Originally published October 2011
A Coffin Hop Blog
By John Everson
It's the end of October, one of my favorite times of year for many reasons. Here in the Midwest, the trees have all changed color and the parkways are filled with fallen leaves. There's a crispness to the air, and the scents of burning leaves and apple cider crop up without warning. If you drive a country road, you'll see signs for pumpkins, and fields of browned corn husks. It's a bittersweet time - the end of a season - but also a time to hide inside with a good book or sit by a warm fire and tell stories of the past year. Or tell stories of ghosts.
I, naturally, especially like the latter stories the most! This is the week leading up to Halloween, my favorite holiday. I love stories of the macabre, and naturally at this time of year, the "official time" to celebrate the strange and scary... they're everywhere. There's something about a ghost story that just goes perfectly with the crisp nights and piles of dead and dying leaves that the heartland sees in October.
The season just feels like the right time for the skeletal hands of the dead to be slipping from their graves and searching for puchase on the brown piles of leaves to pull themselves out of the earth...
I've written several short stories over the years celebrating this time of year, and Halloween in particular.
One of my first blog tour posts in support of my new novel this month was called A Thing For Pumpkins... as in, "I have a thing for pumpkins". Every year I freehand carve some demonic looking jacks (see photo above), and I've written a few stories dealing with Halloween... and pumpkins in particular. You can read my most popular Halloween story, originally published in 1999 here on the site now -- "Pumpkin Head".
And now, I'm currently promoting my fifth novel -- about a guy who carves pumpkins into the perfect likeness of his victims and then leaves the jack-o-lantern behind in lieu of their heads. It's a book called The Pumpkin Man, and I hope you'll poke around on this website and read a bit about it. You can read the prologue, skim some of the journal entries from the book, check out some of the reviews, and have some fun with the online Ouija Board (a Ouija figures prominently in the story). And of course, join the contest to win free books and CDs. That's my way of doing a bit of adult Trick Or Treat.
This year, I joined a fun cooperative of horror authors who are all posting blogs and contests on their sites for Halloween -- sort of a broad digital Trick Or Treat through the neighborhood of horror writers. It's call the Coffin Hop and is running from today through Halloween.
You can go from site to site all week reading and commenting on posts about the macabre and joining contest. With something like 100 authors participating (including this one), you're bound to end the week with something in your grue-ish candy bag.
So stop by my contest page to try to win a full collection of signed copies of my five novels, as well as a CD by the band New Years Day. Then continue on through the other Coffin Hop "Houses" here: http://www.coffinhop.blogspot.com/
Trick or Treat!