Manuscripts Burn


"Manuscripts don't burn"
- Mikhail Bulgakov

Hi, I'm horror and science fiction author Steve Kozeniewski (pronounced: "causin' ooze key.") Welcome to my blog! You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon. You can e-mail me here, join my mailing list here, or request an e-autograph here. Free on this site you can listen to me recite one of my own short works, "The Thing Under the Bed."

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Farpoint or Bust!

Hey, everybody!  Starting Friday the blog is going all Women in Horror Month, all the time for February, so I'm going to slip this announcement a skosh early.  The weekend after next (February 8-10) I'm going to be appearing at Farpoint in Baltimore, MD.  The address is:

Delta Hotel by Marriott
245 Shawan Road
Hunt Valley, MD 21031

Celebrity guests include Wallace Shawn as well as the real-life duo of Pinky and the Brain, Maurice LaMarche and Rob Paulsen.  So if you'll be in the area, swing by!  I won't have a table, but there will be several opportunities to get my autograph if you're into that sort of thing.

I'll be making the following appearances:

Friday 4:00 pm - Salon C - "Indie Publishing 101"

So you've decided to strike out on your own and self-publish your book. What now? This panel will offer tips on how to successfully self-publish your novel... and how to avoid the pitfalls and scams.

Friday 6:00 pm – Salon C - "Magrathea: Building Worlds In Fiction"

From exoplanets to artificial worlds, our panel of scientists take you through what we know to help you build fictional worlds.  Are you working with double moons?  Ice planets?  Life on an asteroid?  How does this affect the kind of life that would evolve there?  Put the best science in your fiction.

Friday 10:00 pm – Hunt Valley Hallway - "Farpoint Book Fair"

Saturday 10:00 am – Salon E – Reading (with Don Sakers and Phil Giunta)

Saturday 12:00 pm – Autograph Table 2 - Autograph signing (with J.L. Gribble)

Saturday 2:00 pm – Salon D - "Storytelling With New Technology"

A discussion of how to use podcasting and other new media to tell your stories.

Saturday 3:00 pm – Salon C – "Publishing In 2019 And Beyond" (M)

The publishing landscape has changed drastically in the last five to ten years.  Our panelists will talk about your options for getting published in 2019 (and beyond), as well as how to navigate the strange new world of being a contemporary writer.

Saturday 5:00 pm – Salon C – "Military Fact v. Fiction" (M)

We've all seen what life is like serving in fictional militaries like Starfleet, the Rebel Alliance, or the Colonial Forces.  Our panel of veterans and authors will discuss how that compares to serving in today's military.

Sunday 10:00 am – Salon D – "Using Social Media Effectively" (M)

Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and the like can seem daunting to the uninitiated.  But, if you want to be an author (or any kind of business person, really) ignoring social media is like leaving fans (and money) on the table.  Our panelists will discuss tips, tricks, and best practices for getting the most out of your internet platform.

Sunday 11:00 am – Salon E – Reading (with Michael Critzer and Keith R.A. DeCandido)

Sunday 12:00 pm – Salon C – "Writing Genre Mash-Ups"

Dystopian fantasy. Sci-fi horror. Steampunk epic. Not all stories fit neatly into one genre or another. On this panel, we'll talk about some of our favorite genre mash-ups, and how to approach them as writers.

Sunday 2:00 pm – Autograph Table 1 – Autograph signing (with T. Eric Bakutis)

Monday, January 28, 2019

Women in Horror Month 2019 (and Retrospective)

Hey everybody!  February is right around the corner.  And you know what that means...

I'm delighted to announce for the fourth year in a row I'll be hosting a Women in Horror Month interview series here on Manuscripts Burn.  Now, the last two years I posted apologias outlining why I believe in WiHM and why I participate in it every year.  I'd just be repeating myself if I did that again, so you can review those here and here if you have any doubts or qualms about the celebration.

In the meantime, I thought it might be nice to collect links to all of my previous interviews all in one place.  Feel free to catch up before the new entries start this Friday, February 1.  Hope to see you then!


Ursula K. Raphael
A. Giacomi
Lily Luchesi
Sharon Stevenson
Samantha Kolesnik
E.M. MacCallum
J. Rudolph
Rachel Aukes
The Sisters of Slaughter
Rhiannon Frater
Chantal Noordeloos
Trista M. Borgwardt
Tonia Brown
J.L. Murray
Rebecca Snow
C.A. Hoaks
Vanessa Ionta Wright
Stevie Kopas
Renee Pickup
Erin Sweet al-Mehairi


S.C. Parris
Kayleigh Marie Edwards
Somer Canon
C.V. Hunt
Jaime Johnesee
Crystal Connor
Mary SanGiovanni
Amber Fallon
Nikki Howard
Kindra Sowder
Lesley Conner
Rose O'Keefe


Lisa Morton

Friday, January 25, 2019

You Don't Know What You've Got 'Til It's Gone

I've been a federal employee - a civil servant, people used to say - for fifteen years.  I joined the army in 2004 and served for a bout four and a half years.  After a brief and miserable stint in the private sector working for a dental insurance company for less than a year, I returned to the army to work as a civilian.  Since then I've worked for the army and the navy as a medical clerk, a secretary at a substance abuse clinic, and in a variety of financial management positions.

In that time I've served under three very different presidents.  The landscape of politics has changed immeasurably.  One thing which hasn't really changed much is a certain level of disdain, sometimes veering into hostility, toward federal workers.  In the best of times people would complain about how I had a pension, cheap healthcare, thirty vacation days a year, and eleven federal holidays off, and how nobody in the private sector was getting anything like that anymore.  My response to that was typically "Why don't you unionize, then?" or, if I'm being more accurate, "Why did you let conservatives chip away at organized labor and its protections for the last forty years if you wanted those things for yourselves?"  But that's a subject for a whole other blogpost.

The lowest ebb of my admittedly short tenure was when Sarah Palin declared that the federal government had never created a single solitary job.  For years that became a common refrain in conservative circles.

It was bullshit at the time, and it made me roll my eyes.  With a workforce of two million, the federal government is the largest single employer in the United States.  That's not counting contractors, of course, who constitute about four million employees.  If you throw in half a million postal workers, one-and-a-half million active duty military members, and another one-and-a-half million grant employees, the total is nearly ten million.

The labor force in America is about 162 million, which means that Uncle Sam is directly cutting a check to an eye-blistering 6% of the population.  And that's not even getting into the ancillary businesses - restaurants outside of a government building, or dry cleaners which wouldn't exist except for the military base in town, etc.  At that point the numbers get kind of cutesy, so I'm just going to leave that alone, except to point out that, yeah, with 6% of the population not getting a paycheck, a significant portion of the other 94% is going to feel the pain.

Of course, we're not in that kind of a doomsday scenario now.  A scant quarter of the government is shut down, and with it, nearly 800,000 federal workers - disregarding, of course, all of the collateral contractors, etc.

And now I'm watching - not without a certain amount of perverse glee, I'll be the first to admit - as the people who shat all over what I do for a decade and a half are are coming face-to-face with the reality that we're not all leeches.  That we do, in fact, serve a purpose.  And that the federal government, Governor Palin, does in fact create jobs.  Nearly 6% of them, and that's if we're being extremely modest.

I'm also watching with some glee to learn that my fellow civil servants are turning to some tried-and-true old organized labor methods to express their displeasure.  Many TSA agents are calling out sick.  Other departments are finding their unpaid workforce decimated by requests for hardship leave.  I wonder to what extent slowdowns and work-to-rules and other job actions are also taking place now.

It's very easy for Republicans to shrug and say, "Ah, well, nobody would miss the government anyway."  Now that we're actually seeing it, for, realistically speaking the first time ever, I'm delighted.  Not by the hardship and suffering of my fellow civil servants, that is a terrible outcome.  I'm delighted that everyone who's ever complained about how the government doesn't do anything, and how we're all useless is being forced to eat their words.  In a few weeks when Joe Six-Pack doesn't get his tax refund, it's going to be anarchy on the streets.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

The Quintessential "Welcome to Daisyland" Post

I'm delighted to introduce you all to the first film I've been involved with: "Welcome to Daisyland."  Specifically, I wrote episode 2, "The Voice."


Here's where you can find out more about "Welcome to Daisyland" around the internet:

The official website
A release announcement on Bloody Disgusting
The Dead Daisies page
A release announcement on Dread Central
A trailer share on Scream
A launch page on FilmStarts 
A release announcement on Mitch Schneider Organization
A trailer share on Film Ink
A page on United Horror Fans BBS
A release announcement on
A trailer share on Piercing Metal
A page on Mubi
A release announcement on Scenester
A trailer share on Rama's Screen
A page on Reddit
A release announcement on
A trailer share on We Viral News
A trailer share on Crypt Teaze
A release announcement on MUEN Magazine
A trailer share on CinePop
A release announcement on Time for Metal
A trailer share on A Southern Life in Scandalous Times
A release announcement on Horror Buzz
A write-up on Horror Hazard
A release announcement on The Green Room Magazine
A mention on Seth's Rock Report
A release announcement on Long Live the Void
A release announcement on Deadline
A release announcement on Street Clip
A release announcement on The Geekiary
The first episode on Bloody Disgusting
The Screambox pickup on The Rock Pit
The Screambox pickup on Zeitung Heute
The Screambox pickup on PR Newswire
The Screambox pickup on Mitch Schneider Organization
The Screambox pickup on News Locker
The Screambox pickup on Horror Society
The Screambox pickup on PopHorror
The Screambox pickup on Amnplify

Monday, January 21, 2019

Google Search: I Dreamt About (redirect)

Hey, everybody!  Over on my group blog Across the Board I wrote a little bit about people's dreams.  Rather than just copy it here, I thought I'd leave one of my periodic reminders to go check out the group site.  It's got a lot more contributors than just me, and that diversity of thought is fun to look over. 

Check it out!

Friday, January 18, 2019

The Top Ten Manuscripts Burn Posts of 2018

Hey, everybody!  As the new year gears up, let's take a look back at what's gone before.  Based solely on number of views as of January 1, here are the top ten most popular posts of 2018 on ye olde blogge:

10.  For Today's Blob Post...

9.  The Quintessential Silverwood: The Door Post

8.  Women in Horror Month #9: Claire C. Riley, Author of ODIUM

7.  Making the Sausage: Bookkeeping

6.  The Long, Hard Reach for that Brass Ring

5.  Women in Horror Month #1: Suzanne Madron, Author of FOR SALE OR RENT

4.  The Quintessential WHISPERS OF THE APOC Post

3.  2018 Appearances

2.  Call to Action - Please Donate to the Brian Keene Burn Fund

1.  Mascara and a Rifle: Women in the Military (Guest Post by Dacia M. Arnold)

So, what can we learn from this information?  What are the most interesting posts that people want to see?  Based on the evidence, I think the conclusion is clear: no fucking idea.  What the hell do you people want?  You're all over the fucking place here.  Get it together.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

2019 Appearances

Hey all!

Here is my schedule of appearances for 2019.  As changes occur, I will update this page, so be sure to check back often.  Events in red have occurred in the past.

If you'd like me to make an appearance at a convention, signing, or other event you're organizing or attending, feel free to contact me and we'll discuss it. Most events in Baltimore or Philadelphia are a slam dunk for me to attend, but I'll consider travelling if invited.

Farpoint 26
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday February 8-10

Delta Hotel by Marriott
245 Shawan Road
Hunt Valley, MD 21031
Friday 4:00 pm - Salon C - "Indie Publishing 101"
Friday 6:00 pm – Salon C - "Magrathea: Building Worlds In Fiction"
Friday 10:00 pm – Hunt Valley Hallway - "Farpoint Book Fair"
Saturday 10:00 am – Salon E – Reading (with Don Sakers and Phil Giunta)
Saturday 12:00 pm – Autograph Table 2 - Autograph signing (with J.L. Gribble)
Saturday 2:00 pm – Salon D - "Storytelling With New Technology"
Saturday 3:00 pm – Salon C – "Publishing In 2019 And Beyond" (M)
Saturday 5:00 pm – Salon C – "Military Fact v. Fiction" (M)
Sunday 10:00 am – Salon D – "Using Social Media Effectively" (M)
Sunday 11:00 am – Salon E – Reading (with Michael Critzer and Keith R.A. DeCandido)
Sunday 12:00 pm – Salon C – "Writing Genre Mash-Ups"
Sunday 2:00 pm – Autograph Table 1 – Autograph signing (with T. Eric Bakutis)

White Rose Comic Con I
 Friday, Saturday, and Sunday March 22-24

York Fairgrounds
334 Carlisle Ave
York, PA 17404
Panels:   TBD

Scares That Care Charity Weekend VI
Dates: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday August 2-4
Location:Double Tree by Hilton
50 Kingsmill Road
Williamsburg, Virginia, 23185.
Thursday 10:00 pm - Room A/B - Horror Trivia with Brian Keene and Mike Lombardo
Saturday 1:00 pm – Reading Room – Q&A with Jonathan Maberry (M)
Sunday 1:00 pm – Reading Room – Reading (with Jeff Strand)

KillerCon II
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday August 16-18

Wingate by Wyndham Conference Center
1209 N Interstate 35 Frontage Rd
Round Rock, TX 78664
Friday 11:00 am - "Don't Be That Asshole" with Kelli Owen, Jeff Strand, Dave Barnett, Rose O'Keefe (M)
Saturday 9:30 pm - Gross-Out Contest

Harrisburg Comic & Pop Con
Dates:  Saturday and Sunday September 21-22
Harrisburg Mall
3501 Paxton St.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17111
Panels:  TBD

Signing at 2nd and Charles
Saturday, October 26
2nd and Charles in the Harrisburg Mall
3501 Paxton St.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17111
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