Thursday, July 1, 2010


Signed the contract for the Halloween anthology!

Yesterday I met with Norton Stillman, the publisher of Nodin Press. If you haven't heard of Norton, you may have heard of The Bookmen, the adored and much missed book distributor. Booksellers loved The Bookmen, and waayyy back in 1988, I bought cases of my books from The Bookmen because Norton and his brother gave booksellers and authors such fantastic deals. Most publishers don't allow writers to resell their books unless purchased through a bookstore or a distributor. The Bookmen gave writers and booksellers such a good deal that writers could actually afford to buy and resell their own titles. But after four decades, The Bookmen were forced out of business. They closed their doors in 2002, and booksellers and writers alike still mourn the loss.

The Bookmen warehouse was turned into lofts.

Nodin Press is located directly across the street from the lofts in the Warehouse District of Minneapolis not far from the new Twins stadium. When I arrived at Nodin, Norton was on the phone, hidden behind the floor-to-ceiling boxes of Nodin Press titles, and a Twins game blared on a radio that wasn't quite tuned to the correct station.

The anthology, which still needs a title, will be released September 2011. We talked about holding signings at Halloween festivals around the state. I'm already excited!

Contributing anthology authors:

Bill Cameron
David Housewright
Jason Evans
J.A. Konrath
Heather Dearly
Julia Buckley
Kelly Lynn Parra
Linda Rigel
Marilyn Victor
Mark Hull
Leandra Logan
Pat Dennis
Patricia Abbott
Paul Brazill
Michael Allan Mallory
Shirley Damsgaard
Stephen Blackmoore
Lance Zarimba
Paula Fleming
Anne Frasier

Story descriptions:

1. J.A. Konrath, Mr. Spaceman

A hooker ends up in an encounter of the strangest kind when her client turns out to be a new-in-town alien who has one thing in mind: making babies.

Joe is one of the funniest people I know, and his humor is evident throughout this delightful story. Laugh-out-loud-funny.

2. Bill Cameron, Sunlight Nocturne

Ex-cop Skin Kadash spends Halloween day building a bat house with his neighbor, four-year-old Danny, while helicopters circle overhead looking for a murderer who might be hiding nearby. This wonderful story skillfully contrasts a lazy fall day with a brutal murder and police search. Bill Cameron writes crime fiction, and is the award-winning author of Lost Dog, Chasing Smoke, and Day One.

3. Pat Dennis, Dead Line

Sibling rivalry and a suburban Halloween decorating contest cause Kate to take a pitchfork to her sister’s yard display. As she dismembers a stuffed goblin, she discovers that her annoying husband needs to be taught a lesson. Pat is a stand-up comic, popular writing instructor, publisher, and published author.

4. Marilyn Victor, The Ogre of Her Dreams

Fledging witch Aurora Piddleworth wants a soulmate, but when she blackmails instructor Olympia Dalrymple into creating the man of her dreams, he turns out to be an ogre who lavishes attention on the young witch and won’t give her a moment’s peace. The spell cannot be undone, yet Aurora agrees to go to extreme lengths to banish the new beau from her life.
This is a clever, well-drawn, delightful story from beginning to end. Marilyn Victor is half of the crime-fiction writing team of Marilyn Victor and Michael Allen Mallory, known for their zoo mysteries.

5. Patrica Abbott, The Angel Deeb

When a pickpocket begins to grow wings, he finds himself contemplating a new line of work. If you’ve never read Patti Abbott, you’re in for a treat. Patti is truly one of the best short-story writers around today.

6. David Housewright, Time of Death

A young girl under arrest for the brutal murder of her cheating boyfriend attempts to convince the investigator that she is innocent, claiming the murder was committed by a ghost. David is an Edgar-winning author, and writing instructor at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis.

7. Stephen Blackmoore, World’s Greatest Dad

By the time Franklin Delacorte wakes up, he’s been dead six hours and is unsure of how he feels about his sons turning him into a zombie. When Franklin begins behaving...well, like a zombie, the boys feel compelled to undo what they’ve done. But Daddy knows best, and Franklin doesn’t want to stay dead.

Stephen Blackmoore has an uncanny skill for writing black humor, and World’s Greatest Dad is a hilarious zombie tour de force. Stephen recently signed a two-book deal with Daw.

8. Shirley Damsgaard, Bewitched

So what if you don’t have the right ingredients to cast a spell? Rachel buys a magic book from an antique store and uses household ingredients to bring Mr. Right back into her life. Only Mr. Right turns out to be Mr. Wrong. Shirley is the author of the popular Ophelia and Abby mysteries.

9. Lance Zarimba, Fangs and All

It’s love at first bite for Billy Joe Jim Bob when he brings his first vampire home in this hilarious and deliberately cliché-packed story. Lance is a multi-published author.

10. Leandra Logan, You Called

A bitter, lonely woman spends Friday nights drinking cheap wine and entertaining herself by redialing the days unanswered calls to harass telemarketers. She finally meets her match when a mysterious man answers one of her calls. Leandra is a multi-published, bestselling author.

11. Julia Buckley, Motherly Intuition

A mother’s job is never done, and death is no reason to keep Daphne’s mother from looking out for her daughter. Julia Buckley always delights, and Motherly Intuition is a great showcase for her charm and humor. Julia is author of the Madeline Mann series.

12. Anne Frasier, The Replacement

After a young man is reanimated, he has forty-eight hours to find a replacement for his empty grave if he wants to remain above ground. The best candidate for replacement is the man who murdered him. Anne is a USA Today bestselling author, and recently sold a memoir to Grand Central Publishing.

13. Jason Evans, She Came on the October Wind

A stray black cat appears nightly at Natalie’s window, bringing with it memories of a sister who ran away years earlier. Jason is the author of the blog, The Clarity of Night, where he hosts and judges a popular fiction contest.

14. L.K. Rigel, Slurp

Feed your Muse takes on a whole new meaning when a writer has a breakdown just as trick-or-treaters arrive at her door. A wicked, fresh, and clever tale by an emerging writer.

15. Kelly Lynn Parra, Graveyard Soul Sucker

It’s Halloween, and group of college students visit a graveyard in an attempt to reanimate a dead serial killer with a ritual found in an ancient book of spells. Kelly Parra is the award-winning author of Graffiti Girl and the more recent Carina Press release, Criminal Instinct.

16. Heather Dearly, Troubled Water

The anniversary of two deaths brings about the return of the Grim Reaper to Anya Madjigijik’s house on Cemetery Road. A haunting, moody, and beautifully written tale by this previously unpublished author.

17. Paul D. Brazill, This Old House

If you want a job done right, do it yourself. Or in the case of This Old House, never hire an idiot to burn down your home. A plot to collect on homeowner’s insurance goes horribly wrong when the man hired to carry out the deed gets his holidays confused. Paul lives in Poland, and has quickly established himself as a masterful short-story writer.

18. Michael Allan Mallory

19. Paula Fleming, Tricks, Treats, and Terror in Tin Lake

Halloween is the one day of the year when alien Adeela can shed her costume and walk freely among the humans. Until someone burns down her house.

Paula Fleming is a short-story writer and busy freelance editor living in Minneapolis.

20. Mark Hull, Friday Night Dining with Marianne

It’s Halloween, and a food critic finds herself dining on chubby Boy Scout, mountaineer eyeballs, and sea monkeys. As Marianne finishes her meal, she decides the mysterious restaurant is the perfect place to bring an annoying associate. If Bram Stoker had written comedy, it would look exactly like this. Mark Hull’s Friday Night Dining is pure charm and delight from beginning to end. Mark is a contributor to The Rake, a Twin Cities lifestyle magazine.


  1. So this is so exciting, Anne!! Congrats to you and all the writers!! Can't wait for 2011!! :) :)

  2. Spledidly splendid! Thanks Anne. It's looking good.

  3. yes, so exciting! Just need to figure out a title!

  4. Woohoo!

    And it's zombie-riffic. Zombie-tastic? Chock full o' zombies? Something?

  5. zombie-tastic! yes!!

    i keep updating the bios. realized they were a bit dated. sorry if this keeps showing up in the twitter feed. over and over and over. :D

  6. Congrats to all! Very exciting.

  7. woohoo!

    I can't wait to read all the stories, and I'm so excited to be included with such great writers!!

    I still think Batty Noir is a good title... get it?

  8. i had to update again. hah! sorry. realized i posted the blurbs meant for the publisher which tell too much of the story. had to edit them down for public eyes.

    cara, thank you!

    batty noir -- had to google that. hah! well, norton is all for something very halloweeny, so i have to look over the title suggestions in the older post. He mentioned maybe using the word halloween. maybe mystery. maybe haunted. something that sounds spooky. he didn't care for halloween noir. didn't feel it was spooky enough. one of his antho titles that has done extremely well and continues to do extremely well is silence of the loons. he contributes much of that to the title.

  9. I googled it just now -- I'm not talking about Betty Noir but bête noire.

    Sigh. jokes are no good if you have to splain em.

    Silence of the Loons is a great title!

  10. Mystery, Madness, and Zombies. (A play on Edgar Allen Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Madness and the ever popular anything AND ZOMBIES.)

  11. heather, i like that!

    i thought of:
    Twenty Halloween tales

    Skeleton Dance

    but i prefer your title

    i've always loved the title bell, book, and candle, which is how i ended up with candelabra

  12. Tales for the Midnight Hour

    Tales from the?

  13. Mystery, Madness, and Zombies With Candles.

    tee hee. I'm silly. Going away now...

  14. Tales of the Freaks. A Crypt of Freak Tales. Tales of the Noir Crypt.

    You know me, not very good. ;)

  15. i think we're coming up with several good ones here. i got the idea he wanted something more along the lines of halloween screams.

  16. LOL!! An Affair to Dismember

    Scream If You've Died Once Before

    some really great ideas here!

  17. Oh, Scream if You've Died Once Before--GOOD!

  18. Haunting All Hallows -- Not too tame. i like that. I think Norton mentioned Haunted Halloween. even though that's really simple, it's not bad.

  19. Come Closer (already a title, but titles are recycled all the time)
    Wake the Dead

  20. These titles are giving me story ideas, so don't use the ones I need, okay? ;-)

  21. Zombielaya


    Ghost Bustieres (any steampunk in there?)

  22. no steampunk! zombiepunk though. :D

  23. These all sound yummy!What a treat!

  24. Trick



    Halloween tales of mystery, murder, and mayhem


  25. Actually, I'm thinking Ghost Bustieres sounds like a porn flick.

    The "Trick or Treat . . ." one might be good. Then you can serialize it -- the next year would be Trick or Treat 2, etc.

  26. Likari,
    Thought of the Trick or Treat one just as I woke up today. Well, I think it's popped into my head a few times in the past, but I disregarded it until now. It's very straightforward, and I like that. I've been told the title and cover should convey the content in a fraction of a second, so sometimes the coolest-sounding title isn't always the best title when it comes to sales. Some stories are dark and some are funny, so it kind of covers that too.


  27. Loved reading all of the descriptions!

    Such great work putting this together, Anne. Kudos!!

  28. P.S. My word verifications are hilarious today. graveops--sounds like covert operations for Bernita's novel. ferappig--a beastly version of the more common feral pig. Beware.

  29. shirin -- good one! spooked would look great on a cover. i really like that.

    thanks, jason! it's been a lot of work, but also fun and a learning experience.

    love graveops!!! that would actually be a great title for the right book!! Grave Ops.

  30. This looks like such a great mix of stories. Can't wait to get my hands on it.

  31. Someone may have suggested this but how about Bat Noir, a takeoff on bête noire.

  32. patti, not sure if the word noir was a hit, but i actually like it in there because i think many of the stories are noirish. i'm going to add it to my list. i like it. a lot. i can see that on a cover.

  33. Grave Frights: Twenty Halloween Tales

  34. On Halloween Night: Twenty Tales of ???

  35. heather, i like grave frights and a few good frights!