A little truth sparks idea for fiction book

PAT FRIDGEN, Echo Pilot
Rob Stover penned a horror novel under the name R. L. Stover. He has always loved the genre and decided to try his hand at spinning a tale to keep people on the edge of their seats.

“The Game Evil Plays” is not a children’s book, despite the illustration of a boy and his dog on the front cover.

Greencastle author Rob Stover is emphatic that his horror story is meant for adults.

“No one under the age of 14 should read chapter 3,” he said.

The plot centers on Robbie and his family, who move into a home occupied by the soul of a serial killer from the 1800s. Robbie is able to communicate telepathically with his new pet Bandit. They face off with the deadly spirit.

The story represents a part of Stover’s childhood. His early years were spent in Clear Spring, Md. He lived with his own dog Bandit in a pre-Civil War house near Wilson Store.

“Odd things happened there,” he recalled. “Doors opened and shut on their own, and the lights turned off and on. And Bandit was my absolute best friend growing up.”

His family then moved to Smithsburg, and current owners report no more strange occurrences at the house.

The book is fiction, however, which readers should remember if the tale gets too scary, Stover said.

Fans of the horror genre who have read the book, just released Jan. 14, tell Stover they like it.

“The third chapter is their favorite,” he reported. “They tell me, ‘I didn’t know you thought that way.’”

An avid reader, along with his family, Stover, 39, long considered trying to write. He was open to joining the ranks of his favorite authors, Steven King, Joe Hill and Dean Koontz.

“I thought it would be nice to have a story captured in a book.”

He started typing in August 2012 but got stuck after two chapters.

“I didn’t know where I wanted to go with it.”

Stover took off several months, and on a day with miserable weather, finally started writing again. He finished the manuscript last March. Local artist Doug Low drew the front cover for him.

And as for how the book ends, Stover could only comment, “I can’t say it’s a happy ending, but the books ends well. And a sequel is coming.”

A seven-year veteran of the Air Force, Stover is an operations manager at the Food Lion distribution center. He also has other interests that fill his spare time: puzzles, woodworking, wine festivals, karaoke, hiking and camping.

“The Game Evil Plays” is available online at Barnes and Noble, and Amazon, as well as through Strategic Book Publishing.