Crafting Something Creepy

Ray LeCara Jr. Author Interview

Dark Awakenings is a collection of haunting short stories that take readers into the darkness and show them the horrors that are hidden in the dark. What was the inspiration for this collection of stories?

Each was inspired by something different. Written some time ago, “The Awakening” was my take on the vampire genre. “Mabel” is a twist on a story I cover with my Creative Writing students. It is much darker in tone and turns the original plot on its head.  “Keynote,” a twist on something I saw on television as a child, is a risky effort. Reminiscent of The Twilight Zone or The Night Gallery episodes, it can be difficult and even offensive to read if the point is overlooked. These three may be the most unsettling, with “Mabel” perhaps more so once the reader pieces together what happened.

“The Oracle Board” is a creepy story inspired by real events that occurred during Ouija Week when I was a college freshman. How this impacts the reader will depend on their faith and any experience they may have had with a Ouija Board.

“Hear More” was inspired by a number of things… people, events, and dreams. It didn’t come alive for me, though, until I was able to bring in Father David Tomassi and Joseph Carpenter. These are characters from The Forgotten Prophecy , my debut novel.   “Hear More” continues their story within an already established world set in the early 1980s. I thought it would be interesting to explore the idea of hearing aids in a paranormal world. Imagine how torturing it would be to literally hear more than the average person, especially if it was the taunting voice—or voices—of evil at every turn. That the individual is an aged exorcist further complicates matters . Exploring faith and mental faculties in an aging state, I think, adds layers to this story even in its brief form. 

What intrigues you about the horror and paranormal genres that led you to write this book?

I’ve always been intrigued by the genre because of intense dreams and past paranormal experiences. The challenge is putting those experiences into words, crafting something creepy enough that is haunting in its brief form no matter how it is unpacked and unique enough to hopefully be different from what already exists.

The thrilling part about writing short fiction is that the crafting of these bite-sized moments may bring about more questions than answers, leaving it to the reader to fill in the blanks. That’s the way I felt as a reader when I was a kid. Some of the collections I read as a youngster remained with me far longer than any novel because they were left open to my interpretation. Then again, it didn’t help that I dreaded the shadows even though I was certain there was no one in the room. Like when I’d have to traverse a dark basement in search of the light switch. Remember what that was like? That was the aim. 

How did you decide on the title of this novel?

I released three short story collections in 2022. The original intent was to put them together in a larger collection, but I couldn’t think of a fitting title. I think it was because they were all so different. It was only after deciding to separate them by genre that the titles revealed themselves. For this specific collection, the title makes sense since each of the protagonists are literally awakened to some form of darkness surrounding them. 

Do you plan to write another collection of horror stories, or will you branch out into a new genre?

The next horror story will most likely be a sequel to The Forgotten Prophecy, but knowing I could also revisit any one of these shorts to expand on their story and further build that world is inviting. The question is would it be as exciting as what readers come up with when they fill in the blanks?

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Dark Awakenings. Five stories about characters unexpectedly awakened to the darkness surrounding them. Those haunted places hidden in the shadows but always within the periphery. The places seldom talked about but very much feared. Get ready for tales so creepy and unnerving you may want to leave the lights on. You’ve been warned.

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on February 8, 2023, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.


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