The life and times of author D.L. Snell. Other stuff, too.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Life-sized Leatherface

My friend Sam and I constructed a life-sized dummy of Leatherface last Friday. Sam had already built the skeleton: wooden legs, gloves filled with flexible coat hangers, and PVC pipe for the spine and arms. I helped him nail the skeleton to a platform, beef up the legs with padding, then tear the whole thing off because we forgot to give him pants. Once we bolted the bones back onto the platform, we dressed him in a flannel shirt and a bloody apron, and then filled out his torso with stuffing. Finally, we added the head, a one-gallon milk jug wearing a Leatherface mask, plus a plastic chainsaw, held overhead. The bastard is almost seven feet tall! Sam is going to have a hard time sleeping with that thing in his house--it'll be there till Halloween. Every time he steps into the garage to tap the kegerator, he's gonna shit his pants :)

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Same Shit, Different Degree

Well, I’m living with my mom. I’m back at my old job as a writing tutor, and I’m living with my mom. “You’re life will change,” they told me. “College graduates make X amount of dollars a year,” they told me. They must have forgotten that I’m a writer because, in general, writers earn shit. Unless you’re Stephen King, and even he’s admitted that his success is analogous to winning the lottery.

One thing has changed, however. I have time to exercise. At college, I sat at my computer for two years or more, doing homework. I never went to the gym, and I rarely ran on the Gazelle. So today, I rode my bike in the rain, and I tried to pedal up this dirt road. I overexerted myself and almost puked. No joke. I ate an egg and sausage scramble for breakfast, and I really didn’t want to taste it with bile. Note to self: take it easy; you may look fit, but you’re not.

Anyway, Leisure Books rejected my zombie novel, Roses of Blood. I’m considering an agent. On the bright side, my zombie novella, Skin and Bones, will appear in The Undead II. I’m editing the anthology, but I swear I didn’t rig it. The publisher, Jacob Kier, liked the novella, called it Laymonesque. If you don’t know what that means, read more horror.

Uh-oh, got to go. I have stories to write. Later.

Monday, May 22, 2006


Well, on Saturday, I graduated magna cum laude from Pacific University with a bachelor’s in Creative Writing. I donned the appropriate wrinkled regalia, picked my nose during the speeches, received my diploma, and flipped off the camera during several photo shoots with family and friends. I felt like some rare animal on display; people came from miles just to catch a glimpse of the exotic Snell sloth with his flowing black hide and shiny smile. I’ve been to funner funerals.

Actually, it wasn’t that bad. I got to see my family, and they showered me with cool presents, like a new CD player for my truck. Remember, somebody stole my last one. Just the faceplate. I’ve come to know this thief as the Courteous Crook, courteous because he broke my passenger window so that, on my way to school, I wouldn’t have to sit in glass. Thanks, Mr. Courteous. I owe you one.

Anyway, I’m glad it’s over. Now I have to pack. Nothing funner than digging greasy boxes out of the dumpster at McDonald’s and pouring my savings into the U-Haul’s gas tank. I think I’m going to leave all my crap here and start anew. I’m a graduate after all. I’m going to be making the big bucks: McDonald’s saw how great I was at sorting boxes and decided to hire me full time!

Monday, May 15, 2006

ROSES received

When I sent my zombie novel, ROSES OF BLOOD ON BARBWIRE VINES, to Leisure Books, I included a self-addressed, stamped postcard for the editor to sign, date, and return. I mailed the package on May 5, 2006. On May 13, I received the postcard--this is it folks, my shot at the big time. Wish me luck and less heartburn!

Friday, May 05, 2006

ROSES submitted / New!

I have submitted my first novel, ROSES OF BLOOD ON BARBWIRE VINES, to Leisure Books. ROSES is based on my Cold Flesh story, “Limbless Bodies Swaying.” To learn more about “Limbless” and ROSES, read my Q&A Session at

Also, please check out my newly remodeled website, While you’re there, sign up for my newsletter, if interested. Periodically, you will receive updates and also book reviews, market announcements, and articles about writing. Occasionally, I raffle off books to my subscribers and hold contests, as well.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Shattered windows

Someone stole from me today. I woke at ten for my Studies in Poetry class and found that the passenger window on my Nissan Frontier had been shattered all over the seat and lot.

At first, I thought some kid had thrown a rock, but then I noticed that the faceplate of my CD player was gone. It was the only thing missing. The thief had tried to pry out the actual player, but only managed to crack it.

So I went to class and studied poetry. It was great and sunny.

In other news, I finally received a grade for my senior presentation: an A! Here’s what my thesis advisor had to say:

Your presentation was carefully designed to show the audience how a writer uses aspects of setting to enhance a character's conflict. Your delivery was sharp, clear and accessible. The examples you drew upon from Boyle's work were especially effective, and you analyzed succinctly and with insight just how the setting complicated the conflict for the characters. You demonstrated an adept skill at moving from discussing larger aspects of literature to specific techniques writers use in their own work. Your own writing was delivered very well, and it shows how far you've come in the drafting of your novel, especially in regards to enhancing setting. Nice work with addressing the audience's questions.

You might have been taken a tad bit more seriously if you'd dressed up more, but far be it from me to tell an artist what to wear.

I wore a green shirt with a tribal fish design and a pair of green Carhartt pants. I was styling.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

HWA Member!

Thanks to Editor Paul Fry and Publisher Walt Hicks of Hellbound Books for purchasing my short story, “Limbless Bodies Swaying,” which appears in the zombie anthology, Cold Flesh. Based on that sale, the Horror Writers Association accepted my application: I am now an Affiliate member of the HWA!