Phil Slattery, 2015
I recently published a new print edition of A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror to make the cover more appealing and to reduce the price.
A few days ago, I had four works of micro/flash fiction accepted by Ezine 51. The next day, I took one of the rejected pieces, a drabble (i.e. a horror story of exactly 100 words) entitled “Special” and submitted it to another magazine.
Since then I have been trying to finish a sci-fi/horror short story of just under 5,000 words, entitled “Laughing from B’con” to submit it somewhere. This story centers around the hostile interrogation of the leader of a defeated alien fleet that attempted to invade Earth at the end of a decade-long war. Even though it is short, this story has a intricate backstory and is thus challenging to bring to a satisfying denouement without any plot holes.
As I tried to fall asleep a little while ago (insomnia), I remembered another horror story that I have been working on for a few years that is called “The Confession of Father Lactance”. It will be a little under 5,000 words. In it, a man in Hell encounters a priest named Father Lactance who wants to confess his sins to someone. In the year 1634, Father Lactance had participated in the judgement and execution of another priest named
Father Urbain Grandier, 1627
Urbain Grandier for witchcraft and consorting with the devil. This story is based on an actual trial and execution that occurred in Loudun, France, in 1634. Aldous Huxley wrote a non-fiction novel about it entitled The Devils of Loudun, which was eventually turned into a play in 1960, a movie entitled The Devils (starring Vanessa Redgrave and Oliver Reed in 1971, and into an opera by Krzysztof Penderecki. When I left off working on the story about a year ago, I was very close to completing, but I wanted to read Huxley’s work (I had been using other sources for my research) to ensure I was making the story as historically accurate as possible while keeping it in the realm of fiction. If I can complete this soon and have it published by December, I will include it in the third edition of A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror.
If I can include this story, the drabble, and the other microfiction into A Tale of Hell… I will probably raise the price of the book by a buck or two. I might leave it where it is too. While at the Barnes and Noble in Little Rock last weekend, I did a quick survey of novels of about 300 pages, which is the current length of A Tale of Hell… and found they generally range in price from about $15 to $28. Paying $16 or $17 for a print edition of this work should still be a bargain.
I will consider maybe adding a few black and white illustrations like the one above to add to the reading experience.
Don’t forget to like this article and to subscribe to my website.