We are thrilled to present to you this dark fiction story writer Amber M. Simpson. Her story "King of the Forest", is featured in our newest anthology "It Calls From the Forest: Volume Two".
Amber M. Simpson is a dark fiction writer from Northern Kentucky with a penchant for horror and fantasy. Her work has been featured in multiple anthologies, as well as online. She assists with editing for Fantasia Divinity Magazine & Publishing, where she has gotten to work with many talented authors from all over the world.
While she loves to create dark worlds and diverse characters, her greatest creations of all are her sons, Maxamus and Liam, who keep her feet on the ground even while her head is in the clouds.
Have you always written, or was there a catalyst that prompted you to begin this journey?
I have always been a writer. As a child, I loved to play “school” just so I could write book summaries as an assignment. I also remember writing sad, lengthy apology notes to my parents when I was in trouble! But I don’t think writing became a serious and important emotional and creative outlet for me until I was around eleven or twelve when I began writing poetry. After that, it was on!
What is your favourite genre to read?
There aren’t many genres I won’t read, to be honest, but the ones I find myself plucking off the shelf most often are either dark fantasy or historical fiction.
Do you remember the first piece of writing shared publicly? What were people’s reactions, but more importantly how did you react getting it out there?
In 2017, I returned to school (via online classes) after having paused my education for nearly nine years. One of the classes I chose was creative writing, and as part of our final assignment, we were to write a short story to share with the class. I was terrified. There were very few people I had ever shared my writing with, and I was afraid of what everyone would think. To my relief, everyone seemed to enjoy my writing and I received a lot of really encouraging feedback. That 2,000 word horror story went on to become my first published piece. I credit that class for giving me the courage to continue putting myself out there and getting things published.
What is your workspace like? What kind of atmosphere do you need to write?
I write anywhere I can find space for my laptop. It’s usually at the dining room table or sitting on the couch with the TV on as background noise. I also sometimes write in a notebook that I carry everywhere with me—quite a few of my stories have been started in the breakroom at work. I don’t really need any particular atmosphere to write in; whenever inspiration strikes, I just make it happen. I have even written more than a few stories on the notepad in my phone while lying in bed past midnight trying to sleep.
Horror occasionally veers into the paranormal or supernatural, that's what makes it fun in my opinion. Do you believe in the supernatural?
I definitely believe in the paranormal and supernatural! I could probably write a book (maybe a novella?) about all the strange happenings in my life. It began with old man Virgil, the ghost who lived with my grandparents. He had built the house and died in it and was almost like part of the family. When my mom was young, there was a family picture taken inside the house in which Virgil appeared in the back, standing behind everyone, the blurry dark shapes of his hands on my aunts’ shoulders.
Without giving too much away, tell us about the short story you have featured in “It Calls From the Forest: Volume Two”. What inspired you?
My story “King of the Forest” was inspired by my love and strong affinity for trees. I’m that person constantly taking pictures of cool looking trees, always pointing them out to my kids and whoever I’m with. Beautiful and majestic, trees truly are the kings of the forest—and maybe a bit sinister, as well.
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They warned us not to enter, but we didn't listen. The call too strong to ignore. And now there is no one left to save us.
Beware, these things within the forest will rip out your heart and devour your soul. You will tremble as they revel in your madness, taking everything from you and leaving you with nothing. Delve inside this anthology of what truly lurks within the shadows of the trees.
Eerie River Publishing brings you another round of exceptional horror by award-winning authors from around the globe.