For Springettsbury Township author Westley Smith, October is the best time of year. A longtime fan of fall and Halloween, Smith set out to capture everything he loved about the season in his first novel, “Along Came the Tricksters.”
In it, teenage friends Logan and Yvette plan a night of scary movies to celebrate Oct. 31. But the girls are in for a surprise when the Tricksters arrive.
“I just enjoy creating stories, to take people on a journey and let them escape from their life,” Smith said.
But “Along Came the Tricksters,” published in 2012, is not for the faint of heart — several characters meet their demise in grisly fashions.
“A lot of people have really liked it and found it really creepy and said it got under their skin,” Smith said.
He found inspiration for his villains from Celtic folklore demons, and expanded on that mythology to describe their appearance and actions. Writing a horror novel set in modern times, though, proved difficult at times.
“The hardest part is how do you keep the characters from just easily getting in contact with everyone else?” Smith said. “How do you cut them off? How do you keep them in the house?”
Writing himself into corners, he said, helped him creatively with the story and to create engaging characters with Logan and Yvette.
“Along Came the Tricksters” ends with a cliffhanger, but Smith continues the story with a sequel, “All Hallows Eve,” to be released Oct. 31. The novel follows Logan’s father as he tracks the Tricksters’ trail to save his daughter. Smith considers the sequel more of a murder mystery book than the first.
“I just wanted to tell a different story on Halloween.”
Name: Westley Smith
Lives in: Springettsbury Township
Hobbies: Writing, film making
Online: Search for Westley Smith on Facebook
To purchase: “Along Came the Tricksters” is available in print and as an e-book from lulu.com and other online retailers. “All Hallows Eve” is set for release Oct. 31.