Monday, November 11, 2013

The Stories Behind the Stories

I recently had two short stories come out in the same week, both around Halloween, and both are horror.

"Shadow Man" came out first, in a collection called Soon. Abby Goldsmith put this together and did an illustration for each of the four stories included. Her illustrations are always amazing, so I'm pretty excited to have one to go with this story. I wrote "Shadow Man" because, quite frankly, I'm still afraid of things that go bump in the night, and that dark space beneath the bed, and creatures that could be hiding in the closet.

"Shadow Man" was the first short story I completed after I finished the Odyssey Writing Workshop in 2007. I wrote it slowly, trying to incorporate everything I learned at the workshop. I sweated over this story. A lot. While writing it, I also learned about a cool therapeutic intervention in psychology called 'sand play.'

"Gris-Gris for a Mal Pris" was the second story that came out. Featured in Stupefying Stories: TWO, it's my second published story with them. This one was written for a Halloween contest for one of the writing groups I belong to. I was given a prompt that included a multitude of creepy toys. I kept focusing on those dolls that go in the corner and look like little kids who are being punished. I found it strange that, of all the possible poses a person could enjoy in a doll, some people preferred that of discipline.

At the time that I wrote the story, my son was under a year old. Being a new parent, I was scared of a lot of things, but mostly that I'd fail my child in some huge fashion. So I started thinking of all the things that could lead a parent to fail in a big way. I ended up with a story about one small family fighting their demons, both physical and metaphorical.

If you enjoy horror, try out either collection, or both! Just make sure you leave a light on while you read.

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