Flashlight Tag Micro Terrors
Bruce Lindahl- TMCT
Originally posted on March 16, 2023 in my Newsletter.
This month's creepy thing has a [somewhat] happy ending. Bruce Lindahl, an American man born on January 29th, 1953. He graduated college in the 70's with a degree in electro mechanics. Afterwards, he worked as an electrician and enjoyed parachuting and racquetball in his free time. All of his friends spoke highly of him. In 1976, he was arrested for possession of marijuana. Drugs were not his addiction, however. That addiction was murder. Turns out, Mr. Lindahl murdered 12 or more people over the course of his "career". Early on, Lindahl raped a woman named Annette Lazar in his home. She called the police but her testimony was discounted since she appeared to be addicted to drugs. The police did not believe her story. A few years later, Lindahl raped another woman by the name of Debra Colliander after abducting her from a shopping center parking lot. She also called police. Thankfully, he was arrested and charged this time. He posted bail and was supposed to appear in court but the court date was cancelled due to the absence of a key witness. All charges were dropped. It seemed Lindahl had found himself in a bit of a disgustingly "lucky streak". But thankfully, that luck would run out. Lindahl met an 18 year old man named Charles Huber. They played some bowling together and afterwards, Lindahl suggested they go back to his girlfriend's house to drink. Huber agreed and they were off. Later that evening, Lindahl attacked Huber with a knife, stabbing him a total of 28 times. But Huber fought back. Though he subsequently died, he caused Lindahl to accidentally stab himself in the leg severing his femoral artery. Both men died at the scene. After Lindahl's death, a few people came forward and named him as an attacker claiming they had been sexually assaulted. He was linked to several missing person's cases as well. One man even came forward and admitted to murdering Debra Colliander, the key witness who disappeared during the murder trial, after being paid by Lindahl to dispose of her. Her body was recovered. With him being tied to about a dozen murders, it's safe to say this man was a monster and got what he deserved. It's unfortunate that Huber died in the process, but he died a hero. So, be careful who you go bowling with, I think is the lesson here?
SUNSHINE CITY SCARE
I will be signing books at Sunshine City Scare at the Coliseum in St. Petersburg, FL this coming May 13th-14th. Come celebrate all things horror (and mother's day) that weekend and swing by and say hi! You can find out more about the horror convention by heading to their website here. I can't wait!
BLAZING CAR MURDERER (TMCT)
I think by now we all know never hitchhike or pick up hitchhikers. If horror movies have taught us anything, it's that 50% of the people now in the car are serial killers. And that was true in the case of Alfred Arthur Rouse also known as the Blazing Car Murderer. He was a British man in the late 1930's, looking to fake his own death. So instead of torching his car and running away like any "reasonable" person, he decided to pick up a hitchhiker. Do you see where this is going? Think of his alias...That's right, he knocked the hitchhiker unconscious and then set his car ablaze in the hopes that the body would be mistaken for his own and he'd be free! Except he was caught and convicted of murder and subsequently hanged. The victim was never identified. Rouse claimed he never asked the victim's name saying, "There was no reason why I should do so." If you want to read more about Rouse or how he was caught, it's a fascinating read. Check it out here. And remember, DO NOT HITCHHIKE!
If you want to read This Month's Creepy Thing the day it goes live and not a month later, then consider signing up for my monthly newsletter here. Hope to see you there!
For a while, I've been trying to figure out just what I wanted to do with this blog. If you've been around with me for a while, you will know that it's undergone many changes over the years. I'm also sad to say that I haven't been posting nearly as much as I should have been over the last few months. But I think I found a way to correct this issue.
If you're on my monthly newsletter, then you're familiar with the segment This Month's Creepy Thing. If you're not, allow me to explain. TMCT is a segment of my newsletter dedicated to a creepy news story or fact that I discovered. These are true stories only. No fictionalized retellings of stories that may or may not have happened. True to life, creepy ass shit. If that sounds like something you'd enjoy, then I've got news for you!
I'm bringing This Month's Creepy Thing (TMCT) to my blog! That's right, you can read this month's creepy thing right here on my website. Or rather, I should say last month's creepy thing. You see, I still want my newsletter subscribers to get something extra special for allowing my emails to grace their inboxes so they will be getting the stories first. My newsletter goes out on the 16th of every month. You can look for TMCT right here a month after. If you don't feel like waiting a whole month for these creepy bits of information, and believe me they're something you'll want to read, then I suggest signing up for my newsletter here. Otherwise, look for the first This Month's Creepy Thing on March 16th! (It's about a man's attempt to fake his own death by killing a hitchhiker! Don't miss that.)
I want to do more with my blog page but I don't want to make any announcements as of yet because I want to test the waters and see what people like and what people could do without. I will probably post the occasional book review or writing tips here and there but I've got some ideas in my head that I want to try out. So could you please do me a favor and check back in with this blog and leave me comments letting me know what you like and don't like so I can grow this blog! I would be forever grateful!
MOTHMAN | RR
Welcome to RR (Recommended Reads) where I tell you about a book I've read and recommend it to you. Seems self explanatory so let's dive in!
Mothan Return to Point Pleasant is a creature feature horror novella by the incredible Scott Donnelly. If you're looking for a fun, fast paced read that's going to get your blood pumping then look no further. If you're unfamiliar, the Mothman is a cryptid that is said to reside in Point Pleasant West Virginia. Some say it's an omen of death and others believe it's a warning of things to come. Whatever the truth, Donnelly has crafted a truly scary monster that I would never want to come face to face with.
The story follows Billy as he and his mom move to the small town of Point Pleasant only for the stories of the Mothman to quickly become reality. Billy finds himself smack in the middle of the legend known as the Mothman. You're going to love this story!
If you want to pick up a copy for yourself, I highly recommend reaching out to Scott Donnelly himself and getting a paperback copy straight from the author. That's one of the best ways to support your favorite indie author. You can connect with him here. If you want to support me and my blog, you could consider clicking this affiliation link and buying a paperback copy from Bookshop.org. It's a great site that helps you support independent bookstores around the country. And clicking the link helps me out in the process, so of course I would appreciate that as well. Either way, do yourself a favor and pick up this book!
Until next time...
CHARRED REMAINS PLAYLIST
Click on the Spotify playlist below to listen to a playlist I put together to get you in the mood to read some creepy stories!
Thanks, The Mummy!
If you haven't seen the 1999 movie The Mummy starring Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz, you should probably go watch it now. That movie is a classic! Watched it, now? Good, we can continue.
My upcoming paranormal adventure novel After Death centers around Jeffrey Raines, a spirit who works as a bounty hunter for Death. He reaps wandering spirits that cause harm to the living and the natural balance of life and death. What does this plot have to do with The Mummy, you ask? Absolutely nothing.
The plot of the movie didn't influence the book. The tone did. I've always loved the movie The Mummy and the sequel The Mummy Returns. There's a third one, but we don't talk about it. If you're unfamiliar with these movies, even though in the beginning I specifically told you to go watch it you rebel, allow me to explain. The Mummy is part action/adventure, part horror, and part comedy. This blend of genres always fascinated me. There are parts of the movie that are downright creepy and scenes that just make you laugh out loud. All of this mixed with fun and exhilarating action.
I know this isn't something that is exclusive to The Mummy. But this movie series always stood out to me and shaped a lot of my own writing. I loved Rick O'Connell's attitude from start to finish. A little bit of his personality may have found its way to Jeffrey Raines in After Death.
I loved the way The Mummy blended horror tropes with action, adventure, and comedy and I set out to mimic this in my newest book. I hope I even came a fraction close to capturing that sort of tone. But you'll be the judge of that. After Death comes out later this year! Are you a big fan of The Mummy? Let me know your favorite scene in the comments below!
TOP 5 STORIES
Simily is a great site for authors and readers alike. Us writers get to post short stories that all you readers can see for free! And the best part is, we get paid for each view received. So, if you're looking for a great way to support an author like me, check me out over on Simily.
That being said, I wanted to share my top 5 stories over on Simily. These would be the ones that have received the most traction. So, if you're going to read any stories of mine over there, probably best to start here. Click the links below to read each story. Enjoy!
#5. From Santa
From Santa is a holiday themed story (obviously) centered around a failing family at Christmas. The two little children open their presents on Christmas morning, only to discover something gruesome from Santa Claus.
#4 Getting Angry
Getting Angry follows a man's journey to keep his home from being sold without his permission with confusion as to why no one will listen to him.
#3 The Surprise
A young girl's curiosity shows her exactly what her father has been working on in the basement and it's a gift for her. Like father, like daughter.
#2 New Year, Same Me
A man is tired of all the new year's resolutions out there and vows to stay the same old man he was last year, no matter how frightening that may be.
#1 Out of Room
A woman's journey with the ferryman charged with laying souls to rest doesn't go quite as it's supposed to.
If any of these story summaries intrigued you, please consider clicking the links to give them a read. And don't forget to check out my other stories while you're there! Simily is a great platform that I will be sure to keep updating. So be sure to sign up and follow me there.
Rapid Facts: Getaway
The idea for a horror novella sprung on me one weekend while I was vacationing with my wife’s family. We were taking a trip to an Airbnb out in the middle of nowhere. Like a sort of cabin getaway. When we got there, an idea popped into my head that I couldn’t ignore. The first night there, I pulled out my laptop and got to work.
That book was Getaway. If you’ve read the book, you know how badly the vacation goes for the family. Well, I’m here to give you some rapid facts about the plot and the real inspiration behind it. Enjoy!
5. The Cover
If you’ve seen the original cover for Getaway, you’ll know it features a yellow house with a red door which is exactly what is described in the book. Well, that was the actual house we stayed in for the weekend. I thought the house would make a good back drop for the cover, so I snapped some shots and sent them to my graphic designer who worked wonders.
4. The Family
While no one in the book is based on any real people, the amount sure was. There was me and my wife, her brother and his girlfriend, and my wife’s parents. In the book, you have Samantha and Tyler (husband and wife), Wesley (the brother), Ashley (the sister), Helen and Dan (parents).
3. Creep Factor
When the book was first published, my wife’s family was surprised to see the cabin we had stayed in on the front cover. They were even more surprised to find out that the story of a maniac terrorizing this family was inspired and written while we were there. Needless to say, they were scared of me for a while. Fair enough.
With the completion of Getaway, I almost continued a tradition of writing horror novellas once a year. I figured they were short enough to get one out a year. But I dropped the idea when it left me less time to write more of my larger stories. But that doesn’t mean I’m done with novellas altogether. There may be more in the future.
1. No One Knows What’s Going On
Don’t worry, if you haven’t read the book yet I won’t be spoiling the ending here. However, I will say this. The family doesn’t know who is tormenting them or why. Eventually, they begin to turn on each other. Everyone who has read the book has had their suspects but only I know the truth and I’m not telling ? Read it for yourself to come up with your own conclusion!
That was rapid facts about my horror novella Getaway. I plan to do more of these in the future for all my books and possibly even stories I’ve written. Let me know in the comments below if this would be something you’d like to see more of. I truly enjoy dropping this kind of info about my work. It’s a lot of fun!
If you want to go past the page of my books, consider signing up for my monthly newsletter. I give details about current projects, cover reveals, early looks at chapters, giveaways, and much more! You can sign up below. And don’t forget to find me on social media and say hi.
Join The Afterlife
I can promise you the afterlife is a real place. I should know, I created it. The Afterlife is what I'm calling my exclusive members only section of my website/Patreon page.
I now have a members section on my website which I am calling the Afterlife. My new membership program is all based around my upcoming paranormal thriller After Death. Here's how it all works.
There are two ways to join. Through my website store OR through Patreon. On Patreon, there are two tiers. Lone Spirit and Hell Hound. Lone Spirit ($1 a month tier) gets access to Patreon-only posts which will include blog updates about my writing. Hell Hound ($5 a month tier) gets you access to Patreon AND my website membership. That's where all the exclusive content will be. Flash Fiction, short stories, exclusive photos, info, and much more!
If you decide to join through my website, it is just a one time payment for a lifetime membership. That will get you member status to ALL the Afterlife content on my website FOR LIFE. Or, at least until you enter the REAL afterlife. I'll be linking everything below.
I'm really excited about this new transition to exclusive content on my website and I hope you are too. There are so many cool things coming to those who sign up. Don't miss out!
Patreon signup: https://www.patreon.com/EvanBond/membership
Website signup: https://www.evanbondauthor.com/store/p15/Lifetime_Membership.html
Celebrate the Spooky
Meet the Books
Want a quick description about my five published books? Well, then you've come to the right blog! Below are rundowns for each of my books and links to where you can find them!
To the Wolves: An Ethan McCormick Novel
Let's start with my first published book. To the Wolves. Ethan McCormick is a Miami Police officer at the end of his shift one night. A routine traffic stop turns deadly when the man kills himself. Traumatized, Ethan struggles to understand why. He takes a little time off with his soon-to-be fiance, Sandra, for a vacation to the Florida Keys. But when she's found dead by the pool, having jumped from their balcony, Ethan is thrust into a dangerous world or conspiracy and murder. Sandra's death is eventually pinned on Ethan and he's forced to go on the run to find the person responsible and stop a deadly attack from killing thousands.
You can find To the Wolves at your favorite retailer here.
Sins of the Mother: An Ethan McCormick Novel
Since I don't want to ruin the events of the first book, I'll give a brief description of the sequel. Ethan takes a missing child case only to learn the truth is darker and much more twisted than he could have ever imagined.
You can find Sins of the Mother at your favorite retailer here.
Death Can Wait
Luke and Renee Walker spend a week in Brazil on vacation. When their friends offer to let them return home aboard their luxury yacht, they couldn't be more thrilled. Until a storm smashes the yacht to pieces and thrust Luke and Renee overboard. They was ashore an island and learn they are not alone. The men who rule this island don't like outsiders and they will stop at nothing to protect their island. Luke and Renee must evade the inhabitants while trying to escape the island.
You can find Death Can Wait at your favorite retailer here.
A family vacation turns deadly when a hooded figure starts to terrorize those in the cabin. Nobody knows who to trust and eventually the family turns on each other. Murder, betrayal, and adultery rip the family apart.
You can find Getaway at your favorite retailer here.
Echoes of the Past
Sasha and her nine year old daughter, Tara, move to a small town in Maine for a fresh start. When someone starts murdering the people there, the town suspects Sasha. The local sheriff knows she's innocent but the town doesn't listen. They take matters into their own hands and kidnap Tara, using her as bait. Sasha must do everything she can to get her daughter back, flee the town, and fight a monster from her past.
You can find Echoes of the Past at your favorite retailer here.
If you've read any of my books above, please consider leaving a review. They really help us authors out a lot. You can leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads, or whichever retailer you choose! I hope you enjoyed this introduction to my books! Let me know in the comments which book was your favorite. And are you looking forward to my upcoming paranormal thriller? Want to know more about it? Sign up for my monthly newsletter where I share first looks at the book I'm currently writing.
Death's Bounty Hunter
Hello there readers,
I wanted to share some news with you that you may have been unaware of. Did you know you can read an exclusive short story featuring the upcoming protagonist in my paranormal thriller? Here's a quick story behind the...uh... story.
There was a short story contest I entered last year. The challenge was, write a ghost story with a twist. Throw a spin on an old legend. That sort of thing. So, I started thinking about the stories about ghosts like the woman in white. You know the legends. A ghostly woman stalks a stretch of quiet road. She's dressed all in white and hitchhikes rides with her unsuspecting guests. I took that legend and gave it a fun twist. What if the hunter became the hunted?
Jeffrey Raines is Death's bounty hunter. He reaps souls that wander the Earth and prey on the living. And my short story, Death Loves Her Balance, started it all. The story, unfortunately, didn't win the contest. But I think, in the end, I came out the bigger winner because it gave me my next series idea. And I've been having a lot of fun crafting this world and writing the story.
If you want to read the story for yourself, all you have to do is sign up for my monthly newsletter. That's it. You'll get the short story delivered directly to your inbox! Click here to sign up. Every month, I share behind the scenes info, first looks, upcoming works, and much more! Sign up today and read that story! And let me know what you think in the comments below.
The story goes, a secret dungeon was found in 1883 behind a secret wall in the back of the fort. Two skeletons were found shackled to the wall and were identified as one man and one woman. Rumors of a secret love affair between a Colonel's wife and a captain blossomed. When the colonel found out, he had them chained to a wall in the bowels of the Castillo and walled them up alive. Were the long lost lovers found that day?
Maybe not. But it makes for a good creepy story, right? I've visited the Castillo many times over the years and I've been in the very room which is dubbed "the lover's dungeon" and have never seen this story or heard it from tour guides. There's a lot of haunted history pages online which speak to its truth but it seems like there isn't any true evidence of this secret dungeon.
The Castillo de San Marcos, however, was used as a prison for a long portion of its history. Many Native Americans were imprisoned there in 1875. Many people died at the Castillo, regardless of the lover's rumor being true or not.
This haunted history makes it the perfect place for my upcomong paranormal thriller. Jeffrey Raines, Death's bounty hunter. visits this very fort during the first several chapters of my book. I couldn't think of a better backdrop than this. The Castillo is an amazing structure which is well worth a visit if you are ever in St. Augustine, Florida. And if you've heard the story of the lover's dungeon, I'd love to get your take in the comments below. Do you think the story is true?
Fort Matanzas in St. Augustine, Florida. Named after the river it stands guard over. Fun fact, the Matanzas river gets its name from the Spanish word meaning killings or slaughters because several Protestants were shipwrecked in the 18th century and executed on the spot by Spanish Admiral Pedro Mendez. Seems like a fitting place for spirits to hang out, doesn't it?
Fort Matanzas was built by the Spanish in order to control the Matanzas inlet. The inlet was a rear entrance into the city of St. Augustine. The fort was only used once. It fired warning shots to scare away British scouting boats. The twelve ship armada turned around and never attacked the fort. Shots were never fired from Fort Matanzas again. Despite not having seen a lot of action, the small fort is a pretty interesting sight to see in St. Augustine.
First of all, the admission if FREE so you can't beat that. The only way to get to the fort is by boat which the park rangers graciously provide transport back and forth to. So, best to tip them if you go. Once on the little island which houses the fort, you get the real sense of what it must have been like to be stationed there. Out in the middle of seemingly no where on a river with no communication to the world around you. It's almost impossible to imagine.
Jeffrey Raines spends some time at this very structure in the opening chapters of my upcoming paranormal thriller. He's there to fight off a wandering spirit as Death's bounty hunter. A certain type of spirit which likes to hide in lonely places such as this has started to prey on the park rangers there. Jeffrey is ordered to put a stop to it. Of course, I won't tell you how the scene plays out or how it ends. You'll have to read the book when it comes out!
If you decide to visit St. Augustine and you love history, check this place out. It's a cool piece of history. Not to mention, you'll literally be stepping into the pages of my book! Stay tuned for more information about this book coming soon! And if you want to read the opening chapter of the book, please consider signing up for my monthly newsletter. This month, readers will get an exclusive look at the first chapter! Not available anywhere else. Click below to sign up. And enjoy these photos I took of Fort Matanzas on my last adventure there!
Hello there readers,
By now, you've probably heard that Tampa Bay Comic Con has been cancelled due to the rise in COIVD-19 cases. This was to be my first year attending so I'm pretty bummed. But honestly, a little happy too. First off, I was worried the turn out would have been very low due to the social distancing rules and the virus still affecting people. It's pretty pricey to attend TBCC. But also, there would have been a good chance to catch it at the convention. So, it's probably best that it gets cancelled. But it's still sad.
Of course, next year I will be attending TBCC so come next year and say hi. My goal is to have my new paranormal thriller released before the next convention. That should be easy but we'll see what happens. Maybe I'll even have some cool merch to sell there? Who knows.
Selling my books at these conventions has been a lot of fun. Even the slow days are really fun. You get to meet a lot of cool people. Creators and people attending. I've actually created a few friendships with other creators while working on these cons. People like Todd Kelly who is an awesome comic book creator and you should definitely check him out! Click here. I very much look forward to working more in the future.
So, I will see you all at Tampa Bay Comic Con next year and hopefully many others! Don't forget to follow me on social media. This weekend was supposed to be TBCC so I may do a sale or a giveaway or something. Haven't decided what yet. Have a great week everyone!
Ghost Sightings at This Location
Have you been to the above location? I have. It's called Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida. Do you know who else has been there? A particular spirit named Jeffrey Raines. If you don't know about Jeffrey, let me give you a little info.
Jeffrey Raines is the main protagonist of my upcoming paranormal thriller book. He works for Death as her bounty hunter. He reaps souls that wander the Earth and prey on the living. His travels will take him to many locations. This is just but one place he will visit in the book.
Flagler College is gorgeous. It started as a Hotel in 1888, built by Henry Flagler. It was a luxury hotel for the wealthy. Back then, it was known as the Ponce de Leon Hotel. Words really cannot do this place justice. It's beautiful. If you find yourself visiting St. Augustine, do yourself a favor and take a tour through the building. You won't regret it. Just imagine, staying here in the late 19th century. It must have been jaw dropping back then. Now, it's a beautiful piece of history in the middle of St Augustine.
And the college serves as a backdrop for my introduction to Jeffrey Raines and the unseen spirit world. I couldn't think of a better place to kick off this series than the oldest established city in America. Check out some more images of Flagler College below. I took them on my last trip out to St. Augustine. And if you want more inside information about my upcoming book, please consider signing up for my monthly newsletter. I will be sharing information, first looks, and more behind the scenes stuff on my newsletter. PLUS get exclusive access to the short story that inspired the book! Click here to join.
Here's What You Can Do.
If you ever been curious about ways you can support yours truly, well have I got a blog post for you! I'm going to separate by things you can do which don't cost money and ways to support by spending money. Both are excellent ways to support and neither is more or less important than the other. Let's start with the free ways.
Leave a review- Leaving a review for my books is the best way to help support authors. After a certain number of reviews, our books will start to show up on recommended lists. Of course, this does require you to own the book which means you had to spend money at some point. Unless I did a giveaway which I've been known to do occasionally.
Like Comment and Subscribe-On YouTube, there's a threshold you have to meet before you can monetize your channel. By subscribing, you're helping me get closer to that threshold and helping me make money for each video watched on my channel. Liking and commenting helps boost the chance of my videos being seen or recommended as well.
Follow me on social media- Algorithms on social media exist to boost content people want to see. Unfortunately, that can also work against people. The more post interactions received, the more visible posts become. Dropping a simple like or comment helps boost those posts. I'll count reading this blog as part of following social media because it works the same way.
Patreon-Patreon is great because it allows you to support me directly and get exclusive access to things like short stories, signed books, and exclusive content.
Buy my books- This one is a bit obvious, I suppose. But buying my books literally pays me for what I'm doing. And the more it sells, the higher on the best seller list it will climb!
Pick up YouTube merch- This one is pretty new but I created a merch store where I'm selling shirts and items with my channel logo and the Terror Tube story logo. You can check that out here.
So, there you have a it. There's a few different ways in each category to support me, in case you were wondering. Like I said before, no way is better than the other. Do only what you can or feel comfortable doing. And hey, just by reading this blog post you've helped me out a lot! So, leave a comment below and drop a like and have a great rest of your day.
Hey there everyone,
Wanted to give a quick update today for those who haven't heard. I've got a YouTube channel called Books by Bond. Over on my channel, I will be posting narrated short stories written and narrated by myself. There are future plans for outside contributions as well but I have details to share on that as of yet.
The first story is up on my channel and I'll have a second later this week. My goal will be about 2 stories a month. I can't promise that amount at the moment but it's what I'm aiming for. Hopefully you give this story a listen and hopefully you like it. Please consider dropping it a like or, more importantly, subscribe to my channel! Click here.
Thanks for reading (and hopefully listening) and I'll catch ya next time.
Geek Insider Interview
In case you missed it, I got interviewed at Space Coast Comic Con. You can check out the video below! And yes, I will be signing autographs later! BYOB (Bring your own book)
Ok, so there's this idea rattling around in my brain that I can't stop thinking about. It's a new character, a new book, and a whole new series. I'm not going to be dropping all of the details right now. However, next month's newsletter will be packed with a lot more information. So, if you want to learn more then please consider signing up! You can click here to sign up.
What I will tell you is the character is named Jeffrey Raines. I held a contest a couple months back to help me pick the last name and Raines was the winner. Jeffrey Raines is a southerner with an interesting job. What is that job? You'll have to subscribe to find that out early. But I will tell you, it does center around the paranormal. And no, he's not a paranormal investigator.
I am so excited to start writing this book. The story is already planned and there's so much excitement building up over the details. You're going to want to read this book. If you're into thrillers, the supernatural, and everything in-between then you're going to love it. I will end this on a cliffhanger as well. Jeffrey Raines is dead....
To learn more about this upcoming series, sign up for my monthly newsletter now!
Happy holidays to you all. Today is Christmas Eve, for those who celebrate, and I thought it would be nice to give you a short break. You're probably hard at work cleaning the house before guests arrive. Or maybe you're wrapping last minute presents. Whatever you're doing, take a short break and take a short read. I've got something fun for you today.
As you may know, my upcoming novel Deserted is about a group of urban explorers who get trapped in an evil, abandoned town. They don't know what, or whom, to trust as they look for a way to escape. But what you might not know is, the book was inspired by a real trip to some abandoned places with my good friend, Josh.
Pictured below is the actual abandoned neighborhood we were visiting when the idea sprouted. It was an eerie and interesting place to be. A whole neighborhood had simply up and left. It was like something straight out of The Walking Dead. Every minute we spent there, I thought I might see a zombie shamble around the corner.
As we explored, which you can find video of over on his YouTube channel here, we started talking about how creepy it would be if something terrible happened. We joked how crazy it would be if we left the neighborhood and went to lunch, only to find ourselves magically back at the neighborhood and unable to leave, much like the movie 1408. And the idea was planted in my mind.
As you can see above, we found a door riddled with bullet holes. Nothing more than bored gun owners out for target practice. But our imaginations turned it into what if questions. What if something was loose in the neighborhood? What if they were trying to keep something out? What if there was some creature stalking the place? We had a lot of fun with that.
But that wasn't the only abandoned place Josh and I explored which helped fuel the fire for this book. Possibly my favorite place was an abandoned apartment building on the water. It was beautiful and relaxing. Not good material for a suspense novel, I know. But it did help me get into the mindset of urban explorers and, in fact, inspired the opening scene.
Without giving too much away, in the first couple chapters of my book the urban explorers are on the roof of an abandoned hospital. The roof is crumbling and dangerous. However, the two carry forward. One of them falls through the roof and nearly to their death but manage to climb back up.
Now, neither of us fell through the floor at the above location. However, Josh did make it to the roof while I stayed on the ground and I started to wonder what would happen if he fell through the roof or the floor? How would I get to him to help? What would I do? And thus, the scene was born. If you want to see more footage of the abandoned apartment building, check that out here.
Both days were amazing adventures and I was so glad to be a part of them. I can't thank Josh enough for allowing me to tag along and helping to inspire the idea that is becoming Deserted. I'm still writing the book but it will be available to read next year. I promise you that. If you want to be informed on its progress and when it will be available, consider signing up for my newsletter here.
I'll let you get back to your preparations for Christmas now. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed the journey. Because that's what life is, a journey. And sometimes you have to explore a little and move out of your comfort zone in order to make something special. Merry Christmas and happy New Year!
Failure. It sucks. No one likes to fail. But that's the nature of competing, isn't it? Someone has to win which means someone has to fail. Both teams can't take home the Super Bowl ring and only one candidate gets to be President. Someone always has to fail.
I recently participated in a short story contest. It was a Halloween themed contest. The stories were supposed to be scary and take a classic story or trope and give it a twist. I had a lot of fun with this idea. Here's what I came up with. A ghostly woman in white hitchhikes on the side of the road, waiting for her next victim. A man pulls over to pick her up, only for her to try and kill him. However, he's not what he appears either and the woman in white ends up becoming the hunted.
It was a classic story, woman in white, with a neat twist. I spent a lot of time writing, re-writing, editing, re-editing, proof reading, and so on. Finally, I hit submit, crossed my fingers, and hoped to win. The winner would take home $75. Money I would have used towards expensive advertising costs. Of course, if you read the title of this post you already know if I won or not.
When they announced the winners, I was obviously let down. I really loved my idea. The character was awesome. The execution of the story was well received by the few people who proofed it for me. And reading the stories that did win, I felt even worse. None of them encapsulated the nature of the contest. None really followed the guidelines of the contest. I almost felt cheated. But something happened.
If you're hoping for some twist to this story where the judges changed their mind or announced they made some mistake and I was actually the winner, sorry to disappoint. And to be honest, I'm glad they didn't. Because I learned something more valuable than the minimal prize money. I learned self appreciation. The story and the character might not have been enough for the judges but it was certainly enough for me! I loved my idea so much that I decided to give the character his very own series. And when you break down writing, whether you write for fun, you're a traditionally published author, or self-published, you should write for yourself first and an audience second. If you loved the idea and the story, that's all that matters. Meaning, don't write what you think other people will like if it's not what you like. Don't write YA novels because you think they'll sell better. Don't write non-fiction because you think it'll be easier. Always write what you love, no matter what. You like writing horror? Do it! You love writing fantasy? Do it! Your first book isn't selling well? Write another!
If you would like to read the story that I'm so proud of, there's a couple of options for you. You can head over to Patreon.com/EvanBond and become a patron. It's available exclusively for Patreon supporters for now. Or, you can wait an indeterminate amount of time for my short story collection book to come out. That's right, I will be piecing together some of my favorite short stories that I've written over the years as well as some new ones. I'll slap them together in a book and make it available. However, I don't have a release date for that yet as it's just in the planning stages. I need far more short stories in order to make it. So, you could be waiting a really long time. Why not just head over to Patreon now to read it? But, whatever you end up doing, I hope you enjoyed this blog post and learned something from it. Until next time, keep wandering. Just not alone.
WANT TO MEET R.L. STINE?
November 9th, 2019. Saturday. There will be an event at the USF St. Petersburg campus. It's called the Festival of Reading. There will be several authors there headlining such as Tim Dorsey and R.L. Stine. In addition to author talks and book signings, there will be a market surrounding the event as well. It's a huge festival for my fellow book nerds! It's going to be awesome.
Of course, I will be attending and also selling my books. So, if you're in the Tampa Bay area and want to meet me (and some other authors) come say hi. I'm really excited for this event and hope to see many of you there!
To cover up his search history, Evan Bond is a thriller/suspense author. As an outdoor enthusiast and horror lover, Evan Bond enjoys writing stories where the two come together. He lives in Florida with his wife and two sons.