Today I’d like to welcome David Brian, author of The Damnation Game. It’s almost as if his destiny was sealed at birth!
Kate Stringer is a woman in mourning, her murdered husband the latest victim of the notorious Catholic Jack slayer. A nationwide manhunt is underway, but the serial killer continues to remain elusive. Now, unknown to her, Kate too has been targeted by the maniac.
However, another force is also in play, something which is only ever glimpsed in the shadows, and with an agenda very much its own. Before the night is through, both predator and prey are destined to learn the intricacies of the Damnation Game.
From the author of Carmilla: The Wolves of Styria, and The Cthulhu Child, comes another unsettling journey into darkness.
How long have you been writing horror/thrillers and what drew you to the genre?
I think we’ve sort of covered this already in my bio, at least with regards to what drew me to the genre. I definitely consider the unusual circumstances of my birth to be a major influence. Not everyone makes their first appearance in a packed cinema, and during the showing of a horror film.
I actually wrote a number of horror stories back in the ‘90s, but most of these never saw the light of day until many years later. I published Dark Albion in 2010, and shortly after this Kaleen Rae. These books contain some of those early writings.
How did you come up with the idea for your book?
Honestly, The Damnation Game was actually inspired by a dream my mother had. I’d explain this statement in more detail, but it would present a major spoiler for the book.
If you could erase one horror cliché, what would it be?
Ooh Boy! Where to start? There are certainly plenty to choose from. Okay, so it probably has to be when the hero or heroine drops the monster/alien/psycho killer with a baseball bat, gun or whatever, and then throws the weapon on the ground and turns away from the killer… Hell, we all know what’s going to happen, so just keep pummeling and smashing and shooting that critter until he’s stone cold done!
What are you working on now?
I’ve just finished the first draft of a horror/fantasy novel called The Lord of Always. I like to put things away in a drawer and leave them in storage for a while, before commencing the rewrite. I find it allows me a fresher perspective when I return to the grind. So, whilst that one is stewing, I’m now working on a short called The Bones of Morden Gray. This one is set in a funeral parlour, so you can probably imagine how things are going to pan out…
Favourite horror movie and book?
This is a real tough question; there are just so many great movies and books. Rosemary’s Baby (the movie) had a profound effect on me, as I watched it when I was quite young, and I was used to everything being alright in the end. However, if I had to pick just one movie based on the creepy unease it generated when viewing it for the first time… then I guess my pick would be Halloween – John Carpenter’s 1978 movie, obviously! Even today, it really does stand up well against the ravages of time, and sends chills down my spine.
Favourite novel is (perhaps?) an easier pick. I Am Legend by Richard Matheson was a book I first read when I was a kid of about eleven years old, and although there are certainly scarier books out there, this one was truly groundbreaking in the way it depicted its vampires. To add to this, I have often been asked who my favourite horror/fantasy author is. Well, Richard Matheson is right up there. His story concepts were absolutely amazing, and his work still stands up well today.
David Brian claims to have been destined for the world of horror. Actually, he was born into it… well, sort of. He tells the story of his very sudden arrival into this world, and how it came about via a broken cinema seat. It was a seat into which his heavily pregnant mother found herself securely wedged, once it collapsed beneath her close to term bulk. The chaos of the poor woman’s dilemma led, perhaps not too surprisingly, to a rather rapid labour.
And the film which was showing? It was The Phantom of the Opera!
David has had a fascination with all aspects of the horror genre since early childhood. Friday night television usually included a Hammer Horror production. Those evenings spent in the company of Dracula, Frankenstein, and various other dubious role models, prospered an early interest in the genre. It was also around this same time he started reading horror. Initially it was just kids’ books; bumps and scares in the dark type material. Very soon though, he moved on to more adult fare. Initially his pleasure was derived from ghost stories, but soon he discovered even darker content. David spent long evenings reading books such as The Rats by James Herbert, Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin, The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty, and a multitude of other classics of the genre. These early influences remain a major driving force in his desire to write memorable stories. David says: “I like the idea that, fifty years on from when I shuffle off this mortal coil, someone might pick up a copy of my work and say, ‘You know what? This David Brian fella, he sure could tell a story.’”
Carmilla: The Wolves of Styria, David Brian’s derivative re-imagining of Carmilla by J.S. Le Fanu, has been a consistent bestseller on the Amazon U.K. horror chart, and has attained #1 position in its categories on numerous occasions.
David lives in the county of Northamptonshire, in England.
Where to find David:
The Damnation Game is also available in paperback, and in various e-Book formats through online vendors.