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Grave Wax Paperback – January 3, 2014
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About the Author
Kelli Owen was a reviewer for fifteen years and editor of some of the biggest names in the genre for over ten. She has been to countless conventions, participated on dozens of panels, and spoken at CIA headquarters in Langley regarding her writing. And they still don't know what genre to put her in...
She's not a horror writer in the traditional sense. Rather than throwing blood at the page, she prefers to let it soak in slowly. Creepy, moody, atmospheric, and quiet are her favorite way of getting under your skin. And she will. With a smile.
If you enjoy Kelli's work, please consider becoming a patron at patreon.com/kelliowen & get exclusive behind the scenes info, notes, etc. on Kelli's fiction.
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Top customer reviews
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Unfortunately, his wife, Rose, is battling Alzheimers and now Cancer.
I really liked the love story in Kelli Owen's novella. It moved me to tears. I know how weird that sounds. This big guy who loves everything horror and you throw in a love story and he cries like a little girl.
Don't get me wrong, Grave Wax is more than a love story, after all, this is a Kelli Owen book, so you know there's going to be a twist, and it's a good one.
Grave Wax was previously released as a part of Waking the Dead, a limited edition collection of four novellas from Thunderstorm Books. Now available as an affordable ebook at Amazon.com.
And Kelli Owen freaking cares. Her novella Grave Wax is written with the flowing language and command of craft of a person who has spent many hours, days, weeks, years putting words together to tell a story. The story here is of an elderly widower, George, who is training a shy young man named Will to take over his job as the local grave-digger. We get to know the two men through long stretches of dialogue and a few flashback scenes, which may be off-putting to the impatient reader who wants the books they read to be action-filled and "cinematic". If you want that, go to the movies. Where Kelli Owen excellent is in turning phrases and building character through small details, and it's done wonderfully here.
I haven't said much about the plot here, since I think that's best discovered through reading the story. (Plus, ya know, there's a plot description right up there.) Let's just say that events unfold in a way that we can see coming, but it's not so much predictability as sad inevitability. Sad for one character, at least.
This is my first reading of Kelli Owen's work, but it won't be my last. There are a lot of fine horror authors out there now, but in too many cases I can hear their fingers punching the keyboard at a hundred miles per hour to meet their deadline as I read them. Here's a writer that clearly takes her time getting every sentence the way she wants it. Because she freaking cares.
George Morey is a retiring gravedigger. He has found a protégé, a loner kid with no family and no friends. He will suit George’s requirements…in more ways than one. Morey’s wife has been dying a slow death; she suffers from Alzheimer’s and her body is being decimated by cancer. The two of them have found a way to stay together forever but if they follow through with it, a reader’s perspective might change from empathy to disgust. It’s pretty hard to sympathize when the price of their happiness is someone’s pain. This is the story’s greatest strength, its moral ambivalence. There is no black and white morale, instead the reader will ponder the lengths they would go and moral depths they’d sink to to save the ones they love.