As a young teen I wasn’t the avid reader of novels I am today. Maybe I didn’t have the patience for them back then; my hyperkinetic mind couldn’t yet commit to long-form genre literature. I do remember getting through a few Stephen King books, and some by John Saul and John Coyne, but mostly I read anthologies.

Short stories were ideal for me because I could finish one in a single sitting. As a fright fan I bought up any horror collection I could find: SHADOWS (a long-running series edited by Charles L. Grant), GALLERY OF HORROR (also edited by Charles L. Grant), BORDERLANDS (another series, edited by Thomas Monteleone), STALKERS, and SPLATTERPUNKS, to name just a few.

Shadows (1978) edited by  Charles L. Grant
Shadows (1978), edited by Charles L. Grant

As much as I loved chewing on these tasty terror morsels, I discovered some stories — and certain authors — hooked me more than others. As I got a little older I began seeking out novels written by authors whose short works I enjoyed. This was how I discovered many of my favorite writers: Robert McCammon, Joe R. Lansdale, Richard Laymon, Bentley Little, Bill Pronzini.

Hence why I’m so exited to be editing a new Horror/Science Fiction anthology titled WHAT HAS TWO HEADS, TEN EYES, AND TERRIFYING TABLE MANNERS? (Submission details HERE.) I hope to find some talented new voices and share their words with the world.

Short stories are a wonderful, powerful introduction to an author’s oeuvre. One piece can create a fan for life!

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