My Nemesis Matt Betts Takes Over My Blog!

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Matt is just the worst. THE WORST.  He’s been my nemesis for years and he just won’t stop. Won’t stop writing poetry, won’t stop putting out books, won’t stop being successful, etc etc.

Such a jerk.

Anyway, he has a brand new book titled The Boogeyman’s Intern that I may or may not have read months and months ago (I did) and I may or may not have blurbed (you can’t prove it) and I may or may not have pre-ordered (I’ll never tell.).

But the book is fresh and fun, I totally enjoyed it and the goofy characters, and Matt took over my blog when I wasn’t looking. Until next time, Nemesis! Gar!


The Importance of Having a Nemesis

by Matt Pee-Pee Head Betts

Look. Just because I’m writing a post for her blog, doesn’t mean I don’t HATE, HATE, HATE Mercedes Yardley. Let’s just get that straight right away.

I’m sure she’s given up on reading this already, so let’s talk about what brought me here today. Let me tell you the benefitof having a Nemesis. What’s that? But Matt, I don’t hate anyone that much to call them my Nemesis. That’s crazy.

Dig deep. Find one. Find one or I’ll assign you one.

Best to stick with other writers, though I suppose artistic-types in general would work. Don’t pick a child. You should handily be able to defeat a child in whatever competitions arise.

Okay. Got one? Good.

Now. Randomly pick a fight with that person on their blog. Not an ugly fight, nothing mean. Rather, you should challenge them to something. It can be relatively meaningless; it just has to be some sort of challenge. Who can write a poem and get it published first? Who can finish their next chapter the fastest? Who can be accepted to the Horror Association or the Poetry Association first. Doesn’t matter.

Then… get to work. Write like the wind. Write like flying monkeys are chasing you. Don’t let up.

Then, when you see how amazing your progress is… Taunt your foe. Tease them with your superiority. Flex your creative muscles and throw serious shade in their direction. But be prepared to get the same back from them. That’s the fun of it.

Lather… Rinse… Repeat… Do it all over again.

Pick a new challenge, work, taunt, get taunted.

Doesn’t really matter who wins. There’s always another challenge. The point is you now have someone to push you. You’ve got someone that will hold you to the fire when you set a goal. It doesn’t all have to be public for everyone to see, it can be on messenger, or by text, or over coffee, but you’ve established a relationship with someone, hopefully someone with similar goals, challenges and questions. It’s a writing buddy who occasionally slaps a ‘Kick Me’ sign on your back.

The benefit of having a Nemesis? There’s always someone there to keep you going. To kick you in the pants, and shove you off the cliff. That’s a good thing. Occasionally, you get to a cliff and overthink whether you should keep going. A good Nemesis won’t let you do that-A good Nemesis is more than happy to NOT think for you.

Sound dysfunctional? Well… sure, if you analyze it. But if you stand wayyyy back and squint, it’s the perfect way to keep yourself motivated and moving toward your goals. What kind of weirdo analyzes something that works so well?

Not that I’m saying I like my relationship with Yardley. Nooo. Not me.




Here’s what it’s all about…

Not everyone lands their dream job.

Take Abe: He’s bottomed out as an Imaginary Friend and has to find a new job before his bosses assign him a truly crappy one. Just as he’s about to resign himself to a life of making toys in a workshop, he’s given a reprieve–of sorts. Now he has the opportunity to be the first policeman on the Hill and solve an impossible murder.

For assistance he ropes in his career counselor, a Bigfoot, and his best friend, a Boogeyman. The job requires him to talk to Tooth Fairies, Leprechauns, Yetis and everything else humanity has dreamt up over the years. None of them offer any clues, but since Abe’s supervisors are Mother Nature, Father Time and Death, he can’t just give up and walk away.

Dream job? Dream on.

“A dreamlike quality permeates this story, and the basic whodunit set-up turns into a multilevel metaphysical quandary as Betts injects one twist after another into an increasingly unsettling tale.”–Publishers Weekly

“The moments of humor are well-earned, and Brady and Zane are standouts….The ending manages to be both fascinating and endearing. An offbeat, entertaining look at timeworn mythical characters.”–Kirkus

“‘There is something under your bed. There is something going bump in the night. Something is following you.’ Betts’ novel finds a way to encapsulate that chilling sentiment in a surprisingly hilarious way…”–Booklist

“What starts out as a quirky tale about a burnt-out Imaginary Friend turns into a locked room murder mystery for a creature that cannot die. An entertaining mash-up of “Monsters Inc.” and “Chinatown” in a world populated by Bigfoot, Tooth Fairies, and Boogeymen. Perhaps, the start of its own genre: Imagin-noire.” – Josef Matulich, author of Camp Arcanum

“In The Boogeyman’s Intern, Betts injects equal shots of wit and humor into a genre that often takes itself too seriously, all while never jeopardizing what makes it unique. With deft prose and sharp dialogue, this book is a refreshing take on the fantastical.” – Tim McWhorter, author of the horror thrillers, Bone White and Blackened.

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Pimp a Friend Friday: Timothy C. Ward

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My friend Tim Ward has a cool new book titled Godsknife: Revolt, and it looks AWESOME. I’ve known him for a few years, and he is seriously the coolest guy. We just hit it off beautifully, and I admire the goodness and talent that I see in him. I’m happy to host an interview with him.

Tim! It’s been such a long time since we’ve had a chance to chat. I’m so glad you made time to stop by my blog. Will you tell us what you’ve been up to?

It has! As everyone who follows you online…and in person…that got weird—anyway, Mercedes is one of my favorites, as a writer, a friend, and what I see of her as a wife and mother.

I  know you have a new book that just released. Can you tell us about it? Where can we find it?

Yes, Godsknife: Revolt is releasing this month from Evolved Publishing, a small publisher that I’ve followed since our mutual friend Axel How published his debut novel, Hot Sinatra with them. I’ve been drawn to their quality editing and how easy their stories are to get into. It is amazing to think that these four or five years later I’ll have my own coming out.

I’ve been following you, too, miss overachieving pants. You’re one of the best “urban fantasy” writers out there, and as I think about it, I can see how Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu and Nameless inspired what became Godsknife: Revolt.

First, in Apocalyptic Montessa—and I bet you remember—there was a point where I stopped reading because the character was so unlikable. I am certainly glad I picked it back up because that ending was incredible, and I was truly wrong about that character. I have to be careful how much I saw about Revolt, but in the process of writing one of their arcs, I hit a bottom that may cause some to get angry.

Godsknife: Revolt is more like Nameless in that it is my creative journey into how people in a world like ours would fight a supernatural trinity of warring powers and members. In mine, the three are differentiated by their pursuit of Chaos, Order or the Maker. It is kind of like the adventure of The Gunslinger if written by C.S. Lewis, but with none of our religions so I can explore the various belief systems that people exhibit and pursue even if they wouldn’t call them systems or belief. It’s less about pointing at one belief system as better than another and more about how characters use what they believe, what they’re afraid of believing and how they’ll turn out if they change what they believe—for good and bad.

And it’s about me getting to play with seven foot tall praying mantises and swarms of infectious cicadas turning central Iowa into a breeding ground for a new god’s army. Whereas your characters in Nameless got to play in the spiritual realm, mine get to travel through the Void to find the Godsknife and kill or be killed by the god of the Abyss.

Beautiful hunting knife on a white background

Beautiful hunting knife on a white background

That is the coolest thing to say. Thank you. How about a short excerpt?

He leapt before the stone lost stability, orden-stabbed his finger into her noose-loop, and yanked her into the air. He flicked her around and palm-punched her chest. Orden extended his attack into her ribs without his need for touch. The blow was weakened by his guilt, but not enough to fail.

She hit the ground and bounced.

He landed with his knee beside her. She rose from the waist, and he pressed orden into her chest. Heated vibrations shook his hand as the ground melted under her, parting the molecules enough to swallow her three inches deep.

She threw a punch at his jaw.

He dodged it and let go.

She cried out as the ground pinched all around her, holding her in place.

He carved his mark—a cursive C—on the stone and stood.

The idea for his mark came from his brother, Carl, forming his first initial like an orden-worm scar—Order for Carl—because it was about more than one atom refusing to accept charity. He did this to find his brother, and make the world right for them both.

She wiggled until she knew he’d won, then relaxed, staring up at Anthon with her best plea. “Please, I can show you the third.”

“I’m not interested in a god who left us to clean up after its mistakes.”

“He hasn’t left.”

“Ev, listen, we aren’t having this discussion. I’m telling you what your two options are: Josai’s, or death by Mercer’s hand. I know which one Jeremy—”

A soft footstep echoed down an unseen, but terribly close, hallway.

I knew it.

“If Jeremy wants out,” he whispered, “I’ll send him to Josai.” He eased the ground under her, orden-grabbed her loop, and lifted her to her feet. “Now go before you banish us both.”

He physically pushed her out of the mountain’s edge, and solidified the crevice into black shale, as she turned to watch the wall form between their worlds.

As it closed him off into darkness, he couldn’t help thinking she may have found the better side. Even if he’d go kicking into the grave for Order, that didn’t mean he wasn’t afraid, or lost.

Anthon turned and walked toward his sculpture gallery. His orden needed training. If Shila decided to reward his newest recruitment with more responsibility, he wanted to be strong and ready.

He felt anything but.


You’ve had a kiddo since we last talked, and I know you were exceptionally busy before! How are things for you now? How do you manage to work, be a father, and write a new book?

In case you didn’t see my WorldCon unboxing (I’ll have a table in the dealer’s room if anyone is going), my kiddo has another kiddo to look forward to this January…so, yeah, my busyness has no idea what’s in store. I’ve had to adapt since my first born, Kai became old enough to want to play. Since then it has been an ever battle between giving him time, asking for my wife to take him out for periods on the weekends, and just forcing myself to work when the time’s there. I’m good though. My wife is amazing and we’re having so much fun laughing with our 2 ½ year old playing at the park, with cars and singing silly songs. Somehow I still write books every nine months. It just happens.

I’m interested in your writing schedule. Are you an outliner or a free spirit? What does a typical writing day look like for you?

I write after work, from 3:45 to 4:30 or later, then if I don’t get enough done, I have to write when Kai goes to bed around 7:30. I despise writing at night because I wake up so early, but I have to keep in shape too, so mornings are my workout time.

I am a free spirit. I am glad to have experienced writing the end of my two book Sand Divers series—which finished this summer with the release of Scavenger: A.I. I really had no idea how I was going to wrap everything up in just a two book series, but I got to a point where it fit perfectly. I have no idea how to explain it, so I just write about characters with problems, watch them try and work them out—which no doubt includes lots of failures—and then get them to a point where they have to make life changing decisions and see what they do. As long as I stick to that formula, I don’t care to know what the plot will be. It will happen as I go.

You had to shift a few things around in order to accomplish your goals. What are some things you let go? What are some things you added to your life?

As you know, I gave up my role as executive producer of Adventures in Scifi Publishing’s website and podcast about two years ago. Listen to Mercedes on this episode of Grimdark Characters. Podcasting is kind of like blogging, it’s fun and then it’s work and since it doesn’t pay, it probably isn’t going to last long. Ultimately, I saw my full day or more a week podcasting as time either away from writing or away from family. I want to be known as a husband, a father, and a writer, and podcasting didn’t fit into those obligations. Writing is so hard. We’re in this weird market where the people that make it are either crazy productive, were releasing quality books during the beginning of the Kindle era, or have found a way to treat writing books like a marathon. I’m in the third category, and I’m in a daily struggle to accept that. I have added the peace of putting the work down as soon as my wife and son get home, and being there for two or more hours a day. It’s awesome.

Tell us how we can find you online and where we can purchase your work. Thank you so much! Best of luck to you, my dear friend.

This was kind of a long blog, wasn’t it? Did anyone make it this far? If so, you can find me at and my list of books at –fun fact, I didn’t have a name when I was born so my grandpa called me Spike for like two weeks until I became Timothy Charles.

Thanks, Mercedes!


Pimp A Friend Friday: MichaelBrent Collings (and me!)


Wait, what, is that my name (among others) on the cover of Michaelbrent’s book? Why, yes it is! And MB explains why.

It’s such a fun, brilliant idea. I read the book and it was an absolute delight. It was full of tension, snark, death, people you love, oracles, guns, and everything that makes a con cool. Plus you know what else makes an appearance? Lula, my ukulele.


I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve ever read by MB (especially Apparition) and this was no exception. The Longest Con should be out on Monday, which gives us something to look forward to. Read something fun, support a writer, and realize that the first time I met Michaelbrent, I really was wearing those rain boots.  Enjoy!


Pimp a Friend Friday: John Boden



1983: A boy and his little brother wander through a loosely stitched summer. A summer full of sun and surrealism, Lessons of loss and love. Of growing up and figuring it out. Nestled in the mountains of Pennsylvania is a small town, it’s not like the others. Things are strange there- people die but hang around, pets too. Everyone knows your name and sometimes, a thing as simple as a movie coming to the local theatre, is all it takes to keep you going.

If you aren’t familiar with John’s writing, it’s pretty stellar. He has this gritty-yet-dreamy way of telling a story that flips your world upside down. In fact, I had the pleasure of blurbing this story.

“When John Boden tells you a tale, he takes his thumb and smudges the lines between stark realism and dreamy fantasy. I can’t get enough of his work, and I think Jedi Summer might be his deepest piece yet. ”
-Mercedes M. Yardley, author of The Bone Angel trilogy

Pre-orders are available now! I just ordered mine. Jedi Summer with the Magnetic Kid will be released on July 22. Give yourself a literary treat while supporting a very cool and surreal author. You can pre-order your copy here.


John Boden lives a stone’s throw from Three Mile Island with his wonderful wife and  sons. A baker by day, he spends his off time writing or working on Shock Totem. He likes Diet Pepsi and horseradish cheese and  sports ferocious sideburns. While his output as a writer is fairly small, it has a bit of a reputation for being unique. His work has appeared in Shock Totem, Splatterpunk, Blight Digest  and Lamplight  as well as the following anthologies Psychos: Serial Killers, Depraved Madmen and the Criminally Insane, Once Upon An Apocalypse,Robbed Of Sleep Vol 1, and Borderlands 6. His not-really-for-children children’s book, Dominoes is a pretty cool thing or so people say.  You can track him down on the Facebook.


Come See Me In Henderson Tomorrow!

I’m delighted to be part of the Henderson Libraries 3rd Annual Local Author Showcase! It’s a really stellar thing they’re doing, and I can’t wait to meet the other authors. I’ll be at the Paseo Verde Library selling books from noon until 1:30. I’m also bringing my Middlest with me, who claims she wants to see Mama in action. Please come say hi!


Also, today is release day! Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love and Pretty Little Dead Girls: A Novel of Murder and Whimsy are both on sale for 99 cents today and tomorrow only. I’m so excited to have my books out again! ❤

Ahhh! My Books Are Out This Friday!

And they’re selling for 99 cents!


I caught whatever horrible plague has taken over half of Las Vegas, and I’ve barely been out of bed in a week. But I am so delighted that Pretty Little Dead Girls and Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu are being released THIS FRIDAY.

Pulling these books from print nearly broke my heart, and I can’t tell you what a pleasure it is to have them back. All of my thanks to Crystal Lake Publishing for taking me on.

Both books are up for pre-order at 99 cents, and they’ll be released on Friday, March 4.


Pretty Little Dead Girls: A Novel of Murder and Whimsy.

Bryony Adams is destined to be murdered, but fortunately Fate has terrible marksmanship. In order to survive, she must run as far and as fast as she can. After arriving in Seattle, Bryony befriends a tortured musician, a market fish-thrower, and a starry-eyed hero who is secretly a serial killer bent on fulfilling Bryony’s dark destiny. Includes “Oliver Bloom” by Ryan Johnson, a short story featuring characters from Pretty Little Dead Girls. Can Bryony survive her destiny?:

Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love.

Streetwise Romeo and Juliet meets Stephen King’s Firestarter. HER MAMA ALWAYS SAID SHE WAS SPECIAL. HIS DADDY CALLED HIM A DEMON. BUT EVEN MONSTERS CAN FALL IN LOVE. Montessa Tovar is walking home alone when she is abducted by Lu, a serial killer with unusual talents and a grudge against the world. But in time, the victim becomes the executioner as ‘Aplocalyptic’ Montessa and her doomed ‘Nuclear’ Lulu crisscross the country in a bloody firestorm of revenge. Can their souls coincide and endure?:

The Lowdown with Simon Bestwick!


Wow, you guys. Thank you so much for your help with the Nameless: The Darkness Comes release! It went fantastically and I’m so pleased and humbled by the positive response. Thank you!

The night of the launch, I was hit hard with a terrible cold and I’ve been in bed for two days. It feels good to crawl out and see daylight again. 😀

The wonderful Simon Bestwick was gracious enough to allow me to join his Lowdown series! Pop by to see my hair while it’s growing out (it’s crazy) and a picture of our sweet puppy!

(Remember when I shaved my head? I did it twice more since then, and now I’m letting it grow.)

Stop by! And have a wonderful day. ❤

Join an Awkward Conversation Tonight!


So we were all hanging out in the secret Geeky Writer bunker (which is not to be confused with the Free Hugs bunker—that’s down the street from Love Train Station) when we realized it’s been three months since our V-Day broadcast! With that in mind, The Geeky Writer Gang™ has a special hangout in store for you.

See, our very own Eryk Pruitt has a new novel coming out on May 26th. It’s called HASHTAG, and it promises to be just as dark and twisted as his debut. Since Eryk’s a pretty cool guy, we all thought we should host a special broadcast to kick off his new book, and to engage in the usual nightly shenanigans you’ve all come to know and love.

Join us on Tuesday, May 26th at 8 PM as we go live on YouTube to congratulate Eryk, talk about his latest release, and discuss whatever else comes to mind. Maybe we’ll finally find out who’s tied up in his basement!

There may even be giveaways, and you know what that means, folks: if you want a chance to win, you have to show up and PARTICIPATE! As with previous events, links to the broadcast will be posted here on the event page a few minutes before we go live. You can tune into YouTube to catch our antics and ask any questions you might have right here on the event page.

We hope you’ll consider joining us!


Who are the Geeky Writers?

Eryk Pruitt is a screenwriter, author, and filmmaker living in Durham, NC with his wife, Lana, and his cat, Busey. He wrote the screenplay for the award-winning short film FOODIE, and his first novel, DIRTBAGS, was released earlier this year from Immortal Ink Publishing.

Anthony Rapino resides in Northern PA and is the author of the novel SOUNDTRACK TO THE END OF THE WORLD, the short story collection WELCOME TO MOON HILL, and most recently the audio book REALITY ENGINEERS, produced and published by In Ear Entertainment.

Mercedes Murdock Yardley, aka Mrs. Stabby, is the author of NAMELESS, the first book in The Bone Angel trilogy, the short story collection BEAUTIFUL SORROWS, and the most recent novel, PRETTY LITTLE DEAD GIRLS.

Todd Keisling is the author of A LIFE TRANSPARENT, THE LIMINAL MAN (a 2013 Indie Book Award Finalist), and the bestselling UGLY LITTLE THINGS series, all published by Precipice Books. He lives and works with his wife and son somewhere in Pennsylvania. He’s awkward and weird, and if you were to live next door to him, your grass would probably die.


Join us tonight at 5 PM Pacific as we celebrate the release of Eryk Pruitt’s HASHTAG  Write in here and ask questions that we’ll answer live via Youtube.