Kelli A. Wilkins
Celebrating Women in Horror Month (Part 2)
Valentine’s Day is officially over, and if you’ve had your fill of love and romance for a while, why not curl up with a horror story? As you may know, February is “Women in Horror” month. To celebrate, I’m blogging about my “disturbing” novella, Nightmare in the North, and sharing a bit about my short mysteries, Silent Sentinel and More Than I Bargained For.
Nightmare in the North is a cautionary tale about traveling alone in the winter and trusting strangers. Here’s the summary:
NIGHTMARE IN THE NORTH
Stranded during a violent blizzard, Mark hikes to the only house nearby. George, a well-mannered University professor, welcomes Mark and gives him shelter from the storm.
By morning, Mark suspects that everything isn’t what it seems. George’s adult daughter, Kate, who also lives in the house, shares a disturbing and unsettling tale. When questioned, George insists that Kate has a psychological issue and can’t be trusted to tell the truth.
Mark quickly finds himself caught in a game of cat and mouse. Who should he believe? Is Kate’s desperate plea for help sincere? Should he be suspicious of George? Or are both of them plotting something together?
Isolated from everyone, Mark is forced to wait out the storm—and find a way to escape—if he hopes to make it out alive.
So… how did this novella come about? Believe it or not, I wrote a version of this story for my eighth grade English class. The assignment was to write a short story – and boy, did I! The original version was much shorter and less detailed, but the basic premise was there. I’m not sure what my English teacher thought when she read it, but I got an A.
I grew up in upstate New York where winters can be brutal and last a long time. It can be an isolated place, and sometimes you could be snowed in for days. I decided to use that as the backdrop to the story, throw in some strange characters, and add a little mystery. After I submitted the story for my English class, I pretty much forgot about it.
Then, in January of 2018 I drove to Vermont in a snowstorm. I was in the car for 12 hours, and naturally, my mind started to wander… I wanted to write a new horror story, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to write. As I was driving, I thought back to the original story and decided to rewrite it – to tell the story the way it needed to be told.
I changed the opening, moved the setting to Vermont, and filled in all the details and backstory that set the tone. The ending of the new version is slightly different from the original, but it’s not off by much. I added an epilogue (of sorts) to the end, and spent about twenty minutes getting the last line just right. After reading Nightmare in the North, my husband said it was well written and it drew you in, but it was “twisted” and “disturbing” – I consider that high praise!
Nightmare in the North is a lot of things, but it’s not gory. My horror stories tend to be more psychological/spooky than bloody. I love writing horror, and after writing romances for so many years, I find it refreshing to embrace my darker side and write something creepy. (In fact, I’m returning to writing horror/speculative fiction. I just finished writing a thriller about a serial killer. I have a few more horror stories in the works.)
Order it here:
All other platforms: https://www.books2read.com/u/m2vqOk
If you’re looking for a quick reads that's more mystery than horror (but still has paranormal elements) check out Silent Sentinel. This 4,100 word mini-thriller blends a crime story with the unusual.
One afternoon, Valerie visits a flea market and meets a peculiar man who tries to sell her an ancient statue of Anubis—the Egyptian god of the dead. Despite her protests, the man insists that she must have the statue. Valerie gives in and brings her new “guardian” home.
Later that night, Valerie awakens to discover an intruder has broken into her house. She’s forced to fight for her life and relies on Anubis to save her.
When the police investigate, they make a shocking discovery about her attacker and his motive. Only then does Valerie realize how lucky she was— the statue was the last thing she wanted, but exactly what she needed.
Order it here:
All other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/mgExB0
More Than I Bargained For is a mini-mystery that blends offbeat humor with the paranormal.
More Than I Bargained For - A Paranormal Mini-Mystery
Katie doesn’t like going to estate sales. Why? Because she sees dead people.
When Katie reluctantly attends an estate sale with her friend Diane, she gets more than she bargained for. The deceased former owner of the house, Grace, realizes that Katie can communicate with her, and she has a lot to say.
As Katie pretends to shop, Grace tells her the story of how she was murdered—and reveals that her killer is still in the house.
It’s up to Katie to uncover the murder weapon and get it to the police… before time runs out.
Order it here:
All other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/me9jzl
Read reviews here: https://www.kelliwilkins.com/more-than-i-bargained-for
If you love to be scared (or at least slightly creeped out) be sure to visit the horror section of my site https://www.kelliwilkins.com/horror and visit my Amazon page www.amazon.com/author/kelliwilkins for a full title list, links, and more!
Kelli A. Wilkins