Norman Prentiss

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New eBook, APOCALYPSE-A-DAY DESK CALENDAR, VOL. 2, only $2.99!

Keep reading to learn how to get Volume 1 for *free* (for a limited time!)

APOCALYPSE-A-DAY DESK CALENDAR, VOL. 2, only $2.99

In this eclectic assortment of flash fiction, Bram Stoker Award-winner Norman Prentiss concocts various end-of-the-world scenarios to match the days of the month (Volume 2 covers April through June). The stories range from humorous to bizarre to unsettling, commemorating holiday and observance days (April Fools Day, Mother’s Day, World Turtle Day), or notable historical events (the sinking of the Titanic; the anniversary of the first accused witch executed in Salem). This edition also includes a handful of longer, serialized stories, such as “The Hell of Food That Looks Like Other Food,” and the 6-part “Boardwalk Thrill Ride.”

Volume 2 includes more than 40,000 words of doomsday fiction, ready to be sampled in small doses just like the pages of those desk calendars you buy for 50%-off in February…or available all at once for your immediate binge-reading pleasure!

To celebrate the publication of Vol. 2, I’m also offering Vol. 1 of the series for *FREE* at Amazon for a limited time! (now through May 8)

Volume 1 of the Apocalypse-a-Day Desk Calendar (Jan. – March) offers another 40,000 words of flash fiction, including a riff on the first (and only) golf game on the moon; and “The Milking of Elm Farm Ollie,” which reinvigorates an in-flight publicity stunt by adding apocalyptic results.

**You can also sample different entries by visiting the dedicated Apocalypse-a-Day page here on my website:
http://normanprentiss.com/category/apocalypse-a-day/

TREE WORK (in memory of my father, James Prentiss)

My father, James Prentiss, passed away peacefully at his assisted living home yesterday, March 28th.  I fictionalized a version of Dad in my first book, Invisible Fences, but I’d changed things to make it a horror story, so the character became less admirable than the real-life counterpart.  As a result, I never let my father read that book.

However, much earlier I’d written a story that, for most of its essential details, is an autobiographical account of a summer I spent working with my dad.  I wrote the story during my sophomore year of college, and gave it to Dad as a Fathers’ Day gift.  It’s not a horror story at all, but I think it’s the first good story I ever wrote.  The full text follows below (and to keep it honest, I’ve resisted making editorial changes to the original story, written when I was 20 years old).

 

 

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TREE WORK

Dad said his personality changed when he was up in a tree, but I didn’t see where it was any different.  He talked louder, but that’s because he was about 100 feet — he’d say about 30 meters — above your head.

“You want to drive by the Chambers’ mansion?” he asked me one day.

“Sure,” I said.  I had no idea we were anywhere near it — the beltway looks all alike to me — but once he steered the car onto the turnoff, I recognized the thin winding road we had traveled so many times last summer.

“They don’t pay your father for working twelve months anymore,” my mother had said whenever I told her I needed money for something.  Because of budget cuts, the County had decided to employ teachers for nine months out of the year.  “So you’re going to have to do without money for a while, like the rest of us.   I’ve got a $179 electric bill to pay, and the phone bill…”

I had to have a job.  But I had filled out applications for all the drug stores in the area, and McDonald’s, and their summer positions had already been filled.  I had waited until school was over to start looking (I told my parents I wanted to make sure I got good grades), and by then the stores had hired everybody.  It irritated me that Mark Jones — he was always getting his English papers handed back because of sentence fragments, and one time he was almost kicked out of school for gambling during lunch period — could get a job at Drug Fair and I couldn’t.

So I ended up doing the same thing my father did during the summer to earn money: he did tree work, and I was his ground man.  He said he’d pay me three dollars an hour, and I wouldn’t have to fill out anymore applications — not even a work permit.

Most of the work we did was around our neighborhood.  Where we lived they’d cut down most of the trees to build the houses, so there weren’t very many big trees and the work was easy.  I had to send things up to him in the tree by tying this knot (I don’t remember how to do it anymore) onto one of the ropes hanging down from where he was.  Usually he’d yell down for me to send up the little chainsaw that he could use up in the tree — it was the same one I got to use on the ground sometimes while Dad used the big blue one that I could hardly lift, let alone cut wood with.   But sometimes he would have me send up a pole saw by hooking it into a knot in the rope, or sometimes he would just need a regular hand saw.  And then there was a sticky paint can full of some kind of black tar that he painted on the tree where he’d cut a limb off.  It was impossible to pick up the can without getting gunk all over your hands, and it wouldn’t wash out too well.  Anything I touched would stick to me.  I ended up wiping a lot of it onto my pants or T-shirt.

And after he’d been up in a tree for a couple of hours, Dad would call down for something to drink.  He was never too specific about what he wanted until the one time I sent him up some really sour tasting lemonade that the lady who lived where we were working gave to me in a thermos container.  After that he always asked for water.

The hardest part of my job was dragging brush piles away from a tree.  I had to find some big limb with a lot of branches on it, then stack some other limbs and branches on top of it so I could drag a bunch of them away just by pulling the big one on the bottom.  Trouble was, I could never stack the piles too well, and they always fell apart halfway before I got them where I wanted them.  And I was always getting my arms scratched up by the branches.

But I loved the sound of a big tree hitting the ground.  It shook like an explosion, and the tree left a dent in the earth.  I had to hold a rope tight to make sure the tree would fall in the right direction (but one time Dad misjudged and this tree crunched up an old wooden fence in Mrs. Henderson’s backyard) while my father cut it down with the big chainsaw.

And when the tree fell down, this meant the workday was almost over.  All that was left to do was to cut up the wood.  The blue chainsaw would growl through the fallen tree.  On the big sections, I would have to hammer in a metal wedge above the cut so Dad could saw all the way through to the bottom without the two pieces closing back together and stopping the chainsaw.  I had to stand right over where he was working, and sawdust would fly up in my face and get in my hair.  Then we would pile up the logs into a stack for that family to use in their fireplace.

I liked doing the work around our neighborhood, because there was always somebody around to help me with my job.  People wanted to watch my father up in the tree, but they would have felt silly just looking.  So they would make themselves useful.

“Doesn’t he ever fall down?” they would ask me as they helped drag some brush out of the way.

“Nope,” I said.  “That’s what the ropes are for.  They hold him up there.”

And sometimes I would run into people from school.  “Yeah,” I would them with pride, “that’s my father up in that tree.”  It was funny because whenever there wasn’t anybody else around, it never seemed like such a big deal — just my dad doing a job.  But with those other people watching and making gasping sounds when he swung from one tree to another, it really seemed like something special.  I would kid with Dad that those were the only times when I ever really looked up to him.

After a job was done, Dad would tell clients to give me the check.  The gesture didn’t really mean anything — Mother managed all the money in the end — but it was nice anyway.  I always told Dad that he never charged enough.  Other people who didn’t do half as good a job charged twice as much.  “Charge them more,” I said, and you can pay me what I’m worth.”  Dad would always laugh at this, like he was paying me too much to begin with.

One time Mrs. Wright gave me the check for my Dad’s pruning two trees and cutting down a dead one.  He only charged her fifty dollars.  I remember Dad was standing next to me when I took the check to her.  It was the first time Mrs. Wright had seen Dad on the ground next to me.

“You’re almost as tall as your father, aren’t you?” she asked me.

“Oh, he’s still got a few centimeters more to grow,” my father said.  “But I don’t think he’ll be as tall as I am.”

“How tall are you anyway, Roger?” she asked me.

“I don’t know,” I said.  “About — ”

“180 centimeters,” my father interrupted.  I let Mrs. Wright see my eyes roll up to the top of my head.  Here he goes again, I thought.

“How much is that?” Mrs. Wright asked.

“180 centimeters,” Dad repeated.  Dad’s what you might call a metric system militant.

Everything changed towards the end of summer when Dad got this job to do a lot of tree work for some rich people before they moved into their new house (it was more like a mansion).  The Chambers had decided that their old house was too small, so they had a new one built just down the road from it.  I didn’t think it looked that great, but it sure was big:  it had more windows than any house I’d ever seen.  It was three stories high, square-shaped, and made of brick in varying tones of red.  The front door was white with stained glass church-like windows on either side of it.  They were still building parts of it when we started work, and I told Dad it was the kind of house that would probably never look finished.

We worked there every day for almost a month, except on Sundays and when it was raining hard.  This was a big change from the way the rest of the summer had gone: we had never had any jobs that lasted more than two days, and I always had a few days in between jobs to rest up for the next one.  With this new job, I didn’t like having to get up early every morning, especially to put in such long, strenuous hours.  I found myself looking forward to Sundays, or hoping that it would be raining in the morning when I woke, so I could go back to sleep.

And at the Chambers mansion there wasn’t anybody there to help me.  The only people around were the servants.  They hardly ever came outside, but every once in a while I would catch one of them peeking out of a window or something.  They always seemed to be looking at the most embarrassing moments — like the time my father was yelling at me from up in the tree.  Dad told me to pull on this rope until he said to stop, but all the time he was yelling “Hold!” I thought he was saying “Pull!” and I almost yanked him out of the tree.  He called me a “Blooming idiot” and a “Blockhead” and I don’t remember what else — sometimes I wish he would learn to curse like any normal person — and when he was finished I turned around ant there were two of those servants peeking through a ground-floor window.

“Were you trying to kill me?” he asked when he came down from that big tree to eat lunch.  He never seemed to get hungry up there, so I always had to remind him when it was time.

“Yeah,” I said.  “To get you back for those limbs you aim at me from up there.”

Lunch was always the best part of the day, and not just because it was a break from working.  It was really the only casual time Dad and I ever got to be alone together.  We had this whole huge area to ourselves, and we’d sit down and eat wherever we felt like it.  No matter what kind of sandwich we packed, Dad said it tasted like sawdust.  And I always teased him about how his glasses looked, because of the black strap he wore to keep them from falling off while he was up in a tree.  The black looked really funny against his gray hair.  His hair had always been grey, but these were the only times I ever really noticed it.  And lunch was the only time he’d let me see how tired he was — he never looked tired when he was up in a tree.

I never did see what the Chambers looked like:  the only other people I saw while I was working there, besides the servants, were two plumbers working outside one day.  They were pretty crude.  The only time they ever spoke to me was when the bigger one was walking out of the woods and he asked me what poison ivy looked like.

“I don’t know,” I told him.  “It’s got three leaves, is all I know.”  Dad had pointed the stuff out to me a bunch of times, but whenever I would point to something later that I thought was it, I would always be wrong.  I wasn’t allergic to poison ivy anyway, so it didn’t really matter.

“Well, I was taking a leak,” this guy told me, “and I hope I didn’t get any on my thing.”  If you’re only going to speak to somebody once, I don’t that that’s what you should talk about.

It didn’t seem like the job for the Chambers would ever end.  Before I could finish the ground work for one tree, Dad was already climbing another.   I got sick of the smell of sawdust and my own sweat, and I thought about Mark Jones working in an air-conditioned store and not having to do anything more strenuous than push buttons on a cash register.  I began to watch the clock for lunch more than ever, and it got so that every day I wished we would quit early.  But Dad never did.  Towards the end, I decided I never wanted to do tree work again.

But once the trees were down, or pruned, the job wasn’t over.  We had to throw all the dead limbs into this huge truck Dad rented, and then haul it off to the dump.  We never had to do this step when we worked around our neighborhood — the people who lived there would take care of it themselves — and it kind of made me angry that the Chambers never had to do this kind of work, that they were never around to see what we were doing for them.  But when Dad talked to the Chambers, he told them that he would clean up everything afterwards.  They didn’t want any logs — a big house like theirs, and they didn’t even have a fireplace.

That’s how Dad hurt his back, lifting up a big log and trying to load it on the back of the truck.  Everybody worried so much that he would hurt himself while he was up in a tree, and his back went out while he was doing something so simple on the ground.  He finished up the job, but after that his Doctor told him he couldn’t do tree work anymore.

“Looks like we did a good job,” Dad said a year later.  “Those two trees out front are going to make it, and I wasn’t sure that they would.”

I couldn’t tell one way or the other how much good we’d done, but I could see the satisfaction in Dad’s smile — with just a hint of sadness behind it because he knew he could never accomplish anything like it again.

“But the house still doesn’t look finished,” I told him.

Dad laughed.  “You want to stop in and talk to them?” he asked.

“No,” I said.  “We don’t really know them.”

“You sure?  They’re pretty important people.”

“Nope,” I said.  “I don’t see how they’d really be that different from anyone else.”

Dad turned the car around, and we left the Chambers’ mansion behind.  “I have to be at work in two hours, anyway,” I told him.  I had a job at Drug Fair.

I hated it.

 

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NEW novel LIFE IN A HAUNTED HOUSE, now available!

Life in a Haunted House is now available at Amazon for only $2.99

“Prentiss continues to chart his own path through the horror genre, a path which more often than not is haunted by the monsters hiding inside us rather than slavering demons or serial killers…A poignantly moving, sometimes funny and oftentimes bittersweet human portrayal of a young man trying to make sense of his parents’ divorce, his place in the world, and the true meaning of friendship…I can do no less than give Life in a Haunted House my highest recommendation.” — Cemetery Dance Online [for the full review, click here:  http://www.cemeterydance.com/extras/review-life-haunted-house-norman-prentiss/]

**Only $2.99!**  Click the cover below to learn more or to purchase the eBook!

About the book:  

Brendan has always been fascinated by the low-budget horror films of Bud Preston. Imagine his surprise when he moves to a new town and discovers a high school classmate is the daughter of his favorite director. Melissa Preston’s home contains exciting secrets about such strange films as THE STONE STAIRWAY and THE DUNGEON OF COUNT VERLOCK. But Brendan’s film-fan obsessions threaten to undermine his new friendship…before he can truly understand what it means to spend LIFE IN A HAUNTED HOUSE.

Alongside the book’s release, I’m also offering previously unpublished stories — 9,000 word “novelizations” of films by the low-budget director featured in the novel.

As some of you may recall, “The Dungeon of Count Verlock” was Bud “Budget” Preston’s only vampire film.  “The Lake Monster” was his Black Lagoon-style chiller. And “The Space Visitor” was his low-budget sci-fi epic:

          

…To read the full Count Verlock story online for free on my website, click here…

…For eBook versions (only 99 cents each!), click a cover above to visit Amazon…

New Blog of Free Fiction: “Excerpts from The Apocalypse-a-Day Desk Calendar”

The Blog to End all Blogs??  -or- Killing the World, One Day at a Time…

Starting today, as one of my more ambitious New Year’s resolutions, I’m beginning a new blog that I’d initially envisioned as a short story: flash fiction pieces that might have appeared on a hypothetical page-a-day desk calendar.  You know–those mini-calendars you might buy on the cheap during after-holiday sales.  But instead of Possessed Cat Pictures or Peanuts cartoons, my imaginary calendar would present holiday-themed apocalypse scenarios.  I would pick the “usual suspect” holidays, and write a doom-filled flash entry for each, and the story would be titled “Excerpts from The Apocalypse-a-Day Desk Calendar.”

But as I got going, researching which days to try and drafting a few entries, I decided to take the challenge further.  Why not actually attempt the entire desk calendar?  365 entries…

And if I posted the entries on my website, at a dedicated page, it would be even cheaper than the 75% discount for a Literary Quotations calendar I bought last year…

I’m probably out of my mind for trying this.  365 stories is a lot.  I’ll probably repeat myself.  Life, and other writing projects, will get in the way.  I could have technical difficulties with my website.  It’s going to be really tough to keep up.

But *all* New Year’s resolutions are ridiculous and ambitious.  That’s not going to stop me from trying.

And, just to cover my bases, I’m keeping the original title:  “EXCERPTS from The Apocalypse-a-Day Desk Calendar.”  Whatever happens, I’ll still be sharing a lot of free fiction! 🙂

Check out the first entry here (appropriately titled January 1: New Year’s Day), and please keep coming back for daily updates:  http://normanprentiss.com/category/apocalypse-a-day/

Or click the bleak image below, or try the banner on the right column of the website.

(Oh dear, I hope it’s not a leap year…)

The Apocalypse-a-Day Desk Calendar

 

 

Trade Paperback of ODD ADVENTURES WITH YOUR OTHER FATHER; free eBook of INVISIBLE FENCES

Now available in Trade Paperback, my horror/LGBT roadtrip adventure novel, ODD ADVENTURES WITH YOUR OTHER FATHER:

*only $12.99 at Amazon

*and at Barnes and Noble

[Note:  the ebook version is available exclusively at Amazon, for only $2.99]

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“It’s rare that I can truly say that I’ve never read anything like this before, but Odd Adventures with your Other Father is a unique creature. Norman Prentiss has given us a tale that’s funny, surreal, touching, magical, and heartbreaking, and we’re in the hands of a master storyteller from beginning to end.” — Jeff Strand, author of Blister, Dweller, and I Have a Bad Feeling About This

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Also, for a limited time, my Bram Stoker Award-winning novella, INVISIBLE FENCES, is being offered FREE at Amazon U.S. and Barnes & Noble. Be sure to get a copy!  (Any posted reviews at retail sites would be greatly appreciated!!)

“Cemetery Dance’s short novel program yields another gem with this sobering story about the imaginary barriers of fear we place around our life circumstances as we grow up… Carefully crafted prose… a lucid reflection on life’s inevitable burden of fear and fractured memory.” — Booklist

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TWO eBook collections for FREE!

Sign up for the Norman Prentiss Newsletter and get TWO eBook collections for FREE!

Click a cover below to get started:

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IN THE BEST STORIES… is a mini-collection of my 4 best tales: “Glue Traps,” “In the Porches of My Ears” (Bram Stoker Award-winner for Superior Achievement in Short Fiction), “In the Best Stories…” and “Four Legs in the Morning.”

QUEER PANICS contains 5 gay-themed horror stories: “The Shell (A Zombie Approximation),” “Interval,” “The Transfer Student,” and “The Well-Adjusted Child,” along with a never-before-published haunted house tale, “Panic.”

Each collection includes detailed notes about the composition and/or publication history of all the stories.

Author Spotlight: Jessica Knauss (plus giveaway link for $100 Amazon Gift Card!)

I’m participating in a Kindle Unlimited Swap Meet this month with over 20 other authors. ALL of our books are available to read for free through the Kindle Unlimited program. If you’re not already a KU member, you can sign up for a month-long free trial and read as many books as you want — for FREE!

I decided to discover a new author this month, and the book I chose is AWASH IN TALENT by Jessica Knauss, which shares some of the fantasy elements I explore in my own ODD ADVENTURES WITH YOUR OTHER FATHER. (And if you haven’t read my book yet, you can also read it for free this month through Kindle Unlimited.)

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Jessica’s book is a smart and original fantasy about people with special powers (telekinesis, healing, firestarting, mind-reading). I especially admired the novel’s unique structure, presented as a series of three interlocking novellas. One of the joys of the book was finding connections between the different parts, as the narrator of a new section crosses paths with the previous speaker–the technique keeps readers on their toes as they work to recognize the subtle threads. It’s all done very cleverly, and the final novella ties things together nicely.

I was interested in the book’s structure, since in OTHER FATHER I attempted another variation on a novel comprised of linked stories. So I contacted the author to get more info. about how she put her book together, and here’s what she said!

“When I began the first novella, Hope & Benevolent, I thought it was a short story. Over the course about two years, I kept going back to it to see where the out-of-control narrator would take it next. I should add that at the time, I was writing my first novel, SEVEN NOBLE KNIGHTS, a medieval epic that weighs in at about 120,000 words (after trimming!). Writing something briefer was a nice break once in a while. When the first novella was finished, I realized that the characters in AWASH IN TALENT had still more story to tell. It felt right to tell it from a different perspective, and thus the second novella, WaterFire, came about. A year later, Friendship Street came along to finish the story of the two special sisters. The different perspectives and additional characters helped give my alternate-reality Providence more depth. 

“The first inspiration for WaterFire only allowed for it being a story about a Providence native. When Kelly revealed her main challenges, I realized only Beth from the first novella could help her. Beth becomes a key character by the end of WaterFire, and its events help to tell her story.

“Friendship Street brought focus back to Emily. I wondered what would happen to Emily once her sister, Beth, sort of hit it big. I knew she would be in court-ordered therapy, and who more appropriate to treat her than a psychic who can read minds? I found Patricia the psychic’s story to be just as compelling as Emily’s, and in the end their fates are intertwined. So much so that both Emily and Patricia are demanding a sequel. I’m not sure I should humor them, because if I do, they may never stop demanding more stories.”

Thanks to Jessica for answering my questions, and for writing such an engaging book. Here’s hoping those sequels happen!

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Feel free to check out ALL the books in the Swap Meet this month. Many of them are up to 70% off, and there is something for everyone, from fantasy, to mystery, to romance. And be sure to enter to win a $100 Amazon gift card! You can enter by helping to spread the word about these great Kindle Unlimited books.

 

Interview @ CEMETERY DANCE ONLINE about ODD ADVENTURES WITH YOUR OTHER FATHER

Cemetery Dance Online recently posted an interview with me about my new book, Odd Adventures with your Other Father.

The interview was conducted by Blu Gilliand, and he did a fantastic job getting me to talk about why I published via Kindle Scout, how the supernatural elements of the book helped me explore LGBT themes, and how the various genre elements of the book interact.

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Click the image above to visit the interview, or click this link to learn more about the book at Amazon’s product page: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01EG5NGPA

New Blurb for ODD ADVENTURES WITH YOUR OTHER FATHER!

Just got a blurb from Peter Atkins, who kindly read the full manuscript for my new novel:

“Beautifully un-categorizable but wholly delightful, Norman Prentiss’s ODD ADVENTURES WITH YOUR OTHER FATHER is a heady mix of the surreal, the poignant, the scary, and the heartwarming. A gleeful mash-up of genres, highly recommended!”
– Peter Atkins, author of MORNINGSTAR and BIG THUNDER, screenwriter of HELLRAISER II and III, creator of WISHMASTER

Please preview the novel @ Kindle Scout, and consider nominating it (or sharing the link) if you like the excerpt! https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/31CCF08HMHST3 

UPDATE: The book was selected by Kindle Press, and is now available for purchase!

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THE BOOK OF BABY NAMES *sold out* pre-publication!

Delighted to learn that the Cemetery Dance signed hardcover edition of THE BOOK OF BABY NAMES sold out its limited run of 600 copies, within 24 hours of the publisher’s announcement! Some copies may still be available on the secondary market, and an eBook will be forthcoming eventually.  In the meantime, here’s the book description, cover, and full details about the stories inside!

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Sandra picked up the dull, saddle-stitched book. The child on the cover laughed, a mischievous gleam in her eyes. Water stains on the front cover blurred the outline of some of the child’s teeth, making a few look sharp, like an animal’s. But the girl laughed, so everything was okay.

Sandra didn’t realize The Book of Baby Names was a work of fiction. And that the stories inside were horrifying….

This mini-collection from Bram Stoker Award-winner Norman Prentiss contains six tales about sinister or endangered children. Features two never-before-published stories, “The Baby Truck” and “The Well-Adjusted Child,” along with a new Foreword/Afterword that places all the tales in an additional disturbing context.

Full Table of Contents:

  • “The Book of Baby Names—Foreword and Afterword” ©2016 by Norman Prentiss, original to this collection.
  • “The Baby Truck” ©2016 by Norman Prentiss, original to this collection.
  • “The Albright Sextuplets” ©2008 by Norman Prentiss. First appeared in Shivers V.
  • “The Covered Doll” ©2010 by Norman Prentiss. First appeared in Black Static magazine.
  • “Homeschooled” ©2009 by Norman Prentiss. First appeared in 4 Stories.
  • “In the Best Stories…” ©2006 by Norman Prentiss. First appeared in Shivers IV.
  • “The Well-Adjusted Child” ©2016 by Norman Prentiss, original to this collection.

ODD ADVENTURES WITH YOUR OTHER FATHER — PREVIEW of New Novel @ Amazon!

Announcing my first full-length book, ODD ADVENTURES WITH YOUR OTHER FATHER — currently on Preview at Amazon.com, as part of their Kindle Scout program.

If you like what you see and enjoy the 5,000 word excerpt, please consider becoming a “Kindle Scout” to Nominate the book (and encourage Amazon to publish it!).  I promise: the adventures get even more wild as the book continues!

UPDATE: The book was selected by Kindle Press, and is now available for purchase!

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ODD ADVENTURES WITH YOUR OTHER FATHER, by Norman Prentiss

A queer roadtrip of supernatural adventures!

Because one of her fathers died when she was very young, much of Celia’s family knowledge comes from stories her surviving father narrates—road-trip adventures from the mid-80s that explore homophobia in a supernatural context. As she considers these adventures (a rescue mission aided by ghostly hallucinations; a secluded town of strangely shaped inhabitants; a movie star with a monstrous secret), Celia uncovers startling new truths about her family’s past.

Follow this link to learn more about the book, or to purchase: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01EG5NGPA

 

“THE FUTURE OF LITERARY CRITICISM” (A Dr. Sibley Curiosity) — Now Available in BLACK STATIC #51

My latest Dr. Sibley Curiosity, “The Future of Literary Criticism, is now available in BLACK STATIC issue 51. Order a print copy of the issue from the publisher, or subscribe to support this excellent horror magazine!

Here’s the two-page illustrated spread that introduces my story:

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And here’s the cool cover to the issue, which also features fiction from Mark Morris, Stephen Graham Jones, Gary McMahon,  Caren Gussoff, and Stephen Hargadon, plus book and DVD reviews, and non-fiction from Stephen Volk and Lynda E. Rucker:

Black Static 51

Affordable new trade paperbacks of 3 of my books, now available from Cemetery Dance

Trade Paperbacks

The Narrator, by Michael McBride and Norman Prentiss

The Narrator

Something is wrong with Julia Linder’s sixth grade class.

One boy’s harmless tendency of getting lost becomes a crippling fog of disorientation. A girl’s mild twitch turns into an obsessive pattern of frightened raps and repetition. The symptoms are spreading and the source seems to be stories that seize upon the children’s deeply seated fears and intensify them exponentially.

How can mere stories change their behavior? The secrets are locked in tales from the past, where only The Narrator can find them.

The Fleshless Man

The Fleshless Man

2012 Bram Stoker Award Nominee, Long Fiction Category

“The Fleshless Man wants to kill me,” his mother said.

Curtis never enjoyed the cool, oppressive atmosphere of his childhood home, and that atmosphere is even worse when he returns as an adult. His mother is dying, and her illness seems to infect everyone around her: Curtis’s brother has developed a nervous habit that might indicate more serious problems; the attending nurse exhibits puzzling, possibly sinister behavior; and Curtis himself suffers from nightmares and uncharacteristic dark thoughts.

It’s as if the house itself wants his mother to die more quickly–and it will achieve that goal however it can.

Even if it must inspire Curtis to imagine harming his own mother.

Even if it must summon the intervention of a strange entity called the Fleshless Man.

"An examination of the nature of families in crisis and sibling relationships put to the test. Throughout this story there is very much the feel of something terrible taking place just off the page, out of the reader’s line of sight."
 Black Static

"Quietly sneaks up on the reader, delivering a sense of unease and dread. You won’t want to put this book down. "
 Horror Drive-In

Invisible Fences

Invisible Fences — first time in Paperback

2010 Bram Stoker Award Winner, Long Fiction Category

"Cemetery Dance’s short novel program yields another gem with this sobering story about the imaginary barriers of fear we place around our life circumstances as we grow up… Carefully crafted prose… a lucid reflection on life’s inevitable burden of fear and fractured memory."
Booklist

The Halloween Children, co-written with Brian James Freeman, available as a Signed Limited Edition from Earthling Publications

INTERVIEWER: How did you get out of there alive?

[A silence, twenty seconds.]

VICTIM: Now we’re getting somewhere, but you already know the answer to that.

INTERVIEWER: Okay, when did you realize something wasn’t right that Halloween night?

[Another silence, this time thirty seconds.]

VICTIM: When I discovered that so many of my neighbors were dead.

This Halloween, critically acclaimed authors Brian James Freeman and Norman Prentiss welcome you to visit the Stillbrook Apartments…where some very interesting people have lived and died, and where something just might be very, very wrong with the children.

Invisible Fences Wins a 2010 Bram Stoker Award!

Invisible Fences
Print edition SOLD OUT; Now available as an eBook for $2.99!



The Bram Stoker Awards are given annually by the Horror Writers Association. The 2010 awards were presented as part of the Stoker Weekend in Long Island, New York (June 16-19, 2011). Invisible Fences won in the Long Fiction category.

Norman acceptance speech   IF Stoker

Stoker Winners

At the 2011 Stoker Weekend, after the awards presentation (L to R): Angel Leigh McCoy, Bruce Boston, Rocky Wood, Benjamin Kane Ethridge, Norman Prentiss, Peter Straub, Ellen Datlow, Lisa Morton

Story Appearances

Quiet House Four Halloweens

“Quiet House” A Halloween Short Story, reprinted in Four Halloweens (Cemetery Dance Publications)

The Thing With Feathers“The Thing with Feathers” (chapbook, White Noise Press)
LamplightWidowmakers“Burls” in Lamplight Magazine, Volume 2, Issue 1; reprinted in Lamplight Volume 2 omnibus, and in Widowmakers: A Benefit Anthology of Dark Fiction
4 Zombies“The Shell” in Four Zombies (Cemetery Dance Publications)
Dark Fusions“Beneath their Shoulders: An Odd Adventure with Your Other Father” in Dark Fusions, edited by Lois H. Gresh (PS Publishing)
Shivers 7“The Storybook Forest” in Shivers VII, edited by Richard Chizmar (Cemetery Dance Publications)
Black Static“The Covered Doll” in Black Static magazine, issue 20 (December 2010)
Shivers 6“The Old Ways” in Shivers VI, edited by Richard Chizmar, Cemetery Dance Publications (December 2010).  Shivers VI weighs in at 410 pages and contains more than 110,000 words from today’s most popular authors of horror and suspense including Stephen King, Peter Straub, Al Sarrantonio, Jay Bonansinga, Lisa Tuttle, David B. Silva, Melanie Tem, Brian Hodge, Brian Keene, Alan Peter Ryan, Blake Crouch and Jack Kilborn, Bev Vincent, Brian James Freeman, Norman Prentiss, and many others.
Commutability“Distance” in Commutability, edited by David Jack Bell and Molly McCaffrey, MSR Publishing (August 2010)
Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror “In the Porches of My Ears” reprinted in Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror, edited by Paula Guran, Prime Books (October 2010)

“In the Porches of My Ears,” 2009 Bram Stoker Award Winner for Superior Achievement in Short Fiction

Originally appeared in Postscripts 18 (PS Publishing), and also available in Best Horror of the Year, Volume 2 edited by Ellen Datlow (Night Shade Books) and forthcoming in The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror edited by Paula Guran (Prime Books)

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