Some Things Are Better Left Alone…

Some Things Are Better Left Alone…

I once found myself living out an urban legend. Picture this: A lone teenage girl is driving home late one winter night. The dark highway is empty. Suddenly, a car is inches from her bumper. The driver keeps flashing his high beams, blinding the teenager. Since he’s not overtaking her, she thinks he must want the upcoming turnoff. She’s just going too slow. So, she changes lanes. The driver follows, headlights still flashing. She realizes that they’ve passed the last turn off for a while....

Vincent Faces a Nightmare He Might Never Wake Up From

Vincent Faces a Nightmare He Might Never Wake Up From

Survival horror is one of my favorite genres. Those stories in which a powerful killer stalks his victims through the woods, and they have to rely on wits and luck to survive. I wanted to channel that—the feeling of being lost and pursued—with the terror of not even understanding what’s stalking you into this story. Vincent has survived everything that the ritual threw at him, and now wields ultimate power. Or so he thought. Because his final enemy is revealed, and it is more than Vincent...

Powerlessness Can Be a Terrifying Thing

Powerlessness Can Be a Terrifying Thing

The idea of losing your freedom and autonomy, that you can be trapped, and at the mercy of others who can literally do anything they want, is very scary. Mix in a haunted mental asylum and a demonic child, and it’s a perfect recipe for fear. Vincent has faced witches, and corpses, and evil djinn. But what he hasn’t experienced is being alone and helpless. Being forced to doubt what he thinks is real after all this time. And being at the mercy of a doctor who could be a tool of a demon, or just...

Science and the Supernatural Are Never a Good Mix…

Science and the Supernatural Are Never a Good Mix…

Body horror is one of the most terrifying subgenres out there and it holds a special place in my heart. Lots of classic horror is, at its core, body horror. What is a werewolf or a vampire but a monster made by warping the flesh of a normal human? And it’s terrifying to think that something will attack you not from the outside, but from within. Films like The Thing and Resident Evil inspired The Darkness Within. For this story, I wanted Dezzy and Vincent in a location where there’s much less...

Newfound Joy Never Lasts, and for Good Reason…

Newfound Joy Never Lasts, and for Good Reason…

There was a time when I didn’t fully appreciate all that horror had to offer. I never dared to venture too far from my favorite monsters and villains. Then my parents threw a fateful New Year’s Eve party. There was one guest my age and she had been told to bring a movie of her choice. It was a horror movie of a subgenre I had never looked at. Before the clock struck midnight, I was hooked. I went into the New Year determined to give all those stories I had been neglecting a chance. This volume...

There Is a Consequence for Everything We Do…

There Is a Consequence for Everything We Do…

…And not all of them are easy to live with—or survive. There’s a childhood event that always reminds me to think before I act. We had rented a houseboat for a short vacation and were anchored near a deserted island. I remember how the island was ringed with golden-sand beach and surrounded by the endless ocean. We had been swimming, and I was the last one in the water. My father had made me promise not to go far while he was busy helping my brothers. I decided that I was a far better swimmer...

The Simplest Things Can Spark the Deepest Fears

The Simplest Things Can Spark the Deepest Fears

I dog-sit at a house that’s surrounded by bushland. The first night I was there, I let the dogs out to relieve themselves before bed and was startled by how dark it was. Nothing seemed to exist beyond the reach of the porch lights. Then a branch snapped, and the dogs took off after it. As I stood there, helplessly listening to them chasing something through the underbrush, my mind went wild with thoughts of what, or who, could have been out there. The dogs returned a few minutes later,...

The Most Dangerous Place Is Where We Feel the Safest

The Most Dangerous Place Is Where We Feel the Safest

We’ve all been put in situations when we had to question if it really is better to be safe than sorry It’s those times when we have to decide if we’re just being paranoid, or if the threat is actually real. I was working at an island resort when my new boss radioed for me to grab something from the “old kitchen”. Decades of renovations had moved the resort away from this building, and it was now used to store things they were too lazy to throw out. I opened the rusted door and found a maze of...

Only a Few Things Are More Terrifying than a Wish

Only a Few Things Are More Terrifying than a Wish

There are so many fantastic tales of genies and wish-granting, and often they are just that—fantastic. We all like to think we’d make good, responsible wishes. But it’s scary to think about the people who wouldn’t. And nobody really talks about what genies take in exchange. We’ve all been led to believe wishes are given away at no cost. In this book, Vincent meets his most terrifying foe yet in the form of Razul—a cunning djinn with near endless power who is also hidden in his body. While...

Life Is Full of Small Encounters with the Unknown

Life Is Full of Small Encounters with the Unknown

I love snuggling under a mound of blankets on cold winter nights. Melting into the warmth of my bed, closing my eyes, and drifting lazily to sleep. Then there are those nights when I wiggle down and my foot hits something solid. Something that shouldn’t be there. Those nights, I will lay in the dark, with the unknown thing a constant pressure against me, and desperately try to reason the sensation away. Because I know whatever it is that I’m feeling can’t possibly be there. Eventually, I...