Ed Kurtz is the author of Bleed, Sawbones, The Tombs, Catch My Killer!, and numerous short stories. His work has appeared in Dark Moon Digest, Needle: A Magazine of Noir, BEAT to a PULP, Shotgun Honey, and the anthology Mutation Nation: Tales of Genetic Mishaps, Monsters, and Madness. Ed resides in Texas, where he is at work on his next novel and running his genre imprint, Redrum Horror.
When and how did Redrum Horror form?
I had the idea for Redrum last year, while perusing my collection of Hard Case Crime books. I love the concept of a numbered, uniform library of genre books and wondered why there wasn’t one for horror fiction—so I did it myself.
What attracted you to the horror genre?
I never read or watched horror growing up, so it wasn’t until I was in my early 20s that I started catching up. People would say, “You haven’t seen that movie?” or “You’ve never read IT?” and I’d rush out to correct the problem. From there I was hooked, so when I started writing, it was a foregone conclusion that I’d work primarily in horror. The same went for my publishing aspirations.
The key to Redrum is that it isn’t limited to any subgenre—so far we’ve published literary horror, classic 80s pulp, avant garde stories, and there’s even a dark fantasy novel on the way next month. I deeply appreciate some of the publishers who stick with a subgenre, but my vision for the Redrum line was to be as broad as possible.
Talk us through some of the key authors at Redrum Horror.
It all started with Joe McKinney, who won this year’s Bram Stoker Award for Best Novel. We became friends last year at World Horror Con, and I asked him if he’d be interested in doing a book for the line. He agreed immediately, and The Red Empire and Other Stories was born.
Next came Jeremy Shipp’s Attic Clowns, which is a hyper-bizarro collection of interconnected tales ranging from lightly funny to deeply disturbing. Cult author Guy N. Smith recommended his novel Deadbeat to me after that, which had only seen a very limited print run previously, and that was followed by Hellborn by Gary Brandner, the author of The Howling series, which was previously out of print for almost 20 years.
What are your upcoming releases?
Forthcoming titles are Bottled Abyss, an absolutely amazing second novel from Bram Stoker winner Benjamin Kane Ethridge, and The Thing in the Mist: Selected Stories by 1950s cult UK author John S. Glasby, which is going to be a really terrific book, especially for fans of Lovecraftian literature.
What are you most proud of thus far, and why?
That’s impossible to say! I can tell you, however, that I’m still floored by McKinney’s extraordinary collection, and that Ethridge’s forthcoming novel is going to knock everyone’s socks off. If you thought Black & Orange was good—and it most certainly is—then you haven’t seen anything yet.
Do e-books threaten or complement the print industry?
E-books aren’t a threat in the least. Technologies change, always have. I foresee a time when lending libraries and brick-and-mortar bookstores will be things of the past, and though we can’t help but mourn the loss of traditions when culture adapts to developing trends, there’s really no sense in fighting it. Presently I read both print books and e-books, and I don’t prefer one to the other. If there remains a market for a product, the product will survive, but if not, then change is inevitable. It’s the content that’s important, anyway—it’s not like nobody’s ever going to get to read Shakespeare again!
Are you currently open for submission?
No. Redrum Horror’s imprint, Abattoir Press, held a submissions call back in March, and there was quite a crop of novellas that came from that, a few of which will be published in the coming months (including A Blind Eye to the Rearview by Eric A. Jackson and Bleed on Me by Shane McKenzie). We may do it again, though, so it’s always a good idea to follow both Redrum Horror and Abattoir on Twitter and Facebook!
What authors would you love to see write for Redrum Horror?
My favourite writers working in the genre at present are probably Lee Thomas and Laird Barron, so those would be at the top of my list. John Hornor Jacobs is pretty phenomenal, too.
That would have to be Poe. In addition to modern detective fiction, he more or less invented horror fiction as we know it, and without him there could not have been an H.P. Lovecraft—and without Lovecraft…well, perish the thought!
What does the future hold for Redrum Horror?
The last Redrum Horror volume of 2012, John S. Glasby’s The Thing in the Mist, will come out in August, leaving the remainder of the year to focus on Abattoir projects like the ongoing Sam Truman Mysteries series. Redrum will resume in 2013, with many more titles, both brand new and classic reprints, to enlarge the library.
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