Posts Tagged ‘short stories’

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.

(more…)

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: 

(more…)

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/.

(more…)

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

(more…)

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).

(more…)

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/.

(more…)

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

(more…)
Surreal western book cover.

My Weird Western story, “Old Habits,” is now available in Queer Weird West Tales (QWWT)! Edited by Julie Bozza, the anthology is a diverse collection of international Weird West adventures.

“Old Habits” description

To save her girlfriend from a monster’s infectious venom, Topaz must confront her tumultuous past and ask the last person in the world she wants to see for help—her ex.

Topaz is a side character in my upcoming novel MELINDA WEST: MONSTER GUNSLINGER. She was so dynamic and intriguing, she practically demanded a spotlight in her own story. This tale focuses on Topaz’s adventures after the novel, expanding on her newfound love as she faces a reckoning with her past.

(more…)

My short fantasy flash story “Death Felt Fine” is available to read for free over at Dread Stone Press‘s Dose of Dread series. At 1000 words, it’s a quick tale, and follows Death’s mission to deal with the latest apocalypse even as he yearns for something more.

I love reading various interpretations of the Grim Reaper and Death. Probably one of my favorite depictions is from the Sandman series. In this tale, I pictured Death as a somewhat moody, nostalgic figure stuck in an eternal task along with his fated brothers and sisters.

Here’s a brief excerpt:

Hope you enjoy! For more of Dread Stone Press offerings, my short eco-horror story, “From Sea to Shining Sea,” appears in FIELD NOTES FROM A NIGHTMARE.