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.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Heliosphere is a-comin'!

I have my schedule for this year's Heliosphere April 5-7:

Friday April 5th

What Would Immortals Care About?
Ballroom 5 - 3:30-4:45

Saturday April 6th

Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading
Ballroom 4 10-11:15 am

Books and Brews
Ballroom 6 - 2:30-3:45 pm

Small Scares: The Art of Suspenseful and Horrifying Short Fiction
Ballroom 1 - 4-5:15 pm

Sunday April 7

Can you succeed as a Writer if you are a Recluse
Ballroom 7 - 11:30-12:45 am-pm

Also, an anthology that I co-edited is on the final ballot for the Stoker Award. More on that later!

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Welcome Oliver Baer!


In a guest post to this blog, Oliver Baer tells us  of how he came to write his addition to Hell's Heart:




“Down and Out Under R’lyeh” is one of the letters to the editor from Cthulhu Sex Magazine. The Letters to the Editor was an idea born initially to get feedback from our readers. It did not succeed in producing the feedback we wanted. So, I proceeded to write the letters as a story. 

This part of the story is from a group of letters from a translator to the publisher of Cthulhu Sex. The translator was hired to relay messages to and from the unspeakable horror in the basement that is the editor. She is locked in there with it. Her story is not a pleasant one. After escaping from the basement, she is taken in by some people who seem to want to help her. She is pregnant with the creature’s child and they offer to take care of her. This letter is meant to be her relation of a tale they tell her to calm her, a lullaby of sorts. It does not really calm her. It is also the introduction of the midwife/guardian of the child to be born.

In creating this, I was trying to come up with an idea of what to do with the translator once she escaped and was out in the world. I could not have her wandering around pregnant especially since I introduced another character that helped her escape. I knew where I wanted her to end up but the question was how to have her report that. 

I decided to go to a bar I frequented to think things through. As I was talking to one of the bartenders, an attractive brunette, she said that I should write a story about her. I told her that I was currently writing for the magazine and wasn’t sure if she wanted to be a character in an erotic horror story. She said, “Why not?” I said I’d see what I could do. I knew about the bartender’s life from previous conversations. She was in her 20’s and had been diagnosed with MS several years before. She was an aspiring actress during the day and, at the time of this letter, she had started going out with a guy who played darts at the bar. They fell in love and got engaged. 

As I sat there thinking about what to write, the other two bartenders, a blonde and another shorter brunette, decided they wanted in as well. Once I started talking about the details of what they wanted me to do to them, the blond seemed less interested to the point of her saying just don’t do anything too nasty to me. The shorter brunette started suggesting ideas. I let her know the ones I liked but said that I could not promise anything.

I thought about it for about a week and decided that the letter would be a story within a story. I made the aspiring actress bartender the main character of the story within the story and then fit in various pieces from previous letters so it would be continuous with the rest of the letters. I even utilized the short brunette’s ideas in some fashion.

I went into the bar on a Saturday evening. I sat in a corner and started writing. It flowed onto the paper as the bartenders poured drinks for me and the other patrons that trickled in. After I was done, I realized that I had not put the other bartenders into the story. I had no idea how I was going to do that. I stopped writing, went to play darts and hang out with people.

Over the next week, I thought about how to get them in there. It seemed to me that I should include all of them so that it did not seem like I was playing favorites. At the end of the week, I had figured it out. 

In the story, which included an actress whose name was Nelly Lynne Glennticus (a combination of the bartender’s actual name and her betrothed’s) is brought back from the dead and transformed into a reptilian creature. I modified the other bartenders’ actual names and wrote them in as previous failed attempts with this transformation. I ended the letter with the idea that the midwife/guardian of the child to be born would also be named Nelly Lynne. When I submitted the letter to the publisher, he decided that since it was a story within a story it should have a title unlike the other letters.