It’s blog tour time! Today I have an interview with not only a fantastic editor and author, but one of my favorite people and podcasting co-host. But first, ze book.
Genres/Subgenres: Horror, Short Story, Paranormal, Occult, Folklore/Southern Regional
Deep within the South, read about the magickal folk who haunt the woods, the cemeteries, and the cities. Within this grim anthology, eighteen authors will spellbind you with tales of hoodoo, voodoo, and witchcraft.
From this cauldron mix, readers will explore the many dangers lurking upon the Natchez Trace and in the Mississippi Delta. They will encounter a bewitched doll named Robert from the Florida Keys, and a cursed trunk that is better left closed. In the backstreets of New Orleans, they will become acquainted with scorned persons who will stop at nothing to exact their revenge.
These hair raising tales and more await you in Southern Haunts 3: Magick Beneath the Moonlight. Read if you dare.
Alexander S. Brown
- H. David Blalock
C G Bush
J L Mulvihill
SJ: Tell us about SH3. What makes it unique compared to 1&2?
ASB: Actually, each vol. of Southern Haunts is unique, as the subjects vary with each book. Vol 1. Spirits that Walk Among Us, focused on ghosts. Vol 2. Devils in the Darkness, featured on demonic entities. Vol 3. Magick Beneath the Moonlight, regards witchcraft and cursed objects.
SJ: Why witches? What attracts you to the theme?
ASB: I have always been attracted to the occult. I find the whole subject fascinating and since Spirits that Walk Among Us was published, it was only a matter of time before we released an anthology about magickal persons. But for this to happen, I had to wait.
For vol. 3 to be about witches, there is a great significance to the vol. number and the subject matter. In the occult, there is the belief that what one puts out into the world comes back to them in triple abundance. Also, in paganism, the maiden, the mother and the crone are recognized and honored as a trinity. These reasons are specifically why this vol. could be none other than occult related.
SJ: What makes for a good southern horror story?
ASB: Multiple elements can make a good southern horror story, such as elaborating about the habitat, cultural development, history, verbiage, and so forth. But personally for me, what makes a southern horror story great, is the way that it is told.
Many times during childhood, I had found myself at family gatherings and I would overhear elderly relatives speak of infamous legends from the region. The richness of their slang and phrases, made their ghost stories all the more horrifying, because it seemed more personal. It seemed like the story tellers weren’t utilizing proper words and phrases to identify something infamous, they were using an age old southern dialect that seemed even more tangible.
SJ: Why do you think readers gravitate to themed horror like this, especially in short form?
ASB: I think the majority of readers are under attack from having a short attention span. Because of life being so hectic, short stories can allow readers to enjoy complete stories in minimal time. With the subjects being themed, it lets the reader know immediately what they are in store for. This can result in a quicker purchase. For example: Southern Haunts 3 is about witches, the title and cover image are self-explanatory. If the reader loves witches, they are more likely to purchase. If that reader is not a fan of magickal themed stories, then perhaps Southern Haunts vol. 1 or 2 is more their preference.
SJ: What are the benefits of anthologies? Any downside?
The biggest benefit for an anthology is that it presents readers with a diversity of authors who they may not have read before. This works well for the author because it can help them gain new fans.
The downside to anthologies is that no one really makes money, as book royalties are normally split between 15 to 20 creators.
SJ: Was it different wearing the editor hat compared to being an author?
ASB: It was quite different. After finishing Southern Haunts vol. 1, I had a new respect for editors. To me, writing is simple and relaxing, editing is time consuming and feels like work. Although I prefer writing more than editing, editing the Southern Haunts series has improved my writing skills.
SJ:What is the best thing about putting a book like this together? The most difficult?
ASB: The best thing about constructing an anthology is seeing likeminded authors come together and submit their creativity. It is a good feeling to know that other names in the profession want to work with you and contribute stories that might have been stuck in their head for quite some time.
The downside is when I have to reject stories. I can understand how an author might think that it’s so easy for an editor to dismiss a story, and this isn’t the case. For me, sending a rejection email, hurts me just as much as it does the author.
SJ: Any advice to authors who are interested in submitting to anthologies?
ASB: First, research the publisher before you submit.
SJ: Second, follow the guidelines. Sometimes guidelines are overly specific with their requirements, even down to spacing, font, and letter size. Obey all of these rules. A lot of times, editors will use these demands as ways to see if the author payed attention, or cares about their work.
SJ: What’s next for Southern Haunts? For you as an author?
ASB: For Southern Haunts vol. 4, we are anticipating creature stories. We haven’t decided on a title yet, but it will follow the theme of its predecessors, but with monsters.
I have a few books that are in the works. One of which is in the final edit stage, and is being published by Pro Se Press, this will be a collection of Halloween stories called The Night the Jack O’ Lantern Went Out. I have one story left to write before Traumatized pt 2 is complete, and The Looking Glass Creatures is currently undergoing a massive edit.
Alexander S. Brown is a Mississippi author who was published in 2008 with his first book Traumatized. Reviews for this short story collection were so favorable that it has been released as a special edition by Pro Se Press. Brown is currently one of the co-editors/coordinators with the Southern Haunts Anthologies published by Seventh Star Press. His horror novel Syrenthia Falls is represented by Dark Oak Press.
He is also the author of multiple young adult steampunk stories found in the Dreams of Steam Anthologies, Capes and Clockwork Anthologies, and the anthology Clockwork Spells and Magical Bells. His more extreme works can be found in the anthologies Luna’s Children published by Dark Oak Press and State of Horror: Louisiana Vol 1 published by Charon Coin Press.
Visit Smashwords.com, Amazon.com, and Barnesandnoble.com to download his monthly short stories known as Single Shots. These are represented by Pro Se Press and they are known as stories that will be featured in the upcoming book The Night the Jack O’Lantern Went Out.