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Origin Stories: OCTOBER ROSES

I'm continuing my Origin Stories series with the tale of how I came to publish my Halloween-themed novella OCTOBER ROSES.

I've always loved Halloween fiction. Every October I write Halloween tales, and every October I also like to read Halloween-themed tales. I had discovered that Bad Moon Books routinely published Halloween novellas every year during the fall. It provided me with a lot of really good fiction to read (Paul Melniczek and Lisa Morton published a lot of those), and also got me to thinking.

I am such a lover of all things Halloween, I thought I might be a good fit for Bad Moon's Halloween novella series. October of 2011, I contacted Roy Robbins and asked if I wrote something by the end of the year, would he consider publishing it as part of the series. He responded that he could make no guarantees, but he would be happy to consider anything I might put together.

I had the germ of an idea, and I immediately began working on it. A seemingly straight-forward possession tale with a twist at the end, I figured I could get it finished by Christmas. Turns out I was being a little optimistic. Hit a few roadblocks, mostly because a small section wasn't working so I solved that by excising it completely from the story. I rebounded and finished by February 2012.

I sent it off to Bad Moon and did what I always do when waiting to hear about a submission...I crossed my fingers and waited rather impatiently. I remember the rush of joy I felt when I got the thumbs up. There were some light edits, but nothing too taxing. They provided an absolutely stunning cover.

The book was released in October of 2012 in paperback and digital forms, and I was thrilled to have my second Halloween-themed book on the market. The book hasn't received a wide audience, but it has gotten some nice notices. I even made a Best Of list which was pretty cool. https://horrornovelreviews.com/2013/07/22/the-five-best-recent-horror-novellas/

The following Halloween, I held a book signing at a local bookstore. Mostly friends came by, but I managed to sell one copy of OCTOBER ROSES to a random stranger who happened by. She took the book and left, but she returned an hour later to tell me she went straight to the nearby park and read the story from start to finish. She wanted me to know she enjoyed the novella. It was a very gratifying moment. I found out only later that she had a blog where she reviewed books.

A personal side note, when this was released, it became the first book published after meeting my now-husband and I actually dedicated it to Craig.

I found out a couple of months ago that Bad Moon Books was downsizing their publishing business, removing most of their titles, including mine. Luckily Crossroad Press took over the digital editions of both OCTOBER ROSES and GHOSTS IN THE ATTIC.

I'm glad that OCTOBER ROSES is still available, at least as an ebook. It can be purchased here: https://www.amazon.com/October-Roses-Mark-Allan-Gunnells-ebook/dp/B00A2ET2N0/ref=la_B005C18L7Q_1_20?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1482068609&sr=1-20&refinements=p_82%3AB005C18L7Q