“Loving You Darkly”


Art  for “Loving You Darkly” by Brian Demers.

I’m delighted to announce that my short story “Loving You Darkly” has made the  Short Fiction preliminary ballot for the Bram Stoker Awards.  This means that it was chosen along with nine other short stories, and there will be a vote by Horror Writer Association members. Five stories will be chosen for the final ballot, and a winner will eventually be picked.

It’s crazy because we don’t write for awards, but it feels really good to be validated by our peers. Thank you to everyone who took the time and effort to read our works and vote. I know it isn’t an easy process.

“Loving You Darkly” was published by Tethered by Letters in their F(r)iction Magazine and can be read online here. I’m particularly proud of this story and of the journey that editor D.M. Hedlund and I went on to make this story as strong as it could be. It’s a timely tale about love, revenge, and justice when your life collapses.

There are some amazing works on the ballot, and here it is. Hopefully you can find some new works to fall in love with this year!

Superior Achievement in a Novel

Barker, J.D. – The Fourth Monkey (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Golden, Christopher – Ararat (St. Martin’s Press)

Jemc, Jac – The Grip of It (FSG Originals)

King, Stephen and King, Owen – Sleeping Beauties (Scribner)

Malerman, Josh – Black Mad Wheel (Ecco)

McGrath, Patrick – The Wardrobe Mistress (Hutchinson)

Miskowski, S.P. – I Wish I Was Like You (JournalStone)

Nevill, Adam – Under a Watchful Eye (Pan Macmillan)

Rabarts, Dan and Murray, Lee – Hounds of the Underworld (Raw Dog Screaming Press)

Purcell, Laura – The Silent Companions: A Ghost Story (Raven Books)

Tem, Steve Rasnic – Ubo (Solaris)


Superior Achievement in a First Novel

Cabeen, Robert Payne – Cold Cuts (Omnium Gatherum Media)

Davidson, Andy – In the Valley of the Sun (Skyhorse Publishing)

Hartwell, Ash – Tip of the Iceberg (Stitched Smile Publications)

Hayward, Matt – What do Monsters Fear? (Post Mortem Press)

Hepler, Jeremy – The Boulevard Monster (Bloodshot Books)

Rosson, Keith – The Mercy of the Tide (Meerkat Press)

Thomas, Scott – Kill Creek (Ink Shares)


Superior Achievement in a Young Adult Novel

French, Gillian – The Door to January (Islandport Press)

Leveen, Tom – Hellworld (Simon Pulse)

Liggett, Kim – The Last Harvest (Tor Teen)

Lukavics, Amy – The Ravenous (Harlequin Teen)

Porter, Sarah – When I Cast Your Shadow (Tor Teen)


Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel

Carey, Mike and Arvind, Ethan David – Darkness Visible (IDW)

Duffey, Damian and Butler, Octavia E. – Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation (Abrams ComicArts)

Ferris, Emil – My Favorite Thing is Monsters (Fantagraphics)

Haun, Jeremy and Hurley, Jason – The Beauty Volume 3 (Image Comics)

Hickman, Jonathan – The Black Monday Murders (Image Comics)

Liu, Marjorie – Monstress Volume 2: The Blood (Image Comics)


Superior Achievement in Long Fiction

Baxter, Alan – The Book Club (PS Publishing)

Deady, Tom – Weekend Getaway (Grinning Skull Press)

Edelman, Scott – Faking it Until Forever Comes (Liars, Fakers, and the Dead Who Eat Them) (Written Backwards)

Jones, Stephen Graham – Mapping the Interior (Tor.com)

Keisling, Todd – The Final Reconciliation (Crystal Lake Publishing)

Kiernan, Caitlín R. – Agents of Dreamland (Tor.com)

McGuire, Seanan – Down Among the Sticks and Bones (Tor.com)

Taylor, Lucy – Sweetlings (Tor.com)

Vandermeer, Jeff – The Strange Bird: A Borne Story (MCD x FSG Originals)

Waggoner, Tim – A Kiss of Thorns (DarkFuse)


Superior Achievement in Short Fiction

Bailey, Michael – “I Will Be the Reflection Until the End” (Tales from the Lake Vol. 4) (Crystal Lake Publishing)

Bodner, Hal – “The Baker of Millepoix” (Behold!: Oddities, Curiosities & Undefinable Wonders) (Crystal Lake Publishing)

Chambers, James – “A Song Left Behind in the Aztakea Hills” (Shadows Over Main Street, Volume 2) (Cutting Block Books)

Fawver, Kurt – “Etch the Unthinkable” (Gamut #1) (Gamut Magazine)

Lombardi, Nicola – “Even the Stars Fall” (The Beauty of Death Vol. 2: Death by Water) (Independent Legions Publishing)

Mannetti, Lisa – “Apocalypse Then” (Never Fear: The Apocalypse) (13Thirty Books)

Marceau, Caitlin – “No Filter” (Read-Only: A Collection of Digital Horror) (WatchMojo Publishing)

Neugebauer, Annie – “So Sings the Siren” (Apex Magazine #101) (Apex Publications)

Rourke, Naomi Brett – “Coyote” (Straight Outta Tombstone) (Baen)

Taff, John F.D. – “A Ware That Will Not Keep” (Behold!: Oddities, Curiosities & Undefinable Wonders) (Crystal Lake Publishing)

Wahl, M.F. – “Absolution” (Feverish Fiction Magazine Issue #6) (Sleazy Viking Press)

Walters, Damien Angelica – “All the Windows, All the Doors” (Chopping Block Party: An Anthology of Suburban Terror) (Necro Publications)

Yardley, Mercedes M. – “Loving you Darkly” (F(r)iction Magazine #8) (Tethered by Letters)


Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection

Cain, Kenneth W. – Embers (Crystal Lake Publishing)

Cataneo, Emily B. – Speaking to the Skull Kings (Trepidatio Publishing)

Dorr, James – Tombs (Elder Signs Press)

Fracassi, Philip – Behold the Void (JournalStone)

Gafford, Sam – The Dreamer in Fire and Other Stories (Hippocampus Press)

Hill, Joe – Strange Weather (William Morrow)

Kiste, Gwendolyn – And Her Smile Will Untether the Universe (JournalStone)

Malerman, Josh – Goblin (Earthling Publications)

Matsuura, Thersa – The Carp-Faced Boy and Other Tales (Independent Legions Publishing)

McGrath, Patrick – Writing Madness (Centipede Press)

Sheldon, Deborah – Perfect Little Stitches and Other Stories (IFWG Publishing Australia)


Superior Achievement in a Screenplay

Aronofsky, Darren – Mother! (Paramount Pictures, Protozoa Pictures)

Del Toro, Guillermo and Taylor, Vanessa – The Shape of Water (TSG Entertainment, Double Dare You Productions)

Duffer, Matt and Duffer, Ross – Stranger Things: MadMax, Episode 02:01: Chapter One (21 Laps Entertainment, Monkey Massacre)

Ducournau, Julia – Raw (Frakas Productions/Petit Film/Rouge International)

Frost, Mark and Lynch, David – Twin Peaks: The Return “Gotta Light?”, Episode 3:08 (Rancho Rosa Partnership Production)

Palmer, Chase, Fukunaga, Cary, and Dauberman, Gary – It (New Line Cinema)

Peele, Jordan – Get Out (Universal Pictures, Blumhouse Productions, QC Entertainment)

Shyamalan, M. Night – Split (Blinding Edge Pictures, Blumhouse Productions)


Superior Achievement in an Anthology

Bailey, Michael and Speegle, Darren – Adam’s Ladder (Written Backwards)

Brooks, Kinitra, PhD., Addison, Linda D., and Morris, Susana, PhD. – Sycorax’s Daughters (Cedar Grove Publishing)

Datlow, Ellen – Black Feathers: Dark Avian Tales: An Anthology (Pegasus Books)

Eads, Ben – Tales from the Lake Vol. 4: The Horror Anthology (Crystal Lake Publishing)

Ferguson, Cin and Campbell, Broos – Mother’s Revenge: A Dark and Bizarre Anthology of Global Proportions (Scary Dairy Press)

Kaheaku, Danielle – California Screamin’ (Barking Deer Press)

Maberry, Jonathan and Romero, George A. – Nights of the Living Dead: An Anthology (St. Martin’s Griffin)

Manzetti, Alessandro and Lester, Jodi Renee – The Beauty of Death Vol. 2: Death by Water (Independent Legions Publishing)

Matthews, Mark – Garden of Fiends: Tales of Addiction Horror (Wicked Run Press)

Murano, Doug – Behold!: Oddities, Curiosities & Undefinable Wonders (Crystal Lake Publishing)

Price, David – Northern Frights: An Anthology by the Horror Writers of Maine (Grinning Skull Press)


Superior Achievement in Non-Fiction

Brittany, Michele – Horror in Space: Critical Essays on a Film Subgenre (McFarland)

Brooks, Kinitra D. – Searching for Sycorax: Black Women’s Hauntings of Contemporary Horror (Rutgers University Press)

Cardin, Matt – Horror Literature through History: An Encyclopedia of the Stories That Speak to Our Deepest Fears (Greenwood) 

Hendrix, Grady. Paperbacks from Hell: The Twisted History of ‘70s and ‘80s Horror Fiction (Quirk Books)

Jones, Stephen – The Art of Horror Movies: An Illustrated History (Applause Theatre & Cinema Books; Ill edition)

Mynhardt, Joe and Johnson, Eugene – Where Nightmares Come From: The Art of Storytelling in the Horror Genre – (Crystal Lake Publishing)

Rhoads, Loren – 199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die (Black Dog & Leventhal)


Superior Achievement in a Poetry Collection

Bolivar, Adam – The Lay of Old Hex: Spectral Ballads and Weird Jack Tales (Hippocampus Press)

Fantina, Michael – Alchemy of Dreams and Other Poems (Hippocampus Press)

Frazier, Robert and Boston, Bruce – Visions of the Mutant Rain Forest (Crystal Lake Publishing)

Hanson, Michael H. – When the Night Owl Screams (MoonDream Press)

Manzetti, Alessandro – No Mercy (Crystal Lake Publishing)

Ness, Mari – Through Immortal Shadows Singing (Papaveria Press)

Razvi, Saba – Heliophobia (Finishing Line Press)

Simon, Marge and Turzillo, Mary – Satan’s Sweethearts (Weasel Press)

Sng, Christina – A Collection of Nightmares (Raw Dog Screaming Press)

Weikel, Cynthia O’Quinn – Return to Graveyard Dust (Goose River Press)

Wytovich, Stephanie M. – Sheet Music to my Acoustic Nightmare (Raw Dog Screaming Press)


Eeee! Stokercon 2017!

It’s going to be so much fun. I’ll be hanging with dear friends and the Gamut staff down at the Queen Mary on Long Beach.

Will you be there? Let’s meet up! Here is my schedule:

Thu, April 27, 3pm – 4pm
Librarians’ Day Building Diverse Horror Collections
Description: International horror, horror written by women, horror about people of color. Learn how to seek out titles and authors that will make your horror collections more complete. Moderator: Mercedes M. Yardley  Panelists: Lauren Candia, Becky Spratford, Erwin Magbanua 


Fri, April 28, 10am – 11am
Mini Mass Signing
Description: Elizabeth Hand / Chuck Wendig / F Paul Wilson / Bill Bridges / Kate Jonez / Brent Kelley / Johnny Worthen / Ian Welke / Nathan Carson / Michael Paul Gonzalez / Mercedes M. Yardley / Richard Thomas / C.A. Suleiman / Tom Monteleone
Fri, April 28, 6pm – 8pm
Shades and Shadows Reading 
I won’t be reading, but simply attending.
Description: Shades & Shadows, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that seeks to increase the visibility of speculative literature in Los Angeles and beyond. Join hosts Lauren Candia and Xach Fromson for readings from a superb lineup of authors.
Sat, April 29, 11am – 12pm
Publishing Via Crowd Sourcing and Expanding the Definition of Horror
Description: Moderator: Matt Betts Panelists: Richard Thomas, Mercedes M. Yardley, Dino Parenti
Sat, April 29, 3pm – 5pm
Pitch Session (I will be taking pitches for Gamut Magazine)
Description: Pitch sessions at StokerCon 2017 are an excellent way to get your work in front of industry professionals.
Reading Matthew Kaufman / Mercedes M. Yardley
April 29, 5:00pm – 5:30pm
I will be reading from Detritus in Love.
Thursday night we’ll also have a live broadcast of Awkward Conversations with Geeky Writers, and Amelia and I will be joining from the con! It’s going to be a very cool and busy weekend. I genuinely hope to see you there! I might bring homemade peanut butter cups. Who knows?

Hey. Apocalyptic Montessa is Eligible for SFWA Nebula Consideration. Pass It On.

ImageHer mama always said she was special. His daddy called him a demon. But even monsters can fall in love.

Montessa Tovar is walking home alone when she is abducted by Lu, a serial killer with unusual talents and a grudge against the world. But in time, the victim becomes the executioner as ‘Apocalyptic’ Montessa and her doomed lover, ‘Nuclear’ Lulu, crisscross the country in a bloody firestorm of revenge.

So when I first came up with the title for Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love, I leaned over my table at Panera Bread and said, “This will be the story that gets nominated for a Nebula.” And there was much cheering and rejoicing. (Yay.) I hadn’t written the story yet, of course. I had no idea what it would be. But with a title like that, I felt it couldn’t help but be magic.

However, I’m terrible at this sort of thing. Campaigning and awards. I honestly don’t know how to go about it. I don’t know quite where to submit things and I have difficulty navigating forums and, in this case, the second that Apocalyptic Montessa came out, my attention went to my debut novel, Nameless: The Darkness Comes, which came out three months later. Yay! A novel! Woo, promo! Ahhh, guest posts and blogs and interviews and things that are new and fun and exciting and terrifying and full of wonder. Quite frankly, my friends, I fell down a rabbit hole and I’m just now crawling my way out.

Long story short, I would love for Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love to be considered for the Nebula Awards in the Novella category. It’s received wonderful reviews, it won the Reddit Fantasy Stabby Award for Best Short Fiction of 2013, and it’s genuinely a unique novel. However, I’m still an unknown and I’m new to the fantasy/sci-fi scene. Nominations close in two weeks. Would you help me, dear readers? Just pass the word on so people can at least hear about it? There is a free copy embedded in the Novella category in the Fiction thread at the SFWA forum. If you’re a member of the SFWA, that free copy is available for you to read and nominate, if you wish. If you like it, would you?  I would also love it if somebody would mind suggesting it for the Nebula Reading List. That way more people will at least be exposed to it. I wish this was something I could do myself, but per the rules, I cannot.

If you would like to nominate Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu, the link to do so is here.

I’m a dark horse coming into this race, but I’d love to give it a go. Would you please help me? Thank you, my friends!

Let’s spread the word while we can. We have ten days. This sounds like a challenge, and I dearly love challenges.

The Stokers

So apparently I was the last to know because I am off in my own little Mercedes La-La Land, but Demons has been nominated for a Stoker.  Woo hoo!  I’m so delighted to be part of that collection, and a Stoker nom is just too cool.  (Wait!  Correction!  Recommended for a Stoker.  Thanks to Ken for the correction.  I am woefully naive about the semantics.)