21st June saw my twelfth and final (for now, at least) paranormal novel undergo publication. Almost three years to the day from when I started writing the first, ‘Maria’s Walk,’ it represents the culmination of a self-imposed summer 2018 goal: to produce 12 well written and edited full-length horror/supernatural suspense novels in paperback and e-book formats over a 36-month period on a negligible budget.
It’s been a manic three years in which my feet have hardly touched the ground, but represents another million published words and the craft boost that milestone brings with it. Truly an expansive learning curve, and one in which it has been my distinct pleasure to find enthusiastic readers for the hard work I’ve put out.
For my ‘Ultimum Folium’ (last leaf), I’ve pulled out all the stops in efforts to provide the key positives so many of you have mentioned in kind reviews: Detailed characters to empathise with, realistic settings that draw you in, creepy scenes to raise hairs on the back of your neck, plus twists, turns and a nice climax.
‘Underwood’ is set in my namesake county of Devon, at a fictional village near my favourite among the beloved country of the two rivers. The overarching theme of the novel is the power and importance of forgiveness, and the self-harm with which unreleased offences infect the unwary. Taking a leaf out of the Old Testament, it revolves around vengeance enacted by the wronged spirits of a deserted village decimated during The Black Death. Their retribution manifests against the living in the present day based on generational guilt.
Readers of my other works know I often portray modern British life as it stands; observed from different angles and character biases, without personal comment or judgement. Above all, I like to write engaging stories with interesting messages and ideas. I’ve no interest in preaching or putting over a socio-political agenda of any kind. That would betray my audience, looking to enjoy an escapist read. ‘Underwood’ is a ghost story about past wrongs brought up in the present day – nothing more. That its message applies to topical and newsworthy twenty-first century behaviour humans should have outgrown 6,000 years ago, is a sad indictment upon participants in such activities. Or as variations on the old quotation have it: ‘Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies.’
So what happens next? Well, ‘Devon’s Dozen’ – as I refer to the novels – will remain. With twelve titles, eager readers have plenty to choose from. I haven’t ruled out writing another at a later date. But, now this initial goal has been achieved, my onward literary plans involve the long-term development of a series in a different genre. To avoid confusion, those books will be released under a Nom de plume and not linked with my British Horror Fiction.
If you’re new to my work but have enjoyed what you’ve read so far, please check the ‘Titles’ page for a look at what else is available.
Thank you so much, one and all. It’s been a thrilling – if fast paced – journey.
Best wishes and happy reading!