Collection Picked Up

Twisted Tales from the Torchlight Inn, a 3-novella collection (by Thomas A. Erb, Dean Harrison & Myself), written with the common theme of ‘college students walk into a bar’, has been picked up for publication by Wicked East Press.  

Below is a synopsis for each story in the collection.

Last Night Out by Ty Schwamberger

Gabe, Alan and Erin thought one last night out on the town before their junior year of college came to an end would be fitting.  They were the best of friends and not seeing each other for an entire Summer vacation was not something they were looking forward to.  So they did what they always did on a Friday night – they went to a bar.  Only this time they decided to try someplace new – The Torchlight Inn.

Even though there is some internal strife within the group of friends by the time they make it to the bar they are eager to try and make the night one to remember.  But it’s during their time in the shabby bar that they come face to face with some seedy bar patrons, a biker gang and one strange acting bartender named T-Bone that make their time together all that much more interesting.  But all is still well until Alan and Erin mysteriously disappear and Gabe has to try and find his friends before paying his bar tab and walking out of the joint.

Little do any of them know the secret that the place holds…

Beneath its cracked floorboards there is a whole new kind of terror waiting for them…

In the dark recesses under The Torchlight Inn.


Off Limits by Dean Harrison

For spring break, Ellen Campbell is not going to party at the beach—she’s taking her new boyfriend, Shawn Farris, home to Miller Falls to meet her parents for the first time. She is very excited about it, but also nervous as to how her father, a famous crime writer, will take to Shawn, her very first boyfriend. Nevertheless, she is confident things will go great. After all, Shawn’s a great guy—she wouldn’t have fallen for him otherwise. But when the happy couple arrives to the house, they find an unexpected guest—Ellen’s brother, the black sheep of the family.

He has returned home after a long hiatus, and Ellen is terrified to find out why. This family reunion may not go as well as she thought, especially after Ellen’s brother, seeking forgiveness, invites them to come along with him for a beer at a bar called The Torchlight Inn. 


Tones of Home by Thomas A. Erb

Ashley and Maurice are in love.  The two of them are headed to her hometown for the holidays to share the good news with her family.  Those two things would drive any young man to drink but add the fact that he’s from the south and an African-American and they are headed to rural upstate town of Miller Falls, NY, where the reputation of toothless and inbred rednecks even scares the streetwise kid from North Carolina.  Nevertheless, they are truly in love and Maurice is sure he’s encountered more dangerous things on the gang-filled streets of Durham.

He is wrong…

After a few practical jokes go wrong, Maurice is introduced to the Vanslycke family and welcomed with a lot of drinking and backslapping.   An overzealous brother and a promiscuous bartender are the least of his concerns.  Little do they know that four strangers are about to enter The Torchlight Inn and will forever change their lives.

Blood flows as these Faux, Fab Four impersonators search for the “One”.  They have a list, one of the bar’s occupants is on it, and they aren’t leaving until they have found them.  No one is safe.

A heavy winter storm rages outside the small tavern, while rage and gun fire rage inside.  Can the young lovers escape?  Who is the “One”? And what do the Frightful Four want?

The collection will have a release date of February 2011.


Deadline for Fem-Fangs

The submission deadline to submit your short story to Fem-Fangs, the female vampire anthology I’m Co-Editor on, has been set for August 15th.

If you haven’t already, you can check out the Call For Submissions, here.

The Michael Knost Commandments for Fiction Writing

Per Michael’s permission to post it here…

The Michael Knost Commandments for Fiction Writing

1. Thou shalt have something to say.

2. Thou shalt populate thy story with living individuals, not

3. Thou shalt give thy protagonist a want.

4. Thou shalt allow an antagonist to (at least temporarily) keep thy
protagonist from obtaining that want.

5. Thou shalt avoid temptations of clichés, puns, info-dumps, and
dream endings.

6. Thou shalt slay adverbs and adjectives with the jawbone of an ass.

7. Thou shalt research everything.

8. Thou shalt ensure thy words perform double and/or triple duties
when possible.

9. Thou shalt circumcise excess.

10. Thou shalt never remind the reader she is reading.

Ty-ing Up the Genre with Jason Sizemore

For June, ‘Ty-ing Up the Genre’ on Hellnotes dot com brought in guest, Maggie Jamison, to interview Jason Sizemore with Apex Publications.

You can read the interview by clicking here.

An Update On Fem-Fangs

If you were thinking about writing a short story for my upcoming anthology, Fem-Fangs, you should probably start now.  The anthology is about 1/3 full at this point.  The anthology is still considered Open Until Filled, but I would suggest sending your story in as soon as possible for consideration.

You can check out the Call For Submissions, here.