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About Grant Longstaff
Grant Longstaff is from Gateshead; a small, suitably dismal town in the north east of England where nothing much happens. He had no choice but to write fiction.
His short story, Dog (Does Not) Eat Dog, appeared in the Bram Stoker Nominated Arterial Bloom, edited my Mercedes M. Yardley. His fiction has also appeared on The Other Stories podcast and in Aurealis Magazine.
You can find him on Twitter @GrantLongstaff or visit www.grantlongstaff.co.uk.
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Take a Deep Breath and Dive Beneath the Surface of Shallow Waters—Where Nothing Stays Buried.
With 20 Dark Fiction & Horror tales diving beneath the surface of life, death, and the mystery that lies beneath.
Shallow Waters is the official monthly flash fiction challenge hosted by the multiple award-winning Crystal Lake Publishing (including the HWA’s Specialty Press Award). Every month a new challenge is issued online and via our newsletter. The best submissions are then posted on Crystal Lake’s Patreon page (an exclusive behind the scenes community of readers and authors), where patrons read daily entries and vote for the winner every month.
What you’ll find in these Shallow Waters anthologies include the winners as well as the most popular of our finalists. Stay tuned for more volumes in this series, or find Crystal Lake Publishing on Patreon to enter or vote on future challenges.
Volume 8 includes:
Introduction by Joe Mynhardt
Prior to Slaughter by AJ Franks (winner)
A Quick Trip to the Liquor Store by Denver Grenell
The Boohag by Linda J. Marshall
Monsters by Justin Boote
Mr. Giggles by Nikki R. Leigh
Natural Selection by Mark Allan Gunnells
The Riverfront by Jay Bechtol (winner)
Allie’s New Crayon by Red Lagoe (winner)
Roadside Believer by Ben Norris
Heart’s Break by Jonathan Winn
Dance Faster, Carmelita by Sunni Ellis
Hello by Karen Bayly
#Camping by Lee Smart
Gone Fission by Amanda Hard
Reaching Out by Jeremy Megargee (winner)
Double Feature by Denver Grenell
Preparation by Claire Brown
A Cunning Plan by R. B. Wood
Wifely Duties by D.C. Phillips
All We Endure by Grant Longstaff (winner)
Come Dive Beneath the Surface!
Proudly brought to you by Crystal Lake Publishing—Tales from the Darkest Depths.
Crystal Lake Publishing proudly presents the Bram Stoker Award-nominated Arterial Bloom, an artful juxtaposition of the magnificence and macabre that exist within mankind. Each tale in this collection is resplendent with beauty, teeth, and heart.
Edited by the Bram Stoker Award-winning writer Mercedes M. Yardley, Arterial Bloom is a literary experience featuring 16 stories from some of the most compelling dark authors writing today.
With a foreword by HWA Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient Linda D. Addison, you are invited to step inside and let the grim flowers wind themselves comfortably around your bones.
The line-up includes:
The Stone Door by Jimmy Bernard
Dog (Does Not) Eat Dog by Grant Longstaff
Kudzu Stories by Linda J. Marshall
Dead Letters by Christopher Barzak
The Darker Side of Grief by Naching T. Kassa
Welcome to My Autumn by Daniel Crow
Still Life by Kelli Owen
Three Masks by Armand Rosamilia
Doodlebug by John Boden
Happy Pills by Todd Keisling
What Remained of Her by Jennifer Loring
Blue Was Her Favorite Color by Dino Parenti
In the Loop by Ken Liu
The Making of Mary by Steven Pirie
Mouths Filled with Sea Water by Jonathan Cosgrove
Rotten by Carina Bissett
Proudly represented by Crystal Lake Publishing—Tales from the Darkest Depths.
Interview with the editor:
Mercedes, this is your debut as an anthology editor. Can you tell us how you went about choosing the Dark Fiction stories included in Arterial Bloom?
MMY: Yes, absolutely! Crystal Lake Publishing put out a call for short horror stories. My job was to ensure authors heard about the call. I basically beat down doors trying to spread the word, making sure that people realized it was an open, inclusive anthology and I was interested in stories of all types. Several hundred stories rolled in. It was a massive undertaking, but by reading open submissions instead of invitation-only stories, I was able to come across several authors who were new to me. This collection is full of award-winning, well-known authors as well as fresh voices. It’s a beautiful mix and I’m very proud of it.
This was an unthemed horror anthology, which means that you weren’t particularly looking for any specific themes. But did you find that a certain theme emerged?
MMY: Oh, yes. The Arterial Bloom anthology is all about monsters. Some monsters are literal. Some are human. But every story shows the juxtaposition of the ugliness and the beauty of humanity and the way we deal with things. It’s an emotional anthology. We deal with horror, grief, trauma, love, and healing. It’s gut-wrenching. It’s visceral and quite lovely, in a way.
How did you come up with the title?
MMY: The anthology itself is gutting and gorgeous. I was trying to find a title that played with that hardness and softness. My friends from The Geeky Writers and I went into our chat and brainstormed titles. Different words, different phrases. We just put them together in combinations until we came up with Arterial Bloom. It was the perfect title. It has that primitive, animal feel as well as being artistic. In my mind’s eye, I could see arterial spray, which is graphic and horrifying, painting exquisite flowers on a white wall. It’s like when a cat bites you and then licks the wound.