Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Guest Post from Amy Michelle Mosier Author of Midnight Guests and Other Weird Stories

 Midnight Guests and other Weird Stories
By Amy Michelle Mosier

Publication Date:  August 1, 2013
Publisher:  Amy Michelle Mosier
Genre:  Horror
Page Count:  220

Excerpt from “El Curandero”

            In the jar next to that one, my heart almost stopped because I saw small, round objects with a black circle upon each one, which I perceived to be eyeballs. The jars in that row were labeled “doll's-eyes”. The creepiness of it got under my skin. Scarcely could I believe that they were really from dolls because somehow, they were exactly alike one another except in size, being more or less the same size, and they were round and not the flat disks you'd expect. Rather than appearing to be plastic, there was something I couldn't explain about them which made them look organic. I held my breath to think of a possible source, swearing to myself that they must have come from something that was recently alive.

            Alternatively fascinated but creeped out, I looked to another jar with a gray powder, tightly packed and well-settled, which was apparently not used often because it had collected dust. It was nefariously labeled “bone powder”. I examined the powder and wondered if it was a joke. I didn't often see real bones but from what I'd seen of remnants I'd found on hiking trails, the color was realistic enough. This made me think of some ancient Chinese market where bones were also sold as good luck charms. But if they'd ground them up for internal use as medicine, well, I'd never heard of such a thing and I swore that if Tony offered me a potion for my problem, I should decline as politely as possible.

Midnight Guests and Other Weird Stories

What Inspired Me to Write It

After wondering about haunted house and zombie stories and the danger in being cliché, I decided that if I was going to write a horror book, I'd better be different. I decided to write less a horror book and more a weird fiction book. I love Thriller and Twilight Zone because they provide atmosphere and surprises, not bloody horror. I think suggestion is more powerful than blood.

Midnight Guests has 13 short stories. “El Curandero” (see excerpt above) was inspired by things I've heard about curanderos, living here in Arizona. They are Mexican healers, some would say enchanters. Their advice really works! But to those uninitiated, they can be creepy and Valerie doesn't know that. So her imagination takes off. She sees doll's-eyes and ayahuasca in jars. Doll's-eyes is a real plant from the American South and ayahuasca is a South American drink meant for spiritual awakening. It looks like blood.

The third story, “Chimera”, was inspired by my own experience with sleep paralysis. When I was 14, I woke up one night unable to move and in a panic. To my right, I could swear there was a presence. But it was not an ordinary human; the head was a cobra and the rest was a man in a loincloth. I didn't know what sleep paralysis was at the time but oh, I know now. Earlier that day, I had read a scary children's book about a cobra.

“Old Billy” is about a cemetery with an interesting plant, the Baja passionflower. This native plant of Arizona is carnivorous. The part about the gems really happened to me. There was this tree in my old neighborhood and I would find these pretty rocks at its base. When I returned, there'd be more rocks that weren't there before without any explanation as to how they got there. It was quite mysterious. I still have those rocks.

Because there's a lot of hatred of unemployed people right now, I wrote “Biting Words”. It's a cautionary tale, like something straight from the Twilight Zone. I warn people to keep a civil tongue. My spoiled character, Brittany, gets exactly what she deserves in the end. I chose the name Brittany because of the singer and it just fits.

I love the number 13 and am not superstitious at all and that's why I ended the book at #13.

Dii's 4 Star Review:
 Midnight Guests and Other Weird Stories by Amy Michelle Mosier has just enough "weirdness" in each story to make you look over your shoulder the next time its dark out and you are alone! Each story is short, and leaves just enough to the imagination to let your inner monster run wild!

From tales of a Halloween maze in a cornfield, designed for fun, that turns into a horror story beyond description, to a cursed painting that promises death if its stolen, the reader is taken on a dark and edgy journey. Ms. Mosier tells her tales with stark and crisp detail, sometimes with the dry detail of a reporter until the reader isn't sure if the story is true or the result of an excellent story teller who has done some amazing research. I for one, think this collection would make for perfect campfire stories, just be sure to have extra batteries for that flashlight!

Each story will make you stop and wonder, what if...

Author Bio: Amy Michelle Mosier can't imagine writing with her clothes on; it's too uncomfortable. She has read all 1800 poems of Emily Dickinson. Her biggest horror influences are H.P. Lovecraft and Algernon Blackwood. She has spent the night in haunted places, including the Hassayampa Inn in Prescott. She believes that giants and unicorns may have been real in the ancient past. After learning Sign Language, Spanish and Arabic, she decided to not learn any more languages because keeping them all is like a juggling act. Her next book will be a collection of new fairy tales.

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