Book: The Sacrifice of Candace Blake by Stephen J. Semonescategories: Book, Suspense, Thriller, Cult, Terror, Supernatural, Novella, Pulp, Horror
Stephen J. Semonesabout this book: The Sacrifice of Candace Blake came about in an unusual way for me. I was working on another horror novel, Hell Comes to Jericho, and needed a break. I wanted to write more horror, but something quicker than a novel. I had the basic plot for a short story or novella, but wasn't sure how I wanted to approach it.
At first, I wanted to do a dark and heavy novella, inspired by H.P. Lovecraft. I had this idea for a story about a man that ends up in a cave used by a Satanic cult. As I worked on my other book, my ideas seemed to blend together and, as I plotted Candace Blake out, both books kind of became one.
Ultimately, I decided to use a secondary character from Hell Comes to Jericho as the main protagonist in The Sacrifice of Candace Blake. Taking place some 25 years earlier, I figured this would be a good way to use this character while not having the stories overlap or seem forcibly connected. I didn't set out to connect them and, solely on the same character appearing in both stories, they're not.
This novella, however, was a way for me to take a break from writing Jericho, while still remaining in that same world- that universe. It was a great writing experience, as I based most of the setting on what I knew of Nashville, Tennessee and the surrounding area. Also, setting the story in the late 80's also felt more natural for the overall arc of the story, something in which I felt turned out very well.
With its shocks, twists, and turns, I'm very proud to have taken the break to write The Sacrifice of Candace Blake. It was a way for me to tell a more condensed story while still feeling as if I was making progress on my other book. I never set out to do this, it organically happened. Sometimes, as a writer, those occurrences are the best.
To this day, I've yet to see Hell Comes to Jericho published, as I'm still not happy with my latest draft. Hopefully, one day soon, I can look back and see it published. One day. Until then, The Sacrifice of Candace Blake stands as my first published work of horror, a work I'm very proud to have written.
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