Wheels Grinding Slowly

Ugh. I hate this.

So in my last update on The Gray Kings, my plan was to start the second draft in January. And I said if all went smoothly, I hoped to get the book done and up for sale by the end of the year.

Well, suffice to say, things have not been going smoothly. Bleh. Continue reading

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Kirkus Review of “Ones & Zeroes”

“Walsh (The Jinxed Pirate, 2017, etc.) assembles a collection of horror and fantasy tales populated by dragons, aliens, and other creatures in the shadows.

“In ‘His Friends,’ Cynthia is bored at a party with her boyfriend Jon’s tactless friends. But their company is preferable to that of the mysterious entity that’s lurking outside—something that’s odd, misshapen, and most definitely not human. Walsh often treads conventional territory in these stories, offering mood-setting lightning flashes; vague, moving shapes in darkness; and even a babysitter getting creepy phone calls from a stranger. The familiar setups, however, typically beget surprising turns, as in ‘Someone Else’s Story,’ in which one man’s attempt at playing the hero for a woman in trouble doesn’t quite pan out due to an unexpected twist. ‘Damsel’ also toys with readers’ expectations when a young woman named Gwen tries to find a way to escape a determined murderer. The author employs other tried-and-true horror methods to great effect, often by merely hinting at the appearance of a monster or killer. In the Lovecraft-ian ‘Look the Other Way,’ for example, Laurie Brooks and her husband, Tom, encounter a terrifying creature that Walsh reveals only in snippets—and its backstory is also eerily murky. (‘Finding Bosco’ is an equally good companion piece, taking place in the same town of Faicville, where twins’ search for a lost cat leads them to what may be the very same monster.) The collection also includes fantasy stories that, like the horror tales, have gloomy overtones. There’s a princess in both ‘Collision’ and ‘The Mouse & the Dragon’; in the former, a cleric plans on sacrificing her, and in the latter, she awaits someone to rescue her from a dragon—but over thousands of days, she only sees repeated failures. Throughout, Walsh portrays various spooky things with bold imagery. For instance, the narrator of ‘My Window,’ while lying in bed, stares at a creepy silhouette that she describes as ‘some kind of nightmarish shadow puppet.’

“Unnerving stories that turn traditional plots into fresh, original scares.”

Kirkus Reviews

Continue reading

“Ones & Zeroes” Excerpt

Here’s a brief snippet from one of the stories featured in Ones & Zeroes,
“The Mouse & the Dragon”

The knight charged forth, shield up and spear ready. His armor glistened despite the dreary overcast sky like a chrome beacon amidst his hellish surroundings. The horse’s neigh was loud and triumphant as the clopping of its hooves echoed on the scorched cobblestone. The knight’s banner, an orange lion against a black background, billowed in the wind.

He would’ve been a majestic sight to behold had Hildy not seen it already or known what was coming. Continue reading

“Ones & Zeroes: A Short Story Collection” Now Available

A collection of my short stories is now up for sale on Amazon

kindle coverLook behind the curtain for 14 tales of horror, action, humor, and fantasy…

A babysitter contends with not just an intruder lurking outside, but her own mind…A drug addict saves the world from an alien invasion…In a sleepy town, an abandoned sewage treatment plant houses a sinister force…Man and insect clash in the middle of the night…Mercenaries collide during the sacrifice of a princess…A damsel in distress tries to escape her own story…

Vampires, dragons, zombies, giant spiders and more can be found in this collection of stories from author M. Walsh.

Only $0.99 on Kindle

also available in paperback

“Collision”

This is another of my early works about a pile-up of protagonists with varying goals.
It’s a fantasy story—featuring an Elf, no less—and in a lot of ways was a precursor to Graylands. So readers should recognize certain characters and concepts that wound up getting used and incorporated in my books.


Donovan Moore was a man with an intangible quality about him. He was tall and thin, with shining white hair—but not elderly. There was great strength in his lanky frame and fearful power behind his eyes. As High Cleric of the Disciples of Moros, he was rarely seen in person—often delegating orders to subordinates or lower Clerics—but when he made his presence known, he had a talent for shrinking the will of even the strongest of those around him.

He sat in his lavish armchair, staring at the dagger in his hand, with a content and sly smirk on his narrow face. The handle of the dagger was pure silver, crafted into the shape of a horned serpent. The blade was dull gray, but pulsed with a faint red glow—enchanted for a divine purpose. As Moore listened to the crashing waves outside the tower window, he felt a surge of anticipation flow through his blood.

It wouldn’t be long now.

“Cleric Moore,” said one of his followers, entering the chamber. “The Great Tail is visible and will be before the moon shortly.”

“And the Princess?”

“Still unconscious.”

“Wake her and get her ready,” he said, putting on his ceremonial garb. “Tell the guards to remain on high alert.”

The subordinate bowed and left as Moore walked to the window, closing his gold and maroon robes. The last trace of sun disappeared over the horizon, and high above, a fat, yellow moon shined like a glowing eye. In the distance, the comet known as the Great Tail approached—soon to pass the moon, an event that only occurred every thousand years.

Looking at the comet, he gripped the dagger tight. When the Great Tail eclipsed the moon, its blade would pierce Princess Anna’s heart, and with the sacrifice of royal blood, Moros, the Final Dragon, would rise again and cleanse the world in his mighty fire. And from the ashes, the Disciples—led by High Cleric Moore of course—would build a new, perfect society.

With a satisfied smile, he set to make the final preparations. The presence of the Great Tail lit the night to a deep, red hue like early evening and made the ocean like blood. Despite the violent waves, there was an expectant hush like before a great storm.

Taking one last look at the approaching comet, Moore deemed it a fitting atmosphere to herald the coming of a god. Continue reading

Commentary: Krutch Leeroy

Oh, crumbs.

Once, Krutch Leeroy was nobody.

He was born and raised in Elmlocke, a small country in the Western Empire of the Realm, and lived an uneventful life of relative ease. His father, Krutch Sr., was a carpenter by trade and a rugged man who enjoyed the outdoors. His mother, Mari, was a respected teacher, and his older brother, Carson, was a strong and athletic young man, popular among the townsfolk.

Young Krutch, on the other hand, had little to claim to his name. He preferred to keep to himself, favoring the comfort of indoors as opposed to outside. If he did go out, he stayed in town or the nearby city—having no interest in the wilderness. Unlike his father and brother, he was not particularly strong, athletic, or physically active. Although educated thanks to his mother, his wits were not sharp or very quick.

Aside from a talent for drawing, it could be said there was nothing worth noting about the young Krutch Leeroy Jr. He was loved by his family, and no one would say they didn’t like him, but the truth was, Krutch was regarded as an unexceptional and forgettable individual. Continue reading