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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.

Author: 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.

Author: 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

The Deep End interview…with Gene O’Neill


The Deep End interview with Gene O’Neill

 

Joe Mynhardt: Before we dive into your backstory, tell us a bit about your upcoming release?

Gene O’Neill: Frozen Shadows is a collection as close to real horror as I can write. Actually, most of the stories are O’Neill mixed genre… All published in pro markets and I think are pretty good.

 

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?

Gene: I was raised by my grandparents, emigrants with 2nd and 3rd grade educations, in Federal Housing, working-class background. Sports, Marines, College, jobs including finally vice president of a small insulation manufacturing company.

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?

Gene: My daughter graduated from PA school, my wife retired early from teaching, and I began writing full time at that moment.

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? 

Gene: I started writing in my late thirties, with a wide variety of life experiences, so I knew I had something to say. I’ve always been excited with each and every sale.

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

Gene: Well, I quit that vice president position, earning the equivalent of about 100k back then. They all thought I was crazy. Looking at my taxes this year and income from writing, they were probably right. But I wouldn’t trade my writing years for any amount of money. My immediate family, wife two kids, two grand-kids, support me 100%.

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

Gene: Ted Klein as a writer and editor. He was my first major sale when he was editing The Twilight Zone. I like his quiet dark fiction.

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

Gene: I was an adaptive P.E. teacher for years, and enjoyed the students/adults I worked with. I’ve written a number of stories about them. For example, here in FS, “The Algernon Effect.”

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

Gene: I write every morning six days a week, with no particular target of words. Sometimes it’s a lot sometimes it’s not. But being disciplined and working steady it all adds up.

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

Gene: I guess like many male writers it’s writing a good sex scene. But Damon Knight said that to be a good writer you have to pirouette naked in front of your readers. I took that to heart, and I think I write a sensitive, realistic love scene now…and am comfortable doing it.

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

Gene: I was a jock, like to watch sports. Like a good movie. But like most writer, I think, I can only partially distract myself. I find myself writing in my head/thinking about a scene right in the middle of basketball or Three Billboards.

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

Gene: It’s so easy to do research now, I haven’t bugged the research librarian at my local library for years. With my wide working experience co-workers/friends had been good resources. And of course I check in with writer friends who may have some expertise in areas I need help with.

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

Gene: Discipline. I think that what I developed in the Marines was fine-tuned by writing every day.

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

Gene: All the step programs recommend keeping a journal or a diary.  So, writing for years, I think, has mellowed me into being a better person. I may have been a little rough and impulsive as a young man.

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

Gene: Well you like to hear: Your book X was a good read. But I think the most gratifying thing anyone has said is that more than just a good read, book X was a great experience, I felt it all, I was there.

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

Gene: I’d love to see one of my series played out on TV or the movies.

Joe: What legacy do you want to leave behind?

Gene: I won’t be leaving my grandkids a large financial legacy, but I will be leaving them a lot of fine books. If they actually read them all, they will know my life story—it is all there.

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

Cover Reveal for Frozen Shadows by Gene O’Neill

Out Friday, March 2nd, 2018. Cover by Ben Baldwin:

“A maestro of the field, Gene O’Neill’s stories are consistently well-executed. He writes with authority, depth, and loads of worldly and writerly experience, and delivers fascinating stuff.”Darren Speegle, author of The Third Twin and Varying Distances

Hitch a ride with the master of setting as he blends and bends genres with science-rich, thought-provoking short stories. “Buy the ticket, take the ride.”

Along the way you will travel to the top of Mt. George, up and down Napa Valley, through Sacramento, and into the heart of the Bay Area, to the ‘Loin in San Francisco, Hotel Reo, Chapel of the Chimes, the back streets of Oakland, and other familiar dark places.

The stories explore quantum entanglement, Visual Migraine Events, electro-shock treatment, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and Tourette’s syndrome experimentally treated with Temporary Deep Brain Stimulation. And as you read you may start to notice all these stories are connected in a way.

It’s a wild ride through genre-bending fiction, but well worth the ticket.

  Crystal Lake Publishing   Feb 28, 2018   Blog   0 Comment Read More

Supporting Speculative & Dark Fiction Creators via Patreon!

Supporting Speculative & Dark Fiction Creators via Patreon!

by Joe Mynhardt and fellow Patreon creators

 

I’ve been a creator and supporter of fellow creators on Patreon for quite a few years now, and I really feel that more people should give it a shot. Whenever I mention Patreon on social media, there are many folks who aren’t exactly sure what it’s about, which of course makes them hesitant to try it out.

So what is Patreon?

Patreon, founded in 2013, is a membership platform that provides business tools for artists, writers, creators and more to run a subscription content service. It also gives artists the opportunity to build relationships and provide exclusive experiences to their subscribers, or “patrons.” Fans pay a few bucks per month OR per creator’s post (with the patron setting a maximum limit, of course).

So Patreon allows creators to interact with fans and get financial support for their work. Patreon, in turn, takes a small cut of the money before paying it to the creator. For the creators, it’s a great platform with easy-to-operate features, so the money Patreon keeps is well worth it. Creators also have goals, and if a certain monthly income is reached, they’ll increase the benefits to their patrons. Crystal Lake’s next goal is to pay bonuses to our authors, and only patrons can make that happen.

It basically comes down to supporting an artist or company on a monthly basis, with different tier levels at different prices. Tiers can start as low as $1 a month. You can search Patreon for a creator according to your likes and hobbies, and the creator, in turn, does their best to make you feel like it’s money well spent.

“Patreon provides an opportunity to get exclusive benefits and behind-the-scenes access to artists I truly enjoy. Sometimes owning the book or the art isn’t enough. The one-on-one interaction with the artist makes Patreon a no-brainer.”Chuck Buda

So give Patreon a try, even if it’s just for one month. If you join now, you only have to pay at the end of the month. Plus, you’ll immediately be able to check out previous posts and freebies in the tier you selected. Try some of the creators below, and check out who they support (there are a lot of great pages on Patreon). Look for your favourite artists or creators. Perhaps become a creator yourself.

A few Patreon creators worth checking out:

Crystal Lake Publishing:

“As one of the world’s leading independent publishers, we offer tiers targeted at readers and authors alike. Depending on which tier you support (starts at $1 a month), you’ll receive everything from free eBooks, behind-the-scenes access, input on certain projects, early cover drafts and cover reveals, exclusive interviews, paperbacks, author support, author workshops and mentoring, and even social media support for authors. We even have a $12 a month tier that gets you every single title we release, before the book even hits the shelf. Our most popular tier is the $7 a month option (well worth the investment).”

“I’m a huge fan of Patreon, both as a creator and as a supporter. I’ve pledged to Crystal Lake Publishing and Blood Bound Books, both amazing companies, and in exchange, I get signed books, sneak peaks, marketing advice, and all sorts of bonuses! As a creator, I get to interact directly with my biggest fans, giving them exclusive material, or even letting them choose the next story direction. It’s a great platform, and it keeps independent creators in business, giving them the best, most unique material around.”patron Kevin Holton, author of At the Hands of Madness

Author Lucy A. Snyder:

“My Patreon is aimed at writers and readers. For writers, I’m offering critiques and developmental editing along with weekly writing prompts and monthly chats with guest authors, editors, and publishers—bestselling author Jonathan Maberry will be my February guest. I’ve also set a stretch goal for online writing workshops.

If you’re a reader, you receive weekly poems, monthly stories, and monthly excerpts from my Lovecraftian southern gothic novel along with occasional book and movie reviews. I plan to post excerpts from other new novels in the future.

If you sign up for the manuscript critiques, you have your choice of submitting 2K, 4K, or 5K words per month. If you’re working on a novel or trying to get more short stories written and you want regular, professional feedback or someone to give you a monthly deadline (or both!) this could be a good choice for you.

“I appreciate Lucy’s Patreon for the original work she creates there, and the ways she gets into the creative process and her tips for aspiring professionals—especially the monthly chats!”patron Matt Wagner

This Is Horror:

“The This Is Horror Podcast specialises in horror fiction. Most episodes we either interview a horror writer, publisher or editor, or we’re hosting a special author-narrated short story episode. We have already featured so many wonderful writers including Joe Hill, Stephen Graham Jones, Lisa L. Hannett, Helen Marshall, David Moody and Richard Thomas. Our critical acclaim is growing, too, and we’re very honoured to have placed in a list of great podcasts for writers on LitReactor. We’re aiming to bring you more author interviews and stories on a weekly basis. We’re proud of what we’ve built and we don’t plan on stopping any time soon.”

Patreon is a great way to support a company in ways that are affordable for everyone. All levels of donation can be chosen, and even the smallest makes a big difference for the company. YOU decide what you can give, and in return, you get the perks/extras/gifts which are clearly listed for your level of contribution. I’m new to using Patreon, and loved the idea of supporting a great company as much as I loved the gift/perk I received for my support!”D.L. Robinson

Carrion House Illustration (with artist Luke Spooner):

 “Luke Spooner is an amazing artist. Patreon gives me a chance to both support his work and get a look behind the scenes the wider scope of the work he does.” – Jeremy Zimmerman, author of the Kensei series and co-editor of Mad Scientist Journal.

“Hmm… Why should you support Carrion House Illustration? For starters, if you enjoy interacting with the person you support I can assure you that Luke does respond to questions and acknowledges comments made on his page. Not only do you get sneak peeks at upcoming work you also get looks at never before seen pieces. Not only that, Luke tells you exactly what he does to create his work, and this is at just the $1 level. That’s a dollar a month well spent! Contribute a bit more and you can see a video of him creating his work first hand. The more you contribute the better the rewards for being a supporter. I support a few creators on Patreon and I have to say Carrion House Illustration is probably the most active and attentive creator that I support. Check it out and see for yourself! There’s no commitment.” – Paula Limbaugh

Project Entertainment Network:

Project Entertainment Network is a podcast group focused on giving listeners 25 unique podcast shows with about 100 episodes released a month!

-For those who can’t get enough or want to watch and read exclusive content from the hosts, our Patreon page offers a few different tiers to share with you.
-For $1 you’ll get bonus episodes, crossover episodes between shows, exclusive fiction from author hosts, book reviews, videos and more.
-At the $3 level you’re entered into a drawing to win signed show notes from one of the podcasts. Who knows who it will be this month: Brian Keene? Jay Wilburn? Chuck Buda?
-For $5 a month you also get a network swag pack mailed to you each month, stuffed with bookmarks, magnets, bracelets, bottle openers… each month there are new items added!
-$10 gets you all of the previous levels plus a signed postcard from one random podcast each month. Collect them all!
-We even offer something for advertisers: $100 level gets you two advertising spots on 2 different podcasts on the network of your choice (not The Horror Show with Brian Keene but any of the other 24) and you save $20.
-For $135 you get two ads and one of them is The Horror Show with Brian Keene (a $25 savings). 

“The Project Entertainment Network’s Patreon page is always fresh and new. All of the podcast hosts make appearances on the Patreon page from time to time. There is a lot of bonus material and swag that Patreon supporters have access to and it is very much worth the money to support this network.” – Somer Canon

Author Jasper Bark:

“I write the type of novels, comics and short stories your parents warned you about! Terrible tales that scandalize sermon writers and bring hot sweats to Sunday school teachers, work that’s highly imaginative and often thought provoking. I’ve won a few awards including a This Is Horror Award for my collection Dead Air, an ERA award for my educational graphic novels Battle Cries and a Fringe First at the Edinburgh Festival.

My Patreon page is aimed at building a personal relationship with readers and writers. I offer a writer’s surgery, the chance to read my work before anyone else does, the opportunity to appear in the acknowledgements in my books, as well as the chance to appear on YouTube with me. I will also read and critique your work and advise you where to place it and how to promote it.”

“I support at least five Creators on Patreon including Crystal Lake Publishing. It offers me a convenient way of paying the same amount monthly that goes direct to the artist or author helping many of them top up the limited income offered by a creative career. We all know, particularly if you’re a writer, that creators spend a great amount of time trying to get gigs but not always successfully. Patreon is a way of offering a little financial assistance and a social media agency.”patron Theresa Derwin

Author Kevin Lucia:

My Patreon is offering monthly original fiction. $4 gets an installment of my serial story, A Far, Distant Place. For $8 a month, you get Far Distant Place plus chapters from my serialized story, The Glasses. $10 a month gets you Far Distant Place, The Glasses, and chapters from another serialized story, The Last Pitch Before Nightfall. $15 gets you all that, and trade paperback editions of each story when they are completed. Also, I offer regular freebies to my patrons: older short stories which may not have gotten as much exposure as my other work, or even partials that for, one reason another, I was never able to finish, or trunk stories that were rejected, and my reflections as to why think they were rejected.

Why do I have a Patreon? Well, it seems I experience long periods of “drought” between projects, in which no fiction is available to readers. But, I still write every single day. Have been for the past ten years. Sometimes, I feel as if all that writing doesn’t always go anywhere. I have a USB drive FULL of partial stories. I want these stories completed, and I want to bring a little more focus to my daily writing discipline, while filling those gaps, preventing “dry periods,” so my fiction will still be available in between releases.

As a novice writer I’d often wonder what others creative processes were like. I also thoroughly enjoyed seeing professional writers’ manuscripts, notes, and concept art. Those ‘sneak peeks’ made me feel even more connected to both the work and the author/artist, but they were rare and still had the feeling of an outsider looking in.
Then there came Patreon.
Patreon allows me to not only directly support art and artists I love, but to put me in the room as the creative process is going on in real-time!
Crystal Lake Publishing is truly an artist-first platform. Patreon is truly an artist-first platform. When any of Crystal Lake’s books comes up in conversation my first question is always, “Are you following them on Patreon?”patron Mark Andrew, Emporium Purgatorio

  Crystal Lake Publishing   Feb 02, 2018   Blog   0 Comment Read More
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