Well hello and Happy nearly Halloween day!
Yesterday on SMoD&L, we featured tales from Nick Spalding, Leonard D. Hilley II (I am still smarting over that name) and Ruth Barrett. Thanks guys, it was a pleasure.
Today, I have not three, but four brilliant and equally devilish writers for your mischief and merriment.
Over to you to open the show, Robin Morris!
by Robin Morris
A vampire, a demon, and a zombie stood on the sidewalk looking at the dark, quiet house.
“That’s old man Jansen’s place,” Billy said. The night was beginning to turn cold. The crowds of kids in colorful costumes had turned into a few stragglers. Most houses in the neighborhood were still lit up, welcoming trick-or-treaters and decorated with plastic skeletons and witches.
The Jansen house was unlit, unwelcoming.
“It’s perfect,” Jimmy said with a grin. “He doesn’t give us nothing, we got a reason for a trick.” Jimmy was a vampire, fangs and a cape and a predatory smile.
“He’s mean,” Billy said. Billy was a demon, red skin, horns, and a tail.
“So are we,” Bobby said. Bobby was a zombie, dead and hungry. “We’re monsters, we’re not afraid of an old man.”
“Come on.” Billy led the way, as he always did.
The two story house was not friendly. The porch light was off, no lights showed on the first floor. One upstairs room had dim light in the window.
A vampire, a demon, and a zombie walked up the stairs. A rocking chair on the porch creaked as it rocked in the wind.
Billy knocked on the door. Hard.
There was no answer.
“He’s not coming down.” Bobby said.
“Let’s go,” Jimmy said after a full minute passed.
“He’ll come,” Billy said. He knocked even harder.
Another moment, and Billy was proven right. The steps inside creaked, and the light behind the door came on.
Old man Jensen opened the door. White hair blowing over a bare scalp, sagging face, wearing a bathrobe.
“TRICK OR TREAT!” the vampire, demon, and zombie shouted in unison.
“Go away,” Old Man Jensen said. “I leave the light off, that means I don’t do this.”
“Trick,” Billy said, “or treat.” He held out his bag of treats, heavy with candy gathered at other houses. Jimmy and Bobby did the same.
“I got nothing for you. You do anything to my house, I call your parents.”
“No treat?” Jimmy asked.
“Then trick,” Billy said.
“And we don’t got parents,” Bobby said.
All three rushed the old man, Jimmy sinking fangs into his leg, Billy jumping and landing on his chest, digging into him with razor sharp claws. Bobby got behind him, making him fall as the others pushed.
When he was on the ground, Bobby shut the door so the neighborhood wouldn’t hear the old man scream.
A vampire, a demon, and a zombie feasted.
Read more of Robin’s work here:
Thanks Robin! I know what my answer to the ‘Trick or treat’ question this Halloween will be, that’s for sure! 😉
And speaking yesterday of fabulously named writers, here’s another one I wish I’d been christened/thought of. Please take your bow, Artemis Hunt!
‘Psychotic’ was the first horror story I ever wrote. You can see it here at:
I wrote it back in 2005. There’s a funny story attached to it. As a freelance journalist, I was interviewing a bestselling author (who subsequently became a friend) who wrote a book about her adventures as an airline stewardess. In a moment of clarity, I figured “If she can do it, I can do it too.” And so I set out to write a story.
I had this idea running in my head about a woman in a city stalked by a serial killer, only I didn’t want it to be like any other serial killer story I’ve ever read. Once I put down the first word on my computer, the story kind of took hold of me and wouldn’t let go. I finished it within a day and looked at it in satisfaction. Especially at the twist in the end. People still come up to me today and tell me they just didn’t see that twist coming!
“Needs more stories to go with it,” my friend, a newspaper editor, said. “Then you can make an anthology out of it.”
And you know what? I did. I just got a new job, and my horror short stories grew out of the new people I went to work with 🙂 I titled the book ‘Dark City’, went out to seek an agent, who got me a publisher within a day, and the book was released. It shot up the bestseller lists to as high as No. 2 in the major bookstores. (Those were the times we didn’t have Kindle.) I got rave reviews (89% on my personal Tomatometer 🙂 One of my stories was even serialized in a newspaper.
Flash forward to 2011. E-publishing was all the rage with success stories like Joe Konrath, Amanda Hocking, Saffina Desforges… I kept reading them and reading them till my eyes blurred over. So what was I waiting for? I took the plunge. I started releasing a few of those horror shorts one by one, and put one up with Saffina Desforges Presents (to be out in Nov)
The one that is doing the best so far, maybe because it was the first being released is ‘Psychotic’. It shot up to No. 23 on the Horror charts in Amazon UK and has 2 5-star reviews to date. I’m proudest of it, because it was the first story I ever wrote. Strangely, since ‘Dark City’, I never wrote horror again.
Since 2007, I began to branch into Young Adult books and tried to get an American agent (as I am not American). Lots of requests from very huge houses, but no takers. You can see some of the books I wrote here at my blog:
And to be honest, the manuscripts of some of these books are at agents even as I write, because I’m one of those who want to straddle both worlds. My long time beta reader just got a 100K deal at a Big Six within one week of being on submission (and with a book I helped beta), so I’m convinced it CAN be done 🙂
So far, I’ve been exactly 2 months into indie publishing, and I’m enjoying every moment of it. I tried my hand at different genres – so far I’ve got my YA fantasy (THE HUNT FOR THE CATALYST), my paranormal chick lit (THE BODY SNATCHER WEARS LIPSTICK), my YA sci-fi/romance (SNOW WHITE AND THE ALIEN), all who have received great reviews so far. Am I doing well? Not Saffina Desforges well, certainly! I haven’t had a home run with anything I wrote yet – and what I mean by a home run is a book that gets into the Amazon Top 500! But I’ve seen my sales grow like this:
Aug (1 week): 14 (1 book)
Sept: 44 (released 2 more books and 2 short stories at the end of the month)
Oct: 584 (as of Oct 26th) – started writing short stories in another genre and pen name ……erotica!!
Yes, I’ve branched out to write erotica as well, and found that they do quite well despite me being a new author to the field, and I can even charge $2.99 per story.
So far, this whole thing is an adventure for me, and I can keep you posted as to how things pan out.
Back to horror. Will I ever write another horror story again? (grins) Why not?
Artemis Hunt (who writes as A.R. Hunt under the ‘horror’ genre). I’m too embarrassed to tell you what my erotica handle is.
Thanks Artemis. Oh go on, tell us! 😉 (My apologies that there is no author photo of Artemis, but as you can tell from the above post, she’s very shy!)
Next in line for their stint on the boards, is Natasha Salnikova. Now, Natasha’s post is very short, but definitely not sweet!
When I think about something scary and spooky, I think about my own head. That’s the scariest place on a planet for me. I don’t know any other place with so many monsters, serial killers, psychopaths and lunatics collected together. Somehow they live peacefully with each other and they don’t go out much. When I feel they get restless, I throw one of them out. My head doesn’t feel lighter, there are always new guys in town, but letting out some monsters does feel good. And you think I’m crazy? … Well, you’re right. Just read my books. You don’t need other prove and many people agree.
Happy Halloween! Say Hi to your own Monsters. They like it.
Natasha A. Salnikova
And here’s links to my books if you need it.
Finally for this frightening Friday, we have the fabulous Tallulah Grace (how did I find so many writers with such great names?) Take it away Tallulah! Make sure you check out Tallulah’s youtube/book trailer vid for a little scare too!
What’s Halloween without the delicious tingle that a truly frightening story can bring? The scariest part of this short story lies in the fact that it contains more than a few kernels of truth…
The sickeningly sweet aroma of Beautiful perfume surrounded Keri as she sat alone in the quiet room. Rolling her eyes with exasperation, she spoke to the unseen.
“Go away. You don’t frighten me.” Picking up a magazine, she prepared to ignore her visitor while wishing that the dead woman preferred a more subtle fragrance. Or at least understood the concept of less is more.
At first these nightly visits had Keri running for the door, but after two months in her new home, the malodorous visitor was merely a nuisance. Aside from permeating the room to announce her presence, the spirit was never inappropriate. An occasional curtain flutter and a few rearranged objects were the only bits of physical evidence she left behind. Typically, her visits were brief, but lately she had begun to linger longer.
“It’s almost Halloween, maybe she expects a treat.” Keri mused aloud as she waited for the scent to evaporate.
The sudden crash of books landing on the hardwoods punctuated Keri’s comment.
“Hey,” Keri leapt from the sofa, dropping the magazine as she whirled towards the noise. “Stop that.” She watched in burgeoning anger as her precious books began to scatter across the room. Before she could move, the old cuckoo clock began to chime. Turning her attention to the broken clock, Keri watched the tiny bird move frantically in and out of a small doorway that hadn’t opened in years.
Anger quickly turned to fear as music began to blare from her iPod. The one with no speakers attached.
As her visitor’s aroma became almost overpowering, Keri found that she was locked into place. Nothing worked. Her legs, her hands, her arms, even her voice was frozen.
“It’s time.” The disembodied voice came as a whisper, so close that Keri could feel the cold breath touch her left cheek. Chills spread to the top of her head and the tips of her toes. Still, she couldn’t move, couldn’t speak.
She watched in mute horror as the French doors flew open. The cold October wind ushered in dead and dying leaves along with a nauseatingly familiar smell of cigar smoke and sweat.
It can’t be, Keri thought. Even in the face of the unthinkable, she refused to believe that he was back.
“I killed you.” Her silent screams had no impact, but the dark presence heard her cry.
Deep laughter rippled eerily through the space as it replied, “I came to return the favor.”
A good friend actually experienced several of the events described in the story. Specifically, the perfumed visits from a gentle spirit never seemed to bother her, but nocturnal crashes when books and small appliances jumped from the shelves to the floor prompted her to move. I’ve always been enthralled with all things paranormal. So much so, that the main characters in my first three romantic suspense novels have special abilities. Future plans include helping my friend document a collection of true stories describing the paranormal events that she lived through. Watch for updates at http://www.tallulahgrace.com.
FATE Book One of Timeless Trilogy Book Trailer
Brrrr! Thanks for that Tallulah! Now I am looking over my shoulder as I type! 😉 I couldn’t find an author pic of Tallulah, so you can have one of her ooh cover instead, as it is rather cool and quite befitting of the theme!
So, that concludes our pre-Halloween fun for today, check back tomorrow for some Spooky Saturday going’s on!
See you then, don’t be late – be scared!
- Top Ten Halloween Reads (thereadingdate.com)