SPRING IS IN THE AIR, AND YOU'RE RECEIVING THE LATEST ERIC J. GUIGNARD (AND DARK MOON BOOKS) NEWSLETTER!
April–June, 2021 edition
Welcome to newsletter e-issue #4! I originally planned to put these out monthly, and then it went to bi-monthly, but now I’m satisfied to publish at a relaxed quarterly pace, so with this issue I will have completed a one-year cycle. I figure, no need for more or to fill up your inboxes unnecessarily, although I claim that right for some future heart-palpitating special announcement!
Anyway, the last three months have been productive, busy. Never enough time and all. Young kids still in school (finishing up via distance learning) and life responsibilities, but I enjoy working on my writing and publishing projects every spare moment. In sum: "I work. I live. I read."
Lately I’ve been asked to participate in several interviews. So for more about my writing processes, upbringing, state of the genre, work, and more, check out these most recent two that are online, per below:
LITERARY RETREAT, conducted by Nisar Sufi, who anointed the crowning upon me for “Editor of the Month”!, March, 2021: https://www.literaryretreat.com/editor-of-the-month-march-2021-eric-j-guignard/
I hope warming weather and Spring bloom finds all of you well. As always if you (dear subscriber) have any comments or feedback, or otherwise just wish to say hi, please do so. I’m at: email@example.com. Thanks for subscribing!
UPDATE FOR +HORROR LIBRARY+, AND SUBMISSIONS TO OPEN SOON!
In February, 2021, I bought out and took over the +HORROR LIBRARY+ anthology series, positioning Dark Moon Books as the new publisher and myself, Eric J. Guignard, as the permanent series editor!!!
I’ve spent an immense amount of time since then rebranding the image, recreating the past volumes to give them a consistent look, both in interior and in cover, and relisting out-of-print titles. It’s a long process, and I’m still not quite completed, but everything should be finished and up-and-running on e-commerce sites within another six weeks. After that, I will be OPENING UP SUBMISSIONS FOR A NEW VOLUME: +Horror Library+ Volume 7!
A brief history of the series:
The Horror Library series began in 2005, and since has published six volumes, plus a “Best Of” comp. These anthology books have been a home for non-themed short works of horror & dark fantasy for both new and established authors. Past contributors have included such notables as Bentley Little (a regular contributor), Jeffrey Ford, Kealan Patrick Burke, Jeff Strand, Ray Garton, Tim Waggoner, Lisa Morton, et al. My own induction into the series was as guest editor for Volume 6, and as an author before that for Volume 5 and the “Best of”.
Future vision for the series:
I’ll be molding Vol. 7 and future volumes to be in line with the hallmarks of anthology series that influenced my own dark reading tastes, such as Borderlands (ed. Thomas Monteleone); Shadows (ed. Charles Grant); Whispers (ed. Stuart David Schiff); Masques (ed. J.N. Williamson), etc., not to mention the general tone and thoughtful, literary styles found in current and ongoing annual editions of “BEST OF HORROR” series by editors such as Ellen Datlow, Paula Guran, and Stephen Jones.
I have not announced/ revealed this publicly yet, but for you, dear subscriber, I will share the absolutely STUNNING cover development for the upcoming Volume 7!
More announcements on the series’ development as they occur!
THE PARASITE AND OTHER TALES OF TERROR JUST RELEASED!
The sixth volume of the HAUNTED LIBRARY OF HORROR CLASSICS series that I edit with Leslie S. Klinger just released through SourceBooks! The Parasite and Other Tales of Terror by Arthur Conan Doyle (with introduction by Daniel Stashower).
I’m incredibly proud to be running this series with Leslie (and with assistance of Lisa Morton), revamping old horror classics and adding in ancillary material and stunning covers, and then donating all royalties to the writers’ hardship and scholarship funds (as well as receiving my first review in the NY Times!).
Here’s what this series is all about:
The Horror Writers Association (HWA) and Poisoned Pen Press, an imprint of SourceBooks, present the Haunted Library of Horror Classics, a line of reissued classic horror literature books from over the past 250 years. These books are recognized as literary masterpieces of their era that are either remembered today only through distorted theatrical or movie versions, or have been relegated to academic study, or have otherwise been nearly forgotten entirely.
Series editors Eric J. Guignard and Leslie S. Klinger now bring back these seminal titles of the genre, making them easily available to modern readers!
The Haunted Library of Horror Classics editions are available as quality trade paperbacks and ebooks, carefully curated to follow the definitive text of the original publications, while being presented at reasonable prices for a mass market.
Each volume of this series also includes:
• introduction by a renowned contemporary horror writer, editor, or scholar
• annotations and/or endnotes to define or give context to obscure words and phrases
• a teacher’s guide of discussion questions for classroom use
• a list of similar titles for suggested further reading
And here’s a few on the MANY reviews coming in for this series:
“...favorite fiction to transport readers out of the terrors of the present and thrust back in time.” —NY Times
“Fans of literate horror… will be gratified.” —Publishers Weekly
“Like many Victorian-era gothic tales, these books will appeal to a wide range of readers… ensuring crowdpleasers from the past will continue to strike fear in the hearts and minds of 21st-century readers.” —Library Journal
UPDATE FROM PROFESSOR CHARLATAN BARDOT AND HIS TRAVEL ANTHOLOGY
For those who may not be aware, the gifted illustrator who was partnered with me on this anthology project tragically passed away from COVID on March 23, 2021. Artist Steve Lines’s work was incredible. I absolutely loved his pointillism style and careful depth and lush backgrounds. He illustrated two books prior for me, and we were working on this one until his hospitalization. He will be missed very much... His online gallery is here: http://www.rainfallsite.com/RainArtHome.html
In better news, I was very fortunate to contract with a second illustrator to take over, who was a friend and peer of Steve’s and someone else whose stunning work I am in awe over. Additionally he illustrates in a similar style, which is ideal in terms of continuity for this anthology. Check out the work of English artist Jim Pitts!: https://vaultofevil.proboards.com/thread/6710/fantastical-pitts-rolling-back-years
So, in sum, this anthology moves ahead as follows!
Although the schedule has been pushed back about 6–9 months due to Steve's passing, the greatest and most complete travel anthology of (fictional) haunted buildings in the world is moving along! Edited by Charlatan Bardot and myself, Eric J. Guignard, this book is a travel anthology of fiction short stories about haunted buildings (excluding houses) around the globe.
To be released in 2022 as: PROFESSOR CHARLATAN BARDOT’S TRAVEL ANTHOLOGY TO THE MOST (FICTIONAL) HAUNTED BUILDINGS IN THE WEIRD, WILD WORLD (2022 edition)
This anthology is going to be EPIC!! This is planned to be the largest and most far-reaching travel anthology ever created of fictional buildings around the world. Including 27 short stories and 36 tiny tales, this "reading immersion" will explore the mythology, intrigue, beauty, and terror of buildings and other manufactured structures across the globe that have come to be haunted in some way. Diverse voices and diverse building types will be featured, along with stunning illustrations, notes, and maps of the geographic locales, all driven to expand the notion that houses are not the only type of building to suffer the effects of supernatural (or other means of) haunting.
I’ve never been so excited to publish something as this masterpiece. Updates will be posted as they occur on publisher Dark Moon Books webpage: http://www.darkmoonbooks.com/Books.html
EXPLORING DARK SHORT FICTION PRIMER SERIES
I JUST WRAPPED UP THE LATEST PRIMER BOOK! Finished and turned in #6: A Primer to Ramsey Campbell. I absolutely cannot wait to see this one in production (coming September, 2021). I’ve already begun working on volume #7 and will announce its subject author very soon (hint: she's from the Great White North!)!
This Primer Series, Exploring Dark Short Fiction, is an exploration of modern masters of literary short fiction, where horror is celebrated as literary, beautiful, and emotionally-resonant.
Cited as “visionary,” this series of Primers include short stories, along with light analysis, of progressive and outstanding authors around the world. The darker genres of fiction offer some of the most exciting and contemplative works in the world, and EXPLORING DARK SHORT FICTION seeks to promote them.
Each of these little primers includes:
• 5 reprint short stories
• 1 original short story, written exclusively for the book
• Gorgeous illustrations by artist Michelle Prebich
• Academic commentary by Michael Arnzen, PhD
• Interview with Author
• 1 reprint essay by author
• Biography of Author
• Bibliography of Author
Here’s how this Primer series has been scheduled so far:
#1: A Primer to Steve Rasnic Tem (July, 2017)
#2: A Primer to Kaaron Warren (May, 2018)
#3: A Primer to Nisi Shawl (December, 2018)
#4: A Primer to Jeffrey Ford (September, 2019)
#5: A Primer to Han Song (September, 2020)
#6: A Primer to Ramsey Campbell (September, 2021)
#7: A Primer to TBA (est. 2022)
#8: A Primer to TBA (est. 2022)
#9: A Primer to TBA (est. 2023)
Praise for the Exploring Dark Short Fiction series:
“A fascinating study for fans seeking new reads and for librarians developing wide-ranging collections.” —Library Journal
“Refreshing and much-needed... Addresses significant themes and figures within the horror field.” —Locus Magazine
“Dark and exquisite... Wonderful exposition about each of the stories, allowing the reader to immerse further into the meanings behind each tale, and connect with the authors.” —The Big Thrill Magazine
More about the Primer series is here: www.darkmoonbooks.com/primers.html
MY NOVEL, DOORWAYS TO THE DEADEYE
My debut novel is still going strong! Available in Paperback and e-book through Amazon, B&N, IndieBound, and elsewhere.
I’ve been publishing short stories for about ten years, and truly love that format. But I’m also still particularly proud to have completed and published my first full-length novel, which released July, 2019. In between my other writing engagements, I’ve since started FOUR new novels, although I'm not very far into any of them! One is a pulp science fiction, one a paranormal detective series, one a literary historical horror, and one a cosmic slipstream time-travel.
Here’s what Doorways to the Deadeye is about:
Luke Thacker is a drifting hobo in Depression-era America, riding the rails of the nation and surviving by crumbs and hope. Along the way he learns the iconography of transients—the Hobo Code—better than anyone else and deciphers a secret that thrusts him into Athanasia, the middle ground of memories.
He learns that Athanasia exists around us, a realm in which the deceased persevere by how they are remembered, and the memories Luke meets will do anything to not ever be forgotten, whether by trickery, violence, or daring.
Luke learns, too, that what’s remembered yesterday is not always the same as what will be remembered tomorrow, and he sets off to keep alive the memories of those he loves in the way a ’bo does best: telling tales of old legends, and making up new ones alike.
Fifty years later, the tall crossbucks of Luke Thacker are repeated by homeless King Shaw, who’s struggling to keep Luke’s own legend alive and with it, perhaps, his own.
’Cause it don’t matter if you rob banks with a dead John Dillinger, are hunted over the years by vengeful Earp brothers, or go against the monstrous railroad guard, Smith McCain: When a story is told, all who are part of it become a little stronger.
WHAT I’M WRITING
Okay, I normally wouldn’t do this, as it’s the sort of writer’s jinx that immediately snuffs out any chance of such a goal being realized, BUT! I wrote about this on social media about six months ago, when it occurred, and since then the idea has been percolating in my mind, so I’m going to own it.
One night—the early hours of 2–4 a.m. on October 13, 2020—I dreamt out the entire plot of a multi-narrative novel. This came out of the blue, and the product of a bout of insomnia, the restless, sweating, waking-and-dozing, muttering (not to mention tossing and turning and huffing and puffing) restlessness I suffer too frequently.
A novel of cosmic slipstream time-travel: To be a 5-part story about a 1930s gang who rob banks, then get their faces removed by vengeful witchcraft, to become living skulls; then, to escape an ensuing posse, they discover a means to travel across time and dimensions, having profound adventures in other eras, while searching for their humanity and faces.
Titled: THE SKULL-FACED GANG
After my dream, I didn’t think I’d actually write it, but last month I came to the decision that I’m a-gonna do it! So let it be known, I followed through and began this work. After about a month, I’m roughly 10% complete, based on this outline:
ONE: DODGE CITY, KANSAS (1933)
TWO: DODGE CITY, KANSAS (1879)
THREE: HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA (2038)
FOUR: NORTH AMERICAN SECTOR 5D (4217)
FIVE: COSMOS (ETERNITY)
NEWEST SHORT STORY ACCEPTANCES
I’ve been fortunate to sell several short stories these past six months, all at minimum professional rates or higher, being 5–8 cents per word. Looking back and itemizing these stories, I’ve averaged one new sale a month, which I’m happy with, as I’ve spent much of my writing time working on the editing/ layout/ publishing front of other books.
I’m sensitive to publishers being able to make the acquisition announcement first, so I won’t name the publication unless they have already announced it. But here’s the latest!
“A Stroke of Death” (7,266 words), sold 5/10/2021. Publisher to make announcement soon with details!
“Incident at the Red Hawk Road Stop” (7,162 words), sold 5/2/2021 to Curious Blue Press for the new anthology DECEMBER TALES, edited by Wall Street Journal-bestselling author J. D. Horn.
“Two Hearts Make a Half; or, Ghosts of a Rodeo Clown” (4,018 words), sold 3/1/2021 to Brigids Gate Press for its inaugural anthology WERE TALES: A Shapeshifter Anthology, edited by S.D. Vassallo.
“Graduation Day” (629 words), sold 12/10/2020. Publisher to make announcement soon with details!
“Herein, the Dusk of Time Which Awaits Us All: An Account of the Astral-Afterlife” (3,724 words), sold 11/21/2020 to Cemetery Gates Media for their new anthology Paranormal Contact: A Quiet Horror Confessional, edited by Joe Sullivan and John Brhel.
“Ommetaphobia” (2,829 words), sold 11/8/2020 to Boneyard Soup Magazine for their April, 2021 issue, edited by T.L. Spezia.
WHAT I’M READING . . .
Novel I’m reading now: The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones (More here: Amazon)
Short stories I’m reading now: What the #@&% Is That?, edited by John Joseph Adams (anthology) (More here: Amazon)
Audiobook I’m listening to now: If It Bleeds by Stephen King (More here: Amazon)
What my 12-year-old son is reading now: A Treasury of Swashbuckling Adventures, edited by Stefan Dziemianowicz (anthology (More here: Amazon)
What my 7-year-old daughter is reading now: Junie B. Jones Has a Peep in Her Pocket (#15 in the Junie series) by Barbara Park (More here: Amazon)
Thanks for reading all this and (hopefully) for your interest and/or support of any of my projects!
Also, in closing, please remember to leave a book review on Amazon.com for anything of mine (or any other author) that you’ve read and enjoyed. It’s a dreadful commentary that the worth of indie authors is measured by online 5-star reviews, but such is the state of current commerce.
Eric J. Guignard is a writer and anthologist of dark and speculative fiction, operating from the shadowy outskirts of Los Angeles, where he also runs the small press Dark Moon Books. He’s twice won the Bram Stoker Award, been a finalist for the International Thriller Writers Award, and a multi-nominee of the Pushcart Prize. His latest books are his novel Doorways to the Deadeye and short story collection That Which Grows Wild (Cemetery Dance). Visit Eric at: www.ericjguignard.com, his blog: ericjguignard.blogspot.com, or Twitter: @ericjguignard.
Interested in previous editions of this newsletter? Here they are!