Well, here’s some great news. My story, “From Within” was just named a 2016 Notable Story by storySouth, as part of the Million Writers Award. In great company. This story was originally published in Slave Stories: Scenes from the Slave State (Omnium Gatherum) edited by Chris Kelso, and reprinted at Cease, Cows. Thanks, H.L. Nelson and Kate Jonez for the support. (It was also long-listed for Best Horror of the Year, edited by Ellen Datlow.) Nice way to end the year!
Midwestern Gothic #9 is NOW OUT, and it includes my story “Garage Sales.” I wrote this story as part of my thesis at Murray State University. At one point, I took a paragraph from the middle of the story, and pulled it to the front, and that’s where this story came from. The FIRST version, was published as “Tinkering With the Moon” in Gargoyle. As for this story, I didn’t realize that everyone writes a garage sale or yard sale story at some point in their life. That whole Raymond Carver “Why Don’t You Dance” moment. My story involved a newly divorced mother and her son, and what happens when they bond over the garage sales that litter their suburban neighborhood. Yes, there is a giant plastic lobster. Yes, they fill their living room with sand. Why not pick up MWG9 and see what else happens!
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
Underground Wonder Bound
Stephen King Ate My Brain
Twenty Reasons to Stay and One to Leave
Rudy Jenkins Buries His Fears
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.
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
Underground Wonder Bound 52
Twenty-Dollar Bill 80
Paying Up 94
Ten Steps 98
Stephen King Ate My Brain 112
Twenty Reasons to Stay and One to Leave 116
Rudy Jenkins Buries His Fears 130
Table of Contents
Your Enemies Will Devour You
A Bird in the Hand
Say Yes to Pleasure
The Jenny Store
Tinkering With the Moon
“Richard Thomas’s stories are filled with a kind of dark magic shot through with danger. These are beautiful roses loaded with thorns. Take hold of them at your own risk and reward—be prepared for the most exquisite, ecstatic kind of pain.”
—Amber Sparks, MAY WE SHED THESE HUMAN BODIES
“Richard Thomas writes from the inglorious depths of human experience. Each sentence, blooming like a bruise, articulates the unspeakable truth of our own disappointment. In Herniated Roots, an aggressive collection of modern fables and cautionary tales, Thomas delivers the kind of prose that leaves you bloody on the inside. This is the kind of book that demands a second reading long before your ribs begin to heal.”
—Daniel Casebeer, PEAR NOIR
“Richard Thomas writes seductively mordant prose. His powerful short stories are noir fables for the twenty-first century—gracefully controlled yet executed with a lethal precision. Precious few writers can provide a vital anatomy of the inner self. Thomas does so masterfully, presenting the darkest slices of the human soul.”
—Darren Richard Carlaw, STEPAWAY MAGAZINE
“Richard Thomas can make his readers feel what he wants them to feel. He distills life into the moments that charge us, and he works them into honest and gripping prose, with visuals that invariably leave a mark.”
—Pela Via, WARMED AND BOUND
“An outstanding short story writer who consistently nails the bull’s-eye.”
—David Cranmer, BEAT TO A PULP
“Herniated Roots by Richard Thomas demonstrates a masterly use of tension. Real page-turning fiction that never resorts to cliché or stereotype.”
—Doug Johnstone, HIT AND RUN