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Author: James Colton

James Colton loves supernatural horror in the tradition of M. R. James and Shirley Jackson. He also writes epic fantasy, draws pictures of ghosts, and practices the duelist forms of swordplay. He was born in Northern Virginia, but has spent most of his life in Upstate New York where he currently resides with his wife and son. You can read more of his work at theNoctrium.com.

Safe and Dry

Prologue September 2017 Tommy Nier wakes thinking it’s still the middle of the night. If he’d look at the clock above his dresser across the room, he’d know it was 6:59 a.m., but it’s been raining all night and the stormclouds have yet to disperse. The sky outside his window is charcoal and the voice…

The Bus

The town I grew up in could boast exactly one remarkable event. The accident of 2004. It resulted in the indefinite closure of Stover Road and a stricter screening process for new bus drivers. No one ever lived on Stover Road, but it was a key stretch of pavement, linking our small town with the…

Night Communion

It was some time past eleven, as far as he could guess, and Jacob was regretting the decision to ride through the night. Beside him, Phillip rode with his head bent against the wind, his dark riding cloak plastered with snow. They’d both agreed to this plan, hoping to reunite with their families all the…

Character Development Questionnaire: A Tool for Creating Deep Characters and Engaging Stories

When I first started writing, I didn’t care about characters. Characters were just props responsible for advancing the all-important Plot. Of course, none of those stories made it far beyond the outlining stage and a few disconnected scenes. Turns out characters are the heartbeat of a story, and neglecting them results in a lifeless skeleton.…

Writing Update

My WIP epic fantasy trilogy is nearly complete! Book one, Null Device, is done and on its way out to agents. Books two and three just need one more round of edits, but it’ll be a long time before they see the light of day, since Null Device has to get through the publishing gauntlet…

Breathless

I’d be singing—something inspiring, a battle anthem—but I haven’t drawn so much as a breath in years. You’d think, with the power to conquer death itself, a necromancer could at least pump some air into his puppets’ lungs. But no. Waste of energy, that. Useless in battle. Useless in battle! Well maybe you should have…

Memoria Aeterna

The storm of the morning of December twenty-sixth was predicted by no meteorologist. We had no time to prepare. In the still-dark hours, I woke to the ghostly light of moon and stars reflected off snow. The radio, left on overnight to serenade us with lingering Christmas carols, now played only static. It was frigid…

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