Thursday, April 30, 2009

Top Five Moments of Kim's Life

I think I've posted these before, and there may have been some slight movement between the places, but somebody reminded me by posting a pic of the Ultimate Warrior:

1) birth of first child
2) seeing JUDAS PRIEST in concert for the first time
3) seeing the Ultimate Warrior running down the aisle to save the Hulkster at Wrestlemania VIII
4) winning 2006 Stoker Award
5) birth of second child

Kyle and Doug - you can unseat my daughter Sophia to break into the top five! I know you can! You're already in like 8th or 9th, even with all the vomit and incense at Mo*Con!!!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Interesting Petition

I really think the only thing we should each celebrate more than our own faiths, is the rich tradition of religious pluralism we have in our country. Lots of countries, all over the world and at all different historical periods, have had deeply religious populations. I don't think any have had populations as diverse and respectful as ours. So it's the American thing to do, really. Please consider sticking up for a tiny religious minority as they seek a small recognition of their members' faith and potential sacrifice:

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The 2009 Horror Bailout

Cute idea! Check it out! Click on the banner!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Seen on Teh Internetz this Week

Two of the weirder things I've seen.

The first NSFW and not exactly hilarious, but funny, both "haha" and "strange":

The second only NSFW because it'll take about 20 minutes to read, and is some wild NWO stuff:

Friday, April 24, 2009

Coach's Midnight Diner Available

A new anthology with a story by me!

World Is Dead Update

Several contributors have asked.

I do not have a release date to announce. I don't have cover art. I will post those as soon as I get them.

The manuscript has been proofread, typeset, and proofed again. The contributor bios have been added in at the end. Back cover blurbs have been solicited and one's been received. Back cover copy's been written.

So we're getting close. Again, I'll let you know as I receive each new step in the process. And I think you'll be pleased with the final product.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Man Be Trippin'!

No, literally! I haven't taken a spill like that since I was 12 and fell off my bike, going down a hill fast in Sugarland Run, VA!

I was just crossing the street to get my daughter from dance class, and I tripped on the curb. And I hit it just right, I guess, 'cause I couldn't bring my back foot up in time to catch myself, but went flying straight ahead, hitting on my right knee, then kind of sliding and spinning as I fell, so I hit with my other knee as well, then kinda flew backwards and slammed my spine into a lamppost on top of that. OUCH!

Even funnier (haha as well as strange) - a lady I know (the mom of another girl in dance class), whom I've always thought was a bit aloof and never says hi, she goes walking by me in my crumpled heap, gabbing on her cell phone, and doesn't pause or take notice in anyway. WTF? Did there need to be actual blood-spatters to get your attention, lady?

Tony Monchinski - Author of Eden

I just got back from presenting to some bright students at Fox Lane High School -

I was invited there by fellow Permuted author, Tony Monchinski -

Author of the post-apocalyptic, zombie novel, EDEN -

So, thanks for having me, Tony!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Back Cover Copy

Writing up some back cover copy and outline and synopsis for Closes at Dusk.

Boy, that's a funny assignment - to take your story down to one suspenseful sentence!

Here were my attempts, in three slightly different versions and lengths:

Promo Sentence

Family secrets bring the deadliest despair, but not even death can extinguish all hope.

Sales Handle

Only love can unlock the meaning of anguish.

Back Cover Copy

Christoph Hahn came to the United States to build a new life after WWII devastated his homeland of Germany and scattered his family. He found a good job, a beautiful wife, and built a little storybook land along a busy highway – a wooded idyll that generations of children loved in the 60s and 70s. But now it’s 2007, and he’s dead – but not gone. Instead, his spirit is condemned to linger, struggling to understand and atone for his mistakes.

Little bit grabby, don't you think?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Wicked Zombies

Check out the newest social networking website for zombie enthusiasts, Wicked Zombies:

It's created by a big fan, Venessa. Sign up today!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Chiller Theatre and Susan Boyle

I'll tie the two together. Just give me a second.

My wife is obsessed with the Susan Boyle phenomenon. Sorry, I don't get it. But let's play along. Unknown underdog suddenly becomes overnight household name. Okay. Interesting in some way. I'm more impressed with the captain taken by the pirates, and the pilot who landed on the Hudson, but okay - although, please note, I've already forgotten their names, and they were just household names two days and a couple weeks ago, respectively.

Which brings me to Chiller Theatre. I wanted to go to see a more purely media con (as opposed to film or book con). There must've been a hundred "stars" - a term that now seems to mean anyone who was a tiny bit recognizable for anything at some point in the last 40 years, no matter what that thing was or how long it lasted or how long ago it was. There was no rhyme or reason to the guest list, beyond the half dozen people who'd been in Night of the Living Dead. (I can only suspect the common denominator for the guests was that they lived within easy driving distance of Parsippany, NJ.) The lads of Demolition were next to Larry Storch, who was next to the voice actor who does the voice of Charlie Brown. Michael Dorn was next to some gal who played a Viper pilot in a couple episodes of Battlestar Galactica, who was next to some gal who was Miss November in 1998. And although there were several thousand people gawking, except for the long lines to pay Peter ("I thought he was dead?") Criss and George Romero for their autographs, I didn't see much money changing hands, or much interest in any one specific "celebrity," as opposed to general tittering over being in the presence of so much "fame." Indeed, Walter Koenig and Edward James Olmos were all alone each time I looked over at them. And most sadly (to me), Tony Curtis was off in a corner, with a line of about six older women waiting to meet him, while I'm sure no one under the age of 40 knew who he was. Tony Curtis? WTF? Why does he need to sit at a folding table in a dingey Hilton (and sorry, all hotels in Northern New Jersey are dingey, even the luxury ones) and get 25 bucks for his autograph? (I actually didn't check his price, but that seemed to be the going rate.) Unlike the other people I've mentioned, the dude was an actual "star," albeit FIFTY YEARS AGO (!). Isn't it time to rest on one's laurels?

So, my thought? Although I've found my tiny bit of zombie fame intoxicating this past year, this was a sobering look at the future. But, I can honestly say that what I've found most fun is not the momentary adulation of fans - for it is momentary, and, in my case, confined to a couple dozen people - but making new friends and gaining the respect of peers - people like RJ and Julia and Doug and Kyle and Christine and Jonathan. And I hope last night and tonight, when Joe Pilato goes off to the bar with John Amplas, or the Iron Sheik joins Nikolai Volkoff for dinner at the steak house in the hotel lobby, I hope they have some of that camaraderie - that they sit and talk about the old days, when they were on top of their game and together they created something -- whatever it was - a movie, a TV series, a wrestling match -- that people enjoyed and that a few people still remember, all these years later. That would be, to me, a little less sad than when I saw them hawking their autographs during the day.

UPDATE on Tony Curtis: I have been told he donates the proceeds of his autographing to charity, so that explains a little better why he'd put up with going to such an affair. Good for him and I hope he had fun!!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Update Summer/Fall Appearances

April 17 - Chiller Theatre (just going to stroll through, I'm not a guest or a vendor)

MAY 1-3, 2009 - Texas Frightmare
(I'll be at the HWA table part of the time)

MAY 28-31, 2009 - BookExpo
(I'll be at the HWA table part of the time)

JUNE 5-7, 2009 - Fango Weekend of Horrors (just passing through)

JUNE 12-14, 2009 - Stoker Award Weekend
(Bought my tickets for the Stoker banquet, and am going to be at the signing at Dark Delicacies)

JULY 11, 2009 - Onstage with DEF LEPPARD in Virginia Beach!!
(Well, no, actually, I'll be back on the lawn, but I will be there, or at one of their East Coast concerts!)

JULY 16-19, 2009 - Camp NECON
(Confirmed! Just sent in my check)

SEPT 18-20, 2009 - Horror Realm (formerly ZombieFest)
(I'll be at the Permuted table and probably do some panels and readings)

OCT 9-10, 2009 - AlbaCon (maybe, if I get to it and then scoot down to the next gig)

OCT 10, 2009 - Zombie Panel with the Science Fiction Society of Northern New Jersey

Springtime Head Cold

You know how everyone always complains that they're the worst?

I don't know if this is the worst, but the one inhabiting me right now has the biggest sneezes, that's for sure. Each one I think is going to knock me backwards off the chair, and they come in sets of three or four.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Dante - Game, Movie and Action Figure

The buzz is over the unveiling of the Dante action figure, based on the images from the much anticipated video game.
And the film will be based on the game, based on the book. (Got that?)
Of course, all will pale in comparion to my version!

Facebook Quiz

Since I don't have email access for some reason this morning, I killed some time making a quiz about my zombie novels!!

Check it out!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Workloads and Wages

This morning, as I was thinking of all the various, arcane things I've learned over the years that "regular"people don't know, I thought of how academic wages and workloads are set up, and how I had no clue that was how they worked until I was a part of the guild. Here are the parts that surprised me, in retroscpect.

Workloads vary enormously between schools. What are called "R1" institutions - a handful of large, well-endowed (snicker) schools that are oriented toward cutting edge research - have their professors teach only 2 courses per semester. One of these will probably be a large undergraduate class, but for that course, the professor will probably get a teaching assistant (or even more than one TA). The other course will probably be a small graduate seminar, which might have only four students, and which (in my experience) the professor often turns over completely to student presentations for the second half of the semester. At the other extreme, someone teaching in a community college will teach FIVE courses per semester. All of these will be large undergraduate courses, and, of course, no TAs. In my present post at Iona College, I am nearer the latter end - I teach four courses/semester and all are undergraduate.

Wages do not vary as much between schools. Especially not STARTING wages. As above, the teaching load varies by as much as 2.5 to 1. Starting salaries between schools are much closer. This can make a huge (almost insurmountable) difference between schools located in places with very different costs of living - 45k in Iowa will buy you a much more comfortable lifestyle than 50k in San Francisco. And since schools are competing for candidates, they often try to make their starting offers comparable, but down the road, after ten years of very different annual raises, you can find yourself making much less than a colleague at a different school, even when you started at similar spots.

There's no particular moral to this story. I'm just saying things turn out quite differently than I would've expected, because the whole process is not transparent, or known to "regular" people.

Essay Accepted

My essay on The Funhouse will be appearing in the collection Butcher Knives & Body Counts: Essays on the Formula, Frights, and Fun of the Slasher Film, forthcoming from Dark Scribe Press. Check out the blog dedicated to the collection and the other great contributors:

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Dinner

Since I'm sitting here blogging (and looking up variants on one recipe, to get ideas), you can tell it's not one of my more complicated meals. I often think holidays, with their "stick an enormous carcass in the oven" meals are a lot simpler than a stir fry with a lot of ingredients, or a casserole that has to have its parts cooked first, then assembled.

But, I digress. Here's what's going on (in the order it went into the oven or on to the stove):

rice pudding is in the oven; I *think* it's the way my mother used to make it (though, of course, she left no record of it), since it's a tiny amount of rice in a QUART of milk, baked in a very slow oven for 3.5 hours, and I know when she'd make it at home, it cooked for a long time and came out really thin and sweet (as I'm anticipating this will, given the proportions)

potatoes are simmering to be mashed later

brussel sprouts are trimmed to be steamed later

everything else is waiting...

roast beef will go in next at 4pm

ham will go in to get heated through at 5pm; it'll have a honey mustard glaze

biscuits in at 5:45pm

In between, I'll make horseradish sauce (what I was looking up at and set out an hors d'oeuvres tray. I bought a store-made apple pie. Yay!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

New Website for the Sevins!

They'd mentioned something about it, but I hadn't checked it out till today!

Neat, huh?

The Mark of a REALLY Good New Story!

Is when you see the headline and you figure it HAS to be a joke!

Woody Harrelson Says He Thought Photographer Was a Zombie

And it's not! Wow!

Wow, What Amazon #s!

Yes, I check them incessantly (as I suspect all small press authors do). I like it when my four best selling titles all bump up at the same time like this afternoon:

D2L2 at 12,000th
History Is Dead at 5000th (one of its highest points)
D2L at 6000 (still going strong)
Gospel of the Living Dead at 96,000th (usually around 150,000th after it's first year of sales)


Friday, April 10, 2009

Oh Dear...

Rachel Maddow kept giggling last night about "tea bagging" and I'll confess, I didn't know that bit of urban slang. But this video makes it all hilariously clear:

Funniest is at the end: "Mom, stop laughing! I'm doing important revolutionary stuff!"

Oh, the Republicans. You could almost feel sorry for them, if they hadn't spent the last eight years breaking the planet. Guess they should've spent part of the time being more aware of current slang.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Essay on The Funhouse

Finished my essay on The Funhouse (1981, aka Funhouse, aka Carnival of Terror). I got really inspired by rewatching the film. Now I just have to wait and see if it makes it into the essay collection I intended it for. We'll soon see!

Zombie Class!

It looks splendid!

I haven't had the nerve to do one of my own, but this is inspiring!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Honest Scrap Award

For this humble blog! Awarded by the wonderful Jodi Lee -


Monday, April 06, 2009


Sorry, but I couldn't help it. There's this church right by our house -

They always put an "inspirational" message on their sign. Depending on your tastes, it might be considered warmly pious, or all the way to sligthly tasteless. Today's was


And I couldn't help it. I started singing "Love stinks! Yeah, yeah! Love stinks! Yeah, yeah!" by the J. Giles Band.

Now, you tell me you could resist that. And I'll call you a liar.

Back from ICON!

Scored the awesome tshirt RJ and I saw on a customer last fall at ZombieFest - not the usual "Big zombie head sunrise" DotD tshirt, but a montage on a coffee colored tee! It looks fabulous! Also sprung for a Rorschach tshirt (nice one w/o title on it, which is what I was looking for).

First panel on sex in spec fic was pretty fun. The other on the future of books was less so, though both were really well attended. That's one big Con out there on the Island.

The hotel was just a 15 minute drive from the house where I grew up, so I popped over there and saw it. It's still there, though now bright yellow (?!) and of course the willow tree in the yard's long gone. And how'd the darn thing get so darned small? Wow. It looks like a little toy house now.

Kevin Conway!!

I can't say I knew the man's name before, but I was rewatching The Funhouse (1981) with an eye to writing an essay on it, and I immediately recognized the one barker as the same actor who plays the pervy old guy in The Quick and the Dead. And I was right!!

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Off to ICON!

Tomorrow morning I'll be off to the ICON convention on Long Island:


Triumph of The Walking Dead