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 email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org by September 11, 2017
Some of you might not know this, but I spend a lot of time coming up for a playlist for each novel. It could have been the beat, the title, lyrics, or just the way the song made me feel as I was writing ‘Everything That Counts’.
Granted some of them might not be my taste, but as a writer you have no control what’s going on in your head, nor what your characters like to listen to at a party. On the other hand I did majorly fall in love with Rivers Cuomo and Weezer. At this point I’ve listened to so much of their music for such an extended amount of time that I know all the lyrics to pretty much every song (well from before 2005). Needless to say I owe a huge thank you to Weezer who really helped shape Blake, when I first started writing him I couldn’t connect with him until I found a band that really encapsulated him. I thought, ‘What would a geek listen to?’ and I thought of Weezer first. After listening to their songs I noticed that their album ‘Make Believe’ really worked well with my story, and fatefully enough it was released in time to make sense for my novel which is set in 2004-2005. It’s almost as if they wanted to be included in Blake’s story…
Many of the songs are now eternally linked to a specific scene in the book i.e. whenever I hear ‘Milkshake’ by Kelis I think of a specific party that Blake attended. Ironically a pivotal point of the novel. Those songs are denoted with a (+).
Some songs are mentioned by a character, or referenced in the prose. Those songs are italicized. A few have a location real or ficitous- the geography is in (parenthesis like this).
I highly recommend you check out all the music that influenced ‘Everything That Counts’ which will be released in August, 2017. Stay tuned for more details.
‘Everything That Counts’ from award-winning author Melissa Algood
I’d been treating life like a chess game, forgetting to live in the moment when I had a chance. I had to change all that.
Blake Morgan is the biggest geek in all the graduating class of 2004, possibly in all of Annapolis, maybe even the entire world.
He decides that talking to a girl, doing something unexpected, getting something other than an A+, and do something brave during his senior year will make him into a whole other person. Maybe even cool.
Yet each time he checks something off the list he hurts the few people who love him just the way he is. A loser.
Is he able to repair the damage? Is changing who you are worth it? Can Blake be an astrophysicist and have a supermodel as a girlfriend?
He’s stupid enough to wreck his life, but is he smart enough to put it back together?
And now for the official playlist for ‘Everything That Counts’
Chapter 1-August 2003
Imitation of Life by R.E.M +
Caring is Creepy by The Shins
Green Grass of Tunnel by mum + (Magothy River)
For Nancy (‘Cos It Already Is)[Remastered] by Pete Yorn
Cause = Time by Broken Social Scene
What You Waiting For? By Gwen Stefani
The Way We Get By by Spoon
Strict Machine by Goldfarp +
Somewhere Only We Know by Keane + (a white oak in front of Blake’s house)
Chapter 2-September 2003
Are You Gonna Be My Girl by Jet +
Think I’m Paranoid by Garbage
Black Rooster by The Kills (Cape St. Claire High School)
We’re Going To Be Friends by The White Stripes+
Buddy Holly by Weezer +
Doin’ the Cockroach by Modest Mouse
Undone (The Sweater Song) by Weezer
Can’t Hold Us Down (feat. Lil’ Kim) by Christina Aguilera (Annapolis Mall
In Da Wind by Trick Daddy (Cape St. Claire High School)
Chapter 3- October 2003
A Lack of Color by Death Cab for Cutie
If You Find Yourself Caught In Love by Belle and Sebastian
Here I Dreamt I was an Architect by The Decemberists
Do You Realize?? By The Flaming Lips
The Scientist (Live) by Aimee Mann +
Exit Music (For A Film) by Radiohead +
Clint Eastwood by Gorillaz (St. Margrets)
Upward Over the Mountain by Iron & Wine +
Chapter 4-November 2003
Roses by Outkast
Stronger by Britney Spears + (Zoe’s favorite song)
12:51 by The Strokes
Chapter 5-December 2003
Photobooth by Death Cab for Cutie +
Stay Together for The Kids by Blink-182
Hate It Here by Wilco +
Christmas All Over Again by Tom Petty & The Heatbreakers (Ego Alley)
A Perfect Sonnet by Bright Eyes + (Magothy River)
Swan Lake composed by Tchaikovsky
Pyramid Song by Radiohead
Radio Number 1 by Air
Mad World (feat. Gary Jules) by Michael Andrews +
Chapter 6- January 2004
Gretchen Ross by Michael Andrews + (Sophie)
#1 Crush by Garbage+
The Sweat Descends by Les Savy Fav
You Were Meant for Me by Jewel
Poupée de cire, poupée de son by France Gall (Lily)
Chapter 7- February 2004
Weak and Powerless by A Perfect Circle
Dark Moon, High Tide by Afro Celt Sound System
Hey Jupiter by Tori Amos +
2 + 2 = 5 by Radiohead
Teenage FBI by Guided By Voices
Chapter 8-March 2004
Come On Let’s Go by Broadcast +
Step to My Girl by Souls of Mischief
Change Your Mind by The Killers
Milkshake by Kelis +
Hate to Say I Told You So by The Hives
Porcelain by Moby
Save Me by Aimee Man (Sophie’s favorite song)
Get Over It by Ok Go
Chapter 9-April 2004
D.I.D.A.S. by Killer Mike & Big Boi
Star Guitar by The Chemical Brothers
The Way You Move (feat. Sleep Brown)[Club Mix] by Outkast
The Power Is On by The Go! Team
Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Pt. 1 by The Flaming Lips
She’s Got Issues by The Offspring
Maybe I’m Amazed by Paul McCartney +
No One Knows by Queens of the Stone Age
Lost Cause by Beck +
Just Because by Jane’s Addiction
Superstar by Sonic Youth
Chapter 10-May 2004
Can’t Get Used to Losing You by Andy Williams +
My Boo by Usher & Alicia Keys + (Downtown Annapolis)
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.
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.