I’m so excited to share my first short story collection with the Author’s Lounge. Stuck That Way and Other Quandaries was published as a short story collection in 2020. The title story, “Stuck That Way” was created based on a conversation I had with a friend. We were discussing energy, chakras, and one’s ability to control their personal vibrational quality. I thought about how I often attempt to manage my own frequency and wondered, what if? What if, on the other side, when your frequency slows, you become manifest corporeally? It does in my story. Full of spiritual irony, with a playful dose of the age-old adage about making an ugly face and getting stuck that way.
The second story, “Something Lurking” is based on the woods behind my house and the strange behavior my dog often displays at night. I’ve heard noises emanating from the woods. It can be frightening on starless nights because one never knows what might be lurking.
“By Induction” is a personal favorite based on the magical practice of freezing individuals out of your life. Except the main character’s belief in her power to affect life while ignoring life leaves her most significant impact yet. Irony is one of my favorite literary tropes.
“That’s Creepy, Santa!” is the fourth short story, and yes, it is horror. So, if you’ve never read a Christmas horror story, you’re in for a scary treat. A couple, excited to spend Christmas Eve home alone, finds an unexpected present left at their front door, and what waits inside has different plans for their evening.
“Relevant Evidence” is a story written around contest parameters, which included someone who gets lost and cannot find their way back, and a sock. This story popped in my head. I didn’t make the final round, but I ended up with an interesting story and an unusual POV.
The final short story is “Devilish Games” and was inspired by an antique chair adorned with brass devils. This piece of furniture became the basis for this story as I wondered if an ancient god could become trapped inside an object. You’ll have to read it to see.
Here are a few of the amazing five-star reviews shared on Amazon and just a couple from Twitter:
“a journey of the macabre” -Amazon
“Each story leaves the reader with chills and goosebumps” -Amazon.
“Julie Kusma shows us the brilliant spectacle of her mind in this collection of stories.”- Amazon.
“each adventure is so brilliantly written you do not wish to leave… you want to feel the fear.”-Amazon.
“she is truly the Queen of Horror”- Amazon.
“The twists the writer comes up with are fantastic.”-Amazon.
“All of the stories leave you on the edge of your seat, start to finish.”-Amazon.
“Julie Kusma’s angle on horror is both fresh and beautiful.”-Amazon.
“She is the quintessential horror goddess.” -Amazon.
“extremely enjoyable book for those of us who appreciate both a new take on horror and writing as a form of art.”-Amazon
“Prepare to be terrified”-Twitter.
“a genre-bending horror collection.”-Twitter.
“I stand in awe of the mind of Julie Kusma.”-Twitter.
STUCK THAT WAY AND OTHER QUANDARIES available on Amazon
Julie Kusma, the author of Stuck That Way and Other Quandaries, lives in Kentucky with her family and Goldendoodle, Finn. She writes speculative fiction, mainly paranormal horror, and was recently honored with the title “Queen of Horror” by contemporaries in the writing community. Julie pens short stories, novels and offers several in audio format on her YouTube channel. She holds a Master of Science in Health Education and a Master of Art in English, Creative Writing, Fiction.