While the community has come to know Payton Ford as the owner and operator of the Halloween-themed company Ghostly Productions, he’s recently added author to his résumé.
Ford, under the pen name C.P. Ford, released his first book, “The Shattered Veil: The Diary of Victor L. Price,” on Jan. 5 on Amazon, which is described as “a horror story written for horror fans by a horror fan.”
Ford, 25, said the thought of writing a book had been on his mind for some time.
“I think even going back to being a kid, I really had the want to do something like this. It was always more of a far-fetched idea,” he said. “It was something I just always had a fascination with.”
Ford said it took under a year to write the 64-page story. He first began in the spring of 2022 and had close friends look over the first chapter before pursuing the project at full speed.
“All of the responses were, ‘Where’s the rest of it? We want more,’ ” he said. “That’s what really started pushing me to go farther and farther and farther with it.”
The book tells the tale of the fictional titular character, Victor L. Price, a struggling author in the late 1800s trying to support himself and his wife during a time of “financial ruin.”
“He had a little bit of early success … which kind of gave him a well-known name,” he said. “Now that well-known name is tarnished with flop after flop.”
After Price starts out trying to write a ghost story, Ford said Price “starts conjuring up more than he bargains for.”
“The story is being told through Victor’s eyes,” Ford said, “… and the fun part of the story, I think, is you have to trust everything Victor’s telling you. And then you learn throughout the story (that) you can’t always trust what Victor’s eyes are seeing.
“It starts to go back and forth on (whether this is) actually real or is the stress of Victor’s situation actually causing him to see these things.”
Ford said the book is “a cumulation of different personalities … and different inspirations.”
“Victor and the entire story is basically me giving a nod at all of the horror movies that shaped me growing up, all of the stuff I watched growing up or read growing up,” he said. “…Even breaking down the name, I’ve got several nods to classic horror characters … with Victor Frankenstein, ‘L’ stands for Lawrence or Larry Talbot from ‘The Wolf Man’ (and) ‘Price’ stands for Vincent Price.
“All of that is just me paying homage to what I loved growing up, and that continues all throughout the book.”
And while he wanted to showcase his admiration, Ford said he wanted to “put my own stamp on” the genre.
“This is my way of adding something unique,” he said. “… I just wanted to do something original and toss it back to the glory days of the golden age of horror.”
Physical copies of the book will be on sale at Ghostly Productions, 203 W. Fourth St., starting January 23.
A book signing is scheduled for Feb. 11, which, in addition to having copies of the book, will include specialty T-shirts, promotional posters and giveaways.