I think visually, so when it comes to writing a new novel a mood board is an essential I can’t do without. Lucky for me there’s so much foliage around these parts, as when the time came to draft my new Samhain Horror novel ‘The Jack in the Green‘ (out in paperback and ebook, October 1st) I found inspiration during every stroll.
Some of the images made it straight into the text (readers of ‘The Jack in the Green’ will know the importance that trees joined at their roots have in the overall story), while others simply served to get me in the mood before writing. Like music (or in my case in addition to music) an evocative image can help fast-track you into your writing process. And, as was the case with many of the images included in the gallery below, I occasionally got lost inside of them.
I hope if you pick up my new book that you’ll enjoy getting lost in those forests too.
Just watch out for ‘The Jack in the Green’. “He’s in the trees…he’s waiting.”
The postman came a-callin’ today with a big box o’ books, and I knew it was that George McFly ‘Back to the Future’ moment as I tore into it and saw the Samhain Horror logo peeking out from a gap in the cardboard. It’s an undeniably good feeling to hold your new book in your hands and sniff the pages. If it ever stops being so, it’s probably time to hang up the pen.
It came as a shock to hear of James Herbert’s untimely passing last week. Just a few days earlier I was walking to work and paused to admire a bookshop’s window display for ‘Ash’, the great man’s latest – and now last – novel. Much has been written about Mr Herbert hence, and I particularly enjoyed Colum’s thoughtful piece at Dreadful Tales, which also includes tributes to David B. Silva and Rick Hautala, two more genre giants who sadly passed recently. Christopher Fowler’s brilliant blog gave further insight into the phenomenon of Herbert’s fiction and author Hari Kunzru evoked the school kid hobby of passing around dog-eared copies of The Rats and The Fog in an attempt to out-gross one another.
From a personal perspective, a couple of blog posts ago I mentioned how I admired Mr Herbert from afar during an interview he did at The London Dungeon many years ago. I remember how starstruck I was to see the great man in person. Now I think of it, so was everyone else in the room (or rather, the dungeon) that day as he wrapped everyone around his finger with his charm and fantastic sense of humour.
And I remain starstruck to this day.
Sure, the numbers are one thing (23 novels, worldwide sales of over 54 million copies) but the man’s ideas are another. Each and every book brought something fresh, enticing and fun to the party. An author friend posted online that he felt sad that there would be no more James Herbert books. I feel that sense of loss too, but the great thing about true legends is that they never really die. I haven’t read ‘Ash’ yet, and I’m looking forward to savouring each and every page. And I realised when I snapped the photo to accompany this blog entry that I never finished reading ‘Portent’. And when I’m done with those? Books like Herbert’s demand to be read and re-read, over and over.
Because true legends never really die.
R.I.P. James Herbert. May your tales haunt the nightmares of generations to come.
The October 1st 2013 release date for my new Samhain Horror novel The Jack in the Green is a long way off, but I can now reveal the synopsis for the book which is also available to pre-order through Amazon.com.