Happy Halloween! I always look forward to this holiday, but it’s also a little bittersweet because it’s the last day of BMR. Today’s author has made several appearances here, and he’s certainly no stranger to horror stories. His featured book is a collection of his horror novellas, some of them the first time in print. He shares a story that perhaps isn’t your typical ghost tale, but is just as terrifying. Welcome Steve Stred!
Would you rather visit a haunted house or a haunted graveyard?
I’d definitely rather visit a haunted house, because there seems like more potential. More places to explore, more room to creep inside with who knows what waiting for you. And a haunted house can remain scary 24 hours a day. A graveyard would lose its spookiness once the sun came up! I’m a huge fan of watching Urban Exploration videos of old abandoned houses and mansions and every time they always seems so ridiculously scary, even during the day!
Do you believe in any ‘mythical’ monsters like chupacabras or shadow people?
Yes and no. For instance, yes, I absolutely believe we’re not alone in the universe. To me that seems like an impossibility with how vast space is. But I also don’t think every UFO sighting means little green men. If anyone reading this has read any of my work, they’ll know my love and fear in equal parts of the mountains. To me, the wilderness is so spacious, I find it perfectly reasonable to think that Sasquatch can exist. There are plenty of videos out there (sure some are fake) that are hard to push aside as ‘fake.’ It can be hard for people who’ve grown up their entire lives in a sprawling city to accept that, but if you’ve spent any time in the Canadian wilderness, you’ll know how massive it is and how easily it would be for any animal to remain hidden.
What is the spookiest ghost story you’ve ever heard?
Piggybacking off my previous answer, the ghost stories I always found the spookiest were more related to the woods. And some of them are not even so much ‘ghosts’ in that sense. For instance, one story I’ve heard variations of over the years involves a little boy – 4 or 5 depending on the source – who goes into the woods playing hide and seek. He goes missing. A massive search is carried out. Some sources say 100 searchers, some have said even up to 1500 searchers. All they find is two sets of prints. One matches the boys shoe size and leads from about where he was. The other is barefoot. In some of the versions their footsteps disappear. In some they find the boys shoes and the tracks disappear into a cave etc. Or a river. Always something to prevent the searchers from finding anything further. To me, that entire story scares me so badly haha! So much potential for our minds to fill in the blanks with horrific details.
How do you use social media as an author?
I’m an anomaly in that I love social media. I think it’s because I’ve curated it into how I use my own social media, that is – support and promote others (no matter their market share), celebrate when people have big wins, give kudos when someone has a loss (ie rejection etc) and just enjoy seeing what others are up to. I genuinely want to see people’s kids first day of school photos. Cool things they’ve created, awesome concerts they’ve been at and movies they watched. There’s sooooo much negativity and horrible news out there. So, I try really hard to remain as positive as I can!
What books did you grow up reading?
I’ve been a voracious reader since I was little. I started out with Archie comics and Berenstain Bears etc, before moving into Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew. My grandfather also had an extensive collection of western paperbacks, so I read some of those. Louis L’Amour type stuff. Then when I was eight or nine, I was allowed to borrow a Stephen King book from my neighbor, Patti and I was hooked. ‘Skeleton Crew’ was my first of his, ‘The Mist’ opening that up and it scared me so badly. To this day, I’m still frightened of deep, dense fog.
If you could be mentored by a famous author, who would it be?
I’m fortunate that I currently have three authors combined fill the ‘mentor’ aspect for me, whether they know it or not! The first is the awesome David Sodergren. David has been instrumental in making me a better writer. He is far from ‘yes’ man for me. I run stuff by him and our relationship is solid enough and we’ve developed a great enough rapport that I know he’ll give me his honest opinion. The same for when he is editing my work. His notes back to me reflect that and I can’t thank him enough for that.
The second is Duncan Ralston. Whether you like him or not, Duncan has a phenomenal catalog of work and has built a ravenous fan base. He’s seen it all and is always up to answer my questions. And, he’s not a ‘yes’ guy either. If he doesn’t think something will work or something’s not good enough, he’ll tell me and he’ll offer alternatives or suggestions.
Lastly, is Andrew Pyper. If you’ve seen any of my social media, you’ll know how much I love his work. Discovering his writing was a subconscious kick for my own writing. Seeing his ‘Instant Bestseller’ label on The Demonologist and his bio saying he was from Canada blew my mind. Wait? You mean Canadians CAN do this! When I retired from sports and focused my passions back onto writing (when I knew my time was ending I had returned to working on my in-progress novel of close to a decade), that mini-bio drove me. Over the last six years or so, I’ve been fortunate to have developed a friendship with Andrew, and he’s always been willing to answer any questions I’ve had that have come up. He’s been through it all, knows the ins and outs and is a truly kind person. I’ve said I’m fortunate to have him as a friend, but that never seems to be enough. Just like ‘thank you’ often doesn’t seem to be enough. But, Andrew has always inspired me and having his backing and advice on things has been a blessing.
As always – thank you so much, Teri for having me! I love being a part of these and seeing the other posts from the others involved!
From Splatterpunk-Nominated author, Steve Stred comes a collection of his darkest novellas.
Re-edited and released to achieve maximum despair, Stred gathers some of his earliest nightmares for your reading pleasure!
– YURI – a twisted haunted house story, Yuri follows a young man, forced to flee his home and find work at the mine, owned by the town’s richest man. The only problem – things are not what they seem. ‘Don’t Eat the Stew.’
– The One That Knows No Fear – they say don’t meet your idols, and this holds true in this high-octane novella. Set in the late 1970’s, young Timmy wants to find out how his favorite daredevil appears to be invincible. He’ll wish he never found out the truth.
– Wound Upon Wound – for the first time in print, the sci-fi prequel to Stred’s Empyrean Saga is filled with a growing dread. ‘What would you do if you knew today was the last day of your life?’
– Jane: the 816 Chronicles – telling the story of specimen 816, aka Jane, this prequel story tied into Stred’s smash-hit ‘Mastodon’ will grab you by your throat and not let go.
– Seth – for the first time in print, ‘Seth’ tells the story of a young boy faced with an impossible task – either kill his own brother or let the monster kill him.
– Daisy’s House – for the first time in print, Daisy’s House is the house at the end of the street that everyone avoids. That is, everyone but the local high school kids who want to prove they’re not scared.
Black Void Publishing is proud to release this collection – featuring three stories never before in print, from one of the most intriguing writers in all of dark fiction!
Universal Link: mybook.to/anendlessdarkness
Author book link: author.to/stevestred
Author Bio and Social Media
A Splatterpunk-Nominated Author, Steve Stred lives in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, with his wife, son and their staffy, Cocoa.
His work has been described as haunting, bleak and is frequently set in the woods near where he grew up. He’s been fortunate to appear in numerous anthologies with some truly amazing authors.
A proud co-founder of the LOHF Writer’s Grant, he is also an Active Member of the HWA.