Welcome to the world of unicorns.

Welcome to the world of unicorns.

Friday, April 5, 2013

A Dark Story To Tell Around the Campfire

Today, I’d like to welcome Madeleine McLaughlin, author extraordinaire. Her dark story, The Mountain City Bronzes, gave me the chills. Like an episode of The Twilight Zone, her story left me feeling kind of creepy inside even though I know it never really happened. This is the type of story people love to tell huddled around a campfire, the hairs on their arms raised in terror. Don’t forget to leave a comment at the end for a chance to win a free copy of her story.
Madeleine, tell us briefly what your story’s about and what genre is it?

I believe that all children need a hero to develop correctly to adulthood. Kevin worships his father, but when he learns his father's story, how will he adjust to the fact that he's not perfect? Just to say a little without spoiling things. You may have to come to your own conclusions.

Where on earth did such an idea come from?

I originally wanted to write about a sculptor and a small town. I've been fascinated by maps for a long time and liked to imagine what places on them might be like. When I came across a town in northern BC named Stewart, I thought, “How great. It's all by itself.” I've never been there but I imagine there's nothing there except the border crossing to Alaska, USA. Then I added the boy and his father and the jail. I thought a jail might be a nice place to play. In Ottawa, we used to have a prison hostel, an old prison with cells that was used for backpackers. When you stayed, you slept in one of the cells. By the way, it's supposed to be haunted.

How scary. I don’t think I’d like to stay there. I find your style very descriptive and elegant.  I was drawn in by the narrative. What is your background as far as a writer goes?

The first book that made me want to write seriously was Wuthering Heights, now I know some have accused her characters of being caricatures, but I found the poetry of Emily Bronte’s words to flow with magic. Later, I became interested in characters, well, you know, no modern editor would publish Wuthering Heights the way it is today, so then I wanted to combine the poetry with character and such that all the modern writers do. Now I know she's much better than I but I'm trying.

Tell us a bit more about yourself. Where do you live?

I’ve had a weight problem on and off since I was a girl. I spent my twenties as a thin person but could hardly eat anything. So now I'm mostly taking care of my health, walking and shopping. I consider shopping to be healthy. In a way, it's a reaction to boredom but with all the malls in Ottawa, I can go and walk around for two or three hours in comfort – no snow, and in summer, no heat. I like animals, but as I live in an apartment and my roommate thinks it's cruel to coop a pet up in such a small place, I don't have any, not even a chinchilla or rabbit. I'm on the computer most of the time, even if I still have all my old habits. I mentioned maps. If I have to go to Montreal, I get my paper folded map. I have a lot of them. I think deep down inside, I'm a traveller. I used to read books about Siberia or the Amazon and think about going there for my own adventure which I never did. I think that's fortunate now as travel isn't easy unless you're going to places that cater to tourists. That's just a little about me.  My other main interest is my family and my family history. I love old photos.

Where can we buy this wonderful short story?

You can buy it at Muse It Up Publishing at:

Or you can buy it at Amazon at:

So what’s next? Do you have another story in the working?

I'm working on one right now, but I won't let on what it's about, just that it's another horror. I'm hoping it's better than what's gone before

I can’t wait to read it. Thanks, Madeleine for a great interview. Readers, don’t forget to leave a comment at the end for a chance to win a copy of her story. And you can like her FB page too if you have a minute.



  1. Oh, I love creepy stories that send a chill up my spine.

  2. Me too. Especially late at night when I'm all alone in the house. That's the worst!

  3. Madeleine, the story sounds wonderfully eerie. I am also fascinated with maps, both physical and electronic. My favorite fiction maps of all time are the Tolkien maps of Middle Earth.

  4. One of the things I liked best about this story is that it's a short story. Sometimes I'm in the mood for something short and this one had me gripped the whole time. Your writing is superb, Madeleine.

  5. Yeah, for creepy stories. I've loved them for a long, long time. When I was eight years old I found a huge book I wasn't supposed to read,it was tucked away in a dark cupboard. It was full of creepy stories, The Speckled Band, The Woman in White, and on and on. I recall part of the title was: From Poe to Arlen. On another subject, cats can get comfortable anywhere if there's good food, love and playtime--just a thought. Good luck with your writing.

    1. Hi Mary, you won the book. Could you e-mail me at mad_mcl@yahoo.ca and I'll send it to you, what format would you like?

  6. I really loved watching Twilight Zone when I was a kid. It utterly fascinated me.

  7. Yummy, I LOVE creepy stories (Twilight Zone, Chiller Theatre, Alferd Hitchcock, Doc Shock etc).
    The blurb sounds awesome.

    Mindy :)

  8. The only thing humans like as much as being in love is being scared to death. By a good book, story or movie, that is. Must have happened around the first cave man fires!

  9. I think you're right. I loved watching horror movies as a kid and still love good ghost stories. My husband and I watch DVD's of Ghost Whisperers after the boys are in bed.

  10. And the winner is...Mary Raimes Curtis! Mary you can e-mail me at mad_mcl@yahoo.ca and I'll send you the story. Congrats.