Author Archives: Scott Dyson

Recent horror reads

I recently finished a couple of excellent reads in the horror genre. I read the first of these, titled Good Neighbors by Russell C. Connor, on Kindle. I was drawn to it by the nice cover and the $0.99 price tag. I’d never read anything by Mr. Connor before, and I figured that I couldn’t go wrong at that price, even if it didn’t live up to the cover.

It lived up to the cover, and more. What I read was an excellent novel about a man who finds himself in the midst of a religious fervor, with people who grasp at the straws offered to them by a woman instead of facing the fact that they are being driven insane by the Squall, which is a weird sound being emitted by the electric transformers of the apartment complex where they all live.

The book was published in 2015, but I saw themes at work that apply to the world of 2019 also.

All that is well and good, but if there isn’t a great story with great characters, what good is it? Fortunately, this one has well-developed characters like Elliot, the alcoholic, recently divorced school teacher who is trying to put his life back together, and Jacob, the hardass kid who had Elliot as a teacher and has his own reasons for disliking the man. There are plenty of others to care about, and I found it easy to want to know what happens to these people.

I am definitely planning on reading more of Russell Connor’s work, and I’m hoping that it all lives up to the quality of this one.

The second read was House By The Cemetery by John Everson. I’ve read a lot of Mr. Everson’s work, and I think this might be the best and the scariest so far. In it, a carpenter is hired to shore up the supports for an old haunted house at the edge of a cemetery, which is going to be opened up as a “Haunted House” for the month of October. The legends abound around the house, and they are warned against bringing the house back to life and bringing people into the structure in large numbers. It’s predicted that something very bad will happen.

Mike, the carpenter, is a great character, in my opinion. He’s got real life issues. He’s gone through a divorce and he has some issues with alcohol (like Elliot in Russell Connor’s story) and he’s been going through some slow times with his work. He accepts the job of fixing up the haunted house to make it safe for people to trample through, because he’s down on his luck and needs the work. He also is starved for affection, and the story illustrates how he accepts the things he is asked to do by building up slowly, in effect, desensitizing him to things before the culmination. I don’t want to say too much to avoid spoiling it, but I felt that, like Connor’s work, there are themes at play here that reflect the particular travails that our society is going through today. I think it’s that thematic relevance that makes both Everson’s and Connor’s works so effective.

Everson’s book is published by Flame Tree Press, while Connor’s work is self-published. Both were great reads. I have more of both authors’ works to read, but I’m moving on to Stephen King’s THE INSTITUTE next.

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Want to read about a group of friends at a cabin for Halloween? How jealousy gets the best of their gathering? How things can escalate to murder? Grab my novella, ODD MAN OUT, available only as an ebook on Kindle.

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Still Here, Still Writing

Just a short blog post to say that I’m still writing. I was working on two other projects (a vampire followup to one that is as yet unpublished, and my space opera) but nothing was really grabbing me and the words weren’t flowing.

Then I had a dream.

I dreamed that I was at a horror writers’ convention with some big-name (well, bigg-ER names than me) writers and there was scary stuff going on. I woke up with a vague memory of it, but the idea was there. And I’ve been pecking away at that plot. I’m about 3000 words into it, and hoping I get to something juicy soon. I like my characters, and it seems to be fun to write at the moment, so I’m going with it.

I’ll get back to all of the other projects eventually as well.

I’m reading some horror as well, and I’ll try to post about the good and the so-so sometime soon.

First draft finished!

I’ve been knocking out a thousand plus words a day for about a week now, and I finally finished one of my works in progress. It comes in at 49,300 words, just shy of fifty thousand. Which makes it a short horror novel.

If you read some of my “Ideas” posts a while back, you might remember one that described how I read a Bryan Smith novel called Last Day and sort of decided that I’d do something inspired by it. In Smith’s novel, an asteroid is streaking toward Earth, and life as we know it is about to end. Smith focuses on the removal of restraints from the worst segment of the population and the evil that they’ve wanted to do, but couldn’t because of the fear of punishment.

I took his idea but in my take, the Moon’s orbit has somehow become unstable, and it is spiraling inward towards an inevitable collision with Earth. And I also look at the removal of restraints from the worst people, people who keep their secrets well. A serial killer who thinks he’s a werewolf heads the cast of baddies. But there’s an ex-husband who’s pissed about a subpoena that he’s been served with by the ex-wife, looking for more money. There’s a bar patron who happens to be in his local hangout when the news breaks and the drunks who hang out after the less hard-core drinkers leave. And there’s a dad who’s a child molester, one who’s been stopped by his oldest daughter from preying on her and her younger sister.

There are good people, too. Sean, the boyfriend of the girl who was molested by her dad, is a good one. Andres, his friend, is another good one. Dr. Jessica Stewart, a scientist at the local University, is good, as are her graduate students.

And of course, there’s gray area for some folks.

It has the feel of an apocalyptic tale, one where humanity has to prepare for a disaster, but it’s a horror novel at its core, with the horrors being from the evil that humans can do to each other.

While it owes a debt to Bryan Smith’s novel, it’s really not much like it.

I’m going to start doing a first rewrite soon, but I need a little bit of distance, so I’m setting it aside and going back to work on something else. What, you may ask? I’m not sure. I’ll see what grabs me and drags me along for the ride.

New FREE Short Story

Hey, all, I posted a new free short story called “Cap’s Reward.” Yeah, it’s fan fiction. Yeah, it contains spoilers for the movie AVENGERS: ENDGAME. Yeah, it probably isn’t consistent with what the directors of the film or the writers are saying about how time travel works, but I think it works and makes sense, or at least as much sense as something like time travel could make. Is there a paradox? Maybe. Maybe not. Is there an alternate timeline created by his actions? Maybe. Maybe not.

Anyway, you will find it up there under the Free Stories menu. Here’s the link: Cap’s Reward

Here’s a brief excerpt:

Steve Rogers looked at the sad figure floating in front of him. His brain told him that he should kill the guy, but he simply couldn’t mount much of an angry response now.

“Steve, son of Joseph. You are here to return the soul stone to its place.”

“You know me?” Steve asked. “You remember me?”

“It is my curse to know all who seek the stone – and to know those who bear its burden.” The apparition lowered its hood, revealing the red visage that was burned in his memory. “Your hatred of me is justified. But it is, as they say, water under the bridge.”

“They you also know why I am here.”

“You are here to return the soul stone to its place. For that, there is no price. You simply must throw it off the precipice.”

Steve walked over to the edge of the cliff and looked down. A familiar figure lay on the stones at the bottom of the drop. Blood made her red hair look even fuller from this distance. Tears came to his eyes.

“Perhaps I have a price for its return,” Steve said, forcing back a sob. “A soul for a soul.”

Red Skull shook his head. “Alas, it will not allow for that. It did not allow for it even when commanded by the green one. Her soul was the price paid by your friend Clint. Or, more accurately, by herself.”

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To read more, go to the FREE STORIES tab on the menu above, or click this link: CAP’S REWARD

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Ideas 4

Another in my series of posts about the genesis of my longer works of fiction, and maybe also about how a couple of shorter ones came about as well. I apologize if I’ve told these stories before, and if you’ve read them before. (Which doesn’t seem terribly likely, in any event.)

I often get ideas from reading other stories. I mentioned that I had the idea for one of my works-in-progress after reading Bryan Smith’s Last Day. In his story, an asteroid is going to hit the Earth, and so the crazies and criminals decide they can do what they want to do with impunity. I thought, what would happen if the Moon was going to hit the Earth? So I set out to write a similar story, but it became something different very quickly.

My story, The Never Ending Night, had its beginnings in a Richard Laymon novel, much like The Cave did. I don’t recall the name of the novel, but it was about a night that doesn’t end. So is mine. One day the sun just doesn’t come up. Laymon’s story focused on a girl who does whatever she does during this odd time. Mine focuses on a neighborhood block, told through the eyes (mostly) of a teenage girl. I give Laymon his props for the story’s idea, even though my work is really nothing like his.

Another horror author I’ve read is Edward Lee. He wrote a book called City Infernal in which Mephistopolis is a literal city in Hell. I liked the concept and started writing something with Hell as a real place, powered by human suffering. And those who cause extreme suffering are agents of this place. The story became Reciprocal Evil, a short novel of maybe 52,000 words. My story focuses on a college kid attending a Jesuit university in Chicago. I’m not sure I name the city and I know I don’t name the college, which allows me a bunch more artistic freedom with locations and things around campus. This kid is studying the nature of evil in his own way, and is searching for meaning in his own life. But along the way he attracts a particularly unsavory character — a serial killer. Again, it really has nothing to do with the Edward Lee story, except for the fact that I started with the idea that Hell is a real physical place, though not in our dimension.

Odd Man Out might be my favorite of my five longer works. As I’ve stated before, it began as a short story, which was written for a contest called THE PUBLICAN BRIEF. For that story, we were given an opening sentence and six random words, and we had to write a story around them. My own was this short story, which came out to about 1,600 words in length. The story was okay. It didn’t win the contest, but people liked it. I liked it; I thought it had an interesting premise: that one of a group of friends was going to eliminate another because of a conflict over a girl. I thought there was a longer story in there somewhere, and one day I started to write it.

Honestly, I thought it would be about seven or eight thousand words when I was done. But it got longer. And longer. Pretty soon it was over thirty thousand words. I think it ended up at something like 37,000 words. I couldn’t leave it where the short story ended, so it became a complete story, and is probably the one I’m most proud of.

I may have one more of these “Ideas” posts in me. I had kind of an interesting experience trying to write a short story, and maybe it too will become a novella or even a novel some day. But for now, I’m going to end this post with the usual comment that, if any of these sound interesting, the links to the Amazon ebooks are right there on your right. The Never Ending Night is $0.99, and both Odd Man Out and Reciprocal Evil are priced at $2.99.

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If you read the post called Ideas, you see that I do have some finished stories that just aren’t ready for publication yet. If you’d like to hear about them when they’re released, please sign up for my mailing list. The link is over there at the right, near the top of the page. Or click here: Mail List. Thanks.

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Ideas 3

So, more about the genesis of some of my stories. I typically write horror, as you probably can infer from the covers there on the right. Where does a writer like me get ideas for horrific stories?

In general they come from real life. They come from stories and events that I find horrifying. They also come from other stories. For example, I wrote a novella called The Inn, which is about a group of high school band students and their teacher being terrorized in a non-chain roadside inn as they travel to a music festival.

The genesis of this story came from a book I read by William Malmborg, called Text Message. That book is set in a suburban shopping mall during a big snowstorm. Horrifying things happen to a pair of sisters who are not exactly doing what they’re supposed to be doing.

When I read it, I thought that I’d like to try writing something like it. So I came up with the idea of writing about an inn, discarding a few other public locations like a high school or college, and a museum. Something about those inns always sort of unnerved me. I imagined that there were cameras hidden in the rooms that were spying on the unaware occupants. What if that was taken further? So that’s where I took it.

While the idea for The Inn came out of Malmborg’s story, the terrifying parts all came out of my own twisted imagination.

I also wrote another novella about four eighth grade boys who discover a cave in a forest preserve near their home. I set it in a fictionalized version of the neighborhood I grew up in, and in fact, I used fictionalized versions of some of the kids I grew up with. They’re NOT those kids, mind you, they’re just sort of based on them, loosely.

I read a book by Richard Laymon called The Traveling Vampire Show, which featured a trio of kids who are uber-curious about this traveling vampire show carnival thing that’s come to town. And they make strange discoveries of horrifying things. I wanted to write something like that; it’s one of my favorites by Laymon. So again, I thought about what I might want to write about — some adventure that these kids could have that could end in something horrific. And I came up with discovering a cave.

I love caves; we often visit them if we come across them on our travels. I’ve gone out of my way to go through caves over the years, and while I can’t say I ‘study’ them, I’m very interested in them. As a young boy, I was also very interested in them. We did a lot of exploring, and we actively looked for caves. We never found one. But I imagined this story from the idea of, what if we had found a cave? And what if that cave wasn’t exactly simply a geological feature?

It was easy to come up with something horrific from there. Today, I could probably write sixty or seventy thousand words on it, making it a proper novel. When I wrote it, however, most of my experience was with writing short stories. It was shorter than I hoped, but longer than I feared it would be. And it told a complete story.

You can see both The Inn and The Cave on the right, and if you click on the covers, it will bring you to Amazon where you can purchase The Cave for $0.99 and The Inn for $2.99.

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If you read the post called Ideas, you see that I do have some finished stories that just aren’t ready for publication yet. If you’d like to hear about them when they’re released, please sign up for my mailing list. The link is over there at the right, near the top of the page. Or click here: Mail List. Thanks.

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Ideas 2

In the last post I detailed a lot of the stories I have going. In this one I thought I’d talk more about the ones I have already written. Every one of them has its genesis in some idea and I thought I’d talk about how they came about. I may have told some of these stories before (in fact, I know I have), so if you’re a regular reader of my blog, sorry for the repetition. (Though I’m not sure such a “regular reader” exists.)

My first published works were short stories. Most of them came out of my contest entries at the Book and Candle Pub. All but one in my first collection (14 Dark Windows) was written as a contest entry or as part of that forum’s writing endeavors. The one that wasn’t written in that manner is titled Sole Occupant, and it had its genesis in something that happened while I was a senior in college. Eight of us rented a big old house, once built (or so we were led to believe) by the Bordens of Borden Milk fame. It was a weird house; there were chains hanging from the walls in the basement. We were always telling ghost stories. So one night I happened to be home by myself, and I was upstairs in my room on the third floor. I was listening to music and had been studying a little bit when I heard a sound from the first floor.

It could have been one of my roommates returning, so I called down, but no one answered. Then my mind started playing with things. We lived on the edge of a pretty bad neighborhood, just south of the college. So I was sure someone had broken in.

The sounds continued to float upwards, and I kept listening at the vent for something recognizable. Finally I heard footsteps on the stairway leading up to the third floor. And then — a shadow on the floor, as if cast by someone standing there waiting. So I grabbed the cat and a baseball bat (the cat was our house cat who was sleeping on a chair in my room), walked toward the door, tossed the cat in front of the door. My thinking was that whoever it was would react and I’d take them out with the baseball bat. Looking back on this plan, what if it had been one of my roommates playing a prank on me? I could have put them in the hospital.

Anyway, the cat just sort of looked at me like I was crazy and licked her paw, then walked away. I jumped to look in the stairwell, and no one was there. Then I went back to my room and looked back in the hallway. No shadow.

I went downstairs and had a few cocktails with every light on. I think my roommates found me, pretty tipsy and singing to the cat or something.

So I wrote up that story, embellished, of course. My roommates’ names were left in there (because why not?) but the rest is fiction. Or was it?

I shopped the story around to magazines, and got a lot of positive feedback, but no one bought it. So it became the first thing I published. I published it with another story (called The Only Solution) as a short story pair, with a cover done by my friend Rich Siegle, who has designed covers professionally. It was also the cornerstone of that first collection that I mentioned above.

If you want to read it, it’s available at Amazon for only $0.99, along with thirteen other stories. Most of those don’t have stories behind them that are as involved as this one. Since this became pretty long, I think I’ll add another post in a couple of days for more about ideas and inspiration.

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If you read my last post, you see that I do have some finished stories that just aren’t ready for publication yet. If you’d like to hear about them when they’re released, please sign up for my mailing list. The link is over there at the right, near the top of the page. Or click here: Mail List. Thanks.

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Ideas

Writers always have too many ideas for stories. One of the most common complaints I hear among my writer friends is that they have more ideas than they have time to write them.

Me, I’m like a butterfly. I flit from flower (idea) to flower (idea) and often don’t end up getting anything accomplished. Things will grab me. It might be a movie (I’m looking at you, Endgame!) or a book, or something someone says to me, or a dream. And I get enthusiastic about telling that story, and I move away from the one I was most currently working on.

Consequently, I have many unfinished stories in various stages of completion. I have five published works, plus a couple of collections of short stories, but my unfinished works greatly outnumber the finished ones.

When they announced The Force Awakens, I had the thought that space opera was going to be a big thing, so I started a novel about a space junker who comes across a small derelict starship, but the ship isn’t exactly empty, and to the main character, there’s a whole lot of deja vu happening.

Here we are, years later, as the third of this Star Wars trilogy is being released soon, and I still haven’t finished it. I started over once because I liked the story I was telling but I didn’t like the way I was telling it. Still, there it sits. I work on it from time to time, especially after I read some space opera by someone like Chris Fox or Lindsey Buroker or Val St. Crowe. And I do plan on finishing it. I think it might be pretty cool when I finally do so. But when that will happen, I don’t know.

There’s always a post-apocalyptic novel out there to attract my attention (squirrel!!) and most recently, I’ve read novels by Steven M. Moore (The Last Humans), M.P. McDonald (her Infection series), and John L. Monk (Hell’s Children). I started writing one back in the nineties, called Inherit The Earth, and Monk’s stories especially inspired me to get back on that one. I’ve written over 60K words, and I don’t know how much more I have to go. I just know that eventually I have to end it. Then edit it and probably lose about a quarter of it. We’ll see.

I also was inspired years ago by Hugh Howey’s Wool series, and I started this novel which originally was set in his universe. But after a short email exchange with Hugh, I realized that it wouldn’t work with his concepts. Instead of stopping, I changed what I needed to change and plowed ahead. It stands at something close to 100K words, but still doesn’t have an end in sight.

Years ago I wrote a trilogy of vampire detective stories called The Striker Files. At some point, I thought it would be fun to continue that story. Seems like there’d be ramifications from the events at the end of the third story. So I settled in to write another story in that universe. It ended up being novel length, right around 60K words give or take, and while it answered the questions posed by the first three short stories, it brought up even more questions. That finished work is untitled and I’m still editing it. But I am writing another novel in that series, and currently I think it stands at about 16K words, give or take.

I also used to be part of a forum on Delphi Internet Services called the Horror Discussion Group. We developed a shared world called Addison Falls, and I wrote a story called The Ghost Train which can be found in my collection Die 6 (see it there on the right? Scroll down if you don’t see it by now). At some point I decided to start writing a novel in that world. I don’t have a title, but I work on it every so often. It stands at about 25K I think, and I don’t know when it will be done.

I also read a book by Bryan Smith called Last Day or something like that, and it inspired me to write a similar story about the moon coming toward the Earth. It’s horror, not science fiction, so I don’t have to be scientifically accurate. After all, it has a werewolf as one of its main villains. It stands at around 20K. I am not sure it will end up as a novel; it may only make it to novella length.

I’ve also written one MG/YA novel (about 53K words) with my son that is complete, about a pair of siblings searching for their missing father with the help of his friend and colleague. It’s got odd villains (courtesy of my son), an interesting setting (mostly the American southwest) and of course, treasure. It will be published some day. But drawing from the inspiration of writing that and reading a lot of their stuff (Rick Riordan’s work in particular, like the Percy Jackson novels and The Thirty Nine Clues), I started another about young people finding themselves inside of a modern day King Arthur story, complete with Morgan Le Fay and whatever else I can dream up. I’m probably only 10K into it, but again, I hope it will some day be published.

You get the idea. There are others. I have a couple of odd urban fantasies cooking, a weird kidnapping/thriller set in Thailand (a mostly imaginary Thailand, since I’ve never been there), a couple of thrillers (one horror, one not) set in colleges, and a psychological Coben-esque thriller set in my home town. Some have quite a lot written, some not so much. But the ideas, they keep coming.

Someday I’ll have time to write them all.

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Scott Dyson Book Blurbs

I have four novellas and a short novel out for purchase at Amazon. I thought it might be a good idea if I collected all of the blurbs on one post for quick reference. You can also find them above in the “My Books” tab.

Here’s the first: THE INN


BAND TRIP TO PERIL…

The Jackson High School Band and student director Kimberly Bouton are making their biennial journey to a music festival in the deep South for fun and educational opportunities. Kim expects to deal with hormonal teenagers, a severe lack of sleep, and long boring bus rides, but the roadside inn where the band stays on their visit hides a sinister secret – and it translates to unimagined horrors for students and teachers alike…

Check into THE INN, where the guests are the entertainment…


Then there’s THE CAVE:


WHEN IS A CAVE NOT A CAVE?

While exploring the woods near their bike trails, four soon-to-be eighth grade boys make an exciting discovery: a real cave! Of course they decide to explore it, and they make a pact to keep it as their very own secret.

But Steve breaks the pact in order to win the attention of the neighborhood girl that they all dream about: Gina Lawson. To their surprise, Gina wants in on their adventure. As the five of them explore further and deeper, they begin to realize that their cave is not simply a cave – but does the strange pocket of darkness merely pose serious danger, or does true evil lurk within?

A 25,000 word horror novella mixing teenage exuberance with a touch of the macabre. (Contains adult themes and some adult language.)


Next is ODD MAN OUT:


It’s going to be one crazy weekend. Crazy enough to kill…

Everyone has always enjoyed the annual Halloween getaway at Roger’s cabin, even if some of Roger’s games are a little… strange. And this year, it’s once again Roger’s turn to pick the game they will play.

Roger wants everything to be perfect so he’s put a great deal of thought into his scavenger hunt. After all, he loves Amy and he’s determined to win her heart.

He’s also determined to deal with Amy’s fiance, Paul. Paul pretends that he and Amy were destined to be together. That Paul didn’t steal Amy from him. That he and Paul are still best friends.

The meals, the campfires, the game, it’s all part of Roger’s revenge plot. Only he didn’t plan on his secretary driving to the cabin and screwing everything up.

But what’s a few more murders, between friends?


The last novella is THE NEVER ENDING NIGHT:


It’s an ordinary summer, much like any other –- until the day the sun stopped rising.

First, cell phone service fails. Then the electricity goes out. Those who leave aren’t returning. Those who stay home are disappearing.

Or dying.

Beth Evans doesn’t trust the neighbor who appoints himself block leader. She doesn’t believe him when he proclaims that the danger comes from beyond the ends of their street. All she wants is to keep her family safe, and to do so, she must find the truth on her own.

But the most terrifying danger may be closer than Beth dreams…


And the novel, RECIPROCAL EVIL:


There’s a serial killer on the loose. And he might be working for the Devil…

Student Chris Jones is obsessed with finding meaning in his life. Researching the historical existence of evil, he falls down the rabbit hole, becoming deeply affected by the darkness in our world. He forgets about classwork and, most of all, his relationship with his girlfriend Rachel suffers. After a gruesome murder on campus, things get even worse.

Because the night before, Chris dreamed about it.

He dreamed about the rape, the knife wounds, the agonizing cries. He experienced it vividly — from the killer’s perspective. Why is he experiencing this? Is it related to his research? The terror on campus ramps up as Rachel’s roommate goes missing… just as Chris comes face to face with a killer. The killer who died years ago.

What is the entity’s game? How does it involve Chris? And even more frightening: What does this evil being want with Rachel? Chris’s life isn’t the only thing he has to put on the line. He could risk the love of his life. He could risk his very soul…


If something sounds interesting, feel free to download a sample. All the covers on the left are links to the ebooks!



Kindle Unlimited and me

I don’t sell too many books. Every once in a while I get a spurt of sales. About a week ago, someone bought three of my books and that was nice. But what I have been getting some of is page reads through KU.

As you probably know, KU is Amazon’s subscription service. If you are in KDP Select (or whatever they’re calling their exclusivity arrangement now) you’re in KU. Subscribers pay a monthly fee of around 10 bucks, and can borrow and read as many books as they want. Authors get roughly a half a cent per page read. So a book of 150 pages (which is unfortunately where most of mine fall, since they are mostly novellas) gets you about $0.75. Not much, but better than nothing. Not quite the $2.00 per purchase of that $2.99 priced book, but as I said, better than nothing (which for me is a bunch of days).

The one that most people seem to read is THE INN. If you don’t know anything about it, it’s a story about a high school band and their directors who travel to a music festival in the deep South. They stay at an inn where, unbeknownst to them, some unsavory things are going on. And of course, they fall victim to some of them. Should I say more? Have I said too much? I was inspired (if that’s the right word) by William Malmborg’s story TEXT MESSAGE. In that one he told a story about a mall where some unsavory things are going on and a college student falls victim to some of them. (They’re more different than that suggests.) I thought about a public location that always sort of left me uneasy, and I came up with some of those cheap roadside motels/inns that you find dotting the smaller highways. Lots of them are going out of business, killed by the big chains (like so much stuff in today’s world), but they always seemed a little — seedy — to me. I let my imagination run wild and told a creepy story about…well, go ahead and read it if you want to find out. There’s the link, right over there to the right.

The other story that’s garnered some page reads is my more recent story, ODD MAN OUT. There’s a blog entry somewhere about it, but I wrote a short story by the same title back in the 1990’s for a contest in a reading/writing forum I was part of on Delphi Internet Services. For that contest, we were given a first line and six words, and we had to write a story around them. I rewrote it and published it (with a story called “The House At The Bend in the Road”) in 2013. It was the first short story I ever sold. My friend Rich Siegle did a wonderful cover for the story.

Unfortunately neither it nor the collection it was part of (14 DARK WINDOWS) sold much after that. One day something came over me and I thought I could expand the story into a longer tale, maybe around 7 or 8 thousand words. (The original was about 1600 words.) I’d reuse the cover and republish it. So I did. Gone were the six words (actually I don’t know; they may still be in the story somewhere) and the first line (again, I think it’s still in the story somewhere) and the 1600 word story grew to over 34,000 words. Novella territory.

I have to say that I am probably most proud of that story, of all my works. I think it’s the best. Both THE CAVE and THE INN are good, but this one hits the right notes, in my opinion. You’ll have to read it to determine if you agree with me. Again, there’s the link, right there over on the right side of the page. Or you can go to “My Books” above and find the link there. Or just search up “Scott Dyson” on Amazon. I, and it, will pop up like magic!

I went on a publishing frenzy there for a couple months, publishing three distinct works. ODD MAN OUT was one of those. The others were my first novel-length project, RECIPROCAL EVIL, and another novella called THE NEVER ENDING NIGHT. But I don’t have anything new ready to release. That’s not to say I’m not writing. I’m working on a bunch of stuff, all at once. Whatever strikes my fancy, I go with. There is a followup to THE STRIKER FILES that is written in first draft form, and I’m working on another sequel in that world. I’m also working on a post-apocalyptic novel where all the adults are dead, leaving kids primarily under 18 years old. Then there’s a story about the moon crashing into the earth. It’s got it all. Impending disaster and a post-apocalyptic feel, a government agent who isn’t what he presents himself as, a pretty young college professor, kids who are pissed off, a battered ex-wife and her crazed ex-husband, and a serial killer who might just be something else. What, you ask? Use your imagination. It’s a really full moon, after all.

If you have KU, please try one of those books. If you don’t, they’re priced at $2.99, and I’m about to do a promotion for ODD MAN OUT, probably a Kindle Countdown Deal. So nothing I’ve written will break the bank. And you might just like it!

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