Want to win a chance at getting an early copy of THE WILD DARK? There are ten copies up for grabs on Goodreads! All you need to enter is a Goodreads account, where you can keep track of all those wonderful books you’ve yet to read. Click the button above to get started!
What else is new? How about a sneak peek at the first chapter of the book? You can hop on over to Book Funnel and sign in with an email address to download a first taste of the book. No worries, that email subscribes you to my monthly newsletter, where you can get first look at exclusives, premier news about the book, and extras that everyone else won’t get to see… Click the photo below to go to Book Funnel!
I’ve been having fun on Instagram the last couple weeks participating in a couple of themed book challenges! If you don’t already follow me, hop on over to my insta and add me, for all of your bookish delights!
I got confirmation today that Bull Moose, one of New England’s awesome book vendors is going to carry THE WILD DARK at six of its largest stores! They have the book available for pre-order which can be found here. Support local bookstores and pre-order your copy now.
I’ve got a tentative TBR (to-be-read) list for August, which I can only half commit to because of how incredibly busy I’ve been in getting THE WILD DARK off the ground and ready for its launch in October. These are some of my hopefuls. Maybe they could be on your TBR pile, too?
What gear would you want to get through the apocalypse? Today, I’m sharing with you a few of the things that my characters in my upcoming book use to get by. THE WILD DARK releases for pre-order today and I figured what better way to celebrate than share some exclusive details not only from this book but…the next one!
Introduce yourselves! Who are the brilliant minds behind NOT DEER MAGAZINE?
Rowan: I’m Rowan, the Editor-in-Chief. I write fiction and poetry, primarily about feral women and the rural gothic. I mostly keep the website updated and correspond with contributors, but my favorite part of running the magazine is reading submissions.
Taylor: I’m Taylor. I’m a co-editor. I like poetry. I’ve had work published in a few places and I especially like flash fiction and micropoetry. I write about the way love can rot. I enjoy reading submissions. I also tend to be the primary person running our Twitter.
Thandiwe: I’m Thandiwe, one of the co-editors. I love fantasy and things that verge on the edge of the surreal. I write fiction and poetry circling the ideas of identity and finding one’s place in the world. I run our Instagram but I really love reading for the magazine and creating cover art.
What does the name “Not Deer” stand for?
Rowan: We’re named after my favorite cryptid, the Appalachian Not Deer.
Taylor: It stands for deer that aren’t normal deer. When the deer aren’t deer, that’s when you know to run.
Thandiwe: There is something seriously wrong with that deer. Is it even a deer? Things are getting twisted and the fog is creeping in.
What was your goal in creating NOT DEER MAGAZINE?
Rowan: I saw the need for a literary magazine that specifically made most of its space for marginalized creators. The goal is to be an environment that presents work from creators who are often overlooked when it comes to horror as a genre.
Taylor: We wanted to create a space where creative horror written by women and under-represented voices are spotlighted. So much of modern horror is dominated by men equating violence against women to good horror writing and we wanted a space void of that. Not Deer was Rowan’s idea and Thandiwe and I jumped on. We were all in the same major and are part of a writing group so it was really easy to coordinate.
Thandiwe: When Rowan brought up her plans for a magazine I was super excited. I loved the idea of a more inclusive publication for horror writing and I really want to give a platform for creators who might otherwise be overlooked for not fitting into an expected mold.
Who does NOT DEER MAGAZINE cater to? Who are your ideal readers?
Rowan: An ideal reader would be someone who appreciates the complexities of good horror. I want the work we publish to be read by people who are open to what the genre is or could become.
Taylor: Our ideal readers are people who want to read good writing. I wouldn’t say we cater to a specific demographic. We only publish pieces that we feel move us, and we hope our readers feel moved as well.
Thandiwe: I don’t know that we cater to anyone specifically. If I like the piece and feel that it fits our theme, that’s a good enough reason for me. I want people to enjoy the environment we’ve cultivated through our publications. If someone encounters our corner of the woods and finds it to their liking, they are welcome to stay, if not, then I wish them well on their travels.
Are you currently accepting submissions?
We are accepting rolling submissions almost always and often have contests. See our submission page for more info.
What are some future goals for the magazine?
Rowan: We nominate for the Pushcart Prize and I think it’d be really cool to have one of our contributors win. We’ve published so much excellent work that deserves to be further recognized.
Taylor: Moving forward, we’d love to put out a print issue. We’d like to do a “best of” issue in print and online. We’d also like to continue to do more contests. If we can ever afford to, we’d love to pay contributors.
Thandiwe: I think the contests will be a fun feature in the future and I look forward to coming up with more themes. I’m excited at the prospect of possible print issues.
What are some other projects that you are working on besides the magazine?
Rowan: I’m working on putting together a hybrid anthology of my short fiction and poetry as well as submitting work to other publications in the small press world.
Taylor: I’m writing a book of short fiction stories right now. I’m reading a lot. I just graduated with my BFA so now that I’m not reading for class, I have time to read for myself.
Thandiwe: I’m currently working on some small short fiction pieces and poetry. Writing more personal non-fiction might be something I’d like to get into moving forward.
Where can people go to find out more information about NOT DEER MAGAZINE?
See our website, our Instagram, or our Twitter for more info.
Is there anything else people should know about the magazine?
We have merch! We are on Redbubble and sell things like stickers, mugs, and tote bags. They’re very cute and the art is done by two of our close friends!
Well, there you have it! Submit to NOT DEER MAGAZINE today! You can find all of their links below!
Welcome, welcome! First off, I’d like to thank all of my long time subscribers here on WordPress. You guys have been through all the iterations of this blog from The Monstrum Chronicles, to Writers’ Abditory, and finally to The Kat At Night. It’s taken some time to finally find a steady pace and rebrand into a place where I feel most comfortable.
That being said, I’m expanding my blog into a new monthly newsletter in anticipation of the fall release of “The Wild Dark”. Said newsletter is being provided through my website and SquareSpace. While I’m going to try and duplicate announcements in both places as best I can, I’d really like to make the newsletter my exclusive place to readers to find upcoming content related to “The Wild Dark” as well as info about upcoming giveaways, pre-order happiness, and sneak peeks.
For those of you who don’t know about “The Wild Dark”, I’ll post the cover below along with a brief synopsis:
Elizabeth ‘Liz’ Raleigh has lost everything in the last few months: her job as a police detective, her partner, her fiancé, and her peace of mind. After a month of solitude at a cabin in the woods, she finally feels as though she’s ready to move on.
But in one terrifying night, everything changes. An unearthly forest realm has begun to creep over the world, swallowing up every sign of human civilization. The woods are fraught with disturbing architecture and monstrous wolves hungry for human souls. In addition, ghosts of loved ones have appeared to select people including Liz’s partner, Brody, who doesn’t remember how he died.
As winter closes in and chaos erupts across New England, Liz fights desolation, resurfacing guilt, and absolute terror as she tries to survive one of the North East’s most brutal winters.
Anyone here fans of survivalism? Winter camping? Apocalypses? Spooky woods? Murder wolves? A strong female protagonist? “The Wild Dark” might be for you! The button below will take you to the website where you’ll have the option to subscribe. (Scroll to the bottom of the main page to find the entry form!) I’ll probably be more diligent with promoting the book there than here. I’d like The Kat at Night to include my writing escapades, but to also be its own entity as well. There will be exclusive content in both places.
I’ve been waiting YEARS for this movie. As a huge fan of the video game series and the original 1995 film, I was excited by the prospect of a more adult, more brutal take on the Mortal Kombat story, complete with fatalities, better acting, and a darker tone. Finally last Friday, at the end of a long day at work, I was able to sit down, put on HBO Max and enjoy the movie. And enjoy the movie, I did.
Was it everything that I was hoping for? No. Was it as terrifying as Kevin Tancharoen’s Rebirth trailer from 2010? No. Was it gory? Hell yes. Was it fun to watch? You betcha.
First of all, holy ****. What an insane premier book for author Matthew Lyons. Not only is it a unique take on the “teenagers go into the woods for a night” horror dynamic, it’s also a well-written odyssey of creepiness, a page-turner, and takes so many unexpected turns. I was intrigued by it from the moment it popped up as a suggestion on Amazon last year. It took me some time to get to it (the list of novels to read only keeps growing!), but I wasn’t disappointed.
I’m a little late to the party on this one, I’m afraid. I really enjoyed it nonetheless. Adam Cesare’s debut novel is a contemporary slasher, tossed with coulrophobia and dashed with teenage anguish. The story has us peering through the eyes of newcomer, Quinn, who is trying to leave the drug-related death of her mother behind in the city as she embraces the rustic, down-to-earth existence that is living in Kettle Springs. Almost immediately, she’s thrown into the company of local bad boy and rich kid, Cole, and his friends, who have a penchant for misdeeds, pranks, and sticking it to their elders. They soon find that someone is no longer going to take their adolescent high jinxes in stride anymore and that a lesson must be taught to the younger generation; one that they’ll never forget.
I was reminded fondly of Wes Craven’s Scream series while reading. This was definitely a page turner and I blazed through the majority of it in one afternoon. Cesare does a brilliant job encapsulating Gen Z kids, their reliance on cell phones, trending, followers, and social media all while being subject to a small town and it’s conservative way of life. While I wouldn’t necessarily say that I identified with any of the characters, I did particularly enjoy Janet as a character, mainly because I thought she was one of the best ones fleshed out and wasn’t your typical Queen Bee popular girl.
I will admit though: it’s not hard to guess what the twist is in Clown in a Cornfield. I made a prediction about 1/2 way through about who I thought was going to be behind everything, who a possible traitor was, and what twists I figured were in store. I was right for the most part. That could just be my own personal expectance of an ending like Scream, where I had no idea who the killer/killers were going to be in each film. Clown in a Cornfield doesn’t hide that fact from the reader, in fact it showcases it pretty openly only a couple chapters after the killing begins. It even alludes to it pretty strongly in the first chapter where a murder happens. That being said, it was still a very fun ride to get to the end to see who survives and who doesn’t.
There is an ending that leaves room for a possible sequel should Cesare ever decide to write one, though I think it’s probably better left the way it ends here.
Since I’d just finished a book fraught with teenage murder, I decided to read Matthew Lyons debut novel, The Night Will Find Us. I finished it in a matter of hours. I’ll have a review for that up next week!
This beast of a book took me some time to get through. That being said, the entire time was lovely. There’s a reason this book is on so many must-read lists, won the Hugo Award, and has a ton of five star reviews. It’s unapologetic in its presentation of the world and the characters, doesn’t waste time trying to explain away everything that happens, but justifiably treats its characters as though they are real, living, breathing people. I haven’t read much in the way of fantasy, but I’m 100% hooked and can’t wait to read The Oblivion Gate. You feel for Damaya, Syneite, and Essun collectively through her years of trials and tribulations and wonder and heartbreak and short-lived harmony.
Just to give you a taste, there’s magic (called orogeny), giant obelisks floating in the sky, stone eaters, pirates, a dying earth, vengeance, and so much more. Fall into Jemisin’s world of The Broken Earth trilogy and don’t look back. You’ll love it.
I’ll be picking up book 2, The Oblivion Gate, in the coming months. Until then, I’ve just started David Wellington’s vampire novel, Thirteen Bullets. I’ll be hoping to pull up a review on it this week.
Long time followers of the blog know that music is my gateway drug to creativity. In the past, I’ve posted a top ten list of favorite soundtracks for video games that were released during the year. Since I’ve been out of touch with a lot of the soundtracks released this year, I decided that instead, I will just list my ten favorite songs that I discovered this year and why. These songs may not have been released this year. Discovering music is something I love and there is so much of it out there to be found and loved.
How do you find so many kinds of new genres, artists, and songs, you ask? Having a Spotify Premium account gives me access to the Discover Weekly playlist, which brings up a list of thirty or so songs that the algorithms have deemed I might enjoy. I have found SO many of my favorite songs from this. Several of the songs featured on my list this year were also uncovered this way.
Let’s dive in!
10: Heartbeats by The Knife
So, I feel super dumb about this one because the song was originally released in 2002. I had actually heard the song before as a cover by Jose Gonzalez but never realized it was a cover. The original song came up on my Discover Weekly playlist this year and I immediately recognized the lead singer’s voice as Karin Dreijer, otherwise known as Fever Ray. I’ve been listening to Fever Ray for a while. Dreijer’s voice is so distinctive and pairing it with a synth-pop beat really made me fall in love with this song.
The end of the year is almost here! Don’t know about the rest of you but I’m looking forward to ringing in the new year with some prosecco, and some hopefully good resolutions. This is chronically a time of the year where people pledge to become completely different people in the new year and rarely keep to all of the ideas they’ve put before them. I have definitely been this person before. That being said, I’m keeping my list of resolutions to three things. Before I go into detail on what these things are, I’d like to take a look back at a couple of the good things that happened in 2020.
I finally got my office renovated and set up for future use! All of that time home during the beginning months of the pandemic actually paid off by giving me time to work on this space. I painted, put up decor, redid the ceilings with PVC tiles, installed trim and painted that gold, and have used that space diligently in the months since. Granted, now that it’s winter, that is one of the colder rooms in the house. I do have a small space heater there but when it makes more sense for me to work downstairs where it’s warmer, I do that. I’m looking forward to using this space more in the coming year, adding more art, and perhaps installing a few items to also make it a potential podcast area? That is still a thought in progress.
Towards the end of the year, I was published in the Horror Writers of Maine’s inaugural journal, rife with dark and spooky tales in Maine! My story, “The Night We Met” is featured as the last story in the journal and leaves you with a bit of a lingering pall of sadness and mystery at its conclusion. I’m grateful to be featured next to some of Maine’s heavyweight of talented horror writers and look forward to seeing content for future journals.
I launched my creative writing consultation business this year. 2020 was a rough year to start a new endeavor which makes me especially grateful to those individuals who contacted me and asked me to do services for them. Looking ahead, I’m excited to see what new projects 2021 will bring. For anyone interested in the services I offer, you can find a list on my website here.
AND NOW ONTO 2021!
Those resolutions aren’t going to make themselves. A mere three resolutions, you say? You might be laughing as you jot down your checklist of 574 new experiences to try, places to go, and people to meet (once a significant number of us are vaccinated of course…). But I’m not getting carried away. These resolutions are all about bettering my selfcare and boosting business. In no particular order, here’s what my resolutions are:
Exercise. It’s that simple. This year, the worst thing that 2020 dealt me personally was a significant weight gain. I’m not pleased by how inactive I’ve become and what my daily diet looks like. Not only that, but my tension headaches have been exceptionally bad because of pulling muscles in my shoulders and back. As part of the new year, I’d like to get into a daily habit of stretches, a good stint on the elliptical or outdoor running, and more hiking than I did previously. This also comes along side calorie counting. It is amazing how many calories a person can consume in a day and not realize. I did this for a short time last year and know this is a key step in bettering my body.
Last year, I read more books than I have in many years. While I didn’t finish my Goodreads goal of 25 books, I read some phenomenal pieces and am looking forward to all the books I’ve yet to read in 2021! I’ve compiled a list of books to read next year. These will be in addition to whatever else I decide I just can’t pass up next year. You can find this list here.
The last thing in my resolutions? Blogging more! In 2020, I blogged more than the three years previous. Getting into a routine of publishing dark book and film reviews will be only one of the regular posts in store. I’d also like to give more of an insight into the upcoming publication of my new book, “The Wild Dark” scheduled for a spring/summer release. I’ll also potentially be trying to do more interviews with other Maine authors in my genre and more on writing dark things in general.
Speaking of writing more blog posts, I’d like to post my top ten songs of 2020 (songs I discovered in 2020…not necessarily recorded and released this year). If I get that up before the new year, great. If not, I’ll see you ladies and gents in 2021!