Author Self Portrait out now in Space and Time 130

Posted in Uncategorized on January 21, 2018 by bloodandstardust

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Nov 27th Night Time Logic audio is up now at The Outer Dark

Posted in Uncategorized on January 21, 2018 by bloodandstardust

My last event of 2017

Posted in Uncategorized on December 12, 2017 by bloodandstardust

Conversation with Inna Effress on “Palankar”

Posted in Anthology Publications, Blood and Stardust, Nightscript, Palankar on December 8, 2017 by bloodandstardust

Back in November in preparation for the panel and reading at Lovecraft Bar NYC I had the opportunity to speak with Inna Effress about our stories in Nightscript 3. If you scroll down you can see the part of the conversation about Inna’s story “Liquid Air.”

Here are the questions Inna asked me about “Palankar”

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INNA: “I was wrong about her. Like I was wrong about Mara. What else have I been wrong about?” I’m interested in the chasm you describe while the brothers dive in the Palankar reef. No light penetrates. The abyss is unfathomable. Your story presents Jake with difficult choices at every turn, and as things get stranger and stranger, it seems he’s less and less sure of himself, of where the other characters fit into his notions of the natural world, and of what path it is he’ll follow, in the end. Do  you think it’s possible for a human to ever truly know him or herself?

DANIEL: I think it is possible. Perhaps it is our yearning and the individual paths we follow to make meaning of our lives that define us. Or maybe just our actions in doing so. I like to think that Jake while unsure of how things are “adding up” around him becomes sure of himself or at least chooses a path at the the end. While he remains unsure if anything supernatural has transpired and if so, what, he is sure that it no longer matters and does decide that he will not follow his brother. Despite his efforts and desire to rescue him from either himself or from any supernatural influence he is sure he can not “save” his brother or anyone. I think in life people struggle with what it is they know or think they know but are defined by these moments of clarity or just choice as evidenced by definitive actions.

INNA: When Mara leads Jake on the search for his brother, the characters they encounter are classified as either clownfish or anemone. Then roles are changed as Jake’s perception shifts. Tell us about this disturbance in the order of things and how perception affects reality.

DANIEL: I am glad that you asked about that moment in the story. Jake very notably in the story had been judgemental of Mara a young woman who lives a very different life and kind of life than Jake. Both Mara and Stephen made different choices than Jake, so different than Jakes “American-suburban-life” he can barely comprehened of “perceive” what their world view is and how they fit in. The concept of “rescuing” someone is very judgemental even demeaning through this lens. The moment you speak of is where Jake comes to recognize an inherent “power” in Mara, while perhaps nothing overtly “supernatural” his instincts are flaring in recognition of “something”. This is a powerful moment where he realizes he has been wrong about her. To that point his attitudes and actions towards her were portrayed as ugly and demeaning. It is a moment of an epiphany a moment of respect. While Jake (and the reader) never comes to understand what is going on- I like to think moments like this are in-roads to greater understanding of both the magic and mystery of our human lives and greater understandings and mysteries larger than ourselves, individually and collectively.

INNA: There is a monstrous, otherworldy creature who emerges from the the depths of a cave and mirrors the shape of the brother, but the ghostly being is unclothed. Do you consider that our natural state is something beastly and alluring, that’s lurking beneath the surface and waiting for the opportunity to take over, if we let it?

DANIEL: That is a cool way of looking at that scene and a thoughtful question, thank you. It is also very interesting that you “come down” on the side as interpreting what transpired as something “otherworldy” and definitively a creature. My intent in that scene is to portray something that could be a figment of nitrogen narcosis experienced from troubles on a dive or could also be something supernatural depending on how any given reader interprets what is presented.

 

Going with the notion that a monster does indeed replace Stephen, I think you have enunciated a very potent notion. In life there is the “world of the submerged” in our selves, in others, and in general layers of the world and mechanication that are there and operating beyond our reach for many reasons both earlty and even other-worldly. In fiction the monster- the supernatural- the other is a potent way to explore these things. Certainly something I’m interested in writing about and reading about. I’m not sure if “the beastly” is our natural state or even if our “submerged selves” or any “submerged world” is waiting to take over… but it certainly is potent avenue of inquiry. I think both as individuals and as a society repressing or not embracing to a degree “the darkness” or shadow as sometimes referred to leads to complications even outright problems.  Our world is a world of light and dark- both literally and “figuratively” so it makes sense that these concepts would be part of the natural way. While the “beastly” might not naturally be waiting to take over- nature abhors a vacuum and perhaps the beastly or the darkness is waiting for some sort of equal air time- in our lives and all of our lives. Could so much of the ugliness we see today be a part of this? Certainly something to think about. I really like that you posed the question.

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You can read both of our stories in the anthology Nightscript 3. All three volumes of the anthology series in the Kindle format were on sale last time I checked and might still be on sale now. In any event the book can be found on amazon and from the publisher.

Horror News reviews the Night Marchers

Posted in Uncategorized on December 7, 2017 by bloodandstardust

Dave Gammon from Horror News reviews the Night Marchers and Other Strange Tales.

“Braum’s broad spectrum of protagonists in varying situations, vocational backgrounds, ethnicity, sex and perspectives creates a universal blueprint for a potentail massive audience to enjoy. One does not have to be a fan of horror, reading or other wise to fully appreciate and enjoy this anthology.”

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http://horrornews.net/127107/book-review-night-marchers-strange-tales-author-daniel-braum/

Book signing Dec 9 and 10, 2017

Posted in Uncategorized on December 5, 2017 by bloodandstardust

I’ll be here Dec 9th and 10th selling and signing books.

Conversation with Inna Effress on her Nightscript 3 story “Liquid Air”

Posted in Uncategorized on November 30, 2017 by bloodandstardust

Nightscript 3 contributor and Los Angeles based author Inna Effress was one of my guests this past Monday November 27, 2017 at the Night Time Logic reading series at Lovecraft Bar NYC.

Before the event Inna and I had the chance to exchange questions about our stories Liquid Air and Palankar. Here is the part of the conversation about “Liquid Air” which Inna read and we discussed at the event.

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DANIEL: Nightscript is an anthology series of “quiet horror” in the tradition of the strange tales of Robert Aickman. This kind of work is sometimes referred to as literary horror. How do you feel your story “Liquid Air” fits in, (if at all) on the genre / literary continuum? And did any of these considerations come into play when you were writing the story?

INNA: When I first tried writing fiction, it had been many years since I’d even read a novel. The first books I picked up were pure literary fiction. More than anything, I wanted to create a complete realism in my writing with relatable characters and situations. It seemed that no matter what I did, though, my fiction always took a strange turn. At first, I resisted. I remember panicking a little. “Liquid Air” is the first story I wrote giving myself permission to delve into my subconscious and examine some of the darkest images living there, the ones which trouble me most. I think no matter what the genre, good writing should stir up some discomfort in its author and the reader, in one way or another. Now, it pleases me to think that the worlds I create can belong to more than one realm – or none at all.

DANIEL: Do your experiences coming to America from the Ukraine inform and or manifest in your fiction? Do lines such as “like an immigrant imprisoned in his crumbling memory— his mind’s snapshots of a dacha paneled with driftwood along the Volga River” come from specific times and places?

INNA: I’m pretty sure that my most terrific nightmares originate (directly or indirectly) from my experiences as an immigrant. Even though I was fairly young and determined to read and write English, I always felt like an outsider. In some ways I perceived myself – and as an extension, my family – as a monstrosity. I think when people have to leave behind their entire lives and start over with nothing to their names, their stories lost, a large space in their minds clings to those past lives. It becomes a constant drive to rebuild the architecture of their mind’s eye, even while it crumbles around them.

DANIEL: One of your characters is involved in the “dying art” of neon glass making. In addition to other “fusions” and acts of creation that involve fusion neon is made with the fusion of chemical gases. One character remarks at how Argon gas is always around us- undetectable unless under certain circumstances… what other “unseen forces” might be at play in Liquid Air and in all of our lives?

INNA: Neon attracted me because it reminded me of being stuck in another era, of reverting back to some specific place in time that straddled the new and the old. For me, there’s something kind of creepy about relics that won’t die and continue to loom over us, larger than life and taking on a life of their own. I like the idea of existing on the edge of anything: insanity, indecency, immorality, death. I wanted to explore all of these thoughts through something as intangible as gas.

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Inna’s story was a stand out story in a book of outstanding stories. I look forward to reading what comes next from her.

Up next soon is the second part of our conversation.

 

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