Archive by Author

Release Day: A Brutal Chill in August / Happy Birthday Mary Shelley

Today is the release day for Alan M. Clark’s A Brutal Chill in August. This novel details the life of a woman generally rendered a statistic in true-crime accounts: Polly Nichols, the first victim of Jack the Ripper. 128 years after Polly Nichols’ murder, finally, this is her story, one of poverty, addiction, abuse, and chapbook publishing. This is horror that happened, and we are proud to be publishing it at Word Horde.

Here’s a teaser, from a recent review by Christine Morgan: “I read this book in about five hours straight. Hooked from the very beginning, drawn in, and never let go. […] Historical fiction done right. I cannot love it enough. […] Full immersion, all too vivid and real. […] Absolutely stunning.”

Read the full review here.

A Brutal Chill in August by Alan M. Clark

And Happy Birthday to Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein, and inspiration for our forthcoming anthology, Eternal Frankenstein. As of last night, Eternal Frankenstein is off to the printer, and we’re rather looking forward to putting this book into your hands, so why not pre-order it?

Here’s Christine Morgan again, with a few words about Eternal Frankenstein: “…here’s another smash hit from Word Horde … an entire book of new, diverse, wonderfully creepy takes on the classic original tale that launched basically an entire genre. […] You’ll get some up-close-and-personal spins on the feminine experience, especially courtesy of Betty Rocksteady (her “Postpartum” is wickedly uncomfortable; I love it!), Damien Angelica Walters (“Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice;” just try and see innocent little girls the same way after this), Amber-Rose Reed (“Torso, Heart, Head” brings all the pieces together), Autumn Christian (updating things with “Sewn Into Her Fingers”), and Tiffany Scandal (showing the tormented intersection of bullying and love in “They Call Me Monster.”) […] Plus many more tales, too many to list … Creation and life, defiance of death, motherhood and monsterhood, all that and more can be found in these pages.”

Read the full review here.

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Cthulhu FhtAugust! A Brutal Chill at the Printer. Welcome to the Horde!

It’s August, and we’ve arrived at the one year anniversary of one of our most popular titles, Cthulhu Fhtagn! To celebrate, we’ve lowered the price on the Cthulhu Fhtagn! ebook to just $2.99, and we’ve re-christened the month Cthulhu FhtAugust! But grab it quick, you don’t want to miss out on these savings! Here are your download links:

Kindle
Kobo
Nook

In his house at R’lyeh, Cthulhu waits dreaming…

What are the dreams that monsters dream? When will the stars grow right? Where are the sunken temples in which the dreamers dwell? How will it all change when they come home?

Within these pages lie the answers, and more, in all-new stories by many of the brightest lights in dark fiction. Gathered together by Ross E. Lockhart, the editor who brought you The Book of Cthulhu, The Children of Old Leech, and Giallo Fantastique, Cthulhu Fhtagn! features nineteen weird tales inspired by H. P. Lovecraft.

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Speaking of August, Alan M. Clark’s novel A Brutal Chill in August is off to the printer and will be shipping well before the end of the month. A Brutal Chill in August is the terrifying true story of Polly Nichols, the first victim of Jack the Ripper. There’s still time to pre-order A Brutal Chill in August, either directly from Word Horde, or for e-readers like the Amazon Kindle. Order yours today!

A Brutal Chill in August by Alan M. Clark

Finally, we’d like to welcome two authors to the Word Horde: Christine Morgan, whose tale “Aerkheim’s Horror” appeared in Cthulhu Fhtagn!, will have her full-length Word Horde debut in February 2017 with The Raven’s Table, a collection of Viking-themed horror stories, and Kristi DeMeester, whose “The Beautiful Thing We Will Become” will be appearing this Halloween in Eternal Frankenstein, with her debut novel Beneath, to be published in April 2017. We’ll be announcing pre-orders for these titles in the relatively near future, so stay tuned. And in the meantime, check out these awesome authors’ short fiction in our anthologies. You won’t be disappointed.

Giallo July

There’s something colorful in the air, things seem super-saturated, and a synthesizer soundtrack just cut in, so we are declaring this month to be Giallo July. To celebrate, we’ve dropped the price of the Giallo Fantastique ebook to just $2.99 (Kindle, Kobo, Nook) for the duration of the month. What’s your favorite shade of horror?

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An anthology of original strange stories at the intersection of crime, terror, and supernatural fiction. Inspired by and drawing from the highly stylized cinematic thrillers of Argento, Bava, and Fulci; American noir and crime fiction; and the grim fantasies of Edgar Allan Poe, Guy de Maupassant, and Jean Ray, Giallo Fantastique seeks to unnerve readers through virtuoso storytelling and startlingly colorful imagery.

Table of Contents:

Introduction – Ross E. Lockhart
Minerva – Michael Kazepis
In the Flat Light – Adam Cesare
Terror in the House of Broken Belles – Nikki Guerlain
The Strange Vice of ZLA-313 – MP Johnson
Sensoria – Anya Martin
The Red Church – Orrin Grey
Balch Creek – Cameron Pierce
Hello, Handsome – Garrett Cook (audio at the link!)
We Can Only Become Monsters – Ennis Drake
The Threshold of Waking Light – E. Catherine Tobler
The Communion of Saints – John Langan
Exit Strategies – Brian Keene

“Lockhart translates giallo fantastique as weird crime, and each story, while very different in style and tone, melds crime and supernatural horror with panache and verve. […] The stories’ conclusions are never definitive, leaving the reader with a delicious sense of lingering unease.” —Publishers Weekly

“A lavish, sumptuous tapestry of luxurious surrealism and strangeness.” –Christine Morgan, The Horror Fiction Review

“…ultimately satisfying, with a few tales that skirt tantalizingly close to brilliance.” –Mer Whinery, Muzzleland Press

Gone Fishin’!

John Langan’s The Fisherman lands today, so if you preordered a copy of the book or ebook, we’d like to encourage you to hang up a “gone fishing” sign while reading it this weekend. Just add the following picture to your profile on social media, grab the book, kick back, and enjoy!

GoneFishingLangan

As always, we love reviews! If you enjoy The Fisherman, or any Word Horde book, PLEASE talk it up online, tell friends, and post your review on Goodreads, Amazon, B&N, or wherever readers look to discover their next book. Thanks!

And, speaking of Goodreads, for a chance to win one of three copies of The Fisherman trade paperback, don’t forget to enter our Goodreads Summer Solstice Giveaway. But hurry, this offer ends July 4, 2016.

Shipping this week: John Langan’s The Fisherman

You’ve enjoyed John Langan’s fiction in numerous anthologies, including The Children of Old Leech and Giallo Fantastique. You devoured his previous novel, House of Windows, and his collections, Mr. Gaunt and Other Uneasy Encounters and The Wide Carnivorous Sky and Other Monstrous Geographies. Now, prepare yourself for a fishing trip unlike any other as Word Horde presents John Langan’s latest novel of cosmic horror, The Fisherman. Available where better books are sold June 30th (ask for it by name!). We will be shipping direct orders of The Fisherman this week. It’s not too late to get your order in.

And while you’re waiting to hook your copy of The Fisherman on your line, check out this brand new interview with John Langan, conducted by Word Horde’s own Sean M. Thompson:

In upstate New York, in the woods around Woodstock, Dutchman’s Creek flows out of the Ashokan Reservoir. Steep-banked, fast-moving, it offers the promise of fine fishing, and of something more, a possibility too fantastic to be true. When Abe and Dan, two widowers who have found solace in each other’s company and a shared passion for fishing, hear rumors of the Creek, and what might be found there, the remedy to both their losses, they dismiss it as just another fish story. Soon, though, the men find themselves drawn into a tale as deep and old as the Reservoir. It’s a tale of dark pacts, of long-buried secrets, and of a mysterious figure known as Der Fisher: the Fisherman. It will bring Abe and Dan face to face with all that they have lost, and with the price they must pay to regain it.

The Fisherman by John Langan

“John Langan’s The Fisherman is literary horror at its sharpest and most imaginative. It’s at turns a quiet and powerfully melancholy story about loss and grief; the impossibility of going on in same manner as you had before. It’s also a rollicking, kick-ass, white-knuckle charge into the winding, wild, raging river of redemption. Illusory, frightening, and deeply moving, The Fisherman is a modern horror epic. And it’s simply a must read.” –Paul Tremblay, author of A Head Full of Ghosts and Disappearance at Devil’s Rock

The Fisherman is an epic, yet intimate, horror novel. Langan channels M. R. James, Robert E. Howard, and Norman Maclean. What you get is A River Runs through It…Straight to hell.” –Laird Barron, author of X’s for Eyes

Feeling lucky? Take a chance at winning a copy of The Fisherman in our Goodreads Summer Solstice Giveaway, running now through July 4, 2016.

Cover Reveal: Eternal Frankenstein

Two hundred years ago, a young woman staying in a chalet in Switzerland, after an evening of ghost stories shared with friends and lovers, had a frightening dream. That dream became the seed that inspired Mary Shelley to write Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, a tale of galvanism, philosophy, and the re-animated dead. Today, Frankenstein has become a modern myth without rival, influencing countless works of fiction, music, and film. We all know Frankenstein. But how much do we really know about Frankenstein?

This October, Word Horde will be publishing Eternal Frankenstein, an anthology edited by Ross E. Lockhart, paying tribute to Mary, her Monster, and exploring their entwined legacy.

Today, on the bicentennial anniversary of Mary Shelley’s dream, we reveal the cover to Eternal Frankenstein (Cover Design by Matthew Revert):

Eternal Frankenstein edited by Ross E. Lockhart

Table of Contents:

Amber-Rose Reed – Torso Heart Head
Siobhan Carroll – Thermidor
Autumn Christian – Sewn Into Her Fingers
Rios de la Luz – Orchids by the Sea
Edward Morris – Frankenstein Triptych
Michael Griffin – The Human Alchemy
Betty Rocksteady – Postpartum
Scott R. Jones – Living
Tiffany Scandal – They Call Me Monster
Damien Angelica Walters – Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice
Orrin Grey – Baron von Werewolf Presents: Frankenstein Against the Phantom Planet
Nathan Carson – Wither on the Vine, or Strickfadden’s Monster
Anya Martin – The Un-Bride, or No Gods and Marxists
G. D. Falksen – The New Soviet Man
Kristi DeMeester – The Beautiful Thing We Will Become
David Templeton – Mary Shelley’s Body

Preorder Eternal Frankenstein today! Pub Date: October 9, 2016. And for more about Eternal Frankenstein and the cinematic history of Frankenstein, check out this Pacific Sun interview with editor Ross E. Lockhart.

Now Available for Preorder: Alan M. Clark’s A Brutal Chill in August

We all know about Jack the Ripper, the serial murderer who terrorized Whitechapel and confounded police in 1888, but how much do we really know about his victims?

Pursued by one demon into the clutches of another, the ordinary life of Mary Ann “Polly” Nichols is made extraordinary by horrible, inhuman circumstance. Jack the Ripper’s first victim comes to life in this sensitive and intimate fictionalized portrait, from humble beginnings, to building a family with an abusive husband, her escape into poverty and the workhouse, alcoholism, and finally abandoned on the streets of London where the Whitechapel Murderer found her.

With A Brutal Chill in August, Alan M. Clark gives readers an uncompromising and terrifying look at the nearly forgotten human story behind one of the most sensational crimes in history. This is horror that happened.

A Brutal Chill in August by Alan M. Clark

Watch the book trailer for A Brutal Chill in August, featuring the song “The Soul of You,” as sung by the Bonehill Ghost in the novel.

Preorder A Brutal Chill in August today!

Pub Date: August 30, 2016

Readers will also enjoy Alan M. Clark’s collaboration with Gary A. Braunbeck, “A Host of Shadows,” which appears in the Word Horde anthology, Tales of Jack the Ripper.

Beginning July 4, 2016, Alan M. Clark will be liveblogging Jack London’s The People of the Abyss, a piece of investigative journalism in which the author wrote of his experience living in the guise of an impoverished person in the East End of the city of London in 1902, fourteen years after Jack the Ripper terrorized the area. We’d like to encourage readers to track down a copy of The People of the Abyss and join us for the read-along.

The Word Horde Summer Solstice Goodreads Giveaway (Plus the Latest News)

We’ve just kicked off our biggest Goodreads Giveaway yet, with copies of Michael Griffin’s The Lure of Devouring Light, Livia Llewellyn’s Furnace, Orrin Grey’s Painted Monsters & Other Strange Beasts, Ross E. Lockhart’s Cthulhu Fhtagn!, and John Langan’s The Fisherman up for grabs. All you have to do is click through, sign up for Goodreads (if you haven’t already), and enter to win. On the Summer Solstice, June 20, we will select winners and ship books (July 4 in the case of John Langan’s The Fisherman).

Here are the Goodreads Giveaway links:

The Lure of Devouring Light
Furnace
Painted Monsters & Other Strange Beasts
Cthulhu Fhtagn!
The Fisherman (runs June 1-July 4, 2016)

In other news, The Driftless Area Review just posted a new interview with the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Mr. Suicide, Nicole Cushing, wherein they discuss conventions, “likeable characters,” Louisville, KY, and the definition of evil. It’s a great read.

And you can now read the title story from Livia Llewellyn’s Word Horde collection, Furnace, courtesy of the folks at Weird Fiction Review. Llewellyn’s Shirley Jackson Award-nominated story “Furnace” originally appeared in the Joseph S. Pulver, Sr.-edited Thomas Ligotti tribute anthology The Grimscribe’s Puppets. Read it here.

Mr. Suicide wins the Bram Stoker Award

A hearty congratulations to Nicole Cushing, whose Word Horde debut Mr. Suicide was awarded the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a First Novel this weekend at StokerCon in Las Vegas. Here’s a photo of Nicole holding her haunted house, courtesy of Rhonda Rettig:

Nicole Cushing

It’s been quite a journey over the year since Mr. Suicide was released, and at times we wondered if Mr. Suicide might be too controversial, too transgressive, for the Stoker Awards. We’re pleased to have been proven wrong in that respect. (You sickos!)

We’d also like to say thanks to a number of people for their roles in bringing Mr. Suicide to you: Nicole Cushing, for writing a book that was impossible to put down; Zach McCain, for that haunting cover; Shannon Page, for copyediting; Sean M. Thompson, for publicity; authors Jack Ketchum, Billy Martin (AKA Poppy Z. Brite), and Ray Garton for reading and blurbing the book; Publishers Weekly, for a review that felt more like a warning; the members of the Horror Writers Association, for voting for Mr. Suicide; and you, the reader, for all you do to support Word Horde authors. We couldn’t do it without you.

Mr. Suicide Stoker Winner

Mr. Suicide is available wherever better books are sold. Ask for Mr. Suicide by name at your favorite bookstore!

An Interview with Michael Griffin

Happy Walpurgisnacht! Today marks the release of Michael Griffin‘s The Lure of Devouring Light. We’re currently launching the book with Mike at the H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival in San Pedro, but a few days ago, Sean M. Thompson interviewed Mike about the collection.

The Lure of Devouring Light by Michael Griffin

What do you feel the role of genre is in fiction?

Genre is especially useful for booksellers, marketers and publishers. I think genre divisions are useful for people trying to find their way toward work they would enjoy, as a way of herding together works that share certain traits. From the opposite perspective, that of a writer, I would stop short of saying genre is a negative thing, as I’ve seen some other writers say. Some writers gladly align themselves to a genre, wear it like a badge on their sleeve, and go around proudly waving the flag. Many writers, though, don’t want to think about it too much, and look at genre as a necessary thing unavoidably imposed upon them. The writers I most respect pretty much seem to do what they want to do without consciously aiming at a certain genre target. The create the work, and their agent or their publisher or the critics decide what it is. I think this last approach makes the most sense to me, but I don’t want to disparage those who are flag-wavers for their chosen territory, and who exclusively write (and read) within it.

How do you think the weird has evolved in modern fiction, if you think it has at all?

I used to believe the weird had evolved a lot, but the more widely I read beyond the obvious starting point (Lovecraft) the more I discovered examples of weird writers throughout history creating all kinds of challenging and diversely varied stuff. I do feel that in the last ten or fifteen years, the number of people writing truly strong, individual work is higher than it has ever been before. But I no longer believe that the kind of thing being written now is entirely different in kind from what came before my lifetime. Maybe a slow evolution.

You’ve told me before you’re a proponent of a lot of edits. What’s the most you’ve ever edited your work?

There are different kinds of edits. I used to line edit endlessly, second-guessing word choices, adding commas, changing pronouns and shifting around phrases. That’s still important, and I spend a lot of time trying to get every word and every sentence just right. Certainly more important, though, is editing with a wider angle of view. By this I mean looking at the overall shape or trajectory of the story, maybe trimming or adding entire pages or even scenes. Once I start writing, I continue to pause, step back and look at my stories with a wider view. Sometimes I do what I call a “reverse outline,” where I look at the structure of the story as it’s written, and I create an outline from it. This helps me find things like jumps in logic, or especially repetition. Sometimes in a reverse outline I discover something like, “Hey, I don’t really need to have him visit the lawyer’s office and talk about the case in scene 9 because he basically did the same thing in scene 6.” I make sure each piece of the story contributes something, or else it gets changed or removed. I have to say, I read a lot of stories that could benefit from this kind of structural analysis. Very often stories include dead scenes or repetitive sections. But to answer the original question, I have stories I’ve reworked at least 20-30 times, and quite a few that have gone through more than 10 versions. As I get better at this, so I make fewer mistakes and follow fewer dead-ends to begin with, it seems like I’m able to get by with fewer drafts, maybe four to six.

What is the significance of the title of your collection?

First of all, it’s the title of the lead story, so that’s why it’s the title of the collection, not just because it’s the first story but because it’s also representative of what I do, and a good opener, neither too long nor too short, and not too confusing. But to explain the significance of the story’s title, I’d say something that’s important to me is to avoid the too-easy trap of Horror and Weird writers making everything “black” and “dark.” There’s certainly plenty of darkness and nighttime and black imagery in my work, but I’m interested in different kinds of fear and unease. Also, the story makes the point that sometimes people or things that are dangerous or malicious don’t in fact appear horrifying or gruesome. They may be appealing, attractive or seductive. They have something to offer, something to draw us nearer, otherwise we would just run the other direction.

How do you think your style has changed from when you first started writing?

My style hasn’t changed too much, in terms of how I tend to build sentences. What has changed is that my way of conveying to the reader what’s happening has shifted to give a perspective from inside the mind and senses of the point of view character. As much as possible, everything should be filtered through the mechanism by which this person makes sense of their surroundings and what they see and hear unfolding around them. I guess a simpler way to say this would be that I try hard to make the point of view more subjective.

Ultimately what do you hope readers take away from The Lure of Devouring Light?

Aside from the obvious, like wanting to provide entertainment or enjoyment, the outcome I most hope for is that readers will find the characters believable, convincing human beings. I also hope some of the images or situations will linger in the mind after the reading is done.