I am a long-time student of literary fiction, whose writing currently trends toward dark fiction, suspense, thrillers, horror, and occasionally science fiction. In 1980, I graduated from Eastern Kentucky University, where I read extensively in German and Russian literature of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. I attended the graduate program in German at the University of Kentucky, where I studied Medieval German literature in addition to twentieth century German literature. I joined the U.S. Navy before obtaining my Master's degree, however. While on my two cruises with VA-95, an A-6 squadron deployed aboard the carrier USS Enterprise, I picked up an interest in reading and writing modern American poetry during those times when I needed to escape into my own world. Poetry seemed to provide a balance between the hours of boredom, the endless sea and sky, and the uproar of flight operations on the flight deck immediately above my quarters and office. That interest lasted about ten years and then morphed into a passion for reading classic American and English fiction and finally into an occasional desire to toy with writing my own works. Over the last few years, that desire has become gradually more passionate to the point where I hope to retire soon and devote myself entirely to writing. In December 2020, I resurrected a long dormant project: The Chamber Magazine (Current Issue – Modern Dark Fiction and Poetry-Current Issue (thechambermagazine.com)). This is an online magazine that publishes dark fiction and poetry as well as interviews and non-fiction articles. Go to its submissions page to find out the details. In 2022, I also founded Rural Fiction Magazine, which focuses on exploring the beauty and drama of rural life worldwide and Dark Passions Magazine, an experimental magazine, which focuses on writing dark romance stories, but without the gratuitous gore, obscenity, and violence that often comes with dark romances. All three contain outstanding writing from around the world.
A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror: Stories of Wizards, Werewolves, Serial Killers, Alien Worlds, and the Damned
This is the cover for the second print edition. Other covers vary.
A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror is also available at many retailers through print-on-demand. Ask for it at your local bookstore.
In this collection of published and previously unpublished stories of horror, Phil Slattery offers a look into the minds of people who perpetrate horrors, from acts of stupidity with unintended results to cold-hearted revenge to pure enjoyment to complete indifference. Settings range from 17th-century France in the heart of the werewolf trials to the Old West to the present and on to alien worlds in the distant future.
The short stories contained include:
A Tale of Hell: A man with anger issues has a nightmare of being in Hell.
Dream Warrior: A young man intent on avenging his girlfriend's death learns the ancient ways of Aztec sorcery from his grandfather.
Devil Star's Revenge: A cowboy suffers a horrendous fate after raping the daughter of a powerful Apache medicine man.
Shapeshifter: An innocent, starving wolf believed to be a lycanthrope is pursued through a seventeenth-century French town in this black comedy of errors.
Wolfsheim: A graduate student in 1970's West Germany researches his thesis on Hitler's Nazi Werewolves post-war resistance program in a remote Bavarian village.
Hitchhikers: A newly married couple encounter two mysterious girls late one night while driving through a remote part of the Navajo reservation.
Ivan: A young geek bullied by classmates dreams of being a serial killer.
Sorcerer: A retired sorcerer named Jack Thurston in New Mexico revives his black arts to avenge the death of his daughter and grandchild in childbirth in horrific fashion.
Under the Willow: Jack Thurston returns to New Mexico from living a dissolute life in Central America to help defend his simple, lovable brother against a neighborhood menace.
Alien Embrace: An astronaut on a distant planet finds himself trapped in a horror-filled world trapped between dream, nightmare, and reality.
This collection also includes three works of flash horror and two of horror microfiction. Comments on previously published stories include:
Jay Manning, editor of Midnight Times commented in its Spring, 2006 issue: "Wolfsheim is basically a traditional horror story that tells the tale of a small European village confronted by the threat of werewolves. If you like stories about lycans, you definitely need to check this one out. Great stuff.”
Publisher Charlie Fish of Fiction on the Web summarizes A Tale of Hell as a “… chilling vision of hell.”
Other comments on A Tale of Hell from readers of Fiction on the Web:
"An intense and well paced story, cleverly leading the reader up a number of garden paths before Jack's reality finally clarifies and appears in all its horror. The writing is focused and spare as Jack's malevolent characteristics and idiosyncrasies manifest themselves…Overall a strong tale that lingers in the imagination…"
"brilliantly descriptive piece on man´s apparently unstoppable descent, literally into hell,…"
Publisher Charlie Fish of Fiction on the Web summarizes "Dream Warrior" as a “…powerful revenge epic about a man who visits his Mexican grandfather for spiritual guidance after a violent crime results in the death if his fiancée”.
Fiction on the Web readers commented:
"quite literally a rite of passage, mystical and with an interesting payoff, one which Miguel may have to reckon with in time. some very good writing and characterisation. well done"
"…this is a rite of passage, complex and rich with significance. The cultural invocations are vivid and intense, the work of a writer in his/her full stride. The future for Miguel, who knows? The readers interest is fully engaged with what is to come..."
"Really enjoyed the story-kept me up past my bedtime reading it!"
"I loved the concept, was fascinated by the almost hallucinatory detail of legend with its fatal shadowlands."
Reader comments on "Murder by Plastic" include: "Chilling and brilliantly economical," "Very well-paced and intriguing," "Fabulous story! Five stars!"
The Scent and Other Stories: The Dark Side of Love
In this collection of short stories, Phil Slattery explores the dark, sometimes violent, sometimes twisted, sometimes touching side of love, the side kept not only from public view, but sometimes from our mates. Set in the modern era, these stories range in setting from forbidden interracial love in the hills of 1970’s Kentucky to a mother’s confession in present-day New Mexico to the callous manipulation of a lover in Texas.
Click: A Police Thriller of Murder and Conspiracy on a Small Texas Island
Frank Martinez, a policeman with the Corpus Christi Police Department, has unintentionally shot and killed an unarmed man when called to intercede in a domestic violence case. To recover from the guilt while the incident is under investigation by the CCPD, Frank's fiancée arranges for him to stay on a secluded island owned by her father's former law partner. While dozing one night on a lounge chair in the yard, he awakes to find two hitmen slipping onto the island and breaking into the cabin. Are they after him? Are they after the cabin's owner? Most importantly, how is he going to reach his pistol in his luggage in the bedroom?
Reader Charles Stacey gave "Click" five stars and commented: "Author has a wonderful ability to develop the characters using few words. Great foreshadowing to build suspense. And then a really outstanding twist at the end that left me smiling."
Nocturne: Poems of Love, Distance, and the Night, a callous and disinterested lover
Available on Kindle and now in a beautiful paperback edition!
Comments on Nocturne…have been touching and effusive.
“…All in all, Nocturne, is a beautiful but sad read that speaks to the reality of love and holds nothing back. It engages the mind and the heart longing for lasting, meaningful love that always seems just outside of its reach…”
“I like this author's poems which have a great feel to them. The book is about love but a lot more is included inside the pages. I like the photos the author included to enhance the poetry. A few of the poems held descriptive words about nature and I enjoyed the way the picture author paints in the readers mind is also displayed in the photographs that correspond with the words.”
“…The whole thing is sad emotionally and very bittersweet and left me feeling rather melancholy when I was finished. With both the poems and the introduction this is a very personal look at part of the author's life. He comes across as a very real and interesting person…”
Nocturne: Poems of Love, Distance, and the Night, a callous and disinterested lover is a collection of Phil Slattery’s poetry written from the mid-80’s to mid-90’s, a turbulent, fluid time in his life in many ways, but especially romantically. He has taken many of the poems written (many of which were published in various magazines) during those years and compiled them into a dark narrative capturing the emotional turmoil of an anonymous narrator who descends from romantic love for a woman into a lonely world of alcohol and night clubs, where his only love is the night that envelops him psychologically, emotionally, and physically. This is an emotional and psychological odyssey for the reader, exploring the bliss of love to the depths of despair and then to resignation to one’s fate in an existential crisis. The anthology is lavishly illustrated with photos from the public domain that attempt to capture visually the essence of the poems they accompany.
Go to https://www.bookscharming.com/p/interview-with-phil-slattery.html to read Phil’s interview about Nocturne with Aakanksha Jain.