Category Archives: Uncategorized

Cushing’s Bookshelf, Episode 14, Frankenstein 3, Final Assessment

Having just finished The New Annotated Frankenstein, I discuss my thoughts on the novel and the various nonfiction appendices in this edition.

The Power of Setting in Short Fiction

Your free writing tip of the month: a four minute video in which I use Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart” to discuss the power of setting in short fiction. The full twenty-five minute class is available to Nightmare Institute Super-Patrons over at



Coming on August 27th: My New Novel, A SICK GRAY LAUGH


About the novel…

Award-winning author Noelle Cashman is no stranger to depression and anxiety. In fact, her entire authorial brand, showcased in such titles as The Girl with the Gun in Her MouthLeather Noose, and The Breath Curse, has been built on the hopeless phantasmagoric visions she experiences when in the grip of paranoid psychosis. But Noelle has had enough, and, author brand be damned, has found help for her illness in the form of an oblong yellow pill, taken twice daily.

Since starting on this medication, Noelle’s symptoms have gone into remission. She’s taken up jogging. She’s joined a softball team. For the first time in Noelle’s life, she feels hope. She’s even started work on a nonfiction book, a history of her small southern Indiana town.

But then Noelle starts to notice the overwhelming Grayness that dominates her neighborhood, slathered over everything like a thick coat of snot, threatening to assimilate all.

From Bram Stoker Award-winning author Nicole Cushing comes A Sick Gray Laugh, a novel about madness, depression, history, Utopian cults, literature, sports, and all the ways we struggle to stay sane in an insane world.

Praise for A Sick Gray Laugh

“Noelle Cashman—I mean Nicole Cushing—has delivered a shocking and satirical survey of the failed American experiment and its many horrifying discontents. A Sick Gray Laugh‘s warts-and-all metanarrative is reminiscent of such recent genre touchstones as Caitlin R. Kiernan’s The Red Tree and Gemma Files’s Experimental Film, but told in a brutal and uncompromising style that is all Cushing’s own.” — Robert Levy, author of The Glittering World

Pub Date: August 27, 2019

Format: Trade Paperback
ISBN-13: 978-1-939905-52-9

Format: eBook
ISBN-13: 978-1-939905-53-6

Cushing’s Bookshelf, Episode 13: Frankenstein 2, Electric Boogaloo

An “update episode”. In Episode 11, I talked a little about The New Annotated Frankenstein. At that point, however, I had only read the foreword. Now that I’m about halfway through reading the novel, itself, I decided to do a video discussing what I think of it, so far.

Cushing’s Bookshelf Episodes 11 & 12

Episode 11: an enthusiastic look at The New Annotated Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (edited and with a foreword and notes by Leslie S. Klinger)


Episode 12: a mixed review of Annie Dillard’s The Writing Life

My StokerCon 2019 Schedule


This week I’ll be driving up to Grand Rapids, Michigan to participate in the Horror Writers Association’s annual StokerCon event (May 9-12). I’m teaching a workshop, appearing on a couple of panels, giving a reading, and signing books.

Here are the specifics:

Thursday May 9

7:00-8:00 p.m. Emerald Room Panel: “Whatever Walked There, Walked Alone”: Bad Places in Contemporary Horror

Friday May 10

8:00-10:00 a.m. Heritage Hill Room. Horror University Workshop (Beyond Branding: Discovering the Writer You’re Meant to Be)

Note: Horror University workshops are paid events not included in convention registration. For my class, you’ll need to be registered no later 9 p.m. Thursday night. Visit the Horror University section of the StokerCon website for more information.

4:00-5:00 p.m. Winchester Room. Reading Block 12. I’ll be reading alongside Sarah Hans and Usman Malik

5:00-6:30 p.m. Crown Foyer. Mass Autograph Session and Ice Cream Social  A good opportunity to get your books signed. (Although, feel free to ask for autographs at other times during the con, too. Usually I can spare a moment in the hallway for a quick signature!)

Saturday May 11

12:00-1:00 p.m. Grand View Room A, Panel: Bloody or Creepy: Can It Ever Be Too Much?

Cushing’s Bookshelf, Ep 10: Smells Like Teen Spirit

This week on Cushing’s Bookshelf, I take a look at Arthur Rimbaud’s A Season in Hell.

Cushing’s Bookshelf, Ep. 9: MIDNIGHT COWBOY

This week on Cushing’s Bookself, I take a look at a transgressive classic. Midnight Cowboy by James Leo Herlihy.


Named as a Special “Imaginator” Guest at Imaginarium 2019 (October)

Here’s the full press release from the folks who run the convention!


Online Horror Writing Classes Available

teaching pic

Online horror writing classes are now officially in session at The Nightmare Institute! The full video of Lesson #1 is now up on Patreon for my $15 backers. Other goodies are available at the $1 and $5 levels, too.

Check out the link?