Knock, Knock! A Halloween Update

Well! Just two days before Halloween, and I’m finally back with another entry, or at least an update. I have several essay-type posts I’d like to complete (and begin!) in the near future, but hopefully this will serve as a place-holder until I have time to tweak one, write a few others, and finally begin posting them.

Thank you all for your support of Darkness in the Valley. I’m very pleased to see the positive reader response to so far. It’s starting to take off, slowly but surely, and that’s about what I expected. The Uncanny Valley continues to rake in reviews and solid sales, and Darkness…, as a sequel-prequel, has been slow to qualify for major kindle promotions due to its status as the second book in a series. However, that’s beginning to change, and I’m deeply gratified, based on emails, tweets, Facebook posts, and reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, that readers seem to be finding the book a solid addition to the world of Uncanny Valley. It was by far both the most difficult and most rewarding project I’ve undertaken, so that means a great deal to me. Keep the responses coming, and I hope you’ll continue to let me know what you think.

As far as future projects are concerned, I currently have two in the works. The town of Uncanny Valley is never far from my mind, and there is certainly more to be told about it. So I think it’s safe to say I will be returning to it soon, and that the seeds of the next book have already taken root. Without giving too much away, I can reveal that one thing I’ve learned since the second book was published is that Uncanny, following its destruction, has had a bit of an impact (to put it lightly) on the towns closest to where it used to be. And some of the people in those towns have their own tales to tell…

The second project, which will probably be finished in rough draft form around March, came to mind unexpectedly, took shape quickly, and is developing steadily. It will be a shorty, probably no more than 100 pages. At the moment I’m describing it as a kind of “literary advent calendar” for Halloween. I’m calling it Dark Nights and Candlelight: 31 Tiny October Tales. The cover is already finished, and so are 16 of the stories. None of the stories will be over 1000 words, and some are under 100, so they run the gamut from flash to micro-fiction. I’m having a great time with it, and I will be profoundly disappointed if it isn’t published in time for next Halloween, if not some time before that.

With that, I’ll leave you with a classic micro-story that has always been one of my favorites, and which certainly helped to inspire Dark Nights… It was written by Fredric Brown, and is actually the beginning of a longer story called “Knock.” That said, I can think of nothing that could be added to these two sentences to make it more effective or terrifying. Maybe you’ve read it:

“The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the door…”

Happy Halloween, 2016!

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6 Responses to Knock, Knock! A Halloween Update

  1. Mary Elm says:

    I’m so looking forward to you publishing your new book. I’ve read all of your books and I’ve really, really enjoyed each and everyone of them. I enjoy stories that are just creepy enough to stay with you a long time, and your stories certainly provide that. And I thank you so much.

  2. Nik Grant says:

    “The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a lock on the door…”
    Forry Ackerman’s even shorter story.

  3. Thank you, Mary! That means a great deal. I hope you also enjoy the new stuff, when it’s finally published. ‘Dark Nights…’ may be out in seven or eight months, if all goes well, but *definitely* in time for next Halloween. Keep in touch and let me know what you think.

  4. Mark says:

    I too am looking forward to another book. You’ve managed to capture the spirit of rural PA in all of your works and I think that’s what I enjoy most about them. Keep up the good work!

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