The Writer’s Block Presents Rob Smales

This month, I have a bit of free fiction for you from horror writer Rob Smales. Not only is Rob my editing partner and friend, but he’s also one of my favorite contemporary authors. Check him out, won’t you?

Let Them Eat Cake

Rob Smales

Becca tried to stay as still as possible as the box shook and swayed slightly. She braced her hands on the floor to either side, crouching on one knee in the dark as she was rolled out.

I hope they get this show on the road, before I get too stiff to move.

It had been a long time since she’d done this particular shtick. No one requested it anymore, and she’d been surprised when they asked her about it, but it all sort of made sense when they mentioned it was his one-hundredth birthday. Nostalgic. An old-fashioned surprise. It all made sense . . . but a hundred?

Jesus. Read More »

TalkCast 326 – Tabatha Lord

Tabatha Lord

In the first of our series of “People You Should See At Boston Comic Con 2016, Tabitha Lord, author of the new Science Fiction novel, Horizon, joins us. We get the chance to talk about how and why she became a full time writer, where she is going with it and why it’s important to her. This will be her first Boston Comic Con adventure so if you’re there, take a moment to stop by and say hello.

In This Weeks News:


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TalkCast 325 – Sara Richard Returns

Sara Richard

The amazing and talented artist Sara Richard joins us again. She talks about some neat projects she is working on in July and her latest adventures including her travels to Easter Island and BronyCon as well as her upcoming appearance at Boston Comic Con.

In This Weeks News:

Keeping It Ghastly: Magical Girl Apocalypse Vol 1

The tag line reads, “Not your mommy’s magical girls”. Oh boy is that the truth. This time on “Keeping It Ghastly” we’ll be taking a look at the seinen zombie-magical girl mashup series – Magical Girl Apocalypse vol 1.

vol 1 cover

Magical Girl Apocalypse is an action-horror series from Kentaro Sato. Currently licensed under Seven Seas Entertainment, this is one f-ed up manga. It’s gory, it’s exploitative, it’s like Puella Magi Madoka Magica on crack. Kii Kogami, middle schooler and generally apathetic teenager, is sick of the hypocrisy and pettiness of his all too normal existence. He has many superficial friends, passable grades, but little connection to the rest of humanity aside from his crush on the popular girl in his class and a former friendship with the quiet, bullied girl Tsukune Fukumoto. That changes when he witnesses the murder of a teacher at the hands of a small gothic lolita girl. With a single tap of her “wand” the teacher’s head is vaporized! Unable to process what he saw, Kii excuses himself from class and takes a short break to catch his breath. When he returns to the classroom the very same lolita girl is murdering everyone in sight. From there things begin to get weird. Those who have died are rising up and attacking the living and more “magical girls” are emerging across the sky to bathe the city in blood and bodies.

Read More »

TalkCast 324 – Josh Dahl

Josh DahlJosh Dahl is the creator of Rapid City Below Zero Comic. He drops in, in the middle of a business meeting, to talk about his KickStarter for Issue #5 of Rapid City Below Zero, which wraps up the story arc for his Book #1. He also talks about his giveaway of Episodes 1 thru 4, so get them while the getting’ is good.

We also talked about his other website Making Better Comics and what you can find there. Josh will be appearing at Seacoast Comic Con and Boston Comic Con in the coming weeks.

In The Weeks News:



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TalkCast 323 – Anthony Ruttgaizer

Anthony RuttgaizerAnthony Ruttgaizer is a comic book writer, a stand-up comedian, a talk radio host, a night club DJ, a pop culture blogger and, perhaps most infamously, a professional wrestler. We talk about his Kickstarter for part 3 of his comic F1rst Hero: Wednesday’s Child and his previous crowd funding events for parts one and two of this series. We also discuss his many upcopming events and his new startup independent publishing venture.

In this weeks News Round Table:


Sit back and enjoy.


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The Writer’s Block Presents Tony Tremblay

This month’s entry is from Tony Tremblay, author of many short stories and of a new collection, The Seeds of Nightmares, out now from Crossroad Press. Tony is also the host of a horror-themed cable television show, The Taco Society Presents. Besides being a talented author and editor, Tony’s also one of the nicest, most interesting guys you’ll ever meet, and he always has time to tell a good story over a cigar.

One question I am routinely asked at author readings is . . . why did I choose to write horror fiction? My reply usually goes something like, “When I was a kid, I used to read the Old Testament stories in the Bible. Those tales scared the hell out me, and I loved that feeling.” Although my answer is accurate, it doesn’t tell the whole story. You see, I have personally experienced supernatural events throughout my life. There have been too many occurrences to relate in detail, but here is one example.

I work for a company that at one time manufactured bowling alley gutters for a large corporation. As part of my job, I made the occasional sales call to their bowling pin facility located in the boonies of northern New York. It was not a location anyone would want to visit, especially in the dead of winter, but it was my job. Besides, I enjoyed spending time with the customer.

On one February trip, only one of the managers at the facility, Kent, could make it to dinner with me that evening. Kent and I met up around seven o’clock at the bar of a local restaurant. Having a drink and relaxing, our discussion centered around gossip and family life. When we moved to the dining room, Kent told me that after dinner, he wanted us to visit a nearby bowling alley to check out the new gutters they had installed. We were to arrive at ten o’clock, when the bowling alley was closed to the public. He added that he wanted to go snowmobiling with me after the inspection.

When he finished speaking, I reached to the back of my neck. It felt as if someone had jabbed a blunt needle just above my spine.

Being a city boy, the thought of spending the night outdoors in waist-high snow with temperatures hovering in the low twenties did not appeal to me, but that didn’t account for the pain. As the dinner went on, the pain traveled to the top of my head. A heaviness settled on my shoulders, and when I gazed around the restaurant, my view was slightly out of focus. What I can only describe as a feeling of dread overtook me, and I couldn’t shake it.

I’ve had this same feeling at other times in my life, and I’ve learned not to ignore it. I made the decision to get the hell out of the restaurant.

Before the meal was over, I explained to Kent that I wasn’t feeling well, and would he mind if we postponed the trip to the bowling alley until the morning? He stared at me for a second and said my face was as white as a ghost’s. He had no problem delaying the visit, though he was disappointed that I couldn’t go snowmobiling.

After dinner, I went to my hotel. Back in my room, I felt much better. After reading for a bit, I turned the lights off and went to sleep.

I slept well, until a phone call woke me up early in the morning. It was Kent. His voice was hesitant and shaky. “Tony,” he began, “at ten fifteen last night, the roof of the bowling alley collapsed. It fell on the lanes—the place was destroyed. We would have been on those lanes inspecting the gutters when it happened. You saved our lives.”

Whatever grogginess I had vanished. I remembered closing my eyes and sighing.

The company Kent worked for is no longer our customer, and the gutters are now made in another country. Kent and I are still friends, and we occasionally meet when I’m in the area for business or personal reasons (my son now lives in northern New York). When we meet, the events of that evening inevitably come up. I have never told him about how my psychic feeling of dread that evening led us away from that bowling alley.

The example I give above is only one of many weird occurrences that have dogged me throughout most of my life. Unfortunately, they have not all turned out as positive as this one.

You can meet Tony and hear more of his intriguing adventures on Thursday, July 14 from 7 to 9 PM at Pandemonium Books, 4 Pleasant Street, Cambridge, MA.

TalkCast 322 – Leslie Carrara-Rudolph

Leslie Carrara-RudolphLeslie Carrara-Rudolph is an incredibly high energy , puppeteer and voice-over artist.

She may be best known for her puppet character Abby Cadabby on Sesame Street, for which she has received 4 Emmy nominations for Best Performer in a Children’s Series. Leslie got her start as a puppeteer on ABC’s Muppets Tonight and talks with us about her first days with Jim Henson Company, Caroll Spinney and others. We met her at a convention earlier this year and talked to her and the puppets about literally whatever they wanted.

Here is my time with Leslie Carrara-Rudolph, Lolly Lardpop and Abby Cadabby.


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TalkCast 321 – The New and Improved Griffin Ess

Griffin Ess



So, when you say “Whats New?” to Griffin, you’re sure to get an earful,and this is exactly what this show was, an hour with Griffin talking about his new endeavors on Shaded Area’s, his new projects and all the fun he always seems to be having. From  new video projects, to web comics and blogging, the updated website has something for everyone. Explore and enjoy, that why they do it! Who needs news when Griffin is on? Not Us!



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Keeping It Ghastly: Anomal

Anomal is a collection of short stories that is loosely centered around yokai and things of a generally supernatural origin. (I say generally because chapter three is a detective story that is about as supernatural as Sherlock). Anomal is but one of an archive of indy titles brought to the English language market by up and coming publisher GEN Manga. Like Android Angels and Alive before it, Anomal is a single artists’ portfolio of short stories originally published in the company’s ongoing anthology series simply titled GEN. Where Android Angel is the sci-fi short story collection and Alive is the slice-of-life drama collection, Anomal hoped to fill the place of GEN Manga’s horror short story collection. Unfortunately, Anomal is lacking any strange or bizarre style to make it stand out in the company’s catalogue.


Visually a horror manga needs to be atmospheric and gripping, with effective use of framing and deep shadows. Anomal’s art has little atmosphere, and the direction of the style feels like it at some point lost its way. The artist, Nukuharu, seems to be unsure of what direction his own style wants to be take – whether he wants it to be a bright and shiny shojo or a grittier, more heavily textured josei. The quality varies widely from story to story, as does the application of tone sheets, effects, and pen strokes. Some stories, like the final installment, are fine lined with very soft, understated and clean cut tones. The two chapters dedicated to stories about a fledgling ayakashi-nushi or “spirit master” who loves to hug yokai have much rougher artwork that doesn’t look as clean or appear to have been applied as thoughtfully. However way the stories were ordered there just doesn’t seem to be a progression of technique so much as an experiment in different techniques.

anomal demon Read More »

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