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Reviewed by Sherri Fulmer Moorer for Readers' Favorite
Pushing deadlines was nothing new for Michael. He regularly turned in his stories at the eleventh hour, knowing that the rush to meet his agent’s deadline would help him produce his best work. When Sarah calls to remind him of yet another impending deadline, he dismisses her with a promise that he will not only meet but beat the deadline this time, no matter what it takes. Convinced that he can prove her wrong, he sits in his study to write his next masterpiece, only to come up with every writer’s ultimate nightmare: writer’s block. He has a brilliant idea to write a story about just that: a horror story about a writer up against a deadline, but the words still won’t flow. When his phone rings with a call from a mysterious stranger claiming to be his agent’s replacement, he wonders if his nightmare just came true. Suddenly fiction and reality collide as he discovers that he pushed that deadline one too many times, to his detriment. The Dead Writer’s Society by Jimmy Blakemore is a whirlwind cautionary tale about pushing luck one too many times.
Some of the best horror stories are short ones, and The Dead Writer’s Society doesn’t disappoint. Jimmy Blakemore captures the essence of writing - from the joy of creating new work to the anxiety of writer’s block to show that writing is more than the pretty picture of the pajama-clad, coffee-sipping image that society has of the profession. Michael is a character that captures the true essence of a writer struggling between creativity and worldly expectations, and this story is a realistic allegory of how that tug-of-war can lead to a unique kind of suffering. If you’re in the mood for a short story that gives you a jolt, this is for you.