Help Get Terror at 5280′ Off the Ground!

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Terror CoverHere at Denver Horror Collective—our frighteningly talented group of horror writers and artists in and around the Mile High City—we believe in the motto: write locally, scare globally.

Which is why we’re all shivers to announce our Indiegogo fundraiser for Terror at 5280’, our horror fiction anthology due out this fall, with stories set around the greater Denver metroplex and Front Range Rocky Mountain communities, all penned by Colorado authors!

What authors, you may ask? Well, how about:

  • Bram Stoker Award-winning horror master, Stephen Graham Jones
  • USA Today and #1 Denver Post bestselling thriller author Carter Wilson
  • Hex Publishers owner, editor, and author Josh Viola
  • Foreword by John Palisano, author and President of Horror Writers Association
  • Various Denver Horror Collective members
  • Other Colorado-based horror fiction writers

The print and e-book anthology will run about 250 pages and include roughly 20 stories (the editorial team has already made its selections and is currently editing). Some tales are based on local folklore and urban legends, while others touch on social and environmental themes relevant to the area, such as gentrification, substance abuse and…zombie deer.

As with everything at Denver Horror Collective, Terror at 5280’  is a group effort. So, if you love horror fiction, indie publishing, and/or local arts, will you make a contribution to our Indiegogo fundraiser today!

Dark Wisdom: Dean Wyant

In “Dark Wisdom,” we seek writing and/or publishing advice from the horror fiction masters making up Denver Horror Collective’s Advisory Council

For this installment, we grill Dean Wyant, co-founder and acquisitions editor at Hex Publishers. 

What’s the future of small press publishers?

Me

DEAN WYANT: May I have an easier question, please? How I wish I had a crystal ball for this one. There are some things I do understand as far as current publishing goes which I think will continue to influence small publishers as the book business progresses.

Large publishers want that next Harry Potter, Longmire mystery series or a guaranteed big selling author such as Stephen King. Quantity is equally as important, if not more so, than quality. Anyone who has attempted to break into the world of big time publishing knows how challenging it can be. You need an agent–good luck with that–and you need to have a manuscript that will sell. If you’re lucky enough to get published and it doesn’t sell well, you’re dumped. Ouch.

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First Breath by Nicole J. LeBoeuf

“First Breath” is the first of several Colorado-based short stories written by local authors we’ll be publishing on the Denver Horror Collective website and in The Epitaph newsletter, as a lead-up to the fall release of Terror at 5280′, our local horror fiction anthology.

First Breath
by Nicole J. LeBoeuf

[Author’s note: The setting of ‘First Breath’ is loosely based on the cafe and bar Loaded Joes in Avon, a favorite place to write (and sing karaoke) when I’m in the neighborhood.]

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Photo: Lisa Young

It was time I went in search of myself. Everyone has to do it once in their lives. Each of my parents had, years before, and now I felt the pull that said it was my turn. Time to make my own pilgrimage.

They saw me off, standing in front of the house and watching me drift down the road. “Remember what we taught you,” my mother said. “One foot in front of the other. You’ll do fine.”

“Hurry home as soon as you can,” said my father, a wry smile hiding the sadness of parting. “You’ll want to be here when the baby arrives.”

I could only nod, looking first from face to face then down at the place where my unborn sibling waited to be breathed into life. I wanted to take their hands. I wanted to hold them and never let go.

But I couldn’t touch them. I could not even speak. Not yet.

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6(66) Questions with Bobby Crew

– Interview by Linnea Linton

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Denver Horror Collective member, Bobby Crew.

1. Name one horror author you admire and explain how they helped you become a better writer.

I have wanted to become an author since I was eight years old, and that desire is credited entirely to R. L. Stine. I hated reading as a kid until my father convinced me that I just needed to find a genre I was interested in and “forced” me to read my first Goosebumps book. Needless to say it worked, and I soon had a collection of Goosebumps and Fear Street books.

2. What author did you dislike at first but grew into?

Shakespeare. I hated reading Shakespeare in high school, but then found that I actually loved it in college. It goes to show that a teacher can make or break a subject by the way that they teach it.

3. As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot?

My familiar is a bull snake named Bacchus. I adore snakes and I love that they have such a varied symbolic representation. Snakes appear in almost every branch of mythology. Sometimes they represent evil beings, or tricksters, and to some they are temple guardians. I choose snakes because their symbolic meaning is as varied as the different stories I try to tell. Snakes also appear in many of my stories.

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Dark Wisdom: Angie Hodapp

In “Dark Wisdom,” we seek writing and/or publishing advice from the horror fiction masters making up Denver Horror Collective’s Advisory Council

For this installment, we query Angie Hodapp, Director of Literary Development at Nelson Literary Agency: “What sort of horror novels are agents looking for?”

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Photo: Wyoming Writers, Inc.

ANGIE HODAPP: While I certainly can’t answer that question on behalf of all agents, I can take a stab (ha, ha) at nailing down (I slay me) a few thoughts that I hope you’ll find useful. I’ll break it down into three things: writing style, premise, and plot.

Upmarket or Literary Writing Style

Nelson Literary Agency is always open to horror submissions, but one of the first three things we’re going to look at is the quality of the writing. We’re unlikely to request a more commercial-leaning, trope-heavy horror novel—cheap thrills, gratuitous violence, gore porn any premise or milieu* that feels recycled or derivative, a work likely to be released as a mass market paperback or ebook only. But send us a more cerebral, psychologically challenging work that demonstrates the tense, suspenseful, unsettling, atmospheric slow-burn of masterful horror writing, and we’ll jump all over it. Read 100 reviews or blurbs for bestselling horror novels and count how many times the words “tension” and “suspense” are used. So much of a writer’s ability to bring tension and suspense to the page lives in their writing style and voice.

We want (and, frankly, who doesn’t?) the next big crossover horror project—the one publishers are going to release in hardcover, the one booksellers are going to set out on their front-of-store displays because it has the potential to capture readers who “don’t read horror” as well as those who do.

*Some horror milieus, however, are evergreen. Haunted houses. Morgues. Cemeteries. Gothic churches. Basements. Abandoned shacks. Maybe that’s because such places are metaphors for the corners of our minds where fear and apprehension lurk. It’s often how a writer chooses to render a familiar setting that makes it feel unique rather than derivative.

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