Archive for the ‘writing’ Category

Edited by Stephanie M. Wytovich, the Horror Writers Associations presents their eighth annual Poetry Showcase, featuring original dark poetry. With cover artwork by Robert Cabeen and poetry judges Sara Tantlinger and Angela Yuriko Smith, this year features the first Crystal Lake Poetry Contest winner and poems from members of the Horror Writers Association.

I’m honored that “A Woman’s Weapon,” my poem about an obsessive biologist with a dark secret debuts in this collection!

This collection is now Available in Print and on Kindle – click here to check it out.

Showcase TOC:

  1. Bright Tapestry by Carina Bissett
  2. On the Altar of a Beseeching Bell, Woebegone with Captivity by Saba Syed Razvi
  3. Necrow by Querus Abuttu
  4. Afterlife by Mercedes M. Yardley
  5. Girls Who Create Monsters by Jeannine Hall Gailey
  6. Lucky Charm by Cynthia Pelayo
  7. Revelation 9:15 by Benicio Isandro
  8. orchid moon by Lee Murray
  9. Note for My Sisters When I Am Gone by Patricia Lillie
  10. All of the Ghosts Are Gone by Chad Helder
  11. What Monster is This by Ingrid L. Taylor
  12. Low Tide by Sarah Read
  13. ritual for reuniting with my favorite demon by Kailey Tedesco
  14. Sugar by Jacqueline West
  15. Visiting Hours by Vince A. Liaguno
  16. On Darkest Night of Faerie Bright by Sumiko Saulson
  17. A Woman’s Weapon by KC Grifant
  18. Epiales by Caitlin Marceau
  19. the umami of blood by Michael Arnzen
  20. Ferrywoman of Geoje-do by Patricia Flaherty Pagan
  21. Our Nightly Voyage by Amy Langevin
  22. The Serpents’ Tale by Lisa Morton
  23. We Are Born of Blade and Blood by Naching T. Kassa
  24. Buried by Lindy Ryan
  25. Seedling by Beverly Lee
  26. Dead as Brains by Lorna D. Keach
  27. Shadecrest Palisades by Manny Blacksher
  28. Skinwalker Moon by Brenda S. Tolian
  29. The Song of the Wandering Zombie by Graham Masterton
  30. Teeth by Brad Christy
  31. The Silence of God by Jamal Hodge
  32. A Garden of Flesh by Deborah L. Davitt
  33. Moon by Corrine De Winter
  34. Mine Offenses by R.J. Joseph
  35. Restless Spiritualists by Amanda Hard
  36. Night Out at the Old Circus by Ian Hunter
  37. Carefully Tended Horrors and Gardens by Trisha J. Wooldridge
  38. Carrie by Emma J. Gibbon
  39. Vargas Visits the Monastery (a Vampyre speech) by Patricia Gomes
  40. Long Forgotten by EV Knight
  41. Win, Lose by Donna Lynch
  42. The Madness of Monsters by Sheldon Woodbury
  43. Your Eyes, Umber Dark, A Disease by Lonni Nadler
  44. Death Mask by Stephanie Ellis
  45. The To-Do List that Never Ends by Kerri-Leigh Grady
  46. To Necrophilia by Katherine Kerestman
  47. There Is No Difference Between an Eye and a Mouth by Donyae Coles
  48. How Date Nights Bring You Ever Closer: A Forbidden Haibun by Terrie Leigh Relf
  49. Waning Moon by Alicia Hilton
  50. In a Place Somewhere Inside by Ronald J. Murray

***Updated! You can purchase the anthology or read reviews at these links: Publisher’s Shop | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads***

My short climate fiction story, “From Sea to Shining Sea,” will appear in Dread Stone Press’ FIELD NOTES FROM A NIGHTMARE anthology.

Pollution. Extinction. Warming. Sea Levels rising…Mother Nature heard our crimes and found us guilty. Field Notes from a Nightmare is an anthology of ecological horror, containing 18 stories from some of the strongest voices in indie horror. Edited by Alex Ebenstein with a foreword from New York Times-Bestselling author Tim Lebbon. Cover art and interior illustrations by David Bowman.

You can purchase the anthology starting November 16, 2021 from your favorite bookstore or Amazon.

Read more about the anthology from Dread Stone Press here.

2020. I don’t think any more needs to be said about the year that will haunt many of us for a lifetime. Here’s hoping we can bring about a healthier, safer and kinder world in 2021.

This was a productive year of writing for me, even though it didn’t feel like it. Writing was an escape from the news and world events; writing was the only way I felt like I was able to survive this year’s chaos and uncertainty without completely losing my mind.

I wrote seven new short stories (down 50% from last year), mostly at the beginning of the year. Though I wasn’t able to attend workshops or conferences this year, and skipped NaNoWriMo, the time at home let me focus on some bigger projects I had on the back burner. Once the pandemic hit and I started working from home full-time and having a toddler home all day (read more about how having a kid helped me with writing in last year’s recap here). I switched to tackling two novels I’ve had in the works and finally finished them (!). I also made progress on a new one and had several acceptances of new stories and reprints.

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Six Guns Straight From Hell 3 cover.

Six Guns Straight From Hell 3: Horror & Dark Fantasy From the Weird Weird West is now available and debuts my zombie story, “Death’s Horse.” The collection is edited by David B. Riley and J.A. Campbell, with a cover illustration by M. Wayne Miller. The Weird West is one of my favorite subgenres for a variety of reasons (you can read why in an article I wrote for Aurealis Magazine, more details here). “Death’s Horse” features the plight of gunslinging, monster-hunting Melinda Putman, first introduced in “Dusty Arrival,” cover story for Andromeda Spaceways Magazine in 2018. Weird West stories in this collection include tales by David Boop, C.W. Blackwell, Kristal Stittle and many others.

Description from the publisher:

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. If your horse gets eaten by a monster, you might be able to get a ride on the midnight train, as long as you don’t mind sitting with ghosts. If you don’t catch the train, maybe the devil can give you a lift back to town. Just be careful which place you head for, because the folks in one town are about to die. Staying on ranches ain’t much safer, especially at one girl’s birthday party. Then again, even going to outhouses can be deadly. If you happen to visit the local brothel, be sure and treat the ladies right or you’ll pay dearly. And Tombstone is no place to get your picture taken if you want to keep your skin.

Excerpt from “Death’s Horse”

Death rode in on a horse made of wood and bones, its joints screeching with every pound of its hooves against the sand. Death, otherwise known as Elliot Red-Eye Carson, raised his rifle, the sun a smudged glow behind him like someone had burned the sky with the end of a rolled cigarette.

“Found you.” Carson leveled the rifle at Melinda’s forehead. He wore a hat the color of day-old puke, with rags to match. He and the horse smelled of sewage, rot and all manners of decay.

“You look a little different, El.” Melinda eased her finger off the trigger of her six shooter and set it gently down. Beneath the wide-brimmed hat and duster she wore year round, her skin dripped from the heat. Even at sundown, the desert was hotter than the hubs of hell this time of year.

“Quit stalling.” Carson yanked his monster closer and Melinda wondered, as she had plenty of times before, if this would be the day she died. “Give me what’s mine.” 

Read more in Six Guns Straight From Hell 3. The book is available from Mysterious Galaxy bookstore or other independent booksellers, as well as on Amazon.

I’m pleased to share a fun print interview that Nico Bell, fellow horror author, conducted via email. In this Q&A, I reveal why the Weird West is one of my favorite subgenres, what I’m reading, and why my browser history would raise a few eyebrows. I also talk a bit about my current writing projects, including THE FINAL HOUR, a fantasy novella inspired by The Labyrinth; DARK TRAILS, a fun supernatural western; and two weird science stories.

Check out the other Spotlight Author feature for interviews with tons of horror writers, and my Q&A, here: http://nicobellfiction.com/featured-authors-meet-new-writers/2020/4/24/speculative-fiction-cosmic-horror-and-weird-western-author-kc-grifant-interview

2019roundup
Overview

The end of the year is always a good time to take stock of accomplishments of the past year and reflect on upcoming goals.

In general, 2019 was packed with exciting books, TV and movie releases in horror and other genre fiction. There are plenty of lists out there detailing some of the standouts (here and here, for example). Overall, the wealth of genre stories hitting mainstream audiences is encouraging for those of us who toil in realms of the fantastical and strange.

Personally, this was a productive year of writing for me. I wrote a number of short stories in 2019 as well as two novellas. With a demanding full-time job and wild two-year-old to take care of, I found it more important than ever to carve out writing time.

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My nonfiction essay titled “What’s Next for the Weird West” is available in Aurealis Magazine’s last issue of the year, along with excellent speculative stories, essays and reviews.

This essay explores one of my increasingly favorite areas of fiction. I cover some of the crossover aspects of weird west fiction along with new and must-read books, and why the time is ripe for a resurgence in this fun genre.

Editor Dirk Strasser writes about this issue of the award-winning Australia-based monthly SF/F magazine:

We always like to go out with a bang in the last issue for the year and Aurealis #126 is no exception. In this bumper issue we feature ‘Marked for Life’, J.R. Schuyler’s powerful tale of blood magic, snowbeasts and transformation, Stephen Higgin’s quirky and enigmatic ‘Cradle’, and the dark science fiction of Eric Del Carlo’s gender and identity exploration story ‘Flesh of the Other.’

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Excerpt from “What’s Next for the Weird West” is below:

“Howdy, partner.”

A figure silhouetted in a hat and dusty jacket bursts into a bar. Poker players and prostitutes scramble as the loner saunters in, steely eyes prepping for a showdown.

The scene is all too familiar in Wild West stories, which usually incorporate iconic characters ranging from outlaws, gunslingers and law-keepers. On the frontier, where one must keep their wits about them and where anything goes, the stoic cowboy hero archetype helped set the foundation for some of today’s superheroes and modern American fiction. But the Weird West genre offers a fresh take on the iconic—and often overused—imagery and caricatures of the Wild West.

The Weird West genre—where Wild West elements mash with other genres ranging from horror, scifi and fantasy—has been around as long as the Wild West itself though never fully in the limelight. Something about the unknown wilderness invites more speculative wanderings; infusions of werewolves, demons, ghosts, aliens, magic and otherworldly elements seem right at home amidst wild mountains, endless desert and a vast, unforgiving landscape.

Issue #126 also finishes with reviewers’ picks of the best speculative fiction in 2019. 

To read the full essay and other pieces in this issue, visit here.

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Looking for a holiday gift for the reader in your life?

Christmas Lites Volume IX  is a collection of holiday-themed tales with all proceeds going directly to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Stories run the gamut from horror to cozy, so there’s something for everyone.

My horror story, “Cup of Holiday Cheer,” about a seasonal coffee drink gone terribly wrong, is included.

Editor Amy Huntley describes the collection as follows: 

Thirty-six stories to give you your holiday fix. Thirty-six times to get a Christmas chill or a warm, fuzzy feeling. This group of authors have come together for the 9th year in a row to help support the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. In the coldest of times, the warmth of the heart can bring hope to many who are in need this time of year. Read shorts from your favorite authors and discover new to love. Spread some holiday cheer this season!

You can order your digital or print copy here.

My micro horror story (~200 words) “Protection” is now available in the online version of Frozen Wavelets issue #1, a newly launched speculative flash fiction and poetry magazine based in Scotland.

 

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About Frozen Wavelets, from Editor Steph P. Bianchini:

Frozen Wavelets is an e-zine of speculative flash fiction and poetry, offspring of The Earthian Hivemind. We exist because we believe there’s not enough out there that specialises in this exquisite and peculiar format, not because it is not worthy of attention but because the genre fiction market logic overall doesn’t favour it. This is our contribution to give voice to writers and poets who love it as much as we do, and who keep writing it nonetheless.

TOC of Frozen Wavelets issue #1:

She Sleeps (Annie Neugebauer)

The Sea Bride (Deborah Davitt)

Protection (Kc Grifant)

Alien Evening (Kim Whysall-Hammond)

At the Frayed Edges of The Night (Isabel Cañas)

Bulgarian Grass – Българска Трева (Margarita I Serafimova)

Shell (Sonora Taylor)

The Wishing Clock of Gassytown (Deborah Wong)

Moon Catcher (Beth Cato)

Our Flesh Was Bred for This (Octavia Cade)

Sparse Wavelets (Colleen Anderson, Stewart C. Baker, Anatoly Belilovsky, Marc Criley, Pat Tompkins, Dawn Vogel)

Read more about the contributors here or visit the Patreon page here.

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I’m pleased to share that my New England-based quiet horror story, “Better Halves,” which first appeared in the Lovecraft eZine, is reprinted in The Macabre Museum‘s debut issue. 

Creators Sara Tantlinger, Chandler Morrison, Dan Coxon, Hailey Piper, Marge Simon, Sam Rebelein and others share their dark and twisted visions in this strong debut of stories, poems and artwork.

The quarterly horror literary journal and “digital museum of terrors,” edited by R.R. Trevino, is described as follows:

Imagine walking through a dark museum. A painting, basking in the soft light from a sconce, catches your eye. You approach, drawn in by its unparalleled beauty and raw power. Standing there, in front of the painting, you are mesmerized, changed in some profound way.

This is the feeling The Macabre Museum aims to evoke in its readers. Each piece we publish, whether it be fiction, poetry, or art, promises to claw at your heart and lie festering in your soul. Our art, like all good art, is timeless, has staying power, and is terrifying in its beauty.

Click through for the full version of the NSFW cover and/or to purchase via Amazon or support the Macabre Museum on its patreon page here.