On Monday, August 8, 2022 — just three days ago — the TODAY Show had a themed party atmosphere for its show: a holiday celebration of Halloween. Aside from the minor confusion of this show preceding the holiday by over two months, I was all in because it’s always been one of my favorite holidays, like it is for so many others. I watched some of it. It felt like they went big and most of the studio time was spent with a lifestyle expert showing us what we apparently “need” for the best Halloween party and yes it was food-centric and yes everything looked festive and delicious but also, yes, I’d probably suffer horribly at my age if I were to eat half of that! Hey, I thought you got past that “after eating so much Halloween candy that you were sick for a week” kid’s problem as you got older.
Anyway I inadvertently found something very cool I certainly wasn’t expecting and thought I’d share it because not only is it fun and exciting, but it very oddly coincides with some research I’ve been doing on several of my old, rare out-of-print books, and particularly the one that has always remained in highest demand for the highest market prices and which has often been nearly impossible for people to locate. (It’s also one of my more ripped off books that Pirates sell illegally. This book’s original retail price was $7 in 1999 when published. A couple of months ago I found a pirate site allegedly “out of physical” copies, but happily offering a PDF for download at the starting price of $100. Which doesn’t come close to the highest prices I’ve seen for this book.
In any event, I ran across a fun article that was part of that overall Halloween themed-show on Monday and I found something unexpected. This article is titled “65 Halloween Quotes That Are Sure To Send Chills Down Your Spine” and it’s on the TODAY website.
I’ve actually had a lot of quotes of my own appear around for many years, mostly taken from my books, sometimes from somewhere else. I’m used to these kinds of lists and while I don’t get much out of the inspirational ones, I do like many of the theme ones because they’re usually a lot more fun and I know (or know of) more of the authors being quoted. The writer stayed with the holiday spirit theme of the show and made some good suggestions about using these in some fun ways like including them as Instagram captions and she made a point also that it was a diverse mix — funny, scary, goofy, clever — and the “famous figures” being quoted were coming from books, movies and songs rather than the standard isolated book. So, fun!
[Interjection. I later found this referenced on other websites with some stating they were all taken from movies — not true — and that some of these other sites were labeling or viewing them as the 65 BEST Halloween quotes. Impressive. I’d normally just expect some of the usual — King, Poe, etc. Which is cool, because I’m a horror fan.]
I started rapidly perusing the list because it was about 2 AM and I was tired. Thought I’d take a quick glance and maybe look in more detail the next day. I was happy to find the mix of the quotes was even more diverse than I expected. So not only King, Poe, Shelley, etc., but the author was right in the other sources because I found some I hadn’t anticipated. One that should have been easily guessed was “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” Others were quotes from “Monster Mash,” “Beetlejuice,” the theme song from “Ghostbusters,” and two especially seemed so cool that I couldn’t decide which was best so maybe you readers could weigh in and help: Linus, saying practically anything out of “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” or the iconic Vincent Price with his spooky part in Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” It’s a tough one…
Now, jumping to authors and their books there are some great quotes from Poe, King, Shakespeare, Bradbury, Grafton, HP Lovecraft and Anne Rice (of course). But something niggled at my mind while I was scanning the list so I ran down it again, all 65. And then a third time because I couldn’t place it, but there was something… And then, BAM, there it was! I was surprised to see the 13th quote was an excerpt from Shadows Before The Maiming by Scott C. Holstad, published in 1999, fittingly by Gothic Press in Baton Rouge, LA. Um, that would be me. I’ve actually kind of done some big stuff before, like national syndicated radio and tv in very large markets like L.A., and I’ve been published with hundreds of “actual” stars, but I hadn’t known about this, wasn’t expecting it, so it was a nice surprise.
(Incidentally, I’ve been working on creating and expanding a list of some of the “famous” writers with whom I’ve been published. My “Famous” Writers webpage lists over 300 poets, novelists, essayists, artists, actors, musicians with some real legends. Many US Poet Laureates, a Nobel winner, many Pulitzer winners, horror and sci fi writers, other authors and some big names like King, Gwendolyn Brooks, Seamus Heaney, William Burroughs, Bukowski, Rice and many more. Check it out.)
A couple of final things on my end. If interested, you can find a few reviews of Shadows on my Scott Reviewed page. You can also find it in the ISFDB database, Google Books and many other places. It did very well as a “horror poetry” book, something I hadn’t planned to write nor known I’d written until it starting appearing in Best New Horror-type books and annuals, etc. Its Goodreads description includes a small article about my experience writing a “horror poetry” book without intending to or knowing it. It’s been out of print for years, is considered by many sellers and readers to be a collector’s item and I was lucky enough to run across a long buried box in my basement with some new, never-opened copies of some of my books I thought I’d never see again, so I’ve made some available on this site, though most extras will go to special collections libraries. They’re on my MINT SIGNED RARE HOLSTAD BOOKS FOR SALE page.
I thought it’d be fun to mention this article and its list, and it might be fun for some of you to read that list of 65 Halloween quotes for yourselves. I also wanted to give a thank you to the author of the piece, Sarah Lemire, as well as to TODAY. The final piece of this story is that the topic, and Ms. Lemire’s article, has been so well received that other groups have picked it up and published it on their websites, including Yahoo, Latest Movs and Flipboard. Since then I’ve seen more sites “review” (gently and delightedly) this piece as well, so good fun.
Oh, and my quote? One of the 65? Well, you really should go to the article to see for yourself. You’ll find Scott Holstad, “Shadows Before the Maiming” in the 13 spot below Ray Bradbury, Peter Straub and HP Lovecraft and above Joseph Conrad, John Steinbeck, Lovecraft and more. Though I’m quite sure it’s not in that spot due to merit. It’s up to the graphic designers, no doubt. My quote is merely a tiny clause from a very long, somewhat notorious poem that’s frankly more fitting for a brutal holiday — ya know, horror. The ending is rather vicious so I’m glad that didn’t stop the writer from using this rather whimsical small part of the poem because at the risk of sounding a bit narcissistic, I think my little quote fits in very nicely with the others. Cheers!