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Man Behind The Mask:
A horror anthology

David Owain Hughes, mastermind behind upcoming horror anthology Man Behind The Mask, took the time to tell HMS all about the idea behind the anthology as well as what work all went into it. With a talented list of all female horror authors (including Yours Truly) this is one 80s horror throwback that you’re not going to want to miss! Keep reading to find out more about the anthology, the charity it benefits, and women in horror.

–Stevie Kopas, Managing Editor, HMS

The ‘80s brought us the horror genre’s golden period: the best films, directors, cheesiness, soundtracks, and the sexiest scream queens. We especially held the women of those films close to our hearts. Still do.

Featuring all-female contributors, stories in The Man Behind the Mask anthology will include ‘80s-style clichés: masked killers, peepers, perverts, toolbox killers, killer clowns, window-watchers, sister-touchers, geeks, cheerleaders, big-breasted women, men with big knifes (to compensate for the size of something else), and, most importantly, heroines.

This one’s for you, ladies. It’s a thank you for all the great contributions you’ve added to the beloved horror genre over the years, and it’s sure to be a prick-teasing wet dream for the geeks of yesteryear.

The best part? All proceeds will go to breast cancer research!

Bolt the doors or run screaming into the woods. The man behind the mask is back, and his chainsaw is revving.

Edited by David Owain Hughes, Veronica Smith, and Jonathan Edward Ondrashek, and featuring the artwork of Kevin Enhart, Man Behind the Mask is coming in October 2016 from publisher Darkerwood Publishing.


The idea for the anthology came to me in late January, just as certain horror sites were posting memes and statuses about WiHM (Women in Horror Month), as they geared towards the event in February.

I’d been hankering to show my support for WiHM for the past couple of years, but it either slipped my mind or the occasion passed before I could come up with something. So, after finally catching internet advertisement early enough this year, I decided this was going to be the time I was going to do something about my desire to help.

A lot of people were doing the same thing, with some publishers putting an anthology out for the occasion. Well, me being me, I wanted something much bigger and better, which was the first bit of kindling for my Man Behind the Mask idea.

For the next few days, I thought about what I could do, eventually leading me to the idea of, Wouldn’t it be cool if I got a bunch of ladies together for an anthology and got a scream queen to write the foreword? And, anyone who knows me will tell you that I don’t do things by half. So I set about finding my ladies.

I was determined to make this thing as huge as possible.

Let it be known, I am a huge Alice Cooper fan as well, so I was slightly inspired by his “Man Behind the Mask” song, which is a track found in Friday the 13th VI: Jason Lives.

Firstly, I went in search of a scream queen. Luckily, I’d previously had involvement with three legends from the ‘80s: Brinke Stevens, Linnea Quigley, and Lesleh Donaldson. Initially, I wanted two scream queens: one to write a foreword and one to write an afterword. I managed it, too.

After contacting all three of the ladies above, Lesleh and Linnea were up for it, with the former writing the foreword. Unfortunately, Brinke was busy with work commitments and couldn’t partake.

Sadly, however, Lesleah Donaldson had to drop out due to her workload. This didn’t stop me though. This just meant that Linnea would be writing the foreword. She was a complete and utter gem about it all; a real pleasure to correspond and work with.

By this time, I had recruited most of my ladies for the ToC, which, as it stands, contains three ladies who run their own publishing houses, a real-life dominatrix, and two delightful ladies who have starred in films: Debby Dodds (Bloodbath) and Christine Elsie McCarthy (Child’s Play 2). There’s also one female on the editing crew – Veronica Smith, who also writes horror fiction. The publisher of this tome is also a female, and one of her stories appears in the collection. Stephanie stepped in when things fell through with the original publisher, and she’s been a godsend.


Other than that, it’s just big Jon and myself – the only fellas brave enough to mix it up with a bunch of hardcore horror hotties. We’d had another on board – the original publisher set to release this work – but he had to part ways due to unforeseen financial circumstances.

Some people will read this and think, Hang on, Women in Horror Month was ages ago! How can this be a support for that? My answer is simple. You don’t need a month, date, or schedule to show your support, just like you don’t need Valentine’s Day to tell the person you love them – you should always be showing it.

We have a lot to thank the ladies of horror for, especially the ladies of the ‘80s – they set a bar. They were pioneers, blazing the trail for the modern lovelies of gore to build upon.

Not only is this anthology in support of women in horror, but all proceeds are going to breast cancer research, a charity I’m most passionate about. Got to save them boobies!

But, in all seriousness, God bless you, ladies. And thanks for all the great, horrific moments you’ve given us.

You made my ‘80s a wet and splendid dream – it’s a complete honour to be at the helm of this crazy-as-hell train.

--David Owain Hughes


Man Behind The Mask is currently available for preorder and will be released on October 29th.
Foreword by Linnea Quigley

Featuring stories from:

Stephanie Connolly Reisner: Heart’s Desire
Dani Brown: Movie Star
Alice J. Black: The Travelling Circus
Carly Holmes: Club Cruelty
Jaime Johnesee: The Best Damn Revenge
Lisa Lane: Black Rose
Stevie Kopas: Camp Counselors Wanted
S. L. Mewse: The Harvest
Dawn Cano: Bag Lady
Debby Dodds: Killer Times at Ridgeway Mall
Michelle Garza & Melissa Lason: Rock, Paper, Scissors
D.M. Slate: 24 Lone Pine Lane
Fox Emm: Broken Rules
Crystal Jeans: Hot Sauce
Suzanne Fox: Original Sin
Rose Garnett: Love Will Tear You Apart
Charlotte Ros: Ambush
Christine Elise McCarthy: Dinner
C. A. Viruet: Prom Night
A. Giacomi: Slumber Games
Kasey Hill: Scream Campers, I Know What You Dreamed Last Bloody Halloween
Briana Robertson: Bloodbath
Delphine Quinn: This Isn’t The Breakfast Club
Kindra Sowderr: Courtesy Call
K.M. Cox: Laugh Out Loud
Rachel Nussbaum: It Takes a Lot of Guts
Tamara Fey Turner: Put on Your Birthday Face
Florence A Marlowe: The Clown Guy

Stevie Kopas, Managing Editor HMS

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