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As many of you know, I am a flaming, red-hot Christian, on fire for Jesus.

And, as many of you others know, I write books.

What some of you may not know is that I write horror stories.

As you may be able to tell from the creepy cover, this latest work is a book of horror stories.

But what does a horror story written by a Christian look like?

There's two answers for this, but before I give them to you, I would like you to read the preface in Adelphoi.

Once you're done reading the Preface text (or before - whatever you want really), let us suppose that we can clarify that horror is just a story about survival. Horror is "making it to the end of the story" with your life... Not necessarily in one piece, but alive nonetheless.

Classically, "Jurassic Park" and "Arachnophobia" are horror movies. Just survive to the end. The monsters are a little more tame than, say, Dracula... But they are monsters and you have to live.

Sometimes the monsters are so overwhelming that they can be supernatural. "The Mist" movie is one of the most horrible of all supernatural horror movies I've ever seen. Almost everyone dies and the hero is made to choose unthinkable things.

But let me put to ease your questions about my sanity, calling myself a "Christian Horror Writer."

Horror is a story that you have to endure through. Christianity is the belief that the Son of the Intelligent Designer sacrificed Himself so that we wouldn't die. Conclusion? A Christian Horror writer is a person who writes about horrible things and the power of Jesus to overcome them.

So what are the two answers for "What does a horror story by a Christian look like?"

Answer 1) A story about a horrible thing, with a saving grace at the end.

Answer 2) A story about a horrible thing, with a tragic ending and a moral purpose.

I think that's pretty straight forward.

So there may be some "raw life" in the story. So what? Do Christians pretend to sit around with harps and halos? No. We get dirty just like the rest of the world. Real life and even, in this instance, imagined life, is harsh and cruel and violent. And there are some violent scenes in the book that I wrote. There's also some cool stuff, like angels and guns. But just because the story is a "good story" doesn't mean that the bad guy doesn't rip off an arm or two in the telling.

I'm not saying that the ends justify the means. Far from it.

What I am saying is that good stories are visual and have an impact on the reader. I want these stories to evoke emotion and to be memorable. I want you and everyone who turns the pages to feel what the characters are going through.

In the end, life is hard but God is good.

I hope you enjoy reading the book.

Jesus loves you.

-Pauly Hart
February 14th 2020

#AdelphoiBook #Brom #BromArt

Adelphoi - My latest book

Here is a tease of pages 1-3 of my new compilation or anthology... Or, whatever you call a tome with several stories inside of it.

This is a screenshot of my MSWord document that is receiving attention currently. Mark Fruci, my editor, is still slogging though the end of the book, so I figured I might as well work on the guts, so as not to waste time.

I'm super excited y'all. I really am happy with most everything that's happened during this entire project. From the cover creation to the hiring of a super-genius editor, to all the support I have received from family and friends... This has been a really fun book.

It's also been stress-relief. So often, during the course of my week, I get to a place of frustration with everything. Lately, my boss took a mission trip to Africa and left me in charge of the work. I had six subcontractors that I was in communication with, and the boss... Well... He fired me after the first week. I thought things were fine, but halfway through his fortnight adventure, he texts me telling me to not work on anything until he gets back.

It was all very abrupt and hurtful. But all is well in the end. I was able to buckle down and work on this and other projects to relieve my mind. So, while having an unexpected week off of work was extremely hurtful, it did allow me to focus on the book, for which I'm grateful for the opportunity.

As you may already know, the cover art was painted by Brom, and I got the rights to use it for a steal. I'm super excited to put it in the marketplace, and I hope to gain more expertise when it comes to picking cover art for my books. The mockup shown here is actually the banner I had printed. The novel cover will obviously be similar, for Brom's art is the only art for the exterior of the book.

So far, the reading list includes: 16 Shorts, 5 Poems, 1 Canto, and 3 Novelettes. I am super excited about the Canto (which is basically a really long poem) because it is one of my original books that I published as a chapbook back in 1996. I am pleased that: "Indigo Dark Burn" is finally coming into professional publication. It's been too long.

As far as the other poems are concerned, this will be a first. Writing poetry is tough, but writing horror poetry? Come on. Edgar Allan Poe I am not, but I do think I gave them a professionalism that few would argue is sophomoric. The Novelettes I am somewhat concerned with. I have three listed, but I might just nix one and leave it at two. I am still torn about that. But here we go, let's talk "short stories" because that's really the meat of the whole book.

Of the 16 Shorts listed, the majority of them are not new to the printed page. But they are the best one's I've written. I've featured some of them in my magazine: "Microzine" but the readership on that Periodical is not blowing up the machines at the Amazon printing press. So, I figured, by putting them in their own collection, they would have the opportunity to shine as they should, along with their peers - other horror stories.

I've pushed the publication back again. It will be ready in February. Hopefully very early in the month... Just in time for you to get your hands on it for St. Valentine's Day... If... If you're into that kind of thing, I mean.

I will see you soon.

Pauly Hart


Juliet Marillier gives great advice

When Kiwi writer, Juliet Marillier came to the United States, my wife almost lost her sanity. Screaming like an insane fan-girl, she came running into my office.

"We have to go see her!"

And so we went. Not being the kind of person to drive 100 miles for just one thing, I commented on Juliet's Facebook page that my wife and I would love to buy her a cup of tea after her presentation at the book convention. To my delight and surprise, she said yes. On the day of the event, we found ourselves seated with her, drinking tea and talking about her life as a writer and her wonderful books that she's brought into the world.
My wife still can't believe all this is real

Of course this would become one of the best things I have ever done for my wife, but, it was selfish of me, to be honest. Here was someone who had made it. Here was someone who had made cut. Here was a lady who had her "big break" and could live the life that I've always wanted. A small house, some cute pets, and my word processor. I loved it and learned so much.

This last November, Juliet was featured at Supanova in Brisbane. Here's her words of wisdom.

“I usually have three bits of advice. The first one is: you need to read. You’re never going to be a successful writer if you’re not a reader. And don’t just read in the genre you want to write in. Read as widely as you can… because that is the best way to soak up style and technique without necessarily having to go to classes to learn it. Be a reader first.

The second is: don’t write what you think will sell. You don’t write to become rich and famous; you write because you desperately need to write. You want to write and you’ve got a story that you really need to tell.

That leads on to the next bit of advice, which is writing because you feel passionate about it. You’ve got a story that is busting to get out. Keep working at it. Do a little bit every day. Work on your craft and polish it. Get people to look at it and give you feedback and you’ll eventually get there.” - Juliet Marillier

This is golden advice and I would like to add some followup statements that I have found to be true as a new writer.

Reading never let anyone down. To and understand what is good and quality literature, you need to read literature. Then you will know what is good and bad, and ugly. If you throw the book into the trash bin, there are probably hundreds of others who have done the same. Pull it out of the trash and find out how not to write this way. Learn why you hate bad writing... But more importantly, learn why you love great writing.

On the second note. I cannot say that nothing has ever been more true. Who are you as a writer? Are you yourself or are you a shill and a sham? To become a great writer is to be true to the writer within you. We aren't in school anymore. We aren't out here to impress anyone, really. We have the tools and we have the wherewithal to accomplish the great story within us. Let's not be harlots to the industry.

Finally, on her third note, we must remember that every large work did not just happen instantly, saving for the acts of God, we cannot create something immediately. The procedure must inundate our existence. If we are writers, then we must write. If we are people who write, what would propel us into becoming  writers. If we are those who sometimes write things, what would be the thing that would push us into becoming someone who writes? Push on, good soldier, push on.