Welcome to Day 2 of WiHM 2019. While the guests on this celebration of Women’s Horror Fiction are as described; fabulous and fearless, female writers of horror, I have included four superb horror writers who are friends of WiHM and very supportive of Women in Horror Month. So, I am delighted to welcome back to Unusual Fiction, an author whose body of work encompasses two of my all time favourite genres – gothic horror and Victorian mystery. Give a warm welcome to my good friend, William Todd.
William Todd has been writing online for nearly 20 years, primarily writing horror stories in the style of Poe and Lovecraft. He was the 2nd most popular author on the website storiesbyemail.com for two years before moving on. He had his first book, Bumps in the Night, published by Mystic Moon Press just a week prior to their abrupt closing, and he never saw his hard work pay off. Afterwards, he took publishing into his own hands, became an Indie author and hasn’t looked back. His first self-published book was the well-received Dead of Night; a compilation of Victorian horror stories, published September 2016. After its publication he left his comfort zone for mystery and wrote a short story about Sherlock Holmes in the original Conan Doyle style, Mystery of the Broken Window . It stayed in the top 100 on Amazon short stories list for eight months. He loved the process so much he then wrote a longer Holmes story, A Reflection of Evil . He released Beyond the Gossamer Veil on New Year’s Day, 2018, another compilation of both Victorian and modern supernatural/horror stories and his latest Holmes
installment, Murder in Keswick , was released June, 2018.
Although most of his work falls into the realm of short story and novella, he is currently working on a full length Victorian horror/sci-fi novel to be released
sometime this summer. Along with that, William Todd has also been asked to add a story to a Sherlock Holmes anthology put out by MX Publishing called The Book
of New Sherlock Holmes Stories Volume XIII also due out this summer.
Which horror genre do you written in?
I write typically in Victorian/Gothic horror, but I have dabbled a bit in more contemporary horror. I think my writing style tends to do more justice to Victorian/Gothic horror. When not in the real world, that is where I spend most of my time.
Why do you write horror? Tell us about your horror journey?
My first horror story wasn’t even really a horror story. It was a Sherlock Holmes mystery (which I also write) Hound of the Baskervilles. There was enough supernatural elements in the story that when entwined with a mystery, made it, to me, one of Conan Doyle’s best works. But even before reading about things that go bump in the night I always loved watching horror movies. But I’m less fond of the Friday the 13th horror and more fondly attached to Bram Stoker’s Dracula. In my teens I became infatuated with Jack the Ripper, which firmly entrenched me in both horror and Victoriana. I don’t even mind stretching a bit into the Edwardian era.
Your favourite horror author and the book you like best by this author?
Even though there is debate as to whether he is even considered a horror writer, Dean Koontz was by far my favorite author. Watchers, Phantoms, and Odd Thomas are among my favorite books, but there really isn’t a book of his I don’t like. I am also a big fan of Edgar Allen Poe, the beauty in his prose even when describing the most horrific scene is something I try to emulate when I can. I even try to tap into my inner Lovecraft at times, but his stories I either absolutely love or can’t get through. There is no middle ground with him.
What have you got in the pipeline?
I have a Sherlock Holmes story that is part of an anthology called The Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories, volume XIII coming out in the summer from MX Publishing. I have also been working on a Victorian horror/sci story as yet untitled that I hope to be out during the summer as well. After that I will put out another compilation of Holmes mysteries maybe by late fall or by the latest Christmas time.
Please, include a paragraph of your work – your favourite passage or a few lines from a work in progress.
“I set forth this entry in my journal as a reminder that not all in this world is explainable. I once believed solely in judicious thought. After the events of a fortnight ago, an occasion from which I am truly lucky to have escaped with my life, I no longer subscribe to such a narrow-minded attitude.
The night started off fair enough. Rain that pooled in the heavy, grey sky earlier had yet to materialize, leaving the land windswept but dry. The pregnant moon, when it could break through those fast-moving galleons helped me make my way pleasantly along the undulating moor.
I was making good time with my package.
As I contemplate the reason for my journey, I felt for the satchel draped over my shoulder, knowing it was still there but checking, nonetheless. I am a courier and as such, I am not paid to know what I deliver, but this much I did know: it was paperwork pertaining to the estate of one Mr. Holland Astonbury. I knew little of him except to say he was extremely wealthy and more exceedingly eccentric. Certain elders of the village passed many a day telling stories of his secret meetings with the spirit world, his magic concoctions to raise the dead, his animal familiars that inhabit the moors, watching for unsuspecting travellers to lure to his manor house to do unspeakable things.
Of course I am not—or I should say, was not—one to be easily persuaded by the rantings of old fools. I had a scientific mind. I reasoned with fact not superstitious opinion. Why, I, to the chagrin to everyone in my village, embraced the new science proposed by Charles Darwin. There was no room in my study for the irrational.
That was until…”
Check out William Todd’s books: