OK- a ghost story. Simple – or is it?.
Primarily, make it scary and full of surprises, and then – set the backdrop somewhere local where people think: ( oh! I’ve been there and, well it did feel a bit creepy that afternoon, didn’t it Nigel? Even if it didn’t (and Nigel shakes his head,) Chinese whispers and auto-suggestion work wonders I find.
The concept of course came from Rae, specifically two of her paintings – Maid of Haven and Anwyn, (we discussed a story around them a while back – Rae had the bones, but I wanted to make this really freaky.) And so The Haven works on two fronts – Richard and Kate Harrison under going marital problems in 2012, and Sarah and Daniel – hard lovers – a century and half earlier. There are twists here and, (hopefully) I will catch you out – my favourite reader – with the last one.
I am a fan of Susan Hill – loved Woman in Black, (the old film with Bernard Hepton back in 91) it’s all about atmosphere and building the suspense. A high percentage of current stuff is overly blatant in my opinion. Blood and guts and spilling cleavage have their place of course – especially the latter. But subtlety and nuance path the way for a cunning yarn, methinks. Life is an iceberg, my friends – we only see the tip: it’s the big bugger at the bottom as takes us out.
My plan is to launch Haven by April then it’s back to fantasy – The Shattered Crown (a book I’ve drafted five times and published twice) – the new improved version will blow your socks off: it’s the first in a trilogy concerning my bad-ass adventurer Corin an Fol.! JW