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Durham Writer in Kickstarter Bid

Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 11.19.55A writer from Durham is launching a crowd-funding bid to publish an anthology of locally-inspired ghost stories.

Mark Nixon, from Durham, is raising funds to produce Shadows at the Door: An Anthology; a multimedia collection of ghostly tales, all inspired by regional myths or supposedly haunted sites local to each author.

The anthology will feature thirteen short stories by writers from around the world in illustrated hardback format, as well as an eBook, and an audiobook featuring a specially-composed score.

The project has already proved popular, with backers donating over £1000 in the campaign’s first few days. It was also chosen as one of Kickstarter’s Projects We Love the day after its launch.

The campaign is hoping to raise £11,500 by Saturday 16th April,  which will cover basic publishing costs such as printing, interior page design, cover design and obtaining an international ISBN code.

Backers of the project can snap up numerous perks for their generosity, which include the chance to name a character in the book, personalized illustrations, and even a personal ghost tour around New York City.

A longtime horror fan, Mark began writing short stories in his spare time several years ago, and started www.shadowsatthedoor.com/ as a place to share his writing with friends and peers.

Mark, who lives by a graveyard in Coxhoe, soon began taking submissions from other writers, and almost forty stories later, the site has become a haven for lovers of the macabre; both readers and writers alike.

“The website has been brilliant for getting the name out there,” Mark said, “but as a lifelong bibliophile, there’s just something wonderful about having a beautifully designed book in your hands, and on your bookshelf.”

Inspired by the positive reaction to and loyal readership of the website, Mark decided to publish a collection of stories in traditional book format, and in the face of a changing publishing industry, turned to crowd-funding as a means to try and realize his idea.

“I didn’t start the site with publishing a book in mind, it was really just a hobby, but the reaction to it has been great, and it made me realize that there might be enough demand to try doing it the old fashioned way.”

The idea behind the collection is that, in every town across the world, there is a chilling story that everyone knows.

Whether about a house no one sets foot in, a specter in the woods that parents warn their children of, or a local landmark whose history is stained with death, every nook and cranny around the globe has its own ghost story, and this collection aims to bring some of them to new readers.

The anthology features stories set in or inspired by places including Norfolk, Derbyshire, Rugby, Scottish Highlands, Toronto, Pittsburgh, Rural Yorkshire, Lake Superior, New York and Kent. The featured stories will be exclusive to the anthology, and will be illustrated by Barney Bodoano.

Mark’s own story features Durham Cathedral as its muse, and sees a visitor’s curiosity about the Cathedral’s tombs lead him into supernatural trouble.

To prepare for the story, Mark spent a lot of time in the Cathedral, making notes and speaking to staff members about its history.

“After deciding on the theme of setting the stories local to each writer, I looked to my home town of Durham for inspiration. For me, there was no other candidate than the Cathedral; it’s at the very core of Durham. It’s such a beautiful building, but it casts this foreboding shadow over the city.”

“I’d of course visited many times as a child, but when I started to spend time at the Cathedral frequently a story took shape very quickly. Now, after researching some of the history, and finally writing the story, I find it hard to walk within its walls and not feel a chill down my spine.”

To back this project on Kickstarter visit www.kickstarter.com.

By admin