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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Shiver Me Timbers

I received the contributor copy of Champagne Shivers 2009 the other day, which contains my short story "Captive Audience."

The magazine, edited by Cathy Buburuz, is a perfect-bound 8 1/2 by 11 magazine containing 76 pages of exquisite horror stories and poetry. Sam's Dot Publishing regards this publication as the Dom Perignon of horror.

Champagne Shivers has a hauntingly beautiful cover by Carole Hall and is speckled with great art inside by several of the genre's well-known and prolific artists. I haven't yet had a chance to read the magazine, but I know it's going to be a good one, chock full of good writing, because it has a story by my friend Michael Kelly, who is fantastic writer.

My story, "Captive Audience" looks at a situation we've all been in at least once -- the horror of being cornered and stuck in a conversation with the town bore. Only in this tale, the risk of actually being bored to death runs a bit higher. (C'mon, what did you expect from someone who enjoys dark humour?)

Brief Excerpt:

Blinking the sweat from his eyes, Sean watched a chubby middle aged man saunter toward the bus stop. Sean didn't know the man personally but knew that his name was Rupert. Everybody knew Rupert. He was the town bore. Sean had never spoken with him before, being new to the town of Overbrook, but Rupert's reputation preceded him. Apparerntly, Rupert would corner people at the library or grocery store and manipulate them into conversations that they wanted nothing to do with. According to Sean's next door neighbour, getting out of a conversation with Rupert was a difficult, learned process, on par with getting out of the heat in the middle of this tiny desert town.


I had fun writing this tale with tongue firmly planted in cheek, and recall that it was originally born out of a character sketch exercise I did during a writing class back in Grade 13. I had so much fun writing a short scene between the two characters (a rambling bore and a self-absorbed jock), that a few years later I changed it up a bit and imagined what might happen if the bore were finally able to land himself a truly captive audience for all his outlandishly wearisome monologues. It was a fun tale to write and hopefully a fun tale to read.

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