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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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