2020 Snapshot: Cameron Trost

Cameron Trost is a writer of strange, mysterious, and creepy tales about people just like you. He is the author of Hoffman’s Creeper and Other Disturbing Tales and The Tunnel Runner, and is the creator of Oscar Tremont, Investigator of the Strange and Inexplicable. In 2013, he founded Black Beacon Books, an independent publisher of mystery, suspense, and horror fiction. Cameron hails from Australia but now lives on the rugged coast of Brittany. Castles, forests, storms, and whisky are a few of his favourite things. trostlibrary.blogspot.com

  1. Tell us about your recent publications/projects?

June is a big month for Black Beacon Books with the release of our fourth anthology, The Black Beacon Book of Mystery. It’s a selection of the finest reprints and original tales from locked-room mysteries to noir escapades, armchair detective puzzles to police procedurals, and private investigator cases to historical mysteries. They feature unforgettable protagonists, clues, red herrings, foreshadowing, and the final unmasking; mysteries in which the reader can pit wits against the detective. My second Oscar Tremont adventure, “The Ghosts of Walhalla”, is included. It’s a novella set in a Victorian ghost town (Walhalla). I actually began writing it while camping there, much like our protagonist. There are stories from four other Australian writers; Duncan Richardson, Paulene Turner, M.H. Norris, and Mike Adamson. This joins our previous anthologies; Subtropical Suspense (stories set in Brisbane), Lighthouses: An Anthology of Dark Tales, and Shelter from Storm.

In the meanwhile, I’ve had a few short stories published recently, including an Oscar Tremont mystery, The Disappearance of Jeremy Meredith, in Flame Tree Publishing’s Detective Thrillers, what I describe as a gothic suspense story called Cleopatra’s Mystery Box in ID Press’ Nerfariam: The Element of Crime, a tale of revenge imagined entitled It Starts with Insects in Dig Two Graves II from Death’s Head Press, and The Shortcut, one of the few clearly supernatural horror tales I’ve written, in Fear and Fables from Stormy Island Publishing.

I’m currently working on another Oscar Tremont short story, and a dystopian thriller. I’m hoping to release my second short story collection (psychological horror and generally strange tales) next year. It’s a collection of themes stories, all related to the interplay in identity between humans and animals. A number of the tales are quite philosophical, but they’re all definitely very freaky. Any suggestions for publishers who might be interested are welcome!

  1. What has been the best publishing experience of your career so far?

That’s a really tricky question. Can I give you three answers? The most memorable is probably my first professional sale, which was to the AHWA’s Midnight Echo #2 with The Ritual. It was extremely encouraging to make some decent money out of writing for the first time, and Shane Jiraiya Cummings and Angela Challis did a stellar job editing that issue. I probably shouldn’t pick a favourite anthology my work is published in, but I will anyway; Of Devils and Deviants from Crowded Quarantine Publications, which is unfortunately defunct. I absolutely love this anthology and am ridiculously proud to be part of it with my tale of psychological horror/suspense (you’ve probably worked out I walk the line between the two) called Lauren. Actually, it’s probably more erotica than horror, but if you’re thinking 50 Shades of Grey…oh, sweet summer child! This is one of the stories I plan to include in my next collection. More recently, I’d definitely have to say Flame Tree Publishing. I’ve had three short stories published with them so far. They pay really well and produce gorgeous hardcover books. Next step is to have a great experiencing having a novel published.  

  1. Which recent Australian/NZ work would you recommend to international fans interested in expanding their Antipodean spec fic knowledge?

There are so many! One of the most recent I’ve read is Greg Chapman’s latest collection, This Sublime Darkness. Your followers will almost certainly be familiar with Greg’s work, so I won’t write a review here. I try to review—or at least rate—everything I read on Goodreads and am happy to get in touch with bookworms via that forum. I left a glowing review of Greg’s collection over there. I also really liked Matthew R. Davis’ collection, If Only Tonight We Could Sleep, which has a very Australian feel to it and includes several stories that explore the grubby side of suburban life and family troubles. Both of these books are published by Things in the Well and I have to say that Steve Dillon is doing great work with his publishing project. In terms of New Zealand, Lee Murray is astonishingly productive. I’d recommend anybody who wants to get an insight into what’s happening over there check out her work as an author, editor, and, well, as a spokeswoman…if only Kiwi women could just rule the world, we’d all be a better off!

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