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Out today – WELCOME TO THE SHOW

Another great Crystal Lake anthology out today!

17 horror Stories. One legendary music venue.

 

We all know the old cliche: Sex, drugs and rock and roll. Now, add demons, other dimensions, monsters, revenge, human sacrifice, and a dash of the truly inexplicable. This is the story of the (fictional) San Francisco music venue, The Shantyman.

In Welcome to the Show, seventeen of today’s hottest writers of horror and dark fiction come together in devilish harmony to trace The Shantyman’s history from its disturbing birth through its apocalyptic encore.

Featuring stories by Brian Keene, John Skipp, Mary SanGiovanni, Robert Ford, Max Booth III, Glenn Rolfe, Matt Hayward, Bryan Smith, Matt Serafini, Kelli Owen, Jonathan Janz, Patrick Lacey, Adam Cesare, Alan M Clark, Somer Canon, Rachel Autumn Deering and Jeff Strand.

Compiled by Matt Hayward. Edited by Doug Murano.

Bring your curiosity, but leave your inhibitions at the door. The show is about to begin…

TOC:

Alan M Clark – What Sort of Rube

Jonathan Janz – Night and Day and in Between

John Skipp – In the Winter of No Love

Patrick Lacey – Wolf with Diamond Eyes

Bryan Smith – Pilgrimage

Rachel Autumn Deering – A Tongue like Fire

Glenn Rolfe – Master of Beyond

Matt Hayward – Dark Stage

Kelli Owen – Open Mic Night

Matt Serafini – Beat on the Past

Max Booth III – True Starmen

Somer Canon – Just to be Seen

Jeff Strand – Parody

Robert Ford – Ascending

Adam Cesare – The Southern Thing

Brian Keene – Running Free

Mary SanGiovanni – We Sang in Darkness

Experience it today on Amazon.

Or add it on Goodreads.

 

Proudly represented by Crystal Lake Publishing—Tales from the Darkest Depths.

 

  Crystal Lake Publishing   Aug 03, 2018   Blog   0 Comment Read More

Out today – LOST HIGHWAYS anthology

It’s dangerous out there…on the road.

The highways, byways and backroads of America are teeming day and night with regular folks. Moms and dads making long commutes. Teenagers headed to the beach. Bands on their way to the next gig. Truckers pulling long hauls. Families driving cross country to visit their kin.

But there are others, too. The desperate and the lost. The cruel and the criminal.

Theirs is a world of roadside honky-tonks, truck stops, motels, and the empty miles between destinations. The unseen spaces.

And there are even stranger things. Places that aren’t on any map. Wayfaring terrors and haunted legends about which seasoned and road-weary travelers only whisper.

But those are just stories. Aren’t they?

Find out for yourself as you get behind the wheel with some of today’s finest authors of the dark and horrific as they bring you these harrowing tales from the road.

Tales that could only be spawned by the endless miles of America’s lost highways.

So go ahead and hop in. Let’s take a ride.

Lineup:

  • Introduction by Brian Keene
  • doungjai gam & Ed Kurtz — “Crossroads of Opportunity”
  • Matt Hayward — “Where the Wild Winds Blow”
  • Joe R. Lansdale — “Not from Detroit”
  • Kristi DeMeester — “A Life That is Not Mine”
  • Robert Ford — “Mr. Hugsy”
  • Lisa Kröger — “Swamp Dog”
  • Orrin Grey — “No Exit”
  • Michael Bailey — “The Long White Line”
  • Kelli Owen — “Jim’s Meats”
  • Bracken MacLeod — “Back Seat”
  • Jess Landry — “The Heart Stops at the End of Laurel Lane”
  • Jonathan Janz — “Titan, Tyger”
  • Nick Kolakowski — “Your Pound of Flesh”
  • Richard Thomas — “Requital”
  • Damien Angelica Walters — “That Pilgrims’ Hands Do Touch”
  • Cullen Bunn — “Outrunning the End”
  • Christopher Buehlman — “Motel Nine”
  • Rachel Autumn Deering — “Dew Upon the Wing”
  • Josh Malerman — “Room 4 at the Haymaker”
  • Rio Youers — “The Widow”

Experience it!

There’s even a shirt!

  Crystal Lake Publishing   Jul 20, 2018   Blog   0 Comment Read More

Cover reveal – WELCOME TO THE SHOW

Cover reveal – WELCOME TO THE SHOW

Out August 3rd in paperback and Kindle!

17 horror Stories. One legendary music venue.

We all know the old cliche: Sex, drugs and rock and roll. Now, add demons, other dimensions, monsters, revenge, human sacrifice, and a dash of the truly inexplicable. This is the story of the (fictional) San Francisco music venue, The Shantyman.

In Welcome to the Show, seventeen of today’s hottest writers of horror and dark fiction come together in devilish harmony to trace The Shantyman’s history from its disturbing birth through its apocalyptic encore.

Featuring stories by Brian Keene, John Skipp, Mary SanGiovanni, Robert Ford, Max Booth III, Glenn Rolfe, Matt Hayward, Bryan Smith, Matt Serafini, Kelli Owen, Jonathan Janz, Patrick Lacey, Adam Cesare, Alan M Clark, Somer Canon, Rachel Autumn Deering and Jeff Strand.

Compiled by Matt Hayward. Edited by Doug Murano.

Bring your curiosity, but leave your inhibitions at the door. The show is about to begin…

TOC:
Alan M Clark – What Sort of Rube
Jonathan Janz – Night and Day and in Between
John Skipp – In the Winter of No Love
Patrick Lacey – Wolf with Diamond Eyes
Bryan Smith – Pilgrimage
Rachel Autumn Deering – A Tongue like Fire
Glenn Rolfe – Master of Beyond
Matt Hayward – Dark Stage
Kelli Owen – Open Mic Night
Matt Serafini – Beat on the Past
Max Booth III – True Starmen
Somer Canon – Just to be Seen
Jeff Strand – Parody
Robert Ford – Ascending
Adam Cesare – The Southern Thing
Brian Keene – Running Free
Mary SanGiovanni – We Sang in Darkness

 

  Crystal Lake Publishing   Jun 23, 2018   Blog   0 Comment Read More

The Deep End interview…with Mark Allan Gunnells

The Deep End interview…with Mark Allan Gunnells

Joe: Tell us a bit (or a lot) more about your childhood. Primary school, high school, etc. How do you think your experiences benefited or influenced your career?

MAG: My pre-college years were rough. I was that geeky Stephen King kid, the butt of everyone’s jokes. It made school fairly traumatic for me. I didn’t do as well in school as I might have just because I hated going so much. In a way, that really helped me develop as a writer because I lost myself in fictional worlds. When I went to college, it was a whole different experience. I flourished, my grades were much better, and I was probably never more prolific. I became known around campus for my writing, and it was my first real experience feeling like a writer.

Joe: Can you recall a moment where you had to choose between being an author/artist and another career? A decisive moment where you decided to go all out?

MAG: I was always aware that the chances of me making a living from my writing were slim, but that never made me question my passion or my desire to be a writer. So when I started college, my thinking was to find a job to pay the bills that I didn’t hate and would allow me time to write. Initially that was human services, but that proved to be so stressful and consuming it actually did have a negative impact on my writing. I ended up becoming a security guard, which does pay the bills, it is a job that I like, and it provides me ample time to write. Next to actually making my living writing, I feel it’s the best possible scenario.

Joe: How did you respond to your very first success as an author? Was it just rewarding, or did it motivate you even more? Or, did it perhaps feel underwhelmed, which motivated you to even greater heights?

MAG: I began submitting when I was just a teenager, with no success. In fact, I didn’t sell my first story until I was in my 30s. I was so accustomed to rejection that when I opened my email and got that first acceptance, at first I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me. I only made 15 bucks off that first sale, but honestly I was beyond ecstatic that someone was paying me money for something I made up in my head. I sold short stories to e-zines and magazines for several years while trying to put out my own book, but I wasn’t finding any publishers that were willing to take a chance on me. When Sideshow Press put out my first book, it was just unadulterated joy when I held it in my hands for the first time. And honestly, I’ve never really lost that. Each new book, when I get the acceptance and then when it is officially out, I’m like a kid on Christmas morning. I hope I never lose that.

Joe: How has your career as an author affected relationships with friends and family?

MAG: I don’t come from a big family of readers, but they are proud that I’m doing what I love. One thing all my friends and family have come to learn and accept is that anything can end up in one of my stories. Anything they tell me or do may be fodder for the fiction.

Joe: Which author most influenced your early career? And who still does?

MAG: Early on, it was without question Stephen King. His stories wove a spell around me that sucked me in totally. Reading his fiction inspired me, made me want to be a better writer. And honestly it still does. Clive Barker was also a huge influence because as a short story lover, he showed me you can really make a name for yourself with short fiction. Also, as a gay man, he showed me you could be open about who you are and still be successful. These days I also really admire people like Joe Lansdale and Neil Gaiman because they are not slaves to genre but write just whatever they are compelled to write. Anne Rice is also someone I admire, because she is clearly very passionate about her art and really inspires me to believe in myself and preserver.

Joe: Instead of just focussing on your most successful work, which story are you the proudest of, a story that managed to capture a piece of who you are?

MAG: That’s a tough one; asking a parent to pick favourites. My novel The Summer of Winters is special to me because more than any other book, I put a lot of my childhood into that one. The settings are places of my past, the experiences of the character often mirror my own. It’s a very personal book in that way. I also have a really strong connection with Where the Dead Go to Die, which I co-authored with Aaron Dries, because there is a character in there based on my own mother. It allowed me to put all the things I love about her down on paper. I also have a short story entitled “Jam” (which was the first story I ever sold) that I think really represents me as a writer; it’s just the bizarre but somewhat humorous kind of story that appeals to me.

Joe: How do you feel when you don’t make your target words for the day?

MAG: I don’t do target word counts. I don’t want to put that kind of pressure on myself, and make writing into a chore. When I sit down to write, my only goal is to write. Some days I get a lot out, other days not as much, but on the days when the output isn’t as great, I refuse to beat myself up over it. Nothing good comes from that.

Joe: What’s the most difficult topic for you to write?

MAG: I don’t shy away from any topics, but some topics are harder to write about. Sadistic violence, abuse of children… They can be painful to write about, but if a story calls for that, I don’t turn away. I will say, action-heavy scenes aren’t always my favourite thing to write because I worry about the mechanics of things, and if I’m getting bogged down describing each element that it takes away some of the excitement.

Joe: What do you do to distract you enough to actually relax a bit? Or do you always think about writing?

MAG: Writing is my passion, but I fill my life with many things. I love live theatre, I love hiking, I love travelling, I love reading and watching movies. That said, even when it’s not in the forefront of my mind, somewhere my writer instincts are still at work because I’ll get ideas for stories almost anywhere. In the theatre, on a hike, on a vacation, while reading another book, while watching a movie. Hell, I get a lot of ideas in the shower, so I guess the creative wheels are always turning.

Joe: Tell us a bit about the people you met while researching a book. Are you still friends with some of them?

MAG: I’ll tell you one of the most interesting instances of people I met while researching a book. I was writing a book that dealt with witchcraft, but I didn’t want to make it a cartoonish version. I wanted to ground it. My fiancé was friends on Facebook with some Wiccans in our area, so we arranged to meet. We went out back to their “circle” and they allowed me to ask anything I wanted, they talked a lot about what Wicca means to them and how they use it. It was actually quite a fascinating evening and I was glad I got to do it. The things I learned from them actually informed the story, inspired aspects that wouldn’t have been there otherwise. When the book came out, I sent them a copy as thanks. I still communicate with them online, but we haven’t been back to their circle since.

Joe: Outside of the actual craft, what is the most useful skill you learnt from being an author?

MAG: I’ve learned that the writing community—specifically for me, the horror writing community—is full of generous souls that are willing to reach out, give advice, offer encouragement. It feels like a family, and I’m happy to be a part of it.

Joe: How did being author change you as a person?

MAG: This may sound strange, but I believe being a writer has made me more empathetic. The very act of envisioning other lives, trying to inhabit them, trying to understand them, makes it easier to put myself in the shoes of others and consider things from their perspective.

Joe: Which response/comment from a reader has touched you the most throughout your career?

MAG: A gentleman named Larry Meier reached out to me on social media, telling me he had read some of my books and I had become one of his favourite authors. It was one of the first times someone I didn’t already know contacted me about my books, and he continues to buy and comment on everything I put out. I’m forever grateful to him. Fellow author John R. Little also said some beautiful things about my first short story collection when it was released. I didn’t know him at all, and knowing that another writer thought enough of my work to spread the word touched me absurdly.

Joe: What is your life-long goal as an author?

MAG: I just want to continue writing stories that I love, that I’m passionate about, stories that entertain me. And hopefully entertain readers. I’d love to expand my readership, and I definitely want to keep improving my craft, but above all I just want to still be excited about what I’m writing.

Joe: What legacy do you want to leave behind?

MAG: I want to be remembered as a writer who had a great passion for his stories, and I hope that my stories continue to entertain people long after I’m gone.

Mark Allan Gunnells

  Crystal Lake Publishing   Jun 01, 2018   Blog   0 Comment Read More

Out Now – HOUSE OF SIGHS with sequel novella by Aaron Dries

Out Now – HOUSE OF SIGHS with sequel novella by Aaron Dries

This award-winning, psychological experience is back in print, and includes the exclusive sequel The Sound of his Bones Breaking, a novella that will leave you leave you truly shaken.

Board for free. But the cost might be your life.

“This taut, grisly thriller reads like a sick and twisted extreme horror SPEED. You don’t know who, if anybody, will make it. Catch this bus at your own risk.”Eric Red, The Hitcher and Near Dark 

House of Sighs full cover

In House of Sighs, Local bus driver, Liz Frost, pulls the gun from her mouth and decides to live with her loneliness for one more day. She dresses, combs her hair, and goes to work. Nine souls board her route that fateful morning in rural Australia, nine souls who Liz drags back to her home against their will. She wants to build a new family from these passengers, men and women who are willing to kill to avoid becoming her kin. The bus leaves a trail of carnage in its wake as it rockets towards a house that has held its secrets for far too long, a place where crows now gather, ready to feed on whatever is left behind.

“Prepare to be blown away.”Dread Central

Includes the sequel novella The Sound of his Bones Breaking:

Trauma has teeth. Big ones. And it’s always hungry for seconds.

Aiden and Danny down their beers in the open bar overlooking the road, legs brushing together, about as far as they let their public displays of affection go in that part of Australia. The warm breeze and pounding music—their last happy memory. Everything changes when the taxi pulls up and its drunken driver stumbles out, starting a street brawl that leaves Danny broken and bleeding on the ground. In an attempt to give his lover the space he needs to heal, Aiden accepts an employment opportunity in Thailand, and the two men set off overseas, their fates sealed air-tight within the confines of the airplane. But in the claustrophobic hush of their tiny Bangkok apartment, and while Aiden goes off to work, instead of mending, Danny’s old scars begin to sing.

The lonely walks. The woman cooking bones in a vat of broth, whispering at him to eat the parts that hurt. The flies nobody but Danny can hear.

A burning desire to trace his heritage of hurt back to ground zero, and there, find someone to blame.

The Sound of his Bones Breaking is the dread-infused sequel to House of Sighs.

“Aaron Dries is a master of emotional horror. And there is horror here, but it’s heightened by his authentic characters and their raw emotions. Dries makes you feel, makes your heart break. He also surprises you, taking the story in directions you’d never see coming.” – Mark Allan Gunnells, author of Asylum and Companions in Ruin

Proudly represented by Crystal Lake Publishing—Tales from the Darkest Depths.

Aaron Dries
House of Sighs

House of Sighs

eBook: 3,99
Author:

This award-winning, psychological experience is back in print, and includes the exclusive sequel The Sound of his Bones Breaking, a novella that will leave you leave you truly shaken.

Board for free. But the cost might be your life.

“This taut, grisly thriller reads like a sick and twisted extreme horror SPEED. You don’t know who, if anybody, will make it. Catch this bus at your own risk.” – Eric Red, The Hitcher and Near Dark

In House of Sighs, Local bus driver, Liz Frost, pulls the gun from her mouth and decides to live with her loneliness for one more day. She dresses, combs her hair, and goes to work. Nine souls board her route that fateful morning in rural Australia, nine souls who Liz drags back to her home against their will. She wants to build a new family from these passengers, men and women who are willing to kill to avoid becoming her kin. The bus leaves a trail of carnage in its wake as it rockets towards a house that has held its secrets for far too long, a place where crows now gather, ready to feed on whatever is left behind.

“Prepare to be blown away.” – Dread Central

Includes the sequel novella The Sound of his Bones Breaking:

Trauma has teeth. Big ones. And it’s always hungry for seconds.

Aiden and Danny down their beers in the open bar overlooking the road, legs brushing together, about as far as they let their public displays of affection go in that part of Australia. The warm breeze and pounding music—their last happy memory. Everything changes when the taxi pulls up and its drunken driver stumbles out, starting a street brawl that leaves Danny broken and bleeding on the ground. In an attempt to give his lover the space he needs to heal, Aiden accepts an employment opportunity in Thailand, and the two men set off overseas, their fates sealed air-tight within the confines of the airplane. But in the claustrophobic hush of their tiny Bangkok apartment, and while Aiden goes off to work, instead of mending, Danny’s old scars begin to sing.

The lonely walks. The woman cooking bones in a vat of broth, whispering at him to eat the parts that hurt. The flies nobody but Danny can hear.

A burning desire to trace his heritage of hurt back to ground zero, and there, find someone to blame.

The Sound of his Bones Breaking is the dread-infused sequel to House of Sighs.

“Aaron Dries is a master of emotional horror. And there is horror here, but it’s heightened by his authentic characters and their raw emotions. Dries makes you feel, makes your heart break. He also surprises you, taking the story in directions you’d never see coming.” – Mark Allan Gunnells, author of Asylum and Companions in Ruin

Proudly represented by Crystal Lake Publishing—Tales from the Darkest Depths.

More info →

Buy from Amazon Kindle
Where the Dead Go to Die

Where the Dead Go to Die

eBook: $4,99

There are monsters in this world. And they used to be us.

More info →

Buy from Amazon
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Tales from the Lake: Volume 2
Horror 201: The Silver Scream

  Crystal Lake Publishing   May 11, 2018   Blog   0 Comment Read More

Out now – C.H.U.D. LIVES! – A TRIBUTE ANTHOLOGY


Today’s top Horror and SF authors pay tribute to C.H.U.D. in this anthology of original fiction.

C.H.U.D. Lives book cover

C.H.U.D. is a genre defying, cult classic film featuring monsters living in the sewers below New York. The stories in this anthology expand the world created by the film and add depth to the C.H.U.D. universe like never before. From stories of apocalyptic horror and all out monster action, to tales of underground parties interrupted by uninvited guests and evening strolls that end in death, this anthology will leave you both smiling and breathless.

Relive the fear as these original stories take you beyond the movie to events that occurred before, during, and after the scenes we remember so well.

Includes C.H.U.D. related stories by Jonathan Maberry, Tim Waggoner, JG Faherty, Mort Castle, Michael H. Hanson, Martin Powell, Ben Fisher, Jason White, Chad Lutzke, Ross Baxter, Philip C Perron, David Bernstein, Nick Cato, Alex Laybourne, Christopher Fulbright, Angeline Hawkes, David Robbins, Robert Waters, Greg Mitchell, Ryan C. Thomas, and Eugene Johnson.

With an introduction by David Drake. Compiled by Eric S. Brown.

C.H.U.D. Lives! also features in-depth interviews with Andrew Bonime (producer) and Parnell Hall (screenwriter), as well as never before seen behind-the-scenes photos from the classic 80s horror film.

Lineup:

  • Introduction by David Drake
  • Interview with the late Andrew Bonime
  • “Dog Walker” by Robert E Waters
  • “The Dwellers” by Nick Cato
  • “The City Will Eat You Alive” by Ryan C. Thomas
  • “Date Night” by David Robbins
  • “Strange Gods” by Christopher Fulbright and Angeline Hawkes
  • “Lost and Found” by Greg Mitchell
  • “They Are C.H.U.D” by Alex Laybourne
  • “C.H.A.D.” by Michael H. Hanson
  • “Samsa’s Party” by Ben Fisher
  • “The Way to a Man’s Heart” by Tim Waggoner
  • “Dweller Messiah” by Jason White
  • “That’s Entertainment!” by Mort Castle
  • “Toxic Disposal” by David Bernstein
  • “Monstrous Me” by Martin Powell
  • “Step Ate” by Chad Lutzke
  • “Zero Hour” by JG Faherty
  • “The Deuce” by Philip C. Perron
  • “All at Sea” by Ross Baxter
  • “You Will Never Leave Harlan Alive” by Jonathan Maberry and Eugene Johnson
  • Interview with Parnell Hall (screenwriter) by Eric S Brown

This book is dedicated in loving memory to Andrew Bonime, the producer of the C.H.U.D. film.

Proudly represented by Crystal Lake Publishing—Tales from the Darkest Depths.

Experience it:

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Universal Link
Goodreads
Press release / Webpage
Webcomic
Book Trailer

  Crystal Lake Publishing   Apr 27, 2018   Blog   0 Comment Read More

C.H.U.D. interview with editor Dennis O’Connor

Q: Tell us about your involvement in the C.H.U.D. movie, and working with Claire Simpson…

Dennis O’Connor: Claire and her editing staff were great to work with. I came on to help with some scenes and make the schedule. Claire was a pleasure.

Q: Which scene was the hardest to get right during the editing stage?

Dennis: The parallel editing of every character at the end was the most challenging because where to leave them and leave the audience hanging was the toughest overall.

Q: Which scene from the movie is your favorite?

Dennis: Again I haven’t seen it in years but anything with Daniel Stern was my favorite. He was always adding neurotic moments when a CHUD was on the screen.

Q: Looking back, would you have changed anything?

Dennis: No not really, but there was the scene where a CHUD came up on a store freight elevator on the sidewalk and I feel we never nailed the best scare. To see the CHUD or just have the people on the street react. To be honest they looked better when not that well lit.

Q: Did you get to meet John Heard or any of the actors, directors, etc?

Dennis: Yes, I knew John before working on the film; we were acquaintances at the Cafe Central, which was a NYC star hangout. Stern I met and he was as friendly as can be. But allow me to say that whenever an actor meets the editor of a film they’re in, they are always friendly and some not so after they see your work and then say, “You didn’t use my best takes.” That’s their opinion.

Q: What was your favorite moment about the entire experience?

Dennis: Working with the whole editorial staff really.

Q: What are you doing these days?

Dennis: Semi retired editor, I’m waiting on a script by Second City Chicago, a comedy about an all girl band, The Girls of Summer. I’m also a working voice actor in animated features, Turtle Tale 2: Escape from Paradise and The Wild Life. I do lots of different voices and accents.

Overall the short time I was there helping was a great time. Cutting rooms can sometimes be not so great if you’re trying to make a bad picture good or the best it can be.

  Crystal Lake Publishing   Apr 17, 2018   Blog   0 Comment Read More

Cover reveal for Aaron Dries’ HOUSE OF SIGHS and novella sequel

Aaron Dries’ novel, which includes the sequel novella, will be out May 11th. Artwork by Ben Baldwin.

House of Sighs book cover

This award-winning, psychological experience is back in print, and includes the exclusive sequel The Sound of his Bones Breaking, a novella that will leave you leave you truly shaken.

“This taut, grisly thriller reads like a sick and twisted extreme horror SPEED. You don’t know who, if anybody, will make it. Catch this bus at your own risk.”Eric Red, The Hitcher and Near Dark 

Board for free. But the cost might be your life.

Local bus driver, Liz Frost, pulls the gun from her mouth and decides to live with her loneliness for one more day. She dresses, combs her hair, and goes to work. Nine souls board her route that fateful morning in rural Australia, nine souls who Liz drags back to her home against their will. She wants to build a new family from these passengers, men and women who are willing to kill to avoid becoming her kin. The bus leaves a trail of carnage in its wake as it rockets towards a house that has held its secrets for far too long, a place where crows now gather, ready to feed on whatever is left behind.

“Prepare to be blown away.”Dread Central

  Crystal Lake Publishing   Apr 16, 2018   Blog   0 Comment Read More
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