Walking Dead?

I went through an orgy of Walking Dead viewing on Netflix recently. Last year I was aware of the hardy survivors showing up to sign autographs at HorrorHound Weekend in Cincinnati or Indianapolis, but I never even bothered to check them out. Back then I’d barely heard of the show. I wouldn’t know Norman Reedus if he was my FedEx guy. Not even if he had a bow strapped across his chest.

Walkers But things changed after I watched seasons one through three in the space of a few sleep-deprived weeks.

So maybe I had Rick, Daryl, Maggie, Carol, Michonne and the others on my mind one Saturday while I walked home from a store in Lakewood at dusk. Or maybe…

I cut through the hospital parking lot and coming toward me was a tall, gaunt young man with a shambling gait and a bad complexion. Oh, and he was mumbling to himself. I’m sure he was merely drunk, mental, pissed off at life or hungover–but why take a chance? I crossed to the other side of the road and lived to tell the tale.

I’ll be on the lookout for walkers when I attend HorrorHound Weekend 2014 in Indianapolis in September. Maybe I’ll see you there. I’ve got your back.


Horror Fiction Book Review List

With the re-release of my horror novel, YELLOW MOON, scheduled for June 4, I’ve turned my attention to getting the attention of book reviewers in the horror community.  Fortunately, Samhain Horror authors have Marty Mathews on our side. She’s the Review Coordinator for Samhain, and as such she sends our books away for review before launch time.

For those of you releasing horror novels without a Marty Mathews, here’s a list of online horror markets she sent my baby to:

The Horror Review
Horror World
Paperback Horror
Shroud Magazine
This is Horror
Infernal Dreams
Anything Horror
Dread Central
SF Site
Famous Monsters
Shattered Ravings
Bloody Disgusting
Horror Fiction Review
Dark Discoveries
Dreadful Tales
I added Cemetery Dance to the list and Marty also sent YELLOW MOON to Publishers’ Weekly and Library Journal.
Who’d we miss? I’d love to hear from you if can add a site that will review and/or feature horror novels.



HorrorHound Weekend

Samhain Horror bouncers Jacob and Samantha. Do NOT submit less than your best work.

Samhain Horror bouncers Jacob and Samantha. Do NOT submit less than your best work.

Had a great time in Cincinnati on Saturday and Sunday. HorrorHound Weekend is Halloween come early, but a whole lot more. Leather jackets, torn jeans, black t-shirts, studs, tats, face paint–and an unexpectedly (to me) literary bent.

While it might seem that the Walking Dead cast, John Carpenter, Michael Madsen and the occasional topless body paint girl were the draw, we in the Samhain Horror booth found ourselves surrounded by people who wanted to talk…books. Yeah, there are a few of those still around.

In addition to the great fans, highlights included meeting fellow Samhain Horror authors Brian Moreland and Kristopher Rufty, Krist’s delightful wife, Angie, and the crewsters of Samhain. Special shout-out to my new Samhain friends Amanda, Mackenzie (hope I spelled it right), Samantha (“not ‘Sam,’ that’s the other Samantha”), Jacob, Lesa and ex-Samhainian Dawn.

Check it out.

Tonight's nightmare courtesy of Brian Moreland, Kristopher Rufty and David Searls. (Can't explain my dumbshit grin.)

Tonight’s nightmare courtesy of Brian Moreland, Kristopher Rufty and David Searls. (Can’t explain my dumbshit grin.)

Fans. I hope.

Fans. I hope.

You don't wanna know.

You don’t wanna know.

Going to HorrorHound Weekend?

If you find yourself in Cincinnati this weekend, drop in at HorrorHound Weekend http://www.horrorhoundweekend.com/shows/201303/default.shtml. Guests of this horror extravaganza include director John Carpenter, actors Michael Madsen, Robert Patrick, Tony Todd (Candyman and Final Destination), makeup artist legend Tom Savini and the cast of The Walking Dead, among many others.

Not to mention a few cunningly horrific horror writers from Samhain Publishing. Kristopher Rufty, Jonathan Janz, Brian Moreland and I will be signing our books throughout the weekend. Drop by and see us.


Malevolent Doings

My new Samhain Publishing horror novel, MALEVOLENT, is now available in trade paperback at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and elsewhere. It’s also been on the market in ebook format for the last several months.

If you’ve read BLOODTHIRST IN BABYLON, well, great, but this one is completely different. My first Samhain novel was written on a more epic scale, featuring bloody battles between warring vampire clans and the humans caught in the crossfire. It had sieges and counter-attacks and a chainsaw thrown in for bad measure.

MALEVOLENT, on the other hand, takes a quieter, but even darker approach. It’s more of a slow chill, a psychological thriller. Except, of course, for those hungry cats locked with three spinsterish women in a house with no food. Nothing quiet about that.

I’m thrilled that horror legend Ramsey Campbell contributed this front cover blurb: “Searls is a horror writer who goes for imagination and suspense rather than regurgitated splatter.”

Damn. That says it all.

If you’d like to read the first chapter of MALEVOLENT, or pre-order this new horror novel, I invite you to visit my book page at Samhain Publishing.

Thank You, Peelsticker Toothacher, Whoever You Are

I might never actually meet Mr. (Ms?) @Peelsticker Toothacher, but I owe him (her?) a great deal of gratitude. That’s because P.M. added me to a pretty exclusive Amazon listmania list — Notable Horror and Weird Fiction: 2012. Check it out. The prolific reader and Amazon lister rated my BLOODTHIRST IN BABYLON an 8.5 out of 10 and put it in the company of titles by Ramsey Campbell, Laird Barron, Simon Bestwick, Adam Neville and Peter Straub, among others.

Here’s another interesting factoid: of the twenty-three books rated on this list, four are from Samhain Publishing. This seems to be a fairly significant total for a new small press. The others, in addition to Campbell’s SEVEN DAYS OF CAIN and my BLOODTHIRST, include Frazer Lee’s THE LAMPLIGHTERS and Peter Mark May’s HEDGE END.

Thanks once again, Peelsticker Toothacher…whoever you are.

David Searls is the author of BLOODTHIRST IN BABYLON and MALEVOLENT. Both are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other online booksellers, as well as from Samhain Publishing.

Find the Underside

It’s not  that I’m a lazy blogger. Or maybe it is. Nonetheless, I’m going to reproduce (or recycle) a post I wrote for the horror blog at Samhain Publishing regarding my latest, MALEVOLENT. I think it serves as a pretty good intro to the book, and maybe my state of mind. Now that’s a scary thought.

What If…?

Horror writers have a knack for finding the dark underside of mundane life. For seeing incidents playing out in normal fashion, but thinking, “Okay, but what if…?”

What if that car runs the red light just as I pull into the intersection?

What if the stranger I keep seeing everywhere is stalking me?

What if that noise in the attic isn’t old wood settling?

It’s a matter of inventing an underbelly to everyday life. For making the glass not only half empty, but toxic. For instance, I was once (actually, twice) chased from a girlfriend’s apartment in the middle of the night by my allergic reaction to her cat. My sinuses dripped, throat clenched tight and I wheezed and sneezed so violently that I could barely see out my windshield on the wee-hours drive home.

True story. A real-life occurrence that’s merely semi-interesting unless it’s amped up. So let’s make it more than one cat – much more – in that dander-clogged home. And say that the place is sealed tight against escape and the summer heat. No way out, and no food for the cats or the three frail women trapped with them.

And there you have just one of many plot angles to my new novel, MALEVOLENT. It’s about an entity that probes until it finds the points of weakness in each of us. Like those three women in their house full of cats growing edgier and meaner and more desperate by the day.

And what if…well, what if you bought MALEVOLENT and found out?

You can reach David Searls at his blog, davidsearls.com. Or tweet him at @davidsearls1.