Posts Tagged ‘horror’

I’m honored to appear alongside 30 other women horror writers in this spooky collection from Kandisha Press, out on February 1, 2021. THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY – Women of Horror Anthology Vol. 3 includes my reprint story, “Minor Malfunction,” about a prosthetic limb gone rogue.

Author interviews and readings

Publisher’s spotlight: You can watch me read an excerpt of the opening here. Kandisha Press’ spotlight author interview with me is available here.

Ghost Stories blog tour: I chatted with the fabulous reviewer and writer Janine Pipe at her Ghost Stories blog about this anthology here.

Clubhouse Chat: I made a virtual visit to Clubhouse Chat run by author Paula RC Readman to talk about the writing journey and inspirations here.

Fright Girl Summer: The anthology authors also participated in a fun roundtable interview at Fright Girl Summer where we talked about horror, 2021, writing advice and more.

About the collection

In these pages you’ll find tales of unrequited love, blind dates gone wrong, stalkers and their prey, cursed guitars, alien symbiotes, sinister letters, and bitter acts of revenge. Dive into these murky depths and discover what hides inside the minds of women scorned.

Edited by Jill Girardi, foreword by Gwendolyn Kiste (Bram Stoker award winning author of The Rust Maidens).

Featuring chilling tales from: Carmen Baca, Ushasi Sen Basu, Ashley Burns, R.A. Busby, Amira Krista Calvo, Dawn DeBraal, Shawnna Deresch, Ellie Douglas, Amy Grech, KC Grifant, Meg Hafdahl, Rowan Hill, Stevie Kopas, Michelle Renee Lane, Catherine McCarthy, Villimey Mist, Mocha Pennington, Janine Pipe, Lydia Prime, Paula RC Readman, Marsheila Rockwell, Lucy Rose, Rebecca Rowland, Yolanda Sfetsos, Haddassah Shiradski, Barrington Smith-Seetachitt, J Snow, Sonora Taylor, Faith Pierce, Demi-Louise Blackburn

Available at any of the links below or from your favorite local bookstore:

http://books2read.com/yougotaway

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/the-one-that-got-away-women-of-horror-anthology-volume-3

Apple Books: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1549962795

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/2940162245544

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.

Also, as this year illustrated how important it is to stay connected, I started a newsletter to keep readers better informed. You can sign up here.

Year-End Roundup

I had 6 acceptances this year, fairly similar to 2019. Reprints included my flash horror story “Protection” to the Sirens Call eZine Halloween/Fall 2020 issue (pdf), and a horror holiday story, “A Cup of Holiday Cheer,” to the Sirens Call eZine December 2020 issue (pdf). “What Storms Bring,” was republished in the San Diego Guild’s 2020 anthology, Strange Happenings. Finally, my horror scifi story, “Minor Malfunction,” will be reprinted in The One That Got Away – Women of Horror Anthology Vol. 3 by Kandisha Press.

New stories accepted in 2020 included two weird westerns. “Dream Bugs” to Gypsum Sound Tales COLP’s charity issue, Amongst Friends, with proceeds benefiting the Australian bush fires in January. This weird western tale featured my reoccurring characters, gunslinging Melinda and Lance, who battle monsters in the Old West. “Death’s Horse,” a standalone story featuring Melinda facing off against her nemesis-turned-Zombie, was featured in Six Guns Straight From Hell 3: Horror & Dark Fantasy From the Weird, Weird West.

Lastly, Shadowy Natures: Tales of Psychological Horror came out in March with a good amount of buzz, featuring the debut of my horror story “Maternal Bond.” You can read more about the piece and the collection, along with reviews, here.

As always, I am incredibly grateful for the writing and editing community. This year, I am especially grateful for the technologies that allowed us to stay connected, and to the scientists and medical care workers who worked tirelessly on the frontlines of the pandemic.

I hope the coming year leads to fresh starts, new stories, and a safer year for everyone.

Happy 2021! 
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.

 

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The boundary line between instinct and reason is of a very shadowy nature.
-Edgar Allan Poe (1840) 

I’m thrilled to share that Shadowy Natures: Tales of Psychological Horror is out today. This disturbing collection edited by Rebecca Rowland features the debut of my story “Maternal Bond,” where postpartum paranoia and isolation chip at a new mom’s sanity as an outside threat pushes her over the edge.

I chat with Rebecca about the story’s background, as well as horror writing and inspirations, in my author interview here.

Update: Genre Junkies discussed Shadowy Natures with Rowland on their podcast, concluding: “cover to cover, excellent writing…a truly great collection: one of the strongest I’ve come across.” You can listen to the full podcast here: 87 – “Shadowy Natures” Anthology and Interview With the Editor, Rebecca Rowland! 

About Shadowy Natures

With its twenty-one stories of serial killers and sociopaths, fixations and fetishes, breakdowns and bad decisions crafted by authors as diverse as their writing styles, Shadowy Natures leads fans of psychological horror down dark and treacherous roads to destinations they will be too unsettled to leave.

From unique twists on traditional terror tropes to fresh frights found in the most innocuous of places, these tales will surprise and unnerve even the most veteran horror fans. Featuring brand new fiction from Jeremy Billingsley, C.W. Blackwell, Barrie Darke, Matthew R. Davis, Christina Delia, KC Grifant, Liam Hogan, K.N. Johnson, Thomas Kearnes, Rudy Kremberg, Scotty Milder, Bryan Miller, Hollee Nelson, Elin Olausson, James Edward O’Brien, Andrew Punzo, Lee Rozelle, Joseph Rubas, Paul Stansfield, Louis Stephenson, and Thomas Vaughn.

Shadowy Natures: Stories of Psychological Horror is now available at AMink‘s Dark Ink and at Amazon in print, audiobook and e-book. Alternatively, please check your local bookstores for order availability.

 

 

Early acclaim for Shadowy Natures and “Maternal Bond”

“The perfect anthology with 21 dark tales that will get in your head, squirming and pulsing until you have to look away. There is something in here for every fan of horror and/or dark fiction.”
Holly Rae Garcia, author of Come Join the Murder
“‘Maternal Bond’ by KC Grifant gets into the uncomfortable skin of post-pregnancy, and that’s only the beginning of the discomfort that this story brings. Grifant brilliantly channels the sleeplessness and disorientation of new motherhood, then moves in and shocks us awake.”
Goodreads reviewer
“Unnerving.”
-S.K. Gregory, Best-selling author of the Daemon Persuasion and Aurelia Graves series
“Dark prose and wildly unique stories…I suggest giving this book a looksie!”
-Mortality in Horror
“A terrific and terrifying selection of stories that will make you squirm in your seat and force you to get up to check the doors and windows before you go to sleep.”
-Bob Hastings, Goodreads
“These 21 dreadfully dark tales held me captive from first to last story…”Maternal Bond” by KC Grifant in which a new mom battles lack of sleep and postpartum depression really got under my skin as I recalled my own earliest days of coping with a baby who cried nonstop.”
 -Well Worth a Read

This story is submitted for 2020 Bram Stoker Award® consideration. Interested members of HWA you access a copy of the story until January 15, 2021 by going to this password protected page. The password is Bram Stoker’s famed character.

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.

Before having a kid, I was a little worried that balancing my attention between my job and offspring would result in zero time for writing. This year proved the opposite. I realized that my increase in writing is not despite caring for a two-year-old but, in part, because of it, contrary to what many assume (including myself at one point). Being a parent forces you to manage time better and appreciate mindfulness: you multitask like crazy and value solitude so more. When I had all the time in the world to write I produced very little; now that writing time is more precious, I’m forced to focus and make the most of my writing time. 

Having a kid is like strapping a ticking clock to your head; the list of to-dos is endless and time is always short. At the same time, you relive your own childhood again through their eyes. This heightened sense of mortality and reduced free time makes me write more urgently. And when your identity is consumed by parenthood, writing (or any other passion) is a way to replenish the self that day-to-day living can wear down.

Aside from parenthood, three things of note helped my writing kick up a notch this year:

1. Writing Workshop

I was accepted into the 2019 Borderlands Bootcamp, where I connected with other authors for an intense weekend of beta reading and story feedback in Baltimore. This genre-focused writing workshop featured instructors Tom Monteleone, Douglas E. Winter, F. Paul Wilson and Ginjer Buchanan. I can’t stress enough how helpful this was for me to get myself in gear, accumulate helpful feedback on a scifi novel-in-progress, and continue to experiment with and refine new short story ideas.

2. Flash Fiction Writing Community

From the workshop, I connected with fellow writers and started doing a low-pressure, weekly flash fiction contest at various points throughout the year, run by the talented Donna J. W. Munro. Participating in this forced me to write (and complete!) a number of short stories. It also seeded the idea for a Labyrinth-inspired novella, “The Final Hour,” about a captive forced to rule a goblin realm.

3. NaNoWriMo

“National Novel Writing Month” is a worldwide effort that happens every November. Free to participate and open to everyone, NaNoWriMo is an online and in-person community where writers aim to finish a novel (50k words) in one month. Something as simple as a collective word-count tracker helped me outline and draft a story idea I had been kicking around for a while. While I fell short of the 50k goal in one month, I accomplished my personal goal: to write at least a few hundred words nearly every day of the month and complete a second novella/novel, a weird west horror adventure.

Additional factors that helped boost my writing:

4. Outlining

For a long time, I’ve written without a formal outline (“pantser”) but for NanoWrimo 2019 I tried the snowflake method of outlining, created by physicist and author Randy Ingermanson. This method was a perfect middle ground for me: not as detailed as notecards but focused enough so I didn’t get hopelessly lost in the weeds. This method helped me stay on track on my fantasy adventure western story and find a path through the difficult middle spots.

5. Local Writing Community

As always I am thankful for the group of local writers through the Horror Writers Association and other writing groups, as well as the San Diego treasure Mysterious Galaxy, a bookstore haven for genre writers and readers.

Year-End Roundup

As for my numbers, in 2019 I wrote 14 new stories and had 7 acceptances. Reprints in 2019 included “Better Halves” to the debut issue of Macabre Museum magazine in October and “A Dusty Arrival” in Uchronia: Alternate Histories & Alternate Worlds, available this month.

New stories accepted in 2019 included “Vermin” in Unnerving Magazine; “Protection” in Frozen Wavelets issue #1; and “Cup of Holiday Cheer” in Christmas Lites IX, all published in 2019. Two new stories were also chosen for publication in 2020: “Minor Malfunction” in Running Wild Press Anthology of Stories, Volume 4; and “Maternal Bond” in a soon-to-be-announced anthology.

In addition to the 14 new stories (two of which are novellas), I pitched, wrote and published three fiction-related essays in Aurealis Magazine throughout the year: “What’s Next for the Weird West,” “A Horror Renaissance,” and “Legendary Women of Horror.”

I am incredibly grateful for the writing and editing community, particularly in the areas of genre fiction. I am also indebted to friends and family who provide support in this tough craft. I hope the coming year leads to new stories that provide respite, intrigue or food for thought.

Happy 2020! 
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Keep writing! Keep reading!

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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.

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I’m delighted to announce my new story “Vermin” appears in Unnerving Magazine issue #10. “Vermin” tells the tale of twentysomethings encountering… interesting… creatures in the underbelly of NYC. I had a great time writing this story and evoking the feeling of running around the city–even though it’s been over a decade since I lived there.

The issue features stories from Kate Jonez, Philip Fracassi, Theodore C. Van Alst, Jr., and Richard Montoya, and nonfiction by Gwendolyn Kiste, Jennifer McMahon, Rio Youers, Andy Davidson, and Ray Cluley. The issue also includes novel excerpts of IN THE SCRAPE by James Newman and Mark Steensland, and THE HUNGRY ONES by Chris Sorensen.

Edited by Eddie Generous, Unnerving Magazine is a Canadian-based horror and suspense magazine that also publishes delightfully strange and weird podcasts and books–check them out at the link below.

Unnerving Magazine Website