In writing, as in any other field, it’s fun to tally up “firsts.” First published story. First published poem. First story in an anthology, in a magazine, in a webzine. First international sale. Etc. I’ve been at this long enough and fortunate enough to have all of those happen. Now comes a new one.
I’m pleased to announce that my story, “Appearances”, is included in the premiere issue of Aghast: A Journal of the Darkly Fantastic. The magazine is edited and illustrated by George Cotronis and published by Kraken Press. It’s the first time I’ve been part of the launch of a new publication.
George’s tastes in horror are, not surprisingly, similar to mine. When launching the Kickstarter campaign that provided the funding for this project, he wrote:
Somewhere along the way, my tastes had changed. I’m not really into violent media any more, serial killers don’t work for me as boogeymen and graphic descriptions of murder might just make me ditch a book. On the other hand, my dislike for fantasy fiction has abated once I discovered things other than Tolkien pastiches.
He lists Graham Joyce, Norman Partridge, Holly Black, and Lucius Shepard as some of his favorite authors and likes Guillermo del Toro for his films, particularly The Devil’s Backbone. He cites Shimmer and the (regrettably departed) Shadows & Tall Trees as publications similar to what he wants Aghast to be. Given all that, I’d be happily signing up for the reading alone. Now I have a story that’s part of the maiden voyage alongside work by Tim Waggoner, Gemma Files, Jeff Strand, and others.
“Appearances” is another of my ghostly tales. It’s about family and grief and love and was inspired by a strange phenomenon in the 200 year old manse I currently live in with my family. Saying more would be saying too much.
Aghast: A Journal of the Darkly Fantastic is currently available on Amazon for Kindle devices and reader apps. It will be available in a glorious print edition very soon. I’ll post details here when I have them. A hearty thank you to George Cotronis for including me in the premiere of his labor of love. May Aghast have a long, wonderful run and always bring more joy than heartache to its creator.