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Everyone has a monster inside
CASTLE BY THE SEA
Jason and Erika were having a wonderful time at the Halloween carnival...until their swan boat in the Tunnel of Love capsizes amid heavy waves and blaring, maniacal laughter. When they come to, they're no longer in a carnival in Ohio, but standing at the edge of a sea in a raging storm. In the distance, atop a high, barren hill, looms an enormous castle. Instead of answers, Jason and Erika find only more impossibilities within the stone walls. The lavish rooms are lit only by torches and fireplaces, the decorations and furniture are a century out of date, and the mysterious host claims to not own one of those newfangled telephone inventions. Outside, in the storm and the dense mist, lurk strange, threatening figures. Inside, another couple seeking refuge think it must all be a nightmare. Perhaps it is. Or perhaps it’s something much, much worse.
This is the first book I wrote for Samhain Publishing. It is based on a short story I did years ago as a free gift inside
the CARNIVAL OF FEAR special edition from Altar 13/Delirium. I saw that Samhain was doing a collection of gothic horror novellas (What Waits in the Shadows) and I thought this would be perfect if I could more than double the length of it without changing the story. So, for the first time in several years, I went back to my Carnival of Fear world and created a whole subplot for the story that brought the reader back to the carnival, in both the past and present. Don D'Auria, the Senior Editor of Samhain's horror line, loved it.
The best part of this was that Don and I finally got to work together. He'd been all set to pick up one of my books (The Burning Time) back when he was the editor at Leisure Horror, but the company suffered a collapse before we could do a deal. And I hadn't submitted to him during the early days of Samhain because I wanted to make sure the horror line would stick around. Don is as much of a pleasure to work with as a writer could want, and he loves all kinds of horror, which is great news for a writer like me who doesn't just work in one specific area.