Category Archives: Media

The latest media from So Say We All.

Spooky Black Candies Excerpt: “Reckoning” by Wade Pavlick

Wade Pavlick’s story, “Reckoning,” in Black Candies: Surveillance is a fascinating tale of obsession, a little Hitchcock-ian. Black Candies is So Say We All’s journal of literary horror. Here’s an excerpt of Wade’s story to spook you out, just in time for Halloween:

reckoningpavlickAccompanying artwork by Adam Vieyra.

He decided to go back and watch some real footage, action shots of his wife and kids, gardening and playing in the yard. He even watched himself: coming home from work, mowing the lawn, cleaning the pool. When he glanced at the clock, he was surprised by the time. He needed to go to bed.He reached to turn the monitor off and saw the image of his car pulling into the driveway the night before. He paused, his finger poised over the power button. He watched as he climbed out of the car with a bag of groceries.

There in the bushes, behind him, was a face.

Instead of shutting down, his hand went to the controls and rewound the video to watch it again. It was faint but he could definitely see someone hiding in the bushes. The digitized blur of the image made it difficult for him to get any detail–man or woman or even the age of the person–but he was absolutely convinced that he had found his nemesis.

Want to read more? Wade’s story, along with other fine works of literary horror are in our Surveillance issue of Black Candies. You can pick up a copy here: http://www.amazon.com/Black-Candies-Surveillance-Journal-Literary/dp/0988368668

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And stay tuned. This Halloween we will have some shivery-exciting news about our next issue of Black Candies.

(We dare you to go look in the bushes)

Gary Gould’s VAMP: Wedding Season Story, SPLIT

To say that volunteer Gary Gould has been our lifeline lately would be an understatement. Not only has he produced several VAMPs this year, but he is also currently producing the partnership showcase with San Diego City College, taking place October 15th at the downtown library, and co-producing this month’s VAMP: 4 AM. We love the way he empowers the storytellers he works with to get to heart of their stories.

And, AND! He wrote and performed this lovely, funny, and poignant story, “Split” in our June VAMP Showcase: “Wedding Season.” Gary’s story was recently picked up and published by SPEED. You can read it here. Were you at the Wedding Season show? It was a phenomenal night, full of vivid stories and we kind of went through the emotional ringer together, didn’t we?

Banana Splits, it read, a support group and ice-cream social for students with divorced parents. That’s me, I thought, that paper is talking about me. Were there other kids who felt like me?  Who wanted to talk about their feelings and eat ice cream? Could Banana Splits be the answer to all of my problems?

Read his story, and then come and see the fruits of the work Gary has been doing with the writing community in San Diego this month. Congratulations on the publishing credit, Gary, and way to make us proud.

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(image: Speed Literary Magazine)

Black Candies Founder + Editor Ryan Bradford Is A Total Winner

Ryan Bradford is the founder and editor of So Say We All’s journal of literary horror, Black Candies, as well as our volunteer Creative Director. He is usually the one doing all the bragging about everyone else’s writing, so it’s nice to be able to turn the tables on him.

Because: Ryan’s story, “Animal Control,” just won the prestigious short fiction contest at Paper Darts, a fantastic art and lit mag. Yeah Ryan! It’s an incredible story, by an incredible writer, in an incredible literary magazine. We’re so proud, and, as always, quite disturbed. Happily disturbed. Way to get under our skin.

From “Animal Control“:

The next time I see Jean she’s on all fours, crawling over my grass and sniffing the ground. The movement forces definition into her leg muscles, which, I realize, are spectacular. I watch from my porch, draped in a robe and sipping coffee. She turns to me and, without standing, says, “You gotta think like them.” She also says, “There was a killing spree last night.” And finally, “Rough night?” I must look extra pathetic because she offers to show me the victims as consolation.

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original accompanying illustration for Animal Control on Paper Darts by John Willinski

If you like Ryan’s writing, you might want to check out the stories he’s curated over the years in any edition of Black Candies. Black Candies: Surveillance is available for purchase here. Each Black Candies contributor he’s worked with knows that he uses that highly-tuned gory-creative touch as an editor, too. Way to represent So Say We All, Ryan.

Read more: Black Candies Editor Ryan Bradford on Why Horror Matters 

Announcing The Radvocate!

So Say We All is pleased to announce that we are now publishing The Radvocate!

The Radvocate is a literary arts magazine committed to sharing the work of new writers, poets and artists. Since 2011, The Radvocate has created zines, live shows and other media to give a platform and a voice to creatives, both local and worldwide. Now, in conjunction with So Say We All, The Radvocate releases its thirteenth issue, but its first as a literary journal.

Through this collection of poetry, fiction, non-fiction, interviews and art, we are setting a new standard for ourselves. Even though this is issue thirteen, this is a new beginning, in which two forces join together to declare their intentions and plant a flag in this place, this medium, and this moment. Join us. Get rad.

Featuring literary work from: Allison Whittenberg, Brandon Marlon, Kiik A.K., Patrick Mayuyu, Grant Mason, Meg Tuite, Mason Green-Richards, Parker Tettleton, Zachary Scott Hamilton, Clay Norvell, Neil P. McDevitt, Alan Semrow, Robin Wyatt Dunn, Alex Bosworth, Ryan Hicks, Johnnie B. Baker, and an interview with Henry Rollins. Edited by Matt E. Lewis.

Purchase Issue 13 of The Radvocate here.

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Also available for purchase here.

COMING UP! Join us for a release party and reading on Saturday, July 25th at James Coffee Co.

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More:

For more information, back issues, and other content, visit The Radvocate at www.theradvocateisamagazine.com

Black Candies Editor Ryan Bradford on Why Horror Matters

Our own Julia Evans recently got to interview Ryan Bradford, editor of Black Candies, our journal of literary horror. He also volunteers as So Say We All’s creative director, as well as a producer, performer, and writing coach for us. Black Candies: Surveillance was recently released (and is currently a Recommended Book at Powell’s Books!) and to celebrate, we are hosting a reading and release party this Saturday night, 6/27, at Low Gallery in Barrio Logan.

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So Say We All: Hi Ryan. Why horror?

Ryan Bradford: Oh man, busting out the big guns first.

Truthfully, I’ve spent so many hours trying to figure this out for myself. I suspect, ultimately, horror fandom is very personal, and there is often an underlying vulnerability to every obsession.

For me, I’ve dealt with anxiety most of my teenage and adult life. Even in benign social situations, I experience physiological effects: sweating, increased heart rate and clenched jaw. It wasn’t until recently that I was able to recognize these symptoms as anxiety, which, as a therapist told me, is a body’s reaction to fear. Or, basically, I was constantly experiencing fight-or-flight symptoms, despite the fact that I wasn’t being threatened. Reading horror or watching horror, on the other hand, provides this little nest where these symptoms feel normal. It feels like I can be myself, where my anxiety doesn’t feel misplaced.

But I’m also kind of a horror snob, or, at least, very particular about it. I think if you look at the majority of horror books or movies, you’ll see an overbearing grotesqueness. I wanted Black Candies to be an antidote to all the gaudy stuff I was reading and watching. It sounds pretentious every time I say it, but I’ve always wanted Black Candies to be intelligent horror—full of subtlety, wit and nuance. I couldn’t find a lot of online or physical print journals that were satisfying those needs, so I decided to make one.

SSWA: Do you remember what sorts of things you were reading/watching when you started Black Candies four years ago?

RB: I think I read Blake Butler’s Scorch Atlas, Joey Comeau’s One Bloody Thing After Another, and Nick Antosca’s Midnight Picnic in a row and those books were dark and gross without being indulgent or typical. They also had serious emotional stakes that weren’t used as plot devices—which is rare in horror and dark fiction. Those were huge inspirations to Black Candies.

SSWA: Your themes are always a bit unexpected. What grabbed you about “surveillance”? Why did you want to curate a surveillance-themed issue?

RB: Good horror has always been a tool for addressing social issues of the time. I mean, look at George Romero movies—you can pretty much trace the history of American unrest through the “of the Dead” series.

So, I think like everyone else, I was freaked out when the Snowden bomb dropped, but it was also a moment of instant revelation: “Surveillance. That’s going to be the theme of the next issue.” It’s a fear that we all share right now to some extent, and I wanted to create something that we could all connect to.

SSWA: Do you primarily find authors who identify as horror writers?

RB: Not really. I just want people who can be dark. In fact, I think some of the best stories come from people who aren’t necessarily horror writers, but are given permission to tap into their dark side. It’s exciting when writers scare themselves at what they’re capable of writing.

SSWA: We feature a lot of women writers in Black Candies. Is this intentional?

RB: Yes, it’s intentional. I’ve found that women are often underrepresented in horror, and wanted to create a platform where they could not only have a voice, but be as gross, dark and unlikeable as they want. I still think there’s an attitude, even among the liberal literati, that can’t abide a woman writing ugly stories.

SSWA: What will non-horror readers think of these stories? or… Is this book accessible for people who traditionally do not think of themselves as horror fans?

RB: As I said above, I think “Surveillance” is a universal anxiety right now. Even if you’re not a horror fan, these stories should strike a nerve in you.

SSWA: And what about serious horror fans?

RB: If you’re a serious horror fan and you don’t like these, well, come at me, bros.

SSWA: There’ll be a live reading from the book this weekend, at the book release party. How does a story transform for you when you hear it read out loud? 

RB: It’s great to see how a story transforms when an author reads their own work. As I mentioned above, some of these authors don’t usually write horror, and when they do, it can be an exhilarating/terrifying experience for them. When you push that further and have them read this ordinarily-taboo piece of writing aloud, it can become a spectacle of emotion. Does that sound sadistic? Maybe.

SSWA: What’s next for Black Candies?

RB: I’ve always wanted to have an online Black Candies, so that may happen in the near future. Also, Black Candies-flavored Doritos.

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Read about how Black Candies: Surveillance is a Recommended Book at Powell’s Books in Portland here!

Join us at Low Gallery, 1878 Main Street, at 7pm on Saturday, June 27th for our Black Candies: Surveillance Reading and Release Party!

Purchase Black Candies: Surveillance here.

Black Candies: Surveillance! Recommended at Powell’s Books!

Thanks to the diligent vacation-sleuthing of So Say We All’s cofounder, Jake Arky, we discovered that our recently released Black Candies: Surveillance is a recommended book at Powell’s Books in Portland!

IMG_8222(writers usually only eat “recommended” books)

Good news for you: you can pick up the book locally AND cheer on some of the local contributors as they read their stories out loud, just for you. Come join us on Saturday, 6/27, at 7pm at Low Gallery in Barrio Logan for the official Black Candies: Surveillance Release Party and Reading.

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Check out the event on Facebook here.

Read more about Black Candies: Surveillance here.

Jake’s (super rad) short story, “#DEATHIES” appears in the book. Thanks, Jake, and thank you Powell’s!

 

San Diego Book Awards!

Congratulations to two of So Say We All’s storytellers, Jim Ruland and J. Dylan Yates, for winning not just one but two prizes each in the 2015 San Diego Book Awards!

Jim Ruland won the prize for Best Published Contemporary Fiction for his novel, “Forest of Fortune,” as well as a tie for Best Published Memoir for “Giving the Finger.”

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Jim, a long time, steadfast supporter of the literary arts scene in San Diego and Southern California, was most recently seen on our VAMP stage in January.

J. Dylan Yates won both the esteemed Geisel Award for Best Published Book and the award for Best Published General Fiction for her novel “The Belief in Angels.”

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Dylan most recently took the stage in our LGBTQ showcase, Outspoken, in February.

Congratulations to our fine winners. We are so proud of you!

 

Working with Samuel Abel for INCOMING Radio

As a part of our fundraising campaign to support Incoming,  we’ve been asking our veteran writers to say a few words about their work with So Say We All. This week, however, we wanted to hear a little from one of our steadfast volunteers and teaching artists who has worked extensively with these veterans. Today’s entry is from Kym Pappas (who is so much more to us than simply a performance coach) about her work with Samuel Abel (you can hear Sam’s story today on episode 4 of Incoming on KPBS radio at 12:30). Here’s Kym:

A few sentences about working with Sam… or a lesson in showing up and staying present, even when you’re scared.

I agreed to work with Sam before I read his story. I felt honored to be asked to be a part of So Say We All’s latest adventure and any time my schedule allows me to get in the room with people brave enough to speak their truth, I am down. On January 26th, I read Sam’s story… and I almost backed out because I was afraid.

I am an actor, a director, a teaching artist, and sometimes I write things. In my own work, I am all about asking big uncomfortable questions and digging into personal histories in order to get to the emotional core of things. We all need a space to get honest… to get ugly… and I do what I can to create a safe place for people to do that. When I was entrusted with Sam’s story my fear was that I could not make a space safe enough. Here is a man telling us the reality of life during and after war. How do I ask someone who is living with PTSD to dive into the details with me, knowing full well that this could be triggering? What kind of safety is there in that?

Upon meeting Sam (and after initial pleasantries) my only choice was to be as honest with him as I was about to ask him to be with me.

I think it went something like… “I cannot say that I know your experience… I cannot even imagine… but, I was diagnosed with PTSD when I was 12 and I know what it is to live haunted. If at any point this gets to be too much or if I say something stupid, just let me know.”

Once that was on the table we jumped into who we are and where we come from. I was gifted stories about the infamous pool parties with the margarita machine.  Then we dove into the piece at hand. The conversation began with, “Why this story?”… “Why now?”… We talked about splitting the self… We talked about the air, the light, the weight… We created a scale, 1-5, “Where are you now?”

The word “moist” happened. I hate that word. Sam loved that… and he took every opportunity to use it against me. We laughed a lot. Sam has a really great laugh.

Sam and I talked about living; about the things we take for granted… or no longer take for granted. I thanked him for showing up honest, for letting us in… because although this is Sam’s story, there are many men and women… they are our friends and family… who understand this story all too well. Sam and I shared some of the things we carry in this life… we talked about how we hope the sharing helps others feel less alone.

And then he let me take a picture of his hands.

Thank you, Sam.
–Kym Pappas

To support So Say We All in continuing this work with veterans and other groups in our community, and so that we can keep making new episodes of Incoming, please visit our Fundrazr and donate.

Listen for Sam’s story on KPBS today: the episode featuring Samuel Abel and Liam Corley airs on Friday, 6/5, at 12:30pm on 89.5 FM or stream at KPBS.org, wherever you get your podcasts, or as a standalone episode on KPBS’s website.

Happy Independent Bookstore Day!

For one day only, Saturday, May 2nd, you can buy various bundles of Black Candies, our journal of literary dark fiction and horror, for super steal bargain prices, from our little online shop.  Because we love you. And we love our books. And we want you guys to hook up.

Happy Independent Bookstore Day to you.

Black Candies: Surveillance and See Through…$20

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Black Candies: Surveillance is the brand new edition of our literary horror journal, and we are selling it packaged with the prior edition, Black Candies: See Through (2013). A $28 value, but you can have BOTH for $20.

Black Candies: Surveillance, See Through, and Post-Apocalypse…$25 (limited quantities)

bc three issues-SALE

Limited quantities available of our first issue of Black Candies: Post-Apocalypse. This is the remaining stock of our first printing, which will probably translate into super high ebay values later for you. Buy ALL THREE BLACK CANDIES! Together at last! A $43 value for just $25. 

(prices do not include shipping)

Black Candies: Surveillance in Boing Boing

The great Cory Doctorow, editor of Boing Boing, would like you to read Black Candies. Boing Boing recently picked up Angus McIntyre’s Black Candies story, “Someone To Watch Over Me,” and we couldn’t be more proud. Maybe you should listen to Cory Doctorow when he tells you to buy a book.

We recently announced the publication of Black Candies: Surveillance from SSWA Press.

Black Candies is our literary journal dedicated to evolving and advancing the beloved horror genre. Each edition is themed, with special editorial attention paid to soliciting works from new voices, many of whom have published previously in other realms.

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We’re never alone. Paranoia has replaced privacy. Secrets are the new currency. The strangers who watched from the street now watch from within. For our third issue of Black Candies,  we found 11 smart, terrifying stories that explore the theme of “Surveillance” in explicit, implicit and abstract ways. These stories not only touch on the contradiction of the securities of our modern era, but unearth the deeper terror, paranoia, and anxiety that results.  

Edited by Ryan Bradford, and featuring fiction from: Angus McIntyre, Valerie E. Polichar, Julia Evans, Gabriela Santiago, Melissa Gutierrez, Berit Ellingsen, Jake Arky, Matt Lewis, Chris Curtis, Kevin Sampsell, Ron Gutierrez, and Wade Pavlick.

Purchase Black Candies: Surveillance at Amazon here.

Or here.

Visit Black Candies: Surveillance on Goodreads.