Friday, February 26, 2010

Shadow Screams

I recently recorded and posted Episode 12 in my Prelude To A Scream podcast.

Episode 12 features my short short story "The Shadow Men" which appeared in NORTHERN HAUNTS, published by Shroud Publishing and edited by Tim Deal.

The story, which was inspired by the chill that runs up my spine whenever I'm in the woods and hear the call of a loon in the middle of the night is rather short and written to be read around a campfire, as if the person reading the tale aloud is sitting at the fire with the listeners during a still dark summer night and recounting the story as if it happened to them.

In the podcast, when the tale is over, I talk about my admiration for the incredible verbal storytelling skills of Laurie Blake who was the owner of Fox Lake Lodge in Northern Ontario where I worked when I was a teenager.

I also talk about J. P. Couvrette, one of the buddies I worked with there on many occasions and how he also told great stories, a mixture of funny tales and scary stories, one of which still haunts me today. Yes, the loon call has that affect on my thanks to J.P. (You can read more about J. P. at this blog post)

J.P.'s telling of a ghost story featuring a loon call inspired a scene in my Aurora-Award nominated story "Erratic Cycles" (originally published in 1999 in Parsec Magazine). Not satisfied that I'd fully explored the scary elements used in that short scene, I extracted the idea and used it for the basis of "The Shadow Men" when I saw the call for submissions to NORTHERN HAUNTS.

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