Blood and guts aren’t the only things that get horror writers excited. Just ask author Andrew Robertson!

In today’s guest post, Andrew shares details of what it was like to find out one of his stories made the Preliminary Ballot for the Stoker Awards.

He also shares the inspiration for his story and how he combined mythology and a classic literary villain in his modern retelling of a character from Lewis Carroll’s universe.


An Audience with the Queen

On January 20th, 2019 I was contacted by Sephera Giron, Horror Writers Association (HWA) Ontario Chapter President. She let me know that a piece of my short fiction had made the Preliminary Ballot of the Stoker Awards in the Superior Achievement in Short Fiction category. I was floored! To me, the Stokers are the Oscars of the horror community, and to make that first step is a huge honour for me.

I joined the HWA a few years back looking for like-minded writers, mentorship, and opportunities, which led me to writing Her Royal Counsel.

The story appears in Alice Unbound: Beyond Wonderland, edited by Colleen Anderson and published by Exile Editions. Colleen’s call for submissions challenged writers to choose a character from Lewis Carroll’s universe and ask, ‘what if that Wonderland ceased to exist on a separate plain, and melded with our modern world? How would these characters fit in, and what would they bring or change?’. The best part was that I got to write a new work based on one of my favourite villains from classic literature, the Queen of Hearts. She’s fierce, she’s independent, she doesn’t care what anyone thinks. Who doesn’t love a homicidal monarch?

And with that, I brought the Queen of Hearts to Mexico to pose as female-deity Santa Muerte, intent on separating every head from every body she can through her metaphysical relationship with a drug runner named Tony.

Victoria Silverwolf from Tangent Online reviewed the anthology, and of Her Royal Counsel wrote, “[i}t takes a strong stomach to read what follows. Those with a low tolerance for violence should avoid this story.”

With that, I will let horror fans know that the story is available to read online for free for a limited time so that voting members of the HWA can review it for consideration in advance of voting for the final ballot, but I welcome everyone to an audience with the Queen by following this link down the rabbit hole….

About Andrew Robertson

Andrew Robertson is an award-winning writer who has been published in Group Hex Vol. 1, Group Hex Vol. 2, A Tribute Anthology to Deadworld and Comic Publisher Gary Reed, Deadman’s Tome, , O Unholy Night in Deathlehem, Siren’s Call, Undertow and katalogue as well as the popular Riverdale Avenue Books MILF and DILF erotica collections, Stitched Smile Publications Magazine Vol 1, Abandon edited by Julianne Snow, and the Alice in Wonderland themed anthology Alice Unbound: Beyond Wonderland from Exile Editions.

He is the editor of the bestselling Riverdale Avenue Books Dark Rainbow Queer Erotic Horror anthology, founder and co-host of the Great Lakes Horror Company podcast on iTunes, official podcast to Library of the Damned and bassist for Toronto punk trio The Blackouts.