The Ghost Are Rising

It’s been awhile, I know – I apologize. I’ve been hard at work trying to market my new book, a YA SCI-FI Space Opera called, depending on the day – Threshold or Far From Sanctuary. I like them both and feel they fit the tale I’m trying to weave, but I haven’t decided on the ACTUAL title of the book. If you are an agent and see one of those two titles in your inbox, ASK FOR FULL MANUSCRIPT FOR THE LOVE OF GOD and know its me, your favorite person in the whole universe.

I’ll post some stuff of the book on here and do some hyping of the thing in the coming days/weeks. When I’m not doing that, I’ve been busy writing my new book – The Ghost of Camp Blood, a fun horror/slahers. Imagine, if you will, Beatlejuice meets Friday the 13th. I’m having a lot of fun writing it, probably because it gives me the perfect excuse for watching a bunch of bad 80’s horror movie.

“What are you doing? Shouldn’t you be working?” my wife asks as I watch Friday the 13th part 4 for the 100th time.

“I am. This is research,” I say.

I’m not lying either! I’ve watched them so many times recently and even the documentary they made Camp Crystal lake, that’s over 8 hours long! I’m currently living, breathing the Friday series. But my book pays homage to Halloween, Texas Chainsaw, and other horror classics. Again, in the coming days/weeks I’ll post some of it on here to give you guys a taste.

Well with all that being said, I’ll be back!


The Kick-Ass Reading List #1

I was trying to figure out what to write about this week and noticed a bunch of reading lists on the main page, which sparked this crazy ass idea. Why don’t I recommend some books?

The first book I’m going to recommend is one of my all time favorites. It’s the first book I’ve ever re-read right after finishing it for the first time. There is just so much going on in this thing that a reader really does need to read it twice to understand it, but seeing as its entertaining as all hell and extra funny to boot – you won’t complain. It’s Kurt Vonnegut’s master piece SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE. I’ve read a lot of his books over the years, and this one stands out as one of his best, in my humble opinion. I also love Breakfast of Champions, Hocus Pocus, and Timequake – just to name a few.

Another book I’ll recommend, again one of my favorites, is Clive Barker’s THIEF OF ALWAYS. This is a beautiful, dark fairytale with great characters, suspense, and pacing. I cant’ even tell you how many times I’ve read the book over the years, but its one of my favorite books by the legendary author, which is saying a lot, because the dude has written a ton of fantastic literature even though he is mostly remembered for making Hellraiser. If you haven’t read this book yet, stop what your doing, like right now, and go and order it. You will not be disappointed!

The last book I’ll recommend on this list is another funny one – a book so funny, that while reading it, I broke out laughing out loud. I remember one time I was on the bus and I just couldn’t stop laughing at what was happening that everyone around me just stared at me, passing silent judgment. Though the author, Joseph Heller, is best known for Catch-22 (which is awesome in and off itself) his lesser known novel, God Knows, is fucking hilarious!

Death of Books

The death of books will not come at the hands of the digital age, like some doomsayers used to proclaim from atop their slush piles. Publisher’s forget that real book nerds (and you know who you are) will always purchase books. I’m one of them. I love going to bookstores and browse the shelves, checking out covers and reading blurbs in the hopes of finding my own white whale. A trip to Half Price books, my own personal Mecca, is always packed with customers – so the demand is there, its not diminishing.

What is diminishing is the quality of work as the the Publishing houses get more woke. It’s the source of the river poisoning the inhabitants downstream and as result, killing the business. And its not like we haven’t seen this self-destruction before – it started in the comic industry with diversity hires and woke politics. Who can forget the great creative idea they had when they reset all their titles and started substituting established characters with the opposite sex? How is that working for Marvel now as they do the exact same thing in their newest phase over at Marvel Studios? They love to blame the fanbase, without really knowing who their fanbase really is – dudes who are always thirsty for hot, ass kicking babes! Comic nerds eat that up. Hell, they live for it. What they don’t like is being attacked, called names, and being force fed feminism and woke agendas. Why would a paying customer buy a product written by people who hate them.

And this insanity isn’t just happening in comics, it’s spread like a virus into the video gaming industry, film, and now books. I’m going to show my age here, but does anyone remember the NOTHING from “The NeverEnding Story?” If you haven’t seen it, go do so at once – its bloody fantastic, but in the meantime, since you’re already here, there is a nothingness spreading across this fantasy world destroying it – that’s liberal wokeism today. You get these brainwashed, crazy eyed, far-leftist invading publishing houses as agents, slush pile readers, editors, and finally the upper brass and instead of looking for good books, no matter the skin color/gender of the author, they openly discriminate.

Not only do the discriminate, they call for books the majority of readers don’t want to read. Sure, there is a market for it, but its real niche. And then they take those niche books and try to market/sale them to an audience that doesn’t want it. What happens? It fails. When a publishing house continues to promote books that don’t sale – what happens? They go bankrupt and bookstores, like comic book shops, close.

In my humble opinion, if we don’t get this fixed – where we once again focus on story – this industry will also die a slow, agonizing death. And it already is. Right now, its on life support – mainly kept alive by old, established authors who are slowly dying off one by one. There are no new names to carry this industry on its back once other greats cast off their mortal coils. This past year we lost Ann Rice – what happens when other power players die – no Stephen King, James Patterson, J.K. Rowling, Dean Koontz, John Grisham, Danielle Steel, etc. It doesn’t help either that publishing is no longer building big names.

Let’s be honest here, the publishing industry is on its lasts legs if they don’t take their heads out of their ass and start focusing on producing better books. I’m not the savior. Who will be? If you think its going to be a Gender Queer, non-binary, cat lady from Washington who writes books about gay romances set in the backdrop of WW2 – you got to be dreaming. And let me just say there is nothing wrong with either that lifestyle or that writing, but its not what the masses want to read.

Upcoming Writing Projects, Updatess, and Random Bullshit

To leave the political world on the back burner, let me give you guys a few updates about some upcoming writing pojects I’m working on.

First, you can get my novel THE WRETCHED by clicking the link. It’s on sell for .99 cents for a limited time for Kindle, but if you feel compelled enough, you can also pick up the paperback and actually help to feed my family.

I also have a short story you can get too – also on Amazon, for just .99 cents. It’s a traditional horror story, so if you like my black humor – this story doesn’t have too much of that – its just nasty, mean, and vicious. Click here to be taken to that, it’s called THE FALLEN.

I’m currenlty finishing up a Space Opera called THRESHOLD. I was hoping to get it done at the beginning of the year, but the edit has taken a little longer than I originally planned – but it is coming. I’ll post the blurb for it below.

I’m also writing a stand alone horror comedy called GHOSTS OF CAMP BLOOD, which is a throwback to 80’s slasher goodness. More on that later.

I wish I could be like Stephen King, not for the sells, but for the production value of his books. That asshole can turn out books like an obese man does shit. I don’t know how he does it now – I know cocaine helped him in the early days, you know, back when his books were actually good. Now, his stuff is overwritten, sluggish, and end about as good as a baby falling on train tracks with an approaching train! If he’s your hero, I’m sorry to bash him, but the dude outside of the literary arena is a complete piece of shit, a total dick.

And later this year, I should have a horror short included in the horror anthology film, INTO MADNESS produced by Slash and Chill productions! I wrote a script called PREY and I thik all of you will really like it. I’m not going to give anything away, but it has more twists and turns than crooked spine. Once shooting is done and the film gets released, I will be posting a review for the movie and a link where you can purchase that.

Outside of that, life goes on like it always does. Thanks for stopping by and seeing what this piece of shit toad has been up to. I will be posting links to a couple of interviews and panels I was on recently too, but not tonight. I think I better get back to writing my book instead of this blog, but I thought I’d try to keep the momentum of writing here up – I know its been a long time since I wrote anything here. What, like a year!

Anyway – here is the BLURB for my future book – THRESHOLD. Let me know what you think!

Their love was doomed from the start, but they didn’t care.

Elle and Rylan were bound at birth as Princess and Protector. They were never supposed to fall in love. On the day Elle is forced into an unwanted engagement with the brute of the galaxy, an undying tyrant known as the Pale Emperor, they decide to hell with decorum and elect to runaway together for a shot – no matter how slim – at love. After their romance is discovered by her jealous father, they swear to rendezvous on Rylan’s home world no matter the costs.

But destiny may have other plans for the star-crossed lovers.

They get separated.

Desperate for a way back to Rylan, Elle goes against her better judgment, and makes a deal with a crew of captured space pirates – offering them freedom for passage. But can they be trusted? Now, trekking through space, there are more obstacles for the young Princess to overcome besides uncouth pirates like giant robots and cosmic horrors.

Meanwhile, Rylan has been dispatched to the icy world of Haster for execution. In order to save his life and get back to Elle, he must break all the rules he spent a lifetime devoted to, and lead a mutiny with some of the most ruthless, vile criminals in the galaxy.

Can their love survive?

In an attempt to get back to each other, they will gain new allies and create dangerous foes – as the galaxy inches towards war with the Emperor’s superior forces. They say love conquers all, but can it conquer this or will the galaxy ultimately burn?

Threshold is an action-packed, romantic adventure packed with humor and page turning excitement with sequel/series potential.

The Gentle Art of Making Enemies – or Why Content Warnings are Stupid.

I want to spend a little time talking about something I feel strongly against – CONTENT WARNINGS. To understand why I think they’re so fucking stupid, you have to understand the world I grew up in. I grew up during the Satanic panic, during a dark age where Dungeons and Dragons was considered a gateway drug into the occult, and metal music was under attack by the government by Tipper Gore and conservative Christians. Back then, artist literally had to fight for their right at freedom of expression, to battle against the rising tide of censorship and artistic suppression.

And then came the ‘parental advisory’ stickers on albums that hindered sales of particular music groups for their rebellious messaging – not just in metal, but in rap as well and other music genres. Artist were watched and warned about what they could say and do by government and society at large – which prompted a lot of artists to give a big fat finger to the establishment and push boundaries even further than what they were already doing.

Movies, music, and books challenged readers and the establishment, leaving nothing off the table. And moving into the 90’s, norms were challenged. Where Rage Against the Machine screamed, “Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me,” To doing exactly what they told them.

And then something happened in recent years as the younger generation stopped fighting the system and became PART of it. We have a generation of people out there that are weak minded – who need everything around them wrapped in bubble tape and pillows, and demand trigger warnings and safe spaces! What a fucking joke.

These same people now go into OUR spaces and demand us to take the knee to their demands – and if you refuse, you are a bigot or racist. You are the villain. The mental fortitude of these idiots, these Twitter hate mobs, is juvenile and shows our country is ultimately doomed.  

Recently, I was part of a horror panel with some established authors. We were asked our views on content warnings, and seeing as we are part of the horror community – you know the community supposed to horrify and push boundaries – I thought we’d all agree that content warnings were bullshit. Boy was I wrong. Over the course of the next few minutes, these writers talked highly of content warnings, talking about how great they were and how necessary.

My mind was blown.

Eventually, I asked them, “Do you have a content warning in your current book?”

They all said no.

“Are you going to use them in your next book?”

They all said no.

Again, I was confused. Forget about the writer who went on to talk about content warnings being linked to white privilege, but the fact that these guys argued so strongly for them and yet refused to use them! Just remember, content warnings spoil parts of the story and can be used against an author. What if you put a content warning of ‘animal cruelty.’ What if Amazon one day says they will no longer sell any books with ‘animal cruelty’ in it – guess what that means – your book is fucking dead.

Let me tell you why content warnings are stupid. But before I do, if you want to use them, I got no beef with that – shit, it’s a fucking free country – knock yourself out! I just won’t and I’m not afraid to say that – fuck content warnings!

I’ll tell you why.

First, you don’t need them. On the back of your book is something called a blurb – which is a short summary of what your book is about. A potential reader can read that, like watching a movie trailer, and see if the book interests them. If there is anything hinted at that might ‘trigger’ them, they put the book down and go find something else.


Second, they can read the first couple of pages. You can tell a lot from just that – tone, language, characters, plot, setting, etc.

Third – if you come to a point in a book that makes you uncomfortable – STOP READING IT. Take some individual responsibility and put the book down and walk away! There have been a ton of things I’ve come across in books that have made me uncomfortable and I have to choose to continue reading it or stop, like the underage gangbang in Stephen King’s ‘It.’

Finally, look at the cover of the book and title. So many hints there, that’s why erotica always has have barely dressed hunk on the cover with their muscles bulging as they go in for a kiss of some sexually clad female. You know if you buy that book, you’re going to read about a lot of fucking. Readers have to use some damn common sense, especially when getting into the horror genre.

You have to remember, everyone has their own personal issues, and as a writer, I don’t know YOU. What triggers you won’t trigger someone else. You, as the consumer, have to take it upon yourself to read or not read something based on your own flaws, traumas, etc.

And in the horror genre, if you can’t take death, gore, and depressing topics – don’t read it! I’m sorry, but my job as a writer is to make you uncomfortable, to scare and terrify! Don’t come to me after I scare the shit out of you complaining you weren’t warned that the dog dies on page 58 and the main character gets raped on page 100 before she comes back for revenge on the bastards on page 144 and kills them all with a spiked dildo!

This current generation needs to grow a pair of balls! Again, as a writer, my job is not to hold your hand – my job is to grab it and slam it down on a hot stove until your flesh blisters and burns. And if I hurt you, good, that means I did my job.

I remember when I was a student, I took a writing class where my story caused the teacher, a third wave feminist Nazi, to lose her collective shit. For 45 minutes in class, she ripped apart the story and called me all sorts of names. When the class ended, she asked me to remain behind so she could talk to me – turns out my story opened old wounds and made her remember her abusive husband. She claimed she had planned to come to class to talk about how powerful and brilliant my story was, but instead attacked me because of the strong emotion the story produced.

That’s power.

That’s my job.

That’s what makes a good fucking writer.

So, in the end, content warnings are bullshit and not needed. If you want to use them, feel free – but I never will. And if that means you will never buy my book, that’s fine with me, because maybe my book isn’t for you. But I promise you this – I will give you the best story I can produce with all the twists and turns, mayhem, gore, and violence you expect from a horror novel. You know why, because that’s my job. And I love my fucking job.

Progressivism, Cancer to Art

I know writing this, I’m going to piss off a lot of my peers in the publishing industry, seeing as so many of them lean left, but this has got to be said while we still have an industry worth saving. And before someone starts calling me far right – I’m more of a conservative liberal.  

The Progressive Left is a cancer to art.

They are about censorship and oppression, smothering out voice after voice in the name of social activism, and it’s pathetic. I will give you a few examples to chew on, but trust me, it tastes like shit and has the texture of broken glass. And should the world of publishing continue on this journey of self-destruction, there will be nothing left. And if you don’t think it can’t happen, look how well wokeness has done for the comic and film industry – both are knocking on death’s door.

When we start putting more of an emphasis on the who rather than the what, we’re doomed. And keep in mind Simon and Schuster, home of juggernauts like Stephen King, was just sold. Wokeness has destroyed things people thought were indestructible like the Star Wars franchise, Ghostbusters, Terminator, and now it’s going to destroy Marvel and Lord of the Rings.

And this plague of progressive activism has now invaded the publishing industry with agents and publishers selecting wokeness over great stories. Not long ago, I saw a publishing house do a ‘black’ only submission month. Not only is this open discrimination against non-black authors, but it paints the proud, black artist as needing special privileges to get their work published. Guess what progressive libs – they don’t need it! The black community is ripe with amazing talent and none of them are oppressed or underrepresented in the world of publishing! There are a ton of great authors like Toni Morrison, James Baldwin, Zora Hurston, Maya Angelou, Octavia Butler, Alice Walker, Malcom X, Langston Hughes, Alex Haley, Shel Silverstein, and so it goes. But we’re supposed to believe, in 2020, black authors need special treatment to break into the publishing world – what a joke.

Now days, agents and publishers are not looking for great stories, but to diversify their portfolios for woke points. Instead of just requesting stories, agents are now demanding that the submitters race, gender, and sexual preference fit certain roles. Publishers and agents are using systematic racial, sexual, and gender profiling now when looking for talent. Don’t believe me, go look at Manuscript Wish List and read some of the agents dreams – its all progressive bullshit.

Putting the who before the what is extremely damaging. When a person walks into a bookstore to spend upwards of 20 dollars on a book, they don’t want to be spoken down to, insulted, or lectured by the writer. If they wanted that they’d turn on the damn news.

Readers want to escape the real world for a while, get transported away from their lives and their problems, not be reminded of them. I was reading the reviews for the new book, READY PLAYER TWO, and it is getting burned by jaded readers – sick of the activism by the author, whose promoting transgenderism.

Progressive Left authors and agents are now telling writers to stay in their own lane. Telling people if you’re a man, don’t create a female character – because that story doesn’t belong to you. Hey asshole, using that kind of mentality, the Harry Potter franchise wouldn’t exist!

Let me show you how stupid this logic is – I went to a writer’s conference, the Dallas Writer’s Conference in 2018, and the author of the UGLIES, Scott Westerfeld, told an audience that it was wrong for people to write outside their lane, because you are stealing someone else’s story. Hey dumb ass, your book is about a 15-year-old girl! You are a hypocrite and a piece of shit, trying to enforce artist to shut up and censor their art.

Progressive Liberals are asses and they are a cancer to art.

If we don’t purge them out of the industry, they will burn it to the ground. The fires already started. It’s time for writers around the world to tell these jerks to shut the fuck up and unleash their creative minds like a tsunami and wash them all away. Next time someone tells you not to write something, write it.  My protagonist in my first novel was gay and in my current book, watch out assholes, I’m writing a strong female. Not a Mary Sue, but you know, a real woman.

Tapeworm 2: a movie review

I’d like to take a moment to introduce a short, independent horror film called Tapeworm 2, created by the awesome Slash and Chill film studios. The best way I can describe it is by looking back at two iconic horror TV show’s from the 90’s – Tales from the Crypt and Tales from the Darkside. If you’re reading this and have never watched those programs  – shame on you. Go out and stream these shows like right now!

What do these have to do with this little gem called Tapeworm 2? Well, it’s simple – if Tapeworm 2 was written and submitted for one of these shows, it would fall under the Tales from the Darkside umbrella. You see back then, Tales from the Crypt was an HBO production – which meant they could bring on top talent screenwriters, Hollywood A and B list actors, and have some pretty spiffy special effects; Tales from the Darkside, however, was kind of the opposite of all that since it was produced for regular syndicated programming.  Tapeworm 2 is a low budget flick for sure, but Slash and Chill packs it with a ton of charm, visceral gore, and humor to create something special – something one could easily have seen on late night TV.

The film follows a group of people trying to get home after a night at the bar, when they encounter strange alien worms that not only eat people, but can also take control of their bodies. That’s it. Simple. No politics, no SJW bullshit, just straight up walking, talking buffet for worms that come out of people’s assholes (yes this happens in the flick).

The movie is about 25 minutes long and has your classic, mini-horror scene opening straight out of Tales from the Darkside – its really well done. From there, the movie does take a bit of a lull as we go to the bar to meet our meat for the beasts. To be honest with you, I don’t know any of the characters names – in fact, I’m not sure if it even states who they are. You have an obnoxious drunk, who is probably one of the funnier characters in the movie, and a group of friends consisting of a couple of girls and guys – again, we don’t know who they are or what their relationship is outside of being ‘friends.’ This is probably the weakest part of the film – the bar scene does drag on a bit, not all of the jokes land, and some of the acting (as to be expected in a film like this) is subpar.

The filmmakers also fail to establish the setting; I’m not talking about where the film takes place, but where all the different locations are in relation to each other. You have the bar, a truck stop, and a farm house – but the viewer never really understands where they are in relation to each other, which causes a few minor issues with the finale.

Once the group of friends starts trekking home the film really picks up with some fun, creative kills and gore – something you would easily find in Tales from the Crypt. This is where Slash and Chill does an amazing job and instantly breathes fresh life into Tapeworm 2. The third act of the film is by far the best and really keeps you entertained until the ending.

Tapeworm2 does a great job in Act 1 and 3 of this little flick – but struggles a bit in Act 2 when it comes to character development and motivation. Outside of a few plot holes, a bit of subpar acting, and some questionable CGI, Tapeworm 2 is a fun horror flick I would recommend to anyone looking for something different.

If you are not sure if this is for you or not, I would recommend another film they did called Cereal Killer Alien Werewolves. I love this movie and have watched it a couple of times when I’m in the mood for something fun and different. At just over 18 minutes – the flick is freaking hilarious and has one of my all-time favorite werewolf transformations ever captured, and no, I’m not being facetious. Here is a link for the flick.

So in closing, if you’re bored and want something fun to watch, or maybe you just want to support a local artist, check out Tapeworm 2. Here is a link to the trailer and a link to purchase the DVD. If you watch either of these, post your comments below and let me know your thoughts!


Cancel Culture and the ‘This You’ Marxist Movement

‘This You?’ The Latest Attack in America’s Cultural Revolution 

Chaos is the new normal in America. Since the killing of George Floyd, America has spiraled out of control as famous landmarks are torn down and cities burn. Streets of famous cities like Seattle, New York, Minneapolis, and Los Angeles are swarming with enraged, hate mobs screaming for social justice as they loot stores and kill cops. These are mostly black cops, who are being killed by black men screaming about Black Lives Matter. The great war for America has begun. 

The scariest thing about this war, which threatens to rip the still beating heart out of the United States, is just how much it parallels another dark time in history. Not American history, but Chinese history. In 1966, the great butcher of China, Mao Zedong, started what he dubbed the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976). At the beginning, he shut down schools and used his Red Guards to attack all traditional values and publicly criticize party officials. 

The same has started here in the United States, with the anti-American rhetoric being done by a group known as Antifa. Though their name means antifascist, this is a social movement sweeping the nation, where they use their fist to silence opposition and curb stomp traditional American values. One of the latest movements by these extremists is called ‘This You?’ Basically, it’s a movement to publicly shame people for past comments online in much the same way the Red Guards did public officials. 

New York Times writer, Aisha Harris, said this about the latest rendition of the Spanish Inquisition, “Brutally crisp and blatantly rhetorical, the phrase has become a catchall representing the internet currency of receipts, forcing bandwagon participants to confront things they might have said or done that seemingly contradict their newfound commitment to the cause.” 

This latest form of online policing is supposedly there to call out fake activism or what ‘they’ consider performative wokeness; when in reality it’s nothing more than a modern-day witch hunt where the goal is to drag someone to the public square for an old fashion burning. This extremism was seen in China as well, as public shaming quickly escalated, causing many elderly people and intellectuals to not just be verbally assaulted, but physically. Many Chinese died during this purge. In the US, these modern Red Guards force you to stand before the screaming mob to confess your sins and take the knee as they scream and spit in your face. 

Then they take your job.  

An example of this happened to NFL player Drew Brees. On Blackout Tuesday, another forced event by the radical left to show your wokeness to the Black Lives Matter or else, Drew Brees complied by adding a black square on his Instagram. Not long after he posted this, someone attacked him with the ‘This You?’ meme by reposting a picture of him with President Trump and Melania (who have been painted as racist by the left-leaning, socialist American media). 

He apologized. 

They didn’t care and now this amazing quarterback’s career is now in jeopardy. Why? Because the radical left wants his head on a pike. Drew isn’t the only victim as the movement gets started in the United States as other companies, celebrities, and people fall prey to this political movement. They have gone on to attack other people like American actor Mark Whalberg, Canadian singer Justin Beiber, and even organizations like Disney. Like a plague of locusts, the ‘This You’ meme spreads not caring about the lives it destroys in the wake of social justice wokeness.  

The cultural war in American has officially kicked off in 2020, even though its roots began taking shape under the socialist presidency of Barack Obama. If America is going to stop this from escalating into a decade of destruction as seen in China, we must stop this socialist revolution before it spirals out of control. As Edmund Burke once warned, “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.” Time will tell if the United States is doomed or not, but if we are to survive, its time for Americans to stop kneeling before the hate mob and rally against cancel culture. 

An Interview

Happy to see my last article garnered a ton of attention recently, as it should. What is happening in the publishing industry with censorship and discrimination running rampant from lonely agents all the way to the top of the food chain with editors and publishers.

It is these things that are killing the industry, because they are putting their political and social ideologies before what truly drives this business – good stories. It shouldn’t matter the sex or race of the author, only that the book is good.

I have a few articles coming that’s going to focus on these topics more – because we are seeing the death of publishing and of course the outright discrimination of white authors.

In the meantime – I did an interview with Indie Beacon Radio recently, where I talk about my upcoming BOOMSTICK EDITION of my novel THE WRETCHED – which is set for a fall release. I also talk about my other upcoming release, THRESHOLD, which is a YA novel. All that and more is in the interview, which I hope you all check out.

Ember Days: Going Woke One YA Author at a Time

There is a new movement in the literary world, especially in the YA market, of authors cancelling books before their release. This just happened when author Alexandra Duncan cancelled the release of her novel Ember Days, which was set for release in March 2021. Why? Because she got cold feet after going woke. I’m sure the craziness of the world probably stoked some of that fear seeing as Marxist hate mobs roam the streets looting, tearing down monuments, and killing black cops in the name of social justice.

The author herself stated as much when she said this in a recent interview: “I definitely struggled with whether it was okay for me to write about a culture outside my own.”

But yet she wrote the book.

She got an agent.

She got a publisher.

The book was edited and a cover designed – the thing was ready for release, but she killed it. I’d also argue, the author probably killed her career in the process, because who in their right mind would want to invest anything on a gutless, spineless author who buckles under pressure and her own white guilt? If she was this concerned about exploring the Gullah Geechee culture – why write the book in the first place?

Later in the same article Duncan goes on to say: “Clearly, the fact that I did not see the signs of the problem with my book’s premise in my research or conversations about the book is evidence that I was not the right person to tell this story. I am deeply ashamed to have made a mistake of this magnitude and hope my actions will not negatively affect the cause of bringing greater diversity to children’s literature.”

How so?

First of all, how many people are bringing to light the Gullah Geechee culture? Not many, so the fact that author was even attempting to do this should be praised, because of her novel, people will learn something new about a rich culture heritage of the United States. Secondly, in her own statement, nobody around her seemed to see a problem with it – so why does she? Is it because she’s white and telling a story outside your lane is racist and will get her cancelled or attacked by the mob online?


She also stated she researched the Gullah Geechee culture, which is a good thing. There might be some issues with the book in terms of getting everything right, but in the world of fiction, that is okay – I mean this isn’t a non-fiction book after all. And if she wanted to make sure she captured it correctly, she could talk to people with a deeper understanding of the culture and make corrections. But to come out and cancel the project this close to release is unprofessional.

Finally, she talks about diversity in children’s literature – as if her actions make her some noble saint. How many authors out there are writing a story like the one you wrote? None, because its YOUR story. Nobody had the idea you had, nobody created the characters you did, or use the same plot or dialogue – nothing. You know what that means? You took nothing away from nobody, except yourself when you decided to cancel your own book.

This is starting to become a trend, especially in the YA world. I went to a writer’s conference with a panel of YA authors, including Scott Westerfeld – author of Uglies.  And I was shocked when he and the other panelist told authors not to write books with black protagonist or dealing with culture/races outside their own.


This form of literary discrimination is wrong and should be rebelled against at every level, because nobody is writing the story you are. I don’t remember people getting pissed that a woman wrote a story about a boy wizard or even Westerfeld writing about a female character. The idea we as authors must stay in our lane or else should inspire all of us creatives to take the challenge on and flip off the establishment in the process. We don’t need affirmative action in the art world, because in 2020 voices are no longer being censored, unless your white – if your white, nobody gives a shit about your work. But if your black or a transgender or gay or the holy trifecta as a black, transgender queer – your writing is in high demand.