(Grant Skelton shifts our focus from music to writing — and draws a connection between the two at the end of this article.)
This piece is perhaps a little to the left of our usual norm here at NCS. What I’ve got here are a few podcasts that I think will interest readers of our site. I’ve also included a few literary resources for any aspiring authors, poets, lyricists, bloggers, or other writers who might visit our site. I see you, I know you’re there, and I feel your pain. You are not alone.
Lore is a podcast I heard about from a writing friend. You can find it on iTunes (here) or download the episodes directly from Lore’s website. Each episode runs between about 15 – 25 minutes. Created by novelist Aaron Mahnke, the subject matter covers true occurrences of horror that are the basis for legend and folklore. They are full of historical accounts of murders, grave robberies, bizarre accidents, the occult, and paranormal encounters.
Consider this synopsis from the episode, “The Others”:
“We don’t like to be alone. We hate it. So we tell stories about others, the things at the edges of society. Things we’re not sure about. But what if those ‘others’ are more real than we first believed?”
NCS readers in the New England area can check Lore’s official page for details on live shows. Mahnke will be doing a few of those in the fall.
Despumation Press is an independent publisher of metal-themed fiction and nonfiction. From their mission statement:
In fiction, Despumation Press seeks to champion writing that explores the diverse themes metal customarily addresses using language in such a way as to evoke the feeling of listening to the music. In nonfiction, Despumation Press seeks essays on an assortment of unique and fascinating topics from within and around the metal ethos.
Go to their website for submission guidelines and more.
SHADOWS AT THE DOOR
Created by editor Mark Nixon, Shadows At The Door offers original short stories and also accepts submissions from new writers. For those NCS readers old enough to remember these, the site even offers “Choose Your Own Adventure” stories. In an interview with Examiner (here), Nixon said that he hoped the site could eventually evolve into an independent publishing house. Shadows also has audio stories narrated by Daniel Foytik of the 9th Story podcast. Foytik also narrates stories at The Wicked Library.
Dark Markets is a market resource tool for writers of horror, fantasy, sci-fi, and the like. Browse through submission guidelines for magazine listings, online zines, literary contests, novels, and more.
Go here for more information.
A MURDER OF STORYTELLERS
An independent publishing house based out of Tulsa, OK. According to their website, they are, “looking for voices in genre fiction that often go ignored or are asked to change.” Their latest project, an anthology called “Broken Worlds” (available here) sought submissions relating to the theme of social systems in states of destruction or disrepair. The anthology offers several unique takes on topics like zombies, Orwellian dystopias, and disturbing family histories.
To lay biases on the table, I can say from personal experience that this press has been great to work with. AMOS accepted my short story “Outer Darkness” for a spring 2016 anthology called “Book Of Blasphemous Words.” The story is about an exorcist with a reality show and a very disturbing secret.
Find out more about A Murder Of Storytellers here.
I want to conclude with a quick word of inspiration. If I have learned one thing about this website, it’s that there are amazing metal bands out there who get little to no press from the major metal news/PR sources — bands whose success is likely that their music provides something of a secondary revenue stream to whatever their primary occupation may be. Back in August when I spoke to Daniel Droste from Ahab (here), he told me that he is a therapist who works with disabled persons. This is one of the reasons why bands like Ahab might only play 30-50 shows a year. Their music is not their primary source of income and is very unlikely to be so. According to NCS writer TheMadIsraeli, hobby bands are eclipsing career bands. Making music for a living has become the exception and not the norm.
What’s that got to do with writing? Bands make music without knowing how “successful” their album will be. They don’t know how many copies their albums will sell, how many will attend their concerts or buy their merchandise. But they keep making music. They persist in pursuing their creative passion, even if it does not pay their bills. So if you’re writer, I admonish you: Persist. Persevere. Network with other writers. Find a writing group in your area. Attend a writing conference. Do thorough research on traditional publishing and write query letters to agents and publishers. Or, if self-publishing is for you, find out how to make that happen. Create. And make your work available in whatever format works best for you and your goals. Will everyone love it? Doubtful. Metal fans certainly don’t love every single band. But someone will love your work. Someone wants, and perhaps even needs, to read it. And so, you need to write it.