A Weird Writer’s 2022 Retrospective

Season’s Chillings,

I’m wishing all my friends, family, as well as fellow readers and writers a most merry holiday and New Year! This short article, which contains neither boasting nor complaints, is simply about the facts. What sort of depravity did I write? What was published and where? What’s in store for my readers in 2023?

Briefly, here is my creative output for 2022:

  • I wrote 18 short stories. A handful of these yarns may deserve to be lit on fire in a suitable burn barrel. Yet the majority of them, I’ve come to believe, are quite good . . .
  • One ‘weird sea’ novella of 39,000 words (this novella is a collage of influences, ranging from Herman Melville to William Hope Hodgson to H.P. Lovecraft).
  • One horror novel of 62,000 words (a weird and fantastic novel, currently in its 2nd draft, which I hope to polish and revise for a 2023 publication).
  • A few dozen poems of varying quality.

In regards to publication of tales written solely this year: My stories “An Obsolete Art”, “The Monster in H. Philip’s Grocery”, and “In the Town of Sweet Hollow: A Novelette” were published in my latest book, Beneath the Jack-O-Lantern Sky: Tales of Sweet Hollow. This fine collection of tales was published by Weird House Press in September ’22, along with many other excellent tales.

Additionally, my tale “The Thing Beneath the Dock” was published in TRAPPED: A Dark Dozen Anthology, a gruesome and dark collection of tales edited by the excellent, Candace Nola. Available in beautiful hardcover and trade paperback!

EVENTS:

My first solo author event was held at OTHER SKIES WEIRD FICTION, a wonderful new bookstore in Saint Paul, MN. This event took place in early November. It was a full house and, to my delight, many of my books were purchased. An interesting discussion on ‘weird fiction’ occurred, followed by a dramatic reading by yours truly, as well as an extensive book-signing. I’ll be returning to OTHER SKIES for yet another author event around October of 2023.

Beneath the Jack O’ Lantern Sky: Tales of Sweet Hollow was published September of 2022. It is my best work to date (in my opinion), and is available as a limited edition signed & numbered trade paperback from Weird House Press. Grab them up while you can . . .

See here: https://www.weirdhousepress.com/product/beneath-the-jack-o-lantern-sky/

designed by Cyrus Wraith Walker at Weird House Press

I made an appearance on Joshua Rex’s excellent podcast, THE NIGHT PARLOR (episode 24). J. Rex is a marvelous writer in his own right, and was very kind to invite me on his show to aske me intelligent and thoughtful questions. One may listen to the podcast here: https://joshuarex.com/the-night-parlor-podcast/

My wife, daughter, and I hosted the biggest, most exciting Halloween party yet.

My family gladdens my heart (even if I AM a werewolf . . .)

Although hardly considered an ‘event’, a number of my books received excellent reviews on Amazon/Goodreads . . . thought I must admit, it is a great struggle to sell books as an ‘indie writer’, a tough market to master, and even more difficult to collect reviews . . . thus I am exceedingly grateful for those who read my work this year, and, having enjoyed the tales, went out of their way to leave a positive review. To those attentive readers, you have my utmost gratitude!

Here’s the master list of Tales Written in 2022:

  1. An Obsolete Art
  2. The Monster in H. Philip’s Grocery
  3. The Dreaded Maccba
  4. Tom and Judy’s Prelude to Night
  5. In the Town of Sweet Hollow (Novelette)
  6. The Thing Beneath the Dock
  7. Shadows Know Not Themselves
  8. When Halloween Came to Egypt
  9. Making Father Proud
  10. The Wickies
  11. Your Body Changes
  12. Your Tales, They Are Not So Tall
  13. Hatchlings
  14. Mr. Pollidori Moves In
  15. Women’s Day
  16. Summer’s End Parade
  17. The White Things
  18. A Tunnel Through the Mountain
  19. The Last of the Lot
  20. The Man out of Time (A Novella: 39,000 words)
  21. Old Dark Houses (A NOVEL, 62,000 words)

Yes, but What Shall be Next?

As mentioned above, I have written an excellent ‘weird sea’ novella which I aim to publish in 2023, as well as my debut novel.

I also have yet another short story collection I desire to publish. It has not found a publisher as of yet, but there are a few prospects. This batch of tales will reveal a new aspect of my macabre writing no one has seen yet . . . if I may be immodest, I’ll only say that I’m growing and expanding as a writer, and all my tales reflect the sort of psychological space I inhabit whenever I pen them.

This year, much like every year, has been a great struggle, and a great joy.

Wishing everyone an utmost fulfilling New Year!

Best,

Tylor James

PS: I have included a list of all the books I’ve read, as well as best films I have watched in 2022.

My reading list includes fiction and non-fiction, books regarded as classics, and works of my contemporary macabre/horror/weird fiction writers. I must mention that The Descent & Other Stories by Joshua Rex is among my very favorite books of htis year—his writing is among the most intelligent speculative fiction I have had the pleasure of reading. Additionally, The Halloween Boy by William P. Simmons is among the best Halloween tales I’ve ever read (which is saying a great deal, as I’ve read many). I’ve also discovered Josh Malerman’s works this year, and have found the man and his writing to be a sheer delight and inspiration.

Books Read in 2022:

  1. Making Movies – Syndey Lumet
  2. The Golden Apples of the Sun – Ray Bradbury
  3. I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream – Harlan Ellison
  4. Night of the Living Dead: Behind the Scenes of the Most Terrifying Zombie Movie Ever – Joe Kane
  5. Film and Art – Bruce H. Hinrichs
  6. Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances – Neil Gaiman
  7. The Consolations of Philosophy – Alain de Botton
  8. Stirring the Sheets – Chad Lutzke
  9. Edgar Allan Poe: A Biography – Arthur Hobson Quinn
  10. The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister’s Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine – Lindsey Fitzharris
  11. The Modern Prometheus – Jayson R. Ducharme
  12. Halloween: An American Holiday, An American History – Lesley Bannatyne
  13. Birdbox – Josh Malerman
  14. We Feed the Dark: Tales of Terror, Loss, and the Supernatural – William P. Simmons
  15. The Halloween Store – Ronald Kelly
  16. The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde
  17. Cycle of the Werewolf – Stephen King
  18. The King in Yellow – Robert W. Chambers
  19. Misery – Stephen King
  20. On Writing – Stephen King
  21. Selected Tales of William Faulkner
  22. The Mist – Stephen King
  23. Bishop – Candace Nola
  24. GOBLIN – Josh Malerman
  25. The Descent and Other Strange Stories – Joshua Rex
  26. Nightshade and Damnations – Gerald Kersh
  27. Approaching Oblivion – Harlan Ellison
  28. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
  29. The October Country – Ray Bradbury
  30. The Halloween Boy and Other October Horrors – William P. Simmons
  31. In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Essex Whaleship – Nathaniel Philbrick
  32. Selected Tales of William Hope Hodgson
  33. Dead of Winter – Kealan Patrick Burke
  34. Moby Dick – Herman Melville

Many of the films on my “Best Of” list are a few decades old, but ‘new’ to me, and thus have been included in my listing. This year I have discovered, at last, the works of Robert Eggers, and have resolved to watch any film he directs from here on out.

Best Films Watched in 2022:

We Have Always Lived in the Castle (2018)

Pig (2021)

The Color out of Space (2019)

The Tragedy of Macbeth (2021)

Dog Day Afternoon (1975)

Curse of the Werewolf (1961)

Document of the Dead (documentary by Roy Frumkes)

The Witch (2015)

Vampire’s Kiss (1988)

Oculus (2013)

X (2022)

Dead and Buried (1981)

Paranoic (1963)

Brides of Dracula (1960)

Naked Lunch (Cronenberg)

Jakob’s Wife (2021)

Shirley (2020)

Of Mice and Men (1939)

The Others (2001)

The Northman (2022)

It Follows (2014)

Barbarian (2022)

Black Swan (2010)

The Seventh Seal (1957)

The Third Man (1949)

Citizen Kane (1941)

The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)

The Black Phone (2022)

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

Halloween Kills (2022)

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