The 4th Circle: Interview with Christophe Maso

-Interview by Desi D

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

“Logic is the last refuge of a coward.” – Clive Barker, Books of Blood Vol. 3.

This isn’t true in all things; in fact, sometimes the exact opposite is true. But I absolutely believe this is true in art, and whether spoken or written or acted out, fiction is art. First, last, and always. A good fiction story and the world in which it unfolds follows logic to the extent that it makes sense, because as a writer, it’s always my job to wonder, “If this is true, then what else is true?” But good art often invites one to step into it and leave one’s comfort zone behind.

The ancient Greeks revered logos, but they recognized its limits, and that there’s a place in the human experience for pathos, as well. Brittle minds that fear the question “What if?” always keep logic close at hand as the ultimate emergency escape, because logic doesn’t dare you to step into the unknown. Logic recognizes only what can be established or proven, and essentially dismisses everything else.

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

I’m compelled to write. I’d describe my muse as a witch with a gift of magic, but it’s a gift that can’t be refused, and her price is that the magic gets written about. And she doesn’t mind using baneful magic to get her way.

Before too long, a story starts to bubble up from my unconscious. It’s gradual at first, often beginning with just a single element, such as a person experiencing something, or a place and time, or a simple object. Then larger chunks start coming into view–characters, interactions, events, decisions, the general setting. Research into specific topics fills in blanks, makes the story more immersive, and (for me, at least) fires the imagination even further. Eventually I have to start writing. If I don’t, the story becomes all I can think about, my mood starts to spiral, and my sleep patterns start going haywire. The muse won’t be denied.

Fortunately, it usually doesn’t come to that. I don’t write hard outlines; that’s way too rigid. “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans”, as the saying goes, and along the same lines, if I wanted to make my muse laugh, I’d try to show her an exact blueprint of the story. The final percentage of the story is always created as it’s being written. But by the time I’m ready to write, I do have a soft, malleable outline in my head, and I’ll write it out in a few paragraphs. That way, I can see the general timeline, and how it naturally breaks down into scenes and chapters.

Unlike some writers, I prefer to edit a bit as I write, rather than trying to vomit the whole tale out without looking back first. But then when the whole tale’s written, the serious editing begins. I read it aloud, and I reword, add, and delete as I go. I pass through that cycle several times at least, always remembering the famous advice to “murder your darlings,” until I’ve trimmed out about twenty percent of the first draft, and the story reads smoothly.

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

There have been several, but the earliest was probably Ray Bradbury. I was exposed to him in grade school, when one of my teachers read us parts of The Martian Chronicles and Fahrenheit 451. I instantly loved his poetic, lyrical style, full of simile and metaphor and image, and how he used speculative elements to get you to think about some thought-provoking, hard-hitting questions. Such as, “What does it mean to be human?”, and “When does fear and so-called ‘law and order’ undermine our humanity and work against us?” Then I read Something Wicked This Way Comes on my own–my first exposure to dark fantasy–and it blew me away. I loved spooky stuff as a kid (and still do)–ghost stories, monster movies, Halloween–and that one story was the tipping point that made me realize I wanted to create stories of my own in a similarly creepy, fantastical vein.

Years later, Neil Gaiman and Clive Barker super-charged that inspiration. One quote of Barker’s on writing resonates very powerfully with me, “There must inevitably be unholy business here, just as there will be sacred, but I cannot guarantee to tell you–or even sometimes to know–which is which…All I want now is the time to enchant you.”

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

As a creator and teller of stories, you’re both rock composer and rock star. You get to create and populate an alternate universe, and then you get to put on a show, as the guide of an immersive tour through that universe. The power of the word has a freedom unlike any other in art–it’s like having a magic carpet that can take the reader anywhere in the space and time of your universe, and can shrink to the microscopic, or expand to the cosmic. Unlike a camera (real or virtual), it’s not limited to the visual and audial. It can speak to all six senses, because it can make the reader telepathic, empathic, and clairvoyant; it can take the reader right into the hearts and minds of characters, both individual and collective. It can foreshadow, hindshadow, or sideshadow.

To be deemed by fans and readers as even minimally worthy of wielding that kind of power is very exciting. To enchant, to excite, to mystify, to terrify, to inform, to amuse, to provoke thought, and to connect with fellow human beings by spinning yarns that ring true and carry meaning for them, there are very few things that carry more meaning for me.

My next story is titled “Feast of the Senses,” and will be included in Denver Horror Collective’s upcoming anthology, Consumed: Tales Inspired by the Wendigo.

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 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:

Framed CONSUMED: Tales Inspired by the Wendigo poster 


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


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


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)


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


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)


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


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

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

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 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 to receive the Zoom link.

Open Call! CONSUMED: Tales Inspired by the Wendigo


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, 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



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)

-Use the Shunn format ( ) 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

-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

-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.

-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

Dark Wisdom Webinar [May 18]: What Lies Beneath: Redefining Horror (with Shannon Lawrence)

What Lies Beneath: Redefining Horror (with Shannon Lawrence)

On the surface, horror is seen by those who don’t understand it (and even many of those who think they do) as jump scares and gore, but it’s a lot deeper than that. What types of horror are there? Where can readers find unexpected horror? How is horror defined, both loosely and specifically? The world of horror is full of surprises if you widen your horizons

A fan of all things fantastical and frightening, Shannon Lawrence writes primarily horror and fantasy. Her stories can be found in over forty anthologies and magazines, and her two solo horror short story collections, Blue Sludge Blues & Other Abominations and Bruised Souls & Other Torments are available from online retailers. When she’s not writing, she’s hiking through the wilds of Colorado and photographing her magnificent surroundings, where, coincidentally, there’s always a place to hide a body or birth a monster. Find her at

Email submissions [at] denverhorror [dot] com to reserve your slot today ($5 via PayPal or free for Denver Horror Collective members)!