Splatterpunk Awards and More

After attending my first two KillerCon Austin events virtually, I’m looking forward to participating in my first in-person event in August. Unlike 2020 and 2021, this time I’ll be there as a Splatterpunk Award nominee for my single-author collection, May Cause Unexplained Ocular Bleeding. First and foremost, of course, I’ll be there as a fan of the splatterpunk and extreme horror genres, but just as in 2021, I’m also there to represent Madness Heart Press, Godless, and myself. I’m proud to be a part of the constantly growing community of transgressive horror writers, publishers, and distributors. There’s more warmth and acceptance in this community than in the maggot-filled and bloated stomach of a week-old corpse left in the sun.
The imposter syndrome kicked in almost immediately, forcing me to wonder how or why I’d even be on the same shortlist with authors like Chris Miller, Aron Beauregard, Jasper Bark, and others far more deserving. I’ve read and reviewed multiple titles in various categories for the upcoming Splatterpunk Awards, so I’m well aware of just how good these other writers are. While I don’t expect to win against such steep competition, I’m satisfied to be included.
It’s been an amazing year for me since this time in 2021. First, I signed with Madness Heart Press to publish my novella, You Will Be Consumed, while simultaneously becoming part of the small family John Baltisberger has assembled there. A few months later, I took the plunge and joined the Godless community with my short story, Horseplay, discovering another family of perverse, depraved, and intensely supportive individuals. In August of 2021, I released my new collection of short fiction, May Cause Unexplained Ocular Bleeding, for which I am now a Splatterpunk Award-nominated author. As the end of the year approached, I had the pleasure of seeing one of my stories published by Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing for the 45th issue of Dark Moon Digest. And now, I’m a nominee for a Splatterpunk Award.
The coming year has some great things in store too, and I’m not even sure if there’s a way to top what I already have behind me, but I’m damn sure going to try.
I’m looking forward to being more intimately involved in the Godless community in the relatively near future, with new releases that I hope will shock and surprise, not only because of the content but for the range that I’m hoping to put on display. I’ve also got my next novel, Beneath the Unspoiled Wilderness, coming from Madness Heart Press later this year. The rest is more vague and nebulous, but there’s more coming, and I hope I manage to find new readers and make new friends along the way.
It’s strange, but I don’t know if any of this would have happened if I hadn’t opted to attend the virtual KillerCon Austin in 2020. The people I met during that virtual convention have been some of the kindest, most interesting, entertaining, supportive and encouraging folks I’ve had the pleasure of knowing, and they’ve been instrumental in helping me get to where I am today, whether they know it or not.

https://www.briankeene.com/home/2022-splatterpunk-award-nominees

Strawberry Shortcake by Daniel J. Volpe

One of the highlights of KillerCon Austin 2021 was the quality of the performances that made the Top 3 in the annual Gross-Out Contest.
Strawberry Shortcake was the second-place story written and performed by Daniel J. Volpe. Under normal circumstances, this story would have been the unquestionable winner. There was, however, a dark horse contender who slipped past and snagged victory from the fox’s teeth.
Don’t let the cover art fool you. Daniel J. Volpe has written no wholesome tale of cartoonish glee and childlike wonder. Or maybe it is? The protagonist does indeed recall fond memories from childhood desserts as he discovers a delicious and unexpected treat in the port-a-potty at the local county fair. Even our narrator finds himself a bit surprised by just how blessed he is. He even forgets to take a shit. We’ve all been there, right?
Strawberry Shortcake is perhaps the closest I’ve come to reading something that can be defined as stomach-churning, which is high praise coming from me. What are you waiting for? It’s short, it’s sweet–if we believe the narrator–and it should surely leave you gagging for more.

Strawberry Shortcake is a Godless exclusive title, all proceeds going to charity. You can pick this title up for yourself by going to http://www.godless.com or by downloading the Godless app on your favorite mobile devices.

Writing Update

Attending virtual KillerCon Austin last August was a massive turning point in my life…in ways that are only now becoming clear to me.

Chatting with Carver Pike (and discussing his experiences with respect to self-publishing) was what led me to pull the trigger on putting my novel, Innocence Ends, out there, after designing the cover art and all that jazz.

Watching a panel with Lisa Lee Tone was what led me to perusing her numerous book reviews and deciding that it might be worthwhile to send her a copy for review purposes.

Interacting with John Baltisberger during and after the con (and seeing how hard he worked to keep everything running during the virtual con) led me to explore a good deal of the Madness Heart Press catalog…in addition to inspiring a great deal of respect for the man and how much he was willing to put into the things he cared about.

Each of these things sort of fed into one another and produced a sort of cascade effect that is making me happier and more content with my life. I owe each of those three people a massive debt of gratitude…a debt that keeps on growing.

I would not be where I am right now, with a novella to be published by MHP and more work hopefully soon to follow, were it not for the fantastic KillerCon experience.It’s just funny how something done mostly for fun can change one’s life…in my case, definitely for the better.