Indie Zone: Talking with Daniel J. Barnes, Author of The Monster Home

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Dan Barnes

An all round creative type who enjoys drawing caricatures and creating worlds. Also a professional Wrestler (Known as “The Metrosexual” Danny Devine) and former creator/writer of comics under the banner of Dead Bride Comics. During 2012-2016 self published several comics like VATICAN (1 Issue), MONSTER HOME (3 issues), REVENGE IS GEEK (1 issue), STARLEX (2 issues) also worked for Bluewater Productions as a colourist working on several comics such as (JACK WELCH, MARILYN MONROE, WHITNEY HOUSTON, LADY ALMINA, STONEWALL RIOTS)

Facebook: @Metrodstuff
Instagram: @Metroddtuff @The_Metrosexual


Talking with Daniel J.  Barnes

Sci-Fi & Scary: How would you describe your writing style? Are you a big fan of descriptive language, lots of world building, and so on? Or are you more to the point and on with the plot? Or somewhere in between?

Daniel J. Barnes: I am very much in the realm of descriptive, I really enjoy describing to the finest detail the images that appear in my head while I am writing.

Sci-Fi & Scary: Where did you get the idea to lock Van Helsing up in an asylum with all the monsters he hunted?

Daniel J. Barnes: Back in around 2010, friend of mine (Swedish artist, Daniel Thollin) drew a picture of an old insane Van Helsing in a straightjacket in a cell entitled ‘Abraham’s Hell’. We talked back and forth about making a comic around Van Helsing in an asylum, then I came up with the idea to have him incarcerated with his arch nemesis Count Dracula, which then grew to include the other famous ‘Monsters’.

Thollin did a few promotional art pieces but his schedule wouldn’t allow him the time for the collaboration (because he is really good at what he does and was in demand) so I started looking for other artists to work on it. I worked a little with artists (firstly) Danny Kelly, Gill Murillo and then Nik Poliwko before shelving the project due to finances.

With the idea eating away at me I converted the story into a script and planned to try and see if I could get it made as a movie because I believe it would make none hell of a film, there is nothing been done like it, and to put all these infamous characters on screen in the same environment would just be mind blowing to me as a fan of the horror genre. But sadly nothing came of it as it is ridiculously hard to find anyone to look at unsolicited work.

One more attempt at making it a comic in 2015 saw Stefano Cardoselli take the pencil and I managed to release 3 issues of the comic digitally. But again finances come into play and I made the decision to stop it there as I’d always had the idea to one day write a novel I thought why not use The Monster Home story, and that’s what I did.

Sci-Fi & Scary: Which one of the ‘classic’ monsters is your favorite? Why?

Daniel J. Barnes: My favourite is The Wolfman (Or The Werewolf as he is referred to in The Monster Home) I think he has more layers as a character, he’s not one dimensional. You can connect with his human side, he is vulnerable because he can’t stop the metamorphosis that occurs and really feel for him when he returns to his human form because he has no recollection of what he has done. Plus he’s damn cool! Who doesn’t like a werewolf?

Sci-Fi & Scary: Is your version of Van Helsing true to most people’s ‘idea’ of him? Or did you take some liberties?

Daniel J. Barnes: I went with a younger Van Helsing for this particular story, I suppose he’s more like the Hugh Jackman interpretation than the classic Peter Cushing version.

Sci-Fi & Scary: Is The Monster Home more of a supernatural action/thriller or a horror?

Daniel J. Barnes: It’s an amalgamation of several things really, it’s horror, nostalgia, survival, camaraderie. People assume it’s all about Van Helsing but it actually isn’t, but to find out you’ll have to buy the book.

Sci-Fi & Scary: How long did it take you to write The Monster Home from the first time you jotted the idea down on paper until the time it was finished?

Daniel J. Barnes: The initial idea was around 2010 and like I’ve stated it started life as a comic, then a movie script then I rewrote the whole thing as a novel throughout 2016 and was released in January of this year.

Sci-Fi & Scary:  I noticed you are independently published – was it hard to find someone to proofread and edit your book for you?

Daniel J. Barnes: I’m lucky that I have some wonderful friends that support me. One of those friends is Emma Wilson, she has always supported ever project I have ever been involved in, from my early badly written and rough scripts (all 18 of them) of Vatican:Angel of Justice. She kindly took the reigns of my editor and I love her for that.

Sci-Fi & Scary: What project are you working on now? When do you think it will be published?

Daniel J. Barnes: I’m currently working on my baby. Back in 2006, the first character I ever created was Vatican: Angel of Justice and again started life as a comic project but now I’m just focusing on bringing him and his world to life in what I hope will be a series of stories about Thomas Gabriel who is a priest by day and a vigilante by night called Vatican. I’m hoping early next year release for this one.

Sci-Fi & Scary: Who are some of your favorite horror authors? What draws you to their work?

Daniel J. Barnes: The main man, Stephen King. I just love his work, the descriptive style and his character development really draws me, something I am trying to do with my writing style. He creates characters you care for and that’s what makes his books hard to put down.

Sci-Fi & Scary: What’s your favorite horror movie of all time? Why?

Daniel J. Barnes: Halloween. It’s just an amazing film really, the music has you on tenterhooks throughout as it builds to key points, the music so simple but so eerie and effective. The fact that Michael Myers appears throughout the film almost stalking his prey sets him apart from his other horror franchise counterparts. I also have a soft spot for Poltergeist and The Thing.

Book cover for The Monster Home

The Monster Home

What would happen if infamous monster hunter Abraham Van Helsing, was locked in an asylum with all the dreaded creatures he used to hunt?… You’re about to find out! Are you a fan of the famous classic characters of horror, such as Count Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster and Jekyll & Hyde? Do you like ‘who done it’s’ and unique twists and turns around every corner? Then this is the book for you! Just when you think you know all the answers The Monster Home changes the questions.

* Contains language unsuitable for people under the age of 16.

Buy link: Amazon UK

4 thoughts on “Indie Zone: Talking with Daniel J. Barnes, Author of The Monster Home

  1. I’d love to read this. I like the dynamics of them all trapped in a confined place. So many awesome beasties and always a sucker for stories taking place in asylums. Wicked cover art too!

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