News roundup

51DrIim07hL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_The Curiosity Killers was released on May 5, and broke Amazon’s top 100 in the Steampunk category. Many thanks to those who pre-ordered! If you haven’t gotten your copy yet, it’s now also available not only in paperback but in ebook format. You can find it from the publisher or at your favorite online book retailer. You can also purchase a copy at Blue Jacket Books on May 28th, when I’ll be signing copies and reading excerpts alongside my fellow Dog Star Books authors Matt Betts and J.L. Gribble.

indexSpeaking of other fellow DSB authors, Heidi Ruby Miller has some news about The Curiosity Killers on her blog, and she’ll be appearing at Copyleft Gallery in Pittsburgh tomorrow, along with six other fabulous authors and an editor from Parsec Ink Books. If you’re in that area, you should absolutely attend! Miller’s novel Starrie was released in March.

From now until May 26, you can enter to win a Goodreads Giveaway for The Curiosity Killers, and even if you’ve already secured your own copy, you should still enter! This book makes a great gift, after all! Just hit “Enter Giveaway” from the Goodreads page.

wraiths51Rj58GG+lL._SX341_BO1,204,203,200_Finally, some big news for Raw Dog Screaming Press: S. Craig Zahler’s Wraiths of the Broken Land will be adapted for film, helmed by Ridley Scott and Drew Goddard, the team behind The Martian. Zahler is also the co-author of the Dog Star title Corpus Chrome and several other titles. I feel very honored to have The Curiosity Killers in the same company as such shiny, successful works! Wraiths of the Broken Land has subsequently zoomed up to the top of the Kindle charts as a result! Way to go!

1 Comment

Filed under blog, books, Dog Star Books, horror, literature, movies, news, pop culture, publications, Raw Dog Screaming Press, readings and signings, science fiction, steampunk, the curiosity killers

Upcoming multi-author book signing!

Dog Star Books authors Matt Betts, J.L. Gribble, and I will be reading and signing our latest releases at Blue Jacket Books in Xenia, Ohio on May 28th, 1-4 pm. This event is free and open to the public.


Underwater Fistfight, by Matt Betts; Steel Victory, by J.L. Gribble; and The Curiosity Killers, by K.W. Taylor

Dog Star Books is the science fiction adventure imprint of Raw Dog Screaming Press, and publishes smart, fun, evocative, and dynamic new voices in SF.


Left to Right: Authors Matt Betts, J.L. Gribble, and K.W. Taylor

Matt Betts is the author of the steampunk novel Odd Men Out, the dark urban fantasy Indelible Ink, and the brand new collection of subversive poetry, Underwater Fistfight.

J.L. Gribble made her debut with Dog Star with 2015’s urban fantasy Steel Victory. She will have advance copies of the second volume in this epic alternate history world, Steel Magic, available at Blue Jacket.

I’m appearing on the heels of the May 6th release of my steampunk time travel novel The Curiosity Killers, a work set partially in Dayton and featuring appearances by the Wright Brothers.

Blue Jacket Books in Xenia, Ohio, is the premiere Miami Valley retailer for a carefully selected inventory of used, rare, and out-of print books on a variety of subjects, with a new café space and frequent events. For updates and more information, see our Facebook event page, share it, and express interest or RSVP your attendance!





Filed under books, coming soon, Dog Star Books, fantasy fiction, literature, poetry, publications, Raw Dog Screaming Press, readings and signings, science fiction, steampunk, the curiosity killers

The Curiosity Killers Now Available for Pre-Order!

My first science fiction novel, The Curiosity Killers, can now be pre-ordered. Release date is May 5, just 15 days away! I could not be more excited about my debut piece with Dog Star Books, who have been absolutely fabulous to work with.

Writing a time travel novel is no easy feat, and I tackled a lot in this book, but I think there’s really something here for everyone on the SF fan spectrum. What do SF fans like? To lump it all in as one amorphous genre is impossible, of course, but here are some fun trends I’ve seen in popular fiction and media lately that I managed to hit upon, though this is admittedly a bit tongue in cheek.

– Dudes in velvet: CHECK.

The Curiosity Killers is something I’m calling “dystopian steampunk,” stemming from a quasi-Victorian future with limited technology. Other parts are set in 1888 and 1910, so there is certainly more of legitimately Victorian/Edwardian vibe. And dudes in, yes, velvet. And bowler hats. And tweed. And ladies in long skirts. It’s all very fetching fashion, believe me.

– Time travel to stop Jack the Ripper: CHECK.

This is a bit of a trope. If it’s not saving JFK, it’s stopping or figuring out who Jack the Ripper is, right? But in The Curiosity Killers, I’ve taken this to a bit of a different place, and integrated several other famous unsolved murders into the mix.

– The threat of paradoxes: CHECK.

Some of the best time travel novels seem to ignore the concept of paradox problems, whereas I had a beta reader whose sole job was to find paradox problems for me and help me avoid them. Did I succeed? I hope so, and boy was it tough! There’s no Marty McFly getting erased from existence moments here!

– Weird X-Files creatures: CHECK.

Do you like cryptids? Do you wonder what lurks out in the darkness late at night? Do men in black and the thought that maybe–just maybe–the Mothman was an alien tickle at your subconscious? You will be delighted with a subplot that manages to link these mysterious creatures with one of the most famous mass disappearances in American history.

– Tough as cookies heroines: CHECK.

This book features several amazing women, from the Wright Brothers’ sister Katharine to FBI agent Violet Lessep and time travel agency assistants Kris Moto and Alison Keller, ladies hold their own in this novel, and perform admirably.

What else are you looking for in a SF novel? Comment away, and I’ll tell you why The Curiosity Killers is sure to fit your reading needs.

Leave a comment

Filed under blog, books, coming soon, Dog Star Books, publications, Raw Dog Screaming Press, science fiction, steampunk, the curiosity killers, time travel

Always. Be. Submitting.

Just a quick thing today: I’ve given this advice before, but I think it bears repeating. Writing with an eye toward publication means rejection. If a piece gets rejected but the editors or agents gave no notes, unless you yourself really think there’s something needing some tinkering, get that back out on the submission rounds ASAP. Ideally, when you were choosing where to submit to, you picked out more than one market in the first place, so on to the next one. If that file isn’t getting emailed to another editor within the hour, you are going to languish in the morass of “woe is me”-isms and not make any progress.

New writers, seriously. Perseverance is what separates someone with a big publication record from someone without one. Rejection is not about you as a human, you as a cool person, you as a smart person, or you as anything other than the writer of the words on that page. It does not speak to your overall value and may indeed have way more to do with the fit between your piece and that market. Yes, if a piece gets notes back or keeps getting rejected, maybe it’s time to rework it (note I did not say “delete” or “retire” it; a lot of work can be salvaged more than you think). But if you get one “no,” that in no way means the next response won’t be a “yes.” Chill out and re-send it.


Filed under blog, writing advice

The Curiosity Killers cover is here!

Head over to SF Signal to see Brad Sharp’s absolutely stunning cover for The Curiosity Killers! I’m honored and delighted and couldn’t be happier with this gorgeous depiction of all the crazy elements blending together. The Curiosity Killers is my first science fiction novel and will be out this spring from Dog Star Books. I’ll be at ConCoction in Cleveland in March to discuss it!

Leave a comment

Filed under books, coming soon, Dog Star Books, Raw Dog Screaming Press, science fiction, steampunk, the curiosity killers

Two New Works in Progress

I’m hard at work these days on The Girl with Mechanical Wings, the second book in the Jonson’s Exotic Travel series that kicks off this spring with the release of The Curiosity Killers (Dog Star Books). But for 2016, I have a goal of completing at the very least two other works in progress:

  • The Lugubrious Unknown is a collection of surreal, speculative poetry; and
  • The Kite Bird is my first foray into high fantasy, with crossover appeal in paranormal romance and new adult fiction as well.

Both titles are subject to change. The poetry collection’s first draft is complete and in the editing stage right now, and The Kite Bird is fully outlined and about 20% done in the writing stage. Meanwhile, The Girl with Mechanical Wings is chugging along and should have its first draft done before summer.

All of these works technically represent departures for me, experiments with new forms and genres. Even The Girl with Mechanical Wings is a little different, as it plays with dieselpunk and a different main protagonist than The Curiosity Killers. I look forward to seeing how productive I can be this year. So far, this first month of 2016 has somehow reinvigorated a prolific, energized creative spirit in me.

Leave a comment

Filed under blog, books, coming soon, news, poetry, science fiction, the curiosity killers

A Tribute to David Bowie: “Alter Ego,” a short story

I wrote this story, “Alter Ego,” many years ago as an experiment to try to integrate the narratives of several iconic characters David Bowie either created or portrayed. Bowie meant so much to me as a musician, actor, and artist, and the news of his passing today is deeply saddening. This story was first published in my 2012 limited edition chapbook, Ages and Aliens, and now appears in my collection Grinning Cracks, along with another story semi-inspired by Bowie called “Encounter.”

“Alter Ego” blends some backstory of Walter Tevis’ The Man Who Fell to Earth, the film version of which marked Bowie’s leading film role debut in 1976 and is my attempt to combine in with the Major Tom character that winds his way through several Bowie songs (“Space Oddity,” “Ashes to Ashes,” “Hallo Spaceboy,” and, I think, “Blackstar,” as well as other artists songs like Peter Schilling’s “Major Tom” and, arguably, Elton John’s “Rocket Man”). I also wanted to provide a hint of reference to Labyrinth, perhaps the favorite Bowie role and soundtrack for folks of my generation, as well as some hints of Ziggy Stardust and Bowie’s own life. Enjoy.


WITH MY HAND ON THE LEVER, I take one last gulp of precious air before flinging the panel up. The rushing, hissing sound fills my ears, and then just as I open my eyes wider to take in the beauty of the stars, I feel pulled, pushed, sucked, and beaten all at once. Full, inky blackness saturates my field of vision, and I lose consciousness.

When it finally dawned on me what to do, I was calm. Not the pre-occupied, lethargic calmness that I used to fake, but actual happiness. This time I had a plan, and it worked perfectly.
The hardest part was pretending with Jennifer. She was the only one who ever filtered through my haze, even a little bit. I had to actually lie to her, which I’d never done before. “When will you be back?” she asked before I boarded.
“In eight days.”
She waved. I smiled. Eight days from now, I thought, will be the worst day of her life. But because my pain was greater than my love for her, I went ahead.
Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under science fiction, short stories, tribute