Archive for the ‘horror’ Category

2022 was quite the ride for me, writing-wise! I had my first book deal and a bunch of other “firsts,” highlighted below. These types of year-end posts are helpful for authors to stay accountable and celebrate successes in a path paved with a billion rejections.

My biggest writing milestone this year was announcing my first book deal in May. The book will publish less than a year later: MELINDA WEST: MONSTER GUNSLINGER will be available in February 2023 from Brigids Gate Press. This adult “Weird Western” adventure features gunslingers, diverse characters and a menagerie of nightmarish monsters, with Bonnie & Clyde + Witcher + Supernatural vibes. Author milestones including seeing the incredible cover by Carrion House; holding the physical ARC in my hand for the first time; and reading early reviews, which have been positive so far. I am so very grateful to Brigids Gate Press, the indie horror writing community, early readers and supporters, and many others for helping to bring this book to life.

collage of magazine and book covers

I also published more short stories this year than I have any year prior. 13 of my short horror/sci-fi/weird west stories were published in anthologies, magazines and/or podcasts, and I’ve signed contracts for 5 more appearing next year, including an audio version of my gothic horror tribute to Anne Rice, “Unrest,” by the excellent Tales to Terrify podcast.

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I’m thrilled that my debut Weird West novel MELINDA WEST: MONSTER GUNSLINGER is now available for preorder for Amazon Kindle! Not only that, but publisher Brigids Gate Press is having a holiday promotion where the book is ONLY 99 cents for a few more days. THANK YOU to everyone who has preordered so far, I really appreciate it!

The sale is over on December 20th, so now is a great time to snag a copy if you’re interested in a fast-paced, feminist fantasy-horror adventure.

If you’re more of a print book person like me, the physical version of MELINDA WEST: MONSTER GUNSLINGER will be available on February 2, 2023. I’m still figuring out signed copy options but those details will be coming soon. Buy it now or learn more about the book below.

Early Praise for MELINDA WEST: MONSTER GUNSLINGER

Melinda West is the hero I’ve been waiting for as long as I can remember. The world and characters are vivid and magical. This story is a delight.
–Kate Jonez, Bram Stoker and Shirley Jackson Award-nominated author

This fast-paced debut is peppered with awesome battle scenes, but the novel is much more than the sum of its action parts. Grifant takes her time to build the world and its characters, imbuing all with a complexity that adds depth to this wildly entertaining story. Verdict: This fun, imaginative, and confident series opener will be a massive crowd pleaser for general audiences, especially for those who enjoy a wide range of popular weird western offerings, from the more historical like Stoker’s Wilde West by Hopstaken and Prusi to those with cosmic elements such as The Last Storm by Lebbon.”
 —Becky Spratford on Goodreads (Read for January 2023 issue of Library Journal; from draft review)

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My cosmic horror story, “The U Train,” appears in Tales of Sley House 2022, now available! This anthology features lots of unsettling and creepy horror stories divided into three themes.

In “The U Train,” four strangers find themselves on a subway platform, waiting on a train that shouldn’t exist. But as they try to find out why they’re there and how they might escape, they realize that when the train arrives, a fate worse than death might be waiting for them.

The story was also produced as an audio drama, which you can listen to for free at one of the links below.

Listen to “The U Train” for free: 

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Happy December! I hope you had a fulfilling Thanksgiving and are gearing up for a fun and restful holiday season. If you’re stumped on gift ideas, I’ve included some tips on horror and book gift suggestions below.

In personal news, I am beyond thrilled that my poem “A Woman’s Weapon” (published in HWA’s Poetry Showcase Volume VIII) made the recommendations list for the upcoming volume of Ellen Datlow’s esteemed Best Horror of the Year! You can peruse the full list here.

Book news

Early reviews from advanced readers on MELINDA WEST: MONSTER GUNSLINGER are starting to post on Goodreads and I’m delighted to see people enjoying this Weird West epic adventure.

If you haven’t already, you can add MELINDA WEST: MONSTER GUNSLINGER to your Goodreads list. Preorders will be available later this month.

Digital versions of Advanced Reader Copies (ARCs) are available for reviewers and early readers! If you’re interested, please message me

Book and horror shopping guide tips

If you need some shopping inspiration, check out the excellent Horror for the Holidays shopping guide from author Sara Tantlinger

Also I highly recommend Bookshop for great gift ideas for supporting independent bookstores. Better yet, browse your nearby indie bookstore!

Lastly, check out the social media pages of your favorite indie authors. Chances are that they (or their publishers) are having sales this month.

Upcoming short stories

I am thrilled to have another story appear in an upcoming Tales to Terrify episode. “Unrest,” a gothic horror tale about a cemetery taking revenge on a monster, first debuted in the anthology DANCING IN THE SHADOWS: A TRIBUTE TO ANNE RICE.

You can listen to my first Tales to Terrify cosmic scifi horror story, “The Peerlings,” here for free

I also have a new Weird West short story debuting in ALONG HARROWED TRAILS from Timber Ghost Press forthcoming in 2023.

Recent stories out now

To receive monthly email updates directly into your inbox, sign up here and, as always, happy reading!

I’m honored that my horror pandemic story, “All Aboard,” debuts in 34 Orchard Magazine issue #6, a publication described as “a literary journal that takes you dark places.”

In “All Aboard,” a new pandemic forces those people to carry out their quarantine at sea, where strangers are less than charitable. You can download the entire issue as a pdf for free at https://34orchard.com/issues/issue-6/.

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I’m honored to have 12 new horror, scifi and/or weird west short stories published this year. These are eligible for award nominations, and several of them are free to read. Complimentary copies (PDF) of the others are available upon request. Hope you enjoy!

Horror

collage of publications


The Color of Friendship

-Published in Chromophobia: A Strangehouse Anthology by Women in Horror from Rooster Republic Press
-Description: A mean-girls, creature feature about a lake house trip gone sideways, this story is described by the editor as having “major CREEPSHOW vibes.”
-Words: 3,400

The U Train” (available online as an audio story)

Winner of the Sley House podcast competition and published in Tales of Sley House 2022
-Description: Four strangers find themselves on a New York subway platform, forced to face their pasts as they wait on a train that shouldn’t exist.
-Words: 5,300
-Note: “The U Train” is available as a free dramatic audio recording here: https://podcast.app/kc-grifants-u-train-e315014645/

Unrest

-Published in Dancing in the Shadows: A Tribute to Anne Rice and forthcoming in a future episode of Tales to Terrify
-Description: An unnatural force at the local cemetery seeks to avenge an act of murderous violence.
-Words: 2,400 

“All Aboard” (available online)

-Published in 34 Orchard magazine, issue #6
-Description: A new pandemic forces those exposed to carry out their quarantine at sea, where strangers are less than charitable.
-Words: 1,200
-Note: “All Aboard” is available to read for free at the magazine’s website (pdf): https://34orchard.files.wordpress.com/2022/11/34-orchard-issue-6-autumn-2022.pdf

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My Weird West monster action story, “The Fall of Denafas Manor,” debuts in this epic Western horror anthology from Cohesion Press. Edited by Amanda J Spedding and Geoff Brown, SNAFU: DEAD OR ALIVE is the latest addition to the SNAFU anthologies, some of which were adapted for the Netflix series LOVE, DEATH + ROBOTS.

“The Fall of Denfanas Manor” is an original story featuring gunslingers Melinda and Lance as they rescue a kidnapped victim from a relentless supernatural family. You can read an excerpt below.

As a side note: Melinda and Lance have their own novel-length adventure forthcoming in MELINDA WEST: MONSTER GUNSLINGER (Feb 2023, Brigids Gate Press).

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It’s October, the best month! When when the “Halloween People” come out to play and when the pumpkin spice flows freely. I hope you’re finding fun and spooky ways to celebrate.

Read on for book updates, my first reading of the season and a new article on Weird West writing tips. As always, I hope your bookshelves have been full and your reading time uninterrupted!

New article! 5 Tips For Writing a Horror Weird Western

My article, “5 Tips for Writing a Horror Weird Western,” is now live on The Horror Tree! You can read it here: https://horrortree.com/5-tips-for-writing-a-horror-weird-western/.

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I’m beyond excited to reveal the cover of MELINDA WEST: MONSTER GUNSLINGER, coming in February 2023 from Brigids Gate Press. I have always been a fan of UK-based Carrion House’s artwork, so I was thrilled to see how Luke would interpret the vibe and story (check out more of his amazing artwork here). Aside from the compelling, creepy imagery, the intriguing font also immediately drew me in. Needless to say, I couldn’t have imagined a better cover for this story!

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Happy September! I hope the pumpkin spice is flowing freely and apple picking is plentiful. Read on for recent updates!

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