The horror is down South in David’s latest novel.

Kim Lansing and Todd Regan are about to learn about sacrifice. While on a clandestine date with another woman, Kim discovers that her fiancé, Eustace, has killed himself. Torn with remorse, she fulfillls his one last request: taking his ashes from Seattle to his family members throughout the deep South.

In Miami, struggling male model Todd Regan botches a much-needed photo shoot. Desperate for income, he accepts a persuasive talent scout’s offer of a high-paying role in an “experimental” horror film in Georgia.

As Kim and Todd’s separate paths lead them beneath the shadow-casting Spanish moss of Savannah’s Bonaventure Cemetery and into the sweltering, gator-infested Louisiana swampland, they realize the locals may have something in mind other than hospitality.

Join a haunting journey through an American South of disturbing rituals and supernatural possession, murderers in fish-head masks and an ancient spirit that stalks old plantation grounds in search of THE SKIN THAT FITS.

“A tour of terror through a modern Southern gothic landscape.” —Vic Kerry (Thorazine Dreams)

“This pulse-pounding horror story that takes place in the southern United States, from Savannah to New Orleans, is filled with memorable characters, searing scenes, and a pace that rarely gives you time to catch your breath.” —Jonathan Rose (Carrion)

“Massengill’s Southern gothic horror plunges you into an eerie underworld of supernatural terror. Told in taut, aggressive prose and gory detail, it’s a literary knife to the guts that will leave you breathless.” —Michael G. Keller (Toy Soldiers)

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The redbugs are coming, and they bring death to those they touch.

But first you may suffer from intense sweating, hives all over your body, violent seizures, skin necrosis.

It’s possible the redbug won’t kill you.

It may burrow inside your neck, turning you into what the CDC calls a “nest person.” Drifting in and out of consciousness, you could have the cognitive abilities of someone who’s gone through extensive electroshock therapy.

David’s debut novel follows the struggles of a handful of survivors in the infested Pacific Northwest. A Homeland Security exterminator seeks his estranged cousin while completing a tour of duty in the Washington desert. A young woman volunteers at an urban refugee center to keep constant watch over her nest person mother. A man journeys south from a research lab in ravaged Seattle and discovers a mansion occupied by a 19-year-old megalomaniac and his female nest person servants.

Can these people live through the extermination days? Can the government eradicate the redbug with insecticide and bombs? Or will all succumb to the RED SWARM?

“David Massengill delivers near unbearable doses of suspense and shock in his post-apocalyptic chiller. Deadly, flesh-seeking redbugs have taken over the Pacific Northwest, leaving behind a nightmare world for the survivors. Riveting, intense and unpredictable, Red Swarm takes the reader on a deliciously creepy, wild ride. With his masterfully macabre prose, Massengill does for bugs what Hitchcock did for our feathered friends in The Birds. This is a must-read for horror fans!” –Kevin O’Brien (No One Needs To Know, Tell Me You’re Sorry)

“Never have I read a novel that creeps me out so bad that I want to get it as far away from me as possible, like by tossing it onto a freighter headed overseas or something, and yet at the same time I find so compelling and insidious and engrossing and inevitable that I am forced to continue reading against my will, all the while feeling the phantom tingle of redbugs burrowing in my neck and turning me into a nest person. I hate you, David Massengill, for writing a book that is smart, witty, swiftly paced, and brilliantly conceived, yet at the same time is so creepy it makes my gums itch!” –Garth Stein (A Sudden Light, The Art of Racing in the Rain)

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What are the consequences of an American tourist stealing a jawbone from a tomb in a Parisian cemetery? Or a husband and wife employing a house sitter as bait for the entity that has been terrorizing their home? Or a Bel Air housewife swallowing a worm-like import from Africa with the intention of losing weight? David’s short story collection Fragments of a Journal Salvaged from a Charred House in Germany, 1816 and other stories (Hammer and Anvil Books) explores such questions with characters whose choices in life are occasionally wise decisions and oftentimes lethal mistakes. Over 20 of these tales have appeared in literary magazines, including Burial Day Books, Danse Macabre, Eclectica Magazine, The New Flesh, Pulp Metal Magazine, and Yellow Mama.

“Brilliant, quirky, ironic, and scary…. Reading David Massengill’s short story collection is like watching a Twilight Zone marathon. A masterful story-teller, Massengill weaves a series of haunting tales that will keep readers mesmerized—and unnerved….” –Kevin O’Brien (No One Needs To Know, Tell Me You’re Sorry)

“The genius of a David Massengill story lies not simply in its taut narrative, its bizarre and disturbing elements, its cracking pace, or its dark humor. No, the genius lies in an insistence that the protagonist is complicit in his own demise, even if only through a fleeting thought or a careless action. It is a twisted American gothic karma that Massengill has painted in this collection, and it’s a world and a morality that will keep you reading story after story after fascinating, riveting, blood-curdling story….” –Garth Stein (A Sudden Light, The Art of Racing in the Rain)

(No longer available)

David and his talented friend Soyon Im have published I Just Want to be Loved by You and You and You, an approximately 50-page book that includes three stories about infidelity. The short story collection features Soyon’s exquisitely written “,” about a Korean woman who ventures into an extramarital affair on the Web. In David’s “No Mas Mi Amor, 1959,” a TV actor cheats with a married car salesman and suspects he’s being unfaithful to himself. And David’s ghost story, “The Little Man,” leads the reader into a haunted hotel room where an elderly woman seeks the spirit of her long-dead lover.

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I just want to be loved by you and you and you
Gothic Blue Book: The Revenge Edition (Burial Day Books) features 15 short stories and poems that provide cutting-edge interpretations of the historical gothic tale. David’s suburban ghost story “Bellevue” is in the anthology. Other contributors include Chad Brown, Tara Cleves, M.N. Hanson, Phil Hickes, Emma Hinge, K. Trap Jones, Daniel Kraus, Carl Palmer, Cynthia Pelayo, Gerardo Pelayo, Cortney Philip, Wednesday Silverwood, Jennifer A. Smith, and Melissa Stanziale.

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David’s contribution to Gothic Blue Book IV: The Folklore Edition (Burial Day Books) is “Looking Glass,” a tale of Southern horror set in Savannah, GA. The anthology also includes work by New York Times bestselling author Jay Bonansinga (The Walking Dead: Fall of the Governor Part 1 & 2, The Road to Woodbury) and Bram Stoker Award-winning author Bruce Boston (Dark Roads: Selected Long Poems 1971-2012, Surrealities).

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William Pauley III and Brian Barnett, editors of the online literary magazine The New Flesh, have published a free(!) e-book featuring their favorite stories from the magazine’s second year of existence. Long Live the New Flesh: Year Two includes David’s horror tale “Grocery List,” which is not for those with sensitive stomachs.

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The New Flesh Year Two
You’ll find David’s Sapphic ghost story “Getaway” in the anthology Clones, Fairies, & Monsters in the Closet, which offers an eclectic mix of queer mystery, adventure, sci-fi, horror, and romance stories. (Interestingly, David’s spooky tale made it into the romance section.) The book is published by Exter Press and edited by Bill Olver, who helms the excellent Big Pulp literary magazine.

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Clones, Fairies & Monsters in the Closet