Guest House was an attempt to do a kind of schlock horror novel – not because I thought that such a novel would sell, but because I thought that it would simply be fun. I never write novels with the idea of trying to sell them. I never sit down and try to compose something commercial. Instead I simply write – or try to write – the sort of novel which I want to read, but which has not yet been written.
Guest House is a horror novel, set one cold winter in an isolated part of New England. I have tried to include all of my favourite horror tropes in the book. It is, perhaps, not as bloodthirsty as some books which you will find out there. But I am not that interested in gore. I love the old Hammer Horror films, and earlier ones by the likes of James Whale. I don’t like things like Saw at all.
If you like a horror pastiche set in some guest house, cut off from the rest of civilisation by deep snow, then I welcome you into my world of words.
Extract from Guest House
It was just beginning to snow. The grey clouds suggested that a lot more flakes were going to fall than the few which were gently settling on the ground. It would be the first snows of many that winter. The snows always came in earlier up at the guest house, and they always lasted a long time. There was a good chance that it would not be until the onset of spring that the frozen ground would be seen again.
The snow would cover up the drag marks made by the body as it was pulled along the ground. The ground was so hard that there would have been few marks to see, anyway. But the snow was an added bonus. It would cover up any clues. Not that anybody would come up here looking for them. There wasn’t a policeman within miles. Not a living one, anyway.
The guest house was almost out of sight, by now. But there were no lights on in the guest house, only the one in the lobby. The lobby faced the road. Nobody looking out of the window would see the corpse as it made its last journey. No lights were on in any of the windows. The guests were asleep – either asleep, or lying in the dark, waiting for sleep to take them. Dawn was still many hours away. There was time for many nightmares before then.
The heels of the corpse dragged along the ground. One show came off. But it was noticed. The corpse stopped being dragged. A leather-gloved hand reached down and picked the shoe up. Then the wrists of the corpse were grabbed once more. The journey of the dead body continued.
The snow was coming down harder now, white flakes coming down through the winter night. But the corpse was already almost at its final resting place. Well, its penultimate place, that was. But soon it would most definitely not be a concern of the killer.
A pause, as hands let go of wrists. An ancient, rusting metal cover was removed off what might have been some drain, or perhaps some old well which had been covered up. The lid looked as though it should be too rusted to lift up. But the metal lid came up as though this was not the first time that it had been lifted up.
There was a grunt, as the body was lifted up over the small brick lip of the hole. Then the body was sent down into the darkness. But there was no splash, so this could not have been a well. There was only a sickening thump, one which must have broken more bones in the body. But the corpse did not mind. It was already dead.
Then the shoe was thrown into the dark hole, almost as an afterthought.
The lid was slid back over the midnight back hole. There was a grating sound, but, even with the stillness of the winter air, it was far enough from the guest house so that none of the sleepers would have their slumber disturbed by the noise.
Another pause, as somebody looked down at the metal. Then somebody began to walk back to the guest house. There were footprints in the snow. But by dawn they would be entirely covered up.
Guest House is available on the Amazon Kindle store.