Friday, July 31, 2015

Read me!

It's been a busy last few months, and I'm pleased to see some of last season's stories making it to print.


Idolators of Cthulhu

There are those who chant the eldritch songs, who gather in nameless places to celebrate the return of the great Old Ones. For millennia their tales have not been told. Within these haunted pages you will find their stories of yearning, terror, murder, and a faith that defies the understanding of humanity. Come and look into the minds of the Idolaters of Cthulhu.

That's how the new anthology from Alban Lake Publishing is being described. With stories expanding the popular Cthulhu Mythos originated by H.P. Lovecraft, this anthology explores the darker side of an already dark subject. 

The Idolaters of Cthulhu is edited by H. David Blalock and Herika R. Raymer. The anthology is structured in three parts with a foreword by Blalock and atmospheric poetry from classical writers adding to the overall picture. The anthology opens with Beyond the Wall of Sleep by Lovecraft himself and closes with the powerful poem Afterwards by Clark Ashton Smith.

My story, "Fatwa" is the second story in the Incursion section.

Copies are available from Alban Lake Publishing and from Smashwords and Amazon.


 And in the FLASH category:

 I'm also happy to report I will have TWO new flash pieces in the lovely graphic anthologies produced by The Daily Nightmare.

(In case you missed it, my piece "RIP Ellipses" can be found here:  22 More Quick Shivers)

The new anthologies, one focused around the concept of "bugs" and the other featuring authors from the Midwest, will be decorated flash fiction, words transformed into images via creative typography. I was extremely impressed with Daily Nightmare's previous anthologies and the word on the street is that they're going to try a Kickstarter for a color edition of one of the new ones! I'll post the links when they become available.


Appearances:


I'm a guest at this year's Imaginarium in Louisville, KY, so stop by and say hello!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

READ THIS: Horror Library: The Best of Volumes 1-5

Horror Library: The Best of Volumes 1-5

 

Equal parts weird and creepy


This book opens with a story that stabs you in the soul, and each successive piece twists the knife a little more. Collected from previous Horror Library volumes, this is an anthology of tales ranging from the darkly fantastic to the utterly terrifying.
Several of the stories are what I consider subtle horror: creepy and unnerving, low-key and readable, but the kind of material that will haunt you for weeks after you read it. All stay within the boundaries of good taste, even those containing the most violence. If you’re looking for splatter and gore, you’ll want to look elsewhere. If you’re looking for contemporary horror, the kind that evolves out of the complex and conflicted world of the 21st century, you’ll love this book. 
There are some weird stories, a few wicked ones, and some that will send parents to their child’s bedrooms in the middle of the night, just to check, you know. The stories are arranged in an up and down of pace and tension, so reading the whole anthology through in one sitting is like riding a roller coaster on a replay loop that lasts for 300 pages. 
One Caveat: As a novice horror writer, I found the work in this book to be slightly demoralizing. Usually in an anthology this size there are a few truly noteworthy stories, some good ones, and a few that are unremarkable. This book, however, is literary gold from page one. The elements of craft are so well-polished, the writing techniques so varied, the stories themselves so unique and fresh that aspiring writers might be tempted to chuck it all and take up gardening instead. My advice: treat this book like a textbook on horror writing. Analyze what the authors did and how they did it. Read the book a few times for pleasure, then read it again with an eye on structure, character, dialogue, setting, plot. Then go forth and write scary.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Timeline of the Submission Process

Breakdown of the fiction submission process:

Day One:
Submit story to publication. Double check 15 times that you have the correct email address.
(If using Submittable, double check that you didn't accidentally withdraw the manuscript.)

Days Two through Fourteen:
Check email every 12 seconds.
Experience outrage that publication does not respond instantly.

Day Fifteen:
Alternately assume rejection while at the same time assuming an acceptance with the same level of enthusiasm as what was shown in Ralphie's "theme" day dream in "A Christmas Story."

Day Sixteen:
Read over submitted manuscript and realize it still has serious structural problems. Secretly hope to be rejected so you can fix said manuscript.

Day Twenty:
Assume manuscript lost in the ether. Consider resubmitting under a different name. Ultimately decide to let it go gentle into that dark night.

Day Twenty Five (or Ninety One, depending on the publisher): Hour One:
Receive rejection email.

Same day: Hour One and one minute:
Experience outrage that someone would reject such brilliance.

Same day: Hour One and six minutes:
Happy dance over the opportunity to revise rejected manuscript

Same day: Hour One and eight minutes:
Experience outrage that someone would reject such brilliance.

Same day: Hour One and ten minutes:
Question your abilities. Confirm confidence in your abilities by reading poorly-written erotica. Have a drink. Start new story.

Same day: Later than night:
Experience outrage that your work isn't on the level you want it to be. Finish new story and start second new story.

Following weeks:
Revise rejected story. Submit revised story. Go back to day one and do it all over again. Repeat process for the rest of your natural life.




Monday, February 23, 2015

I'm in the News!

















As part of February's "Women in Horror Month," promotion, my publisher,  Charon Coin Press, is being exceptionally kind and giving me some media mention!

First up,  I have an interview on the main site, where I share my view on what being a women in the horror industry is really like:

http://charoncoinpress.com/2015/02/23/women-in-horror-month-feature-amanda-hard/ 


And I also have a guest editorial article over on HorrorTree,  "Short Kisses and Dark Nights," where I talk about the short form in horror fiction:

http://horrortree.com/wihm-short-kisses-and-dark-nights/









Thank you, Jerry and Margie, for believing in me and pushing me, onwards and upwards!
-Amanda

Bram Stoker Awards Short List Announced

So congratulations to everybody who made it to this year's Bram Stoker Awards ballot!

FINAL BALLOT

And a special shout-out and congratulatory high-five to Usman T. Malik, whose story, “The Vaporization Enthalpy of a Peculiar Pakistani Family” is not only up for a Stoker, but also for a Nebula!  Way to go, Usman!

(One of the advantages of being in the HWA is getting to read authors before they achieve Stephen King-esque popularity. Well, that and all the free books...)

Friday, January 30, 2015

Let Play Books With Friends!

It was a crazy end-of-year here, but 2014 proved remarkably productive. The first fruits of my last year's labors should be hitting the shelves this spring. Here's hoping everyone had a great holiday season, and in case you still have leftover Christmas money, why not give these up and coming releases by my friends and colleagues a try:


State of Horror: North Carolina edited by Jerry Benns

Amazon Link

I've pimped this series before because I loved the first two volumes. This one is just as good, just as weird, just as well done.

From the publisher: The State of Horror series makes another stop on the tour of the United States. This time we visit the Tar Heel state—North Carolina. Come with us as we find out if the Grey Man truly brings warnings of impending forces of nature. Meet Alice, a visitor to the state who has a knack for picking the numbers in a game of Chicken Bingo. How far will a man go to find his beloved cat? What is the link between a dog and a transient? Ghosts visit the living, ancient entities come to collect their due, a unique neighborhood where things are not as they seem, and the realization that some monsters are of the human kind, are all stops along the tour.




A Dark and Winding Road by Matthew Weber
Amazon Link
11 weird, wonderful, and sometimes disgusting tales by my very talented critique partner. Although when he launched this book, he packaged it in a barf bag, the stories aren't splatter-punk gore. This book satisfies my desire for justice to be served. In Weber's world, if you're a jerk, you get what you deserve. I like that world, and I like his work.











Tales of a Goth Librarian II by Kimberly Richardson
Amazon link
A second volume of disturbingly beautiful short stories by the author of The Decembrists. Richardson has an intriguing "literary" style that makes reading her work something like drinking a very fine wine in very expensive crystal. (Although she would prefer absinthe to a cabernet.) I liked the first volume of her work so much I bought copies for Christmas presents. (If you received a copy of that book from me, then THIS is the woman I was telling you about!)

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Just in time for Halloween: 22 More Quick Shivers

 
So Yay!


My flash piece, "RIP ellipses," a 100-word story about an inept necromancer, has made it to print.

Here's the 411 on this project:

22 Quick Shivers from DailyNightmare.com is a different kind of graphic literature. This second annual anthology presents a collection of 22 horror tales, each 100 words in length, that each re-tells a nightmare posted on DailyNightmare.com. The twist is that each story is graphically typeset to enhance the mood and invite the reader to slow down and experience the sensations of a nightmare.

It's a beautiful book, and I'm excited to share a table of contents with some pretty heavy hitters in the horror community.