Tag Archives: Short Story

The Nietzsche Files I: Beyond Good and Evil

BeyondGoodAndEvilGreetings Dreamers!

I do apologize for the long silence in my writings, and for the lack of finishing up my latest work, “Beyond Good and Evil”.  However, as promised, I have finished the final two chapters, and the entire story, unabridged and uncensored, is available on Amazon Kindle for $0.99.

Amazon Link

I’ve opted to put this on Kindle to recoup some of the costs associated with running this website, and to expand my readership with all the new programs Amazon is offering.

For those just joining us, here is a brief synopsis of the story:

“From the darkness of the Richmond city streets a figure emerges to fight the battle beyond good and evil.  Irritated by the iniquity of the Richmond Police Department, a vigilante by the name of Nietzsche takes matters in his own hands to solve crimes that remained unsolved for years.

A murdered family draw him from the shadows, their true killer never detected or found, leaving two hapless puppets to answer for a crime most heinous.  Beyond human comprehension, a dark being  wanders the streets of  Richmond perpetrating crimes upon those who present a threat to its unknown goals.

Embark on an adventure of mystery, paranormal and murder to catch the eater of sins.  Leave your emotion behind, look through the eyes of a sociopath, and solve the crime before darkness is unleashed.”

Lost Haven

losthavenfeaturedGreetings, Dreamers!

Summer has come and as a result I’ve been busy.  But fear not, I have been working on new material, including Book II, The Unkindness.

Today’s post is to remind everyone that there is an interim novella available on Kindle called Lost Haven.  This story happens a few weeks after the Halloween events in Waking Dream: Devlin.  The purpose of this novella was to give my readers a better understanding of my concept of Weirdness.  There are several different forms displayed in this novella, hopefully enough to spur your own creative juices so you can help me build the world.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I created the Waking Dream universe so that others could add to it, long after I am gone — such as Lovecraft fans continue to create new stories around the Cthulhu mythos.

Lost Haven is a fast paced story about a mysterious group of individuals called The Order of Seers.  It features several new characters as well as a couple of characters from the first book.

I had to throw my hat into the Zombie genre, just a tad, and give my take on the phenomenon.  While the story is primarily dark fantasy, it does have horror elements.  I try not to limit the story, because life nor the universe is limited.  Anything can happen in the Waking Dream.

You can buy Lost Haven for a mere .99 cents on Amazon!  It is certainly worth it for anyone who wants to explore the Waking Dream even further.

Soon, I will be releasing another novella, right before Book II.  “Shadows on the Soul” completes my trilogy of terror and my homage to H.P. Lovecraft, which started with “The House of the Dead Timbers” and “The Case Study”.  “Shadows on the Soul” will be available by the end of summer.  Even though they are horror tales, they all related, in some way, to the Waking Dream.  Can you find the connections?

I thank you all again for your wonderful support of my writing.  I hope you enjoy it.

Blog Tour: Great Minds

sleep-tight_826049Greetings, Dreamers!

Mark Meier, a fellow writer, asked me to join a blog tour last week.  I am very grateful to be recognized by my colleagues and be asked to join in the fun!

Before I answer the questions for the tour, I’d like to introduce another blogger/writer with amazing insight and ability, Victoria Craven.  Victoria runs the blog, The Autodidact in the Attic, which focuses on the macabre, horror and a wide variety of intellectual stimulus.  Here is her bio:

V.L. Craven lives with her husband and pets. She writes fiction—both short and long—and reviews of books, films & art, as well as essays, articles and interviews with all sorts of interesting people.

She’s always appreciated the darker side of life, which is the focus of her blog The Autodidact in the Attic, (see also its Facebook page). TAitA has reviews of books, films, art, apps and games (and interviews with creators of those things) that will appeal to people with an interest in the macabre or gothic.

Other Ways to Interact with Her:
On Twitter: @vlcraven
On Tumblr: vlcraven.tumblr.com
On Goodreads: V. L. Craven

She will be posting her answers to the blog tour questions next Monday, so do yourself a favor and check out her amazing site.

Now on to my answers:

1) What am I working on?

I am always working on a variety of projects simultaneously,  that’s just how my brain works.  Right now,  I am doing a serial short story on this blog, writing Book II in the Waking Dream Series — The Unkindness — and I am involved in a collaborative series with two other authors (details to come later this year).  My Waking Dream Series is the primary focus and I am always doing research as the it covers alternate history, philosophy, and science.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I write novels and short stories.  My short stories tend to be very dark.  My favorite short stories are the ones I write in Lovecraftian style.  I am no Lovecraft, mind you, however I have enormous respect for his creations and imagination.

The Waking Dream series is really a mixture of many genres, so it is very hard to put it in any one box — I am not a fan of being pigeonholed.  The Waking Dream Series is an attempt to blur the lines between fantasy and reality.  Much of the subject matter is based on years of research.  I have always been fascinated with the paranormal and the supernatural — specifically the potential of the human mind.  The Waking Dream is my attempt to present a plausible framework for readers to suspend their disbelief and explore their own lives.  Life is a dream, if you really think about it.  We always have control over how our lives go, no matter the situation.  And once you believe that, you can do anything.

The Waking Dream series has elements of horror, paranormal, supernatural, romance, dystopia, apocalyptic events and fantasy.  It is very dark.  One of my fans put it, “It’s the Matrix meets The Stand”.  The first book is my Fellowship of the Ring. It is the twilight before the sun sets on our world. The subsequent books will descend further into the darkness of reality and the human mind.

One final note, there are many things hidden within the stories and novels, tying them together as well as giving avid readers something to discover within the text.  Everything in the Waking Dream Series is carefully calculated.  What have you found hidden within the story?

3) Why do I write what I do?

I love to create worlds.  The Waking Dream is, as I mentioned, an attempt to impart all I’ve learned about the human condition and get the reader to explore and create their own dream.  The world seems to be at an impasse, and we are not moving forward as we should from a philosophical sense.  While the Waking Dream is fiction, there are elements of truth in ever sentence I write — the things I believe to be true.

I write the Lovecraftian stories because I want his legacy to continue, as well as many other authors.  Being able to create a story that emulates the master gives me a sense of humility.  Many writers have walked in his footsteps, but his personal commitment to his craft is something to be admired, respected and remembered for all time.

4) How does my writing process work?

I don’t have a specific process for writing.  When I feel like writing, I write.  And because I have a wide variety of projects I am working on at any given time, I choose the project to work on that most suits my particular mood.  I believe that an author needs to be prolific to be successful.  Very few authors become successful with one book, or even their first book.  The more work you have out, you have a better chance of being discovered by new readers.  It is a snowball effect.

One thing I do tend to stick to in any project is that I usually begin with an illustration.  Next to writing, illustrating is one of my favorite hobbies.  I have over 50 illustrations for the Waking Dream,  as well as maps.  I want the Waking Dream to be similar to the Cthulhu Mythos so that other authors can contribute their own stories to the ever-growing Waking Dream Universe.

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this little excursion into my writing career.  Perhaps you’ll be interested in reading my work, which is listed on the right side bar.  Please be sure to check out Victoria Craven’s answers next Monday on her blog.

Happy Monday!

Enhanced by Zemanta

The Third Floor – Part 1

Oggl_0000(1)Greetings, Dreamers!

Yes, I am finally back to my normal self, despite recovering from a dislocated finger! One of the most annoying maladies that a writer can endure!  But I am on the mend, and as a result, I’ve begun another serial short story.

I have been sitting on this story for many years because some of the elements of the story are true, yet, I embellished it a bit, like we writers do.  The paranormal constantly enters my life at the most opportune moments.  Being a dark fiction writer, it is as if the universe is slowly giving information so I can weave these tales and perhaps enlighten others to the things that exist just beyond the curtain of reality.

This story is a mixture of horror, paranormal and Southern Gothic genres.  It’s not true Southern Gothic because it is set in Pennsylvania, but it embodies the elements of Southern Gothic, which is an exposure of the shadows cast

So, without further babbling, let us visit…

The Third Floor – Part 1

When I pulled up to the mansion in the woods, I immediately had the urge turn around and drive off, but my situation left me little recourse. The ominous structure seemed misplaced in such a rural area and exhibited a mixture of both Georgian and Antebellum architectures. Ivy covered the majority of the southern side of the home, with ancient oaks and walnut trees towering over the third level of the home. Moreover, as I looked up into the empty windows, though I could not see anything, I could feel as if something watched me.

I came to this forlorn structure as a result of losing my job as a sous-chef at a prominent French Restaurant just outside Valley Forge.  My employer and I differed on several points of technique in the kitchen, as well as how long one should be required to work in a day. When I refused to work a sixty-hour week, he summarily fired me. I was thankful that it was summer as destitution forced me to live in my vehicle.

Fortunately, I quickly found a job posting in the local free paper. The ad was for a private chef, meals and lodging included, as well as a modest weekly salary. It was exactly what I needed, and I attributed the good fortune to providence.   I immediately found the nearest pay phone, and scheduled an interview.  This one encounter would change the course of my life and expose a new path, one I’d not considered before.

I arrived five minutes early, staring at the house for a few moments before I gained the courage to approach the main door of the house.

An elderly man with a cane, and two large German Shepherds, greeted me. This intimidated me, yet I smiled as warmly as possible and offered a hand.

“Mr. Pebble?” I asked.

“Walter will do, son,” he said. “And you are Zachary Tyler?”

“Yes, sir. Or just Zach is fine by me.”

“Very well, Zach.” He said turning, the dogs watching me with an eerily human quality. “Follow me.”

We entered a large foyer, with a crystal chandelier hanging from the second floor ceiling. To the right of the door, an elegant stair case wound up to the balcony overhead, like the tail of a dragon. We walked passed a large library with a hospital style bed in the middle of the room, then out to a large slate patio overlooking a stream fed in-ground pool, cut from the native granite on which the entire property sat.

Walter motioned to a chair at a wrought iron table. I took a seat opposite him. The two dogs dutifully took their positions on either side of him. Despite his hunched posture, he was a tall, thin man with sunken eyes, the youth long since drained from his body, leaving nothing more than a frail husk.

“Did you say you worked at The Forge?” He asked.

“Yes,” I said. “And to be quite honest, I did not leave on good terms. So, if you plan to call them for a reference, it will probably not be favorable.”

“Have you worked anywhere else around the area?”

I rattled off a few others local restaurants of lesser quality.

The old man nodded.

“And of course, I attended the Culinary Institute.” I added.

“Sounds good enough for me,” The old man said with a nod.

“I live here in the house alone. I have a housekeeper that comes several times a week and cooks for me in the meantime since my last chef quit. And calling her a cook is a bit of a stretch.” He said and then smirked. “There is also my gardener who doubles as a driver, but I would prefer you take that role on as well, considering you’ll be living here. Is that agreeable to you?”

“Of, course,” I said. “Do you have a car, or would you expect to use mine? My car has seen better days.”

“I have a Rolls Royce,” He said with an arrogant smile.

“A Rolls?”

“Yes,” He said. “Now, let’s discuss your salary. Because I am offering you room and board, I offer you two-hundred dollars a week. Is that acceptable?”

I pondered the offer for a few moments. I hoped it would be larger so that I could save money to get myself back on my feet.

“That’s just fine,” I said finally. “What about vacation time?”

“Maria, the housekeeper, can fill in for you if you feel the need to vacation. However, I will require at least two weeks notice, and you can never be away more than five days at a time.”

“Very well,” I said. “Will you be deducting taxes from my pay before hand?”

“No, young man. I intend to pay you in cash. It is none of my business how you manage your finances.”

“Thank you.” I said with earnestness in my voice. As adverse as I was to engaging in illegal activities, that extra percentage would allow me to leave his service sooner.

“Do we have a deal?” He asked.

“Yes, indeed we do, Walter,” I replied with fervor.

“Now,” He said as he stood; the dogs flanked him. “I will give you a brief tour, and then I will show you to your suite.”

He led me first to an enormous kitchen, which seemed to have all new appliances–they were immaculate.

“I eat all my meals in here at this table,” he said. “I am a creature of habit as you will come to find soon enough. Consistency and ritual is the key to a successful life. As such, I typed up the menu for you. You are free to prepare the dishes anyway you like, but you must adhere to the overall essence of the meal.”

“Very well,” I said.

“All the food is delivered to the house, so if you need things that are not on the normal list, you will need to let the delivery service know beforehand.”

He motioned to a door near the refrigerator. “That door leads to the second floor, the servant’s staircase. If you need to be in the kitchen when I am asleep, I urge you to use them. I am a light sleeper, and the dogs are always on alert when I am asleep. Once I am up, I will be unable to go back to sleep. So please be mindful of that.”

“Of course.” I said.

“Very well then,” He opened the door. I’ll show you to your suite.”

With excruciating slowness, he mounted the stairs to the second floor, rising like Jacob’s ladder. Once at the top, I saw the long hall that stretched the full length of the house to the balcony that overlooked the foyer. As we walked, I counted ten doors lining the hall. We came to a double door just beyond the balcony. There were two rooms behind the doors — the master bedroom and a smaller bedroom. There were also two restrooms.

“This is the master suite, and you are free to use it as you will.” He began. “Be mindful that Maria is not responsible for washing your clothes. She will change the bed sheets once a month, but that is it. You are responsible for washing your own clothes and keeping the room tidy.”

“Of course,” I said. “Is there a laundry room in the house?”

“Yes,” He said. “It’s in the basement.”

He turned and motioned to a walnut door, which had a twin at the other end of the hall.

“That is the door to the third floor,” He said. “You are not free to go up there. That is for storage, and there are things strewn about. I’d rather not be paying hospital costs due to carelessness.”

“I don’t plan to snoop around your house,” I said. “Rest assured all your belongings are safe. I’m a cook, not a thief.”

The old man nodded with satisfaction.

“I will leave you to explore the rest of the house. The library and my office are also both off-limits. But you are free to roam the house and use the pool as you like.” He turned and moved to the staircase, making his slow descent. “But for now, I must rest. I will let you settle in. But I expect dinner to be ready by six P.M.”

“Of course,” I said. “Thank you for this opportunity, Walter.”

He looked back at me over his shoulder, “No, thank you for not subjecting me to Maria’s meals any further. See you a six.”

While the pay wasn’t what I wanted, and the idea of being a servant didn’t appeal to me, I was thankful that I wouldn’t be sleeping in my car anymore.

After bringing my belongings in from the car, I started exploring. I had plenty of time to make supper, and it was an easy meal to fix. He simply wanted grilled steak, baked potato and corn — not what I was used to preparing.

The house was larger than I expected. Downstairs, there was a large formal dining room that could seat 20 people and another large formal living room with seating for at least fifty people. Walter must have been quite the entertainer back in his younger days to warrant such accommodations.

After changing to make dinner, I walked down the hall, opening each door and peeking inside. There were six bedrooms, one restroom and a nursery. I couldn’t fathom having such a large family. I am an only child, and my parents had passed only a few years before. It was no wonder that Walter had to amass such fortune.

Thought he instructed me not to go to the third floor, my natural curiosity urged me to at least peer up the stairs.  I glanced around carefully and listened for the Walter.   I could hear a rattled cough far within the depths of the house.  Satisfied, I opened the door slowly as it creaked with disuse.  Cold air immediately poured over me like a flash flood, causing me to shudder.  This caused me great pause, yet a poked my head inside and peered upwards.

An unnatural inky darkness, enshrouded the ascending steps and the hall beyond.  I could barely make out a door at the top of the stairs, and a mini dust devil no doubt perturbed by the sudden movement of air.  I stood and watched silently for a few minutes before closing the door again.

I decided it was best to leave the third floor alone for the time being, but something in my gut told me there was much more than boxes and cobwebs hidden away in that dark place.  But having just gotten the job, it was best that I waited at least a few days before secretly exploring the Old Man’s dark secrets.

I hurried to the kitchen to prepare the bland meal for the old man, but the chill persisted even as I entered the warm kitchen.  There was something more to that house and my eccentric employer.

(to be continued)

Enhanced by Zemanta

The Lovecraft Effect

HP LovecraftGreetings, Dreamers!

Kat over at “The Gore Splattered Corner” blog asked me to write a guest post on how H.P. Lovecraft influenced my writing and my writing style.

Lovecraft and his style have always fascinated me.  I have been a fan since I was very young, and it wasn’t until recently one of my reviewers pointed out the similarity in style and writing.  Creating a mythos for Waking Dream was my goal from the beginning, but not expanding upon the Lovecraftian Mythos.  Since then I’ve tried my hand at a couple Lovecraft inspired stories, and have begun a minor expansion of the Mythos. This article explains how I got where I am as a writer.

You can head over to The Gore Splattered Corner and read my little trip down memory lane.

Thanks Kat for letting me ramble on your page!

Immortal Memories Review

Immortal MemoriesGreetings, Dreamers!

Just wanted to share with you an awesome review of my latest publication, Immortal Memories.

You can read a synopsis of the stories here.  They are self-contained stories about the Immortals that inhabit the Waking Dream Universe.  Each story is of a different genre, and set in various time periods over the last 200 years.  There is something for everyone!

You can read the unbiased review by Victoria Craven at

http://theautodidactintheattic.com/2014/02/21/immortal-memories-by-michael-hibbard/

These stories are very different than my horror stories, but they are collectively an adventure across two centuries as seen through the eyes of ancient beings.

Enjoy!

Back again and here to stay!

Greetings, Dreamers!

I just wanted to update you all on my status as of late.  The Flu that I had for two weeks, completely destroyed my rhythm of writing and my daily life.  It is only now that I am able to get back into the swing of writing again.

I have a bit of news to relay.

1) Waking Dream: The Unkindness has been pushed back for obvious reasons, and I think we are looking at a late spring release.  This book will be much more involved that the first, and truly sets the stage for the rest of the series.

2) I will be no longer doing serial stories on the site, as it has presented an editing and continuity nightmare.  I will be finishing “The Shadow of the Soul” as a single post in the near future.  I am also working on a short story for submission to magazines,  that will not be published on the blog — “The Darkling Imp at Twilight”

3) I am very excited to tell you that I have been asked by two best-selling authors to work with them on a new mystery series.  There will be 12 books in all, and I will be writing two of them!  More details to come on that once everything has been agreed on.

I will work on “The Shadow of the Soul” over the long weekend, and have it done for you hopefully by next week!  I will also be giving a synopsis of my new short story series, “Tales from the Supernaturalist”.  This series will be written in Lovecraftian style, with “The Darkling Imp at Twilight” as the introduction to our would-be hero, Zachary Tyler.

Thank you all for remaining loyal to my blog in my absence!

Thank You!

Waking DreamGreetings, Dreamers!

I just wanted to take a moment to thank you all for downloading my free eBooks The Case Study and The House of the Dead Timbers!

It was really quite a success!  The Case Study made it to #5 on the best-selling free short story list and stayed there for 3 days!

The House of the Dead Timbers made it to #8 and stayed there for 2 days!

Waking Dream: The Unkindness Book II is basically writing itself.  I am still on schedule for a February release, because I know you’re all dying to find out what happens next!

In the mean time, you can read Lost Haven, a Waking Dream Interlude, which happens between Book I and Book II.

I am very thankful to you all who have been supportive of my work, and have helped me improve my craft with your thoughtful comments, tweets and reviews.

Happy New Year to you all!

Lost Haven – The Order of Seers

HavenGreetings, Dreamers!

I have released Lost Haven as a Kindle Book, all assembled for your reading pleasure!

Again, it is a novella, and it is a stand alone story that happens between Book I and Book II in the series.

I know that many of you have been reading the story, but I decided to release the book on Kindle to gain a larger audience than my blog.

I have decided to curtail language in my future books so that this series can appeal to both adults and young adults.  Book I has one small section with language, however, it is nothing that young adults have not already been subjected to.  The world is not perfect, and I am not Mary Poppins.

The underlying story of the Waking Dream is about understanding that we all have the power to change the world to what we want.  And I know that will begin with our children.

You can read this novella and decide whether or not the Waking Dream is for you. Its not for everyone!  But, I assure you, you can’t truly be a Dreamer until you see what lies ahead.

Happy reading, my friends!

 

Immortal Memories

Immortal MemoriesGreetings, Dreamers!

Immortal Memories is now available!  It contains nine stories, each a single moment in the life of an Immortal, throughout history.

It is available on Amazon here.

This is a re-release with two new stories.  The paperback will be $7.99 and the Kindle version will be offered at an introductory $2.99 for a limited time!

All of the stories in this collection are related to the Waking Dream, and will give you a deeper insight into the characters you met in Waking Dream: Devlin

Each story is a different genre, to appeal to a wide range of readers:

One – The story of the beginning of the Waking Dream Universe told by the first Immortal One — formatted as a biblical story.

The Black Heart in Madness – This is the story of the final days of Ludwig II of Bavaria, and is an alternate history story with my take on his mysterious death, as well as explaining the importance of the artifact known as The Black Heart — mentioned in Devlin.

The Fairy In Red – A paranormal romance set in 1920’s New Orleans about a writer obsessed with an ethereal beauty, as he tirelessly waits night after night for her to return to a pub so he can get just one last glimpse of her.  Can you guess who the narrator is?

So Long But Never Good Bye – Another paranormal romance, set in during World War II.  This story chronicles the beginnings of a long-standing love affair between Olivia and Grigor.

The Place of the Sisters – A folk-lore tale spun by Grandfather Maxwell at one of the earlier Halloween celebrations in Devlin.  It is the tale of three strange girls and their plight after being ejected from their home town.  This story is woven into Devlin as well, and is a key to the next book in the series, The Unkindness.

What Rough Beast – This is my attempt at tasteful erotica.  It is the story of a man who is inhabited by an entity known as The Beast — the Eater of Sins.  In exchange, our narrator is given limited immortality to indulge his darker passions, keeping women as pets — of their own free will.  This story explores the depths of human depravity, and further examines the role of the Beast in the series.  Not recommended for those who are easily offended. It has been called a paranormal 50 Shades of Grey.

Vacant Eyes on the Eternal Sea – This is a new addition to the collection.  It is a paranormal tale of a failed writer who finds himself obsessed with a hotel in Virginia Beach.  He quickly discovers that his obsession was for reasons beyond his control.

The Charnel House – This is a horror/paranormal story about three adventurous gamers who have decided to become paranormal investigators.  However, the house they chose to investigate turns out to be more than they could have ever bargained for.

The Blood Dolls – This is a  magical tale about Virgil the blood doll maker, and how one night a stranger comes to him and teaches him how to animate his friends to assist him in the days to come, following the Transformation of the Waking Dream.

Here are some reviews from the previous edition:

Anne Synder – Amazon Review – 5 Stars

“This is a fascinating set of stories by a, in my opinion, brilliant author and philosopher. What a fascinating new world I have discovered thanks to him.”

M Woisard – Amazon Review – 4 stars

“Waking Dreams – Immortal Memories
I enjoyed the collection of short stories in this series and can’t wait for more. The characters are memorable, and the stories unique and intriguing. The timelines for many of the tales give a good sense of the longevity of the Immortals, and their pivotal roles in the Waking Dream universe slowly being revealed. As a new writer on the scene Mr. Hibbard shows great promise. From the Blood Dolls with their cotton hearts, to the whispery, sensual, Fairy in Red, these tales capture the imagination, and leave you with new friends you’d like to meet again, and dark, powerful enemies you’re safer only reading about. Whether Dreamer, Sleeper, or an ancient Immortal, there is something for everyone in these dark, inventive tales. It is refreshing to see a new take on the horror/occult/paranormal genre. I look forward to the first full-length novel in this series. Write on Mr. Hibbard write on!”

Justin Miller – Amazon Review – 5 stars

“I loved each story in its own way. They all left me wanting more, and when I got to the last page on my kindle app I was sad it was over. I purchased a physical copy as well to lend to friends so they could enjoy every page as I did. I encourage all readers to share this book with at least one friend.”

Sheri Smith – Amazon Review – 5 stars

“Immortal Memories: Volume 1 by E. Michael Hibbard is extremely well written and definitely appeals to a wide range of audiences. As a result, I enjoyed all of the stories each for different reasons.

My two favorite stories are “The Fairy in Red” and “So Long, But Never Say Good-Bye” due to the aspect of romance. However, be sure to note that the stories contained in this volume are definitely not that of romance. There are tales of torture, darkness, violence, rituals, and even hapless ghost hunters. All of which certainly make this an extraordinary read!

Since some of these characters transcend time, I am eagerly awaiting additional stories to see what new adventures await them whether past, present, or future!”

You can read more at http://www.amazon.com/Immortal-Memories-Vol-Waking-Dream/product-reviews/1480277584