We’re more than half-way through October and there are only twelve more days until the main event; Hallowe’en, and so today is given over to writer of celtic mythology and extreme dark fiction – author D.J. Doyle.
D.J. Doyle was raised by pot-smoking hippies and spent her days worshipping pagan deities in the HellFire Club and her nights watching horror movies and reading horror books. She now lives with her family in a treehouse, preying on unsuspecting travellers, and where she likes nothing better than coming up with ideas for new stories and plotting her next novel. Some of this might have been made up.
What draws you to horror as a genre?
I have been watching and reading horror since I was very young (I can blame my big goth brother) and love the thrill of being scared or grossed out. My first horror was An American Werewolf in London around the age of 9, and I’ve enjoyed all types of horror films since. I read my first Stephen King book around the age of 12 and was so anxious and freaked out, I read it again.
In your opinion, what are the essential components of a great ghost story?
I believe the best components are:
(a) true story or back story elements – by bringing the paranormal to life rather than just being there, you give the ghost a goal, a reason, and that’s what can make it more realistic
(b) scare/jump factor – ensure you bring your ghost into a scene that you wouldn’t expect them to be
(c) twist ending – let the reader think everything is okay now, then hit them with a last-minute shocker (my favourite part lol).
If you could have a celebrated horror/ghost story writer (living or dead) endorse your writing who would you pick?
Easy… Shirley Jackson, Bram Stoker, or Stephen King.
What is your favourite character from one of your works and why?
Oh, it has to be Father Jack. He’s a whiskey drinking, chain-smoking, demon fighter who has little patience for some of his team and doesn’t mind showing it. He is a minor character in The Celtic Curse: Newgrange, but because so many readers loved him, I wrote a short comedy horror called Christ on a Bike! about his struggle fighting demons from other realms, as well as his demons within. I also have another short being release in an anthology for a Hallowe’en event called OMFG! and in this one, Father Jack has to close an unusually large portal to another realm. Probably not as funny, but true to his character. I have more planned for Father Jack.
Have you ever experienced a supernatural experience or ghostly encounter?
Oooh, I didn’t expect this question and not too sure I want to answer. What I will say is, none of my books are inspired by any event that has happened to me. I hope that answers your question.
Excerpt from Newgrange.
“Growls and barking from behind stopped the girl dead in her tracks. She turned in horror to catch sight of the giant dog as it pounced and pinned her to the ground. Her hands pulled clumps of short coarse hair in her attempt to hold back the snapping mouth. She was too weak and teeth ripped through the thin skin on her slight neck. Its gaped mouth bit down hard as she struggled to breathe. She tried to open the clamped jaws with her little fingers, but blood bubbled from the torn flesh, her artery severed.”
Click the links below to discover D.J. Doyle’s work.