Reprinted from the IFD Publishing site.
The outrageous is all the more extraordinary when we know it actually occurred.
My Wife, Melody, and I took turns reading the chapters of Elizabeth Engstrom’s Lizzie Borden aloud on a trip to the World Fantasy Convention in Minneapolis Minnesota over two decades ago. The drive from Nashville, Tennessee took fifteen hours. One of us drove, while the other read. Lost in Engstrom’s tale, a credible expedition into the hearts of characters from a different time, the drive flew by for both of us.
I had produced cover art for Engstrom’s collection from Tor Books, Nightmare Flower, and we met her at the convention for the first time.
In the novel Lizzie Borden, we have horror and history, two of my interests combined, and the perfect volume to launch IFD Publishing’s new imprint, Horror that Happened™. The mystery of a young “proper” Victorian-era woman being accused yet acquitted of the brutal mutilation and murder of her parents, had always captured my imagination, as it had the rest of the world.
In the 1890s, Lizzie Borden’s trial was a media circus, something we’re very familiar with today, but a singular event in Borden’s time. The circumstantial evidence of the case seemed to indicate that she’d done the deed. Though we cannot know the truth, I have always wondered about what might have moved Miss Borden emotionally to such a state that the act could seem reasonable. Of course, the murders look more like the product of frenzied lashing out than reason, but the efforts to avoid prosecution seem to indicate that there might have been planning involved.
Engstrom’s story took me back in time, and gave me a solid view of the world through the eyes of a very troubled Lizzie Borden. Her sensibilities were different from mine, but I could relate to her emotional state in each scene, a credit to Engstrom’s writing ability.
I was so inspired by her approach with Lizzie Borden, I later began to write novels based on historical events. And, like Engstrom, I told dreadful tales. Many of my Horror that Happened novels will also be released under the new IFD Publishing imprint in the coming months. Following the release of Lizzie Borden on July 1, IFD Publishing will release on September 1 my novel, A Parliament of Crows, inspired by the crimes of the three Wardlaw sisters, Carolyn, Mary and Virginia, women who taught social graces while also committing insurance fraud and murder. Their trial, nearly two decades later, was the next media circus concerning the heinous acts of “proper” women.
—Alan M. Clark
Horror that Happened, the new imprint from IFD Publishing, provides riveting stories in three categories: True Crime, Based on a True Story, and Lifted from the Past. We hope you will come back to IFD Publishing for your high-quality reading entertainment.