Guest author: Robbie Cheadle ~ How my short story “The Haunting of William” came to be written

I have two short stories in Dan Alatorre’s latest horror anthology, Dark Visions: An anthology of 34 horror stories from 27 authors.

Writing stories in the horror and supernatural genre was a big move for me away from my existing children’s book and poetry. I have been following the progress of this book on Amazon with great interest and am delighted to see that it achieved number 1 in its category during the first week of its release. I have also been reading the reviews of the book and am thrilled that a few of them specifically mention one or the other of my stories, or both.

The first tale, The Willow Tree, was my first attempt at a short story in this genre and is a psychological thriller. My son suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (“PTSD”) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (“OCD”). He is under the care of a psychiatrist and a psychologist and he has done very well in getting his symptoms and anxiety under control. Some of the compulsions that may develop in OCD sufferers are very invasive to the family and can cause a lot of stress and strife among family members. It was not a big stretch of the imagination for me to develop a character who comes from a family where the parents are not able to cope with the strain. This story is a fictionalization of what could potentially happen to an extraordinarily clever individual with PTSD and OCD who is abused by the people he trusts and depends on the most in life.

One reviewer described this story as “dark and twisted, but what makes it even more frightening is that it’s not entirely out of the realm of possibility.”

The Haunting of William is a supernatural short story. The idea for this story came from one of Sue Vincent’s Thursday photo prompts entitled Turrets. I had been doing some research on ghosts in the Suffolk area and I came across a few lines about a chambermaid working in a local inn in the late 1800s. Matilda is said to have committed suicide after her lover leaves her, pregnant and unmarried.

I read Charli Mills’ The Congress of Rough Writers: Flash Fiction Anthology Vol. 1 earlier this year. As well as showcasing numerous lovely pieces of 99-word flash fiction by various writers, this anthology included a section which illustrated how selected writers had developed their short pieces of inspiration into longer short stories. This is the methodology I applied in developing my story from a short piece into a much longer and more interesting story.

I had to do a fair amount of research to write The Haunting of William as I needed to ensure that the clothing, jobs and attitudes of the era, for each social and economic class of character included in the tale, was historically factual. The different roles and statuses of housekeepers, butlers, horse grooms, chambermaids and kitchen maids in an English manner house needed to ring true. I also had to research the consequences for unmarried, working women who became pregnant.

Dark Visions

From the creators of the #1 bestseller The Box Under The Bed horror anthology comes Dark Visions, 34 horror stories from 27 authors. Tag along on a con man’s New Orleans vacation where he gets more than he bargained for from a mysterious voodoo shop. A collection of family photos reveals an eerie secret about a beloved grandmother’s true nature. A child’s horrifying memories haunt her into adulthood. A new camp counselor learns that the camp has secrets she might not live to reveal. Edited and compiled by Amazon bestselling author Dan Alatorre, this anthology of horror brings together the minds and pens of more than two dozen amazing authors. Dark Visions will take you into the realm of the eerie and macabre, with thrills and chills from: bestselling author Dan Alatorre (The Navigators) bestselling author Jenifer Ruff (Everett), bestselling author Allison Maruska (The Fourth Descendant), bestselling author J. A. Allen, award-winning author MD Walker, award-winning author Juliet Nubel, award-winning author Dabney Farmer, award-winning author Sharon E. Cathcart, award-winning author Heather Kindt, award-winning author Bonnie Lyons, award-winning author Sharon Connell, award-winning author Geoff LePard, award-winning author Anne Marie Andrus, award-winning author Christine Valentor, award-winning author BA Helberg, Ernesto San Giacomo, Alana Turner, Nick Vossen, award-winning author Robbie Cheadle, Betty Valentine, award-winning author Frank Parker, award-winning author Bonnie Lyons, award-winning author Lori Micken, Chuck Jackson, Ellen Best, Victoria Clapton, Perfect for Halloween or any time, these stories will make you think twice before spending the night alone, planting a tree in your garden, or even visiting your mother. Consider yourselves warned. NOTE: American and British spelling inside. Of the 34 stories contained in this anthology, almost all are not part of any larger work. Many of these stories are from new authors being published for first time, and this is their sole published work.

About the author

Robbie, short for Roberta, is an author with five published children’s picture books in the Sir Chocolate books series for children aged 2 to 9 years old (co-authored with her son, Michael Cheadle), one published middle grade book in the Silly Willy series and one published preteen/young adult fictionalised biography about her mother’s life as a young girl growing up in an English town in Suffolk during World War II called While the Bombs Fell (co-authored with her mother, Elsie Hancy Eaton). All of Robbie’s children’s book are written under Robbie Cheadle and are published by TSL Publications. Robbie has recently branched into adult horror and supernatural writing and, in order to clearly differentiate her children’s books from her adult writing, these will be published under Roberta Eaton Cheadle. Robbie has two short stories in the horror/supernatural genre included in Dark Visions, a collection of 34 short stories by 27 different authors and edited by award winning author, Dan Alatorre. These short stories are published under Robbie Cheadle.

Find and follow Robbie as Roberta Eaton

Roberta Writes Blog     Twitter    Facebook

And find Robbie Cheadle

Amazon     TSL Books

Robbie’s Inspiration Blog      Goodreads    Facebook    YouTube

Amazon author page   Twitter: @bakeandwrite

Tell me a story!

If you are a writer, artist or photographer…If you have a poem, story or memoirs to share… If you have a book to promote, a character to introduce, an exhibition or event to publicise… If you have advice for writers, artists or bloggers…

If you would like to be my guest, please read the guidelines and get in touch!

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
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48 Responses to Guest author: Robbie Cheadle ~ How my short story “The Haunting of William” came to be written

  1. I totally appreciate that you shared the way your stories came about. Reality can be stranger and more frightening than fiction.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Darlene says:

    I can appreciate how much research you did for this story. I sometimes feel a good short story can be as much work to write as a full-length novel!!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Ritu says:

    That story totally haunted me!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Wow, Robbie, your stories sounds gripping in the truth that they hold. I have found it difficult to read horror due to that very fact. I am so glad your son has the support he needs at home. ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Ghosts in the Suffolk area? Are you writing a book on the subject? Hope so!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Thank you, Sue, for hosting me today and sharing this post about how I came to write these two horror/supernatural stories. It is always lovely to be here.


  7. Reblogged this on Roberta Writes and commented:
    I am over at Sue Vincent’s interesting blog today, sharing some information about how I came to write the two short horror/supernatural stories that feature in Dark Visions horror anthology. Thank you, Sue, for hosting me.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m always awed by writers who write historical stories. You have to be so careful, because, of course, it’s easy to check the facts via the web, but more than that the historical genre has some of the most voracious fans of any types of fiction. And they know when you mess up!
    Huge congrats to you, Robbie! I hope you took a screen shot of your bestseller status 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Marcia says:

    Great to read about your methods and research for these stories, Robbie. I have this collection downloaded already and can’t wait to read it. I’m starting with YOURS. 😀

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – October 24th 2018 – Sue Vincent with Robbie Cheadle, Teagan Geneviene and Hannah Sandoval | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

  11. I enjoy hearing about the spark or the muse that triggered a story.
    Glad to hear your son is getting quality help and is making progress.
    Love the research part. I don’t think non-authors truly understand what we go through to make things accurate.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. True George says:

    Thanks an inspiration for me to see if I can get one of my stories published…..

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Mae Clair says:

    Thanks for sharing your inspiration for the stories, Robbie. I found the background intriguing. Dark Visions is on my Kindle and my reading list!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. victoria970243351 says:

    I cannot wait to read your two stories in Dark Visions. I’m a little obsessed with historical research, so I really enjoyed reading a little bit about your process. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Rowena says:

    Thanks for sharing your inspiration, Robbie. We have experiences of PTSD and OCD is our family largely brought on by my severe health issues. It is so hard to see your children drawn into their orbit. I have been much better and over the last couple of years a few of my son’s mum’s have passed away and he’s seen that we’re not the only family fighting something and that there are others who are worse off…as well as the ones who seem to live under a lucky star. I found out that Charles Dickens used to walk miles and miles to calm his mind and that image has stuck with me.
    Best wishes,

    Liked by 2 people

  16. ellenbest24 says:

    This is a revealing interview Sue. Now I have read Robbie’s story; I understand why it felt more sinister than most. Robbie is a talented writer, cake decorator, Mother and an all round artist. Where this ladies talents end baffles me. Stories grounded in fact may take a lot more work but are truly worth reading. I wish Roberta luck in her ventures.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Jack Eason says:

    Reblogged this on Have We Had Help? and commented:
    Robbie talks about her short story…

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Very interesting post Robbie and good to see you are spreading your writing wings into new genres. Like you I am experimenting more and writing a ghost story for The Ghostly Writes Anthology – very excited to be a part of this. So pleased that Dark Visions is doing so well and I really enjoyed reading and reviewing it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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