The latest in our series of Authoramp Interviews is with dark thriller and horror author Simon Andrew Stubbs… We had an interesting chat with Simon about his latest book and writing in general…
Tell us a bit about your new book, Jackson Hope…. what is it about?
Jackson Hope is the tale of a small Arizona ranch town that was wiped from the map in October 1890 after the Barsdon Dam gave way and buried the town under forty feet of water. What we don’t know at the start of the book is why the dam gave way and the evil deeds that were a part of every day life in the town in the time leading up to the disaster. The book follows two key lives; in 1890 Adam is head of the Cooper’s, a young family who have recently moved to the town and are slowly becoming accustomed to the rule of General Llewellyn Stape, the self appointed Head Selectman who with his band of thugs rules Jackson Hope with an iron fist. Bit by bit Adam will uncover the atrocities that have cemented Stape’s power, and learn that any threat to that rule is quickly and mercilessly stamped out.
In modern times Teddy Llorello has been assigned the task of evaluating the site of the now ghost town to assess the likelihood of the land being used for a new construction project, but it doesn’t take long before the ghosts of atrocities past start haunting the silent streets of Jackson Hope once more. Teddy and his small team must defend themselves against the relentless and terrifying attacks and will slowly piece together the true history of Jackson Hope, and the reason for its untimely demise.
Is it part of a series? Are you planning any more?
This is my third novel, each one a stand alone story, although I’m busily writing the follow up to Jackson Hope it will not in any way relate to it.
What inspired you to write the book?
I’ve always been a fan of scary stories and films, horror novels, dark fiction and generally anything that scares me, writing what I hope are scary tales is an extension of my love of the macabre. Nothing pleases me more than hearing that one of my tales has kept a reader awake, scared of the bumps in the night and the shadows in their room. This is always a real buzz for me and keeps me tapping away at my keyboard when I should be helping around the home.
Who do you think will enjoy reading the book?
Anyone who likes stories with plot twists and secrets to discover should find something they like in this novel. Generally fans of horror and dark fiction would be the target audience, but anyone who doesn’t mind a little dark imagery and the odd scare I hope would enjoy my novel too. I’ve also received feedback from people who don’t normally read this type of fiction that they gave it a go and now want to sample the work of similar authors, so I guess anybody could enjoy this tale if they committed themselves to read.
When did you start writing books and why?
I’ve written stories all my life, at school creative writing was my favourite part of English Literature and after having one of my stories read out in class and feeling a strange mixture of embarrassment and pride I knew this was something that I always wanted to do. So far I’ve written seven full novels, self publishing the three I was happiest with and can’t see myself slowing down in the future, if anything despite increasing demands on my time I find I’m using my personal time more and more for writing these days.
What made you want to write dark thrillers?
I’ve been writing ghost stories ever since I was a kid, though back then the stories weren’t quite as dark as they are today, it just seemed a natural fit for me and although not all my tales could be counted as horror they all have a dark under tow that guides the story and the reader.
Which authors, dead or alive, inspire your writing?
I love the work of James Herbert the famous British horror novelist and Graham Masterton. Their books ‘Once’ and ‘Mirror’ respectively are amongst the best popular fiction novels I have read. It’s hard to argue with the stats though; Stephen King is by far the master of this genre and a deserved owner of the title in my opinion for his seemingly endless imagination and depth of character. It is without doubt scaring myself silly with novels such as ‘It’ and ‘The Shining’ when I was young that paved the way for my own creative writing and his work today is every bit as good if not better than the tales that are now considered his classics.
When is your book available to purchase and from where?
‘Jackson Hope’, along with my previous novels ‘Envy’ and ‘Bodies’ is out now from all major online retailers, though for ease of purchase I would recommend Amazon.
Follow Simon on Twitter @simonastubbs!