Thursday, December 28, 2017

Hell's Bells Author - Mitch Sebourn

The Road to “The Loneliest Road”

When I learned of the opportunity to write a story for April Grey’s music-themed anthology Hell’s Bells, I decided to write a story about a guitar, for at least two reasons: One, because it’s the only musical instrument I know how to play, and two, because I’ve wanted, for a long time, to take another stab at a story with a guitarist as its focal point. 
Nearly ten years ago, I wrote a science fiction/horror novel called Flying Saucer.  The novel’s protagonist is a singer-songwriter-guitarist who finds herself tangled in a web spun by a madman employee of Area 51.  Looking back on it, I’m convinced the novel, while built on a promising premise, doesn’t totally work. The novel is supposed to be about a guitarist and her song, yet music is nowhere near the center of the story.
So I wanted to try again.

“The Loneliest Road,” my Hell’s Bells story, is a return to the territory I first explored in Flying Saucer, though here, I tried to hit the music head-on.  “The Loneliest Road” is a story about the creation and performance of music.  Specifically, it is about the role the instrument plays in the creation process.  The story suggests that an unwritten song, when waiting to be born, can only enter this world through one certain instrument.  It also suggests that the artist’s instrument of choice during a performance has a tremendous impact on that performance.

In short, the instrument is everything.

But why? 

Does the artist possess the instrument, or does the instrument possess the artist?

“The Loneliest Road” does not offer an answer, only a few thoughts.  It might be a story about music, but it’s also a horror story.  It’s about music, but it’s also about murder.  It’s written to unsettle and entertain. 

And so, I prefer to leave just a little bit for the reader to decide.


Mitch Sebourn is a writer, English teacher, and lawyer.  He lives in Arkansas with his wife and cats.  He is the author of several horror novels, including Lamentation, Toklat's Daughter, and most recently, Folklore.  Be sure to follow him on Twitter: @mnsebourn  

Monday, December 11, 2017

April Grey - Creator, Editor, Publisher and Author of Hell's Bells

Why I created the Hell’s Series of anthologies

If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of “The Elements of Style.” The first greatest, of course, is to shoot them while they are still happy. -Dorothy Parker

When meeting new writers, I remember the joy of holding that first anthology, and then later my first novel, in my hands.

Through a torturous route I became a writer, editor and hybrid author. My poetry in grade school and high school saw publication in school newsletters, and I even had a humorous piece in Columbia University’s Jester magazine (our answer to the Harvard Lampoon), but I was first and foremost a theater person. I was bit by the theater bug at the age of 14 and attended Neighborhood Playhouse’s Junior School here in New York City. My BA, MFA and Ph.D. (ABD) work was all in theater.

Throughout my 20’s and 30’sI did 70-hour weeks, 40 hours at law firms and another 30 hours Off-off B’way as a literary manager, associate artistic director and stage director. The hours OOB were long and the rewards great, though not monetary.

It was around the time I received my MFA (mid-1980’s) that I began to miss writing. I had always been an avid reader of fantasy, sf, horror, romance and mystery. How nice it would be to stay home in peace and quiet and create my own worlds without needing a theater, script or actors. I signed up for writing classes at the New School. By the end of 1989, I made my first sale, a flash fiction, to Pulphouse Magazine. It was never published due to Pulphouse’s demise. Dean Wesley Smith was kind enough to offer a kill fee. Though I didn’t accept it, I felt I had been well paid by his generous offer.

Life intervened and it would be another 12 years before I returned to writing. I had joined CUNY’s Ph.D. program, gotten married and had a child. My son was six when a fellow mom introduced me to the guilty pleasure of fanfic. That got the juices going, and soon I was taking classes online with Marta Randall at Gotham Writing workshop.

I discovered a new sort of pleasure there, almost better than being published, being part of a writing community.

Writing, like theatre and other arts, presents constant rejection and disappointment as the artist strives to better their work against steep odds. Yet that simply sharpens the thrill of when things do go well.

Editing other writer’s work, being a part of various workshops and professional organizations, brought me back to the same sense of family that I experienced in the theater. Nowadays, I edit more than write.

By creating the anthologies for the Hell’s Series, I get to work with my fellow writers and give back to my community while doing something I love.


April Grey's short stories are collected in The Fairy Cake Bakeshop and in I'll Love You Forever. She has edited the anthologies: Hell’s Bells: Wicked Tunes, Mad Musicians and Cursed Instruments; Hell's Garden: Mad, Bad and Ghostly Gardeners, Hell’s Grannies: Kickass Tales of the Crone and last year’s, Hell’s Kitties and Other Beastly Beasts. The first two books of her Cernunnos Series are at along with her other books. Please visit www.aprilgrey.blogspot and for her latest news and offerings.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Journey to Professional Publication

So, after years and years of practicing writing, receiving countless rejections of which some were excessively harsh, my determination and hard work have finally paid off. My short stories, “The Bow of Murmured Voices” and “Those That Stay,” have been published in the Hell’s Bells anthology and I have finally become a paid writer.
The industry is tough. It has always been, but I doubt it has ever been this tough. One only has to take a look at a dozen online literary publications to see the amount of talent and competition out there.
There are hundreds of millions of writers, some of which have BAs, MAs, or MFAs. Sometimes they have two or all three degrees. As someone with a meager education in writing, I found this very intimidating. I even believed that in order to become a writer, a degree was required, and I almost gave up on my dream. Luckily I am a persistent and determined bastard!
I would advise anyone not to give up, no matter the circumstances. Hard work does pay off, and dreams do come true. The journey for me has been long, eight years in the making, and you can read about most of it over here:
As for the anthology, you can visit my Amazon author page to purchase your very own copy! For more information, date of availability, or to contact the editor, I have included all of the information below.
Hell's Bells Book Cover.jpg
Hell’s Bells: Wicked Tunes, Mad Musicians and Cursed Instruments

Mozart finds an unexpected ally in Hell…
A belly dancer’s bargain leads to shocking results…
Pagan rituals endure in an out-of-the-way church…
In Hells Bells, thirteen talented writers lure you closer with stories of music that seduce, intrigue and hold you fast.
Featuring stories by Rayne Hall, Jonathan Broughton, Bruce Memblatt, April Grey, Tracie McBride, Jake T.S. Wryte, Phillip T. Stephens, Mitch Sebourn, Charie D. La Marr, V. Peter Collins, Oliver Baer, Pamela Walker and Pamela Turner.

Contact: Lafcadio Press/Avril Dannenbaum,, for review copies and authors’ bios.
Published by Lafcadio Press December 2017
Now Available at Barnes and Nobles and other books sellers
Available at Amazon Books December 6th, 2017

Krampusnacht Run Blog Hop — Meet Phillip T. Stephens

On 21 October, 2018, April Grey's latest horror anthology, Hell's Heart: 15 Twisted Tales of Love Run Amok  was published. In ...