Horror is one of the most popular genres of books, movies and other media yet it is also a genre that is somewhat ignored by critics and publishing houses. Hence, it is a wonderful treat for fans of horror stories–and authors of such stories–to find a publisher that sees the merit in the genre of horror and understands its broad appeal. Dark Hall Press is just such a company that openly seeks to foster the work of emerging writers–many of which are first-time authors without agents. Recently William Renehan, Publisher and Editorial Director, spoke to the Examiner about Dark Hall Press and its mission:
Meagan Meehan (M.M.): What inspired the creation of Dark Hall Press and why was that specific name chosen?
William Renehan (W.R.): Dark Hall Press was launched in October of 2011 as a division of our parent company, New Street Communications. While New Street deals primarily with works of non-fiction (computing, technology, literary criticism, biographies), Dark hall was created to promote new and exciting voices in the burgeoning horror scene. I’ve been an avid horror reader since I was a child, so this felt like a very natural move – a labor of love. As for the name Dark Hall, I wanted a name that would summon a specific emotion, something that takes us back to childhood, to that most base, primal fear – that of the dark, and all it hides. A simple idea, but a loaded one as well.
M.M.: Does Dark Hall Press only publish Horror? What other genres does your company accept?
W.R.: Dark Hall is a horror publisher, but we mean horror in the broadest sense. Our catalog includes blends of sci-fi, fantasy, noir, cross genre pollinations and experimental works. We have also recently opened to publishing works of non-fiction (literature and film studies, criticism, historical works, etc.)
M.M.: You accept both novels and short stories to put in collections. To date, how many books have you published and have any been especially popular?
W.R.: To date we have published fifteen books, all available in Kindle and print editions – several are also available as audiobooks. Our top sellers include: Exoskeleton by American author Shane Stadler, Dark Corners – Twelve Tales of Terror by British author Michael Bray, and our Cosmic Horror Anthology (one of several themed Dark Hall anthologies.)
M.M.: How do you find your authors and illustrators? Can unagented writers and artists submit work to you?
W.R.: We receive a high volume of unsolicited submissions and are never short on interesting, original material. Authors will often bring their own cover ideas/art to the table, but other than that all material is generated in house. To date, none of our authors have been agented – so it’s certainly not a requirement.
M.M.: What has been the most rewarding experience related to working with Dark Hall Press so far?
W.R.: I’ve found the act of discovery to be the most rewarding. Most of our authors hadn’t been published before coming to us – so we’re getting in on the ground floor with these highly talented writers. It’s very exciting.
M.M.: What are the long-term future goals for Dark Hall Press?
W.R.: Expanding our catalog to include ever more varied, original works and to continue uncovering new talent and introduce their voices to the world.
M.M.: Are there any up and coming projects that you would like to mention?
W.R.: Right now we’re in edits on “Coldwood: The Haunted Man and Other Tales” by Irish author A.M. Shine. We also plan to have another Dark Hall anthology out in due course. We’ve always got something in the hopper.
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To learn more about Dark Hall Press visit their official website.