SURVIVE WITH ME: 5 Questions with Kristin Dearborn

SURVIVE WITH ME features sixteen of my favorite writer buds. Each of them gave these stories to me for this charity anthology. ALL proceeds go to the American Indian College Fund. You can order your eBook or paperback copy HERE Or discover more about this wonderful cause here: AMERICAN INDIAN COLLEGE FUND

Tonight, we welcome someone from my neck of the woods, Kristin Dearborn. Kristin and I attended the same school together back in them 90s. She has been published by Dark Fuse, Raw Dog Screaming Press, Crossroad Press, and more. Her short fiction has appeared all over the place, and I’m proud to have her with us in SURVIVE WITH ME.

Kristin Dearborn

What inspired your story in SWM, “Mrs. Cleaver”?

“Mrs. Cleaver” was inspired in part by all the true crime podcasts that tell us about missing women, but in particular the podcast COLD, which details Susan Powell’s disappearance. Her story–or rather the story of her husband Josh (we know his end; Susan’s remains a mystery but I can’t imagine it’s good) is one of manipulation and a descent into a hellish marriage with a controlling partner. 

 What causes would you like to see get more attention?

An average of 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States — more than 12 million women and men over the course of a single year. As horror fans, we consume these stories as entertainment, but I think we have a responsibility to be aware of the reality behind the fiction. I love horror, and enjoy true crime, but would love to live in a world where it was all in the past or fiction. Intimate partner violence is one of the scariest things I can imagine: it’s a theme that reappears in my work, and I like to shed light on the reality behind it when I can.

 It’s been a bit since we’ve gotten a KD novel or novella. What’s coming from you in 2021-2022?

With Covid, the release schedule has gotten a little snarled up, but the next project coming from me is a rip-roaring creature feature about an airboat ride in the swamp gone terribly wrong called “The Amazing Alligator Girl.” This novella will be out from Bloodshot Books sometime next year and involves a lot of chemically enraged alligators.

 Your book, Woman in White, is awesome. What’s another legend you’d love to write about?

As for legends, I’m a sucker for cryptids. I’m working on shopping a novel featuring the Skunk Ape AKA Florida bigfoot. I dream of someday writing a yeti book set in the Himalayas, but the right story hasn’t come to me yet. Did you know Aleister Crowley attempted to summit K2 in 1902? There’s gotta be a yeti story in there somewhere!

 What are three things that warmed your heart in 2020?

Three things that warmed my heart in 2020:

Getting to spend more time with my favorite dog friend Tali as I spent more time at home.

Helping clients at my day job (I’m a financial advisor) weather the ups and downs of the 2020 stock market.

Watching my in-person community shift to a virtual one with very little loss of impact. It’s not impacted my monthly book club, has enhanced my weekly Dungeons and Dragons game, and helped my weekly business networking meeting!

Discover more about Kristin at her website: HERE

Top Reads of 2016 (So far).

Wow, how is it July 1st already?

I’ve read some really awesome books in the first half of 2016, and I thought I’d share them with you. Now. there are plenty of books I expect to make this list at  year’s end (Tremblay, Malfi, Shea, and plenty of others have some great works out there or coming soon that I need to read), but these are the best of what I’ve read to date.

Novels

9. THE MONSTER UNDERNEATH– Matthew Franks

This debut from Samhain Publishing author, Matthew Franks, is an interesting psychological mash up of Criminal Minds, The Following, Silence of the Lambs, and something with a mind reader/dream invader. If you want to make a splash out the gate, I guess creating your own concoction that nobody has seen before is a good way to achieve that.    *THIS ONE IS ON SALE for 99 CENTS!

8. THE COMPLEX by Brian Keene

A lot of reviewers (myself included) mentioned how great is to see Keene return to form with this vicious, yet thoughtful horror ride. A gang of possessed people descend upon an apartment complex full of interesting characters. It pays to be on speaking terms with your neighbors! One of Keene’s short story character’s plays a major role in here, an added bonus for BK fans. I’m not sure THE COMPLEX will make my end of the year list, but I’m happy to see him back in any of my top lists.

7. CHILDREN OF THE DARK by Jonathan Janz

Janz delivers another strong effort. This one has him reaching into the coming-of-age bag, pulls out of big, bloody ball,  and bats a solid hit. I’ve seen a lot of praise out there from the Janz-ites, and if you’re a big JJ fan, you will no doubt have this one on your 2016 list. COTD serves as a prequel to Janz’s SAVAGE SPECIES novel and I’m thinking we’re in for more from this universe. Stay tuned!

6. MAYAN BLUE by Michelle Garza and Melissa Lason

Remember what I said about creating your own concoction to make that initial impact? Well, the “Sisters of Slaughter” have done just that. MAYAN BLUE has a very original story (Mayan ruins/artifacts in Georgia?) and showcases their unabashed taste in writing some pretty vicious scenes. I mentioned in my review how their style had me thinking back to Brian Keene’s original Leisure Books run. I stand by that statement.

5. THEY RISE by Hunter Shea

Hunter writes like he’s making these crazy horror/action movies. It’s perfect for that hungry horror bookworm who wants something good that reads like a match set to gasoline. This one has a lot of JAWS-like sensibilities which, I’m sure, suits Mr. Shea just fine. A great monster fish long thought extinct resurfaces and in numbers that would scare the bejesus out of any seaman…

4. PRINCE OF NIGHTMARES by John McNee

This is a haunted hotel story that reads like something hidden in Clive Barkers steamer trunk. The writing is smooth and exciting, and the story  is just about perfect. The evil creations McNee uses and the horrifying sights they show the guests in this ghost attraction hotel are top notch and scary. I really loved this book.

3. NORTHWOODS by Bill Schweigart

This book is a sequel to a novel I have never read (Beast of Baycroft). That being said, I had no trouble following along with the characters or their situations. A great sequel stands alone. Schweigart nails that model here in spades. I had a lot of fun reading this one and will go back and find the first book before Christmas.  If you like shapeshifters, cryptozoology, and action, you will love this! (Writing-wise, he could be Hunter Shea’s twin brother!)    *AND this one is on sale for 99 cents !

2. DESOLATION by Kristopher Rufty

Definitely a contender for my Top 5 at the end of the year, Rufty’s DESOLATION really hit me in the guts. With the most heart-wrenching opening I’ve read in years, this novel dares to go straight for your soft spot. There’s revenge, there’s right and wrong, there’s a family trying to keep itself together while trying to avoid being chopped to bits…it’s pretty freaking great.  I loved this one. You should make time for it, too   And, if you act now, you can get the paperback version from Amazon for just $7.23!

1. MONGRELS by Stephen Graham Jones

I LOVED this book!  Sounds like I’ve had a pretty good 2016 in the reading world, right? Yes, I have, and MONGRELS tops the list. SGJ writes this book like he has some sort of inside information on werewolves that the rest of us don’t. It’s not a fast and furious werewolf blood bath like Janz’s WOLF LAND (or that book that I wrote), but what it is is SOOO MUCH better. Not to kick any of the werewolf novels that came before it in the nuts, but I truly believe Mr. Jones is in or knows a real wolf pack. This is just a wonderful piece of literature wearing a horror jacket and being really fucking cool. The story of a werewolf family and the challenges they face trying to stay under the radar in the world around them, and a boy waiting to see if he’s ever going to change. A really wonderful book and one that should make everyone’s Top 10 of 2016.

51f5ROVMr-L

 

I’ll drop a few novellas and a collection that I really enjoyed here. Check out:

WOMAN IN WHITE by Kristin Dearborn

VICKI BEAUTIFUL by Somer Canon

THE WINTER BOX by Tim Waggoner

and FLESH AND FIRE by Lucas Mangum

(Mangum’s is part of Journal Stone’s double down collection, and is paired with a new Jonathan Maberry piece-BONUS!)

And don’t miss A MIXED BAG OF BLOOD by David Bernstein, a fantastic and imaginative collection of perfect horror.

 

To see all the books I’ve read so far this year, go check out GLENN’s GOOD READS CHALLENGE  (I will add this link later-my computer is acting fruity)

 

CHEERS!

-GR

 

 

(#Share the Horror Interview) Kristin Dearborn talks Globe Trotting, Vampire Bunnies, and Writing her Wonderful New Novella, Woman in White

I usually get to meet new authors and get to know them through these interviews, this week’s guest is a bit of a different story.  We attended the same high school in Central Maine. We never hung out or anything, but after I started writing a few years back, we commented on the same Facebook post of a mutual writing friend. We talked about our love for the Bunnicula series of kid’s books. Then we realized we went to the same high school and she was friends with my cousins that were a couple years behind me. Small world!

Flash forward to World Horror Con 2013 New Orleans and then 2013 AnthoCon. We had some drinks and talked horror and books and the publishing world. She also beta read and edited a couple of my early short stories. And thus, a mutual respect and friendship was forged.

This month, Kristin Dearborn unleashes her excellent new novella, Woman in White. I demanded an interview with the talented Ms. Dearborn and was eventually granted the opportunity.

Here is said interview:

 

 

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Share the Horror: First off, Hall-Dale Rules!  Most people don’t know we attended the same high school up here in Central Maine. That’s pretty cool.

Do you think they did something to us there?

Kristin Dearborn: I don’t know…rural school, not too many people, plus those woods out back. You could be on to something there!

StH: You started reading horror pretty early on. I know we’ve previously talked about a shared love of the Bunnicula (Vampire Bunny) series by James Howe, but what were the first couple of grown-up horror books you read…how old were you and how did you get them?

Bunnicula_Pic

KD: Oh, Bunnicula, I love you so. My parents had horror novels lying around and I got my adult library card at the Hubbard Free Library (I’m gonna go to town name dropping places here, and Glenn and I will get all nostalgic and the rest of you will just be confused) when I was pretty young. I don’t ever remember anyone telling me, “no, you can’t read that book.” Movies I was pretty locked down on. I remember having to go to a friend’s house to watch all the Tarantino movies, and most of the classic horror works of art I didn’t see until I was in college or older. But I digress. My mom got Jurassic Park for my dad for Christmas the year it came out (I was 8), and it’s the only book I can remember the three of us all reading and enjoying. Darkfall by Dean Koontz made an impression on me, as did Children of Night by Dan Simmons. Everyone seems to think Summer of Night is the superior book, but I disagree. I wish I could tell you the first Stephen King book I read, but I honestly don’t remember which one it was.

StH: When did you decide to take writing seriously and which story was it that you wrote that made you go, “Oh, this is pretty fucking good”. I know for me, I’d written a bad version of Blood and Rain, but when I started my novella, Abram’s Bridge…. It had this surreal I wrote  this? vibe. Is there one of those magic moments for you, a short story or larger piece maybe?

KD: When I wrote Stolen Away, I felt like I was a conduit for the words coming from somewhere else. It required a really light touch editing, and it just flowed. I’d written 80,000 words of rambling garbage about ten years earlier on the same topic, and shoved it in a drawer, and then, while watching Breaking Bad I thought about those characters from so long ago. They’d matured in the time I was away, and the ideas more refined. I had a few 10,000 word days writing that one, and the whole book felt like magic.

StolenAway_FRONTsacrifice_island

StH: I loved your previous novella, Sacrifice Island.  I’ve always wanted to travel across the world (Haven’t made it out of the US yet). You did some research for this one that included taking a trip overseas? Is that accurate or am I mixing something up.  And if it is true, can you really get a good feel for another culture in 1 to 2 weeks?

KD: I did spend two weeks in the Philippines in 2012, and I would argue you can not get a sufficient feel for the place in that short of a time. I spent two months in Egypt in 2011, a place I’ve visited in a short story (“Catacombs,” published in +Horror Library 5+) and an as of yet unpublished untitled novel. I spent eight months in South Korea around that time. With all that travel, I still don’t think I have enough of a feel for any of those places to write from the point of view of a native. Most of the writing I do about exotic locales I write from the point of view of a visitor, a stranger in a strange land.

StH: You have a book with Thunderstorm Books (Stolen Away). How did this deal come about and is there more on the way between you and Thunderstorm?

KD: Thunderstorm is great to work with, I had a really good experience with them. I don’t have anything currently up my sleeve, but I wouldn’t discount something coming in the future. The deal came about the way I’m pretty sure most everything in this genre comes about, a conversation with another writer at a bar.

woman_in_white

StH:  Ah…the horror writers best place to make new friends!

Okay, let’s talk about your current work, Woman in White. First off, holy shit is this good. Love the made up Maine town (Rocky Rhodes). I feel like I’ve been there. Love the isolation, the cold, and the creature we encounter. In my review I said it was like you took a dash of Carpenter’s The Thing and King’s Dreamcatcher and mixed it with a good healthy heaping of Dearborn…. How does that sound to you? And what made you write this story?

KD: Stop it, you’re making me blush. This book came about from a combination of reading Christopher Golden’s Snowblind and a trip to the Maine State Crime Lab where a friend of mine works. She got me a behind the scenes tour, and at the time I didn’t have a current work in progress, so my mind was kind of an open slate.

I’ve always loved “winter” stories, The Thing and Dreamcatcher like you mentioned, Dan Simmons’ The Terror, Malfi’s Snow…I could go on and on. I knew I wanted to write a winter book, and something about the blood analysis in the crime lab sort of clicked together for me. The finished book has very little to do with my trip to the lab aside from Lee working there and looking at blood, but it would have been impossible to write without my visit.

StH: I always love a good frostbitten horror tale, too. Especially, Malfi’s Snow.

As writers, artists, we always pull from experiences, but this one feels very personal to me.  Something about each character seemed to dig in beyond your average hero/sidekick/friend/ villain type. Did you find yourself going a little deeper with this one?

KD: I guess I did offer up a little bit of myself for each of the protagonists, Angela, Mary Beth, and Lee. I think it’s worth examining pretty closely how women are treated in horror fiction, and I wanted to write something where the ladies weren’t victims, weren’t passive bystanders. Some of the characters probably would have been happier in that role, but circumstances thrust them into the role of hero. I wanted to write a feminist horror story which didn’t feel like it was beating the reader over the head with the message.

StH: We’ve talked off the record about your future works. Even then, you keep pretty tight-lipped about any of these upcoming projects. Is there anything coming up that you can discuss?

KD: Lots of stuff coming up in 2016! This is gonna be a heck of a year. The paperback and ebook of Stolen Away will be out in June from Raw Dog Screaming Press. I’ve known those folks socially for a few years and am over the moon to get a chance to work with them. Coming this fall is a novella, Whispers, coming from Lovecraft eZine. This story is a modern re-telling of Whisperer in Darkness, the only H.P. Lovecraft story set in Vermont. I’m really excited for that one, as well, which will be out in paperback and ebook. There are some other treasures coming down the pipeline, but those ones I can’t talk about.

StH: And lastly, have you been, or do you believe you’ve ever been abducted by extra-terrestrials?

KD: Much like some of those upcoming 2016 releases, I can’t talk about that, Glenn. If I told you, I’d have to kill you, and nobody wants that. Thanks for your kind words and for taking the time to interview me. Go Bulldogs!

Standing Bulldog

StH: Thanks for taking the time, Kristin. Best of luck with Woman in White. It’s terrific.

 

Woman In White tour graphic

 

Woman in White by Kristin Dearborn

NOVELLA

Available: Feb 4, 2016

Publisher: DarkFuse

Format: eBook ($2.99)

Synopsis

Rocky Rhodes, Maine.

As a fierce snowstorm descends upon the sleepy little town, a Good Samaritan stops to help a catatonic woman sitting in the middle of the icy road, and is never seen or heard from again. When the police find his car, it is splattered in more blood than the human body can hold.

While the storm rages on, the wave of disappearances continue, the victims sharing only one commonality: they are all male. Now it’s up to three young women to figure out who or what is responsible: a forensic chemist, a waitress struggling with an abusive boyfriend, and a gamer coping with the loss of her lover.

Their search will lead them on a journey filled with unspeakable horrors that are all connected to a mysterious Woman in White.

Praise

“Horror born straight from a nor’easter, Dearborn’s Woman in White is a great read for a winter night—with a monster I’ll never forget.” —Christopher Irvin, author of Federales and Burn Cards

“Kristin Dearborn’s Woman in White is a rip-roaring monster tale with sharp-eyed characterization and something to say about the power dynamics between men and woman. Thought-provoking and entertaining as hell!” —Tim Waggoner, author of Eat the Night

“Great stuff! Suspenseful, quickly paced, unpredictable and wonderfully evil tale. Kristin Dearborn’s best yet!” —Jeff Strand, author of Pressure

Biography

If it screams, squelches, or bleeds, Kristin Dearborn has probably written about it. She’s written books such as Sacrifice Island (DarkFuse), Trinity (DarkFuse), and had fiction published in several magazines and anthologies. Stolen Away was recently a limited edition offered from Thunderstorm Books, which sold out. She revels in comments like “But you look so normal…how do you come up with that stuff?” A life-long New Englander, she aspires to the footsteps of the local masters, Messrs. King and Lovecraft. When not writing or rotting her brain with cheesy horror flicks (preferably creature features!), she can be found scaling rock cliffs or zipping around Vermont on a motorcycle, or gallivanting around the globe. Find more on Kristin athttp://kristindearborn.com/.

 

 

(Book Review) Kristin Dearborn’s Woman in White is one of the Best Releases of 2016

 

woman_in_white

I’ve read a few of Kristin Dearborn’s short stories and enjoyed them. I read her novella, Sacrifice Island, and I loved it. And now, I get this novella, Woman in White. Let me say this, this lady can write her ass off. She tells a story in a way that’s not overly writerly. By which I mean that she’s not throwing literary words in the readers face or writing above her head. That’s not to say she couldn’t if she wanted to, I’d bet it’s quite the contrary. The thing I like is that it’s just a great writer telling a fantastic story so that everyone can get it. The person who first comes to mind for me in this style is Stephen King. And to further equate it to people I admire…I liken her style to that of my favorite guitar player, Slash. He can fucking play, but what he does best, and better than anyone, is play within the song. He does exactly what fits the song instead of trying to show off. That’s exactly what Dearborn excels at within the framework of this fun, engaging, and terrifying tale.

From the opening chapter where a woman in white stands in the middle of a snow-covered road, and the unfortunate thing that happens to Dennis, to the cast of characters, each one as real as you and I, Dearborn is off and running and bringing the fictional Maine town of Rocky Rhodes and it’s bizarre troubles to life.

A rash of disappearances where the only thing left behind is loads of the victims’ blood, stirs up the small community. Inside this mystery, we get real people with real problems. A girl who has an abortion in this tiny town without secrets, shunned and shamed by people she’s grown up with her entire life. Her ex-boyfriend is a jealous no good asshole, and her boss at the diner is truly a hero in waiting. Officer Staghorn (what a great name!) and Lee Dudley, a forensic chemist who just so happens to be sleeping with the married officer, are sent up to Rocky Rhodes to see if they can make any sense of the missing bodies and/or the blood left behind. It isn’t long before these two are ensnared in the mayhem and the madness descending upon this small town.

The way Dearborn paints this frozen town in the grips of a Maine winter will have you chilled to the bone as much as the horrible creature haunting its population. I couldn’t help but be reminded of some of my favorite films and novels. The disappearances brought back that unsettling feeling I got the first time I read ‘Salem’s Lot. The snow and isolation, along with the fear and paranoia of what the hell is out here with us gave me flashbacks of John Carpenter’s The Thing. The overall vibe and style also reminded me of Stephen King’s Dreamcatcher (the novel, not the terrible adaptation).

I don’t do spoilers, so I won’t give anything away. Just believe me…. if you love King, if you enjoyed The Thing, you cannot miss this read! One of the best novellas I’ve had the pleasure of reading and certainly an early contender for my 2016 Top Ten list.

I give Woman in White 5-Stars!

Woman In White tour graphic

IMG_1693

Woman in White by Kristin Dearborn

NOVELLA

Available: Feb 4, 2016

Publisher: DarkFuse

Format: eBook ($2.99)

Synopsis

Rocky Rhodes, Maine.

As a fierce snowstorm descends upon the sleepy little town, a Good Samaritan stops to help a catatonic woman sitting in the middle of the icy road, and is never seen or heard from again. When the police find his car, it is splattered in more blood than the human body can hold.

While the storm rages on, the wave of disappearances continue, the victims sharing only one commonality: they are all male. Now it’s up to three young women to figure out who or what is responsible: a forensic chemist, a waitress struggling with an abusive boyfriend, and a gamer coping with the loss of her lover.

Their search will lead them on a journey filled with unspeakable horrors that are all connected to a mysterious Woman in White.

Praise

“Horror born straight from a nor’easter, Dearborn’s Woman in White is a great read for a winter night—with a monster I’ll never forget.” —Christopher Irvin, author of Federales and Burn Cards

“Kristin Dearborn’s Woman in White is a rip-roaring monster tale with sharp-eyed characterization and something to say about the power dynamics between men and woman. Thought-provoking and entertaining as hell!” —Tim Waggoner, author of Eat the Night

“Great stuff! Suspenseful, quickly paced, unpredictable and wonderfully evil tale. Kristin Dearborn’s best yet!” —Jeff Strand, author of Pressure

Biography

If it screams, squelches, or bleeds, Kristin Dearborn has probably written about it. She’s written books such as Sacrifice Island (DarkFuse), Trinity (DarkFuse), and had fiction published in several magazines and anthologies. Stolen Away was recently a limited edition offered from Thunderstorm Books, which sold out. She revels in comments like “But you look so normal…how do you come up with that stuff?” A life-long New Englander, she aspires to the footsteps of the local masters, Messrs. King and Lovecraft. When not writing or rotting her brain with cheesy horror flicks (preferably creature features!), she can be found scaling rock cliffs or zipping around Vermont on a motorcycle, or gallivanting around the globe. Find more on Kristin at http://kristindearborn.com/.

 

 

The Horror of Self-Promotion

 

I read an interesting blog post this morning about the horrors and uselessness of self-promotion on social media. While it brought up some valid points, such as Facebook BUY MY BOOK posts are annoying and next to fruitless, I couldn’t get on board with all of what the writer had to say.
Look, I know as writers going on about ourselves can rub people the wrong way and have the opposite of our posts desired effect. I say this: There is such thing as overkill, but in my experience, using what tools we have in the social media realm does work fairly well if you’re smart about it.
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You do need to put in the footwork, you need to make real connections, you need to take chances, and you need to be considerate rather than assumptive. I primarily use GoodReads and Facebook. I look at my fellow horror authors and their pages, their friends, their more successful posts. I study what seems to work for them and do my best to add their best plays into  my game plan.  It is scary to reach out to someone who has no idea who the hell you are. That’s why you must go into it with respect and humility. I introduce myself, Glenn-horror writer, mention how I found them- saw you enjoyed my friend Hunter’s book, just wanted to see if you’d be interested in receiving a free copy of my title, Book X?  I make sure to follow that up with  If not, that’s totally, cool. Thank you for your time. If you are interested, let me know.   I’ll send out a few of these messages a month. Then  I go back to reading or writing. I don’t expect an answer from these strangers. After all, who the hell am I? But you’d be surprised to find how many conversations these messages start. And like the blog post I referenced earlier points out-conversations lead to relationships, which maybe leads to sales.
Don’t forget, I’m not selling my books, I’m offering them. I’m the lucky one if they reply. Even if they say, “wow, that is so nice of you.”  In my world, it is the reader or reviewer who is the rock star, not me.
Now, I’m still a fairly new writer. I got my first story published in 2013 and my first bigger piece published last year. I’m not with a major publisher, so there’s maybe more self-promotional duties on my plate. I’m okay with that. I understand being shy and timid, and not wanting to ruffle the feather’s of strangers or friends. You’re friends will understand and  they can always “unfollow” you if they don’t want to see what your promoting. Besides, they probably have your number and can still hold regular conversations about day-today stuff anyway.
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That brings me to how much promotion you should do on Facebook. Yeah, it is pretty freaking hard to get anyone to really see your posts on Facebook. Regardless, I still have writer and reader friends who like to see what I have coming up or what I’ve recently read and enjoyed. For me, reading is still #1. I write, but I definitely read more than I write. After the release of my first novella with Samhain Publishing I did so much talking about the book and the road to getting published, and what inspires me and what terrifies me and me, me, me… you get the picture.  Anyways, I made two changes after that first book: 1) I cut my self promotional Facebook posts in half and  2) I started promoting my friends and heroes.  This made me feel a little better when I did blab about my new release, and made me and my fellow writers feel good whenever I shared a review of their latest book or interview or podcast appearance. I decided to start a page called, “Share the Horror.”
I read, I review (some writers opt-out of reviewing, because of relationships and hurt feelings-I’m not one of them), I promote myself and the pieces I enjoy. I also promote authors and books based off what my friends have to say about them. If Kristin Dearborn says a book or writer is good, I’m sharing the news. I try to be cognizant of the fact that “Hey, my new book is out, you know what that means? It’s hammer-time!” is not the best way to go about things. Use common sense. It won’t pay to flood your page every hour of every day in an effort to convince anyone to purchase your book. As with approaching readers who don’t know you, leave the hammer at home- promote with respect and humility.
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Not sure if you wanna try any of my methods, but I was inspired to share them. Nobody likes self-promoting….but it is a part of the publishing world, especially the indie publishing world.
Good luck and stay positive!

“Share the Horror” Why? Because We’re a Happy Family, That’s Why/

I recently read an article posted on Jim McLeod’s GINGER NUTS OF HORROR site (you can read it HERE). He made some good points and got me thinking. As horror writers and musicians, we’re constantly forced into being self-promoters. This makes us look like egotistical dicks most of the time, but it comes with the gig. If we don’t shout it out loud over and over and over again, people aren’t going to know we (or our goods) are here and available.  Well, Jim went brought up something that some of us may do (whether intentionally or not I can’t say), and that’s a lack of sharing. You know, on social networks, the “Share” button? Yeah, we have all of these friends and comrades in arms on Facebook and Twitter and we’re all pushing our Brand, but Jim pointed out that it feels like some of us think we’re all fighting for one piece of pie. Like if I share your book, that somehow loses me a chunk of cherry, or a sale if you will. Now, I don’t know how many of us do this with with the dark side of the Force coursing through our veins, but I think it’s something to consider. I know if I just add “Please share this” on Facebook, I get like five shares out of the hundreds of friends I have. Now, they could be busy, or have their settings so that they miss my post, or they just don’t want to do it. I don’t know. A lot of times they just hit the “like” button. (Hey guys! The “share” is right there next to it!) I don’t want to come off as a whiny baby here, because when I really have something important to share and I go to my friends individually, 9/10 come through for me and help me out. But that’s me. I’m not afraid of rejection or the word no, or someone telling me to fuck off!

With all of this in mind, I decided to spend Black Friday sharing books I’ve read this year that I loved. And you know what? It felt GREAT! Not sure if I helped anyone, but I know a few friends added some of my “shared loves” to their Good Reads, and a bunch more commented and shared them with their friends. I’d say my self-less campaign (coined “Share the Horror”) was a smashing success. And I’ve decided to try and make it a monthly thing. I invite all of you to do the same.

Here are the 20 books I shared:

montauk monster

JJ DD

DOW BM

KD SI

DS MM'

CN HELL

BK BP

ACCON j

AATK

AA HH

AA BT

pldg (1)

AA KL

AA WM

AAPD

AANK

AANC

AACATH

AACB

These are the 20 I shared. I tried to stick with smaller writers, but Barker and Keene slipped through the door.

If any of these covers look good to you, click on them and they will redirect you to the corresponding Good Reads page.

Buy ’em and add ’em to your to-be-read lists!

SHARE THE HORROR.

The Fool on the Hill: Woman in Horror Month

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Women in horror? I can’t imagine reading a horror novel penned by a woman. How would I ever be able to relate? I need that male perspective. Guys know how to get vicious, how to take the wheel and press the throttle until the testosterone-fueled hell ride drives us toward and over the precipice of literary mayhem paved by the likes of Edgar Allen Poe, Richard Matheson, Stephen King, and Dean Koontz. Surely there’s no way a female author can handle such a bloody, calculating, journey through Hades and back…right?

I’m afraid to say that I was one of the passengers in this vehicle of ignoramuses. Let me check that…I had works by one woman, Ann Rice. The first four books of the Vampire Chronicles were among my introduction to the world of horror, but somewhere along the line I forgot women could write horror that could cast that magical spell. In 2004, I started reading more King, Richard Laymon, Bentley Little, Brian Keene. Ann Rice got lost in the background somewhere.  I didn’t touch a book from a female author until February of 2013. And I was a moron.

I joined the Horror Writers Association early in 2012. One of the things I love about the organization is the forum, specifically, the bountiful amount of members in there who are eager to help out, offer advice and be real with you. I realized how many women were in there and people like Sherry Decker (among others) were regularly responding to my infant author questions.

Throughout 2012, I focused on my own works. I regularly jumped into the forums and interacted with the HWA community as often as I could. In February of 2013, after being part of the community for a year, I started hearing about February being Women in Horror Month. And it dawned on me that I hadn’t read a terror tale by a female author in A LONG time. Meeting numerous women authors in the forum and on Facebook, I knew I needed to set aside this strange notion I’d acquired over the last eight years or so and give these ladies of blood and fright the attention they deserved.

I started with Shirley Jackson’s, The Haunting of Hill House and followed that up with Sarah Langan’s, The Keeper. Needless to say, I was quickly enlightened of the grave error of my reading ways. I was a fool for even thinking women couldn’t reach my fear factor. For believing I wouldn’t be able to relate to the voice, that I wouldn’t be able to be completely hooked in and taken anywhere close to the heights of fear and intensity that guys like John Everson and Ronald Malfi constantly delivered me to. I was wrong.

I followed my first official celebration and participation in Women in Horror Month by seeking out new female authors to read and discovered amazingly talented writers like Damien Walters, Mercedes M. Yardley, Rena Mason, and even someone who graduated from my tiny high school here in Maine–Ms. Kristin Dearborn. I can’t believe how stupid I was being. And furthermore, I can’t even recall where this bizarre stigma I’d attached to these wicked ladies came from.

Although I know I have come to the light and stepped into the unisex bathroom of horror authors, I know there are still confused and irrationally minded dudes out there making the same critical error with their horror novel selections. Hell, I’m sure it goes on within every genre. I am here today, February 17, 2014, to tell you guys…ladies are just as vicious, just as dark, twisted, and wordily crafty as any of your favorite male horror writers out there.  Set aside your misguided ideas of women writers being too soft, too sensitive, too light to spray the walls of your small minds with the real guts, gore, and brains of our beloved evil realms. I implore you to set down today or tonight and seek out one book in your favorite genre written by a person without a penis. Trust me– you will thank me later (after you get done cursing yourself for being a dolt and apologizing to the other half of our amazing writing community).

To all of you kick ass and gifted female writers…I say, CHEERS!

Here are a few Good Reads links for you to check out to some of my favorite vagina carrying authors:

Damien Walters

Mercedes M. Yeardley

Kristin Dearborn

Rena Mason

Sarah Langan

and a link to an interview I conducted for HorrorNovelReviews.com with Mercedes M. Yardley:

Mercedes M. Yardley Talks ‘The Hunger Artist’, High Body Count Fairytales and Being a Busy Mother to Boot