Category Archives: Storyteller Showcase

Brian Barr Storyteller Showcase: professional story

I’ve always loved telling stories and writing since I was a kid. I would share ghost stories with my cousins and friends, write comics on lined paper, jot short stories, etc. I had a love for reading and fiction for as long as I can remember.

The first time I got interested in publishing or releasing my own work was when I saw my friend Matt Rowe releasing his own Xeroxed zines in a DIY punk fashion. I was impressed by Matt’s creativity in writing articles and poetry, and doing art; it awakened a need in me to create and put out my own work. At the time, I learned about different avenues, but it would be a while before I actually pursued serious publishing.

My books started to get published around 2014/2015. Carolina Daemonic was my first novel, released by J. Ellington Ashton Press, and I published Empress with Chuck Amadori through Comixology first. I published short stories, mostly horror, through a few small presses before my friend Jeff O’Brien got me into publishing stories on my own. I still publish with small presses and publishers, but I also like to release my own work. I mostly marketed on Facebook, where I was shocked to see so many writers, artists, and comic creators, and fans of horror, fantasy, and science fiction. I also did a little local promotion, and El Burrito, my favorite restaurant which is no longer in business, sported posters of my work and helped sell my book. I did a local showcase at Richland Library, and also collaborated with a bunch of local authors for a Make Your Own Adventure book the library hosted.

Doing Empress with Chuck Amadori has been a great learning experience for me. Chuck taught me how to write comics to the point, and how to best outline my scripts without clutter. We worked with the artist Marcelo Salaza and the colorist Matheus Bronca, who are amazing, and currently we work with artists Sullivan Suad, Zilson Costa, and Geraldo Filho. Matheus still colors a number of our covers and helps with flats, I believe. Without them, our comic would not exist.

I’ve learned that in order to be more successful, specifically in the areas you care about, you have to be true to yourself and connect to the right people. Not all audiences will appreciate your work, so you have to find the right audiences for what you like to do. You also have to engage with them, and be a fan yourself, loving, sharing, and appreciating their work genuinely. You can do this if you really care about what you do and the people you network with, and it comes to a great advantage without effort. I’ve also learned to know when an audience or direction doesn’t work and to keep moving.

My brain-saving technique is to listen to my brain when I’m writing. Basically, if I feel drained and uninspired, it’s time to rest. When I’m in the flow, it’s time to write down every idea that comes to me, to store it, and to get in the zone as I write. Just let it all come out, then revise and revise until I’m ready to send it to an editor and release a story as a finished project. But there are times when I need to recharge and it doesn’t help to push at that point. Sleep gives me the recharge I need.

Brian Barr Storyteller Showcase: teasers

The 3 H’s Trilogy: A mix of comedic bizzaro romance horror, cosmic horror, and occult dark fantasy, The 3 H’s Trilogy begins when a gardener discovers a disembodied head in her mother’s garden. What starts as an absurd love story turns into a gruesome inter-dimensional nightmare. Consists of The Head, The House, and The Hell.

The Head

The Head Excerpt

Elizabeth looked back at the house, the phone firmly in her mind. She needed to call 911. This was the authorities’ problem. Whoever placed this head there, whatever force possessed it with the power to speak, after death…

Elizabeth looked back at the house, the phone firmly in her mind. She needed to call 911. This was the authorities’ problem. Whoever placed this head there, whatever force possessed it with the power to speak, after death…

Elizabeth walked up to the head and picked it up in her pink gloves. She stared at it for a moment, before taking it into the house with her.

Carolina Daemonic: Confederate Shadows: The first novel of Brian Barr’s Carolina Daemonic series released in 2015, Confederate Shadows is an occult urban horror fantasy with steampunk elements set in an alternative dystopian world where the Confederacy rules America. Uncompromising and raw, Confederate Shadows takes us into a world of grotesque monsters, dark magic, and chaos.

Carolina Daemonic: Confederate Shadows

Carolina Daemonic: Confederate Shadows Excerpt

The redhead looked up at the skies, coaxing Wei to look upwards as well. Far off dark bodies could be seen, flapping and soaring like wild birds, closer and closer. Behind them, far off into the distance, Wei could see what looked like a weird blue portal, opened with lightning bolts dancing within its womb.

“My sisters come,” the beautiful porcelain skinned woman continued. “Migrating Madonnas. You awoke us.”

Wei slowly stood up, shaking uncontrollably. She didn’t know what to say.

The woman gazed back and stared with a smile. “You will join us in our realm. This place reeks of mundane and disgusting men. It is no place for those like us.

“Wh…who are you then?” Wei asked, truly curious, but afraid to really know the answer.

“I am Celeste, one of the Lilin.”

Carolina Daemonic: Confederate Shadows Excerpt

Descending from the heavens in the black pool of night, something came. Something more foreign, more of an “other,” an outsider, than any societal scapegoat could have dreamed of being in the eyes of a fearful oppressor. Something further removed from the normality of society, from the expected nature of life and existence in general. The creature was humanoid in shape, recognizable mostly in the fact that it bore a head and neck with extended fins, torso and limbs. The composition of this thing seemed flesh-like, if flesh were turned inside out, pinkish and vein-ridden, muscle spasming and pus fizzling with what looked like the result of viral diseases. Its eyes were round and popping out, the pupils dilated. Bizarre and uncanny, it seemed to glide with ease from the heights of the sky. It fell onto the back of the unsuspecting sailor, wrapping its legs around the gasping man’s torso. A strange black collar flashed with rainbow lights around the demonic thing’s neck. Its hands were outstretched with sharp, shiny nails, its jaws open as a long tongue licked the air with insatiable delight.

The woman watched the thing fall for probably three seconds, astonished by the sight, left thoughtless. Had the thing taken an extra second to descend, or even an extra millisecond, the strange drunk’s foot would have found its way to her gut. That cruel show would’ve kicked her pregnant stomach, risked the life or welfare of the living organism, or organisms, incubating inside her. For its timing, the unintelligible thing was a savior in some way, a knight in flesh tissue and demonic extensions of tongue and nail. A holy savage fiend, a living oxymoron of the highest degree. She couldn’t pinpoint what to call this angelic demon, feeling both awe and dread in one shattering moment.

She still screamed. Still screamed as the ravaging thing grabbed her assailant.

Empress: Co-created and co-written by Chuck Amadori and Brian Barr, Empress is a comic book series that centers around Zia, a famous Hollywood actress who goes missing in the early 20th century. She  returns to America as the embodiment of the chthonic goddess Hekate and ushers in a new age for the same world that oppressed her spirit and legacy.

Empress volume 2

Brian Barr Storyteller Showcase: bio and works

Born and raised in Hawaii, Arizona, and Maryland, Brian Barr resides in South Carolina and is the author of the Carolina Daemonic series, the 3 H’s Trilogy, the Nihon Cyberpunk collection (read my reviews of #2, #3, and #4), and the Brutal Bazaar collection. His stories meld fantasy, horror, and science fiction, with themes that range from the occult to the exploration of the human condition, art, music, societal issues and political concerns. As a small press and independent author, he is heavily influenced by DIY and punk culture when it comes to formatting and releasing his work. Brian has written novels, short stories, and comics. He co-created and co-writes the comic book Empress with Chuck Amadori, which features art by Sullivan Suad and Zilson Costa, colored by Geraldo Filho. Sullivan Suad and Zilson Costa have also collaborated with Brian to provide many of the art for his covers.

Follow Brian on his Amazon Author Page and purchase his works…

Carolina DaemonicNovel One (Second Novel Rebel Hell Coming in 2019) and Short Story Collection

Carolina Daemonic: Confederate Shadows: The first novel of Brian Barr’s Carolina Daemonic series released in 2015, Confederate Shadows is an occult urban horror fantasy with steampunk elements set in an alternative dystopian world where the Confederacy rules America. Uncompromising and raw, Confederate Shadows takes us into a world of grotesque monsters, dark magic, and chaos.

Carolina Daemonomaniac I: The First Carolina Daemonic Short Stories Collection: This is the first collection of Carolina Daemonic short stories. Along with the steampunk war comic The Tamed Tiger, Carolina Daemonomaniac includes various tales of Voodoo/Vudon spirituality, necromancy, weird science and the undead.

The 3 H’s Trilogy: A mix of comedic bizzaro romance horror, cosmic horror, and occult dark fantasy, The 3 H’s Trilogy begins when a gardener discovers a disembodied head in her mother’s garden. What starts as an absurd love story turns into a gruesome inter-dimensional nightmare. Consists of The Head, The House, and The Hell.

Brutal Bazaar: A horror collection of short stories, Brutal Bazaar includes The 3 H’s Trilogy, The Bloody Writer’s Trilogy, Badlam Betty, and various other bloodcurdling tales penned by Brian Barr. From slashers to occult horror, these tales include gruesome scenes mixed with dark humor and existential dread.

Nihon Cyberpunk: Nihon Cyberpunk is a collection of science fiction stories set in Japan. Inspired by Black Mirror, The Twilight Zone,Akira, Ghost in the Shell, and various other sources, Nihon Cyberpunk explores the human condition and probes philosophical questions in a dark and dystopian Japan ruled by technology. Includes The Kage Majitsu Trilogy and An American Otaku in Neo-Nihon’s Underbelly as bonus stories.

Empress: Co-created and co-written by Chuck Amadori and Brian Barr, Empress is a comic book series that centers around Zia, a famous Hollywood actress who goes missing in the early 20th century. She  returns to America as the embodiment of the chthonic goddess Hekate and ushers in a new age for the same world that oppressed her spirit and legacy.