As the editor of The Dark Sire, Bre Stephens is always pushing beyond the page to promote TDS creatives. This means that she continously talks to people about TDS and works hard to build a platform that authors and artists can be proud of. Recently, she talked with two Twitterzens who just finished reading a TDS issue. Although they did not give her a full review of the magazine, they did share their opinions and even stated a few favorites.
First, there was Motoki, a writer and editor who read issue 1 because she wanted to start at the very beginning. Motoki loved TDS and the layout of its website. This is great news! The TDS website had recently changed from author-based to reader-focused, so getting feedback on website layout means that readers are enjoying the TDS online experience - a must if the platform being built is to be a success. Then Motoki listed her favorites from the issue. "They were all good," she admitted, "but I really loved Gregory Kimbrell's [poetry] and Vampyre Paladin, which was a fun read."
Gregory Kimbrell had two poems in issue 1: The Dice Throwers and Haishutsuryou (Output). Though two different pieces, Gregory's poems unite in their carefree exploration of self-identity. The poet himself sees his writing as a "subversive act of myth making, of smashing old worlds and building new ones." Maybe this is what held Motoki's interest.
Brenda Stephens contributed with a book serialization: Vampyre Paladin. Paladin is Brenda's debut novel, as she was exclusively a short story writer until 2019. Her work is a self-described mix of gothic and horror with a splash of realism. Influenced by Edgar Allan Poe and Anne Rice, she "endeavors to create stories that will engage the mind and address social issues."
Although Motoki only referenced two favorites, it's clear that she enjoyed the whole issue, much like the second reader, Kristina Stagg.
Kristina was the winner of the first-ever TDS online giveaway of issue 2; her excitement of winning issue 2 was contagious. Like Motoki, Kristina is no stranger to creative fiction, being a writer herself. After reading her copy, she didn't hesitate to state her faves: The Village - Part Two: The Apprentices and The Mask.
David Crerand returned from Issue 1 to continue more of his work on The Village, which comes from "a concept piece that involves a series of stand-alone stories based on vampires whose lives are crafted after occupations of typical medieval residents." The Village - Part Two: The Apprentices is a fun and twisted short story that consumes the reader as events unfold. David's work on the series continues in Issue 3, which Kristina is looking forward to.
Carl Hughes wrote The Mask, a short story that delves into mystery and mayhem from the very beginning, leaving the reader dazed-and-confused and screaming for more. The author himself calls his work a "specialisation in writing horror, the offbeat and bizarre." Hailing from England, Carl's work definitely has an old world taste and flavor, which is no doubt why this story made Kristina's favorite list.
According to Motoki and Kristina, The Dark Sire is a wonderful magazine that readers look forward to. And, if the whispers of TDS filling a void in horror and gothic creative fiction are true, it seems as though TDS is going to become a staple for a very specific demographic of readership. With all of this in mind, it's nice to know that TDS is being well-received and enjoyed. It's things like this that will keep TDS around for years to come.
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The Dark Forest
A blog for The Dark Sire, written by Eric Ruark. Look for interviews, genre-related articles, book reviews, writing tips, and much more every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 11am (EST).