The 4th Circle: Interview with Gary Robbe

gary robbe

Denver Horror Collective active member, Steering Committee member & Terror at 5280′ co-editor, Gary Robbe

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

GARY ROBBE: There are many writers who had a profound influence on me, and what and how I write. But there are two who stand out. When I read Ray Bradbury at a very early age, specifically Dandelion Wine, I knew that I wanted to write and tell stories the way he could. His storytelling and simplicity, and the way he could get a message across without pounding you on the head, definitely influenced me to the core. Another writer who got to me, at a much later date, was Harlan Ellison. When I read I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream, and A Boy and his Dog, I was completely blown away. Harlan’s writing style and anger shone through with everything he wrote, and he embodied what I thought a writer was all about. We are who we read, and I often reread Ray and Harlan to remind myself what writing can do.

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

GR: Has to be a squirrel. They’re cute on the surface, but they’re really rats with a fluffy tail. I used to pretend I was a squirrel when I was a toddler (this was the day and age of Chip and Dale, who were chipmunks, not squirrels). So, yeah, an animal that is really deceptive. We’re terrified of rats eating our face, but squirrels? Not so much. But they will…

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

GR: I grew up watching all the great Universal monster films, watched all of them over and over, usually late at night on Shock Theater on a black and white TV. Frankenstein, the monster played by Boris Karloff, and King Kong, played by himself, stood out and were always special to watch. Psycho scared the shit out of me at a very vulnerable age. I’m still wary of showers. Halloween. Alien. The Thing. Almost perfect horror films.
But ultimately my heart belongs to the old, tattered black and white (sometimes color) horror films of my childhood. Anything by Hitchcock or Roger Corman, all the cheap and cheesy effects and acting, the bad costumes, all of it.

Books? Salem’s Lot. Interview with a Vampire. The Exorcist. Rosemary’s Baby. Maybe the most disturbing and haunting book I ever read was Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo.

4. “Scrape” from Denver Horror Collective’s new anthology, Terror at 5280’ is a disturbing tale; can you tell us a little about how it came into being?

GR: Gentrification gone bad. An image came to me, children staring from a window of a place that was being torn down, and the story took off from there. Loss to me is the ultimate great fear. Loss of control. Loss of what we love. Loss of self. I thought, what if a family scraped an old house and built a new one in its place. And once they moved into the new house they realized the old place was still very much there. Maybe it is a little homage to House of Leaves, a story I really liked but didn’t understand all that well. Of course, I did have to give the story a happy, Disney ending. That’s my homage to Chip and Dale, those crazy mixed up rodents.

CENSORED at 5280′?

Censored at 5280'As we predicted, the vile powers-that-be conspired to try to prevent the distribution of Terror at 5280’, Denver Horror Collective’s brand new local horror fiction anthology.

Our “Terror Tuesday” online launch was all but scuttled by a cabal of tyrants intent on stopping us from telling the world about the ongoing carnage in this mile-high hellscape we call Denver, Colorado.

Some of you may suspect we’re pulling your leg. If only that were the truth.

To the contrary, one of our online sellers—let’s call them Amazoth—put a screeching halt to our web sales by falsely telling potential customers that paperback copies of Terror at 5280′ wouldn’t be available through Amazoth for up to two months!

The proof in the blood pudding comes from the fact that earlier in the week people had ordered and received copies within 2 days—indeed, Terror at 5280’ was skyrocketing up the charts of horror fiction anthologies!

But as soon as our enemies got wind of the breach, they pushed back the dates they were telling customers they’d likely receive the book until after the holidays, and our sales dried up like bodily fluids inside a corpse.

The good news is we sent out our fiercest mercenaries to deal with the problem and they forced Amazoth to ONCE AGAIN MAKE TERROR AT 5280′ AVAILABLE FOR 2-DAY DELIVERY! 

So, please consider buying a copy so we can make up for lost time and get back on the charts (the Amazoth algorithm punished us severely for our curtailed sales even though it was their own doing)!

If you’re disinclined to order through Amazoth, you can also order via Indiebound.org or Barnes and Noble.

And if you’re in Colorado, Terror is available at a growing number of local bookstores, including: Mutiny Information Cafe, West Side Books, and Bookbar in Denver, and Boulder Bookstore and Barnes & Noble in Boulder.

We at Denver Horror Collective never go down without a fight! We knew it was dangerous to report on the foul goings-on in and around Denver and the Front Range Rocky Mountains, and we remain committed to warning people to stay away from the Centennial State, no matter the consequences.

In Victory,
Denver Horror Collective

Terror at 5280′ Available on Amazon on “Terror Tuesday” Nov. 26!

Terror TuesdayA 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).

Paperback and e-book available on Amazon on Tuesday, November 26.

Become a Denver Horror Collective Member for $20!

It’s hard to believe it’s been over 2 years since the spawning of Denver Horror Collective, our local group of horror writers and artists. Now DHC has a website/blog, bi-weekly writers critique group, novel-writing subgroups (coming soon), book club, The Epitaph newsletter, podcast, events (including Defy Your Demons & Music To My Fears), and our first anthology, Terror at 5280’!

DHC Sticker Draft1 1600 x 1200

Needless to say, we must sacrifice a bit of flesh to keep this monster well-fed (to pay for website hosting & URLs, events organizing, marketing/promotion/advertising, publishing, etc.) which is why we’re now offering bona fide membership in Denver Horror Collective!

For only $20 per year as a Denver Horror Collective Active Member you’ll get:

  • Opportunities to submit short stories/novel chapters for critique in Denver Horror Writers bi-weekly meetings
  • The option of joining a novel writing critique subgroup
  • Your own personal webpage on DHC website with name, bio, photo, and links (or whatever you want)
  • Free entry to DHC events
  • Access to private members-only Facebook group
  • “6(66) Questions” interview in The Epitaph newsletter
  • Opportunity to submit stories/articles to The Epitaph
  • Your fiction and/or events promoted via social media
  • A DHC sticker
  • $10 (over 20% off) paperback copies of Terror at 5280’
  • $13 (35% off) T-shirts featuring DHC logo by The Rïpröck
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What if you’d like to be a part of DHC but aren’t willing to part with that $20 just yet? Then our free Affiliate Membership might be for you!

As an Affiliate Member you can join our public Facebook group to stay abreast of all our goings on as well as attend bi-weekly Denver Horror Writers meetings (you only need to become an Active Member if you want to submit your work for critique).

To join, send an email to submissions@denverhorror.com or message us through the Denver Horror Collective Facebook group or page!

Darkest Wishes,
Denver Horror Collective Steering Committee
Melinda Bezdek, Bobby Crew, Desi D, Thomas C. Mavroudis, Sean Murphy, Gary Robbe, Josh Schlossberg & Jeamus Wilkes

Terror at 5280′ Book Launch on Dec. 1

Celebrate the launch of Terror at 5280’, Denver Horror Collective’s unsettling new anthology featuring twenty-two dark tales set in and around Denver and the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, penned exclusively by local authors.

RSVP here.

  • Readings by Stephen Graham Jones, Carina Bissett, Josh Viola, Joy Yehle, Henry Snider, Desi D, Matthew Lyons, Rebecca Bates, and Lindsay King-Miller
  • Spin the DISC OF DREAD to pick which stories you want to hear
  • Giveaways include free autographed copies of Terror at 5280’ and Denver Horror Collective T-shirts & stickers
  • Hosted by black-hearted scribe Hollie Snider

Terror Book Cover

6(66) Questions with Desi D

Desi_D

Denver Horror Collective member, Desi D

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

I would have to say I admire Stephen King. I’ve enjoyed reading some of his novels, and there are more on my TBR pile. He has earned my admiration as an author for a few reasons.

I was never a big reader growing up; in truth, reading and writing were a struggle for me. Big books intimidated me, so it’s kind of funny that it was reading one of Stephen King’s tomes that helped me overcome this challenge, The Green Mile (still one of my all-time favorite novels). The reason I was able to read this 800+ novel is that when I started it, I didn’t know. When it came out in 1996, it was a serial novel. I picked up book one that was around 100 pages and read it; then, I grabbed the next until I read the entire story. These books were a huge milestone for me as a reader because this was the first book I devoured, and I haven’t stopped since.

His book, On Writing, A Memoir of the Craft, was one of the earliest craft books I read, and it helped me realize that everyone struggles and doubts their writing. His first novel, Carrie, almost wasn’t published because he had thrown it away, thinking it was a terrible novel, thankful his wife Tabby saved it. He had his doubts, struggles, and life that interfered with his writing, but he stuck with it.

This story is encouraging to know that everyone struggles, even the king of horror, so it’s not just me. Lastly, he has had an amazing career, published several novels, seen and contributed to his work being turned into movies; he achieved what most of us are told is impossible. He reached success without a magical fortune teller prophesying that he would succeed where others have failed, that he was one of the few chosen authors, so go forth and write. No, he faced the same naysayers we all do; he didn’t listen to them, and he never gave up. He remained dedicated to his dream of becoming an author until he did the impossible. His story proves that it can happen, and it demonstrates that it’s not easy for anyone.

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Terror in El Pueblo

“Terror in El Pueblo” is the second 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.

Terror in El Pueblo
by Cory Swanson

Mold, macro viewLuke had done a lot of diving. The Stachybotrys chartarum in his brain, on the other hand, had not. Stachy enveloped the boy’s visual cortex and gazed out over the scene.

Down below and out around them were fake rocks that descended into a deep pool of water colored blueish green by the lights within. A waterfall cascaded over the rocks, pumped continuously through a series of tubes that Stachy had inhabited himself. Or themselves, as it were. The mold reproduced asexually, sporing and growing in the damp places of the world.

Stachy looked out beyond the pool through the boy’s eyes. Other humans sat, eating what looked to be food made of grains and dairy. They could sense the boy’s disgust and disdain as he looked out over the crowd. El Pueblo no joke-o, Luke thought. How can they eat that?

The mold didn’t get the joke. It dug through the boy’s memories trying to extract meaning. They boy had been a competitive diver at school. An impressive athletic specimen. He’d been scouted and hired by this restaurant to perform cliff diving for the diners. El Pueblo Loco.

The crazy town, the mold thought.

But the mold had witnessed a genocide of its own kind. As it tried to spread through the damp and inviting environment of aging and leaky pumps and cracked concrete pools, the humans had ruthlessly retaliated. Chemical warfare. Poisons. Destruction.

Stachybotris had to defend itself.

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Help Get Terror at 5280′ Off the Ground!

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!