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I’ve sold a new short story to an anthology focused on my favorite category of genre fiction: science fiction horror.

Beyond the Infinite: Tales from the Outer Reaches is the latest installment in the “Things in the Well” publication series, which includes several themed horror anthologies showcasing new and established authors such as Clive Barker. Edited by Steve Dillon and featuring the classic “The Colour Out of Space” by H.P. Lovecraft as well as stories by H.G. Wells, Brian Lumley, Ramsey Campbell and others, this one promises to be an exciting collection of classic and new dark science fiction.

My story, “The Peerlings,” tells the tale of an off-world colony whose members begin to vanish once elusive creatures–who can only safely be heard, not seen–descend upon their home. The story debuts in this anthology,  available in July 2018.

 

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7-time Aurora Award-winning editor and critic Derek Newman-Stille teamed up with Renaissance Press to pull together horror stories from authors around the world. On the anthology’s Kickstarter page, Newman-Stille describes the project:

200 years ago, Mary Shelley wrote a genre-changing book, which she titled “Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus”. This story helped to shape the genres of science fiction and horror and helped to articulate new forms for women’s writing. It also helped us to think about the figure of the outsider, to question medical power, to question ideas of normal, and to think about what we mean by the word “monster”. Her book inspired adaptations into stage, into film, into new books, poetry, television, and all manner of art. 

We Shall Be Monsters: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein Two Centuries On will feature a broad range of fiction stories, from direct interactions with Shelley’s texts to explorations of the stitched, assembled body and narrative experiments in monstrous creations. We Shall Be Monsters is a fiction collection that will feature explorations of disability through Frankenstein, queer and trans identity, ideas of race and colonialism. Shelley’s story provides a space for exploring a multitude of identities through the figure of the sympathetic outsider. Frankenstein’s “monster” is a figure of Otherness, and one that can tell stories of exclusion and social oppression.

The Kickstarter has already met its funding goal, but if you are interested in supporting the project, there are 3 days left to contribute!

 

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Initial publication of Frankenstein, 1818.

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I was completely floored to see that my story, “A Dusty Arrival,” inspired the cover art for issue 70 of the award-winning Australian publication, Andromeda Spaceways Magazine, edited by the talented Eugen M. Bacon. The story features a gunslinging couple intent on ridding the Wild West from an invasion of mysterious, mind-altering gremlins.

Excerpt:

A telltale glow that had nothing to do with the sunset bathed the western mountain gorge in unnatural shades of lavender. Melinda didn’t look directly at it from their vantage point on a foothill at the edge of town. The colour made her uneasy, as if it shouldn’t exist in this world. No one knew where the gremlins came from or what they wanted, just that the bizarre light always heralded their arrival.

As an author, it is such a treat to see your words brought to life in a different medium. In the case, artist Roan Carter really did the characters and setting justice.

This action-packed issue is described as follows:

Welcome aboard, voyagers. Sit back, fasten your seat belts, your odyssey awaits. This issue of ASM catapults you to a horde of ghost stories, satanic verses, time travel with dead musos and fairy tales with a twist. Yes, there are AI babies frolicking in their cots, as other tots drift fatherless in starlight. Is that a human host to Alludian larvae? Sci fi, fantasy and horror: we’ve got it all. Here you will find silvery pools bounded by galaxies, ornate havens to gaze out at the stars. Oh, see luminescent gremlins haunt the western mountain gorge, hear their hissing and ear-splitting howls. As the warm night sweeps over the black seas, a small glow emanates from the water, ushering a whole bunch of floating dead crew, mouths open and wide unblinking eyes. You fall back in terror and, just then, a timberthrall claws its way up, already bloodied from a feed, now driven by your screams. Calm down, look: here’s a shrewd poem. A discerning Writers Unearthed interview. A sobering book review. Get refreshments aboard the spacecraft, before facing off with the last monster you shall slay. That’s right, thrust with us to the Otherworld!

Issue 70 can be purchased here.

 

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Just in time for Halloween season, I have a story appearing in this new anthology, See Through My Eyes, edited by Amber M. Simpson and Madeline L. Stout. The cover gives me chills! I haven’t read it yet, but who can resist a good ghost story–better yet, a ghost mystery?

From the publisher:

A scream slashes through the quiet night, a chill pierces your skin. The shimmering image of a woman forms in the mist, singing a haunting lullaby. She beckons. Will you go? Featuring 25 haunting stories, SEE THROUGH MY EYES is certain to chill you to the bone and make you wonder who is real and who is not. The Living? Or the dead? Join us as the dead seek to claim their revenge upon the living! With stories by: Jonathon Cromack, Raven McAllister, KC Grifant, Jaap Boekestein, Sammi Cox, Victoria Dalpe, Russell Hemmell, Benjamin Langley, Paul A. Freeman, Joni Chng, DJ Tyrer, Darren Todd, Cyndie Goins Hoelscher, Amber M. Simpson, Patrick Winters, Victor H. Rodriguez, Michael J.P. Whitmer, Edmund Stone, R.A. Goli, Ken Goldman, Paul Stansbury, Anna Shane, Vaggelis Sarantopoulos, Jeff C. Stevenson, and Anusha VR. Edited by Amber M. Simpson & Madeline L. Stout.

 

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This week, the excellent Legion of Leia website (which aims to “raise awareness of the fact that women love sci-fi”) asked me a few questions about the topic of horror and being a woman writer in genre literature. I highly recommend checking out this blog and podcast if you haven’t already–it covers a wide breadth of topics related to geekdom, some near and dear to my heart, such as the upcoming X-men movie and season of Stranger Things.

For this interview, fellow horror writer and all-around awesome person Dr. Billy San Juan interviewed me on the topic of horror, how I got into writing and my story in the upcoming anthology California Screamin’, (featuring 14 horror stories that take place in Southern California, the book is available for preorder now). Here’s a brief excerpt of the Q&A:

Legion of Leia: Fear is generally considered a negative emotion, and yet the horror genre is incredibly popular. Why are readers so drawn to the things that scare us?

K.C. Grifant: Horror is usually considered a catharsis. You get to experience something horrific and frightening but come out in one piece… even if the character doesn’t. It might tap into the same adrenaline that gives people a rush when they’re on a roller coaster or skydiving, an I survived sort of high. Interestingly, different types of horror don’t have the same effect on everyone. For example, some people revel in reading or watching real-life horror such as true crime, but can’t handle paranormal horror. I’m the reverse; the more creative and unusual the monster, the more satisfying it is for me to watch. But realistic hostage or serial killer stories freak me out. I think it comes down to everyone’s stress valves and what gives you a sense of escape and relief. The appeal of horror seems especially prominent right now, probably due to two factors: People needing a break from our current environment of unrelenting, distressing news and often negative hive-mind social media chatter, and a resurgence of high-quality shows and books to provide that release.

Read the full interview at Legion of Leia: Interview: K.C. Grifant on California Screamin’ and the Horror Genre

 

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I’m excited to share a sneak peek of the cover for an upcoming anthology on disaster-related horror stories, which will include my tale “What The Storm Brings.” The book, published by Stitched Smile Publication, is a charity effort to assist with Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. I’m greatly looking forward to this book for two reasons: I’m pleased to see authors and editors putting their talents to help others, and I’m also very intrigued to read a collection of disaster-related horror stories, one of my favorite sub-genres (when it’s safely in the realm of fiction).

More details, including publication date and donation information, soon to come!

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After a bit of a publishing drought, some good news came through the last few weeks. I have stories appearing in five publications this fall. Three are available for order this month, just in time for Halloween! Details below:

Horror Bites Magazine

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The October 2017 issue of Horror Bites Magazine features a reprint of WHAT STORMS BRING, a tale of what happens when a superstorm brings more than just wind and rain to an East Boston apartment. From the editor:

Horror Bites Magazine is an online horror magazine. In each issue of Horror Bites Magazine, we cover the spread of horror found in the web’s darkest nooks and crannies, from creepypasta to creature features, to fiction almost too weird to be called horror.

Zen of Horror author and Horror Bites Magazine editor Kelby J. Barker

 

California Screamin’

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I am thrilled to share that one of my stories will debut in an anthology showcasing 14 Southern California-based horror authors. California Screamin edited by Danielle Kaheaku with an introduction by New York Times Bestselling author Jonathan Maberry, debuts in late October 2017. Check out that amazing cover!

From the webpage:

California.

Close your eyes and say it: California. Images of perpetual sunshine, swaying palm trees, and blue waters lapping at sandy beaches. That one word conjures visions of gold and fame, luring dreamers to its mythic shores. The original peoples lived in an abundant paradise. The Spanish found a familiarity to their homeland. The Gold Rush, Hollywood, and Silicon Valley promised instant wealth. But the beaches are only a sliver of this vast land. Beyond it lie expanses of deserts, mountains, and rugged coastline cutting it off from reality. Isolated, California reveals a dark side—wraithlike fog of the northern coast, dense shadows in ancient forests, and hellish heat of vast deserts. It is to these places you will journey. Within these pages, you will find stories of primeval specters, soured fantasies, transplanted vampires, bizarre geography.

This is the reality of nightmares…

This is California Screamin’.

 

Into Darkness Peering

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Into Darkness Peering by Alban Lake Publishing, is a collection of dark tales inspired by Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven” and features a reprint of one of my ghost stories.

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
    But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
    And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore?”
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!”—
            Merely this and nothing more.
–Edgar Allen Poe