Love, Magic, and Horror

Love, Magic, and Horror: How Mercedes M. Yardley Became my Dear Friend.

By Patrick R. McDonough

Mercedes Murdock Yardley is an author I never thought I’d have the opportunity to speak with. This isn’t to say I thought she wouldn’t speak to me, but rather, I put her on a pedestal. I did that with a lot of writers when I was just getting started in my pursuit of being a novelist.


How wrong I was! Not only was Mercedes one of the first guests on Dead Headspace, but she and I have formed an incredible bond, an unexpected friendship that I intend to never take for granted. It’s a type of fellowship I share with very few in this industry.


When you’re lucky enough to find those friendships built on mutual respect and appreciation for each other as artists and people, and you just click, there’s really nothing like it.


I tell you this, because over the course of getting to know each other I’ve learned so much about her. Mercedes the mother, the wife, the friend, the writer, the editor, but overall, Mercedes the person. She writes some really dark content, often overflowing with magic, hope, and love. The content makes sense. You see, that’s her personality, that’s her sense of humor. It’s on full display in her editorial debut, Arterial Bloom (Crystal Lake Publishing, 2020), which is a Bram Stoker Award finalist for Best Anthology.


Recently, Mercedes announced a new novel Darling, coming out August 23rd, 2022 (Scroll down for a pre-order link). It’s the story of a girl who’s called back to her hometown (Darling, Louisiana). She demonstrates that love I mentioned earlier with all its potency. Add in some monsters, and revived murdered children, and you’ll get the ingredients to a great story. This isn’t my round-about way of asking you to pre-order a book from my friend, but I wouldn’t hate it if you did.


What this is is recognition for a woman in horror that means the world to me. She’s been there for me when I was at my lowest. She has also been there for me at my peaks, and is directly responsible for the progress in shaping what I hope will be my debut novel. She is someone I want more readers to talk about, as well, for all the reasons I went over and then some.


I once put Mercedes on a pedestal, never thinking she would even talk to me, and now she’s one of my dearest friends (I am so tempted to say one of my Darlings, but that’s creepy and weird, right? I bet that last line made her laugh); a dear friend I just can’t help but be proud of every single day. She’s the type of person that genuinely lifts your spirits and fills your heart with happiness when you’re down. Mercedes is the type of writer that has an aptitude for letting the reader feel her heart, while ripping yours out with a smile. I ask every single one of you reading this to consider trusting my words enough to see the magic, love, and horror she has waiting for you.

Pre-order Darlings here.

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