I’ve long considered Kealan Patrick Burke to be something of a throwback. I imagine him as one of those long-ago pulp writers who used to churn out stories by the fistful, back when there were magazine racks brimming over with periodicals hungry for tales. Like them, Burke never seems to run out of ideas, always finding fresh approaches to the tropes of his chosen genre. To see what I mean, look no further than his new collection We Live Inside Your Eyes, a batch of scary stories that run the gamut from quietly unsettling to downright terrifying.
I love the tagline on the cover of Kealan Patrick Burke’s new novella, Blanky: “The gift that keeps on living.”
And then there’s the opening, one that immediately draws the reader into the story:
You say you can’t imagine what it must be like to lose a child.
Let me make it easy for you.
It’s the beginning of the end of your world.
As horror fans, we all have that book, movie, comic book, etc. that served as our entry point to the genre. For me, it’d have to be Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, the Young Adult book series written by Alvin Schwartz and boasting nightmarish illustrations by Stephen Gammell. There was something about those books that left a huge imprint (scar?) on me as a child and helped spark a lifelong interest in the macabre.
I often wonder how other horror writers first became interested in the genre. Was it after watching the IT miniseries or reading dad’s old Tales From The Crypt comics? “My First Fright” is a new interview series where we look at one work that provided horror authors with that initial spark.
We’ve all been there: standing in the aisle of a store, trying to hurry up and get the stuff on your list so you can get done and get out. There’s a hundred other places you’d rather be, and you’re already annoyed because it was hard to find a parking place and you can barely get down the aisle because there’s so many people there, many of whom apparently came for the sole purpose of standing in your way and chit-chatting with the neighbor or friend they happened to run into.
And then, the screaming starts.
Cemetery Dance Online Exclusive Fiction
Kealan Patrick Burke
“So, would you like my number?” she asked.
Perched on the side of the bed with his back to her, the rumpled sheets still reeking of sex, Adam closed his eyes and sighed silently. “Sure,” he said, tugging on his socks. He would give her his number because that’s how these things were supposed to go, but as soon as he was on the road, he would block hers. Getting whiny texts from some air stewardess (or whatever the hell they called themselves nowadays) would be just what he needed when he got home to his wife. Glenda was already suspicious, and with good cause. He had learned to be careful not to bring any evidence of his exploits home with him after the one time she found a pair of pink frilly panties in his suitcase, put there by one of his conquests while he’d been in the shower.