“Be silent in that solitude,
Which is not loneliness—for then
The spirits of the dead, who stood
In life before thee, are again
In death around thee, and their will
Shall overshadow thee; be still.”
From “Spirits of the Dead” by Edgar Allan Poe
My father gave me his “Collected Works of Edgar Allen Poe” when I was about seven years old. I had long ago relinquished the fairy tales of childhood in search of meatier stuff. I struggled with some of the words and he was always available to define and explain. I can still his deep, sonorous voice reciting “The Raven” or reading “The Cask of Amontillado” with a delightful attempt at an Italian accent. By the fourth grade at PS 151 in Manhattan I was able to recite “The Raven” by heart; a feat that so impressed my teacher, Mrs. Levy, she had me do it in front of the class. She then crowned me Queen of the Witches. My love of horror was set and I was on my way to exploring more books, movies, and histories.
Over the years I have read some of the best horror stories written. In college I took an advanced English class called “Supernatural and Horror”. I wrote a paper on gothic horror which earned me a nomination for an award. Alas the judging committee was somewhat appalled that a paper on horror literature should be recognized with an award and a more mundane (though well written) paper won. But my professor was delighted. We had at the very least cracked the glass ceiling.
I write horror although I have resisted publishing any so far. Some of it is so dark it scares me. I do have a short story coming out in an anthology soon. I have posted a few short spooky tales on this blog.
There are a great many indie horror writers who have so far been “undiscovered”. Some are categorized as paranormal, thrillers, or the more commonly accepted horror/fantasy. Here are a few of authors and books I’d recommend and links to their published works. I invite you to check them out.
#1 The Threshold by Anita Kovacevic A short story that packs a hearty punch in a few pages. From beginning to end I was drawn in and held hostage until the last word.
#2 Planet Purgatory by Benedict Martin Perhaps more fantasy than horror but with more than enough horror and scares to qualify. Zombies, aliens, strange creatures in dark woods and a hero on a journey make a solid tale. If it wasn’t so disturbing I’d call it beautiful.
#3 Bloodmarked (The Fraktioneers Book 1) by Lu J. Whitley “Her nightmares are real, and they’re out for blood.” This sets the tone nicely for this paranormal romance. But it is so much more than a romance. Don’t allow that qualification to put you off.
#4 Random Lucidity by Dave Adair Another book that is more than horror and perhaps better fitted to the thriller category. But don’t mistake what seems a benign tale in the beginning to remain docile. When it took a turn I wanted to dig in my heels and say Whoa! What just happened? A rich read with multiple story lines that are woven together so subtly you don’t see it coming.
#5 Wolf Born (The Wolf Born Saga Book 1) by N. Gosney An interesting new take on werewolves. No longer “loners”, the werewolves in this series form packs and work together. Better yet, they are not all bad.
#6 Ice by Jessica Wren Not entirely “horror” but certainly containing a diabolical plot to destroy a small, isolated town in a most horrific manner.
#7 Bloodstains by Jeff Mudgett A book by the great-great-grandson of the man who is recognized as America’s first serial killer, HH Holmes (Herman Webster Mudgett) A frightening exploration of what it means to be the descendant of a madman.
#8 Scorn Kills (The Devil’s Due Collection) by Suzi Albracht A unique story that shows no mercy when it comes to infidelity. A “hot” read.
# 9 Horror at Pine Ridge by Craig McDonough Shockingly good vampire tale. These undead are not the sparkly kind. Disturbing and scary. Keep the lights on!
#10 The Devil’s Lieutenant (The Devil’s Due Collection Book 1) by Suzi Albracht The first book in the collection is gory and scary. An interesting take on “the devil made me do it”.
One of my favorite things to do this time of year is to snuggle down and watch a scary movie while snacking on fall treats. If that’s your thing too, tune in next week for my list of horror movies that make me jump and the snacks that keep me grounded.