My photo
(pronounced Ko-Hane)
Dan is the Bram Stoker-nominated author of Plague of Darkness, Solomon’s Grave, and the critically-acclaimed Margaret's Ark. Writing as G. Daniel Gunn, he released Destroyer of Worlds and the novella (written with L.L.Soares) Nightmare in Greasepaint (Samhain Publishing),. His short stories have appeared in Cemetery Dance, Shroud Magazine, Apex Digest and many more. He and his family live in New England.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My First Cinema Knife Fight Review: 2012

I'm the new science fiction movie reviewer for the Stoker-nominated review site Cinema Knife Fight run by L.L. Soares and Michael Arruda. My first review - covering the disaster flick 2012 - had just been posted! New content is being added all the time so if you don't see it, scroll down a bit. Agree or not with my take, hope you enjoy it. My next slated review, for next month, is the film MOON.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Reading in Princeton Wednesday the 28th, 7:30

I'll be doing a reading, with other local Princeton writers, this Wednesday evening April 28th at 7:30 at the
Princeton Center building (18 Boylston Avenue) in an open mike night in honor of National Poetry Month. If you're in the area, be great to see you there!

Yea, because of this and Amanda's dance schedule, poor Audrey has to wait until Thursday to celebrate her 13th birthday! :-(

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Chasing the Dragon

Now and then I come across those mysterious of books: novellas, shorter in word/page count than a novel, but longer than a short story. Quite a few novellas are being published lately (the most reported these days is Blockade Billy by Stephen King just released). The great thing about novellas is that authors can build far more in-depth characters in a story which is long enough to accomodate it, but where the story itself doesn't lend to novel-length. I just finished Chasing the Dragon, by Nicholas Kaufmann, recently published by Chi-Zine Publications. You hear about these lesser known works, being in the business, and from time to time you come across such an original, extremely well-written story you wish more people heard about them. But such is the lesser known novella market. Enter people like me, with blogs, who can spread the word! Chasing the Dragon is the story of a modern day St George the Dragonslayer. In fact, she's a direct descendant, named Georgia. Without going much into the plot, there is both the literal chasing the dragon, and figurative, this being the Cantonese slang for smoking heroine. The story is non-stop action, with such human (and inhuman) characters, I found myself looking forward to coming back to it. Also nice that it's available in an inexpensive paperback and kindle version. Anyway, I know Nick, and really enjoyed this story, so thought I'd put the word out!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Playbook For A Dame - Special $1 deal for Kindle

My friend and author Vivan Davenport has just released her new novel PLAYBOOK FOR A DAME for the Kindle for only $1.00! A buck for a book with this as it's description:

Dreams! Drive! Danger! Balls! It’s 1954. Mona Winston, now a ripe fifty-two, is hell-bent on finding fame on the stage. She’s devoted ten years to chasing after Hollywood film roles and New York teevee jobs. After a gig as a carnival hootchy-kootchy dancer, she lands in Metroville, the Broadway of the Midwest. Filled with more drive and self-delusion than talent, the hard-scrabble Mona knows she’ll make it, “because I’m tough!” Nevertheless, life is still a struggle. She survives prison time and a bout with amnesia. She tangles with dangerous men, including two exes, a lynch-happy farmer, and a merciless drama critic, but yearns for the only guy she trusts, a three-armed musician with an extra shoulder to cry on. Mona finally scores a choice role in a major Metroville play. On the brink of stardom when opening night arrives, she makes two startling discoveries and must choose between her shot at fame and a shot at being a stand-up broad. Woven with the prejudices of the time, PLAYBOOK FOR A DAME is one dame’s struggle to be somebody. Her juicy story is served with a dash of noir, a dollop of heart, and a heap of grit. 

Come on, now, how you you pass that up? While we wait patiently for Solomon's Grave to someday be available on Kindle, I highly recommend this new wild ride from the new name of the author of Foot Art is Good Art and Tall Buildings, and for only a buck! (and no, I'm not Vivian....)   :-)

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

An Old Interview I Did with Myself

Huh? Let me explain. HWA newsletter editor and market guru Kathy Ptacek found a couple of old articles (thanks, Kathy!) I'd done (oh, could be ten years ago now?) for the HWA newsletter. I'm reprinting one below, for fun. At the time, I was the webmaster, trying to get the old site up and running with content, etc. Anyway, I'd do a column every newsletter giving updates on the state of the site, and one month, got a little weird on people. For perspective, this was about 10 years ago, I'd maybe sold 3 or 4 stories... Still, I get a kick out myself, as I thought this was pretty funny. Maybe no one else will, but hell, it's my blog, eh?

An Interview with Dan Keohane

by Dan Keohane

We in the HWA have a commitment to bring you up close and personal glimpses of the people shaping the horror industry, to talk with these sculptors of words and pictures to see what makes them tick. When the chance came to interview none other than horror master Dan Keohane, we felt the only person qualified to carry such a conversation off was Dan himself. That, and no one else wanted to do it. Both interviewer and interviewee deeply regret any lack of professional-ism this article may display, horror being such a serious business after all. Comments or suggestions in the vein should be sent to lightenupalittle@ horror.org.

We met up with Mr. Keohane at a quaint, overpriced coffee shop in Massachusetts.

HWA: I have to admit, one doesn’t see too many Hawaiian horror writers out there.

DK: No, no. I’m not Hawaiian. My name is pronounce "Ko-Hayne" ... rhymes with "slow train," sort of. It’s Irish, though to add to the confusion it’s pronounced much differently overseas. In Ireland, my name would rhyme with "bunches of mackerels pointed skyward," sort of.

HWA: Let’s talk about your writing, then. The last couple of years have been banner ones for you, at least according to a questionable bio someone handed me. I have to admit that I’ve never read anything you’ve published.

DK: But ... you’re me ...

HWA: Work with me on this.

DK: Sorry. I mostly get comments on my historical accounts of British government, which is always nice, except I’ve never written any of those. That’s the other Dan Keohane.

HWA: I’m afraid you’re mistaken. I didn’t write those.

DK: No, no. The other other Dan Keohane.

HWA: I understand you’re also the Webmaster for the Horror Writers Association. Anything exciting going on?

DK: Things have been mostly quiet on that front, which is nice for a change. I get to answer the Web-phone when it rings, but I still have to call Steve Dorato if it ever breaks. However, the big news is the addition of Anthony Beal to the Web team! Anthony has taken on the reins of HWA Web news anchor, keeping the long-neglected news pages up-to-date. Everyone say "hi" to Anthony!

HWA: (after the restaurant patrons nervously mutter "Hi, Anthony" over their food): So, the team is growing by leaps and bounds. That’s always nice.

DK: Indeed. By the time this newsletter comes out, we’ll have gotten an updated Member Directory online. Also, we’ve incorporated John Turi’s new HWA logo to all of the Web site pages—looks darn nice.

HWA: That’s great, but I think we should get this interview back on track.

DK: No problem. Oh, and though it’s been up there for a while, I still have yet to mention that the multi-talented Edo van Belkom has his article "So, Who Wants to be a Horror Writer?" up on our Writing Tips page! A great piece and something we all should read. Thanks, Edo. And don’t forget Amy Grech has Kathy Ptacek’s updated Market Listings loaded every month as soon as the newsletter comes out, and even maintains an archive of every Internet Mailer!

HWA: You know, I can’t help but feel that your agreeing to do this interview was a ruse to get your Web site article past the editors.

DK: (laughs) Don’t be ridiculous. Go ahead—ask me a question.

HWA: It’s been said many times that the market for horror fiction is in a slump, yet other people say the horror industry has never been stronger. Is the socio-economic make-up of the genre’s readership expanding, or contracting, and if the former rather than the latter, is it due to maturing readership once hooked on Goosebumps now "coming of age" as it were, and—

DK: (interrupting) You be sure and let me know when it’s my turn to talk, OK?

HWA: Of course ... and with such an influx of additional constituents emerging from the dungeons of Harry Potter, slowly traveling along the road of dark fiction, do you think—

WAITER: Excuse me, sir.

HWA: Yes?

DK: Yes?

WAITER: (after a pause). I have to insist you order now. And the manager has asked that you stop talking into that mirror. The other customers are becoming agitated.

HWA: Oh ... sorry.

DK: I think he was talking to me. Let’s seeeee .... I’ll have the fifteen dollar bowl of soup with a ham and cheese half-sandwich.

WAITER: Of course.

HWA: And I’ll have what he’s having ...

Monday, April 05, 2010

Stoker Certificate

Every Stoker nominee gets one of these very cool certificates confirming our nomination. I'd framed it and wanted to take a photo before the awards, but our digital camera got Sat-On before I could. We finally got one so I thought you'd enjoy (not that you have a choice, it's my website, lol) seeing what one looks like...



Theater of the Morning

Speaking of that state when he first wakes up and still in bed, Ray Bradbury says,
"At that point of the day, all kinds of thoughts and stories come to my mind. Many of those are metaphors. It is like all my characters come to me and talk to me. What I have to do then is wake up and start writing what these voices are suggesting to me. I let them write the story! I call it: the theater of the morning."
(interview with Beatrice Cassina, The Writers Handbook 2004)

It would be nice some day to be able to sit in bed every morning, think about what to write, then actually get up and do so. Actually, I should be able to. I should just do it, but I'm not much of a morning person. My Theater of the Morning usually draws open its curtain when I'm going to bed, or driving, but in the mornings... it varies. Depends what's going on in the world. In the past, I would wake up and my mind felt new, like a street the morning after a major wind / rainstorm had blown through the night before. Air is clean, everything washed new. I would wake up, and for a few moments not remember anything from the night or day before, remember nothing except perhaps the dream which just ended. All was well, quiet, rested, then, slowly, the real world creeps in. But for a brief moment there was no - well, no anything. Like I said, there could have been a dream, sometimes intense (nightmares are my usual fare), other times seemingly pointless, and other times very happy. When times are at their roughest, I sometimes dream that they aren't, that everything that had happened was itself a dream, and now things were good, happy, then I wake, still happy, the dream lingering, until reality creeps in and what is real, what is not, sorts itself into the proper order. But in that flash... in that flash, the stress and pain was gone.

The Theater of the Morning is when dream-journalers scurry to grab the notebook from the bedside table and write down every detail of the dream before it fractures and blows away in the wind of wakefulness. For most, it's a simple, slow breath of clean air before throwing aside the sheets and letting the cold morning do it's wakey-wakey thing. Brush teeth, pat the dog, head to work, or work-out, or for some lucky few wandering into the study or kitchen table to write. I do write in the mornings sometimes, at Starbucks (gave up on Panera Bread because they have free Internet access and that was one more distraction/temptation I didn't need), at lunch (depending on work schedule) at the cafeteria or even at Borders, in the car if I'm not the driver, sometimes at night. Driving, though, is usually when my head's lost in the theater. Working out points. When I'm writing, when I'm deep into it, I'm there, too, and there is result. I miss that, miss the days when what to write in any given chapter was the hardest choice to make. But it's been a long time since that's been the case. But the Theater is always there, waiting for the audience, waiting for attention. Somedays it's easier to hop up onto it than others, hopefully these days will come again with more frequency. Maybe some day I can wake up from a bad dream and the dream will slowly fade as I realize that's all it was, and that everything is, in fact, OK in the world.