “Twenty Reasons to Stay and One to Leave” which was nominated for a Pushcart Prize over at Metazen, “Maker of Flight” which won a contest at ChiZine, and “Victimized” one of my longest stories ever. What are people saying? Here are some blurbs and reviews to help you figure out if this is a collection that you’d enjoy. Thanks for the support!

BLURBS:

“The stories in STARING INTO THE ABYSS are little literary predators that are smart, savage, and stealthy, with a lethal pounce at the end. Readers who enjoy finely-crafted and genuinely disturbing dark fiction will love Richard Thomas’s outstanding collection.”
—Lisa Morton, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Monsters in L.A.

“STARING INTO THE ABYSS by Richard Thomas is an outstanding book, a grim tapestry of broken lives and shattered dreams, of dark fantasies and dark reflections. It’s one of the better single-author collections I’ve had the pleasure to read in recent years, and as such, gets my highest recommendation. It’s also a fine testament to a talent I suspect we are going to be hearing a lot more from, and soon.”
—Kealan Patrick Burke, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of The Turtle Boy, and Kin

“With STARING INTO THE ABYSS, Richard Thomas takes you on a ride into a world of darkness and despair, punches you in the gut, and leaves you breathless. You’ll hug your psyche a little tighter after reading.”—Damien Walters Grintalis, author of Ink

“STARING INTO THE ABYSS is gritty and ugly, seductive and sexy. Inside these filthy walls you will find everything you’ve ever feared you’d become; thugs, drunks, cons, prostitutes, murderers. Think of these pages as a mirror of what anyone–even you–can become, after just a few critical mistakes in life. Richard Thomas has proven time and again that he is one of the rising stars in the neo-noir culture. With this collection, he proves he has mastered it.”
—Max Booth III, author of True Stories Told By a Liar and Black Cadillacs

“NO ONE DOES IT like Richard Thomas. Dark and disturbing, his unique blend of horror and noir digs its way into your psyche and leaves you begging for more.”
–C. W. LaSart, author of Ad Nauseam

REVIEWS:

“Richard Thomas may well be the best author that you haven’t heard of yet…The longest story in the collection [‘Victimized’] is…one of the best short stories that I’ve ever read. This kind of transgressive fiction is absolutely my favorite style of writing, leaning close enough towards horror to satisfy all of my darker urges.”
—P.M. Buchan, Starburst Magazine

“I am pleased to say that STARING INTO THE ABYSS may have changed my attitude toward the short story format, it’s that good…There was an almost poetic quality to the writing…it is truly aptly-titled in the respect that these stories come across as describing the human-condition at its worst and best.”
—Nick Tab, Robot-Zombie Reviews

“Richard Thomas is a workhorse who is no stranger to dark fiction. But with his newest anthology of short fiction…[he] cranks the intensity up a notch while simultaneously turning the dimmer switch all the way down…Richard Thomas presents his gritty vision of despair at an unflinching, rapid-fire pace.”
—Sean Leonard, Horror News

“This collection examines darker elements of the human condition with a mixture of wit and unflinching brutality…There are some great stories here, ranging from subtle humor to rushes of adrenaline. ‘Underground Wonder Bound’ had me practically euphoric with its pitch-perfect ending. ‘Victimized’ had me on the edge of my seat, completely wrapped up in the story and oblivious to the world around me.”
The Indiscriminate Critic

“[STARING INTO THE ABYSS] epitomizes what I love about Richard’s writing—the rich and vibrant worlds he creates using an economy of words…I can guarantee you that with [his] skill in creating visceral landscapes, believable characters, and tense plots across a range of genres, there’s something in [this collection] for everyone.”
—Jessica Meddows, Parable Press

STARING INTO THE ABYSS is a very well-written mix of nitty-gritty short stories, each conveying a different message and emotion. Some of them lift up the spirit, others narrate about the dark visages in the human psyche, all of them haunting and insightful… All in all, I highly recommend this book for people who love short stories, be it horror, humor or just a really compelling story.”
—Dia Pelaez, Book Junkie Joint

“Richard Thomas has given us a collection of gut-wrenching tales about love, hatred, discovery, loss, pain, and elation…If you enjoy short stories with bite, and aren’t intimidated by plots that might disturb the peaceful fabric of your psyche, then read this book.
—Missy Jane, Dark Media Online

“Richard has done it again, and this time he’s given the reader a glimpse into what the abyss really is: a world of heartbreak, death, suicide, lust, sex, fighting… pulling bits and pieces from the science fiction and horror genres with hints of Bukowski and Palahniuk sprinkled in for good measure.”
—Joseph Lambach, The Dying Goose

“The writing itself was very well done. It was descriptive and to the point, fluid and stylistic at points, and quite effective…If these are the type of stories you’re into then I can say with some level of certainty that you will enjoy it. It’s deep and thought provoking and most of all dark.”
—Scatty, The Big Nerd of Three

“I really enjoy Thomas’s writing…some of the stories were really intriguing and I thought they were brilliant…I will try to look out for more of his works.”
—Hecate, The Middle Nerd

“The writing…flows, it is descriptive, and it sucks you in. What I like too is that each story was told with a slightly different style or tone, so I never felt as though I was reading the same narrator twice. There were some that had wonderful twists…I enjoyed each and every story…I would recommend this collection of short stories…I’ll have a second helping.”
—Isis, The Small Nerd

Complete List of Online Interviews with Richard Thomas

This is a list of all of the interviews that I’ve done online over
the years, in reverse chronological order.

Last Updated: June 3, 2014

At Writing in a Dead World by Raymond Esposito (6/3/14)

At My Bookish Ways by Kristin Centorcelli (5/1/14)

At This Is Horror by Michael Wilson (1/15/14)

At The Time Warriors by Owen Quinn (12/10/13)

At Radikal News by Renato Bratkovic (12/2/13)

At Cease, Cows by Heather L. Nelson (9/12/13)

At Solarcide by Martin Garrity (6/7/2013)

At Mourning Goats by The Goat (5/10/2013)

At Ginger Nuts of Horror by Jim Mcleod (4/4/2013)

At Midwestern Gothic by Robert James Russell (4/2/2013)

At The Qwillery by Sally Janin (3/22/2013)

At Unnecessary Musings by J.A. Beard (3/15/2013)

At Creative Writing Help by Tracey Tressa (3/8/2013)

At Leah Rhyne’s blog by Leah Rhyne (2/22/2013)

At Out of the Gutter by Ryan Sayles (10/11/2012)

At The Slaughterhouse by Richard Godwin (4/30/2012)

At Slit Your Wrists Magazine by Laurance Kitts (4/14/2012)

At Jay Slayton-Joslin’s blog by Jay Slayton-Joslin (2/15/2012)

At Solarcide by Nathan Pettigrew (1/26/2012)

At Sea Minor by Nigel Bird (6/21/2011)

At PANK by Roxane Gay (4/22/2011)

At Yahoo Voices by Brian Alaspa (2/8/2011)

At Leodegraunce by Jolie du Pre (1/3/2011)

At The Write Place by Simon West-Bulford (10/28/2010)

At Word Riot by Pela Via (10/15/2010)

At 3:AM Magazine by Gregory Frye (9/28/2010)

At Bitten by Books by Rachel Smith (7/19/2010)

At The Cult by Brandon Tietz (3/30/2010)

At Craig Wallwork’s blog by Craig Wallwork (1/26/2009)

Blurbs are in for Staring Into the Abyss (Kraken Press) out in March.

Thank you so much to Lisa, Kealan, Damien, Max and Caren. These are five fantastic authors, and I’m honored to have their support for this collection.

“The stories in STARING INTO THE ABYSS are little literary predators that are smart, savage, and stealthy, with a lethal pounce at the end. Readers who enjoy finely-crafted and genuinely disturbing dark fiction will love Richard Thomas’s outstanding collection.”—Lisa Morton, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Monsters in L.A.

“STARING INTO THE ABYSS by Richard Thomas is an outstanding book, a grim tapestry of broken lives and shattered dreams, of dark fantasies and dark reflections. It’s one of the better single-author collections I’ve had the pleasure to read in recent years, and as such, gets my highest recommendation. It’s also a fine testament to a talent I suspect we are going to be hearing a lot more from, and soon.”—Kealan Patrick Burke, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of The Turtle Boy, and Kin

“With STARING INTO THE ABYSS, Richard Thomas takes you on a ride into a world of darkness and despair, punches you in the gut, and leaves you breathless. You’ll hug your psyche a little tighter after reading.”—Damien Walters Grintalis, author of Ink

“STARING INTO THE ABYSS is gritty and ugly, seductive and sexy. Inside these filthy walls you will find everything you’ve ever feared you’d become; thugs, drunks, cons, prostitutes, murderers. Think of these pages as a mirror of what anyone–even you–can become, after just a few critical mistakes in life. Richard Thomas has proven time and again that he is one of the rising stars in the neo-noir culture. With this collection, he proves he has mastered it.”—Max Booth III, author of True Stories Told By a Liar and Black Cadillacs

“NO ONE DOES IT like Richard Thomas. Dark and disturbing, his unique blend of horror and noir digs its way into your psyche and leaves you begging for more.”–C. W. LaSart, author of Ad Nauseam

FREE eSingle, “Transmogrify” to release before Staring Into the Abyss (Kraken Press)

We’re going to be giving away a FREE eSingle of my contemporary vampire short story, “Transmogrify” soon. Cinder (Cindy to her friends) feeds on negative energy—she’s a psychic vampire, or energivore, a bit of a twist on the classic tale. It’s in my upcoming collection of neo-noir and horror stories, Staring Into the Abyss (Kraken Press) which is out in March. I just wanted to share this excellent cover art by George Cotronis and get you excited about the collection.

There are some fantastic stories in here, including “Maker of Flight” which won a contest at ChiZine, “Stillness” which was in Shivers VI (Cemetery Dance) with Stephen King and Peter Straub, “Splintered” which was in PANK, “Rudy Jenkins Buries His Fears” which was in Slices of Flesh (Dark Moon Books) with Jack Ketchum, Ramsey Campbell and Graham Masterson, and “Twenty Reasons to Stay and One to Leave,” which was nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Metazen. So STAY TUNED!

Table of Contents:

Maker of Flight
Steel-Toed Boots
Freedom
Committed
Splintered
Fallible
Stillness
Fringe
Underground Wonder Bound
Amazement
Victimized
Twenty-Dollar Bill
Interview
Paying Up
Ten Steps
Honor
Stephen King Ate My Brain
Twenty Reasons to Stay and One to Leave
Transmogrify
Rudy Jenkins Buries His Fears

My story “The Wastelands” is out in the anthology, Into the Darkness (Necro Publications)

I’m thrilled to announce that my story “The Wastelands” is now out in the Necro Publications anthology, Into the Darkness. My story is about a man who loses his family, a golem he befriends, and the lengths he goes to in order to get his wife and children back. Sure, there’s a succubus in it, why not. Out now in paperback and eBook.

Release the Kraken! My short story collection, Staring Into the Abyss, will be out later this year.

That’s right, my second short story collection, Staring Into the Abyss, will be out later this year from Kraken Press. It’s a collection of 20 dark stories, neo-noir leaning towards horror, and some of my best work to date. Want to know more? Head over to their website or just keep reading. We’re targeting March, but definitely the first half of 2013. And it looks like it will be a book club selection over at LitReactor as well, probably July or August. More information to come.

FROM THE  JACKET: As Friedrich Nietzsche said, “Battle not with monsters lest ye become a monster; and if you gaze into the abyss the abyss gazes into you.” In this collection of short stories Richard Thomas shows us in dark, layered prose the human condition in all of its beauty and dysfunction. A man sits in a high tower making tiny, mechanical birds, longing for the day when he might see the sky again. A couple spends an evening in an underground sex club where jealousy and possession are the means of barter. A woman is victimized as a child, and turns that rage and vengeance into a lifelong mission, only to self-destruct, and become exactly what she battled against. A couple hears the echo of the many reasons they’ve stayed together, and the one reason the finally have to part. And a boy deals with a beast that visits him on a nightly basis, not so much a shadow, as a fixture in his home. These 20 stories will take you into the darkness, and sometimes bring you back. But now and then there is no getting out, the lights have faded, the pitch black wrapping around you like a festering blanket of lies. What will you do now? It’s eat or be eaten—so bring a strong stomach and a hearty appetite.

It includes my contest winning “Maker of Flight,” my longest short story to date, “Victimized,” a Pushcart nominee in “Twenty Reasons to Stay and One to Leave,” and much more. Full TOC below. I hope you’ll pick it up when it comes out. It’s a little over 130 pages, about 32,000 words.

Special thanks have to go out George Cotronis for his amazing cover design. That’s part of the reason I signed up with him, he’s a globally recognized illustrator and artist, and his work is just fantastic.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Maker of Flight 14
Steel-Toed Boots 18
Freedom 22
Committed 30
Splintered 34
Fallible 40
Stillness 42
Fringe 48
Underground Wonder Bound 52
Amazement 58
Victimized 62
Twenty-Dollar Bill 80
Interview 86
Paying Up 94
Ten Steps 98
Honor 106
Stephen King Ate My Brain 112
Twenty Reasons to Stay and One to Leave 116
Transmogrify 120
Rudy Jenkins Buries His Fears 130