Happy book birthday to me! HOWL, my latest horror novella, is finally here! Man, this book had some dramatic misadventures on its way to publication. Signed, then publisher closed, then signed again, then not signed, because shit happens. I think it just needed the perfect home, which is definitely with Unnerving. As I try to do with all new books, I’m going to give you a little back story on how it came to be.
First, though, the excitement of new book day has been mixed with some sadness. On Tuesday, we had to say goodbye to a beloved member of this family.
Bear, the sweetest boy of all the boys, has been with us for thirteen years. He arrived soon after we bought this house. My youngest was just two years old and doesn’t remember a time when Bear wasn’t snoring at the end of her bed. He fought hard for a year, but we had to let him rest and that was the hardest decision I think I’ve ever had to make. Bear was the same happy, loving guy right until his last breath, which kind of made it harder, but I’m glad my kids’ last memory of our boy is a good one.
So, that’s kind of making it weird to be excited. I am excited, but now and then I just cry for random reasons, which freaks the other dogs out. Man, dogs really get up under your skin. Don’t they?
Okay, let’s talk about HOWL now. Where did I come up with this one? Well, HOWL is one of those stories that just kind of wrote itself. I’m sure the weather (it was winter when I wrote the first draft) played a factor in the setting. I wrote it during a ‘free write’ period, where I just start with a sentence and go from there. That sentence was later deleted, of course. because it was something like “It was a cold winter day and they could taste the snow in the air.” or something just as terrible.
I didn’t know what the monster would be in the first draft. I knew I wanted it to be a wolf-like creature, but I also wanted something “more” so it was a little different than the other wolf stories out there. I actually left the description out until a couple of revisions later, when I watched a documentary about bear attacks, and the person in the documentary said something about feeling hunted. I’m not sure why that triggered the monster that it did, but I immediately had a picture of it in my mind and went from there.
I’m really starting to enjoy writing these monster/creature stories. I have one more “in progress” and plans rolling around my head for another.
And as I said, HOWL had some dramatic moments in its journey to publication, so sad or not, I’m celebrating that it is finally out in the world. I hope everyone enjoys reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
PS: It makes a great beach read.
Three friends, an empty fuel tank, a desolate dirt road, and a hike through the woods in the middle of a snow storm; what could go wrong?
A mysterious beast stalks Fred and his friends through the snow, forcing them to seek shelter with two strangers in a remote cabin.