Horror Author or Narcissist? You Be the Judge!

Pimping my book is turning me into a narcissist.

“What else is new?” some of you might be asking. In that case: It’s turning me into MORE of one!

Here’s why: It’s the only way to get my shit out there. Allow me to explain.

I happen to have been blessed with an excellent and generous publisher, D&T Publishing. Despite being a small press, D&T has done more to promote my debut cosmic folk horror novella, MALINAE, than the “Big Four” presses do for most of their authors. For that I am eternally grateful and, indeed, it’s the main reason the book has gotten out there as much as it already has, which is quite a bit.

However, in the sales world, we all know that a tiny percentage of products get the vast majority of buys. Take Coca Cola for instance, which snags half of the soda sales in the U.S. Is Coke really the best carbonated sugar water in the country? Not even close (not counting its cocaine-laced days, of course)! Hell, I’ve probably drank fifty different small batch colas better tasting and less horrible for you than Coke. But you’ve only heard of a few of them, and barely, at that. Because it’s not just about the product—which does have to be adequate—it’s about the marketing.

Let’s take this into the horror world. Stephen King alone gets the vast majority of horror fiction reads. Now, before going any further, I’m not here to shit on “the King.” I cut my literary teeth on the man and found him formative in my teens. Today, I still enjoy many of his stories and novels and think he’s a formidable storyteller.

But is he the best horror author in the world, the way sales suggest? Not even close! Hell, I’ve probably read at least fifty horror authors who are better writers and storytellers than him. But you’ve only heard of a few of them, and barely, at that. Because it’s not just about the product—which does have to be adequate—it’s about the marketing.

So what’s my point? That people should stop drinking Coke and reading King?

Of course not. Simply that the playing field is far from level, and we authors don’t have the luxury of simply writing good books and expecting them to fly magically into the hands of readers.

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DENVER WESTWORD: What’s Scary? Josh Schlossberg on MALINAE, Denver Horror and More

I blackmailed Westword, Denver’s alt-weekly, to write a piece about me, and they fell right in line.

It wasn’t the pandemic that provided the inspiration for Denver horror author Josh Schlossberg’s new novel, Malinae, a yarn of biological horror about growing old…and perhaps growing in terrifying ways, too. But the pandemic did provide the time in which he could write it.

“The book’s biggest overlap with the pandemic is the isolation the protagonist experiences, cooped up in his house thanks to a severe case of rheumatoid arthritis and unable to participate in the activities he used to take for granted. And, as many of us have learned over the coronapocalypse, the long-term effect of isolation is an increasing alienation with humanity as a whole,” Schlossberg says. “Or maybe that’s just me.”

READ MORE at Westword

MALINAE Virtual Book Launch + “Alzheimer’s: From Horror to Hope” (4/9)

In a virtual launch event on Friday, April 9 at 6 p.m. (MT), D & T Publishing unleashes MALINAE, the debut novella by biological horror author, Josh Schlossberg.

RSVP via Eventbrite for Zoom link.

Ward Ayers, physically disabled and confined to his Jersey Shore home, can only watch in dismay as his beloved wife Malina slips further and further into dementia. Until he uncovers the dark force behind Malina’s decline and must plumb the depths of sacrifice and selfishness to reclaim his wife and preserve humanity’s future.

The 1-hour event will feature:

Josh Schlossberg reading a brief excerpt from MALINAE and sharing the real-life inspiration for his fictional work’s exploration of Alzheimer’s disease.

D & T Publishing editor, Dawn Ellis Shea, relating her experiences working as a nurse with dementia patients.

Huntington Potter, Ph.D., Director of University of Colorado Alzheimer’s and Cognition Center, offering hope in the form of the latest scientific progress towards a cure.

The event will conclude with Q&A.

MALINAE will be available as an e-book from Godless.com on April 9, and as print and e-book through Amazon on April 23.

For more information, please visit JoshsWorstNightmare.com or DandTpublishing.com.

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.

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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