Archive for the Skullvines Press Category

Regarding the Skullvines forum

Posted in News, Skullvines Press with tags , , , , , , , on April 16, 2010 by Jerrod Balzer

A lot of you now know what happened to the Skullvines forum but some may not, so I thought I’d offer the details.

But first off, please accept my sincere apologies. While there was one point to the crash where an error message came up saying, “Hacker?” I think it was something I did.

Since I was on Skype with S.D. discussing opening a new store at the time, he was there when it happened. I was upgrading it to the latest version, which involved getting into the server and messing with files there. Something went wrong and it was most likely user error on my part. It was also my first day of being on depakote, so I probably shouldn’t have been screwing with anything too complicated.

Going from memory, this is approximately how our Skype conversation went down:

JB: Got the upgrade done, and all seems okay.

SD: Great!

JB: Wait, where’d the news feed go?

SD: Hm, I can’t embed YouTube videos anymore.

JB: I bet the mods that allow that stuff didn’t take well to the upgrade. Wait, there’s a bunch of gibberish at the top of the screen now.

SD: I see that? I wonder what it is.

JB: I’ll uninstall those mods to see if it goes away… nope, now there’s more.

SD: Could it be something with the theme? Maybe we should try another.

JB: Yeah, I’ll switch to the basic theme for now… Nope still there. And I can’t switch back to any other themes now! What the hell?

SD: Man, that’s weird. Can’t we re-install?

JB: I’m worried we’d lose all the posts. I can’t seem to get back-up working.

SD: Damn.

JB: Shitty SMF.

SD: They’ve been giving us problems since day one. There was another software to use, wasn’t there? Maybe we should us that, instead.

JB: Good idea! I only went with SMF cuz I love the Twisted Sister song of the same name… Hey, I have an idea! Since we just created the site for the new store we’re getting ready for, let’s start the new forum there. It would make more sense to have it in a store so all the customers and companies can hang there.

SD: But the store isn’t ready yet.

JB: True, but we could have the forum going and work on the store from there. Everybody knows we do things ass-backwards, anyway.

SD: I agree. Let’s do it.

JB: And I can try to copy/paste as many cool posts from the old and bring them to the new, so a lot of that hard work isn’t lost. We could let the users do it, too, if they want. Then kill the old one after that.

SD: Sure, if they want to do that. It’s a good option.

JB: Wait, it’s not there anymore. Now there’s just a bunch of error crap all over the screen. I think it’s crashed and burned.

SD: Oh shit. Well, I’ll let people know. They’ll be asking what happened.

JB: Just blame me. I’m sure I did something wrong.

SD: And what’s funny is you were able to get a message on the news feed saying, “We’re upgrading. Let us know if anything goes apeshit.”

JB: Ha! Well, I think it did. Just tell everyone I burned it to the ground.

So there you have it. The paranoid part of me is concerned that people will thing it was done on purpose just to move it to the store’s site. Not true. I put a lot of hard work into that site, as well as all the users. There were great posts there that I (and I’m sure others) would dread trying to recreate. So it was far from intentional. But with the new one, I’ve already done an upgrade and it went perfectly. It’s a much easier program to work with, so I don’t think we’ll have a repeat. And it’s like SD said to me, “It’s the Internet where shit like this can happen at anytime, unfortunately. Everyone knows we work hard to keep the entertainment level as high as we can, and we’d never want to fuck that up on purpose.”

The store-in-progress is The Merchant’s Keep and we already have a lot of stores preparing to work with us. It will sell all genres on a consignment basis, and we’ll take a smaller cut than most (if not all) other stores. We figure stores get too greedy and therefore cut the throats of small presses, who are having enough trouble keeping afloat in today’s market.

If you’d like to watch the store being built, CLICK HERE. We’ll announce when it’s ready. Right now, we’re currently getting the Skullvines books up there while we wait on other companies’ products to arrive. Once it’s live, we intend to kill the bookstore at the Skullvines site – it will go back to descriptions of our titles with links to buy at the store. There’s really no sense in running two bookstores, selling identical products, when they come from the same place.

Oh! And CLICK HERE to go to the new forum. I believe the bugs are worked out, but let us know if you find any. This one is also more compatible with various browsers, where the old one wasn’t.

We appreciate your understanding and patience. We’ll try to make everything as smooth as possible, and in the end, we believe it will have improved things. We’re expanding, after all, and just in time for the 3rd anniversary of Skullvines Press!

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Calling DL Snell on The Funky Werepig

Posted in Events, Skullvines Press with tags , , , , , , , on February 9, 2010 by Jerrod Balzer

A few weekends ago, S.D. Hintz, Mark McLaughlin and I were back at my house from Visioncon, and we decided to call in to the Funky Werepig and mess with them. D.L. Snell happened to be the guest that night and he was a great sport! S.D. made the call into a YouTube video using pictures from Visioncon:

Reviews coming in!

Posted in Jerrod's writing, Skullvines Press with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 2, 2010 by Jerrod Balzer

Wow, it’s really awesome to get on the computer and see so many sweet reviews up! Check ’em out:

First, Rhonda Wilson reviewed my new novella, Zombie Bastard, on Monster Librarian. CLICK HERE to read it!

And it’s available at Horror Mall from Novello Publishers. CLICK HERE to order it!

Next up on Horror World, Dan Reilly reviews Dark Jesters, an anthology from Novello Publishers that has my story, “Wolf Plugs.” CLICK HERE to read it!

And it’s also available through Horror Mall. CLICK HERE to buy it!

And while you’re on the Horror World page, you’ll see that Ron Dickie reviewed K.H. Koehler’s Black Jack Derringer. It’s right below the Dark Jesters review.

Black Jack Derringer is available through Skullvines Press, and you can CLICK HERE to pick it up!

So now you know what to buy. Go get ’em! =P

Coming Soon: Tabloid Terrors 3!

Posted in Skullvines Press with tags , , , , on September 15, 2009 by Jerrod Balzer

Keep an eye on the Skullvines Tabloid Terrors page!

Michele Lee’s ROT – cover, web page, and excerpt

Posted in Skullvines Press with tags , , , , , , , , on June 26, 2009 by Jerrod Balzer

Zombies Can Be Such a Burden

So you’ve raised your loved ones from the dead, but had no idea how difficult it would be to care for them.

No problem! Silver Springs is a warm, peaceful facility equipped to handle all your zombie needs. Their friendly staff will ensure they have a safe environment with daily exercise and raw meat.

Rest easy knowing they’re in good hands… as they rot.

In Michele Lee’s Rot, you won’t find an apocalypse or Romero-style flesh-eaters. This is far more disturbing.

In a world where certain people can will others back from death, Silver Springs Specialty Care Community caters to the undead for those who aren’t quite ready to let go (zombie milk available by special arrangement at the home office).

Dean, retired from the military and looking for an easier life, runs security at this zombie herding farm, but he learns that dark injustice is not unique to war. There’s a rotten core to Silver Springs. Now, Dean and a quickly-decaying corpse named Patrick are on the hunt for a woman they both love and lost to a lucrative business that specializes in greed, zombies and never having to say goodbye.

Cover art by Mark McLaughlin

**Available for Pre-Order very soon!**

Here’s what others are saying:

“Part detective story, part romance, all horror, Michele Lee’s Rotis an exceptional piece of work, one of those rare stories that manages to seamlessly blend together all those elements that make a horror story memorable, and it does so with such a confident voice, one might think Lee – a relative newcomer – is secretly channeling the masters. Rotis nothing less than the unveiling of an exciting new talent in the horror field, one I suspect – and hope – we’ll be hearing a lot more from in the future.”

~Kealan Patrick Burke, author of Master of the Moors, The Turtle Boy, and Currency of Souls

“Smart zombies, a mystery, and a love story – this has so many elements foreign to the typical zombie story, that it will be a true inspiration to any fan of the undead. In these pages we see real inhumanity, dark humor, and hope, and we realize our favorite monster is capable of so much more than gut munching and being shot in the head. Don’t miss this one.”

~Kim Paffenroth, author of Dying to Live and Dying to Live: Life Sentence

Rot is a definite winner. It’s well-written, has lots of plot twists, characters we care about, and it strikes more emotional chords than you’d probably expect in a novella about flesh-eating zombies.”

~Jeff Strand, author of Pressure

Want a taste? Here’s an excerpt:

The door beeped. Amy and I became conspicuously quiet. Dodgeston, a keeper dressed in blue scrubs embroidered with his name, came in with a young-looking blond man. Dodgeston nodded to me and left without a word or a look to either of the corpses in the room. Patrick sat sullenly at the desk with Amy.

“Hi, Amy.”

“Hi, Patrick. This is Dean. He’s the one that’ll kill us the day we go rogue.”

“Hi, Dean.” Patrick regarded me, then turned to Amy. “Did you try the ‘brains’ thing on him?”

“Yeah, he thought it was funny.”

Patrick nodded as if he approved.

The conversation was strange in several ways. Neither of them seemed to be bothered, or joking, when they mentioned that I might have to kill them. And it didn’t help that Patrick had a deep, bloodless gash across the right side of his forehead. It looked more like a fake movie effect than human flesh. It hadn’t even been stitched closed by the mortician. Perhaps it was one more punishment Patrick’s parents wanted him to endure.

“So he’s decent then?” Patrick asked.

“Yeah.”

I’d seen the other workers speak casually with each other, treating the residents as if they were nothing more than furniture. But being on the receiving end of it was irritating. “I can hear you, you know.”

“We know,” Patrick said. “So what are we doing today?”

“Nothing,” Amy answered. “The place is dead.”

I chimed in with a flat, “Ha, ha, ha.”

Amy smiled impishly at me before turning away.

Things were tense because we’d all had to pass Sabrina Rosa on the way to the back room. Hers was the heartbreaking kind of case you couldn’t find words for. She was a pretty little thing, delicate and well-formed with long black hair and beautiful Hispanic features. She’d died six weeks ago, hemorrhaging during child birth.

On the advice of the doctor, her husband had her raised and brought immediately to Silver Springs, where she expressed a steady supply of breast milk for their daughter. She begged daily to be allowed to see the child, and as depressing as it was, I couldn’t blame the father for wanting his daughter to remember her mother from pictures rather than the undead thing that nursed her.

“Monitor, west sector fence check.”

I grabbed my radio and keyed the mike. “Confirmed.”

When I turned back to Amy and Patrick, they had dark looks on their faces. I was unsure what had happened in that moment to change the light mood. “What’s wrong?”

Patrick looked at Amy, who avoided looking at me. I was beginning to hate that.

“You should tell him, if he’s that decent.”

“Tell me what?”

Amy didn’t answer. More looks passed between them that I disliked, and it was the bad feeling at the pit of my stomach dislike.

“Just tell me.” My amusement was long gone.

“Let’s just say we aren’t the only monsters here,” Amy said quietly. The barely-contained emotion in her voice made her sound more human than ever. “The day I go savage, if I have even a bit of brain left, there will be certain people I’m aiming for.”

Robin Balzer on the Funky Werepig show!

Posted in Cool stuff, Robin Balzer, Skullvines Press, The Metal Crypt with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 15, 2009 by Jerrod Balzer

My good friend and owner of Skullvines Press, S.D. Hintz, was on the Blogtalkradio show, The Funky Werepig last night.  Of course, I had to call in and give him a hard time.  The conversation carried into the after party segment of the show where everyone kicks back.  I had the show playing through the stereo system and Robin was enjoying it so much, she wanted to come on and say, “Hi!”

So, if anyone would like to finally hear what she sounds like, take a listen to the “SD Hintz” podcast HERE!  You can also download it (sometimes I have trouble getting sound from the site’s players).

While the show is well worth hearing from start to finish, Robin comes in at about the 92 minute mark.  You can hold your mouse on the progress bar of the player and bump it to around 90 minutes and catch it.  And so you know who else she’s talking to besides S.D., there’s Greg Hall (the crazy host) from Choate Road, Louise Bohmer, and R. Scott McCoy, chief editor of Necrotic Tissue, which is just going to its first print edition (get a subscription!).

**Now, if you just want the part with Robin, S.D. just put it up on the Skullvines podcast page HERE.

As a side note, shortly on the Metal Crypt, we have Scott Allie of Dark Horse Comics scheduled for June 24th at 5pm EST.  Providing Robin is up to it, I intend to bring Robin on to chat with him a bit.  She wants to thank him for all he’s done.

Cover art for Grave Bits!

Posted in Skullvines Press with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 16, 2009 by Jerrod Balzer

This upcoming Skullvines Press title is outstanding.  Grave Bits combines 24 dark, deep poems by Todd Hanks with the gorgeous artwork of Juan McGowan.  Among vampires, scarecrows, and other creatures from various cultures, the reader will experience ritual sacrifice, intimacy, and madness.  Juan’s artwork accompanies each, bringing the imagery to life with fantastic detail.