Three women, one vision. Deep Cuts: cuts may be deeper than they appear. More than just a horror anthology; a horror tribute .
Ladies AND Gentlemen!
Everyone loves a good horror story, and we’re going to collect 80,000 words worth of them for you. In addition, we’re going to give you a couple dozen recommendations for other awesome horror stories by women that you may have overlooked.
We're all still a bit in shock that we hit our goal, so bear with us as we catch our breaths. We are saying a thousand thank yous to all those who've joined our project so far. We don't, however, want to leave any late-comers out in the cold.
Our new stretch goal is $6000. If we make it there, then we'll raise the writers' payment to a whopping 7 cents per word. This may not seem like much, but on a 5,000 word story, it's $50. That, added to the amount we're already paying, makes a tidy sum.
The benefit to the anthology of paying higher rates is that it attracts a larger population of writers, and thus, better stories. The more stories we have to choose from, the better our anthology is likely to be. Anthology economics. :) And, we're committed to making it the absolute best horror anthology of 2013.
So don't hesitate to pre-order your digital or print copy here (signed?), even though we've already made our goal. All reward levels are still active until our deadline, which is early in the morning on July 1. And your pledge will go toward our stretch goal too!
DEEP CUTS EDITOR ANGEL LEIGH MCCOY: BOTH OF US
I lead a double life, walking in the light and on the dark side. The light shines very brightly from my day job, where I am surrounded by the brilliant minds of the most creative game designers and artists in the games industry. We laugh all day long at ArenaNet. Work there is play; it truly is. We work hard. We play hard.
The Light Side
I’ve been writing game content for a very long time, first in the table-top RPG arena, and now in computer games. I’m a kid at heart, what can I say. And I am so grateful to be surrounded by young, lively people. It keeps me young and lively!
I’ve been at ArenaNet coming up on 5 years. That’s a damn long time, relatively speaking. My heart and soul have gone into Guild Wars 2 in that time. Late nights, early mornings, and working weekends have been the norm for the past year or more of it. I’ve traveled for work as well, going to Paris for a whirlwind Paris Games Week, where I met some of my favorite fans (Bonjour, mes amis!), and to Burbank for the voice sessions. Those recording sessions were thrilling and exhausting. (And, I got to direct Julie Nathanson, Nolan North, Fred Tatasciore, Claudia Christian, Felicia Day, and so many other great actors!) I can’t begin to describe the joy these talented people brought me when I heard them bring the words I’d written to life. For a tiny little writer like me, it was as if I’d died and gone to Heaven.
DEEP CUTS EDITOR E.S. MAGILL: CALL ME E.
I hate the name Eunice. When people address me as Eunice, I always have to look around and see if it’s me they’re addressing. Okay, I don’t hate the name; I just can’t seem to associate me with it. It’s Greek and means “good victory.” So that’s nice. I checked out my name on Wikipedia. It says Eunice is the name of a genus in the worm and butterfly worlds. Maybe that describes me, the worm and the butterfly. I’ll have to explore that idea later. I’ve been to Eunice, Louisiana. I like to visit that state. They’re the only people who know how to spell my name. And Eunice is the real first name of one of my favorite singers, Nina Simone. That’s why I’m E.S. Magill.
I love horror, though.
Like, “I’ve got a problem” love of horror. It’s a problem for me because I can’t read literature that doesn’t have some tinge of the dark, the supernatural, or the horrific to it. Both my B.A. and M.A. are in English, so of course I’ve read and love the classics. I came to the horror genre at a very young age though. My dad was in the Navy. When he was on deployment, my mom and I would stay up late. She sewing, the two of us watching horror movies. This was the early ‘70s so our viewing fare consisted of the Universal monster movies and Godzilla. I knew all about Godzilla as a kid. (Okay, I can still tell you all about the twin fairies, Ghidorah, and Mothra.)
Horror evolved for me when, late one night, my mom and I came across Night of the Living Dead on TV. Do I need to explain how traumatized I was from that—or thrilled? After NotLD came the other seminal works that really shaped the concept of horror for me—The Nightstalker Series with Darren McGavin, Trilogy of Terror consisting of three stories by Richard Matheson, and The Last Man On Earth with Vincent Price and based on Matheson’s I Am Legend (the closest film version of the novel).
WHO IS DEEP CUTS EDITOR CHRIS MARRS?
I am sitting here—full cup of coffee by my side and in my PJs, because I have a rare day off from both my day jobs and the kids are still in school—and I’m staring at this blinking cursor with fear.
I’ve been writing since I was seven, and a blinking cursor can be intimidating but shouldn’t strike terror in my heart. Then, it dawns on me why I’m afraid. I’m not sitting here getting ready to put fictional characters through their paces or focus an unfocused plot line, I’m sitting here getting ready to give you a little insight into me and the project I’m involved in. To someone who prefers hiding behind the potted plants over standing in the center of the room, that’s a little daunting. So, please bear with me while I give it my best shot.
TOP TEN REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD PLEDGE
Why should you pledge your support for your friends, your peers, and total strangers with their Kickstarter Project of the Day?
10. Because the world is changing, and you want to stay on the cutting edge.
- 9. Because next time, you could be the one with the Kickstarter. Karma. Just sayin’.
8. Because you get cool stuff for it!
7. Because you’re a lover, not a hater.
6. Because you believe in supporting your genre/industry.
5. Because YOU are AWEsome!
4. Because you want to pre-order your copy and forget about it.
3. Because it’s fun to see your friends succeed. They get excited and bounce around and squee and stuff!
2. Because it’s long overdue that we brought back patrons of the arts and started coming together to support those amazing artists/writers who can’t afford to do it on their own.
1. Because it’s only $5, and you paid more for that sexy underwear you never wear (looking at you too, guys).
NANCY HOLDER: The Deep Cuts Interview
Horror has always run along two veins: the “quiet” variety, a term associated with Charles Grant, and extreme horror, which took on its most extreme form with the Splatterpunk movement. The former addresses its subject matter through psychological means with allusion and foreshadowing. The latter, on the other hand, comes at the story graphically with viscera, axes, and bloody stumps over your head. Lovers of the genre usually claim allegiance to one form over the other. In defense of quiet horror, the stories are just as chilling, and for Splatterpunk, it had literary tendencies.
When it comes to women horror writers, most readers (or writers) don’t associate women with extreme horror. Well, that’s their initial reaction: women don’t write that stuff. But if you make them pause and think it through, they’ll suddenly start coming up with names of women horror writers who do write that stuff. It’s probably social conventions that clouds their memories for those first few moments.
One of the names that will come up is that of Nancy Holder. While much of her current work is Young Adult, there was a time when she was part of the bloody stump crew: “I became a splatterpunk because someone turned to me at a con and said, ‘Of course, women can’t write splat.’ I think sometimes we’re still considered somewhat unusual. But I love seeing more women in all aspects of horror publishing—editors, agents, executives, artists, writers.”
This isn’t to say that her current work is in any way tame. When asked how her writing reflects who she is as a person, Nancy states, “I have a number of writing ‘faces.’ Some of my writing is kind of soft and gentle, and there’s the brutal stuff. The older my daughter has gotten, the more self-conscious I’ve gotten. But I had a breakthrough the other day—she was shocked by something I’d written and I just laughed. So maybe I’m through that phase.”
What has been the greatest challenge you’ve faced in your bid to build a successful career?
Staying in the game! I keep thinking “now I can relax” but there’s no relaxing in publishing. You keep writing, networking, proposing, thinking, reading, and writing. (And watching movies and TV—okay, I guess there’s some relaxing involved!)
OUR THIRD SPOTLIGHT WRITER: NANCY HOLDER!
Our excitement has just tripled over our third spotlight writer, Nancy Holder. You may know this author (a 5x Bram Stoker Award™ winner) from the Buffy books or her YA novels, but she’s also penned some of the most hard-hitting stories in the horror genre.
Nancy lives in San Diego, busy raising her teen-age daughter Belle and being active in the community. Even with a full life, her bibliography is extensive, and you can find her out and about at conventions and book signings.
We are ecstatic to have Nancy Holder contribute a story to Deep Cuts!
MEHITOBEL WILSON: the Deep Cuts Interview
According to her own bio, Mehitobel Wilson has worked at many different jobs and lived in various places, but she's quite obviously most at home in her writing. She has a natural way of cutting through the bullshit that we think will make you like her as much as we do, so without further ado: Mehitobel Wilson, in her own words.
What has been the greatest challenge you’ve faced in your bid to build a successful career?
Announcing our 2nd Spotlight Writer! Mehitobel Wilson!
We are beyond excited to reveal our second spotlight writer: Mehitobel Wilson. Mehitobel has been writing horror for over a decade, with great critical success. The horror in her stories is immediate and visceral, showing no mercy. They make you think as well, often turning you on your head before releasing you from the tale. She is a short story writer at heart, wielding the short form like a scalpel.
Mehitobel, known to many as Bel, has been nominated for a Bram Stoker Award™. In addition, she received an Honorable Mention in the Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror five years in a row. Read more!
Welcome the talented Yvonne Navarro!
Yvonne Navarro is the author of twenty-two published novels and well over a hundred short stories, and she has won the HWA’s Bram Stoker Award, plus a number of other writing awards. Read more!
Here is a writer who can write anything in the horror genre and pull it off. Diverse would be the perfect word to describe Yvonne Navarro’s writing. Her work can come at you and hit hard, like her novel Mirror Me, or leave you feeling that everyone deserves a chance at redemption, even the most evil of creatures, as in her Dark Redemption series. Whether she’s writing for adults or young adults, Yvonne proves her mettle by crafting stories that appease both ages. A difficult feat, indeed.
So, without further ado, we asked Yvonne some questions and she graciously answered them for us. We hope you enjoy learning more about her. She is fabulous!
DC: What has been the greatest challenge you’ve faced in your bid to build a successful career?
Lisa Morton joins us to write the Introduction to Deep Cuts!
As an award winning author, screenwriter and producer, Lisa has played an integral role in the horror community. In addition to her accomplishments and accolades, Lisa is also well-known for being a champion of women writers in the horror genre. Her most recent work is the graphic novel Witch Hunts: A Graphic History of the Burning Times with Rocky Wood and Greg Chapman, published by McFarland.
Can you imagine what the world would be like without our creatives? And can you see the irony in that question?
If so, then you have an inkling of why we should even pay writers to begin with.
If you read short stories, then you already love them, and I don’t have to convince you. Read more of our philosophy here. Or read on.
Deep Cuts: (1) songs on an album that don’t get commercial air time. (2) great songs that get overshadowed by an album's hits.
Like the "deep cuts" on an album, there's good stuff out there, stuff worth digging up and having another go at. In honor of Women in Horror Month, we want to invite horror lovers (male and female alike) to write a great horror story in honor of Women in Horror month and recommend a powerhouse tale written by a woman, those bloody stylings and chainsaw rhythms that have lain hidden like deadly gems among other great works.
Join us as we knock the needle over a few grooves to find and recommend those deep cuts cranked up to 11 by women horror writers.
Warning: Cuts May Be Deeper Than They Appear
We've invited three amazing writers to contribute stories to the anthology, but we can't tell you who they are until we've dotted all the i's and crossed all the t's. Expect announcements to sneak up on you and blow your mind.
These are mock-ups of the items we’ll be putting together and sending out as rewards!
This project was born over three sweating mugs of ale, as all good ideas do. We, the editors, have been discussing it for the past year, honing our plans and tweaking our goals. We are:
E.S. Magill likes to wear the two hats of writer and editor. She is the editor of THE HAUNTED MANSION PROJECT: YEAR ONE, an anthology of essays and short stories based on the experiences of a dozen horror writers who attended a writers retreat at a haunted mansion. She is also the former reviews editor and columnist for Dark Wisdom magazine. Her most current short fiction can be found in the Horror Writers Association’s anthology BLOOD LITE III. She has an M.A. in English, specializing in the postmodern gothic. By day, she teaches middle school English; night is a whole other story. Southern California is home to her and her husband Greg and their menagerie of cats and Corvettes. Friend her on Facebook.
Angel Leigh McCoy is the producer and lead editor at WilyWriters.com, a professional speculative fiction e-zine. She also writes, and her fiction has appeared in numerous places. During the day, she is a narrative designer at ArenaNet, part of a vast team effort to make the coolest MMORPG ever: Guild Wars 2. Angel lives with Boo, Simon, and Lapis Lazuli in Seattle, where the long, dark winters feed her penchant for all things spooky and cozy. Visit her website, Facebook, or Twitter.
Chris Marrs lives on the West Coast of British Columbia, has two kids, two jobs, and two cats. Before the kids took over, Chris used to write a lot and had two stories published. Now that the kids are older, Chris is back to writing a lot, usually very late into the night and accompanied by copious amounts of coffee. In the past year, Chris had two pieces of flash fiction published in Necon E-books Flash Fiction Anthology Best of 2011 and another piece of flash fiction published in 100 Horrors, Tales of Horror in The Blink of An Eye. Also, a short story of hers recently appeared in Behind Locked Doors, an anthology by Wicked East Press. Chris is a supporting member of the HWA. You can find her on Facebook or at Twitter.
Cover artist, Anja Millen, is a world-famous talent who lives in Germany. Her art is shown and featured in different virtual galleries. She is currently working with musicians creating their CD cover art.
Anja made MMORPG concept arts and character studies for the RPG genre and is looking forward to creating book covers for fantasy novels.
Learn more about her at the deepcuts111.com website.
We, the editors, are committed to putting out this anthology whether you join us or not. We have already invested a good bit of money and time in it, and we intend to do more. We are working on a proposal to find just the right publisher, and we are putting our hearts and souls into making this a project that gives back to the horror community. We want this anthology to be about sharing your stories and your recommendations for other stories. It’s a share-the-love kind of project, but with glowing red eyes, pointy teeth, and bloody claws.
$4500 – writer payments
$300 – expenses related to creating/sending out perks
$200 – supplies, postage, website expenses (submission/contract process)
The anthology will go to publication whether we make our goal or not. With the success of our Kickstarter campaign, however, we'll be able to take this project to the next level, making it a much better anthology!
You'll find our submission guidelines on our Submission Page. Please read them carefully.
Women or men may submit an original story. Even though this anthology is honoring great horror stories by women writers, there’s no reason to restrict submissions to women only. Men love horror stories by women also. The 150 word recommendation is of a favorite horror story by a woman writer. If you submit a story, just add the recommendation at the end of your story so that it’s all in one document.
Yes! The anthology will go to publication whether we make our goal or not. With the success of the Kickstarter campaign, however, we'll be able to take this project to the next level, making it a much better anthology!
There is no music theme for this anthology. We are using the concept of "Deep Cuts" to search out those great horror stories by women writers that are out there and deserve to be brought to the public's attention again. The theme of your story can be anything, so long as it fits the genre.
We have no restrictions on cross-genre works at all. Our main requirement is that it be something that makes you uneasy when you read it late at night, or in the dark, or alone in the park...or anywhere. We just want it scary. Part of the problem with having to assign a genre to it is that it risks eliminating some people from submitting because they interpret the genre to be restrictive. We'd LOVE to see a steampunk horror story or some historic horror or scifi horror. Any mix, so long as it's scary.
No, I'm afraid not. We tried so hard to get this all correct, but we blew it on a couple of our pledge delivery dates. These show old dates from before we reworked our rewards.
Both of these will be delivered in March 2013, after the book is actually published.
Very sorry for the mix-up!
Yes, if we've chosen your story for the anthology, you will receive the same pay as everyone else in the anthology. :) However, if we have two equally awesome stories in the slush pile, and one is a reprint, we're far more likely to lean toward the previously unpublished story.
ABSOTIVELY NOT! We will not give those who have pledged any kind of advantage in the slush pile. We are looking for the best stories that will fit best into a cohesive anthology. We want to make the best, most interesting book we can. And this Kickstarter in no way impacts the stories we will choose.
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VICTIM. The undead gratitude of all three editors and all the writers who will be chosen for the anthology. Writers will receive an increase in payment to US$.06 per word. You’ll be publicly thanked on the acknowledgements page of the anthology’s website. Thank you so much!Estimated delivery:
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SURVIVOR. E-book copy of the anthology! AND, writers get 6 cents a word, and you get our undead gratitude expressed on our website. Thank you, from our still-beating hearts!Estimated delivery:
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SPECTER. Our undead gratitude expressed in the anthology itself! AND, writers get 6c/word, and you get the e-book and website listing too.Estimated delivery:
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STALKER. OMG! A paperback copy of the book for you to read again and again! AND your name in both the anthology and on the website. (E-book copy too, if you want it.) Writers get 6c/wd.Estimated delivery:
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REAPER. Get your paperback copy signed by all three editor souls! AND your name in both the anthology and on the website. (E-book copy too, if you want it.) Writers get 6c/wd.Estimated delivery:
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12 backers Limited (8 left of 20)
THE CREATOR! You make monsters. Yeah, you. This level is for horror and dark fantasy writers who have a story they'd like to get feedback on. For anyone who pledges at this level, Angel Leigh McCoy will copy edit and give you suggestions for improvement on one short story of less than 5,000 words. Most editors charge two to three times this amount for the same service. This is a bargain! With 20+ years professional experience as a writer and editor, Angel can give you the feedback you need to take your story to the next level. (First come, first served, and we'll let you know when we can get it back to you when you pledge. This does not guarantee you a slot in the anthology.)Estimated delivery:
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SUPPORTER OF THE DARK ARTS. You've seen Coraline 30 times and had Nightmare Before Christmas decorations up until well after New Year's. You are a supporter of the dark arts. We have a special package just for you, and it includes everything in the $25 reward kit, plus a mug proclaiming, "I support the dark arts!" with the image of our cover (see mock-up at left). Just imagine how it will look on the counter amidst all your co-workers' kitten mugs.Estimated delivery:
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CAMPFIRE STORYTELLER. You want to scare as many people as possible. We can help you do that. Pledge at this level, and we'll make an audio recording (with one of the awesome readers at Wily Writers) of a short story that you've written (5k words or less). You'll get the nicely formatted, edited, MP3 to put on your website or to force your family to listen to every Thanksgiving. In addition, you get everything in the $25 pledge packet.Estimated delivery:
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RIPPER. All 3 editors AND 1 of the spotlight writers will sign your paperback copy—cuz you’re just that scary! We’ll be announcing the spotlight writers very soon! This is gonna be a keeper. Plus, your name in the anthology and on the website. (E-book too, if you want.) Writers get 6c/wd.Estimated delivery:
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5 backers Limited (5 left of 10)
SLASHER. Watch out! At this level, you will receive a slash-ready T-shirt with Anja Millen’s cover art on the front, and on the back, the words “Cuts may be deeper than they appear.” AND paperback signed by editors and one spotlight writer, your name in the anthology/website, and e-book copy if you want. Writers get 6c/wd.Estimated delivery:
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SCIENCE EXPERIMENT. You're special. You get a brand new reward category just for you, and it includes a lightweight black hoodie that you can layer over/under your clothes or wear alone—with the hood up, of course. The hoodie will have an image of the book cover on the back. And your paperback copy will be signed by all three editors. Your name goes in both the anthology and on the website. (E-book copy too, if you want it.) Writers get 6c/word.Estimated delivery:
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FLESH ARTISTE. In artistic communion, world-famous artist Anja Millen will sign a quality print of the art used for the cover (approx.15 x22in). AND paperback copy signed by editors and one spotlight writer, your name in the anthology/website, and e-book copy if you want. Writers get 6c/wd.Estimated delivery:
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SERIAL KILLER. This is your chance to take a trophy from your kill: a signed, handwritten thank-you note from your choice of one writer in the anthology! AND you may choose either a T-shirt or a signed print. Plus, the paperback signed by editors and one spotlight writer, your name in the anthology/website, and e-book copy if you want. Writers get 6c/wd.Estimated delivery:
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VAMPIRE. You have minions: two of the writers (your choice) will send you a personalized note of thanks for joining us! AND you may choose either a T-shirt or a signed print. Plus, the paperback signed by editors and TWO spotlight writers, your name in the anthology/website, and e-book copy if you want. Writers get 6c/wd.Estimated delivery:
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IGOR. You stick to the shadows and look spooky, but you crave the lightning. If you're going to the World Horror Convention/Bram Stoker Award Weekend 2013 in New Orleans, then we veterans of the convention will take you under our wings and show you which levers to pull to make the spark happen. We'll introduce you to the people we know. AND, you'll get a Deep Cuts t'shirt to wear, to show you're one of us. (You're responsible for all your own convention expenses.) Plus, you get everything at the $25 reward level.Estimated delivery:
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WEREWOLF. ArrrooOOOooooo! You need a tote bag to carry all those bones! AND two of the writers (your choice) will send you a personalized note of thanks to drool over! AND you may choose either a T-shirt or a signed print. Plus, the paperback signed by editors and two spotlight writers, your name in the anthology/website, and e-book copy if you want. Writers get 6c/wd.Estimated delivery:
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DEMON. You command respect. You—just like the writers in the anthology—get to write about a horror story you love by a woman writer, and we will include it in the anthology. AND a T-shirt, a tote bag, a signed print, and a personalized thank-you note from your choice of three writers. Plus, the paperback signed by editors and two spotlight writers, your name in the anthology/website, and e-book copy if you want. Writers get 6c/wd.Estimated delivery:
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OLD ONE. ‘Nuff said. You get the universe. You get to write a 500-word Afterword for the anthology about your favorite published short horror story by a woman (with editorial support). FURTHERMORE, the editors will create a horrorlicious drink, name it after you, and print the recipe in the anthology. ALSO, you will receive a personalized note of worship from no less than six of the writers and all three editors. AND a T-shirt, a tote, a signed print, the paperback signed by editors and two spotlight writers, your name in the anthology/website, and e-book copy if you want. Writers get 6c/wd.Estimated delivery:
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FATE. You see into the darkest of shadows. Because of your vision, you get to write the book’s 1000-word foreword (with editorial support)! AND, the editors will create a horrorlicious drink, name it after you, and print the recipe in the anthology. During the World Horror Convention, June 2013, we will have this drink in hand for a resounding toast to the person it’s named after! We’ll film a special message to that person and post it on Youtube. Plus, you will receive a personalized letter of worship from no less than six of the writers and all three editors. AND a T-shirt, a tote, a signed print, the paperback signed by editors and two spotlight writers, your name in the anthology/website, and e-book copy if you want. Writers get 6c/wd.Estimated delivery:
- (30 days)