A HAUNTING tale of Brexit and rising energy bills has left a Dalgety Bay firm in need of a helping hand to secure its future.

Rebecca Wojturska founded Haunt Publishing, an independent publisher of gothic, horror and dark fiction, back in 2018 and has since worked to highlight writers from Scotland and beyond.

However, due to the soaring costs of paper and other materials, combined with an inability to sell in certain countries and territories, the 33-year-old has found herself struggling to stay afloat.

Alongside her in-house copy editor and civil partner, Ross Stewart, Rebecca publishes up to four books a year, having formally launched with Haunted Voices: An Anthology of Gothic Storytelling from Scotland in 2019.

She said: "Dedicated to exploring both traditional and contemporary Gothic and horror literature, Haunt holds a flickering candle to global and underrepresented voices.

"We publish books with the curse of 'unputdownability', that keep a reader up all night.

"Books that provoke unease, terror and dread. Basically, we publish books that haunt readers long after consuming them.

"Scotland has a stunning tradition of oral storytelling, as well as a longstanding affinity with that most chilling of genres, the gothic.

"Haunted Voices – a bold and ambitious anthology in both text and audio – showcases some of Scotland’s best oral storytellers, from archived stories of past masters to the work of contemporary performers, and their most disturbing tales of terror."

Other releases credited to Haunt are a gothic poetry collection by Glasgow writer Anna Cheung, a horror dark fairytale novel set in the Highlands by Inverness author Joanna Corrance and a dark short story collection by Heather Parry, from Glasgow.

The small team has also published gothic horror anthologies from across the world, including a BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour) anthology and a queer anthology by LGBTQI+ writers.

This focus is something Rebecca says will "never change" as she prides herself in running an author-led service which supports writers.

She explained: "We pay our authors double the industry-standard royalty rate and we pay them for launches and promotional events – and we will never change that.

"As our lists of books grows, so does our expenditure.

"Rising costs of paper and other materials, Brexit-related issues, and impending major bills have meant Haunt has been struggling the past year or so.

"We are now unable to sell properly into certain territories and it’s more expensive than ever to produce books.

"As a relatively new publisher that launched just before the pandemic, it’s been a challenge to establish ourselves, grow sustainably and navigate the current rocky climate of indie publishing."

Haunt has now launched a fundraising drive to help during "this rocky period" and ensure a future of publishing more spooky and inclusive offerings.

"The raised funds will go towards bills, materials costs - including paying for book print runs -, marketing, overheads and author payments," Rebecca said.

"Everyone who donates will - as a thank you - receive a discount voucher for our website, which can be redeemed against our books.

"The more you donate, the bigger the voucher!"

Fundraising ends on May 1 with a target of £5000 set to be reached.

Rebecca added: "We are 60 per cent of the way there so need your help.

"It will be very unfortunate if we don’t mean our target and we may need to scale down, but the good news is we keep all donations made, even if we don’t quite get there."

Voucher codes received following donation will stay live until the end of 2023.

Anyone who wishes to help can do so by visiting www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/help-haunt.