short stories

On the sofa with – Horrified Press

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Today I’m on the sofa with Nathan Rowark of Horrified Press, who recently took 1st and 2nd place in this year’s P&E Reader’s Poll.  Read about it on Horrified Press’s website here

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What exactly is Horrified Press, and what do you do

That’s a good question, Merita. What is Horrified Press and what do I do…

Horrified Press is a small press, lovely fun – all warm and cuddly – but what’s this? Arggghhhh… there’s monsters and zombies and undead harlots and gooey, sticky, gory stuff. That’s right, we’re a small horror press that release scary stories – anthologies mostly – to keep you up at night.

What do I do? I’m just like the ringleader. I make sure the monsters don’t eat the readers and the authors keep their ghastly creations on literal leashes.

When did Horrified Press come into being, and how did that happen? Was it a definite choice or did it just happen?

I’ve always loved horror – from movies, literature to video games. It’s in our culture – from the front page of the newspaper that you read over breakfast to the haunted mansion in your kids’ Atari game. Well, maybe we’ve moved on from Atari games now. I started Horrified Press as a label to release my own work to begin with. It went really well and I realised I could be doing this for others. There are many authors out there who would like free editing and advice going forward. After 4 years of proving my own metal I took it upon myself to help more authors do the same. Plus, we publish some great work from semi-pro and established writers too.

From where you are now, where would you like to take Horrified Press into the future? What are your dreams for it?

We’ve taken on some great guest editors and started a new imprint. My hope is that we can take it all the way.

What advice would you give to authors wishing to write horror? What makes a good horror story?

A good story – period. Grammar, style and substance can be learnt/discovered over time. If your stories suck then you could be the best writer in the world and still fail to impress an audience.

Who are your favourite authors, and why?

I enjoy Barker for his poetic verse and King for his sound writing style.

If you could oversee the making of a horror movie, with total control over the process, what would the storyline be?

I’d take a short story I wrote around 3 years ago and expand on its premise.

Do you think there are any areas that are taboo in horror writing, or are you an ‘anything goes’ person?

Anything goes. If you’re trying to scare people but worry about frightening them… it’s never going to work out.

I’ve heard people say that those who like horror must be strange or weird in some way. Do you agree with this?

Totally disagree. It’s the people that seemingly appear normal on the outside that are cutting up their neighbors behind closed doors.

Have you ever had an horrific experience, like any of the stories you’ve published? 

Yeah actually. I had an experience with a ghost (or something). There was a witness present and I had a convo with ‘the thing’. Never did find out why it was there. It will forever bug me to its actual identity and/or purpose.

You often take submissions for anthologies and ezines, how would you advise authors who may wish to submit, to proceed?

Lead with your heart and soul. A piece that I feel will speak to our audience is good enough for me. I’m very liberal in my personal tastes and ask that an author merely respects their public by honing their skills before submitting to the markets.

Do you act as publishers for those who write horror novels, or do you only work with short stories/anthologies?

We publish anthology collections, solo collections and novels.

How can people get in touch with you? Are you on facebook and twitter? Do you have a website? 

We do – have a facebook. You can submit to us by visiting our site: horrifiedpress.wordpress.com

Details of all the works published by Horrified Press, and submission guidelines for up coming works can be found at their website.

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No rest for the wicked (or the writer)

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Christmas is a busy time of year for most people.  The rush of present buying, food preparing, house decorating and relative visiting is enough to wear anyone out.  It’s the same for  me, though on a smaller scale.  Mother is coming to stay this year and I’ve already got her presents bought and wrapped.  I’ve got presents bought and sent to my friend in Florida and have just one more present to buy.  Food shopping will be done online once mother arrives and I never bother with decorations.  Yes I’m a bit of a humbug, sue me.

Christmas is busy for me this year for another reason, I’m an author.  I’ve been bent, nose to grindstone during November, writing a novel for Nanowrimo.  This was finished yesterday, yippee.  I’ve also been editing, formatting and publishing an anthology of my horror stories, which came out a few days ago, double yippee.  Now I have to set to work on proofing and editing the next novel, which I wrote during this summer’s camp Nano and which I hope to release in March.  I will also have a book to format and cover design for an author friend over Christmas.  I also have a part time job to hold down.  Phew, I thought the holiday season meant you got a rest.

Delectus Morbidium is now available

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I am happy to announce that my anthology of horror stories is now available to purchase in both paperback and ebook formats.

This book contains 20 tales of horror, starring many of my facebook friends who all donated their names to my characters.  This unique collaboration is now available for you to enjoy.

This book contains adult themes, and therefore is not suitable for under 18’s.

Click here for all details and links.

I’m now on Wattpad

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Just wanted to give everyone the news that I know will brighten your day, month, Christmas – I’ve joined wattpad.

I will be sharing short stories, fan fiction and excerpts from my books, and you can read them for free, comment, and give me feedback.

You can join me there, I extend the warmest of welcomes to everyone who would like to follow me.

Find me on wattpad here.

Nano 2013 update, Promotion decision, and other stuff

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How’s everyone getting on with nano?  I’ve passed the 50k and feel justly proud of myself.  The third volume in The Sinclair V-Logs is taking shape nicely and I estimate that I’m three quarters the way through.  Doing nano is great for self discipline, and it’s wonderful to see how creative you can be, even when you’re forcing yourself.  This book will, I hope, be published in early Summer 2014.

Promotion, sorry for swearing, is a dirty word for indie authors.  It’s worse than fuck, whore, balls and cunt combined and I wince every time I read it, hear it or have to write it.  I’m not a natural saleswoman and don’t pretend to be.  I find selling myself, my brand and my books, very hard indeed.  I have tried though but being financially destitute has prevented me from taking advantage of most internet promotion options.

For a while  now, I’ve welcomed other authors to this blog for tours, spotlights and releases, but until recently, I’d never done one myself.  A few weeks ago, I decided to try my first blog tour to promote my last release, Bygora Vandos and advertised for hosts all over my social media.  I even did a blog here asking for hosts or help.

Here are the results.

I wanted to do the tour for fourteen days, with a different blog on each day, as has become the norm for such tours.  I had two weeks notice before the start date and up until the first day, just five (5) people offered to host me.  Of those five, only two offered me the link to the piece voluntarily; all of the others didn’t bother and I had to go searching for the post.  Another person of the five didn’t bother to do the post at all, and only one further person updated me with blog stats (number of visits etc) and promised to promote the post on other social media.  One of the people who did the post, didn’t bother to put up the post until late afternoon, leaving me with just a couple of hours to find it and then post the link on my own social media.  All but one, didn’t bother to promote the post on their other social media.  None of the people I have ever hosted were among the five mentioned above who offered to host me.

The blog I posted here asking for help got no response at all.  Thanks for nothing..!

To put it mildly, I was extremely disappointed in the lack of interest and help by other authors, and this experience has led me to make two decisions.

I shall never host another author on my blog, ever again.

I shall no longer bother trying to promote my own work.

I shall concentrate on writing books.  I shall publish them as I usually do on all the usual platforms, and I shall do a blog here announcing it, facebook and twitter.  Beyond that, I shall do no promotion at all.  There is no point in trying to get my voice heard above all the bored housewives with money who churn out trash erotica and romance by the bucket load, when other authors actively try to block my voice by boycotting me.  I shall put my energies into writing, and since I write books worth reading, a rarity in this compost heap that is the self published world, my total focus will be put to good use.

In short, what I want to say to other authors is, Fuck You..!

The third bit of news is that my horror story anthology will hopefully be released on Dec 6th.  I’m waiting for cover art at this very moment, everything else is done and finished.  I’m looking forward to this, it’s been a long time in the making and it has been done with the help of my facebook friends, many of whom star in the stories.  I dedicate this book to them, my murderers, psychos, weirdos, crazies and victims.

Horror Anthology – December release.

I have finally finished my twenty horror short stories, and my planned horror anthology is now finished to first draft.  Once my next novel, Bygora Vandos is safely out, which will be during the second week of October, I can devote my time to editing the anthology and getting it formatted for a December release.

I had a scout around the stock photo sites for cover art ideas and found several suitable photos to give me ideas.  I’ve been planning this anthology for ages, so I’ve had plenty of time to think about cover art, font etc.  It will be fun to see it finished.

Watch this space for updates.

The Secret Recipe – brand new short

Another new short is up for your enjoyment.

The Secret Recipe – click here to read.

I hope you enjoy reading my short stories as much as I enjoy writing them.