Return to Horror

If you read THE BATTLE FOR THE ALAMO TAQUERIA, my latest novel with John Pesqueira, you know that it featured many of the elements of our previous works: a southwestern setting, characters of Hispanic origin, and magical realism. There was one thing that was new (political satire) and one thing that was clearly missing (horror).

THE ALAMO was, in fact, the first work that John and I wrote together. It started as a movie treatment, and it did make the rounds in Hollywood, especially among that Latin filmmakers. There was interest, but no takers. So, of course, we put it in a folder in the very depths of our hard-drive and moved on… to horror. Alicia’s Ghost, Alicia Bewitched, Taken by Witches, The Witch Within Her, Blood Bess and the Doomsday Games, these were increasingly horrific novels that readers like and which won critical acclaim.

But those weren’t the first books we wrote right after THE ALAMO. In a folder, almost as deep in our hard-drive as THE ALAMO rests our second novel, ALIEN INQUISITION. It ’s a book so horrific that we thought we might never dare to publish it. It sits there moldering, seething, and getting stronger with age. Everything we wrote after that was tame by comparison.

This isn’t the first book that a horror writer thought might be too strong for his readers. Stephen King refused to publish one of his novels on those very grounds and only brought the book out when he needed a work to satisfy a contractual obligation. The book was Pet Cemetery. The novel and the film based on it became huge successes and are often listed among his best works.

We think the time is right for the ALIEN INQUISITION. But the question is, do we tone it down, add more polish, cut out some of the most graphic scenes, or bring it out in all its horrifying detail?

Our current thinking is that this is the twenty-first century, and these days we have Karen Slaughter, Richard Layman, Mike Evans, and a whole category called Extreme Horror. We think the world may be ready for the uncut version.

We’ll have the book for you by Christmas, we promise. You’ll have something spooky to put alongside your latest reading of A Christmas Carol (and maybe The Uninvited). But we’ve got something more than the ghost of Christmas past or a homicidal stranger to scare you. Of course, all the details of what they are and what they want is something we intend to tease you with for the next six months.

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