Happy Halloween!!! And do I have a treat (see what I did there?!?!) for you guys!!!
Today, I have not one, but TWO fabulous authors stopping by Bibliophile Book Club to have a chat about Halloween, horror and their books!
So without further ado, I’ll hand you over to Daniel and Susi….
Daniel Pembrey and Susi (SJI) Holliday talk Halloween, horror and their book covers
Happy Halloween, everyone. I’m debut novelist Daniel Pembrey, and I’m here with the wonderful Susi Holliday, who just did a fabulous cover reveal for her upcoming novel The Damselfly. Now before we begin, you must all come and see us both (and Amanda Jennings, Thomas Mogford and Sarah Ward) at Waterstones King’s Road tomorrow evening, 1st November, if you’re anywhere near Central London. It’s free (free wine!) and begins at 18:30:
Click this link to pre-order Susi’s book —> https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01M7RBU7W
DP: Okay, your new cover is an absolute stunner, and calls to mind such genre classics as Silence of The Lambs and John Fowles’ The Collector. Were those associations conscious in your mind (or the designer’s mind)? Or would you name other, perhaps quite different titles as key influences on your stories?
SH: Thank you! You’re spot on. I am a huge fan of Silence of The Lambs, and have been weirdly obsessed with the whole insect thing ever since. I knew that one day I would write a book that would lend itself to having an insect on the cover. It’s nicely creepy, isn’t it? Intriguing too. I hope at least one person might wonder about the significance of this particular insect and how it fits into my story.
DP: And for those who haven’t read the first two books, could you briefly explain the names of all three titles in the trilogy?
SH: Well … Black Wood is actually a real ‘wood’ quite near the area where the real town is that my fictional town of Banktoun is based on. I spotted it on a map and thought it was a perfect fit for the story. Willow Walk is a street in the town where my husband grew up. A nice, sleepy street in a picture-postcard town. I have a street called Willow Walk in the book. BAD THINGS happen there! I like that there’s a nature theme running throughout.
DP: I’ve read both and they’re brilliant books … So The Damselfly is available for pre-order now, for release on 2nd February?
SH: Yep, both e-book and print are out on the same day this time, which hasn’t happened before. I’m excited!
DP: So am I. We’re all looking forward to that. Thank you!
SH: Hang on, DP. What about your new book? The Harbour Master … That’s quite a coup getting a quote from Susan Hill. She wrote my favourite ghost story! I’m not going to suggest that you might have paid for it or anything like that, but how exactly did you get such a fabulous author to say such nice things about you?
Click this link to get your copy of Daniel’s book —> https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01I4ALTDE/
DP: Ha! She generously read my first published novella, a ghost story set in the American South, which she looked kindly upon. This was all arranged via a manuscript assessment organisation called The Literary Consultancy. I was lucky because Susan Hill rarely reads – and blurbs – other books. And it’s a bit of a creepy cover with that body in the water, so I’m very grateful for her name being there, above!
SH: Incredible. I’ve read that ghost story too. It’s excellent, actually. You’re pretty good at this writing lark. This body, though. It’s totally creeping me out. What’s that all about?!
DP: Thank you! Honestly, initially I had reservations about the design, but my publisher got strongly positive feedback from bookshop chains (and one in particular). Importantly for me, it’s highly plausible that someone could end up floating in that part of Amsterdam harbour. The Harbour Master stories grew out of a feature article I wrote about trafficking in the Red Light District. I was invited on an undercover operation there with the Dutch National Crime Squad. The majority of sex workers are from elsewhere; one street, Molensteeg, is known as ‘Little Hungary’. How do they get there? Varying levels of coercion, essentially. A lot of it is psychological, but inevitably some is physical. The woman depicted in the water is called Saskia and, in the story, she got on the wrong side of a violent Hungarian pimp. To know more, you’ll need to read the book!
SH: I’m reading it right now! I do love the way you manage to absorb the reader into the setting. You’ve done that with everything of yours I’ve read. You’re not bad, DP. Not bad at all. You’re pretty good at holding drinks too, as it goes. Anyway, this book of yours … it’s available now as an e-book? At a special introductory price, right?
DP: I try my best with the drinks-holding! That’s right, the introductory reduced Kindle price lasts until 8th November. The print book launches on November 10th.
SH: Excellent. I hope it flies off the shelves … which would make a pretty good talking point at Waterstones King’s Road, wouldn’t it. See you there. I’ll be the one dressed like a skeleton!
DP: Indeed. And I’ll be Dracula – Regency-era! His creator, Bram Stoker, lived two streets from that Waterstones. Thanks Susi, and let’s thanks the lovely Kate as well for having us!
Buy The Harbour Master here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01I4ALTDE/
Pre-order The Damselfly here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01M7RBU7W/
And for more about the Halloween event at Waterstones King’s Road in London, please go here: https://www.waterstones.com/events/compass-points-in-crime-panel-event/london-kings-road
Big thanks to both Daniel and Susi for joining me on the blog for this brilliant chat! Make sure to check out the Waterstones event, and definitely check out the books!
Happy Halloween everyone…