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If you are a fan of stories that keep you up with the lights on all night, then Stone Wallace has the right book for you.
The author who was once called "the Stephen King of Manitoba" by Western Report Magazine is going back to his roots and launching another horror novel after more than 30 years exploring other genres with The Children of Resurrection Gardens. Wallace said his new book is his most terrifying story so far.
The Children of Resurrection Gardens depicts a small town in California that is inspired in Gimli, where kids don’t live enough to grow up. Police Chief Braden Powell searches for the criminal while dealing with his own demons and later finds himself investigating other deaths: Parents of lost children.
Stone grew up around things that would be scary for many people but not for him. His dad was a funeral director, so "nothing really scares me," he said, other than children’s ghosts.
"I don’t get scared….but this makes me uneasy. If it scares me, then I’m hoping it scares the reader too."
In 1985, Wallace broke into the publishing business after finishing college with his first horror novel Child of Demons, followed by national bestseller Blood Moon and later Graveyard.
"I remember I got a letter from this girl who said to me ‘I can’t read your book without having my brother come into the room and turn the lights off because I can’t get out of bed afterward to do that. Your book scares me so much,’ and that’s the best compliment for a guy who writes a horror book," the author who lives in the Maples said.
Wallace decided to move on to writing other types of books such as autobiographies, western, interviews. He met artists such as Anthony Quinn, American singer Michele Phillips from The Mamas & the Papas, Johnny Depp and Russell Crowe. At one point, he spent eight months in Las Vegas with Elvis Presley’s songwriter Dolores Fuller writing her autobiography. He also worked in the advertising industry as a copywriter and media acting instructor.
But the idea of going back to writing horror was always in the back of his mind.
"I’m a guy who grew up on monster movies and chiller movies, and I thought to myself ‘What scares me?’ Not much, my dad was an undertaker, so nothing scares me," he said.
Wallace used to listen to a local radio show about phantom voices and said the creepiest ones were always the ones with children.
"And I thought ‘If something is going to creep me out, what would that be?’ And I thought ghost children are kind of creepy."
The Children of Resurrection Gardens will give readers goosebumps because they can relate to the characters in the book and all the things that happen in the book could happen in real life, he explained.
"I can’t relate to (fantasy) because I know that’s not going to happen in a lifetime, but this could happen because the setting is there and the people are there, and you can relate to these people.
"With a horror novel, you can let your imagination go crazy… but you still want to keep it believable for the reader."
Wallace is hosting a signing at Chapters Polo Park (695 Empress St.) on Sat., May 19, at 1 p.m. The book is available for purchase at all Chapters Indigo stores and online at McNally Robinson and Amazon.
For more information on the book and the author, go to https://www.tell-talepublishing.com/stone-wallace.html
Community journalist — The Times
Ligia Braidotti was the community journalist for The Times.