I’ve returned from the week-long anthology workshop. My brain is still pretty mushy. I’m much better this time than I have been, coming back from other workshops. A big part of that is due to my sweetie who took care of me and played supportive spouse.
Part of it was because I slept all through all but one night, which I think is due to me now meditating frequently. Sleep has never been a great friend of mine. This change in my pattern, to actually sleeping regularly, is new to me. We’ll see how long it lasts.
On the drive home, my sweetie and I talked a bit about the workshop, what we learned, the people we’d met and helped, etc. One of the editors had commented on how I’d written some disquieting stories that year.
It made me realize that everything I’ve been writing recently has that same element, that same disquiet.
Blaze asked me if I was a horror writer, and I said no, I’m not. Not really. There usually isn’t a high body count, or blood, or even fear. It’s the cockroaches scuttling in the corner rather than the monster hiding in the dark.
According to Mark Leslie, horror isn’t a genre, but more of a feeling. And I do write with that disquiet, that feeling, that unease, a lot.
I always have. And as I grow more and more into myself, becoming more true to the artist I’ve always been, I have the feeling that there will be many more disquieting stories from me. Those are frequently my most powerful stories. I can’t be afraid to write them, to write about the moral ambiguity that fascinates me.
So we came up with the term “cozy horror.” It kind of describes what I’m doing with that sense of unease. Nothing horrible to jump out at you, but fairies in the garden who have sharp teeth.
And speaking of cozy horror…
I have a short story in a new anthology! “Horseshoes, Hand Grenades, and Magic: Where Close Counts.”
Here’s the blurb for the anthology:
They say “close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.” It turns out “close” counts in lots of things, especially when luck and magic get added into the mix.
Anything can happen.
Here are eleven stories exploring that interesting place where close might be close enough, as well as when it isn’t, ranging from high fantasy to the far distant corners of the galaxy.
This is the second CampCon Anthology. Many of these same authors can be found in the first anthology: Tales From An Alien Campfire.
My story, “The Blood Hound” definitely has some of those unsettling moments in it. It’s the prequel/origin story for a novel I recently completed, “The Glass Magician.”
So go! Dive on in! Enjoy these very diverse voices.