I’ve been quiet about this for too long. Mostly because I’ve been working so busily on it! But finally it is time to tell you about BEYOND THE WAIL, my first editing project through Xchyler Publishing.
A play set turns life around for Martin Taper, but things take a turn for the worse when he neglects it and the lonely child obsessed with it.
As editor of the anthology, I can tell you that when I read ‘The Diorama’ I knew it was going to be one of the scariest in the collection. Bendix has a way of casting a dark foreboding that just goes deeper and deeper as the story unfolds. Unlike many stories, there is nothing cliche about about the strange circumstances that Bendix’s character Martin Taper finds himself in. In contrast, Martin himself personifies the experiences we have all faced in our lives when struggling through mundane and seemingly endless drudgeries of life. This makes the story all the more intriguing when those mundanities take a sudden turn toward the terrifying.
Q/A with Sebastian Bendix:
- How did you come up with the concept of your story?
I had the great pleasure of being a co-author in the anthology in which Johnathan Alvey made his first public appearance. Now, the amazing Mr. R. M. Ridley has started us on the dark road that will follow Alvey through the White Dragon Black series of novels. Ridley’s latest work, Blondes, Books and Bourbon, brings us back to the short story format in a collection of stories from within the White Dragon Black universe and staring your favorite embittered, brooding detective, Johnathan Alvey.
I’ll be honest, the level of dark paranormal and surprisingly detailed real-world mysticism in the WDB series is on the edge of what my sensitive self can handle. But then again, so are some of the things that I write myself… It is really Ridley’s talented writer that keeps me coming back for more. What I really love about Ridley’s writing, is that it’s not all about the magic and the occult. At it’s heart WDB is really about the life and struggle of Alvey, trying to make a difference, while struggling with the figurative inner demons that threaten to slowly strangle him (though there are also plenty of not-so figurative demons with the same goal).
Blondes, Books and Bourbon is an excellent example of this Ridley’s character driven writing. While Alvey is constantly faced with supernatural doings his most impressive solutions are those where he engages his Sherlock quality wit and Continue reading
Some of you may have read this before,but I want to announce the publishing of the followup to my short story, ‘The Death of Marcus Wells’ on my own blog. This piece of flash fiction is both the epilogue to my published short story and an excerpt of the novel I am working on titled ‘Jagerund’. Please enjoy!
It was late when Emily tiptoed into the room. Unlike most of the other rooms in the abandoned monastery, this one was well-lit. Several oil lamps surrounded the table on which the corpse laid and pushed back the darkness that seeped from the stone walls.
Marcus’ back was to her, his shaggy light coloured hair hung over his eyes as he bowed his head toward the table. So engrossed in his work was he that didn’t notice her enter. His forceps moved methodically, gently separating the human flesh from the parasite that had infiltrated the now deceased body.
She cleared her throat gently. Read more->
The recording device from which this transcript came was recently found on a church doorstep near Salem Massachusetts. It involves a conversation between J. Aurel Guay and author A.F. Stewart. The whereabouts of Dr. Guay are still unknown.
Aurel: Hello Ms. Stewart, it was so good of you to accept my invitation for an interview. Although I must say, your choice of setting here in this centuries old cemetery, under a full moon is a little… unorthodox. Fortunately, I’ve brought along a little picnic basket. Help yourself to a fruit tart and a glass of wine, and we will begin.
Stewart: Oh, blackberry and sour cherry tarts. My favourite flavours. I’ll pass on the wine, though, as I don’t imbibe. I’ve also brought something, my own little delectable delicacy, Deviled Egg Eyeballs (holds out a container of deviled eggs in the shape of bloodshot eyeballs). Care for one?
Aurel: Don’t mind if I do! As I understand it, you have just released a new work of fiction and are celebrating with gifts to your readers. What can you tell us about it?
Stewart: My new book is a Continue reading
Here’s what the pre-Readers have had to say about ‘The Death of Dr. Marcus Wells’
- The biggest highlight for me, however, was the final story. “The Death of Dr Markus Wells” is a truly spectacular piece of fiction that will thrill and horrify you in equal measure, and it was a fine note to end the collection on.
- “The Death of Dr. Marcus Wells” by J. Aurel Guay – this is the one story in the collection that I wish had been expanded into a novella or even a full-length novel. Guay builds a world with a creepy Victorian vibe – think Drood-era Dickens – and then populates it with creepy viral monsters. The story is great fun, but there are enough unanswered questions that this reader, at least, hopes Guay will revisit this world and its stories in the future.
- “The Death of Dr. Marcus Wells” read like it could have been the pilot for a cool, uncanny drama on TV.
- I especially enjoyed E. Brandon Hart’s hysterical, irreverent short “Ghost Townies,” and the Gothic, sumptuously plotted “The Death of Marcus Wells” by J. Aurel Guay. A hearty “recommend” from this reader.”
- From the beginnings and a bogey man to a closing full of were-folk, this collection has it all. A great read for a great price! “China Doll” and “The Death of Dr. Marcus Wells” are my favorites.
- I bought this book because a colleague of mine wrote one of the short stories (The death of Dr. Marcus Wells). Needless to say that I read this one first. I really enjoyed all the detail he put in there. He managed to set the scene well without using to many words. Thank God the ending does not leave me with any nightmares! 🙂 I am looking forward to reading the other short stories from this collection as well.
- I liked each story and having “The Death of Marcus Wells” at the end was the “piece de resistance”! Of course, I am a bit biased, as the author J. Aurel Guay, is my son! (Thanks Mom 🙂 )
- I especially liked your London vernacular
- THAT was my favorite
- The Death of Dr. Marcus Wells was a great story–looking forward to the novel that I assume is coming
Beware of the dark this Halloween. ‘Shades and Shadows: A Paranormal Anthology’ will be knocking at your door.
You are all cordially invited to our virtual launch party for Shades and Shadows featuring my story ‘The Death of Dr. Marcus Wells’. What is a virtual launch party you ask? Well simply follow the link below to the Facebook page on October 31st at 7 PM (EST) to find out! All the authors will be on the page posting live. We will have contests for prizes and swag, discussion of each book and lots of fun! Please join us, show your support and win some prizes!
Oh, and did I mention that SyFy’s Ben Hansen, writer of the forward for our anthology, will be there?
This is what the editors are calling “paranormal anthology” – not necessarily ghost stories, though. Think more along the lines of Neil Gaiman or Stephen King. I find that most short story collections are something of a mixed bag – even single author collections – and this anthology is no exception. The quality of the writing is a bit uneven in that some authors clearly have more experience/talent/better editors. However, even where the writing isn’t necessarily as polished, the stories themselves are imaginative and entertaining. The good ones are very, very good, and the bad ones easily skipped. For this reviewer, only two stories were real clunkers (sadly, the first story in the collection is one of these so if you, like me, find it hard to get through please keep going) and the rest highly enjoyable. Overall, I’d say the collection is well worth a read.
My favorites, all by authors I’d happily read more from:
“China Doll” by Ginger C. Mann – am I allowed to call a tale that includes tragic accidents and death charming? What about one with a kindly mysterious old man who fixes toys with magic, and helps a young girl to realize her own talents in that area? I think that’s ok, right? So a charming little story, drew me right in.
“Child of the Underworld” by Marian Rosarum – If Nathaniel Hawthorne, Neil Gaiman and Edgar Allan Poe sat down to write a short story, this is the sort of thing they would come up with. Deliciously creepy and otherworldly and sad.
“Tombstone” by Scott E. Tarbet – hilarious ghost story about a cranky old farmer/murder victim who haunts his own property. Laugh-out-loud funny, especially if you happen to know any old farmers.
“The Death of Dr. Marcus Wells” by J. Aurel Guay – this is the one story in the collection that I wish had been expanded into a novella or even a full-length novel. Guay builds a world with a creepy Victorian vibe – think Drood-era Dickens – and then populates it with creepy viral monsters. The story is great fun, but there are enough unanswered questions that this reader, at least, hopes Guay will revisit this world and its stories in the future.