Joanna Parypinski

Haunted Nights, “Wick’s End”

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The Halloween season is upon us, a time when you may, hopefully, take comfort from the horrors of the world in that old nostalgic feeling, that autumn feeling when the chills running down your spine came from the wind that blew leaves whispering over the sidewalk and the darkness held only ghostly mysteries rather than real mortal threats.

It may seem odd to take comfort in Halloween (and horror fiction), but I think anyone who appreciates the genre understands the feeling. Even the most dread-inducing fiction is an escape from the real horrors that are all too present in the world right now.

There is a kind of magic in Halloween, and in stories about Halloween, which brings us to our…

Next stop: Haunted Nights.

My story, “Wick’s End,” is included in this Horror Writers Association anthology, edited by Ellen Datlow and Lisa Morton, and published by Blumhouse Books / Anchor Books (part of Penguin Random House).

Which means…

Holy crap, you guys, I’ve been published by a major press!

I know… whaaaat?!

Anyway, disregarding my personal stake in this anthology, the stories therein really did knock my socks off. Seriously, after having read a few Halloween-themed short fiction anthologies, including classics like October Dreams, I think this ranks up there with the best. And I’m talking about the other stories in here, not mine: stories that do an amazing job of invoking that Halloween magic while sending a delicious shiver up your spine.

Here’s the Table of Contents to whet your appetite:

“With Graveyard Weeds and Wolfbane Seeds” by Seanan McGuire
“Dirtmouth” by Stephen Graham Jones”
“A Small Taste of the Old Countr” by Jonathan Maberry
“Wick’s End” by Joanna Parypinski
“The Seventeen Year Itch” by Garth Nix
“A Flicker of Light on Devil’s Night” by Kate Jonez
“Witch-Hazel” by Jeffrey Ford
“Nos Galen Gaeaf” by Kelley Armstrong
“We’re Never Inviting Amber Again” by S. P. Miskowski
“Sisters” by Brian Evenson
“All Through the Night” by Elise Forier Edie
“A Kingdom of Sugar Skulls and Marigolds” by Eric J. Guignard
“The Turn” by Paul Kane
“Jack” by Pat Cadigan
“Lost in the Dark” by John Langan
“The First Lunar Halloween” by John R. Little

If you happen to be in the Los Angeles area, editor Lisa Morton and a few of the writers (including me) will be doing a signing event at Dark Delicacies in Burbank this Sunday, October 8th, at 4:00 pm.

And stay tuned, because I’ve got one more story coming out this month, which will be in The Beauty of Death 2: Death By Water by Independent Legions Publishing.

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