Axel Taiari – A Light to Starve By – Amazon e-novelette

A good friend of mine Axel Taiari, an extremely talented author, just put up his first e-novelette at Amazon called “A Light to Starve By” and for only .99 cents it’s totally worth it. 8000 words (30 pages), it’s a futuristic vampire AND werewolf tale set in Paris. And it won’t be the same old tired story, trust me, Axel writes rich, startling, intense prose.

A vampire story, set in near-future Paris, where vampires and werewolves are hunted down like rabid dogs and put down just as quickly. Their existence is common knowledge, the army and police patrol the streets looking for them, families barricade themselves at night, and even the Catholic Church has its own task force. The majority of the population has been vaccinated, making their blood highly poisonous to our favorite monsters. The small population of bloodsuckers is now reduced to dealing blood like drugs, living in hiding, owning clean human slaves to drink from, and generally living a pathetic life.

Enter my nameless protagonist, a clan-less vampire who has been starving for too long. He has been surviving mostly by himself for decades, stealing and mugging, closer to a feral animal than the organized vampires of old. His only real link with humanity is a woman he lost years ago. As he checks up on her one night, he finds her missing, and all hell breaks loose.

The starving tore us apart. It began with a few rumbles over who would drink who and when. The arguments turned to grudges, feuds, claw fights, gang battles and then bloomed into a full-blown civil war. The more organized clans traded clean humans like rare diamonds, keeping them chained in underground lairs and milking them like your average bovine. They fed them rich meals, kept them healthy and drained their blood bit by bit every week, filling vials with their juices and selling the vials to buy more humans. Every clean human death became a miniature tragedy. The loners like me, we morphed from hunters into buyers. One night you’re emptying a schoolgirl’s tasty veins, blood gushing from your lips, a grin etched on your face, and the week after that you’re breaking into flats and stealing jewelry to pay for your next hit.

We laughed at the mentalists when their struggle started. The hum of electricity was a minor annoyance. After that, radios gave them headaches or made them puke. Then the television revolution, the tide of cell phones and the wireless internet boom brought forth a new invisible hell. Mentalists taking the train at night would randomly shriek when the meat-sack next to them would get a call from his lover. Humans swamped the air. The mentalists, they shied away from cities, fearful of the signals. Silence became their haven. They retreated to the forests and the deserts, fighting over territory with the werewolves. Most of them starved, went insane or were murdered and pissed on by the shape-shifters. The more desperate ones would try to walk back into the cities despite the pain and maybe they’d get too close to an antenna, and their brains would gloriously erupt into flesh fireworks before splash-painting the pavement. The humans couldn’t ignore the supernatural anymore and blood and mind suckers alike became public knowledge. Still we laughed at the mentalists while we kept drinking. Then the vaccine was invented, and we didn’t laugh so hard anymore.

My first Pushcart Prize Nomination!

I know all of you talented authors out there probably have dozens of nominations, but I just got my first Pushcart nomination, for my story “Terrapin Station” in Pear Noir! #5. Very excited and honored. Thanks PN and Daniel for the support. PN5 is OOP but there are a few copies up at Rhythmplex, if you want to snatch one up.

This is a story that I wrote in my MFA program at Murray State University. And while my Pulitzer nominated professor wasn’t particularly in love with it, I always liked it. Partly because it was a sweet story, different then my usual darkness, and partly because it is set here in Chicago, where I’ve lived since 1990, and depicted parts of the city that I really love.

So, wish me luck. It’s a long shot to make the anthology, and even longer to win, of course, but hey, it’s all a long shot, yeah?

Jay Slayton-Joslin interviews Richard Thomas about Transubstantiate, Disintegration, Shivers VI, neo-noir, and so much more

“You talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to me? Then who the hell else are you talkin’ to? You talkin’ to me? Well I’m the only one here. Who the fuck do you think you’re talking to?”

That’s right. JSJ is talkin’ to me about my debut novel, Transubstantiate, my story “Stillness” in Shivers VI with Stephen King, Peter Straub, Brian Keene, and so many others talented authors, my next book, Disintegration, and what the hell neo-noir fiction is anyway.

Thanks, Jay for the support. Had a blast doing this.

We have a winner! 1000 Facebook Fans!

GRANT SPANIER is the 1000th person to join my Facebook Fan Page! He is the winner of a signed copy of Shivers VI, with my story “Stillness” as well as great work by Stephen King, Peter Straub and so many others. Congratulations to Grant, and thanks to everyone that joined this past week, and over the past year. I couldn’t do this without your support.

I’m still giving away one more copy over at, so head over there if you want to.

Bryan Alaspa interviews Richard Thomas at

Bryan Alaspa discovered my book, Transubstantiate, and loved it. It’s always exciting to meet new people that enjoy my work. Sometimes you shoot that work out into the void, or promote it on Facebook and Twitter, and wonder if anybody ever hears you, if anybody enjoys it. Bryan heard me. When he asked what else he could do to help, I of course suggested the usual things: Amazon, B&N, Goodreads kind words and generous stars; Facebook, Twitter, blog, whatever you’ve got. When you’re a struggling author, you take whatever you can get and say THANK YOU. So that’s what I did. When he offered to do an interview and write an article, I was thrilled. So, thanks Bryan for getting behind my work, supporting me, and spreading the word.

Join the Richard Thomas Fan Page – 1000th member gets a FREE signed copy of Shivers VI (the inviter too)

I’m running a contest to help build up my fan page. I’ill send out a personally signed copy of the 1st/1st paperback of Shivers VI (Stephen King, Peter Straub and 19 others) to the 1000th person to join my Facebook Fan Page, as well as the person who invited them in. USA only, please.

For more on Shivers VI, go here:

Here is the Fan Page: