Gamut is over $40,000! Huge new add-on today.

We’re over $40,000! Wow.

Thank you all for spreading the word, pledging, and upgrading, it’s been so exciting to watch us get closer and closer to our goal. Only five days left to get to $52,000. I know we can do it. Here’s one way that may help—it’s a small amount of money, for a big reward. Imagine if all 580 supporters added it in! That would be $6,380! Here are the details.

1111

HUGE NEW ADD-ON: 11 eBooks for $11. Staring Into the Abyss by Richard Thomas (Kraken Press); two from Dark House Press—The New Black, edited by Richard Thomas, and Echo Lake by Letitia Trent; five from Crystal Lake Publishing—Nameless and Little Dead Red by Mercedes M. Yardley, Horror 101: The Way Forward and Fear the Reaper, both edited by Joe Mynhardt, and Through a Mirror, Darkly by Kevin Lucia; two from This is Horror—Water For Drowning by Ray Cluley and The Elvis Room by Stephen Graham Jones; and Choosing Wisely: 35 Women Up To No Good edited by H.L. Nelson & Joanne Merriam (Upper Rubber Boot Books). It’s just our way of saying thank you. 1111, make a wish! FINE PRINT: Not a separate reward. May only be added on to your current pledge of $30 or more.

HOW TO DO IT: Just add $11 to your current pledge and BAM, you get the eBooks. I purposefully made it an odd number so that you know (and I know) that you will be included in this special offer. This is not a reward, it is not located in the reward section. Enjoy!

Thanks,
Richard

(Not in yet? Haven’t pledged yet? Back any reward at the $30 level and then add the $11—you’re all set!)

Interview Up At Mourning Goats. The Goat Asks Me 20 Questions.

So, I finally got the call. I made the big leagues! Mourning Goats has been doing interviews with some of the most compelling, visionary, and talented authors out there—so many of my idols, mentors and peers. I’m thrilled that I got to sit down with the smelly beast and answer some of the most thoughtful and challenging questions of my career. They obviously did their homework. I join the ranks of Stephen Graham Jones, Monica Drake, Craig Clevenger, Paul Tremblay, Chelsea Cain, Donald Ray Pollock, Lidia Yuknavitch, Joe Lansdale, Nik Korpon, Rob Roberge, Megan Abbott, Brian Evenson, Holly Goddard Jones, Paula Bomer, Cheryl Strayed, Shya Scanlon, Craig Wallwork, and so many others.

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

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

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