At the end of September, Sirens Call Publications released Mental Ward: Echoes of the Past. Twelve authors wrote stories that will take seat in your mind and chill you to the bone. As with all of our anthologies, we like to learn why the authors wrote their particular stories and invite them all to write something that speaks to their inspiration. K. Trap Jones, author of Maintenance has agreed to step into the past with us and tell us what made the story speak to him, but let’s get to know him a little first…
K. Trap Jones is an award winning author of horror novels and short stories. With a strong inspiration from Dante Alighieri and Edgar Allan Poe, his passion for folklore, classic literary fiction and obscure segments within society lead to his creative writing style of “filling in the gaps” and walking the line between reality and fiction. His debut novel THE SINNER (Blood Bound Books) won first place in the Royal Palm Literary Award within the Horror/Dark Fantasy category. His latest novel THE HARVESTER will be released in Fall 2013 from Blood Bound Books. He is also a member of the Horror Writer’s Association. You can find K. Trap on Twitter at @KTrapJones or on Facebook.
Inspiration Behind Maintenance
From the workers to the patients, asylums are one of those topics that can have abundant tales constructed about them. Maintenance tells the tale of a newly hired maintenance man who really does not know what he is getting himself into. He’s never even stepped foot inside an asylum and blindly answers a ‘Help Wanted’ sign. The story is told through his sheltered eyes and unfolds as he tries desperately to stay to the course of the job description even though unexplainable things are happening all around him. I found myself laughing as I imagined this particular character trying to rationalize with the chaotic visions that he was seeing, and yet he was meeting all of his deadlines.
Narrative horror to me is always a challenge and it is the reason why I find it fascinating. The voice needs to be consistent and build the character through the pages. Over the course of one night within the asylum, I wanted to challenge the character mentally and bring him close to the edge of insanity, but allow him enough control so that he actually did a good job with what was asked of him. At one point, it almost turned comedic in tone, but I ultimately decided to stay with the darkened overlay. Somewhere in my file archive is a funny paragraph that was deleted at the last moment prior to submission.
The overall concept of the story is based upon how a normal person would handle themselves within a tormented environment that allows the murderous spirits of a haunted asylum to unleash every night like a broken record. Would you run out of there screaming or would you stay and do your job so that you could collect a paycheck? Find out what happens to the newly hired maintenance man at Bay Pines Asylum.
In places where unspeakable atrocities occurred sometimes ‘something’ lingers, stuck between the worlds of the living and the dead. Those who believe in the grey area behind the veil will tell you that those places can become eternal cages that hold the souls of the deceased captive.
Mental Ward: Echoes of the Past is a collection of twelve such stories; tales of hauntings taking place in asylums. The places where the crazed, the insane, and sometimes the different were hidden away from society’s view.
Follow the winding path crafted by the talented, and in some cases, twisted imaginations of the storytellers who would taint your peaceful world with their echoes of the past.
Brent Abell, Chad P. Brown, Sarah Cass, Alex Chase, Denzell Cooper, Jason Cordova, Lindsey Beth Goddard, Sharon L. Higa, Lockett Hollis, K. Trap Jones, Joseph A. Lapin, and Kimberly Lay