Black Angel Press and Daughters of Darkness
Setting Up an Indie Press and Birthing an Anthology
by Alyson Faye and Stephanie Ellis
Daughters of Darkness – check out the fabulous cover below, (the original image is by Francois Vaillancourt, and Theresa Derwin donated her own copy of the artwork,) is the inaugural anthology from the new women-run indie press, Black Angel, which we, that’s myself, Aly Faye, and Stephanie Ellis set up last year.
Steph and I have been lurking around the horror world, writing, getting published, reading and reviewing, in Steph’s case co-editing over at The Horror Tree site and probably, in both cases, dreaming about it, (would you like to hear my giant snake dream from last week? You would? – email me!) for the last few years.
So in 2020, whilst the world froze to a halt with various lockdowns, Steph and I began to discuss pushing our writing boundaries in terms of creativity, ambitions and scope.
Hence – drum roll – we decided to set up our own indie horror press – Black Angel Press.
Last summer we dipped our toes in the water by releasing a quartet of Gothic stories, Shadow Bound as a taster of our work and including two previously published Gothic tales, alongside two brand new ones.
Here at Black Angel we do love our Gothic tropes.
So yes, we do intend to publish our own work, but we also will curate/edit anthologies with many other women writers – both those who are more established in the field, but also those who are starting out and have yet to snag that first publication credit.
Here’s our contact email for any enquiries: – firstname.lastname@example.org
We’d be delighted if you decided to ‘follow’ us after reading this article. We have plans to expand our blog’s content to include:-
- a dark poetry section
- an advice column on the best/ most supportive presses to submit to
- book reviews and recommendations
- tips on getting published and keeping writing
- a list of Black Angel Press’ publications (with links to buy)
We would like the site and the press, over time, to become a hub for women writers (and those who identify as women) to visit for practical advice, support and information about this writing biz with all its peaks and pitfalls.
So, back to Daughters of Darkness, an anthology which showcases a quartet of women horror writers – Theresa Derwin, Ruschelle Dillon, Stephanie Ellis and myself, Alyson Faye.
How did the four of us link up? I’ve shared a couple of TOCs with Ruschelle over the years and she, like me, has been a regular contributor/interviewer/reviewer to The Horror Tree site, set up by Stuart Conover, https://horrortree.com where Steph hangs out as co-editor and maestro of their fiction section, ‘Trembling with Fear’.
I’ve always enjoyed Ruschelle’s wacky, blackly comic, but visceral stories – she has a unique voice; once read, never forgotten.
Theresa Derwin, who Steph introduced me to at a UK Horror Con in Derby, is a long established horror writer, who Steph credits with getting her first publications in the genre and giving her a helping hand.
We get on, have a laugh, and so I floated the idea to Steph – ‘Let’s do an antho.’
Nine months later, the gestation period is over, and we’ve birthed Daughters of Darkness.
Each writer gets around one-quarter of the content to showcase their work and their very different voices, though there is some overlap in the direction of the content. There are also a few poems tossed into the mix – dark Gothic pieces, proto-feminist yarns, and one, by me, about fighting vampires!
We believe there is something for most horror tastes in this anthology, and much to feast upon – whether it’s creature-features, vampires, monsters (of the human and non-human variety), inverting horror tropes, time-travel, and straightforward Gothic mystery as well as hauntings by the handful.
We were delighted to have the foreword penned by Lee Murray, a supernova in the horror community, and she has been most kind and supportive of our work.
When it came to choosing a publication date there was no contest – it had to be WIHM February 2021 and Theresa suggested, the 14th- traditionally of course, Valentine’s Day- ‘cos if you love horror you will love this anthology!
You can find us on twitter at:
@AlysonFaye2 (Alyson) ~ @el_Stevie (Steph)
@BarbarellaFem (Theresa) ~ @RuschelleDillon (Ruschelle)