Kids and the supernatural have always had a connection. Maybe it has something to do with the innocence of youth making them more accepting and open minded. I clearly remember my friend Noona as the little girl who lived behind the headboard of my bed in the small apartment we called home until I was six. The apartment was the second floor of an old house that my Mom and Dad rented when they were first married. Mom was 22 when I was born and tells me I used to scare the crap out of her. She says she’d come in my room to check on me during the night, and find me sitting up wide awake, making happy baby noises to the wall at the backside of the crib.
When I could talk, these nighttime adventures turned into me whispering with Noona. When I was nearly 7, we moved into our newly constructed home a few blocks away and Noona stayed behind. Either I grew out of her, or she couldn’t leave that old house, or…
Anyway, I’ve always found the stories of kids and the supernatural fascinating, which is why I have preordered The Deer Kings by Wendy Wagner. I love finding new authors in my favorite genre though Wagner is no novice to scary stories. She’s currently the editor-in-chief of Nightmare Magazine and has published short stories and poems in the horror genre, and two novels we’ve covered here at Black Gate: An Oath of Dogs and the Pathfinder novel Starspawn.
Her publisher, JournalStone, released the following teaser summary for The Deer King…
In 1989, Gary Sheldon and his friends created their own saint.
In 2018, they discover it’s become a god.
Gary thought he’d escaped Kingston, Oregon, the town where his parents died and where, one tragic summer, he and a group of outcast teens turned to the supernatural to protect themselves from a deranged drug dealer. But when his wife lands her dream job as a high school principal, he is forced to return to his hometown.
As Gary reconnects with old friends and his son thrives on the football team, the past feels like a distant memory. But unsettling encounters and mutilated animals in the woods reveal that the Deer Saint is still at work. Now Gary must look into his past to find answers: Who is making sacrifices to the Deer Saint? And what do they want with his family?
The Deer Kings is set for release on August 27th.