My Little Black Book of Horror.
Welcome to my nightmares.
After much thought and one final burst of impulsivity, I have decided to release a short story collection.
And I hope it horrifies you.
As an undergrad, I took a few creative writing courses along with my core classes. The professor told us to pick a genre to write in and keep it throughout the entire semester. Trying to get me to commit to just one thing is like pulling teeth, and I wanted something easy, so I picked horror. And by easy, I mean I think of the worst-case, most terrifying scenario for everything all the time—this makes for lots of story ideas.
And so I began a semester of horror. I delighted in how appalled I could make my classmates; one even asked if they could leave the room when I read mine out loud. I’d always written, regardless if anyone would read it, but for the first time, I got to experience how people reacted to my work in real-time. Not only did I love it, but I realized how much I enjoy horrifying people. In fact, I had so much fun that I continued writing horror shorts well after graduation, even just to freak out my husband.
Fast forward several years, and I moved on to other things, including my novels, which fall more under the fantasy umbrella than they do horror. But I never stopped writing bite-sized scary stories. Some saw the light of day in the form of a blog, but mostly, I just kept them to myself.
As someone who’s edited several anthologies, it might seem odd that I never submitted any of my own stories for publication. But writing has always been about freedom to me, and I loathe to put restrictions on it. I can write based on a prompt, but I like to deconstruct and play with ideas in unusual ways. And I hate, hate, HATE word counts. Nothing ruins my soul more than trying to stretch out my words beyond what I feel they need to be. I understand that not everyone has a short attention span like I do, but I’d rather read something concise than something I can tell has been fluffed with filler. Maybe it’s the longtime college student in me, but forced word counts can just go ahead and die.
That being said, a few months back, I discovered a submissions call for an anthology with a theme that sparked my creativity. Essentially, they wanted horror stories centered around maternal trauma. For anyone who knows me on a personal level, this is right up my alley. I hammered out my piece so fast that I submitted it the moment they opened. I actually made the word count, too! As expected, it was rejected, but I loved the story so much that I knew I had to do something with it.
That gave me an idea. I had a ton of horror shorts in all different lengths just sitting on my computer.
Why not put a bunch of them into a collection?
It’s a perfect time to drop one; at Quill & Crow, we have recently embarked on a new line of books to replace our open-call anthologies called The Crow Collections, single-author short story collections by some of our favorite indie authors. I knew I wouldn’t have to invest as much in my own collection as I do in our other books, and the profit would go completely to our mission to support and lift authors. And honestly, I’m always itching to create new marketing campaigns.
But did I have the energy to promote another book? I often wonder if people understand how much time and energy goes into each of our releases—I love my job, but it can be quite taxing. But who says I couldn’t just do a quiet, quick release? No ARCs, promo campaigns, or media—just a drop if people want it.
And so, My Little Black Book of Horror was born.
Available at the beginning of November, it houses a true variety of stories, some written long ago during my college days and some from the last few years. It also includes the rejected story, Daughter. (anyone else enjoy the irony of a story about a rejected daughter getting rejected or am I just a sick cookie?) I’m so interested to hear what people think about that one, as it’s one of my more demented tales. Think Sharp Objects meets Norman Bates.
I remain eternally grateful to those who have paid to subscribe to Mother of Crows, so below, I’ve included some sneak peeks and extra goodies. And a huge thank you to all my subscribers for reading these newsletters. I do hope you’ll check out My Little Black Book of Horror!
Be sure to order your copy today! Links to the ebook are also available on the website.
Please enjoy this sneak peek of Nightmares.
Larry was exhausted, the sort of run-over-by-a-car exhausted one feels after a three-day bender. His hands shook as he tried to lift the styrofoam cup to his lips, black spots in the corners of his vision. One more day, he thought to himself. One more day, and this whole mess would be over.
He wasn’t a terrible person. He was just a junkie, the worst kind, who makes insane promises to whoever is proposing the stupid thing so he can get his next fix. This time, he hadn’t even realized what he was agreeing to until he was in the van, and the two men he was supposed to work with dragged the struggling lump of blankets out of its cozy mansion and into the trunk. The warm placidity of his last hit still lingered in his veins, enough that it soothed over the sound of the child’s cries.
It wasn’t until they arrived at the old barn and it was his turn to watch over the kid that the reality of Larry’s situation hit him.
Read more in My Little Black Book of Horror, coming soon!
Paid subscribers will recognize several of these stories as ones posted right here on the Mother of Crows Substack.
Ice Cream. A woman and her husband get lost hiking, finding themselves at a good ol’ fashioned ice cream parlor.
Delirium. A Victorian woman’s final thoughts as she dies on her sick bed.
Push. A young boy obsessed with serial killers has a special ability of his own.
BLT. George is just a simple man who likes a good sandwich now and then.
Scratches. A psychiatric patient gets a new roommate.
Daughter. A woman whose mother is dying is forced to reconcile a haunting past.
Samuel. Just a story of a boy and his beloved pet crow.
Ripper. Women can’t be serial killers…right?
Soulmates. Sometimes, love means doing terrible things.
Nightmares. A drug-addicted man learns he shouldn’t agree to just anything for a quick fix.
Broken. A story of twin boys and the tragic disorder that threatens their bond.
Slugger. A young girl puts her abusive father to rest.
Vodyanoy. A runner sees the unexpected in the woods.
Bite. A woman learns there are worse things than a spider bite.
Theatre. There is nothing quite like a Victorian medical theatre.
Catfish. Be careful who you meet up with on the Internet.
Monsters. A group of teens discover there are monsters on Peach Street.
Lemonade. There’s something not quite right about those kids at the lemonade stand.
Alive. A sneak peek of my upcoming full-length novel, currently untitled, coming 2025.
Thanks for reading!
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