S. Baer Lederman, author of the Haunted Lounge offering "The Helpers," tells us a little about his fears, his inspiration and what's up next for him. 

The October Lounge stories are all about fear. What are you afraid of? Where does your fear stem from?

As a kid, I feared everything. My imagination was my worst enemy. I couldn’t distinguish between the likelihood of a zombie apocalypse and a car accident – and I was positive my picture would end up on a milk carton. Today my imagination is my best friend and what scares me has evolved drastically. I no longer fear monsters and kidnappers, so when I write a scary story, I try to articulate basic fears that are terrifying because they are beyond our control, yet fundamentally human. 

What inspired you to write this particular short story?

This past summer, I stayed overnight in a creepy motel in a creepy little town. If that night had been a horror movie, the audience would have been yelling, “Go to the next town, you idiot!” Anyway, I lived. I love stories about towns with secrets, and I liked the idea of turning the fable of the divine visitor that is turned away by the townsfolk on its head. So I combined the two and presto! Story!

What's next for you? What writing projects do you currently have up your sleeve?

I’m currently a Creative Writing MFA candidate at Roosevelt University in Chicago. Everyday is reading, writing, and revising! I love it! But eventually I’ll have to start my thesis project… Right now I’m not sure which idea I can transform into a novel, but I’ve got some time.

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