Brian Kirk

A Journey of the Imagination

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OBSIDEO: The Story Behind WILL HAUNT YOU

This is a story I’ve never shared before, but feel compelled to do so now. My upcoming novel Will Haunt You was inspired by a couple from my neighborhood who disappeared after discovering a strange book in their home. My neighbor’s name is Nancy Carter, and she chronicled her ordeal on a crime watch page within the community website Nextdoor(dot)com. I managed to capture screen grabs of the ordeal as it unfolded.

To say that I was mesmerized by this story is an understatement. I was obsessed with it. Following along every post, and trying my best to figure out who was behind it. The first entry is posted below. It grabbed my attention immediately. There was something familiar about that book, although I had never seen it before.

Continue reading

It’s Alive: Bringing Your Nightmares to Life

My first published piece of non-fiction is available today in this fantastic guide for horror writers titled, It’s Alive: Bringing Your Nightmares To Life.

The essay I wrote is on creating empathy for your characters. It was a real honor to be asked to contribute a piece for this, and I’m pleased to see early readers connecting with my essay in particular, having the following kind words to say. Continue reading

The Most Anticipated Horror Novels of 2019

I’m thrilled to see my novel Will Haunt You on LitReactor’s list of most anticipated horror novels of 2019. And check out this blurb: “This book is unlike anything you’ve ever read before, and you’re going to punch yourself in the face if you neglect to pre-order it.” I love that so much I want to give it a french kiss.

Check out the entire list HERE, and order them all. That’s what I plan to do.

The 15 Most Anticipated Horror Novels of 2019

Will Haunt You is now available for purchase in all formats. Be sure to check out the creepypasta-style prequel OBSIDEO before you begin the book.

Read The Prequel

Buy The Book

Behold! the Bram Stoker Award Winning Anthology

I was shocked to hear that Behold! Oddities, Curiosities and Undefinable Wonders had won the coveted Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in an Anthology. Not because I didn’t feel it was a great book; it is (and I’m not just saying that because it features my story, “Wildflower, Cactus, Rose”).

“Wildflower, Cactus, Rose”

It’s just that the book was up against other anthologies edited by legends of our field. Linda D. Addison, the brilliant poet and recipient of this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Ellen Datlow, who is arguably the most highly regarded editor in the history of horror. Jodi Renee Lester and Alessandro Manzetti who are renowned for putting out quality work. And Jonathan Mayberry and George (MF’n!) Romero, the godfather of the zombie genre.

Here’s a look at the final ballot:

Superior Achievement in an Anthology

  • Brooks, Kinitra, PhD., Addison, Linda D., and Morris, Susana, PhD. – Sycorax’s Daughters (Cedar Grove Publishing)
  • Datlow, Ellen – Black Feathers: Dark Avian Tales: An Anthology (Pegasus Books)
  • Maberry, Jonathan and Romero, George A. – Nights of the Living Dead: An Anthology (St. Martin’s Griffin)
  • Manzetti, Alessandro and Lester, Jodi Renee – The Beauty of Death Vol. 2: Death by Water (Independent Legions Publishing)
  • Murano, Doug – Behold!: Oddities, Curiosities & Undefinable Wonders (Crystal Lake Publishing)

Still… Behold! seemed charmed from the beginning. From the initial concept conceived by Doug Murano, to the captivating cover art by John Coulthart, to the quality stories written by some of today’s top talent, the book was a strong contender, albeit an underdog, and is very much deserving of this award.

Congrats to Doug and all the other contributing authors and artists on this award-winning collaboration!

CLICK HERE to learn more about the book and buy a copy, if you feel so inclined.

Contract Signed for Second Novel

Friends! Good news. Now that the contract is signed, I’m happy to say that I have sold my second novel (3rd written) to acclaimed editor Don D’Auria at his new publishing imprint, Flame Tree Press. It’s been a long and winding road between books (a story I’ll soon tell), but I’m happy where it wound up.

The book’s title is a secret for now, though it is due out early next year in all formats. Here are a couple of snippets from two terrific authors who got an early look.

“…a tour-de-force of psychological suspense and terror. It scared the hell out of me.”
–Lisa Mannetti, Bram Stoker Award winner and Shirley Jackson Award finalist, author of THE BOX JUMPER

“Open this book carefully. It might be the last thing you do.”
–Stephanie M. Wytovich, author of The Eighth.

This one’s going to strike a nerve. Stay tuned.

Submerged Beneath the Lake… Again

I was honored to be a guest, once again, on the tenth episode of Crystal Lake Publishing’s Beneath the Lake Podcast to provide some commentary on their latest anthology, Behold! Oddities, Curiosities, and Undefinable Wonders, which includes my story “Wildflower, Cactus, Rose.” Here I provide a little insight into what inspired the story and how it came to be.

The podcast was hosted by author, Todd Keisling, who is one of Crystal Lake Publishing’s rising stars and, along with me, featured the following guests:

Doug Murano, editor of Behold! and other critically acclaimed anthologies, including Shadows Over Mainstream Vol. 1 & 2, and Gutted Beautiful Horror Stories, which was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award last year for best anthology.

Author Erinn L. Kemper who lives on the Caribbean coast in Costa Rica where she writes, runs with her dog on the beach, and drinks ridiculous amounts of coffee, at least until happy hour. Erinn has sold stories to Cemetery Dance magazine, Dark Discoveries and Black Static, and appears in various anthologies including You, Human, Shadows Over Main Street Volume 2, and Chiral Mad 3. Visit her website at erinnkemper.com for updates and sloth sightings.

And author Richard Thomas, who is the award-winning author of seven books—Disintegration and Breaker (Random House Alibi), Transubstantiate, Staring Into the Abyss, Herniated Roots, Tribulations, and The Soul Standard (Dzanc Books). His over 100 stories in print include Cemetery Dance, PANK, storySouth, Gargoyle, Weird Fiction Review, Midwestern Gothic, Arcadia, Qualia Nous, Chiral Mad 2 and 3, and Shivers VI. He is also the editor of four anthologies: The New Black and the Shirley Jackson-nominated Exigencies (Dark House Press), The Lineup: 20 Provocative Women Writers (Black Lawrence Press) and the Bram Stoker Award®-nominated Burnt Tongues (Medallion Press) with Chuck Palahniuk. In his spare time he writes for LitReactor and is editor-in-chief at Gamut Magazine. For more information visit www.whatdoesnotkillme.com.

This was my second time being a guest on this podcast. The first time was to talk about my contribution in Gutted Beautiful Horror Stories, and that episode can be viewed HERE.

Thanks for checking it out. Hope you enjoy it.

The New Video Trailer for Behold!

The team at Crystal Lake Publishing has produced a video trailer for Behold: Oddities, Curiosities, and Undefinable Wonders that captures the quirky personality of the book.

Not only does this anthology contain my latest story, “Wildflower, Cactus, Rose,” it features fiction from some of the most exciting contemporary authors, including Neil Gaiman, Clive Barker, Ramsey Campbell, Lisa Morton, Lucy A. Snyder, and more, with a forward by Josh Malerman.

Thanks, I’m excited about this one. I hope you’ll check it out.

Artwork Reveal for “Wildflower, Cactus, Rose”

The artwork for my upcoming story “Wildflower, Cactus, Rose” was released yesterday, and it is stunning. It captures the defiant attitude of the mother in the story, who is working to establish a new self identity after a botched surgery leaves her disfigured.

Many thanks to Luke Spooner at Carrion House for creating such a striking work of art. The story will appear in Behold: Oddities, Curiosities and Undefinable Wonders, which includes stories by Clive Barker, Neil Gaiman, Ramsey Campbell, Lucy A. Snyder, John F.D. Taff, Richard Thomas, Patrick Freivald, Kristi Demeester, Erinn Kemper, and more, including a forward by Josh Malerman. Look for the book’s release on July 28.

Deep End Interview With Crystal Lake Publishing

Crystal Lake Publishing

The fine folks at Crystal Lake Publishing were kind enough to conduct this in-depth interview with me, where we cover everything from my prior con artist step-father (whom I hope is now doing well) to my aspirations as an author.

CLICK HERE to enjoy.

New Story Announcement

I am thrilled to announce that my latest story has been accepted for publication in a strange and exciting new anthology: Behold! Oddities, Curiosities and Undefinable Wonders.

Behold!

The anthology, edited by Doug Murano, is scheduled to be released through Crystal Lake Publishing on July 24, 2017. While the table-of-contents is still underway, some major names have already been announced, including: Ramsey Campbell, Clive Barker, John F.D. Taff, Kristi DeMeester, Erinn Kemper, and Patrick Freivald. I’ll update as new authors are added.

My story “Wildflower, Cactus, Rose,” is a quirky, and thought-provoking, tale featuring extreme surgery, weaponized beauty, and how self-image shapes the world we see. I can’t wait for its release.

Follow the anthology Facebook page for further news and updates.

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