Author: Willow Croft

November 2023 Horrorscopes: How You’ll Die on a Road Trip

Now that it’s finally starting to cool down, why not load your gear in your car and hit the road, zodiac-style? The entire country is yours for the taking–if you dare!

Disclaimer: These are mock “horrorscopes” and should not be considered as predictive or indicative of any specific person or persons, or their demise. But the roadside attractions are real, so what are you waiting for? After all, who doesn’t secretly love kitschy tourist fun!


The Spooky Six Interview Returns with C.M. Saunders and Willow Croft!

Instead of my usual cuppa tea, I’m joining C.M. Saunders in drinking pots and pots of coffee, mainly to fuel not only my Horror Tree writing bits, but school and moving and cat rescue…and, well, you get the idea. Let’s get onto the interview; it’s more interesting, for sure!


Chris Saunders (he/him), who writes fiction as C.M. Saunders, is a writer and editor from South Wales. Since gaining a degree in journalism, he has worked extensively in the publishing industry and held desk jobs ranging from staff writer to associate editor. He is currently employed at a trade magazine. His fiction has appeared in numerous magazines, ezines and anthologies worldwide including The Literary Hatchet, Crimson Streets, 34 Orchard, Phantasomagoria, Dead Harvest, Burnt Fur and DOA volumes I and III, while his books have been both traditionally and independently published, his latest release being the Wretched Bones: A Ben Shivers Mystery, on Midnight Machinations, an imprint of Grinning Skull Press.


The Spooky Six Interview with Dr. Rachel Knightley and Willow Croft

I’m taking tea with Dr. Rachel Knightley in a green room as we talk all things theatre (I practically grew up in one as I have a family member who’s an actor and, yes, it was a complete coincidence that I chose a theatre theme for my October horrorscopes:, the chimerical David Bowie, and navigating the truly terrifying world…of writing!

Dr. Rachel Knightley is a fiction and non-fiction author, presenter, lecturer and writing and confidence coach. Her background in directing and performing for theatre formed her fascination the power of the stories we tell ourselves to shape our identity. You’ll find these themes of performance and reality in her upcoming short story cycle, Twisted Branches (to be published by Black Shuck Books on 26 October), and her first collection, Beyond Glass, published in 2021 (Black Shuck Shadows), along with her stories in anthologies such as Great British Horror 5: Midsummer Eve, British-Fantasy-Award-nominated Dreamland (Black Shuck Books), and Uncertainties vol. 3 (Swan River Press). Her non-fiction includes WJEC/Eduqas’s GCSE Drama Study and Revision Guide (Illuminate/Hodder Education) and Your Creative Writing Toolkit.

Rachel has written and presented documentary features for blu-ray extras and YouTube channels including Starburst magazine, Indicator Films, Second Sight Films, Severin Films and Green Ink Writers’ Gym’s Write Through Lockdown programme. Her articles have appeared in magazines including Writing Magazine, Jewish Renaissance, The Dark Side, Starburst and Fangoria. Rachel is a qualified business and personal coach (Barefoot Coaching/Chester University) and, in addition to her PhD, holds a LAMDA diploma in Speech and Drama Education, a PGCert in Teaching Creative Writing (Cambridge University). She works with writers and speakers of all ages and levels of experience, building communication and performance skills – from confidence building, auditions and interview technique to fiction, memoir and brand voice to audition and interview technique, speechwriting, public speaking and reading for performance. She has taught LAMDA Exams since 2007 in addition to working with adults in creative confidence building for life, work and art. She lectures in Creative Writing at Roehampton University and works with private clients online and from her home in southwest London.


October 2023 Horrorscopes: How You’ll Die in a Theatre

Autumn is upon us, in all its dramatic glory…and so is the Fall theatre season! Read through your zodiacal script to discover how you’ll bring down the house—for good!

Disclaimer: These are mock “horrorscopes” and the roles I assign to each sign should not be considered as typecasting, commentary on specific person’s character, or predictive or indicative of an individual’s demise. And always remember—the show will go on, with or without you!


October 2023: Tarot Cards for Writing Inspiration

What sacrifice would you make to achieve the life of your dreams? What price would you pay to ensure you achieve personal and financial success, especially in artistic and creative fields? What would you give to be famous and talented? Would it be enough to satisfy your main character(s)? And, what lengths would they go to in order to preserve and protect that lifestyle?


Fierce, Wild, and Fiery! Cultivating Inspiration for the Autumn 2023 Equinox

I’m predicting it will be a wild few months ahead. We’ve got the amazing “Ring of Fire” solar eclipse in October, so let’s blaze into autumn with the same fierce and fiery energy!

Autumn Equinox (Mabon) September 23 (Spring Equinox in the Southern Hemisphere)

(My Autumn inspiration page is up on Pinterest:

Seasonal Symbolism: Embracing the Impossible, Goal Setting, Dreaming Big, Imagining Unlimited Possibilities, Solving Mysteries, Winding Forest Paths, Cave Exploration, Discovering Hidden Ruins, Unseen Worlds, Gateways, Portals, Animal Spirit Magic, Journeys of Discovery, Keeping a Journal, Reading or Watching Whodunit Mysteries, and Communicating with Plant/Tree Guardians such as Mushrooms, Apple Trees, Huckleberries, Maples, Ginger, Cayenne Pepper, Garlic, Mustard Seed, and Cumin.

Writing Prompt: What could your characters unearth while raking leaves or putting their garden to rest for the colder months? Is it a benign elemental or is it a wrathful one? What if they were lured into a cave by a mysterious chanting? What horrors would they face as they descended deeper and deeper into the earth? Alternatively, what if they awoke to a world set ablaze? How would they navigate their own survival?


September 2023: Tarot Cards for Writing Inspiration

What happens when a mirror world brushes up against another? Perhaps by way of a newly discovered portal, or a magic spell gone awry. What if our world was the shadow world for an innocent world free of strife and conflict? What would happen then? What if you threw in a pair of star-crossed lovers? How would you reinvent that trope?

Deck: The Unicorn Tarot by Suzanne Star and illustrated by Liz Hilton