Join me in welcoming author James Boyle as the special guest blogger here today at Thoughts in Progress as he makes a stop on his first Virtual Blog Tour.
Boyle is the author of NI’IL, THE AWAKENING. Here’s a brief description of it:
“When several people are brutally killed in the town of Placerton, on the isolated Oregon coast, most locals think a rogue bear or cougar is roaming the forested hills near town. Police Chief Dan Connor is not so sure. He has witnessed some very strange things lately, such as disembodied voices, muttering a strange foreign language and an old Indian man who seems to be near every crime scene, but disappears before he can be questioned.
Dan's investigation takes him to the local Sihketunnai Indians and their legend of the Ni'il, magical shamans charged with maintaining the balance between humans and the natural world. According to the elders, one of the Ni'il is responsible for the murders and intends to kill everyone in the community. It is Dan's job to stop it. It sounds unbelievable, but is the only explanation that fit the facts. As a violent Pacific storm crashes ashore, cutting the town off from the outside world, Dan finds himself entering a strange world of myth and magic that was not covered in his police training. He must use all his wits and new-found powers to save himself and his community from the Ni'il.”
James has stopped by today to talk about “fear fiction.”
I saw a woman I know the other day. She said she was reading my novel. “It gave me nightmares last night,” she said.
I was so proud.
I write horror fiction and its cousins, suspense and urban fantasy. Most of my writing though deals with horror, the things that go bump in the night. Why, you may ask, Why dwell on the darkest aspects of this life we're given to lead?
First of all, it's the kind of fiction I like to read. I've read at least some of all of them: Washington Irving, Edgar A. Poe, King, Straub, Barker, and Rice. It is the kind of story I naturally gravitate to, therefore it is the kind of story I write.
And face it, if done well, horror is like no other genre. It touches a primal something that's leftover from the days of scrounging for food on the savannah, while trying to avoid becoming something else's food. When afraid, we are alive. Our senses work on overdrive. We can hear every sound around us, see details we'd normally gloss over, smell the grass growing. Adrenaline fills our bloodstream and time slows to a crawl. We are actively, consciously, living each moment.
Then, when the danger has passed and we have survived, there is catharsis. Life is sweeter when we have nearly lost it.
So I like the fear fiction. I enjoy fear fiction. If doing this means exploring the dark side of our existence, then so be it. There are plenty of very talented writers out there who are exploring the light side and doing a much better job than I could probably do. I will stay here in the dark.
James, thanks for stopping by today and sharing this with us. There are times when I do venture into the dark side to read suspense and the occasional horror fiction. Thou, I try not to read those right before going to bed.
For more on James stop by his website. Does anyone else venture into the dark side for a read of suspense or horror fiction?