Back to Horror Writing.
This has been bugging at me for a long time. With eBooks and self-publishing there is a renewed demand for shorter books and what we used to call “short stories”, and this has given new life to my old passion – writing horror. I’ve decided to regularly publish new “short” horror stories – each one will take around an hour or so to read. It’s actually great fun writing this kind of thing, because you can concentrate on the horror, scary bits and hopefully frighten the behooters out of the reader, without labouring away at a full novel that takes perhaps years to write.
To kick things off I’ve split my collection of “Ghost Tales, Four Stories of the Dead Among Us” into four separate books and given the series its own branding and “look” calling each a “Horror Story” with a subtitle and volume number. Each one will be a stand-alone horror story (or perhaps two, if the one tale is too short) and don’t need to be read in any order. These first four are quite long compared to my basic idea of publishing something new every two-three weeks. In fact I have a new one, called “The Hangman’s Ghost” already written and it should be available within a week following a final edit and cover design.
And, even better, I get to compose a new tune for each horror title – an outlet for my music with direction, rather than doodling with song ideas on rainy days. Awesome.
It isn’t the end of my Lukas Boston mysteries. far from it – again, a new as-yet unnamed novel is finished and going through the last edits and cover creation. Mind you, I want to tweak the Lukas Boston series a little… give them a similar branding appearance to the Horror Story covers and remove the “Book 1, Book2…” references, because they really don’t need to be read in any sequence.
So, you’ll see a couple of new books here very soon. Let me know what you think.
Happy reading, Graeme Hague.
One of the good things about being a long-established author these days is that several manuscripts that in the past never saw the book store bookshelves can be self-published instead. We’ve all got ’em. Plenty of manuscripts – not just mine – are rejected by publishers, because they don’t fit a certain criteria or their “list”. It’s not about whether the book is good enough or not.
I always had a lot of faith in The Mirror Of Madness and it bugged me no one saw its potential. So I’m really glad of the opportunity to publish it for myself. Of course, it needed a good editing spit-and-polish, then I had to design the cover. This is the end result. I’m calling it a paranormal fantasy, but it’s also all about modern witchcraft.
Here’s the Amazon US link http://www.amazon.com/Mirror-Madness-Story-Modern-Witchcraft-ebook/dp/B00QVFWNM6/ref=asap_B0058SQWQ0?ie=UTF8
Hey everyone, here’s another cover we’re working on – posted here so I can link to it in forums. More info soon!
Authors spend a lot of time creating their characters, but as readers do we really care? Won’t you quickly make up your own mind how these heroes look anyway? For example how do you prefer your fairy princesses or fairy queens? Would you rather Cate Blanchett, the elvish Queen Galadriel from Lord of the Rings, who kind of glows all the time with so much wisdom, righteousness and love it must be a right bastard for her to get a decent night’s sleep, or would you vote for Princess Fiona from Shrek? (In Cameron Diaz daytime mode, not the ogre version – not that I have any issues with ogres).
Who’s your go-to knight in shining armour? Again, the dashing chaps in Lord of the Rings are mostly square-jawed, steely-eyed handsome guys who will never disappoint any damsels in distress they happen to stumble across and rescue. In comparison, the blokes in Game of Thrones tend to be a little more grubby and should be in a quest for a good bath, not magic shit. I know a lot of women don’t mind the rugged, recently-rolled-in-the-dirt look, but BO is still BO. You wouldn’t want these guys sitting on your best lounge suite without putting down a sheet first. Wipe your boots at the door, too. A lot.
The point is, when we see in our mind’s eye the heroes and heroines we’re reading about in a story, most likely and despite the author’s best efforts, we’ll slowly replace that character’s appearance with our preferred idea of what they should look like. Sometimes we don’t even bother with the author’s description. I reckon this is particularly true in Erotica or Romance stories. Who wants to spoil their sexual fantasies with unhelpful details of the lovers’ real appearance? Have you ever read Fifty Shades of Grey? Do you have any idea what Christian Grey or Anastasia Steele are supposed to look like? Did you ever even think about it?
It’s why, when you watch the movie version of a book you’ve already read, that seeing the characters for the first time can be a bit disappointing or at least needing some mental adjustment. By the way, Fifty Shades of Grey should be out as a movie next year. More than a few million people might not approve of the actors who are cast, if they don’t fit the imaginary bill.
Dwarves aren’t such a problem, because you’re not often asked to imagine a dwarf. You’d have to agree that Tyrion Lannister of Game Of Thrones has probably got the Most Popular Dwarf award cornered, except maybe for Gimli from Lord of the Rings – a character, by the way, played by John Rhys-Davies who is 6ft 1in tall (185cm). Still, if I had to create a dwarf for one of my books – a likeable dwarf (evil dwarves are easy, just think Mini-Me) – he’d be a kind of very short version of Brad Pitt mixed with George Clooney, plus add a dash of all the lads in One Direction to cater for a younger readership.
In my Lukas Boston Mystery detective novels, since they often sneak into a rich humour, I’ve made Lucas outrageously good-looking and impossibly attractive to women, awesome in bed, charming, witty… you know the rest – which gives me a lot of fun to play with when Lucas’ charms fail to make an impact. He sort of can’t believe it, when a beautiful woman rejects him.
Even so, I wouldn’t be surprised if many female readers will still mentally replace Lucas’ roguish appeal with a bloke who better fits their image of the ideal man. And that’s okay. It’s all part of your joy of reading books, rather than watching a film where so many choices aren’t yours to make. There is a lot of missing background story and detail in a novel that you’re more than welcome to create for yourself and make it all the more enjoyable. If there’s anything important that affects the plot somehow – like the hero is really short or maybe fat and it is a crucial element to the story at some point, then it’s up to the author to remind the readers about this at regular moments. We have to drop hints or make some aside references every now and again, so when our main guy (or girl) can’t reach the top shelf or doesn’t fit through the door in a hurry – and this is a pivotal moment in the plot – the readers don’t think “Oh, that’s right, he really short/fat”… they already remember and know.
Otherwise, while we can’t – as authors – take the easy way out and suggest you make up your own characters at the beginning of any book like you’re filling in some sort of Ikea Hero/Heroine mail-order form, and we have to make an effort to describe the flesh and blood bits, I suspect that your imagined dwarf will always be somehow better than ours, your princesses will be more beautiful, your heroines more stunning and your knights in shining armour – thanks to Game of Thrones’ enormous success – will forever be in desperate need of a good scrub and a lot of deodorant.
Graeme Hague (published under G.M.Hague) is the author of the Lukas Boston Mystery series of cozy crime novellas, which you can find here, plus he has been traditionally published in the horror, crime and historical fiction genres and his past print books are available as ebooks from Momentum Books here.
I’ve been working towards this for a few months now. Here are the first three novellas of my Lukas Boston Mystery series and as part of the official launch Book 1 is discounted to $0.99 for a limited time. With a mixture of crime, thriller, suspense, the paranormal and dark humour, these books have been great fun to write and I’m really looking forward to doing more. You can go to the Lukas Boston Mystery page on this site for Amazon links and other outlets such as Kobo, iTunes and Nook. All the non-Amazon resellers are handled by Draft2Digital and it might take a little more time for the books to become available, but they’re definitely on the way. I’d love to hear from any readers what you think.
I’ve started a new series of books called Lukas Boston Stories, and I’ve got to admit I’m pretty excited by the whole idea. But one thing I’m going to make clear straight up – each book is a complete story of its own. While these books will have recurring characters and it will be best, though not an absolute must, to read them in order to know the “back” stories fully, each book will be a stand-alone adventure and you won’t be left hanging, waiting for the next installment.
Lukas Boston is a character who combines all the fun things I’ve been doing over the years – a slice of my ghost story writing, an even bigger slab of the crime and thriller stuff, plus I’ve mixed in some of the dark humour that my friends and family have been urging me to write for years. The end result is the Lukas Boston Stories, novellas of around 100 pages long (about one third the size of a “normal” book) that I’ll be regularly publishing as ebooks. Why only novellas instead of full novels? Simply because it lets me write and work on a great idea and finish it within a comparatively short space of time, then I can move on to the next one. Full-length novels can take well over a year to write, edit and publish, which means my readers have to wait a long time between books! I’m planning to release a new Lukas Boston ebook every six weeks or so.
Lukas Boston is a caricature of everyone’s favourite idea of a private investigator. An ex-police detective who quit the force to avoid a scandal, Lukas is ridiculously good-looking and knows it, believing every woman must find him irresistible (and many do, while the rest kick him in balls). He’s clever, witty and fearless, not mention a little arrogant and full of himself. To help things along, Lukas has inherited a fortune from his father, leaving Lukas financially free to do what he does best – chase down criminals, beautiful women and keep out of the gun sights of the bad people who don’t appreciate Lukas’ successful, crime-busting career. And to top it off, Lukas has a unique gift born from his grandmother’s gypsy blood to see and sometimes talk with spirits from the Afterlife. Unfortunately, these ghosts are usually more annoying than helpful, often pestering Lukas to right some wrong and providing clues that are less than clear.
I’ve completed the first draft of the opening book, “The Good, The Bad and The UnGodly” and it will hopefully be edited and published within a week (the cover design might take a little longer). I’ve added a newsletter sign-up to my website for anyone who like to be told directly and, of course, I’ll post on this blog when the book hits the virtual shelves. Feel free to comment here too, or drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
Cheers, Graeme Hague.