Sunday, October 06, 2013

A Halloween Story: Watched - YA Horror Thriller Kindle Exclusive

For a while, I've been meaning to revise a short story I wrote in the universe of the Michael August novels.

Those YA books are all set at Pembrook High, and in the original outlines there was more of a unifying thread. My editor at the time decided against recurring characters, so the tales are loosely connected. Sometimes characters from one book pass through the pages of another, but each novel stands alone.

One Halloween, around the time those were new, I wrote a short story for a newspaper's youth section.

It focused on Brianne Pratt, a creative young woman who had to deal with a stalker while planning a big Halloween bash for Pembrook High.

When Crossroad Press began reissuing the Michael August novels, I knew I wanted to revisit that story. Newspapers don't have a lot of room for word count, so the original version was brief. I wanted to expand it a bit, but other things kept getting in the way.

It bubbled up in my memory last year when a producer expressed interest in possibly adapting the Pembrook High stories into a series of TV movies in the vein of Pretty Little Liars with a little more Goosebumps flavor.

All of the Pembrook storylines came into the discussion even though New Year's Evil, with a holiday theme, would have been the first to be filmed. One thought was to have all of the stories set on holidays, so "Someone's Watching" would have fit in nicely.

Sadly, Hollywood didn't get a chance to twist and mangle the novels the way say Stanley Kubrick did The Shining. Financing was not available from the cable network to which things were pitched. They had too many other spokes spinning at the moment. Those dollars were needed as the foundation for foreign rights sales and other revenue sources that would have made everything possible.

So it goes. Figured it was a long shot.

At least I'd pulled my original story out of the file cabinet. I began expanding a little, focusing on more of Brianne's ups and downs with parents, teachers and school administrators. While forced to look over her shoulder constantly, she also had to deliver a Halloween dance that wouldn't come off as lame to students while not offending sensitive parents. And of course, the stalker just wouldn't go away.

It was fun to visit Pembrook High again and walk those halls anew. It was almost like a nostalgic trip back to a school I really attended.

The new tale is now available in a Kindle exclusive, just in time for Halloween, of course. Get it here for Kindle, and of course, if you don't own one, it can always be read online with Amazon's Cloud Reader.

Purchase here.


Charles Gramlich said...

Picked up my copy. Hope I'll have some time to read it soon.

Sidney said...

Appreciate it!

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