We’re coming down to the wire for Creepfest this year and I’m thrilled to host this next lovely writer as part of the tour. Kim Koning is not only talented and sweet, she has one scary mind.
I asked her to share three things: a time she was terrified, what inspired her new novel, Tattoo and an excerpt from her upcoming book, Ring a Ring o’ Roses.
Here’s what she told me…
The Shadowed Man – One of my earliest memories of being terrified happened when I was eight. We lived in a very secluded suburb and our house was the last on the street bordering a large reserve and a huge waterfall. So on the front view, we had the street and on the back view we had the bush…
It was a Sunday night around about nine o’clock, the last stages of winter. Being chilly, my baby brother (three at the time) and I were watching television with my mother in the main bedroom. My father was away on business so it was just the three of us that night.
I remember that I was sitting on the floor next to my mother’s bed and my brother had fallen asleep in the bed with my mother. We were watching some movie, that to this day I cannot recall. I have always had acute hearing which has caused me no end of sleepless nights since my childhood as every movement and sound at night stirs me awake. I was furthest from the bedroom window. I heard a sound that I knew did not belong in the ordinary sounds of night. I glanced up at my mother to see if she had heard it but she was still watching the movie. So I shook myself out of the goosebumps that had crept all over me and put the indecipherable sound down to my over-active imagination.
Not ten minutes passed and I heard a sound again, this one more distinct. It was a footstep. A heavy footstep. I looked up at my mother and I saw she had heard it too. She raised her finger to her lips in an effort to silent my next question: What was that? I crept slowly up onto her bed and lay down next to my baby brother who by now had woken up from the movement. He took one sleepy-eyed look at both of us and recognised our alarm and he started crying. My mother was trying to comfort him while my eyes were peeled on the window that I was now closest to. We heard a footstep again. It was a definite footstep and it was near that window outside.
I looked back at my mother and her eyes flew to the window, again she put her finger to her lips. The light was on in the bedroom so even though the curtains were closed, we would see any shadow if anything stepped in front of the window. For seconds that felt like hours we all three stared at the window. By this time my baby brother had quietened his crying from sheer terror.
As we watched, a shadow appeared in the curtain. It looked like the shadow of a very large man. The shadow did not move, it just stood in side profile. My brother and I both started trembling uncontrollably like leaves in the wind. I felt like I could not breathe from the fear that locked my whole body. I did not even turn to my mother. My focus was fixed on the window. Then the shadow walked very slowly and as it walked, it lifted a hand and my mother and I both knew what the sharp thing held in the hand must be.
The shadow was a man, a large man and he had a knife.
By this point all three of us were trembling from extreme terror. None of us said a word or made a sound. The shadow stopped halfway in passing past the window. We could see him flick the knife open and shut. Still none of us, including the shadowed man made a sound. He stood there for about five minutes which again felt like hours. Then he continued walking slowly past the window until we could not see his shadow on the curtain anymore. The shadowed man was walking in the direction of the front veranda and out glass door that opened onto our sitting room.
The moment he had passed from our view, my mother grabbed the telephone and phoned her friend whose husband was one of the chief police officers in the town. They lived two blocks away from us. She hurriedly whispered into the phone that there was an intruder on the property and he had a knife and we were alone, defenseless. Her friend asked her to stay on the line and keep telling her what happened while the police officer left to come to our rescue.
We heard footsteps on the wooden veranda. Before my mother could stop me, I ran out into the passage and peeked around the corner so that I was not seen but could see what or who was on the veranda. I was still trembling like a leaf and standing there I knew that I had acted stupidly by leaving my mother and brother.
Then I saw the man. He was dressed head to toe in black and had something covering his face so i could see nothing but eyes. I could not look away try as I wanted to. I was compelled and drawn to stare. The man had not seen me. he was too busy with trying to unlock the glass door with the knife. I ran to my mother and told her and she then relayed the information to her friend on the phone.
The following morning we were told the man had been apprehended. He was arrested and then begged for the police to give him our telephone number so he could phone and apologize. The police did not give it to him and he was eventually sent to jail.
I am in my thirties now and that memory remains as fresh in my mind as if it happened yesterday. I am just so thankful that the neighbor’s dog had scared off the shadowed man.I shudder to think what would have happened if the dog had not been so protective.
From Ring a Ring o’ Roses
A gust of wind swept over it and a rush of heavy black wings lifted from the chimneys.
The Ravens kept their silence, roosting in their nests, a court of jesters wearing the colours of mourning.
Their eyes missed no secrets and their wings shadowed them with darkness. Every night they took flight.
Their wings of coal like liquid night.
They hunted while the living slept.
Their prey did not hear them until the talons of fate caught up in their fur.
Death came swift and silently.
It was dressed in feathered robes of black.
Its talons gloved in the jeweled ruby tones of life.
As the dawn sky cracked open the night, death flew home to savour the sweet taste of life in its talons.
It landed on the cold gray stone.
It watched as the night leaked into soft light.
The song it sang farewelled the night of death with a haunting cry.
It watched over them.
Its dark gray stone walls were cemented with their secrets.
Shadows stood veiled in its windows.
It breathed slowly and ominously.
The walls would not give up the blood of their despair.
The windows shuttered the grey of their shame.
The doors kept the dead and living captive.
It was their keeper: this court of stone.
They called it The Raven’s Court.”
– Excerpt from my WIP (A Paranormal Historical Trilogy)
Ring a Ring o’ Roses
~ Book 1 – The Chaos Chasms ~
Watch for it’s release in 2012
My next ‘work in progress’ is a Paranormal Thriller called Tattoo. The WIP is going to be part of a trilogy that I am very excited to see written and then released.
My muse is restless. He comes at me with ideas in the most arcane ways. The inspiration for this trilogy came from an article I read online about the emotion behind getting tattoos to remember people… Then my muse took over and the ideas just started pouring forth.
I have always been fascinated by tattoos, why people get them, what they symbolize and the history of where they come from. The article tapped into my own fascination. Tattooing is such a bizarre intimate ritual. I mean, you have a person “carving” a symbol, image or words into your skin with permanent ink. As a writer it fascinates me that blood and ink fuse together into a permanent emblem on the skin.
So I took this one step further and without spilling too many details (I get secretive like a pirate with a found treasure chest with my WIPs) I wanted to explore the unique relationship of intimacy between a tattooist and the person who they are tattooing: how that act may join them and mark both of them.
The story is a modern paranormal thriller about the hunt for a serial killer and how a young tattooist may hold all the secrets to both unveiling him and capturing him or succumbing to the darkness and empowering him. The choice lies with the tattooist. It is a very dark trilogy but explores how even the most harmless has both light and dark within them, it is a choice that we choose – either darkness or light.
Thank you for hosting me on your site Patti. 🙂 Although I am now a little freaked out from having to relive that memory. I have never put it down on paper/screen in words. Well, they say you must face your fears to overcome them….
Happy Creepfest and Merry Christmas to you Patti and your family and your readers!
Find Kim online at the following haunts….
Open the gateway of darkness at: http://kimkoning.com/wp
I can be found Wrestling the Muse : http://kimkoning.wordpress.com
I can also be found on twitter @AuthorKimKoning
Like my facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/Kim.M.Koning?sk=app_106171216118819
My first short story is available in this anthology along with 33 other great authors including The Neil Gaiman:
(I am also giving away an ebook copy of this anthology on my blog “Wrestling the Muse” for Creepfest in a Creepmas Contest.)
I see ghosts and tell tales of their visits.
I write by the light of the moon and under the gaze of the stars.
Draw up a chair, light a candle, close the windows and let me weave you stories of darkness and gateways of light.
Spooky but amazing! It’s such a pleasure to have you here–thanks for joining me, Kim!
Don’t FORGET–my contest is still underway, with 12 copies of Run to be gifted and all four in The Hunted series going to one lucky winner!
And please show my fellow Creefesters some love–you can find them and their links HERE.