Springer Mountain Press Launches Summer Slasher Horror Anthology Vol. I. Read my Interview with Publisher, Clay Anderson, Launch Party Details, and much more

Taylor Knecht – Cover Artist

DM: You opened a bookstore, Bear Book Market, you’re a full-time college professor, you started a publishing company, Springer Mountain Press, you recently published your own book, The Palms. Are you possessed? Joking aside, will you talk to me about what compelled you to publish a horror anthology?

CA: I’ve always been a fan of horror writing. In middle school my parents let me pick out any book I wanted and I chose Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot; I was obsessed from that moment on. Also, I really enjoy reading horror anthologies, because it’s a great opportunity to read some of the new voices in horror. Often the writers I enjoy reading go on to publish books or anthologies of their own. I like to be on the cutting edge and know who these future writers of horror are.

DM: You write both literary fiction and Grit Lit. What drew you to the horror genre?

CA: I love reading Grit Lit because the darkness is what I’m drawn to. The same can be said of horror. I’m reminded of a Stephen King quote, “we make up horrors to help us cope with real ones.” That’s my philosophy when reading horror. I can turn off the news and be comforted with a horror novel that allows me to have a form of dark escapism.

DM: I’m always interested in placement in anthologies. How did you decide on where to place each piece? What was your strategy?

CA: There really was no strategy outside of putting Bonnie’s poem in the middle of the anthology to break it up and Alyssa’s story scared me most, so she went first. After that, we divvied up the stories based on length. Really, no one story was better than the next so it was simple to place the pieces.

DM: Springer Mountain Press is a newer publisher, but already doing great things for Southern writers and writers in general. Was it challenging getting contributors?

CA: No, it wasn’t hard to get contributors. Thankfully I’ve have a good network of authors to get contributions from, especially with my connection with Reinhardt University. A good portion of the submissions were from my fellow RU Alumni. The MFA program is really strong and produces fantastic authors. So, it was very simple to ask and receive contributions.

DM: Is Springer Mountain Press open to horror submissions outside of the anthology? Meaning, are you open to publishing horror novels, short story collections, or novellas by a single author?

CA: Fantastic Question!!!! Yes, we are open to publish horror novels, short story collections, or novellas by a single author. Again, I love everything horror. So, yes, if you are reading this and are a horror author, please submit to submissions@springermountainpress.com.

DM: The cover expletive, expletive rocks! It’s brilliant. Who is the artist? Will you chat about collaborating on coming up with the slasher image?

CA: I love this question! Yes, so Springer Mountain Press employs a graphic designer named Taylor Knecht (Instagram @knecht.the.dots). She worked with us last Spring as an intern and graduated with a degree in graphic design from the University of North Georgia. I loved her work so much that I’ve employed her at the press to be our in-house cover designer. The psycho on the cover was all her idea. He’s going to be our mascot for all of our horror anthologies!

DM: Should we expect another Slasher Anthology? If so, what’s the theme and where can all my horror writing buddies contribute?

CA: Yes, you can! Follow all of our social media accounts to stay up to date on our call for submissions. Right now, we at SMP are going to publish two horror anthologies a year. This next summer we will publish Summer Slasher Horror Anthology Vol. 2. Also, and most exciting, is that we will be publishing A Christmas Horror Story Anthology Vol. 1 this December. So, please stay on the lookout for the call for submissions, and think about writing your winter holiday themed horror stories. And our psycho will make a repeat appearance on all our horror anthologies, so stay tuned!!!!

TO PURCHASE YOUR COPY of Springer Mountain Press Summer Slasher Horror Anthology Vol. 1 visit Bear Book Market, or KINDLE UNLIMTED MEMBERS, download for FREE: Download Summer Slasher Horror Anthology Vol I.

EVENTS: AUGUST 21st 6:00 – 7:00 PM AT BEAR BOOK MARKET IN Dahlonega, GA: Come celebrate the anthology launch, hear one of the contributors (you got it, ME!) read, and meet the cover artist Taylor Knecht. Refreshments will be served. DIRECTIONS

MORE ON CLAY ANDERSON:


I am an Assistant Professor of History at Reinhardt University where I’m also the Director of the Center for Student Success. In 2019, I opened up a New and Used book store in Dahlonega, Georgia named Bear Book Market. In 2020 we were voted Best Book Store. After I received my MFA in Creative Writing in 2020, I created an Independent Publishing Company called Springer Mountain Press. We are a small press but growing. We have three really amazing books coming out in the Fall: The Bystanders by (the extremely talented) Dawn Major, a short story collection by Scott Gould titled, Idiot Men, and a (currently) untitled collection of prose by the late great William Gay. When not working on those many things, I enjoy reading and watching all things horror. My favorite genre are 1980s campy slasher movies – hence the Summer Slasher Horror Anthology – such as Sleep Away Camp, Friday the 13th, Madman, The Burning, and Don’t Go in the Woods Alone.

SUBMIT YOUR HORROR NOVEL, NOVELLA, SHORT STORY COLLECTION TO: SPRINGER MOUNTAIN PRESS if you dare!

TO FOLLOW SPRINGER MOUNTAIN PRESS:

Facebook: @springermountainpress; Instagram: @springermountainpress; Twitter: @SpringerMtPress

William Gay’s Last Novel: Fugitives of the Heart Available Now and Much More!

If you a are fan of William Gay, you do not want to miss this post. William Gay’s last posthumous novel, Fugitives of the Heart, was released by Livingston Press this summer and Signed First Editions are Available on a Limited Basis through Alabama Booksmith. Also, don’t miss my review of Fugitives of the Heart and my Interview with J. Michael White about the novel. Watch the Author Spotlight with Sonny Brewer, J. Michael White, and Jake Reiss where they discuss how the novel came to be. There’s some exciting Upcoming Events as well. Read on!

Author Spotlight Alabama Booksmith Owner, Jake Reiss, and guest speakers, Sonny Brewer, and Michael White

AVAILABLE ON A LIMITED BASIS, HARDCOVER FIRST EDITION COPIES OF FUGITIVES OF THE HEART SIGNED BY SONNY BREWER AND J. MICHAEL WHITE AT: ALABAMA BOOKSMITH

FUGITIVES OF THE HEART BY WILLIAM GAY, reviewed by Dawn Major

Young protagonist Marian Yates doesn’t have much of a chance with the parents he’s been allotted in life. His dad is killed for poaching and his mom is an ailing prostitute and is anything but maternal. She eventually departs the world, leaving Yates orphaned and homeless in rural Tennessee. Yates is a sneakthief, a scavenger, a wanderer, but he’s also a deep thinker and attuned to nature. He’s more at home in the Harrikin than in a warm bed with a roof over his head. Yates loves Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which was Gay’s inspiration for this novel. He spends a short time with the Widow Paiton, who introduces him to Twain. Yates, so compelled by the Twain’s words and the adventures, he sneaks in during the day, devouring chapters that had been denied him at night: he read about “Jim and Huck in the flux on the sun-rimpled Mississippi. He could almost smell the hot torpor of the river, seeing the country sliding past, until he was hopelessly snared by Twain.” These passages truly make you see Yates for the innocent he is, despite being thrown into a den of wolves.

Yates’s prized possession is a pocketknife that his friend Black Crowe helped him acquire from Dow Cook’s general store. This negotiation is the inciting incident. Gay followed Anton Chekhov’s theory—essentially, if you write a gun into the first act of a play, it must be fired in the second act. Of course, in Fugitives of the Heart the gun is replaced with a pocketknife. Yates is in love with a girl out of his league who has a bootlegging granny who despises him. Every day is an adventure from hopping box cars heading to Ackerman’s Field to catch the circus, sneaking under the cover of night to beat up the antagonist, Swain, who’s been visiting his mother’s bed, surviving a road trip with a mad iceman (some will recognize the short story, “The Iceman,” which is part of this novel), to saving Black Crowe from a lynch mob and ultimately facing one of life’s toughest lessons—betrayal. TO READ REVIEW IN ITS ENTIRETY VISIT: SOUTHERN LITERARY REIVEW

DAWN MAJOR INTERVIEWS J. MICHAEL WHITE ABOUT WILLIAM GAY’S FUGITIVES OF THE HEART

WILLIAM GAY WITH J. MICHAEL WHITE

DM: Michael, I appreciate you doing this interview about William Gay’s last novel, Fugitives of the Heart. Gay describes this book as “a boy’s coming-of-age in a dying iron ore community of Depression era Tennessee,” and says that he was inspired by Mark Twain’s classic, Huckleberry Finn. What are a few similarities between Huckleberry Finn and Fugitives of the Heart?

JMW: William was a life-long fan of Mark Twain. When he was a kid, they had a small library in the school and he loved to go there and he once asked the librarian how much she had to pay for the privilege of working in the library! Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer were readily accessible to him as a school boy and he devoured them. He loved Huck more than Tom and read both books over and over. They were country kids like himself and the books were set in the country and sparked his imagination like nothing had before. In his career as a writer he wrote a book in every genre that he loved to read so doing a homage to Twain had to be part of his oeuvre. The main character, Marion Yates, like Huck, is in his early teens growing up without either of his parents and no home to call his own. His only friend is a black man everyone called Black Crowe. There are scenes set by the Tennessee River and in the end of the book you end up in a cave. William was not one to copy other writers, but this book echoes Twain in many ways, all done in William’s own unique style. TO READ INTERVIEW IN ITS ENTIRETY VISIT: SOUTHERN LITERARY REVIEW

UPCOMING EVENTS: SOUTHERN FESTIVAL OF BOOKS, 33RD ANNUAL EVENT IN NASHVILLE, TN WILL FEATURE A PANEL DEDICATED TO WILLIAM GAY FEATURING RICK BRAGG, SONNY BREWER, TOM FRANKLIN, SUAZANNE KINGSBURY, RON RASH, AND J. MICHAEL WHITE ON OCTOBER 9-10, 2021. EXACT TIMES TO BE ANNOUNCED.