Originally from Ringgold, Georgia, Stephen was a beach bum living more than 350 miles from the nearest ocean until December 2014 when he finally went to Palmetto, Florida, and didn’t go back home.
At a very young age, Stephen was introduced to horror by a weekly television show called Shock Theater which aired classic and B-flick movies such as Brides of Blood and a 1972 horror film about a killer rattlesnake titled Stanley. Rock 'n' roll had a major influence on his life. At the age of seven, he got his first album, "Kiss - Alive!" from his big brother. Being a horror fan and a music fan, this group of scary rock 'n' roll clowns quickly won him over. By the age of ten, Stephen was beating the strings off of his guitar, learning to play while dreaming of being on the big stage.
In 1993, he co-founded the Northwest Georgia band House of Flies with drummer and longtime friend, Connie Caldwell. Together, they played countless shows from Chattanooga, Tennessee to Atlanta, Georgia. They also played Star Search Live and appeared in the 2008 film Chainsaw Cheerleaders.
As a child, Stephen sometimes wrote cheesy little stories based on horror films such as Jaws and Halloween, two of his favorite movies, but he never considered writing as a profession the way he did music. The stories were fun, but they were just something to do at the time. But in the cold winter months of 2001, all that changed.
Stephen jolted straight up in sweaty sheets from the most vivid nightmare he’d ever had. Knowing that if he went back to sleep the dream would probably fade from his memory forever, he got up at four in the morning and began typing the dream out in detail while it was still fresh in his mind. This nightmare ended up being the novella, Glasswalker, in his first book Nightly Visits.
Writing instantly won his interest, and after the completion of "Glasswalker," Stephen began to make notes of all of his dreams, whether scary or just off the wall enough to be interesting. Soon he had a collection of twisted and warped foundations that he’d brought to life simply by adding characters, locations, and plots.
Stephen’s love for music also shows in his Nightly Visits series. Don’t be surprised if while you are reading his stories you find yourself singing songs you may not have heard in years and wonder why it suddenly found its way into your head. Yes, there are hundreds of songs hidden within the covers of these books.
Stephen’s love for horror covers many subgenres, whether they be supernatural, slasher films, and monster movies or zombies, vampires, werewolves, or giant beasts such as King Kong and Godzilla. “If it’s good, it’s good!”
Of all the great writers out there, Stephen is influenced by the writings of Stephen King more than any other. “You can learn about an author by his/her writing. It’s King’s sense of humor and just the way he looks at different situations that pull me to him. I feel like I know him when I read his material.” Stephen Helmes’ writing has been compared to that of Stephen King, and he takes that as a major compliment.
Books by Stephen Helmes:
Nightly Visits: Originally released February 13, 2014, and to be re-released before 2017 with two new stories.
This book of seven short stories and novellas will take you down the dark trails of the supernatural, aliens, cannibals, and so much more. You never know what will happen in your dreams. Anything and everything can happen and usually does. So when you think you’ve got it all figured out, think again.
From 12 to 6 (More Nightly Visits): The nightmare series continues with ten new shorts and novellas. Come, take the journey of horror, suspense, and fantasy that brings you witches and ghosts, and reflects on the much scarier side of the human mind. We all have that monster inside us that lies dormant. Some may not realize it, and others may deny it, but it's there waiting for us to let down our guard so it can take over. Come take the ride down the trail of dreams and experience the nightmares in true focus.
Give 'Spots' a listen for free (audio short story) - CLICK HERE
When you close your eyes, where do you go? What do you see? The moment you drift off into that world of the unknown, you are on a rollercoaster ride, speeding down a track that takes you anywhere it wants to take you.
Often it takes us to places that we would never voluntarily go when we're awake, into a world of darkness, tragedy, and fear. In this virtual reality world, you do things that you would never do when you're awake, such as jumping from a plane without a chute, or opening the door to a room when you know there is something behind it waiting for you to enter.
But dreams can also tell you stories of love, wit, and treasures. You may wake laughing, crying, or screaming, because your dreams know your weaknesses. They know your every thought, and they know how to attack.
That's not what Nightly Visits is about.
THAT'S WHAT NIGHTLY VISITS IS!
Release: January 2017Pages: 441
Tick-tock, it's twelve o'clock, and you still can't close your eyes. It's six hours before the morning light brings you back to the safety of a living, breathing world. But you're in luck, good reader, because I have ten stories to tell.
Come and see as I lay them out for your pleasure. So, what will it be? Ghosts and goblins? Witches and thieves? We'll follow a professional killer as he begins to realize that his latest hit is more than he bargained for. We'll learn Mamma's dark secret to a long and life. We'll watch the six-legged crawlies as they come out of the woodwork and gather for one final attack, and much, much more.
There is so much to tell and so little time. We must get started. So come. Take my hand, and I'll lead you down the trail of dreams. Don't fear. The woods are dark, and the moon is hidden behind pillows of clouds, but I know the way. I'll take you on a dark journey of love, revenge, betrayal, murder, and things that go bump in the night.
Release: January 2017
For more of Stephen's' work....