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Details, details…

With all the media attention this project has been getting, I’ve been fielding questions from out of state about where to buy the book. The best place is from the publisher’s website: www.nhbooksellers.com. The other question I’m getting is “When are you going to publish those unused horror stories online like you promised? Huh? When?” I reply with the eternal status line of the dread Cthulhu’s Facebook site: “The stars aren’t right yet…. but soon…. soon.”

Glowing with pale green phosphorescence, individual units of “Live Free or Undead” will be delivered in tightly packed cardboard boxes, pages still warm and moist from the Hyperborian presses, to a secure, labyrinthine warehouse on Oct. 14. Like viral cells, the books will then begin to stream through the semi-permeable membrane of the vast gelatinous network of independent bookstores to the gaping maws of the slavering reading public. And what is the soundtrack of this dark digestive ballet? It is the borborygmos of human voices, intoning aloud the spells and chants contained within the literary bowels of this granitic grimoire.

Enticed?

Here’s a list of opportunities to listen in on the authorial readings of stories from Live Free or Undead. If you know of some bookstore or other public venue that would welcome the Undead into their midst, let us know. The readers stand by, ready to spread their contagion to unsuspecting ears.

VENUES, READERS AND STORIES

RiverRun October 20, 7 p.m.
http://www.riverrunbookstore.com

Trevor Bartlett: A Lot Like Life

J. Zachary Pike: The Spiral

Ernesto Burden: Live Free or Undead

Jeffrey DeRego: Lillies for Donald

Joyce Wagner: Acalia

Concord Literary Festival – Oct. 22 – Barley House – 5-7 p.m.
http://www.nhwritersproject.org, http://www.thebarleyhouse.com

Becky Rule: The Haze

James Patrick Kelly: The Waiting Room

Brendan Dubois: Uneasy Lies the Head

Ernesto Burden: Live Free or Undead

David O’Keefe: Wonders in the Woods

Kristopher Seavey: Little Ones

Elaine Isaak: Memento Mori

Jason Allard: Love in the Time of Zombies

Double Midnight Comics, Manchester, Oct. 27, 7 p.m.
(note: there will also be a zombie costume contest with prizes!)
http://www.dmcomics.com

Ernesto Burden: Live Free or Undead

Catie Jarvis: Deer Island

Jeffrey DeRego: Lillies for Donald

Gregory L. Norris: Road Rage

Rye Public Library – Oct. 27, 7 p.m.
581 Washington St., Rye

Brendan DuBois: Uneasy Lies the Head

Michael DeLuca: Misty Rain

Elaine Isaak: Memento Mori

Andy Richmond: Epitaph

Kimball-Jenkins Estate, Concord, Oct. 29 and 30
http://www.kimballjenkins.com

Becky Rule: The Haze

David Elliott: Couple Voted Most Likely to Stay Together

Toadstool Books, Peterborough, Oct. 30, 11:00 a.m.

http://www.toadbooks.com

Joyce Wagner: Acalia

Kristopher Seavey: Little Ones

Lorrie Lee O’Neill: Mairzy Doats

Toadstool Books, Milford, Oct. 30, 7 p.m.

http://www.toadbooks.com

David O’Keefe: Wonders in the Woods

Gregory Norris: Road Rage

David Elliott: The Couple Voted Most Likely to Stay Together

Jason Allard: Love in the Time of Zombies

Lorrie Lee O’Neill: Mairzy Doats

Local Horror is Invading New Hampshire Bookstores this Halloween

An anthology of short fiction in a horror vein written by local authors and set in the familiar locations of New Hampshire will appear in bookstores just in time for Halloween. “Live Free or Undead: Dark Tales from the Granite State” is being released by Plaidswede Publishing of Concord and should be available across the state by Oct. 14. The book presents 20 spine-tingling tales, some by first-time writers and some by such well-known New Hampshire authors as Rebecca Rule, Brendan Dubois, David Elliott and Hugo Award winner James Patrick Kelly. The book cover is illustrated by Dover artist Marc Sutherland and the whole project was edited by New Hampshire Magazine Editor Rick Broussard.

Last fall, word about the project was spread via the NH Writers Project and various online sites for authors of fiction. Broussard says he expected a good response, but he was surprised by the quantity — nearly 170 submission came in from eager authors — and the quality. “I could easily have filled three or four books with great stories,” he says.

“New Hampshire has always been home to some amazing writers,” says Broussard, “but there are fewer places for them to get started or to see their work in print.” To turn that trend around, Broussard came up with a concept that would connect local writers with local fans of genre fiction. “Live Free or Undead” is just the first volume in the “New Hampshire Pulp Fiction Series” of books that will use the state as a backdrop for action-packed storytelling and as an inspiration for new writing talent. The next volume, tentatively titled “Live Free or DIE, DIE, DIE,” will feature stories in the genre of murder and mystery, also set in New Hampshire.

In spite of the trend towards electronic media, “the book is still has great power and elegance,” says Broussard. “It’s the place where and writer can connect with a reader personally and tangibly.” He says he wanted to work with Plaidswede because of their ability to produce books that “really look great.”

“The writers who have been picked, both newbies and seasoned pros, are incredibly excited to have one of their stories appear in a book. I wanted to be sure that the book they were in was a thing of beauty,” says Broussard.

Even if the cover is a picture of brain-eating zombies.

No Turning Back…

The galleys for Live Free or Undead are prepared and heading off to the printer, so for better or worse (I predict better) the book is on its way to moving from concept to reality. Here’s the cover, with art by the brilliant Marc Sutherland and with all the author’s names embedded. There are readings planned for locations all over the state leading up to Halloween. I’ll post a list soon.

Dear NH Pulp Fiction Contributors:

Chances are you have already heard the news, good or bad regarding the selections I’ve made for the Live Free or Undead horror anthology. I’ve just written to the 20 authors whose stories were chosen and I’ve been leaving a trail of death and devastation among the rest of the contributors by sending out notices in sorties over the past few weeks. If you haven’t heard from me, the chances are your story was not accepted and I just either lost or garbled your contact information. Feel free to write me and ask if you haven’t heard, but don’t get your hopes up.

The incredible number and generally high quality of stories I received for “Live Free or Undead” condemned many fine efforts to be  cast into the outer darkness.

A number of people have written to ask for critiques of their work to better conceive any future submissions. As soon as I have time, I’ll honor those requests to the best of my ability. I had to make my choices based upon my goal to have a number of styles and subject matter and even locales reflected in the final book, so in many cases there was no real “critique.” Just an editorial gut reaction determined to make the best book that I could.

There will be a web site component of Live Free or Undead and the NH Pulp Fiction series and if you are interested in having your story included on that site, let me know. There won’t be any payment for this, but I’ll have profiles on each of the participating writers and links to their own sites, blogs, etc.

Finally, this is the first edition of the series, and I hope you’ll consider submitting other stories to future volumes. Next in line will be a mystery anthology (title in development) and I’ll be seeking stories for that as soon as I have this book sent off to the publisher in late July. This winter, I hope to get the word out for the science fiction edition and then, most likely, historical romance.

So the good news is that Live Free or Undead is alive (it’s Alive!), and judging by the interest generated so far, should be a great start to the NH Pulp Fiction series.

I’ll keep posting here from time to time to keep everyone posted on progress.

Thanks for your patience and for your great stories.

Rick Broussard, Editor

The Endgame

It’s been a long, fascinating and somewhat disturbing process going through all the submissions to “Live Free or Undead” and I’m at least a couple of weeks behind schedule, but for anyone checking here to see what, if anything, has been decided, the end is in sight.

I received about 170 stories, many quite good, some excellent, all readable and lively. It’s going to be hard to narrow the list to 20 and that’s my task at present.

I’ll send out a notice soon to all that I’m sure didn’t make the cut and those that are still under consideration will have to wait a little longer.

Either way, thanks for your participation and your patience.

Rick

Scare me. I dare you.

I’m the editor of New Hampshire Magazine which specializes in local non-fiction, but whether true to life or pure imagination, I love a good story.

Unfortunately, the short story, the basic unit of fiction, is in trouble. Many magazines that once published short fiction and inspired generations of new fans and writers have abandoned the form. Those specializing in such stories have grown rare.

But people who love to read and who enjoy a good novel can also remember the pleasure that comes from a crisp and curious collection of short stories. What other medium immerses readers in a three-dimensional world, strangely familiar or perhaps just strange, inhabited with living, breathing characters, and subjects them to outlandish twists of fate all in the course of an hour or less?

That experience will be revived in a series of anthologies under the banner New Hampshire Pulp Fiction, eventually covering all the classic topics of fiction in its most compelling form and with each story rooted in the familiar locales of our state. The first in the series will tackle the horror genre. Titled “Live Free or Undead: Dark Tales from the Granite State,” the book will be produced by the excellent designers and printers of Plaidswede Publishing, my collaborators in creating in the New Hampshire Pulp Fiction series.

The book is scheduled for release in the fall of 2010, but I’m currently soliciting submissions for consideration. Stories submitted should be between 1,000 and 8,000 words. Longer manuscripts will be considered but please query first. Send completed works to the address below.

The horror genre is broad, encompassing everything from the headless Victorian ghosts of Gothic parlor tales to the bloody metaphysical terror of contemporary authors like Stephen King.  Stories appearing in “Live Free or Undead” can reflect this same range. Tales can be set in the past or the future, the deep woods or the busy cities, but all must be established recognizably within the boundaries of New Hampshire. We’re looking for stories that offer a sense of place as well as a sense of fear.

Complete manuscripts are welcome and previously published works or adapted works will be considered. In this process we hope to provide an outlet for some of the region’s best writers, to discover new talent, and to create a book that will terrify and delight readers for years to come.

A contract specifying terms of agreement is available upon query. Contact me at nhpulpfiction@gmail.com for details.

I look forward to hearing from you.

-Rick Broussard