The 2014 Bram Stoker Awards Final Ballot Is Out!

I worked late last night, so I’m just now waking up to some great news. My novella, “Lost and Found,” which appears in the shared world anthology, Limbus II, edited by Brett Talley and published by Christopher Payne of Journalstone Publications, has been nominated for the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in Long Fiction.

I am over the moon about this. I’ve been nominated before, and I’ve even won the award, twice in fact, but I can tell you the thrill of seeing the ballot come out, and finding my name on it, never goes away. I liken it to that time during my sophomore year in high school, when I made the long trek out to the baseball field the day after tryouts to see the list of those who’d made the varsity team…and seeing my name there. I remember thinking: “Oh shit, did I really do well enough to earn that? Really?” And then: “Well, the pressure’s on now. Gotta prove that I’m worthy.” That anxiety, that self-doubt, that demon chomping at my back, keeps me honest. At least I hope it does.

But the good news doesn’t stop there. Two other novellas from the book, Jonathan Maberry’s “Three Guys Walk Into a Bar,” and Joe R. Lansdale’s “Fishing for Dinosaurs,” are also on the final ballot. I also need to send a shout out to Harry Shannon and Gary Braunbeck, both of whom have stories in the book, because the book itself has been nominated in the Anthology category. To my mind, this only reinforces how incredibly lucky I am to be included in this wonderful book.

Limbus Inc Cover

Competition in the Long Fiction category is going to be fierce this year. Maberry is a master craftsman who somehow manages to raise the bar to the next level every time he touches his keyboard. Lansdale just might be one of the greatest storytellers ever. (Seriously, I don’t read the man before I sit down to write because his voice is so compelling I find myself trying to sound like him when I write.) Eric J. Guignard and Taylor Grant are good friends of mine, and both of them brought their A game. Eric is just exceptional. He’s a gifted writer with a knack for zeroing in on what really matters in a story. That’s why his stories carry such a powerful, and lingering, punch. And then of course there’s Taylor Grant, who means the world to me. We are currently developing a graphic together, and his story doctoring help has been invaluable. The man has a true gift from pacing and character, both of which are on full display in his story, “The Infected,” which has already been named to the Best of Cemetery Dance II anthology, coming out later this year, I believe.

Every year people crawl out from under their various rocks to deride the Stokers. It’s part of the business, unfortunately. But there’s a reason why the Bram Stoker Awards were recently listed as a category on Jeopardy. Every year, these last ten years or so especially, the award has managed to bring together the most compelling reads in the genre. And this year’s list is no exception. Even if you don’t agree on the eventual winners, I think every fan of the genre can read this list and realize that Horror is alive and thriving. There are some truly great works of fear and loathing on this list.

The presentation of the Bram Stoker Awards® will occur during the World Horror Convention in Atlanta, Georgia on the evening of Saturday, May 9, 2015. Tickets to the banquet and the convention are on sale to the public at www.whc2015.org. The awards presentation will also be live-streamed online.

Here’s the full ballot:

Superior Achievement in a Novel

Craig DiLouie – Suffer the Children (Gallery Books of Simon & Schuster)

Patrick Freivald – Jade Sky (JournalStone)

Chuck Palahniuk – Beautiful You (Jonathan Cape, Vintage/Penguin Random House UK)

Christopher Rice – The Vines (47North)

Steve Rasnic Tem – Blood Kin (Solaris Books)

Superior Achievement in a First Novel

Maria Alexander – Mr. Wicker (Raw Dog Screaming Press)

J.D. Barker – Forsaken (Hampton Creek Press)

David Cronenberg – Consumed (Scribner)

Michael Knost – Return of the Mothman (Woodland Press)

Josh Malerman – Bird Box (Harper Collins)

Superior Achievement in a Young Adult Novel

Jake Bible – Intentional Haunting (Permuted Press)

John Dixon – Phoenix Island (Simon & Schuster/Gallery Books)

Kami Garcia – Unmarked (The Legion Series Book 2) (Little Brown Books for Young Readers)

Tonya Hurley – Passionaries (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)

Peter Adam Salomon – All Those Broken Angels (Flux)

Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel

Emily Carroll – Through the Woods (Margaret K. McElderry Books)

Joe Hill – Locke and Key, Vol. 6 (IDW Publishing)

Joe R. Lansdale and Daniele Serra – I Tell You It’s Love (Short, Scary Tales Publications)

Jonathan Maberry – Bad Blood (Dark Horse Books)

Paul Tobin – The Witcher (Dark Horse Books)

Superior Achievement in Long Fiction

Taylor Grant – “The Infected” (Cemetery Dance #71) (Cemetery Dance)

Eric J. Guignard – “Dreams of a Little Suicide” (Hell Comes to Hollywood II: Twenty-Two More Tales of Tinseltown Terror (Volume 2)) (Big Time Books)

Joe R. Lansdale – “Fishing for Dinosaurs” (Limbus, Inc., Book II) (JournalStone)

Jonathan Maberry – “Three Guys Walk into a Bar” (Limbus, Inc., Book II) (JournalStone)

Joe McKinney – “Lost and Found” (Limbus, Inc., Book II) (JournalStone)

Superior Achievement in Short Fiction

Hal Bodner – “Hot Tub” (Hell Comes to Hollywood II: Twenty-Two More Tales of Tinseltown Terror (Volume 2)) (Big Time Books)

Sydney Leigh – “Baby’s Breath” (Bugs: Tales That Slither, Creep, and Crawl) (Great Old Ones Publishing)

Usman T. Malik – “The Vaporization Enthalpy of a Peculiar Pakistani Family” (Qualia Nous) (Written Backwards)

Rena Mason – “Ruminations” (Qualia Nous) (Written Backwards)

John Palisano – “Splinterette” (Widowmakers: A Benefit Anthology of Dark Fiction) (Widowmaker Press)

Damien Angelica Walters – “The Floating Girls: A Documentary” (Jamais Vu, Issue Three) (Post Mortem Press)

Superior Achievement in a Screenplay

Scott M. Gimple – The Walking Dead: “The Grove”, episode 4:14 (AMC)

Jennifer Kent – The Babadook (Causeway Films)

John Logan – Penny Dreadful: “Séance” (Desert Wolf Productions/Neal Street Productions)

Steven Moffat – Doctor Who: “Listen” (British Broadcasting Corporation)

James Wong – American Horror Story: Coven: “The Magical Delights of Stevie Nicks” (FX Network)

Superior Achievement in an Anthology

Michael Bailey – Qualia Nous (Written Backwards)

Jason V Brock – A Darke Phantastique (Cycatrix Press)

Ellen Datlow – Fearful Symmetries (ChiZine Publications)

Chuck Palahniuk, Richard Thomas, and Dennis Widmyer – Burnt Tongues (Medallion Press)

Brett J. Talley – Limbus, Inc., Book II (JournalStone)

Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection

Stephen Graham Jones – After the People Lights Have Gone Off (Dark House Press)

John R. Little – Little by Little (Bad Moon Books)

Helen Marshall – Gifts for the One Who Comes After (ChiZine Publications)

Lucy Snyder – Soft Apocalypses (Raw Dog Screaming Press)

John F.D. Taff – The End in All Beginnings (Grey Matter Press)

Superior Achievement in Non-Fiction

Jason V Brock – Disorders of Magnitude (Rowman & Littlefield)

S.T. Joshi – Lovecraft and a World in Transition (Hippocampus Press)

Leslie S. Klinger – The New Annotated H.P. Lovecraft (Liveright Publishing Corp., a division of W.W. Norton & Co.)

Joe Mynhardt and Emma Audsley – Horror 101: The Way Forward (Crystal Lake Publishing)

Lucy Snyder – Shooting Yourself in the Head For Fun and Profit: A Writer’s Survival Guide (Post Mortem Press)

Superior Achievement in a Poetry Collection

Robert Payne Cabeen – Fearworms: Selected Poems (Fanboy Comics)

Corrinne De Winter and Alessandro Manzetti – Venus Intervention (Kipple Officina Libraria)

Tom Piccirilli – Forgiving Judas (Crossroad Press)

Marge Simon and Mary Turzillo – Sweet Poison (Dark Renaissance Books)

Stephanie Wytovich – Mourning Jewelry (Raw Dog Screaming Press)

Here’s some information about the Horror Writers Association, which I stole from HWA’s President Lisa Morton:

The Horror Writers Association is a nonprofit organization of writers and publishing professionals around the world, dedicated to promoting dark literature and the interests of those who write it. The HWA formed in 1985 with the help of many of the field’s greats, including Dean Koontz, Robert McCammon, and Joe Lansdale. Today, with over 1250 members around the globe, it is the oldest and most respected professional organization for the much-loved writers who have brought you the most enjoyable sleepless nights of your life.

One of HWA’s missions is to encourage public interest in and foster an appreciation of good Horror and Dark Fantasy literature. The organization offers public areas of its site, www.horror.org; sponsors or takes part in public readings and lectures; publishes a monthly newsletter for members; maintains outreach to booksellers, librarians, fans and readers; facilitates readings and signings by horror writers; offers scholarships; and maintains an official presence at the major fan-based horror and fantasy conventions, such as the World Horror Convention, and literary festivals.

Media Contacts:

Communications Coordinator: Doug Murano

Asst. Communications Coordinator: Tom Calen

Tickets for the gala banquet and awards presentation may be purchased here:

http://horror.org/final-ballot-bram-stoker-awards/

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