A week has passed since my manuscript was passed along to my Early Reading Group, and I won’t lie – I’ve taken a sneak peek at what a couple people had to say. Frankly, my mother has the eyes of a hawk and could probably make a killing as a line editor, and Atreyu’s comments on the first story have me frothing at the mouth to start the first revision.
I absolutely love this part of the process.
Being a writer can feel so solitary when I’m spending weeks locked up inside my own head, but then I remember how many people it takes to create a truly great book, and how many readers might someday discover it. We bibliophiles make up a huge and over-arching community, and there’s no group of people I’d rather be a part of.
Now, as promised, here is the contents list for my upcoming collection, Whispers.
A Mother’s Love
A Mother’s Love currently stands as the-only-zombie-story-I’ve-ever-written. It was originally published in Issue IV of Postscripts to Darkness, and as described by the editor, Sean Moreland, “effectively combines the body horror of Argento’s “Jenifer” with an uncomfortably sympathetic picture of familial dysfunction.”
Reading a little more like a desperate love letter than a short story, The Fever was first published by Swept Media, and was one of the few pieces left mostly untouched in the vicious rewrites that occurred as I was putting this collection together.
The Motel Room may not be the first ghost story I’ve ever written, but it has the distinction of being the only one that I’ve ever been happy with.
King of the Forest
King of the Forest recently found a home in the very first issue of Beyond Borderlands, a new forum for the exploration of paranormality and the culturally weird. One of my more fearless dives into the realm of surreal writing, there was a time when I wasn’t sure this little gem would ever see the light of day.
The Fall From Glory
When I saw the first call for submissions for an anthology that would come to be called The Brief Grislys, I was intrigued – could I write a horror story in less than a thousand words? Turns out I can, but they read a lot better after they’ve been beefed up to about 2500 words for this collection. The Fall From Glory is the vampire portion of the vampire-pyrokinetic-werewolf ménage à trois that was included in The Brief Grislys.
The Drawer was the first piece that gave me confidence in my surrealist speculative writing – I never thought anyone would tolerate my weirdness. When this piece was accepted for publication in issue III of Postscripts to Darkness, it was exactly the validation I needed to continue on in the genre.
She may never share her name in the story, but I’ll let you in on a little secret – the protagonist of this one is called Tristan, and she’s been living in my head since a seventeen-year-old version of me decided to write a graphic novel. Of course, this was before I knew that my author and artist sides didn’t exactly get along – but Tristan always stayed with me even when plans for the book fell by the way side, and the Breif Grislys anthology gave me one more chance to let her stretch her wings.
My very first stab at dystopian fiction, this story is a narrow glimpse of a very wide world. I’m still waiting to see what else may come for Martha and Asher.
This non-traditional werewolf tale was my third contribution to the Brief Grislys, but in the course of the rewrites for this collection, it became a very different piece.
The second vampire story chosen for this collection, Beggars tells a very different story than The Fall From Glory. Always my favourite creature of the night, I wanted to write a different kind of vampire. And so Shelley was born, a nihilistic yet compassionate creature trapped in an unforgiving city.
The Walkers was a tale I never expected to tell. Dark creatures in a strange world, surreal and personal and complex, I can remember a time when I would have kept this one to myself. It’s just too different. But I trust myself more now, I trust my own brand of creativity, and I’m sure that you’ll love the Walker’s world just as much as I do.