I read three short story horror novels by Jackson Dean Chase a couple of weeks ago. I am not typically your horror reader, but these books caught my interest. I read the first three in the series, but there are more. You can find them all on Amazon, and I believe the first three are free, which is really cool! The reason that these books caught my eye, is that the covers are really intricate and creepy looking. I did not know that they were short stories until I read them, so I was a little surprised that the story ended so quickly. I enjoyed these books, and had to share them with you.
First is Come to the Cemetery, this one creeped me out the most. It starts out with Cara, a high school student who finds out that her friends have died, each one found dead in the graveyard. She goes to the graveyard to finds answers, but what she finds there is even scarier than she could ever imagine
Next in the series is The Werewolf Wants Me. This one was a little too Twilight for me, but I still liked it none the less. Lisa is a good girl, but she has a wild side. When she starts dating Mark, she unleashes his animal instinct so to speak.
The third book in this short story series is The Haunting of Hex House. Yeah, this one freaked me out the most. I love a good ghost story, and this is the ultimate one. It has a haunted mansion, and so much more. This is a very haunting book, that gave me the creeps for a while after reading it.
I am going to give these short stories 4 out of 5 stars, and the reason behind that is I wanted them to be longer! I didn’t realize they were short stories when I first got them, so it was a little disappointing. I think they could be even better if they were full length, with much more detail included.
I was able to do a Q&A with the author Jackson Dean Chase, which was eye opening. I was able to get a good sense of what it’s like to be a horror genre writer, it was a really cool experience.
Kerrie: What made you want to write horror stories?
Jackson Dean Chase: Being an Outsider growing up, I found horror fascinating. It was a safe way to process my anger and fear, a way that told me things could always be worse, but could get better if I knew how to fight. So horror also gave me hope.
K: What is your favorite horror movie, and who is your favorite horror movie villain?
JDC: The original 1978 version of Dawn of the Dead. It has everything: action, adventure, friendship, flesh-eating…
Dracula is my favorite villain: Ancient. Aristocratic. Intelligent. Seductive. And ultimately, Unknowable. The perfect Outsider.
K: I know that you have another young adult book called Drone, do you plan on writing books that are not young adult as well?
JDC: Yes, at some point. Right now, my books are written with the adult crossover audience in mind, which is 60% of the YA market. If you look at authors like R.L. Stine (Goosebumps, Fear Street) and Sara Shepard (Pretty Little Liars), they’ve written adult novels. An “adult” novel by me wouldn’t be much different… The characters would be older, of course, but the pacing and suspense would be the same. That’s the most important thing to me: Keep it fast, keep it fun.
K: What authors do you like to read, and what books influenced you to become a writer?
JDC: That’s an easy question, but a long answer. I’ll give you twenty of my favorites in alphabetical order:
- Megan Abbott: The End of Everything
- Clive Barker: Books of Blood
- Robert Bloch: Mysteries of the Worm
- Charles Bukowski: Ham on Rye
- James M. Cain: The Postman Always Rings Twice
- Hugh B. Cave: Murgunstrumm and Others
- Bernard Cornwell: The Last Kingdom
- James Ellroy: L.A. Confidential
- David Goodis: The Burglar
- James Herbert: The Dark
- Robert E. Howard: The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian
- Jack Kerouac: On the Road
- Stephen King: ‘Salem’s Lot
- H.P. Lovecraft: Bloodcurdling Tales of the Macabre
- Dashiell Hammett: Red Harvest
- Brian Lumley: Necroscope
- George R. R. Martin: A Game of Thrones
- Elizabeth Scott: Living Dead Girl
- Mickey Spillane: I, the Jury
- Jim Thompson: Pop. 1280
In terms of genre, noir takes the cake, followed by horror, then fantasy. Hardboiled, historical, and YA make up the rest, plus “slice of life” classics like On the Road
K: Do you have any writing rituals?
JDC: I work best in isolation. Distractions are the enemy: no phone, no internet. I write hard and fast, til it hurts. I don’t stop unless I have to. If I’m having trouble getting started, I’ll throw on some “mood” music: Mozart’s Requiem, Dead Can Dance, maybe some Midnight Syndicate or Goblin. Movie or video game soundtracks work too—anything instrumental.
K: I have a feeling the answer is going to be no, but do you base your stories off of real life situations?
JDC: I’ve had paranormal experiences, so the answer is yes, sometimes. I don’t want to go into detail and I certainly don’t want to glamorize them. Let’s just say those experiences shaped me as much as my writing. Having overcome those challenges definitely gives me a unique insight…
K: What do you do when you are not writing?
JDC: I read. I watch a lot of movies and TV. It’s all research when you’re a writer. As far as hanging out with friends, I play Dungeons & Dragons, plus board and card games like Dominion and Ticket to Ride.
K: Who creates the covers for your books?
JDC: I work with a handful of talented artists: Daniela Owergoor and Shardel are two of my favorites. Shardel did the cover to Come to the Cemetery and Daniela did Drone. Beautiful stuff!
K: How long does it usually take you to write an entire book?
JDC: My first novel, Forever Dark, took three years. My second novel, Drone, took three-and-a-half months, so I’m learning to get the quality I want in the time I need. As for short stories, I knock them out in a day or two. They’re easy after all the pulp mags and horror comics I’ve read.
K: What are some of the things that readers can expect from you in the future?
JDC: Forever Dark is coming out this fall. It’s a realistic take on demonic possession and vampirism, with a touch of H.P. Lovecraft. You can read the first 25% free on Wattpad. Currently, I’m writing Warrior, the sequel to Drone and Book 2 in my dystopian Beyond the Dome series. There are so many projects in the works… You can stay up-to-date on my new and upcoming releases when you join my Readers’ Group on my website. Members get four free eBooks, including my latest bestseller, “Hard Times in Dronetown.”