Ahoy me hearties and shiver me timbers!
Once again it is the time of year when THE WHIMSICAL HERALD and crew are transformed into a phantom clipper ship, sailing over the literary seas in celebration of the macabre:
On this night of nights peer through a spyglass
To see a ghost ship sailing under the moon
Its rigging spider web festooned
…Captivated, you watch it pass
Hearing the strains of the dance of the doomed
And the shrieks and cries of a skeleton crew
Damned to sail, never reaching a port
And hoisting up mugs of ale to you!
Among our special guests will be sea witches, Blackbeard the pirate, Black Bart and Calico Jack, a Siren chorus and Conjurors of spooky tales that are sure to shiver your timbers! Check out our interview with TELL-TALE’S Vincent Price Award winner author Feind Gottes, who won the award with his frightening tale, ’VACUITY’.
Dare to journey through the bloody mind of a madwoman, or escape, if you can, from an underground military compound, where secret experiments may land you on the menu.
Perhaps you’d like to see what the witches in Salem are doing this Halloween, or what really happened to Hansel and Gretel. Scared of clowns, vampires or puppets? Sit down and curl up with this unique collection of horror stories. You’ll sleep with the lights on for weeks.
Vacuity by Feind Gottes & Other Tales
So how does it feel to be the winner appearing in TT's 3rd annual horror anthology, landing you the coveted cover position?
Honestly, it feels great! I know everyone says this but I really didn’t expect to win or even be a finalist. A week to two prior to submitting I had received a somewhat harsh critique telling me that basically my writing wasn’t mainstream enough to ever see any real success so I wasn’t feeling the greatest. Shock is the only way to describe how I felt when I was announced as the winner! It was more than a win, for me, it was validation that what I was doing was worth doing.
How has your environment & upbringing colored your writing?
I didn’t begin writing until I was nearly 40 so I have forty years of life coloring my writing. I’ve read a ton of books in a variety of genres. I’ve seen more horror movies than you can shake a stick at, from the big names to micro-budget B movies seen by no more than a handful of people. I’ve been up and I’ve been down but I’d say the open-mindedness my parents unwittingly instilled in me has colored my writing the most. I don’t think they necessarily sat down and thought about it yet from early on they encouraged me to make up my own mind on everything from religion to politics. People tend to cling to beliefs even in the face of new information, I try not to do that.
Tell us about your writing process and the way you brainstorm story ideas.
My writing process is really very simple – First, I always start with a simple idea perhaps a sentence worth or sometimes just a few words. Then I do the hard thing, nothing at all. If my mind returns to a particular idea over and over then I have to write it. At that point I sit down with a notebook (yes, real paper and a real pen!) expanding the idea with a few plot points which I don’t always stick to and coming up with names for the main characters. Then I slide on my headphones, open a new Word document, crank the volume and start to write.
As for brainstorming, occasionally I’ll sit with a notebook and pen and jot down as many ideas that come to mind. Depending on how lost I’m able to get in thought, that can be just a few ideas or dozens. The process is always the same though – headphones, heavy metal cranked up with my trusty pen and paper.
If you had a superpower, what would it be?
It would definitely be fun to have the power of hypnosis, just snap my fingers and people would do whatever I tell them. However, if I could have a superpower right now, at this moment, it would be for super fast editing skills. I don’t dislike editing my own work but I am too dang slow! Currently I’m mired in the quicksand of editing my first novel slowly sinking to my doom!
What is your biggest fear?
Being buried alive. I have written some terrible ways for someone to die but nothing gives me the heebie jeebies like the thought of being sealed in a coffin underground. Yikes!
How did you break into publishing?
When I began writing I did it simply to see if I could with no real aspirations or delusions of grandeur. Once I completed my first story, I immediately started another. It took me some time to even let a friend read what I had done but they liked it. Only then did the thought of maybe being published some day strike me. I knew absolutely nothing about how to even go about it so I just kept writing. My original idea was to write a collection of short stories so once I had that done I began to blindly send out the manuscript getting rejected left and right if I got any response at all. Then I happened upon Dark Chapter Press completely at random. Thankfully, Jack Rollins was kind enough to explain to me that no one was likely to publish a collection from an unknown author but as it happened he was putting together an anthology and thought one of my stories would fit. That story was Hell Awaits which closes out the anthology Kill For A Copy – my first published tale and it was used to send the reader off with a bang! Since then I’ve tried to grow my community of horror writers and fans allowing me to network which is eventually how I found out about the contest from Tell-Tale Publishing!
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I remember it well! It’s now called Essence Asunder (not the original title I had for it) and was just published in June as a novella. It was my first solo published work!
What motivated you to become an indie author?
My motivation was simple. I had read several books in a row that disappointed me, usually in the way they ended. I kept reading endings that were boring, stupid, predictable or relied on some big “deus ex machina” for some big, shocking twist. It was making me angry so I bitched and complained until I finally told myself that I needed to either put up or shut up. I sat down and began writing. I haven’t stopped since.
If you could ask one author one question, what would the question be and who would you ask?
Wanna grab a beer and chat about horror? – I’d ask my hero, Clive Barker.
What are your current projects?
As I stated earlier, right now I am deep into the edits on my first novel called Piece It All Back Together which is a horror/mystery about a serial killing Private Investigator hired to find a missing person. The case will rock her world! I’m hoping for an early 2019 release on that but the story itself has been complete since about March (2018). I am so flipping excited to get started on what I plan to do next! My next project is planned as a novel trilogy based around the biblical Cain and Abel mythos. The first novel is plotted out in detail which is something I have never done before and the second and third are partially plotted out. I also have over a dozen pages of notes with full character details, again, something I’ve never down before. I have several short stories slated to appear in some very cool anthologies over the next couple months also. Yes, I am always busy working on something and plan to do so until I can’t any more.
Feind Gottes [Fee-nd Gotz] is a horror writing, metal loving award winning horror author. Feind currently resides near Omaha, NE with his girlfriend and one crazy cat.
In 2017 Feind placed in the Top Ten in The Next Great Horror Writer Contest, then later won the 2017 Vincent Price Scariest Writer Award from Tell-Tale Publishing with his story Vacuity, now published in Vacuity and Other Tales.
2018 marked a milestone for Feind with the publication of his first solo published work with the unleashing of his novella, Essence Asunder.
Lastly, Feind won the Dark Chapter Press Prize 2016 novel writing contest with the first draft of his first novel, Piece It All Back Together, which is currently being edited for an early 2019 release.
Feind on the Web
Amazon Feind Gottes
Alas it is time to say farewell to our guests. Many of the sea ghosts will be returning to Davy Jones locker, and our sister ship, the Flying Dutchman will pass by and fire off a tribute to commemorate the occasion.
The night is young, and with a fair wind at our back we will lift our cups, sing sea chanteys and continue toward the horizon until the dawn.
I am, as always, your humble servant,
Patricia Mattern, Mistress of Madness, THE WHIMSICAL HERALD
Mistress of Madness
Well, do you have any idea why a raven is like a writing desk?
Lewis Carroll, in 1897, proposed this answer, "Because it can produce a few notes, though they are very flat; and it is 'never' put with the wrong end in front!" (raven, spelled backward, is nevar aka never...or as we like to say here at TT...never more!)