Brian Kirk

A Journey of the Imagination

Tag: Brian Kirk (page 1 of 4)

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.

“Picking Splinters” Makes the HWA 2016 Reading List

I was pleased to learn that my short story “Picking Splinters From a Sex Slave,” published in the acclaimed Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories anthology, made the 2016 Horror Writer’s Association Recommended Reading List. This list comprises all of the work that was recommended for a Bram Stoker Award® by HWA members.

This story has received quite a bit of praise from industry critics and readers alike, several calling it the strongest in a collection that includes some of my literary idols, such as Neil Gaiman and Clive Barker. Following are some of the things critics have said.

Picking Splinters

Story Illustration by Luke Spooner

“‘Picking Splinters From A Sex Slave’, pulled me/led me/dared me back to the wave of fear and awe and wonder I had upon my initial encounter with words so perfectly placed as to seem alive and moving across the page. In Kirk’s scant few pages of prose, I placed the book down at least four times: to recover, to reflect, to feel. To get it.”
-Unofficial Alan Moore

“Picking Splinters from a Sex Slave by Brian Kirk really sets the tone for this collection. It’s one of the darkest, saddest stories I have ever read, with the father’s inappropriate humor putting a perfect edge on the drama.”
-Beauty In Ruins

“Which leads into what I think is the best story in the book: Brian Kirk’s “Picking Splinters From a Sex Slave”. A story that illustrates what lengths a person might go to to accommodate a loved one, in exquisite detail. The actual tableau is revolting, but the internal logic is inescapable. The tone is perfect.”
-Retrograde A

“One of the strongest stories in the collection, “Picking Splinters from a Sex Slave” by Brian Kirk. Kirk’s portrayal of a father desperate to help his daughter is at once alarming and moving, leaving you with a lingering disquiet.”
-Eden Royce

“Brian Kirk’s “Picking Splinters from A Sex Slave” kicked me upside the head, leaving me truly considering the lengths I would travel to help my own daughter.”
-Bleeding Cool

While making the recommended reading list does not ensure an eventual nomination for the Bram Stoker Award®, it’s still an honor, and I’m grateful to know that this story has made such an impact on readers.

Pick up a copy of Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories if you’d like to check it out.

Gutted

Going Beneath the Lake

I was fortunate to be invited as a guest on the inaugural Beneath the Lake Podcast for Crystal Lake Publishing, along with host and author, Todd Keisling, the esteemed editors for the hot new horror anthology, Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories, and fellow contributor and dear friend, Mercedes M. Yardley.

We talk about our stories and beauty in horror and a bunch of other things, but my favorite part is the beginning where we tear a hole in time and space, unleashing a strange dirge of satanic verse (fitting for a horror podcast). As a funny aside, this was host Todd Keislings’ first live show, and it was awesome to watch him sweat as things go astray knowing the publisher was watching with keen interest. Fortunately, he righted the ship and it was mostly smooth sailing from there.

CLICK HERE to watch the recorded episode. Hope you enjoy it!

Crystal Lake Podcast

 

Guest on The Darkness Dwells Podcast

Gutted

I was recently a guest on The Darkness Dwells Podcast talking about my latest story in the Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories anthology, why mental illness and creativity are often intertwined, and what makes horror writers some of the happiest people on the planet. I hope you’ll check it out.

CLICK HERE to Listen

While there, be sure to check out the recent episodes from fellow GUTTED contributors Mercedes Murdock Yardley, Damien Angelica Walters, and Ramsey Campbell as well. Enjoy!

I Got Interviewed for GUTTED

I have a new short story titled “Picking Splinters from a Sex Slave” in Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories, an anthology comprised of New York Times bestselling authors Clive Barker, Neil Gaiman, and Ramsey Campbell, and some of the genre’s top emerging voices, Paul Tremblay, Josh Malerman, Mercedes M. Yardley, and more.

Praise for the collection has been extremely high, with many professional critics calling attention to my story in particular, which is certainly nice to see, especially considering the company. Here is the illustration that accompanies the story, followed by a sample of what critics have said:

Splinters

Art by Luke Spooner

“‘Picking Splinters From A Sex Slave’, pulled me/led me/dared me back to the wave of fear and awe and wonder I had upon my initial encounter with words so perfectly placed as to seem alive and moving across the page. In Kirk’s scant few pages of prose, I placed the book down at least four times: to recover, to reflect, to feel. To get it.”
-Unofficial Alan Moore

“Picking Splinters from a Sex Slave by Brian Kirk really sets the tone for this collection. It’s one of the darkest, saddest stories I have ever read, with the father’s inappropriate humor putting a perfect edge on the drama.”
-Beauty In Ruins

“Which leads into what I think is the best story in the book: Brian Kirk’s “Picking Splinters From a Sex Slave”. A story that illustrates what lengths a person might go to to accommodate a loved one, in exquisite detail. The actual tableau is revolting, but the internal logic is inescapable. The tone is perfect.”
-Retrograde A

“One of the strongest stories in the collection, “Picking Splinters from a Sex Slave” by Brian Kirk. Kirk’s portrayal of a father desperate to help his daughter is at once alarming and moving, leaving you with a lingering disquiet.”
-Eden Royce

“Brian Kirk’s “Picking Splinters from A Sex Slave” kicked me upside the head, leaving me truly considering the lengths I would travel to help my own daughter.”
-Bleeding Cool

Author and book reviewer A.E. Siraki also had some kind things to say about the story in her review of the book, and offered to interview me to learn what inspired the story. Read The Full Interview Here.

Gutted

Thanks so much to the early readers for their kinds words. It’s a great book that I’m honored to be a part of. CLICK HERE to check it out.

First Review of My Latest Story

New story alert! My next work of fiction is coming out June 24th in the anthology, GUTTED: Beautiful Horror Stories, alongside some of my favorite authors, including Clive Barker, Neil Gaiman, Ramsey Campbell, Mercedes M. Yardley, Paul Tremblay, John FD Taff, Josh Malerman and more. The line up is ridiculous, and I feel fortunate to be included.

gutted

In addition to feeling fortunate, I was feeling anxious about how my story would stack up against this all-star line up. The editors gave me a boost of confidence when they placed my story, “Picking Splinters from a Sex Slave,” in the lead spot (and yes, the story is every bit as harrowing as it sounds). And then the first advance review hit, which boosted my confidence even more.

Here’s a snippet:

Which leads into what I think is the best story in the book: Brian Kirk’s “Picking Splinters From a Sex Slave.” That story illustrates what lengths a person might go to to accommodate a loved one, in exquisite detail. The actual tableau is revolting, but the internal logic is inescapable. The tone is perfect.

“Splinters” is followed by Lisa Mannetti and then Neil Gaiman. Both stories are good — not pedestrian, but are overshadowed by the excellence of Kirk’s piece.

Whew. Big sigh of relief. Looks like I might actually belong.

Here’s a description of the book, followed by a link to the full review. It’s going to be a doozy. I hope you’ll check it out.

A series of stories that explores the tension between beauty and horror, wonder and terror, sorrow and transcendence. It’s a book of scars, regret and loneliness. But through it all, it’s a book where hope can still exist and beauty can still thrive. This is GUTTED: Beautiful Horror Stories.

CLICK HERE to read the full review.

2015 Bram Stoker Awards Ballot

Had a hard time sleeping last night. Partly due to our dog using my legs as a hammock. But it was also due to a realization I had around 2 AM that the final Bram Stoker Awards ballot was being announced today, and We Are Monsters had a shot of making the list.

Well, the lack of sleep was worth it. I am pleased to announce that my debut novel, We Are Monsters, has made the final Bram Stoker Awards ballot for Superior Achievement in a First Novel.

Nominated for Superior Achievement in a First Novel

The reception We Are Monsters has received so far has floored me. Having it blurbed by authors whom I’ve long admired, including Mercedes M. Yardley, John F.D. Taff, Jonathan Moore, Bob Ford, and Brian Keene.

Receiving stellar reviews from some of the horror industry’s most trusted review sites.

Having it wind up on several best of the year lists.

Having it optioned for film development by the producers of The Messengers, Role Models, and Lone Survivor!

And now to have it nominated for a Bram Stoker Award just about pushes me over the edge.

I almost quit on this novel. Like any other writer out there, I feared it was terrible and nearly threw it away. And insecurities still haunt me. I guess they always will. But I’ll never quit on the work. Because I now know, no matter how terrible it may seem at the time, that if you keep grinding, and pushing, and dreaming as large as you can, good things are bound to come from it. And that’s a wonderful lesson to learn.

Thanks to all who have supported and guided me along this amazing journey. And congrats to the other authors on the Stoker ballot! See you in Vegas!

Anyone interested in picking up a copy can do so HERE. And I’ll thank you very kindly.

We Are Monsters Goes Hollywood

There has been a ton of work going on behind the scenes, and I am happy to make an exciting announcement.

I have accepted an offer to option the film rights to my debut novel, We Are Monsters. That’s right, We Are Monsters is in the process of being made into a movie! The production team that purchased the rights has an impressive list of film credentials, including The Messengers starring Kristen Stewart, Role Models starring Paul Rudd, and Lone Survivor starring Mark Wahlberg.

 The MessengersRole ModelsLone_Survivor_poster

We are currently selecting screenwriters to help adapt the screenplay. Some exciting writers/directors have expressed interest, and I look forward to announcing names as soon as I’m able.

I continue to be amazed by the attention We Are Monsters has received, and am excited for the potential of it reaching new audiences through the big screen. I won’t lie, I’m also just a tad excited to see these words: Based on the novel written by Brian Kirk.

WeAreMonsters_Print Thank you to everyone who has helped keep the momentum going: readers, friends, and industry professionals. This is a nugget of proof that anything is possible. Stay tuned.

Best Horror Novels of 2015

2015 was a special year for me. It marked the release of my debut novel, We Are Monsters, which is something I’ve been dreaming about most of my life. What makes it even sweeter is the warm reception the book has received from readers and critics alike.

As the year ended, and reviewers began to create their “Best of the Year” lists, I was honored to find We Are Monsters on many of them. Here are links to several “Best Horror Novels of 2015” lists that included We Are Monsters alongside many of my favorite reads from the year as well.

I read 39 books in 2015, although most of them were published in year’s prior. I’m always playing catch up. Here are my top ten favorite reads from last year, listed alphabetically.

  1. A Choir of Ill Children by Tom Piccirilli
  2. A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay (Read my essay on it HERE)
  3. Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes
  4. Close Reach by Jonathan Moore
  5. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
  6. Finders Keepers by Stephen King
  7. Fourth of July Creek by Smith Henderson
  8. Least of My Scars by Stephen Graham Jones
  9. Slade House by David Mitchell
  10. The Girl Next Door by Jack Ketchum

There are many exciting developments going on behind the scenes right now that should make 2016 another exciting year. Stay tuned.

A Recap of Reviews

I am humbled and immensely pleased with the amount of (mostly positive) press We Are Monsters has received so far. Here is a recap of some of the reviews that have been written about my debut novel, starting with my personal favorite – a short and sweet one from industry icon, Brian Keene.

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 7.54.23 AM

Professional Reviews

  • “Not only is this one of the most impressive horror debuts I have ever read, I am confident in placing We Are Monsters firmly in the number one spot for the best horror novel of 2015. I was absolutely blown away.” – The Horror Bookshelf (Click for Review)
  • “It takes not a reviewer, critic or literary analyst to see this writer has a most brilliant future ahead of him. I encourage anyone who is a fan of horror that resonates within the psyche long after the fact to embark upon this gem of a read.” – Horror News (Click for Review)
  • “A complex telling with stories within stories, you’ll find that you can’t put it down. I can’t praise this book enough!” – Horror Novel Reviews (Click for Review)
  • “A tightly woven tale from an author who has a heart, and that makes me excited to see what else Kirk has in store for us. The whole story will have you examining the human race as never before.” – Ginger Nuts of Horror (Click for Review)
  • We Are Monsters is a knockout punch for Kirk and I think this is a book–and an author–that we’ll be hearing a lot more about in the future.” – Shotgun Logic (Click for Review)
  • “Cleverly told. Psychologically complex.” – Scarlet’s Web (Click for Review)

Reader Reviews

Reader reviews can be found at Amazon and Goodreads.

Thank you so much to everyone who has taken the time to read and review the book. I’m happy to see how many of you have enjoyed it.

 

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