A creepy little poem that tells the story of my novel HE HAS MANY NAMES.
Pick up your copy of HE HAS MANY NAMES today.
Demon Logo by Matthew Revert
Poem, Editing and Music by Drew Chial
Another Valentine’s Day is upon us, which means it’s time to lower the storm shudders, draw up the staircase, and make sure the panic room is stocked with non-perishables. You know better than to get caught in the foyer when St. Valentine gets here.
Resist the temptation to try to spot him lumbering beneath the street lamps. Don’t go peeking through the keyhole looking for tattered robes. Don’t press your ear to the door to listen for howling on the wind, the clicking of his inverted kneecaps, or bones dragging along the picket fence. He’s out there, raising his own severed head to scan the buildings for life signs, a mangled manifestation just as Emperor Claudius had left him.
Do not attempt to pilot a drone from your roof in an attempt to capture a glimpse of the specter. Do not affix a GoPro to your mailbox or an infrared system to your lawn gnome. Just let the man serve out his punishment in peace, sacrifice your goat, and leave it out on the boulevard like you do every year.
You don’t want to end up like my friend Zeke.
The Cautionary Tale of Ezekiel Lawson
Ezekiel, or Zeke as we called him, was a trophy hunter. The man kept the town’s taxidermist in business until he took to doing it himself. He didn’t have a piece of furniture that hadn’t once been something living. His rumpus room had more fur than wallpaper, with so many antlers they practically an earthquake hazard.
Zeke was day trader, which afforded him the luxury of going on safari. He knew everything about hunting dangerous game. He told stories at the bar, gave us unsolicited lectures on concealment, wind flows, and paw prints. He claimed he took out an entire pack of wolves without reloading his rifle.
“And I did it on a level playing field. No deer stand, no bait, none of that bullshit.”
We never challenged him. After all he had the heads to prove it and he relished in the opportunity to count all six of them out. Still when Zeke said he was going after Valentine’s dire wolves we were all skeptical.
“Valentine is bound by the code of Lupercalia festival to walk those wolves. His punishment for trying to convert one of lord Februus’s followers. Those wolves are trained to sniff out evil spirits, which stands to reason they’re spirits themselves. Are you sure a bullet would do the trick?”
“They leave tracks don’t they?”
“Big as catcher’s mitts.”
“They shit on your lawn don’t they?
“Every damn time.”
“Then beneath them long mangy hides they’re still squishy on the inside.”
“What about Februus?”
“Please. The underworld is teaming with enchanted beings. You think he’s really going to miss one?”
We conceded that notion into our beers. Every one of us had an encounter with one of Februus’s creature at one time or another.
Still, I wish I’d reminded Zeke where those wolf droppings usually came from.
Zeke raised his mug. “Come on boys. My rumpus room needs a new rug.”
We clinked glasses.
On the morning of February 15thI awoke to my wife’s screams. Melissa had gone out front with the old pooper-scooper, hoping to get a start on those dire wolf droppings, when she spotted a blood trail in the snow. She found poor Zeke’s head in the birdbath, mouth wide open, one eye milky white, the other torn out of the socket with a few out stretched ribbons of muscle trying to cling for it. Half of Zeke’s face was rust colored with dried blood. The other half had been gnawed down to the bone.
That wasn’t what I found most disturbing. Zeke had seen something that night that had turned his raven hair white.
A Word of Caution This Valentine’s Day
You probably already know this, but some of you dumbass thrill seekers need a reminder. February is Februus’s month and Februus is the God of purification. In ancient Etruscan the word februare literally means “a purging.” I know you millennials like to play fast and loose with the old ways, but this is not a date night, not a time for young lovers to go skipping around downtown. Lest you want be ground down to dire wolf droppings.
Lupercalia or “Valentine’s Day,” is a time for Februus to drive dark spirits back to underworld where they belong. It’s not our place to spectate. Our role is to cower in quiet solitude of our fortified vaults, thankful that we’ve been spared for another year.
Now y’all stay safe and have a happy Valentine’s Day.
Under the shadow
Of the Hollywood sign
Is an old hotel
In a state of decline
A writer living on ramen
Sits before an agent
With a fine silver pen
The agent represents
A bestselling author
Who had an encounter
On the nineteenth floor
The author swears something
In the fantasy suite
Crawled from the dark
And gnawed at his feet
The agent presents
A big cash payment
And an agreement
That’s nothing but fine print
She wants Noelle
To spend a month up there
Ghost writing a novel
Soaking in the atmosphere
With stars in her eyes
Or perhaps dollar signs
Noelle skips the details
And signs on the line
Happy to separate
Fools from their money
She takes the elevator
The fantasy suite
Has a woodland décor
A sex swing made of vines
And tree trunks in the foyer
Noelle falls asleep beneath
A moon-shaped lantern
And wakes up to find
She’s staring at the real one
The suite has transformed
Into a redwood forest
Where a shadow figure
Has made up his nest
Who is this creature
With a long black mane
Horns and hooves?
The devil’s sales pitch from the book HE HAS MANY NAMES.
Noelle is a Hollywood transplant that’s been subsisting on instant ramen and false hope. A dubious agent offers her a gig ghostwriting for an author in a hotel where he claims to have had an unholy encounter. With whom you ask? Well… HE HAS MANY NAMES
A trailer for the book HE HAS MANY NAMES with blurbs from everyone from Keith Lansdale, writer for The X-Files: Cold Cases comic to Daniel Knauf, creator of HBO’s Carnivàle.
Noelle is a Hollywood transplant that’s been subsisting on instant ramen and false hope. A dubious agent offers her a gig ghostwriting for an author in a hotel where he claims to have had an unholy encounter. With whom you ask? Well… HE HAS MANY NAMES
My horror debut HE HAS MANY NAMES is finally here! If you’re looking for genre bending meta-storytelling nightmare fuel then you’ve come to the right place, but don’t take my word for it.
— Daniel Knauf (@Daniel_Knauf) September 25, 2018
“I’m bummed. I just finished @DrewChial’s latest, “He Has Many Names.” I HATE finishing a great book!”
– Daniel Knauf, creator of Carnivàle, writer/producer of The Blacklist and Dracula.
“Drew Chial is the tour guide into your unnatural slide into the abyss. One weird ride that keeps gaining steam.”
-Keith Lansdale, comic writer for The X-Files: Case Files, Crawling Sky
“A love letter to Stephen King and Satan from a new an exciting voice in horror.”
– Christoph Paul, author of Horror Film Poems.
“If Clive Barker and Brian Keene wrote a book in one creepy ass hotel.”
– Jeff Burk, Head Editor of Deadite Press
HE HAS MANY NAMES
Submitted for your approval: a desperate writer and a sketchy publisher meet in a seedy hotel. Noelle, the hero of our little drama, represents our collective aspirations for artistic accomplishment. Matilda, the publisher, represents Barkley Carver, a hack fraud who hasn’t written any of the bestsellers bearing his brand. Matilda wants Noelle to stay in a room where Barkley claims he saw a demon. She’s certain Noelle is the perfect person to churn out a potboiler based on Barkley’s experience.
Noelle heads for the elevator with a smirk on her face and a stride in her step, blissfully unaware of what awaits her on the 19thfloor.
We invite you to check into the Oralia Hotel, a place where the paparazzi fly drones over balconies, where fantasy suites come alive, and the door to hell manifests behind the condom dispenser. A place where DO NOT DISTURB signs won’t protect you from our brand of turndown service, where torch-lit domes, volcanic caldrons, and hanging cages are part of the décor, and the line between nightmares and reality is forever blurred.
Read the first chapter here.
Check out this video excerpt.
Chapter 1: The Oralia
I’d been trying to get ahold of my agent for months. I was beginning to think she was dead. Then she called, at dawn, sounding like she’d run up a flight of stairs. “Noelle, drop whatever you’ve got going on tonight.”
Box wine and ramen, done.
“A publisher wants to meet with you at the Oralia Hotel. It’s super swanky and upscale. So doll yourself up.”
I hung up and spent more time putting my pitch together than my outfit. I got ready at the eleventh hour, ruined a zipper in my panic, and did my makeup in a series of swift strokes right before my Uber pulled up.
I scooted into the middle seat nervously adjusting my necklace in the mirror. It was a bib of emerald laurels mom had given me for just such an occasion. I have no idea how much it set her back, but it was priceless on waitress’s salary. And…I had it on backward. I unlatched the bib, flipped it around, and struggled to get it back on.
“You know what you look like with your good bag and cheap shoes?” I muttered in my best Hannibal Lecter voice. “You look like a rube.”
“What was that?” My driver squinted through the mirror.
“I was just wondering if you could go a little faster.”
The Oralia was hard to pick out of the skyline. Its bricks were so black it blended into the storm, but there was no missing the hotel when facing it dead on. Spotlights shot up the columns, like something off the poster for a silent film. The entrance was made of dark marble tiles separated by a grid of gold. A golden maze-like pattern ran up the side of the building. The balconies started on the third story.
I walked inside and a bellhop stepped forward. “Welcome to the Oralia. May I take your things?”
I handed him my umbrella and kept my briefcase to myself.
I strode past chandeliers that looked like pipe organs, gorgeous gargoyles, and a giant clock that assured me I didn’t have time to appreciate the art deco architecture.
It felt like I was rushing through the set of a Busby Berkeley film. Big buxom sculptures grazed my case, water fountains sprayed my forearms, and ballroom music beckoned me in.
The archway between the lobby and the check-in counter featured a gilded recreation of the entrance: a skyscraper lit from the bottom up. Behind the front desk was a smaller version of the same thing.
From the stained glass stars to the bright red carpeting, the lobby screamed Golden Age Hollywood. Even the name Oralia meant golden. I felt certain that this was one of the last bastions of elegance and class from an era when there was still tinsel in tinsel town.
I scanned the plaque on the counter to confirm my suspicions.
And… The hotel was founded in 2008.
The concierge didn’t notice me. She was face deep in a paperback. I leaned over to see what it was. I couldn’t catch the title, but I caught the hunk of beefcake on the cover.
At this stage of my career in publishing I was in the retail sector, working at an establishment whose name rhymes with Yarns and Global. The hardest part of my job was when I had to tear the covers off of the romance novels that weren’t selling. The publishers didn’t want them. They just needed to know we weren’t giving them away, so they had us send back the remains. I felt bad for the male models on the covers, all their bench presses gone to waste. I felt worse for the women on the back, smiling with their eyes so full of hope, yearning to be loved.
I daydreamed writing romance under a penname, giving single women the bearded billionaire bondage experience of their dreams. I’d like to say it was artistic pride that kept me from doing it, but really, it was fear of not being able to pull it off. Romance wasn’t my area of expertise.
The concierge felt my eyes on her. She buried her guy-candy in a drawer, folded her spectacles, and stood up.
“May I help you?”
I gave her a nervous smile. “I’m here to see Matilda MacDonald.”
The concierge pointed to a vampish figure on a couch in the corner.
Matilda wore a black pants suit that was all pleats and leather, with no undershirt. The Pradas she’d kicked up on the footrest were patent leather with heels that went on forever. She wore her jet-black hair in a pixie cut. Topping off her look was an armored ring that ran the length of her index finger.
Matilda swiped at a phone in an embroidered leather case. In her clutches, it looked like a forbidden text filled with spells for calling up the dead.
I extended my hand. “Matilda MacDonald?”
Matilda extended the hand with the armored ring. “Noelle Blackwood. It’s a pleasure to finally meet you.”
I held my briefcase to my chest. “The pleasure is mine. Publishers never reach out to mid-listers. Who do I have to thank for floating my name in your direction?”
Matilda smirked and took her seat. She reached into her bag and slid a book across the table. “I trust you’ve heard of Barkley Carver.”
Barkley Carver, his name always made me think of trees, especially since there were evergreens on the covers of all of his books, including this one Out on a Limb.
Cover artists used tree lines as visual shorthand for shallow graves, which fit since all of Barkley’s stories started with hikers discovering a body. Barkley filled his fictitious funeral plots with the segment of the populace that made up his audience: upper-class white women; the same ones the media turned into saints whenever they went missing, say while jogging through the woods. This is why the mystery section of every bookstore looks like a forest mural.
Barkley took this theme a step further by working it into each of his titles: Fruit from the Poison Tree, Shake Like a Leaf, and A Tree Falls Silent.
I flipped the book over to find the same portrait Barkley Carver had used for the last twenty years. The author stood proud in his bomber jacket, full flight suit, and helmet. He leaned on the nose of a fighter jet and looked to the sky in big aviator shades.
Matilda signaled to the bellhop. He set a storage bin on the table, and flipped it open.
I peered inside. “What’s that for?”
Matilda nodded at my luggage. “Your briefcase, your coat, your phone, and a smart watch if you have one.”
I tapped my luggage. “What about my manuscript?”
Matilda drew a piece of paper from beneath the table. “Think of this meeting as less of an acquisition and more of a commission. Go ahead put it in.”
“Then I suppose you’ll want my Wi-Fi glass eye and fiber optic hair extensions?”
Matilda rolled her eyes. “Would you be so kind?”
Joking aside, Matilda wasn’t going to pass anything my way until I gave up my phone, so I did, and the bellhop left with the bin.
Matilda slid the piece of paper across the table. It wasn’t an offer. It was a nondisclosure agreement. I skimmed far enough to get to the part where I realized Matilda’s proposition wouldn’t start until I’d signed.
I drew a squiggle and slid the agreement back. “Why all the secrecy?”
Matilda swapped the agreement for a manila folder. “This offer is for you alone. Barkley and I, we’re not like other publishers. We don’t take submissions. We seek out talent and your name, Noelle, has come up several times. Your screenplay for The Identity Thieves just made the blacklist. Script readers gave it their highest marks, but do you know why it will never get made into a film?”
I shrugged. “Because it doesn’t have the words ‘fast’ or ‘furious’ in the title?”
Matilda nodded. “Because it can’t be retooled to fit an existing franchise, yes, just like your first manuscript couldn’t be softened into teen lit, and your last one couldn’t be sold as fantasy or horror. Your work defies traditional branding. Now that’s where we come in.”
I shook my head. “What is it with the royal we? I thought you only published Carver’s titles.”
“Oh we do, but we publish 5 Carver titles a year. We’d like to ratchet that number up to 15.”
“Those are James Patterson numbers.” I slouched into the sofa with an underwhelmed sigh. This was all starting to make sense. “You want me to ghostwrite for Carver. You know, serial killer thrillers aren’t really my forte.”
Matilda leaned forward and tented her fingers. “Barkley chose you because he wants to explore a new direction.”
I cocked my head. “He’s read my work?”
Matilda pushed her armored ring back and forth. “You know that paranormal investigations podcast you’re on?”
Ohhh. “So he’s heard my work.”
“We’ve listened to all nineteen episodes.”
“Then you know I’m just the token skeptic, there to make the show seem balanced.”
“Maybe that’s why they hired you, but you’re the star of the show. Every week you break down all of their supernatural pseudo science into simple psychology.”
Turning a screw into my skull, I quoted myself. “Stimulate the anterior insula and you too can see a ghost.”
“Of course. We’re hardwired to see faces everywhere.”
Matilda raised an eyebrow. “Seriously?”
“I’ve seen them in wallpaper, marble tiles, even a chain length fence when the light hit it just right.”
Matilda cocked her head. “And you never flinched?”
I shrugged. “Our ancestors had to spot predators in an instant. So sometimes we see face where there are none, the Virgin Mary on toast or a cloud shaped like Donald Trump. It’s just a glitch in evolution.”
Matilda nodded recognizing this talking point from the podcast. “People don’t hallucinate that much, do they?”
I nodded. “Oh yeah. No need for drugs or schizophrenia. With enough anxiety people will see all sorts of things.”
Matilda leaned forward. “Are you speaking from experience?”
“About anxiety or hallucinations?”
Matilda tilted her head back and forth.
“On the podcast, when I said part of my writing ritual involved speaking to my characters like they were actually there-“
Matilda perked up. “Walk ins you called them; imagined figures that felt like they were literally in the room.”
“I was being hyperbolic to prove my point.”
Matilda feigned a smile. “Still, you’re clearly qualified for this, so much so that Carver is eager to lend you his name.”
I looked down at my boots, still wet from the walk. “Yeah, but isn’t that cheating?”
“It’s collaborating. He’s the architect. You’re the engineer. He draws the blueprints. You build the house.”
“And how extensive are Carver’s blueprints?”
Matilda tapped the manila folder with her pen. “He’s written a ten-page synopsis.”
“So it’s a sketch on a bar napkin?”
Matilda shrugged. “It’s bare bones, but think of how much freedom that’ll give you.”
I waved my hands in the air. “Yeah, but it’s Carver’s name on the building. How does that help my career?”
Matilda leaned forward. “Right now, your name, with your following in the paranormal community, might get you into a local bookstore. Carver’s name will get you that prime checkout counter space at a national grocery chain.”
“Were you a real estate agent prior to your career as a publisher?”
“I’ve been many things.” Matilda smiled and passed the manila envelope across the table. “This one little book will earn you royalties for the rest of your life. It’ll buy you time to get your own magnum opus in print.”
I shuddered. “I could always put it out myself.”
Matilda pursed her lips, feigning optimistic approval.
“It’s true, as a group, self-publishers are taking bigger bites out of the e-book pie, but as individuals most of you are starving. Anonymous reviews don’t have the sway of syndicated columns, podcasts don’t have NPR’s listeners, and trendsetters don’t have the influence of traditional publishers. Go ahead and throw your book at the wall, see if it sticks, but when readers have so many options they prefer established brands.”
I unbuttoned the top button of my blouse and let out a low sigh. “How does this bestseller factory of yours work?”
Matilda raised her eyebrow, knowing she had me.
“You’ll stay here, in the Oralia, until you’ve finished a draft. We’ll comp the room, the pay-per-view,” she tilted her head back and forth, “and room service within reason.”
I looked toward the concierge. “Why put me up here? Doesn’t Carver trust anyone to keep his secret?”
Matilda bit her lip to conceal her smile. “It’s something new we’re trying. Think of yourself as an artist in residence. The Oralia isn’t old, but it was built by people who remember when this town was filled with magic. Soak it in.”
I scanned the lobby of the creepy hotel that was to be my home.
“This is starting to sound a lot like a Stephen King story, one that didn’t end well for the author in it. Is there any kind of advance?”
Matilda produced an attaché case and took her time entering the combination.
The locks clicked open and she slid the case across the table. It was lined with stacks of cash. They were twenties, but more money than I’d ever seen.
Matilda slammed the case shut. “This will be in a safe behind the counter. Send us a draft in one month and management will be authorized to hand it over.”
“It’s how Carver wants it done. It’s in the contract. Think of it as a writing marathon.”
I reflected on my first semiautobiographical novel. I labored on it in my twenties, sold it for pennies, and watched it barely make back the advance.
I looked back at the cash. “All that for one month’s work?”
“When can I check in?”
Matilda slid another document across the table. “Right after you sign on the dotted line.” Continue reading Book Excerpt: HE HAS MANY NAMES
Meet Noelle, a Hollywood transplant that’s been subsisting on instant ramen and false hope. She’s on the verge of moving back into her mother’s trailer when her agent convinces her to take a meeting at the Oralia Hotel. Enchanted by the art deco atmosphere Noelle signs a contract without reading the fine print.
Now she has one month to pen a novel sequestered in a fantasy suite where a hack writer claims he had an unholy encounter. With whom you ask? Well, he has many names: Louis Cypher, Bill Z. Bub, Kel Diablo. The Devil.
Noelle is skeptical, until she’s awoken by a shadow figure with a taste for souls.
Desperate to make it Noelle stays on, shifting the focus of her story to these encounters. Her investigations take her through the forth wall and back again until she’s blurred the line between reality and what’s written. Is there a Satanic conspiracy, is it a desperate author’s insanity, or something else entirely?
Here’s a pitch for my new novel He Has Many Names in the form of a poem.
An aspiring author
A predatory publisher
And a Faustian bargain
A month to pen a novel
In total exile
Confined to an art deco hotel
A forest themed suite
A woodland nightmare
And a shadow figure
An obsessed writer
A paranormal investigation
Through the fourth wall and back again
A meta mystery
An unreliable narrator
An unseen string puller
A lure, a trap, a plan
A pagan has-been
And a satanic showdown
All of these things and more
In the new novella:
He Has Many Names Continue reading A Poem to Pitch a Novel
When struggling writer and paranormal podcaster Noelle Blackwood gets the opportunity to ghostwrite for a bestselling thriller author, it seems almost too good to be true. The only catch is that she has to stay at The Oralia hotel until she’s done. Method becomes madness as she falls deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole of her own story and the demons it awakens. He Has Many Names is a fresh spin on the Faustian bargain, a deal with the devil story in the age of artistic desperation.
WRITING FROM A FEMININE PERSPECTIVE TAKES NUANCE
In the first draft of He Has Many Namesmy editor wasn’t sure if the hero was a man or a woman. The protagonist was named Noelle but she spoke with the stock phrases one might find in a detective film. I’d just been writing a mystery and the lingo had rubbed off on Noelle.
When asked to make Noelle more feminine I didn’t want to emphasize what she was wearing or file her jagged edges down. Characteristics we identify as feminine like gentleness, tolerance, and sensitivity don’t fit Noelle. The Hollywood studio scene has hardened her. This doesn’t mean she’s stoic, like many women written by men, just that she’s tired embodying all those things people in her field consider feminine.
Leza Cantoral gave me great notes on Noelle’s voice. It helps having a female editor.
Noelle has traits that aren’t traditionally feminine in horror fiction (especially in films). She’s skeptical of the supernatural, ambitious to a fault, quick-witted, a tad catty, a bit jealous, and extremely resourceful.
SinceHe Has Many Namesis a story about storytelling from the perspective of a writer I thought it would be fun for Noelle to comment on what audiences expect from women in stories (especially in film). A producer once told Noelle she shouldn’t write herself into her own stories because she’s not very likeable. They want women to be sympathetic and vulnerable, but so resilient they never waste time whining or sulking. They want women to be gorgeous yet so modest as to be unaware of their beauty. They want women to be driven but not competitive.
I thought it’d be cool if Noelle acknowledged those contrasts before telling the audience she’s not going to write herself like that.
IF YOU PROMISE A DEVIL DELIVER ONE
The title He Has Many Namesis a direct reference to you-know-who.
Who has horns on his head?
Who has skin that’s very red?
Who has a beard on his face?
Who keeps souls in a case?
Horns on head, skin that’s red
Beard on his face, souls in a case
Must be Satan, must be Satan
Lord of the dark realm
In the first draft the entity haunting Noelle was something else entirely. I thought I was being clever setting up Satan and then hitting the audience with a sucker punch, but it was a let down. While the final draft retains many of its twists the true devil makes a grand entrance. Make no mistake Hell factors heavily into this story.
As much as I wanted to play with the audience’s expectations I forgot the “Chekhov’s gun” rule of storytelling: if a pistol is hung on the wall in the first act it ought to go off in the second. In the same sense: if someone speaks of the devil in your first act the devil better rain brimstone down on everyone in the second.
CENTER EVERYTHING AROUND THE THEME
When I started writing He Has Many NamesI had a good concept: horror writer is sequestered in a haunted hotel room, but no clear theme, no thesis statement to leave readers with, no enlightenment to go with my entertainment.
The theme presented itself in the second draft (which was more of a reimagining than a mere edit).
He Has Many Names is about creators’ relationships with their audience. Be it a writer contemplating what horror readers are looking for or a devil pondering the quality of worship their reputation hath wrought. It’s about creators using art to take control of their lives only to then lose control of their art.
Once I knew the theme it informed every storytelling decision I made from then on.
THERE IS SUCH A THING AS BEING TOO META
At a certain point in He Has Many Namesit’s revealed that the story we’re reading is the one Noelle is submitting to her publisher. This is shown in a scene where Matilda McDonald, the publisher, tears everything we’ve just read apart. It’s one of my favorite things I’ve ever written and I tried to replicate that scene one too many times later on.
I’d over-complicated the story by including references to Noelle’s imagined ending, an alternate scenario that pandered to the psychological thriller twists readers had been conditioned to expect. It was my way of playing with the readers’ expectations while promising them that this story was going someplace different.
The problem with Noelle’s prophetic ending is that it made her an utterly unreliable narrator. While it’s clear that Noelle is taking artistic license in describing these events I didn’t want the reader to feel like she was bullshitting them. So I made some adjustments. Noelle references the alternate ending, but assures us we’re reading the one that’s based on actual events.
NOT EVERY SCARY STORY NEEDS TO END WITH AMBIGUITY
Some of my favorite scary stories leave readers wondering if anything supernatural happened at all. For great examples of this type of horror check out Paul Tremblay’s ambiguity trilogy: Head Full of Ghosts,Disappearance of Devil’s Rock, and The Cabin at the End of the World.
He Has Many Namesstraddles the line between psychological and supernatural horror but ultimately it picks a side. I thought about ending the story in such a way where the reader had to sift through clues to suss out what happened, but decided it would be more rewarding if suspicions were confirmed and given a hard “yes.”
I wanted to reward attentive readers for paying attention, while giving everyone a big bold note to go out on. Without spoiling everything I chose a grandiose conclusion over an ambiguous one. Continue reading 5 Lessons I Learned Writing He Has Many Names