Saturday, February 21, 2015

Signing the Guest Book: A Writer's Retreat

This past Valentine Weekend was the first writer’s retreat for Four Fools Press. This quickly became a tag line since this ill-fated venture kicked off on Friday the 13th. We found ourselves in a secluded cabin in the middle of the woods with little cell reception, no internet to speak of, and we sat directly on the Eastern and Central time zones. One side of the room was an hour behind the other. You see where this train is headed right?

Six writers in the woods…. Friday the 13th…. Yup one anthology of horror and silly homages to the genre and good natured ribbing at each other.

Corey Blakenship and Brannon Hollingsworth
The actual get together was not as pretentious as it sounds. It was six guys who love beer, food, and camping. It was deer camp, without rolling out of bed early to get to the deer stand. But it was also a creative smorgasbord of ideas, brain storming, and working on individual projects without the interference of normal life and especially actual jobs. Writing and the end result: publishing, is hard work. It just doesn’t seem like it when it is fun, rewarding, and feeds the soul.

The location of course lent itself to the idea and joke that we were a horror movie waiting to happen. So we decided that a horror anthology was the answer to this all too obvious situation.

This was not to be an anthology of separate horror tales with a central theme, like having it all take place in a secluded cabin on Friday the 13th. No, that is too easy. No, we were going to write about the same events, happening at the same time, to the same people, from six perspectives.

The result became The Guest Book.  
The news paper account of the mysterious events

It was a Free For All with only a few ground rules for something that might resemble consistency. I shall not state them here as they would lead to some spoilers for the actual story. I will only give the List of Tales to be found within:

Red Rum By John Langley

Running Scared by Corey Blankenship

Firestarter by Brannon Hollingsworth

Boared to Death by Davis Riddle

20 Paces by R.R. Hunsinger

Road Rage by Brannon Hall

Brannon Hollingsworth and John Langley
John Langley and Davis Riddle authored the Prologue and Epilogue respectively. Brannon Hollingsworth Edited the anthology and Brannon Hall the art direction.

The events within the anthology, that really clocks in at about 10,000 words so in essence a collaborative short story, the resemblance to the actual authors is frighteningly accurate only in caricature.

For a horror story that is part stream of consciousness and Hat Tip silliness read The Guest Book and let me know what you think.
From left to right: Brannon Hall, Brannon Hollingsworth, Davis Riddle, R.R. Hunsinger, John Langley, and Corey Blankenship