Brooklyn BUZZ: Brooklyn author scares up some shivers

May 25, 2011 Heather Chin
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For one summer,Bensonhurst resident Ed Pessalano lived out two dreams: to frequentone of his “favorite places in the world,” Coney Island, and towrite a book of short stories.

“Astroland, the bigDante’s Inferno ride, that’s what inspired ‘Terror Park’which is one of my favorite stories [in my book],” said Pessalano,27, of his story about a day at an amusement park that turns into atwisted nightmare. “The Coney Island experience always attractedme, whether it be the train ride or the amusement park. Ever sinceI was a little boy, going to the Aquarium with my father, I alwaysjoked that Dante’s Inferno wasn’t as scary as what was in my ownmind. So I decided to create it.”

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The product of thatcreative decision is Night Shivers

Ranging from aslightly twisted classic ghost story called “Expected Company” tothe fears of every late-night train passenger come to life in “TheNight Train,” the 73-page book tells horror stories without thegore, giving readers stories “half inspired by urban legends andhalf from [Pessalano’s] own mind.”

The lack of gore andkid-friendly material – not too many nightmare-inducing twists andturns! – is by design. “If it were rated, it would be PG becausethe only thing parents would find objectionable is mild violence,”said Pessalano, who studied at the Institute for Children’sLiterature after graduating from New Utrecht High School in 2001.“No curse words, no vulgarity. My main emphasis is on storytelling.That is where the skill is.”

Having grown upreading everything from R. L. Stine’s Goosebumps toStephen King, Dean Koontz and Anne Rice, and watching “TwilightZone” and classic and B-movie horror films, Pessalano has alwaysliked telling stories and scaring family and friends. It wasn’tuntil he began freelancing articles for children’s magazines suchas HighlightsSpider and Turtle

“My futureambitions are to write more scary short stories as well as poetrythat explores emotions: love, hate, dreaming, rhyme… I am inspiredby Edgar Allan Poe. I definitely want to follow in his footsteps.He had doom and gloom, but could write,” Pessalano said. “If hiswriting could affect generations to come, I would definitely liketo follow in his footsteps, if I can make it that far.”

In addition toworking on his “primary goal” of achieving “a best-selling statusas an author,” Pessalano wants to pay it forward by “entertainingthe general public with top quality storytelling.”

His website,

“I learned earlyin life that nothing is impossible,” said Pessalano. “If youbelieve in a dream strongly enough, it shall come to pass.”

NightShivers can be purchased for $7.38 at

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