Mastication Publications (est. 1991) is a line of special creative projects independently produced, sold and/or distributed by Michael and Renate Arnzen. Our slogan, “Unusual Ideas to Chew On,” derives from our first book published together — called Chew — and our imprint is an allusion to an oft-quoted line from Sir Francis Bacon. We also like to think that our quirky products are a kind of monstrous offspring, with teeth.
Michael and Renate Müller (Arnzen) have been putting their minds together since the late 1980s, and this press is just a small part of their creative work in the genre. Michael publishes horror fiction and poetry professionally, and has won four Bram Stoker Awards for his novels, collections, poetry and online experiments. His writing has been released by dozens of publishers, including Dell Books, DAW Books, MacMillain, Cemetery Dance, Raw Dog Screaming Press, Bad Moon Books, Dark Regions Press and many others. He also teaches writing as a professor of English at Seton Hill University. Renate, who hails from Germany, has a degree in Art and has created covers and interior art for titles by several publishers, including Dark Regions Press, Wildside Press, and more. Her paintings have been on permanent display at Colorado State University-Pueblo. They were married in 1991 and currently live near Pittsburgh.
We are not open to unsolicited submissions. Most of what we produce is entirely created by us, solicited directly, or otherwise produced in partnership with other publishers and clients. All projects that involve contributors are by invitation-only. Should any open calls for contributions arise, they will be announced on our mailing list, so sign up now to be the first to learn of new developments!
Our humble catalog consists of ebooks, broadsides, ephemeral objects and limited-run chapbooks, most of which showcase the creative work of — or special projects edited by — award-winning horror author Michael Arnzen. Currently, Instigation: Creative Prompts on the Dark Side is our best-selling title, available in all ebook formats — and Sportuary (2009), our first foray into electronic formats, is also available exclusively on amazon.com. Our legacy titles, now out of print (inquire) include early horror poetry books: Chew and Other Ruminations (1991) and Psychos: An Anthology of Psychological Horror in Verse (1992) — along with a number of limited edition broadsides (you can see some of these on scribd.com/Arnzen).
We see this press as more of a creative laboratory than some vain enterprise in self-publishing. It is a venue for trying new things that other publishers would never attempt and archiving things that may have otherwise been lost and forgotten. We’ve always been a small press interested in exploring new territory for genre fiction and poetry, liberated from the norms of mainstream publishing and unbound by the usual commercial demands. Right from the beginning, we put art right up in the foreground with writing. But as independent as we are, we are also professional, experienced and schooled in what we do, and put great care into quality, editing, and design across all media. Some of our history is detailed in Lawrence C. Connolly’s article, “Change Thy Shape” (Dissections, Oct 2006), which calls Arnzen’s independent works like these “a cavernous museum of offbeat wonders..[reflecting a] shape-changing journey, out of the past, through the ether, and into the future.” Mastication Publications is just one of Arnzen’s many means of reaching an audience and spreading an appreciation for the art of dark side. Subscribe to our newsletter, and join us!
We hope to expand our new media projects, especially by releasing ebooks in a variety of formats, on top of limited-run print chapbooks and other items for horror collectors — including selections from Michael Arnzen‘s books not currently available in ebook format or rare and out-of-print editions. Soon there will be new creative projects that you will only find here. In the near future, we hope to offer our first professionally recorded audiobook.
Thank you to our loyal readers and supporters over the years. Without you, there is no purpose. When you order from us, you are given first priority and we will work with you until you are satisfied. We put great pride in making readers happy, and we always enjoy communicating with our customers. We respect and protect your private information as if it were our own, and will never sell or share your identity or purchase history.
But we sure like it when you share your satisfaction with others or when you reach out with some feedback. If you like what you find here, please help us spread the word in your personal network or consider gifting our titles to your friends…this is not a large business by any means, but just a small, cult press and a labor of love, relying almost solely on your word-of-mouth for publicity.
And don’t forget to sign up for our mailing list to keep in touch. All subscribers get a free ebook, and often other surprise tokens of our appreciation.
“Unusual Ideas to Chew On”
SAN: 920-4822 | POB 177, Gbg 15601 USA
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Inquiries: Contact Michael Arnzen via firstname.lastname@example.org
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