Darker Days

“Wildly varied and always surprising, Darker Days is a fantastic collection of dark wonders. Cain is a gifted storyteller and a writer to watch.”  Jonathan Janz

“I’ve said before that the way to assess the health of a genre is to look at the number of excellent young writers it attracts. There is a new wave of excellent writers showing up in Horror. Kenneth W. Cain is one of these very good writers. His prose is precise, his plotting and pace move seamlessly and quickly, and his stories are compelling. Darker Days is a good example of some of his best work—highly recommended.” — Gene O’Neill, The White Plague Chronicles

“A feast for the senses no matter your tastes! Kenneth W. Cain does it again with Darker Days: A Collection of Dark Fiction.” — Rena Mason, Bram Stoker Award® winning author of The Evolutionist and East End Girls

Darker Days, the latest collection of short stories by Kenneth W. Cain, delivers on its title’s promise. From the very first story readers are dragged into seemingly ordinary situations that serve as cover for dark secrets. Ranging from subtle horror to downright terror, from science fiction to weird fantasy, Cain demonstrates a breadth of styles that keeps you off balance as you move from one story to the next. There is something for everyone in this collection—as long as you don’t want to sleep at night!” — JG Faherty, author of The Cure, Carnival of Fear, and The Burning Time

Reviews for Embers:
“Kenneth Cain has the ability to bring up hard topics without driving them into the ground or beating you over the head with them.” — SciFi & Scary

Kenneth W. Cain is an exceptional writer. His stories never fail to provide the chills and thrills you want from a horror anthology. Highly recommended.” — Goodreads review

Now that you’ve warmed by the embers, submerse in darker days.

The author of the short story collections These Old Tales, Fresh Cut Tales, and Embers presents Darker Days: A Collection of Dark Fiction. In his youth Cain developed a sense of wonderment owed in part to TV shows like The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, One Step Beyond and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Now Cain seeks the same dark overtones in his writing.

There’s a little something for every reader within this collection. These 26 short speculative stories arise from a void, escaping shadows that ebb and weave through minds like worms, planting the larvae that live just under the skin, thriving upon fear. These are Cain’s darker days.

In this collection, Cain features stories from the Old West, of past lives and future days, the living and the dead, new and unique monsters as well as fresh takes on those of lore. Once more he tackles themes of loss and grief and the afterlife, always exploring the greater unknown. In “The Sanguine Wars,” Cain takes us to a future where soldiers are made to endure the horrors of war. He explores the complexities of global warming and what lengths men and women alike sink to in “The Reassignment Project.” And, as often is the case, he ends on a lighter note, with “Lenny’s New Eyes” and “A Very Different Sort of Apocalypse.”

When the darkness comes, embrace it. Let it wrap you up in cold. Don’t worry, it’s not your time…yet.

Includes the following stories:

  • “A Ring For His Own”
  • “Heirloom”
  • “Rust Colored Rain”
  • “Prey”
  • “Passing Time”
  • “What Mama Needs”
  • “My Brother Bit Your Honor Roll Student”
  • “Outcasts: The Sick and Dying 1 – Henry Wentworth”
  • “The Sanguine Wars”
  • “The Hunted”
  • “Her Living Corals”
  • “Puppet Strings”
  • “The Trying of Master William”
  • “By The Crescent Moon”
  • “Mantid”
  • “The Underside of Time and Space”
  • “Outcasts: The Sick and Dying 2 – Gemma Nyle”
  • “The Griffon”
  • “Adaptable”
  • “When They Come”
  • “The Reassignment Project”
  • “Presage”
  • “One Hopeless Night by a Clan Fire”
  • “Lenny’s New Eyes”
  • “Outcasts: The Sick and Dying 3 – Anna Kilpatrick”
  • “A Very Different Sort of Apocalypse”
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Tales From The Lake Volume 5

“If you’re a short story reader, this is an absolute must-read. Volume five is even better than the four preceding volumes, which is a very hard bar to hit. Go buy this!” — John R. Little, author of The Memory Tree, Miranda, and Soul Mates

Reviews for Tales from the Lake Volume 5:

“…not a “look under the bed for monsters” volume, but one that has a pensive chill. The stories are like a tap on the shoulder; a reminder that good days end and that no one is protected from anguish.” – Hellnotes

“Taken all together, Tales From The Lake – Volume 5 is an absolute triumph, a wonderfully inclusive celebration of the best that the Horror genre can produce, unhindered by the constraints of themes or specific topics. The individual stories within the collection are uniformly of a very high quality, and have been expertly brought together and edited by Kenneth W. Cain and Crystal Lake Publishing.” – Sci-Fi and Fantasy Reviews

“edited by Kenneth Cain, one of the as yet unsung heroes of dark horror fiction–an author in his own right who deserves much more attention and spotlighting.” – The Haunted Reading Room

“This anthology from Crystal Lake Publishing is by far the best volume yet in the Tales from the Lake series!” – Amazon review

“The most terrifying thing in the world is not a vampire or zombie, it is mankind and what we are capable of doing to each other. This collection from editor Kenneth W. Cain will eat at you for a long time. Horrifying, haunting, and unforgettable!” – Goodreads review

“I’ve been a fan of the Tales From The Lake anthology since the first volume and it’s amazing to see how much it has evolved over the years. Volume 5 is quite possibly the best yet.” – Goodreads review

“Kenneth W. Cain did an excellent job of weaving the stories together and they flow from one to another leaving the reader on a journey of terror and entertainment.” – Goodreads review

“Over the years I’ve read enough anthologies, short story collections and fiction magazines to refine my expectations for what comprises a premium horror story. So when I declare that I thoroughly enjoyed two-thirds of the fiction in TALES FROM THE LAKE VOLUME 5 – – that says a lot about the high quality of the contents.” – Pop Culture Podium

“…this one has some seriously fantastic offerings.” – A.E. Siraki

The Legend Continues…

In the spirit of popular Dark Fiction and Horror anthologies such as Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories and Behold: Oddities, Curiosities and Undefinable Wonders, and the best of Stephen King’s short fiction, comes Crystal Lake Publishing’s Tales from The Lake anthologies.

Where are the real horrors? Whether they be a family member returning from the dead, exploring the depths of depression or the deterioration of the mind, you’ll find them here.

This anthology contains twenty-two tales and three poems to elicit unexpected emotions, to bring you into the story. Welcome to my lake, where dreams really do come true… As nightmares!

This fifth volume of speculative fiction contains:

Poetry:

  • “From the Mouths of Plague-Mongers” by Stephanie M. Wytovich – A wonderful look at our world and the cruel reality of it all.
  • “Malign and Chronic Recreation” by Bruce Boston – Where Internet addiction meets sexual addiction.
  • “Final Passage” by Bruce Boston – A breakdown of mental acuity as it leads to the inevitability of death.

Short stories:

  • “Always After Three” by Gemma Files – A young couple discovers that in a downtown condo you almost never know who your neighbours are, or what they might be doing.
  • “In the Family” by Lucy A. Snyder – A former child actress reveals dark family secrets to her long-lost niece.
  • “Voices Like Barbed Wire” by Tim Waggoner – Sometimes forgetting is more painful than remembering.
  • “The Flutter of Silent Wings” by Gene O’Neill – A heartbreaking tribute to a Shirley Jackson classic.
  • “Guardian” by Paul Michael Anderson – Even creatures beyond time and space need friendship.
  • “Farewell Valencia” by Craig Wallwork – When you’ve got no reason to live, there’s a hotel that can give you every reason to die. So book in, unpack, and prepare to be checked out, forever.
  • “A Dream Most Ancient and Alone” by Allison Pang – A lake mermaid with a penchant for eating children forms a tenuous friendship with an abused girl trying to escape her past.
  • “The Monster Told Me To” by Stephanie M. Wytovich – In order for Bria to deal with her past, she must confront the ghosts of her present.
  • “Dead Bodies Don’t Scream” by Michelle Ann King – If the universe won’t give her a miracle, Allie will make one for herself. But dark magic has a price, and paying it is going to hurt.
  • “The Boy” by Cory Cone – Grief-stricken from the sudden loss of her husband, a young woman fears she may lose her son as well, if she hasn’t already.
  • “Starve a Fever” by Jonah Buck – Fleeing down a bayou highway with a sick criminal in the backseat, a getaway driver must sate his passenger’s horrifying needs while evading the police.
  • “Umbilicus” by Lucy Taylor – A father becomes involved in a scheme to rescue a friend’s lost son—with terrifying results.
  • “Nonpareil” by Laura Blackwell – Maisie’s wedding cake business needs every client it can get—especially rich ones—but between the groom’s unpleasant family and the mysterious bride’s strange requests, Maisie has a tough job baking a cake that will please everyone.
  • “The Midland Hotel” by Marge Simon – If walls of a hotel could talk is one thing, but what if it happens to be a sentient collector of souls?
  • “The Weeds and the Wildness Yet” by Robert Stahl – Still reeling over the sudden death of his wife, Charlie stumbles across a mysterious object at a yard sale—a monkey’s paw, like the one in the legendary story. Despite the terrible events that befall that fictional family, he can’t help but want to give it a try.
  • “The Color of Loss and Love” by Jason Sizemore – A couple set out to rescue an unfamiliar couple, only to face an airborne disease that overtook the world.
  • “The Loudest Silence” by Meghan Arcuri – A woman is trapped by her worst enemy: her mind.
  • “The Followers” by Peter Mark May – The Followers are slow, but they never tire. Nor do they or have to stop to drink, eat or sleep like us living. They are on a relentless death march and we are only delaying the inevitable.
  • “A Bathtub at the End of the World” by Lane Waldman – A little girl plays with her toys in a locked bathroom. Everything is fine, except for the zombies outside.
  • “Twelve by Noon” by Joanna Parypinski – An old farmer goes about his routine tending to the nine scarecrows that preside over his field, when three college student show up and cause a strange disturbance.
  • “Hollow Skulls” by Samuel Marzioli – When Orson’s son is born, the memory of a tragedy creeps back into his life, threatening his very sanity.
  • “Maggie” by Andi Rawson – An intense, disturbing relationship between love and murder is exposed.

With an introduction by editor Kenneth W. Cain. Cover art by Ben Baldwin. Proudly represented by Crystal Lake Publishing – Tales from The Darkest Depths.

Embers

“Not a squall, not a blizzard … It’s a pulp horror AVALANCHE! That’s Kenneth W. Cain’s new collection, Embers.” — Mort Castle, Bram Stoker Award® winner

Reviews for Embers:
“I think I can safely say that this collection is one of my all-time favourites.” — Confessions of a reviewer

“Cain’s characters are anything but black and white. They are as multi-faceted as any real person you know. They are presented with difficult decisions and even worse situations, and they do the best that they can. Monster and man both are tested relentlessly, Cain never taking the easy way out. Some of the stories are predominately scary, some are predominately sad. All of them will evoke a range of emotions while you read and long after you’ve finished.” — Charnel House Reviews

“Prepare for the stretching of your mind and the expansion of your imagination as Kenneth W. Cain boldly goes into unexplored territory, sometimes speculative, other times horrific, but always enlightening.” — Mallory Heart Reviews

“Some of these tales take on a poe-esque quality, while others a more Lovecraftian tone, and then we find those that bestow upon us the moral musings of Rod Serling. Yeah, these stories are good!” — Horror Novel Reviews

“If you enjoy your horror with a touch of Lovecraft, I believe you’ll appreciate this body of work from Kenneth W. Cain more than you would otherwise.” — Cemetery Dance (Frank Michaels Errington)

“The market is flooded with short story collections and I sincerely hope that Cain’s Embers finds an audience as he has a strong voice and an obvious writing ability. A really good collection overall” — The Grim Reader

“Each story is connected by a little thread to the next one. Kenneth created a web of weird, sometimes gory, sometimes psychological and always scary threads.” — Banshee Irish Horror Blog

Embers is a collection that strolls into every corner of horror to gather bits before running them through the spin cycle, dial set to dread.” — Unnerving Magazine

“…from page 1 I enjoyed reading each and every word.” — Terror-Tree

“Books like Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark were always a fun read as a child right before bed. Cain’s Embers is like an adult version of those novels.” — The Horrific Network

“What makes his work scary is that he takes normal everyday situations with characters just like you and me and twists them into something horrific. These are tales that really could happen to anyone.” — S.J. Budd

“Overall, Embers is a well-constructed and put together collection of horror stories from Kenneth W. Cain that marks another quality release from Crystal Lake Publishing.” — A.E. Siraki

“I thought it was a great collection.” — Sci-Fi and Scary

From the author of the short story collections These Old Tales and Fresh Cut Tales comes his latest effort, Embers: A Collection of Dark Fiction. In his youth Cain developed a sense of wonderment owed in part to TV shows like The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, One Step Beyond and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Now Cain seeks the same dark overtones in his writing. There’s a little something for every reader within this collection. These 25 short speculative stories represent the smoldering remains of a blaze, the fiery bits meant to ignite the mind with slow-burning imagery and smoky twists and turns. These are the very embers of Cain’s soul.

In this collection, Cain features stories of troubled men and women, both living and dead. Themes of loss and the afterlife take on many forms, as he explores the unknown. For instance, “The Chamber” focuses on a hardened veteran of World War II who has committed heinous crimes. He seeks only to find peace from his conscience, but sometimes that comes at a great loss. “Valerie’s Window” visits a small town amid a tragic end to humanity. Only things are not as they seem, and the more Valerie comes to know herself, the more her reality is revealed. “The Benefit of Being Weighty” has a humorous side, but the theme of this story revolves around fat shaming and the price one must pay for being so ignorant. Hopefully, these three short descriptions have increased your curiosity to read the book.

When the dark comes, light a match. Let the fire burn bright and hot. So that when it dies the embers warm you.

Includes the following stories:

  • “The Chamber”
  • “Valerie’s Window”
  • “A Window to Dream By”
  • “Each New Day Unknown”
  • “Gone”
  • “Under the Drift of Snow is Another World”
  • “Blackbird’s Breath”
  • “Desolate”
  • “Lost in the Woods”
  • “Final Breaths”
  • “Closer”
  • “Flocking Birds”
  • “Pirouette”
  • “To Save One Life”
  • “Of Both Worlds”
  • “Breathing Cave”
  • “Soul Tapped”
  • “The Water People”
  • “Water Snake”
  • “Evolved”
  • “Buried Beneath the Old Chicago Swamps”
  • “The Bad Men”
  • “Parasite”
  • “Strip Poker, Crabs, and Blue Women”
  • “The Benefit of Being Weighty”

LIKE my book on the Bookmaester Top 100

Fresh Cut Tales

“Solid combination from a writer to watch.” — Mort Castle, Bram Stoker Award winning author of New Moon on the Water

From the author of the short story collection These Old Tales comes Fresh Cut Tales: A Collection of Dark Fiction. In his youth Cain developed a sense of wonderment owed in part to TV shows like The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, One Step Beyond and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Now Cain seeks the same dark overtones in his writing. There’s a little something for every reader within this collection. These sixteen short speculative stories are a winding road of pain where each curve may not be seen. These are the freshest cuts from Cain’s mind.

“Enthralling, eclectic collection of unputdownable speculative fiction.” — Benjamin Kane Ethridge, Bram Stoker Award winning author of Black & Orange and Bottled Abyss

  • Of Shadows – Somewhere beyond this world are places where the innocent are tested. This story is about such a place. Can Ellen escape her reality?
  • Avenged – Life doesn’t matter when it comes to avenging death. Cole Stryder tries to account for the murder of his men, but matters unfold unexpectedly.
  • Ordering Out – A troubled bloodsucker has difficulty obtaining sustenance.
  • Perfect Little Hands – Dallas faces the truth about his relationship to his stepdaughter at her funeral.
  • Inside Out – Richie Harden tells his story to a local reporter, detailing facts about a handicapped boy who isn’t as bad off as he seems.

“Expect the unexpected in this macabre and thoroughly entertaining collection.” — Mike Davis, The Lovecraft Ezine

  • Shards – Gerald, a man who has long avoided children, must now face the reality of his demented nature.
  • Twist of Pain – A short, troubling journey home is enough to break young Sarah.
  • Old Habits – A man and wife find their marriage split by an undead situation.
  • In the Shadow of the Equine – Finding themselves trapped on a scenic island with a mob of mind~controlled zealots, a man desperately tries to protect his son.
  • Split Ends – A bizarre hair disease follows a woman’s family history, but can her daughter escape the infliction?

“Twisted tales that are guaranteed to keep you up at night.” — Michael McCarty, author of I Kissed a Ghoul

  • Spaceship Earth – A hiking trip reveals unexplained mysteries that endanger Earth. Some places aren’t meant to be discovered.
  • Warmth Within They Depths – In the vast unwater world, exploration reveals unexpected horrors.
  • Never Free – Small towns fables are often shared among children, but none so harrowing as that of the Easton Park Statue.
  • Ahote’s Spirit – A Native~American discovers a creature unlike any other.
  • Rebirth – A scientist attempts to soothe his daughter about the loss of her mother.
  • Redpath, Stu – A classic themed horror story finds Steven in an isolated diner, enjoying the company of old~timers.

Draw up the covers and turn on the lights. Prepare for a journey into the weird, wild, and creepy in this collection of dark fiction stories.

Reviews for FRESH CUT TALES:

 

 

2012 Coffin Hop Post

LEAVE A COMMENT ON THIS POST FOR A CHANCE AT
A FREE COPY OF MY DARK FICTION COLLECTION
THESE OLD TALES!

When I was young, far too young to know the harm I could do to myself by watching terrifying movies, I permanently damaged something inside of me. You see, I was not the sort of child who ate well at dinnertime. I am reminded of this daily as I struggle to get my own children to eat their dinners. However, back then, I had a secret agenda.

While other children played Asteroids or with Lincoln Logs before going to bed, I stretched out dinner as long as I could manage. And for good reason. My mother made me sit at the dining room table until I finished everything that was on my plate, knowing I never would. Still she tried. But I waited because I knew at some point my mother would turn the television to the shows I wanted to see. My seat at the table had a direct view of the television.

From the dinner table I watched full episodes of The Twilight Zone, Alfred Hitchcock, One Step Beyond, and many more. At the mere age of four I watched The Omen in its entirety. I filled my curiosity of the things that haunted me to my heart’s delight. And then something broke. One night my mother turned on Psycho and life for me would never be the same.

I know what you’re thinking; “I’ve seen that movie. It’s not that bad.” Well I assure you at 4 or 5 years old it is quite terrifying. In fact, I have never looked at taking a shower the same way. I am thankful for my clear shower stall, no curtain needed to hide the things that might be waiting to stab me. It was such a defining moment in my creepy little life.

You see, it is this emotion I feel when taking a shower that I have become obsessed with. I think all children feel it, and although kids now seem a bit desensitized to it all, it is still there. It hides under their beds or sleeps right outside the window waiting to get in. It’s in their closet calling out their name or in the basement. True horror is always there whether we choose to admit it or not. It waits for us, always there in that brief second where the realization that it does exist finds us. It is then it leaps out, causing us to jump out of our skin.

So why the obsession you ask? Why does one obsess so over lack of sleep? Is it because we desire it so or because we loathe the knowing that we will not find rest? My fascination with horror exists simply because I cannot get these images out of my head. These fears have long haunted me, always waiting around one corner or the next, always terrifying. So it is this constant fear that I examine in my stories, trying to discover the truth behind each horror I have encountered.

Does it work? Some, but not much. I sleep lightly, waking often throughout the night. When we stay at hotels I still peek out around the shower curtain expecting to find Norman Bates, or maybe something worse. I know the Boogeyman rests under my bed, waiting for my eyes to close before he makes himself seen. Ghosts sit at the edge of my bed, hoping I will not wake as they study me. These horrors are part of me and likely always will be. And this is why I write.

Please make sure to click on the banner above and visit all the coffin hoppers. Many of them are giving away prizes including FREE books. If you would like to win a digital copy of my dark fiction collection These Old Tales please leave a comment here on this post. I will randomly select 5 winners and reply to your post for you to email me your contact information if you win. Also, feel free to follow my blog and keep up with future releases.

Thank you for stopping by my website.

                        

11/06/2012 RELEASE!                                         05/05/2013 RELEASE

~Kenneth W. Cain

Post Mortem Press Featured Author – Lydia Peever


A QUICK LITTLE INTERVIEW WITH THE CURRENT POST MORTEM PRESS FEATURED AUTHOR – LYDIA PEEVER

Q: Tell us a little about your writing. What is your typical genre, your style, the voice you aim for and such.

A: I grew up in a moody little town reading a lot of dark fiction. That tends to dictate my personality today as well as how and what I write. As far as genre, I would like to say I write horror purely and simply, yet I do have a literary tone. As bad as I want to write a hot slasher that leaps off the page I get caught up in the bloody little details. The things that really make humans tick.

Q: What are some of the endeavors you have on the horizon, or have been participating in?

A: Lately, I have been planning a nice launch pad for short horror in a ‘zine format. ‘Single Tale’ will be a series of evil and horrific stories geared toward a very adult audience. Eventually, I also hope to publish a collection of my short horror under an anagram – because I adore anagrams – that has an audio book styled accompaniment. The prototypes of these projects are being tweaked. Over the winter of 2012 I will be doing a lot of planning with Hora Morior as well and hoping to bring a lot of others terrifyingly dark art out through them. Also, the sequel to Nightface. That is the biggest thing in my life right now. Bigger than eating food and getting proper sleep!

Q: Do you prefer longer or shorter fiction? And what do you think each provides for your writing?

A: Short fiction is a lot like a perfect dinner date. It starts, it’s nice, it’s over, you smile and go home. Everyone is happy and it is something nice to think about for a few days. Long fiction is… different. Long fiction is that distressingly hot crush. The toxic relationship that just can’t quit. It can go on for years and tear your mind apart. You love every other minute, but hate the next one. No matter how many short-fiction dinner-dates you go on, this is what is tattooed behind your eyes and thrumming within the beat of every song. I enjoy both and prefer to do them both on a regular basis. Sometimes on the same day.

Q: Let us know a little about your favorite character that you have created, and what makes them your favorite?

A: It is a toss up, really, but I would have to say Turner. Turner is a young man in my short story entitled ‘Thicker Than’ published by West Pigeon Press in the ‘For When The Veil Drops’ anthology. In some ways, he is a male version of me on a bad day even though he is based on someone I used to know. So dark, so sad, everyone can relate to that angst that leaves you nearly mute and a true ticking time bomb. I also like The Farmer in Nightface a lot since he does not really fit into any horror envelope neatly.

Q: What do you typically read and how do those authors help to define your own writing?

A: A tough question! I could list many authors and have people guess at who really influences me, but the truth is I am influenced by life. Non-fiction. The news. People I meet. That is the huge influence, and my own ‘extremely regular’ life. I read a lot so there is truly list of hundreds of authors that could be here but; Richard Laymon and Edward Lee to relax – a clense palate for reality as it were. Kathe Koja, Clive Barker, Chuck Palahniuk and Otsuichi may influence my style – but I did grow up on a steady diet of Stephen King novels and encyclopedias.

Q: What advice might you offer to other writers in their endeavors?

A: Find your groove, and the minute it gets slippery, slide into another one. Test yourself and write longhand. Nothing beats writing out tens of thousands of words with a pen on paper. Read your stuff aloud. Get lost in your words so you can see them from the inside, and how they really work. Then sell it.

Q: What things have you experienced as set backs and potential deal breakers? Also, what things have helped you to gain exposure, bring attention to your stories?

A: My family and friends from home have been a huge support, for sure. Associates at school and partners in business help as well, as I have had several careers in my short time. The musicians and artists I know are a constant boon and huge inspiration as well as those goth, kink, and fellow writer types I adore. Attending any horror-related event always helps and is a great way to blow off steam too. Setbacks? The only setback is not having as many hours in a day as I would like to just f’n write.

Q: Finish this sentence, “Lydia Peever is a…”

A: … typical girl.

Q: Anything else you would like to promote, say, or rant about?

A: I do horror-related work for Ottawa Horror and Hora Morior so please check them out. Also, I get a lot of support from Patron Saint of Plagues – phenomenal horror rock – designed their current website and helped produce a video for ‘Things Arn’t What They Seem’ [sic]. Along with other authors, I get a lot of inspiration from musicians, artists and photographers.

http://nightface.ca/
http://www.facebook.com/Nightface
http://typicallydia.com/
http://www.ottawahorror.com/
http://horamorior.com/
http://www.patronsaintofplagues.com/

Bio: 
Lydia Peever is a journalist and horror author living in Ottawa. With articles in some newspapers and magazines, she is currently working on the sequel to her violent vampire novel, Nightface.

With too many hobbies and diverse interests, you may find her researching genealogy in a dusty library, profiling artists for ottawahorror.com, or taking photos at a punk show. By day, she haunts trendy cafés, tends poison flowerbeds, and photographs roadkill.

 

BUY LYDIA’S STORIES DIRECTLY FROM AMAZON BY CLICKING ON ANY IMAGE BELOW:

Post Mortem Press Featured Author – Brian Dobbins

A QUICK LITTLE INTERVIEW WITH THE CURRENT POST MORTEM PRESS FEATURED AUTHOR – BRIAN DOBBINS

Q: Tell us a little about your writing. What is your typical genre, your style, the voice you aim for and such.

A:  I tend to be genre challenged. At the moment I have two novels out. One is a western entitled Corryville. The other is a fantasy/adventure that sports the ambitious title Jasmine’s Tale: Darkness And Light, and involves a witch and her private detective husband, which in itself mixes genres. What both novels have in common are the elements that I consider essential to storytelling. Character development is probably top of the list; readers don’t care about characters that they can’t relate to. A story should be well-paced, which, for me, translates into fast-paced. Believability is crucial. No matter how fanciful the concept, the plot and motivations of the characters must make sense. I also like to sprinkle my stories with liberal dashes of historical references, so research is very important. Dialogue is also important… plus I love writing it.

Q: What are some of the endeavors you have on the horizon, or have been participating in?

A: Both novels have sequels in the works. Hopefully the sequels will have sequels, too.

Q: Do you prefer longer or shorter fiction? And what do you think each provides for your writing?

A: I’ll read anything from graphic novels (which I still occasionally refer to as comic books), magazine articles and poetry to short stories and novels.Some of those catagories, such as articles and short stories, often have set limits. A novel is a different kind of animal. I think a novel determines its own length. I can’t concentrate on writing a story if I’m preoccupied with a target word count that I want to hit. My books tend to be fast-paced and concise, simply by virtue of my writing style and what I like as a reader.

Q: Let us know a little about your favorite character that you have created, and what makes them your favorite?

A:  I’m not sure I can answer that. That’s a little like asking a parent which child they prefer. I like most of the characters I’ve created, for one reason or another. In Jasmine’s Tale, for instance, I really like Sam. He’s not always sure what’s going on, as he’s often pitted against powerful witches who can put the whammy on him. But he tries hard and usually gets the job done. On the other hand, McGowen, the antagonist in the story, serves as the perfect foil for Jasmine and her friends. The same dilemma presents itself in Corryville. I really like Wade Loveless and Moses White, the two determined and seasoned marshals, but Mike Kenney is a pretty fair villain. It’s really tough to pick favorites, so I usually don’t try.

Q: What do you typically read and how do those authors help to define your own writing?

A:  I just love to read. I grew up devouring sci-fi and spooky stuff, but I’ve spent the last few years kind of obsessed with both crime thrillers and westerns. Basically I’ll read just about anything. Except romance novels, and that’s all I have to say about that subject.

A lot of writers have influenced me…William Goldman, Robert B. Parker, Dashiell Hammett, H.G. Wells, Steven King and Larry McMurtry to name just a few.

Q: What advice might you offer to other writers in their endeavors? What things have you experienced as set backs and potential deal breakers? Also, what things have helped you to gain exposure, bring attention to your stories?

A: Write. Read. Don’t be afraid to put something on paper just because you don’t think someone won’t like it. Know your subject matter. If you don’t know it, research it. Readers of genre fiction, in particular, know their stuff, so you’d better know it, too. Remember to show your characters’ motivations for their actions. A story has to make sense, even when it doesn’t.

Exposure is a constant battle. Publishing has been changing dramatically for the last few years, so promotional options have as well. The internet is now probably the best tool going for the little-known writer, but traditional efforts like book signings, trade shows, and footwork still have their place. A book is a product. Sell it.

Q: Finish this sentence, “Brian Dobbins is a…”

A: … guy who doesn’t know how to describe himself.

Q: Anything else you would like to promote, say, or rant about?

A: Buy my books. Baby needs a new pair of shoes.

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