Special pre-order price!

Letters To The Damned has been scheduled for release on 1st October, 2016. As an introductory, the pre-order price in set at .99 for Amazon.com and Amazon UK, plus equivalent on all other Amazon sites. This price will go up on October 2nd, so be sure to get your order in early!

As the Look Inside feature isn’t in operation during the pre-sale period, I’ll drop a few teasers here on the blog over the next few weeks.

Just a small one to start:

Front300He stood up and put his mouth as close to the letter slot as he was able, then intoned the notes from the movie, Close Encounters of the Third Kind. The idea was to create an echo effect, if the metal box was empty. He quickly spun his head and pressed his ear against the opening, listening for subtle resonances from his voice echo.

He detected a dull ghost of the final note for a fraction of a second, too brief to be sure of what he might have heard, but it was immediately followed by something else. Cris pressed his ear harder to try to hear what sounded like a slightly deeper tone, sort of like a vibration right on the edge of detectable sound. To his surprise, it grew slowly louder and was joined by what sounded like a second voice in the higher pitch of the female range, harmonizing with the deeper tone.

Cris jerked his head back, astonished at what he was hearing. The tones grew louder so that he could hear them clearly a few inches from the slot. They were joined by more voices and swelled into a chorus of disharmony, like a sound effect in a Horror movie that depicted the lost souls of Hell in torment. He backed away slowly, but the voices increased in volume, keeping pace with him. Cris wondered if he turned and ran back to the bed and breakfast, would the voices continue to follow him, increasing their hideous modulations until the blasting sound woke the villagers and drew them out into the night to discover what he had done?

Story Space

It occurred to me over the last couple of chapters of my current work in progress that I’ve given myself a close limit of space within which to make the story play out. This is nothing new. My previous book, A Christmas Tale, happens almost completely within the house of one of the characters.

For similar reasons, Letters To The Damned takes place within a small area. It is set in a small English village, surrounded by farmland. While this gives me possibilities for some variety of movement, most of the action must necessarily take place withing the small village square. As my protagonist is an American who has never been in an English village before, there is some room for exploration and quirky local characters, but with a little thought I can take him a little further afield.

Literally, I’ve just had him out in a field on what the English call a “public right of way”, which amounts to a path across a farm that is otherwise private property, but the path itself is public land. They have some strange laws over there and they make for interesting situations for a writer.

The rest of the village is just rows of houses down country roads. So, what can I do with this? Well, my character might make friends with a local or two and get invited into a cottage for tea. How exciting. /droll

I’ve set myself a deadline to have this book finished, including editing, for an October event. I don’t expect it to be a 500 page tome. I would, however, like to take it to a reasonable novel length. This will be an interesting challenge for my imagination. Not only must I find variety of action within a confined space, but I have to keep up a constant feeling of tension, or at least a series of tense events that will keep the Horror aspects of the story.

My future writing plans will be in very different spaces. I have a Dystopian series planned that will at least let me have a large city as my working space, though there may be chapters that happen in more confined areas. So, these first stories working entirely within small space limitations are good practice.

I want this one to be good though. Letters To The Damned is the book that will test whether I have it in me to be a Horror writer.