New gothic indie press Haunt has launched a Kickstarter for its first project—an anthology of stories from Scotland by 30 diverse authors.
Haunt founder and ex-bookseller Rebecca Wojturksa has been in publishing for around six years, working on journals at the Royal Society of Chemistry before joining Edinburgh University Press.
In her spare time she started Haunt last year after noticing the gothic literature she loves and has studied was quite narrow in range.
Wojturksa told The Bookseller: “I felt there wasn’t enough contemporary gothic out there, stories that weren’t set in a haunted manor house with creepy kids.
“The overall aim of Haunt is to publish diverse and inclusive gothic fiction. We want to show that the gothic doesn't just haunt middle-to-upper-class manor homes, but is present in all societies and cultures.”
Now Wojturksa has launched an £8,000 Kickstarter to fund Haunt’s first publication, Haunted Voices: An Anthology of Scottish Gothic Storytelling. The title will be released as an audiobook, e-book and print featuring 30 contributions from a variety of writers.
Alongside contemporary writers and illustrations from Zuzanna Kwiecien, it will also include archived recordings by people like Jeannie Robertson, Stanley Robertson and Jean Rodger, licensed from the University of Edinburgh’s School of Scottish Studies.
Wojturksa explained: “It’s regionally diverse and it features queer writers as well as writers of colour. It’s going to be representative of the storytelling scene in Scotland.”
Money raised through Kickstarter pre-orders will go towards author payments, live performance events, printing, recording, marketing and admin costs.
Wojturksa, who currently runs Haunt as a one-woman operation, said she was inspired by books like Ahmed Saadawi’s Frankenstein in Baghdad (Oneworld). She said: “That shows gothic can go anywhere. So I’d love to publish some Middle Eastern gothic. Southern gothic is an area I’m interested in too.”
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