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My Favorite Story is on virtual book with Silver Dagger Book Tours and stops at Readeropolis today with a guest post from author Jay Wilburn. Enjoy!

Don't forget to enter for a chance to win the giveaway for Project Entertainment Network swag packs (6 winners) and follow the book tour (for other dates see the link at the bottom of the post).


Short Straw: My Favorite Stories and Closer to the Whole Truth

by Jay Wilburn


I tend to write horror. I have written sci fi, fantasy, steam punk, literary, and I have ghostwritten romance and every other genre imaginable. I tend toward horror though. I sometimes call myself a speculative fiction writer, but horror writer is closer to the whole truth.

My roots as a reader and a fan are sci fi and fantasy though. I came to horror much later in my adolescence. I have never really left science fiction behind as a reader, writer, or fan.

When Project Entertainment Network decided to pool the talents of the authors from the various podcasts, it was Christopher Golden, I believe, who came up with idea of the theme: My Favorite Story. Authors like Brian Keene, Jonathan Maberry, Mary Sangiovanni, Christopher Golden, Chuck Buda, Armand Rosamilia, John Urbancik and others jumped right on. It turned into an impressive line-up of authors and, thinking of all these authors sharing favorite stories of theirs, intrigued me both as an author participating in the anthology and as a reader looking forward to getting a copy.

I included my story “Short Straw.” It is a science fiction story written in the midst of producing zombie stories and horror novels. It has some horror elements to it, but it took me a while to realize the whole truth was it was really a classic style science fiction story at its heart. It harkened back to the origins of sci fi short stories when horror was intertwined with the genre.

It tells the story of a family going into suspended animation in a bunker to avoid and outlast the consequences of an ecological disaster. One of the younger members of the family has to wake up once a year to upkeep the bunker and the chambers. They draw straws for this terrible duty and curse. I follow the strange life and growth of this “short straw” as he grows up a few days at a time every year for centuries.

This story did not come together for me easily. It was rejected on its first submission. I cannot remember where or who the editor was, but he took the time to give feedback. He was the one who clued me in on the classic sci fi roots of the story and the problem I had faced with how I wrote the ending. It allowed me to understand the true heart of the story and write a much stronger ending which better served the characters. It made the arc of the characters much, much better. That story rejection saved me from what would have been a much inferior final product which missed the whole truth of the story.

It is now one of my favorite stories. It is definitely my favorite sci fi story I ever wrote. I have stories which have made me much more money although this one did just fine on adding to the effort of paying my bills the month it was published.

Like many of my stories, it deals with conflict between a father and a son. Like many moments throughout my own life, I tried to avoid the resolution of that conflict with the original ending. The stronger ending was to turn into that conflict. Maybe I could have learned something from that truth earlier in my own life. Even if there is not reconciliation exactly in the ending of this story, it is a stronger ending for having the confrontation after all the build-up and reveals. It is closer to the whole truth.

I’m impressed by the other stories in PEN: My Favorite Story anthology. Seeing what many of my heroes counted as their favorite stories was fascinating and entertaining. I’m honored to be a part of it and to have my work alongside these great writers and entertaining podcasters from Project Entertainment Network.


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Jay Wilburn is the host of the Matters of Faith Podcast on Project Entertainment Network. He received a life-saving kidney transplant in February of 2017. Since then, he has maintained a life as a minor superhero, Captain Three Kidneys. Wilburn is the author of the Dead Song Legend series, The Great Interruption, and The Enemy Held Near along with other works. Follow his many dark thoughts at JayWilburn.com , @AmongTheZombies on Twitter, and at the Jay Wilburn author page on Facebook. The Matters of Faith Podcast drops every Monday morning.

My Favorite Story Podcast Anthology
Genre: Horror Short Stories

Project Entertainment Network Presents... My Favorite Story



Fifteen podcast hosts and authors share their favorite short story they've ever written…





Spirits by James A. Moore
Two strangers brought together by tragedy are haunted by ghosts of the past.

The Tin Box by Kelli Owen
After the death of their grandma, siblings make a macabre discovery amongst her belongings. Some secrets were meant to go to the grave...

Short Straw by Jay Wilburn
After drawing the short straw, the youngest son is delegated to wake every year to monitor his sleeping family after an apocalypse forced them into bunkers. But there’s something else out there…..with claws.

The Rag and Bone Man by John Urbancik
The Rag and Bone Man wanders—buying, selling, finding and collecting. He always has what you need. He always finds what he wants. Or does he have what you want and finds what he needs?

The Priest by Jaimie Engle
A fallen angel hopes to redeem himself and battles demons in a western town so he can return to Heaven one day.

Seven Eight One Five Four by Amber Fallon
Some habits are hard to forget...even when you’re undead.

Kins by Mary SanGiovanni
Reality takes a dark twist for one man once the mannequins start appearing...

Rainforest of Bones by Armand Rosamilia
A reporter searches out a missing professor deep in the jungles of Brazil – where the skeleton in his closet told him to go.

Put On a Happy Face by Christopher Golden
A clown’s wish to be the funniest clown in the circus has dire consequences.

Mr. Giggles by Frank J. Edler
In the realm of demons, their boogeyman wants a hug and is called Mr. Giggles.

M.EN.TOR. By Thomas R. Clark
An injured soldier gets an experimental chip implanted in his brain with homicidal tendencies.

I Sing A New Psalm by Brian Keene
A man asks the question of how God can give love only to take it away, and he decides on terrible and violent answer.



Dandelion Yellow by Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi
When a young girl can’t find her favorite yellow crayons, the world takes on a dark and disquieting cast.

Dead Beckoning by Chuck Buda
A young man challenges demons to a game of poker with his friend’s life up for bet.

Pegleg and Paddy Save the World by Jonathan Maberry
The Great Chicago Fire wasn't caused by the cow.....they were trying to kill what ate the cow.




With over a dozen diverse podcasts and growing each month, our aim at P.E.N. is to offer great content for listeners for free. With podcasts on horror writing, publishing, interviews, pro wrestling, heavy metal, bizarre fiction, the occult, cooking, book reviews, radio dramas, horror films and so much more… we want to be your one stop for excellent podcasts!


So grab your headphones and listen in! All the cool kids are doing it!




JAMES A. MOORE is the author of over forty novels, including the critically acclaimed Fireworks, Under The Overtree, Blood Red, Blood Harvest, the Serenity Falls trilogy (featuring his recurring anti-hero, Jonathan Crowley) Cherry Hill, Alien: Sea of Sorrows and the Seven Forges series of novels. He has twice been nominated for the Bram Stoker Award and spent three years as an officer in the Horror Writers Association, first as Secretary and later as Vice President.

Never one to stay in one genre for too long, James has recently written epic fantasy novels in the series SEVEN FORGES (Seven Forges, the Blasted Lands, City of Wonders and The Silent Army). He is working on a new series called The Tides Of War. The first book in the series The Last Sacrifice, came out this last January and the sequel, Fallen Gods, is due out in late December. Pending novels also include A Hell Within (a Griffin & Price Novel) co-written with Charles R. Rutledge and an apocalyptic Sci-Fi novel tentatively called Spores. Why be normal?

Being a confirmed Luddite, he is working up the nerve to plunge completely into the electronic publications age. Along with Christopher Golden and Jonathan Maberry, he is one of the Three Guys with Beards.




Born and raised in Wisconsin, Kelli Owen now lives in Destination, Pennsylvania. She has attended countless writing conventions, participated on dozens of panels, and has spoken at the CIA Headquarters in Langley, VA regarding both her writing and the field in general. Her fiction leans toward thriller and quiet horror, with an occasional bloodbath and even rarer happy ending. Her podcast is called the Buttercup of Doom.






Jay Wilburn is an author of horror and speculative fiction that lives in coastal South Carolina near Myrtle Beach. He is doing very well following a life-saving kidney transplant. He taught public school for sixteen years before becoming a full-time writer. His signature series is the Dead Song Legend Dodecology.







Writer. Photographer. Adventurer. Man.
John Urbancik, author of Stale Reality and The Corpse and the Girl From Miami, has written three series of Inkstains stories and hosts a podcast, also called Inkstains, on the Project Entertainment Network. His first novel came out in 2002, and he’s still fighting to become an overnight success. He also takes pictures.








Like stepping into a living dream, Jaimie Engle writes visually stunning fiction where magic turns ordinary into extraordinary. She loves weaving lore into her stories and taking her readers on wondrous adventures. Engle is a cosplayer, podcaster, entrepreneur, and speaker at schools, conferences, and colleges across Florida. She is the creator of Wick Books(tm), story-scented candles based off scents from her novels so readers can fully immerse in the experience of her books. She once danced in the Aloha Bowl, won the Miss Hawaiian Tropics bikini contest, and even ran a body shop. Today, she drinks coffee, plays trivia, and spends time with her husband, two kids, and hound dog.




Amber Fallon lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two dogs. A techie by day and horror writer by night, Mrs. Fallon has spent time as a bank manager, motivational speaker, produce wrangler, and butcher. Her obsessions with sushi, glittery nail polish, and sharp objects have made her a recognized figure.
Amber's publications include The Warblers, The Terminal, Sharkasaurus, Daughters of Inanna, So Long and Thanks for All the Brains, Horror on the Installment Plan, Zombies For a Cure, Quick Bites of Flesh, Operation Ice Bat, and more! Listen to her podcast, It Cooks!, on the Project Entertainment Network.




Mary SanGiovanni is the author of a number of novels including THE HOLLOWER TRIOLOGY (the first book of which was nominated for the Bram Stoker Award), THRALL, and CHAOS, and the novellas FOR EMMY, THE FADING PLACE, and POSSESSING AMY. Her short fiction has appeared in periodicals and anthologies for the last decade. She has a Masters degree in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, Pittsburgh. She is currently a member of The Authors Guild, The International Thriller Writers, and Penn Writers, and was previously an Active member in the Horror Writers Association and the Garden State Horror Writers. She lives in New Jersey with her son and her cat.







Armand Rosamilia is a New Jersey boy currently living in sunny Florida, where he writes when he's not sleeping. He's happily married to a woman who helps his career and is supportive, which is all he ever wanted in life...
He's written over 150 stories that are currently available, including horror, zombies, contemporary fiction, thrillers and more. His goal is to write a good story and not worry about genre labels. 

He not only runs two successful podcasts...

Arm Cast: Dead Sexy Horror Podcast - interviewing fellow authors as well as filmmakers, musicians, etc.

The Mando Method Podcast with co-host Chuck Buda - talking about writing and publishing
But he owns the network they're on, too! Project Entertainment Network
He also loves to talk in third person... because he's really that cool.




CHRISTOPHER GOLDEN is the New York Times bestselling author of such novels as Ararat, Snowblind, Tin Men, The Myth Hunters, Wildwood Road, The Boys Are Back in Town, The Ferryman, Strangewood, and Of Saints and Shadows. He has also written books for teens and young adults, including Poison Ink, Soulless, and the thriller series Body of Evidence, honored by the New York Public Library and chosen as one of YALSA's Best Books for Young Readers.


Golden co-created (with Mike Mignola) two cult favorite comic book series, Baltimore and Joe Golem: Occult Detective. As an editor, he has worked on the short story anthologies Seize the Night, The New Dead, and Dark Cities, among others, and has also written and co-written comic books, video games, screenplays, a BBC radio play, the online animated series Ghosts of Albion (with Amber Benson), and a network television pilot. A frequent speaker at conferences, schools, and libraries, Golden is also co-host of the podcasts Three Guys with Beards and Defenders Dialogue, and the founder of the Merrimack Valley Halloween Book Festival.



Golden was born and raised in Massachusetts, where he still lives with his family. His original novels have been published in more than fourteen languages in countries around the world. 



Frank J. Edler
My mother was an alien and my father was a lamp post. I was fed a steady dose of soap bars as a child as punishment for my foul mouth and incessant pranks. Little did anyone know the soap only made me stronger, faster, more agile. My brain filled with bubbles that were 99.9% pure. It was an amazing time. I left the city and moved out to the country where I heard tell there is an amazing banana bread store. I never found it, but I did find love. I loved that tuna sandwich like no other and we were married on the Fourth of July, just like Tom Cruise in that one movie about said date. It was a magical time but alas was not meant to be. I ate it. I tried to move on, writing books and sharing them with the local townsfolk. They would tell me to shut up and make sure I flushed before I left. Never once did I wash my hands like the signs demanded. So here I am, dirty handed and telling my tales. Wanna hear one?



Tom Clark is a writer, and a veteran internet journalist and podcast producer. His work has been seen in websites such as This is Infamous and Rue Morgue, among other freelance outlets. He currently produces podcasts at Project Entertainment Network, including his shows: the long running heavy metal and horror themed the Necrocasticon, and the Curtain Jerkers, a comedic take on pro wrestling podcasting. Tom’s debut novella, “Good Boy” will be self published and available through all your digital reading outlets in 2018. Tom and his wife live in the wilds of upstate New York, cohabiting with a pair of Jack Russell Terriers and their pet rabbit.






BRIAN KEENE is the author of over forty books, mostly in the horror, crime, and dark fantasy genres. His 2003 novel, The Rising, is often credited (along with Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead comic and Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later film) with inspiring pop culture’s current interest in zombies. Keene’s novels have been translated into German, Spanish, Polish, Italian, French, Taiwanese, and many more. In addition to his own original work, Keene has written for media properties such as Doctor Who, The X-Files, Hellboy, Masters of the Universe, and Superman.

Several of Keene’s novels have been developed for film, including Ghoul, The Ties That Bind, and Fast Zombies Suck. Several more are in-development or under option.

Keene’s work has been praised in such diverse places as The New York Times, The History Channel, The Howard Stern Show, CNN.com, Publisher’s Weekly, Media Bistro, Fangoria Magazine, and Rue Morgue Magazine. He has won numerous awards and honors, including a World Horror Grand Master award, two Bram Stoker awards, and a recognition from Whiteman A.F.B. (home of the B-2 Stealth Bomber) for his outreach to U.S. troops serving both overseas and abroad. A prolific public speaker, Keene has delivered talks at conventions, college campuses, theaters, and inside Central Intelligence Agency headquarters in Langley, VA.



Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi has Bachelor of Arts degrees in English, Journalism, and History. She has 20 years of experience in the communication fields and is currently a writer, a journalist, a publicist, and an editor among many other things. 

She is the mother of three school-aged children and a cat. She lives with her family in rural Ohio nestled in the forest—a place just ripe for nightmares. Her passions are reading, writing, book hunting, hiking, and entertainment such as movies/film, television, and music. Oh, and she bakes, because you can’t do any of that without cookies.

Erin is a co-host with her Marketing Morsels segment on Project Entertainment Network’s The Mando Method, an award-winning weekly podcast for new and veteran writers. 
Breathe. Breathe., published by Unnerving, is her debut collection and a mix of dark poetry and short stories. She will also be featured in the upcoming anthology from Unnerving called Hardened Hearts coming in at the end of 2017. Many other works in various genres are in progress as well.



Chuck Buda explores the darkest aspects of the human condition. Then he captures its essence for fictional use. He writes during the day and wanders aimlessly all night…alone.
Chuck Buda co-hosts The Mando Method Podcast on Project Entertainment Network with author, Armand Rosamilia. They talk about all aspects of writing. Subscribe so you don’t miss an episode.

You can find The Mando Method Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher and most other places where podcasts are available. 


JONATHAN MABERRY is a New York Times best-selling and five-time Bram Stoker Award-winning author, anthology editor, comic book writer, magazine feature writer, playwright, content creator and writing teacher/lecturer. He was named one of the Today’s Top Ten Horror Writers. His books have been sold to more than two-dozen countries.


He is one third of the hirsute pop-culture podcast THREE GUYS WITH BEARDS, along with Christopher Golden and James A. Moore. Their guest include authors, actors, and filmmakers.






Follow the tour HERE for exclusive guest posts and a giveaway!










About Mayor Sonni

Reader extraordinaire. Mayor of Readeropolis. Lover of books, lists, sweet tea, and vacations. Well, not necessarily in that order.
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1 comments:

  1. Thanks for the intro to all these fabulous new authors! Put on a Happy Face catches my interest.

    ReplyDelete


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