Joy of Discovery #6
When a manuscript came to us through our Indiegogo contest from J. Madison Davis, I was both surprised and delighted. Surprisedbecause I recognized the name and delighted because of who he was, a frequent charming visitor to Bloody Words with the Hammett Award people. He has published eight mystery novels, a Law and Order novel, seven non-fiction books and dozens of short stories and articles too numerous to count. His five-year term as world president of the International Association of Crime Writers concluded in 2013, and he currently serves as the North American president. And yet he was intrigued by the premise of nEvermore!and generous enough to donate to the cause with both his talent and his shekels. His winning short story “Dinner with Mamalou” made me laugh so hard tears were streaming down my face. I know this doesn’t sound like the morbidly depressed Edgar Allan Poe we all know and love but trust me, all the Poe-ish elements are there, along with a good dash of Southern hospitality gone very awry. His story adds an unexpected flash of humour to the heady mix of atmosphere and twisted view of the world ruled by forces way beyond our control.
For the book in Kindle format, click here
or in Canada, here
Print book in Canada September
Print book in US October
David McDonald hails from Melbourne, Australia. He tells us it was always the more Gothic aspect of Poe’s tales that appealed to him. His latest work, a book titled Backcountry , is a novelization of a major motion picture, and apparently if you read it, you will never go camping again! But he has written mostly stories, and it shows in the crisp writing, the firm grasp of story and the slow relentless pacing.
It was our joy to discover “Sympathetic Impulses” in the competition pile, which gave the anthology yet another take on Neo-Gothic. As I started reading I thought, ‘ahah, something historical. Middle Ages? Perhaps the Knights Templar?’ But I was soon disabused of this notion as it became more and more creepily apparent that we were in another region altogether. The core of the story is shrouded in mystery, yet it is not by any means something you might expect to read in Hitchcock Magazine or even a genre mystery anthology. You can only read it here, in nEvermore! Don’t miss it!
For the book version in Kindle format, click here
or in Canada, here
Joys of Discovery 4 — Robert Bose
“I grew up on a farm in southern Alberta,” says Robert Bose, “reading the Hardy Boys and making up stories that only entertained my mother, myself, and maybe my dog.” Robert is still at it, writing short stories, flash fiction and role playing games. He has been published before in an anthology of crime stories by Alberta writers which puts him squarely in the mystery side of our writing crew. Except… except…
Like their inspiration Poe himself, this group tends to genre-slide and Robert is no exception. His story in nEvermore!, called “Atargatis”, starts off with a dead body as good mysteries often do, but this is a natural death and the story rapidly sides into territory usually reserved for more fanciful fare. A key, an old book, a puzzle, an ancient object found in the sea, the tale winds in and out, threading legend, myth, and metamorphosis together into a fascinating story as the reader glimpses more and more about the real heiress of Ascalon and what has been hiding in the mist and foam of the sea that perhaps even she did not fully grasp. Until the end. What is the meaning of Atargatis? Buy the ebook, read the story and find out!
Find out more about Robert here: http://www.robertbose.com
Like many writers, Loren Rhoads started telling herself stories at an early age. If they wereanything like the ones I used to tell myself, she would be the star player in dark, dangerous and difficult tasks involving the saving of a group of friends, or perhaps repelling invading hordes from atop castle battlements. What matters now is that she is telling stories for us to read, some that might be called dark fantasy, and others she calls space opera. She also writes non-fiction, and like my co-editor, she loves cemeteries and even has written a book extolling their virtues called WISHhere YOU WERE HERE: ADVENTURES IN CEMETERY TRAVEL. What’s not to like?
Although we didn’t know any of this at the time, it’s little wonder that Loren’s story “The Drowning City” was chosen as one of our winners. I was predisposed to love it because it is set in Venice, but even that would not have been enough without the atmospheric writing, the haunting images, the sharp observations that come only from a writer being in a place and loving it. The story slowly seduces its readers, luring us in as smoothly as a gondola ride on a quiet canal after midnight. It is not a fright night sort of tale, with shocks and screams along the way. it is more of a clammy, chilling, shivery sort of tale that snakes its way along your nerves, keeping you guessing until the end. “The Drowning City” fits nicely into the macabre area ofnEvermore! Buy the e-book here and find out!
Loren’s web page and Blog
Next in the random list of winners of the nEvermore! competition comes Rick Chiantaretto from … well, somewhere in the darkest corner of the U.S.. Apparently, since I haven’t been able to dig up his whereabouts, he may be on America’s most wanted list. Or maybe he lives under a rock. But we don’t really care because we have his story, “Obsession with the Bloodstained Door” as a winner in our competition. Since he writes horror and dark fantasy, getting into a neo-gothic state of mind could not have been much of a stretch for him! His story proves it.
Apparently Rick was turned on to Poe by his grade eight teacher. Kudos to teachers everywhere who know when a student is ready for the real thing! The very title of Rick’s story screams Poe, whose dizzy waltz with obsession darkens much of his writing. What starts out here as a sunny childhood adventure, almost nostalgic in tone, grows darker and more intensely internal as the tale winds around, spiralling to its conclusion. Read it! You will be drawn into the obsession too!
Buy the ebook here nEvermore! tales of mystery, murder and the macabre
We all look forward to reading our favourite writer’s new book or story or interview. Editors of anthologies endlessly trumpet the Big Names they have coaxed to be in their latest works. These writers often have their Big Names writ large on the book covers, screaming aloud their greatness. And most of them deserve it. After all, we put them there by buying book after book after book.
But we can’t all be household names or appear year after year in the New York Times. There are only so many spaces in that list. And some of the most interesting writing these days will not be found there. These are the writers I want to shine the spotlight on here. These writers are the reason Nancy Kilpatrick and I decided to hold a contest for those we had not invited to nEvermore! After all, we don’t know everyone! And we wanted to see who might show up. We wanted to discover someone new, at least to us.
We announced that we would publish three of these stories but we were ambushed by the high calibre of most of the entries. Also we discovered that many invited authors were writing shorter then expected and we were delighted to have unexpected room to publish more.
So I would like to introduce to you the five winners of our contest. The writers who are not yet on that List we all talk so much about. We were surprised. I think you will be too. And now, in no particular order… 🙂
Jane comes from the mystery side of our motley crew and she lives in Toronto. Her first story won the Bony Pete Award at Bloody Words and she became addicted. Since then she has been in several anthologies and was shortlisted again for the Bony Pete. She entered the nEvermore! contest with her story “The Inheritance” , a seemingly classic tale of a young woman inheriting a creaky old house which she knew as a child, but Jane gives it a Poe-ish twist, playing on themes that will be familiar to fans of the Master. She says she was inspired by her love of “The Raven”, which she read as a child. You will just have to read the story to find out how this works.
To meet Jane, check out her page on the Mesdames of Mayhem site: