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The Ghoulish Times | 05/21/22
LEECH | Festival Recap | Open Call Updates
Hello and welcome to the latest issue of The Ghoulish Times. My name is Max Booth III. I am the co-publisher of Ghoulish Books, the host of the GHOULISH podcast, the co-founder of the Ghoulish Book Festival, and the author of several books. This is a newsletter you subscribed to, either by signing up through a newsletter form or clicking the “yup, sign me up baby!” button while submitting something to us via Submittable. I also added the badge holders from last month’s Ghoulish Book Festival to the subscriber list. If you are deeply troubled by this decision, please unsubscribe and insult me on social media. I will understand.
LEECH, a noir horror hybrid, is now available
John C. Foster’s cosmic horror, hard-as-nails noir novel LEECH is finally available. Here is what Booklist had to say about it:
Leech is a special-operations type who has traveled to a small southern town for an investigation. Insects and other animals fall from the sky, and as it turns out, a Big Brother–like organization is involved. They thought they could see through time and space, and as the reader can guess, it didn’t take long for that scenario to go badly. Leech encounters everything from scientific conspiracies to Norse mythology to doppelgangers and things even odder than that. As he tries to navigate his way out of this precarious situation and sort out what has actually happened versus what he has imagined, readers will be taken on a roller-coaster ride that gets stranger as the book goes on. Will he escape and prevail, or will he succumb to the web he’s gotten himself tangled into? Fans of sf horror infused with a healthy dollop of apocalyptic humor will enjoy Leech, which reads like a delightfully weird cross between the works of southern crime novelist Hank Early and horror humorist Jeff Strand.
— A. E. Siraki
Purchase LEECH from the following outlets:
Track it on Goodreads HERE.
UPDATES FOR ALL YOU WRITERS OUT THERE
We are currently considering short stories for our new anthology, Bound in Flesh: An Anthology of Trans Body Horror, until July 31st. Lor Gislason is our editor for this project. More details HERE.
We have also just opened short story submissions for our annual young-adult horror magazine Night Frights. Deadline is August 1st. More details HERE.
If you’ve submitted to our regular horror magazine Dark Moon Digest and you’re still waiting on a response, we know about your story, and we will eventually get to it. We’re pretty behind on the slush pile there and every day we only get further buried. Fortunately we do not prohibit simultaneous submissions, so everybody has the freedom to submit their stories to other publications as they wait for us to one day catch up on things. The magazine could definitely use some monetary support, if we’re being honest. It’s a lot of work and isn’t the cheapest to produce. Consider subscribing HERE. Next issue comes out in July. It’s going to be a double issue since we weren’t able to release the April edition on time.
If you submitted to our horror novella open call that ended on May 8th and you haven’t heard back, be patient. You will receive a response most likely by the end of June. I’ve gotten the novellas narrowed down to 30 really fun submissions (everything else has been rejected). Now I have to further narrow it down to…6. It’s not the easiest process. But I’m getting there.
BOOK FESTIVAL RECAP
The first Ghoulish Book Festival in San Antonio wrapped up last month (April 30th/May 1st). Going into it, Lori Michelle and I weren’t quite sure what to expect. We put in a lot of local promo work, but we had no way of knowing if it would produce results.
If you had asked us on the Friday preceding the fest whether or not we’d be willing to do it again next year, I think we both would have probably given you an absolute, “Not a chance in hell.” The months leading into the fest were extremely stressful and something neither us probably wanted to repeat any time soon.
However, with that said, if you’d asked us during or after the fest if we’d want to do it again (which many people have asked), the answer was (and still is) … yeah, we suppose we have no choice.
The festival must continue.
Because it was a success.
Going into the fest, Lori and I hoped to see non-writers trickling into the bookstore. We specifically advertised this event to fans of horror rather than writers of horror. Almost every other convention we’ve tabled at, the majority of the attendees were other writers. Writers are great, don’t get me wrong, but the goal (with the fest, with the publishing company, with everything) was to reach beyond other writers. The goal is always to find readers. To find fans. And…we did? The fans showed up. Non-writers who bought badges specifically because they love the genre and wanted to buy books. But also, random people passing the venue who saw our sign. We had actual foot traffic from the general public. I lost count of the vendors who told me on Sunday night that our fest had been either their most successful convention selling books or their second most successful. I hoped that would be the result but I honestly never thought it would be. What the heck.
We recorded the audio of every panel, which I’ve been slowly uploading to the GHOULISH podcast feed (links further down in the newsletter). I also recorded the video for all of the live readings, including the first Annual Ghoulish Book Festival Spooky Campfire Storyteller’s Horror Storytelling Contest™(aka the AGBFSCSHSC).
All video content has officially been uploaded to our YouTube channel. I even made a handy little GBF playlist, which you can find HERE.
As I said up top, we are planning to continue the festival next year. We are just waiting on a contract from the venue to sign, but most likely it will occur on April 14, 15, and 16 at the same location in downtown San Antonio. Yes, we are trying to expand it to three days this time instead of two. We were so jampacked with events at the first fest that I think it’s only logical to give people more breathing room next time.
Stay tuned for further updates about Ghoulish Book Fest 2. Newsletter subscribers will receive the news first.
RECENTLY, ON THE GHOULISH PODCAST…
147. Ghoultalk (4/27/22)
The GHOULISH discord community has grown quite a bit since the last newsletter. Many people poured in due to the book festival. I’ve gone through and cleaned up the layout a bit. If you haven’t joined, you can do so by clicking HERE.
Just a personal update on my own writing: I’ve sold my next book, Abnormal Statistics—a short story collection of familial horror—to Apocalypse Party, with a planned March 2023 release date.
Okay, that’s it for this week. You can support us on Patreon, browse the books in our webstore, and follow us on Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter (PMMP | DMD | Ghoulish podcast | Ghoulish Books | personal). Reserve your ticket for the first annual Ghoulish Book Fest. You can also join us on the Ghoulish Discord.
See you next weekend, ghouls.