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  • Writer's pictureBryan Alaspa

The bizarre nightmare of 2020

Yeah, so, we are near the end of the year. You know that. If you're like me, you've been crossing off days on your calendar since about March. If you happen to live overseas, you've been crossing off days even longer. I am not telling you anything you don't already know - this year was an unimaginable nightmare. None of us have seen anything like it.

Like many of you, I lost my day job. I was working as a marketing manager at a Hilton resort, which rapidly furloughed most of the employees, brought some of us back for a few weeks, furloughed us again and then laid everyone off. After a year of hard work, it was all out the window. I was unemployed. Then my wife lost her job.

This is also a familiar story. Thankfully, knock on all the wood, my wife and I found new jobs. I am out of hospitality and back to just writing for a marketing company. But, this is not a personal journal. Everyone, and I mean all of you, who are out there and reading this I am hoping you are alright, hanging in there, healthy (mentally and physically), and doing okay financially.

Despite the nightmares, despite the horrors that seemed to crop up every day (far more terrifying than anything I could write), 2020 ended up being the most creative and prolific year I have had in ages.

Here's the content I put out in 2020, although writing a lot of this stretched back into 2019, most of this was created fresh while unemployed and in quarantine.

Black River - crime story about a small town ruled by two crime gangs. The fragile peace is shattered when a young boy vanishes. It has a nice twist and this was supposed to be the big release of 2020, but then things went to hell in April. A crime story which was unique for me, but a very nice surprise ending.

The Cut-Through - a novella that was so much fun to write. A young girl vanishes in an instant while running home from school. Weeks later, a woman in her 20s shows up, claiming to be the same girl. Two police detectives find themselves questioning the entire universe as they try to unravel this impossible mystery. I kind of love this story.

Safe Haven - of course, when I first got furloughed and thought maybe things would be over in a few weeks, this story came to me. Yeah, it has to do with a virus breakout and the people on a small island who discover the world on shore has changed. How far will they go to protect their livelihoods and existence? I wrote this one fast and it chilled me to the bone.

Redux - a straight up crime story. It has a sci-fi bent to it because it involves technology that doesn't actually exist now, but this was a police procedural in a lot of ways. Two cops investigate a brutal murder, but soon discover there might be more behind it than it first appears.

At Dawn, Before the Cold - my Halloween release and my first collection of novellas. Four of them in one place bringing you a collection of nightmares. I am fond of writing novellas these days and think some of my favorite stories are in this one. If you'd like some shorter fiction tales you can read over time - this is the collection for you.

DERANGED - then came my most disturbing story yet. A novella about two spree killers that starts with an insanely brutal multiple murder - then gets worse. I channeled my negativity and horror from this year into this little tale of about 16,000 words. I drifted into areas of horror where I normally do not tread. It's dark, disturbing and the presales for this one have been off the charts. It's my Christmas release, cuz, why not?

At the same time, I wrote and produced a solo podcast called OVULE which involves an invasion from space that starts as bright lights in the skies, leads to bizarre flowers growing and then people start getting sick. Ten episodes and it was produced on the cheap by me, in my bedroom, because I always wanted to do a fiction podcast and just decided to do it. Check it out.

When the Night Comes Out - The Podcast! This one has been in the works for years with the amazingly talented voice talent Allie James. It almost had life with another production company, then that company fell apart. Then we discussed what to do, brought it back, decided to do this ourselves. Despite also planning her own wedding, Allie produced this amazing series of horror tales written by me. I cannot thank her enough and am blown away by her talent. As I write this, the last episode of season 1 is coming out. Binge it now!!!

Was that enough for me? Did I just produce that and not write stuff for next year? Of course not! Here's what's been written, is being written, and is with some Beta readers.

Lydia - written, with Beat readers. A horror tale that drifts into Lovecraftian territory. A lonely girl discovers and even lonelier girl in the woods one day. IT turns out Lydia may not be who she says, then the real nightmares start.

Totality - a psychological thriller. I took the negativity I had about losing my job at the resort and put it right into this one. A man gets sent to an island because the man running and building a new tropical resort might just be a bit unhinged. Trapped on an island with a potential psychopath leads to unimaginable nightmares.

Judgement Town - THE FOURTH DEKLAN FALLS STORY!!! I suddenly had an idea for a new Deklan Falls book. Told differently than the others, taking Falls out of oldtowne for the fist time. A young man whose brother was murdered brutally finds that a private detective named Deklan Falls has been hired to look into the murder. Who hired him? What secrets will he uncover?

So, those three books alone will likely be out in 2021. I have ideas for others, too. Plus, expect season 2 of When the Night Comes Out - the Podcast!!!

Here's hoping 2021 is better all the way around. Here's hoping we find new things to be thankful for. I hope you'll keep reading my stuff and, as always, I am so thankful for you who read my work, or listened to it, or just took time out of your schedule and craziness to support me in some way.

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