Great news I've been sitting on for awhile: my short story "Almost Home" will be published in Cutting Block Press' Horror Library, Volume 5, later this summer. Editor RJ Cavender is announcing each story in turn, and he announced mine second: right after Bentley Little's short story, "Notes for an Article on Bainbridge Farm."
Yeah, I know. Bentley Little, right? The guy Stephen King once called the "poet laureate" of horror. Him and I in the same TOC. Pretty awesome. And the cover is pretty creepy, also.
This hits other milestones, though. A significant one: this story's original form was battered around by the good folks at Borderlands Press Writers' Bootcamp. Speculative fiction writers, you'd do well to attend this writers conference someday. It will change your writing forever.
Also, this is one of the few short stories I've managed to write over the past few years that was internally generated. In other words, I wasn't writing a themed-story for a themed-anthology. Sure, it's speculative/horror/strange....but it pulls at something deeper. Came from somewhere inside me. I wrote it because of something in me, not because of a themed anthology I was trying to get into.
Which means, even this long after writing it: I still like this story. A lot. It comes closest of everything I've written to reflecting me. Something eerie, haunting, emotional, but spiritual and speculative, born of something very human. I hope to write more of these.
Also, this weekend my new podcast series, Horror 101, premiers at Tales to Terrify. My meager goal: to trace the horror genre's history from its beginnings in Gothic fiction to what it is today. I hope it to be informative, but also to keep the tone light, have some fun.
An important note: I'm by no means an expert. I'll be traveling this road myself, learning as I go. Hopefully, we can all learn something together. Of course, the ultimate question is...why ?
In his examination of the horror genre, Danse Macabre, Stephen King says something like this:
"It's a matter of roots. It may not do any good to know that your grandfather liked to sit on the stoop of his building with his sleeves rolled up and smoke a pipe after supper, but it may help to know that he emigrated from Poland in 1888, that he came to New York and helped to build the subway system. If it does nothing else, it may give you a new perspective on your own morning subway ride...."
So that's what it's all about. I make no claims that this podcast will make anyone a better horror writer, or that being well-versed in horror's rich literary tradition will inherently make a better horror writer. But, it may very well offer us all a new perspective on the ride that is the horror story....
Anyway, check out the podcast, let me know what you think. I cue in around 23 minutes. And this is my first podcast, so be gentle...