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Spooky books to read on Halloween & bonus interview with one of the authors

Spooky books to read on Halloween

A list of Spooky tales for Halloween

I’m not sure how many of you curl up in a darkened room, illuminated with a few candles and read horror stories by flashlight during the Halloween festivities.  This was something I loved to do when I was a teenager.  Sometimes I’d take it a step further and bury myself under my blankets with the light and read a super scary book from there. Now I do it with my grandkids.

In case you like to celebrate Halloween with a good horror book I’ve composed a list of new books released in 2018 from some Indie Authors, I’ve come across on Facebook.  I’m always looking for ways to support other authors and thought this would help a selected few. I also selected one to be the featured author and had the opportunity to interview him.

Featured Author – John Coon

Spooky books to read on Halloween

Spooky books to read on Halloween

About the Author

John Coon has processed a love for writing since the young age of twelve when he wrote a story on his parent’s typewriter. He has been a business and sports journalist for almost fifteen years. His byline has appeared in many publications and newsletters across the nation. Coon is a lifelong resident of Utah and a graduate of Utah University.

Synopsis of Pandora Reborn

Ron Olson is a reluctant newcomer to Deer Falls. Adjusting to this small Colorado town is tough for Ron., who has been torn away from his father, his friends and his soccer team.

His situation takes a frightening turn when a mysterious woman in black is released from a chest that imprisoned her. The ancient and powerful evil descends upon Deer Falls and a series of unexplained deaths follow. No one is safe. Anyone in the town could be next.

Ron is soon targeted by the centuries-old malevolent witch as she reigns terror and death upon the town. Can Ron and his new friends find out the truth about the deaths that have plagued the town and stop the witch before more people die?

Interview With John Coon

1 – How long have you been writing and why do you enjoy it?

Although I published my first novel this year, I have been writing in one form or another for most of my life. I wrote my first stories at age 12 on an old manual typewriter in my parents’ house. They were a series of humorous stories involving mischievous kittens who were based on pet cats that our family owned at the time.

I tinkered with those stories over a few years and completed nine of them by the time I graduated from high school. The summer before I headed off to college, I wrote a rough draft for a 400-page sci-fi novel. I plan to edit and publish both projects at a future date.

I love writing for one simple reason. It’s so much fun. People always get this image of the tortured writer who toils around the clock to shape stories and bring characters to life. For me, writing is a whole different feeling. I enjoy creating fictional worlds and getting to know the characters who inhabit those worlds.

There are so many possibilities with fiction. So many stories you can tell. It offers an outlet for expressing creativity and imagination in fun and also meaningful ways.

2 – Other than writing, what else do you like to do?

I love hiking and photography. Give me a camera and send me up a rugged mountain trail and I am in heaven. I grew up in a rural area, so being outdoors and exploring nature is when I feel most at peace. It is inspiring and relaxing.

I also enjoy watching sports and participating in sports. I guess that makes sense since my day job involves being a sports reporter. I get to cover the NBA and college sports for a living, so sports are a big part of my life. It tends to influence my fiction as well. Sports usually play a key role with specific characters and factor into a particular plot point or setting.

3 – What inspired you to write “Pandora Reborn”?

Pandora Reborn is actually a story that first took shape more than 20 years ago when I was a teenager. I created several main characters and the basic plot at the time after being inspired by some Utah folklore.

In my hometown Kamas, there is a legend involving the lost Rhoads mine. Thomas Rhoads, a Mormon pioneer, was shown the location of a sacred gold mine in the Uinta Mountains by Ute leader Chief Walkara. Rhoads was allowed to extract gold for the sole purpose of financing construction of the Salt Lake Temple. No one was permitted to know the mine’s location except Rhoads and he only gained access to it after promising to use the gold exclusively to help temple construction efforts.

Many people have reportedly died in the Uinta Mountains over the years while trying to find the lost Rhoads mine. Their deaths led to legends of a lingering curse on the mine. Learning the story sparked a question in my mind: what could make a mine cursed? At that point, an idea came to me of an ancient chest with an evil witch bound inside. What would she do if someone opened it and let her out? As the idea took shape, I also drew on some elements of Pandora’s box in Greek mythology and the Jewish legend of the dybbuk box to flesh it out.

That local folklore set the foundation for Pandora Reborn. I always had an evil witch terrorizing a small town as the main plot element. Teens were always central protagonists in opposition to her. Other elements came to me over the years as I fleshed out my initial ideas, some of which were influenced by my sports reporting.

4 – I love the cover of the book. Who designed it and did you have any input

It’s a beautifully designed cover, isn’t it? The credit for the design goes to BooksGoSocial. I signed on to get their assistance in marketing Pandora Reborn on social media, sent them the photo used for the cover, and they presented me with a couple of different designs. One was the blue cover you see now and another was a red cover with a different font style. I polled friends, family, and social media followers on the two covers and they picked the blue one as their favorite by a 4 to 1 margin.

My favorite aspect of the cover is how the woman is veiled to obscure her face. She looks mysterious and menacing. It perfectly captures the feel of my antagonist in Pandora Reborn and how she appears to both the other characters and the readers observing her from the outside.

5 – Who as an author, inspires you and why? You may mention more than one.

I’ve always drawn inspiration from classic authors. My specific favorites are Jack London, Edgar Allan Poe, and H.G. Wells. London’s ability to craft adventure is second to none. I love his pacing and his ability to create realistic settings. You feel like you are actually in the frozen tundra with his characters in Call of the Wild, White Fang, and his other Alaska based stories.

Poe is a visionary who set the standard for the horror genre. His stories are all about creating atmosphere and suspense and crafting multi-dimensional characters. There isn’t a focus on violence for the sake of violence that seems to be the norm in most horror tales these days.

Wells is the grandfather of modern science fiction with his world-building ability. He can take a futuristic setting and make it feel as real as what you see, hear and smell in the actual world around you. Collectively, they are perfect role models in helping me shape the visual writing style I use in my fiction.

6 – Name three of your favorite books. Explain why these are your favorites.

Call of the Wild stands as one of my all-time favorite books. I love how Jack London gets inside the head of Buck and helps you emotionally connect with this dog as he goes from pet to feral animal through a series of cruel misfortunes as a sled dog. It is a truly riveting journey.

I really enjoy the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. He brings Narnia to life with just enough detail to help you envision an expansive world beyond what pops up on the page. I especially enjoyed The Magician’s Nephew. The contrast between Charn, London, and Narnia is fascinating. You get insight into what made the White Witch such a cruel character and how Narnia came into existence. The evolution and emotional journey of Digory are moving and well done.

I enjoy many of Edgar Allan Poe’s stories but his poem, The Raven, is my favorite. It perfectly captures the descent into madness of the narrator and offers a model for building suspense without going for the splattering blood all over the page route. I also love the language and symbolism in the verses. There’s a reason why it’s still a classic two centuries later.

7 – What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

Dare to be different. Find your own voice and write the stories you enjoy reading. Don’t worry about which genre is popular or which books sell the most copies. Just focus on crafting an engaging story populated with compelling and dynamic characters. You’ll find your audience in due time and they will gladly embrace what you’ve written if you put in the time and effort to do it right.

The other piece of advice I’d offer is to always work on your craft. Writing is like owning a pet. You need to feed it and nourish it for it to stay vibrant and healthy. Writing well each day is more important than simply hitting a word count quota. Take time to ponder scenes and characters. Approach these elements from multiple angles and flesh them out both in your mind and on paper. This will help you figure out how to best convey the story you want to tell to your audience.

8 – What common mistakes do you see new authors make?

One irritating mindset I’ve noticed, especially from some new indie authors, is the idea that quantity trumps quality. In other words, some authors work feverishly to crank out as many books as possible in a short time frame to boost their Amazon sales rank. Often, it takes the form of arbitrarily breaking up one larger story into multiple books to create a book series for the sole purpose of manufacturing extra sales.

That’s a terrible approach to take to fiction writing. Writing a novel shouldn’t operate on the same principle as building new cars on a factory assembly line.

Authors need to invest enough time to carefully craft their plot and setting and develop their characters. Readers are smart people. Don’t insult their intelligence. If they pick up your book and it turns out to be a slapdash by-the-numbers effort, what makes you think they will want to read any other book you write in the future? They crave quality stories. Quality stories take time to develop.

9 – Are you currently working on anything now? If so, tell us a little about it and when it can be expected to be available.

I have a few works in progress in various stages of development right now. My most immediate project is a novella that blends science fiction and horror elements. The story follows four college students who are on a spring break road trip when their car breaks down near an isolated west Texas town. They go into the town for help and soon become trapped there as part of a genetic experimentation project. My target publication date is late 2018 or early 2019.

10- What genre do you normally write in?

My approach to fiction writing is to focus on creating specific stories, settings, and characters instead of a particular genre. That means my ideas will cross into multiple genres, sometimes within the same story, to effectively craft the tale I want to share with my audience. Pandora Reborn, for example, is rooted in the horror and young adult genres. But it also draws on elements from the fantasy genre. There’s even a scene or two that would feel at home in sports fiction.

A large percentage of my stories now, and in the future, fall into either the horror genre, the science fiction genre, or a hybrid of the two genres. But I also have ideas I want to develop that would classify as thrillers, as humor, or as fantasy. That’s the fun of being an author. You can write in any genre you want if you have a good story to tell and dynamic characters worth exploring.

11- Other than Amazon is there anywhere else, readers can purchase your book?

Pandora Reborn has global distribution through hundreds of booksellers. Besides Amazon, readers can purchase my book through local bookstores affiliated with IndieBound either in paperback or ebook format. It is available to order online at more than 300 bookstores in the USA and Canada. Ebook versions of my novel are available to order through Walmart, Apple iBooks, and Kobo. Barnes and Noble carry both the ebook and paperback on its website. Books-a-Million carries the paperback on its website.

12- Do you have a website, Facebook page or any other social media page where readers can follow you? If yes, please provide links.

My author website can be found at johncoon.net. I keep on a blog there and I also have links to other author pages on Facebook, Amazon, and Goodreads (all of which can be accessed at http://johncoon.net/my-author-pages). If you have a Twitter account, @johncoonsports is my handle. I also use that account with my sports reporting, so expect to see quite a few sports-centric tweets if you follow me there.

13- Is there anything else you would like to say?

My journey to becoming an author has been a fun experience. I relish the opportunity I’ve had to share my stories. The positive feedback from family, friends, colleagues, and strangers have been beyond anything I ever anticipated. People have embraced my debut novel and it has been thrilling to see it.

More Spooky books to read this Halloween

The Sanctuary by Felicia F. Leibenguth

Silently Stalking from the shadows, he spots his prey. Bloodlust overtakes him as a predatory growl escapes.

A creature of habit, seclusion, and myth, forced to feed on the humans he grudgingly despises.

His latest victim is shrouded in mystery, bringing intrigue and uncertainty into his otherwise mundane existence, leaving his immortal soul to hang in the balance.


Spooky books to read on Halloween

A Road to Terror by S K. Gregory

Aria is running from something she can’t quite remember. When she meets Stella and Killian, they seem like they can help her, but someone is after Aria. Someone with deadly intentions.

Spooky books to read on Halloween

When Shadows Creep by K. Brooks

Flynn Freemont thought he’d be better off without the other Guardians and away from Caldwell Manor. He had escaped the confines of eternity within the Manor’s ever-shifting walls and found meaning in his own life and the broken ties to his temporary family.

Flynn thought he was free from the old ways, the Guardians; rules, and their responsibilities. But now, something else has come crawling into his life, sniffling at Flynn’s power. The Darkness came, slinking out of the shadows in Flynn’s new home, Freemont House. With Flynn’s life in danger, his adoptive tribe – the other centuries-old Guardians-will do whatever it takes to bring him home. He reluctantly sheds the autonomy of his life by the sea and returns to Caldwell Manor, but the Darkness follows him and threatens to unravel the Guardian’s existence.

The Darkness waits for Flynn’s resistance to fade, in order to feed its destructive efforts to destroy the Guardian’s protective connection to the multiverse. It will bide time, waiting to strike when the Guardians are at their weakest.

In order for the Guardians to save the world-and all others-from the unknown evil, they will have to shed old wounds and forgive new betrayals to save Flynn from the darkness. And himself.

Spooky books to read on Halloween

Her Dark Inheritance – Willoughby Chronicles (Volume 1) by Meg Hafdahl

On the day her mother died, Daphne Forrest learns the devastating truth. She’d never really known the woman who raised her, not even her real name. Fueled to unravel the tragic mystery behind her mother’s secrets, Daphne abandons all she knows, traveling to the bucolic yet sinister town of Willoughby. Minnesota. Navigating through the memories of her own bloody legacy, Daphne throws herself into the insular and haunting small town of her ancestors. She investigates the murder that led to her mother’s shame aided by charming, yet tortured, local, Edwin Monroe. Edwin has a unique understanding of the darkness in Willoughby and how the town holds a lurking threat more foreboding than any unsolved murder. As Daphne gets closer to the truth, Willoughby itself rebels against her. She bears witness to terrifying scenes from the past. Is her mother a murder? Is that Daphne’s dark inheritance? And is she strong enough to battle an evil more frightening that her own past?

Spooky books to read on Halloween

Children of the Incubi: IV. Gods of the Onyx

Lily’s focus of the Saga shifts when she prepares to fight both Samael and Drake to return tot he Underworld in a rescue mission of her own. Gael finally has its long-awaited wedding, ad the underlying tragedy of Declan and Caraye’s love story is a secret Amon is determined to keep hidden from Declan. Amon and Marduk take their own Hero’s journey through the Onyx River to face off against Malachi. Along the way, they face an army of lusus naturae led by an old nemesis of the Gods. Amon takes his first steps among humanity, and finally meets Lugh’s family, but neither humanity nor Lugh’s family are what he expected. Marduk and Draco plot a dangerous mission to capture the elusive Red Dragon who is wrecking havoc upon humanity in violent acts of terror that kill scores of innocents, including many of Marduk’s trackers. Their ill-planned scheme, however, has disastrous and tragic consequences that the incubi may never recover from.


Spooky books to read on Halloween

All Halloween Tales Anthology

Not everyone fears the Monster under the bed. Some of us want to be grabbed by it.

Join 20 of your favorite authors as they delve into the dark recesses of their minds to come up with stories to haunt your nights, and maybe your days as well.

We won’t blame you if you need to leave the lights on after reading.

Featuring: KZ Riley, Ellabee Andrews, Jenee Robinson, Adrienne Blake, LM Wilson, Riley Walker, Lilly Griffin, Kayla Erickson, Nadine Travers, Jenica Saren, KB Wheelock, Amara Kent, Miki & Garrett V Ward, Sarah Louise, Sofia Ann Hoffman, May Dawson, Erica Andres, Brandi Bell, and Beth Hendrix.

Spooky books to read on Halloween

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