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Guest Blogger Stuart R. West

 Stuart R. West hails from Kansas, which he says is home to lots of cool and creepy things. You have to believe him, if his stories are indicative of his environment! But he doesn't just write horror - he does mysteries, thrillers, YA... you name it. His latest is a foray into comic horror, and today he's here to tell you all about the story behind his new novel, Demon with a Comb Over.

Demon with a Comb-Over: My Comedy of Terrors by Stuart R. West

Sometimes I think there’s a thin line between comedy and horror. For me they can both induce dread, queasiness, even chills. 

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Years ago, when I had lots more hair and lots more (unfounded) confidence, I thought I’d give stand-up comedy a shot. I figured, how hard could it be? Right? Yeah, right.

Famous last words. At an open mike night at a local comedy club, I had my booster club with me. My friends surrounded me, buying me liquid encouragement and giving me a lotta “atta boy’s.” 

Completely behind me, supporting me. Yet the closer it came time for me to take the stage, the faster my confidence dissipated. Funny how that works. About the only funny thing of the night.

As soon as I hit the stage, the spotlight hit me. Increased my sweating ten-fold. A few nervous chuckles (not the good expected ones, either) spread through-out the room. And I froze. Couldn’t remember my routine. Someone booed. I waved, looking like an idiot. Soon enough, the crowd felt entitled to heckle me. Tough crowd, tough crowd. Finally, I remembered one of my jokes, not even my opening one. But by then? Too late.

I went out in a fizzle, the crowd laughing at me, not with me. Even my usually boisterous knucklehead friends fell silent, staring into their beers. Still behind me. Just way behind.

Ladies and gentlemen, my one time dalliance with stand-up comedy. Never again, I told myself. For it was truly terrifying and clearly, I had no business being up there. Sometimes, I still have nightmares about that disaster.

So I thought (which is kinda what got me into trouble in the first place), why not turn it into a horror novel?

Hence, the birth of Demon with a Comb-Over. It’s the tale of Charlie Broadmoor, a recently divorced, struggling and not very good Kansas City stand-up comedian. Things get worse. Charlie heckles a demon. One with a comb-over. Bad move. This demon doesn’t think Charlie’s funny and vows to kill him, but not before destroying everyone he loves first. 

Now, mind you, the book’s a horror tale first and foremost. There’re several gruesome trips to hell, bloody murders, hallucinatory events. But, as I said earlier, I truly believe horror and comedy sometimes stroll (no, not stroll; more like hurtle) hand-in-hand. I hope this time, I get it right.
If you enjoy your humor with a chuckle, as I sometimes do, pick up Demon with a Comb Over (links below). While you're at it, get Neighborhood Watch, too, one of his earlier books, which is chock full of demony-goodness and creepy neighbors that will make you think twice about what goes on behind closed doors on your own street.

Demon with a Comb-Over available at Amazon.
Twitter: @StuartRWest


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