Rodney’s life started to spiral out of control after the untimely death of his beloved wife. He ended up on the rough streets: fighting for his sanity and looking for his next fix. But it was his hunger for getting high and trying to forget his former life that was the hardest for him to control. Or at least he thought. Then came the night when he and another junkie walked into Parkside Cemetery, dug up a body and…and took a drink.
That’s when Rodney’s life really changed.
Derrick, Craig, Joan and Stacy were the best of friends, if not a little more at times. Late one night before their impending first days of college, they decided to have a liquid-picnic in their local cemetery. It was supposed to be a night of laughs, booze and sex. Until Derrick came running back to his three friends, scared half to death. He started babbling about seeing something that looked like a werewolf.
Now the three friends must escape from the cemetery before the werewolf finds them and chomps them into little pieces.
Will all four friends survive? Or will the bloodline of the werewolf win the night?
Only the deepest bonds of friendship and something even greater holds the answer.
“A howling mad B-movie bash of beer, blood, blunders, and ghoulish hijinks.”
~Christine Morgan, author of Lakehouse Infernal
“Schwamberger’s GRAVE INTENTIONS is a frenetic blast of energy that’s full of blood and guts (and claws and teeth). A booze-soaked bloodbath nightmare with a wicked old school horror vibe.”
~David Moody, author of the AUTUMN and HATER novels
“Schwamberger’s Grave Intentions delivers on its promise: solid monster mayhem with a generous helping of humor. Pre-college teens Craig and best friend Derrick are just trying to have one last good time with girls and beer, but instead are stuck with a handful of bodies and more as they try to survive the night in a cemetery after midnight. Call this an old-fashioned gore-and-grin fest as something stalks them among the gravestones, making their last romp before college truly memorable–if only they can live through it… It’s a novella with bite!”
~W.D. Gagliani, author of the Nick Lupo Series
You can pick up the Trade Paperback, eBook or Audiobook via Amazon.
I started writing in early 2008 for the fun of it. I had always loved the horror genre, namely movies, and after reading a few novels I gave it a shot. As I mentioned, I started writing my first novel, Night School, after reading novels by Jack Ketchum and Richard Laymon. I said to myself, “Hey, I can write some sick stuff too!” and away I went to pound out 100k words in three months flat. Soon after, I ventured into short fiction, novellas, etc. I started out the opposite of most writers. Many start with a shorter story, perhaps a few thousand words, then after writing a few of those will then work their way up to a novel-length manuscript. Not me. Nope. That’s mainly because when I sat down at my then ‘day job’ and starting writing Night School I was doing it for the fun of it. Heck, it didn’t even enter my mind about getting it published…. Until it happened. Then the next, and the next, and the… Well, you get my point. Fast forward thirteen years (as of this writing) and I’m still in the trenches, trying to crawl my way out onto the battlefield. Actually, the publishing world, namely the horror genre, is very similar to a government and its military. There’s different ranks of authors. Folks such as Stephen King, Dean Koontz and Anne Rice would be the President, Vice President and Speaker of the House. Everyone knows who THEY are. Just like the people running the United States government; you might look up to them, want to maybe be them one day, but you probably never will. Forget about it. More than likely it’s out of your reach. Not that there’s anything wrong with shooting for the stars, mind you. Just like in any business, you have to know your strengths and limitations. Some might believe they’re smarter than 90 percent of the people they work with, but that doesn’t mean they’ll ever be the president of the company…unless there’s a hostile takeover…but that’s a story for another book. Back to what I was saying; there are ranks, a ladder of leadership in the horror genre. While the big three might be in charge, leading the battle from afar, there are TONS of other great writers that are doing the hard work of marching into the battlefield and leading the genre into new worlds. This is where you are probably hoping I would list who I believe are Generals, Majors, Captains, Lieutenants, Sergeants, Privates, whatever. Well, I’m not going to do that. Why? Because I would probably accidently leave out a great writer, who just happens to be a friend of mine, then I would hear about it. Maybe even be drawn and quartered. Nah, I’ll pass. Being in my early 40s I’m still a little too young to take a bullet or a bayonet to the gut.
But, after thirteen years of being in the genre, I think I can fairly accurately rank myself.
Why would I choose that rank? Well, I’ve been in the game long enough to know all the troops, I’ve assisted plenty (shout out to – Tom Erb, Dean Harrison, Adam Lewis, Vince McKee – go check out their stuff!) written plenty and more or less know and ins and outs of the business. Like I said, I never had a drill sergeant (i.e. mentor) when coming up in this world. I had to learn things on my own by trial and error through the years. Thank god I wasn’t taking real fire or I would probably be lying on the ground and bleeding out. I’ve been through the wars, winning some and losing some, but I’ve made it through. I’ve crawled through the trenches and I’ve fought by the sides of my fellow horror writers to propel the genre into unknown territories, to pillage, save and capture different subgenres so the troops coming in behind us can run through to safety on the other side. It’s taken blood, sweat and tears. It hasn’t been easy. But, I wouldn’t take back any of the experiences of the past thirteen years. Sure, I would change some things, but overall, I think I’ve done things the RIGHT WAY. That’s key. If you’re an up-and-coming writer, in any genre, do things the RIGHT WAY. Don’t be a mean to your fellow writers, just because they got some major contract with a big time publisher. Don’t bad mouth others. Read a lot of the authors you enjoy, and even some you don’t so much, to learn HOW to write. And last, but not least, write write WRITE! Just Do It. Don’t complain about coming home from your ‘day job’ and being tired or whatever. Come home, eat your franks n’ beans, then go into a quiet room and start pounding out words. Type 100, 500 or 1,000 words a day if that’s all you can muster. Just write something. Even a little bit can one day lead to a finished tale of some length. Why do you think ALL established authors give the same advice about; sitting your butt in the chair and doing the work!? Well, because that’s the only way the battle will be won.
So, yes, I would consider myself a Lieutenant.
Now it’s time for the real question: Was my rise to the ranking of Lieutenant by way of luck or hard work? Am I a hack or the real deal?
I feel like I’ve always done things the right way. I’ve put in the hard work and been genuine with fans, publishers and fellow writers. And while I’ve been taken advantage of a few times throughout the years, overall, I think it’s the only way to go. If you come off like you’re the bomb, you’re doing to look like a hack. If you don’t do things the right way, you’re going to come off like a hack. Authors and publishers talk. We talk A LOT! In fact, we’re our own little gossip circle. The horror genre is a relatively small group. Just a like living in a small town, what others do will spread like wildfire. If you badmouth a fellow author or publisher, especially without just cause, you might just find yourself on the outside looking in. And that’s not a good place to be. Especially if you’re looking to make it in this business.
Let me guess, now you’re asking, “But, Ty, wasn’t there a book years ago where you bad mouthed a few folks?”
Yes. Yes, I did.
But, they did things that I could just no longer bite my tongue about. Just like in Richard Laymon’s A Writers Tale, I felt like that was the time to finally say something about it.
Whew. Alright, I’m OK.
Back to what I was saying…
Is my success in the horror genre the result of luck or hard work?
Without a doubt in my mind, I would have to say hard work.
Nothing in the last thirteen years has been handed to me. I’ve never had a publisher ask ME for a story. Actually, I take that back. I once had someone (who, funny enough, I had published a year earlier in an anthology where I was the editor) who was putting together an anthology ask for a story, but it was AFTER they asked ME for help in contacting an author he didn’t have contact information. That was a pity invitation. But, me being the “nice guy” I did reach out to the other author for him. I also ended up writing and giving him an original story. It was a themed anthology, one with some great writers, and honestly, I wanted to be part of it. So I gave in and helped him out. Funny enough, a year or so later, he started his own small press. Shortly after, I queried if he would be interested in me writing a book for the press. And, of course, he replied with a “not interested” type line. So, I was good enough to ask for help, but not good enough to write a book for you? Ah, ok. Got it. This particular author is now writing books for a few publishers that I know, but have never been able to break into. I’m guessing he pulled the same backhanded stuff with them to get his foot in the door.
But, believe me, you don’t want to go that route. Whether or not you “make it” in this business, do things the right way. Be honest and upfront with the people you already are or want to work with in the future. Be genuine. Nobody likes a douche bag.
I’ve gotten to where I’m at with dedication and hard work. And while I haven’t written an original tale in the last six years without first having a contract in hand, I’ve still had to put in the work of writing up a proposal to pitch to a potential publisher.
Nothing comes easy in this business.
I might not be the President, or even a Captain, but you can still take my advice on how to navigate through the trenches, to hopefully, one day, come up the other side of the ditch, into daylight.
Then again, even IF you do everything right, you still might get shot when you pop your head up.
But that’s all part of the game.
Do you have what it takes to enter into the fray?
The choice is yours, and yours alone, to make.
Back in 2010, I met Thom Erb and Dean Harrison at a horror convention. We had been chatting online before then for quite some time, throwing around story ideas, talking about life, how much fun it would be to actually get together in person, etc.
That’s when the magic really started. Our meeting in person eventually resulted in the release of a 3-novella collection by a now defunct publisher. The title: Twisted Tales From the Torchlight Inn. Each story contained a few common elements, most notably, a bar. The name of the establishment was of course called, The Torchlight Inn. All sorts of bad things happened in the seedy and disgusting place.
Fast forward 10 years.
We’re thrilled to announce the forthcoming Special 10 Year Anniversary Edition of Twisted Tales From the Torchlight Inn, coming in the Fall of 2021 from Journalstone.
Oh yes, it’s time to have some bloody good fun once again.
Stay tuned for more details coming later this year.
House Call is now available from Journalstone in Trade Paperback. Below are all the goodies!
Mariam thought it was going to be a weekend of relaxation. She has her little brother to take care of, but she can handle that without much of a problem. That all changes when Vince gets sick, and Mariam has no choice but to call the family doctor.
John and Nick decide tonight is perfect to burglarize a house. They stake the place out and are delighted to find the only people inside are a teenager and a young boy – an easy in-and-out job.
Or so they think.
What ensues is a battle between the siblings that are home alone and the two bad men.
Little do any of them know someone else plans to make a house call of their own.
true horror. He is a presence in the genre who warrants your attention and appreciation.”
“Dark, edgy, and quickly-paced, Ty Schwamberger’s HOUSE CALL is an unsettling, don’t-
answer-the-door chiller that’s sharp as a razor, and just as deadly.”
~Greg F. Gifune, author of Midnight Solitaire and God Machine.
“With/House Call, Ty Schwamberger raises his game to a new/level. Oozing suspense and dread,
Schwamberger brings horror home with a violent tale of a sister and brother fighting for their
lives against an all too human evil. Highly recommended.”
~Brett Talley, author of He Who Walks In Shadow and The Fiddle is the Devil’s Instrument.
“The ultimate 90s throwback—who put a slasher film in the/Home Alone/case at Blockbuster? It
was Ty Schwamberger, splicing the best of the VHS era together!”
~Nick Mamatas, author of The Second Shooter and Sabbath.
You can order your very own Trade Paperback copy of this unique novella + screenplay (the film version will be released this Spring) on Amazon.
Phantasmagoria Magazine #17, which contains my short macabre Christmas story, “Hung with Care”, along with a TON of other great material, is now available in print and digital forms.
You can order your copy here.
“Gnomus” is a 2,200 word short story. The tale centers around Steven whom is newly retired and is becoming increasingly annoyed by his wife’s “to do” list. Little does Steven know Deborah has an unique way to make sure he completes everything on her list.
“Gnomus” was originally published on Orion’s Child Magazine, Vol. 3, No. 4, August 2008, then reprinted most recently in Escaping Lucidity, June 2015, “Cursed Curiosities” anthology, August 2014, Kindle eBook “Gnomus” & “The 7th House”, September 2012 and For After Midnight, October 2011.
This is its first appearance as a single audio edition.
You can check it out on the Get Scared Podcast.
DININ’ is now available from Cemetery Dance Publications as an exclusive eBook for Kindle, Nook and Kobo. Check out the details below.
On their way to Las Vegas for a weekend of debauchery; Dawn, Cindy and Morgan decide to stop at a greasy spoon to get some grub. Mel’s Diner looks like a decent enough place and their advertised ‘best burgers this side of Vegas’ entice the girls to give it a try. While at the diner; they eat, make fun of the restaurant’s patrons and finish the meal off by doing the most sacrilegious thing a customer can do – skip out on their bill.
What ensues is a large truck with its headlights off following them along a deserted stretch of road, a blinding light that causes them to almost wreck, a few shotgun blasts, a long walk down a dark road and some horrific events that unfold inside a cabin deep in the woods. Is it the diner’s owner coming to collect on girl’s tab or someone with more than just money on their mind? What do they want? What is the driver of the truck willing to do once they come to an abrupt stop on the side of the road?
The three college friends will find out soon enough.
“Gruesome revenge tale with seriously icky moments! Like a written version of “I Spit On Your Grave”, but with a weird edge to it!”
— Morpheus Tales Magazine
“Ty Schwamberger’s new novella DININ’ is a truly terrifying tale of three college girls who make a stop at a roadside diner for a quick bite, and make the mistake of skipping out on their bill. What follows is an original take on those tales told in Road Rage and Joyride, with the terror multiplied by ten. Add in some very fine writing, and you have a horror story that even the most seasoned horror readers will have trouble clearing from their minds. DININ’ is one great story from a new, talented voice in the world of horror fiction.”
— Michael Laimo, author of Sleepwalker and Return to Darkness
“Ty Schwamberger never fails to serve up the shocks and DININ’ is no exception. In it he pits an array of well-drawn characters against an action-packed buffet of butchery, savageness, and graphic mishap. Readers beware, DININ’ is not the safest menu choice for the timid-hearted.”
— Shroud Magazine
“Ty Schwamberger effectively conjures a fun Richard Laymon-esque atmosphere in DININ’. The terror starts early in this one and rarely lets up.”
— Bryan Smith, author of The Killing Kind, Depraved and Highways To Hell
You can order your own eBook copy through the Cemetery Dance website.
I announced here that my short story “Thirst” was recently optioned for film. While still in the early stages, I do have have some exciting news to share…
Stay tuned! I expect some more groovy stuff coming in 2021 with this exciting project!