Monday, June 3, 2013

A Samhain Gothic Horror Anthology - Don D'Auria "Biggest 'Ah-Ha!' Moments in Writing."

A Samhain Gothic Horror Anthology
By Don D’Auria

            When it comes to horror, I don’t discriminate—supernatural, psychological, Lovecraftian, werewolves, vampires, ghosts, splatter-punk, zombies, post-apocalyptic, slashers… They’re all horror, and I love them all.  And I strive to ensure that Samhain Horror reflects that diverse spectrum.

            But right now I have my eye specifically on gothic horror, for a very special project.  Gothic is one of the oldest forms of horror, going back to the 18th century and Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto, or maybe Matthew Lewis’s The Monk.  The stories of Edgar Allan Poe influenced generations of horror readers and authors.  And of course, Frankenstein and Dracula are part of any horror fan’s library.  Personally, as a child of the sixties, I grew up watching Hammer movies in the theaters and Dark Shadows on TV.

            Gothic horror itself can be broad and contain great variations.  It can be supernatural or not, historical or not, but it has to have that great atmosphere, the feelings of dread, decay and doom, the isolation and, of course, terror.

            Over the years I’ve been fortunate enough to edit some wonderful gothic novels in many forms.  Douglas Clegg’s Harrow House novels, for example, are prime gothic.  Brian Keene’s Urban Gothic took gothic themes and set them in the inner city.  Edward Lee brought his extreme twist to the aptly titled Flesh Gothic.  More recently, Jonathan Janz invited readers to see what was lurking in the tower of The Sorrows.

            But I feel like gothic horror has taken a backseat lately, eclipsed by other, flashier horror subgenres, such as zombies.  So I’d like to throw a spotlight into the shadows of gothic horror by announcing an exciting new project at Samhain Publishing—an anthology of original gothic horror novellas.  I’m issuing a call for submissions for this anthology, effective immediately and open until September 15, 2013  Submissions are open to all authors, either previously published by Samhain or aspiring to be published by us.  The novella can be historical or contemporary.  It can include ghosts, vampires, crazed maniacs, virtually anything you can think of.  But it must be gothic in feel and tone.  It must have that shadowy, oppressive, claustrophobic atmosphere.

            Submissions must be between 25,000 and 30,000 words.  I’ll select the best three or four novellas by October 15, 2013.  The individual novellas will be published as ebooks in spring 2014, and together in trade paperback approximately six months later.  It’s very important that anyone interested in submitting material check out the details here. And you can find our general submission guidelines here. 

            Rise to the challenge.  Join me in providing some gothic chills to hungry fans.  Open the door to that dank crypt.  And start writing!

Don D’Auria is an executive editor at Samhain Publishing, editing and directing their horror line.  He has worked in publishing for twenty-five years.  Before joining Samhain, he was an executive editor at Leisure Books, where he directed their horror line for fifteen years.  Born and raised in suburban New Jersey, he was the quintessential horror kid, growing up on a steady diet of TV’s Chiller Theater on Friday nights, Creature Features on Saturday nights, and horror novels and Famous Monsters magazine the rest of the time. After earning a master’s degree in English from Columbia University, he dove into publishing, where he’s been lucky enough to work in the genre he’s always loved. He has been privileged to work with wonderful authors, including Richard Laymon, Jack Ketchum, Ramsey Campbell, Graham Masterton, Douglas Clegg, John Everson, Stephen Laws, Edward Lee and Brian Keene, and is the recipient of an International Horror Guild Award for his contributions to the genre.

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