The debut month of the new Mishmashers.com is an exciting one to say the least! The last couple of years have been tumultuous in so many ways. They’ve made us rethink, recalibrate, and find new perspective – I say that, personally. Scott Moore and I (Nicholas McConnaughay) watched book conventions be canceled in one swift swipe, which, in the grand scheme of things, was the least of the world’s worries, obviously. Isolation ensued. A new normal. Social distancing. Chin diapers. An uncertain future.
Hopefully, we’re approaching the healing stages, or, maybe we’re even in the healing stages, but that’ll be something that awaits to be seen. Optimism is pertinent, but naivete is a relic of a bygone era, it feels.
Something I developed though, amid all of this, was a small horror-based website called Readers Digested (now called Nightmare Shift), meant as a platform for my reviews and the dark subject-matter I dealt in. This was I project I spent a lot of time on, interviewing some of my ideals like Robert Englund, and new filmmakers like Gregory Plotkins (director of Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension and Hell Fest), Lowell Dean (WolfCop), and a lot of others, and interacting with a lot of other likeminded people. It is where I began development on a new horror anthology, an important foundation to the new Mishmashers and its ongoing endeavors (more on that later).
As you take time to browse Mishmashers.com, appreciate that a lot of time and thought went into its creation, adding up to about a year of undecisive contemplation and labor no one will ever know about. (I literally developed an entirely different Mishmashers.com website, filled to the brim with extensive, expensive codework, a built-in store and e-Reader, and an entirely different theme / design, before subsequently deciding to throw it all away for the simpler, more streamlined approach.)
January on Mishmashers.com
This is the first month of the year and the first month of the new Mishmashers. Thus, in introduction, Scott and I put our collective think-tanks on and each brought some of our work to the website.
This includes Scott Moore’s novelette The Color House:
“When the stakes are high, how far would you be willing to go to get back the things you loved? The Color House is an intense tale of self-discovery in the face of pure evil. No one has ever escaped such odds. There are no first-hand accounts of its horrors. All anyone can honestly say is that once you go in, you never come out. Can an old soldier be the first to find his way through the confines, or will he become another victim losing everything he ever loved?”
As touched on earlier, a catalyst to Mishmashers’ development was the commitment to developing a horror-themed Readers Digested anthology series. That’s why a lot of what you’ll see featured early on with Mishmashers will be horror and horror-adjacent. Basically, everything on the Mishmashers website, unless otherwise specified, has the eventual intent of being packaged into an anthology later on. To be clear, we want to do anthologies on horror, fantasy, science-fiction, as well as other genres of the literary realm.
However, we want each individual anthology to have a marketable, interpretable theme behind it. This way we’re not having an anthology with an evil turkey come to life and a dark dramatic horror about a man’s ongoing battle with cancer, or a spooky ghost story followed by a grisly, grounded story about a serial killer run amuck. That’s why Scott Moore’s story and my own The One-Two Punchline will both be included in an otherwise unnamed Anthology dealing with Horrors of the Mind.
In McConnaughay’s novelette The One Two Punchline:
“JIMMY is an aspiring comedian with enough years under his belt to appreciate the cliched reality of being an aspiring comedian. Although his dreams continue to grow, his likelihood of success dwindles, so, too, does his grip on reality. In this psychological thriller novelette, writer McConnaughay weaves a comedic, but emotionally driven tale about an artist’s introspection and numerous pitfalls.”
The One Two Punchline was one of the only releases I made last year, other than my novel 52 Corpse Pick Up, and, honest and truly, it is one of my personal favorite stories I’ve written.
All of the stories I’ve mentioned are available free-of-charge as we wanted you all to have an idea for our product and what we’re trying to accomplish. As you may’ve assumed, we’re a small-time company that’s profit all goes back to the company, paying writers, marketing cost, and, of course, lugging ourselves from city to city for every book convention we attend. In February, The One Two Punchline and The Color House will be only accessible to individuals to have a subscription to Mishmashers.
A subscription is very affordable. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked at the state of streaming services’ and wondered if, maybe, cable wasn’t so bad after all. That’s not what we want to do. All of Mishmashers completed content can be accessed for a mere $1 a month (paid through the Patreon service). If you’re feeling really giving, for $4, you’ll have access to everything, including WIPs (works-in-progress) like Cotton: The Spinster’s Daughter, a young-adult fantasy novel I’ve been developing with my wife Rebeccah. Again, all of it is an important part of our ecosystem.
It is how we pay writers such as Bradley Walker, whose short stories The Abandoned Church and The Whispering Grandfather have both been added for your reading enjoyment. His old-fashioned, Bram Stoker esque prose makes him a unique and distinct addition to Mishmashers’ rogue’s gallery – you can read a small biography about him here.
“How are we supposed to grieve? What steps should we take when coping with the loss of a loved one? After losing his father, a middle-aged man discovers that his mother, overcome with grief, will go to horrible lengths to reconnect with her dearly departed husband.”
Grave Asher’s novelette Widow’s Son will accompany Scott’s novelette, my own, and Bradley’s Abandoned Church in the so-called Horror of the Mind anthology. Meanwhile, Bradley’s Whispering Grandfather will break off, starting a new “strand,” if you will. This one will be for the Fear of the Unknown Anthology.
Also accompanying Whispering Grandfather, don’t sleep on author Matt Schorr‘s story Monster in my Room – which will be featured in the same anthology.
One author I was excited to meet and have featured on Mishmashers.com was Todd Rigney, whose flash fiction stories: “Medicinehead” and “Savepoint” are available for your enjoyment. If you’d like, you can read a small biography about the author here.
Every month, Mishmashers Publishing will bring new, special content for you to enjoy, including original flash fictions, short stories, and full-length novels, so be certain to check back and consider subscribing to our official newsletter.