Author Profile


(Illustration by Erik Wilson, © 2015.)

UPDATED: February 13, 2019

BOOKS: Richard is the author of seven books—three novels, including Transubstantiate (Otherworld Publications, 2010), Disintegration (Random House Alibi, 2015) and Breaker (Random House Alibi, 2016); three short story collections, Herniated Roots (Snubnose Press, 2012), Staring Into the Abyss (Kraken Press, 2013), and Tribulations (Cemetery Dance/Crystal Lake, 2016); and a novel-in-novellas, The Soul Standard (Dzanc Books, 2015), where he wrote one of four novellas.


AWARDS AND NOMINATIONS: Most recently, his novelette, “Golden Sun,” written with Kristi DeMeester, Damien Angelica Walters, and Michael Wehunt, was included in The Best Horror of the Year, Volume 11. Breaker was a finalist for the Thriller Award (Best E-Book Original Novel). Disintegration made several lists, in 2015: Best Fiction Books of 2015 (Entropy Magazine), Top Ten Books of 2015 (Cultured Vultures), Favorite Reads of 2015 (Shotgun Logic), Best Fiction Reads of 2015 (Quiet Fury Books), and Top Ten Novels of 2015 (The Horror Bookshelf). Richard was the winner of the ChiZine Publications “Enter the World of Filaria” contest. His short story “Maker of Flight” was chosen by Filaria author Brent Hayward and Bram Stoker Award-Winning editor Brett Alexander Savory. He was also the winner of the 2011 Cafe Doom / One Buck Horror contest, for his short story “Wicker Park Pause.” His story, “From Within” was a Notable Story at the Million Writers Awards. He has been nominated for five Pushcart prizes, been long-listed for the Best Horror of the Year anthology six times, and was awarded a writing residency at Writers in the Heartland in 2011, and participation in the Flying House co-op, resulting in a grant from Poets & Writers magazine, in 2012. For editing and anthology nominations and awards, see below (Short Stories, Dark House Press, and Other Editing).

SHORT STORIES: His work has been accepted in over 150 publications.

ANTHOLOGIES: Gorgon: Stories of Emergence (Pantheon), Seven Deadliest (Cutting Block Press, novelette, Ring of Fire), Lost Highways: Dark Fictions from the Road (Crystal Lake Publishing), Chiral Mad 4 (Written Backwards), BEHOLD! Oddities, Curiosities and Undefinable Wonders (Crystal Lake Publishing, and Bram Stoker winner), PRISMS (PS Publishing), Chiral Mad 3 (Written Backwards, and Bram Stoker nominee) Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories (Crystal Lake Publishing, and Bram Stoker nominee) with Clive Barker, Neil Gaiman, Peter Tremblay and an introduction by Chuck Palahniuk, Shivers VI  (Cemetery Dance) with Stephen King and Peter Straub,  Letters from the Grave: A Collection of Epistolary Horror, When the Clock Strikes 13Grease Paint and .45sWarmed and Bound (Velvet Press), Noir at the Bar, Speedloader (Snubnose Press), In Search of a City: Los Angeles in 1,000 Words and Cipher Sisters (Thunderdome), Slices of Flesh (Dark Moon Books), Fear the Reaper (Crystal Lake Publishing), Reloaded: Both Barrels, Volume 2 (Shotgun Honey), Chiral Mad 2 and Qualia Nous (Written Backwards), Slave Stories: Scenes From the Slave State (Omnium Gatherum),  Into the Darkness (Necro Publishing), The Booked Anthology, Terror Scribes (Dog Horn Publishing), Daddy Cool (Artistically Declined Press), Nova Parade (Solarcide),  XIII (Resurrection House), Shadows Over Main Street (Hazardous Press), Truth or Dare? (Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing), Dead Harvest (Scarlet Galleon Publications), Gaia: Shadow and Breath, Volume 2 (Pantheon) and Trouble in the Heartland (Gutter Books).

MAGAZINES/WEBSITES: Cemetery Dance (twice), Litro MagazinePenumbra, Menacing Hedge, Pantheon Magazine (four times), Arcadia, storySouth, Midwestern Gothic, ChiZine, Gargoyle, Murky Depths, PANK, Pear Noir!, Deciduous Tales, Hypnos, 3:AM Magazine, Word Riot, Dogmatika, Norwegian American, Opium, Vain, Weird Fiction Review, Crime Factory, Beat to a Pulp, Metazen, Cease Cows, The Writing Disorder (twice), Circa Review, Beat the Dust, Blue Monday Review (twice), Mayday Magazine, Emprise Review, Flywheel Magazine, Punchnel’s, Cannoli Pie, Surreal Grotesque, Conjectural Figments, Dirty Noir, Stepaway, Shotgun Honey, Cherry Bleeds, Zouch Magazine, Rotten Leaves, We Are Vespertine, Blink-Ink, Leodegraunce, Outsider Writers Collective, The Oddville Press, Colored Chalk, Cause and Effect, Gold Dust, Nefarious Muse, and Troubadour 21.

DARK HOUSE PRESS: Richard was also the Editor-in-Chief of Dark House Press (a Curbside Splendor imprint) from 2012-2016 (the press is now closed). Titles published: The New Black, a collection of the “best of neo-noir” from the past 5-10 years; Echo Lake by Letitia Trent, a Southern Gothic horror thriller; the first book in the Joshua City science fiction trilogy, The Doors Your Mark Are Your Own by Okla Elliott and Raul Clement; and the fifth dark fiction short story collection by Stephen Graham Jones, After the People Lights Have Gone Off (winner for Best Short Story Collection at This is Horror, as well as a Bram Stoker Award finalist, and a Shirley Jackson Award nominee); Exigencies, a collection of the next wave of neo-noir short stories (all new), which was a nominee for the Shirley Jackson Award; Vile Men (stories) by Rebecca Jones-Howe; Paper Tigers (novel) by Damien Angelica Walters, a contemporary haunted house tale; and Scratch by Steve Himmer, a rural legend story.


OTHER EDITING: For Black Lawrence Press, The Lineup: 20 Provocative Women Writers, with work by such luminaries as Monica Drake, Holly Goddard Jones, Paula Bomer, Karen Brown, and many others. He was a workshop moderator at The Cult writer’s workshop where they have put together an anthology of transgressive short stories, Burnt Tongues (Medallion Press), which he co-edited with Chuck Palahniuk and Dennis Widmyer (where it has gone on to win Best Anthology at This is Horror, and become a Bram Stoker and Shirley Jackson Award finalist). He has been an Editor for Colored Chalk (Issue #6 – Waking Up Strange and Issue #9 – Heaven and Hell) where he published work by Joe Meno, Karen Brown and Joey Goebel, and was Co-Editor and Designer at Sideshow Fables where they published work by Stephen Graham Jones and Steve Almond.

OTHER WRITING: He also wrote book reviews and interviews for The Nervous Breakdown (from 2010-2013) and as of this date, still pens a column, “Storyville” over at Lit Reactor (currently at about 110 written). His non-fiction has appeared in various places, including his essay, “Techniques of Horror,” in Where Nightmares Come From: The Art of Storytelling in the Horror Genre (Crystal Lake Publishing) which was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award, and “The Many Faces of Horror: Craft Techniques” in It’s Alive: Bringing Your Nightmares to Life.

SCHOOL: He did his undergraduate studies at Bradley University (Peoria, IL), where he majored in Advertising and Communications, and minored in Psychology and received his MFA at Murray State University (Murray, KY) in 2012, where he studied under the Pulitzer-nominated author, Dale Ray Phillips.

TEACHING: He teaches online at; in person and online at Story Studio Chicago; online at Gamut magazine; online for his own classes—Novel in a YearContemporary Dark Fiction and an Advanced Creative Writing Workshop; as well as at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival in Iowa City. He also traveled to Transylvania in 2015 to teach a workshop on horror writing in the shadow of Bram Stoker’s castle (which he talks about HERE and HERE).

MISC: Richard is a member of the Horror Writers Association, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and the International Thriller Writers. He was the Fiction and Poetry Curator for Around the Coyote, a Wicker Part art festival. He was a keynote speaker at the Oklahoma Writer’s Federation in May of 2015. He has also attended conferences as a lecturer, panelist and teacher in San Antonio, Texas, as well as Oshkosh and West Bend, Wisconsin. Most recently he was a guest author at the University of California-Riverside, speaking to their MFA program, and interacting with students there.

CONTACT: Richard lives in Chicago in the north suburbs. He can be reached at His agent, Paula Munier, can be reached at


You can reach me at wickerkat at aol dot com. Or use the form below.

Maximizing the Visibility of Emerging Writers

CLMP Article

CLMP Article

Got this from my MFA program. Looks VERY interesting. Long read, but well worth it.


VAIN Winter Issue is out now!

Underground Wonderbound in the Winter Issue 2009 of Vain

Underground Wonderbound in the Winter Issue 2009 of Vain

SWEET! They redesigned the website, but here it is.

They do these really nice, high end chapbooks, that’s what I’d call them. Lots of great art and photography and I’m the first story.


Cool AWP Finds

So, here’s a quick list of alternative, cool, and subversive places:


Avery* – very cool girl named Emma Straub. Last name sound familiar?
Mississippi Review – but the current issue, V36, N3 it is ON literary mags
ACM* (Another Chicago Magazine) – very cool, kind of punk rock
Roger – small, seems open
Bat City Review* – very cool, got 1 rejection, so far
Blue Earth Review – new, small
St. Petersburg Review – seems cool
Quick Fiction* – cool, short stuff, under 1000
Redivider* – been eyeing them, I like them even more now
Copper Nickel* – VERY cool, dark stuff
Opium Magazine – published online, good stuff
American Short Fiction – SEEM open
Fringe – online only, very cool chicks
Salamander – seem cool
Turnrow* – bit surreal, seem very open

Harper Perennial* – heard they are very cool and open
Grub Street Book Prize
Les Figues Press
Red Hen Press – Short Story Award – promotion, good panel
The Review Review* – like duotrope, but actual review of lit mags

Red Hen
Harper Perennial
Tin House
Dalkey Archive – great press, open to subversive, experimental

Robin Mitchell – new, but very sweet she suggested
Nat Sobel – supposed to be looking for writers

The Abstracy by Goodloe Byron – cool guy pimping his book
All Over by Roy Kesey – very cool, 2007 BASS, will interview/get to submit
Big World by Mary Miller – Hobart published this, Aaron, the editor, read from it at Opium
Ovenman by Jeff Parker – Tin House, Caleb suggestion, looks very cool

Hope that helps.

Opium Magazine – Literary Death Match.

Wow, what a great time. Got there just in time.

Thanks to Todd from Opium for a great event, was very cool chatting. I mentioned to him my short “Animal Magnetism” that they published online, and he actually remembered it. Said that he was kind of burnt out one day, and picked up my story, and like it so much, it kid of revamped his energy for the online part of Opium. Or something like that. Well, you weren’t standing there. Todd was hilarious, and did a great job of hosting. His co-host Claire Zulkey was just as funny and very nice.

The judges were great, and I got the chance to talk to local crime writer Kevin Guilfoile . Great writer, part of a lot of Chicago stuff going on, and his 1st book CAST OF SHADOWS (a great read) has really been very successful. His next book, THE THOUSAND will be out this year. Very cool guy, I chatted him up about the Chicago scene, publishing, agents. Very cool guy. I talked about interviewing him and getting him to contribute to Colored Chalk, and he seemed down with it all. Gave me his card. Great guy, was in advertising for a long time (like me), very funny.

Mark Bazer a local columnist and Matt Herlihy a local writer were the other judges, very funny too.

The writers were all fantastic. Megan Stielstra runs 2nd Story, a storytelling series S&W and started first, very funny story about speed dating and Ton Loc. We had a nice chat too. She teaches at Columbia, so of course I had to bring up Joe Meno writing for CC.

Holly Wilson read a wild tale about sorority sisters, very sexy and strange, loved it. She edits fiction for Southeast Review SER I’ll have to hit them up. She is also friends with the editor of Juked (John Wang – JUKED), so that’s always a nice connection, a place I want to publish.

Gwendolyn Knapp read a funny “southern gothic” tale, that was actually set in the south, but about GOTHS. A nice twist. She’s at U of Iowa.

Rachel Yoder read a strange tale about an imaginary man who never shows up.

Hobart editor Aaron Burch read from somebody else (Wendy Wilson?) and it was some great stuff, gotta find out what he read. They are another place I’d LOVE to publish HOBART. We chatted a bit after, very nice guy. I asked him when they are going to open submissions again (right after AWP) and what he was looking for (anything that excited me). I asked him about the 2008 BASS, and he nodded when I mentioned AM Homes and TC Boyle. Maybe I should start submitting as RG Thomas.

Anyway, great time, thanks Caleb for the Opium reminder, sorry you didn’t get in in time, stupid planes. Jesse and Nik and Grover went to the Chiasmus reading. Dwyer in the AM. Great start. Going to bed.


PS-Megan won, and there was almost a stabbing.


Heading down to the Hideout for the Opium LDM.

AWP – Chicago

GO, it will be a blast. Here is the link:

Here’s what I’m thinking of attending:

Which really means so very little
If there are multiple selections per time period, * marks my choice for now

WED FEB 11 (night)

FC2 reading (Chiasmus) with SGJ
6 pm @ AWP

Opium’s Literary Death Match
The Hideout
1354 W Wabansia Ave.
Chicago, IL


9-10:15 (Breakfast) – nothing really jumps out at me


R126. First Books of Fiction*


R142. The City – Real and Imagined (Dybek)
R147. What’s in the Magazines: A Conversation about Lit Journals (Frangello)*
R149. Don’t Stand So Close to Me: Controlling Narrative Distance
R154. Bob Hope, Joey Ramone, Wolfman and Me: Pop Culture in Fiction*

1:30-2:45 (lunch?)

R160. Loft Series (Scott Russell Sanders)*
R171. Art Shool Confidential: CW in Art School (Monica Drake) – OT, but love MD


R178. How to Make Money Writing Now (nonfiction)
R183. Editing – The Business of Writing
R185. CLMP Panel – Finding Needle in Haystack: Mktg for Indie Pubs*
(Milkweed, Melville, RedBone, Four Way Books, Missouri Review)
R187. This is the Midwest? Landscape in Narrative


R199. Reading by Eric Bogosian*
R202. It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood: 5 Chicago Writers
R205. Tribute to Scott Russell Sanders
R207. Bruce Jay Friedman & Friends on SS

8:30-10 Keynote by Art Spiegelman

FC2 7pm with SGJ
Curtiss Hall,
10th floor of the Fine Arts Building,
410 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois.

Murray State University
Richard Thomas reading (that’s me – trying to read LATE)
8:00pm – 11:00pm
Beat Kitchen (upstairs)
2100 W. Belmont
Chicago, IL


9-10:15 (Breakfast) – nothing jumping out at me


F127. Shameless Promotion


F142. Digi-Analog: Print, Online, Alternative Methods*
(SGJ!, Mississippi Review, Ninth Letter, Hobat, Juked, Iron Horse Review, Southeast Review)
F148. Omniscience: We Know, We Know

1:30-2:45 (lunch, nothing looks good – BOOKFAIR?)


F176. Vermont Studios (Hempel)
F189. Dzanc Books Reading (indie, nonprof, Minor has a new book out, looks good, a press I’m targeting)
(Dzanc also bought OV Books, Black Lawrence, and Monkeybicycle, fyi)


F196. Flash Fast Sudden Fiction and the Short Story (Almond)
F204. Chicago’s Global Voices: Other Voices Mag (Frangello)


F# ZZ Packer and Joe Meno (no Irvine Welsh)

SATURDAY FEB 14 (Valentine’s Day, don’t forget)


S105. Getting the Creative Writing Job: How We Did It and How You Can Too*
S113. Truth or Consequences in Nonrealist Fiction: Which Are We Reading For (Evenson)


S121. Yearning Meets Epiphany: Intersection of Prose Poetry and Short Fiction (Robert Olen Butler, Carlson)
S132. The New MFA
S133. Viva Tony Soprano (subversive techniques and non-resolution)*


S150. Inside Publishing: How Editors Acquire Books (Pat Walsh, Johnny Temple)*** MUST SEE
S158. Switching Hats: Poets Writing Memoir (Nick Flynn)
S164. Avoiding: Tropes & Traps (Almond, Black Warrior, SE Review)
S166. Writing in the Windy City


S173. The Steady Gaze: Writing Frankly about Sex* (duh)
S176. Reading by Stuart Dybek
S189. Running With the Bulls (about Hemingway, Robert Olen Butler)


S197. Then She Lit a Cigarette: Rethinking Fictional Gesture*


Many will have VDay plans, but maybe there is an opportunity here as well for dinner and or going out.

MOST IMPORTANTLY: Go, have fun, see the panels that move YOU, really take some time with the bookfair, it is a great chance to meet and talk to editors, and get sample copies for cheap. And hang out!


Colored Chalk #6 is LIVE

Proud to be editor and designer

Proud to be editor and designer

Hey guys,

Wanted to let you know that the sixth issue of Colored Chalk is now live. The theme is “Waking Up Strange”, so believe me, there are some great stories in here. Go to and either read it online or download a printable PDF.

Thanks so much to Jason for all of his hard work. I really enjoyed editing and designing this issue, and hope to do it again. Soon. Not REAL soon, but soon.

You will certainly recognize some names from the Velvet, Cult and the literary world at large.

And a final thanks to all of the talented writers who put a lot of hard work, edits and thought to paper, not to mention fantastic writing. I really enjoyed every single story, and if I could’ve, I would’ve done an issue with about 50 pages of fiction. These are some of my favorite authors going right now.

Authors (in no particular order):
Joey Goebel
Joe Meno
Richard Martin
Rayo Casablanca
Christopher Dwyer
Caleb Ross
Nik Korpon
Craig Wallwork
Chris Deal
Eddy Rathke
Alex Cassun
Simon West-Bulford
Jeff Macfee
William T. Allen
Joe Dornich
Axel Taiari


And be sure to submit to issue #7, “MacGuffins for Hire” it is open right now with a deadline of Feb. 28.



Wandering across the campus I am transported 18 years to the past, memories of long wool coats, sauntering to class, full of questions and a hunger to learn. Today, getting our FREE coffee (thank you Squire) I bring my briefcase and the fear that I do not belong. Most of the students are half my age, but I have found a few veterans to align with in my pursuit of publications, teaching credentials, and of course, fame and fortune.

The week will be a long one. Very little sleep. Staring at the concrete walls, lying in the strange bed, the heater clicking on, the blinds rattling, footsteps above me. In the distance, is that a moan? Pain or pleasure? Good Lord. What have I done.

I will be enlightened by guest speakers, writers I did not know.

A poet, with a long list of awards. Words like Guggenheim flitter about the art gallery. MacArthur grants. I am impressed and then she reads, explaining the history of her work and I am moved. Linda Bierds.

Scott Russell Sanders. An essayist. That doesn’t convey much. Sounds dry. But he is anything but. Filled with emotion and history his work fills the room. Again, am impressed.

The fiction writer turned creative non-fiction. Whirlwind is all you need to know. Heather Sellers. Tall, striking, full of energy and stories that make me laugh out loud.

Beyond that, each day, the applied practical methods and tactics, inspirations and sources, to us in class, so that we might glean something from their life lessons.

It continues but for now, their voices are what I hear.