“Possession” reading and an update

This past Tuesday I travelled to Ottawa to take part in the Chiaroscuro Reading Series, along with Sandra Kasturi and Alison Sinclair. The reading went very well, easily one of my best, and the audience seemed to really dig my story, which was a new Black Lands tale featuring Jerry Baldwin called “Possession is Nine-Tenths of the Law.”

Geek Inked Magazine was there to film the event, and they’ve posted videos of my reading, as well as a very favourable write-up.

While “Possession” makes the rounds in search of a home, I’m back working on the Felix Renn novel, Sycamore, as well as a couple of shorter Felix stories for some anthologies. There’s some other cool stuff coming down the pipe that I can’t quite talk about yet, but it’s been a while since I posted an update and I wanted to let y’all know what I’ve been up to lately.

“Eyes Like Poisoned Wells”

Very excited to announce I’ve sold a new Felix Renn story, “Eyes Like Poisoned Wells,” to Cemetery Dance Publications for the next instalment in their Shivers anthology series. Cemetery Dance is one of the best horror publishers around and I’m very honoured to have a Felix story in one of their fine books.

Reviews and Interview

There were a couple of reviews of SuperNOIRtural Tales posted over the holiday break. Ted E. Grau over at The Cosmicomicon had this to say:

Rogers’ style is a perfect fit for this sort of fiction, as his writing is clean and straight ahead, without a lot of jazz hands, while also dashing the stew with a necessary amount of sarcasm and bone dry, black humor.  But there is also a depth of character, and a firm respect for what makes both good Horror and good Crime Fiction.  Like a mellow scotch, Rogers’ writing is the ideal blend of the spooky and the restrained, the shocking and the procedural, striking a balance that serves this sort of mash-up perfectly.

Ted also interviewed me for his website, which you should definitely check out because Ted is a big a fan of horror and noir as I am. Here’s an excerpt:

Do you have any more stories percolating that take place in or around the Black Lands?

My first non-Felix Black Lands story was recently published in the anthology Chilling Tales 2, edited by Michael Kelly. It’s called “Day Pass,” and it deals with a kind of halfway house for shapeshifters. People who have been infected by a Black Lands virus that’s basically the supernatural equivalent of rabies.

I’ve got a new Felix Renn story called “Eyes Like Poisoned Wells” that’s currently making the rounds.

And I’m currently working on a short story featuring Jerry Baldwin, the haunted house realtor from “The Brick.” It’s a tale of demons and exorcism called “Possession is Nine-Tenths of the Law.” Jerry’s stories tend to be a bit lighter. Not outright comedies, but less dark than the rest of my Black Lands stories. I like them because they let me explore not just another character, but another view of the world. Jerry’s outlook is very different from Felix’s. He doesn’t like the way the Black Lands is intruding on our world, but he’s trying to make the most of it. Even more, he’s trying to make money out of it.

You can read the whole review and the rest of the interview at The Cosmicomicon.

Josh Black also reviewed the book for Hellnotes:

The Brick is easily the highlight of the collection. It’s a creepy and effective haunted house tale, a terrifying monster-battling romp, and a strikingly poignant family saga that asks some probing questions regarding self-sacrifice. This one had me laughing, tearing up and nearly jumping out of my chair in equal measure.

Read the full review

Thanks to both of these fine gents for the excellent reviews.

Sycamore

I started writing the first Felix Renn novel today.

One chapter down.

And away we go.

Chilling Tales 2 now available

What better way to celebrate the Halloween season than with a new anthology of horror tales! Chilling Tales 2 features an all-Canadian line-up of excellent authors, including yours truly. My contribution is called “Day Pass” and it’s a Black Lands story, although you won’t find Felix Renn in this one.

“Day Pass” is a special story for me because it was the first Black Lands story I wrote that didn’t feature my favourite Toronto PI. It has always been my intent with this series to explore how other people are learning to live in a world where paranormal is the norm. This particular tale is about a halfway house for people with a particular… shall we say, supernatural affliction.

As with the first volume, Chilling Tales 2 features stories by some truly amazing writers. Order links are available on the “Day Pass” page. You don’t want to miss this one.

The 2013 Fall Road Show

This fall is shaping up to be a busy one. This was supposed to be a quiet time of year for me in terms of appearances, but I’ve made a few exceptions because I do like getting out to meet fellow readers and booklovers, and these upcoming events are all relatively close by.

First up is Word on the Street, which takes place this Sunday, September 22nd, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., at Queen’s Park in Toronto. I will be signing books at both the ChiZine and Burning Effigy booths. This is the biggest book festival in the city, so come check it out!

A couple of weeks later, Oshawa will be holding its first-ever horror convention, with the most excellent name of Shwa Pocalypse. It will be taking place at the Harmony Creek Community Centre (located at 15 Harmony Road North) on October 5th from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. I will be there with my lovely wife selling and signing books.

And finally, on October 24th at 7:00 p.m., I will be at the Lindsay Library (190 Kent Street West) taking part in the City of Kawartha Lakes Public Library Local Author Series. I will be giving a reading followed by a talk on writing and publishing. I will have copies of Every House Is Haunted and SuperNOIRtural Tales available for purchase.

So, lots of fun this fall! I hope you can come out to some of these events!

The Best Horror of the Year, Volume 5 – Honorable Mentions

Very proud to see that six of my stories, including the Felix Renn tales “Out of the Blue” (from the Fungi anthology) and “Midnight Blonde” (from Supernatural Tales), were included on Ellen Datlow’s list of honorable mentions for The Best Horror of the Year, Volume 5.

I really need to get that Felix novel finished.

Oh, and yet another reminder that if you want to pick up a copy of SuperNOIRtural Tales, and have it signed by me, you should come out to Fan Expo / Festival of Fear this weekend!

Shark Week hangover

Another Shark Week is here and gone. It’s kind of sad, but the memories (and the new Shark Week shirts) will last a lifetime.

I thought I’d take the opportunity to post a writing update.

My good friend and fellow scribe Kurt Dinan has posted an interview with me on his blog, in which we talk about my two collections, the Felix Renn novel, and whether or not “prolificness” is a word (not according to my spell-check).

I’ve posted a new short story online called “The Tour.” It was inspired by the winning entry of the Every House Is Haunted Photo Contest. Congrats once again to Tony Myles for submitting such an unsettling picture.

An amusing aside to the new story: the night I finished it, I gave it to my wife to read. While she was finishing it, I happened to be shooting a video of our cat Thor chewing on my hand. What happens next is now available for everyone to see thanks to the convenience of YouTube.

At the moment, I’m doing the final edit of a science-fiction comedy novel that I’ve been describing to people as The X-Files meets Arrested Development. It’s an odd little book (actually, at 120,000 words, it’s not really little at all) about UFOs, conspiracies, and family.

I expect to have it finished in the next month or so, and then, yes, finally, I’ll begin work on the Felix Renn novel. I promise.

Finally, I’d like to remind everyone that I’ll be a guest at this year’s Fan Expo / Festival of Fear, taking place at the Toronto Convention Centre from August 22-25. I will be selling and signing copies of Every House Is Haunted and SuperNOIRtural Tales. Hope to see you there!

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What are the Black Lands?

The Black Lands is a dimension filled with supernatural creatures that lies next to our own. This alternate reality is the setting for a series of stories by Ian Rogers.

To find out more about the Black Lands, read the history.