There is a masterful consistency to be found in the fiction of Simon Strantzas which inspires and motivates me to work that much harder when crafting my own work. Strantzas is the author of three collections: Beneath the Surface, Cold to the Touch, and most recently Nightingale Songs, all of which are available from Dark Regions Press. He is continually compared to Thomas Ligotti and Robert Aickman, and I find this mix delectable. Besides producing one exceptional story after another, he also keeps a regular blog. I have a printed version of one such post (dated March 21, 2010) which I retain as a permanent fixture in my “weird fiction notebook”. It is there to remind me of the importance of biding your time when developing your first collection, making certain you are including only your strongest material and arranging it in the best possible manner. As hard as it is to set aside something you have written, remember that no artist creates a perfect piece each go round. I encourage all new writers to visit Stranzas’ website. And then be sure to read everything this phenomenal author has written.