Strange Bird: or, Why I Decided to Publish An Old Story

My horror novella Strange Bird is available for Kindle at Amazon. Price: $1.99!


This tale was first published in 2003 by Aphelion, a webzine of science fiction and fantasy.

Why publish a novella on my own? The answer in short is that I love this story. I wrote it during a time in my life when I was living in the New Jersey Pine Barrens. I was keen on developing a fictitious county where the real bordered on the unexplainable. So, I wrote a series of stories and short novels that took place in Weyrd County, NJ.

I have long since moved out of The Pine Barrens, but I have not forgotten the sense of mystery I experienced walking the back roads at night or the only ghost I ever saw there who walked down a hallway in the rented house where I lived. Living in The Pine Barrens taught me something about the sense of place, a thing all writers experience wherever they choose to live, and how if you dig deep enough in one place as a writer you can reap story gold.

So, here I am ten years later self-publishing a novella I wrote after reading yet again advice from Asimov, or maybe it was Heinlein, or maybe even Bradbury who said something about not letting your stories gather dust in a drawer. Strange Bird was born out of my love for unknown, out of my sense that a current secret and vast runs through the world regardless if we choose to acknowledge it.

Recently, I interviewed for an adjunct English professor position in a community college. Afterward, I had a nice chat with one of the full-time faculty members who writes and teaches courses on science fiction and fantasy.

“You have had a good start with your stories and poetry publications,” he said, referring to my CV. “What kind of stories do you write?”

“Fantasy and horror, mostly,” I told him. “I set out to write a New-Yorker-style story, but then things go horribly wrong for my characters.”

“Nothing wrong with that,” he told me.

No, no there is not…

You can find Strange Bird: A Novella the Kindle edition at

Thanks for stopping by.

Author: obrienwriter

I write stuff, fiction mostly.

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