Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Kelli's Quill Newsletter - Big October Issue!

Kelli’s Quill

Welcome Autumn Issue!

October 2015


I hope everyone is enjoying the lovely fall weather. Halloween is just around the corner, and you know what that means for me... yes, “the most wonderful time of the year!”

This month the Quill is devoted to everything spooky and strange! We’re spotlighting my two new horror stories, the Moonshadows horror anthology, offering advice on how to write horror, and more.

It’s another double issue, so let’s get started!


Just Released – Two Horror Stories

In late August, Kelli released a new Halloween-themed horror story, Kropsy's Curse!

Late one Halloween night, two young boys venture into a secluded graveyard in the hopes of conjuring up a spirit. Although Kyle is skeptical and would rather be home eating candy and watching horror movies, he reluctantly goes along with Jerry’s plan. He doesn’t believe Ouija boards work—until this one starts spelling out a message…

This 1500-word short story is a cautionary tale about playing with a Ouija board in a graveyard and is only $.99 on Kindle:

Spend a night in the land of the dead with Kelli’s horror novella, Dead Til Dawn.

Disturbing the dead doesn’t prove you’re brave – it proves you’re stupid.

After touring Gettysburg battlefield, Jessica, Tim, and Steve decide to sneak out to the Devil’s Den for some late-night fun. Jessica’s friend Kathy objects, and warns them about trespassing where they’re not wanted.

Undaunted by ghost stories and fueled by his own arrogance, Tim races toward the Devil’s Den. When the group drives through mysterious battlefield fog, they find themselves surrounded by Civil War soldiers looking for a little fun of their own.

Kathy leaves the others to fend for themselves and flees to Little Round Top. Although she’s rescued by a kindhearted Union solider named Charlie, she refuses to believe that what she’s experiencing is real. As the nighttime battle rages on, Charlie introduces Kathy to other weary soldiers, and she quickly realizes she’s trapped in the land of the dead until dawn.

Love Halloween-themed horror? Don’t miss Moon Shadows! 
 It’s a collection of 17 tales of terror that take place on and around Halloween.

In the dark of night, the moon is bright.
But what lurks in the shadows will give you a fright.

These stories touch the unknown, the unseen, and the undead. Visit what we avoid. Step into the shadows of the moon. 

My seasonal story, “Home for Halloween” appears in this horror anthology. This tale of two brothers reunited for Halloween showcases the best elements of this special holiday. (And if you know me, you know it really is special!) 

Kelli’s horror fiction has also appeared in these anthologies:

Want more even horror? Read Kelli's interviews about horror writing here:
Interview with Patrick Greene
5 Quintessential Questions
Interview with Killion Slade

Kelli also talked with Dark Moon Books about her horror writing. Read the interview here:

You Can Write Horror – Really!

Here’s an excerpt from Kelli’s blog about writing horror. Read the full post here:

Horror readers want to be scared (or at least made to feel nervous), so start scaring people on page one. Use a clever hook, details, and setting to pull readers in. Start with a pool of blood on the floor or give us all the details of your haunted house. Let readers experience what it feels like to be chased across a field by a werewolf.

In horror, you can write almost anything and get away with it. Play on childhood fears and things people hate (or are afraid of). Here’s a short list: clowns, creepy dolls, being buried alive, stuffed moose heads, basements, closets, the dark…

As you write, keep the tension and suspense constant. Enhance anticipation and fear in layers. Your novel or short story needs twists and turns to keep the reader engaged and wondering, “What happens next?” Be sure to end scenes (and/or chapters) with a cliffhanger or other danger.

If your antagonist is a monster (of the non-human variety) you must believe your monster is real (whether he’s a vampire, a werewolf, or a slimy sewer creature). If you don’t write the creature believably, readers won’t buy into it. Make your monster as real as any other human character and show him in action.

Because your monster is not human, it’s okay for readers to hate him. They should know he’s bad news from the start of the story, so make him awful. You don’t want readers (or other characters) sympathizing with your monster—you want them to fear him.

TIP: Don’t mix monsters. Only include one primary monster or menace in your writing. Don’t have vampires, werewolves, zombies, and demons running around in the same story, attacking a town during a full moon on Halloween. It’s overkill—and not in a good way.

If your monster is human (serial killer), depict him at his worst. Don’t shy away from showing him doing really bad, socially unacceptable things. Horror stories are generally dark and explore themes and ideas that expose the bad side of people. If you’re not comfortable going to “the dark side” to write terrifying stuff, you may want to consider writing thrillers or suspense stories.

Get more writing advice, tips, and fun exercises in You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction:

I hope you’ve enjoyed this issue of Kelli’s Quill. I enjoy hearing from readers and other writers, so contact me with questions or comments on my site or via social media.

Like my Facebook page and see what’s new. 

You can find all of my writings on my Amazon author page:

Happy Haunting!


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Moon Shadows - A Halloween-themed Anthology

Hi everyone!

It’s that time of year again. Yes, October is upon us and my thoughts naturally turn to the changing leaves, apple cider, warm cinnamon doughnuts, and of course, Halloween!

Today, I’m sharing a bit about a Halloween-themed anthology titled Moon Shadows.

In the dark of night, the moon is bright.
But what lurks in the shadows will give you a fright.

Seventeen stories touch the unknown, the unseen, and the undead. Visit what we avoid. Step into the shadows of the moon. 

My seasonal story, “Home for Halloween” appears in this Moon anthology. This tale of two brothers reunited for Halloween showcases the best elements of this special holiday. (And if you know me, you know it really is special!)

Here’s an excerpt from “Home for Halloween”:

Kyle cradled the giant pumpkin in his hands as he walked down the street. His thin arms jutted out from his black vampire cape, and he bit his bottom lip as he concentrated. Not far to go, now, he told himself. The heavy gourd stretched his aching muscles all the way to the ground, but it was worth it.

Mrs. MacLaughlin had thrown a Halloween party for his fifth grade class today. She’d read ghost stories and talked about the history of Halloween while they made paper cut-outs of ghosts and Jack O’Lanterns. After lunch, they ate bat-shaped sugar cookies with black icing and sang a Halloween song about five little pumpkins sitting on a gate. At the end of the day, everyone got a bag of candy to take home, and the king of all pumpkins was raffled off to one lucky kid. He couldn’t believe it when his name was called. It was the first thing he’d ever won.

Kyle stopped to take a break and squinted toward the setting sun. A breeze ruffled his hair, and his cape swirled in the wind. The maple trees had tossed off all their leaves last week. Orange and brown husks skittered around his feet.

He loved autumn. The crisp air held a sense of magic and wonder. Part of him longed to linger, to take it all in and make this perfect moment last forever, but he had to hurry home. Tonight was special. It was Halloween.

Every Halloween, Mom forced him to sit at the kitchen table and eat dinner like it was a regular night when all he wanted was to race out the door and start trick-or-treating. Mom didn’t have to be at the diner until nine tonight, so they could stay out even later than usual. Even though he begged every year, Mom never let him go out trick-or-treating by himself. “Too many maniacs creeping around,” she said. 

A car horn blared from behind him, and he turned as an old green Buick pulled to the curb. 

“Hey kid, need a ride?”

And if you love horror, don’t miss my new Kindle-exclusive releases: Kropsy’s Curse:

(You can read more about them on this blog and my site.)

My horror fiction has also appeared in these anthologies:


Happy Haunting!