Claire L. Fishbackadds to the line-up of featured writers celebrating Women in Horror Month and the second annual Bloody Valentine with a reading of the title story from her short story collectionThe Doll Room and Other Stories.
Hi! I’m Claire L. Fishback, author of horror and more-er!
I’ve been writing since I was around six years old but started writing horror when I was around eleven. Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark books inspired me. I also didn’t really like my 6th grade teacher, so in my daily journal I wrote scary stories to scare her. *evil grin*
I dabble in other genres, too, hence the “more-er” above. Fantasy, a little science fiction, and supernatural suspense to name a few.
In the video above, I’m going to share with you the title story from my second short story collection, The Doll Room.
The stories in The Doll Room were mostly written in 2020 after I suffered a traumatic brain injury. I talk a little more about in the book’s introduction. “The Doll Room” was the first story I wrote after suffering this mild head injury, so I thought it would be a good one to share with you, again, to give you a taste of what to expect in the rest of the book.
All my books are available from online book retailers world-wide in print and eBook formats. I recommend using an independent book seller for print copies, such as IndieBound.org or Bookshop.org to help support small and local book sellers.
This year, I’m working on the sequel to my novel, The Blood of Seven (a finalist for the Colorado Book Award in 2020), due out in the last quarter of 2021. I’m also working on a few shorter pieces to offer as bonus content.
J. A. Campbell adds to thecelebration of Women in Horror Month and the second annual Bloody Valentine with a reading from her novella, Jada of the Raptors. “This novella is loosely based on one of my favorite books as a child, Julie of the Wolves, combined with my love of dinosaurs and my enjoyment of future dystopian stories, says Campbell. “I chose to read it for my selection this year because I feel it combines hope with escaping a bad situation, something that I think most people can connect with this year. Also, dinosaurs.”
Fleeing forced marriage and subjugation to the man who murdered her husband, Jada escapes into the wilderness – even though she’s ill-prepared to survive on her own. Jada knows she needs help, but refuses to go back to humanity, so she turns to the wilderness’ greatest survivors: a pack of Utahraptors. Genetically engineered, then freed during the war that destroyed civilization, the dinosaurs are her only hope. If they don’t kill her first.
Campbell writes horror and dark fantasy because it’s what she enjoys reading. In addition to writing her own books, Campbell also cowrites a series with Rebecca McFarland Kyle. “We take the dark fantasy route to explore things like acceptance of self, acceptance of others, and fighting for what is right.”
“I write quite a bit of different genres,” says Campbell. “I have a young adult fantasy series I’m hoping to continue working on this summer, along with another of my dark fantasy books with my coauthor. I also have a couple of short stories I’d like to write.”
In addition to her work as J. A. Campbell, she also writes paranormal romance under a pen name.
Shannon Lawrence adds to the line-up of featured writers celebrating Women in Horror Month and the second annual Bloody Valentine with a reading of her Valentine’s/Lupercalia story “Blind Date.” “If you’ve never heard of Lupercalia, I recommend looking it up. Quite the naughty holiday,” says Lawrence.
Readers can find “Blind Date” in the holiday collection Happy Ghoulidays, which features stories ranging from Thanksgiving to Valentine’s, and everything in between. Lawrence also recommend her Yule story “In Flames Reborn” or her sorority power, Christmas story “Deck the Halls with Guts and Madness.” Both are included in Happy Ghoulidays.
When asked why she writes horror, Lawrence says, “I love it, and I take great pleasure in freaking people out. You can ask my younger siblings. Or my children. Or my husband. Just ask anyone, really. After a lifetime of reading horror, it’s only natural I’d write in that genre.
“As a pre-teen, it was all ghosts all the time, devouring books on the ghosts of D.C. and the Civil War (I lived in Maryland at the time). As a teen, it was all about true crime and trying to understand how abominations like serial killers came to be (I still can’t say I understand them, but maybe I’m a little closer). Mixed in there somewhere was a fascination with cryptids and mythological creatures. After having survived both a serial killer’s attempt to get my mother while I was in the car and several kidnapping attempts, there’s something cathartic to seeing what could have happened and knowing that instead I survived, both because my mom was savvy and because I was. It’s all downhill on the adrenaline train after it happens in real life.”
In 2020, Lawrence released Happy Ghoulidays and Bruised Souls & Other Torments. In 2021, she is planning to finish her horror comedy novel about killer squirrels, as well as a couple nonfiction books she currently working on. In addition, publishers are looking at her Myth Stalker series, so fingers crossed! In addition, readers can sign up for the newsletter on her website: www.thewarriormuse.com.
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.
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.
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!
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