Sumiko Saulson on Horror Writing

Regarding the thought process that was involved in the formulation of Happiness and Other Diseases.

Gender Role Reversal in Happiness and Other Diseases

by Sumiko Saulson

Happiness and Other Diseases is a dark fantasy set in contemporary times but rooted in Greco-Roman mythology. These are not the gods who sit upon high in Olympus; these are darker creatures that reside in the Demos Oneiroi, the world of dreams. It is conveniently located in Hades, at the point where dead souls arrive. It is no accident, when everyone knows that Somnus and Thanatos, the deities of Sleep and Death, respectively, are very closely related. They’re twin brothers.

While Happiness and Other Diseases is strictly speaking, neither horror nor romance, it has elements of both running concurrently through it, in the same way that James O’Barr’s The Crow and the movie franchise it spawned, and Mark Helprin’s Winter’s Tale do. As such, it can also be considered a dark romance.

I didn’t set out to write a…

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Book Signing Event at Vallejo Bookstore

Kurham Press has reopened under a new name and new ownership. The booksigning event originally to take place there on Halloween, has been rescheduled for:

The Vallejo Bookstore
628 Marin St,
Vallejo, CA 94590
Saturday, December 28, 2104
from 2pm to 5pm

Live Appearance in Northridge, CA Jan 9, 2015

I will be reading from “Happiness and Other Diseases” and signing books at:

$10 or Less Bookstore
9054 Tampa Avenue in Northridge, California.
Phone Number is (818) 701-0047

Friday, January 9, 2015 – 7pm to 9pm

I am working on getting the book shelved at a couple of Los Angeles area bookstores, and will let you all know where when that happens.

In the meantime, here’s a review of the book (by Josh Bisher):

Happiness 11Happiness and Other Diseases touched my heart, then ripped it out through my chest, but I was begging for it, and I’m ready for more.

Flynn, a troubled young man is plagued with nightmares. As with most things, help doesn’t come cheap, and things are usually more complicated than they appear. When Gods play chess, we are their pawns. Limited and weak, but still capable of taking the king. Happiness and other diseases is Sumiko’s chess board, sitting in the rec-room of a mental hospital, and she’s a Grand Master.

I loved the way this book was written. It’s a fusion of many great genres and her use of them was very tasteful. She has a unique voice, and I would put her in the same bracket with all the best authors in fiction. I look forward to reading more from this series, and collecting more of her work as it comes out.
The Characters were all believable and vivid. Even her villains were the kind that you love to hate, and I enjoyed the moments of the story when we got to see things from their perspective.
One of the most notable features of this story was the control of mood. When she wants you to feel uncomfortable and scared you do, when she want’s you to laugh you laugh, and that might all happen within moments of each other. A very vivid and natural reading experience.

The Cons:
The book was too damn eventful, I couldn’t put it down.
I learned my lesson after the first night of reading. It was already past my bedtime, but I picked it up. 4 Hours later I had hit 50% and had the worst sleep deprivation and dehydration headache. It was cool though because it helped drive the theme for me.

For some reason there was a small portion in the middle of this book that bored me. I was thinking “Oh Gawd please don’t be like this for the rest of the book”, but the lull only lasted a few pages. I’ll have to admit it was more a false expectation on my part, not really a flaw in the novel. I’m trying really hard to find something to complain about, but I can’t, it was really solid.

I’m afraid to describe too much, because spoilers suck, so I’ll end my review with this :

Do you like Greco-Roman, Weird Fiction, Dark Humor, Good Dialog, Wild Sex, fun plots, and a splash of horror? Then this book’s for you.

Random Photos

Not related to the review, but if you send me some pictures of you holding the book, totally will post them. In the meantime:

Jessa the Bearded Lady with author Sumiko Saulson

Jessa the Bearded Lady with author Sumiko Saulson at Freakshow Venice Beach

Happiness & Other Disease Book Trailer

Animated Book Trailer

Sale at Lulu

25% off ALL Print Books at Lulu! Wow! I bet you wish you could get a hardcopy or paperback of Happiness and Other Diseases.

Guess what? You CAN.

Direct Access only… before the release date!

Use Coupon Code EATYOUREGGS for the 25% off Discount through October 15th

Normally $9.99 now only $7.49! Paperback…/paperback/product-21839790.html

Normally $24.99, now only $18.75! Hardcover…/hardcover/product-21839804.html

Happiness And Other Diseases review

David Watson’s HorrorAddicts review.

10687036_10152720329052246_3965942528566808353_nLets face it, love isn’t  easy. No one knows that better than Flynn and Charlotte, they fell in love at first sight but the world seems to be against them. Flynn has been having nightmares and they are starting to cross over into reality. No one believes Flynn and his therapist decides it would be best if Flynn spends a little  time in a mental hospital, where he meets Charlotte.

Charlotte is half human, half somnali and is the daughter of the Greek God of erotic nightmares,  Brash. Being somnali means that Charlotte can enter dreams and prey upon humans, causing them to die in their sleep. Nyx, The Greek goddess of the night, knows that Brash’s children are killing humans and decides to put a stop to it. She states that if Flynn survives the torture from the somnali, she will grant Brash’s family more power, but if Flynn dies, she will turn all the somnali into humans.  Which is a fate worse than death for god like creatures.


Happiness And Other Diseases.

via Happiness And Other Diseases.

Cover Redesign

Page_1 Page_2 Page_3 Happiness 11

Book Release Party October 18


Book Release, Book Reading, and Book Signing for the dark fantasy “Happiness and Other Diseases”

Saturday, October 18at 2:00pm
The Dark Entry
2589 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley, California 94704
(510) 540-6666

Music by DJ Krishna

General Admission is free, but if you want to reserve a signed book (paperback or hardcover) those are included in ticket options at Eventbrite.

PreOrder the eBook at Amazon

Happiness & Other Diseases

Flynn Keahi has had a rough year. His nightmares are starting to manifest in reality, but no one believes him. Terrifying creatures are trying to cross out of dreams into the physical realm. Only Flynn can stop them – but doing so might cost him is life. Complicating matters further, one of these creatures cannot help wanting him — in every forbidden way. Will she be able to save him from his fate? Can she even protect him from herself?

Read a Review Here:

Haunted Hollywood Sports in Bellflower, CA Pre-release signing and reading




This is a pre-release event where I will be tabling and reading. I will definitely read from Happiness and Other Diseases. I will also have cool stuff (what are they calling it this day? swag?) related to H&D to give away. No word yet as to whether or not I will have any pre-release copies available for sale, but I am working on that.

October 4th, 2014 HAUNTED HOLLYWOOD SPORTS in Bellflower CA is hosting a PARANORMAL PARTY NIGHT!

Come down and party with Southern California paranormal investigators! There will also be a screening of the documentary, “HOTEL CAMARILLO”!
Authors of books on the paranormal will also be on hand selling their books and signing them! And of course, mingle with the multitude of zombies and other creatures of the night that inhabit the park! Tickets are $20.00 presale; $30.00 at the gate. Gate opens at 8:00 pm.

Ticket includes:

General admission

One screening of Hotel Camarillo in The Mansion, which will include a costume party with a bar and snacks 
after the screening!

One last stand shoothouse, One suicide rock wall, One shooting range, One photo booth, the link for tickets will be up a.s.a.p. mark your calendars!