2021 releases!

We’re into a new year, and with that I have some upcoming releases to announce, plus some updates on my ongoing projects.

First on the list: my short comic, “Quiet as the Grave,” will finally see print in the pages of Monster Mashup Volume 2. This one has been a long time coming (more than 2 years since I wrote the script!!), and I have to admit that I kind of assumed the project was dead. Turns out, the only thing dead are the living dead guardians of Ba-Pef’s tomb! GritCity Comics is funding this project through a Kickstarter, and the campaign is right around the corner. I’m excited to see this one come to fruition, and I’ll definitely be updating more when we hit the launch date of the Kickstarter campaign on the ides of March, MARCH 15th, 2021!

Also coming out this year will be my second story in the pages of StoryHack Action & Adventure. I originally titled the story “Far From the Tree,” but finally sold it under the much snappier title of “The Berserker’s Son.” I really love this story, and I’m happy to have placed it at StoryHack. Bryce Beattie, the editor, has an eye for pulp-style action, and this story has it by the fistful. Expect more news on the release date in the future.

In addition to those sales, I have a few other projects on various burners (mostly in the back…). I’ve worked on-and-off on a sequel to Coywolf, and I’m pretty far into the first draft. I’ll admit that I thought of dropping it completely, but every time I do, I have new readers of Coywolf contact me and ask when–never if–a sequel will be available. I’m always flattered to hear so much demand, and it’s humbling to think that I have dedicated fans–well, Jackson Porter does, at least. So I guess I need to get on it!

I also have another novel I’ve been working on. It’s quite a bit different from Coywolf, since this is a historical/biographical novel. I am enamored with the historical figures and big events in this story, but I’m also quite daunted by the ins-and-outs of the time period. I have my plot, I have my characters, I have my setting, but I’ve been researching the people and period for about three years now (here and there, secretively…), because I really need to know what life was like for these people before I begin writing. I think I’m getting close. This is one of the projects that I’ve let pull me away from the sequel to Coywolf, so ultimately I’ll have to choose one to throw myself into first.

I also have a plan to release one or two short story collections in the near future. I have a ton of short stories, and most of them are in fighting shape (ie publishable). I’m thinking of putting out two collections, one full of sci-fi stories, the other fantasy. In fact, if StoryHack hadn’t picked up “The Berserker’s Son,” that story would’ve headlined the fantasy collection–I was already talking to artists and working on the interior layout when the story sold. Now that StoryHack has first rights, though, I might push the fantasy collection back until next year (or go ahead with it, sans “The Berserker’s Son”) in favor of getting the sci-fi collection out sometime in 2021. Even so, that would probably be a summer release, at the earliest. Decisions, decisions!

As you can see, 2021 is looking to be a busy year, and definitely make up for 2020’s lull (although most people are just going to omit 2020 from their personal history books anyway, right?). I’ll keep the page updated as new info about these projects comes out.

Until next time: write on!

“Quiet as the Grave” comic script




By Michael DeCarolis


PAGE ONE:  (3 panels, with the first taking up most of the page.)


PANEL 1: EXT. NIGHT, WIDE/ESTABLISHING SHOT. A misshapen, hulking mass of muscle is seen from behind, silhouetted against a great pyramid rising from the featureless desert.  It is GRENDEL, a tortured monster whose left arm is conspicuously missing, with an ancient Norse helmet pressed into the flesh where his arm should be.


CAPTION:  Egypt, 1923.


NARRATOR: A thousand years have passed since the hero of the Danes tore off his arm and slew his mother. Beowulf thought him slain as well, but Grendel was cursed to live.


PANEL 2: Close up of GRENDEL’s face.  His features are unsettlingly human, but exaggerated and grotesque.  Somehow he looks just as animal as he does man.  GRENDEL listens for something.


NARRATOR: Long ages ago, Grendel learned to avoid the race of man.  He is weary, and has spent centuries roving the earth in search of one thing…


PANEL 3:  Grendel is now at the entrance of the pyramid.  It is evident that an exploration, possibly even the beginnings of an excavation, had been underway here.  Grendel proceeds into the tunnel that descends below the sand.


NARRATOR: … Silence.




PAGE TWO: (6 panels)


PANEL 1: INT. PYRAMID CORRIDOR.  (note to artist: maybe “panel 1” could extend diagonally down the page, from top left to bottom right, like a passageway descending underground)  Grendel doesn’t notice the ornate carvings lining the walls, but if he did, even he would have understood the warnings that this is the home of the undead.  Instead, he lumbers deeper into the pyramid towards the first chamber.  Lit torches line the corridor, which should be a clue that Grendel isn’t alone.


CAPTION:  Translator’s Note: Herein serves the Cult of Ba-Pef, eternal disciples to the God of Anguish and Pain.  Herein is Woe.


PANEL 2: As he continues, Grendel’s attention is drawn to a new smell (close up on his face/nose)…


PANEL 3: …a pile of fresh bodies.


PANEL 4-6:  With his one arm, Grendel grabs a body and turns it.  It is dressed in stereotypical 1920s explorer garb (pith helmet, vest, etc), but it is clear these explorers found more than what they were looking for. Purple marks on the neck make it clear that this explorer was strangled to death.  To Grendel, this is no matter.  A dead human is a good human.  He moves onward…




PAGE 3:(6 panels)


PANEL 1: Grendel moves into an inner chamber.  Shadows fill the spaces that the torches fail to reach. And from those shadows… eyes! Glowing, staring, watching.


NARRATOR: Even an outcast from society can learn words if they are repeated often enough.  And there are words that Grendel has heard countless times, in countless languages…




PANEL 2-3:  From the shadows, horrible creatures emerge.  They were once the human servants of their god, but they have been transformed: in the place of a head each has an oversized scarab beetle!  With drooling, snapping mandibles and compound eyes, they are the stuff nightmares.  One or two appears at first, but soon dozens step into the light, arms extended.  It is clear that they creep forward slowly, but their sheer numbers overwhelm Grendel.


GRENDEL repeats: Away!


PANEL 4: With a single swing of his mighty arm, Grendel knocks several down…


PANEL 5:  …but they rise to their feet unfazed and continue to close in on him.


PANEL 6: Grendel has been backed into a wall, the creatures surrounding him and blocking his exit.





PAGE 4:(7 panels)


PANEL 1-3:  Grendel reaches behind him, grabs the torch from the wall, and swings it in front of him.


PANEL 4 (large panelin the center of the page): Grendel swings the torch wildly as the creatures around him go up in flames.  (Have fun with this panel… Grendel is!)




PANEL 5-7:  If these horrors know pain, every single one of them is now writhing in it on the floor of the chamber as they quickly turn to ash.  Grendel drops the torch and moves through the chamber to the next doorway.




PAGE 5:(8 panels)


PANEL 1(double-sized panel):  Grendel enters a large chamber meant for someone greater even than a king: golden jars and vases, piles of ancient silks, and other unimaginable treasures line the walls, while a platform rises in the center of the room.  Two massive statues stand on either side of the center platform. Each statue bears the shape of a man, but with the head of a jackal.  They hold the tips of their massive stone staffs above the sarcophagus that rests at the top of the raised platform.


PANEL 2-3: As Grendel steps forward, the statues are “awoken.”  They turn to face him and…


PANEL 4:Without warning, bring the staff down in a crushing blow towards Grendel…


PANEL 5: …who dives out of the way.


PANEL 6:  Grendel lunges toward the nearest statue and climbs up its body like a one-armed chimpanzee. The statue almost dwarfs Grendel.


PANEL 7: With his legs wrapped around the statue’s neck, Grendel begins beating it mercilessly with his fist until it begins to crack.


GRENDEL: Die dogman!


PANEL 8:  Once the first statue has crumbled, Grendel locks eyes with the second.



PAGE 6:(6 panels)


PANEL 1-3: Grendel picks up the head of the first statue. It is larger than his torso, but he holds and launches it like a shot put at the remaining statue.  Upon impact, the second statue crumbles.


PANEL 4: Grendel stands taking stock of the rubble around him. He has a look half of contentment, half expecting the next terrible surprise.  But nothing comes.


PANEL 5: Grendel ascends the few stairs that lead to the top of the platform…


PANEL 6:… and finally stands over a sarcophagus that hasn’t been opened in thousands of years.  The sarcophagus lid is so ornate—and heavy—that it could be a monument in and of itself.




PAGE 7:(6 panels)


PANEL 1:  Close up on Grendel’s face.  He is relieved.


GRENDEL: Finally.


PANEL 2: Grendel slides the heavy lid off sarcophagus.


PANEL 3: As the sarcophagus opens, a dark energy erupts forth, followed by…


NARRATOR: Millennia have passed since the High Priest gave his body as an avatar for his god.


PANEL 4: … Ba-Pef himself, possessing the body of a high priest, rises in all his glory!  As he floats there, it looks as though he is in the prime of his life.  His skin is full and as radiant as his golden vestments, not like the monsters Grendel fought before.


NARRATOR: They called him Ba-Pef, the Dread of Souls… and he has returned!


PANEL 5: Close up on Grendel’s face again.  He is no longer relieved.  Instead, his eyes have the look of a madman and hitherto unseen veins pop out of his neck and forehead.


PANEL 6:  From off-panel, Grendel’s arm reaches in and grabs the high priest by his Ankh necklace.


GRENDEL: No more!




PAGE 8:(6 panels)


PANEL 1-3: Still off-panel, Grendel slams the body repeatedly into the floor until he stops moving.  Finally, a wispy shadow seeps from the body as though it has expired and been made inert.


PANEL 4-5:  Grendel climbs inside the sarcophagus, the limp body of the high priest still lying beside it.  Grendel’s arm reaches up from the sarcophagus to grab the lid, then…


NARRATOR: Grendel is weary, and has spent centuries roving the earth in search of one thing…


PANEL 6: (if possible, larger panel) He slides the sarcophagus shut.


GRENDEL: … Silence.

Big announcement!

BIG NEWS!!! My young adult novel will be out soon!

Look for a release date announcement in the next month or so, but the book should be out around the end of April or in May. In the meantime, I’ll be posting updates on my various social media accounts, including pre-order info once the release date is set.

Here’s the status so far: the cover art has been finished for about a month (it’s stunning, in my opinion), the editor has just returned his notes (which I need to go through), the ISBN has been assigned, and the Library of Congress number has been applied for.

What other exciting info can I give you guys today? How about a title reveal?


Everyone knows that I’ve been writing for awhile, but so far everything I’ve had published has been short stories or poems, so this is big for me. Stay tuned for more info, like a synopsis, cover reveal, and more!

Welcome to 2019 (am I late?)

It’s February, which means we’re now well into the new year.  No time like the present for a little update.  (It’s Groundhog Day, so maybe I’ll be posting this in a time loop for eternity).

First and foremost, my latest short story came out a few weeks ago in the always exciting pages of Broadswords and Blasters (  If you haven’t checked out the magazine or their awesome pulp review blog, you owe it to yourself to head over there now.

A few things you may have missed last year:  I had two poems published in 2018, which can be found by following the writing tab on my webpage.  One is a haiku about a poor blue jay I found wounded in the middle of the road, unable to fly; the other is a tribute to my students, who each have their own daily challenges to endure.  My writing and submitting slowed down last year, though, as my adorable baby entered the world in May.  He’s the best!

Looking forward, I have had a story accepted for a comic book anthology that will be coming out (probably) this fall.  I’m super excited, since it was my first comic book script!  I really enjoyed writing it, and I’ll try to keep my eyes open for more calls for that sort of thing.

I have one more big piece of news about writing, but I’ll be saving that for it’s own post when the time is right.

In non-writing news: Nico is 8 months old now, and I’m continuously amazed at how quickly he’s changing.  It wasn’t long ago that he couldn’t life his head, now he can (try to) stand!  The wife and I are excited to be taking a trip to Thailand soon so Nico can meet my wife’s parents and siblings.  In other words, all is well on the homefront.

Thanks for reading.  Don’t forget, you can sign up for my mailing list on the welcome page of  I post irregularly, so you might like the notification!


Summer 2018 update

Whoa, it’s July already?  Judging by my activity on this page and my twitter account, it must look like I’ve forgotten that the internet even exists.  I have a happy reason for being preoccupied, though: my baby was born on May 31st!  I’m a dad!

I’ve been incredibly busy in the best (albeit sleepless) way possible, as anyone who has ever had a newborn knows.  However, I still have a bit of writing news!  I have had another short story picked up for publication in a fiction magazine.  It doesn’t come out until January, so I will give more info as that approaches.

In the meantime, here is Nico the day he was born!

nico papa bear.jpg