Books that Scare Me
by Robert Gray
I don’t scare easy. I’ll be upfront about that first. By the time I was a teen, I’d been exposed to enough horror that I thought nothing could scare me. And then I read Off Season by Jack Ketchum. That book not only terrified me, it changed the way I thought about writing horror fiction.
If you’re not familiar with the story, it’s about a group of friends who stay at a cabin in Maine during - wait for it - the off season. Little do they know, a clan of cannibalistic savages has set up camp not far away. Once night falls, yeah, things don’t go so well for our friends.
The book is brutal. The scenes are rendered with such clarity you feel every bit of pain inflicted — and the pain-to-page ratio is high, make no mistake about it. It’s not an easy book to read, and it’s not for everyone. I loved it.
Prior to reading Ketchum’s yarn, most of the horror I’d read used a fade away approach. What happens, in this case, is that the author presents a horrific situation but leaves the most terrifying parts to the reader’s imagination. Stephen King is a master of this, and it’s an excellent effect. Ketchum, however, does the reverse He brings you to the point where you think the situation couldn’t get worse, and then he zooms in with a microscope. And, folks, those close-ups ain’t pretty.
I’ll end the guest post with a quick story. A few years back, I had the fortunate opportunity of being in a workshop taught by Jack Ketchum, and he critiqued the first chapter of Eve Hallows and the Book of Shrieks. So, if you like the first chapter of the book, it’s because he had me scrap most of the original and make it better. If you don’t like it, though, I'll take full blame. After all, the guy isn’t in the miracle business.
by Robert Gray
For fourteen-year-old Eve Hallows, life can be summed up in one word — horrible. She has the most horrible friends. She lives in a horrible old castle. Even her family is a bunch of horrible monsters.
However, in the monster-inhabited world of Gravesville — a world where messages are sent through Ouija boards, jack-o’-lanterns get facials to suit their moods, and the worst thing Eve has to deal with are those annoying zombie tourists who overrun her favorite graveyard during the Halloween season—horrible means wonderful. And everything for Eve is perfectly horrible.
But her life is about to go head over heels when a mysterious group known as The Source starts terrorizing Gravesville. Now she must move to the human world — where everything is opposite ... and for Eve, that's absolutely adorable!
by Robert Gray
With The Book of Shrieks offering zero help and a new URNS agent driving the school boys—and Eve!—crazy, Eve's beginning to realize this whole saving-the-world nonsense isn't what it's cracked up to be.
All this and she still has to find The Book of Shadows....
About the Author
Robert Gray is a writer. If that job description doesn't impress you, how about fantasy writer? Too general? Well, he doesn't get insulted if you call him a horror writer. If horror's not your thing, then scratch out horror and replace it with suspense. And for the kiddies, you can slap on a YA or MG in front of that title.
Gray lives in Bushkill, Pennsylvania with his wife and two children.
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You are going to put words in my box?! *squeezes you* Now I shall stalk YOUR blog!