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Kelli Owen

Author of Waiting Out Winter

25+ Works 246 Members 33 Reviews 2 Favorited

About the Author

Includes the names: Kelli Owen, Kelli Dunlap


Works by Kelli Owen

Waiting Out Winter (2011) 44 copies
Six Days (2012) 20 copies
The Neighborhood (2011) 18 copies
Black Bubbles (2012) 18 copies
Deceiver (2014) 16 copies
Floaters (2016) 16 copies
White Picket Prisons (2012) 13 copies
Midnight Symphony (10 Novellas of Horror & Suspense) (2013) — Contributor — 12 copies
The Hatch (2015) 11 copies
Teeth (2018) 11 copies
Wilted Lilies (2015) 10 copies
Crossroads (2014) 7 copies
Live Specimens (2012) 6 copies
Dust & Divorcing the Dead (2011) 6 copies
The Headless Boy (2021) 6 copies
Passages (2019) 5 copies
Survivor's Guilt (2014) 5 copies
Buried Memories (2014) 5 copies
Grave Wax (2014) 5 copies
Waking the Dead (2018) 4 copies
Forgotten (2017) 2 copies

Associated Works

Dark Faith (2010) — Contributor — 74 copies
The Rising: Deliverance (2015) — Contributor, some editions — 28 copies
Midnight in the Graveyard (2019) — Contributor — 24 copies
Lost Highways: Dark Fictions From the Road (2018) — Contributor — 18 copies
Amazing Stories of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (2011) — Contributor — 16 copies
Clickers Forever (2018) — Contributor — 14 copies
Dark Futures: Tales of Dystopian SF (2010) — Contributor — 12 copies
Dark Tides: A Charity Horror Anthology (2019) — Contributor — 11 copies
Arterial Bloom (2020) — Contributor — 10 copies
Dracula Beyond Stoker Issue 2 (2023) — Contributor — 8 copies
New Dawn (2008) — Contributor — 8 copies
Operation Ice Bat (2014) — Contributor — 3 copies
Midnight Rituals — Contributor — 2 copies
Set's Quartet — Contributor — 2 copies
Fresh Blood (2009) — Contributor — 2 copies


Common Knowledge

Other names
Dunlap, Kelli
Wisconsin, USA
Places of residence
Pennsylvania, USA
Short biography
Born and raised in Wisconsin, Kelli Owen now lives in Destination, Pennsylvania. She’s attended countless writing conventions, participated on dozens of panels, and has spoken at the CIA Headquarters in Langley, VA regarding both her writing and the field in general. Her works include the novels SIX DAYS, LIVE SPECIMENS, and WHITE PICKET PRISONS, as well as the collection BLACK BUBBLES, and seven novellas to date. Visit her website at http://kelliowen.com for more information. F/F



In recent years the horror genre has seen a rise in the number of books which delve into the extreme end of the spectrum, where sex scenes and over the top gore and action seem to reign supreme. However if you want to try a more toned down horror novel which makes you think then you should really look into trying a book by Kelli Owen - and White Picket Prisons is a great place to start.

The plot of the book is easy to follow, a police detective who is demoralised by the job gets a distressing letter out of the blue from his little sister who he has not seen in ten years. After tracking her down he finds her in a small village up north where if you break a rule they use unconventional punishment - an eye for an eye.

I won't go any more into the plot but as the book goes on it really makes you think about how people are punished in the world; and the well written characters help bring this more to life. Whilst it may not be filled with hundred of murders it is a real page turner and will keep you going until the end to see how the main character reacts to the situation. I enjoyed how it changed my opinion on the towns punishments changed as the story went on and thinking back on the book a few days later made me realise what impact it had.
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Azeryk | 2 other reviews | Nov 7, 2023 |
This is not just a ghost story. The Headless Boy by Kelli Owen is an incredibly evocative supernatural psychological horror novel. This is an amazing story with horrifying tragedy, psychological torment, and compelling suspense and flow.

You know from the synopsis that Maggie and Jake lose a child, so it is not a spoiler to say the psychological trauma from that plays a big part in how the rest of the story unfolds. I say “the rest of the story” because the loss of the child takes place during the beginning of the novel. So brace yourself. It’s wrenching. The characters’ decisions and actions come from a place of trauma and grief after that, and Owen’s presentation of it is hauntingly true to life.

Then comes the supernatural element. In classic style, the ghost story itself is initially more creepy and suspenseful than scary, but don’t be fooled. Kellie’s use of classic formula is part ruse. Nothing is quite what it seems, and things don’t go as you expect. Especially the ending.

And as far as it being evocative … okay, yeah, I cried in a few spots. Throughout the course of the story, I felt sorrow, anger, confusion, and creeped out. Kelli’s vivid and all-too-realistic characters get to me; I both feel for them and get angry at them. And the story itself, the combination of traumatic grief and creepy supernatural, is very immersive.

The Headless Boy is a good story, a well-written novel, and a shelf-worthy book. Highly recommended for discerning readers who enjoy a deep and evocative read.
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BibliophiliaTemplum | May 8, 2021 |
Waiting Out Winter reminded me of Shute's "On the Beach" which is a masterpiece (perhaps THE masterpiece?) of the quiet apocalypse. As the afterward points out (in chilling fashion), our lives do indeed hang on threads that can be severed when we play with science like a child with a toy. Entirely plausible. Chillingly realistic.

My only complaint is that I feel that this book only touched on areas that could have been explored, and ended a bit too quickly.
ChrisMcCaffrey | 1 other review | Apr 6, 2021 |
Floaters is an incredibly well-written creature (monster) horror novel that dips into the subgenre of mythic (aka dark urban fantasy). How can it be all these things and be good? Because Kelli Owen is that good of a storyteller. She has taken a real place, real events, and real lore and woven a dark and terrifying story that plays out with far too much realism for comfort.

Owen’s characters are very believable and engaging. The writer uses subplots and vivid character interaction to bring her characters to life without overwriting. I really enjoy the way the regional dialects and mannerisms come across without being overpowering. Alas, as with all well-written horror stories, the excellent characterization makes the horror that much more horrifying. You know these people. You empathize and sympathize with them. You experience the terror.

In addition to the fantastic characterization is, of course, the fantastic story itself. The story is engrossing, engaging, entertaining, well-paced, and almost too suspenseful for my poor middle-aged heart. The tension was exquisite. And while Owen does not venture into extreme horror with this tale, she easily could have by using different verbiage. The story is intense and has its share of just beyond-mainstream gore.

It also has a special little reference to a previous problem with “critters” in the neighboring community of Mackinaw. I did the research. Although these books are not part of a series, the critters referenced appear to be in Kelli Owen’s previous novel Live Specimens, which just made my TBR list.

Floaters is officially a Templum 5-star shelf-worthy read.
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BibliophiliaTemplum | 2 other reviews | Mar 21, 2021 |

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