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My name is Jonathan Fortin.


I write Dark Fantasy and Gothic HorrorMy work includes the novel Lilitu: The Memoirs Of A Succubus, as well as short fiction like Requiem In Frost

In 2017 I won the "Next Great Horror Writer" competition from I attended the Clarion Writing Program in 2012, one year after graduating summa cum laude from San Francisco State University's Creative Writing program.


Come explore my macabre world. 

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Thanks ;)




“One of the Best Books of 2020”
Books Of Blood

“An epic dark fantasy for the ages.

Lilitu: The Memoirs of a Succubus solidifies Jonathan Fortin's place atop the Gothic throne.”​- Jess Landry

Available now on Paperback, Kindle, & Audiobook


My short story WHAT CATS SEE is now available to read on Dark Recesses Press's webzine.

If it's ever seemed like your cat is fighting invisible monsters, this story explores how that just might be true.

To celebrate, here are some photos of my own cat, Mia:


Things have been quiet on this website, but I've been hard at work. I'm in the editing stages for a modern horror/comedy novel which I'd describe as GOOD OMENS meets GHOSTBUSTERS meets EVIL DEAD meets THEY LIVE meets BLACK MIRROR. It still needs revising, but writing this book brought me a lot of joy, and working on it has helped me get through the pandemic.

Additionally, last summer, I began querying agents for the cosmic horror / dark fantasy hybrid manuscript I've been working on for years now, code-named PROJECT SPIRAL (not its real name, obviously). I spaced out my query batches so as to incorporate any feedback any agents got me. That said, right now agents are inundated with queries, and those that reply at all often don't give you much. (This is understandable given the sheer amount of queries agents are getting these days.) So I've mostly just gotten form rejections, even from two who asked for the full manuscript, but one or two did say, "This is really good, I just don't know how to sell it / it's too long. Keep at it!"

(For clarity: "too long" in this case has meant 148K words, which is roughly 500 pages. Many of your favorite fantasy novels are far longer, and most readers like 'em longer as well. Unfortunately, publishers seem to only want books around 90K - 100K words these days, even in the realm of epic speculative fiction. Words cannot describe how envious I am of SFF authors who started their careers in earlier eras, and weren't subjected to such absurd standards.)

The length of SPIRAL has been a thorn at my side for the past six years. An earlier draft was nearly 200K words even though I had intended for something half that length. I've continuously struggled to cut it down as much as possible, even though my critique group members and beta readers have often encouraged me to make it longer. It is no understatement to say that if I hadn't spent SO much time trying to cut this book down to fit the publishing industry's arbitrary standards, I would have finished two more books by now.

So, I've spent the last four months revising it yet again, punching up the opening pages (and a few other parts I wasn't satisfied with), and brutally cutting down any stray words I could find. With enormous effort, I managed to cut it down to 138K words. I don't believe I can cut it down more without weakening the story. I don't know whether a 138K-word manuscript is at all more marketable than a 148K-word manuscript, but I do think it's a stronger manuscript now, and that's what matters in the end.

So ultimately, it's a good thing that I've been taking this slowly. There are a large number of agencies that I still need to query, and this way I'll be sending them the best possible version of the book. With all the years of effort I've spent on this book, and deeply how personal it is to me, I refuse to give up on it. Fortunately, I do have other projects in the works (such as the horror/comedy I mentioned before). One way or another, you'll get to read it.


Apologies for radio silence on this blog for the past year or so. I've been hyper-focused on completing edits on my next novel, and have neglected to work on short stories or other smaller projects. So while I've been busy writing every day, there hasn't been much to report as far as new content that you can actually read just yet.

This particular novel is a bit of a long one, and it's taken me far more years than I expected to whip into shape. I've been trying to make it both as short as possible and also as developed as possible, and those two goals fundamentally conflict.

Fortunately, the end is in sight. I've critiqued the book extensively with my writing group, I've made all the changes I wanted to make, and I've finally cut it down to under 150K words. (I know, I know, editors want everything under 120K words, but 150K words is a huge relief after the 200K-word draft I had at the beginning of the year.) I'm currently wrapping up my final editing pass.

What does this mean?

What it means, my friend, is that I will soon be querying agents. A nerve-wracking, soul-crushing, eye-gouging endeavor, but an endeavor that is exceedingly important to take. If I can get an agent, it will dramatically increase this book's chances of getting a publisher and be a huge leap for my career.

So. What can I say about the book?

-It's a Dark Fantasy / Biopunk / Lovecraftian Horror hybrid set in a nightmarish dystopian-future Earth.

-There are 3 POV characters.

-It explores mental illness and PTSD. (Empathetically. I struggle with mental illness and PTSD myself.)

-There's a LOT of body horror.

-There's a LOT of tentacles.

-There's also magic and mystery and humor and romance and heists and epic battles.

-It tells a complete story with an actual ending, but my plan is to make it a trilogy. I've got Books 2 & 3 plotted out, and I'm hoping to start writing Book 2 shortly.

Here's hoping someone will take a chance on my latest mutant baby.

Until next time!

~ Jonathan recently launched HORROR ADDICTS GUIDE TO LIFE 2, which contains my essay 25 of the Most Metal Movies (That Aren't About Metal). The essay was originally written as a blogpost to promote my black metal-themed short story REQUIEM IN FROST.

It was originally written in 2019, so any movies released since then could not be considered. (THE NORTHMAN and THE SPINE OF NIGHT would be shoe-ins for a revised list.) I'd also like to clarify that some of the films listed aren't ones I particularly enjoy, even if I felt obliged to include them. (For example, I find Conan the Barbarian quite dated.) Nonetheless, I hope you enjoy the list and are encourage to seek out the entries you've never heard of.

Here's an excerpt:

25 of the Most Metal Movies

(That Aren’t About Metal)

by Jonathan Fortin

Black Sabbath, one of the world’s first heavy metal bands, took their name from Mario Bava’s

classic 1963 Horror film of the same name. In the years since, Horror and metal have continued

to have an ongoing conversation, from Horror-themed metal bands such as Cradle of Filth, The

Great Old Ones, or Carach Angren to metal-themed Horror films.

My short story Requiem in Frost continues this tradition, telling the story of a Norwegian girl

who moves into a house haunted by the ghost of a black metal musician. In honor of its release,

I’ve decided to make a list of movies that, to me, feel “metal.” However, I’m not going to limit

this list to Horror, and I’m going to avoid films that are specifically about metal. This is because

every other list of “Most Metal Films of All Time” takes it literally, and focuses exclusively on

the same ten or so movies that have explicit references to the genre. The internet can only

withstand so many posts containing Deathgasm, The Gate, The Devil’s Candy, and Lords of

Chaos. So instead, I’m going to focus on movies that feel like they capture the essence of metal.

Here’s my criteria: Do the images in the movie feel like they could be metal album covers?

Could you put metal on the soundtrack and have it feel right? Does the story feel like it could

also be that of a metal concept album? And finally, does it feel powerful and meticulously

constructed in the way that good metal must? As the metal genre means different things to

different people, I cannot speak for the entire metal community, and I am sure that other people

may have different choices. Nonetheless, here are my selections, organized by year:

BLACK SABBATH (1963): Let’s just get this shoo-in out of the way. Black Sabbath is a Horror

anthology with three segments, one which is focused on a vampire. It isn’t as explosively metal as some of the other entries on this list, but given that one of the first metal bands took its name

from this film, you can’t really not include it. 

WIZARDS (1977): Ralph Bakshi’s animated feature establishes a world in which, following a

nuclear apocalypse, humans have all died or mutated into fantasy races. An evil wizard uses Nazi

propaganda footage to inspire his troops, a robot finds redemption, and fairy tits jiggle. It’s a

strange, over-ambitious film, but the subject matter and imagery would feel right at home in a

strange, over-ambitious metal concept album.

HEAVY METAL (1981): A token inclusion, this adult animated anthology feature contains

aliens on drugs, women with big swords, and copious amounts of sex and violence. It’s very

dated, particularly in the treatment of its female characters, but there’s no denying it is as metal

as its name.

CONAN THE BARBARIAN (1982): Look, the poster for Conan the Barbarian looks just like a

Manowar album. It opens with the forging of a sword. It’s full of Vikings. It has to be on this list.


Do you love the horror genre? Do you look at horror as a lifestyle? Do the "norms" not

understand your love of the macabre? Despair no longer, my friend, for within your grasp is a

book written by those who look at horror as a way of life, just like you. This is your guide to

living a horror addict’s life.

Our month-by-month almanac with important dates, movie lists, puzzles, crafts, articles, and

recipes will guarantee your whole year is occupied with delightful horror activities. Don’t miss

our monster guide with articles about vampires, zombies, ghosts, and some creatures that just

can’t be categorized. Enjoy interviews with creators of horror content and hear perspectives from

different cultures and backgrounds. Read stories of real hauntings, nightmares, and vile


Allow us to curate your horror lifestyle.

With articles by: A. Craig Newman, A.D. Vick, Alyson Faye, Angela Yuriko Smith, Brian

McKinley, CM Lucas, Camellia Rains, Carrie Sessarego, Chantal Boudreau, Courtney Mroch,

Crystal Connor, D.J. Pitsiladis, Dan Shaurette, Daphne Strasert, Dee Blake, Emerian Rich,

Geneve Flynn, H.E. Roulo, H.R. Boldwood, J. Malcolm Stewart, James Goodridge, Jaq D

Hawkins, Jeff Carroll, Jonathan Fortin, Kate Nox, Kay Tracy, Kerry Alan Denney, Kieran Judge,

Kristin Battestella, Ksenia Murray, Lee Murray, Lionel Ray Green, Loren Rhoads, M.D. Neu,

Mark Orr, Martha J. Allard, Michael Fassbender, Mimielle, Naching T. Kassa, Pamela K.

Kinney, Priscilla Bettis, R.J. Joseph, R.L. Merrill, Rena Mason, Renata Pavrey, Rhonda R.

Carpenter, Russell Holbrook, Selah Janel, Steven P. Unger, Sumiko Saulson, Tabitha Thompson,

Theresa Braun, Trinity Adler, Valjeanne Jeffers.


The Jonathan Fortin Chronicle

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