J. THORN publishes video magazine for fans of horror and heavy metal

On June 12, 2015, J. Thorn launched Dark Arts Theater Volume 1, a video magazine dedicated to horror, dark fantasy, heavy metal and hard rock. A veteran of the heavy metal scene and an Amazon Top 100 Most Popular Author in Horror, Thorn brought together the two art forms he has been so passionate about for more than 30 years.

“I’ve been attracted to dark art since I was ten years old,” says Thorn. “Listening to Black Sabbath while reading Stephen King became part of my life as a teenager and something I still do today. Having been in a heavy band and now writing horror novels, I feel like I can present the best of both worlds to people who are as fanatic about this stuff as I am.”

Dark Arts Theater Volume 1 consists of ten 30-40 minute issues. The show is available free of charge on YouTube (video), iTunes (audio) and via a dedicated website at http://darkartstheater.com. Thorn is currently working on Dark Arts Theater Volume 2, due out by the end of 2015. In addition, he will be releasing weekly “Top Three” videos on topics related to heavy metal and horror.

Highlights of Dark Arts Theater Volume 1 include:

+Song samples and music videos by Dozer (Small Stone Records), The Atomic Bitchwax (Tee Pee Records), Karma to Burn (FABA/Deepdive Records), House of Broken Promises (Small Stone Records), Venomin James (Auburn Records) and Threefold Law (independent).

+Interviews with Andy Weir (author of The Martian, soon to be a Ridley Scott film featuring Matt Damon), Lisa Morton (president of the Horror Writers Association) and Peter Bebergal (author of Season of the Witch: How the Occult Saved Rock and Roll).

+Conversations about Kyuss, Tool and Down with Dan Padavona (author of Storberry and Dark Vanishings, and son of heavy metal legend Ronnie James Dio) and conversations with Zach Bohannon (author of Empty Bodies) about Metallica, Megadeth and Pantera. Additionally, David Wright (author of Yesterday’s Gone, Crash) talks about The Shining, Let the Right One In, 28 Days Later and World War Z.

For more information and free access to all of the issues, visit http://darkartstheater.com.

Win a Kindle Fire HD 7 Tablet

Just a quick post to let you know my newest giveaway is for a Kindle Fire HD 7 Tablet! That’s right. A brand new, Kindle Fire HD 7 and its free to enter.

There is no catch. You enter the contest and I’ll email you the winner when it ends. If you are the winner, the prize will show up at your door. That’s it. Plus, if someone enters by clicking on your Facebook post, tweet or link, you get an additional THREE entries. How cool is that?


Win The Best of H.P. Lovecraft (new paperback)

Just a quick post to let you know that the giveaway this week is a brand new paperback – The Best of H.P. Lovecraft. Lovecraft is a personal favorite of mine and this anthology has all of his best stuff.

There is no catch. You enter the contest and I’ll email you the winner when it ends. If you are the winner, the prize will show up at your door. That’s it. Plus, if someone enters by clicking on your Facebook post, tweet or link, you get an additional THREE entries. How cool is that?


“Behind the curtain of the DEAD: Snapshot {your town here} series” Guest post by T.W. Brown

Dead_Snapshot__Portland_Oregon_AUDIOBOOKMy friend and collaborator T.W. Brown has a new series coming out and you do NOT want to miss this. Enjoy!


You sort of dream about that headline. Admit it. You watch shows like The Walking Dead and think, That would be SO cool! Would it really? I want you to bring your own arm up to your mouth and bite as hard as you can. Now keep going until you rip the flesh. (In the interest of our “sue happy” culture, I am not really suggesting that you do this, and if you already did then can I ask what in the hell is wrong with you?)

So…how cool is it now? And then there is the idea of finding a loved one who had the misfortune of not heeding the warnings and got bit trying to hurry home to take care of you. They are coming at you with filmed over, dead eyes. So grab a gun or something and shoot or bash them in the head. Oh yeah, that includes your precious little Jimmy or Janie. You know, that apple of your eye…the one thing that you love more than life itself.

Not sounding so great anymore, is it?

The reality of the zombie apocalypse is probably more terrifying than we want to imagine. However, reading about it is a blast. On that, I think many of us can agree. Only, when you read these stories, don’t they always seems so far away and remote? Unless you have a local zombie author who loves to set his novels in his or her (and by extension…YOUR) neck of the woods, you have to imagine places you have never been and hope to sink into the story enough to feel like you are “there.”

Well, wait no more. With my new spin off of my successful and best-selling zombie series DEAD, the apocalypse can be right outside your own front door. How? I will tell you later. You don’t think I am gonna give you ALL the good stuff right off the bat, now do ya?

My new series is titled DEAD: Snapshot—{insert town here}. Okay that last little bit is just the generic filler. To be clear, the first book is titled DEAD: Snapshot—Portland, Oregon. I set it in my town because it is someplace that I know pretty well. However, the next book is titled DEAD: Snapshot—Leeds, England. Never been there, but with the help of Google, I can get down to street level and “walk” about from the comfort of my computer.

Each of these books will be a stand-alone novel set in the mythology that I built in the DEAD series. Some of them may see “guest appearances” by characters that you know and love or hate from DEAD. You don’t have to be a reader of the series to enjoy or understand the book. It is zombie fiction, not Twin Peaks. For those totally unfamiliar, my zombies are like those found in Romero flicks. Still confused? (I weep for you, but I will clarify.) The Walking Dead. You know, basically slow and not all that coordinated. I do have a few twists in my mythology that differs from the norm. While I won’t state it as a fact, I had not read (in my VERY EXTENSIVE reading) any instances where the bite was not a catalyst for somebody to turn. Also, children of the younger age bracket might behave just a bit differently. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I will leave it at that and let you discover for yourself why my series has allowed me to be a writer full-time and quit my day job.

So, how do you get zombies to come wipe out your town (or maybe the town of an ex, or somebody that you just really don’t like), so to speak? Simple. All you have to do is send me an email at twbrown.maydecpub@gmail.com with “I WANT TO SEE THE DEAD TAKE MY TOWN!” in the subject line. From there, in the actual email, tell me where you are from. Tell me a little bit about your town and what makes it special. Feel free to offer your own name up for use as a character. You are even free to give me a description or photo that I can use to design this character. I even let you specify if you wish to be hero or villain. Sorry, no promises that you will survive in any case, and your character’s depiction may be NOTHING like you in manner and action. It will simply carry your name into the annals of zombie apocalypse history.

So…are you interested? Curious? Or maybe you really dislike those snobs over in Shelbyville? (Simpson’s  reference…sorry.) Well, you now have the power of life, death, and undeath in your hands. What will you do?

“Snarknado” – Guest post by Matthew Verish

SONY DSCThis week I have a guest post for you by fellow Clevelander and writer, Matthew Verish. I think you’re going to like it. Enjoy!

It’s no secret that SyFy is known for its plethora of IQ-dropping “horror” movies. It’s also no secret that the once-beloved channel changed its name from “Sci-Fi” to the modern—and sadly, more appropriate—purposeful misspelling to fit its present imbecilic standards. As a result, I have never seen SyFy channel’s flagship horror franchise, Sharknado, nor do I plan to. I’ve no doubt it’s mildly entertaining. And I’m fully aware of its minor claim-to-fame with tongue-through-the-cheek writing, ghastly failed college student “special effects,” Tara Reid’s face-palmingly awful one-take acting, Ian Ziering’s infamous Great White  mouth-raping chainsaw scene, and the hundreds of sharks being tossed around by that furious bitch, Mother Nature. I’m sure some will even defend Sharknado by drawing the “so-bad-it’s-good” card.

I call shenanigans, officer Barbrady! And here’s why.

B movies have a special place in every horror fan’s heart. Who could EVER forget Troll 2? “Oh my God!” How about Killer Klowns from Outer Space? Dead bodies wrapped in alien cotton candy! And let’s not forget Blood Diner, the only film to dip a topless hottie’s head in cornmeal batter, deep-fry it into a giant corndog-head, and knock it off with a baseball bat. These films are a special kind of bad, made with love by those who appreciate and understand the bizarre genre that is horror. Well, maybe not Troll 2. No knows what the shit Claudio Fragasso was snorting when he made that disasterpiece. There’s not even a goddamn troll in the movie! And maybe that’s why it’s fondly considered the worst film of all-time.

This is where Sharknado comes in. I was willing to let this pass as another lame-brain attempt at horror by SyFy, and grudgingly allow it to be classified as a B movie, but the network did something that gave me pause. They green-lighted two—count ‘em, TWO—sequels! This was when I started classifying most of today’s “B movies” as something entirely different. It’s one thing for companies, writers, and directors to unknowingly smear a giant turd on the silver/television screen, but it’s an entirely different scenario when studios aim to outdo each other in an attempt to claim the title of “Worst Film of All-Time.” How can a movie enjoy such accolades when it’s making a considerable effort to be appalling? A truly pathetic B movie goes into production honestly having no idea it’s headed for shitsville.

This is why SyFy’s movies will never attain the coveted WFoAT status. Sre, they’re bad…REAL bad., but a film such as Troll 2 is unparalleled in its inferiority and will more than likely withstand the test of time on its broken pedestal. True genius of such a low caliber can only be attained by those who took the proverbial plunge into the bowels of psychosis long before they ever thought of making a movie. SyFy should just give up, spell its name correctly, and go back to making honest science fiction programming.

Matthew Verish is fifty percent of the epic fantasy, married co-authors team, M.S. Verish. He is also an aspiring horror author who also goes under the pseudonym of Colin Crow. He lives with his wife in Cleveland, OH.

Fantasy – http://msverish.wix.com/secramore
Horror – https://www.facebook.com/grayhorror

Win TWO Hardcovers – The Lake by Richard Laymon & The Strain by Guillermo del Toro

Just a quick post to let you know that the giveaway this week is for TWO Hardcovers – The Lake by Richard Laymon & The Strain by Guillermo del Toro. Two very entertaining books from two great horror writers.

There is no catch. You enter the contest and I’ll email you the winner when it ends. If you are the winner, the prize will show up at your door. That’s it. Plus, if someone enters by clicking on your Facebook post, tweet or link, you get an additional THREE entries. How cool is that?


Answers to all of life’s questions & a witch

Folks have been continuing to subscribe to The Horror Writers Podcast even though it’s been dead since November. Others have been asking me if I’ll start another podcast. HELL NO! But seriously, I do have an idea but I don’t want to do it unless I know it will serve a need. There are SO many great podcasts for writers and I’m not sure what I can offer will add anything of value.

If you’re a writer and have been distraught since the demise of my first podcast, click on the link and ask me a question. If the demand is there and people can use my help, I’ll get back in the game. Please share the link if you know an author who might benefit from a podcast based on listener questions.

This link will only work for 5 days so click it now. Do it. You can submit as many questions as you want. By the way, even if you’re not a writer you can ask me a question. Click the link and you’ll see what I mean 😉


In other news, Shadow Witch: Horror of the Dark Forest launched on Friday and we’ve been thrilled with the response. To celebrate the release, Dan and I are sponsoring a giveaway.

We’ve been billing this story as “Game of Thrones meets the Blair Witch” so we’ve decided to offer something special.

One lucky winner will receive THREE prizes including a signed paperback copy of Game of Thrones (signed by George R.R. Martin), a signed DVD of The Blair Witch Project (signed by Eduardo Sanchez) and a signed paperback of Shadow Witch: Horror of the Dark Forest (signed by J. Thorn and Dan Padavona).

There is no catch. You enter the contest and I’ll email you the winner when it ends. If you are the winner, the prize will show up at your door. That’s it. Plus, if someone enters by clicking on your Facebook post, tweet or link, you get an additional THREE entries. How cool is that?


Shadow Witch: Horror of the Dark Forest

Dan Padavona and I are proud to launch Shadow Witch: Horror of the Dark Forest this Friday the 13th. It’s available on Amazon (pre-order right now) for $0.99 for a limited time.

Click here to get Shadow Witch: Horror of the Dark Forest.

We’ve been describing it as “Game of Thrones meets The Blair Witch.” We deliberately set out to craft a story that had elements of fantasy and horror and we believe you’ll find it unique and impossible to put down. Here’s a little tease:

Thom Meeks lives with his family in Droman Meadows under the protection of the Kingdom of Mylan. An unusually long winter creates anxiety in the village and some believe it to be the return of an ominous force known as the Shadow. When a pack of dread wolves lays ruin to Droman Meadows, Thom escapes with his wife and four daughters. They set out on the Mylan Road in hopes of finding refuge in the capital, but dark forces emerging from the primeval forest will challenge them for their eternal souls.

Click here to get Shadow Witch: Horror of the Dark Forest.

Working with Dan has been nothing short of amazing. He is a true professional and a gifted writer.

A bit about Dan from his website:

“I was born and raised in Cortland, New York, not far from the Finger Lakes region. My parents, Loretta, and Ronnie Padavona, separated when I was very young. My father moved to California, where he gained notoriety in heavy metal music as Ronnie James Dio. My mother raised me into the person I am today. I live outside of Binghamton, New York, with my wife Terri, and children Joe, and Julia.

“I have been an avid reader for as long as I can remember, mainly fantasy and horror. If you happen upon me, you’ll probably see me reading Terry Brooks, Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, Dean Koontz, Robert Jordan, or one of many authors who have so enriched my life with their ability to tell a good tale. I am enamored with the written word and can spend hours playing with different word combinations to improve prose.”

Click here to get Shadow Witch: Horror of the Dark Forest, available on Amazon (pre-order) for $0.99 for a limited time.

Announcing Dark Arts Theater

Since December of last year, I have been in quiet pre-production on an exciting project. Dark Arts Theater is a new online program launching in the spring of this year. It will be like Entertainment Tonight but with a focus on horror novels, movies, heavy music, cool television shows and more. I’m even going to create new, exclusive content for each episode.

I plan on releasing the shows in a multimedia magazine format which means one new issue every month, each issue ranging from 40-70 minutes in length, depending on the segments. The number of issues I create in the first volume will be totally dependent on viewer feedback. If you subscribe to the YouTube channel and rate the show on iTunes that will tell me you want more and I’ll deliver.

I hope to provide high-quality entertainment occasionally, instead of mediocre content more frequently. Also, I’m writing, producing, recording and editing the show on my own which means I could never provide this kind of entertainment in a weekly format. I know this bucks the current trend and is not favorable to the YouTube algorithm but I don’t give a shit about either. I love producing and I love creating content people enjoy. That’s what I care about.

Here’s a little tease, a trailer that will also function as the show’s opening sequence.

I am so excited to get this show going but I’m not going to start releasing issues until I have the best content possible and that takes some time. This program will be like nothing else out there. If you head to the YouTube channel and subscribe right now, you’ll instantly know when the first issue is up.

Don’t be afraid of the dark. Embrace it.

Make sure you enter my latest giveaway. Win a Kindle Fire HD 6 Tablet. Free to enter with no strings attached.


Dark Arts Theater – Open for Band Submissions REPOST

I’m keeping this announcement up for one more week. The bands who have submitted thus far have been outstanding. If you’re in a heavy band, don’t miss this opportunity…

Author, musician and Heavy Planet contributor, J. Thorn, seeks bands to be featured in a new online program. Dark Arts Theater launches in the spring of this year, promoting horror and dark fantasy books, movies, shows and music. Thorn has sold over 130,000 novels since 2011 and he expects to reach a similar audience with this show.

The program will be free to watch (YouTube) or listen (iTunes) with a new episode monthly. Submissions for season one of Dark Arts Theater are now open. Please read ALL of the requirements below before submitting:

 Bands MUST:

  • Fill out the submission form located here: http://bit.ly/dabands
  • Submit three different songs. Songs must be in the .wav format (NO mp3 files) and submitted via a link to a DropBox folder or Google Drive folder. Attachments sent via email will be deleted.
  • Digitally sign the copyright permissions form (via free service, Docracy.org) which gives Dark Arts Theater the permission to play your music on the show. Bands MUST be the copyright holder/owner of the intellectual property submitted. Any copyright disputes over submitted material are SOLEY the responsibility of the band so do NOT submit if you do not own the rights to the song. For that reason, only original music will be considered (no covers).
  • To be featured on the first season of Dark Arts Theater, bands must submit prior to March 1st, 2015. Submissions will not be accepted after the deadline, no exceptions. There will be 12 shows in the first season and one band featured each show so submission is NOT a guarantee your band will be featured. Bands chosen will be contacted prior to air date. Submissions accepted on a rolling basis so early submissions stand the best chance at acceptance.


  • Try to pick three different types of songs to submit, varying in style or tempo, if possible. Preference will be given to bands whose music can be used in different segments of the show.
  • Tracks should be professionally recorded, mixed and mastered. Dark Arts Theater strongly discourages live recordings and practice recordings.
  • Dark Arts Theater will use approximately 1:00 minute of each track submitted (3:00 minutes total). You may crop your song to the one minute section you’d like to feature or Dark Arts Theater will make the decision if a full song is submitted. The goal is to provide the audience a sample of your music and then direct them to your website.

*Dark Arts Theater is NOT associated with HeavyPlanet. Being featured on one does NOT guarantee a feature on the other.

One last thing. This week’s giveaway is crazy cool. Win a Kindle Fire HD 6 Tablet. Free to enter with no strings attached.