Friday, July 31, 2020

Hear Me Say Stuff


You guys, this was SOOO much fun. You can watch the video here.

I got to do a live reading to a very fun group of students and moms. We talked a bit about monsters, which is (of course) my favorite topic.


Sunday, July 5, 2020

Now Is the Best Time to Read Monster Stories

Wow! What a cool write-up. Last week, I was interviewed by the fine folks at The Hindu. The story they came up with is a representation of Karma and why I write. Love it love it.


Wednesday, July 1, 2020

The Devil You Know

Have you ever seen Needful Things? What about Bedazzled? Devil's Advocate? Every third episode of The Twilight Zone?
In The Devil You Know, the devil comes in all forms and in every genre of story. Mine is set in a primary school. That's all I'm going to say.
Check it out, and don't make any deals without reading the fine print. (Except when it comes to pre-ordering on Amazon. I'm sure their fine print isn't too damning.)

Monday, June 22, 2020

Karma Meets a Zombie!

Karma's back, and this time, he has to face down an army of zombies. It happens.


This is #2 in the Karma Tandin, Monster Hunter series through Penguin, and this one's a doozy. People turn into salamanders. Body parts fly off. A giant blob of zombie limbs threatens to take over the village.

Check it out at your local bookstore!

Friday, June 12, 2020

Cannibals Are Here!

Mark your calendars! On June 24, a new horror anthology is coming out. It's all about cannibals. I'm so exciting that my short story "Bert" is included. I wanted to write something extra-weird for this one. Please check it out. Preferably on an empty stomach!

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Ghost Stories for Starless Nights

Ghost Stories for Starless Nights. If you're in the mood for something spooky right before summer, check these out. I'm so excited to have my story included amongst a pretty wild collection of ghosts and spirits and wandering travelers. Sit down beside the campfire and prepare to get the chills!




Sunday, April 19, 2020

People. It's what's for dinner.

CANNIBALS! You know you love 'em. I sure do.


The glorious weirdos at Red Cape Publishing are releasing a series of horror anthologies. They're on letter C right now, which is where my cannibal story comes in. It's called "Bert," and it's about a chubby, little farmboy who has suspicions that his dad might be planning to eat him. Try to guess the twist ending, because I'm sure you won't.

This collection is very dark, very funny, and very... delicious? Can I say that? Sure. Why not? It's my blog.

The point is, check out C IS FOR CANNIBALS when it's finally served on June 24. And bring your appetite!


Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Crazy Stories from Kazakhstan


My students are awesome. No matter where I teach, I always find students who are creative and excited and eager to share their stories with the world.

That's why I'm so proud of this latest antho! Crazy Stories from Kazakhstan is a collection of student-written stories from the kids of Almaty. Killer teddy bears, aliens, dragons, curses... These stories have a little bit of everything.

And the craziest part? All the stories were written by non-native speakers in thirty minutes. That's right! We had a contest at our school, and students had to finish their stories (based on four secret photos that we gave them) in under a half hour! This is what they came up with.

And of course, I added some illustrations to go with their words. This time, the mascot is the famous Kazakh snow leopard.

This guy.

 Check him out in ebook form, or just email me and I can connect you with a PDF. We're raising money for a local charity, and this is just a little thing I could do to help.




Saturday, October 26, 2019

Go to India

Here is one very cool school visit. Of course, I signed some books.


And met all the awesome staff.


But I also got a very traditional welcome! (With a surprise dance performance.)


And the students of course were very cool.


I guess what I'm saying is: Go to India. You'll love it.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Bring on the Monsters!


Here I am signing books for some of the students in India. Each one got a personal monster drawing from yours truly.


Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Welcome to India!

My first visit to India was amazing! I went to six different schools and talked to the students about monsters. What a cool job I have!


All the students were excited, creative, and cool.


They created their own monsters. Some were funny. Some were crazy. Some were scary. But they were all awesome!


They asked lots of interested questions and had a lot of opinions to share. (Apparently, mummies are very popular with these kids. Who knew?)


And of course, they had a lot of ideas to share. Color me impressed!


And I can't wait to go back again!


Thursday, July 18, 2019

Another Monster for Karma to Fight


Congratulations to another winning monster! Melania did a great job with her monster Jelly Freeze. It was so hard to judge this contest, but Jelly Freeze was one of my personal favorites! And look at that poem! It's hilarious.

Here are some more great creatures:





Funny, scary, cute, and creepy. Monsters come in all different flavors.


Wednesday, July 17, 2019

The Problem with Monsters (Besides Them Eating You)

Varsha Seshan is a critic and blogger in India. She just posted a really inciteful piece called "The Problem with Monster Stereotypes in Literature" and it really sums up my feelings about monsters (especially in young adult literature).

One of my big reasons for creating the Karma Tandin: Monster Hunter series was to challenge the assumptions about good vs. evil. I wanted to create a village full of monsters that are a bit more complex than just MONSTER = BAD. My monsters are real characters with real quirks and personalities. They're different and they're dangerous, but that doesn't mean they're irredeemable. They're young and old, male and female, ugly and beautiful. And they're complicated.

In my first book, the monster is a book-loving librarian that just happens to hide a mutant shark face under her human head. In the second, a school bully becomes a decomposing zombie that learns the hard way what it feels like to be the victim of bullying. In the third book, well... stay tuned, but it will involve an "evil twin" with a bit more complexity than you'd expect.

Especially in kidlit, writers have the responsibility to expand the definition of "monster." The world isn't a simple, black-and-white place, and monster characters shouldn't easily fit into any category. That's more-or-less the mission statement of the Karma Tandin series, and Varsha's article really captures that. Give it a read.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Wedding in Kazakhstan


This was a Kazakhstan/American wedding in the mountains just outside Almaty, Kazakhstan.


I danced all night. Badly.


And I'm so happy for the lucky couple.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT! NEW SERIES!


All my writing experience has prepared me for this. After publishing a bunch of horror shorts for anthologies big and small, and after reading and rereading every Goosebumps book until my eyes turned fuzzy, I've finally started my own middle grade horror series!

Karma Tandin: Monster Hunter is a series of funny, exciting, spooky adventures about a twelve-year-old monster hunter who battles wild creatures throughout Bhutan. The first in the series, Karma Fights a Monster, just hit stands and it is wild! I am so proud of this story (and all the stories to come). Check out our hero as he contends with his school librarian who may or may not be a shark monster. (Spoiler: She is.)

Seriously, guys, this is my passion project, and it's so, so cool to share it with you all. What's even cooler is that I get to write about Bhutan, my favorite place in the world. If you like monsters (and who doesn't), then you'll love Karma!



Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Welcome to SAN CICARO


San Cicaro is a coastal resort town in California where strange things happen every day. I was lucky enough to be included in this travel companion. I wrote all about a local landmark called Missy's Diner. Come check it out or (better yet) visit San Cicaro yourself. 

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Startling Monsters

"When I started reading it, I hoped there would be ‘real’ monsters, not allegorical or imagined monsters. I was not disappointed. The monsters in the book startled me, and it was wonderful."

Another happy, monster-loving customer. Check out Varsha Seshan's review of my latest middle grade horror book, Karma Fights a Monster.


Plus: more awesome fan art for the Karma series. This is Bibi-Da-Bi, a color-sucking monster created by Aditeya Goyal (age 11).

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Duckbill Books

My new series Karma Tandin: Monster Hunter got a nice shout-out from Indian children's author and editor Sayoni Basu. I've worked with her closely over at Duckbill Books, and I'm always amazed by the amount of good, positive, funny, exciting work they release.


Monday, June 10, 2019

An Everyman Superhero

"Karma is a protagonist that every child can easily identify with. He is not shown to be a superhero of sorts, though he is the famed monster hunter. He is as ‘human’ as any of the readers reading the book. Excellent story, capturing plot and loads of good humour…"

Karma Fights a Monster is fresh off the presses, and already we've been getting some good reviews. This one comes courtesy of the Booked for Life blog. I'm so happy that my little story of a monster-hunting twelve-year-old is really connecting with readers. 


And of course, here is another monster submission to add to the collection. This one is by Aadya,  a four (!) year old monster hunter from India. Jigiliboo is a fierce creature from an enchanted forest. Better watch out!

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Karma Gets a Review!

"Through this monster story, Purcell has tried to introduce the issues that kids face in their lives and how everyone has to struggle against their worst impulses. His cool, shark monster represents something that we can all understand and relate to — teachers and their ways."

Amen.

Our first review is in! Ministry of Magik (which is a very cool blog) gave us their thoughts on Karma Fights a Monster. I'm so glad that Karma's wacky adventures are finally catching on with people. I've had this story (and this series) kicking around in my head for over two years now, and it's so exciting to hear the reactions.

And, to further celebrate this occasion, I'd like to share a piece of fan art from our monster design contest. Here it is:


This was made by Ria Melanie (age 10). Clever, spooky, and very cool, Jelly Freeze is a monster that I wish I'd thought of myself. Great job!

Monday, June 3, 2019

NO SLEEP PODCAST


WARNING: This is a horror fiction podcast. It is intended for mature adults, not the faint of heart. Join us at your own risk...

NoSleep Podcast is terrifying. If you haven't checked it out yet, do so at your own risk. This latest season is killer. I'll keep you posted for when my new horror story "Defaced Currency" becomes available. It's bizarre, and the first story since Bentley Little's "The Washingtonians" to make our wooden-toothed first president scary again.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Paper Mill, Uzbekistan


Zara and I got to visit a really cool paper-making factory in Samarkand, Uzbekistan!

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Cereal Commercial Goes Murderous

So I wrote a story about a fictional character in a cereal commercial who suddenly realizes that she's in a cereal commercial. She goes crazy and tries to murder the other characters.

It's probably one of the weirdest things I've ever written, and it's a total blast. I'm really proud of this strange creation.

Anyway, most publishers wouldn't touch a story this openly strange, but the good folks at The Pretty Trees Podcast are also very strange people, and they included it in their latest episode. Please check it out, along with two other stories that are totally great.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Samarkand, Uzbekistan


I actually heart Samarkand (not Sam), but the stranger we asked to take the photo didn't understand how photography works.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Where Am I?


Guess where I am. I'll give you two clues.

Clue #1: This is definitely not Kazakhstan.

Clue #2: That first clue was a lie.