Stuart R. West has the knack of keeping me entertained, not only with his creepy characters and storylines, but with the humour he injects into his stories. Here he talks about his latest - Peculiar County, where the creepiest things have a habit of happening....
Peculiar County is not only the name of my new nostalgic ghost tale, it’s an October state of mind. It doesn’t matter where you live, Peculiar County can sort of creep up on you, kinda like a shadow that shouldn’t be moving of its own volition. You’ll know when you’ve been plunged deep into Peculiar County, the signs are many: falling leaves the color of fire; the crisp, brisk breath of air that teases ill omens; darkness so thick you’re tempted to take an axe to it to loosen an impossible ray of sunshine.
It’s a time and place where witches run the local library, a boy’s ghost stalks the cornfields next door, and strange, unseen creatures take flight at night. At least that’s the Peculiar County I’ve written about. But we all have our own personal Peculiar Counties to deal with, childhood fears to contend with and pesky monsters that still lurk under the bed.
And that’s what I’ve tried to do with my book, Peculiar County. Evoke that curious blend of nostalgia and creepy allure even though we all know it’s bad for us. It’s the kind of book I would’ve alternately cherished and been terrified by as a boy, forbidden fruit. It’s what Halloween is all about. And I suppose, in a way, I’m once again writing about what scares me. Confronting my demons. (Because I don’t think I’ll EVER get over creepy old ladies coming back from the dead. Brrrr…)
The heroine of my tale is Dibby Caldwell, a teen tomboy, the mortician’s daughter in a small Kansas town in the ‘60’s. Dibby deals with common teen issues such as bullying, the cute new bad boy in town, a runaway mother, ghosts next door, a serial killer stalking the town… Wait. Okay, maybe all of Dibby’s issues aren’t so common after all. But then again, there’s nothing common about Peculiar County.
Nothing except for our childhood fears, the ones we still can’t shake.
So this Halloween, go outside, pull up a pumpkin, and read beneath a full moon. Settle in at Peculiar County. It’s gonna be a spine-tingling ride.
“Amazingly good. Brilliant. Pitch perfect characterizations and intriguing use of language remind me of the master writer, Stephen King. Dibby is a heroine of the first order taking charge in a very Peculiar County in Kansas. Totally recommended for light horror fans.” – The Cellophane Queen 5-starred review.
About the Author
Stuart R. West is a lifelong resident of Kansas, which he considers both a curse and a blessing. It's a curse because...well, it's Kansas. But it's great because…well, it’s Kansas. Lots of cool, strange and creepy things happen in the Midwest, and Stuart takes advantage of them in his work. Call it “Kansas Noir.” Stuart writes thrillers and mysteries usually tinged with humor, both for adult and young adult audiences.
Stuart spent 25 years in the corporate sector and now writes full time. He’s married to a professor of pharmacy (who greatly appreciates the fact he cooks dinner for her every night) and has a 25 year old daughter who’s dabbling in the nefarious world of banking. (Stuart also finds it uncomfortable writing about himself in the third person, but whatever).
*Amazon author page.
*BWL Publishing author page.
*Stuart R. West's (totally inconsequential) blog: Twisted Tales from Tornado Alley
*And the rest (like on Gilligan's Island): Facebook, Twitter