Haunted for years by dreams of death and mysterious rituals, Jess Young travels to Ireland in search of answers. Her search becomes a race against time when her friend is abducted by Celtic Druids bent on resurrecting the Morrigan; the Celtic goddess of war and death.
Jess must seek help from an ancient Order of Christians and some unorthodox Catholic priests before time runs out for her friend . . . and the world.
Whom can Jess trust while being hunted by the Celtic Druids of our time? If Jess follows her destiny, is the fate of mankind safe in her hands?
1) As a female horror writer what do you bring to the table in terms of what of you write?
I’m not afraid to delve into the extreme violence a reader many cringe at reading. Even as a woman, I can detach myself from the story so it doesn’t affect me, leaving me to be as gruesome as possible. I also try to add relatable characters that have a realistic past and funny anecdotes. I have filled my stories with the anecdotes I have experienced myself, even if they do seem a little wacky e.g. setting my trousers on fire or falling off a bus and grabbing at an innocent man’s trousers… yep, these are true stories hahahaha.
2) Do you think female authors are underrepresented in the horror genre?
Women are a requisite of the horror genre these days, as more and more women are entering the genre with their eyes open and blood dripping from their keyboards. Gone are the days when men had readers biting their nails and sitting on the edge of their seats … this is now the work of women, too; allowing us to bite our painted nails and scrunch up our mascara with uneasiness.
Many forget the first sci-fi horror novel was written by a woman - Mary Shelley. However, there were many women writing ghost and supernatural stories before that, like Ann Radcliffe, and around the same time was Charlotte Riddell, but with pseudonyms to disguise their identities.
3) Tell us about your book(s)
My love of Irish mythology gave me the idea for my first novel. I grew up with stories of the Banshee which terrified my friends and me. I’d read that a terrible crime had been committed against her and she cursed the families responsible, from this the story just developed in my head. Similar has happened with the other stories I’ve written, again all based on either mythology, Irish locations, or both.
My second novel is based on a very famous heritage site in Ireland, called Newgrange. I’ve visited this place many times and dreamt of the events that would have taken place over time, which led me to write the dark thriller/horror, giving some background and bringing to life the monument it is today.
This is the one I was most nervous writing … an extreme horror called Red; a novelette full of gore and violence. I’ve written about abuse and violence before, but nothing like the sexual torture I did in Red. The uniqueness of the story is that it is written in 1st POV from the perspective of the serial killer - so you’re inside his mind, seeing from his eyes, feeling the pleasure of the kill. This has disturbed a few readers that were not prepared for the content. I am working on the sequel, which has made my followers very happy to hear.
I have always tried to include small amounts of comedy in my stories, typically by adding funny characters, which is difficult to mix with the horror genre. I wrote a quick Newgrange spinoff and decided to write it as a comedy horror due to the main character being a little unorthodox - Father Jack; a smoker, a whiskey drinker, and full of foul language, is at an exorcism with his posse of priests.
I’ve covered a few subgenres from the horror genre. What I will get around to, eventually, is sci-fi horror, which is my favourite subgenre to watch. I have multiple horror stories in my head just waiting to come out … all I need is the time to write them.
4) Why is horror writing important to you?
I grew up reading horror. I asked my older brother for something to read, he handed me a Stephen King book which opened my eyes to gruesome stories. Yes, I had seen many films of this genre, but I’d never read horror before. I devoured horror books after that, and the library gave me my reading material for many years. What I love about Stephen King is that his best stories have females being the one true horror, e.g. Carrie and Misery.
I also grew up watching The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits; this has influenced my writing and the twists I cannot help but add to the end of my stories.
I have so many stories in my head, I have to get them out… to write them down until I’ve enough room in my brain for more. I think that will be for a very long time.
5) Is the future of horror female?
I don’t think we’re the only future but it would be nice to be treated equally and not need to have gender neutral names or use our initials to hide our gender. We’ve hidden in the shadows for far too long. Women are now expressing their gory side and spilling our guts out on a page.
About the Author:
DJ Doyle is the author of multiple horror and thriller novels and short stories from extreme horror to comedy horror. She was raised by pot smoking hippies and spent her days worshipping pagan deities in the HellFire Club, and her nights watching horror movies. 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.
About the Author:
S. K. Gregory is an author, editor and blogger. She currently resides in Northern Ireland.
“Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.”