{Feature} The Small, Indie Press Has Saved Horror By John F.D. Taff

The Small, Indie Press Has Saved Horror

By John F.D. Taff

I’ve been writing for—oh lord jebus has it really been that long?—more than thirty years. Professionally. And by that I mean I’ve been writing for thirty years since I got my first check in the mail for a story. I’ve actually been writing since I was about ten—comic books, little stories for myself and friends. But paid? Yeah, thirty years.

And in those thirty years, I’ve had quite a few sales. Multiple novels and collections, more than 100 and something short stories by last count. Big sales to big publisher collections and little sales to small publications and magazines well out of print by now.

But my career so far has been carried, been buoyed by the small, independent press in the horror genre.

My latest, The Fearing: Blood & Brimstone, is being published by a small press, Saturday Morning Scenarios, run by one guy, Matthew Corley. My original novel The Fearing was published by Grey Matter Press, a small operation run basically by one guy. Most of my work has appeared in books published by companies run by a single person with a little cash and a great love for the genre.

Horror in the big press comes and goes. It cycles, sometimes hot, sometimes cold. For a while there in the ‘80s it was white-hot, and we got a slew of authors. Then in the ‘90s, it cooled off. Lately, it’s seen a resurgence, both in print and other media—The Haunting of Hill House, Lovecraft Country, Bird Box, Us and dozens of other films and shows. In print, a lot of that explosion has been shouldered by the small press.

Sure, there are Paul Tremblay, Alma Katsu, Josh Malerman and the like. Probably more horror stars in the big press than there have ever been at one time. But look at the indie press. It’s an entire night’s sky firmament of hot authors, like Samantha Kolesnik and Gabino Iglesias, like Chad Lutzke and V. Castro, like Gemma Amor and Andrew Cull…and the list goes on and on and on.

It’s often said that we’re in a Golden Age of Horror, and we are. It’s a literal embarrassment of riches out there. Readers’ TBRs totter on their nightstands. Bookshelves groan under the weight of the fantastic books being released by the indie press.

But for this to continue, you have to support it, support indie presses like Word Horde and Cutting Block and Crystal Lake and Bleeding Edge and Grey Matter and, of course, Saturday Morning Scenarios And more. Find the authors you like and support the presses that publish them.

You might think that me writing something like this, taking up Gavin’s and your time here at Kendall Reviews, is pretty self-serving. And you’d be 100% right. Damn straight. This is my livelihood, and of course, I’m going to full-throatedly support it. But let’s be honest here. I’m also full-throatedly supporting myself as a reader of the horror genre. Absolutely I want to continue to read Stephen Graham Jones and Caroline Kepnes and all the rest of the writers in the bigger pool of the big press. But, Jebus, I also want to read Todd Keisling and Rena Mason and Brian Kirk and J. Daniel Stone and others.

And the indie press is there to make sure that I do.

Something like The Fearing: Blood & Brimstone could only happen if a company like Saturday Morning Scenarios was around to bring it to market. And trust me, Matt has other plans…big plans. Plan you don’t want to miss. That’s why your support is so important.

Me? I’ll go on sitting in my office with my pugs, banging things out on my laptop. But give your support to Matt so he can continue to work with other authors and bring you, the reader, more quality horror literature.

The deadline for Matt’s Kickstarter for The Fearing: Blood & Brimstone ends Oct. 9th. You can support it HERE or click the image below. This project is so close to being funded so your support would be greatly appreciated.


The Fearing: Blood & Brimstone

Imagine that within the vast collective unconscious there is a receptacle, a bowl that holds all of the fears that humanity has accumulated over the centuries. Every single thing a human has ever been afraid of. All collected, drip by drip through millennia.

Imagine that this bowl has filled, that it must empty so it can reset itself. Now imagine that all fears, everything from the most commonly shared fears to the most deeply personal are released onto the earth, all at the same time. The chaos, the apocalypse caused by this is The Fearing.

The Fearing: Blood & Brimstone takes place firmly in the timeline of the complete novel. It tells the story of Timothy Jacoby and Tam Washington, two of the novel’s primary antagonists, who show up in Books Three and Four. It expands and deepens their stories, and the novel as a whole.

This book will be available in hardcover, softcover and digital through a Kickstarter campaign beginning Sept. 15 via Saturday Morning Scenarios. Books will ship before Thanksgiving.

You can support this project by visiting HERE

John F.D. Taff

You can find out more about John by visiting his official website www.johnfdtaff.com

You can follow John on Twitter @johnfdtaff


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