Brian Moreland has been writing suspenseful fiction for over 30 years, mostly in the horror genre. He writes novels, novellas, and short stories. His passion for horror developed at a very young age back in the 1970s, when he watched classic monster movies like Dracula, Frankenstein, The Wolfman and The Creature from the Black Lagoon. He and his friends also scared each other with campfire ghost stories. There was something thrilling about being frightened from fictional stories. As a kid, he loved monsters and collecting them. He devoured horror movie magazines like Famous Monsters of Filmland and Fangoria. He read comic books, too, but preferred the ones with monsters or horror themes, like EC Comics Tales from the Crypt and Swamp Thing. During the '70s, every Saturday showed a double-creature feature on TV. Movies about demons, gargoyles, ghosts, vampires, werewolves, giant ants, Godzilla, aliens and zombies were an adrenaline rush to watch. Then he discovered the thrill of seeing deeply terrifying movies at the theater or on VHS, like Jaws, Alien, Prophecy, Evil Dead and John Carpenter's Halloween and The Thing. Movies that explored dark themes and put characters in peril with creative monsters and serial killers really impacted him as a storyteller.
As a teenager in the 1980s, Brian discovered a new medium for experiencing scary stories: reading horror fiction. He started with short stories from Stephen King's Night Shift and Clive Barker's Books of Blood. Brian even attempted to write some short stories in high school, but he lacked the skills and discipline to write more than a page or two.
During his college years from 1987-1992, while attending the University of Texas at Austin, he read several horror novels by bestselling authors of the time. His biggest influences were Clive Barker, Dean Koontz, Robert McCammon, Richard Laymon, James Herbert, and Stephen King. When Brian was a college freshman, he skipped many classes to write his first novel, a very early version of what would become The Devil's Woods. Despite not having a clue how to write a novel, he managed to complete a 113-page manuscript by the end of spring semester. He enjoyed the writing experience so much that he knew that more than any other career choice, he wanted to be a novelist. He switched majors and enrolled in creative writing and screenwriting classes. And he took a course on writing a novel and revised his first novel many times over. In 1988, at the age of 20, he submitted his first horror manuscript to a literary agent and earned his first of many, many rejections by agents and publishers. During his early struggles to get published, Brian had the good fortune of meeting two bestselling authors who gave him some sound advice. At a book signing Robert Crais told him, "If you want to be a published author, never give up." He said "never give up" so emphatically that Brian felt Crais's words go deep into his cells. And later, when Brian was struggling with procrastination on a novel, he showed an unfinished manuscript to horror author John Saul, who sternly said, "Finish the damn book!" Even through years of disappointment, failure, and lack of opportunities, being a published horror author remained Brian's biggest dream. He kept writing more stories, read how-to writing books, took classes, joined writers groups, accepted feedback from other writers, honed his craft, and kept submitting to agents and publishers. With each rejection, he maintained his optimism that he would eventually get published.
That journey toward publication turned out to take a lot longer than expected: 18 years, in fact. By the time Brian was in his late 30s, he had written several manuscripts of novels and short stories, but still hadn't been accepted by an agent or publisher. By this time, Brian had already worked a successful career as a freelance film/video editor and entrepreneur. In 2006, self-publishing was becoming a thing and some self-published authors had made the leap to bestselling authors with major book deals, so Brian took his own leap of faith and self-published his historical novel Shadows in the Mist, a horror thriller set during World War II. The book won an IPPY gold medal for Best Horror Novel and did well its first year. The success of his first book landed him a literary agent and mass market book deal with Berkley-Penguin and a foreign rights deal with a German publisher. Finally, his writing career was going somewhere.
His next big break came when editor extraordinaire Don D'Auria of Samhain Publishing accepted Brian's historical horror novel Dead of Winter. What followed for the next few years was a wild ride of frenzied writing of novels and novellas and attending horror cons with fellow Samhain authors. Through Don's inspiring encouragement, Brian wrote and published at least one book a year with Samhain. When the publisher eventually closed its doors, Brian went on to publish novels, novellas, and short stories with Flame Tree Press, Silver Shamrock Publishing, Alien Agenda Publishing and Scarlett Galleon Publishing.
As a lover of horror fiction and movies, he writes with a cinematic style. Because of his perfectionism (writing over 100 drafts) and extensive research, some books have taken over 2 years to write. Between books, he still battles distraction from life, laziness, procrastination, and writer's block. But eventually, he gets his creative writing groove back and heeds Crais's and Saul's advice: "Never give up!" and "Finish the damn book!"
After years of writing and research, Brian's historical Egyptian archaeology adventure novel Tomb of Gods came out in 2020, and his newest novella Savage Island released in June 2021. His alien-monster short story "Incident on Saddle Road" released in the anthology Midnight from Beyond the Stars September 2021. More works of fiction are planned for 2022 and beyond...
On a personal level, Brian is still an avid reader and big fan of watching football, movies and streaming all types of TV series. He especially enjoys foreign detective thrillers and true crime documentaries. A native Texan, Brian loves to cook, go hiking in nature, explore caves, and travel to interesting places around the world. He's toured Australia, New Zealand, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Kuwait, Iraq, the United Kingdom and backpacked across Europe. A wandering, gypsy spirit, he has spent time living in Texas, Hawaii, Florida, and Tennessee.
Striving to be an author has led him to work in numerous jobs in film and video (editing documentaries and TV commercials), graphic design, consulting, publishing, catering, and house-sitting with dogs, cats, and chickens (all while writing scary mysteries on the side). He lives part-time in rural Texas, where he enjoys spending time with family and friends. As a novelist and short story writer, Brian continues to follow his passion of entertaining readers with stories that immerse you in a thrilling, terrifying horror experience.
Books by Brian Moreland include:
THE DEVIL'S WOODS
TOMB OF GODS
THE WITCHING HOUSE
DEAD OF WINTER (temporarily out of print)
SHADOWS IN THE MIST (temporarily out of print)
All of Brian's books are available at Amazon.
Short Stories include:
"Incident on Saddle Road" - Hawaii-set short story in anthology MIDNIGHT FROM BEYOND THE STARS by Silver Shamrock Publishing (coming Sept 2021)
"The Corn Maidens" - short story in anthology MIDNIGHT IN THE PENTAGRAM by Silver Shamrock Publishing
"Abby's Best Role" - short story in the charity anthology SURVIVE WITH ME
Work in Progress: Brian is putting together a short story collection that includes stories he's written over the past 25 years. He is also finishing up a a new horror novel, THEY STALK THE NIGHT.
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