Tag Archives: horror story

Twisted Reveries Volume II: Tales From Willoughby by Meg Hafdahl Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Author Meg Hafdahl takes readers on a twisted and macabre journey into the secretive town of Willoughby in “Twisted Reveries Volume II: Tales From Willoughby”, the sequel to Twisted Reveries. 


The Synopsis

Suspense author, Meg Hafdahl, delivers another collection of spine-tingling stories in this second volume of the Twisted Reveries series. Inspired by the first book’s Willoughby and Moira Kettlesburg stories, Meg takes us on a journey into the mid-western town of Willoughby where forgetting is a way of life. Delve into its macabre history and origins. Explore the strange and unsettling events that plague Willoughby’s unsuspecting citizens in this new collection of thirteen horrifically outstanding tales. 

The Review

This was a truly incredible, emotional yet terrifying collection of short stories. The horror genre is alive and well in this collection, with threats and dangers that sway from monstrous beings hiding in the shadows to more sinister and everyday human evils that the town of Willoughby draws towards it. Although this is my first foray into the author’s work and the Twisted Reveries series of short stories, the author does an amazing job of crafting narratives that feel both isolated and well contained on their own while also connecting to a more broad and small-town vibe and mythos.

What stood out to me as a reader was the well-balanced and captivating protagonists found within the story. Each story had characters that readers could either get behind and cheer on to stop the threat they were facing, or grimace as the tables turned and the protagonist quickly became the antagonist. The complexities of each story’s protagonist and their backstory felt worthy of a short film or television anthology, and the twists and turns these stories take will have readers talking long after the final page drops.

The Verdict

Gripping, exhilarating, and thoughtful in its approach, author Meg Hafdahl’s “Twisted Reveries II: Tales From Willoughby” is a must-read collection of horror short stories that readers are not going to want to miss out on. The overall theme permeating this collection follows how every small town, every city, and even every person, no matter how beautiful and picturesque they may appear on the outside in the light of day, has the potential to hide great darkness and hardship within their foundation, which waits for night to descend to roam free to draw others into its web. A truly haunting collection of stories, this is one short story read you won’t want to miss. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

Bram Stoker Award nominated Meg Hafdahl is the creator of numerous stories and books. Her fiction has appeared in anthologies such as Eve’s Requiem: Tales of Women, Mystery and Horror and Eclectically Criminal. Her work has been produced for audio by The Wicked Library and The Lift, and she is the author of three popular short story collections including Twisted Reveries: Thirteen Tales of the Macabre. Meg is also the author of the three novels; The Darkest Hunger, Daughters of Darkness, and Her Dark Inheritance called “an intricate tale of betrayal, murder, and small town intrigue” by Horror Addicts and “every bit as page turning as any King novel” by RW Magazine. Meg, also the co-host of the podcast Horror Rewind and co-author of The Science of Monsters, The Science of Women in Horror, The Science of Stephen King, The Science of Serial Killers, and the upcoming The Science of Witchcraft lives in the snowy bluffs of Minnesota. 


Vlada, A Dracula Tale by Chris Denmead Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A horror tale as iconic as the genre itself takes the story fans to know and love and gives it a gender reversed turn as readers take in the story that is Vlada, A Dracula Tale by author Chris Denmead.


The Synopsis

Gender Swapped the Cast of Dracula in a new and unique take on the characters with some new twists.

The Review

This was such a fantastic twist on the iconic horror story. The author found the perfect chord of harmonious storytelling between classic scenes from the original Stoker version of the narrative and updated details from the author himself. The artwork that accompanies this read is stunning, taking on that iconic and classic gothic horror feel that felt so close to the original novel’s era while maintaining a more updated setting.

The obvious yet still engaging change to this narrative was the gender-reversed roles of many of the characters. Turning Vlad Dracula into Vlada was such an important new direction to take the character, exploring the dark yet seductive nature of the character and yet giving readers a host of powerful female heroines and villains to face off against in this retelling, making the narrative feel more alive. Even the inclusion of some new characters really elevated the drama and familiar yet still entertaining narrative. 

The Verdict

A mesmerizing, haunting, and delightfully chilling read, author Chris Denmead’s “Vlada: A Dracula Tale” is a must-read horror story that will delight those unfamiliar with the tale and yet engage with longtime fans of the lore of this narrative. The balance of nostalgia and updated horror and action and a twist ending to the narrative will leave readers eager to read more from this incredible author, and one can only hope we get more updated twists on iconic horror tales in the future. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

Christopher Denmead is a passionate horror fan who wants to bring more awareness to the beauty and rawness of female vampires and treat them like the queens they are.


Famuli Cani: A Supernatural Horror by Alan Golbourn Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Two friends face terrifying odds when strange happenings around a farmhouse in the Scottish countryside bring ancient Scottish folklore into reality in author Alan Golbourn’s “Famuli Cani: A Supernatural Horror”. 

The Synopsis


Dating back centuries, an old evil has returned to within Rothiemurchus Forest. With stories of people having disappeared down the years and fires in the forest at night, wildlife are now being found dead — mutilated and slaughtered.

When a farm, surrounded by the rich forest, becomes affected by sinister and unexplainable events, a group, including an uncle and nephew, soon face unimaginable horrors, beyond comprehension …

From the Back Cover:


When best friends, David and John, are made redundant, they decide to go away with another close friend, Grant, to David’s uncle’s farm up in Scotland in Rothiemurchus Forest. David soon learns of strange and terrible things happening on the farm, where some of the animals are found mysteriously mutilated and slaughtered.

David’s uncle also informs his nephew of other strange phenomena — including whispers in the wind, and a strange and constant sensation of being watched by someone or something. Driven by his concerns for his aunt and uncle and fuelled by curiosity, David is determined to travel up north, against the wishes of his uncle.

Things soon start happening even before David and his friends set off. They become targeted with frightening and inexplicable events, and messages warning them to STAY AWAY, so that one friend is too scared to go, leaving only the two to make the long-distance drive up to Scotland. Despite more frightening and unimaginable things happening on their way up to the Highlands, the two friends, now fearing for their lives, remain determined to reach the farm.

With their minds racing to all sorts of theories, they will soon face an unparalleled horror, with pure evil awaiting them, and an old Scottish folklore proving to be terrifyingly true …

Set at the heart of the Cairngorms National Park and its beautiful scenery, a contrasting dark and evil secret is about to be revealed …

A debut novel with strong characters, Famuli Cani is an original, chilling, suspenseful and engrossing story, that will keep you guessing right up to its horrifying climax.


The Review

This was such a truly engaging and highly creative read. The author found a way to balance the iconic horror tropes found within the narrative surrounding cults and demons, and added a breath of fresh air with Scottish folklore and settings, making for an original horror tale like no other. The pacing and atmosphere shifted back and forth between extended character interaction and mythology building with quick-paced chills and scares that readers with a vivid imagination will watch unfold in their mind in delightful terror. 

The character development was well-thought-out and developed in this narrative. The author found a means of making the characters feel real and relatable, which helped ground the story enough to make the paranormal/supernatural elements of the story feel real enough to be spine-chilling. The thing that stood out to me was the book’s length. While many would probably be hard-pressed to engage with a novel of this length, I would advise them to stay with this book, for it felt like reading a whole new horror mythos coming to life before my eyes. The author kept enough twists and turns going to keep drawing me back in time and time again, making this a truly memorable read.

The Verdict

An adrenaline-fueled, chill-inducing, and entertaining horror read, author Alan Golbourn’s “Famuli Cani: A Supernatural Horror” is a must-read novel of 2021! The perfect fall and Halloween horror read, the balance of terrifying threats both human and non-human mixed with thought-provoking world-building and well-rounded characters made this a standout read, and I highly recommend checking this out for yourselves this fall season. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

Alan Golbourn was born in Essex, England. He enjoyed writing stories at a young age and was known for his writing abilities. Amongst several interests and hobbies including football and computer games, he holds love and compassion for animals.

Edge of the Known Bus Line by James R. Gapinski Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A simple bus ride turns into a nightmare when a young woman finds herself forced into a hellish landscape with no means of escape in author James R. Gapinski’s “Edge of the Known Bus Line”. 


The Synopsis

A woman’s daily commute takes an abrupt turn when she’s dropped off in a grotesque shantytown in Edge of the Known Bus Line. The townsfolk live in huts and tents scavenged from broken trinkets. They eat dead rats and human flesh. They’ve developed cult-like religions about miracle bus routes that will someday set them free. The narrator searches for a way out of this surreal hellscape while dredging up a few nightmares of her own.

The Review

A truly brilliant and memorable read, this short yet powerful novel does a great job of exploring the horror genre to the fullest. The fast-paced nature of the narrative is perfectly balanced with story development and horror-specific mythology that really draws the reader in. 

The atmosphere was really the biggest selling point of this novella. The book quickly thrusts the protagonist into the hell she has found herself in, allowing the reader to feel the shock and terror that the protagonist feels in this shocking situation. The author paints a grim and terrifying image to the reader, using imagery to really sell the spine-chilling nature of the world in which the author has created.

The Verdict

A gripping, entertaining, and at times even humorous read, author James R. Gapinski’s “The End of the Known Bus Line” is a must-read short novel horror story. A captivating and engaging story of trying to find hope in a sea of nightmares and horror, this is a fantastic story that is not to be missed. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

James R. Gapinski is the author of the novella Edge of the Known Bus Line (Etchings Press; University of Indianapolis), named to Kirkus Reviews‘ Best Books of 2018 and a finalist for the 2019 Montaigne Medal. He is also the author of three chapbooks: The Last Dinosaurs of Portland (Bottlecap Press), Fruit Rot (Etchings Press), and Messiah Tortoise (Red Bird Chapbooks). His short fiction has previously appeared in Heavy Feather ReviewHobartJukedMonkeybicyclePaper DartsPsychopomp, and other publications. He’s managing editor of The Conium Review, an instructional specialist at Chemeketa Community College, and an instructor for Southern New Hampshire University’s MFA program.



Winter Comes (When Winter Comes #6) by Daniel Willcocks Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A small Alaskan town faces the end as the storm that has been raging around them and the threats it has brought begin the endgame in author Daniel Willcocks’s “Winter Comes”, the sixth book in the When Winter Comes series.


The Synopsis

The forest is quaking, the storm closes in, an ancient darkness is awakened…

The endgame nears. The storm has brought them into its heart, and in its center a secret force, long hidden, wakes from slumber. Will those whom the storm has corralled be able to take on the monsters that the world has forgotten?

Or will the darkness take what it’s owed?

Cody struggles to come to terms with the reality of his mysterious messenger. Tori and Oscar plot their way inside the Drumtrie Forest. Alex and his charges stumble upon the very thing they thought they’d never find.

And, Karl… Karl will do whatever it takes to ensure that his new masters are served.

Only, the Masked Ones serve a master of their own. And he is hungry.

“Winter Comes” is the sixth tale in the serialized apocalyptic horror, “When Winter Comes,” with new episodes released monthly. 

The Review

What a powerful and impactful horror read! The author astounds readers with a wholly unique story that blends the terror of isolation with the fear that monsters often bring. Immediately the atmosphere of the narrative reminded me of Steve Niles’s “30 Days of Night”, with powerful and deadly creatures attacking a small Alaskan town that has been cut off from the world via a powerful storm. 

The author does an incredible job of crafting a story that not only serves as a fitting end to a terrific series but allows newcomers to enjoy the narrative as well, (for which I am one of them). The utilization of the creatures the author chose for this narrative was an inspired choice, as the creatures are known enough to not be obscure but are not as utilized in pop culture as saying vampires or werewolves, creating a new mythos and elevated level of fear for those not as familiar with them. 

The core of this story remains the amazing character development. The author’s writing is superb, bringing readers into the action immediately and creating a series of characters within this small town that not only highlights the horror of what they are facing but the sense of community that comes with a tale of survival such as this. As isolating as the overall setting is, the survivors having endured separate attacks soon turn to a community facing off against a powerful threat. 

The Verdict

A brilliant, engaging, and chilling horror story, author Daniel Willcocks’s “Winter Comes” is a must-read novel and fitting end to a powerful series. With twists and turns the reader will be shocked to see and both satisfying and emotional conclusions to these character’s stories, readers will not be able to put this book down. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author 

Daniel Willcocks is an international bestselling author and podcaster of dark fiction. He is the CEO of Devil’s Rock Publishing, one fifth of digital story studio, Hawk & Cleaver, co-producer of iTunes-busting fiction podcast, ‘The Other Stories,’ as well as the host of the ‘Great Writers Share’ podcast, and the ‘Next Level Authors’ podcast.

Residing in the UK, Dan’s work explores the catastrophic and the strange. His stories span the genres of horror, post-apocalyptic, and sci-fi, and his work has seen him collaborating with some of the biggest names in the independent publishing community.

Find out more at danielwillcocks.com


Ekleipsis by Tamel Wino Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

What happens when ordinary people give into their darker nature? Find out in this amazing collection of short stories from author Tamel Wino, titled “Ekleipsis”. 


The Synopsis

The sun has finally set on humanity…

What happens when we give in to the darkness?

Ékleipsis is a debut short story collection written by Canadian author Tamel Wino, with hints of Chuck Palahniuk’s and Cormac McCarthy’s stripped, vivid writing styles. This gripping book explores the havoc wreaked when ordinary people abandon their humanity to pursue their darkest desires, and questions just how far people will go to follow their baser instincts.

Each story takes a version of a person we’ve known in our own lives and transforms them into something completely unnerving—yet all too familiar.

These dark, complex characters and twisted tales of the once ordinary will change your perception of humanity forever.

The Review

What a fantastic and well-written collection of short stories. The author does a brilliant job of delving into the darkest parts of human nature and allowing readers to see into the minds of these ordinary people who find themselves pushed into becoming their darkest selves. Pacing is key to this collection of stories, as each tale while short, does an incredible job of building the suspense until the twist ending comes and shakes the foundation of the narrative to its core. 

One story in particular early on that I enjoyed was Closing Costs. The author does a great job of taking readers into the classic affair story gone wrong while getting to see the story from a different perspective of “the other woman”. The author does an incredible job of making these characters feel both vibrant and real all at once and challenges the notion that far too often we see the masks of people they want to show the world, and rarely see the true face beneath the mask. 

The Verdict

A powerhouse collection of short horror stories that are both entertaining and enlightening all at once, author Tamel Wino’s “Ekleipsis” is a must-read book. The author truly is able to showcase the dark psychology of those who are pushed to their limits and those who take the plunge into their darkest desires and gives readers a thought-provoking thrill ride. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

Tamel Wino is a horror/thriller short fiction writer from the resplendent British Columbia whose works focus largely on madness and human morality. He attended the University of Western Ontario, majoring in health sciences and psychology which only furthered his interest in human nature.

With inspirations including Alice Munro, Joe Hill, Stephen King, Margaret Atwood and Edgar Allan Poe; Tamel’s expositions are strongly grounded in traditions of dark fiction. Yet, with his bold, evocative narrative voice and incisive plot construction, Wino is paving a new movement within the space.

When he’s not reading or scribbling away on his laptop, Tamel loves listening to jazz, rewatching good ol’ classic movies and travelling.

To get a copy of the book: https://books2read.com/ekleipsis

my website: https://ekleipsis.ca/

instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ekleipsis29/

goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20895934.Tamel_Wino

book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UuiVWiZP13s&feature=youtu.be

The Faithful (#2) – A Mimosa Tales Adventure by Linda Thackeray Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

The folks of Mimosa must endure a harrowing journey as they face a shocking enemy in an attempt to save lives in author Linda Thackeray’s “The Faithful”, the second novel in the Mimosa Tales Adventure series. 


The Synopsis 

“Well, she’s the greatest pig alive. About a month ago, she saved my wife and kids and me from our burning house by waking us up in the middle of the night just in time to escape without any harm! She’s like one of the family. A couple of weeks ago, our youngest fell into the river, and the pig dang fished him out just in time to save him from drowning! She’s one of a kind.”

“Okay,” the travelling salesman accepted the accomplishment of this particular porcine but hadn’t had his question answered. “But that don’t explain what happened to her legs?”

“Well now,” the farmer declared. “When you got a pig that great, you don’t eat her all at once.”

These are the words ringing in Marshal Kris Jensens’s mind when he and the lawmen of Mimosa, led by Winn Tuner follow the trail of missing homesteaders, thought to be lost deep in Apache Country. Driven to the ominous Owl Valley where not even the Apache dare walk, they discover the homesteaders may have met a fate worse than death by a monstrous evil festering within its deepest reaches.

Now it’s up to Kris and his men to reach civilisation and warn everyone, that what lies in Owl Canyon has been there for almost 300 years and is hungry…

The Review

A grittier tale that ups the ante of the first novel, author Linda Thackeray has crafted a shocking tale that blends history, horror, and the old west into unique narrative readers will instantly fall in love with. The story puts sheriff Kris Jensen and his allies in the clutches of a dangerous threat, one that defies human morality in ways none of the characters thought possible. 

The author does an outstanding job of using the narrative and story to highlight the cultural differences between so many different civilizations, and how savagery exists on all sides, as well as empathy. The conquests made by Europeans is felt deeply as the results of their conquest is felt in what befell a specific group of people fleeing their bloody invasion, and what those events drove them to become. 

The novel’s greatest strength comes in the character development, especially between Kris and Winn, who have endured a rift in their friendship since the events of the first novel. The chemistry and pain between them are put to the test when faced with the unspeakable horrors waiting for them on this rescue mission. 

The Verdict

A must-read novel, this is a fantastic sequel to an addicting Old West-style novel series. A fast-paced, engaging and one of a kind read, author Linda Thackeray’s “The Faithful” is a powerful follow-up narrative and heightens the character’s growth overall moving forward. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

Born in a village in Malaysia and delivered by underpaid midwife, and Ann, an irritable new mother (who wouldn’t be after 48 hours in labour?), X was named by a deranged grandmother with too much creativity for her own good. Once out of her pain-induced stupor, Ann decided to give her new daughter a proper middle name to avoid the risk of being put into a home later in life.

And so, she was called Linda.

Linda was an unremarkable child, save a few notable incidents, the discovery that a pot lid is not a substitute for Wonder Woman’s tiara (five stitches), four-year old don’t need to shave (no stitches but lots of toilet paper) and utility truck drivers are not necessarily qualified operators of their vehicles (seventy stitches).

At eight, Linda received religious enlightenment when she saw Star Wars at the Odeon Theatre and hence began her writing career.

For many years, the cages of various pets in the Thackeray household were littered with pages from Linda’s scribblings. Subjects usually ranged from whatever science fiction show was on television or at the movies. There was lots of Star Wars.

At 17, Linda moved to Sydney, Australia and was disappointed it was not occupied by Paul Hogan types with big knives and croc skin jackets but pot-bellied blokes with zinc cream and terry towel hats. Linda’s father (also known as that bloke who buys me stuff to piss mum off when she’s mad at him) settled in the town of Young, a community of 6000 people with no movie theatre.

Linda survived this period in the wilderness by raising kangaroos and writing original works but eventually got saddled down with the necessities of life and though she continued to write, work came first. Work, HBO, comic books and rent. It’s a kaleidoscope.

Even the kangaroos left out of boredom.

In 2014, Linda decided to start writing seriously again. Mostly because Australia’s strict gun laws make it very difficult to ‘go postal’ in the workplace. Moving to Woy Woy, which is Aboriginal for ‘Big Water’, she’s dipped her toes into the Indie pool and found she needs a pedicure. Her books are labours of love and championed by her friends on Facebook.

Eventually Creativia Publishers, appalled by Linda’s inability to conduct any marketing, offered to publish her books out of sheer exasperation.

Supported by two cats named Newt and Humphrey, she spends her days trying to write novels while having unclean thoughts about Michael Fassbender and Jason Statham, sometimes together.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0867RKWG5/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0
Author Site: https://lindathackeray.wixsite.com/authorsite

The Beast Of Wheeler Ridge By Chris Stevenson Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A shocking twist on the classic forbidden love theme comes with a dangerous new threat and science gone wrong in author Chris Stevenson’s novel “The Beast Of Wheeler Ridge”. 


The Synopsis

Wolf girl gone feral…

A DNA experiment gone horribly wrong…

A beast who will stop at nothing.

Seth Anson, a lovelorn forest ranger, never thought that he would shoot the first eligible woman he met after his divorce. Nor did he think that he would fall in love with her after nursing her back to health. But he certainly isn’t prepared to find out that she is the result of a DNA cloning experiment gone horribly wrong and, is in fact, a hybrid human/wolf.

It all comes to a head atop Devils Tower Wyoming.

The Beast of Wheeler Ridge examines the lurid morality issues that are dealt with in The Island of Doctor Moreau, while exploring the theme of forbidden love as can be found in Beauty and the Beast, only with the gender rolls reversed.

Contains mild language and suggestive themes

The Review

A fantastic blend of science fiction and horror thriller, author Christ Stevenson has brought to life a one of a kind reimagining of the classic werewolf tale. Exploring the horrors of genetic experimentation gone wrong, the author does a great job of finding a natural balance between the horror elements of the story with the romance and character growth of the cast of characters. 

It was refreshing to get such a unique take on the werewolf genre, exploring ancient creatures from a long-forgotten age being brought back by science, and evolving from there. The idea of restoring lost creatures back into modern society and the experiments pushing past boundaries to see human and animal hybrids becoming a reality made for a unique twist on the genre, making the story easy to engage with. 

The Verdict

An evenly paced, action-fueled, and tense romantic sci-fi thriller, author Chris Stevenson delivers a powerful story in “The Beast Of Wheeler Ridge”. Discovering the meaning behind what makes someone a monster and what makes them “human” blends with the forbidden love theme in a remarkable tale that will keep readers invested throughout. Be sure to grab your copies today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author



Christy’s Young Adult Fabuliers:


About me

Gender Male

Industry Science

Occupation Novelist and Science Writer

Location Sylvania, Alabama, United States

Links Wishlist

Introduction Been writing for 32 years, publishing novels, non-fiction books, radio horror plays, short stories, reviews, interviews, poetry and thousands of non-fiction automotive articles. I’m on my third agent, and have had 10 books and twenty-two short stories published, beginning in 1988. Writing Credits and History BOOK CREDITS: Auto Repair Shams and Scams (Forward–Ralph Nader), 1990, Price Stern & Sloan, Los Angeles–226 pages, non-fiction, consumer warning book. Garage Sale Mania, 1988, Betterway Publications, Crozet, Virginia–190 pages, non-fiction book—1988. Word Wars, a SF novel, to Rain Publishing, Canada—May, 2007. Once Upon a Goddess, a Fantasy novel, to Rain Publishing, Canada—January, 2008 Planet Janitor—Custodian of the Stars, a SF novel sold to Engage Books, May 2009 Gate Walker, a Paranormal Fantasy, sold Lyrical Press—January, 2009. The Wolfen Strain, a fantasy thriller sold to LBF Books, February 2009

The Girll They Sold to the Moon, Intrigue Books

Blackmailed Bride to Melange Satin Romance. Screamcatcher: Web World by Melange Books.

Interests Hiking, paleontology, Ufos, cryptozoology, bigfoot, astronomy, lake monsters, ancient Egypt, archeology, geology

Favorite Movies Blade Runner, Time Cop, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Logun’s Run, Transformers, The Time Machine, Kickass

Favorite Music REM, Abbaa, When in Rome, Steve Miller Band, SF and fantasy soundtracks.

Favorite Books Icerigger, Virgin Planet, Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Lord of the Flies, Black Marble, Close Encounters, The Island, Black Marble, Dune, Riverworld, The Mote In God’s eye

How many books have I published? 10 to date, with three out on agent subs, and five more in the wings ready to go.

Amazon Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Chris-Harold-Stevenson/e/B001K8UUBK

Christy’s Website:  https://christysyoungadultfabuliers.com/

Blog:  http://guerrillawarfareforwriters.blogspot.com/

Interview with Author Heather Quinto

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

I grew up in a Catholic household, but being Native American, my Catholic upbringing was much different. We were more open-minded about communicating with spirit and feeling energy. We had a unique combination of both spirituality and religion. However, I never entirely agreed with the Catholic faith. I used to pick and choose what I believed in and put my own unique spin on things. For me, writing was something I enjoyed even at a small age, which I know is clichéd. Almost every writer will say they started writing stories the second they could pick up a pencil, but I had a harder time learning to read and write. I stuck to making picture stories because I barely knew how to formulate a simple sentence or how to write my name even at six-years-old. I got a grasp on my writing at eight, but my reading skills were much to be desired. However, writing helped with my reading because I’d read my own short stories to my uncle. I wrote my first novel at twelve, which was an awful time traveling story about ninjas (haha!). However, the novel I wrote at fifteen, I ended up publishing at twenty. Writing was something I always knew I was meant to do with my life.


2) What inspired you to write your book?

For The Doctor’s Estate, it was actually the publisher and friend of mine, Jesus Martinez, who approached me about the plot. He was the original creator of the entire thing, and he wanted me to write the novel for him. I like to spin it as I was the ghost writer for a horror novel. We worked together before on a documentary about a local haunted house called the Wolfe Manor that was unfortunately demolished, so he was familiar with my writing. I added on to his original plot a bit because he allowed me to have complete creative control, but I needed to keep the essential theme the same. It was a collaborative effort, and none of this would have happened without him. 

Without giving too much away, my inspiration for the mental illness aspect of the book was that I wanted the reader to sympathize with Ted, and I wanted to add that struggling with any kind of mental illness is always far more gut-wrenching than a ghost in your house. At least in my experience. For myself, I found the fear of possibly losing your sanity to be far more horrifying, and I know there would be other readers who would feel the same. Struggling with your inner thoughts is no joke, and I wanted to stress the back-and-forth that some people go through. I wanted to leave the reader guessing if it was all real in the first place in order to open a discussion about reality and how bendable it is. Also, someone who is going through a neurodegenerative condition like Alzheimer’s or a mental illness like depression, anxiety, or anything else isn’t something to be fearful of. Like you said, they are far more likely to be the victim than the perpetrator. 

3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

The creator of the story, Jesus, wanted to stress the theme of the fight between the light and the dark. You can’t have one without the other, and I too agree with that. You cannot know happiness without sadness. We need contrast in order to learn and grow, which is how Humans are. We live in a world of polarity. We are such creative creatures, but at the same time we can destructive. I wanted the readers to see the polarity we live with on a daily basis, and you decide which reality you want to live in. Like I said before, realities are entirely bendable depending on your perspective and how you choose to see life. Ted’s struggle with his thoughts was one of my favorite parts of this story because it is something we can all relate to. 

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

Horror has always been a favorite of mine growing up. In fact, my favorite movie of all time when I was a kid was The Ring, and I would reenact all the scenes. I was a morbid child growing up since all I ever watched were horror movies. I never actually sat down to read the genre. I find that I don’t write the genre that I read, and I’m not sure why that is. I read a few horror stories and thrillers as research for The Doctor’s Estate because I needed to educate myself on the style. How do you write a scary scene with a ghost anyway? At the same time, I found what I wanted to change about the genre to make it more unique. I tend to combine genres into one, and each one of my works has a bit of a philosophical twist to it. At least, I try to implement that. 

5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

That’s a tough one! I thought about Ted for a second, but honestly, I would talk to Monica. She jumped on board from the start about the possibility of the paranormal, and I would love to ask her how she could do that without second-guessing her sanity or thinking if it was at all real or not. For myself, I doubt so much. I second-guess every little thing in my life, and I have had bizarre experiences that I cannot explain. I get “knowings” about things or people that I couldn’t possibly know, and I struggle with knowing if it is a serious mental illness or if I am truly doing what I am doing. I am a lot like Ted in that I have to compartmentalize and explain everything logically, and sometimes that isn’t possible. That’s when I am shaken to the core. What advice can Monica give me for that?

6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

Aside from my own blog, I would say Facebook has helped me greatly. Mostly, because I spend the bulk of my time on there, so I am always plugging my novels. Being an author is a full-time gig, and you have to be prepared to market and promote not only your books, but yourself. Knowing your audience is key because maybe you write young adult contemporary novels, so your readership is on Instagram more than Facebook. Therefore, you would have better luck there.

7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

Honestly, I consider myself barely starting out despite my three publications. Only because I have yet to sign with a literary agent. That is my goal, but that takes time and a lot of hard work. My advice would be: be open to learning new unique ways to break into the industry. It can be unforgiving and harsh just like any other industry out there. You will develop a thick skin, trust me. You are going to have to, so never give up. Confide in other writers because they are going to be your lifeline, and connections are everything. Most writers have social anxiety like myself, but put yourself out there no matter how frightening it is. You never know what will happen, and I would know because that is how I was able to publish The Doctor’s Estate. Building a writing career you can live off of is like building an empire. It takes time, so be patient. Acquire as much knowledge as you can, and when you feel you know everything, acquire more. There is always more to be learned and always room for growth in your writing. Writing is a form of art, and it is entirely subjective, so be patient with your work because the energy you put into it is worth it. No matter whether your go the traditional route or the self-publishing route, your art is always worth it. 


8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

I am currently in search of a literary agent for a dystopian novel I wrote. When I say dystopian, most think of the young adult novels like Hunger Games, but this is more of a literary piece with some commercialism in it called Upmarket fiction. Like The Doctor’s Estate, it has a philosophical twist to it. It is an allegorical novel based off of the United States’ political climate. Other than that, I am outlining a new novel, which is a sci-fi romance, and I am also applying to the MFA program at Fresno State. Fingers crossed I get in! 

About the Author

Heather Quinto is a Pascua Yaqui Native, and she resides in Fresno, California. She has a BA in Creative Writing/English with a minor in Marketing from Southern New Hampshire University. She is a self-published author of the paranormal/fantasy novel, Inhuman, and a spiritual/romance short story titled In Love and Death. Recently, she published a horror novel with TruRealm Media titled The Doctor’s Estate. Currently, she is seeking representation for her unpublished novel, Eleutheria, which is an adult allegorical novel on today’s society that has universal truths deeply rooted within its themes.

Heather always had a strong urge to write and create imaginative stories ever since she could pick up a pencil. She started off by drawing picture books when she was four before transitioning to writing short stories when she was eight years old. Heather’s main inspiration behind writing is to be able to leave the greatest impact on whomever picks up one of her books by influencing a more positive and spiritual outlook on life. She strives to create fresh and original stories that grasps a reader’s attention, and hooks them with her strong and compassionate characters. Heather brings in unique storylines that no one has ever read before, and this is what caters to her originality. Her writing uses humor to teach self-confidence by encouraging her readers to laugh at themselves every once in a while. She writes of relatable hardships that help her readers feel less alone, and makes them feel more accepted.

Although, Heather’s current target audience are teens, she doesn’t stick to one given genre or age group. Her genre varies from book to book. She is currently working on a new science fiction novel, and has a mystery/romance novel sitting in her documents waiting to be edited. Heather’s ultimate goal is to be a major impact on the world for the better while teaching the morals and values passed down in her tribe. She hopes that her books challenge others to think both philosophically and spiritually like her tribal elders push her to do. She also strives to eventually make a comfortable living off of being a full time writer.

Author Website:  https://www.heatherquinto.com/

Publisher Website:  https://trurealmmedia.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/HeathertheQ/