Archive for cooper’s fiction

The Imaginarium and Dr. Cooper; or, Magic Movies and Myself

This weekend! Louisville, the Crowne Plaza!! Enter the Imaginarium!


Imaginarium has a magic formula unlike any convention where I’ve appeared… and though I’ve only worked the circuit since 2011, I’ve already lost count of the cons. Many blur together, but not this one, because the baseline assumption is that if you’re there, you’re an artist, or you might as well be.

Last year, about half the attendees seemed to be practicing (publishing writers, producing filmmakers, exhibiting painters and photographers, etc.) in some form or other, and everyone else was either wondering how to start practicing or just interested in learning more about where the arts to which they felt personal connections started. Fans were and are welcome, of course, but the convention takes attendees and their interests seriously: if you’re there, you’re a participant, not a window shopper.

In other words–and I know this is saccharine, but it’s also kinda true, so cut the sweetness with a gangster double entendre–if you’re there, you’re either family or you will be.

In addition to working behind the scenes on the film festival and lurking in the vendor hall trying to scare people with my books, I’ll be sharing horrific reflections during panels. Here’s my schedule:

Friday, 9pm (Perry): Good Reviews
Our authors and Reviewers speak out about book reviews and the proper way to execute one so readers and authors alike can use them constructively.

Saturday, 3pm (Oldham): The Art of Mystery

Mystery is a pretty predictable genre – major conflict, plot twists, good guys turned bad… but sometimes the tropes can be a little too trope-ish. Join the discussion on the best way to write a good mystery without being silly.

Saturday, 7pm (Madison): Publishing Nightmares

From editorial mishaps to publisher scams, the literary world isn’t always a bed of roses. Our panelists share some cautionary tales of the dark underbelly of publishing.

Saturday, 9pm (Oldham): Subgenre Spotlight: Horror

A roundtable discussion of definitive horror elements, best practices for guts and gore, and how to make and market old tropes in new and interesting ways.

I’m way more excited about these other artists than I am about me:

Guest of Honor: Lori Wilde

Imaginators: Michael Knost, Tim Waggoner

Toastmaster: Tony Acree

A. Christopher Drown

AD Roland

Adrienne Wilder

Alexander S. Brown

Alexx Momcat

Alicia Justice

Amanda Hard

Amy McCorkle

Angelia Sparrow

Anthony Antonino Jr.

Armand Rosamilia

Atty Eve

Barbara Ehrentreu

Becky Kelley

Bethlynne Prellwitz

Bobbye Terry

Bradley ‘Corpse’ Walker

Brent Abell

Brick Marlin

Bryan Baker

Bryan Brown

C.E. Martin

C.M Michaels

C.S. Marks

Carol Preflatish

Charlie Kenmore

Cyrus Keith

Dave Creek

Chris Garrison

Elizabeth Bevarly

Elizabeth Donald

Ellen C. Maze

Eric Beebe

Eric F. James

Eric Jude

Gabriel Belthir

Georgia Jones

Gina Danna

Glenn Porzig

David Blalock

Herika R. Raymer

J L Mulvihill

J.H. Glaze

J.M. Madden

JC Wardon

Jack Wallen

James O. Barnes

Jamie Lee Scott

Jan Scarbrough

Janie Franz

Jason Sizemore

Jay Wilburn

Jennifer Anderson

Jeremy Hanke

Jerry Benns

Jesse V. Coffey

Jessica McHugh

Jettie Necole

Jill Ranney-Campbell

John F. Allen

Jonathan Linton

JP Chapleau

Julie Anne Lindsey

Julie Flanders

K. F. Ridley

Kate Chaplin

Katherine Wynter

Katheryn Ragle

Kathryn Sullivan

Katina French

Kenneth Daniels

Kim Jacobs

Kim Smith

Kirk Dougal

Linda Goin

Linda Rettstatt

Lisa Jackson

Magdalena Scott

Margaret L. Colton

Margie Colton

Marian Allen

Melissa Goodman

Michael D’Ambrosio

Michael West

Mysti Parker

Nicole Kurtz

P. Anastasia

Pamela Turner

Peter Prellwitz

Peter Welmerink

R. J. Sullivan

Rebekah McAuliffe

Rob E. Boley

Rochelle Weber

Rose Streif

S.A. Price

S.C. Houff

S.E. Lucas

Sara Marian

Sarah Hans

Scott M. Sandridge

Sean Jackson

Selah Janel

Seraphina Donovan

Sharon Stogner

Stacey Turner

Steven Saus

Stuart Thaman

T. Lee Harris

TammyJo Eckhart

Tara Tyler

Teresa Reasor

Terri-Lynne Smiles

Thomas Lamkin Jr

Tim McWhorter

Todd Houff

Tommy B. Smith

Tony Acree

Violet Patterson

Fandomfest 2015!

This weekend I’m hanging out with (or at least near) Carrie Fisher (yep, Princess Leia, but she offers much more, too), Kevin Smith, folks from TORCHWOOD, and other transcendental coolness at Fandomfest 2015,


While you’re checking out the movie and TV stars, though, you do need to check out us author types. I’ll be on panels a lot of the time and hanging out in the vendor hall when possible, otherwise drifting Saturday and Sunday, absorbing cultural overload bliss.

Mine plan:



Exploring Urban Legends
Room 203

Exploring Urban Legends (Horror Genre Panel): Join our authors in a discussion about urban legends, including their roots, their influence, and how they change and grow as they work their way into the culture, including novels, comics/graphic novels, and films.
L. Andrew Cooper, S.C. Houff, Michael West, Brick Marlin, J.H. Glaze




Room 202

Urban legends/religious imagery/horror formats are all used by the hit show Supernatural. Fairy tales and myths are all explored as well. How has the horror Sci Fi show shaped or influenced these various genres in the way they are used today?. Supernatural also has several media tie-in books too. Come join our panel of writers for a discussion of all things Supernatural!
Rebekah McAuliffe, L Andrew Cooper, S.C Houff, Addie King, Rachael Lanham Rawlings



The Walking Dead
Room 203

A wildly popular television series, The Walking Dead has its roots in the graphic novel world. It has also seen a successful transition to the world of novels as well. Come and join our authors in a discussion of The Walking Dead, from the show to the graphic novels and books. In what way are they different? Are there major changes in each of them? Definitely an interesting topic for fans to discuss!
L. Andrew Cooper (M), Chris Brown, Michael West, Jetti Necole





Mini-Series Discussion
Room 203

Mini-Series Discussion: Books are often translated to the screen. The most common avenue is books into feature films, but mini-series offer another outlet for bringing the page to the screen. Explore the ways some books are made into a miniseries, comparing this with movies and even episodic television. Zoo by Patterson, Rosemary’s Baby, The Shining, The Stand are all examples of bestsellers turned into mini-series. What are your thoughts on the mini-series format and its effectiveness for adaptation?
Amy McCorkle, L. Andrew Cooper, Dave Creek, Addie King, Glenn Porzig




Paths of Publishing
Room 202
Explore the paths of publishing with publishing professionals and published authors. Today’s publishing world offers several paths, from self-publishing, to small and independent press publishing, to major traditional publishing.
L. Andrew Cooper, Amanda Rotach Huntley, Philomena Anastasia, Sandy Lea Sullivan, Marian Allen, Lee Martindale (M)




Writers Interviewing Writers

Room 202

Come for a fun panel featuring a group of published writers, interviewing each other. Expect the unexpected when it comes to the questions!
Lee Martindale (M) Atty Eve, Mysti Parker, Jetti Necole, Tony Acree, J.H. Glaze, L. Andrew Cooper


“Leer Reel,” REEL DARK, and the Fincherverse

Okay, as I say in my editor’s intro, you don’t even have to read my story “Leer Reel” in REEL DARK to get your money’s worth. However, I am grateful people are reading… and are having a serious “WTF did I just read” reaction.

Although I won’t try to touch scariest–my kudos still go to Amy Grech in that category (you freaked me out, so I can’t wait to meet you!)–or even list the folks who beat me for most provocative, I don’t think anyone would bother challenging me for most viscerally extreme (feel free, co-authors, as I’m out of the editor’s seat now). “Leer Reel” is fucking disgusting; it shocked me while I wrote it, yet I came to understand what mad narrator Louis Jardin was up to, making media references (which from Dickens to rock lyrics appear in almost every sentence) secondary to structuring his ravings according to movie protocols. As I said to a friend, yeah, there’s a story there, but it’s so much less important than the onslaught of imagery that people understanding it is not the point.

However, people DO like stories, and furthermore, the three of you who follow my work might like to know where “Leer Reel” fits. So I’m going even further. All the dates are fake and may be contradicted by story details because I was too lazy to look up what I’d written (I am not that lazy when crafting the fiction itself!), but here is the clearest key to my fictional world I have ever shared (fyi, I am not including all stories published and unpublished linked to the Fincherverse, just those essential):



REEL DARK, a collection of masters, has arrived

The converse is not true, but all monsters are hybrids, or at least John Locke thought so, and although I’d like to believe the human imagination isn’t limited in the way he says it is, I can’t think of a counter-example, and I’ve looked at thousands of variations on monsters and their subtypes around the world.


So last weekend, at the World Horror Convention in Atlanta, BlackWyrm Publishing and I introduced to the world our latest monster!

Reel Dark COVER 050415png

Go to Amazon to get the marvelous back-cover blurb that co-editor Pamela Turner crafted, but the monstrous gist is that it’s a book about film infecting the world with dark realities, so while we’ve got comedy, western, sci-fi, and, yes, horror, the bottom line is that it’s dark and smart and full of fresh voices and some amazing pros. Hal Bodner! James Chambers! James Dorr! JG Faherty! Amy Grech! Jude-Marie GreenKaren Head! Lots of other great people–accomplished poets, storytellers, and filmmakers as well–and I am honored to be in their company and to have had an opportunity to work with their words, to arrange them so that they can have conversations you can now overhear.

New from BlackWyrm Publishing

New from BlackWyrm Publishing


To round out this post, here’s my intro to the volume:

“The film delivers baroque art from its convulsive catalepsy. Now, for the first time, the image of things is likewise the image of their duration, change mummified, as it were.”
—André Bazin, What is Cinema?

“The cinema combines, perhaps more perfectly than any other medium, two human fascinations: one with the boundary between life and death and the other with the mechanical animation of the inanimate… the answer to the question ‘what is cinema?’ should also be death 24 times a second.”
—Laura Mulvey, Death 24x a Second

These two quotations—from two of the most important thinkers about the cinema since mad scientists pieced it together from other art-forms in the late nineteenth century—tell us that even in the silent era that so few horror fans pay due, people saw a close connection between reels of film and the realities of horror and death. Our mission as editors was to find stories that offered dark, diverse perspectives on how far that connection between reel and real might go, and we wanted diversity in both the types of films people wrote about and in the writing itself. Rose Streif attends to the silent era’s neglect by horror’s mainstream in “Caligarisme,” and in addition to The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919/1920), my own movie-obsessed madman narrator in “Leer Reel” riffs on many a silent: he jumps in time but has 1928 as home base. Arguably the first horror film, “The Execution of Mary, Queen of Scots,” made by Thomas Edison’s studio the year regarded as cinema’s beginning, 1895, is just a few short seconds of a woman guillotined. The other contender for first horror film, Georges Méliès’s 1896 “Mansion of the Devil” (or “House of the Devil” if you want Ti West continuity) focuses on magical apparitions. People understood at the outset that just as the photographed, moving image made an action immortal, the immortality was “change mummified,” the immortality of the undead, and, as our debut poet Caroline Shriner-Wunn writes in “Confessions of a Woman of a Certain Age,” “The Mummy,” and some others we’ve scattered in between, the undeadness of the film real is not likely to be your sparkling friend. Think about a movie from 1900. Every frame that shows you a person is showing you a corpse. That person is dead. Chances are, if you’re my age, that person’s corpse looks younger than you do. And it’s smiling. Film, on average, advances at 24 images, or frames, per second. Those corpses are smiling at you 24 times per second. Cheeky bastards.

We selected stories that are dark (that was the point), so though we’ve got laughs and action and western and sci-fi and twisted relationships and WTFs, along with some light as well as extreme horror, expect chills, smart ones, as a thread. Our featured story, Hal Bodner’s “Whatever Happened to Peggy… Who?,” is fast, fun, and creepy on its own, but it pays double if you know mid-20th century American and British horror movies, quintuple if you’ve not only seen but really know Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962), with bonuses if you know The Bad Seed (1956) or a lot of what Bette Davis and Joan Crawford were up to around then. Likewise, Jude-Marie Green’s “Queen of the Death Scenes” harkens to an age of screen queens that is behind us. Pamela Turner’s “Rival” riffs on 40s and 50s film noir with a twist; James Dorr’s title “Marcie and Her Sisters” points toward prime late 70s and 80s Woody Allen, but this editor’s opinion is that, intentionally or not, he manages in Jane Austen comic-horror adaptation territory better than many recent adapters have in several media. Sean Eads also takes us toward more contemporary territory with “The Dreamist,” on the Inception (2010) side of the postmodern mind-game.

Wait! Stop worrying! This ain’t a history book.

We offer you three sections, mostly short stories, with short poems providing different sorts of pleasure scattered in each of the three. Many selections could appear in more than one section,so we placed based on where we thought they leaned.

Part 1 is “Decaying Celluloid,” and selections here either center on specific films or specific genres. In addition to the stories by Bodner, Turner, Dorr, and Streif, you’ll find Shriner-Wunn’s “Last Show at Hobb’s End” especially meaningful if you’ve seen John Carpenter’s Lovecraftian In the Mouth of Madness (1994). Prepare yourself for a story that matches the inversion in the title of Jason S. Walters’s swan song to the classic Western “Low Midnight” (which makes me want to discuss post-Kurosawa samurai films with him… Walters understands bleak but doesn’t present it like Sam Peckinpah or even Sergio Leone). The section concludes with our featured poem, the inimitable Karen Head’s “Amnesia,” a layered reflection on watching/living David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive (2001).

Part 2, “Framing You,” transitions from Head’s poem and focuses on how audiences—the “real” world—might get caught up, often in ways far more literal than most people would think possible, in media. Thinking about Amy Grech’s “Dead Eye” still gives me  hills; all I’ll say in an intro is that she derives horrific concepts from the multiple meanings of “frame” and “shot.” Shriner-Wunn’s brief contributions here focus on spectacle, particularly the spectacle of the mutilated woman and what its cultural appeal seems to say (if you don’t know about it, read the poem once before you web search the real Black Dahlia case). Jay Seate and Mike Watt take us into fictional film production worlds, where films have very different ways of absorbing their makers. Sean Taylor’s “And So She Asked Again,” has maestro Mario Bava’s Black Sunday (1960) and its legendary star Barbara Steele as major references, but it’s about obsession with the power of film more generally… and what it could deliver. Likewise, master storyteller J.G. Faherty concludes the section with a tale about a man who finds immense, horrific power in a camera.

The book concludes with Pt. 3, “Pathological Projections,” the smallest and likely weirdest group, as their uniting feature is that they take a (usually kind of abstract) aspect of the medium of film itself and expand it into a (generally fairly messed up) story. Russ Bickerstaff kicks it off with ruminations on the 24-per-second concept in the dark sci-fi “24 per second: Persistence of Fission.” James Chambers suggests the medium may be the monster in “The Monster with My Fist for Its Head,” and in “Queen of the Death Scenes,” Jude-Marie Green finds that manipulating the medium’s immortal qualities could have unwanted side effects Shriner-Wunn’s “The Mummy” recalls Bazin but again goes fuller monster; “Cigarette Burns” by Jay Wilburn finds a perspective on the horror of being in the movies that nothing else I’ve read captures in the same way. My own story… well… it’s last. You get your money’s worth without it. You don’t have to read it. Perhaps you shouldn’t. The narrator is looking at you while you read.

—L. Andrew Cooper
April, 2015

The Thorns Have Leapt

UPDATE: FB censored my last effort to share this post with the 22,000+ connected to my author page (requires money to reach a significant fraction of that number) because they object to my book cover. Thus, no image if you linked to this blog from FB… weirder still, FB is showing the second paragraph, i.e. the one not about them, as if it were the first…. [end update]

Having spent the last several weekends–in reverse order– at Fright Night Film Fest, Night Risers, Imaginarium, Scarefest, [weekend off], DragonCon, [weekend off], and GenCon, I think I can now claim that I have launched the new book. I can also claim to be both exhausted and exhilarated. First, although DragonCon was back in my home town, Atlanta, and GenCon was in my new neighbor state Indiana, in what I find so far to be the very pleasant city of Indianapolis, the rest of this time I’ve spent right in Kentucky, where I find myself growing fast roots. This area seems to be an inexhaustible source of creative thinkers working outside the mainstream, a place where I can find imaginations akin to mine, not afraid to put more than a toe in the dark waters but to leap in head first….

In the midst of it all, I am very grateful to RUE MORGUE magazine as well as fellow authors who took the time to look at advance copies of the book and to support the launch with some of the kindest notices I have ever received. THANK YOU!


“horror enthusiasts will have another book to add to their reading lists this fall”

— Victoria Brown, (SINISTER SEVEN)

“Some of these are definitely not for the faint of heart (or stomach), but the detail is chillingly done and effective at evoking a reaction… Don’t read these late at night… unless you like to be scared by a good tale told by someone with a genuinely dark imagination.”

Addie J. King, author of The Grimm Legacy and The Wonderland Woes

Reading Leaping at Thorns takes me back to my childhood, and those sleepless nights of reading Stephen King’s Night Shift and Clive Barker’s Books of Blood. Cooper can scare, shock, and more than that, get you to think about things you never considered before, and perhaps, were frightened to even contemplate. A real triumph!

Michael West, bestselling author of Cinema of Shadows, Spook House, and The Wide Game.

Leaping at Thorns, a NEW collection of short stories from L. Andrew Cooper, will leave you paranoid! The stories make even the bravest souls cringe in shock and horror. For fans of the genre, this is a rare and fantastic treat, sure to give you gooseflesh and nightmares!

John F. Allen, author of The God Killers (Ivory Blaque Series)

Once you start an L. Andrew Cooper story, you can’t stop, even if you have to squint between the fingers of your hand as it covers your face. Here’s a collection of 15 such stories. Modern horror at its best, Enjoy.

R.J. Sullivan, author of Haunting Obsession

Leaping at Thorns is a collection of 15 unputdownable tales of terror by L. Andrew Cooper. I was reminded of the quote by Abraham Lincoln: “We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” However, in the case of this book there’s no either/or fallacy/scenario, as the thorns themselves are the roses. Cooper both frequently and brilliantly focuses on the human element in his tales with the protagonists’ flaws and pains exposed for the reader to vicariously revel in while the darkly delightful antagonists/’archfiends’ of all shapes and sizes are oftentimes taking a back seat in the storylines which many would argue is the hallmark of great writing. Plus, there are humorous touches added to break up the bleakness with great wordplay throughout–the titles “Zero Patients” and “Worm Would” come to mind. Highly recommended!

G.L. Giles, author of Water Vamps

Each story reads like a frightening nightmare from which you don’t want to wake.

Christopher Kokoski, author of Dark Halo

Cooper’s imagination delves into the bizarre, creating horrific images through windows in our minds to view.

Brick Marlin, author of Land of the Dead