I didn’t write a horror book. At least, I didn’t think I did. I wrote a detective novel… with elements of supernatural danger.
But… while there was some scary scenes, the overall tone, I felt, was too optimistic to be horror. It was an adventure tale. A friend said she couldn’t read scary tales when I was writing it. At first I told her she’d need to skip a chapter and I’d give her a synopsis. Maybe two. Then she said Harry Dresden books were too scary for her. I told her to forget it. And I didn’t hold back when it came to the creep factor if I had a good idea to build the tension somewhere.
But it was not a horror story. I’d written horror before, short stories. Those were grim. Forever’s Too Long wasn’t grim. It was full of friendship and love, music and kindness. Levity was sprinkled throughout.
A coworker refused to read it on the grounds of she didn’t read scary stuff.
I rethought how I’d been looking at it. It was an adventure, yes, and a tale of friendship and love, but couldn’t you say the same about Dracula, which authentically was about Johnathan struggling to get to Mina, Mina resisting the call of the vampires, and friends coming together to fight the undead monster who had killed an innocent among them. You couldn’t call one of the classics of horror not horror just because it had a happy ending. And the creepy stuff was creepy enough I couldn’t push it on someone who couldn’t stand anything mildly scary.
So, I sent a copy to a friend who reviews horror. I’ll see whether she thinks it’s horror or not.
When Allan got the idea for The Vampyre Blogs: Coming Home, he wanted to write the story of a man who was changed by an encounter with a creature from a parallel Earth. In the Para-Earth series, infinite, or nearly so, timelines exist and in some Earth exists, but evolution happened differently. In this case a kind of intelligent slime-mold formed a symbiotic relationship with the man blown into it’s universe. And although he gets home, he finds that as a result of the bonding he is to all intent a living vampire, with a very prolonged life. Yet over a century later, he must deal with a monster from that same universe which found its way into his world. I’m a co-author on that series, because, although Allan does the majority of the actual writing, I’ve done such extensive work with him on the science aspects, creature development, and character interactions, he sees me as co-creator.
Allan wanted to introduce him to the audience through the eyes of two teen girls, one who had known him since her earliest days, and another meeting him for the first time. A lot of the story revolves around them.
Over a year after it was released, a friend pointed out to him that he’d written a young adult novel. He re-read it and yes… the teens were really the ones with the most important story arcs, as they underwent more personal growth in that frame.
Okay, so he’d written a young adult novel and it was obvious once someone else said it.
I mention in the acknowledgments that I’m standing on the shoulders of giants. But the names I list might not be familiar to everyone.
Raymond Chandler was the creator of Phillip Marlowe. He didn’t create the hard-boiled detective genre, but he saw untapped potential in it. He started writing his own, bringing in a more sophisticated style of writing. He believed that people could enjoy exciting plot twists and still get literary touches.
Dan Curtis was a television producer, but not just a producer. He came up with and developed ideas for shows. His first foray into fiction was based on a dream that a friend told him sounded like gothic horror. He’d never heard of that genre before, plunged into it, and came out with a successful gothic soap opera that saved a television network. One of his followup projects, Kolchak, the Nightstalker, features a classically abrasive investigative reporter who keeps finding paranormal dangers at the heart of strange events in Chicago. It was brilliant and funny, and I was delighted to be compared to it.
Marv Wolfman might seem like the most obscure name I gave, but he’s been a tremendous influence on comic books and has wrtiten television shows. One of his specialties is re-imagining classic monsters into contemporary stories. He’s also remarkable for working out how to fix inconsistencies in an ongoing story line..
I’d also like to say Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden books helped me see there is a market for this kind of old-fashioned character and cross-genre writing. Unlike the Dresden books, this is actually set back in the heyday of the private eye’s he emulates. And my detective, rather than starting out as an expert on the occult, begins blissfully unaware.
Less directly, I’m sure Terry Pratchett has been an influence, if only because he’s my favorite writer and I’ve read the Watch books over and over.
And… Star Wars. No, really. Watching The Force Awakens, I thought, “This guy doing Poe Dameron would be good as one of those smart-alec detectives.” And the idea of doing a Latino detective in period was intriguing. I’ll get into that in my next post.
Welcome to the first solo novel of Helen Krummenacker, co-author of the Para-Earth Series.
Adventure, humor, film noir and dark urban fantasy blend in a unique vision that will appeal to fans of Harry Dresden or Marvel’s Horror Comics….
Enter the world of The Forever Detective Series…
Raphael Jones’ love of adventure took him into police work, military service, and finally a career as a private eye. But when his first couple of cases combine to drop him into deep trouble, can his sense of adventures survive? For that matter, can he? A practical man with a kind heart, he never expected to encounter supernatural evil threatening the people he cars about.
“I was reading along enjoying the Raymond Chandler vibe and suddenly WHAM! Night Stalker!” – author Danarra Ban
Available June 1st, 2019 in for all e-books (Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Apple, PDF, etc.) and trade paperback!
Reserve your e-copy now at: