I love a good horror, but especially enjoy those of the gothic horror sub-genre so it gives me great delight to introduce you to a book that promises the best of this genre and also adds a touch of sci-fi. Think Edgar Allan Poe meets H P Lovecraft.
Something Wicked This Way Comes by William Todd is already on pre-order and is available to purchase on Amazon on 8th July. I was lucky enough to have had a sneak preview and highly recommend it.
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, in 2018. He also released Beyond the Gossamer Veil in 2018, another compilation of both Victorian and modern supernatural/horror stories, and his latest Holmes installment, Murder in Keswick was released June, 2018. Along with that, William Todd had 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 XV published in May, 2019. Although most of his work falls into the realm of short story and novella, Something Wicked This Way Comes is his first full-length novel.
It’s a Victorian horror/sci-fi thriller to be released July 8 th , 2019.
What inspired you to write this book?
I love the premise of a group of people being stuck in a confined area with something that wants to kill them and no way of escape. I was drawn to one of my favorite movies of all time, the 50’s sci-fi classic, The Thing, precisely because of that scenario. It’s survival at its purest. For Something Wicked This Way Comes I did just that, putting people stranded on a ship on Lake Erie with an alien creature who, they discover, is killing them for food.
Who would you compare your work to?
Some of my works have been compared to Lovecraft, and certainly, his Cthulhu played a bit of a part in the creation of my creature. I’m a big Poe fan so he is a big inspiration too. Dean Koontz is the author that actually got me interested in writing, so I try to emulate him as well.
Tell us a little about your favourite character in the book?
There are two main characters in the story, Jericho Mannion, the ship captain, and his First Mate, Tal MacTavish. It’s a tough call between the two. If a gun was put to my head and I had to make a decision, Tal would just edge out Jericho. He comes across as a gruff Scotsman, but he’s a sweetheart underneath it all. His life since emigrating to America with his sister Claire had been working the Orion, and he fears losing the ship to auction as much as Jericho does (they have been losing passengers steadily since the railroad companies began putting their own steamers on the lakes to keep the passengers and the fares they pay in the railroad’s hands).
It’s this fear of losing the Orion that makes them take on the well-paying but secretive William Ross and his cargo.
Tell us about the setting of this book.
The setting plays as much a part in the telling of the story as the characters do. The Orion is an old but beautiful sidewheel ‘palace steamer’. Everything takes place on the ship. Lake Erie (the region I’m from) is a Great Lake and for all intents and purposes is a small inland sea. I know from experience how quickly storms arise on Lake Erie and their ferocity. Putting people on a ship in the middle of Lake Erie during a storm with a creature from another planet seemed to be the perfect mixture for a good tale.
What genre is your book? Is this your usual genre?
This is sort of a horror/sci-fi/thriller mashup. If I had to put a pin in it, I’d say it’s primarily horror with sci-fi and thriller elements. I’ve sort of dipped my big toe into sci-fi but stayed where I’m most comfortable—horror. It was fun and a bit daunting at first. I feel much the same with this as I did when I left horror for mystery, which I think turned out fairly well. I hope this is the same.
If this book was turned into a film, who would you see playing the main characters?
Hmm. Jericho Mannion would be played by Liam Hemsworth, Tal MacTavish would be played by Sam Heughan, Charlotte Gordon would be played by Emma Stone, Claire Mannion’s cameos would be played by Saoirse Ronan, and William Ross would be played by John Malkovich.
Please choose your favourite paragraph from Something Wicked This Way Comes.
It’s hard to pick out just one. I think there are multiple that could contend. Here is one of them:
Jericho looked out into the sepulchral darkness beyond the glass. He could just make out the crash of waves against the hull of the ship above the pinging rain and thrumming thunder.
A jagged arm of lightning reached across the sky, momentarily giving life to the void in front of him. The swells grew ever higher, and the crests now spilled over the main deck. Everything as far as the eye could see was a roiling pot of gray and black; the storm was worsening. The reflection staring back at him betrayed a growing fear that the thing on the ship
might not be their only danger.
What do you have in the pipeline?
I have another Sherlock Holmes short story to attend to, and I’ll have a small compilation together that I’ll publish maybe in the fall.
Another project is revising the very first attempt at a novel I ever wrote. It’s been sitting on my computer (and all previous computers) since about 2001. I started writing it in 1998 and even had it a couple of rungs up on a publisher’s ladder. That publisher happened to be in NY City,and they had it when 911 hit. I never heard from that publisher, and the one bit of feedback I did get from another person privy to the story was less than flattering. With my ego severely injured, I shelved it but couldn’t bring myself to hit ‘delete’ in all the years since. From that point on I turned my focus to short stories. I may—may mind you—resurrect it. Those horrible words still ring in my ears whenever I pull it up and start reading it. It’s a supernatural horror called The Armageddon Key. If you like demons and the end of the world you might like this…if it ever makes it to print.
Other than that, I think I need to spend some time reading other people’s books to get rejuvenated and get the old creative juices flowing.
Here’s the pre-order link:https://www.amazon.com/Something-Wicked-This-Way-Comes-ebook/dp/B07SW1K5NG
The Kindle versions and paperbacks go on sale on July 8 th !