Monday, May 3, 2010

Guest Blogger, James Boyle

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.
Join me?

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?


  1. James, It makes me proud, as well, if I can scare people, make them nervous or give them a night of heebie jeebies by way of -my writing.

    Mason, another great interview.

  2. Love horror, there's something addictive about a fear rush. This looks great!

  3. I'm such a wimp! I don't read a lot of horror - although I'm getting better at suspense. One of these days I'll try this book. I'm still not over reading The Shining in high school!

  4. I think the fun thing about getting scared is knowing that we're actually safe. So it's the security of the contrast that's fun (for me, anyway!) Thanks for coming on Mason's blog.

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  5. Mason - Thanks for hosting James : ).

    James - I think it takes a special talent to be able to get people so engrossed in a story that they're scared, even if, in real life, there's nothing to fear. In movies, Alfred Hitchcock was a genius at that. I wish you the best with your novel!

  6. I sometimes enjoy this type of fiction with a BUT-I cannot be home alone reading it. The author's photos could almost be the photo of a serial killer-it is the black and white that does it.

    PS 36 miles was not that hard-having a new bicycle and being excited about it helps the cause. Also there is the motivation of having my clothes fit a little looser.

  7. Interesting. I don't read much horror, because when it's really good, it scares me too much.

  8. Teresa, thanks for the kind words and for stopping by. Good to see ya.

    Charmaine, we do sometimes get hooked on that fear and it keeps driving us to find out what's one the next page.

    Jemi, I must admit I've never read The Shining, but I did enjoy the movie, especially the first one.

    Diane, the cover is very eye catching.

    Elizabeth, I hadn't thought of in that way but you're right. We feel a little scare, but know we're safe to continue.

    Margot, thanks for stopping by.

    Esme, I can read this type genre when I'm alone but just not at night. The loose fitting clothes would be a great motivation tool for me to ride a bike 36 miles. But with an audio book to listen to, I might try.

    Carol, that's the Catch 22 of it. If it's good, you can't read it and if it's not you don't want to. LOL

  9. Whoa, sounds scary! I'm a chicken, so I don't read too much suspense. But... I might have to give this a try!

  10. I enjoy a quiet, restful sleep, so I can't read horror, but I get what you are saying about this genre touching the deepest parts of our being.

    Enjoy your scary worlds--I'm going to stick with my peaceful mountain valley next to a gurgling river. :-)

  11. I love suspense. Haven't read much horror, but this sounds like a good, stay-awake-all-night book that would be full of suspense. I'll have to give it a try.

  12. Sounds intriguing – like a blend of Tony Hillerman and Stephen King. My to-read list has just grown again.

  13. Talli, do like I do and read it during the day instead of at night. Maybe that way it won't be as scary.

    Kerrie, now a peaceful mountain valley next to a gurgling river sounds very relaxing and the perfect thing to listen to before sleep.

    Kathi, hope you enjoy the book. It definitely sounds like a stay-awake-all-night book.

    Jane, I like the comparison. I hadn't thought of it that way.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.