Name one author you admire and explain how they helped you become a better writer.
I know I should probably say someone like Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, or Shirley Jackson, but the author who influenced my writing the most is definitely John Steinbeck. (What’s funny is it’s recently been revealed that Steinbeck wrote a werewolf novel that’s never been published, and people are calling on his estate to release it!)
Steinbeck’s writing comes across as so simple it’s almost like spoken word, but it’s deceptive in that it’s no easy feat. And not only are his stories deeply meaningful, they’re timeless—as is his prose style which avoids the flowery, clunky sentence structure that dates so many “classic” authors. If a literate alien picked up Steinbeck’s work today, I bet it wouldn’t be able to tell if it had just been written or published centuries ago.
Of course, I’m not saying I’ve achieved close to any of this in my writing. But I think he’s been rubbing off on me and I hope I’m making some progress.
Denver Horror Collective is terrified to announce the table of contents for THE JEWISH BOOK OF HORROR (edited by Josh Schlossberg), due out Hanukkah 2021.
Introduction by Molly Adams “Eighth Night” by John Baltisberger “The Hand of Fire” by Daniel Braum “Welcome Death” by JD Blackrose Foreword by Rabbi John Carrier “The Last Plague” by KD Casey “On Seas of Blood and Salt” by Richard Dansky “Bar Mitzvah Lessons” by Stewart Gisser “The Wisdom of Solomon” by Ken Goldman “Bread and Salt” by Elana Gomel “Forty Days Before Birth” by Colleen Halupa “Demon Hunter Vashti” by Henry Herz “Catch and Release” by Vivian Kasley “How to Build a Sukkah at the End of the World” by Lindsay King-Miller “Phinehas the Zealot” by Ethan K. Lee “In the Red” by Mike Marcus “The 38th Funeral” by Marc Morgenstern “The Horse Leech Has Two Maws” by Michael Picco “Same as Yesterday” by Alter Reiss “The Rabbi’s Wife” by Simon Rosenberg “Ba ‘Lat Ov” by Brenda Tolian “The Hanukkult of Taco Wisdom” by Margret Treiber “The Divorce From God” by Rami Ungar “A Purim Story” by Emily Ruth Verona
On episode #2 of Josh’s Worst Nightmare podcast (presented by Denver Horror Collective), host Josh Schlossberg goes beyond skin deep with Steve Rasnic Tem, author of THANATRAUMA, to dissect the decline of the body that comes with old age.
A welcoming widow with a twisted appetite; a war-time evil lurking behind the face of a child; a father’s love gone horribly wrong; a deadly government solution; a new job with a demonic pay scale; a woman trapped in a mysterious house with no memory of who she is or how she got there. These are a mere glimpse of the terrors that lie in wait in this collection of horror short stories, sure to grip the psyche and torment the soul.
1. What’s your favorite line in a book/movie? And why?
No singular favorite, but there are a few lines that drift through my mind unbidden every few weeks at most, and one of them is from Flannery O’Connor’s WISE BLOOD: “Where you come from is gone, where you thought you were going to never was there, and where you are is no good unless you can get away from it.”
In a vacuum, I think it’s a perfect description of a character at the precipice of a well-told story, but in context, it’s how O’Connor cuts to the heart of certain spiritual desperation, despair, displacement. I’m captivated by stories of spiritually alienated and confused people and the way that confusion manifests as a kind of vague menace. You never know what a person who doesn’t know themselves will do.
It’s #TERRORTUESDAY, so we’re opening the floodgates for another DHC member’s published work from our DARK LIT MARKET!
This week, get swept away by MALINAE by Josh Schlossberg!
The absentmindedness. The nonsensical ramblings. The blank stares. Ward Ayers, physically disabled and confined to his Jersey Shore home, can only watch in dismay as his beloved wife Malina slips further and further into dementia.
But when Ward catches a glimpse of a strange appendage in place of Malina’s tongue, he fears the woman he’s loved for half a century isn’t succumbing to Alzheimer’s but transforming into something…not quite human. As he tries to make sense of his wife’s disturbing changes, he starts wondering if he’s the one losing his mind.
Until, finally, Ward uncovers the dark force behind Malina’s decline and must plumb the depths of sacrifice and selfishness to reclaim his wife and preserve humanity’s future.
It’s #TERRORTUESDAY, so we’re boosting yet another DHC member’s published work from our DARK LIT MARKET!
This week, you can run but you can’t hide from REAL SKIN by E.A. Green!
Until it’s you, you can never understand just how soul-destroying it can be when a family member, friend, or acquaintance just up and vanishes. That depth of darkness knows no bounds when they’re declared missing and unfindable. Detective Jarrett Jefferson knows that portion of Hell’s fiery pits all too well.
Ride along with the Detective as his first official case turns out to be unlike anything he has ever investigated: a serial killer given the name S.S.K.
The Music of Vengeance rides hard as a tale of a military-trained assassin in pursuit of the pestilence known as the “Rat-Catcher.” Preceded by a glimpse into the hell our rat-race world has become, the harrowing showdown delivers in the realm of world-ending, flesh-creeping horror.
An invasion like no other is threatening the Silicon Valley. A cutting-edge quantum communication technology has unleashed a flood of cryptid sightings. From headless Mothmen to dog-faced cats, strange beasts are prowling the streets and emerging from the woods, spreading a deadly epidemic of mind-blindness. Children mutate into protean monsters; people are carried away by thunderbirds; and those who survive fail to recognize themselves in the mirror.
Cryptozoologist Sharon Manley, a stranger in a strange land, thinks she knows what is going on. But who is going to believe her if her information comes to her in dreams? Torn between two countries and two men, she finally embarks on a one-way odyssey into the heart of the cryptid Earth to uncover its shocking secrets. Her quest takes her to the forest of flayed bears, to the beach colonized by Mothmen, and finally to the golden city of Hell. There she has to confront the enigmatic cryptid masters and to make the choice that will determine the fate of more worlds than one.