Posts Tagged ‘guest post’

Tribute to Niteblade

smalllogoIn the face of Niteblade’s impending closure I invited our contributors to write blog posts to celebrate. Previously John Bruni took me up on the offer, and Cat Jenkins made a post on her blog. Now it’s Pete Aldin‘s turn… with a little help from, uh, Michael Bolton?


Tribute to Niteblade, as sung by Michael Bolton…

I could hardly believe it
When I heard the news today
I had to come and get it from your blog
They said you were leavin’
Someone’s taking you away
No more fae or zombie spores or demon dogs
So tell me all about it, tell me ’bout the
last editions
Then tell me one thing more before I go

Tell me how am I supposed to live without you
Now that I’ve been readin’ you so long
What am I supposed to read on train trips
Where am I supposed to catch such artwork
When pdf ezine Niteblade is gone

(Valè, Niteblade!!)

A Quick Word About Niteblade…

I announced Niteblade would be closing next year (after releasing issue #33) to all our contributors before I shared that information publicly. When I did, I invited anyone who wanted to, to write a guest blog about Niteblade to share here. The idea is not to be maudlin, but to celebrate that Niteblade existed and that while it did, it accomplished some things. The first person to take me up on that offer is John Bruni.

I think this will make you smile.

I know I did, and not just because he says nice things about me 😉


A Quick Piece on Niteblade

by John Bruni

When I was editing and publishing my genre magazine, TABARD INN: TALES OF QUESTIONABLE TASTE, I used to get submissions from a writer by the name of Rhonda Parrish. She always sent very well-written stories, but they were never right for TABARD INN. While she wasn’t the writer I rejected the most, she was up there, and I felt bad about it. Every time I received a story from her, I wanted it to be The One because she just kept at it, over and over again.

Sadly, I never got the chance to publish her work. Back when I ran a mini-workshop on MySpace, I posted one of her stories for my fellow writers to offer advice, but she never made it into TABARD INN. Fast forward two years(ish), and I saw the submission guidelines for one of NITEBLADE’s anthologies, this one called LOST INNOCENCE. I had a story called “Outside Her Window, It Waits,” and it seemed to fit what Rhonda was looking for. What the hell? Why not give her a chance to reject me for a change?

I actually put that in the cover letter, by the way. A few months later, she got back to me: “As much as I would have liked the opportunity to pass on one of your stories as ‘revenge’ I just can’t bring myself to do it.” And she included my story in LOST INNOCENCE, which is an excellent anthology. If you haven’t read it, you should do so.

Rhonda is a hell of a great sport, and I’m glad to know her. It’s a shame that NITEBLADE is closing its doors. It’s a great publication (which, by the way, has lived longer than TABARD INN by far), and it will be missed. It will still live on through its 33 issues and various anthologies. Instead of mourning our loss, why not celebrate the very existence of NITEBLADE by picking up some back issues? You won’t regret it.

One more thing: she wrote a PS at the end of that acceptance letter. “I’m joking about the revenge thing . . . mostly ;)” I get a kick out of that every time I think about it.


One of my favourite things about this post is that there are people who submit to Niteblade again and again, and though their stories are good I pass on them, again and again, because they just aren’t right for us. And to those people I want to say — I’ve been in your chair. I know it’s not fun, but don’t give up 🙂

And for the record, I didn’t ask John to include that suggestion about picking up some back issues… but really, it’s a good one 😉

My Love Affair With Niteblade

My Love Affair With Niteblade
A guest post by Marge Simon

Where did the years since 2007 fly to? I remember that I was smitten from the start with Niteblade when I discovered that Editor Rhonda, mother of a sweet young girl, sought work that went where no P.C. editors dared venture. You know what I mean. Most all of the zines (online or otherwise) warn, “We don‘t want stories about children coming to harm”. So Rhonda says, “Well, I do want stories and poems like that, so have at it!”

Okay, so I taught elementary art to cherubs for over thirty years, have a lovely daughter and two grandchildren of my own. But I loved where Rhonda’s objectives took my questionably warped mind. I approached her first as an illustrator (later as a writer and poet, and was welcomed, by the way.) And suddenly I was given the bulk of the illustrations for Issue Numero Uno. The cover was done for R.K. Gemienhardt’s grim story, “Dark Angel”. It shows a innocent tot with a teddy bear sitting up in bed waiting for her grandfather’s good night kiss. You see him approaching from the shadows, and he doesn’t look very much like a doting granddaddy at all. A shocking concept, akin to the folk tale “Rawhead and Mr. Bloodybones” bedtime story told to scare little children out of their wits.

After that, Rhonda approached me to be her “in house” artist. I was thrilled! I got to illustrate the stories (and a poem) for coming issues. She must have been crazy and still is, because I’m still doing it. Of course, each issue is different and children might or might not play into the stories of any one issue. Just knowing that such may be included on the keenly whetted blade of night was enough for me.

I’ve had the pleasure of illustrating some fascinating stories and challenging poems (and vice versa) along the way by such as Joe McKinney, Beth Cato, Megan Arkenburg, Greg Schwartz, BD Wilson, and many more extraordinary talents!

An additional perk is that Rhonda has generously included me in announcing new issues stating that my art is available from me both to the authors and the reading audience for a very affordable sum, postage paid. I love it when the authors want to have the work that fired in my imagination! I feel it belongs with them, not in my files.

So this is thanks to Rhonda, to her wonderful and talented husband Jonathan, BD and now Alexa for empowering one hardly saintly, but most unique online publication of dark literature to carry on. Here’s to keeping it moving onward and upward!

Marge Simon


Note from Rhonda: In case you missed it, yesterday’s stop on the blog train was at Ash Krafton‘s blog and tomorrow’s is at Stephanie M. Wytovich‘s. Check them out 🙂

Also, for the record, I didn’t/don’t specifically seek out stories where children are in danger (well, except maybe for that one time), I just don’t want a policy in place to specifically exclude those types of tales 😉