Seasonal Suspense, Part 4: Stacey Longo on ‘Tricks and Treats’ anthology (Q&A w/ event details)

Stacey Longo will join other contributors to Tricks and Treats: A Collection of Spooky Tales by Connecticut Authors for a reading at Bank Square Books (53 W. Main St.) this Wednesday evening, October 26th, at 6:00 p.m. This event is free and open to the public; copies of the book will be available for purchase/signing. Contributors to the anthology will also read/sign at the BOOK CLUB Bookstore & More (100 Main St., Broad Brook) on Saturday morning, October 29th, at 11:00 a.m.


Today, I’m joined in digital damnation by Stacey Longo.

Stacey is a contributor to, and editor of, the recently released anthology Tricks and Treats: A Collection of Spooky Tales by Connecticut Authors (Books & Boos Press). She grew up on a dairy farm in Glastonbury, CT, and later lived on Block Island, RI for ten years, where she began her writing career as a humor columnist for the Block Island Times from 2000–2006. Upon returning to Connecticut, she turned her pen to horror writing. Her novel Ordinary Boy was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2016; her other titles include the short story collection Secret Things and the children’s books My Mom Has MS and Pookie and the Lost & Found Friend. Stacey’s short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies and magazines.


Praise for Tricks and Treats:

“This collection brings with it all the trappings of the season, from pumpkins and spooky decorations, to that chill coursing over your skin in the night, and the lingering sense that death has come to claim many things, possibly the reader as well.”—Michelle Garza, This Is Horror (UK)

“The short stories in this collection were brain stimulating, twisted, and wonderful quick pick-me-ups. I would certainly look to read anything written by any of these authors again.”—Wendy Carofano, Amazon Review

From the publisher:

Some of Connecticut’s finest authors—from the eighteen hundreds through today—showcase their spookiest tales in this collection. Discover some lesser-known works from literary greats Twain, Gilman, Stowe, and Brainard, and chilling stories from contemporary authors Crandall, Foley, Longo, Munson, Schoonover, Strong, and Valeri. This collection will make you proud to be a Nutmegger. “Connecticut authors, you scare the hell out of me, but I grow to love you—more and more, with every creepy tale.” ~ From the foreword by Rob Watts, author of AMERICANA and THE CROOKED ROADS THROUGH CEDAR GROVE

Tricks and Treats

Now, Stacey shares some scares …

John Valeri: What inspired your contributions to Tricks and Treats?

Stacey Longo: “Time to Let Go” was an exercise I undertook trying to get over a friend’s death. The good news: it *did* serve that purpose. The bad news: the initial draft of this story was pretty terrible.

I put it aside for a while—maybe six months—then revisited it again once I was more emotionally detached from the story. (Like I said, just writing it helped me process the initial death that inspired it.) I did a lot of heavy rewrites, and wound up really liking the now-unrecognizable version.

“Zombie Witch” was inspired by a Halloween decoration that I’ve had for years and have never quite felt comfortable hanging up. Add in one night when I was home alone, reading Joe Hill, and the damn thing started flashing and playing music all on its own, and a story was born!

JV: To what do you credit your interest in dark fiction—and what purpose do such stories serve?

SL: When my sister and I were seven and four respectively, we were accidentally allowed to watch a truly terrifying movie: I think it was House of Wax with Vincent Price. And by “allowed,” I mean Mom and Dad fell asleep and we changed the channel to the good stuff while they snored. Needless to say, it scared the snot out of both of us. But there was also something exciting about being so terrified. Everything held secrets after that—we imagined there were vampires in our closets, man-eating trees outside our windows, killer dogs living next door (that last one might’ve been true). So I associate horror with a twisted sense of both fear and excitement. And a super sisterly bonding moment. Why wouldn’t I want to write it?

JV: This anthology is Halloween-themed. Why does this particular holiday make for a good backdrop?

SL: Are you kidding? (Though, arguably, Valentine’s Day can be pretty horrific too.)

JV: For those looking for recommended reading in the genre, who/what would you recommend (and why)?

SL: At the top of my list is Jeff Strand. His blend of horror and humor are unmatched, and you can’t go wrong with any of his titles. I really liked Jonathan Mayberry’s Pine Deep trilogy. New England also has some great indie authors, too. Vincent H. O’Neil out of Rhode Island is impressive. And any of the authors in Tricks & Treats. (I was fortunate enough to get a chance to read g. Elmer Munson’s upcoming Celery Hand Duran, and trust me, you won’t want to miss that when it comes out!)

JV: Leave us with a teaser: What comes next?

SL: You know how I just said New England has some fabulous talent? I’m lucky enough to be appearing next in Triplicity: The Terror Project, Volume 1 with two of the best: Rob Smales and Tony Tremblay. It’s a collection of three horror novellas that you won’t want to miss, coming out in early December!


With thanks to Stacey Longo for her generosity of time and thought.

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