Days of the Dead & Con-Tagion

2019 is off to a great start! In January I was one of the authors featured in readings at Days of the Dead in Atlanta, where I read the title story from my short story collection “I Never Meant to Start a Murder Cult” and sold several copies of the book!

DOTD 2019 Darrell Reading

2019 Days of the Dead Readings Poster

And in February I attended Con-Tagion 2019, a new con in Charlotte, NC, focused on professional development for writers and other creatives. I sat through some very informative writers’ workshops conducted by Gail Z. Martin, Jeff Strand, and John Hartness, the coordinator of the con.

Friends at Con-Tagion 2019

Selfie at Con-Tagion 2019 with friends and fellow writers Lynn Hansen, John Hartness, Jeff Strand, Jessica Nettles, and Richard Dansky.

2019 Con-Tagion Nicole Kurtz

At Con-Tagion with Nicole Givens Kurtz, whose new collection of Weird Western stories, “Sisters of the Wild Sage,” will be published this Spring!

2019 Con-Tagion Gail Z Martin

…and with Gail Z. Martin. I’m a big fan of Gail’s urban fantasy novels (check out her latest, “Sons of Darkness”) and the gay paranormal romance/action novels she writes under the pen name Morgan Brice (check out “Badlands”).

Smelly Cat Coffeehouse, Charlotte 2:9:2019

Me drinking coffee and being cool at Smelly Cat Coffeehouse in Charlotte, NC.

2019 New Year’s Day Review

2018 was a great year for me as a budding author! I did my first two author readings, moderated my first-ever DragonCon panel, got to be on two DragonCon panels with my friend James Tuck, and was on a panel at Monsterama for the first time. I had 4 story publications, and I released my first collection of short stories, the horror/crime chapbook, I Never Meant to Start a Murder Cult and Other Stories.

Some highlights of 2018:

Getting involved in the Atlanta Chapter of the Horror Writers Association

Reading my story “The Curse of the Spider” at Scary Fireside Stories for Halloween, on October 27th at the Lake Clair Land Trust in Atlanta. Good times and s’mores were had by all! Authors reading their spooky tales were (L-R): Lynne Hansen, Nancy Collins, me, Michael Wehunt, Gini Koch, Peter Salomon, Jessica Nettles, Jeff Strand, Amanda DeWees, and Brian Kirk.

2018 Scary Fireside Stories

Being on the Occult Detectives panel at Monsterama with Amanda DeWees and John Hartness:

2018 Monsterama Occult Detectives

Being on a DragonCon panel with my literary idol Katherine Kurtz:

2018 DragonCon Katherine Kurtz

According to Goodreads, I read 104 books in 2018. Several were multiple books by the same author: 2 by Amanda DeWees; 2 by E.J. Stevens; 2 by Katherine Kurtz; 2 by M.C. Beaton; 4 by Bobby Nash; 6 by Gail Z. Martin and her pen name Morgan Brice; and most disturbingly, 13 by Jeff Strand. A spookily large percentage of these books were ghost stories.

What’s ahead for 2019? Here are some of the stories I’m working on, outlining, or have submitted for publication:

  • A thriller/mystery about a sheriff in the North Georgia Mountains who suspects that a string of murders might be related to a crime he committed himself 15 years earlier. He struggles to find a serial killer while keeping his own secret hidden from his husband and the community that elected him sheriff.
  • A ghost story novella, to be titled “Ghostwood Crossing”
  • A horror story about two kids from a snake-handling church who take the Bible a little TOO literally
  • A horror story about a feral werecat
  • A homoerotic graveyard story about two Miskatonic University students trying to cast a spell from a family grimoire
  • A crime story about a murderous grandmother
  • A gay Christmas romance novella
  • A lighthearted story about graverobbing and poison

Looking forward to an awesome 2019!

DragonCon 2018

[Updated] I was on three panels this year at the DragonCon Horror Track, including my first-ever panel as moderator. All three panels went well and were a lot of fun! Hope to see you at DragonCon 2019!

Friday 8/31, 1:00 pm, Westin, Peachtree 1-2
V-Wars (picture below) 
This year, we’re helping to fill the Jonathan Maberry-sized hole in the schedule by assembling authors who have contributed to his V-Wars (Vampire Wars) anthologies.
V-Wars is coming soon to Netflix!
James R. Tuck, Dacre Stoker, Scott Sigler, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Larry Correia (moderator Darrell Grizzle)

Sunday 9/2, 2:30 pm, Westin, Peachtree 1-2
Collaborative Storytelling from Hell!
A roundtable of authors contribute to a collaborative story that is sure to put the “corpse” in “exquisite corpse.”
E.J. Stevens, Eric Asher, Shawnee Small. Darrell Grizzle (moderator David Maynor)

Sunday 9/2, 5:30 pm, Westin, Peachtree 1-2
Candles in the Night: Christians in Dark Fantasy
Authors discuss the role of Christianity in Horror & Dark Fantasy.
Katherine Kurtz, Faith Hunter, Tim Powers, Clay Gilbert, Darrell Grizzle (moderator James R. Tuck)

DragonCon 2018 V-Wars Panel

DragonCon Horror Track photo

First Author Reading

My first author reading went extremely well! The reading was on February 4, 2018, at the Days of the Dead convention in Atlanta. The two stories I read were very well received, and it was an honor and pleasure to share the panel with Jeff Strand and Nancy Collins. I read my ghost story from Mad Scientist Journal (Summer 2017) and a macabre humor piece that recently sold to a major sci-fi market and will be published soon. Several people took my author business cards and said they look forward to reading more of my work. We had a much larger audience than we expected, especially for the very last time slot on the last day of the con.

My First Author Reading 2-4-2018

Many thanks to friend and filmmaker Lynne Hanson for this pic of the reading (L-R: Nancy Collins, me, Jeff Strand)

Days of the Dead author reading 2

and this pic of (L-R) me, Jeff Strand, Days of the Dead Blue Track director Nathan Hamilton, and Nancy Collins:

Days of the Dead author reading 1

Here’s my favorite photo from the con! Jeff Strand, me, and Lynn Hanson with a giant Yeti!

Yeti Jeff Darrell Lynne