Gemma Files

is creating a book of Horror Culture reviews and essays

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Limited (18 of 20 remaining)
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If you pledge $30.00, I'll send the first twenty subscribers a signed piece of my published work. It might be a novel, or an anthology one of my stories has appeared in, but one way or the other it's yours, postage paid.
Limited (20 of 20 remaining)
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For $50.00, some of the first twenty subscribers will get a signed and personalized piece of my published work.
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For $150.00, I will set up a YouTube channel and send you weekly links to me reading selections of my published work out loud, answering your questions, or singing a murder ballad acapella, of which I know a distressingly large amount.




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I'm Gemma Files, and for the last twenty-five years I've been writing award-winning horror fiction (my latest novel is Experimental Film, from ChiZine Publications), but my background is in film criticism--I spent nine years writing reviews for Toronto's (now defunct) eye Weekly, an independent news and culture paper which allowed me to make a small regional name for myself covering genre, cult and weird film of all types, before moving on to teach film history, screenplay writing and TV show development at the (equally now defunct) Toronto Film School. Unfortunately, systemic changes in the industry have since made it all but impossible for me to do the type of critical writing I'm drawn to for money anymore; blame it on the death of dead tree publication, the rise of comment culture, or both. Yet I still find myself drawn to write about things I like and why I like them, which brings us to the point of this Patreon campaign.

Ever since I first read Dance Macabre, Stephen King's seminal survey of horror culture--way back in 1981, at the tender age of thirteen--I've wanted to put together a book which would encapsulate the full range what this genre means to me; not just provocation and inspiration on a creative and/or consumer level, the itch before the scratch, but a bedrock type of existential comfort, the recognition that there are many, many more people out there than myself who find a home in darkness, a kinship with monsters, and seek always for that numinous moment of epiphany which can apparently only be found at the outer edges of mainstream acceptability.

Here's the basic pitch for what I'm trying to do:

"Dark Comforts will be a non-fiction book of reviews and articles talking about the pleasure I personally derive from the full spectrum of horror culture: shock, dread, fright, existential awe, black humour, transfigurative ecstasy. In terms of movies, for example, I might talk about specific sub-genres (folk horror, religious horror, international horror of various types including Canadian horror, body horror, feminist horror, thriller/slasher, true crime, Hammer horror, Universal horror, millennial horror), the pleasures of crap (stuff I know objectively is not “good” but return to again and again, sometimes because I like the tone or components, sometimes for inspiration), my spasms of archivist fever (somebody needs to own this, just in case!), movies I own but don't watch/may never watch again and why, etc. But I'd also talk about books, and stories, and music, and art, plus the various mechanisms of horror storytelling, and attempt to answer what outsiders appear to consider the central questions of the genre, ie: “Why would you [consume] THAT? Why do that to yourself? What do you get out of it?”

The reviews and essay articles created with your patronage will all be extremely cross-referential, full of comparison, contrast and patterning aimed at mapping the genre's inherent symbology and vocabulary, with the eventual compiled manuscript running 100,000+ words in length—not quite a unified field theory of horror, so much, as a look at what appeals to me and why, filtered through the lens of personal experience. Think Clive Barker's A to Z of Horror more than Kier-La Janisse's House of Psychotic Women, with Dance Macabre as the Red Death holding sway over all. My thesis: Most people are scared by something, though not all people are scared by the same things...and in the best horror, both these facts are taken into account."

Schedule of goals:

If you commit to giving me $2.00 per month to produce reviews and essays, you'll receive my eternal gratitude, plus direct links to all the reviews and essays I produce per month. These will be posted in rough form on my professional blog, Music at Midnight.

For $5.00 per month, you'll receive the links plus an annual .pdf compilation of all the reviews and essays I produce during the year, cleaned up and expanded to publication-ready form.

For $10.00 a month, you'll receive the links and annual .pdf, plus I will answer one question about my published work, or produce a 500+ word review of any horror film available on Netflix, YouTube or Hulu (please send me a direct link for these latter options). This review may end up being referenced in the book, at which point you will be acknowledged in the back.

For $15.00 per month, you get the links, the .pdf and I will produce a 500+ word review of any film available via VOD (through Bell Fibe in Canada), with an option to negotiate the review if the film you suggest is not available. This review may also end up in the finished book, for which you will be acknowledged.

For $25.00 per month, you get the links, the .pdf, plus I will produce an essay (1,000+ words) on any horror-related topic you suggest, with an option to negotiate and clarify the essay's thesis via Facebook messaging. If the essay is used in the book, I will put you in my acknowledgements.

For $100.00 per month, you get the links, the .pdf, a review of your choice plus a place in the acknowledgements, and I will commit to Tuckerizing you in my next story or book (ie, write you in as a character, possibly to be murdered in some suitably gruesome fashion).

Thank you so much for your attention! I hope to soon be able to plunge headfirst into this project, as well as keeping up my normal output and schedule of deadlines. Either way, stay scary.
$74.25 of $100 per month
For $100.00 per month, you get the links, the .pdf, a review of your choice plus a place in the acknowledgements, and I will commit to Tuckerizing you in my next story or book (ie, write you in as a character, possibly to be murdered in some suitably gruesome fashion).
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