Saturday, December 16, 2017

Oliver Baer--another contributor to Hell's Bells

AG: How did you come to write your piece for Hell's Bells?

Oliver Baer: As the second millennium approached, as humans reckon time, my friends decided to start a zine that would showcase our work. Being a group of intellectuals with morbid sensibilities, we knew of HP Lovecraft’s work. We were fans and so when one friend made a comment about another’s sexual proclivities utilizing the great Cthulhu, the idea for the zine was realized. 

The first three issues of Cthulhu Sex Magazine:  Blood, Sex and Tentacles featured artwork, prose and poetry from people we knew. As word of our existence grew and more people outside our circles wanted to contribute, we decided to change our look to more that of a magazine. This worked out well enough as we went from having local distribution to national distribution to then adding a small amount of international distribution. We also started publishing anthologies of horror stories under the imprint, Two Backed Books.

Meanwhile, about a year or so before, in another group of friends, a friend wanted to collaborate on a story with me. He was also a Lovecraft fan as well as being the person who introduced me to the master’s work. His idea was to create a story in letters form similar to the way Dracula is written. He wrote the first one and I was to follow suit. I did not do anything until several years later whilst involved with Cthulhu Sex.

When discussing what should be in the new magazine format of Cthulhu Sex, I suggested we have a Letters to the Editor section. My friend liked the idea and we sent out requests. We didn’t get a response. So, I suggested something I learned from reading the Letters to the Editor in comic books. Why don’t we write a couple letters ourselves, maybe get other people in our circle to write some and see if that spurs others to write in. I still had the letter story my other friend wrote and decided to include that in our Letters section as a letter that arrived at the offices of Cthulhu Sex

The next issue I followed up with a response to his letter that was more about a Lovecraftian incident that arose as a result of the arrival of the letter on my desk. As we continued publishing issues, the Letters to the Editor section saw very little response, so I decided to keep writing my letters as a story. The story was a basic quest to “cure” myself of what ailed me as a result of the incident in the offices. The letters are partly from me, the editor, while on the quest, to the publisher/managing editor of Cthulhu Sex and partly from a translator to the publisher. It does not end well.

In 2008, the magazine and imprint ceased for financial reasons. I had thought of compiling all the letters into a book format for some time. It would take several years of rewriting the letters into a computer to even get a manuscript of this type together. There were all sorts of distractions, in typical fashion when dealing with the Elder Gods, that prevented the “Letters” book from happening. Two of the distractions being the publication of my poetry book, Baer Soul, in 2011 and the release of my poetry set to music CD, Gathering Souls, in 2012. The CD release party went so well, it became a biannual poetry set to music show called A Conclave of Baer creating yet another distraction. Finally, a suggestion of the “Letters” book reached the ears of someone who decided he wanted to publish it.

In the midst of these negotiations, April Grey, whom I had met at our local Horror Writers Association meeting, mentioned that she was looking for stories to fill an anthology with the theme of music. I told her that while I did not have anything new, music did play a part in the “Letters” story arc. Would she consider one of these? She told me to send her one and she would consider it. So, I did. She accepted it with a suggestion to change it slightly so there was a little bit of a back story and to make the music a stronger element in it. It was now a slightly different piece than it was before so when she asked me to give it a title, which I am usually loathe to do, “Results of an Eldritch Composition” was what we settled on. The “Letters” book will probably see the light of this dimension’s dawn in 2018.

Oliver Baer does many things. He was the editor of Cthulhu Sex Magazine and Two Backed Books. His writings have been included in Cthulhu Sex Magazine, Dream People, Bare Bone #8, Horror Between the Sheets, Horror Writers Association Poetry Showcase Vol. II and Boog City. His book of poetry, Baer Soul came out in 2011. His CD of poetry set to music, which came out in 2013, spawned a biannual poetry set to music show A Conclave of Baer. His true face has been seen periodically at the Lovecraft Bar. He is also visible using the virtual spectrum of social media by following him on Twitter @obaer and/or Facebook Much of his work can be found at Tentacularity

Friday, December 8, 2017

Jake T.S. Wryte--One of Hell's Bell's authors!

AG: How did the stories for Hell's Bells come to be written?

When I quit a promising career in March of 2017 and decided to be a full-time writer, two story ideas came to me and they stuck.
One afternoon while I was playing my guitar and contemplating my decision, the top E-string detuned by a couple of whole notes, which is quite unusual. I was reminded of the first time I ever tuned a guitar and moved much too fast while the strings were cold: the string snapped and smacked me across the face, right underneath my eye. The fear of that happening again got my mind churning and I thought – What if the instrument were to strangle me somehow? And so the idea for "The Bow of Murmured Voices" was born.
After I wrote the story I realized that my preferred instrument, the guitar, didn't fit. As an ex-audio engineer, I remembered past assignments I did on the construction and acoustical properties of musical instruments and how best to record them in studio, and I specifically remembered that the body of a violin is also called the corpus, which translates as corpse or body. That was when a final idea struck me: what if this violin not only murdered anyone who played it, but trapped their souls inside it?
The second idea came to me when financial woes almost forced me to become a street musician. Growing up as an aspiring musician and rhythm guitarist in a thrash and death metal band, the topic of musicians selling their souls to the devil was a major influence for my story "Those That Stay." But I needed a different, or original, take on it. So the story began first as a street musician who stole the souls of anyone generous enough to give him money.
Soon after finishing the original draft, and also at the time when the Hell's Bells invitation to submit came, I realized that the story bordered on humor instead of horror. That's when an idea struck me: what if a street musician thought he was doing good deeds by healing the sick and claiming their loved one's souls as the price without them knowing it? And so "Those That Stay" was born.
People often ask me, "Why do you write?" The answer isn't what I think they hope to hear. All I can say is that I simply have to. I don't have a choice in the matter, and besides, I don't want to do anything else with my life ever again. Publication in Hell's Bells was one of the major highlights of 2017 and has further fed this mysterious urge to pen words. As for 2018, I am hoping to get published more and paid enough to survive, but I will also begin my journey and life-long dream to become an editor.


Jake TS Wryte is a full-time writer from the Darklands of Africa where the creatures of his imagination have a bounty on his head. You can find his micro-fiction pieces at 101 Words and his article on flash fiction writing and online courses at When not reading or writing, Jake can be found hiking remote areas and wishing he hadn't gone there in the first place, or avoiding assault by his rescue macaw. You can reach him on Twitter @jakemetalsnake and Facebook as Jake TS Wryte.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Hell's Bells: Wicked Tunes, Mad Musicians and Cursed Instruments!

Hell’s Bells: Wicked Tunes, Mad Musicians and Cursed Instruments

Mozart finds an unexpected ally in Hell…
A belly dancer’s bargain leads to shocking results…
Pagan rituals endure in an out-of-the-way church…
In Hells Bells, thirteen talented writers lure you closer with stories of music that seduce, intrigue and hold you fast.
Featuring stories by Rayne Hall, Jonathan Broughton, Bruce Memblatt, April Grey, Tracie McBride, Jake T.S. Wryte, Phillip T. Stephens, Mitch Sebourn, Charie D. La Marr, V. Peter Collins, Oliver Baer, Pamela Walker and Pamela Turner.

Contact: Lafcadio Press/Avril Dannenbaum,, for review copies and authors’ bios.
Published by Lafcadio Press December 2017
Now Available at Barnes and Nobles and other books sellers

Available at Amazon Books December 6th, 2017

Friday, June 23, 2017

Summer Dark
A reading series in Oasis Community Garden
Where: Oasis Community Garden, 505 W. 52nd St., between 10th and 11th Ave.
When: Friday Evenings in July and August from 6-8pm
What: Horror Writers Association members will be reading scary and spooky tales. This is a free, outdoors event. In case of rain, that evening will be cancelled.  For more info:

Bring a blanket and enjoy the thrills!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Reading at KGB Bar

I'm so excited to be a part of Women in Horror Month sponsored by our local HWA! I'll by reading with some wonderful writers: Charie LaMarr, Megan Acuri-Moran, Kathleen Scheiner, Lis Mannetti and Amy Grech.

I'll be reading, "Hell is Lonely without You," from my short story collection, The Fairy Cake Bake Shoppe.

Our event even got noticed by The New Yorker. Hope to see you there: KGB Bar & Lit Mag, 85 E. 4th St., New York, NY 10003, Feb. 28, 2017 from 7-9 pm.
KGB Bar & Lit Mag
85 E 4th St, New York, New York 10003

No automatic alt text available.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Signing and Release Party at Koneko Cat Cafe for Hell's Kitties!

On a snowy Sunday morning in early January, four of the ten contributors to Hell's Kitties and Other Beastly Beasts met to have a signing and release party at Koneko Cat Cafe.

Backyard of Koneko Cat Cafe covered in snow.

Four out of the ten contributors to Hell's Kitties

This cat is a fan of Steven Van Patten's work! There were cats hanging out all over the basement. Being a cold day, they weren't into the upper areas at all. Quite sensible. Some of the cats explored the books and the writers, but most were quite happy to just hang out and watch us.

Carole Ann Moleti braved the snowy roads to Manhattan to be there. After the signing we came upstairs and had coffee and snacks. The cafe had a huge selection of both savory and sweet treats, many of them Japanese.

Amy Grech signing copies as this beautiful long hair cat poses for us. 

April Grey wishes to thank, Steven, Carole and Amy for their stories and for being so kind to show up on a snowy day. She also wishes to thank Alp Beck for the wonderful pictures. I greatly enjoyed putting this anthology together and we already have a five star review at Amazon. Please do head over and and check it out. Hell's Kitties and Other Beastly Beasts has humorous, dark and heart-breaking stories by the writers at our party and by Rayne Hall, Mark Cassell, Jonathan Broughton, Anya Davis, Phillip T. Stephens and Yurika S. Grant.

And please do visit Koneko Cat Cafe to enjoy the company of their lovely felines and to partake in the delish coffee and treats!