Friday, July 18, 2014

Adam Nevill

Adam Nevill's new novel is The House of Small Shadows.

From his Q & A with Justin Steele:

Puppets, taxidermy and dolls are all rather sinister. What served as your inspiration behind this piece? Are these all things that have creeped you out over the years?

HOUSE OF SMALL SHADOWS is the first novel in which I have made a concerted effort to use my childhood fears, fascinations and imaginings, specifically in the area of the strange secret lives of effigies and imaginary companions. There has always been a certain type of grotesque imagery relating to puppets, dolls and mummified creatures that appears in my fiction, and I may have been unconsciously working my way to devoting an entire book to this in HOUSE OF SMALL SHADOWS.

Reading the blurb it seems House of Small Shadows is going to be a haunted house/possessed doll story, but in reading it I was very pleasantly surprised to see that it was anything but conventional, and was a great example of weird horror. Are you a reader of weird fiction? When you set out to write this novel did you know from the start it was heading in that direction or did it just take you there?

Thanks, Justin, for the appreciation and open mind. The novel isn’t a Puppet Master slash-and-stalk B Movie, or possessed Chucky doll story, or anything like that really (though Karen Black being pursued through her apartment by a voodoo doll in Trilogy of Terror, that I saw when much younger, was an inspiration for this book). It aimed to be less obvious and more dreadful but also magical. Assumptions can be problematic in horror, I think; there are cinematic triggers for nearly everything now. Maybe horror in film and television even creates expectations for readers. But I think this my most idiosyncratic and strange story, and perhaps the most genuinely weird tale since Apartment 16. This approach was not contrived for the sake of weirdness, but if you dig deep enough and are honest about what disturbed you, and disturbs you, you will most probably hit a seam of the truly weird naturally.

The primary challenge I had with this book was placing the imagery, notions, feelings, ideas, and visual fragments that had been stored in my memory and imagination from my first memories into youth, into a novel-length narrative. I had ...[read on]
Visit Adam Nevill's website.

--Marshal Zeringue