Saturday, September 12, 2020

A Legend in the Industry: Rayne Hall


Rayne Hall dishes on her latest: The Brides's Curse, a collection of Gothic Ghost and Horror Stories





AG: How did you come to write this book?

 

RH: Old buildings enchant me with their histories, their legends, their beauty. Near my home in Bulgaria I found many abandoned, derelict homes,  their roofs caved in, tiles shattered on the floors, with broken furniture sticking out of the rubble and remnants of tattered lace curtains fluttering in the wind.

 

Spending time in these buildings, I let my imagination wander and asked myself every writer's favourite question: "What if?"  What if someone had to spend the night in this house? What if the house wasn't really empty, because the dead residents still lingered as ghosts?

 

I wanted to share my love of Bulgaria, to invite them to visit these beautiful, eerie places with me, to experience the thrills from the safety of their armchairs. I wrote thirteen stories and gathered them in the book.



AG: Tell us a little about yourself and your writing

 

RH: I love to create spooky, suspenseful Horror stories in the Gothic tradition: more creepy than gory, more atmospheric than violent. I take readers to eerie places and let them experience spine-chilling adventures. Scaring readers is fun!

 

 

AG: What are your writing inspirations?

 

RH: Creepy places send my inspiration soaring: castle ruins, cemeteries, abandoned homes. Here in Bulgaria, the rural population is dwindling.  Many houses stand empty once their owners die, and gradually fall into disrepair and ruin. They often have an eerie beauty that draws me in. Who lived there in the past, and who or what haunts them now?

 

In a neglected orchard, abandoned for decades, overgrown with thorny blackberries, I found dolls hanging from the mulberry trees, their arms missing, the limbless torsos swaying in the wind. Who hung them there, and why?

 

One house in my neighbourhood was the location of a gruesome murder - a body was found dismembered in the freezer, apparently the work of a ghost.

 

Once I went on a winter walk and found a set of footprints leading right up to a bricked-up doorway. The trail footprints finished at the wall, didn't lead back or away. Where had that person gone to?

 

These kind of personal experiences - mysterious, creepy, spooky - feed my writerly imagination. My head is  constantly swirling with story ideas.

 



 

AG: Who created the illustrations?

 

Savina Mantovska is a Bulgarian artist. She drew the delightfully creepy pictures, one illustration for each story.

 

 

AG: Is this book part of a series?

 

I have written and published many short stories and gathered them in collections - including Thirty Scary Tales, one of my bestselling books. I plan to create more Bulgarian Gothic stories, and have indeed written the drafts for several already, so there'll definitely be another Bulgarian Gothic story collection coming.

 

 

 

AG: What project will you be working on next?

 

I'm always working on several books at once. I've penned drafts for another collection of Bulgarian Gothic stories, and I'm writing non-fiction books for my bestselling series of Writer's Craft guides.

I'm also working on a non-fiction guide for foreigners who live in (or want to emigrate to) Bulgaria.

 

AG: Do you write full time?

 

Yes, I write full time, mostly ghost and horror stories, and also non-fiction books. I started freelance writing in my spare time, then gradually built it into a part-time career, and eventually I took the plunge and made it my livelihood. This process took more than twenty years, during which I honed my skills to become a great writer, not just a good one. Year after year, I built a body of work, books I published years ago which continue to sell.

 

 

 

AG: One surprising or interesting fact about yourself.

 

My black cat Sulu loves to come for walks with me. Here in rural Bulgaria, it's safe for cats to be out of doors, and he enjoys exploring the sights, sounds and smells by the roadside. He joins me when I go rambling in the countryside, and he adores visiting abandoned houses. Often, he sits on the rafters looking down on me, or on an empty windowsill from where he can watch both me and the world outside.


However, there was one house he absolutely refused to enter. Whenever we went near it, his body stiffened, his back arched, and his fur stood up. Later, I found out that this house was haunted by an evil ghost. Do you think Sulu sensed something that I did not?

 


Rayne Hall writes fantasy, horror and non-fiction, and is the author of over seventy books. Her horror stories are more atmospheric than violent, and more creepy than gory.

Born and raised in Germany, Rayne has lived in China, Mongolia, Nepal and Britain. Now she resides in a village Bulgaria. The country's ancient Roman ruins and the deserted houses from Bulgaria’s communist period provide inspiration for creepy ghost and horror stories.

Her lucky black cat Sulu, adopted from the cat rescue shelter, often accompanies her on these exploration tours. He delights in walking across shattered roof tiles, balancing on charred rafters and sniffing at long-abandoned hearths.

Rayne has worked as an investigative journalist, development aid worker, museum guide, apple picker, tarot reader, adult education teacher, bellydancer, magazine editor, publishing manager and more, and now writes full time.

Her Book is available here: http://mybook.to/GothBG

 Rayne Hall Social Links 

Twitter https://twitter.com/RayneHall 

Website: raynehall.com 


Friday, July 24, 2020

Guest Blog from the talented Teel James Glenn

Teel's newest book:


 



            Would you go to hell to save the one you love? Baronet Athelstan Grey has to ask himself that as he fights his way across a very different North America in 1890, fighting demons, political assassins and his own fears, and even coming face to face with the Aztec god of death. In a world where magick from every culture clashes, he has only his keen wits and his feisty Aunt Minerva to keep him alive. Join him on this first thrilling adventure in the world of the Pendragon Empire.


           An exciting action adventure set in Victorian times, where Aztec honour means everything and Aztec gods walk among us, when cosmopolitan wasn't about creed but rather which power you served. Non-stop action with twists and turns makes this read riveting, explosive, and diabolical.

          Gaslight Magick is set in the 1890s in a world equal parts Jules Verne technology and James Bond political intrigue. From the beginning with a zombie lord to the end with a murderous djinn, and the Aztec God of the dead, the story it is suffused with the intersecting magicks of many cultures - Merlin’s, Persian, Aztec and more.




On his story in Hell's Highway:

Thumbin’ it is a story long time growing in the dim reaches of my brain…..Being a city kid I never actually hitchhiked but so many stories of hitchhiker murders, robbers were on the TV that it was a ‘thing’ that always loomed in the edges of my thoughts. And I remember seeing the hitchhiker episode of Twilight Zone with Inger Stevens always seeing the same hitchhiker as she drove across country (it had been a radio play first-btw-) and I thought—what is worse than a creepy hitchhiker?
A clown!
And why would a clown be there?
And there you have it; it really doesn’t take a lot of work to make a clown scary…








Sunday, May 3, 2020

Guest Blog post from writer Amy Grech!


The Origins of “Winter Wonderland” in Hell’s Highway


For the 6th book in the Hell’s series, April Grey sought stories that involved various means of transport. The resulting anthology featured tales that featured a sailboat, an unusual hitchhiker, a wicked Victorian carnival ride, a submarine, and a terrifying train, just to name a few… 

My contribution, “Winter Wonderland”, includes a pristine blanket of freshly fallen snow, a mischievous 16-year-old boy, and a rickety Flexible Flyer, and Mother Nature’s unrelenting wrath. I guarantee after reading it, you’ll have a newfound respect for Mother Nature’s majestic splendor. Available on Kindle and in paperback.

Amy Grech has sold over 100 stories to various anthologies and magazines including: 
A New York State of Fright, Apex Magazine, Beat to a Pulp: Hardboiled, Dead Harvest, Deadman's Tome Campfire Tales Book Two, Expiration Date, Fright Mare, Hell’s Heart, Hell’s Highway, Needle Magazine, Psycho Holiday, Real American Horror, Tales from The Lake Vol. 3, Thriller Magazine, and many others. New Pulp Press published her book of noir stories, Rage and Redemption in Alphabet City.

She is an Active Member of the Horror Writers Association and the International Thriller Writers who lives on Long Island. Visit her website: https://www.crimsonscreams.com. Follow Amy on Twitter: https://twitter.com/amy_grech





Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Picking Oliver Baer's Brain on His Writing Career


I’m putting a few questions to Oliver Baer about his contribution to Hell’s Highway,
“To Chael,” which is the latest in Cthulhu Sex Magazine’s Letters to the Editor presented as a stand-alone story for the Hell's Series.




AG: How did you get started as a writer?

OB: The particular path to where I am now with my writing is as maddening as any page of the Necronomicon. It has involved the support of many people in different areas of my life.
I started writing poetry after showing some friends pieces that I thought were unfinished prose or rhyming prose. They liked it and a couple people told me I should write more poetry or consider writing poetic prose (now I think they call it prosetry). I still hadn’t sent anything out to be published, other than in a company newsletter.

This went on for a couple years with a friend or two asking me to contribute something to their zine or magazine that went for three issues or so. I hung out in bars and clubs playing an Exquisite Corpse-like game with people. We used words or sentences rather than drawings. In the meantime, I would write creative messages for my answering machine. One friend mentioned to me that the answering machine messages seemed like the start or part of a larger story to him and would I consider making a story with answering machine messages. This intrigued me so I set about trying to do just that. I’m not sure how far I got with it. I think I finished it but I can’t find all the messages as I only decided to save the written down messages toward the end of the story. The other messages I wrote down don’t seem to be part of the same thing. They were messages utilizing the names of album covers in a creative fashion. The same friend had suggested we collaborate on a story told in letters format. He wrote a letter and I was supposed to respond. It sat on my desk for a while (a few years maybe), a shoggoth waiting to be put to use.

AG: How did Cthulhu Sex Magazine come about?

OB: Many times, after hours we would hang out at a cafĂ©. It was during one of these late-night sojourns the idea for the magazine that would jump-start the direction of my current writing began. One of the people in this after-hours group suggested that we create a zine that would showcase our creative talent. Thus, was Cthulhu Sex Magazine brought into this world.

I became the editor of the zine at the very beginning by declaring that the first issue was edited horribly. My friend, who did all the work of putting it together, asked if I thought I could do better. I said that I absolutely believed so. He gave me the next issue before it went to press. The magazine proved to be the impetus I needed. I would submit past poems then be encouraged to write something new. These poems would eventually be collected into a book of poetry and photographs called Baer Soul published by a group called Western Independent (which existed in a dimension outside of the space and time of the magazine).

By the fourth issue or so, we were more of a magazine than a zine. I started talking to my friend about the possibility of a Letters to the Editor section now that we were a magazine. I suggested we start it off with the letter story from the guy mentioned above and see if anyone responds. Nobody really did. I wrote a response in an attempt to get people to write in. The people who eventually responded were our friends who we talked to about this idea.

Eventually, I was the only one who wrote letters. So, I decided to turn it into a story. My friend who put everything together, now the publisher, did a similar thing with the forewords and afterwords of the magazine.

AG: Tell us about your latest book and future plans. 

OB: The letters, forewords and afterwords are now compiled into a book, Letters to the Editor of Cthulhu Sex Magazine thanks to Crossroad Press. It’s a Lovecraftian tale about the sacrifices needed to create a cult following. By the time we had finished the 15th or so issue of the magazine, we wanted to put out a book of the best works of Cthulhu Sex Magazine. We decided that we would need help doing this so we talked to our friends at Raw Dog Screaming Press. They agreed that if we created a company that would publish horror anthologies, something they wanted help doing, we could be an imprint of theirs. Horror Between the Sheets, our best of Cthulhu Sex Vol. 1, became the first book published by Two Backed Books. We went on to publish several other anthologies until we decided to close everything down in 2008.

There is a possibility of another Cthulhu Sex book in the future. There is still a lost volume of the magazine that exists somewhere in a virtual dimension that can only be accessed by the publisher. Whether this sees the light of the bright burny time on this world remains to be seen. There may be non-Cthulhu Sex stories collected into something as well. Then again, there may not be enough sacrifices for that.

Get your copy of Letters to the Editor of Cthulhu Sex Magazine here.
And don't forget to pick up your copy of Hell's Highway.


Wednesday, October 30, 2019

It's here: Hell's Highway!


Hell's Highway was released today.






Would you stop for a hitchhiking clown?
Stop at a diner where the coffee refills are literally endless?
Sled with Mother Nature?

Fifteen talented writers weave their webs to catch you in the latest of the Hell's series.

Head here to get your copy today!

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Finding Perdita Book Tour with Silver Dagger Tours!

If you have a blog, or website, please consider hosting the Finding Perdita Book Tour!


Picture

​​​​​​​​​​​​​Tour will be from May 2nd- June 2nd

You can choose to host on any day EVEN the weekends.

There's a book description, author bio, excerpts and a giveaway.
The book is open for review!

A DIY media packet and simple htmls for Blogger and Wordpress will be provided to everybody.

Posts must be up by 9pm CST on your scheduled date and needs to be in the top 4 posts!

**Every post you make on time earns you an entry into the monthly host giveaway!
**Everybody who reviews can enter a separate monthly giveaway for $20 Paypal!

Sign up;
https://www.silverdaggertours.com/tour-sign-ups/finding-perdita-tour-sign-ups


Friday, April 19, 2019

Next Stop--Stokercon!

May 8-12 I'll be in Grand Rapids, Michigan at the Stokercon!


And I am so proud to announce that the anthology which I co-edited with James Chambers and Robert Masterson is a finalist for the Stoker Awards in Anthologies!

Wish me luck and do pick up a copy of the book here for thrills and chills from the Empire State.