Dark Fiction Author

Hi, I write books. Scary books mostly, but also literary fiction, a bit of sci-fi, Young Adult and, more recently, kids stories. This is one of my sites where you will find information about me and my books. My main website is: www.williamcookwriter.com I'd love it if you could come and visit me there. You will find a lot more content including articles, reviews, interesting links and inspirational videos. Thanks for visiting and please make sure to subscribe today so you don't miss out on any freebies and new releases. William Cook

Homepage: https://bloodrelated.wordpress.com

Serial Killer Thrillers – Serial Killer Fiction and Poetry (Omnibus Edition) By William Cook

Latest review for Serial Killer Thrillers. Have you read this book yet?

Book Review Village

Serial Killer Thrillers

Genre – Fiction

Category – Horror/Thriller/Short Story/Poetry/Single Author Anthology

Pages – 169

Publication Information – King Billy Publications – August 16, 2018

Format – Paperback

Rating – 📙📙📙📙📙

Having read everything available to read from William Cook this book was like revisiting an old friend, a demented friend, but a friend nonetheless. This is a great collection of previously published short stories, novellas, and poetry by a master at his craft. I have a few favorites and every time I read them I come away with a whole new feeling. Creep is one of my all time favorites. And every time I read ‘Til Death Do Us Part I cannot help but conjure up visions and memories of watching Jennifer Lynch’s Boxing Helena a 1993 Psychological Thriller starring Sherilyn Fenn, Julian Sands and Bill Paxton.  William’s poems will have you searching you soul and have you wondering about you…

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Australian Shadows Awards 2017 shortlists

Stoked to have been nominated for the Australian Shadow Awards – The Rocky Wood Award for Non-Fiction and Criticism, for my thesis ‘Literary Serial Killer Fiction: The Evolution of a Genre.’

if you’re interested in reading it (the thesis) you can find it here under my academic pseudonym:

http://researcharchive.vuw.ac.nz/handle/10063/6735

Australasian Horror Writers Association

It is with great pleasure – and with thanks to the judges in all categories – that we announce the shortlists for the Australian Shadows Awards 2017.

Selected from 183 works submitted across 7 categories, these shortlists represent the very best in the field of horror and dark fiction (and non-fiction) by an Australasian author in 2017. Winners will be announced on Saturday 9 June, at the first live Australian Shadows Awards ceremony, kindly hosted by Continuum XIV: Conjugation.

And the shortlistees are…

The Rocky Wood Award for Non-Fiction and Criticism

  • 101 Weird Writers #46 – Ryūnosuke Akutagawa, Kat Clay. (Weird Fiction Review)
  • Literary Serial Killer Fiction: The Evolution of a Genre, William Cook. (Victoria University, Wellington NZ)
  • The Body Horror Book, Claire Fitzpatrick. (Oscillate Wildly Press)
  • It Follows is the Millennial STD Parable of Our Time, Maria Lewis. (SBS)
  • A Shared Ambition: Horror…

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Here is my interview with William Cook

New interview up here …

authorsinterviews

Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.

 

Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?

William Cook

 

Fiona: Where are you from?

I was born and raised in Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand.

 

Fiona: A little about your self (ie,  your education, family life, etc.).

Having just finished my Masters thesis, titled ‘Literary Serial Killer Fiction: The Evolution of a Genre,’ I am glad to be writing fiction again after a one-year hiatus. I have a very generous wife who allows me to write and work from home and look after our two children when they are not at school. Without her support I am afraid that my writing would only ever be a hobby at best.

 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

Latest news? Nothing of note – as…

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Review: Blood Related by William Cook

Review: Blood Related

Dark Hall Press

William Cook is a painter of impressions and moods, artfully rendering complex, authentic characters and weaving a twisted, darkly psychological narrative.

In his exploration of the minds of a pair of prolific serial killers (those peculiar creatures of popular morbid interest), Cook introduces us to the Cunningham  brothers – products of a long hereditary line of aberrant, pathological behaviors. For Caleb, our central narrator, killing is more than a habit – it is an obsessive art form, personal and highly selective. His brother, Charlie, on the other hand, is a human wrecking ball – careening from victim to victim as he plans grandiose mass murders like a one man terror squad. Both present acute symptoms of varied psychoses – suffering delusions and hallucinations, suicidal ideation, and displaying a generally tenuous grip on reality. In this way (much like the character of Quentin P. in Joyce Carol Oates’s Zombie), Caleb…

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Halloween Horror – Free Read 2016 – Best Horror Stories on the internet!

Check this out – lots of great free Halloween reads including one from yours truly (Runner up).

parlor of horror


Halloween Horror – Free Read 2016 – Best Horror Stories on the internet!

hosted by Parlor of Horror


halloween-devils

The 2nd annual Parlor of Horror Best ‘Free Read’ Halloween Horror Stories

Here they are folks! 20 deliciously horrific stories to delve into for Halloween scares! Great free reading for the Halloween Season and to put you in the mood for the creepiest holiday ever.


Check out the titles, click a link, get some goosebumps as you read some of the best stories from underground writers and authors on the web.

 

Our TOP Stories! Editors picks:

Best Story:

Buback – Kerry E.B. Blackbest-free-read-award-best
https://kerrylizblack.wordpress.com/2016/10/11/buback/

This story embodied the spirit of Halloween and pulled me in with wonderful descriptive wording and thick atmosphere. It’s a wonderful tale for Halloween so take a moment and give it a read. Kerry wins a $25 gift card to Amazon.com and the title, Best “Free Read”…

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Reviewing Blood Related, by NZ author William Cook

Reviewing Blood Related, by NZ author William CookThe details of Caleb’s insane crime spree are conveyed in a (first-person) skin-crawler style which fascinates and repulses, bothI love crime – any media. I’ve been a fan from way W COOK_Blood Relatedback – Hitchcock’s Half-Hour and The Untouchables,at thirteen. Most current crime shows I watch “live” – but Silent Witness I have to record and watch in daylight.It’s too good a show to not watch at all – no matter how creeped out I get. Most crime novels (thrillers, chillers, serial killers…) I can read at any time.But if Blood Related had been a TV show – I would have had to watch it in daylight.A delightfully chilling sense of unease throughout the tale of Caleb Cunningham, psycho-killer, as he turns slaughter into an art form – ‘installations’ – hidden from discovery under the city. The sewers and drains are his alleys and pavements.Gut-wrenching reveals – his twin brother a killer too, both moulded as such by their father, another serial killer, and their mother an insane alcoholic. Bodies secreted everywhere, even in the much modified basement of the family town house. His grandfather was a killer, his handiwork scattered in the grounds of a country farm.Only homicide Detective Ray Truman senses connections and pursues the multitude case files as he works on the puzzle of three generations of serial killers. He comes too close to ending Caleb’s continued criminal future.So, those are the facts of who’s in the tale, but no spoilers. Some reviewers will give you more but I’d like you to follow the horror in Cook’s pages.You still have a lot of fine reading to do. Cook’s style is unique – part narrative, part reportive – and the details of Caleb’s insane crime spree are conveyed in a (first-person) skin-crawler style which fascinates and repulses, both. This will not be my first, or only, William Cook thriller!Published 2015 King Billy Publications, Wellington, New ZealandBuy at Amazon.com at http://tinyurl.com/BloodRelatedPromo: Kindle or Paperback editions availableRead about more of William’s work at his site: http://williamcookwriter.com

Source: Reviewing Blood Related, by NZ author William Cook

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William Cook ‘Blood Related’ Review

Horror Novel Reviews

Written by: Wesley Thomas

A superbly sick and twisted horror novel that delves into a dark psyche!

We have a very rough-around-the-edges family. A serial killer for a father, drunk for a mother, and twin boys who witness more than any child should.

This book details the horrific things people do to each other and how it mentally and emotionally affects others.

I was completely glued to the pages throughout this book. William Cook clearly does a lot of research when creating his characters and the storylines. It goes far beyond blood, gore and cheap thrills. The kind of horror within these pages will haunt your mind for years to come. The description of these disturbed individuals will send chills down your spine.

This book’s appeal knows no bounds. It has obvious elements of horror. Then a huge criminal element as a detective tries to take down this messed up…

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Getting personal with William Cook

New interview with me up on Roadie Notes – check it out . . .

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TOP TEN MOTIVATIONAL BOOKS

Over the course of my reading years, several non-fiction books have stood out for me that I have referred to time and time again. Whenever I get the ‘blues’ or need some motivation with my writing or my business projects these are the books that give me the juice I need to create and persevere. I love reading and I love the ‘idea’ of books – the idea that this one thing can impart so much knowledge, information, advice and pleasure, is what keeps me writing in the hope that I too, one day, will create a book that people might want to read more than once. I get a real thrill that something in a book I wrote ‘spoke’ to the reader and helped them through a rough patch, or at least gave them a smile or an idea that helped them get through their day. This is what drives me forward to create books for my readers – that they may entertain, impart a bit of information or wisdom that might benefit them, and that one of my books will give someone, somewhere, the right words to make their day just that little bit better or more interesting. I started my writing career with poetry and this really set me up for writing prose in a way – the understanding of condensing both meaning and eclectic word choices into the best possible economic sentence/line structure, has served me well in both my fiction and non-fiction works. Hell, I think it has even give me a slight edge with my Twitter posts! Writing big things with only 140 characters at your disposal is definitely an acquired skill, when I get stuck a bit of poetry never goes amiss. It is my view that poets make the best Tweeters (tongue in cheek).

Anyway, back to the books – I’m sure you have your own ‘go to’ reference library, you may even have some of these books in your own top-ten list. I hope you enjoy these recommendations and I’m quite sure that if you haven’t read any of these that you would only be adding to (as opposed to detracting from) your life by reading them. Please make sure to add your own top ten motivational/inspirational books in the comments below and to share this with your friends and networks. Happy reading and stay tuned for the next list which will be my recommendations for the ‘Top Ten Indie Non-Fiction Entrepreneurial Books.’ If you would like to be notified when the next post is published, please subscribe now to my website (I’ll even throw in a free copy of my collected short fiction for you as a thank you) http://tinyurl.com/subscribe-freebook

Best wishes

William Cook

The Wisdom of Insecurity by Alan Watts

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In this fascinating book, Alan Watts explores man’s quest for psychological security, examining our efforts to find spiritual and intellectual certainty in the realms of religion and philosophy. The Wisdom of Insecurity underlines the importance of our search for stability in an age where human life seems particularly vulnerable and uncertain. Watts argues our insecurity is the consequence of trying to be secure and that, ironically, salvation and sanity lie in the recognition that we have no way of saving ourselves.

A fantastic book that addresses modernity’s woes with sound logic and reasoning while emphasizing the positives of encouraging ‘spirituality’ into everyday life. This book made things in my mind go ‘click.’ The ideas and succinct philosophy are essential reading for anyone interested in a way forward for humanity – the blueprint is written here, but unfortunately – the people that need to read this book will more-than-likely never pick it up. If you have questions about life and spirituality and the ‘meaning’ of things, I highly recommend that you read this book and share it with someone you love.

The Outsider by Colin Wilson

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As relevant today as when it originally published, THE OUTSIDER explores the mindset of characters who exist on the margins, and the artists who take them there. Published to immense acclaim, THE OUTSIDER helped to make popular the literary concept of existentialism.  Authors like Sartre, Kafka, Hemingway, and Dostoyevsky, as well as artists like Van Gogh and Nijinsky delved for a deeper understanding of the human condition in their work, and Colin Wilson’s landmark book encapsulated a character found time and time again: the outsider.

How does the Outsider influence society?  And how does society influence the Outsider?  It’s a question as relevant to today’s iconic characters (from Don Draper to Voldemort) as it was when initially published.  Wilson’s seminal work is a must-have for those who love books and are fascinated by that most difficult to understand of characters.

This book blew my mind when I read it. Wilson nails the intersection of art, life and philosophy and puts forward his reasoned argument that highly creative individuals bordering on genius (writers, painters, philosophers, leaders etc.) are plagued with self-doubt and existential angst and that this is what drives them on to confront deep and sometimes terrible issues that the rest of us would rather ignore. And it is through this courageous confrontation of the dark side of life that beauty and meaning are discovered. As a lover of books that confront difficult issues and tough conceptual theories and ideas, this book is a fantastic ‘must read’ that answered so many of my own questions about life and art. Highly recommended – ‘Beyond the Outsider’ is also worth reading as a follow-up to this book.

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

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“Long live the King” hailed Entertainment Weekly upon publication of Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the craft. Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer’s craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have. King’s advice is grounded in his vivid memories from childhood through his emergence as a writer, from his struggling early career to his widely reported, near-fatal accident in 1999—and how the inextricable link between writing and living spurred his recovery. Brilliantly structured, friendly and inspiring, On Writing will empower and entertain everyone who reads it—fans, writers, and anyone who loves a great story well told.

As an author who first wrote horror stories, this book was/is my bible. The information is entertaining and informative but, most of all, inspirational. King wrote this book while recuperating from a serious injury; for me, what makes this book great is that his determination and humor shine through as he looks back on his life while taking the time to offer advice to aspiring writers. For one of the most popularly successful authors in the world to lay it all on the table with this book is incredibly generous (and clever) – if you are a writer you’d have to be dead inside not to glean at last one or two profoundly insightful pieces of advice or inspiration from On Writing. If you ever wanted to be an author, read this book also – there is no BS, the hard road ahead is expertly mapped out in a way that will have you turning the last pages before you know it. I am up to my tenth reading with this book and it never gets old – always find something inspiring or useful.

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

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“It took me a long time and most of the world to learn what I know about love and fate and the choices we make, but the heart of it came to me in an instant, while I was chained to a wall and being tortured.”

So begins this epic, mesmerizing first novel by Gregory David Roberts, set in the underworld of contemporary Bombay. Shantaram is narrated by Lin, an escaped convict with a false passport who flees maximum security prison in Australia for the teeming streets of a city where he can disappear. Accompanied by his guide and faithful friend, Prabaker, the two enter Bombay’s hidden society of beggars and gangsters, prostitutes and holy men, soldiers and actors, and Indians and exiles from other countries, who seek in this remarkable place what they cannot find elsewhere.

As a hunted man without a home, family, or identity, Lin searches for love and meaning while running a clinic in one of the city’s poorest slums, and serving his apprenticeship in the dark arts of the Bombay mafia. The search leads him to war, prison torture, murder, and a series of enigmatic and bloody betrayals. The keys to unlock the mysteries and intrigues that bind Lin are held by two people. The first is Khader Khan: mafia godfather, criminal-philosopher-saint, and mentor to Lin in the underworld of the Golden City. The second is Karla: elusive, dangerous, and beautiful, whose passions are driven by secrets that torment her and yet give her a terrible power.

Burning slums and five-star hotels, romantic love and prison agonies, criminal wars and Bollywood films, spiritual gurus and mujahideen guerrillas – this huge novel has the world of human experience in its reach, and a passionate love for India at its heart. Based on the life of the author, it is by any measure the debut of an extraordinary voice in literature.

Fiction or fact, it does not matter, this tome is a masterpiece of prose that will leave most people (with a pulse), breathless. This is truly an epic tale filled with intrigue, adventure and humanity. If it wasn’t so long I would’ve read this in one sitting – it is the kind of book that makes you want to leave your life behind and join the French Foreign Legion or take up base-jumping. It reminds me of James Michener’s ‘Caravans’ mixed with Louis L’Amour’s swash-buckling adventure ‘The Walking Drum,’ placed in a contemporary setting it has a resonance and immediacy that makes it all the more believable and epic as a result. This book encouraged me to be more adventurous – to realize that life does not have to be boring and without excitement and, ultimately, the road to realizing your dreams and achieving something truly worthwhile, is paved with danger and obstacles that might seem insurmountable but are not impossible to overcome.

Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

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‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ has riveted generations of readers with its descriptions of life in Nazi death camps and its lessons for spiritual survival. Between 1942 and 1945 psychiatrist Viktor Frankl labored in four different camps, including Auschwitz, while his parents, brother, and pregnant wife perished. Based on his own experience and the stories of his many patients, Frankl argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose. Frankl’s theory—known as logotherapy, from the Greek word logos (“meaning”)—holds that our primary drive in life is not pleasure, as Freud maintained, but the discovery and pursuit of what we personally find meaningful. “What man actually needs,” Frankl writes, “is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for a worthwhile goal, a freely chosen task . . . the call of a potential meaning waiting to be fulfilled by him.”

In the decades since its first publication in 1959, Man’s Search for Meaning has become a classic, with more than twelve million copies in print around the world. A 1991 Library of Congress survey that asked readers to name a “book that made a difference in your life” found Man’s Search for Meaning among the ten most influential books in America. At once a memoir, a meditation, a treatise, and a history, it continues to inspire us all to find significance in the very act of living.

This book is one of the most powerfully emotional reading experiences of my life. It is beautifully written and its message is profoundly powerful. Whenever I feel low or like the world has dealt me a bad deal, I pick up this book and I know that life is good. Not because Frankl went through some really horrible and tragic life events and wrote about it really well – but because he experienced these things and he emerged from his tragic experiences with a hope for humanity stronger than ever. His insights into human nature and the struggle between good and evil will leave a deep impression on your heart and mind. Whenever you think you have it tough, or the way ahead is too difficult – pick up this book and read it – it is bound to change your perspective on life for the better.

Worldly Wisdom: Confucian Teachings of the Ming Dynasty by J.C. Cleary

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The philosophical, religious, and sociopolitical teachings of Confucianism have played a central role in East Asian culture for many centuries. This book presents a selection of passages from leading Chinese thinkers of the later Ming dynasty (sixteenth-seventeenth centuries), a peak period of Confucian creativity influenced by Buddhism and Taoism. Chosen for their practical interest and universal appeal, the passages are concerned with how to develop the personality, conduct social relations, and order society. In contrast to the common misconception of Confucianism as a formalistic ideology linked to authoritarian political regimes, these passages emphasize the cultivation of spiritual qualities as a means of operating harmoniously and successfully in the world.

This book ‘spoke to me’ – I can’t explain exactly why but this one is my ‘dip’ book. When I need some ideas or some motivation, I ‘dip’ into it and always come up with a new insight or an idea that inspires me. The wisdom provided in mostly short aphorisms, are brimming with logical positivity and a timeless intelligence and humanity that is as important and meaningful now, as it was when these great thinkers first penned their thoughts.

48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene

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Amoral, cunning, ruthless, and instructive, The 48 Laws of Power is the definitive manual for anyone interested in gaining, observing, or defending against ultimate control. In the book that People magazine proclaimed “beguiling” and “fascinating,” Robert Greene and Joost Elffers have distilled three thousand years of the history of power into 48 essential laws by drawing from the philosophies of Machiavelli, Sun Tzu, and Carl Von Clausewitz and also from the lives of figures ranging from Henry Kissinger to P.T. Barnum.

Some laws teach the need for prudence (“Law 1: Never Outshine the Master”), others teach the value of confidence (“Law 28: Enter Action with Boldness”), and many recommend absolute self-preservation (“Law 15: Crush Your Enemy Totally”). Every law, though, has one thing in common: an interest in total domination. In a bold and arresting two-color package, The 48 Laws of Power is ideal whether your aim is conquest, self-defense, or simply to understand the rules of the game.

Aside from the beautiful aesthetic of this superbly crafted manuscript, when you need a push forward with your business or social life, this book packs a powerful punch. Filled to the brim with an eclectic selection of the best quotes regarding fundamental laws of human nature, it will inspire you to lift your game, step up and stand out from the crowd with assertively positive mantras and knowledge that you can use in everyday situations. If you are in a leadership role or use strategy in your business (or personal) life, this book is perfect for giving you the edge in combative or negotiation techniques. Knowledge is power and this book is full of both. Read it.

The Tao of Jeet Kune Do by Bruce Lee

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Compiled from Bruce Lee’s notes and essays and originally published in 1975, Tao of Jeet Kune Do is the [leading] best-selling martial arts book in the world. This iconic work explains the science and philosophy behind jeet kune do—the art Lee invented—and includes hundreds of Lee’s illustrations. Topics include Zen and enlightenment, kicking, striking, grappling, and footwork. With introductions by Linda Lee and Editor Gilbert Johnson, Tao of Jeet Kune Do is essential reading for any practitioner and offers a brief glimpse into the mind of one of the world’s greatest martial artists.

This book is the fight-club of enlightened philosophy. Bruce Lee’s unwavering determination, intelligence, humanity and enlightenment shouts (or should I say, speaks softly with great authority) from these pages. Despite being a manual for his self-defense martial art system, this book is so much more. If you’ve ever felt like giving up or seem to take the wrong route every time, read this book and take time to understand the very simple but highly effective principles he espouses and you are bound to change your perspective on life and how you live it. This book teaches you how to command respect, take control of your life and emotions, and to take the most economical and effective steps forward. Aside from the practical fighting and self-defense applications he teaches, Lee always imbues his thoughts and suggestions with a philosophical twist that is both profound and poetic. A fantastic book the will motivate your mind as well as your body.

Freedom From The Known by J.D. Krishnamurti

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Born in poverty in India, Jiddu Krishnamurti (1895-1986) became a leading spiritual and philosophical thinker whose ideas continue to influence us today. George Bernard Shaw declared that he was the most beautiful human being he had ever seen and Aldous Huxley was one of his close friends. Whether debating politics with Nehru, discussing theories with Rupert Sheldrake and Iris Murdoch, or challenging his students not to take his words at face value, Krishnamurti engaged fully with every aspect of life. He is regarded by many modern religious figures as a great teacher, an extraordinary individual with revolutionary insights; Joseph Campbell, Alan Watts, Eckhart Tolle and Deepak Chopra are all indebted to his writings.

Freedom from the Known is one of Krishnamurti’s most accessible works. Here, he reveals how we can free ourselves radically and immediately from the tyranny of the expected. By changing ourselves, we can alter the structure of society and our relationships. The vital need for change and the recognition of its very possibility form an essential part of this important book’s message.

This book should be required reading in all schools and for all politicians. It is soaked in a very human message and provides amazingly powerful and simple solutions, for people willing to change their lives for the better and who want to let go of recurring negative thought/life patterns. If you want to truly understand yourself, as an individual and as a human, read this book. It won’t necessarily make you rich or more successful financially, but you would benefit immensely from it as a leader or mentor. Freeing oneself from the social constructs, bad habits, enforced stereotypes and expectations of a lifetime, is a key part of personal growth and original thinking. This book will open your eyes and mind to the possibilities of a ‘new you’ – perhaps it is a very eastern way of thinking (philosophically and socially) which makes it seem like a wholly original and unique concept, but to my western mind it shouted truth and a fresh way of thinking that has me constantly referring back to this book when wanting personal growth and development.

Learned Optimism by Martin Seligman

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Known as the father of the new science of positive psychology, Martin E.P. Seligman draws on more than twenty years of clinical research to demonstrate how optimism enhances the quality of life, and how anyone can learn to practice it. Offering many simple techniques, Dr. Seligman explains how to break an “I—give-up” habit, develop a more constructive explanatory style for interpreting your behavior, and experience the benefits of a more positive interior dialogue. These skills can help break up depression, boost your immune system, better develop your potential, and make you happier.. With generous additional advice on how to encourage optimistic behavior at school, at work and in children, Learned Optimism is both profound and practical–and valuable for every phase of life.

This book operates on many levels; a discourse on the various negative human traits (emotional, intellectual, psychological, social etc.) and a practical work-book to achieving a more positive outlook in your life and activities. It is a very deep, thorough and insightful work that is well worth the effort to read and take the time to fully grasp the methods and suggestions Seligman offers. If you are like me and one of those people who seem to be born pessimists, this book is for you. The logical reasoning, lack of fluff and use of real-world examples, worked really well to illustrate his theories and to show how the applications discussed in this book can be implemented. It has helped me become a lot more optimistic and to see things in a much more positive light and for that reason alone I list it here as one of the most influential and positive self-development books I’ve read.

Thanks for reading and I hope that by sharing these book recommendations that you find something that will add to your life. Best wishes and please remember to subscribe (click on image below) for the next post/s and your free book. Have a great day.

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Originally published here: http://www.williamcookwriter.com/2016/02/ten-motivational-books-that-will-change.html

 

The Wisdom of Insecurity by Alan Watts, The Outsider by Colin Wilson, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King, Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts, Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl, Worldly Wisdom: Confucian Teachings of the Ming Dynasty by J.C. Cleary, 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene, The Tao of Jeet Kune Do by Bruce Lee, Freedom From The Known by J.D. Krishnamurti, Learned Optimism by Martin Seligman

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Secrets of Best-Selling Self-Published Authors

Great new review for my new book, Secrets of Best-Selling Self-Published Authors. Check it out.

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The Ugly Truth of Publishing & How BEST to Support Writers

Great post here from Kristen Lamb – “The Ugly Truth of Publishing & How BEST to Support Writers”

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Original Image via Flickr Creative Commons, courtesy of Anurag Agnihotri Original Image via Flickr Creative Commons, courtesy of Anurag Agnihotri

Well, I figure I have one more day to drunkenly torch my platform. Sad thing is I don’t drink. I am apparently this stupid when sober 😛 . Actually I am writing this as a follow up for my rant from the day before yesterday, because knowledge is power.

Writers need this. Your friends and families need this. Readers need this. The more people get how this industry works, the more everyone can start working together for everyone’s benefit.

In my book Rise of the Machines—Human Authors in a Digital World, I go into a LOT more detail and I highly recommend you get a copy if you don’t have one. I spend the first chapters of the book explaining how the various forms of publishing work so you can make an educated decision.

All types of publishing have corresponding…

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Book Marketing Magic: What You Can Learn from Amazon

Excellent article from Chris McMullen.

chrismcmullen

Image from ShutterStock. Image from ShutterStock.

BOOK MARKETING MAGIC

It would be hard to find anybody who can sell books better than Amazon.

At first, this seems like a great benefit of self-publishing. Just throw your book on Amazon, and the word’s greatest bookseller will sell your book for you, right?

Too bad it doesn’t work that way. Even though you may have heard others speak of book marketing, you stubbornly cling to the hope that you won’t need to learn it.

You just have to see for yourself to realize that you need to market your book.

And then book marketing seems like magic. Only you can’t find the right magic words. Or if you do, apparently you don’t pronounce them quite right. When you try using smoke, mirrors, and sleight of hand, it just doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to.

But it’s not really magic. You want easy and instant…

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New Release, #Free #Book + Subscription Offer

Hi everyone  – hope all is well with you and life is going swimmingly. I have some exciting news to share today. Finally, the redux version of my debut novel, Blood Related, is available in both print and EBook exclusively through Amazon (U.S. & U.K. links below). After getting the rights back from my previous publisher I decided to self-publish through my imprint, King Billy Publications. With much research and debate I decided to go for it! I had it professionally edited and formatted, I cut and trimmed and shaped it, into a more fast-paced, tension-filled, thriller novel. I am very happy with the results and hope you guys will like it too. If you’re uncertain, check out the free preview on Amazon to get a taste for the novel. Hopefully you’ll enjoy it enough to leave a review which would be a great help (wink, wink). I have set the price low for the first month on Amazon ($2.99 – Kindle, $12.99 – Amazon print) so get in quick before it goes up at the end of August.

BRad

I have had the good fortune to receive some fantastic blurbs/reviews from some of the leading authors in the Horror and Thriller genres. This is what Graham Masterton, best-selling author of The Manitou and The House That Jack Built, says about Blood Related: “William Cook tells a gruesome story with a sense of authenticity that makes you question with considerable unease if it really is fiction, after all.” Joe McKinney is another best-selling author who read Blood Related and offered this fantastic blurb: “This man is simply scary. There is both a clinical thoroughness and a heartfelt emotional thoroughness to his writing. He manages to shock as well as empathize, to scare as well as acclimatize, yet beneath it all is a well read intelligence that demands to be engaged. I loved Blood Related. Ordinarily I hate serial killer stories, but William Cook won me over. He is a unique and innovative talent.” 

 bloodRelated ebook

Here is the blurb and the new links for the book. Remember if you get in quickly you can get the book now at the discounted cost before it goes up end of August:
For over two decades, Detective Ray Truman has been searching for the killer or killers who have terrorized Portvale. Headless corpses, their bodies mutilated and posed, have been turning up all over the industrial district near the docks. The remains of young female prostitutes have been the killer’s victims of choice, but now other districts are reporting the gruesome discovery of decapitated bodies. It seems the killer has expanded his territory as more ‘nice girls’ feel the wrath of his terrible rage. This horrifically disturbing tale of a family tree of evil will embed itself in the mind of the reader, long after the last page has been turned. A crime thriller in the vein of other power-packed thrillers like Thomas Harris’s ‘Silence of the Lambs’ and James Ellroy’s ‘Killer on the Road.’

Meet the Cunninghams . . .
A family bound by evil and the blood they have spilled. The large lodging-house they live in and operate on Artaud Avenue reeks of death and the sins that remain trapped beneath the floorboards.

Meet Caleb Cunningham . . .
Caleb is a disturbed young man whose violent father is a suspected serial killer and mother, an insane alcoholic. After his Father’s suicide, Cunningham’s disturbing fantasy-life becomes reality as he begins his killing spree in earnest. His identical twin brother Charlie is to be released from an asylum and all hell is about to break loose when the brothers combine their psychopathic talents. Eventually stepping out from the shadows of his murderous forebears, Caleb puts in motion his own diabolical plan to reveal himself and his ‘art’ to the world. He’s a true aesthete. An artist of death. His various ‘installations’ have not received the status he feels they deserve, so Caleb is expanding his ‘canvas.’

Meet Ray Truman . . .
A tragic cop whose personal demons won’t let him rest. Overworked and underpaid, Truman is tenacious as a pit-bull. He won’t rest ‘til he’s brought to justice Portvale’s infamous serial killer. His battle with his own demons gives him the strength to chase the shadows and to cut corners when necessary, as he embarks on the hunt of his life. His search leads him to the Cunningham’s house of horrors. What he finds there will ultimately lead him to regret ever meeting Caleb Cunningham and the deviant family that spawned him. The hunter becomes the hunted as Truman digs deeper into the abyss that is the horrifying mind of the most dangerous psychopath he has ever met.
Warning: R18+ contains adult content + graphic violence & psychological horror.

bloodRelated Master

PAPERBACK

AMAZON U.S. – http://www.amazon.com/Blood-Related-William-Cook/dp/151511547X/ref=sr_1_1_twi_2_pap?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1437343378&sr=1-1&keywords=Blood+Related+William+Cook

AMAZON U.K. – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Blood-Related-William-Cook/dp/151511547X/ref=sr_1_2_twi_2_pap?ie=UTF8&qid=1437343530&sr=8-2&keywords=William+Cook+Blood+Related

KINDLE

AMAZON U.S. – http://www.amazon.com/Blood-Related-William-Cook-ebook/dp/B011LSLNSM/ref=sr_1_1_twi_1_kin?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1437343378&sr=1-1&keywords=Blood+Related+William+Cook

AMAZON U.K. – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Blood-Related-William-Cook-ebook/dp/B011LSLNSM/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1437343530&sr=8-2&keywords=William+Cook+Blood+Related

Did you grab your copy? Great (and thank you).

Anyway, in other news, I have just lined up the next mob of authors for my popular interview series – ‘Secrets of Best-Selling Self-Published Authors.’* The first series, including authors: Matt Shaw, April M Reign, Mark Edward Hall, Russell Blake, William Malmborg, Matt Drabble and Michaelbrent Collings, was such a hit that I will continue it for as long as there are best-selling self-published authors out there (long may it last). As a result of the success of the first series I have edited and compiled the interviews into a book that will be released early August. Along with the original interviews, there is a significant essay written by myself and in-depth analysis of each author’s tips and their individual success stories. This book is essential reading for any author who is thinking about venturing into self-publishing and for self-published authors who are looking to lift their game and increase their sales and online presence. It will also be of interest to fans of these authors and anyone interested in the process of writing and/or self-publishing. Check out the interviews here and stay tuned for the opportunity to pre-order on Amazon. The new line-up of best-selling self-published interviews, includes the following fantastic writers: David Moody, Iain Rob Wright, Armand Rosamilia, Michale Bunker, J Thorn, Jeremy Bates, Michael Bray and Michael Thomas. The next run (yes, there will be more) I hope to bring you more successful female self-published authors.

*Personal invitation: if you are a best-selling (paid, not free rankings) self-published author and would like to be part of this project, please leave a comment below or email me here.

SOBSSPA

Thanks again for reading my blog/website and I hope you take advantage of the various things on offer today. If you haven’t subscribed already to this site, please do so now and receive a FREE copy of my popular collection of macabre tales, ‘Dreams of Thanatos.’ Just click on the image below or click this link here.

Book Insert

As a final bonus, here’s another freebie for you. Have a great week.

onewayticket

PERMA-FREE – GRAB A COPY NOW! 

Fast Train To Hell . . .
From the belly of the swamp issues forth a visit in the middle of the night from a force as dark and unimaginable as hell itself. Poor pig-farmer Abel Laroux, must battle the demons of his past as well as the nightmarish reality of the present, as he confronts a devilish visitor who has come to collect on an outstanding debt, inherited by Abel from his forefathers.
Bonus Features: Includes an excerpt from the author’s novel, ‘Blood Related’ + the long poem ‘The Temper of The Tide’, in its entirety.
Warning: contains adult content + themes of supernatural & psychological horror.

AMAZON U.K.

Until next time.

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#Amazon#FREEKINDLE  #Horror  #Kindle  #mystery  #novel#psychologicalthriller  #thriller  #ThrillerNovel  @Amazon, Amazon, Blood Related, Secrets of Best-Selling Self-Published Authors,

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NEWS AND FREE BOOKS OFFER

Hello everyone! Apologies for the lack of regular posts lately. Life has been very busy – we are packing once again for a move into a new house amongst other things. I have also been furiously editing and pruning my debut novel (Blood Related) into shape after having received the rights back recently. With a few more years of writing experience under my belt and a fresh perspective on a work that was published over three years ago, I have been merciless in my edits/rewrites and I think my readers will agree – it is a vastly improved story. I plan on an early July release in both Print and EBook. I feel really excited about the redux version and have a strong way forward with the sequel – yes, there will be a sequel, tentatively titled ‘Blood Trail.’ Another exciting development is that I have received a wicked blurb from one of my favorite horror authors, Graham Masterton (The Manitou, The Sleepless etc). A truly generous author and a great inspiration. Here’s the blurb:


“William Cook tells a gruesome story with a sense of authenticity that makes you question with considerable unease if it really is fiction, after all.” – Graham Masterton, author of The Manitou and Descendant

In other areas, I have been tweaking my EBook (only) covers and have finally settled on a font-set/style that should carry my books through into the years ahead. As a largely self-published author (now), cover design is a major consideration when presenting books to the public. It is very hard to have a style and a ‘look’ that stands out from the thousands of other authors doing the same thing. The font/title design that I’ll use across all my titles now, while not original or unique (many authors have a similar title placement and font style), my point of differentiation will be in the art that I use for my covers. Some of it will be from other talented artists, but mostly I will be using my own creations to incorporate into the design of my covers. I’d be interested in hearing feedback from you as to your thoughts on the cover art/designs below. Good or bad, please leave a comment below – always open to fair critique of both my art and my written work. Anyway, check out the new covers below (click on the covers if you want to buy a copy of the Kindle version of the book – most are only $0.99 if they’re not free. U.K. Links are at the foot of this post). At the bottom of this post you will find direct links to two FREE BOOKS. My gift to you. 

All the best and stay safe, until next time, best wishes.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Offerings-Suspense-Horror-Thriller-Mystery-ebook/dp/B00V5NHLHQ/ref=la_B003PA513I_1_15?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1434756916&sr=1-15&refinements=p_82%3AB003PA513I

Burning Horror . .
A young pyromaniac battles her demons as her insatiable pursuit of the flame threatens to turn her world to cinders. Becky’s life spirals out of control as she struggles with an abusive step-father who will not leave her alone. A fast-paced short horror story that will keep you on the edge of your seat as it races to its thrilling and horrifying conclusion. From the author of Blood Related and Dreams of Thanatos

Bonus Features: includes an additional short story and a recent interview with the author.
*Please Note: This eBook short story is also part of the popular collection, ‘Dreams of Thanatos.’

Warning: contains adult content + themes of psychological horror and domestic abuse. 

http://www.amazon.com/CREEP-Suspense-Horror-Thriller-Mystery-ebook/dp/B00CSGOUAK/ref=la_B003PA513I_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1434756932&sr=1-7&refinements=p_82%3AB003PA513I 

Be careful who you get into a car with, even if that car is a taxi! A dark story of a young girl’s date with death. CREEP is a story that will leave you on the edge of your seat until the gripping climax which is unexpected and will leave the reader cheering for more. Serial Killers don’t always get away with murder, no matter how hard they try.
CREEP, is the first story in an exciting and gritty new psychological thriller series. Cassandra: Hunter of Darkness, is a hero to the victim and a merciless angel of death to the evil ones. A killer of killers, she strikes fear into the hearts of those who get their kicks off hurting others. Join Cassandra on her quest for justice and revenge as she begins her journey into the dark underbelly of serial murder and takes care of business as only she knows how.


From CREEP:

“Cassandra pounded on the window and frantically tried to push the rear doors open, first with her shoulders and then with her heels, to no avail. She peered into the dark confines of the garage and saw nothing except her frightened reflection looking back at her in the window, bathed in the dim yellow interior light of the cab. She cupped her neatly manicured hand across her brow and looked out the window again, her button nose touching the smeared glass as she did so.
She thought she heard a deep growling noise somewhere nearby outside the cab and then her window was filled with bared teeth and the blackest, evil eyes, she’d ever seen. The huge head of the Rottweiler retreated into the shadows before launching itself back at the vehicle, the razor sharp canines crunching against the window and sending a trail of cracks across the glass. Steaming froth and saliva dripped down the webbed glass as the dog began to bark and thud its massive head against the side of the cab. Cassandra scuttled across the back seat as she wet herself, waves of fear shrinking her into a ball, as the crazed dog leaped at the cab again …”


Recommended for Adult readers. Horror, Violence, & Implied Sexual Violence  

http://www.amazon.com/Hopeless-Suspense-Horror-Thriller-Mystery-ebook/dp/B00VNYPPC0/ref=la_B003PA513I_1_12?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1434756932&sr=1-12&refinements=p_82%3AB003PA513I 

A young girl must face her biggest fear – her father. As she struggles to protect her mother from the man who she once idolized, young Hope must confront her situation and the possibility that they may not get out alive. A fast-paced short horror story with a twist that will keep you on the edge of your seat. From the author of Blood Related and Dreams of Thanatos
Bonus Features: includes an additional short story and a recent interview with the author.

Warning: contains adult content + themes of psychological horror and domestic abuse.  

NOW FREE!!! GRAB A COPY QUICK.

OFFER ENDS 23RD JUNE.

In the tradition of EC Comics, The Twilight Zone and Tales From The Darkside, Devil Inside is a spine-chilling short horror story that will leave you wanting more. Graphic and descriptive, this supernatural tale winds itself around a disturbed young boy who discovers that when you make a wish, you better make sure you really want it. After all, monsters are sometimes real.
From Devil Inside:
“Jacob had no doubt as to what it was. It was the night-Beast under his bed, that lurked in his closet – the Beast that now raged before him, out in the light of day. It had escaped. ”

Recommended for mature readers. Horror, Violence, Supernatural, M15+
Short Story + 4 x Poems + Excerpt from Blood Related (novel).

http://www.amazon.com/Ticket-Suspense-Horror-Thriller-Mystery-ebook/dp/B00RAMNUBM/ref=la_B003PA513I_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1434756932&sr=1-6&refinements=p_82%3AB003PA513I

PERMA-FREE – GRAB A COPY NOW! 

Fast Train To Hell . . .
From the belly of the swamp issues forth a visit in the middle of the night from a force as dark and unimaginable as hell itself. Poor pig-farmer Abel Laroux, must battle the demons of his past as well as the nightmarish reality of the present, as he confronts a devilish visitor who has come to collect on an outstanding debt, inherited by Abel from his forefathers.

Bonus Features: Includes an excerpt from the author’s novel, ‘Blood Related’ + the long poem ‘The Temper of The Tide’, in its entirety.

Warning: contains adult content + themes of supernatural & psychological horror.

AMAZON U.K. QUICK LINKS


One Way Ticket

Creep

Burnt Offering

Hopeless

Devil Inside 

#horror #freebook #free #indie #selfpub #readers #books #thriller #kindle #amazon #Goodreads Horror, Free book, Free, Indie, Thriller, Kindle, WIlliam Cook, Amazon, @Amazon, @Goodreads, Goodreads

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Horror art and books – artists available!

parlor of horror

Stephen Cooney pic 11

Horror art and books

Here I’d like to feature some up-and-coming artists that have been creating book cover designs.

I say, judge a book by its cover! If the cover grabs you, chances are you will enjoy reading the story.

Do you have a new book coming out? These experienced artists are currently available for all your book cover and design needs.

———————————————–

Stephen Cooney
is an illustrator and artist greatly influenced by metal horror artists such as, Ed Repka and Derek Riggs. Stephen is known for his art in the science fiction, fantasy and horror genres, and is especially known for his zombie paintings. He is quite adept at producing artwork with gore, so if you have some crazy idea, lay it on him. A couple of his pieces remind me of the infamous Cannibal Corpse covers. He has designed book and magazine covers for many different publishers and authors from…

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How To Win Sales And Influence Algorithms

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Get to Know Highly Touted Creator of the Macabre, Tim Waggoner in This Brand New Interview!

Great interview here with author Tim Waggoner . . .

Horror Novel Reviews

Tim Waggoner is a diverse dude. Capable of touching down on virtually any dark corner of the genre, Tim’s gained a strong following. But it isn’t just versatility that makes his fiction so damn endearing, it’s the overall talent and refined prose he consistently delivers to fans. He’s an awesome player in this game (and he’s an awesome dude, to boot!), and we’re extremely excited to offer you up a new, exclusive interview with this stud!

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John Wisniewski: When did you begin writing horror, Tim?

Tim Waggoner: I first started consciously trying to write horror when I was eighteen. At that time, I played around with genre fiction in general and tried horror, fantasy, science fiction and mystery. I focused on fantasy for several years, but my first love as a reader had always been horror fiction. In some ways, I think was intimidated to seriously focus on…

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Twisty Christmas Launch

Phantom Feather Press

The Best of Twisty Christmas Tales -Book Launch The Best of Twisty Christmas Tales launch at The Children’s Bookshop, Kilbirnie.

KurtX_Twisty_Christmas_small KurtX, New Zealand’s Got Talent Semi-finalist kicks off the launch.

The Best of Twisty Christmas Tales launch at The Children’s Bookshop was a fabulous success with well over a hundred guests attending. A small kids ensemble opened the evening with Christmas music, then KurtX, the New Zealand’s Got talent harmonica semi-finalist, blew us away with his rendition of All I Want for Christmas is You!

Debbie_Cowens_Darian_Smith_Dan_Rabarts_Twisty_Christmas Authors Debbie Cowens, Darian_Smith and Dan Rabarts sign books for eager kids.

Books kept marching off the counter into the hands of happy readers, with authors all over the store signing them. The Twisty Christmas Drawing Competition winners were awarded their prizes by Geoff Popham, our fabulous illustrator, winning books, cards and posters. Winners are announced in this post. Lots of good food was consumed and the authors were toasted!

Competition_Geoff_Popham Illustrator Geoff Popham…

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Call for nominations for the SFFANZ Sir Julius Vogel Awards.

Nominations are now being accepted for the SFFANZ 2015 Sir Julius Vogel Awards (see below for link/details) and I have two books that are eligible for the ballot this year: Dreams of Thanatos: Collected Macabre Tales and Corpus Delicti: Selected Poetry.

The nomination period will close at 8.00pm on 31st January 2015. The awards recognize excellence in science fiction, fantasy, or horror works created by New Zealanders and New Zealand residents, and first published or released in the 2014 calendar year.

Anyone can make a nomination and it is free! To make a nomination please email sjv_awards@sffanz.org.nz.

Just copy and paste the following info (for one or both) into the body of your email:

WHAT to Put On the Nomination

For Dreams of Thanatos: Collected Macabre Tales

ESSENTIAL Information
This is to enable SFFANZ to verify and process the nomination.

  1. Name / Title of work – Dreams of Thanatos: Collected Macabre Tales
  2. Name of Producer / Author / Creator – William Cook
  3. What the work is i.e. – Collection (Short Fiction)
  4. Year of First Release – 2014
  5. What category you think the nomination belongs to – Professional Awards – Best Collected Work
  6. GENRE – Horror
  7. Contact details of the person making the nomination e.g. email or/and phone number

NOTE : If the only contact details you have are the publisher’s contact information on the book you are nominating, that should be sufficient.

HELPFUL Information But NOT Essential

  1. Publisher / Production company name – King Billy Publications
  2. How to contact the producer / author – williamcookauthor@gmail.com, 64 4 385 2456
  3. Other details about the work, that might be relevant – Print, Mobi, Epub
  4. Where to get a copy of the work – Amazon, Kobo, Author
  5. Any other comments you wish to add

****************************************************************

For Corpus Delicti: Selected Poetry

ESSENTIAL Information
This is to enable SFFANZ to verify and process the nomination.

  1. Name / Title of work – Corpus Delicti: Selected Poetry
  2. Name of Producer / Author / Creator – William Cook
  3. What the work is i.e. – Collection (Poetry)
  4. Year of First Release – 2014
  5. What category you think the nomination belongs to – Professional Awards – Best Collected Work
  6. GENRE – Horror
  7. Contact details of the person making the nomination e.g. email or/and phone number

NOTE : If the only contact details you have are the publisher’s contact information on the book you are nominating, that should be sufficient.

HELPFUL Information But NOT Essential

  1. Publisher / Production company name – James Ward Kirk Fiction (U.S.)
  2. How to contact the producer / author – williamcookauthor@gmail.com, 64 4 385 2456
  3. Other details about the work, that might be relevant – Print, Mobi, Epub
  4. Where to get a copy of the work – Amazon, Kobo, Author
  5. Any other comments you wish to add

********************************************************************************

HOW Many Times May You Nominate?

  1. You may nominate as many works as you feel is appropriate.
  2. You may nominate more than one eligible work in the same category. This would suit people who are major fans of one media in particular e.g. people who read a lot of books or short stories.
  3. You may nominate the same work in multiple categories if it fits the criteria of those categories.
  4. You MAY NOT nominate a work more than once in any given category.

The rules, criteria and categories for the awards can be found by clicking this link. Guidelines for nominations can be found by clicking this link.

*Remember – You don’t need to be a member of any group or organization to vote/nominate, so if you’ve read my eligible work, why not show your appreciation and support by taking a moment to cast a nomination? I’d really appreciate a nomination as it would be a massive boost to my career as a writer if I won an award like this, or even if my work reached the final ballot.

The categories are (my *books are eligible in the underlined categories):

Professional Categories:
Best Novel
Best Youth Novel
Best Novella or Novelette
Best Short Story  
*Best Collected Work
Best Artwork
Dramatic Presentation
Best Production/Publication
*Best New Talent
Fan Categories:
Best Fan Writing
Best Fan Artwork
Best Fan Production/Publication 
Special Awards:
Services to Fandom
Services to Science Fiction, Fantasy or Horror

Once again, the two books I have that are eligible this year are:
Dreams of Thanatos: Collected Macabre Tales and Corpus Delicti: Selected Poetry.

Of course, these two titles are just a few of the works eligible for nominations, so have a read, take a look and cast away, me hearties.

Thanks for reading and voting (hopefully).

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Horror Selfies: Because Not Reading is Scary!

Get a small shout-out here – check it out . . .

Kobo Writing Life

StephenKing_ReadMoreScaryBooksThe Horror Writers Association (HWA) has recently launched the Horror Selfies campaign, just in time for the Halloween season, in an effort to highlight the exceptional work, both literary and cinematic, produced by the horror genre.

Inspired by the popular “Say it with a Sign” meme—used by everyone from Ellen DeGeneres and Jon Bon Jovi, to David Beckham and Princes William and Harry—the HWA is utilizing the vast reach of social media to provide a platform through which people can tell the world why they love horror.
The HWA put out the call to authors and readers, actors and directors, fans and followers, to submit a selfie in which they hold a sign encouraging others to read horror/dark fantasy, to watch horror movies, or to write horror. Additionally, the HWA is also encouraging people to promote literacy/reading among children and young adults, or supporting a local library in their Horror…

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New Horror Anthology Release – Terror Train

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TERROR TRAIN ANTHOLOGY

EDITED BY A. HENRY KEENE & KRISTA CLARK GRABOWSKI

 

Proud to say I have a story in this anthology (‘One Way Ticket’) – in fact, one of the more complex stories I’ve written and one that I hope operates on a few different levels. The Terror Train Anthology, published by the good folk at James Ward Kirk Fiction, includes both stories and poetry about murder, madness, mayhem, monsters, and the macabre on the rails! The stories take us on a train ride that begins in New York and ends in California, with a little time in Europe, and includes over forty stops in between. Included in this magnificent collection is one by the legendary William F. Nolan titled “Lonely Train A Comin’.” The old west, a character that travels back in time, a tale from the future – they are all there. We have stories full of evil, revenge, love, lust, and mystery. We even have a little noir and, of course, a whole lot of Horror! Trust me, it’s a ride you won’t soon forget.

All aboard theTerror Train

From NYC to New Orleans, through winding paths and cityscapes, it grinds the rails and shatters the dead of night. It comes, stopping at stations along the way, to steal the screaming souls of the living and the dead and transport them to hell…  The Terror Train rides, from city to city, from village to village, through states, across rivers and mountains. If only it could tell its tales of grisly murder, of demonic pacts, black holes into different dimensions and portals to other realms where the ghosts of train robbers hunt in perpetuity for that elusive bullion filled carriage that cost them their immortal souls. Behold the terrors the train has witnessed, see firsthand the horrors it has lived through and when you get on board, pray, pray you’ve entered the right one, on the right track, the one that does not lead to oblivion… 

Terror Train contains stories by new and established authors, with a special guest story by William F. Nolan.

All aboard!

Grab your copy now!

US LINK http://www.amazon.com/Terror-Train-Mathias-Jansson-ebook/dp/B00KYWRWS2/ref=la_B00HXO3FRG_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1402746042&sr=1-3

UK LINK http://www.amazon.co.uk/Terror-Train-Mathias-Jansson-ebook/dp/B00KYWRWS2/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1402748251&sr=1-1&keywords=terror+train

AUSTRALIA LINK http://www.amazon.com.au/Terror-Train-Mathias-Jansson-ebook/dp/B00KYWRWS2/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1402748328&sr=1-1&keywords=terror+train

 

Cover art by Stephen Cooney

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Full author list:
Roger Cowin
Charie D. La Marr
Michael Thomas-Knight
Mark Rigney
Stephen Alexander
Mike Jansen
Justin Hunter
Mary Genevieve Fortier
Jeremy Mays
Murphy Edwards
Dennis Banning
Brigitte Kephart
Brian Barnett
Mathias Jansson
Abdul-Qaadir Taariq Bakari-Muhammad
Aaron Besson
Stephen Alexander
Jim Goforth
Dona Fox
Tony Bowman
Rie Sheridan Rose
Dale Hollin 
David S. Pointer

Stuart Keane
William Cook
Shenoa Carroll-Bradd
Stephen Alexander & Roger Cowin
A. P. Gilbert
Shane Koch
William F. Nolan
Teri Skultety
E.S. Wynn
Lori R. Lopez
Thomas M. Malafarina
Leigh M. Lane 
Alex S. Johnson

Plus Dedications and Appreciations by Keene and Grabowski

 

TRAILER

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CoFmgrXBQYQ&feature=youtu.be

 

Message from the Editors – A. Henry Keene and Krista Clark Grabowski

A. Henry Keene

In the days before bank-breaking tuition rates, I studied at the University of Louisville where I matriculated degrees in Communication, English, and Art History. I made significant progress in post-baccalaureate work in Humanities before my wings melted, and I returned to Earth to study Culinary Arts at Sullivan University. I now support himself and his family through his work as a chef.

A life-long fan of horror, I recall with delight the campy onscreen shenanigans of “Kingdom of Spiders,” the realistic horrors of “The Exorcist,” and the gruesome gore of “Demons” that scarred my youth and warped my mind. My favorite horror films are “Alien,” “Burnt Offerings,” and “Hellraiser.”

Essentially a surrealist, I stumbled into the field of horror with my first publications in James Ward Kirk anthologies. Since then, J.W.K. has published a collection of my early prose pieces entitled “The Crooked Closet” and a novella called “Meridiana.”

As a writer, I have striven to meld genre specific elements with broader cultural concerns, especially violence against women and man’s struggle with his sexual drives.

As an anthologist, I, in partnership with Krista Clark Grabowski, have compiled and edited “Terror Train.” This collection takes the reader on a journey to explore not only the place of the train in popular imagination but also the genre of horror as it plays out by region.

As a surrealist, I proudly proclaim that the inspiration for “Terror Train” came from a dream. Once the notion took shape and the partnership with Krista was formed, the project came to life and quality work from excellent artists came rolling in. It was just waiting to be done. It was in the air, the zeitgeist.

The highlight of submissions was receiving a message from Mr. William F. Nolan to offer his classic tale “Lonely Train A Comin’.” Having the Nolan piece in the Table of Contents has provided such a thrill to our contributors. We are so pleased to have been able to do it for them.

Working on this project has been pure joy from beginning to end. I am thankful to everyone involved, especially the writers and poets, who have responded so enthusiastically.

 

Krista Clark Grabowski

I too attended the University of Louisville, where I earned a degree in Finance that I have never used. I started working for a major health insurance company before I graduated and have been in the industry ever since, over 20 years now.

I loved reading from the time I was a child. In high school and college I devoured anything I could get my hands on that was written by Stephen King. My taste in books, like my taste in music, covers a wide range. I enjoy classics like Charles Dickens and F. Scott Fitzgerald. I enjoy Maeve Binchy, John Irving, and Neil Gaiman along with other bestselling modern-day authors. In recent years I have had the pleasure of reading the work of some very talented independent authors and it has become a passion.

I have one published story – “Daddy’s Girl”, which was published in an anthology published by JWK Fiction in 2013. It was following the publication of that anthology that I had an opportunity to assist Mr. Kirk with some editing needs and discovered that I really enjoyed it. I have since done some additional editing work for him and when A. Henry came to me with his Terror Train idea I was thrilled to be part of the project.

I loved every second of putting together this anthology. Mr. Keene’s idea caught on and very soon people were jumping onboard, eager to be part of it. We had fun with the authors involved in this project and we met some wonderful new people. It has truly been a collaborative effort every step of the way. I would do it all again in a second.

I am on the editing team for another JWK Fiction anthology and am also working on finishing up the first in a series of dark fiction/crime short stories. I am so lucky to have found a place where I can do what I love.

Terror Train is a wonderful collection full of great stories and poetry. You’ll be happily frightened as you ride the rails. As one of the author’s recently said “It’s a ride that’s to die for”.

ALTERNATE VERSION OF BOOK DESCRIPTION (NOT THE ONE ON AMAZON)

 

Terror Train is the creative brainchild of A. Henry Keene. The train leaves the station noir-style in New York and travels across the country until it stops in a California of the future. In between it stops in several states including Tennessee, Missouri, and Louisiana. At every stop there is a different tale of murder, ghosts, demons, and other horrors. There are tales of love gone wrong, twisted demon-possessed trains, a vampire story that is nothing like any vampire story you’ve ever read, and many other fun terrors. And the legendary William F. Nolan has humbled us with his gracious contribution. Along with the stories there are wonderful poems spread throughout this collection by some truly talented poets. Trust me, this is a ride you won’t soon forget.

 

LINKS

US LINK http://www.amazon.com/Terror-Train-Mathias-Jansson-ebook/dp/B00KYWRWS2/ref=la_B00HXO3FRG_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1402746042&sr=1-3

UK LINK http://www.amazon.co.uk/Terror-Train-Mathias-Jansson-ebook/dp/B00KYWRWS2/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1402748251&sr=1-1&keywords=terror+train

AUSTRALIA LINK http://www.amazon.com.au/Terror-Train-Mathias-Jansson-ebook/dp/B00KYWRWS2/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1402748328&sr=1-1&keywords=terror+train

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22457461-terror-train?from_search=true

 

CONTACT

terrortrain7975@yahoo.com

 

 

 

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Favorite influential philosophers and works

 

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Literary lists are common on the internet; recently on Facebook there has been a rash of ‘list your favorite’ authors, bands, movies, TV shows etc. I was recently asked to play the game whereby you list 15 of the most influential authors and poets you can think of. I played the game and listed my 15 favorites but it got me to thinking about why those writers influenced me and how. Usually, what I considered to be the ‘influential’ aspects of their respective writings was the aesthetic quality of the work in question. That is, the work influenced me because of the style and the author’s ability to craft a good story that left a lasting impression on me; the uniqueness of the story and the emotion and imagery it conveyed were also important criteria, as were the use of cadence and language to effectively grab and hold the reader’s attention from start to finish. As a writer myself, the question of influence also reveals itself in my choices due to the ideas that the author’s work manages to inspire. That is, Stephen King’s writing influences my own with the ideas his stories provoke in finding horror in the commonplace, Charles Bukowski’s stories in the idea that material is everywhere and usually some of the best can be found in the lowliest of human experiences, and so on. The fact that I chose many writers who are considered by many to be exemplars of their respective genres is another reason behind my choices. As I mentioned, I write too, and my choices reflect my own genre interests and the writers that I respect and reach for when inspiration is required.  In my opinion, poets usually produce more profound and influential work (in terms of ideas) than authors of long fiction, due to the oftentimes use of complex concepts, metaphor, and subject matter. Poets deserve their own list in my opinion because in relation to the question of ‘influence’ their work operates on a level closer to philosophy than fiction. This realization made me think about books and philosophers that had influenced me over the years and the creation of another list occurred.

            This list is wholly subjective and is limited to my own shallow years and reading habits. I’m sure that what has influenced me has repelled others. Who I consider of interest and worthy of mention, may fall way short of what others (more knowledgeable than myself) consider as suitable candidates. Whatever it is, it is my list and these are the influences on my thoughts and development as a writer. I have chosen these philosophers because they have caught my attention and their ideas have stayed with me and influenced my own mish-mash philosophy of life. I have no religious convictions to date but I have spiritual aspirations despite being an atheist. I do not support an optimistic world-view without recourse to skepticism and logical pessimism – whether that puts me in the ‘existential’ camp I’m not sure but it works for me. As a proponent of the ‘experiential’ school of learning, if I can’t experience phenomena I don’t believe in it, especially when it comes to theological concepts and mythology. However, even if I don’t believe in something because I haven’t experienced it, does not mean by a long stretch that I am not prepared to engage in the possibility that that thing could exist. The various contradictions in my own safe philosophy are no doubt reflected in my choice of recommended philosophers. Alan Watts for example speaks of an eastern idea of god amongst other theological concepts, yet he also speaks philosophically of things common to the human condition and that is where my interest primarily sits. I personally like visionary philosophers who speak with passion about what they believe and about the myriad possibilities of human and planetary consciousness; (William Blake and Khalil Gibran come to mind) but at the core of their philosophies these visionary thinkers are interested in how the human species has evolved and the possibilities of further evolution. This ability to speak intelligently and convincingly about an idea or a concept strikes me as being the foremost quality that the following philosophers possess. And indeed, it is an essential quality that all other great writers have in their written work. The ability to effectively communicate an idea/concept to the reader in order to influence the way in which they read and by turn the way in which they think. In light of this last statement, I have possibly omitted a crucial work by Aristotle – Ars Rhetorica, however it was not a work of his that influenced me as greatly as Ars Poetica or Metaphysica, hence the exclusion.

            ‘How do these works influence you?’ – a faint hypothetical question arises from the ether. If you haven’t noticed already, I have a slight interest (bordering on obsession) with things relating to the absurdity and horror of modern life. I have a macabre interest in things that go ‘bump in the night’ and in the apparent meaninglessness of human existence. I just can’t seem to shake the idea that the human species is of no more consequence to the universe than a grain of sand is to the ocean. Yet I hope that there is something else in the cosmos, beyond these mortal years; a hard-wired dream that keeps me alive I suspect. And these are the thinkers that have helped me come to terms with my skepticism over the years; they have provided answers to my questions and further concepts for me to contemplate. Without them, my world would be a lot more dark and depressing than it is, my own writing all the more pessimistic, and for that I thank them. If you haven’t read the works mentioned, I recommend them all without hesitation. Any misgivings you may have about the authors should be separated from the works themselves. Enjoy.

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Aristotle – Ars Poetica, *Metaphysica, The Nicomachean Ethics

Marcus Aurelius – Meditations (trans. Graves)

Jean Baudrillard – Simulacra and Simulation

Walter Benjamin – Illuminations: Essays and Reflections

William Blake – The Marriage of Heaven & Hell

Edmund Burke – A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful

Albert Camus – *The Myth of Sisyphus, The Rebel

Thomas Carlyle – Sartor Resartus

Khalil Gibran – The Madman, *Thoughts & Meditations, The Prophet

Immanuel Kant – Critique of Pure Reason, *Critique of Judgment  

Jiddu Krishnamurti – Beyond Violence, The Awakening of Intelligence, *Freedom from the Known

Bruce Lee – Tao of Jeet Kune Do

Frederich Nietzsche – *Beyond Good and Evil, The Antichrist, The Gay Science, Thus Spake Zarathustra, Human, All Too Human

PD Ouspensky – The Fourth Dimension (from A New Model of the Universe), Tertium Organum, *The Fourth Way

Bertrand Russell – *The Problems of Philosophy, The Analysis of Mind

Arthur Schopenhauer – The World as Will & Representation, *On the Suffering of the World

Lao Tzu – Tao Te Ching

Alan Watts – *The Wisdom of Insecurity, The Book on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are

Colin Wilson – *The Outsider, Beyond the Outsider

Ludwig Wittgenstein – *Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, Philosophical Investigations

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Independent Horror needs your help! (Seriously)

Please Help! This is not just another call to help fund an anthology or pay for someone to go to a con or raise some dough for whatever – this is a desperate plea from an indie press that has published and supported new talent in the horror industry for the past decade. Here is the video that my publisher Nicholas Grabowsky has done to help raise some much-needed support. Please view.
Nicholas Grabowsky was one of the first people to give me a break and is a staunch advocate of the underdog – probably to a fault, as can be guessed by this plea for help. This company doesn’t make money for profit, they make money to pay their authors and to stimulate interest in independent horror authors as much as possible. Not a sound business model I know, but it’s because whatever Nick does he does with heart and gives it everything he’s got. I know why BBS is struggling – things are tough and there’s not much money in horror unless you’re one of the big boys or girls at the top of the heap. It’s also because Nick probably needs to employ some merciless publications manager to slash some titles, drop some authors and aim for the mainstream, while he spends his days selling wares at conventions and bookstores etc – but he would never do that. One he can’t afford it and two, he’s too damn loyal to his authors and too committed to his dream. He just can’t “restructure” or be ruthless. Like I said, he has a heart. As we all know, good intentions and being nice seldom pays the bills and that is why you need to take a look at this fundraiser. This is not just about bailing Nick out of the crap or propping up a dead-duck, this is about Independent Publishing as a whole, in particular – the Independent Horror Publishing World that most of you reading this are part of.

Please support the project and get fantastic rewards in returnThere is a need for publishers like Black Bed Sheet Books because they are cornerstones in the industry; they do there best to stand on sometimes shaky foundations by which self-published authors launch their own careers/businesses and measure their own success against, yet they are different – it’s not just about the individual, it’s about the collective creative and financial welfare of the authors, and it’s about the readers who read them, because they like what Black Bed Sheet produces.

Are you a publisher, an author, a book designer, an editor . . . ? Could you need some help one day in this amazingly cut-throat world of dog-eat-dog financial stresses? Support your colleagues-in-arms; for the cost of a book or a TV Dinner, help ensure that an active member of the independent publishing community, who provides readers with so much great material and horror authors with a career platform, does not fall to the wayside because the rest of us sat around and did nothing to help. It won’t take much to help lift Black Bed Sheet books to its feet again and propel it forward to provide many more writers with career jump-starts and all those readers with countless hours of good solid horror enjoyment.

Every pledge receives something in return and, once again, Nick has let his generosity dictate these fantastic rewards are well worth some loose change. Please help. Please dig deep and share this with as many people as possible. Thanks for reading and long live Independent Horror.Best wishes

William Cook
(A proud Black Bed Sheet Books Author)

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-black-bed-sheet-stimulus-project

— with Nicholas Grabowsky.

Black Bed Sheet Books, Indiegogo, Funding, Horror, Indie, Independent Horror Publishing, Publishing, Financial Crisis, Help

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Dreams of Thanatos

Dreams of Thanatos. New trailer for Dreams of Thanatos – available now from Amazon.com.
http://www.amazon.com/Dreams-Thanatos-Collected-Macabre-Tales-ebook/dp/B00IINDTVI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1393026676&sr=8-1&keywords=dreams+of+thanatos

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What people are saying about ‘Blood Related’ (Review, Thriller, Amazon, Goodreads, Bookworm’s Bookmark)

Blood Related by William Cook: 5 of 5 Stars

Goodreads Synopsis:

For over two decades, Detective Ray Truman has been searching for the killer, or killers, who have terrorized Portvale. Headless corpses, their bodies mutilated and posed, have been turning up all over the industrial district near the docks. Young female prostitutes had been the killer’s victims of choice, but now other districts are reporting the gruesome discovery of decapitated bodies. It seems the killer has expanded his territory as more ‘nice girls’ feel the wrath of his terrible rage.

Meet the Cunninghams… A family bound by evil and the blood they have spilled. The large lodging-house they live in and operate on Artaud Avenue reeks of death, and the sins that remain trapped beneath the floorboards. Ray Truman’s search for a killer leads him to the Cunningham’s house of horrors. What he finds there will ultimately lead him to regret ever meeting Caleb Cunningham and the deviant family that spawned him. The hunter becomes the hunted, as Truman digs deeper into the abyss that is the horrifying mind of the most dangerous psychopath he has ever met.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13508567-blood-related
Click to go to Goodreads Review

Blood Related by William Cook
My Review: 5 of 5 stars

Blood Related is a psychological roller-coaster. I couldn’t put it down. The nature or nurture theme comes across strongly. Reflective of Caleb and Charlie Cunningham’s disturbing family background and the outcome of what could be only described as twisted parenting. Parents (Ella and Vera’s) poison continues to bleed into the adult lives of two brothers. The madness of their crimes is chilling, and persistence of Ray Truman whose goal is to bring them to Justice – leads the story into an endless horror fest for the reader.

The Cunningham’s childhood home becomes a house of horrors. Spine chilling gore and the insight into the mind of a serial killer kept me hooked. In my mind’s eye I could imagine the carnage, sense the emotions, with that feeling of watching a horror movie at every twist and turn, I wanted to look away, but couldn’t.

Buy a Copy now from Amazon

William Cook has a talent of making the story come to life. And if this is your choice of genre, then you are in for a treat.
No Spoilers Intended

Debbie Allen (see all Debbie’s reviews)

http://debs-bookwormbookmark.blogspot.co.nz/p/who-is-debbie-allen.html
Check out Debbie’s cool blog – click on the image above

Reblogged from the fantastic Bookworm’s Bookmark

Review, Debbie Allen, William Cook, Blood Related, 5-star, Horror, Thriller, Bookworm’s Bookmark

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Non-fiction books about Serial Killers

Non-fiction books about Serial Killers.

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FREE [for Kindle] – DEATH QUARTET

FREE – DEATH QUARTET (A Selection of Short Horror Fiction & Verse) is an eclectic miscellany of stories, poems, and ephemera, wherein the subject matter relates to the study of homicide and the aesthetic portrayal of such an act. In other words, themes of death and murder abound in this horrific collection brought to you by William Cook, author the novel ‘Blood Related.’

Amazon Review:
“5.0 out of 5 stars Murder Can Be Fun January 11, 2014
By Marianne – Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
 
This collection of creepy stories, disturbing poetry, and other scary stuff is just what the doctor ordered. That is, if your doctor wants you to have nightmares!! William Cook never fails to please, and he is right on target with this one. It’s a unique mix of different items; stories, musings, poetry, and quotes, all combined to raise the horror bar waaay up there. However, I must admit: basements and cellars are now completely and totally off limits for me. Thanks a lot, William Cook!!”

ImageAmazon Review:

“5 Star Review – Poetry and Fiction: Tastes of Horror January 7, 2014
By Diane J – Format:Kindle Edition

I had to give this book a five because every piece in it was excellent, although I did have my personal favorites. There are quotes from authors, psychiatrists, psychopaths, and others that generally lead us into one of the four stories. But first, the poetry is, as you would expect, dark, disturbing and dangerous. I found it very unsettling, which for my chosen genre, is a good thing. The stories are all well written and cover a wide variety of the underbelly of humanity. Don’t get me wrong, while I found them all gut wrenching and disturbing, the two that stood out for me were Blinded by the Light and Dead Aesthetics. The protagonist in the first story I listed is Patrick, a young horribly abused child who knows too many secrets and is punished severely for that knowledge. His world is so bleak and horrific, you will be completely drawn into it and won’t put the book down until the story is finished. The second story is obviously from the very twisted mind of an incredible author. My God, what can I even say? The subject matter is NOT for the squeamish and if you do read it knowing that fact, have a pail at the ready. The graphic imagery is grotesque beyond belief. But if you love your horror as nasty as it gets, this is a 100% winner by a brilliant writer.”

U.K. – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Death-Quartet-Short-Horror-Fiction-ebook/dp/B00FPT3MZQ/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1389477861&sr=8-8&keywords=death+quartet

U.S. – http://www.amazon.com/Death-Quartet-Short-Horror-Fiction-ebook/dp/B00FPT3MZQ/ref=la_B003PA513I_1_18?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1389477686&sr=1-18

 

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Short Fiction Stories in Print (Anthologized)

Just doing a tally on short fiction of mine that others have chosen to publish. Here is the complete list (including links) of anthologies in which my stories have appeared, in reverse chronological order.

Ugly Babies (Vol II) – ‘Conceived By Death’

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Bizarro, Bizarro: An Anthology – ‘The Colony’

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Songs For The Raven – ‘Til Death Do Us Part’, ‘Aspects of Infinity’

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Four Ghosts – Dead and Buried (Novella)

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Splatterpunk Saints Anthology – ‘King of Terrors’, ”Til Death Do Us Part’

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Read Us Or Die – ‘Burnt Offerings’,’The Reader’

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Serial Killers tres tria – ‘Blinded By The Light’

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I’ll Never Go Away Vol II – ‘Dead Memories’

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Serial Killers iterum – ‘Return of the Creep’

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Writings on the Wall – ‘Playing the Game’

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Dark Light – ‘Beach House’

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Putrid Poetry & Sickening Sketches -‘In The Dead of night’ (poem)

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Masters of Horror: The Anthology – ‘Devil Inside’

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DEVIL INSIDE by William Cook – FREE for Kindle

FREE NOW FOR KINDLE –

“Devil Inside is a short story, but it draws so many threads together, explores so many dark emotions, that the reader is left satisfied, yet wanting more. It’s a great story of evil and horror. It’s also a great lesson about how we are raising children today and why some of them take a dark path. They have seen so little light, they know it is safer to walk in the dark, no matter what monsters may lurk there.”

Horror, Violence, Supernatural, M15+

Short Story + 4 x Poems + Excerpt from Blood Related (novel).

FOR U.S. READERS – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00B3OCVMC/ref=cm_sw_r_fa_dpd_IJnSsb0MGRMME
FOR U.K. READERS – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Devil-Inside-William-Cook-ebook/dp/B00B3OCVMC/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1387498686&sr=8-5&keywords=devil+inside

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#FREE #KINDLE #HORROR #MERRYXMAS

 

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Blood Related featured in new Literary Analysis by Anthony Servante.

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I have been lucky with my experiences online – meeting lots of fantastic readers and writers alike. Mr Servante is an author who has been an immeasurable support for my own writing and has provided some of the more insightful and poignant reviews of my work in the past. So when he asked if I’d be interested in getting involved with his latest project: Killers and Horror: Ink Black, Blood Red I jumped at the opportunity. Anthony, once again, proved his skill in critically analyzing a number of fantastic works by Billie Sue Mosiman, Mark Parker, and Christine Morgan, alongside Blood Related, in relation to the portrayal of fictional violence and the comparison of non-fictional descriptions of infamous serial crimes. Here is the blurb:

Killers and Horror: Ink Black, Blood Red by Anthony Servante is a critical look at the horror of real killers versus imagined killers as analyzed in four fiction novels and three nonfiction books, featuring works by Billie Sue Mosiman, Mark Parker, Christine Morgan, and William Cook in fiction, and discussing real-life murderers, including Ed Gein, the original “Psycho”, El Sicario, a Mexican hit-man, and Richard Kulinski, The Ice Man, a Mafia contract killer. He discusses specific murders, the reasons for these deaths, and the personal motives of the killers. He also addresses the role of the reader who chooses visceral books with anti-heroes. WARNING: EXTREME GRAPHIC KILLINGS DESCRIBED.

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The following is an excerpt from Killers and Horror (permission kindly granted by Mr Servante) pertaining to his analysis of Blood Related:

“Which brings us to Blood Related by William Cook . . .

Purchase link:

http://www.amazon.com/Blood-Related-ebook/dp/B009WU5PNQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1383209849&sr=1-1&keywords=blood+related

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Book summary:

“Meet the Cunninghams . . . A family bound by evil and the blood they have spilled.

Meet Caleb Samael Cunningham, a diabolical serial-killer with an inherited psychopathology, passed down via a blood-soaked genealogy. Caleb is a disturbed young man whose violent father is a suspected serial killer and mother, an insane alcoholic. After his Father’s suicide, Cunningham’s disturbing fantasy-life becomes reality, as he begins his killing spree in earnest. His identical twin brother Charlie is to be released from an asylum and all hell is about to break loose, when the brothers combine their deviant talents.”

Analysis:

William Cook kills via a family of psychotic butchers. In his docu-crime drama, Cook employs a narrative style that floats between letters, newspaper accounts, third person perspectives from a law enforcer on the hunt for the killer(s), and the first person account of a set of sociopathetic twins whose mental ramblings veer between insane genius and sick sanity. The reader walks a thin line between fiction and nonfiction as Cook’s prose style shifts between demented frames of mind with seamless ease.

The reign of terror begins with Grandpa Cunningham, father Errol Cunningham, and the twins Charlie and Caleb. Grandpa and Errol are sadists who kill for sadistic pleasure. Errol and his crazed wife Vera teach their young boys to dispose of the bodies of their old man’s victims, just as likely Grandpa taught his son Errol. After Errol commits suicide as the law closes in on him, we learn that Charlie and Caleb have been killing victims on their own. Thus the police are confused and track two killers, the Portvale Serial Killer and the Dockside Ripper, little knowing that they are both members of the Cunningham clan. Cook uses his poetic style to blend the twins into one character, where the reader at times sees Charlie and Caleb clearly, but at other times, we cannot tell when we are seeing Charlie and/or Caleb. And to further confound the reader, Cook even blends elements of Errol into the mix. Caleb looks into the mirror and sees Errol, then Charlie. He no longer sees himself, though he knows (most of the time) that he is in fact Caleb. Furthermore, this mix takes on overtones of the supernatural (floating skulls and apparitions), but we know that the killer has gone completely insane. His only lucid moments come in dreams that have truths and frenzied fantasies interwoven. Reality and dream become the same images Caleb sees. And through it all, murder is the only means to separate the real from the hallucinations. This does not bode well for the Portvale population.

Ray Truman is the cop on the trail of the killer(s). He is the opposite of the Cunningham clan. He comes from a family of cops. He married a cop. His quest is for justice. But when he becomes a detective and tracks the Cunningham family, he faces the abyss once too often and does not hesitate to become a monster to stop these murderous fiends. It is he who suspects that the Cunninghams are responsible for the slew of deaths and missing persons, and it is he who first notices that the young twins are not so alike: Truman

“thought about Charlie Cunningham, realizing that when he thought of that psycho he couldn’t help but picture Cuntingham senior. He looked at the only mug-shot on the wall he had of a young Caleb and saw both Charlie and Errol in his dark eyes. He thought of how Caleb looked the last time he’d seen him, the scar that ran from his forehead to his chin had changed his face so he looked like his brother but not like his father, it was kind of hard to explain. Charlie was more like his old man than Caleb was. Caleb was a different beast altogether…”

He understands the danger that Caleb poses is far greater than his brother Charlie, but Caleb is the abyss that looks into the soul of the lawman. They both know only one of them will survive.

Caleb takes exception to the lawman’s fixation on him; he says, “The only reason Ray Truman suspected me of any of the unsolved murders in the Portvale region and surrounding city boroughs, was by way of association. Crime by association, that is my family legacy – tainted with the same lust to kill, the same burning urge, passed on down from generation to generation. And I am guilty. Guilty of the crime of being a Cunningham, and an exceptional killing machine.” He is offended by the accusation at the same time that he boasts of Truman being right about his guilt.

Because Cook portrays the Cunninghams so realistically, down to the newspaper accounts, it is easy to accept these killers as possible characters based on actual serial killers. I asked the author about this concern of mine. He answered, “I made the characters up – actually using an old friend of mine as the character study for Charlie Cunningham but they are both indeed composite characters of ‘types’ of Serial Offenders. There were aspects of some serial killers I used and I also used old case files from some vintage Detective magazines that I own (not verbatim of course). For example, the scene where Charlie places a pen in a shop-keeper’s ear and kicks it is actually a true rendition of a case where that actually happened. Nothing weirder or more horrifying than reality.

More info here about the process: https://bloodrelated.wordpress.com.

Cook holds up a mirror to art with his work, as a book about serial killers and as a work of art in its aesthetic theme. Blood Related is a work of art. It depicts killers. The killer kills for art to engage viewers and the media to his form of murder. The author and the main character blend in the poetic gray area of sophistry. Is it Cook or Caleb explaining the artistic aesthetic of death? As such, Cook is commenting on the real serial killers and their various reasons for killing (think Hannibal who kills to weed out the brutes of society, to make it a better place in essence); the Ice Man thinks the world is better off without the low-lifes and bullies that he kills. Cook has taken his “anti-hero” to a whole new level—as a comment on Art with a capital A. (I think of Buckets of Blood, the movie that depicted death as a comment on art via the Beat Era thinking of gaining immortality via art). Caleb confesses, “I wanted to see the world. Maybe become a better person one day. God knows I had tried, but my urge to create runs deep – killing’s in my blood.” He equates “creating” with killing. Hannibal Lecter equated cuisine with his murders. Is it the painter or the picture standing in the gallery?

We have seen how our fiction and nonfiction killers have been influenced by Pulp Crime Novels and lurid Detective Magazines. Cook takes this influence one step further with Caleb’s choice of reading: “Charlie liked the instinctual driven nature of Raskolnikov and felt that he learned a lot about avoiding capture, thanks to Dostoyevsky’s thorough analysis of the crime of murder committed by his protagonist. Charlie swore the author must have killed before to write with such intimate knowledge of the emotions befitting such a crime. The clarity of experience shone like light on the bloody hands of the killer.” Caleb also learns from the traditional trashy fare: “‘True Crime’ literature was my next step into the dark corners of the human mind – my own mind to be exact. I quivered with excitement and guilty pleasure as I thumbed through the volumes filled with the most horrible aspects of humanity. I recognized myself between the lines. I found kindred spirits on these pages; new heroes filled my world as I read voraciously, devouring the methods and the means to avoid detection and to make my mark on the world.” His master plan comes together as he takes refuge at his grandfather’s deserted farmhouse.

In this sense, Caleb’s killing of the German Shepherd, who resembled the dog from his grandfather’s ranch, symbolized the annihilation of his own psychosis, the putting down of a rabid dog, himself. Other images of himself appear as feral animals, including the wolf he destroys. Caleb is psychologically cleaning house; he even remarks his need for antibiotics and antipsychotics, the two drugs that would return him to a sane state where he could start over. We understand that he is still a killer, but repressed by medication, he can start over, re-imagine his art, and perhaps some day, stop taking the meds and resume his murderous work. This is Caleb’s way of thinking as he wraps up his catalog of deaths with the final killing we witness at his grandfather’s ranch. He has transcended the role of serial killer in much the same way that Hannibal Lecter took his killings to culinary heights: Two madmen who see no difference between fiction and nonfiction killings, between art and reality, between Hieronymus Bosch and Norman Rockwell.

Later we learn that the twins’ father, Errol, had a similar taste for the perverse: “Errol’s father trapped and killed stray cats and dogs in his backyard, enjoying their agonized death throes and often forcing his son to participate in the culling.” Caleb realizes that life had dealt him a losing hand from a stacked deck: “[I]f my parentage had been different – if the circumstance of my youth was not what it had been – then I may have been different. It wasn’t nature or nurture that dealt me the cards I played with now, more of a divine providence that gave me the tools I had at my disposal. These same tools allowed me to step into Pa’s mind’s eye through his words and see what he saw, feel what he felt.” Keep in mind that real serial killer Richard K surmised the same line of thinking, that he had become his brutal, angry father by trying to escape him.

The Portvale murders cease for a while but resume with slight variations, leading police to believe a “new” killer was on the scene or a copycat (as we’ve seen with Widow). But it was a case of father handing down the tradition of death to his sons, who, though at first reluctant to assume the mantel, learned to appreciate the pleasures of the hunt and kill. “Whoever made it out of the basement alive, was mine to play with in the tunnels below,” says Caleb with pride. The twins were picking up the crumbs left to them by their father. The reason for the confusion of the police: there are three killers at work, Errol, Charlie and Caleb. Cook in essence “recreates” killers who are traditional; Caleb seeks to emulate the real serial killers he has grown to idolize. He even lists his top ten, some of whom we’ve already discussed in the nonfiction section earlier: “Ted Bundy – Green River Killer Gary Ridgeway – The Ice Man Richard Kuklinski – H. H. Holmes – The Yorkshire Ripper Peter  Sutcliffe – The Zodiac Killer – The Dusseldorf Monster Peter Kurten – The Mad Butcher of Kingsbury Run – The Night Stalker Richard Ramirez – Jack The Ripper.” Caleb’s sleeping arrangements also reflect his new taste for the grotesque and the visceral. “My mattress sat on a bed-base I had constructed from old wooden packing cases and the walls were covered in posters and pictures ripped from library books and magazines. The various pictures juxtaposed with each other, the naked bodies of centerfold models set alongside the images of naked corpses of concentration camp victims.” He can no longer distinguish between arousal and blood-lust.

William Cook has created a crafty killer in Caleb whose roots in the Cunningham atrocities across two generations have been honed in the mad genius of the last member of the clan. As such, the reader may confuse fiction with nonfiction, for Caleb is so well drawn that one must blink twice now and then to check on the raison d’etre of the book. It is fiction. But there is no safety here, as there was in our other fiction books; the reader must plunge into the mind of the Cunninghams without the net, as we did with our nonfiction works. It is a perfect denouement to this look at killers and horror.

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Conclusion:

Killers roam the streets of everyday life. We are at their mercy. But the odds are so small that we will become victims that we feel safe. In reading about our nonfiction killers, the odds increased, and our safety net was lowered, depending on how much we empathized with our killers and how much we cringed that more such killers are out there. In reading about our fiction killers, however, our safety net was raised. Our killers here were romanticized, distanced with humor, and portrayed in nonfiction variations. It is the fiction killer who seems real that fascinates us the most as we feel the danger at hand. It is a roller-coaster ride where we are safely locked in, but a ride that can go wrong with the shredding of one important bolt. With the nonfiction, it wasn’t about a fun ride; it was about facing our fears head-on, traveling into the heart of darkness where Kurtz and Horror await. If, like Marlowe, we can return from this darkness, then we appreciate our civilized lives all the more. But then, what if we don’t return? That’s always the risk we enjoy taking whether it’s in fiction or nonfiction, with real killers or imagined. Because sometimes we learn that there is safety in the darkness, for who of us hasn’t a bit of the killer in their heart? Certainly not us, right?”

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Thankyou to Anthony again. Please make sure to buy a copy of Killers and Horror: Ink Black, Blood Red by Anthony Servante. While you’re there, check out Anthony’s other works – he has a real penchant for horror and you’ll see this aesthetic carried through most of his works. Also, pay a visit to Servante of Darkness: Horror, SF, and Noir. Words & Sounds for the Living where he elucidates the following commendable philosophy:

“In literature these are the eras agreed upon by academics: Medieval, Renaissance, Enlightenment, Romantic, Victorian, Naturalism/Realism, Existentialism, Beat, Modern and Post Modern. Did you know that the genre of Horror has no eras because academia does not consider it a legitimate field of study. I consider horror to begin with the Romantic (Frankenstein), Victorian (Dracula), Golden (Cthulhu), Silver (Manitou, The Keep, The Rats), and Cyber (which is today’s use of the internet by both e-authors and paper authors). Although academia has only begun to listen to me and my categorization of the cybernocturnal as a new form of literature, I storm ahead with my chronology of horror and hope that the academics will catch up. This is our field, what we read, what we write, what we discuss. We can’t wait for some anthropologist to decide what “horror” is 100 years from now. It’s our responsibility today. That’s what the Servante of Darkness is all about. I write reviews. I discuss literary trends. I interview people of note. I can be reached at eslprog@aol.com”

Billie Sue Mosiman, Mark Parker, Christine Morgan, Anthony Servante, Killers and Horror: Ink Black, Blood Red, Literature, Critique, Blood Related, William Cook, Amazon, Kindle,

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FREE FOR KINDLE (NOW ‘TIL HALLOWEEN) – GRAB, SHARE, ENJOY . . .

FREE FOR KINDLE (NOW ‘TIL HALLOWEEN) – GRAB, SHARE, ENJOY . . .

DEATH QUARTET (A Selection of Short Horror Fiction & Verse) is an eclectic miscellany of stories, poems, and ephemera, wherein the subject matter relates to the study of homicide and the aesthetic portrayal of such an act. In other words, themes of death and murder abound in this horrific collection brought to you by William Cook, an up-and-coming indie author of macabre fiction and the novel ‘Blood Related.’

Amongst the selection of four short stories you will find the never-before-seen ‘origin story’ that generated the novel ‘Blood Related’. A stand alone story in its own right, ‘Legacy: The Eternal Now and Thereafter’ rounds off DEATH QUARTET and gives fans of Cook’s novel Blood Related a chance to see where it all began. Make sure you read it with the doors locked.

From Blinded by the Light:

“The tip of the sharp blade pressed hard on Patrick’s lower eyelid. A tear bubbled and fell from his twelve-year-old eyelashes, gathering in the indent caused by the presence of the knife, before running the full length of his young face and falling onto his white t-shirt. His dad’s breath smelt bad, real bad – like something had died inside him and was stinking him up big-time. Patrick stood on his toes, his father’s muscled forearm pressing hard against his chest, pinning his scrawny back against the kitchen wall. Patrick stood as still as possible, cross-eyed with fear, his gaze never left the glint of the knife’s blade in his face. His father gave the tip a slight twist and Patrick felt a stab of pain as warm blood traced the path of his tears to drop on his t-shirt. Patrick’s breath hitched and all he could think to himself was – “this is it! Dad is gonna kill me. He’s gonna kill me. He’s gonna . . .”

#Free, #FF, #Amazon, #Horror, #Thriller, #Kindle, #KDP, #Halloween, William Cook, Death Quartet

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Interview with William Cook, Author of Blood Related (+ giveaway)

Interview with William Cook, Author of Blood Related (+ giveaway).

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Interview with William Cook, Author of Blood Related (+ giveaway)

Recently, Donald White asked me to do an interview for his writer’s blog and this was the result. Be sure to check out Donald’s website for lots of interesting features on writing and up and coming writers. Also if any of you out there haven’t read Blood Related and would like a FREE kindle (only) copy, please leave a comment below this post/thread. Any of you out there who have read and enjoyed Blood Related, I would be grateful for a short review left on Amazon if you can manage it. Every little bit helps 🙂 Have a great week. Will.

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An Interview with William Cook

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The Writer’s Blog welcomes the inimitable William Cook! Please tell us a little about yourself.

William Cook:

Hi and thanks for having me here Donald. I like to think of myself as primarily a writer first and an artist second. I live in New Zealand at the foot of the world, happily married with four daughters, in charge of the house and looking after the two youngest girls. I have been writing weird stories ever since I was a kid. My first published works were poems in various literary journals in NZ and a few in the States. Back in 1996 I published a collection of verse titled ‘Journey: The Search for Something’ and had the occasional poem and short story published online, but nothing really of note until 2010 when Lee Pletzers from Triskaideka Books accepted my story ‘The Devil Inside’ for the 2010 Masters of Horror Anthology. I have always loved the Horror genre and dark literature, so this really inspired me to write what I loved rather than what I thought other people wanted to read and it has finally started to pay off. The thing I love about the Horror/Thriller genres is that a good story will get your pulse racing and your heart thumping. I feel it is the best medium to create a world where the reader feels alive because they are experiencing fear of some sort. Sounds sadistic I know, but I personally find that no other genre gives me the thrills I seek when I immerse myself in a fictional world. I have since had quite a few Horror shorts published in various anthologies.
My novel ‘Blood Related,’ was re-released by Black Bed Sheet Books Halloween 2012. Writing it was a labor of love and took me roughly six years to write and it wasn’t until I changed day-jobs that I had the time to bring it all together as my debut novel. The novel is about a disturbed young man called Caleb Cunningham, whose violent father is a suspected serial killer and mother, an insane alcoholic. After his father’s suicide, Cunningham’s disturbing fantasy-life becomes reality, as he begins his killing spree in earnest. His identical twin brother Charlie is released from an asylum and all hell is about to break loose, when the brothers combine their deviant talents. Blood Related is a serial-killer/crime novel told in a first-person narrative style from the killer’s (Caleb’s) point-of-view.
I have been privileged to have authors I look up to, give me feedback on Blood Related. People like Jonathan Nasaw, Guy N Smith, Laird Barron, Mark Edward Hall, John Paul Allen, and Nicholas Grabowsky, have all been kind enough to read and review my work – something I would never have believed possible until now.

Not only a talented author, but you are also an excellent artist. Tell us what it is like to create such gruesome works of art.

William Cook:

Well it all depends on the work of course but generally speaking, for some reason I can’t explain, my preference has always been depicting darkly ghoulish things. I have recently moved away from using traditional painting/drawing methods and now do 90% of all my work with Photoshop and digital mediums. I get my inspiration from my dreams and the various pop-cultural works I peruse, i.e. film, comics, fiction and music. I will usually start with a small sketch in a notebook or write down an idea of an art-piece that comes to mind (descriptively) before taking digital photographs of textures, trees, people and other subjects that interest me. I’ll then bring everything together via Photoshop and use it to add darkness, depth and dimension to my original vision. It is hardly ever reproduced physically apart from the occasional print or book cover so I like to call it my ‘virtual dark art.’ With each passing year I am less interested in the visceral gore-infused stuff that I used to produce, instead, I am leaning towards ‘quiet’ horror these days and subtlety is something I strive for in both my visual and written work.

Blood Related was your first novel and, arguably, most controversial work to date. Explain how you were able to get into the minds of the two main characters.

William Cook:

Blood Related combined a lifelong interest in the macabre with a lot of research into true crime and serial killers. I can trace my interest in this morbid subject to an event in my life when I was younger, whereby my best friend shot another friend of mine (his ex-girlfriend) and then killed himself. Obviously, this would leave a lasting impression on most people as it did to me. Subsequently I began to wonder why a large percentage of humans treat each other so badly and have a tendency towards self-destruction and nihilistic behavior. This aspect of my inquiring mind is constantly reinforced (the questions) by the media who use such occurrences to perpetually sensationalize ‘news’ and by our so-called leaders who use fear to drive political agendas. The politics of fear are very much a staple diet of news-hungry consumers who seem to relish lurid accounts of human cruelty and abuse, and (so it seems) probably the same reasons fiction is full of the horrors of human behavior.

There are plenty of fictional books that deal with the subject of serial murder and during the research I conducted for BR, a perceptible ‘canon’ of such literature dating all the way back to Gutenberg and beyond (The Bible/Quran etc) became apparent to me. Apart from being of interest for research purposes, serial killer fiction has always intrigued me and some of the first ‘adult’ books I ever read as a young teenager dealt with the subject. Probably the two biggest influences on my writing of BR were Colin Wilson’s ‘The Killer’ and James Ellroy’s brutal ‘Killer on the Road.’ I have always wanted to write a first-person novel and the six years I spent writing BR were the result of this desire. I never thought the book would see the light of day but it all seemed to come together quickly when I bought a new lap-top and within three months of shopping it around to various indie presses it was published. I’m not sure that I would write another first-person serial killer novel as it (the subject matter and the book) consumed my thoughts for a long time. I found it a lot more disturbing to write about psychopathic humans than I do writing tales of horror that deal with more supernatural and fantastical elements. The most frightening aspect, to writing BR and creating believable characterizations of serial killers, is how easy it was to contemplate and describe such characters and their sordid crimes. BR lends itself to a sequel and I have made sure that the next book will be told in the third person, for the sake of my own sanity.

You are also quite the poet, having released two collections: Moment of Freedom and Temper of the Tide. How does one achieve true feeling in verse?

William Cook:

Before I began writing stories I wrote poems. The first ‘real’ poem I remember was Blake’s ‘Tyger’ and I have enjoyed reading and writing verse ever since. My first published work was in verse-form and my first published book was a collection of my poems back in 1996, titled ‘Journey: the Search for Something.’ The verse has nearly always ‘written itself’ and generally comes after periods of introspection or strong emotional experience. Most of my early work was terrible heart-wrought angst spewed onto the page as fast as I could write it and thankfully, with a bit of experience and a more temperate lifestyle, I have stopped referring to my emotions when I write poetry. ‘True feeling’ is a completely subjective experience, both on and off the page; the only thing I can suggest in response to your question is that honesty needs to be employed when writing poetry that deals with emotion or the translation thereof. Cadence is also important and I have always tried to use onomatopoeia in my verse in order to convey the ‘sense’ of whatever it is I’m trying to impart. Simplicity is also important; there is no point writing convoluted expressionistic verse, if no one is ever going to understand what it is you are trying to say! After writing poetry for over twenty years I think I have finally began to find my voice and I think it is important to have your own voice as a poet, in a medium so canonically reliant on style and form. In other words, write from the heart with the mind as your guiding light, in a voice of your own making. Easier said than done, right?

Tell us about your work with JWK Fiction. What advice would you give writers looking to submit stories?

William Cook:

JWK Fiction [http://jwkfiction.com/] has published quite a few poems and short stories of mine and I’m happy to recommend James and the team to any aspiring writer of Horror and Speculative fiction. I think that a large part of having stories accepted for publication in the indie presses, is to write well (obviously) and to read the submission guidelines carefully. A lot of writers out there have a hard-drive full of stories that they want to see published, make sure the story you submit is what the publisher is looking for. It sounds basic but if you’re going to spend time tailoring a previously written story to fit a submission call you may as well start fresh and write something new with the guidelines in mind. I made this mistake (reanimating old work) when I was first starting out and the rejections came in thick and fast, as soon as I started writing fresh stories for specific guidelines I started having success with my submissions. If you submit a lot of stories I would also suggest keeping a record of your subs including story titles, word counts and dates etc. It saves embarrassment and time wasting if you’re simultaneously submitting stories and then having to remember if they’ve been accepted elsewhere etc.

Who are your three favorite authors and how have they influenced your work?

William Cook:

Robert Bloch, Flannery O’Connor, Sherwood Anderson (I have more than three). I love the way they convey human emotion, particularly fear, through the short story medium. They are the writers of psychological drama who I enjoy reading the most. Without reading these writers I probably would have never written short stories – very inspirational and efficient writers, who better to emulate.

What are you working on right now?

William Cook:

I am midway through the sequel to Blood Related titled ‘Blood Trail’, finishing edits on an anthology that JWK Fiction is publishing called ‘Fresh Fear’ [http://www.williamcookwriter.com/p/blog-page_26.html] with stories from the likes of Ramsey Campbell, Billie Sue Mosiman, JF Gonzalez, Jack Dann, Robert Dunbar, amongst others, and working on two separate collections of my short fiction and poetry.

Thank you for joining us on The Writer’s Blog, William. We look forward to more horrific masterpieces to come…

William Cook links:

http://www.amazon.com/William-Cook/e/B003PA513I

Website:

http://www.williamcookwriter.com/

Online Portfolio:

http://wookieart.tumblr.com/

Bio:

William Cook is a writer of the macabre from New Zealand, a small antipodean island group in the South Pacific. When not writing, he looks after two small daughters and designs book covers that are designed to scare the hell out of people. Having held down a multitude of jobs before becoming a “Domestic Manager”, he brings to his writing a vast array of experience that translates to the page in the form of strange characters and situations that bleed horror. From slinging timber in lumber yards, cutting plastic film in a meat packaging company, making rat-poison and acid cleaning products, working on a prawn trawler in the Gulf of Carpenteria, selling ads, and teaching English in Korea, to name a few of the roles he has performed – being a starving writer of Horror fiction seemed like a completely viable occupation.

Currently working on a sequel to his debut novel ‘Blood related’, titled ‘Blood Trail’, it is due for completion mid-year and for publication by his amazing publisher Black Bed Sheet Books sometime in the hereafter.

SOURCE: http://thedonaldwhitewritersblog.blogspot.co.nz/2013/09/an-interview-with-william-cook.html

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Latest Review for Blood Related

Blood Related

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Written by William Cook

Reviewed by Char Hardin

May I introduce the Cunningham Family: father who is a suspected serial killer who dies by his own hand who is married to an insane alcoholic combined they beget two sons who follow in their father’s footsteps Caleb and Charlie inherited more than dysfunctional family traits they inherited a blood soaked heritage that caused the boys to rain down a legacy of terror and death.

The beginning of the story is a preface by the psychiatrist Dr. Mary Brunswick who tells how she worked with Charlie during his trial and then after he was sentenced how his brother Caleb approached her with his own tales of murder. The trust between doctor and patient was built on the confidentiality clause that she could not break. He was free with his accounts and then disappeared. Just reading the preface was a strong indication of the content of the pages to come. I consumed this story in one sitting. One word to describe what William Cook has accomplished…TERRIFYING.

Blood Related kept me up all night on the edge of my recliner, chewing on my fingernails and constantly looking to my front door to note that it was indeed locked. Each murderous account drew me deeper into the psyche of the killers to marinate as I tried to fathom what created these modern day monsters. Fans of American Psycho will eat this book up. Throughout the text, I couldn’t shake the creepy feeling that I was being watched and at one point rose long enough to turn on the light battle back the encroaching darkness.  When at last I turned to the final page, I drew in a deep breath and noticed my fingers were white and tightly gripping my laptop as I read the story.

Upon further reflection and glancing back at my notes, I was relieved that I text was well edited. I do detest reading a story and feeling like I am deprived of the enjoyment as a reader, when the text is so riddled with errors and misspellings that I become an editor instead of a reader…not so with this book.

One thing I would have liked on some of the murders, it felt like I was being overly told of the circumstance instead of being allowed to feel and be shown the events as they played out. It is something even I as a writer suffer with telling more and showing less. It does not reflect badly on the author and in no way takes away from the flow of the story. It is just a “feeling” I got at times and could be only “felt” by me.

This is a male dominated story with women playing a less than glamorous role and more of an object to be to thrust pain and degradation upon. This did not bother me, but to those out there it does, then you may just pass on Blood Related or in any case be warned this is not boy meets girl and falls in love and lives happily ever after. No, more like boy meets girl and thinks of ways to take her apart and then does so piece by bloody piece. Personally…I loved every blood soaked page!

I would recommend this story to my horror readers, especially to the ones who love serial killers. Blood Related will not disappoint. I would like to add also while reading the story at times, I had to pause and whisper. “This is fiction. This is only fiction and is not real.” After I went to bed, I left the light on and slept fitfully as I just couldn’t shake the feeling of being watched. Awesome book 4 Out of 5!

 
Check out Char’s cool blog here.

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FREE short fiction promotion – Devil Inside (3 days only)

Hi all – aside from my novel I also write a lot of short fiction, mainly in the Horror/Thriller genres. My short story ‘Devil Inside’ is FREE now for those of you who like scary stories 🙂

FREE KINDLE HORROR (05-07/9)

‘Devil Inside’ is a short horror story that will leave you wanting more. Graphic and descriptive, the tale winds itself around a young boy who discovers that when you make a wish, you better make sure you really want it.

Horror, Violence, Supernatural, M15+

Short Story + 4 x Poems + Excerpt from Blood Related (novel).

Amazon US –http://www.amazon.com/Devil-Inside-ebook/dp/B00B3OCVMC/ref=la_B003PA513I_1_15?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1378331600&sr=1-15

Amazon Uk – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Devil-Inside-ebook/dp/B00B3OCVMC/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1378332822&sr=8-4&keywords=devil+inside

#free #kindle #horror #trending #hwa #AmazonUK #Amazon

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One of my favorite reviews for Blood Related.

William Cook ‘Blood Related’ Review

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Written by: Drake Morgan

William Cook’s Blood Related delves into the mind and dark psychology of a serial killer named Caleb Cunningham. The story centers around Cunningham and his family who have all been connected to a series of brutal murders over a number of years. The story begins with a psychiatric overview and then progresses to Caleb’s version of events.

The format of the narrative is interesting in that it makes not two shifts, but several. The first chapter is a first-person perspective from a court appointed psychiatrist. Through her, we get a very rough overview of the Cunninghams. We learn that there are twin brothers, both deeply psychotic and sinister. The psychiatrist examines Charlie during the course of a trial, but then becomes heavily involved with Caleb. We learn that Caleb is the true monster and the bulk of the narrative then becomes Caleb’s diaries, journals, and psychiatric sessions. Later chapters shift again to a series of newspaper articles giving the reader a final summary of the events that Caleb’s first-person account misses. The novel closes with a series of letters from Caleb explaining his motives and leaving the reader and his doctor with a cryptic goodbye.

Caleb’s story is fairly straightforward. Abused as a child, he’s described as “evil,” “one of the most dangerous men alive,” and the like. Cook’s writing is fluid and descriptive, but Caleb’s exploits take on mythological proportions as the story progresses. Cook goes to great length in his research of abnormal psychology. He skillfully uses the terminology and psychiatric evaluations to create an authentic element to the narrative. Caleb’s excesses are in stark contrast to the realism in other areas and it’s a jarring juxtaposition at times.

As a study in dark psychology, Blood Related is an interesting tale. Cook does an excellent job grappling with the disturbed mind. Psychiatry struggles with the abnormal that goes beyond the human comprehension of evil. Cook takes on the challenge of this struggle and handles it well. A more subtle handling of Caleb’s story would have added a great deal to the psychological framework. Definitely worth a read for the insight into a twisted mind.

grab it here!

Rating: 3.5/5

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Click Me!

Click Me!

http://williamcookwriter.com

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BLOOD RELATED – A NOVEL (TO DATE)

Blood Related – The Novel

Just want a copy of the book? Click on the pics below for direct links to Amazon and the publisher.

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Clink on the image to buy the Kindle version
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Clink on the image to buy the Print Version        

 Introduction to Blood Related – The Kindle Book Review Nominee for Thrillers (Semifinalist)

My first novel, Blood Related, was published in Dec/Jan 2011/12 by Angelic Knight Press. Since then it has been republished by the good folks at Black Bed Sheet Books – one of the initial publishers who wanted to publish BR when I was first shopping it around. In hindsight, my first choice was premature and I should’ve been more patient but as they say, that was then, this is now. The people at AKP did the best they could at the time and I thank them for giving me my first break as a debut novelist. BBSB still wanted it when my contract lapsed with AKP, so I decided to go with Nick and the gang at BBSB and it has been a happy and productive working relationship to date.

Sooooo, I decided to make the leap and relaunch Blood Related with BBSB, who have also offered to publish the sequel when it’s finished (Blood Trail – on track for an August wrap). I didn’t expect to make a lot of money from my book in the short term and feel that is a pretty unrealistic expectation for any debut Indie author, but I have big plans for the complete saga and feel that positioning the work with BBSB will best serve this purpose. That is, not to make money but to grow as a series with an increased focus on the Horror of it all (and hopefully make a few dollars on the way).

Nicholas Grabowsky has been an unflinching ally since I approached him over a year ago about Blood Related – the timing wasn’t right then, but the stars have aligned so to speak and i’m very happy to be on board (post August 1, 2012) with Captain Grabowsky at the helm. Amongst many other things, Nicholas is the author of Halloween IV and The Everborn, and has a long pedigree of involvement in the Indie and Pro Horror markets. As a result of his tireless work within the Horror industry he has attracted an impressive stable of authors to BBSB. Black Hamster TV is another wing of BBSB’s diverse media presence online and real world: you may have heard of ‘Francy & Friends Radio‘, Hacker’s Source, or Shot in the Dark Comics, all affiliates of BBSB.

Click on the banner to buy discounted copies of Blood Related in all versions  direct from the publisher (recommended) – you can even buy a Blood Related  t-shirt if you’re a fan! While you’re there make sure to check out the other BBSB authors – some great writers there and heaps of cool things to look at too. Support Indie Horror!

Blood Related – Synopsis

For over two decades, Detective Ray Truman has been searching for the killer or killers who have terrorized Portvale. Headless corpses, their bodies mutilated and posed, have been turning up all over the industrial district near the docks. The remains of young female prostitutes have been the killer’s victims of choice, but now other districts are reporting the gruesome discovery of decapitated bodies. It seems the killer has expanded his territory as more ‘nice girls’ feel the wrath of his terrible rage.
Meet the Cunninghams . . .

A family bound by evil and the blood they have spilled. The large lodging-house they live in and operate on Artaud Avenue reeks of death and the sins that remain trapped beneath the floorboards.

Meet Caleb Cunningham . . .

Caleb is a disturbed young man whose violent father is a suspected serial killer and mother, an insane alcoholic. After his Father’s suicide, Cunningham’s disturbing fantasy-life becomes reality, as he begins his killing spree in earnest. His identical twin brother Charlie is to be released from an asylum and all hell is about to break loose, when the brothers combine their psychopathic talents.Eventually stepping out from the shadows of his murderous forebears, Caleb puts in motion his own diabolical plan to reveal himself and his ‘art’ to the world. He’s a true aesthete, an artist of death. His various ‘installations’ have not received the status he feels they deserve, so Caleb is expanding his ‘canvas.’

Meet Ray Truman . . .

A tragic cop whose personal demons won’t let him rest. Overworked and underpaid, Truman is tenacious as a pit-bull. He won’t rest ‘til he’s brought to justice Portvale’s infamous serial killer. His battle with his own demons gives him the strength to chase the shadows and to cut corners when necessary, as he embarks on the hunt of his life.His search leads him to the Cunningham’s house of horrors. What he finds there will ultimately lead him to regret ever meeting Caleb Cunningham and the deviant family that spawned him. The hunter becomes the hunted as Truman digs deeper into the abyss that is the horrifying mind of the most dangerous psychopath he has ever met.

This horrifically disturbing tale of a family tree of evil will embed itself in the mind of the reader, long after the last page has been turned.

Horror Fiction Review

Absolutely chuffed to have a great review for Blood Related up alongside the likes of some literary heroes of mine like Jack Ketchum, Edward Lee, James A Moore, and Wrath James White.

THE HORROR FICTION REVIEW: NOVEMBER, 2012 Reviews: NOVEMBER, 2012 REVIEWS

BLOOD RELATED by William Cook (2012 Black Bed Sheet Books / 323 pp / tp and eBook)
Caleb and Charlie Cunningham are twin brothers who each inherited a serial killer pathology.  Their father was a suspected serial killer and their mother was insane, a drunk, and possibly an accomplice.  After Charlie goes to prison and their father commits suicide, the full truth of the Cunningham’s legacy begins to present itself and Caleb’s turns his bloody fantasies into reality.
BLOOD RELATED is told primarily from the point of view of Caleb in the form of journal entries given to a forensic psychiatrist who handled Charlie’s case.  There are also news stories and police reports to support Caleb’s claims about his family.  The story is graphic and the brothers are violent and relentless, although at times I found myself wanting to like Caleb.  The characters are well-developed and tremendously disturbed.  William Cook has written a frightening story that poses the question “is it nature or nurture that determines the birth of a serial killer?”  The only issue I had with the book was that at times I was confused as to the time line of events.  Other than that, I highly recommend BLOOD RELATED, unless you are a bit on the squeamish side.  I would definitely categorize the book as extreme horror.
-Colleen Wanglund

Book Trailer

Here is the new Book Trailer for Blood Related. Very cool – thanks to Cyrus from CyrusFiction Productions for creating this.

WARNING: CONTAINS SCENES OF HORROR AND ANIMATED VIOLENCE

What other authors say about Blood Related

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Publisher Details

Come and visit the Blood Related page at my publisher’s website: Black Bed Sheet Books.
While you’re there be sure to check out all the other titles. Hell! You can even buy a cool t-shirt with Blood Related emblazoned across the chest.

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Excerpt

Preface:

I met Charlie Cunningham while working as a court appointed psychiatrist, testifying to the defendant’s state of mind at a sentence review hearing. He was imprisoned for the homicide of a dispensary store-owner and was a prime suspect in the killings of at least two other people in the Portvale area. Cunningham was held as an inmate at a sanitarium after recently assaulting a group of fellow prisoners at Breakhouse Penitentiary. His behavior had deteriorated during his stay at the prison and had resulted in a severe psychotic breakdown, culminating with the assaults, hence the reason behind his transfer and my testimony. Dr Frederic Rimbaud, chief psychiatrist at Saint Michael Hospital for the Criminally Insane, passed on Charlie’s case notes to me with a warning that I should “take another case as this one [Cunningham] isn’t worth defending!”

At the time, Charlie had not gained notoriety as a suspected serial killer. However, his psychiatric assessments, coupled with his criminal background, confirmed his capacity for committing multiple murders. After numerous interviews, I concluded that he was a high-risk violent serial offender of the disorganized type, with full-blown antisocial personality disorder. It was my opinion that Charlie Cunningham was one of the most dangerous Antisocial Personality types I had encountered in all my twenty years of forensic psychiatry. That was, before I met his twin brother Caleb.

I first encountered Caleb while visiting his brother Charlie at the asylum. It was a typical ‘non-contact’ visiting room for maximum-security inmates, or ‘patients’ as the staff liked to call them. Bulletproof windows separated visitors from the prisoners in the small concrete booths. The unmistakable bright orange jumpsuits of the prisoners, contrasted sharply with the gloomy concrete and steel environment. A plain wooden seat was provided for the visitor and an intercom on the wall allowed communication. A thick reinforced glass window ran the length of the visiting room wall and separated the area from the waiting room, where the visitors patiently sat while waiting their turn to see family and friends on the other side.

As I gathered my things and said goodbye to Charlie, I saw Caleb enter the visiting room. I knew it was Caleb as I was immediately struck by his likeness to his twin brother, to the point that I thought it was Charlie for a moment. He was tall although not as muscular as Charlie, but his shaved head and cold dark eyes combined with his chiseled facial features, mirrored his brother’s image. It was as if Charlie had materialized from one side of the room to the other and I found myself involuntarily glancing back at the bulletproof window, to make sure Charlie was still sitting there. I hesitated for a brief moment as I contemplated speaking with Caleb before leaving, thinking he may be of some use in providing details regarding his brother’s background and current psychological state.

Caleb looked at me as he waited for the guard to show him to the seat in front of Charlie’s booth. His dark eyes bore deep into mine, his gaze unflinching as if he had read my mind and was daring me to approach him. Slightly unnerved, I decided I had all the information I needed and approached the exit once more, forcing myself to think about my next appointment as I left the gray walls of the asylum.
Charlie’s sentence-review hearing was eventually held with no change to the maximum sentence he had received. My testimony allowed no leniency for Charlie and once the sentence was passed, I thought it would be the last I would see of the Cunninghams. Over the next few months I worked on a number of high-profile cases, which resulted in more public exposure for my small clinic, to the point where I had to employ staff to help deal with a burgeoning client-list. Despite my hectic schedule I could not forget about the Cunningham case, the disturbing content and graphic details of my interviews with Charlie lingered in my consciousness. I found myself reviewing my case notes after-hours, fascinated and revolted by the litany of violence I had recorded. A growing sense of unease had me wondering if I had been privy to information best passed on to the appropriate authorities.

Reviewing the court documents, including notes from previous psychiatric assessments, witness statements and police records, I had pieced together a picture of a horrific family upbringing for the twin brothers. I used my professional experience and training to corroborate Charlie’s scattered retelling of his past. I remembered that he betrayed little emotion apart from when he relayed his family experiences – especially the abuse he suffered at the hands of his violent father and over-domineering mother. He had remained silent about his brother Caleb and it was in this omission that I realized my professional interest had been piqued.

Who was Caleb? Was Charlie afraid of his own sibling? Realizing the futility of my curiosity, I watched as the clock on the wall registered midnight’s approach. Sitting alone at my desk, overworked and tired, I decided I needed a holiday. And that, I thought, would be the last time I would have to think about Charlie Cunningham and his twisted kin as I booked myself an online holiday package.

A month later, I had returned from vacation and settled in to the backlog of work that awaited me. It was shaping up to be one of my busiest years what with an expansive client list and various projects that threatened to push my workload to breaking point. The Cunningham case was the farthest thing from my mind when Caleb himself approached me in my downtown office one bleak winter’s morning. When he first entered my office, I did not recognize him as a good year had passed since I had last seen him and his brother. His eyes however, remained unchanged and the memory of him and Charlie came flooding back to me, as I hesitantly ushered him into the office. Those dark eyes belied a malevolence that instantly made me think of Charles Manson’s psychotic gaze. Once again, Caleb had rattled me with his presence but my curiosity, tempered with my professional training, outweighed the uneasy feeling that enveloped me as he made himself comfortable in one of the chairs in front of my desk.

After advising Caleb that I was no longer working as a defense witness and that I hadn’t spoken to Charlie since his trial, I told him that I now had a private practice and worked primarily as a consultant to local and federal law enforcement authorities. Caleb explained that he knew all about my practice and involvement with a number of high profile cases. He had read my books on Abnormal Psychology and Forensic Pathology and stated that was why he wanted to talk to me. He felt I might be able to offer him some insight into his own psychological state of mind. I explained that I was very busy but somehow, he managed to convince me that what he had to say would be worth my while. I don’t usually work pro-bono but I found myself making an exception as I offered my services to Caleb.

I had unanswered questions about the Cunninghams and a professional interest in the genetic transition of psychosis, which was evident in my analysis of Charlie all those years ago. Despite agreeing to talk with Caleb, I had a nagging sense of unease as it occurred to me that he had obviously been following my career with some interest for a long time. Misgivings aside, my professional curiosity got the better of me and after a brief exchange of formalities, we began to talk.

Over the course of our meetings, it became apparent that Caleb had an agenda and after reassurance that I would keep what he told me confidential, he began to talk. It was obvious he had never talked to anyone with such apparent honesty. At times, it seemed he could not help himself, as the floodgates of his past opened, as he retold the horrors of his family life. During our first session, he unleashed a torrent of recantations of violent experiences. What had started out as an in-depth look into his and Charlie’s childhood, suddenly switched to a gruesome confessional.

After convincing him of my adherence to a strict confidentiality code, we delved deeper into his back-catalog of violence. I became fascinated with the nature of his psychology and found him to be a psychiatric anomaly, beyond definitive analysis or diagnosis. Aspects of his personality would point to a symptom or criteria for a particular type of disorder, only to morph and combine to produce a unique psychological characteristic, near impossible to pigeonhole.

As the weekly sessions progressed, a picture began to emerge of a dichotomous personality: a severe dissociative identity disorder similar to the stereotypical ‘multiple-personality’ type but unique, in that Caleb was fully in control of all aspects of his behavior and thought processes. In this respect, he was nothing like his psychotic brother who displayed all the classic hallmark symptoms of a disorganized antisocial personality coupled with violent behavioral problems. Despite his ability to control his behavior, I was left in no doubt as to the psychopathological nature of Caleb Cunningham.

I had long held the conviction that the concept of ‘evil’ was an almost meaningless abstract term, coined for those things beyond human comprehension. With Caleb, the word ‘evil’ became synonymous with my assessment of his character. In fact, I felt quite disturbed as much by his words, as by his presence. After attending regular sessions for three months, he finally disappeared. It was with mixed regret and relief that I closed my considerable case file on Caleb.

Despite our intensive sessions, I realized I was still miles away from fully understanding his twisted psyche and at a loss to understand why he had actually told me all that he had. He had put me in the uncomfortable position of providing me with information that was potentially incriminating and revealing. I felt much like I imagined a priest to feel, after hearing a confession too inhumanly terrible to keep secret.

As most people know, ‘doctor-patient confidentiality’ is a mainstay of psychiatric practice, but after the end of my sessions with Caleb Cunningham, I had sufficient cause to betray this ethical basis. I would later receive correspondence from Caleb, which in turn prompted me to investigate his claims further. The manuscript that I put before you is as factual an account as possible, of the Cunningham family’s reign of terror, and of the twisted psychology of a very dangerous human being.

With the passage of time and the confirmation of his crimes, Caleb Cunningham has proved to be an enigma amongst modern serial killers. A psychopath who alters his Modus Operandi (M.O.) at will and can adapt his pattern behavior to suit. He is essentially, an intelligent predator that refuses to conform to any of the rules applied to his notorious predecessors. In one of my interviews with him, Caleb brazenly admitted that he had “murdered over one hundred men and women”. Antisocial Personality Disorder types are notorious liars but something about his tone, combined with his family history, made me take him seriously. He was the prime suspect in two separate national serial killing investigations and is currently on Interpol’s Top 10 Most Wanted List as a fugitive. Apart from early convictions for petty larceny and burglary offences and a brief term of imprisonment, Caleb has managed to evade conviction for any of the serious crimes he is suspected of.

What you are about to read is an account of the diabolical workings of a dangerous, psychopathic killer. Most of the text in this narrative is transcribed verbatim from taped accounts of Caleb’s and his brother’s experiences. More obscure aspects of their twisted lives have had to be pieced together from Caleb’s recollections, alongside the Portvale Serial Killer Task Force lead investigator Ray Truman’s copious notes and associated media reports. Gathered from Truman’s own police journals and case files, I have pieced together his story as accurately as possible thanks to his helpful colleagues at the Portvale Police Precinct.

Like any true story, there is an element of the ‘perceived truth’ used in the retelling of the tale. This arises from the personal accounts and biases of those who write and interpret the evidence laid out before them. I too interpret the facts to the best of my abilities but realize that integrity is sometimes not enough to reveal absolute truth. Hence, my apologies for any factual discrepancies that may come to light in the future as this story reaches its end, as presently it has no such ending.

Finally, at the risk of professional suicide, I have an admission to make. I betrayed my client’s trust as my conscience overwhelmed my code of practice with the weight of the horrific detail of Caleb Cunningham’s darkest confidences. After gaining official police verification of details of unsolved homicides in the Portvale region, compared with the transcribed information Caleb provided, it is my belief that Caleb Cunningham is quite possibly the most dangerous man alive.

For he is still alive – somewhere out there, surviving on his Machiavellian intelligence while he channels his seething rage and lust for death. My last communique from him; one of the countless cryptic letters I received, is included with this publication of his journal entries and case notes. His letters display his ability to communicate both his intellect and his capacity for unspeakable evil in the same breath, much like his ‘art’ – the aesthetic rendering of his many victims.

I hope that the publication of these personal writings and case notes will illuminate one of the most elusive, bizarre and enigmatic killers of this century and the family that spawned him. After informing him of my decision to share with the federal authorities information I had gathered from our conversations, he gave me his ‘permission’ to tell his story to the world. The implicit threat of his return to Portvale engendered fear in the wake of my decision. I have no doubt that he will read this and that my life will be in imminent danger because of this publication.

The corroboration of the federal authorities, that what he told me was pure fact, leave me with the hope that this account will turn over new stones perhaps otherwise best left unturned. I have sufficient doubt in the truth of his account, in that his ‘estimate’ of the victims he murdered is a lesser percentage of the true and actual total.

I read the papers and have access to the online law-enforcement log-files, both nationally and internationally, of unsolved homicides. I see his signature everywhere. It is in the names of the victims, their age and the ferocity of the crimes. They are his calling cards to me – his ‘art’ is alive and lives forever. This is his story.

Dr. Mary Brunswick, PHD

Prologue:

Charlie has big plans for me. He’s thinking crazy thoughts and talking crazy talk. He keeps telling me about his recurring visions and his ‘mission,’ apparently he has occasion to talk to God. During one of these conversations, God granted him absolution in hell, free from the tyranny of everyday pain and suffering, if Charlie did his bidding. This particular vision also revealed that God and Satan were the same, as was heaven and hell. For Charlie, he saw this as a sign that he would be sitting at Satan’s side on a throne made of human bones, once he was mortally dead.
He would be a god.
I could tell he was delusional.
He was gone.
I knew this because there was no God.
God was dead and so was Charlie.

I hear Charlie’s voice now, clear as a bell. My consciousness clears and my surroundings come into sharp focus. I see his face clearly in my mind. I shake my head, trying to rid myself of his image. I wrap my bleeding fist in a towel and step gingerly over the broken shards of mirror littering the wet tiles on the bathroom floor. I make my way to the kitchen and search the cupboards, for some tape or band-aids, to stem the flow of blood from the lacerations across my throbbing knuckles.

“God,” Charlie whispers to me, “has given me life – to do my deeds upon this earth before he takes me to the next level.”
“Another life,” he continues, “will not allow me the freedom of choice you have with your future Caleb. Some things we cannot change. Some lives are not led by natural laws, but by unnatural processes – events.”
“My life, your life . . .” Charlie says, “is a road map to hell.”

I remember the last time I looked in his eyes when he was alive. He was crazy then and the voice in my head shakes with equal insanity, as an image of him floats before my eyes. His face appears gaunt, skeletal. The vision ebbs in and out of focus as I start to tremble with a mixture of naked coldness and fear. I remember him as if he is with me now and he is, in his own twisted way. My mind reels with tangents and the bending of physical laws.
He used to seem very confused to me.
He now seems very logical to me.
He still seems very dangerous to me.
He is my twin brother and he has returned home.
I see him in my own eyes.
I feel that he is now part of me.
Blood related.

The missing piece of the jigsaw puzzle has been found. It is a moment of realization that we are two parts of the same equation; standing there alone in a stranger’s house, nude as a newborn, thoughts swirling through my adrenaline-charged brain.

I realize that with the puzzle complete – the revealed image is far more bloody than romanticized, like two halves of something that shouldn’t be together. More like a vision of apocalyptic proportions. Despite my realization, I feel like shit more than ever.

Back in the bathroom I look once again at my reflection in the broken shards of mirror on the floor – just before I smash myself in the face with my fist. I hear Charlie gasp as I do. The sum of our union is chaos. Death. Destruction. Violence. And loneliness.
We are hollow men.
Empty men.
The walking dead.
We are one.

With some ammonia-saturated cleaning spray, I spray the droplets of blood on the remains of the cabinet mirror, vainly attempting to clean my presence from the room. I look at the floor covered in bloody footprints, my bloody footprints. I look at the woman in the bathtub, her glazed lifeless eyes staring vacantly at me. Her bruised neck set at a strange angle. One bare arm dangles over the side of the porcelain tub, her alabaster fingers delicately lay palm up on the floor, in a glistening pool of dark blood. A bare breast exposed, floats whitely like an island of chalk amongst the maroon waters in the tub. At this point, I give up any attempts to conceal my indiscretions.

I look through the doorway at the clock on the mantle in the living room. It’s time to go and I’ve come ill prepared, this was after all a ‘crime of opportunity’ as they sometimes are. I complete my task and take my trophy from the body, arranging the remains in my careful way. I remove my clothes from my backpack and replace them with the head wrapped in a plastic bag. I wipe the remaining smears of congealing blood from my body, careful not to get the viscous liquid on anything else as I shed my unease and dress hurriedly in the hallway. All the while, my gaze is fixated on the broken work in the bathroom. She appears to move as her limbs stiffen a fraction with the onset of rigor-mortis.

My heart starts beating again and I think of Lucille as I make my way to the gas hob in the kitchen. I check that all the windows are shut tight, light a candle in the living room and in the hallway, and turn all the gas rings to high. In my head, Charlie remains quiet as I gently close and lock the back door, before making my way across the yard and over the fence at the rear of the property.

I walk slowly down the poorly lit alley that runs behind the North-Shore Boulevard. It takes approximately six minutes of pacing my steps in the dark night, counting the seconds as I go, until I hear a muffled thump behind me as the house explodes in a ball of flame. Charlie starts to laugh, a frightening maniacal noise, which sounds like someone hacking at a tree-trunk with an axe.

It only takes a brief minute to realize that the crazed laughter is not Charlie’s, but my own.

Reviews

Amazon Reviews

 4.0 out of 5 stars Graphic, tortuous, nauseating violence. Definitely not for the weak of stomach. If you can handle this though, you must read this, April 3, 2013
By
Sonia FogalThis review is from: Blood Related (Kindle Edition)

“Blood Related” is a fascinating journey through the mind and life of a third-generation serial killer. He is both a victim and a victimizer. He is deeply damaged and mentally ill. He embraces and is turned on by his murderous lifestyle. He finds fulfillment in it and sees it as an expression of who he is. But he also knows it’s wrong and dreams of “one day becoming a better person”.

Graphic, tortuous, nauseating violence. Definitely not for the weak of stomach. If you can handle this though, you must read this book.

This book goes way beyond slash-em-up horror. We are witnesses to the life of a serial killer, Errol Cunningham, through his child’s eyes, those of Caleb Cunningham. We learn of the unimaginable horrors that Caleb saw and learned from as a child. He was a witness to, and object of brutal abuse and it contributed to his evolution into the monster he became. He shows some capacity and desire to love at one point, but the pursuit of what he views as his art will not allow that bond.

He is pursued by a policeman who inherited a passion for apprehending a Cunningham murderer from his father, who pursued earlier generations of this murderous family. Caleb is highly intelligent and clever. He learned how to get away with his crimes from his father and fellow inmates and used those skills to formulate his own methods.

We see Caleb transform. We see it through his own eyes as well as through the eyes of outsiders. Cook includes viewpoints of policeman Ray Truman, the media and psychologists. This variety of perspectives provides new insights and information on Caleb Cunningham’s psychoses and torturous acts. It is cruel and black and heartbreaking all at once. He is a deranged, twisted killer, but he is also a victim of a brutal childhood, and he has a desire to love and be loved and to live a normal life buried inside himself.

There were times when a change in perspective occurred and I became confused about who was speaking. There were also spots with grammatical issues or incorrect word choice. From a plot perspective, the editing was outstanding. The plot was tight. Grammar and word choice edits could have been better on occasion.

The weaknesses are easily and greatly outweighed by the strengths of this book. If you can’t tell, I love “Blood Related”. It is complex, fascinating and entertaining. You know the writing is good when part of you feels sorry for the serial killer. I can’t wait to see what happens next. I will watch eagerly for the release of the sequel.

Format:Kindle Edition
The serial killer genre must be one of the most difficult to write about. Considering that so much research has been devoted to our understanding of these monstrous people who live among us, the killer is not mysterious. We’re fascinated by the perpetrators of the most heinous crimes; the killers are granted immortality by the media and our own innate desire to peer into the darkness of the human heart and mind. How can such monsters exist?William Cook’s presentation of a family of murderers, most notably the twin brothers Caleb and Charlie, is a chronicle that charts the evolution (or de-evolution) of a killer’s psyche. There is a plot in this novel, or rather, a series of events that result in the book’s conclusion (no spoilers here). A revolutionary plot on the manic scale of Charles Manson, a damaged family unit that has been depicted in classic horror films like Texas Chainsaw Massacre and House of 1000 Corpses, and the downward spiral of the novel’s “good guy” all illustrate the environmental conditions which create such monstrosities. Cook did very thorough research; no stone was left unturned, no cause behind the madness unexplored.There are several scenes that may have been more effective if the reader was given a chance to “see” rather than be “told,” however, within the greater framework of the novel, which is rather extensive, one can argue that Cook’s method only underscore the madness within: there are buckets of gore amid several grotesque mutilations, but all of them are very casually described. Whether from the perspective of a killer who wallows in bloodlust or from files and reports that summarize the grisly murder scenes, the detachment of the prose from the massacre mirrors the mental state of the characters. Descriptions are hardly tense, but rather matter-of-fact.Grievances with this novel are based on personal preference. As with many serial killer stories, there is a severe lack of an endearing female character. From the perspective of Caleb and Charlie, this is acceptable because it appropriately conveys their worldview; however, I would have liked to see a character contrast with their dark, grimy world. One might argue that a doctor that appears within the pages is this contrast, and the argument is acceptable. In addition, I found some of the information near the end of the novel to be a bit anti-climactic.Cook knows his material. The contemporary standard for a serial killer novel is, in my opinion, American Psycho by Brett Easton Ellis. The fact that I can measure Blood Related against this standard suggests that Cook has accomplished what few writers can with the serial killer story. I’ve seen Blood Related appear on a few “Best of” lists; I expect Cook to receive accolades for this novel, and future endeavors.

4.0 out of 5 stars A terrifying journey into the mind of a killer, December 9, 2012

By
Donald WhiteAmazon Verified Purchase
This review is from: Blood Related (Kindle Edition)

Bloody and brutal, torturous and tantalizing, this is the relating of a tale in unrelated pieces skillfully pieced together and vividly rendered with an artist’s brush. The use of various eye-witness accounts, news reports and correspondence give a terrifying portrait of a family of murderers and their gruesome work. Specifically, it centers on twin brothers Charlie and Caleb Cunningham and their murderous exploits. There is an intriguing contrast between the two: Charlie is brutal, while Caleb is cunning. As time goes on and the body count rises, it begins to take its toll on the minds of these two men. The mundane becomes surreal, until is difficult to discern what is real and what is a product of the character’s twisted and damaged psyche. Despite the graphic description of the individual acts, a sense of their inhuman nature prevents the reader from becoming numb to their graphic depiction. Time itself becomes irrelevant as the accounts are presented out of sequence but with special emphasis on that moment in the killer’s career and its effect on all that transpires. This story puts you into the mind a killer: a journey into the depths of depravity; it is less a motorcycle hurtling into the night, than a large truck, with irresistible momentum behind it plowing through all preconceived notions and standards of sensibility. If murder is in the blood, then it is a harbinger of something truly horrific.

Format:Paperback
I’m trying to find the right words to describe William Cook’s novel, Blood Related. William has an ingenious way of putting the reader into the scene. I felt as though I was experiencing the horror first hand, alongside the frightening and disturbing Caleb Cunningham, one member of a dysfunctional family of deadly psychopaths. I found myself holding my breath during the climax’s of Blood Related. Yes, there are many climactic scenes woven throughout this terrifying tale of violence and murder. Also, Mr. Cook’s inclusion of journal excerpts and news clips lends an aura of authenticity to his story. William Cook, author extraordinaire, by merit of his writing is a rising star. If you’re a true fan of horror, I highly recommend Blood Related. I can promise you one thing-you will not be disappointed. William Cook’s Blood Related, is an impressive work of fiction.
Quinn Cullen
5.0 out of 5 stars What Did I Do After Reading Blood Related?, November 5, 2012
By
John Allen “John Paul Allen” (Springfield, TN USA) – This review is from: Blood Related (Kindle Edition)

I read it again. That’s a first for me, but William Cook’s Blood Related is the best example of horror I’ve read in years. If you seek an intelligent terrifying read look no further. Highly recommended.

John Paul Allen
Author of Gifted Trust, Dark Blessings, Monkey Love, Weeping Mary and House Guest

5.0 out of 5 stars A HORRIFYING NAIL BITER, November 3, 2012
By
RJ Parker “Bestselling Author” (Toronto) –Amazon Verified Purchase
This review is from: Blood Related (Kindle Edition)

BLOOD RELATED by William Cook.

To say this story is captivating and gripping would be an understatement. As a true crime writer of over sixty serial killers, I’ve read a lot of jaw-dropping information while doing research about real killers. The Serial Killers depicted in this book are the most ruthless, vicious and horrifying killers you could imagine. I was aghast.

This is a well-written, heart-stopping, and shocking story. Thank God it is fiction. Highly recommended that you read this book with the lights on.

5.0 out of 5 stars One of the great modern serial killer novels November 2, 2012
Format:Paperback
I’ve read many books about serial killers, and William Cook’s Blood Related was one of the best. My mind was simply blown by the horror and brutality of it all, and to think these things happen in the real world is all the more disturbing. With the excellent writing and illustrations, Blood Related seems shockingly realistic. It really got inside my head and I couldn’t sleep the first night after I finished reading. William Cook, add one more fan to your club.

4.0 out of 5 stars Dark and Disturbing, November 1, 2012

By
Colleen Wanglund (Staten Island, NY) – This review is from: Blood Related (Kindle Edition)

BLOOD RELATED
By William Cook
(2012 Black Bed Sheet Books; Tp 323 pgs; Kindle Edition 554 KB)

Caleb and Charlie Cunningham are twin brothers who each inherited a serial killer pathology. Their father was a suspected serial killer and their mother was insane, a drunk, and possibly an accomplice. After Charlie goes to prison and their father commits suicide, the full truth of the Cunningham’s legacy begins to present itself and Caleb’s turns his bloody fantasies into reality.

BLOOD RELATED is told primarily from the point of view of Caleb in the form of journal entries given to a forensic psychiatrist who handled Charlie’s case. There are also news stories and police reports to support Caleb’s claims about his family. The story is graphic and the brothers are violent and relentless, although at times I found myself wanting to like Caleb. The characters are well-developed and tremendously disturbed. William Cook has written a frightening story that poses the question “is it nature or nurture that determines the birth of a serial killer?” The only issue I had with the book was that at times I was confused as to the time line of events. Other than that, I highly recommend BLOOD RELATED, unless you are a bit on the squeamish side. I would definitely categorize the book as extreme horror.

5.0 out of 5 stars “I can’t recognize myself anymore.”, October 31, 2012
By
Noctem (PRK) – This review is from: Blood Related (Kindle Edition)

A novel that will drop you straight into the minds of truly demented people, a family of killers; in particular the eyes of the narrative: Caleb Cunningham. The insight into an ugly world is expertly crafted; the descriptions of violence are wonderfully realized. The use of clippings and letters reinforce the hideous ambiance of realism. Written with tight prose that packs a nasty bite, Blood Related is a ghastly, unnerving experience that will delight your inner gore hound. Now, excuse me whilst I shower to wash off the blood.

5.0 out of 5 stars Sick, Twisted and Fun!, October 26, 2012
By
William Malmborg (DeKalb, IL) – This review is from: Blood Related (Kindle Edition)

Nurture or nature? Anyone involved in such a debate would probably have a hard time pinning an answer to this question when concerning the Cunningham twins Charlie and Caleb. Brought up by abusive parents, one of whom is a savage serial killer that often encouraged his children to take part in his horrible crimes; one could easily argue that the two were nurtured into the monsters they eventually become. At the same time it’s hard to say nature didn’t play a part because how else could one explain the generational bloodlust the Cunningham family displays, bloodlust that seems to have begun with Charlie and Caleb’s grandfather? Whatever the cause, the result is a pair of psychotic serial killers who show no empathy for their fellow human beings; serial killers who actually view themselves as separated and on a higher plane of existence than mankind and thus entitled to do whatever they wish to them.

As noted above, it begins early on for the twins, usually with over the top physical punishments that would easily knock any sense of goodness from within the mind of a growing child. After that came the introduction to murder as their father brought female victims back to the basement and allowed his children to watch and sometimes take part in the torture and eventual slaying of the captive or captives. However, the act of murder was not limited to the basement or even the house. Lacking any control on his impulses, their father will also sometimes commit murder while the family is out and about, a situation that then calls for disposable of evidence and the cleaning up of the crime scene. Such moments are a `hands on’ learning experience for Caleb and Charlie, one that will prove invaluable later in life as each matures into individual serial killers. Of course this isn’t to say suspicion isn’t leveled on the father. The local police — and one man in particular — are pretty sure the father is responsible for the crimes, ones that eventually become attributed to a killer known as the Dockside Ripper. Being able to nail him down as the Dockside Ripper, however, isn’t easy, which in turn allows the body count, and the education of two budding serial killers, to grow.

Of the twins, Caleb seems the most level headed, which in turn makes him the scarier of the two when it comes to the two serial killers. That said, Caleb does have some impulse control issues just like his father, which sometimes causes close calls with the police. At one point it also puts him in conflict with his brother due to the slaying of a young woman that Charlie wanted to keep alive, his desire to cause chaos and the eventual breakdown of civilization leading to a different type of torture and murder than what Caleb usually takes part it. The question is will the two be able to work together to the end that Charlie wants, while also allowing for Caleb’s desires to be realized, or will the two come into such conflict that they destroy each other. Also, will the detective obsessed with their family and the savagery it displays be able to put an end to their reign of terror, or will he just become another victim?

Mostly told from the point of view of Caleb, but also occasionally from some of the other individuals within the story, Blood Related by William Cook is a wonderfully twisted tale of two serial killers who have no redeeming value whatsoever, yet are somehow fun to read about. In fact, not only are they fun to read about, but at times you find yourself actually rooting for them, which can be very unsettling. Equally unsettling is the disgust one starts to feel toward the father and Charlie, yet not toward Caleb despite his being just as ruthless as the other two. Adding to the story and its authentic feel were the newspaper accounts, books segments, and clinical observations layered throughout the story, all of which had the feel of being real documents one would find in such media forms. Having seen and used these types of documents in the real world when studying such subjects in school, I can honestly say the author nailed it when penning his own, and had I read them as part of a case-study I would have assumed them to be genuine. I also would have been horrified to know that two such killers had done the things they did for as long as they did, and that a family had had produced three generations of serial killers.

Needless to say, I found Blood Related to be an excellent read, one by an author who hopefully will be releasing more works in the near future. Until then readers will have to keep their bloodlust sated with the tale of Caleb Cunningham and his twin brother Charlie. I promise, if this type of story is your thing you will not be disappointed.

5.0 out of 5 stars More than you expect runs through the blood!!!, October 26, 2012
By
JennThis review is from: Blood Related (Kindle Edition)

This book takes you on a very disturbing thrill ride through the mind of one killer and the life of him and his murderous family. Killing is in the blood and mind of the entire Cunningham family. When you read this book it is so well written that you forget that it is fiction, but then as you read you find out that you are so glad that it is. The heinous acts that this family inflicted on so many innocent people, and their lack of emotion not only towards society but for each other is so sad and horrific at the same time. Each page leaves you wanting more.

I don’t know what deep corner of his mind that author William Cook had find to write this book, but I am so glad he did.

If you love reading about serial killers to the mentally disturbed you will have to read this book.

5.0 out of 5 stars Graphic and Compelling, October 26, 2012
By
Carl Hose (St. Louis, MO USA) – This review is from: Blood Related (Kindle Edition)

I read “Blood Related” in just a couple of days. This is a taut, graphic story of a serial killer family (hence the title). Cook does a wonderful job creating characters that are believable and quite frightening. His scenes are written to shock, which they manage to do quite nicely. The psychological make up of these characters, as well as the detailed history, will take you into the heart and soul of the serial killer’s playground. cook delivers the goods that will make you want to lock your doors and windows.

Carl Hose, author of “Blood Legacy” and “Dead Rising.”

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
It started off so simple. Dr. Mary Brunswick was the court appointed psychologist to define the state of mind of one Charlie Cunningham. During the course of her talks with Charlie, she meets his twin, Caleb. Caleb consults her later on and tells her a story she will not forget, a story of violence, murder, abuse, mutilation, insanity, abduction, and conspiracy. A story that covers a family background beginning with Grandfather Samael, father Errol, and his two sons Charlie and Caleb. What begins as a subplot and gaining an increasing importance is a family feud between the Cunninghams and the Trumans, a family of cops and those who don’t mind flying over the dictates of the law. What becomes more disturbing is this: as you read through the book, who are you rooting for – the long length of crimes committed by those in the death house on Artaud Avenue or the less than legal obsession by Ray Truman who will use any means to wipe out the family and their crimes.
The main character is Caleb. He and brother Charlie have been abused by both father Errol and mother Vera. They’ve been raised in an environment of murder, death, and torture. Throughout the story we identify with Caleb: his actions (mostly despicable), his feelings about his family relations, and a seemingly growing insanity fueled by drugs and alcohol. What remains is a story you can follow with Caleb’s entries and excerpts from newspapers and crime books. Blood Related is an awesome and ambitious project in the ways and means of the psychopathic mind. A lot of us are looking for answers as why people kill the others around them and do the inhumane. Blood Related may help you in your quest, though the answers aren’t easy ones. This book is one that should Never be overlooked.
Blood Related KEEPS ROLLING OUT THE HORROR!

Other Reviews

Wednesday, April 3, 2013
“Blood Related” by William Cook – Review by Sonia Fogal
BLOOD RELATED
BY WILLIAM COOK
WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS EXCERPTS FROM “BLOOD RELATED” THAT INCLUDE PROFANITY AS WELL AS GRAPHIC DESCRIPTIONS OF VIOLENCE AND SEXUAL REFERENCES THAT SOME MAY FIND OFFENSIVE OR DISTURBING
“I remember looking at Charlie and noticing he was visibly erect as he stood there staring, trembling with excitement and fear.
The sick fuck.
I would never stoop to be so obvious.
How tactless!
My curiosity got the better of me and I made the mistake of asking Pa why they had to die and, just before he knocked me unconscious, he said that they were a ‘present for a pig.’ Later on, I would find out for myself exactly who Ray Truman was and what he was capable of.”
My Review
“Blood Related” is a fascinating journey through the mind and life of a third-generation serial killer. He is both a victim and a victimizer. He is deeply damaged and mentally ill. He embraces and is turned on by his murderous lifestyle.  He finds fulfillment in it and sees it as an expression of who he is. But he also knows it’s wrong and dreams of “one day becoming a better person”.
Graphic, tortuous, nauseating violence. Definitely not for the weak of stomach. If you can handle this though, you must read this book.
This book goes way beyond slash-em-up horror. We are witnesses to the life of a serial killer, Errol Cunningham, through his child’s eyes, those of Caleb Cunningham. We learn of the unimaginable horrors that Caleb saw and learned from as a child. He was a witness to, and object of brutal abuse and it contributed to his evolution into the monster he became.  He shows some capacity and desire to love at one point, but the pursuit of what he views as his art will not allow that bond.
He is pursued by a policeman who inherited a passion for apprehending a Cunningham murderer from his father, who pursued earlier generations of this murderous family. Caleb is highly intelligent and clever.  He learned how to get away with his crimes from his father and fellow inmates and used those skills to formulate his own methods.
We see Caleb transform.  We see it through his own eyes as well as through the eyes of outsiders.  Cook includes viewpoints of policeman Ray Truman, the media and psychologists. This variety of perspectives provides new insights and information on Caleb Cunningham’s psychoses and torturous acts. It is cruel and black and heartbreaking all at once.  He is a deranged, twisted killer, but he is also a victim of a brutal childhood, and he has a desire to love and be loved and to live a normal life buried inside himself.

There were times when a change in perspective occurred and I became confused about who was speaking. There were also spots with grammatical issues or incorrect word choice.  From a plot perspective,  the editing was outstanding. The plot was tight. Grammar and word choice edits could have been better on occasion.

The weaknesses are easily and greatly outweighed by the strengths of this book. If you can’t tell, I love “Blood Related”.  It is complex, fascinating and entertaining. You know the writing is good when part of you feels sorry for the serial killer. I can’t wait to see what happens next.  I will watch eagerly for the release of the sequel.
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Blood Related by William Cook
Black Bed Sheet Books, 2012
ISBN: 978-0985882945
Available: new paperback
Caleb and Charlie Cunningham are twin brothers who each inherited a serial killer’s pathology.  Their father was a suspected serial killer and their mother was insane, a drunk, and possibly an accomplice.  After Charlie goes to prison and their father commits suicide, the full truth of the Cunninghams’ legacy begins to present itself and Caleb turns his bloody fantasies into reality.
        Blood Related is told primarily from Caleb’s point of view, in the form of journal entries given to the forensic psychiatrist who handled Charlie’s case.  There are also news stories and police reports to support Caleb’s claims about his family.  The story is graphic and the brothers are violent and relentless, although at times I found myself wanting to like Caleb.  The characters are well-developed and tremendously disturbed.  William Cook has written a frightening story that poses the question “is it nature or nurture that determines the birth of a serial killer?”
The only issue I had with the book was that at times I was confused as to the timeline of events.  Blood Related is not for the squeamish, but for readers of extreme horror, I highly recommend it.
Contains: graphic violence, gore and sexual situations
Reviewed by: Colleen Wanglund

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Friday, June 22, 2012

Blood Related By William Cook

Blood Related is a book that will chill you to the core! A disturbing portrayal of the Cunningham family submerged in generations of violence, abuse, death and torture that will haunt you even after the last page is read. A revenge filled portrayal of the Truman family whose generations of law enforcement  officers is determined to bring justice to the victims of the Cunningham’s viciousness no matter the cost.
Caleb and Charlie Cunningham were raised in a home fraught with abuse delivered by their parents Errol and Vera. We relive the story through the mind of Caleb, his disturbing family history, his twin brother Charlie’s insane actions and his own appalling exploits.
Ray Truman comes from a family of law enforcement officers who have spent decades trying to bring the Cunningham’s to justice for the horrific crimes they have committed. Ray will stop at nothing to continue this vendetta in any manner he sees fit.
The character portrayals in this book are both stunning and unnerving. Enhancing the authenticity of this book are media accounts, book excerpts and clinical observations reflected throughout the story contributing to the feel of genuine techniques used in real investigations.
The haunting view into the mind of a psychopath is portrayed in such a profound and memorable way that was very tangible and chilling.
Blood Related is an excellent yet unnerving read that I recommend reading with the lights on!

Posted by Marilou George at 12:14 PM

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“Blood Related” Book Review
Written by Gabino IglesiasPublished by Angelic Knight Press

Written by William Cook
2011, 427 pages, Fiction
Released on February 20th, 2012

Review:

When talking about research for a book, most people would think first about non-fiction. However, solid research that gives a writer profound knowledge of his subject matter usually means the difference between mediocre character development and unique, multilayered characters. In William Cook’s Blood Related, the amount of hours the author spent researching serial killers shine through in a way that gives the writing the ring of truth.

Blood Related is a few stories wrapped into one. Also, there are newspaper articles, personal letters, journal entries, interviews and notes from a psychologist that come together to tell the story of the Cunningham family. Although the novel can only be considered epic in terms of time, it concentrates on the actions of the last two Cunninghams, Charlie and Caleb, a pair of sociopathic twins who follow in their father’s footsteps and become serial killers. The antagonistic figure is Detective Ray Truman, who’s been searching for the killer, or killers, who have terrorized the small town of Portvale for as long as he has been on the force and, just like the twins, is doing exactly what his father did before him. As the brothers take over the night, the town starts to fill with headless, heavily mutilated corpses stuck in unnatural poses, with their innards deposited nearby. Throughout their mad, violent acts, the readers begin to learn the past of a family bound by evil and the blood they have spilled. The tension builds toward a climactic end where Truman and Caleb become entangled in a dangerous game in which it’s not clear who’s the hunter and who’s being hunted.

Cook obviously read a lot about psychopathic killers with sociopathic tendencies. The narrative is filled to the brim with gore: trained killer dogs, a collection of severed heads, point-blank gunshots, self-inflicted wounds and a lot of killing. However, the violence and blood always come in a very nonchalant way because the narrator doesn’t feel anything for his victims. It’s only when Truman of Dr. Mary Brunswick, the court appointed psychologist, are talking about the murders that they become a terrible thing.

While some people might find the killings and beheadings, or the head-sex that follows, disturbing, the most unsettling parts of the tale are those that involve the twins’ childhood and the relationship they had with their parents. The cold, distant, abusive, warped experiences of serial killers like Ed Gein are all here, filtered through Cook’s vision and implanted into the Cunninghams, which makes the book a must-read for fans of serial killer literature.

For a book that comes in at 427 pages, Blood Related felt like a much shorter read. In a way, the newspaper articles and segments that are supposed to be chapters pulled from other books give the reader a break from the bleak, psychologically twisted and emotionally gritty portions of the narrative.

If you like dark stories, spend a dollar and get Blood Related today.

Good Reads Reviews

Great book… I really enjoyed it. Well writen and keeps you on the edge… Double lucked my doors and kept all the lights on!First I’d like to say that I enjoyed the way the story was put together. Very well writen,flows well,easy to read and keep up with the people. Great job! Now with that said: I’ve added more locks to the doors. Nailed the windows shut. Adopted a big dog. Hang a sign out front ” beware of snakes and other exotic animals”. Loaded rifle by the front door. Loaded shot gun by the back door. Added base ball bats in each room. And placed my peril handle darenger under my pillow!Yep, I’m ready for the next book!

wow… where to start..
A simple story of a serial killing family…. but is it nature? nurture (or lack thereof)? or something else?
Set out with letters to a Court appointed Psychological Dr, newspaper articles and the fracturing mind of a serial killer this book is intense with capital letters.
You are made to feel like you are in the mind of Caleb as his Psyche fractures and encourages him to torture and kill….
You are allowed insights into why this happening, of the terrible childhood he had and then you glimpse the potential for another route…. his confusion about his lack of emotion yet the excitement of the hunt and kill is chilling to read.
I felt like I was witnessing these kills first hand and was getting very sick, so powerful was the writing.
I got a bit mixed up occasionally on who was narrating and the authors lack of understanding how SSRIs work really made me huff (but thats purely personal!) is why I “only” gave a 4star.
I feel absolutely wrung out after reading this, but feel strangely glad I did too…..
Brilliant.

Blood Related by William Cook has a lot of really good things going for it. The pace is steady throughout and you really do feel like you have stepped through the “John Malkovich” portal into the mind of a very bad person. I like that the writer took chances throughout his story and made his central figure a bonafide sociopath. Too often there is an attempt to try and make the reader feel pity for a character telling the story of how they became a depraved killer. At no point do you feel that for Charlie or his twin. (Yes, you get two for the price of one in this story.)The Cunninghams are peeled back a layer at a time here and there is little to nothing redeeming about any member of the family. The story is delivered almost in a True Crime mode complete with newspaper articles which add to the realness the reader gets while reading this tale.There were a few points that I need to address. The over use of the comma is something I have suffered from myself as a writer and Mr. Cook needs to dial back about half. There were times that I found them distracting due to their overuse. For the most part the story was clean, only a few typos. Above average is how I would rate the cleanliness of this book. As for the ending, I think I understand what he was trying to do, but it felt like he could have either done away with the last few entries, or perhaps sprinkled them through the main story as a foreshadow. All tacked on to the ending made it almost anti-climactic.Overall, I would say that Blood Related by William Cook might not be everybody’s cup of tea, but it will satisfy those who like to visit the dark recesses of the human mind.

Blood Related is a book that will chill you to the core! A disturbing portrayal of the Cunningham family submerged in generations of violence, abuse, death and torture that will haunt you even after the last page is read. A revenge filled portrayal of the Truman family whose generations of law enforcement officers is determined to bring justice to the victims of the Cunningham’s viciousness no matter the cost.Caleb and Charlie Cunningham were raised in a home fraught with abuse delivered by their parents Errol and Vera. We relive the story through the mind of Caleb, his disturbing family history, his twin brother Charlie’s insane actions and his own appalling exploits.Ray Truman comes from a family of law enforcement officers who have spent decades trying to bring the Cunningham’s to justice for the horrific crimes they have committed. Ray will stop at nothing to continue this vendetta in any manner he sees fit.The character portrayals in this book are both stunning and unnerving. Enhancing the authenticity of this book are media accounts, book excerpts and clinical observations reflected throughout the story contributing to the feel of genuine techniques used in real investigations.The haunting view into the mind of a psychopath is portrayed in such a profound and memorable way that was very tangible and chilling.Blood Related is an excellent yet unnerving read that I recommend reading with the lights on!

For much of the book, Blood Related reads like a True Crime story, or one of those serial killer documentaries on satellite, just one hell of a lot more gory and explicit! William Cook has written a detailed and vivid account of a family of killers and the policeman chasing them across the generations. The attention to background detail is impressive and the murder scenes both gruesome and riveting. The only things stopping it getting a 5-star rating from me are a slow opening, sometimes confusing shifts of perspective and moves from 1st person to 3rd and a noticeable lack of dialogue. That said, the lack of dialogue does add to the earlier mentioned feel of True Crime about the whole book so maybe that shouldn’t be a criticism. If you like your serial killers gory, crazy and believable then Blood Related is for you.

Other Blood Related Links:

Voted #5 Best Horror Books of 2012 by examiner.com

If you haven’t been living under a rock for the last few years you will know how big Facebook is and, yes, you can find the Blood Related FB fan page here.

Official website here.

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Key Words – Blood Related, William Cook, Blood Related review, Kindle Book Review Semi-finalist 2012, William Malmborg, carl Hose, RJ Parker, Neil Davies, Sonia Fogal, Marilou George, Colleen Wanglund, Examiner.com, Todd Brown, Gabino Iglesias, Angelic Knight Press, Black Bed Sheet Books, Nicholas Grabowsky, Halloween IV, The Everborn, Jack Ketchum, Edward Lee, James A Moore, Wrath James White, Jonathan Nasaw, Laird Barron, Mark Edward Hall, Guy N Smith, John Paul Allen, Horror Fiction Review, Kindle Book Review, Good Reads, Amazon, Kindle, Cyrusfiction Productions, Book Trailer, Youtube, Facebook, WordPress, Vincenzo Bilof, Twitter

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William Cook (and contest winner announcement)

William Cook (and contest winner announcement).

william-cook-photo

Hi, William. How is 2013 going so far?

Hi, Lindsey. It’s going great, thanks. 2013 is going to be a big year and has already started with lots of positive things happening. Every story I’ve sent out this year has so far been accepted and I’m on track for lots of projects I have committed to this year.

Blood Related is your debut novel, originally published in 2011, then re-released by Black Bed Sheets Books in 2012. Did you write very much before starting Blood Related? You had a short story published in the Masters Of Horror anthology in 2010, but I don’t see anything before that. Have you been writing for very long, or is it a recent development in your life?

Yes, ‘Blood Related’ is my first novel and my short story, ‘Devil Inside,’ (recently published as a Kindle short) was my first proper Horror story accepted for a print anthology. I first started writing short stories when I was about twelve years old but never felt confident enough to send them to any publishers, and in retrospect that was probably a good thing. I cut my publishing teeth on poetry and wrote verse for many years with limited success. I had poetry published in a few New Zealand literary periodicals and a couple of UK and US independent publications but nothing of any note. I self-published a limited edition hard-copy collection of verse titled ‘Journey: the search for something’ in 1996. I sold all copies, but I had come to the conclusion that what I really wanted to do was write fiction. I felt that poetry was becoming redundant as a viable medium for what I wanted to express – which was essentially, stories. So I put away the poems and taught myself how to write short fiction which has led to where I am now.

What was the hardest part about writing a novel? Any advice to aspiring novel writers?

I don’t really feel in a position to spout advice to novel writers as I’m just a beginner myself. However, if there was one piece of advice I would offer, that would be to never give up. It took me five years of writing and research to produce Blood Related but as a result of my dedication I have learned a lot and have produced a reasonably coherent novel in the process. I am working on the sequel at the moment, and it is definitely easier with the knowledge and lessons I learnt first time around. The hardest part about writing the novel was finding the time to actually sit down and put the words on the page. I now have a writing plan that seems to work for me but I know that the next novel will bring its own set of circumstances and lessons to be learned.

I’d like to take a moment to tell you what I enjoyed most about Blood Related. Considering how the plot centers around an entire family of serial killers, you had the perfect opportunity to sell books based on shock value. Yet, you maintained a good balance of psychological horror and gore. I was prepared to encounter gratuitous rape and torture scenes which often run rampant in this genre, but you didn’t overdo it. Yes, there is rape and torture in Blood Related (what self-respecting serial killer book is without ‘em?!), but only to serve a purpose, and not an overwhelming amount. Did you make a conscious decision to write the book this way? Or did you just write it as it came to you?

Blood Related went through at least six full edits. I worked in publishing when I was younger and used my experience as a sub-editor/proof-reader to really work the story into shape. I was probably a bit ambitious with the structure that I chose as I wanted to give the story a ‘true crime’ feel with lots of ephemera and appendices to accentuate different aspects of the novel. I really enjoy reading ‘meta-fiction’ authors like John Barth and David Foster Wallace, but also love authors like James Ellroy, Chuck Palahniuk and Joyce Carol Oates. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I took a myriad of influences and ideas and attempted to construct a ‘literary’ Horror/Thriller novel. Ambitious, I know, but to some degree I think it works but unfortunately is mostly non-apparent on the first reading. I am a huge fan of Robert Bloch and Flannery O’Connor, both masters of psychological horror in their own ways, and their style influences my own with the way they subtly depict violence. Their stories run deep with the worst human violence, but the graphic nature of the stories is mostly implied and left to the reader’s imagination and this is what I was trying to replicate, as I personally find it more disturbing than literal over-stated violence. So, yes, it was a conscious decision not to be too graphic in descriptions of violence within the novel, although sometimes I did get a bit carried away.

Who is your favorite character from Blood Related? Why?

I quite like the character of Ray Truman, the clichéd alcoholic cop who has spent a lifetime hunting serial killers. ‘Blood Trail’, the sequel, is largely told from the perspective of this failed but likeable character and I hope that it will be an interesting accompaniment to the first book. I’ve spent most of my reading life immersed in Horror and Thriller literature and there is a definite conformity of ‘type’ to the characters of cops/investigators. It is the character of Ray Truman that will carry the ‘Blood’ trilogy (yes, it will be a trilogy) to its final conclusion and I’m looking forward to playing the role forward in as many interesting ways as possible. I don’t think I could do another first-person serial killer narrative – it really became quite moribund towards the end of writing Blood Related, as I waded through the perspective of a homicidal psychopath.

Blood Trail, your second novel (and sequel to the first) is slated for a 2013 release. Can you tell us a little bit about it? Approximate release date?

My publisher, Nicholas Grabowsky from Black Bed Sheet Books (http://tinyurl.com/aoyvyny), has expressed an interest in a sequel to Blood Related. I was always going to write a sequel with or without interest as the story is not complete and I want it told. Having seen enough interest, from my publisher and from my readers for a sequel, has given me a real push towards finishing the novel mid-2013. So far I’m on track and circumstances-permitting it should be ready for publication around July. ‘Blood Trail’ is the sequel to ‘Blood Related’ and finds Ray Truman struggling to cope with the injuries he received from Caleb Cunningham in the climax of the first novel. Cunningham has fled and is now an international fugitive who is embarking on a ‘murder tour’ – visiting the sites and hunting grounds of some of his favorite serial killers. Meanwhile, Ray Truman is on the mend with the help of Cunningham’s ex-therapist/psychologist who he inadvertently falls in love with. Together, they realize that Cunningham is still killing as they follow his trail of murder via international news stories. By the time that Truman is healthy enough to continue his mission, Cunningham has tired of his tour and is on his way back to Portvale (his fictitious home town/city). Without giving too much away that is the basic plot for the sequel and promises more of a tradition psychological thriller story.

Who are your heroes?

My heroes are primarily writers who have challenged established traditions to produce work that frightens as much as it makes people think. Edgar Allen Poe, Ray Bradbury, Graham Masterton, Poppy Z Brite, James Ellroy, and other writers like Jack Kerouac, Charles Bukowski, Hemingway, etc. The list goes on. David lynch is probably the greatest artist that I admire for his film, art and aesthetic sensibility.

In addition to writing, you’re also an artist. Where can we view your work?

I have a number of websites where you can see my work. For book cover art try here: http://bloodsoakedgraphics.tumblr.com and for general art here: http://nzartist.blogspot.com

Is there anything else you’re working on you’d like my readers to know about?

I’m always working on short fiction and I am hoping to have a collection released shortly. Keep an eye out for ‘Blood Trail’ post mid-year.

Where can we find you on the web?

http://williamcookwriter.com and on Amazon here: http://tinyurl.com/a66s333

Thank you, William, for joining us.

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Off with a hiss and a roar!

Well 2013 has kicked off with a hiss and a roar. Long may it continue, the hissing and the roaring that is. First of all I’d like to thank all of you who take the time to visit. It really means a lot and supports independent artists and craftspeople like myself. Anyway, this is my site so I guess I better tell you about what’s happening in my world at the moment (myopic as it may be). I have started a new novel titled ‘Blood Trail’ and have finished the first quarter and mapped out the balance with an expected finish of July/August approx. I have nearly completed formatting a rather large dark-poetry collection (title to be decided). ‘Songs for the Raven’ is an anthology I’ve been working with and is in the process of taking submissions (I did this book cover for them recently). If you’re interested, click on the pic and submit your best literary Horror short:

A few interviews will go live shortly and three separate anthology selections that I’ll post about on my official website: http://williamcookwriter.com. Please stay updated if interested in any of these things via my facebook page.

On other fronts, I have had limited success with my first ventures into self-publishing with the following poetry books. They are all $0.99 titles so if you like poetry, take a punt 😉

My first Kindle short has met with an enthusiastic response and I received my first 1-star review from an indignant reviewer. Sometimes I think people confuse the sample with the whole story! (spoiler alert: stereotypical representations of minor characters) It was supposed to be like an episode from a TV Horror series or Tales From the Crypt. I love and collect vintage EC, Eerie, Creepy and Psycho comics, hence the influence.  Anyway, another $0.99 cent title and recently topping a Goodreads poll. 

Meanwhile, Blood Related is ticking along steadily, not losing or gaining much pace via Amazon but hoping I’m selling a few copies through my publisher, Black Bed Sheet Books (cheaper too)

Anyway, that’s about all from me this month but I will be back in a few days with some more posts. One of my many resolutions for 2013 was to be more communicative (and no that doesn’t mean spamming!).

Oh, and one more thing I’m still doing book cover, audio/music/dvd, graphics through my design site  www.bloodsoakedgraphics.tumblr.com if you need anything.

Until next time, see you later. Will.

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Come and visit the new home of Blood Related

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Come and visit the Blood Related page at my publisher’s website: Black Bed Sheet Books.

While you’re there be sure to check out all the other titles. Hell! You can even buy a cool t-shirt with Blood Related emblazoned across the chest.

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Blood Related 2nd Edition release date announcement.

Hi all, well it’s been a while now since my last post and I’d like to thank those of you who have hung around and those of you who are new visitors. Blood Related, the 2nd Edition, is being released by the good folk at Black Bed Sheet Books this Halloween. I have also relaunched the Facebook page for Blood Related where most of the fresh info about the book and the upcoming sequel will be posted. Please visit and ‘like’ the page to stay updated.

 

Here is the new Book Trailer for Blood Related. Very cool – thanks to Cyrus from CyrusFiction Productions for creating this.

WARNING: CONTAINS SCENES OF HORROR AND ANIMATED VIOLENCE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRIbCyNWMcw

 

 

Here is the new cover designed by CyrusFiction Productions, Black Bed Sheet Books, and Blood Soaked Graphics.

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The new Blood Related cover.

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Times, they are a changin’

 

Well, things are happening with Blood Related. My contract is nearly finished with Angelic Knight Press, consequently I have been thinking a lot about where this novel is going and where it has been. For it is not a stand-alone novel in a sense, as I have always planned it to be the central story in a trilogy that would span 3 generations of the characters therein. After accepting the initial publishing offer from AKP a year ago, I also received a couple of other offers a few days after I had signed with them. I stuck with AKP because they gave me my big break as a first-time novelist and for that I am eternally greatful. We haven’t always had the same vision for the book but that hasn’t been a problem as the suggestions offered by AKP were such that they only served to enhance the work. I feel a little bit sad about leaving AKP after a year but I have had another offer from the good folks at Black Bed Sheet Books – one of the inital publishers who wanted to publish BR a year ago.

Sooooo, I have decided to make the leap and relaunch Blood Related with BBSB, who have also offered to publish the sequel when it’s finished. It was a difficult decision to make and I thought long and hard about it. I didn’t expect to make a lot of money from my book in the short term and feel that is a pretty unrealistic expectation for any debut Indie author, but I have big plans for the complete saga and feel that positioning the work with BBSB will best serve this purpose. That is, not to make money but to grow as a series with an increased focus on the Horror of it all (and hopefully make a few dollars on the way). Nicholas Grabowsky has been an unflinching ally since I approached him over a year ago about Blood Related – the timing wasn’t right then, but the stars have aligned so to speak and i’m very happy to be on board (post August 1) with Captain Grabowsky at the helm. Amongst many other things, Nicholas is the author of Halloween IV and The Everborn, and has a long pedigree of involvement in the Indie and Pro Horror markets. As a result of his tireless work within the Horror industry he has attracted an impressive stable of authors to BBSB. Black Hamster TV is another wing of BBSB’s diverse media presence online and real world: you may have heard of ‘Francy & Friends Radio‘, Hacker’s Source, or Shot in the Dark Comics, all affiliates of BBSB.

This is taken from the BBSB where Mr Grabowsky talks about his publishing/production company and values:

“In October 2008, I set into motion what it takes to establish a bona-fide publishing company out of my garage and two other offices inside my home.  If this venture proves to be an extremely successful one, I’ll still be operating out of my garage and home, but perhaps in larger ones.  Even if it doesn’t go that far, I’ve submerged a great many years of my life into not only the art of writing as a profession, fiction as well as non, but into the entire process of taking something creative from typed manuscripts to computer documents to something scribbled on grocery store paper bags or napkins, packaging them into a bookstore-quality products and presenting them to the world…..my own works, as well as works of others, since 2002 under the name of Diverse Media.  I decided that the time had come to take my publishing pursuits to the next level and to establish Black Bed Sheet Books as a credible, reputable, and successful publishing venture.  Since my reputation and focus is built upon the genre of horror literature, that is what BBS specializes in.  I will not limit myself nor BBS to this genre, and all avenues are open, hence the byline “fine publishers of exemplary literature, fiction and non.”

In the past, I’ve invested my writing career into publishers and agents that fell short of even minimal expectations.  As a result, I’ve become fiercely independent.  I’ve been working for myself and as a result brought myself farther into my career, and I have the will and means to do the same for you.

My objective is to be the ideal publisher I as a writer always wanted to have, and I intend to carry out that mission to the fullest.  I will work with each one of my authors to meet the highest quality publishing standards, and release each title to the broadest marketing and selling potential utilizing all the tools and resources available to me.”

As you can see, the appeal of having someone like Nicholas in your corner, is quite an advantage and a privilege. So it is with a touch of sadness that I bid farewell to AKP and thank them for taking a chance on me and my work and wish them continued growth and success, but it is with a glad heart that I cross the threshold and enter the DownWarden world of Black Bed Sheet Books and all it has to offer. It is hard for an indie writer to get ahead and unfortunately one must make difficult decisions to do so; life is short but the road is long – the journey twists and turns, climbs and falls, and as long as the way is forward, the horizon looks a bit brighter with every mile forged ahead.  Thankyou to everyone for your past and continued support. More treasures in store for you shortly, I promise.

 

http://twitter.com/blackbedsheet

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Black-Bed-Sheet-Books/49733235679

http://downwarden.com/homepage.htm

http://www.downwarden.com/blackbedsheet/

 

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BLOOD RELATED GIVEAWAY

UPDATE: Jennifer Thomas and Andy Soar have each won a signed hard-copy for their respective collections. Thanks to all those who participated – special thanks to Emma and Danielle 🙂

Win a signed copy of Blood Related 🙂 All you have to do is share this post and click like on the Facebook Blood Related page here,  comment on this original thread that you have done so and I will pick one person at random to send a signed copy too 🙂 And a set of card art – great for bookmarks – (art featured here).
Also check out the rest of this blog [https://bloodrelated.wordpress.com/] if you have a few minutes.


P.S.
If you have read the book I thankyou and hope you enjoyed it, in a dark sort of way. I promise the next one will be 
in third person, I don't think I could be Caleb Cunningham for any length of given time again. 
Aside from Blood Related, I have been working with true crime author RJ Parker on a True Crime re-release, out by July 
all things going to plan. Have a few book covers to do which I'm looking forward to and an illustrated (not by me - 
will reveal more soon ;-) collection of dark short fiction and verse. And hopefully more short fiction and a sequel to 
a certain book! 
Anyway, have a great week and thanks again. 
- William Cook, 29:06:12
(also available on kindle here for those of you who prefer that).

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Excerpt preview – some interesting things coming up. Stay tuned.

Meet the Cunninghams . . .
A family bound by evil and the blood they have spilled. The large lodging-house they live in and operate on Artaud Avenue reeks of death, and the sins that remain trapped beneath the floorboards.

Ray Truman’s search for a killer leads him to the Cunningham’s house of horrors. What he finds there will ultimately lead him to regret ever meeting Caleb Cunningham and the deviant family that spawned him. The hunter becomes the hunted, as Truman digs deeper into the abyss that is the horrifying mind of the most dangerous psychopath he has ever met

Buy your copy!
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Blood Related
Official Blood Related Website

 

“Dark and deeply disturbing.”
– Jonathan Nasaw, author of Fear Itself and The Girls He Adored.

“Blood Related is a nasty but nuanced take on the serial killer genre. Cook’s bruising tale of twin psychopaths who are as cold as mortuary slabs is not for the weak-kneed.”
– Laird Barron, author of Occultation and The Imago Sequence.

“A thought-provoking thriller.”
– Guy N Smith, author of Night of The Crabs and Deadbeat.

“Great – Riveting – Amazing – take your pick. I just read William Cook’s Blood Related for the second time. Both readings were followed with one thought, Wow. A horrific crime-filled tale of terror that makes us understand why we lock our doors at night, Blood Related is by far the best read I’ve experienced in years.”
– John Paul Allen, author of Monkey Love and Gifted Trust

“Blood Related is a terrifying psychological thriller. William Cook is an author to watch.”
– Mark Edward Hall, author of The Lost Village and The Holocaust Opera.

“William Cook makes serial killer fiction exciting again! Expert narrative, bursting with flare, originality, and enough passion and brutality that even a real-life serial killer will love this book . . . and it’s twisted and complex enough to make you question your own sanity after the first intense read.”
– Nicholas Grabowsky, best-selling author of Halloween IV and Everborn.

**********

For over two decades, Detective Ray Truman has been searching for the killer, or killers, who have terrorized Portvale. Headless corpses, their bodies mutilated and posed, have been turning up all over the industrial district near the docks. Young female prostitutes had been the killer’s victims of choice, but now other districts are reporting the gruesome discovery of decapitated bodies. It seems the killer has expanded his territory as more ‘nice girls’ feel the wrath of his terrible rage.

Meet the Cunninghams . . .
A family bound by evil and the blood they have spilled. The large lodging-house they live in and operate on Artaud Avenue reeks of death, and the sins that remain trapped beneath the floorboards.

Ray Truman’s search for a killer leads him to the Cunningham’s house of horrors. What he finds there will ultimately lead him to regret ever meeting Caleb Cunningham and the deviant family that spawned him. The hunter becomes the hunted, as Truman digs deeper into the abyss that is the horrifying mind of the most dangerous psychopath he has ever met.


Excerpt

Preface:

I met Charlie Cunningham while working as a court appointed psychiatrist, testifying to the defendant’s state of mind at a sentence review hearing. He was imprisoned for the homicide of a dispensary storeowner and was a prime suspect in the killings of at least two other people in the Portvale area. Cunningham was held as an inmate at a sanitarium after recently assaulting a group of fellow prisoners at Breakhouse Penitentiary. His behavior had deteriorated during his stay at the prison and had resulted in a severe psychotic breakdown, culminating with the assaults, hence the reason behind his transfer and my testimony. Dr Frederic Rimbaud, chief psychiatrist at Saint Michael Hospital for the Criminally Insane, passed on Charlie’s case notes to me with a warning that I should “take another case as this one [Cunningham] isn’t worth defending!”

At the time, Charlie had not gained notoriety as a suspected serial killer. However, his psychiatric assessments, coupled with his criminal background, confirmed his capacity for committing multiple murders. After numerous interviews, I concluded that he was a high-risk violent serial offender of the disorganized type, with full-blown antisocial personality disorder. It was my opinion that Charlie Cunningham was one of the most dangerous Antisocial Personality types I had encountered in all my twenty years of forensic psychiatry. That was, before I met his twin brother Caleb.

I first encountered Caleb while visiting his brother Charlie at the asylum. It was a typical ‘non-contact’ visiting room for maximum-security inmates, or ‘patients’ as the staff liked to call them. Bulletproof windows separated visitors from the prisoners in the small concrete booths. The unmistakable bright orange jumpsuits of the prisoners, contrasted sharply with the gloomy concrete and steel environment. A plain wooden seat was provided for the visitor and an intercom on the wall allowed communication. A thick reinforced glass window ran the length of the visiting room wall and separated the area from the waiting room, where the visitors patiently sat while waiting their turn to see family and friends on the other side.

As I gathered my things and said goodbye to Charlie, I saw Caleb enter the visiting room. I knew it was Caleb as I was immediately struck by his likeness to his twin brother, to the point that I thought it was Charlie for a moment. He was tall although not as muscular as Charlie, but his shaved head and cold dark eyes combined with his chiseled facial features, mirrored his brother’s image. It was as if Charlie had materialized from one side of the room to the other and I found myself involuntarily glancing back at the bulletproof window, to make sure Charlie was still sitting there. I hesitated for a brief moment as I contemplated speaking with Caleb before leaving, thinking he may be of some use in providing details regarding his brother’s background and current psychological state.

Caleb looked at me as he waited for the guard to show him to the seat in front of Charlie’s booth. His dark eyes bore deep into mine, his gaze unflinching as if he had read my mind and was daring me to approach him. Slightly unnerved, I decided I had all the information I needed and approached the exit once more, forcing myself to think about my next appointment as I left the gray walls of the asylum.

Charlie’s sentence-review hearing was eventually held with no change to the maximum sentence he had received. My testimony allowed no leniency for Charlie and once the sentence was passed, I thought it would be the last I would see of the Cunninghams. Over the next few months I worked on a number of high-profile cases, which resulted in more public exposure for my small clinic, to the point where I had to employ staff to help deal with a burgeoning client-list. Despite my hectic schedule I could not forget about the Cunningham case, the disturbing content and graphic details of my interviews with Charlie lingered in my consciousness. I found myself reviewing my case notes after-hours, fascinated and revolted by the litany of violence I had recorded. A growing sense of unease had me wondering if I had been privy to information best passed on to the appropriate authorities.

Reviewing the court documents, including notes from previous psychiatric assessments, witness statements and police records, I had pieced together a picture of a horrific family upbringing for the twin brothers. I used my professional experience and training to corroborate Charlie’s scattered retellings of his past. I remembered that he betrayed little emotion apart from when he relayed his family experiences – especially the abuse he suffered at the hands of his violent father and over-domineering mother. He had remained silent about his brother Caleb and it was in this omission that I realized my professional interest had been piqued.

Who was Caleb? Was Charlie afraid of his own sibling? Realizing the futility of my curiosity, I watched as the clock on the wall registered midnight’s approach. Sitting alone at my desk, overworked and tired, I decided I needed a holiday. And that, I thought, would be the last time I would have to think about Charlie Cunningham and his twisted kin as I booked myself an online holiday package.

A month later, I had returned from vacation and settled in to the backlog of work that awaited me. It was shaping up to be one of my busiest years what with an expansive client list and various projects that threatened to push my workload to breaking point. The Cunningham case was the farthest thing from my mind when Caleb himself approached me in my downtown office one bleak winter’s morning. When he first entered my office, I did not recognize him as a good year had passed since I had last seen him and his brother. His eyes however, remained unchanged and the memory of him and Charlie came flooding back to me, as I hesitantly ushered him into the office. Those dark eyes belied a malevolence that instantly made me think of Charles Manson’s psychotic gaze. Once again, Caleb had rattled me with his presence but my curiosity, tempered with my professional training, outweighed the uneasy feeling that enveloped me as he made himself comfortable in one of the chairs in front of my desk.

After advising Caleb that I was no longer working as a defense witness and that I hadn’t spoken to Charlie since his trial, I told him that I now had a private practice and worked primarily as a consultant to local and federal law enforcement authorities. Caleb explained that he knew all about my practice and involvement with a number of high profile cases. He had read my books on Abnormal Psychology and Forensic Pathology and stated that was why he wanted to talk to me. He felt I might be able to offer him some insight into his own psychological state of mind. I explained that I was very busy but somehow, he managed to convince me that what he had to say would be worth my while. I don’t usually work pro-bono but I found myself making an exception as I offered my services to Caleb.

I had unanswered questions about the Cunninghams and a professional interest in the genetic transition of psychosis, which was evident in my analysis of Charlie all those years ago. Despite agreeing to talk with Caleb, I had a nagging sense of unease as it occurred to me that he had obviously been following my career with some interest for a long time. Misgivings aside, my professional curiosity got the better of me and after a brief exchange of formalities, we began to talk.

Over the course of our meetings, it became apparent that Caleb had an agenda and after reassurance that I would keep what he told me confidential, he began to talk. It was obvious he had never talked to anyone with such apparent honesty. At times, it seemed he could not help himself, as the floodgates of his past opened, as he retold the horrors of his family life. During our first session, he unleashed a torrent of recantations of violent experiences. What had started out as an in-depth look into his and Charlie’s childhood, suddenly switched to a gruesome confessional.

After convincing him of my adherence to a strict confidentiality code, we delved deeper into his back-catalogue of violence. I became fascinated with the nature of his psychology and found him to be a psychiatric anomaly, beyond definitive analysis or diagnosis. Aspects of his personality would point to a symptom or criteria for a particular type of disorder, only to morph and combine to produce a unique psychological characteristic, near impossible to pigeonhole.

As the weekly sessions progressed, a picture began to emerge of a dichotomous personality: a severe dissociative identity disorder similar to the stereotypical ‘multiple-personality’ type but unique, in that Caleb was fully in control of all aspects of his behavior and thought processes. In this respect, he was nothing like his psychotic brother who displayed all the classic hallmark symptoms of a disorganized antisocial personality coupled with violent behavioral problems.

Despite his ability to control his behavior, I was left in no doubt as to the psychopathological nature of Caleb Cunningham. I had long held the conviction that the concept of ‘evil’ was an almost meaningless abstract term, coined for those things beyond human comprehension. With Caleb, the word ‘evil’ became synonymous with my assessment of his character. In fact, I felt quite disturbed as much by his words, as by his presence. After attending regular sessions for three months, he finally disappeared. It was with mixed regret and relief that I closed my considerable case file on Caleb. Despite our intensive sessions, I realized I was still miles away from fully understanding his twisted psyche and at a loss to understand why he had actually told me all that he had. He had put me in the uncomfortable position of providing me with information that was potentially incriminating and revealing. I felt much like I imagined a priest to feel, after hearing a confession too inhumanly terrible to keep secret.

As most people know, ‘doctor-patient confidentiality’ is a mainstay of psychiatric practice, but after the end of my sessions with Caleb Cunningham, I had sufficient cause to betray this ethical basis. I would later receive correspondence from Caleb, which in turn prompted me to investigate his claims further. The manuscript that I put before you is as factual an account as possible, of the Cunningham family’s reign of terror, and of the twisted psychology of a very dangerous human being.

With the passage of time and the confirmation of his crimes, Caleb Cunningham has proved to be an enigma amongst modern serial killers. A psychopath who alters his Modus Operandi (M.O.) at will and can adapt his pattern behavior to suit. He is essentially, an intelligent predator that refuses to conform to any of the rules applied to his notorious predecessors. In one of my interviews with him, Caleb brazenly admitted that he had “murdered over one hundred men and women”. Antisocial Personality Disorder types are notorious liars but something about his tone, combined with his family history, made me take him seriously. He was the prime suspect in two separate national serial killing investigations and is currently on Interpol’s Top 10 Most Wanted List as a fugitive. Apart from early convictions for petty larceny and burglary offences and a brief term of imprisonment, Caleb has managed to evade conviction for any of the serious offences he is suspected of.

What you are about to read is an account of the diabolical workings of a dangerous, psychopathic killer. Most of the text in this narrative is transcribed verbatim from taped accounts of Caleb’s and his brother’s experiences. More obscure aspects of their twisted lives have had to be pieced together from Caleb’s recollections, alongside the Portvale Serial Killer Task Force lead investigator Ray Truman’s copious notes and associated media reports. Gathered from Truman’s own police journals and case files, I have pieced together his story as accurately as possible thanks to his helpful colleagues at the Portvale Police Precinct.

Like any true story, there is an element of the ‘perceived truth’ used in the retelling of the tale. This arises from the personal accounts and biases of those who write and interpret the evidence laid out before them. I too interpret the facts to the best of my abilities but realize that integrity is sometimes not enough to reveal absolute truth. Hence, my apologies for any factual discrepancies that may come to light in the future as this story reaches its end, as presently it has no such ending.

Finally, at the risk of professional suicide, I have an admission to make. I betrayed my client’s trust as my conscience overwhelmed my code of practice with the weight of the horrific detail of Caleb Cunningham’s darkest confidences. After gaining official police verification of details of unsolved homicides in the Portvale region, compared with the transcribed information Caleb provided, it is my belief that Caleb Cunningham is quite possibly the most dangerous man alive.

For he is still alive – somewhere out there, surviving on his Machiavellian intelligence while he channels his seething rage and lust for death. My last communiqué from him; one of the countless cryptic letters I received, is included with this publication of his journal entries and case notes. His letters display his ability to communicate both his intellect and his capacity for unspeakable evil in the same breath, much like his ‘art’ – the aesthetic rendering of his many victims.

I hope that the publication of these personal writings and case notes will illuminate one of the most elusive, bizarre and enigmatic killers of this century and the family that spawned him. After informing him of my decision to share with the federal authorities information I had gathered from our conversations, he gave me his ‘permission’ to tell his story to the world. The implicit threat of his return to Portvale engendered fear in the wake of my decision. I have no doubt that he will read this and that my life will be in imminent danger because of this publication.

The corroboration of the federal authorities, that what he told me was pure fact, leave me with the hope that this account will turn over new stones perhaps otherwise best left unturned. I have sufficient doubt in the truth of his account, in that his ‘estimate’ of the victims he murdered is a lesser percentage of the true and actual total.

I read the papers and have access to the online law-enforcement log-files, both nationally and internationally, of unsolved homicides. I see his signature everywhere. It is in the names of the victims, their age and the ferocity of the crimes. They are his calling cards to me – his ‘art’ is alive and lives forever. This is his story.

Dr. Mary Brunswick, PHD

Prologue:

Charlie has big plans for me. He’s thinking crazy thoughts and talking crazy talk. He keeps telling me about his recurring visions and his ‘mission,’ apparently he has occasion to talk to God. During one of these conversations, God granted him absolution in hell, free from the tyranny of everyday pain and suffering, if Charlie did his bidding. This particular vision also revealed that God and Satan were the same, as was heaven and hell. For Charlie, he saw this as a sign that he would be sitting at Satan’s side on a throne made of human bones, once he was mortally dead.

He would be a god.

I could tell he was delusional.

He was gone.

I knew this because there was no God.

God was dead and so was Charlie.

I hear Charlie’s voice now, clear as a bell. My consciousness clears and my surroundings come into sharp focus. I see his face clearly in my mind. I shake my head, trying to rid myself of his image. I wrap my bleeding fist in a towel and step gingerly over the broken shards of mirror littering the wet tiles on the bathroom floor. I make my way to the kitchen and search the cupboards, for some tape or band-aids, to stem the flow of blood from the lacerations across my throbbing knuckles.

“God,” Charlie whispers to me, “has given me life – to do my deeds upon this earth before he takes me to the next level.”

“Another life,” he continues, “will not allow me the freedom of choice you have with your future Caleb. Some things we cannot change. Some lives are not led by natural laws, but by unnatural processes – events.”

“My life, your life . . .” Charlie says, “is a road map to hell.”

I remember the last time I looked in his eyes when he was alive. He was crazy then and the voice in my head shakes with equal insanity, as an image of him floats before my eyes. His face appears gaunt, skeletal. The vision ebbs in and out of focus as I start to tremble with a mixture of naked coldness and fear. I remember him as if he is with me now and he is, in his own twisted way. My mind reels with tangents and the bending of physical laws.

He used to seem very confused to me.

He now seems very logical to me.

He still seems very dangerous to me.

He is my twin brother and he has returned home.

I see him in my own eyes.

I feel that he is now part of me.

Blood related.

The missing piece of the jigsaw puzzle has been found. It is a moment of realization that we are two parts of the same equation; standing there alone in a stranger’s house, nude as a newborn, thoughts swirling through my adrenaline-charged brain.

I realize that with the puzzle complete – the revealed image is far more bloody than romanticized, like two halves of something that shouldn’t be together. More like a vision of apocalyptic proportions. Despite my realization, I feel like shit more than ever.

Back in the bathroom I look once again at my reflection in the broken shards of mirror on the floor – just before I smash myself in the face with my fist. I hear Charlie gasp as I do. The sum of our union is chaos. Death. Destruction. Violence. And loneliness.

We are hollow men.

Empty men.

The walking dead.

We are one.

With some ammonia-saturated cleaning spray, I spray the droplets of blood on the remains of the cabinet mirror, vainly attempting to clean my presence from the room. I look at the floor covered in bloody footprints, my bloody footprints. I look at the woman in the bathtub, her glazed lifeless eyes staring vacantly at me. Her bruised neck set at a strange angle. One bare arm dangles over the side of the porcelain tub, her alabaster fingers delicately lay palm up on the floor, in a glistening pool of dark blood. A bare breast exposed, floats whitely like an island of chalk amongst the maroon waters in the tub. At this point, I give up any attempts to conceal my indiscretions.

I look through the doorway at the clock on the mantle in the living room. It’s time to go and I’ve come ill prepared, this was after all a ‘crime of opportunity’ as they sometimes are. I complete my task and take my trophy from the body, arranging the remains in my careful way. I remove my clothes from my backpack and replace them with the head wrapped in a plastic bag. I wipe the remaining smears of congealing blood from my body, careful not to get the viscous liquid on anything else as I shed my unease and dress hurriedly in the hallway. All the while, my gaze is fixated on the broken work in the bathroom. She appears to move as her limbs stiffen a fraction with the onset of rigor mortis.

My heart starts beating again and I think of Lucille as I make my way to the gas hob in the kitchen. I check that all the windows are shut tight, light a candle in the living room and in the hallway, and turn all the gas rings to high. In my head, Charlie remains quiet as I gently close and lock the back door, before making my way across the yard and over the fence at the rear of the property.

I walk slowly down the poorly lit alley that runs behind the North-Shore Boulevard. It takes approximately six minutes of pacing my steps in the dark night, counting the seconds as I go, until I hear a muffled thump behind me as the house explodes in a ball of flame. Charlie starts to laugh, a frightening maniacal noise, which sounds like someone hacking at a tree-trunk with an axe. It only takes a brief minute to realize that the crazed laughter is not Charlie’s, but my own.

http://www.amazon.com/Blood-Related-ebook/dp/B006QG1WA4/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_1

Kindle Edition

Paperback

Professional Reviews

Twisted, Sick, and Fun, February 23, 2012, By William Malmborg
This review is from: Blood Related (Kindle Edition)
Nurture or nature? Anyone involved in such a debate would probably have a hard time pinning an answer to this question when concerning the Cunningham twins Charlie and Caleb. Brought up by abusive parents, one of whom is a savage serial killer that often encouraged his children to take part in his horrible crimes; one could easily argue that the two were nurtured into the monsters they eventually become. At the same time it’s hard to say nature didn’t play a part because how else could one explain the generational bloodlust the Cunningham family displays, bloodlust that seems to have begun with Charlie and Caleb’s grandfather? Whatever the cause, the result is a pair of psychotic serial killers who show no empathy for their fellow human beings; serial killers who actually view themselves as separated and on a higher plane of existence than mankind and thus entitled to do whatever they wish to them.

As noted above, it begins early on for the twins, usually with over the top physical punishments that would easily knock any sense of goodness from within the mind of a growing child. After that came the introduction to murder as their father brought female victims back to the basement and allowed his children to watch and sometimes take part in the torture and eventual slaying of the captive or captives. However, the act of murder was not limited to the basement or even the house. Lacking any control on his impulses, their father will also sometimes commit murder while the family is out and about, a situation that then calls for disposable of evidence and the cleaning up of the crime scene. Such moments are a `hands on’ learning experience for Caleb and Charlie, one that will prove invaluable later in life as each matures into individual serial killers. Of course this isn’t to say suspicion isn’t leveled on the father. The local police — and one man in particular — are pretty sure the father is responsible for the crimes, ones that eventually become attributed to a killer known as the Dockside Ripper. Being able to nail him down as the Dockside Ripper, however, isn’t easy, which in turn allows the body count, and the education of two budding serial killers, to grow.

Of the twins, Caleb seems the most level headed, which in turn makes him the scarier of the two when it comes to the two serial killers. That said, Caleb does have some impulse control issues just like his father, which sometimes causes close calls with the police. At one point it also puts him in conflict with his brother due to the slaying of a young woman that Charlie wanted to keep alive, his desire to cause chaos and the eventual breakdown of civilization leading to a different type of torture and murder than what Caleb usually takes part it. The question is will the two be able to work together to the end that Charlie wants, while also allowing for Caleb’s desires to be realized, or will the two come into such conflict that they destroy each other. Also, will the detective obsessed with their family and the savagery it displays be able to put an end to their reign of terror, or will he just become another victim?

Mostly told from the point of view of Caleb, but also occasionally from some of the other individuals within the story, Blood Related by William Cook is a wonderfully twisted tale of two serial killers who have no redeeming value whatsoever, yet are somehow fun to read about. In fact, not only are they fun to read about, but at times you find yourself actually rooting for them, which can be very unsettling. Equally unsettling is the disgust one starts to feel toward the father and Charlie, yet not toward Caleb despite his being just as ruthless as the other two. Adding to the story and its authentic feel were the newspaper accounts, books segments, and clinical observations layered throughout the story, all of which had the feel of being real documents one would find in such media forms. Having seen and used these types of documents in the real world when studying such subjects in school, I can honestly say the author nailed it when penning his own, and had I read them as part of a case-study I would have assumed them to be genuine. I also would have been horrified to know that two such killers had done the things they did for as long as they did, and that a family had had produced three generations of serial killers.

Needless to say, I found Blood Related to be an excellent read, one by an author who hopefully will be releasing more works in the near future. Until then readers will have to keep their bloodlust sated with the tale of Caleb Cunningham and his twin brother Charlie. I promise, if this type of story is your thing you will not be disappointed.

Sins of the Father, February 4, 2012, By Malina Roos
This review is from: Blood Related (Kindle Edition)
Be warned, this tale is not for anyone who dislikes gore and violence.

This is a brilliant tale of fathers and sons, serial killing at its finest and the legacy families create. Charlie and Caleb Cunningham are twins and serial killers, following in the footsteps of their father and grandfather.

The story is told through letters, news articles and from the points of view of the killers, the police and the doctors involved. All the pieces of the story are woven together beautifully through the the magical way William Cook has with syntax. Well worth the read….if you can stomach it.

The Family That Slays Together Becomes a Legend, January 25, 2012, By Bruce J. Blanchard “Darkenwulf”
It started off so simple. Dr. Mary Brunswick was the court appointed psychologist to define the state of mind of one Charlie Cunningham. During the course of her talks with Charlie, she meets his twin, Caleb. Caleb consults her later on and tells her a story she will not forget, a story of violence, murder, abuse, mutilation, insanity, abduction, and conspiracy. A story that covers a family background beginning with Grandfater Samael, father Errol, and his two sons Charlie and Caleb. What begins as a subplot and gaining an increasing importance is a family feud between the Cunninghams and the Trumans, a family of cops and those who don’t mind flying over the dictates of the law. What becomes more disturbing is this: as you read through the book, who are you rooting for – the long length of crimes commited by those in the death house on Artaud Avenue or the less than legal obsession by Ray Truman who will use any means to wipe out the family and their crimes.
The main character is Caleb. He and brother Charlie have been abused by both father Errol and mother Vera. They’ve been raised in an environment of murder, death, and torture. Throughout the story we identify with Caleb: his actions (mostly despicable), his feelings about his family relations, and a seemingly growing insanity fueled by drugs and alcohol. What remains is a story you can follow with Caleb’s entries and excerpts from newspapers and crime books. Blood Related is an awesome and ambitious project in the ways and means of the psychopathic mind. A lot of us are looking for answers as why people kill the others around them and do the inhumane. Blood Related may help you in your quest, though the answers aren’t easy ones. This book is one that should never be overlooked.

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Caleb Cunningham File: Confidential, Portvale Tribune (c)

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This is the latest review (of Blood Related) by William Malmborg. When you’re done reading, please make sure to check out William’s very cool website here.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Blood Related by William Cook

Nurture or nature?  Anyone involved in such a debate would probably have a hard time pinning an answer to this question when concerning the Cunningham twins Charlie and Caleb.  Brought up by abusive parents, one of whom is a savage serial killer that often encouraged his children to take part in his horrible crimes; one could easily argue that the two were nurtured into the monsters they eventually become.  At the same time it’s hard to say nature didn’t play a part because how else could one explain the generational bloodlust the Cunningham family displays, bloodlust that seems to have begun with Charlie and Caleb’s grandfather?  Whatever the cause, the result is a pair of psychotic serial killers who show no empathy for their fellow human beings; serial killers who actually view themselves as separated and on a higher plane of existence than mankind and thus entitled to do whatever they wish to them.

As noted above, it begins early on for the twins, usually with over the top physical punishments that would easily knock any sense of goodness from within the mind of a growing child.  After that came the introduction to murder as their father brought female victims back to the basement and allowed his children to watch and sometimes take part in the torture and eventual slaying of the captive or captives.  However, the act of murder was not limited to the basement or even the house.  Lacking any control on his impulses, their father will also sometimes commit murder while the family is out and about, a situation that then calls for disposable of evidence and the cleaning up of the crime scene.  Such moments are a ‘hands on’ learning experience for Caleb and Charlie, one that will prove invaluable later in life as each matures into individual serial killers.  Of course this isn’t to say suspicion isn’t leveled on the father.  The local police — and one man in particular — are pretty sure the father is responsible for the crimes, ones that eventually become attributed to a killer known as the Dockside Ripper.  Being able to nail him down as the Dockside Ripper, however, isn’t easy, which in turn allows the body count, and the education of two budding serial killers, to grow.

Of the twins, Caleb seems the most level headed, which in turn makes him the scarier of the two when it comes to the two serial killers.  That said, Caleb does have some impulse control issues just like his father, which sometimes causes close calls with the police.  At one point it also puts him in conflict with his brother due to the slaying of a young woman that Charlie wanted to keep alive, his desire to cause chaos and the eventual breakdown of civilization leading to a different type of torture and murder than what Caleb usually takes part it.  The question is will the two be able to work together to the end that Charlie wants, while also allowing for Caleb’s desires to be realized, or will the two come into such conflict that they destroy each other.  Also, will the detective obsessed with their family and the savagery it displays be able to put an end to their reign of terror, or will he just become another victim?

Mostly told from the point of view of Caleb, but also occasionally from some of the other individuals within the story, Blood Related by William Cook is a wonderfully twisted tale of two serial killers who have no redeeming value whatsoever, yet are somehow fun to read about.  In fact, not only are they fun to read about, but at times you find yourself actually rooting for them, which can be very unsettling.  Equally unsettling is the disgust one starts to feel toward the father and Charlie, yet not toward Caleb despite his being just as ruthless as the other two.  Adding to the story and its authentic feel were the newspaper accounts, books segments, and clinical observations layered throughout the story, all of which had the feel of being real documents one would find in such media forms.  Having seen and used these types of documents in the real world when studying such subjects in school, I can honestly say the author nailed it when penning his own, and had I read them as part of a case-study I would have assumed them to be genuine.  I also would have been horrified to know that two such killers had done the things they did for as long as they did, and that a family had had produced three generations of serial killers.

Needless to say, I found Blood Related to be an excellent read, one by an author who hopefully will be releasing more works in the near future.  Until then readers will have to keep their bloodlust sated with the tale of Caleb Cunningham and his twin brother Charlie.  I promise, if this type of story is your thing you will not be disappointed.
Source:

http://www.williammalmborg.com/2012/02/blood-related-by-william-cook.html

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