Halloween Hangover?

I don’t know about you, but Spooky Season is one of my favorite seasons. After that, it just gets cold and…merry…(shudders).

So, I’ve got a bit of a Halloween Hangover (and not just because my Vella just released part three of three in its Halloween party episodes!).

The HAUNTED: Deluxe Illustrated Collector’s Edition has been well received, so thank you to anyone who picked up a copy to keep the spooky times rolling.

I’m currently working on a collection of short stories centered around death and extinction (sounds fun, right?), which will likely also make its debut on Vella.

Now it’s November, and I need your help. If you’re not aware, Vella has these things it calls “faves” — basically a vote for your favorite story you read that week.

I kind of love that my Vella about a teen pretending to be a vampire…is the #2 fave in vampires.

They reset at the start of the month, and there’s a lot of shifting and vying for positions in these early days.

So…I need your help. 5 minutes of your time.

A new month means it’s time to crown the new kings and queens of Vella! This is the NUMBER ONE way for new people to learn about the story. I hate to ask, but it makes a huge difference.


If you’re in the US, go to my SOCIAL VAMPIRE page (https://www.amazon.com/kindle-vella/story/B0BDGM1J8J) and unlock any episode (past 1-3). Then you get to vote for your “fave” — this should pop up automatically after you like the episode at the bottom, but if not, you can click the icon noted in the image below:


If you’re not in the US, I’m sorry they STILL haven’t made it available for you to read. Fear not, it will be available in print & ebook (and I’m looking into audiobook) in 2023.

Now I’m going to go crawl under a rock and try to recover from how awkward it felt asking this of my fans.

Does anyone have any bonus spooky stories they can give me? I’m enjoying Cabinet of Curiosities on Netflix. What about you?

Flash Sale – Kindle Vella

In case you missed it… 
15 chapters of “Social Vampire” are waiting for you!

We had a long holiday weekend, so in case Wednesday’s post was lost in the shuffle, today is the FINAL DAY of the Kindle Vella sale. There are 15 episodes waiting for you to unlock on Social Vampire, and best of all, I still get an author royalty. Win/win!

I’m at almost 1,000 chapter reads for the week thanks to this promo. Can you help me reach my goal? Check out Social Vampire now: https://www.amazon.com/kindle-vella/story/B0BDGM1J8J

Some final points:
-Even after this flash sale ends, Prime Members will receive 200 free “tokens” to unlock future episodes. Which is great news, because episode 16 drops tomorrow!
-If you’ve started reading and you’re following the story, THANK YOU. Please consider leaving a review before the story has completed. The idea is to get people to jump on the bandwagon while the wheels are still in motion.
-I appreciate you. This is different from my other works, but if you appreciate my prose, the humor I generally suffuse into my writing, and the care with which I try to craft compelling narratives — then I think you’ll love Social Vampire as much as I do!

Have you started reading "Social Vampire" yet?

Read Now

At a new school, you get a chance to reinvent yourself.
So…why not be a vampire?

HAUNTED: Special Edition

It’s here, and it’s extra spooky. In fact, it’s Spooktacular! The HAUNTED: Deluxe Illustrated Collector’s Edition hardcover is now in stock.

I was supposed to write this blog post yesterday, as I’d already teased it in the “steps forward” portion of my newest blog post but I spiked a 105*f temperature and was busy with lucid fever dreams. Which is rather apropos, as that’s exactly what this alternate cover art is meant to convey.

What else makes this Spooktacular edition so special? All new content, available for the first time, including:

  • An interactive author foreword.
  • New cover art, bound in hardcover. An impressive tome any respectable necromancer should own.
  • Fully illustrated interior; a mix between original line drawings and road hazard signs to help signpost and guide your path.
  • Expanded maps and floorplans detailing more of the Tansky House than ever before.
  • A flowchart story map to help you navigate the twists and turns of this fiendish book.

Of course, you can still enjoy HAUNTED as an ebook or paperback. I just thought it would be fun to make something extra special for collectors, which is available in time for Halloween and will keep you up at night all spooky season. Ready? Here’s the sales page: http://hyperurl.co/HAUNTEDillustrated

With that, it’s time for more Tylenol. I’ll leave you with more fun previews of the interior:

What do YOU think? Excited? Unenthused? Ready for special editions of more in the Click Your Poison series? Let me know in the comments below and keep it spooky!

Behind the Veil: A Look Inside HAUNTED

Come with me into Tansky House, where I’ll give you a behind-the-scenes peek at the world and inspiration for the book. Reader Beware: SPOILERS follow!

First, let’s judge a book by its cover. The house on the cover art was inspired by the historic Carson mansion in California, which Wikipedia calls, “the most grand Victorian home in America.” I knew I wanted Queen Anne style architecture for my story, and the house has already served as inspiration for several haunted house digital models, so it fit my needs perfectly.

But what about the interior?

This piece of inspiration came from another real-life source: a house listed for sale, that had a secret jail hiding inside its walls. A former sheriff’s residence, now an inconspicuous single family home.

You’ll notice that kitchen door looks very familiar…

As for the events of the story itself? Well, at the start of the book, it’s claimed that “the following horrors are inspired by true events.” While this is an overt nod to horror films where even the most outlandish story is claimed to be true, it’s also not a lie…

Many of the events in the book are taken straight from the headlines.

For example: the man who found a woman living in a crawlspace in his celling.

In addition to story moments ripped from the headlines, I binged horror movies, books, and television shows. The one that left the most profound mark on my own story has to be the one that arguably started it all: The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson.

The Haunting of Hill House was my favorite read while I was researching and diving deep into haunted house stories. It’s safe to say, part of what I loved was the ambiguity. You, as the reader, had to choose what to believe. Was the main character losing her mind? Was the house truly haunted? Or was she manifesting the paranormal herself?

On the whole, interactive stories let the reader choose what to believe while reading: and thus make different choices. There are many different possible explanations as to what’s happening inside the house for HAUNTED, and I left bread-crumbs for you to collect based on your own beliefs. I have my own version of events, as will you. I’m excited to hear what people think they’ve experienced while exploring Tansky House.

Have you gotten HAUNTED yet? Let me know your thoughts below. Haven’t jumped in yet? Consider this your official invitation to spend three nights in the most haunted house in America…if you dare!

-JS

Chillingly Good

This review of HAUNTED posted on the eve before my birthday was a lovely gift. You don’t have to write a review this thorough, but I’m sharing because I think it represents the book nicely.

Have you gotten HAUNTED yet? If so, reviews are most welcomed. If not…don’t wait until the afterlife!

https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R1C65T5GULFLTJ/ref=cm_cr_dp_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B09JL76H72

HAUNTED: Contest Time!

The conceit behind HAUNTED is a contest of sorts (“Can YOU spend three nights in a haunted house for $1M?”), so…why not a contest for the book launch?

I’ve printed five copies of this exclusive map of the severely haunted Tansky House. That’s all I’m making. I’m keeping one, I’m giving two away to friends who helped me create these maps, and I’m giving two away…to YOU!

Poster you can win!
Actual historical floor plan used for reference.

The contests are being run on social media; one poster given away to Twitter followers and one given away to Facebook fans. So, follow the Click Your Poison official Twitter account or go like the Facebook page to see the full rules on how to win.

Here’s what the poster will look like on your wall. Good luck, everyone!

Get HAUNTED!

3 Unique Storylines. Over 50 Possible Endings. Just one question… 
Can YOU be Scared… to Death?

You have been invited to join us in Tansky House:

Today’s the big day! HAUNTED is currently available to purchase in all formats.

Still need convincing? Check out this trailer on YouTube:

The most frightening day of the year isn’t Halloween. It isn’t Friday the 13th. The scariest day of the year, in fact, is today–because today is the day you enter… The House.

PS — There are soon to be other launch events, promos, and prizes. Make sure you join up on Facebook and Twitter so you don’t miss out.

Are you still here? What are you waiting for, the afterlife? Get HAUNTED today!

Infectious Laughter

People seem to be drawn to the humor in INFECTED. As such, I was asked to create a list of the funniest zombie novels by a new book discovery site called Shepherd.

So, I did.

You can check out my list, why I chose each book, and browse the site itself, here:
https://shepherd.com/best-books/drop-dead-hilarious-zombie-books

What do YOU think?

I mean, I know you think my book is the funniest on this list, but other than that.

What else do you think?

Hauntings, New & Olde

Happy Halloween! In this blog post, I’m going to give you an update on HAUNTED (a ghostly & ghastly Click Your Poison book), but first: an announcement.

I’ve been trying to crack audiobooks for the better part of ten years. AND I’VE FINALLY DONE IT. Look at this:

Partnering with award-winning narrator R.C. Bray (that’s his voice in the teaser) and the fantastic team at Cubus Games, I give you Click Your Poison: INFECTED. The first audiogamebook of its kind, designed for your smartphone.

It’s available now on iPhone/iPad and Android devices.

AppStore: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/click-your-poison-infected/id1590501949

GooglePlay Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.cubusgames.cyp

If this project is successful, there will be more. So, if you like it, share the hell out of it. Here are those links again:

AppStore: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/click-your-poison-infected/id1590501949

GooglePlay Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.cubusgames.cyp


Now then. I can’t quite give you my haunted house story for Halloween, but the first draft is done! And you can pre-order HAUNTED now if you want to make sure you get your copy.

The book will launch on 2sday. 2/2/2022, which is exactly one year after SPIED. I had hoped to get HAUNTED out to you before Halloween (or hell, by Christmas), but this old house needed extensive renovations. I’m starting my rewrites next week based on some early feedback, but I think you’ll love it when it comes out.

Praise for HAUNTED:

  • “One helluva ghost story.”
    -Shirley Jackson, author of The Haunting of Hill House
  • “I’d seal my enemies in a cellar with a copy of HAUNTED, but that would be too good for them.”
    -Edgar Allen Poe, creator of the horror genre
  • “Decent story. Could’ve used more gables. ★★★”
    -Nathaniel Hawthorne, author of The House of Seven Gables

Here’s how it works: You, Dear Reader, are the main character of this story. The House will change and mold itself to your fears — based on your own choices. 

Go ahead over to that pre-order page now, just so you don’t miss it and Happy Halloween!

-JS

10 Years of Poisoned Paths

This blog was started some ten or so years ago when I embarked on my journey to be a professional writer. Now, I’m celebrating that milestone by releasing a special 10th Anniversary Illustrated Collector’s Edition Hardcover of INFECTED. Join me in celebrating this momentous occasion!

10th Anniversary Hardcover Edition

All new content, available for the first time, including:

  • An interactive author foreword.
  • New cover art, bound in hardcover. A book thick enough to bash in the brains of any zombie!
  • Fully illustrated interior; a mix between original line drawings and road hazard signs to help signpost and guide your path.
  • A sample from the original “Infected” screenplay that inspired the book.
  • A flowchart story map to help you navigate the apocalyptic wastelands.

Additionally, included are a book club discussion guide, and suggestions for how to play with friends.

3 Unique Storylines. Over 50 Possible Endings. Just one question… Will YOU Survive the Zombie Apocalypse?

What are you waiting for? Get your special edition of INFECTED today!