Samhain Books and Halloween Reads

With episode 70 of horror addicts being about the future I wanted to talk about a new mass market Horror publisher called Samhain books. Back in the year 2000, Dorchester publishing started to release two horror novels per month under the Leisure books name. Leisure books was responsible for probably 80% of the horror novels that you saw on the shelf when you went to a book store.

The executive editor of Leisure Books and the man who was  in charge of their horror line since 2000, was Don D’Auria. Don grew up watching Chiller Theater and reading Famous Monsters magazine, along with any horror novel he could get his hands on. He graduated with a Master’s Degree in English from Columbia University and started work as an editor in the genre he loved. Don helped many horror authors launch their career, such as Brian Keene, Gary Braunbeck, Sarah Pinborough and Tim Lebbon.

Sadly, after working 10 years for Leisure books, Don was released in August of 2010. Due to declining sales, Leisure decided to stop printing new horror novels and had to make cut backs. The publishing industry was changing, book stores were not ordering as many books and started offering E-readers instead. Leisure did not change with the times and was slow to jump on the e-book bandwagon. As Mass Market sales were shrinking, new publishers were starting to grow through E-book sales. One of the publishers that is growing thanks to the E-book is Samhain books.

Now, Don D’Auria has a new job as executive editor of Samhain Books. Samhain will pick up where Leisure books left off and start publishing 2 horror novels a month, they will offer a print mass market version of their titles along with an E-book release.  They will also offer novellas and will help new horror authors start their career by accepting submissions from anyone who thinks they have a good story to tell. Starting in October Samhain will release The Seven Days Of Cain by Ramsey Campbell and Wolf’s Edge by W.D. Gagliani.

The Seven Days of Cain is a psychological horror novel about a man in Britan named Andy who starts to receive mysterious letters about murders that are taking place in America and  how Andy may be connected. Andy has to not only stop the murders but also find out why he is being tied to them. In the process he will see how uncertain his reality is and see everything he loves destroyed.

Wolf’s Edge follows a homicide cop named Nick Lupo who just happens to be a werewolf. Lupo has some powerful enemies including a mercenary organization who is trying to create on an invincible team of werewolves to take over the U.S military. The organization plans on exterminating detective Lupo and then taking over the country.

Since this is the Halloween season I also wanted  to talk about  a couple of good books to celebrate the season. The first one I read a few years ago by David J. Skal called Death Makes a Holiday. This book is a cultural history of Halloween that covers the history of the holiday from its celtic orgins to the present day and also takes a look at the urban legends that surround Halloween such as needles in candy and satanic rituals that take place on October 31st.

David J. Skal is a classic horror historian, he has written books on the history of Dracula, as well as a history on classic monster movies and biographies on Tod Browning and Claude Rains. In this book you will hear about the story behind the jack-o-lantern and how the holiday changed through the years. If you love Halloween like I do, then you want to check this book out.

I also want to mention a book I found recently and started reading on my nook called Midnight on Halloween by Autumn Gentle. This book has 31 short stories all having to do with Halloween. Some of the tales in this book include snake women, werecats, extreme gaming gone wrong and a post apocalyptic mosquito city. To find out more about Autumn Gentle go to  www.thefreakandthevampire.com.

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