Episode 3.24 – Born in Darkness with Eric Raglin and Fred Venturini

Welcome to the Ink Heist podcast, which is devoted to dark genre fiction, featuring hosts Rich Duncan, Shane Douglas Keene, and a whole bevy of authors and other interesting guests for your listening and enlightening pleasure. We are a very irreverent, often linguistically explicit broadcast so we highly recommend you use discretion when listening around easily influenced young ones or anyone who is easily offended. We would like to thank the band Secret Smoker for allowing us to use their song “Crushed by Air” to kick-off and finish the podcast.

This week, we’re excited to welcome Eric Raglin and Fred Venturini to the show to celebrate the release of their upcoming books! Eric’s debut collection Nightmare Yearnings hits shelves September 4th and Fred’s new novel To Dust You Shall Return releases through Turner Publishing on June 22nd. Both of these books are staggeringly good and offer readers fresh and exciting takes on the Horror genre. Eric’s Nightmare Yearnings is a collection of short fiction that features themes like queer issues, the terrors of capitalism, and body horror. The collection kicks off with “Mother’s Tongue”, a story about an adrenaline junkie who yearns to uncover the secrets of a language that can only be heard with close encounters with death. In “Remi Rook the Cannibal Cook”, a young boy attempts to gain the love of his family by participating in a cannibal cooking show on public television. That was a wild story that perfectly captured the sort of weirdness that used to populatate public access and blended it with a heartfelt story about acceptance. “Under the Hoof, Upon the Horns” is a fever dream of a story that tackles the relationship between a father that pushes for his son to follow in his footsteps, regardless of his son’s own interests. This is one of those special collections that you’ll want to read in one sitting rather than a story here and there.

Fred’s To Dust You Shall Return is a brutal novel that is the perfect blend of folk horror and gritty crime noir. The novel follows Curtis Quinn, a legendary mob killer whose buried the darkness within him in an attempt to lead a normal life with his partner Kate. But when Kate goes missing, Quinn has no choice but to follow her tracks. His journey leads him to the small town of Harlow where residents are forced to remain within the town limits – or suffer extreme consequences. Beth Jarvis has lived in Harlow her entire life and is tired of living under the oppressive rule of the sadistic Mayor. She dreams about fleeing before the Harvest celebration, where she will be initiated into the town’s dark secrets. As their fates intertwine, it will become clear that The Mayor of Harlow is no ordinary man, and the road to the answers they seek will be filled with violence and bloodshed. To Dust You Shall Return is an action-packed novel that’s sure to keep you on the edge of your seat and if you dig Laird Barron’s Isaiah Coleridge series, you’ll love this book!

Both Nightmare Yearnings and To Dust You Shall Return are essential additions to any horror fans bookshelves and will definitely be on our Year End lists! 

Throughout the course of the episode, we discuss  writing short fiction, the “reactivated badass” character, To Dust You Shall Return, Nightmare Yearnings, dark romance movies and books and so much more! We had a great time recording this episode and hanging out with Eric and Fred. We hope you guys enjoy the conversation as much as we did!

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