Spooky Inspiration

( Welcome, Coffin Hoppers! Prizes. Ghost story. )

I’m not surprised the sexy gypsy won the costume contest, but you were robbed. Your costume is more authentic, especially the way your innards dangle over your belt. How are you getting your eyes so glassy?

Okay, not much of a talker, are you?

The keg’s just been replaced. Now it’s Devil’s Backbone, named for a road near Austin that’s claimed its share of travelers. Guys who probably look about as bad as you do, now that I think of it!

It’s funny stuff like this, the little coincidences or glimpses that inspire the horror I write. Stolen Climates is the Muse-child of a few major artistic inspirations. Since you’re so quiet, and the line for beer is long, I’ll fill the space by telling you about one.

front porch of Hill HouseI love The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson. I enjoy the supernatural aspects of the story, but what really captures my imagination is the main character’s stubborn insistence on fabricating a better, more interesting version of herself. She lies to everyone, building a story of a life that doesn’t exist. Just as I pluck details from the chimera of reality to weave my tales, so too did Jackson’s character. Her stone lions and ‘cup of stars’ make cameos in Stolen Climates. My character, Prentice Feyerbach, is the male, iPhone-toting version of Jackson’s character. That’s why I include a copy of The Haunting of Hill House in the ‘I Won the Grand Prize!’ Scream; they are companion pieces, meant to match up like two stone lions on a high-rise balcony.

Where did that guy with the bad-ass fatal car crash costume go? You didn’t see him? He was right here a moment ago…

Don’t forget you can get a free ebook edition of Stolen Climates just by leaving me a comment that includes the phrase, “Mother Nature isn’t just a metaphor.”

May you find your blue cup full of stars,



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10 thoughts on “Spooky Inspiration

  1. Another great post, Aniko. I love The Haunting of Hill House too, not least for the thin, blurred line that exists between Eleanor’s mind and events in the outside world. I didn’t see the connection with Prentice when I was reading Stolen Climates, but all becomes clear now…

    I’m going away on a little Autumn trip tomorrow, so I won’t be able to comment for a few days, but I hope you enjoy the rest of the Coffin Hop (and, indeed, Halloween). May your blue cup be full of stars too!


  2. I was working on a short story that has since been rather neglected which also had to do with the idea that Mother Nature isn’t just a metaphor. In it, she was getting divorced from Father Time, and humans were deciding who was going to get custody (but of course we didn’t know it..they were just tallying up what each human chose to pay attention to- technology or nature). If father time won, he was going to whisk everyone away to a natureless planet made of machines and fake trees, manufactured oxygen. If she won, we’d be on earth, but without technology and measurements that he gave us. I never finished it but I like thinking about mother nature!


  3. Ooh what a great addition to the “I Won the Grand Prize Scream” 🙂
    You had me at ghost story 😉
    Can’t wait to see what next you come up with!

    – Kim


  4. This is three times this morning, I’ve heard about the Haunting of Hill House. I must look for it. There’s just something about reading a spooky book or watching a scary movie at Halloween >> tradition! LOL



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