Valentine’s Day is officially over, and if you’ve
had your fill of love and romance for a while, why not curl up with a horror
As you may know, February is “Women in Horror”
month. To celebrate, I’m blogging about my “disturbing” novella, Nightmare in
the North and my 2023 horror/thriller The Route 9 Killer.
in the North is a cautionary tale about traveling
alone in the winter and trusting strangers.
NIGHTMARE IN THE NORTH
Stranded during a violent blizzard, Mark hikes to
the only house nearby. George, a well-mannered University professor, welcomes
Mark and gives him shelter from the storm.
By morning, Mark suspects that everything isn’t what
it seems. George’s adult daughter, Kate, who also lives in the house, shares a
disturbing and unsettling tale. When questioned, George insists that Kate has a
psychological issue and can’t be trusted to tell the truth.
Mark quickly finds himself caught in a game of cat
and mouse. Who should he believe? Is Kate’s desperate plea for help sincere?
Should he be suspicious of George? Or are both of them plotting something together?
Isolated from everyone, Mark is forced to wait out
the storm—and find a way to escape—if he hopes to make it out alive.
So… how did this novella come about? Believe it or
not, I wrote a version of this story for my eighth grade English class. The
assignment was to write a short story – and boy, did I! The original version
was much shorter and less detailed, but the basic premise was there. I’m not
sure what my English teacher thought when she read it, but I got an A.
I grew up in upstate New York where winters can be
brutal and last a long time. It can be an isolated place, and sometimes you
could be snowed in for days. I decided to use that as the backdrop to the
story, throw in some strange characters, and add a little mystery. After I
submitted the story for my English class, I pretty much forgot about it.
Then, in January of 2018 I drove to Vermont in a
snowstorm. I was in the car for 12 hours, and naturally, my mind started to
wander… I wanted to write a new horror story, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted
to write. As I was driving, I thought back to the original story and decided to
rewrite it – to tell the story the way it needed to be told.
I changed the opening, moved the setting to Vermont,
and filled in all the details and backstory that set the tone. The ending of
the new version is slightly different from the original, but it’s not off by
much. I added an epilogue (of sorts) to the end, and spent about twenty minutes
getting the last line just right. After reading Nightmare in the North,
my husband said it was well written and it drew you in, but it was “twisted”
and “disturbing” – I consider that high praise!
Nightmare in the North here:
All other platforms: https://www.books2read.com/u/m2vqOk
Read reviews here: https://www.kelliwilkins.com/nightmare-in-the-north
Route 9 Killer was released in 2023, and it’s been a
long time coming. Years ago I had an idea for a serial killer/thriller story
that was sparked by something simple: I was driving somewhere and saw a woman’s
shoe lying in the road.
I started wondering about the shoe and then an idea hit
me. It was a simple “What if…” premise: What if a woman was abducted and the
only evidence left behind was her shoe in the road? I bounced this idea off of
a few people, and they scoffed. “Who cares about a shoe? Why would anything
think someone was abducted based on a shoe?” But, when I explained my story
idea, they were intrigued.
As the title implies, the book is a mystery/thriller
involving a serial killer. The hero, Detective Jim Rourke, thinks he’s
discovered a serial killer operating in Central New Jersey. The only problem
is, nobody believes him. The women are abducted from different towns in the
same county, and their bodies are dumped in different towns in another county.
This makes it hard for the police to connect the crimes or even see a pattern.
To them, the killings are random.
See if you can solve the mystery of…
The Route 9 Killer
Detective Jim Rourke suspects a serial killer is
hunting women in Central New Jersey. The victims are held captive, brutalized,
then murdered and dumped along deserted stretches of Route 9.
There’s no physical evidence, no witnesses, and the
killer is smart enough to leave no clues.
Rourke is alone on a manhunt, and time is running
out. Eight victims have already fallen prey to this madman.
Can Rourke catch the killer and rescue the next
victim before it’s too late?
your copy here:
All other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/m2qd16
reviews here: https://www.kelliwilkins.com/the-route-9-killer
If you’ve read the book and loved it, please post a
positive review online (no spoilers, please!).
I hope you enjoyed a look at my horror
stories. If you love to be scared (or at least slightly creeped out) be sure to
visit the “Horror, Mystery & More” section of my site https://www.kelliwilkins.com/horror to read about
my other spooky stories.