Posts Tagged ‘Karen Runge’

Hi Everyone,

The Suspended in Dusk 2 anthology was picked up by a new publisher, Grey Matter Press.   As with part 1 of the series, Suspended in Dusk 2 is anthology of horror and dark fiction that continues examines themes of change and the moments between the light and the dark.

I’m very thrilled to announce that January 2018 will see the publication of Suspended in Dusk 2.

Just check out this sexy terrifying cover, created by the incredibly talented Dean Samed:


The book features and fantastic introduction from British Fantasy Award and World Fantasy award winning author Angela Slatter, in addition to 17 stories from some of the best horror and dark fiction writers today.

Table of Contents:

Introduction – Angela Slatter
Love is a Cavity I Can’t Stop Touching – Stephen Graham Jones
The Sundowners – Damien Angelica Walters
Crying Demon – Alan Baxter
Still Life with Natalie – Sarah Read
That Damned Cat – Nerine Dorman
The Immortal Dead – JC Michael
Mother of Shadows – Benjamin Knox
There’s No Light Between Floors – Paul Tremblay
Another World – Ramsey Campbell
The Mournful Cry of Owls – Christopher Golden
Riptide – Dan Rabarts
Dealing in Shadows – Annie Neugebauer
Angeline – Karen Runge
The Hopeless People in the Uninhabitable Places – Letitia Trent
Wants and Needs – Paul Michael Anderson
An Elegy to Childhood Monsters – Gwendolyn Kiste
Lying in the Sun on a Fairytale Day – Bracken MacLeod

I know Grey Matter Press and myself are really looking forward to getting this fantastic book into the hands of readers in a few months time! Stay tuned!



Double Barrell Horror Vol2

There is currently a Good Reads giveaway running for the Double Barrel Horror Vol. 2 anthology!  Double Barrel Horror Vol. 2 is a fantastic anthology featuring two stories each by 6 writers: John Boden, Simon Dewar, Patrick Freivald, Chad Lutzke, Karen Runge and M.B. Vujacic.

Like the dual blasts from a sawed-off shotgun, these twelve stories pack a brain shredding wallop that kept me turning pages as fast as my fingers could tap the screen. Pint Bottle Press has outdone themselves with this second volume of twisted tales from six of horror’s most talented storytellers.”Shane D. Keene, ‘Shotgun Logic’ and ‘HellNotes’

Head to the Link below (or click the cover above) and enter to win one of two copies of the anthology!

Pleased to announce I have a  release by Pint Bottle Press as part of their Double Barrel Horror line up.  The chapbook contains my stories ‘Black Rock Boys‘ and ‘The Perfect Figure-Eight‘.  It’s available on Amazon. I love the camp-as-fuck pulpy clip art-style cover!

Black Rock Boys is a bit of weird-maybe-cosmic-horror story about a boy who finds help when he’s on the run from his girlfriends vengeful brother.

The Perfect Figure-Eight is literary-horror-but-maybe-also-magic-realism, about teen love, and racing, and the cycle of pain and violence that swathes through our lives and off into the lives of others.

Very much enjoying what Pint Bottle Press is doing. Like a novella, the chapbook format gives readers an introduction to an author without them having to commit to a full novel. And a 99c, you cant go wrong.

These stories will also be collected in the forthcoming paperback anthology edited by Matthew Weber, Double Barrel Horror Vol. 2, also from Pint Bottle Press. They’ll feature alongside double shots of horror and dark fiction from the likes of John Boden, Patrick Freivald, Chad Lutzke, Karen Runge and M.B. Vujacic



SiD 2 Title2

Hi everyone,

I’ve been waiting for a while release the table of contents for Suspended in Dusk 2 but all the contracts are in and my hands have been unshackled.  There were a couple of changes to the line up. Unfortunately, Mercedes Yardley and Nikki Guerlain wont be joining us due to other commitments. I do very much hope to work with them both soon on future projects.  As sad as that is, there are some fantastic new additions to the line up whose work I am thrilled to be including in the anthology.

So, without further ado, and in no particular order,…

Suspended in Dusk 2 – Table of Contents

  1. Introduction by Angela Slatter
  2. Deadman’s Road by Joe R. Lansdale
  3. The Mournful Cry of Owls by Christopher Golden
  4. The Immortal Dead by JC Michael
  5. That Damned Cat by Nerine Dorman
  6. Another World by Ramsey Campbell
  7. Angeline by Karen Runge
  8. Mother of Shadows by Benjamin Knox
  9. Love is a Cavity I Can’t Stop Touching by Stephen Graham Jones
  10. Crying Demon by Alan Baxter
  11. The Sundowners by Damien Angelica Walters
  12. Still Life with Natalie by Sarah Read
  13. Riptide by Dan Rabarts
  14. Dealing in Shadows by Annie Neugebauer
  15. There’s no light between floors by Paul Tremblay

Editing continues apace and I’m looking forward to receiving some cover art soon, which I’ll no doubt share in due course!

This book features a few Easter eggs for readers too:

Mother of Shadows by Benjamin Knox is a continuation of the story from the original Suspended in Dusk anthology, A Keeper of Secrets. Ben and I worked hard to ensure it reads very fine as its own standalone tale, but readers of the first anthology should be enjoy the continuation of this story.

In what is becoming a Suspended in Dusk tradition, I’ve included a story which is dark yet also quite humorous, Nerine Dorman’s That Damned Cat.

Lastly,  there are several fantastic art pieces by the incredibly talented artist Aaron Dries,  which will appear exclusively in the paperback version of the anthology.

I am very happy with how this book is shaping up and I know there will be something for all horror readers and readers of dark fiction within these pages.


Simon Dewar



SiD 2 Title2

Hi Everyone,

I’m here to drip feed you some exciting news regarding Suspended in Dusk 2 (forthcoming from Books of the Dead Press, mid 2016).  The open submission period for 2 spots in the table of contents closes tomorrow and so I’ve yet to choose those particular stories, but I can confirm the following authors will feature stories in Suspended in Dusk 2:

Benjamin Knox,
Stephen Graham Jones
Damien Angelica Walters
Paul Tremblay 
Karen Runge
Alan Baxter
Mercedes Murdock Yardley
JC Michael
Nerine Dorman
Sarah Read
Nikki Guerlain
Ramsey Campbell 

Much to my delight, the anthology will be introduced by the British Fantasy Award and World Fantasy Award winning author, Angela Slatter.

In addition, the paperback edition of Suspended in Dusk 2 will feature 5 interior illustrations by the seriously talented artist of the macabre, Aaron Dries.  I’ve just received Aaron’s illustration of Stephen Graham Jones’ story in my inbox and I’m really blown away.  If all goes to plan I’ll share one of the images on my blog before the book goes to print so you can get a peek at what’s in store.

Final announcement regarding the stories chosen from the open submission will be made by the end of March 2016. In addition, any other tricks I have up my sleeve will be announced at the same time.


Super excited that Karen Runge’s debut short story collection is coming out soon from Concord Free Press. I’ve been lucky enough to beta read most of the stories. This will be a fantastic and challenging read — for many readers, it’ll be a real affront to all that is right and proper.

Congrats Karen!

More info here at her blog:

Welcome back to another WIHM Interview!  Today we have Karen Runge visiting my blog.  Karen Runge is one my favourite authors. We first crossed paths in Jack Ketchum’s horror class at The work she presented in class was so good that I invited her to put a story in my debut anthology Suspended my Dusk. Karen has since gone on to sell to Shock Totem and we even co-wrote a story together, High Art, that was collected the Death’s Realm anthology from Grey Matter Press.

Probably one of the more twisted women in horror, I give you: Karen Runge.


Q. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

KR: I’m a horror writer, dark literature writer, wannabe poet and artist… well, a lover of all things creative. I’m native to South Africa but was born in France, and have been past resident of several other countries too over the years. Okay, this is already too complicated! I don’t have a straight-lane background. But since we’re both in the lit world, I’ll try to keep it there. I’m primarily a short story writer, but have a novel coming out this year as well as my own short story collection. Maybe I write because I’m trying to make sense of such a muddled history and background? I wouldn’t be the first!

Q. What draws you to horror generally, and was there a defining moment where something made you think “Fuck it, I’m writing a horror story!”?  

KR: Essentially what draws me to this marvelous, diverse genre is its depth. People who aren’t into horror tend to think that its fans and creators are lunatics, sickos or psychos, or just generally very shady people. Not at all. Horror, first and foremost, is an exercise in empathy. From schlock to high-end dark literature. What they all have in common is that if it doesn’t make you feel, it’s not working. Horror tells hard truths from all angles, and from what I’ve seen it’s the only genre that does so without flinching. Sincerity can be brutal. But it’s also honest. I admire that. No, I adore that.

My “Fuck it!” moment probably happened when I was very, very young—too young maybe to even know that word! My older brother, in true bully-little-sister style typical to that age, used to take horror story collections out of the library, read them, and then retell them to me (with heavy embellishments)—hoping to make me cry, give me nightmares, I don’t know. It kind of backfired because I loved it! My first ‘horror stories’ were drawings I did of werewolves and beasties based on the stories he’d told me. I can’t have been more than six or seven years old, but already I was obsessed. Down the years my English teachers quickly came to know that any creative writing assignments I handed in would be more than a little… well, let’s say quirky. Thankfully they encouraged me, and there weren’t too many awkward teacher-parent conferences!

Q. What is your favourite horror story and what about it specifically rustled your jimmies? 

KR: That’s tricky. I read horror from all edges, and when I’m impressed I get so drawn in I forget the others for a while. I guess there may be a few, from different stages of my life. I read Stephen King’s IT when I was about thirteen, and I was so struck by it that to this day I still have dreams with a distinct Derry-town feel. I know, it’s so common to list Mr King as the jimmy-rustler. But hey, it’s true. That one hit me hard because the horror I’d read up until then (and loved) had been very pulpy. That book was the first to show me how very serious and adult horror can be, even when talking about a psycho alien ‘clown’. It completely shifted my perspective on the true nature of horror as a creative medium. Joyce Carol Oates’ MAN CRAZY took it even further–into abuse cycles, physical and psychological trauma… the first time I recognised what I’d argue is a horror story without the supernatural bend. Latest on my knee-jerk list was Stona Fitch’s SENSELESS. It’s what some would describe as Torture Porn, but there’s a storm of very intent, focused intellect driving it. Again, one to show that what you assume a genre or sub-genre is can be very different when done right, by the right hands. Which I think is sheer magic.


Q. What have you written? And what is your personal favourite of your own work?

I’ve had a bunch of short stories published—first appearing in South Africa’s Something Wicked, on to a few little ezines, on to Pseudopod, Shock Totem… and from there the very excellent Grey Matter Press. My favourite short would probably have to be GOOD HELP, the story I wrote in the workshop we took together, dear Simon. Not because it’s the best writing I’ve done, but because as a story it was probably the most concise. That one came out in Shock Totem #9 – my first 100% pro-published story. So it has a special place in my heart.

Q. Do you have a favourite form or media for story telling?  E.g Short story, Novel, Audio drama or podcast, audiobook

KR: I’m a hardcore book junkie. I love the feel, the smell, the story that builds within the story each time you turn a page. I’m all for coffee stains and dog-eared pages. They show that a book has been read, really read—which means loved. I listen to podcasts at least three times a week when I’m mucking around, doing housework or whatever. But without actual books… my life would not be complete. And so of course I love seeing my own name, my own stories on paper. It’s a thrill that never loses its potency.

Q. What are you working on at the minute?

KR: Edits! Oh joy. I started what might maybe be a new novel a few weeks back but, as I mentioned, I’ve got two books coming out this year that are demanding my attention. I’ll get back to the real work soon, very soon, because this one keeps on nagging me and I think that means she’s serious about being written. But for the moment, it’s all about the red pens.

Q. Who is your favourite woman writer?

KR: I’m a huge fan of Margaret Atwood and Joyce Carol Oates. I simply cannot choose between the two. I loved Lionel Shriver’s WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN, but that’s the only book of hers I’ve read. I’ve been obsessed with Sylvia Plath since I was about twelve. What do these women have in common? They talk real, they talk deep, they talk disturbing. They’re not afraid of their own intelligence, and their works are super powerful. Any artist—never mind woman—who can create like that has my full attention. Not to mention my admiration.


Q. What book/s are you reading at present and what is in your TBR pile?

KR: I’m currently reading Sidney Sheldon’s THE NAKED FACE. I’ve never read any of Sheldon’s work before, so I’m taking my time with it to see what all the fuss is about. I’m also due to reread LAST EXIT TO BROOKLYN by Hubert Selby, Jr. The one that sparked a court case over its obscenity, and almost got itself banned. Or did? I think it actually did, somewhere. Yes, that one. I first read it when I was about eighteen and its unflinching rawness beyond impressed me. I’ve thought about it often over the years. So, it’s time for a revisit I think. I also have a pile of dark lit books on their way to me from the States… South African bookstores don’t understand that the Horror section should not necessarily be the exclusive domain of Stephen King and Dean Koontz. So I’m really, really looking forward to getting my hands on them. When they finally do arrive, I’ll probably give up sleeping altogether just to make time for them!

Q. What challenges have you encountered that are unique to being a woman in the horror genre, or can you describe some of the challenges you faced that are complicated by your gender?

KR: There’s a reaction I sometimes get from men. A kind of You?? No way! reflexive double-take when I mention I write horror, collect disturbing films, or even just say anything that doesn’t fit the corset confines of what they assume I must be into / like / do as a woman—or as I appear to them, as a woman. You have to work harder to get people to accept that, yes, you really do like this. Yes, you really do do this. That you’re not just posing to get in with the boys or look cute or what have you. The irony is that women have created this problem themselves, by posing/feigning their interests to get attention. It’s created something of a vicious circle I think. When I was younger I’d get a bit worked up about that—being talked down to, being misunderstood (or even disbelieved) on the basis of my gender. Now I just shake it off and get on with it. Over the years I’ve developed something of a I’ll show ’em attitude, as opposed to tears or helpless outrage. Never a bad thing, right?

Q. Why is Women in Horror month important/important to you? 

KR” Because of the above-mentioned—guys just don’t expect to see women in the darker edges. We’re supposed to be planning weddings, mooning about having babies, scrapbooking… something. We’re not supposed to cheer when someone gets taken out in brutal fashion in a Slasher film. We’re not supposed to be first in line at horror conventions. WiHM is in place to shift that over a little, wake people up to the fact that maybe the girl in the flowery dress has a shelf full of Stephen King novels at home. Maybe the babe with the big blue eyes has a penchant for cannibal films. But I do also have to say here that the men I’ve come to know in horror lit circles have been incredibly open and supportive. No, that’s not right. They’ve been normal. Totally normal. Not a blink at the fact that I’m a female with a desperate fascination for the hardcore macabre. Thanks, guys! So the tide is already shifting, which is more than encouraging. Let’s keep at it though, because we do still have a ways to go.

Q. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Write it, don’t be afraid of it, just do it. Do not stress about what other people will think of it. Write to express yourself. Do it for you.

SiD 2 Title2

Dusk:  a time between times; on the edge between the light and the dark. A time of change.

I’m incredibly pleased to announce that I’ll be teaming up with Books of the Dead Press once again, and editing a sequel to the 2014 anthology of horror and dark fiction, Suspended in Dusk.

To be released mid-2016, Suspended in Dusk 2 will be another quality collection of fiction from some of the best current authors of short dark fiction, featuring stories from:   Stephen Graham Jones, Damien Angelica Walters, Alan Baxter, Karen Runge, Benjamin Knox, and many more. More exciting names and news will be revealed in coming weeks.  I’m very pleased that, once again, “Suspended in Dusk” will collect a range of voices from new and established talented female and male writers of the dark, bizarre, and terrifying.

Suspended in Dusk 2 will be introduced by the amazingly talented Angela Slatter. Angela Slatter is a British Fantasy Award winning and World Fantasy Award nominated author of several collections of short stories, including The Bitterwood Bible, and Sourdough and Other Stories.  Her novella Of Sorrow and Such was recently released by Tor, October 13 2015.

In addition to fantastic fiction, horror author and artist, Aaron Dries, will be creating illustrations of a number of the collected stories to be included in the paperback edition of Suspended in Dusk 2.  Aaron is a masterful horror artist and his terrifying illustrations are highly sought after.  I encourage you to check out both Aaron’s dark artwork, and his fiction.


Simon Dewar




I haven’t posted for a while.I’m lazy, I’ve got kids, and I’ve been trying to get some stories out on submission and drum up another editing gig. These are all good reasons to not be blog posting. A good reason to be log posting is Women in Horror Month! WiHM is actually February, but the added benefit of me being lazy, is that March can now be WiHM too! YAY!

So many amazing women are doing cool things in horror. I like to think that they’re not overlooked or treated differently from male writers although I know this isn’t true. Aside from general issues relating to sexism that women face within the publishing industry (It exists, I’ve seen it first hand), they have to put up with a bizarre niche of misogynistic writers who feel that women can’t or shouldn’t write horror. I wasn’t really surprised when we had a number of idiots come out during WiHM and say bizarre and offensive things. Not only did we have an emerging author bullied and insulted, we had women in horror in general referred to as “hags” (amongst other offensive comments), and one well-known and respected author was derided as “over-rated”, “awful” and only successful because women like her and she has a large female readership (as though that is a bad thing).

These events were quite frustrating but I was heartened by the supportive response of the guys in the horror fiction community who spoke out against the few douchecanoes. I was also heartened by the response of many publishers who spoke out against this disgusting behaviour. Good on them.  This raised the issue of publisher and editor blacklists, whether they exist, and how professional they are.  Different people have different views on the matter but I think it is healthy that people are having a conversation about how to deal with issues of sexism, misogyny and general asshattery.

Many of the writers I know and respect most are female horror writers.  Whether it is established authors such as talented and lovely Kaaron Warren, the amazing Angela Slatter, or emerging writers friends of mine such as Sarah Read or Karen Runge, there are some fantastically talented women writing in the horror genre who deserve the recognition they’re attracting and the awards that they’re receiving. I’ve learned a lot from them, both in the professional aspects of writing and in the art of storytelling. I aspire to be as capable and as successful as these women. I look forward to learning more from the women in our fiction writing community and collaborating with them. I look forward to reading their fantastic stories… many of which I find more confronting or terrifying than the work written by a lot of men, perhaps because the ladies are writing from a different place.

Below are a list of 10 writers, including publications where there work may be fonud. Most of the listed publications are horror although some of the authors write in multiple genres. Among their ranks are British Fantasy Award winners, Aurealis Award winners, World Fantasy Award winners and nominees, Shirley Jackson Award winners,— and others who, I’m sure, will be receiving similar accolades in the near future! I know some of these ladies personally and have had the pleasure of working with some of them. (The list is slightly biased towards Australian writers because I’m Australian and have gone out of my way to read some fiction by Australian authors.)

Kaaron Warren – Slights, Mistification, Walking the Tree, The Gate Theory (Collection), Through Splintered Walls (collection), Nightmare Magazine.

Margo Lanagan – Tender Morsels, Sea Hearts, Blood and Other Cravings, Exotic Gothic 4, Black Juice (Collection) , Cracklescape (Collection).

Karen Runge – Shock Totem magazine, Pseudopod (podcast), Suspended in Dusk (anthology), Death’s Realm (anthology)

Sarah Read – Black Static Magazine, Suspended in Dusk (anthology), Pantheon Magazine (editor), Vine Leaves Literary Journal.

Angela Slatter – Sourdough and other stories (collection), The Bitterwood Bible and other recountings (collection), A Book of Horrors (anthology), Nightmare Magazine, The Spectral Book of Horror Stories (anthology), Weirder Shadows over Innsmouth (anthology).

Icy Sedgwick – The Guns of Retribution, The Necromancer’s Apprentice, Bloody Parchment (anthology), Suspended in Dusk (anthology).

Wendy Hammer – Pantheon Magazine, Suspended in Dusk (anthology), Cross Cutting novella trilogy (forthcoming 2015)

Nerine Dorman — Inkarna, Raven Kin [The BlackFeather Chronicles], Bloody Parchment (editor), Dark Harvest (editor), War Stories (anthology), Midian Unmade (anthology).

Felicity Dowker – Scary Kisses (anthology) Aurealis Magazine, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, Bread and Circuses (collection), Midnight Echo Magazine.

S.G Larner – Equilibrium Overturned (anthology), Suspended in Dusk (anthology), SQ magazine, Phantazein (anthology), Bloody Parchment (anthology).






Suspended in Dusk has been released on Amazon.  Link: 

Epub and print versions are to follow shortly. I’ll post again once they’ve been released.


“Disquieting and at times terrifying, SUSPENDED IN DUSK shows that horror can, and should, have substance.” ~ Kaaron Warren, Shirley Jackson Award winner, and author of Slights, Mystification, Walking the Tree.

“SUSPENDED IN DUSK offers a delicious assortment of chills, frights, shocks and very dark delights!” ~ Jonathan Maberry, Bram Stoker Award winner and New York Times bestselling author of Fall of Night and V-Wars

Suspended In Dusk NEW

Dusk: A time between times.

A whore hides something monstrous and finds something special.
A homeless man discovers the razor blade inside the apple.
Unlikely love is found in the strangest of places.
Secrets and dreams are kept… forever.

Or was it all just a trick of the light?

Suspended in Dusk brings together 19 stories by some of the finest minds in Dark Fiction:

Ramsey Campbell, John Everson, Rayne Hall, Shane McKenzie, Angela Slatter, Alan Baxter, S.G Larner, Wendy Hammer, Sarah Read, Karen Runge, Toby Bennett, Benjamin Knox, Brett Rex Bruton, Icy Sedgwick, Tom Dullemond, Armand Rosamilia, Chris Limb, Anna Reith, J.C. Michael.

Introduction by Bram Stoker Award Winner and World Horror Convention Grand Master, Jack Ketchum.