GATOR HOUSE by Tylor James

Fellow Friends of the Macabre,

Might you enjoy an appetizer for the upcoming spooky season? Consider GATOR HOUSE, my new terrifying novelette, now available in kindle/paperback on Amazon. Beware, this tale of just eighty pages has teeth — sharp ones!

I had a great deal of fun writing his tale of beasts and men (which are worse? I cannot truly say), and can only hope my readers will have just as good a time reading it.

A link to the kindle ($2.99) and paperback ($6.99):

Wishing you a most enjoyable spooky season,

Tylor James.

PS: If a short novelette isn’t what you’re looking for, I understand. You need something more to sink your teeth into, eh? In which case consider MATTERS MOST MACABRE, my highly-acclaimed, full-length collection of short stories. You can find that here in kindle/paperback, even hardcover:


MATTERS MOST MACABRE (cover reveal/upcoming book by Tylor James)

Greetings boys and ghouls,

Just wanted to bring to your attention that I’ll have a new book out near the end of April! By my estimation, this is my very best work yet, and I’m hoping you’ll even consider nabbing a copy. What we have here are thirteen tales of the strange, the grotesque, and the macabre.

Here’s the wonderful cover design by Greg Chapman:

Here are the contents/stories:

  1. Introduction
  2. The Day the Stories Died
  3. Independence Day in Holebrim, Texas
  4. The Drip
  5. Godly Business
  6. Box of Chocolates
  7. The Typewriter
  8. When the Joke Grows Sharp Teeth
  9. The Shape
  10. Helga’s Helping Hands
  11. The Thing in Gregory Thornton’s Basement
  12. Order of the Wolf
  13. Avery’s Dog
  14. Everything is Broken
  15. Concluding Essay: The Stories Behind the Stories

I’m hoping fellow readers of dark/horror/weird fiction will enjoy this collection immensely. If you’re interested in reading some tales of mine, yet perhaps not invested enough to buy this book, I recommend reading WEIRDSMITH: Issue One, a very slim book containing just two stories of mine. It will give you a quality sampling of my work. Weirdsmith: Issue One is available on amazon for just .99 cents on Kindle, and $7.99 for paperback.

In other news, I’ve got tales popping up soon in April issues of The Periodical, Forlorn, Penumbric Speculative Fiction Magazine, and a future issue of Cosmic Horror Monthly.

Stay scary, friends,

Tylor James.

The Other Stories Podcast: A Skeleton Reads Shakespeare & Other Publications! — Tylor James

Greetings friends,

Consider the following a bit of a newsletter. There’s been a bout of good news lately, writing/publishing wise, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t share it with you. First, this awesome podcast:

The Other Stories Podcast has published my short story, “A Skeleton Reads Shakespeare” as a fifteen minute dramatic narration. I think they did a stellar job. The narrator (Justin Fife) is spot-on and the sound effects are chilling. All of their episodes are of high quality, and I highly recommend checking them out. “A Skeleton Reads Shakespeare” is a fine episode to start with. You can listen to it here, on YouTube:

Or, one can access “The Other Stories” via Acast, Amazon Music, Spotify, or iTunes.

In other news:

My eerie, poignant tale “Behind the Door” has been published in Vol. 9, issue 2 of HYPNOS MAGAZINE. I was impressed by the accompanying illustrations. If you’re a fan of dark fiction/strange tales, you will not go wrong picking up one of their slick, hefty issues! Trust me on this:

“Box of Chocolates”, possibly one of the strangest tales I’ve written, is a feast for the imagination. It’s now published in issue #27 in The Literary Hatchet. I’m honored to have been included in a publication alongside so many talented writers:

Last bit of good stuff: “Independence Day in Holebrim, Texas” begins as an unnerving slow-burn type of story . . . then utterly explodes with mayhem and horror! It’s one of the favorite stories that I’ve written, and if you’d like, you may read it alongside many other great tales in SCARE ME, the new book anthology from Esskaye Books. I read through this volume in a day or two — that’s how good these stories are! Check it out here,

And that concludes some thrilling, recent publications. I had a good time writing these tales, and can only hope readers have just as good a time.

If you enjoy short stories, keep an ear out for my upcoming book, MATTERS MOST MACABRE, which will be out in mid or late 20201. Until then, you might enjoy my debut collection, DAYDREAMS OF THE DAMNED: TALES OF HORROR & ODDITY, available in paperback/kindle via Amazon at reasonable prices:

Well! That’s all I have to report for now. Thanks for tuning in, fellow readers and writers. I’m grateful for your readership.

All the best,

Tylor James.

What Is A Book-Dragon, And Should It Replace the Bookworm?

Fellow readers and writers,

We have all heard of a ‘bookworm’. It’s a term for people who are enthusiastic about reading books. I remember, as a child, wandering about the elementary school book fair and noticing a poster of a plump green worm with round spectacles, a book clamped firmly within its tiny hands.

This character is good-natured and amiable enough, but one hardly likes being referred to as a worm. A ‘bookworm’ is often used as a gentle pejorative, rather than a term of endearment. That said, I wouldn’t mind one bit if someone should smile slyly and call me out for being a bookworm. Most likely I’d accept the locution with beaming pride. Yet if I truly had my druthers, I prefer by far a term I’ve heard increasingly from fellow readers. That being, a book-dragon.

A book dragon, in my estimation, is a far worthier and accurate term for avaricious readers. Can you picture it?

A wise old mythological beast of great literary merit, snuggled within its hollowed cave, lording over ancient treasures — stacks upon stacks of glorious books. Perhaps this dragon, like the poster of the worm, wears glasses. Except . . . do you notice how much more dignified the dragon appears wearing them compared to the worm? Perhaps the dragon even blows wisps of smoke from its nostrils when reading something particularly curious or satisfying. Perhaps its scales glow and throb with ember reds, or alien greens; an outward sign of its excited mind.

What can the poor bookworm do except wriggle and writhe in the dirt? Good for cultivation of soil, perhaps, yet he hardly provides for the cultivation of mind. 

Yet the dragon, cozy in its fortress of knowledge, wiles away the hours in joy and contemplation. Utterly dignified, poised and urbane, the book-dragon exudes erudition and benevolent power.

The aforementioned attributes, after all, are often achieved over a life time of excellent reading. For knowledge is power, and books possess knowledge. If a reader should memorize and practice said knowledge, they will become empowered. So long as they remain forever humble and curious, their knowledge may even transform into wisdom.

Reading books is to be highly encouraged. Our friendly ol’ pal, the bookworm, has done his best in encouraging an entire generation to read. For that, the gentle fellow deserves our gratitude.

However, times change and our mascots of intelligence and literacy will come and go. Perhaps it is high time we welcome in the posters, t-shirts, and advertisement material of the book-dragon; being the kindly, wise, intelligent, and powerful representative it may prove to be to the upcoming generation of dedicated readers.

I do not think the bookworm shall resent his displacement. For as poet William Blake wrote, “The cut worm forgives the plow.”

Of course, there’s much to be said about long-lasting, meaningful friendships. Perhaps the bookworm and the book-dragon could read and share their joyous literary discoveries together?

A world of bookworms and book-dragons seems like a delightful one indeed.


Tylor James.

READING in 2020 (Books I Read in 2019 — Books I want to Read in the New Year).

Greetings to my fellow writers and readers.

I was impeccably fortunate to have read so many fascinating and entertaining books this year! I read an eclectic selection of hard-boiled pulp, horror fiction, the cross sections of science and spirituality, existential philosophy, and fantasy.

Some of the authors of these books have even responded to my fan mails (I have no shame in geeking about this fact)!

Having a bunch of extra time on my hands this year has especially enabled me to diversify my reading.

I’m wondering what books my friends have read this year? What books do you desire to read in 2020?

In my humble opinion, books are the among one of the best reasons to live. I also find that I value my public library card far more than even my driver’s license.


Here, in chronological order, is the listing of every book I read to completion in 2019, two of which I was lucky enough to get published in!

1) Hot Water Music by Charles Bukowski

2) Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion by Sam Harris

3) The Outside by Colin Wilson

4) Tao Te Ching: A New English Version (Stephen Mitchell translation)

5) Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

6) Just After Sunset: Stories by Stephen King

7) Strange Weaterh by Joe Hill

8) Einstein’s God: Conversations About Science and the Human Spirit by Krista Tippett

9) God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher Hitchens

10) Freedom From the Known by Krishnamurti

11) No Death, No Fear by Thch Nhat Hanh

12) Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself by Joe IDispenze

13) Mother Teresa In Theory & Practice: The Missionary Position by Christopher Hitchens

14) Secret Windows: Essays & Fiction On the Craft of Writing by Stephen King

15) Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

16) The Girl Next Door by Jack Ketchum

17) I Have No Mouth & I Must Scream by Harlan Ellison

18) Houses of the Unholy by JG Faherty

19) On Writing Horror: A Handbook by The Horror Writers Association

20) How to Write Pulp Fiction by James Scott Bell

21) Emerging American Horror Writers: Midwest Region (in which my story “Welcome Home” was published)

22) Hell House by Richard Matheson

23) The Ocean At the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

24) The Edge of Dark Water by Joe R. Lansdale

25) Offspring by Jack Ketchum

26) Red by Jack Ketchum

27) The Courage to Create by Rollo May

28) The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury

29) Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury

30) A Thousand Names for Joy by Byron Katie and Stephen Mitchell

31) The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris

32) The Essential Harlan Ellison: A Retrospective

33) Darkness on the Edge of Town by Brian Keene

34) High Cotton: Stories by Joe R. Lansdale

35) Pulp by Charles Bukowski

36) Living Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg

37) Gwendy’s Button Box by Richard Chizmar and Stephen King

38) Existentialism Is A Humanism by Jean-Paul Sartre

39) Smoke & Mirrors: Short Fictions & Illusions by Neil Gaiman

40) Hitch-22 by Christopher Hitchens

41) Stardust by Neil Gaiman

42) Ghost Story by Peter Straub

43) The Lottery & Other Stories by Shirley Jackson

44) Trick or Treat: A History of Halloween by Lisa Morton

45) Ghosts: A Haunted History by Lisa Morton

46) Turn of the Screw by Henry James

47) Catch & Release by Lawrence Block

48) Shearing Time by Sara De Luca

49) Pop the Clutch: Thrilling Tales of Rockabilly, Monsters & Hot Rod Horror

50) Five Novellas by Jeff Strand

51) The Legend of Sleepy Hollow & Other Stories by Washington Irving

52) The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury

53) The War of Art by Stephen Pressfield

54) The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King

55) The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Moral values by Sam Harris

56) Bag of Bones by Stephen King

57) Thinner by Richard Bachman

58) Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

59) On Writing by Charles Bukowski

60) Sandman: Preludes & Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman

61) Locke & Key Vol. I by Joe Hill

62) The Death That Walk (edited by Stephen Jones)

63) A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

64) Accursed: A Horror Anthology (in which my story, “The Typewriter” was published)

65) Psychedelic Healing: The Promise of Entheogens for Psychotherapy and Spiritual Development.


Now, as for books I’d like to read in 2020 . . . Well, the list is possibly infinite!

But, I suppose I’d like to read some more classics. Perhaps Dickens, Shakespeare, and Dostoyevsky.

As for particular titles, I’d like to read The Future of an Illusion by Sigmund Freud, Moby Dick by Herman Mellville, How to Live: Or A Life of Montaigne in One Questions & 20 Attempts to Answer by Sarah Bakewell.

And oh yes, my friend Jack Ontario will be releasing his debut book of poetry this upcoming January! A fine volume of poetry entitled, “Sunburst Woman”.

How about you, fellow friends and bloggers? What might you be reading? And what books have you read in 2019?


Proverbs: Liars, Writers, Death & Fashionable Nonsense.

My girlfriend tells me that I have no fashion sense. Which isn’t quite the truth. The truth is that what I have is fashionable nonsense. Two socks of different colors don’t necessary equal a wrong if it’s done on purpose, y’know?


Compulsive liars also happen to be very creative people. Hence the reason why they are always “making stuff up”.


At times, I am overcome with the sensation that I am a clown of the universe. Others just nod their head and agree.


Death may be considered the final transcendence – the transcendence of consciousness itself. Death is an ultimate union with the nothing.


For writers, there is great value to be found in reading both fiction and non-fiction books. While reading fiction, one may pick up on elements of style, character development, and how to unravel a story. While reading non-fiction, such as a science or history book, one is consuming objective information, which in turn initiates personal reflection. These reflections will create images and sensations within the mind which may later be utilized in one’s own writing.


Life seems far more tangible if one can make an art out of it. Hence why, for me, writing about my life is a way of concretizing my experiences.


The self seems necessary for transcendence. For what could ever be transcended without something to transcend? Herein lies the value of the Self, the source of all our suffering.


Our greatest addiction is thought itself. Just try not thinking about it.


I walk down the booming street with cars zooming to and fro and everyone in a hustle and hurry with a place to go while really going nowhere at all. Everyone is in constant motion while living out their lives in a deathly stand-still. I have no doubt that this culture is a symptomatic sickness, a neurosis — a psychosis, perhaps. Yes. I am sure of it. We are a society of insane patients, living out meaningless, senseless, and idiotic lives. We spend our weeks chained to self-imposed obligations, choked on caffeine. We spend our weekends in brief respite, pretending to be free. All the while we forebode the future, numbing ourselves with liquor, television, and drugs. We do it all in the name of God, country and family. Is there ever an end to this madness? Are we but prisoners condemned by the judge of ourselves?

Clink your bones, baby. We are a mass graveyard dance!

For the Love of Books (Reading in 2018).

Reading is a wonderful thing. To crack open a book and be able to read it is the veritable gateway to being an active participant in the intellectual, creative, and imaginary life of the world. There are few things sweeter.

It’s been a year of tremendous exploration for me. What does your reading list look like? Are there any books you would like to read in the upcoming year? Are your library fines paid up yet?

Here are the Books I’ve read in 2018.

  • The Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
  • The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom
  • Kingdom of Fear by Hunter S. Thompson
  • The Portable Henry Rollins by Henry Rollins
  • A Preferred Blur: Reflections, Inspections and Travel in All Directions by Henry Rollins.
  • Imperial America by Gore Vidal
  • Death of the Liberal Class by Chris Hedges
  • Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest for Global Dominance by Noam Chomsky
  • The Communist Manifesto by Marx & Engels
  • Dreaming War by Gore Vidal
  • Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
  • Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace by Gore Vidal
  • Inventing a Nation by Gore Vidal
  • Wisdom of the Buddha: The Unabridged Dhammapada
  • How to Be a Stoic by Massimo Pugliucci
  • Tao Te Ching by Lau Tzu (RB lakney translation)
  • The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays by albert Camus
  • Reel Terror by David Konow
  • Interviews with Henry Miller
  • The Power of now by Eckhart Tolle
  • Stand Still Like the Humming Bird by Henry Miller
  • The Hearth of the Buddha’s Teaching by Thich Nhat Hanh
  • Zen Keys by Thich Nhat Hanh
  • A Profound Mind by Dalai Lama
  • The Tao of Physics by Fritjof Capra
  • Ideas and Opinions by Albert Einstein
  • A Universe From Nothing: Why There is Something Rather Than Nothing by Lawrence Krauss
  • I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
  • The Meaning of it All by Richard Feynman
  • Uncertainty: Einstein, Heisenberg, Bohr and the Struggle for the Soul of Science by David Lumley
  • A Man Without A Country by Kurt Vonnegut
  • Good Without God by Greg Epstein
  • Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankel
  • The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
  • Desperation by Stephen King
  • The Ascent of Man by Jacob Bronowski
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
  • The Air Conditioned Nightmare by Henry Miller
  • Quiet Days in Clichy by Henry Miller
  • Hocus Pocus by Kurt Vonnegut
  • Existentialism is a Humanism by Jean-Paul Sartre
  • Welcome to the Monkey House by Kurt Vonnegut
  • Talking With Sartre: Debates and Interviews by Gerassi
  • The Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump Whitehouse
  • At the Existentialist Café by Kate Blackmore
  • A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle
  • The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer
  • Willow River Writers Anthology 2018
  • Baudelaire by Jean-Paul Sartre
  • In Favor of the Sensitive Man & Other Essays by Anais Nin
  • Civilization and Its Discontents by Sigmund Freud
  • Diary of Anais Nin: Vol. 1: 1931-1934
  • Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
  • Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg
  • The Stranger by Albert Camus


Then there were plenty of books which I’ve started but never finished. I have a rule: If I’m not intrigued by the first 20 pages, I put it down. Bad TV can at least be entertaining. A bad book, though, is unredeemable – especially if it is boring.

These books have nurtured me and taught me many lessons. They have been indispensable to my creative livelihood. I am very excited for all the books I may discover in the upcoming year.

I often like to tell people that I value my library card far more than my driver’s license. Driving on public roads may be a privilege, but reading (and writing) is a human right. Or, at least, it ought to be.

I like to think of it this way, sometimes:

Books are a life support system for the mind. A library is a mental hospital. The reader is the ailed patient. The authors are our doctors, our healers, our cerebral nutritionists. For maximum health, I advise one to read, read, read…

Reading & Writing…in the Bathroom.

I have just relocated my writing place from the dining room to the bathroom. The results of this transition have been wonderful. There are many good reasons for writing in the bathroom. Among the most important is that it is a place of privacy. No one is allowed to bother another if he or she is in the privy, even if they know taking a dookie is not what you’re doing in there.

Best thing to do is grab a TV dinner tray and set it up in front of the throne. Place all your writing artifacts on there. Pens, paper, notes, laptop, and so on. Then, you sit down and get to work! While writing from the toilet, one may be sure never to take themselves too seriously. By not taking ourselves seriously, we avoid the all-too-common mistake of being pretentious. This will open up the door to composing real literature.

Now, it may be the case that someone, a family member perhaps, will need to use the bathroom at the most inconvenient time — while you are in the midst of your work. The best thing to do here is to ignore them. If the person banging on the door becomes too distracting, just tell them to go away. They will simply have to water the bush outside, use a neighbor’s bathroom, or else be patient and wait until you are truly finished writing for the day.

Eventually, a writer may have to take a break from composing in order to practice some composting. In this event, there should be no problem. Simply pull your pants down and your sleeves up. Keep writing. Preferably flush when done. Spray some Febreze if you feel like it. Orange or Lemongrass scented shall do just fine. Ker-plunk! and onward.

The toilet is a wonderful place for reading as well. I believe the ultimate test of a book’s literary worth is to read it while committing a bowel movement. If one feels somehow ashamed or not worthy of the words on the page while doing such a natural activity, then chances are the book is pretentious, self-righteous, and/or otherwise banal. In this case, it is best to put the book down and never look back. If, however, we find the book to be profound or enjoyable, chances are that it is a very good book indeed and one should continue reading it.

This article has been one of many I have written in my bathroom. In the case that you are reading this in your own bathroom, I can only hope that it has stood to the test.

The Muse of Creative Agony & Other Such Mobile Perversity

First, a few aphorisms of divine intoxication…

Perhaps the most unappreciated invention of all time: the zero. So unappreciated, in fact, that it can (and often is) used as an epithet. What did the poor zero ever do to us, besides provide the very organization of our numerical system?


An imaginative exercise: imagine what your life would be like if your brother (or sister) were an only child.


Books are a life support system for the mind. A library is a mental hospital. The reader is the ailed patient. The authors are our doctors, our healers, our cerebral nutritionists. For maximum health, I advise one to read, read, read…


Writing is a form of cerebral sex. It just feels so damn good.

The Muse of Creative Agony

As any writer whom has suffered from writer’s block will tell you, the muse can be quite the elusive and frustrating bitch. Once she has been absent for some period of days, weeks, or months…you might even begin to wonder why you bothered with her in the first place. That is, until she returns, and kisses your smitten mind, turning everything exultant and beautiful and ravenous once again. Then you will be saying to the muse, dare you never leave me again! I cannot bare the thought of any length of time without you! Oh yes, and you will be making love to her, night after night, like a return to bliss. Your spirit will be that of a cancer patient upon news of full recovery. You will make love to the muse for as long as humanly possible. After all, no Adam or Eve desires to forsake the garden once he is there.

The muse lifts one up to heaven and upon leaving suffers the artist to the fates of stark gravity. Indeed, the muse is one holy, abusive bitch of agonizing delights – any artist shall tell you. Even writing of her now causes me brief heart palpitations of vague superstition. It is as if she will hear my curses and grievances and out of a cruel and casual spite, totally abandon!


Mobile Information

I love to pick up a book of history, science, or art and eagerly consume its pages until my brain begins to feel overfed and lethargic. An evening of learning for me is very much akin to the enjoyment of a large meal.

I like to brain-bathe in the information. I like to swim around in it. Soak in it, relax in it. The goal from there on, is to bring some of this information with me wherever I go, like a traveler’s hefty suitcase. This mobile store of information is what we tend to call, one’s knowledge.

The key, of course, to maintaining one’s knowledge, to keeping it up to date, is to utilize it throughout daily life as much as possible. Otherwise, one is apt to forget his or her learned facts. This is a simple case of cliché: “If you don’t use it, you lose it.

Whenever we are going about the daily routine, or are idle, waiting in line, driving our cars, riding in an airplane, etc., we must consistently work to compare our learning with our external environment. This is to say, we must work to externalize our internalities and observe if they sync up with each other. If they do not sync, it’s likely our thinking about a given subject is faulty.


The Multi-Universe of the Written Word

The Multi-Universe of the Written Word

The ability to read is among the most beautiful and abundant gifts of human life. Each book can be seen as a miniature universe unto itself, and the library as a collective multi-universe. Authors are mini-gods, popping in and out of existence all the time, gifting us with their creations. Our minds and imaginations are versatile spaceships, intricately connected with two seeing eyes which serve as the perfect coordinate communicators.

Each letter is an atom, each word a molecule, each sentence a planet, each paragraph a star. From page to page, from cover to cover, the open mind and hungry heart yearn for those miniature Gods to deliver us some beauty, some insight, some fantasy, or even just some plain amusement.

Whenever I see a child nestled in a cozy corner, oblivious to his external environment, lost in the little universe of his book, smiling bemused, there is inevitably a glow stirred within my heart. It reminds me to think back to those quiet, undisturbed summer days, sitting beneath a tree in my backyard, reading a paperback, and feeling happy as the sun shone down through the leaves, scattering light between shadows upon the pages of my book. True peace, true happiness, is often just as simple, just as easy as getting lost in a well-crafted, enticing story created by the adoring mind of an author, whom was merely trying to write the truth of his mini-universe as well as he possibly could.

So remember, the next time you pay your library fines (if you have any) or donate to your local public library, you are effectively funding an expanding, undulating multi-universe of human ingenuity, legend, and happiness.


A Few Aphorisms…

A neglected soul shall fly only by tattered feathers upon shattered wings. Some will say this is not flying at all.

Interests may change, but one will always return to what one loves.

Whenever someone creates something out of the fabric and goodness of one’s soul — a book, a poem, a painting, a sculpture, etc. — I want to applause.

With the tools of the mind, plying the materials of chaos, the artists constructs therefrom a cosmos.

I must be approaching death. How does a man as inept as myself hope to survive the ravages of daily life combined with an utter lack of common sense?