What Screams May Come: THIS SKIN WAS ONCE MINE

banner What Screams May Come by Rick Hipson

This Skin Was Once Mine by Eric LaRocca
Titan Books (April 2, 2024)

cover of This Skin Was Once MineEver since his debut publication, Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke (now in a second edition with bonus stories), Eric LaRocca has been blazing a trail of broken souls and butchered hearts with each new release he unleashes. After a series of highly acclaimed novellas, LaRocca published his first full length novel, Everything the Darkness Eats, with Titan Books. Clearly a match made in horror, Titan is getting set to publish LaRocca’s newest collection of four riveting novellas in This Skin Was Once Mine and Other Disturbances. 

I cornered the author long enough to discuss his latest publication, the importance of being an aggressor to his readers, along with digging into what has caused the floor beneath him to be ripped out plus more!Continue Reading

Review: Everything the Darkness Eats by Eric LaRocca

cover of Everything the Darkness Eats by Eric LaRoccaEverything the Darkness Eats by Eric LaRocca
CLASH Books (June 20, 2023)
202 pages; $16.95 paperback; $10.99 e-book
Reviewed by Blu Gilliand

Eric LaRocca brings cosmic horror to a small Connecticut town in his dark, grim new novel, Everything the Darkness Eats.

An old man, concealing miraculous powers in a frail frame, is prowling the streets of Henley’s Edge, plucking a handful of citizens from their everyday lives to use as pawns in a mysterious, arcane ritual. His final and most important pawn is a man who is barely existing, a man teetering on the edge of a void of grief and sorrow. Drawn into the old man’s scheme, he finds he has two choices: fight for the light, or be consumed by the darkness.

LaRocca brings some serious Clive Barker vibes to the table in everything from character names (Ghost, Heart, Saint Fleece) to the concept of a glowing orb (“…scabbed with ancient constellations, crusted with distant galaxies…”) that may or may not be God. It’s heady stuff, but LaRocca keeps everything grounded, putting us inside the head of various characters, letting us see things from many different points of view.

At its core, Everything the Darkness Eats is about survival; or, more accurately, the will to survive. What drives people to keep moving forward in the wake of unthinkable tragedy and unimaginable despair? What enables someone to walk through the dark shadow of grief in search of the merest glimmer of hope?

This is no easy, breezy summer read. It’s bleak, but not without light, and not without hope. LaRocca has been steadily building a solid reputation in the horror genre, and this novel represents a giant step forward for him. Strongly recommended.


Review: We Can Never Leave This Place by Eric LaRocca

cover of We Can Never Leave This PlaceWe Can Never Leave This Place by Eric LaRocca
Trepidatio Publishing (June 2022) 
106 pages; $19.95 hardcover; $12.95 paperback; $5.95 e-book
Reviewed by Haley Newlin

In perhaps his bleakest, most grisly tale yet, Eric LaRocca challenges gothic horror’s most visceral and twisted minds, namely The Brothers Grimm.

We Can Never Leave This Place is a screeching, bloody curtain that will hang over readers from start to finish. On the first page, Mara says, “From baby teeth to virginity, to live is to regularly suffer loss,” and it’s here where LaRocca offers a hint of the bloodshed to come. Continue Reading

The Cemetery Dance Interview: Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke to Eric LaRocca

banner graphic that says Cemetery Dance Interviews

photo of Eric LaRocca
Eric LaRocca

Eric LaRocca is an American author who burst onto the horror scene with his debut publication, Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke. The novella quickly went viral and forced many a reader to give pause and find out for themselves if all the hype was for real. Not only was the hype well earned, but in subsequent publications (We Can Never Leave This Place, The Trees Grew Because I Bled There, You’ve Lost A Lot Of Blood, They Were Here Before Us) LaRocca proves he is hardly a one-bolt-strike of polarizing lightning. The man writes as if possessed by a storm of collected maladies rendered by the universal subconscious of our darkest fears and twisted perceptions. What LaRocca does with the source of our lamentations is nothing short of brilliant. His artistic muse easily transcends the very label which defines genre and offers instead a peeled-back look at our bare selves in a world where showcasing what’s truly inside is often controversial at best, feared and shamed or downright hated at worst, whilst compassion and understanding become virtues most discarded.

With a bravado that is both rare and refreshing, LaRocca writes from the heart even as it bleeds everything he has to offer until we’re moved to think in uncomfortable ways because the author understands discomfort is necessary for forward motion, for progress. 

I was lucky enough to sit down with LaRocca and dive into the makings of what makes him tick, what makes his work so damn infectious and, perhaps most importantly, what’s next in line to stir our mind and heart. Continue Reading

Review: You’ve Lost A Lot of Blood by Eric LaRocca

cover of You've Lost a Lot of BloodYou’ve Lost A Lot of Blood by Eric LaRocca
Independently Published (March 2022)
236 pages; $10.80 paperback; $4.99 e-book
Reviewed by Sadie “Mother Horror” Hartmann

Mother Horror is going to tell you a little story about a book called Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke (THGWSWLS), written by Eric LaRocca. This novella’s ratings on Goodreads are at 20.8K+ with written reviews at 6.6K. These numbers for a book published by a small press like Weird Punk are unheard of. I’ve never seen anything like it. Continue Reading

Review: The Strange Things We Become and Other Dark Tales by Eric LaRocca

cover of The Strange Things We Become and Other Dark Tales by Eric LaRoccaThe Strange Things We Become and Other Dark Tales by Eric LaRocca
Off Limits Press (September 2021)
128 pages; $13 paperback; $6.99 e-book
Reviewed by Sadie “Mother Horror” Hartmann

Nobody could comfortably follow an act in indie horror fiction like Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke, except Eric LaRocca with another release.
Things Have Gotten Worse… broke every record for sales and reviews I have ever seen for an indie release. That book was released in June and just three months later, here we are with The Strange Things We Become.Continue Reading