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photo by Mark ~ paso robles funeral home 2007
photo by Mark ~ irish hills, san luis obispo 2007

Here’s an interview with Mark and Armand Rosamilia about The Faceless One

An interview with Mark by Anthony Servantes on the literature of the Undead

An essay by Mark on The Allure of the Older Hero for The Faceless One


photo by Mark ~ irish hills, san luis obispo 2007

From Ensuing Chapters, by  Vince Darcangelo

November 12, 2013

The prologue of Mark Onspaugh’s The Faceless One is a primal delight. We begin in the forested snow-scape of rural Alaska, 1948, where young Jimmy Kalmaku embarks on a dark journey with his uncle deep into the tundra. Hidden within a remote cave is an evil of which Jimmy has never imagined.

It is also where he learns that he will succeed his uncle as shaman and inherit the task of keeping the Faceless One locked up in that cave.

The uncle says, “Remember our path today… I hope you need never come this way again, but you must remember.”

Clearly, we are not finished with the cave.

And neither is Jimmy.

With this spine-tingling opener, Onspaugh has swirled together the elements of great storytelling: odyssey, myth, duty, loss of innocence. There is a sad inevitability in this scene. Present are the generations of tribesmen, forward and back, guarding this secret place—a never-ending watch against something that exists outside of timespace. Something hallowed. Something in the blood.

Onspaugh has a tender touch that imparts soul into this icy epic which spans generations and locations, jumping ahead to present day when Jimmy, now an elderly man, learns that an archeologist has displaced the mask keeping the Faceless One captive.

With the ancient evil unleashed, Jimmy is called to action. He must remember his uncle’s words… and the way to that dark place.

Releasing this book on Oct. 28 is brilliant marketing—not simply because October is a good time for horror fiction, but because the setting of The Faceless One is a set-piece for a chilly night. What better time than when the veil between the worlds is thinnest to encounter a shapeless evil? To follow its trail from Alaska to New York to Seattle and beyond.

From generation to generation, blood to blood.


From Journey of A Bookseller  by Jo Ann Hakola The Book Faerie

October 15, 2013

Jimmy is an old man now, living in a nursing home.  When he was small, his uncle took him to a deserted cave on the Alaskan coast that contained a shaman secret.  He was in training to become a shaman, so he needed this information.  All it did was scare him to death and he never ventured there again.  Unfortunately, someone else found that cave.

Hydra and Net Galley gave me the opportunity to read this ebook for review (thank you).  October 28th is publication date, so make a note for your next bookstore visit.

The Tlingit Indians originally migrated to the north from Asia, when land connected the two countries.  When they left their land, the gods grew angry with them and sent a terrible monster after them.  The Tlingits used their shaman and all the natural forces they could to make a mask that would contain this demon.  All was well until someone stole the mask…  

Jimmy no longer lived in Alaska, he was settled in Washington.  When the white raven comes to visit him again, he knows he has to go on the quest his early training was preparing him for.  He’s old now and doesn’t want to, but he has no choice.

This evil spirit/demon is enough to turn your hair white if it isn’t already.  It’s wicked, it finds death humorous, and it wants to control the world.  Everyone who touches the mask dies an ugly death.  And the mask is on the move.  If the man who carries it tries to disobey, he will be killed and a new delivery person will be chosen.  The worst part is that it is going after a small boy, who contains a lot of power but doesn’t know it.

This is not a book you read casually.  The story line grabs you around the throat and keeps your eyes on the book.  You turn page after page, hoping things will get better, but pretty sure they won’t.  You won’t be bored.

Are you ready to go on a road trip with a demon?  Get a copy and dig in.


Review excerpts: 

From the editors at One Buck Horror:

“A Lullaby For Caliban” by Mark Onspaugh is a classic coming-of-age tale that brings to mind the best work of Ray Bradbury and Stephen King. As a horror story, it also packs quite a wallop. We wanted to find out about what inspired the carnival sideshow setting of the story, and learn more about this multi-talented writer. Here’s what he had to say…read more


Mark’s story “The Song of Absent Birds” appears in the zombie anthology The World Is Dead, edited by Kim Paffenroth.  The story received a glowing review from Adicus Ryan Garton of the Susurrus Press and editor of Atomjack magazine, who writes:

“Last in the Love section is the highlight of the anthology, hands down. “The Song of Absent Birds” by Mark Onspaugh is simply astonishing. The story is set against a civilization that has gone hi-tech and moved underground. A doctor, nearly eighty years old, goes to the surface to see his wife, zombified now for sixty years and tracked with a GPS unit. I don’t even want to spoil any more of the story. The descriptions, the consequences, the fact that heartwarming and heartbreaking love exist so completely and honestly in this story was breathtaking.”


Several anthologies that Mark has recently sold stories to are receiving favorable reviews.  Shadows of the Emerald City edited by the talented JW Schnarr for Northern Frights publishing is getting lots of favorable coverage and got a 5 star review from the science fiction/horror blog at Apex Books.  Jennifer Brozek said about Mark’s story, “Dr Will Price and the Curious Case of Dorothy Gale”

This opening story of psychiatry and finding a place in Oz left me with my mouth hanging open and shaking my head. I turned to my husband, saying, “If all of the stories are like this one, you won’t see me until morning.” 


POW!erful Tales from Peryton Publishing gets high marks from Eposic’s Ken St. Andre and Michael K. Eidson who writes,

“Legacy” by Mark Onspaugh (an HWA member and one of my favorite upcoming authors, btw) is a prime example of a story that goes straight for the jugular vein. Onspaugh knows how to unfold a tale, feeding you just enough to pull you curiously along, until you reach the end and learn—the terrifying truth.


And “Master of Alternate History” novelist Harry Turtledove said nice things about Mark’s story in his introduction to The Book of Exodi. Mark’s story is titled “Please Turn Out The Lights When You Leave” and Turtledove writes,

The story doesn’t explain why we’re here, but it sure does tell us where – and when, and why – we’re leaving. It’s funny, too, often painfully so.


May 27, 2009: Tampa Bay Press gives Potter’s Field 3 excellent marks!

Lee Clark Zumpe writes, “Like its predecessors, “Potter’s Field 3” digs up some frightfully delightful tales of grave horror unearthed by some of the most promising names in horror fiction today.” 

She specifically mentions Mark’s story, noting that “‘Whisper,’ by Mark Onspaugh, is a rare weird western that works wonderfully in this themed milieu. A botched bank job leads to an encounter with a supernatural being. The author manages to surprise the reader at several twists in the tale.” 

See the whole review.

March 24, 2009: gives Malpractice a rave review!

Covering all the best horror book releases from all over the globe, online horror news site reviewer “Anton Cancre” urges his readers to buy the new anthology, saying, “This book is also about as tight as you can possibly get, not allowing for a single wasted page. ” 

Mark’s story “Hospital Diet” is among the “palate cleanser” shorts included in this meaty anthology from the editors of Necrotic Tissue magazine.

August 22 2008: Publishers Weekly gives Blood Lite a positive review Publishers Weekly is calling The Horror Writers Association’s much anticipated anthology “Blood Lite” (Simon & Schuster) “toothsome” and betting the October release “will have comic horror fans grabbing this anthology off the shelves.”

Mark’s story “Old School” is included, along with the work of a number of literary illuminaries. 

Press : Production  notes

October 17, 2009:  Another InkTip Script Goes to Camera

Director Carlos Ramos Jr. and Executive Producer Carlton Hickman of Tainted Films are shooting a script found through InkTip right now! The script, titled “Kill Katie Malone” by Mark Onspaugh, was discovered by Carlos on InkTip just this past August – less than two months ago – and was financed, packaged and scheduled in just that short amount of time, as principle photography commenced this past weekend. Masiela Lusha (of Sony’s “Blood: The Last Vampire”), Dean Cain (featured on the InkTip Magazine recently for his lead role in “Hidden Camera”), Nick Hogan (of VH1’s “Hogan Knows Best”), and Stephen Coletti (of Newline’s “Normal Adolescent Behavior”) fill out the cast for this picture. And you’re probably already familiar with Mark Onspaugh’s work; he was a co-writer on the Newline cult zombedy “Flight of the Living Dead,” and has had a bevy of options through InkTip already.

August 20, 2009: Tainted Films Options “You Can’t Kill Katie Malone”

Tainted Films Options InkTip Scribe’s Script

Producer/Director Carlos Ramos Jr. and Executive Producer Carlton Hickman (“Blood Night”) of Tainted Films have optioned “Don’t Even Try to Kill Katie Malone” by InkTip writer Mark Onspaugh.  Carlos currently has several television series in development and just wrapped a series for CBS titled “The Secret Truth.”  Mark is no stranger to many InkTip members; his name often appears in the InkTip announcements due to optioning several scripts in the past year.  He co-wrote the 2007 zombedy classic, “Flight of the Living Dead,” which was distributed by New Line Cinema. 

March 12 2009: RedBear Entertainment Options “My Secret Santa”

Lindsay Macadam and Jason Riley with Redbear Entertainment have optioned the feature Christmas script “My Secret Santa” from Mark Onspaugh after discovering it on InkTip. Macadam, with over 50 credits to her resume already, including “Personal Effects” (with Ashton Kutcher and Kathy Bates), teamed up with Jason Riley in 2009 to commence their development studio Redbear Entertainment. Mark Onspaugh is no stranger to the business. He wrote “On, Cupid!,” which Masiela Lusha’s Illuminary Pictures discovered on InkTip and recently profiled in The Hollywood Reporter, as well as “Flight of the Living Dead,” which was distributed through New Line Home Video. “My Secret Santa” is Onspaugh’s fourth option through InkTip.  

October 9 2008: Epic Level Entertainment Options “The Hatch” 

Cindi Rice with Epic Level Entertainment has optioned the feature script “The Hatch” from writer Mark Onspaugh after discovering it on InkTip. This is writer Onspaugh’s third option through InkTip; his previous successes include “On, Cupid!,” currently in pre-production with Masiela Lusha’s Illuminary Pictures, and “My Summer as a Superhero,” which is being developed by Greg Feldman’s Etosha Entertainment.

Epic Level specializes in fantasy stories and worlds, as evidenced by their previous credits, which include “Dungeons and Dragons: Wrath of the Dragon God,” “The Gamers: Dorkness Rising,” and “Dragonsteel,” their upcoming 4-part miniseries for the Sci-Fi Channel.

“Cindi Rice is a writer’s dream producer,” relates Onspaugh. “She is accessible and her notes are thoughtful and considerate. She doesn’t just say ‘this doesn’t work’ or ‘this needs to be improved,’ but she offers concrete suggestions. I am very pleased we are going to be working together and am grateful to Inktip for providing a way to meet such a terrific producer and production company!”

Known to his friends as an accomplished artist, Onspaugh also provided original creature sketches, drawing on his years in special effects makeup.

August 13 2008: Masiela Lusha lights up Illuminary 

 Masiela Lusha, who played daughter Carmen on the ABC sitcom “The George Lopez Show,” has formed a production company dubbed Illuminary Pictures, which already is developing four films and a TV project…

On the film side, Lusha would star in “On, Cupid,” a Christmas family comedy written by Mark Onspaugh that centers on Santa’s only daughter, Holly (Lusha), who turns 21, (that’s 204 in elf years)…

full article from The Hollywood Reporter

June 12 2008: Illuminary Pictures Options Another for Their Slate

Masiela Lusha, founder and president of Illuminary Pictures has optioned the feature script, “On, Cupid!,” from InkTip writer Mark Onspaugh. Lusha, who played the beautiful and feisty daughter on “The George Lopez Show,” is building a slate of projects to develop and package through her various industry sources and contacts. You can also see Masiela in “Blood: The Last Vampire,” and “Time of the Comet,” two features that will be released later this year. Mark Onspaugh, one of the writers on the cult favorite, “Flight of the Living Dead,” has also written for episodic television (including “X-Men” and “Street Fighter the Animated Series”). This is his second option through InkTip.

See this June 18 ARTICLE in the Burbank Leader

May 1 2008: Etosha Entertainment options family film “My Summer As A Superhero”

Greg Feldman at Etosha optioned Mark Onspaugh’s script, “My Summer as a Superhero.” This is the third Inktip option for Mr. Feldman, who has numerous projects in development and two in pre-production. For this most recent undertaking, Mr. Feldman says he loves the concept of the script. This will be Onspaugh’s second option through InkTip.