I can remember back to my childhood living in a two story house in Staten Island, NY and watching a preview for a movie that I would later identify as Phantasm. I was shocked, scared and worried that this Tall Man would get me. Hell, even my sister said that one of those orbs was in the vents.
I never went near that vent after seeing the film.
Now I love horror. I love everything about it and one of the things that I cannot get enough of are books. However, it is getting harder to find good horror out there and the folks over at Blood Bound Books have heard the blood curdling screams and strive to deliver independent horror. Recently I had a chance to catch up with Marc Ciccarone and he told us all about his little shop of horrors.
TR: Please introduce yourself.
MC: Thanks, Thomas. I have the pleasure and honor of being co-owner of Blood Bound Books. We are an independent publishing company specializing in horror, suspense, and dark fantasy. In addition to BBB, I am also co-founder of The Splatter Club. The club began as an interactive twist to the online book club model, which it still is, but we have recently morphed into an association to help writers and other content creators in the horror community as well. People are often surprised to learn that when I’m not planting ideas in the fields of horror, I spend my days teaching high school classes.
TR: Tell us a bit about Blood Bound Books.
MC: Blood Bound Books started out with a public submission call on Thanksgiving weekend 2009, advertising three themed anthologies: Night Terrors, Unspeakable, & D.O.A. Looking back, I’m not always sure I knew what I was doing in the beginning, but I had a definite vision for the future. Those first three anthologies were rough, but authors and fans stuck by our side and I’m thankful for their belief in us. Eight years later, with their support, the D.O.A. anthology series became so popular that we were fortunate enough to release a third volume of new stories and it wasn’t so rough anymore. In fact, D.O.A. III featured Bentley Little, Lloyd Kaufman (Troma Studios), Jack Ketchum & Edward Lee, Richard Christian Matheson, John Skipp, and many other well-known authors of dark fiction.
In 2011, we expanded from anthologies and published our first novel. Since then we’ve garnered quite a cult following over the years and have been able to attend conventions across the country and release books from some of the best up and coming names in dark fiction.
TR: What are some of the books that you are known for?
MC: We have become known as one of the main publishers of quality extreme horror. I say quality, because the majority of readers still view extreme horror as the literary equivalent of a B-movie. Lots of gruesome deaths, blood and guts for the sake of shock and gratuitous nudity to the point where many would describe the content as torture porn. And while extreme horror can be all those things I just described, it has the capability to be so much more. Blood Bound Books requires deep character development, quality plotlines, and an emotional message in our publications…most of the time. Sometimes it’s fun to just go crazy, but those are rare occasions.
It’s always hard to choose which books we’re best known for, but beyond the D.O.A. series, most people will point to Body Art, The City, Prince Of Nightmares, Bleakwarrior, and The Ressurectionist (which was adapted to film as Come Back to Me) as some of our best newest releases.
TR: Tell us a little bit about this partnership with Chilling Tales for Knuckle Supper.
MC: In October of 2017 we were sending ARCs to YouTubers to review—we’ve had a couple of successful YouTube reviews which I’ll link below—and Chilling Tales for Dark Nights responded that they’d read the first four chapters online. Author Drew Stepek began reaching out to the owner of CTfDN and before you know it, they decided to produce the entire book and release a chapter a week.
We are still in talks, but it’s looking like fans may see the sequel to Knuckle Supper get the audiobook treatment too, as well as a few more classic Blood Bound Book titles. Again, it’s all still in the discussion phase, but I really hope that it comes to pass. Fans seem to be digging the YouTube audio format and I’d love to expose them to more fantastic authors.
TR: They can listen to this book for free on YouTube is that correct?
MC: That is correct. Find the playlist here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLpCh5fYI6EcGb65K6db4RC_-2Fvx1P9B4
TR: What are some of the projects that you have in the works?
MC: We’re excited about continuing our recent partnership with author Kristopher Triana. In addition to Body Art and Shepherd of The Black Sheep, he’s been featured in two of our anthologies, and we have an entire catalogue of releases planned out over the next several years. His writing really connects with us and since we have a similar vision, it felt right to commit to unleashing his horror on the world.
We have expanded products to a horror greeting card line, which you can find on our website. And we hope to add horrific calendars and coloring books to that list as well.
With the busy schedule of most people, I’ve heard that committing to an entire novel is sometimes challenging for a big chunk of today’s population and so we are going to release a line of short novellas that are perfect for the reader who needs a great story, but has little time outside of work and family obligations. There will be lines dedicated to extreme horror, bizarre fiction, and erotica. And of course, we’ll continue releasing anthologies which are also a winning combination for readers on the go.
TR: Are you always on the lookout for new talent?
MC: Absolutely. We currently have two anthologies open for submissions. And we wrap up a call for novels and novellas on July 4th. We always keep a portion of our submissions open to the public; this allows entry to anyone with a computer and great writing style. We never want to be so elite that we accept only solicited material—that would not be very indie of us. We have a Patreon page and if we can reach our goal of $300 a month, we’ll open up year-round to submissions. Currently we can only do one session a year and sometimes only every two years.
TR: What are some of the projects you would love to see Blood Bound Books publish?
MC: I don’t know who will write them or what the subject matter will be yet, but I want to find projects that push the envelope in some way. I want stories with submerse messages and psychological implications that challenge people at the same time as entertaining them. I want authors to move away from the generic plotlines for pure entertainment. I hate it when people describe movies as ‘well, it was entertaining’. That’s not good enough. I want creators to take risks and experiment outside of the confines of the mainstream. When I find the right project, I’ll take the risk too. I can’t say that all of our books are best sellers, but if I believe in something, I’ll give it my all in producing it and spreading the word.
TR: Anything else you’d like to add?
MC: Please check out our Patreon page. You get a new book every month, which is a deal you can’t beat. For only $2 a month you get a digital copy of the books and for $10 a month, you get the paperback shipped to your doorstep. If you are true Blood Bound Fiend, $15 gets you all that plus exclusive sneak peeks, signed merch, limited editions, and other various goodies that pop up. Plus, if you support us, we’re a few more dollars closer to opening up to year-round submissions.
Also, don’t forget to visit the Splatter Club (www.splatterclub.com) if you’re an avid author or reader and join one of our bi-monthly discussions. In July, we’ll be reading Full Brutal by Kristopher Triana.
And there you have it folks! If you want to know more about Bloodbound Books you can check them out on Amazon here , on their Patreon here or at their official website at www.bloodboundbooks.net . Oh and if you have a horror fan in your life and you want to reach out and give them something to remember check out their horror greeting cards here . So go look at some of the books they have to offer and who knows? They might be able to give you a few new nightmares.