by Connie Corcoran Wilson
“Let me start right off by saying that Connie Wilson presents what I call ‘matter-of-fact’ horror. She writes solid, declarative sentences rife with dark undertones. No fancy description for Connie. No sentimental musings. No soft emotionalism. Just hard-edged documentary-style storytelling. Jolting objective sentences made all the more disturbing by their cool directness. Frankly—and I consider myself well read in the shock genre—I have never encountered a style such as she displays here in story after story. Connie Wilson’s dark talent is unique, and readers will stagger away from her icy tales, stunned and groggy.
Her frame for this collection is also unique: stories built around Dante’s nine circles of hell. A unifying concept that is classically fresh.
Many of these hellish tales are based on truth, amplified into fiction. Her four stories set along Route 66 from Missouri through California are all true ghost stories. The final statements of convicted prisoners on Death Row as they await execution provide their actual words in ‘Hotter than Hell.’
Connie’s settings and backgrounds are beautifully variant: ancient Pompeii with zombie prostitutes; the Hmong people during the Vietnamese Secret War in Laos; the Amish community in Iowa. And the author explores her own hometown area of the Quad Cities of Iowa/Illinois in the brutally shocking ‘An American Girl,’ which is factually based on the gruesome murder of a luckless teenager.
Once you’ve read this remarkably fresh collection, you’ll emerge with some twisted new thoughts about clowns, bats, birds, serial killers, zombies, sadistic dentists and headless chickens. And what about the good folks in ‘Confessions of an Apotemnophile,’ who yearn to have their legs amputated?
Believe me, Dear Reader, you’ve never encountered anything like Hellfire & Damnation.
I have a final word for it…WOW!”
— William F. Nolan. Logan’s Run, Nightworlds.
Table of Contents
Introduction by William F. Nolan
From the Author
Hotter Than Hell
Circle One: Limbo
Rachel and David
Circle Two: Lust
Love Never Dies
Effie, We Hardly Knew Ye!
Circle Three: Gluttony
Amazing Andy, the Wonder Chicken
Circle Four: Hoarders & Wasters
The Lemp Mansion Curse
Circle Five: the Wrathful
The Ghost Girl of Howard “Pappy” Litch Park
Circle Six: Heretics
Hell to Pay
On Eagles’ Wings
Circle Seven: the Violent
Going Through Hell
Living in Hell
Circle Eight: the Fraudulent
Confessions of an Apotemnophile
Circle Nine: Cocytus
An American Girl
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About the Author
Connie (Corcoran) Wilson graduated from the University of Iowa (English & Journalism) and earned a Master’s degree from Western Illinois University (English & Education), with additional study at Northern Illinois, Berkeley, and the University of Chicago. She’s taught writing at six Iowa/Illinois colleges, and wrote for five newspapers, and five blogs, (including her own blog – www.weeklywilson.com).
An active member of the Horror Writers Association, her stories have appeared online and in print. Her work has won prizes from “Whim’s Place Flash Fiction” and “Writer’s Digest,” and she has published two books, with 3 upcoming.
She’s reviewed films and books for the Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa) for 12 years, taught for 36 years, founded 2 businesses, functioned as their CEO, and wrote humor columns, as well as conducting interviews for the (Moline, Illinois) Daily Dispatch, and three other newspapers.
Connie’s interviews with writers such as Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., William F. Nolan, David Morrell, Anne Perry, Joe Hill and John Irving have appeared in “SciFi Weekly,” “Reflection’s Edge,” “The Brutarian,” and a variety of other online and print magazines.