Saturday, 2 May 2020

A Horror Revival?

My adult novel is complete, edited and ready to go. I call it a Victorian Crime Thriller with a Gothic twist, which translates as classic horror. As to what to do with it, that's something else entirely. As far as traditional publishing goes, dark fantasy is a tough sell. There was a time in the 80s when every bookshop and newsagent had a horror section. Today, that is no longer the case. In most instances, the horror section has been absorbed into Fantasy and Sci-Fi, which means it's only the big names on show, while new talent is overlooked.

The Ritual - I'm never going out in the woods again!
Adam Nevill is a good example. He has won the August Derleth award three times and The Ritual had a major movie release, yet his books are nowhere to be seen - certainly not in any of my local bookstores. This all gives the impression that the audience for horror fiction is too small to bother with.

But is that really the case? There have been some huge successes in recent years. The movie of The Woman in Black brought Susan Hill's book to the supermarket shelf. Then there is Bird Box by Josh Malerman, or The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R. Carey - both books and their movies were incredibly successful. In fact, horror movies seem to be going from strength to strength, no longer relying on the slasher gimmicks of the 90s, but a deeper, more poignant horror, such as Midsommar, or the surreal powerhouse that was Mother.
Midsommar - wow! Just... wow!

Hopefully, this is a good sign. I would love to see a horror revival hit the bookshops and resurrect the horror sections. Only one way to find out...

Which means, it's submission time.

Friday, 3 January 2020

Yearly roundup and a look ahead to 2020

I took a long break from writing at the start of the year. The second Buttercup book had been put back to September, there were no plans for books 3 & 4 and my other attempts at breaking into the children's market had fallen short of the mark.

But one unexpected thing that came as a result of writing Buttercup was it rekindled my love of classic horror. Horror is the one genre that has always been with me. As a kid, I loved horror movies. I'll never forget the impact Salem's Lot had on me, or the first time I saw An American Werewolf in London. For books, it started when I spotted the Eleventh Pan Book of Horror Stories in a newsagent on my way to school. I managed to get the rest from jumble sales. In my teens, I moved onto James Herbert, Stephen King and HP Lovecraft. My very first attempt at a full length novel was a terrible attempt to do Cthulhu-inspired horror. And right now, my favourite author by far is Adam Nevill. He's just incredible.

So during the summer, I decided to write something just for fun. I didn't have an agent and still wanted a break from children's but wanted to write something. So, I began playing with an idea that had been bouncing around for a few years. I also spent a lot of time studying story structure in the hope of finding where I've been going wrong in recent years.

The result is a Victorian crime-thriller with a horror twist. I spent the autumn rewriting and editing, and then the Christmas period polishing.

It still has a long way to go, and I'm not in any rush, but now as we begin 2020, I find myself in a very different, and very unexpected position. I never thought I had it in me to write adult fiction, but it's been a blast and the result is unlike anything I've read so I'm tempted to think it might even be a genuinely approach to vampire fiction.

As to what I'll do with it, I'm not quite sure. I guess I'll just have to send it out and see what happens.

Happy New Year for 2020 everyone.