Poltergeists are scary. So are howling zombies and ghosts of dead children and skeletons that hide in closets. We writers—debut novelists in particular—have our own set of scary spectres, things that send us burrowing under our Snuggies.
Here are five heart-stopping ghost tales that lurk in the cobwebbed corners of writers’ minds.
“The Legend of the One-Hit Wonder”
Whispered over pumpkin spice lattes, this is the harrowing tale of a once-published writer who never sold a second book.
“The Story of the Empty Chairs”
Related to oneself in the wee morning hours, this is the grisly account of a highly publicized reading that no one attended, except the writer’s maiden aunt and one bookstore employee who was on the clock and texted the whole time.
“The Tale of the Replacement Editor”
Told between gulps of red wine, this is the spine-chilling story of a writer whose acquiring editor changed jobs and was replaced by someone who didn’t get the book at all.
“The Curse of the Untouched Swag”
Choked down between bites of dark chocolate, this is the true tale of unused promotional merchandise. About 6,500 bookmarks were ordered, but only 1,000 were taken off tables at signings, and half of those were spotted in nearby trash cans later.
“The Legend of the One-Star Reviewer”
Posted on writers’ chat boards around the world, this is the bleak story of an anonymous reviewer who never gives a book more than one star.
What about you? What writer-specific ghost tales haunt you?