Each time that Sirens Call Publications releases an anthology, we like to delve a little into the minds of the authors whose stories appear between the covers just to find out why that particular story line came to them. In Between the Cracks, twelve fantastic stories appear and each of the authors was asked to write a post sharing their inspiration for it. Seven authors answered the call… Last but not least is Joseph Giatras, author of The Ghost Writer…
Finding the Ghost Writer
Still to this day, I can remember the nightmare vividly. I was walking down the dim hallway of a house I did not recognize. The walls were dilapidated and empty picture frames dangled from loose nails. At the end of the hallway was a door with a blue light shining through the crack at the bottom. When I turned the doorknob and went inside, I saw something within the room that terrified me. Something that smiled at me as though it wanted to be found. I only saw it for a moment, waking up almost instantly after, but the image would never leave my mind.
I thought about that nightmare for a long time before I knew what to do with it. I wanted to bring what I saw to life, but finding a story to go along with the image proved to be challenging. I tried writing about it a few times, but all my attempts ended up being less than I hoped they would be. Reluctantly, I had to leave it alone for a while, letting almost an entire year go by without figuring out what kind of story I wanted to tell.
One day though, the glorious light bulb finally did go on in my head. I was reading an interview with an author, whose name I can’t remember because I was too excited about seeing the light to focus on anything else, when I read something that stopped me. The author was asked, “Where do you get your ideas from?” Like most authors do, he danced around the question. That’s when I thought, why does everyone ask that? It seemed to me that every time I read or listened to an interview with an author they were always asked this same question. Everyone wanted to know where they came up with the ideas for their stories and, in my point of view, it seemed like a lot of authors had no idea where their ideas came from. They just came to them, or at least that’s what they wanted readers to believe.
From those thoughts, the idea of a writer searching for the answer to that question and finding something he never intended to seek out came to me, as though it had been there in the back of my mind all along. From a nightmare I had when I was nineteen and the mystery around the most asked question of all authors, The Ghost Writer was born.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Joseph Giatras is young writer of horror fiction who grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and has lived there all his life. He is a college student majoring in Secondary Education English. Reading and writing fiction has been a passion of his since childhood, mostly in the horror genre. At the age of eleven, Joseph stole a copy of Stephen King’s IT from his mother’s bookshelf and read the novel as fast as he could before his parents could find out. Ever since, he has been drawn to pursuing a career in writing fiction involving the supernatural.
And here’s a little information about Between the Cracks…
A crack, a split, a rend, a tear – all of these fissures open up a new world for us to gaze upon. But what if the things we see aren’t friendly? What if the things that spill from beyond are dangerous and unwilling to be contained? What if evil lurks just below the surface waiting for its chance to strike?
In this collection of diverse and multi-faceted tales, you’ll find a computer program twisted into a nefarious tool, elves who are more than mischievous, a Creole House where those who dare to cheat fate meet with an unsavory end, and something evil lurking within the water. Are you brave enough to look Between the Cracks? There is only one way to find out…
Between the Cracks is available on:
And now for an excerpt from The Ghost Writer…
My friend William Reilly, my oldest and dearest friend, had always seemed a bit odd to me but brilliant nonetheless. Many consider Reilly to be the greatest novelist of our time, myself included. The way he could make his readers see and feel the worlds he wrote of was extraordinary. The imagination he possessed was like a portal to a number of different dimensions. All of his stories, featuring creatures that were inconceivable to any other human mind than his own, were not only fascinating but fresh each time. For the amount of stories he produced you would think some stories would inevitably resemble some of his past works, but no story was ever the same. Each new story he wrote brought his readers to a whole new world they had never experienced before, one filled with aliens written so lifelike that it became hard to believe they were only the product of imagination. Nothing was ever repetitive in William Reilly’s work, each piece proved to be even more genius than its predecessor. The pace at which he worked was remarkable for how detailed and close to perfect his stories always were. He started with four novels a year, then ten, until finally each month there was a William Reilly book flying off the shelves of every book store in America. The length of all his books was incredible for how little time he took to write them. There were novels as long as four-hundred thousand words sent to his publisher only a few weeks after finishing another lengthy manuscript. After a very young career of only five years, William Reilly had fifty novels in print and fifty more on the way. I, like many others in the literary community, couldn’t believe how he could produce such classics in such short amounts of time. I truly believed that William Reilly’s knowledge surpassed even the greatest minds in history. His success was wonderful and I was genuinely happy for my friend but, though I was embarrassed to admit it at the time, watching it all struck a jealous chord in me that sickened my own mind.
More than anything I wanted to know how he did it! I needed to know how in God’s name he could create such masterpieces in the time it takes most writers to plot out a novel, let alone start one. In the beginning of my friend’s career I put my jealousy and curiosity aside for the sake of our friendship. I merely sat back and watched with amazement as the stories were birthed rapidly onto the pages. I praised my friend, enjoyed his wealth alongside him and abided my time until it was my shot at glory, which at the time I was positive would come. To my dismay, after many years of trying to replicate my friend’s good fortune, success did not come to me as it did to William Reilly. While his books thrived and shook up the media with questions, wonder, and ground breaking realism, my stories sunk to the bottoms of slush piles and to the wastebaskets underneath shredders. It was in the fifth year of William’s career that the frustration and jealousy that dwelled within me unleashed itself from the cage I thought I had locked it in. Hateful thoughts consumed me. There were moments where I could no longer stand to look at my friend without wanting to drive a butcher’s knife through that brilliant brain of his. Every story he wrote became an even sharper thorn in my side. I became utterly ashamed of my dreams, my very thoughts. The stories were just too damn good, too good to be written so quickly and abundantly. I had to know his process, how he could force his mind and hands to work in such insane unison. Lying awake all night in my bed, too wired and crazed to sleep, became not just a habit during those times, but a ritual. Either I would be writing breathlessly throughout the night, desperately trying to emulate my dear friend’s work, or I’d stare up at my pale white ceiling until dawn, wishing cruel and wicked happenings upon my friend. My envy made me suffer for months before I finally realized how to end it. I decided I would ask William if I could watch him as he wrote his next novel. It was a strange request indeed but something I needed. I was going to learn his process, no matter what…
Sirens Call Publications would like to thank you for tuning in to this series of inspiration posts!