Graveyard Shift Sister: L.C. Cruell

Talking to artists gets me inspired.

No matter the medium — books, film, paint, digital — speaking with these artists and hearing what keeps them doing what they do drives me forward.

One person whose drive always impresses is L.C. Cruell. (I can’t imagine how she gets it all done.) I’ve had the pleasure of working with Cruell on her 7 Magpies project, a horror film anthology written and directed by Black women, feating a slew of talented authors and directors. It’s still in progress, but I wanted to talk more with her about her ideas, her motivation, and her experience.

You can read the entire interview this amazing filmmaker on Graveyard Shift Sisters.

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While you’re at it, check out some of the trailers for her films:

31 the web series – www.youtube.com/31theseries

I Need You Trailer – https://vimeo.com/97681128.

Cemetery Tales Trailer – https://vimeo.com/158551687

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Day 26: Paula D. Ashe

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Originally from Ohio, Paula D. Ashe resides in Indiana with her wife and is a professor of English at a community college while working on the dissertation for her Ph.D. She’s described herself as a writer of dark fiction, a black lesbian feminist, horror nerd, comic book geek, pet mom, and  general shit-starter.

Authors who’ve influenced Ashe’s raw and beautiful work include Clive Barker, Elizabeth Massie, and Toni Morrison. Her award winning dark fiction has been published in several anthologies and been recommended for nomination for the Bram Stoker award. She has also had the distinction of making honorable mention on Ellen Datlow’s Year’s Best Horror list–twice.  She also had stories appearing in Serial Killers: Iterum and Hell. Her stories have also appeared in the heavy metal horror collection, Axes of Evil II (2015) and the third installment of the Horror World Press series, Eulogies III (2015).

She is also one of seven contributing writers to the 7 Magpies project, the first horror film anthology written and directed by African-American women.

Ashe has said her favorite of her stories is The Mother of All Monsters, because so far, it’s the only story her own mother has really enjoyed. In Mother, an Indiana community is torn apart by the abduction and murder of three little girls. One mother is faced with the undeniable truth about her son and must choose between protecting her beloved child or punishing the monster he may have become.

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For more about Paula, check out her website,  and follow her on Twitter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 13: Kyoko M.

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Kyoko M is from Riverdale, Georgia and currently lives in Ocala, Florida. A recent graduate from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, she has written articles for toonaripost.com, and was a first round finalist for Amazon’s 2013 Breakthrough Novel Contest for her debut novel The Black Parade.

She has a passion for speculative fiction, namely urban fantasy, science fiction, high fantasy, supernatural, and paranormal works. Her influences include movies, comic books, anime, and various novel series.

Listen to her chat with other Black women in horror and dark fantasy (at the first annual State of Black Science Fiction Convention on episode five of The Outer Dark podcast, featured on the This is Horror website.

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The Black Parade, has been on Amazon’s Bestseller List at #5 in the Occult Horror category. It features a cranky, slightly alcoholic waitress who accidentally kills a Seer–a being who reaps souls– and has to take over the job. Trouble is, she only has two years to help 100 souls cross over to the afterlife or she’s going to Hell.

And that’s only book one of the three part series.

Find out more about Kyoko on her website and follow her on Twitter.

Day 5: Zin E. Rocklyn

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Zin E. Rocklyn hails from Jersey City, New Jersey and is of Trinidadian descent. As such, she says she’s always been surrounded by the spine-tingling tales of ghost children, devilishly handsome men, and mysterious, lost spirits, all looking for your soul when you’re a little too careless.

Her immersion in these tales have made her stories older and deeper than her years, much like the name she’s chosen to pen them under. Zin passes the time daydreaming, reading, and thinking up new ways to creep her most loved ones out.

Her short story “Need” is in the Colors in Darkness anthology Forever Vacancy, and is a visceral tale of an ageless being who gives two mysterious men checking in to the Kretcher motel more than they bargained for when they attempt to possess her.

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Her short story “Summer Skin” is in the upcoming Sycorax’s Daughters, an anthology of black women horror fiction and poetry. Some of her other short works can be found on the blog Oblique in 30: Tests from the Deck.

Find Zin on Facebook and on Twitter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2: Jemiah Jefferson

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Jemiah Jefferson was born in Denver, Colorado. Now living in southeast Portland, Oregon, she works in the editorial department at Dark Horse Comics, Inc. and is a regular contributor to Popshifter.com.

Jefferson started writing fiction at the age of twelve, always with the goal of writing the material she wants to see but that doesn’t yet exist. According to her website, the first draft of the novel that would become Voice of the Blood was written in 24 hours in 1990 in a fit of inspiration.

After another six years (and several more novels and short stories) she took her experiences of living in San Francisco and of her contacts with the young, amoral, and beautiful that she had there and applied them to situations and characters already in existence in her imagination, fueling the creation of an extended vampire “family.” This led her to four novels–Voice (originally titled Vox Sanguinus), Wounds, Fiend, and A Drop of Scarlet.

In addition to detailing the fascinations and desires of this “family,” Jefferson’s novels move from 19th Century Europe to modern-day US to reflect the paranoia and possibility surrounding 9/11 and the concept of “art crime.” The books have been compiled into an omnibus edition.

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Jefferson has announced on her Facebook page that her novel, Mixtape for the Apocalypse will be pulled from publication shortly. If you can, grab a copy before then. If you already have one, hold on to it.

You can find Jemiah on Facebook, Twitter, and on her website.

 

Sycorax’s Daughters: A Release and an Appearance

Sycorax’s Daughters the Horror Anthology of fiction & poetry by African-American women, edited by Kinitra Brooks, PhD, Linda D. Addison & Susana Morris, PhD is coming February 2017 from Cedar Grove Books.

In June 2015, editors Brooks and Addison contacted African-American women authors–including me–and poets based on their creative talents in writing about women, race, sexuality, and/or speculative fictions, asking them to consider the vast possibilities that interweaving black women and horror can express.

Brooks, Addison, and Morris are of the contention that peoples of the African diaspora encounter elements of horror on a weekly or even daily basis. Each week, millions of black folks go to church or religious practice and are possessed by the Holy Ghost or ridden by the orishas and loas—what is this if not an Africanized manifestation of spirit possession, a common horror trope?

Sycorax’s Daughters is an opening salvo of what is hoped to be a burgeoning field of black women’s creative horror fiction. There are also plans for a companion volume of new critical horror scholarship by black feminist scholars.

Thought provoking, powerful, and revealing, this anthology is comprised of 28 dark stories and 14 poems written by African American women writers. Tales of what scares, threatens, and shocks them will enlighten and entertain readers. The works delve into demons and shape shifters from the historical to far future imaginings. These pieces cover vampires, ghosts, and mermaids, as well as the unexpected price paid by women struggling for freedom and validation in the past.

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Contributors include: Tiffany Austin, Tracey Baptiste, Regina N. Bradley, Patricia E. Canterbury,  Crystal Connor, Joy M. Copeland, Amber Doe, Tish Jackson, Valjeanne Jeffers, Tenea D. Johnson,  R. J. Joseph, A. D. Koboah, Nicole Givens Kurtz,  Kai Leakes,  A. J. Locke, Carole McDonnell,  Dana T. McKnight, LH Moore, L. Penelope, Zin E. Rocklyn, Eden Royce, Kiini Ibura Salaam, Andrea Vocab Sanderson,  Nicole D. Sconiers,  Cherene Sherrard,  RaShell R. Smith-Spears,  Sheree Renée Thomas, Lori Titus, Tanesha Nicole Tyler, Deborah Elizabeth Whaley, L. Marie Wood, K. Ceres Wright, Deana Zhollis

Sycorax’s Daughters is now available for pre-order on Amazon. Several in person events are planned for this important release, including the book’s debut at Atlanta’s Auburn Avenue Research Library on February 25th March 18th from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm. I’ll be there, along with I won’t be able to make it, but you can chat with many of the other authors and editors who’ll be there to sign books and speak about the project.

Forever Vacancy: A Release

For those that don’t know, I’m one of the founders of Colors in Darkness, a group of dark speculative fiction authors of color and authors who write and read characters of color. CID exists to provide support to authors of color in the speculative fiction genres of horror, paranormal, sci-fi, dark fantasy, and combinations thereof.

We also are a place to find new work to read if you enjoy seeing characters of color in the genres above.

In our Facebook group, we share calls for submissions, writing advice, and provide beta reading for these diverse stories and their authors.

We’re excited to announce our latest project, and anthology of stories from these authors, Forever Vacancy.

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The pre-order link is on Amazon and the book will release on January 13th.

Want to know more? Here’s a bite:

Amid the upheaval of the 1960s, the Kretcher Motel opened in a poor, desolate part of Atlanta. It still serves its original purpose: to lure those souls who are lost, who are troubled, who are evil…to itself. Check in to view these thirteen dark tales of horror, betrayal, fear, and wickedness, all featuring characters of color. You may never want to leave.

TOC:
The Thing in Room 204 – C.W. Blackwell

Karma Suture – Tawanna Sullivan

The Last Day of Jerome Brown – Jordan King-Lacroix

Roost – Kenya Moss-Dyme

Salvation – Ross Baxter

The Honeymoon Suite: Jacob’s Reunion – Sumiko Saulson

A Long Way From the Ritz – Eden Royce

Mister Mackintosh – David Turnbull

Flesh Trap – Querus Abuttu

A Devil of a Deal – David O’Hanlon

Hollygraham – Sy Shanti

The Adjusters – Dahlia DeWinters

Need – Zin E. Rocklyn

 

 

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