About joshsworstnightmare

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

Tickets for All Hallows Improv Scarytelling on Oct. 25

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Halloween is a sacred time for dark fiction readers and writers alike. On Sunday, October 25 at 7 p.m. (MT), Denver Horror Collective is proud to present a first-of-its-kind, improvisational horror storytelling event via Zoom sure to spook and scar anyone misfortunate enough to attend.

Thriller master Carter Wilson (author of The Dead Girl in 2A and Mister Tender’s Girl) and a formidable roster of over a dozen seasoned and emerging Colorado horror writers will exhibit their dark arts by spinning three original horror tales on the spot, round-robin style, while you watch and listen from the (relative) safety of your home.

All Hallows Improv Scarytelling is a fundraiser for the November publication of CONSUMED: Tales Inspired by the Wendigo, Denver Horror Collective’s second horror fiction anthology featuring Wrath James White, Dana Fredsti, Owl Goingback, Steve Tem, and others, and edited by Hollie & Henry Snider.

General admission tickets are on sale via Eventbrite for $5 along with three $50 tickets where a few V.I.P. (Very Intimidating People) will get the chance to kick off the stories using their very own pre-written prompts.

Dark Wisdom Webinar #6 – LGBTQ HORROR FICTION (with Bobby Crew)

Dark Wisdom Webinar #6 – LGBTQ HORROR FICTION (with Bobby Crew)

Join author and indie publisher Bobby Crew, as we explore themes in LGBTQ horror fiction from historic to modern and learn how some LGBTQ authors naturally gravitated to the horror genre.

Bobby Crew is author of Dining with Devils, a collection of 7 stories that explores the hell you create when you get too close to your demons. He’s also starting a small publishing press that focuses primarily on LGBTQ horror.

Get tickets & Zoom link through Eventbrite ($5 or free for DHC members) or email submissions@denverhorror.com for more info.

The 4th Circle: Interview with TommyLee Dean

Interview by Desi D

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

Joe Hill, if what I once read about him being Stephen King’s son and choosing to not publish under the King name so that his writing would succeed on its own merit is true, I can totally dig and respect that! Stories like this give me drive to also succeed.

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

I chose my mascot in the opening rant of my third book when I said, “I am your Puking Jesus. I am the god of the urinal-cake!” And though there’s deeper meaning, it simply sounds cool.

3. Name six of your favorite horror movies or books. Elaborate on any of them.

Now we’re talkin’!! Naming six is so much easier than only one.

Books: Hell Bound Heart – Awesome splatterpunk sadomasochism. It – Come on, creepy clown is always a classic! Haunted – Chuck does a pretty good job writing horror without the supernatural aspect involved, especially in the section entitled “Guts”.

Movies: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III, A New Generation – It’s just so messed up!!! Dracula, with Gary Oldman and Winona Ryder – that scene where he decides not to turn and condemn her to his eternal hunger, but she’s begging him to at this point; yeah, breathtaking. House of a Thousand Corpses – Get on my fluffy tail, said the rabbit, and I’ll take you to my rabbity hutch. Hahahahaha-hahahaha-hahahaha; Stab-stab-stab-hack-stab-splatter.

4. What is it about writing that excites you? And of course, what’s the next story we can look forward to reading from you?

Immortality in this carnal world through my craziness caught on paper, and in digital form, to be left as a legacy if I can’t someday achieve this immortality through medical science. If you haven’t read Brain Pulp, it could be the next thing being it’s back on market @ Amazon Kindle. My agent has submitted my novel, Lou Cifer, to Eraserhead Press, so let’s hope that’s, available soon. I’ve sent y’all my short story “Moo Like a Chicken” to answer your wendigo call. And right now, my second anthology, Collection of Madness, is undergoing its final format, a sequel to Lou Cifer entitled “Luci Fire” is in mock-up while I’m handwriting a vampyre novel, They Nest, in longhand.

The 4th Circle: Interview with Bobby Crew

Interview by Desi D

  1. What’s your favorite line in a book/movie? And why?

This is probably the most difficult question I have ever been asked. The first line that popped up in my head was, “The evil that men do lives after them; The good is oft interred with their bones,” by William Shakespeare from Julius Caesar

I love this line for many reasons. Someone can be a good person almost all their life and then ruin their entire memory in a single act of violence or a single horrible decision. As a reader and writer, I love a good villain, and I think the greatest villains are those that aren’t entirely bad, those who have been warped into believing that the evil they do is justified or necessary. I love the unreliable narrator’s perspective because you can show this happening throughout the book through the eyes of the main character.

  1. As a writer, how would you describe your muse? And your process?

My muse is a dark, vile, torturous, goth sprite, and she is easiest to summon at night with offerings of wine and the shitty day I’ve had. 

Writing has always been a way for me to escape and empty out my emotional energy. I love the creative process. Creating has always been my way to retreat to another world…granted, this other world is always horrifying. 

I have been writing horror since I was eight years old. I draw inspiration from dreams, and sometimes I warp personal traumas into supernatural abstractions. I’ve always been a night owl, so usually once everyone else is asleep and I’m truly alone, I get to play in the dark corners of my mind. 

  1. What author has been your biggest inspiration to write? And why?

I probably owe my entire desire to write to R. L. Stine. I hated reading when I was 7, and then I was introduced to the Goosebumps books. I immediately fell in love. I lived two buildings down from a big library, and I used to go there by myself to borrow them. I spent a lot of time at the library as a little kid. 

When I was 8, I decided to try writing creepy stories of my own. My parents were a little worried at my violent and graphic content, but they let me be, encouraged me, and I have been writing ever since. 

  1. What is it about writing that excites you? And of course, what’s the next story we can look forward to reading from you? 

I love creating worlds, characters, stories, and trying to create that creepy atmosphere in writing. Once I complete a draft, there is always this exciting rush, and I’m just like, “Wow, did I really just pull all of these pages out of my head?” 

I’ve recently published a collection of horror stories called Dining with Devils, seven stories that explore what happens when you get a little too close to your demons. I’m currently working on my first novel called Helping Hands, it’s a working title, and probably the most thought-provoking and thematic horror story I have ever written. It has a lot of cultish and sexual undertones and explores how we can take even the most beautiful messages and turn them into horrifying realities. 

Horrifying Gifts for Getting CONSUMED Off the Ground!

Hunger. Insatiable hunger. Hunger that changes you…consumes you…turning you into a nightmare version of what you once were.

On the heels of the success of its Denver Post best-selling and critically acclaimed Terror at 5280’, Denver Horror Collective is cranking out another horror fiction anthology!

CONSUMED: Tales Inspired by the Wendigo will contain stories based on the Wendigo, a part-human monster or possessing spirit that instigates acts of murder, insatiable greed, and cannibalism, originating in the oral tradition of First Nations Algonquian tribes. 

The brainchild of master editors Hollie & Henry Snider (formerly of Strigidae Publishing), CONSUMED: Tales Inspired by the Wendigo will feature Wrath James White (author of Succulent PreyEveryone Dies Famous in a Small Town, and Population Zero), Steve Rasnic Tem (author of UboDeadfall Hotel, and over 350 short stories), Dana Fredsti (author of The Spawn of LilithBlood Ink, and the Plague Town trilogy), Owl Goingback (author of Crota, Darker than Night, and Coyote Rage), and many more seasoned and emerging horror authors.

In an effort to help communities struggling the most with the COVID-19 pandemic, 20 percent of net profits will go towards Native American coronavirus relief.

To make a contribution and claim your gift, check out our Indiegogo!

As with everything at Denver Horror Collective, CONSUMED is a group effort. So, if you love horror fiction and indie publishing, we need your help!

Our goal is to raise $3,000 to get CONSUMED off the ground and into the hands of horror fans across the country.  

Here’s where your money will be going:

$1,200 for author payments
$1,000 for publishing and printing 
$500 for marketing
$300 for original cover

In appreciation for your financial contributions, we’d like to offer the following gifts:

$250
Framed CONSUMED: Tales Inspired by the Wendigo poster 

$150

Framed Wendigo cross stitch from cosmic and sci-fi horror author P.L. McMillan


$100

Denver Horror Collective trading card with your name, photo, and personal info by Matt Sprague of Mile High Horrors

An original horror story with you as a character written by K.D. Webster, author of Adrian’s Children and Urban Legends series


$75 

Virtual horror tour of Medellin, Columbia with Mike Hance, organizer of Ghost Town Writers Retreat (via Zoom)

Live commentary on horror film of your choice by Ian Neligh, author of Gold!: Madness, Murder, and Mayhem in the Colorado Rockies (via Zoom)


$50 

Spooky family campfire tales with Joy Yehle, author of Dread (via Zoom)

Horror bedtime story of your choice read to you live by Jeamus Wilkes, DHC Steering Committee Member and author of The Music of Vengeance (via Zoom)

Content edit on a short story up to 5,000 words by Hollie Snider, co-editor of CONSUMED: Tales Inspired by the Wendigo


$20  

EARLY RELEASE print copy of CONSUMED: Tales Inspired by the Wendigo signed by editors Hollie & Henry Snider

Denver Horror Collective T-shirt (Large, Medium, Small only)


$15 

EARLY RELEASE E-book of CONSUMED: Tales Inspired by the Wendigo


$10 

E-book of Terror at 5280’ by Denver Horror Collective

To make a contribution and claim your gift, check out our Indiegogo!

And don’t forget to view the trailer below!

DARK WISDOM WEBINAR #4: Elements of Gothic Horror (with Adrianne Montoya & Brenda Tolian) – July 5 @ 5pm (MT)

Before you pick up that pen, learn about the history of gothic literature, the various sub genres of gothic present, and the revisionist gothic future.

Colorado native Adrianne Montoya writes literary horror with a folkloric and historical flavor. She also has a finger in narrative podcasting, and another in developmental editing. She specializes in developing long-form literary fiction, thrillers, horror, and historical fiction, but also enjoys taking on stories and non-fiction projects. Find her podcast at https://southwestgothic.com.

Brenda Tolian is a writer out of Alamosa currently working on her MFA at Regis University. She is published within the short story horror genre and academically. She lives in and is inspired by the San Luis valley and the haunting stories past and present of the Southwest. The western gothic horror genre is her pleasure and passion.

Get tickets & the Zoom link ($5 or free for DHC members) through Eventbrite or email submissions@denverhorror.com.

Denver Horror Collective Pandemic Fund Application

Denver Horror Collective will be disbursing several mini-grants (one $500 grant and five $100 grants) for dark fiction writers living in Colorado for all of 2019 until present to cover household expenses (i.e. groceries, utility bills, rent) as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please answer the following questions and include in an email to submissions@denverhorror.com with SUBJECT: PANDEMIC FUND by June 30, 2020 to be considered. All applicants will remain anonymous (only 1 DHC representative will handle all correspondence).

1) Where in Colorado do you live?
2) Have you lost work (doesn’t have to be related to writing) due to the pandemic?
3) How many people live in your household?
4) Please include a link–or paste content in the body of the email–to your unpublished or published works of horror, sci-fi, fantasy, mystery, crime fiction, etc.

DARK WISDOM WEBINAR #3: The Monster of Public Speaking (with Jeamus Wilkes)

For horror and dark fiction writers in the current publishing climate, it’s become necessary to have a social presence and raise your visibility, whether in-person at readings or online via live virtual events.

Horror author Jeamus Wilkes shares his experience and a survey of public speaking principles to drive a stake through the heart of any fears you may have of stepping up to the microphone or turning on the webcam. In your efforts to widen your reading audience, learn how Jeamus has positively dealt with his own introvert-leanings to step onto the stage and not fear the engagement with the randomness of a live audience.

Reserve your slot ($5 or free for DHC members) at submissions@denverhorror.com to receive the Zoom link.

Open Call! CONSUMED: Tales Inspired by the Wendigo

Hunger.

Insatiable hunger.

Hunger that changes you…consumes you…turning you into a nightmare version of what you once were.

Denver Horror Collective is looking for stories inspired by the Wendigo. The point of view could be a person becoming the Wendigo, from a Wendigo, pursued by a Wendigo, or a witness to a Wendigo-esque situation unfolding.

Submissions may cover cannibalism, lust, plague, war, anxiety, greed, power, or any topic a person or animal could become obsessed with. Read the Wiki on the Wendigo at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendigo, then feel free to think outside the box and let your imagination run wild.

Submissions do not have to have characters turn into a literal Wendigo. Character(s) must go through some sort of a transformation due to the “hunger.” You do not have to use the term Wendigo. We just ask that authors use the core concept of the Wendigo as inspiration for their story.

Please take a moment to read the KEY NOTES and all submission information below to ensure your story content and format fall within guidelines.

This open call is open to all authors, everywhere.

DEADLINE: August 15, midnight

WORD COUNT: 3,000-12,000 words (lower limit firm, query for longer)

PAYMENT: $20 for the first 3,000 words, then a 1/2 cent per word + print contributor’s copy

REPRINTS: No

SIMULTANEOUS SUBMISSIONS: No

MULTIPLE SUBMISSIONS: No (if you have more than one idea, you’re welcome to query as to which concept we would be more interested in)

FORMAT:
-Use the Shunn format ( https://www.shunn.net/format/classic/ ) with the following caveats:
-12-point Times New Roman, Courier New, or Arial font
-Use paragraph formatting for paragraph indents. Do not manually tab or space in.
-No headers, footers, or page numbers

SUBMISSION:
-Submit in DOC, DOCX, or RTF format
-Submit as an attachment, not in the body of the email.
-Include “Submission,” “Story Title,” “Author Name,” and “Word Count” to nearest 100 words in the subject line. (EX: Submission Last Plate by Jane Doe 3,300 words)
-The body of the e-mail should include an introduction, any publication information you would like to include, and a bio up to 250 words.
-E-mail submissions to dhcanthology@gmail.com

KEY NOTES:
-First or third person only
-Past-tense only
-No pedophilia
-No rape in a positive light
-Graphic scenes should be used to move the story, scene, or character forward, and not be included just for shock value.
-Accepted submissions will be hand edited and uploaded to Dropbox in PDF format for the author to access.

TIPS
-Do not capitalize entire words in dialogue or to show excitement/yelling. Let your description and/or punctuation do the work for you.
-Ellipses signify an extended pause or trailing off. Em dashes signify interruption.
-If you’re unsure, ask questions. Please place the words “Submission Question” in your email subject line and query dhcanthology@gmail.com.

The 4th Circle: Interview with Joy Yehle

DHC active member Joy Yehle
  1. What’s your favorite line in a book/movie? And why?

“There’s little good in sedentary small towns. Mostly indifference spiced with an occasional vapid evil–or worse, a conscious one.”
– Stephen King, Salem’s Lot.

I like to imagine the dark in everyday situations and in the unexpected evil right next door. To me, nothing is scarier than an evil that can walk around in the light, nowhere is safe. Stephen King eloquently lays that out here. Small, quiet towns are supposed to be safe, but what if they’re not?

  1. As a writer, how would you describe your muse?

I think my muse is a bizarre crossbreed of an evil sorceress, a shaman, a serial killer, a terrified five-year-old, a vampire hunter, a scientist, and a Sunday school teacher. Not complicated at all!

  1. What author has been your biggest inspiration to your writing? And why?

My great uncle Will C. Minor was a naturalist and author. We visited him over many summers, and I saw how he created these amazing things to share with his words and a typewriter. In my eyes, he was the original Indiana Jones and I wanted to be just like him. I love the outdoors and do my best writing there, however my writing took a much darker turn than wildlife stories.

  1. What is it about writing that excites you? And of course, what’s the next story we can look forward to reading from you?

I love creating a whole world out of nothing. I feel truly free when I let my imagination run wild across the page. My most terrifying and exciting thing, however, is watching the face of a person who reads my stuff and hits that ‘What?!’ moment of scare!

I’m working on two novels and a couple of short stories right now. One novel is a dystopian YA that reality has possibly derailed! The other novel is inspired by a spooky childhood story I was told about a dark entity that feeds on despair titled Malvado, I hope to have this one ready for release by the end of the year.