Monday, October 24, 2016

Read My New Short Story "What Crosses Over" Right Now!

Today's an exciting day! I'm checking into the Haunted Hotel over at my pal Jolene Haley's website with a brand new short story called "What Crosses Over."

I absolutely love the annual writer and illustrator showcases that Jolene puts on. She brings together some amazingly talented writers and artists, and I am so grateful to have been able to participate over the past few years.

This year all of the stories revolve around a haunted hotel named the Thornewood, which has 666 rooms. I immediately signed up for room number 665. My thought was that room 666 would naturally be connected to some great danger or evil. But what about the rooms right next to it? That was a question I decided to explore.

So, I had a vague kernel of an idea, but I needed more ingredients for my story. I love creating characters, and I had decided this story would feature two main characters. I toyed with the idea of having it be two friends, or two people who were romantically involved. But it was a brief conversation on Twitter with my friend Jessi that led to the creation of the characters for "What Crosses Over."

I'm a big fan of the Soska sisters (also known as the Twisted Twins), who wrote and directed the excellent American Mary (starring Katharine Isabelle of Ginger Snaps and Freddy vs. Jason). They burst onto the horror scene with Dead Hooker in a Trunk back in 2009 and have become icons of the genre. I've since watched their show Hellevator, and it is indeed awesome--you should all be watching it.

The Soska Sisters
Anyway, that conversation inspired the creation of the main characters in my short story. I decided they would be a couple of freelance monster-hunting, magic-wielding, ass-kicking Canadian sisters known as "The Bards." And so, Lucienne and Maurelle Delacroix were born. As you'll see, the term "bards" is referring to their magical talents, which revolve around music (Lucie) and words (Mo). It's also a reference to my lifelong love of D&D. These two characters were so much fun to write from the start, that I connected their story to my Parted Veil series of books, opening the door for them to have many more adventures in the future. But it all starts at the Thornewood Hotel.

Outside of the characters, this story has clear connection to Lovecraft (as does my whole Parted Veil series), but also features nods to John Carpenter's Prince of Darkness, and Creepshow 2's "The Raft," segment, which was based on a Stephen King short story. There's also an Easter Egg to another '80s franchise in there--I'll let you find it.

I hope you dig the story, as well as the peek into the inspiration behind it. Now go watch everything the Soska Sisters have made. And if you like the larger ideas this story is hinting at, feel free to check out my Parted Veil series.

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