“Ballad of the Broken Hearts at the Danse Macbre” by Kevin Lucia

banner that says Cemetery Dance Free Fiction

It’s publication day for Kevin Lucia as Crystal Lake Publishing releases October Nights, his collection of Halloween-themed short stories. To celebrate, Cemetery Dance is proud to share “Ballad of the Broken Hearts at the Danse Macabre,” a Halloween-themed short story that is NOT included in October Nights. Think of it as a bonus story, a companion to Lucia’s collection (which he discussed with us in a Q&A right here.)

Enjoy!

Continue Reading

Celebrating OCTOBER NIGHTS with author Kevin Lucia

October Nights banner

This October, Kevin Lucia fulfills a dream with the release of a new collection of Halloween-themed short stories, October Nights. Crystal Lake Publishing will be releasing the collection on October 22, so this seemed like the perfect time to ask the author a few questions about his work, and to pick his brain about his — and our — favorite holiday, Halloween.

Continue Reading

Revelations: The Short Fiction of Charles Beaumont

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

photo of author Charles Beaumont
Charles Beaumont

Just as I’ve discovered writers who only wrote a handful of stories and then, for a variety of reasons, didn’t write anymore, I’ve also discovered writers whose careers — and lives — were sadly cut short before they could reach their fullest potential. On one hand, I’m eminently grateful for the work they produced; on the other hand, I can only imagine what they could’ve accomplished if they’d lived longer. One of those writers is the inimitable Charles Beaumont.Continue Reading

Kevin Lucia, Horror Oasis team up to offer free e-books!

free e-books from Kevin Lucia and Horror Oasis

Longtime Cemetery Dance pal Kevin Lucia has partnered with Horror Oasis for an amazing giveaway: sign up for the Horror Oasis newsletter and get five e-books featuring some of Kevin’s short stories for free!

The stories offered are “Therapy,” “Lament,” “A Circle that Ever Returneth,” “When We All Meet at the Ofrenda,” and “Almost Home.”

Kevin’s a busy man these days, writing new fiction, working on his YouTube show “Into the Abyss,” and much more! You can keep up with all of his shenanigans at his website.

 

Revelations: Manly Wade Wellman’s John the Balladeer

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

photo of author Manly Wade Wellman
Manly Wade Wellman

One of the absolute delights of digging through the horror genre’s past is discovering stories and characters which pre-date and pre-figure contemporary stories and characters I’ve enjoyed. In The Philosophy of Horror, Noel Carroll posits that horror is one of the few literary genres which consistently builds upon its past, in that its practitioners not only consciously pay their respects to their history in the form of homages and pastiches, but they also attempt to create something new out of the old, in some cases reinventing a trope, subverting it, or, in the case of Paul Tremblay’s Head Full of Ghosts or Kristi DeMeester’s Beneath, reinventing, subverting, and paying homage all at once.Continue Reading

Revelations: Russell Kirk

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

Russell Kirk

When you engage in any kind of artistic “career” over a certain period of time, lots of preconceived notions are shed. Nowhere is that truer than in writing. It’s part of the gig. Over time, idealistic goals either vanish altogether, or, in the best case scenario, transform into more obtainable goals. 

For me, it was the notion of writing full time. Writing as the day job. Spending my workday solely in my invented worlds. Many of my fellow writers have gone through the same transition. Realizing that for whatever reason, writing as a full-time career simply wasn’t in the cards. 

When I began my exploration into the history of the horror genre, accepting this as a reality became a lot easier. It amazed me how many wonderful writers I encountered who never broke into a “full time” writing career. In some cases, they wrote one or two stories, and never wrote again.Continue Reading

Review: Possessed by Peter Laws

cover of Possessed by Peter LawsPossessed by Peter Laws
Alison and Busby (July 2020)
330 pages; $4.57 paperback; $4.34 e-book
Reviewed by Kevin Lucia

I first encountered Peter Laws in his nonfiction book The Frighteners: A Journey Through Our Cultural Fascination With the Macabre. I stumbled over it quite by accident on Amazon, looking for who knows what, and of course by Reverend Peter Laws caught my eye. An ordained minister writing a nonfiction book about how it’s totally normal to love the dark and the weird? Sign me up.Continue Reading

Revelations: Algernon Blackwood

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

black and white photo of author Algernon Blackwood
Algernon Blackwood

Writing this column is occasionally daunting. I often grapple with the unfortunate reality that not only is it impossible for me to completely cover every important horror/spec fic writer, it’s also hard to read everything written by the writers I highlight. In some cases — writers with modest outputs, or contemporary writers I’ve been reading right along — that’s not such a difficulty. 

However, with other writers,  such as the focus of today’s column — Algernon Blackwood — I simply have to be content with believing I’ve read enough of their work to offer an informed opinion and recommendation. Even so, there’s still that little irrational insecurity (anyone who knows me knows I’m nothing more than a bundle of irrational insecurities) someone will pipe up in the comments, “Oh, but have you read THIS story by INSERT AUTHOR NAME HERE? You haven’t? Oh.”Continue Reading

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