Here’s a small selection of the horror and genre news that caught our eye during the last week …
Angela Rodriguez and her friends aren’t sure what they want out of life now that they’ve graduated high school, but they think there is plenty of time to figure it all out. When a trip to an abandoned elementary school leads to a break-in, they discover an old gym parachute. Raising the fabric above their heads, the group expects it to balloon out around them like it did when they were younger. But instead, the parachute reveals alternate universes and terrifying worlds. There’s only one rule… DON’T LET GO. Available in paperback and eBook formats, you can pick up your copy here.
This June and July, FIRST FEARS brings together a range of UK horror writing talent for six weeks of workshops, feedback sessions and much more in an exciting online event for aspiring authors within the genre. Starting on Tuesday 14th June, six guest workshoppers will be leading weekly horror workshop sessions, beginning with Tim Major and followed by sessions with Georgina Bruce, Rhiannon Ward, James Brodgen, Tracy Fahey and Simon Bestwick. Topics include writing horror short stories, writing folk horror, atmosphere and location, planning and writing a novel and many more. These headline guest workshops will be complimented by a series of feedback sessions, taking place weekly from Thursday 16th June, offering participants valuable comment to help writers improve their work and their writing skills. There are also optional one-to-one sessions and written feedback available with creative writing lecturer and First Fears co-ordinator Alex Davis. For more information, check out the First Fears website, here. To buy tickets for the events, click here.
The Again-Walkers was inspired by ninth century Danish mythology and superstition. The premise: To end a blood feud between two Viking families, Svana Norup is offered as a peace-pledge bride to blacksmith, Hallkell Jenson. Within weeks of moving to Hallkell’s village, however, Svana meets and falls for the shepherd, Agmundr Rask. If Svana and Agmundr want to make a life together, they must first get rid of Hallkell. But can the lovers risk murder when Hallkell might return from the dead to take revenge? Available to pre-order now in eBook, with a paperback edition to follow, you can guarantee your copy here.
The Horror Writers’ Association announces new Mental Health Initiative
The Horror Writers Association is pleased to launch its Mental Health Initiative, a coordinated roll-out of events, resources, and activities intended to promote positive mental health, foster the concept of hope, and challenge the stigma of mental illness in the horror genre. The initiative, run by the organisation’s Wellness Committee, debuts in June 2022 and will form part of an ongoing programme. Activities planned for 2022 include establishing a dedicated webpage for resources on the HWA website, publication of Of Horror and Hope, a downloadable anthology of poems, flash fiction, and personal reflections on mental health by HWA members, “Holistic Horrors” a monthly column in the organisation’s newsletter, several panel sessions, as well as articles and blogs published in the wider genre community. “The HWA should be commended for being bold in its approach to tackling the stigma of mental illness in the genre,” says Wellness Committee Co-chair, Dave Jeffery, who spent 35 years as a mental healthcare professional in the UK’s National Health Service. “To my mind, it is the first time such an initiative, with a specific focus on hope and recovery, has been developed for the horror community, and there are currently discussions as to how the Wellness Committee can develop further resources over the coming years.” Jeffery’s co-chair, New Zealander Lee Murray, agrees: “Our intent is to promote positive images of mental health in horror, and to create an environment of understanding and compassion. For me, as a sufferer of anxiety and depression, inclusion is extremely important—that notion of lifting something up to the light, so we realise that many of us experience the same things, and that we’re not alone.”
HWA President, John Palisano, welcomed the initiative, stating, “The HWA’s Mental Health Initiative is exactly the sort of support and resource the organization should be offering members. It means a great deal to me personally to see this come to be, as it’s as important as things get. I’m beyond grateful to those putting so much effort into this and I have all faith this will be an extremely helpful initiative for many.”
The initiative’s logo, created by Australian horror artist, Greg Chapman, features Poe, arguably the father or horror, bathed in comforting yellow light, with the HWA’s raven on his shoulder. “The concept of this logo and, by extension, its committee and services, is to be a guiding light, and for the HWA to always be there on members’ shoulders supporting them,” says Chapman of his design. More information about the Horror Writers Association and its Mental Health Initiative can be found on the organisation’s website.
Five months ago, the apocalyptic Jolt turned the majority of mankind into the atavistic savages Jay Garvey calls Hyenas, on account of their insane, shrieking laughter. A terrified Jay is tempted from his bolt-hole in a Liverpool bookshop when he learns the whereabouts of the only boat that hasn’t been scuttled by the deranged militia leader known as Sergeant Pepper. As a brutal winter closes in, Jay and the small band of survivors he encounters along the way, the Book Club, must avoid death and capture to take advantage of this single, slim window of escape. Available now in eBook, with a paperback edition to follow, you can grab your copy here.