Saturday, 13 June 2020
Wednesday, 3 June 2020
We have assembled some of the very best in the business from whom you can learn so much about the craft of horror writing: Bram Stoker Award© winners, bestselling authors, a President of the Horror Writers' Association, and myriad contemporary horror authors of distinction.
The Horror Writer covers how to connect with your market and carve out a sustainable niche in the independent horror genre, how to tackle the writer's ever-lurking nemesis of productivity, writing good horror stories with powerful, effective scenes, realistic, flowing dialogue and relatable characters without resorting to clichéd jump scares and well-worn gimmicks. Also covered is the delicate subject of handling rejection with good grace, and how to use those inevitable "not quite the right fit for us at this time" letters as an opportunity to hone your craft.
Plus... perceptive interviews to provide an intimate peek into the psyche of the horror author and the challenges they work through to bring their nefarious ideas to the page.
And, as if that – and so much more – was not enough, we have for your delectation Ramsey Campbell's beautifully insightful analysis of the tales of HP Lovecraft.
Ramsey Campbell, John Palisano, Chad Lutzke, Lisa Morton,
Kenneth W. Cain, Kevin J. Kennedy, Monique Snyman, Scott Nicholson,
Lucy A. Snyder, Richard Thomas, Gene O'Neill, Jess Landry, Luke Walker, Stephanie M. Wytovich, Marie O'Regan, Armand Rosamilia, Kevin Lucia,
Ben Eads, Kelli Owen, Jasper Bark, and Bret McCormick
And interviews with:
Steve Rasnic Tem, Stephen Graham Jones, David Owain Hughes,
Tim Waggoner, and Mort Castle
Monday, 1 June 2020
I'm absolutely honored to be a part of this brand new charity anthology from Storgy! My Story When Cynthia Arrives will be featured alongside some really great authors. They're so great I'm feeling very nervous to be featured along with them!
EBOOK & PAPERBACK
AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER!
PUBLISHED 1st JUNE 2020
PUBLISHED 1ST JULY 2020
With great thanks to contributing authors, artists, and designers,
STORGY Books is proud to present You Are Not Alone; An Anthology of Hope and Isolation.
Working in close partnership with UK charities The Big Issue Foundation (registered charity number 1049077), Centrepoint (292411), Shelter (263710), and The Bristol Methodist Centre (1150295), STORGY Books is publishing an exclusive anthology to help raise funds and provide support for people affected by homelessness following the devastating outbreak of Coronavirus. For far too long the most vulnerable within our communities have suffered in isolation, abandoned and ignored, voiceless.
But we hear our hurting kin; and this is our reply…
You Are Not Alone.
All proceeds from purchases of You Are Not Alone will be equally distributed between our partner charities to provide ongoing support for people experiencing homelessness during – and after – the Covid-19 crisis.
You Are Not Alone is dedicated to lost loved ones.
You will never be forgotten.
Friday, 1 May 2020
"Tethered is a novella-in-flash that explores the fractured relationship of a father and son. Each story is told with unflinching and honest prose that is both hard hitting and heartrending. These stories delve into themes of toxic masculinity, love, hope, despair, domestic violence, sexuality, weakness and overcoming oppression.
Tethered also asks the bigger question of 'do we ever escape the harm our parents do to us; or do we go through life marred and influenced from our upbringing.
'‘Ross Jeffery’s flash fiction is immediate, visceral and real. To read his stories is to feel the understanding of a life lived through the eyes of a compassionate man. Always unapologetic, always raw, always true.’ - Adam Lock (Author of Dinosaur)"
I was really unprepared for this book. I had recently read Juniper also by Ross Jeffery and had an absolute blast reading about life in a small American nowhere town after a terrible turn of events. It was a brilliant horror tale with elements of very dark comedy.
But Tethered is very far from this, it's so heart wrenching and beautifully written.
We follow a troubled father and son journey as they navigate through life, told through a series of flash fiction. It's a brilliant portrayal of a troubled father and son relationship. and the affect it has on both sides. Does anyone escape unharmed from their childhood. Is there such a thing as a perfect parent.
Unfortunately the answers to both these questions is no. But at times this book holds some very tender moments. They never seem to get things right but there is a lot of love for each other even though it gets lost through misunderstandings and anger.
We have the father, who loves his son deeply the moment he is born. He wants the best for his most cherished child, to teach his son how to be a real man, yet he too has been a victim of a troubled upbringing fuelled by toxic masculinity. As the story unfurls we see how all too easily the cycle repeats, the same hurts re-emerging with each generation.
He wants to be a good father but he is powerless in changing himself and healing his old hurts.
I loved the ending the ending to this book, it's a powerful ending the story deserved. An absolute must read for all parents and children!
Tuesday, 31 March 2020
The joyful surroundings of a magical theme park should fill everyone with a feeling of warmth and happiness. But Mike isn't really feeling the love. After his derisory comments to his family about the 'out of work actors' in animal suits he enrages these cute and cuddly creatures. Mike soon learns that he probably should have kept his mouth shut. Especially when the blood begins to spill.
Having a newborn baby in the house is certainly hard work. Those nights of broken sleep bring on a zombie-like existence for most of the day. Toby is certainly feeling exhausted. But when one evening his home is invaded by an intruder, he decides his lack of sleep could work to his advantage. Without ever questioning his actions he begins a sadistic revenge on this would-be burglar. His tiredness however, could ultimately prove his undoing.
A coming-of-age, cosmic horror story set in the 1970s, The One That Knows No Fear will keep your heart pounding long after the stunt has finished.
Writing about The One That Knows No Fear, author Steve Stred said of his protagonist Timmy Wilson: “The story really focuses on him. This is a boy who wishes for a father figure to be in his life and because it’s not there, he attaches to this specific Daredevil, the one they call ‘The One That Knows No Fear.’ Timmy really is an innocent kid who just wants to believe that adults are saints, which we all know is far from the truth.”
Monday, 16 March 2020
Each year, people all over the world celebrate special festivals and days, shining light on what they wish to remember and revere. But sometimes, inhabitants of the dark arrive with the desire to disturb proceedings. Dark Celebrations is a collection of twelve short stories. And the holidays will never be the same.
Dark Celebrations is a collection of 12 dark horror tales from Calvin Demmer, the author of The Sea is a Fair Master which has become a classic! It was a joy to read all these great tales again which have been re-released in one collection!
Calvin Demmer has a great imagination when you set off you never know where the tale will take you. Each tale is a dark journey. Are you ready fir it? You'll never look at holidays in the same way again.
It's so hard to pick out favourites in this collection but I'd say Hungry Ghosts and Unidentified Fatherly Object were my faves!
In this short tale Jared Rogers is already in trouble and has no idea of the downward spiral he's about to get himself into when he accepts the offer of two hundred dollars for just two hours work. That's a lot of money to anyone but to him it's a lifeline.
Orphaned when he was just twelve after his parents died in a car crash Jared was raised by his doting and loyal aunt and uncle, helping run their electrical hardware shop which is dying a slow death. After the tragic passing of his uncle he realises his aunt is on the verge of bankruptcy and answers the ad as a way of providing her with some means for survival.
And he too has dreams of his own, despite graduating from university he has never made it out of the small dead end town he grew up in and the chance to earn a bit of money to help him escape is too tempting...
In search of cash plucky Jared arranges to meet the mysterious Tim Lewis who put out the ad in an abandoned warehouse where he is doomed to find himself in the company of the Silverfields Nightlight Society- what could possibly go wrong?
A great little tale that blends humour with terror, full of tension and foreboding doom and of course there's a nice little twist at the end.
"It all started with a glass shattering..."
Deshawn Williams sits in a dingy bar contemplating how his life took a wrong turn. The only source of excitement in his life was watching a heated exchange take place between a barmaid and customer.
The barmaid accused of being a homewrecker looks like trouble, one to be avoided but when she approaches Deshawn stuck in hs quiet life he is powerless to resist the danger that surrounds her. He's supposed to be going home to his mum for dinner for Thanks Giving. She takes him away and promises him a night of passion if he can do one thing for her.
But what she asks of him goes against everything he believes in. He takes a second look at her and realise she's not all she seems but can he show her that sin doesn't always win.
I really enjoyed reading this great little tale, highly original and a great ending. Did Deshawn conquer evil? Or has he just set it free. I loved the little touches in this tale such as the name of the bar maid!
However when she arrives at her uncle's house on the very edge of town, all is dark and there is no sign of him. On closer inspection Maiko finds his car parked in the garage and inside someone has recently been bring lavender incense. She decides to go looking for him in his secret shed down at the bottom of the garden.
Unfortunately Maiko finds not just her uncle in terrible danger, but her too. Can Maiko, a mere girl, in her parents eyes rise to the challenge of saving herself and her uncle?
Despite the horror and gore this is a sweet uplifting story about female empowerment and how we all have the power to take control of our lives.
Cody Wheeler has had one stressful year and wants nothing more than to relax, forget about his problems, meet up with his buddies for a beer or two. He can't wait to wave out the old year and welcome in the new.
However all his problems seem to be following him, such as his long term girlfriend Kendall Simpson, things haven't been right lately, he just can't put his finger on where it's all going wrong. He tries his best to be the perfect boyfriend but everything he does winds her up. He's beginning to question whether she's worth all the effort and against his better judgement after one argument too many he decides to leave her at the roadside and go to the party alone...
This tale by Calvin Demmer is a great dark story guaranteed to counter-act the sweetness of the festive season for all you horror fans out there. In this, Calvin Demmer takes something very old and makes it new for the 21st century.
It's Valentine's Night and this is a n extra special one for Daniel, he's meeting Julia's parents for the first time tonight and he's anxious for it to go well. He's been seeing his girlfriend for six months but he really loves her and wants to be accepted into the family fold.
However he forgets the roses and chocolates in his haste to get there on time and decides he must return to his house for them. He can not arrive empty handed even if he arrives late.
But then in his panic he revs up his speed and knocks over a mysterious young woman with long black hair in a deathly pale dress. She puts him in an impossible situation in which he has no choice but to help her, even at his own cost as he's a nice guy. Long live the nice guys!
All Daniel wants to do is to get round to his girlfriend's house and enjoy this special night with the woman he loves.
Gwen has her whole life ahead of her, she's done brilliantly in her first year at college yet all she can think about is her most recent heartbreak. Her friend Haley suggests getting away for Spring Break and takes her off on an extraordinary adventure to Mexico. Even her parents reluctantly agree it is a good idea.
Yet Gwen is still finding it hard to forget and move on and look forwards to the next chapter in her life. Haley drags her to the beach for a sun-blessed day but that's when her problems really start.
After a nap she wakes up only to find her friend disappeared.
I really enjoyed this tale. I really felt I was inside Gwen's head and the characterisation was really good. There was a lot of depth despite it being a short story. There was a lot of twists and turns which really keep hold of you throughout.
Luna is tortured with loneliness, death has not been a stranger to her but she is determined to make the best of things by living her life by Isabella's five tips for a kick-ass life.
She soon diverts attention form her own suffering to that of her mother, Selma whilst trying to avoid her alcoholic step-father who is beyond useless. She soon suspects that he is keeping secrets and as she follows Isabella's five tips she gets to the truth with horrifying consequences.
Can Luna save not just her mother, but herself? Will she ever find out the fifth and final tip for everlasting happiness?
A surprisingly touching tale not often found in horror, I really like I had gone on a emotional journey with Luna and I really felt myself rooting for her.
Except that the beautiful girl he's hired isn't available, he starts to panic he's paid a lot of money and has so much to prove not just to his peers but to himself. Instead he is given Fay a girl so unimaginably beautiful and enchanting.
A dark tale that screams with the desperation of heartbreak and youth. I really enjoyed this little tale, it kept me guessing til the end and I'll never look at redheads in the same way again!
But he must treat her well in the manner she is accustomed to and she must be returned by midnight. Will this be a night to remember and cherish forever? Will he be able to get her back in time?
His aunt and uncle tell him to leave it alone, to accept what has happened and move on with his life, surely that's what his father would have wanted for him?
But Fred just can't let things lie, he has to know, he has suspicions that just won't go away. One night he decides to go out into the desert and see for himself the strictly prohibited area in which his father died. Will he find his answers? Will he be able to handle the truth?
Another great story from Calvin Demmer. I don't want to give too much away but the ending is particularly gruesome. Calvin has a unique ability to make his readers squirm with dread. I'm so happy I'm not one of his characters! There's a some very clever references to his past tales included within which I thought was a great touch.
But suddenly all hell breaks loose, there's multiple reports of earthquakes, tsunami's striking all four corners of the world. Brad Marshall just wants to bury his head in the sand than watch of the devastating news reports. Instead he focuses on work, on helping his boss, Professor Masterson studying shark behaviour, but that doesn't help matters.
He uncovers a vital piece of information which sheds light on recent events. How can he use it? Who can he trust?
Monday, 24 February 2020
As the doctor’s interest in her new patient grows, Luna reveals shocking details of her past. Ailing grandmothers, seductive strangers and a blood-soaked childhood are only the tip of the iceberg as her revelations paint a picture more akin to a twisted and nightmare-fuelled fairy-tale.
Detailing this case for the publication of a book, Dr Sizemore’s fascination reveals a dark history of her own. One that continues to haunt her to the present day. The pair take a journey, twisting and turning through the labyrinths of their psyches. Through lands, fertile with anguish and dread.
Join them if you dare, to a place where glowing eyes are forever watching, lurking in the shadows of this internal woodland; of this forest underground.
Friday, 7 February 2020
"From the Nightscape Press Charitable Chapbooks line. One third of all sales of this chapbook will go to support the National Aviary.
It starts with rapping in the ceiling and spirit boards that know them a little too well.
Everly and her best friend aren’t your typical college students. Instead of raucous Saturday night parties, they spend their weekends conjuring up things from the beyond. Ectoplasm, levitation, death photography---you name it, and Everly knows all about it. But while this obsession with the supernatural is only supposed to be in good fun, the girls soon discover themselves drifting deeper into magic and further from each other. Then when one evening ends with an inadvertently broken promise, everything they’ve ever known is shattered in an instant, sending them spiraling into a surreal haunting. Now Everly must learn how to control the spectral forces she’s unleashed if she wants any chance of escaping a ghost more dangerous than all the witchcraft she can summon.
A tale of the occult, unlikely phantoms, and complicated friendships, The Invention of Ghosts is the latest strange vision from the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of The Rust Maidens."
I loved this so much I read it in one sitting and then immediately read it again.
The Invention of Ghosts is one of a series of charitable limited edition chapbooks available from Nightscape Press. However for those of you like me who live of the other side of the Atlantic these books will be made available as e-books once the paperbacks have sold out.
I was so thrilled to be given a chance to read this. Gwendolyn Kiste is one of my favourite authors who defies genre, one of those rare writers who turns horror into something both scary and sublime at the same time. Many people describe her work as strange and beautiful and this story is no exception.
This is a tale about two friends who share their whole life. They grew up together and now they are both studying at the same university, even sharing the same room. Locking themselves in away from the crowds they indulge themselves in the secrets of the occult. It's not long until they are able to perform tricks by tapping into the supernatural forces around them.
These are girls with strange powers, rejected long ago from the outside world they break away. In this state they are happy, for a time.
I was hooked by the first paragraph alone when Everly, one of the two young women, is asked by her best friend what sort of witch does she want to be?
These two girls have grown up with magic, casting it around them in protection. They've forged a strange friendship so intense and claustrophobic that its hard to remember their lives away from one another.
The Invention of Ghosts has a really unusual narrative which works really well pulling you into the story and making you feel a part of it.
The story builds into a really dramatic ending, what starts of a sweet story of friendship soon takes you into a choke-hold of horror. The story touches on many themes of friendship, loss, loneliness, being haunted by your past. This is unlike any witch story you have ever read.
(I love stories featuring witches, if you do, you must check out HexLife: Wicked New Tales of Witchery, it's amazing.)
One concept from the Invention of Ghosts that I found really interesting was that each of us have many different lifetimes within our life. We constantly change from one person to the next. Throughout our journey we don't stay the same, experiences and people forge us into different people.
I loved the ending which I can't really go into without giving out spoilers other than say it was amazing!
On a side note, there's also some amazing reading recommendations dropped throughout the tale for those interested in the occult and mysteries of life.