It’s become an annual tradition here in October Country to share my Essential October Reads, those works that best capture the essence of the Halloween season for me. This year I’ve asked some of my favorite authors to share their own Essential October Reads with us.
Today’s guest, Horror World owner/editor Nanci Kalanta, brings us a list of tales perfectly suited for a chilly autumn evening.
October. The horror world’s favorite month. Ray Bradbury is probably the author most identified with the Halloween season. His many novels are set in the fall, Something Wicked This Way Comes, The Halloween Tree (‘natch) and The October Country are three essential fall reads for me. The opening scene in A Wrinkle In Time has Meg in her attic room listening to a fall storm raging outside her window and a later scene has her walking through the woods with leaves crunching under her feet. The imagery draws me.
With time in short supply, I sometimes resort to short stories to set the mood for the season. Cemetery Dance’s short story collection October Dreams and the Halloween novellas in Trick or Treat are just the “trick.” Re-reading Braunbeck’s “Tessellations,” Hautala’s “Miss Henry’s Bottles,” Monteleone’s “Yesterday’s Child,” Wilson’s “Bucket,” Bradbury’s “Heavy Set” along with authors’ Favorite Halloween Memories set the stage. Just add a cup of hot cocoa, a warm fire and a howling wind.
Nanci Kalanta is the owner/editor of Horror World.