Monday, April 21, 2014

Portrait of the Author as a Young Man

What do you imagine when you picture a horror author? The author of nightmare-inducing gore-fests who delights in inducing great feelings of disgust and revulsion in his readers? Whose stories ooze with so much carnage you can almost feel the blood dripping from the cracks in your Kindle when you read? Is the face pictured on the cover, in fact, the portrait of the author?

Perhaps you know better, but imagine a madman, for only a madman would take such pleasure in tearing apart his fellow man through the written word. Is this Stephen Kozeniewski, author of the slaughter-filled zombie abomination known as The Ghoul Archipelago?

Is this the face of a horror author?

Or perhaps, he is not all insanity, for his entrails-exuding guts-mire of a book does contain commentary on our current society. In his own words, he sought to elevate the genre, and does so by satirizing the political, economic, and religious powers in between gross-out sessions. Is this Stephen Kozeniewski, who uses the horrible merely to teach us all a lesson in how our world is today, and works so hard to make us lose our lunches so we'll be sure to remember it?

The face of an intellectual author

Or perhaps our enigmatic writer is of the new-fashioned old-fashioned type, bringing the traditional writerly accoutrements of pipe, bow tie, typewriter, and intense expression to the modern era, rejecting the flashing and clicking of the computer screen. Perhaps the very way in which he is pictured writing is a commentary upon our society! Is this Stephen Kozeniewski?

The modern writer

Ah, but even the mad and the intellectual must grow from small children. And so, ladies and gentleman, I present to you the Portrait of the Author as a Young Man. A very, very young man. Behold, the true face of Stephen Kozeniewski!

Do not be deceived by those innocent eyes, behind which lies  twisted brain.
Look at that cutie patootie! Who would have thought that, behind that sweet smile and the childlike wonder reflected in those puppy-dog eyes, likes a mind as contorted and gnarled as the disemboweled entrails of which he writes! Oh, how looks can deceive.

But wait, there's more!

Future mass murderer of fictional characters
If there was any doubt before that Stephen Kozeniewski is a cutie patootie, let this dispel them! Again, with the sweet smile, but this time there's the added adorability factor of dorky glasses, suspenders, and tie!

Oh, perhaps you think that this cherub-faced, sweet-smiled child grew into one of the writers pictured above, or someone resembling the type. The madman? The intellecutal? The old-fashioned modern man? 

But you would be mistaken, for here is the present day Stephen Kozeniewski, spiller of blood, butcher of characters, and creator of nightmares! 

Same childlike wonder...
Same innocent smile...

And the reviewers agree: this author is still a cutie patootie! 

Now that I have unmasked this horror writer as an innocuous, friendly-faced everyman, allow me to make it up to him by listing his web presence links:

And check out his the aforementioned gore-oozing, bloodstained, stomach-upsetting masterpieces he wrote:

The Ghoul Archipelago
After ravenous corpses topple society and consume most of the world’s population, freighter captain Henk Martigan is shocked to receive a distress call. Eighty survivors beg him to whisk them away to the relative safety of the South Pacific. Martigan wants to help, but to rescue anyone he must first pass through the nightmare backwater of the Curien island chain. 

A power struggle is brewing in the Curiens. On one side, the billionaire inventor of the mind-control collar seeks to squeeze all the profit he can out of the apocalypse. Opposing him is the charismatic leader of a ghoul-worshipping cargo cult. When a lunatic warlord berths an aircraft carrier off the coast and stakes his own claim on the islands, the stage is set for a bloody showdown. 

To save the remnants of humanity (and himself), Captain Martigan must defeat all three of his ruthless new foes and brave the gruesome horrors of...THE GHOUL ARCHIPELAGO.

Braineater Jones
Braineater Jones wakes up face down in a swimming pool with no memory of his former life, how he died, or why he’s now a zombie. With a smart-aleck severed head as a partner, Jones descends into the undead ghetto to solve his own murder.

But Jones’s investigation is complicated by his crippling addiction to human flesh. Like all walking corpses, he discovers that only a stiff drink can soothe his cravings. Unfortunately, finding liquor during Prohibition is costly and dangerous. From his Mason jar, the cantankerous Old Man rules the only speakeasy in the city that caters to the postmortem crowd.

As the booze, blood, and clues coagulate, Jones gets closer to discovering the identity of his killer and the secrets behind the city’s stranglehold on liquid spirits. Death couldn’t stop him, but if the liquor dries up, the entire city will be plunged into an orgy of cannibalism.

Cracking this case is a tall order. Braineater Jones won’t get out alive, but if he plays his cards right, he might manage to salvage the last scraps of his humanity.


  1. The next question would then be: what's Stephen going to look like at age, say, 65? I'd say this looks remarkably close.

    (It is actually a photo of horror writer F. Paul Wilson)