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."

Friday, December 20, 2013

Duck hunting: incompatible with a Biblical lifestyle

I will allow you, my beloved readers, to draw your own conclusions:

"Of all the creatures living in the water of the seas and the streams you may eat any that have fins and scales. But all creatures in the seas or streams that do not have fins and scales—whether among all the swarming things or among all the other living creatures in the water—you are to regard as unclean. And since you are to regard them as unclean, you must not eat their meat; you must regard their carcasses as unclean. Anything living in the water that does not have fins and scales is to be regarded as unclean by you." - Leviticus 11:9-12

Sunday, December 15, 2013


So, earlier this year I met one of my favorite writers, winner of the Bram Stoker Award and author of THE RISING, Brian Keene.  I wrote a guest blog about it on Fang-tastic Books, so you can read the whole tale there, but long story short I gave Keene a signed copy of BRAINEATER JONES and he promised to read it.

I won't lie: I assumed it was an empty promise.  I mean, this is a big-time horror author.  I imagine people walk up to Sir Mix-a-Lot all the time trying to hand him copies of their demo tapes, too.  (I apologize if that reference is dated.  My knowledge of popular music ends in 1992.)  I just appreciated that Keene said he'd read it to placate me, much like I assume those randos who get a "Yeah, definitely!" from Mix don't keep watching as he tosses their tape into the next public phone booth.

Kind of got off topic there for a second.  Anyway, I went on Goodreads today and saw that Keene had, in fact, rated BRAINEATER JONES with 4 stars!  A solid review from anyone, but coming from a horror legend (and the guy who inspired me to start writing zombfic), you know, it means more.

So for a couple hours today I was elated.  Then I saw Keene's website and I realized there was a reason why he had waited until today to rate BJ, when presumably he had finished it a few months ago.


Let me repeat that in somewhat clipped English just so that it sinks in:

Brian Keene...BRAINEATER JONES...#12 in the universe this year?

If it's tl for you to not dr, then just read #7 where I am mentioned, and then skip down to #12 where I FUCKING BEAT STEPHEN KING'S DOCTOR SLEEP.  What's that all about?  I mean, I heard it was disappointing,  Just, wow. 

Anyway, as Keene noted in his intro, he read 151 books this year, and he knows most of the people in the horror publishing it's not like this is just fuckin' around talk here.  Anyway, I'm floating on cloud 9.  If I was ever waiting for street cred, I think this pretty much cements it.  Thanks for all your support, everybody!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Top 3 Reasons I Love Zombies! (Guest Post by Melissa MacVicar, author of EVER NEAR)

Well, burnmaniacs (?) unless you've been living in a hole for the past six weeks, you know that I've been engaged in an epic review rumble with the dastardly Melissa MacVicar, author of the amazing YA paranormal romance EVER NEAR.

Of course, unless you've also had your head up that hole you were living in, you know that this was a good-natured, low stakes wager between two friends.  Our main goal was to attempt to drive Amazon reviews for our respective books in a fun and honest way.  Our secondary goal was to point out to our friends and fans how important Amazon reviews are to fledgling authors, so I recommend that even though the Review Rumble proper is over, you still go buy and review both my and Melissa's books.  (20 words, that's all it takes!)

And now for the long-awaited results of the Upset on the Internet:

THE GOOD NEWS:  We both passed the magical double-digit mark in Amazon reviews over the course of this competition, meaning that whole new vistas of advertising are open to us!

THE BAD NEWS:  In every wager, even a friendly one, someone must lose.  And I am in no sense sorry to report:


And as per our agreement, I will now turn the blog over to Melissa to tell you:

Why Zombies are Amazing! (also known as what you have to write when you lose a bet)

1. Zombies are brainless…and they aren’t sorry about it!

Some people who are in fact brainless think they have a brain. They think they are smart and funny and cool, (think Kayne West and Honey Boo Boo’s mom ) when really they are just stupid as heck! But zombies savor their brainlessness. They are stupid and damn proud of it. How many humans do you know who can say that?

2. Zombies aren’t hung up on looks.

Unlike everyone else in the world, zombies don’t care about appearances. You won’t find a "Sexiest Zombie Alive" issue from People magazine (despite the fact they are in fact sexy as heck.) Instead, zombies are satisfied with their flaky skin, horrid teeth, and blacked-out eyes. Zombies are the kings and queens of self-acceptance from whom we may all learn a bit about our own personal issues with self-love.

3. Zombies know what they want.

Unlike many of us, zombies have a singular purpose. They don’t have to worry about multi-tasking, juggling family and work time, or fitting in some cardio. No no no. Zombies just want to find human prey. They just need to hone in on the right, unsuspecting human on which to feed. Day after day after day. Their one-track minds are enviable. I’m sure you would agree.

So that, my friends, is why zombie literature (yes, I said "literature") is more amazing than any other genre known to man (or zombie).  Better than any obscure Irish lyricist. Better than hermit-like female poets from Massachusetts. And even better than BDSM writers from London who make millions off Twilight Fan Fiction. Yes, folks, you heard it here first. Zombies are indeed the best.

About the Author: 

Melissa MacVicar lives with her husband and two children on Nantucket Island. She loves classic rock, watching football, and reading anything romantic and suspenseful. She survived prep school, and was brave enough to attend her college reunion.

When she turned forty, Melissa decided to renew her adolescent passion for fiction writing. Having once thought publishing a novel to be an impossible dream, she’s proud to be achieving her lifelong goal. In addition to writing, she’s a full-time teacher, an avid runner, and a somewhat reluctant tri-athlete.

Summary of EVER NEAR:

Love is ever near. But trouble is never far.

Nantucket Island is haunted, but only sixteen-year-old Jade Irving knows it. Ignoring the disturbing spirits isn’t an option, because one dwells in the enormous historic home she shares with her newly blended family. Jade is finding it more and more difficult to explain away Lacey’s ghostly, anguished tantrums, especially with Charlie, her gorgeous, almost step-brother, living right across the hall.

When a power-hungry ghost hunter tracks down Jade and blackmails her, Jade’s secret teeters on the edge of exposure, and her entire future hangs in the balance. If anyone finds out Jade can talk to ghosts, her life will be forever changed.

Can she save herself, free Lacey, and hang on to her tenuous connection with Charlie? Or will everything she ever wanted slip through her fingers?


Be sure to purchase EVER NEAR at:

Barnes & Noble

And don't forget to review it and tell your friends about it on:

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Allow my to step on my soapbox (aka blog) about NaNo this year...

So, you've probably noticed I haven't been talking much about my NaNo novel this year.  I usually don't, if you've followed this blog, because I'm usually so burnt out by doing it that I don't even want to think about it.  This year I was burnt out by NaNo, yes, but much more so by lumping NaNo in on top of the Hundie Challenge, in on top of publishing two books, in on top of...

Etc. Etc.

Anyway.  Did I win?  Yes. 

I always post my stats so you can get an idea of what my erratic behavior is like in the month of November.  So, here's that:

KINGDOM, of course, is far from complete, and if you've followed me here for some time you may remember the year I wrote ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE KINGDOM for Script Frenzy (RIP) and you'll know that it is an epic.  KINGDOM will be an epic if I ever finish it, and converting it to the steampunkesque milieu I have in mind may be an even more titanic feat, but, I think, will save it from being humdrum and banal.  (And I am nothing if not against being humdrum and banal.)

Anyway, there's another reason I kind of waited to talk about NaNo.  And that's because I've noticed, just this year, apparently, that people are kind of being dickish about it.  Let's be frank: I don't really need to do NaNo, I don't really get a whole lot out of it anymore, I've proven to the world (five times in a row now) that I can buckle down and churn out 50,000 words in a month.  Really the reason I do it anymore is to be part of the writing community and to maintain my street cred.  (Because, yes, if you're an author, everyone will ask you if you're doing NaNo this year.)

Which raises the point of community.  NaNo is supposed to be about cheering on people who aren't really writers or who are still just novices and encouraging them to finish their damn books.  But for some reason (and it may just be me, and I may just have a totally skewed perspective) I feel like this year it has all been about people trying to prove they can outdo each other.  Look at me.  I got to 50,000 and set it aside because I had other shit to do.  But I see half the writers in my social media going on and on about how they've hit a quarter of a million words and ha ha ha and the other half weeping and feeling excluded by the first half.

Let's be real here.  If you're writing these ridiculous amounts you're either cheating or you don't have a day job.  And good for you, I wish I didn't have a day job, either, and could write all day every day.  And if you're cheating, who the fuck are cheating for?  What are you trying to prove?  The people that NaNo is really geared towards are the harried, sad, unconfident people.  Let's try not to wreck up their confidence any worse, shall we?

Anyway, it may just be my burnout talking here or I may just be castigating people needlessly, but I did not enjoy the community this year, so I apologize for not being a good member of it.  But if I'm totally wrong feel free to call me an asshole in the comments.  Back to the Hundie Challenge tomorrow.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Fussy Librarian

So, I don't normally do this but I thought today I'd highlight a website that I think is useful to writers and readers alike.  The Fussy Librarian is a new website that offers personalized ebook recommendations based on your choice of genre (i.e. "zombie horror" or "I'm a lame-o") and preferences (i.e. "graphic zombie sex" or only "implied zombie canoodling.")  And they only accept widely reviewed, well reviewed books.  And they obviously have good taste - BRAINEATER JONES will be featured on Wednesday.  So authors, check it out to get your books out there and readers, check it out so you don't have to wade through all the proverbial book slush out there.

You're welcome.
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