Tuesday, April 03, 2012

C is for Crazy: My Favorite Old Lady

I'm not  fan of zombies, vampires or werewolves. I love horror stories but for me the greatest horrors are the ones that lurk inside the human mind under a veil of respectability. I remember when I was young and I read Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" for the first time. I didn't get it right away but then I started realizing what was going to happen to this woman and, as that realization sunk in, I felt as though my skin was crawling. Brrr. how could such seemingly lovely people do such a terrible, terrible thing?

Some years back I read an article in the Marblehead Reporter about a couple who bought an old house with the intention of renovating it. I knew the house. It was in Old Town and I'd driven or walked past it many times. As they were ripping out walls and beginning their work they discovered something they never would have imagined. I can't tell you what because, if you haven't read the story, it would give too much away. But I thought about that house for years and, eventually, I began writing about it. The end result is The Crazy Old Lady in the Attic. I published it as a novelette through KDP and, within weeks, it shot to the top of Amazon's Best Seller Lists in both Horror and Psychological Thriller. since then it has stayed in Amazon's Top Twenty for 25 weeks and has sold over 30,000 copies.

The story is a simple one - a young woman is orphaned as a child and goes to live with her rich grandmother in an elegant Boston brownstone. She is raised by a loving grandmother and her housekeeper and grows up believing all was well with her world. when her grandmother dies she inherits the house and she and her husband return there to clean it out. As the do so they begin making discoveries that lead to a final, chilling revelation. The household that she believed so loving and elegant concealed a secret, a horrible situation, that was going on right under her nose.

There is no blood and gore in The Crazy Old Lady, just lies and deceit. There are no monsters -- unless you count devious old women. It is horror because the greatest horror is the evil done by seemingly good, decent people.

This blog post is part of the April 2012 A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. Thanks for visiting.


  1. I agree with your philosophy on horror. Many movies today take things over the top and smack us over the head. The scariest things are what we don't see and start imagining.

    By the way, have you considered removing your Captcha. I think you'd increase your comments.

    Places I Remember
    Wrote By Rote
    An A to Z Co-host blog

  2. Thanks, Arlee. I didn't realize the captcha was on. I turned it off.

  3. Wow, this book sounds amazin! I'm not such a huge fan of horror because when I'm lying in my bed, in the dark of the night, there's no escaping the horrors I've remembered from books and films. However, this sounds so exciting and scary and interesting that I'd really love to read it :)

    Thank you for a great post! I'm following you now!

    Nikki – inspire nordic

  4. Sometimes I read some depressing story on the news and it just makes me think sadly of how seemingly decent people can be capable of such evil.

  5. "the greatest horror is the evil done by seemingly good, decent people." well said!

  6. It is horror because the greatest horror is the evil done by seemingly good, decent people. -- that hit home.

    Look forward to your challenge run…
    --Damyanti, Co-host A to Z Challenge April 2012

    Twitter: @AprilA2Z

  7. You're obviously a busy lady, Kathleen, and I wholeheartedly agree with you on horror.

    The great Christopher Lee said his movies were always better than the modern stuff because thye left so much to the imagination of the viewer.


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