Tag Archive | Samhain Publishing

Glenn Rolfe Toes the Line with Samhain Horror Head Honcho, Don D’Auria

Hunter Shea:

How could I not share this great interview with my Samhain editor and all around swell guy, Don D’Auria!

Originally posted on Horror Novel Reviews:

Interview conducted by: Glenn Rolfe

Samhain Publishing editor and lead dog on the company’s horror line, Don D’Auria, has been in the business since the eighties. Driven by love of horror and the passion to bring this fictional evil to a world in dire need of great distractions, Don has brought the literary world of terror (not manned by a King or Koontz) back from the dead (in the mid-nineties with authors like Ramsey Campbell, Richard Laymon, and Jack Ketchum), only to watch his work sink in the great Dorchester Publishing debacle of 2010. He remerged in 2011 with Samhain and a boat load of amazing authors to once again conquer the horror world.

In 2011 Smahain author Frazer Lee’s debut novel, The Lamplighters, was nominated for the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a First Novel. John Everson followed in 2012 with a nomination for Superior Achievement…

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A Sinister Tour This Way Comes

My tale of the mysterious doppelganger, Sinister Entity, keeps rolling along. I signed on to do a week long book tour this month, starting on May 20th. Here are the stops where you’ll find reviews, interviews and blog posts straight from my diseased mind. I’ll update the links on the SIGNINGS and APPEARANCES page during that week so you can get right to the ruptured heart of things.

Sinister_Entity_Button_300_x_225

May 20 Guest blog
Mondays as part of the Paranormal Perceptions series
May 20 Spotlight (maybe review)
Mythical Books
May 21 Interview
Pembroke Sinclair.
May 21 Spotlight
Paranormal Book CLub
May 22 Spotlight
Krystal’s Enchanting Reads …
May 22 review
Michelle’s Romantic Tangle
May 23 Guest blog
May 23 review
Mama Knows Books
May 24 Spotlight
May 24 Spotlight
Escape Into A Book
May 27 Guest blog and review
Zombiegirl Shambling
May 27 Guest blog
Fae Books

Your Horror-Paranormal Round-Up for March

Today marks the start of something new for me. Every couple of months, I’m going to post a hodge-podge of places to go and people to see on the internet, all of them horror and paranormal related. These are the locations, people  and achievements that have captured my imagination and gratitude. They are wellsprings of inspiration, information, entertainment and mental edification. Find something that interests you and give them a lookey-loo…

Congratulations goes out to Robert Rumery on the publication of his first comic, The Grove, from WhatTheFlux Comics. If you know me, you know I’m a horror comic junkie. Nice job, Robert. I can’t wait to get my grubby little hands on it.

The Grove

Looking for great horror books at steep discounts…or even free? Author, editor and all around cool dude in a loose mood, Brian James Freeman has started eHorror Bargains, your one-stop-shop for the best in horror. All of your horror deals are right here. Stop by and load up your e-reader!

Book Reviews. I have 2 places where you can go to get tons of book reviews (and if you’re an author, query them to have your book spotlighted). The first is Oh, for the HOOK of a BOOK. Super reviewer Erin covers multiple genres as well as author interviews. She is the hardest working book reviewer out there today and a lot of writerly types owe her our gratitude.

Another mega-review site is Matt Molgaard’s Horror Novel Reviews. Matt and his team do an excellent job of reviewing not only new horror works, but classics and older hidden gems. If you need to stock up your horror library, this is the place to go. Then head to eHorror Bargains and see if you can get some of them without busting your budget.

Bigfoot. You know I can’t help myself from throwing something about the hairy fella in here. Huge thanks to Scott Albright who brought this post to my attention (actually, it’s as large as a novella) about Bigfoot and why no one has found their bones or bodies. Author Robert Lindsay did some yeoman’s work putting this together. Must read for all you squatchers!

Ghosts & The Supernatural. The definitive place to get everything you need about the world of the paranormal is Jeff Belanger’s Ghost Village. This is the Bible for everyone interested in what lies beyond the veil. You can also sign up for their free monthly newsletter.

Books. I’m super excited that my book release partner on April 2nd is the uber-talented Jonathan Janz. His new book, The Darkest Lullaby, comes out the same day as my Sinister Entity. Here’s a link to a review of his book. He has one of the coolest cover in the Samhain library.

thedarkestlullaby_v2

Podcasts. My newest podcast addiciotn is Darkness Radio, a radio show broadcast out of the Twin Cities. You can listen to their archives online or through iTunes. These guys have a damn good time talking about the world of the strange and the unexplained. Love their take on things.

OK, that about does it for this month. I hope you stop by some or all of these great places and supoprt them. If there are hot spots you think I should know about, send them to me and I’ll include them in future posts.

Happy hauntings!

Getting off the Island : Writing Life Rafts

When it comes to writing, we often feel like we’re on a desert island. Some days, we’d love to run into Gilligan just to have someone to talk to. We chose this path, and we have to go it alone (cue The Hulk walking away music).

Yes, writing is a solo endeavor, but you can get a helping hand from time to time. A lot of people don’t know where to turn. Here are a few reference materials that will not only walk alongside you, but also help you get to your destination. Being a horror writer, I’m going to come at this from that genre’s angle, but this is really for everyone.

Inspiration/Self Help

There are so many writing self-help books out there, you can spend a lifetime reading them and never getting any actual writing done. In my 20 years of writing, I’ve found two books have helped me more than any others. The first, naturally, is Stephen Kings On Writing. There’s no magic here, just good homespun advice that you a put into practice right away, The second is Errnest Hemingway on Writing. The man changed the way people read and write. Learn at his feet.

On_Writing

Writing References

I know that every english teacher will tell you Strunk and White is a necessity. I have my copy sitting on my shelf, but it has enough dust on it to choke a horse. I much prefer Bill Bryson’s Dictionary of Troublesome Words. Not only will he teach you the difference between affect and effect, but he’ll amuse you as he guides you along.

Bill Bryson

Submitting Your Work

For my money, there’s really only on place to go, and that’s the Writer’s Market. I prefer the online version to the biblically sized print because it stays current and won’t strain your arm. Here you’ll find agents, publishers, magazines and guidelines for submission.

For a horror writer, you can also join the Horror Writer’s Association (HWA) and persuse all of the genre specific materials they have on archive.

Marketing Your Work

And you thought all you had to do was write! :) Marketing and promotion are a large chunk of every writer’s life. Learn how to do it best by picking up any of Kristen Lamb’s books, We Are Not Alone : The Guide to Social Media or Are You There Blog? : It’s Me, Writer. I’ve read more books on the subject than I can recall. These 2 short books are all you need. She gives tips that work the moment you put them in place. Great stuff.

Knowing Your Genre

I know I’ve said this a million times, but you can’t expect to be a writer if you don’t read…a lot. So if you’re a horror writer like me, you need to read as much as you can get your hands on. Know what works, what sells, where the genre is going, where it’s been. I know there are a lot of Leisure horror fans that were crestfallen, like me, when they went under. The good news is that a lot of those writers are putting out books with my publisher, Samhain, because that’s where editor superstar Don D’Auria has set up shop. But make sure you read in other genres as well. Being well rounded only makes you a better writer.

See, short and sweet. No need to be bogged down with books and organizations to follow, but at least you know there’s help out there. We don’t need Professor to get off the island from time to time.

What are some of your favorite writing themed books? What’s worked best for you?

Women in Horror : An Interview With Damien Walters Grintalis

I first met Damien Walters Grintalis at the Horrorfind con in Gettysburg, PA last Labor Day weekend. I was immediately struck by her sharp wit and great sense of humor. We were at the Samhain author table and believe me, she could hold her own with the boys. I especially loved the 50’s era dresses she wore that made her stand out from the crowd. She was promoting her debut novel, Ink, months before it was scheduled for release.

Because her book is about a tattoo that takes on a sinister life of its own. she had made little temporary tattoos to hand out to promote the book. By the end of the weekend, a first time author was the most popular person at the booth. Remarkable. And her novel, Ink, is even more so.

I’m happily seeing more women getting recognized in the horror field, especially on the writing side. No need to dress skimpy and scream a lot when you’re creating a world of terror. This being Women in Horror month, I though it was appropos that I kick things off with Damien. But when  you get down to it, man or woman, she’s an extremely talented writer.

It’s very apparent that Damien worked very hard on her craft before submitting for publication, which I think a lot of new writers kind of skip over. We’re all so eager to make our mark on the publishing world that we jump into marketing and promotion before making sure our manuscript is as tight as it can be.

I was very happy that she wanted to appear on the blog and chain and talk about her road to publication, upcoming work and most creative way to die.

To prepare myself for this interview, I read, or more accurately, devoured, your debut novel, Ink. I promise not to give away any spoilers, but I will say that it was one of the top 5 horror books I’ve read in the past few years. Would you care to tell everyone a little bit about the book?  Jason, the main character, is fresh out of a bad marriage and he makes an impulsive decision to get a tattoo by a tattoo artist he meets in a bar. Can you say bad decision? Neither the tattoo artist nor the tattoo are what they seem and Jason ends up in a world of hurt.

Ink is truly one of the more original and inventive stories I’ve seen in a long time. Where did you get your inspiration?  I was walking out of a tattoo shop and had a what-if moment. Then I had a picture in my head of a man with a strange walk. I wasn’t sure how he was connected to the story, but I knew he was. I tried to replicate his walk in my living room and after a few minutes, the reason for his odd walk and his connection to the story became very very clear.

Ink Cover

Speaking of Ink, do you have any tattoos? I have a few myself and now I’m a little nervous when I feel an itch on my arms. Yes, I have six. It may be tempting fate, but I’m contemplating a griffin on my left arm.

I know from my own writing that characters are often drawn from the people who have touched my life in one way or another. Your characters are so reach, so vivid, I just know there are some real life folks in there. So, care to spill the beans on who Jason. Mitch, Shelley and even Sailor are? Jason is a construct of a few people I’ve known. I did not want to write about the big burly alpha male who fixes everything with a flex of his pecs. I wanted someone less confident. Someone breakable. Mitch, on the other hand, is strong and self-reliant. If anything, she’s the White Knight in the story. Jason’s father is based on my own, although the catchphrases he uses belong to my husband.

 Sailor isn’t based on anyone I know, but a concept that evil can be anyone, anywhere. There is no one face, one look, for evil and a man in an expensive suit can be just as dangerous as a homeless man with wild hair and crazy eyes. (And no, I don’t believe all homeless men are dangerous, just that many people perceive to be.) Take Ted Bundy, for example. He was good looking, he was charming, but beneath the pleasant exterior, he was a monster.

After I read Ink, I said to myself, “where has Damien been hiding all these years?”. What was your road to publication like and how did you become a part of our Samhain family? I wrote Ink initially in 2009. It wasn’t my first novel, but it was the first one I felt confident about. When it was edited and pretty, I started to query agents. I had several offers of representation, which shocked me. Fast forward a handful of months and I heard about Don D’Auria joining Samhain. I talked to my then-agent, he sent Ink to Don, and a few months later we had an offer. 

OK, your debut novel is out and on the Samhain topseller list. What new book or books are you working on and when can we expect to see them in print? My new novel, Paper Tigers, about a disfigured young woman and a haunted photo album, is still in the horror genre, but of a different sort than Ink. My agent and I have been going back and forth with revisions, trying to make it as shiny and sparkly (of the non-faux-vampire type) as possible. I have two other novels waiting in the wings for edits and in between the novels, I also write a lot of short fiction.

 If aliens made themselves known to us and asked you to come with them to their planet, never to return to earth, would you accept the invitation and why or why not? No, I would not. My family, my life, is here.

Here’s a series of rapid fire questions: Favorite movie? Favorite food? Bugs Bunny or Tom & Jerry? Most creative way to die? Kittens or puppies? Alien. Soup. Tom & Jerry. Um…jumping into an active volcano? Puppies. Definitely puppies.

 Thank you so much for appearing on my blog and chain. Please let everyone know where to find you and any parting words of wisdom.  

You can find me online via my website: www.damienwaltersgrintalis.com , my blog: dwgrintalis.blogspot.com, or on Twitter @dwgrintalis. Parting words of wisdom? Never investigate strange noises while wearing only underwear, and always check behind the closed shower curtain.

So, have we piqued your interest? Trust me, even if you’re not a horror fan, Ink will captivate you. What’s your publication journey been like? And more importantly, what is your most creative way to take a dirt nap?

Horror Reading List for Halloween

It’s Terrortober and I have the books you should be reading right here. Now, those of you following me on Twitter know that every day I post what horror movie I’ve watched with a rating and the hashtag, Terrortober. To add to the fun, the Monster Men have put together an episode dedicated to a plethora of great books available at Samhain Horror.

Also, I’ve been posting chapters of a new gothic horror story called MERCY. You can read chapter one here and chapter two here. Chapter three will be posted on my blog on Halloween.

OK, grab a pen and paper and get ready for your mandatory reading list. This will count for 75% of your grade!

 

The Novella is Rising : Swamp Monster Massacre

Today is officially celebration day here in the Shea household. Not only is Evil Eternal just a few weeks away from going into print, but I just got the cover for my brand, spanking new novella, Swamp Monster Massacre! This is absolutely the wildest thing I’ve ever written. If you mashed a pulp crime novel with a B movie monster flick, you’d come out with this baby. The Massacre begins in early October. It’s about time someone put the spotlight on Skunk Apes.

Here’s a sneak peek at the cover.

Dreadful Tales Samhain Celebration Wrap-Up

The wonderful folks at Dreadful Tales were nice enough to dedicate an entire week to Samhain Horror, with interviews, reviews and articles with authors (such as myself) and editor Don D’Auria. If you’re a fan of horror, this is a treasure trove of insight and hopefully a reason to add to your “to read” pile. You can catch up on everything right here! Dreadful Tales Samhain Celebration Wrap-Up.

It’s Here! Evil Eternal vs. The World

It’s a great day here in the Shea neighborhood. My second book with Samhain Publishing, Evil Eternal, is now available and can be had a pretty damn good price (under $5!). I’m honored to be part of the Samhain family and have been impressed every step of the way since they took this orphan in last year.

Now, I’ve already given you an excerpt in a previous quote, breakdown of the book on my Books page along with some advance reviews. So, what the heck esle do I have to talk about (other than the various posts and article on  my blog tour—see previous post)? I figured I’d give you a little Shea family snapshot and show you how Evil Eternal grew from a tiny idea to a full-fledged, demon-killing novel.

Way back when Bill Clinton was asking the world to define the word ‘is’, I got a spanking new computer. The best way to test drive that Gateway was to write a short story, preferrably something with larger than life characters, demons and gore. Hey, it’s what I was in the mood for at the time. Well, I cranked out a short story about this undead priest called Father Michael who stumbles upon scenes of carnage wrought by a demon called Cain (he of Cain and Abel infamy).

I wrote it, I read it, I liked it. So did other folks I showed it to. I went on to write another story, placing Father Michael in the NY sewer system seeking demons in dark, filthy tunnels. About a year after I had written both stories, a Bram Stoker nominated horror website came to me to see if I had any ideas for a monthly e-serial. I thought, hey, I’ve got just the thing!

So for a few months, I wrote new chapters for the website, leaving each on a cliffhanger. It was great fun. Alas, the website shut down well before the story was finished.

There were plans to make it a graphic comic and a great friend started preliminary artwork. Comic publishers were contacted, but no one took the bait. Oh well. I may be a big comic book reader, but I was never too saavy about the business side of the medium.

I had an ending that was just itching to be written, so I went back and finished what I started and had a dandy novella. And that’s the way it sat for quite a while.

Enter Samhain, stage right. As I was digging through my drawer of misfit manuscripts, I showed my editor the novella. The next question was, “Can you flesh it out and make it a novel?” Hell yeah, I can! I dove back into the Evil Eternal world and added a new beginning, ending and beefed up everything in between. I had a ton of fun writing it. This is ‘let your freak flag fly’ territory.

And now it’s finally here. Be sure to check in at the ‘ol blog and chain and the various blog tour stops for giveaways and fun. Next time you’re in church, thank a priest. They may save you from death at the hands of a demon some day. ;)

Evil Eternal – A Sneak Peek

It’s hard to believe that my next novel with Samhain Publishing, Evil Eternal, will be available May 1st as an ebook, with print coming in early September. It feels like Forest of Shadows just came out a week ago and here I am gearing up for another round of horror-fueled madness.

Evil Eternal has all the subtlety of a Cat-5 hurricane. I had originally designed it to be a graphic novel but over time it morphed into a full length novel. It’s been described as ‘rip-roaring grand guignol’ and an over-the-top battle royale of good vs. evil.

So, to get you all revved up and ready, put on a little mood music (I suggest anything by Wagner or White Zombie), sit back, and enjoy the follow excerpt…

EVIL ETERNAL – Ante

Hot sand blew into the stranger’s face as he crested the dusty hill. He refused to blink, refused to admit even the slightest defeat to the power of nature and the one who birthed it. He spat on the lone tuft of grass that clung to the hilltop, laughed as it turned a bilious brown, wilting back into the dry earth.

He was surprised to find a small orchard of fig trees lay nestled in the valley below, a lush land fed by the runoff from the surrounding hummocks. At the outer edge of the orchard sat a clay home, baked hard in the sun, big enough to house three, maybe four people. The leaves of the fig trees chittered in the breeze, mocking him. He’d see to that.

Using his gnarled, wooden staff, he descended the hill in a matter of minutes, his bare feet finding a solid grip with each step. The sun was strong and burned the back of his neck. He pulled his woolen hood over his head, pausing a moment to take in the orchard from eye level.

Available for pre-order now!

Five rows of a dozen trees each were spaced out evenly across the valley. Thousands of ripe green figs hung from the branches. They looked, to him at least, like swollen scrotums. He reached up to pluck one, grimaced as it discolored in the palm of his hand, turning a mushy black and melting between his fingers.

The tree followed suit, the figs dying and falling in a rain dance of heavy plops, bursting as they hit the ground. Leaves shriveled up, became brittle, while the branches sagged as if saddled with the weight of the moon.

Crack!

The trunk split in half, the bisected tree collapsing in opposite directions.

The verdant soil around the tree transformed to a cancerous black, spider veins stretching to its neighbors, the scene of rapid decay and death replayed again and again until the orchard was a killing field, the soul of the land corrupted beyond measure.

This made the stranger smile.

Two men erupted from the house, hands on their heads, wailing in shock, anger, fear. Their life’s work had been destroyed in a matter of minutes, struck down by an unseen plague. A woman holding a child to her breast emerged. She looked across the demolished field and cried. The baby fidgeted in her arms as if it too could sense that something had gone terribly wrong.

One of the men met the stranger’s gaze, pointed.

“You did this?” he cried. It was more a question than an accusation, for the moment. The strange man in his former orchard was the one thing that did not belong. If he was not the cause, and how could one man do this, then perhaps he was witness to the death of his beloved fig trees.

To the man’s amazement, the stranger bowed and said, “Yes, I did.”

Fire flashed in both men’s eyes and they disappeared into the house. The woman turned away from him, shielding the baby from his view. The men emerged brandishing long swords. They held them high above their heads, charging.

He waited for them to come to him, to wear themselves out running across the barren field. They swore curses as they rushed headlong, prepared to maim this stranger who had taken their life from them through some power they did not and could not understand. But they did understand retribution, the swifter the better.

The stranger waited until they were several steps away before raising his walking stick above his head. It caught both swords as they swooped down to cleave him from shoulder to hip. With a flick of his wrist, both swords were torn from their hands, buried in the unyielding wood of his staff. He tossed it aside, grabbing for their throats.

He closed his eyes, in the throes of an orgasmic rapture as he felt their windpipes crush between his fingers. They swatted at his thick forearms to no avail. He squeezed tighter, cutting off their supply of oxygen, demolishing the inner workings of their respiratory system. They wouldn’t be needing them much longer.

Their throats collapsed one after the other with an audible rending of cartilage and muscle. He released them, looking on in amusement as they dropped to the ground, their eyes distended, tongues swollen and lolling from open mouths.

The woman sobbed, falling to her knees. He came to her in slow, steady strides, confident that she would not run from him. She looked up as his shadow loomed over her.

“What kind of monster are you?” she asked, defiance in her eyes. Her baby had grown silent, tucked within her robes.

He leaned on his staff, regarding her with cold curiosity.

“I’m the best kind of monster.”

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You can pre-order Evil Eternal or add to your Wish List by clicking any of the following links:

Samhain Publishing

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

 

 

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