Hello! Over on Twitter, it’s #FollowFriday, a weekly game of digital tag that can be a jolly nice way to meet new people and discover new audiences, especially for indie horror authors like me with actual peanuts for a marketing budget. Word of mouth being the most valuable currency of all, the practice of lifting other authors up and singing their praises is one I wholeheartedly agree with. So with that in mind, here’s a short list of some amazing horror writers- some indie, some small press, some big news, all awesome- so that you can buy their books and support them online. I’m proud to be part of this community, the most welcoming, supportive, inclusive and generally brilliant bunch of people in existence.
A list of indie horror authors to inhale right now
Without further preamble, here she goes:
Kealan Patrick Burke- stories that pack a punch
Kealan Patrick Burke, aka the gentleman of horror fiction, has an impressive collection of books to his name and doesn’t show signs of slowing down anytime soon, thank goodness.
The thing about Burke’s writing is that he doesn’t mess about. His prose comes at you like bullets fired from a gun: rapid and deadly. An example of this is Sour Candy, his novella about a man who reluctantly adopts a strange young boy. It’s an extremely good illustration of an uncompromising, ‘buckle-up-and-read-bitches’ approach to writing that’ll sweep you off your feet within the first three paragraphs.
His latest collection is called We Live Inside Your Eyes, and Cemetery Dance wrote a glowing review of it that you can read here. He does have a propensity to take his shirt off every now and then over on Instagram, but I think we can forgive him the odd selfie in exchange for all those lovely books.
Gabino Iglesias- fighting for indie authors everywhere
Gabino is everywhere these days, and in a very good way. Need a signal boost for your latest book? He’s there. Need someone to fight your corner against trolls, racists, sexists and the like? He’s there. Need a panel speaker with guts and pathos? Yep, Gabino is there. The guy needs a superhero outfit pronto, and also happens to write amazing fiction. Coyote Songs has been on my to-read list for ages, and according to Sci-Fi and Scary, this barrio noir “is a stunning example of a mosaic horror/crime novel that pulls the reader through vastly different, yet similar, experiences.” Go check out his work- you won’t regret it.
S.H. Cooper – wholesome horror with a heart
Cooper will probably murder me for tagging her with the ‘wholesome horror’ badge, but it’s what she has become known and loved for. A hugely popular writer on the NoSleep subreddit, with tales like ‘The Rosie Hour’ getting legions of fans, she also writes stories for the NoSleep Podcast, which I also write for, and as such is like family. We work together as co-writers for our horror comedy podcast Calling Darkness, which also features Kate Siegel from The Haunting of Hill House, so there’s that too. Whip-smart and a prolific writer, she is currently working on a few novels. You can buy her latest story collection, From Twisted Roots, on amazon.
John F. D. Taff- the ‘King of Pain’
Twice Stoker-nominated, John is a much loved presence on Twitter and his new book, metaphysical apocalyptic serial The Fearing, is making waves already. A recent, extremely fascinating podcast interview on Inkheist reveals the book was seven years in the making. I’d recommend setting aside some time to listen to John talk about his creative process and many literary influences- a green author (like me) can learn a hell of a lot by doing so.
Check out his website now.
Gwendolyn Kiste- iconic woman in horror
When I grow up, I want to be Gwendolyn Kiste. There, I said it. With fifty-six works to her name on Goodreads, accolades heaped to the sky and a string of awards for her beguiling, haunting fiction, Gwendolyn is the writer I aspire to be. One of the hardest working writers in the game, her new book, The Invention of Ghosts, is out soon from Nightscape Press. I will be buying it.
Sisters of Slaughter- sisters in life and art
What is not to love about a pair of kickass women in horror who also happen to be twins, banging out Stoker-nominated books and doing it with enormous style? Nothing, is what. I am in awe of anyone who manages to collaborate on a writing project, particularly where family is involved. I mean I love my sisters, but I’d rather pull each one of my hairs out individually with blunt tweezers than write a book with any of them. Michelle and Melissa’s first novel, Mayan Blue, won them a coveted Bram Stoker nom, and they haven’t looked back since. Both were interviewed by Gwedolyn Kiste over on her website, so go check it out. They also speak about their books as their ‘children’, which I adore, because books are babies, precious, precious babies, and should be treated as such.
Chad Lutzke- dark novellas with a heart
Chad Lutzke is one of those authors who keeps himself insanely busy yet always manages to find the time to interact with other writers, support them and generally act as a champion in the community. He is a highly regarded and much-loved author of dark and twisted fiction, and his new book, The Same Deep Water as You, is described as “a parent-less indie yarn with a dark heart”. You can even buy a bookmark of him, for heaven’s sake, that’s how cherished he is.
Lutzke has just revamped his 2015 story collection Night as a Catalyst, with four new stories and reworked tales, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. Tim Meyer interviewed Lutzke over on his website, a read that is well worth saving for your coffee break.
Linsey Knerl- freelance writer and business maven
A fellow content writer as well as an author of dark fiction, like me, Linsey’s new novel, as yet untitled, is coming out in 2020 from Giles Press, which makes us publishing house buddies, and I couldn’t be happier about it! She has a sparkling social media presence and oodles of nous, and I can’t wait to read her work when it comes out next year. She also has one of those trendy blue tick thingies after her name, which I will have to twist her arm about if I ever get the chance- oh, for the coveted blue tick! Find out more on her website.
V Castro- lantinx, feminist vampire icons? Yes please
V is a passionate woman with a passionate story to tell: she writes of the marginalised, the abused, the disenfranchised and the neglected, telling tales of immigration, vampirism and corruption from a mexicana perspective. She also writes dark erotica, if you fancy getting hot under the collar. I’ve met V in person, and adore her to bits: shes an indie horror author with real class. Check out her website here, and buy her book, Maria The Wanted and The Legacy of The Keepers, on amazon.
Christopher Buehlman- pedigree horror and fantasy
Chris is a horror novelist traditionally published with Penguin Random House, a Bridport Prize winner for his poetry, and a World Fantasy and Shirley Jackson Award finalist. I mean come on, do you need anymore credentials? His debut novel Those Across the River is on my to-read list based purely on the synopsis, which pits an old plantation against small-town drama, and that, my friends, is the finest type of strawberry jam to me. He’s also a thoroughly nice chap to boot, and one I enjoy interacting with. Oh, one last thing- Chris is involved in writing for Shudder’s upcoming TV project Creepshow, and if that isn’t exciting enough for you, then I give up, quite frankly.
Ania Ahlborn- nightmare architect extraordinaire
I swoon a lot over Ania, who seems to have effortlessly captured the hearts of the horror community with such grace and aplomb that I would be green with envy if I wasn’t so in awe of her talent. Ahlborn began as a purely self-published author (read more on this here) and has since been picked up by Simon and Schuster. If you See Her, a novel about tragedy, grief, memories and a haunted house, is out now. Ania also runs writing workshops, which I have been keeping my beady eye on, and bootcamps in partnership with Litreactor, giving her talent and knowledge back to the community in an invaluable way. Anyone new to the writing community and horror landscape should start by following and reading Ahlborn’s work.
I find it very hard not to call Georgina by her twitter handle Wonko, but for the sake of professionalism I shall try. Bruce’s debut short story collection, This House of Wounds, is published by Undertow Books and available on amazon. Publisher’s Weekly says: “Bruce’s knack for ethereal tales that cut straight to the core of what it means to be a human (and specifically a woman) will delight readers who enjoy a smattering of the supernatural and blurred edges of reality.” And that is what I am here for: real women, real stories, real nightmares, glorious prose. More on her work, her reviews and general musings on her website, here.
And with that, ladies and germs, I’m out. Enjoy this list, enjoy all the new books you’ve now got to read, and enjoy your weekend!