The Spectral Chapbooks – the future!

Spectral Press logoNow, this is something that we have wanted to put out there for a while. As most of you will know by now, the mainstay of Spectral ever since its inception just over two and a half years ago has been the chapbook and that the focus of these little books has been the ghostly and supernatural tale. And, we’re happy to say, this has met with quite a bit of success, enabling the imprint to expand to where it is now. However, as we like to think of ourselves as a dynamic publishing company we always keep things under review because we’re very much aware of wanting to avoid becoming stagnant. In other words, we just don’t want to keep churning out the same old formula, just because it happens to work. We need to remain fresh and vital.

Taking risks is, in some respects, a necessary (and extremely exciting) part of the whole business of publishing. In the spirit of exploring new territory, we would like to expand the remit of the chapbooks slightly. We will still be publishing the ghost stories as we have always done, but we will also be issuing stories with a broader definition of the term and entering into the realms of the psychological, challenging, experimental and non-traditional. Our intention is to stretch both writers and readers. We will reiterate, though, that this does NOT mean that we will be stopping the publishing of traditional renditions of the ghostly/supernatural tale*, just that there will be a mix of styles. Above all, we want to provide variety for our readers.

Over and above all that, we feel that this is the right time to be doing this. We’ve always known that there are some marvellous writers out there producing some top-notch material, and that the genre is probably the healthiest it’s been since the horror boom of the eighties. Even so, we want to push the genre and its boundaries forward even further into new areas (as pretentious as that may sound). We would like to expand just what is meant by genre in general and ‘horror’ in particular. Just as Whitstable has shown, it is often the everyday and the banal that is far more horrific than anything ‘supernatural’ or the figments of a writer’s mind. This is the kind of material we’re after – we’re still looking for quiet horror rather than gore, the species of material that unsettles and disorientates, that leaves people unsure of what horror and the supernatural really is. We also want settings that eschew the familiar tropes of the ghost and horror story, that perhaps bring in other elements from other genres too; or new twists on tired and over-familiar staples. In other words, the universe is the limit.

We would like Spectral to be truly representative of the kind of excellent material that is being put out there at present. That is primarily why we are expanding our repertoire, so to speak. Naturally, the emphasis is still going to be geared toward top quality storytelling, allied to the high production values we have gained a solid reputation for. That will never change. We feel that this is the next step in the evolution of Spectral Press’ career. We hope that you out there, readers past, present and future, will be here with us as Spectral continues to grow.

*There are plenty of them to look forward to over the next couple of years…