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UPDATE: New Releases

Hello hello!

I’ve been quiet on the blog front for the past few months, as I have been so busy with study and working on my two new releases, Bedouin Boy and Grave Bargains, ahead of their release dates on Halloween and Friday the 13th of November. I am still sharing my Daily Writing Inspiration posts over on Instagram, so if you’d like to keep seeing them you can find me @katekelsenauthor.

I wanted to jump on quickly and share about my two new releases.

It all started back in late May, when I decided to revise and republish Grave Bargains, a supernatural short story I originally published a few years ago. I had an idea for a prequel to explore the background of my main character Jasem, and the events that lead him to become a sinister vigilante seeking justice for the dead in Grave Bargains. I also discovered that there was a Friday the 13th only a fortnight after Halloween this year, and this was how my goal was born. I decided I would spend the next five months working on these two stories, and publish Bedouin Boy on Halloween and Grave Bargains on Friday the 13th of November.

I didn’t think I was going to get Bedouin Boy published by Halloween. As I worked on the story, more and more ideas continued to flood my imagination, ideas which were adding more and more layers to the concept. I was researching and learning so much in the process, about Bedouin nomadic tribes, pre-Islamic paganism, Arabic black magic and geomancy divination. But I was faced with a serious dilemma- these ideas were fantastic and I wanted to include them because I knew it would make the story fuller and stronger, but I had a deadline set, and the more time went on the less likely it seemed the story would be finished by October 31st. However I knew the detail would only benefit my story, even if it meant I had to delay the release of Bedouin Boy for two weeks to give me extra time. In the end I didn’t need the extra two weeks, and I achieved my goal of publishing on Halloween.

It has been a busy five months working on Bedouin Boy and Grave Bargains, and I certainly had my moments of doubt that it would be done in time. But here they are! I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing them!

BEDOUIN BOY

Bedouin Boy tells the story of Jasem Bahar who, having inherited psychic abilities from his mother, attempts to use his gifts for the greater good but instead finds himself on unlikely journey seeking justice for the dead. From the Negev Desert in Israel to the cities of New York and Los Angeles, Bedouin Boy is an intriguing story with equally intriguing characters, with a mix of history, reinvention, crime, inheritance and horror.

Bedouin Boy is available for purchase HERE

Also available from Kobo and Google Play Books

GRAVE BARGAINS:

In the wake of a life-shattering act of betrayal, Dylan is determined to bury the past and start fresh. His good intentions are challenged by a sinister stranger, who is determined to dig up his sins, and threatens to jeopardize his efforts to make amends.

Grave Bargains is available for purchase HERE

Also available from Kobo and Google Play Books

Blog

Playing Catch-Up: Links

I have been having so much fun posting quotes, links to interesting Halloween-themed articles, and I certainly hope you have all been enjoying the content too!
Due to some personal matters that have kept me away from my computer over the past few days I have fallen behind in my posts, so I thought I’d just combine them into one post!

39 Books That Are Actually Scary

Horror Novels Based On Real Life

5 Witchy AF Books To Read This Fall

16 of the Spookiest Abandoned Places On Earth

15 of the Best Movies Set On Halloween

5 Horror Novels That Are Legit Nightmare Fuel

A Lovecraft Reading Order For Beginners

40 of the Creepiest Book Covers Of All Time

23 Child Horror Movie Actors You Wouldn’t Recognize Today

6 Great Horror Stories by Women You Can Read Right Now

Happy Hitchcock-tober: 10 Books Celebrating The Master Of Suspense

The Earlier Versions of Little Red Riding Hood Were Violent and Grotesque

5 Halloween-Appropriate Books To Read If You Don’t Like Horror

 

And some visuals:

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Blog

Three Tips On Experimenting With A New Genre

As an author I classify myself as ‘Genre Agnostic’.

I learned this title at a writer’s group meeting I attended some years ago. Genre agnostic basically means you write in a variety of genres. I myself have written historical fiction, non fiction, creative non-fiction, psychological suspense and am currently working on a series of crime fiction novels.

In 2016 I published The Graveyard Shift, as an individual ebook and as part of The New Neighbors short story collection. The Graveyard Shift os based on the true experiences of a medical student who starts to experience unusual events at the old hospital where he works the nightshift. These experiences belonged to a doctor I met years ago, who shared his experiences with me after learning I was a writer.

 

While my short stories are generally dark and disturbing, The Graveyard Shift was my first step into the realm of the supernatural. I thoroughly enjoyed leading the reader on, having them biting their nails while teetering on the edge of their seat. However as I prepared to start creating The Graveyard Shift, I knew from my previous writing studies that there was a definite difference between writing suspense and writing horror. I plan to address these differences in more detail in my next post.

I came up against the same challenge when I started working on my latest short story, Grave Bargains. This time I was delving into the world of black magic and ancient Jewish mysticism. This story was a work-in-progress for several years. The research was tricky as well; while I was quite capable of conjuring up spells in my imagination, a part of me felt I should honour the craft with accuracy. Also, I wanted my story to appear professional and well-researched before readers of this genre, even if the elements were fictionalised to a degree.

So how did I navigate my way through this new genre territory?

Here are three tips.

  1. Do Your Research.Well, of course. But not just a skim through a couple of articles; give the genre the respect it deserves, especially if it is not a genre you normally write in. I learned as much as I could about writing horror and the differences (and similarities) between it and other types of suspense/thriller writing. Also, I cannot tell you how many articles I read on the Dead Sea Scrolls.
  2. Keep It Simple (If Just At First)During the writing process of Grave Bargains, I was very tempted to delve deep into my main antagonist’s mysterious past as the latest in a long line of necromantic bedouin mystics from the Judean Desert. However I tried to keep in mind that this was only my second crack at supernatural suspense, and certainly my first try at writing about magic. So I kept it easy for myself and didn’t go too overboard: I told my story, I presented the concept and got the idea across. Maybe later I will follow up Grave Bargains with a sequel exploring the antagonist’s background a little deeper.
  3. Have Fun!
    If you’re a perfectionist like me (what writer doesn’t have a perfectionist streak??) you’re determined to make sure the details of your story are well-researched and credible. However there is a stage when you must draw the line. Some of the answers I sought in my research for Grave Bargains simply weren’t available, especially those surrounding black magic and resurrection spells (I found that the latter is heavily warned against and avoided by even by the most dedicated practitioners). There comes a time when you need to stop researching and just start creating. And if there are some details you haven’t been able to find answers for, make it up! Dedicated readers of the genre will appreciate your efforts. At the end of the day, if you are writing fiction especially, there is a degree of creative licence that you are allowed.I hope that you have found this post insightful and helpful if you are considering taking the leap into a new genre.

    Do YOU have any tips on experimenting with new genres, or about horror writing? Please do leave them in the comments!

 

Man in black hat in the rain at dark overcast sky

Grave Bargains is Available NOW for Pre-Order, For Release On Halloween.
Click HERE to find out more!