NIGHT WATCHMAN was my first horror novel sale, to Hard Shell Word Factory, an e-book and print-on-demand publisher. After accidentally signing up to give a reading at the 1997 World Horror Convention in Niagara Falls (hey, the forms were confusing, okay?), I had to call back to my office and have a friend fax me over some pages of NIGHT WATCHMAN and my story “The Short Route” so that I would have something to read from. The readings did help lead to the eventual publication of my second novel, A FLOCK OF CROWS IS CALLED A MURDER, so it all worked out in the end.
Mrs. Barrett rises. “You don’t believe in it,” she says in a whisper, “but be careful. Listen to me! Beware the power of Satan.”
“Don’t worry, ma’am,” Nate says. “We’re pure of heart and noble of purpose. Right, Frank?”
“Maybe you are,” Frank says.
They go back into the hallway. Mrs. Barrett shuts the door behind them and locks it four different ways as they head for the stairs. The air is just as rank on the fourth-floor landing as it was on the first, and doesn’t improve much as they climb. “Do you think we need backup?” asks Nate as they ascend the last flight to the rooftop door.
“Nah. For a bunch of kids? They got knives, we got guns.”
“But what about the power of Satan?”
Frank points to his groin. “I got the power of Satan right here. Now c’mon, or we’ll miss the Black Mass.”