What October Brings: A Lovecraftian Celebration of Halloween

I’ve written a lot of cosmic horror – it’s a staple of my stuff – and while H P Lovecraft is an undeniable influence on the theme and definitely on me, his work has been in many ways surpassed. And I’d always avoided writing anything within the actual Lovecraftian mythos. Until now! WHAT OCTOBER BRINGS is a new anthology of Lovecraftian Halloween stories and features my first Lovecraftian yarn, “Waters Strangely Clear”, which takes place in Innsmouth. And it’s out now! You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/4902075903/

And look at that sweet Daniele Serra cover! (Click it for a bigger version.) Here are the details:

What October Brings: A Lovecraftian Celebration of Halloween
Edited and with an introduction by Doug Draa

Halloween, a time for laughing children in white bedsheets and superhero costumes. A time for chocolate candy, and pumpkins, and Trick-or-Treat.

A time for dark things everything to slink out of the shadows and into our lives, reminding those unlucky few that our charades of Halloween cannot erase the centuries of history and pain behind the facade…

What October Brings celebrates the dark traditions of the autumn rituals, of Halloween and Samhain, in homage to the uniquely fascinating fiction of HP Lovecraft. Masters of the short story offer you a “once in a lifetime” Trick-or-Treat experience…

…perhaps your last experience!

The commissioned cover is by acclaimed Italian painter Daniele Serra.

Reviews
What October Brings is a veritable Candycornucopia of fatal delights! A hell of a Trick-or-Treat bag! (Or is that a Trick-or-Treat bag from Hell?) And not a crummy orange or walnut in the haul! But that doesn’t mean there aren’t razor blades in the chocolates! Let’s face it: you’d feel disappointed if there weren’t! My tummy’s already pleasantly aching from tasty treats by Cody Goodfellow, Ann K. Schwader, Darrell Schweitzer, Adrian Cole, Brian M. Sammons, and (burp) John Shirley. And I’m going back for more!
—Robert M. Price, Editor, Crypt of Cthulhu and Eldritch Tales

Contents
• Paul Dale Anderson :: That Small, Furry, Sharp-toothed Thing
• Alan Baxter :: Waters Strangely Clear
• Ran Cartwright :: The House on Jimtown Road
• Adrian Cole :: No Other God But Me
• Storm Constantine :: Down into Silence
• Tim Curran :: Spider Wasp
• Arinn Dembo :: The Old Man Down the Road
• Cody Goodfellow :: The War on Halloween
• Andre E. Harewood :: The Immortician
• Nancy Holder :: Nyarlahotep Came Down to Georgia
• Erica Ruppert :: Summer’s End
• Brian M. Sammons :: A Night for Masks
• Ann K. Schwader :: Inheritance
• Darrell Schweitzer :: Uncle’s in the Treetops
• John Shirley :: Hum—Hurt You. Hum—Hurt You. Hum—Hurt You.
• Lucy A. Snyder :: Cosmic Cola
• Chet Williamson :: Hell Among the Yearlings

Available in September 2018 in print and ebook editions:
– Softcover
ISBN: 978-4-902075-90-8
List: US$20.00

– Ebook
ISBN: 978-4-909473-51-6
List: US$6.99

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Oz Comic-Con September 29 and 30

Stocked up! It’s less than a month until Oz Comic-Con in Sydney (Sept. 29 & 30) and I’m ready to rock. I’ll have loads of the ALEX CAINE trilogy ($20 each or all 3 for $50!), loads of HIDDEN CITY and CROW SHINE ($20 each), and loads of MANIFEST RECALL ($15 each). I’m doing a special as well, apart from the great price on the Caine trilogy and discounts on the others, there’s an extra deal. If you buy all six books together, you only pay $95 for the lot, signed for free, of course. I’ll be doing a couple of panels over the weekend too. I love being a guest at Oz Comic-Con – come along and say hi. Hope to see you there!

DEVOURING DARK book launches – Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra

My new urban horror thriller novel, DEVOURING DARK, comes out from Grey Matter Press in November. To celebrate I’m having a trio of launch events – one in Sydney, one in Brisbane, one in Canberra. It’ll be heaps of fun, there’ll be booze and giveaways as well as the obvious chance to buy a copy and get it signed. In Sydney I’ll be hosted by Galaxy Bookshop and Joanne Anderton. In Brisbane it’ll be Avid Reader bookshop and Angela Slatter. In Canberra it’ll be at Harry Hartog in Woden with Kaaron Warren. I can’t wait! I’ve made a Facebook event for each one, so click Interested or Going on the city of your choice and you’ll get reminders, etc. Here are the events:

Sydney: https://www.facebook.com/events/2140703786255821/

Brisbane: https://www.facebook.com/events/446227889219714/

Canberra: https://www.facebook.com/events/263826920915836/

I hope to see you there!

Click for a bigger image!

Devouring Dark cover reveal!

It’s a busy week in the BaxCave! My new novella, Manifest Recall, is now officially a living book in the world, launched on Tuesday. Early buzz has been great, so thanks to everyone who’s given it a shot. If you haven’t yet, early sales really help, so if it sounds like your jam, please grab a copy. Anywhere you normally buy books, or find some links here. And if you fancy sharing the news of that release around your networks, that would be awesome, thank you.

But as if that wasn’t enough (it’s not, it’s never enough! Mwahahahahaha! *ahem*) those amazing people at Grey Matter Press, the publishers of Manifest Recall, are also publishing my new horror novel in November. It’s called Devouring Dark and is basically a novel-length sequel to my Australian Shadows Award-winning short story, “Shadows of the Lonely Dead”. And yesterday, Sci-Fi & Scary had the exclusive cover reveal as part of their 2018 New Sci-Fi and Horror Novels to Look For Part 2 – It’s honour enough to be included on that list, but they took hold of the reveal duties too, so huge thanks to them. And here it is! I fucking love it!

It’s out on November 6th, so there’ll plenty of chatter about it then. Meanwhile, I hope you all enjoy Manifest Recall, and thanks for reading!

MANIFEST RECALL is out now!

My new southern gothic supernatural noir novella, MANIFEST RECALL, is published today, by the wonderful folks at Grey Matter Press! New book day is always fraught with nerves! If you feel inclined to pick it up, please do so asap because early sales in the first week REALLY help with further exposure for the book. You can grab the ebook for around $3 and the paperback for around $10 wherever you usually buy books. Click here for some direct links. Here’s what the publisher says about it:

Manifest Recall is a contemporary southern gothic novella with alarming supernatural undercurrents that explores the tragic life of a hitman who finds himself on the wrong side of his criminal syndicate. Baxter’s adrenaline-fueled approach to storytelling is in full force in Manifest Recall as it draws readers into Eli Carver’s downward spiral of psychosis and through the darker aspects of lost memories, human guilt and the insurmountable quest for personal redemption.

Following a psychotic break, Carver finds himself on the run, behind the wheel of a car that’s not his own, and in the company of a terrified woman he doesn’t know. As layers of ugly truth are peeled back and dark secrets are revealed, the duo find themselves in a struggle for survival when they unravel a mystery that pits them against the most dangerous forces in their lives.

I’m really proud of this book and the early pre-release reviews have been amazing. Here are some comments:

“It’s fast-paced, bad people doing bad things to other bad people. Highly recommended!” — John F DTaff, Bram Stoker Award-nominated author of LITTLE DEATHS.

“Freaking. Amazing. This book hooked me immediately and never let go.” – Sci-Fi & Scary.

Manifest Recall is an uppercut of a novella that is sure to loosen a few teeth…” – The Grim Reader.

“A vicious revenge thriller told out of sequence, which pulls no punches… Manifest Recall is the literary equivalent of a vicious kick in the nether regions… Manifest Recall isn’t strictly a horror novel, but… will knock the stuffing out of the most hardened horror freak…” – Ginger Nuts of Horror.

Manifest Recall is satisfyingly violent, dark, and consistently engaging…” – High Fever Books.

MANIFEST RECALL is a blood fueled bullet train roaring through the criminal underworld. A manic story of loss and revenge, MANIFEST RECALL starts at a sprint and never slows down.” – John C Foster, author of MISTER WHITE and THE ISLE.

If you grab a copy, thank you so much and I really hope you enjoy it!

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Supanova Sydney and Perth schedules

Just a quick note about where to find me for anyone coming along to Supanova in Sydney or Perth this month. Less than a week to go! I can’t wait, I love Supanova so much. Here’s what I’m up to.

Most of the time I’ll be signing at the QBD Books stand. That’s stand 2010 in Sydney and stand 4001 in Perth. Come and find me and the other great authors there throughout both weekends. I’ll have loads of The Alex Caine Series on special, all three books of the trilogy for the price of 2. Plus loads of my new novel, Hidden City, for just $18.99. Of course, I’ll sign anything for free. If you’re quick, I have a few copies of my short story collection, Crow Shine, and just a dozen copies for each Sydney and Perth of my new novella, Manifest Recall, that’s not out officially until June 26th. First come, first served!

But otherwise, I’ll also be doing the following things:

SYDNEY

Friday, 4-5pm, Supanova Book Club

Sunday, 12-1pm, Creating Kick Ass Characters panel, with Marc Lindsay and James Lindsay.

PERTH

Friday, 7-8pm, Supanova Book Club

Saturday 2.30-3.30pm, Myths, Legends and Fairytales panel with Bevan McGuiness, Lynette Noni and Maria Lewis.

Sunday 1-2pm, Creating Kick Ass Characters panel with Bevan McGuiness, Lynette Noni and Maria Lewis.

Come and say hi!

Manifest Recall cover reveal, excerpt, contest, and pre-order!

Look at this amazing cover for my new novella, MANIFEST RECALL! I love it so much. Grey Matter Press and Saber Core have done such a brilliant job with it. And this cover reveal marks the start of the release schedule for this book. Exciting times. Here’s the blurb:

Following a psychotic break, Eli Carver finds himself on the run, behind the wheel of a car that’s not his own, and in the company of a terrified woman he doesn’t know. As layers of ugly truth are peeled back and dark secrets are revealed, the duo find themselves in a struggle for survival when they unravel a mystery that pits them against the most dangerous forces in their lives.

A contemporary southern gothic thriller with frightening supernatural overtones, Alan Baxter’s Manifest Recall explores the tragic life of a hitman who finds himself on the wrong side of his criminal syndicate. Baxter’s adrenaline-fueled approach to storytelling draws readers into Eli Carver’s downward spiral of psychosis and through the darkest realms of lost memories, human guilt and the insurmountable quest for personal redemption.

MANIFEST RECALL is published in ebook and paperback on June 26th, which is only just over a month away. You can add it to your Goodreads shelves here and you can pre-order from Amazon at these links:

US: https://www.amazon.com/Manifest-Recall-Alan-B…/…/B07D2JPB8Z/

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Manifest-Recall-Alan-Baxter-ebo…/…/

AUS: https://www.amazon.com.au/Manifest-Recall-Alan-Baxter-eb…/…/

CAN: https://www.amazon.ca/Manifest-Recall-Alan-Ba…/…/B07D2JPB8Z/

You can read the opening of the book by clicking here, and hopefully that’ll whet your appetite enough to go and pre-order or add it to your TBR list. I wrote a guest post about the book’s central theme, guilt, for Jim McLeod over at that amazing horror website, Ginger Nuts of Horror. And GNoH are also running a cool contest to win a copy of MANIFEST RECALL and a massive book bundle. Click here to get all the details. And that guest post about guilt is here.

Please feel free to share this post around with anyone who you think might be interested!

Suspended in Dusk 2

My story in the first Suspended In Dusk anthology was called “Shadows Of The Lonely Dead” and it won an Australian Shadows Award, and was reprinted in a couple of Year’s Best anthologies. So I’m very proud of that yarn. Late this year, Grey Matter Press will release my novel, Devouring Dark, which is a direct a sequel to that story. I think it’s good book and I can’t wait for it to come out. But meanwhile, GMP are publishing Suspended In Dusk 2, a follow-up to the first wildly successful volume. This second volume is packed full of dark yarns, including a new one by me. And it’s truly an honour to share the pages with the other amazing writers in the book. Check out the official publisher announcement below, and all those amazing names at the end. It comes out in July, so watch out for it!

Sometimes Seconds are More Than You Can Handle…
The Suspense is Over.
Dusk Returns this Summer.

Life is change. And change is coming. The much-anticipated second installment in editor Simon Dewar’s horror franchise arrives on July 10th from Grey Matter Press. Suspended in Dusk: Volume II ushers in the change that’s needed as a truly diverse anthology of modern horror draws you into the light and plunges you into darkness.

Suspending conventional belief that diversity in anthologized fiction is irrelevant, Dewar ends the discussion as he assembles a selection of both emerging and established voices from at least four continents. A prime example of what could be termed “world horror fiction,” the group of accomplished authors in Suspended in Dusk II includes both men and women, writers whose first language is not English, those of varied sexual identities, followers of different religions and those who ignore them all equally.

Suspended in Dusk II erases the boundaries and demolishes the roadblocks to inclusion in modern dark fiction, providing readers with a book that’s exactly what they’re looking for in an inclusive anthology of horror. And Grey Matter Press is honored to play a role in this much-needed change.

Suspended in Dusk II arrives this summer and features masterful fiction from Ramsey Campbell, Stephen Graham Jones, Damien Angelica Walters, Alan Baxter, Paul Tremblay, Sarah Read, Nerine Dorman, J C Michael, Benjamin Knox, Letitia Trent, Paul Michael Anderson, Gwendolyn Kiste, Bracken MacLeod, Dan Rabarts, Annie Neugebauer, and Karen Runge. And the volume also includes a very special Introduction by Angela Slatter.

http://greymatterpress.com/new-releases/suspended-in-dusk-2/

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The Sydney Writers’ Festival – Live and Local

I’m excited to be part of the Sydney Writers’ Festival Live and Local event in Wollongong on Saturday May 5th. As per the description on the website:

Sydney Writers’ Festival is Australia’s largest forum celebrating books and ideas in the southern hemisphere. The Festival brings the world’s finest authors and esteemed thinkers to together in real time through the Live & Local project.

Streamed LIVE by Sydney Writers’ Festival to The Music Lounge, Live & Local offers regional and national audiences access to new ideas from great minds, with the opportunity to participate in Q&A sessions at each event by sending questions direct to the Sydney stage.

This year in addition to the live streaming, Merrigong Theatre Company in collaboration with South Coast Writers Centre, Shellharbour City Libraries and Wollongong City Libraries present four local authors live on stage and a workshop to bring this event to life!

There’s lots of cool stuff happening. For my part, I’ll be reading from my latest novel, Hidden City, and doing a Q&A, at 11am, then running a workshop on writing speculative fiction from 1.30pm. All the details are here. And it’s very cheap. Only $20 for an all-day ticket, plus an extra $15 for the workshop if you wanted to attend that. Should be great fun!

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StokerCon 2018, Providence, RI

Where do I even begin? I decided last year that I want to go to at least one convention outside Australia every year. I chose to start that tradition with a visit to StokerCon, the official convention of the Horror Writer’s Association. A few things made me choose this – one was my pal from NZ, Lee Murray. She’s been kicking my arse to go to a StokerCon for ages. Another was that it was to be held in Providence, which is Lovecraft country, and that Providence is close to New York City, and I’ve always wanted to go there. Then the guest list tipped me over the edge.

The con was absolutely fantastic. Full credit to James Chambers and the committee for putting on an amazing weekend of panels and events, including the Bram Stoker Awards ceremony and banquet, that was heaps of fun. I got be on a few panels – one on Knock Out Fight Scenes, with Teel James Glenn, James A Moore, J H Moncrieff, and Tim Waggoner, ably moderated by Lee Murray. That was a great and vibrant discussion with lots of different viewpoints.

Then I was on a panel called Beyond The Borders: Writing and Reading Outside the US, which was fascinating fun and I got to share a space with the legendary Ramsey Campbell! Also on the panel were Chris Marrs and Lee Murray, with my other NZ pal Dan Rabarts doing the moderating.

Later on I got do a reading and it was an absolute pleasure to share that spot with Paul Tremblay, a writer I’ve long admired, and S K Nash. I read from HIDDEN CITY which had just come out the week before.

Then on the Saturday I moderated a panel called How To Choose Good Markets, with Meghan Arcuri-Moran, Jennifer Brozek, Erik T Johnson, Brian Kirk, and Jeff Strand. That was another interesting and vibrant discussion. None of these things were really long enough, we could have discussed all of them for twice as long, but that’s often the way with good convention panels.

While those were the things I was booked in for, I attended a heap of other panels and events, far too many to list. Among my favourites were the Monster Mash with all the Guests of Honour, the Paperbacks From Hell presentation by Grady Hendrix, who also won the Stoker for that amazing book, and the Stoker Awards ceremony itself. I got to hang out with so many cool people. With that in mind, here’s an attempt to recognise everyone who made this such a wonderful trip for me:

Huge thanks especially to Lee Murray for kicking my arse, and to David Murray for hanging out with all us crazy writers. And to Dan Rabarts for completing the Antipodean writing trio at StokerCon. I’m so glad I got to share the experience with you guys.

Massive shout out to everyone else who’s part of this incredibly friendly and talented tribe, many I met for the first time, some I knew well online and finally connected with in meatspace, and many more I have the pleasure of calling my new friends. Especially thanks to David Wood, who wasn’t at the con but met me in NY afterwards and showed me around. We’ve been friends for over a decade, written four books together so far, and finally met in person. What a great guy. And we talked about our next book, the sequel to Primordial. Watch this space.

Huge thanks to Paul Tremblay, for his friendship and a fantastic guided tour of Providence. Always an advantage to have local knowledge. It was great to share a reading panel with Paul (and with S K Nash). To Victor LaValle, an absolute gentleman who I’ve long admired and I’m so glad to have met. And now I have a signed hardcover of The Changeling. Ellen Datlow, always great to talk to and so generous to invite me to the SF panel in New York after StokerCon, which was a fantastic night and I got to meet Samuel R Delany. Bracken McLeod, who’s work I’ve long admired and with whom I shared a unique late night rescue mission! To James A Moore, another pal I’ve known online for a long time and had the absolute pleasure of spending a lot of time with at the con. A smart and talented man. Tim Waggoner, again someone I’ve known fora while online and who was kind enough to say wonderful things in a blurb of HIDDEN CITY. It was a pleasure to be able to give him a copy by way of thanks.

Man, I could go on and on, but let’s see if I can just list all the other wonderful souls I connected with this trip. I’m bound to miss someone – I’m sorry! – but here goes. Huge love to Christopher Golden, John F D Taff, Doug Mourano, John Palisano, Angel Leigh McCoy, J.H. Moncrieff, Theresa Braun, Jennifer Barnes, John Edward Lawson, Kate Jonez, Linda D Addison, Jeff Strand, Lynne Hansen, Meghan Arcuri-Moran, Danel Olson, Jennifer Brozek, Erik T Johnson, James Chambers, James Ebersole, JD Barker, Lisa Morton, Jeff Strand, Danny Rhodes, Frazer Lee, Cherry Weiner, Patrick Freivald, JG Faherty, Teel James Glenn, Chris Marrs, Craig DiLouie, Pete (Bloodshot) Kahle, Larissa Glasser, Jeff Menapace, John McIlveen, Glenn Rolfe, Matt Bechtel, Stephanie Wytovich, Lisa Kroger, Robert Payne Cabeen, Thersa Matsuura, Brian Kirk, Grady Hendrix, Will Errickson, Jonathan Lees, Brian W. Matthews, S K Nash, Rena Mason, Kathleen Kaufman, Ed Kurtz, Doungjai Gam Bepko, and probably so many more I’ve missed. I’m jetlagged and overwhelmed, but this trip was so worthwhile, mostly because of all those people listed and all the others I haven’t mentioned. You all rock so hard. Until next time!

I took loads of photos. If you’re friends with me on Facebook, I’ve put an album there. If not, here’s a key few to give you a flavour:

My first sighting of the Biltmore Hotel, from across the river.

The day before the con I visited the Providence Capitol building.

And then me and Dan Rabarts made the pilgrimage to the grave of H P Lovecraft in Swan Point Cemetery.

When I got back, the first copies of HIDDEN CITY had arrived. It was published less than a week before.

I did a reading from HIDDEN CITY, which seemed to go well.

Here’s Lee Murray and Dan Rabarts reading from Hounds of the Underworld.

I got to be on a panel with living legend, Ramsey Campbell. (Also legends Chris Marrs and Lee Murray.)

Here’s the Stoker Awards Banquet in the Biltmore Ballroom. A great night!

Here I am with wonderful humans Linda Addison and Ellen Datlow.

Me and Victor LaValle.

Me and Paul Tremblay.

Me and Bracken McLeod.

Me and James A Moore.

Me and John F D Taff.

Me and Danel Olson.

On the tour of Providence with Paul Tremblay, this shop was great.

Outside the Fleur-de-Lys house, the house that H P Lovecraft made the residence of his character Henry Anthony Wilcox, in “The Call of Cthulhu”.

Paul Tremblay outside the house that Lovecraft used for his story, “The Shunned House”. Apparently, in his time, Lovecraft’s aunts lived there.

So that’s that! So much more happens at a con than could ever be adequately covered in a blog post, but hopefully this gives a good idea of how things went. I had a truly fantastic time and can’t wait to go again.

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