“THE FINAL RECONCILIATION” is on the ballot!

I’m a little late in getting this posted, but in case you don’t follow me on social media, here’s the news: THE FINAL RECONCILIATION is on the Bram Stoker Awards Preliminary Ballot for Superior Achievement in Long Fiction! Voting occurs on January 30th, with the nominees being announced on February 5th. If you’re a voting member of the HWA and would like to receive a copy of my novella, please get in touch.

Not going to lie: I’m stoked and honored and kind of over the moon about this. I don’t write for awards, but goddamn, folks, it feels great to be recognized for something like this, especially from my peers. I’m on this list along with many other incredible writers.

Seriously, check this out:

2017 Bram Stoker Awards® Preliminary Ballot

Superior Achievement in a Novel

Barker, J.D. – The Fourth Monkey (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Golden, Christopher – Ararat (St. Martin’s Press)

Jemc, Jac – The Grip of It (FSG Originals)

King, Stephen and King, Owen – Sleeping Beauties (Scribner)

Malerman, Josh – Black Mad Wheel (Ecco)

McGrath, Patrick – The Wardrobe Mistress (Hutchinson)

Miskowski, S.P. – I Wish I Was Like You (JournalStone)

Nevill, Adam – Under a Watchful Eye (Pan Macmillan)

Rabarts, Dan and Murray, Lee – Hounds of the Underworld (Raw Dog Screaming Press)

Purcell, Laura – The Silent Companions: A Ghost Story (Raven Books)

Tem, Steve Rasnic – Ubo (Solaris)


Superior Achievement in a First Novel

Cabeen, Robert Payne – Cold Cuts (Omnium Gatherum Media)

Davidson, Andy – In the Valley of the Sun (Skyhorse Publishing)

Hartwell, Ash – Tip of the Iceberg (Stitched Smile Publications)

Hayward, Matt – What do Monsters Fear? (Post Mortem Press)

Hepler, Jeremy – The Boulevard Monster (Bloodshot Books)

Rosson, Keith – The Mercy of the Tide (Meerkat Press)

Thomas, Scott – Kill Creek (Ink Shares)


Superior Achievement in a Young Adult Novel

French, Gillian – The Door to January (Islandport Press)

Leveen, Tom – Hellworld (Simon Pulse)

Liggett, Kim – The Last Harvest (Tor Teen)

Lukavics, Amy – The Ravenous (Harlequin Teen)

Porter, Sarah – When I Cast Your Shadow (Tor Teen)


Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel

Carey, Mike and Arvind, Ethan David – Darkness Visible (IDW)

Duffey, Damian and Butler, Octavia E. – Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation (Abrams ComicArts)

Ferris, Emil – My Favorite Thing is Monsters (Fantagraphics)

Haun, Jeremy and Hurley, Jason – The Beauty Volume 3 (Image Comics)

Hickman, Jonathan – The Black Monday Murders (Image Comics)

Liu, Marjorie – Monstress Volume 2: The Blood (Image Comics)


Superior Achievement in Long Fiction

Baxter, Alan – The Book Club (PS Publishing)

Deady, Tom – Weekend Getaway (Grinning Skull Press)

Edelman, Scott – Faking it Until Forever Comes (Liars, Fakers, and the Dead Who Eat Them) (Written Backwards)

Jones, Stephen Graham – Mapping the Interior (Tor.com)

Keisling, Todd – The Final Reconciliation (Crystal Lake Publishing)

Kiernan, Caitlín R. – Agents of Dreamland (Tor.com)

McGuire, Seanan – Down Among the Sticks and Bones (Tor.com)

Taylor, Lucy – Sweetlings (Tor.com)

Vandermeer, Jeff – The Strange Bird: A Borne Story (MCD x FSG Originals)

Waggoner, Tim – A Kiss of Thorns (DarkFuse)


Superior Achievement in Short Fiction

Bailey, Michael – “I Will Be the Reflection Until the End” (Tales from the Lake Vol. 4) (Crystal Lake Publishing)

Bodner, Hal – “The Baker of Millepoix” (Behold!: Oddities, Curiosities & Undefinable Wonders) (Crystal Lake Publishing)

Chambers, James – “A Song Left Behind in the Aztakea Hills” (Shadows Over Main Street, Volume 2) (Cutting Block Books)

Fawver, Kurt – “Etch the Unthinkable” (Gamut #1) (Gamut Magazine)

Lombardi, Nicola – “Even the Stars Fall” (The Beauty of Death Vol. 2: Death by Water) (Independent Legions Publishing)

Mannetti, Lisa – “Apocalypse Then” (Never Fear: The Apocalypse) (13Thirty Books)

Marceau, Caitlin – “No Filter” (Read-Only: A Collection of Digital Horror) (WatchMojo Publishing)

Neugebauer, Annie – “So Sings the Siren” (Apex Magazine #101) (Apex Publications)

Rourke, Naomi Brett – “Coyote” (Straight Outta Tombstone) (Baen)

Taff, John F.D. – “A Ware That Will Not Keep” (Behold!: Oddities, Curiosities & Undefinable Wonders) (Crystal Lake Publishing)

Wahl, M.F. – “Absolution” (Feverish Fiction Magazine Issue #6) (Sleazy Viking Press)

Walters, Damien Angelica – “All the Windows, All the Doors” (Chopping Block Party: An Anthology of Suburban Terror) (Necro Publications)

Yardley, Mercedes M. – “Loving you Darkly” (F(r)iction Magazine #8) (Tethered by Letters)


Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection

Cain, Kenneth W. – Embers (Crystal Lake Publishing)

Cataneo, Emily B. – Speaking to the Skull Kings (Trepidatio Publishing)

Dorr, James – Tombs (Elder Signs Press)

Fracassi, Philip – Behold the Void (JournalStone)

Gafford, Sam – The Dreamer in Fire and Other Stories (Hippocampus Press)

Hill, Joe – Strange Weather (William Morrow)

Kiste, Gwendolyn – And Her Smile Will Untether the Universe (JournalStone)

Malerman, Josh – Goblin (Earthling Publications)

Matsuura, Thersa – The Carp-Faced Boy and Other Tales (Independent Legions Publishing)

McGrath, Patrick – Writing Madness (Centipede Press)

Sheldon, Deborah – Perfect Little Stitches and Other Stories (IFWG Publishing Australia)


Superior Achievement in a Screenplay

Aronofsky, Darren – Mother! (Paramount Pictures, Protozoa Pictures)

Del Toro, Guillermo and Taylor, Vanessa – The Shape of Water (TSG Entertainment, Double Dare You Productions)

Duffer, Matt and Duffer, Ross – Stranger Things: MadMax, Episode 02:01: Chapter One (21 Laps Entertainment, Monkey Massacre)

Ducournau, Julia – Raw (Frakas Productions/Petit Film/Rouge International)

Frost, Mark and Lynch, David – Twin Peaks: The Return “Gotta Light?”, Episode 3:08 (Rancho Rosa Partnership Production)

Palmer, Chase, Fukunaga, Cary, and Dauberman, Gary – It (New Line Cinema)

Peele, Jordan – Get Out (Universal Pictures, Blumhouse Productions, QC Entertainment)

Shyamalan, M. Night – Split (Blinding Edge Pictures, Blumhouse Productions)


Superior Achievement in an Anthology

Bailey, Michael and Speegle, Darren – Adam’s Ladder (Written Backwards)

Brooks, Kinitra, PhD., Addison, Linda D., and Morris, Susana, PhD. – Sycorax’s Daughters (Cedar Grove Publishing)

Datlow, Ellen – Black Feathers: Dark Avian Tales: An Anthology (Pegasus Books)

Eads, Ben – Tales from the Lake Vol. 4: The Horror Anthology (Crystal Lake Publishing)

Ferguson, Cin and Campbell, Broos – Mother’s Revenge: A Dark and Bizarre Anthology of Global Proportions (Scary Dairy Press)

Kaheaku, Danielle – California Screamin’ (Barking Deer Press)

Maberry, Jonathan and Romero, George A. – Nights of the Living Dead: An Anthology (St. Martin’s Griffin)

Manzetti, Alessandro and Lester, Jodi Renee – The Beauty of Death Vol. 2: Death by Water (Independent Legions Publishing)

Matthews, Mark – Garden of Fiends: Tales of Addiction Horror (Wicked Run Press)

Murano, Doug – Behold!: Oddities, Curiosities & Undefinable Wonders (Crystal Lake Publishing)

Price, David – Northern Frights: An Anthology by the Horror Writers of Maine (Grinning Skull Press)


Superior Achievement in Non-Fiction

Brittany, Michele – Horror in Space: Critical Essays on a Film Subgenre (McFarland)

Brooks, Kinitra D. – Searching for Sycorax: Black Women’s Hauntings of Contemporary Horror (Rutgers University Press)

Cardin, Matt – Horror Literature through History: An Encyclopedia of the Stories That Speak to Our Deepest Fears (Greenwood) 

Hendrix, Grady. Paperbacks from Hell: The Twisted History of ‘70s and ‘80s Horror Fiction (Quirk Books)

Jones, Stephen – The Art of Horror Movies: An Illustrated History (Applause Theatre & Cinema Books; Ill edition)

Mynhardt, Joe and Johnson, Eugene – Where Nightmares Come From: The Art of Storytelling in the Horror Genre – (Crystal Lake Publishing)

Rhoads, Loren – 199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die (Black Dog & Leventhal)


Superior Achievement in a Poetry Collection

Bolivar, Adam – The Lay of Old Hex: Spectral Ballads and Weird Jack Tales (Hippocampus Press)

Fantina, Michael – Alchemy of Dreams and Other Poems (Hippocampus Press)

Frazier, Robert and Boston, Bruce – Visions of the Mutant Rain Forest (Crystal Lake Publishing)

Hanson, Michael H. – When the Night Owl Screams (MoonDream Press)

Manzetti, Alessandro – No Mercy (Crystal Lake Publishing)

Ness, Mari – Through Immortal Shadows Singing (Papaveria Press)

Razvi, Saba – Heliophobia (Finishing Line Press)

Simon, Marge and Turzillo, Mary – Satan’s Sweethearts (Weasel Press)

Sng, Christina – A Collection of Nightmares (Raw Dog Screaming Press)

Weikel, Cynthia O’Quinn – Return to Graveyard Dust (Goose River Press)

Wytovich, Stephanie M. – Sheet Music to my Acoustic Nightmare (Raw Dog Screaming Press)

So yeah, there you have it. I just wanted to mention that. I know I’ve been lax with updating this blog, but I’ve been busy with the book. Speaking of which, DEVIL’S CREEK is currently 126k words long and is officially the longest thing I’ve ever written. I’ve still got a ways to go before typing “THE END” but I can see the end in sight. I’m thinking another 50k will do it–about 25k more than I thought.

Right. I’m diving back under the water. Wish me luck!


2017: Rising from the Ashes

Close to a year ago, I proclaimed 2016 a field on fire, for multiple reasons. You can read about that here if you want.

2017 was a weird combination of things, both good and bad and a little in between. I balanced myself between a shitty job situation and a growing determination to build upon my writing career, suffering through months of depression and somehow emerging on the other side with a great deal of perspective about myself and my limits. I forced myself out of my comfort zone again, traveling to see friends and family. I gave myself permission to step away from a failing writing project and work on something new, a decision which I’m happy I made and I do not regret it.

I won’t recap everything here. Some of these things are mine, and mine alone. The rest, however, I’d like to share with you.

  • My novella, THE FINAL RECONCILIATION, was released as a standalone eBook title through Crystal Lake Publishing in February. It was recorded and produced by the amazing Joe Hempel a month later, and is now available on Audible.
  • In March, I signed on with Gandolfo Helin & Fountain Literary Management. My agent, Italia, has been an absolute godsend. More importantly, she’s a great friend, and I’m honored to know her.
  • I partnered with Erin Al-Mehairi at Hook of a Book to help with the publicity of ULT. Erin’s awesome, and she was a huge help with keeping track of reviews, guest posts, interviews, and more.
  • In May, I began work on a novel I’m calling DEVIL’S CREEK. It’s something I tried to write a few years ago, but I wasn’t ready for it. I still wasn’t sure if I was ready, but the last several months have proven me wrong. First, I thought the book would fall somewhere around 100k words; when I finished the first 10k, I figured okay, maybe 150k is the target. Today, the book is approximately 115k words long, and I think it may hit 175k words before it’s done.
  • Bucket List Items: I got reviewed by Cemetery Dance and This Is Horror.
  • UGLY LITTLE THINGS: COLLECTED HORRORS was released in September to critical acclaim and solid sales. Local folks should be able to find copies of it on the shelves of Barnes & Noble in Wyomissing, PA any day now (if it’s not there already).
  • The last I checked, I have work on the HWA’s recommended reading lists for Long Fiction, Short Fiction, and Fiction Collections. I know that’s not a big deal to most of my peers, but to me, it’s a big thing and matters a lot.

There are other things in the works that I can’t mention yet, so I apologize for being vague. What I can tell you is that I’m looking forward to 2018.

So, to wrap this up, I want to say thanks to all of you who checked out my writing this year, whether you shared a post, bought a book, or told a friend about it. It means the world to me.

Happy Holidays, everyone. See you next year!


No, I’m not dead.

Just really busy. DEVIL’S CREEK is approximately 109k and climbing. I’m currently in TN visiting family for an early Thanksgiving, but I’ll get back to work when I return next week. Expect more radio silence while I finish up this monster. My initial goal of 150k will likely be exceeded. 175k is more likely because I’m insane.

In the meantime, here’s a great in-depth review of ULT courtesy of Mike Thorn over at Unnerving Magazine.

Happy holidays, everyone!


#ULT – “A Soundtrack to Darkness”

ULT just received a glowing review on This Is Horror! Check it out!

Keisling is definitely shredding the horror scene to pieces with his unique brand of terror that incorporates the feel of great progressive metal. He dips his pen in the ink of many styles and blends them into his work with precision creating a seamless concoction of utter darkness, otherworldly ambiance and at times harsh reality. Ugly Little Things is a soundtrack to darkness, hauntingly inviting and absolutely horrific.

Read the full article here!

Win a signed copy of #ULT!

That’s right! We’re hosting a Goodreads giveaway all month long. Three signed paperbacks of ULT are up for grabs, and one of them could be yours. All you have to do is enter! That’s it! It doesn’t get easier than that.

Seriously, what are you waiting for? Go enter the giveaway!


P.S. I’ll also have a small stock of signed copies for sale very soon. Stay tuned.

Some #ULT love from The Eyes of Madness!

Y’know, that Z-Dubbz is a stand-up guy. Not only did he let me take over his blog for a day to talk about some of the music that inspired the stories in my book, but he also had some kind things to say about the book itself. Check it out:

Dark, dirty, captivating and nasty, I had a great time playing with these Ugly Little Things. I’d call this a must read horror collection. Jump into it sooner rather than later.

You can read the full review here. And if you’re curious, check out my guest post, Burning Bright!


Late to the party?

Photo courtesy of R.B. Wood.

That’s okay, I’ve got you covered. You can watch the whole ULT launch party right here. We had a blast. I read two stories, took questions, and gave away a lot of books. We had a great time. At least I did. I don’t know about you. Whatever you were doing last night, not watching me on camera. But that’s okay, I forgive you. 😉

UGLY LITTLE THINGS: COLLECTED HORRORS is available now in eBook and paperback. Amazon | B&N

#ULT Illustration 11

And now we’ve come to the final illustration. Here is Luke Spooner’s interpretation of “House of Nettle and Thorn.” UGLY LITTLE THINGS: COLLECTED HORRORS goes on sale this Friday. Yes, THIS Friday! I know, right? It feels like we’ve been waiting forever for this. You can now pre-order the paperback, which is currently 20% off on Amazon and B&N if you act now.