Why I Really Like Kurt Vonnegut… or … Selected excerpts from “Cat’s Cradle”

What’s news with horror writer Paul D. Dail?

I finished my next novel!

Ahem… Okay, so it was just the first draft. And I actually finished it closer to two months ago (whew. Where did last month go?). But hey! The first draft is done!

And I’m superstitious and paranoid enough that, unless we’re talking over a beer, that’s all I can give up at this point. However, I will say that I’m feeling great about the potential, even in its first draft state. And I believe enough distance has passed that I’m ready to start editing. Wish me luck.

I’ve also been editing and submitting some shorts to pro markets. Really wanting to get moving toward my HWA (Horror Writers Association) membership. And hey, a little money would be okay too.

vonnegutBut now, without further ado…

I know Kurt Vonnegut is not for everyone.

Putting aside that it’s most popular these days to hate Orson Scott Card for his beliefs, not that long ago Vonnegut was criticized for being misogynistic throughout his writing career and apparently making some crazy comments toward the end of his life.

Continue reading


Pet Sematary vs. The Mist: Which Stephen King movie is harder on parents?

What’s news for horror writer Paul D. Dail?

Recently I passed 70,000 words on my WIP–the industry standard for minimum length of a novel.  And I’m still going.  Time to bring this baby to a close.

But I thought this merited a quick break to give some love back to my blog.

So without further ado…


Not long after my daughter was born, I discovered that Pet Sematary had made its way to the top of our Netflix queue.

Before it could be sent out, I moved it way down the line.  Since then (over three years), the Netflix instant movies have become more of the way my wife and I view movies (in those rare moments when we can actually watch a movie), so it has taken almost all of this time for Pet Sematary to make its way back up (and now it’s on instant too).

My son was born a little over a year ago.  I pushed the movie back again. Continue reading

Please bear with me. I’ll be back.

What’s news with horror writer Paul D. Dail?

Well, I haven’t died in case you were wondering.

Nor have I abandoned my blog.  I think about it quite regularly actually and keep a tab open on my browser all the time to remind myself that I need to do something here.

You should see how many tabs I have open all the time as reminders.

I do have some great ideas for blog posts, but I got sidetracked a few months ago as I was upgrading my teaching license.  Then summer hit and I remembered that I was also writing another novel.  And I’ve started some part-time freelance writing this month.  And I try to remember that I also have a family who generally enjoys having me around.

So if you haven’t unsubscribed, don’t do it yet.  I think I’ll have some things you’ll enjoy reading in the near future.  I just need to get my feet back under me first.

Until then, hope you’re all enjoying your summer.

Survival Plan or Cyanide Pill: Which would you choose?

What’s news for horror writer Paul D. Dail?

The main thing going on currently is the Somewhere in the Shadows giveaway which is going for 14 more days.  This is a pretty good one.  The top winner will receive all books from all of the contributing authors for Somewhere in the Shadows.  It’s a Rafflecopter giveaway, which means you can get multiple entries for various reasons (i.e.- following the authors on Twitter, tweeting about the contest, following their blogs, etc…)

To enter the giveaway, click here

To read my foreword and a brief review of Somewhere in the Shadows, click here.

But without further ado…

So I had an interesting conversation with a colleague the other day.

Actually, it was my wife and I who were having the conversation with a fellow faculty member at lunch when the topic of the end of the world came up.  Yeah, it was a weird lunch, and I’m not sure how we ended up on that topic.  I think it was when my wife asked the history teacher if it was just our current state of the world that seemed so polarized, or if mankind had cycled through this type of mentality like it cycled through so many other things.

castleTowerOr maybe it was when the history teacher mentioned the planned community known as The Citadel in Idaho.  For a simple description of what this community (read: “compound”) will be about, there is a banner at the top of their website saying “Get an Assault Rifle before it’s too late.” Continue reading

Night Terrors and Murder: A Liebster List and a Giveaway

What’s news for horror writer Paul D. Dail?

I’m participating in a big giveaway with all other contributors to the Somewhere in the Shadows anthology (for more on this anthology, click here).  The top winner is going to be awarded all of the books from all of the authors featured in the anthology.  Whew!  As if you didn’t have enough to read, right?  But there’s always room for more books (especially now that they’re e-books).

Unfortunately, I can’t host a Rafflecopter-thingy on my blog, so I need to refer you to the blog of my TESSpecFic group mate and fellow contributor to Somewhere in the Shadows, Jonathan D. Allen (click here to link to his giveaway page).

liebster2But without further ado…

I was nominated for the Liebster Award by Carl Purdon.  I usually fudge on the requirements of these things, but I’m going to actually try to do it by the rules this time.  So here are the requirements: Continue reading

So the World Didn’t End. Are You Disappointed?

What’s news for horror writer Paul D. Dail?

Just plugging along.  The time away from the blog and focusing on my WIP has been productive, both in word count and enthusiasm level.  Plus, with my hectic schedule, writing really has been catch-as-catch-can, which I figure is good practice for doing it professionally.  Never knowing for sure when I’m going to get a good writing session in, I’ve had to eliminate the ritual aspect of the craft in favor of just getting down to it whenever a moment presents itself (either getting up at 4:30 in the morning, or on those rare moments when both of my children take a nap at the same time).

Unfortunately, when he looks like this, I feel like this.

Unfortunately, when he looks like this, I feel like this.

Otherwise, I had a fun interview I did for Tara Maya’s blog.  She was one of the other authors (besides myself) in Undead: Ten Tales of Zombies.  If you get a chance and want to learn more about me, check it out by clicking here.

What does the future hold?

I’m debating axing this regular section of my blog for two reasons.  One, with everything going on in my outside-of-writing life right now, I can’t guarantee the regularity with which I’ve posted in the past.  Two, do any of you really count on this section of my blog and mark your calendars based on it?  Feel free to comment with your opinion.

But without further ado…

I was contacted a couple of weeks ago by a woman named Allison Morris.  She had come across my post, End of the World Stories We Love to Hate, and sent me a graphic she helped create on a timeline of failed apocalypse predictions (well, one still remains to be seen).  Continue reading

Waiting for the Lights to Go Out: On the state of horror… and the world?

What’s news for horror writer Paul D. Dail?

keep-calm-and-make-it-to-christmas-break-232As of the release of this post, I am officially on Christmas break!  And believe me, while it’s a break from school for the students, for teachers, it’s a well-needed break from 400+ teenagers 🙂  Over the break I plan on really digging into my WIP.  I’ve been working in fits and starts the past month or so, and it’s my goal to use this break to really get it going full steam.

What does the future hold?

If you’ve followed my blog for any amount of time, it’s not secret that I’m not betting on the future until tomorrow morning.  So we’ll see.

However, if we make it through today, because of my drive to get things going with the WIP, I’m going to take the next two Fridays off from the ol’ blog.  But don’t worry, I have a few ideas in the can that I’m looking forward to.

“Would you like that in the can?”

“No, I’ll just have it right here, thanks.”

(Sorry, obscure National Lampoon’s European Vacation reference)

But without further ado…

Somewhere-in-the-Shadows-III-Amended-SmlSpeaking of my irrational paranoia about the end of the world, I really didn’t intend the timing of this piece with today.  It just worked out that way.  I wrote this foreword to Somewhere in the Shadows back in September and figured I’d post it on my blog to drum up some publicity for the anthology.  But here we find ourselves on 12/21/12. Continue reading