The latter half of 2010 was sort of tough for Ol' Ron. After an idyllic two week vacation in Flrorida back in June, a black cloud seemed to loom over the horizon and things got a little stormy and off kilter. I missed work due to one illness or another, the head gasket blew in the engine of my car, and I was practically blind in my left eye because of a nasty Stage-4 cataract. I had cataract surgery toward the latter half of Novemeber and what should have been a cut and dried procedure led into further complications when the lens implant slipped downward and we had to go back into the operating room and do it all over again. Due to all of this happening within a matter of only a few months, I must admit a stretch of depression set in. I attributed the majority of my inactivity as far as writing, blogging, and corresponding to my eye condition, but, looking back, I realize that a lot of it had to do with an almost crippling bout of low spirits on my part.
But the improvement of my eyesight in early December and the arrival of the Christmas season did wonders to drive those black clouds away and now I'm officially back in the saddle again. As 2010 ends and 2011 begins, I can see a brighter, more prolific, much more published future ahead. Here are just a few projects I have scheduled with publishers for the coming year:
Cumberland Furnace & Other Fear Forged Fables / In early 2010, Crossroad Press released an e-book collection of my short stories published after my return to horror in 2006. In late January or February of 2011, Bad Moon Books will release a trade paperback edition of this best-selling digital collection. Not only will it contain the original nine stories of Cumberland Furnace, but also most of the short stories that didn't make it into my first short story collection, Midnight Grinding & Other Twilight Terrors, as well as selections from my extreme horror collection The Sick Stuff and several formerly unpublished tales. 23 stories in all, if my recollection is right.
Timber Gray / Around the same time as the Cumberland Furnace release, Bad Moon will be publishing a trade paperback edition of my first western novel, Timber Gray. This straight-forward, yet dark and suspenseful western was also first offered as a digital book for Crossroad this past year. The storyline involves a wild game hunter-for-hire who pursues a pack of fifty murderous wolves across the Bighorn Mountains of northern Wyoming. Along the way he encounters both friendship and menace of a human nature; an obsessed preacher and his frightened family, a cowboy on the run from the law, and a band of blood-thirsty bounty hunters.
After the Burn / Sometime during the spring or summer of 2011, Thunderstorm Books will be releasing my post-apocalyptic horror collection, After the Burn, as one of their Black Voltage limited hardcover edtiions. It will contain two novellas and six short stories following the exploits of survivors existing in a nuclear-ravaged world inhabited by serial killers, child molesters, radiation-infected mutants, and cannibals. And it boasts yet another incredibly unique cover by artist Zach McCain. You can reserve your copy of After the Burn now at: http://www.thunderstormbooks.com/aftertheburn.php
The Essential Ronald Kelly Collection - Volume 1: Undertaker's Moon / Finally, after making the rounds with several ill-fated publishers, my Irish-Werewolves-in-Tennessee novel, Undertaker's Moon, will finally see print in a lavish hardcover edtion as the first volume of The Essential Ronald Kelly Collection. As I've said several times before, the Essentials will be offered by a yet undisclosed (but highly respected) small press publisher. Undertaker's Moon (formerly published in 1991 by Zebra Books as Moon of the Werewolf) will feature Alex McVey's infamous "Blue Wolf" cover, as well as a brand-new "prequel" novella titled "The Spawn of Arget Bethir". UM should be available in late spring or early summer of this year.
More Kelly fiction from Cemetery Dance...
I'll have several new projects coming from Cemetery Dance Publications in 2011 and 2012. So far this is what I have lined up...
* The Crane House / This is a Halloween round-robin tale that I participated in recently. Along with my contribution, it includes the dark talents of such respected horror masters as Brian Keene, Kealan Patrick Burke, Al Sarantonio, Rick Hautala, Bev Vincent, Brian Freeman, James A. Moore, James Newman, Norman Prentiss, and Ray Garton.
* La Sanguinaire / This continuation of my 1988 Deathrealm story, "The Web of La Sanguinaire" will be offered as one of CD's upcoming Signature Series books. And you all know how I love to write a good spider story, especially one that takes place in the dark, dank swamps of Louisiana!
* A Dark & Bloody Ground / My next full-length novel (now in progress) will be a historical conspiracy/horror suspense story about an evil Southern state totally erased from the annals of American history... until a husband and wife team, who have searched for the truth behind the legend of Syntrillia and its hellish capital of Darkhaven, stumble upon an ancient map pinpointing their whereabouts. With a half-Cherokee moonshiner named Ruby Buchanan along to guide them, they travel into the wilderness of the Appalachian Mountains in search of the missing providence... and soon wish that they had left well enough alone.
So there you have it... a generous helping of Southern-fried horror coming your way during the coming months of 2011 and beyond. Keep an eye on RonaldKelly.com and my blog site, Southern-Fried & Horrified, for updates on these novels and collections, along with various short stories peppered in-between!