It can certainly be quite scary to write and self-publish your first book. But, writing captivating content can be even more challenging when you’re trying to send shivers up the spines of your readers. Tellwell author Edgerton R. Nicholson shares the spooky details that inspired his collection of short stories titled Nightmare Pie. The novel offers a glimpse into the netherworld
and the frailty of the human mind. Served on a cold plate of the surreal and macabre, it is a must read…Especially in the middle of the night.
Nicholson talks with me about writing horrific plots, believable character arcs, and bloodcurdling climaxes. Read on if you dare…
FJ: What motivated you to write a horrific/paranormal book?
EN: As a young boy I was enamored with books such as Tom Corbett Space Cadet and his intergalactic exploits, and the Hardy Boys with their adventures into local mysterious happenings. My Mom took me to the movies to see Conquest in Outer Space, The Angry Red Planet and the original Blob, which scared the daylights out of me. So as a youngster I developed a penchant for the mysterious, the surreal, and the macabre. As a young adult I savoured Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone, and Hitchcock’s movies such as The Birds and who can forget Psycho? I moved on to Stephen King and studied the film adaptations of his stories. I was hooked. I knew I wanted to write something, probably not a novel initially so I just started writing short stories about my own experiences, or offbeat and unusual items I had seen in the news.
Working in the film and television industry in special make-up effects on shows such as Supernatural, The Dead Zone, and Final Destination further stoked my interest in the surreal and netherworld. I showed a few friends some early stories and received a very positive response. I accumulated eleven stories and with the expertise and help of Tellwell Publishing created an anthology which became Nightmare Pie. I think there is a market for this kind of book, a collection of short stories all different, to be enjoyed when one has fifteen or thirty minutes freedom to read from start to finish during a commute, or in bed before falling asleep. Not everyone wants to take on an 800-page novel, either in reading or writing.
FJ: When and where did you come up for the ideas for this book?
EN: The common thread in Nightmare Pie is that something weird, bad, unexplainable, surreal, and yes in some cases, horrific is going to happen to somebody in each story. Much like life itself. When and where I came up with the ideas for the stories I sometimes wonder and I think the only answer I can give is based upon my own personal experiences.
For example, two stories, ‘The Man with the Green Nose’ and ‘Red Roadster Revelation’ are based on my experiences in working at a funeral home part time while I attended chiropractic college. ‘Animal Avengers’ is a reflection of my love for animals and a fitting end for those who abuse them. ‘Garcia’s Revenge’ reports on the plight of Mexicans working in the fields of American farms and a case of severe injustice and retribution. ‘Death in the Forest’ is a new take on the Bigfoot phenomenon and ‘Lowes Descent’ is a story of one man’s paranoid downward spiral caused by the in your face incessant news cycle. The stories focus on the seemingly endless human foible of making assumptions, not recognizing the law of unintended consequences, or finally simply encountering evil head on in one form or another. ‘Teratoid’ was written in response to the terrible Japanese earthquake, tsunami and ultimate nuclear plant meltdown and its effects on the Pacific Ocean and one unfortunate young couple travelling in Japan two years later. ‘Mr. Nocebo Points the Bone’ is a disturbing look at what happens when those in need place their faith in wrong people with ulterior motives.