It’s Thursday! I have no idea what vortex this week has slipped into but I feel like tatas was Monday.
The staff have been busy like Sandy Klaws monsters to get the Halloween issue insides prepped for print. We’ll have news regarding that very soon and we’re opening up a couple more spots for ARC readers.
📢 If you are interested in becoming an ARC reader for House of Stitched Magazine you must either own a blog, or social media with some influence. We’re trying to spread the word and would like to do it organically from real fans and readers.
📢 We will provide you with a digital copy (ePub, PDF, or mobi) with up to 3 weeks time to read before launch day
☣️ we are looking to put together a Street Team and have an opening of 5 spots. The street team will help us share and spread all news regarding House of Stitched and the podcast, Librae Mortis which launches October 15 of this year! If you’re interested, there are perks! Like free digital magazine, swag and much more. Comment with “street team” below if you’re interested. Candidates must be active on social media and be willing to join a private Facebook group. You will be given directives as to the goal for each week on Wednesday evening to follow up on Saturday.
🛑 we have 700+ people on the House of Stitched Facebook page! We’re so excited about the growing numbers … but our newsletter numbers don’t match up 🤔
🌀 did you know the Patreon subscription gives you FREE downloads of artwork, audio, interviews featured in the magazine, and loyalty merch (sent automatically after designated length of subscription)? As well as all that, you’ll get early listening to the podcasts before anyone else! What are you waiting for? Subscriptions start at $3! http://www.Patreon.com/houseofstitchedmagazine
🆕 have a special release and want to promote it but everyone is booked or busy? We got you covered! In between monthly podcasts, we’re whipping up The House Brew on YouTube and Twitch : An unscripted, raw platform for YOU to come into Stitch’s House, have a cup of coffee (spiked or unspiked) and let us host your party. And it’s FREE guys. Comment below with ☕️ House Brew if you’re interested. Our first party will feature Lucas Milliron! Details on that coming soon!!
⏳ time is running out for low cost advertising! If you want your ads featured on all our social media and in the Magazine, you don’t want to miss the opportunity. The prices are insane and will only go up as our grows. Right now, we’re making it affordable for everyone to share the great with us. While strive to always keep prices affordable for every budget, ads-along with Patreon-are how we can afford to bring you the best articles and content from your favorite contributors (this means regular staff and guest contributors!) Comment below with “Ad me!” If you’re interested in hearing more, or check the House of Stitched Magazine website (click advertising) for more information.
And of course, we would like to say thank you to everyone who supports and reads our publication. We are so happy to call you all, “family.”
We have been busy underground at House of Stitched Magazine. Between interviews and our Patreon, it has been fast paced and bustling with energy.
We want to extend our thanks to Damien Glonek, co-founder of The Living Dead Dolls for taking the time to talk with us. We found out what scares the doll creator, what some of his favorite movies are and got some advice for creators who want to go from handmade to commercial while maintaining a hand in the process. You won’t want to miss out on that interview in the Winter Issue.
We had a wonderful tour and tea time with Miranda Merrick of the Midnight Library Podcast. We listened to stories about the wolf pups curled up next to the fireplace, her long line of grandmothers who collected the endless rows of tomes, and how to keep the dark fae in line!
Tomorrow we speak with Edward Uthman, a Houston Pathologist, who will give us some insight to what he does, strange diseases, and how the movies holds up to real science. His interview will also be featured in the Winter issue but that’s not all you’ll be hearing from him as he joins us for Patreon-only panel discussions geared toward writers and readers alike.
Don’t forget about our newsletter.
We’re all about the creators in our House and we are exploring more ways to bring you things you want to read. Our newsletter will be a sneak peek into what we do at the magazine and what you’ll find between its pages.
There are three versions of the newsletter to choose from!
Free for everyone, one page highlight of what’s to come. Just sign up on our website, House of Stitched
Three Page: for $3 dollar tier level Patreon, you’ll get a little more! We dive into who we’re interviewing, pictures, and more! Can’t commit to it monthly? We understand. So we’re offering it for a one-time donation of $3 which will give you access to our Members Only page with a sample of Patreon membership for 30 days!
Five Page: $5 dollar Patreon subscription or the one-time $5 donation. Get monthly news on the magazine, and special offers like coupons or codes to audiobooks, flash fiction . . . there may be downloadable artwork, secret recipes, or first glance excerpts from upcoming, anticipated releases!
We want to keep up the enthusiasm for our subscribers and help interested readers who haven’t quite made up their mind yet. Every single word in the newsletter is put there with intention. We want you to see what you’re getting before you commit and we understand in this age of pandemic and uncertainty things aren’t as easy as it used to be. Each staff writer on staff reveals a new layer of talent by delving into the world of darkness. You may know them as authors, but you’ll get to know them more intimately as musicians, doctors, poets, and podcasters.
When you get to know indie creators, you get a glimpse into who your neighbors and co-workers are. We’re shining the light on a community you never knew existed. We transform you from being a tourist in your own backyard to a real native who knows the secrets streets and dark alley turns.
This blog is just a highlight and teaser to what it is we really do. The magic of immersion is in our Patreon. Not only do you get behind the scenes information, but you’ll get access to digital downloads, panels, art, and short stories. Depending on your Tier level, you’ll also get a copy of the magazine to read along as you listen to pieces of the interviews. The best part is, in October when we launch the podcast, you get a chance to interact with us as we hang out and chat about the creative process, challenges, and expert advice you always wanted to know. We ask the tough questions, we get into the creative mind, and we have fun while doing it.
What makes us different? Take a tour and find out!
And if you’re a reviewer of all things dark, don’t miss out on our limited option for Advanced Reader digital copies. We are only accepting a few, VIP spots who get “backstage access” to spice up your platform. Hit our website at House of Stitched and drop us a line if you’re interested!
Due to the conflict the StitchedSaturday contest drew, I’m changing this contest up a little and want to announce it here. First, let me say we did not receive entries as of yet, so no one’s work has been in vain.
The opportunity I’m putting out is for new writers, writers who want to increase their exposure, and people who are like-minded about helping other authors learn the craft of storytelling.
All entries are submitted voluntarily. In order for them to be voted on, we must share your entries on our website. If you feel this will cause an issue for further publications, please weigh your decision with caution. Let us be clear: there are some publishers who will not reprint stories. If your story is published on a blog, website, etc., they may consider this as previously published. When we ask for original stories, we will use the same stipulation: no prior publications allowed. I want to be transparent about that for new writers who may not understand how things work.
Next, I want you all to know only the winner will receive payment for their story and not for their appearance in our magazine. We do no pay for interviews. Everyone who is non-staff gets paid the same amount for their submissions and since we are publishing your work, we will pay for it. If $25 is not enough for you then do not submit. We respect everyone’s decision in what they feel their work is worth. Also, please note, we have no word minimum. We only have a word cap which is 750 words. We are not asking for thousands of words. Our magazine is not a short story magazine.
In our quest to help other authors, we take all input seriously. We hold ourselves accountable to what the readers and the authors want, but we will not be paying for work voluntarily submitted on our website, or to our magazine. Because there are new authors, we discussed it and decided to clarify the risk of your submissions because doing so aligns with our mission.
What is the prizefor entering?
One full-spread interview. Your winning short/flash fiction published in an issue. A full page ad for any work you have published, of your choice.
What kind of exposure will I get?
We are a new magazine, and we are growing with each issue. How much exposure as a new author are you getting currently? I imagine it isn’t enough (and honestly, how much is enough?). We are not promising your interview will reach millions and suddenly you’ll be a best seller. Our magazine isn’t produced with that in mind. If you know nothing about the magazine, I can only suggest–before you submit–you do your due diligence.
We have featured amazing talent such as Best Selling Author Josh Malerman (Bird Box), Dacre Stoker (Best Selling Author and great grandnephew of Bram Stoker), Jonathan Maberry (Best Selling Author of VWars, Rot and Ruin), John Palisano (President of the Horror Writers Association, Best Selling Author), Rob Prior ( artist for Marvel, Star Wars, Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Larry Elmore (artist for Dungeons & Dragons, Wizards of the Coast), James A Moore (Best Selling Author in the ALIEN franchise, Fallen Gods Series), and in our upcoming issue we will be featuring Best Selling Author Laurell K Hamilton (Anita Blake series), Trina Robbins (Comic Book Artist known for her work with Wonder Woman, the underground comix movement) . . . and that’s just a few features of note.
I feel our resume stands for itself and is quite impressive for a new publication.
What change did youmake to the original contest?
In the original version of the contest, I was going to do a different image for the writing prompt. Going forward, I will only do one image for a prompt and will carry the contest until the deadline which is FEB 1, 2022. The other change we made is you MUST submit your story via email (see further down). We were going to allow entries to be submitted in comments, but there was concern raised about this, too. I want to remove any level of concern with clear rules and leave it to the author to make their own judgement call.
The winner of this contest will be judged by the readers. We reserve the right to disqualify authors based on unsportsmanlike activity, cheating, not meeting criteria, and/or misrepresentation, at our discretion. If you do not trust the intentions of the event, please use your own judgement and do not enter. The contest is being held publicly. Therefore, the mishandling on our end would be foolish.
The winner of this contest will be featured in the SUMMER ISSUE, provided all criteria are met.
What is the criteria?
All submitted work is original work, never been published before and must be no more than 750 words. (No, 751 is not OK.)
You attest that you have the rights to submit and the work is yours.
The winner of the contest will not submit the winning story anywhere else for one year following the submission (a contract will be drawn up to protect both parties).
Submissions prior to winner announcement will not submit their stories elsewhere until the winner is announced on MARCH 1, 2021.
Author retains all rights to their original stories. The only right we are acquiring is to publish your (unpublished) story in our magazine issue to accompany your interview. THIS IS PART OF THE PRIZE. Once it is published, you may do what you want with it once the ONE YEAR from SUBMISSION DATE has expired.
Must have PayPal or SQUARE for payment of $25 prize which will be paid out once the contract for publication has been signed and all due diligence on your submitted piece has been done to confirm it has never been published.
Must have a HIGH RESOLUTION photo for the full page ad if you intend to take part in that portion of the prize package.
Since this is a contest and there is a publication involved, you must be at least 18 years old, or have your parent’s consent to be both published and interviewed.
All local, state and federal laws must be adhered to. Void where prohibited.
With all that out of the way, here are the specifics for the contest. Using the image below as inspiration please submit stories or poems to magazine @ stitched smile publications (dot) com <- remove all spaces.
In the subject of your email, please title it using the following format: “TITLE, by AUTHOR, StitchedSaturday Entry”
Within your email, please provide a bio no longer than 100 words, with a link to your social media.
Your entry should be placed within the body of the email, no attachments accepted, using Times New Roman font, 12PT. It does not need to be double spaced.
Entries will be published on our website Feb 5, 2022. Do not email asking what time. Do not email asking if we’ve read your entry. We will send you an email receipt that says “Received. Thank you, good luck.” All questions regarding the contest should be asked below in comments. I will address them here, and only here. If you email your question, it will be deleted and unread. This is to keep the transparency of the contest open to everyone.
Once the entries are added to this WordPress you may:
1. Share the link, or don’t share it. 2. You may tell your friends to vote, or don’t tell them.
You can rely solely on social media and the WordPress search engine gods, or you can share it. Either way, it doesn’t matter. This is pure sport and fun for all involved. We want to engage as many people as possible to see your work but you aren’t required to do anything but enter the contest. (And let’s face it. If high numbers of followers equaled sales, we’d all be sitting comfortable.)
My hope is, as writers and storytellers, we have fun with this. If it isn’t something you want to have fun at, please do not submit your work. Don’t suck the life out of it for those who want to participate. With the clarity of the publication, pay, and risks of submitting, if this isn’t for you . . . do not enter. If you have read all the rules and want a shot at being published in a fun magazine whose goal is to HELP storytellers get their story out . . . Good luck and weave us a good tale.
Mary Shelley (Mary Godwin) was born a healthy baby despite fears of her never taking her first breath.
Her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, was strong woman and a force to be reckoned with. In a time when men were considered “owners” of their wives and children, Wollstonecraft lived a life fighting for the equality of women. What may come as a surprise to some of you is, Wollstonecraft was an author in her own right. She penned the book, A VINDICATION OF THE RIGHTS OF WOMAN.
You may be thinking this is where Mary Shelley learned how to be independent and bold. And your guess would be somewhat right.
Against stifling odds, Mary Shelley was born healthy but ten days later, her mother died from Childbirth Fever. Mary never got to know her mother in the traditional way many children do. She did not grow up alongside of her, feel her touch, or nurtured by this intelligent, radical woman.
In fact, when Mary’s father, William Godwin, who was a also a political philosopher, remarried to Jane Clairmont, her stepmother did not see a reason to educate Mary the way her mother might have.
It is a curious notion if you think about it. Two, well-educated parents and a child left to figure the world out by her own devices. It is almost unfathomable, which makes Mary’s journey all the more inspiring.
While most children were learning to read and write in classrooms or with tutors, or a governess, Mary learned to read and write by tracing the letters on her mother’s headstone. This, no doubt, sounds dark and macabre to some of you. The vision of a little girl sitting on her mother’s grave tracing her name and epitaph could even be considered unhealthy except, if you look closer, you’ll note the words the little girl traced.
“Mary Wollstonecraft … Author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman”
There, written in stone, was the life lesson her mother would instill in her from the beyond the veil of death. A message so powerful, it influenced young Mary’s entire life.
In Mary’s own words, she described a vision she had when the idea for her novel, FRANKENSTEIN, or a MODERN PROMETHEUS, came to her via the infamous challenge issued by Lord Byron: To write a better ghost story. For days the group entertained themselves by reading scary stories in the villa waiting for storms to pass. Shelley explains how, in the vision, she saw “the pale student of unhallowed arts kneeling beside the thing he had put together. I saw the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out, and then, on the working of some powerful engine, show signs of life, and stir with an uneasy, half vital motion.”
It’s the kind of answer every avid reader wants to hear but … there is no evidence of such a dream.
Let’s rewind a little and understand the world Mary lived in. Her work was considered unladylike. Whispers about how vile and demented of a woman she must be to write such a thing, piled onto her already scandalous lifestyle. A rebel from birth, Mary fought against every convention pressed upon her. Including marriage.
She met her lover, Percy, while he was a student of her father. At 16, though Percy was married at the time, Mary convinces him they should not only be together but to avoid conflict, run away to Switzerland. To add gasoline to the fire, when they ran off, they also took her sister, Claire.
Living a hedonistic lifestyle of a “rockstar” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Mary suffered, a lot. Of her five pregnancies, only one survived. She kept meticulous diaries, and later in her life spoke out about living under the philosophy of “free love” and how unkind it was to women of the era. Knowing there were rumors of Percy’s affair with her sister, Claire, we can infer the lifestyle wasn’t what Mary bargained for.
Broke, heart broken, object of rumor and scandal, the absence of her mother and the loss of her children all played their parts and influenced her most famous tale.
When I was very young, my step-father who was a huge fan of the original monsters, introduced me to Frankenstein when I was around 4 years old. Later, when he became terminally ill and required a kidney transplant, the two of us sat down and talked about how profound the story of Frankenstein was. A doctor who took body parts from cadavers, injected it with a power source, and was able to bring a man back to life.
Science fiction has a way of taking what we dream and turning it into real life. It is by the imagination human kind progresses. We dare to dream. And the brave ones dare to make them reality.
What are some things you took away from the story of FRANKENSTEIN, or a MODERN PROMETHEUS? Was the creation the monster? Or was the man who created it the villain?
Stay tuned for more about Mary Shelley’s life and her works in the next entry. Until then, I’m dying to hear your thoughts.
There is nothing more frightening than being witness to a natural disaster. We are helpless in the wake of Mother Nature’s wrath. With all the beauty this earth has to offer, seeing its destruction is humbling. We are but a speck of dust in the microcosm of the universe.
In 1815, the eruption of Mount Tombora was a prime example of how the ripples of an event of this magnitude can carry its effect far and wide. While the world sat, relaxed and blissful, in the comfort of their homes, across the ocean lives were being ripped apart by a disaster of monstrous proportion.
Within hours of the first day, 100,000 souls lost their lives. Within in weeks, the darkness and fog encapsulated the world until temperatures dropped. Crops could not grow. And without crops, people everywhere starved.
Mary Shelley was a young woman seeking respite from the aftermath of atrocities such as political revolts, famine, and the cholera pandemic. When she arrived in Switzerland, instead of the quaint, picturesque beauty it is known for she watched from the window as the gods caused havoc in the skies. Thunder and lightning replaced the cheerful bird songs, and heavy, grey clouds drowned out the sunshine.
To make matters worse, young Mary was traveling with her four-month-old, her lover Percy, and her pregnant step-sister, Claire …the bun in Claire’s oven, by the way, was the love child of a well known poet by the name of Lord Byron.
On the heels of Perez Hilton style gossip and debt, Lord Byron made an attempt to escape Europe to avoid shame and wagging fingers. Meanwhile, the obsessed Claire convinces Mary and Percy to move their vacation from Switzerland to Geneva, Italy. The unsuspecting couple, who faced their own scandal when they eloped, agreed, only to find out it was a ruse. Claire plotted the change of plans to bump into her heart’s desire.
Things seemed to work out-or so they thought-when Byron and Percy became friends. No doubt, the two men had much in common. They were also fond of one another’s work. The travelers decided to slip away into a shared mansion, accompanied by Byron’s guest (and personal doctor) John Polidori.
After many days spent locked in-doors due to the vile weather, tensions began to grow in the spacious home whose walls seemed to grow smaller with each day. Byron was in a constant state of hiding from Claire’s advances. Unrequited love seemed to be a contagious bug when Byron’s doctor began exhibiting similar symptoms. His obsession with Mary had her playing the game of hide-and-seek alongside Byron.
It seems the only way to cope was to tell scary stories and poems by candlelight. Mary was content to listen in on the exhilarating tales until it was suggested by Lord Byron they each tell their own, original story and try to outdo the ones they had read.
Polidori wrote The Vampyr (What is it with doctors writing about blood sucking? Read the interview with Dacre Stoker in the Fall edition of House of Stitched where he discusses Bram learning about blood-letting from a famous family member.) This novel went on to be published in 1819.
Every morning, the group would convene over breakfast and ask who had come up with an idea for their story. It seemed everyone but Mary was inspired. When a sleepless night of wild storms kept her awake, Shelley had a vision of a phantom-like man being brought to life by some type of powerful engine. Using the backdrop of their stay in the villa, she began to pen the story of Frankenstein’s monster.
Stay tuned for the next part of “Mary Shelley and the nightmare vacation that inspired Frankenstein”
Pre-Order! All members of the mailing list will receive an invitation to pre-order the print version of the magazine. If you purchase the pre-order, you will gain another entry.
Patreon! If you are a member of Patreon, you will gain another entry depending on your Tier Level. (Example: Tier 1= 1 entry, Tier 2=2 entries, and so on)
Buy a copy for a friend! If you pre-order a printed version for a friend, you earn an entry for youand them!
Order a printed copy on release day (Aug 1) and gain an entry.
Winner, please allow up to two weeks post-release for us to gather all the things into the box and ship. Some swag may be coming from far away places! When we ship out the prize, you will be given a tracking number so you can follow when your stuff will arrive.