Today we are happy to host author Jonathan Broughton on Sci-FI & Scary as part of the Confessions Publicity Tour for the Sussex Horrors novel. This morning we’re featuring a guest post from the author, but make sure you tune in later for Gracie’s review of Sussex Horrors.
You’ll find Jason’s contact information at the bottom of the page.
Jonathan Broughton on Sussex Horrors
‘Everyone can remember a time when he has carefully searched his curtains, and poked in the dark corners of his room before retiring to rest…’
This quote from MR James, Provost of King’s College, Cambridge and writer of supernatural tales, beckons with that tingle of fear mixed with heady excitement to come a little closer towards the extraordinary.
We react to fear in different ways, especially in stories. It’s very personal and what frightens one person might not frighten another.
My stories in ‘Sussex Horrors’ were written in Hastings on the South coast of England, UK. It is a town full of Regency architecture, some of it rather run down, surrounded by rolling wooded countryside.
Whenever I travelled on the train, I was always surprised by the wildness of the woods and the untamed nature of the fields and hedgerows that we passed. Who saw these places, except those of us who looked out of the window? Who went there? Who knew what lay beyond those trees, that dip in the hillside? There are old places here unchanged for hundreds of years. And old places have their own special history that we either don’t know about or have forgotten.
In ‘Sussex Horrors,’ ‘Furzby Holt’ is one such forgotten place. A colony of zombies lives out their existence in a remote settlement, but when they are visited by a young man collecting census forms the conflict between the old and the new (and the diseased) exposes gaping chasms of misunderstanding that can never be bridged.
In all of my stories, everybody wants something. Most of them are thwarted by circumstances or the unexpected. ‘The Pensioner Pirates of Marine Parade’ is an exception. Here, Clarissa and Daphne know what they are up against and they are determined to fight back.
This is one of my favourite topics – the plucky individual pitted against faceless bureaucracy. This is my only Sci-Fi story to date, too.
The discussion about old age is very current in the UK. There is an increasingly elderly population living longer and longer without the infrastructure in place to take care of them, should they need it.
This is another type of fear. We are all going to grow old, we can see what’s coming towards us, but what is going to happen if we need help? It all, of course, comes down to money. My story offers a solution, but not a very nice one.
Hastings is beautiful in nice weather and wild and exhilarating in the storms. There are far horizons where lightning can sometimes be seen flashing over France, but on other days, thick sea mists roll in to dim the sun and blur the outlines of people and buildings. Such weather events may be dramatic, but they are ‘normal.’
What if ‘normal’ shifts to ‘bizarre, inexplicable?’ I wrote ‘You Have One Message,’ before the Hadron Collider in Lucerne, Switzerland completed its first successful test.
At the time, newspaper articles were rife with scare stories about the possible emergence of Black Holes because of the scientists’ meddling with the laws of quantum physics. What if… it went wrong? I set the story in Hastings, but the impact of such a calamity would be world-wide. And who knew what might happen if the experiment failed and disaster struck?
Fear and horror affects all of us in different ways. It’s good to be scared, sometimes. Fear has helped our species to stay in existence for tens of thousands of years, because anything might happen to us at any time.
It’s still a wise idea, even in today’s world, to check the darkest corners of our room.
Three Sussex authors … Twelve horror stories.
Take a terrifying journey to a coastline associated with candyfloss and amusement arcades, and see it stripped to the bone.
Whether it’s seagulls that prove to be more than a nuisance, the mysterious inhabitants of a forgotten village, or a fisherman whose Easter eggs are not for consumption, the horrors are always there … and much closer than we care to admit.
– The Rebirth
– The Commission
– Demon Alcohol
– Away in a Mangler
– The Stealth of Spiders
– You Have One Message
– Furzby Holt
– The Pensioner Pirates of Marine Parade
– Normal, Considering the Weather
– Double Rainbows
Please note: Some stories contain moderate blood and gore.
My Amazon Author page: http://amazon.com/author/jonathanbroughton
My Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/jonathan.broughton.5
And my Twitter handle: @jb121jonathan