Re-blogging today about the inclusion of my short story, “The Tool Shed,” in Jason Henderson’s first anthology titled “Castle of Horror” (released on Amazon July 1st, 2019). I did talk about this more briefly on July 1st, but I thought I’d post this again if that’s cool.
First, about Jason…he’s an amazing artist who has branched out into many different parts of the playing field, authoring computer games, novels, and several comic book series. Most notably, Jason is the writer of the young adult novel series Alex Van Helsing, and I was pleased to meet him when I was a guest on his podcast, “Castle of Horror” a few years ago, first with the release of my second novel, “The Witch of the Wood,” (Hippocampus Press) and later, following the release of the electronic version of my first novel, “Alice Walks,” (Cemetery Dance Publications).
This past summer (late July) I was between projects, winding down the “Music Hell” series with Pure Grain Audio Magazine (I wrote semi-monthly short horror stories and horror novellas starring members of famous bands with new material being released: Trivium, Electric Wizard, Asking Alexandria, Anthrax, Slayer, Carpenter Brut, and finally, my favorite current band – Halestorm). I was still riding high from Lzzy Hale’s personal approval of the piece just put out, titled “Dream Fever,” through which I was a character meeting members of the band in scenarios taking on famous bad guys, (Jack the Ripper, Dracula, etc.), and I had decided I was going to write my fourth novel.
While charting out the first chapters in my head, I had another idea that had been swimming around for awhile about a haunted tool shed. In order to “clear space” for the upcoming project, I decided to hack out the story mentally and write the damned thing already. I wanted it to seem grainy and black and white, so I had it take place in the 1960’s. I wanted to be the opposite of romance-story settings in exotic places, so I went for a tool shed with a ghost buried in the floor under a thick, oak tanning table, and I invented an abusive father worth despising. I’d also been dabbling with the idea of murderers using acids to make bodies disappear (I’d done some work with this in the Slayer piece), and I got the thing written in about three weeks.
It was one of the few lucky breaks I’ve gotten in the writing biz, as I got an email from Jason literally a day after finishing the draft. He was putting together an anthology comprised of authors he’d interviewed on his podcast. I sent the tale to him immediately, and I don’t think he was expecting these things submitted that fast. Fortunately, he liked the piece, and so here it is in his first anthology!