Storyteller at large
A Blog by Author J.R. White
To Frighten, Amuse, Entertain and Enthrall.
The new Audio Book Trailers featuring the voice talents of veteran narrator Micah Mason have arrived! You can watch them right now via the imbedded videos below. Micah has done a phenomenal job with these performances, and I’m excited to share a taste of them!
Idon’t remember when I first heard about hobo stoves, it was so long ago. It could’ve been in one of Louis L’Amour’s short stories set during the depression. (L’Amour himself hoboed at one point). Or maybe I saw old pictures of the migrant works of the dust bowl era huddled against the cold over a squat can of flames.
A “Hobo” was, and still is in some places, a migrant worker who travels the country by hitching rides (legal or otherwise) on trains. They’re differentiated from “tramps” or “bums” by their willingness to work and travel. (Tramps travel, but do not work. Bums do neither). Changes in economic structure, availability of immigrant labor, and the increased speed of modern trains (making them more dangerous to jump onto) have all helped render the hobo a relic of the past. But the Hobo Stove lives on.
For those that don’t know, a hobo stove is an improvised… [Read More]
Spring is in full swing, Folks, and that means all sorts of little green things are starting to pop up from the ground. That may not mean much to most of us these days beyond a welcome arrival of warmer weather, but for our predecessors it often meant the first fresh greens in months. That’s right, everybody; if you lived before the global trade in fresh produce we currently enjoy, those weeds you take for granted might’ve been your first chance to stave off the scurvy after wintering on canned and dried rations.
Since greenhouses and refrigerated trucks came along, a lot of traditional greens have fallen off the radar. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth your time. Some of them are even delicacies.
I submit for your consideration Allium Tricoccum, AKA the ramp… [Read More]
Hail of Brimstone is Now on Audio!
It’s finally here, Folks!
Returning narrator Micah Mason has delivered an absolute barn-burner of a performance on this one, and I couldn’t be happier.
You can get either audiobook at the links above. I genuinely hope you enjoy them!
Creative Outlets - Mailbox Wood Stove
Back before winter set in and the wind grew teeth, I was already thinking about how to get some heat into a fort I was building for the Adventure Girls. It would be the second woodland “fort” we’d made together, the first being a little too close to the house for my HOA’s liking (but that’s a story for another time, depending on statute of limitations). The point is, by the time the new fort was finished in its secret and HOA-free location, the cold would be here to gnaw on little bones. No child wants to freeze their butt off; it tends to… [Read More]
Updates for the New Year
What with holiday travel, unexpected issues with both my computer and vehicle, and the ongoing soup-sandwich that is life in a pandemic, it’s been a while since I’ve posted updates. Let’s get started. Right off the bat, I’m recovering from Covid as I write this. Most likely the necro-nom-nom-icrom variant or whatever the hell we’re on these days. The crud swept through our whole… [Read More]
My Top 5 Horror-Comedies (With Honorable Mentions)
Storytelling, much like good cooking or well-made cocktails, is all about balance. No other genre requires quite the level of balance as Horror-Comedy. Once the limbs start flying, there’s nothing like a few good laughs to level out the experience. A good dose of humor alongside the carnage also goes a long way toward reminding us that it’s all just entertainment. I mean, otherwise most horror fans would just be sitting in darkened rooms watching people get murdered… which is… a market, I guess. But for those of us uninterested in torture porn and nihilistic melodrama, a good horror-comedy is worth it’s weight in severed heads… [Read More]
My 5 Favorite Zombie Movies (that don't involve George Romero)
Few monsters are as iconic in the pop-culture of Halloween as the zombie. Whether we see them as a metaphor for the collapse of civilization, consumerism, the threat of mob violence, or just the inevitable specter of death slowly shuffling toward us all, the Living Dead have occupied an impressive swath of the horror movie landscape. One of the most imposing monoliths on that landscape is George Romero and his original… [Read More]
10 Classic Short Stories to Read this Halloween
As we get deeper into October, the night’s get cooler and the dark of evening comes fast. If you’re lucky enough to have a fireplace, maybe you’ve got some logs burning when those long shadows close in. In short, it’s fantastic reading conditions. And when it’s dark outside and the flames are flickering, nothing’s better than a classic horror short story to make you put down your cocoa and wonder why the crickets stopped… [Read More]
My Top 5 Werewolf Movies (with honorable mentions)
Alright, Folks, we are two weeks into October and spooky season is picking up steam! As the wind outside starts to grow teeth and rattle the dying leaves, there’s never been a better time to curl up on the couch with a scary movie.
Today I’m talking about films that bare their teeth and howl… Werewolf Movies. I think everyone, deep down, loves a good werewolf story. I think the fear that our inner-beast could somehow break out and escape our control is part of the basic human experience. Unfortunately, like the flesh between their gnashing jaws, great werewolf flicks are bloody rare. We’ve all got our favorites and below, in no particular order, are five of mine… [Read More]
Big News Mega-dump!
Lots of big announcements, folks, so strap in…
First off – Hail of Brimstone is officially a #1 New Release!
The new Kit Barker novel hit the top of the charts in Western Horror Fiction on Friday the 1st and I’m absolutely thrilled. Shadow of Wolves was also a #1 New Release when it came out last year, and it feels fantastic to go two-for-two. Things like that don’t happen without my readers, and I’m blessed to have you all!
My next big announcement is that Micah Mason will return as narrator for… [Read More]
Afew months back, Shadow of Wolves had the honor of receiving a 5-Star review from IndieReader. At that time, the folks over there had me do an interview for them, and today it finally came out!
After Action Report - Creatures, Crimes & Creativity 2021
This past weekend, I had the privilege of attending the Creatures, Crimes & Creativity Conference in Baltimore. This was my first writer’s conference (and, as it turned out, my first time moderating and participating in writer’s panels) and it was an overwhelmingly positive experience. I got to meet a wide array of fellow authors all of whom, without exception, were incredibly open and welcoming to an indie writer still stumbling through his… [Read More]
Creatures, Crimes & Creativity 2021 Updates
Iam excited to announce my seat on this panel at Creatures, Crimes & Creativity! I will be sharing the stage with fellow authors Teel James Glenn, Christopher D. Ochs, and the renowned James Grady (Six Days of the Condor). Come check out the panel Sept 11th in Baltimore and learn how to land that knockout fight scene!
The conference runs for three days, and there are two massive… [Read More]
Updates! August 23, 2021
Creative Outlets - Canoe Paddle Restoration
I recently bought a used canoe, which is a whole adventure in itself that I’ll tell you about later, and the seller threw a couple gnarly old paddles into the bargain.
As you can tell from the pictures below, these things were in rough shape, but I still wanted to see what I could do with one. I knew I wanted a different look from the paddle, so I decided to reshape it into an… [Read More]
Hail of Brimstone Updates
Hail of Brimstone is almost ready for publication! Advanced Reader Copies (ARCs) have started going out this week to generate some buzz with reviewers. Check out the book description from the back cover below:
“Forget your prize! Forget your friend! He is a husk, bled dry on the sands. He has been torn by what lingers, torn like they tear all who seek their secrets! Torn like they tore me!”
In the wilderness of the newborn nation of Mexico, a demonic gunman attacks a wedding, turning a day of joy into a massacre and wiping the mission of Nuestra Señora de la Sangre from the map.
A half-century later, vagabond gunfighter Kit Barker finds himself on the trail of a lost friend and a sinister relic that will… [Read More]
Hail of Brimstone Cover Art Reveal!
Alright, Everybody! The new cover art for Hail of Brimstone has arrived!
The artwork, depicting a pivotal scene from the new book, was created by artist Cammi Sanders. You may remember Cammi from a past post on how she turned my crude sketches into the cover art for Shadow of Wolves.
Check out the image below and let me know what you think. And please... [Read More]
Creatures, Crimes & Creativity Con 2021
I am excited to announce that I will be attending the Creatures, Crimes & Creativity Conference in Baltimore this September. The event is being held the 10-12th, and you can learn more at their website.
C3 Con gathers readers and writers of genre fiction (mystery, suspense, thriller, horror, sci-fi... [Read More]
Morels and Other morsels
When my wife and I started dating, I eventually brought her home to my folks in Appalachia. It was springtime, so naturally I figured this was a great opportunity to impress her with the foraging skills I had developed throughout my semi-feral youth.
I was gravely mistaken.
Apparently, if you pick something up off the ground and tell your girlfriend “here, eat this” that something had better be palatable in addition to merely edible. Because it turns out not everyone grew up chewing on wild mustard and sour-grass. A few bitter herbs later, and I had “introduced trust issues into our relationship”. [Read More]
Coming soon! - Hail of Brimstone
The next Kit Barker novel is nearly done! The first draft is currently going through proofreading and copyediting, after which I’ll be working on any necessary revisions and polishing.
Titled Hail of Brimstone, the new book introduces a fresh host of vivid characters and unleashes a new terror into the world. [Read More]
Shadow of Wolves Makes the "Best Review Books" list for march 2021
Shadow of Wolves made it onto the “Best Reviewed Books” list for March 2021 over at IndieReader. If you’ve got a moment, go check out their review of my book as well as several other indies that earned a place on the Best Reviewed List. [Read More]
Shadow of Wolves is IndieReader Approved!
I am extremely excited to announce that Shadow of Wolves has been awarded 5-Stars by IndieReader!
“An endlessly fun and immersive adventure novel that perfectly mixes horror and western all the while telling an entertaining yarn… White’s writing is punchy and never resorts to purple prose. Action and dialogue are prized over exposition… SHADOW OF WOLVES is pure, distilled, and unfiltered American pulp. Its tale is unhinged in the best way, with the supernatural mixing with the ultraviolent” – IndieReader
Screenshot and Full Review link in blog post [Read more]
Creative Outlets: The Live Edge Sink
The grizzled old sawyer looked down at the rough-cut slab at his feet. “Dang,” he muttered. “I didn’t want you to find that one.”
I had spent the morning at a private lumberyard secreted on an old homestead in the middle of Gainesville, Florida. The property was a riot of live-edge slabs and planks. The lumber was mostly cedar and cypress, stacked under the eaves and into the rooms of the old farmhouse. I had been crawling through the piles in the back rooms – my ears tuned for the menacing hum of wasps – as I looked for the perfect piece.
All of this started because my wife got me a damn cookbook. [Read More]
Creative Outlets: The Axe
Since the pandemic, I’ve been trying to get into the woods more. This led me to reconnect with some of the old outdoorsman skills that I hadn’t had a chance to use since childhood. And that led me to… UK based bushcraft videos on Youtube…. which led to – you know what, the details of this particular rabbit-hole aren’t important.
What is important, is that now I needed an axe.
And of course, I couldn’t just buy one. Where’s the fun in that? So the obvious answer was to start digging through barns and scrap-heaps until I found what I wanted. [Read More]
Creative Outlets: The Kuksa
Here in the intermittent series of “Creative Outlet” posts, I hope to share some non-writing projects and adventures with you, and I hope they inspire your own.
For this project, I decided I wanted to make a Kuksa, which is a traditional wooden cup most associated with the Sami peoples of northern Scandinavia. Like all handmade things, they come in a wide array of styles and what’s considered ‘traditional’ varies by region.
This will mostly be a photo-essay on how I did mine. I enjoyed the process, and I love the final product (despite its many deviations from ‘tradition’, which I’ll address below).
Let’s check it out. [Read More]
They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, but every last one of us does it. That’s why the cover is there, and it’s why a great cover is so important. It’s your first chance to make an impression on potential readers, convey the uniqueness of your work, and establish expectations – so you’d better get it right!
Here’s how I did it, and at the end I’ll list some advice based on my experience and the learning curve I encountered.
For my the cover of my first book, I knew I needed to make a statement…. [Read More]