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In honor of Coffin Hop 2012, I’m hosting a guest post from Horror Author and Pen of the Damned member Joseph A. Pinto, who has graciously offered to give away a free e-version of the anthology Twisted Realities: Of Myth and Monstrosity containing his short story, Memorial, to one lucky winner! Details are at the bottom ;}

Why I write Horror with Joseph A. Pinto

The writing bug bit me when I was six years old or so.  I can thank my father for it.  He kept his bookcases stuffed with worn paperbacks — Stephen King, Peter Benchley, Robert McCammon, just some of the names I got my hands on back then.  But what I remember most is reading them… no, absorbing them…anytime I had a chance.  In the middle of the day while my father worked and my mother tended to another part of the house, or in the middle of the night while my parents slept, my imagination tossed and turned.  I couldn’t pull myself away!  A forbidden world had been opened to me, a portal through which I realized there was no return.  Something else happened as well — a movie projector clicked on inside my head, and after all these years it just won’t quit.  It rolls on and on, recreating any image I can daydream and conjuring any nightmare I imagine.  And it all started with those books my father casually discarded back onto his shelves.

I had no choice but to put that writing bug, and dream, to the side for a very long time.  Life manages to get in the way of things like that, pesky little thing!  I was part of a family business until I was twenty-three years old or so and then started my own; eventually got married and four blessed years ago became Mr. Mom to a special little girl.  As incredible and humbling an experience as it is to become a parent, it also consumes any and all spare time you thought you had.  I won’t lie—it’s extremely difficult putting your dreams to the side.  But I’ve always believed that sacrifice is not what you give up, but what you ultimately gain.

Even with my lack of time, I’ve managed to write and have published two books as well as numerous short stories.  And now with my daughter in full-time school, the door is slowly opening; the chance to unleash and transfer that movie projector inside my head to paper is upon me.  Trust me, I’m all over it.

I would like to take this opportunity, however, and introduce you to something I hold dear and proud—The Pen of the Damned.  I started Pen of the Damned about six months ago with a simple vision and selfless purpose: provide readers with a unique outlet of quality prose.  Hence, Pen of the Damned, an eclectic, small collection of writers sworn to their interpretations of angst and horror; damned in every way, so tune into us every Tuesday for a fresh post of ghoulish delight and learn the reasons why.

Don’t be shy: http://www.penofthedamned.com.  Take our hand and join our world.  And while you’re at it, please join my blog at http://www.josephpinto.wordpress.com.  There’s a reason it’s called the horror (and things not so horrible) blog.


An excerpt from Memorial, by Joseph A. Pinto in
Twisted Realities: Of Myth and Monstrosity

”At last, bravado found at the bottom of your glass. Is that the residue of passion, Nicholas, or merely passion’s inspiration?”

A thread’s breadth parted Nicholas’ lips as bourbon drizzled tongue. Eyes danced but to the song of another day, transfixed by noiseless, ghostly chords. “Some people wish to choose their vice. But for others, the vice chooses them.”

”Killing yourself slowly with alcohol now, then.”

”It’s not alcohol of which I speak.” The words hung between them.

Hesitation. Eventually Anthony loomed over the table. “She’s gone, Nicholas,” and instantly the music ceased; a blackened veil draped his features. Hand plummeted to the table, the snifter nearly shattering atop the sticky grain. Bourbon splashed Anthony’s knuckles, but fast his posture remained. He studied his brother with dulled satisfaction. Slowly, by inches, he lowered his considerable frame, pouring his bulk into the opposite seat. Watching intently. Silence, broken only by Nicholas’ strangled mewls.

Nicholas dabbed at the corner of his trembling lips. “When?” His voice a hoarse murmur.

”Six months ago. You’ve changed your haunts. It’s made finding you difficult, but not impossible. I thought you had fallen from the face of the earth, too. Like Catarina.”


In honor of Coffin Hop 2012, Joe has graciously offered to donate an e-version of the anthology Twisted Realities: Of Myth and Monstrosity featuring his story Memorial to one winner who comments on this post. That’s all you need to do, just leave a comment below – even if it’s just to say Hey Joe!

Please don’t forget to visit the Coffin Hop 2012 Blog,
or the blog page here for bloggers & THE GORY DETAILS!
(Those would be the rules 🙂