Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Making of a Halloween Story

I may have mentioned here or on Twitter that travel usually produces creative energy for me. As Halloween approaches, I've been reminded of a Halloween horror story I wrote a few eons back. It's called "Like Candy From a Baby," and it's a tale of an evil man who gets his just desserts, quite literally.

It was eventually slated for an anthology Edward Lee was working on, and he noted it almost made him throw up after he read it. That anthology never came about, but "Like Candy From A Baby" is now available in my collection Scars and Candy.

Dark stories inevitably lead to the question: "Where did you get that idea?"

I don't have a specific nucleus for the story, but it came about after a trip to the World Fantasy Convention in Seattle one year. World Fantasy is always held around Halloween, and I drove down from Alexandria, LA, that year to Robert Petitt's house. He lived in Baton Rouge in those days, before a Louisiana version of the Sons of Anarchy led to his relocation.

From there we drove to New Orleans and hopped a flight to the Northwest, and I read Razored Saddles on the plane, especially, at Robert's urging, Chet Williamson's "Yore Skins's Jes's Soft 'n Purdy He Said."

World Fantasy is a great con, and those were great convention years for me. Tons of friends were always on hand, and activities were non stop.

Robert was always a good traveling companion for me, more outgoing than I and thus better at meeting people. That was the year we met Wayne Allen Sallee, Yvonne Navarro, Beth Massie and many others. Dean Andersson and Nina Romberg were in Seattle that year as well, and many, many cool people were on hand.

When it was over, we headed home, and I was buoyed by the energy of being around new and old friends, kicking around ideas and attending readings and the like.

I'm not sure exactly when the tale sprang into my imagination.

Maybe it was while I slept on Petitt's couch and dreamed, but at any rate, as I started home I had a Halloween tale in mind and I picked up a pocket tape recorder I kept with me in those days and dictated the first lines about an awful man named Frank Church who had insidious plans for a Halloween house of horrors.

It's about an hour and a half from Baton Rouge to Alexandria. By the time I'd made the trip, I had a story on my tape recorder. It was a little verbose and badly worded in parts, but I transcribed and polished later.

Maybe creativity is confluence.


Charles Gramlich said...

There are some names I remember, Robert Petitt, Razored Saddles. What an awesome collection.

mbiencegroup said...

Quite effective info, thank you for this post.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...