Why Join Horror Authors Guild?
HAG is a non profit organization for horror writers, actors, film workers, musicians, artists, and readers. Anyone with an interest in horror is welcome.
Our mission is to offer a diverse group of horror (dark fantasy, dark gothic, dark historical, dark mystery, sci-fi horror, true crime) writers, artists, cover artists, editors, and poets a place to belong and connect. We celebrate horror in all forms and wish to help build relationships, share information, give support, and reward excellent works. The Yaggies, named for the Baba Yaga award, is based upon Debut Novel, Novel of the Year, Novella of the Year, Short Story of the Year, Anthology of the Year, Cover of the Year, Art of the Year, Poem, and Best Audio Book. All members are welcome to any HAG events.
Many ways to kill off characters:
Below is a list of ways people might die
and it reflects common fears. How many
of these have you used in your writing?
(Meryl Rothstein July/August 2017 Popular Mechanics)
* wild pigs (they eat anything, swine flu)
* microwaves * electrical outlets
* boats and cars * parasites
* sharks * lightning
* stabbing and getting shot
* power lines * solar flare
* EMP * hospital mishap
* bad food * poison
Common poisons: hemlock, nightshade, mandrake, aconite, foxglove, opium, strychnine,
mercury, lead, and arsenic.
Banning books gives us silence when we need speech. It closes our ears when we need to listen. It makes us blind when we need sight.”— Stephen Chbosky
“I hate it that Americans are taught to fear some books and some ideas as though they were diseases.”— Kurt Vonnegut
“Censorship is telling a man he can’t have a steak just because a baby can’t chew it.”— Mark Twain
2019 most challenged books (source: American Library Association)
- George by Alex Gino: Reasons: challenged, banned, restricted, and hidden to avoid controversy; for LGBTQIA+ content and a transgender character; because schools and libraries should not “put books in a child’s hand that require discussion”; for sexual references; and for conflicting with a religious viewpoint and “traditional family structure”
- Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin: Reasons: challenged for LGBTQIA+ content, for “its effect on any young people who would read it,” and for concerns that it was sexually explicit and biased
- A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss, illustrated by EG Keller: Reasons: Challenged and vandalized for LGBTQIA+ content and political viewpoints, for concerns that it is “designed to pollute the morals of its readers,” and for not including a content warning
- Sex is a Funny Word by Cory Silverberg, illustrated by Fiona Smyth: Reasons: Challenged, banned, and relocated for LGBTQIA+ content; for discussing gender identity and sex education; and for concerns that the title and illustrations were “inappropriate”
- Prince & Knight by Daniel Haack, illustrated by Stevie Lewis: Reasons: Challenged and restricted for featuring a gay marriage and LGBTQIA+ content; for being “a deliberate attempt to indoctrinate young children” with the potential to cause confusion, curiosity, and gender dysphoria; and for conflicting with a religious viewpoint
- I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas
Reasons: Challenged and relocated for LGBTQIA+ content, for a transgender character, and for confronting a topic that is “sensitive, controversial, and politically charged”
- The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood: Reasons: Banned and challenged for profanity and for “vulgarity and sexual overtones”
- Drama written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier: Reasons: Challenged for LGBTQIA+ content and for concerns that it goes against “family values/morals”
- Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling: Reasons: Banned and forbidden from discussion for referring to magic and witchcraft, for containing actual curses and spells, and for characters that use “nefarious means” to attain goals
- And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson illustrated by Henry Cole
Reason: Challenged and relocated for LGBTQIA+ content
Click above to go to Michael's website. He takes commissioned art job and provides legal, creative, unique book cover.
Michael Fisher, Fish to his friends and family, has worn many hats in his long life. He’s done a little of everything, including US Navy Hospital Corpsman, club DJ, security specialist, psychiatric technician, painter, and currently, father, Mason, author and tattooer, not necessarily in that order. He has a love of ugly Hawaian shirts. He also bears a passing resemblance to Walter Sobchak. His work includes the collaborative novel It Always Bites You in the End,
Legends: Emergence of Fear, FVM: The Deadliest of the Species, Doorway to Death as well as many other upcoming anthologies. Within Stranger Aeons is the first anthology on which he has taken lead. Michael is an award-winning author, artist and editor with J. J Ellington Ashton Press. Awards include Honorable Mention for Short Story of the Year 2013 for the Return of the Devil Fly in Midnight Remains, as well as Top Ten Artist and Top Ten Editor from Critters Workshop Annual Predators & Editors 2014 Awards and Top Ten Author, Artist, Editor, Book Cover, Nonfiction Article and Short Story from Critters Workshop Annual Predators & Editors 2015 Awards. He also placed in the Top Ten Author, Artist, Editor, Book Cover, Mystery Novel from Critters Workshop Annual Predators & Editors 2016 Awards. DC’s Dead was awarded J. Ellington Ashton Press’ Editor’s Choice Award for Novel in 2015, while It Always Bites You in the End was runner up for J. Ellington Ashton Press’ Editor’s Choice Award for Novel and Within Stranger Aeons was runner up for Anthology of the Year in 2016. Michael is the art director at J. Ellington Ashton Press and designs book covers under the name Meister Arthur Dunkel. He is also a member of the Horror Writers Association.
Fill a bowl with water. Pinch off and remove any fibers that remain on the seeds. Pour off the cloudy water. Drain in a colander. Saute the seeds in the oil of your choice. with the seasonings of your choice. Or spread the dry seeds in a single layer and bake them in a 300 F oven for 15–20 minutes, checking frequently. You want them to be dry and crunchy, but not so brown they taste burnt. You can eat them plain. Or toss them with coconut oil and sweet or savory seasonings. Then return them to the oven for a few more minutes.
Hazal is a new artist and model. For Whipping Girl, she modelled and tweaked the photo to reflect a Hitchcock feel. For the Curse of Cain, Hazal layered a monster that she created. Her attention to detail and ability to design what an author needs is amazing.
If interested in hand-drawn, original art, contact catt dahman for details.
I got a bad review! What now?
When you publish your book or written project, you will get reviews on Amazon or whatever platform you’re using. Those reviews will be used by the platform’s algorithm to determine how much promotion the work will receive. For example, when you reach certain levels of reviews on Amazon, they will begin including you in their bulk emails and you will appear in more searches and recommendations. It’s just how it works. So, yes, as an author, we really do need those reviews. They help us on so many levels.
The author of dozens of books offers great advice for everyone. Reviews can be cruel, wonderful, unfair, vicious, inspirational, on target, personal, of no help, funny, serious, and even unfounded. How YOU respond (or don't) will flavor your entire career. Read the article to learn all about reviews.
Dani Brown: a rare blog
Dani Brown, Halloween 2020 HAG post
Nothing like a global pandemic to notice sales of Reptile (JEA Wetworks) dipping. If you’ve ever met me at an event, you’ll know you can open to any page and there will be something extreme and something horrible. It is my personal promise to you. You’ll know I sell out of this book fast and if you want a copy, you have to get there EARLY! (So early, I’ve put it in caps.) What you may not know is Reptile, along with all my other titles are available on Amazon. That particular one is even available for Kindle Unlimited. I know it is difficult to bring up on amazon, so here’s the links:
Reptile must be my most requested book. Don’t miss out just because amazon makes it difficult. If you don’t save these links, you can always message me on facebook.com/danibrownbooks for the link or visit the pinned post, which has links for all my books.
In Reptile, Ruth guts herself while enduring flashbacks of the local fetish community (who aren’t really fetish, just attention seekers, Ruth would actually be into BDSM if she had the chance to experience it for real and there’s lots of bizarro-esque madness). Becoming is told through Marcy’s flashbacks. It doesn’t have a straightforward narrative like Reptile and is much more representative of what it is like to think and function under extreme stress. It really is one of those books that you have to experience (preferably in paperback as kindle lost the formatting). I can describe it all day but you still wouldn’t get the full impact. It explains what happened to lead Marcy up to where she is, where Kord comes into her life. The demonic robotic shapeshifter from Mars.
Becoming USA kindle: Link
USA paperback: Link
UK kindle: Link
UK paperback: Link
56 Seconds USA kindle: Link
USA paperback: Link
UK kindle Link
UK paperback: LInk
Hopefully I’ve copied all those links properly. The important one is Reptile. It comes up on my author page but not on the amazon search (yes, it really must be that extreme). Becoming and 56 Seconds come up when you search both my name and the book.
While we’re on releases, Night of the Penguins experienced an audible release while we were on full lockdown here in the UK and every day blurred into one. That’s the book you’re looking for if you’ve ever worked a job you hated or suspected management were in some sort of cult.
I’m afraid I don’t have a fun Halloween story for this year. No vampires that sparkle when they feed on women wearing glittery eyeshadow. No Chester and Lester with Lester’s special hairspray. I don’t even have a spooky Halloween story with the Forest of the Dead and the creeps carved into the trees. However, I do have some art that features creeps carved into the trees, their souls trapped through eternity.
I have a thing for medieval art, particularly from medieval manuscripts. I was sketching based on google searches for medieval art (possibly general ones, but put whatever you want to search in google, add medieval manuscript to the end and do an image search, you won’t be disappointed). I noticed one of the sketches resembled the last creep to grab at me. I decided to use that face and put in it into a tree where the creeps are trapped in eternal agony (where they belong).
Medieval art is fun. It is a lot of fun. I didn’t do so well in art history so I can’t really go into the background of it, but the images are great (I should look into it one day). All of my visual art is based on medieval art. It started with cats licking their buttholes in medieval manuscripts and took off from there. I had been trying to recover my visual art skills for about two years when someone sent me a meme with the cats licking their butts in medieval manuscripts. I drew it. I drew more cats licking their butts. I drew a cat-i-pede (I haven’t seen the movie version of Cats but the reviews influenced that one, I haven’t seen Human Centipede either, think I’ll live without seeing that one). I think it is fair to say that my visual art skills are back
I think Halloween has been cancelled in Liverpool this year due to lockdown restrictions, which is sucks because I love seeing the children in their costumes (my son hates trick or treating and these past few years, I’ve been providing him with a Halloween bucket filled with sweets and chocolate). I guess I’ll have to eat all the candy myself then. I can’t not buy it. It is a yearly tradition.
Another thing from medieval art is the Penis Birds (or Richard Gizzards for the sake of possible Redbubble censors). They look nothing like the original image. It was a little image someone sent to me, possibly part of a larger doodle in a medieval manuscript. It had buttcheeks with a man’s face stuck in it. Some sort of bird with a twisted neck. I removed the man’s face and the twist in the neck. The birds looked like giant penises. So that’s what they were.
Prints and random products can be found here QueenofFilth.redbubble.com
While we’re on the topic of global pandemics and my extreme titles, Becoming (Death’s Head Press) was released in February. If you’ve read 56 Seconds (Nihilism Revised), you’ll be familiar with Marcy. Marcy stalks DJ Donnie (still a dick, still a jerk) in a rundown bar while Honey screams inside his head. The walls ooze golden honey with a taint. Flies reanimate when Marcy twitches her fingers. Even the dusty taxidermy springs back to life. Becoming is the story of how Marcy died. This story is just as extreme as Reptile but a lot more complex.
If you read my story Visions in Blue in Dig Two Graves Vol 1 (Death’s Head Press), you’ve met the creeps before. I don’t typically write from real life, but I was getting absolutely sick of men (mainly men, women can be just as bad), coming up to me and grabbing at me because I write sex in my books or “if you aren’t asking for it, why are you wearing that”. I don’t often leave my house because of it, but I reached my breaking point, especially as this was happening at events and cons where I’m trying to speak to people interested in my books. Wannabe writers can be especially guilty of this. So I trapped the souls of these creeps into the bark of the trees inside the Forest of the Dead (Marcy’s underworld). By the way, not like it is anyone’s business, but I’m really prude, uptight and squeamish in person. Why do you think I can describe body fluids and body functions in such vivid detail!?! If the creeps were going to accuse me of writing from life as an excuse for sexual harassment, then damn right I would write them. Guess that isn’t the real life they were wanting though.
I am currently open to illustration commissions. I don’t do book covers yet, but as I’ll be doing my own book cover for my next self published title, Karen and the Crabs from Outer Space, it is only a matter of time.
I’ve been using my lockdown time to really put my career where I want it. However, I still haven’t found the time to clean up my Deviant Art page. Prints and random products are available on Redbubble.
I haven’t had much time for “fun” writing but all writing is fun for me. I’ve been more focusing on my more experimental texts, all of these hit elements of horror. However, I did eventually finish Karen and the Crabs from Outer Space. That’s the first “fun” story I’ve written since Sparky the Spunky Robot way back in October of 2017. Also wrote a Chester and Lester Halloween story that year. There will eventually be a Chester and Lester novel. I have notes for it. I also have notes for a second Ketamine Addicted Pandas and two spinoffs (okay, that one is both fun and extreme). Once I get Karen and the Space Crabs out into the world and I finish We Gave the World Synthpop Dreams (think horror and erotica, but not paranormal romance) I have notes for a serious sci-fi offering and notes for a fun, erotic sci-fi offering. That second is finally the Dream Princess novel I’ve been talking about writing since January 2018. Lots of sexbots.