Returning through the dark…. 

Returning through the dark…. 

It’s been a long time since I came on here. Mostly, that has been due to time constraints as finishing the first draft of Tapeworm Slim 2 has been a mammoth task which has almost drained me of life.

Secondly, as I do not yet have the luxury of full time writing, I have to plan my writing around work, childcare and other family events. That pesky family… Always getting in the way (insert smiley emoji of your choice here). 

But I am nearly finished editing first draft of TS2 and so my attentions turn back to my website. In the past I have talked about horror films and influences but I feel I have no further way forward on this now. So what to type about? 

I’m going to pick many topics of the singularity which has pushed me into writing horror books and mostly why I chose the path I chose for TS2. 

Politics. Why on earth I chose to change the direction of a haunted house/lab testing/creepy horror into a political thriller which is expansive and introduces a WHOLE NEW cast of people. 

I have never written anything which I feel is generic. I despise randomly retreding territory which has been trodden by others. For example, in Bezmel’s Vespiary I wanted to do Zombies but zombies are at saturation point. Even Danny’s Boyle reinvented the zombie/infected type on his brilliant 28 days later. 

So when I made zombies I made them dissociative creatures born into aimless wandering and apathy by torture. 

Same with Tapeworm Slim. I wanted a claustrophobic horror with a terrifying antagonist but I wanted it to be about something very relevant to modern life that was, amidst all the fat fetched goes and psychosis, quite relatable. Also I wanted a villain who was purely suffering romero acute mental illness and hair her motives as much as she dehumanised people. Sahara Scared isn’t evil… She’s just a very unwell woman. 

In TS2 it’s all about the medication going mass market and the idea of purely doing a mass destruction, apocalyptic story bored me. So I chose one band of survivors and the Prime Minister himself,  who is so corrupt that he actively seeks out ways to further his political career than help the millions dying. 

I shall explore my political motivations later in my next post but, rest assured, that for now all you need to know is that I feel politics doesnt represent me as a person or human. Also, never before has the political landscape been so diametrically split, obfuscated by spin and changed by the vision of media and self perception. 

Our once promising species now devolving into selfishness… 

So I’m back, a little conflicted and enjoying my writing again. Forgive the pretentious pictures of me throughout this post, it’s there to represent my inner dissolution over the past year and how much negativity entered my writing. It amazes me how pessimistic I am at times! 

Already though, book 4 is at the planning stage and will be a psychological thriller/Freudian horror on a subject very personal to me. It’s going to take time to get right but my next main protagonist will be a different challenge to write for! Alongside that I want to get back to short stories again to break up the year long slog of writing novels. And then there is the question of Tapeworm Slim 3.

It will be the final book and I mean FINAL! 

But I’ve been with Scarred and her Tapeworms for four years now and I need a break. For TS3 to be a thrilling conclusion I need to see other people, write other stories and let Sahara go for a bit until I am ready to spend time with her and the cast again. 

So there you have it! Musings laid out and I already feel better for being back on here! 

Catch you soon and, if you want, links to my books are in the top menu widget if you so fancy! 

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Nightmares… The oil of a writers creation!

Nightmares… The oil of a writers creation!

146939349735499Like any writer, I have bouts of creativity, streams of consciousness and writers block. This is the same for any artist. However, as a horror writer, I have one pool of resource which is like striking oil…

Nightmares!

Many things have inspired my work. The last book, Tapeworm Slim was because of repeated time in hospital and also facing mortality and the claustrophobia of operating theatres. The sequel, Tapeworm Slim 2, is more political and comes from a position of feeling enfeebled in a world which is dominated by idiots, politicians and the wealthy.

However, I suffer from a condition which tends to influence my writing on a daily basis. Chronic nightmares.

Recently I have been chased, isolated, abandoned, operated on, threatened, mocked, laughed, felt a presence growing in my head and also been aware that someone is in the room when I am lucid dreaming. I have figures of distortion, bodies of contortion and even raucous malformation of shapes and senses. I have woken up five times alone this month in a cold sweat thanking the lord I am not dead as I was about to be in my sleep.

Some of this has come from the life changing surgery I had on my heart just four weeks ago. Lots of it is anxiety about the future, my sense of depersonalisation and the defects my self esteem and social anxiety has on me. Yet some of it is just fantastic junk! Detritus left over from horror films, computer games and even a late night brain testing viewing of active shutter 3D spectacle of San Andreas when my eyes were hurting from the screen and my head was calmed via too much codeine and a splash of Guinness.

The great thing about all this is that it bleeds into my work. Now I wish I could write a book a week because some dreams are so vivid they tell a story right there and then! I want to get up and just type the horror film my mind has been moulding round my skull!….. But this is impractical. Its just not possible and each novel takes me about 18 months to complete! Therefore, to avoid fifteen hundred manuscripts only three pages deep, the dreams either get stored in the “next project” file or they get added into the current story which is great because, although each book is mapped out in my head there are times when it is exciting to find that missing piece, change a direction to keep it fresh orr add something that is very scary for both myself and the reader.

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Sometimes, its just the effect which influences the work. That feeling of being so scared and vulnerable that it needs to be bled out onto a page.

Tapeworm Slim 2 is not a conventional horror story. Its political, spread across the country and… I cant say anymore without giving away my ideas! However, part 3 is set to become something else  but I need a break from the world of grotesque slimming devices and the next story needs to be challenging and something different. Part of me wants to do a claustrophobic horror film…. Small place, diminishing light and a very reduced scale where there is just something wrong, something dangerous and something which could cause harm.

Then part of me wants to write about the sea, space, natural disasters….

I’ve no idea where the future is taking me but I am excited.

So why are nightmares such a rush?

When I was a child (aged 14 up) I watched scary and gory films to give myself nightmares because it was controlled fear at a time where my life was so miserable it was nice to watch perfect teenagers get slaughtered by Jason, be terrified by Freddy and simply gasp at the gore of Hellraiser! There were no Human Centipedes, Saw or Hostel in those days so the banned films I watched are very tame now in comparison. Yet I loved to be scared. I loved the bad dreams. I loved feeling in danger whilst going to the loo at midnight whilst halfway through Halloween. There is no feeling like pure terror yet knowing that you are being silly and its just a film. Over time I pushed myself more and more and the effect wore thin.

Since my heart crash in 2012 and my double figure ambulance rides and double figure admissions in the past four years, life has become scary for real so film is an escape but my perceptions, tolerances and yearning has also changed. I still love a so bad its good movie, but I want more than just gore and some things which never bothered me now really upset me which is weird.

Yet as a writer, I make sense of the world through etching my perception onto paper. So nightmares are my brain just having a gravity and solar flare surge of remembrance, junk and sorting…

…But the feelings are real and this rich pool of cognition and sensation simply builds in its own reservoir!

Plus there is still the anger of all the injustice in the world!

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So where does this leave me? Well, its bed time and once again time for a mind of anxiety, fear and writers frustration to just blend a mad, mad world inside its neurological wonder! If I wrote comedy, drama, thriller or romance my dreams would be of no help. Yet, as a horror writer, they are my most valuable resource! My oil when I am dry and something my mind drills for when I really don’t want it too.

If you want a nightmare yourself, get a copy of my book Tapeworm Slim on Amazon or from the menu link at the top. It is indeed the stuff of nightmares. Be a nice prep for part 2 which is due in 2017.

Tapeworm Slim is on sale now!

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Oh It’s Good To Be Back

Oh It’s Good To Be Back

So its been a few weeks since my last post and there is a good reason for that.

Life changing and life saving heart surgery.

Quite simply the biggest and most traumatic surgery I have ever been through! But, after nearly a week in intensive care and now two weeks at home I finally have the faculties to get back to writing again! So where does this leave me and Tapeworm Slim 2?

When I was in hospital 2 years ago it was the inspiration for my magnum opus book! It was simply the whole reason it got written, as cited in previous blogs, was because of experiences in theatre and the whole feeling of being alone and scared to death.

But having had surgery and spent a recovery time learning to walk again and having PTSD from some of the procedures the whole thing has somewhat left me fractured inside.

So gone is all the rage and fear from the first book and I am now just worried, appreciative of life and a general sense I am going to be sick all the time! Although that’s just the medication!!!

I am left with a new life, one where I have big pieces of metal in my heart, I’m a higher risk of stroke but I will have more energy and a greater ability to endure and enjoy life. Its a whole new perspective. I have only returned to writing a few days ago but, as I reach the one quarter mark of Tapeworm Slim 2, the content may start to reflect a different me.

Its worrying in a way, this fractured and yet rebuilt version of myself, doesn’t quite know how to feel about things. Plus I am still recovering from a 9 hour heart operation so I don’t feel great. So what does this mean for all the characters in Tapeworm Slim 2?

It doesn’t change the arc of the story but the content and direction of some of the characters may!

I cant write for too long due to the fact that my ribcage hasn’t fused so I am still in pain but my intention is to return to blogging more often now. As for the writing, I’m still loving it but, like my characters, I need some time to make sense of things. I never thought this would affect me like it has. The plan is still late 2017 release but where parts of it go now I don’t know!

Tapeworm Slim 2 isn’t horror in the strictest sense, its more vast, political and has a great charged love story at the centre, so there is less gore and torture than the first one. Yet I feel different and, as all my life experiences contribute to my writing, its going to be interesting to see where this one goes now!

I’m lucky to be alive, still a dad, looking at new challenges but I now have a whole new piece of my heart to get used to.

So forgive all the altered images of myself as its all expressive, why not click on the menu above and buy a copy of my book Tapeworm Slim and read an exert of the last surgical nightmare of my life before this one!

Tapeworm Slim is on sale now!

Shot of an attractive young woman lying in bed with cramps