Shut the F@&% Up, Already!

All my life, people have been trying to shut me up.

It started in grade school, when speaking my mind got me sent out into the hall. This kept up through junior high, where I’d commit the sin of “talking back” to teachers, earning me a double-digit tally of detentions.

I mostly stayed out of trouble through high school and college by funneling my unauthorized thoughts into writing, without ever bothering to try to publish any of it.

In my twenties, when I took a job as an environmental organizer, the state would muzzle my legal protests with detainments and arrests. On one occasion, I was passing out brochures on a public sidewalk when a SWAT team member and former Blackwater operative threw me to the pavement, kneed me in the neck, and confiscated my camera before carting me off to jail.

Upon discovering the political power of the written word, my activist career from that point on involved me being censored and blacklisted by government agencies and corporate-funded NGOs for daring to critique their failures.

After retiring from activism in favor of journalism, despite writing for dozens of publications and winning multiple awards, I eventually learned that editors would reject any pitch that didn’t conform to their own rigid ideologies.

Venturing into the horror fiction world, I was able to sneak several of my short stories into some forward-thinking publications and subversive anthologies, but not a single publishing house would touch my far more “controversial” longer fiction.

But 2020 changed everything. That’s when I sent my novella, MALINAE, to D&T Publishing’s Dawn Ellis Shea. Not only didn’t Dawn blanch at what I had to say, she offered me a contract for the book (coming out in April).

Praise the dark gods for people like Dawn; the opposite of censors, they’re the amplifiers raising up the voices of artists the establishment doesn’t want you to hear.

Darkest Regards,
Josh Schlossberg

What In Hell Do You Want From Me?

So, I’ve been thinking lately (never too late to start!): Is there anything more narcissistic than publishing a newsletter dedicated solely to oneself?

Of course, the reality of being a writer today is that if you don’t promote your work, no one will read it. While I certainly write for myself, I’m also doing so to connect with weirdos like you. Hence this newsletter.  

Now, I’ve tried to turn Josh’s Worst Nightmare into something larger than myself, focusing on biological horror fiction rather than just my latest scribblings. Which is why I’ve done everything from putting out my infamous Haiku Horror Reviews of bio-horror books, to hosting Beast Bout brackets (where you get to vote on which monster you think would win in an actual fight), to short, subtitled music videos I’ve been calling “Micro Bio Horror.”

But I’ll be honest: Engagement wasn’t that high for these attempts, so instead of putting time into stuff people aren’t that interested in–don’t worry, I’m not hurt!–I’ve regressed back to simply promoting my latest work and sharing a few horror fiction-related musings in this here editorial. 

Still, ultimately, I’d like to make Josh’s Worst Nightmare something you’re excited about, rather than just one more thing to labor through with an obligatory scan, ignore, or send straight to the trash.  

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