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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.

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