I’m not a huge horror fan. I read it once in a while, and mostly consider it another variant of fantasy. So you know my tastes, my favorite horror novel is probably Joe Hill’s N0S4A2, which is the only work of fiction I’ve ever read that actually frightened me badly enough to impact my sleep.
That was before I read your story.
The Spire in the Woods is fantastic. It’s a nod to both campfire ghost stories and the Lovecraftian sub-genre. It has a consistent magic system, its protagonist is flawed without being irredeemable, its supporting characters are believable and compelling. The stakes are high and you keep ratcheting them up. You extrapolate history and locality with a resonance that really transports. The reveal at the end rocked me to my foundations. It’s creepy and chilling and bleak and beautiful and lot of other things
In short – you’re a great writer.
I tried to find you online after reading this piece, and was saddened to find that you don’t give your name and that you don’t appear to have written anything in the past year, so I wanted to reach out to you with this open letter in the hopes that you’ll come forward, I also want to see if you’d consider doing the following:
– Take this novella, and rewrite it into a full-length novel. There’s enough story here to carry it, and I think you could keep the eipstolary style, but cut down on exposition if you had more room to work.
– Sell it. Publishing is an uncertain business, but I think the quality here is undeniable. I’m not a professional editor, but I’ve been a modestly successful writer, and I think I have some ability to judge these things. I think there is an editor at one of the five remaining publishing houses in New York City who’d be willing to back you.
– Write more stories and make them available to us to read. I can’t tell you how bummed I was to find that there was no other work of yours available.
I don’t believe in “talent,” only hard work and focussed practice, and I can say that intense effort is apparent in the Spire in the Woods. There are a lot of people out there killing themselves every day to move over that protean, ephemeral line to produce truly haunting, beautiful, gripping stories that leave people wanting more. You have crossed that line. You’ve left it in the dust behind you.
You’ve got something here. In Sam and I, you have at least two vocal fans. Both of us are saddened that there isn’t more of your work out there, that there might not be more coming.
And judging by the comments on the reddit thread we’re not alone.