Horror Happenings: Meet the Creator of Uncomfortably Dark.
It’s been a while since I have done any writing about myself or my writing journey, mostly because I stay busy, and partly because I do not relish talking about myself. I’m a mother of three, a poet, and sometimes a painter. I have a corporate day job and I reside in Pittsburgh.
Many of you know me as an author of a few things, a supporter of many, someone that always shares and lends an ear or a hand, all while largely ignoring my own work. However, it might be time that I took my own advice and started recognizing my accomplishments for the milestones that they are. One huge milestone for me happened just recently, so I’ll start with that.
A few weeks ago, as I opened the box containing copies of my newest novel, DESPERATE WISHES, published by a dream publisher, Thunderstorm books, as part of Mary San Giovanni’s (now the lovely Mrs. Keene) Tempest line, it finally hit me that I was an author. That sounds funny to say, but it’s true.
In the past five years, I have kept my head down and focused on the words and on the website, never stopping to fully realize exactly how much I had accomplished in five short years, and truly, 80% of that, has taken place in the last two and a half years. The moment I realized this, I was standing in my library at home, turning to place DESPERATE WISHES in its spot on my bookshelf with all the others, that I fully took in All The Others.
Tears filled my eyes as I just allowed myself the moment to acknowledge the enormity of what I was looking at. My books fill the top row of that shelf. Books that I wrote and published, books that went on to win awards, and here I was, adding one more. Below that shelf sit all the books that I edited and books that I had been graciously asked to blurb for my peers.
As I am writing this, I currently have twelve stand-alone novels/ novellas out, two Dark Dozen anthologies that I edited and published, one poetry collection, and soon to be twenty-two short stories in various other publications. By the end of this year, I will be releasing two more novels, and at least four more novellas, along with this year’s Dark Dozen anthology.
I will be collaborating on four more projects over the course of the next year with other authors, as well as publishing the Dark Dozen anthology for next year, which already has an amazing line-up. I will also be working with my co-author, M. Ennenbach, on the next BISHOP installment. There are four more standalone novels of my own scheduled for release for next year, along with a few other unannounced projects and various anthology invites.
My second novel, BEYOND THE BREACH, won Novel of the Year from the Horror Author’s Guild, while BREACH, my first novel, was the runner-up for the Debut Novel of the Year, both in fall of 2021.
My first anthology under Uncomfortably Dark, THE BAKER’S DOZEN, tied for the 2022 Splatterpunk Anthology of the Year award last summer with the BODY SHOCKS anthology edited by the fantastic Ellen Datlow, and just a few weeks ago, I was shocked to have won the very same award for CAMP SLASHER LAKE, vol. 1, in conjunction with D. W Hitz, that co-edited and published the anthology under Fedowar Press. Huge congratulations to all of this year’s Splatterpunk winners and nominees! So honored to be among you all once again.
Along with this work, I have created a popular Indie Horror website known as Uncomfortably Dark where I have a full review team of six amazing people that kindly share their reviews with me for weekly posting as well as provide content for our blog, help interview authors, and help keep me organized and sane. Without Christina Pfeiffer, Christopher Besonen, Rachel Schommer, Chaz Williams, Sonja Ska, and Mort Stone, the site would not be what it is today.
Along with our reviews and interviews, we also host exclusive features for the community like cover reveals, and Kickstarter launches. We are also in the process of adding and maintaining full directories of indie authors, publishers, reviewers, cover artists and more within the pages of the website. I do not charge for anything on the site except for the two monthly publisher promo spots and six weekly author promo spots that are available for purchase on the home page. The fees for these spots go solely to the website expenses.
Did I mention that I am also an editor? I started 360 Editing last January after a year working with various indie publishers behind the scenes learning how to curate and edit anthologies, novels, and all manner of stories, from extreme to fantasy. I worked with James Longmore and Hellbound books and with Splatter Ink, run by the very awesome Nick Gray. I spent an incredible year as the House of Stitched Magazine VP, under Lisa Vasquez, learning from her and her amazing editors Donelle Whiting, Jae Mazer, and Lisa Lee Tone, as part of Stitched Smile Publications.
My editing has been utilized by some incredible authors, including Aron Beauregard, Daniel Volpe, Kristopher Rufty, Kristopher Triana, Matt Kurtz, Daemon Manx, D.W. Hitz, D.E. Grant, M Ennenbach, Otis Bateman, Todd Love, Steve Van Patten, Jay Bower, and others. As this business took off, I added two junior editors, Mort Stone, and Darcy Rose, both of whom are part of the Uncomfortably Dark website team as well. Mort and Darcy both have been incredible assets along the way, and I am very grateful to have them on my team.
Adding to all of this, I am also a regular guest host on the Dead Headspace podcast where I have been fortunate enough to interview authors such as Owen King, David Schow, Paul Tremblay, Laird Barron, John Langan, Victor LaValle, Grady Hendrix, Erika T. Wurth, C. J. Tudor, Staci Layne Wilson, Chad Lutzke, Sarah Langan, Livia Llewelyn with so many more awesome names to come this fall.
There are several posts on this blog about my reason for writing, which is much more personal to my life. There is also a post that speaks about why I support Indie Horror. All of this is quite simply because it’s who I am. I am Indie horror. I lived and breathed horror all my life, watched it, read it, experienced it, and now I write it. Now that I am here, doing this thing that was only a dream at one point, a pipe dream at that, it’s like I’m awake and living for the first time in my life. The floodgates are open, and the stories are pouring out.
I do the things I do because this community gave me a voice and a home. I support my peers. I support the reviewers. I’m deeply grateful for my readers. I do this for the readers. I do this for my kids. But more importantly, I do this because I was meant to.
For more about my work, you can use my Linktree found below or find me on Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes & Noble, and more.
You can also support my work and the website via Patreon, or by ordering books directly from the shop on Uncomfortably Dark. Those links are both below.