Enter the world of the Black Labyrinth Book ll



Dark Regions Press are poised to launch their second outing into their series of psychological horror novellas, entitled Black Labyrinth. In order to do so, they have turned their attention to Kickstarter and have turned over the reigns to the general public to help unleash the next phase, which will be penned by Joe R Lansdale. Some readers may recognise Joe R Lansdale as the author of Bubba Ho Tep, which was made into a movie starring the sublime Bruce Campbell. He also wrote the short story, Incident On and Off a Mountain Road, which was used as an episode in Showcase’s Master’s of Horror series. Along with numerous comics and novels to his name, Mr. Lansdale has now turned his attention to a new challenge with Dark Regions.

To create the Black Labyrinth world, visionary artist, Santiago Caruso will also be lending his unique craft by providing some artwork, which is literally like staring into the visceral mind of the psyche.

Intrigued by this fascinating project which seemed to tap into the veins of Hammer’s venture into the psychological thrillers, dubbed the “Mini-Hitchcock’s, Hammer Horror Podcast caught up with owner and publisher of Dark Regions Press and creator of the Black Labyrinth imprint, Chris Morey to tell us more.

Chris Morey

Have any Hammer films influenced your work at all? If so, in what way?

I remember seeing some Hammer films on television when I was younger, but can’t say that I’ve watched any of the films as an adult. Still, they were there in my youth, and I’m sure had an effect on my perspectives and ideas in horror. Maybe one of these nights I can watch one or two films and refresh myself.

Tell us about The Black Labyrinth ll Project – What was the initiative behind releasing 10 psychological horror novels?

I had been noticing some trends in horror fiction: lots of dystopian stories and monster stories. Both very enjoyable, but it seemed like there was a lot of uncharted territory.. at least areas of horror that hadn’t been given the attention they deserve.

Psychological horror is one of those areas. It’s a genre that focuses on the psyche of a character, the torment of the mind. It can make for some very scary stories, but it has been hugely underutilized in my opinion.

So we created Black Labyrinth, limited to ten books in the imprint because we don’t want to exhaust the concept, but because the imprint is limited we are selecting who are considered by readers and critics alike as the masters of horror and dark fiction. First we had Tom Piccirilli, now we have Joe Lansdale. A damn good start.

What attracted you to Joe R Lansdale and Santiago Caruso to this project?

Well, Santiago Caruso is the illustrator of the Black Labyrinth imprint. Something I wanted was artistic consistency throughout the books, and I had been wanting to work with Santiago for a while. His artwork is dark, Gothic, graceful and poetic. Truly compliments and enhances these psychological stories.

Joe Lansdale was an obvious choice for me. I had the pleasure of meeting Joe in Austin, Texas for World Horror Convention 2011. We chatted a bit, he signed some books for me and was so damn patient with everyone wanting his attention. But that’s the way Joe is; a truly kind yet amazingly talented guy.

He’s done a lot, but many would recognize his works such as Edge of Dark Water, The Thicket, Bubba Ho-Tep, Hap & Leonard series, Jonah Hex comics and the Drive-In series. Joe was a natural choice for Black Labyrinth and I’m very thankful to have this opportunity to work with him on this project.

Being an artist yourself, does this allow you to tap into the minds of fellow artists to a degree? Does this help to deliver projects like Black Labyrinth ll?

I suppose it does. I judge myself and my own creative work very critically. It keeps my standards higher for myself, and I think it also helps me recognize true talent when I see it. That’s why I wanted to work with Santiago, and why I’m so excited about the creative vision that we have for Joe’s novella. This is going to be one special book.

Tell us about your own work, The Boy & The Abyss – What is it about psychological horror attracts you?

I explained in terms of the industry earlier, but I also want to say: I grew up around mental illness and have always been fascinated by the human mind. It is such an untapped scientific goldmine, but truly an untapped goldmine for storytelling as well.

To me, watching someone lose the very essence of who they are, for their perceptions to become warped… the people they love turning into strangers or hideous villains… that’s scary stuff.

But psychological horror also allows us to get into the mind of the character in a much more significant way in other genres. You’ll notice in a lot of the zombie crap that’s out there these days that the characters don’t come anything close to three-dimensional. Just worn out archetypes finding their way into a conflict… character development is often shallow or absent.

In psychological horror, character development is everything.

My story The Boy & The Abyss is essentially waiting for my website to be launched to be released at this point. The website is done, and I basically just need to spend a day to flip the launch switch, but that won’t be happening until after the Kickstarter campaign is over, I’ll tell you that.

But when the website does launch the story will as well. I’m guessing it will fall upon mixed reaction. Written in a strange way, feels like a dream, mysterious.. but you know what? I love it. Hope some others enjoy it as well.

What makes this project any different to any other kickstarter campaign? What stands you out from the crowd?

Something we focus on very much with the Black Labyrinth imprint are the signed limited edition hardcovers. There are three different editions, a starting level, mid-level and premium-level. I haven’t seen that many Kickstarters that have done a creative project with this much focus on signed limited edition hardcovers, and I think it should interest book lovers and collectors alike.

You can see some images of the hardcover books yourself on the campaign page: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/chrismorey/black-labyrinth-book-ii-joe-r-lansdale

This really is a unique project. We’re trying to bring a new novella of psychological horror by one of the masters of dark fiction: Joe R. Lansdale accompanied by (at least) 5 new pieces of artwork from an amazing artist of the surreal and macabre. Even cooler, if we hit our first stretch goal Santiago Caruso will create 8 color interior illustrations (instead of 4 B&W) and do a unique illustrated signature sheet for all 3 hardcover editions.

We hope some of your readers that enjoy the physical book, Joe Lansdale’s fiction or horror in general will join us for the campaign. It’s heading into the final stretch, and every day is precious. All of us are ready and prepared to make this an unforgettable book, and I know we’re ready to pour all of our best creative efforts into the project.

Thanks to Paul and Hammer Horror for the interview, and keep up the great work!

If you’d like to learn more about Dark Regions, The Black Labyrinth Book ll and the kickstarter campaign check out the links below:


Good luck Chris, you’ve certainly got the backing of the Hammer Horror podcast crew.

~ by surgeons of horror on November 3, 2013.

One Response to “Enter the world of the Black Labyrinth Book ll”

  1. […] For the previous article on the kick-starter campaign and our interview with Chris Morey from Dark Regions click here. […]

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