Don’t read with the lights on…this is My Dark Library.
My Dark Library is a collection of novellas curated by Sadie “Mother Horror” Hartmann to represent her favorite themes, tropes, and subgenres in horror fiction today.
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Stargazers by LP Hernandez –
Paperback and eBook now available here! Released July 5th.
Stargazers is a story of a father’s love for his daughter, of their fight to survive as the world they understand unravels. It began with a curious forum post: “My Neighbor Has Been Staring at the Moon for Hours.” Each night there are more of them. They stand on sidewalks, in darkened backyards and watch the sky with open mouths. When the sun rises, the Stargazers have a new purpose. Some to destroy, some to kill, some simply to die. Revealed through alternating perspectives of subsequent forum posts, and the experiences of war veteran Henry, his wife Judith, and their daughter Penny, Stargazers is a speculative exploration not of the stars, but what may lurk in the darkness between them.
… add Stargazers to your Goodreads here!
“Stargazers is a transfixing read from start to finish. The mystery is both emotional and frightening as the tension deepens. I can’t wait to read more L.P. Hernandez based on this short tale I could have read more of.” –V. Castro, Author of Queen of the Cicadas and Goddess of Filth
“Stargazers is as tense and eerie as it is entertaining and emotionally gritty. Hernandez masterfully weaves together elements of post-apocalyptic fiction, mystery, and horror into a fast-paced novella that delivers a hell of a punch. This is a literary Creepypasta with lots of heart, and Hernandez is a writer to watch.” –Gabino Iglesias, Author of The Devil Takes You Home and Coyote Songs
#thighgap by Chandler Morrison –
Paperback and eBook now available here! Released August 30th.
Los Angeles fashion model Helen Troy wasn’t always skinny. Drastic weight loss has given her everything–money, confidence, attention, respect. Being thin has legitimized her, and starvation has become an addiction.
Following an encounter with a seemingly “perfect” rival model who destabilizes Helen’s shaky self-confidence and shatters her fragile illusion of control, she’s sent into a tragic tailspin that will take her to the lowest depths of hell. Nightmarish versions of herself begin materializing in mirrors, and her tried-and-true coping mechanisms stop working. Reality comes apart at the seams as Helen’s disease manifests in increasingly self-destructive fashions, forcing her to ask herself…
What does perfection look like, and how much would you sacrifice to obtain it?
… add #thighgap to your Goodreads here!
“No blurb will be able to fully convey how great this book is. Chandler Morrison’s voice is unique, stylish and powerful. Required reading for fans of Bret Easton Ellis, Tom Piccirilli or Chuck Palahniuk.”
– Brian Keene, Author of Ghoul
“#thighgap is a story of abyssal redemption. A frozen palace of beautiful and broken people. It’s brutal and tragically sexy and doesn’t shy away from any of its dark interiors.”
– Autumn Christian, Author of Girl Like a Bomb
“Morrison beautifully illustrates the brutality and horrific agony that accompanies diagnoses such as anorexia, bulimia, body dysmorphia, and other self-injurious, trauma-driven behaviors. The protagonist’s journey of pain is presented with transparent and vicious honesty. #thighgap is a book of importance and a story that has long needed telling.”
– Marian Echevarria, Co-host of Mothers of Mayhem
“Swift. Vonnegut. Palahniuk. All authors who affected societal change through their satiric voices and social commentary. Now, in 2022, it is Morrison’s voice that is added. #thighgap will leave the reader gutted while shining light on an overlooked and too often misunderstood illness.”
– Christina Pfeiffer, Co-host of Mothers of Mayhem
“I fucking love #thighgap, and I adore its protagonist; Helen Troy is a fully realized, honest character, and I respect and am inspired by her grind. She’s my personal icon and North Star.”
– Gigi Levangie, author of The Starter Wife and Been There, Married That
“Fast and dark, like a bitchier, pithier Bret Easton Ellis. Morrison has written a woman—and a dangerous, glamorous milieu—that we will see ourselves in whether we want to or not. Scratch the surface of this book and watch it ooze.”
– Lindsay Lerman, author of I’m From Nowhere and What Are You
Bound Feet by Kelsea Yu –
Order the paperback and eBook here! Released Sept 27th. Add it on Goodreads here.
On the night of the Hungry Ghost Moon, when spirits can briefly return to the living world, Jodi Wu and her best friend sneak into Portland’s Chinese Garden and Ghost Museum. Kneeling before the pond where Jodi’s toddler drowned one year before, they leave food offerings and burn joss paper—and Jodi prays that Ella’s ghost will return for the night.
To distract Jodi from her grief, the two friends tell each other ghost stories as they explore the museum. They stop at the main display, a centuries-old pair of lotus slippers belonging to a woman whose toes were broken and bound during childhood. While reading the woman’s story, Jodi hears her daughter’s voice.
As Jodi desperately searches the garden, it becomes apparent that Ella isn’t the only ghost they’ve awakened. Something ancient with a slow, shuffling step lurks in the shadows…
“Taking us on a thrilling, haunted ride filled with ancient ghosts and startling revelations, Bound Feet unveils what must be broken and twisted in order to don the lotus slipper.”
—K.P. Kulski, author of Fairest Flesh
“Kelsea Yu’s Bound Feet about a mother’s fearlessness, where she reaches into darkness in hopes of grasping light, is a novella carefully plotted and executed without losing realism, heart, or voice of the story. Yu juxtaposes the ancient with the modern, an eerie and jarring inter-section of the past and present that makes everything more uncanny. Yu shows us how loss, grief, and the act of mourning might change you and drive you, taking your mind and body to places you would overwise refuse to enter. A beautiful piece about haunting ghosts who only want their stories told, rather than hidden away, un-finished, untruthful—of friendship, betrayal, lies, and a sisterhood between the living and the dead.
—Ai Jiang, author of Linghun
“Grief and folklore intertwine beautifully in this stunning tale. I look forward to reading more from Kelsea Yu!”
—doungjai gam, author of glass slipper dreams, shattered and watch the whole goddamned thing burn
“Utilizing graceful twists and turns, Bound Feet tackles grief and rage passed down through generations. Yu reminds us that the need for not only justice but truth outlives the body.”
—J.A.W. McCarthy, author of SOMETIMES WE’RE CRUEL AND OTHER STORIES
“Haunted by the specters of unimaginable loss, Kelsea Yu’s Bound Feet unearths the ways in which past and present can be bound together by the hungry ghosts of violence and betrayal. A story that demands to be heard in more ways than one, the rich reversals and revelations will keep readers on their toes until the very end of this exciting debut.”
—Gordon B. White, author of As Summer’s Mask Slips and Rookfield
Taboo in Four Colors by Tim McGregor –
To be released November 22nd! Ebook and paperback available here.
New York City, 1972 – Comic book artist, Wally Carson, has been illustrating the stories of a reclusive writer named Salazar without ever having met the man in person. When Salazar suddenly misses his deadlines, Carson is sent to find out what’s happened to the company’s best-selling writer.
Carson meets resistance from the writer’s wife, but when he insists, he is shocked to find Salazar in a catatonic state. When other artists at the company want to collaborate with the elusive Salazar, Carson realizes he will have to make Salazar disappear—piece by piece, if necessary.
“Tim McGregor’s Taboo in Four Colors is a darkly atmospheric love letter to the classic EC Comics’ ‘Crime SuspenStories.’ This is no parody or pastiche. Pitch perfect in tone and content, McGregor does William Gaines and the rest of the EC gang proud with this blood-curdling chiller!”
—Bracken MacLeod, author of 13 Views of the Suicide Woods and Closing Costs
“Taboo in Four Colors is tender yet savage, horrifying yet beautiful, disturbing yet full of love and dark obsession. A beguiling story with fabulous characters and wondrous prose; at times making it feel as if I were listening to a dear friend regale me with a personal tale of woe. McGregor has crafted a powerful story which demonstrates why literature still matters and how it has the ability to move the reader if we let it… a triumph of a book!”
—Ross Jeffery, Bram Stoker Award-nominated author of Tome and Only The Stains Remain
The Bonny Swans by P.L. Watts –
Order the paperback and eBook here!
Add The Bonny Swans to your Goodreads shelf here!
When Anne O’Donnell arrives on a dock in France in 1789 with no memory of her past, she allows herself to be renamed Marguerite and taken in as governess for Mellian, the petulant daughter of the rich merchant, Donatien Marais. But the chateau holds many secrets, some of them deadly.
“The Bonny Swans brings together all the best of the Gothic tropes – a troubled family, a struggling governess, an unhappy child – and stews them in magic, the French Revolution, and queer vibes. If the mystery of Marguerite’s past doesn’t keep you turning pages, the smoldering relationships and delicious prose certainly will! This snack-sized read is packed with both heartbreak and delight.”
–Wendy N. Wagner, author of The Secret Skin and The Deer Kings
“The Bonny Swans is a work of impressive talent. Beautifully written and morally complex, this dark historical fantasy comes blazing to life though P.L. Watts’s deep insight into the bruised hearts and yearning souls of the women at its center. A gripping mystery of trauma and desire, The Bonny Swans will carry readers away.”
—Gordon B. White, author of Rookfield
Corporate Body by R.A. Busby –
Released March 14th. You can order the eBook and paperback here.
When impoverished college dropout Nick signs up to be a DrugCorp test subject, he’s glad for the easy money. A few inpatient stays, and after too many blood draws to count, Nick can actually pay the rent on the backyard shed he lives in. Best of all, he doesn’t have to be a burden to his father. He’s disappointed the man enough already.
That’s when his friend Charlie lets him in on some classified information: a highly experimental forty-week study at the isolated DrugCorp compound. Nick knows this study involves improving the human genome to extend life, and he knows it involves some minor abdominal surgery, but he isn’t prepared at all for the strange…aftereffects. The nausea. The itching. The unusual abdominal swelling. The internal squirming.
23 thoughts on “My Dark Library Novella Series”
Would you consider ghouls creatures/cryptid?
You’re welcome to send in your manuscript if it fits in the horror genre, we’re just not especially interested in monster stories at this time.
Is there wiggle room on the lower word limit? My horror novella is short of the limit at 21,700 words.
No, 25,000-40,000 words is what we’re looking for.
Do you want a synopsis covering plot points and giving the ending or something more akin to what would go on a book’s back cover?
Plot points, please
Are stories from Trinidad authors eligible?
Are short stories that were published, but later expanded into a novella eligible, or are those considered reprints/previously published?
Would the five years print and digital rights prevent me from doing a screenplay adaptation in the future?
No, we’re only looking for the worldwide English language rights to print and ebook. So if you did an audio book, sold the translation rights to another publisher, or sold the rights for a movie adaption, we wouldn’t have any share in that.
is 78K words too much?
Yes, we’re really not looking for anything above 40k.
I’ve just finished my novella ready for submission, and reading your submissions page again, just spotted for the first time that little word eco in your list of nots!
My novella is not really an eco horror, because the driving antagonist is the occult/witchcraft. The symptoms of the witch’s evil spellcraft are though largely ecological (it’s also folk horror), but it’s not a case of the environment/ wildlife etc directly fighting back. Like i say, the driver is the witch. Would this be acceptable? (I must admit I’d never heard the term eco-horror used before today.) Thanks! Jools
If it’s between 25k-40k words and fits in the horror genre you’re welcome to send it in.
Hi! Quick question: Is the cutoff midnight on Mar 31st or April 1st? Or another time? I’m trying to finish my submission around an end-of-month work crunch, so just want to be sure of the exact deadline. Thanks!
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