Books Everywhere!

With so much going on and such incredibly slack admin skills at work lately, allow me please to take a big, deep breath.

NOVEL: SEEING DOUBLE

Barged out the gate with Grey Matter Press and is doing much better than my darkest fears promised. (As an artist, anything I produce is swiftly followed by a legion of demons screaming doom in my ear. And yet, here I still am. And more importantly, here it is.)

SD has already racked up a few solid reviews on Amazon, and for those who’d like a bit more insight into what went into it, please do take a listen to my podcast interview on this work with the amazing Eddie Generous of Unnerving Magazine.

CHAPBOOK: DOUBLE-BARREL HORROR: SHELLFISH / EXILE

My offering for this awesome little project, fronted by Matt Weber of Pint Bottle Press, is also out now. It’s garnered a smattering of reviews, and I’ve also been thrilled to get some fantastic direct feedback from friends and fellow writers. You can grab it on Amazon.

I highly recommend that anyone in love with short horror fiction take a look at all the offerings from the Double-Barrel project. There are some exceptional authors in there with some top class stories. I wish there were more projects like this, because they truly and utterly rock.

COMING SOON: SUSPENDED IN DUSK II

Edited by Simon Dewar and with an Intro from the formidable Angela Slatter, this awesome anthology will be out soon with Grey Matter Press. The final TOC was announced by Simon on his blog a little while back. Eat your heart out. Let it GUSH.

IN THE WORKS:

Expect some news at some point down the line re a forthcoming novella from me, while I juggle several other art and art-related projects… ellipses are allowed here, because this being the quirky unpredictable world it is, anything can happen at any time.

And I say cheers to that.

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Double Barrel Horror: Out Now

My chapbook from Pint Bottle Press is now out, featuring two of my previously unpublished short stories, ‘Shellfish’ and ‘Exile’.

SHELLFISH: A couple who are at a crossroads in their fledgling relationship head to a beachside boutique hotel for a romantic long weekend away. Memories and realities blur, bringing out the worst in one of them.

EXILE: If all you want is a little solitude and space to yourself, be careful where you go, and what you do with that time. Above all: be careful of your own mind.

I’ve been asked this a lot, so let me say it here quick. A ‘chapbook’ gets its name because while they are relatively short (chapter length, if you will), they are nevertheless stand-alone publications. Slim little volumes where the authors feature complete tales, albeit not particularly long ones. Consider chapbooks the hors d’oeuvres version of literature.

Matt Weber, editor and owner of Pint Bottle Press, had the idea to release a whole bunch of these, each featuring two short stories by a dark fiction author, and all gathered together under the banner ‘Double Barrel Horror’. Other authors included in the project are Simon Dewar, J.C. Michael, John Boden, Chad Lutzke, Patrick Freivald, Vic Kerry, Amanda Hard and K. Trap Jones, M.B. Vujacic, Melissa Lason and Michelle Garza, and of course Matthew Weber himself.

This is a fantastic project, and I truly wish more publishers would do stuff like this. While chapbooks aren’t necessarily the ‘hit single’ equivalent of an author’s work, they are like a nicely put together mix tape. If a reader wants to familiarise themselves with an author without committing to a longer work just yet, this is definitely the way to go.

To see the whole lineup check out this page, or get mine direct here on Amazon.

My sincere thanks to Matt Weber and everyone else involved in this super cool project!

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Novels, Chapbooks, Insanity & Wine

The genesis of a story is always fascinating to observe. Personally I write by the seat of my pants (plotting?? wazzat??), and it’s only as I near the close of a tale that the elements and themes start to come together to form the ending. Sometimes it all seems a little psychic — something mentioned on page 10 gets echoed on page 60 and before you know it, that ‘throwaway’ detail has become a lynchpin to the whole thing. Who woulda known. Editing in itself can be a bit of a whacky process. I’ve written a few stories before that fell out of me so completely that very little (in one or two cases, nothing — ‘Sweet Old Men’, for example) was needed to neaten it all up. I’ve also written stories I believed in, but that were so damn messy I needed to shred the thing several times before I could finally put it down and call it Done (‘Going Home’ — that one was a freaking nightmare to wrap up). All of this, by the way, can take a few days, a few weeks, months… whatever. Never mind the follow-on submission process, all those politely worded little rejections from various editors, the nights you catch yourself gulping back wine on your balcony mooning about how you KNOW it’s a decent story, you KNOW it is, so why won’t anyone buy it, dammit??

Next month my novel SEEING DOUBLE will be out with Grey Matter Press. (Actually, it’s already available for pre-order!) SEEING DOUBLE took me about a year to write, something close to a year to edit, and was welcomed in by the first editors to lay eyes on it — the awesome folks at GMP, Anthony Rivera and Sharon Lawson. Who deserve medals for their patience, just by the way. I finished the first draft in 2015. That means it’s been a big part of my life for something like three years now, and will continue to be for a while yet. When I first started penning it, I had no idea we were in it for the long haul. Because writers pretty much never do. But here we are.

On the other side, a few months ago my writerly pal Simon Dewar put me in touch with Matt Weber of Pint Bottle Press, who’s latest project is to publish a series of chapbooks by various dark fiction authors. Each chapbook contains two short stories by each given author, published piece-meal in bloody, bite-sized chunks of horror literature. Chapbooks! What fun. I had one story lying around (specifically, the one I’ve spent many nights on my balcony mooning about while gulping back wine… yeah, that one) and one I was slowly chipping away at. Now story #1 (‘Exile’) was another one of those stories that came through fully formed, and didn’t need much help in terms of editing. Story #2 (‘Shellfish’) went through a whole bunch of different drafts, seemingly with the sole aim of driving me batshit insane. But I finished it! And as far as I know, I am still sane. Well, at least a little. I think. Um.

These three works of fiction have had remarkably different beginnings, involved totally different processes, and took various lengths of time to complete. And now they’re all going to be out at more or less the same time. Something I find pretty incredible, if I step back and look at what these stories and I have been through together.

This is the magic of art, really. You never know what you’ve started, or where it’s going to take you.

Now put that wine glass down. We’ve got work to do.

 

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Lucas Pederson’s Scares That Care Campaign

SIMON DEWAR

Hi Everybody!

I’m editing a novel Fall to Rise for Dark Recesses Press, by an author called Lucas Pederson. DRP intends to release the guys book at the Scares That Care Weekend,July 21-23, 2017 DOUBLETREE BY HILTON WILLIAMSBURG, VA . That, in and of itself isnt really unusual, however, for Lucas it’s a bit personal.

Lucas.jpg Lucas Pederson

Lucas’ mother has developed Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis which is this incurable neurological disease which in the end stops your breathing and kills you. So going to Scares That Care Weekend would be a really big deal for him.

Lucas mum Lucas’ mum

Lucas has created a gofundme campaign to raise some money to assist Lucas to attend his own book launch, but also to put some funds towards supporting his mother’s medical bills and, with luck, the Scares that Care charity.  Click the go fund me logo below to go to Lucas’ campaign page and please consider donating…

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Debut Novel: SEEING DOUBLE

In another life, circa 2008-2015, I moved to the Far East and set up home. Over the seven years that I lived in a place that was sometimes beautiful and sometimes downright beastly, I learned Chinese (and on the way, how to swear fluently in Russian), got used to eating (or watching other people eat) some truly terrifying things, accepted gas masks as a part of daily life, grew immune to the sight and sound of people spitting all the live long day, and learned more about myself than any other stage of life so far has shown me. Oh, and I wrote. A lot. Like, really a lot. Some of what I produced back then will never see the light of day, but the rest of it got me to pretty much where I am today. Cramped quarters and smoggy skies make the perfect setting for any artist who wants to stop looking out the window and try losing themselves in something else.

In my final year (I didn’t exactly know I was going to leave, but the idea was pulsing through the air) I was, as we say in South Africa, gatvol with pretty much everything around me. Which means I started writing even more. The main focus of all that I-don’t-want-to-be-here-no-more energy resulted in a crazed little MS I titled ‘Seeing Double’.

Fast forward a few months, and the folks at Grey Matter Press (who have published a few of my short stories in the past) contacted me to ask if I had a novel-length work lying around, and if so, could they take a look at it. Fast forward two years, and here we are folks! It actually happened. SEEING DOUBLE will be out in the world in July this year.

SEEING DOUBLE is a story about three individuals living in the Far East, who find that together they inform each other’s dreams, feed each other’s fears… and enable each other to explore levels of brutality Hell itself may seek to emulate. A quick note that this is extreme horror, and not for those who like their fiction safe and cosy. But if you like your horror full-tilt full of sex, gore (and maybe with the odd dash of speculative fiction), this book may well match your flavour.

My humble thanks to Anthony Rivera and Sharon Lawson at Grey Matter Press for their support and encouragement, and for everything they’ve done to bring this book to light.

Watch this space (or my Twitter feed) for updates, or keep an eye on the Facebook page.

And… as all writers like to so eloquently say when their work is finally coming out… YAY!!!

 

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An Interview with BLEEDING CRITIC

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Bleeding Critic. That infamous psycho clown who keeps himself firmly anonymous as he reviews and critiques current and underground horror films. Yep. That one. By some miracle of black magic (and, okay, social media stalking), I got him to crawl out from the sewer (I assume he lives in a sewer. He’s got to be at least partway related to good old Pennywise, right?) and allow me to interview him. A rare wonder, since he pretty much never does interviews. Let’s peg that to the black magic part.

I didn’t get him to take the mask off, but here he is in all his terrifying wonder, talking with the balance of brutal honesty and no-bullshit sensibility that makes him the unique and riveting reviewer and horror authority that he is.

Happy Christmas. Enjoy. And….

“Don’t panic if your screen starts to bleed….”

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Modelling for Horror

I like to describe myself as a Goth in Recovery. It’s an easy tag, as it expresses the essentials: I used to dress exclusively in black, if a band didn’t include heavy electric guitar abuse (Tori Amos excluded, of course) I wasn’t interested, and I couldn’t recognise my own face if my lids weren’t thick with eyeliner deep enough to engrave initials in it. Ah, those were the days. Mosh pits. Jack Daniels and juice concentrate shooters. Low-slung jeans and delicate chains. Deep plum lipstick that stained everything my mouth was even vaguely aimed at, and spiky dog collars that made hugging friends a downright volatile gesture of affection.

Back in those days, I hung out a lot with budding photographer extraordinaire Michael Tarica. We both thought Trent Reznor was God, we truly believed in the power of the karmic nether, and neither of us ever knew when to quit. We once helped each other dye our hair blue, revelling in bad haircuts. He kept me high on whiskey and caffeine while I prepared my final college course presentation (last minute, of course). That’s closeness. But that was also when we were in our early twenties. We are now both in our thirties, and while I no longer shove him heartlessly into the stampeding chaos of mosh pits, or cajole him into running down the street naked, or try talk him into piercing his penis (oh, so many stories!), we remain close friends. And he is now, actually for really real, a highly respected professional photographer who’s work in South African film and photography incites my more superficial pride in being able to call him a friend.

A friend who… for revenge purposes maybe I suspect… recently asked me and another Goth-in-recovery gal pal to pose for his camera, for a Dark/Baroque photo shoot. And when you’ve put some poor dude through all that trauma (I have yet to share the full version of the silver mushroom story, and doubt I ever will!), how can you say no?

Stripped for Michael Tarica, photographer and fellow horror fan, in the interests of Goth-Girl Exploitation. I sacrifice myself as thus. Thanks, Mike. Love you always.

And thanks also to my little micro model, Lycan, who has no Twitter profile or web page as yet. Ha ha. My baby boy, extra almonds for you for being so good. Kiss kiss.

You can follow Michael Tarica @MikeTarica

Or check out his work as a whole at www.miketarica.co.za

And if you want to know about Lycan, or his brother Igor, just ask me.

 
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