This is the “I got an agent” blog

This is the “I got an agent” blog! It is and it isn’t.

Yes, I now have an agent and I’m completely thrilled!

Now, I’ll tell you what this blog post isn’t. This blog isn’t the typical ‘stats’ type blog you often read from people who tell you about their querying adventure. You know those blog posts. You may have read dozens of them. You may have written one. They seem pretty standardized. They tell you about how the writer went through their querying process, how many queries they sent out, how that initial offer came in and counter offers and finally that perfect decision!

Look. Writing is hard. Querying is harder. So guess what? When you get an agent the hard work will not magically end. For some of us (most of us) the hard work is just beginning – edits, rewriting and more writing.

Here is what I want to say – I want to say thank you.

You know who you are.

You who have followed my horror writing career since it began, which is around the time I started my Master of Fine Arts at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Thank you to those of you who read my work during those times and helped me through my process.

Thank you to those of you that followed me when I started Burial Day Books (which will be resurrected in 2019). Thank you to those of you who read and bought LOTERIA, SANTA MUERTE, THE MISSING and POEMS OF MY NIGHT.

Thank you to those of you who came out to visit me at readings, at book fairs and comic cons to say hello and to tell me to keep pushing because you believed in me and my work.

Thank you to those of you who followed me and follow me on social media, and who chatted with me during my late night delirium writing sessions.

Thank you to those of you who could tell I was at home crying and desperate because I was so frustrated and felt like a failure. You text me, and you called me, and you sent me books, and you told me to keep pushing forward because you believed in me.

I know I can go on, but you know who you are, and I thank you.

I thank you all and I promise you I will work my ass off. I will lose sleep. I will skip functions. I will not binge watch Netflix (maybe a little?). I will swear to you that I will write until the story is perfect, and then write some more. I will tell good stories that you will want to read and I will make you proud of me, because you gave me a gift that I just have to repay – you believed in me.

And now, thank you tremendously to Metamorphosis Literary Agency for believing in me! Thank you to my agent Amy Brewer and Patty Carothers. I promise you I will work so hard for you.

The work isn’t over. The work is just beginning. Send me good thoughts friends. I need them.




I wrote a short story for a children’s horror anthology that didn’t’ get picked up. Since I want it out there for you to read and enjoy, please find it below. It’s based on the folklore of El Coco, or El Cucuy – the Hispanic bogeyman. Enjoy.

EL CUCUY by Cina Pelayo

“Mom!” Oscar yelled as he raised the blanket over his face.

The light in the hallway clicked on a few moments later. There were footsteps and then the door to his bedroom swung open. His bleary-eyed mother stood in the doorway. “There’s nothing here,” she said before he could say anything. This was not the first, or the second, but the third time Oscar yelled for her in the night.

“Under the bed!” He cried.

His mother looked under the bed. There was nothing there.

“Maybe he’s in the closet now!”

His mother opened the door to his closet. There was nothing there.

Oscar motioned over to his favorite chair piled high with his things beside the window. His mother scooped the clothes and the toys from the chair in her arms and moved back to the doorway.

“There’s nothing under the bed. There’s nothing in the closet, and now there’s nothing in the chair.”

Oscar sat up in bed and looked around the room. “But Abuelo said the Cucuy’s going to eat me!”

“Dios mio, I don’t know why your grandfather tells you those scary stories. There’s no boogeyman.”

“Abuelo said the Cucuy is the boogeyman from Mexico. He said that Cucuy will eat me because I was bad for drawing on the kitchen wall with red crayon.”

“You’re not bad,” his mother said. “You’re just a little boy and Abuelo was bad for saying those mean things to you.”

“Abuelo was bad!? Not me!?”

“Right, and the Cucuy is not going to eat you because there is no Cucuy.” She went to his bedside and kissed the top of his head. “Now get some sleep. Remember, Abuelo will get you ready and take you to school in the morning because I’ll already be at work.”

When his mother turned off the light the room returned to its soft glow from the street light just outside his window. The little boy looked to the closet. Then he looked to the chair. When the little boy looked up he saw it. It floated inches above his face. It loomed large. It was all fangs dripping in saliva, sharp claws and darkness. It’s fiery eyes glowed red and yellow in the room. When the Cucuy opened its mouth the little boy gasped “Wait!”

The next morning Abuelo knocked on the door. “It’s time for school, mijo.” He opened the door but the little boy was not in his bed.

A game, the grandfather thought.

“I’m looking under the bed for my grandson.” The old man got on his hands and knees and looked beneath the bed. “He’s not there.”

He glanced over to the chair by the window. “My grandson is not sitting in his favorite chair either.”

The grandfather moved just outside of the closet door. He heard a soft giggle rise from within. “I wonder if my grandson is inside?”

When the grandfather opened the closet door he saw his grandson standing there with a smile on his face. “Hi Abuelo.” It took a moment for the grandfather’s eyes to adjust to the beast that towered beside his grandson.

“You were bad and the Cucuy said he’s going to eat you now. I’m sorry.”

The grandfather gasped and fell back. The monster, who was all darkness, claws, and fangs opened his mouth and lunged at him.

Que Viene El Coco (1799) by Goya

Here’s a true story…

When I was working on my Master Of Fine Arts in Writing at The School of the Art Institute graduating student’s work was presented in a collection. The year I graduated the published collection was titled COLLECTED.

For several months a panel, or a committee of fellow MFAW students chose the stories, formatted and edited them for inclusion into the collection. Each graduating member was supposed to have a story included.

Right before the collection went to press one member, who knew me personally, noted that my story had been excluded. When she brought this up to the panel there were crickets – no one responded. It was as if my story had been purposefully omitted. In that group was a male member who had once made fun of my writing genre – horror specifically – and now that person went on to write a horror novel. Funny, I wonder what the horror community would think about his comments.

Anyways, it was because that one person who knew me that my story was included. You can tell there is something off about the collection as it is in alphabetical order, but my story is shoved at the very end, something to be forgotten and ignored.

I’m definitely feeling that – forgotten and ignored right now.

Of course I’m wondering what do I do now? Do I write another book? Some short stories? Poems? Take a break from writing? Stop writing altogether?

I wrote my most recent novel to be a horror novel, but to be a mystery/horror hybrid. Now I’m wondering if I should have just stayed true to myself and not pushed it to have a heavy mystery feel? I don’t know. I’m not a mystery writer. I’m a horror writer, and I spent some time really trying to figure that out. I don’t write cozy’s, or cute mysteries – I write horror that is brutal and horrific.

As always, I’m trying to stay positive, but it’s very hard. It’s hard to be a writer, and exist in a writing community and see people all around you get agents, book deals, movie deals, and awards and you’re literally waiting for mainstream break.

I’ve worked really hard, and sometimes it seems as though no matter how hard I’ve worked it doesn’t matter because luck is such a huge part of publishing success.