Posts Tagged ‘ Rena Mason ’


February is home to a few important things worth celebrating: Black History Month, my birthday (I turn 39 this year, in case you were wondering), and Women in Horror Month. WiHM for short. February is a strange month, no doubt. Sometimes it has 29 days, and sometimes 28. The word is even difficult to say: Feb-ru-ary (not like brewery, despite how some pronounce it) and it’s often misspelled with a third ‘r,’ making it sound more like library than the month it’s supposed to be. (And please note that library only has two r’s despite most mispronouncing it li-bary with only one). Where was I going with all this? Oh, yeah. Women in Horror Month!


WiHM is no way implies that you should only read works by female writers in the month of February. That’s just stupid. You should be reading female writers as often as you can, horror or not. But this month, February, is an internationally-recognized time to celebrate women in horror, so that’s what we’re going to do, and I’m going to point out a few female writers that deserve more attention. These women are not arranged in any particular order; they are arranged chaotically, in fact, because that’s how my mind works. Some of these names you may recognize, some you may not; either way, you should be reading what these women are writing, and so I’m going to share a few places to perhaps start.

Emily B. Cataneo – She popped into my head first for three reasons: 1) Dallas Mayr (Jack Ketchum) originally ousted her as a writer to watch and he’s been on my mind lately; 2) She’s a brilliant new writer with indescribable prose; and 3) I published one of her first short stories (if not her very first) called “A Guide to Etiquette and Comportment for the Sisters of Henley House” for Chiral Mad 2Dallas asked if I’d be willing to give her a try, Emily sent me the story, and the rest is history. Since then, I’ve published “The Rondelium Girl of Rue Marseilles” for Qualia Nous, “The Black Crow of Boddinstraße” for Chiral Mad 3, and will be publishing her again in the forthcoming Chiral Mad 4, a short story called “In Her Flightless Wings, a Fire,” co-written with Gwendolyn Kiste. Where else can you find her work? Buy her debut fiction collection, Speaking to Skull Kings and Other Stories, which made the Bram Stoker Awards preliminary ballot. It’s incredible.

Gwendolyn Kiste – This is how my mind works. I think of one writer and it leads to another. I’d never heard of Gwendolyn prior to reading the collaborative “In her Flightless Wings, a Fire,” but quickly remedied that by reading And Her Smile Will Untether the Universe (which it does). This fiction collection shows her range with storytelling, and  rightfully made the Bram Stoker Awards preliminary ballot this year. I also look forward to picking up her recently released novel Pretty Marys All in a Row

Notice all these hyperlinks? I’ve made it easy for you to click these titles and add them to your Amazon carts. You can thank me later, and your wallet can hate me later.

Damien Angelica Walters – If you haven’t read Damien, you should fix that. I’ve had the pleasure of publishing some of her short fiction, namely “The Whipping Girls” in Chiral Mad 3, “Filigree, Minotaur, Cyanide, Bloom” in Adam’s Ladder, and will be proudly publishing her again in Chiral Mad 4 with a novelette called “Golden Sun,” which she co-wrote with Richard Thomas, Kristi DeMeester & Michael Wehunt (can you imagine collaborating with 3 other writers?). She also provided the introduction to Paul Michael Anderson’s debut fiction collection, Bones Are Made to Be BrokenBut Damien didn’t seek me out, I sought her. This was after reading her novel Paper Tigers. Check out her new fiction collection, Cry Your Way Home.

Roberta Lannes – The female writers I’ve listed so far have incredibly powerful voices, which of course makes me think of Roberta Lannes. Gene O’Neill is responsible for pointing me in her direction. “She doesn’t flinch,” he said, which, if you know Gene, is perhaps one of the greatest compliments he could possibly give to a writer. And she later provided a short story called “The Raven in a Dove’s Nest” for The Library of the Dead, and later “Painting the Burning Fence” for Adam’s LadderI’m still discovering Roberta Lannes, but you should know that what I’ve read so far of her stuff is some of the strongest writing I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. She doesn’t flinch. Ever.

Lisa Morton – Most horror aficionados know her as the President of the Horror Writers Association. She’s also probably one of the most recognizable names on this list (both her fiction and nonfiction), so I’m not going to go into too much detail. Writing about Gene and about Adam’s Ladder lead my brain here, since her story “Eyes of the Beholders” appears in that anthology (the first time I’ve published her work, believe it or not), and she provided the introduction for Gene O’Neill’s re-release of The Burden of Indigo. I’ve read her fiction for years, but I’m just now getting around to her nonfiction. So where should you start? I’d recommend Ghosts: A Haunted History, or The Samhanach and Other Halloween Treats. Especially if you love Halloween. Lisa’s a big fan of that holiday. Or simply Google- or Amazon-search her by name. She’s in just about every horror anthology out there, and rightfully so.

Rena Mason – The Horror Writers Association led me here, to Rena’s name. She’s been volunteering at the HWA for years, and over the years we’ve become good friends. But her writing is kind of spectacular as well. I highly recommend her debut novel The Evolutionist, which won the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a First Novel. And her short fiction can be found in a few anthologies I’ve edited: “Ruminations” in Qualia Nous (which I rejected for Chiral Mad 2 for consistency, but later specifically requested for Qualia Nous;  a good decision, ultimately, since she ended up winning the Stoker that year for short fiction), as well as “Jaded Winds” for The Library of the Dead, and most recently “I Will Be the Making of You” for Adam’s LadderCan you tell I’m a fan of her work? You should be too.

Hopefully, by this point, you’re not too taken aback by me mentioning a bunch of short fiction published in anthologies I’ve edited. That’s not the point. I’d like to think that I have good taste in female writers, and so I keep publishing them as I find them. Once you find something good, you tend to stick with it, right? There’s a reason these names keep popping up in my anthologies. They are all incredible writers, which leads me to …

Mercedes M. Yardley – I first met Mercedes at KillerCon in Las Vegas, around the time I first met Dallas Mayr and Gene O’Neill. I tried on a pair of her high heels, because we happen to share shoe sizes, and we accompanied Mason Ian Bundschuh’s ukulele renditions of Nine Inch Nails and, well, I should be mentioning her writing. Anyway, she took home the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in Long Fiction a few years ago for her story Little Dead Red. She also has a wonderful novel out called Pretty Little Dead Girls that you should add to your cart if you haven’t already. Unfortunately, I’ve only published one of her short stories, “The Dead Collection” in Chiral Mad 3. Yes, Mercedes likes the word “Dead,” and loves writing dark little things about death. Her most recent short story, “Loving You Darkly” is currently on the Bram Stoker Awards preliminary ballot.

Okay, time to talk about some women I haven’t published. Agreed?

Sarah Pinborough – You probably know this name by now. If you don’t, there’s something missing from your library. Sarah’s been doing this for a while, and she’s damn good at it. One of my favorite novels last year was one of hers, called Behind Her Eyes, which is phenomenal. If you’re a fan of Gillian Flynn or J. Lincoln Fenn (don’t worry, I’ll get to them very soon), Sarah Pinborough is right up your alley. She’s written many books, such as The Language of Dying and a few fiction collections. Look her up, and start reading everything she’s given us so far.

Gillian Flynn – You probably know her; if not by name, by book title, or perhaps by movie title. She’s perhaps most well-known for her novel Gone Girl (which was made into a decent movie with Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, and Tyler Perry, and the score composed by none other than Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross of Nine Inch Nails (See how my mind works? I’m already back to NIN)). Anyway, before that, Gillian was responsible for two books I love dearly: Sharp Objects, and Dark Places. Give those two books your time, and then read Gone Girl if you haven’t, or if you’ve only seen the movie. If you like those, you’ll probably like Damien Angelica Walter’s previously mentioned Paper Tigers.

J. Lincoln Fenn – What can I say about J. Lincoln Fenn? Well, if there’s a female version of Chuck Palahniuk out there (in terms of clean, quick prose), she’s it. I first learned of her work from the Bram Stoker Award novel jury. This was one of the books / authors I’d never heard of who submitted work for consideration. The book was Dead Souls, an incredibly well-written sophomore novel from a newish writer. Each word in that book packs a punch, not a single word wasted. Both Jack Ketchum and Chuck Palahniuk come to mind when I think of her self-editing pen. So, of course, I sought out more of her work and found Poe, which I also enjoyed. So much, in fact, that I reached out to J. Lincoln Fenn (I quickly learned this was a pen name), and I now have a short story of hers for a future anthology I’m putting together.

Tlotlo Tsamaase – You’ve probably never heard of her … yet, but Tlotlo is a writer from Botswana. I first discovered her while reading submissions for Dark Regions Press. I fell in love with a manuscript she’d submitted for consideration and desperately wanted to publish it. But she was seeking agents around that time, and so of course I wanted her represented instead of her book going to small press (I’m crazy, right?). I even created a book cover that will never be used. Anyway, I saw her incredible potential, in other words. I’m not sure what the current status is on that novel (I’m avoiding mentioning the title only for this very reason, or in case it changes), but I’m hoping we’ll see Tlotlo Tsamaase in print soon, anywhere and everywhere books are sold. So, where can you find her? Try her website for now. I reached out to her for a short story for the same anthology mentioned above (with new work by Fenn and perhaps others on this list).

Linda D. Addison – Okay, I have a confession. Until only a few years ago, I was under the impression that Linda was a poet. Well, she is a poet, but I thought she was only a poet. I know, kinda dumb on my part, but I have to say this: Linda’s poetry is so incredibly important to the horror genre (or any genre, for that matter), that perhaps this overshadowed her fiction writing talents, at least from my perspective. She’s also a brilliant editor and public reader. And I know she’s probably reading this, so I have another confession to make. Until only a few years ago, I was also under the impression that we were around the same age (her looking younger than me, of course). Not until I was in a hotel room with Brian Keene (who also thought she was much younger), Dallas Mayr (who is infinite), Linda Addison (the poet and writer), and a few others, did I learn that she’s in fact old enough to be my mother (my young mother and, of course, another part of me wishes she was my mother). Linda’s incredible. She’s also receiving the Horror Writers Association’s coveted Lifetime Achievement Award this year, which is well-deserved. Her anthology, Sycorax’s Daughters is a good place to start to see her mad editing skills, and it’s currently on the preliminary ballot for the Stoker. I’d point you to some of her fiction, but I’m not there yet. I’m still learning what she’s done outside of poetry (forgive me).

Stephanie M. Wytovich – While we’re on this poetry kick, I can’t help but mention a few poetry collections by Stephanie M. Wytovich (who is also a fiction writer, which I already knew because I did some preliminary work on her first novel, The Eighth (although she is probably just learning this because I sometimes work behind-the-scenes)). The book was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a First Novel, although that year she instead won a Stoker for her poetry collection, BrothelI was fortunate enough to get some of her poetry for  Chiral Mad 3She’s on the Bram Stoker Award preliminary ballot again this year with her new poetry collection, Sheet Music to my Acoustic Nightmare, and a Guest of Honor at next year’s StokerCon event in Michigan. She’s good people.

Lisa Mannetti – You’ll always see Lisa’s name pop up around award season, whether it’s the Bram Stoker Awards or the Shirley Jackson Awards. There’s a reason for that. She can write. My only regret is that I have never published one of her stories. I hope to someday fix that. And if she’s reading this … well, Lisa, let’s make that happen sooner rather than latter. So what of hers do I recommend? How about the Bram Stoker and Shirley Jackson Award-nominated novella The Box Jumper? That’s where I’d start, anyway. Or perhaps The Gentling Box, which took home one of those awesome statues a few years ago. Or simply search her name at Amazon and you’ll get a boatload of anthologies containing her work.

How about some up-and-comers:

B.E. Scully – Along with Roberta Lannes, Bobbi Scully (aka B.E. Scully) has that same “no flinch” vibe with her writing that Gene O’Neill is so often talking about. In fact, Gene first introduced me to this wonderful writer, and now we’re close friends. “She doesn’t mess around,” he’d said, and he was right. Along with her involvement with Firbolg Publishing, Bobbi has been cranking out some incredible fiction. I know this, because I’ve placed some of her work in my anthologies. Look for her story “The Mythic Hero Most Likely to Squeeze a Stone” in Adam’s Ladder, “Dog at the Look” in You, Human, and a new short story in that same forthcoming anthology I’m editing that includes work by J. Lincoln Fenn and Tlotlo Tsamaase.

Erinn L. Kemper – Ah, one of my only beta readers. I don’t typically let anyone other than my wife read work before it’s published, but there are/were a few. Dallas Mayr was one of them. Gene O’Neill and Darren Speegle sometimes get the opportunity. And then there’s Erinn. For some reason she (and Meghan Arcuri, below) sometimes offers to read my ugly stuff before I can make it less ugly, and for some reason I let her. Why? Because she’s good. Very good. So good, in fact, that she and F. Paul Wilson have a collaborative novella appearing in the forthcoming Chiral Mad 4. Yes, F. Paul Wilson. And I know of some other incredible veterans with their eyes on her as well. If Paul thinks she’s good, and I think she’s good, she must be something brilliant, no? I’m desperately waiting on her first novel, but in the meantime, you can find her short fiction all over the place. I place her work whenever and wherever I can. She’s in just about every anthology I’ve ever worked on, and I’m constantly recommending her work to other editors.

Meghan Arcuri – We’ve gone through a few Borderlands Press boot camps together, and over the years we’ve become close friends. I was also her mentor in the Horror Writers Association (for as long as they’d let me; apparently there are time-limits), and even placed her first professional sale, a story called “Inevitable” in the first volume of Chiral MadI guess you could say that it was inevitable all this happened, because Meghan is going places. Her story “Watch Me” then appeared in Chiral Mad 3, and it was then I realized Meghan was trying to tell me something with her titles. Watch me, she was saying, as if she knew she was making a name for herself one story at a time. She doesn’t have a story appearing in the forthcoming Chiral Mad 4 (nor did she have one in Chiral Mad 2), but she’s odd, I guess, and will most likely appear in Chiral Mad 5 (because the number is odd, get it?) if such a thing happens, and her story will probably be titled something like, “See, I Told You!”

There are many women writing in the horror genre that deserve attention during Women in Horror Month (and every other month, for that matter), and I wish I had time to include every single one, and with recommendations and links. And there are many others involved in various book-related things composing their own lists of women in horror you should be reading. My advice? Start taking names. Start reading. Let’s celebrate!

Here are a few bonus names (some you may already know, some you may not) in no particular order): Jessica May Lin, Laura Lee Bahr, Yvonne Navarro, Mary SanGiovanni, Autumn Christian, Sarah Langan, Seanan McGuire, Caitlín R. Kiernan, Lucy A. Snyder, Rachel Autumn Deering, Kaaron Warren, Elizabeth Hand, Tananarive Due, Helen Marshall, Chesya Burke, Lucy Taylor, Kelli Owen, Elizabeth Massie, Chris Marrs, Amber Fallon …

I could go on and on, and wish I could write about every single one, but, you know, reality.


Update, as of 11:00am, 09/20/17: We are nearly there!

Adam’s Ladder is now 82% funded, thanks to your generosity, and to an incredibly lucky campaign backer who snagged the signed Stephen King book. Along with pre-ordering in eBook, trade paperback, and deluxe hardback, there are a few editing and book design packages available, but they are going fast. There is even a $4 option for coffee lovers, and rare/signed books available now and again throughout the campaign. Help us get to 100% so we can bring this book to life! Once completely funded, unlocks will be made available to offer campaign-backers free books as our way of saying thanks!

To see how you can help, click the image below, or anywhere you see Adam’s Ladder. This is an all-or-nothing campaign. Written Backwards has taken over production of this book from another publisher, so pre-orders are vital in bringing this book to life, and to assure that writers and artists are paid professionally for their work. Upon reaching 100% funding, Adam’s Ladder will immediately go into print production, with trade paperbacks and ebooks available in October, and the  hardbacks in November. So, you won’t have to wait long to receive your books.


If you are thinking about pre-ordering the deluxe hardback, please note that only 100 of these will ever be produced, so they will be quite the collector’s item. The 100-numbered limited hardcover edition of Adam’s Ladder, signed by editors Michael Bailey and Darren Speegle, will be bound in black leatherette, with silver foil stamping on the cover and spine, a full-color wraparound dust jacket, and printed on 60# natural offset paper. Those pre-ordering the hardback will also receive a trade paperback of Adam’s Ladder, as well as the eBook. And if we reach our unlock goals, you can expect up to two additional free trade paperback books and an eBook of the next anthology by Written Backwards, for as little as $95.

Support small press, and we will keep cranking out quality fiction!

The full Table of Contents includes:

“Ch-ch-changes” – Chaz Brenchley
“Filigree, Minotaur, Cyanide, Bloom” – Damien Angelica Walters
“How He Helped” – Ramsey Campbell
“Spirits” – Gene O’Neill
“The Mythic Hero Most Likely to Squeeze a Stone” – B.E. Scully
“My Father, Dr. Frankenstein” – John Langan
“Undersound” – Mark Morris
“A Laughing Matter” – Erinn L. Kemper
“The Serile” – Paul Meloy
“Eyes of the Beholders” – Lisa Morton
“Strings” – Tim Lebbon
“Sliced Bread” – Jeffrey Thomas
“I Will Be the Making of You” – Rena Mason
“Nameless Citizen” – Brian Evenson
“Painting the Burning Fence” – Roberta Lannes
“Pitty This Busy Monster Not” – Scott Edelman
“An End to Perpetual Motion” – Mark Samuels
“Swift to Chase” – Laird Barron

Adam's Ladder - Cover


Written Backwards is taking over the production of Adam’s Ladder, an anthology of dark science fiction co-edited by Michael Bailey and Darren Speegle, but we need your help to bring this book to life!

To help fund this project, an Indiegogo campaign has been established and will now through October 15th. This is an all-or-nothing campaign, so help out if you can. Full funding will assure that all contributors receive professional payment for their work. And upon funding, campaign backers won’t have to wait long to receive their book orders. The trade paperback and eBook  are scheduled for release in mid- to -late-October, with the deluxe hardback available in November.

Click the Adam’s Ladder cover below to visit the Indiegogo campaign.

Adam's Ladder - Cover

What is to Become of Humankind?

The future of humankind as an ever-changing organism is a subject of much debate. Where is our evolutionary path leading? Will the next rung take the form of mental transcendence, will it set humankind on a course toward divinity, or will this uncertain path involve a dark and terrible reversion?  Co-editors Michael Bailey and Darren Speegle present eighteen tales of dark science fiction that explore the course of evolution, written by some of the best literary minds in the fields of science fiction and horror:

  • Laird Barron – “Swift to Chase”
  • Chaz Brenchley – “Ch-ch-changes”
  • Ramsey Campbell – “How He Helped”
  • Scott Edelman – “Pity this Busy Monster Not”
  • Brian Evenson – “Nameless Citizen”
  • Erinn L. Kemper – “A Laughing Matter”
  • John Langan – “My Father, Dr. Frankenstein”
  • Roberta Lannes – “Painting the Burning Fence”
  • Tim Lebbon – “Strings”
  • Rena Mason – “I Will Be the Making of You”
  • Paul Meloy – “The Serile”
  • Mark Morris – “Undersound”
  • Lisa Morton – “Eyes of the Beholders”
  • Gene O’Neill – “Spirits”
  • Mark Samuels – “An End to Perpetual Motion”
  • B.E. Scully – “The Mythic Hero Most Likely to Squeeze a Stone”
  • Jeffrey Thomas – “Sliced Bread”
  • Damien Angelica Walters – “Filigree, Minotaur, Cyanide, Bloom”

Adam’s Ladder will be published in eBook, trade paperback, and in a 100-numbered / limited edition (signed by its editors, Michael Bailey and Darren Speegle).

Does it have a book trailer?

Click this image below:


What will the trade paperback look like?

Something like this:

What is to Become of Written Backwards?

Over the last ten years, Written Backwards has published multiple award-winning anthologies, fiction collections, and standalone novels and novellas, ranging from dark science fiction to horror. Previous anthologies include the Bram Stoker Award-winning The Library of the Dead, the Benjamin Franklin Award winning (and Stoker nominated) Qualia Nous, and three volumes of Chiral Mad (the latest also up for a Stoker). Books published by Written Backwards have seen eight individual works nominated for the prestigious Bram Stoker Award, with three of those stories taking home the statue. Other stories/poems have been nominated for the Nebula, the Rhysling, and others. Foreword Reviews Book of the Year, the Indie Book Awards, the Independent Publisher Book Awards, the Eric Hoffer Book Award, the International Book Award … Written Backwards titles have seen over two dozen literary accolades over the years through its handful of titles! But we need your help bringing the next project to life: Adam’s Ladder.

With your help, Written Backwards can continue in its legacy to:

  1. Seek out diverse voices, both new and well-established.
  2. Pay writers, poets, and artists professional rates.
  3. Provide fair publishing contracts.
  4. Design and publish some of the most beautiful books imaginable.

What is to Become of this Campaign?

You’re probably wondering where your money will go for this particular campaign. Here’s the breakdown:

  • 63.64% – goes directly to the writers, which includes professional payment at a per-word rate, plus the cost of contributor copies for the various editions of the book.
  • 31.22% – goes directly to publication costs for the eBook, trade paperback, and hardback editions of the book.
  • 5.14% – covers shipping.
  • And that’s it. Zero profit will be made from this campaign. Any additional funds raised will go directly to future Written Backwards projects, some of which are already lined up as expansions/unlocks within this campaign.

This is an all-or-nothing campaign, so if it doesn’t reach it’s goal, the project gets canned. Anthologies (let’s face it), are expensive to make (but we all want them), mostly because there are so many incredible contributors involved. We need to raise $6,500 to make this book happen, so we’ve come up with some enticing perks.

And that’s how you can help …

Written Backwards has some tricks to bring you even more great (and FREE) books in the form of campaign unlocks and future anthologies.


Pellucid Lunacy was the first anthology published by Written Backwards, and after ten years, the book is getting a face-lift. When the campaign reaches $7,000, all backers (contributing $95 or higher) will receive a complimentary copy of the trade paperback!

The title and author of the third illustrated book in the Allevon series by Written Backwards will be revealed when the campaign reaches $8,000, and all backers (contributing $95 or higher) will receive a complimentary copy of the trade paperback.

The title and tentative cover of the next dark science fiction anthology by Written Backwards will be revealed when the campaign reaches $12,000, and all backers (contributing $95 or higher) will receive a complimentary digital copy in either PDF or EPUB.

[ to-be-announced ] will include fiction by:

Michael Marshall Smith
Ian Watson
Roberta Lannes
Scott Edelman
B.E. Scully
Lynda Rucker
Brian Evenson
Erinn L. Kemper
Chaz Brenchley
Tlotlo Tsamaase
Gene O’Neill
​Richard Thomas
Paul Meloy
… and others TBA



Adam's Ladder - Cover

ADAM’S LADDER, a dark science fiction anthology I co-edited with Darren Speegle, is coming soon from Dark Regions Press. This is the follow-up to DRP’s highly successful return to science fiction with last year’s anthology, You, Human, and Marc Levinthal’s debut novel, Other Music. We’re hoping for an August release for the trade paperback edition.

Table of Contents includes:

“Ch-ch-changes” – Chaz Brenchley
“Filigree, Minotaur, Cyanide, Bloom” – Damien Angelica Walters
“How He Helped” – Ramsey Campbell
“Spirits” – Gene O’Neill
“The Mythic Hero Most Likely to Squeeze a Stone” – B.E. Scully
“My Father, Dr. Frankenstein” – John Langan
“Undersound” – Mark Morris
“A Laughing Matter” – Erinn L. Kemper
“The Serile” – Paul Meloy
“Eyes of the Beholders” – Lisa Morton
“Strings” – Tim Lebbon
“Sliced Bread” – Jeffrey Thomas
“I Will Be the Making of You” – Rena Mason
“Nameless Citizen” – Brian Evenson
“Painting the Burning Fence” – Roberta Lannes
“Pity this Busy Monster Not” – Scott Edelman
“An End to Perpetual Motion” – Mark Samuels
“Swift to Chase” – Laird Barron

What is to become of man?


THE LIBRARY OF THE DEAD - DRP Edition* UPDATE: pre-order for the deluxe signed/limited edition of The Library of the Dead sold out within the first 24 hours, but the trade paperback is still on sale for 33% off at Dark Regions Press.

The Library of the Dead took home the Bram Stoker Award ® for Superior Achievement in an Anthology at the inaugural StokerCon in Las Vegas, NV, hosted by the Horror Writers Association.

I’m still in shock, and at a loss for words, so I’ll keep this short. StokerCon was quite an event, with a book-signing/release for both Chiral Mad 3 (which sold out!) and The Library of the Dead  (which moved quite a lot of copies). Many contributors from both anthologies were available and signed copies like mad. We filled out a bunch of  tip/signature sheets for the future deluxe limited editions coming soon from Written Backwards / Dark Regions Press, including Chiral Mad 3, The Library of the Dead, You Human (the first science fiction anthology in a long time from DRP), The Cal Wild Chronicles (Gene O’Neill), and Other Music (Marc Levinthal). The best way I can describe this mass-signing chaos is through pictures, which you can find at the end of this post.

CHIRAL MAD 3 - DRP Edition

A few copies of the deluxe signed/limited hardbound edition of Chiral Mad 3 remain, which can be pre-ordered by clicking the cover image above; this will be signed by everyone involved, except for King. Chuck Palahniuk, Glenn Chadbourne, and all other contributors will be signing these books, so you will want to pick up a copy. The trade paperback is available for purchase now if you don’t want to wait that long.

As for the conference, I served on only one panel this year alongside fellow anthologists Ellen Datlow, Thomas F. Monteleone, and Stephen Jones, attended a few readings, and kicked back to enjoy the company of longtime friends alongside my better half, Kelly Rumble (who for some reason thinks we’re getting married in a few weeks). Some of the highlights of this ultra-packed weekend include hanging out (lunches and drinks and aftermath shenanigans of celebratory Irish Car Bombs) with mentors Tom Monteleone and F. Paul Wilson (who Kelly Laymon calls ‘Pauly’), my own past HWA mentoree, Meghan Arcuri (an excellent writer), and one of the best damn female voices writing today, Erinn Kemper. And who can forget the wonderful Jack Ketchum, who I was able to dine/drink with on two occasions over the last few weeks (thanks to the World Horror Convention two weeks prior). And of course Gene O’Neill, who is always a treat, meeting Scott Edelman for the first time (after publishing a few of his works), as well as hanging with Hal Bodner, Jason V Brock, Stephanie Wytovich, Weston Ochse, Yvonne Navarro, Mercedes Yardley, Marge Simon, Lucy Snyder, Eric Guignard, Rena Mason, and I’m sure I’m missing a few names here, but basically a who’s-who of Written Backwards titles. The most horrific part of weekend was standing in front of a room packed full of my peers to accept not only one Bram Stoker Award ® for The Library of the Dead, but a second statue on behalf of Mort Castle, Sam Weller, Chris Ryall, and Carlos Guzman for Shadow Show: Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury, which won for Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel. So many great memories… One of the most bizarre, perhaps, was accepting both awards on behalf of Brian Keene, who could not be there (an inside joke).

13179348_10206412283767871_5977074888684614861_nTo help celebrate the Stoker, Dark Regions Press is offering 30% off the trade paperback edition of The Library of the Dead, as well as on pre-orders for the deluxe signed/limited hardbound edition to be released later this year (limited to 26 lettered A-Z). Click the book either above or below, or click here, and enter BRAMSTOKERAWARD as your coupon code when checking out for a 30% discount. If you prefer Amazon, or you run into any problems, you can find it here.

Anyway, the chaos I promised…

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Chiral Mad 3

With the recent announcement that Written Backwards is now an imprint of Dark Regions Press, many exciting things are emerging, such as signed / limited hardback editions of past, present and future Written Backwards titles. The first will be the highly-anticipated Chiral Mad 3, which you can pre-order now by clicking the image above. This will take you to the Dark Regions Press Ever-Expanding Grab Bag #2 campaign, where you can reserve your copy (only 200 will be made), and snag everything the ever-expanding grab bag has to offer while you’re at it. The more people contribute, the more will be included as perks.

Campaign-exclusive trade paperback editions of Chiral Mad 3 are also available for pre-order now for only $20! If you’re been waiting for this anthology, which is illustrated throughout by Glenn Chadbourne (with 45 images), now is the best time to snag a copy… and perhaps a few other goodies from this plethora of wondrous books recently announced by the epicness that is Dark Regions Press and Written Backwards. Here’s a peek at the Table of Contents:

01. The Poetry of Life – Richard Chizmar
02. The Last Rung on the Ladder – Stephen King
03. A Rift in Reflection – Hal Bodner
04. Windows, Mirrors, Doors – Jason V Brock
05. Prayer – Mort Castle
06. The Agonizing Guilt of Relief (Last Days of a Ready-Made Victim) – Paul Michael Anderson
07. The Black Crow of Boddinstraße – Emily B. Cataneo
08. A Flash of Red – Erinn L. Kemper
09. Red Runner vs. The Surgeon, Issue 18 – Jessica May Lin
10. The Dead Collection – Mercedes M. Yardley
11. Watch Me – Meghan Arcuri
12. The Bigger Bedroom – Josh Malerman
13. That Perilous Stuff – Scott Edelman
14. Know Your Code – Ramsey Campbell
15. 3-Dot People – Gene O’Neill
16. Silver Thread, Hammer Ring – Gary A. Braunbeck
17. Those Who Watch From on High – Eric J. Guignard
18. Blood Dust – Max Booth III
19. The Offering on the Hill – Richard Thomas
20. The Whipping Girls – Damien Angelica Walters
21. Seconds – Jack Ketchum

01. Fair – P. Gardner Goldsmith
02. Fail-Safe – Jonathan Balog
03. Folie à Deux – Sydney Leigh
04. Reflecting on Reflections – Bruce Boston
05. Mirror Image – Marge Simon
06. Black River #1 – Elizabeth Massie
07. Prescience – Rose Blackthorn
08. The Speed of Sound – Ciarán Parkes
09. Welcome Home, Darling – Stephanie M. Wytovich
10. Whisper #1 (A Warning) – Erik T. Johnson
11. Whisper #2 (A Prophecy) – Erik T. Johnson
12. Put Me to Dream -Stephanie M. Wytovich
13. Recognizing Trees – Ciarán Parkes
14. Arbitration – Rose Blackthorn
15. Black River #2 – Elizabeth Massie
16. Reflections Through the Raven’s Eye – Marge Simon
17. Beyond Symmetry – Bruce Boston
18. Folie à Plusieurs – Sydney Leigh
19. Insomnia in Reverse – Jonathan Balog
20. Promise – P. Gardner Goldsmith

Yeah, it’s going to rock.

The Library of the Dead

Also available, as an addition to this campaign, is the signed / limited hardback of The Library of the Dead, illustrated in color by GAK. Scroll down toward the end of the campaign page for more information on how to reserve your copy. Similar to the other Written Backwards signed limited hardback editions, only 200 will be made. This anthology of entirely new fiction includes collaborative work by Mary SanGiovanni and Brian Keene, Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon, and stories by Gary A. Braunbeck, Weston Ochse, Yvonne Navarro, Gene O’Neill, Erinn L. Kemper, Chris Marrs, Michael McBride, Lucy A. Snyder, Kealan Patrick Burke, Sydney Leigh, Rena Mason, and starts off with an introduction/novelette by Norman Partridge. The stories within are interconnected by a piece called “The Librarian” by editor Michael Bailey.

There are many other incredible books available in this campaign, including the first volume of Christmas Horror, edited by Chris Morey, which includes stories by John Skipp, Joe R. Landsdale, Jeff Strand, J.F. Gonzalez, Cody Goodfellow, and more.


And what are these other two books?

Marc Levinthal’s debut novel, Other Music, is the first science fiction novel we will be releasing through Dark Regions Sci-Fi, a project I am proud to be working on as our first book in the newly revamped science fiction line at Dark Regions Press. This incredible novel features an introduction by John Skipp. The other is Stephanie M. Wytovich’s debut novel, The Eighth. Both of these incredible books are available in this campaign in both trade paperback and signed / limited hardback. The trade paperbacks are $20 each, and the hardbacks for a little more. Each will be beautiful, so you will definitely want to get your mittens on these.

Check out the campaign. Contribute. Take home some awesome books in the process. As of this evening, the campaign has reached initial funding, which means digital copies of Chiral Mad 3 will be going into the ever-expanding grab bag. The first stretch goal was also reached, which means a digital copy of Other Music will also be going in the bag. And the second stretch goal is nearly upon us, which means a digital copy of The Eighth will go in… and there are many more stretch goals in the works…

What are you waiting for?


The Library of the Dead

The Library of the Dead was recently launched at the World Horror Convention in Atlanta, Georgia, where members of the Horror Writers Association, and many guests, were able to get a first look at this anthology at an hour-long Written Backwards event called “Readings and Shenanigans from The Library of the Dead and Qualia Nous.” Both anthologies were celebrated for their various awards and recognition, with both artwork and books on display (speaking of artwork, I hope to post a blog soon called “Illustrations for the Dead” to cover the beautiful artwork GAK has created for this project).


Readings and Shenanigans for the Library of the Dead and Qualia Nous

The first half of the panel included an introduction of panelists, a short discussion covering the real library of the dead and the original conception of the anthology, how the project was acquired by Written Backwards, as well as a discussion about the photography and the artwork (by GAK) used throughout the anthology. Yvonne Navarro read from her story “Those Who Shall Never Be Named,” followed by Weston Ochse reading from his story “Living Through Better Chemistry.” 10 copies of The Library of the Dead were given out to audience members for asking questions about the anthology. Erinn L. Kemper, Chris Marrs, Rena Mason, and Lucy A. Snyder discussed their stories as well. John Everson and Sydney Leigh (Shawna Bernard) from The Library of the Dead were also in attendance.

The second half of the panel covered Qualia Nous, a literary blend of science fiction and horror. Qualia Nous was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in an Anthology, later to be given out by the Horror Writers Association at the Bram Stoker Award ceremony, although the prize eventually went to Ellen Datlow for her anthology Fearful Symmetries. Both Usman T. Malik and Rena Mason were recognized at this panel for their Bram Stoker Award nominations for Superior Achievement in Short Fiction from this anthology (Usman for his story “The Vaporization Enthalpy of a Peculiar Pakistani Family” and Rena for her story “Ruminations”) and both later took home the prize in a tie. Marge Simon was recognized for her Rhysling Award nomination for her poem “Shutdown,” and I’m happy to report that she also recently took home that prize, which was given out by the Science Fiction Poetry Association (SFPA). Qualis Nous also recently received The Benjamin Franklin Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy (I stopped in to the award ceremony in Austin, Texas a month prior to accept the award), along with being a finalist for the Indie Book Awards for anthologies, a silver medal finalist for the Independent Publisher Book Awards, and winning the International Book Award for science fiction (also a finalist for their anthologies category), and bronze medal winner of the Foreword Reviews’ Book of the Year Awards / INDIEFAB (also a finalist for both their science fiction and horror categories).

Qualia Nous

Readings and Shenanigans for the Library of the Dead and Qualia Nous

Readings and Shenanigans for the Library of the Dead and Qualia Nous

Anyway, at the Readings and Shenanigans event, Marge Simon read her two poems from the anthology: “Shutdown” and “Tomorrow’s Femme, followed by James Chambers reading part of his story “The Price of Faces,” which sparked curiosity in Josh Malerman (author of the stellar Bird Box), which later resulted in his involvement in the upcoming Chiral Mad 3, but much of that will be covered later. Usman T. Malik, Rena Mason, Erinn L. Kemper, Patrick Freivald, Lucy A. Snyder, Jason V Brock, and William F. Nolan also discussed their stories. 10 copies of Qualia Nous were also give away to audience members asking questions about the anthology, so in total 20 books were given away to happy panel attendees at this event.

Tom Monteleone captivating the Anthocon audience

Tom Monteleone captivating the Anthocon audience

Then came Anthocon, one of my favorite conventions, organized by the Four Horsemen in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. At Anthocon, Written Backwards held another one-hour release (and re-release) event, which proved to be just as successful. At the Lazy K, the first of the new Allevon series of illustrated novellas by Written Backwards (and the latest novella by Gene O’Neill), was first up, and Gene was on hand to discuss thoroughly, along with Rena Mason, who wrote the introduction. Instead of Q&A giveaways of books, we handled things differently. Leading up to the event, those who stopped by the Written Backwards vendor table received 5 raffle tickets for each book purchased (and received a copy of At the Lazy K for only $5 (including 5 more raffle tickets)) if purchasing any book offered at the table, which also included Gene O’Neill’s most recent collection, The Hitchhiking Effect. Throughout the hour, we raffled off a few books by Gene, a few books by GAK, along with some of his artwork, freebies from the Written Backwards table, and a few books offered by Chris Marrs. And we discussed more books this time around, including At the Lazy KThe Library of the DeadQualia Nous, and the three Chiral Mad volumes.

Anthocon panel

Anthocon panel and book release

In attendance at the Anthocon panel: Thomas F. Monteleone (who did an unforgettable reading of “When I Was” from Chiral Mad 2, and has a story in Qualia Nous), Gene O’Neill (who discussed At the Lazy K and has stories in just about every Written Backwards release), Christopher Golden (who co-wrote a story with Tim Lebbon for The Library of the Dead called “Faultlines”), James Chambers (who read from his story in Qualia Nous), Kevin Lucia (who also read from his story in Chiral Mad 2), Gardner Goldsmith and Sydney Leigh (who both read some of their poetry from the upcoming Chiral Mad 3 and have stories in the various Written Backwards anthologies), Chris Marrs (who read from her story “A Chimera’s Tale” in The Library of the Dead), Rena Mason (who recently won a Stoker for her work), Meghan Arcuri (from the original Chiral Mad, and one of my fellow Borderlands boot camp grunts from long ago… which made up half the panel, actually), and of course the wonderful GAK (who illustrated The Library of the Dead and will have his hands full in future Written Backwards projects). Gord Rollo was also in attendance. He and Gene O’Neill first conceived the project after visiting the real library of the dead, a place called Chapel of the Chimes in Oakland, California.

Both conventions were incredible, and both book releases/panels were highly successful. Although I took few books with me to the World Horror Convention, nearly every book sold out at AnthoCon, which was roughly 120 pounds or so of books.

What’s next? Promoting At the Lazy K and The Library of the Dead throughout the book award season. Speaking of which, if you are a member of the Horror Writers Association and would like a copy of either of these titles for Stoker recommendation/consideration, please let me know. Send an email to to request either a trade paperback of PDF of either or both titles.

Have you seen the official book trailer for The Library of the Dead? If not, take a gander:

What’s next after all that?

Chiral Mad 3.