Author: Willow Croft

The Spooky Six is Haunting Megan Taylor at the UK Ghost Story Festival!

I’ve brought plenty of “cheese on toast” (to complement my customary pot of tea) for this Spooky Six interview with author Megan Taylor!

(Interested in haunting the UK Ghost Story Festival yourself? Check out the exciting lineup of the festival events here: and purchase your tickets here:

Megan Taylor is the author of four dark novels. Her first, How We Were Lost, an unsettling coming of age story, was published by Flame Books in 2007 after placing second in the 2006 Yeovil Prize. This was followed by The Dawning, a domestic thriller set over the course of a single night, in 2010, and The Lives of Ghosts, a mystery about repression, inheritance and motherhood in 2012 (both published by Weathervane Press). Her fourth novel, We Wait, published by Eyrie Press in 2019, is a haunted house story, exploring first love, prejudice and betrayal.

Megan also writes short stories, some of which form her collection, The Woman Under the Ground (Weathervane Press, 2014), beautifully illustrated by Nikki Pinder. Further stories have been shortlisted in various competitions, including the Brighton Prize and The Walter Swan Short Story Prize and Tin House’s Shirley Jackson competition. TSS Publishing released Megan’s Waiting for the Rat as a chapbook single after choosing her as one of their Selected Writers, and Megan’s short stories can also be found in a variety of other publications including Neon Literary Magazine, The Invisible Collection from Nightjar Press, and the Dark Lane Anthologies. Most recently, her work has appeared in Undertow’s Weird Horror #5 and GONE, a crime anthology from Red Dog Press.

Megan lives in Nottingham, where she provides Creative Writing workshops and courses when she isn’t busy playing with her own stories.

To find out more, please visit or her Amazon page, or connect with her on Twitter @meganjstaylor.

You can also read Megan’s short story, “Your Neighbour’s Packages”, online in the World Goedam Collection,, which united strange and scary tales from UNESCO Cities of Literature across the world, or listen to The Dining Room Ghost, from the Classic Ghost Stories Podcast


The Spooky Six is Haunting Paul Kane for the UK Ghost Story Festival!

I’ve had the amazing opportunity to interview the stellar cast of authors that are going to be presenting at the UK Ghost Story Festival. First up in the spooky queue is the prolific (and multigenre) author, Paul Kane! (And, ahem, just pretend you don’t see that already-opened bottle of whiskey.)

(Interested in attending? Check out the exciting lineup of the festival events here: and purchase your tickets here:

Paul Kane (he/him/his) is the award-winning (including the British Fantasy Society’s Legends of FantasyCon Award 2022), bestselling author and editor of over a hundred books – such as the Arrowhead trilogy (gathered together in the sellout Hooded Man omnibus, revolving around a post-apocalyptic version of Robin Hood), The Butterfly Man and Other Stories, Hellbound Hearts, Wonderland (a Shirley Jackson Award finalist) and Pain Cages (an Amazon #1 bestseller). His nonfiction books include The Hellraiser Films and Their Legacy and Voices in the Dark, and his genre journalism has appeared in the likes of SFX, Rue Morgue and DeathRay. He has been a guest at Alt.Fiction five times, was a guest at the first SFX Weekender, at Thought Bubble in 2011, Derbyshire Literary Festival and Off the Shelf in 2012, Monster Mash and Event Horizon in 2013, Edge-Lit in 2014 and 2018, HorrorCon, HorrorFest and Grimm Up North in 2015, The Dublin Ghost Story Festival and Sledge-Lit in 2016, IMATS Olympia and Celluloid Screams in 2017, Black Library Live and the UK Ghost Story Festival in 2019, plus the WordCrafter virtual event 2021 – where he delivered the keynote speech – as well as being a panellist at FantasyCon and the World Fantasy Convention, and a fiction judge at the Sci-Fi London festival. A former British Fantasy Society Special Publications Editor, he has also served as co-chair for the UK chapter of The Horror Writers Association and co-chaired ChillerCon in May 2022. His work has been optioned and adapted for the big and small screen, including for US network primetime television, and his novelette “Men of the Cloth” has just been turned into a feature by Loose Canon/Hydra Films, starring Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator, You’re Next): Sacrifice, released by Epic Pictures/101 Films. His audio work includes the full cast drama adaptation of The Hellbound Heart for Bafflegab, starring Tom Meeten (The Ghoul), Neve McIntosh (Doctor Who) and Alice Lowe (Prevenge), and the Robin of Sherwood adventure The Red Lord for Spiteful Puppet/ITV narrated by Ian Ogilvy (Return of the Saint). He has also contributed to the Warhammer 40k universe for Games Workshop. Paul’s latest novels are Lunar (set to be turned into a feature film), the YA story The Rainbow Man (as PB Kane), the sequels to REDBlood RED & Deep RED – the award-winning hit Sherlock Holmes & the Servants of Hell, Before (an Amazon Top 5 dark fantasy bestseller), Arcana and The Storm. In addition he writes thrillers for HQ/HarperCollins as PL Kane (, the first of which, Her Last Secret and Her Husband’s Grave (a sellout on both Amazon and, came out in 2020, with The Family Lie released the following year. Paul lives in Derbyshire, UK, with his wife Marie O’Regan. Find out more at his site which has featured guest writers such as Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Olivie Blake, Robert Kirkman, Dean Koontz and Guillermo del Toro. Or visit his Twitter @PaulKaneShadow and Instagram @paul.kane.376.


The Spooky Six with Willow Croft and L. Marie Wood

After we returned from our impromptu trip to abandoned amusement parks all across the world, L. Marie Wood and I settled down with our coffees and had ourselves a cozy Spooky Six chat!

L. Marie Wood is a dark fiction author, screenwriter, and poet with novels in the psychological horror, mystery, and dark romance genres. She won the Golden Stake Award for her novel The Promise Keeper. She is a recipient of the MICO Award and has won Best Horror, Best Action, Best Afrofuturism/Horror/Sci-Fi, and Best Short Screenplay awards in both national and international film festivals. Wood, a Brand New Weird nominated author, has penned short fiction that has been published in groundbreaking works, including the Bram Stoker Award Finalist anthology Sycorax’s Daughters and the Mocha Memoirs Press anthology SLAY: Stories of the Vampire Noire. She is also part of the 2022 Bookfest Book Award winning poetry anthology, Under Her Skin. Her academic writing has been published by Nightmare Magazine and in the cross-curricular text, Conjuring Worlds: An Afrofuturist Textbook. Wood is the founder of the Speculative Fiction Academy, an English and Creative Writing professor, a horror scholar with a PhD in Creative Writing and an MFA in Speculative Fiction, and a frequent contributor to the conversation around the evolution of genre fiction. She has been recognized in The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror, Vol. 15 (2004) and as one of the 100+ Black Women in Horror Fiction (2018). Wood serves as a mentor with the Horror Writers Association and enjoys helping people lean into their craft. She has been an author guest of honor at the In Your Write Mind conference and her work is part of the horror archive at University of Pittsburgh. L. Marie Wood is the horror track director of the Multiversecon Convention. While she reads widely, Wood enjoyed a good mystery as well as horror titles. She also enjoyed interviewing her friends to find out how they approach horror writing and the genre in general. Learn more about L. Marie Wood at

Twitter: @LMarieWood1

DISCLAIMER: L. Marie Wood is a major sponsor of the website. This interview was conducted PRIOR to the sponsorship being put in place, and the interviewer had no knowledge that this sponsorship was in the works.


February 2023 Horoscopes: Lured into Love by the Fae!

Time to celebrate the month of love, Horror-Tree style! Traipse along the edge of the shore, take a stroll through the woods, or venture deep underground to find your happily-ever-after fairy-tale ending! Read on to find out which denizen of fairyland will be your perfect match on this most horrifying day of the year—Valentine’s Day!

Disclaimer: These are mock horoscopes and are meant for entertainment purposes only, and are not representative of any particular person, place, or fairyland creature. Creative license of all mythology/mythological creatures also applies to these horoscopes. (But, if you really do know the way to fairyland, I’d love to tag along!)


February 2023: Tarot Cards for Creative Inspiration

I was so excited to do this reading! I mean, February, am-I-right-or-am-I-right? Paranormal romance, supernatural romance, historical romance, space opera, you name it! The romance-theme possibilities are endless!

Well, until the fates intervened by way of the cards, and no matter how much I glared at them, they weren’t giving up their creatively inspiring secrets. Instead, the message was all about inner reflection—essentially, “Creative, love thyself.”

Pooh. I mean, if we wanted to spend time with ourselves, would we really choose to engage in activities that kept us in our heads (or creative ether realms) most of the time? Realms where we hang out with the exciting array of the characters we’ve created? Especially when reality is probably even more discouragingly real right about now.

Again, sigh.

Still, this reading came out they way it did for a reason, so, take what resonates with you on this 2023 journey, and perhaps we’ll learn to nurture ourselves as carefully as we do our characters, our stories, our artistic creations.


The Spooky Six with Willow Croft and Mr. Alverne Ball

In lieu of my customary tea, I’m having my first ever Chicago-style hot dog with the illustrous author and screenwriter, Mr. Alverne Ball! Keep those eyeballs peeled for his upcoming literary appearance in Shook! A Black Horror Anthology!

Alverne Ball has a M.F.A in Fiction writing from Columbia College Chicago. He has completed studies in Columbia College’s prestigious Semester in Los Angeles program, an intensive course focused on the adaptation of material to the screen.

He has taught graphic novel writing at Noble charter High School in Chicago. He has written comic and graphic novel material for such companies as Di Bona Ventura ProductionsParamount picturesMcgraw-HillLion forge comics, New Paradigm entertainmentCampfire graphic novels, and

His writing has been published in the literary magazine Annalemma, in Columbia College newspaper The Chronicle, online at, online for the Museum of contemporary Photography in Chicago, online for, and an online graphic story for the literary magazine, His short stories of suspense have appeared in the Sin anthology by Avendia Press, Criminal Class Review as well as the (now defunct) online magazine, the Heated Forest.

Mr. Ball is the recipient of the 2019 inaugural Tin House graphic novel scholar and he is the graphic novelist of the historical nonfiction graphic novel from Abrams comic Arts on Black Wall Street, entitled, Across the Tracks: remembering Greenwood, Black Street and the Tulsa Race massacre. He is the recipient of the 2014 and 2015 Glyph rising star award for his writing on 133art’s OneNation and OneNation: Old Druids. In 2009 Mr. Ball received first place in the Union League Civic & Arts Foundation Creative Writing Competition for his graphic story, “Virgin Wolf”. He has also received Three Weisman Scholarships from Columbia for his other graphic works.

Mr. Ball has traveled to South Africa to work as a storyline writer on the hit telenovella, Uzalo. He was also a screenwriter on the South African fantasy series, Ifalahke where he received story writing credit. Mr. Ball has written and produced a short film, Crossroads, which was shot on the Warner Bros. backlot via the AT&T Shape competition in the summer of 2018. He has also written and produced the short film, Tattooed Tears, which was directed by Aaron Lewis and was chosen as a 2016 selection for the Indiewise, Sankofa, MeccaCon and Egypt film festivals.

Mr. Ball has also created and written two online comic series, When we were Kings and Zulu, both published by He is also the author of the crime thrillers, Only The Holy Remain, and Blue Religion.

All works can be found or wherever your favorite books are sold.


The Spooky Six with Willow Croft and E.B. Hunter

For this interview, I’ve travelled all the way to the snowy wilds* of Northern Alberta for tea with E.B. Hunter. Join us as we plunge into the deep, dark depths . . . of terror!

E.B. Hunter (he/him) lives in a remote town in Northern Alberta, Canada with his wife and daughter, and spends his days working and his nights crafting stories for your (and let’s face it, his own) entertainment. He has built characters and stories in his head since he was a teen, carving up the landscape of his mind and sculpting fantastical and horrible things. His stories started out small, and mostly terrible, but with patience, persistence and a deep love for unchartered territory, he has improved and is now published in four anthologies that include horror, fantasy and romance genres.

He never had a penchant for horror until his wife got him watching horror films, and then he watched them all, picking up tricks that would help him get under the skin of his readers and leave them wanting more. The writing tip of ‘twist the knife’ has never been so literal. His reading also tends to stick to the shadows, with favourite recent reads including ‘Rage of Dragons’ by Evan Winter and ‘Under the Dome’ by Stephen King.

E.B. is also the founder of the online writing community known as the Fantasy & Sci-Fi Writers Alliance. The Alliance helps members with all the little things the modern author needs to know like when to query, how to get traction on social media, what to do when your book launches and so much more. He has infected others with his love of helping the little guy and the result has been an incredible group of people who are always eager to help promote and raise up their fellow authors.

In his stories, he hopes to portray people as they are, flawed humans who are capable of great and terrible things, and that you can see yourself within his stories. He strives for representation in his storytelling, and believes that everyone’s story is worth being told.

E.B. Hunter’s stories can be found on Amazon and his website.


The Spooky Six with Willow Croft and GG Collins

I’ve hopped on the train to meet up with GG Collins, where we not only have tea, but I eat my fill of red-chile-doused enchiladas!

GG Collins (she/her) loves the southwestern US where many of her stories are located. She can be found hiking through ruins of the ancient Puebloans and enjoying New Mexican cuisine. When not traipsing about, she makes up stories with great friendships, quirky characters and, oh yeah, dead bodies. In real life she shares her time with a man, several neurotic—and psychic—cats and the ongoing struggle to grow a garden.

Whether you enjoy scary paranormal mysteries or cozy cat-populated puzzles, Collins delivers. The Rachel Blackstone Paranormal Mysteries are steeped with shamans and spirit animals. Although Rachel tries to avoid becoming the headline, she often finds herself smack in the middle of the story. This series contains elements of horror, violence and the supernatural.
Review: “Collins has done her research into Native American culture and values, and it shows. I highly recommend Anasazi Medium. Trust me. You won’t be able to put it down.” — Mark Scott Piper, Reviewer

The Taylor Browning Cozy Mysteries are more traditional. Taylor, a mystery editor at a publishing house, does a little sleuthing on the side. She really should stay in the office or at home with her cats Oscar and Cheddar, but Taylor seems to find clues and bodies regardless. Although Jim, her friend and art director at the publisher, and Det. Sanchez at the Santa Fe PD try to keep her out of trouble, well … . An inconvenient truth: she can’t edit her way out of real murder.
Review: “My favorite character, hands down, has to be the cantankerous cat, Oscar.” — Marcelle Valentine, Reviewer

Both series are inspired by the American southwest, its many cultures and Native American traditions. Collins has worked at a book publisher where she learned the ins and outs of bringing books from manuscript to bookstore. Her Taylor Browning Cozy Mystery series offers an inside look at book publishing from the eyes of a mystery editor. If you enjoyed “The Magpie Murders” on PBS, you’ll fit right in to Taylor’s world.

After her stint as a publisher she went on to reporting. The Rachel Blackstone Paranormal Mysteries explore history and contemporary issues in the Southwest with a journalist who is torn between her fact-driven reporting job and the spiritual realm where she reluctantly finds herself propelled. Along with best friend Chloe, Hopi shaman friend, intuitive kitty Chile Pod and the mysterious white wolf, she solves mysteries linked to both the quick and the dead.