under the knife

Tomorrow, Sept. 18th, I'll be having some long awaited surgery on my shoulder. Doc says (barring any complications, of course) that I'll be able to come home tomorrow afternoon. My right wing will be in a sling for a while (like I need *another* excuse to sit around watching horror movies, ha). So wish me luck and an easy recovery. I'll post back as soon as I'm able.

Work-wise, I've been going through the 2nd draft on serial killer novel, tentatively titled: VEX. 120K words so far. I've tried four or five times so far to get back into the island novel I was working on (and I keep thinking, 'my god, it sounds a bit like LOST,' which I love but don't want to simulate in any way). I may have to put it on the backburner until LOST plays out its final season. Thing is, I've been enjoying the show so much, I don't want it to end. And I really don't want to see it fizzle down like THE X-FILES (another show I loved).

Well, enough babbling for now. Take good care and send some vibes my way for tomorrow.

One-armed hugs to all,
  • Current Music
    Pink Floyd--Dark Side of the Moon

(no subject)


It's been a long while since I last posted here at LJ, or anywhere else for that matter. Last December, I tripped in the kitchen and mashed my shoulder on the edge of the countertop, resulting in a painful tear in the rotator cuff. Thing is, I'm still hurting and the orthopedic doc is sending me to a shoulder specialist. Along with the ripped rotator cuff, I've developed arthritis in the fingers and thumbs of both hands. Screaming rusty joints, a writer's real nightmare. But hell, I'm not here to whine about my health (or lack thereof).

Nope, I'm here to share a long sigh of relief.

It's done. It's finally finished, the project I've been pouring my heart into this past year and a half. 1,500 pgs. 500K words. Biggest damn beast I'll ever write.

Title: Gray's Necronomicon

As you've guessed from the name, it's a book of the dead. My dead, to be exact, and well, probably some of yours, too. I took every ancestor I could trace and went as far back with them as I possibly could, then I did the same for their spouses, and what emerged from my 20 odd years of research stunned me. It would be a shame not to share it with everyone!

The sheer magnitude of the history is amazing. Where we came from. How we came to be where we are today. What our forebears went through to get us where we are today. Those persecuted for being Quakers or executed for witchcraft in the new world, to those who struggled through bloody wars in the old, it's all there. The good, the bad and the ugly.

The only things I've omitted are the names of the living, for the living have no place in a book of the dead. In Gray's Necronomicon, the dead speak and the stories of their lives unfold and come alive. If some of your ancestors immigrated to America in the 1600s, you may find some of them in this book.

This is more than just a genealogy; it's a history of a big part of the human race from the early 1900s in New England to the faraway lands of Mespotamia and Egypt. The cradles of civilization (of which I believe there were several actually: Africa, China and the Middle East, but then I've been told I have my share of strange beliefs, heh). Of course, the ancient records are dubious and prone to legend, but I think there must have been some seed of truth to them. And yes, they're also included in Gray's Necronomicon.

For anyone who's interested, Gray's Necronomicon is a PDF download, 26 MB in size, for $2.99 at www.esnips.com/web/Necronomicon . And no, esnips is not a publisher, it's a place to share or sell computer files (one of the better, safer ones, IMHO). I could have gone the Lulu route, as this book is self published (due to it's bulky size and the type of book it is), but with esnips, 100% of the earnings go directly to the author. And I keep all my publishing rights.

Well, it's 1:30 a.m. here on the Maine coast, a misty old night and so humid you could almost drink the air. Time to head to bed and dream about the groaning critters that shuffle about in the fog.

Tomorrow, it's back to dark fiction writing for me. Yay!
  • Current Mood
    peaceful peaceful

Long time gone...

I've got to be among the worst journal keepers at LJ. Thing is, I think I've figured out the reason why: I really feel uncomfortable talking about myself and whatever's going on in my life; I prefer to keep things private (or at least semi-private). Not that I have secrets to hide...well, okay, a few, but nothing really outrageous or illegal. (Most people wouldn't even consider them moderately interesting, lol). And that's okay with me.

Am I unfriendly? Unapproachable? Heck, no! I really enjoy making friends and meeting people. Especially other book lovers. Especially other writers. Why? Because writers understand each other on the level in the way we're wired; we connect with our world through the written word. It's all about passion and the unstoppable, undeniable need to communicate in this manner. Only another writer knows about the trance, the high, and the uncompromising demands of the Muse.

So if I don't write much in this Live Journal, it isn't because something's wrong. I do have a health problem that puts certain limitations on how much I can get done in terms of writing, but thankfully, it's not life threatening...and if it's to be the least of my worries, I can live with that. At the same time, I want ya all to know I'm in awe of the writers here at LJ who are prolific in both their postings and in their writing careers. I love reading your entries! You guys and gals really rock--and I'd love to meet you all in person!

Bear with me, I'll continue to post here sporadically :-)

~T. M. Gray
  • Current Music
    Rolling Stones--Some Girls

"a grave mistake"

Richard Wheeler respond to Lee Goldberg (pod-PA issue)


(scroll down to the December 1st post)

partial quote from Mr. Wheeler:
"They are not in business to sell books to the public; they sell printing services and books to the amateur authors who come to them, and can make their entire profit from the author, without selling a copy to the public..."

Thank you, Mr. Gorman, for posting this and thank you to Mr. Wheeler and Mr. Goldberg for the questions and comments. Very solid information for authors.

~T. M. Gray

In the spirit of giving thanks...

I'm thankful for every day, waking up beside the guy I've been in love with since 1980, for sharing every part of my life with him, and for the two children we made together. I love you, Bob, more than words could ever say. Thank you for the love you give to me. Tom and Robyn, you kids are my world and it's a real honor to be your mom.

I'm thankful for the love of friends old and new, the ones I can physically hug and the ones I send cyber-hugs to. I'm grateful for the genuine pleasure of meeting several of my internet friends in person. Only wish I could meet all my online friends like that, but I give thanks to the groups where I've had the opportunity to make such friendships: e-groups: Underside and THWN, and message boards: Damned, Wicked Carnival and Shocklines, not to forget LiveJournal as well. I regret not posting very often but if you saw my writing schedule, you'd know I'm online only a few minutes everyday (if I'm lucky).

Heartfelt thanks to the publishers of my novels and the staff working for them: Rob, Todd, and Karen at Black Death, Walt at Hellbound, John Helfers at Teckno, Deb Brod and Tiffany Schofield at Five Star/Gale, and special thanks to my guardian angels: Brian Knight and Rick Hautala, also Ed Gorman for pointing me in the right direction. You folks are the best!

Thanks to my readers, too--I love hearing from you! Your opinions on my books matter greatly to me; you're the ones I'm writing for. Sure, I write for myself, too, but you're the reason I send something out to an editor/publisher. I don't see the writing factory in my head shutting down anytime soon (God forbid!)--and you guys know where to find my stuff. Thank you for buying and reading my books. Your letters and emails keep me going!

Last but not least, I want to thank the great teachers I was lucky enough to have in school (waaaay back when): Mrs. Strout, Mr. Davis, Mr. Mills, Mr. Monroe, Mr. Marshall, Mrs. Lyons, Mr. Smith, Mr. Townsend to name a few (there are many others--and yes, I still address them all by Mr. or Mrs. in respect for their time and efforts in teaching). I was never a pet student; I was the quiet one sitting in the back, scribbling stories in my notebook...but I paid attention when it really counted. Thank you all for showing me the basics, from taking notes and doing outlines and research to inspiring me to really work at writing better. Teachers rock!

There are a billion things I'm thankful for, including the great family I married into. Because of your love, I am truly blessed. I'm also thankful for living in a country where dreams can be achieved (thanks to those, both military and civilian, who have defended freedom in the past and those who continue to defend freedom). Hats off to you!

May everyone reading this have a terrific Thanksgiving. We're breaking with tradition this year and having homemade lasagna and my famous hot buttery rolls...there are parades on the TV, so I'll go join the kids on the couch. Who knows, I may even take the whole day off, lol.

~T. M.

Oh, p.s. the first advance review of Ghosts of Eden has come in (5 shining stars at Amazon!):


After five years in a mental institution, Saxon Faraday returns home to Roquefort Manor in Bar Harbor, Mount Desert Island off the coast of Maine. It is not a happy homecoming for the twenty-three year old woman because her father is dead, killed by Saxon in self defense and her mother is in Florida with no plans of seeing her troubled daughter. That is bad enough but she returns home knowing she must still battle the Serpent, an evil entity, who has made the house a magnet for ghosts and spirits.

The Serpent is very much aware that Saxon has come home and is waiting to capture her soul along with the other seven he has in his possession. He is ready to molt and transform himself and he needs Saxon to make his metamorphous complete. Saxon is stubborn and intends to go to war with the Serpent; she has two allies to help her, a mentally challenged sixteen year old and a man nearly a century old. If they lose, Earth as people knows it will never be the same.

GHOSTS OF EDEN is a very scary horror novel, one that would easily make a great movie. Readers hearts go out to the heroine who suffered so much yet is still willing to battle an evil older than time. The action starts almost from the very first page and continues at a breathtaking pace until the bittersweet finale. T.M. Gray has talent and will one day be one of the superstars of the genre if this book is any indication.

Harriet Klausner


Thank you, Harriet! I'm so glad you enjoyed the novel!
~T. M.
  • Current Mood
    thankful thankful


It's been a while since I updated, but at least it's been an interesting time between journal entries. Through the month of October, I continued to experience internet connection problems. I'm talking major headaches (connection speeds of 8K bps, getting bumped offline, line busy, etc.). Finally, it got to the point where I couldn't log onto the statewide toll-free dialup number and could only check my email once or twice a day using a toll number. I tried calling the company to report the problem, but no one was answering the phone. Then their toll number stopped working, so I made the call for a new ISP through a different company with a better service. Got it. Things are working better than ever and I'm very satisfied. My heart goes out to the folks with the old company who paid for their internet service months in advance. Word has it that the office at the old company has been completely cleaned out. Office furniture gone. I guess that would explain why they weren't answering their phones.

I voted yesterday. I had a bad stomach ache, but I made it out to the polls. I vote every time there's an election, not so much in the belief that my vote really counts but because I have the freedom to vote. My dad fought in Normandy on D-Day, and he was fighting for that kind of freedom. My teenage son cast his vote for the first yesterday...and it made me proud as a mom and an American to see him do that. He knew the issues on both sides of the ballot as we've had many (and I do mean many) discussions in our household over each candidate and what they stand for, and it's been interesting because ours is a bi-partisan household in that my husband and I each supported opposing sides in the presidential race. No fighting or arguing went on as we respect one another's opinion, but it made for some interesting political discussions and fortunately our son listened to the issues we're concerned about. I don't know who he voted for (I respect him too much to ask), but I'm positive that he was very aware of why he was voting and the issues he was voting for. Cheers to all the young people who voted for the first time yesterday!

The ARCs (Advance Reading Copies) for Ghosts of Eden arrived last week from Five Star/Thorndike--and I'm sooooo impressed! The coverart is beautiful, the typesetting perfect. I've poured through the novel and haven't found any corrections to be made. I'm anxious and excited to see this book in hardcover come January 21st! My teenage daughter just finished reading an ARC (this kiddo reads everything she can get her hands on--and she insisted on reading it). She called Ghosts "amazing and deep." Coming from a 13-going-on-40 reader, that's quite a compliment, especially since the novel takes place in 1947 (an era she used to consider "kind'a boring"). Now I have a feeling she's going to be looking for more novels that took place in the 40s :-)

Halloween came and went. We sacrificed a pumpkin and carved a raven sitting on a skull into it in memory of Poe. Had six trick-or-treaters, and watched some old horror movies on the VCR. Also watched 'Witch Hunt' on The History Channel, an indepth look at the Salem witch trials. So sad it tore at my heart, but very well done on part of the researchers and film crew. If you haven't had the chance to watch it, keep an eye out for the next time it comes on. I can't recommend it enough.

On the writing front, the screenplay for Mr. Crisper is finished and is being shopped around. I'm hard at work on my Isle of the Dead novel, and as always a handful of shorts.

Back to work for this kid. Have a great day, everyone!

~T. M.
  • Current Music
    The Guess Who: Greatest Hits

I'm baaaack!

It's been a frustrating past couple of weeks, connection-wise. Verizon in Maine did some padding upgrades on their lines, which made it difficult to get online during that time. If I managed to make a connection, I couldn't keep it for more than a few seconds before getting bumped offline. It seems to be working better now; proof that I'm actually able to post again, answer emails, etc.

Funny how we depend so much on the internet, isn't it? I'm a real johnny-come-lately to new technology; bought my first computer with a modem in 1999. I remember staying up until the wee hours of morning, surfing around, amazed--no, transfixed, literally--by all the information and sites I could find, both good and bad, some well-constructed and some not. I found writers/artists/publishers/BB sites and made like-minded friends  (many still keep in touch). My horizons expanded; I've done much more traveling online than I could ever do in a lifetime offline, in person.

It's so good to have the internet back up and running...but the time without it made me wonder what we'd do if the World Wide Web (God forbid!) ever shut down. I'm talking total blackout everywhere. Could it happen? I dunno, but just in case, I'm going to create an address book (one I can hold in my hands) of all my pals so we can keep in touch by snail mail. Am I being paranoid? Maybe, but having something to fall back on can't hurt, can it?

Of course, if the internet goes belly-up for any reason, it would probably stand to reason our phones wouldn't work either, so we couldn't depend on those. Would the post offices face problems, too? Who knows. Our world might go from being quite small and compressed to being the huge planet our ancestors were familiar with, at least in terms of communication.

I remember a time when postage stamps were 7-cents each. I think if there were a communications blackout, the 37-cents we're paying now isn't anything compared to what stamps could cost. It would be unreal, wouldn't it?

This is just a fragment of what could be affected if we lost the internet. What about banking? The media? The economy in general? Scary thoughts there.

While we're thinking scary thoughts, I just found out one of my few non-fic pieces, Slippery Little Devil, has been accepted for the next issue of print mag, Morbid Curiosity. Yes, I'm going to share with MC subscribers a real life horror I experienced in 1995. This is something only my closest friends know about, but I really feel the need to make others aware. If it can save just one person from going through the same thing, it'll be well worth it. (It's something totally unexpected, something that should never happen, and there are ways to avoid it.)

Well, I'm off to catch up on some email, read posts at a couple of my favorite hangouts, then work some more on Devil's Dream, the novel I'm currently writing. Hallow House has gone out to my first readers, then goes off to market. I'm listening to Now-Is-Now's new CD, Days of Summer. Excellent songs, fantastic lyrics (hi to Mitch, and a big thank you to Dave!).

Friends in Florida, take good care of yourselves out there; looks like a rough one coming.

Keep in touch,
~T. M.
  • Current Music
    Days of Summer--Now Is Now

Computer horrors--don't do what I did!

I've been reading up on browser/email viruses, trojans and worms...and being the paranoid person that I am (or at least try to be), I decided to make the switch from Internet Exploder and  Outlook Not-So-Good to Mozilla's Firefox and Thunderbird. Why? Because they're a bit more immune to security probs, bugs, and most all other nasties out there. Plus, they have extras you can option...like the one I'm using now: Deepest Sender. (I logged into LJ from my new Firefox sidebar--and am typing this here, not from the Update Journal page.)  Of course, I won't know how well it works until after I post it, so this is an experiment.

I like Mozilla so far, but I spent all last night until 4:30 a.m. cursing Mr. Gates' evil ingenious--and myself as well for being SO stupid as to uninstall Internet Explorer from my computer after installing Mozilla. (Not that Moze needs IE in order to operate--but rather Windows needs IE--and dummy here didn't know that.)

I found, at least on my computrid, that without IE, I was basically locked out of making any changes whatsoever to how my computer runs. Forget using the Control Panel--it vanished, along with all its folders. Couldn't right-click on the desktop either. Well, I could but all I kept getting was a message (I think it must have been from some prison warden type program dwelling inside the computer) telling me I did not have the authorization to do that. Huh? What the hell do you mean I'm not authorized to right-click my own desktop? I don't need a system administrator--I AM the system administrator, well, at least of this system.

Or I thought I was. Now I'm quite convinced that Gates is the devil incarnate and he infected Windows with the demonized bastard IE. No exorcism can be performed. You are not authorized.

Fortunately, I've got System Restore, and I learned enough from the last time I had to use it to put anything I didn't want to lose (mainly my writing stuff) in the My Documents folder. (System Restore won't touch anything in that file.) Because I'm lazy and didn't want to have to download Mozilla again, I put those progs into My Docs, too. Then I took the red pill just like a good girl.

At 4:30 this morning, my computrid is back to its normal self, Windows is working fine, and my Control Panel is back where it should be. Oh, and I can right-click again, too.

Word to the wise: if you're running Windows and change browsers/email programs don't uninstall/delete/otherwise maim or distress Internet Explorer. You don't need to use it; your computer does. It's like feeding and watering the damned gremlins after midnight. Don't do it. It'll be messy.

I do, however, recommend Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird. There's a small learning curve to using them, but not bad. Moze's Firefox is a tabbed browser like the new Netscape (but has LOTS more features to chose from). Thunderbird keeps the addresses of your email contacts in a separate file (making it very hard for viruses to write themselves off to your pals), so that's a nice touch, too.

Well, it's 11 a.m. and I'm going back to take an early siesta. I've got a major case of red-eye, and I'm wiped....
  • Current Mood
    exhausted exhausted

Another July update:

Waiting for the June issue of Scared Naked Magazine? According to editor A.B., it's running a bit late but will be out soon. My contest winning tale, Morning After will be in the June issue (along with stories by Keith Gouveia and Diana Bennett), so don't miss out on reading one of the most depraved stories I've ever had the pleasure to write!

Dream Forge book reviewer horrordiva has written a review of my upcoming novel, The Ravenous. Thank you, Nancy--so glad to hear you enjoyed the book! Scrolling down the page, I found a review on Compositions for the Young and Old by pgtremblay...and now I simply must buy his book! His publisher, Prime Books has published books by Mort Castle, Jack Fisher, J.F. Gonzalez, Victor Heck, nihilistic_kid, nick_kaufmann, Brian Knight, Michael Laimo, and many more. Check 'em out!

On Friday, my ARCs of Mr. Crisper arrived in a nice big box on my doorstep--very cool!--and right now there's a contest over at The Damned forum, where if you post in the 'Win MR. CRISPER' category, you're eligible to win a copy of the novel. Contest ends July 23, so don't miss out!

What else is new in Grayville? Well, hubby turned 43 yesterday, and we had a nice BBQ dinner. Later on, I watched The Buried Secret of M. Night Shyamalan on SCI-FI. Not sure I really got it, but I do think Night wasn't particularly pleased with the documentary. I guess what bothers me is the general conception that something's weird (read: wrong!) with people who work in the horror genre. If that's the case, then there must be something wrong with everybody. We all have secrets to keep, don'cha think?

Have a great day, folks!
  • Current Mood
    good good

July update

Cool news: The first print run of Mr. Crisper is now shipping! I'm predicting a jump in pork rind sales, lol. Weirdly enough, there is a real snack food company called Mr. Krispers (tm) from Terra Harvest Foods, Inc. in Illinois. (Thank you, Dave, for sending over their Sour Cream & Onion and Cheddar Salsa chips!) Check 'em out at: Mr. Krisper. I guess I should probably point out for legal purposes that my novel (written in 2000) isn't based on their snack food plant--or any other actual factory. Hungry for horror? Step up to the plate at Hellbound Books or Shocklines. Details: ISBN: 0-9742447-7-5, 332 pages, Mass market paperback size. Price: $7.99 (+shipping). Cover art by Allen K. (If you want a peek at the wrap-around cover art, be sure to check out Allen's site!) Interior illustrations by yours truly.

In other news, on the first of this month, I had a wonderful visit (in person!) from writer pal T. G. Arsenault and his family! I live so deep in the sticks that a visit from anyone is a rare occasion, lol...but seriously, it was truly great to meet Tim!

I donated three flash fiction pieces to Small Bites, an anthology of short-shorts put out by The Horror Writers Network. All sales will be donated to the Charles Grant Medical Fund. (Charles and Kathy, we're pulling for you.)

The Ravenous received an excellent review from horrordiva for Dream Forge and Midwest Review. Glad to know you really enjoyed the book, Nancy, and thank you for the review! I'll post the links when they're up and running :-)

Since I last posted here, I've written three new stories for anthologies that pay between 3 and 5 cents per word. I'm asked all the time if I'd donate a story for free (exposure?) to someone's web zine. Sorry, I only give my stuff away when it's for a good cause (donation to help someone else)...or for the rare contest. It's not that I'm selfish, but writing is my work and if I work for free, it makes it awfully hard to put food on the table and pay bills. 'Nuff said.

Well, it's a glorious Sunday morning--sun is shining and it's warm enough that I'm wearing shorts and a t-shirt. In just a few minutes, I'm going to take a cup of coffee outside, sit on the steps and just drink in the beauty of nature for a while. Then I go back to work.

Have a great day, folks!