Last October my dear friend, and fellow author, Chantell Renee and I compiled a collection of 21 horror stories from seven authors. It was a lot of hard work, but even more fun. Many of the authors have been highlighted in my 20 Questions series, and you can check out pics from the release party here.
Now we’re working on our next anthology entitled Hair Raising Tales of Villainous Confessions-and we know that you’re interested in joining in on the fun and become a published author yourself.
I’m looking to publish early 2018-which means I’ll have to have your short story/poem/flash fiction by September 11, 2017 emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Still interested? Then read the rest of the info below-
Looking for authors that like to write about the dark side.
Submit your work to Mad Girl’s Publishing for the upcoming Hair Raising Tales of Villainous Confessions
1. All stories/flash fiction/poems must be from the perspective of a ‘villain’ They can be from a fairy tale, from another universe, or your old boss-as long as the story is told through a ‘villains’ perspective.
2. Feel free to choose if the villain is found in any way redeemable.
3. This short story (5000 words max)
/flash fiction (800 words max)/
poem (1200 words max) can be previously published or simultaneously published (as long as you also promote the anthology otherwise what’s the point).
4. You the author keep all rights to your work therefore it must be an original piece.
5. This is something I’m doing more for fun then for the $ therefore I don’t have any funds to pay you for the publication. But your piece will be professionally edited and as you know I love to promote my work and go to many events to sell such anthologies which will promote you and your work. (pretty much check out the first Hair Raising Tales and you can see that we proudly highlighted all of our authors).
6. This will only be an e-book. As I said I’m doing this for fun and I don’t have that much fun formatting therefore I’m only gonna do an e-book (but hey it will save a forest, right?)
7. Right now I’m shooting to release on Valentine’s Day.
Therefore I need all your pieces in by Monday September 11.
I’m going to approve all the pieces by Wednesday November 1 and expect any bio’s and pictures by Tuesday November 7.
So if that time frame doesn’t work out for you then you need to opt out now.
e-mail stories to email@example.com by September 11, 2017
She’s not the first author I’ve highlighted that’s as obsessed with mass murder in fiction as I am, but she is the first Canadian. Jae Mazer has five titles under her belt, while they range from ghost to supernatural all include plenty of plasma for all horror fans to enjoy.
Although I do love her blood splattering tales do be sure to check out her short story ‘Flight Of The Crow’, which has a different tone from her other work, but still is well written and impossible to stop reading. ‘Flight Of The Crow’ will be included in the anthology Eclectically Heroic from Inklings Publishing.
I did have the pleasure of sharing a booth with her at Comicpalooza 2017 (she had purple hair, Chantell Renee had blue hair, and I had magenta so basically we’re the coolest). I hope that we can work together on many more endeavors. I found Jae’s answers to my 20 questions to be quite fucking hilarious, and do keep in mind the words fuck and blood are used a lot so if that makes you feel all icky inside may I recommend you check out another authors answers (yet I can’t imagine that a ‘fan’ of mine has a problem with either of those things).
Now without further adieu I give you the amazing Jae Mazer…
Twenty Questions With…Jae Mazer!
Every writer has that one book that made him or her want to be a writer, what’s yours? My favourite book is Swan Song by Robert R. McCammon. It was my introduction into the realm of horror and suspense, and a damn good tale of complete and utter societal collapse. Bloody brilliant. But did it make me want to be a writer? I think Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury did that for me. His prose, his voice, the imagery and style. Intoxicating.
How old where you when you started writing? Very young. I wrote a collection of short stories when I was about ten years old, and my dad helped me prepare it and send it off (snail mail… no snickering about my age) to publishers. Of course they told me to get bent, but that didn’t dissuade me. I still have the copy of that “manuscript” in a thick duo tang in my office.
Name four authors that you’d love to have lunch with. Maya Angelo, Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, and… I’d actually like to have lunch with George R.R. Martin, just so I could punch him in the throat with a dinner plate.
What would you eat? The brilliance of my mentors *swoons*. But seriously, probably wine. Expensive shit. These rich fuckers are good for it.
How do you plot out your work? *laughs and laughs and laughs*… oh. You’re serious? Nope. I’m a definite pantser. I start out with a loose outline, like where I think the story should be going, but my characters often have other ideas. Bastards. I just follow them around and hope they do something interesting and purposeful. And if they don’t, I kill them.
Do you write in the morning or evening? Both, but mostly in the evening. Late evening, once my family goes to sleep. I get my best work done when I should be sleeping.
Is there music on? Always. Classical music, or a station that plays themes from classic horror movies. Though I do like a bit of Florence and the Machine or Of Monsters and Men. Disturbed, if I’m in a particularly stabby mood.
What inspired your last story? Society, and the demise of. Thank you, American politics…
Name three books so good you wish you wrote them. Anything by Clancy Weeks (that guy can fucking write!), Fahrenheit 451, The Deep by Nick Cutter, and Harry Fucking Potter! I know that’s four. But there you have it. I’m not a fucking mathematician.
What television shows, movies, or albums do you believe are written well? The writing in telvision’s Fargo is fucking brilliant. I’m obsessed. The dialogue, the narration… love. As for movies, Silence of the Lambs is an all-time brilliant favourite (though I didn’t like the book).
Which actor would you cast in the protagonist role of your most recent piece? Ellen Burstyn. Absolutely. I wrote a character named Sister Crow, a homeless woman who has schizophrenia. Sister Crow turns out to be the hero of the tale. Ellen could rock a good Sister Crow.
Which of your pieces was the hardest to write? My most recent piece (which shall remained unnamed and not described—it’s presently in consideration for a blind-judged contest). It’s a flash fiction piece that deals with a very sensitive topic. I wrote it twice, two different endings, and dwelled on which one would finish the story. Lots of moral conflict and anger towards misogyny. I had many a heated discussion over that piece with people who shared different viewpoints. Emotionally charged and controversial.
Which was the easiest? Easy? *laughs again* *snorts drink out of nose*. As much as I enjoy writing, my subjects are always a tad emotionally taxing. I can’t seem to get away from my pieces turning a bit personal and political. But the creature horror does flow easily from my brain.
Which of your pieces did readers ‘get’ when they told you their thoughts on it? Definitely the controversial flash fiction piece. The one I can’t discuss yet. Those who got it, really got it. They immediately identified the underlying theme, and could see and feel the characters motivations. Yay me.
What are you working on now? A novel I’m co-writing with my father, Gerry Mazer. We hope to have it completed by the end of the year. It’s a crime thriller called Ripples of Silence about a detective who’s deaf, tracking a serial killer who he thinks may be his son.
What story do you have to write before you die? The one that becomes a bestseller. Like, millions of copies. Seriously.
What’s your best fan story? I have my favourite horrible fan story, because that’s the most interesting. Dude sends me emails, several emails, trying to get me to help get him published because he “admires me as a writer”. When I don’t agree to help, wanker goes apeshit on me, telling me women cannot and should not write horror, and the only reason I’m published is because I *insert graphic sexual suggestions here*. But hey, he read my books, right? Positive fan stories? I love when people contact me with fan fiction ideas. A woman from the UK wrote me an email about my second novel, Delivery, and the next adventure she saw the protagonists having. She was super passionate about the characters. Really cool.
What sentence have you written that you feel encapsulates your style?
“You think me a monster, David?”
David looked at Christoph, his cane and neatly-styled gentleman’s cut, the way half his mouth curved up into a smirk.
“I don’t know what you are,” David said, his eyes moving off Christoph and back out the window.
“I am a monster, David. I am man.”
Also, the words blood and fuck seem to make plenty of appearances in my writing….
Have you ever based characters off of real people? Oh yes. But I’ll never tell who…
Who’s your favorite character? My own? Gotta be Ferris Salazar, the antagonist from my third book, Pal Tailor. He’s a badass wanker, and an intriguing, complex mess.
You can find out more about the author on their website, jaemazer.com, and purchase their work from Amazon.
First off I’m very happy to announce that I along with a few dear author friends will have a booth at Comicpalooza in Houston, Texas from May 12-17, 2017. I would love for all of you to attend as I’ll have copies of my work that you can check out and even get me to sign it.
I always have a great time at Comicpalooza where I can meet up with friends, other authors, and fans all while were dressed as their ‘alter-ego’. Speaking of which I will be meeting Felicia Day (Charlie from Supernatural) so if you see me on Saturday I will be cosplaying as her!
I really hope to see you there!
Next I’m happy to announce that a fellow award winning author/horror fan Kreepy Keelay narrated my story ‘Hair Dying’. He did a phenomenal job (it’s almost as if he crawled into my head…) and I implore you to listen to a story that is far more horrifying than brassy highlights-click here for Scary Story Time ‘Hair Dying’.
Finally I’d like to tell you how much I throughly enjoyed the novel ’13 Reasons Why’ by Jay Asher, so much in fact that I was worried the story would be ruined when brought to the small screen. I was wrong-although the story is different, the show brought to you by Netflix has more characters, it holds true the theme that Asher wanted the audience to understand once they were done with Hannah and Clay’s life.
I had the pleasure of meeting New York Times Bestselling author Jay Asher when he spoke at the HWG Spring Conference-he even signed my copy of his books. I throughly enjoyed ’13 Reasons Why’ and think that everyone should read it (not just Madame Bijou who’s pictured with the novel). Asher’s work along with ‘All The Rage’ by Courtney Summers should be mandatory reading especially for young adults.
So after you listen to the narration of my story ‘Hair Dying’, but before you see me at Comicpalooza be sure to read then watch ’13 Reasons Why’-it’s a story that deserves to stick with you forever.
I know a lot authors, but Jessica Raney was the first in which I was the published her work. So keep in mind no matter how many rejections one might get, there will be someone who appreciates your work, and wants to give you the ability to share your voice. It was my pleasure to be that springboard for Jessica.
In the anthology ‘Hair Raising Tales of Horror’ compiled by myself and Chantell Renee we were excited in include Jessica’s pieces (including my favorite The Middle Part which although horrifying is perfect for Valentines Day).
She’s accomplished in her own right long before she met me, including BFE Podcast in which she, along with two friends, interview interesting people (including myself and Chantell during The Amazing Comic Con which you can listen to here.)
Jessica reading a section of her piece Cold Comfort from ‘Hair Raising Tales of Horror’
And now for Twenty Questions With… Jessica Raney
Every writer has that one book that made him or her want to be a writer, what’s yours?
Hmm…well I feel like I’ve been writing and reading forever so it’s difficult to decide which book, but I probably have to go with “Gone with the Wind” by Margaret Mitchell. I read it when I was in 4th grade, which is waaaay too young for that, but I was highly unsupervised as a child. The good news is it’s a pretty tame book. The bad news is it led me to read a follow-up book that I found in my mom’s closet that promised, “In the spirit of GWTW,” called “Sweet Savage Love” by Rosemary Rodgers. It was not so tame and yeah…that made me want to be a writer too. In addition, to find sweet, savage love with a scoundrel on a cattle drive across the American Frontier.
How old where you when you started writing?
Really young. Probably 7 or 8. I wrote a short story called “King Bong and Rose” which is a delightful tale about a crappy king who taxes the hell out of his people until a girl named Rose uses magic to threaten him with harm unless he adopts a more sensible economic strategy. I also wrote a play called “The Passing of a Pork Rind King” about a dude who builds a pork rind empire and is murdered in a washing machine. Go figure.
Name four authors that you’d love to have lunch with.
Neil Gaimen, Chuck Palahniuk, Margaret Atwood, and Beverly Cleary
What would you eat?
Whatever Beverly Cleary wanted.
How do you plot out your work?
Notebooks, diagrams, list upon lists upon lists. Then I toss them all and just write. I wish I were more organized about it but, meh.
Do you write in the morning or evening?
Usually in the evening, but sometime all day if I have the time. One of my favorite tricks is to set a timer, write for 20 minutes, and then go do something like clean for 20 minutes. I get a good groove on and words just seem to flow better. Also, things get cleaned, like WHOAH.
Is there music on?
Nope. I prefer silence.
What inspired your last story?
I think the last one I wrote was “Moonlight Serenade.” I was on a trip to New Orleans and I saw a for rent sign in the French Quarter. It advertised that the apartment was haunted so the story is an answer to the question, who wants a haunted apartment?
Name three books so good you wish you wrote them.
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry (A master of character and dialogue), Life After Life by Kate Atkinson (one of the most unique and brilliant spec fic books I’ve ever read), and To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (No reason needed)
What television shows, movies, or albums do you believe are written well?
Game of Thrones is amazingly well written and produced. Anyone who can trim GRR Martin down into manageable TV is a great writer. Parks and Recreation was one of the most brilliant TV shows of all time. For movies, I think Stardust is amazing. It’s so good it makes me forget I always want to punch Claire Danes. For albums, I would say Rumors by Fleetwood Mac. Breakups and cocaine apparently make for genius songwriting.
Which actor would you cast in the protagonist role of your most recent piece?
Most of my projects are short stories, but I am working on a zombie apocalypse novel. I don’t know whom I see as the main character, hopefully whoever replaces Jennifer Lawrence as badass/hottie/sensitive girl, but for the villain, I see Helen Mirren because I think Dame Helen Mirren with a machete would be quite something to behold.
Which of your pieces was the hardest to write?
I have a short story called “To Stray From the Path” that is a take on a fairy tale that was hard to write. The first draft veered pretty far away from what I intended because I was caught up in sensory descriptions. As a result, I lost the point of the story. I fixed it but it was tough. Revising anything is always a pain.
Which was the easiest?
“The Middle Part” just sort of plurpted out. I knew exactly what to write and how to mess up the order of events. I did have revision help from my loyal beta readers so that helped but I pretty much got it right the first time.
Which of your pieces did readers ‘get’ when they told you their thoughts on it?
I’ve had people tell me that “Cold Comfort” freaked them out and they were wigged when their cat jumped in bed with them, so I would call that one a success.
What are you working on now?
I’m working on a vampire comedy about the least suave and debonair vampire of all time. I hope that by this time I also have a short story collection about various horrific love stories complete.
What story do you have to write before you die?
I’m going to finish an epic vampire series before I die. And if I don’t, I’m going need a vampire to bite me and give me immortality so I can finish it. I hope that it’s a cool vampire. Not that gross Nosforatu dude or that sparkly douche from Twilight. Like Eric Northman or Pam. Yeah…Pam.
What’s your best fan story?
Do I have fans? I don’t know about that but I can tell you that the first book you ever sign for someone is a trip.
What sentence have you written that you feel encapsulates your style?
“You’re never going to finish that puzzle. Fat Larry ate the llama’s nose piece.”
Have you ever based characters off real people?
Absolutely. However, I can’t go into details because I’m afraid they’ll want money.
Who’s your favorite character?
Of mine? Hmm…probably the ghost in “Moonlight Serenade.” I admire tenacity and fabulous style.
I spoke with an author who told me that he’s falling in love. It instantly made me think (and say aloud) “Oh it will be wonderful when you die, and years from now, when someone reads your poems to her, your love will live on in your words.”
Hopefully that reads less awkward then it sounded.
Either way the end result was this poem, a genre I haven’t written in since high school when I pledged to write a poem everyday. The ten journals full of prose will be the handprint I leave for the future to enjoy, and long after I’m gone the love stories I lived will become immortal.
All the Men I loved
All the Men I loved
Not just because they had me
Nor that they could touch the edges of the flame inside of me
But because I loved them through prose
Each of them differed
Like leaves on a tree
Changing in color from
Green, yellow, orange, a hint of blue
But it started the color of coal
With the first I was uneasy stilted
So I forgive him
How was he to understand that I’d take his pain?
And make it my own if I could
When I couldn’t find the words myself?
But the rest of them didn’t get me
Never truly understood the passion in my belly
Or how it would continue to bubble
Until my fingers began their work
That whether it was ink to paper
Or typing on a screen
It was really my blood on the page
All the Men I loved
Live on in my work
As does our story
Those tatterd and worn sheets
Torn out of my notebook
Which I handed them in-between classes
Shoved in the bottom of their backpack
They took my words for granted
Didn’t bother to deeply understand
The way I let words tell me
All the Men I loved
Never knew how fervently I loved them
How I could see through their skin
Past their smiles which were brighter than the sun
Deep into the color of their eyes
Blue like the sea, green like
freshly cut grass, darker than the night sky
Even alternating, with no reason, like
a broken mood ring.
All the Men I loved
Were never carried away by my words
Never wrapped in the warmth of my tone
All the Men I loved
Left my poems in a crumpled mess
Torn and mismatched like they left my heart
All the Men I loved
Never really loved me
In early August 2016 my dear friend Chantell Renee, a fellow hairstylist and award winning writer, decided to create an anthology of short stories that were truly terrifying. That day over tacos at Torchy’s in the Heights we planned to have the collection ready in time for Halloween. Considering I’d just taken a position at a new salon, Chantell was opening her own place to cut hair, and I would be out of town the first two weeks of September…we kicked some ass by getting this collection out.
We asked out friends who also write horror if they’d be interested in joining us. Thankfully 5 authors agreed. Even better their stories were amazing. We held a party at the Wilde Collection in the Heights, which is an amazing venue, and friends gathered with us to celebrate our joint accomplishment.
All seven authors read a selection from their included work. Chantell was having trouble reading hers, she says that’s what happens when you’re over 40, so I took over for her.
There were lots of dead things to take pictures with, including Jack Skellington.
I’d like to take this time to thank all the contributors, readers, friends, and of course Chantell Renee because without all of you this collection of 21 horrifying short stories from 7 local authors wouldn’t be available for purchase on Amazon or on my Amazon Author page.
Scary human skull crying blood isolated on black background
Don’t forget to pick up a copy to ‘Hair Raising Tales of Horror’ and leave an honest review once you’re done!
You’ll also see never before published stories from me including ‘The Girls’, ‘Birthday Cake’, and the hilariously horrifying ‘Even Aliens Watch Reality T.V.’. Fan favorite ‘The Silencer’ along with others are included. Each will be sure to leave you with nightmares.
We’ll have a small gathering at The Wilde Collection in the Heights on Thursday October 31 from 7:30-9 pm. The contributors will read and sign the anthology. There will be snacks and BYOB.
Chantell and I will also be at the Houston Zombie Walk on October 29 which is a free outdoor event which raises money for students scholarships. We’ll be in costume and would love for you to join us.