Recently, my short vampire story “It’s in Your Blood” appeared in Bites – Ten Tales of Vampires.
Years before, I’d written an anthology called Tales of Terror. Basically, it consisted of three horror stories written on notebook paper and stapled together. There were three “issues”.
Keep in mind, I was in the sixth grade and just starting out. I was influenced by Ida Chittum’s collection of ghost stories, also called Tales of Terror (one of my favorite childhood books), Alfred Hitchcock’s anthologies, and shows like Night Gallery and Twilight Zone.
I moved on to writing poetry while in high school but did write the occasional short story. For several years, my English teacher used one of these stories as an example of descriptive writing.
It wasn’t until college when I pursued short story writing again, this time focusing on the literary genre. I still wrote poetry and a friend was trying to convince me to write screenplays, something I wouldn’t do until a few years later.
Despite my creative writing endeavors, I wanted to be a journalist for an alternative press newspaper. After college, I spent a couple of years writing freelance magazine articles for local magazines, only to return to my fiction writing roots.
Which brings me to the present. I’m back to writing those dark genre stories I enjoyed as a preteen. Right now I have two awaiting publisher responses, am working on one, and am thinking of ideas for more. All this while I work on my short novels.
Why do I like writing short stories? I tend to be someone who likes to get to the point, which is a reason I can’t write novels. (I know. I’ve tried. Trust me.) Short stories provide a way for me to get material out without spending the time it would take for a longer piece. (Not that writing short stories is easy and there are authors who prefer not to write them.)
However, if writers like Charles Beaumont, Rod Serling, Ray Bradbury and others were able to elevate the short story to another level, I can only hope I might do the same one day.