Counting down to Halloween!

Halloween is going to be awesome this year!

Bad Moon Books will release my novella The Last Night of October on October 31st, but if you want to ensure you have your copy in time for All Hallow’s Eve, you should pre-order it now.

Don’t worry, Bad Moon Books has anticipated just that and put the book up for pre-order on its website HERE.

To whet your appetite, here’s a poster I made featuring a quote from Lisa Morton’s introduction to my story

The Last Night of October-poster

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Recurring Nightmares

Apparently we dream anywhere between 4 to 6 times a night. I wonder how many of those dreams are of the dark kind, but we simply don’t remember them? What if they’re nightmares we SHOULD remember, but they’re hidden from us?

I think there might be a story in that ;P

The worst nightmare I had was only a few months ago. I was in a room, in a compound owned by a group of cultists, and I was about to be initiated into their coven. The initiation involved me losing a hand. It was a vivid, yet fleeting vision, but I remember waking up, my heart racing as I slowly tried to reconnect with reality. It took me a long time to fall back to sleep I’ll tell you.

Funny thing is, I very rarely have nightmares and I think this is what gives me the ability to write horror. I daydream a lot, which in turn, conjures up many a story idea.

Which brings me to the topic of this post.

Vaudeville-and-Other-Nightmares-poster

Black Beacon Books has announced the release date for my debut collection, Vaudeville and Other Nightmares – SEPTEMBER 19, 2014!

If you are interested in seeing what nightmares I can conjure up, then this collection will have 21 tales that aim to ensure you never sleep again, including my novella, Vaudeville, originally published as an e-book in 2012, but released in print for the first time in this collection.

My publisher, Cameron Trost has created a launch event page over on Facebook. The launch is only a virtual one, but I might have a more formal launch a little closer to Halloween.

Trosty is encouraging people to purchase a paperback upon the September 19 release and then get their photo taken with it while wearing their favourite Halloween costume. There might even be a prize in it for one lucky winner!

So please, head over to the launch page and join up and also keep an eye out on my Facebook author page for interesting tidbits on the stories within the collection.

Oh, and by all means share some of your nightmares here in the comments – I’d love to hear them >:P

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Artistic endeavours

Two books officially released this week feature some of my art – and some amazing fiction!

SNAFU, is a military horror anthology featuring authors such as Jonathan Maberry, Weston Ochse and James A. Moore, to name a few, and is published by Cohesion Press.

Visit their website for purchasing information.

Head over to the book’s listing on Amazon and read the first of what will be many 5 star reviews and have a [Look Inside] to check out the frontispiece illustration I did to accompany Mr Maberry’s Joe Ledger tale, Bughunt.

The other anthology is Subtropical Suspense, published by Black Beacon Books and it features nine mystery stories set in Brisbane. I provided the cover art, which you can see below.

subtropical-suspense

You can purchase Subtropical Suspense HERE

Both tomes were produced in Australia and I’m very privileged to have played a small role in their creation.

Please support these publishers if you can.

 

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Dungeon-Master!

They say a writer needs his/her space in order to be creative and this certainly applies to me.

Much to my family’s chagrin, when I need to work (whether it be writing or illustrating), I retreat into my office/man-cave/dungeon. It’s kind of like the contents of my head on four walls. I’m comfortably surrounded by copies of my own published writing and illustrations, novels, DVDs, art materials and artworks and as soon as I walk in to the room, I know where I am and who I am.

So when it was time to move house (we moved almost three weeks ago), I was simultaneously excited and nervous. I didn’t want to take apart my dungeon and pack it to move. Firstly because I have so much stuff and secondly because I felt like I was tearing myself down, putting all my little pieces away inside dozens of boxes. There were at least two days where I no longer had an office and I felt completely lost.

Then we moved house and after about a week of unpacking all the important life stuff, it was time to go down and check out my new space. The good part was that my new dungeon was twice the size of the old one, which was really exciting. I had a blank canvas to work with.

My lovely wife and I had also spent a bit of time giving the old bookshelves a new coat of varnish before we moved and they looked totally amazing in the new room. Around the same time I received a replica skull from the incredible people at Nightshade FX down in Melbourne, and this just fit perfectly on the shelf.

These dens define us as writers and despite my fears, my new one feels exactly like the old one, and that is very comforting.

I’d love to see other writer’s dens and dungeons, so please share here or at my Facebook page – www.facebook.com/GregChapman.Author

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Vaudeville and Other Nightmares cover reveal

And I can finally reveal the full cover art for my forthcoming collection – Vaudeville and Other Nightmares.

vaudeville-and-other-nightmares

I created this artwork for the cover. Depicted is the character Mister Crispin, from the title novella, Vaudeville. He’s a nasty little fella who leads a band of demonic troubadours who lurk in the woods, preying on souls.

You can read more about Vaudeville HERE and some more details on my collection can be found in my previous post.

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Australian Shadows Awards finalists announced!

It’s that time of year again when we celebrate the cream of Australia’s horror writing crop with the Australian Shadows Awards.

Shadows Awards put Australian writers in the spotlight

These awards, co-ordinated by the Australian Horror Writers Association recognise the best in horror in the edited work, collection, novel, long and short fiction categories.

Having judged the Shadows last year I know how difficult it can be to pick the best of the best when there are so many talented authors, editors and publishers out there.

But here is the list of finalists announced on June :

For Edited Publication:

MIDNIGHT ECHO 9, BY GEOFF BROWN
A KILLER AMONG DEMONS, BY CRAIG BEZANT
BABY TEETH – BITE SIZED TALES OF TERROR, BY DAN RABARTS AND LEE MURRAY
STAR QUAKE 1, BY SOPHIE YORKSTON

For Collected Works:

This year, there is no shortlist. In 7 days, the winner will be announced.

For Short Fiction:

NIP, TUCK, ZIP, PLUCK, BY JOHN PAUL FITCH
FENCE LINES, BY JOANNE ANDERTON
THE NEST, BY C.S. MCMULLEN
CATERPILLARS, BY DEBBIE COWENS
THE DEAD WAY, BY JC HART

For the PAUL HAINES SHADOWS AWARD for LONG FICTION:

SOUL KILLER, BY ROBERT HOOD
THE HOME FOR BROKEN DOLLS, BY KIRSTYN MCDERMOTT
THE UNWANTED WOMEN OF SURREY, BY KAARON WARREN

For Novel:

UNDEAD KELLY, BY TIMOTHY BOWDEN
TOPSIDERS, BY SCOTT TYSON
809 JACOB STREET, BY MARTY YOUNG

The list of finalists in the Edited category is pretty exciting as I contributed to Midnight Echo Issue 9 with some artwork and a story in A Killer Among Demons.

Good luck to all the finalists. I look forward to the announcement about the winners!

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NEWS: Black Beacon Books to publish my collection “Vaudeville and Other Nightmares”!

Looks like Halloween will be another cracker this year with a collection of some of my tales to be unleashed in October!

The collection, titled Vaudeville and Other Nightmares will be published by Black Beacon Books, an emerging publisher from my home state of Queensland.

The book, which will be available in print and e-book, will contain my third novella, Vaudeville, in print for the first time, as well as 21 other short stories, including several previously unpublished tales. One tale in particular will see the return of a certain demonic muse, from my popular novella, The Noctuary.

My old friend and mentor Brett McBean has even humbled me by writing an introduction for the book.

Black Beacon Books has also been kind enough to let me provide the artwork for the cover of the collection and offer signed copies of all my print novellas (Torment, The Noctuary and The Last Night of October) and some Halloween-inspired artwork as a competition. Stay tuned for me details on that in the weeks to come!

Here’s a sneak peek at the cover art!

vaudeville-and-other-nightmares-cropped

This is my first published collection and I hope it pleases old readers and new. For more info check out Black Beacon Books’ website or their Facebook page.

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Society of Fear

Two questions were posed on the internet this week about books that have really gotten to me.

The first was whether books should have trigger warnings – warnings about the themes the books might contain, similar to warnings or classifications for film.

Currently some websites and blogs contain trigger warnings, but now some colleges in the US are proposing to put them on required reading texts and course workbooks. How long I wonder before they’re proposed for fiction?

Putting trigger warnings on books would be the first step toward book restriction. Think about it – if trigger warnings were imposed, accepted by the public and industry and imposed by some authority, then couldn’t they also restrict which books are published?

Here in Queensland, Australia where I live, the novel American Psycho was banned when it was first released because the content was deemed too extreme and that children might be exposed to it. So what, there was a possibility that American Psycho might have been placed next to Green Eggs and Ham by mistake? Banning that book was done out of fear and these ideas about trigger warnings is once again a product of the same fear, but only a softer, more under-handed approach. Surely a lecturer can simply give a verbal warning to their students – why deface a book to appease an overly politically correct society or sensitive individual?

The horror genre is easily defined against all other genres, because of its themes and usually violent content. But good horror stories always put the gore and blood in context with the overall story. Horror books should never be judged by the violence within alone and these trigger warnings would act as an unfair prejudice on a book.

Ultimately potential readers make up their minds about a book when they look at the front and back covers. Usually, a horror book cover will literally scream horror and the reader will get the gist of the content within by reading the back cover blurb. If it seems like it will be too much for them they’ll put it down and move on to something else, right? They don’t need a book cover to be stained with trigger warnings!

Maybe I’m getting worked up over nothing, because such an idea would never be supported, but these days their seems to be so many assaults on our freedom of speech. As an author I don’t want anyone to prejudice my work because they might find horror offensive. If you don’t like horror, don’t read it!

The other question – Is Horror Literature? was handled much more succinctly by Glen Hirshberg over at the TorForge blog.

Of course, Glen’s right, horror has always been literature since ghost stories were first told in caves. It’s in our nature to need to be frightened – it’s part of our survival. The Gothic Novel brought horror into the literary mainstream with works like The Monk by Matthew Lewis and it will continue to play a part in storytelling for as long as we have need to point out the good and evil in this world.

Check out my Horror – the Best Thing You’ve Never Read post if you need more convincing.

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