Oh, the horror! And I mean that in the best way possible. ;) John Inman is here with me today to tell you all about ghosts and haunted houses and moldering skeletons in creepy closets. I’m talking, of course, about John’s new releaseThe Boys on the Mountain, released just yesterday from DSP Publications. So light your candles and get out your Ouija boards—but first, let’s have a look at what’s in store.
Jim Brandon has a new house, and boy is it a pip. Built high on the side of the San Diego mountains by a legendary B movie actor of the 1930s, Nigel Letters, the house is not only gorgeous, but supposedly haunted. As a writer of horror novels, Jim couldn’t be happier.
But after a string of ghostly events sets Jim’s teeth on edge and scares the bejesus out of his dog, Jim begins to dig into the house’s history. What he finds is enough to creep out anybody. Even Jim. It seems long dead Nigel Letters had a few nasty habits back in his day. And unhappily for Jim, the old bastard still has some tricks up his sleeve.
As Jim welcomes his ex, Michael, and a bevy of old friends for a two-week visit to help christen the new house, he soon realizes his old friends aren’t the only visitors who have come to call.
Carole: So last time you were here, John, I called you DSP Publications’ answer to Stephen King, and though you demurred, I haven’t seen anything yet to change my opinion. Now, I know one of King’s least favorite questions is “What is it about the Horror genre that appeals to you?” so let’s be evil and start with that one.
John: Horror stories are always fun. Usually they are so over the top that they make the writing of them a true blast. In horror you can let your imagination take you wherever you want to go. There are no restrictions of reality or time or reason to hold you back. Next to flat out gooshy love stories, which I adore making up, I enjoy writing bloody, creepy, scream-inducing horror stories the best.
Carole: Quite the contrast there! Now, horror as a genre has such broad appeal. Why “narrow the audience,” so to speak, by featuring the M/M dynamic?
John: I guess it boils down to being who I am. Since I’m gay, the M/M perspective on a story is just the way I instinctively go. I’ve always written male on male, even before I ever sold a manuscript and before I ever knew there was actually a market out there for that type of story. And at this late point in the game I don’t think I could change because it’s the only way I know how to write.
Carole: And why should you, really? Okay, so let’s move on to the good stuff. Tell us about The Boys on the Mountain.
John: This book was sort of a test for me. It was my first foray into writing a ghost story. It was also the first time I tried writing a story that encompassed two separate time periods, decades apart. I have published ghost stories before this one but The Boys on the Mountain was written before those. Boys is the story of a serial killer of young men who lived half a century earlier than when the present day part of the story takes place.
Nigel Letters was an old ham actor of the forties who starred in a string of B movies and made quite a name for himself doing it. He also had a few kinks in his persona that his fans didn’t know about at the time. Fast forward five decades. James Brandon is a writer of horror stories who is buying the old Letters home situated on the side of a mountain in Southern California. Once there, he realizes, through his pen, that something horrible once happened in that house, and the victims of that horror are still in residence. When his coterie of gay friends come for two weeks to christen the house, they find themselves in a battle with the ghost of Nigel Letters who still wields control over the poor souls he murdered here fifty years before. And not everyone survives the battle.
Carole: Yikes! Sounds like a book to be read with all the lights on and maybe a guard dog or two. ;)
Read more at The Novel Approach!