So you can read my books

Sunday, September 8, 2013


Think you know?

Stephen King does.  So does Dean Koontz.  So must you if you wish to write effectively no matter your genre.

That's right:

what works for a horror tale is what is essential in any genre you are writing.

Listen to this haunting tale of horror and love
{It is 1853. An undead Texas Ranger is on board a cursed ship in search of a murderer who is wearing the face of her last victim as a mask.}

SUSPENSE is one key ingredient.

King has the ability to create suspense even when we know exactly what is going to happen. And he stretches it out for pages.

You can see the axe.

You know it’s going to fall. And he’s keeps pushing the event further away, but you can’t miss a single word. Can’t bring yourself to skip forward to the blood letting.


Because every one of King’s words carries a message. Nothing is there for a free ride.
You can’t skip ahead because you know you will miss something. Not ‘you might miss something’,
you KNOW you will miss something important.

That’s the power of the master story teller.

Stories are nothing without characters. Obvious isn’t it. So why do so many people get it wrong?

A character isn’t someone poncing around in your story, though many writers seem to regard them as just that. A character is a real person.

That killer might be the bloke sitting next to you in the pub after work. The hero is someone’s lover, maybe someone’s Dad.

Your story must have a core of granite like reality.

The reader must believe that this really happened. Without that core, your climax is going to fall flat.

That reality forms a foundation stone upon which you mount the climax but if that foundation stone is clay instead of granite, the story will fall under the weight of the climax.

This believability occurs when the characters themselves believe it.

No matter how fanciful your setting, the characters who live there know it and trust it.

There is no need to explain or apologise for the weirdness you make them face, just have them facing it with the same trust that you devour your morning slice of toast.

{DayStar as Samuel McCord sees him in RITES OF PASSAGE}

When was the last time you picked up a horror story with the intention being bored silly?

Naw. me either. I read it because I want to be entertained.

I don’t read King or Koontz or shivery Lovecraft to wallow in lyrical prose and the purity of the written word.

I want an absorbing tale that takes me away from this world and, if I’m lucky, scares the living daylights out of me in the process.

There must be Action, lots of it but in varying forms.

Cut out the 98 percent boredom that makes up most of our lives and just record the frantic interludes.

But remember, slow pace is also your friend.

It is then that your reader has the time to savour the suspense, build the tension until all it needs is a pinprick to explode at your climax.
When 10 reviews are received for the audiobook, RITES OF PASSAGE

I will draw for the winners of

the autographs of the main stars of THOR 2!


  1. I am the ghost of this post. Boooo! No one read me. I think I will slink away into the shadows and sulk now!

  2. How about taking you away to Hawaii and NOT scaring you? Sorry, my focus is nothing like Stephen King....

  3. The Desert Rocks:
    Pacing, suspense, and riveting characters are essential, not only in horror, but in every genre -- even ones that take place in Hawaii! :-)

  4. Perhaps that's why most horror doesn't scare me. I'm so hardheaded, I don't believe in the monsters :P. In all seriousness, I've read horror that doesn't scare me simply for the writing. Being a good writer trumps being a scary one.

  5. J E:
    The most horrifying stories are those of ordinary human faces which mask monstrous souls, finding glee and thrill in the mangling and killing of other humans. Yes, being a good writer always trumps being a scary one!