Fran's Books


[UPDATE - A NEW Print and Ebook version with Revamped and Bonus Stories will be available in 2017]


Now available at Barnes & Noble and
Available in Signed Limited-edition Hard Cover – $35 (100 copies to be printed) and fine quality Trade Paperback – $15.95.
Mama’s Boy And Other Dark Tales collection includes the title novella (nominated for the 2006 Bram Stoker Award), plus short stories, flash fiction and three novellas written especially for the collection. Introduction by Gary Braunbeck. Cover Art by Billy Tackett.

What people are saying about Mama’s Boy and Other Dark Tales:
Excerpts from Gary Braunbeck's Introduction:
But seeing – or in this case, reading – is believing, so I offer you what is to my mind the core image of this collection, taken from “Beach of Dreams,” a brilliant, hallucinatory, mesmerizing dark fantasy that could, methinks, hold its own in the company of an Ellison tale…
And in the middle of all of this is “Mama’s Boy,” the tour-de-force novella that earned Fran a Bram Stoker Award nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Long Fiction. It is the thematic centerpiece of this collection. …it remains a work of terrible insight (and I mean that as a compliment) and unnerving power. A shattering study of unearned guilt and what happens when one takes familial obligation to an unspeakable extreme, it is simultaneously horrifying and heartbreaking…and surprisingly funny in a few places…
With this collection, Fran Friel accomplishes what all serious writers of dark fiction strive for: she entertains, she instills honest emotion by filtering her own sensibilities through those of her characters, and she leaves the reader with more than a little food for thought afterward. We may not be able to put into words an exact explanation of what we have witnessed, but we emerge richer for the experience, perhaps even with our world-view slightly altered.
What are we witnessing?
The beginning of a long and grand writing career.

Gary Braunbeck, 5-time Bram Stoker Award winning author of Mr. Hands, Keepers, In the Midnight Museum

By far this has to be one of the most diverse and satisfying collections that I’ve read in years. Mostly short story collections are simply that… short stories. Like a hearty and filling stew, this had a smattering of everything; short fiction, novellas, poetry, flash tales. You name it, it’s there.
I must admit, I’d heard so much about Mama’s Boy that I read it first (sorry if I upset the grande scheme of things). Afterward, I realized what all the fuss was about. A very powerful tale well deserving of its Stoker consideration. Then the journey through the remainder of the collection was like walking through one of those hedge mazes, albeit with creepy and dangerous things hidden within the leaves and branches. So many favorites that it’s hard to pick and choose the better from the best. One small, incredibly wicked piece that actually made me shudder physically was Close Shave. Do you know how many dark questions arose in my mind during the span of that single paragraph? A gruesomely gorgeous piece of work.
Ronald Kelly, author of Flesh Welder, Hell Hollow, Undertaker’s Moon, Father’s Little Helper

Fran Friel’s fiction is frighteningly fantastic. Mama’s Boy is clever, dark, and infinitely satisfying…in the best worst way!
Elizabeth Massie, Bram Stoker Award winning author of Homeplace, Sineater, Wire Mesh Mothers

“Fran Friel has a genuine gift for storytelling. Her highly adaptable prose boils over with emotion: love, guilt, fear, and the myriad shades between. Mama’s Boy and Other Dark Tales marks the arrival of a stunning new talent.”
Michael McBride, author of the The Coyote and Bloodletting

Friel’s in-your-face storytelling must command respect!
Weston Oches, Bram Stoker Award winning author of Seal Team 666 and Scarecrow Gods

Fran Friel is a rosy-cheeked, cheerful woman with a world-class seductive smile. Her obviously warm nature makes her icy fiction appear all that more unsettling. Her stories are well written, compelling, all with a muscular hard edge, with often surprising but very appropriate endings…and always absolutely brutally chilling. From the short-short shockers like “The Widow” and “Close Shave” that surprise like an unexpected poke in the eye, to the longer moving ones like “The Sea Orphan” and “Beach of Dreams,” that jar you and lingerlike a solid, well-placed left hook to your kidney. Many have the quality of the renown title piece, MAMA’S BOY: At some point they make your sphincter muscle clench and spasm with shock. Scary stories that are not soon forgotten. And from such a nice person. Highly recommended.
Gene O’Neill, author of Collected Tales of the Baja Express and The Burden of Indigo

Mama’s Boy – 2006

The original Insidious Publications signed limited edition novella is sold out.
“Mama’s Boy by Fran Friel: It’s almost impossible to discuss this nasty little story without giving away or hinting at its many twists and turns, so you’re just going to have to settle for this: This blackest of black comedies, ingeniously structured, will leave you thinking that Norman Bates maybe wasn’t all that bad a fellow. An impressive and memorable debut, and deliciously wicked to the core.”[from GB's Best Books of 2006 - December 19, 2006]
Gary Braunbeck, Bram Stoker Award Winning Author of The Indifference of Heaven, and Keepers.
“A fun, old school psych ward confessional full of blood and betrayal where you can’t tell who are the inmates and who are the keepers.” Tom Piccirilli, Bram Stoker Award winning author of Headstone Cityand November Mourns.

“Fran Friel’s MAMA’S BOY is a gripping, disturbing, and more- than-slightly twisted debut novella. Though you may feel the need to shower with boiling water afterwards, Friel accomplishes the fine art of making you squirm–big time–without being needlessly graphic. A demented winner from a very promising new author.”
Jeff Strand, author of Pressure and Casket for Sale (Used Only Once).

“Mama’s Boy is compelling, suspenseful, and disturbing as hell! Fran Friel has made a fan out of me!”
Brian Knight, author of King of Souls Hacks

From the 2006 press release at Insidious Publications:

Mama’s Boy, by Fran Friel
Deep within the confines of Penn’s Asylum waits a scarred and broken man with a seemingly non-existent past. Found burned and unresponsive twenty years prior, Frank Doe’s dark secrets have remained locked away in mute silence. That is until Rebecca, a beautiful young doctor newly assigned to the wards of the asylum, steps in to unlock and scour Doe’s psyche for answers about his past. Shocking revelations bring about the doctor’s own troubled history, opening a long-closed set of wounds that she herself must face.
A novella of deep, dark and disturbing images, Mama’s Boy is a story you won’t soon forget. Perhaps it will even unleash your own wounds lying just below the surface. Will you withstand the demons inside?

The 2006 perfect bound novella SOLD OUT. It’s illustrated by Tom Moran and Zach McCain, edited by April Miller, Chris Hedges and Paul Danda, with an introduction by author, James Newman. Layout-design, printing and binding by Insidious Publications. This 97 page Novella is a Signed Numbered Limited-Edition of 100 Copies Only!

The book is hand-bound. High gloss soft cover, full-color interior illustrations, French parchment end paper, linen signature sheet and it is signed by the author, the artists and the Intro author, James Newman.

CHRISTOPHER ELSTON Reviews MAMA’S BOY at Dark Animus (Australia)
ANDREW JOHN Reviews MAMA’S BOY at (Australia)
GARRY CHARLES Reviews MAMA’S BOY at Whispers of Wickedness
BQueen Reviews MAMA’S BOY at