Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Special Halloween Interview: Tabitha Short, Author, THE CORPSES OF OLD HILL ROAD

Tabitha Short, Author

Horror and young adult fantasy fiction author Tabitha Short joins us to heighten our Halloween experience. Tabitha has written several chilling short stories. Her newest contribution to make you scream is THE CORPSES OF OLD HILL ROAD.  You might want to check out her Book Trailer to put you in the mood. 

Tabitha has also written a young adult fantasy novel scheduled for release next year. When she’s not writing, she works as a Supported Employment Specialist for a mental health agency and is involved with the National Alliance on Mental Illness. In her spare time she likes to hang out with her husband watching movies.

Q: What do you consider “horror”?

Tabitha Short: For me a horror story is a combination of appropriate gore and psychological conundrums. I enjoy unsuspected endings.

Q: How do you make your stories such as THE CORPSES OF OLD HILL ROAD “scary”?

Tabitha Short: I include dramatic descriptions to increase visualization. I also invest a lot in character creation and development. I like to make readers identify with the characters so they can feel what they are going through and really get connected with the story. If the reader hasn’t felt something while reading my story then I have failed.

Q: What inspires you to write horror stories?

Tabitha Short: If someone had told me a year ago that today I’d be writing horror stories I’d have laughed. My husband tends to have horrific dreams and shares them with me so the majority of my horror stories have been developed from those.

Q:  I notice that your first novel will be published early 2013.  It is young adult fantasy fiction. Have you crossed out of the horror genre? Or will we see some scary scenes in it, as well?

Tabitha Short:  The fantasy fiction does not include any horror aspects in it, although it does include a murderous scene. I intend to continue writing horror fiction stories, but for the novels I plan to keep them in the fantasy fiction and thriller/mystery genres.

Q: How do you make us care about your characters?

Tabitha Short: My formula for making a reader care about a character is to create characters that the readers can identify with. I give them characteristics that the majority of the population will have. On the reverse side of things, for this story in particular I created a character a reader will love to hate. He is egotistical and arrogant. I can’t stand him and I hope my readers can’t either.

Q: How important is back story? Do you do any research for credibility?

Tabitha Short:  Unless you’re writing a novel a back story is not important at all. For short stories less is always more. One previous short I wrote titled The Please DO Feed the Animals ZOO left out the back story because adding it would have created two problems. First, it would have taken away from the story being told because readers would have to detach themselves from the story to learn another story first. Second it would have made the short story into a long story. However, for novels, it’s best to tell the back story because you have the space and time for it.

Q: Why are you a writer?  When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer?

Tabitha Short: I write because I am a storyteller. I’ve always known I wanted to be a writer. I got a lot of awards for writing growing up and it was pretty much the only thing I was good at. I went to college on journalism scholarships and spent a lot time editing and writing articles.

About Tabitha Short

Tabitha Short is the writer of many horror short stories including The Roller Coaster of Death (found in the compilation titled Misery Loves Company) and The Please DO Feed The Animals ZOO. Her YA novel, Arena Games: Petrova's Legacy, is contracted and due for publication January 19, 2013. You can purchase her books at amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com and smashwords.com as well as at her author website at http://www.authortabithashort.blogspot.com. Tabitha also operates the literary blog The First Five Pages.


He wakes up every morning knowing the world owes him something. Every woman was created for his demand, except for Vanessa Roundtree and her mother. Once lured onto their farm in the middle of nowhere he becomes their prey. As they torment his body, they break down his arrogance. Will he be able to escape? Or will he become just another of the corpses of Old Farm Hill Road?


His face lit up as his hand gripped the handle of the car door. His entire body felt relief and his chest rattled with cries of happiness. He pulled the handle and the familiar sound of the car door opening that met his ears brought an unsurpassable amount of joy. He climbed into the driver’s seat, arranging his broken leg with his unbroken arm. It was excruciating, but he had to get through it to get away. He was almost there. Sweat beaded up on his forehead and he prayed he wouldn’t pass out again. He just needed a few more hours of consciousness to get out alive.

As his breaths slowed he felt his way to the ignition switch to start the engine. His heart sank when he discovered the keys were not in the ignition. No worries, I can hot wire it, he said to himself. The wiring was easy to find, hidden behind an access cover. Fumbling with the wires because of his swollen fingers, he quickly found the two he needed. Bending forward was agonizing, but he managed it and used his teeth to strip the wires. He twisted the copper strands together and found the purple wire. It gave him a little bit of trouble, but he was able to skin the plastic covering from it as well.

He heard a loud clunk on the hood of the car and his head jerked to attention. Standing in front of the vehicle was Vanessa. She was jingling the keys in her hand.

"YouÖareÖoneÖstupid girl," he said aloud, most of it coming out as nothing more than mumbles. He hit the wires together and the engine stuttered and then came to life. He laughed heartily, his chest rising and falling painfully. He glanced out the front windshield, ready to enjoy the look on the stupid girl’s face, but she was not there. His fingers quickly moved to lock the doors just as he heard her grip the handle. She was at his driver’s side window.

Her face grew angry when she could not open the door. She removed her shirt, wrapped it around her fist and began hitting the driver’s side window, trying to bust it. Mathew put the car in reverse, looked over his shoulder and began to back down the driveway. He was free! As the car rolled down the curved driveway, Vanessa ran after it. He laughed out loud and considered running her over, but thought against it as he neared the end of the driveway.


Twitter: @tabithashort2

Where-to-Buy Links


  1. Good luck with the novel, and Corpses seems to fit the horror description. Intriguing...

  2. Great Interview ladies; Tabitha I have added this book to my Listmania and I look forward to your novel coming out next year.

  3. Yes this was a great interview, Kudos to both you Joyce Strand and it was really nice getting to know about you Tabitha Short, wow I can not wait to read your book and I love what you share about what inspires your stories!

    Syl Stein