A Playground for Authors Jason White and Michael Schutz-Ryan


EPISODE 34: Biting the Bit Vol. 08 – On Horror Literature

Please click the link below to listen:

EPISODE 34: Biting the Bit Vol. 08 – On Horror Literature.

Read more scary books!This week Michael and Jason chat about the horror and dark fiction books they’ve been reading along with the books they want to read. They do so in a from the hip sort of style. It was lots of fun, and you’re invited to listen in.

**NOTE: The book by Greg F. Gifune I was trying to remember during this episode is titled THE RAIN DANCERS. Not sure why I keep forgetting that title.**

You will hear some music on this episode somewhere in the background.
The songs are:
Emotions by Clinic
Climbing Up the Walls by Radiohead
They are available wherever good music is sold.

Help spread the world! Please leave us a great review on iTunes.

And thanks for listening!


The Hallow by Keith Deininger

Cover of The Hollow by Keith DeiningerKeith Deininger is becoming well known for writing stories that are … that are … well, difficult to describe. They are difficult to describe because one often comes from a Deininger story wondering, “What the heck did I just read?”

The Hallow is no different.

The best way to describe The Hallow would be to say that it is like David Lynch writing and directing a spot on The Twilight Zone with a generous supply of magic mushrooms soaked in tequila.

The story follows James and his roommate, Vance. One night they find a black-haired woman on their home couch. She gets up and goes into James’ room, lies down on his bed, and dies. This woman haunts James throughout the entire story, as it probably should. But Vance is one of those people who likes to party and explore sleep deprivation and hallucinogenic drugs. After finding the black-haired woman,  nothing is the same. If anything, everything they’ve ever known is destroyed and their world goes deep into the rabbit hole of insanity.


EPISODE 14: Guest Armand Rosamilia

Welcome to Episode 14!

Click to listen: EPISODE 14: Guest Armand Rosamilia.

Photo of Armand RosamiliaThis week we have an awesome show with guest Armand Rosamilia, author of the Dying Days series and Chelsea Avenue.

There is also a top five zombie literature stories.

Songs can be found and purchased on iTunes and Amazon:

Fight ’em Until you Can’t by Anthrax

Dawn of the Dead by The Murderdolls

You can find Armand Rosamilia online:

Website: http://armandrosamilia.com

Twitter: @ArmandAuthor

You can reach the show online:


Email: darknessdwells74@gmail.com

Voice mail: 206-600-4257

Thanks for listening!

The Walking Dead and Horror Fans by Jack Wallen

The Winter of Zombie Tour strikes Darkness Dwells again with this awesome essay about AMC’s series The Walking Dead and horror fans. Enjoy!

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Photo of Jack WallenI don’t know how to put this kindly – without seeming like I’m nibbling at the phalanges that feed me – but through the magic of social media (and absolutely zero scientific experimentation or big data trolling), I think I’ve discovered something that will probably change the way humankind exists.

Okay … not really. Honestly, it’ll probably not even be a blip on the radar to anyone outside of die hard TWD fans and the truest of the true horror fans. But after watching an endless stream of social media postings (through various zombie-themed Facebook groups and twitter) I have come to realize the average Walking Dead fan is not a true horror fan.

I crossed a line, didn’t I?


EPISODE 13: A Conversation with Timothy Johnson

Cover for Carrier by Timothy JohnsonClick to listen: EPISODE 13: A Conversation with Timothy Johnson.

Welcome to Darkness Dwells, Episode 13!

This week we have guest author Timothy Johnson where we discuss his debut novel, Carrier, which you could classify as sci-fi horror.

As such, there’s a theme this week to one of my favorite subgenres, sci-fi horror. This is the first, but you can bet that this probably won’t be the last.

So, along with my conversation with Tim, I have a top 5 list of favorite sci-fi horror, which is a mixed bag of both movies and books.

I also take a look at the 1981 Roger Corman produced film, Galaxy of Terror.

And we have some cool sci-fi horror themed music.

All music can be purchased at Amazon.com and/or iTunes.


Chaosmongers by Voivod and Satellite 15 by Iron Maiden

You can reach Timothy Johnson online by visiting his website: http://timothyjohnsonfiction.com

Thanks for listening! You can reach the show online at:

 Twitter: @darkdweller74

 Facebook: Reach me or Darkness Dwells group

 Email: darknessdwells74@gmail.com

 Voice mail: 206-600-4257

Picture of author Timothy Johnson

Mutator by Gary Fry

Cover for Mutator by Gary FryGary Fry is a new and prolific writer whose influence of Classic horror stores is almost transparent within his own writing. This is not a bad thing, however. Indeed, this gives a much needed spice to his stores that are lacking in a lot of today’s horror stories. In a way, you could say that an older style of story telling in today’s horror literature scene is refreshing is a strange thing. But I don’t think so. What makes it refreshing is Fry’s talent for crafting these stories so that they’re both modern and classic.

Mutator is no different.

James and his beagle, Damian, move into an old house in a new community. James is newly retired, if memory serves, and is looking to spend retirement gardening and spending time with his dog.

One morning soon after moving in he finds a hole in his yard that is a perfect circle with no evidence of anything having dug it – there’s no dirt around the edges. It’s just a perfect hole. This leads James into the basement where he finds a journal written by the previous owner along with a silver sphere.

The story moves along pretty fast and is a fun story with a unique monster. This one isn’t necessarily Lovecraftian, as some of Fry’s other works, but it still maintains the classic horror feel of Lovecraft along with Poe and Algernon Blackwood, among others. It’s a short and fun read, and I recommend it.

Four out of five Dweller Heads!


Killing Them Softly by Guest Shawn Chesser

With summer a distant memory another tour of the undead has reared its head our way. By this I mean Winter of Zombie Tour, of course, Darkness Dwells is proud to be one of the bloggers to share a guest spot or two as we did last summer. Today, I’m excited to present to you our guest for the Winter of Zombie Tour, Shawn Chesser, author of the Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse series. 

So, without further adieu, I present to you Shawn Chesser:

Killing Them Softly

By Shawn Chesser

Cover Art for Warpath by Shawn ChesserI have been asked more times than I care to count: “When will I end it?” The truth is, although I keep saying the story will write its own ending, I don’t want my ‘Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse’ series of books to end. And whenever the prospect is raised I wonder what I’m going to miss if I do pull the plug. Have I thrown enough obstacles in Raven’s path so that she will be able to survive on her own in the cruel world I’ve conceived? Will Cade and Brook grow old together or will the Zs eventually get one, or, heaven forbid, both of them? Wow! I can’t believe I imagined those scenarios let alone put them down in writing. Raven an orphan? Uh-oh … it looks like I just cracked that door open. During my STZA series’ soon to be eight title run I’ve grown to love these characters like family and with each new chapter in the story it’s become exponentially harder to off them. So if I ever do squeeze through the door and cross the threshold, I’ve got to admit, it’s going to be kicking and screaming.

Hell, I’m second guessing myself right now after having recently killed off another character in my new novel ‘Ghosts: Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse. And just the act of writing this is unnerving knowing how many more of them are going to meet their maker before all is said and done. Believe it or not this much handwringing didn’t used to precede me deciding who lived and died. In my first book, Trudge, I started off with a bang—literally—leaving leaking bodies littering the western United Stares from Portland to Boise. I’m not bragging, though. I’m nowhere near the reaper that Mr. George R.R. Martin is, but it is safe to say that the slow shambling Romero-esque zombies that populate my universe do not go long between meals. In fact a reader recently noted that I cultivate my secondary and ancillary characters to a degree that sniffing out my version of Star Trek’s ‘Red Shirts‘ has proven difficult. I thought about that and came to the conclusion that I bring them to life on the page with every intention of letting them, as my series title suggests, survive the zombie apocalypse. But sadly they cannot and I’ve found that introducing new and likable characters and then not letting them draw another breath after chapter’s end has its own set of problems. Because, like me, readers become attached and when one of their favorites goes to the big dirt sleep I get an ear full.

Another reason I loathe the idea of this wild ride ending is that I’ve grown to like living vicariously through these figments of my overactive imagination. After all, where else can I fly a secret stealth helicopter, or lead a team of Delta operators through a building full of zombies, but in my head?

Overall I think the one perk of being master over my own universe that I’m going to miss the most when it’s finally over is being able to slip into Charles Bronson mode at will and devise devilish new ways to give the bad guys what they deserve.

Shawn Chesser

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 The stench of frozen rotted meat is in the air! Welcome to the Winter of Zombie Blog Tour 2014, with 10 of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of November.

Stop by the event page on Facebook so you don’t miss an interview, guest post or teaser… and pick up some great swag as well! Giveaways galore from most of the authors as well as interaction with them! #WinterZombie2014


AND so you don’t miss any of the posts in November, here’s the complete list, updated daily:


Promo art for Winter of Zombie 2014



Dream of the Serpent by Alan Ryker

Cover for Alan Ryker's Dream of the SerpentDream of the Serpent is one of the most gut-wrenching stories I’ve ever read. This says a lot to the writing powers Alan Ryker has developed in a short amount of time. If you’re familiar at all with his work, then you know that Ryker is a very talented story teller with a literary spin on the way he chooses to present his story to his readers.

The book starts off with our introduction to  Cody and Maddy and the type of relationship they have along with where they both are in life at this moment before disaster strikes. While talking to his girlfriend, Maddy, over his cell phone while cleaning out the deep frier at work, Cody suffers serious burns. The first part of the novel is about these burns and how it destroys Cody’s professional aspirations and his relationship with Maddy.

Let me tell you, tons of research went into this part of the story that made it feel more than authentic. The things that Cody goes through just to heal is like something from a torture movie. You feel as though you’ve experienced, in some small way, what burn victims have gone through. And, personally, I don’t think I’d come out the other end with flying colors.

About half-way through, the story changes from this hardcore suffering to something strange and, I think, brilliant on the author’s part. The change is drastic, but works so well within this world. It does so because Ryker took the time to prepare us for the change and even wonder, as Cody investigates, at its details.

Throughout the story, themes of guilt, of fire and burning, the Greek mythology of the phoenix gone horribly wrong, of death, and most importantly, love-devotion-and sacrifice play throughout. What we get is a story that is just as heart-wrenching as anything by Joe Hill or Greg F. Gifune.

Don’t read this book if you don’t want to be changed or and effected deeply. If this story doesn’t haunt you and effect you in some way, then you’re probably a different kind of person than I am.

EPISODE 6: Guest Alan Ryker!

Welcome to Episode 06!

EPISODE 6: Guest Alan Ryker.

This week’s episode is a double-edged sword. I fucked up. Learning. Learning. Learning.
Alan Ryker was kind enough to come on the show and he was an awesome guest. As a fan, I was excited to have him on the show and even more excited to find that we have some things in common.

Check out our top five werewolf movies!

We also have some Monster Magnet and the Cure as they have some songs that make me think of how things can go around here. I’m thinking of things that haunt us along with Murphy’s Law.

Also, I actually got some responses to my phone number. One was a fax saying that I had a settlement for a large chunk of money. Not sure what that was about. The other two are even weirder. I think I’ve made some enemies. You’ll have to stay tuned to hear them

Visit Alan Ryker online:

Website: http://www.alanryker.com/p/my-books.html

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Alan%20Ryker

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alan.ryker

Twitter: @alanryker

You can reach the show @:

Email: darknessdwells74@gmail.com

Twitter: @DarkDweller74

Facebook group: Darkness Dwells

Phone: 206-600-4257

Please please please leave a rating and a review on iTunes if you want to help the show. Thank you for listening, and see you next week.

Deadlock by Tim Curran

Cover of DeadlockDeadlock is a type of haunted house, or in this case haunted ship, story that’s becoming familiar and also a favourite of mine. Is it scary enough just to have a ghost pop up and say “Boo” every so often? I suppose that it might be, but there’s a sub-genre to the haunted house story that applies to strongly to Deadlock.

I’m not sure where this alternate haunt started, but I think I first saw it appear in Stephen King’s short story 1408. Chronologically, you see something like this in Algernon Blackwood’s old classic The Willows. I’m certain that there are older examples, but you can count on there being a lot more. Much more.

What this type of haunted house story involves is well displayed in Tim Curran’s Deadlock. Charlie Petty is challenged to stay on a cargo ship overnight. It’s a ship that’s rumoured to be haunted. No one will sail her and there are many stories of death and chaos for those crews that have sailed her. If Charlie does this, he will clear up the debt he owes to the collector, the man who also owns the boat.

Charlie is one of those kind of guys. He lets nothing bother him. Even at the beginning of the book, he’s talking to the guy who he owes this money too. It’s a man who’s known as a possible mob guy, and the banter between Charlie and this possible mob guy is priceless. Although Charlie realizes that this mob guy might put a bullet between his eyes, he can’t stop himself from being a smart ass.

Charlie decides to take up the offer. It’s fifty-thousand t0 clear his debt if he does it, so why not.?

I’m not going to go into too many details to avoid spoilers, but what this kind of haunted story involves is like stepping into one universe with its rules and boundaries into another universe with another, more pissed off and poisonous set of rules and boundaries. It’s like going insane within hours, or having someone spike your drink with a heavy dose of LSD. But this trip is real, my friends, and the main character rarely fairs well.

They’re a lot of fun to read and watch, so I was very pleased with this effort by Curran, an author who continues to surprise me and keep me awed and entertained. Read this book. It’s short and a lot of insane fun.