The Stepford Wives: Why Ira Levin was a Master of Suspense

stepfordwivesFirst and foremost: if you don’t know what The Stepford Wives is about, don’t look it up; the plot twist is damn near everywhere you hear the story talked about. It’s difficult to not spoil. And if you pick up the newer edition with the introduction by Peter Straub (pictured here,) do not read said introduction. Straub takes away all the surprise before you are even given the chance to enjoy it.

That being said, I won’t be spoiling anything. Let’s jump in.

When most people mention foundational stories in horror and suspense literature, seldom do I ever hear mention of Ira Levin. Arguably, Levin is best known for his novel Rosemary’s Baby, which isn’t what I recommend to readers who want to begin exploring his work, mostly because the pacing and development. However, many of Levin’s other works are as sharp as they come—even if they take time to build up suspense.

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My New Short Story & Upcoming Reviews

DB-AUTUMN-2018Just wanted to let you know: I’ve been writing. Lots. One of my new suspense/horror pieces, “I Want You,” is now available in DimensionBucket Magazine #1 as an ebook. This issue also features many other talented authors in genre fiction, so I highly recommend checking out this project for an assortment of voices and thrilling tales.

I’ve also been reading a lot, as you would expect, and I plan to review most of what I read here on this blog. Some upcoming titles to look forward to include The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin, and Bad Ronald by Jack Vance. These will come along between any new short stories and books I release.

Thank you for staying tuned. It’s exciting to be back at the desk, and I look forward to seeing what you think of the new content!

Mirror

mirror

“You need to hold your hand up to the glass,” Emma’s voice came through the door. “You call out her name three times, and something bad’s supposed to happen.”

“I don’t know that I believe that,” Kathy whispered.

“Then why do you sound so scared?”

“I’m not scared. I just… don’t like standing in here,” Kathy set the candle down on the vanity and watched it flicker for a moment, then looked back up to her own face. Maybe she was a little scared. Her lips curled down slightly, with eyebrows retreating behind the muddy brown of her hair.

She looked down to the sink. The world drifted away, and no sounds prevailed aside the distant tick of a grandfather clock. She wanted to close her eyes, but that proved to be way more frightening than she could tolerate. Instead, she focused on the candle—considering how dumb she’d feel leaving the bathroom without a good try. She raised a hand, and maintaining her focus, placed it on the glass. It was cool, and comfortable. It allowed a little bit of solidity in the shifting darkness.

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Innocent Hobbies | A Short Story

InnocentHobbies copy

When something tells you you’re going to die very soon, you listen.

But most important, is to know who you’re speaking to.

He’d given up looking for the misplaced shotgun yet another night, and instead resorted to spending his leisure time on a new hobby. Bradley pressed his palms into each side of the board—leaning in to let the stale air fill his lungs. He’d heard stories—listened to all the talk radio he could fathom—but never had the story gone like this. The candles had blown out in a draft which gave life to the planchette; it moved on it’s own over the scuffed letters wood-burned into the board.

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