Wednesday, December 19, 2018

It's Alive - Bringing Your Nightmares To Life, edited by Joe Mynhardt and Eugene Johnson

Release date: December 14, 2018
Subgenre: Non-Fiction, Writing Advice

About It's Alive - Bringing You Nightmares To Life:


Nightmares come to life in this comprehensive how-to guide for new and established authors…Book two in Crystal Lake Publishing’s The Dream Weaver series picks up where the Bram Stoker Award-nominated Where Nightmares Come From: The Art Of Storytelling In The Horror Genre left off.

It’s Alive: Bringing your Nightmares to Life
focuses on learning the craft in order to take your story from concept to completion.

With an introduction by Richard Chizmar and cover art by Luke Spooner. Featuring interior artwork from horror master Clive Barker!

Table of Contents:
  • Introduction by Richard Chizmar
  • Confessions of a Professional Day Dreamer by Jonathan Maberry
  • What is Writing and Why Write Horror by John Skipp
  • Tribal Layers by Gene O’Neill
  • Bake That Cake: One Writer’s Method by Joe R. Lansdale and Kasey Lansdale
  • Ah-Ha: Beginning to End with Chuck Palahniuk and Michael Bailey (Discussing the Spark of Creativity)
  • They Grow in the Shadows: Exploring the Roots of a Horror Story by Todd Keisling
  • Sell Your Script, Keep Your Soul and Beware of Sheep in Wolves' Clothing by Paul Moore
  • The Cult of Constraint (or To Outline or Not) by Yvonne Navarro
  • Zombies, Ghosts and Vampires─Oh My! by Kelli Owen
  • The Many Faces of Horror: Craft Techniques by Richard Thomas
  • Giving Meaning to the Macabre by Rachel Autumn Deering
  • The Horror Writer’s Ultimate Toolbox by Tim Waggoner
  • Sarah Pinborough Interview by Marie O’Regan
  • Conveying Character by F. Paul Wilson
  • Sympathetic Characters Taste Better: Creating Empathy in Horror Fiction by Brian Kirk
  • Virtue & Villainy: The Importance of Character by Kealan Patrick Burke
  • How to write Descriptions in a story by Mercedes Yardley
  • “Don’t Look Now, There’s a Head in That Box!” She Ejaculated Loudly (or Creating Effective Dialogue in Horror Fiction) by Elizabeth Massie
  • Point of View by Lisa Mannetti
  • What Came First the Monster or the Plot? In Conversation with Stephen Graham Jones by Vince A. Liaguno
  • Building Suspense by David Wellington
  • Conveying Horror by Ramsey Campbell
  • Unveiling Theme Through Plot: An Analysis of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Birthmark” by Stephanie M. Wytovich
  • Interview with Clive Barker by Tim Chizmar
  • World Building (Building a terrifying world) by Kevin J. Anderson
  • Speak Up: The Writer’s Voice by Robert Ford
  • Writing for a Better World by Christopher Golden
  • Shaping the Ideas: Getting Things from Your Head to the Paper or on Screen. Interview with Steve Niles, Mick Garris, Heather Graham, Mark Savage, and Maria Alexander by Del Howison
  • On Research by Bev Vincent
  • Editing Through Fear: Cutting and Stitching Stories by Jessica Marie Baumgartner
  • Leaping into the Abyss by Greg Chapman
  • Edit Your Anthology in Your Basement for Fun and Profit! . . . or Not by Tom Monteleone
  • When It’s Their World: Writing for the Themed Anthology by Lisa Morton
  • Roundtable Interview by John Palisano
  • The Tale of the Perfect Submissions by Jess Landry
  • Turning the Next Page: Getting Started with the Business of Writing by James Chambers

Proudly represented by Crystal Lake Publishing—Tales from the Darkest Depths.






Recipe 1:

THERE ARE MORE ways than one to prepare and bake a cake, and only the ones that succeed and taste good count. The ones that fail you need to throw out and hope the birds and worms like it, hope they don’t choke. That’s the way writing works. Or at least something close to it. You throw out the words that don’t do the story justice and hope the metaphorical birds and worms don’t choke.
There is no exact rule for writing a story, except for the same one that is consistent with cake baking. You put the ingredients in a bowl, mix them, and then bake that sucker, or otherwise you lie dreaming with your unappeased sweet tooth while your cake remains unbaked.
To give an example of how I “bake my cakes”, I’m going to give my methods for approaching a story, how I get geared up, what works for me, and then my daughter, who is a newer writer, will give examples of her approach.
The way a writer works can change with age. But one thing is certain, if you are having trouble starting, then it’s not a bad idea to consider the methods of others. The method I use I have used for over thirty-five years of my forty-five-year career, or some slight variation of it, and I see no reason to abandon it, but if I found it failing me, I would consider something else. I read other writer’s methods when I started out, and through experiment, I found what works for me.
Let me start with this. I love writing. I don’t enjoy only having written, I love the act itself. I wake up in the morning and when my feet hit the floor, I’m ready to go. Writing a scene that reads the way you imagine it can be difficult, but for me the attempt is always pleasurable. So, that’s my first bit of advice. If you don’t love it, or think real writing is about rolling around on the floor and crying and suffering for the right word, save the drama. Writing can be hard, but it beats jobs I used to have. Digging ditches, aluminum chair factory work, field work, janitor work, and the like. Do not confuse a hard day of writing for martyrdom. Compared to those things, it’s a treat. It’s all I ever wanted to do with my life, at least career-wise, and I feel like the luckiest person in the world every day I wake up. First, I woke up, and second, there’s the work to look forward to.
Second, don’t procrastinate. It doesn’t get better as the day wears on. You may choose a different time of day to work, but whatever time you choose, be true to it. If you can go to a job you hate, or tolerate, and what you really want to do is write and you’re not doing it, that’s on you.


Amazon | Goodreads


About Joe Mynhardt:


Joe Mynhardt is a three-time Bram Stoker Award-nominated South African publisher, non-fiction and short story editor, and mentor.
Joe is the owner and CEO of Crystal Lake Publishing, which he founded in August, 2012. Since then he’s published and edited short stories, novellas, interviews and essays by the likes of Neil Gaiman, Clive Barker, Stephen King, Charlaine Harris, Ramsey Campbell, John Connolly, Jack Ketchum, Jonathan Maberry, Christopher Golden, Graham Masterton, Damien Angelica Walters, Adam Nevill, Lisa Morton, Elizabeth Massie, Joe McKinney, Joe R. Lansdale, Edward Lee, Paul Tremblay, Wes Craven, John Carpenter, George A. Romero, Mick Garris, and hundreds more.
Just like Crystal Lake Publishing, which strives to be a platform for launching author careers, Joe believes in reaching out to all authors, new and experienced, and being a beacon of friendship and guidance in the Dark Fiction field. In 2018 he started a coalition of small press publishers to support both each other and their authors.
Joe’s influences stretch from Poe, Doyle, and Lovecraft to King, Connolly, and Gaiman (and so many more).
You can read more about Joe and Crystal Lake Publishing at or find him on Facebook.


About Eugene Johnson: 


Eugene Johnson is a writer and Bram Stoker nominated editor who has written and edited in various genres. His anthology Appalachian Undead, co-edited with Jason Sizemore, was selected by FearNet as one of the best books of 2012. Eugene’s articles and stories have been published by award winning Apex publishing, The Zombiefeed, Evil Jester Press, Warrior Sparrow Press and more. Eugene also appeared in Dread Stare, a political theme horror anthology from Thunder Dome Press. Eugene’s anthology, Drive-in Creature Feature, pays homage to monster movies, features New York Times best-selling authors Clive Barker, Joe R. Lansdale, Christopher Golden, Jonathan Maberry and many more. He was nominated for the Bram Stoker award for Where Nightmares Come From: The Art Of Storytelling In The Horror Genre along with his co-editor Joe Mynhardt.
As a filmmaker, Eugene Johnson worked on various movies, including the upcoming Requiem, starring Tony Todd and directed by Paul Moore. His short film Leftovers, a collaboration with director Paul Moore, was featured at the Screamfest film festival in Los Angeles as well as Dragon Con.
Eugene is currently developing fun projects at EJP. He spends his time working on several projects including Brave, a horror anthology honoring people with disabilities; the Fantastic Tales of Terror anthology; and his children’s book series, Life Lessons with Lil Monsters. Eugene is currently a member of the Horror Writers Association. He resides in West Virginia with his fiancé, daughter, and two sons.

Crystal Lake Publishing


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