Posts Tagged ‘Dark Romance’

And so, Monday’s email from Editor Dickon Springate: Find attached an advanced Word Doc version of the finished anthology, which I am now sending out to all contributing authors for their final last minute edits and approval.

Please review the attached version and reply with any comments or last minute corrections or your story.

The plan is to get this to the printers as soon as possible in the new year, so while I hate to put you on the clock after such a horrendously long wait, but in order to have a chance to hit the revised deadline any adjustments arriving to me after Saturday 2nd January cannot be guaranteed to go into the finished article.

The book is DISCORDANT LOVE BEYOND DEATH and my story “The Sending” (see November 15, et al.), originally in ALFRED HITCHCOCK’S MYSTERY MAGAZINE for December 1997, as well as reprinted in my 2001 collection, STRANGE MISTRESSES: TALES OF WONDER AND ROMANCE. The story tells of the love of a woman for a lighthouse keeper, but with an obstacle. The lighthouse keeper has been deceased for about a century.

But not to worry, enter some 1930s, early-Depression era gangsters and the woman could join him sooner than she might have planned. But she does have the gift, an ability to communicate beyond the grave (as she’s been doing now), and maybe a few other things going for her. In any event, “The Sending” is one of a number of stories of loves with bit of a dark edge to them and, my okay having gone back later this afternoon, the somewhat-delayed DISCORDANT LOVE should be on track to be out on Valentine’s Day 2021.

More here as it becomes revealed.

This one’s almost a mystery. Last heard from a year ago in fall (see September 30 2019, et al.), the book’s full title would be DISCORDANT LOVE BEYOND DEATH, from Beyond Death Publishing. My tale within, one from ALFRED HITCHCOCK’S MYSTERY MAGAZINE in 1997, was “The Sending,” of lighthouses, ghost keepers, and soon-to-be lovers at the beginning of the Great Depression.

Kickstarters were started, bookplates for authors to autograph were mailed around, and . . . pfft! It was gone.

But then in today’s email, the following missive from was-to-be Editor/Publisher Dickon Springate: For BDP, its writers and editors, it is fair to say that things haven’t gone according to plan, and deadlines and been revised and then re-revised, with only minimal progress to show for the passing of time.

The decision was made a few hours ago, that come hell or high water, the anthology needed to be published, and with it being a book about love, the most fitting day for the release date would be: 14th February 2021.

So . . . maybe? Of course, those of us who have been in real discordant loves in the past know all about promises, but we’ll see.

We’ll see.

The ad just sneaked into my email today, from Petulant Child Press.

Halloween is Upon Us

Who doesn’t like a scary story, especially around Halloween?

For a limited time, Petulant Child Press has 12 unique horror anthologies for your Kindle on sale for ONLY 99c!

It goes on to say if you’re a Kindle Unlimited member you can get all twelve for free, but the one that interests us here is number six, titled in full, MON COEUR MORT: MY DEAD HEART (POST MORTEM PRESS: THE EARLY YEARS BOOK 6). Twenty-seven international authors bring us tales that range from humorous to horrifying, lyrical to lurid, touching to terrorizing. Regardless of tone, they all have one thing in common, they deal with the theme of otherworldly fear associated with love. In MON COEUR MORT the vampires do not sparkle and the werewolves wear shirts in public.

My tale in this is “A Cup Full of Tears,” of sweet lesbian vampire love and the need at times for it to be refreshed. But wait a minute, might there be something familiar in this, the book that is, not only the story? Let us hark back to an earlier post, on August 21 this year, “One By Me In Post Mortem Press The Early Years Offer,” about a super-reprint anthology combining the seven earliest Post Mortem Press books together, itself to be called UNKNOWN PLEASURES, and it to be just the first volume. But there was a hitch, as noted on August 25, “Unknown Pleasures, Mon Coeur Mort Re-Edition Cancelled,” having to do with contract difficulties. And that, seemingly, was that.

So this the next chapter, that apparently the book(s) can be published, or rather re-published (an out, incidentally, I’d surmised when I had re-read my own contract) simply as a series of second editions of the separate circa 2010 anthologies, dated this time (at least for MON COEUR MORT) September 15 2020. And so the saga of Asenath and Carmilla, much like the ladies in question themselves, would appear to live on.

And the bottom line then: If you’d like to check the “new” MON COEUR MORT out for yourself, with my story “A Cup Full of Tears,” you can find it here; or if you’d prefer a glance at the whole list, the place is here.

And here it is (cf. September 21)! My poem, “The Birdcatchers,” originally published — well, that info all appears under the poem — is now available to Horror Writers Association members in the just-published October NEWSLETTER. This is the monster (well, size that is) Halloween issue and I and it appear sixth of twelve poets in the “Gallery of Poetry,” way, way down toward the end of the contents.

So for those who’re not members — or just over anxious — please enjoy it here too as a lagniappe:


They come from the plains outside the city
with cages and baskets,
a flurry of screeching,
to show off their wares.

These are the birds they have snared at first morning,
when dew is heavy:
the merlins, the windhovers, juggers and owls,
blue-and-white taloned birds, birds without feathers,
— all scales and sharpness —
the carrion eaters.
Birds of the night.

These are bought by the city’s young women
because, it is said, they make excellent pets.
Because, it is said, they crave only spun sugar,
molded in spheres,
to the shape of the eyes of one faithless in love.

[First published in The Tome, Summer 1992. It also appears as part of the story, “The Birdcatchers,” in my 2013 collection The Tears of Isis, as well as in my all-poetry Vamps (A Retrospective).]

A super short note.  Word came to me last night that the UNKNOWN PLEASURES Post Mortem Press mega-anthology, including its reprint of MON COUER MORT with my “A Cup Full of Tears” (see August 21), has been cancelled due to contract problems.  So that’s hardly the first time a publication has been withdrawn, or cancelled, or pulled from circulation, but for something already up on Amazon it may be a record.  Or at least for something with work by me in it.

So easy come, easy go, eh?

Nothing is scarier than the UNKNOWN, except maybe the PLEASURE.  80+ tales of ghosts, zombies, haunted houses, ghouls, mysterious strangers and more.  (Amazon blurb)

Quoth the ad in Friday’s email:  UNKNOWN PLEASURES:  POST MORTEM PRESS THE EARLY YEARS/  Available NOW!  Only 99c or with Kindle Unlimited/  Over 80 original terror-filled tales!  UNKNOWN PLEASURE combines SEVEN volumes of spine-tingling stories from known and emerging authors.  Across nearly 1500 pages you’ll find ghosts, ghouls, zombies, haunted houses, giant rats, mysterious strangers, and much much more./  Bloodcurdling nightmare-inducing tales to keep you up at night!

And so it continues.  In late 2010 Post Mortem Press entered the small press community with a mind-blowing series of horror anthologies.  Over the course of THIRTEEN classic anthologies, Post Mortem Press introduced the world to some of the most talented authors that were unknown to the reading public, and, [f]or the FIRST time Post Mortem Press and Petulant Child Press have combined the first SEVEN anthologies into a single volume.

The anthologies themselves are, well, the list can be seen for oneself on Amazon’s site by pressing here.  But one seemed familiar, MON COEUR MORT, number six on the list and with, yes, a story by me.  A tale of lesbian (well, okay) vampire lust titled “A Cup Full of Tears,” perhaps reprinted a couple of times since, but here for the first time.  A short one too, though, out of all these pages totaling only about 1000 words.  But by gosh there it is!

And, if that weren’t enough, there’s an alternative title:  POST MORTEM PRESS THE EARLY YEARS BOOK 1.  That is, there’ll be more.

One of the effects of the coronavirus seems to be a slowing down of the publishing industry.  Or so it seems here — a personal observation at least, on a blog that has to do with story and poetry acceptances, signing contracts, editing, books and magazines going on sale.  Of course, sometimes there’s a rhythm as well, as has been the previous month too, one week packed with action almost every day, another with two or three entries at most.  Or maybe just one or two.  That is, usually I try to get at least two or three entries posted a week, but the action has been a bit slower now and now it’s been a whole week or thereabouts with nothing new.

But serendipity does still exist.  Perhaps part of the problem is, with the virus “lockdown” impinging on some of my activities too, that I’ve not been able to cruise about the internet as much searching for the occasional tidbit when nothing else seems to be going.  But this week is different — actually it was a day or two ago but as it happens I ran across some reviews on Goodreads of BURNING LOVE AND BLEEDING HEARTS, published just prior to Valentine’s Day (cf. February 12, et al.), one of which mentions, as one of the reviewer’s favorite stories, “the lesbian vampire convent girls.”  Say what?

This is the Australian anthology that has profits earmarked for the Red Cross there and relief for the bush fires the previous winter — reason enough, perhaps, to give a look.  And the story is “A Saint Valentine’s Day Tale,” third in the contents, of the New Orleanian vampiress Claudette, the joker among les filles à les caissettes, the “casket girls,” who arrived from France in 1728 and, yes, were housed in an Ursuline convent until they were married.  And also perhaps not precisely lesbian, but were bi, pleased by their husbands as well as their fellow filles.  Except Claudette’s husband occasionally beat her.

And there you have it. The review, by “Mir,” with others can be found by pressing here and scrolling down, with links for possible purchase of the book there as well.

We’re speaking of visual beauty here, as the author explains:  As humans, we are predisposed to crave beauty in our lives — you know, even in the most dire of circumstances, we seek out spring flowers, blue skies, a dazzling smile.  When it comes to film, visual excellence can enhance the story in ways we, as an audience, might not even notice upon first watch.  The lighting may shift towards a darker color palette as the plot thickens.  The fabrics and dress style of our heroine may indicate something about her character.  And then sometimes the camera is fully focused on Harley Quinn’s breakfast sandwich cooking on a bodega griddle and it’s just gorgeous.  We can’t explain why, but it is.  But all of these elements combine to take us out of the real world.  And in this real world of coronavirus and global pandemic — from which any of us may crave a brief respite — the author adds that any and all of these may be streamed on the device of your choice right now.

The article is “In Pursuit of Visual Escapism:  8 Beautifully Designed Films to Watch Now” by Christina Orlando via TOR.COM, and I haven’t seen the “Harley Quinn” movie, but she does mention a few that I have.  First off, for instance, Guillermo del Toro’s CRIMSON PEAK (which I, with DVDs I can watch too, just took off the stack for a possible re-screening tonight) as well as PAN’S LABYRINTH at number seven, combined with Jim Jarmusch’s ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE (cf. June 26 2014) in number four spot.  So one of these, already, is about vampires, to which is added (and which I may re-watch tonight instead) BYZANTIUM at number 3.  And then there are four more, including BLADE RUNNER 2049, which from their descriptions I think I may want to add to my collection.

To see more, press here.

Essayists again predominated, at least among the featured readers at this afternoon’s Bloomington Writers Guild “First Sunday Prose Reading and Open Mic” (see February 2, et al.) at Bear’s Place.  First up was Zilia Balkansky-Sellés with two pieces, the first with a folkloristic bent on “The Problem With Joseph Campbell and the Hero’s Journey reframed as STAR WARS” and the second a personal memory of “The Terrible Shining Day” of her mother’s death, and was followed by Writers Guild Chair Joan Hawkins with “God and Joe DiMaggio,” a “creative memoir” of the death of Marilyn Monroe as seen through the eyes of a nine-year-old girl and (accompanying her mother) habitué of Ruby’s, a working-class San Francisco beauty salon.  This was followed by four — or actually five, the last an a cappella performance of two songs — open mike readers, of which I was second with a reprise of the recently re-published (cf. February 25, et al.) “A Cup Full of Tears,” a Valentine’s Day and/or Mardi Gras celebration of lesbian vampirism and love.


This will be another quickie report, that BURNING LOVE AND BLEEDING HEARTS (see February 5, January 20) is now available in paperback format. To let Amazon tell it:  Britain’s most respected living horror writer Ramsey Campbell has said of this magazine-sized charity book of short stories:- “A fine anthology for a fine cause.  Invest your imagination in it and you’ll be investing in the world as well.”  BURNING LOVE AND BLEEDING HEARTS is a collection of dark Valentine’s Day tales; a charity anthology to raise funds for the Australian bush-fire victims, and ALL sale proceeds will be donated to the Australian Red Cross.  For more information, including a list of all authors and titles, one need but press here.  (Or if preferred, the Kindle edition, to be released officially Friday for Valentine’s Day, is available for pre-order as well.)

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