I asked fellow Midnight Roost anthology contributors to share some things about themselves prior to publication and those generous enough to do so will be appearing here for the next week or so.
Each entry gives a taste of their contribution, a little about them, how to contact them, how their story came about, and definitely a link to Midnight Roost (which you should purchase because it would make each and every one of us happy.
you do want to make us happy, don’t you?
i mean, considering what we wrote, you want us to know you’re a good person, right?).
Let’s start with a Hallowe’en-themed introduction to the anthology as a whole:
Blood Magic is the second of three of my pieces in Midnight Roost. Here’s the opening:
Julia danced among oaks and ash, two short steps towards Eric, two long steps away, always drawing him into the hollow, always a hand or two beyond his reach. Once one of her long, blonde braids brushed the back of his hand and he almost had her, but he wasn’t quick enough, never quick enough.
“You’re such an old woman, Eric.”
Eric stopped as Julia entered a copse of ancient, dark boled trees. His hands staid his knife and axe—good forester’s tools his father gave him—swinging at his belt. “We are too far from the village.”
“Says your grandmother, who brings apples to any who will listen.”
“The Old Ones remember— ”
“The old ones are old.” She disappeared among the trees.
How the story came about:
Blood Magic is one of those stories which went through several versions before seeing the light of day, and all based on going apple-picking with friends back in 1994(!). A little girl bit into an apple and burst into tears. She threw the apple down and acted as if it bit her back. There was no obvious reason for it, and that image of a cursed or biting apple stuck.
Previous titles were Tag, The Apple, The Witch, and finally Blood Magic. The core (forgive the pun) remained consistent, its expression went through more evolutions than the titles indicate. There was always the concept of the witch, the apple, Eric, and Julia. The story originally ended with Julia biting the apple and hearing laughter. She puts the apple down on a table and it turns, revealing the witch’s face laughing at her.
That ending was okay but I always knew there was more to the story. It literally went through twenty-eight versions before what you read now in Midnight Zoo.
Even then, the story in the anthology is actually the opening of Tag, a novel due out in Spring 2024. Same core (oy!) concepts but now written into a Medieval murder mystery which takes place in Eastern Europe after the Crusades.
I’m boring and dull. I’ve learned to live with it.
Hopefully my stories aren’t. You decide, and let me know.
More about me and my social links here.
See all Midnight Roost stories here.