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Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Winter Park author wins Bram Stoker Award for novel of the year, set in Central Florida

Posted By on Tue, May 5, 2020 at 1:43 PM

click to enlarge Owl Goingback in 2005 - PHOTO BY MIKE HEIDBRINK COURTESY OF OWL GOINGBACK
  • Photo by Mike Heidbrink courtesy of Owl Goingback
  • Owl Goingback in 2005
Winter Park author Owl Goingback has won the Bram Stoker Award for "superior achievement in a novel" for Coyote Rage, which is set in Central Florida.

His eighth book, Coyote Rage, was published on Feb. 6, 2019, and is set in the city of Sanford, at Orlando's Greenwood Cemetery and at Big Tree Park in Longwood. The Bram Stoker Awards are given annually by the Horror Writers Association, and are considered the highest honor a writer can receive in the horror/dark fantasy genre.

"Coyote Rage was written during a difficult time in my life, when my wife was battling stage four cancer and I was working myself to death in a cemetery," wrote Goingback in a Facebook post after the award announcement on April 18. "The story means a lot to me, and I'm truly grateful to receive the award."

Two of Goingback's previous novels are also set in Florida. Breed takes place in St. Augustine and Evil Whispers is set in the Apopka area. Goingback says both have been optioned to be made into films.
This isn't Goingback's first honor, but it is a big one. He was first nominated by the Horror Writers Association in 1996 when his book Crota, which is set in Orlando, lost the best novel award to Stephen King's The Green Mile. Crota did, however, win the Bram Stoker Award for the best first novel. Not the worst outcome for your first nominations.

That same year he was nominated for a Nebula Award for best short story for "Grass Dancer," one of his many stories published in anthologies. Goingback's 1999 paperback Darker Than Night was again nominated for a Bram Stoker in the best novel category, his last nomination until this year.

At last month's online awards ceremony, Goingback also won the Bram Stoker Lifetime Achievement Award, along with Thomas Ligotti, for having substantially influenced the horror and dark-fantasy genres.
click to enlarge "Last night during my acceptance speech for the HWA Lifetime Achievement Award. Yes, that is a Hannibal Lecter mask. You have to stay safe during the pandemic." - PHOTO BY LYNNE HANSEN VIA OWL GOINGBACK/TWITTER
  • Photo by Lynne Hansen via Owl Goingback/Twitter
  • "Last night during my acceptance speech for the HWA Lifetime Achievement Award. Yes, that is a Hannibal Lecter mask. You have to stay safe during the pandemic."

A full-time writer, Goingback's books and stories are read in public schools, colleges and a youthful offender program at the Orange County Corrections Facility in Orlando. He has lectured on Native American customs and folklore from his Choctaw and Cherokee heritage throughout the country, and his readings at the Orlando Public Library are well received. Our readers voted him Best Local Author in Orlando Weekly's 2019 Best of Orlando Readers Poll.

OW checked in with Goingback last October, when he talked about how living in Central Florida shaped him and his writing, including his time as caretaker of the Greenwood Cemetery, the oldest one in continuous use in Orlando.

"We've got an endless supply of stories about ghosts, haunted locations, witches, skunk apes, giants, water monsters and UFOs," Goingback said. "It's a state with spooky swamps, islands once littered with human bones, ancient Spanish forts, Civil War battlefields, a Coral Castle and even a spiritualist camp."

"Florida's sunshine, beaches and theme parks are no distraction to Goingback," wrote Frances Susanna Nevill of her conversation with him at the time. "He's more interested in the state's cultural underbelly."

"I owe a lot to Poe, Lovecraft, Bradbury, Forry Ackerman, and many modern scribes of dark fiction for helping me keep my sanity," wrote Goingback in his award acceptance, saying he is "eternally thankful that my works of fiction are being read and enjoyed by at least a few people."

His website,, is not working right now, but check out his profile on Fantastic Fiction to learn more about him. You can also follow Goingback on Facebook and Twitter.

In case you didn't watch the live streaming of the Bram Stoker Awards, my novel Coyote Rage won for Superior Achievement...

Posted by Owl Goingback on Saturday, April 18, 2020
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