If you’ve ever thought about taking my Short Story Mechanics class–either at LitReactor.com—or as is noted here, at Storyville in the “At Your Own Pace” version, you may want to read this blog post by Keily. This thrills me to no end. This is why I teach.
“Personally, I was shocked by how much I’d improved. My settings had more detail, my first lines became actual hooks, I had a nice refresher on conflict and tension, and I finally understood the theme/mood portion of writing. This class allowed me to piece together things that my creative writing instructors have been trying to drill into my head for a long time, and I am thrilled with the results. It doesn’t matter what genre you write in, or what level you’re at. This can be a helpful beginner’s course or a wonderful refresher for the experienced writer.”
Totally made my day, my week—hell, in this environment, quite possibly my year. LOL. Be safe out there!
I only teach this class ONCE a year, and it starts on Monday. Stuck at home? Bored? Scared to go outside? Want to work on your craft? This is the class for you. Flash fiction is like in cooking when you reduce a sauce—all of the flavor, none of the waste. Sign up now!
“My experience in Richard’s week/long workshop was one hundred percent worth it. Before taking this class, I felt ill-equipped to write those sweet 1,500-5,000 word stories, but that has all changed. Richard teaches a concise method for crafting and developing stories in this word range, and his insight is well worth the tuition price.” —Chris S.
“This class was a week-long shotgun blast to the face of ultimate fiction crafting. He walks you through a story idea, from a bare-bones concept to polished, submittable story. His attention to the discussion boards and our own invidual needs was top notch. This class elevated my chops to a new level. You can’t beat this combination of low-cost and superior instruction.” —Doug B.
“Richard is a tireless and dedicated teacher. Regardless of class size, every lesson feels like a one-on-one meeting with an expert on craft. Every time I’ve worked with him, I’ve moved my writing up a level.” —Sarah R.
“Richard has a keen eye for the little details that make a story work as well as for the bigger picture that brings together the plot. His professional demeanor and kind manner make working with him a real pleasure. He catches the things that most writers miss, and that’s a real gift.” —Bryan H.
“I have contracted Richard to edit several short stories, and have found that his ability as an editor is a direct reflection of his resume as a writer—impressive to say the very least. I have found his editing to be of tremendous value, and would recommend his services to any emerging writer.” —Nicholas M.
“Go ahead and write the best damn story you can. Edit tirelessly for weeks on end. Have your writer friends critique it and their writer friends, too. Then go back and write that perfect final draft. But I bet that even after all that, give it to Richard Thomas and he’ll still find redundancies, misplaced modifiers, dangling participles, plot holes—you name it. What I’m saying is if you want to sharpen that latest draft, Richard is your man.” —Ryan S.
Check out this awesome cover reveal for Christmas Horror, Volume 3 (Dark Regions Press) out later this year. I’ll have a reprint in here, my story, “Chrysalis.” Love the art, by Zach McCain. Very cool. Here is what Chris Morey had to say about the project on his Facebook post:
We are excited to reveal the fantastic artwork and front cover by artist Zach McCain for Christmas Horror Volume 3 coming later this year from Dark Regions Press!
Christmas Horror Volume 3 will be designed at the same trim size as Christmas Horror Volume 1 and will have a deluxe signed slipcased hardcover that will have exclusive materials not found in any other edition. Authors Jeff Strand, Stephanie M. Wytovich, Lisa Morton, John Palisano and more join us for this new entry in our popular Christmas Horror anthology line!
This Summer we will be adding the Christmas Horror Volume 3 product page to the Upcoming section of our website (orders will open in November) and we are working to get shipping started on Volume 3 by November 2020. Watch for more updates in the months ahead!
This should be a lot of fun! Keep an eye out.
Burnt Tongues is going to be re-released with Turner Publishing, on August 25th. Very excited to share the new cover with you. Always a pleasure working with Chuck Palahniuk and Dennis Widmyer. This is an edgy, transgressive anthology that came out of The Cult workshops back in the day. (It was nominated for the Bram Stoker Award.) New illustrations, as well. Can’t wait! Very exciting.
Live This Down by Neil Krolicki
Charlie by Chris Lewis Carter
Paper by Gayle Towell
Mating Calls by Tony Liebhard
Melody by Michael De Vito, Jr.
F For Fake by Tyler Jones
Mind and Soldier by Phil Jourdan
Ingredients by Richard Lemmer
The Line Forms on the Right by Amanda Gowin
A Vodka Kind of Girl by Matt Egan
Gasoline by Fred Venturini
Dietary by Brandon Tietz
Invisible Graffiti by Adam Skorupskas
Bike by Bryan Howie
Heavier Petting by Brien Piechos
Engines, O-Rings, and Astronauts by Jason M. Fylan
Lemming by Terence James Eeles
The Routine by Keith Buie
Survived by Gus Moreno
Zombie Whorehouse by Daniel W. Broallt
I’m not saying these are the best movies ever (though many are favorites), and I have divided this up into ten different categories, but I thought it might be fun to share this with you all. These are movies that shocked and amazed me, films that horrified and inspired me, work that has influenced my writing. I hope to see your head nodding as you read down this list, but more importantly, I hope you find a few movies that you have NOT seen yet. Maybe those films will provide you with some entertainment, terror, wonder, and excitement. ENJOY!
ONE: A24 FILMS
- Hereditary: Scared me to death in theaters, and also later, at home. Wow.
- The Witch: Wouldst thou like to live deliciously? I would.
- Under the Skin: What a haunting arthouse flick. Scarlett at her best.
- Enemy: A paranoid thriller that will shock and surprise. That ending!
- Ex Machina: A great SF/AI film that asks what it means to be human.
- Blade Runner: Quite possibly my favorite movie ever. Set the bar high, still holds up.
- Mulholland Drive: My favorite Lynch, the truth is shocking, the movie so stylish.
- Memento: Entirely backwards! And with short term memory loss, that’s trouble.
- Seven: What’s in the box! Such tension, great acting, tons of atmosphere.
- No Country for Old Men: Such a creepy bad guy, in Anton Chigurh. Lots of emotion.
THREE: STUDIO GHIBLI
- Howl’s Moving Castle: Has always been my favorite, my first. So weird and cool.
- Spirited Away: So strange, very original, definitely creeped me out at times.
- My Neighbor Totoro: Such a sweet film, but not without the oddities. Lots of heart.
- Princess Mononoke: An epic film, with so much to root for, great characters.
- Nausicaä and the Valley of the Wind: War, environment, and lots of drama.
- Caddyshack: Classic, hilarious, great cast, lots of lines to quote.
- Pee Wee’s Big Adventure: I know you are but what am I. So funny, and weird!
- Rango: Totally cracks me up, not just for kids, adult references, surreal at times.
- Fast Times at Ridgemont High: No shoes, no shirt—no service.
- Fantastic Mr. Fox: Something about the dry humor just cracks me up.
FIVE: CULT CLASSICS
- Repo Man: Always the first thing I think of when I hear “cult film.” Plate of shrimp.
- Donnie Darko: Such a dark, strange film, but a compelling one, for sure.
- Ghost World: A great graphic novel, and film. Excellent cast.
- Clerks: Starting to show its age, but so many great lines. Early Kevin Smith.
- Rocky Horror Picture Show: Hopefully you first saw it in theaters with all the props.
- Silence of the Lambs: A classic, with an excellent cast.
- Leon, the Professional: Definitely not formulaic. Lots of heart. Breaks the mold.
- The Game: It’s an older flick (1997) but the head games—wow. So good.
- Cape Fear: I like De Niro’s version, he’s so damn creepy.
- The Prestige: What a game of cat and mouse, has us guessing to the end.
SEVEN: TRANSGRESSIVE FILMS
- Fight Club: The first rule about fight club…had to list this one. Great book, too.
- Requiem for a Dream: What a dark, bleak, insane film, the ending unbearable.
- Trainspotting: Likewise, what a downward spiral this one is. Trippy.
- Oldboy: A wild ride, and then the ending is just so…shocking, in so many ways.
- Kids: So screwed up, but it still sticks with me. Unsettling. Dark stuff.
EIGHT: EDGY DRAMA
- Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: Just breaks my heart every time.
- American Beauty: A haunting film about so much—love, intolerance, lust, loss.
- The Machinist: Christian Bale at his best, so surreal, and the ending!
- Shutter Island: Love Lehane’s books, this story really takes us for a ride.
- The Usual Suspects: Love the way this story is told, another intense ending.
NINE: SCIENCE FICTION
- Alien: Set the bar very high, inspired so many other films. Great franchise.
- Arrival: When you understand what’s going on, it breaks your heart. I always cry.
- Interstellar: Another one that crushes me at the end, such a great ride.
- Inception: The layers and layers and layers—goes so deep. That ending!
- The Matrix: I mean, another trendsetter, still holds up, great effects.
TEN: CONTEMPORARY HORROR
- Black Swan: I like the mix of lust and danger, good casting, too.
- The Ring: Still freaks me out, and it was kind of ahead of its time.
- Get Out: Another film that breaks the mold, so much paranoia, and tension.
- A Dark Song: Love the rituals and authority, and then that ending! Whoa.
- Spring: A romance! And so much more. Very original. Touching ending.
You don’t have to take my online fiction writing classes to benefit from my referral program. You don’t have to be a writer. Just spread the word, and you get cold, hard cash (OR double the amount in class credit, if you ARE looking to take a class.) I’ve increased my rates. Thanks! Website is here: https://www.storyvilleonline.com
Storyville Referral Program
$5 cash, $10 credit—Any Lit Reactor class (Flash Fiction, Short Story Mechanics, etc.)
$20 cash, $40 credit—Advanced Creative Writing Workshop
$40 cash, $80 credit—Contemporary Dark Fiction
$100 cash, $200 credit—Novel Writing Class
Just wanted to let you all know that I will have a little extra time this summer in case you have a novel that needs editing. Here are some of my past clients and projects—over 100 titles going back to 2013 (with many new titles being shopped right now). For more information on rates and terms, please head over to Storyville Studio. Thanks!
Books Edited by Richard Thomas
- Burnt Tongues – with Chuck Palahniuk and Dennis Widmyer, Medallion Books (Bram Stoker nominee, This is Horror, INDIEFAB and USA Books News Best winner for Best Anthology)
- Exigencies – Dark House Press (Shirley Jackson nominee)
- Lineup: 20 Provocative Women Writers, The – Black Lawrence Press
- New Black, The – Dark House Press
- After the People Lights Have Gone Off by Stephen Graham Jones, Dark House Press (Bram Stoker and Shirley Jackson nominee, This is Horror winner for Best Collection)
- Dead Reckoning by Dino Parenti, Crystal Lake Publishing
- Vile Men by Rebecca Jones-Howe, Dark House Press
- Gamut magazine, 12 issues, from 2016 to 2018
- La Folie Forty by Thierry Tellier and Jennifer Jones, Baer Books Press
- Federales by Christopher Irvin, Shotgun Honey
- Beneath Ash and Bone by D. Alexander Ward, Necro Publications
- Black Canyon by Jeremy Bates, Ghillinnein Books (Lou Allin Memorial Award winner)
- Box of Bones by Jeremy Bates, Ghillinnein Books
- Neighbors by Jeremy Bates, Ghillinnein Books
- Rewind by Jeremy Bates, Ghillinnein Books
- Run by Jeremy Bates, Ghillinnein Books
- Six Bullets by Jeremy Bates, Ghillinnein Books
- Alone on the Shield by Kirk Landers, Academy Chicago Publishers
- Bald New World by Peter Tieryas, Perfect Edge Books
- Bone Weaver’s Orchard, The by Sarah Read, Trepidatio Publishing (Bram Stoker nominee)
- Catacombs, The by Jeremy Bates, Ghillinnein Books (Australian Horror Writers Association Shadows Award and IPPY Bronze Medal/Horror winner)
- Dublin by Eli Wilde and Anna DeVine, Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing
- Echo Lake by Letitia Trent, Dark House Press
- Greylock by Paula Cappa, Crispin Books (Chanticleer Book Award winner)
- Helltown by Jeremy Bates, Ghillinnein Books
- Island of the Dolls by Jeremy Bates, Ghillinnein Books (Foreword INDIES Horror Book of the Year Award Gold Medal winner)
- Mind is a Razorblade, The by Max Booth III, Kraken Press
- Milk-Blood by Mark Matthews, Wicked Run Press
- Mjolnir by Brian James, CreateSpace
- Neophyte by Eli Wilde and Anna DeVine, Matador Publishing
- New America Utopia Calling by Jeremy Bates, Ghillinnein Books
- Old Farmer’s Road by Isaiyan Morrison, CreateSpace
- Paper Tigers by Damien Angelica Walters, Dark House Press
- Ragnarok by Brian James, America Star Books
- Ramblings of a Revenant, The by David Tromblay, CreateSpace
- Robin Randle Stories, The by Wood Dickinson, CreateSpace
- Scratch by Steve Himmer, Dark House Press
- Seeking Redemption by Elizabeth Zguta, EZ Indie Publishing
- Toxicity by Max Booth III, Post Mortem Press
- Truth About the Moon and the Stars, The by Brian Jacobson, Montag Press
- United States of Japan by Peter Tieryas, Angry Robot Books (Seiun Award for Best Translated Novel 2017)
- Until Death by Kari Kilgore, Spiral Publishing
Another success story from my writing classes! So exciting. Jonathan is doing such great work. Thanks for the kind words, brother. Onward and upward.
Stories are strange.
So, my story Mouths Filled with Seawater will be published at the start of next month (not, as I thought, next week) and since it’s my first big publication I thought I’d write something about it.
I reread the first draft just now and I honestly didn’t hate it. This is not to say that it’s perfect (can they ever be?) or that I had things down as they should be. But structurally there’s something solid about it.
In my memory the story came together quickly, written in the local library here in Dundalk, free-associating like a disgraced actor in a detective’s office – (question: is this how all stories are formed, consciously or not?) – from things that were in my immediate psychological and physical vicinity.
The setting is a shimmery, out-of-focus version of my hometown. The psychologist-type figure was named for my friend…
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