Writing Tips from Bram Stoker Award-nominated author Jeremy C. Shipp.

-wear lucky pajamas

-bounce ideas off your cats

-dress your pencils in tiny suits

-cry yourself to sleep

-dream about zebras

-bite your fingernails

-tell your cats you love them

-eat cold beans over the sink

-cultivate new fears

-talk with the moon

-search for answers and fail

-decorate your insecurities using glitter

-get a tattoo of your cat

-pace the room

-eat fries

-tickle your inner demons

-dress your inner child in Jedi robes

-dip your ego in chocolate

-convince your id it’s a chicken

Here are some excerpts from Facebook messages I’ve recently received.

“Just saw your beautiful picture…can we join hand together?”

“How went life, Jerome? You appear sensational.”

“I am Kenneth, personal attorney to late Dr Stephan Shipp. Nationality of your country who died in fatal car accident and left a deposit of US $10.5 Million in a bank here in Togo.”

“Arab girl I want a long relationship I want a penile.”

For the next 5 hours, you can get ATTIC CLOWNS: COMPLETE COLLECTION for just 99 cents! This collection contains every story from Attic Clowns Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3 and Volume 4.

Amazon Link.

Amazon UK Link.

Bram Stoker Award nominee Jeremy C. Shipp spins 13 tales of horror and dark humor in this highly conceptual collection. Angels and demons, husbands and wives, tormented ghosts and an army of men made of soap–all of them trapped in attics of the mind, attics of heaven or hell, the attics we make for ourselves or with which we ensnare others.

Meet a paranoid astronaut whose jealousy drives him to extremes beyond murder…a miniature circus spawned from the mind of a woman with too much control…the underling demon Globcow who desires redemption even more than the taste of human feet…

Men, women, children, and things beyond imagination all interconnect in ATTIC CLOWNS, where laughter is only the prelude to the bizarre and terrible.

The stories include:
Spider Clowns from Planet X
Dust Bunnies
Don’t Laugh
A Quivering Gray Fog
The Ascension of Globcow the Foot Eater
Little Mouse
The Glass Box
The Hobo

“Jeremy C. Shipp’s boldness, daring, originality, and sheer smarts make him one of the most vital younger writers who have colonized horror literature in the past decade. Shipp’s modernist clarity, plus his willingness to risk damn near everything, put him up at the head of the pack with the very best.”
–Peter Straub, author of Ghost Story

“Shipp’s clear, insistent voice pulls you down into the rabbit hole and doesn’t let go.”
–Jack Ketchum, author of The Girl Next Door


A mother’s love shines like an ever-present beacon. A warm light set up high, warning of us dangers and celebrating that which connects us all.


1. Princess Mononoke
2. Dark Crystal
3. Memento
4. Adventures of Baron Munchausen
5. Dead Alive
6. Fight Club
7. Labyrinth
8. Robin Hood
9. Star Wars
10. Lost Skeleton of Cadavra
11. City Of Lost Children
12. The Nightmare Before Christmas
13. Psycho
14. Oldboy
15. Eraserhead

I’m tagging everyone who reads this. Post your 15 films on your blog.

SQ Mag #13 is out now. And my new short story The Stills is free to read.

Click here to check it out.


“You don’t need to search for the meaning of life,” my cat says. “The meaning is all around you. There are cushions to sleep on, and shoes to sniff, and light bulbs to stare at, and feathers to chase. Just look around or sniff the air and you’re likely to find some meaning in any given moment.”


“So you’re a writer?” my dentist says. “That’s awesome. I love books, except for weird or scary stuff. So what is it that you write, Jeremy?”

“Um,” I say. A tear rolls down my cheek.

“Oh sorry,” she says, readjusting her drill. “Am I hurting you?”

“Yes,” I say. “Yes, you are.”

Brent Michael Kelley is the author of a fantastic novel called Chuggie and the Bleeding Gateways. Brent has taken time out of his busy schedule to chat with me about his book,  hydrofluoric acid, robotic squids, and other topics.

Jeremy C. Shipp: Can you tell us a bit about Chuggie and the Bleeding Gateways?

Brent Michael Kelley: Chuggie and the Bleeding Gateways is a sequel. Chuggie and the Desecration of Stagwater was the first book, published in 2011. It’s a continuation, but a person could enjoy it just fine without reading the first book. We pick up with Chuggie just a few days after the Desecration of Stagwater, and he’s just getting back on his feet. There are some people in the wilderness he has to find. The bone dagger he stole in the first book seems to have even stranger properties than he originally thought. The otherworldly Steel Jacks want to catch Chuggie and find out about his fancy dagger. It also follows a few other characters. There’s Pazuel, the half-demon on a path of enlightenment. There’s Ree, a recently widowed refugee of Stagwater who’s going through some personal changes. There’s Fey Voletta, the sexy blade cultist in the employ of the Steel Jacks. Action packed!

JCS: What inspired you to donate half of your royalties to the American Cancer Society?

BMK: It’s something that’s been on my mind a while. Like a lot of people, I’ve lost family members and friends to cancer. My cousin Tim was just 17 when he lost his struggle. Cancer needs to be defeated permanently, and if Chuggie could help in that fight, that’d be pretty cool.

JCS: If you were a mime, how would you break out of a glass box?

BMK: I’d pump invisible hydrofluoric acid on it, and then I’d skedaddle. You don’t want to be hanging around to breathe those fumes, bro. It’ll make everything taste like garlic… for the rest of your life! Also, it might kill you. HEISENBERG!!!!

JCS: What literary character would you most want to sing a duet with and what song would you sing?

BMK: I’d sing “Islands in the Stream”, originally performed by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers. I’d sing it with Daenerys Targaryen. Then me and my little Khaleesi could discuss future duets back in her tent. You know, just for the privacy so her army of Unsullied don’t leak our plans to TMZ. If it sounds like I’ve given this a lot of thought, it’s because I have.

JCS: If you were a super villain, who would you want as your minions?

BMK: Human Obliterating Robotic Demon Enforcer Squids. My HORDES would swarm by the thousands and bring any opposition to sudden, terrified compliance. Examples will be made of any world leaders who resist my authority. I like a minion to be robotic because when you rise to the level of “world emperor” you can’t really trust people anymore. Sure, somebody could tamper with HORDES, but I don’t think they will. Not after they see what could happen if they’re caught.

JCS: Remember that time when that thing happened?

BMK: Ha! I sure do! We were all like “Whaaaaat?!!!” And then that guy did that other thing, and we all laughed! Oh, man, I tell ya I thought my head was gonna explode. Then the chick with the deal came flying through the stuff! And then the doohickey swung around and melted those college kids! Heh, I still have that one kid’s shirt. Not like he needs it now! You got one, too, right?

JCS: Oh yes. Favorite movie to watch on Halloween?

BMK: Call me old fashioned, but I like Trick ’r Treat. And anything directed by Rob Zombie. And Kung Fu Panda II. That last one feels unrelated, but for some reason I stand by it.

JCS: What projects do you have in the works?

BMK: I’m working on the third Chuggie book, Chuggie and the Prisoner Gods, which is scheduled for a September release. It’s going to be jam packed with so much adventure, horror, profanity, and booze, writing it may very well destroy my brain. I very recently got the idea for a series about these people with strange powers. You wouldn’t call them superheroes, exactly. It’ll be very dark. That project is so preliminary, I shouldn’t even be talking about it. But I AM talking about it! I know, I’m pretty hardcore. I also have a snow shoveling project, a vacuuming project, and a laundry project that I’m involved in. I’m a little past deadline on those…

We just wrapped up Chuggie and the Fish Freaks of Farheath. It’s a stand-alone short story, and it’s available on Amazon. It doesn’t follow the same storyline as the novels, but it’s a fun little introduction to Chuggie and his world. Basically, Chuggie is on trial for crimes he didn’t commit, and he’s quite possibly too intoxicated to testify effectively on his own behalf. Look for more of Chuggie’s shorts in the future!

Thanks, Jeremy. It’s always a pleasure.

JCS: Thank you, Brent!

bmk-author-photoBrent Michael Kelley’s debut novel Chuggie and the Desecration of Stagwater was released in December of 2011 from Omnium Gatherum. His short story “Ride” was included in Detritus, a collection of stories about collections (also by Omnium Gatherum). His story-poem “Gnoem” was published in A Pocketful of Moondust, a children’s anthology from Rebel Books (UK). Most recently, his second novel, Chuggie and the Bleeding Gateways was published in June, 2013. Now he’s working on a short story or two along with his third novel, Chuggie and the Prisoner Gods. He can be found on the web at brentmichaelkelley.com.

From the movie TENTACOLINO (the sequel to an animated Titanic film).

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