The second edition of Revelstoke-native Brennan Storr’s debut novel, A Strange Little Place, is hitting the shelves six years after the original, bringing readers into the paranormal side of Revelstoke.
A Strange Little Place was a shorter book released by Storr in 2016. Focusing on Revelstoke’s haunted and “unexplained” events, the book examined personal accounts of the mysterious in town. Now, back with the second edition, the book is beefed up with more stories and even more detail. Storr spoke about how the book came together and how he puts a good creepy story together.
“I was influenced, growing up in Revelstoke, by — my mother and her family would sometimes tell ghost stories about the house they grew up in, and I liked horror movies and stuff like that,” said Storr of his early experience with the genre.
Storr grew up in Revelstoke before moving away in his mid-20s. It wasn’t until he moved away and would tell his colleagues about some of the mysterious stories he’d heard growing up that he began considering compiling them into a book. Having enjoyed writing in school, but without practice afterward, Storr was hesitant at first but found his rhythm over time. Mostly, Storr enjoyed researching for the book.
“I like being in person and knocking on doors and asking questions,” said Storr, adding that while living in Victoria and writing the book, he enjoyed visiting the provincial archives regularly.
Using archives, first-person accounts, and scene description is how Storr said he prefers to tell a good spooky story, rather than artificially developing tension. The reason that Storr writes the stories that way is so that they stay based in reality, instead of sensational.
“Part of me wants to make this sort of evidentiary. And so, you can read these stories and try and make some kind of sense out of what’s happening,” said Storr.
Storr received some criticism from locals who didn’t recognize the names of the people mentioned in his book, which he addressed in his author’s note in the latest edition. In the interest of privacy for the people he spoke to, Storr used pseudonyms for several stories.
“Those inaccuracies annoyed me more than you can possibly imagine,” wrote Storr in the author note.
The book’s completion – as it would be for many authors – was a huge achievement for Storr, personally.
“I’d never written a book — It never occurred to me that I could. I’ve learned later in life I have ADHD, so the idea that I could stick with a project long enough to finish it seemed kind of unlikely,” said Storr.
Storr’s book can be found on Amazon. For more of Storr’s scary content, his podcast The Ghost Story Guys also looks at other unexplained stories from around the world.