Horror & Dark Fantasy

Samhain Publishing - 30% off new titles

Author Spotlights

Author Spotlight: Simon Strantzas

I often write stories about characters who are ignorant or oblivious to the truths that surround them. The unreliable narrator is a favourite tool of mine and particularly effective in the horror genre for creating a sense of dread and uncertainly about how the narrative will play out. I suspect there are very few of us who, when confronted with the sort of peculiar situations most horror story protagonists find themselves in, would be aware of what’s going on and why.

Author Spotlight: Ben Peek

Traditionally, a sin-eater had two functions. First, he/she existed to free a family of shame, and secondly, he/she existed to ensure that the soul of the recently dead did not wander the world in purgatory, or some such thing. As for modern day desires to wash away the sins of the dead, I suspect it is a complex issue, arising from a mix of the original reasons sin-eaters existed, to politeness, and empowerment, and legacy.

Author Spotlight: Tia V. Travis

But there’s a poetry in music much like the poetry in writing. You can develop an ear for it if you slow down and listen. “The spaces between the notes,” as a band mate of mine used to refer to them, is something I’m much more conscious of now than I used to be. That is, it’s not simply the words themselves that have significance, but the meaning and emotion that lie between those words.

Author Spotlight: Desirina Boskovich

“Dear Owner” was in fact inspired by real life, as I personally spent several months being rudely awakened at 4:30 a.m. by an inconsiderate engine-revver parked outside my bedroom window. (As I later discovered from some neighbors, said engine-revver was not just disturbing me, but everyone in my twelve-unit building. Like you said: daily horrors.) I’m typically an extremely even-tempered person. But rouse me from a peaceful slumber and I’m instantaneously filled with murderous rage.

Author Spotlight: Tom Piccirilli

Ray Bradbury said that he wrote with thick drapes over his windows because he didn’t want to see when it was sunny outside because he had to stay in and write. I feel the same way. You need to prioritize writing at the head of your “things to do” list. So write, write some more, and then even more.

Author Spotlight: Mari Ness

But the inspiration from those films tends to show up in my other work—the dark fantasy, retold fairy tales, and science fiction. Horror is different. When I write horror, like this piece, and I don’t do this often, it is almost invariably in response to some mundane horror, some minor hell that I feel I can’t get out of. It’s the mundane horrors of real life that brings forth the monsters.

Author Spotlight: Dennis Etchison

My original title was “The Sources of the Nile.” My aunt and uncle once owned an ice cream shop called the Blue-and-White, the colors of Stockton High School across the street, which also happen to be the parts of the Nile River in Egypt that intersect at a place called Gezira, the fictional town in this story. I also remembered a certain editor in our field who used to make cross-country car trips specifically to visit fans who had written letters to his magazine.

Author Spotlight: Lane Robins

Windows are great for isolation. Letting you look at other people, other worlds, and still be separate. They’re a barrier that teases. And of course, like a door, they have the potential of opening when you least want them to.

Author Spotlight: H. L. Nelson

This was the toughest story I’ve ever written, hands down, and it’s because I do feel quite close to my main character. This story started off as an 800-word piece, because I couldn’t write more than that for months. There are specific scenes that come directly from my own childhood experiences, and perhaps a few cathartic tears were shed during the second draft filling-out process.

Author Spotlight: Michael Cisco

My favorite Lovecraft stories change with time. I wouldn’t say any one feature attracts me significantly more than any other. This lurking idea was simply a propitious jumping off point for the story.