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Video Refresh: William Cook Interview

This is a quick video refresh of our previous interview ‘The Horror Tree Presents… An Interview With William Cook’. Cook is happy to share what inspires him to write and how he tackles his creations. If you’re interested in learning more, be sure to check out our full interview by Ruschelle Dillon which is linked too at the bottom of this post!

After watching the video, please like, share, and subscribe to our channel!

This is a new format that we’re playing around with for articles, interviews, and potentially Trembling With Fear. Please let us know if this is something that you’d like to see more of!

You can read the full interview here: https://horrortree.com/horror-tree-presentsan-interview-william-cook/.

The Horror Tree Presents…An Interview with William Cook

Meet William Cook: Horror writer, poet, dad, delver into the darkest of minds and ghost lover (her name is Gladys). READ ON!

Ruschelle: William, as a horror writer, I’m glad to see you prepared for our interview. You look good in a top hat and apron stained with blood and entrails.

Speaking of blood and entrails, your stories are not for the squeamish. And that’s just what many readers of the serial killer genre love.  What kind of research have you done to create your characters? Did you study specific serial killers from history?

William: There aren’t any particular serial killer cases that inform my stories and I tend to research as much about abnormal psychology as I do about serial killers (in general) and their methods and characteristics. I read both fiction and non-fictional accounts involving serial killer and watch documentaries in order to get a grasp of the psychological aspects of these freaks. I have a large collection of old Detective magazines that are very lurid and descriptive and these provide great fodder for researching crime and criminals. These are the same types of magazines that many of the serial killers from the 70s to the 90s used to read.

Ruschelle: What’s your literary “body count?”

William: Far too many to count although I feel quite happy that my count is only a figurative one and not literal. At least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it! (winks)

Ruschelle: You’re also an artist. Your pieces reek of brutality and dark, sinister entities. My favorite piece is a black and white illustration of a clownferatu. (My name for it) It speaks to me. But I don’t want to go to jail- so I don’t listen. When working with your artwork does your writing inspire your pieces OR do you pull inspiration from what you write- from your art?

William: The piece in question was inspired by none other than Mr. Stephen King’s ‘PennyWise the Clown’ from IT. So in that regard my inspiration came from sources other than my own imagination – all I did was reinterpret it with my own skill-set and materials at hand (charcoal and paper). Usually most of my artworks stem from an interest in a particular subject and are influenced by both visual and textual works. Sometimes, as a happy coincidence, a story or an illustration I have created will inspire a companion piece to go with it.

Ruschelle: Do you have a favorite piece? What is it?

William: I don’t really have a favorite. I get a bigger kick out of other people enjoying them, rather than having a favorite. As soon as they’re done I tend to distance myself from them and move on to the next one. You can see most of the ones I rate as worth public viewing here on Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/thewilliamcook/

Ruschelle: Fun question- Speaking of Clowns, they’re hot right now thanks to the remake of Stephen King’s It and Twisty the Clown from AHS.  If you could be any killer clown for a day (and I can’t prove you aren’t now but if I find out you are- I won’t tell), which do you identify with and why?  GO.

William: Mmmmmm –killer clowns crack me up as I don’t find them particularly scary. In fact, I find them quite comical. Perhaps the scariest one for me was a real one – the serial killer John Wayne Gacy’s alter-ego, ‘Pogo.’ As far as fictional ones I guess that King’s ‘Pennywise’ rates well for me as I have been involved with this one since reading IT many years ago.

Ruschelle: You’re more recent art work makes use of computer images along with more traditional mediums. What prompted you to take a modern tech approach to your art?

William: I bought Photoshop and loved the freedom that resulted – you can create so much more digitally than with traditional mediums (in my opinion) and it’s so much cleaner e.g. no cleanup, messy brushes and paint etc.

Ruschelle: You’ve recently completed your Master’s thesis, on serial killers no less, which leaves you more time to focus on fiction writing again.  Even though you’ve covered serial killers in your book ‘Blood Related’ did your extended research help you gain any new insight into the deviation?

William: No, not really. I’m not proud to say but my knowledge of these abhorrent humans is quite extensive and was firmly in place before writing my thesis, which incidentally only touches on fictional serial killers.

Ruschelle: Jason from Friday the 13th or Michael Meyers from Halloween?

William: I am a big Halloween fan – especially the original series of films starring Jamie lee Curtis and Donald Pleasance. One of the best slasher franchises in my opinion. In saying that I did enjoy Rob Zombie’s reinterpretations.

Ruschelle: Good answer! Michael Meyers is my favorite scamp too.  Let’s see, you have written the novel; Blood Related and short story collection; Dreams of Thanatos. You have even penned books of poetry; Corpus Delicti and Moment of Freedom.  You’ve proven you are a man who can adapt his writing to different styles. But we all have that “favorite child” that we continue to nurture and dote on. Even though we don’t always want to admit it. For example, you have 4 lovely daughters. I promise I won’t tell them which one of them is your favorite child (LOL) …..but of your writing, what’s your preference?

William: Tough question as my answer tends to fluctuate depending on my mood. When I’m in a dark mood I write the dark stuff – Horror and psychological thrillers – perhaps as a form of catharsis. When I’m pensive I tend to write poetry as it serves as a great medium to philosophize and wax lyrically. And when I’m upbeat and positive I tend to lean towards non-fiction as I find it comes easier to me in that frame of mind than at other times. Despite the changeable preferences I’m never far away from my first love – scary stories, and will probably die still penning things that go ‘bump in the night!

Ruschelle: Have any of your girls been bitten by dad’s writing bug?

William: Yes! Both my little girls, Sienna (9) and Leila (7) are keen story-tellers and have written enough each to fill a small book. I am planning on helping them self-publish their work in the school holidays.

Ruschelle: Did you sprinkle any of yourself in Blood Related? The upright, family man Detective Ray Truman or one of the Cunningham brothers who are depraved serial killers? Isn’t there a little bit of ourselves in the stories we write?

William: For sure. I think any fictional work has some element of truth in it that stems from the author’s own experience/s of life. In my case, writing about taboo subjects is my vent – that is, rather than doing these horrible things in real life, I write about them and that seems to satisfy the demons that lurk in the dark realms of my brain. The same, of course, applies to the heroic actions of my ‘good’ characters – in essence, yes, I live vicariously through my stories and characters.

Ruschelle: You hail from New Zealand. Is there any ‘lore’ or hauntings in your country that has intrigued you and have squirmed their way into your stories or art?

William: New Zealand is a very new country in the whole scheme of things – colonial settlement is less than 200 years old and the indigenous peoples (the Maori and the Mori Ori) have their own cultural legends and myths dating back approximately 500 years before that when they first occupied the land. So in this respect there are two main threads of myth and legend where tales of ghosts and lore originate in New Zealand. There seems to be only a few tales that really stand out, but we do have a bloody colonial and pre-colonial history that is ripe for turning into some solid horror fiction, which I plan to do at some point.

Ruschelle: Many new writers out there would love to know your writing “routine” or ritual. It may inspire them to try something new to spur on their own writing practice. Tell us a bit of your routine when preparing to write.

William: Unfortunately, my routine is that I don’t have a routine so I’m not the best person to ask about this subject. It is something I am trying to develop as I get older, but I tend to rely on the ‘muse’ and shape my stories in my head until I have enough to put down on paper. I make notes with pen and notebook first and create a basic outline with first paragraphs and go from there. I guess, my main routine for writing is to read as it will inspire me to create stories (usually).

Ruschelle: Would you rather be the first man to be probed by a brand new visiting alien species that no one has been probed by before OR would you rather be “romanced” by a 100 year old ghost named Gladys who read your last book and is now your number one fan? I’m really looking forward to your answer here….

William: Ummm – I try to avoid being ‘probed’ at all costs so I guess I’ll have to go with Gladys. She sounds like a nice ol’ gal. Ghost sex is nothing new to me (winks).

Ruschelle: Oooh we’ll save THAT for another interview! Heh heh. In addition to writing fiction you have also written non-fiction, ‘Secrets of Best-Selling Self-Published Authors’ being one of them. You’ve mentioned to me that you are now publishing your own books. Why did you decide to go that route?

William: Having gone down the traditional publishing route before with most of my main titles having been published by other publishers, I realized that I could do more effectively what they could not. Most small-medium publishing companies have little-to-no-time to promote their authors so the marketing always fell back to me anyway. Editorial decisions were sometimes dubious and destructive in terms of the intended effect of the book and took away any control. I had some good experiences with publishers such as Black Bed Sheet books but at the end of the day I realized that with my publishing and marketing background I could get my books ranking higher if I had control over the ‘dashboard’ end of the publishing process. After receiving contractual rights back for my novel ‘Blood Related’ I decided to do it myself and managed to get my book ranking highly on Amazon and actually making good money out of it for a change. Ultimately, the huge increase in royalties and the creative control determined my commitment to publishing my own work. I still outsource editing, formatting and cover design so as not to let myself get complacent with the quality of my work but I am very happy with my decision and I’d recommend it to any author thinking of going for it. Check out my website http://selfpublishingsuccessfully.com for lots of good tips and information about the process.

Ruschelle: Black Bed Sheet Books is awesome, if I may say so myself. And I just did. But any who…If you were lucky enough to visit one haunted/creepy place in the world where you could find inspiration and write your next book where would that place be?

William: I’d love to do the ‘Haunted London’ tour one day.

Ruschelle: I’m going to stow away in your suitcase for that one. Sooo….what is your favorite way to dispose of a body? As per your research, of course.

William: Have to be fire – no DNA and negligible remains. Bwahahaha

Ruschelle: Fire. Nice choice!  Very toasty. Your new book Dark Deaths: Selected Horror Fiction, is out soon. Could you give us a little taste of your new offering?

William: This collection is my second (first – Dreams of Thanatos: Collected Macabre Tales) and will be the last one I put out for quite a while as I am now devoting myself to writing novels and novellas. It includes a bunch that have previously been published in anthologies and magazines and a couple of unpublished pieces also. The stories are pretty solid in my estimation and I hope readers will enjoy them as much as I enjoyed writing them. Should be out end of September/early October via Amazon exclusively.

Ruschelle: Is there anything you’d like to add to this interview? Ya know, perversions, bank account number, the usual…

William: Ha ha ha – not really, just thank you for the interview and the great questions. Hello to any new readers out there and old ones alike.

Ruschelle: You’re giving away some of your blood and sweat online. How can we get a nibble of your works?

William: If you check out my website you can get a copy of my novel-length first collection Dreams of Thanatos: Collected Macabre Tales, in the digital format of your choice, absolutely free. All you have to do is sign-up for my rather infrequent newsletter here: http://www.williamcookwriter.com/p/subscribe-now.html

Want more of William Cook?  Well, here ya go!

Website: http://www.williamcookwriter.com/p/subscribe-now.html

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/William-Cook/e/B003PA513I

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WilliamCookWriter/

 

Indie Bookshelf Releases – Horror Tree Christmas Special!

This Indie Bookshelf Releases post is a special one. It’s a thankyou to all those who work so hard behind the scenes to keep Horror Tree running – from the boss, Stuart Conover, to those who do the tech stuff, write the articles, search out submissions, review, edit, or support via patreon or sponsorship,. Without the fantastic folk who volunteer their free(!) time and support, Horror Tree wouldn’t be what it is. Thank you all.

Check out the work of all these wonderful people and perhaps buy a book or two or three from them! There’s certain to be something on the shelf which grabs your fancy and would make a great gift either for someone – or yourself!

 

Patreons and Sponsors

 

Brigids Gate Press

and coming in Jan 2022:

Clint Collins

Lustcraftian Horrors: Erotic Stories Inspired by H. P. Lovecraft by [Rick Powell, Robert J. Leuthold, Janine Ashbless, Essemoh Teepee, Clint Collins, Jaap Boekestein, Jay Aury, Ronald J. Murray, Rajeev Singh, Hydra M. Star]

Elana Gomel

Little Sister: A Novella about Friendship and Monsters set in Soviet-era Russia (A Series of Russian Historical Fantasy Book 1) by [Elana Gomel, Crystal Lake Publishing] The Best Horror of the Year Volume Thirteen The Jewish Book of Horror by [Daniel Braum, Elana Gomel, Josh Schlossberg] Summer of Speculation: Catastrophe 2021 by [Lindsay Pugh, Sandy Stuckless, David Castlewitz, Katie Kent, Nickolas Urpi, Alex Minns, Daragh Kennedy, Max Turner, Barend Nieuwstraten III, Kara Race-Moore]

If I Die Before I Wake: Tales of Nightmare Creatures (The Better Off Dead Series Book 4) by [Sinister Smile Press, R.E. Sargent, Steven Pajak, Scotty Milder, Elana Gomel, Hannah O'Doom, Scott Harper, Bridgett Nelson, Brian Asman, Sandra Stephens, Henry Herz, Red Lagoe, Frank Beghin, Kevin M. Folliard, Matthew R. Davis, Jeff Strand] Due out 2022!

Connect with her on Twitter @ElanaGomel and her website https://www.citiesoflightanddarkness.com/

Paul O’Neill

The Nightmare Tree by [Paul O'Neill] It Calls From the Doors by [Eerie River Publishing, Aisling Campbell, Ally Wilkes, Benjamin Allocco, Chris Hewitt, Damien Allmark, David Green, Matthew R. Davis, Adam Douglas, Georgia Cook, Jennifer Quail, Michael Gore, Mason Gallaway, Paul O'Neill, Richard Clive, R. L. Meza, Steven Streeter, Steve Neal, Rachel Unger]

David Perlmutter

David Perlmutter’s fiction is now available via Godless.com. Click the image above to find out more. He also has a patreon, if you would like to support him further.

Rebecca Rowland

Find out more about her, here https://rowlandbooks.com/


Deborah Sheldon

Man-Beast by [Deborah Sheldon]

Discover more about Deborah Sheldon here https://deborahsheldon.wordpress.com/.


 

 

Staff/Contributors

 

J.D. Blackwell

Cut & Dyed (Zombie Cosmetologist Novellas Book 3) by [J.D. Blackrose] The Jewish Book of Horror by [Daniel Braum, Elana Gomel, Josh Schlossberg] Demon Kissed (The Summoner’s Mark Book 1) by [J. D. Blackrose]


Rob E. Boley

Midnight From Beyond the Stars by [Gabino Iglesias, James Newman, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Tim Curran, Lee Murray, Ronald Kelly, Samantha Kolesnik, Kenneth W. Cain] Violent Vixens: An Homage to Grindhouse Horror by [Aric Sundquist, Gwendolyn Kiste, Sarah Read, Scotty Milder, Rob E. Boley, Sophie Leah, Adrian Ludens, Mark Wheaton, S.R. Miller, Paul Magnan, S.K. Campbell, Buck Weiss, Nik Patrick, Shannon Brady, Jaap Boekestein, Matt Neil Hill] Dark Waters by [Rhonda Parrish , Rose Chisnall, Rob E. Boley, Derek Newman-Stille, Megan M. Davies-Ostrom, Lex Vranick, Thomas Vaughn, Sharmon Gazaway, Rowena McGowan, Chris Black]

Upcoming: watch out for his story in Diabolical Plots!


Stuart Conover


Holly Cornetto

It Calls From the Sea: An Anthology of Terror on the Deep Blue Sea by [Eerie River Publishing, Chris Bannor, Chris Hewitt, Christopher Bond, Dan Le Fever, David Green, Georgia Cook, Holley Cornetto, Julie Sevens, Lin Darrow, M.B.Vujacic, Mason Gallaway, McKenzie Richardson, R. L. Meza, S.O. Green, Steve Neal, T. M. Brown, Tim Mendees, Trey Dowell, Watt Morgan, Alanna Robertson-Webb] Night Terrors Vol. 9: Short Horror Stories Anthology by [Scare Street, Angelique Fawns, Warren Benedetto, J. Z. Pitts, K. D. Bowers, Sean Goulding, D. M. Woolston, Sinéad McCabe, Bryson Tuckerman, Carl Hughes, Stuart Hardy, Dominick Cancilla, Holley Cornetto, Thomas C. Mavroudis, Ron Ripley] The Half That You See by [Rebecca Rowland] 13 Victims by [D KERSHAW, Tim Mendees, C. Marry Hultman, Thomas K.S. Wake, Jasmine Jarvis, Stephen Herczeg, Drew Starling, Joshua D. Taylor, Jonathan Inbody, Trisha Ridinger McKee, V.A. Vasquez, Holley Cornetto, J.W. Garrett, David Green, D. Kershaw]

H is for Hell (A to Z of Horror Book 8) by [Holley Cornetto, Bob Johnston, Simon J. Plant, Gemma Paul, Monster Smith, Mo Donovan, John Clewarth, Sarah Jane Huntington, Daniel R. Robichaud, P.J. Blakey-Novis] Last Stop: Horror on Route 13 by [Eerie River Publishing, David Green, Holley Cornetto, L. T. Emery, Patrick J. Foote, J.W. Garnett, Stephen Herczeg, Abigail Linhardt, Beth W. Patterson, Lynne Phillips, Austin Shirey, Joshua D Taylor, V. A. Vazquez, Patrick Winters] Carry On (AFTER: A POST-APOCALYPTIC SURVIVOR SERIES) Don't Break The Oath : Women of Horror Anthology Volume 4 by [Jill Girardi, Janine Pipe, Meghan Arcuri, Angela Yuriko Smith, Anna Taborska, K.P. Kulski, Sonora Taylor, Jennifer Soucy, Alyson Faye, Lydia Prime]

 

Joe Donley

Image of Dim Shores Presents Volume 2 (Anthology) Cats of the Pacific Northwest by [J.W. Donley, Leo Corbett]

Services: formatting and cover design. For more information, please see his website here.


Stephanie Ellis

What One Wouldn't Do: An Anthology on the Lengths One Might Go To by [Scott J. Moses, J.A.W. McCarthy, Joanna Koch, Eric LaRocca, Hailey Piper, Christi Nogle, Cheri Kamei, Daniel Barnett, Eric Raglin, Laurel Hightower] As the Wheel Turns: More Tales from the Weald by [Stephanie Ellis]   Daughters of Darkness by [Stephanie Ellis, Alyson Faye, Theresa Derwin, Ruschelle Dillon]

Daughters of Darkness II by [Beverley Lee, Lynn Love, Catherine McCarthy, T.C. Parker, Stephanie Ellis, Alyson Faye]  One, Two, I See You: Nursery Rhymes for Darker Minds by [Stephanie Ellis] Infectious Hope 

A Silent Dystopia: Stories from A Quiet Apocalypse edited by D.T. Griffith

Find out more at stephanieellis.org and amazon.

She is part of the HWA’s mentor program and you can also find her as part of the Dark Fusion podcast team with Beverley Lee and Shane Douglas Keene here.


Alyson Faye

Silent Scream by [Alyson Faye] Flashes of Hope by [Anna Taborska, Dave Jeffery, Amy Grech, Matthew Davis, John Cady, Emma Lee, Gwen Weir, Ken Goldman, Alyson Faye, Theresa Derwin] Daughters of Darkness by [Stephanie Ellis, Alyson Faye, Theresa Derwin, Ruschelle Dillon] Daughters of Darkness II by [Beverley Lee, Lynn Love, Catherine McCarthy, T.C. Parker, Stephanie Ellis, Alyson Faye]

Online: Sylvia Magazine, The Casket of Fictional Delights, Page and Spine, The Sirens Call zine.

Upcoming: Space and Time Magazine

Services:

Alyson Faye works as a fiction editor and proofreader for Bridge House Publishing. Recent projects have included :- Days Pass Like a Shadow by Paula R.C.Readman; and award winning writer, Steve Wade’s collection. She also writes under the name Alyson Faye

For more information about her editing services, you can find her here @AlysonFaye2 and [email protected]


Angelique Fawns

The Guide of all Guides: Where to submit your speculative short stories (Selling Stories Book 1) by [Angelique Fawns]

Podcast: Read Me a Nightmare.

Upcoming publications: Dark Dispatch December edition. Last Girls Club Roaring 90s issue.

Find out more about Angelique Fawns here.


Horror Tree!

Trembling With Fear: Year 4 by [Stuart Conover, Stephanie Ellis] Trembling With Fear: More Tales From The Tree: Volume 3 by [Stuart Conover, Stephanie Ellis, Catherine Kenwell] Trembling With Fear: Serial Killers: Volume 2 by [Stuart Conover, Stephanie Ellis, Catherine Kenwell]


Catherine Thole Jordan

Catherine Jordan, a published novelist, editor, and writer within various disciplines, has been featured in various anthologies and online publications. She served as an award judge, and facilitates writing courses and critique groups. Presently, she volunteers as the review coordinator for horrortree.com, the email announcement manager for the HWA, and is a writing mentor for the HWA (with four mentees under her belt who have gone on to greater writing and publication!).

She edits dark fiction and horror shorts as well as novellas/novels. Her services focus on the whole story, including grammar, structure, voice, consistency, and tone. For this service, she charges a modest one cent per word. If she cannot help you, she will refer you to someone who can, someone reputable who also charges a modest fee and provides great work. For more details and to discuss your project, please email [email protected]. Visit her website www.catherinejordan.com

Amazon author page here.


Ken MacGregor

Ken MacGregor amazon author page here.


Melody E. McIntyre

Festival of Fear: Under the Big Top Drabbles 1 by [Black Ink Fiction, Alison Kaiser, Alma Sinan, Andrew Kurtz, Andy Clark, Ashleigh Cattermole-Crump, B.A. Nielsen, B.R. Turnage, Bernardo Villela, Beth W. Patterson, BF Vega, Birgit K Gaiser, Brieanne OReilly, Cecelia Hopkins-Drewer, Chisto Healy, Christopher T. Dabrowski, Connie Millard, Daniel Ausema, David Green, David Owain Hughes, David Staiger, Dawn DeBraal, Destiny Eve Pifer, Dorian J. Sinnott, Doug Hawley, E.N. Dawson, Emma K. Leadley, Emma Kathryn, G. J. Dunn, Gabriella Balcom, Gary Kruse, Gary McDonough, Hari Navarro, Hastings Kidd, Ingrid Thornquest, J.S. Nel, Jacek Wilkos, Jameson Grey, Jim Nemeth, Jodie Francis, Kevin J Kennedy, Kevin McCarty, Kim Plasket, Laura Shenton, M. B. Pedersen, Madeline Mora-Summonte, Maggie D. Brace, Marie Sterling, Matt Krizan, Matthew Pedersen, Meera Dandekar, Melody E. McIntyre, Michelle Brett, Morgan Bennett, N.M. Brown, Nat Whiston, Natasha Sinclair, Nicole Henning, Nyki Blatchley, Olivia Arieti, Patrick Winters, Philip Rogers, Rachel C. Pendragon, Radar DeBoard, Reyna Young, Scarlett Lake, Stephen Johnson, Tiffany Christie, Tom Trussel, Tyson Miller, Zachary Hennis, Brandi Hicks, Shelly Jarvis] Halloween Frights (Holiday Horrors) by [Black Ink Fiction, A.S. Charly, Alexandra Harper, Andrew Kurtz, Bernardo Villela, Birgit Gaiser, Brian J. Smith, Brooke Percy, Bry White, Christopher T. Dabrowski, Dani West, Darlene Holt, Dawn DeBraal, Den Ghostliven, Destiny Eve Pifer, DJ Tyrer, Dorian J. Sinnott, Gabriella Balcom, Gary McDonough, Gay D. Alson, Guy Risessen, Jacek Wilkos, Jade Wildy, James S. Austin, Jameson Grey, Jeff Fields McCormack, Brandi Hicks, Shelly Jarvis] Reaperman: Drabbles 3 (Legends of Night) by [Black Ink Fiction, Brandi Hicks, Shelly Jarvis, A.S. Charly, Alex Minns, Amanda Arab, Andrew Kurtz, Ashleigh Cattermole-Crump, B. Frederick Foley, B.A. Nielson, Belinda Brady, Bill Bibo, Birgit Gaiser, Brieanne O'Reilly, C. Dan Castro, C.E. Stokes, Chisto Healy, Christopher T. Dabrowski, Collin Yeoh, Connie Millard, Connor Sassmannshausen, Dan Allen, David Green, David Owain Hughes, Davion Moore, Dawn DeBraal, Deborah Dubas Groom, Destiny Eve Pifer, Dorian J. Sinnott, Emma K. Leadley, Fariel Shafee, Gabriella Balcom, Gary McDonough, Gary Rubidge, Hari Navarro, Hillary Lyon, Isaac Menuza, J.S Nel, Jacek Wilkos, Jamie Blyth, Jennifer Kirwan, Jodi Jensen, Jodie Angell, Jodie Francis, Keith Burdon, Kevin EC Curdgel, Kevin Kennedy, Lana Trick, Laura Shenton, Leanbh Pearson, M.B. Pedersen, Maggie D. Brace, Mark N. Drake, Mark Rankin, Matthew Spence, McKenzie Richardson, Meera Dandekar, Melody E. McIntyre, N.M. Brown, Natasha Sinclair, Nick Watts, Nicole Henning, Olivia Arieti, Patrick Winters, Philip Rogers, R. A. Goli, Rachel C. Pendragon, Radar DeBoard, Renata Pavrey, Reyna Young, Rich Rurshell, Robert Allen Lupton, Sam Lesek, Scott McGregor, Shania Hayhoe, Soren Ringh, Stephen Herczeg, Stephen Johnson, Steven Holding, Thomas Sturgeon Jr., Tiffany Christie, Tony Logan, Zachary Hennis] Rock Band: An Anthology of Music-Inspired Dark Microfiction (Hundred Word Horror) by [A.R. Ward, Scarlett Lake, Jacqueline Mitchell, Emma Kathryn, Alexis DuBon, Andrew McDonald, Anna Orridge, Tonia Markou, Marc Sorondo, Birgit K. Gaiser, Caitlin Marceau, Cara Mast, Charles E.P. Murphy, Vivian Kasley, Connie Millard, Colin Leonard, Carys Crossen, James Dick, Janine Pipe, Gus Wood, Gary Kruse, R.J. Joseph, Isaac Menuza, Jen Frankel, Justin Terry, J.R. Handfield, Katie Young, K.J. Watson, Laura Shenton, Bill Hughes, Eleanor Luke, Kim Mannix, Marie McWilliams, Mario Aliberto III, Mary Rajotte, Jameson Grey, Meera Dandekar, Patrick Barb, Petina Strohmer, Renata Pavrey, M.M. MacLeod, Ryan Fay, Stephen Daultrey, Sheri White, Gillian Duff, Guy Riessen, David Fey, Vashelle Nino, Patrick Whitehurst, Warren Benedetto, Dale Parnell, Clarabelle Miray Fields, Nikki R. Leigh, Alice J. Black, April Yates, Cameron Phillips, Christopher Wood, Collin Yeoh, Dorian J. Sinnott, D.K. Lawhorn, Maxwell Marais, Greggore Shepherd, Holden Zuras, Leon Lavender, Iliana Coleman, Jessica Wilcox, J.C. Robinson, Joe Haward, Julian Stuart, K.M. Bennett, K.A. Schultz, Kristin Cleaveland, Laura Keating, Waverly X. Night, Melody E. McIntyre, Monique Asher, Patrick Winters, Richard Martin, Benjamin Langley, S.J. Townend, Steve Neal, T.L. Beeding, Micah Castle, Toshiya Kamei, Sean Reardon, Hazel Ragaire]

Summer Terrors (Holiday Horrors) by [Black Ink Fiction, A.S. Charly, Alex Avery, Alexandra Harper, Andrew Kurtz, Bernardo Villela, Brieanne O'Reilly, Bry White, Catherine Calvin, Chisto Healy, Cory Rubidge, Dale Parnell, David Green, Dawn DeBraal, Destiny Eve Pifer, DJ Elton, Dorian J. Sinnott, Evan Baughfman, Gabriella Balcom, Gary Rubidge, Helen Picariello, J.S. Nel, Jade Wildy, Jennifer Kirwan, Jodie Francis, K.B. Elijah, Kevin Hopson, Lamont A. Turner, Laura Shenton, Leanbh Pearson, Lynne Phillips, M. Lynn Grier, Maggie D. Brace, Meera Dandekar, Melody E McIntyre, Michelle Brett, Monster Smith, Nat Whiston, Natasha Sinclair, Nerisha Kemraj, Nicholas Wilkinson, Olivia Arieti, Patrick Winters, Peter J. Foote, Rachel C. Pendragon, Radar Deboard, Renata Pavrey, Reyna Young, Scott McGregor, Stephen Herczeg, Stephen Johnson, Wondra Vanian, Brandi Hicks , Shelly Jarvis] Bloodlust: Dark Criminal Romance (Underground Affliction Book 1) by [Alex Denver] Beneath: An Anthology of Dark Microfiction (Hundred Word Horror) by [A.R. Ward, A. Whittenberg, Aaron E. Lee, Alexis DuBon, Andrew McDonald, Anna Sanderson, Annabel Record, Antonia Rachel Ward, April Yates, Austrian Spencer, Brianna Malotke, Caitlin Marceau, Cara Mast, Carys Crossen, Caytlyn Brooke, Claire Hunter, Claire Loader, Clay F. Johnson, Colin Leonard, Dale Parnell, David Fey, Dee Grimes, doungjai gam, .M. Alores, Edward Brock, Eilidh Spence, Elford Alley, Emma K, Emma Kathryn, Emma Murray, Eric Raglin, Erin M. Brady, Evelyn Freeling, Ezekiel Kincaid, Fusako Ohki, Gabbie Frulla,, Georgia Cook, Gus Wood, Hazel Ragaire, Helen M. Merrick, Isaac Menuza, J.C. Robinson, J.J. Kīmmorist,, J.R. Handfield, Jameson Grey, Jeremiah Dylan Cook, Jessica Wilcox, Joe Scipione, Josh Sippie, Julia Ross, Julie Sevens, Kati Lokadottir, Katie Young, Keely O'Shaughnessy, Kevin Skirrow, Kirin Sasa, Kristin Cleaveland, Laura Keating, Laura Nettles, Laura Shenton, Laurence Sullivan, Lily Tupa, Lyndsey Croal, M.M. MacLeod, Matthew Barron, Meera Dandekar, Melody E. McIntyre, Micah Castle,, Michelle Mellon, Mike Murphy, Nerisha Kemraj, Nicola Kapron, Nicole M. Wolverton, Paige Johnson, Patrick Whitehurst, Patrick Winters, Petina Strohmer, R.J. Joseph, Robyn Pritzker, Ryan B. Green, Sean Reardon, Sheri White, Skye Pagon, Sophie Sadler, Stephen Howard, Tiffany Michelle Brown, Toshiya Kamei, Umiyuri Kasuyama, Vivian Kasley, Yukari Kousaka] Lost Lore and Legends by [David Green, C. Marry Hultman, Derek Power, Tim Mendees, Nick Gerrard, Chris Hewitt, Adam Carpenter]

Supernatural Drabbles of Dread: A Horror Anthology by [Macabre Ladies, Eleanor Merry, Cassandra Angler]

Melody E. McIntyre amazon author page here.


Silvia Canton Rodoni

Stark Naked  Infectious Hope

Find out more about Sylvia Canton Rodoni here and here.


Angeline Trevena

How to Create History: An Author’s Guide to Creating Histories, Myths, and Monsters (Author Guides Book 4) by [Angeline Trevena] Silkwash (Cloudspans Book 1) by [Angeline Trevena] Steadyard (Cloudspans Book 2) by [Angeline Trevena]

Visit Angeline Trevena’s website here.


Happy reading.

Steph

 on behalf of Stuart and the Horror Tree Team

Trembling With Fear – Halloween 2021 Edition!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

I always envision Andy Williams crooning away when October 1st rolls around. Though I prefer to believe he is singing about Halloween as opposed to Christmas (even if the lyrics don’t match the festivities). The entire month of October is magical: Pumpkin Spice, Corn Mazes, Haunted Houses, Candy, Costumes, Trick or Treat, and the veil between here and the Spirit world shrinking to its thinnest on All Hallow’s Eve. The oppressive summer heat subsides to a cool autumn breeze, stirring the beautifully colored leaves as they wilt and fall from the tree branches. The smell of death, must, and decay is in the air. A horror writer’s dream. Tis the season of when things die.

For our October special, we are bringing to you a plethora of story treats that are sure to trick you into a false sense of comfort. You will be impressed by the masks that the monsters and serial killers wear in this collection to conceal their identities and true agenda. Be prepared to take a journey into a realm of dark fiction and horror that is inspired by the most wonderful time of the year.

Thanks!

Amanda

Amanda Headlee

Editor, Trembling With Fear

What a difference a year makes. Halloween is back baby as more of the world becomes vaccinated and more getting their shots daily.
What does that mean for Horror Tree? Not much! We’re continuing our regularly scheduled Halloween Trembling With Fear as usual!
Once again, this year we’ve got some great stories for you to enjoy and you’ll love reading through what has been sent in this year!

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

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Trembling With Fear 09/12/21

Please note: We are temporarily closed to short flash stories (unless for one of the Specials) but open to drabbles, unholy trinities and serials. We hope to reopen later in the year once we have caught up with the publication of those already accepted. Please also remember to read our guidelines, especially on word counts!

We’re having a last blast of summer here in the UK and moaning it’s too hot. Give us another week and we’ll be moaning it’s too cold. Moaning about the weather is what we do best 😊. My writing this week has seen the start of a gothic novella set on the streets of the Victorian East End. The Ripper may be around but he is not the focus. My interest in the East End stems largely from a branch of my family which lived there at the time and were amongst the poorest of the poor. This tale gives me a chance to delve deeper into the horrors of 19th century London.

Reading has seen me finish Becky Wright’s Priory – a gothic story with the pace of a thriller and start Eric LaRocca’s The Strange Thing We Become and Other Dark Tales. I’m also reading Bruce Robinson’s They all Love Jack which is another take on the Ripper story and is literally tearing the establishment to pieces. A great read, I’m hoping to finish all 800-odd pages of in a day or two. As a theory, I’m finding it extremely logical and all too believable.

Our first story in Trembling with Fear is The Mystery of the Apples by Harris Coverley. A chilling story written in the same tone as the darker stories of many earlier haunted stories but avoiding the flowery language of those times.

Full Tank by Mike Rader gives us a gas station in the middle of nowhere. A life-saver – or is it?

Grandpa by Patrick Winters reveals a skeleton in the closet. A subtle bite of the macabre.

Sleep Tight by RJ Meldrum questions the truth behind childhood terrors and the stories parents tell to get their kids to tow the line.

 

Enjoy our stories and send in yours!

Steph

 

Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

I don’t really have anything new to add this week as I’ve been behind on catching up with more housekeeping for Horror Tree (working on setting up payments to authors, getting our Summer Edition finalized, etc!) So, to recap from last week (which is still all valid):

Trembling With Fear is open for our Halloween Edition until October 13th, so be sure to get your stories in! Full details can be found here.

Offhand, if you run a website and would like to write an article about Horror Tree or Trembling With Fear, we’d really appreciate that! Please reach out with any questions for facts in the article (who does what, when sections were started, etc), any promotional artwork, or with a link once it is live so we can feature it on the site and on our social media.

Have a great week everyone!

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

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Trembling With Fear 02/21/21

It’s raining as I write this and where I live, I feel as though it’s been raining forever. Wherever we go for a walk there’s mud, lot’s of it – there’s a song isn’t there for children? Mud, mud, glorious mud. I think I’ll leave that for the kids, nothing glorious about the stuff, except perhaps as inspiration for a story, a Mud Monster. Anyone care to send in a drabble featuring the dreaded ooze?

TWF efforts last week saw the creation of the TWF anthologies for Year 4, More Tales from the Tree and Serial Killers. They’re all formatted up and almost ready to go. A final close read through to check for glaring errors and make sure we haven’t missed any – there’s hundreds of stories overall – and a cover sorted and they’ll hopefully be ready in the not too distant future.

As I pulled in the stories, I noticed again the tendency to use spaces and tabs rather than the first line indent feature of the paragraph style. Some would also use spaces to centre a title rather than simply select alignment. Please avoid this! Also avoid adding lines between paragraphs.

Bios – I am still not always receiving bios with submissions and I am no longer going to hold files of biographies as the sheer number of authors submitting makes this difficult to maintain. It was a good idea at the time but has outlived its usefulness. If you do not send a bio in with your submission, you will receive a request for one on acceptance – I’m changing the message associated with the contract to reflect this. 

Saturday saw the Book Birthday of Daughters of Darkness, an anthology featuring four writers (me, Theresa Derwin, Alyson Faye and Ruschelle Dillon). It’s the first book from Black Angel Press, a women-centric project, which Aly and I hope to use as a vehicle to help newer writers (as well as established writers) get their out there. This project is intended to help level the playing field for women in an industry where there is still, sadly, a degree of bias against us in terms of opportunity. It is changing and I’m hopeful that in the very near future, initiatives such as WIHM etc will no longer be needed. I regard Horror Tree and TWF by the way, as somewhere that has been nothing but inclusive in all aspects and Stuart should receive a huge round of applause for this. HT is not Sisterhood or Brotherhood, just Family.

From the high of launching the book, I received a short story rejection the following day but my absolute highlight last week was discovering Jonathan Maberry had read my novel The Five Turns of the Wheel and regarded it as ‘superb’. Knowing someone at the top of the writing tree has actually read something of mine was a boost – and a shock. I will admit to taking a screenshot of that and I will use it to help me through those moments of rejection which I know will continue to come. I think a writer’s life could clearly be imagined as the peaks and troughs of readings on a life-support machine but better that than flatlining!

If you’re looking for any WIHM reads by the way, I would recommend Jennifer Soucy’s Clementine’s Awakening, Beverley Lee’s The Ruin of Delicate Things and for poetry, Sara Tantlinger’s Cradleland of Parasites. I’ve read all three recently. Fantastic reads.

And as to the house move, we’ve had an offer on ours and are looking at houses this week. One has a lovely view of the cemetery next door. Appropriate or what?! As a point of reassurance, house viewing etc is still permitted during lockdown, provided you’ve had a serious offer, and strict covid measures are observed.

We start this week’s Trembling with Fear with Samsara by E.C. Hanson. The main character is most definitely unlikeable but you find yourself drawn along by the countdown to opening time as she fights her desperation for a drink. An element of paranoia filters in alongside this obsession with time and you see her fall apart as the past comes back to haunt her.

Bloom by Patrick Winters is a beautiful horror when the body turns on itself and destroys. Patrick is a writer I know who always delivers on quality.

Surprise for the Date by Radar DeBoard delivers its surprise at the end, although the reader is let in on the secret beforehand.

The Ghost Train by K.A. Williams reminds me of a time I actually stayed in a converted railway station! Luckily it wasn’t haunted, like this one. If something’s cheap, there’s usually a reason and it’s better to check out why first!

 

Take care

Steph

 

Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

We’re going into the final week of Women in Horror Month and the amazing posts have been stacking up! I hope that you’ve all been enjoying reading them as much as our staff has. Please, be sure to comment on and share the ones which you’ve been enjoying!

As to what the Horror Tree staff has been up to? Steph and I are making giant strides (mostly Steph. I’d like to stress, mostly Steph) on putting together this year’s anthology releases! On top of that, I’ve been starting to go over my portion of it and am sketching out some rough draft ideas on how we’re looking into changing up the site in our next iteration of Horror Tree. Working on getting it up in a test environment and I will bounce the preview off our staff and Patreons once it is ready for official viewing and initial feedback!

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

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Trembling With Fear 10/25/20

I stayed away from the computer most of last Sunday. It was one of those days I just needed to get out and walk – although if I’d known the effects on my calves would’ve lasted most of the week, I might have chosen something more … flat. I visited an ancient yew tree grove in the South Downs which contains some of the oldest trees in Britain. I took lots of pictures and shared a few online. I think I got more responses for those photos than anything I usually waffle about!

But there was a point to this visit. A lot of folklore and folk history refer to these trees and I’ve brought them into stories of mine but I wanted a sense of what they were really like. Not the tidy versions around a churchyard but the real ‘old ones’ where ancient rituals might have been performed. Despite the number of other visitors, there was a very definite atmosphere to these trees and its something I will try and bring in to any future folk horrors I might write. Actually, I think these are now officially my favourite tree!

As someone who wants to improve their writing, I’m always on the lookout for books or classes to see if there’s something I can do. One that’s caught my eye recently is a poetry workshop run by Linda D. Addison as part of the HWA’s Horror University online programme. This and other classes are also open to non-members. You can find out more information here https://hwa46.wildapricot.org/event-4011815. I’ve signed up for the poetry class even though it means I’ll be burning the midnight oil! It’s half-term so I don’t need to get up early thank goodness.

Before we go into TWF, my author shoutout this week goes to TC Parker. A new writer to me initially, I picked up her book Saltblood after reading a Ginger Nuts of Horror review and thoroughly enjoyed it. She’s contributed an amazing short story to the upcoming Infernal Clock’s Inferno – her first ever short and she now has a new release, A Press of Feathers which I can’t wait to read. If you’re looking for someone new to try, you can’t go wrong with TC Parker.

It Came From The Darkness: A Charity Horror Anthology by [P.J. Blakey-Novis, David Green, C.M.  Saunders, Justin Boote, Tim Lebbon, Gemma Paul, D.J. Doyle, Roma  Gray, Matthew V.  Brockmeyer, Mark Anthony Smith]We also have a charity alert this week with Red Cape Publishing’s It Came From The Darkness. A collection of drabbles, each starting with the same five words, has been compiled to raise money for the Max the Brave fund. Check it out here.

 

Our first story in Trembling With Fear is Permanent Fear by Josh King has its protagonist coming up with a unique method of displacing their different fears. This however brings problems of its own, leading to some extreme measures. Tattoos have appeared in stories, although not too often so it was nice to see something different. Have we had any piercing or body mod stories?

Monochrome by F.M. Scott brings us a grim almost noir image, everything in black and white. It circles life quite cleverly as you think it’s all about childhood, until you hear the ‘Clear’.

Notes About the Attic by Horatio Marissa is a nice little tale reminding us sometimes children know best. It’s also a good example of showing and not telling.

Off the Path in Owen Park by Tain Leonard-Peck is a good example of contrast and the price that some ‘freedoms’ cost.

 

Enjoy the stories and send us yours!

Take care

Steph

 

Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

I hope you’re all having a great weekend! (Or, week, if you’re checking this post out after it was published.)

I have a quick request. We have a new poll that I’d love if you could take a moment to fill out. I promise it is super quick! 

Also a reminder! We currently have a giveaway for digital copies of ‘Thylacines‘ by Deborah Sheldon to check out! We have 10 copies to hand out so there is a good chance you can win one! (If you’re interested in sponsoring a giveaway, please do reach out!) 

Once again, a huge thanks to our *2* site sponsors this month. If you’d like to help them to help us again in the future please be sure to check out and order one or both of the following!
– ‘SLAY: Stories of the Vampire Noire‘ which was edited by the extremely talented Nicole Givens Kurtz (
– ‘It Calls From the Sky‘ from Eerie River Publishing. This one was edited by A. Robertson-Webb and M. River.

If you’re looking to sponsor the site or even a giveaway please do reach out. Also, we have an extra thank you this year for the sponsors of Horror Tree. If you’ve been a Patreon, sponsor, or have some supported the site in a major way we’re going to be putting together a special Christmas Shopping list that showcases you! Please reach out with what you’d like included and see this post on Patreon for more details! 

As always, thanks for checking in and please leave a comment below to talk about any of the stories you like! 

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

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Trembling With Fear 08/23/20

This weekend saw a very quick visit to Cardiff to make sure my son is alive. He is, I mean he’s 23 and adult but you never stop worrying if they’re eating enough! Good job the UK government has its Eat Out to Help Out scheme in place! On a more serious note and this is my shameless family plug time, as a musician, he’s lost all chance of live work at the moment. However, he is adapting and if any of you need soundtracks, compositions, recordings or whatever – you can find him over on Fiverr https://tinyurl.com/DylanEllis. This is also a good site to track down book covers by the way. If anyone here has a second string to their bow, eg creating book covers, book trailers, music or whatever, are experiencing tough times and are on such sites as this, let us know and we’ll share your link. (And if anyone’s putting on events next year in the UK, I will also be shamelessly plugging my eldest daughter, Bethan (who’s also lost all work this year). She has wide industry experience in this area, including with Live Nation, and will have graduated by then 😊, you have been warned!).

Book plug time. This is for someone I’ve come across on twitter and who is extremely supportive of writers and a lovely person. She has also come up with something unique for the Horror world which is why I’m mentioning it here. Cassie Lola Daley (of Lets Get Galactic) has created The Big Book of Horror Authors, which is a colouring and activity book featuring many well-known names in our industry. Due for publication 31st Aug, I can’t wait to see it and release my inner child. One of the best things when growing up was getting the bumper summer activity version of your favourite comic!

Has Cassie started a new trend? We see Horror Cookbooks occasionally. Finding another avenue when you’re feeling a little jaded can be just the thing to keep you going. I remember a story we published in TWF based on a crossword, another unique take. Cross-stitch patterns anyone?

Also watch out for Feral, an anthology of stories about feral children, edited by TWF writer Robert Allen Lupton. Due out Sept 1st, it features a number of familiar names from Horror Tree, including Alyson Faye, Catherine Thole Jordan, Richard Meldrum, Stuart Conover (and me).

Very short stories!

We have one this week, albeit quite a sad one.

“The note of your flatline was your cry of birth.” – Christina Nordlander

The first story this week in Trembling with Fear is The Part Where They Die by Nicholas Stillman. Never have two sides been more diametrically opposed leading to a polarisation which can only be overcome by direct conflict. Perhaps this should serve as a moral for our times, the inability to walk in another’s shoes, or perhaps more like the refusal to do so. What you sow, so shall ye reap. Hatred and rage scald the page in this powerful tale.

Everyday People by Matthew Miranda is the one which shows there aren’t always prizes for everyone and it is some of the imagery included in this, as if just a passing thought which gives the kick. Weaving the horrific into the mundane, that juxtaposition, gives it even greater strength.

Mothers and Daughters by Dale W. Glaser also uses the familiar but layers it over a more chilling subtext. Just because your family might be somewhat demonic or steeped in wicca doesn’t mean they don’t face the same sorts of problems normal families face!

William’s Birthday by Leilani Ahia uses the most innocent of settings, a children’s birthday party and breaks the strongest bond – that of mother and child. Again, innocence v horror is a powerful tool.

Enjoy the stories and send us yours!

Take care

Steph

 

Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

So. First off my apologies for the lack of a newsletter last week to our subscribers. No, the evil Spam Filter Monster didn’t eat it. I had made all the edits for it to go live and didn’t resume sending after saving them. (You need to pause it in Mailchimp while making edits and I never unpaused it.)
OOPS! Already fixed that for this week.

As to the anthologies, we’ve got them SO CLOSE. By the time you read this I believe our last round of edits and uploads should be completed (I’m working on it the moment I’m done with this!) I’m hoping that means we’re finally launching in the next week or two.

I hope you enjoy this week’s edition of Trembling With Fear and as always, please comment as to which stories you like in the comments at the bottom of the post!

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

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