Hey Guys! I know it's been awhile, I've missed you. I have a super duper reason for writing today. I want to introduce you to one of my absolute favorite authors, the one, the only - Bart Hopkins! Bart's short story, Donations, appears in the book Stalkers - A Collection of Thriller Stories, edited by Cynthia Shepp and Rene Folsom. More on the book later in this post. But first, Señor Bart has a few words he'd like to say. Take it away, kind sir!
Many thanks for sharing your blog with me today!
The minimalist intro … I’m an indie author, a regular guy who likes to write, and probably talks too much. Through friendly people, I find myself with you now, so sit back, relax, and let me ramble … I promise not to embarrass anyone, except myself.
The other day I found my daughter, sprawled across one of our couches, plugged in to her iPod. She was bobbing her head to music I couldn’t hear.
“What are you listening to?” I asked her.
“Oh, this awesome song I found on the computer … ‘Emotion’ by the Bee Gees?”
I chuckled … she had used a hard “G” when she said Bee Gees … like a bee in a karate gi.
She asked me what was funny, so I told her about the mispronunciation. She laughed and told me she’d never heard of the Bee Gees.
“That’s probably because they were around before you were born—that song is about twenty-three years older than you!” I told her.
“Really?” she asked.
“Wow, well, it’s really good.” She sounded surprised. Like, maybe, good music didn’t begin until her generation.
Our conversation made me think about the timeless nature of music. There’s no expiration date on a good song; it simply lives forever. And that’s pretty cool—powerful even. It’s something we can rely on to hold the chaos at bay.
There was a time when music ruled my little world, and I thought it would always be at the core of everything I did. I made mixed-tapes, doodled favorite lyrics on folders in grade school, and there was always a tune playing inside my head.
Things gradually changed. I got older. Playlists replaced mixed-tapes. But, every now and then, I still find the old magic…
Sometimes when I’m writing—I slap on a pair of headphones—and the world around me disappears for a few minutes. The same thing happens when I’m reading.
What does this all mean? Ahh, who knows. I’m just a guy who likes music and makes up stories. As with songs, some of my stories are bright and filled with sunshine. Others aren’t so shiny and happy … like this little story called Donations:
An Excerpt From Donations by Bart Hopkins
(Available in the anthology: Stalkers)
While Clarissa was at the library waiting for a patrol car to arrive, he was parked, waiting patiently, down the street from her townhome.
He pushed his right hand into the pocket of his jeans, let his fingers caress the treasure he had waiting there, and smiled salaciously. He pulled his hand out of his pocket and removed two silver keys.
The first key was a copy of the other key. He’d had it made earlier that same day…
…the other key opened Clarissa’s front door.
He smiled again. He couldn’t believe his good fortune.
After watching her leave for work, he’d done a little poking around. Most people kept a spare key hidden near their home. He did. So, he figured, maybe Clarissa did, too.
It only took him a few minutes to find it. It was in a Ziploc bag, pushed into the loose soil of her potted plant; she hadn’t even buried it all the way. He saw it almost as soon as he looked there. It was as if she were begging for something to happen…
He knew her routines. He knew she would be gone for a while. Having her key copied was a walk in the park. Like taking candy from a baby.
Placing her key back into the clear baggie, he jumped out of his car, and walked to her door. Nobody shouted at him when he stooped down and pushed the key back into its pathetic hiding place. No sirens sounded. His actions went unobserved.
He took his copy and put it into the keyhole. It twisted easily.
He couldn’t stop the smile from spreading across his face, stretching it so taut that wrinkles of concentric half-circles dominated his cheeks. He was giddy from the excitement he felt. The fact that she could come down the street any second only made it all the more exciting.
Bart Hopkins is originally from Galveston, Texas, but currently resides in Germany. He has been an Air Force weatherman for nearly 20 years.
He feels that his background in weather bridged naturally into the world of storytelling. He hopes to one day achieve global peace through his writing—one individual at a time.
Bart has written two novels—Texas Jack and Fluke—and has a book of short stories, Dead Ends. He blogs. He’s on a permanent quest to find the time to be lazy. Stalk him at www.barthopkins.com or www.facebook.com/barthopkinsauthor.
I really hope you grab a copy of Stalkers and check our Bart's story, Donations, along with the other stories in the anthology. Because sometimes you just need a good thrill. Amiright?
Here's a little more info on the book and where you can snag a copy. Oh, and there might be a nifty little giveaway for you, too. Maybe.
Stalkers: A Collection of Thriller Stories
Edited and compiled by Cynthia Shepp and Rene Folsom
Shadows follow you in the darkness of the night and the eerie sensation of being watched crawls up your spine. Your sanity pulls apart at the seams as the terrors stalk their victims, leaving you too frightened to turn off the light.
These twisted stories will leave you breathless, dreading the horrors lurking around the corner.
Seventeen authors. Seventeen tales of terror. Infinite nightmares.