by Anneli Rufus
Named for the author of Dracula, the prestigious annual awards — which McFerrin describes as being "like the Oscars for sci-fi/horror/fantasy literature" — are a project of the Horror Writers Association.
Dead Love has been nominated in the Superior Achievement in a Novel category, along with Horns by Joe Hill, Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry, Apocalypse of the Dead by Joe McKinney, Dweller by Jeff Strand, and A Dark Matter by Peter Straub. All of these nominees were published by megapublishers except for Dweller, which is out from Dark Regions Press, and Dead Love, which was published by Berkeley indie outfit Stone Bridge Press.
The book begins as its narrator, Erin, steps off a plane at Tokyo's Narita Airport "in my short, jade-green sheath and six-inch stiletto heels ... my purplish-brown hair up in a French twist." Little does she know that soon she will be very nearly made into a zombie and will be pursued across several continents by a lovelorn shape-shifting ghoul, that "darkest and dankest of the beings," a corpse-eating "supernatural low-life," as revealed in an EBX profile of McFerrin — who explained that as part of her research for the book, she learned to bake "brain loaf."
As for the Bram Stoker Awards, whose winners will be announced in June, "I am the only woman in my category," McFerrin pointed out.
"As you can imagine, I'm thrilled! ... This is a big deal for a little literary novel from a small independent press. I'm hoping it'll put the book on the readers' radar."