Achievements, Blog, Newsletter

On the Hunt for Halloween & A Short Story Release: October 1st’s Feature Friday

Happy Saturday, friends! I know I’m late for Friday and for October 1st, but I’m so excited to reach out to you! How was your week? Are you doing anything special for the beginning of the Halloween season?

I’ve got a big weekend ahead of me, including some pretty substantial writing, Cadence’s 7th birthday, and inviting some fall colors into our home. Tonight’s going to be fun, because I’m going to stay up late to decorate for fall, wrap Cady’s gifts, do some baking, and probably read some of my current novel.

I’ll be writing more about this on my Mediterranean and Me site, but hosting parties is noticeably different than hosting parties in the States. For one thing, when you invite people in Croatia to your party, they view it as rude to decline to attend and/or to pull a no-show—so typically, you have a much better idea who will be attending here than you would in the States. But other things are harder. I love going all-out, decorating, providing food, getting a big birthday cake, you name it, but people just don’t… do… all of that here. So it’s been a bit of a struggle to find birthday presents and to plan out a birthday party everyone will love. But I’m excited for Sunday and celebrating Cady’s 7th, just the same!

Sidenote: consider this my newsletter going forward! I’m not huge on a lot of “bells and whistles,” so I don’t want to ask my audience to subscribe to my blog and a newsletter. I’d rather keep my blog subscribers happy than ask them to enroll in something else. I’ll be creating a post like this each week to check-in and to keep you all caught up on what I’m doing. If you want to see these newsletters, regular blog posts, book reviews, and my Poem of the Day feature, just subscribe!


My biggest news this week, of course, is my release of THE DUPLEX.

I have a short story horror collection coming out on October 29, just in time for Halloween, and one of the stories is called “The Duplex.” I’ve released it as a preview for the full collection that you can enjoy now for free.

THANK YOU SO MUCH to everyone who has already supported me: reading, sending me messages, sharing it with other people, downloading it, etc., etc., etc. It’s been SUCH an exciting week, and I love you all.

“The Duplex” will be available for free download from now through midnight (EST) on October 28, 2021. 

Sprawled out across cornfields and a man-made lake the kids say plummets forever, the small town of Cresentstance feels isolated, a little ominous, and anything but small. But with tragedy just behind them and nothing to look forward to, Sonya decides this move to the town will be a good thing. Sonya and her daughter, Maddie, move into an old farmhouse renovated into a duplex, and when she discovers the other half of the house is occupied by another single mother and her son, who is the same age as Maddie, the situation feels like fate. 

But when Maddie starts to physically change and her new friend exhibits some dark behaviors, Sonya decides staying as far away from their new housemates as possible would be best. That’s until Maddie goes missing in the middle of the night, leading Sonya down dark hallways on the other side of the house where there’s laughing and screaming in the walls, and secrets the rest of the town would rather stay far, far away from. 

A perfect short story to read by the light of your creepy Black Flame Candle this fall season—and to get ready for the full collection, What We Find in the Dark, which drops right before Halloween, with just a few “ch-ch-ch-ch-ah-ah-ah-ah”s to spare.


Favorite Reads This Week:

With publishing “The Duplex” and completing my other writing for my clients, it’s been a slow week in the reading department. That said, I started reading Stephen King’s The Institute, and I absolutely love it. The general vibe feels so much like IT or 11/22/63, which is right up my alley. I’ve barely begun and am not even through Part One yet, but I’ll definitely share updates and offer up a review at the end. (Even big writers like Stephen King need support, and book reviews are a great way to provide that!)

Book Reviews This Week:

I didn’t write any new book reviews this week, but I wrote one I’m really proud of last week: “We’ll Never Know What We’re Leaving Behind: Reading Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller.” Read it on my blog or on Medium.

Also, a little throwback, now that it’s spooky season, I have to do my due diligence and remind you how good and suspenseful Jean Hanff Korelitz’ The Plot was: “Gone Girl Meets Little Fires Everywhere in Jean Hanff Korelitz’ The Plot.” Read it on Medium.

This Week on Medium:

Surprise surprise! It was also a slow week on Medium, too, but here are a few of my recent favorites over there:

About the Blues Clues reunion: “This Goes Out to All the ’90s Kids: Steve Is Proud of Us.”

That feeling when I leave myself out: “Say YES To Doing The Thing From Time To Time.”

And what’s a round-up without a little Sylvia Plath? “& How Many Sleepless Nights —”


More Coming Soon!

Poetry chapbooks, a standalone magical realism novel, a young adult (YA) supernatural series with werewolves and the four elements—I have a LOT coming your way in the next couple of years.

Whether I have an agent or publishing house backing me, or if I have to self-publish, these stories will be coming your way—and no matter what path, I know they’ll be good.

First up: What We Find in the Dark: a short story horror collection coming your way on October 29th. I’ll have an order link for you soon!

Have a safe but spooky weekend, my friends.

More Soon—
McKenzie


Subscribe to My Blog

Never miss regular blog posts, including Book Reviews and the Poem of the Day Series, among other features!

Join 2,125 other subscribers


Interested in having a newsletter / weekly round-up like this?

I can create something similar for you, either on a blog or in an actual newsletter (I’m familiar with MailChimp, Substack, Patreon, Buy Me a Coffee, etc.).

Weekly newsletters give you a unique opportunity to interact with your readers. They can catch up on what you’ve done during the busy week in a one-stop-shop-style message, and they can also see more of YOU: the writer behind the words.

Maintaining a newsletter also increases your rate of traffic—clicks, replies, sales—as well as new opportunities, including chances to repurpose your content and increase its longevity, as well as create user-generated content, based on their replies and inquiries.

The best part? You can also use your newsletter as a means to freshen up and maintain your portfolio, instead of tearing your hair out, trying to collect all of your new publications in your portfolio once per month/quarter/*gasp* year.

Interested? I’m opening up this new copywriting service for 5 clients. I already have 1 spot taken, so there are 4 left. If you want to know more, reach out to me, and let me know you’re interested in a newsletter. We’ll figure out what works best for you!

Share

Leave a Reply