Wednesday, May 4, 2022

ORPHANS OF BLISS: TALES OF ADDICTION HORROR is Now Available


ORPHANS OF BLISS: TALES OF ADDICTION HORROR

is now available


Five years and two weeks after Garden of Fiends was first published, Orphans of Bliss, the third addiction horror anthology, goes live in paperback and digital today. Yay! I've met so many wonderful people along the way who contributed and supported these projects. My thanks and gratitude to all y'all. I dedicate these to my brother Kevin, passed before his time, but who introduced me to the wonders and power of Horror to capture our imagination and tell our stories.





Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Announcing the Hardcover Edition of Orphans of Bliss

 

Pleased to Announce the Hardcover Edition of
  Orphans of Bliss: Tales of Addiction Horror
Now available on all major retailers.

Jacket cover art, exclusive to the Hardcover, 
by Kealan Patrick Burke's Elderlemon Design




Interior cover art is a version of 
Marcela Bolivar's artwork from the Paperback



Check Out This 1 Minute Video




And there's BOOKPLATES!! 
Signed Bookplates are available. 
The first 50 who email proof of purchase to WickedRunPress@gmail.com with their address will receive a Bookplate mailed to them. (Please don't forget to send your address)



Paperback and Kindle on Sale on 5/4/22



Orphans of Bliss: Tales of Addiction Horror 
hardcover now available!

on Amazon:

on Barnes & Noble

IndieBound











Thursday, March 31, 2022

Orphans of Bliss Receives a Starred Review by Both Booklist and The Library Journal

It's been a good week for ORPHANS OF BLISS: TALES OF ADDICTION HORROR

First, a Starred Review by The Library Journal, calling the work a "triumphant conclusion" to the trio of addiction horror anthologies and a "must add to all collections"

This was followed by a Starred Review from Booklist—their full review coming in their April 15th issue. I've seen it, and some very glowing praise.

Publication date is 5/4/22.  Digital presale price is $5.99. Paperback is $14.99

Preorder available now on all major retailers including:  


Amazon / Indie Bound /

Barnes & Noble Paperback / Barnes & Noble Nook /

Apple Books / Kobo








 

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

25 Kindle Copies of ORPHANS OF BLISS: TALES OF ADDICTION HORROR

 

Check it out! FREE copies! Wicked Run Press is giving away 25 kindle copies of ORPHANS OF BLISS: TALES OF ADDICTION HORROR to the first 25 readers who email proof of purchase of any title from one of the authors on the TOC to WickedRunPress@gmail. Put "Orphans" in the subject line. You'll receive a voucher for a free download on publication day, 5/4/22
Date of purchase can be anytime within the past 6 months.
(Must have an Amazon account, and sorry—US Only)


In order of the Orphans of Bliss table of contents

Celebrate St Patrick's Day early with this incredibly gifted horror writer who has the lead story in all three addiction horror anthologies:

If you've not read his unique, powerful voice that has put him on the New York Times Best Selling list, then run, don't walk and read Blacktop Wasteland or Razorblade Tears from


Their prose is beautiful and certainly shines with an amazing tone of darkness in Nothing But Blackened Teeth, which has been nominated for a Bram Stoker Award!



He's been the backbone for the Addiction Horror anthologies and a master of the short.  Dark Stars, his anthology with TorNightFire, goes on sale soon, so Preorder now. Check out  JOHN FD TAFF

Her debut fiction collection won the Indie Horror Book Award for Best Debut Collection, and her story in Orphans of Bliss is simply one of the best stories of the series. Check out: CHRISTA CARMEN


Author of Coyote Songs, Gabino was nominated for a Bram Stoker award for his work in Lullabies for Suffering. In Orphans of Blliss, he's created a dystopian world where a drug called Gravedust impacts the most disenfranchised. Check out:


Splatterpunk Award-winning author of the novel True Crime which took readers by storm, and a magnificent new release, WAIF. Check out works by:


New York Times Best Selling writer of Bird Box, Malorie and Goblin. His story in Orphans of Bliss is a King Midas type tale for those who can never seem to drink enough. 



Author of the legendary novel, The Cipher. Koja's short, mystical, piece in Orphans of Bliss captures the obsessive nature of addiction in her trademark style. 



*Purchases from the Editor are eligible too! including Lullabies for Suffering or The Hobgoblin of Little Minds



Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Presale Announcement — Orphans of Bliss: Tales of Addiction Horror

Check out the cover for: 
ORPHANS OF BLISS: TALES OF ADDICTION HORROR
cover art created by Marcela Bolivar


Fiction inside by: 

Kealan Patrick Burke. / S.A. Cosby  / Cassandra Khaw  / John FD Taff / Christa Carmen

Gabino Iglesias / Samantha Kolesnik  / Josh Malerman / Kathe Koja /  Mark Matthews

This is the third and final fix of addiction horror and the follow up to the Shirley Jackson Award Finalist, Lullabies For Suffering. A diverse table of contents brought together for an explosive grand finale–an unflinching look at the insidious nature of addiction, told with searing honesty but compassion for those who suffer.

Publication date is 5/4/22.  Digital presale price is $5.99. Paperback is $14.99

Available on all major retailers including:  

Amazon / Indie Bound /

Barnes & Noble Paperback / Barnes & Noble Nook /

Apple Books / Kobo








Saturday, February 5, 2022

Orphans of Bliss Presale and Cover Reveal: Coming 3/2/22

Less than 30 days away until the presale and cover reveal of 

ORPHANS OF BLISS: TALES OF ADDICTION HORROR




Sunday, October 10, 2021

Check out the Afterword in The Hobgoblin of Little Minds

"You have to read the afterword," is feedback I've received enough times, that it only felt right to post it here. Check it out, just a short discussion on the setting of this work and the nature of mental health treatment, horror fiction, and Werewolves.


The Hobgoblin of Little Minds

Who actually reads the afterword? Why, you do! That’s who, and thank you for doing so. The content from this novel begs a brief discussion. A few points of clarity regarding psychotropic medications, bipolar disorder, and a note on the setting.

I wrote The Hobgoblin of Little Minds with the perpetual concern and sensitivity that I could be adding to the burden of those living with mental illness rather than offering empathy and understanding. Similar to my works of addiction horror, there was a risk of stigmatizing those impacted by the disorder, versus shining a light into their lives. I sought out beta readers to gauge the tone and representation, and found, as I hoped, that the message was received as intended. Of course, this will not be true for all readers, but fiction should be dangerous or nothing at all. One of those dangers is that I perhaps missed one crucial message: 

Medications and psychiatric treatment saves lives. Doctors do care.

I believe in mental health treatment. I believe in talk therapy and psychotropic medications. I believe medications work and have witnessed the life-improvement that can come from finely tuned medications. 

All of the above is true, but not always true, and not true enough of the time. Too often we minimize the consumer’s experience and the side effects of medications. We want others to take the medications for our own purposes, and disregard the full spectrum of their impact. Those who take psychotropic meds often feel they are losing themselves even as the devastating symptoms are alleviated. It can feel like you are losing your gifts and what makes you unique. Rather than seen as an act of self-care, to take medications can cause feelings of inferiority—like evidence that you are not capable to direct your own life. Even when medications are at their most effective, it can feel dehumanizing to need them in order to not decompensate. To cease medications can feel an act of bravery, and as much as that’s a false belief, we need to understand that rather than demonize it. 

Innovations like peer supports in community mental health and patients’ bill of rights help create a more dignifying course of treatment. Research into the role of the gut in the treatment of depression and anxiety and non-invasive treatment such as Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) are exciting new trends.

Medications work so differently for each person that at times it seems an experiment of one with consequences hard to predict. Very often the conditions targeted are made worse. This happens frequently with Bipolar Disorder where mania is triggered by anti-depressants. 

The symptoms of Bipolar as presented in this novel are certainly of the more extreme in nature, but they are not uncommon in their occurrence. The psychosis, the agitation, the grandiosity, insomnia, hyper-sexuality, tangential thoughts, loose association, engaging frenetically in activities that have painful consequences— all of this is incredibly common. Beyond my twenty years working in behavioral health, before I wrote this work, I read numerous accounts of living with the bipolar in books such as Manic: A Memoir, by Terri Cheney, and Fast Girl: A Life Spent Running from Madness, by Suzy Favor Hamilton. 

So many revered artists and personalities we admire have manic episodes, and there seems a risk when mania itself is romanticized. While it comes with euphoria and an elated mood, it is not a pleasant experience, typically, but a flurry of thought and energy which can’t be satisfied. Any actual productively is marked by something destructive. The often-ensuing depression makes one feel mocked by memories of previous levels of energy.  

The premise of werewolf as a metaphor for these mood swings is a concept that was with me for years, and after I researched the topic, I found I was not alone. 

“When I Became A Werewolf,” (Ohio State University, 2015) a research thesis by Via Laurene Smith speaks to this very topic. In her personal, brave, and fantastic thesis she, “investigates the parallels between depictions of the werewolf and that of bipolar disorder and depression and asks to what extent the werewolf can be used to reflect or even change attitudes towards mental illness.”

Another scholarly article that speaks directly to the topic is, “Folklore perpetuated expression of moon-associated bipolar disorders in anecdotally exaggerated werewolf guise,” published by the University Hospital of Cologne. The article hypothesizes that “Moon-associated signals, recently linked to rapid cycling bipolar disorder, may have triggered extremely rare instances of extreme manic and aggressive behavior that may be compatible with the folklore of the werewolf.”

The article certainly does not conclude that the moon literally causes lycanthropy, but instead suggests: “Rather than ignoring folklore, scientists may want to think what biological roots may manifest in folklore tradition and tales. Such awareness could fuel new insights and benefit causal understanding for individuals and populations in regards to the roots, causes, and significance of health and disease-associated traditions and tales, including the werewolf legend.” 

In other words, the best way to tell the truth sometimes is through a work of horror.

Horror and folklore usually come from truth, just an exaggerated version or as metaphor. Japan really was destroyed by a fire-breathing monster, though atomic bombs, not Godzilla, was the vehicle of the devastating delivery. Townspeople really are terrified of the aristocrat in the castle, even if Vlad Dracula doesn’t change into a bat. And werewolves really do represent a dark, savage part of us. As my professor Eric Rabkin from University of Michigan explained, “Werewolves were often considered the villains in the forest. The Jungian self gone wild.”

I hope this story has added to the legend of werewolves, which in some ways is a forgotten trope and archetype over the last few decades which has seen the rise of vampires first, then zombies second. That is now changing. The moon is full and it’s now the time of the wolf. Look no further than Mongrels, by Stephen Graham Jones. 

A final note about the setting. I’ve done hours of research into Northville Psychiatric Hospital. The place was legendary in my local community. There is verity in how this setting is presented. There were indeed tunnels connecting the various buildings, and the facility does have all the different rooms and capacity as described. It was a designated bomb shelter and asbestos and hazardous waste complicated its demolition. Locals did call the surrounding area “The Evil Woods,” a name derived from The Evil Dead films and created by Michigan native Sam Raimi.

Those who are intimately familiar with the abandoned compound, however, will certainly find something that may not fit—this building doesn’t have this part, or this is not that far from that. I hope you forgive me my minor trespasses. 

The city of Northville built numerous state facilities on their land. I was amazed when I realized that Hawthorne Center, still open and treating adolescents, was built on the same parcel as Northville, under a two mile walk away. I liken it to Helen finding the identical Cabrini Green across the highway in Candyman.  

In this sense, the work is historical horror, and I reached out to Alma Katsu, (Author of The Hunger and current master of historical horror) who suggested I take a tour of the building. That was no longer possible, since the hospital is now demolished, but I have parked at Hawthorne Center in the very spot Kori Driscoe parked her Toyota before walking through the evil woods to Northville Psychiatric. The land between is now developed, but it wasn’t when Kori took her pilgrimages to the dark underground.   

I invite you to take a deeper dive and google “Northville Psychiatric Mlive” or “Northville Tunnels Nailhead” for some powerful images and blogs about the facility.

I do hope something from this work lingers, and that it has both entertained and raised questions. The best afterword is forgettable in contrast to the content it follows and vanishes upon reading. Before these words disappear, I want to sincerely thank you for reading them. 

The Hobgoblin of Little Minds













ORPHANS OF BLISS: TALES OF ADDICTION HORROR is Now Available

ORPHANS OF BLISS: TALES OF ADDICTION HORROR is now available Five years and two weeks after Garden of Fiends was first published, Orphans of...