Interview with Jeff Oliver and Gordon Reilly (Venomous Words)

•March 23, 2022 • 2 Comments

Biographies:

Jeff Oliver

Jeff Oliver was born in Baltimore, Maryland on April 6th, 1982. Jeff began writing Dark Poetry at just 11 years old. Transferring darkness to paper at such a young age. There are thoughts about a troubled childhood, thoughts of love and imagination that never elude his pen. A poet by passion and a father of 8 beautiful children. His dedication to his family & his craft is second to none. Jeff lives in Western New York State. Jeff is a writer of intense emotions. His books include: Strange Sounds, Poetic Fiction: Journals of Silent Screams (Self Published) Scattered Thoughts, Volumes I, II & III. Drops Of Insanity (Cosby Media Productions). Venomous Words & New World Monsters. (HellBound Books). New World Monsters II: The Voices in Your Head & Dracula: One Twenty-Five (Publisher to be determined). Jeff will continue to write from the deepest corners of his soul. Sometimes searching his own soul scares the Hell out of him.

Follow Jeff on his largest Social Media Platform at:

https://www.facebook.com/wordsfromthesoul3334/

Books By Jeff Oliver 

http://www.amazon.com/Jeff-Oliver/e/B07YK4YF2H%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_awm_scns_share

Gordon Reilly

Gordon Reilly AKA Venom macro is a Special Operations Veteran who found macro photography of scorpions and invertebrates as a hobby. Bringing people closer to nature in a way they can observe the world of 435-million-year-old animals is his goal. His images allow for admiring the intricacy of their beauty while respecting the animal from a safe distance. He’s been noted as being one of the best to photograph scorpions in their entirety. He prefers to remain faceless; few know what he looks like or who he is. His photography is shrouded in mystery, much like the animals he photographs. “Beauty is in the details.”

Visit Gordon’s websites today:

Instagram: @venom_macro

Facebook :  https://www.facebook.com/envenomation.nation.1

VCFor live Scorpion Purchases:

https://www.venommacro.com/?fbclid=IwAR2G6i5hnIqgh6XevEcuViu5DTZDbTtP1i0U2dAp-G8wnWxMyZiT2M8KxVI

For Macro-Photography High Resolution prints:

https://venommacro.smugmug.com

“The poetry and photography in Jeff Oliver and Gordon Reilly’s Venomous Words draw you into a beautifully dark and rarely seen world. Reilly’s stunning photography of scorpions and other invertebrates are gorgeous, haunting, and fascinating. Oliver’s poetry dives deep into the more macabre philosophies of the human struggle. He doesn’t flinch! A wild and unique collaboration! Loved it!”

—John Palisano, Bram Stoker Award-Winning author of Ghost Heart, President of The Horror Writers Association.

Interview:

Q. Jeff, how did you get started as a writer, and poet, and what attracted you initially to dark fiction?

A. (Jeff) I embarked on my writing journey at a very young age. I didn’t have much of a choice. It was my only way to escape what was constantly pounding in my brain. I was called out of my name, hit, punched, kicked. You name it. I wrote it all down. I was obsessed about it. I dreamed about it. I screamed about it. I wrote stories about each bruise. I wrote those stories in a maddening way. To this day the abuse inspires each letter that is bled out of my decomposing soul. The love of my Wife balances the madness. So I guess I can’t really say I was attracted to dark fiction. Dark fiction has always been attracted to me. I’m just the messenger for each blood curdling scream.

Q. To Gordon, how long have you been a photographer and how did you get your start?

A. (Gordon): I first picked up a camera roughly 3 years ago. I had always wanted to try detailed macro imaging. Once I got started I couldn’t resist wanting to see “more”. I started my Instagram page venom_macro  after a fellow hobbyist whom I didn’t know had seen a few early images that I did. He coaxed me into starting a page and it grew pretty rapidly.

Q. Whose idea initially, was this project and where did the idea come from? What inspired you to do this type of book?

A. (Jeff): Gordon came to me one day on social media and asked if we could collaborate on Instagram. I was down at first until I saw his Macro-Photography… I was blown away by the detail of each of his hauntingly beautiful images. So I said “Fuck It” Let’s write a book! This will be epic! So we did and here is the final result. Venomous Words. It was both of our ideas.

Q. How did the two of you meet and start working together?

A. (Jeff): We met on Instagram messenger. It’s how it usually happens these days. We instantly clicked and started working on the book right away. Hundreds of hours were put into this book. The writing and the photography were fused together into an innovative collaboration. It is indeed the first of its kind.

(Gordon): One night I was checking my Instagram explore page and I saw Jeff’s poetry and it really intrigued me. The more I read his work I couldn’t help to think how the words paired so well with the images I was creating. Basically I reach out to see if he’d be interested in doing a simple collaboration. After speaking to Jeff via messenger we decided to do a post to check how it would be received within my follower base. It was welcomed and got really good responses. The rest just fell into place. Jeff is a maverick. He found inspiration through my images which in turn made me want to photo EVEN MORE! It’s been a wild ride so far and it’s only getting better!

Q. What kinds of special photographic techniques is Gordon using for all of the magnificent close-ups in this book?

A. (Gordon): I use various lighting techniques to illuminate the subject from all angles. I prefer a “showcased” style image where the viewer is immersed into the animal itself without the distraction of backgrounds. I believe it centers the animals very well and allows the viewer to enjoy the small intricacy of each. You basically see EVERY detail. Being a self-taught macro photographer I spent a lot of time studying some of the best photographers’ work. The macro community is absolutely outstanding. I received much advice from the top photographers in the field. The beauty is in the details! It takes much patience to allow the subject to settle for a photoshoot. I stack my images. Meaning, most of the images you’ll see in the book are roughly anywhere from 20-50 images stacked together to increase the depth of field (focus). As you can imagine subjects do tend to move which can ruin an entire photoshoot. You have to be patient, learn the behavioral characteristics and wait till they give you the optimal position.

Q. Initially, there were some challenges with getting a publisher or printer who was able to handle the higher resolution images that you needed printed for your book. Tell me a bit about those struggles in that journey and how things finally panned out.

A. (Jeff): I searched for over a month for a publisher and nobody would take it. One said yes then backed out. Some lashed out at me for inquiring about it by calling me pushy and narcissistic. (Eye Roll)  Some kindly said they were not interested. Then when I reached out to James Longmore and Xtina Marie over at HellBound books James said yes and took on the project. Now here we are. HellBound books have been amazing and are highly recommended.

(Gordon) It was extremely important to me that the images were seen in the resolution they were photographed in. It had to be top notch and our publisher really listened to what my vision was to convey the details to our audience.

“With equal parts dedicated to vengeance and metamorphosis, Venomous Words is an engaging and thought-provoking collection.”

– Steve Stred, Splatterpunk Nominated author of Sacrament and Mastodon.

Q. The way you have the images and the poetry join together so that they resonate with one another is truly unique. How did you decide which images would go with which photos? Did you write poetry specifically for certain images, or take photos for certain poetries, or did you have both of them already created and decide which ones were together the best?

A. (Jeff): So It happened like this. Gordon added amazing photos to the document. Gordon also wrote the descriptions for each creature. I then studied each photo and description for a few minutes and let whatever wanted to escape out. Kind of a freestyle mindset. It’s how I write. No script, no filter, it just flows out. I also added a few that I already had written out if they fit with the photograph.

Q. Do you relate to the creatures in the images, and if so, how?

A. (Jeff): I had to relate with each one in order to fuse the correct words into the creatures. I didn’t relate before I started this project but I surely do now. I was thinking: How do they know when to use their venom and when not to? Hunting techniques, eye color, size of stinger, and most importantly venom toxicity. I learned a lot writing this book.

(Gordon): Jeff really paid close attention to all of the info I was able to give him on each specimen. His inspiration runs wild and it really matches even better than I originally expected. I believe there’s a duality of beauty and danger with each image. The final image of the book, “The scorpion heart” really shows this well.

Q.  Although spiders and scorpions can be scary, they aren’t innately horrific, as they are natural creatures. How do you feel about the different ways that people view the insects that are portrayed in your work? Do you think that sometimes they are feared unfairly? Scapegoated and people do not see their true beauty?

A. (Jeff): We made them beautiful and scary. So is this book the best of both worlds? We are about to find out. I never knew anything about any of these creatures until I met Gordon. Now I know quite a lot. These creatures are not scary to me. They are definitely not scary to Gordon. He also breeds Scorpions at his home. Feared unfairly? Yes. Now people will see their beauty in these highly detailed photographs.

(Gordon): Arachnids are vilified often. I really wanted to bridge the communities by showing every aspect clearly without losing the audience. In each description, I give subtle info on each specimen to inspire people to want to know more about the scorpion hobby and keeping invertebrates all together. They may look scary, but in all honesty, they, like many other creatures, simply want to exist. Yes, there is no doubt that some of the scorpions featured in this book are the most venomous in the world,, however, the true intent was to awe people with the images and create a desire to learn more. I think knowledge reduces the fear factor whilst still respecting each animal for what they are and the damage they can cause if taken lightly.

Q. For each of you, what projects are you currently working on and what can we expect to see from you in the future?

A. (Jeff): We are working on Venomous Words: The Internal Breakdown. It is the second volume of our collaborations. This time Gordon will be flowing into my poetry in a reverse ripple effect. In the first volume I fused my words into his photographs. This time he’s fusing his photography into my poetry. Pretty cool huh? I have 4 other projects as well that I’m working on like a mad man. I’m not playing. I got kicked out of recess in grade school because I was not playing. (Joke) I’m not egotistical I promise. Confidence can be confused with that easily. Venomous Words is only the start of a long journey of many epic collaborations from Gordon and I. Now we have just one more question for you…

Are you ready?

(Gordon): I’m always working to find new angles to show the audience. I typically add different lighting techniques which furthers my skill set making each image better and more interesting. As Jeff said, “Are you ready?” Says it all! The images for the Internal Breakdown are even more intriguing. We are bringing something to the table that most overlook simply because it’s not easily seen with the naked eye. Now, the audience has autonomy to dive deep into the macro world and enjoy the incredible poetry that goes with it! This is truly a one of a kind partnership.

Sexy shifters and cybernetic love triangles

•March 6, 2022 • Leave a Comment

I am really excited that my story “Dwayne’s Baby Daddy” has been accepted into the Anthology Blerd 2: Couple’s Therapy. It is the story of a love triangle involving three African-American werewolves.

Mariah is in an open marriage with Jamal, even though she herself has no interest in having another partner. Jamal has a relationship with Dwayne, which predates his marriage to Mariah. The three have been making things work for the last three years by keeping some separation in their lives. Mariah knows about Dwayne, but has never met him.

Jamal and Mariah have been trying to conceive, to no avail. Things become complicated when Dwayne, a transman who was not even trying, becomes pregnant. That’s why Jamal and Mariah are in couples therapy.

I would like to personally thank Penelope Flynn , Valjeanne Jeffers, Quinton Veal , Nicole Smith and Cinsearae Santiago-Reiniger for helping me to embrace writing paranormal romance and erotica. Some of my queerest writing is in the Paranormal Romance genre. I am really grateful that they have been so encouraging about me writing queer characters in the genre. These are all black editors and publishers, and you should support them.

Now, what I’m saying is that I have paranormal romances in all of these people’s anthologies. Although, “Asi’s Horror and Delight” in Slay: Tales of the Vampire Noir leans more towards the horror genre, and could be called a horror romance. As you probably know by now, mocha Memoirs publishing is also putting out my paranormal romance Happiness and Other Diseases. “Asi’s Horror and Delight” is a story about a witch who tries to swindle a god by having her vampire companion (a kind of vampiric werebird) to seduce him.

The We-Ness Trilogy, a three-story arc that appears in Valjeanne and Quinton’s Scierogenous 2, involves a love triangle between a sentient cybernetic implant, his host, and her fuckboi friends with benefits. I am very proud of the character development and the world-building in that story.

“Sweetness” is a short story in Cinesearse’s anthology, Beasts and Babes. It’s the disturbing tale of a werepig, set in a post-apocalyptic world where werepigs, when not in human form, can be legally hunted for food. In the story, he tries to seduce his captor, a seasoned hunter, and convinced her that he would be better as a companion than sold to the slaughterhouse. It’s pretty twisted.

“Dwayne’s Baby Daddy,” the story that just got accepted into Penelope’s Blerdrotica 2: Couples Therapy, is actually a relatively wholesome tale. Well, wholesome if you feel like polyamory is valid. It stays firmly in the paranormal romance genre, in fact, I would say that it is romance leaning, and it doesn’t get dark, but keeps it sweet and sexy. Like the We-Ness Trilogy, it is classified as erotica because it has a healthy number of sex scenes in it.

Some Call It Puppy Love: Review of Love and Leashes

•March 3, 2022 • 1 Comment

Love and Leashes (2022) is a cute, funny and well-written Korean romantic comedy starring Seo Ju-hyun as Jung Ji-woo, a serious office worker who is constantly being told to smile, be cute, and defer to others less, both by her boss and office staff, and by well-meaning women in her life such as her mother and best friend, who fear she will never find a man if she doesn’t conform. Because it debuted on Netflix (last month on February 11, just in time for Valentine’s rom-com season), a lot of people mistakenly believe it’s a series. It’s not – it’s an approximately two-hour long motion picture.

Her love interest, a similarly named Jung Ji-hoo (portrayed by actor, rapper and singer Lee Jun-young) is a new hire at her marketing firm. Although he is new, and a bit younger than she is, due to the sexist culture in their workplace, he is her senior in the office (although not a supervisor). A coworker jokes that they’ll be confused for each other. Their abrasive and sexist boss (played by Seo Hyun-woo) immediately points out that, aside from their gender difference, Ji-hoo is the kind of pleasant, polite, and frankly, cute behavior he’s been hoping for from Ji-woo. Although she is smart and hard-working, her refusal to conform to gender norms is causing friction in the office place.

Ji-woo and Ji-hoo’s name confusion invariably leads to a case of mistaken identity, and a series of hysterical slapstick comedy scenes later, Ji-woo discovers Ji-hoo’s secret. He is kinky. Since she already has her eye on, him, she decides to do a little research to see what she might be getting herself into if she pursues this.

Ji-hoo also has his eye on Ji-woo. Her assertive, non-nonsense manner and sober bearing are what he finds attractive – things she is constantly being criticized for. He defends her, and beyond simply accepting her for herself, thoroughly enjoys who she is. One of the delightful things about this film is how, over the course of their relationship, she starts to perform better at work. When they eventually get into a contractual kink relationships, one of the terms of the contract is that Ji-woo will continue to bear herself in an empowered way. Although it is sad that it takes her being involved for her mother, best friend, and female coworkers to stop asking her to smile more and be more demure, it is also pretty real. This happens a lot.

As a kinky person, I would like to say that Love and Leashes gets a lot of things right.  Ji-hoo is a part of an online kink community, and has a lot of knowledge on the subject, even though he has not yet had a dominant. It deals with his break-up with a previous partner (who was disturbed by his kinks) well. Other subjects it touches on are difficulties that can come up in negotiating romantic and sexual relationships when in a D/s relationship.

The relationship starts out with simple pet play – a kind of D/s play where the Dominant roleplays a pet owner, and the submissive, often but not necessarily on a leash, roleplays an animal. That is where the movie gets its name, Love and Leashes. In this case, Ji-hoo is being a puppy – and a specifically female puppy at that, named Miho. Although the initial play scenes are cute, awkward and comical, the actors have good sexual chemistry in all of the kinky scenes, which adds both intimacy and hotness to them that only levels up as the movie goes on. Actor Lee Jun-young’s cute puppy dog faces at a lot to the convincingness of the puppy play, for anyone who has actually played with a human pupper.

In a lot of ways, Seo Ju-hyun’s character Ji-woo is what you’d call “the straight man” in this comedy – a term used to describe a serious character that the others bounce off of in a comedy. Because Ji-woo is intelligent, hard-working and studious, they are able to convincingly have her do a lot of research on kink without breaking character. This creates a lot of “teaching moments” for those newly acquainted with kink in the audience.

Although combining romance, sex, and BDSM are more common than the online article Ji-woo consults might suggest, it correctly asserts that there are issues when those come into play in a power dynamic relationship where one partner is Dominant and the other submissive. It does a very good job of showing what can go wrong, as well as how do to do it right when it comes to pairing D/s dynamics with sex and/or romance. It also gets into difficulties that can arise in office romances, without ever becoming preachy or losing the romantic comedy vibe.

In the end, it is a sweet movie that is not overly saccharine or sentimental. It is also a rare film that shows a female dominant character in a way that is humanizing. While Ji-woo becomes cooler, more confident, and sexier as she goes further down the rabbit hole with Ji-hoo, he remains the main eye candy as the clothed Dominant/half-naked submissive trope gets a little feminist here. But both of the characters remain very human. It was a fun film with sexy kink scenes and a playful romance and I say check it out.

—-

My book Happiness and Other Diseases is coming out on March 30 on Mocha Memoirs Press. It’s a kinky paranormal romance that teeters on the bleeding edge of horror. The Book Release Party is on Saturday, April 16 from 7pm to 9m at the Folsom Street Community Center in San Francisco’s Leather Cultural District. Drinks and appetizers will be served. My online class Love & Monsters: On Paranormal Romance makes its debut on March 15 at the Speculative Fiction Academy.

45 Black Men in Horror – Part 3

•March 1, 2022 • Leave a Comment

As you probably know, 60 Black Women in Horror and 100+ Black Women in Horror started out as a series on this very blog back in 2013. It was a series of three blogs, 20 Black Women in Horror, 20 More Black Women in Horror, and 20 Black Women in Horror 3. It just kept getting bigger and bigger until it eventually became the book 60 Black Women in Horror. Then, 80 Black Women in Horror. And finally, 100+ Black Women in Horror. Linda D Addison has been saying since 2018 that someone needs to do a list of black men in horror. A couple nights ago when we were recording a panel on curating diverse anthologies, she brought it up again. And I committed to putting together a list. Currently, I have 45 men on the list, which I will be publishing as a series on this blog for February – Black Heritage Month. Each post will list 15 writers. Find them all here: List 1, List 2, and List 3.

  1. Sean Demory

Sean Demory is the brains behind Pine Float Press. He cowrote Slow Boat to Fast City with A.E. Ash, Marshall Edwards, Orrin Grey, and Steven G. Saunders. He is also the author of Zobop Bebop, The Ballad of the Wayfaring Stranger and the Dead Man’s Whore, Philomena Unbound, Sycorax Resplendent, and Aglaeca. His works have appeared in the anthologies Palookaville and Aglaeca. His short story “Make Him Talk,” appeared in the quarterly Postscripts to Darkness, and his short story “Bad Beat” appeared in Raygun Revival.

You can find him online at https://pitchaweek.wordpress.com/ and https://sdemory.livejournal.com/

  1. Jamie Grimes

His short story “I Will Not Walk In Darkness” anthology Georgia Gothic, produced by the Atlanta chapter of the Horror Writers Association. His short story on the Blacklight podcast, and his short story “High Water Slack” was first published by the IGNYTE Award-Winning publication NightLight. Both stories appeared on the Nightlight Takeover edition of the PseudoPod podcast. He is a horror blogger and podcaster whose articles appear on PseudoPod.

Find him online at https://www.twitter.com/Jamie_L_Grimes

  1. Justin C. Key

He is the author of The Perfection of Theresa Watkins, Spider King, and Balancing the Equation,  He cowrote The Ball Hog with Christine Chang. His works are published in Bridge To Elsewhere Anthology (2022), Some of the Best from Tor.com, 2020 edition, Don’t Touch That: An Anthology of Parenthood in SFF, Vital Anthology, Realm, Interstellar Flight Magazine, Nightlight Podcast, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, July/August 2017 (#732), Lightspeed Magazine: Issue 135, August 2021, Plasma Frequency Magazine: Issue 15: January/February 2015, Crossed Genres, Kyso Flash, Plasma Frequency Magazine, The Colored Lens, Fiction 365, and The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, (F&SF, #753). Find him online at https://justinckey.com/

  1. Rodney Barnes

Rodney Barnes is an American screenwriter and producer. Barnes has written and produced The Boondocks, My Wife and Kids, Everybody Hates Chris, Those Who Can’t, Marvel’s Runaways, American Gods, Wu-Tang: An American Saga, and is currently an executive producer/writer on HBO’s Untitled Los Angeles Lakers drama. He has written the horror comics Killadelphia, Elysium Gardens, Nita Hawes’ Nightmare Blog, as well as the comics Quincredible, and Monarch. His studio Zombie Love Studios put out the animated features Florence and Normandie, Crownsville, and the soon-to-be-released Blackula.

Find him online at https://rodneybarnes.com/

  1. Greg Elysee

Greg Anderson Elysee is a Haitian-American comic writer, educator, filmmaker, and model. He is the writer and creator of the comic series Is’nana the Were-Spider, which has garnered 5 Glyph Awards including Best Writer and Story of the Year. He is also the writer of The Gentleman: Darkness of the Void and Marassa, both for Evoluzione Publishing. Anderson Elysee’s work frequently incorporates various themes of Black spirituality in hope of showcasing often misinformed beliefs into more positive narratives.Greg Anderson Elysee is a Haitian-American comic writer, educator, filmmaker, and model. He is the writer and creator of the comic series Is’nana the Were-Spider, which has garnered 5 Glyph Awards including Best Writer and Story of the Year. He is also the writer of The Gentleman: Darkness of the Void and Marassa, both for Evoluzione Publishing. Anderson Elysee’s work frequently incorporates various themes of Black spirituality in hope of showcasing often misinformed beliefs into more positive narratives. Find him online at https://webwaycomics.ecwid.com/

  1. Newton Lilavois

Newton Lilavois is a comic book writer and publisher of Dream Fury Comics. He writes the supernatural horror comic series Crescent City Monsters.The story follows Jonas, a blues musician and sorcerer practicing Creole Magic, who’s determined to track down who put out a bounty on him. Gian Carlo Bernal is the illustrator. The comic’s completed three separate successfully funded Kickstarter campaigns resulting in three complete issues, has been making its way around the comic con, indie comic and black comic circuits ever since. It has also been featured on a number of podcast and vlogs.

Find it online at https://dream-fury-comics.myshopify.com/

  1. David Crownson

He is the author of the comic series Harriet Tubman : Demon Slayer. When slave owners can’t stop the powerful ninja warrior Harriet Tubman, they enlist the help of vampires, demons, witches & werewolves to stop her. Harriet Tubman must lead a family of runaways to freedom while battling an army of darkness. He is the owner of Kingwood Comics, which publishes the title. Issue One was created by David Crownson (Author) Courtland Ellis (Illustrator), Joey Vazquez (Illustrator), Dana Verde (Editor). On Issue 2,  Josh Burcham replaced Courtland Ellis on the illustration team. The team for Issue 3 was David Crownson (Author), Courtland Ellis (Author), and Sylvain Repos (Author). Find Kingwood Comics online at https://kingwoodcomics.com/

  1. David F. Walker

David F. Walker is an award-winning comic book writer, filmmaker, journalist, and educator. Walker is best known for his work in comics, including Shaft: A Complicated Man (Dynamite Entertainment), winner of the 2015 Glyph Award for Story of the Year, and its sequel, Shaft: Imitation of Life. He has also worked as a the writer on Bitter Root, Vol. 1: Family Business, The Life of Frederick Douglass: A Graphic Narrative of an Extraordinary Life, Power Man and Iron Fist, Vol. 1: The Boys are Back in Town, Bitter Root, Vol. 2: Rage & Redemption, Power Man and Iron Fist, Vol. 2: Civil War II, Bitter Root #1, Occupy Avengers, Vol. 1: Taking Back Justice, and Nighthawk: Hate Makes Hate.

You can find him online at https://twitter.com/DavidWalker1201

  1. Chuck Brown

Chuck Brown is the Eisner and Ringo award-winning writer and co-creator of such books as The Punisher and Black Panther for Marvel, Rotten Apple for Dark Horse Comics, and Bitter Root for Image Comics. He has also written for On the Stump Volume 1, Civil War II: Choosing Sides #4, Black Manta (2021-) #1, Aquamen (2022-) #1, The Quiet Kind, Red Sonja Valentines Special (2022) (Red Sonja (2019-2021)), Marvel Hero Project Superior Salvador, Marvel Hero Project Soaring Seamus, The Forgotten Lake Secession, and Asylum Press Sampler #1.

Find him online at https://twitter.com/Cbrown803

  1. S.A. Cosby

S. A. Cosby is an Anthony Award-winning writer from Southeastern Virginia. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller Razorblade Tears and Blacktop Wasteland, which won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and was a New York Times Notable Book, the Sun Sentinel’s and BookPage’s #1 Best Mystery of the year, a Goodreads Choice Awards Semifinalist, and was named a best of the year by NPR, The Guardian, and Library Journal, among others. He is also the author of My Darkest Prayer, Ride Like Hell, and Brotherhood of the Blade: The Invitation, and Brotherhood of the Blade: Vol 2: House of Swords. His work has appeared in Rural Voices: 15 Authors Challenge Assumptions About Small-Town America, and Cheapjack Pulp 317. Find him online at https://twitter.com/blacklionking73

  1. DL Russell

D.L. Russell has been published in various anthologies and magazines since 2007. He has been publishing since late 2009 when he launched the ezine, Strange, Weird, and Wonderful Magazine with the goal of supplying writers and artists with less name recognition to have another option to showcase their work. He eventually moved into publishing books via Strange, Weird, and Wonderful Publishing with Sharon Black, and eventually to his own publishing company, Black Books Publishing, Inc. He is the author of Hell Is An Awfully Big City: A Collection, and is the editor of Nobody Goes Out Anymore: Futuristic Fiction Post Covid-19, 21st Century Black Erotica: Pleasure, Pain, Lust & Love in the Era of Cell Phone Selfies and Social Media. Payin’-2, and A Big Book of Strange Weird and Wonderful (Volume 1 and 2). Find him online at https://dlrussellbooks.com/

  1. Terence Taylor

Terence Taylor Is an award-winning children’s television writer, whose work has appeared on PBS, Nickelodeon and Disney, among many others. After a career of comforting young kids, he’s now equally dedicated to scaring their parents. His short horror stories have been published in Dark Dreams: A Collection of Horror and Suspense by Black Writers, Voices from the Other Side (Dark Dreams, #2), Nightmare Magazine 49: October 2016. People of Colo(u)r Destroy Horror! Special Issue, Northern Frights 1, Dark Dreams 3 and Whispers in the Night. He is the author of Bite Marks: A Vampire Testament and Blood Pressure. He is a member of the Writer’s Guild of America East. and can be found online at http://doyoubelieveinvampires.com/

  1. Vince Churchill

Dark fiction author Vince Churchill has over 15 published works. He is the author of Seven, Midnight Eternal, Goodnight My Sweet, Pandora, The Butcher Bride, The Blackest Heart, The Dead Shall Inherit the Earth,  The Dead Shall Inherit the Earth was featured in XBOX Magazine’s ZOMBIES! Collector’s Edition as ‘One of The 37 Greatest Zombie Triumphs.‘Vince’s short fiction has appeared in multiple anthologies including The Undead, The Horror Library – Volume One, and the Black Quill award-winning Midnight Walk. He was also a list contributor in the Book of Lists: Horror. Vince has created erotic fiction with Hyde & the upcoming graphic novella, The Presence. His most recent work is an illustrated children’s book, RUN! Find him online at https://vincechurchill.com/

  1. Daveed Diggs

Daveed Daniele Diggs (born January 24, 1982) is an American actor, rapper, singer and songwriter. He is the vocalist of the experimental hip hop group Clipping and in 2015 originated the roles of Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson in the musical Hamilton, for which he won both a Grammy Award and Tony Award. Since leaving Hamilton in 2016, he has had a recurring role on the television series Black-ish, and co-starred in the film Wonder. Diggs also wrote, produced and starred in the 2018 film Blindspotting, which earned him a nomination for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead. He wrote The Deep with Rivers Solomon, William Hutson, and Jonathan Snipes. Find him online at https://twitter.com/DaveedDiggs

  1. Evan Davis

Evan Davis’ short story “The Scars of Eliza Gray” can be found on the Nightlight Podcast. His short story “The Bells of Kraeden” appeared in The Common Tongue Dark Fantasy Magazine (Issue #3 / June 30, 2021).  His short story “30,000 BC” appeared in The Chorochronos Archives (JayHenge Publishing). His short story ”The Sixth Gun Conspiracy Letters” appeared in Hidden Histories (Third Flatiron Anthologies Book 26). His short story “High Noon” appears in The Society of Misfit Stories Presents… (February 2021)He also has work The Bards and Sages Quarterly

Find him online at https://thelightofday.blog/

45 Black Men in Horror Part 2

•February 26, 2022 • 1 Comment

As you probably know, 60 Black Women in Horror and 100+ Black Women in Horror started out as a series on this very blog back in 2013. It was a series of three blogs, 20 Black Women in Horror, 20 More Black Women in Horror, and 20 Black Women in Horror 3. It just kept getting bigger and bigger until it eventually became the book 60 Black Women in Horror. Then, 80 Black Women in Horror. And finally, 100+ Black Women in Horror. Linda D Addison has been saying since 2018 that someone needs to do a list of black men in horror. A couple nights ago when we were recording a panel on curating diverse anthologies, she brought it up again. And I committed to putting together a list. Currently, I have 45 men on the list, which I will be publishing as a series on this blog for February – Black Heritage Month. Each post will list 15 writers. Find them all here: List 1, List 2, and List 3.

  1. Mame Bougouma Diene

Mame Bougouma Diene is a columnist Strange Horizon, an author of horror and other speculative fiction who was a Nommo Award Nominee for Best Novella for “Fistulas” (2019) (from his horror collection Dark Moons Rising on a Starless Night.) His works have appeared in Dominion: An Anthology of Speculative Fiction from Africa and the African Diaspora, Africanfuturism: An Anthology, Sunspot Jungle (Sunspot Jungle, #1), AfroSFv3, AfroSFv2, This Book Ain’t Nuttin to Fuck With: A Wu-Tang Tribute Anthology, Myriad Lands: Volume 2: Beyond the Edge, Fiyah Magazine of Black Speculative Fiction, Issue 3: Sundown Towns,Bridging Worlds: Global Conversations on Creating Pan-African Speculative Literature In A Pandemic, and Africa Risen: A New Era of Speculative Fiction. His short story Another Day in the Desert appeared on the EscapePod podcast. Mame Bougouma Diene can be found online at https://twitter.com/mame_bougouma

  1. Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki

Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki probounced (UH-ge-ne-chah-we Donald AY-PAY-kee) is an African speculative fiction writer and editor in Nigeria. He has won the Horror Writers Association Diversity Grant, the Otherwise, Nommo and British Fantasy Awards. He has been a finalist in the Nebula, Locus, BSFA, Sturgeon and This Is Horror Awards. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared and are forthcoming in Tordotcom, Apex Magazine, Strange Horizons, Asimov’s, Galaxy’s Edge, Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores, NBC the SFWA blog, and more. He edited the first ever Year’s Best African Speculative Fiction anthology, guest-edited the collections issue of Interstellar Flight Press, co-edited the groundbreaking Dominion anthology, and the Africa Risen anthology forthcoming on Tordotcom (Macmillan) in 2022. You can find him online at  https://odekpeki.com/

  1. C. Michael Forsythe

Horror Fiction Review called his debut novel Hour of the Beast, a  tale of lycantropy, a “fast-paced, rip-snorting, action-packed, sexy college romp.” Other titles by the author include Houdini vs. Rasputin, The Blood of Titans, The Identity Thief, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle & Harry Houdini in The Adventure of the Spook House, and Night Cage. Journalist, speculative fiction author, and satire horror blogger C. Michael Forsythe got a unique start as a writer/reporter for the tabloid Weekly World News, investigating and writing about bizarre occurrences around the globe, covering real-life blood-drinkers and more. Bizarre News is a collection of sometimes comical tales ripped from the tabloid headlines. Several of his odd tales from his days at the World Weekly News are included in the book Bat Boy Lives!: The Weekly World News Guide to Politics, Culture, Celebrities, Alien Abductions, and the Mutant Freaks that Shape Our World edited by Dave Perel. Forsythe wrote for the tabloid under a variety of pseudonyms, including Mike Foster, Michael Chiron, George Sanford, Vickie York, Miguel Figueroa, Brett Anniston and Kaye Roseburg. You can find him online at http://freedomshammer.com/

  1. Brandon Massey 

Gold Pen Award-winning author Brandon Massey writes horror, suspense and thrillers containing terrifying monsters both supernatural and all too human. His works include Nana, Within the Shadows, Dark Corner, The Quiet Ones, The Other Brother, In the Dark, Don’t Ever Tell, Thunderland, .Covenant, The Patriarch, The Last Affair, Frenzied – A Suspense Thriller, No Stone Unturned, Vicious, Cornered and The Host: A Novella.  He edited Dark Dreams: A Collection of Horror and Suspense by Black Writers, Voices from the Other Side (Dark Dreams, #2), Whispers in the Night .  He wrote The Ancestors with Tananarive Due and LA Banks. He also wrote the short story collection Twisted Tales and Darker Than Night: A Collection of Horror and Suspense Short Stories. He also contributed a short story to Atlanta Noir. You can find him online at https://www.brandonmassey.com/

  1. Errick Nunnally

Two-time Hugo Award Finalist Errick Nunnally writes dark pulp fiction, scifi, crime, fantasy, and horror. He’s also a graphic designer.  The Hugo nominations were for the fanzine Journey Planet (along with 17 other editors) in 2017 and 2021. His books include Blood for the Sun, Lightning Wears a Red Cape, All the Dead Men, and Who Bears The Lathe. His writing has appeared in FIYAH Literary Magazine of Black Speculative Fiction, After the Fall – Tales of the Apocalypse, Wicked Weird, Doorways to Extra Time, The Bad Book, Halloween Nights: Tales of Autumn Fright, Giving the Devil His Due, The Final Summons, Transcendent, Apex Magazine, Transcendent, In Vein, Monarchies of Mau: Tales of Excellent Cats, Anthology, Year Three: Distant Dying Ember, Anthology: Year Two: Inner Demons Out, Winter Animals, LampLight, and Fright Train. You can find him online at http://www.erricknunnally.us/

  1. Brandon O’Brien

Brandon O’Brien (he/they) is the author of Can You Sign My Tentacle? They are a performance poet and writer from Trinidad whose work has been shortlisted for the 2014 Alice Yard Prize for Art Writing and the 2014 and 2015 Small Axe Literary Competitions, and published in Uncanny Magazine, Strange Horizons, Arsenika, Fireside Magazine, and New Worlds, Old Ways: Speculative Tales from the Caribbean, among other outlets. They are also a teaching artist with The 2 Cents Movement, and the poetry editor of FIYAH Literary Magazine, for which they won a 2021 Hugo Award (along with FIYAH’s other 7 editors). Along with Shaun Duke, they host and produce The Skiffy and Fanty Show, a four time Hugo-finalist podcast.  O’Brien is also on the team for the podcast  Speculate! They can be found online https://trini.link/brandonobrien

  1. Suyi Davies Okungbowa

Suyi Davies Okungbowa is a Nigerian author of fantasy, science fiction, and horror. His debut godpunk fantasy novel David Mogo, Godhunter won the 2020 Nommo Ilube Award for Best Speculative Novel by an African. His IGNYTE Award Nominated for Short Story (2020) “Dune Song” appeared in Apex Magazine. His other novels include Son Of The Storm, Warrior of the Wind, The Nameless Republic. His shorter works have appeared in A World of Horror, Black Boy Joy: 17 Stories Celebrating Black Boyhood, Dominion: An Anthology of Speculative Fiction from Africa and the African Diaspora, Black Panther: Tales of Wakanda, and Omenana. He can be found online at https://twitter.com/suyidavies

  1. Wrath James White

Author of the Bram Stoker Nominated poetry collection Vicious Romantic (Needfire Poetry) (2011), Wrath’s two most recent novels are The Resurrectionist and Yaccub’s Curse. He is also the author of Like Porno for Psychos, Succulent Prey, Boys’ Night, His Pain, Everyone Dies Famous In A Small Town, The Book Of A Thousand Sins, His Pain, If You Died Tomorrow I Would Eat Your Corpse, Voracious, Prey Drive, Pure Hate, To The Death, Sloppy Seconds,  Skinzz, Scabs, 400 Days of Oppression, and Population Zero. He is the coauthor of Teratologist co-written with the king of extreme horror, Edward Lee, Orgy Of Souls co-written with Maurice Broaddus, Hero cowritten with J.F. Gonzalez, Son of a Bitch cowritten with Andre Duza, and Poisoning Eros co-written with Monica J. O’Rourke. His work can be found in And Hell Followed: An Anthology, Something Terrible, Find him on Twitter at @WrathJW and online at https://deaditepress.com/authors-2/wrath-james-white/

  1. Craig Laurance Gidney

Craig L. Gidney is an American speculative fiction novelist and short story writer. He is openly gay. His works are known for mixing genres, containing elements of horror, fantasy, folklore, and magical realism. Winner of the Independent Publisher Book Award for Urban Fiction, nominated for the Lambda Literary Award for LGBT SF/Fantasy/Horror. Author of Sea, Swallow Me & Other Stories (Lethe Press) ;Bereft (Tiny Satchel Press), Skin Deep Magic (Rebel Satori Press), The Nectar Of Nightmares (Dim Shores Publications); A Spectral Hue (Word Horde). Plus numerous short stories. 3-Time Lambda Literary Award Finalist. NPR’s recommended books of 2019. Current novel, Hairsbreadth, is being serialized. Find him onlne at https://craiglaurancegidney.com/

  1. Quinton Veal

Artist and poet Quinton Veal writes poetry, science fiction, fantasy, and the paranormal, including erotic horror. His otherworldly tales include “Whispers in the Night” from the anthology Blerderotica, where a young lady finds herself invited to stay in a stately mansion where things go bump and grind in the night, and “The Vistor published in the anthology Couples Therapy. He has four collections of poetry and short stories,  Her Black Body I Treasure, and United Souls: Stories and Poetry of Seduction, Cybernetic Love, and Fire and Desire,  He edited Scierogenous: An Anthology of Erotic Science Fiction and Fantasy and Scierogenous 2 with Valjeanne Jeffers. His works appear in Blerderotica 1: Sweet, Sexy and Special Dark, Poetic Gumbo, and  I Want My Poetry To.

Find him online at http://blackknight8.wordpress.com

  1. J Malcolm Stewart

J Malcolm Stewart writes horror and science-fiction. He is the author of Look Back In Horror: A Personal History of Horror Film, The Eyes of the Stars, The Last Words of Robert Johnson and Other Tales, Exodus From Mars and Other Tales, The Duel and Other Stories,  His works can be found in Horror Addicts Guide To Life, Once Upon A Scream, and Horror Addicts Guide To Life 2, Pulp Empire Series, Heroes of Mars, Twisted Tales, Temptation Magazine,, the Killens Review of Art and Letters as well as on the Smoke and Mirrors podcast. He also hosts the YouTube features Seven Minute Takes and Active Voices online at https://www.youtube.com/user/jaymonster125

  1. James Goodridge

He writes horror essays, horror short stories, science fiction, and fantasy.  His works have been published in Black Celebration: Amazing Articles on African American Horror, and HorrorAddicts Guide to Life 2, Halloween Party ’21, Funny As A Heart Attack, Blerdrotica 1: Sweet, Sexy and Special Dark, Epic: Fall 2020, Halloween Party 2019: Anthology of Terror!, Scierogenous: An Anthology of Erotic Science Fiction and Fantasy, Scierogenous II: An Anthology of Erotic Science Fiction and Fantasy, Exhumed: 13 Tales Too Terrifying to Stay Dead, and Abandoned Places. He is the author of the Passage of Time Saga, a historical paranormal mystery series that includes The E.E. Just Affair, The Cavendish Affair, The Hurston Affair, and The Fathergill Affair.  In the Hurston Affair, Madison Cavendish and Seneca Sue are in the middle of 1920’s Harlem trying to track down a Were-Hyena with the help of writer Zora Neale Hurston. Find him online at his Facebook group “Who Gives You The Write” https://www.facebook.com/groups/676494739103679

  1. LR Giles

Lamar “L. R.” Giles writes books for teens and adults. Fake Id, his debut Young Adult thriller, was published by HarperCollins in 2014. His works include Live Again, The Darkness Kept, The Shadows Gallery, When Scary People Know Your Name, The Track, Lover’s Spat, Trick Shot, Power and Purpose, and Doc Damage’s Very Bad Day. He cowrote The Serpent and the Stallion with Becky Rodgers Boyette. He writes children’s books under the name Lamar Giles. His works can be found in Dark Dreams: A Collection of Horror and Suspense by Black Writers, Voices from the Other Side (Dark Dreams, #2), and Whispers in the Night, Find him online at http://www.lrgiles.com/

  1. T.L. Huchu

Tendai Huchu who also writes as T. L. Huchu is a Zimbabwean author, best known for his novels The Hairdresser of Harare  and The Maestro, The Magistrate & The Mathematician..He is also the author of The Library of the Dead, and Our Lady of Mysterious Ailments .His works can be found in Africanfuturism: An Anthology, AfroSFv3, Future Fiction: New Dimensions in International Science Fiction, Professor Charlatan Bardot’s Travel Anthology to the Most (Fictional) Haunted Buildings in the Weird, Wild World, The Apex Book of World SF 5, THUGLIT Issue Twenty, HostBods, Fiyah Magazine of Black Speculative Fiction, Issue 12: Chains (Autumn 2019), The Sockdolager Fall 2015 Issue 03, Enkare Review, The Manchester Review, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Gutter, Interzone, AfroSF, Wasafiri, Warscapes, The Africa Report and Mystery Weekly Magazine: August 2019. You can find him online here: https://twitter.com/tendaihuchu

  1. Sylvester Barzey

Sylvester Barzey is a horror and fantasy writer with a flair for the zombie. He has stated that his overall goal is to shine a spotlight on BIPOC characters within the genres. He is the author of The Briggs Boys, Bloodthirsty (Planet Dead #1), Patient Zero (Planet Dead #2), Promise Land (Planet Dead #3), Stitches: A Collection Of Short Stories From Various Horror Anthologies, Terrifying Tales of Suspense, The Realm: (The Essence Chronicles Book 1), His works can be found in Apocalyptic Beginnings Box Set: A Post-Apocalyptic Zombie Box Set, Undead Worlds, Descent Into Darkness, 7 Sins of The Apocalypse, and Mad Like Me. Voices of Romance: A Collection, He can be found online at https://www.sylvesterbarzey.com/

45 Black Men in Horror – Part 1

•February 23, 2022 • Leave a Comment

As you probably know, 60 Black Women in Horror and 100+ Black Women in Horror started out as a series on this very blog back in 2013. It was a series of three blogs, 20 Black Women in Horror, 20 More Black Women in Horror, and 20 Black Women in Horror 3. It just kept getting bigger and bigger until it eventually became the book 60 Black Women in Horror. Then, 80 Black Women in Horror. And finally, 100+ Black Women in Horror. Linda D Addison has been saying since 2018 that someone needs to do a list of black men in horror. A couple nights ago when we were recording a panel on curating diverse anthologies, she brought it up again. And I committed to putting together a list. Currently, I have 45 men on the list, which I will be publishing as a series on this blog for February – Black Heritage Month. Each post will list 15 writers. Find them all here: List 1, List 2, and List 3.

  1. Steven Van Patten

Co-authored the short story collection Hell At The Way Station with Marc Abbott (Laughing Black Vampire Productions) (2018) and has short stories in the horror anthologies Hell’s Kitties, Shopping List 4, and the Stoker Award nominated New York State of Fright.  Winner of the African-African-American Literary Awards (2019) for Hell At The Way Station (Best Anthology and Best In Science Fiction) and for Best Independent Publisher. He’s also written episodes of the YouTube series’, Extra Credit/Extra Mythology, and is a contributor for the Viral Vignettes, a charity-driven YouTube comedy series benefitting The Actor’s Fund. He uses his full name on Facebook but goes by @svpthinks on Twitter and Instagram and can be found online at https://brookwaterscurse.com/

  1. Maurice Carlos Ruffin

Maurice Carlos Ruffin is the author of We Cast a Shadow, which was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award, the PEN/Open Book Award, and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize and International Dublin Literary Award. A recipient of an Iowa Review Award in fiction, he has been published in the Virginia Quarterly Review, AGNI, the Kenyon Review, The Massachusetts Review, and Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas. A native of New Orleans, he is a graduate of the University of New Orleans Creative Writing Workshop and a member of the Peauxdunque Writers Alliance and can be found online at https://mauricecarlosruffin.com/

  1. Victor LaValle

Victor LaValle is the author of the short story collection Slapboxing with Jesus, four novels, The Ecstatic, Big Machine, The Devil in Silver, and The Changeling and two novellas, Lucretia and the Kroons and The Ballad of Black Tom. He is also the creator and writer of two comic books Victor LaValle’s Destroyer and Eve. His fantasy-horror novella The Ballad of Black Tom won the 2016 Shirley Jackson Award for best novella and was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award that year. He won a Stoker for Long Fiction for Up from Slavery (Weird Tales Magazine#363) (Weird Tales Inc.) in 2019 and a Stoker in the Graphic Novel category in 2018 for Victor LaValle’s Destroyer (BOOM! Studios). He can be found online at http://www.victorlavalle.com/

  1. Marc Abbott
Marc Abbott, photographed November 14, 2009, New York, New York. Photo © Beowulf Sheehan

The author of the novel A Gamble of Faith (2004),  YA fiction novel The Hooky Party (2007) children’s book Etienne and the Star Dust Express (2012), speculative fiction author began writing horror in 2013. He has numerous published short stories in the genre, including “Welcome to Brooklyn, Gabe” in the Bram Stoker nominated anthology New York State of Fright and “A Marked Man” in the Hell’s Heart horror anthology. He co-authored Hell at the Way Station (2019) with Steven Van Patten. It won two African American Literary Awards (Best Anthology/Best Science Fiction). A sequel Hell at Brooklyn Tea“ was released in 2021. He is a Moth Story Slam and Grand Slam winner and curator of a monthly storytelling open mic called Maaan, You’ve Got To Hear This! He can be found online at https://whoismarclabbott.com/

  1. Nzondi (Ace Antonio Hall)
Photo credit Kate sZatmari

Ace Antonio Hall a.k.a. Nzondi, is a Bram Stoker Awards-winning urban fantasy and horror writer best known for his post-apocalyptic novel, Oware Mosaic (2019), a Bram Stoker Winner for Best Young Adult Novel. He is the first African American to have won a Stoker in any novel category. Ace’s novel, Confessions of Sylva Slasher (2013) was published by Montag Press, and a non-fiction book, Lord of the Flies: Fitness for Writers was published by Omnium Gatherum / OG Writer’s Guides. Hisnovel Lipstick Asylum (2021) was published by Omnium Gatherum. Hall is a two-time Honorable Mention winner of the Writers and Illustrators of the Future Award.  Among his many short stories published in anthologies and print magazines, Hall’s short story, “Raising Mary: Frankenstein,” was nominated for 2016 horror story of the year for the 19th Annual Editors and Preditors Readers Poll. Follow Nzondi on his social media platforms @Nzondi3 on Twitter or as Ace Antonio Hall on Instagram and Facebook. He can be found online at https://www.aantoniohall.com/

  1. P. Djèlí Clark

Phenderson Djéli Clark is the award winning and Hugo, Nebula, Sturgeon, and World Fantasy nominated author of the novel A Master of Djinn, and the novellas Ring Shout, The Black God’s Drums and The Haunting of Tram Car 015. His stories have appeared in online venues such as Tor.com, Daily Science Fiction, Heroic Fantasy Quarterly, Apex, Lightspeed, Fireside Fiction, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and in print anthologies including, Griots, Hidden Youth, and Clockwork Cairo. He is a founding member of FIYAH Literary Magazine and an infrequent reviewer at Strange Horizons. He is a well-rounded speculative fiction author, and horror is firmly within his wheelhouse. Ring Shout is a work of historical horror that pits monster hunter Maryse against a thoroughly demonic filter Klu Klux Klan. Even more traditionally fantasy works like A Master of Djinn frequently cross over into the realm of the supernatural. He can be found online at https://pdjeliclark.com/

  1. Samuel R. Delany 
Photo Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0

Samuel Delany is best known for his science fiction novels, and the first African American writer to achieve commercial success in the genre. He also writes fantasy, and horror. Delaney’s dark apocalyptic landscape in the often eerie and unnerving Dhalgren incorporates elements of dark fantasy and the sci-fi horror genre. His controversial horror novel Hogg was once banned due to its over-the-top depiction of gut-wrenching violence, and disturbing sexual content, but some consider it a pointed critique of hypermasculinity and violence in America culture. He won his first Nebula award for Babel-17 in 1996, and went on to win another three Nebula awards and two Hugo Awards in his lifetime. Delany, who is gay, has also won the Stonewall Book Award and the Lambda Literary Award, two awards for excellence in LGBTQ Fiction. He can be found online at https://www.samueldelany.com/

  1. Walter R Mosley
Photo Credit: David Shankbone

Walter Mosley is the author of the bestselling mystery series featuring Easy Rawlins, as well as numerous other works, from literary fiction and science fiction to a young adult novel and political monographs. His sci-fi horror novel Blue Light (1998), and there are notes of horror in the mystery/thriller The Man in My Basement. His short fiction has been widely published, and his nonfiction has appeared in the New York Times Magazine and the Nation, among other publications. Mosley is the winner of numerous awards, including an O. Henry Award, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, a Grammy, and PEN America’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He can be found online at https://www.waltermosley.com/

  1. Jordan Peele
Photo Credit: Peabody Awards (2014)

Screenwriter Jordan Peele was the first African American to win an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, for Get Out (2017). He’s won two Bram Stoker Awards for screenwriting, for Get Out (2017) and Us (2019), and was the first African American to win in that category, as well as the first African American man to win a Stoker in any category.The groundbreaking screenplay for Get Out also won the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Screenplay, and was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Original Screenplay. Peele co-produced and co-wrote the 2021 sequel to Candyman. He wrote the screenplay for Nope (2022), and Wendell and Wild (2022). He also wrote the episode “Downtime” (2019) for the new Twilight Zone television series. He can be found online at https://www.monkeypawproductions.com/

  1. Jamal James Hodge

Jamal James Hodge is the award-winning horror screenwriter and poet. Among his screenplays are Licker, winner ScreenPlay.com Contest, finalist Boobs and Blood festival, semifinalist New York Horror Film Festival; All The Children Are Inside, winner of the 13Horror.com screenplay and film contest, Mourning Meal, winner of the Los Angeles Film Awards for Best Screenplay. New York Film Festival Best Unproduced Screenplay, and 13Horror.com screenplay and film contest. His poem “Loving Venus” appeared in the 2022 Rhysling Anthology. His poetry appears in Chiral Mad 5, the historical all-black issue of Star*line Magazine (issue 43.4), Space And Time Magazine, Penumbric Speculative Fiction Magazine, and the 2021 Horror Writer Association Poetry Showcase. He can be found online at https://www.writerhodge.com/

  1. Steven Barnes

Steven Barnes is a New York Times bestselling author, screenwriter and educator who has written more than thirty science fiction, fantasy, and horror novels. He is an NAACP Image Award winner and is also a pioneering television writer who has written for The Outer Limits (Showtime), The New Twilight Zone (Showtime), Stargate SG-1, Andromeda, and Ben 10: Alien Force. He has been nominated for Hugo, Nebula and Cable Ace Awards. Barnes has lectured at UCLA, Mensa, Pasadena JPL, taught at Seattle University, hosted the “Hour 25” radio show on KPFK, been Kung Fu columnist for Black Belt Magazine, and been a “Starred Speaker” at the L.A. Screenwriting Expo. An avid yogi and martial artist with three black belts, Steven is also a pioneer in the human potential movement, creating the groundbreaking “Lifewriting” creativity system, making writers the heroes of their own stories. He can be found online at https://stevenbarneslife.com/

  1. Michael Boatman 

Michael Boatman is a screenwriter and novelist who writes in the splatterpunk horror genre, among others. His books include God Laughs When You Die (2007), Last God Standing (2014), Revenant Road (2009), Who Wants to be The Prince of Darkness? (2016), Her Daughter In Darkness (2008), The Pleasure of Pain (2009), The Sisterhood of Shadows (2011), and Lords of Justice. His short stories have appeared in Sick Things: An Anthology of Extreme Creature Horror, Until Someone Loses an Eye, Sages and Swords, Badass Horror, Christmas in Hell and Dominion: An Anthology of Speculative Fiction From Africa and the African Diaspora. He has been published in Weird Tales, Horror Garage and Red Scream. He introduced Cyber-Pulp Halloween 3.0 which was published by Cyber-pulp Books. “His Born Again” from Eulogies II: Tales From the Cellar received an Honorable Mention from Ellen Datlow in The Best Horror of the Year: Volume Six. His first collection of short stories, God Laughs When You Die, was published by Dybbuk Press on October 23, 2007. His humorous horror novel, The Revenant Road, was published by Drollerie Press in 2009. Find him online at https://www.fantasticfiction.com/b/michael-boatman/

  1. Maurice Broaddus

Speculative fiction author Maurice Broaddus edited (with Jerry Gordon) the horror anthology Dark Faith. He also coedited the “People of Colo(u)r Destroy Horror” special issue of Nightmare magazine. He is a community organizer and teacher, his work has appeared in places like Lightspeed Magazine, Black Panther: Tales from Wakanda, Weird Tales, Magazine of F&SF, and Uncanny Magazine, with some of his stories having been collected in The Voices of Martyrs. His books include the sci-fi novel Sweep of Stars; the steampunk works, Buffalo Soldier and Pimp My Airship; and the middle grade detective novels, The Usual Suspects and Unfadeable. His project, Sorcerers, is being adapted as a television show for AMC. He’s an editor at Apex Magazine.  Find him online at http://mauricebroaddus.com/

  1. Jeff Carroll

Jeff Carroll writes hip-hop horror, sci/fi and fantasy stories with action and a social edge. His novels include Rasheeda The Zombie Killer, Thug Angel: Rebirth of a Gargoyle, It Happened On Negro Mountain, The Harlem Shake: Escape from Everyworld, The Harlem Shake: Survivor’s Work, The Harlem Shake: Nowhere to Run, Welcome to Boss Lady’s Planet, WtBLP2: What People Will Quietly Submit To, and Gold Digger Killer. His short stories have appeared in the anthologies Missippippi Zombie, Scierogenous, Rococoa, The Black Science Fiction Society Anthology and The City: A Cyberfunk Anthology. He also wrote a short story collection, Sci-fi Streetz: The Book of Hip Hop Sci-fi Stories. aJeff produces The Monster Panel, a traveling sci-fi panel which features writers of color in a lively discussion of comic books, movies and Black people. Find him online at https://twitter.com/coachyojeff

  1. Zig Zag Claybourne
Chocolate Ice Cream

Sci-fi author Zig Zag Claybourne often injects a bit of whimsy and humor into his writing. The same holds true when he writes horror. For example, his short story collection Historical Inaccuracies includes stories about dream factories afraid of the dark, charlatans, inquisitors, barbarian Smurfs, the reincarnation of lazy Americans, and British devil babies. His books include The Brothers Jetstream: Leviathan, TBJ 2: Afro Puffs Are the Antennae of the Universe, Conversations With Idras: A Satire,  His works have appeared in the anthologies Alt.History 101, Cult Classics for the Modern Cult, UnCommon Origins: A Collection of Gods, Monsters, Nature, and Science; Rococoa, and Cyberfunk. His stories and essays on sci fi, fandom, and life have appeared in Apex, Galaxy’s Edge, GigaNotosaurus, Strange Horizons and more. Follow him on Twitter @ZZClaybourne. Find him online at  http://writeonrighton.com/index.html

Check me out on the SapphireJBlue show!

•February 20, 2022 • Leave a Comment

Queerness in Horror 101 at the SFA

•February 15, 2022 • Leave a Comment

I am so excited about the debut of my new course at the Speculative Fiction Academy, Queerness in Horror 101: An Introduction to LGBTQ Representation in Horror for Writers. It is taught with the assistance of my talented partner, the amazing Emily Flummox, a slam poet, role-playing game writer, and streamer. It is an online course taught by queer instructors and geared towards writers. This is an eleven-week core curriculum introductory course that covers the history of LGBTQ characters and themes in horror, LGBTQ horror writers and other queer horror creators, how to write queer horror, and LGBTQ characters/themes in horror. It will cover LGBTQ topics in horror literature, film, comics, and gaming, but is focused on approaching all of these media as a writer.

At the end of this course, you will have a basic understanding of how LGBTQ authors and other creators have used the media to express queerness to the world. You will have an understanding of how tropes have been used in ways that positively and negatively impact the LGBTQ community and queer audiences. You will have an overview of how censorship and morality codes have repeatedly stifled the creation of LGBTQ content and its creators over the course of history. You will have some tools in your toolkit for helping you to successfully write convincing LGBTQ characters sensitively and with understanding if you are not a part of their particular demographic.

Check it out online here: https://www.speculativefictionacademy.com/…/queer-horror

The Speculative Fiction Academy offers a variety of other courses, including the Kink and Horror quick dive, a five-week course Emily and I put out last November at the Speculative Fiction Academy, that gives students an overview on horror and other speculative fiction that is kink inclusive.

Come see me at Writers With Drinks!

•February 15, 2022 • Leave a Comment
Image above by Audrey Niffenegger

Writers With Drinks is back after a brief hiatus! And this is gonna be one of our most exciting events yet, including the astounding Malinda Lo. Note: We are strictly requiring proof of vaccination, and audience members must remain masked when they are not actively drinking.

  • When: Saturday, March 12, 2022 from 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM, doors open 7 PM
  • Who: Malinda Lo, Sumiko Saulson, Khan Wong, Betsy Aoki and Kar Johnson, plus special guest host Celeste Chan!
  • How much: $5 to $20 sliding scale, all proceeds benefit a local non-profit TBA
  • Where: The Make Out Room, 3225 22nd. St., San Francisco, CA

About the readers/performers:

Malinda Lo is the New York Times bestselling author of Last Night at the Telegraph Club, winner of the National Book Award, the Stonewall Book Award, and the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, as well as Michael L. Printz and Walter Dean Myers honors. Her debut novel Ash, a Sapphic retelling of Cinderella, was a finalist for the William C. Morris YA Debut Award, the Andre Norton Award for YA Science Fiction and Fantasy, the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award, and the Lambda Literary Award. Malinda’s short fiction and nonfiction has been published by The New York Times, NPR, Autostraddle, The Horn Book, and multiple anthologies. She lives in Massachusetts with her wife and their dog. She writes the biweekly newsletter Lo & Behold on writing and culture.

Sumiko Saulson is an award-winning author of Afrosurrealist and multicultural sci-fi and horror. Ze is the editor of the anthologies and collections Black Magic Women, Scry of Lust, Black Celebration, and Wickedly Abled. Ze is the winner of the 2016 HWA StokerCon “Scholarship from Hell”, 2017 BCC Voice “Reframing the Other” contest, 2017 Mixy Award, 2018 AWW “Afrosurrealist Writer Award,” 2020 HWA Diversity Grant recipient. Ze has an AA in English from Berkeley City College, and writes a column called “Writing While Black” for a national Black Newspaper, the San Francisco BayView. Ze is the host of the SOMA Leather and LGBT Cultural District’s “Erotic Storytelling Hour.”

Elizabeth (Betsy) Aoki is a poet, fiction writer and video game producer. Her first poetry collection, Breakpoint was a 2019 National Poetry Series Finalist and published by Tebot Bach as the winner of the Patricia Bibby First Book Award. Its signature poem “Slouching like a velvet rope” won the 2021 Auburn Witness Poetry Prize, selected by Jericho Brown. Aoki has received grants and fellowships from the City of Seattle, Artist Trust Foundation, Jackstraw Writers Program, Clarion West Writers Workshop and Hedgebrook. Her chapbook, Every Vanish Leaves Its Trace (2009), was published by Finishing Line Press. Other publications include Calyx, Hunger Mountain, Nassau Review (winner of the 2015 Writer Award), the Nimrod International Journal of Prose and Poetry, Phoebe, Poetry Northwest, The Seattle Times, Seattle Review, Southern Humanities Review, terrain.org (Letters to America), and Uncanny Magazine.

Khan Wong’s first novel is The Circus Infinite. He has published poetry, played cello in an earnest folk-rock duo, and been an internationally known hula hoop teacher and performer. He’s toured with a circus and produced circus arts shows in San Francisco, where he also worked as a grantmaker with a public sector arts funding agency.

Kar Johnson is a writer, performer, educator, and bookseller in San Francisco. Their writing has appeared in or is forthcoming from The Northridge Review, Foglifter, and the anthology Love is the Drug and Other Dark Poems. Kar has performed their work for series Red Light Lit, The Racket, RADAR, and many others. They received their MFA from San Francisco State University.

Guest host Celeste Chan is a writer and filmmaker, schooled by Do-It-Yourself culture and immigrant parents from Malaysia and the Bronx. She founded and directed Queer Rebels (a queer and trans people of color arts project), created and curated experimental films, joined Foglifter Literary Journal as an editor and board member, and toured with legendary feminist road show, Sister Spit. Her writing can be found in The Rumpus, cream city review’s genrequeer folio, Gertrude, Citron Review, and elsewhere. In 2016, she launched QTPOC Free School, a monthly writing workshop for LGBTQ people of color. Following that, in 2017, she launched writing workshops for LGBTQ youth at the Queer Ancestors Project. Her work has also been supported by CA Arts Council, Bread Loaf/Rona Jaffe, Lambda Literary, Hedgebrook, Hypatia, Mesa Refuge, Soaring Gardens, and beyond. Celeste is now focused on writing her memoir, examining intergenerational trauma and how her family survived WWII.

About Writers With Drinks:

Writers With Drinks has won numerous “Best ofs” from local newspapers, and has been mentioned in 7×7, Spin Magazine and one of Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City novels. The spoken word “variety show” mixes genres to raise money for local causes. The award-winning show includes poetry, stand-up comedy, science fiction, fantasy, romance, mystery, literary fiction, erotica, memoir, zines and blogs in a freewheeling format.

Happiness and Other Disease Pre-Order Now

•February 9, 2022 • Leave a Comment
https://mochamemoirspress.com/product/happiness-and-other-diseases/

“If you enjoy unsettling dark paranormal romances that place power dynamics in sexual relationships under the microscope, look no further. Sumiko Saulson gives us body horror, what feels like an insiders look at mental illness and the mental health system, dysfunctional families, semi-obscure mythological characters, and an excellent depiction of how many of us teeter on the fence between sex and death. Happiness and Other Diseases is a sexy, funny, disturbing, and unflinching tale of the insane lengths people will go to in search of love and acceptance.”

— Michelle Renee Lane, Bram Stoker Award Nominated author of Invisible Chains

“In this entertaining novel, Saulson incorporates mythology into what might appear to be normal, everyday life. However, her characters, Flynn and Charlotte, are far from normal. I enjoyed how ze keeps their relationship lively but honest – even sweet, but not in a saccharine way. Buy this book! For sheer enjoyment, it’s a keeper!”

-Marge Simon, multiple Bram Stoker winner, HWA Lifetime Achievement Award winner

“It is a very unconventional book that offers a supernatural dimension to the mysterious, sometimes mind-bending world of psychological pathological conditions, psychosis, and disorders.”

Justin Boyer, bibliophilesreverie.com

“Happiness And Other Diseases by Sumiko Saulson is a tragic love story that includes dark humor, Greek mythology… moments of pure horror.”

David Watson, HorrorAddicts.net