THE FIRST HORROR STORY

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In November 2015, I wrote a short memoir regarding how I came to write my novella “Scarecrows” for Samhain. The publisher included it in their “New Release Newsletter” for December 2015. With all the chaos that goes with the holidays, I not only missed it, but also forgot all about it. I remembered today, when they were discussing their upcoming newsletter. It’s a great story and I decided to share it.

 

My Memoir – April 2014

“Nothing could stop me. The one-hour trip to visit my sister, Connie, in Michigan was my first in several months. In her seventies and tied down by an oxygen tube, the brutal winter had proved especially lonely for her. Side-lined by foot surgery, I missed our frequent visits too. We always had long telephone conversations, but our last face-to-face had been Christmas. Despite the difference in age, we were always best friends.

I arrived just before lunch, to hugs, and hand squeezes, and more hugs. During the rainy afternoon, over hot tea and endless conversation, I mentioned a writing contest I wanted to enter, but I didn’t have a story. The publisher wanted a horror story based on childhood fears. I didn’t write horror and I couldn’t remember being afraid as a child. I always felt safe.

Scarecrows Cover - LGConnie laughed. She never felt safe. We lived in an old farmhouse in the middle of corn fields. Because she was older, she had to babysit whenever my parents went out, usually a couple times a week. The nearest house was a half-mile up the road. With no streetlights, the nights threw the surrounding area into total darkness. However, she believed when you had a full moon, it really got scary.

My sister vividly remembered the moonlit nights when the corn was high. The dark nights didn’t scare her the way these did. The wind whistled through the stalks and the scarecrows appeared to move through the fields. She dreamt of horrible bloodthirsty scarecrow attacks, and convinced herself no one would even hear her scream.

A wonderful storyteller, she spun her tale. Carried away with the story, we giggled at her paranoia and our ridiculous exaggerations. Suddenly, I had a horror story based on childhood fears. She convinced me to write it, positive I would definitely win. Always my biggest fan, she encouraged me throughout the process.

When she found out the story won, Connie couldn’t contain her excitement. We had great fun building the story together, and even more fun celebrating. She read the submission draft, and loved the idea that it told the story of her childhood in so many ways. My sister told anyone who would listen, her sister was a famous writer. She died three months before  “Scarecrows” official release.

I dedicated the story to my sister.

Dedication: In loving memory of my sister, and best friend,Connie Desjardins (1941-2015). Her childhood fears and memories inspired this story, and her unconditional love and support gave me the confidence to write it.”

The following link will take you to the information page for”Scarecrows” and the anthology “Childhood Fears”, which contains not only my story, but three additional novellas based on childhood nightmares (clowns, possessed toys, and Christmas legend).

The page also includes insights on the authors and the stories, as well as links to purchase.

https://christinehaytonwrites.wordpress.com/scarecrows/

I am currently running a GOODREADS Giveaway and free copies of the “Childhood Fears” trade paperback will be awarded to 5 winners, chosen at random. Enter the contest at:

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/165102-childhood-fears

I wish everyone a Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous 2016. Thank you.

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One Response to THE FIRST HORROR STORY

  1. Pingback: THE FIRST HORROR STORY | Christine Hayton – A Writing Adventure

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