A few miles up the coast from where I live is a place called Lindisfarne, a dark isle off the coast of England. It’s a beautiful, welcoming place, but one with a grim history. In the turbulent Dark Ages, a group of monks took refuge there and founded a remarkable monastery where wonderful books were hand-written and decorated with amazing works of art. But then, in 800 AD, Viking raiders descended upon the monastery, slaughtering and burning. That is one component of the Dark Isle series, a fictionalized island called Skara Farne.
The second is my membership of A Ghostly Company, a literary society that meets to discuss ghost stories –fictional, mostly. Last year, we gathered in Cambridge, a beautiful university town. Most mornings before meeting up with my friends. I would go for a walk along the banks of the river Cam. I passed houseboats and wondered what sort of people might live in them. Perhaps a university professor, one who specialized in the study of ghost stories? One who discovers that behind one work of supernatural fiction lies a terrifying truth.
I had two components – an island with a bloody history and a man who stumbles across the supernatural. I put them together. I began to ponder the likely outcome if someone aroused an ancient evil that destroyed him, and then went on to destroy others. Part of me believes this is happening right now to some unsuspecting soul. I only hope he has better luck than some of my characters.
Red Chapel is the final installment of the Dark Isle trilogy and has just been released and you can get it today on Amazon! Enjoy the scares!