To put it plainly I wouldn’t be a published author/artist if it wasn’t for this organisation and this post is a way of trying to repay the debt.
I joined the AHWA in 2009 and not long after, I secured a spot in that year’s mentor program with Brett McBean as my mentor. What I learned from Brett helped me find a publisher for my first novella “Torment”, but although the mentorship program ended long ago, the AHWA continues to assist me and hundreds of other horror authors on their journeys to publication.
The AHWA’s strength comes from its connections. The authors all go out of their way to offer support, guidance and a critical eye. The old saying “it’s not what you know, but who you know” is the very definition of the AHWA.
This leads me to the AHWA’s other strength – it’s dark fiction magazine Midnight Echo. The mag features fantastic fiction and art and my illustrations even graced the pages of issue 5 with the graphic story Allure of the Ancients in February this year.
I’d submitted a graphic story for issue 4 and although I was knocked back in that instance, it was the then art director Dave Schembri who connected me with Allure’s writer Mark Farrugia and eventual publication in issue 5.
Allure attracted the attention of US Horror Writers Association president Rocky Wood who was looking for an artist for a new graphic novel project – and Witches! was born.
So I guess it goes without saying that I owe a lot to the AHWA and all the people involved in it. For the past 18 months or so I’ve been in the role of media/PR guy for Midnight Echo magazine in an effort to repay the debt.