Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Ron's Six-Pack!

No, I'm not talking about my rock-hard abs (uh, they are rock-hard... somewhere underneath this flab!). I'm referring to the new Ronald Kelly Digital Six-Pack, which is being offered for a limited time through Crossroad Press.
The Six-Pack features all six of my Macabre Ink digital publications in one tidy bundle. It includes Flesh Welder, the MP3 audio version of Flesh Welder, Cumberland Furnace & Other Fear-Forged Fables, The Sick Stuff, Dark Dixie: Tales of Southern Horror, and my newest release, my full-length western novel Timber Gray. A whole library of Southern-fried storytelling for your computer or Amazon Kindle for a low price of $20. That's right only twenty bucks! (Dang, I'm starting to sound like one of those annoying infomerical dudes on late night TV!)
Anyway, you can head on over and order your RK 6-Pack here:
And the six titles Macabre Ink has put out so far are only the tip of the proverbial iceburg. This summer I'll be releasing four more digital story collections and, later in the year, my first full-fledged mystery novel, Dead Old Men, featuring farmer-turned-private eye, Jimmy Jack Dixon. So hopefully this Six-Pack will whet your appetite for what's to come!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

My First Western Novel, TIMBER GRAY, Now Available in Digital!

I’m pleased to announce that my first honest-to-goodness western novel, TIMBER GRAY, is now available from Crossroad Press in digital format. This full-length novel is not horror, but a traditional western, although it is gritty and violent with a dark twist to it. Here’s a short preview of what the book is about:

After his family is killed by a pack of rabid wolves, Jefferson Gray survives the horrid disease himself, with the aid of a Cherokee medicine man. But, unfortunately, he can not banish the hatred that dwells within him. An animosity toward dangerous game, particularly timber wolves.

Fifteen years have passed. Timber Gray is known throughout the western territories as a seasoned tracker and hunter: a man who can conquer any threat for the right price, be it grizzly, mountain lion, or, his specialty, wolves. But can Timber tackle his greatest challenge… a pack of fifty wolves led by the legendary Cripplefoot? Such insurmountable odds, combined with an approaching blizzard and a band of renegade bounty hunters, would seem to be certain death to most men. But, to Timber Gray, it is only another reason for staying alive…

You can order your copy of TIMBER GRAY now at:

This novel was a labor of love for Ol’ Ron, since I’m a big western fan myself and originally wanted to be a western writer. I put alot of time and research into making this book as gritty and authentic as possible (even looking up old maps from the late 1800’s to find actual locations, as well as trails and little towns that no longer exist on today’s maps). And take a gander at the grisly, blood-splattered cover Zach McCain worked up for the book!

So saddle up, load your ol’ Winchester, and head out to the blizzard-swept territory of Wyoming’s Big Horn Mountains with Timber Gray! Yeee-Hah!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Reading, Writing, & Disrespect: The Decline of Southern Values in Today's Public Schools

A week or so ago, I read the sad story of Phoebe Prince, a teenager who recently moved from Ireland to western Massachusetts and was viciously harrassed by classmates -- both face-to-face and over the internet -- to the point where all of the girl's self-esteem and coping mechanisms were torn asunder. After one particularly brutal attack (in which she was called an "Irish whore" by one of the school's popular prom queen-types) she went home and hung herself from an upstairs banister. Her body was discovered by her younger sister.

Looking at the photo of Phoebe Prince, I saw a beautiful teen-aged girl with everything to live for. I also saw a reflection of my own daughter in her face. And that scares the hell out of me.

My daughter, Reilly, is an amazing young lady. A beautiful twelve-year-old with a genuinely good heart who faithfully loves her family, friends, and her God. She possesses a beautiful singing voice, plays the piano, and loves music. She writes the most amazing stories and is a wonderful artist with much potential. Reilly has won numerous 4-H contests over the last couple of years and won first place in DARE's essay contest last spring. Of all the people on this earth, Reilly is the most like me than anyone else.

But Reilly has problems. She has undergone therapy for abuse (at the hands of a relative, which we had no idea was taking place) and has had her own battle for sustaining her self-esteem. Reilly has a problem with high cholesteral and her vision (both hereditary, from my side of the family unfortunately). And she has a weight problem. In my opinion, she isn't overweight at all; just as we Southerns call it, a bit "big-boned". Let's just say that she isn't the same as 95% of the other girls in her sixth grade class; anorexic scarecrows who have a warped idea of what makes a girl popular and what doesn't.

During this school year, Reilly has had a bad problem with bullying; some dealing with her unique personality (she is NOT a carbon copy of the other girls in her class), but most having to do with her weight. Surprisingly enough, most of the verbal abuse she recieves is not from the girls, but from the boys in her class. These insults are made openingly in front of both classmates and teachers. And it is not just one or two boys, but quite a few. Despite the concerns of me and my wife, the school faculty -- both teachers and principal -- seem to think it is really nothing to worry about. "Boys will be boys," they tell us.

Well, sorry, but I'm not buying that. When I grew up in middle Tennessee in the mid-sixties, yes, boys were boys, but there was one line they did not cross (unless they were the typical school-yard bully) and that was disrespecting someone of the opposite sex. In that day, folks taught their young men that a woman (or a young girl their own age) was someone to be respected and cherished. I, too, was taught that lasting lesson and I carry it on to this day.
If I had insulted or bullied a girl when I was in the sixth or seventh grade, I would have been dealt with severely, first in the school system, then later on at home. And that lesson of respect would have finally been set firmly in place, never to be forgotten again.

But apparently such lessons of restraint and respect are no longer being taught here in the South, if my daughter's male classmates are any indication. They constantly comment on her weight or question her intelligence. Recently, one particular boy called her "Fat Albert". Reilly reacted rather strongly to this insult (after silently enduring similar jibs) and took the matter to her gym teacher. This teacher made the offender write a letter of apology to my daughter, which he begrudingly did. Did it cure him of his disrepectful behavior? On the contrary. The very next day he called her a "fat-ass" and a "bitch". Several of the teachers have told Reilly that she should "toughen up" and not let such silly talk bother her so much.

Have we enforced equality between sexes to such a point where young men believe it socially acceptable to belittle and bully young women to the point of totally tearing down their sense of self-worth? After all, the age of twelve is a very impressionable age for a girl. If every boy in her class treats her like crap, then why would she think of herself as otherwise? If you call a young lady "whore" and "idiot" enough times, is there any wonder that they may follow that path later in life?

It's very apparent that the old ways of Southern respect and hospitality are sadly fading with the passage of time. When I was a child, I was taught to say "Yes, ma'am" and "No, ma'am", to always see a fellow classmate as an equal, despite their race, religion, or the type clothing they wore, and to say grace at each meal. I see very little of those time-worn traditions going on with today's youth. Teachers believe that respect and restraint should be taught in the home, while parents believe the teachers should maintain order and instill structure to their children's lives. In the thick of it all, neither is being done effectively and who suffers from the failure of the adults? The children, of course.

Take it from me, this is not a big urban school that I speak of, but a small country school with little more than two hundred students. It is now the end of the school year. If this bullying should continue next year with nothing done to put an end to it, I will have no course to pursue other than taking it to the school board. I could have very well mentioned the name of the school in this blog, as well as the principal and teachers involved, but everyone knows that I'm not that sort of person. But a Southern gentleman can only be pushed so far when the physical and mental welfare of his children are concerned. And I will protect my children... even if it means taking the matter to the state school board... or beyond.

To you parents and teachers out there, we must look at the terrible case of Phoebe Prince very closely and take it to heart. Because, unless respect and restraint is instilled in our own children, it will happen again. And again.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

FLESH WELDER Audio... Ready for your MP3!

The full-length audiobook of my tale of post-apocalyptic horror, FLESH WELDER, is now available for download to your MP3 through Spring Brook Audio.
This rarely-heard audio version of FLESH WELDER is the original 42 minute recording that was commissioned by Croatoan Publishing around the time of the FW chapbook's publication in 2007. Due to Croatoan's unfortunate demise, this excellent audio was never released to the public... until now. This audio -- using the original wav high-definition files -- is being released by Macabre Ink through Spring Brook Audio's online audiobook site. Later, we're hoping for a wider range of distribution points and there is even talk of its release on CD. This audio recording of FLESH WELDER is narrated by master voice talent Wayne June and includes some incredible sound effects.
You can hop on over and order your download of FLESH WELDER now at:
Hopefully, in the near future, other Ron Kelly stories and collections will be offered in similar audio versions through Spring Brook Audio. Stay tuned for more details!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

FEAR COUNTY Movie Poster

Before you get all excited, this isn't an actual studio-commissioned movie poster and, no, we haven't actually sold the film adaptation of my novel FEAR just yet. But there is a real potential for it to happen eventually.
Los Angeles screenwriter Aaron Guzzo is using the poster as a "teaser" to help garner interest in his FEAR COUNTY screenplay, based on my epic horror novel , which was released by Zebra Books in 1994. Aaron is a graduate of Columbia College based in Chicago; an institute specializing in media, communications, and the performing arts. His recent projects include the production of H.P. Lovecraft's Dreams in the Witch House at Wildclaw Theatre in Chicago. Aaron read FEAR at an early age and said that the story stuck with him throughout the years, inspiring him to do the screenplay and, eventually, bring it to horror fans in the form of a motion picture or TV production.
Aaron's screenplay is basically the same story as FEAR, focusing on the main characters of Jeb, Sam, Roscoe, and the Granny Woman, as well as the Snake Queen and her band of evil snake-dogs. We have made a few minor changes, though. The story will be set in modern times, rather than in the mid-1940's, due to the high production cost of doing period pieces (vintage cars, costumes, etc.). Also, an ancient brick wall will surround Fear County, explaining why its evil hasn't crossed its borders before (see the poster above).
Aaron's been out and about, pitching the screenplay to movie production companies for over a year now. There has been definite interest, but no concrete takers just yet. "Right now the biggest problem I'm having with placing Fear County is that production companies aren't sure whether this is kids horror, like Poltergeist or Arachnophobia, or if this is really twisted horror," Aaron explains. "That's mainly because the first 80 pages of the script is fun horror, while the last 30 get really intense." He has assured me that selling the FC script is " definitely not a matter of if, but when."
Of course, I'm not sitting here on pins and needles, worried about whether it will actually happen or not. We all know how fickled the movie business is these days with 3-D and needless remakes reigning the box office. And dozens of horror authors a whole lot better than ol' Ron have had their properties optioned and never seen them come to fruitation. But it would be cool to see FEAR COUNTY playing at your local theatre, wouldn't it? If anyone can pull it off, I believe Aaron can. His vision is very similar to mine: to offer the most terrifying, exciting, and heartfelt horror possible. Also like myself, he believes that "the characters should come first and the action will follow."
Keep your fingers crossed, folks. If FEAR COUNTY makes it into the production stages, it's possible that more Kelly books could follow. Aaron has read -- and loved -- both HELL HOLLOW and BLOOD KIN, which he calls "Salems Lot: The Southern Edition." Maybe what the movie industry needs right about now is a good shot of Southern-Fried horror. If so, our next mission would be to have Hollywood caterers feature gravy and biscuits, sweet tea, and pecan pie on their menus.
Hey, I can dream, can't I?