April, the month of mayhem!

Recently, a lot of things have been happening. I have joined the team at James Ward Kirk Publishing as Art Director and will be working with Mr Kirk who is publishing an anthology I'm putting together called Fresh Fear: Contemporary Horror, due for release around Halloween this year.

It is the first time I have edited an anthology and the process is quite challenging. Not so much in the proofreading and editing side of things but in the rigorous selection process that is the reading of all the wonderful stories that are still being submitted. The response has been better than I thought and the quality of the submissions is high. Writers who I have looked up to for years have been kind enough to reply to the submission call and lots of exciting up-and-coming indie authors have responded in kind.

In between these events I am putting the finishing touches on a new novel that follows on where Blood Related left off - yes, a sequel. Currently working on a novella for another anthology and a collection of poetry due for release sometime in the months ahead. So all in all, a busy but productive start to the year and I'm glad you readers are coming along for the ride.

If anyone would like a free kindle/pdf copy of any of my books to date, please leave a comment below or contact me via my Facebook page. Have a great April.


If you write good quality scary horror, you may want to consider submitting to Fresh Fear - check it out.

Fresh Fear Anthology: Call for Submissions
I am putting together an anthology of quality Horror fiction due for publication Nov/Dec 2013 (print + Ebook). ‘Fresh Fear’ will profile international authors of Horror. There will be some established players and also representatives from the thriving indie scene.

Prerequisite: the stories must be original, previously unpublished and scary as hell!

It’s going to be published by James Ward Kirk Publishing and edited by myself (William Cook). The stories I’m looking for have to induce a sense of Horror/Terror in the reader – the kind of fear that makes someone keep reading but prevents them from sleeping! That is the main thematic criteria. Zombie stories are ok but only something special will be selected from subs. Psychological Horror is preferred. No explicit sexual abuse allowed.

Looking for short fiction between 3,000-8,000 words (neg.)
(No flash-fiction or Poetry)

The anthology will be available for Christmas so plenty of time to send us your best Horror stories.

Deadline: Submissions open (unless otherwise filled) until August 14, 2013
Standard terms and conditions apply. 

Please send submissions to freshfearantho@gmail.com

Put FRESH FEAR SUB in the subject line.
Double space, 2 spaces after a period, indent paragraphs, show scene break by a centered ***
don’t double dash — use the dash you want…
No headers, footers, or page numbers.
don’t underline for italics, use italics
Submit work as a Word Doc or RTF.
put your BIO at the end of the story.

Contributor payment: US $10 per story + contributors copy (Ebook + Print) + discounted wholesale copies for cons etc.

Rights: First World English, Digital, Print, and Anthology.

Rejections/Acceptances will be announced electronically by the end of August, 2013 (if not before). Please include email address on bio.

Kind regards

William Cook + James Ward Kirk Publishing

News and reviews.

Been having a few small successes recently with the publication of a few short stories in some quality Horror anthologies. The first is James Ward Kirk Publishing's Serial Killers Iterum of which I have a few poems and a short story titled Return of the Creep which has received some good feedback.

Here is a review from D.L. Russell:

Serial Killers Iterum March 13, 2013
Serial Killers Iterum is a collection of poetry, flash fiction pieces and short stories, all edited by James Ward Kirk, under the umbrella of his publishing company of the same name. Kirk has brought together some of the darkest works I have encountered in a very long time and many of the pieces, can only be described as sinister and taboo.


From the first poem, which is The Rebel, by Brian Rosenberg, the reader fully understands what is at the heart of this anthology. Rosenberg brings us the facts, fast and honestly; a serial killer, a successful one that is, will hide in plain sight. He will be in the cubicle next to ours, and be the model employee until he goes home and removes the mask of John Q. Public, to become a killer with multiple victims.

Of the twenty-six poems in the anthology, my favorites were Rosenberg's The Rebel, William Cook's Killer, A. B. Stephen's Serial Killer's Ditty, and Three in Me by David Frazier. All the poetry ranged from good to great and all are worth your time.

Flash Fiction Pieces

Like the poetry, the Flash Fiction is dark and menacing in its tones and variety. Being the father of an 8 year old daughter, I could identify with the main character and his motives, right up until the end in Stephen Alexander's Grey. But the ending does leave the door of uncertainty open, just a crack.
There are 9 pieces here and Grey is one of the best. Brian Barnett's Business is Murder and Allen Griffin's Pretend Pain were excellent reads that weigh on the mind long after consumption.

Short Stories

As for the short stories, William Cook's Return of the Creep, a tale of a sadistic cabby and his slow torture of a beautiful young girl, was by far the fullest, most well rounded story. Many of the other pieces read like flash fiction, but here, Cook offers the reader one of the best stories I have read in to this point in 2013. Zach Black's His Father Before Him,is another fine tale about a second generation serial killer who wants to be just like his dad, in every way but one. Also good is Mark Fewell's Amy's Last Dance.
After reading the material here, I felt as if I'd been given a different view of the psycho serial killer than can be found anywhere else. This isn't true crime fiction, and it isn't Investigation Discovery, this is a group of writers taking on one of the most difficult sub-genres of speculative fiction, and doing an excellent job at it!


Overall, I'd call Serial Killers Iterum a winner! After reading the material here, I felt as if I'd been given a different view of the psycho serial killer than can be found anywhere else. This isn't True Crime Fiction, and it isn't Investigation Discovery, this is a group of writers taking on one of the most difficult sub-genres of speculative fiction, and doing an excellent job at it!
It's one of those anthologies you should not read in one setting, but over a long period of time. Theme fiction can sometimes be overwhelming when read straight through and, each Poem, Flash Fiction Piece, and Short Story deserves its own moment in the dark!

David L. Russell
Strange, Weird, and Wonderful Publishing
The next anthology to have another story included in is Rainstorm Press' I'll Never Go Away II with my story Dead Memories

More news to come soon.

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