As many of you know, I achieved a milestone this past year selling a Clifton Heights short story "The Rage of Achilles" to Halloween Carnival, a Halloween anthology that will be released weekly through the month of October by Random House/Hydra, then collected in limited hardcover by Cemetery Dance Publications. It's rare I feel completely satisfied with a short story, but this one came about through a lot of blood, sweat and tears, and so far, the reaction to it in early Goodreads reviews of Halloween Carnival has blown me away.
I sometimes think what I write isn't really all that "scary." The best I can do, I believe, is to write about what I fear, about stuff I care about, and hope some readers will dig what it is I'm pitching. That's why, when I get feedback like this, it makes me feel like I'm going in the right direction. Check out some of the Goodreads reviews below:
- Kevin Lucia's "Rage of Achilles" - Another Clifton Heights tale. I've been visiting this location for a few years now, and its a great place to visit "on page" but I sure as heck wouldn't want to live there! Why Mr. Lucia hasn't been signed up at one of the big publishing houses is a great mystery to me.
- 5 Stars - for THE RAGE OF ACHILLES by Kevin Lucia. Oh dear.....a sad and haunting read about loss so all consuming it never really ends.
- ...the story that impressed me the most here was Kevin Lucia's The Rage of Achilles, or When Mockingbirds Sing. At first, what started out to be a story of the difficulties of parenting a special needs child turned into a story of such bittersweet pain and love, I thought I heard my heart crack. Beautifully written with prose that cuts straight through your chest, this was the star of Volume 1.
#1 Favorite: "The Rage of Achilles or When Mockingbirds Sing", by Kevin Lucia. This story takes place in his fictional town of Clifton Hts. For those unfamiliar with Lucia's work, this town is one on the "border" between reality as we know it, and something....else. The residents here have come to accept that their town is unlike others, and the most bizarre occurrences are generally accepted as "common" for them. In this tale, an autistic boy with a love for small china animals, is woven into a story told to Father Ward in a confessional. To say anymore about the story itself, would be giving it away, but I will say that Lucia did a fantastic job evoking just the right emotions. This is one of those poignant tales, where the ending will haunt you long afterward.
Kevin Lucia brings us another Clifton Heights story called THE RAGE OF ACHILLES or WHEN MOCKINGBIRDS SING. Kevin is also one of the editors at Cemetery Dance; I wish he wasn't so busy there. He needs more time to write. I love Clifton Heights and want to visit everyone. In this story, we learn about a young boy who is different from others. I actually don't recall if he used the word, but I think the child was autistic. It was one heck of a Halloween story.
The standout story for me is by Kevin Lucia which reads like an old Stephen King Castle Rock story.
Next is Kevin Lucia’s aforementioned “The Rage of Achilles, or When Mockingbirds Sing,” which demonstrates the book’s most impressive example of emotional range, and narrative intuition. Lucia deftly balances a third-person framing device with a first-person description of past events, which builds cleanly toward a painful twist ending. This story is meticulously constructed, full of carefully woven moral conflict—the plotting is a noteworthy achievement in itself, but it’s also worth recognizing that Lucia shows a knack for detailed, nuanced-character building. This is excellent fiction, filled with sincere pathos and a strong sense of psychological observation. For this reviewer’s money, Lucia’s contribution alone is worth the price of admission.
For my story and many great others, pre-order Volume One of Halloween Carnival today.