On Diversity, the Approaching Maelstrom, Delayed Books, and More

I pay for and order 30 books for Lifetime Subscribers. 20 books arrive, 10 of which are damaged. I order 20 more (10 to replace the damaged ones and the 10 I was shortchanged on). They arrive, 7 of which are damaged. I order more. Which is how I pretty much spent last week.

I’m working on manuscript reviews for people this week, and also answering questions for an interview with The Huffington Post (I suspect they think I’m somebody else). And somewhere in between those two things, polishing the last five chapters of a novel. I’ve also got a 7-year old starting second grade this week and a 24-year old who seems to have inherited his father’s knack for crashing his car into various things and walking away. So yeah, busy.

In fact, I’m so overwhelmed that I’m letting Dave and Coop do a solo show on the podcast this week. What could possibly go wrong?

(I’ll still be on the podcast however, in the second half, which is a prerecorded interview I conducted with Sephera Giron. All of this madness airs Thursday night at 7pm).

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I teased this on Twitter last night, but here it is in writing. The third book in this year’s Maelstrom set is THE DAUGHTERS OF INANNA, an anthology featuring four original novellas by Chesya Burke, Rachel Deering, Amber Fallon, and Livia Llewellyn. The table of contents is as follows:

Musings of a Middle-Aged White Guy: An Introduction – Brian Keene
Husk – Rachel Deering
The One That Comes Before – Livia Llewellyn
Cut. Pour. – Chesya Burke
The Terminal – Amber Fallon

“But Brian,” some nitwit is shouting from the back, “if we’ve reached true diversity within the horror genre, then why publish an anthology with only women? That doesn’t seem fair. Why no men? Why only women?” Well, because I’m Brian Keene, and because I felt like it. I’m not an SJW any more than I am a Sad Puppy (I see the two as different sides of the same coin), but I don’t need to be one to champion diversity and new voices in my field. Diversity should be supported by all, regardless of your political affiliation or any other identifier. I’m lucky enough to have some power and a voice in this field, and I think I have a pretty good track record of drawing attention to things I believe in. In this case, I believe in these four authors, all of whom have delivered four horrifying, gut wrenching novellas that were informed by their unique perspectives and their own individual voices — and that is what good fiction is made of.

For new readers, Maelstrom is my own imprint at Thunderstorm Books. Each year, we publish a signed, limited edition three book set targeted at collectors and fans of my work. Each year, one of the books is by an author I think my audience will enjoy, because this is a great way to introduce them to that author and convince them to spend money on that author. This year, it just happens to be four authors instead of one.

Pre-orders are coming soon. You have about one month to set aside some money.

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But if expensive collectible editions aren’t your bag, my latest collection, WHERE WE LIVE AND DIE, came out last week in paperback, Kindle, and Nook. It’s a collection of fictional stories about writing. It is not, however, any sort of writer’s guide or reference book. I’ve seen some folks online comparing it to Laymon’s A WRITER’S TALE or King’s ON WRITING, and while I appreciate the sentiment, folks looking for something like that will be disappointed. (However…I am, in fact, working on what I guess could be considered my A WRITER’S TALE. It’s a memoir I started for my sons, but quickly realized it would be for a lot more people than just them).

Click here to buy the paperback.

Click here to download to Kindle.

Click here to download to Nook.

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Armand Rosamilia did a short interview with me for his podcast. You can listen to it for free here. It was recorded at this year’s Scares That Care charity horror convention.

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Myself, Joe Hill, Mary SanGiovanni, Christopher Golden, Sarah Langan, Paul Tremblay, and many more will be signing this October at the Merrimack Valley Halloween Book Festival in North Andover, MA. Complete details can be found here.

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Some folks have been asking when they’ll see ALL DARK, ALL THE TIME (the follow-up to BLOOD ON THE PAGE and the second volume in The Complete Short Fiction of Brian Keene series). This year, I promise.

The hold up is me. J.F. Gonzalez wrote me a really sweet and funny introduction for it, and then he passed away a short time later, and I just haven’t had the emotional fortitude to go back and re-read it and edit the book and put it out there yet. You can either dig that, or you can’t.

But yes, sooner or later, I’ll look at it, and it will be published by December, I’m sure.

One thought on “On Diversity, the Approaching Maelstrom, Delayed Books, and More

  1. I think the anthology is a great idea. We do need more diversity, especially in horror. Horror is still dominated by men, in literature, film and music. And while we have seen changes in that regard, like with the Soska Sisters, for example, we still have a ways to go. And while we do have some awesome female authors that write horror such as Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Nancy Collins, Mira Grant, Charlee Jacob, and Yvonne Navarro to name a few, we could always use more.

    As it stands when I look at horror in the Kindle Store from women, it’s dominated by stories in the romantic vein, inspired by the likes of Twilight. And while I know there’s an audience for that, I like real horror, not some story about a character and her strife over her undead lover. The dominance of those kinds of stories, in effort to cash in on a trend, crowd out the female authors who write other types of horror and skew the perceptions of female horror authors. After seeing the thousandth Twilight or Fifty Shades of Grey-inspired rip-off, you tend to get disillusioned. I’m glad you are using your voice and power to spotlight authors that some of us might not know about or might be drowned out by the romantic “horror” sub-genre.

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