Katie Recommends

Katie Recommends: Anthologies

So Many to Choose

I know this is a bit cheeky, but you can’t hold it against me (at least I hope you can’t. my first recommendation is all the below anthologies.

The theme of these anthologies is that they are all horror and they all contain a short story by yours truly

Just to be clear I get nothing financial from most of the sales, I was paid a fixed fee for each story submitted and don’t get royalties etc (except for Darkness Screams Howling Deep, that one I get royalties).

So you can trust that I am recommending these books because I have copies of all of them and they are damn good.

For my fellow writers out there, I’d recommend submitting to these publishers, I’ve not had a bad experience with any of them.

Darkness Screams: Howling Deep – Featuring my short story Stella

Caroline is uneasy when her husband brings back a large dog from the Shelter. There’s something about Stella that doesn’t feel right, the light in her eyes is a little bit too intelligent.

Available for pre-order now!


Horrorzine Fall Edition 2022 containing my short story The Chest

A grandmother dies leaving her granddaughter a mysterious chest of drawers which contain the impossible.

Since 2009, The Horror Zine has published exceptional horror fiction by emerging talent and today’s leading authors. Editor Jeani Rector selects only the most inventive and captivating tales for each issue. In addition to short fiction, The Horror Zine features amazing poetry and artwork. Now The Horror Zine brings the dark delights from the ezine into a print magazine.

The Fall 2022 issue features Damian Karras, Katie Marie, Brie Edison, William Falo, Timothy Wilkie, Melissa R. Mendelson, James Burt, Kristen Houghton, Garrett Rowlan, J. Rocky Colavito, Madison McSweeney, Nicholas Tana, Michael Fowler, Ed Rosick, Maxwell I. Gold, Josh Darling, Oliver Smith, Max Bindi, Juan Perez, Louise Worthington, Frank Coffman, Sharmila Mitra, John C. Mannone, Joseph Danoski, Heather Miller, Chris McAuley, James Arthur Anderson, John Grey, Dan Verkys, Lena Goral, Duncan Bennett, Gordon Lewis, Sumiko Saulson, and Vox.

Pick up your copy on Amazon


Beyond the Sea

A University PhD student investigates a strange body that washes up on a small island beach.

Forget the bends… Shadows Beneath the Surface is the second entry in the Dead Seas series from Dead Sea Press and brings us crashing to the top of the ocean for more aquatic and nautical horror from fifteen new and incredible talents.

A screening of Jaws is more immersive than advertised – and far more dangerous. A new discovery promises pain to any who stumble across it. And a washed-up abomination really should have been left out to dry…

From ghost ships to monstrous ferry crossings, from eerie islands to creepy caves, this collection proves that not all of the ocean’s beasts lie beneath the waves.

All this and more in a monstrous collection of stories from T.L. Beeding, Chris Williams, Christopher Saylor, David R. Polsdorfer, Gregg V. Landry, Malina Douglas, Matt Bliss, Stephanie Kvellestad, Karen Lethlean, Nancy Schumann, Jay Sykes, Katie Marie, Rachel Nussbaum, Lisa Fox, and Shannon Frost Greenstein.

Don’t forget: every penny of profit goes right to The Shark Trust, an organisation promoting the conservation and protection of sharks, skates and rays. Your support is hugely appreciated.

Pick up your copy on Amazon


Water: Selkies, Sirens & Sea Monsters

My short story There’s Something in the Water is featured in Water: Selkies, Sirens & Sea Monsters!

Water is the most yielding of all elements, changing to fit its container, whether that be a thimble or a lake bed. At the same time, anyone who has ever watched the unrelenting progression of a tsunami understands its raw power. Associated with mutability, transformation, and the subconscious, water is both the tranquil azure of a tropical sea and the tumultuous waves and whitecaps of an embroiled ocean. As many faces as water may wear, the creatures within and associated with it have even more.

Featuring: Catherine MacLeod; Kevin Cockle; Greta Starling; Elise Forier Edie; Kate Shannon; Sara Rauch; Katie Marie; Rebecca Brae; Colleen Anderson; L. T. Waterson; Chadwick Ginther; Julia Heller; Marshall J. Moore; Joel McKay; Elizabeth R. McClellan; Eric M. Borsage; Laura VanArendonk Baugh; Josh Reynolds; Liam Hogan; Mari Ness; Davide Mana; Sarah Van Goethem; Valerie Hunter; and Kelly Sandoval.

Order now on Amazon!


Scratching

My short story Scratching appers in The Horrorzines Book of Ghost Stories!

Get your copy NOW!

“This collection of ghost stories is fresh, varied, and entertaining. Perfect company for long a winter’s night.”  – Owen King, co-author of Sleeping Beauties

“An incredibly creepy collection of stories of the recently and not so recently dead, written by some of the finest writers in horror. I suggest that when reading, do so in the daylight, because reading these at night will only make you more aware of your own, unempty house.” – Susie Moloney, author of The Dwelling and The Thirteen

“Gruesome, eerie, horrific, sometimes uplifting; this is a terrific selection of ghost stories that satisfy the soul—they chill the blood, too.” – Simon Clark, author of Whitby Vampyrrhic

“Looking for a perfect evening? Spend the night hunkered down in your favorite chair with only a reading light on, and dive into The Horror Zine’s Book of Ghost Stories. Forget sleep, these tales will keep you enthralled till daybreak.” – Tony Tremblay, author of The Moore House

“Nobody keeps the supernatural alive like The Horror Zine.” – Scott Nicholson, author of The Red Church


 Call for Help

Haunted Life

My short story Call for Help appears in the Haunted Life Anthology publish by Alban Lake.

We fear what we do not know and death is our ultimate fear. We do not know what lies beyond, or if there is a beyond, but some of us have ideas. Some of us have had experiences. Strange noises that can’t be explained. Objects moving on their own. Whispers of people who aren’t there. Slips of forms barely seen. Objects that are never to be touched. Words that are never to be spoken. Places that are never to be visited. All of these form the stories you’ll find within the soul-touched pages of The Haunted Life. Do you have the courage to find out what lies beyond?

The anthology can be picked up on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.


 In the Shadows

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My Short Story ‘In The Shadows’ appears in the Horror Zine!

Since 2009, The Horror Zine has published exceptional horror fiction by emerging talent and today’s leading authors. Editor Jeani Rector selects only the most inventive and captivating tales for each issue.

In the Shadows

When Christine dies in the bath everyone thinks it must be suicide. Her housemate quickly discovers that was not the case.

Pick up your copy here

Katie Recommends

It’s the Festive Season

Katie Recommends

This December I want you to get the most out of the horror genre, and much to my dismay I am hardly peek horror, so I want to spend the month of December pointing you in the direction of some awesome horror content.

I will be using December to recommend books, films and games in the horror genre in the hope that I can make your festive season just a little bit more ho-ho-horrific.

I can’t wait to get started!

Reviews - Games

Videogame: Man of Medan

All Aboard

Today I want to talk to you about one of my favourite game series, The Dark Pictures series, in particular the first instalment Man of Medan. 

The Dark Pictures is a series of survival horror games, played via the third person, where you play as multiple characters through a strongly story-based game. The games revolve around the choices you make and effectively function as the old choose your own adventure books did. 

The series all tie together via a framing device in the form of the curator, a chap who acts as your guide/storyteller. Each story in the series is a self-contained story.

Man of Medan was the first instalment in the ongoing series and was a strong start for a great series. 

Summary – as always, spoilers below

Photo by Mudassir Ali on Pexels.com

Man of Medan is a fictional story based lossy around the story of the Ourang Medan, a ghost ship where the entire crew was found dead with no obvious cause. 

Continue reading “Videogame: Man of Medan”
Blog Talk

The ‘Oh-God-Why-am-I-Doing-This’ strop

Tamtrum

Today I want to talk to you about something a little different. It’s not horror related, though at a push it is writing-related. Today I’m talking about empathy.

I’ve always thought of myself as empathic; I try to put myself in other people’s shoes in any situation, but like all people, I am a work in progress and sometimes I jump to conclusions before empathy can kick in. I want to share with you a moment of realisation I had a few months ago and how it helped me become a more empathic person.

Today I want to talk to you about something I call the ‘Oh-God-Why-am-I-Doing-This’ strop.

The ‘Oh-God-Why-am-I-Doing-This’ strop is very much a strop. I think it is the little, more annoying brother of Imposter Syndrome. Where instead of feeling that one shouldn’t belong, one feels more like they can’t belong despite everything. No matter how hard you try, no matter how much success, praise etc you receive, it’s not enough to convince you that your effort is paying off. Any progress you make is painfully slow and laborious, far too much work for far too small a return.

You see why I call it a strop?

Continue reading “The ‘Oh-God-Why-am-I-Doing-This’ strop”
Katie Recommends

Katie Recommends: Jenna Moreci

Heeeeelllooooo everybody

Today I want to talk to you about a great no-nonsense writing advice channel.

Jenna Moreci

Jenna gives useful advice, which is helpful given that she is a writing advice channel. She delivers it in entertaining bitesize bits that are easy to digest. She also backs up her arguments for why she’s advising a certain course of action, which always helps in my opinion as it’s good to know why something works.

Lastly, she has very useful sponsors.

Recently in the last couple of months, Jenna was sponsored by Get Covers and on her recommendation, I gave it a go and boy was she right.

FYI I also recommend Get Covers but I’ll talk about that in another blog, today is about Jenna.

Jenna also has playlists for specific topics, such as characters, marketing, self-publishing etc, so you don’t need to review her catalogue and pick out what might be useful she’s done it for you. Booya.

Blog Talk

Evolution of projects

It starts as A but becomes B.

Today I want to talk to you briefly about evolution, not of anything living, but rather of a creative project or two.

I find it both interesting and refreshing when I can finish a project and look back on it to trace the path it has come. How it started as one thing, became something else and then again sometimes became yet another thing.

My two most recent projects to see daylight went through several iterations.

A Man in Winter started as a short story that got a tad long, it became a novella. Then when I sent it round for its first round of ‘Please publish my work’ enquiries the bulk of the feedback was that it was good but novellas just aren’t an easy sell. So I kicked my backside into gear and A Man in Winter became a novel.

It was dreadful.

I’ve spoken about this before in my blog ‘You can’t turn a circle into a square

So it became a novella again, with some additions and I tried again to sell it. I was successful this time, booya.

The series of transformations or evolutions of the A Man in Winter story is interesting, at least to me, but they are hardly dramatic or unique.

Firefly however went through some intense changes.

Firefly started life as a scribbled note in my writing notebook. Hardly a unique idea either, an agency investigating supernatural events looks into a creepy town where kids go missing.

I tried to plan it as a standard novel but it didn’t excite me at all, so I put it aside. Then I got into a conversation with a friend about games, how they are made, and something they said got me thinking. They said they felt that stories, at least in games, should be built around gameplay rather than the other way around.

I don’t think this is the case in all instances, I’ve played lots of games where the story feels entirely separate from the gameplay mechanics but I’ve played some amazing ones where they tied together as well.

Anyway, this comment got me thinking, could we have a mystery game where the player has to go around a location finding clues to unearth what happened? Of course, we could, guess who had an idea that would fit with that kind of gameplay.

So I got to work.

Long story short, the project fell on its butt.

It’s disappointing but it happens sometimes, more often with collaborative work I’ve noticed. This was my second collaborative piece to kind of fizzle out. But that’s life.

However, I had done a lot of work writing and designing the documents for the game. I had all this stuff and I was itching to do something with it.

Then I read Slenderman, the novel and was reminded how much I enjoy this genre of fiction. That being epistolary fiction, found footage but with books.

So with some tweaking, a lot of editing, and a crash course in design I created something I’m pleased with.

Firefly’s evolution was far more dramatic than A Man in Winter’s was, it went from a scribbled novel idea that I kind of hated, to a potential game, to an epistolary novel.

Evolution is a funny thing, it happens organically, at least in my last two projects, and hopefully, the end result is something far better than the original concept.