Saturday, 31 October 2015

Backup Of My Halloween Post For A Lover Of Books

[This is a backup of the piece here, from A Lover Of Books. For Halloween!]

Guest Post by Karl Drinkwater
It’s time for another guest post now.  This one by Karl Drinkwater is sure to interest you and there’s also a competition at the end.
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We read books to escape. To forget who we are for a while; to live other lives, see other places, experience other emotions. And we’re all different, which is why one person’s perfect crime thriller is another person’s yawnfest. Not everyone likes being scared and tense. Not everyone likes horror. Not everyone should.
Primarily I love a good story, but the ones that yank me in are the ones where the primary value at stake is survival (of the body, of the mind). So horror is a natural fit. When I’m reading a good horror novel I forget about the room I’m in, the cat on my lap, the cars outside – I am struggling to survive against evil forces, the inhuman, the alien, the grotesque, the cruel, and that takes all my concentration. I am in the book. I discovered that when I discovered horror as a child. Something about it pulls at my mind, snips at its flesh, teases it, worries it, but gets its attention. The journey begins and you need to see it through to the end.
I don’t just write horror. But I do write horror. And I’m glad.
I wrote Turner on an isolated Welsh island with no electricity. No locks on the doors of the house I rented. Candles, gaslight, shadows, lashing rain. Perfect for a novel about an isolated Welsh island where everyone seems to go mad, and the island’s visitors find themselves on the run, struggling to survive the night. Phil Rickman, on BBC Radio Wales’ Phil The Shelf literary programme, likened it to “The Wicker Man in Wales”. The writer Bec Zugor summed it up as: “This will do, for visiting remote islands, what Jaws did for swimming in the sea.”
The good news is, I came back. And I brought the handwritten manuscript of Turner back with me.
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