Check These Out : Available from A. Craig Newman

Our friend A. Craig Newman invites readers to enjoy these books:

Modern Myths and Fairy Tales

Four stories of sex, madness, magic, and murder:

CIrce’s Music Shop – Sorceress makes music with a mobster.
Randall’s Visit – A ghost interrupts a patient’s visit to his therapist.
Archer Nash – Archer says to the dead what he can’t seem to say to the living.
Dierste Hamelin and the Pied Piper – DIerste thought she was playing The Piper until it was time to pay him.

Wages of Sin

Anne Marie Thomas and Tonya Jacobs are lovers who were caught in the act, a crime under the law of this warped future. Each will face unspeakable punishments designed to correct their errant behavior and adopt ways that will conform with society. Neither will ever be the same.


A lonely, heartbroken man’s world is afire. With the right drug, it freezes solid. In this drug-addled state, he goes home to confront the man who has taken his life.


A. Craig Newman ~ Writer of short stories, screenplays, and poetry. Genres include horror, sci-fi, fantasy, action, comedy, and erotica. 

Chilling Chat Episode 154 Crescendo of Darkness with Emerian Rich

Emerian Rich is the author of the Night’s Knights Vampire Series. She’s been included in many short story anthologies and also writes romance under Emmy Z. Madrigal. She is the horror hostess of and Editorial Director for the San Francisco Bay Area magazine, SEARCH. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and son. Find out more about Emerian at:

Our lovely horror hostess is a real scream. She took time out of her busy schedule to chat with me about Crescendo of Darkness, editing and publishing, and the new submission call.

NTK: Welcome to Chilling Chat, Emz. Thank you for chatting with me.

ER: I am so excited to be on here. I never get to chat with you except about business.

NTK: Crescendo of Darkness is the eighth book in the series of anthologies. How did it come about?emz1small

ER: I had been thinking about doing a music-themed horror anthology for a while. I had read A. Craig Newman’s “Circe’s Music Shop” back in the 90s—Yes! The 90s!—as part of a crit group I was part of online. The story stuck with me. I just loved it. So when Jeremiah Donaldson E-mailed me to say he wanted to do a music anthology, I said, “Yes! Under one condition…We have to have this guy’s story in the book.”

NTK: So, “Circe’s Music Shop” set the bar for the anthology?

ER: Yes, in a way. However, Jeremiah has a much different view of music than I do. He knows more about guitar/rock and you will see that a lot of the stories go down that road. For me, music is more melodic and dramatic. My favorite stories in the anthology are the ones that put off a spookier piano-y vibe. I think we got a really nice mix because we were both reviewing them.

NTK: Did you look for stories to surround “Circe’s Music shop?” What was your criteria for the stories you chose?

ER: We did not look for stories that fit with A. Craig’s. He might have put the idea in my head but, when we were reading, we just graded them by how much they moved, scared, or touched us. We were open to all interpretations. Press has a system for populating our anthologies. We have a team of four readers. The Editor, me, and two others from staff. We all read and grade. Whichever stories get the top grades, we publish. The Editor has veto power and can fight for one if it’s not in the top of the list but, mostly, the highest graded ones (meaning the ones that all of us enjoyed) are the ones that ultimately get into the book. Except yours, which won an award when graded by pros. Congratulations, by the way.

NTK: Thank you! “Audition” was a fun story to write for the Next Great Horror Writer Contest and I’m so honored to be included in Crescendo. We have another NGHW finalist included in the anthology. What attracted you to Daphne Strasert’s story?

ER: Well, as you know, we were only allowed to publish one story from the competition, that being yours, which we felt was the best out of the group. However, we allowed the other contestants to submit something else. When Daphne’s new one came in, I was happy to see it, because she is also a great writer. We graded hers just as all the others and she rang in to the top grades as well. I can’t speak for the others on the submission team, but for me, not only was Daphne’s so different from the others—starring a music box, not an instrument—but it’s also a really creepy story. Daphne’s voice is so fresh and contemporary. I could see this story being made into a movie like The Ring.

NTK: There are fourteen authors included in the anthology and you have a wonderful variety of stories. Can you give us a quick run-down of what the reader can expect to see within these pages?

ER: First, we have a good number of guitar-based stories. Your story, “Audition,” “Circe’s Music Shop” by A. Craig Newman, “Loved to Death,” by Sam Morgan Phillips, “While My Guitar Gently Bleeds,” by Benjamin Langley, “Six String Bullets,” by Cara Fox, and “A Whisper in the Air,” by Jeremiah Donaldson really reflect the cover. Then, we have piano themes in “Solomon’s Piano,” by Jeremy Megargee and “They Don’t Make Music Like That Anymore,” by Kahramanah. There are cursed objects like Daphne Strasert’s, “The Music Box,” and Sarah Gribble’s, “The Legend of Crimson Ivory.” “Lighthouse Lamentation,” by R.A. Goli involves a haunted lighthouse, while Calvin Demmer’s, “Keep the Beat,” is about a cursed village. H.E. Roulo’s, “Become the Music,” is about a child who is allergic to music and my story, “Last Lullaby,” is a re-imagining of the Phantom of the Opera tale.

NTK: Emz, as I mentioned before, this is’s eighth anthology. What made you become an editor and publisher?

ER: I’m not sure when I fell into all this. When I was in my 20s, I had a local ‘zine called Dark Lives. I would publish horror/goth authors and artists. In the early 2000s, I decided I better stop and get to work on my own novels. When I started as a podcast, I never even dreamed it would be what it is today. As you know, we are populated by fans and the staff that come to help spread the horror goodness. We became a blog and a site and a lifestyle for so many craving horror that publishing just seemed like a natural progression. Also, I love reading horror and I read so much by authors that haven’t been published before that I’m like…THIS is the stuff I want to read. But if no one is publishing it, then it can’t be enjoyed by other horror enthusiasts like me. I’m really interested in publishing things I like that may not fit the mainstream publishing system. Cool things I haven’t heard before. New ideas that aren’t the same rehashed formula we get in industry anthologies.

NTK: So, what is your favorite kind of horror? What movies, novels, and TV shows do you enjoy?

ER: I like classic horror. By classic, I don’t mean I always have to crouch by the light of the black and white set, straining my eyes to make out the grays of the darkly lit forest, I mean what we think of as classically spooky. The shutters banging, the ghost in the tower, the creaking doors, and melodramatic music. The Woman in Black, The Others, and Ghost Ship are some of my favorites. For TV, I am more into humorous horror themes like Reaper and Dead Like Me. But, I’m also a fan of shows like Ghost Whisperer, The Others (TV show from the 90s), and Midnight Texas. Reading is a whole different story. I really like Anne Rice and Andre Neiderman. My favorites of those two are Anne’s Pandora and Andrew’s Bloodchild. But, it’s been so long since I’ve been able to just sit and read for fun, it’s hard to pin any new author’s down. I am either reading shorts for anthologies reviewing a book for the show, or working on my own stuff. Oh, for the days of laying in bed or on the porch swing and reading! I want all those bored hours from my childhood back!

NTK: Do you write classic horror? Do your books and stories fit in that category?

ER: Now, that is something I haven’t been called on! Wow. I never thought about that. I have written a book like that, Artistic License. A woman inherits a house where anything she paints on the walls comes alive. My vampire work would probably be considered more like dark urban fantasy. Gritty, street kids, and Hell kind of stuff. However, now that you mention it. I think my love of classic horror is really coming out in my work in progress. I am re-imagining Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey in modern times. The heroine is now a goth girl who adores horror media. So, I’ve been injecting lines from movies, excerpts from classic books like The Grey Lady by Elizabeth Gaskell, and Witch House by Evangeline Walton, and even creating a little myself when seeing through the character’s eyes. Jane Austen is thought of as a romance writer but, this book (while it does have romance in it) is more like a love letter to all my favorite horror creators.

NTK: As you know, Emz, Season 13 is CURSED! We’ve talked about your favorite horror, what is your favorite curse?

ER: This is so tough! Omg…so many to choose from! Well, I can’t give you just one. I really like studying the curses surrounding the Titanic. I think it’s fascinating and just can’t get enough of the conspiracy theories there. I really like the Egyptian and mummy lore and the scarab devouring thing creeps me the hell out. But the coolest curses, I think, are the book curses. The ones we’ll be talking about later in the season about the books that have curses written inside them…“Those who lay their eyes upon this manuscript and have not pure intentions, shall be struck down by their maker,” kind of stuff. I had something happen to me in real life where I witnessed someone unable to read or decipher a book. It was a magick book that had an inscription in it about if the person didn’t believe or wasn’t pure of heart, they would not be able to read it. I could read every word as plain as day but, she was like…“What does it say? Is it some sort of code?” Really made an impact on how I consider book curses today. If that could work, why wouldn’t a curse in a book work?

NTK: What awesome curses! And, speaking of books, has a new submission call coming up. Could you tell us a little about Kill Switch and what you’re looking for?

ER: Yes, Kill Switch is Dan Shaurette’s brainchild. I will be looking for interesting, new, Black Mirror-like stories. I think Dan will have a more sci-fi accepting view, but they all must be horror, so I’m looking forward to reading some really great things. Tech horror is so interesting because we are living in an age where things like implanted chips and bionics are so close to us. Tech is going so fast and it’s not even the future anymore. It’s NEAR future. How will your tech terrorize the world?

Something new we are trying is a blind submission process. We will be grading stories before we know who wrote them. I’m interested to see how that turns out.

NTK: What does the future hold for you, Emz? What do we have to look forward to?

ER: Wow…you do ask the hard questions huh?

My goal is to keep writing and publishing unique and exciting horror with new ideas that we can all geek out on. Also, I plan to continue to support new horror writers and get their voices heard.

NTK: Thank you for chatting with me, Emz! It’s nice to talk to the lady behind the scenes of our favorite podcast and blog.

ER: Thank you for the interview! It’s rare that I get to be on the other side of the couch!

Crescendo of Darkness is available for purchase now. The submission call for Kill Switch ends on October 31, 2018.

Crescendo of Darkness Tour: Circe’s Music Shop

Crescendo of Darkness from Press.

“Circe’s Music Shop” by A. Craig Newman

A music store owner, who won’t be bullied into submission, teaches two hitmen the meaning of pain.

A. Craig Newman shares his thoughts about his story with us below.

When I wrote “Circe’s Music Shop”, I did not plan to publish it.  In all honesty, in my head, I wasn’t writing. I was practicing. 

Practice makes perfect, or so we’re always told. And I want to be a great writer so I figure the only way is to write a lot. But the results of practice are usually riddled with mistakes.  A painter practicing the challenge of rendering eyes or hands will fill sketch pads with dozens of aborted attempts to get it right. A cook perfecting a recipe will throw away countless full and aborted attempts before hitting on the exact combination of ingredients and time and technique that gives the correct results.  So, I figured, and still do, that most things a writer writes should not be published but should be considered practice. 

With this in mind, I give myself challenges to practice with.  One challenge was to go to my friends and ask them what type of character they’d want to be they could be anyone at all in a story.  My best friend, Tamisha, said she wanted to be a sorceress.  Because I have a love of classics and myths, I immediately thought of Circe from “The Odyssey“.  I don’t remember how turning men to pigs became turning men to instruments. I do remember that I wrote the story quickly because I wasn’t stressing myself over a practice piece. 

Since writing this story, several have come and gone where I would consider myself having done some “real writing”. Ideas I mulled over and cultivated into complete premises.  Pieces I wrote and rewrote trying to infuse the work with everything I’ve learned about symbolism and artistry.  Real writing took real work and countless hours of time and effort and frustration. 

There are two things I learned from writing “Circe’s Music Shop”.  First, a writer can never tell where a good idea will come from.  Second, for me, “underwriting” is not a bad thing. Those other pieces that I mulled over and reworked about a dozen times have yet to become anything.  This piece that I just had fun with and tossed onto the paper has gained me more attention, praise, and success as a writer than anything else. 

So, what does this all mean?  How do I apply this in a practical sense?  I have no idea.  I’m still trying to figure that out.  I’ll let you know when I do.  

A. Craig Newman
Author and Instructor

Crescendo of Darkness

Edited by Jeremiah Donaldson

Cover by Carmen Masloski Press

 Let music unlock your fear within.

Guest Blog: “The Need for Horror” by A. Craig Newman


“The Need for Horror” by A. Craig Newman

Like literary mad scientists in our labs, we horror writers mix verbal solutions and concoct new terrors to unleash on the world. We take the wholesome goodness of something like a child’s laugh and pervert it until the reader feels a chill at its mention. Every culture has a Halloween, Day of the Dead, or similar event where Death is not a spectre floating in the background, but the guest of honor. But, why is any of this true? What is the obsession with the macabre that makes us want to be afraid and stare at scenes no one should ever see? Why do we need to be afraid?

Let’s start with “What is Horror?” Horror – for all its gore and guts, monsters and devils, fears and frights – is an art. Like all art, it has beauty, strange though it may be. It is a beauty that is not seen by all, but such can be said of any art form. Not everyone can appreciate the grace and strength of ballet or the ordered chaos of abstract paintings. But just as every pas and pirouette adds to the beauty of the dance, each carefully placed shadow and echoing footstep adds beauty to the work of horror.

Beyond beauty, all art has salubrious purpose. If it did not, art would be as useful as cotton candy – a pleasure to consume but of no nutritional value. Each art form enriches the lives of us all by giving society the shared experiences that bind us together as one body and gives that body the senses it needs to thrive. Dance gives us the sense of grace in motion. Paintings demonstrate how simple color forms and combinations can hold meaning and power. Music trains our ears to hear the melodies in life around us.

If this is so, then what value does horror give us?

Horror addresses fears. The dark. The unknown. The mad, wild, and insane. Evil in its infinite disguises. Pain. Bloodletting and disembowelment. And, the timeless King of Fears, Ole’ Mr. Death. These are things which cannot be controlled and, as such, cannot be avoided. What cannot be seen cannot be stopped. True madness is never understood because it defies logic. Rules of Good and Righteousness cannot be applied to what clings to Evil. There will be pain. Injuries will happen. Mr. Death is coming.

Horror tales are our waking nightmares with lessons to share. We must face the monster in the dark and decide: fight or flight. Horror gives the reader a chance to experience this sensation and look at Death, Evil, and Uncertainty in a safe and controllable manner. If the fear grows too great, close the book, turn off the movie, look away, and feel safe again. We learn that we will face Evil we cannot defeat. When we return safely, we can be bold enough to look again, replay that movie and read the book again.

We Horror Masters and Mavens give society these nightmares. If scared enough times by the monsters hiding in the dark, we become accustomed to the feeling and it scares us less. The monster is not so big and the dark is not so mysterious. When the Inevitable Uncertainty finds us, we can face it though still afraid because we have dreamt of this battle in the past. And when we face Mr. Death as we must all face him, we can meet its empty-eyed stare with a steely-eyed glare of our own.

So, write on, you Stealers of Sleep and Knitters of Night Terrors. Make the witch cast her spell, the ghost rattle his chains, and the werewolf howl at the moon. Bring Mr. Death in all his many forms. Create the nightmares the people of world need so badly. After the screaming and the tears, they will all thank you and line up again for another fright.


631e008e-9d58-4dec-a4fc-a41c231c2ee2A. Craig Newman is a budding writer and blogger from New Jersey.  Horror is his first love, but he has dabbled in dramas, comedies, and scifi/fantasy.  He received his Masters of Arts in Creative Writing from Wilkes University in 2015 and has been writing feverishly since.  He is eternally grateful to HorrorAddicts for the opportunities to present his work to the world and have his voice heard.  If you like what he has to say, visit his website, blogs , and follow him on social media where he is constantly shooting off his mouth.  Good old fashioned email is appreciated, too. 128, A. Craig Newman

HA tagHorror Addicts Episode# 128

Hosted by Guest: Dan and Michelle Shaurette

Intro Music by: Valentine Wolfe


a.craig newman | leper | the strain

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125 days till halloween

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An Interview With A. Craig Newman

Our featured author for Epispde 128 of the podcast is A. Craig Newman. He grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia and was raised on the works of Stephen King. Recently A. Craig Newman answered a few questions about his writing:

What is your story for episode 128 about?

3ab6fea455b8b4fedce5461374d4672ab6bd6b19“Randall’s Visit” is about a man who is talking to his therapist while being plagued by the spirit of a little girl.

When did you start writing?

I’ve been writing since 1984 when I was 10. I was telling my dad a story one day and he told me to write it down so he could get some sleep. Been writing ever since.

What are your favorite topics to write about?

Insanity is a frequent feature in many of my stories. I also like to explore sex, religion, power, and the abuse of all three. I like twist endings that makes the reader want to go back and see what clues they missed. Hence, I say my stories are written to be read twice.

Who or what inspires you?

I draw a lot of inspiration from my life. I’ve been the guy on their therapist’s couch working out his demons. I hope to help the reader escape from their reality for brief moments and enjoy a trip down the rabbit hole.

What do you find fascinating about the horror genre?e7586778cd932d0101b886dfa1b6cbbe8f758800

Horror seems to be a warped take on many concepts found in faith and religion. As a man who grew up in the church and even wanted to be a minister at one point, I find it fascinating to explore the flip side of belief.

What are some of the books you have available?

Burn” is about a man in pain who takes drugs to relieve his suffering. But he isn’t careful and with this relief comes new consequences for his actions.
“Dierste Hamelin and the Pied Piper” is my update to the old fairy tale. Dierste hires Piper to take care of a pest. All goes well until she has to pay.
“Wages of Sin” is about a future were the punishments for certain crimes are more creative than today. The reader sees two women punished for the crime of loving each other

Soon to be available ( hopefully by the time this airs) is my first published full length novel, “The Apocalypse Plan”. Michael and Liz are FBI agents on the task force investigating the destruction of the United Nations building. As they follow the trail, they come face to face with their own demons and secrets and End Times Prophecy .

Where can we find you online?

Here, my books can be purchased and more information about me can be found.