(Share the Horror Interview) Bram Stoker nominee, Matt Hayward, talks Scares that Care, the most-anticipated anthology of the year,Welcome to the Show, and his new novel with Patrick Lacey, Practitioners.

I got the chance to catch up with ultra-busy horror author/musician, Matt Hayward, this week. We talked new books and more. Check it out.

Practitioners is your new book for Bloodshot Books. I know Patrick Lacey came out to visit you in Ireland. Is that when this story was born? 

We’d actually come up with the idea at the Scares That Care bar a few months before. I’d had a short story that a publisher wanted, but they needed the ending changed. I wasn’t comfortable with that, so I tucked it away, but the main character always spoke to me. I ended up pitching that as a first chapter to Pat and he really liked the idea, so by the time he came here to Ireland (a few months later), we were actually sending the finished manuscript out to publishers.

How did you guys handle the writing? Were you sending chapters back and forth like King and Straub? 

Chapter by chapter. Since I had chapter one as a short story well before we started, I tweaked it and emailed it to Pat to see where he’d take it. We hardly spoke about the direction at all, instead, we allowed for our chapters to lead themselves. I’d hide a clue or two for Pat and he’d do the same. We wrote fast, almost a chapter a day. I did most of mine in a single sitting.

Where did your influence come from for you in this story? Was it a movie, something going on in your life or a friend’s life?  There’s always a bit of truth or observation of the present happening in a writer’s work. Anything specific you can recall that worked itself out and into the characters or scenes? 

The influence was really just the fun of the project itself. Every time I read one of Pat’s chapters, I was itching to add to it and fire it back. In terms of themes, I know we were both going through a rough time, and those personal problems popped up here and there. I think those themes are self-evident when you read it. Unless Pat was attacked by a praying mantis and never told me.

Every piece is different, and working with another mind has got to alter things further. What were the challenges and also the wow moments for you in the writing process with this one? 

I honestly don’t recall a single problem. We worked well together, we worked fast, and the ‘wow’ factor was when Pat took a turn I didn’t see coming. It makes you appreciate another author’s perspective, to view their process in real-time.  

How was it working with Bloodshot Books? They seem like a very easy, very cool publisher. 

They’ve been great. The book looks fantastic, and Rachel Autumn Deering did an incredible job of the artwork. Tim Meyer gave us an amazing blurb, and the reception’s been extremely humbling. I did a pass of edits, then Pat, then we fired it off to Pete at Blood Shot for one final check over and it was finished.  

Coming off a well-deserved Stoker nomination, you have a number of works that have just come out or are on their way. What’s been the best response you‘ve gotten about a particular book or story, and how have you handled such a busy schedule?

The best response has been hearing from people who connected with WHAT TO MONSTERS FEAR? That was a very personal book and I’m glad to see folks enjoyed it so much. You can’t please everyone all the time, but I’m glad to see that the work’s been pleasing the right ones. As for my schedule, I just cut everything up into manageable blocks, man. One thousand words a day for a novel or short story, evenings for edits, and nights for promotion and answering emails. 

You have Welcome to the Show coming out next, and a trip to Scares that Care. With travel and being as involved in the anthology as you are, I can imagine it has its trying moments.  How much fun are you having versus how much stress? It a tricky thing to balance or is it just part of the game?

The only stressful part is that I don’t get to stay in the States longer. It’s horrible getting caught up with everyone and then before you know it, it’s back home to work you go. Rachel Autumn Deering was here for a week earlier in the month, and just being around another writer to bounce ideas and talk shop is very energizing. The seven-hour flight with no nicotine is gonna stress me out as usual, though. 

Any parting message for people considering picking up a copy of Practitioners?

Just that I hope they enjoy it, and thanks for reading. Pat and I enjoyed writing Henry and George a lot, and I’ve pitched another story involving the two to Pat not long ago. We’ll see. If readers want more, I know Henry and George have some mileage left. I know George has moved to a new town… But I also know there’s a strange woman with a peculiar deck of cards visiting town, too. 

 Matt Hayward is a Bram Stoker Award-nominated author and musician from Ireland. His debut collection BRAIN DEAD BLUES released in May 2017, and his first novel WHAT DO MONSTERS FEAR? in July. PRACTITIONERS, a collaboration with author Patrick Lacey, is set for release in 2018 through Blood Shot Books, as well as his second novel THE FAITHFUL. He is currently writing a novel with Bryan Smith and has just released a comic book with the band WALKING PAPERS. Matt received a nomination for short story of the year from Penguin Books in 2017, and his work has appeared in CLICKERS FOREVER: A TRIBUTE TO J.F. GONZALEZ, TALES FROM THE LAKE, DARK MOON DIGEST, THE HORROR ZINE, TALES TO TERRIFY, and more


Barnes and Noble and my Land of Bones


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Today, I had my second book signing event at Barnes & Noble here at home (Augusta, Maine).  I wanted to thank the fantastic staff for having me and treating me so well. I also wanted to thank the friends and family that showed up, along with the great folks that just wandered over to ask about the book and chat horror with me.

Sales for my latest, LAND OF BONES,  were terrific, and hopefully, I made a few new fans.

Below are a few shots taken by my co-worker, Virginia.

If you haven’t picked up a copy of LAND OF BONES yet, please take a look and consider grabbing one for you or a friend. Purchase here: LAND OF BONES

Can’t wait to do this again! (Maybe closer to Halloween after my next novel, THE WINDOW, is released)

Stay tuned!


And this photo was taken by my daughter, Ruby.


BONE SAW: A horror book for horror fans and more. Patrick Lacey’s best yet.


Bone SawBone Saw by Patrick Lacey

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Sometimes bad men are scarier than monsters.”

Bone Saw is the latest novel from horror fiend, Patrick Lacey. In this b-movie monster flick come to life, the small town of Bass Falls is about to meet The Pigfoot (a unique creation all on his own, for which the author should be proud).

Lacey’s love for horror flicks shines through this work like a scream queen’s puncturing wail. Is there blood? Yes. Is there gore? Of course. Is there heart? Surprisingly, yes. And that’s a good thing. For our young protagonist, Liam, through a shitstorm of bad luck, he may just find the perfect lady…if they can survive.

“…and bit into the woman’s face like corn on the cob.”

Lacey shows he’s far from a one-trick pony, as he digs deep and fills the spaces with some real grit and emotion. It felt at times as though we were seeing the inner workings and emotions of the author himself. Among the blood and chewed upon body parts, there is a love story.
It’s this type of writing that will help Lacey continue to grow into the great author he’s becoming before our eyes.

I’ve been a fan of Patrick Lacey since his first novella, and having read both his previous novels, DREAM WOODS and WE CAME BACK (both from Sinister Grin Press), I’d say BONE SAW is his best yet. Definitely going in my Top 10 of 2018.

A five-star read.
Highly recommended.


Patrick Lacey was born and raised in a haunted house. He currently spends his nights and weekends writing about things that make the general public uncomfortable. He lives in Massachusetts with his Pomeranian and his muse, who is likely trying to kill him. Follow him on Twitter (@patlacey), find him on Facebook, or visit his website at https://patrickclacey.wordpress.com/.

2018 halfway point review and things to come.


You guys probably know me well enough by now to know that I only include books published this year to include in my best of list.

While I haven’t read as many as I would have liked in this first half, here are six that stood out. Some will make it to the Year End list, some will not, but all are fun reads.

In no particular order:

BROKEN SHELLS by Michael Patrick Hicks

THE GOAT PARADE by Peter N. Dudar

BONE SAW by Patrick Lacey (Note* I’m halfway through this one now and already know it’s a heck of a read)

VIETNAM BLACK by Brad Harmer-Barnes


THE OUTSIDER by Stephen King

The Switch House and Broken Shells are quick reads with really fun concepts.

Bone Saw and Vietnam Black are b-movie horror fun

The Goat Parade and The Outsider are a bit bigger with a lot of character driven bits. 

For the second half of the year, I’ll be trying my best to get to these babies:

THE FEED by Jason Parent


CREATURE by Hunter Shea

PRACTITIONERS by Matt Hayward and Patrick Lacey


THE NIGHTMARE ROOM by Chris Sorensen

ANATHEMA by Kristopher Rufty

DOG DAYS o’SUMMER by Mark Allan Gunnells and James Newman


HALCYON by Rio Youers

I’m sure there’s more not on here that I’ll add.  Feel free to share what you guys have loved and look forward to.

#Indieswhereitsat  #horrorFiction #Sharethehorror




Best Horror Books Post-2000, Non-King

A Twitter friend posted a picture of her Top !0 favorite post 2000, non-King books.

I liked the idea, so I just wanted to share some of the ones under that criteria that have stuck with me above all the others. These are some of my favorite all-time.

If you haven’t read these yet, make a list  and go find them.



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WELCOME TO THE SHOW! Early reviews are coming in…This anthology is going to rule the world (we hope).


“Each story brings something new and exciting to the table.  I couldn’t just stop at just one story. I had to devour this anthology completely in one bite…this anthology will win a Bram Stoker Award.” — Cedar Hollow horror Reviews

“…the tales within are consistently high-quality, both in terms of their prose and the depth and breadth of imagination on display. Deserving to be on the shelf of any discerning horror fan, Welcome To The Show might just be the best anthology that Crystal Lake Publishing has ever published…” — SciFi and Fantasy Reviewer

(Full CHHR: https://www.cedarhollowhorrorreviews.com/2018/07/welcome-to-show-edited-by-matt-hayward.html)

(Full SFFR review: https://scifiandfantasyreviewer.wordpress.com/2018/07/07/welcome-to-the-show-17-horror-stories-one-legendary-venue-doug-murano-matt-hayward-eds-review/)



We all know the old cliché: Sex, drugs and rock and roll. Now, add demons, other dimensions, monsters, revenge, human sacrifice, and a dash of the truly inexplicable. This is the story of the (fictional) San Francisco music venue, The Shantyman.

In Welcome to the Show, seventeen of today’s hottest writers of horror and dark fiction come together in devilish harmony to trace The Shantyman’s history from its disturbing birth through its apocalyptic encore.

Featuring stories by Brian Keene, John Skipp, Mary SanGiovanni, Robert Ford, Max Booth III, Glenn Rolfe, Matt Hayward, Bryan Smith, Matt Serafini, Kelli Owen, Jonathan Janz, Patrick Lacey, Adam Cesare, Alan M Clark, Somer Canon, Rachel Autumn Deering and Jeff Strand.

Compiled by Matt Hayward. Edited by Doug Murano.

Bring your curiosity, but leave your inhibitions at the door. The show is about to begin…



Add it on GoodReads now and stay tuned for the pre-order link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40725438-welcome-to-the-show?ac=1&from_search=true