Masters of Horror Anthology Podcast

The Masters of Horror Anthology is making a comeback – huh I hear you say – it didn’t really go away (AND you haven’t purchased a book yet, I know that for a fact!)

Jason Warden over at Shadowcast Audio is doing a podcast of the stories from the book, including my story.  Each story is being released each week, so mine will be a wee way down the list – but if you prefer to listen to a story than read it, check it out at Masters of Horror Podcast (or http://www.shadowcastaudio.com/?p=938) for those who prefer to copy and paste, but if you click on the blue underlined words, it will take you straight there.  Keep an eye out and when I know mine is up, will try and let you know.

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Interview with William Cook, Artist and Writer

Meet William, he wrote Devil Inside, a chilling story contained within the Masters of Horror Anthology:

My name is William Cook and I am a writer from Wellington, New Zealand.

My short story, ‘Devil Inside,’ was inspired by a common childhood fear of the Boogeyman. Memories of leaping onto the bed as a kid to avoid what I imagined was lurking beneath sparked the idea for my story. Someone said to me recently that ‘real horror is human in origin,’ not wanting to relinquish the grip of my imagination fully I have combined this notion with the nightmare of suburbia, seen through the eyes of a boy on the brink of manhood.

I wrote my story over the course of two evenings especially for the MOH Anthology. Decades of wild flights of imagination and personal fears have prepared me for an expedition into the literary landscape of Horror. I am looking forward to getting my hands on the hardcopy version of the Anthology and saving it for a stormy night; each story will be savored individually and enjoyed as a whole upon completion. I’m sure I won’t be disappointed from what I have seen already.

I have just recently started writing Horror fiction. The scope and depth of the genre allows for unlimited flights of imagination and material. Aside from being a great way to exorcize (and exercise) personal demons, there is something tantalizing about creating a new thought or image that has the potential to invade a reader’s dreams and get the adrenaline pumping. It sounds idealistic but I believe that good writing should transport the reader to another realm in order to make the world, upon return, a better place to be. In my view well-crafted Horror fiction is the ultimate literary antidote for humdrum reality.

I have been writing short fiction since the age of thirteen, this is my first published Horror story. I write part-time, whenever I can in between my duties as a full-time stay-at-home dad. I write to see my words on the page, to make the imaginary tangible. Hopefully others will like what they read and get some enjoyment from my writing.

I am currently putting the finishing touches on a crime/horror novel manuscript, ready for submission in April. It is a story about a family of killers whose legacy snowballs down through the generations until its eventual realization, as seen through the eyes of the remaining family member. Essentially it is a serial killer novel with a new twist on the genre that will hopefully avoid tired clichés. I also do freelance illustration work in my spare time and maintain a blog or two. To view other examples of my writing, see 3cagency.blogspot.com, for illustration work, nzartist.blogspot.com.

To read Devil Inside, purchase your own copy of The Masters of Horror Anthology, just click on Triskaideka Books

Masters of Horror Anthology – Interview with Angel McCoy

Angel McCoy shared her story, Barnes Family Reunion with The Masters of Horror Anthology.  We asked her some questions about her writing.

Where did you come up with your anthology idea?

My story “The Barnes Family Reunion” started with an afternoon mind-stroll about the impact of certain French philosophers on young minds. Having studied French Literature in college, this is the kind of daydream that plays across my mind from time to time. At about the same time, I came across a picture of a house I lived in as a child. Many of the environmental elements of the story come from my own youth—like the apple tree and the 4-H barn at the local fair.

How long did it take for you to put together your story?

I worked and re-worked this story over the course of several months. I had the story written long before Triskaideka conceived the anthology. It had been sitting here waiting for the right home.

Why did you submit your MoH story – was it one you have had for a while or one that you put together especially for the Anthology?

When the call went out for stories for the anthology, I didn’t think I had a story to submit. Most of my fiction is tied up either in submissions or in publication. Three times, the anthology appeared on my radar, and at that point, I decided I’d better check and see if I had anything to submit. I found “The Barnes Family Reunion” lurking in a folder. I took it out, brushed it off, gave it a polish, and then sent it to Lee. I had procrastinated so long, I figured it would be too late, but I was happily wrong.

What research / preparation did you do for your story?

The research is my favorite part. For this particular story, I had to look up the most popular methods of suicide and what each act does to a body. Every method of death has certain physical repercussions. I found it fascinating to learn about different poisons and the reactions a body has to them. In addition, I got to reread a portion of one of my favorite books: Les Fleurs du Mal by Baudelaire. I translated the quotation used in the story myself, and that was quite a test of my rusty language skills.

Who’s story are you most looking forward to reading? why?

I’m really looking forward to reading all the stories by the women authors in the book: Jennifer Brozek, Carole Gill, Cassie Hart, and Karen Johnson Mead. The horror industry has historically been dominated by men, and so I’m thrilled to see so many female horror writers in a single anthology. Our numbers are increasing! (And, of course, I’m also really looking forward to reading all the stories.)

Why do you write horror?  What is the fascination in it for you?

I was infected by horror when I was a kid, and I’ve never managed to shake it. It has metastasized into my bones. It’s the adrenaline and the opportunity horror gives for epic word use. There’s nothing more satisfying than finding exactly the right combination of words to describe seeping blood.

How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing professionally for about 18 years. I’ve been a writer since birth. I was actively trying to earn love with my writing as early as grade school. If you believe in past lives, as I do, then you’ll get it when I say, I was a starving writer in a past life, and am just continuing what I started back then—hopefully with a little more income and definitely a little less red wine than last time.

Is writing your full time thing, or do you have a day job?  What is it?

Writing is my full-time thing and, yes, I have a day job. I write for ArenaNet, a game company that makes the Guild Wars series of massively multiplayer online roleplaying games (MMORPGs). I’m part of a team that is writing dialogue and lore, and designing characters, world, and gameplay for the upcoming Guild Wars 2. (http://www.guildwars2.com)

Why do you write?

I don’t know. I just do. I always have written, and I always will. Even when making no money at it, I write. It’s who I am. I will tell you, however, that there’s NOTHING more rewarding than getting a sincerely good reaction from someone who has read your work. That’s better than ice cream.

What are you currently working on?

I’m currently putting the finishing touches on my first novel, whose working title is “Chasing the Crazy.” It’s about a woman with schizophrenia whose hallucinations are becoming real and killing people, but she’s the only one who can see them.

So tell us something about yourself.

Hi! I live at the edge of nowhere, on the shores of the Puget Sound where killer whales and deep-water sharks roam. I’m extremely busy, working a full-time job as a game designer/writer, imagining short fiction and a novel, and serving as head editor at WilyWriters.com (spec fic podcasts). I have three cats (Boo, Simon, & Lapiz Lasuli) who have the daunting job of reminding me to look away from the laptop and laugh more. They’re my saviors. Look me up at my website: http://www.AngelMcCoy.com! Be sure to friend me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter!

Get the Masters of Horror Anthology now at Triskaideka Books, follow the link through the Master of Horrors Anthology – check it  out http://triskaidekabooks.co.nz/

Interview with Mark Edward Hall

Lee was excited when he told me he had a story from Mark Edward Hall’.  When he forwarded Mark’s story, the Fear,  to me to read, I ended up reading it in bed.  It is the first time in a long time that I had a nightmare after reading.  It was that good!  So we wanted to know more about Mark and his writing…

Where did you come up with your anthology idea?

THE FEAR was a story idea that came from my novel, THE LOST VILLAGE. I don’t know about other writers but when I’m working on a novel I have all sorts of ideas that don’t get used in the book. They’re like lost children, stuff I write and later decide it wasn’t right for the book. Instead of deleting these gems I save them. Later on I turn some of them into stories. The fear is one of those lost children. Sounds a little creepy when you consider the story.  

How long did it take for you to put together your story?

Probably a couple of weeks.

 Why did you submit your MoH story – was it one you have had for a while or one that you put together especially for the Anthology?

I submitted it because Lee was calling for submissions. I read that he was starting a new publishing company and thought he might like it. The story seemed to fit his guidelines. It was just hanging out in my hard drive collecting cyber dust. I hadn’t done anything with it so I said why not.

What research / preparation did you do for your story? 

An entire novels worth.

 Who’s story are you most looking forward to reading? why?

All of them. because they all sound good.

 Why do you write horror?  What is the fascination in it for you?

I write horror because I don’t really have a choice. It is where my mind goes nearly every time I sit down to write, which, of course, is every day.  I think horror tells us a lot more about the human condition than most genres because it strips everything away, gets down to the bare bones, to the very heart of the matter which is our inevitable demise. People read horror for a variety of reasons. Some people like to be scared. To some it’s purely entertainment. Most people are fascinated by death and its myriad complexities. I don’t think I know anyone who won’t slow down at a traffic accident and try to get a look at the shape under the sheet. We look, we see, and then we exclaim in horror. But we still look, as if we are aching to see beneath death to what awaits us on the other side. To some extent horror is a rehearsal for the end, which we must all face sooner or later.

How long have you been writing?

 My first short story was published in 1995. Before that I wrote songs and poetry. My first novel was published in 2003. So the answer is a long time.

Is writing your full time thing, or do you have a day job? 

What is it? Writing is an almost a full time job for me. In my spare time I play in a rock ‘n roll band. It helps me keep my perspective. Maybe even my sanity.

Why do you write?

The same reason I write horror. I don’t feel that I have a choice. I’m driven by something I don’t have a clear understanding of.

What are you currently working on?

I’m just finishing up two new novels, a supernatural thriller called SOUL THIEF and a psychological thriller called CROSS MY HEART AND HOPE TO DIE. I’m also doing edits on my 2003 novel, THE LOST VILLAGE which has been picked up by Damnation Books and will be out in September.

  I write every day. I think it’s important to do so even if it’s only a few chapters or even paragraphs. Writers write. There’s not much else to say. I live in Maine with my wife Sheila. We have a good life. I can’t imagine doing anything else.

Interview – Richard Barnes

Richard Barnes is a NZ writer who has recently had a little success with his short stories, having also had a story published in the KiwiWriters Challenge Collection.

Now, he has had another short story, Something Unpleasant, accepted in the Masters of Horror Anthology. 

Where did you come up with your anthology idea?

I had a vague idea for a story around something nasty lurking in some isolated area in New Zealand – the original thought was perhaps a short novel with a cast of characters getting slowly picked off, but when I decided to use it for a short story I had to scale back the cast list. From there, I had to come up with a much stronger story for just a couple of characters – and in the exciting way that writing can go, I found that my characters had some more interesting things in the closet than I expected.

How long did it take for you to put together your story?

About a week! As the deadline loomed I was trying to finish two bigger short stories for competitions (that I’d taken about four or five months to write), but I just couldn’t let this one go either.

Why did you submit your MoH story – was it one you have had for a while or one that you put together especially for the Anthology?

As I said, I had vague thoughts about trying to do a horror novel, but the MoH anthology came along and the idea seemed suited to it.

What research / preparation did you do for your story?

I read some Stephen King short stories…I don’t really like unhappy endings, but going over Mr King’s work reminded me that a good story doesn’t have to finish with the good guys on top and the bad guys defeated.

Who’s story are you most looking forward to reading? why?

Definitely Angel McCoy’s – “The Barnes Family Reunion” – what has she heard? It can’t be as horrific as the real thing though.

Why do you write horror?  What is the fascination in it for you?

I’m more of a general sci-fi and fantasy writer, but slobbering, many tentacled monsters have a habit of turning up in my stories (as my Mum asks – why can’t I write something that isn’t weird?). I’ve always loved Stephen King and James Herbert, and when I got into comics Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing, Jamie Delano’s Hellblazer and Neil Gaiman’s Sandman combined fantasy and horror in some very strange ways.

How long have you been writing?

I’ve always occasionally dabbled, but the real kicker was back in 2001 when I won a short story competition run by the fantasy arm of Simon and Schuster in the UK. Since then, I have tried to get some discipline and write more often and with more purpose.” Tried” is the optimum word here.

Is writing your full time thing, or do you have a day job?  What is it?

If only…..no, I still have to pay the bills with a day job – being a Business Analyst means far more time with Excel than Word.

Why do you write?

It’s better than having this weird stuff rattling around in my head. Seriously, when I re-read “Something Unpleasant” I had to question what the hell is going on in the murky depths of my mind…

What are you currently working on?

One of my New Years resolutions for 2010 was to take my writing seriously and finish a decent first draft of a novel by the end of the year. It would help if I could decide what idea to go with. It’s a toss up between “Project Hades” – spooky hard-ish sci-fi, “True Cosmic” – space opera of hidden powers/ agenda but coming up fast on the outside is “Carrie Black is Dead”, being the story of an embittered corpse and a ball of hate.

Check out the Masters of Horror Anthology, now on sale at http://triskaidekabooks.co.nz/.  Get your copy now!