Posts Tagged ‘ Charity ’

CHIRAL MAD 5

CM5_indigogo_square

The campaign for Chiral Mad 5 is now live, its primary focus to raise awareness and money for underrepresented demographics around the literary world. All profit from the book will go Black Lives Matter, indefinitely. Donate what you can and get some amazing books. Let’s listen. Let’s react. You can find it here (or click any image).

Also, for the next 60 days, all Written Backwards titles purchased as add-ons through the campaign will go to the cause. Let’s change things.

Previous Written Backwards anthologies have always included emerging talent alongside known names in the industry, spanning short fiction, long fiction, graphic adaptations, poetry, and artwork, and ranging from dark science-fiction and fantasy to horror; all things speculative.

CM5_indigogo_TEITBTBITE

The End Is the Beginning / The Beginning Is the End

That’s the theme for the fifth and perhaps final volume in the Chiral Mad series by Written Backwards. This anthology will be edited by Michael Bailey, recipient of the Benjamin Franklin Award, Bram Stoker Award, and a Shirley Jackson Award nominee. Is this the beginning of the end for Written Backwards, or will this be the end to a new beginning? You get to help decide. And while we’re at it, we are going to raise some serious funds for Black Lives Matter, and represent the underrepresented in the literary world. It’s time to listen.

For this latest chiral dance, the focus is diversity. Past anthologies have slowly improved over the years in this area, with effort always made to find new voices in the literary world, but that has not been enough. We need to hit the world harder. We need to better represent the underrepresented. We need to listen to those voices screaming out. For this fifth act in the series, we are reaching out to places like Botswana, Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia, South Africa, Japan; basically, as far out as we can reach, all over the world, with an emphasis on highlighting underrepresented demographics.

And this time around Written Backwards is asking for your help, both monetarily and to shine light upon new and emerging writers and artists who need to be heard at this important time, those who are otherwise not-so-relatively-known but should be. To do that, we are going back to the roots of what originally launched this small press off the ground: charity. Click here to see the campaign. (or keep reading).

The first Chiral Mad focused on bringing awareness to Down syndrome and raised over $6,000 for various charities, with all work donated, and with all proceeds going to organizations such as the Down Syndrome Information Alliance (DSIA). Chiral Mad 2 paid professional rates to contributors, and profit then went to charity, but didn’t raise nearly as much for the greater good. And both Chiral Mad 3 and Chiral Mad 4: An Anthology of Collaborations were not designed to support charity. This time around, Chiral Mad 5 will pay professional rates to contributors of underrepresented demographics, with all proceeds (everything but the cost to initially create the book) going to Black Lives Matter, indefinitely.

If you have a problem with that, there’s an X at the top right of your screen you can click, or simply throw your phone across the room if that’s what you’re using to read this.

Here’s what we are hoping to accomplish with this not-for-profit project:

  • Support and bring awareness to the Black Lives Matter movement
  • Raise as much money as humanly possible for that cause
  • Create an incredibly diverse anthology of fiction, poetry, and artwork
  • Bring underrepresented talent to the limelight
  • Pay professional rates to that talent
  • Not make money off this anthology whatsoever (other than for the charity)
  • Promote change inside and out of the literary world

The goal is to keep overall cost minimal. More well-known writers invited to the anthology (there are some big names already attached) will be asked to forego payment to keep cost down. Contributors of underrepresented demographics, however, will be offered professional payment (6 cents per word for fiction, a dollar per line for poetry), but may donate their work in lieu of payment if they so choose.

Also, all Written Backwards titles purchased as add-ons during this campaign (60 days) will benefit this campaign to help raise money for the cause, with no profit made by the editor or publisher whosoever.

So, what are you waiting for? Check out the campaign and support however you can, even if that’s simply sharing it.

Chiral Mad 5 will be available in deluxe signed / numbered hardcover, trade hardcover, trade paperback, and eBook. More information is available in the campaign.

promo_layout

POSITIVE +

The world is negative. Admit it. I’ve slowly learned this through life, which is why I radiate positivity. I don’t try to be positive, it just happens. I am a positively charged being. If you’re close, you can feel it flowing off me like some kind of magnetic field, and if you are feeling negative, my superpower will draw you in and wrap around you like a blanket and keep you warm. I will make the hairs on arms stand on end. I will make you smile. And if you don’t, there’s something seriously wrong with you.

I guess that’s why I originally chose to write psychological horror. My work typically highlights beautiful things hidden in the darkest of places. If you’ve read Palindrome Hannah or Phoenix Rose, or any of my short fiction or poetry in Scales and Petals, you know what I’m talking about. Since I first started writing horror (sometime in 1999), and then publishing (2001), my work progressively darkened.

Palindrome Hannah, the debut novel, questioned coincidence and dealt with subjects such as suicide, multiple personalities / possession, domestic violence, child abuse, poverty, mental instability, bullying, and other horrible things. Dark, horrid puzzle pieces that hopefully formed something more beautiful.

Phoenix Rose, the follow-up novel, questioned reality and dealt with sad subjects like family loss, childhood trauma, mental disorders, and the unforgiving balance of life and death, while also focusing on spirituality, hope, sacrifice, and rising from one’s ashes.

While writing those two novels, I published Scales and Petals, a collection of short stories and poems. While a few of the works are on the lighter side of the dark, the rest dive into some rather horrid places. And it only gets darker from there.

Psychotropic Dragon, what I’m currently calling my last horror novel, is ultimately a love story. It is also the darkest, most difficult thing I have ever written. It has taken me over ten years (12?) to get this thing on paper. I kept putting the project on hold because I just didn’t want to finish the damn thing. I’d revisit the novel over the years, writing in bursts of 5,000 to 10,000 word chunks, and then the manuscript would sit for a while. Over a year, at one point. Finally, I gave myself a goal and cranked out the last 15,000 words over the course of a few weeks. Such an exhaustive process. And now it sits again, unfinished, waiting to be edited and rewritten, and edited some more. A few pre-readers are taking a shot at it, but there’s still work to be done. What’s it about? Psychotropic drugs, hallucinations, sex (the good and the absolute worst), child abuse, sexual abuse, dissociative identity disorders, the great eclose of the human condition, and other “real” things. Sick stuff. Some sick, beautiful stuff. It’s a love story, right? Right…

Anyway, there’s even more dark stuff in the works with Inkblots and Blood Spots, what I’m calling my last horror collection. This book contains the short stories and poems written between Phoenix Rose and Psychotropic Dragon. Dark, dark stuff. Dark, but transitional. After closing both of these future books, however, you will realize why these may be my last two “horror” projects. I hope you understand. Truth be told, only a tenth of what I read would be considered horror, and my writing style appears to be going down that path as well.

What about the anthologies?

DSIAPellucid Lunacy was my first editing project, a collection of psychological horror that raised a little over $2,000 for Breast Cancer and Down Syndrome research (donations split down the center), and was a recipient of the International Book Awards and winner of the USA Book News “Best Book” Awards.

The second anthology, Chiral Mad, also psychological horror, fared much better in terms of funds raised for charity. The Chiral Mad tally currently stands at $4,260, with all proceeds going to the Down Syndrome Information Alliance. That is positively amazing. Recently, the DSIA sent a thank you letter for their first check of $3,000. To date, Chiral Mad has received rave reviews and is the recipient of the following:

– Shortlisted for the Grand Prize of an unmentionable award, to be announced May 6th, 2013!
– London Book Festival winner for Anthologies/Collections
– This is Horror Awards, Anthology of the Year runner-up
– USA Book News “Best Book” Awards (Fiction: Anthologies), Finalist
– USA Book News “Best Book” Awards (Best Cover Design: Fiction), Finalist
– Halloween Book Fest Awards, Honorable Mention
– A few more surprises are in store soon…

While I may be cutting back on my own horror fiction (perhaps cutting it out completely), I will continue to edit and publish charity anthologies. That is a certainty. Will they all be psychological horror? Perhaps not, but perhaps yes. Perhaps most certainly yes. If I’m invited to write for a specific horror-themed anthology, I will consider it, but I don’t see myself writing horror anytime soon. What I write will probably have dark elements, but will not be straight up horror. My latest 5 or 6 published stories are borderline horror anyway, so I’ve already started down a more positive path with my writing. “Primal Tongue,” “Bootstrap” and “Hiatus” are examples of this.

Before I forget, I need to mention that Surviving the End (in which my story “Hiatus” appears), edited by Craig Bezant, recently won the Australian Shadow Award for edited publication. This is sort of the equivalent of the Bram Stoker Awards for Australia. Awesome news. “Birthday Suit,” a short story by Martin Livings, also in Surviving the End, won for short fiction.

Anyway, what shall I write? Am I retiring from writing horror altogether? I’m not sure. I’m leaning toward young adult fiction, or even a younger audience. Maybe both. Maybe more than both. Kids are reading, but I look on the shelves under “Young Adult” and I see crap. Vampires, Sex, Werewolves, Sex, Zombies, Sex… it’s too much. Kids need to read something more realistic, something positive. If I go down this route, there will be dark elements in my fiction, but my work will be overall positive, because that’s what the world needs.

Positivity rocks.

VIRAL MAD – PART 2

[ click to start voting ]

Chiral Mad is nominated for “Anthology of the Year” by This is Horror, alongside a list of splendid anthologies. Click the image above to see nominees for all categories in the This is Horror Awards 2012. The voting is simple. Email awards@thisishorror.co.uk with a subject line of ‘Awards 2012 Votes’. Write the category and your first and second choice for each award (or only one). I can only hope you vote for Chiral Mad, but it’s up to you. Below are the five nominees for anthologies, so you can get an idea of what the book is up against. Some fine company. Voting ends January 4th.

1. Chiral Mad, edited by Michael Bailey
2. Terror Tales of the Cotswolds, edited by Paul Finch
3. The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories, edited by Ann and Jeff Vandemeer
4. The Best Horror of the Year Volume 4, edited by Ellen Datlow
5. The Mammoth Book of Body Horror, edited by Paul Kane and Marie O’Regan

I am more than honored to see Chiral Mad on the shortlist for this award, especially since This is Horror is based in the United Kingdom, which means the anthology is making its way around the globe. In fact, this blog for has already reached nine countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, India, Finland, South Africa, Switzerland, and Netherlands (WordPress has some nice built-in analytics).

The London Book Festival has just named Chiral Mad as the Winner of their Compilations/Anthologies category!

London Book Festival 2012[ click for results ]

Chiral Mad was also recently recognized as an Award-finalist for the 2012 USA Best Book Awards in multiple categories (Best Cover Design: Fiction, and Fiction: Anthologies). Click the award logo for a full list of winners and finalists.

The 2012 Halloween Book Fest Awards, held in Hollywood, California, also recognized Chiral Mad as an Honorable Mention earlier this year.

Bram Stoker Awards, you say? Why not? According to the official recommendation list, Chiral Mad has been recommended for the award by multiple parties, as well as three of the individual stories: Inevitable” by Meghan Arcuri, “Experiments in an Isolation Tank” by Eric J. Guignard, and “Some Pictures in an Album” by Gary McMahon.

The latest review of the anthology comes from the San Francisco Book Review: “Chiral Mad positively affects the world before negatively affecting your psyche.” The review specifically mentions “Need” by Gary Braunbeck, “Brighter Her Aura Grows” by David Hearn, and “Underwater Ferris Wheel” by yours truly. Read why San Francisco Book Review calls the anthology “the perfect book for fans of psychological horror, people who like to be truly bothered rather than splashed with blood and gore” in their four star review.

I would also like to thank Jack Ketchum for his continued efforts to promote this book. He has tweeted about the anthology on five separate occasions, and each time it has directly impacted sales. He has quoted lines from three Chiral Mad stories: “Mirror Moments” by Christian A.Larsen, “The Apologies” by Erik T. Johnson, and “There are Embers” by Chris Hertz, and has sent the following messages to his thousands of followers: “Want a copy of CHIRAL MAD? Check http://bit.ly/Tapp4o  for details. Did I mention all proceeds go to Down Syndrome charities?” and “Friday reads: CHIRAL MAD, solid antho edited by Michael Bailey. All proceeds go to Down syndrome charities — and I’m happy to be in it…” Jack Ketchum, you are incredible.

Last but not least, the money. I will post the amount on a separate line for impact…

$3,000 and counting.

Good work, everyone. Continue spreading the virus that is Chiral Mad. Many more reviews are one the way…

%d bloggers like this: