S.P. Miskowski's Blog - Posts Tagged "horror"

Today the first extensive review of Knock Knock appeared at She Never Slept. Thanks to SNS and to reviewer Sean Levin for a close read and a generous review.

"Knock Knock is a well-crafted, understated novel that manages to combine the elements of supernatural horror and the stresses of growing up brilliantly. Miskowski’s writing is almost Lovecraftian in the sense that her dark forces are unseen, but nevertheless quite powerful and frightening."

Read on.

Knock Knock
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Published on October 18, 2011 23:11 • 106 views • Tags: horror, knock-knock, s-p-miskowski, sean-levin, she-never-slept
Detritus by Multiple Authors

DETRITUS is now available from Omnium Gatherum.

The impulse to collect springs from deep within the human psyche. Squirrels gather acorns, rats collect shiny things, but only humans assign meaning to the objects they collect.

Detritus is a collection of stories about the impulse to collect, preserve, and display gone horribly wrong.
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Published on January 24, 2012 16:31 • 59 views • Tags: anthology, collections, detritus, horror, omnium-gatherum
Now you can hear me reading the first chapter from my supernatural horror novel KNOCK KNOCK.

http://blog.omniumgatherumedia.com/ma...

Be sure to lock the doors and windows first.
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Published on January 26, 2012 14:23 • 78 views • Tags: audio, horror, knock-knock
For the next 24 hours the digital edition of my novel "Knock Knock" is free. You do not need a Kindle to read the novel. You can download a free Kindle application from Amazon, then order "Knock Knock" and read it on a PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone or Blackberry.

If you read "Knock Knock" consider writing an honest review at Goodreads.

"Beautifully written and relentlessly suspenseful, it's a great book to curl up with on a cold winter's night. Just be sure to keep the doors locked and all the lights on!" - Lucy Taylor, The Silence Between the Screams

"With her distinct voice, Miskowski takes you deep into the back woods of America, where shadows chase you and people do the unthinkable." - Angel Leigh McCoy, Wily Writers

"Knock Knock is a well-crafted, understated novel that manages to combine the elements of supernatural horror and the stresses of growing up brilliantly. Miskowski’s writing is almost Lovecraftian in the sense that her dark forces are unseen, but nevertheless quite powerful and frightening." - Sean Levin, She Never Slept

At the center of S.P. Miskowski's novel-length fairy tale are three restless girls, best friends stuck in the backwater of Skillute, Washington in the late 1960s. Their neighbors and families are petty or poor or both. They warn the girls not to wander into Skillute's dense forest; something evil lurks there, people say. The girls are not convinced. During a playful oath, they wander too far into the woods. Their mistake unleashes a malignant spirit that terrorizes Skillute for the next fifty years.

Happy Wicked Wednesday!
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Published on March 21, 2012 02:19 • 104 views • Tags: fiction, horror, occult, small-town, suspense, women
I'm happy to announce that my novel Knock Knock is a nominee for the 2011 Shirley Jackson Awards.

Congratulations to all of this year's nominees! It's a great list, and I feel honored to be included.

This book was both a challenge and a joy to write. Many thanks to the readers who have taken to heart my twisted tale of girlhood longing, friendship, and horror set in a small town in Washington state.

Note that the novel is available in digital form and in paperback. My publisher is Omnium Gatherum Media. The cover design and illustration were created by artist Russell Dickerson.

Knock Knock

Something evil has come home.
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Published on April 24, 2012 12:14 • 108 views • Tags: fiction, horror, knock-knock, novel, shirley-jackson-awards, sp-miskowski, supernatural
To celebrate the release of Delphine Dodd, the first of a three novella series set in the world of my supernatural horror novel Knock Knock, we are offering the ebook FREE for three days, Sept. 28 - 30.

http://www.amazon.com/Knock-ebook/dp/...

Delphine Dodd and Knock Knock are available in paperback and ebook from publisher Omnium Gatherum Media.

http://www.amazon.com/Delphine-Dodd-e...
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Published on September 28, 2012 15:19 • 96 views • Tags: delphine-dodd, fiction, horror, knock-knock, sp-miskowski, supernatural-horror
For a limited time the ebook of Knock Knock is available for $2.99.

http://www.ehorrorbargains.com/2013/0...

Nominated for the Shirley Jackson Award.

At the center of S.P. Miskowski’s novel-length fairy tale are three restless girls, best friends stuck in the backwater of Skillute, Washington in the late 1960s. Their neighbors and families are petty or poor, or both. They warn the girls not to wander into the dense forest. Something evil lurks there, people say. The girls are not convinced. During a playful oath, they wander too far into the woods. Their mistake unleashes a malignant spirit that terrorizes Skillute for the next fifty years.

“Beautifully written and relentlessly suspenseful, it’s a great book to curl up with on a cold winter’s night. Just be sure to keep the doors locked and all the lights on!” – Lucy Taylor, The Silence Between the Screams
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Published on May 07, 2013 08:23 • 74 views • Tags: book-bargains, ebook-discount, horror, knock-knock, miskowski
For a limited time the ebook edition of Knock Knock is only $2.99. Why not scare yourself tonight?

"...a superb horror story, psychologically tense and tightly executed."

"I'm not scared by much, but this gave me a couple of nightmares. Very well written..."

"...suspenseful, slow-building psychological horror."

"The woods of Southwestern Washington flourish here in knife-edge detail."

"I highly recommend this complex, thrilling, engaging and highly entertaining novel. It's not just a book-it's an experience."

"Women readers of the genre will appreciate the strong female characters at the centre of this dark tale..."

"I haven't loved a book like I love KNOCK KNOCK in a very long time."

"I don't think I'll be able to sleep tonight."

http://www.amazon.com/Knock-ebook/dp/...
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Published on May 07, 2013 16:23 • 62 views • Tags: ebook-discount, horror, knock-knock, psychological, supernatural, suspense
This brief essay was first published, and was an Editor's Pick, at Open Salon. I think it serves as an excellent introduction to my four-book series, THE SKILLUTE CYCLE.


Knock Knock: On a Long Winter's Night


My supernatural horror novel Knock Knock began a few years ago on a long and sleepless winter's night. We were visiting family in a small town in Washington State. We stayed with my husband's grandmother Karolee, a woman of infinite wit and practicality. Before we finally stopped gossiping and went to bed, she reminded us not to worry if we heard gunfire in the middle of the night.

"Those boys were shooting, one night, up the road."

"Why?"

"Oh," she said. "The heck if I know. I bet they didn't know why."

Late that night, while Karolee slept in her room at the other end of the house and my husband slept soundly beside me, I had insomnia. I could hear every settling wooden beam, each acquiescent grunt of plumbing, but especially the shrubbery that kept scratching the wall outside.

Beyond the bedroom window lay woods, the quiet road, the ink-black darkness I recalled from childhood visits to my aunts and uncles in rural Georgia. Those tales of rivalries, bodies found in abandoned wells, old friends who decided to murder one another, moonshine-running cousins pursued by demons through the Blue Ridge Mountains. If you drew a curtain indoors at night and looked out, the sky was so black you could see only your reflection in the window.

Alone with my thoughts, I wondered: What of this life in the deep, dark woods, where the male neighbors let off steam with beer and rifles and ammo? Where does a woman fit into this place, and what are her thoughts late at night? This wasn't a foreign world. It was my background and my husband's, one of the things we have in common. I could have married a guy with a pickup truck and a gun rack. Easily. And I wondered what my craving for life outside of that world would drive me to do.

I wrote all night. Characters came into being, and their desires intersected and became the first inkling of plot. Some of the characters were observed and some spoke for themselves, at first. It would take an effort to make them fit into one coherent narrative. Naturally, I observed all of these mechanics after the fact. That night I simply wrote everything that occurred to me.

Some weeks later, back in our Seattle apartment with cats and microbrews and takeout food, we watched a Thai film based on a centuries-old legend: A young bride is left at home by her beloved husband, who is recruited and sent into battle. The bride is inconsolable. She feels desperately lonely, living in a village of strangers with no allies, and she is pregnant. Her yearning is so great that it consumes her.

At last the husband is injured and is sent home. He returns to his wife, who has given birth. They live happily ever after--until their neighbors, who keep avoiding the young bride, tell the husband that his wife and baby are dead, that they died during childbirth, and he must look at his wife from outside their home to see what she really is.

If you like ghost stories, you see the appeal of this disturbing legend. It has served as the basis for dozens of stories and films.

I began incorporating a modern version of the tale into my story of longing and grief. Eventually I allowed it to change shape and meld with other elements of my novel. Yet the tale's illusions and the pernicious spirit that will not let go of what it desires, even in death, informed every aspect of Knock Knock. The book follows several women as they try to invent satisfying adult lives, despite the neglect and violence in their childhood and in the world around them.

For a long time I kept trying to marry this story to an odd fact about the place where my husband grew up. For decades no female children were born there, all the women were old or had married into the families on the all-male road. I did eventually build this into Knock Knock but not to the extent I originally intended.

Many drafts have taken shape and have been built up, pared down, and then reshaped. Many new and creepy ideas have found their way to this town that was, in early drafts, called Baldwin. It is now Skillute, Washington: a dying forest, and home to the discontented women of Knock Knock.

Welcome.
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Published on July 09, 2013 18:19 • 70 views • Tags: astoria, delphine-dodd, fiction, horror, knock-knock, skillute-cycle, sp-miskowki, women