Archive | September, 2010


26 Sep

Skeletons is already climbing out of the swimmin’ hole and going places—like this past weekend, when it went to the Hudson Valley Garlic Festival in Saugerties, New York! Below, Skeletons grooves with the awesome band Captain Squeeze and the Zydeco Moshers and gets spooked with the wonderful artwork of Heather Gleason at My Ecelctic Mind.


24 Sep

Skeletons in the Swimmin’ Hole is the first official sponsor of the Be the Light Chapel, a non-denominational gathering which, at the moment, has no home, in the Land O Lakes, Florida, area.

I grew up in a myriad of small organizations that were just getting started in the late 1970s and 1980s, so I felt like this particular thing was calling to me. I sure hope they find a home soon, but I’m glad Skeletons will be there to help! For more information on Be the Light, you can visit


19 Sep

Skeletons is such an unusual book, I decided to do something unusual in celebration of its release—I’m going GAGA—Lady Gaga, that is—at The Lumberyard Pub.

I’ll have a reading and signing of Skeletons in the Swimmin’ Hole from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, October 30, just before The Lumberyard’s Lady Gaga Halloween Theme Party—which will run until 2 a.m. and include a $100 prize for the best Gaga Costume, body painting by Michelle at Artful Inc., live music, Jello shots, and more!

I couldn’t think of a more fun way to spend Halloween weekend. Come on down and join the fray! The Lumberyard Pub is located at 2 Main Street, Georgetown, CT. For more info, The Lumberyard’s site is


18 Sep

Skeletons in the Swimmin’ Hole’s first official public reading and signing will be held at Bank Street Coffee House at 56 Bank Street in New Milford, CT, on Sunday, October 24, 2010, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

While Bank Street Coffee House is known for its fine coffees, teas, pastries, great service and comfortable atmosphere, it’s on a street that, for years, has had its share of ghost stories, too.

I grew up in New Milford on haunted property and graduated from New Milford High School in 1989, so I’m especially pleased about the location for that reason. As kids, we heard all kinds of rumors about the buildings on Bank Street being haunted. It made it a perfect match for Skeletons.

The reading and signing will be held Sunday, October 24, 2010, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Bank Street Coffee House, 56 Bank Street, New Milford, CT.


16 Sep

Copies of Skeletons in the Swimmin’ Hole are going to be given away as prizes for the National Novel Writing Month Fairfield County, Connecticut Region’s “Afternoon of Writing Dangerously” on Saturday, November 20, 2010!

If you don’t know anything about National Novel Writing Month, it’s a marathon in which writers are challenged to complete 50,000 words in 30 days. It’s great fun–and it’s free to participate!

The “Afternoon of Writing  Dangerously” is an event at which NanoWrimo participants gather with coffee and laptops or whatever and bang out as many words as they can, engaging in such contests as Word Wars (who can write the most words in five minutes).

The time and location of Fairfield County’s event is yet to be announced, but if you’re Nanoing this year, come on down and engage in some great word wars and get a shot at winning a free copy of Skeletons!


15 Sep

I’m thrilled to announce I’ll be signing books at the wonderful Annex! Comics at 314 Broadway in Newport, Rhode Island, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, November 6, 2010.

Owner Wayne Quackenbush is a very interesting guy who’s made Annex! Comics into more than a shop—it’s become not only a gathering place, but a hub of pop fan art and culture in not just the world of comic books. He holds, for example, “Zombie Fridays” (check out his Facebook page for all the gory details – search on Annex Comics). He’s open to holding signings and other events. My favorite feature? He’s got an awesome selection of Japanese horror films. He also has a fantastic street-front gallery window and is always looking for artists to fill it with their work. Free gallery space on one of the most happening streets in any city is hard to find. If you’re an artist and you’d like to submit something for his consideration, you can visit Wayne’s web page at for guidelines.

Right now, Wayne is preparing the MASSIVE GROUP WALL OF HALLOWEEN MASKS, which will run from the middle of October through the middle of November. He’s inviting anyone and everyone to send him a mask for display.

When I talked to him on the phone about the event, he said I should send him a mask for this show. I’d been tempted to do something because I’d seen his posts on Facebook, but shied away from making anything—I’m not very good with visual art. Like, AT. ALL. I’m pretty sure I even draw a crappy stick figure. But Wayne suggested that even one of those old plastic masks that used to come in the kits would be great—just anything that expressed my personality.

Well, that sounded fun. An excuse to go shopping.

What I really wanted was a Disney character mask—Alice in Wonderland, specifically, because of all the Disney characters I’d been as a child she was my favorite (and my mother hand-made all my gowns—this was in the days before they pre-fabbed costumes), but I’d take anyone pretty. Then I was going to get some small doll parts—arms, lets, maybe some heads—and glue them on there. You know, like a ‘bad memory of childhood’ type of idea.

But my local Party Stop didn’t have anything remotely close to what I was looking for—in fact, it didn’t even have those cheap mask-with-plastic bib kits; the shelves were crammed with the “realistic” costumes that way back in the 1970s my mother had to make (she’d have made a FORTUNE had she lived. She was way ahead of her time). So I decided to get creative after all. I bought a clear mask at the party store, then headed over to Michael’s to comb their aisles for anything I could mutate into creepy dolls.

In the scrapbooking aisle, I found an entire section of official Disney embellishments. The It’s a Small World set featured the familiar happy doll children—easy enough to make a little creepy by X’ing out their eyes with a Sharpie. I was also attracted to some Halloween-themed cloth flower embellishments. I figured I could use them to fill in the eyes (I mean, no one’s really going to wear this anyway, right)?

So, here is my pathetic attempt that I’ll send to Wayne later this week. I dunno, I think for somebody who has not one lick of visual artistic ability I did pretty well. When I stood back and looked at it, it had a Dia-de-los-Muertos feel to it—at least for me.


12 Sep

Hello, folks! We got our very first pre-order today! The awesome buyer? C.L. Ross, author of the forthcoming dark paranormal thriller series The Llewellyn Legacy.

Thank you, C.L.! You’ll be getting not only your personalized, signed copy, but a set of our collector’s postcards!


11 Sep

Most of my favorite books–ones I’ve carried around for years, ones that have survived every purging, ones I plan on re-reading every few years into my old age–aren’t bestsellers, aren’t published by big houses, and weren’t found in big box bookstores.

They have titles like Champ: In Search of a Legend, A Geologic Survey of Herkimer County, Ghosts of Fort Ticonderoga, or The Howe Caverns Story. They’re published by tiny companies (well before what we think of small publishing companies now–I’m going all the way back to the ’80s, here, so it was a LOT harder to be a small place)–and I found them in attraction gift shops, small bookstores, diners, and even ice cream stands.

Since this was all before the days of ordering online and huge bookstores that can afford to carry niche-specific titles, these books had–and still have, at least for me–a special quality about them. And it’s not just that they are connected to a special vacation memory.

When I found a book on a topic I was really into at a place like that, I came away feeling like it had been written just for me, because I couldn’t possibly find that book anywhere else.

I spent a lot of time in Lake Placid, New York, as a kid. I’d heard a story about a woman who’d gone missing, and they found her perfectly-preserved body in the lake thirty years later. No one could really tell me much more about it–it was pretty much clear-cut, right? I mean, what else would some vacationer’s kid need to know? But then one day I went with my Dad to With Pipe & Book, on the town’s main drag. While he selected tobaccos, I perused the books. And that’s when I saw it: A Lady in the Lake. It was a slim volume that told the whole story, and featured what I was really after–gruesome descriptions of her wax-like face disintegrating as they brought her up from the deep. And other yummy stuff a burgeoning writer who didn’t know she was a writer yet eats for breakfast.

Dad was an English teacher, so of course he bought me the book. Two copies, in fact, because I convinced him that I needed one to trash and one to keep nice (I still have both copies). I read it in two hours. I wished it were longer. I felt incredibly lucky to have found it. And I have treasured it ever since.

I have never seen another copy of this book in my life. Anywhere (and no, I’m not going to search for it online and ruin the magic).

One of my goals with Skeletons is to make it feel like that kind of book–that unusual book you always wished existed, and then you spot it in some unexpected place.

Like, for example, a Spirit Shop.

So I’m pleased to announce that Skeletons in the Swimmin’ Hole has found its first random home: Brookfield Country Wine & Spirits in Brookfield, Connecticut.

Store owner Louis Venezia (who really knows his wine, by the way, and is also a fan of Disney Parks) will be selling copies of Skeletons in the Swimmin’ Hole. We’ve talked about, for the week before Halloween, possibly putting copies on display with some Halloween-themed liquors, like Crystal Head vodka (which comes in a glass skull). It’s an exciting, fresh idea, and always what I’d dreamed for a project like Skeletons.

Because I believe Skeletons might be, for at least one person, that kind of book that A Lady in the Lake was for me.

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