My interview with The Unfleshed Podcast

I had the honor of being interviewed by author TJ Weeks on the the Unfleshed Podcast.  We talk books, influences, and he asks the hard questions.  I give the hard answers. (I don’t know what that means either)

Remember kids: stay in school, don’t drink and drive, and read TJ Weeks.


I suck at selling myself

Selling myself is some of the hardest work I’ve ever done.  I’ve farmed, held jobs in factories and warehouses, sold (attempted) various things for other employers, and this is by far the most challenging thing of all.  I’m not one to immediately put myself in the spotlight, which I’m sure is part of the problem.  I’m a bass player for chrissakes!  My whole philosophy revolves around ‘if you doing your job well enough no one really notices’.  And that is the exact opposite of what it takes to sell books.  To sell books I need more than the books themselves.  I need to sell myself.

I am an author that currently has one novel out and a few short stories published.  I have another novel that I am actively seeking a home for.  I also have a horror novel that I am really really excited about and a possible collaboration on a comic/graphic novel in the future on the burner.  So there is that.  But just writing doesn’t sell the stuff.  Gotta hit the streets with it.

I have a couple interviews coming up (more info as they happen), trying to set up a couple more after that.  Because Night Shall Overtake doesn’t fit in an east niche, it’s tough to get it noticed.  Pale Winter Sun is a little of the same and I think that’s why I’m having a tough time finding a publisher.  But anyone who knows me will concur the fact that I tend to reside just outside of convention.  It’s not always an easy life, but it’s the only one I got.

So with all that I’m trying to combine various projects that I had running under separate banners under the Michael R Collins Media Empire™ (that’s just a working title we’ve been throwing around the office).  Saint Zero’s Headphone Bleed will incorporate more of me as a name as will any future projects coming up.

And speaking of The Headphone Bleed, thanks to some good advice I got from fellow author and podcaster TJ Weeks, I have started a Headphone Bleed Channel on Youtube.  This will be another home for the show where I add some visuals to the audio.  I will be putting in some stupid shit you can be assured of that.  Please watch, like, and share.  Suggestions always welcome.  And as always, episodes will be up at The first episode is my interview with TJ Weeks

Liking, sharing, and word of mouth is the best way for authors to survive.  Buy their books and talk about them.  You have no idea how much it means to us when you do that.  We just want to give you big ol’ hugs when you do.  Reviews are another way to support us.  I want to thank the people who have gotten the word out there on Night Shall Overtake, I appreciate it more than you know.

The new Headphone Bleed Youtube Channel ==> Click Here

Remember kids: stay in school, don’t drink and drive, and it’s only prostitution if you sell your body; I’m whoring out my mind.

NSO cover

In a city who’s gritty underbelly might try an eat you, weird creatures that normally inhabit bad dreams roam the streets.  Lovecraftian horrors have day jobs and things that defy imaginations are running convenience stores.  Twila Matthews, an underpaid shapeshifting private detective with a cell phone possessed by an unnerving demon, is hired on a simple missing person’s case.  But when she finds her target dead, an unraveling conspiracy leads Twila and her crew in direct confrontation with the most evil and diabolical of monsters.


Black Bed Sheet Books –

‘Start Over’

I am honored to have been included in the 2015 Shadows and Light Anthology.  Once again I have a story that sits a long side other great writing talents. My story, a creepy little haunt, is entitled Start Over.  It explores that very theme, the struggles and little triumphs of starting over and trying it all again differently.  But as per usual, it’s not quite how you would expect, or whom you would expect.


You can get your copy of Shadows and Light Anthology in both Kindle ==> here <==

and real-life format ==> here <==

A small taste perhaps?:

Start Again

January 11:

I’ve been living here for two months and it’s hard to believe. My chaotic former life seems to loom around the corner as if I only took a quick cigarette break from it But I’ve been sober the entire time; no drink, no drugs, no people to lead me back into temptation. Which one do I blame the most? The substances or the people? Or myself?

All of the above. Each one was both a symptom and catalyst of the other. I just hung on to life by my fingernails while being as fucked up as possible. Fucked up on more than just the booze and drugs; pretty lights and driving music too. The feeling of being wanted, even though the entire time you know full well you aren’t, only used. Gerald was the master at that and I let him. It was too easy to just let him use and be used. Spending so much time like that does serious work on perceptions to your reality. I saw nothing wrong with my behavior or those around me. Rape, vandalism, and O.D.’s just came with the territory. We just thought it’s what happened. It didn’t affect us. Even months later, I close my eyes at night and I see flickering lights and taste the pills on my tongue.

Now I have a new job, new place to live, and I’m bored to death. Can’t afford cable, but I don’t really care. Just more pretty lights and driving music. A different drug with a different taste. Instead I read. But all those Sylvia Plath and Charles Bukowski books I used to consume don’t hold the same meaning now. I picked up a handful of random 25 cent paperbacks at a thrift store. So far I’ve read two cheesy romances, one Victorian ghost story, and one dry biography.

My neighbors are the real entertainment. That and this spooky ass building I’ve moved into. It’s old but not ancient. The linoleum tile floor is gritty with age and the walls are repainted with the same white and lime green every couple of decades or so. My apartment is small and plaster. The carpet is worn where past tenants walked.

I go to work and come home. Rarely do I venture out otherwise so I haven’t met too many people yet. But the walls are thin and the halls echo. I’ll have to start chronicling all the things I hear. I could base a soap opera on some of this stuff.

And whoever the hell paces past my door in the middle of the night needs to get a hobby! It’s getting old. Go walk outside if you are that restless!

January 20:

So here is the report on the neighbors. I haven’t met them all, but I have come across the ones on this floor and the ones below. No sure what’s going on upstairs though. No one seems to know of anyone living on the floor above me. Somebody must because I will hear signs of life, usually in the middle of the night when I’m trying to sleep.

At the end of the hall, opposite of each other, are the Twins and Dan. Dan is this chubby quiet guy. He seems like a nice little introvert. I imagine he goes to the comic book shop and plays a lot of D&D. The Twins scare me a little. They aren’t really twins, but they might as well be. They are nothing more than cookie-cutter blondes who are obviously living on their own for the first time. To naïve to really party, but smart enough to get themselves in trouble. They have invited me out a couple times, but I can’t afford to slip back into bad habits. It would be too easy for me to be led into temptation.

Across from me is the Timid Terrorist. I call him that, but I don’t really think he is a terrorist. He seems nice, but he gets packages at all times of the day and the few peeks I have been able to get from his apartment, it’s full of clocks. He’s polite, but won’t directly address me.

The apartment by the stairs is the Hag. She’s a bitter and fat old woman whose main hobby is to yell at people through the door to stop clomping up the stairs. No matter how quiet I walk up the stairs, she always hears me and yells, “Young Lady! Stop clomping up those stairs!” None of us worry about break-ins because she knows all of us by how we walk up the stairs. I am ‘Young Lady’, Dan is ‘Boy’, Timid Terrorist is ‘In Our Country We Know How to Walk Quietly Up Stairs’. The Twins are simply ‘You Girls’. If she doesn’t’ recognize the stair-stomping she pokes her head out and lets loose a glare that could stop any potential robber in his tracks.

Downstairs we have a college student named David who hasn’t quite figured out this isn’t a dorm yet. We’ve all had to ask him to keep quiet. He comes off as polite and upstanding but he has a vibe about him that tells me he knows the proper applications of Rohypnol in bar situations. There is also a young mother with a cute little boy. He seems like a sweet kid, and that’s saying something because I usually hate kids.

Almost forgot the Super. She is a great example for me to have around. She’s probably in her forties, but looks sixty. The best way to describe her is used-up bar hag. She smokes in her apartment, despite the fact that it’s strictly prohibited in the building. Her apartment smells like an early-80’s honky-tonk. Her boyfriend looks like he was forcibly retired from a biker gang. A mean bastard though. Anytime she can’t be bothered to yell at someone or collect the rent, she sends him. Ernie is his name, I have no idea what her name is though. I just call her Bitch.

I’m not sure who it is walking the halls in the middle of the night. They stop in front of my door and just stand there for awhile before running off. It could be Dan, but he’s a little to shut-in for that. Timid Terrorist is out because I’d hear his door open and shut. Maybe David or Ernie? That is creepy because I don’t trust either one of them. I just wish they would stop.

Read more in Shadows and Light!

Remember kids: Stay in school, don’t drink and drive, and a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down