People of CineDump, it's good to see you. I've been away for awhile. Let's talk about why.
It hasn’t been a kind world for horror fans lately. When was the last thing we could all rally around? It was good but in a completely competent sort of way. Sure, Jigsaw is coming out at the end of this month, but if it sucks (and there’s a good chance it might) the world will become too burdensome for me. Aside from the lackluster state of horror right now, the only other movies making the rounds are of the bloated, extended universe variety. More boring heroes kicking the shit out of more barely drawn baddies. Why even pay for the ticket? I just read you the whole script right there.
Which is why you may be surprised that the thing to pull me out of semi-retirement is a crazily ambitious extended universe story.
Stay with me.
Back in February, we featured Red Ink Publications as part of the Women in Horror Month Celebration. In case you don’t remember, check out a helpful link HERE. Red Ink Publications is an all-female publication house specializing in creating genre-bending horror/fantasy narratives. Mythologically dense, twisty, dramatic and filled to the brim with enough esoteric references to keep Indiana Jones busy for a while, Red Ink’s work is something you have to experience to believe, and now, this Halloween, they’re releasing an all-new compilation book, Order From Chaos.
This short story collection will feature entries by all of the talented writers at Red Ink and will unite all their characters from their diverse series into one spectacular tome. So, if you’re like me and you’re more than a little worn out on Hollywood’s bone dry, macho, masked face punching fest we’ll have to endure until the end of time itself, then take some time to celebrate Women in Horror early this year and pick up Order From Chaos.
To learn more about this book and others from Red Ink, keep reading. The ladies themselves were kind enough to take time off from fighting demons to give me an interview.
Pennie Sublime: When writing your compilation, did you all plan for a common theme or idea to be present in your stories?
Aminah Iman: We actually decided to pick up where, my book, Apocalypse left off. The children of the Vamperial were angry that Nefertiti was murdered so they devised a plan and recruited other villains to get back at the Order. In turn, the Order did some recruiting of their own and made a team of heroes to help them.
Omega: Yeah, when it came to recruiting the other characters that aren't from the Vamperial series, we wanted to create a plausible link or list of characters who'd fit being a part of the Order. Obviously, a book less supernatural like 'Shattered' by Nefertiti wouldn't go with the plot line of ancient and indestructible vampires. So, I think that's the only part that was kind of choreographed, everything else flowed naturally.
Jaqueline Stone: I think we really lucked out with developing characters with such compatible personalities. We all have different writing styles but our characters all had relatable backgrounds which brought the idea altogether.
PS: Red Ink has several books/series. Are any of the stories related to these already established characters?
AI: Yes, this is an eight-series crossover book. All of the authors of Red Ink have a series that each main character originated from.
O: Hit List by myself and Micah, who was in a few of the Vamperial series books are linked, though but have two separate origins which is something I think we do that's pretty cool. We have character crossovers more often than not, I think Ingrid was in the last Fallen book, The Vamperial and Thirty pieces of Silver series go hand in hand. We're a big universe that way.
JS: Gabriel and the demon of greed originated from Fallen and Fallen The Awakening. We also Erin from Catch Me and Sari from the Chronicles of Sari original series. Red Ink Lounge is common Easter egg in the Red Ink universe.
PS: What inspired this Halloween compilation? (Alternatively, what inspired each of the writers to create their stories?)
AI: Omega is the one that came up with this wonderful idea. She pitched the idea to me about a crossover book featuring Red Inks greatest heroes and worst villains, at that time we had all had books coming/already out that fit the criteria. We couldn’t think of a better time than Halloween to publish it.
O: I don't really know what triggered it per say but I knew when Aminah and I started Red Ink Publications I wanted to be different in the ways that intertwined books or story ideas. When looking at our roster, strong females and males alike, their different personalities and abilities that can combat and complement each other, I saw the perfect shot to combine them and make something epic with these incredible authors. We all threw in our ideas in the pot, I cannot even begin to take all of the credit.
JS: I was a newcomer so to me it was just a great way to get involved with each other’s projects and brainstorm great ideas. And with all of us being horror writers, what better way to show off our stuff than Halloween? Plus people are more open to receive the unfamiliar during Halloween.
PS: What sets this compilation apart from all the other horror-related media we see this time of year?
AI: That’s a great question. First off, this is an eight-series crossover book. Secondly, it’s written in six different points of view. And lastly, it’s a book that spans across all of Red Ink, not just one author with different series. We each brought our own series to the table.
O: I think in most horror books, there is this one fear or trigger that's tapped into. In this book you have horror myths and real-life serial killers coming to play and attacking some of the best people in Red Ink history, relatable people as well. Its aim is like a rocket, this book. You don't know who you're gonna be stunned by.
JS: This book has a little bit everything, demons, magic, mind manipulation, vampires --you name it. But it’s balanced. It’s funny, witty, suspenseful, and most importantly it makes you feel something.
PS: Writers and artists who deal with the macabre often draw on their own fears or anxieties. Did this impact your respective creations?
AI: The only thing that comes to mind while answering this question is Sari and In Between. Sari is one of the main characters in Order from Chaos, but in her previous book she went up against a djinn and was stuck in a fantasy world as he slowly killed her. One of my fears is not being in control of my mind/thoughts. I’m sure this impacted my writing.
O: In Order from Chaos, in a way kind of? I have a horror fear in general. I know, shocker. I can't sit through a horror movie, I barely had the balls to sit through 'Carrie' and that was with Minah, Jaq, and Neffi beside me. So, this whole genre, in particular, is a fear I face. It's much cheaper than therapy though!
JS: Gabriel struggles with anxiety! I did as well before I took up writing, herbal remedies, and meditation.
To get even more Red Ink in your life, check out their website HERE.