It wasn’t so long ago that I was writing about Rob E. Boley’s Scary Tales series, and while the author continue his epic fairy tale, zombie, monster saga, he and his new collaborator, Megan Hart have a project that will make its debut Friday the 13th of January, 2017. The collaboration is called Howling Unicorn Press and its first release, Intersections: Six Tales of Ouija Horror, is looking like a hell of a debut.
I sat down with Rob and Megan to chat about the Howling Unicorn and how it all came to be. Their excitement was palpable even over a Skype call.
Rob and Megan initially met over a mutual respect for each other’s work. Megan had been a fan of the Scary Tales and when Rob read her compendium The Resurrected for a review, he admits to being blown away by her style.
“It was one of the best zombie stories I’ve ever read,” Boley explained. “It had crazy, visceral detail and it was just amazing stuff.”
Before long, the two were comparing notes as writers on a regular basis and becoming friends along the way. At Christmas, Rob posted on Facebook that he had gotten his daughter a a Ouija board for Christmas, and that sparked a conversation between the two about the Ouija and all the stories and warnings associated with the game. Somewhere in the midst of all their discussion, Megan suggested that it would make a great theme for an anthology.
“It was kind of off the cuff, but I had been wanting to write more horror,” Hart, who has primarily written in the romance/erotic fiction genre, clarified. “And then I asked if he really wanted to do this.”
As the two authors jotted notes back and forth, the idea of an anthology cemented itself. All they needed were more writers. Luckily for them, they were both headed for Stoker Con, the premiere annual convention sponsored by the Horror Writers Association and attended by some of the most talented voices in horror and dark fiction.
Hart and Boley used their considerable networking skills at the convention and cemented commitments from four other writers to contribute to the project.
“The only real requirement was that the Ouija board had to appear somewhere in the story,” Hart explained. “Beyond that, it was completely open. We have a futuristic story, one that takes place in the 20s, and a couple of contemporary stories. The one thing that really stands out is that not a single one of the stories is about a person who brings home the Ouija board, uses it, and a demon pops out to attack. Not a single story has that stereotypical angle to it.”
All in all, they pulled together six original novella length stories built around the Ouija theme that weighs in at an impressive 450 pages. Aside from Boley and Hart, Sephera Giron, Chris Marrs, Brad C. Hodson, and Kerry Lipp filled out the impressive roster of talent.
But what about that name? Howling Unicorn Press?
Utter simplicity: Boley’s all about wolves and Hart loves unicorns so they put the two together. Both insist, however, that they really aren’t trying to establish a publishing house or anything of the sort. It really all comes down to collaboration between themselves and a plethora of other authors in the genre.
“It really all comes down to a love of horror,” Boley told me. “We both love horror and that’s what brought us and the other authors together. It’s fun to scare people. This has been a labor of love combined with a huge leap of faith. We all put our stories together with no cash advances and we’re going to split the profits and see how it all comes together.”
So what comes next for the Howling Unicorn Press?
Well, Boley and Hart have plans for a novel collaboration and a few other anthology ideas in the making. One thing is for certain, though, neither one of them is dreading the next Friday the 13th.
You can pre-order copies of Intersections: Six Tales of Ouija Horror on Amazon in both digital and hard copy formats, and you can follow Howling Unicorn Press on their Facebook page to keep up with all the latest news and updates for upcoming projects.