If you’re one of my faithful readers, you may be happy to know I’m closing in on publishing my latest e-book, Night of the Hellhounds, a novel loosely based on my short story with the same title. The due date is Saturday, November 15 at Amazon.com.
Meanwhile, my beta readers sent their findings to me during the past weekend and I put my red pen to my book, making corrections. Now, I’m waiting until Thursday to take one last look at the manuscript before I upload it to Amazon on Friday. Those two days will give my brain a small R&R from the story (I know it by heart, front, back and sideways, and I have grown tiresome reading it).
The novel is a major overhaul of the original Kindle e-book short story I published in 2013. Night of the Hellhounds (or NotH for short) began as a story idea in 1971 when I was 14 and became a story by 1974 when I stapled my manuscript’s pages together and called it Ghost Dogs. It stayed that way until I rediscovered it almost two decades ago. After a quick rewrite, I published it as a short story called “Night of the Hell Hounds” at my old website in 2002.
Still, I always knew the story was more than a short one. So, in October 2013, I wrote a detailed synopsis of what I wanted the story to be, structured it into twenty-one chapters, and buckled down and wrote the novel, scene by scene and chapter by chapter until I had a finished draft.
From there, the story took on a life of its own. After twelve months and a few more drafts of tweaking and fine-tuning its parts, I believe this version—the final version—is the best of what NotH has always wanted to be. I expect you readers will let me know either way. So far, two beta readers have given me glowing reviews via emails. One says, “Night of the Hellhounds was amazing! It captivated me from the very beginning. Artistry at its finest. The novel has a strong storyline with a very strong set of characters. I have nothing negative to say; I really enjoyed reading it. I can’t wait for the official release!” Another says, “If anyone could get me to enjoy science fiction, it would be you.”
Here is the story’s unofficial short synopsis (though I’m leaning toward making it the official one):
Vree Erickson’s life has gone from bad to worse. She left the lawnmower in the rain and lightning killed her father and burned down her family’s home. To complicate matters even more, the lightning struck her and left her with psychic powers.
Now, Vree and her family are forced to move to her maternal grandparents’ home on Myers Ridge, a strange place near Ridgewood, Pennsylvania. There, July fifth marks the annual “Night of the Hellhounds”—a time when a vengeful spirit witch and her hellhounds return to the property next door every year and reign terror there until midnight.
Unfortunately, try as she may, Vree is unable to ignore the strangeness around her or the witch who wants to take away her powers and kill her. With the help of the cute boy from up the road and mysterious creatures that only they can see, Vree embarks on a difficult journey to save her life and destroy the ghost witch who wants her dead.
After reading that, I’m ready to read the story again!