Today, I’m pleased to welcome author and editor, Carl Hose, to Immortyl Revolution. Carl is the creative force behind the new horror anthology, Dark Light. I’m thrilled to be promoting this work because the proceeds benefit a very worthy cause, the Ronald McDonald House Charities.
Carl, I’m honored to have you here today. Will you please tell us a little about yourself and your writing?
Thank you, Denise. I’m married to a wonderful woman, Marcee Hose. We live in Florida. I have six amazing kids, Nick and Haley, who live in Missouri, and Seth, Ethan, Caleb, and Ireland. I’ve been writing since I was in jr high, published in a bunch of magazines and anthologies, and now publish my stuff through my own publishing company, MARLvision Publishing.
In your introduction to Dark Light, you give an account of harrowing events surrounding with the birth of your daughter, Ireland, and how this experience motivated you to put together this anthology. I’m sure my readers will also find your story as moving as I did. Would you mind sharing?
Well, Marcee had complete placenta previa, which meant the placenta was blocking the birth canal. For that reason, they were scheduling her C-section a little early, not wanting the placenta to begin attaching itself to her organs. In the end, that’s exactly what happened, so as soon as Ireland was born, Marcee underwent a hysterectomy. It was necessary because the placenta had begun attaching itself to her uterus. Ireland was born at 10:35 p.m. and Marcee wasn’t able to see her until 3:00 a.m. Marcee was still a little weak from all the blood loss, but she insisted I wheel her to the nursery.
The next day the hospital wanted to move Ireland to another hospital—one that was better equipped to deal with a surgery they thought she might need at the time. Not a major surgery, but any surgery for a premature baby is scary. Thankfully, she didn’t end up having the surgery at that time (she’s having it June 21st), but she stayed in the NICU so they could watch her. Being six weeks premature, they wanted to make sure she was doing everything she was supposed to. Moving her, of course, meant that I would need to go with her. Marcee agreed. There was no way we wanted her so far away and alone. That meant Marcee would be left behind without Ireland or me. That didn’t last long, though. Marcee left the hospital just 36 hours after a C-section and hysterectomy to come be with Ireland and me. The doctors weren’t too happy, but you don’t keep a mother away from her newborn.
One of the images that stands out in my mind about the night they moved Ireland was seeing an ambulance that read “Neonatal Transport Unit” on its side and thinking, “That’s a baby ambulance and it’s for my baby.” That’s just something you wish there was no need for.
Being so far from home, the nurses in the NICU insisted I get a room at the Ronald McDonald House. There were actually three on the hospital campus. One of the nurses set me up for the night at one of the smaller, more quaint houses, but later, because of Marcee’s condition, Ronald McDonald House moved us to a facility with an elevator.
One of the hardest parts about this whole ordeal, other than getting little sleep and worrying so much about Ireland, was being away from our boys. They were with their grandparents, who were so helpful in keeping the boys in their routine as much as possible, but we were away for three weeks and didn’t get to see them that much. They came to visit us at Ronald McDonald House a couple of times, and we drove home when we could, but for the most part, they were without us for three weeks. That was difficult, on us and them.
Is there a central theme to the anthology?
Story wise, there is no theme, although some of the writers submitted stories they felt were more fitting to an anthology for a charity such as Ronald McDonald House. The theme, for me, was simply the idea behind the anthology itself, and for which the title Dark Light was used as a title. I wanted to show that a bunch of horror writers, whose work by its very nature is dark, could use their dark talents for something good. That, to me, encapsulates the essence of the project.
Dark Light has an impressive slate of 42 authors. How did you assemble this wealth of talent?
This was one of the most memorable and inspiring parts of the process. Some of the writers I knew well, such as William Todd Rose, Terry Horns Erwin, and Walt Hicks. William Todd Rose was the first writer on board. Before I even got around to asking for help, he was offering it. Dark Markets picked up on what I was doing and I got a couple of submissions that way, but most of the writers were invited. I basically created a dream list of writers and wrote a personal note to each one telling them my story and what I wanted to do. I didn’t worry about how big their names were or if I’d ever talked to them before, I simply approached them. The response was overwhelming, of course, as you can see by the size of the book. I didn’t expect so many submissions, but with just a few exceptions, everyone was happy, and even eager, to submit something.
There are some heavy hitters. Graham Masterton, of course, John Shirley who co-wrote the Crow screenplay, as well as lyrics for Blue Oyster Cult, Scott Nicholson, who work I admire, Ray Garton, who is another favorite of mine, Deborah LeBlanc, Nancy Kilpatrick, and the list goes on. There’s a cool story from Wrath James White, Lisa Morton is in the anthology, Joe McKinney . . . I wish I could name each writer in the book. Besides the heavy hitters, I got to see work from lesser known writers who should be seen more frequently, like David Tocher, who has also worked his butt off to help get attention for the anthology. I received a story from Walt Hicks, who has not submitted anything since 2009, I believe, and I got to reprint a favorite story of mine, After the Fall by Paul Fry. Every writer who contributed was gracious and happy to be helping me give back to the Ronald McDonald House. I absolutely couldn’t have done it without them, and the reason the book is so big is because I can’t imagine it without one of those stories. One writer I should really point out is Sebaston Milam, who was born with craniosynostosis, a pretty severe condition that can lead to blindness and other lasting health issues. He spent time in the hospital when he was born and at Ronald McDonald House. He’s thirteen today, healthy as ever, and this is his first published story. That’s very cool to me.
Would you please share some highlights of the tales included in the anthology?
This is sort of a loaded request here. No matter which stories I talk about, I will be leaving out many that should be mentioned. There were several stand-out tales for me. I particularly liked John Sadness by Jeffrey Thomas, Resurrecting Mindy by Joe McKinney, and A Sight for Sore Eyes by Deborah LeBlanc, Hunters by William Todd Rose, and Raphael by Stephen Graham Jones. My wife loved David Tocher’s story Confidence Man and Debbie Kuhn’s Crasher. Everybody I’ve talked to liked Randy Chandler’s Death Comes Calling, my mother in law love Trap Door by Tim Curran. A really cool surprise for me was a story from David B. Silva entitled The Sum of a Man. Not really horror, per se, but a truly engaging piece.
Where can readers go to learn more about Dark Light?
You can also follow me on Facebook and there is a Dark Light blog tour running from the 25th of June to the 27th of July, with chances to win a Kindle and signed copies of the book. Innovative Online Book Tours has set up a dedicated page for this at http://innovativeonlinebooktours.com/Dark_Light_Fund_Raiser.php where you can find the stops for the tour and read more about the Dark Light story. If you find me on Facebook, there’s also a Dark Light page. My website is carlhose.net, which will also be updated with new information.
Carl Porter did an amazing trailer for Dark Light, which you can view here:
Where can readers purchase a copy of Dark Light and will it be available both in ebook and print?
There will be a print version and all digital versions of Dark Light, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, the Apple Store, Sony Reader Store, and Kobo. I wanted to make it as widely available as possible.
Carl, thank you for visiting with me today! I wish you and Dark Light the greatest of success.
Denise, I can’t thank you enough for taking time away from a busy schedule to help us get some visibility for Dark Light. Thanks for talking to me.
Readers, as a thank-you for stopping by today, if you comment and leave a contact email, I’ll send you a link and free coupon code for my short stories, Annals of the Immortyls. Also, you’ll be entered in my monthly drawing for an e-copy of my new release Servant of the Goddess.