Horror

Nascent Decay

Nascent Decay - Charles Hash

I read this book in December and it's taken me this long to determine exactly how I wanted to put together the review. To say that I enjoyed this book would be an understatement, as well as a bit misleading. Nascent Decay is a dark and heavy book to read. But if you can stomach some horribly uncomfortable scenes, the payoff is well worth the effort. 

Rhylie is a well developed character who pulls at your heart strings as she's forced to endure trial after torturous trial in her attempt to survive the cruel plot that has befallen her. 

Throughout my reading, I was torn between the struggle to want to look away during the difficult scenes and my inability to put the book down until the final page had been turned. 

This book is a combination of horror, science fiction, and psychological thriller, and that is a very powerful grouping of genres, especially when in the hands of Mr. Charles Edward Hash. He will leave you simultaneously cringing at the horror you just witnessed and wanting to read more. 


Some Bio Information

Charles Hash is a reclusive individual that doesn't like to talk about himself often. He has finally published two novels after years of struggling with writer's block, and he has written a few short stories along the way as well.

His work tends to explore the darker, grittier side of life, where there are no happy endings. There is always a price to be paid for everything, and usually the cost is too great a burden to bear. He writes with a hammer hidden behind his back, waiting patiently for the perfect moment to drop it in a series of blows that leaves the reader reeling.

In his plots, he explores hot-button topics between his characters whenever possible, pushing boundaries wherever he finds them. Within his published works you will find transgender characters, suicide, failure, grief, hopelessness, coping, survival; all of which are integral components in the specific brand of horror he creates, incorporating a wide variety of different styles into his writing as well.


Q&A

1. What inspired you to write this book?

This is a difficult question to answer, and I'm not sure where to begin. Nascent Decay was the result of a long-simmering desire to merge my favorite genres with heavy drama. Those being horror, fantasy, and science fiction. I draw on all three heavily in anything I write. But the tipping point was a single thought. What if someone awoke from stasis to find out they were the only human remaining in a galaxy populated by hundreds of other sentient races? I eventually took that notion a different direction, but that was really all it took. One good launching point.

2. Was there a deciding point in your life that made you want to become an author?

I've always wanted to create, and at the heart of that was writing, I suppose, whether it would have been lyrics, comic books, television, movies, or novels. I'm not sure I ever made a conscious choice to become an Author, although like many others I would often say naively, "I'd like to write a book one day." Even Nascent Decay was originally intended to be a comic book series, until I found out about the advances in self and indie publishing.

3. Are there any authors who influence your writing?

Absolutely, and it is an odd list for sure. Roald Dahl, Hans Christian Andersen, George RR Martin, Robert Kirkman, Vince Gilligan, Clive Barker, VC Andrews, C.S. Lewis, Ray Bradbury, Beverly Cleary, Judy Blume, Edgar Allen Poe, Mark Twain, Frank Miller, and many others. Lately I've been more open to being influenced, especially by Indie Authors, and I have learned and expanded my own capabilities from reading Dwayne Fry, Owen O'Neill, Christina McMullen, Anthony J. Deeney, AE Hellstrom, and BB Wynter. Through reading their work, I have learned to push my own restrictions farther back, and really throw my tentacles out there.

4. Can you tell me a little bit about your writing process?

I vomit out a rough outline. It doesn't need to be stable, or polished, it just has to work. No inherent flaws or anything that goes against a character's nature. After that I zero in on the character I'm writing from the PoV of, and slip into their mind as best I can, becoming them if possible. Music that captures the essence of what I want that character to be helps greatly. I write the machinations, the occurrences, the dialogue, and I don't stop for anything. I don't rewrite, or proof or edit until the draft is finished. After that, I go back and do the heavy editing, adding internalizations, descriptions, and any other little tidbits I can think of to flesh it out, including one-off PoVs.

5. Who is your favorite character in your work?

Just six months ago I would have said Rhylie, and before that, Mersi. But now I have to admit that it is Adam. He is so challenging to write, and yet so fun. Anything can happen. Anything can be justified. He's dangerous, unstable, deluded, violent, and sadistic, with a very dark sense of humor. Some of the things he does are so horrific that I decided I wasn't going to write them. Some of the things he does are so horrible that I don't want to describe them. But Adam is what makes the wheels turn for now. And when I write him, I hold my breath.

6. How would you describe your writing style?

I'd like to think it is both balanced and varied, a conglomeration of the authors I listed above. Poetic when needed, concise when required, and packed to the brim with plot. I try to give each character a different "voice" when I write them that is unique to them. I don't think I could bring myself to write the same character twice under different names, in different books. I'd like to think that it is very intimate as well, possibly too heavy with internalizations at times.

7. What’s your ultimate writing goal?

"Crush my enemies. See them driven before me. Hear the lamentations of their women."

The Phantom Cabinet

The Phantom Cabinet - Jeremy Thompson

Everyone has their own viewpoint of what constitutes a "good" horror story. For me personally, I want a story that keeps me on the edge of my seat, makes me slightly nervous and unable to sleep, and DOESN'T gross me out with overly gory details. 

As I began reading The Phantom Cabinet, I had no idea what conclusion the book was leading me to. I chose to read it at night and was definitely second guessing every bump in the dark. But when I stopped reading for the night, I was frustrated. I struggle through stories where the main character is continuously pummeled by misfortune. (Yes, I said pummeled) 

But I was still enjoying the plot, so I continued to read the following morning. Without giving away any more of the plot, my whole perspective of this book shifted through the second half of the plot. 

While the entire book is well written with fantastic language, dialogue, descriptions, etc, it's the second half of the book where the plot fully matures (more than simply concluding). 

If you're looking for a unique horror book, pick up this one. It's on an entirely different level than any I've read before. 


Some Bio Information

A San Diego State graduate, Jeremy Thompson resides in Southern California, where he writes horror, SF, thrillers, and bizarro fiction. Jeremy's books include The Phantom Cabinet and The Fetus and Other Stories. His short fiction has appeared in Under the Bed and Into the Darkness: Volume One.


Q&A

1. Can you tell us a little bit about your writing process?

Generally, I drink two or three cups of coffee while visiting my favorite websites. Once I get a decent caffeine buzz going, I start writing. I tend to work on multiple projects at once, which most days entails both writing and editing. I enjoy writing to music, but often edit in silence.  

2. What inspired you to write this book?

I wanted to write a ghost novel wherein heaven and hell don’t exist. Too many ghost stories end with a spirit ascending to heaven or being condemned to hell. In contrast, I devised a singular afterlife where everyone ends up regardless of their earthly deeds. I also wanted to learn more about space shuttles and satellites, which researching The Phantom Cabinet allowed me to do.  

3. What well known author would you compare yourself to?

Off the top of my head, I’d compare myself to Warren Ellis. Like him, I am interested in science and have a somewhat cynical view of humanity, which is reflected in much of my work. 

4. Describe the perfect writing environment. 

The perfect writing environment is one without distractions. I prefer to be alone, seated in a comfortable chair, with music playing low in the background. A good Internet connection is crucial.

5. How would you describe your writing style?

I would describe my writing style as classical with modern sensibilities. Aside from some dialogue, I try to keep my prose ornate, so as to imbue each story with a timeless quality.  

6. What would you like your readers to take away from your book?

Hopefully, readers will finish my book with the notion that its afterlife is somewhat plausible. And if they enjoyed The Phantom Cabinet enough to read more of my writing, all the better. 

7. What’s your ultimate writing goal? 

Ultimately, I’d like to have a good-sized bibliography that generates enough income for me to live comfortably. I would also like to branch out into screenwriting and comic book scripting at some point.