Hello, Buckeye nation.
I'm putting out right now an open request to anyone on this forum with any experience with creative writing or just a keen interest in horror fiction and historical fiction to help me as I shape my current project. Right now what I need is readers, all the better if you're a horror story lover, because what I'm really concerned with is if my stories resonate with that readership.
The project is called "Undying," and it's a collection of stories that all share a few common elements: they're all set in the past (most of them around the time of the two world wars), all set in various parts of Europe (France, Germany, Romania, Russia, Greece, Belgium, Sweden, Italy, Poland), and all have a unifying theme: for better or worse (and because it's horror, usually for the worse) love doesn't end with death.
If anyone's interested, I have drafts of the stories up in a Google Drive, so basically I'd just need an email address to give someone access.
Here's an overview of the stories in the collection:
"From Baron Messerknecht's Journal"
In turn of the century Germany, a man suffering from amnesia tries to uncover his own history and figure out why he is trapped in a garden house under guard.
In World War 2 Belgium, two opportunists go to a deserted village to find loot, unaware that the occupants have not left, and are ravenously hungry.
During the Russian Civil War, a White Army officer interrogates a conscript accused of murdering his superior, but the conscript tells his own account: a story of supernatural terror and a spirit of the water.
"Figlia della Neve"
A story of a beautiful, tragic maiden of ice who wanders the Alps, searching for her true love and leaving a trail of deaths and suicides in her wake.
"In the Satyr's Grove"
Theo Kissanis is an orphan boy struggling to support himself and his young sister. When he seeks out a fabled olive grove he finds a strange man who offers to help them, provided Theo offers sacrifices.
In 1950s Romania, agents of the secret police arrive at a small Transylvanian village to investigate the disappearance of one of their fellow agents.
"After Long Autumn"
in pre-European Union Sweden, twin sisters from Stockholm visit their aunt in the countryside, intent on claiming some of her possessions before she dies and they become subject to inheritance taxes. Their aunt, a recluse with a tragic past, has a secret to share with them.
in the 1960s a woman returns to her childhood home in Southern France, where she is menaced by a hairy, howling creature that she believes is the monster that years ago murdered her brother, a suspected wartime collaborator reviled by all.
"The Maestro's Portrait"
in 1890s Germany, a biographer intent on writing a book about a famous composer consults the composer's widow, who asks to paint his portrait in return for her help. The portrait is perfect, until it starts changing.
"The Pale Children"
A widow who suffered many miscarriages in the past has since enjoyed a peaceful life in rural Brittany, until she starts being harassed by strange little humanoid creatures. And then her neighbor is murdered and she becomes the prime suspect.
"Autumn of the Angel"
in World War 1 Russian Poland, a woman must balance her empathy with her duty to protect herself and her daughter after she inadvertently begins sheltering a downed German pilot in her barn.