Evil Stalks the Night

Kathryn Meyer Griffith

ISBN 10: 0843923296 / ISBN 13: 9780843923292
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[ No Hassle 30 Day Returns ][ Ships Daily ] [ Underlining/Highlighting: NONE ] [ Writing: NONE ] [ Edition: reprint ] Publisher: Leisure Books Pub Date: 12/1/1985 Binding: paperback Pages: 368 reprint edition. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: Twenty years ago psychic Sarah Summers fled from the evil that lurked in the woods behind her childhood home after it killed most of her family, but a nasty divorce and financial hardships forced her back when nothing else could have. With her son, Jeremy, she returns to her inheritance, her grandmother’s dilapidated house, and tries to begin a new life. She meets a police detective, Ben, who falls for her, and she prays her fresh visions of bloodshed and death deep among the dark trees aren’t true. Then the murders begin again and Sarah is hurtled back into the familiar nightmare that has haunted her her whole life. The evil in the woods is awake again and this time it wants her last remaining brother, Jim; her son...and her. With Ben and Jim’s help can she defeat it this time...and live?

From the Author: Why I Wrote Evil Stalks the Night...44 years ago now.

This book is special to me for many reasons. It was my first published novel in 1984 and as it comes out again in 2015 it'll bring my over forty-four year writing career full circle. With its publication all my 22 novels, 2 novellas and various short stories of my new and old books will be out again and because I've self-published them, totally under my control for the first time in 32 years. I'm thrilled. I have my babies reborn and out in the world again...all in eBooks, new paperbacks with stunning new cover art and Audible audio books. Now, perfectionist that I am, I can finally move forward and write new stories.
I'll start at the beginning because, though Evil Stalks the Night was my first published novel, it wasn't my first written one.
That first book was The Heart of the Rose. I began writing it after my only child, James, was born in late 1971. I was staying home with him, no longer going to college, not yet working full time, and was bored out of my skin. I read an historical romance one day I believed was horrible and thought I can do better than that!
And so my writing career began. Over 44 years ago now. Oh my goodness, where has the time gone? Flown away like some wild bird. It took me 12 years to get that first book published as I got sidetracked with a divorce, raising a son, getting a real job and finding the true love of my life and marrying him. Life, as it always seemed to do and still does, got in the way. The manuscript was tossed into a drawer and forgotten for a time.
Then years later I rediscovered it and decided to rewrite it; try again. I bundled up the revised pile of printed copy pages, tucked it into an empty copy paper box and took it to the Post Office. Plastered it with stamps. I sent it everywhere The Writer's Market of that year said I could. And waited. Months and months and months. In those days it could take up to a year or more to sell a novel, shipping it here and there to publishers, in between revising and rewriting to please any editor that would make suggestions or comments on how it could be better. Snail mail took forever, too, and was expensive. But eventually, as you shall see, it sold.
In the meantime, as I waited for the mail, I'd written another book. Kind of a fictionalized look back at my childhood in a large (6 brothers and sisters) poor but loving family in the 1950's and 60's. Called it 707 Suncrest. I started sending that one out as well. Then one day an editor suggested that since my writing had such a spooky ambiance to it anyway, why didn't I just turn the story into a horror novel...like Stephen King was doing? Ordinary people under supernatural circumstances. A book like that would sell easily, she said.
Hmmm. Well, it was worth a try, so I added something scary in the woods in the main character's childhood past that she had to return to and face in her adult life, using some of my childhood and my young adult life-my heartbreaking divorce, raising my young son alone, my new love-as hers. It was more of a romantic horror when I'd finished, than a horror novel. I re-titled it Evil Stalks the Night and began sending it out. That editor was right, it sold quickly to a mass market paperback publisher called Towers Publishing.
But right in the middle of editing Towers went bankrupt and was bought out by another publisher! What terrible luck, I remember brooding. The book was lost somewhere in the stacks of unedited slush in a company undergoing massive changes as the new publisher took over. I had a contract, didn't know what to do and didn't know how to break it. Heaven knows, I couldn't afford a lawyer. My life with a new husband, my son and (at first) my minimum-wage assistant billing job and then my entry level one as a graphic artist a few years later, were one step above poverty at times. In those days, too, I was so clueless how to deal with the publishing industry.
That was 1983, but luckily that take-over publisher was Leisure Books, now also known as Dorchester Publishing. A publisher that quickly became huge. Talk about karma.
As often as has happened to me over my writing career, though, fate stepped in and the Tower's editor, before she left, who'd bought my book told one of Leisure's editors about it and asked her to give it a read. She believed in it that much.
Out of the blue, in 1984, when I'd completely given up on Evil Stalks the Night, Leisure Books sent me a letter offering to buy it! Then, miracle of miracles, my new editor asked if I had any other ideas or books she could look at. I sent her The Heart of the Rose and, liking it, too, she also bought it in 1985; asking me to sex it up some, so they could release it as an historical bodice-ripper (remember those...the sexy knockoffs of Rosemary Rogers and Kathleen Woodiwiss's provocative novels?). It wasn't a lot of money. A thousand dollar advance each and only 4% royalties on the paperbacks. But in those days the publishers had a huge distribution and thousands and thousands of the paperbacks were printed, sent to bookstores and warehoused. So 4% of all those books over the next couple of years did add up.
Thus my career began. I slowly, and like-pulling-teeth, sold 21 more novels , novellas and short stories over the next 32 years-as I was working full time, raising a family and living my hard-scramble life. Some did well, my Leisure and Zebra paperbacks, my self-published Dinosaur Lake series and my Spookie Town Murder Mysteries, and some didn't. Most of them, over the years, eventually went out of print - now they are all out again.
Of course, I had to totally rewrite Evil Stalks the Night for the resurrected edition, as well as my other early novels, because I discovered my writing when I was twenty-something had been immature and unpolished; and not having a computer and the Internet had made the original writing so much harder. Also in those days, editors told an author what to change and the writer only saw the manuscript once to final proof it. There were so many mistakes in those early books. Typos. Grammar. Lost plot and detail threads. In the rewrite of Evil Stalks the Night I also decided to keep the time frame (1960-1984) the same. No Internet, cell phones back then. The book's essence would have lost too much if I'd updated it.
As I finished the final editing and formatting last month and self-published it I couldn't help but reminisce about all the life changes I've had since I'd first began writing it so many years ago. Though it was actually published in 1984, I'd started writing it many years before; closer to 1978 or 1979. It occurred to me as I hit the PUBLISH button that I'm as old as my Grandmother Fehrt, my mother's mother and who the grandmother in the story was loosely based on, was back then. My goodness, time does move on. Kathryn Meyer Griffith

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Title: Evil Stalks the Night
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