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the Dreams of the Damned

I write dark fiction and I'm something of a dreamer

Travis Heermann and the Rogues of the Black Fury
Heermann-Rogues-of-the-Black-Fury2 My guest today is Travis Heermann, author of "Heart of the Ronin", and "Snakes". Travis also has forthcoming stories in popular genre magazines such as "Cemetery Dance" and "Weird Tales"(those stories will be published later this year). Today he discusses his latest release, the superbly named fantasy novel, "Rogues of the Black Fury".

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Win a signed copy of Corrupts Absolutely

To mark the release of the  Bloody Parchment anthology in July, in which I have a story, "Masks", I'm offering a print copy of Corrupts Absolutely? signed by myself. My story, "Crooked," features in Corrupts.

The book giveaway is being run through Goodreads throughout July and August and to enter, all you need to do is register here.

"The only family member to survive the 9/11 attacks. A sidekick-turned-construction-worker. The teenaged products of an institute for unwanted metahuman children. The man who can make anyone do anything. Are they heroes? Are they villains? Sometimes they're both. Often, even at the same time."

Corrupts Absolutely? is an anthology featuring stories of dark, superhero fiction and it collects twenty brand new stories from various authors, including Bram Stoker award winners, Weston Ochse and Joe McKinney, as well as Bram Stoker finalist, Jeff Strand. 

So far the collection has been earning rave reviews. To whet your appetite here are some highlights:

"Corrupts Absolutely? is a great anthology with a concept that never gets old. Highly recommended." onlythebestscifi.blogspot.co.uk

"A fine anthology." Hellnotes.com

"The editor has done a fine job of assembling a batch of stories filled with attitude and badassery." Superheronovels.com

"There are quite a few zingers to this collection." Fantasybookcritic.blogspot.com

"All in all, Corrupts Absolutely? was a great escape, providing very interesting pastiches of heroes and villains." Thirteenoclock.com.au

"For a diverse collection of stories with a blistering pace, heavy action, and a lot of heart pick up Corrupts Absolutely?" dreadfultales.com

Now, I have a story in Corrupts Absolutely? so you can take my opinion on the book or leave it, but I think this is a super (excuse the pun) collection that's well worth a read, particularly for those of you who are becoming tired of a superhero genre that perhaps feels a little jaded. There are some challenging, original ideas within each of the tales and, I feel editor, Lincoln Crisler has done a credible job of making the concept of metahuman fiction fresh once again.

And for those of you interested, my favourite story in Corrupts Absolutely? was "Conviction" by Edward Erdelac. If you enter the Goodreads giveaway then you might be lucky enough to find out why…


For more on my writing, go to www.leemather.org.uk, or follow me on the untameable beast that is Twitter.

Born Again: Nerine Dorman talks Inkarna

Today I'm joined by Nerine Dorman, author of "Khepera Rising", "The Namaqualand Book of the Dead", and "What Sweet Music They Make".

Nerine talks about her latest book, "Inkarna", available now from Dark Continents Publishing.

"Inkarna" has already been added to the Bram Stoker reading list for 2012 and promises to be one of the most interesting reads of the year...

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Candice Gilmer discusses Rescuing Rapunzel

Today, my guest is romance author, Candice Gilmer, whose titles include The Reluctant Prince, Unholy Night and Fantasy Girl.

Candice joins me to talk about her latest release from Lyrical Press, Rescuing Rapunzel.

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Welcome to the strange world of Benjamin Knox

Today, I'm joined by Benjamin Knox, my fellow Brit, and co-contributor to the Bloody Parchment anthology, available in June on ebook from eKhaya. The anthology is edited by Nerine Dorman and contains stories by, among others, Brett Bruton, SL Schmitz and Joan De La Haye.

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Bloody Parchment: Hidden Things, Lost Things

HiJune sees the release of a new anthology featuring, amongst others, my short story "Masks".

"Hidden Things, Lost Things" is the sum of the Bloody Parchment competition, which is run annually alongside the South African Horrorfest. The anthology is a follow up to Bloody Parchment: Volume One and is edited by Cape Town author, Nerine Dorman.

eKhaya, an imprint of Random House Struik (the South African arm of Random House – so a big deal for me in that I have only worked with the indie presses so far. Having said that, I'm fortunate in that the publishers I have worked with to date have been really, really good!), have taken on the rights for the anthology, and they describe it as a "cutting edge" piece of genre fiction.

"Bloody Parchment" started life as a literary competition, and the winner, as the title details, was "Inferna" by Christina Vincent. The runners up were "Hidden Things, Lost Things" by Brett Bruton and "Healing Hands" by Jenny Robson. The rest of the anthology comprises the finalists:

"Excerpt For Bryan" by Austin Malone

"Wither" by Benjamin Knox

"Death Express" by Joan De La Haye

"Flouride In The Water" by Mico Pisanti

"The Woman Who Sold The World" by SL Schmitz

"Duck Creek Road" by Stacey Larner

"A Few Withered Leaves" by Toby Bennett

And last but not least (drumroll please!), my contribution, "Masks".

I had two ideas for stories on my honeymoon of all places. I'd had a few months of wedding planning and finding funding, and the duress of getting all of our friends and families in one place without causing any combustion or drama (we need not have worried, it was an awesome day in the end!) but as soon as I hit the beach my mind started to click into "ideas mode" and I suspect it was a release from all the wedding stuff.

The initial idea was for a novel, which turned into "First Kiss, Last Breath" which is due for release in September with Lyrical Press. The second was "Masks".

I wanted to write something that touched on the different faces we have. We often project a different version of ourselves depending on the company we keep or the situation we find ourselves in. Speaking personally, the professional version of Lee is very different to the private one.

"Masks" is a horror story and it doesn't pull any punches.

It is set in a London theatre and features Cris Fletcher, the celebrated actor, who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. He struggles to deal with the grim reality of his approaching death and the impact it will have on his loved ones. Cris receives a series of cryptic notes hinting at a terrible choice he will have to make, a choice that might lead to a cure.

One point of interest with Bloody Parchment is that, although it is primarily a celebration of South African literary talent, it also features work from American, Australian, Botswanan and English writers. The end product will see a real fusion of cultures and styles.

Here is a sneak preview of "Masks":

The applause died as Cris Fletcher hurried from the stage. There was no thrill, no buzz even at the final curtain. An ovation at the Royal Elizabeth used to make him feel awed, afire – alive. But not tonight, not for a while, and as he hobbled through the annals of the oldest theatre still operating in London, he wondered whether he would experience such joy again.

He found his dressing room and sagged as he reached the door.

“Mr Fletcher!”

Cris flinched and withdrew his hand. A young actress had followed him. Doe-eyed and strong featured; she had a great look and a promising future. In the play she was the youngest daughter of the Graingers, the family at the heart of The Haunting of Ashburton Manor. Cris couldn’t recall the actress’s name but he greeted her warmly nonetheless, with mirth in his eyes and sincerity in his smile. Or so he showed her. That was the skill. Control of the face wasn’t as important in the theatre where command and presence were priorities, but on celluloid, where Cris made his career, it was everything.

"Hidden Things, Lost Things" will be available to buy at Amazon.com from June 1st 2012. 

Under the Montana Sky

Author Debra Holland, a success story ten years in the making, on her transition from struggling writer, to self publishing phenomenon, to being signed by Amazon's Romance imprint. A must read for anyone considering self publishing their writing...

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Paying The Ferrymen

Jason Gehlert joins me on Dreams of the Damned to talk about his new paranormal thriller, The Ferrymen, where evil spirits are brought to justice from beyond the grave.

Hi Jason, welcome to my blog.

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Nathaniel Connors Reveals why Creatures Rule...

Massachusetts based author Nathaniel Connors joins me on Dreams of the Damned, where we discuss his debut novel, Creatures Rule the Night, the first book in his Revelation Series. Creatures is a fusion of science fiction and horror, and is a concept that has been with Nathaniel for a number of years…

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Lucky Seven Excerpt: Untitled Apocalypse Series: Book One

I was tagged by author for Sonya Clark for a Lucky Seven Excerpt.

The rules are simple:

1. Go to page 77 in your current manuscript

2. Go to line 7

3. Copy down the next seven lines as they are – no cheating!

4. Tag 7 other authors (Done on Facebook)

This is very much a first draft and it will be a while before this bad boy is ready for public consumption! I don't even have a title I'm happy with yet!

Some context...

A strange storm pattern has appeared in the sky. It is the prelude to a series of natural disasters and some very unnatural behaviour from people everywhere.

The story is told in a series of viewpoints from the members of one extended family. Page 77 currently sits in chapter eight, told from the perspective of Emma Hardy, the second youngest sibling.

Lucky Seven:

"We're all worried about our families," Peter muttered. He looked sheepish then, as if he regretted what he'd said. Emma noticed the wedding ring on his left hand. Peter tried to smile. "But they'll be fine. You're the priority and I need to make sure you're okay. Can you move your toes? Gently now."

Emma cried out as she tried. A pain like an electric shock pulsed through her.

Peter chewed his lip. "That your ankle?"