Thursday, June 13, 2024

Stay the Course: How to Keep Writing (Especially When You Don’t Want To)


A few weeks ago, I attended StokerCon – the annual gathering of Horror folk – in San Diego. A lot of times at conventions, I’m so busy with being on panels and conducting workshops that I end up not getting to talk to many people, which sucks, because StokerCon is like a family reunion in many ways. But this year, I managed to spend time with a number of friends and colleagues, sometimes only in brief conversations, sometimes in much longer ones, and it was wonderful. During two separate conversations – one with Brian Keene and one with Ronald Malfi – we got to talking about writers who had great careers, but for whatever reasons stopped writing. Sometimes they’re simply not productive anymore for one reason or another, but other times it’s like they dropped off the face of the Earth.

I began wondering why some writers quit while others continue chugging along, regardless of setbacks and self-doubts. And as a creative writing teacher, I’ve seen people who stop before they really get started or who quit along the way. Why do some writing careers fizzle out, and what, if anything, can be done to help writers keep doing what they love?


Well, that’s the topic of this blog post, isn’t it?

Before We Get Started, It’s Okay To . . .

·       Try writing, decide it’s not for you, and move on to something else.

·       Come back to writing after a period of time away from it.

·       Write once in a while.

·       Play around with writing for fun, without any intention of publishing your work.

·       Take breaks from writing whenever you need to.

·       Try different types of writing without ever specializing.

There’s nothing wrong with exploring writing as opposed to dedicating your life to it as a Sacred Calling. So often on social media, I see people posting that you have to be 1000% devoted to a writing career and treat it like a full-time business or else you’re not a “real” writer. I think these people confuse “Writer” the identity with “writing” the activity. Writing is something people do, and you can do as much or as little of it as you like, and it can play a huge role in your life (as it does in mine) or a small role. And how much writing you do can change with time and circumstance. It’s all good. So yes, it’s okay to quit writing forever, but this blog entry is for writers who want to keep writing.

Why Do Some Writers Quit Almost Before They Start?

·       They like the idea of having produced writing, but they aren’t in love with language and story. Most writers begin with love of story and then seek to become writers, but not everyone. Some people think the idea of being a writer is cool, and then they start exploring writing. It’s kind of like falling in love first then getting married vs. an arranged marriage. Both types of unions can succeed or fail, they just start at different places. So writers who begin with a desire to have the identity of a writer can eventually fall in love with the process of writing. I suspect not many, though. My guess is these are the kind of writers who are attracted by the idea of AI writing stories for them.

·       They don’t enjoy reading, so they don’t read. Yes, it’s possible to write without being a reader. It’s even possible you’ll write something decent. But if you don’t like reading, you probably only like the idea of expressing yourself, and writing seems like a simple, cheap way to do that. All you need is yourself and something to write with. But if you don’t love the written word, odds are you won’t stick with writing. Nothing wrong with that. Maybe you’ll eventually find a mode of self-expression you do love.

·       They discover writing isn’t as easy as they thought it would be. “But creative writing is supposed to be fun! It’s freeform expression and anything goes, right?” some students say. It is if all you want to do is play, and there’s noting wrong with that. But if you decide you want to write work that’s publishable and that people want to read, you’ll need to work as well. And work isn’t always fun.

·       They don’t know why they’re writing. Having a reason for doing something, a purpose you’re trying to fulfill, a goal you’re trying to reach can help you keep going when the work gets hard and you encounter some serious obstacles along the way. If you don’t have a reason to write, you don’t have a reason to keep going when it gets hard.

·       They’re worried about writing the “right” thing. These writers have been told so often that if they want to succeed, they need to produce the “right” kind of book (or story, article, poem). So they can’t decide what to write, and they end up not writing. Or they try a genre they don’t love because they think they have to, they end up hating writing, and quit.

·       They get bored and start a new project. Even if you don’t have ADD, finding the discipline to see a project through to completion can be tough. You have to learn not to be attracted to the next pretty-shiny if you want to finish anything. These writers don’t quit so much as they never complete a piece of writing.

Why Do Some Writers Quit Early in Their Career?

·       Self-doubt: I think most creative people experience self-doubt about themselves as artists, and for many of us, this self-doubt never goes away. In order to keep going, we need to learn to live with self-doubt, to experience it but not let it stop us, to realize there’s reason it’s called self-doubt. It’s a negative function of the ego. We create it ourselves, and – if we can’t uncreate it – we can learn to understand where it comes from and not give it power over us. If we can’t, we may quit, even if we’re starting to see some success from our efforts.

·       Fear of failure: Some writers are so afraid of failure that even if they finish work, they don’t do anything with it. Even writers who are starting to establish a career may become so paralyzed by the possibility that failure will inevitably strike that they stop writing before it hits. The truth is, you will fail, maybe a lot, especially early on. Experiencing failure, feeling shitty for a while, then getting back to work will help you deal with the next failure. I think for some people the word failure is crippling all by itself. Maybe if we thought of failures as temporary setbacks or That-didn’t-work-this-time’s, failure wouldn’t impact us so severely. But some writers never get over their first big failure, and they’re afraid of experiencing failure again, so they quit writing.

·       Fear of success: When I first learned about this concept a few decades ago, I thought it sounded ridiculous. Who would be afraid of success? That’s what we all want, right? But success means we draw attention to ourselves and more is expected of us. And if others don’t pressure us to maintain or increase our level of success, we do it to ourselves. That pressure can become so overwhelming that we may end up blocked for good.

·       Fear of rejection or difficulty dealing with rejection when it comes. Creative writing students tell me this is their number-one fear about sharing their work, even with classmates and me, let alone sending it out to traditional publishers or self-publishing it. These writers either never send anything out or they quit after one or more rejections. Or if they’re self-publishing, bad reader reviews and – even worse – lack of interest in their work cause them to quit. Rejection of one kind or another is guaranteed in the writing life, and we have no choice but to learn to deal with it if we want to keep going. I’m at a point in my career where I sell my work regularly, and while I don’t receive rejections as often as I did when I first started submitting my work forty-two years ago, it still happens. And yes, it still sucks. But I’ve often had the experience of having a story rejected a number of times, only for the next editor to think it’s absolutely brilliant and want to publish it. The story didn’t change. Only the editor did. This has taught me that a rejection just means that a particular person said no to a particular story at a particular time. It means nothing more than that, and it’s certainly not a reason to stop writing if you love it.

·       Their work isn’t getting published or only getting published sporadically. Once I began selling short fiction in my mid-twenties, it wasn’t as if I sold multiple stories a year. I was lucky to sell one, maybe two if I was especially fortunate that year. Those sales were like a drink water to a thirsty man in a desert. They might not have been much, but they kept me going a little while longer until the next drink came. Society tells us that if we aren’t a massive success right out of the gate, we’re a failure and might as well pack it in. Some people do have fast success. It’s rare, but it happens. These writers face the problem of maintaining that success and building on it to become even more successful. Usually, their time in the sun is limited. A writing career is a marathon, not a sprint, and you need to accept that you’re in for the long haul if you want to keep going.

·       No reviews or bad reviews. Negative reader response to our work is no fun, but indifference is worse. I’ve produced work that I think is some of the best stuff I’ve ever done, only for it to receive almost no attention from readers. That can be extremely demoralizing, especially after you’ve worked so long and so hard to create a piece of work. Why keep going if no one gives a shit about your writing or if they loathe it? Why continue to work hard only to receive no reward? This is why creating the work needs to be your first, best reward. If you get few reviews or a lot of negative ones, that doesn’t change the experience you had of making a story. If we can continue to focus on art’s true reward – making art in the first place – it can help us get through a lot of not-so-fun experiences along the way,

·       Progress is taking longer than they thought. Old pros on convention panels used to say that the first million words were practice. The late Horror author Alan Rodgers once told me that it takes about ten years to start publishing regularly. That jibes with my experience. Some writers don’t take that long, and some take longer. It’s that marathon-not-a-sprint thing again. It can be hard to keep going when it seems like all your effort is getting you nowhere. I think of the famous quote from the I-Ching here: “Perseverance furthers.” That’s the only guarantee you get in an artistic life, that if you keep working, you’ll be farther along your path tomorrow than you are now. This is another reason why it's important that your first reward be producing the work itself.

Why Do Some Writers Quit Mid-Career?

You’re publishing your work fairly regularly, readers in general respond to it positively, you’ve been nominated for – and maybe even won – an award or two, and you might even be making a little money from writing. But maybe you’re not as far along as you’d hoped by this point, and maybe it looks like this level of success is all you’ll be able to obtain. It can be tough to keep going if you believe you’ve gone as far as you can. Writers in this situation – or who feel like this, whether or not it’s true – may well be tempted to quit altogether. There are other specific reasons, too.

·       Imposter syndrome: You believe you’re a fraud and any day the rest of the world will figure it out. You decide you might as well quit now before you’re exposed. Whenever I feel like this, I pull one of my author copies off the shelf and flip through it, or I pull up my bibliography on my computer and skim it. Doing these things helps remind me that I couldn’t possibly fool so many editors over the course of so many years. I may also look at some positive reader reviews on Goodreads or Amazon to remind myself that there are readers who like my work.

·       The Writer’s Disease – Envy: You look around at your contemporaries – or worse, younger writers – and envy their successes and begin to resent them (and the world at large). That kind of envy can eat an artist alive until they quit or just stop producing work. I think of it as a kind of mental/spiritual cancer for writers. Whenever I feel this way, I tell myself that the eighteen-year-old kid that I was when I first started out would be thrilled and amazed to see the career I have today.

·       Career setbacks: Publisher folding, agent severing your business relationship, editor telling you that they won’t be looking at your next book because the last one didn’t sell enough copies, the book you put your heart and soul into and are convinced is the greatest thing you’ve ever written receives the worst reviews of your career. . . Any one of these things can demoralize a writer and make them want to give up, and if more than one happens around the same time, it can be devastating. All of us will experience career setbacks. My first novel deal was canceled by the publisher because they “no longer felt comfortable with the book,” whatever the hell that means. My agent and I submit work to editors who ghost us (This is a relatively new thing, at least in my experience. How hard is it to send an email that says NO? It’s only two letters, for Christ’s sake.) If you’re already struggling mentally, emotionally, and financially in your career, any setback could be the one that finally strikes a mortal blow and gets you to call it quits. As I’ve mentioned before, finding fulfillment in creating the work in the first place can help you weather setbacks, as will starting to work on something new.

·       Unable to build a large audience: When you think of how many people live on the planet, even bestselling authors are read by a small percentage of humans. Most people don’t read for enjoyment (and many people around the world can’t read or are too busy trying to survive to kick back with a book and relax). Most writers have very small audiences, and while they might increase the size of their audience over time, they may reach a point where they’re unable to add more readers. This sucks if you depend on writing for your income, and it sucks if it makes you feel that your career is stagnating. Whenever I start to feel this way, I ask myself how many people do I need in my audience for it to be worthwhile for me to write something. Ten? Twenty? A hundred? A thousand? I have a day job as a college English professor, so I don’t have to worry about audience size for economic reasons. I do try to remind myself, once again, that the work itself is my first reward. I also remind myself to value and appreciate the readers I do have instead of pining for all the readers I don’t have.

·       Promoting more than writing. In the age of social media, this can be a real problem. Publishers expect you to promote your work and often they calculate this into their promotion budget for you. Sometimes that budget is zero because they put the responsibility for promoting solely on you (not that they’d ever admit it). Most writers aren’t comfortable trying to hawk their wares 24/7 on the internet, and doing so can wear them down emotionally or, if they don’t manage to promote often, make them feel like a failure. They end up promoting more than they write, and they quit because what’s the point of having a goddamned writing career if you don’t get to do any fucking writing? I try to keep my promotion balanced with my writing. The writing comes first, because without it, I have nothing to promote. I have a few social media accounts, a website, an Amazon page, this blog, a newsletter, and a YouTube channel. I try to regularly promote on social media, but only once a day, if that. I also post other types of content so readers don’t get sick of me, and I repost other writers’ promotional messages to be a good literary citizen. The basic rule of thumb I’ve seen is that you should put out three non-sales messages for every sales message you post. As for my newsletter, blog, and YouTube channel, I try to post new content at once a month (but I often don’t have the time). Common wisdom is you should post content once a week, but there’s no way I can do that and still write as much as I do, so I don’t worry about it. Again, the writing comes first. And if you can’t write and promote because of your overall life/work schedule, then screw promoting. Write and enjoy writing and let the other aspects your career take care of themselves. Writing – not promoting – is why you got into this gig in the first place. Don’t ever lose sight of that.

·       Promotional efforts don’t seem to work. The secret of promotion is that no one – including mega-corporations – has any idea if specific promotional efforts actually work. And ones that do seem to work one time can fail utterly the next. It’s a crapshoot. You can increase your odds of success by learning more about promotion, but you’ll never be able to guarantee success. (Unless you write a diet book, self-help book, or how-to-have-better sex book.) Try not to worry too much how successful your promotional efforts are, because no matter what you do, you’ll never really know. So promote and hope for the best, and like I said above, don’t let promotion overwhelm – and even take the place of – your writing.

·       Not making much (or any) money. My second agent once told me that “No one goes into this business to make money.” If you want to make money in America, become a doctor or a lawyer. (Or a corrupt politician.) Writing – not counting technical and business writing – begins with a need for creative fulfillment. We seek money from our writing so we won’t have to work a soul-sucking non-creative job. That way, we’ll have more time to write. So if you’re a writer, you’re almost guaranteed to make little-to-no money from your work, and what income you do have will be sporadic and unstable. Living a life of economic uncertainty can wear anyone down over time, and if you have health problems – especially as you age – it can be a nightmare. Healthcare is hella expensive in the U.S.A., and a lot of writers’ strategy for dealing with health issues is to hope and pray that they’ll never get sick. Even if they have a condition that won’t kill them, if it’s a painful one and they can’t afford treatment, the pain will make it difficult, if not impossible, to work. When I was in my twenties, I was on GEnie, a message board service that was like a proto social media service. Lots of professional writers were on there, and they posted stuff about living the writing life that I’d never read in interviews before, and one of those things was how difficult it was to be poor, even if you were regularly publishing and winning awards. A lot of those writers said they weren’t producing any more work than they did before they became full-time writers because they were depressed or in ill health. That’s one of the reasons I got a day job and have kept it all these years. I’m lucky that my job still allows me time to write, and that I’m generally a fast writer. But establishing a writing career is hard enough without having to constantly worry about the wolf at the door.

·       No recognition from readers and critics. Every year when people start posting “best-of” lists on social media (or lists of favorite writers or writers you should be reading), writers lament about how their name never appears on those lists. They also complain about how few reviews they get in Publisher’s Weekly or Booklist, or on Goodreads and Amazon, and how few – if any – reviews they get in magazines like Fangoria, Rue Morgue, HorrorHound, etc. Feeling unappreciated, or even invisible, can cause any writer to consider quitting. What’s the point of producing work if no one gives a shit about it? I try to counter this feeling by saving some of the positive reviews I do get by taking screenshots of them. Whenever I start to feel like I might be invisible, I pull up a couple and remind myself that yes, there are readers and reviewers who do see me. It helps.

·       Winning no awards. Every award season, writers get depressed because they’re never nominated or if nominated, never win. Often, I’ll see writers post a sour grapes message on social media about how all awards suck and how the specific award they weren’t nominated for sucks the most. (But if they ever win one, they never criticize awards again.) This is Envy rearing its toxic head again, plus, in a capitalistic society, competition is everything. You have to have losers in order for there to be winners, and you have to have winners otherwise how would we ever know what the hierarchy of society is? I’ve won a few awards, and I feel honored by them all. But I also try to remind myself that an award doesn’t mean I’m officially One of the Greatest Writers of All Time. It simply means that a certain group of people chose to honor certain literary works at a certain point in time. Awards are your peers acknowledging that you do good work, and nothing more. (They don’t need to be more; appreciation from your fellow artists is more than enough!) They can be used for promotion, sure, but that’s a side benefit. And it’s arguable how much help they are in promotion. As I keep saying, try to find fulfillment in creating the writing itself and knowing that you have readers (however many) that think you and your work are awesome.

·       Not getting TV or movie deals. Envy again. I’ve never had a movie or TV deal (although I’ve had some nibbles), and I do my best not to be envious when other writers announce their deals. Again, I remind myself that the young me would be thrilled to have the career I have now, and it helps. Besides, if I wanted to make movies or TV shows, I would’ve gone into those fields. I want to write fiction.

Why Do Some Writers Quit After a Long Career?

I think the following list is mostly self-explanatory, and most of the items are challenges of aging in general applied to a writing career. I turned sixty this year, and I’ve started to feel some of the issues below. I remind myself about envy again, try to focus on what I really wanted from my career (to write and to grow as a person and artist), and I remember the kid writer I used to be.

·       Disillusionment with the publishing industry.

·       Seeing younger writers having earlier and greater success than they did.

·       Their career didn’t reach the heights they’d hoped for.

·       Fearing their best days artistically are behind them.

·       Feeling forgotten.

·       They’re tired.

How NOT to Quit

If you’re truly determined to quit writing, no one can stop you. And as I said at the outset of this long entry, it’s okay if you do want to quit. But if you’d like to keep going, here’s some advice from someone who’s considered quitting more than once in his forty-year career.

·       Don’t let others define your writing career. Don’t accept anyone’s paradigm for what a writing life should be but your own. You don’t have to make a living at it, you don’t have to be an award-winner, you don’t have to have a zillion followers on social media, you don’t have to write in a certain genre, etc. If you try to follow a path someone else has laid out for you, you’ll be miserable and eventually feel like a failure. Create and follow your own path, and you’ll be more likely to go the distance as a writer.

·       Understand why you write. Figuring out what you want most out of your writing will help you achieve it (or at least work toward it). If you’re fulfilling your artistic and personal needs, you’re less likely to quit.

·       Allow the act of writing to be fulfilling in and of itself. I’ve mentioned this several times already, but it’s worth mentioning one last time.

·       Accept you’re going to feel negatively about your career from time to time. Don’t give these feelings more power. Whenever I start to (figuratively) hear voices telling me I’m a lousy writer, I’m a failure, I’ll never be as good as I want to be, I remind myself that those voices lie. They’re just my doubts and fears speaking, but what they’re telling me isn’t true. I’m more successful at this some days than others, but it helps a lot overall.

·       Accept that your career can never live up to the heights of your imagination, and that’s okay. Our imaginations have no limits, but real life does. I’d love to be ten times successful than Stephen King (or even his rip-off doppelganger on Amazon, Stephen R. King), but that’s not realistic. Shit, it’s not even within the realm of possibility. It’s okay to imagine more from your career, to want more and strive for more. But don’t think you’re a failure for only achieving what you can in the time you have in this world.

·       Avoid burnout: Rest when you need to. Have interests aside from writing. I suck at this. I love writing and teaching writing, I love reading, and I love movies. Primarily Horror, but I love SF/F and mysteries, and superheroes, and interesting documentaries and nonfiction series (not reality shows, though) as well. I’ve never understood hobbies. I long ago figured out what I liked and I’ve devoted my entire life to it. I haven’t experienced burnout yet, so hopefully I’ll keep going like this until I die. But I think it’s probably healthier to take rests and have a life outside of writing. I guess this is a “Do as I say, not as I do” piece of advice.

·       Connect with a writing community. Having friends who understand you, support you, and commiserate with you in ways non-writers will never be able to is huge. It’s a vital survival tool for writers, whether your community is in your town or online. Sadness and depression thrive on loneliness. Let your writing brothers and sisters be there for you when you need it, and you be there for them.

·       Try new things. Try a new genre or a different craft technique (like writing an epistolary story or a story in second person). Write a poem or essay. Try ghostwriting. Try anything and everything when you start to feel like quitting. Either you’ll return to your work refreshed and ready to go, or you may find a new kind of writing that you want to focus on for a while. Either way, you’re less likely to stop writing altogether.

·       Try to enjoy what your career is instead of obsessing on what it isn’t. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t continue trying to advance your career and further your learning as an artist. But if you’re always focused on tomorrow, you’ll miss the joys of today. And those joys are what feed us and keep us going.

·       Give back. Volunteer for a writing organization you belong to. Teach a writing class or workshop at a conference, your local library, or a rec center. Mentor new writers. Giving back helps us find deeper meaning and satisfaction in our careers, especially as we get older.

·       Focus on living a creative life. When I was eighteen or nineteen, I asked myself what my true goal was as a writer, and I realized that what I wanted more than anything was to live a creative life. And this is my ultimate weapon whenever I feel down about my writing career and think I should probably hang it up. I wanted to live a creative life, and that’s exactly what I have done for over four decades. I’ve succeeded at that, and I continue to succeed every day. So what if I get a rejection, don’t win award, don’t make a best-of list, get few reviews, no reviews, or bad reviews? I’ve already succeeded. And you can, too.

And if all else fails . . .

Just Keep Writing

·       Even when you don’t feel like it, even if it’s like pulling teeth, even if you think what you’re producing is garbage.

·       So many problems writers face can be dealt with, one way or another, by simply engaging in the act of writing.

·       If you want to have a long career as a writer, and keep from quitting when the going gets hard, focusing on producing writing is the best way to ensure you stay the course.

So whether you’ve quit writing and are contemplating returning to it, you’re thinking about quitting, or if you’re concerned that some day you might suffer burnout or disillusionment and finally throw in the towel, hopefully, I’ve given you some ideas to – as Dory says in Finding Nemo – “Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming.”\

That little fish is a lot smarter than she seems.



Old Monsters Never Die

Like horror? Like short stories? I got what you need!

My eighth fiction collection – Old Monsters Never Die – came out May 28 from Winding Road Stories.

From the mind of four-time Bram Stoker Award winner Tim Waggoner comes 18 provocative tales of terror that explore the darkest corners of the human mind. This comprehensive collection concludes with an unforgettable metafictional story on what it takes to be a horror writer. With this carefully curated selection of short stories. discover why no matter how much we try, in our deepest subconscious, Old Monsters Never Die.

Available in paperback and eBook editions.

Amazon Paperback:


B&N Paperback:


The Atrocity Engine


The Atrocity Engine, first in a series of horror/urban fantasy novels for Aethon Books called The Custodians of the Cosmos, has been getting great reviews!. The second novel, Book of Madness, releases July 30th, and the concluding volume, The Desolation War, comes out Oct. 30th.


The Maintenance novels take place in the mythos I’ve been developing since my novel The Harmony Society came out in 2003. If you want to learn more about my mythos, you can check out this previous blog entry:


(Don’t worry, though. You can read the Maintenance novels without having read any of my other work.)


Men in Black meets Hellraiser in this rollicking mash-up of urban fantasy and cosmic horror from four-time Bram Stoker Award-Winning author Tim Waggoner.


Creatures from dark dimensions infesting your home? Demonic beings trying to drive you insane? Alien gods attempting to destroy your universe?


Just call Maintenance.


This underpaid and overworked secret organization is dedicated to battling forces that seek to speed up Entropy and hasten the Omniverse’s inevitable death.


Neal Hudson is a twenty-year veteran of Maintenance. A surveyor who drives through the streets of Ash Creek, Ohio constantly scanning for the deadly energy known as Corruption. Since the death of his previous partner, Neal prefers to work alone, and he’s not happy when he’s assigned to mentor a rookie.


But they better learn to get along fast.


The Multitude, a group of godlike beings who seek to increase Entropy at every opportunity, are creating an Atrocity Engine. This foul magical device can destroy the Earth, and they don’t care how many innocent lives it takes to build it. (Spoiler alert: It’s a lot!)


Just another day on the job. . .

“Waggoner offers a fresh variation on the trope of a covert agency combating evil in his blood-drenched Custodians of the Cosmos series opener.” – Publishers Weekly

“This gripping dark fantasy boasts an indelible cast and an unwavering pace.” – Kirkus Reviews

"THE ATROCITY ENGINE is a wild ride full of entertaining scenarios and scary monsters!" – Booklist

“THE ATROCITY ENGINE is a kick-ass cross-genre thrill ride of a novel! Holy moly! Tim Waggoner is easily one of today’s best horror writers.” – Jonathan Maberry, NY Times bestselling author of CAVE 13 and NECROTEK

"This is edge-of-your-seat Horror Fantasy. It's as if Stephen King wrote MEN IN BLACK!" —Scott Sigler, #1 NYT Bestselling author of EARTHCORE

“Fast-paced, cleverly thought-through, and deeply unnerving in all the right places—urban horror fantasy with a decidedly creepy difference. Don't read it in the dark!” – Diane Duane, New York Times bestselling author of TALES OF THE FIVE: THE LIBRARIAN

Amazon Hardcover:


Amazon Paperback:




Audible Audiobook:


B&N Hardcover:


Lord of the Feast


My most recent horror/dark fantasy novel for Flame Tree Press came out in April.


Twenty years ago, the Shardlow family attempted to create their own dark god – and they failed. Now they’re ready to try again . . .


Check out this cool review video the good people at Flame Tree Press made for Lord of the Feast!


Lord of the Feast is an entertaining mix of bloody horror and honest emotion and a welcome return to the surreal, gruesome horror hijinks that Waggoner’s longtime fans know and love.” – Considering Stories


Lord of the Feast is sure to take the reader down a dark rabbit hole into a twisted wonderland filled with characters from the darkest of nightmares and fans of dark fiction are sure to love it.” – A Reviewer Darkly


Flame Tree Press Paperback and eBook:


Amazon Paperback:




Barnes & Noble Paperback:


Barnes & Noble eBook:


Audiobook Sale


Audible versions of some of my books are on sale at Amazon until 9/16/24! You can find them here:


The books include: The Way of All Flesh, Eat the Night, The Last Mile, Love, Madness, and Death (a novella collection), The Winter Box (Bram Stoker Award-winner), The Men Upstairs, (Shirley Jackson Award finalist), A Kiss of Thorns (Bram Stoker Award finalist), and Dead Detectives Society (I have a new Nekropolis story in this anthology).


Eat the Night features the first appearance of Maintenance, the entropy-battling agency in The Atrocity Engine.


Teeth of the Sea eBook Sale


The Kindle version of my creature-feature novel Teeth of the Sea is currently on sale for 99 cents! I have no idea how long the sale will last, so snag a copy before the price goes back up.


They glide through dark waters, sleek and silent as death itself. Ancient predators with only two desires – to feed and reproduce. They’ve traveled to the resort island of Las Dagas to do both, and the guests make tempting meals. The humans are on land, though, out of reach. But the resort’s main feature is an intricate canal system . . .


. . . and it’s starting to rain.




In Your Write Mind. June 27th to June 30th. Greensburg, Pennsylvania.


IGW Genre Con. August 17th and August 18th. Huntington, West Virginia.


Authorcon V. March 28th to March 30th. Williamsburg, Virginia.


StokerCon. June 12th to June 15th. Stamford, Connecticut. I’m one of the Guests of Honor!





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