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Author Josh Schlossberg surveys the dark landscape of today's horror fiction.

Terror at 5280' Snags #2 Slot on Denver Post Bestseller List

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Terror at 5280’, Denver Horror Collective’s horror fiction anthology published in November, earned the #2 slot on Denver Post’s local bestseller list for paperback fiction for the week ending January 26, 2020.

Terror at 5280’ editors include Denver Horror Collective members Josh Schlossberg, Gary Robbe, Melinda Bezdek, Lisa Mavroudis, Thomas C. Mavroudis, Desi D, Bobby Crew, and Jeamus Wilkes. 

All 22 Terror at 5280’ stories are penned by Colorado authors, including Bram Stoker Award® winning horror master Stephen Graham Jones, USA Today bestselling thriller author Carter Wilson, as well as the following Denver Horror Collective members and Colorado-based horror fiction writers: Matthew Lyons, Lindsay King-Miller, Rebecca S.W. Bates, Carina Bissett, Joshua Viola, Joy Yehle, Gary Robbe, Cindra Spencer, Thomas C. Mavroudis, Melinda Bezdek, Henry Snider, Josh Schlossberg, Angela Sylvaine, Grace Horton, Jay Seate, Desi D, Sean Murphy, Bobby Crew, P.L. McMillan, Travis Heermann, Jeamus Wilkes.

The anthology’s cover art was created by The Rïpröck and its layout by Henry Snider (both Denver Horror Collective members), with a foreword by Horror Writers Association President John Palisano and an afterward by HWA Colorado’s Larry Berry.

Terror at 5280’ is available at a variety of Denver bookstores including Tattered Cover, Mutiny Information Café, Tennyson St. Coffee and Books, Bookbar, Broadway Book Mall, West Side Books, and Barnes and Noble; 2nd and Charles in Broomfield, Aurora, and Littleton; and in Boulder at the Boulder Bookstore, Trident Café, Bookworm, and Barnes and Noble. 

The anthology is also available online via Indiebound.org, Barnes and Noble (paperback and Nook), Powell’s, and Amazon (paperback and Kindle).

The 4th Circle: Interview with Angela Sylvaine

Denver Horror Collective active member and Terror at 5280′ contributor, Angela Sylvaine
  1. Name one horror author you admire and explain how they helped you become a better writer.

Though I didn’t begin writing until I was in my mid 30s, my love of horror blossomed with reading Christopher Pike in Junior High. When I started writing, I initially tried to write in more of a literary style, and I tried genres that just weren’t a good fit for me (contemporary, romance, science fiction). I realized I needed to embrace writing what I enjoyed rather than trying to meet the expectations of others. It was my love of Christopher Pike that helped me realize young adult horror was my passion, and when I gave myself permission to write this instead of worrying about the judgment of others, I started enjoying myself and saw more success in selling my work.

  1. As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot and why?

My immediate instinct is to say a cat, but I think that’s just because I love them. Really, I think my mascot would be a crow or raven. They’re black, and I love wearing black. They’re intelligent and adaptable, which I strive to be. They’re also loud, which I definitely am. They hold funeral rites for deceased crows and a group is called a murder, which is just generally spooky. I also loved Poe’s poem “The Raven” from the first moment I read it, and even named my first cat Lenore. Now if only I could learn to fly…

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Moonlit Dream Girl

– by Douglas D. Hawk

Watching from the moon night shadows, his dementia distorted her, remade her, morphed her into Dream Girl. Standing in the small clearing, she was radiant and stunning, a vision of love and adoration; a delusion of lust and wanton possession. The silky skirt molded around her, clinging to her thighs, and the sweater hugged her body, amplifying her plentiful breasts.

Seemingly unconcerned and unaware of her admirer, her stalker, shadowing her as she meandered without a care in the world, Dream Girl stepped off the sidewalk. She started strolling across the grass, snaking her way among Denver City Park’s multitude of trees. The zoo and museum were closed. There were no late night joggers or strolling lovers. It was after midnight and the empty park was illuminated by June’s bright full moon. The Strawberry Moon. 

Strawberries, her admirer thought, the color of blood. Would her blood taste as sweet?

As her stalker moved with the stealthy grace of a puma, Dream Girl paused, her head turning so her beautiful, moon-washed features stood out in the darkness. Her expression grew curious and for a fleeting moment, the hint of a frown touched her exquisite mouth. 

He knew that Dream Girl sensed him. He was predator, she was prey. His smile was feral. Yet, as he watched, her frown vanished and her expression grew impassive. That annoyed him. Soon she would comprehend the danger and like all prey, her blood would turn cold, her gut would clench and she would run. Run for her life. Run to her death.

The stalker sighed at the thought. The chase. The inevitable capture. The consummation of his desires and his lust. 

Dream Girl paused for only a few scant seconds and then resumed walking among the trees. If she was worried, it did not show. Her stride was leisurely, her exquisite body relaxed. Moving effortlessly, she exuded the easy confidence of one unconcerned about the night and the moonlit darkness and what might lurk in it. Her naiveté heightened her stalker’s hunger. At the end, innocent prey was so gratifying. The struggling. The screaming. The begging. 

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Dark Wisdom: Carina Bissett

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 pick the brains of Carina Bissett, a Colorado Springs-based writer, poet, and educator working primarily in the fields of speculative fiction and interstitial art.

How does mythology influence modern horror fiction?

Carina BissettCARINA BISSETT: By its very nature, mythology provides a broad foundation for writers to build upon. This can also be said when it comes to urban legends, folklore, and fairy tales. These stories tend to speak to universal truths, which is one of the reasons they have endured throughout history. With just a few words, a writer can invoke setting, theme, and mood. Well-known symbols—such as apples, serpents, crows, mirrors, teeth, flowers, chalices, shoes—create a shortcut into story. However, despite their familiarity, they also allow for distance, which can be a useful tool for writers commenting on contemporary issues.

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Denver Horror Collective T-Shirt Sale!

There’s no better way to show your love of horror and the local dark arts than sporting an official Denver Horror Collective T-shirt, with its haunting logo (drawn by The Rïpröck) on a space black background, printed by Denver-based IndyInk.

If you haven’t already grabbed yours, we’ve got a few left in sizes S, M, and L for $20 ($16 for DHC members). Pay through PayPal here or send a check to: Denver Horror Collective, 3542 N. Raleigh St., Denver, CO 80212 and be sure to include your size and mailing address.

DHC T shirt Freddy

Terror at 5280′: Local Dark History and Urban Legends + Book Signing

A Transylvanian vampire in Lafayette? A haunted road between Brighton and Thornton? A deadly speedway accident in Lakeside? Cold-blooded murder in Golden?

Terror Cover medium

Muster your guts and venture out to Tattered Cover (2526 E. Colfax Ave., Denver) on Sunday January 26 from 2-4pm for an afternoon of local dark history and urban legend to celebrate the publication of TERROR AT 5280’, Denver Horror Collective’s new horror fiction anthology featuring 22 dark tales set in and around Denver and the Front Range, penned exclusively by local authors.

Let local experts enthrall you with micro-lectures on Colorado’s shadowy past including: KARREN TOLLIVER (ATravelforTaste.com) on the “vampire grave” of Theodor Glava in Lafayette Cemetery; BRYAN BONNER (Rocky Mountain Paranormal Research Society) on Riverdale Road, the most haunted road in Colorado; PAUL BREDENBERG (Colorado Auto Racing Club) on the tragic wreck that shut down Lakeside Speedway; and ANNELIESE FARMER (Golden Ghost Tour & Pub Crawl) on Golden’s shoot outs, secret liaisons, and murder.

Following each brief talk, listen to authors reading from their TERROR AT 5280′ original story that history or legend inspired, featuring CARTER WILSON (USA Today & #1 Denver Post bestselling thriller author of The Dead Girl in 2A and Mister Tender’s Girl), ANGELA SYLVAINE (Colorado Gold & Zebulon award finalist), JAY SEATE (paranormal author), and P.L. MCMILLAN (writer of the dark and macabre).

Presented by DENVER HORROR COLLECTIVE (denverhorror.com) and hosted by DANIEL CROSIER of Colorado Festival of Horror (cofohorror.com), this is the event—and the anthology—that lifts the veil on Colorado’s lingering darkness.

RSVP on Facebook or Eventbrite to reserve your seat!

Terror for the Holidays!

terrorflower

A neighborhood won’t let its residents forget the past. One taste draws two lovers into a nightmarish addiction. A harsh winter forces strange creatures down from the mountains.

At sea level, where it’s safe, things like this can’t happen. But when you’re sky high in Denver, Colorado, anything goes…including your sanity.

Beware of Terror at 5280’, a local horror fiction anthology featuring 22 dark tales set in and around Denver and the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains penned exclusively by local authors (including Stephen Graham Jones, Carter Wilson, and others).

Order your paperback or e-book copy online from Indiebound, Amazon, or Barnes and Noble.

If you’re in the greater Denver metropolitan area, Terror is available at a growing number of local bookstores, including: Bookbar, Mutiny Information Cafe, West Side Books, Broadway Book Mall, Tattered Cover, and Barnes and Noble in Denver, 2nd & Charles in Aurora, and Boulder Bookstore and Barnes & Noble in Boulder (more stores coming soon!)