Mark Carver, Overlord and Grand Anarch of the Mega-Dark group at GoodReads organized a Blog Tour for August. So in the coming weeks here at HSSJ, I’ll feature posts from five other authors. First up is Michael Brookes.
Writing An Odd Quartet
‘An Odd Quartet’ is my first collection of short stories, the next, ‘An Odder Quintet’ will be revealed later in the Mega-Dark Book Blog Tour. In this post I’m going to talk about what motivated me to write each of the stories in the first book.
As the name implies there are four stories in the book. The first is called ‘The Yellow Lady’. This story is based on a tale I heard around a camp fire as a young boy. The origin story of the ghost, the grave with the metal spikes and the legend of Heartbeat Tree are all true. I remember being terrified sleeping in the tent with a few other boys in the night, our tent right next to the graveyard with the corroded metal cross with spikes through it.
The scary thing about ghosts is that they keep coming back. With this story I wanted to do something a little different and that comes from the main character, a young man who makes his living by grave robbery. He’s also heard the story of the Yellow Lady and of the secret treasure. Naturally that brings him to the attention of the ghost, but he deals with the situation in a most unusual manner.
The twist in the tale is the central theme to the stories. I enjoy reading a story that ends in an unexpected way. I like writing stories like that even more!
In second story, ‘This Empty Place’ the inspiration came from the H P Lovecraft (one of the greatest horror authors) quote “And with strange eons even death may die”. I imagined what it would be like for an entity charged with the task of death and what they would feel as the universe drew to a close.
‘Forced Entry’ was an idea I’d had for some time. The idea was to have a hostage rescue team, highly trained soldiers, enter a house and encounter an evil way beyond what they were trained for. I decided to tell this story in a slightly different way. I wrote it as a series of radio communications between the soldiers.
Interestingly this story has divided many readers, some love it, others no so much. It’s also one of the stories that will be continued in the new collection.
‘The Reluctant Demon’ is possibly my favourite story in the collection. Previously I’d written a story for an anthology called ‘A Splendid Salmagundi’ about a demon taking his wife on holiday. Holidays take place within unwilling human hosts. It was a slightly comical look at Hell and one I wanted to develop.
For this story I wanted to feature a young demon who like other young demons wanting to become the best, have to become a possessor. To gain this they have to pass an exam. He doesn’t really want to become one, but is forced to by his father. Naturally the story doesn’t quite end as you’d expect.
So that is the history of how I wrote ‘An Odd Quartet’, if you haven’t read it yet, than I hope you’ll do so.
An Odd Quartet
A quartet of dark short stories (10,000 words total) each with a twist in the tale. The drabble enhanced edition also contains some of my favourite drabbles (100 word stories).
The Yellow Lady
Grave robbing is a dirty business, in more ways than one. When he disturbs the grave from a childhood scary story he discovers it’s not always treasure to be found.
This Empty Place
At the heat death of the universe, Death contemplates his existence.
Terrorists seize an average suburban house. A Special Forces hostage rescue team is sent in and encounter more than they were trained for.
The Reluctant Demon
A young demon prepares to take his possession exam.
Buy now from:
Amazon (US): http://www.amazon.com/An-Odd-Quartet-ebook/dp/B009QJMMPC/
Amazon (UK): http://www.amazon.com/An-Odd-Quartet-ebook/dp/B009QJMMPC/
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/an-odd-quartet-michael-brookes/1046494250?ean=2940016693453
iTunes (US): https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id636526301
About the Author
Michael Brookes considers himself a fortunate man. By day he works as an Executive Producer making video games for a leading independent developer, and by night he writes fiction in the horror and science fiction genres.
He is also very active is supporting indie authors from all genres through interviews and guest posts on his blog. He also runs a monthly short fiction contest that is open for everyone.
Follow him on his blog: http://thecultofme.blogspot.co.uk/
You can also follow him on Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/TheCultofMe
And on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheCultofMe