Revelations: Kristi DeMeester

Banner for Revelations, the column written by Kevin Lucia for Cemetery Dance

photo of author Krist DeMeester
Kristi DeMeester

As many of you know, I began this column (almost five years ago, which is a little mind-blowing) with the intention of chronicling the writers who impacted me during a very transitional period in my writing career. Writers who exposed me to new things, new kinds of horrors and writing styles. However, a year or so ago I realized this column should evolve and start featuring newly discovered contemporary writers right alongside the masters of years gone by. The first of these newly discovered writers was Peter Laws. Today’s featured writer is Kristi DeMeester, author of the amazing, beautifully bleak novel Beneath, and the powerful short story collection Everything That’s Underneath.Continue Reading

Review: The Writing Life: Reflections, Recollections, and a Lot of Cursing by Jeff Strand

cover of The Writing Life by Jeff StrandThe Writing Life: Reflections, Recollections, and a Lot of Cursing by Jeff Strand
Independently Published (December 2020)
276 pages; $11.99 paperback; $2.99 e-book
Reviewed by Kevin Lucia

If you’re a horror writer or even just a Stephen King fan, you’ve probably read his treatise on the writing biz, On Writing, multiple times. And for good reason, because it’s one of the best books on writing there is, imparted in that casual storyteller way only King has mastered. If I were to recommend only three writing books to prospective writers, On Writing would be the first book I’d recommend. A close second would be Zen in the Art of Writing, by the venerable Ray Bradbury.Continue Reading

Review: Devil’s Creek by Todd Keisling

cover of Devil's Creek by Todd KeislingDevil’s Creek by Todd Keisling
Silver Shamrock Publishing (June 2020)
404 pages; $15.99 paperback; $5.99 e-book
Reviewed by Kevin Lucia

Todd Keisling’s Devil’s Creek recently made it onto the Final Ballot for the Bram Stoker Award in Superior Achievement in a Novel, and there’s good reason for that. It’s very likely the best thing I read in 2020, and also one of my favorite contemporary horror novels, period. Reviewers have compared it to Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot, and while usually I might roll my eyes slightly at such a comparison, in this case it’s very apt. Continue Reading

Revelations: Shadows and Borderlands

Banner for Revelations, the column written by Kevin Lucia for Cemetery Dance

I’m only an armchair observer and by no means an expert, but it seems in the last six years the horror genre has witnessed a blossoming short story anthology market. And no offense to anyone, but I mean good markets offering quality stories and top-notch production values, not lots of people discovering the novelty of quick and easy self-publishing in order to issue sub-standard collections through Lulu or Createspace, which seemed very common about eight or nine years ago. (Again, I apologize for any snark; that’s just my opinion, only).Continue Reading

Revelations: The Horror Radio of Quiet, Please!

Banner for Revelations, the column written by Kevin Lucia for Cemetery Dance

I apologize for my absence. This past summer I had major reconstructive surgery on my foot. Unfortunately, it took a lot out of me. However, I’m ready to resume my exploration of the works of horror which have played a role in my development as a writer, so I hope you’ll rejoin me on this journey.

For those new to this column, it began several years ago as I began reflecting on an experience which sent me on a quest through the works of horror writers who came before me. Up until then, I’d been a faithful reader of the Holy Trinity: Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Peter Straub. Also, whatever Leisure Fiction was putting out at the time. However, after that fateful evening with F. Paul Wilson, Tom Monteleone, and Stuart David Schiff, I began searching out writers who had previously been only names to me, and nothing more.Continue Reading

Review: Fishing by P. Gardner Goldsmith

cover of Fishing by P. Gardner GoldsmithFishing by P. Gardner Goldsmith
Shadowridge Press (February 2017)
132 pages; $10.99 paperback
Reviewed by Kevin Lucia

P. Gardner Goldsmith’s Fishing is a hallucinatory, Kafka-esque, surreal ride which invokes reflections of Charles Beaumont and Rod Serling by way of Ray Garton and even Richard Laymon. Gardner’s terse, tightly-controlled prose thrums with drive and energy, and even though it’s precise and efficient, it occasionally breaks out into a lyricism invoking ghosts of Ray Bradbury himself.Continue Reading

Review: Eden by Tim Lebbon

cover of Eden by Tim LebbonEden by Tim Lebbon
Titan Books (April 2020)
384 pages; $11.99 paperback; $8.99 e-book
Reviewed by Kevin Lucia

It’s amazing how quickly nature overcomes what man has built. During quarantine, I’ve spent hours walking paths in the woods I haven’t for years, visiting old camping spots, and one spot in particular: a clearing near a creek where, five years ago, we built a fire pit with cinder-blocks, erected a small, portable charcoal grill, and built several wooden tables and chairs.Continue Reading

Review: watch the whole goddamned thing burn by doungjai gam

cover of watch the whole goddamned thing burnwatch the whole goddamned thing burn by doungjai gam
Nightscape Press (May 2020)
50 pages; $30 Limited Edition
Reviewed by Kevin Lucia

If you’ve read doungjai gam’s glass slipper dreams, shattered and savored that collection’s wonderfully  raw emotion, then her recent novella from Nightscape Press—llustrated by the immensely talented Luke Spooner—is a must buy. In it, gam takes all of the intensity and power of her verse and packs it into prose, weaving a highly emotional and devastating tale which will leave you gasping for breath and, quite possibly, weeping at its end.Continue Reading

Kevin Lucia talks Mystery Road on “Into the Abyss”

While taping a recent episode of their YouTube show Into the Abyss, author CW Briar launched into a Q&A session with co-host Kevin Lucia regarding Kevin’s new book, Mystery Road. We thought you would enjoy it, so Kevin has made it available below!

Mystery Road, released as part of the Cemetery Dance Novella Series, is now available as a limited edition hardcover and an eBook.Continue Reading

Review: The Half-Freaks by Nicole Cushing

The Half-Freaks by Nicole Cushing
Grimscribe Press (November 2019)
122 pages; $15 paperback; $9 e-book
Reviewed by Kevin Lucia

It’s amazing — and, somewhat depressing — to consider that, even if you’re a prodigious reader, there will always be more books to read than there are hours and days in a year. I try to console myself with that fact when I keep hearing about this author I should read, or that author, especially when they’re authors I’ve been meaning to read for years. So, when Nicole Cushing’s The Half-Freaks fell into my hands, I took the chance to finally read something by an author I’ve been “meaning to read” for years.Continue Reading

Revelations: The Third Level by Jack Finney

Banner for Revelations, the column written by Kevin Lucia for Cemetery Dance

Author photo of Jack Finney
Jack Finney

Ironically, in my quest to discover other horror writers besides Stephen King, (I adore King’s work but at that time, I was reading him exclusively), it was King himself who helped lead the way. Somewhere in the middle of that quest I finally, for the first time, read his non-fiction treatise on the horror genre, Danse Macabre (which you should all do, right now). Continue Reading

Review: Shades by Geoff Cooper and Brian Keene

Shades by Geoff Cooper and Brian Keene
Poltergeist Press (January 2020)
194 pages; $10.99 paperback; $2.99 e-book
Reviewed by Kevin Lucia

By the time I stumbled into the horror scene, Shades was a long-out of print Cemetery Dance title, and I was sad I’d missed the boat. I love coming-of-age stories, and this one looked awesome. Imagine my delight when I learned Poltergeist Press was re-releasing it in paperback and ebook. It went right on the birthday list, and lucky me, it showed up in the mail on that blessed day.Continue Reading

Review: Beyond the Gate by Mary SanGiovanni

Beyond the Gate by Mary SanGiovanni
Lyrical Underground (November 2019)
197 pages; $15.95 paperback; $8.69 e-book
Reviewed by Kevin Lucia

If you’re a fan of cosmic horror and you’ve yet to delve into the work of Mary SanGiovanni, you need to rectify that, immediately. Without a doubt, SanGiovanni is one the best writers on the cosmic horror scene today. And best of all, SanGiovanni hasn’t been content to rehash old Lovecraftian gods. She’s invented her own mythos full of eldritch beings and malevolent aliens, a dizzying pantheon of epic proportions that is fresh, original, and contemporary. Her Hollower trilogy is still one of my favorites, and I still maintain that Thrall is simply one of the most original novels of cosmic horror I’ve ever read.Continue Reading

Review: A Wind of Knives by Ed Kurtz

A Wind of Knives by Ed Kurtz
Independently Published (December 2019)
140 pages; $7.99 paperback; $2.99 e-book
Reviewed by Kevin Lucia

A Wind of Knives by Ed Kurtz is a grim beauty to behold. One part realistic western reminiscent of the late Ed Gorman’s work; one part rumination on the nature of love and the desperate ties which bind us together; all parts sad, brutal, and tragic. This isn’t a Saturday afternoon spaghetti western in which the good guys wear white and the bad guys  wear black, with blazing six guns and stalwart heroes riding off into the sunset. It’s a melancholic story of a man fueled by revenge and the deep, aching pain that not only comes from loss, but also from the deepest kinds of betrayal.Continue Reading

Into the Abyss with Kevin Lucia, CW Briar and Thomas McDonough

Into the Abyss creepy logoKevin Lucia stays plenty busy teaching, editing reviews for Cemetery Dance, writing horror fiction, and raising kids. So, naturally, he decided to develop a new YouTube show devoted to horror to fill his “spare time.”

Welcome to Into the Abyss, coming at you every week from Lucia’s “horror cave” and featuring CW Briar and Thomas McDonough as co-hosts. The guys break down horror movies, talk about books, and generally welcome us all into their horror-centric get-togethers.

We’re big fans of the show here at Cemetery Dance, and we think you’ll all enjoy it, too. In this special episode, Cemetery Dance Managing Editor Blu Gilliand sent the guys a few questions to help them introduce themselves and their show to you! Check out the full video below.Continue Reading