Thursday, 16 July 2015

Get your scares on!

Some of you who check in with this blog regularly will know that as well as doing fairies, I also do scaries. I have always loved the horror genre, ever since those first illicit readings of Point Horror under my duvet as a young teenager.

Horror is my thing - I mean, really my thing, which is strange because I am really rather a sensitive soul and to the outside world, there would never be a suspicion as to the darkness that lies deep within my heart; metaphorical of course.

As part of my writing journey, I have written several short horror stories, which have been published in numerous anthologies.

My horror writing started with a submission to the sadly now defunct Indie Horror e-zine and writer's forum, with a story called The Venus Club. This little story was my first real stab at writing a form I love and revere. (I still argue that it's the hardest genre to write well.) To my surprise, it went on to win their Spring Horror Story competition, and that gave me the inspiration and motivation to write and submit more of my short stories.

The Venus Club was also in a way the very first origins of my Young Adult stand alone novel, 'Beautiful Freaks' and so it maintains a very special place in my heart.


Anthology writing became a bit of a 'thing' for me for a couple of years. It was nice to just write and hand over my stories without having to worry about all the final flight-checks and publishing. At around that time I met Jeff Bennington online and we established an online friendship which I still hold dear. He was writing phenomenal indie published works in the horror genre, and was a key part of a movement towards indie writing being legitimised and pushed to the highest quality. I read several of his books and was blown away. He began a series of anthologies called 'Creepy' and he kindly accepted a couple of my stories for submission. 'The Haunting of Heathmoore House' and 'The Wishing Well Witch'.

Also at around that time, I discovered a great online e-zine called 'Sirens Call' run by the wonderful Nina D'Arcangela and her team. I submitted a couple of stories prompted by their edition of Women's Horror Month. They too have been kind enough to feature me several times over the years.

As part of my growing role at Little Bird Publishing, I took on the project of Dark Heart and Night Shade, an anthology project, which was designed, not to make money (we'd happily give away copies to anybody that wanted them) but to create a collective of authors who would collaborate on a collection of stories. The idea was to showcase and give authors a 'validated' publication which they could reference as part of their publication history.
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I loved working on Dark Heart and Night Shade, and the three books that came out of that project are really special; as well as being of an amazing quality. However, creating an anthology is an incredible drain on your own personal creativity reserves. Although we were getting increasing numbers of submissions (so many that the read-through time alone started to drift into months)  the amount of editing and liaison required to work with ten different authors, all with their own approaches, unique styles and expectations became increasingly unsustainable - especially when nobody was making any money.

However, Dark Heart and Night Shade continues to be a project on hold rather than a project consigned to the trash bin, and I am quite certain that there will be a time in the near future when it is right to resurrect it. You can find out more about it at the Dark Heart & Night Shade blog HERE

In the meantime, Night Shade Volume 1 is on FREE download all this weekend and it's a really great chance to embrace some new writing and get to know some new authors. Here are the links to the Amazon promotion, so please fell free to splash them around all over your social media platforms.

There are stories and poems included from the following authors, by Katie M. John (Author),  Edward Drake (Author),  Red Tash (Author), Axel Howerton (Author), Jayd Green (Author),  Petra Pavlikova (Author),  Laurie Lyons (Author), Katarina Emg√•rd (Author), Sergio Palumbo (Author)                 

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