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: My Nemesis Matt Betts Has a New Book!

Matt Betts  is the Doofenschmirtz to my Perry the Platypus, and he has a new book out. It looks AWESOME.


A group of treasure-hunters hits the high seas chasing a tip from a mysterious source. If it’s true, it could be their biggest score yet-literally-a massive robot the size of a skyscraper lost since the last war, worth a sizable reward, and bragging rights. But in trying to the raise the Cudgel, the crew of the Adamant accidentally unleashes a beast trapped by the battle machine years ago. The giant monster awakens to complete its war-time mission to destroy the Pacific Northwest.

Using their wits, their experience and a few contacts in the government, the crew sets out to fix their mistake and stop the menace. Can a handful of eccentric sailors resurrect the gigantic robot in time to stop the vicious creature’s assault?

“An ode to pulp adventure, Betts weaves a slow-burning mixture equal parts Pacific Rim and Congo.” – Monster Dear Monster podcast


Matt Betts

Ohio native Matt Betts is a pop culture junkie­­­—sometimes to levels that are considered unhealthy by the Surgeon General. He grew up on a steady diet of giant monsters, comic books, and horror novels, all of which creep into his own work. Matt’s speculative poetry and short fiction have appeared in a number of anthologies and journals. Matt’s first novel, the steampunk/zombie/alternate history adventure Odd Men Out was a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award for excellence in independent publishing. He is also the author of the urban fantasy novel, Indelible Ink, and the poetry collection Underwater Fistfight. 


I ordered this right away and you should, too. Matt’s books are always a delight of quirk and adventure. You can pick it up here. Happy reading!

Get To Know A Bram Stoker Award Nominee


After the official Bram Stoker Awards nomination ballots were announced, I was contacted and asked to give an interview as an official nominee. (I’m a nominee! Yay!) The awards are later this week and they didn’t have time to run the interview series, but I’m allowed to put my interview up here. Please take a second to read some of my thoughts about my long fiction story Little Dead Red. Have a wonderful day!

Please describe the genesis for the idea that eventually became the work(s) for which you’ve been nominated. What attracted you most to the project? If nominated in multiple categories, please touch briefly on each.

MMY: Stacey Turner invited me to a very cool anthology of Grimm Brothers’ stories that were retold exclusively by women. I’ve always been partial to Little Red Riding Hood and thought of how I could bring it into the modern day without losing the horror of it. I’m quite pleased with the result.

What was the most challenging part of bringing the concept(s) to fruition? The most rewarding aspect of the process?

MMY: Little Dead Red is all about abuse. Sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and murder. It was difficult to tackle something so realistic and try to do it justice. Little Aleta and her mother, Grimm Marie, are fictional characters who represent very real world problems. I feel like their stories were told with care and grace, and that’s rewarding.


What do you think good horror/dark literature should achieve? How do you feel the work(s) for which you’ve been nominated work fits into (or help give shape to) that ideal?

MMY: I think great dark literature should make you feel. It should move the reader in some way, whether it be outright terror or quiet unease. Good literature is the antidote to apathy, and I think Little Dead Red makes the reader uncomfortable because it’s highlighting something that could actually happen to their children, if it hasn’t already.

I’m curious about your writing and/or editing process. Is there a certain setting or set of circumstances that help to move things along? If you find yourself getting stuck, where and why?

MMY: I have three young kiddos in a tiny house the size of a shoebox. I can’t wait for ideal circumstances because they will never come. I do like to have Coke Zero at the ready, and also comfortable, snuggly socks while I write. I usually don’t listen to music because I need to hear if the kids are murdering each other in the next room. Or right in front me, because they’re usually with me. 

I seem to get stuck when I try to force an idea that doesn’t grow organically. When I say, “Hey, I want to highlight a certain issue,” and stick a character into the story who doesn’t belong there, everything falls apart. The same thing happens if I’m writing strictly for deadline under duress, and I’m not emotionally invested in my piece. I had an editor fly out to Vegas for 36 hours so we could brainstorm and unstick me, because I’ve been at a halt on two books for about a year. She flew home yesterday, and I’m finally ready to face this demon.

As you probably know, many of our readers are writers and/or editors. What is the most valuable piece of advice you can share?

MMY: The best advice I’ve ever received was to celebrate every little step of the process. As a creative, we like to challenge ourselves. We’re always thinking about the next project. But if you enjoy every aspect, every relationship created and every small advance toward the ultimate goal, the journey becomes a thing of beauty.


If you’re attending WHC this year, what are you most looking forward to at this year’s event? If not attending, what do you think is the significance of recognitions like the Bram Stoker Awards?

MMY: I think these awards are all about being recognized by your peers in the industry. A typical reader hasn’t heard about The Bram Stoker Awards, but the genre authors have. It’s very cool to have the members of the HWA read and ultimately care enough about your work to put it to a vote.

What scares you most? Why? How (if at all) does that figure into your work or the projects you’re attracted to?

MMY: I’m terrified of losing my children. I’m also uneasy about the idea of there being a Big Bad Horror out there that is too tough to handle. I like to take on projects that hit a core terror in each of us. Losing those we treasure is horrifying. Losing the critical fight and having the ancient horror overrun you? Unthinkable in Western horror.

What are you reading for pleasure lately? Can you point us to new authors or works we ought to know about?


MMY: My favorite book from last year is Brian Kirk’s We Are Monsters. I was lucky enough to read an ARC of that and it was dark, psychological, and strangely sensitive. I love Therese Walsh’s The Moon Sisters. Matt Betts has quirky, unexpectedly poignant poetry alongside his fiction. I tend to read nonfiction for pleasure. I love that feeling of constantly learning. I hunger for knowledge.


 Mercedes M. Yardley is a dark fantasist who wears red lipstick and poisonous flowers in her hair. She writes short stories, nonfiction, novellas, and novels. She is the author of Beautiful Sorrows, Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love, Nameless, Little Dead Red, and her latest release, Pretty Little Dead Girls: A Novel of Murder and Whimsy. Mercedes lives and works in Sin City, and you can reach her at


Pimp A Nemesis Friday: Matt Betts



Wait, when did “Pimp a Friend Friday” turn into “Pimp a Nemesis Friday?” When I decided to host Matt Betts, of course. He’s my favorite Nemesis ever.

Matt’s new poetry collection is titled “Underwater Fistfight” and it’s poetry for people who think they hate poetry. His work is often funny and poignant.

Poet. Pirate. It’s all the same really. They both pillage, plunder, drink rum, look for treasure, and sometimes, after too many drinks, they’re known to throw a right hook or two. But that’s the beauty of poetry and piracy-it’s unhinged, a stream of emotions that make you laugh, cry, bleed, bruise, and eat oranges to prevent scurvy. It’s an adventure. It’s feeling the wind on your face from the sea or the page. It’s tasting the salt in the ocean or in your tears. But most importantly, it’s the experience of getting from one port to another, one page to the next, killing one more siren and murdering just one more darling.


Matt’s book will be released in early April, but you can preorder your copy now. I already ordered mine. Enjoy, you poet-pirate loving weirdos. 🙂

Pimp A Nemesis Friday: Indelible Ink by Matt Betts

Indelible Ink

It’s What’s Inside That Counts

Something lurks inside Deena Riordan. She never once questioned her life in the criminal underworld as the star of Mr. Marsh’s illegal empire and his youngest assassin. Her ruthless demeanor and dark magical powers have kept her at the top of the heap for years. But one day she pushes the sorcery too far and something snaps. Only then does Deena realize she’s always been a puppet of that dark power with no true will of her own.

Now, in order to get out of the crime business for good, she needs to save her sister from Marsh’s angry clutches. It won’t be easy. She’ll have to make her way through friends turned foes, dodge determined federal agents, and stay out of a particularly stubborn fellow hitman’s sights. Worst of all, Deena will have to wrestle with the darkness inside to keep it from swallowing her up again.

Matt Betts

My nemesis Matt Betts has a new book out! And I have to say it’s pretty awesome. It’s an urban fantasy with a twisted main character and quirky side-characters. I saw it playing out in my head as I read it, since Nemesis Betts has such a visual style. I’d love to watch this on the big screen someday. Somebody make that happen, will you?

It came out from Raw Dog Screaming Press. Look here for ordering information. 🙂

My Nemesis Has A Book! And It’s Awesome!


I’m sure that you are familiar with the bloodthirsty rivalry that I have with the nefarious Matt Betts. What? You aren’t? Well, that’s probably a good thing because, while we were once into hamstringing each other every chance we got, we sort of became older and wiser and…well, lazy.  Instead of throwing grenades while racing through the yard, we started lobbing insults. And then kind of became, well, almost friends in a way.  I beta read his novel, which made it SO INCREDIBLY AWESOME THAT IT IS NOW BEING PUBLISHED by Dog Star Press! Rock on! (Mostly because of my help, of course. But the man writes a solid tale anyway.)  😛

So congratulations, Matt! And check out the gorgeous cover of his Firefly/Walking Dead/Godzilla mash-up, Odd Men Out.  The cover is really cool. The book is even better. Check it out when it’s available this July! Here’s the info:

Fighting for survival in a post-Civil War America overrun by zombies, Cyrus and Lucinda join a military group called the Odd Men Out, and together they face a terrorist army from the North in a showdown over a weapon of enormous power.


The Civil War went on far longer than anyone expected, prompting the North and South to call a truce to fight their common enemy: The Chewers – dead men come to life to attack the living. As a result, a peacekeeping force called the Office of Military Operations is created to watch over the tenuous peace.

Cyrus Joseph Spencer didn’t fight in the war and couldn’t care less about the United Nations of America that resulted from it. His main concern is making money and protecting his crew from all manner of danger. To escape a horrible tragedy, Cyrus and one of his wards, Lucinda, board a U.N. dirigible for safety. They quickly discover their situation has not improved as the U.N. team is chasing a group of rogue soldiers in hopes of stopping them from obtaining a terrible weapon.

They also have to contend with a larger threat – Drago del Vapore – a giant lizard attacking the West Coast and wreaking havoc on everything it encounters. As the two sides face off against each other and the huge beast, Cyrus feels more and more like an Odd Man Out and finds it harder and harder to stay out of the fight.

RELEASE: July 2013

LINKS: Dog Star Books –

Matt Betts –

Bradley Sharp –

“Be Mysterious: Writers in Masks” features Matt Betts

So, not the traditional sort of mask here. I’ve been growing a beard – for no reason really. It started out as shear laziness – not wanting to shave over the winter holidays and just went from there.
Sometime in the new year I hit that point where I actually had to start doing maintenance on it: trimming it up, making it look good, etc. This prompted me to wonder whether it was more work to shave every day or to keep it looking halfway decent. It was kind of a wash, so I let it go.
Soon, I began to realize the pitfalls of eating certain foods that might not interact well with facial hair. I’m constantly afraid there is something stuck somewhere on my face and no matter how hard I try to clean it off, I’m never sure there isn’t something still lurking.
Worse than that? A cold. I won’t be graphic, but if you understand how much I fear having food stuck to my face, sneezing is much scarier. I’m just sayin.
As summer approaches, I’m struck by just how unpleasant this thing is in the heat. I won’t lie, it’s itchy.
No idea how much longer this thing will last. I’ve been saying I’ll shave it at least once a week for the past month. We shall see.
The Elvis Presley sunglasses? Got’em on my trip to Vegas a few years back. I wore those just for you, Mercedes!

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See No Evil, Say No Evil

You all know that I adore Matt Betts.  We scuffle, fight, stomp around, take scowling swipes at each other, and neither of us have even made it into the HWA yet.  Which cracks me up, but seriously.  I’m so going to beat him one day.  Really.

But besides just being loads of growly fun, Matt is an awesome writer.  Witty and funny is difficult to pull off, especially when it comes to poetry, but Matt manages to do it with ease.  His new chapbook of poetry is titled See No Evil, Say No Evil.  It’s a delightful little book crammed full of his work and some pretty spiffy drawings by Rebecca Whitaker.  It’s packed full of Matt’s signature humor that suddenly dives into something poignant and fairly painful. Whether he’s touching on sharks (“Everybody Out of the Water”), Elvis (“Elvis and Gretel in the Woods beyond the Railroad Tracks”), or villainy (“Side Effects May Include Itching and Super-Villainy” and my favorite poem of all, “My Bad”), I can promise you that it’ll be a completely unique take on familiar characters.  It’s worth buying the entire collection just to read “The Night Godzilla Dumped his Chick”.  Relationships are tough…and tougher still when your love is cheating on you with the entire city of Tokyo.

I nearly snorted Coke Zero out of my nose half a dozen times while I read this, and ended up reading most of the book to my husband.  But it isn’t all laughs.  The giggling stops abruptly sometimes when Matt zeroes in on something particularly bruised or lonely.  Making you laugh and then poking at universal wounds?  That’s playing dirty.  But it’s very, very cool.