Do you ever wander around cemeteries, read the inscriptions on strangers’ headstones, and wonder what their lives were like, how they died, what families they left behind?
I like seeing the very old dates in old English graveyards. I really don’t wonder about these people’s lives or how they died. To me, it is more interesting that they just “were.”
Do you know where your ancestors are buried?
My parents are buried in a cemetery at the foot of the modernistic Skyway Bridge in Tampa, Florida (USA). They share a single headstone, engraved “Together forever.”
What gives you the creeps?
Watching a sick or old person expire in front of my eyes. Their breathing slows down, then just stops, and you realize it isn’t going to start up again – ever.
Have you ever seen a ghost?
Absolutely, positively, definitively, do not believe in ghosts. And yes, I have seen one!
What’s are your favourite short story? By whom, and why do you love it?
The best horror short story I have ever read is Steven King’s “Mrs. Todd’s Shortcut.” He manages to work in so many themes, including the Maine back country, the difference between Mainers and “outa-staters,” aging within a marriage, aging alone, and good old undying lust. All this in a totally original, scary tale. Just warning you, be careful how you fold a map, and never remove the critters from the grille of a car without wearing gloves!
What do you personally, as a reader, like about anthologies?
I love anthologies of short stories. I only write short fiction, and the chance to discover a new voice or a twist on a tale that I hadn’t ever thought of is wonderful. It inspires me to put finger to keyboard and start something new right away.
Where do you find inspiration for your writing?
I find inspiration in two main areas. One is location. For example, a reviewer once said that the city of New Orleans (USA) was just another character in my story. I think they were saying that the French Quarter had a physicality and a personality equivalent to the humans in my story.
The other is in older males acting inappropriately out of lust and a “seven-year itch” type of situation. Don’t worry, they are always punished appropriately; how could they not be?
How do you go about research for the fiction you write?
I don’t write what I know, I write about where I am/ have been, and about people who are foolishly like myself. So, I don’t really research; instead, I look outside at location and inside at misbegotten motives.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bob Ellis, a retired financial services exec, has lived and worked on three continents and swum in all the oceans of the world. Now living in Florida, he writes quirky short fiction.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Among the Headstones: Creepy Tales from the Graveyard edited by Rayne Hall, presents twenty-seven of the finest – and creepiest – graveyard tales with stories by established writers, classic authors and fresh voices.
Here you’ll find Gothic ghost stories by Robert Ellis, Lee Murray, Greg Chapman, Morgan Pryce, Rayne Hall, Guy de Maupassant, Myk Pilgrim, Zachary Ashford, Amelia Edwards, Nina Wibowo, Krystal Garrett, Tylluan Penry, Ambrose Bierce, Cinderella Lo, Nikki Tait, Arthur Conan Doyle, Priscilla Bettis, Kyla Ward, Edgar Allan Poe, Paul D Dail, Cameron Trost, Pamela Turner, William Meikle and Lord Dunsany who thrill with their eerie, macabre and sometimes quirky visions.
You’ll visit graveyards in Britain, Indonesia, Russia, China, Italy, Bulgaria, Thailand, USA, Australia, South Africa and Japan, and you can marvel at the burial customs of other cultures.
Now let’s open the gate – can you hear it creak on its hinges? – and enter the realm of the dead. Listen to the wind rustling the yew, the grating of footsteps on gravel, the hoo-hoo-hoo of the collared dove. Run your fingers across the tombstones to feel their lichen-rough sandstone or smooth cool marble. Inhale the scents of decaying lilies and freshly dug earth.
But be careful. Someone may be watching your every movement… They may be right behind you.
Purchase Link: mybook.to/Headstones
The ebook is available for pre-order from Amazon at the special offer price of 99 cents until 31 January 2022. (After that date, the price will go up.) A paperback will follow.