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’!

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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
  • $20% off DHC publications (including Terror at 5280’)
  • $20% 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

Dark Wisdom: Sam W. Anderson

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 harass Sam W. Andersonauthor of over forty published short stories and collaborative novels, and two short-story collections.

What’s the difference between horror and thriller fiction?

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Photo: John Mattison

SAM W. ANDERSONThis is a question that I could answer in two words or a twenty-page doctoral thesis. I’ll circle back to the two-word answer in a bit…after my shortened thesis.

First, to the question, though. A guideline, so general that “guideline” stretches the credulity of the term, is that horror has the bad guy chasing the good guy (until the inevitable turn where they confront each other). The climax occurs with the evil being defeated or faced. Also, the more supernatural elements introduced tends to push a story more toward the horror side of the ledger.

In a thriller the good guy pursues the bad(der) guy. The climax tends to be the evil being unveiled. The more psychological the plot, the likelier it’s to fall under the thriller column.

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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

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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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The Stigmata of Miramont Castle

“The Stigmata of Miramont Castle” is the third 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.

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Photo: Pikes Peak Library District

The Stigmata of Miramont Castle

by Matthew Amorebello

The octagonal room boomed with unseen forces. It reeked of rotten wood and stale incense. The wallpaper was a light blue Fleur-de-lis pattern and had gone untouched since the castle had been built in the late 19th century. Rust lined the metal light fixtures. The pulpit was uneven and inappropriately small. A statue of Christ adorned the southern wall with first light beaming across his cheek. The chapel was the highlight of Miramont Castle.

“The East Wing was completed in 1897,” began Lucinda.

Lucinda was Miramont’s tour guide. She was an older woman, with thick dyed black hair. Her voice was nasal, with a condescending tone. She spoke slowly and deliberately to the sole attendant of that morning’s tour.

“The room was Father Francolon’s dining hall,” she continued. “It was converted to a chapel by the Sisters of Mercy, who assumed control of the estate, after his return to France. They renamed the site ‘Montcalme’.”

“And what does that mean?” asked the elderly guest.

“Calm of the mountain,” answered Lucinda.

Lucinda excused herself from the room, as the elderly woman continued to admire the fine woodwork. She circled about the chapel, imagining herself back in time. She breathed in deeply, and the smell of the room overwhelmed her. She grabbed the pew to steady herself.

It was at this moment she became witness to the miracle. The statue of Christ came alive. The hands, feet, and chest oozed blood, pouring out the plaster statue and onto the wooden floor. The face turned to the elderly woman and smiled. Blood began to pour from his thorny crown.

The elderly woman approached the statue. She blessed herself and thanked God for bestowing this honor upon her. Emotion overwhelmed her and she nearly fainted, limping casually backwards into the chapel wall, scratching the blue wallpaper with her hand.

“Lucinda!” yelled the woman.

Lucinda rushed into the room and witnessed the stigmata. She took out her phone and snapped a few photos of the miracle at hand. She turned her attention to the elderly guest, who was on the verge of passing out.

“Are you OK, ma’am?” asked Lucinda.

The elderly woman cupped her face in her hands, rubbing her temples, then her eyes. Tears streamed down her face. She regained her posture and embraced the moment.

“I’ve waited my whole life for a miracle,” she said. “I can now die in peace.”

At that moment, the elderly woman went limp. She fell to the ground like an anvil, striking the creaky floor below.  She was noted to be lifeless upon impact.  Lucinda called for help, and by the time first responders arrived, the old woman was dead.

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