Best known as the co-creator of the vampire comic book 30 Days of Night with Ben Templesmith, horror writer Steve Niles experienced his own kind of personal nightmare when he awoke last weekend to discover his home was severely flooded, his pet in danger and many of his most beloved possessions destroyed. Unfortunately, Niles, like many freelance comic book professionals, doesn't have the appropriate insurance to cover this kind of destruction. Now the writer, who has been a proactive signal booster for various charities and creators in need, finds himself requiring help.

The flood was a consequence of the storms near Austin, TX, where Niles and his wife Monica live with their pet turtle, Gil. Niles described the harrowing experience and some of the damage:

Woke up at 6am to water rushing into the house. Already ankle deep by the time we saw it. We got as much as we could off the ground and tried to block but there wasn’t much we could do. The worst was trying to get to Gil. It was waist deep almost and strong enough to throw around logs. I reached him and he was submerged and freaking out. Don’t remember much more then lifting him and carrying him all the way back to the house. Looking back I can see how scary it was.

We are securing the house as much as we can and going through the damage. A scrapbook full of original art I’ve kept for 30 years is gone. A lot more.

Niles' colleague Mike Mignola elaborated slightly in a Facebook missive, saying Niles and his wife Monica "lost just about everything" in the flood.

Those interested in helping can donate any amount of money to a PayPal account set up on Niles' behalf by his friend Belinda Hernandez, whose name will be the one associated when you contribute to "" at PayPal.

If straight charity isn't your thing, now would be a good time to peruse the Steve Niles library and buy one or two comics that you've been meaning to read or that sound interesting, which will trigger some royalty payments to the writer.

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