Spooky October Spotlight on… Nightmare in the North
Happy October! Today I’m sharing a look at my horror novella, Nightmare in the North. Think of it as a pre-Halloween treat!
Some of you may know me as a romance author, but I also write short horror fiction. I originally started out as a horror author, and nowadays I divide my time between romance, horror, and mysteries. (My latest mystery is The Route 9 Killer.)
Nightmare in the North is a cautionary tale about traveling alone in the winter and trusting strangers. Travel takes a deadly turn in this story!
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 used that as the backdrop to the story, threw in some strange characters, and added a little mystery. After I submitted the story for my English class, I pretty much forgot about it.
Then, one January 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 horror story, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to write. As I was driving, I thought back to that 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 all that 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 that it was well written and it drew you in, but it was “twisted” and “disturbing” — I consider that high praise!
Here’s the summary and links…
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.
Order it here:
All other platforms: https://www.books2read.com/u/m2vqOk
I hope you’ll check it out. If you like horror fiction, visit the Horror, Mystery & More section of my site: https://www.kelliwilkins.com/horror
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 100 short stories, 20+ romance novels, and 6 mystery/horror ebooks. Her romances span many genres and settings, and she likes to scare readers with her horror and mystery stories.
Her latest release, The Route 9 Killer, was published in May 2023. This mystery/thriller is set in Central NJ.
Kelli’s paranormal/mystery romance, In Another World, was released in 2022. She released two horror shorts, More Than I Bargained For and Silent Sentinel in 2021.