Castle of Horror Launch Party

My home was recently visited by two toads on a launch party of their own. I assume they either saw the frog in my front window or instinctively knew a man named Jeremiah would be helpful to amphibians of all kinds. I rescued these guys from where they’d trapped themselves and added a cover to keep them from making the same mistake twice.

That’s just one of the adventures in home ownership I’ve had in the last month. I plan on doing a full post on how my Sanctum Sanctorum came out soon, but I’m here today to talk about Castle of Horror Anthology Volume 5: Thinly Veiled. You can now get your electronic or paperback copy off Amazon, and we’re doing a Launch Party on 06/15. If you want to attend, you can find the details here. The idea for this anthology was to tell spooky tales about famous 1970s media obscured through a thinly veiled lens. So, for instance, my story concerns a famous 1970s rock band that dressed up in wild outfits and painted their faces. We call them by one name in the real world, but in my world, they go by the name Smooch. Can you guess who they are? There are 23 thinly veiled references in “The Blood-Inked Comic Book” for readers to try to unveil. Many of these should be easy for fans of Marvel Comics, but I’m sure a couple will trip people up. I’d love for anyone who reads the story to detail the references they believe they figured out in a comment below.

Until Next Time,

Stay Froggy,

Jeremiah

 

The Hectic Time We Call Spring

Does anyone else feel like time starts to move at double speed in April? I guess it’s making up for how slow March usually feels. There’s so much to relay, but I’ll try to keep this brief.

First and foremost, I bought a house, and I’m spending most of my free time preparing to move in. I’m extremely excited to have my own office, which I’ll be referring to as my Sanctum Sanctorum because I’ve been reading a lot of Doctor Strange recently. When I move into the house in May, it will be the first time I’m not writing out of a bedroom.

I’m also busy on the publishing front. I’ve got four stories coming out in the next few months. The first is being released  today (April 28th) in Hundred Word Horror: Beneath, and it’s called “The Hunger Within.” The tale follows a shady morgue worker making an unexpected finding. Be warned, the story is a little graphic. Next up is “Starship Thoughts” in Hundred Word Horror: Cosmos, slated for release on May 26th. While the title gives you a good idea of what the tale is about, I’m excited to see what people think of the story’s formatting.

My Kiss-inspired horror story “The Blood Inked Comic Book” will be appearing in Castle of Horror Anthology Volume 5: Thinly Veiled. I think “The Blood Inked Comic” is probably the most Jeremiah Dylan Cook story I’ve ever had published. Castle of Horror Anthology Volume 5 is currently open for pre-order and will be out on June 15th. The paperback isn’t available yet but will be closer to the release date.

Lastly, my fantasy story “The Wizard’s Duel” is in Like Sunshine After Rain, a charity anthology edited by Heidi Ruby Miller. Proceeds for Like Sunshine After Rain benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. If you haven’t already done so, please consider pre-ordering a copy for this fantastic cause. If you need extra incentive, my wife says “The Wizard’s Duel” is her favorite story that I’ve written to date.

Alright, I think that’s all the fun stuff I had to talk about. Now I must get back to sanding and painting my Sanctum Sanctorum. If only I could use magic…

Until Next Time,

Stay Froggy,

Jeremiah

 

P.S. Totally forgot to mention that I’ve also got a Weird Western going on New Pulp Tales. It’s called The Sheriff and the Samurai, and you should check it out.

 

Dark Blood Comes from the Feet

Dark Blood Comes from the Feet is an excellent debut short story collection. Author Emma J. Gibbon fills her book with an eclectic and fun mix of tales. Horror fans will find a diverse group of subgenres represented within the pages and will be delighted to encounter Body Horror, Vampires, Witches, Haunted Houses, Urban Legends, Monsters, and more. Each tale is short but leaves a memorable impression. I tried to make a list of my favorite stories in this book and realized I’d nearly written down the entire table of contents. When I paired that first list down, I was left with St. Scholastica’s Home for Children of the Sea, Black Shuck Tavern, Cellar Door, The Tale of Bobby Red Eyes, Janine, and This is Not the Glutton Club, but what your favorites are will depend on what horror subgenres you prefer. The prose is also wonderful throughout, and I had an effortless time moving through this book. I can’t wait to see what Gibbon does next.

Read more of my work

View all my Goodreads reviews

The Hungry Cemetery Victorious

I just wanted to extend a heartfelt thanks to everyone who voted for my story “The Hungry Cemetery” while it was competing in Purple Wall Stories monthly writing competition. You’re the reason I was able to win. It’s incredibly humbling to have friends and family who are willing to take a moment out of their busy lives to help me achieve a goal. Hopefully, I’ll continue to scribble out the kinds of stories that entertain you. As a final farewell to my time promoting “The Hungry Cemetery,” I thought I’d share these pictures of the cemetery that inspired the story. These were all taken on my first wedding anniversary. My wife and I had planned to visit the United Kingdom for this occasion, but COVID forced us to cancel our trip, and we ended up on a hike instead. My story “Lost Vintage” in Castle of Horror’s Women Running from Houses anthology was also inspired by this locale.

Thanks again for all your support.

Stay Froggy,

Jeremiah

House of Windows

If you like a spooky story woven through with themes of fatherhood, references to Charles Dickens, and the occasional eruption of Hellraiser-like aesthetics, then House of Windows is the novel for you. John Langan is one of my favorite authors, and I was delighted to get a copy of his first book, House of Windows, from my wife for Christmas. This novel did not disappoint my high expectations.

Spoilers Below

Much like Langan’s other work, House of Windows contains a kind of Russian Nesting Doll narrative. On the top level, there is Veronica telling a horror writer the story of how her husband disappeared. The level below that is Veronica’s tale itself, and within that level, there are several digressions into other sub-levels. Some of these sub-levels are about Belvedere House, the spooky home that plays a major part of the tale, and others are backstory related to Veronica or her husband’s history. Each piece fits perfectly into the tapestry of House of Windows.

While House of Windows seems like a haunted house story at first glance, it’s actually more of a haunted father story. The novel’s primary conflict stems from a curse that Veronica’s husband, Roger, places on his son, Ted. Roger places the curse on Ted after the two get into a physical fight over the fact that Roger left Ted’s mother to marry Veronica, his college student. Due to Ted’s death soon after the curse, Roger is unable to reconcile with his son, and Veronica is soon haunted by visions and reminders of Ted, figuratively and literally. Ted’s death breaks Roger, and to try to be closer to his lost son, Roger decides to move him and Veronica into the home where he raised Ted, Belvedere House. Once in Belvedere House, Roger becomes increasingly obsessed with his lost son’s death, and Ted’s haunting of Veronica gets progressively more intense until the novel’s climax, where Roger disappears during a supernatural event. There’s a lot I’m leaving out, but that’s the bare-bones summary of the book.

Having just completed my own house hunt, and thinking an awful lot about fatherhood these days, made House of Windows the perfect novel for me to read this month. I was enthralled by the history of Belvedere House, which is implied to have contributed to and empowered Ted’s haunting, and I was attuned to the cycles of trauma Langan illustrated with Roger and Ted’s relationship. I was also fascinated by Langan’s craft choices in House of Windows. Most of the novel is told in two long sections without chapter breaks. This is done to reflect Veronica telling her tale in long narrations over the course of two nights. I thought this was a clever choice, and I found myself turning the pages quicker because of the lack of interruption.

House of Windows is an excellent read, with a ton of moments that will please horror genre fans as well as insights into the human condition that will please literary genre fans. Langan excels at balancing these two group’s expectations in his work. While I felt that his second novel, The Fisherman, leaned more toward the horror side of the genre seesaw, House of Windows leans a little more to the literary side. Regardless of which side of the genre seesaw you prefer to sit on, House of Windows is worth your time.

P.S.

If you like John Langan’s work as much as I do, you might be interested in checking out my reviews of The Fisherman, The Wide Carnivorous Sky, or Sefira.

Read more of my work

View all my Goodreads reviews