Chandler Kaiden’s short fiction has appeared in anthologies such as This Is How You Die: Stories of the Inscrutable, Infallible, Inescapable Machine of Death (ed. Bennardo, Malki, North) and The Mothman Files (ed. Knost); in horror and dark fantasy genre magazines like Shroud and Midnight Echo; and has been adapted for audio presentation by the podcast Pseudopod.

Chandler has been writing for as long as he can remember.  His earliest poems and stories were written in crayon on easel scraps and primary paper.  As a kid, English was always his favorite subject.

His parents and home life shaped his love of all things supernatural, occult, and uncanny.  His dad, traveling for work when he was young, brought home small mementos of his trips–including, on one very memorable occasion, a small yellow envelope labeled “Danger:  Rattlesnake Eggs.”  Awaking early one Saturday morning as a child, Chandler found this envelope waiting on the living room coffee table.  Intrigued by its warning, he–of course–touched it.  The envelope went THWUP THWUP THWUP THWUP THWUUUUUUUUUUUUP–and Chandler spent the next two hours in mortal terror, fearing that he’d been fatally bitten through the paper but afraid to wake his parents to take him to the hospital.  Dostoyevsky before the firing squad could not have been more afraid.  The actual source of the sound?  A metal washer affixed to a rubber band strung across a metal shard and all twisted up so that, when it was disturbed, the rubber band unwound and the washer “rattled” against the paper.

His mother contributed to his neuroses, as well.  As a young child, she regaled Chandler and his brother with stories of the haunted house she had lived in as a younger adult.  During a turbulent time in life–when home was flooded, and the family spent a short stretch living with Mom’s parents–Chandler remembers waking up one morning to find Mom “dead” on the couch.  He was TERRIFIED.  Turns out that Mom thought it would be funny to draw eyeliner “eyes” on her eyelids before falling asleep.  And she was right–because I’ll bet YOU’RE laughing RIGHT NOW.

While other kids were watching Care Bears and Winnie the Pooh, Chandler devoured (and re-devoured) such cinematic classics as the Elm Street series; “House,” which inspired his lifelong obsession with haunted houses; and “The Lost Boys,” the first (accidental, as it was mistakenly left in the VCR) Saturday morning viewing that ever literally scared him to tears.  Other kids’ superheroes were Batman, Superman, and Spider-Man; Chandler’s superheroes were the Ghostbusters.  In his fantasy life, he would still rather be Egon Spengler than anyone else in history.

Lots of what he wrote in grade school was very well-received by his teachers. Other stories, he couldn’t even SHOW them (though his friends loved them all).

His senior year of high school, he earned his English department’s outstanding student award, and went on to win his university’s annual short fiction contest.  He graduated college with a degree in English-Writing.

In 2008, Chandler won two fiction contests with his stories “Breed Love” and “Geist,” and followed these with publications in a number of horror and fantasy markets and anthologies (several of those stories are available on this site).

Since 2009, he has focused on developing longer fiction, and is currently finishing work on a dark fantasy novel for readers in the upper middle grades.

Chandler is an avid fan of Tarot (as well as a self-taught reader) with a deep love of the cards in all their many gorgeous incarnations–look for this interest reflected elsewhere on this site!  He lives and works in central Illinois, in the Midwestern United States.

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