A Life Of Fiction XIX

For those of you new to this WordPress site, this site is about me and my writing – and a little about my role-playing, as well. It gives readers a chance to sample my work before purchasing it on the Kindle store; and gives me the chance to say a little about the genesis of each novel, or about the process of writing in general.

Horror: I am a fan of horror fiction, whether in the form of novels, or in the form of movies. I don’t like anything which is too gruesome – the Saw movies mean nothing to me. I prefer Gothic rather than Grue.

I grew up watching repeats of old Hammer horror movies in my bedroom, when I was supposed to be going to sleep, due to the fact that I had school in the morning. As I was an imaginative young soul I really enjoyed those films, and I was able to overlook any flaws (and there were a fair number of flaws in them, to be true).

Now, if I was encountering those films for the first time, my complaint would probably be that they deviate from the original source material. The Hammer Horror Dracula is not quite the same as the Dracula of Bram Stoker. Frankenstein is not the same as the book.

Basically, I used to like (and still have a soft spot for) anything which starred Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing or Vincent Price. I think that the Vincent Price films The Abominable Dr Phibes and Theatre of Blood are still fun films to watch, with the inventively gruesome ways in which the Vincent Price characters avenges himself on his perceived enemies.

Horror novels by other authors which I would not hesitate to recommend are the classics: Dracula and Frankenstein. To those, of older novels, I would add The Werewolf of Paris, by Guy Endore, and The House on the Borderland, by William Hope Hodgson. Add to that the short stories of H P Lovecraft, and stories by Arthur Machen.

Of modern authors my favourite is Stephen King. I don’t think that I need to list all of the many books which he has written. Other recent and living authors I would recommend are Brian Lumley, especially his Necroscope series, and the likes of Clive Barker, Richard Laymon, and so on – all the boys in the gang.

One novel which I can recommend above all others is I Am Legend, by the great Richard Matheson.

I think that all of the books above have influenced my writing, whether I like it or not. A person cannot help but be influenced by the media to which they are exposed.

My horror novels: I have tried my hand at horror and the Gothic more than once. Descriptions of those novels can be found on separate pages of this WordPress site. But, for simplicities sake, all of my novels which I consider to be horror are:

The Varnae trilogy (The Vampyre, A Dish Best Served Cold, and Hunt The Vampyre)

Blood Will Out

The Shades trilogy (The Shades, Anti-Life and an incomplete third novel)

Guest House

and the novella Z Stands for Zombie

I have also written a short novel called The Hulk which I have not yet put on Kindle, as I am not happy with how it turned out. I will return to that work at a later date.

Out of those works which I have put on Kindle I see that, of the full length novels, all except Guest House feature vampires. I like vampire novels, as long as they are well-written. Each time that I have approached the vampire horror genre, I have tried to tell the stories in different ways, as there is no point in repeating yourself, or retelling a story already told (the Varnae trilogy is an update of Varney the vampire, bringing him into the modern era).

I enjoy writing horror, although my novels probably tend to be weird as much as scary. I am currently working on a horror novel called The Black Museum, which is a bit of a Stephen King pastiche.

I would like to write at least one classic novel featuring all of the classic monsters of horror. I am not going to write any more vampire novels, when I finally get around to finishing the third book in the Shades trilogy. I have written one novel featuring a ghoul (called The Ghoul), but it is closer to being dark humour than true horror. I have done a novel featuring a zombie. But, at some stage, I will write my interpretation of the horror tropes of the werewolf; the zombie; the ghoul; and not forgetting the ghost or spectre.

In other news there should be another chapter in the adventures of the inept wizard Edwyn Le Fay – unless I have forgotten, for some reason.



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