Monthly Archives: April 2013

Josh Hewitt Made Me Do It!…

Asteroid headed for Earth

…well, he inspired me to write Bad Luck, to be correct.

For those poor unfortunate souls who have not read or do not follow Josh Hewitt on Twitter or on his most excellent blog A Beginning, An End and All That Lies Between, you’re missing out, let me tell you!

At the moment, Josh has an amazing project going on at his blog called #WorldsEnd. This is how it came about:

“Tomorrow, we find out that a giant planet (bigger than Jupiter) is headed towards Earth.  It will arrive in twenty years.  We can’t stop it, we can’t do anything about it.  In 20 years, the world will end.

“Your story will take place 18 years after this announcement.  What is life like?  How do people interact?  Do they still have jobs?  Do kids still go to school?  Has new religions sprouted up?  Has contingency plans?  Tell me your story–what do you think happens in this world.”

This was the task Josh set for some of his writer friends, the only constraint they had was that they could not save the Earth. You simply must visit his blog and read the stories there. They’re so diverse, and the quality is superb (apart from the odd typo, which i have noticed).

Reading these stories inspired me to write a little something this morning, but as i am not part of the project, i thought i would share my story with you here, and hopefully some of you who have been reading the #WorldsEnd stories will read and appreciate this one too. So, without further ado, i present to you all my homage to the #WorldsEnd project, to the wonderful Josh Hewitt and to all of the writers that have taken the time to create some fantastic stories for us all to read. Enjoy! Bad Luck (A #WorldsEnd story).

Sumtin’ Ta Keep Ya Sweet!


Here’s a story for your delectation. It’s called Darke Times, and it’s a little something that i wrote a few weeks ago and was holding back, but i’ve decided to let the world see Calvin Darke, Rastafarian pixie in all his glory. You’ll love him, i’m sure. All who have had the homour of reading this short story have just loved it, and i hope that you all will too, so get comfortable, roll yourself a huge spliff and laugh your socks off at Calvin, because what he gets up to in this tale you just won’t believe! I loved writing this, so don’t think you’ve seen the last of Calvin Darke!

Everything You Do Is Research!

schoolboy with open book on white background. Isolated 3D image

It’s been a crazy week of writing and then not writing; a real mixed bag of things have been happening here, but even if you’re not sitting diligently at your desk or wherever it is that you write, it doesn’t mean that you’re not working–if you’re doing something that relates directly to your writing, that is.

If you’re surfing the web, don’t just sit there playing games; use the time to do some background research, whether it be on a current work in progress or a future project. If, however your work in progress happens to involve online gameplaying, you’ve got it made!

If you’re reading a book, then it’s bound to be about something that interests you and is therefore a valuable source of information to help you in your writing. The more you read, the better your writing will become.

Movies and TV are another essential tool to the writer; they impart information that you did not have before you started viewing. For instance, just think about how much you have learned about forensic science simply by watching shows such as CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Not much use if your work in progress is a high fantasy epic, i know, but i think you get the point.

Whatever we do when we are not writing, we are still learning and remembering pieces of information that sooner or later will be of use to us. We just don’t know it at the time! I’ve spent lots of time pushing a shopping cart around the supermarket while thinking of possible names for characters and plotlines. My mind is always on the go, but to onlookers, i’m probably just “vegging out” as i perform what lots of people consider to be a boring task.

Admittedly, there are times when i do genuinely “veg out” and i can’t think of a single thing to say or to write, but those times are getting fewer the more that i read and write, and i’m going to make the effort to do more, because the ideas just keep on coming, and i don’t like to disappoint my readers! Or myself!

“Little Deaths” cracks Amazon’s Top 100…and more! John F.D. Taff, Horror Author

Little Deaths Cracks Amazon’s Top 100…and more!

By John F.D. Taff

So all three of you who actually follow this blog know the story so far. My awesome publisher, Books of the Dead Press (Toronto) has spent the last few weeks really pushing their great line of books in an effort to get each of them to #1 at Amazon. Each week, it selects a book to push, then gets behind it in a big way. Each of the books so far promoted has made it to #1 at Amazon in the Occult Horror section.

My book, Little Deaths, went up this past Sunday and the results have been staggering. I made it to #2 in the Short Stories and Single Author Short Stories categories, and made it all the way to #2 in the Horror category. I also managed to get to #4 in Amazon’s Horror Authors Ranking (Just under Stephen King and Dean Koontz), and I cracked the Top 100 Paid for Kindle.

Here’s what Roy over at Books of the Dead had to say:

“Books of the Dead had a 99¢ sale for Tim Lebbon‘s novel: Berserk. — The title hit #1.

After that we had 99¢ sale for Gary Brandner’s The Howling Trilogy. — The title hit #1.

We followed that up with a 99¢ sale for Best New Zombie Tales Volume One. — The title hit #1.

Now we’re having a 99¢ Sale for John Taff’s Little Deaths. In an unexpected twist, the title did NOT hit #1 in the Horror / Occult section on Amazon (it wasn’t in that section); it hit #2 in Horror Literature & Fiction, selling more copies than the other three titles, and cracking the TOP 100 on Amazon. We moved roughly 1,000 units within 12 hours.


Unbelievable is right. Awesome is also right. Thanks so much to everyone who helped. But we’re not finished yet. There are still three days left in my promotional cycle…and one fantastic announcement to make yet. So please post this to Facebook, Tweet it, blog it, pass it along.

Get your copy of Little Deaths.

And get ready. There’s a lot more where that came from.

I’ve just begun to creep you out.

via Little Deaths Cracks Amazon’s Top 100…and more! | John F.D. Taff, Horror Author.



Just the usual happening here at home, but i did both start and finish a new short story today, The Final Lesson that hopefully will be featured on a fellow writer’s blog, so I’ll keep you posted on that. It’s a 500 word piece, written in the second person point of view, so there’s lots of “you” in there.

Meanwhile, work on The Magic of Music, a fantasy piece i’m working on for possible submission continues. Time to introduce a few Fae to the story, methinks.

Also, Darke Times, another “fantasy” short continues to get great comments from all who have read it, and no, it’s not available for general reading…yet!

What does your writing “Batcave” look like, if you have one?

My creative “Batcave”

I often wonder just what a fellow writer’s place of work looks like, so i’ve taken the time to show you just what my little “Batcave” is like.

I have 3 machines, each doing different things at any one time: a laptop, an all-in-one and a netbook, and i use multiple external hard drives for those all-important backups that you should all be making to prevent a potential disaster!

As well as making complete backups, i suggest that you configure your word processor of choice to make incremental backups.

Note the essential caffeine supplies in the form of diet cola and coffee!

The rest of my bedroom need not concern you, unless you are a potential burglar! If you are, please make note of the fact that there is always a strung and ready Hoyt recurve bow with Easton arrows close to hand, and an array of other sharp implements. I do like my “tools”!

Have a nice day, you beautiful people!

Bartender, Keep ’em Coming! New Story!


It’s been a while, i know, what with the madness that was Easter Bunny’s Apocalypse, but now that the flying fur has settled, here for your enjoyment is a story that i wrote just for you, my followers. It involves alcohol, and it’s called Bartender, Keep ’em Coming! And if you like it, or even if you dislike it, leave me a comment and let me know. I would appreciate it greatly!

Oh, and while i’m here i may as well tell you that i received my first rejection today, with regard to a short story i submitted. They praised my talent and writing style and said they enjoyed the story, but it was not what they were looking for. I found out later via a good friend and amazing author M. C. O’Neill that they were asking for a specific theme for their fantasy anthology, something i had not spotted, and neither had he, so i’m in good company!

I have another chance at being successfully chosen for this anthology, so i shall put on my thinking cap and this time come up with a story that has relevance to their needs!

And i have been invited back to submit for further anthologies, so that says something for me!

The cup’s half full, guys, not half empty!