I love it when reader’s give me feedback. Here is my latest review on Amazon:
“Lovely short stories, lovely book. Scary but not bloody 🙂 kept me on my toes and i had to finish it 🙂 My personal story was “Omega” and i was really impressed with the skills of the author (vocabulary, historical terms used etc). Can we please have more of these stories?”
It’s great to hear which stories work for people but I do notice that everyone has a different fav.
A friend of mine also gave me praise of a different sort. To wit (with respect to “He Sees You When You’re Sleeping”):
This story is about a child who made a child’s choice decision without realising it would entrap him for life. To free himself, he needed to replace himself. So in his desperation, he chose his own nephew… at the same age he was when he made his decision.
Further note: The psychology behind this story is SPOT on! If this was a real event (minus the santa elves thingy) this boys last good memory was with his sister as children. His next memory is that of children desperate but acting out of self preservation. This was his learning years and by the time he became an adult, he would have no understanding of social right and wrongs. So it is not surprising he would choose the closest relative to replace him. Your story is that of the paedophile. He knows no wrong, acting out of self preservation taught as a child. Many might wonder why he chose his nephew. I wasn’t surprised at all as this nephew was the one he could get closest to with out setting off alarms. You even got the age right! Well done. These little boys/men are still children and can not be released from this cycle until the replace themselves. But unfortunately it only frees them for a time.
I had NO idea I was tapping into that particular mindset but now that it’s been mentioned, I can really see that that is what I’ve done. Told the most horrible story imaginable.
Finally, with respect to “Stefano”, this same friend enthused:
“FUCKING BRILLIANT! YES!! This story will make a mother think before following doctors advice. The kid could not awake to save himself due to the drugs so died of fright (even subconsciously causing himself physical harm to fit his… nightmare) a.k.a stigmata. Yes I know this is just a story…but I see horrible reality for so many children kissed off with drugs never getting to the source of the real problem, then they suppress and later it comes out as a story like Uncle John scared me when he grabbed me- he must have touched me etc…… This and He sees you when you are sleeping are stories I respect and hope to see more of them.”
You know, I never thought “stigmata” when I wrote the story, but now I realize that’s what he had and all that that implies. My friend, I noticed, reacted quite strongly to the child-in-danger themes – and they are powerful, if done correctly and not cheesily.
I swear, writing is an exploration into one’s own psyche and the critical response one receives is like “therapy”, for want of a better word. Perhaps that really is the single only reason anyone ever writers anything…….
My short story collection, He Sees You When You’re Sleeping, is up and running. Now what? I guess I should be thinking of promoting it somehow. Yet I happen to be the world’s worst saleswoman. I am the opposite of pushy. I know there are blogs out there that I should patronize, etc. I’ll look into it now that I’ll have some free time but a big part of me really doesn’t want to try.
I imagine if I was a stall-keeper in a Phoenician market, I’d be the one in the back, with the unsold and rapidly deteriorating dates…I kind of envy those with sales panache. Ah, well, you can’t easily change your essential nature.
And don’t mention Twitter. I just don’t GET Twitter. It reminds me of a room full of ADD- sufferers, all speaking at the same time, and no one listening.
ABOUT MY SHORT STORY COLLECTION:
I would say I wrote most of these stories in a year I took off from work once. I was transitioning from one city to another and it seemed a natural time to give writing a concentrated whirl. I was particularly interested in screenwriting because I am such a movie aficionado. The short story “He Sees You When You’re Sleeping” started off in screenplay form. I love the directness of movie scripts. I also turned out a screenplay to 2:22 and Omega which are now in this collection. I turned everything into prose when I realized that I wasn’t going to be able to market TV or movie scripts.
If I hadn’t had to go back to the grind of work, I can’t help but wonder if I would have 10 times the stories I now have. I also became fascinated by the challenges of postcard fiction. I’ve always clearly loved the short story – but postcard fiction was even more appealing. I’ve got 9 such stories already written for my next collection entitled Matachewan.
And I leave you with an awesome little video from a Japanese horror series. The look on the driver’s face at the very end says it all!: