Sherry Donacy was born in the heart of the Deep South to Protestant ministers. As she grew, her parents' bigoted and often psychologically abusive beliefs came more and more into conflict with her own. At an early age -- despite being on her high school's honor roster and having several scholarship offers -- she ran as far away as she could and was homeless for several years on the streets of Seattle. Eventually, with the help of a local Wiccan priestess, Sherry realized her potential and acquired her GED. Sherry works as a notary and wedding officiant, though writing has always been her creative outlet. She has a vast portfolio of unpublished and forthcoming works with Isaac's Bible being the first release.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in the heart of the Deep South in a small town. I spent the summers on my grandparents farm where I was allowed to be myself and pursue my own interests. The rest of the year I was with my minister parents being told all my interests were Satanic. When I was with my parents I had nightmares about my grandparents and when I was with my grandparents I had nightmares about my parents. It got to the point where I didn't know what was real anymore. The only way I could differentiate was to cling to my fantasy and create my own universe where everything made sense. I would hate to see what a Freudian would make of this mess but it let me keep my sanity. I have a fairly solid grasp of reality at the present but when I think back to those times all I can remember is the brightest lights and the darkest shadows. I know this is what gave my writing its voice.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I always loved to be read to as a child, although my favorites were the ghost stories my grandfather told me. But sadly I do remember the first story I ever read. Usually my grandfather would read age appropriate material or gloss over the most grisly parts. I picked up one of his library books that he had checked out to read to me. This was right after I had learned to read. I opened it up to a picture of a scarecrow and began reading a story obviously meant for young adults who were far older than me. I was riveted and couldn't stop reading until I was done. There were these two drunken brothers who made asses of themselves. They were killing their neighbor's cows and tanning their hides. Their neighbor came over to tell them to stop and they killed him and hung him out as a scarecrow. This "scarecrow" disappeared and popped back up in their bathroom closet. It chased them around for a bit before the one brother got away. He came back to the house only to find the other brother's flayed back drying on the roof. I didn't sleep at all that night. For probably a year after, every time I went to the bathroom I checked the closet for scarecrows.
A little piece of dark, experimental avant garde noir. By 'little' I mean one paragraph. Make of it what you will and let me know if you like it. I generally write prose or poetry, this is something in between, more stream-of-conscience.
"Alouette, gentille alouette. Alouette, je te plumerai..." The jack-in-box began to play against the impact of his finger tips, its cloth body spasming on its spring in laughter at the terror in his eyes. "You wouldn't want to get locked in now would you?" ~Jayden doesn't belong, he has never belonged. An old soul born in the wrong age, plagued by undefined dreams bleeding into his reality.
"Tod's final exam in World Religion was coming up and he had decided to write it on western occult theory. Cool right? Wrong. Tod was a bit... impressionable. Spending the last eight weeks looking up every quack in Seattle who wore robes as an excuse to go commando had obviously fried what little brains Tod had left." Strong language warning.
An horrific cautionary tale invoking the attractions, rebelliousness, and fears of adolescence. A nine year old boy spends the day with his mother and grandparents at the beach, concerned what the girls from his school will think. But his glimpse of the sun halo known as a sun dog will change his young life forever. Will he learn that beautiful creatures are not always good before it is too late?
Why is it every fifty-five and a half years on the solstice, children in Florence Parish start to go missing only to turn up with no memory of the event on the day after?
(Addressing some of my initial reviews, I have updated the story. The sentence structure and astromathematics remain unchanged but my misleading descriptors are updated or properly hyphenated. My thanks for the suggestions.)
Despite being written in the third person, this story gives the very real and disquieting allusion of being narrated through the eyes of the ghosts who frame the cast. Being removed by one step to be treated as third person simply drives home the point of these characters alienation from the living.
I happen to be a fan of stream-of-conscious (Freudian) writing of the '20s which gave rise to the American 'pulp fiction' of the '40s. Carter has created something new here and entirely his own but I can't help but feel there is a kindred spirit to those earlier styles.
While I agree with the writer's own assessment of the sentence structure (he discloses the fact that it was one of his earlier experiments) I had no problem following the train of thought. I would label this experiment a resounding success and while I don't feel the style works for long formats (look at pulp fiction) I do hope to see more flash fiction of this avant-garde noir from Carter in the future.
Oh my gods! An adorable, profane, very enjoyable little piece of tongue-in-cheek. If Monty Cook and R.A. Salvatore had a baby with Monty Python, I believe the result would look something like this. I don't think I could label this piece if I had too: alternative history? new mythology? dungeon equipment guide? Whatever you call it, I have rarely enjoyed any comedy quite this thoroughly. Well done Jonathan! You are the master of puns. The only reason I'm not giving this story five stars is the few spelling errors that I encountered, so my only word of advice would be perhaps to give it another proof read before you post your next story. And I sincerely hope it is another this epicly hilarious!
An interesting study in dark humor. At first this story grabbed me as very Victorian since few writers use 'proper' diary from as a literary style anymore. Wilber reminds me of a Dickens story while Sebastian is straight from Lovecraft. But as the story plays out I found myself transported to the land of cult movies to live out the remainder of the gripping prose in Pulp Fiction. Entertaining, demented, and dark. This story would not be for everyone, so my thanks to Jonathan for the content warning. Still, as the story drew to a close I had to laugh. The writer's attention to detail in spelling and structure have greatly improved since the first story I read. Well done Strickland! Three cheers to the King of the Leprechauns!
When an author creates a world he creates its history. A good writer leaves you with the impression that there are vast annals of the past tucked away in some sorceror's castle that he referenced as he wrote. Carter has achieved that for me, like few besides Robert Jordan or the great Tolkien ever have. That in itself says something, but I love the fact that Maleficious is himself a fully fleshed out character (even that flesh is rotting). He is complete with hope, generosity, severity and flaws. I get the idea he is not a man I would like to work for but would certainly be impressed to meet. And this story, though a complete capsulated glance into another world, holds the feeling of a somber postscript of a much longer novel. I certainly hope to see more of Maleficious Dreek in the future! Don't leave me hanging, Mick.
All and all, not a bad read. A young woman has survived the burning of her village by four undisclosed horsemen. While gazing down from the bell tower, she attempts to make sense of what has just happen and why she is the only survivor. The story seemed to have no resolution, which only heightened to drive home the poignant fact that many times there are no answers after an act of such horrific terror. This fantasy/horror flash-story hides some very intense and universally true political statements veiled by an intensely emotional atmosphere.
There are a few (and only a very few) grammatical and structural errors, mostly involving the plural tense of certain nouns (horsebacks, for instance) and a couple of sentences I had to reread. But overall, nothing that I felt dramatically detracted from the pacing or the message. Well done Palvi! And may I see more of this genre from you in the future.
Okay, I read... a lot. My favorite genre just happens to be horror. That said, I have rarely read any story that I so thoroughly enjoyed! Perfect pacing, absolutely no errors, a believable and haunting cast.
Daisy is a little girl who made a deal with her monsters. Now all they want is other kids to play with. And with Daisy being just a little off and constantly bullied, there are no shortage of playmates.
This story is absolutely worth every bit of this five star rating. And I coincidentally have a confession... I think Daisy may be based off of my childhood. Okay, just kidding. But I certainly hope that Alice graces us with more perfect horror in the future.
Exceptionally well written. For a succinct piece of flash fiction, it certainly seems to tell a much longer, darker, grislier history. I am reading this in advance of the second story in this "It" series which also grabbed my attention. My only word of advice on this story is to follow the Smashwords style guide. This is a five star story, no doubt. But it wont make it into the premium category without the initial copyright agreement being attached.
I liked both these stories. They seem to capture that primordial childhood fear of what lurks in the dark while translating it to an adult level. This story is a bit more lighthearted than the first, being narrated as it is by a child. This child challenges the monster to a board game. I love the abruptness of the trick ending, very clever. It would almost cause this story to transcend into the realm of black humor if not for the sense of hopeless terror it invokes. I look forward to reading more of Xavier's horror. Again, my only suggestion is to add the Smashwords agreement to the front so you can these fabulous stories out to a broader audience. Your public awaites!
An entertaining, succinct little piece of flash-fiction. If I say much more than the author's description then I'll give away the trick ending. About the only other thing I could add in way of a hook would be: if you ever wondered what those weird hyper-religious folks around the corner were hiding, this is probably it. Very poignant, disquieting, and I must say that I have rarely read a tale that told this complete a story in 500 words. A word of advice for Rish (and my only word of advice) would be to post the Smashwords agreement in place of your own and to add a cover, even if it be just a cheesy Paint cover. That way you can get this awesome story into Smashwords' Premium Catalogue and get your well written works out to your awaiting public! I'll definitely be waiting for more horror by Rish.
Lauren has given a succinct description I really can't add to without spoiling the story. So I will simply give my impressions: this is prose elevated to the realm of poetry, every word thoroughly vivisected and stitched together just so to give the reader maximum impact with a minimalist sort of wording. I absolutely love this experiment in random object framework and think I shall have to roll the dice, so to speak, on my own randomology. I have absolutely no suggestions that could make this little piece of fiendishly sadistic horror any more enjoyable. Welcome to Smashwords, Lauren and I hope you grace us with more of your horror.
Very well done Sophie! I know many full grown college graduates who can't write as well as this. There were a few issues that weren't so much spelling as proper usage (to rather than too, etc.) and the section beginning "I walked through loads of muddy puddles..." would benefit from being broken up into several paragraphs. But the story was well paced and enjoyable. I can't wait to see what you give us as your writing matures.
An original take on the haunted doll story. I especially enjoyed the descriptions of the dolls carrying out their mission. I did notice a few spellcheck typos (court instead of cord for instance) and I felt the sentence structure in a few spots got a little clunky. But nothing that greatly detracted from the story. Definitely worth the read.
A truly original, truly horrifying concept. A man, unhappy with his life, finds the seediest bar he possibly can locate and drinks away the night. Before long, another of the bars patrons pulls up the next stool and offers to show the man what the world is truly like. While this story mixed elements of my favorite writers from Lovecraft, to Poe, to King; I could not help but wish I could read the story in its original Portuguese. Sadly, I felt much of the narrative was lost to the clumsy word structure. While I would say this story is a worth a read, be prepared for a few head scratchers as you try to figure out what the words in front of you mean in that combination. While I would give the concept (and probably the Portuguese edition) five stars, I have to judge this work based on what is front of me and for that reason I feel it is a three star story. I do hope to see more of your work in the future, Mike. I would perhaps give your next translation another proof read or have a friend proof read it.
I'm impressed. I happen to be a fan of zombie stories, despite the fact that almost all of them seem to run together like undercooked eggs. I evidently have a subconscious fear of the zombie concept, since I have had recurring nightmares of such an apocalypse since my childhood. I say all this as a personal backdrop to my review. Delenn has done a wonderful job of writing a story within the zombie genre without falling into the potholes many others have. Her story is original and her characters are fully fleshed out. And this story is as much a cautionary tale, one that will no doubt give me nightmares beyond just zombies: there are worse things to fear than the undead, monsters that walk among us in reality. Without giving away the authors trick ending, Delenn's monsters make zombies seem benign.
Beyond The Fence
on Sep. 30, 2013
Just an addendum to my first review. Love the cover and welcome to Smashwords, Rish.
I love legends, myths; the obscure truths on the fringes of our reality. In every myth is a little truth, a little glimpse further into our humanity. Maria has brought the legend of the dragons into out own day and age, weaving a well written tapestry of believable characters interposed around the central independent stories that comprise the myth. Entertaining enough for children, enthralling enough for adults; this is one read I can't recommend highly enough! Welcome to Smashwords, Maria. I'll be anxiously awaiting your next read.
Not a bad read and an excellent intro to the Halloween season. Appropriate for all ages. I enjoyed the quirky, believable characters that embody everyone from my own click as a kid (I'm Elsa, by the way). If you haven't guessed the identity of the little girl, I wont spoil it. It is hard to write in this particular genre without seeming a bit cliché. I don't mean that to sound like a critique, I could see this story as one of R.L. Stine's television shows.
I'll be honest, axe murder... not my thing. After all the overdone 80s and 90s junk, my hopes were not high for this story. I feel silly for ever doubting Chuck. Yes, this story starts off and seems a bit on the cliché side... but just keep reading. It's the epitome of 'who done it'. Is it the alcoholic father, the depressed teenage son, the fed up mother? I for one thought I knew early on in this marvelously crafted tale but when the end came, chills spread over every inch of my flesh! Well done, Chuck! I have some back-reading to do on the rest of your stories...
Another story, even more chills! I have to hand it to Chuck, he grabs the themes that most plague the cliché world of Hollywood; twists them, distorts them, slathers them with our own childhood fears, and hands us a plate of something entirely new, strange and horrifying! I will not be surprised if the next time I sit down to watch a movie, I see 'adapted from a story by Chuck Grossart' somewhere in the titles...
I do agree with the other reviews, this story updates 1984 into our own time and our own issues. Believable characters, heartbreaking twists, and the overall feeling of dis-utopia in a world where our decisions and individuality come to nothing. A powerful and moving statement and I can't wait to see more of your writing, Verity! Welcome to Smashwords.
I agree with Shayne in most respects, but for me the 'stop start' writing added to the first person narrative. An entertaining and worthwhile read with a trick ending that will leave you speechless... well done, Elizabeth!
Again I will say it... it amazes me how, in the right hands, the themes I always thought exhausted beyond salvation can be breathed new life. The LL sisters have done just that with this charmingly alarming little tale. Vampire, check. Vampire hunter, check. Brand new spin that blew my mind, check. A young female priestess takes it into her own hands to exterminate an entire vampire coven. The setting seemed so believable, I would almost say this was set in Cathar France during the Bubonic Plague. At first, what impressed me was that both the vampire and the hunter seem to be so equally matched: one has light, the other dark; creatures of the day, creatures of the night; strong conviction, a century of knowledge. But then the sisters throw a wild card into the equation that completely tips the scales. A marvelously entertaining read. I look forward to many more from LL Watkin.
Wow! Just wow. One of the best little pieces of original fiction I have ever read. No one has the guts to write from a Luciferian (Satanic? Gnostic?) point-of-view anymore. A well rounded story, even the devil has character. The man just wants an ear and Satan just wants a brain to pick. If you are easily offended by works which question mainstream belief, then this story is not for you. But if you want a story that challenges modern tradition, that paints an alternative-history uninfected by the plague of religion, then this story is one of the best you will ever come across. I am truly impressed, Cedrix (non de plume) and look forward to your next gripping tale.
At first I really liked this story. As I kept reading, my interest did not drop. However, I began to feel a sense of deja vu. As believable as the characters are, as much as I absolutely adore dark romance; I began to see hints of Twilight and The Huntsman. Normally I see the opposite but Moira's writing and characters are superb, I just felt the story was lacking a bit in originality. Still, a sweet if a bit macabre love story that is definitely worth five minutes of your time. Five star writing on a three star idea, I hope to see you delve more deeply into this genre in the future. I can sense your potential.
Now this is a five star story from a five star writer! Thanks for the content warning, but don't let it turn you off. Moira handles her intimate details with a poetic grace that gets her point across without sounding like a cheesy romance novel. This is a truly original idea, a priestess infected with a metallic disease who must come to terms with what she has to do to survive. I look forward to more writing in this train of thought...
Overall the story was well written, suspenseful and horrifying. I felt, though, that the language describing Jessica's nudity warranted an adult advisory notice. I don't mean to sound like a prude, it's just I find it one thing to gloss over nudity and another to describe sadism in great detail. I must say though, a gripping story shining the limelight on the seedy side of medicine. I will be looking for more works by Puglio.
Awesome graphics! Well paced a chilling, in the genre of the 60s ghost comics. As for the story, not the most original I've ever read but entertaining never-the-less. Download the Kindle version, the graphics are better and the text is more readable.
I have to say, Erotica is not my cup of tea, so to speak. Especially not men's erotica. However, I figured one good turn deserves another. From a technical aspect, I loved it! I know this guy... the one who would, erhm... hump anything if he were desperate enough, no questions asked. The turn about was such exquisite play! Funny and meaningful ending. Don't stick it where it doesn't belong! I think this should be required reading for the American teenage boy...
So very entertaining! Lauren has done it again. This is an odd little love story with a Shakespearian twist. Oh, yeah... did I mention the cactus that watches you eat breakfast? No, how about the aliens? Oh well, I guess you'll just have to see for yourself... Just a note to Lauren, if you include a 'strong language advisory' you can do away with the adult content warning. That way more people can see this darling tale of forbidden romance.
Another excellent intro into the Halloween season! This story reminds me very much of the ghost stories my grandfather used to read to me as a little girl. The writing is excellent for children and entertaining enough for adults. Let us never grow too old to be unwilling to appreciate the innocence of childhood...
I'm impressed. I read through these stories before I read the author's info. Being a fan of "Catholic Psychodrama", I use similar imagery myself. I like to consider myself impartial but with my childhood I know I'm a bit jaded. That said, despite the author's worldview; these charmingly original, twilight zone-esque, tongue-in-cheek stories hold true to the author's beliefs without coming off as preachy. It is refreshing to see an author in this day and age able to write such captivating works worthy of Alfred Hitchcock while keeping it 'G' rated. Well done, Stoney. You are one of a kind.
Not a bad story. It threw me for a loop at first. I absolutely love the concept and it certainly goes to show how our preconceptions can often lead us astray. My only word of advice would be to clarify this transitional sentence beginning "he gives me a quick wink". I had to reread it to make complete sense of it. Otherwise a marvelously witty and very cute little tale.
This is SUCH a good concept, I can't believe I've never read it from anyone else. The description is pretty much self-explanatory. This story is written like a television script, which adds another layer of weird to this story that I have to say I liked very much. Two words of advice to the author, there were a few spellcheck typos here and there (on instead of in, etc.) and to make it to the premium catalogue, you need to add the Smashwords Licensing Agreement. Otherwise, marvelously executed and well done!
I really like the concept of this story, a husband murders his wife with the telephone on their anniversary. That said, there are quite a few typos. "Drug" should be "dragged", I noticed some places where spaces were missing between words or sentences, some run on sentences, etc. A purely functional note for the author: why is he waiting in the restaurant? I get the feeling he's having an affair but it's a question raised that is never resolved. And the last thing is just a functional note for your story: for Smashwords you need to include a copyright notice and the Smashwords Licensing Agreement at the beginning of your story. I apologize if it seems like I'm picking this story apart, I know criticism can be hard to take. I do sense vast potential in your writing, Jeff. If you just make these few changes, this will be a great little piece of flash fiction, and flash fiction is one of the hardest genres to write well. I look forward to many more stories from you in the future. Just give them another proof read and possibly have a friend check them to see if there is anything else you missed (I myself find I absolutely need a second pair of eyes after re-reading my own story four or five times).
Very funny... erh... diarrhea this. It made me laugh from beginning to end, in fact it made me laugh so much the Minnesota Diarrhea Ghost struck me too. An excellent tale for the season and appropriate for all ages (despite and mostly because of the toilet humor).
A very well written poem in an excellent cadence, creepy and beautiful in the vein of Poe. There are few Gothic writers who can pull off quite this depth of poetry anymore. I shall most certainly be waiting for more. A warm and heartfelt welcome to Smashwords, John!
I am utterly amazed and have found a wonderful new author! John Gallagher approaches his writing with a grace and sophistication rarely seen since Poe. In this story he has reimagined the classic vampiric succubus in a completely new light, to my mind much more accurately to the original myth than most writers have managed. At the same time he has borrowed THE anti-heroine of the middle east and given her a character more terrifying than anything I have ever read from a modern writer. In Lilith's innocent supplications, blurred movements, and endless searching I have found my new worst fear. And it is a fear that I hope finds its way into more of John's writing. Plus, this story has one hell of an ending...
There is something about Daley's style that grabs me. I think its the clean, succinct, and descriptive text. I'm glad with the darkening of the season that Daley's writing has also darkened. While I liked his first Halloween release, I find this one to be ever-so-thoroughly unique. Yes, when I read the word 'vampire' in a story I cringe for humanity. Don't get me wrong, I love vampires. Heck, I've not seen the sun in so long I might be one myself. But Hollywood has driven the stake into the heart of my beloved dead undead. I am glad to say Daley has done something unique here, something that in all my dark perusing I have never seen. He has breathed new life into this stale dusty crypt and I would love to see a novel length version of this very original concept.
Well written as always. Grossart is by far the master of flash horror. This story is not as horrific as some of his other fair, but no less poignant and haunting. I have yet to read anything by this master of terror that is not worthy of all five stars...
Clowns are freaking creepy. Enough said. When I was a girl I can't say I was all that afraid of clowns... then Steven King had to go and write It! I was petrified of some bug clown thingy grabbing me while I sat on the toilet or washed my hands. Just when I thought I was over that silly fear, Khelsey Jackson had to go and write Speculum Mortis! Thank you very much, Khelsey! No really, thank you very much. It is refreshing to me to have my childhood fears updated into adult life. That is something I strive to do with my own writing an it is something you have superbly captured. Not a bad first story at all. In fact, besides a small bit of redundancy (if you can, try to cut any superfluous if, ands, or buts) I wouldn't change a thing. I would give this story four-and-half stars but I can't, so I'm rounding up =) But I propose this question for you to think about, because I think Speculum Mortis could very easily be a novel or collection of short stories: if Mary was afraid of spiders, rats, or ghosts what would she see in the carnival?
Let me lead by saying I'm not sure this story belongs so much under Horror as Paranormal Fiction. That said, this satirical tale practically drips black humor. I find it heartwarming and hysterical. My great-grandparents were depression era businesspeople and I could easily see my dearly departed "Pa" returning from the grave to pen the exploits penned herein. Well done, Maureen and I hope to see much more paranormal weird fiction from you in the future.
What is left unsaid in this story screams louder than anything the author states. I am not sure why that is even more disturbing to me, but it's enough that it is. In the grand tradition of Hitchcock, Rish has left me scratching my head, terrified for no reason of airplanes and bunnies. Perhaps what we have to fear next time we take a trip is not our plane crashing but that long delay after we land...
I am quite impressed with this little tale. The man likes killing cats, the man drops acid, the man starts seeing the cat he just tried to kill all around that evenings party. Witty and poignant although I would be lying if I said I didn't see the end coming early on. Still, the end was well set up so I can't complain. My one critique would be with the first paragraph. The rest of this story is so well written I think I know what the author was trying to do there. He has a rather jumbled run on sentence describing the chaotic feel of this drug fueled bash. For me though, it was confusing and caused me to reread it three times before I drunk it all in (no pun intended, okay maybe a little).
I'm not sure I would categorize this as horror but being unable to categorize this at all, I suppose that epitaph is as good as the next. Delightful little story and for once I completely agree with the hippie, this is one bad acid trip. If you think the words in this review to be a bit critical, just remember: this is opposites day after all... I can't praise this story highly enough. With the exception of two errors I caught along the way, a well presented story, striking cover, and unbelievable narrative. Whatever you smoked to come up with this, Lana; puff, puff, pass it this way.
Okay, anyone who knows me (I mean REALLY knows me) knows I have a very bizarre sense of humor. This story kept me intrigued up until the end and even though I wondered if that was the course this little tale was taking, I still laughed quite literally out loud. I hate Dr. Who, no offense. But I certainly love the dry wit behind Daley's offering...
Agreed Jonathan. I don't mean to be mean. And I must append my early review by saying, not only did Jeff correct the few things in this story I had pointed out but he also reviewed one of my own tales and gave it an adequate rating. This impressed me enough to check in and see if Jeff had taken any of my advice. He is a professional and five star writer and this story itself has been raised to that level. It still has a slight few typos but if I give it five stars, that brings my overall review to four right?.. "Oh bother," said Pooh as he fell into the vat of muriatic acid...
I agree with Carter's review of Skinner's other story, In the Woods. While I feel Remorses is a rather good piece of flash fiction, quite a bit was lost in translation. Perhaps Google Translator is a bit to blame here. Still, Remorses reads better than the few other stories I've read by Skinner and is worth three minutes of your time. A rather sadistic piece of horror through the eyes of one of the most evil men this world has ever known.