Monday, October 22, 2012

Unhallowed Ground


Anyone who has read my work knows I harbor a longstanding fondness for the traditional Victorian/Edwardian ghost story, such as those written by JS Le Fanu or MR James. For me, there has always been something essentially autumnal about the classic ghost story I suspect the collusion of my late October birthday and the Halloween season as well as my childhood love for all things Schwartz & Gammell) and for this reason I'm just terrifically pleased to announce the release of my new novella Unhallowed Ground as an e-book by DarkFuse just in time for All Hallows.

During the past few years, I've penned a number of Victorian pastiches, including "The Photographer's Tale," which will soon be republished in The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 23. At novella-length, Unhallowed Ground is easily the most comprehensive pastiche I have attempted as well as a noticeable departure for me in terms of its thematic concerns as well as its (relative) accessibility.

In short, I am very proud of it.

The events of the novella unfold at Bittersweet Lodge, a house haunted by the memory of its former self. Once a grand Georgian edifice, it is now nearly deserted. The walls lean and buckle. The brickwork is pitted and crumbling, fastened into place by the creeping vines that give the house its name. A young woman is buried nearby, a suicide. Her name was Lily Stark.

Henry Feathering arrives at Bittersweet Lodge as a guest of his uncle Edward, a recluse and a widower of many years. Though still bereaved by the death of his wife, Edward is seemingly content to live out his final years in the company of his books and manuscripts, having come to peace with the ghosts, real or imagined, that walk the house’s dusty corridors.

At Bittersweet Lodge, Henry woos and wins the hand of the enigmatic Clemency St. James, confessing his love to her beside the grave of Lily Stark. When his uncle dies, Henry inherits the lodge, and the newly-married couple set out to restore and beautify the house and grounds.

This decision throws wide the doors into the Lodge's tragic past, a history of madness and violence, which will, in turn, alter both Henry and Clemency in ways they cannot anticipate or understand.

Unhallowed Ground is available as an e-book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and all the usual suspects. A full list can be found here.