Member Publication News (April 2021)

Welcome to the HWA COS chapter’s monthly round-up of member news. We invite you to scroll through our publication announcements and see what our members are up to this month: new releases, book signings, readings, conventions, and more!

Carina Bissett‘s story “Serpents and Toads” is included in Gluttony: An inordinate desire to consume more than that which one requires (Seven Deadly Sins Book 6), which was published by Black Hare Press.

This retelling of the fairy tale “Diamonds and Toads” was originally published at Enchanted Conversations.

“Sign here.” Painted a lurid scarlet, the dark-haired woman’s lips spread into a thick smile. She tapped a red fingernail on the paper she pushed in front of me.

“That’s it?” Now that the promise sat in front of me, I was hesitant to take the next step. What if this was like all of the other false miracles I’d tried? But then again, what if it actually worked? What if I could be as thin as the women I envied? “That’s all I have to do? Just sign this paper?”

M. H. Boroson recently completed the screenplay for his award-winning novel The Girl with the Ghost Eyes.

“A fun, fun read. Martial arts and Asian magic set in Old San Francisco make for a fresh take on urban fantasy, a wonderful story that kept me up late to finish.” –#1 New York Times bestselling author Patricia Briggs

“An impressive first novel set in a beautifully realized world of Daoism and martial arts… One of those books you can’t wait to get back to.” —Lian Hearn, author of the international bestselling Tales of the Otori series

“A brilliant tale of magic, monsters, and kung fu in the San Francisco Chinatown of 1898… This fantastic tale smoothly mixes Hong Kong cinema with urban fantasy, and Li-lin is a splendid protagonist whose cleverness and bravura will leave readers eager for her future adventures.”–Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

Travis Heermann is pleased to announce the arrival of Tokyo Monster Mash, his newest novel. A yakuza warlock butchered his family, but that was just the beginning…

When Django Wong discovers the Black Lotus Clan murdered his family, he vows to destroy them, but the Council of Five Elders forbids it.

But then the Black Lotus starts a gang war in Tokyo, wielding terrifying new magical powers. Django must team up with three witches—and a snarky alley cat who’s not really a cat at all—to find the source of the Black Lotus Clan’s power. If they can prove the Black Lotus Clan is behind the plague of soul sucking vampires, the Council might just let him have what his honor demands.

Perfect for fans of Bleach or Fullmetal Alchemist, Tokyo Monster Mash brings you mind-bending magic, femme fatales, savage monsters, martial arts action, and powerful cultivation.

Shannon Lawrence and her co-host M.B. Partlow added new episodes to the series podcast Mysteries, Monsters, & Mayhem: Murder & Mispronunciations Galore (Mar. 3), A Little Morphine & A Little Monster (Mar. 10), Harbingers & Hags (Mar. 17), Missing & Murdered Moms (Mar. 24), and Flying Under the Radar (Mar. 31).

Angela Sylvaine is excited to announce the release of her debut novella, CHOPPING SPREE, #27 in the Rewind or Die series from Unnerving Books.

Eden Hills, Minnesota is famous for one thing—its ’80s inspired Fashion Mall. When high school junior, Penny, lands a job at one of its trendy stores, she notices her teen coworkers all wear a strange symbol they won’t explain. Suspicious but wanting to belong, she agrees to stay after closing for a party in the closed store. Her fun turns to terror when Penny discovers a mortally wounded boy and learns there is a killer loose in the mall. Soon the teens are running for their lives. Will Penny discover the truth behind the mall cabal and survive to slay another day, or will she fall victim to the galleria of gore?

Member Publication News (Feb. 2021)

Welcome to the HWA COS chapter’s monthly round-up of member news. We invite you to scroll through our publication announcements and see what our members are up to this month: new releases, book signings, readings, conventions, and more!

Dakota Brown adds a new Audible book to her Magic Mountain series with the publication of Demon’s Touch: A Reverse Harem Tale.

“The only thing more dangerous than being a mage is other people knowing that you have supernatural abilities. And here I am, untrained, untried, and ripe for the picking…. Trapped between parents, powers, and passion, I’m doing my best to survive, keep my loved ones safe, oh, and I still have to pass exams.” (This book is intended for mature audiences.)

Shannon Lawrence and her co-host M.B. Partlow add a few new episodes to the series podcast Mysteries, Monsters, & Mayhem: Narcosatanicos & Sink Holes, Oh My! (Jan. 6), Terrorizing the Seas & Skies (Jan. 13), Modern Missteps & Moldering Mansions (Jan. 20), and This Episode Has a High Body Count (Jan. 27).

Angela Sylvaine’s story “The Beautiful People” is featured in Dark Moon Digest Issue #42.

A small town faces a peculiar seaside problem; two teens discover an unexpected connection; a woman attempts to understand people better; a person comes to terms with their true identity; an office worker finds his own face on a milk carton; a daughter confronts a strange woman haunting her father’s grave; rival embalmers go against each other in an unusual competition; a man fails to avoid late-night construction; and an island becomes isolated from the rest of civilization.

A Bloody Valentine Presents Angela Sylvaine

Chopping Spree by Angela Sylvaine.

Angela Sylvaine starts off our celebration of Women in Horror Month and the second annual Bloody Valentine with a reading from her forthcoming novella, Chopping Spree. This novella is an homage to 1980s slashers and mall culture, and it is scheduled to be released by Unnerving Books, as part of their Rewind or Die series, in early April 2021.

“I’ve always loved spooky things and describe myself as a cheerful goth,” says Sylvaine. “I remember remember reading ‘The Lottery’ by Shirley Jackson in about 5th gray and being blown away. From there, I voraciously read Christopher Pike before moving on to Stephen King. When I first began writing, I tried many genre’s, but my plots always took a dark turn. I ultimately realized horror was where I belonged as a writer, as well as a reader.”

Chopping Spree is only one of Sylvaine’s first publications of 2021. Readers can also look forward to reading short story “The Bride,” which will be coming out in a Women of Horror anthology from Kandisha Press (publication date TBD). On top of that, she’s hard at work on a post-apocalyptic death roller-derby novella and her first young adult horror novel.

Chopping Spree can be pre-ordered and purchased for Kindle and paperback through Amazon.com. There isn’t a preorder link yet but stay tuned for one to be available in the near future.

You can find more about Angela Sylvaine at her website: http://angelasylvaine.com/.

A few of her stories can also be found online including “Be Mine” and “The Beautiful People.”

Celebrate WIHM with a Bloody Valentine!

Last year, Colorado HWA members Carina Bissett, Hillary Dodge, and Shannon Lawrence threw a Valentine’s Day bash to celebrate Women in Horror Month (WIHM). A Bloody Valentine drew a great crowd, and we gave away more than thirty-five signed books by award-winning authors and editors nationwide as door prizes.

In addition to recorded readings by women authors nationwide, the event featured Colorado authors including J. A. Campbell, Hillary Dodge, Angie Hodapp, DeAnna Knippling, Shannon Lawrence, P. L. McMillan, and Angela Sylvaine. It was a smashing success!

This year is a little different. To adjust to the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, we decided to switch to a virtual celebration. Each week, we will be featuring a member of the Colorado Springs Chapter of the Horror Writers Association. We hope you’ll tune in and enjoy this month’s selections of readings for the second annual Bloody Valentine!

Schedule

February 3  Angela Sylvaine    

February 10 Shannon Lawrence

February 17  J. A. Campbell

February 24  Claire L. Fishback

The pre-recorded videos will be released on YouTube following the above schedule. Next year, we plan on returning to an in-person event. Until then, we hope you have A Bloody Valentine! –HWA COS co-coordinators Carina Bissett & Hillary Dodge

Consumed: Tales Inspired by the Wendigo

COS HWA Active member Angela Sylvaine is honored to have her story “Starved” included in CONSUMED: TALES INSPIRED BY THE WENDIGO. Angela has been fascinated with the folklore of the Wendigo since first reading Pet Sematary and learning of the creature that inspired Stephen King. Conceptually, the Wendigo represents an infectious and corrosive drive toward what one desires. Angela explores this concept in ”Starved,” which follows the lonely Tessa as she hungers for both food and love. 

The Denver Horror Collective summarizes the collection as follows: Hunger that changes you…consumes you…turning you into a nightmare version of what you once were. From desolate snowy mountains and apocalyptic wastelands to New York’s sex clubs and virtual encounters, Denver Horror Collective brings you, dear reader, visions of horror inspired by the Wendigo.

Join Headliners Steve Rasnic Tem (winner of the Bram Stoker, International Horror Guild, and British Fantasy Awards) and Dana Fredsti (author of the Plague Town trilogy), along with Colorado dark scribes P.L. McMillan and Christophe Maso, will read excerpts from their CONSUMED stories set to chilling video and unnerving musical backgrounds on Sunday, January 17 at 6 p.m. (MT). Free tickets are available through EVENTBRITE.

Colorado-based CONSUMED contributors J.T. Evans, Ian Neligh, Angela Sylvaine, K.D. Webster and Joy Yehle, as well as Ross Baxter, R. Michael Burns, Elana Gomel, Michael Gore, and Amanda Headlee, will reveal what inspired them to write their stories and answer some fun—and disturbing—questions about consumption…and being consumed.

Member Publication News (Jan. 2021)

Welcome to the HWA COS chapter’s monthly round-up of member news. We invite you to scroll through our publication announcements and see what our members are up to this month: new releases, book signings, readings, conventions, and more!

Carina Bissett is thrilled to announce the appearance of her story “An Embrace of Poisonous Intent” in the anthology Bitter Distillations: An Anthology of Poisonous Tales, published by Egaeus Press.

Bitter Distillations is a collection of disquieting, disorientating and otherwise uncategorizable tales for which poison provides the inspiration. This hardcover edition is limited to 340 copies.

In December, Carina also saw the publication of her linked vignettes created for a shared world in The Lost Citadel Roleplaying Game.

The city is called Redoubt, and as far as anyone knows, it is the last.

Dakota Brown has a new release in her Ocean Enchantment series with the publication of Siren’s Song: A Reverse Harem Tale.

My guys saved me from myself, but we still have a whole boat load of problems we have to deal with. We’ve got a kraken swimming around attacking boats. We have mages called in by the government to deal with the Kraken hot on our tails and the magical black market has us in their sights after we liberated a kelpie child from their cages. To top that off, while my guys got their siren tails right away, I still can’t shift into mine. (This book is intended for mature audiences.)

Shannon Lawrence and her co-host M.B. Partlow add a few new episodes to the series podcast Mysteries, Monsters, & Mayhem: Gunslingers & Shots in the Dark (December 23) and Arsenic & Old Money (December 30).

Gary Robbe is happy to announce that his piece “Poem of the Riverbank” is included in the anthology Todd Sullivan Presents: The Vampire Connoisseur.

These sixteen tales of night creature chaos were collected and edited by Todd Sullivan, the author of the Vampire Series of Extreme Horror.

Angela Sylvaine is pleased to share that her flash piece “Midnight Snack” is included in the section Cemetery Chillers in the anthology Campfire Macabre, published by Cemetery Gates Media.

50+ original flash horror tales organized by five themes: Spook Houses, Slashers, Witchcraft, Within the Woods, and Cemetery Chillers. A book perfect for time spent around the campfire or on a long car trip! Brand new pieces from award-winning storytellers and established authors.

In other news, Angela’s story “Starved” is featured in the anthology Consumed: Tales Inspired by the Wendigo.

Hunger that changes you…consumes you…turning you into a nightmare version of what you once were. From desolate snowy mountains and apocalyptic wastelands to New York’s sex clubs and virtual encounters, Denver Horror Collective brings you, dear reader, visions of horror inspired by the Wendigo.

Josh Viola’sWhen the Trumpet Sounds” was published in Birdy Magazine. This story is a series of vignettes showcasing the lives of five very different people as the Rapture begins.

Member Publication News

Welcome to the HWA COS chapter’s monthly round-up of member news. We invite you to scroll through our publication announcements and see what our members are up to this month: new releases, book signings, readings, conventions, and more!

Shannon Lawrence is pleased to announce the release of her holiday-themed short fiction collection Happy Ghoulidays. (Book Launch Nov. 9-19.)

Family time can lead to murder and mayhem, especially during the holidays. A turkey with a tale to tell, elves under attack, sorority sisters putting on a killer party, a woman’s desperation to save her family, and a stranger ringing in the New Year. These and other tales of woe await you beneath the mistletoe.

Be careful who you offer a kiss. It may be your last.

Marie Whittaker is thrilled to announce the release of Betsy and the Time Ship, the third book in the Shadowgate Tales.

Sam isn’t sure what to make of Betsy, the woman from another time, far ahead of his own. But he needs her and her time ship Mabeline to complete his mission. The Order of the Terminers faces unknown terrors, back in 1872, at Shadowgate Stonehenge. To complete their mission, they must exterminate a family of witches. Will Sam be able to complete the task?

Marie Whittaker also published There’s a New Kid, Lola Hopscotch!, book three in The Adventures of Lola Hopscotch—a book series dedicated to helping children fight and overcome bullying.

A favorite wintertime read-out-loud story for kids! Lola Hopscotch makes a new friend at school, and helps the new kid feel comfortable with others in this exciting new book in The Adventures of Lola Hopscotch picture book series for children.

Carina Bissett’s humorous horror story “The Stages of Monster Grief: A Guide for Middle-Aged Vampires” was recently released in Coffin Blossoms. an anthology published by Jolly Horror Press in October 2020. She read this piece at the inaugural Bloody Valentine event in Colorado Springs.

Coffin Blossoms. A reminder that hope does spring eternal. In death itself there is often beauty, life, and on rare occasions even humor. The twenty-four stories in this anthology straddle the line between humor and horror in unique ways.

Claire L. Fishback is pleased to announce that her second short story collection, The Doll Room and Other Stories was published by Dark Doorways Press in October 2020.

A room with many small doors, a dream hitchhiker, furniture that moves by itself. A middle-aged housewife who desperately wants to be noticed. A child who collects macabre items. In these pages you’ll find strange encounters, dolls with secrets, and creepy children. Haunted ears. A long-lost daughter come home. Nightmares come true.

Angela Sylvaine’s short story “Here We Come A Caroling” was released in October in Gothic Blue Book VI: A Krampus Carol.

A collection of short horror stories and poems resurrect the spirit of the Gothic Blue Book. Gothic Blue Books were short Gothic fictions popular in the 18th and 19th century. Burial Day Books presents its sixth Gothic Blue Book, A Krampus Carol — a celebration of folklore and myth around Christmas, Yule, the cold winter months and Santa Claus’ opposite, Krampus.

In other news, Angela Sylvaine‘s story “Antifreeze and Sweet Peas” was included in the highly-anticipated anthology Not All Monsters: A Strangehouse Anthology by Women of Horror, edited by Sarah Tantlinger.

M. H. Boroson released The Girl with No Face, the second novel in The Daoshi Chronicles. The adventures of Li-lin, a Daoist priestess with the unique ability to see the spirit world, continue in the thrilling follow-up to the critically-acclaimed historical urban fantasy The Girl with Ghost Eyes. The novel won First Prize in the Colorado Authors League Award, Science Fiction and Fantasy Category.

With hard historical realism and meticulously researched depictions of Chinese monsters and magic that have never been written about in the English language, The Girl with No Face draws from the action-packed cinema of Hong Kong to create a compelling and unforgettable tale of historical fantasy and Chinese lore.

Sam Knight’s story “Shattered Piece of Heaven” was recently released in the anthology Castle of Horror Anthology Volume 4: Women Running from Houses.

The theme is Gothic– the horror of Gothic romance. Throughout the mid-century, paperback Gothic romance books dominated the shelves, always featuring a woman running away from a house. Gothic romances tended to tell stories of women coming into conflict with old families, old houses and old traditions. So we’ve asked a bevy of best-selling writers to celebrate the movement with their own horrific takes on gothic. Run from the house with us!

In other news, Sam Knight‘s story “Leaving Dry Gulch on the Midnight Train” was published in the anthology Six Guns Straight From Hell 3: Horror & Dark Fantasy From the Weird Weird West, edited by David R. Riley and J. A. Campbell.

Saddle up for a wild ride through the weird, weird west. As you ride our trails you’ll want to keep one eye on the path ahead and one over your shoulder cause there’s a bushwhacking monster creeping up behind you.

Rick Duffy is thrilled to announce his new novel, The Sigil Masters, a young adult fantasy adventure. The novel won the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Gold.

Strange magics, a secret history, and new friends await him on his desperate quest to unravel the mystery of his curse. If he’s caught, his mind will be ripped open and corrected, changing how he thinks and feels and remembers. But he’s hunted by a power-hungry madman who believes the curse holds the key to ushering in a new paradise—or plunging the lands into darkness and war.

Fleeing the very shadows of death, forced to choose between fate and friendship, can the ill-fated boy find a light to save them all?

In other news, Rick Duffy‘s short story, “Castles in the Sky” was recently released in WILD: Uncivilized Tales from Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers.

Fearless or feral? Liberating or life-threatening? The wild side of life takes many forms. It seeps through the cracks of our world in the form of stray cats, tenacious weeds, oppressive relationships, and haunting memories. These fourteen stories by Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers explore the wildness that lives inside all of us—and what happens when we let it out.

It Came from the Multiplex: 80s Midnight Chillers, edited by Joshua Viola and published by Hex Publishers, contains 14 cinema-inspired stories by such notable writers as Angie Hodapp, Kevin J. Anderson, Stephen Graham Jones, Warren Hammond, and Steve Rasnic Tem.

“The universally well-paced, imaginative selections sizzle with energy, delivering an intoxicating blend of spine-tingling chills and 80s nostalgia.”

—PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, STARRED REVIEW

In other news, the Hex Publishers’ anthology Psi-Wars: Classified Cases of Psychic Phenomena, also edited by Joshua Viola, has received rave reviews. You can read an excerpt from the story “Cradle to Grave” by Angie Hodapp at Tor.com.

From Atlantis to the Third Reich and beyond, these thirteen original tales of cerebral science fiction and horror explore the evils that abound when humanity wields extraordinary minds as weapons, whether to wage war or prevent it. Steeped in psychic savagery, telekinetic combat, and extrasensory espionage, PSI-WARS imagines corrupt governments and daring operatives, gods and soldiers and hackers and spies. The authors don’t flinch when they peer around the darkest, most violent corners of the human psyche. Will you?

Dakota Brown recently released Siren’s Catch: A Reverse Harem Tale (Ocean Enchantment Book 1).  

Sirens destroyed everything I loved. My family, our offshore fishing business, and my life. I swore revenge and made it my mission to take everything they had taken from me, killing them one by one until there was nothing left but blood in the water. Cue Poseidon, god of the sea, livid that I’d killed off the protectors of his domain.

This book is intended for mature audiences. 18+ readers only! It contains language and sexual situations. This is mermaid themed medium burn reverse harem where the girl gets all the guys. Why Choose?

Writing for a Themed Anthology

In 2019, the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers (RMFW) put out a submission call for a then unnamed anthology focusing on the theme WILD. The editors, Natasha Watts and Rachel Craft, accepted all genres—realistic or speculative, contemporary or historical, literary or commercial. The only caveat was that the stories needed to be short fiction (1,500-6,500 words), and writers had to be members of RMFW. The editors received 78 submissions, and eventually narrowed it down, eventually settling on the final stories by how they complemented each other. Interestingly enough, three of the 14 stories selected for the anthology WILD: Uncivilized Tales from Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers were written by HWA members: Carina Bissett, Rick Duffy, and Angela Sylvaine. With the current open submission window for the HWA members-only anthology Other Fears – An Anthology of Diverse Terrors, I thought it might be interesting to see how different authors approached the challenge of writing to a specific theme.

CARINA BISSETT

I always have good intentions when I see submission calls of interest, but I am an agonizingly slow writer. By the time I fully flesh out an idea, it is usually months, if not years, from the original call that inspired the concept in the first place. In this case, inspiration struck more than a year before the call for WILD was even issued. In August 2018, a massive hail storm wrecked havoc on Colorado Springs and the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. Softball-sized hail destroyed several structures, hundreds of parked cars, and killed a few of the exhibits’ animals. Luckily, the giraffes were spared serious damage. However, this had me thinking of the purpose of zoos and the fact that giraffes had just quietly slipped on Critically Endangered list. The end result was the story “An Authentic Experience”—a story about a zookeeper and the animals he cares for after Earth had been destroyed by an alien civilization. In all honesty, I just wanted the giraffes to have a chance to fight back, and I worked on the story with the image of a giraffe modified with teeth sharp enough to sever an obnoxious kid’s arm. I never thought this odd sci-fi/horror short would find a home. But then I saw the themed call for “stories of rebellions, escapes, and shattered boundaries,” and decided to submit.  

This is not the first time I’ve written a story that ended up being picked up for a themed anthology. My first professional story was a piece I’d written to a fairy tale prompt in 2015. I never thought this gender-bent, eco-fic, mash-up of “Jack and the Beanstalk” and “Rappaccini’s Daughter” would see the light of day, but a year later it ended up being the sole story selected from slush for the powerhouse anthology Hath No Fury. The submission called for strong female protagonists defying fantasy stereotypes. I figured “A Seed Planted” was close enough, and it turned out I was right. This piece has since been translated into Japanese and was featured this summer in Night Land Quarterly, Volume 21: “The Fantasy of Sky Realms.”

A similar thing happened with my second professional sale. Pantheon Magazine put out a call seeking short pieces based on the theme of transformation for the anthology Gorgon: Stories of Emergence. I had grand ideas of writing a modern horror story based on the Arachne myth, but simply ran out of time. Instead, I submitted “Burning Bright,” a weird piece of flash about tygers, ladies, and the cycle of violence. Not only was it accepted for the anthology, but it recently received a mention by Ellen Datlow in the opening pages of upcoming release of The Best Horror of the Year, Volume Twelve.

Ultimately, I’ve decided that it’s best to write the stories that call to me, regardless of whether or not I think they might be marketable. I polish those pieces and hoard them like a dragon safekeeping gems. And then, when a submission call comes along that brushes up against the theme or mood in one of those stories, I send it out. No agonizing creative stress. No last minute panic. I know it’s not for everyone, but it’s been a winning strategy for me so far.

CARINA BISSETT is a writer, poet, and educator working primarily in the fields of dark fiction and fabulism. Her short fiction, essays, and poetry have been published in multiple journals and anthologies. Her work has been nominated for several awards including the Pushcart Prize and the Sundress Publications Best of the Net. Links to Carina’s work can be found at http://carinabissett.com.

RICK DUFFY

When the call for submissions came for Wild, RMFW used words like fierce, out-of-control, feral and rebellious. Any genre allowed. I’d been working on a cross-genre short story (scifi/horror/disco – I’m not kidding), with robots and explosions and a dash of gore. That sounded like a fit, so I sent it in.

At the same time, I had been stretching my boundaries with a very different short, written from a female PoV in present-tense, both of which I’d never done. It did not contain explosions, and none of the characters get so much as a paper cut. But it did deal with boundaries and personal rebellion and growth. So I sent it in along with the other (Wild allowed multiple submissions.)

To my surprise, they accepted the second over the first. They felt it was a better fit. That’s the thing about anthologies: you can never be sure what a fit is.

My scifi/horror/disco may be the best thing since eggplant parmigiana (or the worst, if you don’t like eggplant) but the editors need to select and arrange a series of stories that don’t just work as individual shorts, but work and flow together. You could send in a fantastic horror short, but if the editors have already gotten two others with the same basic theme, they may reject yours simply because they need more variety.

The moral of the story is if you think you have a story that you can kind of, even if just a little, justify as matching an anthology’s specs, but you’re not sure, considering sending it anyway. If it’s rejected, don’t take it as a stake to the heart. It may have been nudged out because of the overall framework of the anthology and not because of anything about your writing or imagination.

My story is “Castles in the Sky”: A young woman leaves home for the city to follow her dreams—literally. I think its placement gives the anthology a nice contrast from physical wildness to a more abstract take. Since then, I’ve focused on publishing my first novel, The Sigil Masters, a young adult fantasy adventure, and am working on the second book in that series. Maybe anthologies also help bring visibility to your other works and I should submit to more of them. If not, they are good practice in writing different genres and dealing with different markets. In any case, I will always make room for shorts.

RICK DUFFY is a writer of horror, sci-fi, and fantasy. His novel, The Sigil Masters, won the 2018 RMFW Gold in the young adult category. He lives in a peaceful Denver suburb opposite the magnificent Rocky Mountains. Connect with Rick at rickduffy.com.

ANGELA SYLVAINE

The theme for the RMFW anthology was an appealing one- Wild. So much can be done with this concept, and I decided to write a new story specifically for the call. I really enjoy writing new work based on story calls and find it’s a great way to get inspiration. A mixed genre anthology can be challenging for a horror writer, and I took the strategy of drawing the reader into a story that may not seem like horror at first. In other words, trick them. I am a big fan of young adult horror, and “Pruned” follows a teen girl growing into her powers over nature. When she loses control and harms someone she loves, she pledges to deny her true self and reject her powers. The addition of a domineering uncle and raging hormones make controlling herself harder than she’d hoped.

Since submitting to this anthology, I’ve continued to focus on short fiction. 2020 has been a challenging year for many writers, and early on in the pandemic I decided to stop working on novel length fiction. The effort was causing me great stress and just wasn’t much fun. This allowed me to be more productive on the short story front, which has been very gratifying. I have several stories upcoming, including “Here We Come A-Caroling” in Gothic Blue Book: A Krampus Carol, “Starved” in Consumed: Tales Inspired by the Wendigo, and “Midnight Snack” in Campfire Macabre. I’m also very proud to have just been upgraded to active status in the HWA. This was a big personal goal of mine, and I’m excited to be able to vote on the Bram Stoker Awards for the first time.

ANGELA SYLVAINE is a self-described cheerful goth that still believes in monsters and always checks under the bed. She holds degrees in psychology and philosophy. Her work has appeared in multiple publications and anthologies, including Dark Moon Digest, Places We Fear to Tread, and Not All Monsters. A North Dakota girl transplanted to Colorado, she lives with her sweetheart and four creepy cats on the front range of the Rockies. Connect with Angela at angelasylvaine.com.

Listen to five of the authors (including Carina Bissett and Angela Sylvaine) read from their stories at WILD: Uncivilized Tales – Five Readings.