Wednesday, August 29, 2012


We're just about a week away from the release of the FADING LIGHT anthology. Here is the last snippet of artwork from a little sketch Mr Tim Holtrop did for me after reading my FINAL RIGHTS short story which will be featured in the e-bonus book of FADING LIGHT.

Instead of putting a little chunk of the short story within, let me tell you about how the tale FINAL RIGHTS came about (after I found out about the anthology and what the "theme" was)...

I heard from a famous author (Stephen King perhaps) to WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW.

I know Grand Rapids, Michigan. Born and raised there, though I no longer live within the city limits, the days I had spent there sank in and sank in deep. I lived and breathed the area as we lived only about a mile from downtown GR. Even during its dog days back in the late 70's/early 80's, before it really got cookin' to where it is today, I felt a kinship with the place, a love that will never die.

I mean, what better place to grow up than in the 2nd largest city in Michigan. Yeah, large city, but hardly a stones throw away from where I grew up there was John Ball Park and woodland to adventure within.

Er...anyway, will move on from the life story...

I have always enjoyed placing my story setting in Grand Rapids. Mind you, the stories have always been overrun with villians, or battlin' military men and their machines of war, things blowing up, fighting along the Pearl Street bridge over the swift running Grand River.

Heck, I even wrote some Fantasy tales within with sword and sorcery elements.

In FINAL RIGHTS, a world darkened by post-nuclear blight is on the verge of collapsing totally. Once great cities have become bastions for any who have survived and can get INSIDE. On the dreary and darkened landscape, outside the brightly lit cities, all manner of beast and dying dregs of humanity creep and crawl and wait for those sheltered within those city walls to come out.

Specialist Clint Johnsson is a young marksman who works within the city militia keeping the gates guarded and any outsiders from getting too close to getting in. His family has all succumb to cancer which he himself fights. He has a lone surviving family member in New Holland, a sister and her young son, who live in that city along the lake shore. After a fierce battle defending the (Grand Rapids) city entrance which puts him in the hospital, Clint finds out the city of New Holland is about to GO DARK, lose its power as its wind turbines have been critically damaged. When the lights go out, the darkness will sweep in. Considering he is pretty banged up, and cancer prognosis has become more dire, he isn't going to see his sister and her little boy lost to the darkness. He hops the lone steam engine that is heading out to New Holland to gather as many people as they can make runs before the lake shore city blinks out. BIG chaos erupts along the way to New Holland--chaos and fury that is huge, all teeth and claws, and can knock a big steam engine off its track. Clint is heading to his own dark demise, but he won't fade to black without...

You'll have to buy the book, get a copy of the e-bonus piece with my tale and a few other very talented writers, and see how FINAL RIGHTS turns out.

And now...the Holtrop sketch snippet...

The train whistle blew shrill amidst the dull landscape. Specialist Clint Johnsson tensed and exhaled slowly. 
Crosshairs centered on the steel glint. One painful sluggish heartbeat.

Saturday, August 18, 2012


Hello Friends. The FADING LIGHT anthology is right around the corner. September 1st to be exact. It is a great book and has some great writers and tales within. From what I understand, the review copies that have been sent out, it is getting some really good reviews.

I will post a link to where it can be purchased in a forthcoming blog.

As a preview of my little contribution to the book, I give you another little snippet of my FADING LIGHT short story FINAL RIGHTS, including another little chunk of a black and white sketch the very talented Mr Tim Holtrop did for me.



The giant black bear stood upright as tall as a vertically standing semi-trailer resting on its tail end. Forearms like tree trunks, it bat the air, roaring its challenge at the glare of the cityscape. Johnsson heard of bear upstate but nothing of this dimension. If this creature had other mutated brethren, his city would need whole new fortifications and safeguards for certain. 

A moment of static, and then Clint heard Lafayette say: “…in my sights. Light it up. If it doesn’t turn back, I’ll nail it.”

The terrible black maw in his sights, the sweeping spotlights blanked out Clint’s target. Not wanting the older marksman to gain boasting rights to another kill, he squeezed the trigger. The big rifle roared and the bear roared back as the HE round slammed home.

“What are you doing?” Lafayette and Fitzgerald screamed in his ear almost in unison.

Johnsson pulled his eye from his scope and watched in horror as the monster’s head didn’t explode. It didn’t seem to hardly phase the creature as it roared in rage and charged the bridge, shaking the ground so hard the marksman felt the balcony shudder underfoot.

“Jesus. Jesus. Jesus,” he swore as he quickly pressed his eye to his sight again. He started to squeeze back on the trigger when a fit of coughing overtook him and he had to turn his head, coughing blood onto his sleeve.

Wiping the corner of his mouth, he looked down the line of the barrel. He was just as accurate without the scope. He had once shot the white of a radish at 1000 yards; the bear was just outside that distance but as big as an old yellow school bus.

The men in the bridge bunkers scrambled for escape as the huge bear ran with thundering footfalls onto the span. Just rear of the center span near the second line of machine gun nests, Captain Fitzgerald fired with his service pistol at the thing though his bullets, real as they were, were lost against the thick bristled fur.

Targeting the same spot he had zeroed in on during his first shot, still not sure why the HE round hadn’t gone off upon impact, Clint went to fire again.

Bear Attack snippet from sketch by Tim Holtrop copyright 2012

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


FADING LIGHT: An Anthology of the Monstrous comes out first of September. Edited by Tim Marquitz. Cover art by the very talented Jessy Lucero. Published by the great folk at Angelic Knight Press. This antho is going to ROCK, folks! 

My short story FINAL RIGHTS short story is part of the FADING LIGHT COMPANION TALES that you can get access to when you buy the print version of the book, and also if you buy the electronic version you get the whole sha-bang...that's 25 tales in the main book, and 5 additional as part of the companion piece. 30 great stories by some stellar writers.

To let you in a bit of my tale in the book, here is a small snippet from the actual story including a teaser section of a larger black & white sketch the talented Mr Tim Holtrop did for me after reading and enjoying FINAL RIGHTS.


* * * * *

After the Great Middle East War of 2025, the night almost consumed Mankind all around the globe. Though decimated, he stayed resilient to survive even as the leaden skies kept him under its dismal canopy. Darker things had come to pass from the post-radioactive rains and dreariness of constant dusk. Though he hid in the brilliance of the last vestiges of once large cities and towns, chances appeared bleak when those terrible overlords of the dark thirsted for Mankind in the very shadow he cast?”

Excerpt from Sebastian Wells THE LAST HISTORIES
Siste-Dager Publications copyright 2113

They had just passed the dilapidated Hudsonville depot, the halfway point between Grand Rapids and New Holland, when the attacks came. Though it was just passed noon, the land appeared on the edge of night. The wolves came up out of the darkness like fanged fish from some deep ocean trough. Clint’s earbud throbbed with the shout of Brecktel in the two-way: “Steady, lads. We got a whole pack of them.”

The gunner’s in the boxcar side cupolas and men on the rooftops picked their targets and opened fire. The big furry masses of muscle and teeth met a bombardment of biting and tearing lead.

A wolf as black as midnight came charging towards the front of the train, loping with enormous strides towards the engine. Clint scoped him, swiveling the big gun along the rail of his gunner’s nest as the animal ran headlong into the rumbling engine. Short steel planks with machine-serrated edges had been welded along the skirt of the big steam locomotive. They were lovingly referred to as “cow eviscerators” versus cow catchers, and they did their job quite efficiently on man or beast getting too close to the speeding loco.

The snarling and snapping creature leapt. Its upper body cleared the serrated skirting only to be run through as its abdomen slammed into the blades. It emitted a pained bark, retching up a wave of blood and bile against the hot boiler. A guardsman who had been standing behind the engineer bellowed his surprise and outrage as he was doused with the steaming juices.

Over the roar of the wind, the train and the attacking wolves, Brecktel broke in over through Clint’s earbud issuing commands and asking for updates from each sector of the train. “Keep firing! Mow this group down and it will make the others think twice in getting this close,” the Captain said.

Clint scoped a white and black-pepper furred beast running along the third box car down, looking up at the gunner’s basket as the soldier within tried to fire at it. His gun couldn’t angle down as far as he’d needed and Clint could see the worried expression on the guardsman’s face.

The wolf’s head disappeared in an explosion of blood, bone and brains.

Clint watched the mouth of his rifle smoke and received an approving nod from the relieved gunner.

“Something big coming up behind us,” came the voice of a man named Langeley manning the last car. In the background could be heard the anxious conversation of the other men trying to talk over the wind and continuing gun fire.

Snippet of FINAL RIGHTS sketch by Tim Holtrop

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

FADING LIGHT Antho: My Story Teaser 1

In anticipation of Fading Light: An Anthology of the Monstrous (edited by Tim Marquitz, published by Angelic Knight Press) and my short story within entitled FINAL RIGHTS, a very talented illustrator, Tim Holtrop, has done a rough sketch of a scene from the story. For the next few weeks before the September 1st release date of the book, I am going to post snippets from the larger sketch with a few lines of my story.

I have been able to preview some of the other tales in the anthology. Some stellar writers are within for sure, and it is going to be a really fantastic book. Will post more on the overall book (with links) in follow-up posts. (You can also find FADING LIGHT on Facebook.)

If you would like more info on Tim Holtrop and his incredible work, please check out his website:

"The world has been cast in the chill embrace of a Nuclear Winter and slowly withers towards its dreary demise. The once-glorious daylight hours have turned to a dismal display of perpetual dusk and the last bastions of humanity hold out in the brightly-lit but slowly dying vestiges of the larger cities.  On the perimeters of the cloud-cloaked countryside, where light succumbs to deep shadow, the tattered and mutated dregs of beast and man hungrily wait for the brilliance of the civilized world to wink out." FINAL RIGHTS by Peter Welmerink