(Complete dispatch of my September e-mail newsletter)
In This Issue: September 2005
Welcome to the latest installment of Horror Stories by Kailleaugh Andersson. Currently, there are over 2600 souls receiving this newsletter, which makes it all the more worthwhile and I would like to thank each and every one of you have signed up in recent weeks.
If you are receiving this newsletter this means that either you, or someone using your email address has requested a subscription. Either that, or I know you well enough to think you’ll be interested!
In this particular issue, I am including a little bit of book news relating to a very important charity and of course, an original story for your reading enjoyment. If you like, you can just skip down to the story, but I wouldn’t recommend that!
Homeward Bound ...
No, it's not the Disney movie about lost pets having a big adventure, but the fact that my wife and I are moving. For me, it's going home, for Alex it's moving to a new country. Though I rarely (if ever) include any personal matters outside of writing in here, this is one of those rare exceptions simply because it is such a big event for us.
As a few of you know, I'm originally from Oregon, but for the last three years, Alex and I have lived in the Grampian region of Northern Scotland where she is originally from. On October 11th we will be flying from here, down to London and then back over Scotland, across the North Pole and then into the Pacific Northwest.
Needless to say, I am more than anxious to get home.
In any event, we have a new three bedroom house on a little bit of property waiting for us. Technically, at the moment, we have a hole waiting for us, but the foundation is expected to be poured on Monday and hopefully the house will be ready by time we get back.
And once home, we intend to get some serious writing done opposed to slacking off like we've been doing. Alex wants to take her screenwriting career further, while I will be happy just writing more often.
Either way, the next time you hear from me, I'll be far away from here, at least!
Hurricane Katrina Victims Benefit
As certainly all of you are aware, during the last few weeks, the city of New Orleans, as well as other areas of the Deep South have been devestated by a crippling Category 4 hurricane that has plunged the region into chaos. Hundreds are dead and tens of thousands are now homeless.
In October of 2004, the combination of editor C. Dennis Moore and the people at Scrybe Press hatched a concept for an anthology of horror stories called "The Book of Monsters" that was intended to bring together original fiction about Old World monsters. My wife, Alex Severin, and I were invited to contribute a traditional vampire story to the anthology, which we gladly did, since Dennis is a long time online friend (and a very good writer, in his own right, to boot). We co-wrote a traditional Slavic tale set in the Ukraine during the reign of Ivan "The Terrible" called "To Rise From The Grave".
As one official 5 star reviewer put it, Alex and I's contribution is:
"an awe-inspiring piece called "To Rise from the Grave". An ancient Slavic custom has a woman sacrifice herself over the death of her lover. When death does not satisfy her devotion, she looks to another to complete the final task. Somewhere between poetic and haunting, it has a strong emotional base."
In addition to our own inclusion, there are also nine other authors featured in "The Book of Monsters".
I am pleased to announce, that following in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, every included author featured in "The Book of Monsters" has agreed to contribute their royalties to the American Red Cross for the Hurricane Katrina victims benefit.
As the book is currently on sale at Amazon.com for $10.17 a copy, I would like to encourage everyone to pick up a copy of "The Book of Monsters". Not only is it a great book, but it is a great cause to help some people very much in need, as well. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0974834092/ultimaterarebree
Due to the hard work of a kind reader, Wanda Rivera of Mexico, in the near future Kailleaugh.com will also be featuring some Spanish translations. As I don't speak any Spanish (only some Russian, some German and a very small bit of Czech and Romanian), without Wanda's help, it would have never been possible to reach more readers in Central America and elsewhere.
With that in mind, I'd like to extend a special thank you to Wanda for her kind offer and hard work.
In the last installment I mentioned my next book, which is the soon to be published "Oregon Ghosts and Urban Legends". As the title implies, it's a work of non-fiction that retells many ghost stories and urban legends from Oregon. The book will be released soon from Our House Press of Houston, Texas and will be available through all major online booksellers. (If you would like your local bookstore to stock it, please e-mail me the name and location of your favorite local bookstore and I will pass those details on to my publisher. E-mail to: MassacrePubl@aol.com ).
This time around I am pleased to feature a story from the un-edited manuscript "Oregon Ghosts and Urban Legends" called "The Runner". For the most part, it's an urban legend opposed to a genuine ghost story and is set in the county north of where we are moving to.
If you like the story, please feel free to tell me what you think of it!
Myrtle Creek is a small town of 3500 people that is hidden amongst the thick forests of Douglas County in Southern Oregon. Historically, this area is timber country and even before Myrtle Creek’s incorporation as a town in 1893, generations of locals have made their livelihood in the logging industry. At the height of the timber industry in this area just after the Second World War, there were over 275 mills in Douglas County. Even today, a fair share of Myrtle Creek’s economy continues to come as a result of its surrounding forest lands, though today, it is mostly about tourism opposed to lumber. Of particular interest in the town for visitors, is Horse Creek Covered Bridge, which is one of the best restored covered bridges in the state. Myrtle Creek is also now home to a particularly fine golf course, which also attracts tourist dollars into the local economy. Not surprisingly, Myrtle Creek is also the home of at least one well known ghost story.
According to local legend, during the late 1960’s, a young man by the name of Jared Morgan who attended nearby Umpqua Community College moved to Myrtle Creek. It is said that he had a profound love of not only jogging, but also the surrounding forests and that daily, he would run in the woods during the twilight hours. Jared Morgan was also an environmental activist who often spoke out at town council meetings about the dangers of de-forestation in Douglas County. At the time, as there was so little interest in conservation, most of the townspeople did not take him seriously, while others treated him as a pariah for his views. Many of those who worked in local mills saw him as a threat to their way of life and developed a very deep-seeded hatred for the man.
One evening, a group of men who worked in the local mills came back empty handed to their camp after a day of hunting. Having started drinking beer and being very discouraged by the lack of game, the hunters became very excited after one spotted a sudden movement on a nearby hill. After following the movement with the scopes on their rifles, they soon noted that it was Jared Morgan out for his nightly run. As the hunters disliked him for his views, the group agreed that they should have a bit of entertainment at his expense by firing their rifles at him to scare him. But as the men turned their guns into Jared’s direction, one man among the group, took it much further and trained the crosshairs of his scope onto the young man’s head. When the hunters open fired, a single bullet struck Jared Morgan through the skull and killed him instantly.
As the night wore on and the hunters began to sober up, fear of legal retribution for murder began to set in among the group. The men quickly concocted a story that due to the twilight, distance and thick wilderness obstructing their view, they had mistaken Jared Morgan for a deer and had killed him by accident. As the local community had not been fond of Jared Morgan’s views, the men were acquitted of murder by a jury and very little was said about the incident after that.
In the years to follow, strange stories began to circulate that something very weird was going on in the local hills during the twilight hours. Hunters began to relate strange tales about a man dressed in a blue sweatshirt and green pants who interfered with their hunts. Many of them reported that just as they began to sight in their scopes on game, that a man would run a few feet in front of the deer to block their shot. What was even stranger was that many hunters noted that the deer were not startled by the man’s appearance and would continue to go about their business as if they did not see the man. Other hunters, waiting in tree stands for deer to appear from out of the tree line at twilight, have spotted the figure running along the foot of mountain ridges in plain view, while others have spotted him running along the road toward town.
Is a nature-loving ghost harassing hunters in Douglas County’s forests? Could it be, that even in death, Jared Morgan’s spirit is still protecting the forests he loved to jog in while he was still alive?
After researching Oregon’s Death Index which lists all deaths and burials in Oregon from 1903 to present, the author could not find a record for a Jared Morgan or even a J. Morgan as having died in Douglas County between 1940 to 1980. As a consequence, it is safe to say that the above story is an urban legend opposed to one grounded in reality. It is quite likely that there never was a Jared Morgan, let alone a cover-up of a murder of an environmentalist in Myrtle Creek during the 1960’s.
But just the same, if Jared Morgan never existed and there was no murder, who (or more importantly) what, is responsible for scaring hunters in Douglas County?
Sat, Jun. 11th, 2005, 05:47 am
Okay, so some of you have known for quite some time, that I've been working on a novel called (working title) "Dom" or "Dominique" (or rather those of you among the 2200+ of you who are on my mailing list know this).
For all intents and purposes, "Dom" is a vampire novel that ties into some of my older work like "On The Inside, Looking Out...", "Inside Closed Eyes", "Sometimes, In The Rain", "Twin Souls: Fated" and "In The End", most of which were written during the mid to late 1990's. To this day, most of that work is still very close to my heart and never has moved that far into the corner of my mind. "Inside Closed Eyes" and "On The Inside ..." also happen to be two of the three most popular and most widely appreciated stories I've written, even though the rarely seen "Sometimes, In The Rain" was always my favorite. In some ways, "Dom" is actually a continuation of "On The Inside..." as the character of Belinda in "Dom" was the un-named girl in "On The Inside...". Much the same way, the story in "Twin Souls: Fated" becomes part of the general urban myth in the world that "Dom" is set in.
And speaking of the world itself, it's the same setting as these other stories. Ultimately, that means that the setting is about as bleak as they come simply because governments have collapsed and corporations have disintegrated as a result of a perpetual heat wave. Food and water is scarce, while the only law is that the strongest survive. In a nutshell, society has collapsed and the world is dying. To get a good idea of the world, just picture in your mind, for one moment, what Death Valley might look like if you turned Tim Burton and his set designers loose on the place for a month. If you can picture that, you might come close to how I envision it. And what's worse (or good, some of you will say) is that these changes have flushed an entire culture of vampires out of hiding to the point that everyone knows that they exist, which is the same theme explored in "ICE" and "On The Inside".
Either way, I am pleased to announce that the first and second chapters of "Dom" are currently being reviewed by a publisher on the mainland of Europe (who's name I won't mention - not yet) for a possible release later this year. We should know what they think of it very, very soon.
Everybody cross their fingers.
Earlier this year, Alex Severin
and I were commissioned to co-write a screenplay with Nathan Atkins
[Murder Without Conviction, McBride: The Chameleon Murders, Toolbox Murders,] and Martin Mayo
[ Titanic, Frost: Portrait of a Vampire, Discipline,) for Life on Mars Entertainment. Contracts have been signed and casting begins soon.
At Most Fear (WT,) a feature-length supernatural horror movie, will be directed by Martin Mayo
Watch for it later this year.
Okay, the headstones on this blog template were really cool, but seemed to be cluttering the interface up and making everything difficult to read.
Everyone say goodbye to them, because they're going.
Quite recently I've been giving my writing a great deal of thought.
I've got over fifteen years tied up in this; had my first publishing credit in NW Underground Zine at the age of 17 in 1989. I've come a very long way in that time.
Over those last fifteen years I've struggled between the idea of writing what I prefer to write and writing what I thought others seem to prefer to want to read. For me, writing what I prefer to write is writing in my original style. Leon Shuk, who ran NW Underground magazine out of Portland back in the late 80's and early 90's (and before that) dubbed it as "Modern Gothic" due to the usage of (often) urban or suburban settings and the sort of descriptive language being employed. For me, it also meant use of a darker content, and to me, that meant a lot of very broody, very melancholy and often very dreamy characters, settings and narration. Quite often, this sort of stuff liked to masquerade as vampire fiction or even werewolf fiction, but it typically went deeper than that. There really was an underlying current of political ideas/statements running through that subgenre.
That is contrary to the sort of stuff I wrote for others and we'll call that typical "horror fiction", which I often labored over.
And I'm just no longer going to do it.
That means that I'm going to cease, from this day forward, writing what I term horror fiction.
Ultimately, that means a return to my original style, settings and content, some non-fiction and things of a slightly more manic nature.
In the meantime, I banged out about 1500 words of "Dom" last night with limited effort, bringing it up to about 7000 words.
And I'm happy with it - which is the important thing.
Fri, May. 13th, 2005, 05:21 am
I keep meaning to update this thing but never seem to find the time.
Now that it's been plugged back into the web site, I am really going to have to make a sincere effort to use it regularly.
With everything going on, it is just one more thing that needs done.
Fri, May. 13th, 2005, 05:11 am
Those of you who have been reading for some length of time or are regular visitors to my official web site know that the bulk of my longer published works have been primarily non-fiction opposed to fiction. With that in mind, I am pleased to announce that in October, Cyber Pulp Books out of Houston, Texas will be releasing my next book “Oregon Ghosts”.
This new book is exactly what the title indicates; it’s a book of genuine ghost stories and urban legends from the state of Oregon. I’ve gathered some of the spookiest and strangest stories from throughout the entire state, and believe me, we have a lot of them in Oregon to choose from! Some examples include the little known tale of the Bandage Man, which is believed to be the ghost of a logger cut to pieces in a mill accident many years ago who is thought to haunt a particular stretch of Old Highway 101 on the Oregon Coast. The Bandage Man is believed to harass passing motorists and kill dogs along this stretch of road which makes for one of Oregon’s more bizarre ghost stories. Others include the Wolf Creek Vampire, the Little Girl of Grants Pass, Oregon’s well known lighthouse ghosts and dozens of others. In an effort to include as many tales in the book as possible, I’ve tried to keep each tale short with the idea of delivering some fast reads for you.
Some of you will know that this book has a particular meaning for me, since despite the fact that I’m currently living in Scotland, Oregon is in fact, my birth state and my home no matter where I may be living at the time. And fortunately, my wife, Alex Severin and I, will be heading back home soon. With that in mind, it is my full intention to be doing some state wide promotion for “Oregon Ghosts”. Hence, if you are from Oregon and would like me to visit your town or city, please drop me an email and include the name and town of your favorite bookstore and hopefully, we can arrange a book signing.
For the most part, “Oregon Ghosts” will be available from top online book sellers such as Amazon.com, but for those of you who would like to obtain “Oregon Ghosts” from your local bookstore, please just send me the name and location of your favorite bookstore and we will contact them about stocking the book. It will also be helpful if you, as a reader, request that your local bookstores stocks the book. Usually, a phone call is all it takes and of course, I appreciate your support.
In the meantime, please stay tuned for the launch of the official “Oregon Ghosts” web site!
I would also like to add, that if “Oregon Ghosts” is half as successful as I hope it to be, you can also count on an entire series of ghost books, likely to be followed by “California Ghosts“ and others.
Maybe your state will be next?
Fri, Dec. 24th, 2004, 10:43 am
I keep meaning to update my main website, but never seem to find the time.
I am currently working on a brand new site layout, but in being someone who never does anything half-ass, the whole layout just grows bigger and bigger. I've got a lot of interests, so my intention at the moment is to bring a few other new things to the site other than my own writing.
Currently working on a new section devoted to the life and work of Edward D. Wood Jr., but as usual, I can't be satisfied with anything simple.
Fri, Dec. 10th, 2004, 10:58 pm
RIP Ed Wood
Today is the 26th anniversary of the death of the most prolific American writer in the latter half of the 20th century: novelist/screenwriter/actor/director/producer Edward D. Wood Jr. (Oct. 10th, 1924 - December 10th, 1978). Though Ed Wood Jr. is best known for his 1959 B Movie classic "Plan 9 From Outer Space", during his short career, Ed Wood also wrote more than 200 books, hundreds of short stories and articles, not too mention over 150 screenplays.
I have been meaning to update Kailleaugh.com for quite awhile now and have finally gotten around to finishing the new template for the site. Despite the new look, it should continue to hold its Google rankings. Hopefully, the entire site will be rebuilt soon enough
Though I can't be bothered to submit any work at the moment (since I'm not convinced that even the major horror markets offer any REAL exposure), I have been writing ferociously.
Besides, the continuing work on "Benediction", I also have three other novels on the go, all at varying stages. That includes "Macabre", which I mentioned in my last newsletter, as well as two others.
The second has a working title of "Dominique" and follows the vein of my earlier work from the mid and late 90's, drawing largely on the same setting, mood and themes from "On the Inside", "Twin Souls Fated" and "Inside Closed Eyes". The main character (the narrator) from "On the Inside" also makes reappearance in "Dominique", but is much more developed and defined in the current work. In the first place, after nearly ten years of her swimming around in my head on a regular basis, I finally named the character. I chose the name "Belinda"; named after my favourite Anne Rice novel (which was written under Anne Rampling), simply because I truly love the character in that book much the same way that other Anne Rice fans adore Lestat, Louis or Claudia. Beyond the addition of a name, the character from OTI has changed but little and follows the same personality, mannerisms and appearance in this new work, but more developed. As well, the events from "Twin Souls Fated" (written in 1995) have also become intertwined into "Dominique" as a local urban legend, while the corrupt street preacher from OTI also makes his reappearance as the antagonist. In a sense, this is all of my best old work coming all together for the first time to create a more complete story.
One new feature is the development of the character Dominique who is known in the book simply as Dom. Although Belinda is the oldest, most thought out character in the tale, Dom has the centre stage as the dominant personality.
Where "Dominique" differs from "On the Inside" or "Inside Closed Eyes" is in the style, simply because this particular story is written in the way that I had always intended OTI, Twin Souls or ICE to have been. In that sense, it actually comes off as having a lot in common stylistically with an unfinished novella entitled "Sometimes, In the Rain" which I wrote in 1996. "Sometimes..." was the best thing I had written at that point (and may still be the best), but at the time, I couldn't keep up what I was doing, so I set it aside and have yet to finish it.
One thing that is certain, is that the people who follow my work and who bother to pass on their thoughts, always mention "On The Inside" and "Inside Closed Eyes" as their favourites, so I think they will be very happy to see that these older themes, characters and settings have made a return in a novel form nearly ten years later after the fact.
That's my hope at least.
And for those of you (the small handful at least), who do know those stories, I will answer the burning question: Yes, it IS a vampire novel, despite the fact that vampire fiction is taking flak from people everywhere at the moment.
In the meantime, there is yet another novel in the works. This one is going to be different from what might be expected being that it is in a completely different genre, but I have to admit that I am very happy with it and will be finishing it before "Dominique". But that's all I'm saying for now.
The next newsletter will be coming out in the next week or so. Currently, there are well over 500 of you who take it each issue and we are well on our way toward 600 subscribers, so thanks to all who have spread the word!