Category Archives: Published work

It’s Dark Inside reviews

A selection of reviews for It’s Dark Inside:

It’s Dark Inside by Karen Heard is a prime work of dark fiction…

Dark Inside hearkens back to the core of terror—isolation. Be it physical, or emotional, or cultural, isolation is what makes us vulnerable and afraid. No one is coming to help you and you’ll have to figure it out alone. But if you’re wrong…

Hellnotes website

I hate small enclosed spaces and my pulse quickened with each sentence of this story. Her fear was real for me as I begged her not to leave the bathroom because outside was by the worst place to be.

Creepy prose that twists and turns till your dizzy with suspense.

The Geekdom of Gore

Karen Heard is one of those rarely talented authors who can unsettle a reader without ever explicitly stating what has happened…

One of the best quiet horror story collections you’ll read this year.

If I’m picking an old school horror author for comparison, I’d really go all the way back to Poe.


The gnawing build-up of dread in each tale is well paced and her descriptions and characterisation are spot on.

Snakebite Horror

Six excellent dark stories that set my nerves tingling with dread.

Jonathan Broughton (horror author) Smashwords review

2012 has been a good year for short story collections… “It’s Dark Inside” by Karen Heard has been one of my favourites. The genre is horror – not of the gross-out kind, but certainly creepy. The stories are atmospheric, disquieting, unsettling.

Rayne Hall (horror author) Amazon review

Karen writes in a very poetic and lyrical style, very much of the ‘classic/old-skool’ Gothic era and so (given the most welcomed ‘1st person narrative’ technique & it’s spooky content), I was at once put in mind of Poe and other Spooky Titans of the genre such as Mary Shelley and even Conan Doyle’s lesser known eerie short ‘Captain of the Polestar’.

Bobby Kemp, Amazon review

Each story manages to instil a growing sense of dread and discomfort in the reader, with the aid of brilliant writing, as opposed to excessive gore.

Alison N, Amazon review

The stories are all original and involving, each one entirely different with a stick-in-your-mind quality that makes you want to read another.

Xenophon, Goodreads review

I’d recommend this collection to gothic/horror fans, though you might want to avoid this if you’re faint hearted or easily disturbed as some of the descriptions are quite intense (either the author has a great imagination or we’re looking at a crazed psychopath).

Hayley, Goodreads review

It’s Dark Inside: Short stories by Karen Heard

It's Dark Inside - dark coverIt’s Dark Inside by Karen Heard is a prime work of dark fiction – Hellnotes website

Creepy prose that twists and turns till you’re dizzy with suspense – The Geekdom of Gore

Either the author has a great imagination or we’re looking at a crazed psychopath – Hayley, Goodreads review

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About It’s Dark Inside

These six tales span the genres of ghost story, mystery, horror, and suspense. Some look back on dark times, others look forward to an apocalyptic future, and still others dwell on a terrible present – but they have one thing in common: they are all dark. Don’t expect happy endings or pleasant characters here, for there is something dark lurking in the shadows of each tale waiting to get out.


The Lighthouse
A young girl trapped in a flooding Lighthouse begins to wonder why her parents left…

How do you photograph the last moments of a dying species?

The Picture
A dead man’s home is haunted by the living and the memories they disturb…

Out of Order
What do you do when the lights go out and the screaming starts?
(Originally published in ‘Scared: Ten Tales of Horror’)

The Promise
Never make a promise you can’t keep…
(Won an Honorary mention in the ‘Little House Creative Workshops writing competition’.)

Something scratching behind the walls is dying to get out…

This is my first collection of short stories, published Oct 2012. I’m thrilled to say that during Halloween it reached number 6 in the Amazon horror short story bestseller list.

Buy it now on Amazon (US) for $1

Buy it now on Amazon (UK) for 64p


Scared: Ten Tales of Horror (Ten Tales Fantasy & Horror Stories)

Scared Ten tales of horror coverIn June 2012, I was thrilled to have one of my short stories included in Rayne Hall’s collection of horror stories, Scared: Ten Tales of Horror.

About Scared: Ten Tales of Horror

Ten stories of spine-tingling suspense, edited by Rayne Hall.

In this collection, you’ll find scary stories for almost every taste, each penned by a different author with a different writing style and a different taste in horror. This allows you to explore your own preferences. Which story gives you the most delicious frights?

The authors have played with “What if” scenarios: What if the safe world we take for granted is changing and we don’t know? What if a seemingly harmless object grows into a menace? What if an everyday occurrence turns into something nasty? What if a minor irritation is actually a sign that something big is underfoot? What if threats are outside our control? Picking up the phone, going to the toilet on the train or buying a birthday gift may be the start of a nightmare.

These stories don’t seek to shock you with chainsaw massacres or to gross you out with mounds of gore. Rather, the authors aim to scare you in subtle ways, creating the kind of fear which creeps up on you, grabs you by the throat, and sometimes lingers long after you’ve finished reading.

To preserve the authors’ individual voices, some of the stories are in American English, others in British.

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Beltane: Ten Tales of Witchcraft (Fantasy Stories)

Beltane Ten Tales of witchcraft coverI was delighted to be asked by Ten Tales editor, Rayne Hall to write a story for her short story collection: Beltane: Ten Tales of Witchcraft (Fantasy Stories).

About Beltane: Ten tales of witchcraft

Ten witchcraft stories by ten authors, edited by Rayne Hall

If you meet a witch, will you know if they’re the kind or the evil sort? If you hear about someone practising witchcraft, how do you judge if their magic is real? If rumours spread through your neighbourhood or mass hysteria sweeps through your community, will you be able to keep a clear head? If the only way to solve your problem is by resorting to witchcraft, will you desist or give it a try?

In this book, all the witches are real. They practice different kinds of witchcraft: Traditional, Stregheria, Santeria, Wicca and more. Some are good, some are evil, and others are in between, so beware of jumping to early conclusions.

Ten authors share their visions of witches and witchcraft, and each tells their story in a different writing style. To reflect the authors’ individual voices, you will find both American and British English words and spellings in this book.

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See this book on Amazon (UK)

Watch the trailer for Beltane: Ten Tales of Witchcraft: