This ghost has a story to tell--his.
Fear in Appleton--a horror novel
by J. Stephen Howard
Imagine a ghost who can find your deepest, darkest fears and make you face them.
Once you're dead, you have nothing to fear other than the truth of your mortal life.At the end of his, creative writing professor Terrence Crawford falls for his student Angela Lacey and can’t accept that she doesn’t love him in return. This unleashes a variety of fears he once kept at bay, ending in his mortal demise.
Then in his anguish as a ghost, Crawford forces the people of Appleton to face their fears, resulting in a haunting chain of events that will keep the people of Appleton, Kentucky awake for years to come.
“I marveled at the author’s skill in setting the stage, and making me care about each of these new characters, all of them from wildly differing backgrounds.”
“Any lover of horror would enjoy this descent into ghost-inspired madness.”
“This is a talented author that I’m hoping for more suspense/horror works from!”
--Tara Fox Hall, Good Book Alert
“A creepy and haunting story ...eerie and disconcerting... I thought this book was well-written and overall found it an enjoyable read.” --Tracy Cook, Booked Up
Edgy Horror Novel Fear in Appleton Now on Amazon/Kindle
After three years of communing with the blank page, J. Stephen Howard published the 435-page book, Fear in Appleton, on Amazon.
Howard said, “It was a monstrous labor, consuming many days and nights, but it was worth it. I think people will enjoy reading the book because I wrote something I’d like to read. In doing this, I wrote without training wheels or safety equipment, so be prepared to go down a steep hill with no brakes.”
While the author may have written with spirited abandon, he did have professional editor Michael Garrett to put the polish on his fourth book (the others were learning experiences that might one day walk among the living). Garrett was Stephen King’s first editor, as credited by the master of horror’s non-fiction book, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft.
“I’ve learned that during the first draft, you have to dive off the cliff,” Howard said. “Thank goodness there’s a safety net for writers. Therefore, you have no excuse but to write a second, third, or fourth draft. But first, you have to take that header.”
Besides having a safety net and editor to thank, Howard should also express gratitude to the one who gave Fear in Appleton its ghoulish face. Graphic artist Neil Malgapo designed and drew the eerie-looking cover.
When asked who the audience for the book might be, Howard said, “If you enjoy Stephen King books, ‘True Blood,’ or ‘The Twilight Zone,’ I think you’ll like Fear in Appleton. Yet while these are influences, I’m proud of what I see as a unique book. In my original vision, I wanted the story to be edgy and challenging. So, I trust my readers to go over that cliff with me as the ghost pushes people to do things as a result of facing their fears.”
J. Stephen Howard lives in California with his wife where he teaches English and writes by the light of the full moon.
Questions, issues or concerns? I'd love to help you!