My present novel

I am presently working on a novel which marks a little bit of a departure for me as a writer. By this I mean it is not a strictly horror novel. It is more like a fantasy/horror novel (if there is such a thing!). The horror element comes in with a ghost ship which appears on a far horizon. The fantasy aspect of the book revolves around an alternate world.

I cannot really say it was a dedicated decision by me to branch out more into a fantasy area with my writing. I think it was more a case of a natural extension of the storyline and where it was taking me as a writer. I’ve found I like this new direction my writing is taking me in. Not that I am moving away from the horror genre: I would never do that! But it is quite refreshing sometimes as an author to try something new. Keeps one’s writing alive and fresh.

The working title for this new novel is ‘Haunted at 4:12.’ It is the story of a horror writer named Paul Bradley who goes to the English seaside town of Southend on vacation. He wants to get away from it all so he can devote his time to writing a book which he hopes will make him as a writer. He has tried this before but nothing has ever come of it. He is desperate that this time things will be different. He wants to write the big book which will turn him into a bestselling author.

However, after spending his first few days in Southend he feels it has all been a waste of time. No great ideas are coming to him which fills him up with desolate feelings. Then it all starts to happen. He is restless one night in bed and wakes up at 4:12 in the morning. He thinks something strange has happened in the night and walks over to his balcony and looks out to sea. There he finds some strange lights shooting out from a distant horizon. In the dim light he notices a vague outline of an island appearing along this horizon. But this cannot be: there should be no island there. It should be nothing but empty stretches of sea. Paul wonders what precisely is going on.

There are a number of other strange happenings which occur during that morning. A few hours later Paul goes for a jog on the beach and discovers a prism lying half-buried in the sand. When he picks it up he finds it has a life of its own. Initially it has a rather dull sheen to it but on touching it coloured lights shine out of it much like the ones he had seen emerging from the distant island.

It soon transpires that the prism acts as a sort of messaging device and when he takes it back to his holiday flat he finds it wishes to make contact with him for a very specific purpose. The people on the island wish to communicate with him on a point of very serious concern. It soon transpires this island and the people who populate it are existing in an alternate world and they want Paul to cross an invisible pathway, a sort of portal, between his own world and theirs.

There is a lot more going on in this story than I have detailed here but I just wanted to whet your appetite for further descriptions of this emerging tale. All of the ideas I have thought up for this story have come to me after I visited this self-same coastal town of Southend with my family about six weeks ago. Since then the storyline has been growing stronger and stronger. Each time I settle down in front of my laptop to write I am taken deeper and deeper into this enticing tale. I am currently on chapter 8 having written about 140 pages to date. Recently there has been an interesting twist which has come into the storyline which I had not envisaged before this change of direction in the plot came to me. This just adds to the excitement I am feeling as I continue to work on this novel. I will keep you ‘posted’ on further developments as they come to me.

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