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Trimming Fantasy for a Darker Second Edition of The Empty Lot Next Door

Updated: 20 hours ago

The Empty Lot Next Door

In 2012, The Empty Lot Next Door made its debut. It found favor on Amazon and quickly clinched awards. However, not everything in the book was well-received. The main contention? Griffin. Some readers felt he brought a childish touch, with tales about him running longer than they should. I understand the feedback, but Griffin’s presence was crucial.

A TV show, A Haunting, had plans to adapt the book. But they stepped back. Their reason? An overabundance of fantasy. And Griffin was at its core.

Who was Griffin, you ask?

He was my brother Ricky's imaginative creation: part boy, part lion. The local kids would hang onto Ricky's every word about Griffin, shared by our treehouse. Those stories had a certain enchantment. In the quiet of the night, Ricky would recount more tales, just for me. But over time, the details faded from memory. So, for the book, I crafted new tales. Perhaps I let those stories stretch too much.

Griffin was Ricky's mental refuge. He offered Ricky solace from isolation, life's shifts, and the neighborhood bullies. Griffins, in old legends, are protectors. And for Ricky, Griffin served that purpose. I often found myself pondering if Griffin was real. Or was he that elusive space where the imagined bleeds into reality? This battle between fact and fiction is central to the story, with Griffin as its pulse.

But make no mistake, Griffin’s essence remains crucial. He stands in the story as prominently as Ricky, myself, or Candle Face. To reveal why would unveil too much.

The second edition sees changes. While Griffin's essence is preserved, his elaborate tales are omitted. Importantly, this edition pushes away from the realm of youthful fiction. Instead, it dives deeper into a more chilling and real account, magnifying the eeriness surrounding Ben Howell Drive in Austin, TX. The second edition promises more spine-tingling realities and fewer flights of fancy.


To ensure readers grasp the full context and significance of this article, it’s crucial to have familiarity with Arthur Mills’ award-winning memoir The Empty Lot Next Door, inspired by actual ghostly events in Austin, TX. The book provides essential background information, and without it, the nuances and depth of this article might not be fully appreciated. Therefore, reading The Empty Lot Next Door is highly recommended for a more enriched and coherent understanding of this article’s content and implications.

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