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, July 30, 2014

Goin' to Shore Leave!

In the meatspace announcements category, I'm going to be at the Shore Leave science fiction convention in Baltimore, MD this weekend, selling copies of all three of my novels!  At first it was just going to be BRAINEATER JONES and THE GHOUL ARCHIPELAGO but look what just arrived in the mail today from my incredible publisher, Severed Press:
So, if you want to meet me for a 100% bona fide free autograph (or, more likely, if you want to meet Leonard Nimoy or Richard Dean Anderson) get your buns down to the Hunt Valley Inn for at least one day between August 1 and August 3!

Monday, July 28, 2014


Second Edition Cover
First Edition Cover

BILLY AND THE CLONEASAURUS is now available in paperback:


Here are the purchase links for the ebook as well:

Barnes and Noble
Google Play

The audiobook (narrated by Steve Rimpici) is also available:


Here are the other places you'll find BATC around the web:

A review on Sharon Stevenson's blog
A wrap-up shout-out on Sharon Stevenson's blog
A guest post on Midnyte Reader
A review on Patrick D'Orazio's blog
A boring interview on Wise Words
A review on Readers' Favorite
A review on Literary Litter by Daena
A review on Literary Litter by Shawn
A review on Horror After Dark
A review on Minding Spot
A guest post on Tim Marquitz's blog
A guest post on Dab of Darkness
A review on Zigzag Timeline
A review on Once Upon a Dream
A spotlight on the King of Horror
A dedicated page on Awesomegang
A review on Apocalypse Yarns
A review on Creating Serenity
An interview on Dusty Pages
A review on Online Book Club
A review on Cellar Door Lit Rants and Raves
A review on Rock the Book
A review on The Bookie Monster
A review on Long and Short Book Reviews
An excerpt and spotlight on Raindrops on Corpses and Whiskers on Zombies
A guest post on The Bookie Monster
A look at my writing nook on Indie Visible
A Back Jacket Hack-Job entry on Across the Board
A review on That's What I'm Talking About
A review on Reader's Hollow
A review on Ginger Nuts of Horror
A review on Tome Tender
A review on Trista M. Borgwardt's blog
A review on Kelly Smith Reviews
An interview on Dusty Pages
A review on Damsels With Chainsaws
A review on Siz's Book Reviews
An interview on The Horror Show with Brian Keene
A mention on My words and pages
A review on The Horror Fiction Review
A review on Book Haven
A review on Classic Book Reader
A review on Literary Musings
A review on Horror Underground
A spotlight on Pankhearst
An extract on Wise Words
A review on Please Pass the Books
An interview on 13 Visions
A feature on Book of the Day
A guest post on Natalie Wright's blog
A review on the All Night Library
An appearance on Dave's Top Ten Moments of 2015 The Horror Show with Brian Keene
An appearance on the best of The Horror Show (Part 2) with Brian Keene
A review on Bookshine Bandit
A review on The Most Sublime Things
A review on My words and pages
A review on Nebula Books
A review on THe GaL iN THe BLue MaSK
A review on A TeMPLe of WoRDS
A review on CCLaP
A spotlight on The Driftless Area Review
A guest post on Totally Addicted to Books
A review on Coffee Coffee Coffee and Books
A p. 69 spotlight on The Next Best Book Blog
Audiobook announcement on Audiobook Reviewer
An audiobook review on Dab of Darkness
An audiobook review on Audiobook Reviewer
A review on Peter Germany's blog
A mention on Reddit
An interview on This is Horror


Friday, July 25, 2014

I Love the '90s (Guest Post by Kimberly G. Giarratano, author of GRUNGE GODS AND GRAVEYARDS)

I've said it before and I'll say it again: damn you, Kate Moretti.

I was perfectly content to be sitting here with nearly two dozen books on my TBR (that's "to be read" to you normal folks) list, not to mention, oh, I dunno, seven books that I have to write plus marketing, plus, you know, the day job and family and condo presidency and all that.  And along comes "Pushypants" Moretti and says,

"Did you read KGG's book yet?"

So I started mumbling something about being busy and she says,

"Stop!  Go read it right now!  Drop everything!"

So I did and naturally now I'm blowing all of my deadlines and all the gutters are filthy and everything because I can't put GRUNGE GODS AND GRAVEYARDS down!

I'm very fortunate to have the aforementioned KGG, Kimberly G. Giarratano as a guest on the blog today.  Make sure to stick around after the post, as our mutual publisher Red Adept is generously hosting a giveaway in honor of the release of KGG's debut novel, GGG.  Since GRUNGE GODS (obviously?) takes place in 1997, I posed this question:

What was it like to live in the '90s, and why was it the greatest decade?

Ah, the ‘90s. I miss you, decade, although I could leave behind my teen years. All that angst, everything feeling like it was life or death. College essays. But you, 1990s, you were the best. Seinfeld. MTV’s The State. Melrose Place. Okay, so I watched a lot of TV when I was a teenager. Who didn’t? Anyhoo, let me break it down-down to reveal the top 5 reasons why the ‘90s were the dopest decade.

1. Alternative music: I just want to make this one a laundry list of all my favorite bands. Radiohead. U2. Tori Amos. The Afghan Whigs. STP. Bush. Bjork. Dave Matthews Band. Truth is the Radiohead of 2014 doesn’t compare to the Radiohead of 1997. While I can appreciate the genius of The King of Limbs, it doesn’t hold a candle to The Bends or Ok Computer (although I’m sure Thom Yorke would disagree). There isn’t a song I can sing along to on the newer albums. No stand out single like “Paranoid Android” or “Karma Police.” So while I own the new stuff, I only listen to the old stuff.

2. MTV (with a little VH1 thrown in for good measure): When I was a teenager, MTV was awesome. Because they still played music videos. Sure, now you can jump on YouTube to watch a video, but in 1995, my best friend would have to call me and yell, “Quick. Turn on Ch. 30. Radiohead is on.” And I’d scramble to the living room to turn on the TV so as not to miss the video. Because then I’d have to wait to see it again. Also, MTV aired really good shows. The Real World, Singled Out, 120 Minutes and The State. Actually The State should have its own number. The State -- the best sketch comedy show that ever aired. To this day, I can still recite lines from famous sketches. "Chicken sandwich, Carl!" It had Michael Ian Black, Michael Showalter and Ken Marino. VH1: Pop Up Video. ‘Nuff said.

3. Shlubby jeans with frayed hems: Do you know what the cool kids wore my junior year of high school (And let me clarify, I was not a cool kid)? Open flannel shirts over white t-shirts. Straight-leg jeans with the hems torn up so they’d fit over Doc Martens or Timberlands. And that was the girls. No one’s outfit was polished or “put together.” At least, not that I remember. At some point, my entire wardrobe was super flared jeans, with destroyed hems, and long-sleeve Ts. And orange Vans. And I thought I looked good.

4. AOL: Okay, so in hindsight the Internet of today is the greatest thing ever invented, but when I was 15 years old, AOL was the shiznit. My dad paid for five hours a month. Five hours?! I spend 5 hours online a day now at least. But I digress...’You’ve got mail’ were the three most exciting words at the time. I don't remember how long it took me to come up with my email address. I think it was Tori-some-numberorother at aol. (It was an homage to Tori Amos). My best friend and I would jump online and browse for quotes from The State (see no. 2). Somehow, we got a hold of Michael Ian Black's email address and I sent him a note telling him how I got busted in English class for whispering a State quote to my friend sitting in front of me. He wrote back, "Don't talk in class." I nearly died. I might still have that email. I was social networking and I didn’t even know it!

5. All the things: Okay, so this one is a cop-out but I couldn’t decide whether to go with the Monica Lewinsky scandal or our booming economy where practically anyone could get a job or Fruit Stripe Gum or Empire Records or Forrest Gump. Hell, even Tom Hanks could be a category all by himself. The truth is the ‘90s were the greatest decade. Hands down. No contest. Full stop.

What did you love most about the ‘90s? Please sound off in the comments section. And can anyone else quote lines from The State? I’m sure Stephen has a prize or something (maybe some Zombie thing, cuz he’s all about that) for anyone who can do it without looking it up online.

Putting me on the spot, eh, KGG?  All right, whoever comes up with the best State quote in the comments, as determined solely by fiat, will receive a free copy of the BRAINEATER JONES audiobook!  How do you like this girl, she manages to swing two giveaways in one post!

About Kimberly Garnick Giarratano

Kimberly G. Giarratano, a forever Jersey girl, now lives in the woods of northeastern Pennsylvania with her husband and small children. A former teacher and YA librarian, Kimberly adores Etsy, Jon Stewart, The Afghan Whigs, ’90s nostalgia, and (of course) everything YA. She also speaks Spanish, but is woefully out of practice. Kimberly always dreamed of being a published author. Her other dream is to live in Key West, Florida where she can write in a small studio, just like Hemingway.

You can find Kimberly on Facebook, Twitter, and her website.


Parted by death. Tethered by love.

Lainey Bloom’s high school senior year is a complete disaster. The popular clique, led by mean girl Wynter Woods, bullies her constantly. The principal threatens not to let her graduate with the class of 1997 unless she completes a major research project. And everyone blames her for the death of Wynter’s boyfriend, Danny Obregon.

Danny, a gorgeous musician, stole Lainey’s heart when he stole a kiss at a concert. But a week later, he was run down on a dangerous stretch of road. When he dies in her arms, she fears she’ll never know if he really would have broken up with Wynter to be with her.

Then his ghost shows up, begging her to solve his murder. Horrified by the dismal fate that awaits him if he never crosses over, Lainey seeks the dark truth amidst small town secrets, family strife, and divided loyalties. But every step she takes toward discovering what really happened the night Danny died pulls her further away from the beautiful boy she can never touch again.


Be sure to purchase GRUNGE GODS AND GRAVEYARDS at:

Barnes & Noble
Google Play

And tell your friends about it on Goodreads!" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, July 21, 2014


THE GHOUL ARCHIPELAGO is on sale for only $0.99 through Sunday, July 27! You can't beat that with a baseball bat full of jagged nails! Here's the purchase link:


You all already know I think this is my greatest novel. But don't take my word for it! You can read everything anyone has ever said about TGA here. But here is some of the most recent buzz:

"The Ghoul Archipelago is definitely not what you could call your average zombie novel. With its mixture of Zombie, Apocalypse Now, and even a touch of Strange Days, the book is clearly aimed at the zombie reader whose seen it all and wants something different."

"I haven’t had such a hard time putting down such a creepy book since I was in junior high and pigging out on Stephen King. Kozeniewski has a knack for the undead—his writing is descriptive without being flowery and somehow speaks to the hindbrain. You get scared when you’re supposed to—a sound, a smell, a visual, that guy Rand (especially that guy Rand)—whatever it is he describes, your brain wants its blankie. And a hug."

"This novel stands apart from other zombie novels as it incorporates pirates, thieves, native islanders, royalty, capitalism, military, religion, drug dealers and some virtual porn. The story and characters do not focus on killing zombies so much as they focus on their lives and how to continue on about life as usual while avoiding as many of the undead creatures as they can."

"There are zombies, and politicians (I don’t know which is worse honestly), and pirates! The plot is engaging and interesting and really made me think. And to make things even better this isn’t just your average run of the mill zombie story."

"There were squeamish parts, intense parts, suspenseful parts and my all-time favourite: parts I didn't see coming. ."

Friday, July 18, 2014

I Wrote One Million Words. Where's My Ticker Tape Parade?

According to Malcolm Gladwell practicing anything for 10,000 hours will make you a master.  (Though lots of people agree that's bullshit.)  For writers, the goal is a little bit different.  According to Ray Bradbury, once you hit a million words, you're a master.  (Though lots of people agree that's bullshit, too.)

I agree with the dissenters that assigning an arbitrary number of hours to mastery is probably pointless.  Christ, Mozart died at 35.  He didn't do no damn 10,000 hours of practice.  Nevertheless, a million words is the agreed upon (arbitrary or not) level of mastery for my craft, and I'm happy to announce to anyone who even slightly gives a shit that I've reached that goal.

I try not to talk about the craft of writing too much on this blog (because it's BORING) but I do like to share my successes and some people are interested in this sort of thing, so here you go.  In this non-scientific analysis I'm counting just work on novels that exceeded 10,000 words.  So, I've disregarded all of my screenplays, short stories, games, and anything that was basically me writing a chapter and getting bored.  If anyone's really interested in a breakdown of every word I've ever written, I'll get back to you on that at a later date when I can hire a team of analysts to work around the clock.

I've also broken this list down by categories which are mostly self-explanatory.  However, if you don't know, "trunked" is a reference to old-timey days when an author would stick a mansucript that no publisher would buy into a trunk at the foot of the bed.  I have put some of my trunked manuscripts up right here on this blog (I call it "burning" them.)  Hence the title of this blog.  And now you know!

TitleLast EditedWordcount
Complete, to be published
Incomplete, to be published
Complete, trunked
LIFE AND DEATHMay-11140000
THE LAST WARNov-09111000
Incomplete, trunked
LOVE AND HATEDec-0627000

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Interview with Permuted Press

I had the great pleasure of doing an interview today for my latest publisher, Permuted Press!  Here are the results.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Koz & Effect Episode 1: The Amazon Keyword Menace

Hey, everybody, I haven't done a whole lot of videos since The 2013 Hundie Challenge ended, but I've been hankering to do this video about Amazon keywords for the benefit of my author friends so I figured, why not start a new video series?  So I've decided to call this the first episode of Koz & Effect, where I'll be delving into some of the wonkier bits of internet minutia for the benefit of authors, readers, and perhaps just the average user.

Monday, July 7, 2014


Hey, everybody, I'm very happy to announce the release of my third novel, BILLY AND THE CLONEASAURUS, by Severed Press.  It's now available for purchase in paperback and Kindle e-book formats.

Just a quick reminder: authors live or die by word-of-mouth.  If you'd be so kind as to share or tweet my release on social media, or even just tell your friends about it in person, I'd be very grateful.

Thanks so much to all my friends, family, and fans for making this release and my entire writing career possible!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Corns Have Holes (Interview with Warren Fielding, Author of GREAT BITTEN: OUTBREAK)

Welcome, bloganiacs!  I'm sure you all thought that after March's Tribute to the UK no one from Old Blighty would ever talk to me again.  Well, not so!  We're very fortunate to have with us on the blog today straight from Jolly Old post-apocalyptic England, the charming and talented Warren Fielding!  How did I convince him to visit with us?  Well, we have a special relationship, you see.  (Get it?  GET IT?)

Warren is a journalist and author of the brand spanking new novel GREAT BITTEN: OUTBREAK and he has consented to an interview with us today.  So, let's jump right in!


Stephen Kozeniewski: Hello, Warren, and welcome to the blog! Thanks for joining us today.

Warren Fielding: Hi Stephen, thanks for having me! In the most platonic sense.

SK: First question: if you ever met The Governor from The Walking Dead, what would you say to him?

WF: That guy should have lightened up a little. I'm not sure I could be polite to him. But I'd definitely give him a pat on the shoulder for giving it a try shooting that gun. He had the accuracy of stormtrooper, but with one eye your depth perception really does go up the swanny. He was always going to do a little better in hand-to-hand and with melee weapons.

SK: No, I'm sorry, the correct answer was, "Hello, Governor." Get it?

WF: Ah. I see what you did there! You get it?

SK: I do!  Well played.  Moving on.  I understand you're a journalist. What sort of training do you have, both formal and informal?

WF: Well aside from my degree, which I mainly obtained through an unco-ordinated attack of creative drunkenness and sporadic adrenalin-induced focus, my experience is primarily on the job. Academia can never prepare you for what the real world will be like. It's not like the shows; it's not as sexy, not as angry, and definitely not as glamorous as you think. I spent a lot of my time holding my arm out in the bloody rain with a dictation machine hoping to get a drab snippet of bollocks from some politician or another, to discover when I got home all I'd won for my efforts was some faint sneezing, and aggressive pins and needles.

SK: Ah...ha.  Next question: if you could be any ice cream flavor, what would you be?

WF:  Black coffee flavour. Well, dark. You know, chocolate coloured. So people would point and ask for me, thinking I'm one thing; they'd find out then I was something entirely different, and probably unwanted. Despite this fact, due to the strong desire for an ice cream no matter what the flavour, they'd eat me anyway. This statement for me epitomises both the British 'stiff upper lip' with our refusal to complain no matter what the situation, and neatly sums up the reaction of most women I've ever been on a date with.

SK: Intriguing. Tell us a little bit about what you're up to these days. Any interesting bylines coming down the pike?

WF: I'm trying to get the brain out of zombie-dodging at the moment. After everything I've described doing with a hammer in the last couple of books, I don't think I'll be doing home improvements any time soon. I'd say something soothing and quiet, but I've been having some fantastic nightmares recently, and as a result you can expect some short stories (or even novellas) about shadow people, soul-stealing, and some other downright nasty things hopefully by the end of the year.

SK: I'll be on pins and needles!  Do you think it's really possible to play all of the pinball machines from Soho down to Brighton?

WF: That's a crazy question, and I'm not sure The Who ever gave me a satisfactory answer. If I gave Cthulu some speed and had him along for the party then I might just manage it, though there may be some casualties along the way (and I don't mean the occasional flipper).

SK: I see. One last question. I understand you know famous horror author Dawn Peers personally. Can you dish us any dirt?

WF: Ah Dawn.  She makes a mean cocktail, and has an odd obsession with zombies, though I'm yet to witness her watching a zombie film in its entirety. Bit sarcastic though. And that's by my standards.

SK: Well, thanks for being with us today, Warren! And remember to watch out for your cornhole, bud.

WF:  Corns have holes?

About Warren Fielding

Artist's conception.  Seriously.  This is the picture he sent me.
When the end of the world comes, humanity will finally realise that good guys generally will finish last.

I'm not a bad guy, but the GREAT BITTEN world explores the side of an anti-hero that you can't help but end up rooting for. Warren doesn't want people to die, but he accepts that they will and that to survive, you have to evolve past this base human fear and carry on.

It's a journey I've wanted to take since I was first introduced to apocalyptic fiction all those years ago. The genre is full of winners and good guys coming to the fore and winning the day, but life just isn't like that.

The people that would run back in to burning buildings for beloved keepsakes or will climb trees for kittens are invariably the first ones that will bite the dust in a world-ending event. Still, people need a hero they can relate to with the goodness in themselves. I'm not yet sure why.

GREAT BITTEN is the antithesis of those stories, and I hope you will enjoy reading this as much as I do writing it.

You can follow Warren on FacebookTwitterBook Twitter, or his website.


You’re walking down the street in the early hours of the morning, in one of the most densely populated cities in the world, when you see something that makes the rational side of your brain itch. It has mortal wounds and shouldn’t be walking, but it is, and if you hang around for too long, it will be heading towards you. How would you react?

You survive the initial throes of civil unrest and the collapse of law and order. The world has become your playground. What kind of person do you become?

You have never lived for anyone else except yourself. You are selfish. You like being alive. But you do have a conscience, and a soul. Who do you save first?

Warren is not a likeable man. Warren doesn’t even like himself. But he does like existing, and he wants to continue doing it, no matter what hell is emerging around him. Being pragmatic and a bit of a git to boot, he doesn’t find making the hard decisions difficult. What he does find out, is that the hard decisions are not necessarily the right ones. And being a bastard in life does not prepare you for the clashes that will ensue once the edges of society begin to blur and fade out.

It isn’t just the infected and the resurrected that Warren needs to be wary of, as he negotiates his way around the post-infection south coast in a haphazard attempt to keep himself and his family survive.

Buy it in the US or UK!  And tell your friends about it on Goodreads!
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