Just finished Tim Waggoner’s novel The Mouth of the Dark and enjoyed the story, with a few reservations. It’s dark, twisted, and a bit disturbing, but overall, a great original tale. I attended a class Tim taught at last year’s StokerCon called “How to Build a Better Monster.” I’ll say this for him; this guy can come up with some pretty monstrous creations.

I bought the book on Audible and my only complaint was that I didn’t care for the narrator, who……… seemed to ………….pause at………….odd times. Yeah, I’m being picky, but I’ve been spoiled rotten by some excellent narrators.

The general story is that a father goes looking for his estranged missing daughter. She’s an adult and has her own life, so he’s torn between doing whatever it takes to find her and intruding on her private life. And she definitely has a weird private life.

If you are squeamish about the more sinister aspects of sexual perversion, you might want to give this one a pass. It’s not porn, but it delves into that world and goes downhill from there. If you have a strong stomach, as I like to think I do, then this story will show you a new dark existence you never suspected… just beyond the shadows.

It's not Nessie, it's an alien from outer space...

Sometimes, writing fiction requires a little inspiration, a little nudge. Sometimes it even needs a swift kick in the butt...

Personally, I keep a file of story ideas handy. Every time I think of an interesting idea, however humble, or however far-fetched, I jot it down in my ideas file.

Often times my ideas come from something I've read or heard. Sometimes I read someone else's story and think, "Y'know, I would have handled that differently. If I were going to write about [enter idea here] I'd have done it this way..." ... and the idea gets plopped down into my ideas file.

Is that Pleager... Pfleageris... Plaguer... Is that cheating? BTW, while Googling the word 'plagiarism', I stumbled on a website that supposedly checks for you. https://smallseotools.com/plagiarism-checker/
I just found it, so no reviews yet, but I'll let you know.

And, to answer my own question; No, one cannot copyright an idea. Nor do I intend to reproduce a story already written by someone else. But if I read about a new [topic/idea/re-examination of an old idea/etc.] and think it's the coolest thing since sliced bread, then it goes into my ideas file (and eventually something similar may very well show up in a story of mine.)

Lemme give you an example: I listen to a cool podcast called Lore, produced by Aaron Mahnke. He produces a new 1/2 hour long podcast every week about all sorts of folklore and potential origins from around the world. I'm an avid listener and, if you haven't tied it, I highly recommend you check it out.  You can see his website at: http://theworldoflore.com.

One podcast I listened to recently (for the third time) talked about stones falling from the sky (they blamed it on a local widow - said she was a witch.)  Ooh! Ooh! Ooh!  I'm writing a story about witches.  I never thought about them making stones fall from the sky, but...

Now, if I do have my necromancers conjure rock-like projectiles out of thin air, I'll need to acknowledge Aaron and LORE for the idea, but nobody will call it plagiarism. It's inspiration.


See you next week,


I recently attended the Kentucky Writers workshop in Louisville. It was a one-day event with several different classes on different aspects of writing / publishing / marketing. I also paid for pitch sessions (ten minutes of one-on-one time to try and pitch my novel) with 2 literary agents, which landed me an invitation to take the next step–sending them the first three chapters of my book for consideration.

I took lots of notes and got some great feedback on my writing. ,I also learned the next several steps I need to take in, and what I can expect to encounter in the process of getting my work published traditionally. All in all, some pretty useful info for a guy who wants to make money telling stories.

A similar workshop is coming to Cincinnati on May 18th. So, here’s to all us who long to be rich and famous for our wondrous story-telling talent, but don’t yet know all the nuts and bolts of the actual publishing process. Go to https://cincinnatiwritingworkshop.com/ for all the details.

And, if you happen to run into literary agent Denise Barone
while you’re there, tell her Danothy Grimm sends his regards.

P.S. I just found the schedule for all their workshops scheduled for 2019. So if you can’t make the Cincinnati event, take a look at when and where else you can participate: http://www.writingdayworkshops.com/event-locations–dates.html

Year's Best Hardcore Horror Volume 3Just finished the anthology Year's Best Hardcore Horror Volume 3 from Comet Press. FAIR WARING: while the word 'hardcore' doesn't necessarily refer to porn, they put it in the title for a reason. These stories go a step or three beyond what you'll find in mainstream horror. They're a little harder, a little edgier.

I'm always looking for authors of the horror genre I haven't read before in search of new favorites. And, although I tend to be wary of collections entitled "BEST" of anything, this collection delivers some pretty great stories. I'd like to tell you about a few of the ones i liked best

At the top of my list is a gruesome little tale called 'Reprising Her Role', by Bracken MacLeod. Without giving away any spoilers, it's about what might go wrong when a cheap porno shoot becomes an unintentional snuff film. I highly recommend this one. In fact, I'm going in search of other stories by Mr. MacLeod. I'm curious if anyone has read his work and what did you think?

"Tree Huggers" by Nathan Robinson would probably do well as a movie. A group of environmental activists prepare to do battle with the industrial machines scheduled to arrive in the morning. Instead, they end up battling something out-of-this-world, which also hugs the trees.

"Til Death" by Tim Waggoner was gruesome and inspiring... but mostly gruesome. I'm familiar with Mr. Waggoner's work and was happy to see his name in the book.

Then there was "Bernadette" by R. Perez De Pereda, which reminds us that it's never a good idea to use the powers of evil to accomplish something good. Just don't do it...

"So Sings the Siren" makes you question, is it art, or is it something more sinister?. "Junk" makes you question how safe our social media is. "Burnt" gives you a whole new perspective on the hospital's burn ward. And Glenn Gray writes about a jail 'Break" for the ages.

All in all, there are a lot of great stories in this collection. It makes me want to check out volumes 1 and 2. If you decide to give it a try, let me know your thoughts.

Remember my motto: Monsters are really real. Year's Best Hardcore Horror Volume 3 introduces us to a few of them...


Dana / Danothy