The award-winning author of acclaimed horror collection The Devil Took Her is back with ten fresh tales.
● A South Island road trip turns murderous as a dangerous drifter smells a secret in her co-dependent partner.
● Millionaire Kiwi conservationists learn too late how little Mother Earth cares for mankind.
● A Far North teen confronts the terrifying truth about why Mum separated from Dad years ago.
These stories take us through trials of life everyone can relate to: Struggling to bond with a stroppy stepchild, losing your son to a gang of ghoulish boys, doing desperate things to get famous, battling bullies, surviving school, sacrificing everything for art, surviving the big city, and getting good with God.
Bringing his award-winning narrative skill to the genre of horror, Botur delivers ten New Zealand nightmares – his most powerful stories yet.
A South Island road trip turns murderous as alcoholic drifter Tracey bullies her lover, the giant Adam, into killing for the ultimate drink – child blood – while Adam fights to keep a secret: his young son.
2. We Created a Country
Millionaire business owners Ross and Jennifer fall in love while trying to restore Northland to its pristine natural state through conservation and cleanups – but after borrowing billions to ban development from the Far North, the nature lovers learn what Mother Nature really thinks about mankind.
3.Weeks in the Woodshed
AJ was a young South Auckland teacher trying to provide for his wife and baby. Now, he’s had his privilege taken away, convicted of a crime while working at school – a crime he’s struggling to admit, a crime for which he’s been sentenced to complete Community Service in a remote countryside barn – and a crime which comes with unending punishment.
4. Butterfly Tongue
Lonely Kaitaia teen Venus asks her separated parents for the same simple birthday present every year. Venus just wants her hardened biker mum Marija to talk to her dad again – and for Dad, a smooth-talking reporter, to be more sensitive with the women he romances. However, as 18 approaches and she counts down towards the end of school, Venus is forced to confront the terrifying truth about why Mum left Dad in the first place.
5. The Beast Released
Whangarei computer technician Christopher takes the bratty 11-year-old son of a woman he’s trying to impress on a hiking expedition through Northland jungle to bond with the boy as they explore an old plane crash site – until the lads learn that a plane crash isn’t the worst thing that can happen in remote forest.
Busy teacher Āwhina struggles to stop her son Nick sneaking out at night to join a gang of suicidal schoolboys who have discovered the ultimate thrill: killing oneself and frolicking as a ‘Lossboy.’ However, once the Lossboys take everything from her – including her son – Āwhina starts standing up against her untouchable tormentors.
Twentysomething singer-songwriter Anna Shrupali is desperate to make it to the top of Auckland’s performing arts world and escape the K Road rat race. But when husband-and-wife patrons offer to make Anna and her twin brother rich and famous, the deal takes Anna far outside her comfort zone and threatens to turn her into something monstrous.
13-year-old Christchurch vandals Richie and Sammy learn the limits of their friendship after they are influenced on weekend missions by the mysterious Jacob, who seems to never leave school. After Jacob takes a prank way too far, the boys part ways and Richard denies what he did until years later Jacob reappears, reminding Richie if he doesn’t play, he’s going to pay.
9. Racing Hearts
We call it the Airing Cupboard: the South Auckland chapel where I counsel former doctors suspended for breaking down on the job.
You see, I’m a screw-up just like them. I’m on probation from the hospital’s Review Board and I don’t know if I’ll ever be allowed to walk the wards as an anaesthesiologist again.
It’s because I raced too hard and I fell. Fell in love with a doctor as competitive as me. And we both fell in love with danger – until one of us fell in too deep.
10. Luke’s Lesson
Life is hard for Hamilton brothers Luke and Danny, whose father is a reformed addict trying to go straight. After Luke and Danny are inspired by a charismatic carnival pastor who gives them Bible comics warning of eternal damnation, Luke tries to improve his community’s favour with God by brutally cleansing the sins of everyone he can reach – beginning with his family.
About the author
Michael Botur, born 1984 in Christchurch, New Zealand, is the author of seven acclaimed short story collections, four novels, ‘page and pub poetry’ collection Loudmouth and the children’s book ‘My Animal Family.’ He has won awards for short fiction in the US, Australiaand New Zealand. Botur has published journalism in most major newspapers and magazines in New Zealand and is concentrating on screenwriting in 2023. He lives in Whangarei with his two kids, and the deal is this: Kids, you can stay up late and I’ll tell you some dark tales, though they’ll make your world a whole lot darker. You have been warned. Botur holds a Master of Creative Writing degree from AUT University and is a trained journalist. He has published news articles in most of New Zealand’s major newspapers and magazines including VICE World News, the Listener, New Zealand Herald, Herald on Sunday, Sunday Star-Times, The Spinoff, Noted, Mana and North & South. In 2021 Botur was the first Kiwi winner of the Australasian Horror Writers Association Short Story Award for ‘Test of Death.’
From 2022, Botur began developing films based on his horror stories with award-winning co-writer and director Linda Niccol, amongst others.