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Monthly Archives: February 2015

Welcome to the “Behind the Shadows” series of blog posts, where every week we will share a peek inside the minds of our authors and learn about the stories behind the stories. This week, Brian Hodge talks about the dark inspiration for his story, “This Stagnant Breath of Change.”

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Horror and crime and whatever it is that David Lynch does nail it best: Small towns may look placid, even idyllic, on the surface, but more often than not, they’re festering underneath.

 

Just the other day, I saw — I wish I recalled where — the summary of a study concluding that, despite all the fears directed at the big bad city, you’re more likely to be murdered in a small town. The worst murders I’ve ever heard about took place in a tiny town twelve miles from the one I grew up in, and still lived at the time. They haunted me for the twelve years they went unsolved. They did not happen in a vacuum; they were the worst in an aberrantly bloody time. A few years ago, I wrote an essay about them, and the era they emerged out of, for a book benefiting the West Memphis Three … victims of another multi-layered small town nightmare whose extended cast of characters would strain credulity if you tried to pass them off as fiction.

 

So I found the idea of placing a Lovecraftian story in a retro small town setting instantly appealing. I loved the juxtaposition of the comfortably familiar and the unfathomably alien.

 

But the more I tossed around ideas, the more I felt compelled to not just use the small town setting, but try to pry away at the reverence American culture has for them in the first place. What better vehicle for this than a town that not only hasn’t changed, but can’t?

 

We excel at conjuring up Golden Age nostalgia that celebrates what’s genuinely good about small towns by overlooking everything about them that wasn’t worth preserving. For instance, the legacy of what have been called “sundown towns” … that is: If you have the wrong color skin, you may get away with walking our streets in daylight, but make sure you’re gone by evening. I grew up a few miles from one of those, too; spoke to people who remembered seeing the sign along the road in.

 

Even more crucial was getting at how the good old days were really the province of the good old boys, with their networks and a vested interest in preserving the status quo, so everything remained ripe for the picking. Which, to me, is the real relevance for today, as Main Street scales up to Wall Street.

 

I tapped quite a few memories of where I came from to weave into “This Stagnant Breath of Change,” and they were good ones. I hope that comes through. Just the same, I was reminded of Hemingway’s subtly barbed comment on St. Louis: that it was a good place to be from.

 

– Brian

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Brian Hodge accepted his destiny as a writer early, when as a preschooler he used to scribble on scraps of wood and affix them to unsuspecting trees. Eventually he learned the alphabet, which proved to be an enormous help.

He is now the award-winning author of eleven novels spanning horror, crime, and historical; close to 120 shorter works; and five full-length collections. His first collection, The Convulsion Factory, was ranked by critic Stanley Wiater among the 113 best books of modern horror.

Recent and forthcoming titles include Whom the Gods Would Destroy and The Weight of the Dead, both standalone novellas; Worlds of Hurt, an omnibus edition of the first four works in his Misbegotten mythos; an updated hardcover edition of Dark Advent, his early post-apocalyptic epic; Who We Are In The Dark, his next collection; and his next novel, Leaves of Sherwood.

He lives in Colorado, where mountain air and brewpubs keep everything in the works. He also explores music, sound design, and photography; loves everything about organic gardening except the thieving squirrels; and trains in Krav Maga and kickboxing, which are of no use at all against the squirrels.

Brian’s story appears in Shadows Over Main Street from Hazardous Press, available now: http://www.amazon.com/Shadows-Over-Main-Street-Lovecraftian-ebook/dp/B00SXHSYUK/ref=zg_bs_tab_pd_bsnr_3

For regular updates on the book, please join us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ShadowsOverMainStreet

shadows-cover-w-book

We are thrilled and honored to see that so many contributing authors to Shadows have been named Bram Stoker Award nominees this year. So we offer our congratulations to authors Josh Malerman, Rena Mason, Lucy A. Snyder, Richard Thomas and Stephanie M. Wytovich who all made the final ballot! To celebrate, we have lowered the price on the Kindle version of Shadows Over Main Street to 99 cents for the next few days. So if you were on the fence about picking up a copy, this is your chance to take the plunge into the shadows!

“Shadows Over Main Street is a masterful blend of stories fit for both die-hard Lovecraft fans and readers new to the genre. Each and every tale is wickedly delicious.” –Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of Fall of Night and V-Wars.

Click here to grab yours today!

Welcome to the “Behind the Shadows” series of blog posts, where every week we will share a peek inside the minds of our authors and learn about the inspirations behind their contributions. This week, Lucy A. Snyder talks about her approach to her story, “The Abomination of Fensmere” and where we might see her protagonist in the future.

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When I was writing “The Abomination of Fensmere”, I wanted to meld a Lovecraftian setting and atmosphere with a more modern Southern gothic tale. I also thought it would be an interesting challenge to drop a young, Nancy Drew-reading protagonist into a world of cults, madness, and cosmic horrors.

 

My protagonist Penny took hold of my imagination and I wrote a direct sequel for Caelano Press’ The Court of the Yellow King entitled “The Girl With the Star-Stained Soul”. As you might guess, that story ties in with Robert Chambers’ King in Yellow mythos.

 

Using those two stories as a jumping-off point, I’m partway through a young adult novel featuring Penny and all the horrors she has to survive in a fateful summer down in Fensmere, Mississippi.

 

– Lucy

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Lucy A. Snyder is the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of the novels Spellbent, Shotgun Sorceress, Switchblade Goddess, and the collections Orchid Carousals, Sparks and Shadows, Chimeric Machines, and Installing Linux on a Dead Badger. She’s had two new books out in 2014: Shooting Yourself in the Head For Fun and Profit: A Writer’s Survival Guide from Post Mortem Press, and her story collection Soft Apocalypses from Raw Dog Screaming Press. Her writing has been translated into French, Russian, and Japanese editions and has appeared in publications such as Apex Magazine, Nightmare Magazine, Jamais Vu, Pseudopod, Strange Horizons, Weird Tales, Dark Faith, Chiaroscuro, GUD, and Best Horror of the Year, Vol. 5.She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband and occasional co-author Gary A. Braunbeck and is a mentor in Seton Hill University’s MFA program in Writing Popular Fiction. You can learn more about her at www.lucysnyder.com.

Lucy’s story appears in Shadows Over Main Street from Hazardous Press, available now: http://www.amazon.com/Shadows-Over-Main-Street-Lovecraftian-ebook/dp/B00SXHSYUK/ref=zg_bs_tab_pd_bsnr_3

For regular updates on the book, please join us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ShadowsOverMainStreet

As proof that you sometimes can something for nothing, Hazardous Press is offering a Goodreads giveaway of Shadows Over Main Street! We have 5 books up for grabs for 5 lucky winners and the giveaway ends on February 14th. It could be a nice Valentine’s Day gift. Because we all know nothing says I love you like 280 pages of mind-bending cosmic horror poetry, fiction and art.

 

Enter to win below and then maybe on Valentine’s Day, you will be able to wrap your tentacles around your sweetheart and show them just how much they mean to you.

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Shadows Over Main Street by Doug Murano

Shadows Over Main Street

by Doug Murano

Giveaway ends February 14, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Welcome to the “Behind the Shadows” series of blog posts, where every week we will share a peek inside the minds of our authors and learn about the inspirations behind their contributions. This week, we check in with Josh Malerman on his story, “A Fiddlehead Party on Carpenter’s Farm.”

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We’re all excited by the prospect of a new monster. Something rotten that’s never been seen before, the story of a beast that’s never been told. And yet, we’re all watchful: How hard are they trying to do something different? Too hard? And does that show? Us horror fans are always rooting for the writer imagining these fresh scares, but we’re not without our limits. A haunted filing cabinet, though fun, possibly doesn’t sound scary enough. A mother who dresses up as a father who dresses up as a mother might sound better but maybe that’s a bit too convoluted for us, too. Or maybe they all work and, fuck it, it’s just a matter of how it’s done. The thing about searching the landscape for new monsters is that you’ve got to read a lot of horror to know the monsters that already exist. And by reading those stories, you can’t help but be influenced by what you’ve read. As joyful as that is… you can see the conundrum. I want to write a story just like she did but nothing like she did at all! So we search… way back… in the best place, that area of you that fell in love with horror to begin with, that place we all leave (all the time, for no good reason) and struggle to find our way back. So far from our birth-site, we’re lost! But we return, always, and once we do we’re like A HA! THIS IS WHERE I GO TO MEET NEW MONSTERS! I’d forgotten all about this place.

For me, that place is sometimes a farm. It’s owned by a man named Carpenter and Carpenter is just discovering that the crops he’s growing aren’t the crops he thinks he’s growing. Rather than beets, he’s growing points of view. Yes, often, if I’m trying to get away from the noise my own wheels make, I seek refuge on Carpenter’s Farm, where there are fields of perspective, fields of mood. And this, I realize, is something that scares me: Growing monsters. Because, of course, states of mind are the most monstrous thing we’ll ever know. I hate myself. There’s a bad one. I’m not as pretty as her, as good as her. That’s a bad one, too. But maybe out there on Carpenter’s Farm I can eat a little Self-Confidence and get rid of those nasty perspectives. Maybe out there I can eat enough Calm to get rid of the shakes. Thing is (and this is the monster, yeah?) you can never be sure which crop you’re eating, even out there in your favorite place, the place you go to seek refuge from the noise your own wheels make. And yet… we’re willing to risk it. I sure as shit am. And so it struck me (and strikes me yet): Perspective is a monster. Mood is scarier than a werewolf. Worldview is more haunting than a ghost. So then can’t I, as horror author, swap them out… or combine the two?

That clicks, for me, out there in the place I was born. Horror-born. And that’s the path I took to writing “A Fiddlehead Party on Carpenter’s Farm.”

The moment I realized my Worry and my Fear are more monstrous than the monsters out here.

– Josh

 

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Josh Malerman is the author of Bird Box and “Ghastle and Yule,” as well as the singer/songwriter for the High Strung. He lives in Ferndale, Michigan with his fiancée Allison Laakko. Learn more about Josh and his work at www.facebook.com/JoshMalerman or follow him on Twitter, @JoshMalerman.

Josh’s story appears in Shadows Over Main Street from Hazardous Press, available now: http://www.amazon.com/Shadows-Over-Main-Street-Lovecraftian-ebook/dp/B00SXHSYUK/ref=zg_bs_tab_pd_bsnr_3

For regular updates on the book, please join us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ShadowsOverMainStreet