Monster Man: Tales of the Uncanny by Dave Stewart will be released Friday, March 6, at Baba’s Lounge, upstairs at Cedar’s Eatery, Charlottetown, 6-7 p.m.
The event is open to the public free of charge.
This short horror story anthology is Stewart’s first solo collection, following the 2017 release of Fear from a Small Place: Writers from Canada’s Smallest Province Unleash Their Greatest Fears. That collection, which Stewart conceived and contributed to, contains the work of 20 writers, each with a connection to Prince Edward Island.
Monster Man, however, is a more personal work.
“This book holds pretty much every idea I’ve toyed with turning into something, a novel, a film or whatever, up to this point,” says Stewart.
Writing the book has offered him a great opportunity to vent.
“How people react to it will let me know if I’ve conveyed those ideas successfully or not.”
Stewart began his professional writing career at The Buzz where he continues to write and ink his And Yet I Blame Hollywood cartoon. He has also written for SOLEDAD, Art Decades, Rue Morgue, Studio CX (Cathay Pacific), restroslashers.net (now archived), and CBC P.E.I., among others.
“I’ve always considered anything that people create, stories, movies, music, art, to be a conversation. Without somebody reacting to it, it’s just like a tree falling in the forest without anyone to hear it.”
The title of this collection is derived from a nickname the mother of an acquaintance gave Stewart as a child.
“Children are more aware of the motivation behind what adults say and do than we give them credit for. I was definitely given that nickname out of contempt. It used to bother me, but I’ve reclaimed it as a sort of badge of honour.”
The title also reflects the 27 original short stories contained in the collection which are each firmly rooted in the horror tradition.
“Horror means different things to different people,” Stewart says. “But it’s so much more than a weirdo with a mask and a knife. Some of our greatest writers have worked in the genre, everyone from Shakespeare to Doris Lessing. I hate when I find myself feeling like I should defend the genre. It really speaks for itself to anyone willing to see how broad it really is.”
The print run for Monster Man is limited to 100 copies, which will be available for purchase at the launch.
“I have no illusions about selling Stephen King levels of books,” says Stewart.
“I wanted to get these stories out there in a manageable way, and hopefully create something special. I hope that its rarity will add to that.”