Today is the official release date of our new novel, NIGHT WRAITH. She’s out, completely unleashed on the world, so I thought I’d share a secret.
NIGHT WRAITH is a love letter of sorts.
It’s a love letter to the small town where I went to high school – Woodland Park, Colorado – and a love letter to the monster fiction and horror movies I enjoyed so much during those years.
Occult horror? Check.
Vengeful supernatural creature? Check.
Angst and frustration? Fear and lust? Heartbreak and hope and all the colors of dread?
Allow me to nod gravely. From my heart to yours, I expect you’ll see where I’m coming from here.
This tics the boxes of all of my favorite things in monster fiction. Writing it was a fine journey into dark places, illuminated in unexpected places by the occasional bright spots of humanity.
Seems hard to imagine in this day and age. Amoral narcissists and demagogues are running for president. The ultimate evil guns down our fellow countrymen and women, our children and mothers and fathers in the sacred places we once thought were safe. These are tough times. But love and kindness … that still happens, now and then. That’s important.
Fiction has to be an escape, but it’s a reflection of us, and as such, that reflection has to tell the truth. But escapism is the key to a good book.
That said, I think we managed to do a good job of having likeable characters to whom we all can relate, dealing with life’s tough problems: love lost, broken hearts, the passing of loved ones, the tangled mysteries of a past that haunts us. There’s a multi-layered plot, violence and kindness, hate and love, jocks and stoners, witches and cops … and did I mention a creature that hearkens back to the beloved horrors of my teenage years? I did. Yep. Check.
As a longtime fan of horror fiction, I strive to write the kind of fiction I’d love to read. I feel like we’ve done so here, where a love of pulp horror dips its toe into the shallow end of literary horror. I hope readers will find we’ve struck a balance.
I admit that some artifacts of my past lay in the pages of NIGHT WRAITH. A close friend of mine’s truck – well-endowed with a powerful sound system – gets a cameo in the opening scene. The song playing on the stereo is an early Pantera tune few people have probably heard. The party spot in the woods is Rainbow Falls, where many a keg was drained and many a bonfire threw embers to the midnight skies. There’s a Bathory reference near the end that means something to me. Rick’s Flicks was a real place where we rented horror movies on VHS. The neighborhoods, businesses, and high school are modeled after places in Woodland Park. I expect friends who read the book will pick up on these references and – I hope – break into a knowing grin.
But you don’t have to know the place to open the pages of NIGHT WRAITH and go back with us. You’ll get it. If we’ve done our jobs well, you’ll feel like you’ve been there yourself.
And although you may enjoy your visit, by the time it’s all said and done, you may never want to go back. But that’s okay, right? This is all in good fun. It’s horror fiction, after all.
So join us for a journey back to the winters of youth, where the landscape is alive with everything we’ve all struggled with as teens and adults alike. The landscape is breathtaking, the love is fresh and new. But here the past rises from a shallow grave … summoned by witchcraft, reaching out from The Beyond.
But wait – you look a little worried about that last bit. There’s nothing to fear. Not really. Not unless you scare easily.
You don’t, do you?
No, I can tell you’re of stouter stuff than that. Never mind the flickering shadow of someone you saw out of the corner of your eye in an empty house. Never mind the rumors of something vicious and unspeakable stalking the night. Never mind that old house atop the hill, the rumor of an old witch that hides behind moldering drapes … never mind the rumors of the things she’s done, or what she brought to bear against the world that did her wrong.
You’ll be okay. It’s all in good fun.
Ready now? Check.
Get your tickets to the show:
- NIGHT WRAITH – Signed Limited Hardcover
- NIGHT WRAITH – Trade Hardcover
- NIGHT WRAITH – eBook