All the New Things

It’s been a very good couple of days here, and I wanted to share some of what’s been going on with you.

A quick update, hot on the heels of the excitement of my novel’s debut: Terror in High Water is now available for pre-order on Amazon. Only in Kindle for now, but it will be available in paperback.

In the spirit of back to school week, the fall session of Crafting the Short Story kicks off on September 23rd – coincidentally, launch day for Terror in High Water. A busy day ahead!

In addition, beginning this fall we’re test-driving a new course. It’s sort of a companion piece to the short story class but can also stand alone. It’s called An Introduction to Publishing, and the name says it all – this is a crash course on some of the basics involved with the publishing industry. This is largely being offered due to feedback and suggestions from those who have taken the short story classes. It’s a single session course where we’ll get together on a Saturday afternoon and have a discussion about publishing.

Last but not least, this week I spread my wings a little bit and expanded into… children’s books? Yes, as unlikely as it sounds, I’ve written a story that will appear in an anthology for kids. Details to follow, but for now (and for the second time this week) here’s a sneak peek at the cover art:


Mother Ghost's Grimm

Fun stuff! I’m pretty happy about the idea of writing for kids, even if it turns out to be just a one-off event. The coolest part, at least for me, is the fact that I will be joined in this collection by my wife, Sheryl. For those who don’t know, Sheryl is my de facto in-house editor, and quite a talented writer to boot. Sharing pages with her is something I’ve wanted to do for a while. This winter (hopefully in time for Christmas!), we’ll get to do that.

I know, a lot to process and take in for one day. I’ll leave it there for now, and bombard you with more interesting tidbits as they unfold.

– JP

Terror in High Water

The Man is coming.

At long last, the time has arrived.

There have been whispers and rumblings for a while, but the time is finally upon us.

Introducing my novel, Terror in High Water, which releases on September 23rd. Here’s the world’s first look at the cover:

Terror in High Water 453x680

Brought to life by the folks at World Castle Publishing, Terror in High Water brings the western and horror genres together in terrifying fashion.

While the official release date isn’t until September 23 – three weeks from today! – it will be available for pre-order very soon, as early as tomorrow.

Stay tuned to this space for updates and teasers. In the meantime, spread the word… and be afraid!

– JP


Reviews, Interviews, and a New Course

This week I learned that Canadian Dreadful will be reviewed by the excellent Kendall Reviews. Needless to say, I’m pretty excited about this. For those who aren’t familiar with the site, it’s a great resource for horror writers and readers alike. Books are reviewed, authors are interviewed, and horror is promoted and advanced to the delight and general betterment of all. I’ll post links to the review and my interview here when they go live.

In other news, I’ll be adding another course to the repertoire. Beginning this fall, “An Introduction to Publishing” will be offered once per semester (or more, if the demand is high). What’s this all about, you may ask. Well, in “Crafting the Short Story” we cover a lot of the basics of actual writing – character development, scene writing, plot, good writing habits, and so on. All the tools you need to start (or continue) writing in one convenient stop.

But over the years many have expressed a desire to learn more about the publishing side of things. “You’ve taught us to write,” they’ve said, “but now what? What do we do with the things we’ve written?” An excellent question. I attempt to touch on some of the basics in my course, but time constraints don’t allow for much more than a quick overview that doesn’t really do it justice. I feel like there are a lot of pitfalls to navigate along the way, many of which are avoidable. I took these concerns to the powers that be, and we agreed that such a course could be beneficial.

I’m no expert, and there are plenty of things I don’t know. What I can offer are the things I do know: all the little tips and tricks I’ve picked up along the way, from speaking with other authors to having gone through the publishing process myself. How to locate and identify potential markets for your work. What red flags to watch for in a publishing contract. Whether a given publisher is a good fit for you. The scams that pervade our industry. These are things that are far less pleasant to learn the hard way, and I’m happy to share what insights I have into these and other topics.

This course can be viewed as a companion to Crafting the Short Story, a sort of extension. It can also, however, stand alone as a very informative session even for those who haven’t taken the first course.

I’ll update and share links when all the T’s are crossed and the I’s are dotted. Speaking of which, the next session of Crafting the Short Story kicks off on September 23rd. I realize that’s over a month away but fear not, I will post ample reminders between now and then!

– JP

Midsummer Notes

Here it is, the middle of a hellishly hot July here in eastern Canada, and I’m running behind on updates here. This week I was invited to a writers’ collective, which encompasses New Brunswick authors, journalists, cover designers, and all manner of ne’er-do-well types. I was happy to accept, and take the opportunity to network with other like-minded folk. More on that in future posts.

Speaking of hot, since my last post the Canadian Dreadful anthology has gotten off to a smoking hot start – it’s drifted up and down the rankings list, peaking at #1 and hanging around near the upper end of the scale (it’s currently sitting at 13th). But this was a pretty cool thing to see:

CDN Dreadful #1

I’ve now read most of it, and I have to say it’s pretty good. Admittedly, reading Canadian Dreadful has prodded me to work my way through the dry spell I’ve been in, and actually create something new. Sure, I’ve puttered with a few works in progress. But I’m overdue for that accomplished sensation of putting the finishing touches on a piece and firing it off to my editor for the inevitable soul-crushing critique.

One final note: If you’ve read Canadian Dreadful (or any of the other books my work has appeared in, for that matter), feel free to give it a rating on Amazon. Ratings drive traffic to book sites and help increase exposure for eternally grateful authors. And speaking of exposure, you can get updates and new blog posts sent right to your email inbox by scrolling to the top of the page and typing your email address in the little box there.

Ok, I guess that was two final notes. And on that note, enjoy your weekend!

– JP


Canadian Dreadful

Most who know me are aware that I’m a proud Canadian. I make it a point to mention it everywhere, it’s even in the opening line of my author bio. It’s obviously a big part of who I am, both in and out of the writing world.

As such, I was pretty stoked to have an opportunity to be involved with Canadian Dreadful, an anthology of Canadian horror offered by Dark Dragon Publishing. Every once in a while such a project will come along, and I do like the fact that publishers are eager to celebrate our Canadian identity in this way. Canadian Dreadful seemed to me like a project I wanted to participate in, and happily the feeling was mutual.

I admittedly wasn’t familiar with all of the contributors prior to this project. Stands to reason; there are tons of talented writers here, and I’m quite certain many of them had never heard of me, either. If you pick up a copy, I think you’ll be as pleasantly surprised with all of the authors as I was. It’s a solid piece of work, with awesome cover art by Francois Vaillancourt – Francois, by the way, has done covers for the likes of Richard Chizmar, David Morrell, and Stephen King.

Speaking of David Morrell – author of First Blood, which spawned the Rambo films – he had very nice things to say about this anthology. To quote: “CANADIAN DREADFUL showcases some of Canada‚Äôs best voices in horror fiction. This anthology is a harrowing tour of the northern landscape that will leave you both dazzled and terrified.”

I’ve linked to the Amazon page above, but Canadian Dreadful is also available through Smashwords in mobi and epub versions.

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– JP

Like and Share

This is my first post at my new (virtual) home.

After several years I have pulled up stakes and relocated here at my new WordPress location. There were issues with the old site, which I hope this will help to remedy. A website is supposed to accomplish several things, one of which being a (relatively) easy way to reach people who find what I have to say interesting. Hopefully this will make that job much easier.

The website address remains exactly the same – – only the layout and presentation are different. One of my favorite features of this site is the “follow” button. This will let you receive updates such as new blog posts via email. I will still share them to Facebook and Twitter, but thanks to issues with algorithms my posts can sometimes slip through the cracks and be missed.

Feel free to click the follow or share buttons. I appreciate the support, and in exchange will continue to come back here and do my best to keep everyone up to speed on the latest goings-on. Looking forward to picking up where we left off moving forward together here!

– JP

A New First


March is nearly half over, and if you’re anything like me, you’re more than ready for some springtime weather. It’s been a brutal one in this part of the world, and a little sunshine and green grass would not go unappreciated at this point.

Another successful session of Crafting the Short Story is in the books. It was a great class, and I was sorry to see it end. On the plus side, when the winter session is over, it means winter itself is almost over, so that’s the silver lining.

In other, very cool news: I got a book deal! A deal has been struck, and my first novel – well actually, my second novel, but that’s another story – will be published by the good folks at World Castle Publishing. It’s an exciting time for me, a validation of sorts. I’m proud of all of my published work, but this will be the first time my name has stood alone on the cover. More details, dates, teasers and other info to be revealed as the process unfolds.

– JP

Anniversaries and Anthologies


Just a few quick notes to bring everyone up to date on some of my goings-on. Right off the bat, since I likely won’t post again before then, early happy wedding anniversary to my part-time editor and full-time wife, Sheryl. In honor of that special day, here for your listening pleasure is a video of the song we used as our wedding march.

Speaking of early, it’s still a week shy of Halloween and already the region has been deluged with snow! Well ok, maybe ‘deluged’ is too strong a word. A light dusting mixed with rain that made for an ugly, sloppy day but which has since melted away might be more accurate. But I stand by my assertion that it’s too soon!

Elsewhere, the Fall session of my short story writing class is in full swing. We’re down to our last couple of classes, and I’m really pleased with everyone’s progress. It’s just a great group with real talent and an obvious passion for writing, with probably the widest age range to date: my youngest is just thirteen, a new record. Always a pleasure to contribute to the warping of young minds!

One final note for today: over the last couple of weeks I’ve sold a couple of short pieces to some pretty cool markets. The first is an anthology called Deadly Bargain, from Colors in Darkness, celebrating diverse voices in horror and dark fantasy. This one should be released very soon!

The second, I just received word on a few hours ago. It’s called Canadian Dreadful, presented by Dark Dragon Publishing, and will be an all-Canadian antho with a nod to horror from each province. They’re estimating a Fall 2019 release on this one.

There are interesting and fun little anecdotes behind each of these stories and their inclusion in their respective anthologies, which I will reveal in a future post. Cover reveals and more details to come.

That’s all the news I’ve got for now. Have a safe and happy Halloween, everyone!

– JP

Back to Business


After taking a “brief hiatus” that somehow extended to “taking the summer off”, it’s time to get back to business. I hope everyone enjoyed their summer, and found some time to sit with a good book (or eReader, as the case may be) here and there. I did, though not as often as I would have liked.

Meanwhile, the leaves on the big maple outside my living room window tell me that fall is fast approaching. While I dread the end of summer, I always look forward to September and a new year of classes. This year’s fall session kicks off on September 24th – my birthday, in fact. Just two weeks away! Here’s the link, for anyone in the area who might want to look into taking one of my classes, or knows someone who might be interested.

More to come, with more frequent updates now that the dog days are behind us for another year.

– JP

Not Bad for a Tuesday



Just a quick note today, to remind everyone that sometimes good things can fall into your lap from out of the blue and make what would otherwise be just another day a little bit better.

Today I received an email that, at first glance, looked like a scam to me. It purported to be from Paypal, and wanted to inform me that I had money awaiting me. I was skeptical, since I could think of no reason why this should be the case, but nonetheless I opened the email to discover that, against all odds, I actually did have money waiting for me in there! I had been paid for a story. It was from Digital Fiction Publishing who I’d worked with before. I say against all odds because I legitimately had forgotten having signed the contract for this one, as it was back in August. And I was pretty thrilled to find that my story had been placed in Cosmic Scream, the antho series from their horror line. This one came down the pipe in February and landed on Amazon, where it’s currently available in Kindle form.

So this was a nice way to start my day: inclusion in an anthology by a publisher I’ve got a good rapport with, and nothing but nice things to say about. I’m thrilled to share a table of contents with some very talented writers, and even though I haven’t made it all the way through yet, I can guarantee there’s some creepy, scary stuff in here. Don’t miss it!