Mike Hickey had a bit of a pinch-me moment on Aug. 2.
It came just after the Grand Falls-Windsor native’s latest project, a horror anthology called “Terror Nova,” started its e-edition pre-orders ahead of its scheduled October release.
A surge in pre-orders placed the anthology of Newfoundland and Labrador-inspired horror stories, which Hickey contributed to and edited, in the top spot on the Amazon Canada list ahead of some of the genre’s luminaries.
When Hickey checked on it, he found his work above that of Stephen King, H.P. Lovecraft and others on the Horror Anthologies list.
It was only in that position for a couple of days, but it was enough to get the adrenaline pumping.
“It was really exciting,” he said. “We were up there with the names who got (the anthology writers) into the genre.
“That is really cool. It is great to have that kind of interest in the book.”
“Terror Nova” is a collection of 12 horror stories from writers in this province: Hickey, Chris Lewis Carter, Lauralana Dunne, Kelley Power, Jon Dobbin, Phil Goodridge, C.H. Newell, Brad Dunne, Paul Carberry, Joshua Goudie, Ali House and Erin Mick.
A group of stories woven together to form a novella, the anthology’s format is something akin to popular television show “Are You Afraid Of The Dark?” but in literary form.
Hickey provided the overarching story, which sees the main character, Simon, travelling foggy roads around the province and telling scary stories.
“I’ve always loved storytelling horror,” he said. “There is such a history of horror being presented as a story.”
New-Wes-Valley’s Chris Lewis Carter is one of the authors providing a story for Simon to tell while he is making is way around the island.
Rewiring his brain from screenplays to short fiction, Lewis Carter chooses to write a dark comedy for his selection.
It focuses on a man who decides to injure himself intentionally on the job site in an attempt to reap the benefits, but things go wrong.
“I wanted to write a ghost story, but it wasn’t coming together,” said Lewis Carter.
He got involved with the anthology after being approached by Hickey a couple of months ago.
Lewis Carter had a movie project he was involved with stall because of the pandemic, and he thought “Terror Nova” would be a fun project.
“It is really cool to see people in the province being into horror,” he said.
Being a fan of the genre himself, Hickey isn’t surprised to find it’s popular in the province.
That said, he says he has seen increased interest in the last couple of years — more than ever before.
“I am seeing more and more of people coming out and supporting stuff,” said Hickey. “You’re seeing things like the horror convention, you’re seeing the Grind Mind guys and the support that they’ve had.
“… Compared to what I thought was support for the genre up until the last couple of years, I’m shocked,” he said.
Pre-orders for physical copies of “Terror Nova” started earlier this week and it is scheduled for release on Oct. 1.
Nicholas Mercer is a local journalism initiative reporter covering central Newfoundland for SaltWire Network.