Self-Publishing Review | Dolph the Unicorn Killer & Other Stories

Dolph the Unicorn Killer & Other Stories recently received a glowing 5-star book review from Self-Publishing Review.

Check it out:

For anyone tired of vampires that glitter and werewolves who are really just confused about their identity, Dolph the Unicorn Killer and Other Stories by Martin Lastrapes is right up your alley. This award-winning author has stepped away from his hit novels and into the realm of raucous short stories, and this is a collection of high-fantasy weirdos with a healthy dose of…

Sorry to cut you off, but you can read the full review by clicking HERE.

dolph review.jpg

Self-Publishing Review was founded by award-winning author and blogger Henry Baum in 2008. It’s based both in the UK and the US. They have a dedicated staff of professional reviewers and publishing professionals and, since it’s founding, Self-Publishing Review has firmly established itself as one of the top online resources for self-published authors.

And if that doesn’t impress you, then this should: Self-Publishing Review has been recommended in ForbesPublisher’s WeeklyThe Guardian, and more, as a top resource for self-publishers.

An Interview with Martin Lastrapes | Self-Publishing Review

A few months ago, I won the 2018 SPR Book Award from the Self-Publishing Review for Dolph the Unicorn Killer & Other Stories. After winning the award, I did an interview for Self-Publishing Review, which you can see part of below:

Tell us about your book.

Dolph the Unicorn Killer & Other Stories is a gloriously vulgar, gut-punching, giddy-inducing collection of interconnected horror, fantasy, comedy, and literary stories that weaves together an eclectic tapestry of characters who are bonded by themes of loneliness, revenge, friendship, and sex. It’s vampires, serial killers, unicorns, and more, all of them intersecting within that alluring stretch of the American Southwest known as Las Vegas.

Why did you want to write a book?

I love telling stories. It’s probably my favorite thing to do, outside of being told a great story.

Why did you choose to self-publish?

I love the freedom self-publishing offers, such as overseeing the creation of the cover art and deciding the publication date. I also love telling myself “yes,” instead of letting agents and publishers tell me “no.”

You can read the entire interview by clicking HERE.

10 Outrageous and Pulpy Books That Mix Violence and Humor

So, this is pretty cool. Dolph the Unicorn Killer & Other Stories is featured in wiki video on called “10 Outrageous and Pulpy Books That Mix Violence and Humor.“

Click the image below to see the article and watch the video (HINT: Dolph turns up at the 1:20 mark):


Established in 2011, is a free-to-use video wiki published by the California technology company Ezvid Inc. Wikis are generally architected around a video, whereby a user is introduced to a concept in the space of a four-to-seven minute video presentation, and then additional text, images, data, and links to third-party information sources are provided to add more detail to each topic. The gentle nature of Ezvid's introductions to thousands of topics renders the Wiki particularly useful for teaching environments. Ezvid Wiki evolved from the message board surrounding Ezvid For Windows, first released in 2010. In those years it has grown from a small user-generated forum into the largest and most comprehensive video wiki on the planet, providing useful, unbiased information and actionable guidance to hundreds of millions of users around the world, in thousands of knowledge categories. You can contribute your own ideas and research to Ezvid Wiki by using Ezvid Wikimaker.

Dolph's Book Trailer

Check out the official book trailer for Dolph the Unicorn Killer & Other Stories!

Just press PLAY and enjoy.

What are you waiting for?

Did I mention a unicorn gets beheaded in the video?

Why are you still reading this?

Well, since you’re still here, a word of advice:

Keep the subtitles on. You’ll be glad you did.

That’s it, now go press PLAY!



DOLPH THE UNICORN KILLER & OTHER STORIES is a gloriously vulgar, gut-punching, giddy-inducing collection of short stories that shifts seamlessly from horror and comedy to fantasy and literary fiction, weaving together an eclectic tapestry of characters who are bonded by themes of loneliness, revenge, friendship, and sex.

DOLPH BOOK REVIEW: San Francisco Review of Books

It’s a good time to be a unicorn killer!

Dolph has been getting a lot of really positive attention lately, including a glowing review from the San Francisco Review of Books.

Here’s an excerpt:

“Wild fantasies and science fiction type stories can either plunk along to aid ennui, or they can soar – and soaring is what these shorties do. Martin Lastrapes is a first class scribe about whom we will most assuredly hear more.” 

They also said this:

“At times naughty, at times even insightful, the short stories in this book are little masterworks of ingenuity.” 

Click HERE to read the full review!

Dolph is an Amazon Bestseller?!

Heavens to Murgatroyd! Dolph the Unicorn Killer & Other Stories is officially an Amazon Bestseller!

This week, Dolph ascended up three of Amazon’s Bestseller lists:

Now, you may wondering what the difference between Fiction Satire and Satire (Kindle) is. As best as I can tell, the Fiction Satire list encompasses books across all formats (i.e., paperback, hardcover, ebooks, and audio) and Satire (Kindle) is specifically for ebooks.

Anyhow, enjoy more screenshots of Dolph as a bestseller…

Amazon Best Sellers in Fiction Satire:

Amazon Best Sellers in Dark Humor:

I mean, what? Dolph is on the same list as Kurt Vonnegut?!

Not bad, Dolph. Not bad at all.

Now, go kill some unicorns.

SPR Book Award

Wait, what? Dolph won another literary award?! Yup, this time he won the 2018 SPR (Self-Publishing Review) Book Award. Check out the press release below:

Announcing the Winners of the 2018 SPR Book Awards! 

Congratulations to our 2018 winners! All entrants will be notified by newsletter of the results, and how to get reader feedback on your entry. This year’s competition was fierce, with the biggest number of entries we have ever had, and the standard was very high, which goes to show independent publishing is growing in quality and interest. Thanks to everyone who entered! 

New England Book Festival

Hey, ya'll, Dolph did it! After putting in his time as a bridesmaid, your favorite unicorn-killing superhero won the Grand Prize in the New England Book Festival. Check out the press release below: 


NEW ENGLAND_The first collection of short stories by an award-winning novelist is the winner of the 2018 New England Book Festival. 
Martin Lastrapes’s 
Dolph The Unicorn Killer & Other Stories (Cannibal Press) is a collection that shifts from horror to comedy and fantasy to literary fiction, bringing together a unique collection of characters bonded by themes of loneliness, revenge, friendship and sex. The captivating collection is the fifth book from Lastrapes.

Readers' Favorite International Book Award

Hey, all you lovers of unicorn killers, I'm very excited to share that Dolph the Unicorn Killer & Other Stories won Honorable Mention in the Readers' Favorite International Book Award Contest.

The official press release is below...

Readers' Favorite recognizes "Dolph the Unicorn Killer & Other Stories" by Martin Lastrapes in its annual international book award contest, currently available at

The Readers' Favorite International Book Award Contest featured thousands of contestants from over a dozen countries, ranging from new independent authors to NYT best-sellers and celebrities.

Readers' Favorite is one of the largest book review and award contest sites on the Internet. They have earned the respect of renowned publishers like Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Harper Collins, and have received the "Best Websites for Authors" and "Honoring Excellence" awards from the Association of Independent Authors. They are also fully accredited by the BBB (A+ rating), which is a rarity among Book Review and Book Award Contest companies.

We receive thousands of entries from all over the world. Because of these large submission numbers, we are able to break down our contest into 140+ genres, and each genre is judged separately, ensuring that books only compete against books of their same genre for a fairer and more accurate competition. We receive submissions from independent authors, small publishers, and publishing giants such as Random House, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster, with contestants that range from the first-time, self-published author to New York Times bestsellers like J.A. Jance, James Rollins, and #1 best-selling author Daniel Silva, as well as celebrity authors like Jim Carrey (Bruce Almighty), Henry Winkler (Happy Days), and Eriq La Salle (E.R., Coming to America).

"When the right books are picked as winners we pay attention. We will be spreading the word about Readers' Favorite." --Karen A., Editor for Penguin Random House

Readers' Favorite is proud to announce that "Dolph the Unicorn Killer & Other Stories" by Martin Lastrapes won the Honorable Mention Award in the Fiction - Anthology category.

You can learn more about Martin Lastrapes and "Dolph the Unicorn Killer & Other Stories" at where you can read reviews and the author’s biography, as well as connect with the author directly or through their website and social media pages.

Readers' Favorite LLC
Media Relations
Louisville, KY 40202

Readers' Favorite Reviews Dolph

I am terrifically honored that Readers' Favorite recently gave Dolph the Unicorn Killer & Other Stories a 5-Star review. It's worth noting that reviews for any artistic endeavor are subjective, as there's no accounting for taste, but it's nonetheless gratifying to read nice things about my book from an unbiased and objective reader who isn't biologically bound to love and support me. 

That said, here's the review by Justine Reyes for Readers' Favorite. (Italicised words, quotation marks, and hyperlinks that differ from original form were done by me.):


It is not often that I stumble upon a book with a title such as Dolph the Unicorn Killer & Other Stories. It isn’t often that the covers of such books feature a man built like a bull, holding the freshly severed head of a unicorn in one hand and a sword in the other. It definitely stood out and immediately piqued my curiosity. Because why on earth would anybody kill unicorns? Martin Lastrapes, the author of this comical anthology, will bluntly lay it down for you. Of course, "Dolph the Unicorn Killer" isn’t the only story in this book and, despite being in the title, it is one of the last chapters. Dolph the Unicorn Killer & Other Stories can be interpreted as both a satire and a bit of an homage to Sin City and supernatural fiction anthologies. Yet be warned, there are vampires, profanity, and a whole lot of laughter. 

I don’t think I’ve ever read anything like Dolph the Unicorn Killer & Other Stories in this sub-genre of science fiction and fantasy, at least nothing as profoundly imaginative. Lastrapes does not let the conventional boundaries of fiction writing tie him down. The development of each story is thoughtful and humorous. The plots are ingenious. Figuratively speaking, Lastrapes is a madman with a pen. His word usage is tastefully vulgar and necessary, and although the violence and profanity may deter some people from reading, they will only end up sorely regretting not taking a glimpse at the whimsical tales within the pages of this book.

You can check out the Readers' Favorite review in its original form HERE.

Dolph is a Finalist!


Wait, what? My strange and vulgar unicorn-killing anti-hero, Dolph, has been named a finalist for a prestigious award?!


In a competition with thousands of other entrants, I’m genuinely humbled that Dolph has made it this far.

Here’s the official Press Release:

Traverse City, MI, March 20, 2018—As part of its mission to discover, review, and share the best books from university and independent publishers, Foreword Reviews is pleased to announce the finalists for the 2017 INDIES Book of the Year Awards.

More than 2,000 entries spread across 68 genres were submitted for consideration. The list of finalists was determined by Foreword’s editorial team. Winners are now being decided by a panel of judges across the country, reflecting Foreword’s readership of booksellers and librarians.

The complete list of finalists can be found at:

“Choosing finalists for the INDIES is always the highlight of our year, but the job is very difficult due to the high quality of submissions,” said Victoria Sutherland, founder/publisher of Foreword Reviews. “Each new book award season proves again how independent publishers are the real innovators in the industry.”
Winners in each genre—along with Editor’s Choice Prize winners and Foreword’s INDIE Publisher of the Year—will be announced June 15, 2018.

June will be here before you know it, so, if you’ve got a couple of spare fingers, keep ‘em crossed for me.

Dolph the Unicorn Killer & Other Stories

I am so very excited to announce that my fifth book is now officially published! Dolph the Unicorn Killer & Other Stories is my first short story collection, after previously publishing only novels (Inside the Outside and The Vampire and the Hunter Trilogy).  


I published Dolph the Unicorn Killer & Other Stories in collaboration with the wonderful folks at Exciting Press. If you'd like to get some more info on my new book, here's what Exciting Press has to say:

Wait, seriously? You want book info? Did you see the title? It's called Dolph the Unicorn Killer & Other Stories. Did you see the cover? Because that's Dolph. Look at that guy. Look at his biceps! Look at that decapitated unicorn head with its freshet of rainbow blood.
And now you want book info? As though that title and image alone can't tell you right away whether this is the book for you? Like you can't already tell whether you NEED to read this one, or seek more appropriate fair? Maybe you need something more normal. Something a little less...out there. And that's fine. There are lots of great books out there like cozy mysteries you might listen to over audio while darning socks. Maybe you'd like a bodice ripped or a heart pounded. You can find those.
But this?
This is Dolph the Unicorn Killer. And this is Martin Lastrapes. This is the acclaimed and award-winning author who brought you the utterly terrifying Inside the Outside and the utterly terrific The Vampire and the Hunter Trilogy.
This is vampires, serial killers, unicorns, and more, all of them intersecting within that alluring stretch of the American Southwest known as Las Vegas. This is a collection of short stories that shifts seamlessly from horror and comedy to fantasy and literary fiction, weaving together an eclectic tapestry of characters who are bonded by themes of loneliness, revenge, friendship, and sex.
This is the most badass, gloriously vulgar, gut-punching, giddy-inducing collection of short stories you'll ever encounter.

How's that for book info?


Introducing Dolph the Unicorn Killer

I'm very proud to be publishing my new book, Dolph the Unicorn Killer & Other Stories, in collaboration with the amazing folks at Exciting Press.


Here's what Exciting Press has to say about it:

I know it’s been a while. I’ll explain shortly. In the meantime, I wanted to share this awesomeness it’s my pleasure to be making available next Friday, October 27th the newest collection from Martin Lastrapes.
I first met Martin five or so years ago when...


Update (10/27/17):

Dolph the Unicorn Killer & Other Stories is officially published! Get yourself a copy in paperback or Kindle (or both! You've earned it, so treat yourself). In this collection, you'll find horror, fantasy, comedy, and even stories about people just being people. And, of course, you'll meet Dolph the Unicorn Killer. I mean, who is Dolph? And why does he hate unicorns so much? And is there really a unicorn named Golden Showers? There's only one way to get answers to all of these the book and I'll tell you what it is!

New Book Update

Hey all, on Episode 166 of The Martin Lastrapes Show Podcast Hour, I talked about the progress of my upcoming short story collection, Dolph the Unicorn Killer & Other Stories. I also talked about the genesis of the book and the personal significance of it in his writing journey. So, please take a listen and enjoy!


Update (10/27/17):

Dolph the Unicorn Killer & Other Stories is officially published! Get yourself a copy in paperback or Kindle (or both! You've earned it, so treat yourself). In this collection, you'll find horror, fantasy, comedy, and even stories about people just being people. And, of course, you'll meet Dolph the Unicorn Killer. I mean, who is Dolph? And why does he hate unicorns so much? And is there really a unicorn named Golden Showers? There's only one way to get answers to all of these the book and I'll tell you what it is!

Blondie and the Brit...and Me

I had the great pleasure of being a guest on Blondie and the Brit with KJ Waters (Blondie) and Suzanne Kelman (The Brit) . It was my second time on the show and this time it was "Episode 81: Confessions of an Author." The author, in this case, is me and the confessions are mine. Here's more about the episode from their website:

This week we are excited to bring you award-winning author Martin Lastrapes, a great friend to Blondie and the Brit and one of our Podcast Heroes. Martin brings to the show all the weight of his comedy and interviewing expertise from his own podcast, "The Martin Lastrapes Podcast Hour."

This is a fun upbeat interview that also has very poignant moments where Martin opens up about the struggles we all face on the writer's journey. Don't miss this open, funny, 'telling it like it is' interview with one of our favorite guests.

It was great fun being on their show, so press PLAY and enjoy:

Chatting with John Palisano

On Episode 143 of the podcast, I enjoyed a conversation with 2016 Bram Stoker Award Winner John Palisano. John talks about writing horror, being the Vice President of the Horror Writers Association, and what it was like to win the Bram Stoker Award. 

Marvin P. Vernon, in his review of Ghost Heart for Hellnotes, writes,

"When reading the summary of John Palisano’s Ghost Heart, it is impossible not to think “vampire” (and it would be fair to call this a variant of the vampire mystique) but Palisano’s vampires are not eternal – they are sick. The condition brings lots of perks to it provided you have a fresh supply of blood, yet there is a price to be paid."

Vernon goes on to say,

"I would recommend Ghost Heart to someone who likes a good horror novel yet wants something that also features important human interactions and issues or someone looking for a novel that is vampire yet not really vampire. It is always nice to see a new bent on the old warhorse and doubly nice to read a book that is able to add some real human dilemmas to its story."

Politics, Voting, and America

In the wake of the monumental election that elevated Donald Trump to the office of President of the United States, I decided to record a podcast sharing my thoughts on the state of hope and optimism. In short, I feel both hope and optimism thanks to people like Jared Rivera.

Politics and, perhaps more specifically, politicians can be very divisive.  So, however you feel about the Hilary Clinton or Donald Trump, what I want you to take out of this is episode is that my friend Jared Rivera is a man who cares deeply about his country. Whatever side you fall on with concern to the election, your passion is born from that same place. You also love your country and, like Jared, you simply want it to always be its best. And that’s really the point.

For all of the anger and passion we’ve seen on the news and social media and, frankly, on the very streets we live on, it’s all born out of the same place. People just want what’s best for the world. And Americans just want what’s best for America.

Maybe we can’t agree on what’s best for the world, but it doesn’t mean than anybody is wrong for wanting what they believe is best.

Writing Fear (Live from Hollywood, CA)

I was invited to join a panel of horror authors at the North Hollywood Amelia Earhart Regional Library on 10/23/16. Along with the other panelists, I talked about writing, publishing, and why horror authors are heroes to the world (you're welcome!). And, more importantly, I recorded the panel for The Martin Lastrapes Show Podcast Hour.

The Writing Fear panel was also covered by First Comic News and World Media Revolution. Afterward, First Comics News caught up with me to find out about some of my other projects:

Chatting with KJ Waters

I had a wonderful time chatting with my friend, author, and podcaster, KJ Waters! She came onto The Martin Lastrapes Show Podcast Hour and talked about surviving hurricanes, her novel Stealing Time, and her first year as co-host of Blondie and the Brit

Carlie M.A. Cullen, in her review of Stealing Time, writes,

"I was intrigued by the blurb on this book, especially as it mentioned Hurricane Charley which I experienced in 2004, so although it’s not the sort of book I would normally read, I was interested enough to give it a go and I’m glad I did.

The concept of the plot was very original and I liked the way Waters constructed the method for the time travel to take place. She weaved the plot well and it certainly kept me turning the pages. KJ had certainly done her research about London and the time period. Factually it was very accurate, especially when it came to how women were treated more as chattels to be sold into a loveless marriage to advance the standing or financial position of the family. She’d also done her homework on what happened to women who were accused of witchcraft. The detail she included gave the reader an accurate picture, but I’m glad to say there wasn’t an info dump. The author intertwined it with the plot so it read as a natural progression within the story.

The detail included in the hurricane scenes was scarily realistic. Trees crashing through roofs, bringing down power lines, loss of power and water – these were all things I remembered only too well!"

Chatting with Miya Kressin

On Episode 135 of the podcast, I enjoyed a lovely chat with my friend, Miya Kressin, author of The Asylum Saga trilogy. Miya talks about publishing with Exciting Press, making young boys uncomfortable, and being her dad's second favorite author. #GiveMartinAChance    

"Fear choked me as I slithered beneath another set of low-hanging branches. Dirt and rocks dug into my hands, filling the space beneath my fingernails while I crawled. Briars caught my hair, but all my attention was on the nemetonmy peoples sacred spacetwenty feet beyond the willow that hid me. Speeding breaths disturbed the branches, steaming in the chilling air.

Prophet of Bas and imbued with the strength and magic of her goddess, Roseen is a woman bound by faith and compelled by honor. When a powerful vision calls her back to Madani, her home, and Sheelin, the island where she first experienced her calling to Bas, she encounters a land ravaged by war and desecrated by marauders. She also finds Cade, a talented blacksmith forced to craft swords for the invading Army of Righteousness and with whom she shared a childhood and now shares a different type of bond altogether.

Being with Cade in Madani brings Roseen’s past to collide with both her present and future. With the courage and heart to match his skill, the blacksmith may be Roseen's best ally in the carnage ahead. Can he see past his own feelings to let the priestess' power be unleashed? Not content to allow him fight alone, Roseen will be forced to find her faith and lend her strength and magic to her people, lest they all be destroyed."