I’m Hosting ALL HALLOWS IMPROV SCARYTELLING on Oct. 25!

Halloween is a sacred time for dark fiction readers and writers alike. On Sunday, October 25 at 7 p.m. (MT), Denver Horror Collective is proud to present a first-of-its-kind, improvisational horror storytelling event via Zoom sure to spook and scar anyone misfortunate enough to attend.

Thriller master Carter Wilson (author of The Dead Girl in 2A and Mister Tender’s Girl) and a formidable roster of over a dozen seasoned and emerging Colorado horror writers will exhibit their dark arts by spinning three original horror tales on the spot, round-robin style, while you watch and listen from the (relative) safety of your home.

Early bird general admission tickets are on sale via Eventbrite for $5 until October 24 when the price goes up to $10. All attendees get the chance to kick off the stories using their very own prompts.

All Hallows Improv Scarytelling is a fundraiser for the November publication of CONSUMED: Tales Inspired by the Wendigo, Denver Horror Collective’s second horror fiction anthology featuring Wrath James White, Dana Fredsti, Owl Goingback, Steve Tem, and others, and edited by Hollie & Henry Snider.

Denver Horror Collective is a horde of horror creators (writers, artists, filmmakers, and musicians) living in and around the greater Denver metro area featuring writing critique groups, a publishing house (including the Denver Post bestselling Terror at 5280’), live events, monthly Dark Wisdom Webinars, and The Epitaph newsletter. Learn more or become a member at DenverHorror.com.

The Dungwich Horror: A Lovecraptian Tale

Aphotic Realm published my most recent horror short story on their website for you to read for free!

As the title infers, it’s equal parts Lovecraft and…something else. Hope you enjoy (but not too much)!

Below is a teaser with a link to the full story.

The Dungwich Horror
by Josh Schlossberg

My head throbbing from last night’s drinking binge, I sat on the john for my late morning elimination. Usually regular enough to set a clock by, I waited for the train to leave the depot as the leaking sink dripped away the seconds. After several uneventful minutes, I decided to get up and try again later.

Sure enough, while vacuuming the living room of my modest bungalow, a rumble as of distant thunder from my bowels. I hurried back to the bathroom, the tiles cold on my bare soles, yet despite the urge to go was baffled when nothing happened. The distressing pattern of emergency then false alarm repeated itself several times over the next hour until I was forced to face the terrible truth.

I, Colin Escher, was constipated.

READ MORE AT APHOTIC REALM

Writing Horror is Hard

Josh perplexed black and white daguerrotypeI’m not gonna lie: it ain’t isn’t easy being a horror writer.

First of all, it takes years—if not decades—to develop your writing to the point where anyone wants to read it at all (if you’re lucky). And then, if you want to get published anywhere, you’ve got to make it past the gatekeepers—the editors, whose tastes are highly subjective.

Next, you’ve got to produce an original—but still comfortably familiar—novel that’s smoothly written, excitingly plotted, and populated by unique but realistic characters.

If you’re going the traditional publishing route, you’ve got to query dozens of agents (the majority of whom are focused on finding the next bestseller) or an independent publisher whose specific niche you can fill.

Even if you land an agent, that’s no guarantee of a sale to a publishing house. And if you are published and the sales aren’t very good, your agent or publisher will likely drop you. Then, you’re back at square one—with the added albatross of a poorly selling book hanging over your head.

I’ve written two complete novels thus far and while I’ve had some offers from independent publishers, none of them were the right fit for me, so I declined. While self-publishing was—and still is—a viable option, just for the hell of it I’m going to give the traditional route a third try.

Right now, I’m working on the second draft of my new horror novel, Malinae, about a disabled elderly man living with a wife who suffers from dementia. As her behavior gets increasingly strange—and eventually dangerous—he starts suspecting something far worse than her disease is at blame.

Whether it’s through traditional, independent, or self-publishing, Malinae I intend to leash it upon the world within the next year or so. I greatly appreciate all of you who might be reading this or any of my fiction. I won’t forget it.

Darkest Regards,
Josh Schlossberg

Terror at 5280′ Available on Amazon!

A neighborhood won’t let its residents forget the past. One taste draws two lovers into a nightmarish addiction. A harsh winter forces strange creatures down from the mountains.

At sea level, where it’s safe, things like this can’t happen. But when you’re sky high in Denver, Colorado, anything goes…including your sanity.

Beware of Terror at 5280’, a local horror fiction anthology featuring 22 dark tales set in and around Denver and the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains penned exclusively by local authors (including Stephen Graham Jones, Carter Wilson, and others).

Paperback ($12.95) and e-book ($3.99) available on Amazon on Tuesday, November 26, aka Terror Tuesday! Makes a great holiday gift for friends/loved ones/enemies!

Terror Tuesday.jpg

The Glamorous Life of a Horror Writer

It’s been a busy week for a biological horror fiction writer!

Music to my Fears FB cropOver the weekend, I helped put on “Music To My Fears” with Denver Horror Collective, our experiment with horror fiction readings set to live music. On top of making sure everything went smoothly with the acts and the event itself, I played guitar accompaniment behind two stories. “Love Bug” by Amy Armstrong dealt with the outbreak of a strange, new disease and “You Can Do Better” by bestselling author JoAnn Chaney was about a disturbing Tinder date.

We had a sold-out show with about 80 people in the audience and we raised enough money to fully finance Terror at 5280’, Denver Horror Collective’s local horror fiction anthology due out in November (of which I’m an editor).

As if that wasn’t enough, last night I read at something called “Noir at the Bar,” a semi-regular event at the Irish Snug here in Denver typically focused on crime fiction. However, since this is the Halloween season, they wanted a horror twist—which is probably the only reason they invited me!noir

I had a great time listening to the other authors including organizer Michael Poole, Sam W. Anderson, Carina Bissett, Hunter C. Eden, Molly Tanzer, and Jane Keir.

Though I haven’t written anything I’d call “noir,” I read an excerpt from my short story “Viremia,” which was published in Campfire Tales in 2017. If you haven’t read the story yet, it certainly has a few elements of crime fiction, but in my particular style, things get weird pretty fast.

Darkest Regards,

Josh Schlossberg

Help Get Terror at 5280′ Off the Ground!

Terror CoverOver the last century, traditional publishing has brought us the most famous horror stories ever told. Big names such as Stephen King and Dean Koontz thrust horror’s tendrils into the minds of millions of Americans, popularizing the genre.

Fast forward to 2019, where small presses and indie publishing are now bringing us the lion’s share of horror fiction—including what I believe to be some of the best stuff ever written, in what many are calling a horror renaissance.

The reason is simple: Small presses have more freedom to publish unique and diverse voices, acquired tastes that might not appeal to a mainstream palate. While these conduits can sometimes be hit or miss, more often than not, they’re where you’ll find the most artful—and dangerous—writing out there. Giving free rein to authors is how a literary genre evolves.

Which is why I’m all shivers to announce that, this fall, Denver Horror Collective (of which I’m a founding member) will be publishing a horror fiction anthology of its own!

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