Blog Tour and Giveaway

Hello my Freaky Darlings,


I’m on a blog tour and you, dear reader, stand a chance to win your choice of either Shadows, Requiem in E Sharp, or Fury.

All you have to do is enter at any of the blog stops along the way until the 26th of October 2016.

For more information pop into the Silver Dagger Scriptorium and don’t forget to enter.


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The post-publication blues

Hello my Freaky Darlings,

I think the post-publication blues is something that all writers go through. It hits about a week or so after the book lands on the virtual or actual store shelves. It creeps up on you once the publication high starts to dwindle and you start to obsessively check your sales numbers on Amazon and Draft2Digital. It smacks you right in the gut when the sales aren’t what you hoped they would be and the reviews you were hoping for don’t come in as quick as you thought they would. It scratches on your brain-stem when everything seems to drag and you feel like the publishing quagmire is sucking you in and your words will be lost forever and there’s no hope insight.

But then some kind soul buys your book or one of those reviews you’ve been waiting for come out and it’s a really good one. You know one of those reviews that make you cry because someone really really loved the words you painstakingly put together. Or you write a really good sentence for your new book and a smile twitches at the corner of your mouth and you start to think there may be hope after all.

But then you’re back to obsessively checking those non-existent sales figures and the downward spiral starts all over again. It’s a vicious cycle, one which I haven’t found a cure for yet. The only thing I can do while I’m in the grips of the post-publication blues is try not to check my non-existent sales figures everyday. Every time I do I know I’m just going to slide further down that hole. And yet I still check them hoping that by some miracle someone bought a copy of one of my books.

I need to focus on the few things in this industry that I can control, like working on the new book and trying to focus on doing some publicity for my existing books. Whether or not people buy my books or write a review is beyond my control. Which sucks hairy arse, but that’s life as a writer.

So while I battle through my blues I’m going to grab my mug of coffee, try to ignore that nagging impulse to check my latest sales figures, write a few words even if they’re crap, and focus on my upcoming blog tour starting on the 12th of October. Wish me luck!


13 Questions with Michael McCarty

Hello my Freaky Darlings,

Today we have Michael McCarty in the interrogation seat.


Michael has been a professional writer since 1983, and the author of over thirty-five books of fiction and nonfiction, including I Kissed a Ghoul, Modern Mythmakers: 35 Interviews with Horror and Science Fiction Writers and Filmmakers, Laughing In the Dark, A Hell of a Job, A Little Help From My Fiends, Dark Duets, Monster Behind the Wheel (co-written with Mark McLaughlin), Lost Girl of the Lake (co-written with Joe McKinney), Conversations with Kreskin (co-written with The Amazing Kreskin), The Scream Queen series Night of the Scream Queen and Return of The Scream Queen (co-written with Linnea Quigley), The Bloodless series Bloodless, Bloodlust and Bloodline (co-written with Jody LaGreca), and Liquid Diet & Midnight Snack.

His latest book is Dracula Transformed & Other Bloodthirsty Tales (co-written with Mark McLaughlin) and published by Wildside Press.

He is a five-time Bram Stoker Finalist, and in 2008, won the David R. Collins’ Literary Achievement Award from the Midwest Writing Center. He lives in Rock Island, Illinois, with his wife, Cindy, and pet rabbit, Latte.

  1. What drives you to write?

mike-mccarty-dracula-transformedWhat drives me to write? My car? Alcohol? My legion of fans? I am a very driven person with or without an automobile or booze or fans. LOL.

Actually, I have this driven desire to write books because I like the process of writing: I like creating a story from scratch, I like having characters you care about and a book you’ll remember for a long time after reading it. I enjoy doing book signings. I also like getting good reviews on Amazon, GoodRead and Barnes & Noble – so please keep them coming too. And any pocket change left from the sales is always a plus. LOL.

  1. What attracted you to writing horror?

I think horror was attracted to me, like the alien popping out of the space egg and attaching itself to my face.

I like the dark side – don’t be afraid of the dark. I also add a twist of dark humor to horror like any good martini, you always add a twist to it.

  1. Who are your favourite horror writers?

You want me to get in trouble, huh? If I tell you 10 names, I make 500 enemies.

Well, I can include the ones I interviewed in Modern Mythmakers: 35 Interviews With Horror and Science Fiction Writers and Filmmakers published by Crystal Lake Publishing:  C. Dean Andersson, Ray Bradbury, Ramsey Campbell, Elvira, Rusty Fischer, Neil Gaiman, Mick Garris, Laurell K. Hamilton, Jack Ketchum, Dean Koontz, Thomas Ligotti, Bentley Little, Graham Masterton, Richard Matheson, Joe McKinney, Christopher Moore, William F. Nolan, John Saul, David Snell, Darce Stoker, Peter Straub and Whitley Strieber.

I suppose it is safe to name my collaborators too:  Mark McLaughlin, Sherry Decker, Linnea Quigley, Stan Swanson, Jody LaGreca and Joe McKinney.

  1. Which horror novels do you think every horror fan should read?

That’s easy: Dracula Transformed & Other Bloodthirtsy Tales by Mark McLaughlin & Michael McCarty.

In the novella “Dracula Transformed,” Dracula is brought back from beyond the grave in a manner that gives him startling new powers. Using these powers, he begins a bloody campaign of vengeance. In “Lucy Transformed,” you will learn of the relationship between Dracula and his daughter Zaleska, as well as his growing fondness for Lucy Westenra — a fondness that will seal Lucy’s doom. Even more vampiric horror awaits you in the remaining nine tales.

You might want to read that other Dracula book too, Dracula by Bram Stoker.

  1. Ebooks or paperback?

Paper or plastic? LOL …. Paperbacks of course.

  1. What would make you pick up a novel by a new author?

The storyline, the character, the cover, the blurb.

I stumble onto a lot of new books and buy them. My fans say the same thing about my work. If you find an interesting new book, please check it out.

  1. Who is your favourite fictional character?mike-mccarty-modern-mythmakers

Of the ones I have written probably Tommy Wharton from I Kissed A Ghoul. I also have a fondness for Daniel Peck in the Bloodless series: Bloodless, Bloodlust and Bloodline  (co-written with Jody LaGreca)

Of all time? Too many to list.

  1. Do you plot your stories or does it just unfold before your eyes?

Both. My writing is really more organic; the story dictates how it is written and what happens. For example Night of the Scream Queen (co-written with Linnea Quigley) had an outline. The sequel Return of the Scream Queen (co-written with Linnea Quigley and Stan Swanson) didn’t.

Monster Behind The Wheel (co-written with Mark McLaughlin) had an outline. Dracula Transformed & Other Bloodthirsty Tales (co-written with Mark McLaughlin) didn’t have an outline.

I Kissed a Ghoul had an outline, but I ended up not using it. LOL.

  1. Do your characters take on a life or do they do things you didn’t plan?

Both, really. In Monster Behind The Wheel (co-written with Mark McLaughlin), I did a 22-page interview with the protagonist Jeremy Carmichael. Mark said, “How would the antagonist Frank Edmonson answer those same questions?” The novel became three-dimensional after that.

With I Kissed a Ghoul the character just came to life and it was my job as the author to put the beast back into the box. LOL.

  1. Do you listen to music when you write or do you need silence?

I listen to music when I am writing. Silence when I edit.

  1. Do you do a lot of research for your stories?

Yes! Yes! And oh God, yes! For Dracula Transformed & Other Bloodthirsty Tales (co-written Mark McLaughlin) Mark and I did a lot of research on the original publication of Bram Stoker’s Dracula what was cut out and why. Plus we did a lot of investigations into the Vlad Dracul family and found it interesting that the Prince of Darkness did indeed have a daughter, which led us to the story, “Lucy Transformed.”

In Bloodless (co-written with Jody LaGreca) and published by Simon & Shuster. I researched the hell out of the sinking of the Lusitania and the Hindenburg explosion disasters.

Sometimes I spend more time researching fiction, than I do nonfiction.        

  1. Facebook or Twitter?

I have both, but like Facebook a lot more than Twitter. Personally, I find it difficult to post links and photos to your books on Twitter.

  1. What really pisses you off about writing?

Maybe pisses off isn’t a good expression, but what I find heartbreaking about the publishing industry in general is this: so much attention and sales is spent on the 1%, the Stephen Kings, the J.K. Rowlings, the James Pattsons, the Harlan Coburns, the Nora Roberts, and so on, that the rest of the 99% of us; have to fight tooth and nail to get attention and sales.

So please go out and support the Mark McLaughlins, the Jody LaGrecas, the Joe McKinneys, the Terrie Leigh Relfs and Michael McCartys out there.

Please check out my books! All of my work is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble or ordered at your local bookstore or library. You can find me on Twitter, GoodReads, FaceBook, and my blog site. And of course, I love to hear from my fans, so you can snail mail me at this address: Michael McCarty, P.O. Box 4441, Rock Island, IL 61204-4441.

Thank you, God Bless, and Godspeed.



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The Race is out!

Hello my Freaky Darlings,


My experiment with Sci-Fi, The Race, is now available from all your favourite stores for $0.99!

It’s already getting some pretty good reviews:

“A cool, clever little story with more depth than you originally give it credit for. Superb pacing (fast and furious) and a great action packed romp, peppered with delightful f-bombs!”- Melissa Delport, author of Rainfall.

“A great, action-packed read that’s part “The Hunger Games” and part “Gladiator”.
The Race may be a quick read, but it packs a mighty punch. Loved it!” – Monique Snyman, author of Muti Nation.

“Verdict: A fast paced tale with a sassy central character. 8/10” – Paul Simpson, Sci-Fi Bulletin. You can read the full review from Paul here.

To read an excerpt from The Race pop on over here.

Remember to let me know what you think of it once you’ve read it!


Remember to hit that subscribe button to keep up with all the news, reviews, and interviews. And feel free to leave a comment or three. It’s always nice to hear from you guys.




13 Questions with Patrick Rutigliano

Hello my Freaky Darlings,

Today we have Patrick Rutigliano in the interrogation seat.

DSC02375.JPG copy

Patrick made his way as a fry cook, cart monkey and feral cat tamer before going into business for himself. Working as an editor and proofreader in addition to writing, his first independent release, “The Untimely Deaths of Daryl Handy,” hit Amazon in 2013. His newest book, “Wind Chill,” was released by Crystal Lake Publishing in 2016.

During his off time, Patrick can usually be found attempting to recreate foreign cuisine, performing the solemn duty of feline waterbed and having spirited debates with his wife over the failings of Disney villains.

You can stalk Patrick on:
“Wind Chill” is available here:

  1. What drives you to write?

The desire to silence the voices in my head. It’s an awful thing to have them all shouting in there at once.

  1. What attracted you to writing horror?

Lifelong fandom. I’ve been geeking it up pretty much since I started watching movies. I cut my teeth on the Universal monsters as a little kid and have been going ever since.

  1. Who are your favourite horror writers?

H.P. Lovecraft, Algernon Blackwood, Clive Barker, and Joe Hill.

  1. Which horror novels do you think every horror fan should read?

The Great and Secret Show.  And 20th Century Ghosts if you don’t mine me throwing a collection in, too.

  1. Ebooks or paperback?

Paperback. It’s the full sensory experience of reading.

  1. What would make you pick up a novel by a new author?

A really original back cover description and a great cover.


  1. Who is your favourite fictional character?

That’s kind of like asking me to pick a favorite child! Sherlock Holmes is definitely up there, though. If we’re talking across all media, I’ll throw in Jack Burton and Indiana Jones, too.

  1. Do you plot your stories or does it just unfold before your eyes?

I usually have a loose outline in my head and let the blanks fill themselves in.

  1. Do your characters take on a life of their own and do things you didn’t plan?

Sometimes. I did once have a protagonist who completely altered a major plot point because she wouldn’t abide it.

  1. Do you listen to music when you write or do you need silence?

Silence. I detest anything distracting me while trying to write.

  1. Do you do a lot of research for your stories?

It really depends on the content. I do it as necessary, but generally gravitate toward stories that don’t require me to break rhythm to look stuff up.

  1. Facebook or Twitter?

Facebook. I’m not a big fan of having my thoughts hemmed in by character limits.

  1. What really pisses you off about writing?

Well, the pay rates are often roughly what they were nearly a hundred years ago (which is beyond ridiculous). It can also be frustrating to strive for the new and unique while knowing there’s probably very little market for it.


Remember to hit that subscribe button to keep up with all the news, reviews, and interviews. And feel free to leave a comment or three. It’s always nice to hear from you guys.

The Race: Excerpt

Hello my Freaky Darlings,

The Race is almost ready to be unleashed on the world, so I thought I’d give you a sneak peek.



I wasn’t wearing my own clothes.

A headache pulsated through my brain, reminding me of the time that bastard, Jake Stanton, roofied my drink at a club a couple of years ago. The unpleasant memory of waking up in my car in the middle of an empty parking garage, naked and alone, made an unwelcome appearance. Jake had left a note saying: “Thanks for the memories,” stuck to my bare breast.

I found him a few nights later trying to pull the same shit on another girl. I guess I could have called the cops, but then I, and my past mistakes and issues with authority, would have been put on trial, not Jake. My way was so much better, and far more satisfying.

I made him drink the girl’s drugged wine with my flick knife pressed against his crotch. I waited for the drug to take effect and then had my fun. He woke up naked, tied to a tree, and with a big, pink, plastic dildo shoved up his arse. Apparently he had difficulty walking for a week or so, but he never drugged another girl after that. The girl I helped didn’t even bother to say thank you. Gratitude seems to be something that not many people feel anymore. I wasn’t expecting her to name her first kid after me, but a simple thank you would have been nice.

But this time was different, and more confusing. I woke up in a cell with twenty other women, wearing a baby-pink tracksuit with a zip-up top and hoody, and running shoes that didn’t belong to me. They fitted well enough and they smelt new, but there was no way in hell I would ever willingly wear pink anything. My cell phone, car keys, wallet, and flick knife were all gone.


The distinct briny smell of the sea drifted up my nostrils, which was impossible since I didn’t live anywhere near the ocean. In fact the nearest ocean was about a day’s drive from my home—if I drove really fast. The walls of the cell were slightly damp and had that salty smell you only get when you’re at the coast. My tongue was also thick from dehydration and whatever drugs they’d given me.

Some other women, locked in another cell, looked as though they’d escaped from a Xena convention. They looked like body builders, with those fake dark tans that were supposed to show off their over developed muscles. From the looks of them and the way they flexed their muscles they’d had a few too many testosterone injections.

The rest of the women in my cell were dressed in similar tracksuits to mine, they also looked as confused as I felt. The fear on their faces made me a whole lot more nervous than I’m used to being.

The warrior women flexed their muscles some more, did push-ups, or gave intimidating stares to the scared women in tracksuits. They seemed to be pumping themselves up for something. The Xena wannabes also had swords of varying types. I wondered if they’d been at some costume party, except the swords looked a little too real and a little too sharp for cosplay.

No one spoke.

I couldn’t help but wonder if I’d managed to get myself locked up in the local drunk tank. Except the last time I’d been locked up there, the place looked and smelled different. The local drunk tank usually had a hint of piss and puke in the air, not the ocean. Then there was the small problem that I didn’t remember getting drunk. I tried to come up with a logical explanation, but failed. The drug idea was the only plausible explanation, until men with machine guns showed up and dragged us, quite literally, out of the cells to a ship docked outside. The ship hadn’t seen a coat of paint since the Second World War. My Grandfather might have sailed on it.

We joined more women on the ship. I counted a hundred of us, all from different parts of the world—from the looks of things. About twenty per cent were dressed in warrior costumes, and could give the Williams sisters a run for their money in the muscle department. They looked determined. I, on the other hand, was scared shitless.

The ship’s engine sputtered to life, jerked under my feet, and messed with the delicate balance maintained by my inner-ear. Soon, we headed out into the open ocean. The waves smacked into the ship’s hull, causing the motion sickness that affected my balance to grip my sensitive stomach. A few other women in tracksuits threw up over the side of the ship. That was it. I lost my lunch or dinner. I didn’t remember when my last meal had been. All I tasted was bile and seawater. To make matters worse I was now completely dehydrated and it didn’t look like we’d be getting anything to drink soon.

The men with machine guns prowled the decks and the warrior women eyed each other suspiciously, while the rest of us cowered. It was the most surreal experience of my life. I kept expecting a fight to break out between the testosterone-soaked women, or to be shot by a machine gun wielding goon. Perhaps I’d taken some weird drug and this was all just an elaborate hallucination, but I didn’t remember chewing any shrooms, so that theory didn’t fit either. Not being able to come up with any kind of reasonable explanation for my current predicament was annoying, to say the least. I knew I’d been drugged, but I sure as shit hadn’t done it to myself. The pink tracksuit was testament to that.

One of the Xena lookalikes appeared next to me, smoking a cigarette. The blade of her sword looked like it had seen some action. Small nicks peppered the shining edge. The leather on the hilt was sweat stained and worn.

“Why are we here?” I asked her.

She looked me up and down. Sizing me up, deciding whether or not to kill me right then and there.

“We are warriors,” she said in heavily accented English. I couldn’t place the accent, but she looked Spanish or Portuguese.

“I’m not a warrior. I’m a fucking bartender,” I said, trying not to screech.

“It would seem they disagree,” she said, gesturing towards the cabins above us, and then she was gone, swallowed by the rolling mist that enveloped the ship.

It was the icy breath of an unquiet sea. It matched the fear mounting inside me.

The ship jolted and came to a sudden stop. I slipped, landed hard on my arse. It took a few attempts before I managed to get back onto unsteady feet. My butt ached. One of the guards tried not to laugh. Relief at the thought of his humanity flooded through me; I almost cried. Almost, but not quite. His laughter disappeared as quickly as it had started. He probably realised he wasn’t supposed to be a human being, that he was supposed to be a killing machine. The barrel of his machine gun pointed at me. But I’d gotten a glimpse of his humanity, and that knowledge could come in handy later.

I heard a thump coming from the port side of the ship, followed by women screaming. Running feet approached, fast. Using his machine gun, the guard gestured for me to follow the direction of the screams. My stomach churned and my scalp tingled. Hysteria started to curl itself around my spine, taking a firm grasp.

They herded us down the gangplank. Angry shouts mingled with screams which dwindled down to incessant sobbing.

The mist cleared once we were off the ship.

I found myself standing on a white, sandy beach. If it weren’t for the guards with machine guns and women with swords, it would have been pretty idyllic.

The mist closed around the ship again, making it simply disappear. Thoughts of the Bermuda triangle and the Island of Doctor Moreau surfaced on my fear fogged mind.


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